Waiting for….what?

“You are on the verge of the new age, a whole new world.
Human consciousness, our mutual awareness, is going to
make a quantum leap.
Everything will change. You will never be the same.
All this will happen just as soon as you’re ready.”

– Paul Williams, “Das Energi

Clipart.com photo

People say they will follow their dreams when the trivial is cleared from their calendars. . .when they get out of school. . .when the children leave the nest. . .when Godot arrives. . .when the weather changes. . .when the Christmas rush is over. . .when the dog gets back from the vet. . .when the garden is put in. . .when all the junk is cleaned out of the attic. . .when time stops going by. . .when somebody they trust gives them permission. . .when they get things back together after the last funeral. . .when wishes become horses. . .when they find the magic book with all the answers. . .when they no longer need a fix or a drink. . .when somebody leaves the invisible gate open. . .when the hearse is on the way.

Seems a waste, doesn’t it, never getting started?

“A bit of advice
Given to a young Native American
At the time of his initiation:
As you go the way of life,
You will see a great chasm. Jump.
It is not as wide as you think.”

– Joseph Campbell

–Malcolm

And, for some shameless promotion, the Kindle edition of my new novel “Lena” is on sale for 99₵ this weekend.

 

 

What this blog is still all about

I wrote this post back in 2008. It’s still true today:

A friend asked in a recent post on her MySpace blog “How Do You Define Success?”

Clipart.com graphic

Essentially, her answer was finding the freedom to be herself and to follow her dreams. The challenge for her–for many of us–was that while following our dreams requires a measure of security and financial well-being, if we spend too much time or stress establishing that, we may not ever get to our dreams.

My answer to her question was similar to hers. Success to me is doing what I’m here to do: making an inner journey and writing about it. This blog represents my random thoughts, and a lot of yours, about the challenges we face and about the things we see along the trail.

I’m influenced, as many of you can tell, by the work of such writers as Edward Abbey and Colin Fletcher and by the dedication of volunteers in such organisations as the Sierra Club and the Nature Conservancy. I’m also influenced by Jane Roberts’ “Seth Books,” by the writings of Carlos Castaneda and Caroline Myss.

As we walk the trail, we learn–as Carlos was taught–that our outer journey is a reflexion of our inner journey and, conversely, that if we are impeccable in what we do in the physical world, we will be more centered within.

For me, success is being on the path and experiencing what I find there and then putting those feelings into words on the page.

What about you?

–Malcolm

 

Briefly Noted: ‘Hoodoo Food!’ with conjure cook-off winners

Some of the best recipes often come out of special cookbooks published by church groups, friends of the library committees, clubs, and historical societies. The recipes in Hoodoo Food! The Best of the Conjure Cook-Off and Rootwork Recipe Round-Up are no exception.

hoodoofoodNot only are the book’s recipes solid and well-thought-out by traditional cooking standards, they’re grouped by type, that is to say, the conjure category where they’ll provide extra blessings and benefits:

  • New Year’s Luck
  • Money Matters
  • Affairs of the Heart
  • Enemy Tricks
  • Dreams and Divination

The book was published in 2014 by the Ladies Auxiliary of California’s Missionary Independent Spiritual Church and includes the first-, second- and third-place winners of  conjure cook-offs held between 2010 and 2013.

In addition to the handy categories, the recipes’ ingredients include parenthetical notations showing their conjure benefits. As a fan of Hoppin’ John, I see that the New Year’s Luck recipe notes that the beans, diced bacon, spicy sausage, and red onion are great for luck, that the rice helps with prosperity and fertility, and that the spices help with protection.

Under Money Matters, who can resist “Valentina’s Hot Money-Draw Texas Chili” even if they already have plenty of money? The recipe is filled with ingredients for protection, pleasure, gold, blessings, and love luck. If you want more love luck, then feast your taste-buds on the treats listed under Affairs of the Heart, including “Love Honey” and “Ashta Special For Romance and Seduction.” This is the book’s largest category.

When you’re ready for more than a good night’s sleep, I like the “Astral Travel Tea” in Dreams and Divination, and suspect that the roasted dandelion root is a key ingredient here. Of course, good food is good food, and that applies to recipes like “Haters Be Gone Hot Wings” even if everybody loves you, and “Red Eye Gravy to Keep Your Man Working” even if he’s already busy.

You’ll notice as you read the book, you’ll find words of wisdom in the header at the top of every page. My favorites are “Men may come and men may go … but pie goes on for ever” and “The most dangerous food is a wedding cake.”

With this 96-page cookbook, you’ll eat well, live long, and prosper. Of course I can’t guarantee any of that, but it’s worth a try if you like having fun in the kitchen.

–Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of Conjure Woman’s Cat.

 

 

What happens to the world if this post goes viral?

You are reading a post called “What happens to the world if this post goes viral” with a disquieting sense of deja vu that it has already gone viral and you are just now finding out about it (having been in prison or having sex or simply busy at work) and/or that the whole thing hasn’t happened yet and is coming to you from the future. Either way, if it goes viral and/or already has gone viral, what in fact will be the result?

Here are the probabilities:

  1. It (this post which, in your reality, you think you are reading right now even though–as you will see–you probably aren’t) will pick up speed and become so ubiquitous nobody will remember where they saw it first or if they just heard about it so often they began to believe they saw it, to the extent that some people will become alarmed and start warning about the world tilting on its axis or frogs falling from the sky or various magic men coming down from their mountains to tell us once and for all the meaning of life.
  2. Sappho on a vase found years ago in an attic.
    Sappho on a vase found years ago in an attic.

