In the beginning there was ... a lot of soul searching. Indeed, I am a soul searcher. I spend a great deal of time thinking. I think best when I have a pen in my hand or am tap, tap, tapping at a keyboard. This is NOT my first attempt at a blog. Indeed, I’ve been keeping journals and writing letters for many years. It is perhaps an addition. Some people are addicted to watching television; I’m addicted to creating my own muse, be it art, poetry, music (I sometimes hum a tune to myself and write songs) or other forms of creative expression. I am what you might call an egotistical bastard of sorts, who is self absorbed in reflection. It is not that I am in love with the man in the mirror so much as that I am in love with life and there is so much to see and do, so much to think about, so much to love, that I can not stop thinking about and experiencing all the beauty and wonder, that through reflection I am able to bring some focus to my life, am able to bring clarity, to create reason and establish a purpose for living and breathing; that this is not just a self pleasuring muse, a masturbation of my mind; it is a process of love making through which I am able to touch the souls of others that we come to love one another no matter where we are, no matter how far apart, regardless of what walls and barriers of religion or ideology keep us separated, such that through this touch our very soul commingle and we come to be one in spirit as is when kneels before the alter and prays to God.
I hope that you are not trying to "understand me" but rather will experience me and let that experience of me enrich your life, enrich your heart, mind and soul, that through this process of experiencing me you come to know and love yourself better. Should you fall in love with me it means that you have fallen in love with yourself, which is a great achievement. I am NOT speaking of pleasuring yourself, thought no gilt or shame is due in that regard; I am speaking of loving the person you are, the person deep inside who feels pain and sorrow, who feels grief and heartbreak, who knows hunger and the salvation that comes from one person reaching out to share a loaf of bread, a drink of water, indeed, a breath of fresh air. It is through the giving of substance, one to another, that we as human beings find ourselves, that part of us which is best and shines brightest. Thus I give unto all that part of my soul which shines brightest to nourish your heart and soul and bring you to feel satisfied, as after a good meal, that regardless of your situation in life, your heart and soul are nourished, as you have found that love which is within, what some have called God’s love, what others have called nirvana, what still others have called enlightenment but which is simply that gift of light which fulfills and satisfies the soul. Thus feast upon my muse and nourish your soul, that despite what of poverty, war, death, famine, disease, illness, hurt or heartbreak may torment your life, that despite all of darkness there shall be this light inside which illuminates your heart, mind and soul. For it is true, "Man does not live by bread alone," it is through the nourishment of the heart and soul, through the sharing of love and that bond between intellects and emotions that our spiritual beings come to shine and through this experience we reflect our most magnificent selves, not for fame, fortune or glory, but as lovers, as brothers and sisters, as husbands and wives, as parents and children, as bride and groom each married to that which we feel and perceive is our idea and perception of God, the light within ourselves, thus shining forth and touching others.
I have, indeed, traveled far and come a long way since my journey through life began. It is perhaps appropriate that I reflect upon some of my previous travels and adventures so that those who have stumbled into my life may understand better how I have come to this point, not that this will necessicerily let you know me better, but it will allow you to share in my experience and through that process know and love yourself better. It is only though knowing and coming to love yourself fully that you can ever love another with all your heart and be able to share your deepest love. Again, I’m not talking about one night stands or even long term sexual relationships; I am talking about pure love between souls, the love one knows between themselves and God, the pure love one knows between a mother and a child when that mother gives all of her heart and being, all of her life to the little one in her arms. Pure love unadulterated by life’s many harsh realities is hard to give, for when there is hurt and heartbreak, one does not feel able to give and does not feel worthy of self to even be alive. It is thus through coming to know and love ourselves that we are able to love each other. Yet to love ourselves we must experience life and grow not as dark shadows which bring death and destruction unto all which we touch, but as candles and beacons which illuminate, brighten and warm each heart. For it is this light, this inner luminescence which we each must discover in ourselves that enables us to love and thus change the world and make it a better place for ourselves and our children.
