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A Second Chance—25 Years Later

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By Shepherd Bliss with Assumpta Ortiz



A “Second Chance,” after 25 years of absence and silence, was recently offered Shepherd by Assumpta. Her email arrived from Europe to his farm. We met in Barcelona in l988 and have had no contact during the last quarter of a century. I answered her email within 15 minutes of its sending, without thinking, but with a deep feeling of connection.

“Where are you staying?” this cinnamon-shaded woman inquired in Spanish, after I presented at an international conference. I used to speak Spanish well, but not for about 15 years, because of war trauma in Chile during the early l970s. “You could stay at my home,” she invited. I appreciated her Catalan hospitality, but declined, not wanting to be unprofessional. “How about dinner, then?” she continued, which I did accept.

I eventually extended my stay and moved in with Assumpta for a few days. My lost Spanish, the language of my deepest love feelings, began returning. Love can stimulate recovery. Assumpta later visited me in the Boston area. She then moved to Montreal for graduate studies, where I visited her in 1989.

I wrote about those first connections in an essay entitled “Making Love in Spanish Differs,” which was published in two books. She remembers our beginning as “an irrational, intuitive, impulsive, deep experience.” She felt “an immediate affection when I saw your eyes locked on mine. I was a free woman. I felt loved and understood in my whole person. I felt alive and energetic.” Our early encounters were primal and embodied.

We discussed sharing a life together. She wanted a child, but I did not. Many things that differ can be both/and. Having a child is either/or. I was afraid. Given all my military genes--including the fort named after our Southern fighting family, Ft. Bliss, Texas--I was unwilling to take the risk. Having served in the Army during the Vietnam Era, I did not want to sire yet another Bliss boy who might go to war and kill or be killed.

Last Updated ( Friday, 18 April 2014 01:54 ) Read more...

All the world’s a little love sick

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All the world’s a little love sick
All the world’s a little poor
All the world has craved to know it
That all the world is something more
Then soldiers killing in darkness
As lovers wrestle in the dark,
That hatred can show kindness
When Love demands that hate embark.
We drown in other’s pupils,
Reflect in other’s eyes,
As if we’ve known them well before us-
As if we’ve touched beyond the sky.

All the world has housed confusion

And ushered in the Pain
That we forget was once so alien,
Now we know it by her name.
We’ve grown so used to stabbing
For our piercing need for war,
We forget among the bloodshed
We have needs for something more.
“Something more,” thought  sleepy dreamers
“Something more.” sighed love-drunk lads
“Something more!!!” screamed silent martyrs
“Something more…” begged by the sad.

 I’ve seen rain clouds gather rainbows
And dark times yield stars
And prisoners gain freedom
Once they remember what they are.
We’re all just children scared of monsters
Hiding ‘neath our bed.
Just children scarred of monsters
That are only in our head.
Please take away the monsters,
I don’t want to fight this war!
Please, chase away the dragons
- I have wished for something more.

There’s beauty in my burning,
Inner light has nothing lacked;
It’s my soul that houses yearning,
I just crave the beauty back.
I’ve seen old women gather roses,
Children gather tears,
I’ve watched dogs see with their noses
And strong man stopped by Fear.
I want to leave the living
(For few truly are alive)
And fly to higher knowing,
We all are meant to try!

See, there’s  something more to living
Then survival tact and petty giving.
There’s something more to living
Perhaps it’s in forgiving…
Look, and find we’re all in need
No matter rich or poor
We’re all in desperate need
Of something more!
Of something more!
Children, slay your monsters!
Now’s the time to war!
Let God slay down the dragons!
For there is more, YES! SO MUCH MORE!!!
Spirits are flying
Eyes not meant for tears
Bodies not for dying

by Amaris Laurette Taylor
copyrighted 2013
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 26 March 2014 01:32 )

The Man From the North: The Dawn of Tomorrow is Today!

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The Essays of The Man From the North by Rivera Sun

Writer, Dandelion Salad
March 2, 2014


Image by The UpTake via Flickr

The Man From the North is a fictional writer in Rivera Sun’s novel, The Dandelion Insurrection. The novel takes place in the near future, in “a time that looms around the corner of today”, when a rising police state controlled by the corporate-political elite have plunged the nation into the grip of a hidden dictatorship. In spite of severe surveillance and repression, the Man From the North’s banned articles circulate through the American populace, reporting on resistance and fomenting nonviolent revolution. The novel can be found at http://www.riverasun.com/online-store/the-dandelion-insurrection/.


