Saturday, February 28, 2015

Goodbye Mr. Spock


So about 20 years ago I went to dinner with Leonard Nimoy. Ha...no, But I was in Wilmington, NC and took a date to a very nice restaurant. Surprisingly, the hostess was a woman I had been out with the week before (awkward) and some very negative vibes. But her angry look was tempered by the general excitement that Leonard Nimoy was there. She sat us at a table near the actor. 

Spock was such a big part of my childhood. We would play Star Trek on the playground on a regular basis. Greg McNabb was always Captain Kirk - not sure what that was about :-( And the other prized position of Spock would go to someone else. I would end up with the doctor McCoy slot...or Scotty if I was lucky. 

So all these memories poured in and took over my thoughts at dinner. I would honor the man and all the joy he had brought to my childhood by not making a fuss. I would just steal a glance every so often. I was discrete.

So I thought. When doing one of my quick checks on Spock and his meal - I found him staring at me. And still staring. He was making a point that he would appreciate it if I stopped staring at him.

Oh well. As much a part of my childhood as he was I could not do any better. I tried.

Goodbye Mr. Spock. Thanks for letting us come along on all the amazing adventures. And inspiring us to adventure on our own. Its just TV but at the same time - story is always more than just TV.

Friday, August 29, 2014

CURLY and the ART of REDUCTION


A very old guy once told me that he liked a country song about a card game that said this:

"You have to know when to hold them, when to fold them, when to walk away, and when to run."

Problem:

That kind of wisdom at the moment you need it is nearly impossible to calculate. Simply no one is that smart.

So - One Thing:

A precondition and presupposition: - it is a beautiful natural world with wonderful creatures and people - who are also finite and radically messed up. A mixed-bag, this world. 

People will tell the truth, withhold the truth, and lie.

And people will 'act' in times of ethical tension or crisis - (hold them, fold them, walk, run)

Each person will have a priority item, something that is the most important thing for them.

Example - if relationships - then they will act based on the preservation or promotion of that general priority. They will 'know' instinctively in the moment what they should do and do it - tell the truth, withhold the truth, or lie.

Example - if money and status - then they will act based on the preservation or promotion of that general priority. They will 'know' instinctively in the moment what they should do and then do it - tell the truth, withhold the truth, or lie.

Etc.

One thing. Risk is involved in either case (or whatever fills the priority item - those are just two examples).

Back to the precondition and presupposition that it is a fallen world:

The question can become - Is the priority item a force in opposition to the flow and nature of life? (positive or 'for good')

Or is the priority item a force that goes with the natural flow of life.





Thursday, July 17, 2014

FUNDRAISER - Adoptive Families - Anti-Human Trafficking Organizations

Hello Adoption Blogger! And any Anti-Human Trafficking Organizations!

Thank you for taking a moment to read about this new fundraising project for adoptive families!

I have written and published my second novel entitled Unseen. This novel really is my best effort because it is very personal to me in setting and circumstance. Though it is not our story (no one would believe that story), it carries the inspiration of our time in Ukraine adopting our daughter. So it is much informed by 7 years of research and cultural experience.
                        
The idea is to provide the eBooks (Kindle, Nook, and IPad) to adoptive families or anti-trafficking organizations as a fundraiser for them.  This is a product that they can offer on their blogs free when supporters donate to them. Or they can sell it themselves as a fundraiser if they like.

This is truly a captivating and compelling read. Something supporters would readily tell their friends about and point others to the place where they received it. And so on.

I imagine that through the entertainment of this novel, Unseen, readers will get a fresh and real feel of Ukraine. The reader will gain a deeper empathy for the children there (or anywhere) and their parent’s journey to adopt them.

If you are interested, I would love to send you a free copy of Unseen to review in whichever ebook format you prefer. Just email me at grahammark67@gmail.com for your copy or to answer any questions you may have. Or you can just purchase it here or anywhere online - and use and re-sell it. That simple. 

Please tell anyone who you think could benefit from this project.

We would love to be a small participant of bringing together as many families as possible.

