Category Archives: thought - Page 2


A very old and broken pocket watch.

A long time ago, I was walking on Lake Superior in the winter. The temperature was somewhere below zero though not quite to -20F where everything, at least to me, starts to become the same temperature. It was night and there was a sound in the distance. I was told by my friend that it was the ice shifting and cracking. It’s a low and ominous sound. I can’t think of an equivalent. It lit up the hair on the back of my neck.

I can almost hear that sound now coming from the people around me. Families are starting to shift and crack. We’re close to school here in our part of the world and there are parents coming to grips with the fact that not only is the fight against the virus not over, but also that they are going to have to muscle through some kind of remote learning again. And what many of us learned last time is that we’re not equipped for it.

Sadly, neither are our schools because we didn’t take the time during the initial stay at home orders, or even this summer, to build out a strategy or a plan. We’re watching in slow motion as our governments fail us a second or third or fourth time depending on how you want to count it.

Winter is coming. That’s a time when we’re indoors most of the time, but we do venture out for socialization. There are rituals to winter that involve get togethers with other people. Holidays with loved ones. Traditions of fellowship. We’re waking up to the reality that those things are gone. They’re not an option. And that this winter will be more isolation than we’ve had throughout this entire pandemic.

Where is the ray of hope? In my analysis, there is only one: we’ve seen what we are truly made of. And we are wanting. This is a call to change everything.

Quiet Water

The view over the bow of a kayak.

It is very difficult to think negative or hopeless thoughts while paddling on a body of water on a calm, sunny day. Perhaps, that body of water is nothing more than a reservoir frequented by anglers and paddlers. It’s usually quiet. There are birds here and there. Hopefully, there are fish that pop up once in a while. Maybe the boat drifts over some thick vegetation or catches on an unseen piece of wood. They sky can be blue or grey. It hardly matters on green water.

Listening to the sound of the paddle passing through the water is beautiful and serene. It allows for deep breaths and for the mind to drift from thought to thought like the clouds overhead. It forces a sense of the moment. After all, what is more important in that moment than maintaining balance and motion? Very little. Strange that all it takes is the thought of falling into perfectly safe fresh water to clear the mind of all else.

I know that not everyone is finding these things, but I do see so many more people at the parks than I have in years past. More on bicycles. Renting canoes. Hiking on trails. Moving through all of that green and blue simply to have some fresh air in the lungs and the relief of not seeing the same walls day after day. Perhaps we can keep that as a part of The New Normal.


A restored railroad lantern.

Strange odds and ends live on my shelves. One of the many reasons I don’t turn on video for the myriad of meetings I’m in all day long. I look at some of them and they make me think. Sometimes I think too much. These days, we all think too much. Or far too little. It’s a time of extremes.

In any case, the railroad lantern fascinates me. The lenses work very well and when it’s lit, it is fun to have in the room. It’s a reminder of all of the progress made and the pieces of tech developed out of necessity. And, of course, how that fades over time. So many clever inventions are deprecated and lost.

With the current seismic shift within our culture, how many things will become railroad lanterns?


We’re awash in dogs right now as we adapt to the new puppy and have taken on dog-sitting for my brother for a week. It’s a crazy time, so Nacho – aka MY dog – and I are holed up in the office for the day. It’s what we do every day, but it feels more like hiding now.

This weekend, we went to a reservoir and put in some boats. A double kayak for the ladies of the family, an inflatable for the boy, and my new fishing kayak for me. I can’t say enough good things about my new boat. It was stable, agile, fast, and fun. Is there another adjective I would add? Not today.

We paddled around as the rather impolite motorcraft buzzed the no wake zone and the jetski crowd terrorized other kayakers. We won’t be returning there anytime soon but will instead head off to the body of water nearby that doesn’t allow motors. We can paddle and fish in relative peace there.

Paddling felt good. Being out in the sun felt good. It was restorative to all of us. It was a reminder that there was still something outside of our home compound for us to do. We will do more of it because we can.

Like plastic exposed to the UV of the sun for far too long, people are starting to crack. The stress and strain of trying to get through the day and navigate the world on its new terms is showing across the board. Those who would put their heads in the sand and scream about going back to the way things were are not making the process move any faster. In fact, as is their general wont, they are impeding progress to a solution.

Summer is past its halfway point. It will be autumn before we know it and those of us who signed up for it will be trying our best to get our children educated over the computer. Real people will be forced to make difficult decisions based on very little access to data and in the middle of a field of fear generated for profit and power. The consequences are so very real.

What does one do?

If one has the privilege, one goes to the park and fishes. Or sits outside with a book and tries to forget for a bit.

Everyone’s to do list should include unplugging. The internet isn’t helping.


Rain from the Porch View

We needed rain. The grass started to brown up almost the day after the last time we mowed. That’s never pretty. By Shire Reckoning, it’d been about 2 weeks since the last decent rain. So the skies felt like giving us a little something. We had a few showers and it was nice to sit on the porch and listen to it.

I find myself going out of my way to find time to stop and listen. Things are strange. 2020 is a beast. I find myself wondering if we aren’t stepping backwards in terms of tempo. We were never really wired for the rate of change that we’ve seen in the last 20 years. From landlines to ubiquitous communication seems like a Sci-Fi utopia on paper. In practice, like all things, it lacks subtlety and refinement.