They had a pet adoption near the grocery store. We don’t need another pet, yet we are hard hearted enough to enough to play with the cute doggies while they are available for petting.

While we were there, a family came by with a poodle. The volunteer referred to it as a “surrender.” They could keep the dog sand these volunteers would take the dog and find a remand the home for it.

Doggie was dumped in the pen with the other orphan dogs. My daughter was holding as many on her lap as would come in the pen.

Poodle stared into the corner. His family was gone. He didn’t know what was going on. The other dogs left him alone.

He began to growl softly. He didn’t know what was going on but he did know he didn’t like it.

“You don’t like this do you?” I said to him. “It’s ok. You will find new people.”

He was not comforted and continued to growl. I thought about how alone he must feel. What was his place in the world?

Dogs are pack animals. I thought I was help him remember he had a place.


He was not listening to me, put I insisted. I pointed at the ground, and repeated the command until his fuzzy bottom was planted on the ground.

He felt secure, because I reminded him of his place in the world. His place was in a pack.

A workshop I am taking was recommending coming up with categories for blogposts.

Oh I did not like that idea at all. I don’t Want anybodY telling me what I have to write.

Don’t fence me in! I have a topic, it’s “wonder.”

I would like to believe I am a person of infinite variety, however that is an illusion. I do more things habitually than not.

I heard an interview that Leonard Nimoy gave, in which he advised a young actor about typecasting.

After he played Spock, he said, he never lacked work. People knew what to do with him. Typecasting worked out for him.

So that little poodle, growling at the world, had an idea of what his place was. Except his family was gone and like it or not he had a new place. Clinging to false hope made him unhappy.

And so. I am going to put some categories around my posts. It will help everybody if I do.

I’ve heard it said that writing is far less about inspiration than about time spent with your butt in the seat doing the work.

Categories are another form of doing the work. It helps people know what to do with me.


We saw Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory at the theater yesterday. Not sure I’d seen the whole thing before.

On the ride home, I said to Veronica, “There is a saying “Love to hate”…Which of those bad kids did you hate the worst?”

She was quiet for a while then started muttering. “what kind of crazy saying is that? That doesn’t make any sense..”

it doesn’t. I have a sensible child.

Long day

The summer solstice was the hottest day of the year so far, into the hundreds.

First day of summer, as they say. It is the longest day, the most sunlight of any day of the year.

There is a huge fire down the road. The sun is cloaked in smoke and looks eerie.

I don’t like it. Then again there hasn’t been much I have liked this week.

I’ve been pushing myself too hard. There is a very mean person inside my head that is not satisfied with anything I do.

It’s not enough. 

It’s never enough.

Of course, I believed this voice. And got more and more uncomfortable.

This weekend the only Thing I wanted to do was escape. I mean , I wanted to accomplish all those things that voice in my head was screaming at me to DO. But rather quickly and to my own self recrimination, I devolved into binge watching Amazon prime videos.

Monday roared back with even more pressure, and I was squirming.

This was not working. How could I get out of this rut?

I’d finally recognized it as a rut. and seen my tv watching doe what it was:


And not from my life, which wasn’t that bad. From MYSELF.

If watching reruns on TV was what it took to quiet that never-satisfied voice in my head, that was exactly what I would do.

Faced with that harpy and no distraction on Monday morning, I was forced to contemplate other possibilities.

To try to come up with positive things to say and feel about myself.

Some ruts need to be abandoned posthaste.

It’s been a long day but I’m lighting a single candleholder light the end of the tunnel.

Tomorrow is another day. I’m going to bring in some mercy reinforce tsp and find a better rut.


I worked late today.

Some unexpected stuff came up, and I couldn’t put it off or it would have haunted me over the weekend.

This week has been torqed because of swimming lessons. Swimming lessons every weeknight at 610

I dont get home until 530, and it take 15 minutes to drive to the pool,

So it’s NON STOP. Work the home and no time to eat, then off to the public space of my swim-terrified kid and home and the bedtime routine and the exhaustion and repeat

so this friday, I had to stay late. Which made me too late to take Veronica swimming.

