November 18, 2011


Don’t eat so much. You don’t have to keep going until everything is gone. The Clean Plate Club is not looking for new members. You are already full, so why do you continue eating? You taste nothing.

Review your hardware-store shopping list. Arrange the items in two categories: things that must be fixed before they break something else, and parts for projects you will never start. Stop choosing tools based on whether you think they will outlast your span of years. Do not synthesize memories and likely scenarios as you did last time.

Pet the dog’s head. It’s such a small thing for you to do but means so much to him. Look at his cow eyes. He is able to see into your soul—or rather, he would if you had one. Say a few kind words to him. Something with the nice rising pitch at the end. It will make him so very happy, costs you nothing, and is a reasonable replacement for that absent soul.

Gaze into the bathroom mirror. Use a finger to etch your name on the steamy glass. Write at least ten other names: people you have not yet met, places you may visit someday. Shave your whiskers. Do it again to save time tomorrow. Part your hair the opposite way, so that you view yourself as others do. Use clippers to take it all down to the scalp. Now you can be anyone.

Make some decisions, the kind that move your life forward. How can you know if it is in a positive direction? Staying in one place is the same as losing ground. If you stay here you will die. This won’t happen suddenly; it takes about thirty years or so.

Go to bed. Lie there in suspension beneath the sheets. Space exists between you and the Egyptian cotton above, yet you leave no imprint below. Arise after six sleepless hours and reenter your waking dream. Walk away from the bed. It is as if you were never there.


  1. Deron Bauman on November 18th, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Staying in one place is the same as losing ground.

  2. Kathy Hilen-Smith on November 18th, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Sometimes you make me so sad.

  3. Rick Neece on November 18th, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Physically and/or Mentally are entirely different things. I’m very happy to be where I am physically. Mentally, I romp.

    For me it’s “pet the cat’s head.” When Charlie yowls at me, I bend over, pet his head. I say, “I see you, Charlie, you’re here. Right here in front of me.”

    I don’t know if it makes him sad, or happy.

  4. Sheila Ryan on November 18th, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    You talkin’ to me?

  5. Elizabeth on November 19th, 2011 at 9:32 am

    beautiful! and something i really needed to read today. thanks

  6. Daryl Scroggins on November 19th, 2011 at 10:44 am

    MGS, you are on a roll, man. You are making things that will last. I hope to see a book of these.

  7. Rick Neece on November 19th, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Daryl says it best. Get the book out! I’m in for a purchase.