John Michael

Life Is a Sweet, Tender Bruise LXVII: My Definition of Success

John Michael’s column Life Is a Sweet, Tender Bruise ponders life and people. In “My Definition of Success,” he talks about meditation through painting, and success.    When I first started painting, it was never about concentration. It was about getting color out there and keeping my fingers moving fast enough to keep my ... Read the full article
John Michael

Hello, good people. I am rarely sure how to describe myself. If I say I am a Christian, many things may arise in your mind that ain't necessarily so. I was homeless for seven years and learned more about myself in that stretch of time than in any other segment of my life. I read the Bible a lot out there and came across a passage in Proverbs that has shaped my approach to life: "A man's pursuit is his kindness." I am well educated with a Master of Social Work degree and have worked a wide variety of jobs in my 52 years. None have lasted too long however. When I was homeless, the beauty of Texas wildflowers made me decide to want to live again. Along with kindness, beauty, play, and self-expression are life-guiding ideas. My shadow contains things like feeling sorry for myself, a truckload of defiance, a desperate need to please women, and no small amount of cruelty. A quote from Luke also has had a lasting effect on me: "For God is kind to the ungrateful and the evil." When I read that I thought, "Hell, I have got a fighting chance." I am here to tell you, you have a fighting chance as well. Besides Christianity, practicing Buddhist and Shamanic techniques inform my relationship to God and the world.

Risen Apes: Pot of Gold

S.M. Park’s column Risen Apes about being a 70-year-old boomer. In “Pot of Gold,” Park talks about frugality, storytelling in public, and Greyhound buses.

National Day of Mourning

Weeks preceding National Day of Mourning brought even more examples, to pile on top of myriad others, of the inequity on which this country was built.

Angel Boy and Reenie

Adam Strong writes in his latest essay about his thirty days at Charter Rivers Hospital that included electroshock therapy, and his relationships with Angel Boy and Reenie.

The Last Leg of a Critical Race: An Agony in Eight Fits

Sean Davis continues his Dispatches From the Apocalypse series with a new essay about Kyle Rittenhouse and his trial, and the frenzy around Critical Race Theory. 

Risen Apes: Comfort Zone

S.M. Park’s column Risen Apes about being a 70-year-old boomer. In “Comfort Zone,” Park talks about how best to inhale pot, and stints at state institutions over the years.