story

I Still Forgive You

We were playing at our camp when my older brother — who was standing on higher ground than I — saw something in the distance. He stood upright, then perfectly still. After a few moments he turned to me in a look of panic I had never seen before, pointed in a direction opposite from where he was looking, and screamed, “Run! Run!” I was startled at his behavior but I knew that something was very wrong, so I ran. And I ran.

I ran as fast as I could, weaving through the brush and constantly changing my course as I was chased by a white man on a dark horse. I thought I might be close to safety when I darted through some bushes, but I ran right into a creek that was too wide to jump across. As I paused for a moment to decide how to continue, the white man shot me in the back.

In intense pain and sudden shock, I stumbled forward into the creek, bent over with one hand in the creek. As I attempted to stand up and regain my balance, I was shot in the back again. This time my body flew forward towards the opposite side of the creek. I tried to control my fall but could not, and my torso slammed against the land. The right side of my face was pressed against the ground, my eyes still open. My right arm was trapped under my body, my left arm was somewhere down my left side. My legs lay in the creek’s water.

Tell your story alvin August 1, 2017 - 9:29am

“Without any intentional, fancy way of adjusting yourself, to express yourself as you are is the most important thing.”

Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki

Why are you here? (Talkeetna, Alaska)

When I first moved to Talkeetna, I sat down to sign the lease with my new landlord. The conversation went like this:

Her: So, why are you moving to Alaska ... hunter?

Me: No.

Fisherman?

No.

*pause*

Right-wing nut job?

No.

*pause*

You’re not here to write stories about the town for tv shows, like those Northern Exposure people, are you?

*she starts taking off her shirt, which I eventually realize is so that she can breast-feed her baby*

Um ... no.

Why are you here?

Tell the truth and worry less about the consequences

A quote from this article by Guy Kawasaki about Steve Jobs:

This experience taught me that you should tell the truth and worry less about the consequences for three reasons:

1) Telling the truth is a test of your character and intelligence. You need strength to tell the truth and intelligence to recognize what is true.

2) People yearn for the truth—that is, telling people that their product is good just to be positive doesn’t help them improve it.

3) There’s only one truth, so it’s easier to be consistent if you’re honest. If you are dishonest, you have to keep track of what you said.

The Mirror of Truth and Mulla Nasrudin

There used to be a magical mirror, called the Mirror of Truth. If someone looked into it and said a lie, they would die immediately. In the land where it existed, everyone from kings to merchants was subject to its justice. One day Mulla Nasrudin came to this land and was brought before the Mirror of Truth to test his honesty. He declared, “I am telling a lie.” Nothing happened. “I think I broke your mirror,” said Mulla.

(I don’t remember where I read this, but I just found it in some old notes and thought I’d share it here.)

A Christmas Story

(From time to time I write little stories that have nothing to do with programming or technology; this is one of those stories. So, if you’re only here for the technology stuff, you’ll want to skip this one.)

I’m standing in the kitchen of a friend’s house at a Christmas party, making myself a drink while talking to a friend named Angie. This was nothing unusual; she and I were always talking about something. We became friends during our last year in high school, and we’ve been talking every since.

In retrospect it’s obvious that I have feelings for her, but I guess you could say that I didn’t appreciate her back then. After high school my ambition took me away to college, and then to a series of jobs in different states. By the time I decided to move back home, she was married and had two young children.

While we talked all the time, this kitchen conversation was unusual. I don’t remember how it started, but Angie did ask me about something I rarely talk about: my parents getting divorced in high school.

You and me together, right? alvin December 3, 2016 - 9:24am

“You and me together, right?”

This is most of a story from a book called, “Turning the Mind Into an Ally.” When Zeus was sick and I’d stop petting him, he’d turn and look at me like this.

The Hero’s Journey

If you’ve never heard of The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia states that it’s a “common template of a broad category of tales that involve a hero who goes on an adventure, and in a decisive crisis wins a victory, and then comes home changed or transformed.” The concept was originally introduced by Joseph Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces, in 1949. This image comes from thewritersjourney.com.