The Most Interesting Man I Know (Besides My Dad)

You never know who you might be sitting next to in an English class in High School.

I have a friend who tells stories. That’s not all he does, but his story telling is what has him on my mind this month. As you know, I have been writing and talking a LOT about telling the truth. Not just telling the truth about who left the apartment building door ajar, but telling YOUR truth. Your stories. Your experiences.

Matt Holdaway has always marched to the beat of his own drum. I can still see him loping down the halls of our high school in Rexburg, Idaho, dressed in black. He wore black before black was cool. He was a “New Waver” in a town of cowboys. He was cheerful in a school full of overly serious teens. His easy laugh, which borders on a giggle, was infectious.

Fast forward 20 years and it is Matt Holdaway who makes the greatest effort to keep all us misfit toys from Rexburg together. He flies through Salt Lake on his way to visit his dad and makes sure we all get together. I know he does the same once he reaches that Idaho burg of frozen windswept wasteland.

Matt holds a special place in my teenage heart. He took a picture of me playing the flute in Temple Square, 1990, which, to this day, I believe is the prettiest photo ever taken of me. It captures exactly who I was and how I felt — innocent and sad. He is also one of the few friends I have who ever got to meet my Grandmother Bates. I love her so much, for some reason its comforting he met her.

After high school, most of us misfits from Idaho relocated to the “big city,” AKA, Salt Lake City. Matt started a magazine. It was really more of a booklet of photocopies stapled together. He would print stories, artwork, songs and more that his friends had created. He printed a couple of my songs. The rags were called, “A Multitude of Voices.” As far as I know, he still produces them.

He would also organize huge events he called “A Night of Voices.” The lineup for the evenings would include everything from pantomime to poetry. Looking back, it was a hell of thing to pull off for a kid from Rexburg, newly transplanted in Salt Lake. He was my artistic conscience a lot of the time. I know I was more aware of being truthful in my songwriting when I knew he’d be listening.

Eventually Matt moved to the Bay Area. We haven’t been the kind of friends who check in on each other weekly, monthly or even yearly, but we are true friends. And here is why he is the Most Interesting Man I Know:

  1. Matt tells stories. He doesn’t simply relate an anecdote. He spins a good yarn. When Matt tells a story, everyone within earshot is caught up in it. He is HILARIOUS.
  2. Matt loves people. He loves to find interesting people and introduce them to each other. He has found the ultimate vehicle for this with his weekly radio show, “Radio Voices” which is broadcasted at 104.1 fm on Sundays from 2pm to 4pm in San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley. You can also tune in via the web.
  3. Matt lives and works in a digital world, but his brain is analog. To that end, his life is indexed and annotated manually. He has the most elaborate, yet simple, method of keeping track of his wild machinations. I fear revealing the specifics of his secret will leave him vulnerable to attack, though, so I will refrain.
  4. Matt is a super hero. (Hence my reticence to divulge his method of organization) He is Storm Shadow of the California Cobras. Watch closely, or you’ll miss him. That’s how ninja-like he is:
  5. Matt does all this AND holds down a real-life, actual, career-type, job-job.
  6. Matt has invented his own genre of music. It’s called “Story Rock.” And it rules. His band is called, Matt Holdaway’s Army. You can download some of his stuff through iTunes. You can find him on Rhapsody. And on ReverbNation. And seriously, how much does Matt kick ass?:

So, yeah, Matt’s pretty f***ing cool. But what do I REALLY love about Matt? What is the thing that makes him the Most Interesting Man I Know? He tells the truth. Always. To everyone. He’s not afraid of what the truth will do to anyone. And he does it with a pure heart. Maybe mischievous. Sometimes salacious. but never malicious.

I have been preoccupied, as of late, with what to do next. This 101 day project is coming to a close, for better or for worse, in just 13 days. (Look for big updates!) With all I’ve been ruminating on truth, excess, healthy habits and letting go, I’ve been at a loss as to which of my interests will bare the closest scrutiny. What “voice” of mine is the loudest?  As of today, I have finally decided.

