The Meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything

(which turns out to be a number after all, but not forty-two)

I’ve been pursuing my kundalini yoga consistently and intensely since the spring equinox this year, and I’ve lately reached the point where the kriyas I do every morning have aligned my energies all the way up to my crown. I can now feel the energy flowing up my spine and through my crown and sort of carrying me through the day. More to the point, when that energy reached my crown, it gave me a series of epiphanies, or eureka moments, which have helped me understand the meaning of life, the universe, and everything. It is, in fact, a number, which someone as far back as Pythagoras already knew. But sorry, Arthur Clarke, the number is not forty-two. 😉

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I Pledge Allegiance

*Warning: this story is politically charged and likely to be highly offensive to a great many people. If you’re a patriotic American with high blood pressure, please don’t read it. I’m serious. It’s also very very sad.

A story which could also be titled, “Why I No Longer Pledge Allegiance”.

The time is 2:27 in the afternoon. The location is some remote village in Afghanistan that has a name, but a name that would mean nothing to most American citizens. An unmanned aerial combat vehicle (drone) fires a missile. The missile strikes the largest building in the village, a three-storied rectangular concrete structure which happens to be used as a children’s hospital. Eighteen children immediately perish. A small bloody foot juts out from the smoldering wreckage and a man is running up to it, running, running and clutching his heart and the tears are running down his face and he lifts up his eyes to the sky and even though he can’t see through the tears he shakes his impotent fist at what he knows is up there and feels in his heart that he would rejoice to die if it would only harm the monsters who sent this unmanned killing machine into his village and killed his only son.

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What I’m Gaining from Writing Fiction

Yesterday, after I had conquered an ugly migraine that wanted to keep me down, I followed Cerelys around for a little more of her hectic day to record another chapter of her story (I’ll proofread and post it later). She’s been getting into some dangerous places, deep in the sordid heart of the illegal story trade, as she runs around and works her magic for Mordrin, who’s frantically trying to keep the peace in Gadilia while he builds his network and prepares for the big vote. The autonomous regions are vital for his plan, but without the unifying presence of Gadilia, they’ll be far too splintered to offer any useful assistance. Peace-making is tricky work, but Cerelys is good at it. And of course the DUE-PIPs are still giving her headaches, but I think for the first time she’s starting to appreciate just a little of their perspective. Although she’s still as convinced as ever of the basic injustice of their prohibition of stories.

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People Who Create Awesome Things: Jon Foreman

Back when this blog was more personal, I started a series called “People Who Create Awesome Things,” but I ran out of steam and quit doing them a while back. Well, I had a little time this afternoon and thought I’d use it to write about another one of those people, one of my all-time favorite singers, Jon Foreman.

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A Few Thoughts from Vacation

During my three week vacation and trip out west, I did a lot of reading and no writing, which had the effect of making me think quite a bit about my writing in a philosophical sense – specifically what I gain from the practice that keeps me going. My ideas are still helter-skelter, but I thought I’d plunk them down anyway before I forget. One of the questions I ruminated on is why I’ve become so enthusiastic about the idea of keeping my art completely free. I know many others, with good reason, see the point differently. I’m not saying that artists don’t deserve to be compensated for their work, which enriches humanity — but for me, the freedom from thinking in those terms was exhilarating, and infused me with a fresh love of the joy of creating art for its own sake. When I quit worrying about the traditional route of publication and marketing, I found myself refreshingly free from the confusing and daunting process of hoping to find agents and editors and publishers, as important a service as they all offer. I was like a kid again. I could create just for the sheer joy of it, share it with the world as I’m making it, flaws and all, cast my stories to the wind like a child blowing on a dandelion, knowing that a hundred seeds might not find good soil, but if even one should take root and brighten the heart of another child with its pert shock of yellow, then the world would be immeasurably richer a place.

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