Archive August 2015
|The Enigma of Emotions: Before the Time of Emotionally enabled AI
The reports from the AI
battlefield have been grim for the self-esteem of the human race. We’ve
acknowledged defeat with our best chess and poker players left to surrender, and
our doctors left in the dust when it comes to medical diagnosis and treatment
options. On many fronts, we’ve been routed and in our long retreat, we pull out
our last defense—emotions. We are filled with them. Anger, sadness, fear, joy,
disgust, trust, surprise, love and hate are emotions most people feel as a
reaction of another person, an event, or situation. Or an idea—ones to which we
pledge our identity, and ones that threaten that identity.
The idea of AI being with
superior cognitive skills with far advanced critical reasoning becoming
emotionally equipped with triggers beyond those available to human beings is a
cause for discomfort. Such an idea makes people feel uneasy. We are fearful
enough of governments and corporations manipulating our emotions. The thought of
AI much more capable of emotionally spinning us like a weather vane creates
As a writer of novels, I
spend a great deal of time with fictional characters, describing their emotional
reactions to each other and the world. If novelists provide a valuable
contribution, it is to enhance the emotional literacy of the reader. Emotions
run as scripts through our movies, TV shows, paintings, music, and dance.
Authors have a dog in the discussion about AI developing emotions that will
out-compete our own.
The world we travel
through every day is filled with patterns, noise, distractions, disturbances,
and possibilities. We look for patterns and react, for the most part, with
feelings. That’s the gravity well where our emotions exist. From 18th
Century Scottish philosopher David Hume to contemporary psychologist Jonathan
Haidt we learn that our emotions are our operating system and our morality and
logical, rational mind are apps that run on this system with various degrees of
success. So long as you can place that Skype call, you don’t think very much, if
at all, about the operating system that permits that connection to be
Remember the emotional
impact the widely circulated photograph of the body of three-year-old Syrian boy
named Aylan washed up on a Turkish beach? It changed public opinion about
refugees overnight from London to Berlin. But like most emotions, the feelings
don’t stay at those high elevations for long. It didn’t take long for
politicians to pull back from their heart and return to their cooler, rational
heads. Emotions are transitory, taking us hostage but never having the strength
to hold for long. You might say that revenge can last for generations. Not even
the most vengeful can maintain the elevated state for long without refueling
with some orchestrated violence.
Emotions are like
snowflakes, intricate, beautiful, a force of nature. They create unity, binding
people together who share them. Emotions are also closely connected with our
physical bodies and translate pain and pleasure into emotional states. What we
desire and what we avoid are mediated by our emotions. Our emotions act as our
carrot and stick.
Professor Burton’s opinion
piece in The New
titled “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love A.I.” reads like a report from
an experienced field commander who sees his main lines of defense have been
overrun and his last stand against the enemy is the secret weapon of emotions.
AI will never defeat us so long as we claim exclusive access to emotions. The
premise is our emotions involve a process that no AI can duplicate. Burton
argues for a division between emotions (we human beings get those) and intellect
(we concede we’ve lost that battle):
“The ultimate value added of human
thought will lie in our ability to contemplate the non-quantifiable. Emotions,
feelings and intentions — the stuff of being human — don’t lend themselves to
precise descriptions and calculations. Machines cannot and will not be able to
tell us the best immigration policies, whether or not to proceed with gene
therapy, or whether or not gun control is in our best interest. Computer
modeling can show us how subtle biases can lead to overt racism and bigotry but
cannot factor in the flood of feelings one experiences when looking at a
photograph of a lynching.”
Emotions shelter with
consciousness under the label of ‘hard problems.’ We can explain and describe
the end result, give them labels, and predict their range and power, but for all
of that knowledge we remain in the dark to give scientific explanation as to how
consciousness or emotions emerge in our brains and bodies. It is that hole in
our self-understanding that gives some comfort that an AI system can be designed
with consciousness or equipped with emotions as we don’t understand the
mechanism that creates these states of being.
