Peripheral Awareness

NOTE: 

Enter for a chance to win an autographed paperback copy of Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise, book 2 in the Gaia’s Majesty Series.

Email me your entry at roger.burt@earthlink.net

Feel free to pass on the offer to others.

 

Peripheral Awareness

Do you think life experiences shape your future?

Building Perceptions and Expectations

It seems unlikely that many of you would say life experiences do not shape us. It depends upon the experience and how substantial the meaning is. Only occasionally is it profound and mostly the day to day does little to shape us except in aggregate. Too many interpersonal rejections and people go into hiding whether it is global, social or seeking a love life. Sometimes, though, there is something deep down. And it may be that we can see the deep down and the profound in fiction. And sometimes we do, indeed, see it in our own life.

An Early Lesson

When I was sixteen my father went on a cleanup campaign and since I was the son who was generally amenable I joined in. There was a dead limb over the drive that needed removal so I went up the ladder. I hit my elbow, destabilized and fell fifteen feet to an asphalt drive. When my father got to me he found my heart had stopped. Being a surgeon, he was able to restart it. He later shared his personal devastation at having almost lost his son under such circumstances. Something deep inside me had changed. It was decades later that I learned what.

There It Was Again

Decades later I was coming home from the office late at night. There was a slow moving pickup in front of me. Then around the sharp curve ahead a speeding black SUV swerved into the pickup. The truck sailed off the road and the SUV continued straight at me. Then he swerved, went off the road and came back in directly in the center of my driver’s door.

Being Strange

My personality is a little strange. I remember things people generally forget—such as trauma. If you are old enough to have listened to stories on the radio, you will recall car accidents meant screeching tires and breaking glass. No such thing. The crash I experienced was a mind numbing thud. My left leg exploded as the bones disintegrated. Flashing through my mind were the words, “that should do it.” I know that’s odd.

I had sustained a concussion, broken ribs, a spinal injury, broken left arm and the worst closed femur fracture Shock Trauma in Baltimore had ever seen. Over the coming days every single vision and feeling of the accident came back to awareness.

When I regained consciousness in the car the pain was so intense it cannot be described. Being sealed in a destroyed car with such pain causes a feeling of intense loneliness which I had never experienced before nor since. I crawled into the right side of my body to get away from it and stayed there for twenty years until I was coaxed out by an oriental therapy. The next morning I awakened with my wife at my side while I waited for the first of many surgeries. Again, something was different.

Determinism

At the time it was popular to believe everything that happened to you was of your choosing. In the car I considered and decided that was nonsense and I would waste no energy on such an exploration. I had a wife and four children and I was going to crawl out of the “Pit of Hell”.

The surgeries over the coming years were devastating and since I became friends with the staff they shared how frequently I had died and was brought back in the surgeries. 

Life Energy

Through it all I learned about energy. Often all the energy I had was to hang onto life. The pain was so intense, it was a year before I could turn over in bed. At last victory came and, in time, I finally began to walk again.

The bottom line is that I learned about loneliness and death. I’m not into pain but death holds no fear for me. Naturally I don’t want to leave my loved ones but death is in another sphere. As your energy subsides there is a serenity related to inevitability that may not be under your control at all. I fought back frequently but am left with an understanding about an end, an ebbing of life and peace. Nothing about it stands up to description. It simply is and, quite honestly, I find it reassuring.

What explorations have you had?

###

Don’t Miss My Developing Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

I refer to it as a work of magical realism. It is a series with a strong mythological element and a real world setting in this time when women are being empowered at last. It is a time of wonder and awakening for all of humankind.

 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called:Women in Power – Book 1

Avery had dedicated her life to work for the future of third world women. Her life was enhanced when she met the man who became the love of her life. They could not know that they shared a destiny and that a mission set long ago by our Earth Goddess was to be revealed before them. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise – Book 2

These people, called Tethyans, live in cities in the sea but can morph into fully human form and come to land to form families. They join with the warrior women called the Andromeda to fight against the forces working to impair the future of humankind. Avery has found her birth name of Chantia and she and Beck find there is soon to be a child of seeming great import just as the world falls into terrible strife with millions already dead. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge

The Tyranny of Older White Men

 

The Rule of Men

Throughout history mostly it is older men who have ruled. They sent their people into endless wars, took the riches for themselves and dominated women. Currently in America the domination is clearly in the hands of older white men. While I am an older white man my eyes remain on a time of discovery I had over fifty years ago.

