Beyond the Drama Triangle

Recorded 27 April 2020

Michael and John reflect upon recent events in our virtual community. How do we change our relationship to uncertainty?



Last night, I dreamed that I was flying above a crowd of people. Many persons saw me flying above them and they went on about their business. ignoring me. I went high above, into a white light area, and knew that I could go higher because I have done that before. Instead I paused and looked at my dream hand, which is different but similar to my physical hand. I noticed it has a different shape, longer fingers, and they morph al lot. Size and shape are not stable as in waking states. As I gaze at the dreaming hand, I ask," How could I serve myself and others by sharing a lucid, flying dream?" I woke up.

And who am I that I can ask this question? And who are you that you can read this?

As a shared language can entangled minds that use that language, what is the boundary between dream, waking, talking, reading, writing, flying? It seems many different kinds of questions could be asked, many questions could be answered, and new project might arise from that kind of discourse.

That discourse would engage a different kind of relationship to uncertainty. Would a poly-phasic culture, that supported flying lucid dreams as a skill that could be developed and learned, could such persons who had that skill, be doing something different with their time and energy than make fast profits at the expense of others? Would there be an aesthetic/ethical dimension? Would you need a license to fly in a lucid dream?

And what kind of culture would a poly-phasic culture become? I don’t think the popular Inception film is a very good model, as it seems to be based upon the narrow focus and values of a daytime culture caught in the undertow of late stage capitalist Neo-liberal thinking. I hated that movie!

And what kind of qualitative research projects could arise from such a poly-phasic culture?

And how would rational be re-conceived? And what kinds of change could the trans-rational, poly-phasic members of a culture conceive of?

The lines between private and public could not be thick but probably pretty thin…or perhaps perforated.

I have few answers here but many questions. Meta-questions are more important to me than shallow answers delivered in a mono-phasic style.

And who am ‘i’ that I can care about this topic?

And what is mine that I can share this? And what is mine that I can hide this?

Are we on the verge of a meta-dreaming, collaborative project?

And what is the difference that makes a difference?

It can be quite shocking to realize that ‘I’ am not a thing. I am a relational process in motion between dimensions. And then what happens?

Oh death…where is thy sting? Death dies, too, just as the Capitalist System and the death culture it has created is dying…and what is born out of the ashes of this Death cult?

What are the meta-politics of meta-dreamers?


There is no reason to hide since without a reader for the text it would not cease to exist… Buddha proposed that the way to understand the inseparativity of experience and the subject, forming a continuum in permanent transformation, and therefore inferring the inexistence of an ‘i’ separate d’em from other beings, physical phenomena, metaphysics, finally, the perceptible sensory or extrasensory Universe, with the inconvenient addition of thoughts and emotions, which in turn generate a cyclic and conditioned form of existence (samsara) - until we can stabilize the basic space of the mind and the clear light of the pure perception of reality (until omniscience arrives), he proposed contemplation of the ireth of death as a skilled means to conclude what were ours but this continuum of non-dual experience.

The most interesting thing about dreams is that the 5 senses remain subject to perception (the sensations of the body for example), equivalent to the state of vigilia. In fact, the appearance stemming from the senses can be quite different, and in the case of the practice of lucid dreaming we have the chance to shape experiences according to our own interests. I haven’t studied much on the subject, but I venture to say that in the same way that we can incorporate different forms, it is possible to expand our ability to expand contemplative capacity (generate insights, solve waking state puzzles, play new instruments, or gain a spiritual realization - which can eventually be maintained upon awakening).

There is a Lama named Alan Wallace who studied this practice thoroughly in partnership with a neurologist, and published a very detailed content about it, since he himself generated the motivation to advance in his contemplative meditations in the dream state (while his partner, uses to have sex with international models).

By the way, that´s enough thinking for those who did not sleep yesterday, and that’s my case …

Have luck on your dreams! (or practice with method…)

  • it WOULD cease to exist

Thanks, Daniel, for sharing your insights. I have read Alan Wallace a lot and know much of his thinking about lucidity, which is heavily influenced by Buddhist thought. There is dream yoga, too, and there are other orientations that I have studied. Robert Waggoner is one of the secular practitioners I most admire. I borrow from many practices and orientations without getting too obsessed with details of traditions which draw upon metaphors and languages that are culturally derived, packaged, and become a belief system. I really appreciate Thurman, also, though I don’t know him that well. I’m glad you brought him to my attention.

