Do We Need To Do or Die Trying?

Russia’s Maria Savinova crosses the finish line ahead of South Africa’s Caster Semenya to win the women’s 800-meters final in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London. (AP photo)

I tell myself I’m a nonviolent person, not a very competitive type. And, in fact — stepping back from myself a little — I don’t like the person I become when I snap into a must-win, do-or-die situation where my entire world depends on my coming out ahead of all others, no matter what may become of my competitors.

Though I was raised to be a pacifist I don’t see how that means I have to smile like a sap whenever someone lays an idiot opinion on my plate.

On the other hand I’ve seen how just such a conflict…

(She’s Not Weird, She’s Slovenian)

Guess Who

I spent most of Monday morning, June 15, poring over an online digest of stories on the marriage of Donald and Melania Trump. It was pure gossip-column stuff. Voices from my background and early training scorned it and niggled me for my bad taste in lapping up this gossipy drivel. But I had nothing more pressing on my desk this particular Monday morning, so I indulged myself in idle diversion with a sense of entitlement. I’d worked all weekend on a heady piece about journalists and truth. I deserved an hour or two of blank-out.

Well, like most things Trump…

A Peek Inside a Reporter’s Creed

Ernest Hemingway, somewhat mythologized, at work.

An unusual offer came my way less than a month before I was to begin college. How would I like to train as a newspaper reporter at the same time as I went to school?

It really was a sweetheart deal. I’d work twenty hours a week during the semester, full-time over the summers, and who knows? By the time I’d graduate I could be a full-fledged newspaperman.

Looking Back on LSD at 80

“Untitled” by Jala

I take coincidences seriously, as I mentioned in an earlier article (“Full Mind-Brain Development,” Medium, May 27, 2020). Coincidences often are clues pointing to a deeper, unifying layer of thought or consciousness at work in our daily lives than we immediately perceive. We might not even notice a coincidence has happened until some other metaphysical head picks up on it.

Some coincidences are fairly common, enticing casual curiosity. What’s going on when I think of someone moments before that person calls me on the phone? We’ve all experienced those sorts of precognitive intuitions, we’ve known of others who have experienced…

That’s What I Want

January 20, 2009: “Looks like we did it, Joe!” “Damn straight we did, Barack!”

Every politician is interesting, beginning with the motivations which prompt any one of them to seek public office in the first place. Why take on the inevitable abuse following every individualistic move s/he makes, on or off-script?

I’m not thinking of any specific politician. Most any one would do, strange breed that they are — fascinating to the rest of us who wonder how they manage to live such public lives when so many of the decisions they must make and the matters they must relate to require some heavy intellectual lifting and more than the average mastery of emotions.

What It Means To Think Metaphysically

With increased attention these days on psychedelic experiences as healing rather than destroying personalities, it can only be a matter of time before metaphysics returns to the everyday vocabulary of ordinary heads — that is, those of us who still find a natural order in coincidence and believe that there are no accidents, that pretty much everything happens for a reason.

Formal metaphysics, of course, is a branch of philosophy which examines the nature of reality, beginning with the notion that it is not what it seems. If it’s not what it seems, naturally, it must be something else.


The Hill with the Healing View

The cruel war is raging, Johnny has to fight
I want to be with him from morning to night
I want to be with him, it grieves my heart so
Won’t you let me go with you?
No, my love, no.

— Peter, Paul, and Mary, 1962

From left, Peter Yarrow, Mary Travers, and Paul Stookey — Peter, Paul, and Mary — recording in 1964 at the height of their popularity.

That first stanza to “The Cruel War,” the haunting love ballad sung so poignantly and sweetly by Mary Travis with harmonies by Paul Stookey and Peter Yarrow, is now obsolete. She can go with him. …

A Treatise on Life, Love, and Death


Americans are tired of the pandemic. Climbing numbers of the dead, as in my home state of Virginia, don’t impress the people who won’t believe in what they cannot see — i.e., the Coronavirus.

They’ll believe in spirits, angels, devils, and God, none of whom they may ever see. We could say the technology just isn’t there yet.

It must be strange for Donald Trump to feel that his luck — that inexplicable charm that somehow got him elected — may now be running out. The continuous flow of large sums of money and the ease with which he managed to escape his major debts provide a fascinating picture of a spoiled brat grown into a senior citizen, his destiny, once clear only to the few who could read his horoscope, now becoming clear to the whole world.

Speaking theoretically, the tragic fall of a man or woman of great prominence and power ought to grip us as…

Tara Reade (L) in an old photo, and Joe Biden (R) as he is today, hearing of her accusation of sexual assault in 1993.

All of a sudden Joe Biden’s got a problem. A woman who worked for him in the early ’90s has come forward to accuse him of a nasty sexual assault on her in a hallway of a Capital Hill office building. Her rebuff of him, she believes, cost her the job.

According to the Washington Post, which has been following this story, Tara Reade, who in 1993–94 worked for Biden as a staff assistant in his Senate office, has accused the former Vice President of sexual assault when he backed her up against a wall in a hallway of a…

D.D. Delaney

D.D. Delaney is an actor, poet, and essayist currently living in Norfolk, VA, USA, with his partner Jala Magik.

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