There is no escaping death. No one here gets out alive, as the saying goes. Tragedy is everywhere we live and breathe. The news media harp on it as if tragedy and corruption are the whole of our worlds and thoughts.
In my book Max Johnny, the main character Max is a powerful and famous writer. The love of his life is ripped away which sends him into a tail spin. It is this tragedy and test that shapes or destroys. It is killing Max. The lessons and experiences we have are never easy ones. But as Bukowski said, ‘It is how we walk through the fire that matters most.’ Because there will always be fire.
Max Johnny wrote about possibility, never defeat. In his personal life he appears defeated yet knows to keep fighting.
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Near my home there is a large reservoir. I go there to think. It is a massive lake, quiet and serene, that inevitably spills over into a waterfall. The opposing forces of the placid lake so close to the chaos of the falls remind me of the push and pull we all live and fight with. It is our daily battle between the light and dark of our lives and which direction each day will take.
Last Sunday two swans at the reservoir paddled up to the drop off where the water picks up speed heading over the edge. I stood watching from the platform above. The water fell spraying and thundering two-hundred feet down onto jagged rocks. Yet the graceful swans calmly swam only inches from each other while moving slowly forward. The swans appeared to be no match for the sheer speed of the rapid falls pulling everything towards it.
They paddled at arms length from doom then turned with one foot to go as water rushed around their curved bodies. They sparkled in the sunlight with their white shining feathers unruffled as to what was happening all around them.
There is always doom on the horizon pulling at us: sickness, war, fools to endure, bills, political shills and hacks. There is always fire to walk through that rages in our thoughts and world. But in the end all that matters is how well we walked through that fire and how close we dare paddled to the falls on a sunny afternoon.