Freedom

If you have ever been to a sawmill like the one I used to run, you have seen one of the most fearsome objects you are ever likely to meet: a saw blade at least three feet in diameter with teeth as big as a tiger’s whirring loudly just a couple feet from the operator.Continue reading “Freedom”

What Drag Queens Can Teach You About Your Feelings

The most feminine people I know are men who dress up and call themselves drag queens. The fact they can do that so convincingly, calls into question the notion of femininity and masculinity. According to Judith Butler in her book, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, gender is constructed by repeated performance ofContinue reading “What Drag Queens Can Teach You About Your Feelings”

Cabin Fever: How Compulsion Feels from the Inside

I used to live in a cabin, so I should be an expert on cabin fever. At age nineteen, I emigrated to western New York to live on a remote piece of land, a quarter mile from the nearest neighbor and built that cabin. They didn’t plow my dirt road, so I’d be snowed inContinue reading “Cabin Fever: How Compulsion Feels from the Inside”

Your Emotional Immune System

There are germs everywhere; but most of the time, you don’t get sick because of your physical immune system, consisting of everything from the tough hide of your skin, to the snotty mucus of your nose; the white cells of your blood, to your ability to sneeze and vomit all the bad stuff out ofContinue reading “Your Emotional Immune System”

A Bad Mood

A bad mood is when your feelings get stuck in a terrible place and you can’t change them, no matter what. You’ve been in the doldrums for weeks, sad and depressed, even though you have nothing to be sad and depressed about, except for being sad and depressed. How do you shake that feeling andContinue reading “A Bad Mood”

Grudge

Suppose you’re angry on Tuesday because someone stole from you on Monday. On Wednesday that person returned what he stole, compensated you for the inconvenience, apologized, and credibly promised never to do it again. If you’re still angry on Thursday, you are said to be holding a grudge. Plenty of people say grudges should beContinue reading “Grudge”

Ambivalence

Two heads are better than one; you get multiple perspectives. Two eyes and two ears are better than one for the same reason; plus, you get a spare. Two legs and two feet are better than one, so you don’t have to hop everywhere you go. Two hands are better than one, so you canContinue reading “Ambivalence”