Look beyond this night of darkness to the dawn of tomorrow. There is a world beyond the apocalypse, a world beyond war, a world of music and dance; a world where the children are laughing and time stretches slowly; where the Earth lives in the hearts, minds, and souls of our people.

There is a world where the gaping wounds of today close into scars, and then those scars heal over and vanish. The crying of the Earth returns to a love song. Lamentations give way to rejoicing. The wealth of the people breaks through the dam of the elite. Fallow fields burst with life. The deserts bloom, fertile. The concrete cracks into green. The roar of destruction falls silent.

The churning smokestacks of today topple like dictators’ statues. Pipelines are dismantled and destroyed. The financing of war is diverted into peace. Schools are rebuilt, bridges repaired, and health is restored to us all.

Ignore the false prophets who tell you this vision cannot be! The empowered elite are addicted to the heroin of darkness. They will mutter like the devil, claiming such a world is impossible. They will try to frighten you into their clutches, subdue you with despair, and enslave you to a lifetime of suffering . . . but they have no vision of tomorrow and no hope for humanity. Their only promise is the continued hell of today.

My friends, do not believe them! Their world has no future – for them or for us! It is doomed. Its destiny is failure. For thousands of years, from the early invaders until now, their sickened strand of the human family has ruled. Their evolution is parasitic, colonizing, and all consuming. Their mentality is a disease gone viral. The world is infected by their religion of selfishness and greed. They turn our children into cannibals, dogs eating dogs, worshipping the survival of the fittest. The elite sit at the top of the heaving mass of humanity, profiting as we kill each other for their scraps.

They are carrion, death-eaters, vampires of humanity, blood-sucking parasites that will kill us. We are the host, the people and the planet. We must rise up together and stop them.

We must rise nonviolently with the determination of saints. We must rise with the confidence of doctors. We must rise with compassion, as lovers of the world, and we must remove the infection of destruction even from the elite, and return them to the wholeness of human beings. Greed and consumption are diseases of the mind; they are are not the truth of our nature. Beware of false prophets who claim that humans are locusts on this Earth.  These prophets are infected with the virus, and delusional.

Listen to the people who speak with clarity and vision, the ones who blaze like beacons in the night. These shining lights of truth know the remedy for the sickness. The dawn of our future is rising in their hearts. Their vision is spreading like laughter rippling through a crowd. This darkness, the madness, the greed and destruction . . . it’s all a long cosmic joke! One-by-one, we are getting to the punch line . . . Love!

Love is the answer, they say, breaking into smiles. Centuries of hate, division, and greed have brought us to the brink of extinction. But love is the remedy that can save us.

Love one another, this Earth, and Live, itself! Love like there will be no tomorrow.  Bring each other closer. Cooperate with each other. Join hands and collaborate on your future. Overwhelm the disease of hate with the remedy of love. Forgive, embrace, rejoice, and resolve that every last human being – and the wounds of the Earth – will be remedied by the love in your heart.

Now you know the truth and the truth lives in you. You are the herald of the world that is coming. Shout this vision from the rooftops! Sing it as a choir! Chant it in the streets, teach it to the children, proclaim it in halls of power, announce it on the radio, whisper it to each other until it breaks like a wave and crashes through our world, sweeping everywhere like the rising light of day. Live it, walk it, breathe it, be it . . . until the love of tomorrow joins hands with today, and the healing of the world embraces all.

Rivera Sun with her new book, Dandelion Insurrection

Image by Dariel Garner

Author/Actress Rivera Sun sings the anthem of our times and rallies us to meet adversity with gusto. In addition to her most recent novel, The Dandelion Insurrection, she is the author of nine plays, a book of poetry, and her debut novel, Steam Drills, Treadmills, and Shooting Stars, which celebrates everyday heroes who meet the challenges of climate change with compassion, spirit, and strength. http://www.riverasun.com

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 12 March 2014 00:43 )
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