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On Talents

I have never had a career as such – not the sort that gives you stability and a steady climb to a comfortable retirement; but I have used my talents and I’m still using them and the experiences that both developed them and developed from them, still growing them; and that is better.
Talents must be used. They must also be grown. Their growing never really ends until we ourselves ‘end’. After that is another state of being, in real time, not this transitional one, when all that we become now becomes more in what we will truly be.
Too often the talents shown in childhood become lost in the process of ‘growing up’. The child who painted with remarkable imagination turns into a successful replica of what is expected or perhaps chooses things of the moment, never succeeding at anything and leaves the gift behind, a loss that never returns. The inventive youngster whose curiosity was never encouraged, grows up bound in submission to the Concept of Can’t.
Does success (as the world deems success) really matter? It does not. Give me an Audrey Hepburn over all the Kardashians together any time! Let success be that which makes us more real, more unique, more creative and just more – more that is good and true, not more that is merely acceptable in our so very limited social orders. Which memories stick with us long after the accolades given for performance are gone? Some will be wonderful, some inspiring, some will be bittersweet, and some will be heart-breaking but they will all be real. As we must be real.
Our world is Orwellian. We are told what to think and what to say and are given endless instruction on every aspect of our lives by people who do not even know us. This happens whether we bow to the pressures of society or street gangs, or politics, media or militias. Et cetera. Yet those that endure, those who are remembered beyond their particular time and space are not built on a marketing strategy or extruded from some boring, repetitive mould nor promoted by the movers and shakers of their time, but are products of their own uniqueness and their belief in something greater than themselves, something beyond mere want, something of worth. And some may be evil, true, but we can choose good over evil – a good which lasts forever while evil fades and dies in time, becoming little more than a tattered, muddy banner fallen in the wrong path.
Let nothing – particularly ‘fashion’ – dictate the way we use our talents, our gifts. They were given to us to benefit the world. They are like a downpayment on our future – our real future. Do not squander them, binding others to narrow ways of seeing but encourage everyone to see their own uniqueness and wonder, releasing them from the bondage of commonality.
Why should anyone suffer humiliation and pain for the privilege of admission to a coterie of clowns? What club, or gang, is worth that abasement? Make friends through giving and good friends will come to you. On January 26, 2016, most of us celebrated Australia Day in this country. The honours list was lengthy and filled with many high achievers, but the ones that will stay in my memory are the two young men named as ‘Young Australian of the Year’ – Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett. They have been helping the homeless since 2014 with a free laundry service, a world-first innovation that has grown into a much larger voluntary effort to become far more than simply washing clothes.
Talent is not just a skill. Talent is a gift with empathy. Talent takes strength of character.

About Book3

I was not able to publish the next book in the Adamadas Chronicles in 2015 but plan to do so in the new year. Book3 is titled Rogan and follows the story of the Redlander, Rogan, whom readers first met in Blue and who also appears in the prologue to North of Himal.
Rogan is one of my favourite characters. A strong man who uses his strength well, he also makes mistakes – but learns from them. He recovers from his hurts, though sometimes his recovery takes a long time.
Rogan’s story begins as he enters his teno anos (teenage years to Earthlings). His parents are gifted, successful people, highly esteemed among their social set, who want Rogan to be as much like them as he can be; they do not expect much of their only child, but hope only that he does well in the course they have chosen for him. Rogan has no intention of burying his talents in their pretentions. As a teno, he rebels cautiously, appreciating their provision for him but impatient to be his own man. His opportunity comes before he expects it; suddenly, at seventeen anos, Rogan must find his own way in life.
Rogan has two talents that help him through many trials. One is the ability to see emanations emitted by precious metals and minerals; the other is the wisdom to choose good friends. His first real friend is an old woodcarver who gifts Rogan with his final work, completed just before his death. At university in The Edj, capital of Redlands, Rogan meets Range deBarq’at and so begins a lifelong friendship that benefits the entire nation. Readers will have met Range in Blue, when Asha and Kanan attend the Decannoal Conference at the Redlands Palace, just before the LastWar.
Rogan also believes that real success lies in helping others to prosper, rather than prospering oneself – this is the real basis of his estrangement from his parents. In this, he and Range are fully at one purpose in their lives. Rogan works his way through university and grows into a decisive man who refuses to compromise his beliefs for the sake of gain or expediency. In so doing, he collects scars, both outwardly and inwardly. Sometimes, these scars result from his one great weakness – in taking his ability to win against all odds for granted, a sort of pride that must be overcome before it kills him.
I will not give a synopsis of the story here; it is better to read the book. There will be new characters to meet, new situations, new trials to overcome, and a few new creatures and inventions. This story continues the theme of giving and sustainable living that seems to have become standard fare in the Chronicles, but more than that it is about friendship and integrity. The Adamadas Chronicles website (adamadas.com) will be updated to add a Rogan page when the book is published, with new illustrations and maps and a synopsis.

