Don’t be alarmed. It takes a fine mind to be this disordered.

Wields a sharp pen but really a nice fella. Most of the time.

The Joggled Mind collects the musings, pensées, polemics, and observations of Dr Essai, an enigmatic figure of murky provenance and sketchy character. He is believed to wander on foot for hours at a time observing, muttering, casting quizzical glances, and madly scribbling in a notebook with a somewhat misshapen left hand. He claims to have been irritated since 1977, and numerous people have come forward to confirm it. According to accounts that cannot be verified, he reads three languages: English, American, Canadian. In all of them, the doctor pays attention to culture, politics, books, photography, everyday human doofusness, and whatever else waylays his hypercurious mind, with the occasional detour into a rotating clutch of obsessions that includes Bob Dylan; 1960s music; Montaigne (inventor of the essai) and other practitioners of essayism; Homer; quantum physics; science fiction; the Transcendentalists; American history; and why Billy Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge.

At some point in the recent past, the doctor entered an agreement with Dale Keiger to be his Boswell. The less said about this gentleman, the better. He is known to be the author of The Man Who Signed the City. He is known to be the former editor of Johns Hopkins Magazine. He is known to frequently imbibe strong spirits, being partial to the fruit of the juniper. The Joggled Mind could be regarded as this gentleman's Umwelt; the Doctor abides.

By the simple act of subscribing, you will receive, once or twice a week, the latest thing to cross Dr Essai's mind, distilled into far more order than the voltage generated by his disordered brain chemistry. You may subscribe for free; you may also opt to contribute $5 per month or $50 per year. No pressure, but it is worth noting that you will significantly enhance your position on the great karmic wheel, for those playing a long game.

As for the title, we refer you to a letter written by Emily Dickinson: “[My father] buys me many books — but begs me not read them — because he fears they joggle the Mind.”


Colophon: This blog and newsletter is hosted on the Ghost open-source platform. Text written in Markdown, usually using Bear, sometimes Obsidian. Knowledge management and idea generation with Obsidian. Photography created with Nikon cameras and lenses; processed with Adobe Lightroom and a variety of Nik, DxO, and Topaz plugins. Peace of mind generated by meditation, generic Zoloft, and various gins (not in combination, which would be medically ill-advised). Dr Essai receives no compensation for these endorsements, though Nikon, if you're listening, the doctor still uses the D90 you gave him 20+ years ago and would gratefully accept more hardware, especially that Nikkor Z 180-600mm f/5.6-6.3 VR. Just a thought.