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Omigosh. I'm here. At my new home. Once again, my wife and I have packed up, lock, stock, and tomahawk, and settled elsewhere. This time, six hundred miles away to the eastern US coast. Donna started her new job here at the first of last December. I finished up my old job, tied up loose ends, and have now joined her in Columbia. I've been here for two weeks, and they've been weeks of intense settling in.

I've made the drive out here three times, and once back to Mississippi (I flew one time, and this last time, I've not gone back). The drive is grueling, taking about ten hours, though it is a straight shot down Interstate 20. It's not a particularly scenic drive, just typical Interstate travel through patches of pine forest regrowth and varying levels of suburban sprawl. But there are some interesting vistas from some pretty high hills (Appalachian foothills?) at elevations up to 1000 feet starting around Birmingham, Alabama. They level out by the time you reach Georgia.

One of the drives out was most memorable for being sheer, gut-wrenchingly, awful. That was when I went to spend Christmas week with Donna and take a first load of our stuff.  I towed a uhaul trailor behind a borrowed Toyota Tacoma through the cold dark and constant rain with stormy stretches. Often I couldn't see where I was going. The trailer slowed my truck's progress and made it unwieldy on slick roads. I had to pay close attention as I often couldn't see very far ahead because of the dark, the rain, and the constant stream of warehouses-on-wheels (trucks). I was "flying by instruments" most of the way--relying on my GPS (Global Positioning System) device to keep me on track. Very often, I followed the GPS graphic as much as the actual road.

I've never owned a GPS until I bought one to make this trip and to guide us around Columbia. It's an amazing little box that strikes me as the pinnacle of human technology. It knows the roads to everywhere and can detect elevations and speed limits. Sure, you can find the fuzzy limits to what it knows, but the very fact that there is a humongous area of nonfuzzy info is just barely short of miraculous. Based on a street address, or sometimes just a business name (or even long/lat coordinates) it will guide you with voice and graphics to your destination. If you take a wrong turn, it will make the adjustment within seconds and guide you from where you are. It has taken me all over Columbia and the surrounding region and greatly hastened my learning my way around. Yes, it has short-comings. It is ultimately toxic to the environment like all digital technologies. It propagates the life-shortening pollution of microwaves. It is a tracking device for the NSA. People take these devices for granted and give no thought to what's behind them--they're just too useful to abandon (which could be humanity's epitaph).

Forgive me, I digress.

So my arrival at our little rental in Columbia filled the house with boxes of our essential stuff. A lot of my two weeks since has been unboxing it all. I've contributed a lot of boxes to the local recycling effort, which seems to be a good one and I give them credit for that. I would like to have saved the boxes, which mostly came from a Wine-and-Spirits store (boxes just the right size), we've no room to store them. In fact, there is little room in our rental that is dedicated storage space. That means we share our living space with our stored items and it has led to some creative setup in the house. It works, though, and makes me think it's better to pay less for a smaller space and make good use of drawers and cheap storage cabinets.

My computer made the trip successfully and I've setup my study/library/office so I'm online again. Of course, there have been the myriad details to attend to, like getting new driver's licenses and car tags (and fighting the bureaucratic inertia of such) and making the required adjustments for car and renter's insurance. But we're mostly through all that now, and I can pause and think about what I want to do for the first time in over two months.

South Carolina is a lot like Mississippi in ambiance. It's still the US South. There are subtle differences, however, that probably come from influences filtering down from the northeast. Like wine and spirits being more openly acceptable. It seems every store, from grocery to furniture stores, has a decent wine section. The quality and number of good restaurants is also impressive.

The mar in all this is that the SAG spraying overhead is horrendous. It is far worse than what I saw over Mississippi and that was bad. On a "clear" day you can see as many as five jets in the same area at very high altitudes, flying in crazy, overlapping patterns as they release thick plumes of aerosols. I suspect this is partly in support of Winter Storm "Juno" the geoengineers have created for the northeast. Geoengineering is the consummate horror of our times and my work will always include activism against it.

Regarding my work, I'm ready to get down to it, revamp my web presence and put out at least two books and all the other writing I feel the inspiration and need for. Stay with me.

So we're here, and life has changed. I hope to settle into a life more literary and engaged, write my books and create an infrastructure to support them. And maybe learn something in the process that I can share with you.


 
 
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I have posted a little review of John Hogue's ebook, Ten Predictions for 2015 on Amazon.com. The book is actually a prelude to a much larger work, Predictions 2015, which is due to come out around the first of February. Mr. Hogue has delayed the released of the larger work because he says it grew in scope as he worked on it.

I have a special interest in the book because he includes a section on climate change that addresses the possibility of a new ice age in addition to a couple of other possible climate futures. Even though the earth has just set a record for the highest global average temperature in human history, another ice age is possible. Judging by the fossil record, it's due, and they are always preceded by a period of global warming. It is that scenario that I use for the setting of my coming novel, Dentville: The Power of the Ancients.

Actually, Mr. Hogue addresses another issue that relates to a planned novel of mine, regarding the 2016 presidential elections. It looks like the big contest will be between Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton. That is, it will be a big contest as far as the mainstream media is concerned. Both are servants to the ruling oligarchs and they may have already determined the "winner." Nevertheless, Mr. Hogue sees Hillary as having a "destiny to be president" and that might tie in nicely with the novelization I would like to do of my short story, Madam President.

