Month: August 2015

Typhoon and a Lovable Old Dog

For three days we received just the outer bands of rain from typhoon Goni. Not the worst I have seen. Nothing major went down here, no serious flooding. The wind ripped off a few poorly secured roofs, that’s about it. There is still more to come. It’s typhoon season.

Good writers write wonderfully constructed sentences and paragraphs, dripping with beauty and phonetics. Great writers know how to to take those sentences and paragraphs out back and shoot them, like a loveable old dog whose time has come.

And that’s precisely what i had to do.

For twenty years I tried my pencil at literary fiction, my heroes and influences being Kerouac and Henry Miller. Some Hemmingway but not most, and Hunter S. Thompson. I still hold onto that. But when a writer is changing to another, more precise genre, certain changes need to be made in the formula. That is what I have just encountered.

In my previous posts I introduced you to Duke Bradley in all his purple prose. My editor, God love him, sent me a message. Knowing my tendency to explode he treats me ever so gingerly and explains that it is good..very good..but for the genre I am now writing in some may say it moves a bit too slow. I closed my eyes and swallowed the ego that was starting to take control of my voice box. He was right. So..I rewrote it.

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Thank You and Goodnight

The Perfect Rain and Revision

I couldn’t ask for a better tropical night. I woke up to a solar blast morning, but by mid afternoon we were blessed with an overcast sky and a light rain. Rain and clouds just enough to temper the heat of the concrete streets and cool the air, but not leave everything a sloppy mess. A perfect rain.

I was sitting outside of work on the porch just watching the street. A comfortable, cool breeze moves the palm tree leaves around slightly. Tricycles and sidecars rolling by, people going here and there. By nine thirty most of the stores close and the street food vendors make a last few rounds. I was just talking to the man selling Taho. He said it was a slow night.

The kids here love taho, including my son. What kid wouldn’t, I suppose. Taho is steamed tofu, smooth like yogurt and served in a cup with tapioca pearls and warm brown sugar syrup. It’s a popular breakfast item here. For me Filipino food is strange. Everything is either super salty or super sweet. And all meals are served with rice. All meals. They even take rice left over from the night before and fry it up in the morning and call that breakfast. Add some dried fish (that stinks to high heaven when they cook it) and you have a typical Filipino morning meal…

I can’t eat rice everyday, I have had to find alternatives. Honestly, I don’t find much of the Filipino cuisine all that appetizing. Everything (and I mean everything) must contain two elements or it is considered inedible. Meat and rice.

There is another popular breakfast item called Champorado. Thats puffed rice doing a backstroke in chocolate syrup topped with evaporated milk. (even the teenagers here are concerned with “high blood” as they call it) It is no wonder they die so young. Anyway, someone decided that was just not nutritious enough so a popular thing is to take salted, dried fish called Tuyo, fry it, crumble it and put it IN the Champorado. Makes me sick.

Another vendor slowly rides buy on a bicycle, with a bamboo basket secured to the center bar between his legs. He hollers out a familiar song on the streets of the great republic. “BALUT! BALUT! PENOY BALUT!”

Balut..a fertilized duck egg, steamed and served with vinegar. When you crack it open there you have it. A cooked duck fetus swiming in its own fluid that is sucked out first, then you eat the rest. Not me. They tell me it’s delicious. I wouldn’t know because I’m not going to eat it.

At any rate I want to say thank you to the people who have liked and commented on my blog and the visits to the web page and those who purchased my novella and novelette. I am overwhelmed. I have very little help on this journey and absolutely ZERO cash for any advertising, professional editing, book design etc. My covers are simple, the editing is done by myself and my best friend Govinda Malakar over in India.

We wrote the first book, The Venerable Order of The Prabandhakas : Patala together in google docs. I am in the Philippines and like I said he is over in India. We have never met in person. I don’t have a computer at home, nor does he. That first book (and most of my other writings) was written mainly on my cell phone notepad. Then while we were both at work, if we had time we would plug away at the manuscript, keeping in touch through social media. Trust me it wasn’t easy. I work in a busy, noisy internet cafe and sometimes there is no available computer for me. So that means pencil and paper…I don’t use ink pen. I have no real space to write, no desk or office. I write wherever and whenever I can.

