Posts Tagged ‘prose’

What A Difference A Year Makes: Revolutionary Prose Via Facebook

February 7, 2018

Facebook has a “Memory” feature which shows you what you were doing some year(s) ago. This morning I got a “memory” from one year ago (Feb. 6, 2017). To set the stage, about 3 weeks earlier, I’d made an offer on a cute little house just southwest of Downtown Salt Lake City. I was well qualified for it, had a decent contracting job as a trainer and writer (which helped me qualify to get the loan to buy the house), and my son was helping me get the mortage. Slam dunk, no brainer. BUT, about the last part of January, my contract suddenly ended. In otherwords, I was unemployed. As a result, the mortgage — which had been conditionally approved — was “unapproved.” And poof, just like that, the house of my dreams (I thought … or at least a cute house I could hold writer classes in), was someone else’s dream house. About a week later, Feb. 6th 2017, I wrote this (then read what I wrote today, afterwards!)
February 6, 2017 · Springville, UT ·
Two weeks ago I was certain I was going to move out of my small apartment into a 3-bedroom little Brick House with one previous owner, less than a couple hundred yards away from the International Peace Garden in Salt Lake City. Instead, last week, the sale fell through and I’m moving out of my apartment downstairs into one room basement apartment. Moral of the story? Life doesn’t always go the way you thought it would. Some may say I brought this on myself. One thing I can say is that I’m grateful for a roof over my head, lots of food in the fridge and freezer, hot running water, a car that works, and children who talk to me, a sense of what I’m about. No, it’s not where I thought I would be. In a lot of respects, it’s better.
This is what I wrote today, Feb. 6, 2018 — What a difference a year makes!
Wow. This memory (see above) blows me away. Why?
One year ago I was pretty sad about not getting the Salt Lake City house. And I was no longer working with Tom-Sircy Maggio (and others) at Eccovia Solutions! But I knew that Heavenly Father had a plan. HE told me things were going to be okay.
So what has happened in that year, from February 2017 until today? Shortly before that first posting, when everything was all falling apart, I started going to the LDS Temple. I decided to go for 100 days in a row. Then I got the impression, which I acted on, to go up to Seattle and work on selling my house in Kirkland. Through a lot of hard work from Camilla Kuhns and her mother, and thanks to realtor Erin Harold, we sold the house in June for significantly more than it was going to get when we first looked at putting it in the market in March and April.
During that time, I also worked a couple hours a day on my book (dealing with my “falling away” from the LDS Church, and how and why I repented and returned. But that’s another story). Thanks to Wendy Tinker, my friend, I had a place to stay to work on the house and the book. I finished the rough draft, and I’m now working on the final edits and getting it ready to be at least an ebook.
Then I felt prompted to go out to Wisconsin to be with my dad Gene L. Kuhns and my mom Anna Kuhns, and work with them. I did that. I also felt like I should cancel my LDS Planet online dating subscription, but not before it expired on July 3rd. So I set that cancellation in motion.
On July 1st, I met a woman online (yes, on LDSPlanet!), a writer ( with published fiction and nonfiction books, someone who did social media consulting, someone who held writers retreats and other events. We started talking. We resonated.
As I talked about how I was thinking of maybe buying a property in Wisconsin where I could hold writers’ retreats, she sent me a picture of her former house, where she had always dreamed of holding writers retreats. The house looked pretty interesting, and so did she. I figured even if we wouldn’t date, we had business interests in common, so I should pursue that.
I decided to meet her, and in early August flew down to Chattanooga. There, I saw her former house, near the Chickamauga National Battlefield. Unexpectedly, it had just gone on the market (it had been foreclosed months earlier). I decided to make an offer on the house, figuring even if we didn’t work out as a business partnership or as couple, it would still be a great property to own. I made an offer, and ended up getting the house. sunset from the front porch of my rural Northwest Georgia house
It is nearly 800 square feet bigger than the one I was going to buy in Salt Lake. Instead of being several hundred yards away from a 40 acre Park, it is 200 yards away from a 5600-acre National Battlefield. Instead of being on a small quarter acre lot surrounded by inner-city neighbors, it is on nearly a 2-acre lot surrounded by even more acreage and one neighbor about a hundred yards away. Instead of looking out an old small living room window at a neighbor’s chain link fence, trashy house trailer with two large barking dogs, or looking out my back window at the backyard of a small run-down house with garbage heaped everywhere, I look out my living room window at red cedar trees, Georgia pines, and tall oak and hickory trees on a hill sloping down toward a sod farm. Out the bedroom windows, or out my office window, I look across a gently sloping yard full of wildflowers

