You Are The Gift

You’ve worked hard to make today special:

To make her dream of the perfect Christmas come true…

To give your children the gifts they’ve pined for, to see the wild delight in their eyes…

To please and appease the relatives and all their little plans for you.

And meanwhile, you expect little for yourself.

No grand gifts, no great gratitude…

All you want it to make it through un-criticized, to tip-toe through the gauntlet of expectation un-bloodied.

And in that respect, today is much like the others:

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Why Modern Man Lies

We drift to sleep warm in our beds, never further from the jungle, yet never more afraid.

It is not the lion’s jaw we fear, of the flash of some blade in the dark:

It is the disapproving look.

The public derision.

Exile from the land of the “correct.”

And so…

Glib and cheerful: THAT is how we go into the day.

THAT is the stance proven to buy some toleration.

Speak freely, and you risk social annihilation.

But you are not here to smile and bob:

You are here to speak hard truths.

You are here to live and love untidily.

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How To Sell Your Wife On The Dream (Part 2)

This is a followup to a previous post on the same topic.

You see the future so clearly:

The business you’ll build, the money you’ll make, the wild freedom you’ll unleash in your life.

You share the vision with your wife:

Instead of joy in her eyes, you see… fear.

Fear of it all going to shit.

Fear the so-called “family adventure” you describe will be, in fact, your own solitary, alienating slog.

“Wait, what?” you say. “Don’t you see? This is for US!”

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The Illusion Of (No) Choice

You wake to routines that numb you.

You stumble to the kitchen for your morning hit of sugary-something.

You smile with your mouth at the kids as they walk blinking to the table, your eyes blank.

You dress for work, slack-faced to the mirror, preparing again to offer yourself in daily sacrifice upon the altar.

“Choices.”

A word that no longer sparks anything in you.

You *know* that choices are the key to creating a better life.

But when it comes to actually pulling the trigger… to actually making game-changing choices… there are so many compelling reasons why you in fact “can not.”

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Honor The Animal

In times of danger, they love the beast inside you:

The adrenaline-junked strength by which you pluck a drowning child from the torrent.

The pulsing veins as you rack the 12 gauge at the break of glass.

But outside of these rare emergencies, they beg you: “bury that beast inside you. Bury it so far down we never have to look at it.”

And so you come to believe the beast in you–that animal power–is some kind of horrific, cataclysmic weapon, to be unleashed only as a means of last resort.

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The Man In The Forest

A man stood transfixed in a clearing.

He looked out through the forest at the lake a stone’s toss away.

He listened to the loon call echoing over the water.

He smelled the vanilla sap of the pines.

He imagined the cabin he would build: the fieldstone fireplace, the wide-plank floor, the skylight that would open upon the wind-cleaned stars.

His heart beat in his chest as though to burst, the vision whirling until he could no longer contain it… until he was compelled to begin the building, to make it manifest.

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If You Love Her Let Her Go

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned to a friend that I’d spent the previous weekend alone at a cabin doing some writing and recording.

He stared at me and said “how did you sell your wife on THAT?”

I was surprised for a moment… and then reminded that this kind of freedom within marriage is the exception in our culture.

Most of us have been brainwashed into believing that a “good marriage” is one in which husband and wife spend every waking moment together…

…that the more shared friendships, shared interests, and shared activities the better…

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Sex Begins In The Garage

There’s this phrase (and book) floating around: “sex begins in the kitchen.”

…The idea being that husbands can experience higher quantity and quality of sex by actively creating more intimacy in the marriage (with “help around the house” being one of several ways of doing that).

And while I agree with the emphasis on building intimacy (what I call “creating the conditions”), I strongly disagree with the unfortunate kitchen metaphor, because doing feminine chores in hopes it will lead to more and better sex is a fundamentally flawed approach.

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Wrong About You

Question:

What if all the so-called “fucked up” aspects of your personality are indication NOT of a deficient character but of deficient SELF-UNDERSTANDING?

In other words… what if you’re wrong about yourself?

A few weeks ago, I caught myself brooding on something, as usual, and suddenly wondered “why am I so DISSATISFIED all the time? What’s my problem?”

But then, a moment later, another thought: “these goals I’ve set for myself… this life I’m working to build… what kind of man would I have to be to achieve them? NOT a contented, peaceful one. I would have to be driven and restless. Just as I am!”

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BE THE KING

When you were a boy, you dreamed of the day you would be king.

Of the day you would marry, have children, own lands… of the day you would be loved, feared, venerated.

You saw the way of the king, and you knew in your belly that this was your call: to live a life of benevolent power.

But somewhere along the way, the dream was corrupted.

For we saw that kings can be craven.

We saw that kings can be cruel.

And when the queens of the land bristled in unison… men, seeking to appease them, broke the scepter over their own knees.

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