Skip to content

Author: Eric Walker

Stop Hiding

You’ve failed and cried then picked yourself from the floor.

You’ve overcome what you didn’t think you could overcome.

You’ve burned black holes in dark memories.

You’ve made amends with the sore spots on the tread of your soul.

You’ve healed strong in a broken place.

You were broke. Now you have money.

You’re an expert at something and it’s time to share.

You’re involved in a new venture, show your work.

You have a unique hobby and a brilliant idea. Tell us about it.

You have a lifetime of resonant hunches, griefs, secrets, and confusions. Choose one.

You made it to the other side.

What has been born from it?

What is coming to life in you?

What do you already know before you hear it? Because that’s why you’re in the world.

Nothing standing out? What photos, memories, relationships, or observations from your life needs to be written down for the next generation?

I don’t know what this looks like for you, but for me, I don’t look toward the end of the road. I take the first step, and I can see the next step from there. I keep stepping.

For me, I shake myself loose from myself and spill my guts onto this blog.

For you, maybe it’s video. Maybe it’s Instagram.

Maybe it’s a hand written “sloppy copy” on the back of an envelope.

Or a ranting audio file on

The goal is to know what it feels like to practice creating from the core, in the spirit of yourself.

I see life as noticing something interesting then saying something creative about it. Isn’t that all we’re looking for? The practice of sharing what you notice about the world is exactly the antidote for fear.

So… this blog post is encouragement to us both, as well as my way of explaining one of my values. I think it’s worthwhile to midwife what’s in you into the world.

Whatever it is, you get to determine the purpose.

You get to hone-in on the message.

You are responsible for inspiring, teaching, and sharing your value.

More than anything, simply practice creating from the core, in the spirit of yourself. Then put that into the world and watch what happens.

When you commit to creating in the spirit of yourself, you schedule a time and place to do the work. 10 minutes a day works. Doing so will improve your thinking and your attitude. Do it long enough, and your trajectory in life will trend upward too.

I see a pattern in the world. The people that are creating from their core, creating in the spirit of themselves are not waiting to be picked.

They’re not taking orders.

They’re not abiding just because.

They’re taking the initiative and creating life on their terms.

They’re taking what they’ve learned or gained through the adversity they’ve faced, and “packaging” THAT so it’s of value to those who would benefit. Even if it’s a small blog post like this.

Don’t write in a diary. Make what you do public.

Why? The problem with diaries is they’re private. Private means in-hiding. The point is to stop hiding.

The point – because I think everyone is able – is to say one thing that’s new that you can stand behind.

Tribute to my daughter Ella on her 9th birthday

I am the proud father of Ella Rose Walker. My love for Ella, and the closeness we share, is precious to me. This page is a tribute to her. For as long as this blog exists, I will update this page each year. Here’s a brief tour of Ella’s time line.

Late 2008. The beautiful Kaitlin Rose, 23 years old, with Ella Rose in the womb.

Ella was born at home on the morning of February 4, 2009 with the presence of her grandma Patti and great grandma Irma, which marked four generations all together. We lived on Ingleside Terrace in Kalamazoo.

2010 – Ella age 1. We moved to Portland, Oregon. We lived in a studio basement apartment in a trendy area at NW 23rd and Hoyt. Kaitlin walked Ella in a stroller – or wore her – all over that city. We lived there for 7 months.

2011 – Ella age 2. Ella and her Dad grew closer this year after her brother Lucan was born in June. We lived at Grandma Patti’s lake house and during quiet moments when Kaitlin and Lucan needed to be alone, Dad and Ella would take the paddle boat out to the middle of the lake and jump in.

2012 – Ella age 3. We moved to Remine Street in Kalamazoo, which was a fun street with families and children Ella’s age. She made friends and played a lot.

2013 – Ella age 4. Ella and Lucan grew close this year. These two don’t even realize it yet, but they are best friends.
Ella started pre-school at Parkwood Upjohn Elementary. Our home on Remine St was within walking distance. Ella had a fantastic experience with Mrs. Parker at pre-school.

