A.T. Russel’s Words

A friend of mine, Anton T. Russsell (the go-to guy for Twisted Core Press), wrote something a while back that really resonated with me.

  • It isn’t about what you want to be, or even who you are. It’s about putting yourself and others in the sweet spot so that reality can be what it is and everybody can catch the right groove, and get comfortable in their own minds and skins. It ain’t tolerance or acceptance, it’s existence on a level far above cerebral contemplation. It’s called reality for a reason and nobody owns it. Call it, claim it, be it … it is ours together. Get in where you fit in.

I’ve been crazy busy since he wrote this, which is why I haven’t posted about it before. However, I wanted to take a bit of time and give credit where it’s due.

There’s been a lot of turmoil regarding race and religion and politics and economics and class in recent years. It seems everyone is hyper-focused on the differences that they can’t see the similarities… the forest for the trees, I suppose. So many people seem to be doing their utmost to piss on anyone who doesn’t look, think, act, earn, or pray the way they do.

I suppose it’s a reflection of our times. With the advent of social media, more and more people have a voice they’ve never had before. And the talking heads have even more vehicles by which they can shovel their tripe and rile up folks who, in the final analysis, are probably just as interested in getting by as peacefully, quietly, and successfully as I am.

And yet, here we are, a nation shouting at each other. I think what Anton wrote resonated with me because I do my best to follow his advice. I guess it’s part of why I decided to become a writer after so many years of doing what I had been doing.

There’s no question I was making a whole lot more money in IT. But I realized late in life that IT wasn’t my “sweet spot.” Frankly, it remains to be seen if writing is . It feels right, to be sure. But whether or not the endeavor is sustainable will only be revealed to me in the years ahead.

What A.T. seems to be talking about obviously goes way way beyond someone’s career choice. It’s about not only about how to live as an individual, but how to interact with other sentient beings. It’s about achieving an unconscious, dare I say default, synergy with each and every individual you come in contact with… finding your own sweet spot while not inhibiting their own discovery.

The trick is to step beyond a person’s title or garb, beyond accoutrements and affectations, beyond bone structure and skin pigment. Because, regardless of those meaningless details, there is an electrified consciousness in there that is identical to yours—baring a lifetime of different experiences. The mechanism is precisely the same. Only the perspective is different. And if you understand that, they you must conclude that the journey is paramount, not the vehicle which carries it.

And if you can wrap your head around this reality, then you may come to the same conclusion I (and obviously A.T.) have. If you move through life in a manner that seems reasonable to your own “sweet spot,” and you intuit that everyone else is or at least should be seeking or living their own “sweet spot,” then the disparate journeys we are all on become a natural flow: like clear rivulets coursing down a mountainside  or clouds streaming across blue skies.

It’s at least something to think about, n’est ce pas?

There are two more quotes I think are worth mentioning here:


  • Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
  • Do what you wanna, do what you will  Just don’t mess up your neighbor’s thrill  ‘N when you pay the bill, kindly leave a little tip  And help the next poor sucker on his one way trip.
~ Frank Zappa



One thought on “A.T. Russel’s Words

  1. Quincy, I think we’ve reach a point in life where personal joys, clean and responsible, and passions that have taken hold of us has become our primary objectives. My best physical days are behind me and now I’m mature and wise enough to pursue those joys and passions with a big smile on my face. Here’s where I could say, “Can’t we all just get along?” Instead I’ll say, “History is a point of reference, not an anchor.” That’s my mantra, and it defines me.

    Thank you, Quincy. A bit of passion escaped me one day, and that I was able to impress my true belief upon one person means a lot. Your post expounds critical truths and your wisdom and experience stands out, my friend.


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