Fleeting Moments

I read a blog today of a lady’s unexpected health problem and the fear she is now experiencing.  I understand completely her fears, not knowing the answer is the most difficult part.  One can deal with a diagnosis, good or bad, we can move on, make plans and get busy living with the time we have left.  In 2008, I came down with the flu really bad.  So bad I developed vertigo.  I was so dizzy I couldn’t stand, I couldn’t see, and I couldn’t type.  The latter issue being the worst because it was smack dab in the beginning of tax season.  My livelihood depended upon being able to crunch numbers and place them in tax software.  When the vertigo didn’t cease I had to go through all the tests including a CT scan to determine the presence of tumors.  This is when mortal fear sets in and you realize you just might be seeing your life flash before you.  Luckily for me, after a few more tests, it was determined a nerve from my ear to my brain was irreparably damaged and the only course of action was to retrain my brain with exercises for the eyes to takeover the equilibrium mechanism. After 8 months of therapy, my equilibrium was restored.  I’m one of the lucky ones, or maybe my prayers were answered, just not in the time I expected them to be. I believe in the power of prayer, I’ve seen its power for others and for myself, more than once.

One of my clients, an orthopedic surgeon in the same town, had a similar issue but it attacked his central nervous system and he lost the majority of his motor functions.  He lost his ability to work and was burdened by a daily expensive cocktail of drugs to make life bearable.

It was about that time that the economy took another dive.  This being the fourth one in my adult life.  It is moments such as these that you reconsider life as you know it.  Those things we’ve chased only to be outrun, or run over by them.  Time is all I have and its quantity is unknown.  When desires and people waste that time, it takes your mind to a new realm.  A realm where life is not taken for granted, and that money and social acceptance are unworthy goals.  This year my wife and I went to Hawaii, the island of Kauai.  For those of you who are spiritual, a visit to Hawaii is a blessing to all your senses.

We took a drive to Kalalau lookout.  That day the Pacific and the sky were one color, as though eternity stood before me.  I felt as though I was in the presence of God.  It was at that moment all my anxieties of the future were released.

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On our last day of discovery we took a dinner cruise where we stood at sea level looking back up 4,000 feet at the point I described above.  There I had the same reaction – blissfully awed and at peace, with the sound of rushing water providing a calming rhythm.  I was brought back to a time 34 years ago when I climbed the 8,000 foot summit of Guadalupe Peak in Texas, where I sat down alone and viewed west Texas and Mexico to the south, with only the sound of wind and the sights of earth and sky as my companion.  I also recall that same peace, only to forget it later from the demands of family and career over the next three decades.  How did it go by so quickly?

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So what is my point?  We search our entire lives for seemingly unattainable goals.  You reach a salary point, and then you want more. Then in the flash of a second you can be forced into a sober analysis of the path you were taking.  You step back and look at all the trinkets you’ve obtained made from the resources of this remarkable planet, realizing none of it truly was what you wanted, but thought were supposed to have. We plunge ourselves into ultimate driving machines with ultimate debt, and even reconstruct our own bodies to cheat mortality.  But as it has been said wisely, “He who dies with the most toys, is still dead.”

My health issue was a moment of rebirth, the answer that all my 2-year and 5-year plans were absolutely absurd. So I am selling everything I own and looking to live the remaining years more on the minimalist side, down-sizing to what a man and wife really need – basic shelter and the environment to rejuvenate our body and soul.  For me it is not about the quantity of my life, but the quality.  When I stood at the Kalalau lookout, I was at peace with myself and if God truly wanted to take me, I was ready.  We live in an age where belief in the unseen is mocked.   My trials and tribulations have only made my faith stronger and I am unashamed of admitting it.  It lead me to write my mythological trilogy and the upcoming series to complete my mythology of good and evil, faith, and the simple things of life we take for granted, such as the sounds and sights of creation, and the peace  a moment spent alone in that surrounding can bring.

