Scary! Dat’s what Art Do

Tell me about your consumering.  How is it going? Is your latest purchase delightful? Is a past one holding up swell? I am thinking about some future consumering and I am interested in talking about it now, so I can be more confident when the opportunity arises. Oh, you don’t have any recent purchasing to make small talk with? How sad. I am truly sorry. I hope your consumering returns to a frequent and active level soon, so we have things to discuss…

Hmmm… It may be just me, but I doubt it. Have you noticed how sometimes our conversations can be so centered around our purchasing life? Everyone would want to talk about their excitement over a new house or new car, sure. On a smaller level though, it seems that we’re always talking about where we chose to go buy dinner, or someplace we found for deals on tools, or gear or clothes.

There are very popular and prosperous folks on YouTube who make a living just talking about and ‘reviewing’ stuff they have bought. They show you the item, they tell you their opinions of it. They show you the product in action. I find myself watching these things, and I don’t even want the thing they are reviewing. I have no intention of buying a packable break-down survival bow, but I can tell you I have watched 2 videos on them in the last couple weeks… What!

Something is mesmerizing about purchasing. Like jumping from lilly pad to lilly pad, I spent my twenties making one fun purchase after another. I would look forward and say, yes! That next thing, is what I want to reach for on my next big purchase. I thought about it and yearned for it, over and over until I found myself hauling it home in the back of my truck. Or maybe it was signing the paperwork and driving the newer truck itself home.

This week I watched two documentaries on Netflix about artists. ‘Cutie and the Boxer’ shows struggling artists Ushio Shinohara and Noriko Shinohar. They have devoted their life to art, for half a century. Ushio has made profound works with his boxing gloves and giant canvases. Noriko now is expressing her art in deeply emotional autobiographical and even graphic cartoons. They struggle to pay rent in the movie. They live simply in an old apartment in New York. Noriko, the wife, wants to not worry about money. Ushio, the husband, just wants to make art. Art in this sense has not equaled money.

The other documentary was ‘Design is One,’ about Massimo and Lella Vignelli. This Italian couple has also been at work in the art world for over half a century. They have made a monumental impact on the printed world we live in today. They have designed iconic projects. Almost singlehandedly they introduced the typeface Helvetica to America and liberally used it to great success. This couple cares about simple solid principles of design. Watching them, they care about ‘stuff,’ but through the eye of a true artist. They certainly seem to have turned their art, their gifts, into monetary success.

Sometimes in our everyday world, here in the Midwest, in a small town, I have to look deeper and to pay close attention to notice the Art in people. Everyone is an artist. I care about the artwork you make. I care about the expressions, the liveliness, the bounce and the color in the vivid moving painting that is You. This is probably why I love being with my little nephew boys so much. They are absolutely free artists. They are all expression, all the time. Rarely are they holding back, probably only when forced to, because they have expressed a little too much and just about broken something or themselves.

Our consumering can be confused with the expression of our art. It’s not. When we pick and choose from the bajillions of choices of products out there, and combine them in our own unique way, that shows our ‘personality’ we have still just bought stuff. I have a hard time separating my combinations of consumer products from something I have ‘created,’ but really I just collected. Someday when I am dead and gone, the pile of stuff that was ‘me’ will spread out, it will go to people, and the dump. I will cease to exist in any formal way apart from being a link to future generations through children.

I could spend a lot of my life trying to acquire and ‘get’ things so that I have them. The joke would be on me, I never really ‘get’ them at all. I can hold an image in my mind that all my things are mine, but they ain’t. A tornado or fire, could have them all in almost an instant. I couldn’t hold on to them through that. So they aren’t truly mine.

A creation vs. a consumption however is something different entirely. A creation, is something that didn’t exist in this exact way, before I spent my undivided energy to make it. A creation, like this blog, or like the t-shirt designs I make at work, are things that I have made, instead of bought. Good or bad, successful or not, these things are truly mine. I won’t take 100% credit, since I think God is working through me, through this mind, these hands and the digital machine, to make this story happen on screen. Still, this set of words has only ever happened through me, through my specific point of the vast consciousness, He created.

