Why Did I Write This Book – New Planet, New World?

I wrote “New Planet, New World” as a counterpoint to the demise of modern civilization. I chart a Beginning Anew for our species, not without risk or cost, while power elites ignore complicity in the destruction of life on Planet Earth.

The book opens with a lyrical and dangerous meeting on a distant planet later this century. The protagonists are from different centuries and cultures. From the 18th century Rising Moon is transported by shamanic means to the planet. From the 21st century Catriona gets there from a failing spaceship in an escape module. Wisdom of the Elders meets 21st century Hi-Tech. Instead of killing one another they choose to be blood sisters and embrace survival, accepting nature as a Matriarch. This fragile thread is challenged by the brutal abduction and rape of a main character, Sian the Celtic seer. Her inner strength of being more than a violated body inspires the community of pioneers who escaped safely from the spaceship. They create a communal structure of living and carve out a home and life on the new planet.

Mysticism combines with hi-tech to enable a Transfer Particle to seed the new planet and establish settlements. Four Hopi Sacred Keepers offer their lives in a ceremony to enable renewal on a distant planet that none of them will experience. The expansion of settlements is interrupted by a jihadist attempt to take over. A terrorist cell on Earth hijacks a spaceship and imperils the lives of the pioneers, who respond with tactical violence to kill them. Compassion is exercised towards the four sleeper jihadists secretly embedded in their midst. The stark violence of survival prepares a backcloth for three distinct love stories to emerge. Ethical settlements grow as a mirror for Tolstoy’s vision of “people of the twenty fifth century.” The dark episodes and lyrical counterparts move the story along with action, fear, resolution, death, rape, bravery and exile in a futuristic opportunity for humanity.

The intertwining cascade of plotlines culminates in the epiphany of the final chapter, which muses philosophically about human survival anywhere. This end game is a philosophy to endure with the inclusiveness of science, vision of Lev Tolstoy, Pope Francis’ 2015 Encyclical on Climate Change and not repeating the mistakes of the carbon complex that destroyed Planet Earth.

I do not present this as idealism, rather as down to earth wisdom.

That is why I wrote this futuristic novel.

Interplanetary

Hero’s Journey into the Future

My latest book New Planet, New World is the final bookend of a trilogy – “Chronicles of Awakening.” Redemption is the first book in this trilogy that has Trailing Sky Six Feathers as the second book. The final tome of this trilogy takes characters from the prior two books, placing them in the future on a new planet. From the 18th century, Rising Moon (daughter of Trailing Sky) is hurled by shamanic means to the new planet. From the 21st century Tom and Sian Hagen with their daughter Catriona get there from a failing spaceship. Life on the new planet permits a beginning anew for our species – a communal Hero’s Journey to reconstruct a society based on ecology, sharing and caring. I consider Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey as an underlying template for all great books and do my best to weave its threads through my writing.

But there are calamities to endure – a brutal abduction and rape, a jihadist cell hi-jacking a spaceship to take over the new planet, the desperate loss of pioneers in an exploding spaceship. I do not shy away from the reason for finding a new planet. I place in the mouth of Dr. Tom Hagen a speech to the UN that I would certainly like to give from the future. It is about the willful ignorance displayed by corporate and government cabals invested in the carbon/oil complex, while eco militias murder in the streets and social disorder is a norm.

The First chapter is a lyrical and dangerous meeting on the new planet between Catriona and Rising Moon. Instead of killing one another they become blood sisters. The Second chapter is quite dark about the desolation of Planet Earth, the location of a new planet and establishment of stations on Mars and Jupiter. Chapter Three is also dark about the perilous destruction of the spaceship and safe landing of some of the pioneer travellers. Chapter Four is a love story and the search for the children ejected in escape modules from the spaceship. Chapter Five provides vision for community building. Chapter Six is dark with the tragedy of rape yet permits the human spirit to prevail. Chapter Seven documents the flourishing communities established – eco-villages and Wisdom of the Elders. The battle with jihadists in Chapter Eight is not for the squeamish. It ushers in the end of innocence and the beginning of wisdom. Chapter Nine returns to a tender love story, nature and shamanic preparation while the final Chapter Ten muses philosophically about human survival anywhere. The end game is a philosophy to endure and not repeat the mistakes of the prior civilization on Planet Earth.

