The Dark Road Diary, Part 28: 60 Seconds to Come Undone

As it happens from time to time, we head down a path towards something we are certain of only to arrive uncertain of who we are, where we landed, and why we left our locked-down inevitability in the first place. This is the 60 Second Answers to me. 

The whole thing was my idea, meant to be quick, artful, honest, and immediate— just SJ and I in the stale air of Dead Starling studio. On the cusp of releasing two new recordings, it was a creative response making peace with the internet’s demand for content (a reality if you set up shop on the thing). It was part potshot at the short attention span of internet culture and part experiment to see what would happen if we clamped a ridiculous time limit on addressing big questions of a personal nature. And privately, it was going to be a place I could flex a new-found/hard-won conviction that I “knew a thing or two”, the byproduct of a truce with my otherwise unmoored mind while I was mixing DARK ROADS and ROUGH GODS in the late summer.

It backfired. It became painfully obvious—even as the first round of questions were being shot— that I was not who I thought I was, not capable of what I thought I was, didn’t know what I thought I knew. I wasn’t prepared for the storm in the eye of the question, and the videos are a record of a man slowly coming to terms with a panic that obliterates. The other man in the videos –SJ– has the unenviable task of repeatedly watching that sun come up on the man, the dawning of understanding “there are a lot of things we are not going to get to be”.

At 56 years old, I’m coming to recognize the consequence of knowing and the despair of not knowing. This is a weighty thing in a time where that despair can easily become a wildfire. The fuel is uninhibited access to that kind of ‘information’ that is mostly opinion, parading as fact. Neither of those is a story. And that’s what we’re yearning for, I think: stories. Not certainties. And they’re in short supply. Right now the story includes me developing the skill of being gracefully uncertain of things, making friends with NOT knowing.

There’s the storm in the eye of the question. And it might be that NOT knowing is the calm in the eye of that storm.



  1. This really resonates. I really appreciate your sharing it. It soothes this one, here, a person you do not know. Just “know” that.

  2. I appreciate this. It really resonates. Just “know” that this one, this “me” you do know “know,” was in some way soothed on this day, by your honesty.

    1. Evan,
      I seem happy to climb up on to the cross of what I do not know. I’m not sure it’s healthy, but it seems to be the only way I know. I guess I’m betting on being a different guy when I climb down. There are a lot of things we are not going to get to be That’s the gold in all of this, the thing I want to open my arms to. And, natch, it was SJ’s line, not mine.

  3. Gregory, just a quick note to say thank you for the 60 second answers you & Stephen are sharing. Your questions land so well with me, as does the honesty of your reply’s & answers…… thank you

    1. Graham,
      It’s been an unexpected (and painful) joy to do them. I feel like road kill on the path to redemption. Stay tuned for more.

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