A collection of either original creative works or stories/quotes/poems which struck an special, emotional chord with me. I used to store these in a Google Doc, but am transporting here. Enjoy!
March 19th, 2016 –
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
March 28th, 2016 –
The Hedgehog and the Fox
Sir Isaiah Berlin
Simon & Schuster, New York, 1953.
There is a line among the fragments of the Greek poet Archilochus which says: ‘The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing’. Scholars have differed about the correct interpretation of these dark words, which may mean no more than that the fox, for all his cunning, is defeated by the hedgehog’s one defense. But, taken figuratively, the words can be made to yield a sense in which they mark one of the deepest differences which divide writers and thinkers, and, it may be, human beings in general. For there exists a great chasm between those, on one side, who relate everything to a single central vision, one system less or more coherent or articulate, in terms of which they understand, think and feel-a single, universal, organizing principle in terms of which alone all that they are and say has significance-and, on the other side, those who pursue many ends, often unrelated and even contradictory, connected, if at all, only in some de facto way, for some psychological or physiological cause, related by no moral or aesthetic principle; these last lead lives, perform acts, and entertain ideas that are centrifugal rather than centripetal, their thought is scattered or diffused, moving on many levels, seizing upon the essence of a vast variety of experiences and objects for what they are in themselves, without consciously or unconsciously, seeking to fit them into, or exclude them from, any one unchanging, all-embracing, sometimes self-contradictory and incomplete, at times fanatical, unitary inner vision. The first kind of intellectual and artistic personality belongs to the hedgehogs, the second to the foxes; and without insisting on a rigid classification, we may, without too much fear of contradiction, say that, in this sense, Dante belongs to the first category, Shakespeare to the second; Plato, Lucretius, Pascal, Hegel, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Ibsen, Proust are, in varying degrees, hedgehogs; Herodotus, Aristotle, Montaigne, Erasmus, Molière, Goethe, Pushkin, Balzak, Joyce are foxes.
February 16, 2016
Out on Friday night
Cool as hell
How’s the hunting Kevin?
I got laid last night.
How’s the hunting Jon?
Well I’d say it’s been more gathering lately.
Well, she brings her new friends from the bar over
Hi I’m Hank and I freeze and I turn from the table and leave
The Palm House. Hail a cab and run like hell til I stop and think
Wait why did I leave?
Courage, noun: in shorter supply than genius
Jan 25th, 2016 –
Socializing gets me depressed sometimes. I’m an easy target. But nothing that has happened to get me to this point has been an accident. I’ve worked my tail off.
December 26th, 2015 –
It feels like I only go backwards baby
Every part of me says “go ahead”
I’ve got my hopes up again (oh no, not again)
It feels like we only go backwards darlin’
I texted her today (oh no, not again)
Every part of me says “go ahead”
(It is not meant to be)
So no… not again
And time helps us move closer to the truth
(Have to let it happen) and the truth is not again
Because I feel like I only go backwards baby
I’ve had too much to think
And I wonder why
I’ve seen this done before
By another guy
Am I just trying to win?
And how about you?
I’m an introvert and
I don’t know about two
I know a girl who leaves the past behind
I’m starting to think that that’s my type
Did I really know you anyway?
It folds in on itself
Like busted time travel
November 8th, 2015 –
O Wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
October 7th, 2015 –
Never the cleanliness and elegance as portrayed in Ghurka ads. Fumbling and awkward part of life about the only thing elegant is the cleanliness of thought and execution in the markets
August 20, 2015 –
A few years ago, Nicholas, in a moment of self-reflection, said, “All I’ve done is make money. I’ve achieved none of my goals.” Now there’s a chance he never will.
November 6, 2014 –
Now all the truth is out,
Be secret and take defeat
From any brazen throat,
For how can you compete,
Being honor bred, with one
Who were it proved he lies
Were neither shamed in his own
Nor in his neighbors’ eyes;
Bred to a harder thing
Than Triumph, turn away
And like a laughing string
Whereon mad fingers play
Amid a place of stone,
Be secret and exult,
Because of all things known
That is most difficult.
November 6, 2014 –
Hi, my name’s John. I’ve been lurking for a while, but I’ve finally made an account to post this. I need to get my life off my chest. About me. I’m a 46 year old banker and I have been living my whole life the opposite of how I wanted. All my dreams, my passion, gone. In a steady 9-7 job. 6 days a week. For 26 years. I repeatedly chose the safe path for everything, which eventually changed who I was.