I am okay with that diversity and I also am okay to work with or without a community of those who have different kinds of belief. As a secular society has a different orientation than a religious one, it is important to observe the categories we use in our social distancing. Christian dreaming may be very different from Buddhist dreaming or materialist atheist dreaming.

My feeling is that different kinds of symbolic systems would shape how the content of dreams and waking states are communicated. There is also song and dance. A polyphasic culture that has passed through the modern phase would be different from a polyphasic culture which has not passed through the modern phase.

Jesus and the Buddha and Plato lived in pre-modern times. Some have referred to the Axial Age as a period when a few people made a major shift in consciousness. Plato wrote it down, Socrates did not. Buddha and Jesus were speakers not writers. And they were quoted after their deaths. We can still resonate with the metaphors that they and their followers used. Texts and textuality were important factors in distributing ideas that emerged in monastic societies with strong boundaries and hierarchies.

Shakespeare, as I referenced in the talk, was working with the pre/trans dynamics of his time and place. His vehicle was poetry and the medium was theater, which was the most advanced form of communication in that culture outside of the pulpit. Shakespeare’s plays were not published until after his death. There are many editions. His audience primarily was not literate. He drew upon literary sources and many occult thinkers. He lived in a highly restricted era where people were burned at the stake and lost their heads for what they thought. He tracked the emergence of what would now consider the Modern Self in a modern Nation-State.

We are at the edge of new kind of psychic orientation that is uncertain as is the status of the Nation-State. We may have many more degrees of freedom and constraint that are new to our humanity in the making.

I just put these out there as we have been studying Kastrup’s work and how we are in many ways repeating the story of the Tower of Babel! Too many kinds of discourse events are producing vertigo and disconnect. This would be expected when the technology has moved faster than the minds that are using that technology. For many of us, we relate to Hamlet’s complaint, The time is out of joint, oh cursed spite, that ever I was born to set it right.

Out of these kinds of contacts between real persons trying to make sense together, as we draw upon different sources and point to different kinds of experiencing we will fashion a new humanity, with a wider or narrower focus, depending upon who we are with. The social imagination is very powerful for good and for ill.

Maybe we can find a way of creating a coherent writing project as Marco has invited us to do? Sorry for the length of this. I am trying to work out in public a very difficult double bind pattern. Thanks again for the meta-attention of those engaged.

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Well, you mean using emojis? just joking… you´re right in a sense, that the opportunity of creating a new level of society, including, ludic ways communexpress the O of complanetary space-energy solidly-meaninful, as opposed to that liquid society fragmented crap, we are the ones to put some new wind, ground, fire and in my opinion a lot of magnetic-space on this new state of art form of influence onto this schizoidehumanized little global community.

But, as to have sincro-esponeity linked to the wisdom -of-not-reinventing the wheel, we can use, without underestimating the means of deconstructive movement, what makes a complentary-quantum-concept of summing up what one as a fundamental-like part of the whole piece of a secular-mantra type of communication, effort to give a bit of that safe sensation of old-wisdom inprint (?)

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In Reading this thread I find myself in the Altered State of this Child on the Beach where all the Elements(Fire,Air,Earth ,Water & Space)are inspiring to Make the
Elements into a Personal I Manifestation,& Why Not? We are the Stuff of Stardust!!!

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I like the rhythm in this line, Daniel, although I am not sure what it means exactly, I feel a vibe. Catching rhythms between speech and text we re-new our speech acts…

And the ‘i’ that works with oppositions creates necessary conditions…which is different from possible conditions…

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Yes the beach is the place for inducing altered states…at the edge of water and land…and our origins…you crazy diamond!

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yes, it was a positive motivated message. Maybe too energycall as I´m sleepless


get some sleep, Daniel, and sweet dreams!

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I did watch this recording and did enjoy the directionality of this dynamic duos dialogue.

A few notes (alas, I am destined to be fragmented in thought, text and time-dedication to editing…!)