My artwork, is something to be shared. It is only for others, besides a mild therapeutic effect. This blog probably causes as much stress on me, as it is soothing. Creations, Expressions, and Making something in this place is important. You create art. Some of it is obvious and painterly. Most of it is just in the picture of your life you have chosen to sketch for all of us to see. You have done amazing works of creation. You’ve conquered, you’ve quested, you’ve danced and you’ve adventured all through life to this amazing exact point right, Now.

We all have led such interesting stories. We’ve all made fantastic artwork. We’ve all been fueled by an almighty Creator, who designed us in his image. I hope we don’t spend the short amount of time in this place, just being fantastic Consumers. Just buying stuff, again and again, it won’t be enough. We will always want more. Living well is no sin, but only living to get more stuff is one.

I think we want stuff, because of fear. We fear that we’ll have to go without. We don’t want that.

Art is the opposite of fear. Art lets loose. Yes, it is risk. True art is ourselves not caring about the world. Sometimes, the world responds and acknowledges with rewards. Sometimes it does not. Everytime the art was worth the effort. Everytime, the expression is the importance, not the reward.


Aaron Nichols

The not wise-crack of my plumber’s nightmare

Three thick and folded throw rugs didn’t soften enough of the hard cabinet’s edge as it dug into my love handles Sunday night. I had wiggled my way deep under our new kitchen sink and I was attempting to saw apart the existing drain stack. The hacksaw blade was dull. There was no room to move. My brow sweat was dropping among the random mouse turds. I knocked over my flashlight constantly. I was not enjoying this home improvement project.

Like all the plumbing fixtures in my little house, the old sink and faucet was originally purchased near the bottom of the price and quality scale. Everything was new when I moved in, a whole plumbing system installed by the BEST. The dream team of Mr. James Carpenter and the Ray Steanson did it all. Now, after too long of letting the cheap rotten kitchen faucet leak, I was attempting to replace it.

Why not put in a new sink too, while I’m at it? Sure, can’t be that hard… Right.

Anyway, as I was under that cabinet for the umpteenth time, and was hurting and sweating and throwing my back out, I wondered why I decide to try these things…

I am cheap. Yes. If I think I can avoid paying to have something done, I will try it myself. Usually, I wait too long. I wait till the problem is almost an emergency and then start learning and researching about the skills it will take to fix it. Maybe it’s a house thing, or a car thing, or maybe something random, at the restaurant. I do try things that are out of my comfort and ability zone…

Luckily Sunday night, my beautiful wife was sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor. With only my lower half sticking out of the darkness, I’m sure she saw an ugly sight. I wildly flung around kicking the Clorox bottles, the orange carboard trash-bag box, and random pieces of PVC pipe while she attempted to hand me tools. Mostly it was just her smile that helped when I was wanting to cuss out the world. Her encouragement slightly adjusted my attitude, which did help my progress.

Eventually, after fitting and refitting, gluing, tightening and then disassembling everything again once more, I had the faucet hooked up and the sink set. I had rebuilt the drains to accommodate the deeper basins and the swap of the disposer position.

This project took me the whole day.

After one trip to DIY at 1:00, and then the first try at it, I realized I forgot sealant for the basket strainers… In grumpy protest, I sat in front of the computer for the afternoon and watched an episode of Ink Master on YouTube… That 45 min spent on mindless artist drama did not help with my sink install… Darn, I thought it might.

It was Saturday when I tore out the old sink. I purposely began the demolition part of the project to force me into the next step. On Sunday afternoon, after getting almost nowhere, I wished I hadn’t done that. Smartly, I tricked myself into making it happen, by starting without any plan on how I would finish.

