108 // Brainstorms

Some days are for work, some are for rest, and some days fall somewhere in between. Today was one of those in-between kinda days. A day for planning, upkeep, and the small to-dos. Things that are just as important but too often overlooked and undervalued.

What I mean to say is, today wasn’t a good writing day. I wanted it to be since I ended up getting out of some work duties I’d been dreading but when I finally got my butt in the chair, I couldn’t do it. I didn’t even really try to be honest. All I wanted to do was behind-the-scenes blog things and fill a notebook page or two with ideas to explore when my mind was ready.

In those small goals, I was productive, and that is something.


These entries are inspired by Thord D. Hedengren

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107 // There Is No Longer a Threat

This is a first in all my years working for a school district. Schools were closed district-wide, and metro area-wide, for a “credible threat”. A woman came all the way from Florida with, authorities believed, the intention of doing our children, our colleagues, and our counterparts in neighboring districts too.

She’s dead now but there are a lot of unanswered questions left behind. There are always unanswered questions left and all of them the same—why?

We’ll return to work tomorrow and though the authorities and the media assure us there is no longer a threat, in my heart the threat is still very real. It has been for a very long time. I know compared to those working in the schools I’m relatively safe, but I’m not just afraid for me. I’m afraid for us all.

The 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre is in just a few short days and there were rumors this woman had friends or supporters here and that they were going to help her to do…whatever it was she planned to do. We’re assured this isn’t true but what if there is something the authorities don’t know?

I hate that this is the reality of the world now. I hate that our schools are no longer safe places. I hate that killing children is a way for people to enact their revenge and to make their mark on history. I hate the fear most of all.

When will we ever get to move on?

When will the threat finally cease?


These entries are inspired by Thord D. Hedengren

106 // I Simply Could Not

I woke up late, unrested, and with a nasty headache. If either of those setbacks had occurred on their own, I’d have been able to overcome it and make it into work, but when they all occur together, I simply cannot gather myself, get ahead of myself, and rally for the victory over myself.

So, I stayed home. I slept in the morning and in the afternoon—after I was properly rested and had beaten back the pain with a couple doses of naproxen—I spent the day cleaning and working through the current courses I’m taking. I wish I had done more writing and reading but every day can’t be for everything, not even days that are mine alone.

Tomorrow I’ll have to face what I left behind today: the work, the writing, and the reading. I just hope I can do it on time, with energy, enthusiasm, and a clear mind.


These entries are inspired by Thord D. Hedengren

105 // An Exponential Loss

It shocked me to walk through the lounge at work today and see the terrible image of the Notre-Dame Cathedral engulfed in flames on TV. I’m no fan of religion but the church was, and certainly will still be, a marvel of human art and architecture. I am deeply saddened by the devastation and the loss that the building sustained.

Losses like these are shared among all of us, the whole human race. And when I say all I don’t just mean us who are living right now, us who are witnessing this terrible tragedy, but future generations who will never get to see the world and the past as we did. They’ve lost something too and through that lens, the devastation grows exponentially.

I myself never got to see the Cathedral and I’ll forever be sorry about that. I won’t get to experience it in the same way as those who came before me.

I’ve seen some mixed reactions to the burning Cathedral and rather than feeling one way or another I’m simply taking in the perspective and contemplating.

Being non-religious allows me to see this incident and this place in a more detached manner. I can see the lopsided response to this church burning and others. I can see the lopsided reaction to tragedies in some countries and the tragedies of others. I can sympathize with the bitterness and the outrage and I implore everyone to include this understanding in their grieving.


These entries are inspired by Thord D. Hedengren

104 // The Heart Remembers Longer

Today stands in stark contrast to yesterday. Today was not a perfect day. It wasn’t really even a good day though it had its moments and picked up toward the end. It was a lonely day full of small stinging pricks and old pains resurfacing. A low rage smoldered and self-pity hang about my mind like dreary rain clouds. 

Tonight I’ll fall asleep with a smile on my face and a feeling of content in my limbs but my heart will be hard and heavy. It remembers longer than the body or the mind you know.


These entries are inspired by Thord D. Hedengren

103 // My Perfect Day

Today is my birthday. It’s the first day of my 34th year on this Earth and in this life. Today is my perfect day.

We woke up at the perfect time, not so early that I felt groggy or grouchy, and not so late that I felt rushed or panicked. We ate breakfast burritos with spicy salsa and watched political shows and after my girlfriend and I cozied up on the couch for a nap while the snow fell, even the pets joined us.

We woke up and got ready for the day. I took a long hot shower and left knowing we’d have plenty of time to spend where we were going. By then the snow had picked up, and the temperature continued to drop which was disappointing. Snow, for me, is not perfect birthday weather. I lamented my spring birth by cheered as we pulled up to our destination, The Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

We toured an exhibit on the senses and got our monies worth and more from the fascinating and quite comprehensive Leonardo da Vinci exhibit. We found the Native American tribe’s exhibit and browsed the North American wildlife we’d missed on our last visit. We ended with a quick trip through my favorite area: rocks and minerals. It’s so boring I never force anyone to walk it with me unless it’s my day and I know I’m allowed some small entitlements.

We left and went for a lunch of pepperoni pizza and bought everything we needed for the perfect dinner: king crab legs, roasted artichokes, shrimp and Parmesan pasta, and plenty of butter, lemon, and garlic to cover all, oh, and a bottle of sweet Riesling to wash it all down.

We cooked together and played our favorite old love songs. We sang, and danced, and kissed throughout the kitchen and when the cooking was done we feasted right there at the island making a mess of it all.

After dinner, there was coconut ice cream with strong coffee poured over top. We watched Guava Island and then Starship Troopers for the 100th time.

It’s after midnight now. I stayed up until the very end not wanting to miss or waste a single moment of my day. It was perfect, as every birthday I have had for the last 17 years or so now has been, though each in their own way. Some are rowdy, drunken affairs, and some are like this one, quiet, reflective, simple.

I love them all and cannot wait until the next.


These entries are inspired by Thord D. Hedengren

102 // Happy Birthday Eve to Me

It’s my last day being 33 and for the first time, I feel the Eve of my born day deserves reflection and remark.

I liked 33. It was a good year. Though it had its difficulties, its setbacks, and failures, it was a year where I felt most me. I felt freer from my past and more connected to my future than ever before. I felt older, but not old. I felt sure and content and good.

I don’t know what 34 will bring. I don’t like to plan for the age the way I do for the year. I don’t want to make all aspects of my life, my seasons and cycles, into ones measured by pure productivity alone. Birthdays aren’t celebrations of what you accomplished, the are celebrations of your coming into existence and living against odds too narrow to even imagine.

This year, and every year going forward, for my birthday I just want to be grateful that I am here and to hope with all my heart to continue to be so for at least one more trip around the sun.

“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar


These entries are inspired by Thord D. Hedengren