these are the words and photos that depict the world in which we live.

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An Encounter of the First Kind

A file drags across the dull metal blade in an even, grinding push. Over and over again, with the file in her right hand and the small sword in her left, the tarnished steel is delicately ground by the gray stone. It may be a redundant and somewhat boring activity, but Emma always found it relaxing and oddly fulfilling. As if each stroke were repentance for anything she may have done to others in her life. Every push was the purging of an evil thought or disemboweling verbal assault.

When the edge had reached a hair splitting sharpness, she delicately spat on a rag and started to wipe the flat side in the same familiar motion. This was no different than anything that another would do to improve themselves. One chooses a specific skill to focus on and hone, like the edge. Once an acceptable level of sharpness has been reached, the focus then becomes to buff that skill package and ready it for integration in to the current quiver of skills – perhaps to prepare it for the multidimensional requirements of performance.

One sharp edge doth not a swordsman make. She always relied on little quips of wisdom to tie her self-recognized intelligence to ancient philosophies. As if such a connection grounded her manic tendencies.

More than highly trained skills are required to perform as a master. There is the mental clarity to respond as nimbly as one’s stature may allow: a foundational component in any performer. Without clarity, there is only the fog of perception and the certainty of failure. There was a time where Emma had no ultimate goal and this lack of vision made each swing of her arm clumsy and forced.

Emotional poise is the connection from a clear mind to a deft hand. This is the gate on the conduit of our freely flowing energies. The more emotional we are, the narrower the bandwidth and we will lack the control needed to succeed. In Emma’s first encounter she lashed out with savagery and not an iota of emotional control, like an animal without bearings. Though she came through that episode as the last one standing, she knew the weakness of her opponent was the only reason she was not the one on the ground, feeding the parched dirt with her sanguine fluids.

Though there are intricacies between these cortexes of success, they are but details compared to the supreme concept. A lack of strength and coordination between mind, body and emotion, is just a ticking time bomb. An explosion of self is a result that Emma could not afford. For too long she had pursued this goal and constant discipline was going to be the only environ to allow her dream tree to bear ripe fruits.

With a slow gesture, she lifted the now gleaming blade into the air and rotated it to allow the light to dance through the angle changes from the paper thin sharpness to the three sixteenths thick blade back. Emma lowered the sword and put the pommel in her left hand and traced figure eights in the air. Her elbows remained bent to parry any confronting blows and her wrists made strong deliberate gestures and maintaining the proper angle of the blade through the motions.

With the sword pointed right out from her like a unicorn’s tusk she felt ready to make her next encounter. It had been the mandatory five weeks at sunrise and Emma knew it when the first rays of the morning bathed her face through the thin paper screen that covered her window. There were only screens covering the windows, as a full obscuring of the natural light leaves one open to attack and keeps the natural photonic energy out, when every packet of vibrance should be wanted and accepted.

Releasing the pommel, she picked up the scabbard with her left hand and slowly slid the katana into its home. In one deft movement, she leaped from her knees to her feet and bowed slowly to the stone statue in front of her, keeping her eyes closed, as if that childlike trust would allow more blessing to hold to her anima. Turning on a heel, Emma walked out of the room and to her fate.

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We All Believe In Something,

I just tend to believe in it more than the next guy. When you find something to believe in, you stick with it. When you find something you are good at, you stick with it. I’m a protestor for hire and I support causes. Gender causes, racial causes, environmental causes, political causes, class-warfare causes and any other cause that causes you to have a cause. You can say that I quite literally live a cause and affect relationship. A cause is bigger than us. It has life, yet is lifeless. There is energy akin to cold fusion in causes, and when I tap into it I can protest forever. On my feet picketing, on my ass starving or on my stomach in handcuffs – I support the cause. I would take nails through my hands for the cause. I am the master of props in supporting the cause. I once wheeled an old woman out of a convalescence home for a cause. She had no idea who she was or where she was. It’s not like I mistreated her, as a matter of fact she was doing more than she had done in years. We stood outside of that pharmaceutical laboratory and we let them have it. Science for better living, they say; my ass, I say. You produce the most lethal type of warfare imaginable, the kind that people truly believe they can’t live without. I understand the marvels of modern medicine as well as the next recipient of a few more years of quality living; more than I would have had on my own, but they play a different game. Get them early with ritalin, adderal and welbutrin. Keep them forever with vasodilators, ACE inhibitors and pain relievers. We all know people who dodged the addiction bullet, and we all know some who took it between the eyes. We can’t allow anyone else to get hurt. Like poor Materna here in the chair, she will never know her grandkids because your Allegra failed to make her happy…and we all view happy in a different way. For some it means no more restricted air passages, for others it literally means being happy. Don’t judge them, because we aren’t them. Support them, as you would want them to support you in a time of need. See how this auto-support can be addictive. Doing good is truly addictive. The only way to break an addiction is cold-turkey, but even I could protest against that. Stop devaluing the social benefits incurred by our national holiday of Thanksgiving. Take the opportunity to see how it brings families together and spurs individuals to give selflessly to others in much greater need. Warm turkey is a foundation of humanity and inextricably linked to our cultural underpinnings. And our culture is about making ourselves happy…now. Actually yesterday, if it were at all humanly possible. I support the organic production and distribution of happiness. As long as it is sustainably grown and harvested, it seems like there should be enough happiness to go around. This is why I support sharing, like the WiFi that I am borrowing from my neighbor to post this supportive cause of the representation of self-fulfilling causal support.