The reader will find in this futuristic novel three distinct love stories, the establishment of ethical settlements with a paradigm that echoes Tolstoy’s “people of the twenty fifth century” and wise resolution for severe setbacks. The novel moves from dark to liberating chapters with action, fear, resolution, death, rape, bravery, exile in this futuristic opportunity for humanity. This action packed book ends on a philosophical note concerning our place in the centuries to come.

Interplanetary

Ian Prattis is an award winning author of fourteen books. Recent awards include Gold for fiction at the 2015 Florida Book Festival, 2015 Quill Award from Focus on Women Magazine and Silver for Environment and Conservation from the 2014 Living Now Literary Awards. Julia Ann Charpentier says his: “admirable command of language brings to every scene a striking visual clarity.” Of his Gold for Redemption Anita Rizvi calls it “a riveting novel chronicling one man’s journey through the stages of innocence, darkness, destruction and transformation.” She goes on to say, “What is so exquisite is the tenderness and honesty with which the author deals with the human condition . . . he refuses to sanitize experience.” He depicts the stations of a personal Calvary that ultimately leads to Redemption.

His poetry, memoirs, fiction, articles, blogs and podcasts appear in a wide range of venues.

2015 TIFERET INTERVIEW WITH MELISSA STUDDARD: PART THREE

Tiferet Journal is at the nexus of literature and spirituality. It publishes high-quality poetry, prose and art that further meaningful dialogue about what it is to be human and conscious in today’s often divisive world. The entire interview is in Tiferet Journal, Summer 2015 http://tiferetjournal.com/ 

MS: I think that writing changes us – it brings things out in a person that were either dormant or not there before. What would you say it brings out in you?

IP: In a word – authenticity. I am not good at sitting down and writing four pages a day. I wait until the spiritual energy is present within me, then I write. Sometimes this is frustrating, as I want to get on with it, but when I do not stay still and wait – I simply write garbage! So I use the in between times to do research, edit and look for spelling mistakes and typos. When the energy is sparkling – the writing flows effortlessly.  I do not consider this as a necessary template for others – it is just what works for me to connect to the Muse within.  I trust that far more than any impatience.

MS: What gifts do you hope others will receive from your writings?

 IP: Courage to believe that they can take steps to transform internally then make a difference externally. The stories I tell in my books are offered as a gift to our planet. My purpose in life is to share my wealth of experience on how to live in harmony not just with ourselves but with the place we call home… earth. I shed light on issues that will affect our world for generations to come. The example of my own challenging journey and personal transformation illuminates a path for others to expand their consciousness and chart the course for a future beyond the abyss. The human race does not need to be stuck with maladaptive options and patterns. We can and must transform. The key to change this deep freeze is Awakening, a spiritual relationship with self and Mother Earth.  My books deliver a vigorous message about personal transformation in order to become different stewards of the earth and society. I’d like to consider Trailing Sky Six Feathers as the real life version of James Redfield’s best-selling fictional book The Celestine Prophecy. I have nine chapters – loaded with Insights and adventure, plus shamanic training over a period of three decades. Trailing Sky Six Feathers and Redemption are super unique, as they are drawn from my actual lived experience.  Reality based information is in high demand in today’s society, which provides the potential for this project to become a fresh, new icon for today’s hungry culture. Hungry, that is, for authentic transformation.

Front Cover Trailing Sky Six Feathers

MS: Can you tell us about the beginning of your writing career? When did you start writing, and what drew you to it in the first place?

 IP: In my teenage expedition to Sarawak, Borneo, I kept a journal of the vivid surrounds and how I was feeling. From that time on I kept journals wherever I went. I eventually had trunks full of journals that reminded me of the experiences I went through, particularly in India.  My extensive shamanic training with incredible First Nations medicine people was carefully logged. The journals were a sign post to me – to be always authentic, even when it was awful and hard to re-read. I do my best to maintain that.  As a professor I wrote text books and scholarly papers, which had particular protocols that were somewhat stifling. When I started late on the writing craft – I had to re-learn how to write without sounding pompous, to be mindful of what the reader could take in. I also gave up on footnotes! In my career as an anthropologist I was fortunate to encounter many Native American story tellers across North America – Dene, Hopi, Ojibwa, Algonquin, Inuit – to mention a few.  Their recounting of myths and history had a deep impact upon me. I now take all of this into my blog “Awakening – Spiritual Relationship with Self and Mother Earth” on WordPress – a great place to tell stories in an authentic voice.

