About Heteronormative Male Sexual Fantasy Tropes

A few weeks ago, I participated in the 1000 words of summer challenge, which was to write 1000 words a day for two weeks. I started a day late but managed to produce 15K+ words by the end of it. My approach was simple. Every morning I would write about the details of my morning, from the time I woke, to going out for a walk, to arriving at my favorite coffee shop. I wrote it in the third person as a fictionalized account. My plan is to further fictionalize and build out from this core of writing.

One of the mornings I wrote about, I had a particularly memorable experience on my walk. A beautiful young woman walked up to me, sporting an unlit cigarette between the index and middle fingers of her right hand, and asked me if I had a light. I am not a fan of smoking, so in my conscious mind I thought, “you shouldn’t smoke,” but this young woman was an astonishing vision. Producing a lighter and lighting her cigarette would have absolutely made my day, or rather, it would have prolonged for a few seconds longer this commune with feminine beauty and sexuality the universe had chosen to send my way. Primal me had taken over. I told her I didn’t have a light, she told me it was ok, she’d find one up the street at the gas station and walked off muttering something about Beacon and five years. I turned and walked to the end of the street, which was not far away, crossed to the other side, and started walking back up Main Street, half hoping I would see her again. She had, however, disappeared into thin air. There was no evidence of her anywhere I looked.

At the beginning of this past week, I decided that an interesting way to extend my writing project would be to write the stories of the people encountered on my walks. I would write them over the same, or similar hours of the morning, over the same 13 days. Their lives and the lives of my protagonist running in alternate universes, intersecting in the brief ways they did, then continuing on in their alternate universes. I decided to start with “cigarette woman,” as I now referred to her, and write backwards and a little forwards from the moment I had encountered her on the street. I had no idea where she had come from or was going to when I encountered her, but I wanted to write a plausible scenario into which the moment she walked up and asked me for a light fit.

So, I wrote about her having hooked up with a redheaded woman in a bar and winding up sleeping with her. I picked up the story in the morning afterglow of a night of passion, when she wakes up and sees what time it is and realizes she has to get to work. The prose flowed out of me and within an hour or two I had the bones and a lot of the flesh of Lila, as I had named her. I knew I was writing something that could be perceived as a male fantasy trope, but I earnestly wanted to lift the story beyond that. I read a rough draft to my wife, who instantly proclaimed it a male fantasy trope. “Come on, she said, two beautiful women kissing up on each other? The stuff of every straight man’s dreams.”

In rewrites, I worked at toning down the two beautiful women kissing up on each other aspect of it a bit. I tried to depict the sensual and physical intimacy that two women might feel if they were sexually aroused by each other and basking in the afterglow of some great love making. I read the piece to my wife a couple more times as it evolved, and she kept having more or less the same reaction to it. Eventually, I asked my wife if the scene I painted was implausible. She said, as far as she knew, it wasn’t. I asked her if I had been disrespectful to women in the way I wrote it. She said I had not. So then, I suggested, the problem is that because a man wrote it, it can’t escape the male fantasy trope critique? She said maybe.

I continued to work daily at refining it. I tried to delve deeper into the moments of intimate contact, not just between the two women, but between Lila and the two elder gentlemen she approached on the street looking for a light.

When I told my wife I was planning to read it at a literary open mic event at the end of the week, she hesitantly endorsed the idea.

The day of the night I was to read, I had scheduled an appointment with my wife’s hairdresser to get my hair trimmed and put into a French braid. I wear a French braid for special occasions and when I want to play the part of an artiste. I had an art gallery opening the next day. During my appointment, the woman cutting my hair and I engaged in idle chit-chat. I mentioned that I was reading some of my fiction at a literary open mic that night. She asked what my story was about. I told her it was about two women having a one-night stand, explained the scenario, and mentioned I had read it to my wife. “And what did your wife say?” she asked, “that it was male sexual fantasy writing,” I said, whereupon she said, “I love your wife.” She had the same “oh brother” reaction my wife did.

That was fine. I knew how it sounded and had anticipated the reaction.

Later, when I read it at the open mic event, it met with, what seemed to me, a lukewarm reception. A reception that seemed more politeness than enthusiasm, and absolutely nobody came up to me to talk about it, as I had actually hoped some woman would do. I wanted to know, is it plausible? Did it get beyond the male fantasy trope bit? If there were gay women in the room, and there were, I wanted to hear from them about the plausibility and accuracy of the physical intimacy I described between my two female characters. It felt more like an embarrassment swept under the rug of audience politeness than anything else.

