MauiSalt is going live! Call for submissions!

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“Go ahead and write about it, I dare you.”

Hey Guys and Gals! Bust out the pen and laptop and give us your best Hemingway!

We’re looking for great maritime writing. Anything to do with the ocean experience. Windsurfing, Kite-surfing, Sailing, Surfing, Stand-Up Paddling, Kayaking, Canoeing, Bodyboarding, Fishing, etc., etc., etc.

Please email them to Lord.Greystoke77@gmail.com

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This is a call for submissions!
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Are You Living Right? “On Right Livelihood” by J. Krishnamurti

krishnamurti-mainOn Right Livelihood by J. Krishnamurti

First Talk in The Oak Grove

To understand the confusion and misery that exist in ourselves, and so in the world, we must first find clarity within ourselves, and this clarity comes about through right thinking. This clarity is not to be organized, for it cannot be exchanged with another. Organized group thought becomes dangerous, however good it may appear; organized group thought can be used, exploited; group thought ceases to be right thinking, it is merely repetitive. Clarity is essential, for without it change and reform merely lead to further confusion. Clarity is not the result of verbal assertion but of intense self-awareness and right thinking. Right thinking is not the outcome of mere cultivation of the intellect, nor is it conformity to pattern, however worthy and noble. Right thinking comes with self-knowledge. Without understanding yourself, you have no basis for thought; without self-knowledge, what you think is not true.

You and the world are not two different entities with separate problems; you and the world are one. Your problem is the world’s problem. You may be the result of certain tendencies, of environmental influences, but you are not different fundamentally from another. Inwardly, we are very much alike; we are all driven by greed, ill will, fear, ambition, and so on. Our beliefs, hopes, aspirations have a common basis. We are one; we are one humanity, though the artificial frontiers of economics and politics and prejudice divide us. If you kill another, you are destroying yourself. You are the center of the whole, and without understanding yourself you cannot understand reality.

We have an intellectual knowledge of this unity, but we keep knowledge and feeling in different compartments, and hence we never experience the extraordinary unity of man. When knowledge and feeling meet, there is experience. These talks will be utterly useless if you do not experience as you are listening. Do not say, ”I will understand later,” but experience now. Do not keep your knowledge and your feeling separate, for out of this separation grow confusion and misery. You must experience this living unity of man. You are not separate from the Japanese, the Hindu, the Negro, or the German. To experience this immense unity, be open, become conscious of this division between knowledge and feeling; do not be a slave to compartmental philosophy.

Without self-knowledge understanding is not possible. Self-knowledge is extremely arduous and difficult for you are a complex entity. You must approach the understanding of the self simply, without any pretensions, without any theories. If I would understand you, I must have no preconceived formulations about you, there must be no prejudice; I must be open, without judgment, without comparison. This is very difficult, for with most of us thought is the result of comparison, of judgment. Through approximation we think we are understanding, but is understanding born of comparison, judgment? Or, is it the outcome of noncomparative thought? If you would understand something, do you compare it with something else or do you study it for itself?

Thought born of comparison is not right thinking. Yet in studying ourselves we are comparing, approximating. It is this that prevents the understanding of ourselves. Why do we judge ourselves? Is not our judgment the outcome of our desire to become something, to gain, to conform, to protect ourselves? This very urge prevents understanding.

As I said, you are a complex entity, and to understand it you must examine it. You cannot understand it if you are comparing it with the yesterday or with the tomorrow. You are an intricate mechanism, but comparison, judgment, identification prevent comprehension. Do not be afraid that you will become sluggish, smug, self-contented if you do not compete in comparison. Once you have perceived the futility of comparison, there is a great freedom. Then you are no longer striving to become, but there is freedom to understand. Be aware of this comparative process of your thinking – experience all this as I am explaining – and feel its futility, its fundamental thoughtlessness; you will then experience a great freedom, as though you had laid down a wearisome burden. In this freedom from approximation and so from identification, you will be able to discover and understand the realities of yourself. If you do not compare, judge, then you will be confronted with yourself, and this will give clarity and strength to uncover great depths. This is essential for the understanding of reality. When there is no self-approximation, then thought is liberated from duality; the problem and the conflict with the opposites fall away. In this freedom there is a revolutionary, creative understanding.

