A. Staggering toward mindfulness. (With five words left over!)
A. Everyday mindfulness.
A. I have a Buddhist prayer tacked up on my wall: May all sentient beings have happiness and the causes of happiness. May all sentient beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering. May all sentient beings never be separated from the happiness that knows no suffering. May all sentient beings abide in equanimity, free from attachment and anger that hold some close and others distant. In truth, I have no idea what perfect happiness is or whether it's possible to attain. But if it is possible, I suspect that these four aspirations point the way to it.
A. I have a primal fear of earthquakes.
A. I would love so much to return to Beijing. Although I wouldn't complain about waking up in Rome.
A. Henry David Thoreau
A. Nelson Mandela
A. "On a certain level..."
A. Not having continued to study music formally after high school
A. A photographic memory...is that a "talent?"
A. Making myself into a good-enough father to my two sons.
A. I am more afraid of my fellow human beings than I need to be.
A. An ability to accept others non-judgmentally.
A. I wish I could be John Linnell of They Might Be Giants.
A. Tristram Shandy
A. Satan in Paradise Lost
A. I would love to be able to sit down and have a conversation with Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon religion in which I was raised. He's one of the most enigmatic characters in American history. To non-believers he's nothing more than a charlatan; to believers he's a genuine prophet of God. Personally, I don't think that he was either a prophet or a mere charlatan. I want to know (it's a psychotherapist's question) how he held himself in his own mind. I would be so curious to know whether he was capable of authentically reporting his own experience, or whether he was caught up in performing the role that he had created for himself that he could no longer escape from its confines. I suspect that it would be an exceptionally aggravating conversation, but I would love to have it anyway. If nothing else, it might help me fulfill my long-held fantasy of writing an opera about his life.
A. Noise! I'm ridiculously sound-sensitive. I constantly dream about ways to re-capture control of my sound environment.
A. Composing and playing music, followed closely by fly-fishing and cooking.
A. I've often wished I could work the early morning shift in a bakery.
A. Authenticity, honesty, compassion.
A. Chinese steamed sea-bass with ginger and scallions.
A. At this particular moment: "Boys and Girls in America" by The Hold Steady, "Coyote" by Joni Mitchell, "Salvese Quien Pueda" by Juana Molina, "Ana Ng" by They Might Be Giants, and "Hide and Seek" by Imogen Heap.