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Lady

She gently brushes my graying face
With her sweet and airy breath
Her musky fragrance pervades
The hallowed space around me
I have plumbed her depths
And I have drank her deeply
Yet, still she is a mystery to me

anima

She gave me life and sustenance
She washed away my pain with her tears
Her embrace is like eternity
She is beneath me and above me
She is always all around me
I breathe in her fragrance deeply
I am hers utterly, completely

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Within me and without me
The divine waters ebb and flow
She is my soul. She is my Goddess
She is Life and she will be my death
She is the Grail that I have sought
She is the beginning and the end
She is this life that I have wrought

sheela

She gave me will to use or abuse
A gift from the Lady in the Lake
She waited patiently as I grew away
Wizened, she peeled away the years
And upon my return, I found an unspoiled maiden
Who took me back and lead me on
We danced together back to the one…
And eternity

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Rewriting History

They say that the winner gets to write history and of course, there is truth in that. History is always a subjective assessment and there are always several points of view just as when several people observe an event and yet recollect it differently. Another aspect of history is that we often make the mistake of judging by today’s standards forgetting that the historical culture might possibly be not just different but totally alien to us in our time. None the less, history is important we just need to remember that it is imperfect.

In the past, history came mainly from school, books and TV. The message was fairly consistent and led us to believe in a certain take on history. These days, with internet and social media, we are exposed to many different histories where there used to be one. Much of the time, as individuals reading these different versions we are unqualified to decide or judge which may be the closest to the truth. It is, or can be, deeply disturbing to read an alternate version of history, especially one that rubs up against our taught view.

I think its good to have different versions or views on historical events. It makes one think and it challenges long-held viewpoints. However, there is also a lot of nefarious rewriting of history that deeply disturbs me and often is accepted as fact by people on social media who simply are not qualified to be able to decide the truth or fiction of what they read. I was reminded of one today by an article in the Hull Daily Mail of all papers. The article was published a couple of days ago on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Belson concentration camp. It is here for those of you interested enough to follow a link.

What is compelling about such an article is that it was written by an eye witness on the day that the camp was liberated. It is blunt and it is horrific reading. Maybe some people don’t want to believe that humanity is capable of such things, maybe some people simply hate jews, maybe some people want to believe that somehow this whole story was made up for reasons of religion, politics or nationalism. I have no idea why people increasingly feel the need to rewrite history in radical ways. Perhaps humans simply cannot forgive themselves for being human and for being less than perfect. I do not know. I know this though, if we are to learn anything from the past, we must accept that such things did happen and strongly reject attempts to distort and confuse.

Here is an excerpt from the article – I do hope the Hull Daily Mail won’t be too unhappy with me for reproducing it here…

In one hut I found about 50 men huddled almost sore-to-sore. One seemed to have a rail over his head — then you recognised his arms. One seemed just bone till you went close to him and saw that he had skin as well. One, for scabs, could see only through narrow slits of eyes. One was trying to bite rotting wood. One was trying to stand on string-like legs that dangled from a torso the thickness of a naval hawser. But they all said “Hello,” and tried to smile. Half these men were professors, inventors, intellectuals, industrialists, some of them Jews

Read more: http://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/Holocaust-remembered-Band-played-men-women/story-25928965-detail/story.html#ixzz3QCEyAJKt

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Japan and Birmingham

I play a lot of music during the day as I work in my home office. It never ceases to amaze me the power of music. In particular, its power to evoke memories and trigger mood and emotional responses. If I want to meditate, I simply go to youtube these days and select a nice suitable piece of music and I am off to other spheres…..

Today, I played some Japan. It has been a long time since I did and I was immediately transported back to Birmingham and 1979. My best friend at college – Steve – introduced me to Japan one afternoon at his flat. We were playing Dungeons and Dragons and he put one of their albums on. I loved the music and the deep rumbling of David Sylvian’s voice. I immediately went out and bought that record – and the next and the next. I devoured Japan music. Now, I listen and I am back in that room all of those years ago……. that is the power of music. 35-years on but ‘Nightporter’ sends me back in time every time.

I also went to see Japan. In Glasgow while doing my Ph.D. Perhaps they were an acquired taste but I could get no one to go with me and so I went alone. Amazing evening. Given it was a sell out at the Glasgow Apollo I have to wonder why none of my friends wanted to go? The music of Japan accompanied me to Nova Scotia and periodically through my life. I still adore David Sylvian’s voice and have two of his solo efforts too.

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It makes me wonder. What music will I associate with now? In a few years time, will I be transported back to my office in our apartment here in Brno by the sound of some artist or song? I guess I will.

Here is some David Sylvian to float to –

 

 

Real Ghost Stories Online

Tonight, one of my stories – Medium – from My Haunted Life Too was featured on the Real Ghost Stories online podcast (January 27th edition).

Real Ghost Stories Online is a website that does a show via podcast available on iTunes. According to the site, the show is a combination of interviews, verbally submitted ghost stories and written ghost stories sent to us by listeners all over the world. 

It’s very professionally done and really a great listen. The website is filled with great features too. I recommend it.

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Tonight’s podcast is available on iTunes and will be also available below – don’t miss it. Medium begins at 16:55 in the podcast.

sam

US Blues

Here is a funny and strange thing. While my Haunted Life books sit in the Amazon supernatural charts in the UK and around 5-10 books a day are consumed (thanks so much!), the US has deserted me. Its bizarre because I spent 20 years there and have more friends and contacts there than anywhere else……Hell, my three sons still live there! It’s also a large market and one that I need to crack to make progress.

Take for example, January to date. UK – book sales in three figures (that in of itself is a first!) whereas in the USA just 35 sales…….

I have the US blues…

Any ideas fellow authors, scribblers and dreamers as to how to get the great US public to buy my books?

sam