#0012 – Return to Self

Every year, when fall arrives, I mirror the arresting change from long, bright days into deep, black nights.

Existing on the edge of disappearance with my two dollar marble notebook, I find places beyond me that fit the way I think. Park benches take the place of friends. Beaches blanketed by blustery wind, speckled with only a handful of distant silhouettes, become the main boulevard. Somehow, in an all-too-busy life, there’s an abundance of time uncovered; each step forward holding a gentle sense of grace.

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#0011 – Best Friends and Petty Theft

When you’ve known someone for 20 years, there are no limits to what you feel comfortable saying to them. And while Ted and I have had (and continue to have) our issues, our love is like the fat that rises to the top of the soup; but like a heart soup, with insults and acceptance instead of beef and vegetables.

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#0010 – Pure, Perfect Summer Love

Maybe it’s rushing it to start planning a wedding, but we’ve already decided we both want a big table for company and she’s cool with the fact that I lay eggs.

Sure, we moved quick, though tell me one time when pure, perfect Summer Love knocked gently at the door stead of rushing straight in:

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#0009 – Living the Poem

Lately, I’ve been living the poem instead of writing it. Staying out late, dancing under middle-of-nowhere stars, happening upon strangers, or letting them happen to me. For fall is coming, and perhaps the words on pages with it, but summer is for binging on experience then purging the stories she tells.

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#0008 – Something Decidedly Beautiful

It was a weekend off when, after dinner, I decided to head to the docks and the beach, one before the other, pen and two-dollar marble notebook in hand, to scribble out something decidedly beautiful. By the side of children playing and boat whistles blowing, I committed to the act of writing something and calling it poetry. Though narrative and long-winded, the meat of it had cadence; a rhythm. I used to be a drummer, now the kick boom affects my everything.

A friend of mine asked the other night why I do this, and why it matters; if anyone was listening. I don’t know, I replied to all his inquiries, before settling on an answer to the first two questions with a single thought: because it saves me.

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#0007 – Bread and Puppet

The day began with blueberry pancakes, with good friends. Then off we were, riding in an old Volkswagen van, to an iconic Vermont Sunday tradition: a performance by The Bread and Puppet Theater.

There, frog men and jugglers strolled about the grass. Singers sang in different languages. It rained, but the performance continued. Tubas played. Drums were slapped. Rants were ranted and dancers danced (I think I fell in love with the bongo player wearing the lip ring and black sunglasses, but don’t tell her that). After the show, I ended up hanging with a good friend, who explained how maybe the world could be saved by all of us being more okay with the occasional peeing of one’s pants.

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#0006 – Equinox

Unlike some of the previous episodes of this podcast, this one has little to do with me. It’s simply a story I stumbled upon that I felt was important to share…

A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from a German hiker named Nicola Seitz who was looking for a place to stay for her last night in Vermont. As a longtime couch surfer myself, I told her I was happy to host, so one day after work, just as it began to rain, I drove down a winding mountain road toward the trail head where she would appear. After a brief stop at the farmer’s market and a simple yet hearty dinner of stir-fried vegetables, she offered to show her gratitude by sharing with me an essay she simply referred to as ‘The Document.’

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#0005 – A Secret Space

I’m tired, spent, unkempt, and cold. The rain is falling and inside I feel a drought.

In this offering I take a deep, unstable expression, a confession of sorts, and leave my soul freely for you to interpret. I speak openly about my bouts with depression and mental illness, explaining how it is I survive my own ride of life. This narrative summarizes a span of recent difficult moments over the past few weeks, from the depth of dark, naked nights, to the hope of windswept sunsets found by splashing lake waves. It was painful to create. It ripped me raw to put this together, and I’m not sure how you’ll feel after it’s done.

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#0004 – An Accidental Band

Because this podcast is as boundless as the wind, I took us in a different direction with this episode. Then again, maybe the direction’s not so different after all, as I’m not sure I have one — or will find one anytime soon.

We’re extra lucky on this episode since the voice of my friend Abbey, which is far more beautiful than any of my guttural rumbles, sings a few songs. And, since I know you love him, Mike the Guitar takes the stage as well. In fact, I think we were a band that night. Mike says we’re called The Jipped Reans, but since I was slapping my drum sticks on a dried and weathered moose hip bone found in the forest by a friend on the day we first practiced, I have since changed the name to Moose Bone.

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#0003 – The Universe, Drugs and Motherhood

We stand in the rain on the front porch, with cars splash-passing in the dark road. My neighbor, Anthony, drinking a hard cider, doesn’t blink when I ask if he’d be willing to share the poem he’s reading with all of you folks at home. Then we play music. He, the woman he loves, and I. He strums six strings, she runs fingers along the black and white keys, and I snap a beat with taps and slaps. Their voices, together, bounce through melodies, as they look at one another with a tenderness that pushes the rest of everything outside the room.

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