Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Living Free

You can make excuses for how to live or you can live.

I choose to live. It's often people disagree with my choice and quite often I remind them that it's not theirs to make. 

I wanted to be angry, last month or the month before that, when an old friend tells me that I'm imprisoned and literally the only way out is to write. It's amusing because I do write, but it's not freedom according to him, because it's everything I don't want to write. Yet I am writing so I must be free. 

We claim to be free but are we? 

I know my friend thinks he is right and I'm not free. 

"So, it's easy... just write a way out." he says. 

This is out. This is freedom. Why doesn't it feel liberating to do as he demands?

Nothing you force yourself to do is freedom. 

Freedom is an illusion. 

Yet everyone loves an illusion. 

It’s an illusion that my friend has in their mind thinking about how or why I am doing or rather not doing. 

It’s not silence or guilt... it is living, just simply living, that has created this impasse between writing what it is necessary as opposed to what I want. It isn’t a prison but I am not free in the way that his illusion needs me to be. 

Use your mind not your reaction and you’ll see there is nothing more than your imagination that you’ve let run wild.

This is something I wrote about pointing fingers...

Do you live your life or focus on how others live theirs? 


Kisses, m.


He says this word pointing his finger telling me where and when it needs to change without using any other words. 
I like when he uses words. But he’s not using them this time. 
No explanation. No request made. 
This time I’m supposed to know what’s happening with the shift of his wrist. 
One finger pointed at me. Three pointed back at him. 
All three fingers are telling him what he wants to tell me. 
I wish he would simply tell me. Ask me. Treat me like a person who he said he once cared for. 
I don’t like this. This is like walking in the dark where these actions we make aren’t any clearer. 

 He says when I tell him I can’t see any clearer than before.
Before all this when I said something to him and no one else. 
No one that mattered when I said those words for only him. They still won’t matter if I tell him again. 
Because he won’t hear my words and everyone who isn’t him can still hear them. 
They’ll listen. They’ll hear all the things he’ll never take in because he’s afraid.
And he'll use my words for him against me because he’s afraid and wants to hurt me.
Hurt and facing those who think my words are without logic.
It isn’t about them. It isn’t clearer. 

He says softly before lowering his hand.
I listen and wait for his words that have yet to come. 
Knowing full well if there’s a chance, I continue to listen.
I listen and hope that they don’t mistake their words for his and my words for them. 
Words aren’t as powerful as his actions. 
Actions that calmly tell me all I need to know before he says it once more quietly.


Saturday, September 12, 2020

Say Something

You say it best when you say nothing at all... Actions are quite often the best way to make a statement. Sometimes our actions aren't saying anything at all though. Sometimes I don't charge my phone or reply to that text before falling asleep. It’s careless but not intended to mean anything. Other times I'm really overbooked and have to cancel plans or forget to cancel plans. It’s not saying anything other than I’m probably not planning my day better when it happens. How about you? 

It's been a while for design and writing although it was not meant to be. I'd never put much energy into the timing of sharing stories or worrying about the mental health of anyone that read or interpreted my work but this year definitely had me pause before posting. Even the thought of Dream Homes or interior design this year seemed quite insensitive when so many are struggling to make their rent or mortgage.  Being aware of other people and the world changes one's perspective.. So while I wanted to share some writing, I felt the timing was not right. 

Anyhoo... this is for those people that feel I needed to say something. It's not what I wanted to share with you but it is new...

Do every one of your actions say something?

Kisses, m. 


Say Something


“Why is that people always want creatives to be saying something? Or their work must instantly be controversial?” 

When I say it, I know it was the wrong thing to say, because the young reporter instantly looks like she wants to jump back inside of her skin to hide. Her face turns sour followed by a long pause of silence that gets awkward about fifteen seconds in. Folding my hands, I offer her a lifeline. 

“Suzy, let’s move on, I’m working on a story about a…”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to strike a chord with the great D. Randall … but let’s stay with this. Is it okay if I call you D. or do you prefer Darlin?" 

"Darlin is fine but you'll still call me D." I say with a laugh as she nods but continues on scribbling shorthand notes as if she wasn't really asking so much as telling. With bit of snark I continue, “All acquaintances, fans and journalists call me D., even after I tell them to call me Darlin.”

