Anna Nimm is a pen name, an anonymous literary double. Sometimes we all feel an itch to talk about our names and accomplishments, and to hoard recognition from others. Letting go of this itch has been especially difficult for me … and liberating.

I was born somewhere in the Balkans and grew up in North America. After many years as an intellectual, I realized academia wasn’t for me, and ran away to Europe, where I spent many more years trying to perfect becoming an activist and being disappointed by it. Because unless you find your own center and learn to live with joy and generosity rather than out of a sense of lack, any attempt to coerce the world into changing are doomed to failure. And misery.

I’m a philosopher, but more by a calling to ask uncomfortable questions and to turn my world upside down, than by profession. And I am a poet, but probably not in the sense most people have of that word. Some of my poetry has come in the form of films and texts, but I believe the most exquisite poetry is the kind made in life: on the streets, lost in a forest, or reveling in the company of others.

My best thoughts are inspired by experience and flow through me rather than out of a pile of accumulated knowledge. I share them freely and am grateful if they become contagious and can inspire others in turn. And if they do, names and labels are irrelevant.




  1. Love your blog name and tag line. I had at one time contemplated a blog name along the lines of “ProfaneSacred”, but couldn’t quite conjure up the words that captured what I was trying to convey. You succeeded. ~ enlightenment among the shadows ~ that is stunning! I also studied philosophy, and Nietzsche was a big influence. Will have to come back and read that post.

  2. Thanks for your comment. I actually wanted to choose “profane illumination,” a term used by Walter Benjamin to talk about surrealism. But the name was already taken. Good thing for unlucky coincidences…

  3. I like this a lot. It truly applies to me too:

    “I’m a philosopher, but more by a calling to ask uncomfortable questions and turn my world upside down than by profession.”


  4. So glad to have found your blog – I too resonate with the title and tagline deeply. Gold lurks in the shadows – for any willing to make the journey, and so many mystics of all traditions, often thought to be associated with peace, love, and happiness, speak to the inevitable journey through the fire….one of my favorite stories from the Sufi tradition is that of the soul traveler as Chickpea, first frightened by the fire, then reassured by the cook, “Dear little chickpea, I must cook you up! I must season and roast you, giving you flavor, giving you character comes no other way.”

    Looking forward to reading more about your personal alchemy…

    Love and Respect, Amanda

  5. Dear Amanda, thanks very much for your thoughtful comment, it’s always rewarding to have a dialogue rather than just get likes (though those are nice too). I’m also glad to have stumbled upon Dreamrly and especially enjoyed your last post on heat, alchemy and silence.

  6. It is rare to find such a wonderful and illumined corner of internetville. What a blessing that you choose to share your hopes, dreams, love and life with us all. I am very grateful and will read on. Peace and Light, lee

    1. Thank you for your generous words, Lee. The internet hides a lot of rarities, if you know where to look. Or perhaps sometimes they find you. I am also very grateful to have discovered Riding Effortlessly. And it was a wonderful coincidence to see an image of Atuin the turtle just after watching the Color of Magic. It provoked all kinds of interesting dreams and fancies about why you chose it (her) …

    1. Thank you for the nomination Florence. I’m a complete novice to the idea of blog awards and how the process works, but I’ll look into it – in the meantime I wanted to say that it’s rewarding enough to know that you felt touched or inspired by something I wrote.

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