MS: Do you have any advice for beginning writers and/or spiritual practitioners, something you wish you had known earlier on?

IP: I come back to “Authenticity” once more. That is something that took a while to register in my career as an academic. It is always essential to find your own authentic voice and do not be afraid to express it. At the same time find good mentors and guides to kindly assess what you create. Wise eyes on your manuscript, poem, spiritual path can gently encourage you to be authentic – for with that comes balance, mindfulness and clarity. Do the “thing” because it is in you, expressing your deepest self and be less concerned about reviews and results. In a recent conversation about craft with my cousin Lynn, a gifted photographer, she remarked that “Writing is like other creative activities – we are driven internally to do it regardless of the outcomes – like doodling on a notepad, singing in the shower or dancing while doing housework….but if one is lucky enough to have a talent and an audience that appreciates the art, the pleasure can be even greater in the sharing.” That says it all for me.

MS: Do you have any other publications or events coming up soon that you’d like to announce? What are you currently working on?

IP:. My latest book New Planet, New World is the final bookend of a trilogy. Redemption is the first book in this trilogy that has Trailing Sky Six Feathers as the second book. The final tome takes characters from the prior two books, placing them in the future on a new planet. Life on the new planet permits a beginning anew for our species – a communal Hero’s Journey to reconstruct a society based on ecology, sharing and caring. The reader will find in this futuristic novel three distinct love stories, the establishment of ethical settlements with a paradigm that echoes Tolstoy’s “people of the twenty fifth century” and wise resolution for severe setbacks. The novel moves from dark to liberating chapters with action, fear, resolution, death, rape, bravery, exile in this futuristic opportunity for humanity. This action packed book ends on a philosophical note concerning our place in the centuries to come.

I have a number of book signings in Ottawa over the summer in Ottawa.

Available at www.Amazon.com and www.BarnesandNoble.com   Autographed Book – Order Through: www.ianprattis.com

 

Melissa Studdard

Of her debut poetry collection, I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast, Robert Pinsky writes, “This poet’s ardent, winning ebullience echoes that of God…” and Cate Marvin says her work “would have no doubt pleased Neruda’s taste for the alchemic impurity of poetry.” Melissa Studdard is an editor for American Microreviews and Interviews, hosts Tiferet Talk radio, and judges the monthly Goodreads ¡Poetry! Group contest. She is also the author of the novel, Six Weeks to Yehidah, and a collection of interviews, The Tiferet Talk Interviews. Her awards include the Forward National Literature Award and the International Book Award. Her poetry, fiction, essays, reviews and articles have appeared in a wide range of publications, including Pleiades, Poets & Writers, Tupelo Quarterly, Psychology Today, and Connecticut Review. Learn more at www.melissastuddard.com

Melissa Studdard 2

2015 TIFERET INTERVIEW with MELISSA STUDDARD: Part Two

Tiferet Journal is at the nexus of literature and spirituality. It publishes high-quality poetry, prose and art that further meaningful dialogue about what it is to be human and conscious in today’s often divisive world. The entire interview is in Tiferet Journal, Summer 2015 http://tiferetjournal.com/  

 

MS: Relationships with self, others, and environment are of extreme importance in Redemption. Can you tell our readers more about the relevance of relationship to Redemption 

IP: The book is a lyrical and moving tale of struggle, love, loss, transformation and hope. It reads like an extended prose poem reflecting the primal forces of nature and human nature. Its starkly gorgeous and remote island setting creates and reinforces the central themes of struggle, family, community and wonder at the beauty of the world, and its rich cast of characters offers numerous gripping interludes that brim with complex interpersonal drama. Relationships with people, land and sea skilfully brings this drama out. The story centers on and is always connected to Callum Mor – the epic main character – but he is surrounded and influenced by a fantastic cast of family and fellow islanders. They provide a deep well of material; their conflicts and intrigues move the plot forward and offer a vast array of powerfully emotional moments. The story arcs of other characters in the novel offer particularly beautiful and interesting counterpoints to one another and to Callum Mor. Their hopes, desires and difficulties intermingle in a realistic tapestry of human existence.

