1. The magic of life is the tragedy of life. We find meaning and value in that which is denied to us: complete communication with others, love that wholly overcomes loneliness, happiness, complete self-knowledge. We live to struggle to achieve these things that are unachievable.
2. The Earth is falling through the night.
3. Your love for someone never dies. It will live forever. You will always carry them with you. But the feeling of the love, the memory of a particular love will vanish and over the years becoming alarmingly inaccessible until one day — all the sudden — it’s completely lost in the sea of the unconsciousness.
4. Being able to critique yourself is the rosetta stone of intelligence. Genius begins with being able to perceive your own weaknesses, openness to your own vulnerability.
5. Dreams are more powerful than reality.
6. Every truth can be reversed. Paradox is the most honest mood of the human intellect.
7. Reality will always triumph over your dreams.
8. Do nice things for people to enjoy the feeling of being nice and the joy it brings the recipient. Don’t do nice things expecting any kind of return. Being nice must be an in itself for it to be genuine.
9. True love is boring. Happiness is boring, too. The flip side is that unstable and melancholic months (or years) might be some of the best of your life in terms of thrills and self-development.
10. People will screw you over. They will screw you hard. But, you know what? It’s okay. Think about when you were five and someone stole your toy or did something awful to you. Can’t recall a moment like this? Exactly. Life goes on.
11. The mistakes of your parents are the mistakes of you. Reincarnation is a genetic reality and the sooner you confront your biological and environmental history head-on, the sooner you can surpass it.
12. There is no satisfactory answer to your question. So, embrace the open expanse.
13. The oppressed are often silent. So you must listen to the silence if you want to improve the world.
14. Feeling pity is unhealthy. Humans are durable space ships and you need to respect the strength and resilience of those you perceive to be suffering. Simply put, don’t feel bad for people just because the emotion sweeps you up, that’s a selfish impulse about improving your state of mind, not another person’s being.
15. True power forces are powerful because their power is so concealed that it becomes invisible. Put metaphorically, true power is the way water controls the fish, not the shark eating the fish.
16. All authority figures are naked under their clothes. However, you can learn a lot from diligently and submissively studying their fashion choices.
17. Suggestion is frequently more powerful than definition.
18. People are capable of astonishing evil. It will leave you dumbfounded you just how deeply distributing the machinations of some people are. But a true adult doesn’t hate the evil in others. They understand the killer in you is the killer in me. They take responsibility for themselves and the actions of all the other beings on this planet.
19. “Reflect, the Devil is old, so become old if you would understand him.” — Gothe
20. It’s all connected, literally by atoms and spiritually through the song and dance of language and genetics. Everything in the cosmos is involved in one way or another with everything else. You can’t disconnect yourself from the horror or the beauty. There is no escape.
21. Everyone thinks they alone hold the secret of the world. Because they kind of do. You create the meaning of life.
22. Relativity is a kind of objectivity.
23. Still, you can’t forget that you’re just some kind of talking monkey.
24. And there is a chance God is just a laughing child.
My daughter has begun seeing things. I don’t know if they’re imaginary, like any child’s mind is prone to creating, or something more, like the things I’ve seen.
I’ve told you all last summer about the stories she started telling me, about the “man” who would come to her window and tell them to her… about the claw marks I found in the sill. I’ve also told you about the attack she suffered almost a year ago when I took the advice of friends and stood up to a terrifying spirit that was stalking me. To say that she’s been through more than a normal five-year-old is an understatement.
She’s gotten really good at drawing. I can identify the things she draws without her having to tell me. I’ve encouraged her by buying how-to-draw books and drawing with her from time to time.
The other day she was drawing. She had already drawn a horse and signed it when she declared, “I’m gonna draw a monster!”
“Okay, I look forward to seeing it,” I said, distracted by something I was reading at the time.
A few minutes later, she came up to me. “Here Daddy,” she said, handing me her latest creation. I looked at it. The thing on the paper looked more like a person than a monster. It had a torso like she draws when she draws people, and it had legs and feet. But it had four lines coming off it like arms, and the head was a circle with a jagged line through it.
“What is this?” I asked.
“It’s a monster,” she replied.
“It looks like a person,” I said. “Is it a zombie?” She knows what zombies are. Sometimes when we’re playing outside and it starts getting dark, I mention that zombies come out at night as a means to get her to want to go in. Works like a charm.
“No,” she said, and then began explaining the features to me. “That’s its arms, and that’s its legs, and that’s its head.”
“It has four arms?”
“Where’s its face?”
“Its just got a big mouth with sharp teeth.”
“Oh, that’s scary.”
“Its mouth is big so it can eat people.”
“And what’s this rectangle beside it?”
“That’s my closet.”
My arms suddenly felt heavy and a chill ran up my back. I looked at the drawing again with open eyes. The rectangle beside it was her closet. There, behind it, another rectangle… her bedroom window. There, her toy buckets. There, her dresser. It was a drawing of her bedroom.
“You know there’s no such thing as monsters, right?” I asked. She looked at me quietly, not responding. “Have you actually seen this?”