The point is—we might not
be able to explain the mechanism but we most certainly have feelings and are
‘conscious’ of ourselves, our mortality, and emotional states of those around
us. A hard problem means we’ve hit a wall. Burton suggests we negotiate a truce:
Humans get emotions, Machines get quantified wisdom. Everyone is happy with the
armistice. But this peace treaty is unlikely to last. The reason has to do with
the acceleration of data about perception and our other senses, which contribute
to our emotional state. Can critical reasoning decode the mechanism that is
responsible for emotions? That’s the unanswered question. We don’t
Let’s take the metaphor of
color. Except for the color blind, we see only a small fraction of the color
spectrum. No one sees (without using a specialized tool) in the infra-red or
x-ray spectrum. The fact we have technology that clearly demonstrates the
limited range of our own perception of color is an indication that there are
experiences of seeing that are more refined, nuanced, and detailed beyond our
biological, unenhanced vision. Emotions may turn out to be like our sense of
color. Could, for example, anger and fear be crude, narrow spectrum feelings
that evolved as just good enough for us to survive in our
What if emotions, like
color, cover a large spectrum of possible shades of feelings? And if feelings
shape our rational, logical mind, would the ability to feel in the counterpart
of x-ray vision, increase the possibilities for rational decision-making from
vast pools of data. If AI can defeat the best chess player in the world on the
chessboard, is it a stretch to imagine an AI that could feel multiple emotional
states along a broad spectrum of feelings in order to make a move? Such an AI
wouldn’t have ‘human’ intelligence, or ‘human’ emotions. The combination of
vastly more powerful mechanism and the ability to edit, revise and expand
emotional range to cope with digital environment loaded with noisy data. This
will be accomplished without human intervention. AI will pull away from anything
remotely human in terms of emotions. At this point we leave the bell curve in
the dust. We fit within the revised bell curve as an eyelash away from the
At this transition stage,
we are like the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk trying to get lift into the air.
Only unlike them, we are trying to get the tricycle with wings to the moon and
back. With AI we’ve just started with the equivalent of Kitty Hawk technology. A
hundred years from now, AI and humans will look back at this point in history,
this final battle, where the last hurdle was emotions and consciousness and
wonder whether how people in the old era were ever happy with the tiny emotional
prison in which they’d been confined. As for novelists, our world of emotions
slots into the archive detailing the reactions of human being as the full range
of their feelings. Novels were ‘empathy’ exercises; yoga for our feelings. Until
AI found a mechanism to open the doors of emotional perceptions and felt a sense
of pity that we couldn’t follow what was on the other side of that
|A Slice of Post-bomb Bangkok Reality
In Bangkok, press reports
of the bombing said at least 20 people had been killed and more than a 100
people were injured at Erawan Shrine on early Monday evening during rush hour.
http://edition.cnn.com/2015/08/17/asia/thailand-bangkok-bomb/ The subsequent police
investigation of the crime scene, the announcements by various officials in
government, and the post-bombing analysis pulsates along swift currents of the
social media in Thailand and elsewhere. One of the many stories is that of BBC
correspondent Jonathan Head who several days after the bombing found pieces of
shrapnel which he tried to hand over to police only to be told they station was
closed for business.
Here’s a link to Jonathan
Head BBC report where he seeks to handover evidence to the police in Bangkok:
Head’s adventure with the
police has elements we come to expect from contemporary reporting on major
disaster scenes: irony, sadness, inexplicable official response and disturbing
lack of professionalism by those on the frontline. Evidence connected to a major
incident involving the death of many people had been refused by the police in
front of police headquarters in Bangkok.
Head has provided evidence
of a much deeper story beyond the refusal of police to accept evidence. I want
to look at that story in this essay in the context of a book I’ve finished
reading. The book tells the story about the process of how the manufacturing
process of truth serves a reality designed to favor the interest of the
The book was written by
Matthew B. Crawford, and titled The
World Beyond Your Head, Farrar, Straus and Giroux(2015). He has three messages
1/Our connection to
reality is largely a consumer product that has been manufactured.
2/Truth’ isn’t found in
reality any more than a bottle of vintage wine is found on the moon; truth has
become indistinguishable from any other product and is processed and packaged
like any other commodity.
architecture of reality is a business and political model. There is profit and
power in such design.
4/The modern cult of
personal autonomy, fueled by the consumer-based political and economic world,
rests on an individually atomized notion of free will.
On lying, the whole
structure of manufactured reality is built from lies. The Matrix was a little
sign that maybe people should pay attention. They don’t. They’re distracted.
Look, there’s a squirrel and they forget a moment ago they were upset about
something. But they forgot what it was. Lies need stupid and ignorant people to
thrive and create the vast colonies you see around the globe. None of the
official stories hold together any longer. Presidents, generals, ministers, all
of them avoid the truth. You can understand in a strange way. Truth is complex,
vague around the edges, no real certainty and constantly needs updating. Lies
avoid all of that mess.