Redemption front cover

The narrative’s tone is generally quiet and introspective, but it is frequently punctuated by storms both literal and metaphorical. Callum Mor and his people face many conflicts throughout the story, from poverty, mental illness, unwanted pregnancy, and battles with nature itself – to sexual assault and violent physical confrontation. All of this provides the tapestry for the deeper, more subtle messages of compassion and faith to carefully unfold.

MS: Anita Rizvi calls Redemption “a riveting novel chronicling one man’s journey through the stages of innocence, darkness, destruction and transformation.” She goes on to say, “What is so exquisite about this novel is the tenderness and honesty with which the author deals with the human condition . . . When Callum Mor’s journey moves him even closer to the abyss, the author refuses to ‘sanitize’ his experiences.”  Why was it important to you to remain true in your telling of the grittier and more difficult aspects of the story? 

IP: My preference is always to be authentic in my writing.  I do not always achieve this but in Redemption I am happy to convey that the switch is Full On. The grit, hardship and suffering are essential counterpoints to the manner in which Callum Mor stepped out of his self-destruction into a glimmer of awakening. The severity of the darkness he allowed to envelop himself actually punctuates his steps out of it. In Buddhism there is a profound one liner – “No Mud, No Lotus.” There was lots of Mud in Callum Mor’s evolution to awakening.

 

MS: You’ve had an absolutely fascinating life. In what ways has your life prepared you to become the writer you are today?

IP: My life as a global traveler certainly stretched my attention beyond any limits I could have placed on it. From teenage volunteering in Borneo with Britain’s Peace Corps to being a yogi in India and a Zen teacher in Canada – expansion of mind was inescapable. My challenging journey navigates shamanic healing of childhood sexual abuse, guru training as well as a near death experience in an ashram in India. From this vast range of experience I found an ability to sculpt narrative in a novel way. I certainly stumbled through the first part of life, but then stood strong in my own sovereignty in the latter part. In India, Arizona, France and Canada’s wilderness, I went to great lengths to transform karma. Over a period of thirty years, four extraordinary medicine people enhanced my process of remembering. I learned how to reconfigure my understanding of time, place, consciousness and re-write some of Carl Jung’s psychology. I chose to listen to the feminine voice of Earth Wisdom rather than to the multitude of competing voices in my deep unconscious.

In Trailing Sky Six Feathers for instance, readers may be inspired as they watch my intention and strength of purpose to transcend patterns carried since childhood. Past life memories collide head on with the present, all thanks to the Muse who refused to give up. Karma is reversed; the internal battles are over as I begin to live life as a Meditation for Gaia. The relentless shadowing by this engaging Muse brings understanding not only to me, but to anyone engaged in overcoming the darkness of their past. These books cap my long-term fascination with consciousness. As a Professor of Anthropology and Religion I taught courses on Ecology, Symbols, Engaged Buddhism and Meditation Systems. I am a healer, mentor and educator, able to encourage people through example to find their true nature so that humanity and the world may be renewed.

MS: One of the things we’re interested in at Tiferet is how spirituality and art can inform each other and serve similar roles for the individual and humanity as a whole. What would you consider to be the core tenets of your own spiritual practice, and how does your spiritual practice relate to your writing practice? Are there things you have learned from one practice that apply to the other?

IP: I am a Zen teacher, also a recognized guru in India. My initial task is to refine my own consciousness, so that I can be an authentic vehicle to chart a path for spiritual friends. This is through the creation of a meditation center – Pine Gate Mindfulness Community – and an activist spiritual vehicle – Friends for Peace Canada. Both based in Ottawa. Slowly but inevitably these vehicles are helping to change the nature of our northern city – thanks to the many groups and organizations (over 50) that are part of a loose coalition for change.  If I did not do this, then I could not write the way I do.

My 2014 books are screenplay-worthy epic tales that weave together seamlessly to create inspiration for a wide range of fellow spiritual seekers, environmentalists, generation X, feminists, students and academics alike. Global citizens are staring into the abyss –yet instead of being eaten up by it all, I say to them: “Awaken Spiritually,” for that transforms everything. We have made our world an unpredictable beast because we fail to work with it intelligently. Rumi’s wise words are cogent: “Sit down and be quiet. You are drunk and this is the edge of the roof.”  We have to take back control of ourselves and this is a spiritual matter. Turning on the switch of awakening seems to be a good idea right now. We just need to touch the sacred in ordinary experiences of life to find the courage and determination to transform.