After the event, I stewed in my juices a bit. I was disappointed in the reaction I got, and disappointed that nobody commented on my French braid, either.

I’ve had some time to contemplate the situation and to realize that yes, my story actually is a male fantasy trope. What else could it be? It was grounded in a moment that was of the stuff that heterosexual male fantasy is made of. A beautiful young woman walks up to a past-his-young-women-days man and asks, in a beguiling, slightly flirtatious way, for a light. My god, centuries of capitalist psychosexual conditioning came screaming at me in that one brief moment. It was primal. My perception of the moment was that this woman had had some kind of late night, had spewed out onto the street from wherever. She wants a smoke and, perhaps, a cup of coffee too. She didn’t come from her place, I surmised. Why would she be without a lighter if she did? No, I decided, this young woman had been out late, maybe all night. Perhaps she had slept somewhere not her home. She was not unhappy, or hungover, or drugged up. She was flirtatious and knew her way around male sexuality. So, for the purposes of my story, I decided she was out on the street after a one-night stand. And then I decided it would be more interesting to set her flirtatious behavior with two random men she encountered on the street in the context of her being gay or bisexual. Ok, from my lizard brain male perspective, it was more arousing that way too.

But here’s the thing. I wrote a scene in which two women do kiss up on each other, but, nobody has told me that what I wrote isn’t a plausible scenario between two women who are sexually attracted to one another. And, nobody has told me I have disrespected women in the way I wrote it. The only difficulty in the situation, as it turned out, was the trouble I had admitting to myself that I had written a male fantasy trope piece. I have decided to embrace that when I tell people about it. I say it’s a male fantasy trope piece right up front. And then I try to describe to them how I think it’s a bit more than that.

But you can decide for yourself. Here’s a link to the story. Let me know what you think. Thoughtful critique is welcome.

My True Potential

We’ve been watching The Big Door Prize. The premise of the show is the appearance of a vending machine in the local grocery store which promises to tell you what your true potential is. Eventually, everyone tries the machine. Most people get something different from what they are currently doing with their lives. They start pursuing the “true potential” given to them by the machine. This, of course, upsets the routines, rituals and relationships of the small town they live in.

For most of my working life, I was an Architect. In my late 50s I pivoted to art photography, writing, cooking, and cleaning. Now in my late 60s, most people would consider me retired. I tell people I am semi-retired but really, as I see it, I am on to my second career. I spend around 40 hours a week pursuing my art photography practice, reading, and writing in two blogs, this one and another I call Notes On Attention Paid, which is an online micro post journal of what has my attention at a given moment. In addition, I spend considerable time managing our household. I do the grocery shopping, manage the finances, cook, clean, do the laundry, take yoga classes at the health club, and drive my wife, who can’t drive, where she needs to go.

I imagine my younger self going to Morphos, the machine in the grocery store, pushing my bank card into it, punching in my social security number, giving it my palm to scan, and getting a card back telling me my true potential, artist/writer/homemaker. Yup, based on where my bliss seems to lead me these days, that’s what I would get, not architect.

I am one of those few people who actually enjoys homemaking. Certainly, I am one of that even rarer species, a cisgender man who actually enjoys housework. Vacuuming and tidying up is rewarding to me because it makes order out of chaos on a weekly basis. Folding laundry is a mindfulness practice as far as I am concerned. Cooking is a spiritual practice of deep devotion, and feeding someone a profound act of love. Doing it daily is a devotional practice of love.

We didn’t have children, so I don’t know what it is to have to clean up after them, feed them, organize their schedules, etc. The life experience that leads many women of my and adjacent generations to feel that if they never had to cook another family meal for the rest of their lives, it would be just fine. I think I’d have made a good house-husband. And because my true potential may well have been house-husband, I might even have come out of it still enjoying cooking and cleaning. Who knows?

My art photography is a spiritual devotion to seeing. Daily meditative walks are the backbone of it. Insight develops over time. I am about ten years into it as one of my main creative outlets and have not grown tired of it. I have not grown tired of trodding the same sidewalks, streets, trails, and beaches over and over again. Routines are deeply satisfying to me. The god I believe in is the god of routines and daily details.

I read every day. Books and articles. For the most part, I don’t read for entertainment, even though I am certainly entertained by what I read. I read for information and enlightenment. I read books on philosophy, history, women’s issues (a big interest of mine), articles on politics, spirituality, etc.