Forced Awareness

Early in life can be a time of discovery but it may also may be a time of innocence from which we have to recover. For me the awakening came in stages. While I am an intuitive personality type and seek what may be, I also begin with an acceptance of how things are until forced to reassess. As I have said, moving to North Carolina in the 1960s was a time of coming to see entrenched racism  But when I took the job in the impoverished inner city of Baltimore it became a time of new discovery.

End of Innocence

I had never been close to poverty and what I saw in Baltimore was deeply disturbing. But I thought there was hope. I had taken the job to bring much needed mental health services through the dynamic community mental health movement. How naive we all were!

Our staff was a racially mixed batch of twenty somethings both male and female. We had been given a structure that we had to dispense with immediately. It was a grand idea but we had come not understanding that the biggest enemy of mental health was poverty. We had to implement a whole new agenda.

The Grand Impediment

We went to work to respond to how things were and what was needed but there were people who did not see it our way. The management of the program was in the hands of men in the university and the state. Those systems were ruled by older white man who cared not at all for our mission. They basked in the glory of having gained the grant from the federal government and wanted to use the funds as they saw fit, not as they were needed. We were young, dedicated and intransigent.

Some Examples

The mental health system generally worked on two levels. There were people who could pay for services or use insurance to get mental health services. Then there were the impoverished people. At the time in Baltimore they were seen by psychiatric residences who generally did not give therapy but medication. And these people were seen as being there for helping to train medical students who passed through on six week rotations. The students knew nothing about the real life of these people and six weeks is much too short to really begin to work with an individual or a family. We found a variety of ways to block the residents and medical students from dominating our program. For that we were not at all popular.

My “Elevation”

We had a resident in our unit who did not particularly like his job and shortly he resigned. By then our intransigence was known but I was elevated to head the unit. I knew it was not an accolade. Psychologists fall just below psychiatric residents in the metal health hierarchy so I was next in line. The new position was fine with me and the staff but was clearly not an affirmation of my abilities. But it put me, along with my staff, in a position to see the operations of senior staff were actually not in the interests of our clientele.

The Bottom Line

I could go into extensive details but the point is already made. My naivete was gone. In my twenties I saw the domination of older white men as they served their own interests and not the interests of the people. This lesson has been carried forward through my life and I consider it entrenched corruption. 

The other major event was the women in the program who began to work for their empowerment. My support of that movement has also been carried forward. I believe their empowerment is going to be important in overcoming the often corrupt rule of older white men.

These life lessons fueled my interest in writing my magical realism series, Gaia’s Majesty. 

The Overlords represent the older white men I had seen and the activist women the dedicated women I had seen and suggested the future I believe we must see.

In time the dedicated and rebellious twenty somethings moved on and were replaced by more compliant staff. The system and the innovation collapsed and it moved back to the origin system. The breadth and revolution had been destroyed. What has not changed is that we are still ruled by the older white men. Need I say I believe its time to have them taken down from power?

###

Don’t Miss My Developing Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

I refer to it as a work of magical realism. It is a series with a strong mythological element and a real world setting in this time when women are being empowered at last. It is a time of wonder and awakening for all of humankind.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power – Book 1

Avery had dedicated her life to work for the future of third world women. Her life was enhanced when she met the man who became the love of her life. They could not know that they shared a destiny and that a mission set long ago by our Earth Goddess was to be revealed before 

them. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise – Book 2

These people, called Tethyans, live in cities in the sea but can morph into fully human form and come to land to form families. They join with the warrior women called the Andromeda to fight against the forces working to impair the future of humankind. Avery has found her birth name of Chantia and she and Beck find there is soon to be a child of seeming great import just as the world falls into terrible strife with millions already dead. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge

Guns in America

 

Standing Alone

With the extent of gun violence America stands alone in the world. The time to do something about it is long overdue which should be apparent to everyone. But it is clear that gun manufacturers are in control of Congress and the president.