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Context & Construct

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I visited with my sister this weekend and we spoke about my trilogy.  She has a masters degree in creative writing.  She has tried to read my trilogy but states all the other authors and editors do not write the way I write.  That you must hook people quickly into your story.  I understand completely her viewpoint, this is what the majority opinion is.  But I have to ask a simple question.  How creative is this? If we all march to beat of the same drums, aren’t we just robots catering to the machine?  Do you ever feel like you are reading the same story over and over again, with just a few new character names and locales?  Don’t you know what sex is by now?  How many ways can you spin eroticism and vampires?  I’m not knocking these authors or readers, but don’t you want a change of pace?

I am a CPA.  I am analytical, linear and logical.  I have done computer programming which must be controlled by logic with “”If this, then this, else this” type construct.  I literally despise stories without context and logical construction.  I have heard people say,

“I want a quick and fun read.  I do not wish to think.”

If this is true then my stories will not appeal to you.  If you like books like the The Shack or the Life of Pi, then you are seeking a book with a deeper meaning of life and spirituality.  Yes, it has to be entertaining, but don’t you want the ground work established first?  Here is how I constructed my trilogy based on my love for J.R.R. Tolkien’s wonderful and mesmerizing world of Arda and Middle Earth.

Book 1 – Rise of the Fallen, Chapters 1-9 are the history of the universe and Allivar.  Think of the Silmarillion in a compressed form.  A mythology must have an origin narrative. There must be a narrative on the source of evil and the history to create the myths of immortals and heroic mortals. These chapters establish the construction of all that follows and provides subtle clues to the surprising ending of the story.  If you rush through this, you will definitely miss the point of the story.  Sorry, I didn’t spend ten years just to have battle scenes, sex and a pointless battle over a throne.  My story is much deeper than this.

Chapters 10-16 begins the story of the hero in the dawning of the seventh age of Allivar.   Like the Fellowship of the Ring there is the bonding of characters of various races on a journey the Chosen One was selected for, which is to determine if mortals are worthy of life.  If you wish, just jump to Chapter 10 and begin there.  Then maybe one day you will want to go back and have context of the origin of my mythology.

Now this book cannot be more exciting than book two, nor can book two be more exciting than book three.  There must be a crescendo of action and emotions.

Book 2 Bound to Forbidden Lands ratchets the excitement after all the ground work was established in book one.  The Two Towers gave readers the thought that all would be lost, but that the faith in men would rise to counter the acts of evil.   We were left begging for the conclusion with the Return of the King.

Book two introduces romance and the continued rise of evil, an epic coliseum battle, fighting with dark demons and a journey through lands, guarded by dragons and watchers, the hero has been told to avoid.  But he has no other option.  The ending of the story must compel you to read the third story, so it has a cliff hanger unlike any you will ever read. He lives!

Book 3 – Last Stand of the Living is the culmination of the entire mythology with the greatest mythological battle ever to be written, where the fate of the universe will be decided, and where mortal and immortal alike come to battle. Here you will finally understand all that was written in the first nine chapters of book one.  I recall the Return of The King’s influence on the ratcheting of the battle scenes and emotions with the arrival of the Rohirrim and the eventual defeat of Sauron.  Readers who have taken the challenge to read my trilogy are utterly exhausted emotionally in this third story.  For the creator of the universe makes his stand with the seven mortal races.

I can guarantee you this much; you will laugh, you will cry, and you will cheer.  You may even contemplate life as we know it, for it is allegorical to our times.

But I am not done with you yet.  Forthcoming are the Chronicles of Allivar, sixteen stories, equally as intriguing as the trilogy. It introduces a parallel journey of the Armies of Light and the heroes of the six ages.  Here the compressed history is expanded, laying a blueprint for the construct of an equally exciting series.

You see, I have constructed a mythology using a linear approach from origin to the end of time, with proper context so that you don’t end the series wondering what happened to certain characters who dropped out.