2014 – Ella age 5. This was a year of change. She started Kindergarten. Ada was born. She spent time with Kaitlin’s boyfriend and his son. She spent time with my girlfriend and her son. I moved to Southworth Terrace.

2015 – Ella age 6. Ella learned to read in first grade. She participated as a cheerleader for a school function. I began to notice Ella’s athletic ability. She is coordinated, fast and graceful on her feet.

2016 – Ella age 7. Ella switched schools shortly after the start of second grade. The change has proven monumental. She bloomed in a big way. She lost her two front teeth.

2017 – Ella age 8. Ella is rapidly growing. As her father, I’m bias, but the only thing that exceeds her outer beauty is her inner beauty. Ella displays characteristics and behaviors that point to her emotional maturity and empathetic nature. She also has a wild side that craves adventure.

February 3, 2018 – One day before Ella’s 9th birthday. Ella is in her favorite section of the library reading about her favorite topic, which she wouldn’t want me to tell you about so I will leave that part out. Suffice to say, Ella has interests and curiosities that she passionately pursues.

Reading Raymond Carver

I ​am reading Raymond Carver today. Deep reading.

Bless this Saturday. I have no plans. The kids are at their mom’s.

It’s summer. I have a six pack in a cooler, lawn chair on my third story deck. Overlooking the courtyard in the apartment complex.

I can see the first, second and third floor apartments. Their sliding glass doors facing mine.

That’s not true. It’s winter. And, I don’t live in an apartment complex with a third floor deck. That doesn’t matter. I did once. In college. It was just how I explained.

It’s a beautiful sunny day. A slight breeze hovers and spreads thin over my skin.

I’m wearing my short shorts. I love these shorts. The others laugh when I wear them. Fuck em. No shoes, no shirt.

Carver was married to a writer. Her name was Tess. I’d like to be married to a writer named Tess. Someday, maybe. Once the kids have grown.

I don’t look up when I’m reading Carver. Or if I do, it’s only briefly. So I put my finger on the word, on the page, raise my eyes.

Second floor across the courtyard – Apt 201 – stands Paul smoking a cigarette. He slings weed. Small time. Just enough to smoke for free. We play backgammon at his place on mornings when he’s happy. His wife makes me coffee. Today he’s angry. So he won’t ask. Inside are his three children. He yells at wife. Everyone in this courtyard knows she should leave him. Treats her like shit. She’s been pregnant and nursing for three years. Their deck is a mess.

Back to reading Carver, a poem called This Morning, page 41.

I don’t feel the least bit guilty that I haven’t called my mom back.

My poor mom. She doesn’t remember things that well anymore. I told her to keep a notebook and calendar. She’s misplaced them. All her pens are out of ink. I don’t often answer her questions. My answers create misunderstandings. Then my sisters text me.

“What did you say?” they ask. I never clarify. Just that mom is handicapped now.

I’m reading Carver today. I’m going to read through this entire six pack.

I don’t want to think about the women I once loved. But there’s one.

She was blue eyed, model gorgeous. Dressed to the nines. Ahead of her time when she had her time. That time was our time. Her mom beat her up when she was a child. Her grief stretched far. She married up. Has six kids now.

I’ll stay here all day reading Carver. I am a picture of a man reading. Still as stone.

If I don’t put SPF on my forehead, shoulders, chest, thighs, I’m going to burn.

T​his beer tastes too good. I have to pee.

As I get up, birds skitter from the cherry blossoms. My phone buzzes.

A variation on love at first sight

There’s a romance with “love at first sight,” but I’d like to toss a coin into the fountain for each lover I could become strangers with again, and I wouldn’t be ugly to them, and they’d be looking at me, because I’d be someone they hadn’t met yet, and they’d be wondering what it’d be like to know someone like me, and after hours of thinking about it, we would kiss, then leave to a place where we haven’t ever said things to each other we can’t unsay or done things we can’t undo, and we’d only say new things, and do new things in this new place, which would replace the old things, and it’d feel like two people falling in love after years of being alone, and it’d feel like happily ever after all over again.

