Personal Pinpoints of Merry Lights

Merry Very Dada - @jschwartz63 - Jay Schwartz

This post is very personal because life is ultimately about the collection of personal moments we hold so dear. These treasured memorable instances of self-connection and self-awareness are all we have, and all we will ever to take the grave. If we were Christmas trees, such memories would be our twinkling lights that give us color and character.

Step into my background for context. I’m an American; I live in Greece. I’m originally from Miami (Florida), or more specifically Westchester and some temporally conglomerated junction of Bird Road (near the old trains tracks), Coral Way, Galloway Road, South Dixie Highway, Dadeland, Coral Gables and all the old haunts I still visit in my mind from time to time. If you don’t know Miami, these places have nothing to do with Miami Vice, South Beach, Art-Deco or Calle Ocho. I’m from a period time when neon signs flashed brilliantly in the looming darkness along a two-lane corridor of rushing four-wheeled headlights causing horizontal blurring streaks across falling dusky skies of electric blues and burnt oranges.

But this post isn’t about Miami; it’s about Christmas, self-actualization, self-awareness, self-worth and all those personal selfies we hold so dear. It’s not just about the blues and oranges, but also the punctuated reds and greens that grew out of early images of black and white. Continue reading


Free Dada Riot

'Dada Hero' by Jay Schwartz Dada is like your hopes: nothing.
Like your paradise: nothing.
Like your idols: nothing.
Like your heroes: nothing.
Like your artists: nothing.
Like your religions: nothing.
-Francis Picabia
“In those days we were all Dadaists. If the word meant anything at all, it meant seething discontent, dissatisfaction and cynicism. Defeat and political ferment always give rise to that sort of movement.”
– George Grosz


How often do you bang your head against the same wall? Why is it so hard to learn some lessons? Why are we addicted to stupidity and denial? Why are we suckers for flights of fancy? Why do we allow our egos to get the best of us?

These question are easily answered, but require large dollops of mind altering ‘faith’ that are not easily swallowed. In fact, by nature our egos detest blind-faith in anything. So instead we moan, groan and bitch about life and learn to mentally masturbate ourselves into insanity and denial.

Now, no one said life itself was easy. In fact, no one said anything of any nature! We arrive in this plane of existence with no guarantees. We have no receipt for the deeds of past lives; we are born with a clean slate. Our whole lives are ahead of us … followed by our inevitable deaths. Whether we will be granted another ‘go’ on the carousel of life is a matter of speculation … especially for the blind leading the blind.

In the meantime, God (fill-in this space with of your choice here or enter ‘not applicable’ if you are an atheist/agnostic) gives us different talents, abilities and proficiencies to help us get by in terms of finding happiness and maintaining our sanity. Yet, we regularly misuse or ignore these capacities, preferring instead to enslave ourselves to a system we call ‘the establishment’ that sucks away on our life force on a daily basis. This ‘golden calf’ keeps us distracted from what’s important in life, while it encourages us to look over ‘there’ to what we are ‘without’, rather than over ‘here’ to what would constitute as ‘within’.

Yet for some, questions persist …

Continue reading

In Light Of A Bohemian Smile

God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.
– Voltaire
Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.
– Henry Miller


How easy is it for you to smile? Can you manage a fake one? Do you need someone’s help? Go on and give it a shot.

A few mornings ago, I looked in the mirror; it was my birthday. I’m 49 – a little older and a lot wiser with still lots to learn. Ok, maybe ‘learn’ is not the right sentiment; maybe ‘make sense of’ is. In any event, I think the older I get, the more I scratch my head over life, which no doubt might be the reason for my thinning hair! Still, compared with other male members of my family, past and present, I still have plenty of hair on my head, so I really shouldn’t complain.

Indeed, I have a lot to smile about and day by day I try really really hard to remind myself of that. If you blink though, you might miss it.

Continue reading

Weed Whackers


Herb: In the known universe there are beings that never quite question their existence. They wander wildly through the underbrush of society, slowly strangling the life out of all within their grasp, including themselves. It’s senseless. 



