Closer to the Heart: What Rush and David Lynch Taught Me

[I’m not sure who this is for, but it’s for someone.] This summer, I spent a lot of time with Rush (the band) and David Lynch (the everything). One or the other was the backdrop to a lot of driving and listening and talking to myself all over Chicago and the highways named for people. The things that they told me reminded me why it … Continue reading Closer to the Heart: What Rush and David Lynch Taught Me

It’s Boring, but It’s Mine

Here’s what my particular brand of depression tends to look like: Stay up until two am, sleep for nine hours (at least), watch tv for six-hour stretches or more, and forget to shower or to eat more than chips all day. Unfortunately, the spiral of self-pity looks about the same, and it can be even more destructive. It’s not original or all that interesting, but … Continue reading It’s Boring, but It’s Mine

The Swelling Moments

As someone who lives by the heart, the blood (tired of that image yet? Don’t read Olson then), I also thrive in the swells of emotion–the moments when the heart speaks because the mouth can’t, expands to become big enough to hold the world in. For the sake of balance, lately I’ve been considering three spaces where this happens. Right now, the first unfortunately comes … Continue reading The Swelling Moments

Write Every Day (maybe)

I probably expected too much to be able to jump into writing again every day after months (a year?) of silence. (This is where the lame exercising-a-muscle analogies go.) But it’s true that only recently have I understood writing that way. Before, it seemed more like all-or-nothing divine inspiration (cue my childhood), something that came, paradoxically, from within, even though it was out of your … Continue reading Write Every Day (maybe)


This morning, my first student (a senior) found his way to the Writing Center by muscle memory. He’d only slept three hours because he and his father had gone straight to Dick’s Sporting Goods after the Cubs won to get in on the Championship gear. In unison, we both said, “Worth it.” With the next one (a freshman), I spent an hour watching him draft … Continue reading Students.

Why did I stop writing? (Spoiler: TV)

Yesterday, I tossed a bunch of metaphors around about the words I need to write. The closest to accurate was that they’re in the blood–almost literally, Olson would think. It’s right because I can’t see them at all, unless I force them out or trust to cycles beyond my control. Why I stop(ped) getting them out is sort of related. An easy answer, of course, … Continue reading Why did I stop writing? (Spoiler: TV)

5:19 pm (or, Letting Happiness Happen)

My grandma died a year ago today, and it didn’t register until I was walking to the train after work. Maybe the delay isn’t surprising. After spending so much time with Only One Truth inside your heart, the muscles start to creak and shift. They have to make room for more, or let the One slip away. Another possibility is simply one of geography. For … Continue reading 5:19 pm (or, Letting Happiness Happen)