All the things I want to write but haven’t yet

For now I shake myself loose from myself and let it fall onto the white digital space of this blog as if crossing unmarked snow. That’s how I stay connected.

I want to write about my failures in relationship, in business, in money, in parenting

Like the other day I told my son to “buck up” after he started crying over something I declared “should not fuck your day.”

I, of course, want to wrap it up – each small, small piece of my life with a pretty bow of a last paragraph because I think, it’s gotta be a story of how I overcame it all.

Thing is – most things I haven’t overcome. That’s not entirely true, but I definitely slip all the time.

I want to write about the time I lost everything, and the steps (A through Z) that I took to pick myself up from the floor – but I don’t know which time I should choose.

I want to reiterate – again and again – how often I slip along the way, regress, devolve, wake up to the nightmare, then climb out because the Saber Toothed Tiger is hot on my ass.

I want to write about how I have disappointed my most important people, then felt guilty and ashamed. Then cried over the loss.

I want to write about how embarrassed I am to tell people the truth about my failures. How I FAILED yet again.

I want to write about the time the heat got shut off on my birthday, or the time I missed my daughter’s birthday because I was in jail.

I want to write about the time I was on a date and paid for her beer with a hundred dollar bill. She tried to be funny, “Whoa drug dealer!” she said. But on the inside I was embarrassed. Because indeed, I WAS selling drugs. And, that 100 dollar bill was from the check I’d cashed at Walmart. Because I shut my bank account down when the overdraft fees added up.

I want to write all the things I already know before I hear them. Because that is why I am in the world.

I don’t know where to start.

Maybe I’ll start with – how all these years of mistakes later – I often think about the dogs that got left behind – starting with Luna and Buddy, but mostly Redwood. Oh Redwood! I’m sorry, it was my fault.

Somehow through all of these things I write, I want you to know that I’m funny too, but how do I show that? It never comes through.

I want to tell you about my Junior year in high school English Comp. When I turned my rough drafts into the teacher, I had wiped boogers in the margins. She circled them with red pen and a question mark. Is that funny to you? (hilarious to me!)

I imagine an entire collection titled “Notes from a Dirty Young Man” like Bukowski’s “Notes from a Dirty Old Man.”

I want to be ironic, and tell of my season trying to “hook up,” and instead, attracting women who want relationships, but aren’t ready for them despite how ready they think they are, and absolutely missing all the fun.

I want to write all of these things with a new computer, my feet in the sand sipping a fu fu drink and the ocean as my soundtrack.

These are some of the stories I want to tell, and they have written themselves all over my life.

I want to describe how comfortable I am with the uncomfortable, the awkward. How much I cringe before clicking POST.

I want to peel back my resentment of white women who “eeny meeny miny moe” where to best focus their activist energy (as if posting it to social media is “activism”). I want to champion a project that collects all of their disavow posts for an anthology, Best White Women Disavow Posts of 2017. I will relish in Amazon reviews that call me an “…ist” word ie. misogynist, narcissist, racist, fascist, etc.

If I wrote that, I’d have to tell you about my Dad’s sense of humor too.

I want to write a memoir of all the times I have lived and died in Kalamazoo, MI.

I want to tell you about my son Ben in Florida, age 12. How he only has a vague idea of me, but I know every detail of him, and my confidence that a day near where he knows as much.

I want to tell you about the time me and mom walked around Timothy Lake. Her bunyan and broken elbow. Her stick shift Ford Tempo I learned to drive on the logging roads of Mt. Hood. Our break down in Ogden, UT. The way she would cry and how it made my skin crawl.

I want to write a manifesto persuading you to show your work, think out loud, fail on the way to succeeding, imperfect on the way toward better than good enough.

Since I want to leave behind this easily found trail of little posts and stories, I want you to do the same. Because no one is interested in resumes, THIS is the resume.

I want to tell about the time I was ahead of the curve. And how, sometimes, if you’re ahead of the curve, you’re actually just wrong because no one around you has lived into what you know you see. Because you don’t have to be “right” very many times to know being right isn’t the point.

