Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

Sometimes I get to act like a kid again and do something impractical. Getting out on the open road was a practice that formed the mindset I enjoy today more than any other influence. So…when I got the chance to put a cool car like a Camaro Convertible on the road and drive to San Antonio Texas I was thrilled at the prospect. Highway construction in Texas is like religion, zealous and never ending. Whatever your chosen destination or route there are plenty of alternatives, from super toll ways to busy highways , freeways laced together with turnpikes and farm roads that stitch the  hinterland together.

The amazing thing is that any road you choose will be in fantastic condition. The route I took was so smooth… it was like gliding on silk. We drove the always busy TX E 35S out of the massive Dallas Metroplex to the 130S that took us through Austin….and on the way back we drove the TX 281N to the HWY 67N and FM 1382 dotted with small town America and the history of the Old West. Many of the sparsely populated towns along the way …. like Hico…or Glen Rose…are like time capsules that stopped growing when cotton peaked and caused the entire area to fall into a long slumber. This separation cleaves two worlds neatly in two…. the old from the new.

Civilization along the sleepy HWY 281 N/S between Dallas and San Antonio is primarily centered around a bucolic ranch culture…tall signs pop out in the form of elaborate wrought iron gates above cattle barriers announcing a fanciful name …like Rancho del Blanco …or some such thing….but  indicate that nothing but more miles across  barren land through grazing herds of scattered cattle or goats might be at the end of the road.

San Antonio itself is a tourist machine for primarily American holiday makers from the South and South West…..and it is a fantastically well developed place for easy access… for example the River Walk is spectacular.  Although there are now thousands of restaurants, tours , an incredible range of accommodations, hotels and gee gaws designed for family fun…. San Antonio is primarily famous as  home of the Alamo…which sits like a queen amongst a palette of tourism jewels.

This was the location where tough minded Texans fought Mexican General Santa Anna and lost… but eventually declared  independence on March 2, 1836. Something that’s not as well advertised outside the region  is that this area had been occupied by  Spanish missionaries for hundreds of years prior to  American immigration. Before that  native Indians  occupied the land for thousands of years. Each left some fascinating reminders of what Texas looked like before the United States came to be.

A chain of religious missions and outposts …including aqueducts, built by the Franciscan order of Catholic missionaries now forms a series of National Parks called The Mission Trail. The trail is composed of four missions and other private settlements, set miles apart  connected by a narrow strip of asphalt that winds  through  broken desert and green arroyo’s . Although the fortified building complexes seem to be ruins at first glance, they are still being used as active churches for local people. The sense of 500 years of continuation, church bells, prayer ,  history and community is fascinating. Fortunately for us, none of these places are over run with tourists. The experience reminded me of visiting profound archeological sites somewhere in the third world…..not minutes from comfortable San Antonio.

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Given that I have choices, I will confess, I love what I do. As strange as my lifestyle seems to some, you can’t imagine being rootless… until it happens to you. Most days I feel as if my feet never touch the ground. I’ve written extensively in the past on the subject of the hard core travelers life…but I’m not sure I’ve ever really nailed it. I would imagine this inherent rootless nature is what keeps me searching for another place to temporarily hang my hat. I know of many people who make an entire life out of one city, one job, a single interest,

I wonder how they do it. That would bore the crap out of me. Some people start with good intentions, but let themselves be dragged down by an avaricious disposition to possess material objects. Others get lonely while away and seek the structured comfort of a long term relationship and all that entails. Young people lose their youth and the world becomes objectified into paying bills and raising children. It takes a special personality type to drift off and never  touch down…like a perpetual travel machine.

I learned early on how to make a living out of an empty suitcase. I married in the middle of an ocean and raised a child on beaches, in airports and strange cities. It’s a life style I recommend to everyone. I have witnessed travelers suffer tropo so that the antipodal cultures they encounter becomes confrontational. That defeats the whole purpose of traveling. Ideally, you’ll become a kind of  Sadhu, eschewing the possessions and  standards of the world you leave behind. Imagine your freedom…if you can….and become the mighty mighty traveler. Forget about your short term vacation strategy… a month or six won’t cut it…… set yourself free. I promise….you’ll see the most amazing things along the way. Life is short….you’ll never get younger than you are right now.

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Self promotion…..what a silly concept. Overnight I was messaged about being ‘accepted’ by Good Reads. You actually have to apply to get in….I suppose there is some kind of vetting process. There are a zillion budding authors out there…..  it is extremely hard to be recognized….. but with the door so narrow for new artists….what will the world of literature look like in ten years time. Will we see nothing  on the impulse racks but cook books and memoirs of unpopular politicians?  I’m tempted to write a book about weight loss regimes during divorce or promoting a new hair style for the pope….. seriously…don’t get me started.

