I mentioned in a previous post that I have schizophrenia. I don’t talk about it too much these days. I am a person first, and having schizophrenia is just one thing about me. But I did want to mention that I am on a drug that seems to be working well for me right now. It took me about five years to find the right medication; one that suits me and does not cause horrible side effects. I have also participated in therapy, which has been really great for me. But when it comes to my ongoing health issues and whatnot, I won’t be posting too much about that. Currently, my doctor doesn’t want me working full time, so I am not. But I try to participate in a variety of things, many of which I have posted on this blog. I know that some of my followers also have mental health issues, and I wish the best for you.
As soon as he announced he was running for president, I volunteered to do work for Bernie Sanders. I worked his help desk for a while. I knew of Sanders long before he decided to run for president. His comments and speeches as senator caught my attention. But I was wondering, who do you want for president?
I read mostly nonfiction these days, and I am a news junkie. If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll know that I keep up with the news quite a bit. You are free to follow me if you don’t already, but keep in mind that I am also a political wonk. I post many political things, and I’m a die hard Liberal. This stems from my training in philosophy, where I specialized in ethics and political philosophy.
Having said that, I also *love* nonfiction. So, I was wondering, what are you reading these days? Anything to recommend?
I thought I’d share another photo with you. This one is from the summer, when there were a lot of daisies growing beside my house.
I think being an independent artist gives one more artistic freedom. And I can reach out to my readers myself. I like that. I like knowing who reads my work. Plus, it keeps me honest. I also have my hands in many pots. I get to design things in addition to writing. I love photography. I’m getting better at it, and am saving up for a new camera. I initially got into taking pictures as a form of therapy. It soothes me to take photos, especially of nature, which is quite often my subject. I live in Florida, and I like that my work is focused locally. I am a Florida artist, and it shows.
I was going to make my own merchandise to go with my new book, but Redbubble gives me the option of making many things available to people without me making things people might not buy. I’m not big on waste. I don’t like the idea of making products no one will buy or use. With Redbubble, I can upload my artwork, and, if you like something you see, you can buy it. I encourage you to check out my store. There are many things to buy–from posters, notebooks, and prints to iPhone cases and more. Check out my store here!
There’s an interesting article I just came across about why you should read poetry. The article gives six good reasons to read poetry. Check it out!
Have you ever experienced unrequited love? I have, and that’s what my new collection of poems is about. I fell in love with someone who could not or would not love me in return. This is the first poem (I hope; haven’t listened to it yet) on my new CD. It’s called Uncatchable Birds.
I just received an email saying that my CD’s are in production. They will be shipped to me on Friday, Jan 29th. I do not know how long after that until they get to me. But, as soon as they get here, you can order a copy!
I just approved the artwork for the CD’s. It’s not going to turn out exactly the way I wanted it to, but that’s ok. It’s my first CD, and, even though I hoped everything would be perfect, it’s not, and that’s alright. I am using this picture for the cover:
The back cover will be the part that’s unusual. But that’s alright. The artwork just didn’t take to the templates. Going in, I didn’t know exactly what the templates were. I have only designed for books, so I used templates for books. But, in order to get things going, I decided to OK the project. It won’t be exactly the way I had hoped, but, again, that’s alright with me. I am selling these at such a cheap price that it shouldn’t matter.
I like audiobooks. You can listen to them in your car. In fact, one audiobook I got when I was in college was a collection of famous poets. I was a commuter, so I listened to those CD’s all the way on my drive to school. So, I think of audiobooks as easy and efficient. But, also, there’s the artistry of it. I like opening a CD and looking at the visual art involved. I tired to make the artwork for my new CD relevant to my work, but also individually engaging pieces. I think that’s that’s the way to go.
I decided to release the CD’s myself because I can control the price for you. I can offer my CD’s at a cheaper price than a publisher can. Check out my new CD, coming out soon, for $6.99!
Are there any CD’s whose art you particularly like? I think I always like Ani DiFranco’s artwork.
Longtime readers know that I have schizophrenia. It’s a horrible disease. I cannot really work because of it. My doctor doesn’t think I should be working full time right now. So I have taken to the arts; partly in order to heal, and partly because I have always loved the arts.
I have recently written two poetry books, one will be released very soon. The other is about my experience with mental illness. It will be released later; perhaps next month.
I expect some of my readers will know about mental illness, but many people do not. And many do not know the things people with mental illness go through. Not just because of their illness, but because of the kind of care we get. I am here to put a human face on the disease. We are human. We deserve the same love and respect as anyone else. If you know anyone suffering, my CD’s may be a good gift for them. Or some of my artwork at my Redbubble store.
My audiobook is coming out soon! It’s in the process of being made as we speak! Today, I thought I’d share the title poem with you. The book is called Songs That Remind Me of Philosophy, and this poem has that same title.
In addition to the store I made on this website, I also made a Redbubble store where you can buy merchandise related to my poetry audiobooks. Right now, I have stickers, posters and more, from photoshoots from two audiobooks I wrote and recorded. Check it out!
