Read Me First


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I’ve always loved friends of the Way
friends of the Way I’ve always held dear
meeting a traveler with a silent spring
or greeting a guest talking Zen
talking of the unseen on a moonlit night
searching for truth until dawn
when ten thousand reasons disappear
and we finally see who we are

Han Shan – Chinese hermit, late eighth century

1/29/2014

In Carl Sagan’s excellent novel “Contact” on page 201, we find two of the protagonists strolling through Paris.

“They arrived at a monumental arch in the Roman style surmounted by a heroic, indeed apotheotic, statue of Napoleon as a chariot driver. From the long view, from an extra terrestrial perspective, how pathetic this posturing was.”

 Ah! The truth. 

As a scribbler and blogger, I remind myself that all things pass. After worldly fanfare, the razzamatazz, the blare of claxons and the gawdy neon lights, the chest thumping and the bravado, comes a great silence. I have increasingly found comfort in quietness, and I crave solitude. I love to read, I try my hand at writing, but I have been thinking and puzzling all my life. Why are we like this? Why, in the words of Rodney King, “can’t we all just get along?”
The Internet supports hundreds of writer sites. Many have hundreds, if not thousands of members. I have belonged to a few. I always felt uncomfortable. It was as if I was trying to hold a quiet, thoughtful conversation in a crowded hall, with people at nearby tables shouting out for attention. I craved a balcony somewhere, with a view, and a few good companions.
The other issue was that I didn’t want to try and “out-facebook” Facebook. I wasn’t trying to have a dating site, or a gossip column for the passing on of daily trivia. We started in 2007, with no agenda, and now seven years later, we still have no agenda, and very few members. We are approaching one million “hits”, and the cyber portal www.chopperstories.com has passed 40,000 “hits”. That amuses me. Deducting all the hits caused by bots, and all the hits caused by people looking for something else, I still maintain that I’m down to three regular readers. Well, two right now, ‘cos Jimmy is locked up again.
It doesn’t matter… blogging for me is part of The Great Walk. The spiritual and emotional journey, out of my confirmed Darkness, towards a Light I sense, but cannot yet see. If you want to walk with me for part of the way, you are very welcome. Just understand, I don’t know much.
The hunger is great, but the larder is empty.

 When I started posting on the Internet, I thought if I ever reached a hundred hits on a poem or a story, and one "thank you" email, that it would have been all worthwhile. I reached that target. The rest doesn't matter. We live, we think, we marvel, we wonder. The Chinese poet Han Shan blogged on walls, rocks, and trees. He had humor and insight. I'd like to think that if he and I were to meet one day, we would sit down and happily talk the night away.  Not much has -really- changed in twelve hundred years.

I am small. A groping spirit. If you only read one story of mine, I hope you read "Starry, starry night."

In it, I offer you my little Irish heart.

F.M.

goldfish jumping out of the water