It starts when you’re always afraid

beware of hobgoblins

REMINDER: The 99-cents introductory price on Refuse to Be Afraid: Tenth Anniversary Edition ends after today. (The print-on-demand price is the print-on-demand price.)

’Tis surprising to see how rapidly a panic will sometimes run through a country.

Thomas Paine

No doubt you’re afraid of something, or you wouldn’t be reading this book.

It’s nothing to be ashamed of. I’m scared, too. We all live with fear, ranging from little anxieties to sheer, stark-raving-mad, paralyzing terror, and everything in between. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of getting started, fear of being stopped before we’re finished, fear of what to do next after we’re finished. Fear of hate, fear of love, fear of hating, fear of being loved. Fear of sickness, fear of health, fear of other people’s habits, fear of our own.

Fear of death.

A portion of this book is necessarily about politics. So many people have found a sure way to get elected is to make voters afraid of something — or someone. Continue reading “It starts when you’re always afraid”

Book release: This frightening world being built around us

Refuse to be Afraid 2020 BREFUSE TO BE AFRAID Tenth Anniversary Edition on sale now in print and at a special introductory price from Kobo and Kindle.

I’ve wondered about the kids who were born around 2001, the ones who have now graduated from high school and whose impression of Sept. 11, 2001, is like mine of the Korean War, which entered a permanent truce around the time I was born: A relic of history of which they have no direct memory.

They have never lived in a world where you could enter an airport or a large public building without being screened and searched, their personal property and selves treated as if they may be planning a crime, guilty until proved innocent. They have never lived in a world not cluttered with cameras and other surveillance devices. They don’t know what it’s like to walk free wherever you go. Continue reading “Book release: This frightening world being built around us”

Reopening and reclaiming

Willow - You awake

Don’t be scared.

No, that’s not what I meant to say.

I know you’re scared. I’m scared, too. It feels like everything is unraveling. People shouting at each other, wishing harm on each other, accusing each other of evil or at least evil intent. Beneath it all, the fear.

Everyone is scared, except – oh, and now I begin to sound a little paranoid – except for the ones who benefit from our fear. The sociopaths, if I’m not too harsh, who sincerely believe they know better than the huddled masses. The ones who want to rule us.

Oh, there are some people among them with a true servant attitude, people who sincerely want to protect and serve, people who believe in preserving the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and such and so.

But then there are those who – I love that the man said, “Never let a crisis go to waste,” because those seven words so perfectly summarize the politics of fear. Continue reading “Reopening and reclaiming”

So what is How to Play a Blue Guitar anyway

How to Play A Blue GuitarUPDATE: If you were waiting for the hardcover, wait no more. Click this link.

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So far I will not be able to retire on the sales revenues from my newly published book, How to Play a Blue Guitar. I confess that I have not been especially helpful explaining what this book is.

Is it a manifesto about how to live a life of peace in a turbulent world? a cry for sanity in an insane world? a chuckle among friends? an oddball collection of diverse thoughts and fables around more or less a common theme? a serious attempt to step up and say something even if no one cares to listen? a frivolous jumble published on a sudden whim? a ponderous, jubilant shout from a man trapped in a world he never made?

Why, yes. Yes, it is. Continue reading “So what is How to Play a Blue Guitar anyway”

Imagining a world without rulers

dreamstime_s_7268548 planet and star
Planet and Star © Andreus Dreamstime.com

1. Love your neighbor as yourself.

2. Come and go in peace.

3. Give more than you receive.

– – – – – – – – – –

Eight years ago (at this writing) I wrote a book purporting to be the memoirs of a man who led a non-violent revolution a century or three from now on the fourth planet from the sun Sirius, establishing a “common wealth” of people who live without a set of rulers trying to run their lives.

The Imaginary Revolution is – to be charitable to myself – uneven as a novel, and if I were to write it today it would be different, just as I am different from the guy who wrote it. I may yet tell the same story from a different perspective – I left the characters of The Imaginary Bomb hanging a very long time ago, and very alert readers may have noticed two of them perish in the background of The Imaginary Revolution. I’ve always wanted to bridge the gaps between those two stories.

My revolutionary fellow, Ray Kaliber, boiled his philosophy down to the above three “Tenets of Common Wealth.” (Actually, his second tenet is “Interact with love – not force or violence,” but in the ensuing years I’ve found a better way to say it.)

This reflection is adapted from a section of The Imaginary Revolution that Kaliber called “What I Believe,” removing the middle man (Mr. Kaliber). Continue reading “Imagining a world without rulers”

Ears into the forest

ears into the forest (Willow)

“You can do this,” said the life coach. (Of course he didn’t believe in life coaches, so he was talking to himself – but you knew that, didn’t you?)

“What if I don’t wanna?” said the reluctant pupil (who may or may not be the author of this piece).

“That’s The Resistance,” coach said. “Fight it.”

“Tired of fighting.”

“That’s what people often say just before they make their last push and break through and succeed.”

“Or just before they give up,” the pupil said.

“And waste everything you’ve done so far?” Continue reading “Ears into the forest”