questions

The Illusion of Separation

 

00 holding hands

 

 

Illusions are easy to live in, especially for an optimist. And the world desperately conspires to give them breath with the idea we can all get along. Why not? We’re all the same… on the inside.

Well, that’s an illusion too, isn’t it?

Society is hell bent on creating separation. It gives people another illusion – that of power. Countries and social circles hunger for it, and will use any means, be it hate or love, to control a little speck of the universe. They force people to defend their rights, defend their very character, even in the face of those who love them.

Twelve years ago, the country found a new enemy, but they didn’t stop at the faceless “terror” living thousands of miles away. Much like the Japanese American interment camps during WWII, our own citizens became the demons we fought. Suspicion, targeting, blackballing; all it becoming the norm, forcing otherwise innocent people to prove they were actually innocent. Guised as protection, the powers that be used this fire to enact several laws and create agencies to further tight their hold on the country, thus expanding their power.

McCarthyism in the early to mid 1950’s is yet another example. Many writers, directors, and actors as well as everyday citizens lost entire careers, entire families ripped apart because of finger pointing and rumor. It pitted neighbor squarely against neighbor in  a quest to prove personal innocence. Again, suspicion and fear became the norm and tool by which “order” and conformity was maintained.

But we’re more evolved now, right?

If society wasn’t hell bent on creating separation, I might say yes. But power and control are mighty tempting things. The lust for them lives in the eyes of society, and it will find the one perceived threat to its sovereignty,  then ban together and point fingers to divert attention from its end goal.

The concept of separation and the lust for power is a heavy theme in my novel, Ring Binder – The Binding of Twelve, because I believe books should be entertaining but also incorporate themes that break illusion.

Allison grew up in a small town plagued by rumors about her family. The peculiar behavior of her grandmother Shanley created the perfect target for a town that thrived on drama and separation. Of course, Allison didn’t help the situation by choosing not to follow social norms for the sake of getting along. She isolated herself from ridicule and sideways glances, adding to the tension. But the grab for social rankings and the separatist attitude of the majority of town’s residence seemed petty and childish at best.

When Allison ventured into the world of her people this dynamic was magnified. The ruling council of the Mutaní lusted for power and control, maintaining both by encouraging suspicion and unease. Again, the rules of their society served one purpose – separation. By preying on people’s fear of the Iska, soul feeding demons who hunted them, the council effectively manipulated the will and minds of the many to accomplish their end goal, which created a cycle of death killing entire generations.

This phenomenon isn’t limited to governments. It trickles down to infect social circles and even families. When we buy into the illusion of us versus them, when we gossip and spread rumors to defame another simply to maintain power and control over the people in our universe, then we become the monsters of separation. And while I still believe everyone, despite the individual and internal battles we fight, can find a way to get along, it’s difficult to tolerate energy in my universe that thrives on making people choose sides or creates division for the sake of maintaining power.

So what’s the alternative? I’m not sure.

How can we put an end to the illusion that we need to separate into camps? Hell, if I know.

My best option at the moment is respect people from a distance until we find common ground; until everyone realizes we have this one life, this one planet we share, and none of us will ever have power or control over it. At least, not for too long.

I leave you with the opening quote in Ring Binder from Samuel Lonary, shifter and Binder trainer.

“Longevity has given me the ability to look past the common struggles of life. I’ve seen power rise with the dawn only to be reclaimed by darkness. In the reach for control, the one constant is the moon. Pulling the tide with each orbit, the moon reaches into the hearts of men to touch them with power and insanity. For centuries, the Mutaní drew upon its light for ascension. We sought connection to the objects on a spiritual plane, but in this quest, the power corrupts. As our focus turned from the preservation of life to the sole saviors of humanity, the Mutaní forgot the lessons of history. All power is borrowed, even ours. Eventually, it too will set as the moon rises.”

 

 

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Categories: freedom, lettng go, life, questions, self reflection, spirituality, the fear that binds us, the universes we create, themes, what once was, writing | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Measures of success… & other launch day realities

0 Best seller

On the verge…

Of success? Maybe.

Of worldwide recognition? It could happen.

But one book does not a writing career make.

I had no illusions about my first book launch. It’s not a matter of confidence, but one of realism. This is a damn tough business. Editors, publishers, covers, formatting, constant digital interaction—all of it takes time and energy and money. Most of which I never seem to have enough of, but somehow manage anyway.

No book is an overnight bestseller and it takes several more, combined with many years, for a series to grab a readership. I know the numbers. I’ve seen the stats. The reality is stark and unyielding, but it’s not impossible and it’s no longer intimidating.

This one book is proof, mostly to myself, that I can do this. Now it’s time for the next step.

The thing that most people don’t know is I launched this book with rotating internet outage and on the brink of my power being shut off. Yep, that’s right. I’m staring at the notice of imminent outage scheduled for the 31st of July. I’m short on my rent for tomorrow, and my fridge is nearly bare. My life is either on the threshold of something big, or a complete collapse. 

Yet, I’m not broken or hopeless or particularly depressed. Because this is life. We claw our way through, chasing dreams or building them with the hopes and intention to be greater than circumstances. Everyone is experiencing their own level of struggle, and one is not larger than another. Our demons, whether internal or external, only have the power we give them. It’s not about triumph over life, but a slow and steady commitment to living through it while still recognizing the moments of joy and connection.

I own little of worth, but the things I cherish aren’t objects of financial value. Over the past five years, I’ve watched my children grow into amazing and kind adults. I’ve made genuine and life-long friendships. I’ve found people who know the parts of me that huddle in the corner for fear of losing everything, and the parts that take on the world. Still they believe in me, even when I don’t believe in myself.