 

Thank you and Goodnight.

JT

Excerpt from The Venerable Order of the Prabandhakas: Patala, Song of the Avatar series: Book 1

Here is another excerpt from my fantasy series.The Venerable Order of the Prabandhakas: Patala, Song of the Avatar series: Book 1

Book 2 is on the way.

http://thenovellawriter.yolasite.com/

“There are dark places on earth, corners and chasms of all types and vastness. However nothing can measure to the depths of anarchy and discord that befalls Patala as the light source fades, blinks then ceases. Twelve earth hours of madness slither in and the citizens of all the villages of Patala keep the neem fires burning to ward off the horrible demons that control the darkness. Uneasy sleep, restlessness and anxiety until the light source is finally replenished and the sky illuminates again.

Nara rolled over onto his chest. Blood from the scrapes and gashes in his back thickened and debris stuck to his wounds. He listened intently as the others descended the hill, each in their own way. Jadu cursed the entire way down; Govinda half rolled and half slid sideways and Siddhartha took a nasty bounce and was coming in head first on his chest. All of them had already sustained injuries fighting off the Sitaw, Now this hill, if you could call it that, made the situation even that much worse.

But then a broad smile came across Nara’s face and a burst of energy painfully lifted him up onto his forearms. The last to make her way down, was Leela and she was doing it magnificently. Because of her petite frame, she was much lighter and was able to manipulate the side of the hill by finding handholds and digging the insoles of her black boots into the earth. She faced the ground and moved in a zigzag fashion, kicking away the dead leaves and using the embedded rocks to her advantage. Slow but sure, she unzipped the slope until finally she was able to stand and dash down the last few feet.

Nara wanted to jump up and cheer, but immediately composed himself.

If anyone knew anything about the Sitaw, it was Siddhartha. He could monitor and assess any biological being, especially the Sitaw, since they took form from dirt. Siddhartha is earth.

Nara stood up and limped over to Siddhartha. ”What do we know about them?” he asked.

“The Sitaw? Not much. As you saw, we can blow them apart but as long as there is dirt they can regenerate.” Siddhartha picked a small, bloody pebble from under the skin of his forearm and flicked it. ‘‘But mostly they are used as guard dogs. I have never heard of any this far north before, but at this point it seems like anything is possible.”

Thank you and Goodnight.

http://thenovellawriter.yolasite.com/

Exploiting God

Recently I read an article (which I won’t cite or reference at this time because it is unimportant), about preachers and religious organizations turning a profit by preaching God’s word, so to speak. Using the Bible and their congregations as a scheme to get rich and fool people into giving them money. This article viewed these practices in a negative light and alludes that people should not benefit or profit from God.

Following the article is a steady stream of comments agreeing with it. Apparently this is quite the topic, and is one issue everyone seems to be an expert on. Some of the comments even became almost hateful and went so far as to say it made them sick. it was disgusting that these preachers make all of this money exploiting God. What God gave to man should be free.

Is that so?

Don’t we all exploit God for profit?

I will not defend all preachers and religious organizations, nor will I crucify them. I do not know the intentions of all of them. I just want to offer a different view on the issue.

Way back in the beginning, as it says, God created the universe. He created the earth. So the earth belongs to God. That is simple. The earth belongs to God and everything on and in the earth belongs to God.

God then created man and let him free on the earth. Men formed tribes and became quite territorial in God’s world.

Nations rose and boundaries appeared. Governments are formed. Laws enacted. Borders were mapped out and guards posted to protect them.

