Seven years ago
Then Now
And yet still to come
These parallel universes exist
Time and Space
Their illusion can make one grow old
With a falsity of living
Of dying
Not understanding that we are all one
Misperceiving our true selves
Overlooking our indestructible consciousness
Going about daily life sleepwalking insane
Instead of dreaming to awake
Instead of deliberately living
Instead of meaningfully being
Distracted with distractions, entertainment
Feasting, drinking until drunking, dosing until drugging
We count followers, likes, digital bank balances,
Material things as successes
Modern day silver platters and goblets of gold
But they remain the common clay
An inglorious Way
Of discounting self, others,
The grass under our feet
Birds, trees, water, sky, earth
The deer running through the woods
The blooming plankton floating in sea
The stars twinkling above in the night sky
Why communicate when we can
Dictate and mandate
And why love when we can
Hate, twist, stir, disassociate
Hanging on
Holding on
Arrested by desire
We trapped in our prison of unrealistic expectations
This prison of our fixed thinking
A prison of our own fears
A screen for others to play on
A stage for created drama
Someone’s written script
A sign in today’s newspaper horoscope
This is how false friends take you for a fool
This is how people make themselves
For fools
This is how false thoughts within oneself arise
This is the cave.
Be a mirror
Be a shining light
Be a tiny spring flower
Be a spring-fed mountain stream
Be a cloud
Be the horizon
Be (t)here
Be the architect of your own design
Be love
Be-lieve you are everything
And nothing …
Seven years ago
Then Now
And yet still to come
These parallel universes exist
Time and Space
I am misty blue and green above below
Standing atop a hunted jagged peak
Holding love in my arms
The Klondike stretched out before us
Cold wind buffeting
Cold sun shining blinding
Warming hearts tender embrace
Casting away the mind’s abyss
As my heart crosses the divide


Why Ice Cube Got It Right When He Said Women Are Bitches, Hoes and Tricks


Over a month has gone by since I ended my relationship with my boyfriend and kicked him out of the apartment here in Madrid Spain. I thank myself everyday for having the wisdom to move to a foreign country for more than a relationship. So while the boyfriend has now since disappeared (actually still in process because most of his stuff is still here) I have many reasons beyond him to stay where I am.

Three and a half years ago I knew I wanted to change my life. I was halfway through my five-year plan to reside in Norwich Vermont and add stability to my life by working a desk proper desk job when an idea came to me to combine travel, living abroad and gong back to my passion. And I always knew I would not stay in Vermont beyond the five years.

I enjoyed living the village life, my accounting jobs were great, and I had many wonderful people in my life but the wanderlust and desire to do something creative again kept coming back. Each year the feeling returned, it came back stronger. So I tried a few things to satisfy the craving. I drove cross country with a friend, put my head down and dug in deeper at work, published a book of poetry, went to NYC as often as I could, and found pleasure in gatherings with friends. I tried out different romantic relationships but things didn’t work out.

Alas! My desire to change my life, to pursue my dreams would not leave me be.

On April 1, 2014 my life changed. I had just published my book of poems the day before and was attending a friend’s reading and I met someone. We had great political and philosophical conversations. We laughed when we realised we went to the same high school. He was a musician and I love live music. He said he was back from Spain for a while and didn’t really know anyone in the area. So I invited him to go with me to an Open Mic at one of my favourite spots in the world Skunk Hollow Tavern in Hartland, Vermont. I was meeting girl friends there and he said he’d invite some friends too.

The next evening, while sitting at Skunk, getting messages from friends that they were unable to make it, and his friends bailed too, I thought to myself…is this a date? It seemed eerily like one and well, it was. We went out to a movie after that and the rest is history, or rather, a story for a different time.

So fast forward about a year and half to now, here I am sitting in my apartment alone here in Madrid writing this. I’ve been reflecting all week on the fact that a girl who called herself my “friend” was never one. Maybe in her mind I was somehow her friend but she completely fooled me.

I met this “girl friend” while visiting my friend in NYC. My friend and I had met at a mutual friend’s party in Vermont when he was up from Brooklyn for it. And again met up later when he and another friend came to a poetry reading I did last fall for about a hundred people opening for Jim Rooney. My friend and I spoke again in January. I was headed to NYC with the boyfriend to attend a costume party on a super yacht that would launch from Pier 40. My friend was overjoyed to offer me a place to crash for the night with him and his new girlfriend. We talked on the phone and he was speaking so quickly I could hardly get a word in as he went on about how wonderful she is. Clearly my friend was in love. I was happy for my friend. The excitement in his voice. The joy. I couldn’t wait to meet this girl who had so transformed him.

