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Last night when as the cab drove me to the hotel, we passed a number of places I once walked. City blocks, hidden paths, even (shudder) a shopping mall. “What is the city but the people?” Places I ate, drank coffee, read books, laughed, and cried. But mostly, though not always with tears, I cried. And this is the feeling that overwhelmed me. That led to a tension in my chest I have not felt in some time. As the 690 bent I could not prevent myself from fixating on the thought, “I was profoundly unhappy here.”

I put into practice what I was reading; I put an away message on my email and a “Do Not Interrupt” setting on my phone, both false protections from the sleep that I hoped would come. And it did. Not the anxiety ridden night I expected, or the exhausted drop that delivers less rest than guilt, but rather a full and interactive night of sleep, one in which the mystery of lucid dreaming seems closer to comprehension.

I awoke to someone else’s schedule, not one that I planned or desired, but the sleep helped provide the agility required to cope. A day of minutes. Quiet one, a burst the next, chaos to follow. Rinse, repeat. Productive, certainly. Relational, most definitely. Difficult? No question. At times it was just a fragment, at others it was overbearing. But always there. There is the block on which I once lived. There is the porch of the house in which I realized I could not be happy. There is the shelter in which I began to rediscover myself in service to others. There is the table at which I was told I was important. There is the altar at which I worshiped. There is the laundromat at which I sheepishly washed my clothes in the middle of the night because I could not bring myself to ask for help. There is the road on the side of which I literally screamed out for You to hear me. There is the cafe in which someone knew my name. There are the remnants of a past.

I need a haircut, which is relevant because I spent all week trying to remember where i got my hair cut here. I still can’t. I can remember where I ran, where I sang, where I hid, and where I shone, but I cannot remember where I got my hair cut or where I filled up with gas or where I bought shoes.

Tonight I reconnected with a person from this past. I struggle to justify the hell that was here for the people that I met, or the experiences that I have been able to learn from. But this person; what a wonderful gift. A friend, a brother, a mentor. At table we talked, we laughed, we shook our heads with confusion, and we knocked our glasses together in toasts of appreciation for little moments of truth and enlightenment. Only a true friend can create moments like these. Moments in which after two years it seem like a day has not passed but lifetimes have transpired, and suddenly the realization occurs that they have…though the lifetimes are not just your own. The connection in fact runs deeper, through tradition and lineage that extends beyond blood, to a way of thinking that will either help or doom both self and surroundings.

Which will it be?

While we feasted and occasionally spoke while the most chic of hipsters kept our pint glasses full, this reverberated through the restaurant’s speakers.

Appropriate or accidental; grace filled or adventitious. Who knows. Who knows if that matters. it must.

Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head’ll collapse
If there’s nothing in it
And you’ll ask yourself

Where is my mind?

I am in my own mind.
I am locked in the wrong house.
Anne Sexton, “For the Year of the Insane,” from Live or Die (via lifeinpoetry)

Playing on repeat in the brain today.

One of my favorite #wanderlust quotes, provided by the pen of Pico Iyer and posted today in this form by @patagonia books.

One of my favorite #wanderlust quotes, provided by the pen of Pico Iyer and posted today in this form by @patagonia books.

Oh, Montana. #nofilter #helena #montana #sunset #weddingseason

Oh, Montana. #nofilter #helena #montana #sunset #weddingseason

Quite sure that this song was written for sipping lemonade on a breezy summer day.

Balcony life.

Balcony life.

Not a bad view I guess. #Austin

Not a bad view I guess. #Austin

Great to have 300 educators from Helena Public Schools on the #CarrollCollege campus for #PLC training!

Great to have 300 educators from Helena Public Schools on the #CarrollCollege campus for #PLC training!

"Every day do something that won’t compute." -W.B.

"Every day do something that won’t compute." -W.B.

Road trips are good for the soul. #GoWest

Road trips are good for the soul. #GoWest

asks:
Whoa whoa "commonplace book" as in Series of Unfortunate Events "commonplace book"?:D

Once upon a time I was a 5th grade teacher. I enjoyed many things about that role and time in life, but one of my biggest challenges was that I really didn’t enjoy youth and young adult literature. Sometimes I did (in other words, when I would actually give the genre an honest shot I found it to be ok) but the bottom line was I had/have stacks and stacks of other books I was/am hungry to read.

How does this apply to the question? I did come across the practice of keeping a commonplace book in a book, but it wasn’t by Daniel Handler (see that’s an example of something I don’t get…so he wrote under “Lemony Snicket,” a name that served as narrator, character, and pen name?). I came across the practice as presented by Steven Johnson in Where Good Ideas Come From. Here’s a transcript of a talk he gave on the practice, and here’s a cool RSA animated talk he gave on the wider topic of the book.

Peace,

-kjb

This chant closed today’s Pentecost Mass at the Cathedral of St. Helena. Awesomeness.

Laudate Dominum.

Laudate Dominum.

Omnes, Gentes.

Alleluia!

Fear not to try the mountain passes. They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy, set you free, and call forth every faculty into vigorous, enthusiastic action. Even the sick should try these so called dangerous passes, because for every one they kill, they cure a thousand.
John Muir
On today’s list: start a new book. Just bought a BOX for $5. Should make for a nice little Saturday. #nerdalert

On today’s list: start a new book. Just bought a BOX for $5. Should make for a nice little Saturday. #nerdalert