I haven’t written about any of these things. Not yet. They are still stories that are being written. Maybe I’m not far enough away from them. I don’t know.

Right now, I’m laying flat – debating with myself whether I’m saying it grammatically correct – is it “Laying flat” or “Lying flat?”


… I so often have the urge to shake myself out from myself and fall onto this digital white space that we call Facebook or Instagram or my blog, because that’s how I stay connected to myself.

And, I’d know that you like me after I’d confess that I love myself, because you’d just smile, giggle, and say, “I know you do” but my stories don’t end that neatly.

How I Interrupt Destructive Patterns and Condition Myself at the Same Time

Picking myself up from the floor after a home workout.

There is an easy on-ramp in my neurological pathway that I call the “highway to hell.”

Have you ever gone the wrong way down the highway and there’s no exit off for miles and miles? And dammit! you missed the turn-around, the one only for Troopers that we use anyway, doing 70 with someone on your ass. You’re running late too.

That’s my highway to hell feeling: missing out on something, traveling in the wrong direction, time running out, not enough, fear of loss…

I can feel it kick-in.

To use another metaphor, it’s like the old lizard brain makes an all-call over the PA with instructions to upgrade everything that was “important” into something “URGENT!!!!!” And due tomorrow.

Once that barn is on fire, I turn grumpy, make rash decisions and have no patience. Forget about kindness towards the people I love most. Often my children. After I see that I made them feel bad, I beat myself up about it. It’s terrible and unproductive.

That’s why I call it the highway to hell. Because it is, and it clouds my thinking. I’m not at my best when I flip the blinker toward the on-ramp to hell.

I don’t analyze it anymore.

I don’t need to talk about it endlessly. I don’t try to stop it from happening. To the contrary, I need it to happen. It’s my cue. It’s the trigger that alerts me to begin breaking the pattern.

Since it’s a habit, or a neurological pathway that has strength, I have to interrupt the pattern. Because it is strongly ingrained, and I have to completely change direction in order to avoid that perpetual escalation. This I have learned, is crucial because – it’s the same with any habit – there needs to be a new pattern of thinking, feeling, behaving that must be created, and in order to do so, I know that I must first annihilate the old pattern.

I use exercise for this. I trust exercise. It’s my go-to.

Right now, it takes me about 15 minutes to drop myself to my knees. It usually begins with burpees. Often ends with planks. A lot of squat hops in the middle. the other day, it involved a kettle bell.

To be specific, I used this exact workout. See the picture below.

#NoGymJanuary for me.

Besides a kettle bell, I’m not gonna touch a weight. I’m more interested in eating greens and proteins, getting a full night’s sleep and prioritizing 15 minutes a day, five days a week… for now, for January.

This month, I’m focused on routine, good sleeping and eating habits and body weight strength. This is my stability. If I don’t have these basics down, then I won’t hit the gym with the right frame of purpose. I’m looking at the year of body positivity, with focus on scaffolding each month.

My goal with this workout is to rip through it like a crazed pitbull. All out, no breaks, just high intensity three minutes at a time. Then adding on one calisthenic each three minute cycle until I’m doing all of them.

This is not mystical.

This is what I actually DO. This is not magic. This is how change in the world, in my life, happens. Has happened. This is how I a pattern can be broken.

My off-ramp is much stronger now (and so am I). If at first, I was with a machete in hand, finding my way off through the messy jungle. Now, it’s at least hard gravel. The road has been warn. I have rerouted some of the old neurological pathway.

At least, I can say, this is what happens to me. But maybe it can work for you too.

We all have to both drop ourselves to the floor, and then pick ourselves up from the floor – all the better for it.

What the New Year Means to Me

Lucan Christmas 2017
December 31 is the period at the end of the sentence.

January 1 is the capital letter – new sentence.

It’s a celebrated reminder that every day is a chance to reinvent. I’m always in motion. And, if I’m awake, I decide: forward or backward. January 1 is a chance to start from scratch. There is something beautiful about starting from scratch. Because all labels I ever claimed are now just vanity. I am a zero. I don’t say I’m anything, everything starts, and I do or not do.

