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Evoking meaning from the mundane.

Relearning how to navigate a five-fingered world with only four.

In December of 2020 I cut off half of my right index finger in a woodworking accident.

As I lay in the hospital bed awaiting surgery to tie up all my loose ends, I did a lot of grieving. I felt the enormity of a non-normal life, of trying to navigate a five-fingered world with only four.

And while I held a tremendous gratitude that my accident hadn’t been worse, that I had access to quality medical care and supportive family and friends, I also felt an indescribable sense of loss.

I had lost my life as I knew it…

#1 — Sometimes, they come out of nowhere.

I was sitting on the back porch with my two kids, enjoying a nice salmon dinner, when my youngest, who is five, asked me, “What’s that line in that song? ‘Hiccups don’t hurt…’ how does it go?”

I cracked up. The song he was asking about has a hook that says, “Breakups don’t work like that.”

Of course, this started a hilarious onslaught of swapping the word hiccups for breakups until everyone had completely ceased to eat his or her dinner in favor of prodding on the conversation.

But it also got me thinking. “You know, breakups and hiccups actually…

Understanding what lies beyond physical attraction

If I had dime for ever moment of sexual ecstasy I’ve experienced over the course of my adult life, I could afford to be a full-time writer. Shoot, if I could help all those dead-bedroomers experience the sort of sexual euphoria I’ve found, I bet I could afford to be a full-time writer, too.

Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way. But in my ardent observation of the factors that have contributed to my most transcendent sexual experiences, I have discovered that human sexual intimacy is comprised of four parts. …

The importance of dynamic sexuality

There are 1am nights where we crash through the door like a wrecking ball or a meteor hell-bent on destruction. Her hands hold the back of my head as she kisses me like we’ll die if we happen to pull apart. I’ve got one hand on the small of her back, pulling her hips into mine and the other gropes desperately in the darkness searching, pleading for the door handle to magically unlock so we don’t end up half naked on the front lawn again.

The door slams open and we bowl ourselves inside.

We’re on the kitchen floor and…

The secret ingredient to overcoming relationship trauma

Love is messy. Relationships are confusing and changeable. And none of us is ever ‘good’ at navigating the formidable jungles of romantic intimacy.

At least not at first.

One of the only inevitable factors of any worthwhile romantic relationship is struggle.

I don’t mean that relationships need to be hard to be good — it’s more that the best relationships are the ones that truly test us, push us and cause us to grow in positive and necessary ways. These relationships are bound to evoke some modicum of discomfort.

This isn’t about compromising boundaries. It’s about asking the question of…

The greatest secret was simple enough to fit on the surface of an emerald.

Pretty, eloquent words may tease the mind’s capacity to wonder, but simpler, truer words penetrate the heart.

The heart is like a child. It learns best through patient repetition, direct language and concrete direction.

When the path gets twisty, the heart gets scared. When the lesson lies shrouded in metaphor and intricacy, the heart loses interest.

But when the truth stands, bare and bold, the heart takes notice. It is only the directness of truth which can speak to the heart through its pain.

To sit with a child and explain to them the merciless, beautiful ways of the world…

And why it doesn’t really matter what you’re lying about.

I used to lie all the time.

For the majority of my life, I preferred the relative ease of lying to the enormous challenge of facing truth. And this was true of big and little things.

I lied to my wife about my porn habit, but I also lied about going out to lunch during the workday.

Why did I lie about going out to lunch?

Because I felt tremendously guilty for doing something nice for myself. I lied about lunch because I knew money was tight and eating out felt like a luxury she thought we couldn’t afford.


Part of the Iconic America series

There was an explosion of words over the intercom. Everyone looked anxiously around, trying desperately to make sense of the auditory assault currently pouring through the concourse.

Was there an emergency? Was something terrible happening? Were we living one of those experiences that some of us will later recount to news reporters as the nation grapples with the shocking details of a terrible tragedy?

No, this was simply another day in the life of Albert, the Southwest Gate Attendant.

It was 8pm on a Friday and the airport was a frenzy of weekend warriors and exhausted businesspeople milling around, trying…

How I overcame my codependent tendencies

I used to be a love bomber.

What Is Love Bombing?

Healthline defines love bombing as an “[overwhelming display of] words, actions and behavior as a manipulation technique.”

It goes on to explain a tactic used by narcissistic personalities to elicit strong feelings of devotion and/or guilt from, and thereby exert control over, their partner.

It enables an individual to masquerade as a Nice Guy while covertly sewing seeds of influence over another’s life, and it is intentionally easy to overlook, justify or otherwise explain away — by both the perpetrator and the victim.

Love bombing is often characterized by neediness, trouble asserting or…

Enveloping her is my purpose

Our shirts are off. My hands are walking hundreds of miles over her skin, exploring every crease and rise and tip and valley, learning her and evoking her surrender.

I am taller. When we kiss, my head leans down, hers upwards, exposing her throat — an animal vulnerability into which we each lean.

One hand on the nape of her neck, fingers lacing through her hair, the other hand around the small of her back, pulling her body into mine.

I am a rock and she is the ocean. There is no separation between us even though our bodies are…

Griz Emerson

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