Drew T. Noll © 2023, all rights reserved

Thursday, March 9, 2023

The Difference between Inspiration and Impulsivity

Inspiration is an impulsive phenomenon. Or … the light of the impulse of the flame of inspiration creates itself into the opposite, the muck underneath, the foundation of wealth that resides under each dump. I beg to differ, however, since the place I think of when down is up, the happy-place. That place bursts into fireworks and phlegm, it soars into the unknown. I like it, and when it goes.

It comes from nowhere, but lands now. It builds itself into stars and hiccups, slipping. Shine lands on foundation, as it calls and disappears timely. The plain of pattern stains tattoos onto film. Flatulence’ don’t exist, the grey-zone we believe. It rams into the animal in front and welds all pell-mell into the mohel. It never actually sings.

In the spire of will, we want wafflery with it, neat squares to glisten and mine – digging deep in order to shine, the ton of milling and shavings pour down until still. The difference is nil, ton and void, since the arch flows up again then down. It is always a matter of shine, and much of a heart. We need both to be one, to be two together and still. It is always laundry in the wind, and it's bugs in the sand.

image: Dog, Sea, Wife - more cairns at: https://www.doronoll.com/noll-cairns 

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Family Couch

HEY, MOISHE! - click here

I wasn’t displeased about sitting in-between my parents – and I had the TV-clicker, so pressed it and began to watch. It was a convoluted revenge story developing, and I knew it. My mind fluttered between whether I was in control, or if my hand was being forced. We all watched for a few segments of time, and then I got bored and nervous. I fast-forwarded super-fast to the end. Then the bullets started flying. The screen we watched became systematically shredded, with fibers and smoke fluttering like worms in the wind, but still smoking from ashes flipping from behind.

I suppose I was just angry. It was irrational, considering the love that I’d had. They looked at me in the dream like I was criminally-insane. Mouths hung wide and low with eyes pinned to my lapel, lower than my sight could even see. I mumbled nothing and moved back to the carnage, and stewed—then I woke up. It was good to remember, as I do now, building bridges and zip-lines straight down. All the way to my old-age, teaching... Then I forgot it all.

I remembered how I failed. I missed all the signs. Like a little dog bitten by a snake, I quavered, I flailed. She was under my arm, tucked in and protected. I was proud to be the one she chose, holding me close with reverence and kavod. The others in the room begged to differ. I was not really with her … they said. But, when I looked down, straight down, she began to quiver. I felt her with me but then she pulled back. Pieces went missing as I watched from above. She just plain disappeared. I looked up and the others moved away quickly. It became dark, and I was left with my arm folded in the air, as if the dog was still there.

This happened before, having traveled to Jerusalem. The first night was different, the second more the same. I woke 3 times in the night, the first to the muezzin, the second from church-bells, and the third from a Jewish baby crying; faith, faith, and life—that’s what I heard. I went to the wall, and viewed from within the goings-on and also I saw some birds. They built human-encounter walls there, at the wall, male and female, one to each side, and I wandered between them and wondered what it would feel like. I was separate from what the signs read; I was only a tourist watching from above, towards the world around me, sort-of dead, but also so alive, and wonderfully-insane...

My son called me, he called us all. From atop a mountain next to a lake, my son proposed to his gal. We smiled … all-around, congratulations and mazal-tovs, with sparkling diamonds in the air, with love expanding in all directions. It was a really fun day, in the small family that we have. Soon with God’s help, I’ll have another daughter-in-law, our future, and thus theirs. We have become greater, WE ... have without doubt. To see life unfolding into growth, into stealth, wisdom and wealth, builds the future right now, exactly. My son called me, and we spoke.

On my bike ride I saw no wildlife. It was too late and too many had come before. There wasn’t a porcupine swelling its quills. There weren’t any tortoises; they had all left. Hedgehogs were asleep and the snakes were gone, also. A jackal didn’t jump out, and the deer had all left for the year. Skinks never show faces, unlike lizards and quail. A blind mole-rat would never even know—scarabs and dung-beetles, centipedes with nothing to tow. Ants with their butts poking high, scorpions and bees bumbling to and fro; on my bike ride I saw nothing, but I still rode, I know.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Three Thumbs

There’s a rule and two others that I found while navigating the Ramon Crater. Back in Boulder there was a devil’s thumb, but this was different. In the crater I rediscovered three of them, rules of thumb, rules to live by, and rules that were meant. The devil is fantasy, I always suspected, but the cultural paradigms sent down in time would never relent! So, in the crater, I stuck my head in the desert, into the sands of time, and I learned as much as I could, till mostly I was spent. And spent I was, coming up from the barren lands down below, on the globe we live upon. I kept learning long after sundown, the rules to live by … and, until now, not making a sound.