Eventually, after another trip to town, after crawling in and out of the undercabinet tiny torture chamber a hundred times, I had it all hooked up. Water flowed in, the water flowed out. No leaks and the garbage disposal worked. One of the most important things was that I did manage to make the the little inner cross pieces of the strainer look squared up, and the Kenmore logo is not upside-down on it’s silver ring inside the sink…

After everything worked and we had cleaned up my many messes. My wife looked happy. I saw that she appreciated the completed result…

Funny thing though, it will take me awhile to think the same way. This was a hard project for me. I am not talented with handy-man skillz. Almost all of my family and friends are probably better at this kind of stuff than me. I truly was ticked-off for an entire day over this silly sink and new stainless spray wand. Even almost a week later, my back is still out of whack and I look at my accomplishment, noticing a tiny scratch by the three-hole cover plate instead of the overall functionality and improvement…

‘How we do some things, is how we do all things.” according to author Steve Chandler. This sink install is a perfect test sample of how I tend to do everything in life.

I wait too long to start. I procrastinate until I have almost no time left. I bite off more than I can chew. I don’t practice ahead of time, I don’t repeat the same things over and over. I usually try something that someone else would be much better at, and do it rather sloppily. I kick and whine and mope around. I don’t enjoy my projects while they are in progress. I wish I had never started them in the first place. I spend my energy in rebellious pouty-ness. I try to get sympathy and want everyone to see how hard what I have chosen to do is. I want attention and positive reinforcement. Overall, I act like a brat, yet I do continue on with the work…

Eventually, usually, I get the desired result. I get everything I want. I get to be cheap, trying to do it all myself. I get to jerry-rigg and invent solutions Macgyver style. I must secretly enjoy this self-punishing approach because it is how I do everything it seems…

At the end of the day. Usually I can look back and be proud of something I have accomplished. I do have abilities and skills that that I don’t trust myself enough with. I want to be a big baby about it all, yet I can make neat things happen when I try…

In in the big picture. From the birds eye view, or even from a higher spiritual perspective, I think all the whining and crying and negativity fades into the background noise. I’m not sure any of it really matters. I only lower my own enjoyment levels, I could let all that go. It isn’t what counts… I can throw a fit all I want… and really I don’t think anyone cares.

What matters is, what I end up with, not how I get there…

Have a great week Y’all 🙂

With Love,


Aaron Nichols

Fired Twice Today!

Twice today, live fire with bright yellow licking flames surprised me at work. At both of my ‘jobs’, the scary truth is that either one could have burned down down down. Twice today, when this hardly ever, never even comes close to happening, real danger showed up, and reared it’s fiery head. Twice luckily, the danger was averted.

The screen print shop is usually a relatively safe and harmless environment. Sure the ink from the bucket seems to jump out and stain itself on you, as you walk around or even look in it’s general direction. Normally it is an orderly and even quiet place of production. The action of the soft shirts and the squeegees dragging across the silken screens, isn’t very dramatic. Normally, everything goes like clockwork, albeit an overloaded and quickly running clock these days. We have been uber-busy for over two months solid now, at the t-shirt shop that I create artwork for.

No, most days aren’t like today. Usually, the faint smell of something smoky is no big deal. Sometimes the shirts in the dryer give off a grey puff of steamy vapor as they travel along the belt, while the fresh ink cures. Today’s smoke smell didn’t dissipate quickly though. Today that smoke meant fire. A single tee got caught and jammed up as it entered the machine it is supposed to moved quickly through. Going unnoticed for just long enough to get real real hot, it burst into flame, just as our Jaime, our screenprinter dislodged it by hand!

Whoosh! He came flying out of the back room, past my desk and headed out the back door. Caught in surprise, I jumped up and just ran behind him, not really knowing how to help. The tee started to fall apart right in the rear entrance. We kicked those flames out into the concreted breezeway. Back inside, there was more action. Roger had a baby floor fire to deal with and ordered me to grab the extinguisher. I pulled the pin and shot a couple little droops of puff powder down. It was only a couple small spots, that were lit. He almost had it beat with a water bottle already. Either way, we didn’t take any chances, we used the big guns.