So now we have man, who at some point has decided that his tribe and the government they set up owns this land within the boundaries. At some point another tribe would like to also enjoy this land and launch a campaign to take it by force. War has now broken out and tribes are fighting over land that belongs to God. Men fight and die for their “country” with pride and glory. When the smoke clears, the ones who have survived return back to the country for which they fought to protect.

Are they allowed then to have a plot of land to live and raise a family? Not really. They still have to pay for it. They still have to work and earn money and pay the government for land they fought to protect. Land that belongs to God and that he gave to man to use.

Now let’s suppose a person does well and has a lot of money. They see this beautiful beachfront property. This person buys all of this land from the government. He or she now owns this land in the country or nation that other men have fought and died for on the earth that belongs to God.

This property has beautiful sunsets, white sand beaches, refreshing waterfalls etc. This is God’s creation at its finest. Nothing on the earth (that belongs to God) can compare to this site.

But if you want to visit here it is going to cost you. if you want to swim in the ocean you have to pay an entrance fee, if you want to lie on the beach and soak up some rays better bring your Visa.

If you want to see God’s beauty better start saving now.

Who owns the fresh lakes where we get our water? Amazing how people lived on this planet for thousands of years and never had to pay for water. The trees were full of fruit for the picking, vegetables grew wild. Now we all work and pay for these services.

Are these abominable practices? Not really. In this world people have to survive and everyone wants to enjoy what they can. We all want to make a good living.

It is impossible to live on the planet and not exploit someone. Including God. The phrase “God has all the money” is correct.

We throw money at entertainers, women who dance naked make thousands a night, celebrities and sports personalities make outrageous salaries. We donate to politicians campaign funds, buy cigarettes and alcohol. We throw away fortunes on unhealthy foods and their distributors, but if a preacher spreads the good message of God, teaches tolerance and patience and love,or if that preacher delivers a message to you that may save your immortal soul,he had better not profit off of it. If someone build a huge church on land that belongs to God and dedicates that building to God and God’s work it is called unnecessary. A waste of money and people are being fooled and tricked out of their money to fund this enterprize.

But a huge shopping mall is widely accepted. The stocks for companies dedicated to snack foods raise. Property values increase and the people of the tribe are taxed heavily to live in a land that they fought for, take pride in, and that belongs to God.

Meanwhile the small time pastor takes a second job washing dishes at night just to keep his family afloat. Religious organizations lack the funding to help the people they want, the poor, the sick and the homeless. The elderly go without food and medicine because they are unable to work.

There is an underlying emotion I do believe anytime we hear of anyone (i.e. doctors, lawyers, corporate heads etc.) making an enormous salary. Jealousy. I know I get jealous a bit when I hear how much Will Smith or Tom Hanks makes for just one single movie. But I also know how much I am willing to pay to see it. So that’s it, isn’t it?

When Hollywood puts out a movie with all the glitter, and trailers and suspense it is the job of the marketers to make me exchange my money to see that movie.They employ so many devices and use a myriad of ways to get that movie in front of my face until I have finally spent the money to see it. But who has made that money from me? Who has exploited me?

Let’s look at it another way.

I write Novellas. Let’s say I write a novella and it gets published and printed. And then people begin to buy that book and I receive royalties.

Am I the only one to profit?

There is the bookseller, the printer, the binder, the publisher, the paper mill operator, the truck driver delivering the books, all the way down to the people that collect and recycle the books once they are read and discarded. So who has profited?

When a preacher wants build an enormous church, that preacher will use the same glitter and hocus pocus to put it in your face until you agree to donate. Then when all the donations are gathered and the church is built, who has profited?

There is the construction workers, the people who make cement, who make the iron girders, the glass makers, the people who prepare lunch for all of these people. There are designers, carpenters, installers, architects all the way down to the companies that provide the gas for the delivery trucks to get all of the materials to the site.

Now the preacher is on stage in a nice expensive suit and he is preaching the message that God has given to the world.

Who profits?

Perhaps you will, if you listen.