I mentioned that I love poetry (and music!). Today, I thought I’d listen to some Allen Ginsberg. Here is a poem of his; A Supermarket in California.
What kind of music do you listen to? I listen to a variety of things. There’s not one genre I like more than others. I find music inspires me. Quite frequently, you will find me listening to my iPod throughout the day. I like indie music especially. I think Ani DiFranco may be one of my favorites. If you haven’t heard of her, look her up. She’s really great.
Ever since I was about 12, I loved poetry. Everyone in my life knows this about me. I have written quite a bit, and have won awards. Recently, I picked up the pen again to write some poems. I couldn’t stop. I was on a roll. That collection will be available on my store here, which I just set up. You can look at the top of the website here, and see the new store. I already have everything set up, and you can pre-order a CD of my poetry now, if you would like.
But my real reason for writing today is I wanted to know something: Who is your favorite poet? What is your favorite poem?
I have been influenced by everyone from Allan Ginsberg to Langston Hughes. I love poetry.
I am opening a store to sell some of my work. The first thing I will be selling is a collection of poems I recorded, which I’ve posted samples of. If you are a fan of artwork, this site is for you!
It’s chilly here in Central Florida today, but not like many parts of the country, experiencing a blizzard. If you are out it that, stay safe!
I am nowhere near a professional photographer. But today I shot a few photos when I was with my dear friend, Laura. Here’s one of them. It’s called Marbles in the Sand.
I’m feeling generous today, so I am posting another poem for you to listen to and read. This is an older poem; a few months old. I wrote it after I went to the doctor.
The way you touch
My flower petal skin
Like a hammer smashing a teacup
And an inconsiderate stomp
Upon specks of fresh clover
Gets me tangled
In a sea
Of how impolite
People can be
While sitting in a waiting room.
That’s according to this article, which discusses a survey that researchers conducted, asking people about their participation in the arts and their mental well being.
I have for quite some time been participating in the arts, whether it’s creating poetry, painting, coloring, or listening to music.
Take in some art today!
I have a new poem for you to listen to! I wrote and recorded a collection of poems. This is a sample. This poem is called The Enlightenment.
Over the past few days, I have been writing poetry. I have won awards for poetry. Back in undergraduate school, I wrote frequently.
I started writing poems at the age of 13. I wrote one poem, at least, per day. As time passed, I got better and better.
I took time off from writing poetry when I was in graduate school, but I thought I’d take it back up.
It’s very interesting, how we grow as writers, as well as in other areas. I find the things I write about now are different from things I used to write.
How about you? Do you write?
Here’s an interesting TED talk about why you may want to hire “the scrapper.”
Here in Central Florida, we got our first chill of the season today. It was cool enough to wear a jacket, which is saying something in Florida. I always look forward to the chilly weather. Maybe I wouldn’t look forward to it so much if I lived somewhere else. But in Florida, we get so few chilly days, that I look forward to getting into a holiday spirit and drinking some hot chocolate.
How about you? How’s the weather were you are at? Do you look forward to chilly days?
Perhaps I shouldn’t say “favorite.” Maybe a philosopher you’ve spent a lot of time reading.
I have to say that the philosopher I spent most time reading and trying to understand is Kierkegaard. I don’t want to get into politics or religion here necessarily, but there’s no way to really understand Kierkegaard without understanding Christianity. Now, one doesn’t need to be a Christian in order to study a Christian thinker, which Kierkegaard was.
I learned about Kierkegaard for the first time in Introduction to Philosophy, where we read Fear and Trembling, and then further in an undergraduate seminar on existentialism. That seminar, taught by a Kierkegaard expert, did manage to divorce Kierkegaard from Christianity by focusing mostly on Kierkegaard’s existential ideas.
After that course, and with help from the experts at Stetson, I studied Kierkegaard on my own. He is a difficult philosopher to understand because of his various pseudonyms, editors, and the like, who are found all throughout his work.
One thing seems clear, however. Kierkegaard seems to have thought it was not possible to make an argument for the existence of God. At the time, there were many thinkers who were trying to get at some-kind-of-Truth (capital ‘T’). Kierkegaard was very much against those projects. He seems to have thought that God can only be known by faith–making a leap to faith. But leaping to faith is itself an act of faith, which Kierkegaard was well aware of. He describes this in detail in various books and essays.
Kierkegaard was also very much concerned with Christian ethics. This is something I was reading about recently, as my specialization is in ethics. Kierkegaard thought that internal devotion was as important as outward displays. In other words, “Christian acts” are not the only thing one should be doing. One should also be internally aligned with God. This is because we can act for show, or for many other reasons. Therefore, acts of love (for lack of a different term) are not sufficient for being a Christian, though they are important nonetheless. Kierkegaard heavily emphasized the individual and her relationship with God.
So acts and internal states are both necessary for being a Christian, which was one of Kierkegaard’s central problems; How to be a Christian in Christendom.