Available at www.Amazon.com and www.BarnesandNoble.com   Autographed Book – Order Through: www.ianprattis.com

Melissa Studdard

Of her debut poetry collection, I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast, Robert Pinsky writes, “This poet’s ardent, winning ebullience echoes that of God…” and Cate Marvin says her work “would have no doubt pleased Neruda’s taste for the alchemic impurity of poetry.” Melissa Studdard is an editor for American Microreviews and Interviews, hosts Tiferet Talk radio, and judges the monthly Goodreads ¡Poetry! Group contest. She is also the author of the novel, Six Weeks to Yehidah, and a collection of interviews, The Tiferet Talk Interviews. Her awards include the Forward National Literature Award and the International Book Award. Her poetry, fiction, essays, reviews and articles have appeared in a wide range of publications, including Pleiades, Poets & Writers, Tupelo Quarterly, Psychology Today, and Connecticut Review. Learn more at www.melissastuddard.com

Melissa Studdard

 

2015 Quill Award Winner

FOCUS ON WOMEN MAGAZINE

Dear Ian Prattis,

We thank you for your willingness to attend our very special author’s reception and congratulate you on winning the Donna Lynn Quill Award.

Front Cover Trailing Sky Six Feathers

Those in the literary world definitely believe in the power of the pen.  You have been gifted with the ability to move, encourage and inspire others through your words.  Whether you write about ethics, religion, personal experiences, spirituality, self-improvement or just have a simple story to communicate to others, you excel at the task.  We are thrilled that you will be joining us at the author’s reception here in Columbia, Maryland at a location that is sophisticated, elegant and historic, The Johns Hopkins Club.  You can expect to meet a number of people who have been touched by your practical advice, journey and teachings.  It is a phenomenal opportunity to get to know others, exchange ideas, network and stake your claim to fame as you can sign your books for attendees.  This is an event that we hold every year and it is near and dear to our hearts since it is impossible to place a value on reading.  We appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule to be here, celebrate your accomplishments with your literary masterpiece and help others better express themselves and their thoughts and feelings.  It is often said that the more you read, the better you will be able to write and you just might inspire a future generation of incoming authors.  We wish you the very best and commend you on the recognition you will receive next month.

Sincerest congratulations,

Joslyn Wolfe

Focus on Women Magazine

410-630-1224

http://www.focusonwomenmagazine.net

2015 TIFERET INTERVIEW: Part One

2015 TIFERET INTERVIEW with MELISSA STUDDARD: Part One 

Tiferet Journal is at the nexus of literature and spirituality. It publishes high-quality poetry, prose and art that further meaningful dialogue about what it is to be human and conscious in today’s often divisive world. The entire interview is in Tiferet Journal, Summer 2015 http://tiferetjournal.com/

MS: Redemption the manuscript has been on quite a journey. It was written in 1975, lost for decades, rediscovered in 2011, and published in 2014. In what ways is this journey relevant or parallel to Redemption’s plot? What do you hope will be the next stage of this book’s journey?

IP: In 1975 I was writing way over my head and lacked the maturity to understand the deep nuances emerging from my pen. The book was writing me and it is fitting that it was not published until 2014, as the time lapse allowed me to grow into the insights and revelations writ large. I was a total mess in 1975 – with a failing marriage in the Hebrides and trying to keep my career intact as a young professor at Carleton University in Canada. I was not doing a good job with either. The surprise for me in 2011 was how could I have written such a powerful book while in a desperate state of mind? The themes of mental illness and alcoholism are writ large in this deep and turbulent Hero’s Journey to emancipation. Redemption is an allegory for the depression and life difficulties I once experienced, though I did not realize it at that time.

Redemption front cover

MS: Speaking of the Hero’s journey, can you say a bit about the connection between Redemption and Trailing Sky Six Feathers and why the Hero’s journey works so well to convey your ideas? 

