Was I cranky? No doubt.? Judgmental? Absolutely. Disheartened? Unquestionably. And I’d been unconsciously operating out of this frame of mind for months. Yeah, yeah, I know, given the pandemic, [...]
Saturday morning, alone in the mist and drizzle. Stillness envelops me. No sound but my footsteps, the drip of the moisture from the trees, the occasional songs of the birds.
2020 has undoubtedly been a year of tremendous challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic resulting in more than 340,000 deaths so far, a severe economic downturn, and disruption of our daily lives. The [...]
“Don’t trust anybody over thirty!” My rallying cry during the Sixties, when I was twenty-something, seemingly bulletproof and forever young, living as though those days would never end.
In Be happy now, Caring for our children, Embracing our connection, Healthy living, My personal pathPosted
Realizing that Shonnie’s graduate studies at Western Carolina University were about to resume and Gracelyn would soon begin online classes at Evergreen Community Charter School, we began planning [...]
You may have seen that meme that was going around social media a week or two ago: “Dear 2020, none of this sh*t was on my vision board.” Well, life so far in 2020 has presented a number of [...]
Most of my teachers have faded into a nameless, faceless blur. However, there was one savior in the midst of my 12-year confinement. Ms. Mitchell came to Bel-Aire Elementary (Tullahoma, [...]
YES! We made it! Shonnie’s breast cancer diagnosis in November and Gracelyn’s intuitive sense that it was essential to remain near her mom at all times, led to weeks of unsettledness and [...]
"Finding My Way Back Home" recounts my journey from toxic masculinity to a more mindful manhood, a voyage that includes participating in a transformational workshop, peeling back the encrusted [...]
Fifty-six years ago, New Year’s Eve 1963, I was slogging through six or eight inches of wet snow toward an evening at my favorite watering hole, the Roman Room. A junior at the University of [...]
"A Tale of Two Daughters" is the story of how, and why, I slipped the surly bonds of toxic masculinity and transformed from emotionally-stunted misogynist to awakened advocate of equality, from [...]
Evergreen Community Charter School is currently taking significant steps toward becoming a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community.
In Knoxville in 1983, I screwed up my courage and began therapy with a local psychologist, John Hoover, a tall, brawny man with an engaging and amiable manner. I immediately had the sense that I [...]
Thank you for the huge role you've played in our lives, Howard. Thank you for keeping the main thing the main thing. Thank you for being you.
Early in 1999, Shonnie, in her professional capacity, was setting up at a health fair at the Asheville Civic Center. While we rather liked being committed to one another but not married, we'd [...]
It was a warm June evening in 1961, the night of my graduation from Tullahoma High School. I’d just returned to Tennessee from playing in a high school all-American football game in Fort [...]
January 1, a new year, some might say a clean slate. During my wild impetuous youth, the first day of the year typically meant horrendous hangovers and, at some point, the hair of the dog. In [...]
Wow, 2017 is about to come to an end, and in some respects, none too soon. But despite the extraordinary political challenges we’ve confronted in our nation this year, 2017 has been a fulfilling [...]
Shonnie and I were recently interviewed for the BedLoveBeyond podcast, this episode about couples with significant age differences (Ours, by the way, is 28 years.).
Today I write this letter to you so that you might better understand the tumultuous transformation that’s currently underway in our nation.
I believe we, the citizens of this nation, have been asleep for the past several decades. We began to pay more attention to our TV shows, our favorite celebrities, our sports teams, our fancy [...]
I am a recovering racist. I grew up white in the South of the 50s and 60s. Most of the schools I attended were segregated. And I have rarely had more than superficial contact with men and women [...]
Brighten up your day with this poignant ad from 84 Lumber. Better bring some tissues.
One might think that Donald Trump is brimming with high self-esteem. He is not. What Donald Trump demonstrates is pseudo-self-esteem. He unconsciously hides his fears, insecurities, and [...]
I wrote this op-ed for the September 15, 2001 edition of the Asheville Citizen-Times. As you read this my wife, Shonnie, will finally be home. That will never be said again for thousands of our [...]
