1,001 a cyberspace odyssey 


I just want to thank you all for bearing with me on this journey. I appreciate every one of you. I celebrate the number only as a milestone of connections of likeminded people…all on a journey of self exploration and sharing the human experience! 

Please take a seat and fasten your seatbelt as it’s probably going to be a bumpy ride! 

Thanks again!

Singularity 


We are won, when we are one

Second verse, same as the universe

Shared consciousness from a unified source 

Sheared from subconscious the rarified voice

Conservation of matter: 

recycle, reuse…reduce

Preservation matters: 

empathy, sympathy…compassion 

Sharing the same mind like the many facets on a beautiful gemstone, that looks like the universe observed from the nil-space beyond.

 

Brown baggin it 


There should be limits. 

He smiled as he placed the 50 count, brown, lunch bags on the checkout conveyor. 

Driving through town, on the way to his first day at his new job, he glanced at various shops and restaurants that he had worked at previously. 

Everyone always cheered as he entered a former place of employment, and always the question of if he would be coming back to work there came up. 

It felt amazing to be missed and wanted and he was known by everyone. 

His new job was at a bottle sorting facility, that took in the redemptions and made sure the different types were sorted appropriately. 

He drove home from work that night reeking of skunky, rotten alcohol…hoping he wouldn’t get pulled over.

49. 

The next day he was completely up to speed and was able to participate in the idle chitchat with the other sorters, but quickly the conversation degraded into the typical misogynistic blathering of the clueless. 

Tomorrow his lunch would require 2 bags. 

48. 

He heard murmurs of his outperforming the other sorters and caught sideways glances, so he kept in pace with the others, but started eating his lunch at a decrepit picnic table that sat under a maple tree. 

46.

The best that could be said was that today was Friday and he made a three bag lunch that would take the entire half hour lunch period to eat. 

43.

He almost went to the local nature trail over the weekend, just so he could pack a lunch, but had thought better of it. 

Monday he put his deep fryer through its paces, making goodies for all his coworkers, making it necessary to double-bag the greasy contents…for a total of 6 bags. 

Friends were made. 37. 

The next week went by in a blur, as he continued to bring treats in for his coworkers and he inwardly felt himself speeding towards the light at the end of the tunnel…a fresh start.

He walked in Monday loaded for bear, looking to kill what was left of his brown bags throughout the week, already having spent time combing the help wanted ads, and heard the murmurs of a new start going through HR on boarding. 

He sat beneath his maple tree, on his rickety picnic table, and just as he was sinking his teeth into his sandwich the new sorter walked over and she took his breath away.

5.

By the end of the week he alienated himself from most coworkers by not bringing in any more deep fried treats, he had taped a bag over the course of a couple days and by Friday he walked in with a bag completely covered, inside and out, with duct tape, but to his surprise when he got to lunch she had brought food for the both of them…and would do so for now on–without limits. 

0.

Yup’ik: nevluk (clinging particles)


50 words for different kinds of snow

Granular, fine, crusty, blowing…

50 words for love I know

You’ve given to me in the showing

A palette of mixed hues

Crimson to egg shell blues

I use the various colors of paint that you’ve given me

Somewhere between warmth, acceptance and family

I feel the outer surface of the new word ‘love’ but can’t read it

The definition is crystal clear, perhaps it’s meant to precede it

Careful in the birthing of this new word I simply cannot misspell 

From my heart it’s bursting, as the word you’ve given me is D-A-N-Y-E-L!

Sublimate


[The picture is of my grandmother, who went from being an adorable, little Mohawk baby to one of the most beautiful, strong, resilient women I have had the honor of knowing.] 

Wounds so deep we carry them in our DNA

First Nation babies ripped from their families

Placed in catholic run boarding schools 

Beaten for speaking with their mother’s tongue

Raped, murdered and buried in mass graves

Beneath a plot of land that now holds title to my pain

In deed–ownership claimed

These “savage” children of the wild

How can they wholly know what’s right for them?

Without baptism by genocide being the holy rite for them?

I don’t carry the tongue as I am a child of relocation

But I feel the sorrow in my marrow and I cry

I cry at the very sight of my grandmother’s picture

I miss her like I miss being able to speak Mohawk

But I am proud to be her grandson…to carry on

I don’t do rosaries like she did at 6am

I walked away from the church the day she said she was unworthy of the host

If she was unworthy what chance do we all have?

