Tag Archives: Easter

Easter 2020 – Lockdown Fail

It is Easter, and in a lockdown fail of cosmic proportions, Jesus is Risen. Perhaps no one in the catalog has better enunciated why this matters than Pastor Lin Shun Lun in Boone’s second novel, The Bonus Pool. Here, with extraneous content redacted to keep the novel new for those who’ve not yet read the thing, is his speech:

Madame, I thank you for the very kind introduction. I gladly accept your kind award of this great honor, although I do so on behalf of the many who labor as I do, with only the comfort of recognition unapparent in the present realm.

“We are creatures who live, you see,” he continued, “guided by perceptions. Those, in turn, are influenced by our personal perspective.”

He paused in looking out over the audience. “The perspective of a Chinese, you see, is by necessity of one surrounded by many. The long history of the peoples and cultures of my land has brought forth many philosophies from this point of view. The philosophies of men, we know, in order to find true validity must fit within the framework of the Almighty.

“Long ago, the tradition relays, a master approached the boundaries of his land mounted upon a beast of burden, seeking only solitude for his final days and weary in his heart of the ways of men. A guard there, sensing his passing greatness, entreated him to set down in a few written words a treasure for future generations.”

Lin smiled. “A work of eighty-one brief chapters, by the man who we know as Lao Tse, became the iconic Tao Te Ching. At its core, the work is a simple observation of the essence of nature, which, over the course of a long lifetime, had become apparent to one of the most observant of minds. As a result, it is one of the three preeminent philosophies in my native land to this day, two and one-half millennia later.

“You might wonder why a Christian, such as I, would emphasize what some would consider a secular philosophy.” Lin paused as if to consider the question himself. “The reason is the long success of the Church in China in relating to the reverence of balance and harmony Lao instilled in those who appreciate truth.

“Truth, you see—the collection of conventions we utilize to formulate our perspective—is determined through observation, and in turn is tempered and moderated by a wisdom telling us Truths are best understood from premise to extension, or put more simply, ascending from the foundational to the elaborate.

“Master Lao, as appropriate, began at the beginning. He wrote of the greatest truth, and the foundation of all things, whom he decreed unknowable and simply called the Tao, or ‘the Way.’ His, I assert, was a pre-revelation vision of the Divine, in the manner leading the Psalmist to observe ‘the heavens declare the Glory of God.’ As with any foundation, it is a solid base on which to build, as we in China have begun.

“Truth resides in the balance and harmony of observed realities, and the traditions of my culture have long held to those unfailing inter-relational standards. Actualities must meet examination, and coexist with the remainder of what we hold, if our philosophy is to stand.”

Lin’s hands left the podium so only his feet supported his weight. “To stand is to rest one’s center within means of support. It is the possession of balance, and we find such through harmony with our environment.”

Returning his hands to the lectern, he maintained a comfortable stance at center stage. “It is so with the successful negotiation of the human condition. To encounter success, just as Lao knew, and just as the simplest of people in China know to this day, we need foundational clarity. One needs, I assert, valid perspective. And this, we have determined, lies in understanding the tripartite nature of Creation.”

Lin’s hands made the shape of a circle then remained at the periphery. “We live in the bounds of our material existence, yet we sense, as Lao did, something more. Those, as so many things do upon reflection, often divide themselves into threes: Father, Son, and Spirit … beginning, middle and ending … Heaven, Earth and Man.”

His hands grasped the podium once more, and the man leaned forward slightly, seemingly alight from his speaking. “You have seen the circles within circles attempting to portray the everlasting balanced relationship of the yin and the yang. The icon represents also the primal journey, from darkness to the Light, again in three parts—the Light, the Dark, and the Whole. We know through the long experience of its endurance the ancient philosophy stands. As we occupy the very middle of our own three realms—Heaven, Earth, and Man between—it is, therefore, our vital challenge to find the balance point of existence.”

Illustrating his point, Lin touched his abdomen. “The center of our body is easily located. How so do we perceive the center of our spiritual existence? Where is the middle component of the tripartite? One may find it, as we in China have had great success in proclaiming, in the person of Christ Jesus. He embodied on Earth the very essence of Heaven and of Man, bringing all three into inseparable balance in his sacrifice on the Cross.”

Lin paused, smiling again. “There we see the balance point of Creation, still today as it was always, even in the time of Lao and prior. This vital component, should it be found lacking, leaves us without balance, and in danger of a fall, as with any body or soul outside the bounds of its support. In all of our journeys, from birth through life to death, we will find there is no substitute for the lack of balance. Not in any pleasure of the world, nor in our strivings, nor in our most violent contentions or in any imagined state of self-determination,” Lin concluded.

