I struggle with depression on a daily basis. Metaphors fall short--describing depression as some dark octopus lashing tentacles around the human brain, that removing those creeping arms will cure the disease. But that's not true--it is part and parcel of myself, as much as my shadow, my love for mountains, my blue eyes. My depression strengthened after leaving Afghanistan--some vital barrier crumbled in the dust and heat and senselessness of it all. Yet the fault cannot be assigned to me or the war. We cannot point to a single instance and say, "Ah, this right here is where you forged your illness, and you could have done different." Those who live with darkness always at the edge of their vision know the seductive power of poor coping mechanisms--drugs, alcohol, distraction from thinking about why we can't seem to join the perfection of our peers. Some succumb, some fight--the rights and wrongs of it all jumbled together.
Before anything else, I am white. So my frame of reference will always be steeped in white privilege—I cannot, and will not, pretend to speak for the black community, as I have no right to do so. In police encounters, I am let off with a warning; at work, I expect that my opinion will... Continue Reading →
The Mall may be the greatest 7+ mile urban run in America. Yes, the faults and distractions are legion. Crowds of milling tourists. Major thoroughfares perfectly spaced to kill the groove. Forever construction. Swampland temperatures. The cloying smell of teenage hormones. But where else can one run amongst the great memorials? In the city of... Continue Reading →
Cowardice is morally repugnant. Cowardice is a shedding of personal values for the easy, sloughing off the iron and will that makes up our core and replacing it with something vicious, bitter, and weak. Cowardice is refusal and rejection--it is shrouding oneself in the flag, empty statements, and pandering. The current rhetoric in America--the great... Continue Reading →