From John

John’s selected Facebook status posts, 2009-2012

johnthumb John Harrity shared a link.
March 17, 2009

Mista Mista

johnthumbJohn Harrity
March 23, 2009

is feeling better, slowly.

johnthumbJohn Harrity
April 28, 2009

just got a full time job working at the new CT Science Center this summer.

johnthumbJohn Harrity
October 16, 2009

feels like a tom waits song. need to meet more people

johnthumbAuthor’s Note
by John Harrity on Tuesday, June 8, 2010 at 10:20am


This has been a novel about some people who were punished entirely too much for what they did. They wanted to have a good time, but they were like children playing in the street; they could see one after another of them being killed — run over, maimed, destroyed — but they continued to play anyhow. We really all were very happy for a while, sitting around not toiling but just bullshitting and playing, but it was for such a terrible brief time, and then the punishment was beyond belief: even when we could see it, we could not believe it. For example, while I was writing this I learned that the person on whom the character Jerry Fabin is based killed himself. My friend on whom I based the character Ernie Luckman died before I began the novel. For a while I myself was one of these children playing in the street; I was, like the rest of them, trying to play instead of being grown up, and I was punished. I am on the list below, which is a list of those to whom this novel is dedicated, and what became of each.

Drug misuse is not a disease, it is a decision, like the decision to step out in front of a moving car. You would call that not a disease but an error in judgment. When a bunch of people begin to do it, it is a social error, a life-style. In this particular life-style the motto is “Be happy now because tomorrow you are dying,” but the dying begins almost at once, and the happiness is a memory. It is, then, only a speeding up, an intensifying, of the ordinary human existence. It is not different from your life-style, it is only faster. It all takes place in days or weeks or months instead of years. “Take the cash and let the credit go,” as Villon said in 1460. But that is a mistake if the cash is a penny and the credit a whole lifetime.

There is no moral in this novel; it is not bourgeois; it does not say they were wrong to play when they should have toiled; it just tells what the consequences were. In Greek drama they were beginning, as a society, to discover science, which means causal law. Here in this novel there is Nemesis: not fate, because anyone of us could have chosen to stop playing in the street, but, as I narrate from the deepest part of my life and heart, a dreadful Nemesis for those who kept on playing. I myself, I am not a character in this novel; I am the novel. So, though, was our entire nation at this time. This novel is about more people than I knew personally. Some we all read about in the newspapers. It was, this sitting around with our buddies and bullshitting while making tape recordings, the bad decision of the decade, the sixties, both in and out of the establishment. And nature cracked down on us. We were forced to stop by things dreadful.

If there was any “sin,” it was that these people wanted to keep on having a good time forever, and were punished for that, but, as I say, I feel that, if so, the punishment was far too great, and I prefer to think of it only in a Greek or morally neutral way, as mere science, as deterministic impartial cause-and-effect. I loved them all. Here is the list, to whom I dedicate my love:

To Gaylene deceased

To Ray deceased

To Francy permanent psychosis

To Kathy permanent brain damage

To Jim deceased

To Val massive permanent brain damage

To Nancy permanent psychosis

To Joanne permanent brain damage

To Maren deceased

To Nick deceased

To Terry deceased

To Dennis deceased

To Phil permanent pancreatic damage

To Sue permanent vascular damage

To Jerri permanent psychosis and vascular


…and so forth.

In Memoriam. These were comrades whom I had; there are no better. They remain in my mind, and the enemy will never be forgiven. The “enemy” was their mistake in playing. Let them all play again, in some other way, and let them be happy.

johnthumbJohn Harrity
September 22, 2010 via mobile


johnthumbJohn Harrity
October 15, 2010

I think I found a place to live!!

johnthumbJohn Harrity shared a link.
November 17, 2010

The King Khan and BBQ Show “Why Don’t You Lie” Music Video

johnthumbJohn Harrity
December 22, 2010

All of us, who are worth anything, spend our manhood unlearning the follies of our youth.

johnthumbJohn Harrity shared a link.
January 6, 2011

Sad Brad Smith – Help Yourself – Up In The Air OST

johnthumbJohn Harrity
January 6, 2011

i know you’ll help us when you’re feeling better, and we realize that it might not be for a long, long time, but we’re willing to wait on you, we believe in everything that you can do! if you could only lay down your mind.

johnthumbJohn Harrity
January 21, 2011

The visitor said, “My friends think I’m crazy because I’m interested in Zen.”

