Come clean at the end

“Spending time here is like movin’ in with Pandora. Maybe some stuff should just stay hidden, y’know?”
“Yup,” Charlie answered. “But comes a time when you just don’t want to screw around anymore. You can get real tired of playin’ hide-and-seek with yourself.
Getting toward the end, you wanna stop playing games. There’s no time left. You see how things have gone wrong and just want to make ’em right. At least one moment of honestly trying, before your soul rots away on ya….
… “I buried my whole life, every bit of it, in my own stinkin’ manure, and it’s high time I planted some seeds there.”
He told Harve, “But I don’t like being asked to swallow OTHER people’s shit.”
“Got you on that one, man.”
“Do you?” Charlie said. “Do you really?”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“You. Pretending you’re no hero. – Bull. – You don’t know what I wouldn’t have given for even a little bit of something I could feel good about.”
“You did okay for yourself, Charlie. You made the papers.”
“I made headlines; I wasn’t a star. I had a few fans, sure, but not the kind I’d ever want to meet in a dark alley.
“But that’s not what I mean. I’m talking about finding out who we are, what we’re here for, and truly steppin’ into it. I wasn’t put here to smash noses. You think you were put here to shoot ’em off?
“You save lives but then you get all ‘Gosh Golly Shucks’ about it. You step into who you are, but then you step back out of it again. That just doesn’t ring true to me is all. That’s all I’m sayin’.”
Then he had second thoughts. “Look,” he told Harvey, “I know you didn’t do it for the fame and being a star and shit, but still … I would like to have experienced what it was for people to know me and like me anyway. I’d love to have done at least a little something worth doing. It’s too late for some of that now, I know, but I just want the chance to do a little bit of good if I can. Somewhere. For somebody.
“And to do it just because it’s the right thing to do. Sometimes it’s as simple as that.”

  • From “The Gardens of Ailana”

Writing Theosophically for Those Who Suffer

One of my major challenges in writing theosophical novels for readers who don’t know they’re theosophists is that so many of our “spiritual” concepts fail to stand up to the rigors of most people’s lives. It is all well and good to have a select few esotericists, knowing some Sanskrit and New Agey kinds of phrases, paying a few bucks at our lecture halls so we can remind them that everything is Mayavic illusion. That in truth they themselves are God, and ultimately unassailable. I myself believe these things, and live accordingly.

Then they go home and buzz for a while on the poetic eloquence of such a philosophy until that starts to wear off and they need another hit at another uplifting metaphysical conference.

But what of the masses who aren’t in any way ready or willing to listen to, or build their lives around that? Do we just abandon them as unenlightened fools? Where is our compassion if we take that approach?

Obama makes health care affordable, sets limits in how much our insurance companies, credit cards, and health services can milk us for. Tells big industries to stop polluting our environs.

Our child has suffered horrible, debilitating illness for so very long, but now we can finally afford treatments, and medicines. We watch him getting better. Healing. Laughing. Playing.

Then along come the Republicans. They take our insurance away from us. Raise the costs of our medicines by multiples. Lower our incomes. Take meals away from poor school children. Tell heavy-handed polluters they can dump all the poisons they want to into our food, air, and water.

So then, what do I/we tell those parents? That there are no external enemies? There are no battles to fight; no evils to stand up to? Just be at peace with watching your child returning to his long and awful pain, to that crippling he was just beginning to climb out of? And what does that parent tell his kid? That this is all an illusion? “Just suck it up kid, and keep dying. You’ll get it together one of these lifetimes, and then all this will be behind you”?

Totalitarian dictators throw us out of our homes, drive us off of lands our families had farmed for generations. They buy up all water rights in the deserts as tribal families wither up and die by the thousands, and we should just ignore this? None of this is real?

I write from the knowing that there are different levels of reality, suffering, and coping; and that most people are doing their best to hang on with what they have. I try to offer them hope that there may be some Higher meaning, and deeper access to healing and growing beyond a lot this, but I do not essentially call them numbskulls; tell them this (and their dear child’s suffering) is all their fault for believing that any of this is reality.

For most of us suffering is very, very real. And so that is where I start my stories. I welcome other readers who already know some of these things, and maybe carry them in a little deeper; but I will not slam any doors on the hearts of these others.