"Uh-huh,” she’s mostly ignored what I’ve said and puts her pen down, “Now let's continue," she smiles, adjusts her recorder and pauses before starting in again, "Isn’t the juxtaposition of your characters in Leaf + Tree saying something about…?” 

“Look, it’s just a story. It’s lightness. I’m a writer and… I’m trying to keep my work light. I’ve moved away from…” I can feel myself getting nervous and starting to be defensive. 

“The darkness.” She finishes my sentence. “I read the transcript of the unreleased podcast piece for Marigolds and Make Believe with Shosh you did a few months ago before you released Leaf + Tree.”

“How did you…?” 

“Get it? Shosh is a friend from school. I chatted with him and he wouldn’t let me hear it, but… anyway this is how I started the piece on you. I was intrigued about your departure from the darker elements in your writing and the Great Pause.”

I exhale a deep breath to keep from laughing because she’s half lying about Shosh. He has a decade plus on her and she was his former student. I only took the interview because she’s his current sidepiece and I owe him a favor. 

“Actually, I was going to say: How did you like it?” I’m more concerned that she’s about to start questioning my absence than her lying. Since the release of Leaf + Tree, every journalist segues into asking about my hiatus from writing. This so-called Great Pause as the fans labeled it, as if it was a performative piece making a silent statement about the current state of the world. When it’s nothing like that it all. I didn’t even pause; I just didn’t give myself to the world. I still wrote and there was still darkness. However, the fans, they took it as a great sign that I was symbolically protesting civil unrest in the world and used it as a platform for their movement. 

“Can you comment on the social impact of your Great Pause or… let me guess, you weren’t saying anything at all?” 

“I truly am moved by it, but I can’t speak to the impact of my absence. Leaf + Tree has been out for a few months now so I’m no longer on pause. What do you make of the consequences of my hiatus?” 

“Are you really going to treat me the same as every other journalist? How can you say something significant in your work and backpedal your actions? Your last work, Days//Ages was about the power of stillness in the connection of society. What is the explanation for the parallels and timing of your hiatus?”

“Do you think you are special because you know Shosh? Did he tell you what happened? Let me guess… he didn’t. What do you think this so-called Great Pause really symbolizes?”

“I can only guess its significance is explained through the controversial nature of the sub-plot that binds your characters in Leaf +Tree. It further builds upon the theme in your last book and speaks to the very nature of humanity, our collective identity and how people relate to each other.”

“Hahaha,” I can’t stop myself from laughing at her. “Shosh redacted parts of the transcript, didn’t he? You thought you’d uncover this great truth by coming here for an interview.”

“You’re just going to blow smoke and try to pretend you aren’t saying something. It’s pure spinelessness to pretend you… I’m proud to read your work because it stands for something.”

“Fuck Days//Ages. Fuck Leaf + Tree. Take them off the table for a moment.”

"Is FUCK off the record or on the record?” 

“You decide what you want to say when we’re done. Now get Shosh on the phone. On speaker.”

I get up, walk to the window, and open it. Next to the window seat, Shosh left me a package of CBD gummies. I sit and eat one. 

 “Shosh is on the line,” she waves her phone from across the room. 

“Shosh, can you hear me?” I raise my voice but not enough to yell.

“Yes, Darlin! Go ahead.” 

“Tell her about the Great Pause the same way I told you.”

“Are you sure?” I can hear the anxiousness in his voice. 

“Go ahead; you can even play her the podcast when she gets back to your place.”

“Suzy, I love you and we can talk about this when you come by later.” He hesitates but continues gently, “Suzy, there was no pause or silence. She has work but it’s been released under a pseudonym.” 

After he says it, she’s quiet. Slowly her face pales and twists in thought, but she remains still. 

“Thanks, Shosh!” I say to break the silence. 

“I’ll catch up with you later Darlin!” Shosh hollers and then laughs as he hangs up. 

“But I stopped recording!” she wails and pauses. After a few moments, she composes herself and quietly continues, “D., I just wanted the truth.”

“I get that. Oh, but now, you have the truth. All creatives create your so-called controversy.” 

“I don’t understand. You’re a phony! A fraud!” 

“Actually, you see, fans like you, perpetuated this legend of silence, this make-believe performative piece and iconic debate because you needed something to stand on to support your reason for pursuing social action. I didn’t create it, I just went along with it, instead of working under my name. You have to understand, being a reclusive voice of great social impact happens to sell a lot of books.”

