Fujiyama, PDX


This blog was once an ongoing record of my walk to Mt. Fuji. Now, due to severe allergies, my plans have changed. I might not be traveling to Japan anytime soon, but I’m still walking roads and climbing mountains, albeit of a metaphorical sort. This blog collects reflections from along the way.

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I’m sitting at Chapters in downtown Newberg today. This is maybe the third time I’ve come here to write in the past week or two. It’s been really nice, and surprisingly productive (which is why I keep coming back).

Except today. I had a rough start. I got here early but had to turn around and head all the way home to get a phone adapter. Then I had to just sit and wait while my phone charged.

But that’s not the real problem. The problem is that I can feel myself bursting out of my clothes. I’ve gotten so damned fat, even I can’t believe it.

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This post originally appeared on my blog pdxkcm.com on Sunday, May 10, 2015, under the title “Anger”.

Work went great this last week, largely because the previous week was so terrible. Discomfort and failure often prompt positive change.

What was so bad about it? For starters, I was exceedingly, perpetually, and inexplicably angry. I wasn’t angry at anyone or anything in particular, though, and that leads to trouble. Anger is a vector. It has both magnitude and direction. Fail to realize that and you may find your rage unleashed on the first unsuspecting victim who crosses its path.

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View Under a Microscope

There Is No Normal

This post originally appeared on pdxkcm.com on Wednesday, January 19, 2011 under the title “Wellness”.

Just before I got out of the shower this morning my wife opened the door and made a dispiriting announcement:

“Seth just threw up.” (Seth is our son.)

Illness comes every now and then, it’s a fact of life.  The stomach flu is different.  I would  gladly endure ten colds if it meant I could avoid one twenty-four hour, gut-wrenching marathon of nausea, feverish and sleepless dreams, and intermittent dashes to the bathroom.

You can stream the narration audio below or download it here.

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Leaving Nothing Behind

This post is part three of a three-part series. You can read part one here and part two here.

Try to boil an ocean and you won’t have enough hot water for tea.

I spent most of my life demonstrating that simple truth, taking on one personal project after another. In October, 2015, I finally grew tired of stoking those metaphorical fires. I doused the flames, buried the embers, and set off on a six-month trek down a quiet stretch of beach.

I grew up along the way. I could finally see the harm I had done in trying to make every little thing part of something bigger. I realized how much we all need quiet and solitude, both around us and within. And I finally realized that, through everything, I had been doing my level best to cheat my way past the natural limits of my mortality.

“Nothing” turned out to be exactly what I needed.

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Empty Classroom

What Nothing Taught Me

This post is part two of a three-part series. You can read part one here.

In October 2015, after devoting almost forty years to a trove of personal ambitions, I stopped. I picked up an eraser and wiped my slate clean. For the first time in my life, I was officially doing nothing.

This couldn’t last. I waited for the sheer mass of my beloved ideas to draw me back into their orbit. Resisting that pull would exhaust me, I was sure of it. I braced myself for a long night of frustrated temptation and anxiety.

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