You have a choice. Follow the cookie-cutter formulaic stories and construct that the masters and literary gods tell us that must exist, or take a chance on something new, independent, original, and frankly – creative.

My final point is this.  Many people take life way too seriously.  They seek affirmation from others of their worthiness in this lifetime.  They wish to dominate life by determining who is allowed to participate in the private clubs of industry and intellectual institutions.  They control who will be successful and who will not, through regulation, etc.  The publishing industry loves to bully, yes I wrote bully, to tell you another person’s attempt at writing is garbage because they weren’t involved in the editing, distribution and profit-sharing aspects of your creativity.  They belittle every person or story that reaches success independently.  I do not like erotica, but I applaud E.L. James for dispensing, once and for all, that only the publishing Gods know what stories will interest you.

Self-publishing has provided an opportunity for those of us who love to tell stories, even with grammatical errors, to remain independent and reap the potential success of our own risk. This was once referred to as entrepreneurship, not vanity publishing.  Vanity should be described as the envy of others who have not found a way to piggy-back on your imagination.

In the end, it is you the reader who independently defines what stories are good or not.  I am going to keep writing because one day I can tell them to my grandchildren.  Like Tolkien, these are the stories I want to read, but are not being produced by the publishing Gods.  I hope one day you will find my stories appealing enough to tell to your children and others.

To my sister, I have to say this, do not waste another second of your life looking for the accolades and affirmation of others.  Their aim is profit-motivated and honestly, quite vain.  The only one responsible for your happiness is you.  Life is risk and by not taking any risk, for the fear of the opinion of others, including your own family, is not living.  Stephen King said it best in his story, The Shawshank Redemption:

“Get busy living or get busy dying.”

Sacrifice

Unseen

A few days ago I blogged about the role of faith in an epic high fantasy story.  Now, if I mentioned faith and sacrifice in the same sentence would you automatically think, “Oh no, here comes a Jesus Christ reference!”

Think for a moment of a soldier.  A soldier is one who goes to battle to protect those he loves from what appears to be of evil intent.  He has faith in his commanders judgment and is willing to lay down his life for what he believes is the highest of chivalric and noble character – to give one’s life for something greater than himself.  Now, this certainly is no reference to Jesus Christ, who died to save mankind of its sins.

Now go one step further.  If a person received a command by the highest authority, his creator, and was supplied with gifts to set off on a journey to free seven enslaved races, knowing full well there will be tests and possible sacrifice, would you still insist the story was about Jesus Christ?

Here’s the setup.  The Unseen, the mythical creator of my universe, pondered the creation of life, both immortal and mortal.  What would happen and which would be more noble?  His first thought is that the immortals would be, so he creates ten to steward over ten heavenly worlds, until he sees very quickly that from free will there are those that will not submit to his authority.  He then creates mortal beings and for the immortals to be their stewards.  He then proclaims that one day from the line of the first prophet, in the seventh line, a seventh son, Arimar, the messenger, will be born and that all evil will attempt to destroy him and his followers.  The rebellious steward, Haggarfuse, unwilling to submit, designs to destroy everything and one-by-one nine worlds fall to complete death and darkness.  It is on the final world, Allivar, which means The One Family, converges with their created beasts and demons.  Arimar at birth is rushed and veiled until he reaches the age of wisdom and is then called to set off on his task.  Having free will he almost commits suicide for the stress is too high with the expectations placed on him from prophecy, which is no more than a test.

Now that you have an idea of the brief history, Arimar sets off on his journey, which is just as perilous as any you have ever read.  There is a journey to the north to confront a possessed king and then there is a journey home through a land where evil’s creations are Bound to Forbidden Lands, with every step being a test of faith.

