DUDE!!!! My wife made this card for me!!!!
My head exploded.
DUDE!!!! My wife made this card for me!!!!
My head exploded.
See, this is exactly what I’m talking about!
Today marks two years of being married. It’s been a tricky past year….elations and heartbreaks we didn’t see coming and a long slog of faith and resilience and some days, breaks of weary doubt. Somehow, it’s also been a year of joy and intimacy that cracks and spreads into spaces I never thought the light could get into. By which I mean I have now peed in front of him a time or two but also, deeper, we know each other and our shared life in the sort of way a parachute squadron knows its equipment. Tenderly, having thumbed across stitches and spreads of canvas to understand its strengths and frays.
In our first year of marriage, in those awful weeks we lived in the Airstream, we invented a song called Best Selves and sang impromptu verses to will and mould ourselves back into the sort of humans who could stand being married to each other.
In year two, that song floated through the days and became a sort of pulse. An unseen rhythm that we marched and swayed and collapsed and rose to and I know it is not just me. I see it in him, in the choices he makes everyday to serve me and forgive me and be more selfless and more tender and more thoughtful. And so many times we still flail and flop and stubbornly retreat (you should have heard us hollering at each other on a hike Saturday morning; half of Culver City did) but there is something precious just in the striving and learning. In knowing that you are not alone in the commitment or taken for granted. That all the days you wrangle down your selfish impulses and try to do the better thing because you believe that marriage is not static, is not the goal but is the adventure and the job, is something that if not rebuilt every day, begins to erode and crumble — all the days you remind yourself this, he is doing the same good, hard, Best Self work too. For you.
Honestly, I think he is better at it than I am. I will always be more mercurial. I will always drift and rage and break and lash in ways he is rarely prone to. And it seems he will always know, better than anyone else ever has, how to be beside me through these storms (not too close and not too far which is an impossible dance few have had the patience to learn).
He is the most fun I’ve ever had, no matter our conditions. He is the only tree my tree can stand to be planted close to. Happy Anniversary, love.
Two years ago today, I was somehow lucky enough to get this girl to marry me. It is hard to express how lucky I feel to have her as my wife. Meeting her felt like taking off a blindfold. I have been very fortunate in my life, but she’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me by far.
This picture is from the Mötley Crüe concert the other night because we rock hard like that.
Every day is an adventure. Every day brings new projects, new foods, new lands or new emotions. I’d move back into a trailer for this woman. She challenges me, makes me laugh, inspires me, outsmarts me, and teaches me to be a better person, every single day. She is my northern star.
My cup overflows. Happy anniversary!
Let’s assume that you think you have a choice of eight paths to follow (all pre-defined paths, of course). And let’s assume that you can’t see any real purpose in any of the eight. THEN— and here is the essence of all I’ve said— you MUST FIND A NINTH PATH.
Naturally, it isn’t as easy as it sounds. You’ve lived a relatively narrow life, a vertical rather than a horizontal existence. So it isn’t any too difficult to understand why you seem to feel the way you do. But a man who procrastinates in his CHOOSING will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.
So if you now number yourself among the disenchanted, then you have no choice but to accept things as they are, or to seriously seek something else. But beware of looking for goals: look for a way of life. Decide how you want to live and then see what you can do to make a living WITHIN that way of life. But you say, “I don’t know where to look; I don’t know what to look for.”
And there’s the crux. Is it worth giving up what I have to look for something better? I don’t know— is it? Who can make that decision but you? But even by DECIDING TO LOOK, you go a long way toward making the choice.
The whole thing is well worth reading.
"I don’t mean that we can’t BE firemen, bankers, or doctors— but that we must make the goal conform to the individual, rather than make the individual conform to the goal. In every man, heredity and environment have combined to produce a creature of certain abilities and desires— including a deeply ingrained need to function in such a way that his life will be MEANINGFUL. A man has to BE something; he has to matter."
Man, this letter is really really good. Also, in it he basically describes Jim Collins’ “hedgehog concept” for being a person, which is pretty incredible in itself.
Here’s what the Gaza Strip looks like compared to Los Angeles! Imagine driving from Manhattan Beach to Pasadena, only there are 5,000 more people per square mile. Oh, and there’s an invading army. Good luck!
I made this using MAPfrappe!
"There are a handful of shows I ask everyone I talk to about television if they have seen: The Wire, Mad Men, Friday Night Lights. But when I ask them if they’ve watched and loved Friday Night Lights, what I mean is are you my kind of person? Are you all heart? Are you bothered by this 21st-century lack of earnestness, our abundance of irony? Do you wonder how we forgive and coach ourselves to do better? How we can strive again for valor and loyalty and daring and redemption?
I fear we are defaulting to needless negativity as some kind of social currency. But Friday Night Lights is the most earnest show I’ve ever watched. Not sentimental, however: these characters aren’t perfect. In fact, this show is incredibly astute at allowing humans to have stratums of complexity: to have character and occasionally act without it, and then to live in the mire of their own dumb choices. Do I adore Coach? Yes. Do I think, as Tammy says, he is a molder of men and a husband of fierce devotion? Absolutely. Do I also think he can also be a self-involved, sexist prick who values his career over his wife’s? No question.
Regardless of the scale of the battle, the stakes in Friday Night Lights are rarely phony or contrived. It’s about winning games, sure, but its scope far exceeds that. This is a show that tests and reflects commitment not just on the football field, but back in the locker room. And in Street’s rehab room, and Saracen’s grandmother’s living room, and Julie’s bedroom, and eventually out to Luke’s farm and Tim’s prison and Tammy’s dream in Philadelphia. This commitment is not about obligation, but something more sacred. Duty. The hidden gale that blusters and grows within us and makes us yearn to give someone else exactly what they need.”
—Erica Cantoni on Friday Night Lights (Bright Wall/Dark Room, Issue #14, July 2014)
This is such a great essay! And that is really cool art! Erica’s essay reminded me how much I love the Taylors and Saracen and Riggins and even stupid Lyla Garrity! Yes, she is the worst. But who would fill that sleeping with your best friend/Christian radio/should have graduated but is still loafing around while kinda/sorta being in love with two guys vibe?!
Julie Taylor, obviously, because out of everyone she even eclipses Landry’s cover-up of a murder in terms of bad decision-making.
Friday Night Lights! Read this essay!
This is too good. Bob at the end of the bed…
How’s Annie? How’s Annie?