Wildflowers and my rural Northwest Georgia house - Sept 2017

Wildflowers and my rural Northwest Georgia house – Sept 2017

to hickory trees, and beyond that a well-manicured sod farm. If I walk for about 5 minutes from my large front porch, I come to a prehistoric Native American fishing weir on the West Chickamauga Creek. Crossing that creek, I have access to a 5600 Acre National Park Civil War National Battlefield operated by the US Park Service. The house is several decades newer, Hickory Hill -- my new house in rural Northwest Georgia, Sept 2017and I bought it — all cash because I’d sold the house in Seattle — for much less than I would have paid for the house in Salt Lake.
I moved out of a 1 bedroom room in a house in central Utah, to a 5-bedroom home in Northwest Georgia in late August.
Through the course of the autumn and winter, Marnie L Pehrson and I continued to develop a business relationship. We held a writer’s retreat with Denise Lasswell Webster, and I helped Marnie with a Women’s Conference in Southern California.
And we dated. Although the house and the property were awesome, I wanted to see if there might be more.
And there is.
One year to the day after I wrote the first post above, I am 4 days away from being married for forever in the Nashville LDS temple to a woman I love, and who loves and adores me. We resonate not only emotionally and business-wise, but spiritually, mentally, and in many other ways.
Heavenly Father amazes me! I sing praises to Him. I am beyond belief grateful not only for what has happened, but what will happen. The house, the property, the relationship all allow me, allow us, to have a place of Peace, of Refuge, of Solace and Solitude, a place where we can invite our children and grandchildren, our relatives, our friends, our neighbors, and friends we haven’t met yet, to relax, to learn, to explore, to write, to create, to observe, to feel, to connect, to heal, to find peace, health, happiness and joy. Rather than living near the International Peace Garden, I can create my own!
One year ago, I would not have thought any of this was possible. I didn’t even think of it! The vision had not yet unfolded. He simply told me step-by-step what to do. In fact, if you look at the story from both of our perspectives, it seems so incredible that if we wrote it in a novel, nobody would believe it. Yet here we are.
God is good … all the time.


Don’t Save Your Breath: Revolutionary IMprov Prose

July 21, 2017

Through the years, I’ve had many friends, you included, who have told me positive things about me. They said kind, wonderful things, even when I argued with them, even when I didn’t believe them, even when it was obvious that I was exhausting them with my negativity and self-pity. They kept telling me wonderful thoughts:
I was good, I was smart, I was kind, I was important, I was intelligent, I was attractive, I was cute, I was an eccentric genius, someday I’d find my tribe and they’d get me.
and many other positive affirmations.
At the time these things were told me, I didn’t believe them. Sometimes I had to hear them many times, but finally I reached a place in my life where I realized that those things could be, might be, possibly may be, true. I accepted them, held on to them, carried them deep in my heart and my soul. They gave me hope. They prompted me and prodded me to keep trying, keep believing, keep hoping.
When I finally decided to take the leap out of self-pity and self-loathing, realizing that I could be someone worthwhile, the memory of all those positive comments came flooding back to me and substantiated me and reinforced me.

You face people who don’t believe you when you tell them how wonderful they are. It seems that you could repeat yourself until you are blue in the face, and they would never believe you. It seems like a waste of time.
So should you save your breath?
That fabulous, articulate, insightful, intelligent, kind breath?
No. Please no!

Mothers Day, 2017, Tribute: Revolutionary ConTEXTing Prose

May 14, 2017

I texted this to a friend early this morning. As I wrote this, deep in my thoughts were the way my own birth Mother raised me until 10, and how she has been my roommate for the last 6 years; my Mom, who took over raising me through the tough tween and teen years, and who was such a great friend and companion to my father for more than 55 years (and still counting! ); and the mother of my children, who was my friend and companion for decades, and who has continued to love, support and sustain our children.
I think it applies to almost every mother I know, and so, even though I’m not mentioning you by name, I hope you will feel honored this Mother’s Day. And thank you!