Then the final battle of good and evil arrives in Last Stand of the Living.  Here all the captains, the seventh son of he seventh generation of each race, rises from the fallen ages, to stand united. There in the battle, that is being lost, Arimar sees all that he loves: his captains and Elissia, whom he hopes to marry one day, sacrifice all they are, but appear to die to in a vain attempt.  When he could easily lose his faith, Arimar is given a choice, to leave with the Unseen and not experience death, or to stay and die with all that remains of his mortal family.  He then bargains with the Unseen that if he gives his own life, would the remaining peoples of the races be saved.  The Unseen asks if he would truly do such a thing.  Arimar offers it freely.

This is where I will tell you no more, because the battle takes a turn you will not see coming, yet was hinted over and over again in the first nine chapters of Rise of the Fallen. All I can say here, is that the battle is the largest I have ever read, which includes those found in the Lord of the Rings.  How is that for a teaser?

The moral is simple, are we the living more worthy of stewardship than the immortals?  Will the pain of loss and death teach us more of racial harmony and the stewardship of worlds?  Are we able to withstand every test and stand for our faith?  Will we, the living, stand against evil in all its forms and do what is right?  Are we worthy enough? We will not see the fleeting nature of life, and the futility of war and hatred?  We will understand the gift of life with all its pains?

This is the gist of the trilogy, then there are the upcoming Chronicles of Allivar, which is a parallel journey of history and events of the nine fallen worlds, the first six ages of Allivar and the final story in the seventh age – the age of light.  When you complete the trilogy you will understand the nature and path of the chronicles.  The first in this series is titled – The Fall of Helloria.

Seven is a significant number for it represents perfect completion.  This is a hint for you as a reader.  All you need to do is take a leap of faith and enter my world of Allivar.  You will think, you will cry, but I promise you this too… you will cheer.

This is a mythology covering creation, life and the end of the ages.  Those who love The Silmarillion, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings should easily understand the context and construct of my stories.

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Faith

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Since late 2011, I have been promoting my trilogy, The Chosen One of Allivar.  The story is a mythology which requires creation, life and end of times.  I’ve sold quite a few, but reviews and ratings have been very, very difficult to receive.  I’ve been told it is very good, but apparently posting a review is too difficult.  I have restrained myself from marketing it as a faith based story, because too many would never read it.  Chapter one in Rise of the Fallen starts out very similar to Genesis.  The tale of the fallen Charafuse (Angels) is very similar to that of the Satan story, and there are many inferences to stories in the Bible.  I did this for a marketing purpose, to bring familiarity to my story of the three Abrahamic religions of which there are more than a billion potential readers, nothing more.  What may appear as a religious story, is not. Here is a definition of religion:

Religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to the supernatural, and to spirituality.

Since we live in a period of history where mythologies, even with the slightest hint of a creator, is deemed religious by the secular society, I will then market the trilogy and the upcoming 16 chronicles stories as a series of stories of faith, hope and spirituality.  In the end, the story is about mankind’s ability to be proper stewards and provides thought on immortal life.  It revolves around free will, family, spouse, children, races, and even the animals.

In the year 1999, I was challenged by a friend to write a story centered around a creator as the source of good, rather than the benign references in many stories.  Stars Wars has the “Force”, Lord of the Rings had the power of the elves given to them by Eru (The One), and Narnia has Aslan the Lion who is a representation of Jesus.  Robert Jordan, the author of The Wheel of Time has a creation story very similar to Christianity. George RR Martin refers to the old and new gods.  Gods lay down laws and the expectations of their creations.

In the end, the story is one about faith in something greater than ourselves and how one man is chosen to deliver the enslaved and a message to all of the living. The words Chosen One, do not refer to Christ.  Christ was God incarnate.  My hero is a mere mortal, asked to rise to the greatest challenge of all – to unite the seven divided races and stand against evil, before there is nothing left but death, darkness and eternal silence.