  • beyond the drama triangle; I watched again the short clip you posted a while back explaining the basics of the drama triangle. Seems like a basic triad and easily applied to most situations. Yet you have noticed a drama circle. I would like to see this model you are developing. I am interested in the drawing. I tend to want to side with a final result….especially juxtaposed between the singular self and the multiple communities. Will not the drama circle be diffracted into a drama sphere, eventually, when we account for the various drama scales we experience?

How do I change my relationship with uncertainty?

As a singular self: I say that I reside outside of drama, have dedicated my craft to reflect that which is outside or beyond drama, the tragic. I have always come from a standpoint of the trans-tragic (post-tragic) world. Until I account for any given moment in which another enters my world and nudges a brick, topples a wall, kicks down my sandcastle. I am learning what it means to be within drama-shapes.

As a community member (thinking of ours): I like taking others metaphors, speech patterns into account. Michael does a stellar job explicating the process in this recording. Thanks Friend! (and dear Stumpfy-One: have you noticed that your inarticulate speech of the heart has become more and more articulate with each encounter with the Cosmos? I have noticed the change and I applaud you for maintaining a “focused intensity” and for performing self-initiations via internet-alchemy…dynamics are always changing and you have taken a front seat in self-development and your efforts shine through brilliantly!)

As a member of multiple communities:
Our world, our collective world is mechanical and disposable. The nature of the Romantics has fallen. So we seek our depths and our religions from the inside. Inside we go…where’s the community in that? We reside within multiple communities. Each community expresses a different form of the self. I try to share with you the feeling of a moment with my family but “you had to be there” to really know what I mean. I try to explain what we talk about here with my wife…this exceptional exception of the rules of online interact … and well, she responds with … “guess I had to be there” but there is something of the self that resides within each community. It is that creative driver, it is that…

  • I must go outside of myself now. I am certain about myself. Whatever I meant about defining myself as an artist is not something tangible. You will not receive a pretty picture or a poem. I can say that at the root of this artistry is a guidance, a manipulation of matter, a reformation, a re - sourcing of resources from above as below…

  • Shakespeare enchants with incantations. Again and again. I did not grow up with Shakespeare. At age 10 I probably received the next plastic package of some super hero. Your book has survived 56 years. What an example of the stable self. The magical self that has lived through any mix of pre- and trans- this or that…

  • and the magician’s farewell to the world set, staged and delivered. This Shakespearian farewell reminds me of Le Guin’s magician Ged, who after battling his last battle and losing his world reknowned powers gave way to a mundane life, gave way to those with budding powers, lost control of the world. What does a magician do in retirement? Yes, the magic is spread throughout the land and relived in tales. Luckily we have Shakespeares and LeGuins to capture the magic.

  • I am aware of my worlds. I am made aware of yours. The world of theirs (created by… who exactly created this wild world?) has never been my world. America is a good example of “that world” … Its symbols represent nothing to me. They have always been empty. The mechanical capitalist world has always been an emply concept for me. Within this shell of a world we live on. But uncertainty? I have only felt uncertain when asked or I asked of myself to participate in this supposedly stable environment. What is important to me is…the retrieval of the lived experience. The shared awareness of our worlds.

  • One word that I like to use for my experience of the world at any given time is “stance”. I have a stance in the world. It is a stable stance. Like a fencer en garde. Yet I work with the art of swordlessness. This is not a battle but a survival mechanism. In the face of chaos, uncertainty there is a vigilance. There is a sense of preparation for this moment in any given moment. Posture is upright. One foot stablized in the rear; the other up front and ready to lunge at the right opportunity. …

  • …But the fencing metaphor is but only one stance. It is how I proceed in the uncertain world, ready to move forward with presence, vigilance, awareness; ready to step back when threatened. I do not think that fight, flight or freeze works for me. My animal instincts, at the stage of the artist, is ready to do none of this. It is a staying with the trouble. …

  • …You may not have noticed as I stand during our Zoom calls but I am 95% of the time in a stance. I sway to your words. I correct my posture. I sense when I tense up because I have something to say, because you said something that excited me.

  • When I think about the self … I always want to return to the we. How do we stand as a community? What is our stance? Are we healthy? Are we prepared? Are we afraid? Do we trust one another? Yes a forum is nothing. We feel each other in Zoom calls then enter into another time another space. We live in fragmented communities (not so unlike my fragmented posts from fragmented selves witnessed across the day’s timeline).

