I have some very wise friends. One of them has managed to discern and articulate an understanding of who I am that I, in my subjectivity, cannot. I am too close to myself to see all of me. I have been able to apprehend bits and pieces, but never comprehend the whole. Some aspects for change have been put to me, in words carefully chosen, but that are essentially: Be less sensitive. Be less serious. Take less responsibility for others.

I’ve been pretty damn sensitive/​serious my whole life, and a responsibility-​taker since about the time my parents divorced. The serious & the sarcasm have been an too effective armor for the sensitive. My tendency to assume control of any situation has been borne of my arrogance and impatience. If there’s a goal, I don’t have time to wait around while everyone dithers about who should be in charge or how something should be done. I’m about praxis over pedagogy.

The way this combo has played out in my personal life is that it is nearly impossible for anyone to get to me. I’ve isolated myself, which has only made the sensitive bits more sensitive. I’ve forgotten the meaning of my favorite piece of the Tao Te Ching on my About page.

The postures and performances I assume for other people are a coward’s walk. I have pretended so well that I even convinced myself. So I am beginning the work of removing my armor and accepting imperfection. It’s probably going to take awhile.

Karma Repair Kit: Items 1 – 4

1. Get enough food to eat,
and eat it.

2. Find a place to sleep where it is quiet,
and sleep there.

3. Reduce intellectual and emotional noise
until you arrive at the silence of yourself,
and listen to it.


from The Pill versus the Springhill Mine Disaster by Richard Brautigan