Mathew 16:26

“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Thank you and Goodnight.

http://thenovellawriter.yolasite.com/

Faith in Miracles

 

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In my last post I was talking about Miracles, and how they have occurred in my life. A lot of people are under the assumption that a miracle is a grand event, with glowing lights and lightening flashes, as If God will descend and leave a big bag of money at your doorstep. That is Santa Claus–not God. We all know it doesn’t normally happen that way.

Miracles come with that first thought that enter the mind. The action to take. How many times have I been playing guessing games and lost or missed the question because of “second guessing” my first thought. Then what do we say? “I was going to say that! I swear I was going to say that!” What is amazing is the lack of trust in our thoughts, because illusion tells us that all of those thoughts are our own.

When I first came to the Philippines I had a pocket full of cash and a plan. For two years prior, I lived like a bum in America. I rented the cheapest place, and since I worked in restaurants, I only ate at work. I toiled and saved, set the groundwork and read everything I could find on the net. I was going to start a farm.

I picked up my wife (who is Filipina) from the Northern part of The Philippines and transplanted her and myself to the southern part. General Santos City, Mindanao. We invested in farmland. Had the papers and everything. The dream was happening.

It was a scam. The person who said they owned the land was a liar and the papers were forged. I lost everything. I went to the PNP to try and recover, but nothing happened. Seems blood is thicker than law. Here I was, a white man in a brown country. What could I do? I found it was going to cost me more up front to recover my cash and if they did, the police wanted twenty percent to do so.

My wife and I couldn’t afford to stay where we were, so we moved to a small room in boarding house. She, my wife, had secured a job at a boutique in the mall and I had a small street food business. We were making it, but barely. Then my wife discovered she was pregnant. Holy cow. When her job found out that she was married and pregnant, they released her saying they were a Christian company. Whatever that means is beyond me. But the fact is they don’t allow their employees to be married with children. God Bless the Philippines.

We had no choice but to return back home and live with my wife’s family in a shanty town. When her family and neighbors found out we had no money left and what had happened, we were greeted with such disdain, damaging gossip and all types of comments.

Basically at this point we were homeless, with no money, no jobs (I didn’t have a work visa and had no money to apply for one and my wife was pregnant). Then the series of “why don’t you..” began to come at me. Why don’t I go home and work? Why don’t I ask my parents for help? Why don’t I this and why don’t I that.

No I didn’t run home. How could any man leave his wife homeless and pregnant on the street and run home. How long will it be before I could send anything? And also miss the birth of my son? No sir. I was not ready to give up. I was going to make it.

We started selling street food. For two years I peddled food on the street dealing with the racism, the jeers, and jokes. The jabs at my skin color, my language and the fact I was a “Kano walang pera.” (Kano is a derogatory term for an American. Walang pera is no money). I had built a small dwelling out of scrap wood, GI sheet, bamboo and cardboard on a small piece of property my wife’s family was allowing us to stay on. We planted a tomato garden, which if you saw this area was just unheard of. We were becoming outcasts. We did things the “tribe” didn’t normally do. What they believed was the impossible.

We were right next to what used to be the shore of the South China Sea. I mean right on it. However, there is no longer a shore. It is a garbage dump and squatter houses. It is not as though there is no garbage removal, because there is. Daily. It is people are just plain too lazy to take their garbage to the designated areas. It’s so much easier to throw it in the sea. There was no plumbing. We bought our water by the bucket for 3 pesos each. Human waste was everywhere, along with animal. It is unhealthy and disgusting. I couldn’t believe people actually lived this way.

For the first year of my son’s life we didn’t have electricity, running water or a bathroom.

Then the typhoon hit. Wiped us out. Flood waters washed away our home, most of our possessions and ruined our meager business. That was it. It was over. In the middle of the typhoon we sat under an old wooden staircase, my wife holding my year old son. We were freezing, hungry and no one would help us. No one.

The flood waters receded and we saw the horror of it all. I caught and killed two rats. That was our supper. You may cringe and judge. But we had to survive.

