An Intense Focus on Mental Illness

For the next year I will be immersed in the world of mental illness and mental health. This will not be strictly focused on the Southeast U.S. like my first book was. I’ll go wherever I need to go in order to find stories and solutions.

Joie de vivre in New Orleans

There were no rivals, only allies in the courtyard on Decatur. They welcomed me with open arms and bent over backwards to let me know that I had a home here if I desired.  And I do desire. I intend to make New Orleans home at least part of every year.

Notes from Art Basel 2016 in Miami

For the last few weeks I've been asking people to share anonymous secrets at events I attend. Here are a handful of my favorites from Art Basel last weekend. Thanks to Frank Warren at Postsecret for the inspiration. 

Coming Out

Religious-based, Southern shame has been key to keeping the closet door locked and sexual secrets hidden. “Love the sinner, hate the sin,” is what they cry, aiming to shame you into dropping the perceived sin, which it turns out is the very essence of who you are. By saying they hate the sin, they are in effect saying that they hate you, unless you deny your true nature, in which case they’ll love you, but only if you keep it on the straight and narrow.

Goodbye Home

I left a traditional house, in a traditional neighborhood that was walled - broken by divorce and addiction and dishonesty, and was taken in by this place that offered openness , freedom, and endless rabbit holes to explore.

Journey into the Heart of The Hidden South

I'm at my best when I'm on the road. I wake up with a sense of urgency fueled by a childlike curiosity about the other humans sharing this experience with me.  I live by faith that I'm being guided by a force greater than me alone. I feel connected.

Kill the Pain

The majority of drug overdose deaths (more than six out of ten) involve an opioid. And since 1999, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids  nearly quadrupled. From 2000 to 2014 nearly half a million people died from drug overdoses. 

Enough Already - We Have to End Prohibition

Yesterday, police in Montgomery County, GA posted this picture bragging of their arrest of Hank Ogle and the confiscation of these marijuana plants. I, with thousands of other people, were collectively angered, bewildered and frustrated by this action.

Washed by the rain, dried by the sun

I truly felt like Howard himself had graciously welcomed me to his family, given me a seat at the table, and nourished me back to health. I don't believe I've ever felt the presence of someone who has passed as strongly as I felt his on that Sunday. He may not be physically among the living anymore, but he is very much alive and well in that garden.