Drum roll please…

To the many friends and readers who have encouraged me to create an audio book. I’m pleased to announce…the completion of the studio work for the audio version of Icarus and the Wing Builder. Using my voice for the narration and characters, the recordings were made at the Denver Media Center. I did all the narration and characters. Talk about fun, and immensely challenging. The files are still there, being edited and produced. Stay tuned for updates on the pending launch.

Where Do All The Heroes Go?

“Luke … I am your father.”

It’s the climactic line from the memorable and futuristic coming of age story, Star Wars. The words are spoken by Darth Vader, the formidable antagonist. They represent a dark twist in the story line that is Luke Skywalker’s, hero’s journey. He has left home and family, searched the galaxy for knowledge and experience, and after facing many trials and challenges, he has survived. After an epic battle with horrific losses, Luke finds and confronts the leader of the dark forces. It is both climactic and elemental, because this is the scene where Darth Vader delivers the classic line quoted above. Darth Vader steps out of the role of villain to become an elder. He honors his son for his heroic deeds; even invites Luke to join him on the dark side. In this way the words are a kind of blessing by the dark father. It is the only one he has to give…and it will feed the young warrior’s soul.

Where do all the heroes go? If they survive, young men can become fathers, and then – if they are fortunate or lucky enough – some may become elders. It is by definition, an influential role, one that can have profound impacts on the health of our communities. Sadly, events like Ferguson, Missouri demonstrate a profound lack of positive masculine role models. I believe that there is a critical need for balanced mature men to step up and fill these roles, to give back to community by becoming an elder.

It is my hope that the launch of my latest book, Icarus and the Wing Builder, is a step in that direction.

 

 

A river of voices flows out of the past. It is a timeless current, without impediment and true to its own course. An enigmatic Greek sage named Heraclitus joined into that flow about three thousand years ago. He lived about the same time as his more famous countryman Socrates, and long before the births of either Jesus or Mohammad.

I love antiquities. In my opinion any words, pictures, or verse that can survive a three thousand year journey into the present must be very special indeed. Very little is known about Heraclitus, only a few scant lines of his works remain. Archeologists postulate that he lived from 535 BC until 475 BC, and probably a teacher of some kind. Reading his words today, I can’t help but recognize them. I’ve heard them all before. They resound into the present in the speeches of today’s motivational speakers. I see them resonating into the books of the latest self-help authors. Here’s the English translation of his best known verse:

• Day by day, what you choose, what you think and what you do – is who you become.

• No one ever steps in the same river twice: for it is not the same river, and he is not the same person.

Powerful words – and to see them echo into the present, I invite you to do a google search on the words, “what you think and do, is who you become.” When I did the search, I came up with such notables as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Ford, Napoleon Hill, and Wayne Dyer. After expanding the search a little more, I found Marianne Williamson, Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist), and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Is it possible that the same lessons appear in the Bible? What about the Quran?

Here’s two more, for the road…

  • The sun is new each day.
  • A man’s character is his fate.

 

 

Storytelling

The third half has begun. I declare my freedom; freedom to follow my hopes, dreams and visions, wherever they lead.

“The third half of – what on earth are you talking about?”

“The third half of life!” I joyously respond, “midlife is so long gone. I feel the need for another phase. I’m claiming another piece of time, air and sunlight.”

It is such a gift to have the capacity and the will to look back over the years, remember the journey, and smile. I see the fascinating story it has become. And what a gift, to live in this twenty first century, with so many e-vehicles for telling the stories, yet retaining communication and writing skills honed in the prior century. I do hope that others will hear the call or somehow be drawn to this blog, this message, and consider looking back on their own lives, reflecting, and then, telling their own stories.

A New Book Is Coming!

What do you think of the title?  Almost five years ago my first book, Daedalus Rising – The True Story of Icarus, was independently published. For the first few months after the launch, it was my baby.   I was a true believer, certain of its inherent beauty and wisdom, and confident of its natural and inevitable rise to the top of the New York Times bestseller list.

To my surprise the acclaim was not immediate and forthcoming, and not for lack of effort.  I was regularly promoting and marketing the book by making regular presentations to local Optimists and Rotarians.  In the enthusiasm of those first few months I was speaking several times a week, and the audiences nearly always bought books.  Along the way though, I began to notice a few blemishes, things to change or correct in the next print run, maybe even a second edition. Finishing Daedalus had not quelled the passion for myth and storytelling.  And like of Kraken of old, the writer in me had awoken.

All the effort did not go unrewarded. All but a few souvenir stragglers from the first print run have sold. Daedalus flew from his original perch onto the shelves of the Tattered Cover, a local, well known, independent book retailer.  Along the way he splashed into the Amazon e-book pond, making it onto their e-book best seller list in the biography.  And all that time I had been promoting it as a novel.  Who knew?

I have always loved books.  As a near-sighted child I loved to read.  (a/k/a: nerd)  More often than not my Saturday afternoon hangout was the library.  And I often rode my beat up, hand-me-down bicycle there on Summer afternoons.  So there’s no surprise that in the autumn of my years, I now turn to writing.  And how comfortable it feels to create this niche of historical fiction, filled with the legends of the Minoan and early Greek civilizations.

So it was inevitable to discover several years ago, the motivation to begin the revisions for a second edition of Daedalus Rising.  Except that one idea led to another and after several years of emersion into the geology and history of the Mediterranean region, the second edition turned into a new book.  And the first book feels more like volume one of a trilogy about the Minoan people and their culture.  The manuscript is on its second trip to the editor.  Meanwhile, I’m easily entertained with ideas about book cover designs and layout.  What do you think of this title?  Wingbuilder:  A Tale of the Minoan Empire.  

The Sun Is New Each Day

Each morning the sun takes another course into the sky.   Light and warmth follow and the day begins, a common event of enormous circumstance.  The sunrise informs and actuates the present.  Each one is different.  And deep within that mystery lies a gift for anyone perceptive enough to notice, anyone willing to accept it.   It is the blessing for the day at hand, a fresh chance to create and to connect and to experience what it is that we were born to do.

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Then the Goose Came Over and Said . . .

This one was just too good.  For just a few minutes the sky became spectacular.

Edgewater Sunrise 3-14-11

As if in appreciation, the lake gave off a glow.  But colors like that don’t last long.  In a few moments they all ran together into blues and grey.

Then a goose came by.

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Geese Go Walking

Two geese walking, backlit by predawn light.   Spring is definitely in the air.

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Great Abs & Ordinary Heroes

If you walk into any large retail bookstore and look around for the section on Men’s Studies or Men’s Work, it may not be easy to find.  If the store even has one, you’ll discover only a shelf or two in a seldom seen section, tucked away in the back somewhere.   By comparison the Women’s Studies section will be prominently featured, with colorful book spines in purples, pinks and red and take up many shelves covering a wide variety of topics and issues.

I make this observation not to whine about unfairness, but instead to make a couple of points about men and myth.  First, the commercial print acts as if very few men, dads or sons are reading about,  writing about or caring about what I call, being and becoming a whole man, inner and outer.  Thankfully there is some good writing  out here in the blogosphere.  Some of my favorites are listed on the right.   The second point, is that the men that do appear as heroic figures in popular print and film seem to fall into some very narrow roles:  its either swashbuckler, chronic alcoholic/drug abuser or serial killer/assassin.   They generally have great abs, but not much satisfaction.  (Thank you, Mick Jagger.)

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Fleeting Beauty

Today’s sunrise was a fleeting beauty and what a difference a day makes.

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