She still didn’t answer. Her eyes seemed to be looking past me, staring off into space. It suddenly occurred to me that she looked extremely tired. Our daycare provider had been saying that she had a tendency to fall asleep in the morning, well before nap time.
“Honey, have you seen this? In your room?”
She didn’t say anything; she just nodded at me silently.
“When have you seen it?”
She nodded again. “It comes out of my closet.”
“You must be pretty brave, to have something this scary come out of your closet and not scream! I would scream.” I would scream, probably. That drawing was too freaky. I was still unsure whether or not to believe her.
“It says if I scream, it’ll kill whoever comes in my room.”
That got me freaked. My daughter isn’t one to talk about killing and death lightly. The last time she’d done it was when she’d told me one of those bedtime stories from the man in her window. Thoughts of that came flooding back, and I started wondering if the two incidents were related.
“It can talk?” was all I could think to ask.
“Well yeah, it has a mouth. See?” She pointed to the jagged line across its head.
“I thought that was for eating. Why doesn’t it eat you?”
“Nippy protects me from monsters, remember?”
Nippy is her stuffed toy dachshund. When she used to get scared and talk of monsters before, I had told her that Nippy was a special dog who no monster could get past. At the time, it was just a way to get her to go to sleep. But now I wonder if she didn’t believe in it so thoroughly… no, NO… monsters don’t exist!
As I thought that, I heard the creek of a door come from the hallway where the bedrooms are. I thanked my daughter for the drawing and asked her if she could draw me a horse for me to take to work and she went off to do it, having already forgotten all our talk of the monster.
I went into the hallway and listened. Our duplex is old, and I’ve become attuned to the sounds it makes. I know which floor boards squeak, and how they sound when you apply pressure to them. At that moment, I heard the soft shuddering groan of a board in her bedroom. The door was shut. My wife and I had insisted on keeping the bedroom doors open to help keep them warmer.
I walked over, grabbed the knob, and wondered if I was going to be eaten. Part of me wanted to just walk away, but the other part of me had to know. I opened the door quickly, almost flinging it open and stepped back just in case.
The room was empty. Her toys were all over the floor, but that’s normal. Her bed was a mess, but that’s normal. The closet door was open, but that’s… wait. That’s not normal. And as I stood there, looking at it, I realized the door was moving as if someone had just been in the process of opening it.
I grabbed a toilet plunger from the bathroom to swing at anything that might come at me. Obviously it was filthy and germ-ridden and, being made primarily of rubber, was a dumb idea, but it’s best not to linger on it in hindsight. I crept up to the closet, but there was nothing there. And more over, there wasn’t room in it for something to fit, especially something as large as the monster in her drawing.
On my way out, I spotted a piece of paper on her bed. Or rather, I spotted a torn strip of paper on her bed. There was nothing on it but one wild, crazy scribble. It looked like one of my daughter’s attempts at writing. She knows how to write her name, but at times she’ll just drag her pencil in a loopy, rollercoaster of a scribbled line and tell me she wrote something.
I took the scrap to her in the living room.
“What’s this?” I asked.
She looked up from her partially-drawn horse. “Looks like words,” she said.
“Not really, but it does look like something you’d write.”
“Do you know what it says?” I handed her the scrap. She has a curious way of being able to decipher her own writing, even though it’s not actual words. It’s as if the scribbles mean something in her mind that other people can’t see.
She looked at it, mouthing the words silently. She handed the scrap of paper back to me and went back to drawing her horse.
“Well?” I said, “What does it say?”
“It says, ‘I told you not to tell anybody.’” she replied.
That afternoon I went into her bedroom and took some precautionary measures. I removed the doorknob from the inside of the closet. I installed a small latch on the outside (ineffective against brute force, but it was all I could find without running out to Home Depot). I took several of the heavier bins of toys and shoved them up against the door. I haven’t had to block off her closet in almost a year. She looked at it with curiosity when I put her to bed that night, but didn’t ask. I think she knew what it was all about.
I asked her the next morning if she saw the monster that night, and she told me she hadn’t. Of course, there’s no guarantee that this solution is permanent. I don’t know what’s going on… what she saw, if it’s real or imaginary, but from the things I’ve seen, and the things that have happened in this past year, I just can’t be too careful.
We yearn for the good ol’ days when hairy chests and full beards were celebrated on men instead of, well, the rigorous manscaping that’s going on nowadays.
Not on our side with this one? Here are 5 reasons — proven by science — why hairy men make awesome life partners:
1. They’re masculine.
It’s true! Research shows 54 percent of women prefer a masculine man with facial hair over a guy who’s clean shaven. (And if the majority of women agree on this, then they can’t all be wrong, can they? We think not.)
2. They’re smart.
Find doctors and geniuses sexy? Chances are they’re hairy under those white coats. Research shows that body hair is connected to intelligence. Still not convinced? Another study found that the majority of members in Mensa— the largest IQ society in the world — also have thick body hair!
3. They’re hilarious.
Jason Mantzoukas, Will Ferrell, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Robin Williams, Jim Gaffigan and Zach Galifianakis have two things in common: They’re hilarious and they’re hairy. OK, so this isn’t exactly science, but whatever, it should be.