Asha of Blue

I intended writing about Asha of Blue last time but Kanan grabbed my attention, as he often does, and I was sidetracked. I apologise. So let me tell you, now, about the lead character in Book1 of the Adamadas Chronicles.
Asha was born in a cave, it is true (as her rival, Shuga Banz, liked to tell anyone would would listen) but it was the King’s Cavern and she was born a princess, third in line to the Servant’s Chair of the nation of Blue. Her father, King Jaz’n, was not xenophobic like his ancestors and was bringing his nation into the open, into friendship with the rest of The Land and the rest of the world, when he was murdered (along with his wife and their two older children) by his brother, Endor.
Asha’s Uncle Endor had spared Asha, hoping that one day she would love him but his cruelty and darkness of spirit ensured that she never would. When the child was three anos and already avoiding him, and realising that while the child lived he could never be more than a mere regent, he ordered her death. By then Endor was completely consumed by malice and the desire to control everyone around him. The King’s Cavern had deteriorated to little more than a huge cave for enslaved BlueOnes, although Endor lived in relative comfort.
Born with an intuition that both warned and terrified the little princess, Asha sensed that her uncle’s order for her to go with his vile First Officer, Helyan, was not for her good. She escaped through the bars of the cavern gates, only to be trapped on a beach fronting the Great Lake. From there she was rescued from Helyan and her evil klebs by the Blue dwarf, WindRider, and Wolgan, a gold-skinned explorer from neighbouring Ob’ronn. BlueOnes, of course, are blue – not a soft, gentle blue but vibrant like the blue ni’it, small anafa found throughout The Land.
Wolgan carried Asha to his leader, King Taran, who immediately took the tiny blue child into his care. This action dismayed his counsellor, Arll Banz, who had his own agenda concerning both his king and the nation of Blue. Banz’ only daughter, Shuga, relished any opportunity to humiliate Asha, a rival in her eyes for the affections of Queen Ithara and the princes, Daffeed and Kanan. Ithara was under the control of Banz and had little empathy for the orphan but Taran and the princes were her friends and Wolgan continued to look out for her. As well as Shuga’s endless provocation and her father’s disparagement and the Queen’s indifference, Asha was haunted by Endor’s spirit as he searched for her, seeking her death; for him to retain the Servant’s Chair she could not be allowed to see her seventeenth ano, when she would be entitled to reclaim the throne.
Asha, while blessed with good friends, was tormented by her fear of the wizard, Endor, and hurt by the tactics of Shuga and her father. Then one day King Taran realised that Asha needed a mentor who was also a guardian and he brought Tabbi the Minder into Asha’s orbit (and the orbit of his son Kanan who needed reining in at times). So the children grew strong and Asha learned to overcome her fear; it took rather longer for her to recognise manipulation and overcome that.
Shortly after her seventeenth birthday she became a queen without a throne, but a queen nevertheless. As such she stepped into a much larger world. Taran’s training had prepared her well and her own nature and belief in El’s part in both her destiny and her life gave her the strength to take up the new challenges that faced her. Some of these were much the same as any seventeen ano would face – falling in love, losing love, always pushing herself to succeed – but queens must also retain their poise if they are to have dignity in authority. The Banz duo and Endor strove to prevent her ever returning to Blue as its Queen. The LastWar broke out. Tabbi died protecting her and she knew both grief and anger but she used these emotions positively, overcame her enemies and won her true place among her peers; and, yes, she found love again.
Asha’s story is filled with diverse characters, with vibrant cultures, wonderful places and adventure. She appears now and then in subsequent Books of the Adamadas Chronicles because her greatest asset, her finest trait, is her ability to be a good friend and her friends are friends forever. On this site, adamadas.com, you will find a glossary and several maps and illustrations to expand your knowledge of The Land and its people – better still, read the book; the website provides links to several e-book outlets carrying ‘Blue’ on their e-shelves.

