After growing up in New York City from age 12, companion to friend, gangster, and trust fund baby, I left age 36 and after 9/11 in search of a quiet place.

That took me to an ocean town in Paekakariki, New Zealand, to a marriage, to the desert of Western Australia (I hear you’re building your little house out in the desert.. you’re living for nothing now.. — Leonard Cohen).

One day in the outback, I met a “roo hunter,” who shot kangaroos from rifles in his truck. I remember, while serving him at my place of work, particularly disliking him, and when he left the building  I asked others about his attitude. He had, I was told, served time for shooting his first wife dead.

I tell you this because the best advice I have ever received, in the basement of a church in lower Manhattan at an early gathering of sexual abuse survivors, was Honor Your Feelings. It is also what much of my work is about — fighting against denial, lies, deceitfulness and suavity.

At the moment, I live as far from New York City as possible, while still living in New York.

The holy spirit does not baptize by water but by fire — as I read in a Bible I picked up on the day of my baptism at  St Thomas church in Manhattan (age 28), and I continue to be on fire most of the time.

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