4. They’re into good causes.
When November rolls around you can see many men going all out with growing out their facial hair for “Movember” to promote awareness for prostate and testicular cancer. And a man who brings awareness to great causes is DEFINITELY marriage material.
5. They’re secure with themselves.
Currently the majority of millenial men — 57 percent, in fact — manscape. Want a man who doesn’t follow the status quo? Go hairy!
If you are like me and have just discovered the whole new world of yogadom, you’d no doubt have stalked numerous yoga blogs, websites (like this one) and started following yoga celebrities on Instagram with their impossibly beautiful, death-defying, paradigm-shifting selfies. Just check out #hollowbackpincha if you don’t believe me. Beyond the body beautiful however, many have touted the life-changing benefits of practicing.
Calmness, self-acceptance, compassion, enlightenment and all matters transcendental are pretty much up there on the list. Sure, these are all good. And I for one, am convinced yoga is a lifelong journey towards the inner self. Still, while most yogic scribes are happily breathing in their own spiritual ether (or as a renowned yoga instructor put it “stewing in their own juices”), I can’t help noticing some non-rarefied, oh-so-trivial kicks of this remarkable practice. Totally random. Totally underrated. Like those times when:
1. Your Arms Are So Tired They Can Hardly Peel That Damn Top Off
You are so destroyed by that last vinyasa flow class, getting that sports bra off over your head demands every last ounce of energy left in your triceps. We all know the tops are meant to be tight, to provide support, and of course.. to show off our toned-to-perfection torsos. But dammit, in the shower you totally regret choosing the S over the M.
Well, it did make my shoulders stand out more. Shrug. After an epic struggle in which you thought you’d never extricate yourself from the suffocating death grip of your yoga top, you finally experience joy and liberty in nudity under a rainshower. Ok maybe not all of us have a rainshower head but we can close our eyes and imagine…
2. 7AM Yoga Class
Don’t judge me now. I used to be someone who cannot wake up before 10AM on days I don’t have to be at work or an appointment. The first time I pulled myself out of bed for a sunrise yoga session, I fully expected it to be my last. But then, I kept going. I can’t explain it, to be honest. All I know is early morning yoga classes are a gift to mankind. Most gyms aren’t even opened at that time. And imagine doing zumba or bellydance or tango at dawn. Shudder. Just doesn’t happen. You have a mini epiphany that you are actually doing sun salutations the way they were intended.
Like I said, it’s a mini one, because you in fact don’t even notice the sun coming up while in the throes of a really vigorous flow sequence punctuated by excruciating asanas. After class, you are struck with the realization that it’s only whaaat? 8:15AM, and the day with its infinite possibilities stretch temptingly ahead of you. Perhaps you gotta work. Bummer. But hey, you go through the day knowing you’ve already fought and endured through one challenge. You secretly smile as you think smugly to yourself, “I’m done with my yoga for today”. Blasphemy of course. No one is ever “done” with yoga. But oh, you know what I mean.
3. Planning Your Yoga Wear A Full Week In Advance
You consciously make a decision NOT to wear boom-boom colored cum wild-patterned leggings two days consecutively. Cos doing so might earn you a yogatramp stamp. You also want to coincide the donning of your newest, most state-of-the-art yoga pants with that cute instructor’s class, just so he knows how seriously you’re taking your practice. The trusty all-black tights is reserved for the time of the month when you feel all bloaty and unattractive. Oh, and the bright teal yoga top with the fancy, criss-crossing back straps that arrived in the mail this morning? Sigh, decisions decisions decisions. I’m shallow. Whatever.
4. Not Being The Newbie In The Class
Everytime the instructor asks, “Who is new to a power class here?”, your sympathy goes out to the tentative shy hand that is raised. First of all, nobody enjoys the moment when all eyes in the room dart towards you. Especially if these are supercharged shards of laser-beam intensity gazes emanating from highly advanced yogis and yoginis. Secondly, nobody likes being labelled a rookie. And you know this rookie is in for a wild ride. You settle comfortably in the complacent anonymity of what must be your 256th class (ballpark), thinking back to that DAY when it was you who raised your hand. Thankfully, those days (or rather, that day) are over.
5. Being Able To Communicate In An Ancient Language
So cool right? Not only does yoga make you feel hot, it makes you feel smart. Sure, every asana has its equivalent in English. But it is sometimes simply more straightforward to refer to it in Sanskrit. “Put the soles of your feet together, open up the hips and let the knees fall to the side.” Err.. Come again? “Go into your Baddha Konasana” Ahh.. Got it! Your confidence grows as your vocabulary does. You know you’ve graduated from Yoga 101 when names like Pinchamayurasana and Utkatasana roll effortlessly off your tongue. Yoga spelling bee anyone? My favourite is Paschimottanasana. So tricky, that one. Want a real challenge? Try Utthita Hasta Padangustasana. Do we really need to use the Sanskrit names? No. We do so cos we CAN. So there. You jelly?