John Otterbacher
Author, Speaker and Adventurer

“Nothing Special” Blog

John and his wife

The books that have taught me how to write have also taken me out on the road to speak. The speaking and writing have happily conspired to put me in contact with many terrific people, more than I can keep up with.

This blog is my attempt to be in contact while still protecting time with Barbara and the kids, some nourishing solitude, and time to write.

I am calling it “Nothing Special” because I have no illusions of having anything particularly profound to say. Days in a life and hunches about living, along with some excerpts from What Remains and Sailing Grace.

Awards for Sailing Grace

Best New Non-Fiction Book, National Indie Excellence Awards Finalist, Best Book Awards, USA Book News Winner, Michigan Notable Book Awards

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A particularly disturbing form of intellectual dishonesty is to pretend that I do not know what I actually know because of what it asks of me.

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Dog painting


“I always wanted to be somebody. I see now I should have been more specific.” -Lily Tomlin

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Image of still water


“We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploration Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time” TS Eliot

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Clouds in the sky
Mindfulness / The Spiritual Adventure


“Let us disappear into praising. Nothing belongs to us.” Rilke

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Image of a house


Spent a sunny afternoon with Thomas Merton at his hermitage in the Kentucky woods. He let silence do the talking.  

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