In the Creative and Thinking and Pondering Worlds, there are three basic fears:
Fear of Creating
Fear of Thinking
Fear of Pondering
I think about this all the time—perhaps too much. But I do think about it.
Often, Thinkers, Ponderers and Creatives are looked upon with bemusement.
Society and anti-society types sometimes find us entertaining, frequently annoying, and all too often downright unwelcome.
We are like the Court Jesters of old–we’re kept around as long as we don’t disrupt or disturb too much. And we serve as diversions, diversions that aren’t really worth the effort to ban, since we’re almost always non-political.
Thinkers, Ponderers and Creatives mostly just want to examine things experientially, not scientifically. We go with the gut, with the common-sense alarm factor, with the distant-early-warning system that sorts bullshooting from empathy. Being artists, we are good at spotting fakes.
Once in a while, we come out of our creative spider holes and as troubadors wander about a bit, spreading and teaching what we know–until we become self-conscious and realize that we’re better at plying our art than at proselytizing.

 We just wait for you to discover us or ignore us. Either way, we are mostly content in our little worlds.

Take a peek, though. You might discover you are already one of us
(c) 2012 A.D. by Jim Reed


Thumbing through miles of notes in my fractured and scattered Red Clay Diary, I found this  from a couple of years back. I don’t think anything’s changed, except that I’m more sympathetic toward the Zombies who roam the city streets in clouds of smoke–only doing harm to themselves and passersby and those of us trapped in their nicotine zones.


My vision is photographic.

Not my memory, just my vision.

I remember small details that seem important at the time.

I don’t remember names, but I can tell you way too much about

the image that sticks in my mind about everybody I meet.

Who knows how this happens? Probably just genetics.

But sometimes, this is fun. Want some examples?


The clerk at the counter seems not there. She looks like she’s

there, but her mind, oh, her mind…her field of vision, oh, her

field of vision…they are definitely somewhere else. She’ll never

remember our moment together.


The singer is my age, his smooth tones have transmogrified into

a galloping vibrato. It makes it more beautiful.


The overlapping-belly green-shirted baseball-capped Bermuda-shorted

guy totes a large K-Mart bag and wanders about the lot, looking for his car.

Maybe he’s still searching.


The Day Glo fluorescent-finger-nail employee at the Salvation Army Thrift

Store has bright blonde hair and deepdark skin and a ready wit. She makes

me smile at nothing in particular.


Two tall hairbraided guys at Family Dollar talk enthusiastically about their

momentary problem: whether there’s enough ice at home or whether they

should buy another bag on the way home. It’s a big deal, their

moment, and don’t you laugh about it, you hear?


A bloated male clerk at the Salvation Army Thrift Store is in charge

of re-arranging the deck chairs and making the place neater. There

is an enormous stuffed mascot bear lying deathlike on the floor.

He brings it to life by placing it into a wheelchair. Now, the animal

is merely handicapped. The clerk kicks at the children’s books

scattered about but doesn’t pick them up.

Bending would be required.

Effort would be required.


The golden-tressed woman with bare midriff looks good

far away. But oh, the close-up: weathered face and flabby

paunch and deep frown report her real life to me.


The smokin’ zombie girls still smoke on break outside

my store, hissing into cellphones, double-inhaling,

chain-lighting-up, happy to be outside in the heat,

away from the smoke-free zombie cubicles inside

the multi-decked office buildings

The Downtown Explorers Club has spent yet one more

day appreciating these puzzling lives.

What have you discovered in the steaming pavements

of Downtown?

Let’s share

(c) 2011 A.D. by Jim Reed



or read on…


What’s in it for me?

That’s the mantra most of us chant when searching for a way to avoid leaving The Zone of Comfort.

You know, The Zone of Comfort–that which allows you to leave Rocking the Boat to someone else. It’s what makes me find a reason for not attending one more Social Occasion, that which creates happiness in a lot of people while I’m seeking a quiet corner in which to peruse a book sitting on our host’s shelf.

Lately, of course, that option is difficult to find, since so many folks we know don’t own books–at least no visible books, except for that one coffee table volume that matches the drapes and has never been opened or read (I know this because of the fine layer of dust thereon).

Homes, condos, apartments without lots of books lying about, are rather scary to me. What is it that these people read?  Highly condensed and expurgated factoids promulgated via television or internet or texting or tweeting or blogging or blasting? Is this where they obtain their knowledge of the world? If that’s the case, it’s a lot like learning your history and science lessons through the sole act of driving down the highway and reading billboards and signs and markers. You may absorb an amazing amount of disjointed information, but have you gained anything even remotely associated with wisdom or knowledge?

So where’s the fun in leaving The Zone of Comfort?

1. You just might learn something useful you’ve never before imagined.

2. You might learn something useless but utterly enjoyable.

3. You might learn something that will change the way you look at life.

4. You might learn something that will reinforce your belief in remaining within The Zone of Comfort.

5. You might unlearn something you always thought was The Only Way.

6. You might actually learn something educational and thought-provoking and transformative.

7. You might learn to lift The Cone of Silence and begin a new mind-expanding project or ten.


And so on.

Try busting out of The Zone of Comfort once a week. Standing vulnerable for a few moments will be more riveting than you can imagine. And besides, if it doesn’t work out, you can always slink back into the Zone and blame it all on me.

It couldn’t hurt



(c) Jim Reed 2011 A.D.