Archive for the Liber et Audax Category

In My Time of Dying

Posted in Liber et Audax on May 18, 2017 by Occult Detective

I woke up this morning to the news that legendary vocalis dei, Chris Cornell, had passed away following a concert in Detroit. He was 52. I’ve spent the day, like many, playing his music, reminiscing with friends online, and generally mourning the loss of such an awesome talent.

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I discovered Soundgarden in 1990 via the Pump Up the Volume soundtrack. Their contribution, a song called Heretic, was instantly memorable and led me to seeking out more of their music, but it was 1991’s Badmotorfinger that sealed the deal.

1991 wasn’t a great year for me emotionally or physically. I was in a spiritual funk and, to be honest, a bit burnt out. I was pretty much five or six years into drug and alcohol addiction and pretty frazzled.

Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Nirvana, the Meat Puppets, and a host of other bands from that neck of the woods were a staple. Lots of people considered Cobain the voice of a generation, but I always thought Cornell was the defining figure. His lyrics were insightful, his vocals as powerful as any that had ever erupted out of a pair of speakers.

Now, hours later, it seems all but certain that Chris Cornell took his own life. Death is never welcome, but even less so when it is so senseless. There’s a horrible epidemic in this country. Opium in all its many guises has its grip on far too many.

It’s a bloody shame. I feel for his wife, his children, and everyone who loved him.

Chris Cornell will be sorely missed. Though his body will have left us, his music will last forever…

It is fitting that the last song he performed was “In My Time of Dying”, a traditional blues hymn popularized by Led Zeppelin.

“In my time of dying, I want nobody to mourn. All I want for you to do is take my body home. Well, well, well, so I can die easy…”

Godspeed, Chris Cornell. May you rest in peace.

in salo fluctuans

Posted in Liber et Audax on May 17, 2017 by Occult Detective

brentRaising a horn to the memory of Brent Smith, who would have been 51 today.

I was friends with the guy for 43 years and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him.

It is generally the simple things that I drift back to.  My ‘go to’ memory is the two of us sitting on the porch on Martin Street, drinking Bud Longnecks, smoking Marlboro cigarettes, and listening to Led Zeppelin III.

What was so special about that afternoon? Not a damn thing. We were just two guys in the prime of life, sitting in the shade, without a care in the world. Brent always had that easy come-easy go attitude that I was jealous of.

Left to my own devices, I would conjure up dark clouds of doom, gloom, and despair, but Brent had a way of making any problem seem trivial and easily vanquished by some good music, cold beer, and plenty of smokes.

I will forever cherish his trademark raised eyebrows and Cheshire Cat Grin that meant he was aiming to misbehave. Well, we did a lot of misbehavin’, Brent and I, and I am confident that wherever he’s at these days, he’s up to more of the same.

I love you, buddy.

In like a lion…

Posted in Liber et Audax on March 3, 2017 by Occult Detective

March stormed in with a roar on its lips and fangs bared.

The 1st was a whirlwind punctuated not only by a near gale-force bluster but by a little celebration of my nativity with Kim and Conn as well.

We ate chocolate-covered rice krispie treats and I opened presents. All books this year, which is really what I hope for whatever stripe present-receiving comes in

I snagged a couple of graphic novels — Conan: The Throne of Aquilonia by Roy Thomas and Mike Hawthorne and Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire by Neil Gaiman and Sean Oakley, two Conan pastiche novels — Conan the Rebel by Poul Anderson and Conan of Venarium by Harry Turtledove, and, most notably, Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology.

We capped the revelry off with some homemade pizza and a couple of episodes of Deep Space Nine. Hard to argue with any of that, let me tell you.

I’m one lucky guy. I couldn’t have asked for a better family or better friends.

.:.

newguitarYesterday, the 2nd, Skadi and Höðr returned, bringing with them cold and snow. The snow was fleeting, however, though when it came, it came with a fury.

