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Belonging

Toko-Pa Turner

“We ache to have our absence from the circle of belonging noticed. It poisons us from the inside out. Though we try to stay busy, the hidden loneliness underneath is rarely assuaged. Given the first breath of silence, there is an upwelling of alienation so great that it threatens to swallow us whole. No matter how much we accumulate or accomplish, the pang of unbelonging continues to pierce from within.

And so we treat our lives like a project for improvement, attempting to become useful, admired, impervious or savvy. We work at cutting off any unwieldiness that may be preventing us from fitting in. But as this ‘self-development’ encroaches upon our inner wilderness, our dreams and our connection to the holy suffers. As we harness every last resource in service to the unconscious longing to belong, we feel less and less at home.”

—Toko-Pa Turner, Belonging


Nice to meet you! I'm a writer, reader, and aspiring hermit. I love books and food and plants and theater and I'm fascinated by the beauty and terror of being alive on this planet.

In my past life, I was a founder at various times and a CEO at various times, and I now make a living as co-founder and chief of staff at a web3 startup. I do some coaching and consulting on organizational alignment & leadership occasionally (if that's something you need, you can email me; I have loads of empathy for anyone trying to make a business work).

I invented a celebratory day called Post Day that happens from time to time. Anyone can celebrate! I write letters to books I have loved. I also talk to my books on Twitter, and sometimes they talk back.

I have a mailing list, where I share the occasional update about new things I'm making/trying. If you're interested in digital gardening, I share what I'm reading in my public Roam. I am on Twitter sometimes, or you can email me.

If you like reading about thoughtful business topics, you can read my first book, Gather the People, originally released in 2015 and updated in 2020. It was the book I needed as a bootstrapping business owner with the heart of an artist, and if that's you, I hope it helps.

Last updated: July 26, 2022