At Least There Is A Debate

Currently we are debating about options. One of the options relates to mental health. As a psychologist I have an opinion which is relevant.

A First Question

It is relevant to ask if mental health problems are at issue for the perpetrators. It would be absurd to assume it is not, All we need to do is look at their history, their rantings and their claims and it is clear that they are unstable and dysfunctional in a variety of ways. Then comes another question.

Can We Respond With Mental Health Treatment

The simple answer is “NO”. First of all we have no viable way to screen for the issues, the instability and the intent among many other factors. Then, if we could determine that the person is a danger we would have to ask if we can make them get help. The answer is also “NO”. No one can be forced to accept treatment in a meaningful way and even if we could force it they are capable of not responding.

Taking The Option Off The Table

While it would be desirable to get help for these people for many reasons, it is almost impossible to identify them. The answers to the problem of gun violence lies elsewhere.

The First Step

Most of these mass shootings involve assault rifles. Military people are clear with us. Assault rifles are weapons meant for the use of the military to create mass casualties in war time. They do not belong in the hands of ordinary citizens.

The Way Ahead Is Clear

Assault weapons must not be in the hands of ordinary citizens and should not be for sale to the public. The ammunition likewise should not be available for purchase. These are the first clear steps.

Our Focus

The National Rifle Association is clearly in the hands of gun manufacturers. Likewise there are many people in our government who are doing their work for them. They must be voted out of office.

The Way Ahead

Our direction is clear. Mental health is an issue but one which we cannot use for greater impact. The weapons of war must not  be sold. We need to clear our political house and remove politicians who do not serve the public interest.

###

Don’t Miss My Developing Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

I refer to it as a work of magical realism. It is a series with a strong mythological element and a real world setting in this time when women are being empowered at last. It is a time of wonder and awakening for all of humankind.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power – Book 1

Avery had dedicated her life to work for the future of third world women. Her life was enhanced when she met the man who became the love of her life. They could not know that they shared a destiny and that a mission set long ago by our Earth Goddess was to be revealed before 

them. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise – Book 2

These people, called Tethyans, live in cities in the sea but can morph into fully human form and come to land to form families. They join with the warrior women called the Andromeda to fight against the forces working to impair the future of humankind. Avery has found her birth name of Chantia and she and Beck find there is soon to be a child of seeming great import just as the world falls into terrible strife with millions already dead. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge

The Work Universe – 3

 

An Obvious Need for Awareness

And now I have to come back to the rapidly changing global scene. Too often our focus as professionals has been limited. But now, change is rapid and the first thing we have to do is open our horizons, see how our special expertise must achieve new foci and be expanded at the same time.

Changing My Viewpoint

Most psychologists planned to do their evaluation in a clinical setting and it was thought it was about psychological conflicts and what we called “mental Illness”. Gone are the days. For one thing we have to dramatically reframe what we call mental illness. But that is another story. Let me stay with the jobs issue.

I referred people for vocational rehabilitation and the counselor referred people to me for evaluation. Once I had a focus on the client I proceeded to an interview and testing. My focus was not so much on a clinical picture, meaning not on psychopathology. I had to see how they functioned which can be truly complex and I needed to build a picture of what their ability patterns were.

Without going into extensive detail, what I did in the intelligence testing gave us direction for employment. When I was in training I at first thought that simply the level of intelligence was at issue. Not so.

What Is Intelligence?

Beats me. It is naive to assume a simple picture about intelligence can be constructed from a test. But, for now, let me just focus on the “intelligence test”.

At the time the most commonly used tests were the Wechsler tests. Each had two primary parts. The Verbal part was assumed to relate to intellectual skills as they were applied in an office setting. The Performance section was assumed to relate to what we often call working class jobs. It is a lot more complicated than that but I’ll leave it at that for now. 