There is not one of us who is not confronted with the problem of killing and non-killing, violence and nonviolence. Some of you may feel that, as your sons, brothers, or husbands are not involved in this mass murder called war, you are not immediately concerned with this problem, but if you will look a little more closely, you will see how deeply you are involved. You cannot escape it. You must, as an individual, have a definite attitude towards killing and non-killing. If you have not been aware of it, you are being confronted with it now; you must face the issue, the dualistic problem of capitalism and communism, love and hate, killing and non-killing, and so on. How are you to find the truth of the matter? Is there any release from conflict in the endless corridor of duality? Many believe that in the very struggle of the opposites there is creativeness, that this conflict is life, and to escape from it is to be in illusion. Is this so? Does not an opposite contain an element of its own opposite and so produce endless conflict and pain? Is conflict necessary for creation? Are the moments of creativeness the outcome of strife and pain? Does not the state of creative being come into existence when all pain and struggle have utterly ceased? You can experience this for yourself. This freedom from opposites is not an illusion; in it alone is the answer to all of our confusion and conflicting problems.

You are faced with the problem of killing your brother in the name of religion, of peace, of country, and so on. How shall you find the answer, in which further conflicting, further opposing problems are not inherent? To find a true, lasting answer, must you not go outside of the dualistic pattern of thought? You kill because your property, your safety, your prestige are threatened; as with the individual, so with the group, with the nation. To be free from violence and nonviolence, there must be freedom from acquisitiveness, ill will, lust, and so on. But most of us do not go into the problem deeply and are satisfied with reform, with alternation within the pattern of duality. We accept as inevitable this conflict of duality and within that pattern try to bring about modification, change; within it we maneuver to a better position, to a more advantageous point for ourselves. Change or reform merely within the pattern of duality produces only further confusion and pain and hence is retrogression.

You must go beyond the pattern of duality to solve permanently the problem of opposites. Within the pattern there is no truth, however much we may be caught in it; if we seek truth in it, we will be led to many delusions. We must go beyond the dualistic pattern of the ‘I’ and the not-‘I’, the possessor and the possessed. Beyond and above the endless corridor of duality lies truth. Beyond and above the conflicting and painful problem of opposites lies creative understanding. This is to be experienced, not to be speculated upon, not to be formulated, but to be realized through deep awareness of the dualistic hindrances.

Questioner: I am sure most of us have seen authentic pictures in movies and in magazines of the horrors and the barbarities of the concentration camps. What should be done, in your opinion, with those who have perpetrated these monstrous atrocities? Should they not be punished?

Krishnamurti: Who is to punish them? Is not the judge often as guilty as the accused? Each one of us has built up this civilization, each one has contributed towards its misery, each one is responsible for its actions. We are the outcome of each other’s actions and reactions; this civilization is a collective result. No country or people is separate from another; we are all interrelated: we are one. Whether we acknowledge it or not, when a misfortune happens to a people, we share in it as in its good fortune. You may not separate yourself to condemn or to praise.

The power to oppress is evil, and every group that is large and well organized becomes a potential source of evil. By shouting loudly the cruelties of another country, you think you can overlook those of your own. It is not only the vanquished but every country that is responsible for the horrors of war. War is one of the greatest catastrophes; the greatest evil is to kill another. Once you admit such an evil into your heart, then you let loose countless minor disasters. You do not condemn war itself but him who is cruel in war.

You are responsible for war; you have brought it about by your everyday action of greed, ill will, passion. Each one of us has built up this competitive, ruthless civilization in which man is against man. You want to root out the causes of war, of barbarity in others, while you yourself indulge in them. This leads to hypocrisy and to further wars. You have to root out the causes of war, of violence, in yourself, which demands patience and gentleness, not bloody condemnation of others.

Humanity does not need more suffering to make it understand, but what is needed is that you should be aware of your own actions, that you should awaken to your own ignorance and sorrow and so bring about in yourself compassion and tolerance. You should not be concerned with punishments and rewards, but with the eradication in yourself of those causes that manifest themselves in violence and in hate, in antagonism and ill will. In murdering the murderer you become like him; you become the criminal. A wrong is not righted through wrong means; only through right means can a right end be accomplished. If you would have peace you must employ peaceful means, and mass murder, war, can only lead to further murder, further suffering. There can be no love through bloodshed; an army is not an instrument of peace. Only goodwill and compassion can bring peace to the world, not might and cunning nor mere legislation.

You are responsible for the misery and disaster that exist, you who in your daily life are cruel, oppressive, greedy, ambitious. Suffering will continue until you eradicate in yourself those causes that breed passion, greed, and ruthlessness. Have peace and compassion in your heart and you will find the right answer to your questions.

