basil tempeh, garlic and lemon guacamole sautéed swiss chard and avocado oil

“Deep practice is a strange concept for two reasons. The first reason is that it cuts against our intuition about talent. Our intuition tells us that practice relates to talent in the same way that a whetstone relates to a knife: it’s vital but useless without a solid blade of so-called natural ability. Deep practice raises an intriguing possibility: that practice might be the way to forge the blade itself.”

– The Talent Code, The Sweet Spot, Daniel Coyle

This is really so like him to forget the keys, keep the oven on, leave the sneakers in a pile by the door. The plant, the one we purchased last Monday was it?, no, no the one on the bookshelf, brown spots are forming, just like the last one. Tiny streaks, veins, lines, signalling more water, more light, the passing of time. Every day at noon I said, let’s practice that habit. Keep the watering can (a yard sale find, no doubt) by the shelf – a sticky note, a thread around the finger.

This morning he is trying his hand (the one with the thread) at tennis. Economically viable, he said. This time, I am sticking with it. A tennis ball, a racket (yard sale, again) and sneakers (top of the pile). 8:00am every other day, this is my practice “time” at the courts. 2 miles from the back entrance, a 25min walk, beside the dog park. Serve, hit, serve, hit, 2 hours. I’m building momentum see, he beamed, shadow serving in socks with an invisible racket. I nod looking past him at the wall, my painting from last year. I should take up painting again. More stimulating than tennis, no? It was a “filling” practice, my time wasting when I was in a fog.

Can you stop practicing and eat with me, I ushered with my fork in the direction of his full plate. All work, no play, he huffed. I thought tennis was a serious practice, echoing his reminder from last week. Not all the time, he countered. All the time, imagine. All the painting I could do.


mixed greens, sprouts, riced cauliflower, baby bok choy, hemp seeds, turmeric and dijon glaze

” Mind is revealed as the universal basis of experience – the creator of happiness, and the creator of suffering, the creator of what we call life and death.”

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, The Nature of the Mind

I don’t feel bad about it – it is just my human design. What a perfect blame game, I thought. The scapegoat, the escape route. The exit this way – this way, I thought. This way. The sunlight is welcoming this morning, I’ll take a walk I thought. Coffee first – only decaf. This is my month of winding down, letting my mind and body break from the fun house that is supplemental energy.

I am not going willingly, oh no. Horse to water as they say? No, this is a forced change of direction. A new beat. Tap, tap, tap, mother fuckers.

Eye crumbs on my pillow (freshly washed), a paper towel crunched to the left (it’s not a sock after all). We need tissues, what a god damn thought. Extra creaky this morning, I thought. Remembering when “body” was an afterthought, an image on a camera roll, JPEG file, wikipedia pages, old anatomy books. I am not my body, I cried!

What a thought – why don’t you love me for my mind? The last sentence he said to me, that sick, sick, boy. I am not my thoughts, this is my design, that sick victimized boy. Wrist shaking, put the coffee down, I thought. One mug crack later, a steaming puddle of the most sustainable roasted beans this side of town. Spilt milk, as they say? Get your shit together, there’s a thought. Paper towels to the rescue, creaky knees on the tile, perhaps you can fucking help? There’s a thought. Escaping in the rhythm of wipe front, wipe back, seeing eye floaters now. Front, back, front, back, knees falling asleep. It’s doesn’t even burn, I thought. Blood rushing to my head, now that burns. Blood, thoughts, burning.

He crouches down, crack, crack. Placing broken mug limbs into his palm, like a bird nest I thought. I’ll pick one up after work, he thought. You think that will make everything glorious again, huh, I thought. Will wipe this away? Front, back, front, back, you love riding the waves of the vicious cycle.