At the end of this 101 day project I will close this site and leave it as a standalone reminder of a journey I took to remember who I really was. The blog I will begin, on the first day of spring, will be about The Truth. I will tell my truth. I will ask others to tell theirs. I will talk about what “truth” means. I hope to discuss with everyone the truth about control, habits, possessions and love. I hope this can be done largely through stories. I’m going to need help, but I’m excited.

So THANK YOU, Matt Holdaway, for being such a good friend, for always telling the truth and for helping me find the next step on my path. You rule. Gooooooooooooo, Bobcats!

Still want more? Subscribe to Matt’s YouTube Channel.

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Filed under 101 Day Project, Dreams, Moving On

I Love this introduction to Raw Foodism. She has a bunch of helpful links, as well.

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Filed under Freeing the Fat, Going Raw

A little knowledge, A little Wisdom, Every day.

Add for knowledge, Subtract for wisdome

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Filed under 101 Day Project, Honing my Habits

Telling the Truth Includes Behaving Accordingly

Honesty is never seen sitting astride the fence.  ~Lemuel K. Washburn, Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays, 1911

The truth is a subject that’s been on my mind almost incessantly over the last month or two. The more I think about truth, the more I realize how multifaceted it is. The truth is both quantitative and qualitative. It is harsh and it is kind. It is obvious and it is subtle. Today I think I have decided on one more thing about truth. Truth is not deceitful. If a person knows a truth about themselves and chooses to be vague about that truth, that lie of omission is just as harmful, if not more so, than an outright fabrication.

This snippet comes from “Rhetoric 101”:

Lie of omission – “A lie of omission is a method of deception and duplicity that uses the technique of simply remaining silent when speaking the truth would significantly alter the other person’s capacity to make an informed decision.”

And it’s not just Lies of Omission that contribute to altering someone’s ability to make informed decisions. Other tools of deceit include:

Concealment: omitting information that is important or relevant to the given context, or engaging in behavior that helps hide relevant information. And my personal favorite: Understatements: minimization or downplaying aspects of the truth. (Deception)

And one more thing, I have been naive enough in my day to have believed someone could tell me the truth while they lied to someone else. I know now that that is impossible. It is impossible to be honest with one person if you are lying to another. The truth gets jumbled up somewhere in the middle, and soon what was once the truth is lost forever.

Here are some goodies — Reminders to us all about telling the truth — to ourselves and to everyone else.

A lie will easily get you out of a scrape, and yet, strangely and beautifully, rapture possesses you when you have taken the scrape and left out the lie.  ~Charles Edward Montague, Disenchantment

The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold.  ~Aristotle

The most dangerous untruths are truths moderately distorted.  ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

Honesty is never seen sitting astride the fence.  ~Lemuel K. Washburn, Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays, 1911

A lie may take care of the present, but it has no future.  ~Author Unknown

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A Poem Written 12 Years Ago Today

March 5, 2000

Barely breathing.
Rude. Loud. voices below– bellowing–

700 times down this trip before–
Different Destination.
Same Damn Thing.
But I’ve changed my name, or my
shirt…
Or maybe it’s the spilled coffee that did it.
Or maybe I’m the power &
Louder & Closer & Further
away.
From the Depot or the outlet or the end.

700 times down this hill before.
Different form of
locomotion.
Will the spot we end up put us right where we were–
with the nets and the bats and the
referees?
or will this road go somewhere
where the orange and the blue and the hues don’t
melt
to brown.

She said that.

Not quite that way, but that’s what she meant and

700 times down this river before. but maybe
oh maybe
I won’t be swallowed up.
Maybe I’ll be followed and hallowed like
Jesus
or Buddha or…
Maybe there are just too many of us–
fighting & Biting & Groping & Hoping for
Love.
or a Chance.

700 times up this WALL before.
but Maybe, just Maybe
this time’s Different from the last
or the first
or the worst
in a group of contestants and I
NEVER SIGNED UP.
At least I never meant to– but there I go with the
Banner and the Crown.