You will notice many inferences to other mythologies such as King Arthur and that created by Tolkien.  You will see the influence of Dante’s Inferno and Milton’s Paradise Lost.  In its simplest of form it is derived from this popular quote:

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

It is spiritual, highly emotional and so very human of a story.  It is allegorical, it has meaning and a moral behind it.  Will we the living finally become the stewards we were meant to be?  This is the question and should challenge all those who have faith and hope that there is greatness in and after life.

So now I submit to all those who love stories of faith, whether it be Life of Pi, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Wheel of Time, or another story I have not yet read – take a chance on a timeless story of good and evil and faith in things unseen. I am not asking you to convert to anything, follow me, or start a cult, but to enjoy a story – that’s all.  I promise you will be crying and cheering at the same time.

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Is Chivalry Dead? Knight Up!

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As an author that loves the romantic ideal of the legends from the medieval period, I routinely scope out various words in Twitter that illicit a response from those that engage in this social media.  This process allows me to get a glimpse of what our current society is all about.  I posted a tweet on #Chivalry and then reviewed the comments from this hashtag.  Honestly, there is hope. Some people want a change in the way we behave as mature men and women.  Many women believe chivalry is about being a gentleman, which is a knightly quality, but they miss out on some other aspects of a chivalrous man.

I am posting the contents of a wikipedia narrative and highlight the key traits of a knight:

Chivalry, or the chivalric code, is the traditional code of conduct associated with the medieval institution of knighthood. Chivalry arose from an idealized German custom. It was originally conceived of as an aristocratic warrior code — the term derives from the French term chevalerie, meaning horse soldiery — involving, gallantry, and individual training and service to others. Over time its meaning has been refined to emphasize more ideals such as the knightly virtues of honor, courtly love, courtesy, and less martial aspects of the tradition.

The Knight’s Code of Chivalry was a moral system that stated all knights should protect others who can not protect themselves, such as widows, children, and elders. All knights needed to have the strength and skills to fight wars in the Middle Ages; they not only had to be strong but they were also extremely disciplined and were expected to use their power to protect the weak and defenseless.

Knights vowed to be loyal, generous, and “of noble bearing”. Knights were required to tell the truth at all times and always respect the honor of women. Knights not only vowed to protect the weak but also vowed to guard the honor of all fellow knights. They always had to obey those who were placed in authority and were never allowed to refuse a challenge from an equal. Knights lived by honor and for glory. Knights were to fear God and maintain His Church. Knights always kept their faith and never turned their back on a foe. Knights despised pecuniary reward. They persevered to the end in any enterprise begun.

It appears knights were virtuous men, whose value in life wasn’t determined by fame or material possession, but by deeds and the expectation of a higher glory than that found in life.

A reader of my stories once commented that she had issue with my hero, because he wasn’t completely focused on his love for the lead female character. My hero, Arimar – The Chosen One of Allivar, carries an oath to the highest of authorities, his creator.  He knows not of the reward for his loyalty, but he faithfully executes in every respect; to honor and protect women, children, elderly, the powerless, and the enslaved.   My trilogy is an idyllic and allegorical story of that which humans stand to lose, where sometimes reason and science, too, can lead to the extinction of mortals.

Here is where the conversation should begin.  Chivalrous behavior will only return when father’s must teach the code and mother’s demand their son’s honor it.  Mother’s must teach the ways of the damsel and their father’s demonstrate how a knight treats a damsel, by the way they honor their wife.  Both men and women should look beyond the physical appearance and “court” one another long enough to discover the inner qualities of those they intend to vow for life.

It is said that the age of chivalry is dead and the age of enlightenment (reason and science) took its place.  I cannot speak for others, nor condemn their beliefs, I can only speak for my values.  I’d rather live by the code of chivalry, than by the code of science and individualism, where it is said that our natural behavior is primarily governed by self-interest, where we first seek to ensure survival, and then we seek to dominate.

Does this mean the revival of chauvinism and the loss of women’s rights?  Of course not, it means the revival of romanticism and the striving for human perfection, both in mature men and mature women.

