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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Snowbound

Yesterday’s sunrise, completely obscured by snow and clouds, and still bringing light to the world.

Sunrise over Sloan's Lake 02-06-11

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Meaninglessness Cure

In the predawn light of a calm, cold morning, a low-lying  veil of white lies upon the lake.  Above it, nothing but clear sky;  I expect a hazy sunrise.  But then, right before my eyes a light wind appears and blows the fog away in thin, delicate wisps.   And just in time for the sun to rise into a clear sky, a little bit to the north of where it was the day before.

Sunrise is the context into which the rest of the day unfolds.    It is the ideal time and place to dedicate oneself to the rest of the day,  a fine first step toward individual expression, or even purpose.    Missing one, leaves much to chance, to settle for existence instead of being alive.

Some days it is a link with the past and to any or all of the artists, thinkers and philosophers who have come before and been captivated or inspired by the majesty of the event.  The list includes some true heavyweights;   Copernicus, Galileo and da Vinci to name a few.   These three were true kings of insight and perspective, each one of them.  In their time the expression of the idea that the sun did not revolve around the earth was heresy, which made it criminal.  Yet they held to their beliefs, expressing them at considerable risk to their own welfare,  in writings, teaching and in philosophical debate.   Ultimately their steadfast beliefs that the earth was not the center of the universe won out and in the process, raised the consciousness of the world from one centered in ritual and myth, and placed it onto a mental plane based in reason and deduction.

You can feel all that and more in a good sunrise.  Its like standing on very secure and powerful shoulders.

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Colors of the Sun

A fiery sun rises into a clear, cold sky.  Burning away

the night sky, turning it to blue.  The intense yellow fades

into softening orange, pink and red.  Like my friend Frank

Sunrise over Sloan's Lake 1-25-2011

Kramer, the Cajun poet once wrote:

Watching sunrise

Painting colors

In the morning skies,

Makes me feel

Like I have won

A Nobel Peaceful prize.