“You don’t care.”  

“I do care. I think I cared too much. Or I would have ended this sooner.” I scold her. As I watch her eyes fill with tears, I calm my voice. “I am glad my work speaks to so many, affects and inspires people to live louder and stronger but I’m just a writer. Sometimes I’m not saying anything at all. Sometimes I am.” 

“Now what do I do? What’s the plan?” She bawls and looks like the fragile late 20-something woman that she is, rather than the confident journalist trying to be Woodward and Bernstein, like she saw Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford playing on the silver screen.

“Well, you can go ahead, publish the truth destroying this mass delusion and ruin the social movement built around my hiatus or, like my friend Shosh, refrain from saying something. Now, do you want to say something?”



Monday, May 25, 2020

Aele House by Nameless Architecture

Barbie would love to know that everyone is exactly on the path they are meant to be, however she also knows this isn’t the case for many. She also knows that they will learn this lesson in time on their own or continue to cycle through familiar mistakes until they do. Nonetheless it is wonderful when a dreamhouse is quite different from others and on its own.

Aele House by Nameless Architecture 

Located in South Korea, the architecture and design of this home was determined by its location in the landscape. Three of the plot edges are surrounded by forest, evocative of a primitive, native land. To reflect this aesthetic the building elements were made with in-situ concrete to capture the essence, this included leaving mars in the construction, as commentary of the nature and the evolution of a space.The interior space connects organically, without a corridor. Each of the rooms is sized at 3.6 meters by 3.6 meters; excluding the bathroom and kitchen, all rooms can be used flexibly — adaptable to the needs of the inhabitants.

Would you want to find your path in this dreamhouse? 
Barbie would!
Kisses, m. 

Monday, March 2, 2020

Hiatus House by Tongue & Groove

Barbie loves to get away from it all but rarely does she get a real hiatus. She loves that her favorite Ken and Dolls can keep themselves occupied while she’s preoccupied. Here’s a dream house made for going on hiatus... 

The Hiatus House by Tongue & Groove

This minimalist gem design by Tongue & Groove boats an open floor plan that utilizes space and is aesthetic  beautiful. The space can easily accommodate up to four people for entertaining and is fully furnished with a living room that converts for sleeping, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. 

Would you go on hiatus in this home?
Barbie would!
Kisses, m.  

Wednesday, February 26, 2020


Hiatus. Taking a break or pressing pause on one part of your life means you are on hiatus. Once I forced myself to take a year off from blogging but did not stop writing, photographing or drawing. There is probably still more unpublished work in that year than anything I had written prior.

Currently, I am still creative but I have put blogging on pause and intermittently been using social media. It has been a long unplanned pause. It definitely was unplanned. Let us get this in the open: I did not take a break, hit pause or go on hiatus for mental or physical health issues. I am all right and did not step back intentionally. However, my life required that I prioritize my daily responsibilities differently to deal with circumstances beyond my control.

This has kept me away from friends, sometimes checking in with friends and oh, so many things I was accustomed to being a part of my routine. I take many blessings for granted that I am involved with and there are many people that I miss seeing. Sometimes you have to accept that the universe has other plans and let it all happen… so I let go and paused. There was no force, it was just quiet and felt completely natural to focus on other things.

This has all been weird because it is hard to be restrictive with my life. Typically, I am transparent with myself; I reach out, pester and cannot help myself when it comes to people in my life.

Tbh, I cannot say I will or will not be posting regularly again, but I am not on a hiatus and the plan is just to go with the flow. It has been very Zen. Highly recommend taking breaks from all the unnecessary things you think you need to do. 

Do you ever take social media breaks? On purpose? Here is an old story that is a bit dark from the D Men about a person that wanted to get away from his life and someone gave him exactly what he wanted. 



Kisses, m.




Jackson Slater you’re an irrelevant bastard. You are going straight to hell. And no one will notice you’re gone.” says Haller Thomson.

Those are the final words Haller has chosen before we leave the shore. I keep telling myself this isn’t happening but that doesn’t change the circumstances at all. I can’t quite place the location of the boat with my eyes blindfolded. But north of the docks is as good as any guess.

What you have to understand is that I pretty much deserve to be in this position. A position that I created for myself. Although I wouldn’t have admitted it before now. Which is about 15 minutes after I should have admitted it.