  • Yet our internal self lives on. The uncertainty of the self come through. In the unprepared world, uncertainty topples buildings, has us in mini-mega crises. Yet, as the artist, the world, this world has been prepared. Our internal world emits enough stability to keep form, enough flexibility to remain mountainous against the strongest of forces.

  • Goethe: “human nature knows itself one with the world. Mankind can be sure that the outer world is an answering counterpoint to the sensations of the inner world.”

  • As our routines and mechanical time (during this pandemic) is temporarily shifted into lived time, away from the outside world … are we witnessing a return to the self? The self in all of its flux? A collective return to the self? By separating from measured time are we opening up new (forgotten) dimensions of time, of life?

  • As long as nature takes its course, we must wait. We can fight it, we can try to return to business as usual. Even a trip to the grocery store immediately snaps me back into the realm of Kentuckians with giant diesel trucks, trash left on landscaped lamppost islands, rows and rows of meat (did you know that hundreds of thousands of pigs are being killed and buried simply because farmers cannot ship them off to be processed…the best they can do is stop feeding the young ones so much in hopes that they dont keep growing. Eggs being broken by the millions; … quite the set-up we’ve got going on here…). I am changing. I will change what I can in myself and in others. I will wait for the world to change it’s ways.

  • juxtaposition or transition?


Deep Bows to Your Appreciation My Friend,Brother & Infinite Cafe’ Pilgrim.
And I have noticed a Certain Ease with the Uncertainty of the Inarticulate Speech of the Heart.This Would Not Be Possible without The Rascals here Engaging with each Other with Openness,Curiosity,Interest & Respect.


I quote you, Doug, from our previous thread-

“Perhaps I posted to let you know of this unspoken feeling ( perhaps felt in others) that the Clean type of languaging can be felt as intrusive, unrealistic, unproductive…”

And I asked a clean question-

“And what would you like to happen?”

And our clusters of questions and responses continue to haunt my imagination. Sponsorship skills are tragically in short supply, although we have plenty of teachers, mentors, coaches and therapists. Sponsorship is rare in my experience. I have only known a few. And we may oscillate quite bit between roles and functions, depending upon our companions and our desired outcomes.

I continue to ask myself," How do I ask good questions about the situations we are actually in?"

" How do we ask good questions together?"

And I pictured myself 40 years ago, holding Laszlo’s hand in the hospital, at the beginning of a twenty year struggle. That epidemic which was called AIDS, wiped away everything I ever wanted. I knew to survive I would have to start over, re-define a life going in a dangerous direction, with few allies and many enemies, within and without. And I did start over. And I am starting over again.

And I can observe him, that Johnny, 40 years ago, over there, a few feet away from me, and he is observing others, who were also observing him. I know the end to that story, there were many stories, and I know the end to them all.

And what do I know now that I didn’t know then and how does knowing that difference make a difference?

Ritual creates stability. If you change the ritual every time you perform it you will get some interesting effects perhaps but you will also not know how to create a meta-stable structure that can weather a huge storm. Magicians traditionally use ritual to stabilize transcendent states. They can also create conditions where others can stabilize these transcendent states. And when using Clean Language at my best I am able to create a ritual space.

Changing parameters constantly can fragment further a system that is fragile and cannot withstand too much perturbation. Many of us, of course, were brought into the world without a safe period of being in the garden of Eden, with supportive environment. That wounding can obstruct all future progress, unless we use the wounding to explore trans-rational processes that make other trans-rational processes possible. Art, trance, music, voice work create rhythmic forms rather than sterile formulas. That’s why we practice, over and over again.

That tension between ritual and spontaneity can be a creative one if we are able to center and return to center when we get off center. We can enjoy the open feedback from a field of all possibilities if we can touch center. To get back to center and to bring something that is useful to the community requires a sense of the personal ’ I’. It is true that you need more, much more than a transparent ‘I’. You will need to translate adequately and that is what the art of conversation can often do. I try to balance in the in between. Persons can be sublime and ordinary at the same time. Animals and children and the very old can do this most frequently. I think the middle years are very difficult as they are always when a person has to manage the conventional self. A perilous time.

I held the hands of too many young persons in ICU’s who got lost in the field. I am working through that in this next unfolding as I register those lessons learned with what is happening in this Pandemic. I contrast and compare. Whether this is a difference that makes a difference is uncertain.

