on Money pt2

My first post on the topic of money ended by asserting money wasn’t real even when it was manufactured from precious metal. How could this possibly true? To the most ignorant of us it is obvious that when currencies were based on the Gold Standard money had real value. You don’t know what the “Gold Standard” is? Well, lack of knowledge of such archaic concepts shouldn’t surprise either you or me, so I’ll explain it is as few words as possible.

The “Gold Standard” was a system in which paper currency was directly backed up by Gold Reserves equal in value to the country in questions total circulating currency. In other words if a country had ten billion dollars of currency in circulation it also held ten billion dollars of gold, at then current market value, in reserve in order to cover the value of its currency. Governments worldwide generally abandoned the Gold Standard shortly after World War One.

So what I’m saying is that when countries were still on the Gold Standard money was real, right? Wrong. I’m saying money has always been a lie because money has never been real.  For an explanation of what I mean, please travel with me back in history to when money was invented.

How can it be wrong to accept the true value of money was the weight of the precious metal from which monetary coins were manufactured?

It is wrong because the value ascribed to the allegedly precious metals from which coins were struck far exceeds their practical worth. What do I mean by that, and what evidence am I providing to back up my assertion?

This is what I mean.

And I hope you’ll see what I say in the following paragraphs as its own evidence.

Essentially, nothing gains value simply because someone says it is valuable.  Money is nothing, yet we’re told it is valuable.  Our error is that we believe the lie.

Simply because we are told rare metals have extraordinary value does not make it true. Perhaps these rare metals do have value to specific people or specific industries in specific circumstances, however the only value they have to the vast majority of living humans is the value we are told these metals have. Which means these allegedly precious metals are not really precious at all.  Allegedly is not reality.

During the height of the Roman Empire about 2000 years ago, people were told twelve silver coins were fair pay for a month’s labor. Does that sound reasonable to you? Would you work an month for twelve silver coins?

Before you jump in feet first and say you would, since you’d at least be getting something real for your labors, allow me to expand on the matter.  The coin in question was the Roman Denarius. A denarius contained about four and a half grams of silver.

Numbers and measures and labor hours and values and weights!! Who cares, after all it is real silver, right?  Wrong.  Perhaps you’re beginning to sense the depth and nature of the lie money truly is.  Perhaps, but more likely not.

The essence of the lie is that converting hours of labor into silver coins is a one sided transaction, with the scales unfairly weighted on the side of silver. What people are losing in all those conversions between alleged value, weights, measures, and hours worked is their time. Perhaps you’re more interested in the numbers? What are those 12 silver coins worth in “real money” today. Let’s do the math. Today, 26th August 2016, silver is priced at US$0.46 per gram. Therefore 12 coins, multiplied by 4.5 grams per coin, multiplied by 46 cents per gram means workers were expected to work for US$27.00 per month.

Not such a good deal is it?

Simply to press the point let me let me ask you a few more questions you might consider to be rhetorical, yet which I encourage you to consider practically. Have you ever tried to eat a silver coin? Have you ever tried wearing a silver coin as clothing in the middle of a cold winter? Have you ever fashioned a silver coin into a tool with which to harvest grain, or into an arrow point with which to hunt? Have you ever tried to use a silver coin to shelter yourself from a merciless sun or a bitterly cold wind?  If this allegedly precious metal we know as Silver has no practical value to every living human, then precisely who determined it is in fact precious at all?

I’m not disputing that polished silver and gold are pretty enough. Indeed burnished gold is extraordinarily pretty. However pretty doesn’t nourish a hungry belly, pretty doesn’t slake a thirst, pretty doesn’t shelter a family from the elements, pretty encourages rather than defends against attack, and while pretty may warm a cold body the pretty that heats a heart isn’t the pretty of burnished gold.

The point of all this is that even when monetary coins were struck from precious metal, they simply weren’t worth what people were told they were worth. Money is and has always been a lie.

On the other hand, the following statement is an absolute and undeniable truth.

Our time is real, it is extremely valuable, it comes in a strictly limited supply, and once spent it can never be regained.

Yet we are foolish enough to trade our time for money…
We are foolish enough to trade something truly precious for something truly worthless…
Even worse, we’re foolish enough to think we’re getting a good deal…

Money isn’t about convenience, it is about control, and money has been that way since the dawn of civilization.

And it gets worse. Worse? How could this possibly get worse?