Questioner: At this time and in our present way of life, our feelings become blunted and hard Can you suggest a way of life that will make us more sensitive? Can we become so in spite of noise, haste, all the competitive professions and pursuits? Can we become so without dedication to a higher source of life?

Krishnamurti: Is it not necessary, for clear and right thinking, to be sensitive? To feel deeply, must not the heart be open? Must not the body be healthy to respond eagerly? We blunt our minds, our feelings, our bodies, with beliefs and ill will, with strong and hardening stimulants. It is essential to be sensitive, to respond keenly and rightly, but we become blunted, hard, through our appetites. There is no separate entity such as the mind apart from the organism as a whole, and when the organism as a whole is ill-treated, wasted, distracted, then insensitivity sets in. Our environment, our present way of life, blunts us, wastes us. How can you be sensitive when every day you indulge in reading or seeing pictures of the slaughter of thousands – this mass murder reported as though it were a successful game. The first time you read the reports you may feel sick at heart, but the constant repetition of brutal ruthlessness dulls your mind-heart, immunizing you to the utter barbarism of modern society. The radios, magazines, cinemas are ever wasting your sensitive pliabilities; you are forced, threatened, regimented, and how can you, in the midst of this noise, haste, and false pursuits, remain sensitive for the cultivation of right thinking?

If you would not have your feelings blunted and hard, you must pay the price for it; you must abandon haste, distraction, wrong professions and pursuits. You must become aware of your appetites, your limiting environment, and by rightly understanding them you begin to reawaken your sensitivity. Through constant awareness of your thoughts-feelings, the causes of self-enclosure and narrowness fall away. If you would be highly sensitive and clear, you must deliberately work for it; you cannot be worldly and yet be pure in the pursuit of reality. Our difficulty is we want both – the burning appetites and the serenity of reality. You must abandon the one or the other; you cannot have both. You cannot indulge and yet be alert; to be keenly aware there must be freedom from those influences that are crystallizing, blunting.

We have overdeveloped the intellect at the cost of our deeper and clearer feelings, and a civilization that is based on the cultivation of the intellect must bring about ruthlessness and the worship of success. The emphasis on intellect or on emotion leads to unbalance, and intellect is ever seeking to safeguard itself. Mere determination only strengthens the intellect and blunts and hardens it; it is ever self-aggressive in becoming or not-becoming. The ways of the intellect must be understood through constant awareness, and its reeducation must transcend its own reasoning.

Questioner: I find there is conflict between my occupation and my relationship. They go in different directions. How can I make them meet?

Krishnamurti: Most of our occupations are dictated by tradition, or by greed, or by ambition. In our occupation we are ruthless, competitive, deceitful, cunning, and highly self-protective. If we weaken at any time we may go under, so we must keep up with the high efficiency of the greedy machine of business. It is a constant struggle to maintain a hold, to become sharper and cleverer. Ambition can never find lasting satisfaction; it is ever seeking wider fields for self-assertiveness.

But in relationship quite a different process is involved. In it there must be affection, consideration, adjustment, self-denial, yielding – not to conquer but to live happily. In it there must be self-effacing tenderness, freedom from domination, from possessiveness; but emptiness and fear breed jealousy and pain in relationship. Relationship is a process of self-discovery in which there is wider and deeper understanding; relationship is a constant adjustment in self-discovery. It demands patience, infinite pliability, and a simple heart.

But how can the two meet together – self-assertiveness and love, occupation and relationship? The one is ruthless, competitive, ambitious; the other is self-denying, considerate, gentle: they cannot come together. With one hand people deal in blood and money, and with the other they try to be kind, affectionate, thoughtful. As a relief from their thoughtless and dull occupations, they seek comfort and ease in relationship. But relationship does not yield comfort, for it is a distinctive process of self-discovery and understanding. The man of occupation tries to seek, through his life of relationship, comfort and pleasure as a compensation for his wearisome business. His daily occupation of ambition, greed, and ruthlessness lead step by step to war and to the barbarities of modern civilization.

Right occupation is not dictated by tradition, greed, or ambition. If each one is seriously concerned in establishing right relationship, not only with one but with all, then he will find right occupation. Right occupation comes with regeneration, with the change of heart, not with the mere intellectual determination to find it.

