I never liked the happy Christmas songs

It snowed on the end of town I work in Thursday night, so when I got over there Friday morning, the roads were wet and there was a very thin layer of snow still on the grass and parking lot. It’s now warmed up into the 50s-60s, so my tiny fleeting glimpse of winter didn’t last. But for a brief moment Friday morning, it looked and felt like winter.

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“Beauty likes neglected places”

I chose the handle Neglected Places after a quote from Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom by John O’Donohue. It stuck with me over the years because of something O’Donohue points out – that beauty in modern culture has been standardized and has become a product. As soon as I read that, way back in the late 90s when I was just a teenager, I thought…yes, that’s exactly how I feel.

This applies to the beauty of people, of course, but also of places. I find ruins and abandoned buildings more beautiful than anything. I like wild, overgrown places more than cultivated gardens. I find a lot of beauty in the organic and the disordered.

O’Donohue’s book encourages people to “inhabit your solitude fully,” which I’m not only good at doing, but rather enjoy. He points out that our outward persona is only that which we put on to get through our day, but that our true selves are somewhere else – somewhere in solitude. I cannot agree with this more. People move through the world wearing different masks, but it’s only when we’re alone that all the masks can truly come off.

I decided to migrate to this new URL not only in honor of this quote I’ve loved and lived by for years, but also so that I can take off some of the masks I was wearing while using my former handle.

I’m the same person…just maybe a little more honest, and with a little more direction.