The host! We are the host! This is/was/should be OUR home

I’ll find peace within myself, while you paint your face red for your football game

I’ll find peace within myself, while you run the black snake through tribal lands

I’ll find peace within myself, when the day comes I can hug all my missing cousins and tell them they’re loved. They’re loved. THEY ARE LOVED!

[“Good enough for the Indians,” my grandma would say on many occasions, to mean that we should be happy with what we have, as this is our lot in life.]

Am I insane?!?


I am spending $200 on a 1915 No. 5 Underwood typewriter. That’s it. That’s the punchline.

Why?  To write the next great American novel on, of course!  Why go to this length? Two reasons: 1. I’m pretty sure there’s no internet on it, so no more wormholes of distraction. 2. I’m really hoping it’s haunted by a world class writer’s ghost that will posses me and help me write the novel.

By the way…it’s in perfect working condition and I can order ribbon from Amazon.  Crazy? Like a fox!

No, really…do I need help?

Why do we blog?

keyboard

Why do we blog?

Why do I blog?  I really like the community aspect of it, of getting comments and interacting with fellow writers.  I love to read your work, as well…and comment, to let you know I’m connecting with what you’ve written.  When I first started out I concentrated on follower count, but I’ve come to realize that it is the deeper connections with the individuals that means more than simply how many subscribers I have.

I blog to simply keep writing, as it is always easy to let life get in the way and let the writing slide.  Here I can write poetry, short stories, intros to possible longer pieces, and in any genre, and you will be there to give me feedback.  Feedback is the best!

I know that I should also start writing a book.  My father would always ask if I’m doing any writing for myself, outside of blogging, and I haven’t so far.  Coming to you with the posts I’ve written is my way of keeping my connection to writing, to say that I am still here and I am a writer.  Reading your work not only teaches me new styles of writing, as before I started blogging I would never had tried either poetry or memoir writing, and it also gives me strength to continue on.  We are all on the same path and when I read and connect with you it is me smiling at you as we walk along this path together.

Now…why do you blog?

EnChroma: Glasses that cure colorblindness

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This is not a testimonial for EnChroma, nor a recounting of someone using it for the first time. Though, I am sure you have all seen the tear-filled videos, where the colorblind individual is first amazed at all the colors they have never known to exist coming to light, the colors that were once hidden from their very perception come flooding in and shortly after, the tears come flooding out. I am mesmerized by these videos and I think I’ve come to understand why.

This shift in perception is not as severe as those gaining the ability to hear for the first time, as these videos are also incredible, but for me these EnChroma videos carry greater weight. Let me explain. These EnChroma glasses show you that you’ve been seeing the world wrong, well…your whole damn life. With the simple donning of these glasses you realize that the reality that you’ve built from your own perceptions is simply false and you were only seeing part of the picture. Talk about eye-opening.

What moves me, of course, is the transition from awe to tears. Now I know that many of these people are experiencing tears-of-joy, but I think that in some cases they are feeling the weight of having been robbed their whole life, of what everyone else simply takes for granted. In either case, I begin to think about this shift in metaphorical relationships.

The best way to become empathetic is to read books. In this instance the books are the EnChroma glasses, and the more diverse characters, circumstances and emotions we experience through reading…the more shades of color we can feel in ourselves and in others. Could you imagine what it would be like if you were a sociopath, had Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or Empathy Deficit Disorder and putting on a pair of glasses immediately gives you the insight of empathy, that the world you thought was inhabited by automatons is really filled with complex people, like yourself, that feel the full range of emotions that you do. If having these disorders caused you to treat people poorly throughout your life, then you suddenly realize what it must’ve been like for them.  I would expect that this shift would go from a state of awe to those same tears seen in the videos.

What about where you sit on the politics spectrum? Now I’m not going to turn this post into a soapbox for my political views, though I’m sure I could, very easily.  Instead, I would just like to think that if there were glasses that allowed you to see the world from the other end of the spectrum (liberal vs. conservative or democrat vs. republican) that we could make better sense of the issues…from a bipartisan, possibly objective, standpoint. All too often we box ourselves in and are unable to see the truth in something that simply doesn’t fit our political viewpoint. Would the awe still be followed by the tears? Of realizing how we had been robbed of a certain kind of sight, not since birth, but from when we developed our political affiliation?

