Level Up

Are you progressing or are you stagnant? Are you consciously striving for growth? Are you neglecting important areas of life? Do you have a daily time devoted to personal development?

These are the questions I asked myself before I made up my mind to institute “monthly challenges” last month. August’s monthly challenge was to read two books (one fiction, one nonfiction), to exercise 2x a week, and to begin studying formal logic.

My books were The Left Hand of Darkness (science fiction) and The Well-Trained Mind (popular guide book to homeschooling). I finished both, though I wouldn’t recommend reading The Well-Trained Mind straight-through, unless you desperately want to learn how to go back and fill in all the gaps in your education and you are stubborn as a mule. The Left Hand of Darkness was fabulous and did not disappoint, after all Ursula K Le Guin is a wonderful science fiction/fantasy author. The Well-Trained Mind added more ideas to think about when I have my own children and am considering schooling, it also provided an incomplete, but good list of “Great Books”. Which is why my fiction book for September is The Illiad (full disclosure: I finished my August books early so I’m in Book 12 of Homer (roughly halfway through)). I’m loving the translation by Richard Lattimore and would wholly recommend it to anyone searching for a readable version.

Exercise goal= check.

I began studying formal logic by getting a traditional logic meant for 7-8th graders. This week I’m starting Chapter 2 and will finish the first book in six months. More on this later.

So, for September let’s Level Up! I chose a harder fiction book (though it’s surprisingly easy, the beauty of a good translation). My nonfiction will be Rich Dad, Poor Dad”. It’s a popular finance book that my fiance read and loved. I’ve avoided finance like the plague, so I figured this was an easy way to dip my toes into the subject of money. On the exercise front I’m shooting for five times/ week. The study of logic will continue, with focus on not skipping any weekdays.

I plan to do spend my lunch hour getting the reading done, 10 pages a day in both would allow me to finish them. I’m going to try to get a 15 minute exercise in before I go to work, but on days I don’t I’ll do it after work before supper. Logic will be done in ~30 minutes before bed.

That’s my plan on how to “level up” this month. Do you have one?






Your wit was a muscle

You so shyly flexed

But I burned it out

In search of the benefits


I would supply mediocre words

In exchange for your symphony

An unfair trade at its very core

Happy to share the melody


If I ever found you narcissistic

It’s because I didn’t know the meaning

Standing in the presence of an unknown genius

An unforgiven misunderstanding


First time I’ve sat down in awhile.


A system is a portion of the universe

Vague and useless

Honest, that’s the definition that I had heard


If a fraction of the cosmos is a system

Could I be one

Disordered me, surely the cause of a schism


To be necessary to a whole, that’s absurd!

Extracting smiles

It’s just that’s what I was told by a little bird




In An Airplane


Photo by Vincent Laforet

This city is on fire

No longer a city of life

A volcano

Shriveled land with molten cracks

Waiting to erupt again


People watching

Morphs into chancy

Such close proximity

You’ll have hours to talk

If you catch their eyes


The lights have dimmed

The sides have fallen in love

Swooning over me

I learned I was claustrophobic

Right before I died


Are we all philosophers or is that a justification?

Are we all philosophers or is that a justification?

Affirmations caught in the breeze

Hollowed platitudes



Do we walk to forget a memory or to cement one?

We’ve all experienced a pure intention

The substandard result of

Jumping the gun


Do we go to the park to feel young or to validate that we’re not?

Midlife crisis in the simplicity of oscillation

Psychoanalysis averted

A war well-fought


Do we write to commit a sin or to pardon?

Bestowing unrighteous benedictions

Either way I’m guilty

Disgraced by my own thoughts


Pattern Recognition


It’s been three years since I said I could marry you

Over two since I realized I could never


You see demons that aren’t there

You say

They are yourself


You believe you are wicked’s evil tongue

The right-hand of Satan

The human embodiment of Beelzebub


You are the systemic persecution of innocent people

You must tear it down

An oppressive rule you must dismantle


I’d dedicated my life

But each and every time

The only evil you did

Was not realizing it was in your mind


Decaying Tumbler


Spinning figurine of glass

I’m a butterfly turned ballerina

Months, maybe years, have passed


Circles- I just keep twirling

Unchecked I’ll fall-break

Lovely shards of ice

All over your lovely disposition


Damage worsens with time

I’m not a bomb, I’m acid corrosion

Gnawing at your mind, eroding your heart


Appearances- no one had foreseen

My cyclical toy life of self-ruin

Love-lean emotional abandonment

And this hazy time of already spent.