Little of this makes me money. I made and saved some while I was an architect, but my wife is the breadwinner in our household. Her steady work as a neonatal intensive care nurse kept us stable pre retirement, and her pension is the bulk of our income post retirement.

In my current life I am as happy as I have ever been. I look forward to every day of the week. A day rarely finishes without a feeling of accomplishment. I am doing what I have wanted to do since my 20s, I just didn’t realize it back then. And even if I had, boy would that have been a tough trail to blaze. Homemaking and art? That’s woman’s work as far as my generation is concerned. Progress is being made on that front by each of the generations that are following me, but art and homemaking? That would have branded me a “pussy.” In fact, it still does with men and women closer to my generation. Being taken care of financially by a woman? Pussy!

I have learned from firsthand experience what women have known for generations. The work of my true potential is enormously undervalued. And yet, it’s important and profoundly satisfying work, at least to me.

Not long ago, a conversation was overheard in the extended family, which argued that my wife would be too busy taking care of me to take on whatever task was being discussed. Ouch. In this country, in this and contiguous generations, if you are male and not financially supporting yourself and several others, there is something wrong with you. My wife has been pretty supportive of my true potential endeavors, but she grew up in and surrounded by the same generations I did.

The truth is, my wife may take care of me financially, but in terms of the human care giving that is homemaking and home management, I take care of her. I am fine with that. I love doing it and deeply appreciate her gift to me, the income to keep a roof over our heads, food on the table, and provide a few non-essential but nice-to-have experiences along the way.

It amazes me how good it feels to write this. To say it out loud, yes, my true potential might well have been artist/writer/homemaker. I am so happy to come home to myself.

About The Handmaid’s Tale

File:“Die Mütter” - Käthe Kollwitz ; Felsing (printer). Wikimedia Commons.

_ File:“Die Mütter” - Käthe Kollwitz ; Felsing (printer). Wikimedia Commons

I have had an uneasy relationship with The Handmaid’s Tale from the beginning while my wife has been all in on it. My uneasy relationship has multiple sources. To begin with, I find it unrelentingly bleak. There aren’t that many triumphs of good over evil and they can never be enjoyed for very long before the bleak returns. On some level I suppose it taps into my worst fears about the present moment in the United States. With daily stories of state legislatures passing draconian anti-abortion laws and of the constant threat of Christian Nationalism flooding the zone, life is imitating art a little to directly.

There also isn’t, for me anyway, a likable male character or any place for a relatively enlightened male to lodge himself in the program. Even the relatively good men, Luke and Nick, are hard for me to identify with. It feels to me like the writers don’t want us to get comfortable with any of the male characters because, at the end of the day, they all carry the patriarchy with them.

I am white, male, 6’ 1” tall and, my wife would say, handsome. In the United States of America this means I have been dealt a pretty good hand. I could only have done better if I had been blond and wealthy. Not that it has felt that way to me. I am an outlier, more a poet and artist than a rugged male individualist. I have not enjoyed the “full blessings” of my stature, gender and race, partly because I haven’t seen them as blessings. Still, it’s been a lot better than it would have been without them.

I count myself as one of the good ones in terms of respecting the women in my life. Broadly speaking, I love women. Broadly speaking, I don’t like men. Or perhaps, I should say, I don’t like patriarchal maleness very much. Until the likes of Lauren Bobert and Marjorie Taylor Green showed up in congress, I was fully rooting for a takeover of the levers of power by women, or at least that they should become equal in numbers to the men. And, more than many men, I have a deep appreciation of the patriarchy run amok from my experiences with the family I grew up in.

In both my marriages I have not been the main breadwinner. The first one didn’t handle that very well. There were a lot of things it didn’t handle very well which is why I can label it my first marriage. The present one tolerates it well, though I am not without experience in the power dynamic of not being the main breadwinner. I had flush times in my working life but they didn’t last and my present wife is the one who secured our retirement. As a means of compensating and saying thank you, I willingly take on most of the household work. I do the grocery shopping, meal planning and cooking, weekly laundry, weekly vacuuming and dusting, manage the finances, provide resident handyman services, though rarely with the alacrity my wife would like to see. My wife keeps the cash flow going, handles the dog grooming and care and sometimes helps with the other things. Because she doesn’t drive, I make it possible for her to get where she needs to go, which I am always happy to do though she doesn’t enjoy being dependent on me in that way. I am the one more likely to make a celebration at birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc.