Mr. Hogue sees 2015 as the year of "last chances." That is, astrologically speaking, it is the last time period where changes can be made that can alter events in the following epoch. That implies 2015 as being a pivotal, watershed, year. I recommend you get Ten Predictions for 2015 for more on what this scholarly seer sees for the coming year (it's only $2.99).

2015 will be a turning point year for me and my family as well, as I've indicated in the last few journal entries. In fact, this upcoming week will be the time I make the big move from here to our new home in South Carolina. It is there that my wife has launched into a better job, and there that I will launch my new career (or at least my attempt at such).

Starts imply endings and departures. Certainly, that is part of my story, even with some bridge burnings. But sometimes that's necessary.

Here's to looking ahead and beyond in the coming year. I hope it goes well for you.

My Amazon review of Ten Predictions for 2015 is here.

 
 
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Christmas 2014 has passed and the new year of 2015 has begun. I see the last two years as a growing momentum that has brought me to now, where I see and am actively pursuing my personal legend. At Christmastime I considered my recent past in the season's celebration of the hope for redemption. I see my own redemption and renewal in this time's passage. Now I will look ahead to where I'm going and where the world seems to be headed; well no, not quite yet.

I do want to make a journal entry about predictions for the coming year. Not so much my predictions, but rather, I'll offer some commentary on predictions made by others whose opinions I've come to hold in high regard. I'll also talk then about my plans for 2015, but first, I have to say something about my recent watershed event.

Dec 31, 2014 was my final day on an 8-to-5 job of 13 years duration. It was an IT job (Information Technology) and the culmination of a 34 year career that saw me move from a 24-year-old operator of a computer that filled a large room, to a grizzled network administrator of systems that don't physically exist. There's probably some lesson in that about moving from something to nothing, but I don't want to deal with that now.

No, the job I just left, I began in November of 2001--a scant month after the world's watershed event (9-11) of terror. That world event does not move me to patriotism, but rather to disgust at seeing in it the manifestation of a great evil. Still it was a turning point in human history, just as my job start was a turning point in my personal history. It was the start of my last mainstream job (so far as I know) and I held it longer than any other.

That employment began with a world-altering event and lasted through many other world-altering events. But my job was little affected by any of them. That is, the machinations and work of the job went on as if nothing else was happening in the world, or at least the effects were subtle and never acknowledged. But then, that's the way the western world's economy works, with people having value only as units of production and as "consumers." They are well trained for this life and do their work without looking up. I don't think it will be that way for much longer, though. World events will intrude and people will have to acknowledge that the monumental powers that move western civilization and even alter the very forces of nature, affect them as well.

In the last 13 years, I think that only happened at my job when hurricane Katrina breezed through town.

What happened instead, was 13 years of routine--getting up before daybreak, making an hour's commute, checking computer systems, updating work statuses, filling out virtual timesheets, appraising staff, drafting documentation. There were a few special projects that alternated between earning me praise and censure. There were problems that drew from management the moral equivalent of righteous indignation. At times, there were celebrations of holidays, birthdays, and even vacations (presentations with slides of a manager's trip). Those grew steadily less over the years until there was nothing but the job. Pleasure and pain were bound in the daily routine that sometimes stretched into the nights and weekends, diluting compensation, and offering only the reward of the faithful servant.

That's how it all seemed to me after being a cog in the capitalist machine for 34-plus years. Early on, I was motivated by the joy of the geek playing with computer technology. That lasted for some years until it became not enough. That "not enough" grew and became visceral for me in the year of 2013. I think my spirit guides just brought me to the point of finding old inspirations and applying them to that present time and their contrast with the way I was living was just too great. You can trace that process in my journal entries from then (an exercise for the Reader) and, I hope, find some inspiration.

And it all came down to now; to this time when my soulmate found employment in another state and local holds were relaxed enough to allow us to leave. We acted on that opportunity and it brought me to that last day of 2014, when my resignation of employment became effective.

I had spent the prior weeks tying up loose ends at the job. I gave final instructions and suggestions, and shored up the voluminous documentation that would be my voice when I was no longer there. On that last day, I attended a reception held for a fellow employee who was actually retiring, and for myself, who was just quitting. Slices of a fine chocolate cake were passed around with kind words for us, the departing. Many people expressed warm wishes towards me (and towards Donna, my wife, as well). Though I've been thoroughly jaded towards the daily, crushing, grind of 8-5 employment, I was very touched by the loving-friendliness extended to me by some human souls on that day. Thank you so very much.

Then for the final time, I submitted my timesheet and shut down my workstation. I left the network area and locked the door behind me. I turned in my keys and my badges, said some final goodbyes, and left the building. Out on the street, in the mid-afternoon, I scanned the downtown with nostalgic eyes. It was cool and as clear a day as the geoengineers will allow. I was thankful for that and got into my car and drove away with a joy at leaving the rat race, but with an ache at the closing of a chapter. Indeed, that chapter closed the second act.

It is often said that the problems a person has with a given job are usually not with the work, but with the people. I also find that when I remember a given job, I remember little about the work, but mostly about the people. I've just left another bunch of people who are fellow pilgrims on the camino of this physical plane. I wish them well even as I move on.


