Derek Johnson Muses

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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Fall Leaves


Signs of Change…

Above all else, I want to apologize for my lack of updates over the past few month. There are two reasons for my silence: one, I contribute to, a task which I give my full attention, and two, I don’t feel like I have a lot to say. Like last year, the fall has been a time where my ideas go silent and my mind goes into reboot cycle. Writing will come back around.

Fall in my mind is football season with leaves sprinkled in. I don’t even think of it as season, but this year I have made more of a mental note to enjoy the leaves on the ground, the final farmer’s market, and other fall traditions. I’m dreading that day when I have to start trekking out through snow to get to my truck.

There is nothing quite like football season as it plays out. The college season lasts only three months, and the pro season lasts only a bit longer. With so many college teams that matter, it’s a mad dash to try and read as much as you can, because you know, when it stops, your team’s record gets cemented in your mind, and there’s another eight months you have to come up with stories.


Recently, I hit a deer with my car, and am putting off getting a new one. It was getting older anyway, so I was thinking about replacing it. I’m not a car guy; all I care is that my next vehicle lasts a minimum of eight years or more.

I have struggled with a particular sin this fall: envy of someone else’s triumph. I tell myself in my head that, if I resent the success of others, I will not have any myself. I binge watch Breaking Bad, so I should know where the road of jealousy and anger goes. I keep reminding myself, worry about what you can control.

Nebraska at Michigan 2013: in Pictures

I’ve written a detailed recap of Nebraska’s win at Michigan over at, but I want to take some time here to share some photos from that great day in Ann Arbor.

Caught Michigan's police escort to the stadium.

Caught Michigan’s police escort to the stadium…

Northwest corner

Northwest Corner of The Big House…



A memorial

A Memorial…

Wolverines taking the field under their famed banner...

Wolverines taking the field under their famed banner…

Huskers enter a few minutes later...

Huskers enter a few minutes later…

The opening kickoff....

The opening kickoff….

Michigan backed up....

Michigan backed up in the second quarter…

The game's final moments...

The game’s final moments…

Final Score!

Final Score!

Control: A Brief Thought

Control. The wold tells us we have a lot of it, and we can make ourselves believe that we have it. We really can. I always feel I have a lot of it when I’m staring down into my smart phone or my tablet. Control is the mythical beast of our culture, goading us up, all the while building a fall beneath the sand foundation it builds for us.

There is a paradox with control. We can only get so much of it, and yet the more we get, the less we have and the less it is worth. A man acts humble as a ruse to hide the fact that he really covets control and does not attempt great tasks because it means he will have to give up control over his immediate time and circle. He only denies he has control because he doesn’t want to admit he is limited.

People who succeed are judicious with control. They know when to give it up, and when to use to enforce their will beyond their immediate reach. They know when to ask for help. They know that, by giving others control (or the illusion of such), they gain long term trust and loyalty. Control is only any good when it can cause yield without causing dissent, which may be the greatest of all arts.

Personally, I don’t believe we have as much control as we like to believe we do. Our talents and skill levels are set. Our past experiences, stone. What happens to us, forget it. Our attitudes, well that is something. Who we associate with, that can help. But man’s little control is just further evidence of the Divine.




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