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

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Ticket To Ride, Book 2, Chapter 29: O bla dee, O bla da, life goes on…

Bathsheba by Jeanette Gittens.
Bathsheba by Jeanette Gittens.

“O bla dee, O bla da, life goes on”

– The Beatles

 

Journal Entry, 5am

Trudy, we’ve been in Barbados for nearly a year now. We felt we had to get away from America for a little while.  The Republicans are coming back in and it’s anyone’s guess where the country is headed. Morgan’s been wrestling with something that happened between he and his father some years ago. He’s mentioned a bit of it to me. Father was a vet, Vietnam, and something about an uncle that had done some inappropriate things to him. His father was a real mixed bag when Morgan was growing up, part Ghandi, part Hitler, struggling to make peace with his past while also struggling not to let his past get in the way of raising Morgan. They had a blow out when Morgan was seventeen. Morgan split and went to school, wandered for a bit, got some therapy, then sought me out. He’s been wonderful except for this dad thing. We’ve spent hours talking about it and I think it’s pretty well sorted. I think they just need to talk. His friend Psalm died about the same time, some hippy trippy character. Morgan has a way with letting characters into his life. Takes them in like strays and becomes too attached.

I’ve just finished my most recent piece for the New Yorker. It’s a goodbye to America, at least for now. We just want to be neutral for a while and Barbados feels right. Wish you were here. Somehow I feel that you are and that you always will be. And because of this I believe I can, and need, to give myself fully to the land of the living. I’m signing off now Trudy. I’ll see you when my times comes.

Ticket To Ride, Book Two, Chapter 1: To lead a better life, I need my love to be here…

thames2Just Another Day

Livy Tinsley’s Story

“To lead a better life, I need my love to be here.”

– from “Here, There And Everywhere” by the Beatles

 

As the sun was setting over the Pacific Islands, casting it’s multi-color, thousand shaded dance on the faces of people she would never know, if only through the stories of a future, decade away lover, Olivia Tinsley (Livy) was waking to the new day. North London, having yet shed its coal-smoke past, greeted the morning like a stepmother embracing an unwanted child. But Livy’s spirit was above this, stepmother or not, she was connected to the morning. Her world was never just East Finchley. Hers was all that the equator bisected and all that lay between the poles. And while only a young girl, she knew she would bring them all to see this.

This particular morning, Saturday, December 17, 1967, was Livy’s birthday. She was turning ten today, double-digits, the first step toward young womanhood and the springtime of Psyche.

Trudy would be waiting. And the two friends, connected by a vision that stretched beyond the High street and market day, would walk above what others saw. Today their trek would take them to the Thames, a river which, in both their minds, led to the all of the oceans of the world.

They met at the corner as they did on so many other mornings, liberated from the utilitarian drabness of their council-flat homes. (This drabness should be seen as only the narrator’s point of view because neither girl could be “bothered” with pigeonholing themselves as being poor.) Poverty was something they saw in their parents’ eyes. It scared them, like the [Boogie Man], and solidified in them, a desire to not be poor, at least in spirit, and dreams. Dreams were what they had, a warm cloak against the morning air and their protection against their mother’s insistent urging to dress more warmly. The only warmth Livy needed today was what she saw in the floppy-haired eyes of Paul McCartney. The Beatles were in full force and she saw in them, especially in Paul, the promise of the world outside; a world full of Europe, America and the power of words to make change.

They walked along the High street, peering in the windows of the shops that had yet to open, not to appraise the wares laid out for sale in the way their mothers saw them, as objects to be possessed and kept, but as objects of discovery and promise, things that told tales of the people that created them and the lands from which they had come. In the window of the Tea shop sat boxes and tins bearing English names but the brands were so much less important than the places they had come from. Ceylon, Bombay, Jakarta and the like were names that conjured in them, fantasies and dreams of sweet-smelling air and fragrant fields of tea, places where their supposed poverty was alternatively noble, and lives built around the cultivation of these crops were simple and pleasurable and fraught with tradition, ritual, and beauty.

At Finchley Road they turned, and walked the long stretch from the here to there. A long walk for you and I, but just here to there for Livy and Trudy. Just here to there. The “there” being the banks of the Thames, and a bridge. And it was on this bridge, Blackfriars Bridge, looking East along the river that their conversation began. With the warm lands in their minds, their Saturday dreams took flight and Livy would often pose a question. “What would this have been if it wasn’t for Norsemen and Saxons? If we two had had a say in the building up of this island?”