 
 
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Christmas time has always been a mellow time of conclusion for me. The warmth of hearth fires to dispell wintry chills, the smell of evergreenery, chocolate, spiced cakes, wine, cheese, colored lights in the night, festive decoration, classic music of the season, fellowship in celebration, all contribute to make special that time of year when the night is longest and goodwill is dispensed on a scale wider than at any other time, because it comes from a shared, religiously expressed, hope for salvation at an emotional and spiritual, level. It's a good time, at the end of the year, to consider where you've come from and where you are, before looking ahead at the new year.

This has been a pivotal year for me and, I believe, for the world. For my part, I can trace my year's evolution through my journal entries. It's appropriate that it began with an entry inspired by Ben Stiller's The Secret Life of Walter Mitty movie. It's my most-liked journal entry and I've referred to it many times. I simply found it inspiring, especially with its theme of travel as being the portal through which the protagonist reconnected with reality and living his life. This came to me after the previous year of journal entries where a desire for travel and "breaking free" was a growing motivation.

I felt, however, that the cost of breaking free for me (and all wage slaves) was nothing short of death. Our world system is simply that harsh and unforgiving for workers. I expressed this feeling in a short story I called, What I Call Life (taken from a quote by Henry David Thoreau). I wrote about what that story was to me in my second journal entry that I called, Life Cost. In a nutshell, it was my own situation expressed through a protagonist who "...reaches the end of his rope on the job, receives his "bolt from the blue" offer, and makes his decision." Little did I realize that this story would play out for me in reality (if less dramatically) within the year.

Then there were some positive distractions that prompted a number of journal entries. I took a course on self-publishing at a local college that made me feel my goal of publishing novels was attainable. It inspired me so that I made a restart of my Dentville  novel, making use of a novel-writing program I found (WriteWay). Using this software, I was able to get the initial draft of the book completed.

Another distraction was an education on wine brought about by my sons' entries into the sommelier field. I made a comparison of the wine passion to literature and wrote a number of journal entries about it. I came to appreciate how the subtle sophistication of a good wine can enhance a moment or occasion.

On the literary side, I expressed my breaking free desire in a "literary expedition" through reviews of several books that spoke to me on one level or other. Most notable among them was Daniel Quinn's The Story of B, which rounded out his Ishmael trilogy and that, along with Riane Eisler's The Chalice & the Blade, enhanced my knowledge of  civilization's beginnings and helped explain to me, what happened to us.

That expedition into learning about humanity's history came from a darkness that grew alongside my desire to abandon the rat race. I learned more, through alternate news sources and the writings of some smart people, about the true state of the world. I saw ever more clearly the ominous coming of devastation from global warming as exacerbated by Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering (SAG) and the mad plans of the oligarchs for world domination. This tainted my hopes for a better life, and I struggle with it. But in my literary expedition, I realized that others struggled with it long before me, though the threat was not as imminent for them. Ernest Hemingway, for example, saw the nature of things and expressed it in For Whom the Bell Tolls. The inspiration of that book led me to breach the subject myself for the first time in a journal entry (We Fight to Live).

The last half of the year was a contest between the desired inspiration of a wider world (Another Dreamer, Moving vs Traveling) and the certain horror of our situation (The Passage we must Transit). I expect that contest won't be worked out, but rather, I'll have to explore both sides to be honest with myself, my loved ones, and my fans. Even so, I found some solace in reconnecting with an old friend that reinspired my literary ambitions (The Booksigning).

All this led up to the biggest event of the year and watershed of my life. When my wife and soulmate, Donna, found a job that would take us away from Mississippi to South Carolina, it led me to take a slightly early retirement from IT work and for us to move across the country to make a new start (Moving Forward with Courage). Donna has already made the move and I'm still in the transition--finishing my 8-to-5 job and concluding other ties.

This is the event that I said mirrored the action in my What I Call Life story. I am way past being ready to move on. The spirits and my wife provided this opportunity, and I am acting on it. I pray it will be for the better of us both. And I pray it will be for the better of you who are following me, in that I'll produce work that will help you.

Looking back over the year, it seems to me that Paulo Coelho may have been right when he said in his wonderful little book, The Alchemist:

...a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their Personal Legend...It's a force that appears to be negative, but actually shows you how to realize your Personal Legend. It prepares your spirit and your will, because there is one truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it's because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It's your mission on earth...And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

So I'm pursuing my personal legend, as is Donna. The way may be rocky, very rocky, at times, but it's the only way to go.

Here's hoping your Christmas is a joy enhanced by the nearness of loved ones, faith, and the realization of the pursuit of your personal legend.


 
 
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Donna and I have made the trip to Columbia, SC, that I spoke of in my last journal entry. She has begun her new job there and I have returned to Mississippi to wrap things up.



A whole new world
A new fantastic point of view
No one to tell us no or where to go
Or say we're only dreaming...

The journey to Columbia was long, some 600 miles eastward on Interstate 20, but the day was sunny and marred only by the ubiquitous SAG trails cutting through particulate-laden, glary skies. That's an oppression I constantly feel, but even so, we both felt a release from old ties that receded with the miles. For we must get on with the business of living, especially when the tide in our affairs reaches a crest that we must sail, despite cloudy horizons. So with months of planning and preparation as our bulwark, we drove on, anxious, but less so than would have been the case in our inexperienced years. Now, anxiety from the unknown was tempered with the knowledge of how things work, with confidence in our capabilities, and with the decision made to do something.

