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Living and Writing in the Natural World

Deep Ecology and Confucius

Having just about wrapped up my most recent novel, Sherlock Holmes in Egypt in 1923 figuring out who poisoned the discoverer of King Tut’s tomb, and incidentally how King Tut himself had died three thousand two hundred years earlier, I turned this week to research for my next book, and was reminded of the second verse of Confucius’ Analects (written a mere two thousand five hundred years ago): “Isn’t it a joy to greet friends from afar!”  Read More 
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The Great Darkness

Today is the Winter Solstice, where due to the 17 degree tilt of the earth we in the northern hemisphere have only 9 and a half hours of light but 14 and a half hours of darkness tonight—the longest night of the year. The occasion has been marked and celebrated for millennia by the Taoist tradition of China, and more recently by various people of environmental leanings. Both these disparate groups are convinced  Read More 
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Surviving Trauma

First the tingle, then a definite itch. Unbelieving, I looked down at my left arm last night, the inner elbow. There it was. The line of red welts of the worst of the seven jellyfish tentacles that had “stung” me eighteen months earlier in the waters of Hawaii. Eighteen months ago! I hadn’t been bothered by it for some months, but here it flared up again, and, amazingly, the welts were still active and doing their thing. Two things to note:  Read More 
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Looking Up

On a lark, I decided to dip into the park returning from getting the newspaper at the corner 7/11 this chilly morning. I had just turned the loop at the 1 mile mark, and was bicycling east, when I looked up and noticed that the dawn sky was ablaze with golden clouds. Now it’s nice to know what the ground looks like ahead of you,  Read More 
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Taking Time

I’m with the Taoist tradition of China and the environmental stance in America, that it’s important to spend time in the natural world. A week in the High Country, or an hour walking “the route” beside Chico Creek with my wife in the evenings. In addition to these longer times, it’s also good to give yourself a break from the rat race and take briefer moments throughout the day to remind yourself of what’s important. It needn’t be long. Yesterday, it was 2 minutes and twenty seconds for me.  Read More 
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