Facebook Live Video from launch day. “So… Volume 1, Blerd Tales now on Audible

Here is the link. And remember, especially my fellow Audible members, please buy and rate the book online. It turned out really, really well. I think you’ll enjoy it. Here’s the link to Audible to purchase the book. The FB Live link is below it.

Double Book Launch

Hello Everyone!!! I’m happy to announce, that my first audiobook, “So… Volume One”, will launch this Wednesday, September 30th on Audible. I think y’all are going to love it…!!! Plus I’ll be live streaming on FB Wed 7:00 pm via my “Sacrifices” page. http://ow.ly/9hFF50BC7mx  

Also, my latest book, “So Volume Three – Blerd Tales” will be available for sale on September 30th as well in print (via Amazon).

Cathedrals

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We were taught that it was good to work hard, and that hard work was good. Which, as originally offered by faith traditions of every stripe, it certainly was.  And though those who sailed to a new land to practice their faith may have been pure of heart in this regard, we as a nation have lost our way.

Certainly, we Americans bought into the narrative, and many surely did sacrifice to expand (rightly or wrongly) and build this nation of ours. “We” told ourselves that we out worked those of other nations, and were then, by our work ethic, better than other nations and cultures.  All the while ignoring the facts of our competitive advantages as a nation, which were plentiful. First and foremost, were the four hundred years of free labor obtained by enslaving millions of Africans.  Even free states benefited from the lower cost of materials to feed their northern plants, in a land full of rivers. And in a doctrine of ideological, cultural and racial superiority, they displaced nations of indigenous people who lived in harmony with the land. This “Manifest Destiny” was just another step away from the true path of any loving faith.

Thus, throughout much of this nation’s history, we’ve told ourselves whatever lie we needed to hear, to justify whatever vile act “we” deemed necessary to enrich ourselves and expand “our” territory. And we codified those lies in history books (many authored by the Daughters of the Confederacy), teaching the same lies to our children and to generations yet unborn.

Still, in the mid-1980’s there was a subtle, yet perilous shift in our national narrative. During the Reagan years, no longer would we simply adhere to the doctrine that “work is good”, but rather we became a nation which equated wealth with virtue. The wealthy had earned their wealth through the virtue of hard work. Unlike the “Robber Barons” of the turn of the century who were known by all to have gained their wealth unscrupulously, the modern-day ultra-wealthy were deemed virtuous regardless of how they may have gained their wealth. Thus, the unspoken messaging was indeed that “Greed is Good”.

Which brings us to the current age in which we are so very protective of the ultra-rich. We say that they “should” be able to enjoy the wealth that they earned, without anyone’s help. And certainly, whether fairly gained or not, if they are first generation wealthy, they played a pivotal role in obtaining that wealth. And still the more conscious among them would surely concede the role that the “State”, being all of us, played in their prosperity. The roads, docks and airports paid for by fellow tax-payers, surely facilitated the literal path to their success. The workers they hired, at the very least were educated from grades one through twelve through the property and state taxes paid by their fellow citizens. And obviously, they’ve benefited from socialist programs like police protection, fire and rescues services, postal carriers and the mightiest military in the world, just to name a few.

And now we find ourselves in the place where we’re actually discussing the merits of sacrificing the elderly and sick, mostly because we don’t want to be uncomfortable for a few months, and for those in the investment class, for the benefit of our stock portfolios. This is literally in contrast with what we’ve seen in every other country into which this virus has found its way.

And though I will admit that I’m no fan of the current president, I see him as more of a symptom, rather than the actual disease.  We’re a soul sick nation which, in the process of glorifying capitalism, has cut off its nose to spite its face. Despite our conditioning it’s a simple truth of human kind’s rise to the top of the food chain, that working collectively for the common good is not a sin; in fact, it’s a virtue. Bottom line, dogmatic adherence to either capitalism, socialism or any -ism, is the real evil. The Universe does not allow us such a lazy existence.

As things stand now, we’ve elevated unbridled capitalism the level of a deity which must be worshiped. We’ve become a congregation lost in worshiping the cathedral, rather serving the community bound to it.

My books, 3 Novels and 2 collections of short stories, are available on Amazon, iTunes, B&N, Smashword, etc…  Below is the link to  Kindle versions of my books on Amazon.

https://tinyurl.com/t2uva6z

Sawubona…

West African Chronicles. On the subject “Speaking”. If you were raised in the south, you were taught to “speak”, when you encounter another brother or sister. Big Mama insisted on it. And as I’ve grown older and seen more of this world, context has been added to her words.

The first bit of context I encountered was doing my trip to South Africa & Swaziland back in 2005. We were told to announce ourselves when approaching others or their homes, with the greeting, “Sawubona”. Yes, it mean hello and goodbye, but it also means, “hey, I see you…”, “I acknowledge you.”, “I respect your person-hood”

Likewise, during our recent trip to Senegal and Ghana, they too practiced the same custom.

