About Mark Olmsted

I normally blog as The Trash Whisperer (about picking up trash, plus my humorous graphic art), but I felt the need for a purely political and philosophical blog in which to gather the best of my articles (many published on the Huffington Post) about my political and spiritual philosophy.

I am a gay, HIV+, leftist, sober, 53-year old graduate student in the Humanities.  My twitter address is @marquismarq. I believe in creativity, spirit, compassion and humor.  I love words.


3 responses to “About Mark Olmsted

  1. Hi Mark,

    Thank you for your excellent piece following Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s death. With your permission I would like to share your work with our audience at RenewEveryday.com. We are a website and magazine for individuals and families who are in recovery from addiction. Please let me know if you would be interested in sharing your work with our audience.

    Thank you,


  2. Brenda ⋅

    Thank you for sharing your touching, insightful and respectful eulogy for Philip Seymour Hoffman. I did not know him, but like so many others I sat in awe of his great talent as an actor. I could not help but feel that something was missing, however, among your beautiful words and explanations of the world according to the addict and the normie. I was flooded with sadness of the emptiness of life that you were describing. Reading your final concession of the importance of being kind to others, my sadness multiplied. Being kind to others will not fill the void of those that you were describing. It may temporarily make them feel better, however, it will not lead them to a lifelong feeling of satisfaction and joy. In my worldview, I cannot imagine facing any part of life (good or bad) without a lifelong relationship with God. For those of us who love God and know that we are loved by God and others in God’s family, we have a divine perspective of hope and meaning from which we can measure and appreciate the smallest kindness and face the greatest challenge, even the almighty threat of the “should.” My wish is that everyone, especially those in pain, will find that loving relationship with God and God’s family.

    • Respectfully, Brenda, I specifically chose kindness to others because it is an expression of spirituality that athiests, theists, and agnostics can all pretty much get behind. I personally can’t think of a more beautiful definition of God, nor a better way to manifest her presence on earth. But secular humanists are just as capable of finding the same comfort and joy in being of service, loving and feeling loved, whether or not they attach that to a divinity. Love is love is love. If there is no God the way you conceive of God — and it is impossible to prove there is, which is precisely why “faith” is about belief, not certainty–then there is no less love. And there is no reason for you to feel sad for those who themselves don’t feel sad because they don’t share your definition of God.
      I know a great deal of happy and unhappy atheists and a fair amount of happy and unhappy believers. Feeling the love –whether it emanates from God or just IS — is available to anyone regardless of their traditional or untraditional beliefs. My contention was that Philip Seymour Hoffman felt unworthy of it. Even if you believe in God if you feel unworthy of her love then how you devalue the worth of your kindness to others and yourself. When that happens, heroin can “feel” an awful lot like love.

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