Living With Symbols

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Our weather may be a bit schizophrenic, but that’s just a symbol to remind us of how to deal with changing times. This quote sums that up pretty well.

We cannot stop the winter or the summer from coming. We cannot stop the spring or the fall or make them other than they are. They are gifts from the universe that we cannot refuse. But we can choose what we will contribute to life when each arrives.

~ Gary Zukav ~

And in case the weather seems too banal a topic, here’s a thought to argue about if you’re so inclined:

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The Christian Bible is a symbolic book, not a literal one. The one Christians know as Jesus was actually a symbol for the sun. Ancient sun worshippers believed the sun died at the end of the winter solstice and then three days later it would be reborn at the start of its cycle – December 25.

~ David Icke ~

 

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Confessions of Darkness

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The Life We Bury, by Allen Eskens

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with genre fiction. It serves the same need that most movies do, i.e., pure entertainment, and it doesn’t need to be well written in order to claim an audience. But when genre fiction is well written, it transcends genre and deepens its literary merit. The author of this page -urner has made his writerly bones through the Minnesota State U. MFA program, the Iowa Summer Writing program, and at Minnesota’s Loft Literary Center. And that he took his time in those programs seriously shows in The Life We Bury, his first novel.

The story? A college student, Joe Talbert, unearths a decorated Viet vet, Carl Iverson, as the subject of an English paper, and coaxes a tainted story of heroism from Carl. Did I mention that Iverson is in prison for murdering and raping a fourteen year-old girl? Thus Joe decides to try to reopen Carl’s murder case before Carl dies from cancer. In doing so Joe puts his life and that of his soon-to-be girl friend, Lila, at risk as he impulsively chases clues to the fourteen year-old girl’s real murderer.

If this sounds boilerplate in the realm of mystery and crime stories, it is. But in Eskens’ hands it turns into something of a literary showpiece. While his dialogue is occasionally a bit clumsy in this first person point of view story, his depictions of the Minnesota and Iowa landscape, the seedy urban silhouettes, the breathtakingly dangerous but beautiful winter storms are first class. He has clearly studied the pacing of the mystery genre’s best writers, and his in this novel is stellar. And he seems to turn in his best writing near chapters’ ends, compelling this reader to stop and savor while urging the next page to be turned. This book is a rarity among first novels in its quality of writing and entertainment value. Surely good things are ahead for Mr. Eskers’ writing career.

My Rating: 17 of 20 stars

Visit my website here. Then there’s my FB Fan Page here. On both you’ll find more on ideas and events that matter to me — and possibly to you.

The Art of Living

Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art.
~ Stanislaw Jerzy Lec ~

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We’ve all heard the old saw that aging isn’t for sissies. That saying connotes that there’s a lot to be dealt with in dodging the landmines your DNA, your environment and history, lay on you. As the quote above says, there’s some art to be applied to age.

Grow old gracefully. This means to accept – at least to a degree – the limitations that age shoves at you. There are the medical “procedures” that mount up and the damage they do in correcting ailments. There’s the slowing and growing lack of physical resilience. It’s time to stop trying to act as if you’re still 25. It can seem awkward and even childish.

But all this doesn’t mean you have to give up your vitality. You’ve lived 50, 60, 70 years – you have a large body of experience you can share with younger folks. And part of this is passing on the ways you negotiate all those landmines. Not that the way you process your years can be applied literally to others – it can’t. But it can forewarn the youngers that negotiating the peccadilloes of their aging process is possible; indeed, is necessary to keep some vitality in your life. Life can be more than becoming a couch potato and grousing at life’s eternal changes.

We need vital people of advanced age. Art isn’t simply what’s applied to the page or canvas, to a pound of clay or the strings of a musical instrument. The way you wend your way through the mounting line of years can be art itself. Call it the art of living.

 

Visit my website here. Then there’s my FB Fan Page here. On both you’ll find more on ideas and events that matter to me — and possibly to you.

 

Back At It

Not that I haven’t been working, you understand. Selling a house, putting a van-load of possessions in storage, taking up a bucolic residence forty miles away while tussling with the builder of my new residence, then getting all that stuff out of storage and unpacking it has been WORK!

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There’s still work to do in the new place (more on that later – maybe), but I returned to writing this morning, and it felt damned good. Made me think of this quote:

What you are will show in what you do.
Thomas A. Edison

I am this massive jumble of possessions I’ve accumulated, and I am this new place. And I am the guy overjoyed to be telling stories in the form of fiction once more.

 

Visit my website here. Then there’s my FB Fan Page here. On both you’ll find more on ideas and events that matter to me — and possibly to you.

I think Lucinda is probably right –  – I feel some new chapters churning inside, ready for the light of day.

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Any time there’s a major change, whether it’s going into a relationship, getting out of a relationship, moving to a new city, a death — that usually provides a catalyst for an explosion of creativity.
-Lucinda Williams-

Visit my website here. Then there’s my FB Fan Page here. On both you’ll find more on ideas and events that matter to me — and possibly to you.