Soen-sa said, “Craziness is good. Crazy people are happy, free, they have no hindrance. But since you have many attachments, you are only a little crazy. This is not crazy enough. You must become *completely* crazy. Then you will understand.”

johnthumbJohn Harrity
February 6, 2011 via mobile

Among lonely people there is not a single one who can be sure that in his suffering he might not yet console someone else and that the gestures of his most personal heplessness, like so many cues and signals, might not serve as signs guiding the way in the realm of the unfathomable.–rainer maria rilke. thanks cait.

johnthumbJohn Harrity
February 15, 2011

so don’t you forget no how, who you are and where you stand in the struggle…cause when the rain fall, it won’t fall on one man’s house top

johnthumbJohn Harrity
February 16, 2011

If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live.–Lin Yutang

johnthumbJohn Harrity
February 17, 2011

chop wood, carry water

johnthumbJohn Harrity
February 23, 2011

if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you

johnthumbThe Story of Won Hyo
by John Harrity on Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 2:36am ·

This is a great, short, Buddhist tale from Korea…if you don’t have the attention span/desire to read the whole thing, the end* is the part I like most.

Thirteen hundred years ago, in an ancient province of Korea, there was a great Zen Master named Won Hyo. As a young man, he fought in a bloody civil war and saw many friends slaughtered and homes destroyed. He was overcome by the emptiness of this life, so he shaved his head and went to the mountains to live the life of a monk. In the mountains he read many sutras and kept the precepts well, but still he didn’t understand the true meaning of Buddhism. Finally, since he knew that in China he might find a Zen Master who could help him become enlightened, he put on his backpack and headed for the great dry northern plains. He went on foot. He would walk all day long and rest at night. One evening, as he was crossing the desert, he stopped at a small patch of green, where there were a few trees and some water, and went to sleep. Toward midnight he woke up, very thirsty. It was pitch-dark. He groped along on all fours, searching for water. At last his hand touched a cup on the ground. He picked it up and drank. Ah, how delicious! Then he bowed deeply, in gratitude to Buddha for the gift of water. The next morning, Won Hyo woke up and saw beside him what he had taken for a cup. It was a shattered skull, blood-caked and with shreds of flesh still stuck to the cheekbones. Strange insects crawled or floated on the surface of the filthy rain-water inside it. Won Hyo looked at the skull and felt a great wave of nausea. He opened his mouth. As soon as the vomit poured out, his mind opened and he understood. Last night, since he hadn’t seen and hadn’t thought, the water was delicious. This morning, seeing and thinking had made him vomit. Ah, he said to himself, thinking makes good and bad, life and death. It creates the whole universe. It is the universal master. And without thinking, there is no universe, no Buddha, no Dharma. All is one, and this one is empty. There was no need now to find a Master. Won Hyo already understood life and death. What more was there to learn? So he turned and started back across the desert to Korea. Twenty years passed. During this time Won Hyo became the most famous monk in the land. He was the trusted advisor of the great king of Shilla, and preceptor to the noblest and most powerful families. Whenever he gave a public lecture, the hall was packed. He lived in a beautiful temple, taught the best students, ate the best food, and slept the dreamless sleep of the just. Now at this time, there was a very great Zen Master in Shilla-a little old man, with a wisp of a beard and skin like a crumpled paper bag. Barefoot and in tattered clothes, he would walk through the towns ringing his bell. “De-an (great peace), de-an, de-an, de-an don’t think, de-an like this, de-an rest mind, de-an, de-an.” Won Hyo heard of him and one day hiked to the mountain cave where he lived. From a distance he could hear the sound of extraordinarily lovely chanting echoing through the valleys. But when he arrived at the cave, he found the Master sitting beside a dead fawn, weeping. Won Hyo was dumbfounded. How could an enlightened being be either happy or sad, since in the state of Nirvana there is nothing to be happy or sad about, and no one to be happy or sad? He stood speechless for a while, and then asked the Master why he was weeping. The Master explained. He had come upon the fawn after its mother had been killed by hunters. It was very hungry. So he had gone into town and begged for milk. Since he knew that no one would give milk for an animal, he had said it was for his son. “A monk with a son? What a dirty old man!” people thought. But some gave him a little milk. He had continued this way for a month, begging enough to keep the animal alive. Then the scandal became too great, and no one would help. He had been wandering for three days now, in search of milk. At last he had found some, but when he had returned to the cave, his fawn was already dead. “You don’t understand,” said the Master. “My mind and the fawn’s mind are the same. It was very hungry. I want milk, I want milk. Now it is dead. Its mind is my mind. That’s why I am weeping. I want milk.”