Ha! How quickly our world can go from zero to one hundred miles per hour. I was just sitting at my computer, deciding on a font, or something, then all of a sudden it was go time. Emergency mode. Think quick, act quick! The flaming tee really didn’t cause any harm overall. In a short time period, there was no trace left of the danger, that almost was…

Only a few hours had passed when tonight at the restaurant, we had a real big crowd. Lots of people came out to eat with us, and we were in the thick of the weeds. I had been out front, trying to help people get seated. I brought menus, silverware, asked about drinks and apps. Also I wanted to tell everyone about our Customer Appreciation Week Specials. The doors kept swinging open with more and more people pilling in. Eventually the kitchen rail was racked with tickets. They hung side by side, jammed close and overflowed onto the heavy metal hood, stuck in stacks with thick round magnets. We were just slammed.

I was helping out in the kitchen by finishing off some of the plates. I grabbed little extras that people had ordered. I really just tried to do anything that may help our crew. I was cooking batches of steamed vegetables, and I had a cluster of a mess. My flash frozen asparagus and broccoli went into the pot, and came out quick, over and over. I thought I was doing a decent job. The lid was scalding temp, and so I had hot pads nearby.

As I was plating some sides facing the opposite wall, our waitress Hayley yelled, ‘Fire’!! One of the oven mitts had found the gas flame on the range. Again! Something caught fire and I was right there. This time it was my fault and I needed to handle it. I grabbed the thing, ordered our dishwasher Becky to step aside and dunked it deep into the big sink of water. Whew! Another close call, danger, real danger, averted. We were back to normal in no time and kept on rocking through the meals until we fed everyone in the place.

Now, as I look back on the day, it seemed overall like a normal day. Yes, I was plenty busy at both jobs. Lots to do, and lots to accomplish. These two scares, were so short and quickly snuffed out, that it didn’t really move the needle too much. I am not still shaking in response or worried right now at all.

I’ve heard it said that ‘Any idoit can face a crisis.’ And today (as an idiot), I did. I jumped to attention. Did something that needed to be done. Went toward the flames, not away from them. And all this was instinct and all of it overdramatized here for effect. Neither of these events were epic flaming battles, but they could have been, if left to develop on their own. Neither one caused any damage, but they could have destroyed everything.

What could I recognize for my life in general that these lessons can teach me? What else could I jump to solve and not quit until an answer seems clear? Why can I seem to know an emergency priority so clearly, and yet in the normal, non-on-fire moments of life, let my mind and imagination and action and potential do a whole lot of nothing?? The rest of that quote I started earlier, talks about ‘day to day living’ and how it wears you out. I don’t know about wearing out, but I can certainly see how the day to day doesn’t get the same attention or purposeful action as a crisis, an emergency.

I don’t take the time to connect with people, when there isn’t an emergency. I don’t jump to assist, when nothing is about to burn down. I don’t even usually move a muscle to help myself progress along my own path, until I have procrastinated my way up against a brick wall.

Are we just built and designed to handle problems, and when one doesn’t seem to show itself we go on autopilot? Or maybe it’s just me, and not you? Maybe you manufacture deadlines and track your projects daily, feeling an internally created heat blazing down on you to make something special happen?

I know that I do go on autopilot and just ‘get through’ most of my days. It’s a worm’s life, as Steve Chandler would say. Inching along, doing my minimum daily duties, never looking up and beyond the few feet in front of me. I have wings, I could fly any direction I want. I saw myself spring to action today.