Thankfully, Michael and Seth, seem to be allied with me in my safe to fail experiments.And this is a good sign. Others, that I much admire, don’t get it. So be it.

I notice that the unique is far more interesting to me than the archetype. Archetypes, in my partial view, are ancient metaphors that came out of actual lived experience and created a template. And they should never be entered into without a sense of a center. We should use the archetype, the archetype must not use you.

And we, who are alive, now, working with this trickster medium, which often distorts our messages, may embody and embed new metaphors, that may become templates for a future people who may do better than we have of making sense of our odd lives,with our unique constraints and opportunities, before they vanish into thin air.

And the great Magician, Prospero, enchants me with his word-music now as he did when I was ten years old. if you read it out loud you can get the feel for the broken man who has redeemed himself. Magicians can enchant, when they are at their best. And the shadow side is often self-deception. Propsero holds this great paradox for us. We are such stuff as dreams are made of…

Now my charms are all o’erthrown,
And what strength I have’s mine own,
Which is most faint. Now, ’tis true
I must be here confined by you
Or sent to Naples. Let me not,(5)
Since I have my dukedom got,
And pardoned the deceiver, dwell
In this bare island by your spell;
But release me from my bands
With the help of your good hands:(10)
Gentle breath of yours my sails
Must fill, or else my project fails,
Which was to please. Now I want
Spirits to enforce, art to enchant,
And my ending is despair,(15)
Unless I be relieved by prayer,
Which pierces so, that it assaults
Mercy itself, and frees all faults.
As you from crimes would pardoned be,
Let your indulgence set me free.


Around October of last year I stopped posting to the Cosmos.
My articulations and creative output reached it’s boundaries.
My readings and subsequent posts were of no interest to others, or perhaps like me at that time, there was no time for creativity. Work and bills and family and health and all that.
Or maybe winter was soon to bear weight upon our shoulders.

I unearthed a couple recordings from late October 2019:

Two separate recordings, two separate locations. One while driving and not fully aware of my speech, responding to other passing cars, starts and stops, parking and exiting the vehicle. The other in a quiet space alone, fully focused on my words (perhaps until the meandering mind comes in)…
At our best we shine through, a crazy diamond.
At out least,we are dark matter, unseen and hard to assimilate into life as seen.

And a watercolor from that time:

This was a past self, at the edge of creative input and searching for creative output within the self. I missed my Cosmos, but this separate stance allowed my glance to go into reading deeper, watercoloring, lucid dreaming.

I do not fully understand McLuhan, media, messages. Walter Ong, literate orality, secondary orality (I mention this because in the recording you two speak of McLuhan and a recent Weird Studies episode). I do remember thinking during a Cafe two years ago that my children will be raised in a new world…perhaps one that has a challenge recognizing the written words of Shakespeare but will re-create beauty through a secondary orality culture.

What will their forums be capable of?

What are we learning as we post in the forum + reflect upon video and audio + tap into our archive and relive a moment from three years ago like it was yesterday? Does this post speak to you better than just typed words? Is this a step in the right direction? A recording of wise souls from YouTube is great. A recording directly from you, from the source, from the heart carries forward more meaning. I know you now as I knew you then.

I am reflecting upon what can be performed in the moment. This moment is an opportunity. I see you there, with your epiphanies and revelations. I hear you from afar and wish to respond. I listen to your pleas, your “please! please respond! Please, gentle breath, fill my sails once again! For I am a creaking craft, full of holes and other islands are just ahead!”


A scary path

As I listened with Intense Interest to the Voice of You Doug ,


You gave Birth to the Cosmos Living in this I, where would not Be the same I If Your I was not in this I NOW,


And pardoned the deceiver…
And what kind of deceiver?
And does that deceiver have a size or a shape?
And what does that deceiver…with that size and that shape…want to have happen?
And is that what I want to have happen?
And pardoned…
And when pardoned the deceiver…then what happens?

In Shakespeare’s play, Prospero, forgives his brother for a deep betrayal. His brother, stole his title and his lands, took him and his young daughter, put them in a boat, and set the little boat out to sea…

And that kind of deceiver…what could such a deceiver want to have happen?

