The Chicken and Its Egg

•August 3, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Nothing drives home the point of ebb and flow more than being on a boat. I feel the tide go in and out four times a day during the summer. Time and tide, waiting for no man, give a clear window into the inescapable ebb and flow of life. Nothing new, but the annual spate of reflection bores deeper into my psyche each year.

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A theory exists suggesting that the universe is built as a hologram, the higher dimension coded onto a lower dimension. On the hologram, only one part is physical: the lower plane. The image looks three-dimensional, but nothing is truly solid.

Sound familiar?

Already proven: more dark matter exists than particulate matter. Nothing actually touches. If the holographic theory is true, and mathematical calculations have proven this to be possible, the Universe may be born of another plane. Yet, our “reality” is as fundamental to our senses as the clock running forward. Oh, wait. Einstein has already suggested the illusion of time.IMG_6899.JPG

If some three dimensional spaces can be mathematically reduced to two dimensions, is this flatter plane their origin, or can they be further reduced to the singularity that is God? Is this holographic image similar to depictions captured double mirrors: infinite? Or are they one-in-the-same?

If we really live in a giant hologram, who’s to say that all the artificial worlds we build within computers, film, literature––our private dreams––aren’t as “real” as the world around us?

Imagination, whether originating on this plane or another, is the driving force of all creation, physical or fantasized. May they be holograms of each other?

The Universe, a non-linear rotary engine: circular. As complex as creativity; as simple as a button.

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Indeed.

The Finish Line

•June 29, 2016 • 2 Comments

It has been said that one never gets things done because perfection in nonexistent. If you can never get it right, you can never truly finish, and if you never finish, you never get it right. But the moments arrive when an author must pen the last sentence, give the work a final polish, hold a breath and press send.

I’m about to do just that with my third novel, Sun at the Edge of the Sky.

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The path created by this story wound through disbelief, scaled challenge and ultimately came to rest beside a clear, still pool of serendipity. I was forced to take to heart the message of my own book: There’s magic in believing. Because just as they do in the novel, disjointed pieces fit perfectly as if falling from the clouds with a map and GPS.

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The tale entwines two seemingly unrelated people, connected by the events of two September eleventh mornings separated by eighty-four years. Inspired in part by the life of Georges Guyñemer, the highly decorated and most beloved French ace of World War One, the writing of this novel is a story in itself which I will, at some point, assign in words. Suffice it to say that strange things have been afoot over five years of inspiration and research; the writing of scenes that turned out to be very close to the facts–months before those facts were found; the meeting of people associated with Guyñemer in some way, seemingly by accident (I have come to believe there are none); a few supernatural incidents, including the disappearance in one spot and reappearance in another of an item significant to him: an authentic pewter pin of Escadrille #3 once belonging to a squadron mate of his; the showing up of a Eurasian collared-dove in a remote Canadian location (foreign to that species) at I wrote a particular scene which featured this bird so common to northern France.

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The list is long and growing.

Yes, something is afoot, or in Guyñemer’s case, a-flight.

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I’m eager to discover just what. But since “you never get it done,” I suspect I may never truly be certain of the perfection of it all. So I’ll call it faith.

Going Dark

•February 3, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Notice? I took a semi-hiatus from digital communication the past year. In part, because I have several writing projects racing to the finish line, and in part, because I had an epiphany a year ago: face-to-face contact makes me feel good. Not that I went completely dark: I still use my cell phone, and I do most of my research online.
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Not that I went completely dark: I still use my cell phone, and I do most of my research online. But I have scaled back from posting daily (to my agent’s chagrin), I call instead of text, I read a real hold-in-the-hand book instead of a digital screen. All have confirmed what I already suspected: texting, Facebook and blogging are not honest forms of communication. They have their place. But they’re not trustworthy.

As writers, the first lesson we must learn is how to elicit emotion from our written words. But authentic interaction demands voice tone and word inflection––and eyes.44-beautiful-eyes-photography_24

Words are often mistaken as the best medium for expression, yet communication falls flat without the crutch of emotion. And emotion cannot depend on emojis, it hinges on sight and sound to reveal its truth.

Consider the phrase, “I love you.” Tossed around mindlessly at times, the truth behind the meaning is purely dependent on the tone of voice delivering the intention. Think of the many ways those words might be spoken. The degrees of love, defined.

So, I have scaled back my digital engagement in order to be more engaged with humanity, with nature, and with myself.

With eyes averted from personal digital devices, and I am reminded that human interaction at the visceral level, and nature itself, is integral as a transformative experience. No need for an online course, daily quotation, or word-of-the-day delivered to my email inbox.

Digital-free becomes a full-immersion experience without the the blindfold of virtual reality glasses. Glasses that may simulate, but will never replace, the “God-light” of early morning or late afternoon where the spirituality of the natural world is revealed.golden_afternoon_light_by_chaoticriver-d4r0b0h

And words delivered in person tell me the truth of a matter more surely than any missive read on the screen. Loving or bloody, they touch the emotion. They leave scars. And scars show us the color of our blood, the tone of our humanity, they teach us to be human, to handle our emotions, to show us emotion should be embraced by every fingertip. That we must dip ourselves into the blood, feel it’s warmth, and its energy.