In fact I read many freshly pressed works by new artists on sites like Worthy of Publishing and Figment or Authoronomy…Pinterest….etc….mostly abysmal.  But at the same time we see runaway best sellers ( 50 Shades anyone?) that are absolute crap….. so who am I to judge? And I mean by abysmal crud…. when the craft has been mangled by a complete disregard for the language. But….it’s the dance we do as writers…..a little fandango…. to set our time upon the stage and act out before we perish.

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Yikes…  a year and a half  being cloistered  writing 13 Angels.  I suddenly  resurface and join the mainstream….so weird. A lot of new social media sites have opened up. I ‘m  learning to relate ….. the majority on social media  are now very very very young.  I’ve  rarely spoken to anyone since beginning my last project. In all honesty, it’s strange….my social brain atrophied during a long hibernation. I think inwardly like a person locked in a coma. I have  rare verbal exchange with adults . It’s like being a parent with small children…you forget how to speak except in gibberish baby talk. I have  people mention that I  talk the way I write…in prose…..huh…..too funny.

I  hang out in the Dallas-Deep Ellum art scene , but my interactions are as weird as the LSD inspired bar scene in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Artists are a strange bunch collectively and should be taken in small doses. Worse, I live in a hotel and have nothing to do except write…. I don’t even pick up after myself…the maid vacuums around me as I work…..the staff is Spanish….. our communications are limited to new soap products and how freaking hot it is outside. …..I must seem  strange ..a foreigner gringo who sits inside and types all day…. with no visible means of support.  My wife arranges the furniture, only to have the staff put it back. It’s like an episode of the Twilight Zone.

I  give the girls popsicles so they don’t carry me out with the trash. So what to do? Of course I  begin a new novel…a  dark and twisted love story…..the antithesis of romantic expectations..  I am useless to the world. I hope 13 Angels sells…but at this point I don’t care …….writing takes precedent over  history. Goodbye …cruel world….

BTW….The chile sauce in the dish pictured below was concocted out of Habanero’s….the hottest chili’s on the planet…..a Scoville index in the range of 350,000….take that !!! I have an ice maker that  makes one ice cube every hour…. one cold drink a day….  like living on Devil’s Island. Is this the kind of annoyance that drove DH Lawrence around the bend?

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I’m not sure how many people understand the process that goes into designing cover art of any kind. In this world of instant media  people are confronted with millions of images every day. The grill of your car is contrived to enunciate a primordial urge… your streets are lined with hungry spendthrift logo’s. Do we block them out….not even close. Are we in control of our thought processes in response to imagery …..not for millions of years. Where does that leave the lonely writers…who don’t have billions to research archetypes and trawl through focus groups? I know my process.. I work with my family.  We do what we think is cool…viva la revolution. All my books are available as eBooks on Amazon, Kindle, Smashwords, Kobo, Sony…be kind to a starving artist and leave a comment…..thx.

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I’m always looking for material metaphors. I’m a great believer in synchronicity. I have always found it wonderful when having realized that something I did, was doing,  or caused to be done in the moment or distant past has come around to lend a meaningful relevance in the here and now, or begins to affect someone whose life-force has enjoined the same sphere as my own. In my second novel ‘The Enablers’ I toyed with the theory of a 1950’s physicist who proved mathematically that we live in a multidimensional universe, with certain people uniquely tuned in on the altered states existing all around us. It is our personal  bio-electric signal vibrating, something  generated by each and every one of us, that holds the key to inter-dimensional travel and insight into the universal mystic.

I don’t wonder that cross-boundary travelers have  influenced my decisions from time to time. I have met beings who physically resembled humans but had no absolute hold on this reality. They appear with a single purpose and act in simple and childlike ways as undeveloped characters who don’t reflect the complexity around them, as if they dropped as innocents from the sky. I now recognize that several of the spirits I have encountered were manifestations brought about by specific energy signals that were emanating from me and the place I was in at the time of their appearance.

There are geographic places of great energy, this has always been known, and these special places shift continuously. When a ‘sensitive’ human accidentally aligns himself/herself with one of these shifting energy vortice’s or gateway’s, where the energy separation is compatible with the persons own energy signal and thin enough to penetrate, then communication with other dimensions is not only possible, it is highly probable. I know  I have crossed over many times and have experienced shifts of time and space. And as I have explained I have encountered many beings who have ‘visited’ our world.