We spent some 10 hours on the road. It would have been more had we stopped to eat at restaurants. Instead, Donna made sandwiches and we carried traveling snacks with us. This allowed us to take our meals at rest stops and save much time. Even so, guided by our Global Positioning System device (GPS), we rolled into Columbia after dark.

Even with the GPS, it took us a while to find the Extended Stay motel we had booked. We found a very nice place with a big 'E' over its door that seemed much nicer than we anticipated. It was. The 'E' stood for "Embassy Hotel." Our place was next door and it was not so nice.

The Extended Stay was a basic, two-story, box of rooms. The "extended" aspect was from a mini-fridge, burner-plate, and microwave in the room. The microwave didn't work, the bed covering was ridiculously thin, and the noise from the nearby Interstate kept us awake all night (along with the meanderings and primal calls of our neighbors). We checked out the next day.

We found another Extended Stay dump closer to town. Its microwave worked, though it was a mess, and the bed was a bit more comfortable though the bedding was filthy. The faucet in the bathroom sink barely released a trickle and we shared the room with roaches (small ones in the bathroom). The shower head didn't disperse the water stream so it was like showering with a garden hose. But we were pressed for time and the place was cheap (relatively) so we stayed there. We washed the beddings at a Laundromat and bought some cheap shelving and groceries to get us through the week.

And it was a very busy week. Donna started her new job and that was the brightest point. She was welcomed and quickly valued. While she worked, I searched for a rental house for us. And it had to be a house with a fenced yard for our dog.

Our extended dump had no wifi so I had to take my laptop PC to the city library to do my Internet searches for rentals. I liked the library. It was big (3 floors and a basement) and had tables with electric outlets in the floor beside them. It struck me as an excellent place to do research or just find a quiet corner and write. I'll make use of that place when I'm settled. So every morning, I would drop Donna off at work, drive to the library, pick a table, set up shop, and start searching. I generated a list of properties to search and then packed up and hit the road, letting the GPS take me to all the potentials.

Our first thought was to live in an in-town neighborhood to greatly shorten Donna's commute and be close to the downtown (which is congenial in ambiance and full of neat cafes, restaurants, and shops). In the course of the week, I visited hundreds of houses-for-rent in and around Columbia. All were old and most were dumps or just not suitable for one reason or other. Many neighborhoods were obviously popular for renting to college students (the University of South Carolina is in the south part of town) and that was fine, but college students tend to have lower expectations in housing that we do. By Wednesday, I was very discouraged.

Then I found a house that seemed adequate. It was in a popular neighborhood, was in good shape with hardwood floors throughout, a covered back porch, nice deck, fenced back yard and a storage building. I was hopeful it was the end of my search and had Donna look at it on her lunch break. She liked it too, but after some thought, decided that the master bedroom being in the attic was something she didn't want to deal with (slanted walls making it tough to place furniture and a very steep stairway climb to get to it). So I kept looking.

In the meantime, we did enjoy a couple of nice meals at a cafe and restaurant in town. Michael's is a cafe off Main Street with a wonderfully mellow atmosphere. That day's special was a pizza with salad and a bottle of wine for $20. It was all great and the wine was a good little pinot noir called Nightfall.

Then on Thursday night, a couple of Donna's coworkers treated us to dinner at California Dreaming downtown. This is an upscale restaurant housed in a an old converted train station. The menu was California-oriented and everything on it was great (by reputation). I know the Knob Chicken was great, and so were the seafood nachos. The wine list was Californian and I had a very good cabernet sauvignon called Main Street. There was live entertainment (a guy playing guitar and singing) and a large bar. This place is very popular with the locals and is a great place to entertain. I highly recommend it.

Our house search extended to Friday. This was my last day there and I was feeling the pressure. I found a couple of places that might suit and took Donna to see them at lunch. She wasn't thrilled with them, but while out, we found a neighborhood of patio homes with fenced back yards and a couple were for rent. We called the phone number on a sign in one of the yards and spoke with a property manager who suggested we come into town and get keys to three rentals her company managed. We did, and the second one turned out to be very suitable for us. It was a patio home in the city's northeast section, close to much shopping and the type of support places (grocery, restaurants, etc) that we are used to. The house was very clean with a modern kitchen and a washer/dryer.

The agent fast-tracked our application and we signed a lease that day. Donna was able to move out of the fleabag and into the house the next day. With the purchase of an air mattress and a few items, she is all set to live there until I return with our furniture and the dog.

I flew back to Mississippi the next day (appalled at the SAG spraying seen from the air). Back home, I crashed into a midnight migraine as a I unwound from the week's exertions and stresses. It took a couple of days for me to recover, but I did, and now I'm tying up loose ends and preparing to join Donna in Columbia and setup our house.

I've resigned my IT job of 13 years and that in itself is a major life event for me. I'm glad about it. It is surely time for me to move on to another phase. I described my writing plans in my last journal entry and I look forward to implementing them.

I've had a number of new starts in my life. In many ways, this is the biggest. I feel very positive energies about it; also gratitude that I have this opportunity at this time in my life to break free, to some extent, from the chains of the Taker culture that darkens our collective futures...

