In his song Friends With You, John Denver marveled at what a wonderful friend time was, giving us children, wisdom, stories to tell, and more. He had a point.
But some days, time seems to be our biggest enemy, or rather, lack of time does. We end up with so much on our plates that we can’t possibly attend to it all, and things end up not getting done. As ‘Abdu’l-Baha once said after noting that he hadn’t written to his sister in a long time, “When the most important work is before us, the important must wait.”
That’s why this blog has languished for some time. I have four jobs right now, and blogging is part of the one that gets done in my “spare” time. My day job pays the bills. A side gig I have with a former employer adds a much-needed boost to the kitty. My sideline as CEO and President of One Voice Press doesn’t pay us anything, so we’re in the process of shutting that down. Even so, it takes up some of my time. And then there is my writing, which pays me about enough for a tank of gas every month. Blogging is connected to that, so it often doesn’t get done.
Still, I have good intentions. I hope in 2019 to return to more active blogging. In the meantime, I’d like to share with you a holiday story I wrote for Medium.com about a cat, an artificial Christmas tree, and a meteor. It’s called “Falling Star.” I hope you like it.
Whatever holidays you celebrate, I hope they are filled with joy, love, and friendship. I’ll see you again in 2019, or if time permits, maybe a bit sooner.
In the early 1990’s, I wrote one of my rare Baha’i-inspired stories. As with “The Planter of Flowers,” I buried the connection rather deep. Baha’is might get it. Others, maybe not so much.
People who read it seemed to like it, but it confused them. What the heck was the author trying to say? One editor commented that by the end of the story, they, too wanted to go into the house and dance to the strains of eternal music. But still, what was it all about?
I’ll let you try to figure it out. Without futher ado, here it is: The House of Music. I’ll explain it in my newsletter on Friday, but do read it first. (If you’re not a subscriber, use the popup form that appears when you’re about to leave to sign up.) It’s always possible you might be the rare person who actually gets it!
In the summer of 1992, I wrote a short story titled “The Planter of Flowers.” Memory of its origin has long since faded from my mind, but the date hints at a possible connection.
Also in the summer of 1992, my wife, children, and I traveled from our home–then in the Chicago suburb of Streamwood, Illinois–to Wounded Knee, South Dakota for the annual Lakota Baha’i Conference. A do-it-yourself conference organized by adherents of the Baha’i Faith living on the Pine Ridge Reservation–one of the poorest areas in the nation–it offered locals a chance to meet and learn with a diverse group of Baha’is without expense.
“The Planter of Flowers” has no obvious Lakota connection. There is one mention of a character who looks like he could be native American, but that’s coincidental. The real connection is Baha’i. I’ve often wanted to work Baha’i elements into my stories, but seldom succeed. I can think of only three short stories where I’ve done so. If you knew what to look for, you’d find them hiding in my first two Howard County mysteries as well, and the next novel, Ice on the Bay, will include Baha’i characters. But given the number of stories I’ve written over the years, these are a paltry few, and this story is one of them.
I did try to sell the story, but by and large editors didn’t seem to get it. I later modified it, but still found some readers didn’t quite get it. I wonder if you will?
Let’s find out. Without further ado, here is “The Planter of Flowers.” Enjoy!