Over time I learned something important. It was often assumed that if the Verbal I.Q. was lower than the Performance IQ that the person had a learning disability. I came to see something very different. If the view was turned around and the Performance IQ was higher, then we may have a view of a talent. And what I saw was that the people with high Performance scores had talents very useful in tech jobs. And that could mean office tech jobs not just what we normally call working class jobs.

A Matter for Research

As the world changes so must our focus. For coal for example we need to do more than say those jobs are going away. Suddenly we have a large group of people who need other employment. We have  essential questions to ask such as “what is the ability pattern and talents of people who work in the coal industry?” We don’t know that but I suspect there is a highly diverse set of abilities available. Many came to work in coal because their fathers worked in coal. That does not tell you the whole story of their abilities.

We need to mesh a picture of the jobs which will be needed with the talents which are available in the families of the people who will have to leave dying industries.

That means we need extensive research into the abilities of the people who must leave employment such as in the coal industry. Simultaneously we need a good picture of new jobs which are being born in the world at large. And those two pictures much be merged. At present I hear nothing about this kind of research and it is essential for our future.

New and Broader Viewpoints

When I look at Applachia I see a dying industry in a gloriously beautiful area. Many people would probably be delighted to work in those lovely valleys. And they would be suitable to tech jobs which now can be linked electronically and don’t necessarily need to involve giant corporate facilities although the facilities could be smaller and linked. Without going into greater hypothetical detail, I think you can see my point. Across the country there must be endless possibilities if we will simply attend, seek vision and do the essential research.

Back to the Inner City

After i had the evaluation data I would then sit with the counselor and we would mesh what I found with the job market and training and education possibilities. This was a small focused means to an end and brought rewards to the people of the inner city., In microcosm it hinted at a process that could serve our country and a variety of settings.

Putting An end to Corruption, Stunted Vision and Commitment

The problem our country is facing is not limited to the job and skills issues noted above.

The future is out there and it need not be dismal. Our ability and commitment to our jobs future has been stalled for political and social reasons. The future of America is being strangled by an entrenched corrupt oligarchy. If we break their hold and expand our vision such as outlined above we can change the picture dramatically. So much now depends n the next election. Little progress is being made in Congress and the courts. It is now up to we the people.

891 words

###

Don’t Miss My Developing Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

I refer to it as a work of magical realism. It is a series with a strong mythological element and a real world setting in this time when women are being empowered at last. It is a time of wonder and awakening for all of humankind.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power – Book 1

Avery had dedicated her life to work for the future of third world women. Her life was enhanced when she met the man who became the love of her life. They could not know that they shared a destiny and that a mission set long ago by our Earth Goddess was to be revealed before 

them. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise – Book 2

These people, called Tethyans, live in cities in the sea but can morph into fully human form and come to land to form families. They join with the warrior women called the Andromeda to fight against the forces working to impair the future of humankind. Avery has found her birth name of Chantia and she and Beck find there is soon to be a child of seeming great import just as the world falls into terrible strife with millions already dead. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge

Nicolai’s Truth

 

The World of Intelligence Intrigue

Lately there has been a lot off attention regarding Russia and its authoritarian regime. We have seen journalists and opposition leaders murdered. That process is not characteristic of just recent Russian history. I have a story from my past which is germane to current events and how we view our world.

Being in graduate school at Duke University working on my Ph.D. was fascinating in so many ways. The South was having a civil rights war, I found myself deep in Duke University Medical Center and I was meeting all manner of fascinating people. Not the least of whom was Nicolai.

One day a new student arrived. He was older than most of us and had a heavy Russian accent. How curious? In time I learned he had been the head of KGB operations for Eastern Europe. One night we fed him ample vodka and he told us about how his life had been as a high level intelligence operative. Like so many people, he considered himself to have been a patriot. But being a patriot of the kind he had been required to be turned out to be a proposition he could not, in the end, suffer. He decided to defect.

Betrayed!

Of course American intelligence was interested and he agreed on a condition. When he went on Radio Free America to announce his defection his wife and children would be picked up by our people and taken out of Russia. We didn’t do it and he lost his family.