Well, for that you’ll have to visit here another day.  But please don’t hold your breath, you time is far too valuable for that – all you need do is realize it.

{P.S. I anticipate some bright spark will inform me he’s more than willing to work a month for 12 Denarius, provided they are genuine Roman Denarius minted around 2000 years ago.  Personally, I would be willing to work a month for a single priceless piece of history.  However the key concept of the exchange of my time for that authentic Roman Denarius is not an exchange of time for money, it is an exchange of my time for something real – namely history.  History, what a pity we don’t readily learn from it until it has become our own…}

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On Money

Money is nothing, yet we are foolish enough to accept it in exchange for something.


I wish my statement were preposterous.  Unfortunately it isn’t.  It is a simple, inescapable fact for which I’ll provide proof.  However along with the proof I have other things to say about money, questions to raise, and hopefully doubts to instill in the minds to the unwary.

Money has no value except in exchange.” Those aren’t my words, however they are inescapably true. Just how true I’ll try and reveal in this post and further posts to follow. Yes, to get the whole story you’ll have to come back since this topic is far too big and far too sinister to comfortably encapsulate in a single post.

What do you think money is?

Is money something that sets you free, or is it something that chains you?  Is money a matter of convenience, or an implement of control?

While we’re tempted to think money is something convenient created to make our lives easier, it isn’t. The purpose of money is not convenience.  Money wasn’t invented in order to facilitate trade. Money was invented to facilitate taxation.

Money has never been about convenience, it has always been about control.

The proof money is worth literally nothing.

Since two of the must influential nations on earth are the United Kingdom and the United States I’m going to use their currencies as the evidence supporting my hypothesis.  However you’ll find similar hollow, meaningless promises used to back up virtually every currency in the entire world, there are no exceptions.

Read on and become enlightened even as you find yourself distressed.

The English Pound.

In the United Kingdom this messages appears upon a £5 banknote: I promise to pay the bearer on demand £5.

What does this mean?  Well, this is how the Bank of England’s official website describes the above promise.  Their explanation appears under the Heading “What is the Bank’s “Promise to Pay?”

The words “I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of five [ten/twenty/fifty] pounds” date from long ago when our notes represented deposits of gold. At that time, a member of the public could exchange one of our banknotes for gold to the same value. For example, a £5 note could be exchanged for five gold coins, called sovereigns. But the value of the pound has not been linked to gold for many years, so the meaning of the promise to pay has changed. Exchange into gold is no longer possible and Bank of England notes can only be exchanged for other Bank of England notes of the same face value. Public trust in the pound is now maintained by the operation of monetary policy, the objective of which is price stability.

How hollow is a promise when all that serves as legal tender for the promise is another promise?

Such a promise is worth absolutely nothing.  To be precise, all a £5 banknote is actually worth is another £5 banknote.  If you’re still resisting this truth perhaps music will sway you, so let me quote a famous singer, “Nothing for nothing means nothing.

The United States Dollar.

In the United States this messages appears upon all paper USA currency:- This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private.

The following question and explanation of this utterly meaningless promise appears on the US Treasury’s official website.

I thought that United States currency was legal tender for all debts. Some businesses or governmental agencies say that they will only accept checks, money orders or credit cards as payment, and others will only accept currency notes in denominations of $20 or smaller. Isn’t this illegal?”

“The pertinent portion of law that applies to your question is the Coinage Act of 1965, specifically Section 31 U.S.C. 5103, entitled “Legal tender,” which states: “United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues.”

This statute means that all United States money as identified above are a valid and legal offer of payment for debts when tendered to a creditor. There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a State law which says otherwise. For example, a bus line may prohibit payment of fares in pennies or dollar bills. In addition, movie theaters, convenience stores and gas stations may refuse to accept large denomination currency (usually notes above $20) as a matter of policy.

What does this flowery verbiage mean?

Pay particular attention to the line “There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services.

With the line above the US Treasury actually acknowledges there are no Federal laws which mandate that any private party must accept currency or coins as payment for goods and/or services.

In such realizations doth freedom dwell…

Essentially the Treasury of the United States of America has reduced the inscription “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private” to a hollow promise that is not even backed up by Federal authority.

That US $50 bill you grasp so tight and hold in such esteem?  It is worth nothing, not even that paper it is printed on.

But how did this happen?

How did matters come to this? Surely something must back money up?  Well, yes, and no.