IP: I consider Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey as an underlying template for all great books and weave its threads through my writing. Redemption is the first book in a trilogy that has Trailing Sky Six Feathers as the second book. They are companions – but the reader may not cotton on to that until they read the final chapter of Trailing Sky Six Feathers. Chapter Nine is titled “The Circle Closes” with a return to memories of the insane sea journeys I undertook in the Hebrides. That chapter is quite an “AHAH” moment. The final book in the trilogy (under construction) takes characters from both books, placing them in the future on a new planet. From the 18th century, Rising Moon (daughter of Trailing Sky) is hurled by shamanic means to the new planet. From the 21st century Tom and Sian Hagen with their daughter Catriona get there from a failing spaceship. Life on the new planet permits a beginning anew for our species – A Hero’s Journey to reconstruct a society based on ecology, sharing and caring.

But there are calamities to endure – a brutal abduction and rape, a militant jihadist cell hi-jacking a spaceship in order to take over the new planet, the desperate loss of pioneers in an exploding spaceship. I do not shy away from the reason for finding a new planet and place in the mouth of Dr. Tom Hagen a speech to the UN that I would like to give from the future. It is about the willful ignorance displayed by corporate and government cabals invested in the carbon/oil complex, while eco militias murder in the streets and social disorder is a norm. The first chapter of the final book is a lyrical and dangerous meeting on the new planet between Catriona and Rising Moon. Instead of killing one another they become blood sisters. The second chapter is quite dark about the perilous destruction of the spaceship and safe departure of some of the travellers. Chapter three is a love story and Chapter Four provides vision. Chapters Five and Six are dark yet permit the human spirit to prevail. The battle with jihadists in Chapter Six is not for the squeamish. Chapter Seven returns to love and nature while the final chapter Eight muses philosophically about human survival anywhere. The end game is a philosophy to endure and not repeat the mistakes of the prior civilization on Planet Earth.

Front Cover Trailing Sky Six Feathers

MS: Redemption is a wonderful and fitting title for the novel because of the many facets of redemption that occur. Will you discuss the ways in which this concept manifests in the novel, both big and small? 

IP: This novel is set in The Hebrides, islands off the northwest coast of Scotland, with startling cycles of maturing and downfall of the main character – Callum Mor – a gifted child, master mariner, derelict drunk, who eventually gains wisdom from a hard life’s journey. He enters the dark zone of alcoholism and withdraws from society with only his animals keeping him this side of sanity. Laced with grim humor, the novel has nature’s harsh rhapsody as the background for tragic human failings: violence, power, murder, rape and madness. Each phase is laden with an underlying opportunity for redemption. The failings are ultimately topped by the triumph of the human spirit. Callum Mor’s bleak solitude is broken when a family with a small girl seeking refuge from a storm come to his house. Slowly, he edges away from his self-destruction. He saves the girl’s life in a blizzard. The glimmer of awakening dawns in him, and this sets the stage for the final drama that illuminates the resilience of the human spirit. From the rhapsody of an idyllic childhood through traumatic tragedies to the derelict zone of alcoholism and then to a state of awakening – I depict the stations of a personal Calvary that ultimately leads to “Redemption.”

Available at www.Amazon.com and www.BarnesandNoble.com   Autographed Book – Order Through: http://www.ianprattis.com

Melissa Studdard

Of her debut poetry collection, I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast, Robert Pinsky writes, “This poet’s ardent, winning ebullience echoes that of God…” and Cate Marvin says her work “would have no doubt pleased Neruda’s taste for the alchemic impurity of poetry.” Melissa Studdard is an editor for American Microreviews and Interviews, hosts Tiferet Talk radio, and judges the monthly Goodreads ¡Poetry! Group contest. She is also the author of the novel, Six Weeks to Yehidah, and a collection of interviews, The Tiferet Talk Interviews. Her awards include the Forward National Literature Award and the International Book Award. Her poetry, fiction, essays, reviews and articles have appeared in a wide range of publications, including Pleiades, Poets & Writers, Tupelo Quarterly, Psychology Today, and Connecticut Review. Learn more at www.melissastuddard.com

Melissa Studdard

Sacred Kiva and the Transfer Particle

This excerpt is from Chapter Two of the book “New Planet, New World.” Astrophysicist meets Hopi Sacred Keepers to activate the Transfer Particle that connects universes.  Just the last chapter to write – Chapter Eight, a philosophical musing on humanity’s survival anywhere.