Sometimes I screw everything up. Sometimes I get in over my head and am too prideful to ask for help. Sometimes I don’t have a single answer and wish people would stop asking me questions.

In fact, I’m not exactly sure what to do at this moment.

But in the face of acknowledging I know absolutely nothing, the Universe gave me an answer… or solution… or a peaceful silence that is an answer all by itself.

So, yes, my first launch was quiet. Almost ninja-like. Because I have no illusions that one book is the cure. But I took another step forward, and persistence is the only absolute certainty I know.

 

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Ring Binder Cover V3

Ring Binder is now available on Amazon kindle.

Categories: answers, belief, life, mistakes, not giving up, questions, relationships, tomorrow | Tags: , | 10 Comments

Brushing Keys & Building Dreams

 

 

It took a flash brighter than lightning on a starless night for me to see. If not for the scream of a handful of words, I might still be blind. I won’t admit to the tears, because I’m too stubborn to let them fall. I won’t admit to the twist in my stomach, because I’m too thick skinned to let it bubble past the surface. I won’t admit defeat, because I don’t really know the meaning. Instead, I’ll let them scrub the insides clean.

~   ~   ~

Will you know when your paradigm shifts? Will anyone be there to care? I ask these questions often, and then I wonder if they matter. Mine shifted tonight and when I saw the stars again, my three were right where I left them. The comfort of the familiar steadied me. I let the gathered expectations of the last nine months blow away. They piled up when I wasn’t looking, but then I guess we miss the dust bunnies until we’re stepping on them.

Here’s the hardest part of revelation: when it finally happens, no one may be there to share it and no matter how loud you scream no one will hear it.

Instead, I’ll leave it here. Though you won’t understand every word you’ll feel it with me; the excitement that borderlines mania, the fear that borderlines terror, the hope that borderlines faith. When the sharp breath hits like that wall you didn’t see coming, you’ll know. You’ll see it’s all part of who I was, who I am, and who I hope to be. Seek me out to hear the smile in my voice or walk by with a quick uneasy glance; either way I’ll be here brushing keys and building dreams in cloud shaped castles.

Categories: answers, belief, choosing faith, contentment, deliverance, Drive by life, heart, love, messages, mistakes, purpose, questions, relationships, unconditional love | Tags: | Leave a comment

Contentment

Most days I’m content with the way the wind blows and the sporadic rainfalls of late summer are just enough to clear my head. But the last few months have driven me far from that peace. The simple pleasures of the now are no longer within my grasp. And the frustration is starting to wear on me.

This pathological search mode isn’t part of my baseline. Typically everything has a place and I know where to find it when the need arises, but lately I feel a push I can’t quite quantify. It feels as if I’m being pushed to find the answer to a question I don’t even know. Maybe that’s wrong, because if you broke it down, I think you’d find that something is missing. A part of me that I never noticed before seems empty.

I spent many nights blaming it on the addictions, the lack of contact, writing too much or too little, and those everyday stressors we encounter. The truth is something in me just isn’t there. So my entire being is grasping at straws hoping to catch the right one. The exhaustion of continually pulling back the wrong straw has led me here; back to the page, because if I write it out maybe sense will follow.

I have my doubts, but then that shouldn’t surprise you. I talked about taking risks in my last post. The biggest of which, for me, is believing in myself. Maybe that’s the answer…maybe not. And in those words I reveal something about myself, I think. I am, at the core, a person who needs to find the answers in order to find peace. But how is that possible when the question is obscured?

You may or may not read this. You may or may not care, but then it’s not your job. In the end, I guess it’s just another leg of the journey. Without growth we stagnant and I can think of no greater crime than to sit in one place and never take the next step. So, though I don’t know the question…or answer, I’ll continue to search. Until I find the question, until I know the answers, until the universe shifts again, until exhaustion takes me and I can no longer continue.

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“There’s just too many words we’re never meant to learn…”

Categories: answers, belief, contentment, Drive by life, life, love, messages, patience, questions, relationships, searching, self reflection, taking risks, the next step | Tags: | 6 Comments

Building Sandcastles

 

I used to understand life. It’s like building sandcastles. You start with a nice flat spot on the beach, packed tightly to create the foundation. Next, a little damp sand tamped in a bucket for the rooms. Finally, a few shells and ten buckets of water later the moat will complete your masterpiece. That is until the tide rises and washes it all away.

It’s funny how long we spend building our fragile creations. Instinct warns you’re only a wave away from watching it fall, but still you scour the sand for hours looking for jewels to frame it.

What frightens me the most is the indifference. It’s not like we run around trying to stop the destruction. We sit and watch as grain by grain it disappears back to nothingness. It would make sense if there were tears. At least then I could see the meaning, the connection, but the lack of response leaves me wondering. Why build at all?

Maybe we fill our time with building to avoid the truth. While sitting in silence we’re force to face the one person we’re experts at avoiding: Ourselves. Every decision, the mistakes, the hopeless fallings and failings of our lives scream out. Nothing could be louder than that silence. The one that makes you realize you’re wrong or, worse yet, right.

When our hands are idle the universe sneaks in. It whispers and screams all the things you’ve been missing while on the move. You can be sure all the hunches and passing thoughts nagging you relentlessly will show themselves, in a prismic light show that will slam against your brain like a lightning bolt. When the smoke clears, if you’re lucky, you’ll find some peace, but more likely it will just leave more questions.

Maybe that’s the point. We don’t stop building because in the silence there are questions. One’s we don’t know the answers to and leave our brains slightly singed. So why stop to listen at all?

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“…I’ll keep searching till they find me…”

Categories: Drive by life, Kate Voegele, life, love, questions, relationships, sandcastles, the next step | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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