I'm like a shooting star
I've come so far
I can't go back
To where I used to be...

...and that my soulmate is with me.

...Let me share this whole new world with you.


 
 
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It seems that travel--spiritual and physical--has been a recurring theme in my journal entries. I think it stems from an ongoing existential crisis for me. I keep searching for meaning. Maybe that's at the root of why people walk the Santiago de Compostela Camino. I'd like to walk it myself one day. Pilgrims on the Camino are encouraged with the exhortation: "Ultreya"-- move forward with courage!

The way of the Camino is marked from antiquity with yellow arrows engraven on stones. Being mindful of the guidestones is an important task for the pilgrim to keep them on track. And they must remember that enemies will change the arrows and plant false ones. Moving forward requires a careful discernment.

In the coming week, my wife and I will be making another step forward in our life's pilgrimage.

I've made two significant attempts in the past at leaving my hometown with my family and settling elsewhere. They were not successful attempts in that, we returned. There were simply strong fetters of obligation, family ties, and (when I admit it) fears that brought us back. Why make such a move in the first place? Yann Martel stated the "why of it" very well in his book, Life of Pi. I referred to his observation and my identification with it in my journal entry Moving vs Traveling. In that essay, I concluded that distance traveled is best measured within. By that standard, our previous moves covered more mental distance than physical, but we still hit barriers, or boundaries, that we could not cross.

Now, older at least, we are on the cusp of trying again. Spurred by the relaxation of old ties, and an encouraging new job for Donna, we have made the commitment to another move. We'll begin this journey by driving to Columbia, SC next week so Donna can start her job the following Monday. I'll stay that week for moral support and to get her setup in an extended stay hotel. Then I'll return home to tie up some loose ends before joining her.

We're both excited and anxious about this move. It is a big change with risks and lots of logistics to work out. Donna is taking on a challenging job and I'm basically retiring (from IT anyway). Though I won't rule out taking another 8-to-5 job if need be, I'm more than fine with being a house-husband and otherwise working from home. You see, there are at least three novels I want to put out as quickly as I can. They are:

* My first Dentville novel (Power of the Ancients) of a trilogy about humanity's future living in a new ice age and where civilization has collapsed to a neolithic level.

* My activist novel about the ongoing horror of Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering (SAG). The working title is Prospero.

* Madam President. This will be a novelization of the short story by the same name that I have on Smashwords. It will be about dealing with the evil that has such a grip on our world.

There'll be supporting work for these novels that will involve revamping my author's website and creating a Publishing website. Maybe some scattered short stories as well.

That's where we want to go and the first step is to go out-of-doors and drive to Columbia.

I think it fitting that my first journal entry for 2014 was inspired by Ben Stiller's Walter Mitty movie. Like Mitty, we're challenging our comfort zones and leaving our safe places in an attempt to live in a wider world. And I'm hoping to find, like Tennyson's Ulysses:

...something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done...

I'll try, and keep you posted on my progress.


 
 
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I look up to di sky
Can you tell me why?

I sit in my 14th floor office on a Monday morning and look out over my cityscape vista. The sun is shining but the day is not clear. Long SAG (Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering) trails fill the sky over a glary "smog" that obscures the view of the trees and buildings stretching out to the northwest. The air is filled with a metallic taste. The day started cold with temps in the 40's, but now it's near 80, and the sun is unusually hot for a mid-October day.

On such days, maintaining a positive outlook is difficult.

I wrote a number of journal entries last year (2013; and some this year) that I consider inspirational. That is, they deal with themes that have inspired me and apparently found some favor with readers. They pretty much began with one I called, "Timbuktu!" and went through "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty". They were popular posts that still get a lot of hits and they represented an "optimism in the midst of despair" phase for me. That is, I continued to find hope for a better future when life was offering difficulties and drudgery. I even wrote a short story based on this theme that was published in a local magazine, and I made a restart on the novel I've had in mind for so long. I was hopeful.

Mi look up inna di sky me can't see clear
Blue skys a gone and white lines appear


Then our rulers (oligarchs and their government agents; i.e., "they") kicked their SAG efforts into high gear. The spraying of aerosols by high-altitude aircraft that I've been observing for years was ramped up to a level I never dreamed of. The spraying is continuous and at times produces some very ugly skies. Horizon-to-horizon trails cross and connect, and persist for hours, until they spread into a haze that "whites out" the sky into a silvery-milky hue. This "mist" settles to the earth and blankets my city and the surrounding country in a white "smog." Even "clear" days are hazy with only pale blue skies. Such spraying produces effects that I listed in a recent journal entry.

The problem with this spraying, and why it is depressing to watch, is that it is toxic. It consists of nano-sized metal (mostly aluminum and barium) particulates, chemicals, and even some biological components (see here and here). In other words, they are spraying us with a toxic soup. Why?

Dem seh it's natural
Mi naw believe dem!


Weather control seems to be the main motivation and the geoengineers are very advanced at that. They can create and dispel hurricanes, withhold rain in some areas and deluge others, create snowstorms, manipulate the jet stream, and suppress an el nino. In the face of generally rising global temperatures, they can make some areas quite cold.

Would our government really do such a thing? And if they are, isn't geoengineering an effort to try to save us from climate change?

