Saturday, January 30, 2016

An Internal Conflict

 An Internal Conflict


"Talking Stick" is a story of inner conflict. It's very much like the "Two Wolves" except that there are three spirits in this case.

 The talking stick is an instrument of truth in the hands of him/her who holds it. It's not all that easy to assemble all the elements of a tale when it involves only one person. Still, once its premise is understood, it sends a powerful message to the reader/listener about his/her inner conflicts.

I had originally written the story to be read in print and so it was easy to identify the father, son and daughter who are all part of the inner spirit, but it became a little more complicated when I narrated it into an audio version. Still, I hope it packs its original punch for the listener.

We all have different facets to our personalities, some desirable, some not so much. But they are all there for us to deal with on a daily basis. Often the choices we make reflect the outcome of whatever is to follow and it isn't all that easy to reverse the process. What I wanted to get across was the importance of a consciousness of these different sides of ourselves so that we would have the ability to select our approach to life in general.

Well the story turns out to be a long-winded tale of adventure fuelled by my over - active imagination, although looking back the pieces all fit and while it is a lesson in life, it is as thought provoking as it is entertaining. And that makes it a good story.

I often think of this particular story when I watch the actions and attitudes of people and how they interchange seamlessly between kindness, rage, and tranquility. It's amazing how many characters can co-exist in one spirit all at the same time without conflicting with one another. Often the host is not even aware of which mantle he/she puts on and THAT'S where the danger lies. We need to recognize our mood and assess the situation before we act rather than wait until after the fact. Forgiveness is not always that easy to get without leaving a permanent stain on the perpetrator. At least that's how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin'.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

An Analogy

An Analogy

There are passages in "Earth Child and the Dream Cloud" that are literally an analogy to real life. I've been thinking about that a lot lately in light of the refugee situation today. I don't remember what I was musing about when I wrote it. Perhaps it was the refugees in the nineteen twenties fleeing Russia, or maybe the struggles of young people trying to make their way in life today. Whatever it was, it keeps coming back to me. Here is a little excerpt describing the dream cloud descending over Earth Child's spirit, protecting it as he wrestles with the slings and arrows of daily life:

"Still in his dream, Earth Child came to realize that this was his Dream Cloud. This was what sheltered him from all the harshness in the world around him. As long as he kept it and his life’s dreams close, anything that Wind blew at him fell harmlessly at his feet. It was only when he forgot about his dreams that Dream Cloud moved away. Then he was exposed and vulnerable. Yes, this was his Dream Cloud.

"Earth Child awoke from his deep sleep. It was calm all around him. He discovered that he had blindly run in to an old tree stump when he had fallen. Before he got to his feet he examined his body and the scars and bruises on it. To his surprise they were starting to heal. It must be Dream Cloud. He realized that so long as he did not let go of his life’s dreams, the hurts and bruises he received in following them would heal and nothing could destroy his spirit."

This story paints a picture of what real life can be like and certainly transposes itself into reality if you think about it a little bit. I'm imagining people fleeing the bombs, the sniper fire, the starvation and the poisonous gases in their homeland, about the governmental bureaucracies that throw one stone after the other in our paths as we try to go forward. Even the mundane issues of everyday living that cause bumps on the path to our future can cause us to stop dreaming about our destinies, . . . . .  . . . which in turn, reminds me of "The Journey", another story in my Truth Seeker book that quotes the human spirit in a moment of realization: "It was very difficult to find the things I had hidden away for such a long time. But one by one, as I climbed slowly up the fourth hill into old age, I gathered them to me. My path became straight and wide and I walked at last with dignity toward its end."

We are hopeful that this is how our days will end, having fought the good fight against the slings and arrows of life. But we must hold on to our dreams, lest they go astray or be destroyed in the tumult of life itself. At least that's how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin'.




Saturday, January 16, 2016

All that Noise

All That Noise.

We was talkin' the other day about how people present theirselves on the TV or in public places. Seems they gotta have a lot o' noise made for 'em in their introduction. Even the American president in his state of the Union address was announced in as; "Ladies and gentlemen. The President of the United States!" What? Didn't they think we could recognize him as he walked up to the podium? Well at least he was wearin' a proper suit an' was shaved clean. That's more'n can be said for them other celebrities. The way some o' them MCs carry on, you'd think they was either introducin' some giant superstar or, he's so far back in the Green Room, he can't hear otherwise.

"An' now, ladies and gentlemen, here's  . . . . blah blah blah!" So the giant, shiny celebrity yer expecting comes prancing out from behind the curtain (all five foot two of him) unshaven, wearin' a nice suit coat, blue jeans an' red sneakers with white laces. That's what all that yellin' was about? Not to criticize the man's (or woman's) stature but holy Hanna, what a let down.

Speakin' o' women, they seem to have got organized into a cadre o' instant breast feeders. This is a whole new barrage o' half naked women, some o' whom hadn't ought to be, no matter what amount o' makeup they slather on. There was a short stint there where they was dressed up to right under the chin, but that's over apparently. It obviously wasn't a very popular look.

Well, that's the way they operate on the TV an' on radio an' in public places. Of course they got them signs all around that say "applause" that ya never get to see unless you're on the scene. The point is that you sees what ya sees, or hears what ya hears, no matter how loud ya yell about it. Ain't no amount o' noise gonna cover up the imperfections of the participant. I just wish the TV an' radio stations had an automatic dimmer switch to control the yellin'.  Usually all that hoopla an yellin' at the top o' yer lungs ain't worth what ya get. At least that's how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin'.


Saturday, January 9, 2016

Gun Slingers

Gun Slingers

Yesterday, January first, Texas became the forty-sixth state to enact a law allowin' people to openly carry guns in hip or shoulder holsters legally. In one fell swoop they've taken a giant leap back to 1871, which was the last time this was legal. Coincidentally, that was the same year the NRA an' the Ku Klux Klan was formed. I done some readin' up on this an' it appears the only reason for these bans was to keep guns outa the hands o' black people an' Indians. Well it was the advent of manufacturin' the Saturday Night Special that prompted this. That was one o' them cheap repeater pistols that everybody could afford; like Indians an' black people. Well, ya can see the trouble that would cause amongst the rulin' whites, can't ya? So in their infinite wisdom they set up the NRA so's they could continue to make arms, an' the Ku Klux Clan so's they could continue to hang black people an' Indians for any or no particular reason at all.

A number of years ago I was talkin' to a guy from Sioux City Iowa. I can't remember how we got into the discussion about race relations but he was saying how nervous the white folks were in a place where ninety percent of the population is black. Hm. I wonder why that could be.

Well so now ya got a new bunch o' gun slingers wanderin' around with their weapons hung on their hips or other places, ready to draw on anybody what gets in their road. Conversely, ya got another supply o' guns out there that the bad guys can get their hands on to use on their owners an' others. Last year there was some thirty-three thousand people in the U.S. died of gun related activity. Percentage wise that ain't too bad, but still, thirty-three thousand people is a whole village, specially if they include you an' your family. An' families who have lost loved ones don't much count percentages. They don't alleviate the grief.

Quite frankly, I don't see the difference between strollin' around Kandahar or Baghdad an' Chicago or New York. There's killers everywhere. An' the land o' the free an' the home o' the brave has a whole new meanin'. Much as the people in the Middle East would love ridin' around on Arabian horses slicin' off infidel heads with scimitars an' spears, Americans would love to step back into the time of the wild west, their guns ablazin'. Well, now they done it, an' they can keep it. I'd just as soon never go to either the Middle East, or to the U.S. It appears they're just diggin' theirselves a deeper hole they'll never climb out of at this rate. At least that's how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin'.