Untethered Dog

An Online Journal


Let the world come to you.

No, this is not passive.

Be you. Do you. Inch ever closer to your best you.

These steps will cause you to cross paths with the people and things you need.

You don’t have to wander off into the dark woods, hoping you will stumble upon these people, these things.

It is enough to walk through the world as you can and as you do.

Words Change the World

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

-Abraham Lincoln, “Gettysburg Address” (1863)

Never think you must say much.

Never forget the importance words. The power of words.

Be moved.

Let words stir you.

Honor the gift.

So that possibly you may be able to move another.

Failure is Not an Option

In meditation, it is the moment you notice your mind wander where the growth occurs. You think this moment is the failure but in fact it is the victory.

At that instant when you notice is when you know you have done what the practice is for.

At that moment is where you know you have done good work.

In that spirit, do not call yourself defeated, incapable, or lacking when you observe that the effects of the original sin have been triggered. Instead, celebrate the fact that you see that has occurred.

This is no small thing, this observation.

This, in fact, is, too, where the growth comes.

Do not run away but rather lean in.

See the weight you have lifted.

You think you have done what you can but what a gift to find — to be presented — with a new way to improve.

Truly good work old boy!

Close Encounter

It was just like that old Alfred Hitchcock silhouette. Except in this case it wasn’t an iconic storyteller but a large raccoon.

Early a.m. You and the little buddy are on the couch. First you hear the patter on the roof. Initially sounds like ice cracking. Until it doesn’t. Because whatever it is it’s moving. Now it might be on the walls. You turn. The visitor’s outline projects onto your window shade.

And it’s not still.

Could be the start of a Hitchcock production now that you think about it.

You look out the kitchen window and see the raccoon along the top of your fence. It’s dark. You are not yet into the waking day. You flash a little light to get a look.

He looks back at you. He is about eight feet away.

This is not a young raccoon. Or a small one. How he’s staying on top of your tall fence is a wonder. Spidy raccoon.

Just then he stands on his hind legs and … bows.

Did he just bow?

That looked like a bow.

Was that a bow?

Hey, you there, mister raccoon, did you just bow to me?

The raccoon pivots. You hear his feet amble along on the fence again. He goes back over the corner, from whence he came. Then down the outside. Then across the front lawn. Into what’s left of the night.

Inputs and Outputs

When you can’t write, read.

Not writing is a function of not reading.

Practice Makes Perfect Sense

Write for what it does to you.

Seek pleasure over product.

It’s you being you.

Change of Pace

The bears are onto something. Would it be nice to hibernate for these days of winter, when the cool comes through even the cupboards in your kitchen. Especially if during the human hibernation you still had access to your books. Until that day, rest as you need to. Accept that your body will go at a slower pace than usual, than you may wish, than is possible. Stay warm and carry on.

The Sound and the Fury

There is so much noise in the culture.

Like a bullhorn that blasts all manner of brilliance and buffoonery.

(Which is taking your desire for alliteration too far. But even so.)

You stick your head into the mind torrent because you think you need to.

You crave real-time connection. Even if when that connection is an illusion.

Everything is relational at the moment.

Twitter’s appeal is that it’s live. Like televised sports in that way.

You want to interact with something that is happening right now — but not just anything — something that stirs you, arouses you, summons the parts of you you most want to interact with, independent of the means.

Loneliness isn’t the absent of other. It’s not knowing when your next good conversation will occur.

Don’t wait for it.

Cool Night

How lucky to have one’s greatest obstacle be that of the weather!


Oh sun, old friend, our star, bright light, where would we be without you on these dagger-air days of sub-zero highs?