I had been keyed up all day PUSHING to get the stuff at work done.

I tried calling everyone I knew for the drive home. I kinda wanted some human company.

NO ONE answered.

Someone finally called me back as I got home, and we talked for 15 minutes. It was great.

THen I got to be alone. ALONE.

I made food. I ate it.

i watched TV

I was so grateful to be alone for once this week.

As desperate as I was to talk to someone on the road home, NOW I am desperate to be alone.

It’s like I needed shades to transition into the next phase.

Now? I am eager to be alone for a long time.

Why Wonder

I’ve been meeting some artists lately. REAL artists. Like the kind who involve themselves in galleries and stuff.

I talk about the ideas of art on this blog all the time. After all, if it’s about wonder, it must involve art.

So why do I think of these others as REAL artists?

It is pretty clear that I’ve compartmentalized art in my mind. There is HIGH art, abstract art. There is commercial art.

And there is also whatever it is that I do. I got this response from a reader some time ago:

“I do think of your newsletter/blog as art!”

At least one person thinks of this whatever-this-is as art.

I’ve certainly protected its right to exist in exactly the form it has taken. In my blog, and my books, I’ve utterly rejected other people’s control. This blog is what I make it. My books are my voice, and none other’s.

That’s why I have never offered my books to publishers. I refuse to give up control of my voice and my vision. Every bit of this is my product.

For those who have read The Russian American School of Tomorrow, you know that I was raised to reject my impressions and conclusions. I laid down my own voice at the feet of a constructed God.

After I escaped that world, the repressed bomb of me detonated.

The words of Scarlett O’Hara come to mind “As God is my witness…they’re not going to lick me. I’m going to live through this and when it’s all over, I’ll never be hungry again.”

Hungry is the right word. Starved to a skeleton for the food of myself, I had to start with my words.

Out of the formless void that my life had become, I demanded:

Let there be light!

Where else could light be found but from my voice? My voice was all I had. My words.

I couldn’t let anybody else take them. They were too fragile. I’d worked too hard to trust anyone else with them.

Never again.

I strung words together, and more words together. I scratched some out. I made more.

Words and whatever else I could find.

If I had demanded light, my writing is a great part of what brought it to me.

Almost immediately I wanted more. I wanted to share this light.

If I’d looked in wonder at something, and took the time to see something new, I benefited. The wonder of the world increased.

So let’s take the bushel off this light. There is a reason not to hide it.

Those real artist friends have challenged me to define why I do what I do.

My first feral response of “Because I must!” was insufficient.

What is all this for? It is not enough to write for myself alone.

I need to share this. I need you, readers.

And I will presumptuously claim, you need me.

This whatever-it-is is art. I transport myself when I make it. And when I share it, I bring you along.

Your world is not the same after I’ve gotten involved.

Do you feel my finger tapping on your chest? I mean you.

Your world is impacted by my art.

My art is impacted by your involvement.

I’m grateful for your participation. It makes this effort worthwhile.

With my vision and my words, I make something new. I will share it with you and we are both better for it.

That’s a very good reason to keep making new art.


When I started this blog 14 years ago. Chris had told me about this new thing called web log, shortened to “blog.”

there were platforms for it, you didn’t have to code your own page (which intimidated me.)

I was intrigued. I decided I would do it if the right name were available on Blogger


It was! So I started.

And it’s been going.

I kinda meant it to be like a superhero…Wonder Woman

And yet it was perfect in many ways. It has perfectly evolved to be about wonder, the verb.

I like to wonder. And every post on this blog is the acto f me wondering about something through the medium of writing.

It’s more fun to wonder. I think most people prefer to examine their life and wonder at it.

Then again, maybe some don’t.

I guess the people who don’t enjoy wondering about life are not going to enjoy this blog.

This is not a blog of listicles.

I don’t work that way.

For my wonder tribe, thats just fine.

Last year there was a heat wave

Last year there was a heat wave.

I was working at my 3rd job in 12 months, and it was hot.

More importantly, the air conditioning had gone out. And the office was so so hot.