On February 27th I had traveled south to an old friend’s house. Tony gave me a guitar and practice amp he no longer had use for and I brought her home. She needs a little TLC, but she’s got good bones and I’m proud to have her.

I’d been sweating over a name for her and set up a poll on twitter and posed the question of facebook. I got some great suggested from everyone and I finally settled on her nom de guerre.

The idea came from two places. First, another old friend, Michael, had posted ” I dig that raven beauty“, then, my son, Connor, decided to write his critical essay on Poe’s The Raven.

Raven. By Odin’s beard, how could she be named anything else? She’s still in need of some of that TLC I was talking about, but she still sounds good and I’ve been enjoying my time with her.

Raven. Yeah, I dig it.

.:.

I should have a few announcements soon, writing wise.

I recently sold a short story to a respected small press magazine and I have a couple others that should be popping up over the course of the year.

This weekend we’ll be ironing out the details on my next two releases from Seventh Star Press, a Landon Connors Collection titled First Born and my Wolfe & Crowe novel, Descendant.

As for actually putting words on paper, I’m nearing the end of my Raben Wulfsson sword & sorcery novella, but I’ve decided to put it on the backburner for a bit. I have another tale that needs to be addressed, with a potential market lined up.

I’ll share more as soon as I’m able.

.:.

In addition to scoping out the cool new books I got for my birthday, I’m reading Kate Morton’s The Lake House with my Water Street Book Club partner-in-crime.

On the small screen I’m currently digging reruns of Deep Space Nine and Friday the 13th.

I’m still adventuring in Skyrim and playing Dungeons & Dragons via roll20 and Skype.

I could go on, but my phone keeps ringing…

Dreamland

Posted in Liber et Audax on March 1, 2017 by Occult Detective

51

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Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.” — Stephen Hawking
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I admittedly have spent almost the entirety of my 51 years on this planet with my head in the clouds, innately and insanely curious about the boundless mysteries that surround us.
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As I celebrate another revolution around the sun, I am thankful for my continued, insatiable thirst for unraveling the esoteric and for those friends and family who humour my eccentricities.
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I am truly blessed.
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I look forward, after a long day of work (and writing, I hope), to a nice, quiet evening spent with the two most important people in my life.
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Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.” — Edgar Allan Poe
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Skál, my friends, and good cheer. Liber et Audax!
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For us, there is no spring

Posted in Liber et Audax, Magick by Trial & Error on February 2, 2017 by Occult Detective

I shall and will know thee, Unknown One,
Who searchest out the depths of my soul,
And blowest through my life like a storm,
Ungraspable, and yet my kinsman!
I shall and will know thee, and serve thee.

.:.

Mistral wind, chaser of clouds,
Killer of gloom, sweeper of the skies,
Raging storm-wind, how I love thee!
Are we both not the first-fruits
Of the same womb, forever predestined
To the same fate?

.:.

Stretched out, shuddering,
Like a half-dead thing whose feet are warmed,
Shaken by unknown fevers,
Shivering with piercing icy frost arrows,
Hunted by thee, O thought,
Unutterable! Veiled! horrible one!
Thou huntsman behind the clouds.
Struck down by thy lightning bolt,
Thou mocking eye that stares at me from the dark!
Thus I lie,
Writhing, twisting, tormented
With all eternal tortures,
Smitten
By thee, cruel huntsman,
Thou unknown-God!

—Friedrich Nietzsche

The Allfather

Nietzsche wrote “To the Unknown God” in the 1860s, and “The Mistral Song” and “Ariadne’s Lament” in the 1880s. They are powerful words and have always felt like parts of a whole to me. Merged as one, I read them, like a kenning.

They resonate with me now.

Outside my window, all I see is madness on both sides of the political spectrum and I fear that our shared delusion is crumbling. Our society is built on lies, on false currency and the illusion of wealth. What will we do if all that is swept away?