I have found much of Kierkegaard’s writing edifying. I suggest, for an edifying discourse, to read his Works of Love. And, of course, Fear and Trembling is to be read in order to grasp one way of understanding the dilemma Abraham faced when told to sacrifice Issac.
Today is World Philosophy Day. The U.N. put out a statement regarding the celebration of this day.
I studied philosophy for several years, and still keep active in the field by being on the editorial committee of an academic journal.
I remember my first philosophy professor, Dr. Rob Brady, at Stetson. He was a dear man, and I recall him saying, “There is nothing beyond philosophy.”
He said this when we were discussing the definition of philosophy, which is an endeavor itself.
But I remember thinking that, if philosophy encompasses everything, that’s the major for me! And, it’s true, there is a philosophy of everything.
I have been busy doing web content editing for the American Patient Rights Association. I gather content, edit content, and submit content for the new website they are building. It’s an interesting job. I get to learn all kinds of things, and brush up on my writing skills.
I started researching indigenous studies as an undergraduate. I did my senior thesis on Native American colonization. I developed some great friendships and gained excellent experience. I have written, given lectures, and invited talks on indigenous studies. I am acquainted with top scholars in the area. One of them, Steve Russell, wrote a very interesting book on the subject: Sequoyah Rising. When he was writing the book, he asked me to go over part of the manuscript. I did. I also gave him some feedback, and was credited in the acknowledgements section.
I watched this interview with Laszlo Block last night on PBS. I’m very interested in reading the book!
One of the projects I have worked on has to do with mental illness. I worked as a case manager and I found that, in my area, there were few resources available to my clients. A friend and I came up with the idea of a website that could serve as a resource for people with mental illness, their friends, family, and supporters. My brother, Jeremy, enhanced the idea. He proposed creating a social media site. We all collaborated and came up with the website A Dose of Reality.
If you are interested, you can sign up and communicate with like-minded individuals.
Recently, my neighbors and I found out that the lake we live on is now a protected environment. This happened after years of action in my community. There had been some serious development that threatened the habitat of many species there, including eagles, ospreys, and many other organisms. Kudos to my neighborhood!
A while back, I did some work with a local environmental non-profit. I did river clean-ups, managed volunteers, and, most importantly, networked with local business people. I was happy to get the chance to do this kind of work. I thought of this experience when I was looking back at some old photos of me. There are very few photos of me on the job or volunteering. But, this is one. Here I am at a river clean up, where I was thinking about how to grow the non-profit, and organize volunteers. The non-profit itself is very good, and I liked working for the Executive Director there.
It’s hard to believe that it was six years ago that I was working on the book Reading Bernard Williams. I was privileged to edit some really great essays, and gain valuable experience in editing and writing. Although the editor, Dr. Daniel Callcut, was kind enough to give me a hard-copy, I bought the e version recently and read it. The copy that Dr. Callcut gave me had an inscription in it that I keep framed.
I have traveled throughout much of central and the eastern United States. I thought it would be fun to fill out one of these maps to show where I’ve been. I’ve traveled to Washington D.C., New York, NY, Dallas, TX, and more. I made this map with amCharts. Feel free to make your own and let me know where you’ve been.
UPDATE: I just noticed that I forgot to put on my map that I’ve been to Denver, CO. Well, no matter what the map says, I have indeed been to Denver!
As many who know me know, I worked in academia for quite some time. In fact, I still do. I am on the editorial committee of an academic journal. But that’s not all. I am also on Academia.edu. This is a great site in which I can follow academic topics I am interested in. I can also follow the work of people who inspire or provoke me. I have uploaded some of my academic work there, and will do more in the future. If you are an academic, I encourage you to go to Academia.edu to see whether you would like to set up a profile. If you do, let me know. I will follow your work. I am interested in most everything.
The other day I went to Green Springs Park with a good friend of mine. We walked around, enjoyed the great weather and the nature trails.
Green Springs is aptly named. The major spring itself is, in fact, green. Here are some photos I took while I was there.
This is the main spring. As you can see, it is actually green.
Here is a stream from the spring.
And here is one of the roadways in the park.
All in all, it was a great day. I will definitely visit Green Springs again!
Two months ago, I visited Chicago. I stayed for a long weekend, and, during that time, I visited the Museum of Science and Industry, the Chicago SkyDeck, and the Art Institute of Chicago. I had a great time. All the exhibits were excellent. Below are some choice pictures.
This is the outside of the Museum of Science and Industry.
This is me in front of the nation’s only U-Boat:
And here I am in front of the Art Institute of Chicago:
Lastly, here I am at the Chicago SkyDeck:
Chicago is a wonderful place. I used the train or Metra to get everywhere I went. The Art Institute had many paintings I really, really appreciated. I took several pictures while I was there and thoroughly enjoyed my visit.
As people who know me know, I have a history of blogging. I blogged at UNF for the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, and slowly moved my work over here.
This blog will be different. I aim to post about things going on in my life. I recently went to Chicago, for example. I will post pictures from that. I also went to Green Springs with a friend. I will post photos from that trip. So, this blog will contain my life experiences so as to fit in with the other content on this site.