And we carry on this practice, even now, in this land an ocean away from the land of our ancestors. Especially, in spaces where we are few in number. Even if it’s just the nod, that brothers give one another. Or the smile that sisters share when they encounter one another in these spaces. Yes, it’s a sign of respect. But it’s more than that in the space we now fill. It’s an acknowledgement of a social contract, that if things go left, I got you. Big Mama knew that our survival in this strange land relied upon this unspoken contract. But it is my earnest hope that one day, people of every shade, will see and accept our shared humanity. For in truth, our survival as a species, depends on us looking out for one another.

Sawubona…

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So…

“So…”  is a collection of serial short stories which reflect the diversity which is human life… Volume One is available on Amazon and B&N. Volume Two, will launch on February 1st.  This stories will have you “trippin….”

Blerd Tales 2

Color Blind

Color Blind

As you see the world, I’ve been blind since birth.  I see by listening. I know the truth, hear the lies, but I choose to ignore them, because to confront liars is more that I can bear.

That day started as every other day, alone and in darkness. I was walking in the woods, as I’d done countless times before, enjoying the feel of tree bark against my fingertips, of moist straw between my toes and the scent of pine in my nose. Then suddenly in my night there was a light. I turned my head and the light went away, but its glow still illuminated my peripheral vision, and led me to turn back to it. The bracelet shone in ways that even someone blind like me, could perceive it. Stumbling, I made my way to the light and saw that it was in the shape of what I knew a bracelet to be.  I slid it onto my wrist and suddenly my eyes flooded with light of every color. For the first time I saw the brown bark I’d loved all those years.  I saw the green grass and knelt down to touch it.  A ladybug landed on a wet blade and I saw red for the first time and I gasped. But when I looked up and saw the sky, I wept without remorse.

I wanted to tell someone, so I ran to a nearby sandwich shop. Full of brightness and luminous hues, I swung the door wide and stepped in.

In that moment of new love, my open heart sought another to love, another to breathe in.  But as I looked around café, I saw what I instinctively knew to be angry faces. Their skin was not brown like mine. Still believing, I sat at the gray counter before several people got up and left, as others had done many times before, but this time, being sighted, I could no longer hide behind my delusions that it had nothing to do with me. Their disdain turned my happiness into an unbearable sense of being and I ran from the counter and onto the street. With each step, each slight and dismissal from my life cascaded down upon me like dominos, insufferable and unrelenting. I ran through the rain, back through the woods, to the river beyond and unto the bridge spanning it. My salty tears flowed into my mouth as I removed and tossed my black shades into the river. I slid off the bracelet and flung it into the waters below as well. I am floating now, peering through aqua-tinted lenses into a world still revolving. Truly my pain has eclipsed my joy, and likewise shall I too pass from light back into darkness.

Echos

I am an echo. The evidence of lives gone on, I am what remains of their joy, their hopes, their tears.

I am an echo. A reverberation of all the love spoken into me.

I am an echo. The source of nothing, except a willingness to serve as a conduit.

We are an echo, resounding through the darkness, lest any of us think we are our own creation.

ADJ

Please visit my Author’s page to preview and/or purchase one of my books: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B076YRP3B7

What it’s about…

It’s not about always being right.
It’s about being accountable.

It’s not about how many hearts you break.
It’s about the fullness of your own heart.

It’s not about carrying the weight of the world.
It’s about bearing your share.

It’s not about being unafraid.
It’s about moving forwards in spite of your fear.

It’s not about getting your way.
It’s about making a way for those you love.

It’s not about being the strongest.
It’s about helping those who aren’t as strong.

In the final analysis what it’s about doing what needs to be done.

In our Anger…

In these days of chaos and fear it’s easy to be consumed with anger.

But what if?

What if we focused our anger less on the outrage of the day, and more on the systemic inequality within a system which claims justice for all? What if accepted the truth that our society values some lives more than others, and that the presumption of innocence is not a right afforded to everyone? What if we understood that we must first accept the truth of where we are, but we can hope to move forward?

What if voting matched polling on issues of the underserved, human rights and collective healthcare for all?  What if love and concern for others motivated us more than our fears? What if our actions in real life matched our beliefs?

What if  one day we realized that we are the government? That what is happening in this country is our responsibility and that history will hold each of us accountable for what we did and did not do in this moment? When we ask, “why won’t they do something?”, do we realize that the “they” is us? There is no one else.

What if we didn’t care where we served, as long as we served? What if we didn’t care who got the credit, as long as it got done? What if each of us, consistently, loved one another, as we loved ourselves?

What if we realized that the best way to prevent these events is to produce a climate of accountability, beforehand? What if we realized that the best way to save lives is to love life in all its wonderful aspects? What if we realized that the best way to move forward is to have faith, enough to let go?

What if we weren’t afraid? What if we lived each day like it was our last? What if we lived each day like it was our first?

Anger is not a sin, but its fruit can be, if we allow it. The divine gift of free will, allows us to choose which path we will travel, be it the path to life or the path to death. For even from the abyss, this grace we’ve been afforded allows us choose life, even in our anger.