This is imported from our previous 3rd-party location, originally posted 8.16.23
As a child, I always hated the section of Alice in Wonderland with the walrus and oysters (more formally known as Lewis Carroll’s poem “The Walrus and The Carpenter”). It seemed out of place in an already disjointed fantasyland, and yet this stanza has always stuck with me:

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

It embodies the beauty of free flow conversation. A “conversation without fences” as Russell Crowe tweeted, after Sinéad O'Connor’s passing while he recalled a memory of her.

I’ve thought of that phrase several times since seeing the tweet that day. It’s a beautifully simple expression of a meandering chat style we can all immediately recognize. I’ll be keeping that phrase in the box with the Shoes and Ships and Sealing wax of Alice’s walrus.

Conversations without fences is my favorite type of discussion to have. I bring it and the walrus up for two reasons. First, I find I am quite distraught as of late with the way social media has separated society into “us vs. them” on even the most benign of topics. I long for discussion without agenda, without absolutes. An exchange of opinion that is not trying to convince or correct, but rather to patiently share opposing ideas for better understanding. To question without consequence the things you don’t understand to better grasp the other person’s viewpoint. The currently derisive nature of social media has reduced even your personal opinion of a movie into an invitation from strangers to attack with the sole purpose of telling you you’re wrong. There is no safe space for exploration without being attacked. Discourse has given way to gatekeeping. Wolf pack mentality has shut down those willing to ask and learn and grow. Fear prevents a differing of any opinion and thus, the death of dialogue in lieu of diatribe.

Secondly, I invite anyone and everyone who is local or close enough for a roadtrip to come see me. We can discuss cabbages and kings…

Local Appearance

Come see me at The Dark Parlour, Tuesday August 22 from 5 - 8pm (118 E. King St, York, PA 17401)
I will have books to sell and sign, and will do a reading. But I’m also up for having a casual conversation about the last thing you ate that was new to you, or hear about some trinket you found by accident, or why aliens being real isn’t as scary as our politics. I’d love to have conversations without fences about life and living—outside a bubble, a vacuum, an echo chamber of approved opinions—and explore new thoughts, ideas, or perspectives.

Or you can ask me where I get my ideas from and what I’m working on. Either way, I’ll be at The Dark Parlour next Tuesday to kick off this season’s appearances.
See you there!
Thanks for reading and remember, a current inventory of personalized, signed books available to ship (direct from me and shipped to you) is available.
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