So, I suppose I have a right to claim that I am relatively “woke” when it comes to gender roles and not being an oppressive patriarchal son of a bitch. I am sure I have my patriarchally driven elements just as I have my racially prejudiced elements, though I am relatively enlightened in that department too.

When I consider the LGBTQ+ spectrum and wonder if there is any part of it that I am drawn to it would be the transgender part of it. I can imagine myself being a woman and even played a bit at cross dressing in my younger years though I don’t really find myself physically capable of being feminine enough to go all in on it. That’s probably why I struggle with the character of June. To me, feminine is soft, curved and receptive. June is hard, angular and a warrior.

This isn’t to say that I am not attracted to women physically. I am very attracted to women physically. One of the sad things of my life is to have equated sex with love, expressed and received, as many men do, and then grow old. At least I was able to have a few profoundly good sexual communions along the way, especially with the woman I am now married to. They live on vibrantly in my memory.

So. Back to Handmaid’s tale. This past week we were watching episodes 7 and 8 of season 5. The episodes where Serena gives birth with June’s assistance. The episodes where Serena flips from a privileged woman to being a Handmaid. I didn’t like June very much in the scenes following the birth of Noah, Serena’s baby. I had been rooting for their recognition of each other’s humanity. Of course June had every right to hate Serena, but I was into the whole forgiveness turn the other cheek thing and thought they might thenceforward march together as comrades in arms. I guess there is more shit to go through before they can emerge to the other side together.

Serena is the character I identify most fully with right now. She is the soft and receptive one at the moment, though I can see flashes of the warrior surfacing in her. With June, it is the reverse. We see flashes of softness and receptiveness surfacing now and again in her warrior being.

I got really angry with June’s behavior towards Serena after Noah’s birth. She was mean, and not just to Serena, but to her husband Luke as well. When I first watched the eighth episode I got so angry I had to leave the room. I wen’t to bed. I couldn’t even talk about it with my wife the next day. Imagine that, a fictional character in a TV program makes you so mad you have to leave the room. You can’t watch it. Woah, what’s that all about?

In When Things Fall Apart, Pema Chödrön writes:

… no matter what the size, color, or shape is, the point is still to lean toward the discomfort of life and see it clearly rather than to protect ourselves from it.

This is what one of her teachers called “leaning into the pointy bits.” I decided to rewatch episodes 7 and 8, to lean into those pointy bits.

To my surprise, the second time through I hardly got angry at all. There were still moments when I did not like June, where I thought she was gloating, being unkind, letting her anger get the best of her. The Buddhists will tell you that loving kindness is the way. But I suppose when you have the injustices of the patriarchy raging down through the ages at you it is hard to forgive and forget, to turn the other cheek, even at the moment of the birth of enlightenment in a woman who was a part of inflicting great suffering on you.

As I have suggested, it is difficult for me to find a place to lodge myself within the Handmaid’s tale, there isn’t a male character that feels like me. Right now, it’s Serena who most feels like me, though the writers of this show rarely allow you to love a character for very long. They are all human after all, which is, I suppose, high praise for the show. What I realize though, is that I struggle most of all with June. I struggle with her warrior nature. I want her to be soft and receptive which is my (patriarchal) idea of the feminine. To know someone intimately is to know their sharp points as well as their soft curves. To love them is to lean into those points as well as to be received in the bliss of their enfolding arms. I think I have finally come to understand June and myself in a new way. Pema is right. Lean into the pointy bits, don’t run from them. I am looking forward to season 6.

Never Put Off Till Tomorrow…

My Uncle died last weekend.

This past Friday, I, my wife and my cousin drove to Holden Massachusetts to attend his funeral at the Episcopal church he attended. It was a nice service. The most meaningful part, the part that brought a tear to my eyes, was the military honors given him at the end. He had served in the Air Force as a young man, rising to the rank of Master Sergeant before he retired from active duty. A two man honor guard was sent by the Air Force. One played the most beautiful rendition of Taps I have ever heard. So smooth, silky and continuous. Continuous, that was the thing. How did he manage to play the whole thing through as if he did it on one breath? I have heard that horn players can do something called circular breathing to make such feats possible. Maybe that was it. Then, in slow and deliberate fashion, with precise and articulated movements, they unfolded an American Flag, presented it for those in attendance to see, refolded it and presented it to my Aunt. It was a secular moment. It was very moving. I hadn’t realized that service in the armed forces was membership in a tradition of honor and service for life.