Where I have been is important for this relates to the love I have found, to the light I have discovered and to the warmth and brightness which I may reflect and share with each and every person touched by me. To be sure I have gotten my hands dirty, I have been soiled by life’s experiences. But I have bathed in the river, so to speak, stood naked under the water fall and washed the filth from my life. This is not to say I view myself as a saint for certainly I am a sinner and it is a daily struggle to make only love and to create only beauty. Yet one can not go
a single day through life with open eyes and not see darkness, not see suffering, not see hurt, heartbreak, and the unloving nature expressed by millions of lost souls engaged in struggle and conflict. Whether it be a raging war or the devastation caused by a natural disaster such as a tsunami, earthquake, hurricane or firestorm, there is each day a storm raging. Within our own hearts storms can rage bringing death, destruction and devastation to our lives and those of our family. These storms are as a falling out of love, one getting lost as they travel through life. It may be the result of being unfaithful to one’s lover or the result of getting lost from self through the usage of alcohol, addictive drugs or some other compulsive behavior. Each day is a struggle, therefore, to make choices which take us from the darkness toward the light, from not loving to loving, both ourselves and each other. Thus to reflect upon my travels through life is to share my own similar experiences, that you also may turn toward the light and come to love, not me, but YOURSELF, or only then can you truly give your heart fully to another, be it your child or your lover.
Perhaps a good place to be begins, if I have not already begun, is to review my work with fireflies. These amazing creatures have fascinated me since I was a child. I have been interested not only in how they glow, but in every intimate aspect of their lives. This curiosity has drawn me to invest in their study, in learning how to rear fireflies, how to collect their eggs, incubate and hatch them, that I am perhaps one of the few people who has ever gazed upon a Petri dish suddenly brought to glow with a myriad of tiny pin points of light, each an embryonic firefly larvae curled inside an eggs upon the verge of hatching. Then I have seen into the souls of these tiny creatures, photographing the transparent creatures under a microscope, discovering for myself their complex nature, marveling at their beauty, capturing on film every aspect thus revealed and sharing this with others that they too may be illuminated by what I have seen and learned. My studies of fireflies are published upon the Internet for all to share and should this be a matter which interests you, then come to the party at http://www.byteland.org/naturalist/firefly_faq.html
In addition to studying and learning about fireflies and their larvae, I have long been fascinated with nature, it magnificence and beauty, in broad landscapes as well as microscopic terrain which magnified reveal that there are vast realms largely unexplored and unknown, right outside the door of every home, be it in the largest city or the smaller village or tribal hut. This fascination has drawn me to explore the microscopic worlds of The Urban Jungle, travels of the intellect which I have documented and expressed at http://www.byteland.org/naturalist/urban_jungle/index.html
It is as if entire world wait to be explored upon the underside of every leaf, every rock, every bit of tree bark and in each drop of stagnant water. Why a whole world of wondrous creatures are to be discovered in every puddle of standing water, be it found in a bird bath, garden pond or old tire. Many of these tiny life forms may bring our own demise and indeed, have killed more people than all the wars fought by humanity throughout history. For the Angel of Death often is to be found breeding in pools of stagnant water, and if it goes unchecked, may bring Malaria and death to million upon millions of people, including many children around the world. This realization and the awareness that the civilized world is not doing enough to save those threatened by this specter, is why I established the Angel of Life Foundation at http://www.byteland.org/angeloflife/index.html
an on-line, grassroots effort to fight back and empower people with that knowledge and information needed to win the war against this most dreadful specter of death. Yet there seems to be an apathy among people. No one wants to help save the world. People expect their governments to give aid. Or people shrug their shoulders and say, "Let someone else help, I have not the time or the money." Thus complacency fills every heart and as a result millions continue to die. This will only change when every person begins to realize that they can make a difference, they can change the world, they can give a little and together help a lot.