Today I found out my wife has been cheating on me for the last 10 years. My son feels nothing for me. I realised I missed my father’s funeral FOR NOTHING. I didn’t complete my novel, travelling the world, helping the homeless. All these things I thought I knew to be a certainty about myself when i was in my late teens and early twenties. If my younger self had met me today, I would have punched myself in the face. I’ll get to how those dreams were crushed soon.
Let’s start with a description of me when I was 20. It seemed only yesterday when I was sure I was going to change the world. People loved me, and I loved people. I was innovative, creative, spontaneous, risk-taking and great with people. I had two dreams. The first, was writing a utopic/dystopic book. The second, was travelling the world and helping the poor and homeless. I had been dating my wife for four years by then. Young love. She loved my spontaneity, my energy, my ability to make people laugh and feel loved. I knew my book was going to change the world. I would show the perspective of the ‘bad’ and the ‘twisted’, showing my viewers that everybody thinks differently, that people never think what the do is wrong. I was 70 pages through when i was 20. I am still 70 pages in, at 46. By 20, I had backpacking around New Zealand and the Phillipines. I planned to do all of Asia, then Europe, then America (I live in Australia by the way). To date, I have only been to New Zealand and the Phillipines.
Now, we get to where it all went wrong. My biggest regrets. I was 20. I was the only child. I needed to be stable. I needed to take that graduate job, which would dictate my whole life. To devote my entire life in a 9-7 job. What was I thinking? How could I live, when the job was my life? After coming home, I would eat dinner, prepare my work for the following day, and sleep at 10pm, to wake up at 6am the following day. God, I can’t remember the last time I’ve made love to my wife.
Yesterday, my wife admitted to cheating on me for the last 10 years. 10 years. That seems like a long time, but I can’t comprehend it. It doesn’t even hurt. She says it’s because I’ve changed. I’m not the person I was. What have I been doing in the last 10 years? Outside of work, I really can’t say anything. Not being a proper husband. Not being ME. Who am I? What happened to me? I didn’t even ask for a divorce, or yell at her, or cry. I felt NOTHING. Now I can feel a tear as I write this. But not because my wife has been cheating on me, but because I am now realising I have been dying inside. What happened to that fun-loving, risk-taking, energetic person that was me, hungering to change the world? I remember being asked on a date by the most popular girl in the school, but declining her for my now-wife. God, I was really popular with the girls in high school. In university/college too. But i stayed loyal. I didn’t explore. I studied everyday.
Remember all that backpacking and book-writing I told you about? That was all in the first few years of college. I worked part-time and splurged all that I had earned. Now, I save every penny. I don’t remember a time I spend anything on anything fun. On anything for myself. What do I even want now?
My father passed ten years ago. I remember getting calls from mom, telling me he was getting sicker and sicker. I was getting busier and busier, on the verge of a big promotion. I kept putting my visit off, hoping in my mind he would hold on. He died, and I got my promotion. I haven’t seen him in 15 years. When he died, I told myself it didn’t matter what I didn’t see him. Being an atheist, I rationalized that being dead, it wouldn’t matter anyway. WHAT WAS I THINKING? Rationalizing everything, making excuses to put things off. Excuses. Procrastination. It all leads to one thing, nothing. I rationalized that financial security was the most important thing. I now know, that it definitely is not. I regret doing nothing with my energy, when I had it. My passions. My youth. I regret letting my job take over my life. I regret being an awful husband, a money-making machine. I regret not finishing my novel, not travelling the world. Not being emotionally there for my son. Being a damn emotionless wallet.
If you’re reading this, and you have a whole life ahead of you, please. Don’t procrastinate. Don’t leave your dreams for later. Relish in your energy, your passions. Don’t stay on the internet with all your spare time (unless your passion needs it). Please, do something with your life while your young. DO NOT settle down at 20. DO NOT forget your friends, your family. Yourself. Do NOT waste your life. Your ambitions. Like I did mine. Do not be like me.
Sorry for the long post, just had to get it out there.
TL:DR I realised I let procrastination and money stop me from pursuing my passions when I was younger, and now I am dead inside, old and tired.
October 6th, 2013 –
“Partly I am fascinated by the problem of Manning’s inner life because he’s the precise opposite of the athletes I normally root for. I want madmen and poets and visionaries; he plays with no romance and no flair and with a degree of hyper-preparedness that seems to rule out inspiration. All those days spent watching game film, those hours contemplating seam routes!