    The speed of this post will exceed the speed of light and, as Einstein predicted, will become younger and younger until it ends up appearing on MySpace or an ancient CompuServe forum, ultimately to be discovered mixed into the poetry of Sappho that will be discovered 200 years ago on a papyrus long thought to have been lost or mixed up with the Nostradamus prediction about rogue photons calling out of the sky on a summer evening in 1566 or 1966 (depending on the translation).

  3. It goes without saying that all of you who leave pithy comments will become either famous or infamous (perhaps both) and will start getting movie deals, hearing from old flames, learning that you forgot to pay a parking ticket in Carson City 15 years ago and now (with interest) you owe more money than most people earn in a lifetime even though, quite possibly (fate being what it is) time will move backwards and you’ll be talked about on the streets of London and Paris years before you are born, completely tangling up the records at Ancestry.com.
  4. Once something becomes ubiquitous, people (especially conspiracy theorists) begin debating whether it’s a blessing or a curse with everyone pointing fingers at the top Presidential contenders and demanding that if they are responsible, they apologize or lamely say they misspoke or, if elected, have new laws ready to put on the books to contain the real or imagined dangers that may or may not occur either now or in the past.
  5. As a famous scientist will say in the future or past, depending on which universe you hang you hat in, there is no containing rogue photons that spin off into lives of their own when a viral post collides with the sides of voynichbent space, causing people who we’ve always thought to have lived in the past to have not lived there, or if they did, did things differently so that the future changed in ways that could not be predicted, one of them being that this post ended up never being written at all.
  6. Once this post flows backward in “time” to 1916, Einstein will see things differently or even dream things differently so that the general theory of relativity takes on either new meanings or collapses altogether depending on whether one is there to observe the event or not (like that darned cat that may or may not be dead in the box).
  7. People–and we don’t yet know who they are except that they probably live in Nebraska–will start decoding this post with the same fervor similar people have hopelessly tried to decode the Voynich manuscript, and there will be among them advanced code breakers who will begin to find that when the letters in this post are shaken up and mixed with every other word from Finnegans Wake the result is a new set of theories for the meaning of life, how to achieve immortality, and even who will be standing outside your house every Bloomsday to see if you’re reading Joyce or, heaven help you, Barbara Cartland.

    Cartland
    Cartland
  8. New religions and political parties will be born out of the chaos of dreams and the dreams of dreams that have no beginning and no end, advocating on one side of the coin that this post is total nonsense and that everyone who left a comment on it is a daft buffoon, and on the other side of the coin, that this post is part of the great shift in consciousness predicted by seers and soothsayers and what this means for you–the innocent reader–is that your will be swept up into arguments and/or country songs and/or various legends that will show everyone just how silly and/or profound beliefs can be when everyone is talking about them at once.
  9. You will discover that you’re not the same person that you were when you started reading this post and that, depending on how the magic hidden within it impacts your psyche, you will either join new causes and help save the world or you will hide in a cave until the world blows over (figuratively speaking, perhaps) and in the final analysis you will wonder what kind of synchronicity exists in a world where a post like this appears seemingly out of nowhere (unless you think Sappho wrote it) and comes to your attention on a day when you had no reason to be logging on to WordPress, MySpace or CompuServe (depending on which time period you ended up in).
  10. Bacon
    Bacon

    Assuming that all of this is true, chances are optimal that you are either not reading this post right now or–just as likely–you are a sage living at the time of Frances Bacon who is quite certain that whether Shakespeare wrote the plays or not, some of the lines in this missive were hidden away in misplaced early draft of “All’s Well That Ends Well,” or on the other hand, assuming that none of this was true while the post was being written, once it’s ubiquitous it will become true, proving once and for all that cause and effect isn’t quite what we thought it was, but true or false, it appears that there’s nothing we can do about anything that becomes viral.

One of the perks of being a writer

Most of us enjoy the world of our imagination even though many of our fantasies will forever be stamped CLASSIFIED.

As a writer, though, my job is spending large amounts of time with my imagination without having to admit to garden-variety daydreaming.

For example, I gave David Ward, my protagonist in Garden of Heaven some of my best and worst qualities. While people who really know me may debate which are which, those qualities include dreams I never fulfilled.

When I was younger, I wanted to work for the railroad, specifically the Great Northern, now a part of the Burlington Northern Sante Fe. The railroad was never hiring when I was looking. David Ward also wanted to work for the Great Northern. While it was not to be, he did get a chance to run a passenger locomotive for a few miles on the high line tracks east of Glacier National Park.

(Oddly enough, my wife and I were volunteers at a railway museum in the 1990s, and she turned out to be much better at running locomotives than I was, from a 44-ton yard goat to a mainline freight engine. Sigh.)

People who see my bad knees and ankles now can’t imagine that I used to climb mountains in Colorado and Montana, and (worse yet) that I actively wanted to climb Everest or K2. Unfortunately, such things were outside my budget.

But David Ward wasn’t cramped by his budget. So, I sent him off to climb K2, and (worse yet) to summit via the dangerous “magic line” route before it was called the “magic line.”

Pretending to run a diesel locomotive on the head end of a passenger train and to climb the most difficult mountain of the world are parts of my fantasy world. One of the perks of being a writer is using one’s active imagination and following through with such dreams in, perhaps, another reality or universe.