John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

Lake Fairfax : November 1 2014

Lake Fairfax : November 1 2014

It’s a simple thing

It’s a simple thing but I make a conscious effort to smile at the people I love and the other people who are important in my life. I do this because one day I noticed that in the normal course of events I smile politely to people I don’t know. And I thought that if I’m going to show that sort of consideration to total strangers, which is fine, it’s better to first show that kindness and consideration to those I love and hold close.


I am convinced that most people do not grow up…We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies, and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are innocent and shy as magnolias.” Maya Angelou

From the stageplay Cyberdate by John William Tuohy

I’ve learned this much.  The important moment in life isn’t one thing, it’s a lot of moments rolled together. You need perspective.  You need to become old to truly understand that..  Young people are so frightened of old age. (A smiles comes to her face, she holds up a finger as if to tell someone something funny and important)
 I was napping on the sofa the other day, and my granddaughter was worried that I was dead. (She laughs)   I used to think, when I was younger, that one day I would wake up and I would be in old age.  But there is no old age, or middle age or even youth, there’s just………….You.

               Still, I’m proud that in dog years, I should be dead

Grace (To the audience)
You see wrinkles on me, I don’t.  I see the place where smiles have been, anger, fear joy, emotions, PASSIONS!  the stuff of life.  I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that!

 But you do grow old.  There’s little signs along the way that tell you you’re getting old.  Like you and your teeth don’t sleep together anymore, you try to straighten out the wrinkles in your socks and discover you aren’t wearing any.

              Your idea of a night out is sitting on the patio.

   Suddenly, the pharmacist has become your best friend.  You finally find something you've been looking for, but can't remember why you wanted it.  Tightening your belt becomes uncomfortable under your armpits.

You can't finish a conversation, because you don't remember what you were talking about.

             Your top three favorite pastimes involve sleep.

                    What were we talking about?

                               Four-second pause

                                            I forget.

      The other thing about getting older is, you often repeat things.

         and your top three favorite pastimes involve sleep.

    You see, the great secret that some of the aged know, is that you really haven't changed in seventy or eighty years.  Your body changes, but you don't change.  You’re still you.

                     We’re always the same age…..  inside.

    I'm not interested in age at all nor am I interested in those poor, lost souls who insist on telling me their age or asking me my age.  You're as old as you feel.  Besides, I’ll be never be old.  Not as long as there is some one always 15 years older than I am..
 Look, you can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old.  In as long as you find company in yourself and your pursuits, you cannot feel old, no matter what your years may be.  We grow old by deserting our ideals.  Years may wrinkle the skin, yes, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.
This I’ve learned….happiness in life is rarely something you experience, it's something you remember. As for regrets, I have regrets over my failures, but I think we’re all failures, at least the best of us are.  The world is made of people who are always a day and a dollar short.  We just don’t talk about it with each other, that’s all. You grow old when regrets take the place of dreams.  Age wrinkles the body.  Forgetting how to dream wrinkles the soul.  When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single dream I didn’t dream or try to make true or a talent I didn’t try to use.  That way when I can look at the good Lord I can say “So God, my friend! I used everything you gave me. That’s the best I got ”

Lights off slowly and softly to a fade of darkness

What to say and when to say it

When we know what to say we have knowledge, but knowledge is commonplace. Knowing whether or not to say it what we know is pure wisdom and that’s uncommon.


Each Halloween for the past five or six years, we drive over to wonderful and picturesque Shepherdstown West Virginia, a delightful village in the northern panhandle that is home to Shepherd College.  

The area surrounding the town is rural farm land mostly and the houses are often spaced a good distance apart so the local children and their parents parade through main street in Shepherdstown where the homes are closer and the shop owners stay open late to hand out candy to the kids.  And the local college students join in as well.

Every year the celebration gets bigger and bigger and now the town officials close down Main Street at around dust till 9:00 PM. Most of the costumes are fantastic and very inventive and clever and the celebration itself is generally a safe, family friendly event.

Happy Halloween from me to you....John


Be slow in attaching a label to people and situations or even inanimate things because it makes they seem trivial to our world, to our our reality and as a result the more distant you become from reality, from the way things are.

I do it.

I try to leave everyone I meet better than I found them. I try to nurture and build those I care for. I try to understand them and forgive them and hope for the same from them.
I look for the best in people and I find it….. a lot.

 I do it. I leap at life. I take opportunities. I take chances and when those things don’t work out for me I hold no regrets. Life is simply too short to regret our choices.

 I deal with the world the way it is, not as I wish it were.  I don’t want to be one of those people who spends their whole life waiting to live. 


I have eighty blogs that are about the things that fascinate me …philosophy, psychology, art and literature….the blogs aren’t my escape, they are my saviors because the arts restore me, they make me whole again.

A lot has happened to me over the years

A lot has happened to me over the years but I am not a result of what has happened to me. I am a result of what I decided to become in my life.    


“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”Dale Carnegie


“Imperfections create character.” .....

well that's good to hear, I must have a lot of character. 

Judge me

If I’m going to be judged, judge me by my enemies….

it makes me look good.


Thinking good, positive thoughts is easy,

acting on those better thoughts, 

now that’s difficult.

God's no

God’s “no” is not a rejection, it’s a redirection.....and it's probably best not to argue the point       


 “You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. 

Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. 

And I promise you, something great will come of it.” 
                                         Benjamin Mee, We Bought a Zoo

Mediocrity has you outnumbered

 Mediocrity will always try to drag excellence down to its level. Don’t trade your superiority for their inferiority. But remember, if you achieve excellence or even try to achieve it, you’re going to scare a lot of people. Don’t forget that.  

Despite all my many efforts

Despite all my many efforts it’s difficult for me not to keep defining myself to myself and to others as something, as one thing or several things that I am. I say despite all my many efforts because I don’t want to define myself at all because that limits me to a specific role in life and I don’t want to live my life that way. And defining myself as one thing narrows me to what was, to the past of becoming something and that defeats my purpose and my efforts of living in the here and now.....my life, my rules.    

Imagine this clown at your car window

Kafka was right

As crazy as he was, Kafka was right, “The meaning of life is that it stops.”  Before that happens, the aim of life is to balance the terror of being alive with the wonder of being alive.

and remember to laugh, here, here's a dancing walrus

I like people but

I like people but I need my space, without it, without my space, I drain because people often drain me after a while. Not the select few who give and don’t take but the many who take and don’t give because they don’t know how, they’re  exhausting.

...but remember to laugh


Your dreams

Your dreams, your hopes, your ambitions are your business. They are your possessions.  Don’t share them with the world, don’t lower yourself and explain your hopes and dreams to the world. You don’t have to do that and the world doesn’t understand such things anyway. 

Useful Things

“To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: that is enough for one man’s life.” T.S. Eliot

Photos I forgot I had

 My dog Bart and an Irish Valentine 

Photos I forgot I had

My back porch every October 



 “Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh never mind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You’re not as fat as you imagine. Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday. Do one thing everyday that scares you. Sing. Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours. Floss. Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind, the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself. Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, and tell me how. Keep your old love letters; throw away your old bank statements. Stretch. Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t. Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone. Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, and maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s. Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own. Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it, but in your own living room. Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them. Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly. Get to know your parents; you never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young. Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel. Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders. Respect your elders. Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out. Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you’re 40, it will look 85. Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.” —         Baz Luhrmann, Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)