Your boss challenges you, and you panic. Or you’re explaining to a client what you do, and you trip over your tongue. You’re worried about a deadline and yell at your kid over dinner.

And afterward, you ask: “What was I thinking?”

Stress can make even the simplest tasks difficult. Stress wears us down. It can make you act out your worst when you need to be at your best.

Stress leads to bad decisions.

And our lives are getting more and more stressful — in case you haven’t noticed ;)

So… we’re fucked, then?

No!

Stress is a part…

It has become clear with the Covid-19 virus ravaging the world that we are raging an asymmetric and asynchronous war with no boundary whose battleground we could have chosen had we taken the voluntary measures that were forced on us before the curve attacked us exponentially as we slept on our packed overnight flights with this virus that originated in a bat in a market in a pangolin on the Mar-a-Lago golf course at Harvard in a biological warfare facility located in Wuhan thousands of years ago in Atlantis by the surgically masked mainstream media.

April Fools!

Like you need…

Soul. I have never been comfortable with this word; I have nearly never used it sincerely. I am writing here to those who would use this word, but I am also writing to those of you who — like me until recently — would never use this fucking word, so let me try and sketch out how I’m using it here. If your reaction to Soul extends towards disgust and anathema, I hope to offer a way of thinking that might not make you vomit a bit in your mouth, and the possibility for embracing kind of ecstasy in life…

I am so much motion it cannot be contained.

Ecstasy and intensity, overwhelming love and gratitude. I can not contain; it is always too much to even try. Life flows in ecstasy outwards and upwards; the flow is the life is the ecstasy.

The flow is me is alive is awake.

My simple task is to allow this without getting caught by it, to remain open to this screaming flow. My action, to the extent that I am one, is a going-below, is to root, down and in, down and in.

I am a soul, a great tree with leaves…

December 9th, 2018, part I

Things do not happen serially; they appear to.

My alarm goes off; I am awake. I have been awake most of this evening, the kind of sleeping wake where it’s hard to tell one way or the other. I don’t feel conscious through most of the two hours between the calls with my family and Lynn and now, but neither have I been remarkably unconscious. I am more a ship rolling in a storm during the night.

It’s 5, now. I am awake.

I am to go back home. Mom — right now — dead?

A Poem

60 degrees today at the philadelphia zoo
december 18th 2000 and 12.
In three days, there will be no end.
There is only ending.
The tortoises were out today and mating,
the polar bear lay on the green grass of
his cell whose walls present no end,
only one of a thousand endings in the zoo.
Jabari, the 600 pound gorilla, charged at me
slamming the shatter-proof glass between us.
My heart skipped a beat and beat again
inches from that invisible end.
I took off my spurious coat as we talked,
my friend and I, of Responsibility, Inevitability. …

A covenant

I wish I could drink coffee forever. There is rarely a perfect match between how much warm, loving coffee remains in my cup or in the Chemex I use to brew coffee, and the lateness of the morning, and the words.

And sometimes, it is in fact perfect.

This morning, though, Lucia is coming later, my coffee is cold and empty, I have actually managed to leave my bed and go through my morning routine including grinding and brewing my coffee before the sun is up even though Lucia won’t be here until after lunch, and I am so drinking…

My relationship with Death has been changing quite a bit since mom’s passing. I am less anxious, in general, more at peace. I feel, surprisingly, her presence in a simpler, more direct and available way now than in life. I feel quite a bit less panicked about needing to get this or that done in this life, less anxious about the state of the world. And at the same time, it seems to have focused — or be focusing — me on being with what and who I actually touch, in a day-to-day way. …

I turn and take a sip of the coffee I’ve just picked up as the music shifts to Zero 7’s In The Waiting Line, its gentle tones opening the selfsame moment as becoming captivated by the abstract shell-like patterns of light spinning smoothly shining out the overhead lamp’s shade, dappling where the yellow walls meet in the corner of the coffeeshop I’ve chosen to sit and work in, and the gentle release and tension of the opening, the strangeness and familiarity, the synthesized notes, the giant coffee dominating my view as I take a sip, its nearly black liquid with…

I have never liked writing — no, that’s wrong — I’ve never liked writing prose. I don’t think in a particularly linear (some would say logical!) manner, and the one-word-after-another form has always been frustrating to me. Years of paced carpets, scarfed thousand calorie meals, procrastinative internet surfing, ravaged fingernails and (occasionally) nicotine stains on my fingers speak to this.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, an apprehension, a satori, a direct glimpse at something true, is worth a million. The trouble is, satori follows satori: as an understanding is unpacked, its packages hold more packages waiting to…

Andrew Venezia

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