Rule one I learned from my father, as we hiked in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the highlands of California. We arrived at a campsite daily, with packs upon our backs, to find that others had left things behind. My family was small, only four with my mother and brother, but we learned that leaving a place better than when we came was the goal, and rule number one. Pack it in, pack it out, only took care of one’s-self.  We needed to move beyond to make the world better than when we came, so we left each place better than we found it, by packing out others’ garbage as well.

Rule two I taught myself, as all rules should eventually become. I have a fear of heights that has developed over time. My palms sweat when I think of a climb, and I tremble when thinking about the depth of the surface below. Times in the past have given me vertigo, the world spinning ‘round, never stopping, and leaving me cringing and clinging to anything found. The only way that I’ve envisioned to overcome the irrational cringe as it appears, is to chant to myself that it doesn’t really matter. I talk to myself, and caress myself … enforcing my mind over matter.

Rule three was learned much later, from my brother, Uncle Abba, as we sat around the Shabbos table. We spoke, one and all, of a higher consciousness, a better self to lead others. We spoke of a world where each individual seeks to know all. We spoke of a mind-space where the world could be contained, and where each person’s realm could contain others. The line of thought always brought us, sitting at the table, to the awareness that we are all one, and that we must work together. I learned that to be whole I needed to incorporate the views from others; I understood, at the end of each meal, that I needed to be ‘Rosh Gadol.’

Conclusions signal an end, but I believe this is only the beginning. With so much apathy coming down now, we feel the pain, as if the end was already here, and aligned with our inner being. We ask ourselves, always, why ME, with a capital Y, as we fly down the carnival ride we can’t believe we paid to ride. We plummet down the trails we leave, ’round and ‘round, but to know the end is only to stop falling down. To know who we are is a task undone, we slip down until we drown, but … in life we sing as we descend. I say we should listen to ourselves thinking, and stop drooping into the unknown, the undead. Be Rosh Gadol! Take stock and take advantage! You can do it! It’s only mind over matter!! Just be sure to help others clean up the mess they leave behind, that way, TOGETHER one and all, we can shine!!! um... wut woot! 

Monday, November 7, 2022


There’s a knowing left under the world that reminds me of me. I think it sometimes, this knowing, but it leaves soon thereafter, spitting nonsense into my memory of it being. The life it left always tilts my reservoir of love but never touches my lips up, never begs to begin. I sing, I dance, slamming it out unseen, but always tasting the wishing in which it began ~ image: Etrog in Space, 10-2016 

Thursday, September 22, 2022


The alarm split my head open as it went off. My new phone wasn’t normalized yet, and school had just started for the year. It was loud and shocking, but my day needed to begin, nevertheless. Swimming through tasks uncompleted and filling all of my inboxes, I awoke and shuffled towards my morning routine—bathroom, dressing in the dark, tip-toeing downstairs to awaiting animals … feeding, coffee, and contemplation of things to come. Fat ran into the house when I opened the back door, our friendly neighborhood cat, instead of sauntering through my legs for food as I tripped in the dark out onto the back deck. It was strange. I saw Pizza hesitate on the deck-rail, his front paw fluttering as if testing the air for safety. But, with a clink and a spatter, the cat food landed into the metal bowls secured to the kitchen window-sill with wooden cut-out frames and super-sheva.

I returned to the kitchen to begin to feed the dogs, Roxie and Dude, scooped Dude’s food kernels with a different plastic cup and then spun to fill his bowl on the deck. Fat jumped onto the window-sill and greedily ate at the same time, but Pizza was still paralyzed on the rail. Dude wolfed into his chow, as is normal, his senses old and reduced to only taste and smell. And, Roxie was already gone, having run around the corner after more neighborhood cats that often come to call—usually, hence, returning to guard her food-bowl and, of course, to growl.

I measured her kernels into the bottom of the cup, swirled it for effect, and returned to the deck. She was still nowhere in sight, which is often the case as she gets wind of usurper cats waiting beyond the fence.  I bent, and watched the kernels fall from my hand, swirling out of the plastic cup and into the bowl, metal clinking to a stop—Roxie’s last meal. She saved me from imminent death, Roxie did, as I came to suspect. I bent, the spill of kernels spaced out in time, falling to the swirl of the bowl, the bottom of gravity cascading down, and around…

Hisssssss… jumped at me. Behind the dog's water bowl, full from the day before, laid a snake with poison fangs. The last kernel fell into the metal bowl and twirled on its end, as I watched fangs leap out across the meter between… I reeled in my mind, a swear word careened from my mouth, loud, muffled, and I stumbled back over my own roots. 