Maybe I can visualize those jumping flickering and dangerous flames more often. Maybe I can superimpose that dangerous combustion onto more mundane moments in my world, and trigger the hero moments on my own terms…

Big ‘Maybes’… Or only they are big when I overdramatize them in my mind. Just like these two little fires today, they weren’t really a big deal. In the days to come, they will be all but forgotten. Let’s hope we don’t forget that everything can change in an instant, and we can be our best at any given time, just by deciding to be…


Aaron Nichols

“Any idiot can face a crisis – it’s day to day living that wears you out.”

Anton Chekhov

Being Whole, Who Is? Not this 6 Legged Spider…

It’s dark and blustery out here tonight. The cruising clouds throw the occasional rain splat against the black tarp hung above my hammock. Fall is here and the breeze is biting with cold. I am on my front porch and camped out, as if I was deep in the woods on an epic adventure… But I’m not.

For over an hour I have worked to assemble my little spot here. I used my blue webbing straps and their metal curled hooks to grab ahold of the carabiners at each end of my hammock. I readjusted my homemade underquilt that I recently slapped together, to keep my tush warm. It needs a lot more work, but it is a start. I decided to run a new ridgeline and try out a rainfly I bought recently online.  I found my paracord spool and cut off a few chunks. I made knots and tightened things up, I made twenty trips in and out of the house, or more.

I started this project at quarter till eleven tonight, and just got near finished at midnight. I have made up a little happy hammock rig. I am pretty cozy, typing away while the wind blows and flaps all the fabrics. I may sleep here a bit tonight, after writing some blog, I may not. It isn’t really that cozy. I have more gear to acquire, to be completely comfortable, swinging out there in the cold.

Why would I spend over an hour at the end of a long day, making something almost ridiculously useless on my front porch, with the only intention to take it right back down soon?? I don’t know why I did. I just kept thinking about the one more little thing I wanted to add, then one more and yet one more. By the time I had a decent amount of comfort going, I didn’t want to quit. I wanted to make it just a little more deluxe and then a little more.

I do dream in the daytime about going out and camping. Heading to the mountains again, and hiking into a remote spot, I would enjoy the crackle of the fire and a night under the stars. Last night and tonight now too, I have tried to grab a little of that experience right on my front porch, in Princeton, KS.

Someone else is on my porch. Lots of someone’s. Little tan spiders with round fat butts, have set up their homes all over the place lately, Including my front porch. They are in yard. Their webs grab my face, I swat and fling and flail around. I look funny, when I walk through them.

One in particular has interested me. He lives in front of our back door. His web is made actually in the doorway itself. You have to duck just a little to avoid it, when passing in and out. This little guy recently has lost a couple legs. One of his big front legs is just gone. The little one behind it is too.  I remember when he looked ‘normal’ and now he isnt’. He or She, must’ve been in a battle, with one of the many other porch spiders living nearby. Maybe some big moth flew into his web and he lost the legs trying to wrangle and hogtie it with his silken wrappings.

Either way, this spider is has been roughed up, and is much worse for the wear. One thing that is obvious to the observer however, is just how normally spidery he acts. Since I pass him several times a day, going out of, and back into my house, I realize his activity has not changed much at all. If I provoke him, by getting close to look him over, he will bounce his web wildly.  If I strum one of the guylines of his web he jumps to attention. If I really wiggle things, he will retreat to the outer border or even all the way up to the soffit of the house.

His movements are a little less graceful than they used to be. He kinda humps and jumps with big wonky strides. He’s lopsided as he grabs and climbs about the web, but he does move quickly still. Overall you can tell he has been injured, but each day, he holds his place in the web’s dead center and waits for a snack to fly on in.

It reminds me of a story, albeit a morbid one, that Wayne Dyer tells. It’s about watching a Nature type animal program, where a  group of zebras is attacked by lions. One of the striped horses got away from the predators, but not unscathed. He was torn up pretty bad actually. Wayne explains that the lions ripped apart one of his legs, and it was basically gone. Then Dr. Dyer, goes on to tell what the zebra does next. After the lions have retreated and the tension has dropped, the zebra begins to graze and munch on the grass with the rest of the herd. Standing there, on the three legs he has left, he just goes back to being a zebra. He’s hungry, so he eats.