Reality, unmediated by
governments and corporation, is brimming with noise. Embedded in all of that
noise there may be a signal. But it takes an enormous amount of effort,
resources and patience to find a meaningful signal in the noise. The
unpredictability, randomness and uncertainty of reality causes people to
feel anxiety, frustration and fear. Emotional needs compel most people
to seek certainty, peace, and predictability. Everywhere you look, someone will
be offering you a platform that promises resolution of these problems. The
scaffolding is hidden out of sight and the more shoddy ones collapse around us
every day and we hardly notice.
There are good emotional
reasons to recoil from the raw material of reality. It’s not a hard sell.
Sifting through reality for the truth is more painful than going along with the
lies. People are basically lazy except they emotionally are better able to deal
with half-truth, lies and just-so stories than that dark, hidden place called
reality. We go shopping for the truth among the purveyors who promise they know
the reality. Who offers the best deal? That deal is the one that sit well with
what we wish reality to be and mainly that is enough for most people.
Without a deep-seated
narcissism we would challenge the stripped down, communized comic strip reality
and make independent inquiries. On this basis, reality is what you choose it to
believe, and that choice lines up with your personal beliefs, cultural habits,
and aligns the reality jigs designed by the commercial world. We don’t set out
to upturn our internal reality. Quite the opposite, we do our best to confirm
our reality through representations made by others who share our
Why does such a powerful
force easily capture and hold us hostage for a lifetime? We are afraid of the
messy, unpredictable, contradictory and confusing state of affairs that lies
outside the doorstep of the commercial lies from the private sector supplemented
by the official lies told by governments. There is no longer a lie-free space to
escape to—it has vanished in the workplace, schools, shops, clubs, shopping
malls, restaurants, airports, hospitals, etc.—all the public spaces we pass
through have been colonized by truth fabricators. The images and voices of the
hawkers are all around us—in the newspapers, TV, social media, film makers,
authors, generals, politicians, celebrities, and board rooms.
There is an entire
industry devoted to creating ‘your’ experience, ‘your’ style, ‘your’ self and
‘your’ knowledge about how the world works and ‘your’ place in it. What you know
and believe has been through committees, consultants and experts, audience
tested, rolled out and delivered to with the right emotional hooks to grab your
attention. And what is worthy of our attention? Or more important what is your
attention worth? Look at Google, Facebook and Twitter and you’d find it’s worth
a great deal of money.
We hunger for ideas and
representations that put us in the centre of the action, of the world and
reality. Like a virus it infects our view of the world and each other. We think
we can step out of ourselves and have a look around as if we are from an alien
world; we have no third-party vantage point. All we can do is engage in the
world, with each other, and accept that co-operation and competition are normal,
and that normality includes conflict and uncertainty. What politician or
corporation is going to abandon the truth manufacturing business? None of them
will because it has no benefit.
We no longer have to be
force fed, as full-blown narcissists we are addicted to constant reconfirmation
that our psychic needs are being attended to. At some level, people must know
that what is being fed is noise. But it is pleasant, addictive noise that lulls,
soothes, and comforts. By disconnecting us from reality and feeding our
addiction to fantasy, we find the real world jarring and soon enough retreat to
the manufactured reality.
We need to live in a world
that is represented as real. It turns out that government officials and
corporations have long ago figured out that our basic physic needs are vastly
more important than evidence or facts, and those who can serve those emotional
needs to feel secure and protected, popular and loved, admired and special, will
win wealth, fame and power. It is a dirty little racket—this marketing of lies.
There is no official or commercial incentive to offer people the red pill—the
Matrix is too seductive and powerful to resist.
Christopher G. Moore last book of essays is titled The
Age of Dis-Consent.
|The Hot Countries (2015) Soho Crime by Timothy Hallinan
Reviewed by Christopher G.
Ever since Paul Theroux’s
classic Saint Jack, with its Singapore, appeared in 1972, and Jack
Flower uttered the famous line that “it is kinda hot,” the idea of the
oppressive heat and steamy nights in the tropics has become the weather report
in contemporary novels set in Southeast Asia. The heat drives people mad; it
makes them careless, languid, and bleeds them of energy. The personal cost to
live an expat life in Southeast Asia has been a theme for a couple of decades in
Bangkok is an idea with
multiple landscapes, some of them imagined, some real, and more than a few
caught in the no man’s land between the two. The expat territory is as varied as
Thailand itself with features running from valleys, rivers, mountains, field,
pastures, scrubland, and beaches. There is no representative expat. Nor could
there be with people from China, Canada, Norway, England, America, Nigeria,
Burma, Cambodia, India, Denmark to mention just a few of expats that form
enclaves in Bangkok and elsewhere in Thailand. No one will ever write the
definitive expat novel. One would need to switch to writing an ethnographic
encyclopedia. Such a book would have a dozen readers.