It glistened in the morning air, a viper digesting a recent kill. Quickly, Fat left. Then I grabbed Pizza off the rail. I threw him into the house, and then scooped my big dog Dude from around his belly, trying not to hurt his tumors as I lifted him and flew him in, too. I shut the door and raced across the house to open the screen at the front—then thought I saw the blur of Roxie coming in, followed by Luna the black cat, which disappeared upstairs with a bleating meow.

The snake catchers arrived from Atlit, after a brief call. All business … they captured the endangered animal, with a trash-claw and a bucket. We all joked about how it would be released back into the wild, next to our home, then come calling again… ha ha ha ha… Then I walked to work through the nature reserve next to our house.

On a break between classes, my phone began to scream. It was subtle, but insistent, ending in Roxie’s head being swollen and obscene. She had been bitten by the snake, my wife said in the text. I was in shock. I ran into my next class and began to teach vocabulary and connectors, but I actually can’t remember…

Hours became days, and then the day stopped. Roxie swelled up and her brain stopped too. Her blood pooled and then she stopped living; and then she decided to go. We all kept her alive with our love, for a day or two, as she perked up every time family would call, wanting to grow back to normal, chasing cats and growling next to her bowl, loving, just … so deeply, the life she had found…

In memory, and in blessing to all for a meaningful new year, full of promise and accomplishment, may you be written into the book of health and astounding life…

Shabbat shalom

(to read about Roxie's young life and start, please read here: https://israel-travel-secrets.com/beach-blanket-puppy/)

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Into the Woods

Separated by the Rocky Mountain range of craggy peaks, I was forced to reinvent myself by the sheer fact that I was physically cut-off from my past; I had to rely upon the foundation that had been set down by ancestors who once had moved west. I moved east and landed in Colorado, then perched onto the foundation of a suburban home built the year I was born. There, I began to search for work … and three years in I began again to paint. After stints splinted with real estate, museum work, and cabinet making, I carved into my suburban home a woodworking studio for days and a painting studio by night. Hence, after tucking my freshly bathed jammy-clad boys into bed with a story read between lines, pages skipped in anticipation, and then with a parting kiss to the lips of my love, I disappeared down below the earth into a basement brightened with paint to light up dreams of doorways invented to ascend.

I built there a tiny staircase with a curving rail up through a hole in the wall leading into an unseen garage, my woodworking studio by day and a place to dwell above ground by night. My suburban bi-level began to transform and to morph into its own, during daylight building cabinets, but at night spray-painting dreams to create jet-ways into the unknown. From table-saw to router, with some hand-tools in between, my mind would leap from paint in the basement to ornamentation above. Built, mortised, and finished upon the ground, with gold-leaf spread around and between, I spent my nights traveling between worlds, one above ground and the other seeking the light from far down below, but mostly unseen.

My boys grew while my worldview shrunk. But, I found that I was able to survive and almost thrive, and regardless of numbers and inherent fears, a business was formed—built in summer with winters too cold. So, built more I did, cloistering up, into the sky with a loft in my woodshop to look out from with a ladder leading below—I left a dimension and time, leaving behind the clutches of foundations built. I had parted from my past-life in California and built my dreams on my own. In suburban Colorado I built it alone, with no way to be heard, internet only a dream, I built from anew a worldview unshared and painstakingly unsung.

I coached soccer for my first-born, attending teacher-meetings for my second; I evolved and developed into a parent each day, LEGOs on the carpet, museums for learning, and teaching about bikes; playing Airsoft in the day, but by night descending—seeking, expecting to rise up again nightly via a staircase through the wall, I painted in oil-cosmic, and the nights slipped together into still. By catching a ride in the dark on the waves passing by, I remained to myself tangible, quite possibly alive, and my mind was able to soar. At least that is what I told myself. Really, I was completely lost in a foreign land with a foreign alibi. Who was I fooling, anyway? I left California because I was tired of holding on to something that had died many years before. I needed something new, something strange, something obtuse and prickling in order to live. The world I had known wasn’t ever real, wasn’t ever anything that could manifest a footing. It was a world overrun, that I lived in, with too many other things, hollow things, devolving. The cultural condition in California had mutated, for me, into something grand and bulbous, a sore toe tripping forward, so with almost no choice left, I left it.

My father grew up there, in the sunny state of California, his father too, all watching the place breed and spout, spreading a sort of cancer with a vintage tin watering can haphazardly onto dreams dreamt, and then packed away out of sight—into crates perfectly fitting produce produced in the dark. I left California with a brother from Laguna on one side and from Israel a brother-in-law on the other. We slept one more time 15 stories above ground in a rent-controlled apartment on the L.A. shore, above the ignoble chaos my mind depicted way down below. My head was made up and I had to leave, the place I loved from generations before had spit my soul out in order that my body should follow. And we went east…