I wasn’t particularly a great man or a man of character. On the whole I was a terribly shallow man with a talent for avoiding the obvious. Avoiding was a brilliant art that I mastered; especially when it came to people.  People can be so incredibly co-dependent that you might say avoiding them helps them. One might say I wrote the chapter on avoidance and I would have corrected them by handing them an autographed copy of the book.

My own sense of vanity ran deeper than any river. The great Jackson Slater renowned for his looks. And I was. My personal routine involved several hours a day before many mirrors in a grooming ritual that would make a cat’s look amateur. For the most part I had lived my entire life pretending that nothing was happening around me. I hadn’t worried about such things.

And I couldn’t be more wrong. There was plenty happening all around me, I just didn’t care about it. Besides everything went away if you threw enough money at the problem.  And if it didn’t, ignoring it often worked for me.

Jackson, I want you to know this isn’t about the money. It’s a matter of my word. My integrity. I promised to come through on my end of things.” Haller tells me softly as the boat shimmies a little faster.

Unlike most people I was hardly the kind of fellow to be drawn in. As a matter of my own personal character I felt it was my duty to be exactly the opposite. I’m the type of man who would fervently deny that a building was on fire to save myself the trouble of becoming involved. It meant caring and that would not do. People want a piece of you and then that is one less piece you have for yourself.

And lack of involvement is exactly where I find myself this windy April evening.  Somewhere in the bay I’m free of the mask and looking at the man…

Haller Thomson came into my life exactly the same way a freight train mows down your car when the engine stalls on the tracks. With the fury of an uncontainable beast, Haller came forth. And it wasn’t something I could have seen coming before it happened. It wasn’t money that he was after when he came. It was so much more.

A man with an offer only a shallow man wouldn’t refuse…

If you help me, I will help you. Give a little of this for a little of that. And I went along for it. Including the part where I had planned to double-cross the man. Because I only thought of what he could offer me.  

Except it never works out the way we plan.

Plan? I bet the great Jackson Slater wants to know. Don’t you? Well, Jack I don’t have a plan. Except for tying you up and gagging you. That. That’s a plan. Don’t struggle. We’re almost there.”

Haller wanted someone to help with a situation. It was a matter of vanity; as any man can attest to his own level of vanity. Haller was a bit different. He was concerned and wanted no more than a bit of help becoming more involved with others despite his own shortcomings.

You see, Haller wasn’t a good looking man. In fact, you might call him unattractive after he’s left the room. And for what it’s worth, I thought I did him a favor after I pocketed most of his money. At the time I thought there was nothing I could have done to draw flies to that level of hideous. But I did what I thought worked best… for me.

Haller took a new name, a new lifestyle, and a new set of bills thanks to me. He lived and breathed my routine of shallow and I gladly introduced him to the right people at the right places. And with a little less than luck he fell right into it. Haller took to it like a fish takes to toxic waste waters and grows a third eye. It wasn’t a gradual mutation either. Overnight there was a new fresh uninvolved man and it wasn’t me.

Haller began to see me, the great Jackson Slater as direct competition to his new persona. A person with an agenda that no longer matched his own. You have to wonder where the struggle began. Exactly right after he decided that he could do it without me. And for a lot cheaper. Once he realized I was taking him for a pretty penny, Haller Thomson decided that it was time to fulfill his end of things.

An eye for an eye.

And what was my request? I was tired of all that was happening around me. I wanted to escape from all of it; being Jackson Slater with the people, their nonsense, and their involvement. I simply asked this man to help to put me in a place where I would never have to deal with these kinds of situations ever again. And now much to my dismay, Haller is holding up his end of the arrangement.

Jackson, it’s been fun. Now… get off my boat.” With the bottom of his boot, Haller shoves me out into the dark water. Despite what I expect, I don’t sink. As his tiny boat moves away from me, I watch without control as the cold water splashes against me.

This isn’t exactly the escape I’d hope for but I didn’t specify when I asked. I only wanted out.

Now I am.

Completely out. Out to sea. Adrift. Letting the waves wash over me.

Careful what you ask for. Even now as I sink slowly and my eyes watch the emergency buoy float further away from me I know that pretending that nothing else exists will be the thing that seals my fate. Because not one person will notice. I was so busy avoiding it all that it wouldn’t make any difference.