Short Stories

Preface to Sunrise Cataracts

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The term and title “Sunrise Cataracts” was borne from a warning given to my mother to pass along to me.  The warning was provided by a nephew of my mother’s during one of their bi-weekly phone calls.  (Although he is my cousin, I don’t really know him because any memories I have of him are very vague ones from childhood as we grew up in different countries and he is significantly older than I am).  My mother had been bravely managing her anxiety about her baby’s/my move to Thailand at the time of the call.

My mother told him that I was in Thailand now pursuing life and writing and that I had found peace and happiness. She told him that I enjoyed waking up before daybreak in order to meditate and to watch the sunrise. She recounted to him how I had taken her to the beach in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea to see the sunrise one morning when I had visited her in Florida before leaving on my journey.  She told him how beautiful she had found it.  His response to all of this?  “Tell her to make sure she wears sunglasses because looking at the sun causes cataracts.”

To most, this would seem like a harmless enough comment, however, having spent some time in Thailand and having adopted many Buddhist philosophies, I had learned to hear fear in everyday language. So accustomed are we as Westerners to fear and anxiety that it permeates our thoughts and language. This poor man was so steeped in fear that even something as beautiful and natural as a sunrise held a threat for him, so much so that he felt the need to spread the warning.  How sad is it that one cannot even take comfort and joy in something as simple as a sunrise?  I had and still have compassion for this line of thinking and for the conditioning that programs it.

My cousin is not alone and as I walk my path this type of fear-based rhetoric pops up occasionally. I view it as an opportunity to first check my own fear/hypervigilance mechanisms.  I also view it as an opportunity to hold my brothers’ and sisters’ hands and help them to explore and hopefully to let go of toxic thoughts so that they may be free to enjoy their days on this planet free from fear, guilt and anxiety and to pursue their dreams with abandon.

The themes explored in this compilation of stories touch on fear, the emotions that it creates and the alternatives to both. I examine with curiosity the concepts of Yin-yang, good and bad, life and death and mostly perception and reality. I’m fascinated by the juxtaposition of light and dark and beauty and fear and how they co-exist because all are just about perception and reality. Or our perception of reality. Or perception becoming our reality?

I hope you will find the stories contained herein enjoyable and provocative and that they lead you to question your fears, your perceptions and your reality.

All my love,
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