...who can we trust? Our own governments, about who we know nothing for certain except they lie and pursue their own ends, sexing up and dumbing down, arming then attacking, fair-weather friends but perennial weapons suppliers? (Russell Brand)

Consider the well-documented Operation Northwoods. None of these weather-control capabilities are benign.

Filling the atmosphere, daily, with millions of tons of particulates shreds the earth's ozone layer (so that harmful UV rays reach the earth), kills plant and animal life, destroys soil fertility, spreads cancers, diminishes our cognitive abilities, depletes human bodies of nutrients (like potassium), promotes autism and dementia (see here). It also increases the earth's greenhouse effect and so exacerbates global warming which will lead to earth being devoid of life in short order.

Something strange is going on
Feel it in my heart, sensing something strong


And this is being done deliberately? Yes. It is astounding and hard to believe, but if you follow the links I've provided and do your own research, you'll find yourself overwhelmed with the evidence (the best of which is that of your own eyes if you'll just "watch the skies"). We live in a hierarchical, dominator, taker culture that promotes psychopaths to the highest levels of political power, and this they begin to do (Gen 11:6).

Our demise is being facilitated over our heads every day. It is the most horrific crime against humanity ever committed.

Gotta save the future (put the rumors to rest)
Gotta help the children (Gotta) give it our best


The one thing I'm certain of is that life won't go on as it has. Anyone who lives much longer will see huge and sweeping changes in the world at the political and environmental levels that will force them to live differently--more locally and interdependently (for as long as they can). This will happen, when it happens, very quickly. Our great Western Civilization is collapsing, and nothing will stop it.

In the face of these cruel realities, it is tempting to retreat into a nest of favorite things: reading, writing, watching movies, tasting wines. And I often do so, until the horror overhead reminds me.

I have worked these past years to build an Internet-based platform from which I can express my creative side and eventually sell books. I will continue that effort but I can't do it and ignore what's going on around me. Geoengineering is the tip of an iceberg that must exposed in all its immensity, and fought. As Ernest Hemingway said in For Whom the Bell Tolls:

...you fought...for all the poor in the world, against all tyranny, for all the things that you believed and for the the new world you had been educated into.

Things have not changed since the Spanish Civil War. We fight the same evil, but now it has better weapons.

Can't stand around and be blind to the facts
Can't tek no more, how can we relax


In this journal entry I've been quoting from the song, Cry Die, written by Morgan Carey (Mariah Carey's brother) and performed by the artist who calls himself, Skull. I would not have thought a reggae tune could capture the horrible dynamics of the SAG issue, but this one does. Check out the video here on the Global Skywatch website.

There are two seminal documentaries that are excellent primers on this subject. They are What  in the world are they Spraying? and Why in the World are they Spraying? by Michael Murphy. Each is about 90 minutes in length and you can find links to them on the Global Skywatch website here.

Awareness is our greatest weapon right now. This is simply getting enough people to be convinced by the evidence of their own eyes to reach a "critical mass" of numbers who know they are being deliberately poisoned and who won't be quiet about it.

Reaching a critical mass of awareness will undoubtedly result in some kind of backlash, probably violent, from our rulers. But if humankind is to reach the other side of this calamity, then such is the passage we must transit.


 
 
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I discovered Plato's Allegory of the Cave many years ago through an animated film depiction of it that was narrated by Orson Welles. It impressed me greatly, as it has so many people over the centuries, because it struck me as such an apt description, via metaphor, of the human condition. It shows the sad hollowness of living in delusion and the consequences, good and bad, of discovering reality. The timeless power of this allegory is its applicability to so many situations in human life and culture.

The Allegory of the Cave is found in Book VII of Plato's famous work, The Republic. In it, Plato (using the voice of Socrates) paints his metaphor as a word picture. He shows us a cave where men have been bound since birth in such a way that they can't move and can only look in one direction, which is to the back of the cave. A wall stretches across the cave behind them and beyond that is a great fire that lights the back of the cave. At the wall, between the fire and the prisoners, are...

...men passing along the wall carrying all sorts of vessels, and statues and figures of animals made of wood and stone and various materials, which appear over the wall? Some of them are talking, others silent.

So the prisoners see only the shadows of these objects and, because they have no other experience of the world, believe them to be reality. This delusion is the totality of their world.

To them...truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of the images.

Then one of the prisoners is removed from his bonds and forced from the cave to the outside world. He is shocked by the reality that is thrust upon him and he can only enlarge his comprehension from shadows to real objects by degrees.

He will require to grow accustomed to the sight of the upper world. And first he will see  the shadows best, next the reflections of men and other objects in the water, and then the objects themselves; then he will gaze upon the light of the moon and the stars and the spangled heaven; and he will see the sky and the stars...Last of all he will be able to see the sun, and not mere reflections of him in the water, but he will see him in his own proper place, and not in another; and he will contemplate him as he is.

Finally, the freed prisoner is returned to his fetters in the cave. He is truly miserable now because he knows this world is delusion. He has seen reality and so the shadows no longer satisfy. The honors and esteems of those believers-in-shadows that surround him are meaningless and contemptible to him.