We hear and read it all the time – Man Up!

Well, I say it is high time toKnight Up,” and become the men we were born to be.  In this process we may discover that damsels still exist in this realm.  They are just waiting on you.

Just a thought – a daily thought.  What are your thoughts?

Spiritual vs. Christian (Preconception)

Satan

We live in an era of heightened preconception: An opinion or conception formed in advance of adequate knowledge or experience.  In other words, we are as prejudiced as ever.

No matter how hard I try to explain most do not understand the difference between a spiritually based story and one based on Christianity.  I’ll do my best to explain.  My series of stories are a mythology, nothing more and nothing less.  It is an exploration into creation, our roles in this creation as mortals and our dealing with the consequences of immortal influence into our lives.

At the center of my trilogy is the main protagonist and hero, Arimar – The Chosen One of Allivar.  Some people love to argue that the title alone refers to Jesus.  I cannot disagree anymore.  Moses was chosen and he certainly was not Jesus.  If I had named the series Cassandra – the Chosen One of Apollo, would you be so quick to prejudge? How about Anakin Skywalker – The Chosen One?  That’s right! You love Star Wars, but behind all the high tech graphics is a story of good and evil, and prophecy.  This is also my story, set more in a Tolkien medieval fantasy theme.

Why my mythology is NOT a Christian story?

Christ was God incarnate sent to earth to take on the sins of mortals.  He died and carried our sins with him to demonstrate his love for us. Almost every fictional Christian story revolves around bringing us back to this concept.

Arimar is not God incarnate. He is as human as you and I.  In book nineteen, yet to be written, I will reveal why he was the chosen one by the creator – the Unseen.  This is as simple as I can explain it.  Arimar converses with his creator, but he is not sent to save the world of the living, but to deliver a message.  He is only a messenger.

Why my mythology is a spiritual story?

I believe in a creator, good and evil, and in an afterlife.  This means I believe in both a physical and metaphysical life.  I believe we have a purpose to play in life and thereafter.  What is that purpose?  The end of the third book of the trilogy gives you an idea of this author’s concept of that purpose.  If anything, it is meant to challenge our minds.  At the center of my story is the concept of free will.  Will we, the mortals, choose to do the right thing when the end of times is at stake? Do we really love this paradise created for us?

I created the Vanavaran race, what we might call the race of Africans, to demonstrate evil’s use of preconception.  Why do people fear black people?  What is our source of preconception?  It is innate or taught?  Where was its origin?  In my story evil immortals convince the other living races that they are demons amongst us from the abyss of darkness, willing to take souls to keep them mortal.  It is obviously a lie, yet a valid point – we are all inclined in one way or another to have preconceptions.  We do this every day if you are honest with yourself – we take sides on political, religious, racial and other societal or moral issues.  We rarely engage in civil debate, because we have convinced ourselves the opposing viewpoint is already flawed.  Life is full of propaganda, yet we are given free will to seek the truth. All that is necessary is for good people to have an open mind, free of preconception, and inclined towards action to making a better world.

Here is one of my favorite quotes of all time:

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

This is often attributed to Irishman Edmund Burke, who was a statesman, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher . Although it has not been found in his speeches, writings, or letters (and is thus apocryphal), in 1770 he wrote in Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents that “when bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.” (Source: Wikipedia)

Burke was not referring to the good and evil in the spiritual world, but the corruption of government, specifically the House of Commons.

Tolkien said it best in the Fellowship of the Ring, “Nine rings were gifted (given and freely accepted) to the race of men, who above all else seek power.” Power being the ability to dominate all life and control its outcome (to be one’s own God.)  Saruman preconceived that he too could share power with Sauron.  All to his own demise.

We are quick to believe in evil.  Our theaters are filled with stories of evil, yet very little exploration of the source of good and the battle taking place in the invisible realm.  Hopefully you will take a chance on these series of stories and learn that mortal preconception is not a good thing.  It can and will be used against you, evil knows this, for you are so willing to be deceived by your own preconceptions.