UNSEEN story synopsis:
Martin and Jenny Johnson chose to do something different with their vacation and traveled to an orphanage in Southern Ukraine with a team. Once there, the childless couple fell in love with a little girl, Oksana, and made steps to adopt her. But they soon met with mysterious resistance to the adoption and the child went missing for the rest of their time there. Martin remained in Ukraine to pursue Oksana while Jenny worked from America. Days turned to weeks, and then months. With the help of his taxi driver Dima and Dima's friend Sasha, Martin learned more than he expected.  Neither could have imagined the strange twists and turns that would soon arise. Martin would come to find the depths of a father's love he had never known hidden within himself.





Saturday, June 21, 2014

Childhood Dreams....

I have to go to D.C. for some bidnez soon. There will be a day where I have time to kill. So happens that the Smithsonian has an air and space museum nearby. After many childhood hours building models of the SR-71 Blackbird, and researching anything knowable about it - I will finally get to see one!

I started a business back then as an aircraft designer. 11 years old with a portfolio and business cards. Never got 'the call' from General Dynamics...but had fun. This was what you did before cable tv. Well, stuff like that and a bicycle. 

Geek out with me in the new photo gallery section.

Cheers.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Little Known State Called Franklin

Think I will toss a little history into this blog. I can't seem to get enough history. Being single and just imagining that life is about doing whatever you want - I majored in this subject in college. Very soon after I took my first computer-installation job - married and first child on the way - you have to pick up some kind of trade quickly. Have had a foot in reality ever since.

Anyhow, a great-great-great- (maybe a couple more greats) - grandfather of mine was John Seviere. He was the first governor of Tennessee. Pretty cool, right? Well, sort of, he had 18 kids so I think all of Eastern Tennessee is related to him in some way. Probably the coolest thing was that Shirley Temple married into the family. She became a U.S. Ambassador.

Seveire wanted his own state as North Carolina was annoying him in some way. He and his group constituted a state government and lasted 4 years. They got a vote in Congress but it fell short of a two-thirds majority. I wonder though, knowing the impact of historical imperatives, if the culture of that region still feels itself a little...independent of the Union.

Adding some links here if you get interested in learning more.

WIKI Stuff

PBS Show



Monday, June 9, 2014

"What If..." (and new artist in the Gallery)

This is why I believe, really believe, what I do...okay, I'm just messing with you. I don't have a clue why I believe. Be honest - you don't know why you believe what you do either. Or why you are bereft of belief of some kind if that is the case.

But since I have not excluded faith (of any sort) from this project - I'll just share a bit of my own. This project description notes 'Faith in the Mix' and some readers may want some definition around that.

I have a great admiration of written human history (and posit that this is the only knowable history). And love learning from all cultures and traditions. Religious or non-religious. 

I don't have any technical idea of how I came to my faith other than remembering thinking at one time, 'what if?'

On the other side of that event I found some interesting observations of my faith. It is in common with all in that it tells something obvious and true - people are imperfect. But then here is where one faith runs off the rails of all human tradition and systems of religions and faiths. Christianity departs from all human history with stating a logical conclusion that, for me apparently, rang true. This; that people are therefore incapable of moral perfection. Which for me is something quite obvious - I can't find my car keys half the time, don't know when I have cheez-it crumbs on my shirt - I could go on. You get the picture. Reconnecting with god? It is way out of my league. Just saying.

So with all science, religions, or philosophies you have the bad news of our obvious state. 

With my adopted faith you have the good news of an answer to this. It is an impossible and strange answer. And not even provable as true. But with other faiths - also impossible and strange answers of human effort. And equally not provable as true - (and good news if you manage whatever is required of you). 

Only if 'what if it's true?' comes to mind - for me, a choice of belief (again, very personal - and I don't even understand my own adoption of faith, technically) can lead to hope, and for me, a god worthy of worship. Another choice of any kind, if believed, can bring hope as well. I don't understand other faiths very well other than where they differ - that they motivate towards an end,  while Christianity (ideally) motivates from an end. I notice that many friends of other faiths daily attempt to do what they say is required - and I find that incredibly admirable. 

The church structure, religion, that relates itself to my personal faith is often not quite so admirable - in the tendency to want its adherents to STILL motivate towards an end...while also stating the opposite position that that work was finished by God. 

Oh well. Augustine allegedly said this long ago, "the church is a whore, but she's still my mother."

I don't know if he really said that - but I get it. 

So here there will likely sometimes be a mix of faith as it intersects with story, essay, or photography in things I find and post. Maybe not my faith, maybe yours, maybe neither of ours.  

Just story, essay, photography I find captivating. I hope you do as well.