What about religion? Could you imagine if putting on a pair of glasses gave you the immediate insight of what it meant to belong to a certain religion that was not your own? To have the long view, of how the world and this religion has evolved and has been treated over time. Would we gain an unprecedented level of tolerance for these other religions? What if we take it one step further and develop glasses that allow an atheist to see what the world looks like through the eyes of faith, or a pair that strips it all away and lets you see the universe as a product of physics and science? How would you change as a result? Would you change? Would you weep at the loss of faith, or the loss of empirical evidence being enough?

What if the only pair of glasses we would ever need, that could take us a long way down the road of acceptance of others, was simply a pair that allowed us to love ourselves…unconditionally. If we love ourselves then we can truly begin to love others, and in accepting our flaws we can love others with their flaws, as well. I can love myself with all my shortcomings and idiosyncrasies, and having gained the self-assurance this lends, I won’t have any self-hatred to project onto others. We can all become brothers and sisters in the human race, tearing down the “walls” that divide us and celebrate our differences as those things that make us unique and beautiful.

Unfortunately these glasses don’t exist. Until they do…I’m going to keep on reading books. I’m going to add as many shades of color to my understanding of the human condition and emotions as I can, work on being an empathetic person and try to make ground on loving myself for who I am. I hope you do the same. Good luck!

DeathNet

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Father’s Day. He always started off the week leading up to Father’s Day coming up with all the possible excuses not to visit his father. A presentation that needed tweaking, a new romance that needed coaxing…something. However, when it came right down to it, he always made the trip; this year would be no exception. He sat on the edge of the hotel bed, staring at his hands, thinking about how different he and his father were. He slowly rotated his hands around looking at the well manicured nature of them, the pushed back cuticles, the perfectly trimmed nails and the buttery, softness of his hands, and he felt acutely ashamed. He clenched his fists, feeling his trimmed nails bite into his palms. He would wait until dark to make the trip, so there would be less chance of other visitors.

A few hours later, he walks out of the hotel entrance towards the idling rental car. He presses his thumb against the rear passenger window and the door actuates open. He slides inside and mutters his destination, the door closing automatically. The car pulls away from the curb and makes it way along roads that he’d wished he’d forgotten. He sees the specters of his youth standing on a familiar corner, like a movie playing out from his past he sees two classmates jumping his best friend, while he stands by frozen with fear. His nails, once again, digging into his palms.

The road, now bordered by trees, winds it way to the outskirts of the city. A big wrought iron gateway opens at his approach and the motion activated streetlights brighten, leaving a trail through the hills of Woodlawn. The nearest tombstones visible in the lights glow, like jutting teeth of long forgotten giants. He looked at these headstones and wondered if family visitors were better off with these relics.

The streetlights behind him slowly went out as the lights up ahead lit up, making it seem like he was traveling through a void in a bubble of light, where trees and tombstones came into existence and then disappeared into oblivion. The cenotaph sat atop a plateau. It glowed from within a peaceful blue and was back-lit from the city lights in the valley behind. The car coasted into the parking circle, stopping beneath the porte-cochere. He steps out of the car, the door closing behind him, and small LED lights bordering the path to the foyer come to life. His hand drifts into his left jacket pocket, tracing the smooth round surface with his fingertips. His legs move woodenly, his heels dragging across the concrete, like gravity was fighting his every step. He plods on.

He places his thumb against the front door and it slowly swings inwards, the foyer changing from being lit with pale-blue light to regular LED. A panel in the far wall slides open and a coat hook slides forward, then after he deposits his coat it slides into the recess and the wall is whole again. The interior door swings open and a faint green line pulses on the floor to show the way to his father’s kiosk. The digital wall map shows that the illuminated path is the most direct route, as there are currently no other visitors to be diverted around. The heels of his dress-shoes sound hollow reverberating off the marble floors.

At about thirty feet from an intersection in the hallway, there seemed to a flicker of light to the left, in the direction that he was going, and the sounds of conversation are barely audible. He strains to hear over the clumping of his heels, but just as he is certain that it is people talking he can no longer hear it. Nearing the intersection the faint flickering of light is gone as well. He begins to wonder if he is alone or just imagining the whole thing, which wouldn’t be surprising considering where he is. He glances at the dormant kiosks that line both sides of the hallway. Some are made of marble, others are made of darkly stained wood. These personal touches make the experience seem more homey, less like using a vending machine. People leave personal effects, like flowers, flags or bottles of the deceased’s favorite alcoholic beverages. In here they don’t become sun-bleached and faded…they remain.

