Tod Brilliant ||  Things That I Do

Writings for Readings

  1. Life Moments #6: Cortazar’s Hopscotch

    ONE OF THE GREATEST GIFTS I have been gifted was a copy of “Hopscotch” by Julio Cortazar. It was given to me by my friend Dinah (not by Cortazar, to be clear). And, like many of the best things in my life, I resisted it at first. However, with all…

  2. Life Moments #5: Dogs on a Dead Cow

    IT WAS A STRONG AND SUDDEN COMPULSION that made me turn off the freeway and on to a small side road. We were driving back to Chico after a day of thrifting and record shopping in Sacramento. As usual, I’d done a slow drive by of my dad’s midtown studio…

  3. Life Moments #4: The First 3 Deaths

    THE FIRST THREE DEATHS that I can recall happened by the time I turned five. I didn’t really understand death then, and to this day I’m still not sure what it means, exactly. It’s a cessation, to be sure, but other than that I don’t find it particularly notable. I…

  4. Life Moments #3: Cocaine & the End of Hunting

    I’D SEEN COCAINE BEFORE, of course. Powdery mirrors, white-stained razor blades. But it wasn’t until I was eleven, maybe twelve, that I watched someone pinch a nostril shut and inhale a rail. I was huddled in the cab of my older brother’s truck, keeping warm in the pre-dawn winter cold…

  5. Life Moments #2: Thanks for the Shirt, Dad

    A FEW DAYS AFTER HE DIED, I went to my Dad’s tiny studio apartment and went through his things. Someone had gotten there first, but they didn’t know that the old magnet letters on the fridge and the Boris Vallejo calendar still opened to the month of my last visit…

  6. Life Moments #1: Getting Arrested

    I GOT ARRESTED one night when I was fourteen years old. But before that happened, I almost got run over and killed by a crazy guy in a battered old Ford sedan. My friends and I were riding our ten speeds (dating myself?) in our neighborhood just off the railroad…

  7. We Are More Dolphin Than Rat

    On the cosmic scale of creation, there is no meaningful difference between the sacred and the profane. On the human scale, we are desperate to find meaning in the differences we create. We cling to preferred dogmas like drowning rats, each of us feigning confidence that our stick of wood…

  8. Thoughts: You Know that Feeling? theonewhereyouknowyourereadyforgreat

    A lot of years ago, closer to twenty than ten, I was walking through Portland, Oregon (I lived there back when it was cool hahaha) and I was feeling it. Feeling on the cusp of something great.That feeling was in the air, in my air, moving through my lungs back…

  9. Thoughts: Choose Your Frame

    What a difference the right frame makes. Whether it’s having a conversation, taking a photo, or thinking about one’s past/present/future, the ability to select from a nearly infinite number of frames of reference (both real and imagined) allows us to play with perspectives to our heart’s delight. Whether we achieve…

  10. Thoughts: updown

    (Istanbul 2011) Which did you spot first? The woman going up or the man coming down? Or maybe you focused on that enigmatic leg in the corner that seems to be doing neither. This photo, taken not far from the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, is one of my favorites because…

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