There was a script?

I’m pretty sure there was no script. If there was a script, I definitely never saw it. In the very early days, there was for my part a lot of, “why?” Why, why, why, but seriously, why? There was a prolonged period of, “what if…” and a long list of things that got tried. (We jumped ATVs over people. Just sayin’.) Then there was a too-long period where I realized that when I multiplied my power of agency by my charisma I could achieve much mischief; never quite Evil per se, but rather than get myself into trouble I realized it was fun to get others to get us all into trouble. (I was aiming for “get themselves into trouble” but I usually missed that mark.)

Gaining agency is gaining the capacity to do something differently from, or in addition to, the events that simply happen to you. Most famous people go off-script early, usually in more than one way.

~ Simon Sarris from,

You know that stupid question, “if you could get a message to your younger self, would you and what would you say?” I think I finally—51.5 years on!—have a message which I definitely would send back to myself: “Make more decisions; don’t often go with the first idea you have.” Whether it was mental or physical or who-knows-what, I was too often fast out of the blocks at the sound of the starter’s pistol. But too rarely did I consider if I even wanted to be in the race. I was crawling, and one day I stood up and ran (according to my mom, and apparently saying “why? why? why? why?”) so I’m confident I had the agency thing sorted. But what was I seeking? To where was I running? And really, maybe just right here in this moment is sort of nice, no?


Nameless joys

That particular experience—abundant warmth and dryness with dampness at the fringes, and a well-earned touch of fatigue—is exactly the same feeling I had as a kid every time I came in from playing in the snow. It still summons images of snowball fights, toboggan rides, and the ribbon of exposed grass you make when you roll up a snowman-ball.

~ David Cain from

Anybody else feel like looking back at all the ones I can think of seems almost inappropriately decadent? The more I thought about it, the more I came up with, until I started to think, “maybe I should become monastic for at least a short while, since I seem to have been gorging myself on joy.”

haha no

More seriously, his idea of the intersection—a Venn diagram as he put it—of place, time, and culture leading to unique moments of joy, is a succinct description of what I love about traveling; I’m not trying to escape from “here,” but rather I’m trying to see what’s outside my normally tiny Venn diagram.