Untethered Dog

A Commonplace By Tom Swift


When I ask [Bruce] Springsteen about his childhood, he tells me, “There was the house — and then there was what was happening in the kitchen. And when you went into the kitchen, the force of what was going on there was intimidating. But you had to deal with it. So the kitchen became freighted with meaning and danger. It was a dark, quiet place. The air was thick. So thick. Like swimming through dark molasses. You had to make your way through and make your way out — without disturbing, or creating too much attention toward yourself.”

I tell him I find it interesting that he smashed that silence with rock ’n’ roll. A joyful noise.

“When I was a child, and into my teens, I felt like a very, very empty vessel. And it wasn’t until I began to fill it up with music that I began to feel my own personal power and my impact on my friends and the small world that I was in. I began to get some sense of myself. But it came out of a place of real emptiness.” He pauses. “I made music for that kitchen. Go to Nebraska and listen to it. But I also made music for my mother’s part of the house, which was quite joyful and bright.” He locks his eyes on me. “You have to put together a person from all the stuff that you’ve been handed.”

-Michael Hainey, “Beneath the Surface of Bruce Springsteen,” Esquire, November 27, 2018


You never get there. Nobody does. You become more of yourself as time passes by. … In the arc of your life, there are so many places where you reach milestones that add to your authenticity and your presentation of who you really are. But I find myself still struggling just for obvious things that I should’ve had under my belt a long time ago. You know, when I get in those places where I’m not doing so well, I lose track of who I am. … The only thing in life that’s sure is: If you think you’ve got it, you don’t have it!

-Bruce Springsteen, as told to Michael Hainey, “Beneath the Surface of Bruce Springsteen,” Esquire, November 27, 2018



Fall down seven times, get up eight.

-Japanese proverb


Every man dies. Not every man lives.

-William Wallace


They do not love that do not show their love.

-William Shakespeare


The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.

-Eleanor Roosevelt


If you make a mistake today, it’s an excellent omen — a sign that you’re really going for it. You deserve a little credit for that, right? Maybe even a non-ironic pat on the back.

-Holiday Mathis, Horoscope, StarTribune, 10-09-2018


Art is never finished, only abandoned.

-Leonardo da Vinci


Life has many ways of testing a person’s will — either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once.

-Paulo Coelho


There is a need for people knowing about their shadow, because there must be somebody who does not project. They ought to be in a visible position where they would be expected to project and unexpectedly they do not project! They can thus set a visible example which would not be seen if they were invisible.

-Carl Jung, The Essential Jung (1983)