The first evening all four of us met was lovely. We had a wonderful morning together the next day before the yacht party. My friend’s girlfriend was sweet, kind, generous, and friendly. I could see why my friend was so in love with her. They were very cute together.

That evening, after we returned from he yacht party, my friend’s girlfriend strutted around in front of my boyfriend in her underwear. At the time I thought nothing of her nudity or being scantily clad. I’ve been at many a gathering where someone decided to take off all their clothes and go for a swim, lounge about, etc. But as the evening progressed, she could see that my boyfriend was getting turned on and she kept the ball rolling. My boyfriend and I drove back to Vermont the next day, and that really was the start of my romantic relationship starting to fracture and fall apart. I can see it all now in hindsight.

My boyfriend and I were already in an open relationship and had been for some months. Unfortunately men always seem to forget that an open relationship is a two-way street. So when opportunities arose for me to have something or spend time with others, he did not like it. Our rules were, no sex with each other’s friends and don’t bring it home. But after that trip down to NYC, he began to complain constantly about how much easier women have in hooking up than men do. That the situation was unfair because the only attractive women he knew were my friends. And that he was inhibited because we spent so much time together (he called me daily and wanted to hang out constantly) so I always encouraged him to go out separately without me. But he didn’t.

Obviously my boyfriend and I stayed together. We came to Spain in April of this year. Our desire to continue having an open relationship remained. But his complaints and supposed “restrictions” that prevented him from meeting someone else to have sex with did also. Nothing changed, for him. Other than after that trip down to the city, and the subsequent farewell party the weekend before we left, my boyfriend and my friend’s girlfriend started emailing each other.

How often? I don’t know. About what? I couldn’t say. But as time marched on, they began to talk more and more frequently. I know that some of the talk was about sex, because they both mentioned it to me, but friends do discuss the topic of sex. And trusting as I am in other people, my boyfriend and girl friend, I thought nothing of it.

So all the while this girl is calling me “friend”. And I was there for her as a “girl friend” when she said her relationship with my friend, her boyfriend was falling apart. She wanted to see other people but he wanted a monogamous relationship. She complained about him not getting his life together fast enough after he followed her to San Francisco from New York City. She works for a pharmaceutical company and he is an artist. She moved out there for a job.

I sent messages to my friend asking him how he was doing because surely, this must all be very difficult for him. I didn’t hear any response back so I figured he was doing what I do when I have issues with someone: discussing them with the person one is having an issue with.

Then one day my friend’s girlfriend said to me that she had moved out their apartment and into a new one. She was leaving him but she told him she was just moving into a new place and that he would move in later when the lease on that one finished. My friend advice to her was to tell him immediately that the relationship is over so that he is no longer living under a false pretense that you and he have something. She said “You’re right,” and “I will.” She also said she felt guilty about the situation so she was paying for his cell phone.

Then a few days more went by and my friend’s now ex-girlfriend said to me that she was getting sick of paying for his cell phone. She was going to let him know she was turning it off and he was being unreasonable about giving her back her things. I said that was fair, giving him notice, and surely he would return her belongings. Around that same time my boyfriend asked me if it would be okay if she came to visit and stay with us in Spain around Thanksgiving. Of course, I said “Yes”. My door is always open to friends. But then I spoke with my friend and we had a long talk where I got to hear his side of the story. I asked about the cell phone and he said it had been turned off a couple of weeks ago. And that she had been refusing to communicate with him.

A couple weeks later, I told her that I kicked my boyfriend out of the apartment after he hit me and I had broken up with him. She said she was surprised to hear this but then thinking back to many of our conversations, she had often confessed to slapping her boyfriend, my friend. I had told her violence is wrong. And to broach the topic and get it settled, I said that if she planned on coming here and having sex with my now ex-boyfriend it would be better if she stayed with him or in a hotel. She said that she had no plans to have sex with my ex-boyfriend, that she was in love with some other guy, and had decided not to come to Spain after all (huge relief for me). She also made it clear she planned to remain friends with my ex.

A week ago, my ex-boyfriend made an off-hand comment, “(my so-called now ex-girl friend) said, what do I have that Nichole doesn’t have?”

A lightbulb exploded.

