Cheap laughs, small talk, and superficial pleasantries cause me to recoil. Yet being shy in such situations tends to be advantageous, time permitting. Friends and colleagues know that I am listening, learning, and living into meaningful interactions with deep sincerity and genuine enthusiasm. Someone once said to me, “It is obvious that you are a brother of profound soulfulness and depth.”
Are contemplative inquiry and heartfelt romance still fashionable? That seems to be the outfit I wear best. That tag reads: “Creative. Insightful. Sincere. Pair with similar garments.” What are you wearing?
My crucial friends are scattered throughout this country and the world. I am good at staying in touch with this companions, whether via phone calls, texts, or handwritten letters.
Although my inclination is to be a night owl, I nevertheless find myself able to get out of bed early in the morning to meditate.
I am proficient at subscribing to podcasts and letting downloaded episodes linger unplayed on my computer’s hard drive.
I am quiet, shy—an introvert. But that just means I am a slow burn. The simmer of a first date often turns into a rolling boil by the third or fourth.
“Awareness” by Anthony De Mello challenges me on every page. I enjoy Edward Abbey’s biting essays, nila northSun's matter-of-fact portraits, and Sigurd Olson’s benevolent voice. “Papillon,” whether true or not, is one of the great adventure stories. Myriad religious and spiritual tomes, in particular provocative Zen Buddhist teachings as well as brilliant Sufi and Native American poetry.
“Synecdoche, New York” can be a difficult watch, but the conclusion is devastating in the best possible way. I continue to discover meaningful layers to “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” “Almost Famous” makes me wish for a time machine. Also, the presence of Warren Oates tends to grab my attention.
I first moved to Los Angeles to work for a record label, so this category could overflow with names and recommendations. Let me profess my infatuation for the songs of Merle Haggard and the Beach Boys—two distinct California sounds. I have been buying the dynamic music of Ginger Wildheart for over 20 years.
California Pacific Coast Highway
Beach Boulevard (Orange County)
Sunset Boulevard (Los Angeles)
Colorado Route 550
Lake Shore Drive (Chicago)
Indiana State Road 37
Montana Highway 509
Utah Route 163
Wisconsin Bayfield County Road C
2) Rapturous music
3) Expansive shorelines
4) Revelatory transformation
5) Unrestrained laughter
Also this paradox: Goso said, “If you meet a man of Tao on the way, greet him neither with words nor with silence. Now tell me, how will you greet him?”
You pursue authenticity.
You celebrate wisdom in all forms.
You seek to understand yourself and the world.
You relish meaningful conversation.
You swim against the current and go with the flow.
You want to listen to Prince bootlegs.