An Envoi

Envoi

Cyrus

My only crime is speech.
And speech is now a crime.
The Gestapo stand behind me
Waiting for me to speak the wrong word;
To speak revolution.
They wait for me to speak a word
Of revolt, Of sedition.

Behind me, they make all my ways slippery.
I am the factory worker---
This they want from me.
To be the worker, but I am an intellect.
Freedom is my crime;
Speech my bullet.

They press my fingers to the trigger;
They say, "He's a malcontent
"And a Domestic Terrorist."
I am asleep, and they shape me in my dreams.

They are the lovers of my family
They are the friends who reach out a guiding hand
They are my doctors
My lawyers
My congressmen and women
The people who tend to me at the drive through.
They are the Gestapo
In their Grey Squad Cars.

They show up, secret police,
They are the people who have befriended me.
They are the people who have tried to kill me
When I was ill.
They accuse me
They abuse me.
 
My finger is on the trigger
Itching...
My gun called Liberty.
I'm waiting for them to get in the crosshairs.
I will fire my magic bullet.

They will say, "See, he is a murderer"
Yet, I speak in metaphors.
My nitrous oxide in the C4
Is my remembrance of liberty.

Brandon

I will watch, and sound my trumpet.
I will not take up arms.
If they put me in prison
I shall be innocent before them.

For Cyrus wishes to come out and kill;---

I will die innocent.
There is one out there,
A man who wishes to start war
A man who wishes to start a revolution.
Blood and guns
And mattresses where the wounded arms are amputated---

I do not wish to see it.
Every part of me hates that war.
There is a wicked war on the horizon
One which I wished to thwart with every fiber of my being.
I see Cyrus; he raises himself,
He garnishes his sword,
And it glitters.
 
I will pass on that torch to someone else.
No country is worth killing for.
No freedom is worth stealing the breath from a man, woman or child.
I shall let it go.
Let go of this world.
I shall peacefully sound my trumpets
Blare them in the evening sun.
I shall be the Watchman
And wake at morn
To pore over the whole of the Earth.
And shall warn of battle, blood and gore
So that the columns do not make their furrows
And the peoples do not cry for war.

How evil is great, and it is encroaching on every turn.
Yet, I shall get my release from the belled bulbs in their mauve
And the purple on the spring trees---
The Apple Blossom and the Dogwood shall be my release
The spring grass in its beautiful jade.

Cyrus, I will let stain it
But I will teach all of him
That he is wicked.
The masses throng to him.
They desire him to be their king.
I shall bow out, and allow the king his dues.
Yet, is there any pleasure in it?
Freedom is under attack
Yet my stamen shall be pollinated
By the eyefeast of spring, and summer's comfort...
The fiery winds of fall and the hoar of winter.

For all things are as seasons to me
And though the peoples fight
I see them recur, and always revolving
In their ways that men move.

Man Cannot Be Truly Righteous

Man cannot be truly righteous
Without first tasting bitter sorrow.
He cannot be truly just
Without understanding the necessity of punishment.
He cannot be truly virtuous
Without understanding there is a time for war.

It was told to me once,
That the Babes were angry with God
For telling Hosea to take a wife of whoredom.
For, how could God permit evil?
Yet, for Good to be Good
There is something which might be called evil inside of it.

For when God begat Man's Flesh
He took on the Form of Human Good.
However, divine retribution from the Father
And when that Man returns
Is going to be blood.

Such it was that Hosea need know
The whoredoms of Ephraim and Israel
And to know God's sorrowful heart.
For, Hosea loved he as a wife;
Bedded her, fed her, clothed her.
Yet, she practiced whoredom
So that he knew not whether his behest
Were truly his children.
So with Job who partook in Christ's sufferings
So with Israel when God disjointed his knee.

It must be understood what evil is
To be touched by it
To have touched it.
For only then can you truly be good.
Only then, after suffering,
Can you truly be good.