About Kanan

Kanan features, in Blue, as Asha’s best friend. Their friendship becomes, as sometimes happens, their ‘first love’. Teenage love is a soft and malleable thing that rarely develops into the harder and more defined emotions of adulthood and this is true of the young heros’ feelings, but they remain good friends throughout their lives.
With his character dramatically forged in the LastWar, Kanan realises that what he feels for Asha is not the love of a life-partner but simply deep affection and that he must move on; he must find his own true role in life. As Second Prince of Ob’ronn he will not inherit the Servant’s Chair. His nature is such that he cannot walk in his brother’s shadow for the rest of his life but must make his own impact on the world. And he finds real, grown-up love with Tashiqa of The Zhrebat.
Asha, who won her place among her own people after ousting the corrupt regent, Endor the Wizard, is established in Blue and her primary focus is defined by the needs of the BlueOnes, to protect and support them, and help them reach their true potential. She knows Kanan is right when he tells her it’s over, although she is sad, but her love is big enough to wrap around both Kanan and Tashiqa and wish them well; Asha also finds her own soulmate in Hunter, the lost Prince of Blue, who served on the Zhrebat rescue mission with Kanan.
The impulsive, impatient, thoughtless youth that we met in Blue no longer floats through life. He knows what he has to do and he does it. Tradgedy and overcoming the odds, the example of his friends and the compassion he feels for those who have lost far more than he has, work together to bring the boy to manhood in a way that mere upbringing never could — though his upbringing has a big effect on his response to change. He is fully focussed on attaining his personal destiny. His desire is to marry Tashiqa, whom he cannot marry because the Zhyarta Code demands that the Zhrebatan Servant must always marry a Zhrebatan. Kanan appeals to El. He serves Tashiqa and The Zhrebat far beyond duty and becomes her right-hand man. Kanan puts his whole being into pleasing El while doing everything he can to help The Zhrebat recover from its devastation in the LastWar; he is not the sort to drown his heartache in ong or elp or futile, self-indulgent rage; he was never weak, even as a child.
After a period of intense study, Kanan and Tashiqa return to the Zhrebat with the other refugees and with many otherlander men because the male population of Zhrebat was decimated in the war. The enemy, though defeated internationally, has not given up its lust for power and plans to defeat the upstart Zhyr who won’t be corrupted by them, the Bur, as the old Zhar, her father, had been. Kanan lauds and supports her swift action to remove every influence and identity that promotes the return of BurWay to her nation.
Book2 of the Adamadas Chronicles, North of Himal, follows Kanan’s part in the epic spiritual and physical battles that result. Kanan’s nature is such that he attracts strong friends (as well as powerful enemies) and he is not alone in his efforts to help Tashiqa rid The Zhrebat of the Bur. He is aided by two devoted Zhrebatans delivered from slave labour by the Zhyr, a loyal old Ch’if in a forest t’shan, a Bal’bur st’waif and rebels in MoGol itself, homeland of the BurConclave. In North of Himal, where people can talk to anafa and amalfa, ‘friends’ includes the furred and feathered kinds — and others beyond those categories. Together against great odds, against evil devices, savage men and deadly weapons, Kanan’s band confronts the Bur on all fronts and wins.
But North of Himal is not all about blaster battles. Kanan is not just a warrior; he is a builder. His exploits include the construction of new towns and opportunities for development that lesser minds would claim to be impossible. His ability to make friends across many borders, to give more than he gets, and his pure devotion to ElWay change the face of The Zhrebat forever. Instead of inefficient land use, he brings sustainable production. Instead of ugly, rapacious cities he creates beautiful, viable ones that work in harmony with all Zhrebat. Whether he is supporting the nation’s leader, Zhyr Tashiqa, or aiding a trapped and destitute plainsman, Kanan acts with zeal and integrity to make all things very good, not just better. And yes, his love story does have a happy, unexpected and spectacular conclusion.
NOTE: For those readers having difficulty understanding some of the terms used here, check them out in the Glossary at http://www.adamadas.com