My mother and some people back home were able to help us out a little. Enough to get set back up in the food business. I reconstructed a small house with scrap materials and we just slept on the dirt ground. No choice. The ants and cockroaches crawled on us, the rats bit our feet. I was once given a bag of rice, I had to sleep with it to make sure the rats didn’t get to it. They still did.

The problem was, we were selling food, but no one was buying and it got to the point where we didn’t have enough to restock. I was down to my last ten pesos, with no hopes, no dreams and nothing on the horizon. My son had one small sachet of MILO chocolate drink, my wife and I hadn’t eaten in two days. No one would help us. Not one of her family members. In fact, they were laughing at us. Making comments how skinny we were. It was a real treat to see us starving.

People make judgments on me and my decisions. But who would have the guts to go through what I went through to make sure their family was safe? What American could come there and deal with what I dealt with? It would be few and far between.

I made a decision. I was at the end of my rope. I was in a position where I could not fight anymore. I had no choice but to rely on God and put this in His hands. How was I going to do that? I mean I claim to be a spiritual person, so hadn’t I already prayed before? Yes I had. But not in the right way.

All the time before I was like the rest. I was demanding God come down to my level and solve all of my problems when I said so. I wanted a bag full of money, all my stuff back and a lifestyle that I had before. I don’t really want to work for it, instead I wanted to do whatever I wanted to do. That’s the alcoholic thinking.

I prayed a different way. I took that ten peso coin and I held it in my hand. I said “Thank you”.  I said thank you like I had never said it before to anyone. I felt the intense gratitude inside of me like a tsunami. I closed my eyes and got lost in gratitude. I had no other option and nothing to lose. I was done asking for things. I just wanted guidance. I surrendered.

All of a sudden I was immersed in a feeling of peace that I had never experienced before. My wife and I call this the “Night God Gave Me a Hug”. I could feel the presence of God with me. Some people call stuff like this a “trick of the devil” or “a figment of your imagination”. Well it’s a pretty good trick. People who have not experienced it cannot judge it because they don’t know. I know this was real. It was a spiritual experience.

When it was all over I looked to my wife and I said, “Things are going to change. And it’s going to happen faster than you think.”

It did.

I laid down to sleep. Still not knowing what to do, but there was a difference. I wasn’t going to sleep worrying. In fact Since that night I have not worried one bit. I see now how useless it is to do so. Worry leads to fear and fear leads to inactivity. My faith began to grow.

I was drifting off to sleep and a thought popped into my head. Why not take a couple of rice sacks and go out and collect stuff to sell to the junk shop? Aluminum cans, plastic bottles, metal etc. I see other people doing it, so why not try? I did.

The next day, when I sold what I had found the night before, I was even more convinced that I had received a miracle. In one day I had made over 300 pesos. That’s more money than I had seen in years. (that’s about 6 usd).

We ate. My son got a whole big box of milk (only powdered milk here) and we ate. So from then on, for the next six months that’s what I did. I had a regular route. And if I would give the garbage collector a little cash he would put aside any of the really good stuff for me..But it’s hit or miss.  Some nights there wasn’t much at all, and some nights were astounding..One time I even found a brand new set of drum cymbals. Sold them for 600p. I found clothes and toys for my son. It wasn’t too bad.

Still there was discrimination. And this coming from people who were in the same boat as me. My father in law would even avoid me if he saw me out collecting scrap. he didn’t want his Iglesia Ni Christo (his church) friends to see him associating with me.

But Wait! There’s more…

One evening when I was on my regular route (I wasn’t getting much). I looked up from my garbage pile and saw a small alley leading to another part of the city that I had never been to. So I directed my homemade wooden cart in that direction and headed straight. Another miracle occurred.

In the Philippines, cities are broken up into self governed areas called Barangays. I entered into one called Campo Santo. It was clean, quieter and the people! They were so nice and accepting. I wanted to live there, but I knew I couldn’t afford it. (Now I live there.)