In the ever more distant past money pretended to have value by being struck or minted from a valuable metal.  Gold and Silver are metals of such limited supply their very scarcity apparently grants them some unique, universal, and intrinsic value.  Therefore when money was manufactured out of valuable metals the weight of metal within the coin was itself the value of the money the coin represented.

So way back when money was made of precious metal it was real, right?  Wrong.

But to find out why that assumption is wrong you’re going to have to think about its ramifications, then come back and let me think about them with you. But how will you know when I’ll revisit this topic again? See that subscribe button in the top tight pane?  That’s the only way.

{P.S. If you can’t conceive of a world in which money doesn’t exist then I encourage you to visit Malmaxa. Will you find Malmaxa to be a place of paradise or anarchy? I’m not telling, you’ll have to find that out for yourself.}


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on Perfect Imperfections

Perfect Imperfections

Perfect Imperfections

Nature gives us wonders, people give us art.

Beauty overwhelms. It is literally everywhere, all we need do is take the time to look. The image of imperfect perfection above is one of the early Althea blossoms on a shrub we planted a couple of years ago.

What is the nature of perfection?  Is it symmetry? Is it flow? Is it meaning we cannot comprehend? Within Nature beauty is abundant, and though imperfect it is beauty no less.

Can we ever hope to create something as imperfectly beautiful as the blossom depicted above? Though I think not, artists provide us things that are beautiful.  I strongly feel things which are beautiful should never be taken for granted, whether from nature or from an artist’s hand.  And I’m slowly realizing that every one of us is an artist capable of producing beauty.  Don’t despair if you think you’re not, it has taken me fifty-five year to come to that realization so there may still be time for you.

So if I am an artist, what it my medium? Why, it is words. Words… words hidden within other words, words hidden between lines, words which encourage us to question, words that reveal, words of doubts, and ultimately words of truth as I perceive it. Words which you’re reading right now, that hopefully make you think.  Words, that might make you want to find further words which aren’t the same, yet within which you might find substance to satisfy.

Such words, you may find right here.

I hope you’re tempted to try them, but to do so I’m afraid you must buy them. {Well, not necessarily… If you wish to read more before you decide, you may. Words there are aplenty on my blog, even the first few chapters of my work, accessible for free in your browser, right now, right here. However, be warned – these words are not what they might at first seem.}

P.S.  Please don’t steal my words. Why?  Well I can’t afford to lose them, but also because if there is one thing nobody should ever steal it is another’s soul, and that is what my words are.

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my Ocean

~ my Ocean ~
You are my Ocean,
and within that ocean,
the waves.
You are the Ocean
formed from my tears
that fall into you
as rain.
You are the Ocean
and I from your vapor
reform as
me again.
You are the Ocean
whose waves wash away
my pain.
You are the Ocean
into which I fall
and am once more
You are the Ocean
you are me
and I am you
and who we are

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on Intangibles

I look back on the monumental achievements of the past with awe. Achievements such as the Pyramids, the Great Wall of China, Gothic Cathedrals, and incalculable other ancient structures that somehow manage to endure for dozens of centuries.  I wonder how and why humanity no longer seems capable of accomplishing such feats. Modern structures no longer last a hundred years, let alone a thousand. What has changed? What have we lost? I think I have the answer.

Perhaps the things people value are changing, it certainly seems like they are. In general today’s people seem to favor the tangible more than the intangible.

Love, family, friendship, compassion, dignity, freedom etc are all intangible.

A big screen TV, a smartphone, designer clothes, fancy cars, big houses etc are all tangible, and they are what people nowadays seem to value.

Unfortunately without love, family, friendship, compassion, dignity, freedom and all the other difficult to grasp things that make life worth living none of those tangible material things matter.  How much money you have and how many tangible material things you can buy with that money doesn’t matter if you have no one with whom to share them.  If you don’t have love, everything you have is worth nothing.

The breakdown of the family unit into discrete, commercially accessible and individually exploitable units will be the downfall of society as we know it. But honestly I don’t think I care very much anymore. Society as we know it is nothing but a shallow yet insistent lie that tells us as long as we’re doing okay individually the rest of the world doesn’t matter. It does. Individuals matter far more than society encourages us to think.