Adamadas

In the far distant future and far beyond this solar system but not beyond this galaxy, spins a planet somewhat like our own. It is larger than Earth, its lands and seas more evenly distributed, with both poles formed of ice-capped island continents; its tropical and temperate zones are very much like those on our own planet. There are mountains and plains, deserts and forests and grasslands, fresh water and salty. Its name is Adamadas; its sun, the star Myk’l, brings the day and at night its two moons, Neos and Oanta, race across the sky. So there is much that is similar. Earth (which is known as Old Erth on this other planet), after all, was the prototype, the template, the first to be given life that would in turn help bring life to other planets and star systems. Like its people, who began life as physical beings, Old Erth became a spirit-place, beautiful beyond description and wonderful beyond imagination: it set the pattern for all. The physical seems ageless to the physical but it is the spiritual that attains eternity.
Not all spirits live forever. But spirits, even the doomed, certainly live trillennia longer than physical beings. There are only two ways of life; whichever is chosen belongs either to El or to Chaya (aka Tcha’a). El is true, Chaya is deception. It’s all very simple. In our world, now, the same ways apply though we know them under different names; in our world, for now, ChayaWay dominates but on Adamadas, at the time when its chronicles were being compiled, it is ElWay that rules. Still, there must be testing and so El allows a remnant of ChayaWay to be an agent for proving who will walk in ElWay and who will not. Creation, after all, belongs to its creator, not to the usurper.
After the EndWar when the evil spirit, Chaya, was destroyed and his followers with him, Adamadas was given a millennium to walk in ElWay. After six millennia of ChayaWay the results were profound; but still there must be testing. Ancient writings had been preserved and from these a foul remnant of ChayaWay was re-established in hidden places to emerge around two hundred years – or anos, as they are known there – before the culmination of the physical phase of the planet. The evil began in secret, as evil does until it feels strong enough to show itself, corrupting those susceptible to lust, greed and flattery. Some advocates followed the ‘new’ way to reclaim Chaya, other declared they were free of any loyalties, obligations and responsibilities, that they were responsible only to and for themselves; all were deceived, and most were deceived willingly.
This is the underlying theme of the Adamadas Chronicles, as compiled by LynMiller, utilising the research and resources of RellimNyl, historian exemplar of the famed Alkebula University in the land of K’nyika-Zamb’we. The next post will outline some aspects of the story of the refugee orphan, Asha, who overcame her fears to become Queen of Blue, as related in the First Book of the Adamadas Chronicles.

