In 2014, JP worked with a small local publisher to put out his debut novel, a semi-autobiographical tale called “Birding in the Face of Terror.” Let’s just say that no part of the publishing process went as planned, and by late 2016 their relationship had ended, their contract was voided, and JP’s urge to publish was crushed.
Birding in the Face of Terror began as a short story completed a few months after 9/11/01, with little beyond a journalistic account of the events on and around the bus trip with the American Birders Association to the three sites we visited. Upon finishing it, I knew there was an avalanche of related material and many thousands of words left unsaid, so I started expanding it into a novel. But sometime in mid-2002, my efforts hit a major psychological wall, and the project went on the shelf, not to be picked up again until 2009.
In Act IV of “Birding”, I spent a good deal of time describing Pedro’s bus trips with Chinese tourists to Yellowstone and many other national parks of the West in the summer of 2001. I’ve always wondered whether readers would assume this was one of the fictionalized elements of the novel, with a workload thatContinue reading “Birding — From China with Love: The Landmark Tours”
Once, upon the timeless arc of the circle of time, there was a peasant. He lived in a small village in the heart of the Kingdom, near the towering, cloud-obscured mountains where the King was said to dwell. Ordinary in most ways, the young peasant was exceptionally passionate and devout in his worship of theContinue reading “Pez King Teaser (Chapter 1)”
Note: the follow material is grafted mostly word-for-word from a long section of monologue in Chapter IV of “The Peasant and the King.” I consider it more of an extract than an excerpt, for I did take out all the elements that put it in the context of the story with characters speaking and listeningContinue reading “The Four Evolutionary Stages of Human Consciousness”
“Be humble for you are made of stardust; be noble for you are the Maker of stars.” This is the story of a God-seeking peasant who is unable to find peace through the authoritative religion of his people. He is called on a journey that stretches his faith beyond its limits and breaks every boneContinue reading “The Peasant and the King”
All religions are discussions amongst frogs in various wells about this mythic place of limitless water called the Ocean.
“As I look around the room, I see that you all have bright, golden halos around your heads.You were born with them, and they are no less pure and brilliant now this day than on the first.Only one person here is trying to earn his birthright; it is I.” Composed by JP during silent worship at Ithaca Quaker MeetingContinue reading “Original Sin, owned”
I only needed one mango to get the experience of Mango, so I chose one. I don’t need to eat all 20 of them to know that they taste of Mango, and I’m sure they’re all delicious because they come from the same source.
Silence is the divine ground of God.It holds all the elements needed for a new life to emerge in the form of sound.We find truth in the ground, not the words that arise from it.But spoken words do not interrupt the silence.They are expressions of the truth found there,whose roots remain planted in its fertileContinue reading “Meeting”