For everyone is bemused by prosperity
And money and talent.
Yet, should the taste be made dull
And the scents made dull,
What is there left?
The man suffers,
Yet rejoices in his king.
For, the blessing of God is His love
Yet His admonishment is for we to understand
The plights of the broken hearted.

It Was Once Said that Inspiration/ For a Wrier Dries Up With Age

It was said once that the inspiration
For a writer dries up with age.
Subtly, I feel it.
I feel the East Wind blowing
The West Tides making their slumbering folds
Upon the sanded beaches.
How the waves shape the beach
And the unending cycling of the powers
Of West and East
Make their revolving cyclones.

And I say, I am satisfied with what I have written.
Unlike the elder author
Whose craft has dried up
The imagination's liquor
Dried up, and the inebriation
Of the mental waves of peace and love.
I have had a good writing career.

Now, I have one more feat.
I must get them read.
How, I do not know.
But, I will, like a hermit in a cloister,
Cling to God, my work,
And read and write the numerous thoughts
I entertain.
Though, that imagination is dried up
The well, there are things by which I occupy myself with
Which satisfy just as much as my creativity.
Piano and Hand Drums are not so interesting to me
As they were in my youth,
So it is that writing is not as interesting to me now.
And I feel at peace, that I have climbed mountains like Everest
I had forded trenches as deep as the Marianas,
I had written Kitsch---so it was called once, though it is the best of what I've written---
I had written literary masterpieces.

I am satisfied with my work.
And I cannot see anything more to be done,
Except to wait on God to get it the notoriety it needs.
Must I create my avatar of fame?
I wish not to, rather but be the man I am
And allow all to see the man I am.
The mute man at the clinic
Told me I was not a good man.
I am not a good man---
But Christ is a good man
Enough for both of us.
And I wish not to have my Avatar of fame
I wish to eat my pound of flesh
Bed my wife...

What will occupy my time?
What will I do?
It is in my thoughts to escape to the Amish
To garden with them.
Though I am weak. Very weak.
Though they will make me strong
For the Daughter of Zion
So I can inherit my bride
My wife... the portion of all Israel;
A beautiful city like a woman.
And we shall be wedded to her
And women shall be wedded to God.

I am satisfied with life.
Very satisfied.
I am satisfied with discovering the truths hidden in everything.
I am satisfied with my creative endeavors
Though I am no longer as creative as I once was.
I am very satisfied.
And I shall wait upon my work
Anxiously. And when it is discovered
I shall be satisfied even more.
I shall be satisfied by my Woman's Beating Heart
And I shall be satisfied with my work I have done in the world.
I have done much work.
Labored plenty in the arts of wisdom---
And even some folly---
I have been made insane by the knowledge of magic
And made whole by the knowledge of faith;
I had been made a partner with the great men of letters
Whom I have sucked from, and taken their wisdom from them
And recycled it for a new generation.
I have even contributed my own thoughts.
And I shall wait for them to be heard.
 
But, my writing is waning.
I understand this.
I shall not be frustrated as Eric Hoffer's True Believer is
When the well dries up.
For I can cook, I can play instruments, I can occupy myself with the ideas of others.
I can find the liquor of all words
And derive their sense.
I can find it in those whom I disagree with...
Seek to understand what truth makes them confess their falsehood.
I can find it in those I agree with, and be offended by the falsehoods I see.
I can sit patiently, and dialogue, and enjoy conversation.
I can discern the meaning in a malapropism.
I can even discover the meaning of life.

There is work for this writer to do
But I have touched upon all wisdom with my craft.
Furtherance of it---
And I will go further, but not much---
Is not necessary.

Big Fish Covid

He has a 99.6 degree temp at the most.
He gets some stomach cramps.
He has a cough.

He tells my brother, 
"I felt like my abdominal muscles
"Were being ripped out."
 