Earlier I claimed to have the answer, and now I’ll reveal what I think that answer is. It’s a simple little word. Unity. The emphasis on material, tangible things has come at enormous cost. That cost is the loss of unity. Individuals are encouraged to value things they can hold in their hands more than people they can hold in their hearts. That single change in emphasis means the sole unit of concern becomes the self. When the self is more important than the family from which the self springs, how can the society in which the family dwells matter?

Unity is the cost of the tangible.

Unity is not a sense of “me”, it is an understanding of “us”.

Sadly I think the collective of humanity has lost unity.

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If Thoughts

~ If Thoughts… ~
If thoughts were twinkling stars
You would be the first one seen each night.
If thoughts were but sighs
You would be every breath I take.
If thoughts were tears
You would be the river in which I swim.
If thoughts were kisses
I’d save them all for you.
If thoughts were rays of light
You would be the dawn.
If thoughts were formed in words
Every word would be for you.
If thoughts were drops of paint
You would the canvas covered in their art.
If thoughts were merely waves
You would the ocean in unrest.
If thoughts were but a breeze
You would be the Four Winds at gale force.
If thoughts were only thoughts
You would still fill mine.
If thoughts were morning coffee
You would be the first sip I take.
If thoughts were only dreams
Would that every dream I have is you.
If thoughts were drops or blood
You would fill my veins.
If thoughts of you were unshed tears
I’d never cry again.
If thoughts were single steps
You’d be the lifelong path I choose to take.
If thoughts were fingers
Yours with mine would be entwined.
If thoughts were tender kisses
You would be passion and pure bliss.
If thoughts were memories
Would that every single one was you.
If thoughts were fingertips
You would gently press to my lips.
If thoughts were single pixels
You would be the only image in my head.
If thoughts were drops of water
You would be torrential rain.
If thoughts were considered wicked
You would be the essence of pure sin.
If thoughts were all of goodness
You’d be the Angel who dwells within.
If thoughts were little fears
You would be Terror incarnate.
If thoughts were degrees of warmth
You would be the Sun.
If thoughts were the shadows cast at night
You would be the Moon.
If thoughts were simple sounds
You would be an orchestra in tune.
If thoughts were the patter of small feet
You would be a sonic boom.
If thoughts were calm silence
You would be the Void.
If thoughts were measured distance
You’d be the circumference of my world.
If thoughts were things we chose
I’d choose every one to be of you.
If thoughts were little impacts
You’d be hammer blows to my heart.
If thoughts were grains of sand
You’d be all the beaches of all worlds.
If thoughts were tiny pinpricks
You would be every needle ever cast.
If thoughts were tender touches
You’d be pressed firm against my flesh.
If thoughts were desires
You would be all of mine fulfilled.
If thoughts were distance traveled
You’d be my start and my destination too.
If thoughts were single stars
You’d be my Universe.
It thought was but a single word
the word for You’d be Love.
If thought was but a single sound
the sound for You’d be Soul.
For You, my love,
are the One
who makes me

My son seems to believe Poetry must rhyme.  On the other hand, I seem to think Poetry must have meaning.  I wonder what you think?

Oh, and please visit again some time… Why? Because something else I seem to think is that meanings change, and thus so does my poetry.

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Perfect Imperfections

~ Perfect Imperfections ~
Perfection can
dwell within moments only
Perfection can
dwell within words of lovers
Perfection can
dwell within imperfection
is what we all are

~ unknown

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Wrought, of Stone

~ Wrought, of Stone ~
Modern buildings wrought
of stone
no longer last as did those
of old.
What differs?
The builders,
or the sand
they cast into transient stone?
Humanity’s efforts to better nature
are misguided at best…
And at worst?
All that which we build
is doomed
to have nature once more take
its place.
Is all trace of humanity
already doomed
to dust?
Only time will tell,
but will we be here
to listen to
time’s tales?

modern efforts dwindling to dust.

modern efforts dwindling to dust.

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Beware our Wishes

Have you ever wished you could eliminate all flies? Have you ever thought flies are filthy little pests, and the world would be a better place without them? I have.


Pest are also pollinators. We think the world would be a better place without flies. But do we think it would be a better place without flowers?

be careful what you wish for

Pests are also pollinators

Simply because we don’t immediately see the value of something does not mean it has no value. Within nature everything has a purpose, even pests. We wish things were different, yet we are incapable of grasping the end result of our actions. Why is that? Is it because collective humanity is as selfish as its individuals? If something doesn’t serve us, then it doesn’t deserve to be?