Integration is only possible if there is clarity of understanding on all the different levels of our consciousness. There can be no integration of love and ambition, deception and clarity, compassion and war. So long as occupation and relationship are kept apart, so long will there be endless conflict and misery. All reformation within the pattern of duality is retrogression; only beyond it is there creative peace.

May 27, 1945

Ticket To Ride, Book 2, Final Chapter: And time cast forth his mortal creature…

Cathedral Cove
Cathedral Cove

As the island of Barbados was unveiled by the pure-light of day, two tanned figures walked away from the transplanted shadows of a few well-placed royal palms, heading towards the shore. The young couple, he with blondish hair and an infant child in his arms and she, fairer but ruddily complected, her left arm stretched around both, crossed the newly smooth sand and the wispy grasses of the upper beach, the front yard of their moravian style cottage. Though neither could be accused of being materialists, this structurally simplistic, eye-pleasing edifice offered an unmistakable air of serenity and strength, the essence of life, which made them feel light, and at ease.

In this way they walked nearly every morning since a need to be closer to family and the desire to make a fresh start brought them to the island, a peaceable harbor in the storm of an American social climate fraught with a backlash of guilt and spiritual turmoil, the unwanted stepchildren of change. This morning ritual was made, not out of a sense of obligation or need, but because their daily pilgrimage was as natural to them as the involuntary beating of one’s heart and as inconsequentially essential as the taking of bread and water for one’s nourishment.

Sometimes they would speculate about or marvel at the sea and what lay beyond; what sights, scents or sounds might be beheld in distant lands such as Cyprus, Indonesia or Sri Lanka. They preferred to consider the warm lands of the world because, like their parents, they were drawn to the comfortable climes, places where life’s necessities could be kept to a minimum.

Their conversation came flowingly, with the ease of a mountain stream and would rise and fall like the ocean swells which appeared consistently on the shallow sand bars beyond the surf fishermen as they strung line and laid their nets in the ever-present sea. The two didn’t readily acknowledge the fishermen but only focused on them between thoughts, using their deliberate and precise movements like a musician makes use of a metronome, to keep time. They gazed intently at these energetic men as one might gaze at a flickering candle flame, in profound meditation.

On this particular day and within one of these particular moments, Olivia leaned forward and spoke deliberately:

“I can almost see the canoes and huts and the beautiful brown girls bathing in the sea. What must it have been like here four hundred years ago?”

As she spoke, the morning sun shot warm and piercing rays of light into the faces of the three, reflecting their light into the world. The shore began to grow humid, sultry and pleasantly heavy as the passive force of the sun encouraged the static air to gravitate skyward, toward a heavy, water-laden cumulus which would soon fall as a gentle summer rain, completing the necessary cycle which offers a watery infusion of life to the mountains, rivers, and the sea in front of them.

Morgan said nothing but instead pictured himself sitting there in the days before the colonists and traders. He saw himself as a young native boy preparing for a day of fishing or hunting. And then, his eyes at once fixed on the fisherman, his gaze rose above their heads and he became entranced by the sea.

It surged without crashing and seemed to breathe, pushing and pulling at the sugary sand just as gentle, knowing hands caress the skin, and this, coupled with the charming industry with which the fishermen went about their day, served to free the stream of conversation for several hours until it seemed, the rest of the world, or perhaps just the island, was waking up to the new day.

They came together this morning to “baptize” their new child in the sea, which was done with little ceremony except for the recitation of a few paraphrased lines from Dylan Thomas, and the addition of a request that the sea spirits take good care of their son Dylan August.

They sat down again, Dylan wiggling then settling in his mother’s arms to nurse.

“Have I told you about my great grandfather?”

“Tell me again.”

“He was a bicycle salesman, not a guy who sold bicycles but the guy who had what people needed like tools and things and he rode around the island on his bike selling stuff. He was born here in 1885…

 

And time cast forth his mortal creature

To drift or drown upon the seas

Acquainted with the salt adventure

Of tides that never touch the shores

He who is rich will be made the richer

By sipping at the vine of days.

– Dylan Thomas

 

About the author:

As the publisher of SALT magazine, a regional ocean sports magazine, Philip has gained something of a following in Southern California. He has also been published in Blue Edge magazine (which included an interview with Jack Johnson), The VC Reporter, The Surfer’s Path (UK), the Ojai Visitor’s guide, Fishing Stories magazine in Australia and others. Philip has worked in various fields including everything from carpentry to graphic design. He studied Comparative Literature at UC – Santa Cruz and has traveled extensively. His other writing projects include a sequel to Ticket to Ride that chronicles the life of Dylan Blake, the child of Morgan and Livy, now an adult trying to make sense of his own generation, and finding his own place within it.