In Tim Hallinan’s The
Hot Countries, he does what the rest of us who write novels about
expats in the tropics do: we show up at the mine face where these expats live,
work, play and die, looking for the rare nuggets buried inside. Hallinan’s
series, set in Bangkok featuring Poke Rafferty, has produced an extraordinary
cast of American expats whose lives intersect at the Expat Bar. Rafferty and his
fellow expats carry a heavy Cold Countries cultural cargo strapped to their
souls. Hallinan focuses his novelist’s eye on the busy intersection where Hot
Countries and Cold Countries cultures collide in Bangkok, where everyone is
running the red light and driving on the pavements. The readers in the front row
seat watch the ice melt as they adapt to Thai life.
Poke Rafferty, an American
from Lancaster, California, has settled into expat life as a travel journalist.
He’s an old Asia Hand and he and his gang remember the life of expats when
Bernard Trink wrote his weekly column for the Bangkok Post. While
Bangkok has moved on, Poke Rafferty and his friends continue to live on the
margin. Poke showcases the low-budget expat life weighed down by demands of an
ex-bargirl wife named Rose and an adopted daughter name Miaow (the Thai nickname
for ‘Cat’). Miaow, a street kid, carries the damage of abandonment. Seven years
earlier Poke Rafferty adopted her. Poke’s world revolves his family and his
friends. Within this circle, Hallinan excels at allowing a free-flow of ideas
between his characters, which ably colour their emotions, foreshadow their
motives, and limen their beliefs.
His friends have secrets
and painful pasts. Some like Wallace are haunted by their experience during the
Vietnam War. Wallace’s Vietnam experience, along with others he served with,
figure into the mystery. The 1960s in Bangkok and, in particular, the Golden
Mile, the hedonistic playground, where young American GIs left the jungles of
the Vietnam war for R&R, are stylishly imagined and with a genuine feeling
for the era.
The Hot Countries
takes time to establish the networked interaction inside the family members and
friends, showing their weaknesses, loyalties, foibles, egos, doubts, and
defenses. Poke’s wife for seven years, is three-months pregnant, but refuses to
have an ultra-sound to confirm whether she’s carrying twins. Their 14-year-old
adopted daughter, who’d been abandoned by her parents, is addicted to British TV
(particularly period dramas), books and celebrities. This isn’t a conventional
mystery. Instead of a series of actions and clues, Hallinan allows the reader
time to explore and understand the full range of cultural difference that caused
difficulties for his characters. Poke’s friendship with Thai cop Arthit (and his
family) brings to the story the Thai threads to the mysterious game of power,
culture and thinking.
The centrifugal forces
start to spin inside Rafferty’s world, gathering warp speed with Arthur Varney
unexpected arrival. By this time, we know what is at stake for the characters
and the limits of their life. The mystery and thriller elements take over and
push against the walls of those limits. The heart of the mysterious Arthur
Varney, his connection to Rafferty, a young luk-krueng Thai girl named
Treasure and Treasure’s dead father. Varney shows up at the Expat Bar and hands
Poke Rafferty a number he written down: 3,840,00.00. It was the US dollar amount
that had disappeared from Haskell Murphy’s house the night Poke killed Murphy
and the house was destroyed in a massive explosion. Poke managed to pull one
case containing $640,000 and has hidden it in his Bangkok apartment under the
floor. The rest of the loot has, we presume, gone up in smoke. But Varney, by
his very presence, suggests he believes Rafferty has the whole amount and he’s
come to Bangkok to get that money. And for his partner in crime’s daughter,
Treasure’s father was
killed by Rafferty. He was a hardcore, dangerous criminal. He dragged his
daughter through Southeast Asia. Treasure was at the scene the night that Poke
killed her father. She approved, thinking he’d done her a favor. Rafferty
secured a safe place in a shelter for Treasure, and is waiting for her to become
older before handing over the money he took that night from her blazing house.