It's like Covid is this tall tale
Being spun by the populace
To hide the fact that they've been lied to
And everything they worked for was destroyed for nothing.

Dear, Coca Cola

Dear, 
Coca Cola

I love Coke. I always will. I can't drink it right now for health issues, not political. But, I'll always be loyal to your brand; unless you change the formula! Don't do that. 

It's your freedom to say what you want. It's my freedom to disagree with you. I in no way condone homosexuality or race hustling. I say Homosexuality is a sin. And it's an abomination. But, if I boycotted everyone for a political difference,---well, that's just not right and I'd be boycotting just about everyone. 

And I do love Coke. So, there's no reason I can't enjoy your product and still retain my values as a Conservative. I haven't stopped watching the MLB either; I'm a Phillie Die Hard to the day I die. Fourth Generation Fan, whose Grandfather was a Philly Pro on the Tamaqua Bulldogs. So, I'm Philly for life.
 
This will pass. People will get tired of being so zealous, and come back to their senses. I'm afraid boycotts aren't going to do anything but make this culture war more militant. Let's all, Conservative and Liberal, just allow people to believe what they want. It doesn't have to be this way. 

Should you say to me, "You cannot publish, nor earn your bread from your writing", unfortunately this is the power of money, and the engine of Capitalism. And it needs to be broken. On that, I am against you.

Because your voice is stronger for your dollars, and mine is silenced, on that note I am against you. But I will not Boycott you. For, you have freedom and so do I. What point is it for me to infringe upon you your voice? Should you infringe upon mine, and boycott mine--- Well, then you are making yourself an enemy when I have been your most loyal fan.

Can I, and you, both sell our products, our brands, our ideologies? Without infringing upon one another, or stepping on one another's toes? Can I earn my bread, and you yours, without one of us trying to silence the other?
 
Not that boycotts are bad. Should you sell the parts of infants, and brew them into your potions, then I suppose I would have reason to boycott you. But, the only thing you do is exercise your free speech. And I exercise mine.
 
It is annoying to me to be told to "Be less white." What does that even mean? But, I've heard people call blacks "Niggers", and I had not cast them from my life. Nor have I boycotted them. 

We all possess our demons. We all have bad ideas. And, to get past this destructive time in our history, it would require it that I don't boycott you. And you don't boycott me.
 
That conservatives still drink Coke. And liberals, if they enjoy my product---and they will---enjoy it. As, there were plenty of times that movies I loved said things which were uncouth. When Star Wars made Darth Vader Jesus, or South Park portrayed God as a Purple Beast.

This is no different. Family Guy I hate. If given the power, I would censor them. The same as liberals would censor me. But, we ought to both understand that it is our freedom, to mutually hate one another's creativity.
 
Yet I do counsel you, that you have it in your power to silence me. And should you silence me---you and Google, and Facebook, and all the other businesses---that is Corporations taking control of the Government. And that is the very Definition of Fascism.

And if the Right can be guilty of it, so can the Left. And with that I leave you to consider.

Dear Thomas Chatterton

Dear,
Thomas Chatterton

I had just recently become acquainted with you, from reading my Southey work. He had patronized you as a saint. Though, your life didn't seem so saintly, Southey obviously felt you were worthy to gain admittance to the Celestial City in his Vision of Judgment.

Often we authors contrive schemes, to get us published. To make ourselves rich. You had died young, as a teenager, by committing suicide. I can understand the sentiment of wanting to end your own life, when hunger and want are daily a part of it. Need you have waited the month or two to be discovered? I'd say most likely not.

Had you just gained possession of your work, instead of write in a damn pseudonym, you may have obtained all that you want. Or, like is the case with me, you could have been trying to move into a sphere of class which couldn't want you. I am aware that by name America is free, but it is riddled with the same class struggles you yourself felt.
 