I had bought an orchid for the office. I figured it would be nice for people to look at, and it would be a topic of conversation if one was needed.

It would also be a sympathetic magic object. I wanted to have life and beauty and growth in this new job. The orchid had those things, so perhaps would I.

People commented frequently on how long the orchid lasted.

It had bloomed beautifully for 8 weeks when the air conditioning broke.

but after three days of 100+ degrees of heat, a flower dropped.

I knew that this job was not going well. My boss invented reasons to ridicule me, and to prevent me from getting the information I needed to do the work she had assigned me.

So, after I had finished a phone call with a client, and stood in front of the fan for a moment, I looked over at the dropped flower. Some of the other staff were also standing in front of the fan, and they once more remarked on how long the orchid had lasted and asked my secret.

As we talked, the boss came out.

“What are you doing?”

I was surprised at her tone. “We were checking out the plant.”

“What are you DOING?”

All the other staff scattered.

“Well, I had finished helping Client X with the problem we discussed earlier, and I was taking a break in front of the fan.”

“What are you doing?”

I tilted my head. She repeated, “Do you understand what I mean? What are you doing?”

She turned back to her office.

I was hollowed and undressed with this treatment. I followed her to her office. “I don’t understand. Is there something you need to tell me?”

“I am asking you. What are you doing?”

I stood looking straight in her eyes.

Then I walked back to my cube.

I thought about quitting. I thought that perhaps I should just walk about.

I thought about what this job was, and what I hoped to do. I knew I could do it.

I thought about all the reasons this boss didn’t want me to do it.

I decided to stay.

I waited two hours, then I went and talked to her.

“After what you said to me earlier, I am wondering if I should be here.”

“Well, that is something to consider.”

We talked further and came to a ceasefire.

And I still wanted with all my heart to do that thing I had been hired to do.

She fired me. Right after I made the first prototype of the system I was supposed to create.

Not because the system was bad (I KNEW it was awesome!).

But because she said “You don’t fit here.”

My orchid lasted longer in that workplace than I did.

Banging My Head

I blew it. At least, that’s what my boss was telling me. I sure felt like I blew it.

Maybe I did. Things had gone off track, that’s for sure.

I was used to this feeling, like a pair of old pants. Slide them on, smooth as that, no struggle and I was sure I had screwed the pooch.

I couldn’t fix it. We couldn’t go back in time. So I sat in my stinky pants feeling terrible.

I didn’t want to feel terrible. I halfway tried to find people who would help me feel better.

It wasn’t until I was driving home that I remembered:

Bosses make mistakes too. All the time.

Amy Cuddy’s book Presence talks about how we imagine the people who have more responsibility. That the higher up the org chart, the more stress, and the harder they work. We imagine that it is very hard, and we begrudge their superior pay and benefits less.

In reality, people who have more responsibility actually have less stress.

Because people who are confident–that special cocktail of testosterone, cortisol and moxie–they are more confident and less concerned about pleasing.

I spent years beating myself over mistakes. What if I just stopped?

I could shed it. I could decide to allow myself a huge number of mistakes, as many as it took, to do what needed to be done.

And maybe what needs to be done is to become a different person. To shed this perfectionist skin and emerge entirely different.

You know you snakes shed their skin? By beating their heads against a rock to rough and loosen it up.

I’ve been beating my head against an immovable object. Maybe I’m finally ready to slough off these scales and re-emerge.

Mistakes are my friend. I’m gonna see how that works out.


Someone described our connections to our cell phones as addict behavior

We sleep with them, we always a want them close to us, they are the first and last things we do in our day.

The cell phone…or its other name a computer…is not itself the charge, the draw. It’s all that connection and information.

Were we always addicted to that? I think we are wired to be addicted to connection.

great weekend

I was totally focussed on exciting things this weekend, long term things I was looking forward to.

That made for a really good mood.

Then I got dread-ish on Sunday night.


So I took it seriously. I spend years of expanding sunday night dread. It got to the point of the sunday night dread lasting all week.


SO I decided to think about all the things I was going to do right, instead of the things i might do wrong.

it helped.