Monsanto have embraced this thinking, and our government has protected Monsanto. So what?  All Monsanto is doing is killing pests, right?  Wrong.  If you still think pests deserve to die, please take another look at the image above and ask yourself if all flowers deserve to die too.

Perhaps you don’t realize precisely what Monsanto have done by producing GMOs {Genetically Modified Organisms}. Perhaps you’ve never considered the ramifications of what introducing a pesticide into the genes of plants means. I have. And it isn’t “good”. Do you like eating pesticides? But we’ve been told they’re safe! We were once told tobacco is good for us.  Is what we’re told always true?  When people with vested interests are the tellers, question every word they tell. Unbiased scientific research has proven the toxins from GMO crops are present in human blood. How come you’ve never heard about this? That is another good question to ask yourself.

Did you realize that every time you eat a GMO you’re ingesting toxins that were once sprayed onto crops, but were washed off before those crops were processed into foods?

How can we wash away the pesticide embedded inside a grain of corn? We cannot. We’re eating it. Have you ever heard the expression, “You are what you eat”?  How does it feel to realize the ultimate truth of that? Humanity, the world’s pesticide. Of course there is a problem with this… Namely that the creatures we consider pests are vital elements in a natural ecosystem.

What happens when plants kill their pollinators?  Please think about that the next time you casually brush off the apparent “hysteria” against GMOs.

Take great care with your wishes. Great care.

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on Religious Persecution

Religious Persecution is alive and well.


Why virtually anywhere you care to name, including this great bastion of democracy that took the brave steps of entrenching protections against religious persecution into its constitution, namely the USA.

The thing most people don’t consider about religious persecution is that it is the religious who are doing the persecuting as much as it is the religious who are being persecuted. Sure, they often persecute believers of religions who dare differ from theirs, but they also persecute people who dare to abandon theirs, to switch to religions other than theirs, and even those people who have never ascribed to any religion at all.

The religious are the persecutors.

That is an undeniable fact.

The religious are the persecutors. Though they may sometimes be the persecuted, they are always the persecutors.

Yes, there are radical atheists who vocally proclaim their lack of religious belief. However I have yet to see a bunch of atheists inciting others to mass murder. Not now, in our present time, or ever in the annals of history. Not even in the history of the USSR, which promulgated some of the toughest reforms against organized religions.

Do you think I’m referring to the current persecution of Christians by Islamics?

Think again.

Think back in history and recount the crimes against humanity committed by Christians. What a sordid series of atrocities virtually without end. How many hundreds of millions has Christianity murdered and tortured during its course? How many thousands of precious and unique cultures has Christianity not only destroyed, but utterly obliterated from written history?

What Christianity has done to humanity must surely count as some of the worst examples of religious persecution.

And now think back into the present and recount the crimes against humanity currently being committed by Islamics. I am certain you don’t need my guidance to find the appalling evidence of Islam’s excess.

What Islam is doing and has done to humanity must surely count as some of the worst examples of religious persecution.

Yet religion remains at the root of countless other less obnoxious persecutions against individual freedom and liberty. In the USA same-sex marriage has just been declared constitutional. What has the holdup been in allowing loving couples to love each other openly and with the full and equal protection of the law? That holdup would be religion.

Does religious persecution still exist? Undeniably. However its perpetrators remain the same as they have since our most ancient of histories – other religions.

Lest you think I exaggerate try standing up in public view anywhere in the USA, where Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion are constitutional guarantees, and say “I am no longer a Christian.” I wonder who will persecute you for such a pronouncement?

I don’t really wonder at all…  Do you?

{PS. So what do I believe?  Am I religious, or am I not? I don’t know the answer to that with any certainty, however I do know I don’t subscribe to belief in any singular all-powerful deity.  But if you’re interested in what I believe you may find some of the answers here.}

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Suns and their Sets

~ Suns Rise to Set ~
Upon the planets of a thousand suns
do a thousand sunsets
then with a thousand dawns
are they resurrected
their faces reform upon their
worlds and within every watching
may I my every sunset
my you,
let go
for at my every dawn
my you,
will I behold
and as I my body down
upon my sleeping bed do
may your moon forever
be the moon that in my dreams
I see
and thus
my you
do I
never need relinquish

Luna in all her glory - by Julia

Luna in all her glory – by Julia

A post, for every lover of Art in all its myriad forms.

