Thoughts About Being a Man

Thoughts About Being a Man

(Photo by Sandra Damiana Buskirk, 2011) What does it mean to be a man? We live in a confusing time in a confusing world. Is it any wonder, then, that so many of us search the rubble of old notions for clues about who we are and what sorts of people we should be? Sadly, all too many of us seem bent on creating more rubble (figurative and real) in the course of that search. This is especially true in the realm of masculinity. While both men and women have soundly rejected the SNAG (“Sensitive New Age Guy“) attempts of Read more »

Tea, the Bible, and the Marketplace

Tea, the Bible, and the Marketplace

Some time ago, a theatrical malcontent and his followers took drastic action. Enraged by the corruption of church, state and the marketplace, they attacked the merchants, trashed their goods, and occupied the temple where the marketplace had set up shop. Once there, this malcontent used that temple as a staging-ground for sermons and healing. He mocked the authorities, condemned their sins, and drew their fury against him. We know him now as Jesus Christ. Perhaps you’ve heard of Him. The tale of Jesus and the money-changers is well-known. What’s not nearly as famous, though, is His occupation of the Temple Read more »

What Virtue is Selfishness?

What Virtue is Selfishness?

You get what you pay for. Nice things cost money, but quality is worth it. Rich people understand this – better, perhaps, than anyone. And most of them are willing to pay well for quality.  Why, then, are so many people – rich and poor alike – convinced that spending money on our nation is wrong?  Where’s the disconnect between the ideas of buying quality shoes, and funding quality schools? Is it because things you buy for yourself are yours alone, while things you buy with taxes are part of your community as a whole?  And really – if it is, when Read more »

Hope is the Bravest Rebellion: Cultural PTSD and the Challenge of Our Age

Hope is the Bravest Rebellion: Cultural PTSD and the Challenge of Our Age

As we struggle to confront a range of impulses in this global revolution of ideas, we must confront above all else the idea that “Life is a war, and winner takes all.” While this isn’t a new idea, it has gained such traction in our world, in our governments, in our discourse and our minds that as non-violent protests are met with verbal, physical and philosophical bloodshed, we must look clearly at its roots. We are, always have been, and always will be a species of compassionate predators. We kill more readily, more willfully, and more consciously than perhaps any Read more »

Natural Impulses, Young Animals, Shadow Manifestations, and the Nature of Maturity

Natural Impulses, Young Animals, Shadow Manifestations, and the Nature of Maturity

As I often discuss with both my partner Sandra Buskirk, my girlfriend Coyote Ward, and our buddy Kelly Berger, the major (and fairly recent) disconnect between our animal natures and the technological world we have created in the last 2 1/2 centuries is profound. We’re going to be sorting it out for centuries, but right now it’s leading to crises on many different levels – crises that have the potential to destroy us as a species, and take a large part of the world we know with us. As a man with my own history of violence (both my own and the Read more »

Thoughts About Claiming Power

Thoughts About Claiming Power

Our world does not want us to be heroes. Heroes make folks nervous. They challenge us by standing out. While society shows us what we can buy, heroes show us what we are not. And that display makes folks profoundly uncomfortable. As a result, I believe, most people shortchange their potential and smother the hero within. First, let’s clarify what “hero” means. It does not mean “nice person.” The Greek root haeros means “to sing of,” and while the Greek heroes were so “sung of” that we remember them 2500 years later, they were not “nice people.” Quite the contrary: Theseus was a rapist, Odysseus a Read more »

Aspecting: Song of My Selves

Aspecting: Song of My Selves

Who is ”Satyr,” anyway? What do I mean when I say I’ve been “dancing with my Muse,” and why do I still enjoy roleplaying games as a pastime, art and profession after all these years? Aspecting.  I often refer to “aspecting” during various chats, posts, articles or conversations. What, though, do I mean by that term? In the practice of aspecting, a person essentially creates (or recognizes) different “aspects” of herself as individual characters. These characters may have different personality traits, skills or knowledges than the original “core” personality, and can be really helpful if and when you’re trying to understand Read more »

Why We Bleed Art

Why We Bleed Art

Originally written as a response to an artist friend of mine, this just seemed like something worth sharing on a larger scale. Enjoy! ——————————————– As I told Sooj a few months back, some of us cut ourselves to bleed Art… not because it’s fun (though it can be) or because we want to (we often have no choice) but because it’s what makes us feel alive. Like you, I’ve wished my life could be simpler. More financially secure. A life that didn’t involve tearing my skin off for an audience that could range from single digits to thousands of people Read more »