Was it that your work was just discovered? Or was it that they knew you were dead, and now could bestow honor upon you without giving you the riches you deserved? Had you not assumed a pseudonym, perhaps none of your work would survive today. As it is, I can read your entire work, and it is collected, and easier to obtain than Robert Southey's.

I don't understand you--- not now when I am wise. Why didn't you just put your real name on your writing? And then you could have prospered immediately, rather than sacrifice them to the alter of a pseudonym? Did you have some grand scheme of design, where they would discover your name, and know you had written masterpieces? Well, they did, and you hadn't earned from them.
 
Yet, it is not your fault. I would never blame you. For, I too am suffering under a different, but equally vexing problem. In my age, Mr. Chatterton, nobody reads poetry anymore. So, even if the greatest poet wrote, or the greatest in two generations, none would know of it. But I will not commit suicide. Because I am stubborn, and I will eat, drink, and be vexed so that my old age proves I was a wise man. For there is yet much to discover in this world, and I am not privy to leaving it until I had exhausted all of its vanity, and satisfied myself that Solomon was right.

However, I do not want the world. Only to understand it. To live among it. To know its great belle lettres, to familiarize myself with all of its hidden compartments. To know every culture, and their peoples. Only so I can save some of them, and therefore have the company I so lack at this current moment.

Truthfully, I want to die, but am not one who wishes to take on the Tradition of Crea, as Montaigne puts it. I don't like suicide. Life is too precious to waste, even though I am poor. And likely I am happier poor, so that way I can say, "LORD, I am among the poor." And receive my blessing. Yet, let me never be so poor that I steal. Nor so rich that I forget the LORD.

Truthfully, your story was one of few poets who I read. As your tragic life is more poetic than Mr. Rowley's forgeries. Why did you have to do that?

Yet, to earn a wage from my poetry, I would not despair. To have a small flock of people by which I could shepherd through these illiberal times, I would not despair. To have my bookshelf, and the occasional portion of flesh, I am satisfied. Really I am because I am not poor. And my office is like a monk's, compiling through wisdom to draw out Christ. As the monks would be in the same office I myself am in. And I am in a little monastery, isolated from everyone. Surrounded by a few family members. I am not unhappy.

Would my society come and burn my books? Likely not, so I am satisfied with them, and the compendium of knowledge on this internet. Do I want success? Only for many people to read my work. I do enjoy solitude. But I enjoy a woman's company, too. Which I have yet to obtain. I could be satisfied writing my works and enjoying the company of a woman. Nor am I mad like I once was, as that demon had been exorcised from me.

I am like a sage monk, living in his reclusiveness, compiling odes. Yet, let me be famous only for the sake of having not wasted my time writing things nobody would read or enjoy. To have a steady salary from my writing, I would enjoy it. To eat from this labor. Yet now I am satisfied, for this one moment. Yet, why did you have to use a pseudonym?

Perhaps it is like me, where my class prevents me from being disposed to write high poetry. Perhaps the publishers are waiting for me to commit suicide, so they can pounce on my craft and pick at it like vultures. That way my rotten name isn't among it. They are like that, you know? I don't think you died in vain, as you would have waited many years before you were famous. They knew you had died, and wanted to create a narrative with your life.

Mine won't be that way. I shall live stubbornly, and they shall suffer. I will make them suffer. For they aren't prying this from me. And when I die, they will be forgotten. 