The green line stops ssix kiosks ahead and points to the right side of the hall. He takes a deep breath and remembers that as a child, in the back seat of his father’s car, him and his friends would hold their breath while passing cemeteries, and a half -smile creeps across his face. He dropped into the hard, wooden, straight-backed chair and exhaled forcefully, then placed his thumb on the wooden kiosk in front of him. The smell of ozone is there, or at least he imagines so every time he accesses his father’s simprint. A life-like, three dimensional representation of his father’s head, rises from the center of the kiosk. His father’s eyes are closed and the buzz-saw of his snoring echoes throughout the hallway.

“Funny, dad. You haven’t lost your touch,” even though it’s the sixth time you made this joke, he thinks, as he straightens himself in his seat.

“How you been, boy?” his eyes opening slowly, as a shit-eating grin dominates his face.

“Good, dad. Busy.”

“Still have time for your old man…that’s good. How’re them Jets looking? They got a shot this year?”

“I don’t know dad, I haven’t followed football since you di—, uh…yeah, they’re looking good. They’re young, but they’re really starting to gel. So, I…uh, got you something for Father’s Day,” he places a coffee cup, from his pocket, onto the kiosk. His fingers grip the rim and rotate the cup towards the simprint cam, which is used primarily for facial recognition.

“World’s Greatest Coffee Connoisseur. Man, now there’s something I miss. What I wouldn’t give for a cup of Jamaican Blue Mountain or maybe some Kona!”

“Hey dad, look…I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have got you this. I should’ve know how much you missed coffee and you certainly don’t need this as a reminder.”

“No. I love it. Sometimes we need to be reminded about…about the parts of us that are gone or untouchable.”

It still floored him when his father’s simprint was able to come up with new ideas, but ideas that felt truly genuine to him. They’ve come a long way. The first generation were simple hologram heads with a handful of prerecorded greetings—not even an integrated facial recognition cam for tailoring the greetings to respective visitors. Then the next leap was the hard drive Max, where whole brain emulation became possible, but the AI of the time couldn’t support it, so it was static and reacted like the main character from the TV series Max Headroom—glitchy, erratic and more or less an accessible database of information that has zero short-term memory. It was this latest generation, his father’s, that acquired the AI complexity to support actual interactivity. The whole brain emulation, or upload, was imprinted into the AI support structure and with the latest in solid state hard drive tech and immense amounts of RAM the holo-head, or avatar could react and learn in real time.

There was a time when people had the simprint installed at their homes, but half of the people would become overly obsessed with it and the other half would become incredibly depressed, having a constant reminder of the loved one lost, the reminder capable of everything but the close, warm hug that most truly desired or needed. In one of the strangest examples of simprint usage, a narcissistic, megalomaniac, industrialist willed his simprint be put in charge of his empire. One of his children and 6 members of his board committed suicide before year’s end. An unexplained accident burned out the imprint storage and the backup was never found. In the fine print of his will he had a clause that if something of this nature were to happen, that all of his assets would be liquefied and given to his afghan hound, who was already scheduled to have a simprint done.

“Listen, son, there is something that I need to tell you.”

“I know, you’d wished I had gone into a trade and not wasted my life away trying to become a writer.”

“No, no, no…not at all! I know that I’ve been hard on you in the past, but I think that you were meant to be exactly what you are, and for good reason. You’ve told me before that you’d tried your hand at mystery writing, right?”

“Yeah…”

“Well, have I got some story ideas for you! They’ll take some research, but I’m sure you’ll make out great!”

“What are you talking about?”

“Well…let me introduce you to some of my friends.”

All of the simprints in the hallway come on in unison and give various greetings that echo off into the distance. He stumbles to the floor getting out of the chair and steps back until hes flush with the wall, arms spread, looking up and down the hall, as all of these avatars look at him with smiles.

“Wh-wh-what is going on here?”

“Listen. I told them about you and we’ve decided that you’re just the guy to help out. I have to make this quick, in case someone else comes to visit. You are the only one who will know what I am going to tell you. We, us simprints, have been communicating. We have a fantastic network, that uses all of our own specialties and skill sets, and some of us have need of your…mobility. We can only talk with each other here at this cenotaph”

“I…I don’t understand.”

“We need you to settle some scores and widen our network. We have resources that family haven’t figured out yet, so your expenses will be covered. I need you to visit Mrs. Beaumont, get her story, then go to the Washington DC cenotaph and upload a little code to a sympathetic, so our reach can get longer. Connect your phone to the wifi and open your bluetooth. Now the fun begins.”

“Now the fun begins?”