Keep it together. Keep It together.

700 times in this boat before–
or was it smaller then, with more
holes
and more tolls and more reasons to stay
aground.
Instead I’m battling and paddling as hard as I can…
till the blood
Just
stops.

And the moths cover the lights every summer no matter what You do.

700 Miles and 2 left to go. Could be 3, could be more.
When I get there should I
keep. on. driving?
Or do I stop and get out-
stretch my legs and my
heart.
Cut your gift or just sit — on the grass. This place.
So familiar, but I always go back. to the moment,
or the house, or to you.

700 times in this spot before… perched precariously on the ledge.
The sign says “no jumping” but look at those
people.
down below.
swimmingandsplashingandlaughingand
more…

700 times up this tree before
like a
cat.
A Cat whose just waiting to be saved, then scratches and bites at its savior…
It’s like being afraid of the Dentist even though you know it won’t hurt…
or at least it won’t hurt
that
much.

700 times in this swing before–
going back and forth between lives–
But i start to think I’ve been chained to this swing,
Nailed to its Cross Braces,
Glued to its seat.
Believing when hearing, “You’re much too important to come down off that swing, much too valuable to be walking!” or
running or driving or rising
UP. OUT. ABOVE
this ridiculous playground.

700 times on this roof before
shouting Nonsense to those below.
Screaming swear words and trying to Sing… like
Billie.
but the Holliday’s aren’t here. It’s not time for
breaking out the silver and the
Great
Big
Guns.

700 times at this fork in the road.
or was it a knife?
Because that’s what it felt like when it happened.
The Pain of Decision or In-Decision.

And still they INSIST on making all that noise outside.

700 times in this skin before–
But it’s tougher and rougher and
softer
than before. Or at least more determined to
Push off these shores and find more.

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My Mother’s Turquoise Ring

Plinky Prompt: What Is Your Most Prized Possession?
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I have a gorgeous turquoise ring my mother gave me. Her mother gave it to her. She used to wear it almost every Sunday. Every time I look at my right hand, I see her hand wearing the familiar ring. I remember sitting in church next to her on most Sundays, holding her always warm, soft hands. I would pet the back of her hand, marveling at how smooth her skin was. I liked the way I could push wrinkles across her hand and smooth them back out.

Now that my hands are nearly 40, and my skin is now smooth and getting thinner, my hands feel and look exactly like hers did back then. I often sit alone with my thoughts pushing wrinkles across the back of my hand, like I used to in church with mom. In a very real way I feel like I am right back there with her, leaning against her arm and holding her hand.

It is a gift that her ring and my own hands connect me to her so easily. Today I am aware, though, I need to do more than imagine holding her hand. Its coming on past the time for a sojourn to Texas so I can hold her hand, live and in person. Soon.

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A Song For the Broken Hearted

I have a heart.
It is bigger than most.
It’s been broken and stepped on,
But was still full of hope.
Now I’ll keep it with me,
I’ve left it before,
I’ve lent it to others
But I won’t anymore

I think it’s the last time
this has to be it.
I swore I’d be careful —
be more careful with it.
But I never saw you coming
You surprised me with this
And although I knew better
I let go of it

I let go of it, and
I gave it to you,
And now I am holding
A heart broken in two
I’ve fixed it before
And I’ll do it again.
I love you so much
But this is the end.

You can say that I pushed you
But you know that’s a lie
I was doing just fine
And was willing to try.
To try loving and waiting
And giving you time
I don’t understand
How I misread the signs.

But I’ll mend my sweet heart
Put it back in my chest
I should’ve known better–
known better than this
And I’ll lock it away
This big heart of mine
Cuz I know I can’t take it
I can’t take one more time.

Still, make no mistake
I’ll take longer to mend
Because coming from you
This feels like the end–
The end of me trying
The end of my hope
You didn’t really kill it,
But you handed me the rope.

So life will go on
Like it always has before
And I will forget you
And forget you some more.
Remember I loved you
And remember I tried
I gave you my big heart
And you pushed it aside.

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