Kurt Bell

A life of courage, joy and independence.



I can’t believe I’m facing down a year apart from my family. I’m pretty good at making lemonade from lemons but geez…I’m starting to run out of lemons.


The best experiences of my life were the falls I’ve never recovered from.


We seek the distraction
Of employment
And consumption


I prefer a mundane 9-5
Give me drudgery
And inefficiency
The reality of millions
Billions, perhaps
A grounding firm and real
Amidst our common struggle
And burden
Pushing together
An otherwise immovable


I wish I had the courage to live a more deliberate life. Fronting facts without qualification. Accepting consequence and blame earned of both accident and folly. And ever vigil to the once and approaching night.


One of the things I admire about Japanese adults is their ability to simply “grin and bear it” (sometimes literally) through times of difficulty which might have me whining and complaining like a two year old. I’m working to improve this part of my character though it’s a bit tough as we Westerners often believe it’s a better thing to vent and “get it out” (serenity now…insanity later) rather than hold it all in. The Japanese have their own ways of venting though on balance I believe they carry more internal frustration than most from the West can tolerate. In researching this topic I’ve discovered that we in the West do indeed have our own tradition of unflinching fortitude in the face of adversity. Leave it to the ancient Greeks to have formalized a school of thought now represented in the English word “stoic.” Though there are some aspects of this lifestyle which do not suit me I’m nevertheless hoping to develop more of this trait into my own character for the benefit of my family and coworkers as well as to help enhance the coming era of curmudgeonry I so dearly anticipate and hope to enjoy.

“Get off my lawn you whippersnappers!” (shaking cane)


I haven’t the courage of a weed
Such honest resolve
Steadfast will
In perfect allegiance
With nature’s genius


I refer to my place of employment as the Gymnasium of Equanimity. After four days off I’m in need of a workout.


Preparation is such an inhibition to spontaneity. I’d truly rather fall flat on my face than miss a chance by way of readiness.


Getting ready is such a hassle. I’d sometimes rather enter the fray with just my wits and a reasoned acceptance of consequence.


I’m reading the journal of a Roman emperor who complains of going to work like a haggard 9-5 office worker. I guess our issues remain largely the same across millennia and in every strata of society.


Early morning checkout at the supermarket a week before Christmas and it’s just me and a lone checker. Her smile hides some obvious pain, and as I offer to help with the bagging she apologies and tells me of her long night in the ER with her daughter, and how she’s not quite herself at the start of her dawn shift. The challenges we all face are relentless and without regard for timing of even any sense of the holidays. My personal wish and endeavor this season is to keep this thought foremost in my mind with everyone I meet. And to look past any exterior window dressing to offer a sincere and honest smile and expression of well wishes, whatever the holidays may bring.


My conscience
And teeters
Seeking equilibrium
Upon a fulcrum of will

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