As he looked into the eyes of Manny’s grandmother, Tom sank down to his knees before her and wept, just as Manny had wept on the journey there. She calmly held out her hands to him and stood before him. He looked into the eyes of wisdom, beauty and power. She spoke to him in perfect English. “I see that Manny has instructed you well. “ She chuckled with that deep guttural sound he had heard before. “You have the new planet’s location for me.” Tom nodded – there was nothing he could say, so full was he of her presence. She understood. “We know what is to be created here and treat it as an honor to be part of it. It will be your task to place it in order on the new planet. I will introduce you to the other Keepers.” Tom was included in a circle of the most magnificent people he had ever met. The tears continued to flow down his face. “This is good,” remarked one of the Keepers. Tom understood what they had committed to and fully realized that it deepened his own commitment.

Boynton settlement cave

“Dr. Hagen, do not lament that we will not return from the kiva,” she said. “I reassure you that this is what we want. We are ready to move on and become part of the Sky People. That is something all four of us have yearned for. We gladly reach for that transformation. We cannot invite you into the kiva. You must stay outside, next to where the North stone is placed.  I will show you.” She took Tom by the hand and pointed out the chair placed right above the North stone in the subterranean chamber. Her smile was quite amusing. “We will be inside with the ceremony for the rest of the day. It will be completed by morning. You are to stay at this location throughout. Our people will bring you water and sustenance. At daybreak Manny will come out by the ladder. There is a flat stone that fits the top of the kiva perfectly. You and Manny will place that over the entrance, as this kiva becomes our tomb.  Though it is only for our dead bodies – we will have gone elsewhere by dawn.” She looked deeply into Tom’s eyes and he felt he was looking into universe after universe. “I have one request for you.  Do not ask Manny what took place in the ceremonial chamber of the kiva. When the time is right he will inform you. Until that time, please resist all curiosity about the Transfer Particle. The fact that you land safely on the new planet in the next galaxy is proof enough.”

He allowed his scientific mind to recede and felt deeply in his body the unification of universes. Tom did not see the energy from the ceremonial chamber travelling into space but opened up to the reality of something he had no prior knowledge of. The taste of the burning fire pit at the center of the medicine wheel was pungent in his mouth. Although the night was cold, beads of sweat broke out on his forehead and ran down his cheeks, splashing onto his buttoned shirt. He was starkly aware that the Sacred Keeper of the Sky People was directly below him. Manny’s grandmother had given him specific instructions and he kept to them as though they were sacred vows. He was in unfamiliar territory, which became more and more unusual as the night proceeded. Yet he was prepared to make that leap of faith to completely trust the elderly Hopi elders who were offering their lives.

Deep sobs arose in his chest and he cried uncontrollably several times during that long dark night. The first light of dawn on the desert horizon was not so much a relief, just a marker of the most significant act of his life. The morning breeze raised a brief sand storm. He gripped the wood of the sturdy chair upon which he sat. He felt the knots of the hard wood with his two hands. This grounded him deeply to the experience of the four Sacred Keepers who he knew were now dead. Humbled by their nobility he waited patiently. He made it so through the night until he heard Manny’s steps on the ladder and was there to embrace him as he climbed out of the sacred kiva. His new friend looked gaunt and bereft, yet had a steely determination in his eyes. Between them they lifted the stone slab and placed it on the top opening of the kiva. They sat at the North apex where Tom had been stationed, very quiet, full of wonder and not a little grief. Breakfast was brought over to them by the other elders remaining in the pueblo, who knew what had taken place. The coffee was good, as were the corn tortillas. There was no need for any conversation or analysis. Tom and Manny entered the helicopter which quickly ferried them to Phoenix International airport. It was a silent journey. Both men knew they had been radically changed.

Interplanetary

Zen Practice at Pine Gate Thursday July 23, 7pm – 9pm

Zen Practice has a very practical nature – Chop Wood, Carry Water – and being aware of precisely doing it. The cultural origins from China and Japan do not necessarily travel well to western countries, so I have adapted the form somewhat and kept the essence. Total silence for three rounds of – sitting meditation, walking meditation, stretching meditation. We listen to the bell calling us back to our true selves for guidance, listen to our breathing and through the discipline of this practice we settle into a deep calm and harmony with everything around and within is.  That’s the plan.