Motherhood may start at the birth of children. Some may think it ends when those children leave the nest, but true compassionate mothers continue to provide spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental support and stability and stay connected to their children throughout their life.
You are doing that with your children, and so, on this Mother’s Day, I honor you and respect you and uplift you and wish you a happy and joyful Mother’s Day.

Why Say What You Are? Non-Boxing Advice: Revolutionary Blogging Prose

February 20, 2017

“I’m a single.”
“I’m single.”
I hear it so often,
it makes me want to

Why say what you are?
Or what you think you are?
Unless you say
“I am a child of God.”
“I am a son of God.”
“I am a daughter of Heavenly Father.”

“I am a single”
is a statement
about your state of life.
It is
you are,
not WHO
you are.

That statement
brings so many
other statements,
Most of them
are not WHO
I am.

Isn’t it more accurate
to state:
“I am IN
the single phase
of my life”?

That allows us
That lets us
NOT be put in a box.

There is nothing wrong
with being in
the single phase
of life.
But it may not be
where we are

And it is not
who we are

Because we are
so much more
than single.

Embrace A Strange Place: Revolutionary ImproVerse Prose

January 11, 2017

A friend was going to a Polynesian island with a man she barely knew and his family. She said “I’m a bit afraid. I’m going to be surrounded by strangers, in a foreign country, with a man I don’t know.”
Since she is from Oklahoma, I reminded her what that state’s native son, Will Rogers, said: “A stranger is just a friend I haven’t met yet.”
Then I said:
When you get to the country, that new place, go, go out onto the beach, or in the woods, or a garden, or even on your balcony. Stand and face the rising or the setting sun, or the stars, or the moon, or the cloudy sky. Face the heavens.
Put your bare feet apart slightly wider than your shoulders. If you’re on the beach, put your feet in the sand, right where the waves spend their last bit of energy, where the seafoam and the wet sand moves beneath your toes and embraces your feet.
Tilt your head back to find the sun or the light or the sky. Feel the air. Close your eyes.
Raise both your arms out sideways, hands toward the light and sky, palms out, fingers spread wide, hands slightly higher than your shoulders, as though you were giving an old friend a huge hug. Breathe deep, in through your mouth and nose, deeply, and feel the vibe, the flow, of the place you are in. Connect, deeply. Open your mouth and OMMMM or YAWP or vocalize in the harmonic you feel.
As you feel the air, the wind, sense the scents, maybe wrap your arms gently but firmly around the Spirit you feel, cradle it, embrace it.
There is a certain spirit, harmonic, note in each place. Each place on earth has a unique feel, a special, sacred note. Just as a musical note sounds different played by trombone, piano, organ, clarinet or harmonica, so is the earth’s song the same, yet different in each place.
You can be jarred by it, because it doesn’t feel like where YOU are from, but if you reach out and embrace it, hear it feel it touch it, introduce yourself to it, and be introduced to it, you will connect with it. When you do, that foreign country, that new place, will become part of you, and you will become part of it. You will not be a stranger in a strange land, but an honored and welcome friend the land hadn’t met yet.
And you’ll understand why the natives are smiling.”

As Promised: Revolutionary ImproVerse Prose Lament

January 8, 2017

I’ve promised many things
to many people
over the course of my life:
My children,
my parents,
my Heavenly Father,
my wife,
my friends.

I promise because
I genuinely want to do
things that are pleasing.
I truly believe
I can accomplish those things.
But the more I promise,
the more I fail.
The more I try,
the more I realize
that I can’t do it all
for everyone.

So if I have to refuse
to do something with you,
if I turn you down
when you ask me to do something,
just know this:
I would much rather turn you down now
than to promise something
and fail.

Because it seems I’ve done that
my whole life:
I’ve hurt people
and let them down.
And now I can only ask
the Father
to guide me in the direction
of what He wants me to do.

What I Expect Me To Do– My Manifesto: Revolutionary IMprov Prose

January 4, 2017

A Facebook friend posted about the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing at Trump’s Inauguration. He was critical, because he is critical of Trump. I told him I get that Trump is not a nice person, but I have hope he can change. His response:
“Why do you hope he can change? … I will work with him when he does something that is good for america. That is a lot more than the GOP ever did for obama and america.”

