Thursday, November 21, 2019


by John Grauerholz


Let me make this simple for you.  Maybe I need to make it easy for you.  Perhaps I have to reduce it to a parable in order for you to understand.  It is like this ….

You have timed it perfectly.  You have walked the selfsame streets so many times before that you have memorized every piece of broken pavement; every crack in the concrete has been etched into your consciousness.  You have intuition for each changing signal, and know how to pace yourself so that you always can maintain a green light.  You know that it will take you precisely 13 minutes to reach the train station.  You have committed the departure schedule to memory, so that you can avoid the crowds and catch the last train of the day.

Just as you are about to reach the halfway mark, a car slows and the driver asks you for directions. You wince because you realize that this type of personality just likes to talk.  You know exactly how to reach his cross-town destination, but realize that explaining the route might take a quite a lengthy process.  Time you don’t have.  If you stop and help the fellow find his address, you will miss your train.

Now, a conformist might insist that you should have left earlier – just in case you might happen upon some poor sap in need of your assistance.  But only a fool would want to spend a minute more in the sticky, slimy benches than bare minimum.  You don’t want to waste any more of your existence around other people than absolutely necessary.  Only an idiot would time something so badly that you end up waiting.

So you repeat the usual pretext in situations just like this.  You tell the lost motorist the obvious excuse: you horridly shout to the driver that you don’t know.  You say that you have no idea and just keep walking.  You lie so that you can get to your own objective unimpeded.  Being honest runs the risk that you might have to give lengthy apologies and even longer elucidations – and you can’t take the chance of such a delay.

In just this fashion, if you stop to help others in life, you will never reach your target.  If you are kind to a stranger, you will find yourself stranded.   Just as it is necessary to give some falsehood in order to keep to your timetable, it is absolutely vital to spread fabrications in order to keep on your own path in life.

Whenever other humans want something of you, things are never going to be to your advantage.  The moment somebody asks a favor, you need to have a good lie at the ready.  If someone speaks to you, it is always better to respond with some untruth no matter what they might happen to say.

Monday, November 11, 2019


by John Grauerholz

I love the lonely landscapes, the empty places, the solitary spaces.  I am beguiled by the barren scenery that is not quite desert, yet a geography that is still too unforgiving to be farmland.  A soil that is not devoid of vegetation, but an earth where all the plants have already turned brown.  I am bewitched by the kind of countryside that the modern traveler just wants to get across as quickly as possible.  Although the sunshine might seem inviting, the crinkly wind keeps your senses on edge.  I delight in the secret beauty of junk-land that a realtor just wants to unload upon an unsuspecting buyer.  A property devoid of productive value, yet a bit too remote to be used as a rubbish dump.  I have a passion for uninhabitable environments, the unwanted acres where no one dares live.  A marginal geography where even cattle ranching did not prove viable; the kind of geology that once looked promising for oil extraction, but a spot where all the wells came up dry.  

Magic will never be found in a land of possibility, but majesty will always be located in a landscape of impossibilities.