This past Christmas I sent my uncle a card on which I wrote that I wanted to come visit. He was so excited that he called immediately and wanted to set up a date for the visit. I told him we had to wait because I was helping my wife take care of her mother after a heart procedure and didn’t know how that would play out and when I could free myself. Towards the end of January my wife finally felt she could leave her mother and came home. I was literally about to pick up the phone and arrange the visit when my aunt called and left a message asking me to contact my mother to let her know her brother was in the hospital and it didn’t look good. He died the next day.

My aunt asked me to be a pallbearer, which was an honor I wasn’t sure I deserved but accepted. We didn’t have to carry the casket, it was on a trolley. We only had to push-guide-follow it in and then back out to the hearse where we lifted it on to the rollers in the bed of the hearse and slid it in. The wind blew hard as the temperature plunged towards the -2 degrees F it would arrive at over night. My fellow pallbearers and I hustled back into the church for warmth and our coats. There was no graveside ceremony. I assume that was because of the cold and the wind. Can they even dig a grave in such cold temperatures? If not, where is the casket kept until they can dig it?

I learned during his funeral and at the wake afterwards that my uncle had been deteriorating for some months before his death. I might have known this if I had kept in better touch, but I’ve only recently begun to hit that place where the importance of family is heightened again. You start to feel that increase in importance as you arrive at what I call the front lines life, as you become the generation whose expiration date is next up.

A number of years ago I had a photograph accepted to a group show at a gallery in Vermont. I announced it on my Facebook page. My uncle saw the announcement and called me to find out when the opening was. I explained there wouldn’t really be a proper opening and that it was only one photograph in a crowd of them. He wanted to come anyway. He and my Aunt drove several hours to be there. I am glad they did. It is probably my fondest memory of him. I learned during the service and at the wake that he was like that. Always supporting the efforts and achievements of his children, grandchildren nieces and nephews.

I regret waiting too long to return the favor. To let him know he meant something to me. I don’t believe in life after death, only a new role for your atoms in the universe, but if I am wrong about that, I hope he knows I finally came to visit.

Reflections for 2022, Aspirations for 2023


The past year was a challenging one for, I imagine, just about everyone. Mine was too. The seminal events for me were the ongoing threats to democracy, in the US especially, Putin’s invasion of Ukraine (which I was convinced would lead to armageddon and still fear could), helping my mother sell her condo in Florida and pack herself up for the move to Seattle, helping my wife deal with her mothers deteriorating heart condition and nurse her back to health after the installation of a pacemaker and again after a cardiac valve clipping procedure. I sit at my mother-in-laws dining room table as I write.

The threats to democracy and the war in Ukraine provided an emotional undertow of fear and anger which permeated everything else and was, frankly, exhausting. The need to help my mother and mother-in-law has meant lengthy stays in their homes and away from my studio and tools for production of photography and writing. Also, the disruption of routines, though I have learned that my routines are fairly portable. It’s really being away from my accustomed tools and environment that is the hardship. The portable ones are not as good and in the case of my mother-in-law’s home on Block Island, the internet is horrifically slow making it difficult to do online things.

The hopeful signs of last year were that democracy has been successfully defended, in the US and Ukraine, though in neither case are we at all out of the woods. Still, I am more hopeful for the future of democracy than I was at the start of last year.

My brother and sister and I successfully moved my mom out to Seattle and though she continues to have her travails, neck spinal surgery being the latest, she is with my brother and sister and in a place where she is taken care of. My mother-in-law has also turned a corner and it is looking like we will get to enjoy her for a few more years at a quality of life level that is worth it to her.

My art production continued to be in the doldrums as it has been since the start of the pandemic. The major effort of the year, 52 weekly edits of photographs, had to be abandoned because of the aforementioned need to help my mother and mother-in-law. It is only at the end of the year that something new began to take its place. I let go of the need to produce a certain body of work every week so that I would have a sufficient selection of photographs to do a weekly edit. I now don’t worry if I have a day of few photos or no photos. As long as I make photos most days, I am fine. I wait for themes to appear and when they do, I focus on them, develop a body of work, or portfolio, and produce edits of them. At the very end of the year I began creating handmade booklets to present them in. This is a more flexible and satisfying way to create and produce.