I hope you enjoy my poem, and my favorite youngest child’s magnificent, and incredibly difficult to accomplish, capture of our beloved moon.

Julia is a very special young lady. She is a true artist, filled and motivated by compassion and love. Several of her poems appear sprinkled throughout my blog, search through some of the Poetry and you’ll find her words. I don’t doubt they will touch your heart.

Julia is special for another reason. She is also the principle Heroine in my work, Malmaxa. I say principle, for within that work are many Heroines and even a Hero, or two.

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on Realistic Writing Goals

I have never been a goal oriented sort of guy. My motivations have always been the journey rather than the destination. But sometimes perhaps we have to set realistic goals or we spend so much time enjoying the journey that we never get to its end. I’ve often tried to set targets in my writing, but ultimately I never do. Why? Because my writing is the journey, which makes completion of the work the destination.

Am I saying I’ll never finish Malmaxa? Not at all. Indeed I already know the entire tale, in all its beauty and all its pain. I am intimately familiar with ever twist and turn in every character’s path. In my writing I am the unseen, yet ever present and ultimately unavoidable Hand of Fate. It is me who sits at the loom and threads in the colored thread that each character’s story is. It is me who makes the yarn from which their threads are formed. It is me who already sees the finished tapestry. And it is me who feels compelled to make the work as true to that elusive image as I possibly can.

In a way this could mean I have already finished the journey and all that remains is for me to document it. That is not untrue. However my role as author of Malmaxa might well be compared to that of a Roman building a road.

Bear with me for a few moments while I flesh out this analogy.

Today, road building is a trivial affair. A machine scrapes a shallow trough through the earth. Another machines packs down the ground. Another machine dumps a load of gravel into the bed the first machines have formed. Another machine packs it down again. Another machine comes along and either pours concrete or tarmac onto the gravel bed. Leave it to set for a day, and it’s done.

The focus of road building today is to turn out miles of road, fast. It is not to build roads that last.

Roman roads are nothing like modern ones. They were literally built by hand. And they were built to last. Two thousand years, and we still have Roman roads. Compare their longevity to modern roads…

Malmaxa is my Roman road. I am not building it fast, I am building it to last. Every sentence is hand crafted, then smoothed and polished till it fits as perfectly between the preceding and following sentences as a Roman flagstone fits between its neighbors. This task cannot be done fast.  It just cannot.

A Roman road stands up to the test of time. It can be traversed for centuries.  If you walk it barefoot every time you do it will tell your feet a different tale. Likewise with Malmaxa. Read it once, and you’ll see one tale. Read it again, and you’ll see another. Yet you’ll still be treading the same road, with the same flagstones beneath your feet.

Enjoy the journey more than you anticipate its end…

The thing I most like about the reviews Malmaxa has garnered is how often they mention this is a work that warrants re-reading. As the craftsman engaged in building it that makes me very proud, and very thankful.  That my readers are willing to give up their time to compose their thoughts on my work touches me deeply.

Allow me to apologize for the delay in re-releasing “The Pilgrimage”. Though that road is set, its flagstones were not as flush as the craftsman in me demands.  I am once more tamping them into place using a tool which I am only able to wield infrequently, namely the spare time left after my working day is done.

And for all of you unique people out there who long to share their story, let me share this thought with you:-

Write your story your way for you, then publish it, or not. The healing is more in the writing than it is in the reading.

{Should you be tempted to sample Beltamar’s War, the first book in the Malmaxa series, you may do so for free, right here, right now, right in your browser. I hope you see between the sentences and are tempted to support me by purchasing a copy, and possibly even reviewing it.  Thank you ~ Charles.}

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on the Young

There is something special in the tentative, vulnerable smiles of very young girls.

I wonder what happens to them that they lose that precious innocence?  Perhaps it is when they pass beyond adolescence into young adulthood and begin to realize boys are easy prey to their wiles.  When this happens, some mistakenly think all men are their eager subjects. Yes, I think that may be the point at which they eschew innocence in favor of manipulation.

Sadly what they give up, they never regain.

I have always been willing to share smiles with the young, but since I matured I find myself less willing to appear friendly toward teenage and older girls. This is partly because in modern society friendliness can be misconstrued, however it is also because I have a strong dislike of being manipulated.