We are at War

I love to travel. I love to savour other cultures, especially those that retain some tribal purity — they’re the ones largely uncontaminated by globalism. They are unique and very precious. These pockets of tradition, like heritage seeds, have long been in danger of extinction. Like all of us now. War has come to destroy civilisation.
This world is being violently swept of its history and the integrity, not only of nations and their cultures, but of individual rights. Frenzied broom-wielders demand that all people conform to their insane ideas of ‘harmony’ and ‘sustainability’, ideas which are neither harmonious nor sustainable. Concepts of right and wrong, of good and evil, are denounced and defamed by the broom-wielders, although these same concepts have kept nations from extinguishing themselves for millennia; the insane broom-wielders have no such record — indeed, history proves that their ways have never worked.
“It’s polluted!” scream the broom-wielders as they raise clouds of dust and debris. “We must change the world! The sky is falling!” But they themselves do not change.
This is war. In every war there are battles for territory and for hearts and minds. In every war soldiers die to protect either their territory or their broom-wielders, whole cultures are imprisoned or murdered, and the masses believe the propaganda or simply surrender to the warmonger for the sake of a false peace. But in every war there are also those who resist the broom-wielders, those who help others survive, those who refuse to bow to the broom.
Not all resistance takes place in occupied territory; indeed, the bravest resistance occurs in the territory of the aggressors. And when war ends the broom-wielders are executed, the soldiers are either honoured or condemned, the masses rejoice or cry for their loss, and the Resistance become heros.
In our war, whether it’s fought in the Middle East, once ‘the cradle of civilisation’, once fertile but now filled with savagery and ruin, or in The West, once renowned for its freedom and endeavour but now corrupted by carnality and greed, or in the interests of ‘global ethics’, which are not ethical at all, soldiers will still die, the broom-wielders will still reign, the masses will still accept the lie — and still the Resistance will refuse to bow before the broom; but this war, too, will end.
So, when it does, where will we stand in history? If we stand at all, where do we stand now?

Thoughts on the reality of spirit

According to the Bible, the soul dies with the body when its spirit returns to God, to provide the template for each person’s resurrection, either to a temporary physical life or permanent death (not continual burning), or to everlasting spirit life. The only thing you take with you when you die is your character. Throughout history, mankind has postulated many alternatives to this truth. Egyptian pharaohs took their wealth and their slaves with them to the grave, seeking to continue their lifestyle in some new world. Hindus believe in reincarnation. Most Christians, despite what the Bible clearly states, believe in a Heaven or Hell destiny (this belief being adopted from paganism from early times, though not by the original followers) to attract more adherents. Paradise, Valhalla or Vólkvangr, Nirvana, Elysium, Jannah and many other ideas are all variants of after-death destinies based on human ideas.
Atheism, yet another religion, claims that this physical life is all there is and that there is no spirit element either in this life or anywhere else; yet we can all recognise that spirit gives life when we see that light leave a dying creature’s eyes, or when a body, that still retains its physical properties, is obviously lacking both life and whatever it held that made it somebody. How many people have said that a corpse no longer ‘looks’ like the person they knew? That’s not because death somehow ‘masks’ them but because their spirit has left them.
Is spirit real, then, or just something made up to satisfy human dreams of eternal life? Non-believers say spirit doesn’t exist because it cannot be scientifically proven; current scientific proof requires only physical tests – how can that work? Spirit is not physical. It is spiritual. The premise is wrong. It’s like carbon-dating cave-paintings to prove they’re 40,000 years old when the ‘paint’ is made from 40,000-year-old ochres.
Sometimes, talking to atheists about spiritual truths is like talking to a Flat-Earth advocate about the solar system; they also base their claims on false premises. For instance, some Flat-Earthers assert that the Bible supports their view of a disc-shaped Earth edged by ice walls (Antarctica) but it does not. There are at least two references to the Earth being what it actually is – a globe suspended in the universe. The word ‘globe’ can be translated as ‘circle’ (if you draw a globe you naturally scribe a circle) but not as ‘disk’. The disk idea was promoted by Plato, whose philosophy was influenced by the pagan beliefs of his culture. As for the sun being described as crossing the sky, don’t we say the same thing even now? The sun’s perceived movement reveals the Earth’s rotation, and the seasons its orbit – not the sun’s. We know that the sun spins, too (though faster at its centre than at its poles), and we know that it, along with our whole solar system, orbits our Milky Way Galaxy. Logically, galaxies themselves must orbit their universe. There’s still so much to learn about creation!
And spirit life is part of creation. The reason people will not believe that spirit exists is because that do not believe that God, who is spirit, exists, or that he created anything. They prefer to believe that everything came from nothing – a very unscientific position. And one that requires an enormous amount of blind faith in human reasoning. Now, that’s a scary thought…

What is Balance?

