Friday, December 29, 2006
"Today a new sun rises for me; everything lives, everything is animated, everything seems to speak to me of my passion, everything invites me to cherish it."-- Anne De Lenclos
As your journey carries you from 2006 into 2007, may you find that new sun so that you can carry its light with you step by step through the new year.
Conyers, Georgia photo by jon gos.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Today, I found an unexpected review of "The Sun Singer" on the Associated Comment web site written by Seth Mullins, author of "Song of an Untamed Land."
To read the kind words he has written, click here.
I appreciate the review. It's a pre-Christmas gift!
Saturday, December 16, 2006
When the novel-in-progress hits a snag, I write satire and upload it onto my Morning Satirical News web log to sort of clear the air. Now, some of those wild diversions have been collected into a book called Worst of Jock Stewart released today by Lulu.
This 40,000-word trade paperback pokes fun at the nonsense of the day via parody news stories that no real newspaper would remotely conisder using. But, my fictional "Junction City Star-Gazer" runs this kind of stuff all the time!
The book, published by Lulu, has been an enjoyable project--a nice change of pace while simultaneously preparing for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
It's available as both a trade paperback and an e-book from the Lulu web site and other on-line book sellers.
You'll notice from the photo of the front cover that I have wisely chosen to write this book under a pseudonym.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
The Foundation for Mythological Studies (FMS)
NATURE AND HUMAN NATUREChanging Perspectives
March 16-18, 2007 Santa Barbara, CA.
To register or learn more, click here.
What began as a conversation between friends, discussing the lack of dialogue between the sciences and the humanities, environmental issues of our times, the movie by Al Gore – An Inconvenient Truth - and publications on various ecological crises quickly turned into the organization of a full-fledged conference on nature and human change.
The Conference goals are to understand how we can bring about a change in our current perspectives and attitudes regarding our environmental ethos, address our psychological and ecological behaviors regarding our manner of dwelling on this planet, and discover what we can and what will we do as a human community to address these issues.
The Nature and Human Nature: Changing Perspectives Conference will explore how the sciences and the humanities can work in tandem to achieve a shift in consciousness with respect to our current environmental ethos.
Scientists, psychologists, and cultural mythologists are increasingly addressing the toughest and most perplexing global issues, yet critical dialogue is required so that we no longer ignore the human factors or the ecological facts.
Humans are an integral part of the natural world, but a lost sense of emotional connection to nature is an "inconvenient truth" that we tend to ignore because it involves a set of unconscious actions toward Nature. Just as we have the power to create destruction, we can also choose to promote restoration.
It seems clear that deep down, unconsciously; all of us seek connection with the rest of life. A collaboration between psychology and science is needed to transform this longing into sustained, conscious, effective action. Science and technology can suggest rational solutions but unless our emotional participation is more deeply engaged, it is unlikely that we will muster the commitment to effect the necessary changes.
We learn from depth psychology that emotions are stirred by stories and images. This suggests that in order to create lasting change, we need to join peoples and communities working in these areas, who are part of a growing constituency of ecologically minded citizens interested in bringing together the genius of scientific perspectives on ecology and psychological insights, and who include the ancestral wisdom embedded in our culture's mythical heritage.
With this conference we will experience extraordinary presentations and conversation, and encourage participants to engage in lively working groups led by experts in various fields that will increase our knowledge of environmental and human issues seen from a long-term perspective.
This will contribute to constructing new worldviews about the interactions between humans and nature. In this way, we hope to motivate educators, policy makers and entrepreneurs to devise attitudes, policies and corporate responsibility for the future of our planet and humankind.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Red-shouldered hawks are visiting again. Two days ago, a young hawk stood guard behind the house, insuring that no songbirds were present. This afternoon, a pair of older hawks owned the front yard.
(Photo by Lucina M.)
Beautiful birds, they blend in well with tree trunks, brown leaves and old squirrel nests at this time of year and are hard to spot even though they may be perched in plain sight. The quiet wood clues us into their presence, or taunting blue jays imitating their kee-yer, kee-yer, kee-yer call.
These birds stand some 24 inches tall at the most with a wing span that stretches out to about four feet. Their black tails have white bands, the under wings are reddish brown, the upper wings are barred black and white. They are slightly smaller than red-tailed hawks and are confined to the eastern United States.
Author Philip Lee Williams, who writes about north Georgia in In the Morning: Reflections From First Light, speaks of the red-tailed hawks who visit his property and finds that they believe themselves to be superior to everything else that walks the earth or flies above it.
The hawk, he says, “Thinks—no, he knows—you are his inferior. I’ve stood at a good angle from a tall branch many times and watched a red-tail watching me, eyes eagle-browed, gaze intense and unforgiving, superior status assured. In fact, I could swear I’ve seen red-tails sneer, which would suit their personalities.”
Our red-shoulder hawks display a similar attitude. The young hawk, which stands out more in the woods with his lighter breast, already knows the drill. When I walked to the bottom of the small tree where he sat and stood not ten feet beneath him, he clearly saw that I was beneath him. The older pair, wiser in the ways of man, did not permit such a close approach. But their gaze, like Williams’ red-tails, was equally cold.
My wife is, I think, a hawk whisperer, for she can stare them down and in so doing cause them to fly away, but only if they won’t listen to her initial friendly coaxing. I am less attuned and cannot make them leave the yard without visualizing strangling them (or worse) at which point they usually disappear.
My brute force visualization separates me from the hawk more than I desire, but I have songbirds at feeders that are my first duty. Otherwise, I am more like the hawk then I admit in polite company.
Friday, December 08, 2006
Winter is my favorite time of year, especially when the Christmas lights go up and the house fills with colour and shadow, rosemary and fir, and good things baking in the kitchen.
I'm listening to Mannheim Streamroller's Christmas Extraordinaire as I type these words, soon to be followed a mix of Diana Krall and traditional favorites.
The shadowy, almost palpable presence within the Christmas tree, the wreaths, and the great winter wood accentuates the lights and music and makes them more dear.
It's a time of wonder, greater than words can say.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
On December 2, I posted the first clue in my guess my announcement puzzle.
This lovely graphic represents the second clue. If you've wandered out to my Morning Satirical News web log, then you already know that drawing represents my alter ego Jock Stewart.
For more exciting details about this clue, click here. That "page of clues" contains an e-mail address. Once you've seen enough clues to guess what my announcement is, send me a message on or before December 15. The first three people with the correct answer will win a "wonderful" prize which they will treasure for years, or perhaps, for centuries.
Monday, December 04, 2006
Internet-wise, I'm giving it a shot with a Squidoo lens that ties my online stuff together under the name Myth Rider. Here you'll find (as I try to get the thing under control) feeds from my Writing, Montana and More and my Morning Satirical News web logs, the URL for my web site and for other sites associated with mythic themes.
Take a look and tell me how I can make it better!
"Our Fortunes and Lives seem Chaotic when they are looked at as facts. There is order and meaning only in the great truths believed by everybody in that older wiser time of the world when things were less well known but better understood." --Roderick Macleish
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Now, click here and read the first clue about an upcoming announcement.
If you think you know what I'll announce on December 16, click on the e-mail link and tell me what it is. The first three people who e-mail me the correct answer on or before December 15th will win a "wonderful prize."
If you don't know, no problem, I'll post another clue in a few more days.