These beings had always appeared and disappeared at very specific moments in time, at times of high energy, as if they had known my life was in flux, at a crossroads where either direction was possible but only one was preferable, and I needed a nudge to put me back on the wavy lines of some nebulous master plan that has never been clear to me. When I was young I explained this knowledge of inter-dimensional phenomena away with the practical explanations of an inexperienced mind as being borne out of psychological drama or the intruding element of past mistakes in a ragged confluence of random events. I’m not so sure anymore.

Far from being a frightened child I now willingly engage any mystic event I might encounter. I welcome coincidence and crazy fortune. The beings I meet might appear on park benches and lonely bus stops, might speak in strange languages, I listen with my heart. I have my function keys engaged at all times. I have no idea what life will bring. My universe is  a raging river that has flooded the broad plains of contemporary civilization. I never know where I’ll wake up. As they say in Spanish “Estoy Listo”…I am ready.

 

 

The muse of the media is powerful, educational, biased, destructive and informative. Every country has it’s message of nationalistic intent, a tribal psychology. Individuals fall prey to false messaging and the words of false prophets when the media is either limited by political voice or the intentional malice of a cabal or leadership clique. Good intentions can be muddied by the avarice of sabotage by those whose self- interests are at risk should the population move away from the status quo.

I hear from a lot of people who have regionally, nationally and geographically developed points of view. This was the way the world used to be, the way the leadership of dictators and the greedy fear might change with the oncoming world of free information over the internet and the medium of mass communication and social media. When I hear people speaking  the diatribe of a a particular leadership of religion or political ideology I know that theirs is a small world where spirit, worship, freedom and knowledge has been tightly regulated. I do not really like speaking to conformists, in this I am fortunate to live as a citizen of a civilization that worships freedom above all other ideologies.

When I travel I meet people of every race, colour and creed…of every ideology and religion. What I found extremely interesting when I first began to travel was how simple aspects of the geography had such an effect on the mindsets, cultures and principles of those people who lived there. A religion, race or creed could change by the simple act of trespassing over a mountain range or crossing a river valley. I was amazed that many of these people would harbor such deep traditional resentments against the people who lived ‘on the other side’.

I have lived for a short time with a tribe of Dyak who would hunt other tribes heads but had never seen a white man before. They knew all the power, witchcraft and evil of the tribe five miles downriver but showed an intense interest in my distant culture. On my first evening in the longhouse, they danced for me and sang their songs, the songs of their history and the forest life. They asked me to show them my dances, of course I had none to offer, they were amazed that white men don’t dance with the spirits.

But this is the modern age, the age of the internet and air travel. The world has gotten smaller. No thanks to guide books and easy credit.  I have been particularily sensitive to the messages bandied about by governments that are designed to separate people, as opposed to bringing us closer together. There are political movements and religious doctrines specifically designed to create hatred and animosity. I abhor nationalism, I have seen the results of fanaticism produced by national leaders.

I have a dear friend who is convinced that America and American’s are evil. I have heard the same stereotyping of races and nationals by people around the world, ‘what nonsense’. In some religions it is mandatory to hate the ‘outsider’, they have names for those who are not of their sect. Two of the world’s largest religions have at the heart of their ideology the specter of an end time where everyone currently living  has to die before any lasting peace can be achieved. I just don’t see how mutual mass destruction can be the solution to anything. A person would have to harbor a deep hatred for life in order to believe that.

Isolation, whether geographic, religious, social, fundamental, cultural, ideological, familial or tribal has bred ignorance and intolerance. In the past these evils were isolated by distance and geography. In the modern era these sects have escaped from their isolation to wreak havoc on the world, but this access cuts both ways. The message of freedoms enjoyed by the outside world will eventually have the effect of enlightening those ignorant and impoverished villagers and tribesmen who have been brainwashed by their tribal elders and religious leaders to think that the outside world is evil and profane . The violence of an ugly leadership and the tyranny of a sick and ignorant ideology has historically never been perpetuated when the isolation is exposed by the modern world. What we in the west think of as sending a ray of sunshine into the dark corners of isolation and ignorance, the religious and social leaders of those same centers of intellectual deprivation view as a rifle shot through the heart of the dominion over the hearts and minds of their populations and as such they fear and fight against any change that would supplant their self centered influence.

I want to think that the advent of tourism has been a positive outcome for the world at large. As we get to know each other personally we realize that people everywhere have similar wants, needs and desires. I am very hopeful for the people of ‘The Islamic Middle East’ as they have incrementally shed decades of spiritual isolation and dictatorship and that those countries open their doors wider to people from other parts of the world so that they may learn that great progress has taken place while they were suffering under the delusions of their leaders. It is my desire that those countries, so oppressed by a variety of dictatorships of the mind , spirit and body, will now develop into places where people no longer have to flee from in order to  live a decent peaceful life.