I’d like to believe that the compulsive pursuit of perfection puts him in contact with something we would find beautiful if we could see it, a plane of lunar understanding similar to how Roger Federer must see tennis — all the physics legible, all the angles converging. That his devotion to ascetic efficiency (that’s the word most often applied to his game, “efficient”), his winnowing down of everything superfluous, lets him simultaneously play football and see it from above.
The depressing alternative is that his brain is simply a list of scenarios, a database of bubble screens and zone blitzes and drag routes that he can search as needed. As though there were nothing more to the game than its specifics; as though he’d spent his whole life becoming the instruction manual to some giant machine that no one else could find, much less operate.
I keep thinking about old astronauts. I mean the early-space-program guys, the 1960s-Apollo-program guys, the all-American nerds with rectangular haircuts. What a supremely weird group of normal people. You can get a quick sense of that from Apollo 13 if you’ve seen it, all those home-life scenes set in the America of cookie-cutter ranch houses and Radio Flyer wagons and Jell-O salads. Those guys were practicing weightlessness by day and then going home to drink a beer and mow the lawn and probably watch Archie Manning play football on TV. You think of transcendence in that era as coming strictly through the counterculture, but this was a group of straight-up Eisenhower-legacy Air Force vets literally working to leave the Earth.
And their imaginations were on fire with it, as how could they not be, but day to day it was mostly a matter of technical detail — getting the math right, testing every last ball bearing in the engine. They were engineers, not poets, at least right up to the moment when they actually found themselves in space.
Maybe this is the way to think about Peyton Manning — that without challenging convention or wasting time thinking about aesthetics, he’s devoted to something in its own way extreme and spectacular; that he’s constantly testing ball bearings as a means of orchestrating his own weird escape. Isn’t there something a little science-fictiony about him? I can imagine him on the cover of some ’50s atomic-age pulp, Amazing Stories or Astounding Science Fiction. I can imagine him sitting in an office thinking about radio waves. I can imagine that what goes on inside his head is a terrible fear of dying in a fireball combined with a consuming longing to blast off.”
October 6th, 2013 –
I think if I ever have a son, I’m going to name him Tom.
June 16, 2013 –
“The reward for great work is more work – but that’s where the opportunities to grow and succeed are. And if you love what you do, you’ll want to be the first one in the office in the morning and the last one to leave at night – even if you’re working for yourself.”
Especially if you’re working for yourself
May 23rd, 2013 –
“The road to excellence starts with you!”
“Win from within”
I think I get it now.
Note – though the clarity there has slipped haha.
May 14th, 2013 –
American demand for goods and services is not organic. That is, the demands are not internally created by a consumer. These such demands – food, clothes, and shelter – have been met for the vast majority of Americans. The new demands are created by advertisers and the “machinery for consumer-demand creation” that benefit from increased consumer spending. This exuberance in private production and consumption pushes out public spending and investment. Galbraith called this the dependence effect, a process by which “wants are increasingly created by the process by which they are satisfied.”
“Whether the problem be that of a burgeoning population and of space in which to live with peace and grace, or whether it be the depletion of the materials which nature has stocked in the earth’s crust and which have been drawn upon more heavily in this century than in all previous time together, or whether it be that of occupying minds no longer committed to the stockpiling of consumer goods, the basic demand on America will be on its resources of intelligence and education.”
May 5th, 2013 –
“Solitary the thrush,
The hermit withdrawn to himself, avoiding the settlements,
Sings by himself a song”
I regret nothing
I regret some things
What could have been
I regret the road untaken
I didn’t know it, but you were worth it
And you were perfect
If only in that instant
Shall I regret the road untaken
When it leads to parts unknown?
The future is unwritten
Would have been
A blank book
That’s all I’m crying about
November 26, 2012 –
Sleepless in New York. Not at all what I had envisioned. So much preparation and then just a great space in between. How quickly I forget.
October 17, 2012 –
“We don’t know who we are without productivity as a metric of our worth.”
Just crossed 22,000 ft – laptops ON
Up here, clouds look like a blanket
Would they catch me if I fell?
50 years ago, Jack Kerouac wrote “On the Road”
No one takes the road anymore
We’re all up in the air
That great American restlessness
“I’m flying high over Tupelo Mississippi with America’s hottest band… and we’re all about to die.”
August 20, 2012 –
“And this was really the way that my whole road experience began, and the things that were to come are too fantastic not to tell.”
“It was a very difficult period I have to say. All your childhood dreams had been sort of realized and we had the biggest selling records in the world and all the things you got into it for. The girls and the money and the fame and all that stuff it was all … everything had sort of come our way and you had to reassess what you were in it for thereafter, and it was a pretty confusing and sort of empty time for a while …”