And I realised that this girl was not my friend. She had never been my friend. I’m not saying she’s responsible for the demise of my relationship but she was part of the problem. The unintentional gift she gave me was a burst of creative inspiration which resulted in a poem called “False Friend”. And when her WhatsApp message arrived a few days ago saying “Hi Nichole! How are you?” I side-swiped left and hit “Archive”.

Yesterday my ex-boyfriend came by to pick up a couple things from the apartment. I fed him breakfast and we talked for a while. Because while the violence he did to me is wrong, I am a forgiving person who thinks that people can learn, grow and change. But in the course of conversation, he told me he had shared my poem with my now ex-girl friend and she said it was “cute”. And she wrote a poem in response to mine and had asked him if he should send it to me. She also said to him that I had always tried to “cock-block” my ex from having sexual relationships with other women in our open relationship.

My thoughts are as follows: that saved me the trouble of sending the poem to her which is another item off my busy To Do list, they’re still talking about whatever, she’s still stirring the pot, her response poem is her trying to impress and relate to my ex with her “poetic skills” otherwise she would have just sent it to me directly, and she is absolutely not a friend nor a person who I ever care to associate while she exists in her current state of being. And her description of my poem as “cute” is a way of snarkily trying to invalidate, minimise and gloss over her underhanded BS way of supposedly being someone’s friend.

So, yes, Ice Cube got it right when he said women are bitches, hoes and tricks. Of course there are exceptions. Not every woman is any one or all of those. And men can be all of those too. But sometimes you meet a false girl friend who is just clueless about how to truly be someone’s “friend” and pretends to be yours because she really has no idea who she is or what her values are. Thus, you may talk to her, giving friend advice, about why she has shallow and superficial friendships when she brings it up, but as long as she is ignorant of her behaviour, she will remain the architect of that very poor design and will never be a true friend to herself or others.

The fact is, females (and people in general) who treat their so-called “friends” in unfriendly ways give the title “friend” a false meaning. Some of you may be saying that there were multiple indications that my ex-girl friend and my ex-boyfriend were not my friends. But I say, “My greatest asset and biggest flaw is my belief in the goodness of people.”

My mother once said that I am naive because I give people too much credit. Perhaps I am. But I’m okay with that.

I believe that people will make the right choices and do the right thing if given the chance. So I’d rather give people the benefit of the doubt to step up because it’s not me who’s losing out when someone decides to be petty and underhanded; It’s their loss….of my friendship and the opportunity to be a better version of themselves.

So what’s the lesson in all of this?

Don’t be a bitch, a hoe or a trick and you may find that you have a deeper, more meaningful and authentic relationship with oneself and with others.

False Friend


You give the title “friend” in “girl friend”

A bad name

You throw the word “friend” around

Like candy at a parade


Your sickly sweet facade is a travesty

And I brush you off my teeth gladly



I don’t think you’re rotten to the core

You’re just a man-made

Man-ufactured version of once

All natural ingredients

As many lost people are


You could be a better kind of confection


Instead of conforming

To whatever new man you find a fancy


And then

Just then

You might be able to be true


To me

To others

Most importantly to you


But candy-girl

You’re just an unhealthy trick

Not a treat

As you are





Where has all your music gone? 
And the beauty of your soul?
Your soul’s song has grown silent
And I see you miss it so.
I wait to hear you play again,
For you to smile and laugh and see
That without a beautiful dream,
Your soul’s song may never be.
You stumble lost in darkness
On the desolate path of despair.
I stand shining a little light for you
To help guide you out of there.
Please come back, back to the light!
Please dream to awake and see –
The song of your soul is not lost.
Embrace beauty and set it free.
Where has all my music gone? 
And the beauty of my soul?
My soul’s song has grown silent
And you see I miss it so.
You wait to hear me play again,
For me to smile and laugh and see
That without a beautiful dream,
My soul’s song may never be.
I stumble lost in darkness
On the desolate path of despair.
You stand shining a little light for me
To help guide me out of here.
I’ll come back soon, to the light!
I’ll dream to awake and see –
The song of my soul is not lost.
I’ll embrace beauty; Set it free.

