Creative Thinkers International and 21st Century Notions of Community – Bright Skylark Literary Productions

Syrian children behind a barbed wire fence at the Ceylanpinar refugee camp in the Sanliurfa province of  Turkey. (Photo by Reuters)

At the heart of Creative Thinkers International’s operational philosophy has always been a core belief in the ability of positive creativity to help inspire nonviolent conflict resolution. This is not a romantic notion; it is a crucial alternative.

The blood-and-bone-splattering spectacles of war have come to command most news headlines in the modern world. The maniacal brutality that was 9/11 engraved in the world’s collective consciousness themes and realities intensified by perpetual chaos, terror, and death. It is a chilling prospect, and yet an observable phenomenon, that humanity at this point in history too often defines itself by how efficiently it destroys itself.

Love, it seems, is valued most when violence or disease threaten to annihilate the life that would serve as a channel for it. Men and women discover the deeper nature and beauty of their characters by exposing them to man-made insanities that threaten not only human beings, but the nonhuman forest-, ocean-, jungle-, and mountain-dwelling species that also call the Earth home. Such an inclination is not one that supports notions of sustainable communities or advances based on peace rather than war.

That very dangerous realization is an extremely important one to note. The reason is because the natural and social forces that combine to compose what some call “the human story” are developing in such a way that, like it or not, more and more people you may once have thought of as strangers or foreigners are now becoming neighbors, co-workers, classmates, bosses, employees, and in-laws.  Between extreme weather events and more prolonged climate transformations, plus cross-cultural merging caused by man-made atrocities and inter-cultural interactions facilitated by advances in technology, the boundaries that once defined notions of community are dissolving as steadily as shelves of ice breaking off the Antarctic.

Please enjoy the full post by Aberjhani by clicking this link:
Creative Thinkers International and 21st Century Notions of Community – Bright Skylark Literary Productions.

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A River of Winged Dreams Valentine’s Day Letter

Now come the whispers bearing bouquets of moonbeams and sunlight tremblings.” —Aberjhani (from The River of Winged Dreams)

 Below is a list of a few links that have been shared with me and which fans of The River of Winged Dreams might appreciate as well. I found the Han Chinese translations of “Angel of Earth Days and Seasons” and “Angel of Peace” particularly interesting because other than a couple of poems in Spanish, these are the only ones I’ve seen anyone attempt to translate (note to foreign rights publishers: if you’re interested please email me). Equally worthy of attention are the poignantly, inspiringly, and humanly profound meditations by Shay MacKay in her blog post “Rising from the Ashes.”

List of Stops on an Internet Tour of The River of Winged Dreams

1. Han Chinese translation of Angel of Earth Days and Seasons
2. Han Chinese translation of Angel of Peace
3. Review of The River of Winged Dreams by Richard Van Holst
4. Rising from the Ashes blog by Shay MacKay
5.Quotation with image post by Clare Patrick
6. Bridge of Silver Wings Theme  by Sharon Bailey and Bridge of Silver Wings Theme 2 by Debby Bentch Pages on Pinterest
7. Quoted in Huffington Post
8. Quoted in International Press Institute Annual Report (p. 16)

For behind-the-scene happenings on The River of Winged Dreams and Aberjhani please click the link:

A River of Winged Dreams                           Valentine’s Day Letter – Bright Skylark Literary Productions.

By Aberjhani: As Egypt Howls and History Tweets

Egyptian citizens protest social and political conditions in Egypt. (photo by Getty Images)

The quote “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” is a well-known one attributed to the British historian Lord Acton (nineteenth century). What is rarely discussed after someone quotes these words are the different ways that power can and does corrupt.

The assumption is that too much power diminishes an individual’s capacity or inclination to render “good works” on behalf of others. At the same time, it increases his or her capacity or inclination to generate malice in the world.

When watching TV reports and reading Internet posts about Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s attempt to stand down protesters calling for his removal, the 82-year-old does not come across as someone whom power has enticed to consciously wreak havoc in the lives of people he claims to love and serve. Writing from this distance of many miles across the Atlantic Ocean, it seems more as if power has convinced him that he is doing the one most important thing he can do on behalf of his country by struggling to hold on to a position he has occupied for nearly 30 years. But from the images of people weeping, dying, and shouting in the streets of Cairo, Alexandria, Mansoura, and Aswan, it is clear that history is begging—and in many cases tweeting–– to differ.

Chaos or Revolution?
To continue reading please click this link:
As Egypt howls and history tweets – National African-American Art | Examiner.com.

by Aberjhani
© January 2011

21st Century Digital Authors on the Rise

Your brain wired for the 21st century literary life.

Your brain wired for the 21st century literary life.

It’s a curious thing to call oneself an author in this early half of the twenty-first century. The word now means so much more than it did when classic authors such as William Shakespeare, Frederick Douglass, or Anais Nin made their claims to literary fame. Although their works may have been as emotionally, politically, and ideologically informed as that of the accomplished twenty-first century author, a number of major differences separate them from their modern counterparts.