So what does the spider and zebra tell me about life? I have lost limbs myself it seems. Maybe not a leg or an arm, but I feel that major parts of me, have been ripped away. Emotionally, I feel like a broken and torn up amputee from certain losses I have experienced in life. No matter when these things have happened, being very young, or much closer to the recent time, I notice their absence and the forced adjustments that I wish I didn’t have to deal with.

On the other hand, I do go about living. I do continue on, and keep trying to move forward with myself, regardless of how the pain ‘feels’ in the moment. I may not be making all the progress I want to, all the time, but somehow, someway, I do notice the movement as forward, and even mostly, business as usual.

I keep on human-being’ing even though I may feel that I am only a partial version of what I once was.

What else is there really to do? I see that spider, he just does exactly what he already knew to do, just the way he now can. I don’t see that he decided it was too hard, or not fair, or not worth the effort, and he just gave up. Probably he isn’t developed enough and ‘smart’ enough to have these kind of self-defeating thoughts in his little tiny spider brain.

Not like my big fancy over-developed human brain. No, I am much more capable of these helpful (NOT!) thoughts. I can deduce and dissect and see lots of reasons to avoid trying things, now that I am a messed up and broken person. I can decide to take myself out of the game and quit trying to do or be or experience parts of life that I could have done, had I been whole and good and not flawed.

I know that I let the ideas of ‘what others may think’ stop me from trying. I know fear plays a part in every one of my hesitations. When I notice the negative thoughts passing by, I may act on those and blame all of my shortcomings and limitations on the losses I experienced so far in life…

Setting up camp tonight was silly. Logic played no part. It was too late and too pointless of an activity to spend my time on. I didn’t care. I really do enjoy even an hour of relaxing in the hammock these days. Even in the middle of the night, even in the cold and in the rain. It was worth it.

Maybe other things in my world are worth it, just to try, just to begin to work on, even if they are silly or pointless or a waste of time. I am broken, I am beat up, but I have no reason not to keep going and keep being what I can be. I see the spider, continuing on his little but epic journey as well. He is in my path for a reason, I am glad he’s there. He is rooting on the survivor in all of us. We are down sometimes, but not out of the game completely. I thank God for these little messages in my daily walk with Him…


Aaron Nichols


In the Darkroom

I laughed as slid the slim folded grey stack of accordion-ed paper out of it’s box. I was only kidding to my wife when I joked that the new ‘blinds’ we bought were going to be nothing more than folded paper with double-sticky tape stuck to the top. It wasn’t a joke, but it was silly. We bought folded paper and stuck it into the flaky paint of the window frame.

As part of our bedroom re-model last weekend, we got new blinds and curtains. The one we replaced was apparently made of a grey-brown faux fur. Fuzzy and soft, these old mini blinds were long overdue to hit the trash can. We also moved the furniture around. We consolidated and reconfigured our stuff. The room is the nicest it’s ever looked. It still doesn’t have one thing hanging on the wall. No nice headboard or matching dressers, but much much better than it used to be.

One thing about this fancy folded paper ‘blind’ that we installed, is that this room stays DARK. Sunshine just on the other side, doesn’t make it through our paper accordion. This was a good thing, as last week, I spent several sleepness nights up with a cough. Then as the cough faded and the new blinds kept the light out, I have been re-catching up on sleep this week. Plenty of it.

The first real night of rest didn’t end till 10:30 Monday morning. Wow. In the darkroom, I was dead to the world. I have gotten used to it since then, and haven’t quite spent that long, but the mornings are quite peaceful behind the $3.00 sunshade.

Right now, in fact, I am typing in the same room. It is dark now too. No light on, just the whizzing brushing sound of the fan, and the padded thumping of these keys.

