Little, Big

Need a little perspective today? Want to get a sense of where you really are in the fullness of reality? Interested in learning all kinds of cool things?

The app I link to below, which allows you to zoom in to the teeny tiniest bit of quantum foam or out to the fullness of the entire universe is one of the most astonishingly elegant scientific gizmos I’ve ever seen. It’s worth spending some time with.

The Scale of the Universe 2

The Deepest Truth…

Neil DeGrasse Tyson offers his “most astounding fact” about us and the universe. In it are the roots of a true spirituality, a spirituality that isn’t blind to the sheer scope and wonder of life and nature and the universe itself, a spirituality that recognizes the importance of all things and a true understanding of their interconnections: science.

As above, so below.

Good Jesus, Bad Jesus

What is the heart and soul of Christianity in America?

If you pay attention to most of the news related to Christianity, what you see is hatred and intolerance, militarism and fascism, a lockjawed embrace of ignorance, and a blind adherence to principles which seem to actually fly in the face of those presented by Christ himself.

Last week I was fortunate (blessed?) to have the opportunity to see the two extremes of Christian behavior, and while the first was disheartening, the second was wonderful.

First, the suck. Continue reading

Nails

I don’t know the source of this tale, but it’s one I needed to read and it found its way to me.

Grandson, why are you so full of hateful words?

Grandmother, because I am angry and I feel like saying what I want and who cares anyway, they are just words!

Grandson, here is a box of nails and a hammer. Go and every time you abuse someone or tease or say other hurtful things hit a nail into the fence.

Grandmother, I have used all the nails in your box what now?

Grandson, every time you say something nice to someone you have spoken badly to or even apologise for your words take a nail out of the fence.

Grandmother, I am finished but it took a lot longer to take them out then to hit them all in.

Yes, Grandson, and you see all these holes left behind from the nails?

Grandmother, of course I can see them..why do you ask?

Grandson, every time you hurt someone with words or deeds you make a hole in their hearts and leave scars you can’t see… so even when you apologize or do good deeds later, you remove the nails but a scar or hole remains and takes a lot more time to heal…

Trying

Fuck Yoda.

We all know his words of wisdom, right?

“Do or do not. There is no try.”

That’s all well and good if you’re a super-monk toad-midget with a glowy sword, living in an imaginary swamp, created by a man who’s getting closer by the minute to exhausting every good idea he’ll ever have. But in real life, sometimes trying is all we’ve got.

No one is perfect. Not all actions, no matter how resolutely performed, will be successful. The nature of the scientific method is all about trying, trying this and trying that, seeing what works, seeing what doesn’t. And life is pretty much the same.

You want to “Do or do not, there is no try?” Then only act on simple things, don’t aspire. Stay in your safety zone.

Trying is good. Trying is noble. If you try and fail, learn from it and keep going. That is wisdom.

My status on Facebook as I wrote this:

  • Tim Byrd

    is trying, in both senses of the word, but trying not to be trying, so it can be just the one sense from now on.

“Though No Horns Adorn My Head” (A Poem)

Though no horns adorn my head
My spirit points to the moon’s sky.

Though my legs don’t end in hoofs
I walk a cocksure prance ‘cross sacred Earth.

My body is hairy.
I’m a proud-hung young buck.
Behind sharp eyes my soul stalks wild.

Horned God–
Horny As Hell God–
Reviled by  fundamental debasers of flesh sacredness–
You still live
in me.

I will drink red wine
I will eat bloody venison meat
And I will dance and sing and fuck and live
So that you may be sacred still.

So that I may be sacred still.

So that life will be sacred still.

Wild To The Heart

An inspiring passage from writer Rick Bass…

If it’s wild to your own heart, protect it. Preserve it. Love it. And fight for it, and dedicate yourself to it, whether it’s a mountain range, your wife, your husband, or even (heaven forbid) your job. It doesn’t matter if it’s wild to anyone else; if it’s what makes your heart sing, if it’s what makes your days soar like a hawk in the summertime, then focus on it. Because for sure, it’s wild, and if it’s wild, it’ll mean you’re still free. No matter where you are.

Watching Hunters

A memory from an old journal of mine…

I am sitting uncomfortably, strapped with my back to a pine, thirty-odd feet off the ground. It’s dark and cold, not yet five a.m. A periodic wind pushes the branchless length of trunk this way and that and cuts through the layers of clothing I wear. The worst part is my feet feel like ice sculptures in my boots. I can’t feel my toes.

I’m on a deer hunt, this autumn of ’91, but just as an observer. It’s bow season and I am unarmed. The men I’ve come with are spaced in hopeful stillness across several miles of night-dark Georgia forest, participants in a ritual much older than recorded time. Hunters. Predators. There is camaraderie, even when everyone is alone, frozen, quiet. Camaraderie building to beers to be shared, observations spoken, well-meant insults inflicted. But now there’s just stillness and darkness and cold.

Uncomfortable as I am, I have a thrilling sense of connectedness, an awareness of how alive I am, and how alive the woods are around me.  This place, this rural, undeveloped parcel of land, still dreams the deep dreams of wilderness, and I, not back in my bed partitioned from the earth’s breath by walls with their own vented, heated breath, am a part of those dreams. Continue reading

Return of the Wild Side

My first “grown up” romantic relationship was with a lovely German girl I met the day I arrived at my Army post in the village of Treysa, West Germany. She was smart and funny and sexy, and we were together for something like four years. She was a good girl friend.