 

Connect with Me: Lord.Greystoke77@gmail.com

Ticket To Ride, Book 2, Chapter 34: I’m not trying to get away from myself anymore…

fathers-sons-ivan-turgenev-paperback-cover-art“That’s a wonderful piece honey, it reads like poetry,” She put the magazine on the coffee table.

“Thanks… the poet laureate of Conset Bay,” Morgan said smiling.

“Yeah.”

“Well finish your coffee and we’ll take Dylan down to the water.”

“Shuwa,” said Olivia, feigning a New York accent and smiling like an Armstrong pinup.

Morgan put a copy of the magazine into his filing cabinet and noticed a yellowed note stuck against the inside of the drawer. He went cold.

Olivia moved closer, noticing the change in his disposition.

“What is it honey?”

Morgan handed her the note.

“I think I’ve mentioned Psalm.”

“Yeah he… your old friend from the islands, right?”

She read out loud,

“I’m sorry, I just can’t,

I killed them”

“What is…

“Aristotle told me… Psalm had gone to some sort of ‘love-in’ with his wife and their daughter. There was a lot of stuff going around, you know, it was like 1970, the height of psychedelia. On the way home he crashed his car, killing his wife and daughter.”

“Oh no Morgan… that’s why…”

“Yeah… and he did a lot of acid after that.”

Images of Vietnam and Woodstock flashed into Morgan’s mind. He then saw his Uncle Norman as his father described him, and finally Uncle Jack in his dress blues.

The phone rang. Morgan walked to the coffee table where the phone was sitting next to a copy of SEA. On it’s cover it read “Melville’s Ghost” by Morgan Blake. He picked up the phone and Olivia picked up the other line.

“Hello.”

“Morgan, it’s your father.”

Morgan smiled and breathed.

“Hey dad, it’s been a while.”

“A few years.”

“Almost five.”

“Well your mom prevailed on me…”

“How’s mom.”

“She’s good and we’re good. I’ll understand if you’re still angry with me and…”

“Angry? I’ve been hoping for this. I’m glad you called. I hope you don’t mind but I wanted to…”

“It was my move,” William interrupted, “Your mom saw your article in that magazine and I called the office.”

“You know dad, it’s ok. We’re ‘baptizing’ our boy today.”

“Another Blake,” William said excitedly.

“Yeah, the name goes on.”

“We’re only a few of hours away. Had to get back to the East.”

“Dad…”

“Go ahead Morgan.”

“Thanks for everything you did before I ever knew that you were doing anything for me. I know you did your best.”

“I, Morgan, I…” William’s voice trailed off and Morgan knew he was crying.

“I’m ok with everything dad.”

“Can we get together soon? Your mother would love to see you… and I would too kid.”

“Door’s always open.”

“What’s my grandson’s name?”

“Dylan…”

“After Dylan Thomas.” William finished, “perfect.”

“We’re in Conset Bay dad, had to get away.”

“I know about getting away.”

“I guess you do.”

“I’m not trying to get away from myself anymore.”

“Well good, your grandson’s going to want to have you around, all of you.”

“When will we see you?”

“Next week is Thanksgiving and Livy’s mother will be here. Why don’t you and mom come then? Just call when you get to the island.”

“Fantastic Morgan… we’ll look forward to it”

“Perfect… I love you dad.”

“I love you too Morgan.”

“Tell mom I’ll talk to her then.”

“See ya soon.”

“Yeah, see ya kid.”

“The City” by The 1975

The-1975-The-City-by-Tim-Mattia2

I’m really digging this song. These guys are my faves next to Bastille. I highly recommend the deluxe version of their current album.

“The City”

Don’t call it a fight when you know it’s a war.
With nothing but your t-shirt on.
And go sit on the bed ’cause I know that you want to.
You got pretty eyes, but I know you’re wrong.

And don’t call it a spade if it isn’t a spade.
And go lie on the floor if you want.
The first bit of advice that you gave me that I liked was they’re too strong, too strong.
Get in the shower if it all goes wrong.

Yeah, If you wanna find love then you know where the city is [x4]

Yeah counting cards was the best job he ever had.
Cleaning up.
He got good with his 4′s and his 2′s.
Community service was the best job he ever had.
Cleaning up.
He got sick on the floor and his shoes.