I had the intention of doing more reading and note taking this year than I did. Still, I read a number of memorable books in addition to reading articles and blogs on an almost daily basis. I read Lady Chatterly’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence, Sea and Fog and Paris, When Its Naked, both by Etel Adnan, Faith, Hope and Carnage by Nick Cave and Sean O’Hagan, The Lies That Bind by Kwame Anthony Appiah, Three Women by Lisa Taddeo, Wild Swims by Dorthe Nors.

I ended the year with Sacred Economics which predicts the end, or at the very least, the diminishment of market-capitalism and its eventual replacement with a Sacred Economy predicated on gifts and relationship. It is the first time I have read anything that explains why the market-capitalist system needs growth (we always have more debt than production) and presents a plausible alternative and a way to get there. It has shifted my thinking about art production and distribution. I also started reading The Overstory a fictional book that ties in neatly with Sacred Economics in that it is an environmental novel about the incredible beauty and interconnection of nature and the ways in which the market-capitalist system is destroying it. I also began reading The Gift by Lewis Hyde, which is quoted in Sacred Economics numerous times. I am thinking the Gift will be my guide book to moving my art production into the gift economy.

A year or two ago I began to withdraw from social media like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Facebook and Instagram in particular became very unsatisfying places to be. That my friends will like my posts without having anything to say about most of them is dispiriting. As a result, I have made it a personal rule to never like without commenting. And, I am sorry, but I think I have had my fill of cat and dog pics for a lifetime. Like sunsets, it’s way overdone and a substitute for meaningful interaction. And so, I continued to move into alternative social media, specifically Micro.blog and Mastodon. I have also hooked up my Tumblr account to Micro.blog so everything cross posts. I terminated my Twitter account. I will keep my Facebook account because almost none of my friends have ventured into these alternatives, nor are they likely to, so it is still the best way to keep aware of what they are up to and stay in touch. I haven’t decide about my Instagram account. I barely use it anymore which is sad because I was a very early adopter of it.

As the year came to a close I managed to watch 23 Christmas movies, my thing at Christmas. And last night I made my mother-in-law a scrumptious fondue per her request. Accompanied by a bottle of Champagne. We were all in bed well before midnight, but then I haven’t stayed up for the New Year for a number of years.


I don’t do resolutions anymore. I do aspirations. Things I aspire to do, accomplish, whatever.

Artistically, I aspire to make this the year of making books of my work. Little chap books, as I like to refer to them because of their abbreviated nature and poetic intent. I have a number of themes in the cue. I also aspire to move my production and distribution of art work into the gift, or sacred economy. This is an approach in which the work is offered up as gift. To family and friends without expectation of return, to interested individuals at whatever cost works for them. In exchange, they can give me something they have made, or make a contribution of whatever amount of money it is worth to them. I will still produce limited edition prints and publications and support the limited editions I have already begun. But, I will develop art product that is not limited in edition and can be had by anyone. There is a lot of fleshing out to do with this system, but I am excited to experiment with it.

I aspire to read more this year. And take notes. And to share what I read thoughtfully. I have a lot of unread books on my Kindle. My aspiration is to have read them all by the end of the year, or read far enough into them to know I am not interested.

When I buy a hard copy of a book I aspire to pass it on to someone I think will value it and ask them to do the same when they are done. I will take notes as I need to and when I want to refer back to the book or re-read it, I will borrow it from the library.

I aspire to make greater use of the public library.

I aspire to continue to be present for my wife, family and friends. To enjoy them as much as possible and help them when they are in need of it.

I aspire to write more and share more on Micro.blog, pictures, micro posts, long form posts. I really want to deliver a set of Notes On Attention Paid.

I aspire to pay more attention to our garden, growing food, making it a nice place to be.

I aspire to do more to fix up our humble house. To honor it. To be a good steward of the property.

I aspire to work on connecting to my friends and community. To engage in gift or sacred exchange as much as possible.

I aspire to letting go of the things we own, but rarely or never use, by finding new homes for them whenever possible. We have so much clutter.

I aspire to support the artists and musicians I know personally in whatever way I can. Going to their shows. Making money contributions when I can. Buying their work when I can.

I aspire to pay off our (relatively minimal) debts and to develop a good cash flow cushion. I want to save for things I want or trips and not borrow unless it is to do major work on the house or purchase a big ticket item, like a car.

I aspire to visit my mother, sister and brother sometime this year.

I aspire to plan and execute more adventures for me, my wife and my dogs. I really want to do some camping this year. I really want to get out and see more of what’s around me. We had some success in doing that the past year. I want it to continue into the new year.