Nonetheless he was true to his word partly because he could not accept the moral problems associated with the kind of murderous activities in which he had to be involved. Like other Russians recently working for reform he survived a poisoning with a radioactive substance and came to the United States to study clinical psychology. Interesting choice.

Honor and Truth

He was a touching individual and I never would have guessed his past. He was such a gentle and respectful person with a deep sense of honor. The stories he told us that night were immensely troubling. But his concluding statement about his past in intelligence was one I will never forget. “You think intelligence work is like James Bond. It is in fact like Get Smart.” In case you don’t remember Get Smart, it was a television comedy series about international intrigue. The players on that stage were often inept if not just plain incompetent. Nicolai was speaking a truth.

It was clear he meant the statement and the details of his life bore out his conclusion. What he conveyed was that we often have a view of things which we hold as truth. But truth is illusory and Nicolai’s story was yet another confirmation that we do, indeed, live on the cusp of reality.

What do you think of Nicolai’s conclusion? 

###

Don’t Miss My Developing Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

I refer to it as a work of magical realism. It is a series with a strong mythological element and a real world setting in this time when women are being empowered at last. It is a time of wonder and awakening for all of humankind.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power – Book 1

Avery had dedicated her life to work for the future of third world women. Her life was enhanced when she met the man who became the love of her life. They could not know that they shared a destiny and that a mission set long ago by our Earth Goddess was to be revealed before 

them. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise – Book 2

These people, called Tethyans, live in cities in the sea but can morph into fully human form and come to land to form families. They join with the warrior women called the Andromeda to fight against the forces working to impair the future of humankind. Avery has found her birth name of Chantia and she and Beck find there is soon to be a child of seeming great import just as the world falls into terrible strife with millions already dead. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge

We Created The Cartels & Crisis At Our Border

 

On Our borders

It is important for us to step back and look at the real reasons we have a crisis on our southern border. We have people coming to our country seeking a new life in many parts of our country but our attention is focused on our southern border.

Stepping Back 

Again we need to step back away from the proclamations regarding politics. The reality is that this crisis has been building for decades and our lack of vision is primarily responsible for it. For much of my career as a psychologist it was inevitable that I would help deal with the problems related to drugs and addiction. 

Looking at Some Elements of the Basic story

It felt like it came out of nowhere but suddenly there was marijuana and the opportunity to use it as a recreational drug. I have to admit I tried it. It made me very hungry and so I would eat a great deal. After just two episodes I walked away. I didn’t want to weigh 400 pounds.

But many did like it. It has been decades now and we are finally legalizing it for recreational and medicinal purposes. But a lot of damage has been done. Drug cartels seized a significant opportunity. They could sell marijuana and offer other addictive drugs. Their businesses grew.

A major focus of their basic business operations was in Central America and it had  devastating effects on those countries.

The problems grew and grew as the cartel activities impacted Central America and our country. For awhile we offered some help to Central America but not enough. For some time I consulted with a drug treatment program and saw the widespread and diverse effects.

The Opioid Problem

And more recently we have seen another issue. There are always people who suffer chronic pain for one reason or another. Management is challenging and there are many responses. Unfortunately, the big drug companies saw an opportunity and they pushed the marketing of highly addictive drugs. And with little awareness the medical profession too often gave out prescriptions which made matters worse. And as a country we failed to look at the issue and develop the important set of needed responses.

Immigration Crisis

Our population has been manipulated. Suddenly there is a distinct increase in opposition to immigration.  I’m of mostly northern European origins except for my 1.5 % West African component. Another whole story there. My people came here 250-300 years ago. Then came the Irish, Italians, Germans and on and on. And suddenly we have objections to the arrival of latinos?

The cartels have created a dangerous atmosphere which is driving desperate people out of their home countries. Of course they are desperate and we have major responsibility for their plight. And in response are abusing their children and tearing their families apart.

Rather than engage in immoral attacks on vulnerable and desperate people we need a clear plan of management which includes significant aid of all kinds to those Central American countries. The cartels need to be defeated, our management of the issues improved and we need to resume a humane and MORAL response.

