Back from Dubai. Autumn & Anathema

Just recently I came back from a very difficult business trip to Dubai. Only thing I enjoyed was the view from the office, as I spent in there 12 hours daily for a full week. My journey was truly epic.

I was fighting bugs, like ancient monsters, repelling requests from other departments like raids of rogue nomads, getting through the new version of the binary for the Appstore release like it was a caravan traveling through the scorched desert.

But the sun of the desert was the sun of yesterday.
Today I am looking at the European autumn, enjoying my mate tea on my terrace.  Trees flutter with their colorful leaves stroked by wind and the rhythm of their whispers seems to be synchronized with a breath of my newborn son sleeping on my chest.

I look at my son and then at these trees. Then the realization comes through.

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Autumn is a parabola of the passing of time. One thing in life never changes, – it goes on.

Our biographies are like the autumn trees, full of colorful leaves –  all the different colors, are like frames of a movie of our life.

Some will float away carried by the wind.

I listen to Anathema now. The band’s tone is like a voice of autumn.
Weather systems. Somehow I cannot break the connection that this band has evolved with me. The brutal anger of the Dying Wish. The desolate music of Kingdom. Terrifying
dark, Alternative 4.

These were the tunes of my early twenties. When I was seeking my spiritual path. And I was roaming through some dark woods. This was not surprisingly a time when I wrote some of my best-received horror stories. But at what cost?

Grim music of early Anathema albums was my soundtrack. I managed to scratch the surface of the abyss back then. And these dark melodies were the beacon…
Yet I managed to find my way back into the light.
And so it seems with Anathema.

If you pick their latest albums, you realize that how much they changed. There is hope now in their music.  There is a reflection upon life and its purpose.

There is peace in words of such ballads as “Lightning song”.

“I found my place
In time and space
In hope and faith”

Quite a leap from the depressing lyrics of Alternative 4… ”Come and hide me from this terrible reality”. Don’t you think?
And guess what is the title of their latest album – The Optimist.

It is a hopeful feeling to see that one of your favorite bands seems to be evolving in synchronization with the development of your life.

Maybe you have to go through the darkness to find the light?

Here comes the calming voice off Lee Douglas from Anathema.

“Your world is everything you ever dreamed of
If only you can open up your mind and see

The beauty that is here”

I look at the face of my sleeping son.

So true.

—Post from “Sword in the woods” archive—

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One time in Dubai a taxi driver tried to convert me to Islam…

And he had no idea what he was getting into…
After long drive to a church and what had to be one of most difficult conversations in his life, he agreed he would start reading Gospel.
I was walking on the thin ice you see. Criticism of Islam is forbidden in United Arab Emirates. I had to tread carefully, so my words would not be treated a an open attack on something that I fundamentally disagreed with.
And I managed to make a deal with that driver.
I promised to read Quran in return, for him opening the Gospels. What my discussion partner didn’t know is that I read parts of Quran before. I also watched lectures of people as far from Christianity as Alan Watts, Ekhart Tolle or Richard Dawkins, even read Crowleys essays and browsed through La Vey’s satanic “bible”.
Why would I do that? Why would I expose my mind to things that could shake, corrupt or simply shatter foundations of my worldview?
Same reason on why a warrior risk losing his teeth on the arena.
Because a true warrior faces challenge wide open.
True warrior, finds strength in exercising his mind, he does not back down from intellectual and spiritual confrontation as he sees an opportunity there to sharpen the sword of his faith.
And there is no greater challenge than facing argumentation that questions the very base of our beliefs. And we the war we wage has a spiritual dimension.
And so, as the taxi driver, explains to me the glory of Allah I smile take a deep breath and engage, so I can tell him about a greater Glory thats out there.  I yield my sword, check my armour and I go forth into the storm.
I have been challenged again. And as many times before, I would make sure it will be for the good.
And in the aftermath, as with every battle, as I grow weary,  I remember to reinvigorate myself with the Truth.  So I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and let my mind regenerate by focusing it fully on Logos. The One Word. Who not only spoke just the Truth, but is the Truth Himself. And as the minutes pass by, a quote of G.K Chesterton, resonate through my heart. It is a quote that should become a mantra of spiritual warrior:

“Merely having an open mind is nothing. The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.”

And in the ever changing universe, with all it’s different people and their countless beliefs, there is nothing more solid than the Truth.

The Epic Quest called Life

So here we are.
Guys, Boyfriends, Husbands, Fathers, Weekend Warriors.

Probably a very last generation of those who used to run in childhood with sticks fighting trolls in a courtyard, who organised water balloon battles against those stinkers from the neighbouring block , who wrestled in sand, got their knees bruised while climbing trees.
We were the last ones to avoid, the omnipresent stigma of virtual reality. And our heads were filled with dreams.
Big, epic dreams.

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Joshua Earle

You can become anyone you want to, we were told. Rock star, general, football player. Fucking astronaut.

Just go ahead and believe that. Its is in our guys, warriors DNA, after all.  To reach for the heights, to climb the highest peak (and then drop your pants down and pee from the top).

When I was a kid I wanted to be a pirate. Or world famous writer.

I have always pictured myself rolling through life accompanied by an elevating soundtrack like in oscar winning movie, carrying a bloodstained armor, waving to crowds of fans with my left hand and giving autographs with the other, flying into space, preventing alien invasion, shitting with epicness.
And here I am, staring eleven hours per day at the numbers on the screen, rolled into the wheels of humongous corporate machine, changing diapers by night, dreading the invasion of bills by the end of the month.

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Ben White

I am Husband, Father, Breadwinner. Manager. Weekend Warrior.