I have seen this happen over and over in times of natural disaster. People expect big governments or big charities to help. They deny that they can do anything themselves to make a difference. Or they simply do not want to get involved. They tell themselves the problem is too big so they do nothing. Certainly some people give to the Red Cross, the Salvation Army or other charities, but most people do nothing themselves to make a difference.
I am trying to change that. I am trying to do whatever I can to make a difference, to make the world a better place. One way I am doing this is through a campaign of love symbolized through a series of original I (heart) designs. These are featured in the Byteland Art Gallery at http://www.cafepress.com/bytelandart.
I ask that everyone please visit the Byteland Art Gallery and make a purchase. Together we can express our love and so enlighten the world.
Now I have a proposition to make. Stop being apathetic. Stop saying you can do nothing. Together let us do somehting to make the world a better place. Begin by purchase of an I (Heart) Design. Then to show others that this really works, take a picture of yourself with one of these design items and send it to me. I will post your pics to show others that what I am trying to do really works. This is a way you can express yourself and your belief in a good cause, so that through this expression others may be influenced to also join in the effort. If many people will do this then together we can begin to change the world through the expression of our love. It is a simple idea, yet this simple idea can change the world. Plus, do not keep this to yourself. What I ask is that each person who reads this pay it forware; i.e., buy at least three items and turn three other people on to these gifts of love. For example, purchase three T-shirts which say I Love You and give these to people you love. Then ask them to do the same to pay it forward. Thus in time we each may make a big difference and spread love around the world.
You may find the I Love You designs in the Byteland Art Gallery at http://www.cafepress.com/bytelandart
or throught Byteland at www.byteland.org. This is my design project and home page, an effort to enlighten and change the world through the expression of positive focus designs. Yes, occassionaly my rage gets the best of me and I lash out at international terrorists or those who exploit and abuse children, the elderly or the helpless. Thus not all of my designs are hearts, roses or American flags. I have also made a biohazard design series which are really quite hallarious. You may see these in the Byteland Art Gallery at http://www.cafepress.com/bytelandart/672182
I emphasize the fact that I am a graphic artist and designer and have created litererally thousands of designs and design products. Every day I come up with new ideas, new designs and slogans. Certainly I make a profit. There is nothing wrong with making a profit. If you think there is something wrong with making a profit from your work then you will forever be poor and impoverished. In fact, I’m not a rich man. Even though I have created many designs and done much to try to make the world a better place, people are not easily parted with their money. It takes a leep of faith for people to buy anything. You have to believe. Why should you believe in me? Well, to date I’ve created over 2,000 design items which are available through CafePress.com, which currently has over 11,000,000 items it is peddling. You may explore my creations in the Byteland Art Gallery at http://www.cafepress.com/bytelandart
That should make a believer out of you. If seeing all that I have done doesn’t make a believer out of you, then probably nothing will. Should you be impressed with my work all I ask is that you help out by making a purchase. If you don’t see anything you like, let me know. Send me an email and I will make a design especially for you! Think of a design and slogan you would like and I will make it for you. We can thus do something togehter. Hell, if you are writing a book I’ll do you a book cover. If you write songs and are publishing a CD, I’ll make you a CD cover. I will make you a great design and this will help you promote yourself. If you have a blog or web site, I can make you a masthead for blog or home page. Let’s do something together and thus make the world a better place.