###

Don’t Miss My Developing Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

I refer to it as a work of magical realism. It is a series with a strong mythological element and a real world setting in this time when women are being empowered at last. It is a time of wonder and awakening for all of humankind.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power – Book 1

Avery had dedicated her life to work for the future of third world women. Her life was enhanced when she met the man who became the love of her life. They could not know that they shared a destiny and that a mission set long ago by our Earth Goddess was to be revealed before 

them. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise – Book 2

These people, called Tethyans, live in cities in the sea but can morph into fully human form and come to land to form families. They join with the warrior women called the Andromeda to fight against the forces working to impair the future of humankind. Avery has found her birth name of Chantia and she and Beck find there is soon to be a child of seeming great import just as the world falls into terrible strife with millions already dead. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge

——————————————–

Devoted to Vision

 

Devoted People

Books have characters who are key to the story. In the case of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy there is a core people, the Tethyans, who are key to the story as well.

At the time the story started to develop we seemed in a hopeful period in our world. There were beneficial changes in many regions. But then it seemed we began a downward spiral and today we look at considerable risk.

Even during the more hopeful period, the existence of a people devoted to stewardship and the future of humankind seemed essential. 

A Devoted Goddess

We have stories of gods and goddesses throughout history and often they simply reflect characteristics of humans. They fight, they love, there is conflict. In this instance the goddess Gaia represents both a benefactor and the planet itself. As such she stands above simple human conflict.

But she understands the essence of struggle in animal affairs that includes humans. So, she gives direction and can augment the conflict and struggle. And so the process stands above a simple interaction. From time to time she makes specific contact but she also represents a higher power. And the Tethyans too stand for higher purpose. They stand for us and our future. 

Beyond Present Circumstances

Too often we focus exclusively on conflict in human affairs. We look at which side we will support and the degree of our engagement. But there is a larger picture. We can address the matter of our collective future and whether we will join in a transformation. We do transform ourselves from time to time when we do things like embracing language and ownership of a culture. It may be that there are other things to embrace in our future. And they may not be apparent until they are upon us. 

Fundamentals

What is fundamental is our embracing change, devotion and vision. All that there can be is not readily apparent. It is devotion that fuels our future and we see it presently in devotion to stewardship and dedication to the future of all of us and our worldly home. And so again we come back to asking “What if?” Will be hold the vision which will support our dedication and insure that we will see our way through the current escalation of conflict. And if we do, we have to ask where is and what is our future? The beginning of this process is found in Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called now out in paperback and Kindle versions on Amazon. Available as well presently is Book 2 Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge : The Chosen Rise. Book3 will be along shortly

Do you have a specific vision?

###

Don’t Miss My Developing Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

I refer to it as a work of magical realism. It is a series with a strong mythological element and a real world setting in this time when women are being empowered at last. It is a time of wonder and awakening for all of humankind.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power – Book 1

Avery had dedicated her life to work for the future of third world women. Her life was enhanced when she met the man who became the love of her life. They could not know that they shared a destiny and that a mission set long ago by our Earth Goddess was to be revealed before 

them. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise – Book 2

These people, called Tethyans, live in cities in the sea but can morph into fully human form and come to land to form families. They join with the warrior women called the Andromeda to fight against the forces working to impair the future of humankind. Avery has found her birth name of Chantia and she and Beck find there is soon to be a child of seeming great import just as the world falls into terrible strife with millions already dead. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge

Studying Our Future

 

Being Taken Back

This past weekend has highlighted essential problems in our country. But what happened does not stand alone. Yes, we have a racist president who is fomenting hatred and discord.

But there is a larger context. I have been choking back tears the last few days. I am buffeted by conflicted feelings. I find myself reeling back to the 1960s when there was deep conflict and commitment to change and reform. At that time I was working on the impoverished streets of inner city Baltimore.

A Difficult Reality

I had just finished my studies at Duke University and was still deeply troubled by the entrenched racism I had experienced in North Carolina. This privileged young white man had, for the first time, experienced personally directed racism because he was a “Yankee”. My impression of entrenched problems has been enduring.