Charlie: And so it begins, our journey … our wandering.

Ivy: I wonder … will we wander in vain? Is there a point to all this creeping about?

St. John: About our destiny,  yes. And, we must have faith in our function, our purpose, our very reason for being.

Charlie: Being that you know so much about life, the universe and everything, don’t you think it’s about time we questioned our existence and that which drives us?

Ivy: What drives us is life itself. Isn’t it? 

St. John: It is! Our very existence demands we kowtow and bow to the will of what we were born to do.

Charlie: Do tell! We are slaves to our wills then … or the wills of our nature … and after we do whatever it is we are supposed to do then what happens? What then?

Continue reading

Slacker Talk: Loitering Thoughts On Life

I remember thinking this just can’t be right
Got to be a better way to live your life
Slow like a soft southern breeze
Nobody take time to breathe
Everybody always rush, rush, rush around
Rush, rush, rush around
Rush, rush, rush around
– Edie Brickell (Rush Around)


Some called him a Bohemian. Others said he was a slacker. In truth, it doesn’t matter what he was called; all that matters is what we learned from him.

Life is not about learning how to win or lose, as much as it’s about learning how to play and even enjoy the game. For many people, however, this and other life lessons are often lost in their rush to cling to their delusions about what life is really all about: the attainment of some ‘cracker jack prize’ or ‘hollow victory’, if you will. The morbid and honest truth is that rushing your way through life yields the same ‘trophy’ as those who take it slow: a tombstone.

Continue reading

All Thumbs Going Forward

“Whatever you get paid attention for is never what you think is most important about yourself.”
– David Foster Wallace

Last Thursday, in one of those ‘stupid clumsy me’ moments, I bashed my hand against a wall and screwed up my right thumb. As I’ve had my fair share of broken bones over the years, I didn’t think it was fractured and even managed to play guitar with it for a couple of hours with my buddy. Nevertheless, I had it x-rayed the next morning just to be safe; it was swollen and stiff, and the thumb, too! 

While waiting for the x-ray report to come in, I sat thinking back to when I had broken both elbows in a bike accident a couple of years ago, on April Fool’s Day no less. I thought about how crappy it would be to start the New Year incapacitated, trying to get by with my left hand, especially as I’m right-handed. I thought about toasting the New Year holding a champagne glass in my shaky left hand, as well as typing this post one letter at a time in true ‘hunt and peck’ fashion. I considered how 2011 might be giving me one last kick in the crotch before it winks out of existence. And then, a sobering thought struck me, “aww was 2011 really so bad to me?”

About 6 hours before my accident, I had been reading the last post of Joe Bodolai, a comedy writer with many notable television stints to his credit, including Saturday Night Live (SNL). Eulogizing himself, he listed his life’s achievements in length, as well as noted his regrets, personal peeves and even his sardonic predictions for the coming year. He then closed his extensive suicide note expressing thanks to the many who had been a part of his life, as well as suggesting “I need to feel the good that I did and whatever good I have ever done for you is enough for me.” … Well, apparently whatever good he did in his life wasn’t ‘good enough’ for him to rest his laurels on and so he offed himself by drinking a mixture of Gatorade and antifreeze.

Continue reading

Artful Dodgers In The Blogosphere Mist

Spare us your wisdom
and send us your cash.
A twenty or a fifty …
… or something like that.
– Send Us Your Money (Judd Jugmonger)

Bloggers make for interesting sorts. Many start out as artists with their ‘craft’ in mind, and end up as marketers with ‘sales’ on their minds. The transmogrification of this species usually follows this pattern: I think therefore I am. I am therefore I create. I’m hungry. In fact, I’m starving. So, I create therefore I sell.

Today I read a post on another blog about writing. Well, actually it was about marketing under the guise of writing because no one with any flair for ‘the creative’ really wants to be a salesman. It’s true, isn’t it? If so, why do there seem to be so many blogging ‘artful dodgers’ in the blogosphere?

Continue reading