I wrote this on December 31, 2010 and am reposting it in honor my daughter Gracelyn’s 6th birthday today. * * * “What is your purpose in life?” the guardian of the gate at the men’s retreat [...]
Facing what seems like an endless stream of news about racialized conflicts and violence, many people call for us to get beyond our history and find solutions for today, concrete actions we can [...]
Well, they didn’t pry it out of my cold, dead hands. But my only remaining firearm has just left the premises. Having grown up and lived in the South I’ve owned shotguns, .22 rifles, and an [...]
Here’s a commentary about violence in our nation that I wrote for the Asheville Citizen-Times late in 1999 that seems unfortunately appropriate for these times. [...]
Guy Clark died today at the age of 74. Rest in peace, Guy. Pack up all your dishes. Make note of all good wishes. Say goodbye to the landlord for me. That son of a bitch has always bored me. [...]
It was, in the end, about a 21st century governor who joined a short, tragic list of 20th century governors. You know at least some of these names, probably: Wallace, Faubus, Barnett. They were [...]
What do guys really want? Male stereotypes might have you believe that joining our pals for binge watching NCAA basketball tourney games while consuming lots of cold beer and hot pizza fulfill [...]
The relentless march to war by the Bush administration and camp followers proceeds. Congress has folded like a cheap suit, giving the President the authority to bully another second-rate power [...]
While living by myself in a little cottage on Mount Bonnell outside Austin in the early nineties, I was without a significant other for the first extended period in my life. Fortunately (though I [...]
To be able to run through the forest, strong, quick strides, uphill, downhill, breathing in my surroundings, fully present, conscious of my connection with the web of life. No concern for money, [...]
Well, we’re back from Costa Rica doing our best to keep alive the Tico lifestyle of pura vida: Go with the flow! And in that tradition, we wish all of y’all a meaningful holiday [...]
“Don’t trust anyone over thirty,” I arrogantly proclaimed during the Sixties, when I was twenty-something and imagined I was bulletproof and would remain forever young. [...]
A few years ago, the late state Sen. Jim Forrester described Asheville as a “cesspool of sin,” and the folks who live here began creating bumper stickers, shirts, and jokes lampooning those [...]
Below is an op-ed I wrote in 2001 in my role as a columnist for the Asheville Citizen-Times. In light of recent decisions by the Boy Scouts of America, it seems timely to repost it now. * * * [...]
I have lived with several Zen masters—all of them cats. —Eckhart Tolle In 1999, a few months after Shonnie and I were married, I got a mid-day call from her at her office at the Mission Hospital [...]
“What is your purpose in life?” the guardian of the gate at the men’s retreat demanded. “To work toward a more compassionate, just and sustainable world,” I immediately replied. “You may enter!” [...]
Our parenting choices have been made with discernment and purposefulness with the intention that Gracelyn remain authentic, powerful, creative, self-sufficient, grounded, happy, healthy and [...]
Our four-year-old daughter Gracelyn is quite the rhymester, frequently making up poems and songs for her own entertainment and, so it would seem, for ours too. So, at Lake Eden Arts Festival [...]
Since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key part of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, it was clear that marriage equality was on its way throughout our land. It really wasn’t a matter [...]
We didn’t tell her what to think, Or any rules to follow. We didn’t tell her what to feel, Or how to anger swallow. We couldn’t teach her to be real, And not to feign emotion. We wouldn’t tell [...]
In honor of our 15 years of married life together, an encore post of the story of how Shonnie and I met and fell in love. I first laid eyes on Shonnie Lavender in 1995 when we both joined the [...]
Around the first of the year I asked my 88-year-old mother Sue a daunting question: “Are you ready to go?” This once powerful, dynamic, high-energy woman had fallen several times over the past [...]
My mother Callie Sue Tilghman Mulkey passed away yesterday at the age of 88. Below is a poem that I shared last night at an impromptu gathering of our clan. Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep by [...]
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was arrested while leading coordinated marches and sit-ins against racism and racial segregation in Birmingham, Alabama in April 1963. Dr. King wrote “Letter [...]
By the luck of the draw, in 1943, I was born white, male, heterosexual and middle class. I was instantly granted cultural privileges and advantages that gave me a distinct leg up as I made my way [...]