WordSmith66
49 Austin, United States
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WordSmith66
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My self-summary
OTHER PEOPLE'S WORDS

“I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing...if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive...I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it. I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human."
~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer

”Don't choose me because I am faithful,
Don't choose me because I am kind.
If your heart settles on me, I'm for the taking.
Take me for longing or leave me behind."
~ Alison Krauss


MY WORDS

Are you insatiably curious, infatuated with the wonder-filled, beautiful, and heartbreaking roller coaster of experience? Do you long to live authentically and make a real difference?

Like many, I'm a passel of paradoxes: passionate and peaceful, serious and humorous, mature and playful, geeky and normal. Words (reading and writing), music (listening and performing), practicing Zen, and promoting Sudbury schooling are my passions. I believe in reason, compassion, pragmatism, wonder, and integrity. I don’t believe in boredom: the world is too full of fascination, the value of stillness and emptiness too often underestimated. While I cherish solitude, I crave connection and a world-expanding partnership.

And in case this profusion of prose isn't enough, you're welcome to check out my blog, Write Learning (.wordpress.com).
What I’m doing with my life
Professionally speaking, I've been involved with Sudbury schools for the past 19 years. At various times I've supplemented my school income with writing/editing work.

I read and journal daily, and I exercise regularly. Meditating at the Austin Zen Center is a big part of my daily routine. A kick-ass choir is also something I require in my life, as I've discovered over more than a decade with the Ars Nova Singers and the ensembles of Chorus Austin.

I have a weak spot for pub trivia, and once very nearly published a couple children’s books (stories and meta-story available upon request). I try to maintain and/or develop my fledgling Spanish, and I play my piano with varying frequency (though my trumpet hasn't seen the light of day in years).
I’m really good at
  • writing/editing
  • playing/connecting with kids of all ages
  • music
  • logic games/puzzles (minimally skilled at chess, enjoy Sudoku, Set, and games that challenge my nonverbal side...)
  • communicating (e.g., listening, public speaking)
The first things people usually notice about me
ACTUAL WORDS FROM ACTUAL FRIENDS!

  • "I see you as an attractive, fit, smart, introspective man, who will take risks but only after weighing the rewards against his values."
  • earnest, peaceful soul
  • open, sincere
  • good hugger
  • "You make people feel safe."
  • "You are a beautiful, intelligent, charming, humorous, solid man."
  • "You have this Stephen Colbert vibe."
  • "You know what I like about you? You aren't afraid to say important things. You aren't afraid to skip the smalltalk."
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
BOOKS: Anything by Wendell Berry or Haruki Murakami; Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, An American Childhood, and other works by Annie Dillard; Walden; Letters to a Young Poet; Goedel, Escher, Bach; The Unbearable Lightness of Being and Immortality by Kundera; Gilead; Angle of Repose; The Heart is a Lonely Hunter; Foreskin's Lament; The Lover's Dictionary; The Road; Benjamin Hoff's Tao of Pooh and Te of Piglet; The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay; A Prayer for Owen Meany; Ender's Game; and various works by Jeanette Winterson, Kurt Vonnegut, David Sedaris, Bill McKibben, Sherman Alexie, Roald Dahl, Etgar Keret, Richard Bach, Barbara Kingsolver, Italo Calvino, J.R.R. Tolkien, and William Least Heat-Moon; poetry by Jane Kenyon, Linda Pastan, E.E. Cummings, and Mary Oliver; and spiritual/self-help writings by Pema Chodron, Philip Kapleau, Steve Hagen, Byron Katie, and Don Miguel Ruiz.

MOVIES/TV: Lord of the Rings, Chicago, Rivers and Tides, Buena Vista Social Club, Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Lost in Translation, Memento, The Pirates of Penzance, Serenity, Groundhog Day, Stranger Than Fiction, movies featuring Christopher Guest (e.g., The Princess Bride, Spinal Tap, Best in Show), movies by Miyazaki and Tim Burton, and foreign films (e.g., The Motorcycle Diaries; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; City of God; The Triplets of Belleville), and various incarnations of Star Wars and Star Trek. As for TV, I don't really watch it; just select series on DVD/Netflix (e.g., Deadwood, Flight of the Conchords, Buffy, Battlestar Galactica, The Wire) or own (Monty Python's Flying Circus, Firefly).

MUSIC: classical, vocal, piano, jazz, Celtic, bluegrass, Latin, and above all, UNCLASSIFIABLE. Categories are so limited -- and limiting. The two best concerts I ever attended were The Tallis Scholars and Bobby McFerrin.
The six things I could never do without
  • capital-A Art in its many manifestations
  • spending time with children and creative, thoughtful, child-like people
  • the mindfulness of journaling and meditating
  • quality time outdoors, whether hiking, exercising, or simply sitting
  • passion and imagination (Whitman's "barbaric yawp"), flexibility and emptiness (Thoreau's "broad margins")
  • corrective lenses
  • a library card and access to a good collection (quality used bookstores, too)
  • Internet access (though periods of intentional doing-without are also indispensable)

  • …and breaking silly rules like limiting myself to only six things...
I spend a lot of time thinking about
What most preoccupies me these days is figuring out how to make a real difference in the world while also making enough money to support a modestly comfortable lifestyle.

Although I'm a pretty skeptical person (in the agnostic/atheist/humanist sense), I also practice Zen on a daily basis. I find that I'm more grounded and healthy, more present, when I meditate daily. So while I don't believe in the supernatural, I am deeply concerned with meaningfulness and ethics, and I appreciate that "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,/Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
On a typical Friday night I am
I think a better question might be what I do when I have a little time to myself. Reading, journaling, meditating, and running are my self-care core, but I also enjoy going for walks, watching good movies/shows, playing piano, and meeting up with friends.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
I like to sniff books. Stick my nose in the spine and take a good whiff. Preferably when no one's watching. Especially new books, but really old books have their distinct bouquet. I swear, I can almost get drunk browsing in a used bookstore.

On a more serious note, I've been divorced since 2006.
You should message me if
...you are creative, playful, and passionate, while also responsible and mature.

...you're ready for a close, genuine connection -- i.e., you're self-aware, know what you want, and have your stuff reasonably together.

...you'll inspire me to begin learning the guitar, improve my Spanish, and/or work on a new language.

...you enjoy games such as chess, Scrabble/WWF, and Set.

...you love reading aloud and being read to.

...you keep a journal.
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