Instead of answering, Trudy would turn inward, subconsciously erasing feudalism and Burgundian kings. She would instead picture a world where Joans’ of Arc would ride in on silver steeds and carry a message of peace. Or Emile Guillame’s, La Deliverance, an actual female nude statue standing in the middle of Finchley, holding a sword in the Battle of Marne, projecting power and grace and a vision of something other, other than the usual outcome of war, and other than a temporary half-conjured promise, but a promise of finally broaching that next world, that world where definitions are based on how well all is defined and not on the appearance of things. And while the barges and steamships of commerce rolled by she would picture a river full of music and romance, and a body of water that carried instead promise, and intangibles like adventure and freedom. These commodities would, in most cases be, under the cold eyes of the economist, trade goods, but to Trudy they weren’t simply traded goods, but an exchange of the wealth of kingdoms, kingdoms borne of diplomacy, goodwill and temperance.

“Didja know Trudy… an early, maybe the first, Briton and his wife, Hwll and Akun came through here in the summer some seventy-five hundred years before Christ, on their way to Salisbury? They came down here to find a new home, somewhere warmer as the last ice age was ending. This place was full of trees but they didn’t stop. Something drove him further south. London was a forest and the Thames ran freely, wide, and big. * Trudy there was nothing here. No off-licenses, no Minis, no Austin Healeys, no Ty-phoo or Tetley, no London Times or BBC… just trees and the river. How must that’ve been?”

Livy had  broached this before, several times thought Trudy, but Trudy never tired of the speculation. She loved that Livy would ask it. That’s where Trudy wanted to go, away from the council flat, away from the sinking feeling that permeated it. She felt this more deeply than Livy. She could feel it creeping up around her ankles, threatening to choke her, and she, unlike Livy, felt powerless to fight it. Her only escape was through Livy’s words, and her questions, and her spirit, and her eyes, blue as nothing she’d seen. Livy was like a happy little female Buddha, smiling lovingly and defiantly at the world. It couldn’t touch her. She was wholly Psyche; nothing of Aphrodite and her sometimes steamrolling quality were present. She was fun, and hope, and promise, “cheeky” and detached.

“I’m ten Trudy, a decade old, ten years, double-digits. I mean, what will I mean? I’m sorry but, bloody hell, what is this councilflat-eastfinchley-povertyshite. I’m biding my time Trudy. I’m not long for here. I’m just ten but there’s work to do…

St. Paul’s. What do you think of St. Paul’s? Trudy? What do you think of St. Paul’s?”

Trudy had drifted off. She felt Livy pushing, moving, couldn’t be there  for her anymore. Livy wanted too much. Trudy wanted just to talk. Livy spoke her dreams and Trudy rode on them, but Trudy couldn’t see it for herself. Livy, livy, livy, she thought. She’ll leave me here.

“I think my mum got me new ballet slippers. God knows why, I’ve only done one thing right in four years. Stopped the whole class to show them I was so excited. But mum still thinks I’m going to make the Royal Ballet.”

“But you’re going to be a writer Livy.”

“Mum’s dream.”

“Which?”

“The ballet… girls don’t write, not supposed to… not girls from East Finchley.”

Trudy sort of nodded in agreement and disbelief at the same time then pulled something from her coat pocket.

“I wrote this for you,” handing a folded sheet of paper to Livy, “You’re a much better writer than me, but well, here it is. Happy Birthday.”

“Thanks Trudy, I suppose they’ll be more coming out of East Finchley than just ink.” **

She stopped to read.

 

“Silken voice,

silken smile

whistles on wind

all the while

sweet songs of seashells, seabirds & sandy crabs.

Transplanted manner

wide-eyed sigh

walks in whispers

under white light sky

through pretty poetry of

mustard greens and autumn sun

Lancashire castles

reproduced in sand

lyrics and verse

composed in her small hand

conversation adrift that she can’t understand

she sleeps quietly with Nana

in Nana’s new land.”

 

“Thank you so much lovey. You are a love…”

Livy put her arm around Trudy.

“I love the look of St. Paul’s from here. It looks… well… it looks like someone cared…. but, at the same time… the constructs of it.” she continued.

“Construction…” Trudy added.

“I hate construction…” said Livy.

Trudy frowned, “Exactly.”

They looked at each other and Trudy smiled through Livy, then both turned back toward the Thames and at a passenger ship heading downriver to Dover, the Channel and everywhere else.

“Nana’s new land Livy! You can see it too.”

“You’re going to leave someday,” Trudy finished.

They were quiet again until Livy had to speak.

“My dad drank a lot again last night.”

“Ditto.”

The two of them hugged one another.

“I love you sweetie,” Livy said.

“I love you too,” replied Trudy.

