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The Buddha’s Eyeball Never Blinks

The Buddha’s eyeball never blinks.

Nature watches our every move.

Nothing escapes the gaze – including the devils and dark forces that do their damnedest to destroy the massive globe we all call home.

That’s one reason I got a big gray Buddha tattooed on my upper left arm. He sits, meditating with a soft, downward gaze, breathing when I breathe and quietly doing nothing.

Vision, clarity and the Buddha’s eyeball play a significant role in “Blood Red Syrah.” What we see and how we see it determines who we are and how we behave. Like I say in the book’s opening two sentences: Life’s a beach. Then you die.

I blame James Callahan for that first tattoo. I don’t have hard evidence and the statute of limitations has run out, but I remember being impressed listening to Callahan of the ominous wrap-around shades back when he owned Mantis Green coffeehouse in downtown Wilkes-Barre in the early 90s. I can still hear him intently describing a vivid green praying mantis tattoo that made me think of nature and the Buddha and how we must all enlist in defending Mother Nature and all else that needs champions. In this cruel world we need all the help we can get.

Then came my big, good Buddha.

Callahan remains a protector who’s always there when we need him, an honorable fixer who can put people together when the time is right.
He put me and Rich Howells together this morning.

Howell’s another creative ball of action energy. In his most recent life, Howells is a journalist, blogger, poet, photographer, podcaster, and the founder and editor of NEPA Scene who has invited me to participate in one of his many successful media ventures.

Tune in to a live stream of the NEPA Scene Podcast on Wednesday, October 17, from 7-8 p.m. on NEPA Scene’s Facebook page for an uncensored discussion about writing “Blood Red Syrah” and my long career in journalism and radio. Recorded every week in Coal Creative’s studio in downtown Wilkes-Barre, the award-winning NEPA Scene Podcast presents honest interviews and in-depth discussions about local arts, entertainment, and the issues that matter to Northeastern Pennsylvania. Tune in during that hour with your questions and comments and we will respond during the live webcast: 

The NEPA Scene Podcast will set up my appearance the next night, Thursday, October 18, at Border Bar, 170 Laurel Plaza, Pittston Bypass at 9 p.m., where I will read from and sign copies of “Blood Red Syrah.”

Callahan will oversee the artistic anarchy because that’s where Callahan runs Camp Rattler and the Open Call with Jami Kali. Kali is a strong, unique voice in the wilderness of our chaotic times who – along with her band Kali Ma and the Garland of Arms – offers a calming force that calls together kindred spirits to howl at the moon, the sun and the rest of the cosmos.
Jami Kali’s band will play Saturday, October 20, at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton female roller derby team’s Halloween Oddities Flea Market at 4949 Birney Ave., Moosic, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., where I will sign and sell copies of “Blood Red Syrah” at a discount – $15 plus tax.

You couldn’t find yourself in better company if you tried.

You better listen to my podcast.

And you better stop by Camp Rattler and the Roller Radicals’ flea market.

I might even show you my Buddha tattoo.