I’m building a deck out of reclaimed wood, and the lines between in and out are becoming blurred.


Why don’t you spend a day in complete and glorious silence like one of the stricter monastic orders? I’m recovering from my second round of the vaccine (!!!) and feeling much better than the first round. But I’m still feeling a bit off, and I don’t want to hear anything. Not people, not music, not machines, nada. It has been strangely meditative. I might go quiet once a week. There’s something very soothing and peaceful about silence, the only thing you hear is the wind and rain. Lovely.


Why don’t you dig around your yard and find some weird shit? I’m crazy about digging things out of the ground, it’s the archaeologist in me. I remember the thrill of delight that raced through me when I found an old concrete slab years ago. And last year I found more and nearly died from ecstasy. But yesterday tops it all. I found a legit secret underground chamber! It’s a cistern filled with rainwater, and it’s unexpectedly huge. I’ve always known there was a cistern but I was unaware of the dimensions. I thought it was like the size of a bathtub lol. It’s an underground cement room that’s twelve by eight by six feet and if I weren’t obsessed with sustainability I would be converting it into a panic room. Or a wine cellar! I think if the concrete were shored up, it might even work well in a nuclear fallout situation. Right now it’s half full with, and I’m not confident, but my conservative guess is that there are at least 2,500 gallons sitting there. How fun. How extraordinary that I never knew. Absolutely wild. I never even had any inkling that such a thing existed underneath my feet!


Why don’t you retrain your brain so you don’t feel desperately in need of things you already have in abundance? While at home in willing self-isolation, I have become a bit over the top obsessed with plants. I have a tree taller than me in the living room. I had the time of my life buying watering devices and LED lights and nutrients and all sorts of thrilling things to grow succulents and peppers and salads all from the comfort of inside. I ignored the sun. And I ignored the rain. Filtered rainwater is better than anything I can concoct. The sun is abundant all year round. I should have invested money in a greenhouse instead of my accessories, it would have given me more light than the LEDs do at no cost. I think this is a learning process, though, for all of us. Rethink what you really need and with a little creativity, you’ll often find you already have more than what you need. Life is wild. (And I’m wanting to build a deck and a collapsed building I’ve ignored is providing the skeleton for FREE! It’s turning out to be incredibly nicer than I ever anticipated! Think creatively.)


Why don’t you evaluate your biases, especially in light of the rise of anti Asian sentiment in this deranged nation? I don’t think of myself as racist or bigoted. I actively try not to be, but as I reflect on life, I cringe at a few of the memories that come back to me. Some of the thoughts that I had or conclusions that I had mistakenly formed are bizarre to me now. Nothing evil, reader, but nothing well informed. It’s quite gross actually to think back on your evolution as a human. Anyway, I think we’re all capable of doing so much better. Jokes meant without malice are really just as painful as jokes meant maliciously. Let’s do better. Life really is a lot more fun when we can all get along. (And if you’re racist, honestly, get over yourself. Grow up.)


Why don’t you spend heaps of time completely alone? No going out. Nobody coming in. No phone calls. No expectations. No plans. Just you in solitary communion with your world. And NO exceptions. I think you’ll have a profound experience. It forces you to radically reevaluate your worth and your place in the Universe. Hippies and New Age gurus talk like this for a reason I guess. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ This hermetic year has been a blessing, though it’s been horrible for so many. It’s been a time of forced mental expansion. There’s no alternative because the pandemic won’t allow it. We must learn to thrive no matter what is happening around us, even when chaos seems to be reigning. Spend time learning to love being alone and you’ll never be lonely. Somebody said that once, and it sounds trite, but it’s true.

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