Should you not want to jump in bed with me or buy any of my design items, that’s okay. Not everyone can take pleasure in that which is my experience. My purpose here is simply to share some of my experiences and creative reflections with you. As I am a graphic artist and naturalist, that means revealing to you my work in these various regards. Just as a prostitute sales her body, I market my wares. True, you might get more direct pleasure out of taking your business to Las Vegas or the Red Light District in Amsterdam, but if all you are looking for is an expression of love, one you can share with those dear to you, then you may be more satisfied by what I have to offer in the Byteland Art Gallery at http://www.cafepress.com/bytelandart
One thing is for sure, you won’t get any STD from my art and designs, hee, hee! :-)
Yes, I have a rather profane sense of humor. This comes, I’m sure, from being an Army brat. You know that when the issue is life or death, to cry, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!," is a trivial issue. In fact to symbolically chop off Osama bin Laden’s head is no big deal when terrorists around the world are killing men, women and children using suicide bombers to do their dirty work. It is right and proper that the truly atrocious and horrible acts and conditions which plague humanity be damned and denounced. Thus on occasion I will do exactly this, be it through graphic expression, poetry or a letter penned to the editor of the New York Times. Should anyone take offense that I call a terrorist a terrorist, a duck a duck, a policy which hurts people and destroys love and life a pile of feces, so be it. Profanity used to fight for the rights of those who have been exploited, such as elderly Americans, is properly spoken and utilized. This does not mean I am angered or embittered, that I am any less a person for being outraged at the injustice which abound in the world; rather, it means that I know people will listen when they hear someone curse and unless you get people to hear you, change will never come.
Thus I spit and spat upon all who sit upon their butts and do not do anything to make the world a better place. Those who contribute to the deprivation, poverty and suffering of humanity I curse outright! Be gone from the temple, is my cry! Be gone from the heart, mind and soul of each loving, caring heart. I cast out the money changers and invite each one among you who shares my outrage that the temple should be defiled to join me in making the world a better place. The temple is our heart, our minds, our souls! We are the temple and together we must join to take back what is ours, what is our world, our life! None can take away what is our unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These are not just words on paper writ and in halls spoken. They are ideas to be embraced by humanity, the foundation upon which love and democracy are built.
I have been to the mountain top and seen the promised land. It exists in every heart and soul where love finds a place to live and grow. Thus I invite all who share my vision to come along for the journey. Together we can make a difference, we can change the world. That is why you should take my hand and walk along. Together we can truly change the world and make it a better place, despite all who say it is not possible and who laugh at us. It is not they who we should care about or listen to; it is only us we need take seriously. For the bond created by our love and work will overcome all obsticles and vanquish the non-believers.
Yes, this is a journey I am on, a sojourn, a quest begun long ago, perhaps with my first breath. Yet it may have begun even before my birth, for surely I have been influenced by those who came long before the idea of my conception even was dreamed. This we each have in common, yet that you may not have realized this truth -- we each and every one of us are influenced by the dead, by ghost who reach out from the grave to effect our lives. When we are long parished from this world the same will be true. What we leave behind will continue to effect the living. That is why it is so important that we make love, not war, that we commingle with souls of light to create love, not hate, that we share in the ecstasy of goodness and mercy, not revenge and embitterment. Whatever has been your life, you can change it for the better, you can say, "I Love You!" and so begin to make a difference, begin to change the world.
This is why the simple hearts I have designed are so important. I am upon a crusade to change the world, to bring love forth out of the darkness and enlighten humanity. The hearts I make and the virtues I promote are not just symbols, they are living lights which can bring joy and love unto all whom embrace the magic which they reflect.
To understand the journey I am on, you must realize that everything is connected. My early studies of fireflies are connected with the illuminated heart designs I create. Should you purchase a T-shirt which I designed which says "I Love You!" and sleep only in it, then we have touched, yet I be dead a thousand years. My expressions of love and enlightenment have a quality of immortality. This is true of all creative expressions. This is why it is so important that we each dedicate our lives to making love, to expressing our love and sharing it with other.
I hope that by sharing my thoughts, my feelings, my love with you that I have brought love into your heart and mind, that you may give the gift of love to other, that you may pay it forward. If we each do this then we will bring light to shine from horizon to horizon. You see, this is not only my sojourn; it is your journey also. This is why we have met in this way. It is our fate. You and I are connected. And our journey of love has just begun!