Books I’ve Read

The Bible 
War and Peace Leo Tolstoy Twice
Anna Karenina By Leo Tolstoy Once
The Old Man and the Sea Earnest Hemingway Twice
Steinbeck The Pearl Once
F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Three Times
The Communist Manifesto Three Times
Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice Once
Jane Austen Mansfield Park Once
Machiavelli's Discourses on Livy Once
Machiavelli's Prince Once
True Believer Eric Hoffer Once
Frank Herbert Dune Trilogy Once
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich Alexander Solzhenitsyn Once
Ray Bradbury Fahrenheit 451 Three Times
Fredrick Douglass The Life of Fredrick Douglass Once 
Lois Lowry's The Giver Once
C. S. Lewis Mere Christianity Once
C. S. Lewis The Abolition of Man Three Times
C. S. Lewis The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe Once
C. S. Lewis The Magician's Nephew Once
C. S. Lewis Peralandra Once
C. S. Lewis Out of the Silent Planet Once
1494 By Stephen R. Brown
Ray Bradbury Dandelion Wine Once
Ray Bradbury The Martian Chronicles Once
Ray Bradbury The Illustrated Man Once
Macbeth By Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare
How to Win Friends and Influence People Dale Carnegie Twice
Julius Caesar by Shakespeare
Aristotle's Poetics Twice
The United States Constitution Four Times
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll Once
The Art of War by Sun Tsu Once
Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea Once
George Orwell's 1984 Three Fourths
Brave New World Once
The Complete Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock T. S. Eliot
Sir Thomas Moore's Utopia Once
The Catcher in the Rye Three Fourths
Civil Disobedience By Thoreau once 
Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird Four Times
Conquistador by Buddy Levvy Once
The Case for Christmas Lee Strobel Twice
J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit Once
J. R. R. Tolkien's The Fall of Arthur Twice
John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress Once
Before and After Socrates by F. M. Cornford Once
St. Augustine's Confessions Once
Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn Once
Voltaire's Candide Once
Seamus Heaney's Translation of Beowulf Once
Paradise Lost Seven Eighths
George Orwell's Why I Write Twice
40 Poems by Wordsworth 
3 Poems by Robert Frost
17 Poems by Colridge
20 Poems by Yeats
6 Poems by Keats
60 Poems by Walter Whitman
30 Poems by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
7 Poems by Seamus Heaney
12 Poems by Horace
3 Short Stories by James Joyce
1 Short Story by Herman Melville
1 Short Story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
8 Full Canterbury Tales
30 Irish Poems by Various Authors
5 Complete Plutarch's Lives
8 T. S. Eliot Poems
5 Robert Southey Poems 
1 Meditation in the Tao Te Ching
10 Byron Poems
2 Short Stories by Edgar Allen Poe
2 Poems by Edgar Allen Poe
40 Grimm's Fairy Tales
2 Essays by Fredrick Bastiat
5 Essays by Sigmund Freud
2 Essays by Carl Jung
3 Dialogues of Plato
2 Short Stories by Charles Beaumont
12 Great Tales from Great Tales From English History by Robert Lacey 
1 Essay by Benjamin Franklin
Thomas' Paine's Letter to Quakers
4 Short Stories by Guy De Maupassant 
20 Essays from Michael Montaigne
50 Aesop's Fables
20 of the Most Influential Speeches


Books I'm in the Process of Reading

Virgil's Aeneid
Ovid's Metamorphosis
Homer's Odyssey
Spencer's Fairy Queen
Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Mozi's Meditations
Confucian Analects
La Rochefouchauld's Maxims and Essays
Ralph Waldo Emerson's Essays and Poems
Uncle Tom's Cabin Harriet Beecher Stowe
Philip K. Dick
J. R. R. Tolkien's Silmerilion
Goethe's Faust
The Tale of Genjii Lady Murasaki
Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper
Gulliver's Travels Jonathan Swift
Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy
Caxton's Le Morte De Arthur
The Sayings of Mencius
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
The Romantic's Manifesto by Ayn RAnd
Anthem by Ayn Rand
Dante's Inferno
Herodotus
Adam Smith's the Wealth of Nations
The Social Contract by Rene Decarte
Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Hobbes Leviathan
John Locke's Two Essays
The Federalist Papers
The Antifederalist Papers
Euclid's Elements
The Little Book of Mathematical Princoples, Theories and Things Robert Solomon
Oxford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Encarta Encyclopedia
Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetic Terms
A New Handbook of Literary Terms  David Mikics 
Globish by Robert McCrum
Fernand Braudel's A History of Civilization
For Whom the Bell Tolls Earnest Hemmingway
Brother's Karamazov Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Writings of Martin Luther
Being Logical D. Q. McInery
On Tyranny Timothy Snyder
Edith Hamilton's Mythology
Thomas Bulfinch's Mythology
Memoires of Chateaubriand
North American Birds by Reader's Digest (c) 1990 Edited by James Cassidy
North American Wildlife by Reader's Digest (C) 1982 Edited by Susan J. Wernert
Emma Jane Austen
Sense and Sensibility Jane Austen
The Grapes of Wrath Steinbeck
Child Harold's Pilgrimage Byron
Michelangelo Henry Wadsworth Longfellow  
That Hideous Strength C. S. Lewis
The Horse and His Boy C. S. Lewis