Saddest of all, to me, is this undeniable truth – the very young are able to easily twist us about their smallest finger.  This magical power, which all babies possess, exists right up until they realize they possess it, at which time it mysteriously ceases to be.

Is that the way of all magic? That it loses power with realization of its effect?

The rain is tears shed by the sky, until we understand precipitation.

The moon lights the heavens on the darkest of nights, until we realize it barely reflects the sun.

The ocean fights a perpetual battle with the shore, until we reduce its majestic armies to the tide.

Resist the urge to shut your eyes to the everyday magic that surrounds us, for eyes so closed never reopen to its wonders.


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on Fate’s Odds

Followers of my blog may realize I am a believer in Fate. Every passing year has increased this belief to the point I now find it hard to understand how anyone could not realize Fate is the rider that pulls our reins.

Is who we are right now the result of an enormous number of chance occurrences, each of which is itself the result of the same?

Mathematically, those odds are not good. And those bad odds get exponentially worse with each iteration we follow the chain of chance backwards. Soon the odds of anything happening become so remote they become infinitely unrealistic.

To clarify what I mean let me provide you with a chain of events, specifically leading to my writing this blog post today. You may be the judge of their likelihood.

By chance my father meets my mother while his family is on a international vacation. They see something in each other. The vacation ends, but before it does they exchange addresses. They correspond {by snail mail}. The bond between them strengthens. Chance results in my father’s father relocating to The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.  Chance dictates this is the country in which my mother was born and raised.  My parents become engaged and marry.  They conceive three boys, then me, then my twin sisters and finally my youngest brother.

Nothing particularly unusual.

Really?  Let us consider the math.  The average human ejaculate contains about one hundred and eighty million sperm.  Statistically, there was a one is 180m chance of my conception. Let us call that number the HumanBase, for the base chance of existence of any human is at least that number.

However I am not a stand alone person, nobody is.  Who I am is a combination of two things. Specifically my genetics and my circumstances. In this you are no different than me. So, considering only my immediate family, which is a ludicrously simplified way to consider this, who I am may be mathematically described by this equation:-

Charles = (180m x 180m x 180m x 180m x 180m x 180m x 180m x 180m)


Charles = (Mom x Dad x Piet x Chris x Jan x Libby x Sarah x Nick)

Simplistically speaking, I am who I am because of my parents, modified by my brothers and sisters, who are each the result of a similar equation.

More realistically, I am who I am because of my parents, modified by my interactions with every other human with whom I have come into contact, each of who may be fundamentally described as a HumanBase modified by a similar number of interactions.

How many atoms are there in the universe, I wonder?  I wonder how many times that number would fit into the odds against either you, or me?

Mathematically speaking the odds against any one of us being who, when, and where we are at precisely this instant are infinitely great.  Yet we are, and we are not alone.

What greater evidence of Fate do you require?


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Dwelling in the Details

There is an expression which states, “The devil is in the detail.”  In any country chronically obsessed with the letter of the law, this expression is extraordinarily true.  Indeed, perhaps the expression should be updated to reflect current times.  Maybe to something along the lines of, “The Devil dwells in legalese.

Mistruth undeniably finds a much easier abode in complexity than it does in simplicity.  However, the deliberate framing of complicated duplicity into law is not the focus of this post.  My focus today is the importance of our perception of the tiniest details.

How important are these little details?  In the past I’ve written on how a butterfly’s breath changes the world.  To me, and I believe to every living creature, details are that important.

I am constantly delighted to find evidence things other than devils dwells in the the tiniest details.  Sadly these miniscule elements often go unnoticed.  Below are two photographs I took using my cellular device {I refuse to call it a smartphone as it completely lacks any intelligence.}  I must stress that these photographs are completely unedited.  They exist precisely as taken, at my device’s full resolution.

Since they are images of things I find mysteriously and inexplicably beautiful, namely flowers, it strikes me as fitting they should contain undeniable evidence of love.  After all, aren’t beauty and love cohorts in the same emotional domain?

Examine them and see what you find.  But be warned, you may need to hone your eyes…

a dying flowerEven as flowers begin to curl and die, their beauty remains.
Even their blemishes are symbols of beauty.
No, those speckles are not photographic artifacts.

focal pointsBeauty and natural color so vibrant and spectacular my camera literally cannot capture it.

If you’re viewing this page with a cellular device you may not have the ability to click on the images to see them at full resolution.
Too bad…

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