Oh and she said “It’s your birthday,
Are you feeling alright?”
The next one’s the MD.
You’ll be feeling just fine.
Your brother is just sat there,
You said you felt snide.
You hope that that boy will be alright.

Yeah, If you wanna find love then you know where the city is [x4]

Yeah well she said “It’s your birthday,
Are you feeling alright?”
The next one’s the MD.
You’ll be feeling just fine.
Your brother is just sat there,
You said you felt snide.
You hope that that boy will be alright.

Yeah, If you wanna find love then you know where the city is [x4]

 

Ticket To Ride, Book 2, Chapter 33: Morgan’s Intro to the Premier Issue of SEA magazine

Peche du Cachalot by Ambroise Louis Garneray and Frederic Martens, 1835
Peche du Cachalot by Ambroise Louis Garneray and Frederic Martens, 1835

My search for cover art for this, the premier and winter issue of SEA took me to the East Coast, and more specifically the Old Dartmouth Whaling Museum in New Bedford, Massachusetts, where I hoped to secure permission to reproduce “Peche du Cachalot.” I felt it would be perfect for the cover. It has a cold, wintry, blustery feeling indicative of the season and it conveys that same sense of the power and drama of the ocean which we hope to convey within the pages of SEA.

Of course I didn’t need to travel all the way to Massachusetts to obtain the photo-transparency but, having read Moby Dick when I was in college, and, having grown up in New England, I had a strong desire to return to my old stomping grounds and those of Herman Melville.

After stopping by the museum and taking care of the business of the cover art, I decided to head down to the waterfront to have a look around before making my way back to Boston and home.

The sun had set and there was very little light by the time I reached the shore. Wanting to get another look at the transparency (cover art), I quickly opened the envelope, perhaps to put myself in closer touch with the feeling of this place in Melville’s time. I reached in, and at the same time, a grayish cloud streamed out and curled down toward the ground. The cloud then took the shape of a person, a person from another time, a seaman from the nineteenth century. In front of me stood a young Herman Melville as clearly as Christ over the altar and as strange as it was, I wasn’t afraid. I could feel the presence of a warm soul.

Questions shot through my mind. Knowing that it’s the nature of ghosts to come and go as quickly as they please, I had to speak soon. Noticing that I looked slightly stunned, Herman introduced himself in his stately and dignified manner. Still not knowing where to begin, he began for me:

“I know that you’re one of my greatest fans and, being that you have set out to aid in creating the finest in ocean-related publications, I thought perhaps I might be of assistance in your endeavor. By the way, I managed to get a peek at the first issue. Not a bad start. We’re all very impressed up there… Dylan and Pablo send their best… You must have questions for me, fire away lad!”

“Thank you sir and… well… yes Mr. Melville, Herman… what drew you to the sea?”

“That, my son, is quite simple, and please,

‘Call me Ishmael… some years ago – never mind how long precisely – having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off – then I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me,” * he paused, then said, I hope I haven’t been too long-winded.”

“No sir, that was perfect, thank you.”

“You’re welcome young man… is there anything else?”

“Actually yes… describe, as you see it, a perfect day at sea.”

“Hmm… as the editor of this fine publication you hold the responsibility of aiding your readers in grasping the overwhelming beauty of the sea so as to ensure a wider understanding of this part of the natural world and hence, to ensure its preservation. As surely as I now stand before you, I will oblige your request. Though apparition or phantom I may now be, I was once, physically, and am now, in the spirit world, a wanderer of the great seas. And though I now wander the seas of heaven, I can assure you that the seas I’ve ventured upon in this afterlife are no more or less fantastic than those I sailed on in my youth. My only wish is that I could be granted just one more earthly life so that I might appreciate better that which I once took for granted. But enough of my digression, you are a busy man, earthly time is short, and the tempers of men even shorter when forced to endure the digression of an old man, especially a dead one.”

“A perfect day at sea… ‘a clear, steel-blue day. The firmaments of air and sea are hardly separable in that all-pervading azure; only the pensive air is transparently pure and soft, with a woman’s look, and the robust and man-like sea heaves with long, strong, lingering swells, as Samson’s chest in his sleep.

Hither, and thither, on high, glide the snow-white wings of small, unspeckled birds; these are the gentle thoughts of the feminine air; but to and fro in the deeps, far down in the bottomless blue, rush mighty leviathans, sword-fish, and sharks; and these are the strong, troubled, murderous thinkings of the masculine sea.

