Untethered Dog

An Online Notebook by Tom Swift

Observations

World Wide Web

There are aspects of life that do not suit your nature but with which you must negotiate in any case. In such circumstances, do not succumb to your frustration; do not seek answers just to end your dis-ease. So what if the task would be no great shakes to someone else! That an endeavor challenges […]

COVID Winter

Now is the time to learn anew who you are. To write and reflect. To ask yourself good questions. The sort of questions you would ask a good friend. All contentment is available when you forego externals. To grasp is a form of fighting yourself. You will, you must, admit defeat. Your happiness is up […]

Leaves — So Many Leaves

You are subpar at tending to the yard-work. Yet it feels good to do it anyway.

First Steps

The first thing you do when you wake is important. The instinct is to move slowly into (or back to) the day. Instead, write right off. Go directly to the gym first thing. Walk. Prepare. Do not be anxious yet do act with purpose. What you do first sets a tone for all that follows.

To Start Again

Remember how long you have been deferring these things, and how many times you have been granted further grace by the gods, and yet you have failed to make use of it. But it is now high time that you realized what kind of universe this is of which you form a part, and from […]

Acceptance

There are times during the day, such as when the sun is high in the sky, when you are liable to slip into sloth. There is little means to avoid this. Do not despair. Yet there is strength in playing the hand you’re dealt rather than folding your cards. Choose wisely. If you do not […]

Purpose

It is pretty simple: if you do not pursue your purpose you will get sick and you will be tired and you will feel uninspired. You will covet externals. You will become easily irked. You will look to others for answers. For escape. You will be passive. Purpose = oxygen.

Action is Character

You feel like a writer when you do writerly things. It doesn’t take long to forget who you are.

Ease

See that black bird on high. There, above the tallest tree, against the blue forever, well beyond the orange brown leaves that fall at your feet. His wings outstretched, he glides this way. Then that way. And back again. He works not at all. He has no place he needs to be. He has nothing […]

Wider View

Yet my peace has been disturbed by a fuller awareness that one of our two major political parties is — at best — indifferent to democracy.

People Are Hurting

Of course, I do not know the answers to these questions.

Of course, it is not in my power to answer these questions for anyone else.

BYOB: Bring Your Own Ball

Given all that is going on in the world — we’re six months into a pandemic that our country doesn’t have the political will or direction to control, California is on fire, the rest of the Earth is also warming, we’re overrun by lawlessness and reckless ambivalence in Washington, D.C., and that’s just for starters — and from that standpoint this bowling ball bag seemed to be not just from another century but from another country.

Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner

The other day I, um, watched “Dirty Dancing.”
Yes — the whole movie. Of course, the original. What kind of question is that? The only version that should be allowed by law. The one with Swayze. And Jennifer Grey’s old nose.

Awareness

But then you press your more weathered nose against another window and see your reflection. While you were not fooled before — while you are not, in fact, where you once were, you aren’t as formed as you thought when you felt so mighty as to smear at yourself.

(Not Exactly) The Only Thing We Have to Fear

It is one thing to learn that a cause or candidate or specific piece of legislation you believe in has not or will not advance. It is another thing altogether when the principles around which your country operates comes into doubt.

Of course, I am one person. I have modest means. I have minuscule power. What can I do?

The election is, of course, outside my control.
Shall I then throw up my hands and hope for the best?

As meager as my efforts may be in the grand scheme, it seems important to focus on what I can do.

Do the Work

Not feeling well? Hurting? Frustrated? Angsty? The cure might well be not in meditating or journaling or lighting incense and trying to become one with the universe but rather in just rolling up the proverbial shirtsleeves and doing the work.

Tassels and Plywood

He stood tall in full cap and gown. He smiled. A camera would, no doubt, soon be aimed in his direction. Maybe more than one. Family had gathered. Hands were around his shoulders. They were on the front step of a house on 42nd Avenue. I saw his carefully combed hair and intuited from the […]

Quarantine Crankiness

I go along thinking shelter-in-place hasn’t affected me much. For every adverse effect, I can find a positive. For every downside, I can see an upside. As one who is neither sick nor unemployed, it is, frankly, hard to muster a complaint. With so many in true duress, I am, by comparison, fortunate. No doubt. […]

Things Related and (Maybe) Not

My car battery is dying. My electric tooth brush is dying. Both still can still take a charge but neither can hold it very long. Come to think of it, this weekend I had to replace the battery in my kitchen clock. I have noticed of late, too, that my phone battery drains noticeably faster […]

It’s About What You Expected

Everyone has an opinion about Mondays. Love ’em (some) or loathe ’em (most). Wednesday has it own nickname. Hump Day. It’s maybe not the sort of nickname you wish for when you’re a kid on the playground. And, as an adult, it might keep first dates at arm’s length. But, hey — it’s better than […]