When I went to Baltimore I have to say I was an innocent. The idea of bringing mental health services to those people was alluring. And then came the reality of poverty and the meaning of life on those streets. 

On The Streets

Not everyone came to an office for help. We went out to their homes frequently. When I went to a building I learned that the facade told me little but I could know something about what things were like inside by the condition of the front door. At times I also went to the high rises. Often the elevators weren’t working so I would stop at the base of the stairs look, study, sniff and listen for clues about activities in the stairwell. 

Fortunately I had some good people around me to offer guidance and advice. And often they were women and together we fought the entrenched special interests of older white men who had little commitment to our mission but were committed to their own privilege and aggrandizement. The commonality of what is happening in our country now is stunning me. In that focused sense nothing has changed.

A Danger Point

I also must say from my decades long perspective that I see us at a serious danger point. It can be focused nationally but also at the world level. Suddenly after this last weekend we are gaining clarity about special challenge in America. Will we respond or will racism and corruption continue to rule? 

I didn’t realize it at the time but fundamental themes I have experienced in life directed my fiction writing in the Gaia’s Majesty Series. As I’ve said before, empowerment of women was central but so too was the corrupt rule of older white men. And now that I am an older white man, my commitment to our future and overcoming detriments to our future has not abated.

Transformation and Challenge

The third book in the series is called Gaia’s Majesty-Transformation and transformation is the key word I am looking at in our present crises. We can descend into decades of war and utter destruction as we have before or we can rise up with renewed commitment such as we saw in the 1960s. Now that men can ally themselves with women in a committed alliance we have the chance to have an important transformation which will benefit not just America but the world. Our leadership in the world is being sabotaged and it is essential that we take it back.

Are we up to the challenge? Will we seize the promise of our future?

###

Don’t Miss My Developing Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

I refer to it as a work of magical realism. It is a series with a strong mythological element and a real world setting in this time when women are being empowered at last. It is a time of wonder and awakening for all of humankind.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power – Book 1

Avery had dedicated her life to work for the future of third world women. Her life was enhanced when she met the man who became the love of her life. They could not know that they shared a destiny and that a mission set long ago by our Earth Goddess was to be revealed before 

them. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise – Book 2

These people, called Tethyans, live in cities in the sea but can morph into fully human form and come to land to form families. They join with the warrior women called the Andromeda to fight against the forces working to impair the future of humankind. Avery has found her birth name of Chantia and she and Beck find there is soon to be a child of seeming great import just as the world falls into terrible strife with millions already dead. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge

Stepfamilies – Struggle and Triumph

Do you know what a stepfamily is?

A stepfamily is also known as a blended family or a remarried family. It happens when people who have children from a former marriage marry. If there are no children, it is simply a remarriage.

Years ago people used to hide the fact that they were a stepfamily. Children were adopted or the fact of the nature of the family was a secret. And then in the 1970s a stepfamily movement took shape and people began to discuss their existence and the problems they faced.

A Host of Adjustments

At the time the divorce rate was higher than it is today. People marrying earlier was one problem. But there were many contributing factors. There is an adjustment to a divorce or the death of a spouse which must be dealt with. Too often people moved quickly into another marriage and brought their children with them. Adjustments weren’t finished and the children had to deal with their own adjustments. They had to adjust to a new family they didn’t want.

Looking Back 

My wife and I suffered divorces at the same time and remarried in that period. Together we had custody of our children—in crisis. It was stressful, is one way to state it. And that is a simplistic statement.

Soon we sought understanding and refuge in the stepfamily movement and became national experts in the experience and its adjustment. Now we are here having been married for forty-four years this summer and our children have been on their own for a long time. There are now grandchildren. Survival was not easy.

The Struggles

Families of any kind can be stressful. Careers have to be maintaining and children have needs and grow fitfully. But a stepfamily begins in crisis. Everyone is in crisis and the threat of it tearing itself apart is clear and present. The adjustment period for the adults is between six and eight years in general. And during this period the children are working on their own adjustment. 

But there is help and understanding. The adjustment period is long but people need to understand it gets better during the period in fits and starts.