I also bought a new laptop computer this week. I figured I would give it a try while blogging, or hanging in the hammock. Neither one, I have done. I am now clicking away on the trusty old keyboard that I began my blogging journey with. This computer I am using at the moment, has been with me to Colorado, to the Flaming Gorge of Utah, it went through Yellowstone, and to Oregon’s gorgeous coast. I took it with me in the smooth grey-washed sky in the very northernmost ocean drives of California, and to the sunny desert too. It typed out my first blog,

Yes, even with a brand new computer in hand, I reverted today back to old trusty.

Thinking this morning about my writing, I was reminded of some famous authors, and the way they chose to work. I think it was Steven Pressfield, who rented a nondescript office space and used a basic old laptop to write with. He had even superglued shut the Ethernet port, and broken the wireless network card. Another author, George R.R. Martin, of the Game of Thrones, talked on a late show, about using an 80’s model computer to type out his wildly popular stories. It was a very vintage model, and he loved that it didn’t have spell check. All his names and places were made up words, spellcheck would have killed his progress…

Progress, is what I’m getting at here. In this dark room, with my old laptop, with the wireless network switched off, I have one thing in front of me to do, and one thing only. I cannot click quickly over to facebook. Youtube is not ready to show me a quick clip from the Tonight Show, or even the new episode of Roadkill that I watch religiously each month. This progress I am now making on this here blog, is a bit easier without the distractions.

Just like sleeping in late in the darkness, I wasn’t distracted. I needed that rest back early in the week. I hadn’t slept well in several nights. It was time to let everything else fade away. I need to write this story this morning. I need to make this blog progress forward. It is something I am called to do. I can’t let the distractions, or the lateness of my schedule stop me. I must find a new way to make it happen, each and every time.

This day I will try, what I have heard worked for others. Maybe next time I won’t. I do now this. I have a ping-pong, flittering and quick-switch consciousness. I usually can’t make myself focus, with the world’s entertainment at my fingertips. Using this old laptop with the broken keys in a dark room, seems to work today.

This week I passed a personal milestone. It’s been 3 years since the day I got a message from God. It was that quiet, calm and peaceful voice. It came through a heavy hangover on a Saturday afternoon. It said “God can only use me if I’m Sober.” It hit me like a ton of bricks… made of feather. It was such a toss, such a floated easy idea, that I didn’t run screaming away from it. I pondered it, but it was a deep and considerate ponder.

I talked with my Pastor, I shared this news with Christian Men. I was supported and encouraged. To this day, I haven’t had another drink of alcohol. That seems like so long ago. Many times, and I mean thousands of times, I have thought about it. Sometimes it seems, the internal pressure was too much, I was going to cave in. I just wanted to slip into a mellow glass of vino. I wanted the richness of that tart dry taste to wash over me. I wanted to release the suffering of trying to deny myself… It happened a lot, when I was anxious, sometimes in social situations, always it is hard hard hard to say no.

I now live in a dark room. I don’t expose myself often to social moments where I will feel that internal pressure. I don’t appreciate the distractions. They are counter-productive. I do work at a bar, I am there every day, yet I don’t want it too much there. I can see the reasons not to drink, hanging out with some that overindulge. I prefer sobriety while at work.

Anyway, I am in a dark and quiet place often. I am not out among the bright colorful social world that I used to be. It is harder, and I don’t always like it. I miss it.

Progress though, is happening, here. I am doing something new for me. I am making things occur, that didn’t used to. I feel more purposeful, an almost indictable current of momentum moves me now. Sometimes it is so slow, I hope it’s leading me somewhere good. It sure isn’t as fun, I can tell you that part too.

I appreciate the support, the ‘likes’ on my links. I hope that if you too, feel the call, the tug of some challenge, that you will consider it. Maybe you have a purpose or a place that someone else needs you to be, even if you never imagined yourself there before…


Aaron Nichols