The Other American Dream

You donstatue-of-liberty’t hear the term “the American Dream” much anymore. I used to hear it a lot. I looked it up on Wikipedia the other day, and found this:

The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States, the set of ideals (Democracy, Rights, Liberty, Opportunity, and Equality) in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility for the family a
nd children, achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers. In the definition of the American Dream by
James Truslow Adams in 1931, “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.

The American Dream is rooted in the Declaration of Independence, which proclaims that “all men are created equal” with the right to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

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Memento Mori

Memento mori. “Remember your death.” Or, more poetically, “Remember that you are mortal.” In Plato’s Phaedo we hear Socrates say that the proper practice of philosophy is “about nothing else but dying and being dead.” In other words, the inescapable fact of our own mortality casts its shadow over every day of our life.

This sounds awfully glum. But consider this: In his book The Geography of Bliss, Eric Weiner tells of a conversation with a Tibetan Buddhist monk who declared that the secret to happiness is to think about death several times a day. We cannot fully embrace the here and now until we have fully embraced our own mortality.

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Creativity As Sacred Act


A therapist I was seeing once asked me, “What nurtures you?” This is a deep question, and it took me the remainder of the week to answer it. Many things nurture me to a greater or lesser degree, but the thing that stands out is “creativity.”

Creativity. Noun. The ability to make new things or think of new ideas. [Merriam-Webster]

Nurture. Noun. The care and attention given to someone or something that is growing or developing. [Merriam-Webster]

Nurturing Creativity. Two words that taken together have two meanings, both of which are true. Creativity is nurturing, and creativity has to be nurtured.

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My interests are somewhat eclectic and that is reflected in my posts. I have provided a drop-down lists of categories so you can zero in on things that might be interesting to you. In particular, you might enjoy my fiction pieces in the category Short Stories.

My Brain Is Dying

DSC_0003_003There is a medical alert bracelet on my left wrist. Medical alert bracelets are there to notify others of some special condition in the event that the wearer cannot speak for himself. Things like diabetes, allergies, heart conditions, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s Disease. Mine says:

Michael Gooding
Dementia – BV FTD
ICE <phone number>

The idea is that if someone finds me wandering around in my underwear at two o’clock in the morning, they can look at the bracelet to see why I’m behaving that way (I suffer from dementia) and who to call (my wife’s cell phone).

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One Night In Cabo

A literary short story (1265 words).

cabo-san-lucasA cool evening breeze greets me when I step out on to the small balcony. I have taken my wig off so the wind can caress my poor bald head. The horizon is painted in swaths of reds and oranges and yellows, floating above a darkening ocean, the sun almost gone. The only thing standing between me and the dying sun is a narrow stretch of gray sand and an endless sea. I breath in deeply and memories rush in.

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Review: It Happened One Doomsday

Author: Laurence MacNaughton

This is a well-written, action-packed urban fantasy.

I am not a fan of urban fantasy, or of the fantasy genre in general. I read (and write) science fiction. (And no, they are not the same thing, so shut up.) When I was asked to review MacNaughton’s novel as part of its upcoming book launch, I assumed — for reasons not entirely clear to me now — that it would be science fiction. Imagine my surprise when I realized it was an urban fantasy. I plowed ahead anyway and by the end of the first chapter, he had me hooked.

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