But though thus contrasting within, the contrast is only in shades and shadows without; these two seemed one; it was only the sex, as it were, that distinguished them,’”* he paused, Good enough?’”

“Yes,” I said looking quickly at my watch. Time to go, I thought. And when I looked up to thank him, he had disappeared.

* passages from Moby Dick by Herman Melville reprinted courtesy of Penguin Books

You Need Me, I Don’t Need You by Ed Sheeran

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Ed Sheeran is a musical genius. I’m gonna dedicate this one to John Brennan, Xi Jinping and the CIA:

You Need Me, I Don’t Need You by Ed Sheeran

Now I’m in town, break it down, thinking of making a new sound
Playing a different show
every night in front of a new crowd
That’s new now, ciao, seems that life is great now
See me lose focus, as I sing to you loud
And I cant, no, I won`t hush
I’ll say the words that make you blush
I’m gonna sing this now (ow, ow)

See, I’m true, my songs are where my heart is
I’m like glue, I stick to other artists
I’m not you, now that would be disastrous
Let me sing and do my thing and move to greener pastures
See, I’m real, I do it all, it’s all me
I’m not fake, don’t ever call me lazy
I won’t stay put, give me the chance to be free
Suffolk sadly seems to sort of suffocate me

Cause you need me, but, I don’t need you
You need me, but, I don’t need you
You need me, but, I don’t need you (at all)
You need me, but, I don’t need you

You need me, but, I don’t need you
You need me, but, I don’t need you
You need me, but, I don’t need you (at all)
You need me

I sing and write my own tune and I write my own verse
Hell, don’t need another word-smith to make my tune sell
Call yourself a singer-writer you’re just bluffing
Your names on the credits and you didn’t write nothing
I sing fast, I know that all my shit’s cool
I will blast and I didn’t go to Brit School
I came fast with the way I act, right
I can’t last if I’m smoking on a crack pipe

And I won’t be a product of my genre
My mind will always be stronger than my songs are
Never believe the bullshit that fake guys feed to ya
Always read the stories that you hear on Wikipedia
And musically I’m demonstrating
When I perform live, feels like I am meditating
Times at the Enterprise when some fella filmed me
A young singer-writer like a Gabriella Cilmi

Cause you need me, man, I don’t need you
You need me, man, I don’t need you
You need me, man, I don’t need you, (at all)
You need me, man, I don’t need you

You need me, man, I don’t need you
You need me, man, I don’t need you
You need me, man, I don’t need you, (at all)
You need me

Cause with the lyrics I’ll be aiming it right
I won’t stop till my name’s in lights
At stadium heights with Damien Rice
On red carpets, now I’m on Arabian Nights
Because I’m young and all my brother’s gonna give me advice
Long nighter, short height and I gone hyper
Never be anything but a singer-songwriter
The game’s over but now I’m on a new level
Watch how I step on the track without a loop pedal
People think that I’m bound to blow up
I’ve done around about a thousand shows
But I haven’t got a house plus I live on the couch
So you can be the lyrics when I’m singing them out
(Wow)
From day one, I’ve been prepared
With vo5 wax for my ginger hair
So now I’m back to the sofa, giving a dose of what the future holds
‘Cause it’s another day
Plus I’ll keep my last name forever keep the genre pretty basic
Gonna be breaking into other peoples tunes when I chase it
And replace it with the elephant in the room with a facelift
Into another rappers shoes using new laces
Selling CD’s from my rucksack aiming for the papers
Selling CD’s from my rucksack aiming for the majors
Nationwide tour with just jack, still had to get the bus back
Clean cut kid without a razor for the mustache
I hit back when the pen hurts me
I’m still a choir boy in a Fenchurch tee
I’m still the same as a year ago
But more people hear me though
According to the MySpace and YouTube videos
I’m always doing shows if I’m not I’m in the studio
Truly broke, never growing up call me Ruffio
Melody music maker
Reading all the papers
They say I’m up and coming like I’m fucking in an elevator.

Cause you need me, man, I don’t need you
You need me, man, I don’t need you
You need me, man, I don’t need you, (at all)
You need me, man, I don’t need you

You need me, man, I don’t need you
You need me, man, I don’t need you
You need me, man, I don’t need you, (at all)
You need me, man, I don’t need you

Read more: Ed Sheeran – You Need Me, I Don’t Need You Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Ticket To Ride, Book 2, Chapter 32: Weight, balance, weighing, balancing, quiet…

home-loft

 

 

These boys who love their mother

who loves men, who passes on

her sons to other women;

The cloud across the sky. The windy pines.