As I was collecting, being a white man, people who never saw me before became interested. One woman in particular, Lyn, began asking me a few questions to get my situation. She was a nice woman and I still see her everyday. She went home and packed some food for me and returned with her husband, Romy.

Romy is a contractor and a pastor at a local born again church. He offered me a job. A Monday through Saturday full time job making 300p a day. I didn’t know weather to cry, pass out, or hug him. I looked at him and said “Man, you just saved my life.”

Romy was awesome. He taught me a lot. I became a helper at a construction site having no experience in construction. There was discrimination among the crew at first, but when they saw how hard this 40 year old man worked, that quickly faded and I was accepted. I got my first pay (under the table of course) that Saturday. Sunday when I woke up I looked at my wife. I said “Grab my saw and my tape measure and let’s go.”

“Where are we going?” she asked in her broken English with an accent I can sometimes not understand.

“We are going to go buy bamboo. One long piece. Today we start building our new house.”

That Sunday we put the first two posts in for the frame of our new house.

I had told her my plan for building a bamboo house before. I even told my father in law who just laughed at me. I had no idea how to build a house and I made a lot of mistakes.But I was doing it. Still they laughed at me. No one built their houses from bamboo, I was told. If you build a bamboo house then you are poor! They would say. I endured so much, but it didn’t stop me. They kept telling me “You can’t do that Kano!” But I did it. Took me ten months, but I did it.

When the contract was over at the construction site I thought I was going to be out of work. Then another miracle happened. As I was walking home, three days before the end of the contract, two guys approached me on a tricycle for delivering soft drinks. They explained how they saw me before going through garbage and wondered if I needed a job. They offered me work delivering soft drinks. Starting the following Monday. i didn’t even skip a beat.

The salary was low, but we were grateful to get it. Then my new boss. Cherry, began asking me about my wife. If my wife was working. I told her no. She said she wanted to offer my wife a job as a companion and maid for her aged mother. AND my son could come along too! It was the beginning of a great friendship between my wife, son and this woman whom we call Nene (mother). My wife no longer works for her since having our daughter. (But I do. I manage her internet cafe.) They remain great friends.

The next major typhoon was approaching just as I was finishing our house. It had been ten months of working Sundays, carrying materials little by little home, whatever we could afford and doing what I could. We were able to set up electricity and get running water. Things that all of the people who laughed at me still didn’t have.

It was time to give it a test.

We moved in the day before the typhoon arrived. When it did hit, my house didn’t move. It shook a little, but there were no leaks in my roof and I had built it up from the ground. It flooded and we were dry. We spent the day watching movies and eating the food I had stocked up for this event. One by one, the people who laughed at me, jeered and cursed me, who made so many comments about my abilities, my color, and my situation began to come to my house. (Including my father in law who had turned us away last typhoon..). They needed shelter. Their houses had fallen apart. So what did I do?

Of course I let everyone in and even cooked for them. Why? Because I have no room in my heart for resentments anymore.

I thought that things would change. That they would see how my way of doing things works.

Nothing changed. They left my house and began gossiping about what I didn’t give them. My father in law wanted money. I had none to spare. yet I had just given him shelter in a major storm, fed him, fed his wife, and let them rest. That didn’t matter. He wanted me to give him money to fix his house. Nothing changed and still hasn’t.

I left the soft drink delivery job to help Romy again on another project for six months. Then when that was over I was offered the job here at the internet cafe. More suitable for a writer wouldn’t you say?

We don’t live in that house anymore. We began saving what we could when my wife became pregnant again (surprise) and rented a small room in a cleaner part of the city. It’s not much. we still struggle. We don’t have a refrigerator or t.v or anything and sometimes things get pretty tight. My wife had to leave her job because the kids were too much so she is just working part time and I am here at the internet cafe. We have a side business making coconut jam that does ok.