I’m not looking for the end of the road. I’m at the first step, and I can see the next step. That’s what the New Year means to me. By the way, any day can be your “Jan 1,” you choose.

The Solution for Being Offended (by everything)

“If someone succeeds in provoking you, realize that your mind is complicit in the provocation.”


The quote above is 1,900 years old. Proof that even then we felt that it was easier to police the outside than examine our inside.

The real and fair solution is less politically correct but effective. It’s to stop trying to protect people’s feelings. Your feelings are your problem, not mine – and vice versa.

Real empowerment and respect is to see our fellow citizens – victims and privileged, religious and agnostic, conservative and liberal – as adults. Human beings are not automatons – ruled by drives and triggers they cannot control. On the contrary, we have the ability to decide not to be offended. We have the ability to discern intent. We have the ability to separate someone else’s actions or provocation or ignorance from our own. This is the great evolution of consciousness – it’s what separates us from the animals.

What also separates us is our capacity for empathy. Yet how empathetic the speech we decide to use is choice for each one of us to make. Some of us are crass, some of us are considerate. Some of us find humor in everything, some of us do not. Those of us that believe it and live our lives by a certain sensitivity cannot bully other people into doing so too. That sort of defeats the purpose.

Control and discipline of one’s own reactions make for a successful person and a functioning society. I don’t think you want to live in a world where that isn’t the expectation of each of us. I don’t think you want to see the things that will need to happen when the burden of making sure everyone is happy and not offended is put on the government or worse, a corrupt and bitter media system.

That media system – by the way – is paid by the page view. Thus motivated with real financial incentives to find things to be offended about. Because offense and outrage are traffic triggers. Some call them Social Justice Warriors, who, despite their sincerity of belief, also build huge platforms by inventing issues and conflicts which they then ride to prominence and influence.

This is called a Rage Profiteer. From the President down to the last kneeling football player. They get us riled up, they appeal to our notions of fairness and empathy (because who likes to see someone else’s feelings hurt?) without any regard for what the consequences are.

I’ll end with what I started with. Stop trying to protect people’s feelings. Your feelings are your problem, not mine – and vice versa.

Parenting reminder

Homework doesn’t matter, grades don’t matter – only what the process they represent matters. My children are not a reflection of me (their parents), they depend on me (their parents) to raise them into adults who can be reflections of who they uniquely are.

My PFC Natural Grocery Store of Kalamazoo

I really appreciate my PFC Natural Grocery here in Kalamazoo.

I thought about it today. I come to my PFC just about every day. I am making this post from the parking lot, talking into my phone, feeling appreciative.

Sometimes I’m here for breakfast on the run, in which case I get the breakfast burrito. Perfect for after a workout at the Western Michigan University’s track. And a coffee. They are getting better with their brewed coffee.

Often times, it’s lunch from the bar. They do the best chicken.

More than that, it’s the staples. The following items are part of my regular grocery list. I get them all at my PFC:

Ground beef, chicken thighs, eggs, milk, bread, rice, oatmeal, pasta, etc and whatever else might catch my eye that’s for sale. Like the ice cream sandwiches, which me and my kids bond over at the picnic tables located outside. Today it’s the organic fuel high protein milkshake with 26 grams of protein for $2.99. They always have deals easily marked.

At the co-op I can say to my children, “Get whatever you want as long as it is real food and it is healthy for you.” Then I will watch each of them do their thing, make their decisions and come back to the bar or the picnic table outside and we will eat together. As a parent I am happy about that.

Most of all though, it’s where me, my kids and my co-parent hang out together. It’s where we meet. It’s our community place. It’s where we know and where we are known. Kalamazoo would not be the same without this place and I will always support them. There is something for everyone here.

Lastly, I love what they are doing behind the scenes to support community, equity and justice for everyone in our town. I have been so excited about their change for change program, which is at check out customers are given the opportunity to round up their change to support a local non-profit.

Support the PFC Natural Grocery. They are the good guys.

Oh, and bananas are free for kids. Carrots are only a dollar.