The trickle gurgle in the swampy meadow

this is our body.

– from “The Bath” by Gary Snyder

 

Livy walked to the desk in the corner and looked over Morgan’s shoulder. Morgan wrote:

Family in the East

“Paradise” to the West.

Mexico

North is not a choice to consider.

Weight, balance, weighing, balancing, quiet.

Too many doors in a room. Too many doors leading into and out of a room. You can either wait patiently, hoping something will appear in a doorway and follow it, choose one and go, and never come back, or seal off those that are less enticing, or all of them, and be happy with the room you find yourself in.

This room, their living room, could be best described as belonging to the “poetic aesthetic,” or the base camp for a National Geographer; patterns and prints mixed in an eclectic manner, an antique here, a borrowed table there, nothing quite thread-bare but also nothing quite new. But somehow, when arranged as an unlikely set, and with the addition of something colorful on every flat surface and almost every wall, it was like warm clothing against the cold in winter and refreshing and restful in the humid, cornhot days of summer.

Morgan’s answer and source of direction had finally come. From the island he’d left 4 years ago, he was contacted by Miko. His friend planned to begin publishing a magazine devoted to the publication of ocean-related fiction and he wanted Morgan to be its editor or at the very least for Morgan to write the introduction to the premier issue; did he have any ideas about art for the cover?

Ticket To Ride, Book 2, Chapter 31: Almost everything had fallen into place…

Loving Couple by Vickie Wade, www.vickiewade.com
Loving Couple by Vickie Wade, http://www.vickiewade.com

The painted desert can wait ‘til summer,

We’ve played this game of ‘just imagine’ long enough.

– Natalie Merchant 

Waiting. This time, hopefully. Waiting for a response to resumes sent to the islands two weeks ago in the hope of obtaining a position with one of the small publications based there. Things were different in the islands now, Morgan thought. They were opening more to the world, becoming more cosmopolitan and might offer an opportunity for a young family to realize their dreams. Life is good. Only better by hearing word from the islands. Sometimes I can feel them, taste them, smell them. Do the islands want me back? Life is good.

Morgan and Olivia had now been together for nearly a year. Their love was like a comfortable raft with one oar. And with only one oar, they had to take turns in maintaining a course. Almost everything had fallen into place.

She was able to wire her work so they could wander. And while wandering Morgan had written, written about her and the things they did, and wrote about what he hoped for.

“You’re the perfect compliment to my life.”

“And you mine.”

“Just after finishing with my therapist, I felt so completely whole. But there was this feeling, a yearning, a knowing that I could be more than whole and… well… you came into mind… and New York… the New Yorker and you’re ‘little bits.’”

“Bits and pieces… and peace.”

“Yeah peace.”

They both smiled.

“I love you.” Morgan said.

“And I you sweetie.”

Rhymes and Reasons by John Denver

johnOnce again, this is one of my favorites by John Denver. It fits with the piece I just posted from my novel Ticket To Ride, specifically, Livy Tinsley’s, “What and Where is America:”

Rhymes and Reasons by John Denver

So you speak to me of sadness and the coming of the winter,
The fear that is within you now that seems to never end,
and the dreams that have escaped you and the hope that you’ve forgotten,
and you tell me that you need me now and you want to be my friend,
and you wonder where we’re going, where’s the rhyme and where’s the reason?

And it’s you cannot accept: it is here we must begin to seek the wisdom of the children
and the graceful way of flowers in the wind.
For the children and the flowers are my sisters and my brothers,
their laughter and their loveliness would clear a cloudy day.
Like the music of the mountains and the colors of the rainbow,
they’re a promise of the future and a blessing for today.

Though the cities start to crumble and the towers fall around us,
the sun is slowly fading and it’s colder than the sea.
It is written: From the desert to the mountains they shall lead us,
by the hand and by the heart, they will comfort you and me.
In their innocence and trusting they will teach us to be free.
For the children and the flowers are my sisters and my brothers,
their laughter and their loveliness would clear a cloudy day.
And the song that I am singing is a prayer to non-believers,
come and stand beside us, we can find a better way.

Bear in mind, I don’t believe this song is meant to endorse Christianity in any way.

It’s perhaps best looked at as an elaboration on The Julian Day’s song “Idolatry.”