Is ‘tolerance’ just another way of saying ‘balance’? Is it unbalanced to be intolerant? Let’s take a look.
‘Tolerance’, is currently a popular term on media forums. “Balance”, however, is less fashionable, perhaps because it implies a need for judgement.
I will use three anecdotes to illustrate three points about balance.
When I went droving with Frank and old Ken during the last big drought, the cattle were watered from a portable tank, which Frank filled from whatever source he was able to tap. There were no water-filled ditches in the long paddock so the mob was eager to drink when they saw the tanker truck arriving. (It was like something from a Joliffe cartoon; people stopped their cars to take photos of it.) There were a few large plastic tanks for water (and smaller ones, filled later, with a water and molasses mix that boosted their stamina; the cattle loved it, but I didn’t think much of it). In a race to drink first, one pushy cow barrelled through the mob and slipped on the muddy ground around the tank. She lost her balance and toppled straight into the water and lay there on her back like Lady Muck, head, legs and udder waving at the sky. The other cattle backed away and stared in disgust and dismay as their drinking water was fouled. It took a lot of effort by Frank and his ute, and discomfort to the cow, to get her back on her feet, and much precious water was lost in the process.
The point: An individual filled with ambition, greed and self-interest demands tolerance for her, or his, actions – but does not practice it.
In the 70’s, last century, platform shoes and flared pants were the ‘in thing’. Flares got wider and wider until clothing companies realised how much all that material was costing them and popularised ‘stovepipes’, and tights. In their hey-day, flares reached circumferences of 40 inches – sort of like wearing a skirt on each leg. They were balanced only in having one flare to each leg but they often unbalanced fashion addicts. Imagine a windy, wet day in London. Imagine stepping off the big red bus and struggling to raise your brolly while holding onto trendy shopping bags which are flapping in the gale… the wind whips the flares around your legs and you go head-over-heels into the gutter. And people laugh at you. Today they’d take videos and post them on facebook.
The point: What is fashionable may be tolerated, but it may not be truly balanced.
When I was younger, I had a friend who was into piano-bar music; as I was the one with the car, I was called upon to act as her chauffeur. She knew the band at Around Midnight and we often went there after she finished her gig in the City. The band usually saved seats for us but one night we missed out. There were barstools around the piano bar, with a narrow space behind them, and then another row of barstools against the wall. On the night in question, we took barstools against the wall. Just in front of us, at the piano-bar, sat a man, his girlfriend and the girlfriend’s son, who was about 18. While my friend chatted to a sailor next to her, I watched the dynamics of this trio. The man was drunk and a show-off. The son hated him. The girlfriend/mother sat in the middle trying to please them both. When she went to the Ladies Room, the man immediately began eyeing every other female in sight, even turning around to see what was behind him. The son was obviously annoyed and hunched over the single beer he’d been nursing all night. The drunk man rocked back and forth on his barstool; he looked at my lap and I knew he was estimating the distance, just in case he ‘fell’. The barstool beside the sailor was vacant so I urged him and my friend to move down one seat, as did I, leaving my seat empty. The drunken Lothario, secure in his estimation of all things, and above making any last checks, rocked again, went too far, and of course he fell – cracking his head on my empty barstool before he hit the floor. He lay there, too drunk to be really hurt, staring up in surprise that his funny man act, his deliberate lack of balance, had triggered such an embarrassing result, with men laughing, women shrieking and the disgusted son seeing everything in a flash of understanding. It was one of those exquisite moments that you never forget.
The point: Imbalance has, of course, nothing to do with balance and everything to do with lust. It demands tolerance and is shocked when tolerance is withdrawn.
Tolerance requires compromise and the juggling of ethics; balance is a prime principle – it cannot be adulterated. True balance is pure. Purity cannot tolerate impurity – an impossible demand because the pure is always corrupted by the impure.
Today, ‘tolerance’ outweighs ‘balance’ in our social order because true balance will not be compromised. And this world is all about compromise.
Truth, not tolerance, must always be the fulcrum of our balance.