And if they were in the habit of conferring honors among themselves on those who were quickest to observe the passing shadows and to remark which of them went before, and which followed after, and which were together; and who were therefore best able to draw conclusions as to the future, do you think that he would care for such honors and glories, or envy the possessors of them? Would he not say with Homer, Better to be the poor servant of a poor master, and to endure anything, rather than think as they do and live after their manner?

That passage has always had the greatest impact on me. How many of the common occupations and pursuits that go on around us are just "observing passing shadows?" How much of a long life has been engaged in nothing more? Such contemplations lead me to the point where I just can't take it anymore.

The disorientation of the returned prisoner caused by his movement from dark cave to the bright outside and back is regarded as lunacy by the unenlightened prisoners. They believe leaving the cave to be an evil that should be punished.
 
And so you see why this is a classic philosophical work. In a brief, clear dialogue, it presents powerful images that depict the resistance to enlightenment among the most of humanity. And it shows the bitterness that mars the joy of those that have loosed their bonds long enough to see the sun, but then returned to the shadows.

I think the Allegory of the Cave shines its light on our present situation in many respects; especially in the US where the popular culture believes itself exceptional, better than all others and deserving of domination; where seeing the way the world really works is condemned with vitriol and even violence.

Consider the subject of geoengineering. This is weather control that has been going on for decades and is evidenced by the blatant spraying in the sky by high-altitude aircraft and by the high content of metals in soil, water, and air, and by the consequences of increased instances of autism, Alzheimer's, and by bizarre weather, by government documents, and on-and-on. Yet we watch our shadows and ignore the lines overhead that are poisoning us and killing the earth.

Facing reality is risky, often frightening, and can be dangerous. Living in delusion is usually much happier and often feels safe, but it can end just as dangerously. Even so, I believe there is a part of most humans that wants to know the truth, however hard it may be.

The short film version of Allegory of the Cave that inspired me is on YouTube and you can find it here. You can find the full text of the work as written by Plato here. And if you want to begin your quest to see the sun by exploring the world as it is, here is a good place to start.

Soon, my wife and I will be making a life-change that I see as another foray out of the cave. Does seeing it that way make me smarter than those around me who don't? No. It's just that I've been outside.


 
 
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I recently attended a booksigning at the Lemuria bookstore in Jackson, Mississippi. The signing author was John Floyd, my old friend and writing teacher. He had just released another book of short stories called Fifty Mysteries so I dropped by after work to see him and pick up a signed, first edition.

I love booksignings, actually, as I've said before, especially when they're held in a locally-owned bookstore (not a "big box" chain). A shop filled with books is a congenial place for me. There is an atmosphere full of the promise of knowledge to be revealed in bound pages, along with chilling suspense, sheer thrills, chronicled explorations of earth, space, and spirit, and the stimulation of simple intellectual contemplation. It's so much the better with the addition of an author promoting her or his literary contribution, and even better when they are someone I know. It's such an engaging place that I modeled a scene after it in my little novella, A Single Step.

So on a Wednesday after work, I stopped by the building-on-the-hill, that contains the Lemuria bookstore.  I entered and passed through a upper floor courtyard of bistro tables where I noticed people had been sipping wine. The drained wine glasses whispered of enjoying a moment in a happy atmosphere. I do understand that and wondered who served the wine. From there I entered Lemuria itself and embraced the welcoming ambiance of book browsers and low conversations. People were milling about and already forming a line to the booksigning. I found John's book in a stack at the counter, bought it, and took my place in line.

I could see the local mystery lovers were out in force, and they are a sizable force in Jackson. My wife worked for a time at a public library and quickly discovered that the mystery genre was the local favorite far-and-away. James Patterson is very popular and, of course, John Grisham. Police procedure and crime mysteries seem to dominate more than say, gothic mysteries and even romances. John Floyd built his career on writing short stories in this genre, so he has a solid following here, built on years of publishing his short stories in national magazines and several book compilations.

The line to the signing passed by the History and Spiritual section so I perused titles like William Faulkner and Southern History and Mostly Ghosts. A man came up behind me and started talking to the man in front of me. I tried to be unobtrusive but the narrow space, and my desire to stay in line, made me a forced audience. They didn't seem to mind and the guy in front launched into a telling about the wealth of King Solomon in tons of gold and its discovery or hiding or some such. The guy behind me seemed to understand and make affirmation. I was uncomfortable about listening and so only half did so, and I really couldn't tell whether the conversation was Biblical or archaelogical. The books around me made me think of the latter, and I decided a response, if I was called upon to make one, would be something like:

I think Solomon's gold was stored in a mine in Africa and found by a dude named, Quatermain.

As it was, the line moved forward and I didn't have to say anything, but I did let the guy behind me go ahead so they could talk unobstructed. I figured the wait wouldn't be long, anyway. While his friend talked to John, the guy noticed the cap I was wearing, which had Block Island, Rhode Island, printed on it, since that's where it came from. He asked about it and I told him the island was a resort area I had visited a few years ago. He wondered if that was where all the rich people lived up there. He knew there was some town in Rhode Island where they all lived. I guess he was thinking of Newport but I couldn't come up with that at the time.

When it was finally my turn, I entered the little "lounge" area where Lemuria lets authors hold their signings. I had a nice little "catch up" talk with John as he signed my book. The short of it was that he's still teaching his classes and writing tons of short stories that will come out in future compilations, and I'm still working on my first novel.

