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Desolation - Canary in the Strip Mine

Start: Remember 9/11?

In those first few hours we were deluged by the media with the events as they unfolded, the fragmentary details as they emerged, the reaching speculations of commentators filling time, and those videos, looping endlessly, of the airliners crashing into the twin towers of the World Trade Center.

Finally, after the initial shock, we began to hear psychologists suggest that for our own mental well-being that we — those of us who had no public sector or business obligation to do otherwise — should disengage from the constant media onslaught.

More recently, we in United States, and to a lesser degree in the western world, have been subjected to a crisis of lower intensity, a crisis that has stubbornly refused to end.

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A Writer's Paradox

    Wherein the author shares something that’s left him standing at a crossroad for a really long time.

Did you ever have to finally decide
Say yes to one and let the other one ride
There’s so many changes and tears you must hide
Did you ever have to finally decide

    “Did You Ever Have to Make up Your Mind”
    — John Sebastion (with The Loving Spoonful)

Start: There’s a sort of dynamic tension that’s been part of my life for a very long time, and the lyrics from the very old song above seem to sum it up pretty well. Writing is not an easy thing, though some have innate talent, and I feel I’ve been blessed with a little of that. (And, frankly, it’s all I’ve ever really wanted to do.) But, on the other hand, the majority of my life has been a spiritual journey, and I can’t help but look at my existence in what I feel is the broadest context there is.

For quite I while I’ve wrestled with what fiction is. And really, think about it: what is fiction? It can be a lot of things, but to develop a consistent audience (and make a living at it) it has to be, at some level, entertainment.

What is entertainment? To one degree or another, it’s an escape.

Escape from what? Well, that would be reality.

And what is spirituality? I feel deeply that, in practice, it is the seeking and finding of reality.

There, then, is the rub.
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