ceramics and painting by Jack Mauch

Home, sweet home...

Dear ones,

I’ve been living in a very old house for over 50 years. It was built in the late 1700s. That’s old for the built environment in the United States. In Europe it would be a different story.

This has been right for me in so many ways. I feel the integrity of these old materials and old methods of building in my body. The hand-hewn beams, the brick walls of a central heating system that originally consisted of three fireplaces, the door handles made by a blacksmith.

I can sit in front of my fiery wood stove on a cold winter day, while my laundry dries on the rack above it, using my laptop with wi-fi, and be part of the always moving, always changing evolution of the way we live.


A room with a view...

The first decade or so that I lived here, after a wandering, wondering youth, I felt afraid to leave, even for a short time. I wasn’t afraid of the big world; I was afraid that if I left I might not be able to get back.

This whole place has been a weighted blanket for me. As much as I love the house, I love the view even more. The view from here has been my comfort, my therapist, my teacher, my inspiration.


Home is where the heart is.

Solid granite endures for centuries, and the view from here for just as long as nothing changes. We all know how long that is. I want both . . . I want infinite, perfect wholeness and stillness, and I want time and space and the profound joy of the particular. I’m human. I honor the rock and earth of my being. What I want to explore and play with is what grows out of that ground and how it appears in the light and shade of the moment.

This place where I live means so much to me, and yet my dearest wish is to feel that my home is within me—that I cannot be separated from it no matter where I go.


And now, an invitation.

I invite you to subscribe to the new I’d rather be here now publication on the Substack platform. I will write another letter to this list in about a month with an update. The real action will continue on the new platform.

When I say 'new' I mean it. I'm thinking of this as a soft launch. I'm still getting my sea legs in every way—learning how to use the platform, creating content, figuring out what I want and what I don't want, and what feels good. You can help! I will probably be asking my subscribers some questions as we go along about what works for you.

Here's an excerpt from the ABOUT page of I’d rather be here now:


What I know so far...

I’d rather be here now is an experiment in sharing… a train of thought, a description of artistic process, a rant, a joke, a picture, a story… we’ll see how it goes.

I am beginning this project without knowing what it will become. That’s the only way I can begin. Make. Write. Draw. Share.

Even though this will require adherence to certain schedules and systems, I don’t want to phone it in. If there is any point in doing this at all, it is to engage in the spiritual practice of not phoning it in. Or texting it. I want to offer you my presence. That is the challenge for me, all the time.


I made this ages ago, and now seems a good time to share since Barbie is such a BFD at present......

And cartoons!

I plan to share the development of a webcomic/graphic novel called Daisi & Jane. At first I will share notes/drawings/ideas/questions as I grapple with what I want this to be and how to get it.

When I am ready to begin posting the actual cartoon story at a steady pace, then I might make it into its own section of I'd rather be here now. This would mean that people could subscribe to it separately, if they wanted to. Or maybe it will become the main focus. Though I doubt it. I want this new publication to be a blank notebook that I can fill with whatever feels worth sharing.


Ed has yet another minor existential crisis...

What I don’t know so far...

Almost everything.


What I would like you to do next:

Check out I'd rather be here now and then subscribe if you feel that it might be worthwhile, or fun, or helpful, to be part of the IRBHN community.

I have set up paid subscriptions as an option, but at present nothing is behind a paywall, and it may never be. I have ideas for paid subscriber benefits that do not require me to withhold content.

Until I understand more clearly what I am offering, I will not be thinking that I am 'selling' anything. Paid subscriptions, at this point, are a freewill offering accepted with grateful thanks.


Blessings. May your home be where your heart is...


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