Return, return, return, return…Breakthrough Tip for the week of 5/22/17

Return to Writing Because

It’s always the same after you’ve been gone. You can’t find your way back in. Some heavy door has shut behind you and locked itself. You have the key. You always have the key. The thing is even when you unlock the darn thing it’s heavy as fuck to open back up. You pull at the handle, but it doesn’t budge. You admit that you’re not giving it your all. You yank at it to tell yourself you’re really committed when the truth is you’re scared shitless. You’ve forget what’s in there. Your mind starts crafting stories about all the terrible failures and almosts lurking in the inky shadows. You forget that you can switch the light on at any time and see the shine of what’s inside you coming alive on the blank page, glowing with no other purpose than simply because.  —Samantha Wallen

Samantha Wallen is:  “Founder/CEO @WriteInPower, poet, writer, book coach, social justice disciple, steam-punk time traveler tending to where value, core wounds, and brilliance meet.

I found her when I was doing anything I could to not open the seemingly twenty ton door that was my journal cover.  “You yank at it to tell yourself you’re really committed when the truth is you’re scared shitless.” How could a woman I never met know me so well?

I’ve opened the door – or more likely, the door has opened. I suggest that you check out Samantha Wallen and her wisdom. Then, tell us what you have found about yours.


And here is Jacqueline Kehoe. Are there any phone booths left?

I’m sure there are, literally. Little cornflower blue dots on highways, always dusty, always smelling like coffee stewed in urine. At least, that’s how I remember them. I’ve no idea why. I haven’t seen a phone booth in years. The only one I can remember from my childhood was outside the mall. Why are malls so communist-looking? Maybe they all aren’t, but mine sure was. Like a phone booth outside Chernobyl. Might as well be the same.

But you’re not asking about literal phone booths — though they might as well be one in the same anymore. You’re asking me about spots the “mainstream media” hasn’t hijacked. Spots they haven’t defiled, shit on, etched with lipstick, vomited on, trampled, or otherwise destroyed by exhaling carbon dioxide and eating away at the fibers of time with their finger oils. Are there any of those spots left?

Well, there’s got to be. I have to believe there’s got to be, but there’s also got to be. Like the Piraha tribe in the Amazon River basin, with helicopters swooping miles overhead so as to not be cause for alarm, kind of thing. Like the new street-turned-reservoir where I met two young boys ready to stiff me and tell me they love me, ready to usher me past the water for the chump change of $30. I guarantee you no one’s found the shack they live in. If one day they were to decide to up and leave, to usher themselves beyond the water, no one would ever find it again. Find in the sense that a thing can be found, and not just seen.
But also in the sense that the Earth is changing. Talking, breathing, lately screaming. Like the cenozoic lakes of Idaho, all dried up and leaving behind alligators. Like the weeks Lake Missoula spent flooding her limbs. Hell, like Detroit. One day, I pray — God, do I pray — that the toast cafes of San Francisco will dry up just like Lake Uinta. Small business, my ass.
Like a broken record, Mary. There will always be more phone booths, they just might be urine-stained and reeking of Folger’s Breakfast Blend (not the hazelnut kind; that’s far too bougey for a phone booth). Should we find them? Should we seek out the Piraha, the Vietnamese shacks?
Not on purpose. I think therein lies the difference. Should you stumble upon a phone booth, it’s a cause for celebration! It’s like the gates of St. Peter opened up and shone down upon your lucky ass in a state of heavenly karma. That phone booth is yours. Now, should you happen to tell others about it…do so with great trepidation. Would Han Solo hand over the reins to Leia? Would Kirk happily keel over for Spock? Maybe, but not without thought. Unless he were William Shatner, and in which case, fuck, Mary. Fuck.
I’m on a plane to Amsterdam right now. This is something you would never do. Ailsa makes eyeliner out of almonds. Fuck, Mary! I take planes and I definitely don’t make my eyeliner out of almonds. And you know what? Part of me doesn’t give a shit. I don’t even like almonds. I wish I did. In theory, at least. Then maybe I’d be more likely to make my own eyeliner.

This feels vaguely Holden Caulfield-esque, and I have to say, I was hoping I had mentally matured beyond that level. It could be the sequestration of this plane, the cramped quarters, the mental non-sequiturs trying every nook and cranny to find a way out. The blood is already pooling in my ankles, which has got to be one of my least favorite feelings. I am voluntarily numbing my own ass and filling my stomach with microwaved vegetarian lasagna. All in the quest of being interesting and sating my own curiosity.

Have I talked to you about my psychological obsession with the reasons why we travel? I wrote an article on it for The Plaid Zebra, but it’s kind of shitty, so I’m not sharing it with you. Ha! The crux of it is that there’s a new generation that travels because they’re insecure, afraid, etc etc etc ad nauseum. I say “new” loosely — surely this manifested itself in previous generations, just different ways due to new-fangled technology. Like now, and how I’m writing to you at 36,000 feet in the air, in orbit around our screaming planet.




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