3 AM – the hour of the Rabbit

3 AM and I’m sure I’ve done the dumbest thing ever. I had woken up feeling cold and immediately started thinking.

That night I had invited a bunch of people over. I had been wanting to do this all year. With so many things shut down, and so much suspicion of one another, I’d wanted to gather people and remember the beautiful artistic things in the world.

I’d finally chosen a date and invited all the people I could think of to join. I figured we’d read from my favorite Shakespeare Play ( “As you like it”) and I would invite people to share their own poems or anything they might have created. I was nervous and exited.

Until the day
Until 3 AM

Until I woke up in a cold sweat sure that I had made the biggest mistake, and wrecked everything. All the people I’d invited would be so repulsed that they would never speak to me again. I had sabotaged me life with this idea.

In his book The War of Art, Stephen Pressfield names this irrational terror I was experiencing. It is The Resistance. A deep primal human instinct rooted in the need to survive.

Duck. Stay in the shadow. Keep your head down.

Don’t be the one to stand out.

That’s a good policy for rabbits and other prey.

I will never be fully rid of the rabbit inside of me. And I’m never going to be free of the desire to do and try new things. That’s where The Resistance comes in. It’s scary to do step out of the familiar into greater excellence. In fact, it can be outright terrifying.

In the light of the morning, I was still nervous. But I had a little more perspective. I made room for the fear and made the arty party come together. I was clumsy and disorganized because of that fear, but I did it anyway.

And in the actual event, everyone enjoyed themselves. It was a tiny little gathering, and it did exactly everything I hoped it would.

I felt the fear and did it anyway. I took one step in the direction I wanted to go. I was awkward, messy and a little incoherent. But I still did it.

And I remember: that’s what beautiful things consist of:

At least the beautiful things that I make are like that. And without those, nothing would be made. I’m happy with my clumsy mess. It’s better than being a rabbit.


It’s been a tough two years. My life does not look like it did back at the start. It feels like little piles of rubble that I have to walk around or dig through to find what I used to take for granted.

Can I rebuild yet?

Hold that. Rewind. I don’t wait for permission to get what I need. Not anymore. I will get things back to working order. For me.

I’m not the first to live in the wreckage of what used to be. Lots of people walk around and through ruins. Needs must be served.

Things that once were can be made anew.

It’s time to start building. I’ve done it before.

The good news is, I don’t have to do it alone. As hard as it is to believe, there really are people who can help. There are people who want to help.

It was in my acting Improv classes I learned how to trust other people who were there with me. I’d been writing my stories alone for a long time. It turns out to be a lot more interesting—not to mention more fun—if other people pitch in.

I am a people. I came to build a scene. And there, on that practice stage, other people came to build too. We looked at each other—Can we do this? Shall we try? I had the desire but not much else to start with.

‘Bring a brick’ they taught us. Speak up. Say something that gets things started. Maybe it will be a mistake. But we are all in this together, and someone has to start it. Make a decision. Make a big choice

“This way!” I can say. The other guy might take it in a different direction than I imagined, but if we stay in the action together it keeps moving and it becomes real.

I need it to be real. I need the help. I know things can be fixed. We can rebuild it better than before.

I’m going to start.

That’s the Law

Things are always moving towards chaos. It’s a law.

Not just a law from a government, it’s a science law. Like Gravity. It is not appealable. It is as solid and inevitable as fate.

I know my life has felt like chaos during for the last two years. But this law in its proper language doesn’t call it chaos. It’s called entropy.

I just encountered that word in Flow—Csikszentmihalyi used the term “psychic entropy.” What a combination of words! It sounds like a name for a super villain. But the term is used to describe negative mental efforts—a chaotic state of mind.

To be more specific, the opposite of psychic entropy is controlled attention. The ugly head of a pandemic has captured my attention. It seemed to control my attention in a way that was hard to escape.

But it did not add to my life. Flow put a definition to this “If one chooses a trivial goal, success in it does not provide enjoyment.” The goal of getting through a pandemic alive is a very trivial goal. The kind of experience I’m trying to get back into—what is called flow experiences— “are just as real as being hungry, or as concrete as bumping into a wall. There is nothing mysterious of mystical about them…the self that is part of it expands its boundaries and becomes more complex than it had been” (pg 65)

I am hungry for this expanding soul. And I am running into the wall of entropy. Devolution. I really want to grow.

But I can change the direction of the entropy. I can take the psychic energy at my disposal and shift it towards expansion. I’m supposed to be complicated and I love it.

This stupid narrowing of all attention on one topic squeezes me out of my interestingness and enjoyment in life.

I did not come here to go small and rigid. This life is too rich to shrink


Walking in nature, in a forest or the desert, there is a beautiful balance apparent. The sun on the leaves are food for the the trees so they grow. The leaves in their turn fall and drop, feeding the insects in the earth below. The brittle dead leaves become fresh dirt through the process.

Butterflies, birds, bees, mammals and lizards all have their place. And I find my place when I walk among them.

There are cycles in the balance. Thing sprout, grow, bloom and die.

Sometimes disaster strikes and everything dies at once.

When I was a kid in Alaska, the flower most common, that was an everywhere flower, kept us company all through summer. It sprouted and bloomed and went to fluffy seed and then summer was over.

It was called fireweed. The story I heard is that this flower was tough, and it could survive very harsh conditions.

That’s probably why it did so well in the short-sun North.

But other, kinder environment had this flower too. After a fire swept through a forest all plants are dead. Blackened trees and scorched earth left behind.

Until the next rain. Then the plant pioneer would march up from the decimation. The cycle of rebirth would continue in stalks of purple flowers.

During the last two years I’ve had five jobs. Seems like a lot of disaster maybe. Somehow though, beauty has emerged every time.

Rebirth is what life does. It is subtle when the rebirth is in the midst of thrumming life. The tragedy of a consuming destruction is more dramatic.

And the beauty of the green leaves and delicate flowers growing on the black field is unforgettable.

This. This is the resilience of the balance. The cycle will go on. The seeds of our rebirth have been there all the time.