And sometimes I find it hard to distinguish myself from a zombie. Does it have to be, that dream of greatness come back now only while playing another Witcher game on my PC?

Fuck that.

It is time to realise, that we are not ever to drop our childhood dreams, but transcend with them. That we shouldn’t treat life as the ultimate excuse for not living up to our greatest ambitions. A key to success is to pursue passions in spare time, while cherishing every moment of our daily struggles.

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Aziz Acharki

And remember you Fathers – having a family to care for is not only source of strength to face life adventures, but it’s an adventure itself.

I am a father and I am a warrior.

And I am living my quest in my daily experiences.

In my journeys, adventures, battles in the arena of everyday life. In stories told through the eyes of someone who despite coming of age, still lives his childhood dreams. Dreams of fighting trolls, climbing skyscrapers, reaching the heights of heights.
If you ever felt, that life is more, than a repetitive cycle of daily responsibilities, I am sure you will find yourself in some of my stories, if not all of them.
So, hey!… Join me on the epic quest called life.

 

/Post from my archived blog “Sword in the woods”/

Life is a flow

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Life is a flow

 

There is no “fixed” stage of life.

Nothing is set in stone. Things are changing, always and perpetual.

Even then when we reach our wildest dreams, there is still something more to be achieved or yet to be maintained.

Life is not a mountain, that you can conquer by a single, spontaneous attempt and then enjoy the view from it’s top.

Life is like a wave.

It flows.

We are there carried by it in our tiny, little boats.

We have no choice but to keep paddling. That is the only way to stay on it’s top.

 

Tales of Scotland – Nessie spotted!

Highly classified data on so called “Loch Ness Monster” sightings was transmitted to Blue Moon Station in late summer.

Although station’s A.I  remained skeptical ( “Are you sure you want to do this Dave?”)  the accuracy of the evidence material was so convincing that the situation required close investigation.

I have have packed my monster hunting  equipment, my camera, my diving suit and occasional Scottish kilt.

And I jumped into the rocket.

Blue Moon Station  was on a mission again.

I have landed on the Loch Ness shore on August 23rd, near the town of Inverness.

This area was had the highest number of “Nessie incidents” reported.

Surely it had nothing to do with two touristic “Nessie centers” located in it’s neighborhood.

I have picked up my Monster Motion Sensor and started scanning the perimeter.

The investigation has begun.

During days of intensive research I found the following:

Ruins of the castle. Romantic and picturesque. Very Scottish.

Lady of the Lake. Beautiful and charming. Very mysterious.

Bunch of tourists rolling on the grass, near ” Keep of the grass” sign. Very American.

Medieval toilet. Simple and stylish. Very medieval.

None of those, although very entertaining, didn’t lead me any closer to the monster itself.

The Monster Motion Sensor was dead silent, satellite scanning from the Blue Moon Stations showed no track of the anything larger than a group of old, fat tourists from Germany.

So I stared at the lake. And started. And started at it for hours…

Was my mission failed?

And then the enlightenment came.

Nessie is a monster, right?

What do they do in all those horror movies when they try to summon the Monster out of it’s pit?

They use this trick. It is called „human sacrifice”.

It works like that :

  • You pick a girl – preferably the most charming, innocent looking Beauty in the area.
  • You leave her on the altar/chain her up to the large monolith/throw her into the pit…or into the lake.
  • You wait for the Monster to come for it’s bait.

I smiled.

Maybe my quest was not that pointless after all?

Now where was that Lady of the Lake…?

And theeeeereeeee she went….

And after few moments, the Monster has arrived.

Huge, shiny and of course very monstrous. Ladies and Gentleman – Nessie:

Mission was accomplished.

The end

Tales of Scotland – The hunt for Loch Ness Monster vol. 1

Imagine a lake.

It’s a lake like this:

It stretches for miles, it’s deep and mysterious, surrounded by breathtaking landscape of hills and plains.

It’s a beautiful lake.

Now – how would you make it famous?

You could praise it’s beauty – and surely some people would come to see it.

You could even have some romantic ruins scattered around it. Like a medieval castle remains. This would help attract even more tourists.

But how would you make it a worldwide touristic  highlight? How could you drag people all over the globe to see it?

How would you make them write stories about it in all languages, how would you make it as well known as wonders of the world such as Pyramids of Giza, Rome’s Colloseum or Niagara Falls?

How would would you do it – when you’d have known that your like is nice…but not THAT special?

Well my friends – for this you would need a Monster.

Maybe not as ugly as that one.

Still, the Monster you need should be  big, fat and scary. Yet – it should be realistic and vivid enough that it could live in people’s imagination.

1 ,00o pound, ancient reptile and a marine predator –  plesiosaurus should do the job.

Now how would you find one – if all of those died like 65 milion years ago?

That’s also simple my friends – you would make it up.

You would find  a nice, catchy name for it- like Billy or Fluffy.

Or Nessie, if you’d have ran out of all other options.

Then you would start producing promotional gadgets on the industrial scale. Postcards, toys, t-shirts, calendars, cups, towels, toilet papers… etc. All of those covered with our Monster’s images.

And than you would spread the word.

That’s how the Loch Ness monster myth was created … or rather that’s what I thought before I visited the famous lake myself.

It was then when it occured to me that sometimes the most simple explanations have nothing to do with the ever-suprising reality.

Because of all explanations I had – none has foreseen that famous Nessie can be actually alive.

To be continued

Blue moon station – operational


**WARNING** – commencing landing procedures.

Docking in progress.

**please wait**

Opening vacuum gate.

all systems online

**updating facility status**

Location: moon

Moon color: blue

Station crew: 2

———————————-> It has been a while Captain.<————————————————

———————————-> Welcome home!<————————————————