So now we have a handsome four year old boy and a beautiful six month old daughter. We live in a small one room apartment and we survive everyday. We are grateful for what has happened in our lives. What’s amazing is that the people from where we used to live, my wife’s family and neighbors are still there. Still living the same way. Here I am a foreigner who doesn’t speak the language, who had no idea how to do most of the things I have done and who doesn’t have a proper work permit to get a good job and I made it out. These people are citizens, this is their home, and most of the still make more money than I do. So what’s the difference? Mind set.

Four years ago I was homeless and hungry on the street. But I wasn’t poor. being poor is a state of mind. I was broke as hell, but I wasn’t poor. Everyone tried to convince me that I was poor and all was hopeless. I wouldn’t buy it.

It is amazing the attitude among the ‘poor’ people here. They actually ponder, discuss and fight about WHO is poorer. Who has what and had what to eat etc.. They do the same thing over and over, expecting different results. No one does anything different than anyone else for fear of being talked about.

I would tell them to take a look around. We ALL live here.

**********

Now I have three books on amazon, a strong place to live and an income. We still have our struggles, as I have said. Soon my son is going to have to go to school and at the present, we can’t afford it. With the baby’s expenses, things are very slim. There are other obstacles too. But there is one difference between now and then.

Now I never worry.

I have faith in miracles.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Jesus of Nazareth that I always keep with me.

Matthew 6:25-34

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Thank you and Good night

http://thenovellawriter.yolasite.com/

Miracles

Coming to the close of another day. It was a sweltering one, but we don’t get too many cool ones. Unless its raining.

I was thinking about miracles. So many books written on the subject. How you can make them happen and whatnot. There is a power in positive thinking and one-mindedness and I do know that it leads to amazing occurrences. I can say this because I am living proof that it works.

Running back through the dusty mind space. I can pick out so many times when I was at the end of my tether, where one more step was a sure plunge into the abyss and something incredible happens and saves my ass. Most of it has to do with surrender and just getting out of the way. Letting the Divine work. If you want the angels to come in then you have to make room for them to spread their wings.

When I was about ten years old I was sitting with my grandfather Thompson in the screened in sitting area he had built in his back yard. Next to it was a huge old tree that my father used to climb when he was young. It was springtime in Ohio and a pretty good nor’easter cropped up. High winds and lightening with a heavy dropped, sideways rain.

The tree next to us was huge, with thick branches stemming from the trunk. So thick in fact, if one were to fall, it could easily kill a man. I don’t know how old the tree was, but it had been around long enough to get that way.

The wind became more intense, the rain sounded like a tympani orchestra on the roof. Lightening flashed everywhere in our eyesight. I have to admit I was a bit scared. Finally I said to grandfather,

“What if the lightening strikes that tree and those big branches fall on us?”

He shrugged and raised his eyebrows.

“If you don’t think about it, then it won’t happen.” He said. “Everything that happens, you think about it first. Even if you don’t know you are thinking about it.”

I was blown away.

He died the following year at a very young age. And to be honest we weren’t very close, but that memory has stuck with me and probably what got me started in the direction I went.

Miracles. I can look back and realize how when I take it all apart and break it down I can see where the tiniest nudge, the smallest whisper in the mind was my miracle. That subtle shirft of consciousness that can occur when you stop focusing on the injustice and start an awareness for a solution to appear. If you cannot get to the point where you can believe there is a possible positive outcome, Its just better to not think about it at all. Easier said than done.

I am an alcoholic. I Haven’t had a drink in coming up on five years. That’s a long time considering its the longest I have ever gone since I started drinking. Some people ask me how I quit drinking. I didn’t quit. I just put it aside one day at a time. But I think what anyone would want to know is what happened. Well I have a brief story about how I finally got started putting it aside.

It was a cold, February day in Akron, Ohio. I had been on a pretty good bender for about two weeks. Morning until night. Spent every dime of my rent money and I hadn’t showered in I don’t know how long. All I did was wake up, sit and drink until I passed out then get up and do it again. Days rolled by in a blur. The only time I went outside was to get more vodka. And I drank the cheap stuff too, straight from the bottle. It was horrible.