We must embrace our humanity, not our hardware.images

Bridges Crossed

•November 20, 2014 • 3 Comments

I had the great good fortune to sit next to legendary director, Mike Nichols, on a Swissair flight from Warsaw to Geneva in the early 1980’s.

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We both made our homes in the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County, California; both bred Arabian horses, and both loved Poland. We attended the Polish National Arabian horse show and auction the week before and experienced a wonderful few days of spectacular horses, great friends, and marvelous stories.

The acting director of the Janów PolaskiPolish Arabian Studimages

we visited had spent a good deal of time reciting his adventures as a stable boy at the Janów Stud the summer of 1939. Fun, that is, until the Germans invaded Poland, and Russia crossed the Bug river less than two miles to the east, laying waste to the country as they rushed toward Berlin. What the German’s hadn’t destroyed, the Russians did.

 

imagesAndrzej Krzysztalowicz told a tale in Polish with an English translator in riveting detail. When Mike and I emerged from lunch, all we talked about was the horrific, yet heartwarming, story of a young boy who, when the Russians threatened, opened the stall doors to a band of Poland’s most precious broodmares, climbed on the back of their best stallion, and guided the herd southwest bridging the border into the safer haven (he thought) of Hungary. Krzysztalowicz saved the seed blood of the Polish Arabian horse breeding program.images

When the Americans visiting the Polish Stud climbed aboard the flight from Warsaw, and the plane took flight, the passengers cheered. Not because we hadn’t been treated exquisitely by the Pols. The Iron Curtain was yet to be drawn open. The oppression they suffered at the hands of the Russians was palpable the moment one stepped onto Polish soil. Americans needed to be sponsored just to visit, shepherded around at all times by those affiliated with the government. Freedom was a very foreign word.

Mike and I spent the short flight talking about how wonderful it would be to turn the Krzysztalowicz yarn into a film. The vision he held in his eyes as he spoke of the possibility bespoke the grandeur of such a film by his hand. But Mike felt the only place the film should be made was in Janów, and the red tape involved in accomplishing that seemed insurmountable at the time. By the time we landed in Geneva, he was talking about other projects in his queue: Working Girl, Heartburn, Biloxi Blues. Unfortuantely the dream of honoring Krzysztalowicz and the great influence of the Polish Arabian, unlike that Swissair plane, never got off the ground.

Andrzej Krzysztalowicz has passed, and the Polish border is an easier bridge to cross––but Mike is gone.

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The tale itself might be dead. But the memory of that day will live on. My writerly fingers can’t help but tap an invisible outline somewhere in the recesses of my mind.

There are simply too many tales to tell.

Auf Wiedersehen mein Freund. Mike, your movies will never let you go.

Writing is Listening

•April 25, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Guest Blog––from the Dog.

The View from Down Here

Writing. A cakewalk some might think. Sit down with a cup of warm milk and a box of chicken flavored dental treats and pound the keyboard. For one who has inflexible toes, and no opposable thumbs, it’s an impossible scenario. To the canine writer, the closest comparison might be the paraplegic. Let me tell you why: it’s all about listening.156059336-124599_238x238

I propose a different point of view (I’m a dog): Writing is not a cakewalk, it’s a “dogwalk.”

A dog pulls the master along, pausing here and there to sniff a clue––or drop one. And so the writer leads the reader, imagining clues to add along the way as a path is created, hoping the reader will recognize, however subconsciously, the ones they’ve deposited.

How?

The written word of the author, as recited in the mind of the reader.

Ruh. You don’t have to be a canine ophthalmologist to know this.

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The Alchemy of Beauty

•January 31, 2014 • Leave a Comment

What is beauty?IMG_1710

Something seen, or heard, or felt?

When experienced, what is the result? It draws us in, engenders pleasure. There is a physiological alchemy to it that transforms us. We may leave the beauty behind (quit the museum, turn off the music), but the sense of it is captured in memory that can be called upon at anytime.

That feeling, defined: Appreciation. The sensation most like love. Response is visceral when we look out over the Grand Canyon, examine a Renoir, listen to Beethoven (or Bob Dylan), or hold a child in our arms.

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But the simple memory of these things also calls forth feeling. The feeling of beauty is what changes a person. The feeling of love, as well.

If beauty is feeling, and appreciation closest to love, one can intuit the importance of beauty in our lives. And the definition of beauty is as diverse as those who appreciate it.

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The object matters not. The feeling is the thing. Feeling is always the thing. Universally available at anytime, anyone has the freedom to go there. There is a certain liberty attached to beauty and one’s sense of it. We are all free to appreciate whatever we wish.

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We need beauty as much as we need love. We need love as much as we need freedom. A equals B equal C.

Accesible anytime. Transformational, all.

A Brief Interview

•January 30, 2014 • Leave a Comment

A Brief Interview.

 
Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho Writer Official Site

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