I remember distinctly the day my grandfather (Pappy) taught me, not how to mow, but how to mow It was an after-school lesson. I’d often walk to my grandparents house, which resided just down the street from my middle-school. This particular afternoon, I had been tasked with mowing their lawn. In retrospect, I understand now that the sole purpose of this delegation was for educational purposes (who would really let their 12 year old grandson mow the lawn if they wanted it done the right way?) Pappy knew there was a lesson woven into this seemingly menial task. There…

I have romanticized life for a long time now. Looking for some grand adventure or love that would give my life the meaning I’ve thought it was supposed to have. Now being alone and without the love of someone close or living in the midst of some great chapter, I find myself contemplating when living life became a drug to me, and stopped being a sustainable happiness.

I’ve hurt and been hurt in love. The healing process for both have lasted longer than I would have liked (but you cannot put a time requirement on healing). The pursuit of a…

Love is something we long for from the moment we are born.

It’s innate. To be held, and feel held.

To know you are wanted, without having to meet expectation. Organic in its purest form, love is the most powerful medicine, feeling, accelerator, and comforter.

It transcends reason. It creates gaps in our cognitive processes. We find ourselves looking into our past, and replaying all our faults. All our shortcomings, and the ways we feel we failed those around us. Those we loved before, that went a different way. …

I went for a walk the other day as it rained. As I walked, I crossed a bridge that expanded over a small creek. I watched rain droplets hit the surface of the water in a chaotic but rhythmic form. Like the way fire works explode in the sky; hundreds of tiny explosions all canvasing into one magnificent view. As the droplets hit, I watched as the ripples flowed into one another. How they crossed over into multiple other ripples. Each wave impacting that of its neighbor. I then saw leaves passing through the stream being nudged and re-routed by…

Photo by Jon King — https://www.joneking.com/humannature/n8m14m47p5u0t47sgicpu3qfhnhu5y

For many of us in the Western Culture, our world was blown open in a harsh way this year. We were forced inside for our own good and the good of those around us. Naturally some of agreed this was right, others thought it was bogus, but we all found out that the rhythm we thought we had, did not end up to be so.

Violence and Murder once again were the catalyst for Social…

I have to use my voice for those who can’t.

I can choose to use my voice to speak and protest and yell and as Janelle Monet has urged to START the speaking and protesting and yelling about the murder and injustice that continues to happen to our Black Brothers and Sisters.

“A black man, Benjamin Banneker, who taught himself mathematics and astronomy, predicted accurately a solar eclipse, and was appointed to plan the new city of Washington, wrote to Thomas Jefferson: I suppose it is a truth too well attested to you, to need a proof here, that we are a race of beings, who have long labored under the abuse and censure of the world; that we have long been looked upon with an eye of contempt; and that we have long been considered rather as brutish than human, and scarcely capable of mental endowments. . . . I apprehend you will embrace every opportunity to eradicate that train of absurd and false ideas and opinions, which so generally prevails with respect to us; and that your sentiments are concurrent with mine, which are, that one universal Father hath given being to us all; and that he hath not only made us all of one flesh, but that he hath also, without partiality, afforded us all the same sensations and endowed us all with the same facilities. . . . Banneker asked Jefferson “to wean yourselves from those narrow prejudices which you have imbibed.” — 1791
― Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States: 1492 to Present

Whipping Scars on Gordon of Louisana. 1863.


I am taking more deep breaths these days. I go for walks in the afternoon and see more parents, and kids, and friends outside then I think I ever have. At a proper 6 feet apart, they laugh, and walk, and point-out cute dogs to one another.

Like many, my ego is getting checked. I am finding myself so grateful for so many things I took for granted before COVID-19 entered into our world. Simple runs to the grocery store. The Grocery store staff. Coffee with friends on a Saturday morning. Lunch with family on Sunday. It’s somewhat humorous that…

I have no problem waking up in the morning, regardless of the chaos of the evening before. 8 hours of sleep. 4 hours of sleep. It matters not. I’m up by 6AM or 7AM ready to roll. Cup of coffee, journal, and a book. A routine I like to keep everyday of the week ( I do work a 9–5). I could drink till 4AM, hit the hay, be up at 7AM and feel like I slept 8 hours. A cold shower may be required to get the blood flow going and give me that jolt I need, but for…

In January of last year my then Wife of 4 months and I separated. I had been lying about my finances, whereabouts during days off, and whether I was, or was not paying certain bills off (this is the condensed version). I justified my dishonesty with the fact that I was loyal, and would never cheat. I believed this was the highest of sins in a relationship, so that fact that I was making poor financial decisions, without her knowledge, was permissible. …

Every time I sit down to write, I hear the same thing on repeat:

“You are not ready to write.”

“You haven’t earned this.”

“Who are you to think you are qualified, or at a place in your life, wherein you could speak about things?”

Imposter Syndrome takes hold of me, and I shut myself down. I hear Michael Scott in the background…

Taylor J. Bottles

“Help thy brothers boat across and lo! Thine own has reached the shore.”

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