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Epitaph as way of life

Without any guiding religion or dogma, committed to rationalism and humanism, you try to orient your life with clear purpose. But it’s not straightforward. At age 60, an impulse led me to throw significant life energy into yearly day-by-day challenges, major or minor. I called it my Big Decade and it was just that, a planned decade of daily obsessions. In some ways, it was my “bucket…

Nine-month reckoning

Afternoon. A tram trundles past my hunkered-down world. I’m home alone for the next ten days and can expect to both work really well and feel exposed. It occurs to me that it’s seven months since I turned 65 and shifted from a “Big Decade,” day-by-day challenge mode of living, to a deeper “slow glow” five-year perspective. The trouble is, glowing slowly can…

Hundred days

A few days ago we realized that the summer of 2020/21 was the first in a long time, and possibly the first of our four decades of marriage, that we’d spent every night under one roof. We’d normally travel somewhere, or hike with tent, or bunk down in a summer house. Melbourne summers encourage beachside sojourns. Today I counted the days since we returned from our only 2020 hike, one…

2020 no

Twelve months is all it took. Ossified dullness. Sloth masquerading as vitality. A fatty’s retreat from energy. A cog in the hippy generation’s final Earth-destroying twitches.

Inner bastard

My mind, that inner bastard, is never satisfied. During periods of low productivity, it rages, hypercritical. Yet when I labor solidly, and words blossom, that internal ingrate lashes me: “why do you slave away, why can’t you be contented, why not relax like everyone else?”

Pretending to be in New York

Many’s the year I’ve thought of flying to New York just to attend the annual New Yorker Festival, that hotbed of intelligent discussion. But of course I never have. This year, I’ve bought a very reasonably priced season ticket to the first virtual New Yorker Festival. It runs from October 5 to 11, with the ability to catch up with recorded sessions until October 13. The program is brilliant. Some…

I’m talkin’ … for half a decade

I’ve turned 65. The next five years are a narrow window and I’m grappling for every day to count. I thoroughly enjoyed the previous half decade, partly framed by the idea of hefty daily obsessions/disciplines (check out my now-closed Big Decade blog for the outworkings of that idea), so now I’ll continue to interrogate the world and myself, but differently. In this blog…

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