I was a good boyfriend too. Mostly.

I’ve been remembering certain things the past few days, as I’ve dealt with the after-effects of my electroshock therapy, tossed around like a cork on a sea of emotion churning, chaotic, and deep.

Then, I was young and passionate and immature. I had some anger issues. I lacked a certain measure of self control. I know this sounds like I’m about to launch into some darkly revelatory reminiscence, but the truth is (mostly) a lot goofier than that. Continue reading

“She Stalks Starlit Wilds” (A Poem)

She stalks starlit wilds
Hot sweat slicking her skin.
Naked skin.
And under that, Blood.
Hot and Red and Lusting.
Life blood.

Her hair is a wild mane cascade
Catching the wild winds–
And scintillating stars spark and spin
In its curls.

She loves to Hunt
To Eat
To Fuck
To LIVE
Feeling her godness in her body moving
Muscle and bone and tendon
And Blood, tided to the Moon forever.

She stalks the Wild.
She hunts for Passion.
Blood. Moon.
Life.
She stalks starlit wilds.

And I dream that she is hunting
For me.

“Wild Soul – Nature, Civilization, and the Ecological Spirit” (Now Available, Just 99¢)

 

JUST 99¢!!!

My essay “WILD SOUL – Nature, Civilization, and the Ecological Spiritis now available from Amazon as a Kindle download for 99 cents.

In the near future, it will be going up at other online venues, in other ebook formats. (If you don’t have a Kindle, you can still read Kindle books with free programs downloadable from Amazon, like Kindle for PC. I read Kindle books on my iPhone and desktop computer.)

Traditional tales across the world describe mankind’s joyful rise in a wild paradise like the Garden of Eden. But they also tell of our fall from such lives of bliss and natural grace.

Our technology, our cities, our toys, our wealth, all have done nothing to ground us as individuals or as societies. If they had, we would live in a near Utopia, rather than the reelingly chaotic and violent world-on-the-brink around us, for surely our affluence and level of comfort is greater than it has been for any people in the history of the earth.

Is Eden forever lost, or is there a way back?

Can we access that marvelous, mythic place in our souls, find a path to its joyful, natural wonders? Or have we slumbered so long in civilized ways that our vital selves are banished for the rest of time?

Can we reclaim the power of the primitive without denying ourselves the comforts and wonders of the modern world?

Exploring sources ranging from the Old Testament and Eastern mysticism, from poetry to popular fiction, from ancient fable to contemporary deep psychology, novelist Tim Byrd finds the prescription for our ills.

We need to live and love more fully, and do things that matter.

We need a renewal of a sense of sacredness towards the natural world, and intimacy with that world.

We need wild soul.

Just How Selfish WAS Jesus, Exactly?

It’s not often you see a true man of faith who’s a public figure in our culture who actually walks the walk.

Stephen Colbert is exactly that.

A devout Catholic (who actually teaches Sunday school), he not only bases his political views on principles like compassion and rationality, he’s extremely active with a long list of charities. He’s clearly a much better man than the buffoon he lampoons, Bill O’Reilly (who this week hilariously tried to one-up an atheist on his show by telling him we don’t know what causes the tides to go in and out).

Vodpod videos no longer available.

With Thanksgiving Done…

It is now acceptable to start talking about Christmas.

It is also acceptable to talk about “the holidays,” Hanukkah, the Solstice, Kwanzaa, Yule, Ashura, the New Year, December, or Thursday.

Don’t take it personally.

A Tip On How To Avoid Spreading Lies (and how not to be taken in by them)

An old friend just posted this as their status on Facebook:

Dear Mr. President,

I hear you want to freeze pay rates for military
starting next year. Would you also consider cutting yours to save much
more money for our country? While you’re at it, lets cut down congress’
pay too. If the people who risk their lives don’t get a pay raise, why
…would we continue raising pay for those who send us “over there”? Copy paste if you agree

Thing is, it’s bogus. This is exactly the sort of non-factual knowledge I’ve written about here and there, lies spread passionately among millions of Americans too willing to accept any bad news about their political opponents, or just too lazy to do a few minutes’ fact-checking so they know they’re spreading truth not propaganda.

It’s tough for me to take time out of my day (or night, as it’s late, I’m tired, and I really ought to be in bed) to defend President Obama, because I’m not a huge fan myself. But if you’re going to criticise him, people, please make sure you know what the fuck you’re talking about. Otherwise you’re a pawn of liars, a liar yourself, or just a stupid sheep easily led where they want to take you.

I wasn’t previously aware of this particular lie. It took less than a minute for me to search Google (“Obama military pay freeze”), and find the truth, in detail. The first link was to a page at Snopes with everything laid out plainly for anyone to see. Snopes is a great site for checking the veracity of rumors, political and otherwise.

Frank Schaeffer: On Fundamentalism, Atheism, & American Life

A fascinating interview with Frank Schaeffer, one of the founding members of the modern religious right in America, who has since recognized the dangers inherent in the worldview he once espoused.

Vodpod videos no longer available.