I said goodbye, so others could take their turn, and headed for the exit, holding up my book and receipt as I passed the employees at the counter who seemed to note that I didn't have a bag (well, they didn't give me one).

So that's the way it went. It was a nice diversion from my normal routine and a moment of literary inspiration. It was great to see John again and I look forward to reading his book (yes, I'll do a review). Seeing him living the author's life and producing books, charges me to renew my own efforts. I intend to do all I can to see my first Dentville novel finished and released in 2015. I'll follow that quickly with a novel (or novella) about geoengineering that I mean to be my contribution to the fight to stop it. I'll keep up this journal (weekly; I know I've been tardy of late), and I'll have a major redo on my website to facilitate the distribution of my books and make it easy for people to follow me.

I will strive to keep my website and social sites active, and keep you up on the progress of my literary offerings. Meanwhile, I recommend you check out Fifty Mysteries, especially if you are a fan of crime mysteries and clever plotting.

I expect, after the first of the year, to be freed for a time from the tyranny of the 8-to-5 and go full speed ahead on a number of writing projects. I hope you'll come along for the ride and, who knows, maybe I'll have my own booksigning one day.


 
 
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I recently finished reading Yann Martel's book, Life of Pi. I had heard of it, because of the movie version released last year, but I didn't see the movie and really wasn't sure what it was about. From the movie previews I thought it was something about a young man lost at sea on a lifeboat with a tiger. That's an interesting twist on the basic ocean survival theme, but it never struck me as compelling enough to see the movie or investigate the book. I did gather that the book was doing well internationally and the movie was so-so, and I left it at that.

Then, recently, my wife read the book and was enthralled with it. So I read it upon her recommendation and became enthralled myself. Yes, the story action is mostly of a teenaged Indian boy who survives a ship sinking only to end up on a lifeboat with an adult Bengal tiger. Just that aspect of the book is engrossing and makes it a page-turner. But overall, the story is about religion. It is an involved parable that speaks to how our religions are stories that we embrace to help us through life. That's all I'll say about that here. I get into it much more in my review of the book that I've posted on Goodreads.

For this journal entry, and maybe for some more to come, I want to reflect on some of the themes and points Mr. Martel makes in his book. Life of Pi was one of those works that spoke to me on many different levels as I read it. There was much that I related to and "amened" as I read, and I discovered even more as I wrote my review. For example, he makes a really good point about moving.

I've made a number of moves with my family. I mean physical moves--packing up our stuff and moving to another city or part of the same city. A number of them involved house purchases. Why did we do this? If asked that question at those times I would have replied something about going to a better job opportunity, school district, compatible environment or some such. But Mr. Martel stated my reasons very accurately:

People move because of the wear and tear of anxiety. Because of the gnawing feeling that no matter how hard they work their efforts will yield nothing, that what they build up in one year will be torn down in one day by others. Because of the impression that the future is blocked up, that they might do all right but not their children. Because of the feeling that nothing will change, that happiness and prosperity are possible only somewhere else.

Yes, that's exactly why we moved when we moved. And there was good and bad with each move. In none of them did we find that place that was "just right" for us. We ended up coming back to our home city, but then moved around a lot within it. I think we have lived in its every major section and found, once again, that there is good and bad aspects to all of them. All-in-all, we did manage to provide decent places for our kids to grow up and we are currently in a place and a house where we're comfortable.

But we never found that the move was the answer. The "wear and tear of anxiety" always caught up with us. We found that happiness and prosperity were conditions we had to create for ourselves, wherever we happen to be (though "prosperity" is a matter of definition). I think we've stopped looking for that in a place. If we move again, it will be with different motivations.

Now I must make a distinction between moving and traveling. Moving from one residence to another has been, for me, an act of trying to find something, as Mr. Martel stated so well. Traveling, has been an act of trying to experience something. In the little of it I've done, it has always been a seeking for what Joseph Campbell says is that "rapture of being alive." I have made the seeking of that rapture my quest, whether actually doing it or just dreaming about it.

Travel, as an idea and experience, is a classic metaphor and symbol for life lived fully. It is used that way in the recent Walter Mitty movie, and it was what moved me so much when a celebrity visited my city who was known for his travels.

And yet, though travel is widely conceived as a means to "broaden the mind," that broadening can also occur when much spiritual or emotional distance is covered rather than physical miles. Such inner traveling can take us to a new perspective. Indeed, it can be so new that treading our worn paths is like breaking new ground. We see, for the first time, what has always been there but overlooked. This occurred for Mr. Martel's hero, Pi, when taking a familiar way home after a time of spiritual inspiration on a visit:

...I suddenly felt I was in heaven. The spot was in fact no different from when I had passed it not long before, but my way of seeing it had changed. The feeling, a paradoxical mix of pulsing energy and profound peace, was intense and blissful...I knelt a mortal; I rose an immortal. I felt like the centre of a small circle coinciding with the centre of a much larger one.

I think our being becomes lighter at such times. We live then at a higher frequency and concentration. These are the only times in our lives that we remember with clarity, and so we are motivated to strive for them. This is the quest of the holy and the wise, each approaching from their preferred direction.

Moving might be necessary and even a positive, but traveling is usually better, especially if it's done out of a desire for experience. In either case, the distance covered is best measured on the inside.