East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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In the wilderness: on death, betrayal and fear

They say you shouldn’t talk personal stuff on the web, because it’s only going to bring grief, but I don’t care.
So this is going to be a strange post – if I’ll ever post it – but let’s start somewhere good.
Let’s start with Emmylou Harris.
While I can’t say to be a country music lover (I am not), I have always loved Emmylou Harris.
Sometimes in 1990, more or less, I caught on the radio Harris singing “Boulder to Bimingham”, and on the following day I got myself the 1975 records, Elite Hotel and Pieces of the Sky.
What a beautiful voice!

Where is this going?
I’m getting there.

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Field trip to Milan

22096233_10155822851451584_40365599892889573_oTomorrow I’ll spend the day in Milan, attending Stranimondi, a convention dedicated to science fiction, fantasy and horror books.
Acheron, my publisher will present both Dark Italy and Zappa & Spada two anthologies that include a story of mine each.
It will be a good opportunity to see old friends, and take a look at “the scene”. We’ll have wine and cookies, so it will not be a completely wasted day.

I had proposed to bring along my netbook and hammer out a short story during the day, to give it as a gift to anyone subscribing to Acheron’s mailing list.
Good publicity stunt, I thought, but I was told there is no power outlet available to fuel a netbook for a whole day, so thank you but no thank you.
Pity. Continue reading

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For Others

how-to-walkI’ll take this a rather circuitous way – but you should be used to it by now.
I was given a book as a gift, for my latest birthday – Thich Nhat Hanh’s How to Walk.
I always was a long-distance walker.
When I was a student I used to walk instead of taking a bus, to save the money and buy books, or records. Later, when I started driving (I was a late starter), I tried to keep walking, and recently, after years of inactivity, I picked up hiking again.
This, coupled with my long-standing interest in zen, made me really curious or reading that particular book.
And I found it very good – simple, down to earth, and filled with great intuitions.
And there’s a passage, in it, that goes like this…

Sometimes I say I walk for my mother or that my father is enjoying walking with me. I walk for my mother. I walk for my teacher. I walk for my students. Maybe your father never knew how to walk mindfully, enjoying every moment like that. So I do it for him and we both get the benefit.

I was touched deeply by this one because I read it about one month after my father passed away. And it touched me also because I had already done that – twenty-five years ago. Continue reading