Prospero after being tempted to use his magic to destroy the deceiver, instead, touches a zone of magnanimity. He forgives. But his brother never asks for forgiveness, nor has he shown the slightest remorse, except for the pain of being exposed to the public for his crimes.

In the previous scene, Ariel, a spirit that Prospero holds captive, reports on the deceivers that are trapped by his spell.

Your charm so strongly works 'em
That if you now beheld them, your affections
Would become tender.


Dost thou think so, spirit?


Mine would, sir, were I human.


And mine shall. Hast thou,
which art but air, a touch, a feeling
Of their afflictions, and shall not myself,
One of their kind, that relish all as sharply
Passion as they, be kindlier moved than thou art?

This is a turning point for Prospero. He is confronted with a harsh reality. He could exact a powerful justice upon his deceptive brother but instead he gives forgiveness . And it is Ariel, the spirit, that awakens mercy in the face of great injustice and cruelty?

But is mercy a wise choice to make? Prospero turns in a final gesture to his audience, and asks to be released. He is talking to his silent partner, that great audience beyond the auditorium, from his interior to that future interior.

And a great deceiver, the one who hurt me the most in my life time, called me yesterday. And am I not in the same boat that the betrayed Prospero and his little girl, were forced to sail away in?

And I have more power to be hurt, than the deceiver has to do harm. Shall I open myself to this Stranger?

And now in this particular Pandemic, I have a chance to reflect upon my history with this deceiver…and with the third eye and the third ear and the third hand and the third heart…is there a third place?

I think Shakespeare has modeled that reality for me in his weird play. And that weird ten year old, that I once was, who lived in the far away land of Texas, who communed with these difficult plays, knew that I would need something that these words communicated.

And the deceiver, who called me yesterday, the deceiver that I loved, not wisely but too well, has he changed?

What kind of virus could he be carrying this time? Why, once again, has the Stranger returned?

The Saboteur returns…

And were I human…and am I human, yet?

Are we ready to be released from our particular form of co-dependence?

Can the drama triangle become a drama circle?

This is not a final state to be arrive at…it is a process …the ‘i’ a strange loop…

To be continued…


I am imaging your words…

Opening, Exhaling from the Belly & Engaging in a Personal Expression of Social Dreaming , that Diaphanous altered state which re-configures This Particular I.


These are very different voices from the voice that is recorded live in public . A different sound entirely. I didn’t at first recognize your voice, Doug, it is much brighter in tone.

And then there is the voice that comes from the written words that you share. These are the differences that Ong identifies as second orality, not to be confuse with orality of non literate persons. We can in the videos we produce reference our writing. I do this intentionally to register the second orality zone. We can complexify this further by going to video and writing from previous performances from years ago. This adds a degree of self-reflexivity that is new ( I believe) in the history of human meta-communications. Self reflexivity ( the personal pronoun i) can be brought into awareness in ways that were impossible before. Reflecting upon one’s own voice was possible in tape recordings or old love letters but never in ensembles of self-reflexive spheres of self-reflecting agents. The virtual and the subtle are not to be confused for we will not be able to manage perspective without adequate perceptions. And percepts are just as abstract as concepts. A gesture , a tone, or a picture can convey much that is different in a way that words can not. Words can also add something to a picture that the picture can not do on its own. This is why I use drawing, voice and writing in Clean Language presentations. It is a new art form and perhaps a new science… This is what I would call a science of the lyrical…

And the voice in private and the voice in public…where do those voices come from?

And what determines a public voice from private? What decides?

And a third voice…perhaps? This is usually where the fiction starts…and most fiction emerges from a desire to protect the innocent…in heavily censored times fiction and poetry were the only outlets for shifting the i to the we space.

We have many more options if we use our options well. If we don’t know what we want we are doomed for we have more amplification power than ever before. We may not have the power to do much good, but we have lots of power to do much harm.

As I mentioned previously, if many of us had decided to maintain privacy there would never have been a gay movement. ‘Coming out’ has become a metaphor for making the transitions from private to public and the different kinds of public that can be addressed.

There is certainly cause for much optimism…and for despair…I can hold both at the same time…and a third place…

And my ending is despair, unless I be relieved by prayer…

“I wrote a letter to the world, that never wrote to me.” -Emily Dickinson