Do Right To Me Baby (Do Unto Others)

by Bob Dylan

Don’t wanna judge nobody, don’t wanna be judged
Don’t wanna touch nobody, don’t wanna be touched
Don’t wanna hurt nobody, don’t wanna be hurt
Don’t wanna treat nobody like they was dirt

But if you do right to me, baby
I’ll do right to you, too
Ya got to do unto others
Like you’d have them, like you’d have them, do unto you

Don’t wanna shoot nobody, don’t wanna be shot
Don’t wanna buy nobody, don’t wanna be bought
Don’t wanna bury nobody, don’t wanna be buried
Don’t wanna marry nobody if they’re already married

But if you do right to me, baby
I’ll do right to you, too
Ya got to do unto others
Like you’d have them, like you’d have them, do unto you

Don’t wanna burn nobody, don’t wanna be burned
Don’t wanna learn from nobody what I gotta unlearn
Don’t wanna cheat nobody, don’t wanna be cheated
Don’t wanna defeat nobody if they already been defeated

But if you do right to me, baby
I’ll do right to you, too
Ya got to do unto others
Like you’d have them, like you’d have them, do unto you

Don’t wanna wink at nobody, don’t wanna be winked at
Don’t wanna be used by nobody for a doormat
Don’t wanna confuse nobody, don’t wanna be confused
Don’t wanna amuse nobody, don’t wanna be amused

But if you do right to me, baby
I’ll do right to you, too
Ya got to do unto others
Like you’d have them, like you’d have them, do unto you

Don’t wanna betray nobody, don’t wanna be betrayed
Don’t wanna play with nobody, don’t wanna be waylaid
Don’t wanna miss nobody, don’t wanna be missed
Don’t put my faith in nobody, not even a scientist

But if you do right to me, baby
I’ll do right to you, too
Ya got to do unto others
Like you’d have them, like you’d have them, do unto you

Copyright © 1979 by Special Rider

Read more: http://www.bobdylan.com/us/songs/do-right-me-baby-do-unto-others#ixzz3Lnjzb0BW


July 8, 2013
8 minute read by Mark Manson

Think about this for a moment: Why would you ever choose to be with someone who is not excited to be with you?

There’s a grey area in dating many people get hung up on — a grey area where feelings are ambiguous or one person has stronger feelings than the other. This grey area causes real, tangible issues. As a man, a huge question is often whether to be persistent and continue pursuing a woman even when she seems lukewarm or hot/cold on your advances. For women, a common question is what to do with men who make their feelings ambiguous.

“She said she’s not interested, but she still flirts with me, so what do I need to do to get her?”
“Well, I know she likes me, but she didn’t call me back last weekend, what should I do?”
“He treats me well when he’s around, but he’s hardly around. What does that mean?”

Most dating advice exists to “solve” this grey area for people. Say this line. Text her this. Call him this many times. Wear that.

Much of it gets exceedingly analytical, to the point where some men and women actually spend more time analyzing behaviors than actually, you know, behaving.

Frustration with this grey area also drives many people to unnecessary manipulation, drama and game-playing. This is where you get rules about making men pay for this many dates before you can become intimate. Or how men need to transition from attraction phase to comfort phase by qualifying three times before they’re allowed to commence an escalation ladder.

These things may seem clever and exciting to some people who are stuck or frustrated. But this dating advice misses the point. If you’re in the grey area to begin with, you’ve already lost.

Let me ask again: Why would you ever be excited to be with someone who is not excited to be with you? If they’re not happy with you now, what makes you think they’ll be happy to be with you later? Why do you make an effort to convince someone to date you when they make no effort to convince you?

What does that say about you? That you believe you need to convince people to be with you?

You wouldn’t buy a dog that bites you all the time. And you wouldn’t be friends with someone who regularly ditches you. You wouldn’t work a job that doesn’t pay you. Then why the hell are you trying to make a girlfriend out of a woman who doesn’t want to date you? Where’s your self-respect?

The entrepreneur Derek Sivers once wrote a blog post where he said, “If I’m not saying ‘Hell Yeah!’ to something, then I say no.” It served him well in the business world and now I’d like to apply it to the dating world. And because I’m more of a vulgar asshole than Derek is, I’ll christen mine The Law of “Fuck Yes or No.”

The Law of “Fuck Yes or No” states that when you want to get involved with someone new, in whatever capacity, they must inspire you to say “Fuck Yes” in order for you to proceed with them.
The Law of “Fuck Yes or No” also states that when you want to get involved with someone new, in whatever capacity, THEY must respond with a “Fuck Yes” in order for you to proceed with them.

As you can see, The Law of “Fuck Yes or No” implies that both parties must be enthusiastic about the prospect of one another’s company. Why? Because attractive, non-needy, high self-worth people don’t have time for people who they are not excited to be with and who are not excited to be with them.