“Best friends forever.”

“Best friends forever.”

It ended like this most every time.

 

* gleaned from Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd

** In 1874, Henry Charles Stephens, son of the Inventor of modern ink and also known as “Inky” Stephens came to live here and to establish a laboratory.

Updated: The Perfect Combination for My Life…

Since everyone seems to want to make a movie of my life, I thought I’d help you along. These two movies combined are the perfect description of what the government has made of my life. No real answers just Pink Panther, good cop, bad cop games and no way out. Even the homeless shelter dorms are fraught with new recruits for Operation Born Yesterday. All have Alzheimers (they do the same thing every day expecting different results) and all measure their success by how many times they can fail to get me to go along with their “covert” ops. Someone should make them a video like in 50 First Dates to remind them that all of this already happened yesterday.

I don’t think they even know what they’re trying to accomplish anymore cuz leading me to believe that a plan for freedom is in place every other day advances the game not one bit. The game will be over when one of two things happens: 1. The government gives up on me and lets me get a job, we part ways amicably and they never expect me to create free stuff for them again or 2. Someone blows the whistle and I get the millions of dollars back that they’ve stolen from me. So aside from the unlikely event that either of these actually happens, all else is bullshit. Here comes the panic to convince me I’m wrong. Also typical.

After looking for a job for 7 months I’m wondering if I should add this note: “I understand that you will likely not want to hire me as my presence in your company will surely make you feel inferior. Damn people like me these days who still have morals and standards.” I make people uncomfortable because I’m not willing to whore myself like they have. Most people have no dignity or integrity these days. In my family, it died with my grandfather. The whole family went squirrely, seedy and retarded after he died.

Another thing: they constantly throw women in my path. I’ll never date a woman again until I can afford to take her out for a nice dinner and all that. Good, decent women deserve to be treated nicely. Unlike the haggard drones they keep sending. It’s funny, I say this and within minutes a woman who I wasn’t thinking of when I wrote the last sentence shows up. It’s kinda like, “you called for haggard and here I am.” Wasn’t actually thinking of her but if she wants to throw herself into that category, more power to her. They always catch half of what I think and screw up one setup after another.

Note: If you’re gonna read someone’s mind make sure they don’t know you’re doing it. Otherwise it’s completely ineffective. And make sure that there’s emotion attached to the thoughts otherwise you’ll misread everything as anger. Just because you’re angry, it doesn’t make sense to assume I am. I guess they’ll never get it because they’ll keep assuming I’m as stupid as they are and they’ll always be shocked when I don’t stoop to their level. If they were smart, they’d give up but, well, you know… Spy-Game-poster the truman show 1998 jim carrey

Here’s the question everyone in the CIA is asking themselves right now (see photo below). These scumbags actually think they should be left to continue this shit. Congress was supposed to shut down MK Ultra in 1973. It didn’t. It’s capabilities have been taken to their logical extreme. Controlling people to get what they want. It’s not even hard to imagine anymore. It’s been being used on me for years. They deny me a living (creating the need) and expect that I’ll create some digital form of art which can be sold on the dark net or alter net which I can’t see online. How can a book get 5 Stars and not sell? How can a band go to number one on the most popular music website in the world and not sell one album? You see these greedy fuckers are so stupid they didn’t even allow for me to make a little something to inspire me to continue. Instead they’ve laid an ever-intensifying siege to my life thinking the harder they pinch the more likely I am to create.

Only a fucking idiot would continue to create shit with no return. They’re so full of hubris and greed they forgot to use common fucking sense. They’re so fucking divorced from reality that they think a 47-year-old man will enjoy playing the starving fucking artist game his whole life. Sorry fuckwads, I’m not a kid anymore. Poverty sucks. Fuck fame, I want my money back.

I learned half of this shit from CIA people themselves. Their fucking brains don’t function properly. They give you inside information and still expect you to work for them. It’s the worst kind of insanity I’ve ever seen. Manson was nothing compared with these people. They betray themselves constantly. Thinking they’re clever, they give it up all the time. Facial ticks, nervous laughter, key words (used over and over by their fellow agents) etc., etc., etc.

They actually think I’m the guy in my book. They constantly refer to my book as if that’s my life. Talk about not doing your fucking homework. These fuckers are so lazy about doing background work they must just cross their fingers and hope everyone is as stupid and lazy as they are. They’re like little kids who’ve never been disciplined. They want someone to give them boundaries. They crave structure and seem to WANT to get caught to get these things.