*Won Hyo began to understand how great a Bodhisattva the Master was. When all creatures were happy, he was happy. When all creatures were sad, he was sad. He said to him, “Please teach me.” The Master said, “All right. Come along with me.” They went to the red-light district of town. The Master took Won Hyo’s arm and walked up to the door of a geisha house. De-an (great peace), de-an, he rang. A beautiful woman opened the door. “Today I’ve brought the great monk Won Hyo to visit you.” “Oh! Won Hyo!” she cried out. Won Hyo blushed. The woman blushed, and her eyes grew large. She led them upstairs, in great happiness, fear, and exhilaration that the famous, handsome monk had come to her. As she prepared meat and wine for her visitors, the Master said to Won Hyo, “For twenty years you’ve kept company with kings and princes and monks. It’s not good for a monk to live in heaven all the time. He must also visit hell and save the people there, who are wallowing in their desires. Hell too is ‘like this.’ So tonight you will ride this wine straight to hell.” ‘But I’ve never broken a single Precept before,” Won Hyo said. “Have a good trip,” said the Master. He then turned to the woman and said sternly, “Don’t you know it’s a sin to give wine to a monk? Aren’t you afraid of going to hell?” “No,” the woman said. “Won Hyo will come and save me.” “A very good answer!” said the Master. So Won Hyo stayed the night, and broke more than one Precept. The next morning he took off his elegant robes and went dancing through the streets, barefoot and in tatters. ‘ D e – a n , de-an, de-an! The whole universe is like this! What are you?”

johnthumbJohn Harrity
March 8, 2011

needs to go back to cambodia

johnthumbJohn Harrity
March 10, 2011

misses thunderstorms

johnthumbJohn Harrity
March 10, 2011

is grateful

johnthumbJohn Harrity
March 12, 2011

a jug fills drop by drop

johnthumbJohn Harrity
March 14, 2011

is ashamed of the islamophobia in this country

johnthumbJohn Harrity
March 15, 2011

I cannot hear what you say, for the thunder that you are

johnthumbJohn Harrity shared a link.
March 17, 2011

Wyclef Jean featuring Lauryn Hill | Sang Fézi

johnthumbA Song on the End of the World
by John Harrity on Thursday, March 24, 2011 at 5:02pm ·

A Song on the End of the World
by Czeslaw Milosz

On the day the world ends

A bee circles a clover,

A fisherman mends a glimmering net.

Happy porpoises jump in the sea,

By the rainspout young sparrows are playing

And the snake is gold-skinned as it should always be.

On the day the world ends

Women walk through the fields under their umbrellas,

A drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn,

Vegetable peddlers shout in the street

And a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island,

The voice of a violin lasts in the air

And leads into a starry night.

And those who expected lightning and thunder

Are disappointed.

And those who expected signs and archangels’ trumps

Do not believe it is happening now.

As long as the sun and the moon are above,

As long as the bumblebee visits a rose,

As long as rosy infants are born

No one believes it is happening now.

Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet

Yet is not a prophet, for he’s much too busy,

Repeats while he binds his tomatoes:

There will be no other end of the world,

There will be no other end of the world.

Warsaw, 1944

johnthumbJohn Harrity shared a link.
April 7, 2011

these wheels keep turning, but they’re running out of steam

Warren Zevon Keep Me In Your Heart For A While

johnthumbJohn Harrity shared a link.
April 12, 2011

an open hand, an open heart, there’s no need to be ashamed…open up, this is a raid! i wanna get it through to you, you’re not alone

Mavis Staples + Jeff Tweedy – “You Are Not Alone” Acoustic

johnthumbJohn Harrity shared a link.
April 18, 2011

many rivers to cross, but i can’t seem to find my way over

Jimmy Cliff – Many Rivers To Cross

johnthumbJohn Harrity shared a link.
April 24, 2011

bill hicks was cool

Bill Hicks – It’s just a ride Kinetic typography

The world is like a ride in an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it, you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes

Bill Hicks – It’s just a ride Kinetic typography

The world is like a ride in an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it, you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills and it’s very brightly coloured and it’s very loud and it’s fun, for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time and they begin to question, is this real, or is this just a ride? And other people have remembered, and they come back to us, they say, “Hey — don’t worry, don’t be afraid, ever, because, this is just a ride…”
And we… kill those people.
“Shut him up.”
“We have a lot invested in this ride. Shut him up. Look at my furrows of worry. Look at my big bank account and my family. This just has to be real.”

Just a ride. But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok. But it doesn’t matter because: It’s just a ride. And we can change it anytime we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings and money. A choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one.

Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money that we spend on weapons and defences each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.

johnthumbJohn Harrity
June 6, 2011

the final count down. wish me luck!

johnthumbJohn Harrity
June 6, 2011


johnthumbJohn Harrity
October 13, 2011

RIP Domingo, the best pet snake a guy could ask for. so it goes. sigh.


johnthumbJohn Harrity
January 11, 2012

You gentlemen who think you have a mission/To purge us of the seven deadly sins/Should first sort out the basic food position/Then start your preaching, that’s where it begins/You lot who preach restraint and watch your waist as well/Should learn, for once, the way the world is run/However much you twist or whatever lies that you tell/Food is the first thing, morals follow on/So first make sure that those who are now starving/Get proper helpings when we all start carving/What keeps mankind alive?/What keeps mankind alive?/The fact that millions are daily tortured/Stifled, punished, silenced and oppressed/Mankind can keep alive thanks to its brilliance/In keeping its humanity repressed/And for once you must try not to shriek the facts/Mankind is kept alive by bestial acts –brecht

johnthumbJohn Harrity shared a link.
February 5, 2012

reasons to stay sober

Never Get to Know – Paul Baribeau

johnthumbJohn Harrity
March 19, 2012

Your head’s like mine, like all our heads; big enough to contain every god and devil there ever was, big enough to hold the weight of oceans and the turning stars. Whole universes fit in there! But what do we choose to keep in this miraculous cabinet? Little broken things, sad trinkets that we play with over and over.

Tom O’Bedlam (The Invisibles)

johnthumbthis too shall pass
by John Harrity on Friday, May 4, 2012 at 10:10am ·

feelin real low down…hungry, angry, lonely, tired and i just don’t know what to do anymore, no one to blame but myself. i should be graduating from college this year; instead i work a 17 year old’s job at a stop and shop and it’ll be 2014, 2+ more years of school before i have any kind of degree, and i have no idea what i want out of that time. i know i have much more than so many, but it doesn’t make that emptiness go away; i still feel like a waste of a person. i had so many gifts and opportunities at every turn in my life, and i took them all for granted, buried them under the debris of my youth thus far. i go back and search through my mind, the notes of my choices and where i went wrong…try to dig out and pull up old dreams, but the past just gets me caught up in myself, navel gazing, and i choke. i’m 21 and i feel like i haven’t changed much–at least not enough–since i got my high school diploma. i learned a lot about what not to do,what not to be, and now i’m just by my lonesome countin flowers on the wall most days, no one but the ceiling to talk honestly with. when i did meet new people, if things got too close i always shut it down. now i don’t even know how to start the damned thing. of course i have good folks in my life who i love, a few friends and my family, very close to me, but even with them i’m ashamed to say i have trouble being real, not just some put-on. fed up with myself. i have a mound of evidence that says i don’t or won’t use what i’ve learned from my personal disasters and successes to grow the hell up and do something with myself or whatever it is i need to move on from this stuckness. i dont feel like an adult, or like i’m even really becoming one, and watching my peers continue to do that, mature, hurts me deep in a selfish way. walls feel like they’re closing in…a year out of school, at home, and things seem more bleak than when i got here. the world seems like its running ahead away from me, faster and faster. meds, therapy, they’re great, i wish everyone had access to them, but for me, despite them, right now i still can’t seem to move up out of this stagnating place. and at the end of it all, this damn vast emptiness, and no one but me who put me here or who can get me out… so alienated i’m posting this dreck in public, in front of relatives, old elementary school friends, everybody. alright facebook, this is as real as i will ever get here. done whining for tonight, no more dramatics, although it seems like all i know how to do is moan and groan! but i’ll make it, most likely, same as any of us will. 10 bucks says i delete this when i wake up tomorrow.

johnthumbJohn Harrity
May 4, 2012

thank you so much to the people who commented and sent me messages this morning, it really meant something to me, to see how many people care about me even before 10 am. sorry i took the post down (i turned it into a note), i just don’t want people to think im more blue or downtrodden than i really am. i know i’ll get where i’m going whenever i get there, and hopefully it’ll be a good place, but sometimes the uncertainty and regret can get pretty frustrating. its pretty terrible to feel like you’re going nowhere fast, even if you know you aren’t, truth?

johnthumbJohn Harrity shared a link.
June 8, 2012

thanks for caring for each other folks. listen!

Irma Thomas – wish someone would care

johnthumbJohn Harrity
July 25, 2012

no umbrella

getting soaked

i’ll just use the rain as my raincoat


johnthumbJohn Harrity
August 25, 2012 via mobile

out of ideas. don’t know where to be. so it goes.

johnthumbJohn Harrity
September 19, 2012

“the world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. but those that will not break it kills. it kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. if you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.”


Posted April 27, 2013 by Anna

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