My response is, I think, my Manifesto about politics, and maybe about disagreeing and living life in general:

“I guess that’s the Audacity of Hope, part 2. Since I’m party agnostic, I can’t speak for what the Democrats or the Republicans can do.
All I know is that when we sit there and say well I’m not going to because you didn’t and I’m not going to because you won’t, then we become just like those we criticize. That’s not what I’m trying to do.
I’m trying to do something different.
Eight years ago , I watched a man get inaugurated, the man whose politics I don’t agree with, a man whose views of America are sharply in opposition to mine, and a man who I hoped would never take office. And that January morning I heard words from a poet that inspired me, inspired me to start writing, inspired me to change my life, inspired me to try to be a better person.
6800 poems and prose pieces later, I am a different man than I was that January morning.
I hate less,
I love more,
I see opportunities where I saw none before,
and I am daily seizing the day.
How sad my future might have been had I boycotted his inauguration just because I disagreed with him.
As I said before, I may not be able to change the world, but I can change myself, and maybe by changing myself, I can help change the world.

Grapeful For Grandma: Revolutionary ImproVerse Prose

November 19, 2016

I think of Grandma having to clean large garbage cans full of wild grapes that we’d brought from up Mud mud Creek in the canoe.

Today, I walked out into my backyard and harvested domestic grapes from a small arbor vineyard. I only have to wash and clean two small shopping sacks full of grapes that are three times the size of the wild ones Grandma had to clean, washing off the dirt, the cobwebs, the dust, the stems.

Already my feet are sore, my back is tight, my hands and fingers are wrinkled.

I still remember the taste of that wild grape jam, jars and jars and jars she’d made for us.
But, until now, I had no idea how much effort it took.

How Grandma Loved Us!

Dear President-Elect Trump: What I Hope For Since You Got My Vote

November 13, 2016

Dear President-Elect Trump:
I voted for you. Not because we talked decades ago (Equitable Building elevator NYC, mid-1990s, after your real estate for pension fund conference speech and dinner). Nice to connect with you again … and congratulations!
I voted for you because I believe you want what’s best for this great country of ours, and that you’ll take strong steps to make it happen. I believe you’ll come up with non-traditional, revolutionary, innovative, out-of-the-box solutions, and that you’ll surround yourself with the best people America has to offer to make those solutions happen.

BUT, I do have some concerns. I have friends who didn’t vote for you and, frankly, I’m taking A LOT of heat for my vote. I CAN handle it, as long as I know you’re at least thinking about these things that we are concerned about:
1) You HAVE to come out and not only apologize for your misogynistic, rape-culture behavior in the past, with NO excuses, but make certain you are COMPLETELY clean and above reproach with your attitude toward women, especially sexually. As a father of a rape victim who literally vomited when your “locker-room talk” tape came out, I cannot emphasize how much hearing your talk hurt me and hurt people I love. BUT, I also KNOW that people can change (because I’m totally different than I was when I ruined my family ten years ago). So, PLEASE, come out with both word and actions to STOP that previous attitude, and tell others — especially men — that such language and actions are NOT acceptable.
2) There are A LOT of groups (Muslims, ALL racial minorities, women, LGBTQ, etc.) who are AFRAID of you and your potential policies. I encourage you to come out and clarify what you mean about how you’ll protect our boarders AND our citizens while still welcoming all those “yearning to breathe free”… and then make certain you implement FAIR yet PROTECTIVE policies. Because I believe you are NOT racist or prejudiced or misogynistic or homophobic. After all, you’re a New Yorker!
3) My father is an environmentalist, and so am I. We fear what you’ll do to the land we love, to nature that you, as a New Yorker, are not used to seeing much of. My suggestion: Use your innovation to encourage alternative energy, alternative transportation modes, alternative manufacturing methods which not only protect the environment BUT actually improve business. (You could start by Standing with Standing Rock and stopping the Obama-approved Pipeline and working with Native Americans to come up with an alternative.)
4) Although we are a nation of free speech and freedom of expression, come out strongly and forcefully against the hate that some of your followers are spewing. When you see Trump with a swastika, or you hear about kids in school telling fellow students to “go back to the sand dunes” or “go back to Mexico” or “We’re building a wall FOR YOU”, come out and tell them to STOP IT. Your leadership and example matter. PS! UPDATE! IN YOUR FIRST TV INTERVIEW YOU TOLD THEM TO STOP IT! AWESOME!
5) I believe you are a loving man, in a New Yorker kind of way. Show it.
6) Distance yourself from radical groups that support you (specifically, the KKK and any other white supremacist groups), and condemn them because of their racist activities and attitudes.
7) Protect our military AND our veterans (AND apologize to those you have offended, including Senator McCain.)
8) Make your parents and family proud, every day.