A piece of advice: Don’t mess with the government, they’ll try to kill you with the alphabet. hahahahahahahahahaha, seriously, to them letters are lethal. These people are so far beyond stupid, there isn’t even a word for it. It’s like the last Paranormal Activity. Nothing Happens. Day # 60,000, flatline.

You just have to laugh. It’s like if Sesame Street went to war. You have one battalion sending up random numbers, another, random letters, and yet another, colors. It’s this non-sensical nambi pambi childish joke. Like trying to take out a tank with a firecracker. That’ll work!ll

Announcement to all of you closeted perv monkeys: I realize you guys are all having a fucking blast with all of your “sign” bullshit but the only sign I’m interested in is a “now hiring” sign. Unlike you fucking derelicts I actually need to work for a living. I don’t drive my “L mobile” for ten minutes a day and then go home and jerk off to Fox News.

Save it retards. I’m done with the bullshit. Cops, the CIA walk-by. The CIA “stand near Phil,” fire up the jets, the sirens, whatever retards, you’re all done. We’re just waiting for you to realize it.

hC4023343

Martin Luther (The Dark Side of America) by The Julian Day

mlksincereignorance

Our song and video “Martin Luther” are a protest of the dismantling of everything “democratic” in America.

Growing up we were taught that America was a “melting pot” and that in America everyone was, or at least one day would be, equal.

I don’t have to tell you that there’s a GREAT DIVIDE growing awfully quickly in America. And racism is far from being wiped out.

Additionally, the crush of unbridled capitalism and the heavily slanted “free market” system are turning the country into two distinct groups; the haves and the have nots.

The scariest thing is that many of the politicians and organizations espousing this new America also call themselves “Christians.” To me they are like so many hyenas, cackling their own self-righteousness.

Our song “Martin Luther (who’s next?) is an acknowledgment of this and, at the same time, a warning to others who have yet to see it, and an indictment of those who find it entertaining.

Updated: My Favorite Quote From “Gladiator”

gladiator-quotes-3Marcus Aurelius: There is one more duty that I ask of you before you go home.
Maximus: What would you have me do Caesar?
Marcus Aurelius: I want you to become the protector of Rome after I die. I will empower you to one end alone, to give power back to the people of Rome and end the corruption that has crippled it.
[Maximus looks amazed and sad]
Marcus Aurelius: Do you accept this great honor that I have offered you?
Maximus: With all my heart, no.
Marcus Aurelius: Maximus, that is why it must be you.

Maximus wanted nothing to do with government and governing, only to restore the integrity of Rome and go home to his family.

I think he believed that, ultimately, the true power of a democracy lies with it’s people and not, what Nietzsche has since termed, an “Ubermensch” or superman. The greater good can only be served by a united will to implement the common good.

A place to start would be with the removal of:

1. All higher offices in government ie. President, Vice President, Speaker of the House, etc.

2. All political entitlements i.e. lifetime salaries, slush funds, corporate contributions, nepotism, etc. (How many of these guys would actually be there if it weren’t for these things? Sadly, very few). On 60 Minutes recently there was one politician who sponsored a bill to remove slush funds and none of his colleagues signed on.

3. Make the House and the Senate into Round Table discussions with no party distinctions (If you’re all there for the good of everyone in the country these distinctions really shouldn’t matter anyway).

4. Evolve, move forward, step out of the shadow of Medieval Fiefdoms, embrace the Enlightenment Period and The Renaissance and just stop thinking with your crotch.

Beyond Illiteracy: Cultural Illiteracy

The-New-Dictionary-of-Cultural-Literacy-9780618226474Sure the average American can read a newspaper. But do they have the curiosity or the open mindedness to read about foreign cultures? Of course the word foreign here is used loosely as, given the diversity of cultures represented in the American population, foreign should not really be foreign to any American anymore.

What I’m saying is: If you’re not learning about “foreign” cultures then you don’t have any idea what many of your neighbors believe in or care about. How can America truly be a “melting pot” if the average American refuses to melt into it?

To say what is truly American has to now mean what do we know about the ever-widening cross-section of diverse cultures in our midst. There is no longer the excuse that we haven’t traveled abroad, therefore we don’t know or understand the outside world. The outside world has come to our doorstep. Will we choose to open the door and let them in or will we draw the blinds and pretend we’re not home like so many recluses who refuse to hand out candy on Halloween?

With the advent of the internet and doing simple google searches, we no longer have the excuse of simple and convenient ignorance. It’s all right there at your fingertips and the excuse of being ill-traveled is no excuse at all.

American ambassadors may have opened doors to the outside world, but has the average American opened their minds to it? If Americans were half as interested in cultural literacy as they are childishly titillated by homosexuality, we’d be getting somewhere.