Dear Mr. Hemingway

Dear,
Mr. Hemingway

I would have been more like F. Scott Fitzgerald, so I know the two of us would have butted heads.

However, underneath that bravado was a sensitive soul, who was chief among my friends in letters.

You reamed masculinity. You hunted Rhinoceri, you hunted Lions, Tigers, Bears. I'm sure you shot a few Ostriches in your day. I'm completely different than you, except in my hatred of war and injustice. I know working in the Red Cross brought your insights into the Spanish Civil War. And Pilar is a masterpiece of a character; you are the only storyteller I've read who knew to do flashbacks in the form of oral stories. I hadn't borrowed that from you--- Organically, I figured it out for myself. But yours are just as organic.

Had the two of us ever met, you'd probably say of me "He's a polymath." Meaning I'd be able to write in several different genres. Though, I wrote them well, you were the master of the novel. Though, I hadn't read a good short story from you yet.

The Old Man and the Sea is my treasure. It inspired my own "The Riddle in the Sea". Just in its titular appeal, however it was the story Steinbeck's Pearl was aiming to be. The Pearl is boring. The Old Man in the Sea kept me up reading all night.

We'd not get along, in that jesting manner. In my youthful days we'd have probably tangled once or twice. You'd win, of course. I was a lousy fighter, but don't tell me that when I was a young buck. I was a good wrestler, pound for pound. That was about it. I actually subdued an opponent once who was trying to kill me--- a legit madman.

However, I respect you as a man and as a sincere friend. I am not a drinker, a smoker, a fighter. And when I say we would not get along, I mean it only in the sense that we're cut from different chords. Not maliciously. For I'd be honored to have gotten beat by Mr. Hemingway in a brawl. 

Sure enough, though, when all is said and done, you were a good man. A knowledgeable man. A respectable journalist. A novelist and a scholar.

I could never craft a story as well as you. My best stories aren't able to match yours. I do not conjure your ghost, so rest in peace Mr. Hemingway. Only, that I hope it wouldn't offend you that I say we wouldn't get along. It wouldn't be violent, nor bitter. It'd just be like two birds, a blackbird and a robin.

I the blackbird, the Poet crying of injustices in the land. You the Red Breasted Robin, walking like a man, and the sign of a budding spring.

Dear Miss Austen

Dear,
Jane

I would be yours, Miss Austen, in a heartbeat. I would sweep you off your feet. However, I was born two centuries late.

What happened to you was not fair. It is everything wrong with consenting before marriage. I am not ignorant as to why you were in your situation. The weighing guilt on your conscience must have been much.
 
However, I do not blame you. He came into your life, made you fall in love--- and as the Song of Songs says, that love compels, when awakened, that the grass be your bed, and the oaks your roof. To run off to some place private, and to fill up on loves
 
Why that man got to marry, and you didn't--- I am sorry. If I could be Colonel Brandon, awaiting on you, I would be your suitor in a heartbeat. I understand you danced, and I understand the scandalous things you did.

You were in love. Yet, who you fell in love with, that Wickham, you were Lydia. Though you didn't run off, and start a life with your suitor--- to you it would have been better because then you'd have the dignity of being married to the man you loved.