This September, I release the fourth book of this mythology – The Fall of Helloria.  The first in a new series of nine stories that chronicle the fall of nine heavenly worlds.  I will explore many spiritual and philosophical concepts presenting both an exciting and mentally challenging journey.  I hope you choose to come along with me.

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A Life of Passion

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If I could wish anything for my family and friends, and even strangers – is to live a life of passion.  It has been said that doing what you like is what will provide the most happiness in life.  For most of our lives we are working.  Yet most go through the motions to obtain a paycheck.  Then they go home turn on the TV or the computer and indulge in the news or entertainment of the world – other people’s worlds.  Get busy making your own world.  Over the years I have found solace in many forms:

  1. Exercise and sports – I’m 54, but I still have passion for shooting basketball and playing tennis.  I have a desire to stay fit and trim, to beat the odds that I won’t be a sedentary senior.  I’d rather go out in life young pushing that limit than to be pushed around in wheelchair.
  2. Gardening – I live in Norman, OK.  Not necessarily a place of natural beauty, but with effort and passion I can watch plants bloom to fill the green and brown void with various color. Create your own paradise.
  3. Travel – We have this world created for us filled with immense beauty.  I have a passion to see these great natural wonders and to set out on unexplored paths, but if I can’t I find places nearby.
  4. Passionate People – nothing is greater than being surrounded by people who are passionate about life.  If you stop and listen to them you will hear them tell their stories with a glow on their face.  Then after listening to them, they will want to know about you.  You cannot expect to have these friends if you cannot give them a moment of your time, no matter the distance between you. When you go out of your way to see people, you are telling them, “You are special to us.”
  5. Guitar Playing and Singing – I am not a great player or particularly great singer, but I love to try to figure out the chords to a favorite song or how high I can pitch my voice.  I would dance, but I am crappy dancer.
  6. Drawing – Ever since I was a young child I have enjoyed drawing what my mind sees.
  7. Writing – I may not be great writer, but I do have a great imagination.  I find peace putting those thoughts into a story, short or long. Take a chance at poetry. I can entertain myself without the use of technology.

None of these require any great deal of money.  What they do require is the sacrifice of your time.  You have a choice, to work yourself to death for material possessions or to live life.  Yes, some people are willing to risk the loss of time for these possessions.  In my experience through life I can say I have never met a truly passionate and happy wealthy person.  Their time is more concerned with the maintenance of that wealth than actually enjoying all that wealth can provide. As a CPA I have seen people stress over taxes as though they might lose an arm or a leg.  Take all your allowable deductions, pay your taxes and then get busy living a passionate life.  When you bring your stress to a CPA, we become stressed.

For 30 years I sacrificed my time for career, family and yes, even for material pursuits.  All I accomplished was lost time and money.  I used that money to help others and rarely was it appreciated.  Now as I move into the last productive years of my life all I truly have left is time and now it is fleeting faster than a jet.

So as you consider your current phase in life ask yourself if you are using your time wisely and passionately.  Do you have something that provides beauty to the eyes?  Have you played an old tune, danced and sung to it lately? Have you taken time to write a story or learned to play a musical instrument?  Have you exercised and stretched those aching muscles?  Finally, have you surrounded yourself with those of common interest and passion and laughed so hard you almost wet your pants? These are the moments in life I treasure more than anything. I live passionately for the next moment.  All other events in human history I have no control and to be anxious of those moments is to be foolhardy.   Age brings about wisdom.

Sing your own tunes, giggle at your own book,

The more you smile and laugh, the more people look.

They may gossip, they may even be mad,

be the example of a life to be had.

Plant a seed and watch it flower,

wash away doubts from a cool spring’s shower.

A journey in a world exists in your mind,

cast away excuses and find the time.

Never lose faith or your compassion,

but live your life and do so with passion.

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson