by Steven Klimah

I am sitting here at the computer drinking loose leaf tea and listening to some Ambient music.  Bright subtle light comes in through the windows behind me. A faint breeze brushes past my arms and I begin to wonder about the majesties of life.  The idea that life is transient and I as a human being am sentient.    The Miniature Pinscher that lives with me wants to jump onto my lap.  How am I any different than her, Misty?  She is sentient and alive as well as I am.  The birds chirping outside my window seem to be no different.  The Maranta and Dracaena plants on my window sill become more alive than ever before.

 I start to stare into my tea cup.  The clear brown liquid came from plant leaves that were ripped away and forcibly dried to a certain consistency in order to satisfy human taste.  This computer was made out of chemicals and metals that came from the cores of blown up Stars or from the skin of the Earth.  Everything I seem to do or want begets a process that destroys something else or from something that has already perished.  Something must die for me to live.  Further still, something must die for me to live modernly and luxuriously.

Have you thought about dying?  Every living thing on this planet will one day die.  I will die.  Misty will die.  The Maranta and Dracaena plants will die.  The plant leaves for my salad later on will die.  For others, the lives of animals will die for their steaks or chunks or ground meat.  Life is most precious, perhaps, because every living thing might only have it once.  It's too difficult to take the chance that a  life recycles into a new one.  Or... could one life to survive another be life recycling?  Everyday is a process of new and old information.  Everyday is a learning experience.  Everyday brings on new emotions and thoughts.  A transition from the me that was alive yesterday and the me that is alive today and the me that is alive tomorrow.  I grow.    

~Steven Klimah

Note: Steven is my good friend.  He is a vegetarian who grows his own vegetables in a backyard container garden.  He has a special interest in mycology, the study of mushrooms.  Steven does origami,  Japanese brush calligraphy, and painting that incorporates origami.  He is certified in computer networking.  He's an avid gamer and anime enthusiast. Steven introduced me to the music of Shpongle, and I am now a fan.  - -Sue 

The Risk-Taking Manifesto

Aaron Swartz, to whose memory Aaron Bale's Risk-Taking Manifesto is dedicated. 
The Risk-Taking Manifesto
by Aaron Bale

Note: This beautiful poetic essay was sent to me by my beloved friend, Aaron Bale.  Aaron Bale worked with Aaron Swartz on his campaign to stop the passage of SOPA and PIPA.  Aaron has often encouraged me to bypass any fears to move on with doing good.   May this encourage you, also. 

The Risk-Taking Manifesto

what a powerful four lettered word. what for example could possibly be said call me frantic mean fearing for the safety of his children or his passengers for his soldiers. we are inspired and naturally gravitate towards helping people protect their loved ones.  Fear binds us to one another. Fear shows us what we are truly capable of.

it turns out that the only thing more powerful than fear is love. the secret to courage isn't feeling fearlessness. the secret is feeling love and protecting it with everything you are truly capable of. otherwise it's just empty recklessness.

I take huge risks to protect myself from losing what I love most to the recklessness of others. I Embrace my fear. I Embrace my love. This is how I find the courage to fight for my brothers and my people. 

How many more Aarons need to die before we take huge risks to fight for what we love most? I won't stop fighting until victory or death. I want my funeral postponed until the work of my blackout brothers is finished. Do not mourn me. That is not a luxury you have until the war is over. 

I am the least of the blackout brothers and I'll never be able to replace them. If by some off chance i have ever managed to touched your heart, if i have ever inspired you to fight harder, if i have ever challenged you to think twice, If i have ever brought any value to you, your family or your freedom, then I beg you on Aaron's behalf, please take huge risks to protect yourself from losing what you love most by finishing his work.

It's far from anything to brag about, but here is the best attempt to finish my brothers blackout -

I tried my best,
Aaron "Remington" Bale
Sorry Aaron.