I'm not ignorant. I too have similar guilt; and I bear my shame in this day and age, like yours. Where such a thing was frowned upon, and it was a constant barrage of shame.

In today's age, you would get along just fine. Nobody would fault you for your sin. I cannot say I prefer it that way, only that if you lived in my day, we'd be charitable, and I would find you.
 
In your day, the scandal produced a woman who was in love, and broken for she was not requited in that love. What you gave of your love, I understand though never having been in love myself.

It's not quite true, I was in love with an idea. I fell in love with Peace. I had called it "Love", when in fact it was peace. And that woman I had created, the one who changed my life for the better, was of course Jorgia. The phantom of my daydreams, but very real. And making love to her was never something for which I felt guilty.

I understood from that moment, the brilliance of love. The closure of having made love to someone who will always be there.

There is something beautiful in knowing it is right. And I'm sure you felt that. But, he left you.

The true love story of Jane Austen is a common one; there comes a man with ill intents who sweeps the woman off her feet. And sweeping her, he takes from her the thing he loves most. And then he goes forward.

However, you never gave up on love. You never got bitter or jaded. You, like I, waited and waited, writing our stories. And those gave us the closure.
 
And Jane, you made your five hundred pounds from your Novels. A sum which you used well. But you died so young, for this world was unworthy of you. It had taken from you everything, for a moment's passion.

Dear Mr. Tolstoy

Dear,
Mr. Tolstoy

I don't think any author shaped me more, outside of the Bible, than you.

I had taken from your work, that the movements of history are inevitable, and that great men are not made, but rather are the mouthpiece of an entire civilization.

Conversely, as Napoleon snuffed his tobacco, I realized I did not want to be him. I did not want to be the mouthpiece of a movement. Rather, I wanted to be the mouthpiece for my own, individual values. Those I have been taught by the Church and Jesus Christ.

I must say, your moment of clarity with regard to finding God, portrayed in Levin in Anna Karenina, is the same I had. The fact that life is meaningless without God, but I could never accept this life were meaningless. Not with all its beauty, and the power of love.

Anna was a flawless character. I find her realistic, and much like a woman who would do those things. I once told my aunt, after getting the book, that Anna was the good guy. I don't think you wrote good or bad guys, but rather just wrote true to life.

The way you get inside of a character's mind---often understanding there isn't much mind to get into with some of them---it is fascinating to me, how you have that insight.
 
When I read Jules Verne, whom perhaps you have read at some point, I don't know... I see the antithetical to our way of thinking. Though your way is not my way. It is just a large, sweeping breath over all things under the heavens. We must explore it in our thought life, whatever is in our power to understand.

Yet, Jules Verne's characters were so in the moment. There was no internal thought life, no real thought at all, yet in them was the knowledge of a certain man's way. Of experiencing, as recently a man told me to read Ned Land and the Dugongs again. So I did. He said it was realistic. And sure enough, Ned Land was realistic.

Yet in that moment, I understood you understood the person who thinks like Jules Verne. In your characters, you express their thoughts--- Somehow you understand them. To a person like me, I might look upon them and think, "Where are their thoughts?" Yet, their thoughts are in their experiences. Wholly in the moment. Drenched in that challenge with the dugong.

It is not a blessing of mine anymore to be so filled with life. For, I am awakened to my genius. A fertile imagination I had at one point, where all I could do is imagine stories and epic confrontations of war. Now, my mind is fertile and filled with the literature of the past. The characters and great understandings of other human beings.

It is not that people cannot think-- It is, as you lay out, they choose not to think. They involve themselves in the moment, like Ned Land, and are so free of thought, yet governed by their whims and emotions. And you understand that, while I have a difficult time understanding it. And perhaps so do you, yet you have found, what is perhaps, a Rosetta Stone for unlocking other minds.