Inspiration

It was clear people needed information and understanding. Many of us wrote books to help others. My wife and I wrote a book which we later revised in another form. It is called Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership. The title is telling. Getting help is important for very many couples. But there is no reason that all the wisdom needs to come from someone else. The adults involved can understand and help construct their own helping and healing system. So, it can become a partnership. Or, of course, the couple may simply find the book sufficient and useful.

We now have an important body of knowledge and don’t have to be alone in a difficult period.

How many stepfamilies do you know? Probably more than you think.

It’s Not Politics

 

An Opening Comment

My plans for this blog were originally related to a desire to publicize my Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy, a work of magical realism. Two major themes in the series relate to a growing world crisis and the other to the empowerment of women. It is said I should not endanger the promotion of my series by making other comments. Well, I’ve had it. I cannot stay back from commenting on disgraceful events in our country presently. I have a history in which I dealt with Baltimore poverty, southern racism, drug abuse, employment issues and beyond. Part of the time I”m going to address these issues. Some people may take offense. So be it. Others, I hope will be engaged by the reality of the struggles of our country. America has been a noble experiment and must be defended.

Facing Truth and Reality

Listening to the news suggests that politics is the only thing going on. Everything is reduced to or connected to politics.

Here is one definition of politics –    the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, especially the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power.

A Broader Perspective

Granted politics can affect many components of our lives but we need to address issues specifically because much of what affects our lives is not defined by politics. Do you have enough money to live on? How do you like your child’s pediatrician?

When you address specifics, distinct issues emerge. They may not relate to politics or may only in some fashion. But what is happening to people is that they are being split into factions seemingly at war with each other. And linking everything to politics increases the division and in the end makes many people turn away from dealing with specific matters needing attention. When they turn away and turn off they tend not to vote and work on crucial issues. We need to come back to dealing with the issues in our lives.

Broad Issues

The wealth of our country has been flowing to a smaller and smaller number of people who already have great wealth. More and more people are joining the ranks of who we call “The left behinds.”  I was part of the health delivery system in my career and we have a markedly inefficient and unfair system. It needs to be modernized or we will fall even farther behind the rest of the world. The job world is changing and we are failing to look at what is emerging and how we can help our citizens adapt and join the new work forces. In another post I have addressed a lot of those issues.

Then There Is Morality

This is the issue that has absolutely grasped my attention. There are now a great number of corrupt people who are grasping at power at our expense. They fall in every level of business and government. What is truly troubling is that they are now engaging in their corruption openly in ways many of us would never have expected. And with many of our people turning away they are creating a corrupt, immoral society I never would have expected. This is not the America I thought we were and we need to turn back and drag these people down and that often should mean sending them to prison.

The Bottom Line

At base we need to rise to the defense of our country and our future, not to mention our children and grandchildren. The terrible immorality and corruption we are seeing on the national stage is terrible to see. Are we a people who are willing to tolerate publicly abusing children and tearing families apart. There are sub issues but just what we see on the surface makes me shudder and wonder who we have become.

I didn’t realize it at the time but when I began to write my Gaia’s Majesty series I was responding to the corrupt power elite in this country. And with my lead characters, including the warrior women called the Andromeda, I was attending to the empowerment of women.

In our day to day lives it is time for us to look at who we are, study issues aside from politics, make plans, dig in to do planning and above all return to who we thought we were.

###

Don’t Miss My Developing Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

I refer to it as a work of magical realism. It is a series with a strong mythological element and a real world setting in this time when women are being empowered at last. It is a time of wonder and awakening for all of humankind.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power – Book 1

Avery had dedicated her life to work for the future of third world women. Her life was enhanced when she met the man who became the love of her life. They could not know that they shared a destiny and that a mission set long ago by our Earth Goddess was to be revealed before 

them. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise – Book 2

These people, called Tethyans, live in cities in the sea but can morph into fully human form and come to land to form families. They join with the warrior women called the Andromeda to fight against the forces working to impair the future of humankind. Avery has found her birth name of Chantia and she and Beck find there is soon to be a child of seeming great import just as the world falls into terrible strife with millions already dead. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge