Winter’s Dark Secret: Change is Coming

It’s that time of year again. After months of leafless trees, grey skies and short, lightless days, the earth is weeks away from bursting forth in bloom, but it’s not here…yet anyway. These final weeks of winter are honestly the hardest days of the year for me. At the depths of earth’s dormancey, we can look towards the rebirth and regeneration that spring brings, but each day past Valentine’s day seems like overstaying an invitation in an unwelcoming host. Through holidays and birthdays (and even the few anticipated snow storms), winter seems to harmlessly sweep by for months without inflicting any harm, but it’s end is like an awaited period to a sentence that that should have ended long ago or like the loneliness of “last call” long after the music and crowds and fun have left the room empty and lonely. Seasons set pace for our expectation of change….

Die Empty: A Mantra for Life

At a conference this week, I had the good fortune to hear Todd Henry, author of The Accidental Creative, give a talk Be a Laser, Not a Lighthouse. The ninety minutes were chock full of great advice, but Todd shared one of his own mantras that stuck out to me: “Die Empty.” We avoid death like, well, the plague. More than not wanting to die ourselves, our culture doesn’t like to discuss death or even see others that are grieving death. For example, after my father died in the winter of 2010, I had a friend tell me only three weeks later that I had grieved long enough and needed to pull myself together. Nevertheless, chances are good that we will all walk through that gate–as Todd said, “the probability is hovering right around 100%.” Throughout our lives, we dream universes of opportunity and spend our days acting them out….

Seasons Change

Whether you find yourselves at the peaks of the mountain, the depths of the valley or even trudging somewhere in between, one thing is certain, change will come. When I was much younger and smarter, I realized that like the physical world, the human experience is always moving in and out of seasons. In fact, at the time I imagined that I would need a daily reminder of this, and I memorialized this belief symbolically in my wedding ring. I had a jeweler create this ring with four sides surrounding a circle representing the continuity of life surrounded by the different seasons life will take. Since that time, we have moved to several homes, worked at different jobs, watched life spring forth with the birth of our children and watch life slip away. Despite my best efforts to make the high points last forever, they slip away. Fortunately, with the…


At the depth of Winter’s dark dormancy, a spark–a glimmer of hope, the return of life. Quietly, without fanfare, bud’s blossom bursts. In a forest of lifeless branches, a single sign of promise. This beacon of hope springs. As if telling the cold forest wood that again summer’s soft green covering will return. Without subtlety or conformance, the bud explodes color into its lifeless surrounding. We are alive!


The cool air hit like the kiss of an estranged lover At attention, neck hairs rose and fell This creeping, elliptical tingle Tinged with anticipation and sadness Announcing with  sensual overload the end of hated heat (whose shadows cast fondly with warm whisper) Welcome old friend.

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I consume a number of audiobooks, but how do you retain all of the content? Here are a few tips that I use to improve comprehension and use of audiobooks.

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