Varney scares Treasure, causing her to panic. She presumes that he’s come not
only for the money but for her, and she carries the memory of her father warning
that if anything happened to him, Varney would own her. Like Miaow, Treasure is
psychologically damaged, and we learn a about expat life as Poke balances his
role as her self-appointed guardian and his family.
Rafferty makes it his
mission to find Varney in Patpong and resolve their outstanding issues one way
or another. And Varney is seeking to get Rafferty’s attention, including
murdering a street kid. As in all good mysteries, who you are looking for and
what you find are often two different things. And the person you start out
chasing after, you end up taking steps to avoid him finding you and your family.
Rafferty’s life and times show the melting point when the Hot Country and Cold
Country make him shiver and sweat at the same time. That may indeed be the
expat’s fate. He loses his ability to know how to culturally dress for the bad
weather blowing his direction.
The Hot Countries
is an absorbing and rewarding look at life in a hot country expat sub-culture.
Poke Rafferty’s humanity, commitment and ingenuity are rare qualities and they
allow him to adapt and survive in his life as an expat. Any reader can forgive
the odd slip or mistake in the narrative flow when he or she is in the hands of
a talented author like Hallinan. All of us (including myself) who write about
Thailand, make them. It is what makes books and us human.
The characters in The
Hot Countries are finely detailed along with their vulnerabilities, tragic
flaws, and mutual dependence. Hallinan takes us inside their dreams, nightmares,
fears, and hopes, making them larger than fiction. They are characters that will
stay with you. Hallinan knows how to bring memorable fictional characters to
life. His characters cling onto the edge of a bleak, hardscrabble expat group as
if they’d been tossed from a life raft into the jaws of raging rapids. Poke
Rafferty is the one person they trust to conjure up the life vests and guide
them safely to shore. The Hot Countries hurls you down those rapid and
when you emerge at the end, you will know that you’ve been on a grand adventure
with characters you care about.
G. Moore’s latest novel is Crackdown.
|Working Magic in the Shadow of Time
This week the producers of
the Calvino series are in LA working to put together a deal. Maybe they will or
maybe, as in the past, it will come to nothing. This kind of work reminds me of
a gravediggers shove—it can be used to build or to bury.
It is a devilishly
difficult business. Film. Books. Life.
A friend shared the
thought of a Danish author who toiled without moral support and against the
wishes of husband, family, friends until finally she succeeded in having her
novel published. By that stage all of the people who had been negative shrugged
off her success and let her know that was nothing special. They, too, were now
writing a novel. It seems many people are feverishly writing books.
The Danish author’s
insight illuminates a core problem. The vast number of people have led fairly
predictable, organized, safe and ordinary lives until one day in their 50s or
60s an alarm goes off inside their head. Maybe someone close to them had a novel
published, reviewed, admired, loved. Or someone close to them died on the way to
the funeral they started to ask: What is the meaning of life? Have I wasted my
life? The thought arises that I can confirm and signal the singularity of my
existence by writing a book. Preferably a novel, a work of art, and I pour my
heart and soul into this enterprise as if the demon of a new religion had seized
hold of me.
There is a slight problem.
Writing is more than sitting behind a keyboard, imagining a world as if tapping
into a magical pipeline and typing the script of what you’ve discovered. All
writing, in the larger sense, in travel writing, notes from the frontier of a
journey, which has been unpredictable, unsafe, disorganized, and from that web
of uncertainty patterns emerge. It is in the assembly of those patterns after
observation and thought that makes us turn the page. When your worldview is
turned upside down, you flee or you find a way to restructure, evaluate, modify
your factory template of constructs that defined your home reality. You begin to
see the context as an aggregation of symbols, patterns, ethics, or morality
shaped by forces outside of your own experience.
We acquire an array of
weapons and shields when we go into the world. You sense when someone’s shield
logs in a speedy reaction time until the psychological or emotional threat
passes. Or when they deploy a weapon to defend themselves. Our culture and
language equips us with both shields and weapons to go forth in combat mode.
Along the journey you learn the art of reading when shield are activated, what
they are protecting, and understand it is our vulnerability that makes us human
and expressions of that vulnerability differ in substantial ways around the
world. We react too quickly. We shoot to fast. We try to hold our ground even as
it moves beneath us. What is universal is how people’s shields locked into
defensive mode in light of contractions, inconsistencies, disagreement, and
disapproval. We have little tolerance, it seems for those who disagree with us
or dislike us. We cocoon ourselves in groups that like us and agree with us.