The word “technology” might quickly come to mind for some, but, in fact, many of our literary heroes were directly connected to the technological advances of their time and some even owned private printing presses to ensure the publication of their works.  Without doubt, few, if any, could have imagined the invention of the Internet or its impact on every aspect of literary culture, from the publication of electronic books to blog tours across the net. But at least two things in particular help distinguish the 21st century digital author from his or her classic counterpart:

NUMBER 1– is familiarity with the many forms in which books are now presented to the reading public– through traditional publishing, independent author services, eBooks, audio books, blog-books, media downloads, serialized web posts, graphic novels, film adaptations, etc. Along with this comes some awareness of how each of these forms helps cultivate different types of reading audiences.

AND NUMBER 2– the level of engagement and communication with local, national, and global communities through an established literary presence enhanced by digital social networks. This is a particularly important quality because it has to do not only with readership, but an individual consciousness that keeps an eye on the crossing cultural currents of the world community; and, with a literary sensibility that fosters some sense of camaraderie within that human species known as authors.

To describe in too much detail the meaning and significance of the 21st century digital author would defeat the purpose of this particular profile. The focus here is on experiencing the definition rather than expounding upon it and such experience is offered through this guide if you will, to one 21st century digital author at work.

by 21st Century Digital Author Aberjhani
Celebrating CTI’s 3rd Anniversary

Continue the discussion on redroom.com

They Came from Cyberspace: Five Twitter Tweets

Birds kinda of a feather all twitter tweeting together. (image courtesy of Freefoto)

Birds kinda of a feather all twitter tweeting together. (image courtesy of Freefoto)

I was very much relieved recently when both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and actor Johnny Depp admitted to hearing something go “Twitter-Twitter Tweet-Tweet,” like some Vulcan canary singing for its supper out in the depths of cyberspace, but didn’t have the faintest idea what it might be. Their public admission, I felt, placed me in very good company indeed.

“Twitter-Twitter Tweet-Tweet.” Say what?!

Belonging as I do to several progressive social networks, it was inevitable that someone should perch on one of my profiles and chirp about the wonders of Twitter. Many people were, I was told, using it as an extension of their daily texting. Some used it to network with business associates online; some to flirt; and some to avoid missing out on the latest hottest coolest techno trend that came fully equipped with celebrities of every make and model. I followed the link so kindly provided to one Tweeter’s page and then, um, well… In all honesty I just didn’t get it. I mean entire human minds reduced to a few grunts of 140 characters described as “Tweets!” How in the world was the author of a 400-page novel, an encyclopedia, four volumes of poetry, and reams of journalism supposed to reign in his pen with such cruel and unusual editorial punishment?

At least three months passed before I would even consider tweeting on Twitter again. And would you believe I did so because a storm drove hundreds of birds to seek shelter in my neighborhood trees where they chattered, chirped, and pooped all evening until I thought, Hmmm, could this possibly be a sign that I need to re-think my position on that one little blue Twitter-bird in particular? I decided to test the virtual waters–or should I say skies?–and, eventually, concluded that like most staples of modern techno-culture it is what one chooses, and is able, to make of it.

What I am trying to make of Twitter-Tweet culture is an opportunity to further enhance my connection with the global community and to explore creative ways of self expression within parameters established by a guiding force other than my own will. I also enjoy being educated on the different ways others utilize it; as, for instance, a public journal or electronic meeting room. Certainly the U.S. government’s recent request that Twitter postpone its scheduled routine maintenance in order to keep communication flowing between individuals trapped by the upheavals in Tehran and the rest of the world indicates that it, like YouTube and Google, has become one of the principle tools of citizen journalism and possibly democratic empowerment in our time.

So, in honor of Twitter-Tweeters across the globe, the following are five of my very own recent Tweet-Tweets which were employed in the flow of moments during which they made impressively clear sense. Outside of that specific cyber-zone, I’m not so sure what kind of sense they make. But I share them here as part of the world’s ongoing New Millennium enthusiasm for bridging divides, an enthusiasm that I consider one of the brighter lights on the shadowy horizon of humanity’s current historic endeavors.

Twitter-tweet 1) The green and golden winged bird of summer landed last Friday in my back yard. Drank sparkles from the fountain of my amused gaze.

Twitter-tweet 2) Watching on the news heads explode in Tehran when the TV screen cracks and blood gushes across the floor. Know it’s not real but how 2/b sure?

Twitter-tweet 3) Autographed a copy of ELEMENTAL for someone to send with luv to their once-upon-a-time. Thought that was beautiful of them.

Twitter-tweet 4) Poetry buzzes around my head neon bees spit honey-drops of moonlight and synonyms insist I accept the world for what it is even while giving all I can to make it better.

Twitter-tweet 5) The kind folks at Red Room featured my Dream Reachers blog at http://redroom.com/blog/aberjhani/in-company-these-pages

by Aberjhani
author of The American Poet Who Went Home Again
and The Bridge of Silver Wings 2009

Continue the discussion on redroom.com