Pine Gate Meditation Hall

Deep silence during three rounds of sitting meditation, walking meditation, then stretching meditation. The walking meditation will be outside. Listen to the murmur of the fountain, enjoy the plants as our feet follow the path – literally and actually – of the heart. Flagstones round the potatoes and bird feeders, past the beans, apple trees, herbs and cabbages. The silence deepens as we settle gently into the quality of our mind. Nowhere to Go, Nothing to Do. The simplicity and elegance of silence. The cadence of sitting with breathing in and out, the flow of walking with breath – in and out, the joy of stretching with breath in and out. Then repeat the entire cadence three times. Planting seeds.

Fountain in Garden

A WRITER’S DREAM

It happens – that moment when unexpectedly your writing receives glowing confirmation. Luckily I have had a taste of that. At a writer’s retreat recently, the facilitator who had read my book Redemption spoke of it that it was not so much a read but as if she were listening to music. The cadence of the writing struck her forcibly. I often describe Redemption as an extended prose poem but like her musical note more.

Galillee 2

When a reviewer hits the mark it is a big wow when they seem to read your mind and intention. It makes up for all the misunderstandings. Julia Ann Charpentier in her review must have been sitting in my mind. She describes Redemption, “An admirable command of language brings to every scene a striking visual clarity……. In this descriptive passage, the devastated mood surrounding Callum Mor’s father can be seen and felt in contrast to the harsh elements of nature: “In the wake of the gale, the day had produced a hazy sunlight that made the reeds in the marsh glimmer, but the unexpected heat in the day could do nothing to warm the cold, vacant, deadness that now enveloped Andrew….  In a later scene, winter emerges as a villainous character: “The wind from the north soughed softly along the shore but froze any man it gripped. The cold stole into every door and numbed the hands and minds of those unprepared for it.” The novel falls into a vague realm of timeless storytelling. This does not detract from the literary quality.”

Redemption front cover

A close friend weighed in with something familiar. Lucille Hildesheim, International Harp Artiste

“What marks a great work of art is that it touches the heart and soul. Redemption touched mine very deeply. It is so vividly descriptive of both scenery and people, drawing you into the life of Callum Mor, making you cry for him, cheer for him, and wishing you could continue on his journey with him. It is a book to be read over and over again, from which to take away life lessons and inspiration for our own personal journey. This is a book to share with those who touch your life.”

A wonderful cap to this musing was recent when I went to send some books through the Post Office. The young woman at the counter had posted many of the packages of books I had sent to competitions and I always gave a copy to her to read. She gave me a big hug and told me that the most recent book – Trailing Sky Six Feathers – had changed her life. This is really why I write.  I told her that the final bookend of the trilogy takes characters from the two books she has read and places them on a new planet in the immediate future. She cannot wait for that one. My expeditions to the post office are a highlight for me these days.

Front Cover Trailing Sky Six Feathers

15 Seconds on YouTube and Press Release

My book “Trailing Sky Six Feathers” in 15 seconds on YouTube. Please share. Thank you.

http://youtu.be/eJeEC6mySFI

Press Release for Trailing Sky Six Feathers: One Man’s Journey with His Muse

Spiritual awakening is needed to ensure survival, author says. Ian Prattis shares personal journey, advocates about spiritual awakening, empowerment in new book: Trailing Sky Six Feathers: One Man’s Journey with His Muse.

OTTAWA – Climate change, ecosystem collapse and anarchy are just some of the current issues that propelled author Ian Prattis to widen his advocacy of empowerment and change. “Trailing Sky Six Feathers” is Prattis’ way of shedding light on issues that affect and will continue to affect the generations to come. Sharing his challenging journey and personal transformation, Prattis illuminates a path for others to expand their consciousness and chart the course for a future beyond the abyss. “The human race does not need to be stuck with maladaptive options and patterns,” says Prattis, “We can and must transform.”

Front Cover Trailing Sky Six Feathers

Prattis further believes that global culture needs to awaken spiritually if humanity wants to ensure survival. For him, “the world has become an unpredictable beast that people fail to work with intelligently; and humanity has to take back control of themselves, for this is a spiritual matter.” Insightful and illuminating, this story follows the exciting journey of a hero which is like Indiana Jones meets the Buddha with a dash of Celestine Prophecy. “Trailing Sky Six Feathers” shines light on the darkest elements of the human condition, including the author’s own.

Available at www.Amazon.com  and www.BarnesandNoble.com   Signed Book – Order Through: http://www.ianprattis.com