I’m certain there are other items my liberal friends can think of, but it’s late, I’m tired, and you’re an intelligent man … I’m certain you can think of other ways you can help unite and heal this divided country. Because I really have hope that these next 4 + 4 years are going to be among the greatest in our country’s history.

I’m praying for you every day.
Dave Kuhns

PS: My mid-80-year-old mother is a ‘UGE fan of yours. When I called her EARLY Wednesday morning, after you won, she called me back after waking up and listening to your message … in tears. She was incredibly happy, and has been ever since! She is SOOO excited for her birthday this year: January 20th, Inauguration Day! Do you think she might be able to get an invitation to join you on The Mall as you take the Oath of Office?
#MyPresident #YesMyPresident #NoRapeTalk #StopHate

Will I Change Because Of Trump’s Election? Revolutionary IMprov Prose

November 9, 2016

Election Night 2016: The last thing I heard on the radio before I went to bed was Hillary’s campaign manager telling all her supporters to go home and get some sleep. Now I wake up in the middle of the night and discover Trump has been elected president. My Facebook is blowing up with all my more liberal friends and other people saying how they despair, and how tragic life is, and how they don’t know what they will do.
And I’m confused. Since when did our happiness become so dependent on other people? Since when did we stop taking personal responsibility for making the world a better place? I understand that some people are frightened. Some people were frightened eight years ago when Obama took office. I was. You can read about it in this blog!
But guess what? The sky didn’t fall. Those who disagreed with his politics worked hard to change them. Others accepted his politics and moved on with an Audacity Of Hope. Maybe that’s the same type of thing we need to do now. If you don’t like Trump’s politics, I suggest that you work on doing something about it on an extremely personal level.
Love other people. Be kind to everybody. Be accepting and open. Fight for justice and against Injustice when you see it. Be the Change that you want to see in the world.
Most of all, I’m going to take this time to reflect on who I am as a person.
Do I speak things that are hateful?
Do I come across as a misogynist?
Can people look at me and say I’m prejudiced?
If I have not charity I have become as a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.

This will be my prayer: Dear God, please grant me the Charity that I need to do what I need to do to make the world a better place, to let those around me feel loved and safe and protected.
And, dear God, bless America.

A Friend responded “Why State the Obvious?” I responded:
If it’s so obvious, then why is my Facebook filled, as I said, with tales of Woe and Oh! the darkness is upon us and I can’t believe America is so stupid and all these Doom and Gloom sayings? I get that people have to have time to mourn, but I’m not certain that saying we’re a ll going to hell and our lives as we know them are ruined is the way to do it. 8 years ago, I’m mourned deeply. And then I saw the joy of my liberal friends, wrote a poem about the event and change, and I used the Audacity of Hope to change my life.

My friend then said that this type of response is normal. My point:
Here’s what bothers me. Although every change begins with expression, some of those of us who supported Trump,have been hearing the same expressions of hate and vitriol for the last several months. There is nothing in the current expressions of hate, and disgust that indicates things will be any different at all. I am simply inviting those label me because of my vote as misogynistic racist ignoramus to come and have a dialogue with me. But if they’ve turned their backs on me and insult me and insist on calling me and those who voted like me names, then there is little hope. I can stand here with open arms and smiling face, but eventually, if they throw enough crap at me, I will stop trying to have a dialogue with them. And they will be ignored , just as they fear.

And then, this morning:
Hillary just gave a wonderful concession speech. I believe that she wants to work together to better America. My Hope Is that people won’t run away. That people won’t be hating. That people will listen to each other and respect differences and work together. That is the Audacity of my Hope.