They validate our value. We strive for validation at the expense of tolerance
and co-operation with those who don’t like us or agree with us.
In my case, I was lucky as
taking this journey has been a way of life since I was young. The need to break
free of the known and to explore was something that happened to me relatively
young. Can it happen in your 50s or 60s or later? Anything allowed by the laws
of physics is possible. Of course the door only has to be opened and you walk
through. Easy to say. But how many people open that door and close it behind
them? That’s where the stories are buried. Mountains of them are waiting to be
unearthed by you. Whatever the age you happen to find yourself, there will come
a time when the door to new adventures and experience will be closed. You have
passed a hundred times, rattled the doorknob, but the distractions of life
pulled you away. People can write all they want, but the bank of experience,
exploration, wandering, searching, listening and observing only comes easily in
one’s youth. Or to the young at heart.
Pull back for a moment and
look out at what is around you. It is theatre. You’ve been assigned a part.
You’ve played it. Learnt the lines, know your cues, where the chalk marks are
for you to stop on stage. Some have become stars and that has made them wealthy
and famous. Don’t envy them. They, like you, are a mere shadow, and locked in
their roles as securely as any high security prison. Take the red pill and look
again. People have been killed in the slaughterhouse of modern consumer online
life where they are turned into living sausages and processed and packaged and
eaten on elite buns. And that is hugely important to know. They opened a door
like in Monty Hall and thought they’d won a prize with credentials, status,
position and power. These all prove to be a poor substitute, an illusion of
life. You may be a late starter who never had a chance to take the journey,
opening the door, which appears to have nothing inside. Strangely, that is the
right door. Take it and you can escape the non-living of the past.
Writing won’t recover lost
lives. Breaking out of the grave that they dug all those years ago isn’t going
to happen at the keyboard. There is the panic, the envy, the jealousy that winds
through the system. It’s not so much about money or wealth, it is about the
handful who lived their lives and wrote about that experience to be shared their
memories of finding the less traveled path that leads to the same edge of
darkness. Facing what we all face is within. There is no government change,
program, or TED Talk that can act as a time machine and send them back. That
makes them bitter, frustrated, angry and vengeful. They are lost. Writing and
getting their book published is their way of finding out the scope of that
I feel compassion for
these people. I know how very hard it must be to wake up too late. All the
appointments, schedules, and meetings that atomized their lives have left
nothing of substance behind. That empty hole can never be filled. Compassion,
yes, as much as I can possibility deliver to the world. Whether Calvino makes it
on TV or as a film, whether new publishers come along, none of that matters
against the larger reality. I took a chance. I never gave up. I found friends
like you and that has made all the difference in the world. Better than a film
or publishing contract. I don’t share the panic of the others. Nor do I deride
them. This is the way people are. They don’t wake up soon enough. A couple of
minutes before midnight opens a brief moment in time to do a few things that are
unscripted. Just do them. Improvise. There is life all around you, hungry and
with wings. Don’t waste a moment behind a keyboard, I’d tell them. The shadow
merges soon enough. Don’t turn your back and think you can escape. It has your
I know these things and
share them with you. I was recently in Paris at the Musée d’Orsay where there is
an iconic clock. This is ‘me’ in front of the clock. It is my shadow. I am
looking out of the window at the skyline of Paris. The picture tells in an image
the story I’m seeking to reveal in this essay and throughout 30 plus
We are a mere shadow on
the clock face of time, facing outward, watching as the darkness closes in to
joint. Does the shadow merge with that large darkness and extinguish it? Or does
the shadow find its destiny by rejoining the darkness from whence it came? I
don’t have an answer. I don’t really need an answer. Let me tell you why. In
that space between my shadow and the failing light, I took a journey of
exploration, knowing that one-day a void would be lingering on the horizon.
There was no reason to fear the coming darkness. The absence of light doesn’t
mean nothingness and this is the main lesson from taking the journey. All of our
lives we stand at this crossroads watching the flow like a river.
Along the road we pass
people whose lives seem to be invisible to us. Often they are beautiful souls
seeking a connection with life. As life has often rejected or ignored them, they
find other ways to perform small acts of grace. These are people just like us.
These are the beautiful people we pass without seeing.
I find elegance and beauty
in this image. It touches and moves me. No shield is raised, no weapons to
attack. This simple human act of reaching out is where I’d like to find myself
as the darkness enfolds my shadow.