I seem to be an explorer.  Mountains, broadly defined, physical and metaphorical, attract me.  That seems to be because climbing gives a better view and makes new mountains visible.  From them I see new things and get new perspectives on what I saw before.   I rarely climb all the way to the top because there’s usually a point where most of what I’m going to see is clear enough.  It feels a better use of time and effort to head for something new. That’s my excuse, at any rate, for moving on.

This blog is a journal of my travels, all in the present tense because that’s when experience occurs.  We notice only some of what we see and only some of what we feel.  What catches our eye, so to say, either comforts us by reminding us of something familiar or is momentarily startling.  I write about what startled me because writing is the best way I know to clarify understanding.

We learn nothing if we don’t reflect on what we saw and felt.  When we do, we begin to recognize inconsistencies between what really happened and how we lazily interpreted it at the time.  Trying to capture in writing what really happened helps us see what we must have missed, which motivates us to notice more in future, open up, grow more aware.  It motivates me, anyway.

I’m publishing these logs because it makes me try that much harder to be clear.  To that extent it’s selfish, but I hope it’s also entertaining and thought-provoking.

What I learn comes mostly from being with people.  Somebody says something:  I never heard that before, I never noticed that, I never saw things in that way.  That’s why many log entries start with something someone said.  Others are provoked by data I saw presented in a chart with striking clarity.

March 6, 2018 – That’s all true enough but its context is quite specific — I was still spending as much as half my life trekking in the Himalayas.  This April 2017 post is a holistic view of my life.

4 comments on “About

  1. More encounters in the Himalayas were what I expected when I began this blog. The topics have grown more diverse but all the posts do still result from exploration.

    As I saw more of the deep problems and that while their politicians occasionally shake, they never move, I thought I should use my training to see a good direction for Nepal. Then I saw parallels between Nepali politicians worsening life for their people and my own government making life worse for Americans. I felt that as a citizen, I must understand our economy and system of government. That requires many explorations.

    I’ve been blessed by many opportunities for learning and, feeling foolish, I rediscovered in new context after new context the necessity of first understanding a problem, only then a solution.

    So this is a brief status report: I have at last a clearer picture of our situation and occasional glimpses of where solutions may lie. I’m hoping my body holds out long enough so I can overcome enough more of my ignorance to place a dependable directional arrow or two.

    There’s a summary of my learning experiences at:


  2. More simply said, this blog exists because first I want to know the facts, then I want to know what I think about them.

    Writing is my best tool for that process; first note-taking, then analysis of the facts, then articulating the result.

    In the last stage I ask, does that make sense? Usually not at first. So I keep thinking.

    When what I think no longer conflicts with any of the facts, I ask what new questions do my conclusions suggest?

    That’s when I recognize that I still don’t see clearly enough. I need more facts…

    • “If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.” –Thomas Pynchon (Gravity’s Rainbow)

      We so often ask ourselves the wrong questions. This is an ongoing account of my search for the right ones.

  3. More recently, I’ve been on a new journey, exploring results of the neurodegenerative disease that is crippling my muscles and which will relatively soon end my life.

    I post monthly reports that I hope may help others with such diseases or who are caring for them.

    My Tibetan Buddhist practice turns what would otherwise be an entirely negative experience into a journey like all my others, an adventure on which I am learning so much. Here’s how I got onto this path: http://martinsidwell.com/my-als-adventure-july-2018/

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