I’m not calling on everyone to dig fall-out shelters, to stockpile canned goods, guns, and ammo. Or maybe I am?

Outside my window, I see the dream turning into a nightmare. I see the right and left clawing at our fragile reality like frightened and petulant children. Neither realize that the real world out there is a hungry beast. It has no use for gold or paper. No, the real world values food, water, shelter and nothing more.

When the right and left tear it all down, the weight of reality will crush them and the Unknown God with his grim visage will look upon us without pity or remorse for this is the world we’ve made for ourselves.

Maybe then we’ll understand, but too late. Always too late.

For us, there is no spring. Just the wind that smells fresh before the storm.

I Sit and Think

Posted in Liber et Audax on January 27, 2017 by Occult Detective

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Has it really been two years? It seems like yesterday and a dozen years all at once. The sting has not lessened, it remains like a splinter plunged deep under flesh, a constant reminder of how fleeting and fragile life is.

In our youth, Brent and I were inseparable. We shook the pillars of heaven and defied the gods with our every breath. We took impossible chances, had amazing adventures, and left a trail of tears and laughter in our wake.

We were part of a band of brothers and sisters who were at times outlaws and free thinkers, scrappers and literati, hooligans and heroes.

We were most at home beside a fire, in a secluded wood with water nearby, a ready supply of cigarettes, cheap alcohol, and mind-altering contraband on hand.

We believed that there was more to the world than what we could see, that most people observed it like glimpsing through a peep hole in a door. We wanted to kick that door in, to unveil the mystery, to plunder the secrets of the universe, to experience the fullness of  this world and so many worlds beyond…

The secret we discovered was that there is no door.

I miss you, my friend, and I don’t miss you, because you’re gone and yet you’re still here.

.:.

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.:.

I sit beside the fire and think of all that I have seen,
of meadow-flowers and butterflies in summers that have been;
Of yellow leaves and gossamer in autumns that there were,
with morning mist and silver sun and wind upon my hair.
I sit beside the fire and think of how the world will be
when winter comes without a spring that I shall ever see.

For still there are so many things that I have never seen:
in every wood in every spring there is a different green.
I sit beside the fire and think of people long ago,
and people who will see a world that I shall never know.
But all the while I sit and think of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet and voices at the door.

—JRR Tolkien

Liber et Audax

Posted in Liber et Audax on January 20, 2017 by Occult Detective

Inauguration Day. There will be a lot of hand-wringing and clothes-rending before this one is through. There is a heavy pall across America, an oppressive weight bearing down on not just the citizens of my birth country, but on the world at large.

This is what fear looks like.

We have abused the planet without mercy. Industry has become so automated that the common man is all but obsolete and those slots above common are few and far between. Technology has relegated the artist to a hobbyist at best.

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The simple truth is, our evolution as a species is at a critical point. This is the fulcrum.

I can’t help but feel that the further removed from our cultural heritage we travel, the more fractured we shall become.

We are mired in a fear of the future, of the other, because we have lost our sense of self, our sense of purpose. We have lost our connection to the earth, to our kith and kin. We have lost.

Look, I have lived through Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, other Bush, and Obama. I think I can manage to survive four years of Trump.

The Donald’s ascension to the loftiest office on this rock is a clear and present message.

The gods have not abandoned us. We have abandoned them. These next four years shall afford us the chance to reevaluate our world. They say ‘it’s always darkest before the dawn‘. Well, ladies and gentlemen, this is our dark hour. Let us see our way through the black and press on to the light.

This is our wake-up call.

.:.

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I’m reading: The Lovecraft Code by Peter Levenda and The Poetic Edda

I’m watching: Deep Space Nine, Forged in Fire, The Curse of Oak Island, and Critical Role.

I’m listening to: Heart and Led Zeppelin.

I’m playing: Skyrim and Dungeons & Dragons

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.:.
Free & Bold — Gods Bless America
.:.

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