This may sound a bit idealistic to some. But The Law of “Fuck Yes or No” has many tangible benefits on your dating life:

No longer be strung along by people who aren’t that into you. End all of the headaches. End the wishing and hoping. End the disappoint and anger that inevitably follows. Start practicing self-respect. Become the rejector, not the rejected.

No longer pursue people you are so-so on for ego purposes. We’ve all been there. We were so-so about somebody, but we went along with it because nothing better was around. And we all have a few we’d like to take back. No more.

Consent issues are instantly resolved. If someone is playing games with you, playing hard to get, or pressuring you into doing something you’re unsure about, your answer is now easy. Or as I often like to say in regards to dating, “If you have to ask, then that’s your answer.”

Establish strong personal boundaries and enforce them. Maintaining strong boundaries not only makes one more confident and attractive, but also helps to preserve one’s sanity in the long-run.

Always know where you stand with the other person. Since you’re now freeing up so much time and energy from people you’re not that into, and people who are not that into you, you now find yourself perpetually in interactions where people’s intentions are clear and enthusiastic. Sweet!

The Law of “Fuck Yes or No” is applicable to dating, sex, relationships, even friendships. You may have absolutely nothing in common with that bartender. But they’re hot and are interested in getting down. Is it a “Fuck Yes!” for sex? It is? Then game on.

Wrapped up in that sweet guy who treats you so well, except goes weeks without calling you and suddenly disappears after a couple drinks and a round of the horizontal polka? Been wondering if he really likes you? Do his excuses of being so busy all the time seem legit? It doesn’t sound like the answer is a “Fuck yes.” Then it’s time to move on.

Making out with a girl at your house and every time you go to take her shirt off she swats your hands away? That is not a “Fuck Yes,” my friend, therefore, it’s a no and you shouldn’t pressure her. The best sex is “Fuck Yes” sex — i.e., both people are shouting “Fuck Yes” as they hop between the sheets together. If she’s not hopping, then there’s no fucking.

(Hint Fellas: This is a great time to ask the girl why she’s not comfortable, and what she’s looking for from you. That, by itself — you know, treating her like a human and empathizing with her — often solves this “problem.”)

Want to date that woman you met last weekend but she keeps ignoring your texts and calls? Not sure what to say or do, especially since she seemed so happy to go out with you when you initially met her? Well, my friend, this is obviously not a “Fuck Yes.” Therefore, it is a “No.” Delete her number and move on.

Fuck Yes or No applies to relationships as well. My girlfriend works with a guy who got married because “it seemed like the right thing to do.” Four years later, he was cheating on his wife every chance he got. The marriage was not a Fuck Yes for him, therefore it should have been a No.

Sometimes The Law of Fuck Yes or No will apply differently on different levels. You may be a “Fuck Yes” for friendship with someone, but mildly excited to have sex with them. Therefore, it’s a no. You may be a “Fuck Yes” on banging someone’s brains out, but a definite “No” on actually spending any time with them. Apply the law to your decision-making as it suits your current needs.

But the real beauty of The Law of “Fuck Yes or No” is that it simplifies the problems you can have in your dating life. When applying the Law of “Fuck Yes or No,” there are really only two problems one can have.

The first problem is people who never feel a “Fuck Yes” for anybody they meet. If you are lukewarm on absolutely everyone you meet, then either your demographics are way off, or you suffer from a lack of vulnerability and are protecting yourself by remaining indifferent and unenthused by all of those around you.

Remember, it’s your job to look for something cool in everyone you meet; it’s not their job to show you. This is life, not a fucking sales convention. Learning to appreciate people you meet is a skill you cultivate. So get on it. This doesn’t mean you have to fall in love with everyone who breathes in your direction. It just means you need to take responsibility for your ability to connect with the people you are meeting.

The second problem is people who never meet others who feel a “Fuck Yes” for them. If all of the people you pursue give you a mild responses, or outright rejections, then it’s time to focus on improving yourself. Ask yourself, what is it about yourself that would inspire others to say “Fuck Yes” about you? If the answer is not obvious, then you get to work. Build yourself into a person others would say “Fuck Yes” to.

And this is the ultimate dating advice lesson — man, woman, gay, straight, trans, furry, whatever — the only real dating advice is self improvement. Everything else is a distraction, a futile battle in the grey area, a prolonged ego trip. Because, yes, with the right tools and performance, you may be able to con somebody into sleeping with you, dating you, even marrying you. But you will have won the battle by sacrificing the war, the war of long-term happiness.

Read the original here.