Fighting for What’s Real

Ericka had thought of them as her glory days when she had wanted to march on every capitol; kick down the doors of the most powerfully entrenched; when she had wanted to right every wrong, and stomp out villainy everywhere. Gene had called her the “Rebel with too many causes”.
But that had been different. It was as if all that had just been a training period, mere preparation for the way she felt now. That had been student idealism. This was the pain of a grieving mom who couldn’t watch anyone else’s kid suffer.
In her short time on the planet, their sweet daughter Madie, their little Bitsie, had taught them so much. About priorities. About courage. About how they could truly love and treasure another single human life, not just hold some general, pro-active fondness for all of humanity everywhere.
In loving that tiny child; knowing all the while that they were losing her, Ericka and Gene had suffered immensely. But they had also grown. In tending to their frail, courageous little girl, Ericka had once again unleashed her inner need to help others; an essential part of her being, but now with renewed, and focused passion.
Once, when Ericka had broken down and wept as she’d had to hand her baby off for more tests, it had been little Madie who had comforted Mommy. She’d told Ericka she was glad she could do this so they could find out what was wrong with her, and then maybe other little kids wouldn’t have to hurt this way ever again.
One way or another, her mommy now would make that little life count for something.
Ericka wanted to; she needed to cram all her pain into something she could change. Someone somewhere she could actually help, but not lose in the end. She had to find causes she could pour her almost fierce, hard-charging nature into, and actually save somebody this time.
It didn’t have to be one particular disease; it could be hunger; it could be anything, but she had to get out there and do something.
Before she had fought for causes.
But now those causes would have little faces.
– A taste of my new book, “The Soul Hides in Shadows”

Life is What We Believe

In pain and loss, we can find either meaning, or hopelessness. The choice is ours.

How we see things, how we interpret them, how we emotionally react;

these call more of the same into our lives.

We build a world for ourselves out of what we believe.

And how we choose to respond.

Whether we let it take us under,

or rise to meet it.

  • From “The Soul Hides in Shadows”, a novel by Edward Fahey

Some Things You Can’t Om Away

Joan told her, “Knock it off, Marsh; you don’t always have to be such a putz.”

Marsha, still leaning onto the sink, told them, “You guys and your always-must-make-nice crap.

“Mincing around with your damned fresh coffee, playing Little Miss Nicey-Poo alla time. The charming hostess with all her non-threatening jokes, never hurting anyone’s feelings. Sitting around trying to sort out the karmic implications of sneezing on the burglar who just shot your dog. Fuck it! Some things you just can’t Om away.”

Clarice’s smile had frozen in place, but her eyes belied her terror. She didn’t understand what was going on, but tried to calm the waters anyway. “You send out love; you get love back,” she said.

Marsha finally turned toward them all, and it wasn’t pretty. “Great. You can put that on a Hallmark card and feed it to the goats.She turned toward Paulette.

Paulette said nothing. She didn’t dare look too deeply inside this rabid anti-Christian standing before her. She was horrified that she might find herself looking back.

  • From “The Gardens of Ailana” handbook for healers & mystics

Atrocities of War

In that moment Paulette stepped outside anything that had ever hurt her before. Harve needed her more than she needed herself.

But she had nothing to say. Nothing to offer him. She came up empty.

“I may not have shot any of those babies in safety seats, but I took out my share o’ guys in a country I started thinking we had no right bein’ in. I could tell myself they’d signed up for it, knowing they might not go home, but that just didn’t cut it after a while.” …

… “Oh, they were scumbags, alright. Other guys in my unit’d be ready to just level the kids too, cause they were getting in our way, but I said, Wait. Let me try goin’ in first. Let me come at ’em from the rear.

“Other times I just lost myself in the righteous glory of cluster bombing the hell outa those bastards.

“And for that one moment, in all the cheering and explosions it’s like all was right with the world. It was John Phillip Sousa at Disneyland.

“But then you wake up a little. You just snuffed out future generations. Maybe bad guys can have good kids if you let ’em. We’ll never know now.”

He was coming close to crying.

“And then you see all those pieces; kid parts lying everywhere.

“And their little faces.

“If they even still had faces.

“Once you finish throwing up, and then toss back a few at camp pub, your next job is to find something inside you that you can bury that under.

“And then … what? Just go on living?”

– From “The Gardens of Ailana”

Still Carrying Pain from Childhood

Paulette awoke with an ache in her heart, a grinding in her gut. If there really was a God, why would He have let anyone put a child through that? …
She had survived, but at what cost? She was an itinerant professor, living in her head, not her heart. She had broken away, but abandoned her sister; hadn’t contacted her family in years.
Paulette wondered what she was looking for in these weekend workshops. Absolution wasn’t on the curriculum. What could she possibly hope to accomplish? To be a healer you need to connect with people. You need to touch, and let yourself be touched. And not just with your hands.
Watching these nurses, she envied them their friendships. Here were real buddies truly caring about each other, taking jabs, sharing private jokes and fears. She’d never had that. Even witnessing it from across a room, or a yard, only made her feel that much more lonely.
She got along with people well enough. Agreed with whatever they said, watched their pets, helped them move from one apartment to another. But no one really knew her.
Paulette had never been flush with self-confidence. People took that as humility, but humility isn’t painful and crippling. She hadn’t yet learned that humble and self-destructive aren’t the same thing at all. They’re not even on the same team.
And now here she was at a workshop for healers. Had she come here to heal; or to be healed?
It was one of those warm, charming days that write poems about themselves, and then settle these very softly into your mind. Paulette sensed what felt like a rain-laced breeze stirring her soul; sodden, and yet beautiful; laden with both the dismal, and the promising.
– From “The Gardens of Ailana”, a fiction largely based around adults still traumatized by having been abused as children, in the name of their parents’ religion.