Around 2 p.m. I drank my last drop. I was out of cash and smokes too. Panic set in. What was I going to do? I got out the phone book and called the little corner store and asked them if I could run a tab. I don’t remember exactly what I told them, but I suppose I was pretty convincing because he agreed.

I went down and got two bottles of vodka, a pack of smokes and a bag of chips.

By 4:30 both bottles were gone and I didn’t even feel it.

I started the walk back to that small store. To add a couple more bottles. But then what? what will I do when those are gone. I sat down on the bus stop bench. I knew I stank. My breath was toxic, my clothes were filthy. I was sick. I prayed.

I didn’t ask for anything. I just talked. I said I can’t do this anymore. I need help. I am going to die and honestly I do no know what to do. I lost my job, i had one week left until my eviction was final and I had about forty-five cents to my name. That was a wednesday.

I turned around and went back to my apartment and I called AA. Two guys showed up, talked to me and took me to my first real meeting. I say “real” meeting because it was the first time I wanted to be there.

What made me turn around then when I could never do it before? Where did that strength come from?

But wait, theres more….

The next day was a foggy mess. My head pounded and I was sick. But I had a mess to deal with. Thats where the real miracles happened. I surrendered. Got out of the way. I said to God I don’t know what to do…In two days I will be homeless. Something told me to call someone..and I did.

Two hours later I had a job starting monday, I had a place to live in an AA sober house and a guy I knew paid me back some cash I had lent him.

Step by step every moment had been a building block for the next. When I was in a foul mood and saw everything as impossible, then it was. But when I got out of that, when I gathered up faith, then I saw miracles happen.

Next post will be another instance where the miracle happened that involves me living on the streets in a third world country. No job, no food and a wife and baby boy.

EXCERPT FROM THE VENERABLE ORDER OF THE PRABANDHAKAS: PATALA

This excerpt comes from Book 1 of the Song of the Avatar series: Patala starring the Venerable Order of the Prabandhakas.

“Leela sat lotus style, with her back straight and her large, almond shaped eyes closed. Her hands rested in her lap holding a white carnation. The deep black of her face contrasted to the colorful kathak markings she wore. Complete with a tiny red dot in the center of her forehead. Her neck was long and graceful and her high cheekbones and tiny chin gave her an almost elfish type beauty

Her skintight black body suit, enabling mobility and displaying every curve of her flawless body, defined her, contained her form. Without it, she was invisible. When in meditation, as she was now, she wore a mauve colored cloak with the hood pulled far over her face, to limit distractions from both sight and sound.

She took a deep breath and blew it out through pursed lips. She could feel him watching her. We don’t breathe the same Nara, she thought. Leela was a demon, but pure female which was reflected in the perfection of her form, the supple curves of her thighs, her waist and her chest. But like Nara, the form of the body was unimportant to her. She was involved in an emotion which was believed, demons were incapable of, with their vibrational limitations. Leela had surpassed that boundary with her passion to be with Nara. If it were even possible, she loved him and could see what was inside of him, she could feel his being. She saw that touch of insanity and the tiniest fear that demons search the spirit to feed, inflate, and use against. The deepest hidden memories. In Nara, she saw the most relentless piece dangling, holding on, waiting to make a breakthrough into his consciousness.

She wished she could crawl inside of him, sheild it, cloak it from anyone else who might be entering. No one would ever see…if the right demon found this, they would shatter him like glass. Kali and his forces use insecurity, doubt and fear as their arsenal, and they win. If she could, she would stand between Nara and every demon in Patala. Oh Krishna! The madness swelling inside of her, she wished with everything she had, that she didn’t need him. This is going to be a disaster!

Leela screamed inside. “Do not let this end in fear!” The energy of the thought rattled her to consciousness. She opened her eyes and saw him standing across the lake. She changed the color of her skin to a light golden tan, wondering if he had heard her. He had.”

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