“Only through accepting this vital balance point in the existence of mankind can any entity—man, woman, family, government or league of nations—exist in harmony with that which is, and truly discover what it is to be human.”

Lin raised his hands in acceptance of the undeniable. “It has been engineered into the Great Construct, you see, from the beginning. We travel from the Darkness toward the Light, regardless of any other intent. We, who adhere to the natural flow in this, meet less resistance, encounter less misery, and carry less weight than we would otherwise. It is for the sake of the human condition we endeavor to convince others.

“What greater privilege exists, than to speak to our fellow man of that which is? What else would we do with our time, now after we have seen the Truth?” Lin smiled and bowed his head to the audience. “Thank you for this evening, and for this honor, and this opportunity. May the Light ahead and the Darkness behind show you the true nature of our journey together, as one world, under the hand of one God. In His name we pray.”

Have a blessed Easter. Choose to love. – DA

*****

In production news, the Single Candle Press Editress is reading through my remaining three titles of the catalog preparatory to beginning Content Edit for Title14/Sean5 Twenty-Four Hours to Midnight. Ritter’s face-off with ISIS will appear, God willing, later this year.

Decades

It’s a season of transition. As always, only this year the changes are more stark.

Fall gives way to winter. Life focuses on the joy of the season, and a new year beckons afterward. Quibbling over Anno Domini reckoning aside, in this turn another decade ends as well.

If everything has gone as it should, because we have that many fingers the years group into tens as well, and order into the chapters of one’s life. Childhood. School. The Social Order. The Path. The Mission. The Changes. Eventually, The End Game.

I’ve been writing in ten of these most recently passed years, as I was purposed to do when they started. I was a child when they sat me in the pews of my local parish to stare at a sanitized image of Jesus on the Cross, and I thought how unfair it was that he had done nothing, but hung there for the sake of us, who should serve Him.

I was only a young man when times were bad, so bad yet so inescapable that I offered times such as those to Him, if He had a use for me. He did, as He does for all who believe in the magic of Christmas and the blessing of Easter. Afterward, the decades turn, His will is done, and we see more clearly all of it in hindsight than we are able in looking forward at the road ahead.

My lead characters Jon and Sean and Boone were given and changed that life. What was now is not, and it seems that the year in which I wanted to write was turned instead into seven of some sort of indenture, in which I was utilized to finish what was started.

This, due to the nature of transition that took us from where we were to where we are, unfortunately will be The Year Without a Novel. 2020, God willing, will bring Boone and Sean together in short order followed by another title of his. Afterward, a sixth for Sean and Boone’s first and last adventure will round out the catalog, should that be His plan as well.

Will I write another novel? I don’t know, just as I didn’t imagine more than a single effort in the first place. I am open to being used to a greater extent, and I am satisfied that I have been the conduit of what has come across already. Life should be lived in just such a manner of faith and contentment.

I know that in the pews of my childhood parish I wanted to be on His side, because even then, though I couldn’t yet articulate the intuition, I knew His work to be life, founded in love. Those greater premises took more than half my allotted years to formulate into relatable precepts. Now they are out in the world, in the nearly fifty-four thousand extant copies of the works people call mine.

I know it not to be so. The Editress is there, and the refinement of helpers and friends who want to be a part of what we were and are yet doing. Behind us all is the voice of the Spirit and the greater plan of Creation, being followed to perfection through those who believe and the others who do not.

Christmas celebrates only the first installment of His validation of belief. Jesus had to appear to assure us that we are not struggling through the chapters of this life in vain. He had to do so in a historical era to be documented not only by His followers but in the writings of the very Romans who hung him on the same sort of Cross as I contemplated in my youth.

Without the assurance that He experienced what it was to be alone and blind and dying, we might otherwise be tempted to make the excuse that He does not. Another device allowing bitterness a root in our souls rather than the assurance of His shepherding is thwarted. That excuse is gone.

Decades turn, and the world changes while we move through it. The hope He provided remains, as it has now for nearly two millennia and shall until He returns. Hope brings joy in its understanding. Mine is that you’re here with me this Christmas season.

Choose to love, -DA

*****

In production news, Boone and Ritter’s upcoming title, Ghosts of the Republic, stands at roughly eighty percent completion in production editing. Several weeks remain in editing, proofing and production, but it’s finally getting close. Prepare now for snug winter reading!