Dear Hope Nation, It’s Friday and I’m going to use that as an excuse to rub some feathers the wrong way. All it takes is a few sentences. Beginning . . . Now: I hate the 60’s, or at least the music of the 60’s. I’m 62 years old, and started listening to the radio … Continue reading The Ones I Like Best
Dear Hope Nation, Today’s letter will be shorter than normal. As it happens, I am chair of a commission to build a monument to honor people in recovery and to memorialize people who have died of addictions. Senator David Watters of Dover was the driving force behind this effort, and he deserves all the credit. … Continue reading What do you think?
Dear Hope Nation, Please remember to breathe. When you do, you’re doing yourself good. Although it’s been a long time since I got my gentleman’s D- minus in high school biology, I seem to remember respiration being one of those things that contribute to staying alive, along with getting enough sleep and eating Flintstone’s vitamins. … Continue reading Don’t Forget to Breathe
Dear Hope Nation, Writers should write what they know is an old truism, one I often don’t follow, not because I’m trying to be contrary—although I probably am—but because I don’t know a lot of stuff. I mean, my brain is filled with facts and factoids, trivia and twice-told tales, but of real knowledgs it’s pretty empty. … Continue reading Baseball and Recovery — Sort Of
Ocean’s Depth January 25, 2021 Dear Hope Nation, As is often the case, I’m willing to embrace a metaphor without fully understanding the original image. In rhetoric, metaphors have two parts, the tenor (the subject of the metaphor) and the vehicle (the thing the tenor is compared to). For example, in the sentence: As a … Continue reading What Lies Beneath the Current
Dear Hope Nation, Saturday was the first day of a music group at Hope. Not a musical group like The Four Tops, The Four Seasons or Three Dog Night, but a music group, which will ultimately lead to music, but the first meeting was more talking. One of the first questions asked was, “What is your relationship … Continue reading My Relationship To Music
Dear Hope Nation, This afternoon at 2, I’ll be part of the birth of a renaissance. I hope. And, yes, I know “birth of a renaissance” means birth of a rebirth, which sounds like I’m starting a new cult. I’m not. The music meeting is at 2, and I know I’ll see many of you … Continue reading Self Interview II
Dear Hope Nation, I have a simple love of poetry—I like what I like and I ignore what I don’t. For instance, I like A.E. Housman way more than any other straight American male I’ve ever met. His plangent tone brings actual tears to my eyes, although they’ve never moistened my face. To most contemporary … Continue reading Mocking My Betters
I’m excited, and you should be too. Really. This Saturday at 2 pm you’re invited to be part of something big, something bold and something that matters. You have the opportunity to express who you are. Before I continue, let me give you the Zoom address: Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84988260894?pwd=OC93UkdhZlBvcmhWaUJwT3FsdndSZz09 Saturday at 2 pm, Matt … Continue reading Dear Hope Nation,
Dear Hope Nation, I am an American. Today is a holiday, although not one that involves gifts or candy or days off work. Before the pandemic, it did involve parades of a sort, or at least large crowds. Today’s quadrennial celebration will be different in appearance, but not in substance. On Inauguration Day we don’t simply recognize … Continue reading Inauguration Day
Dear Hope Nation, Reading books is dangerous, and I recommend against it. When I read—and here I mean real, challenging books, not just novels or history which take up most of my time—I’m forced to confront new ideas. New ideas are always dangerous, and I recommend against them. Introduced to new ideas, because I’m cursed … Continue reading Ideas Are Dangerous Things
Dear Hope Nation, Happy Birthday, Dr. King! Happy Dr. King’s Birthday to everyone else! Every few weeks, these letters consist of quotes from people wiser than I on topics deeper than my understanding. Luckily, neither is difficult to find. In honor of today’s holiday, here are some meaningful quotes on peace: “When I say it’s … Continue reading “Do your little bit of good where you are”
Dear Hope Nation, I don’t know what your recovery looks like, and, unless you want to tell me about it, it’s really none of my business. My role, and the role of all recovery coaches, is to support your journey no matter what path you’ve chosen. If that path’s not working for you, or if … Continue reading If You Say So
Dear Hope Nation, I was in a meeting yesterday where the topic of drugs, particularly methamphetamines, came up. (I’m in meetings every day where the topic of drugs comes up.) One of the speakers talked about the necessity of closing our country’s borders and going after Mexican cartels to reduce the supply. Those may or … Continue reading Economics
January 15, 2021 Dear Hope Nation, Hope is a lot of things. Today, I want to talk about two of them. Before anyone accuses me of playing favorites because of any particular ability or interest on my part, let me explain a few things. If the topic were ping-pong, one might have a case. At … Continue reading Art and Music
Dear Hope Nation, Before the pandemic, I really liked to travel. While I’ve written extensively about a couple trips to England, my favorite geography to visit is desert. I’m not a big God guy, but I will say I feel closest to my best self when I’m wandering the desert, whether Californian, Arizonan, Nevadan or, … Continue reading Malagasy Proverbs
Dear Hope Nation, Don’t ask me why but I’ve gotten a fair number of messages asking for more fiction. My theory is folks can only take so much Keith. They need characters who are younger and more interesting than I, and who can blame them? The piece below needs a little introduction. Clayton is 15 … Continue reading Pops and AA
Dear Hope Nation, I’ve spent a lot of time in various recovery meetings over the years. Thus, I’ve heard a lot of explanations for the source, the cause, the genesis of addiction. For example, many folks believe in a genetic marker for addiction. The person prone to addiction has a gene switch that will be … Continue reading What Television Taught Me
Dear Hope Nation, COVID-19 Vaccine update: It seems to have led to exhaustion and a need for excessive sleep. Inadequate (due to sleepiness?) lab notes follow. Lab Notes It’s early Monday morning as I write this. That last sentence is a lie except in a relative way, because it’s almost 9 am and I’m just … Continue reading Lab notes from my search for sleep
Dear Hope Nation, Elections have consequences. Although I don’t talk about it a lot these days, I am a veteran. For four years I served my country, primarily with the 8th Infantry Division in Bad Kreuznach, Germany. Although to younger readers this may sound as distant as the sinking of the battleship Maine in Cuba, the … Continue reading Elections Have Consequences
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