Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Not a skier, and That's Okay

I am currently up in Minnesota visiting friends at their cabin on the lake.  I've been here once before when I was 14, and let's just say the trip was eventful and VERY memorable.

Of course, if you have a cabin on the lake, it seems reasonable that you also have a boat.  She does, and it is really nice.  As soon as we arrived, we suited up and hit the waters.  My friend is an excellent skier, making it look simple.  Her husband also had an easy time getting up and both encouraged my attempt.

So in the water I go, I've been tubing many times, but skiing just seems more intimidating.  And indeed, it proves to be highly difficult.  After about 5 attempts, I surrender to nature, and admit the water's dominance over me.

Next up, this friend somehow convinces me that I should try wakeboarding.  It's similar to snowboarding on the water.  Many failed attempts and faceplants later, I again bow to the water gods as superior.  I think I've learned my lesson on this one.  Sore muscles and sunburns compound it all, I am meant to be IN the water, not ON the water.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Liberty Springs

It may not be entirely Taoist in nature, but I have some exciting news to share.  My second novel is now available for purchase as an ebook on Smashwords.com.  If you'd like to see it, go here

Liberty Springs is about a woman who worked in Washington until forced to lay low for awhile.  She finds herself in a small town in Iowa that runs according to the libertarian philosophy.  It's a great introduction to some core ideas of the libertarian movement that is growing fast right now (Think Ron Paul). 

I thought it would be interesting to share how I came to be libertarian, since that is about Taoism. 

My husband wasn't overly political when we met, only really caring about gun laws.  I introduced him to the voting process, having been a pretty hard core Democrat most of my young life (we met when I was 20).  Together we explored the political climate, and found it very lacking.  I was completely unwavering in my desire for equality for all people, but not really sold on the financial plans that seem to go along with it.  The hubs was very for second amendment rights, but didn't like the overly-religious aspect of the GOP.  We both didn't care for either party's record on defense.  I have to admit, he found libertarian first.  He took a little quiz, and was surprised by the result that came up saying he had very libertarian views.  (Take the quiz here )

By this time in our marriage (about 6 years in) I had found Taoism, and found a completeness I'd always been looking for.   As any Taoist knows, there is a lot of advice in the Tao Te Ching about leadership.  I found it all interesting and profound, but it hadn't added up for me yet.  I have a book called A Complete Idiot's Guide to Taoism.  It's not my favorite work discussing Taoist philosophy, but it does explain the core concepts well, and I often use it to help others understand my ramblings.  Well in this book, it stated that most Western Taoists adhered to one of two political ideologies: anarchism or libertarianism.  Never having been much of a chaos person, anarchy didn't appeal to me at all.  I was shocked, however to see libertarian pop up so near to when my husband had just found it as well.

The rest, you could say, is history.  We started out on different ends of the spectrum, but somehow ended up with matching ideologies.  It's nice that we get to share political experiences, and we vote with our hearts every time.  If you wonder about the issue of voting for a third party, that is addressed at length in my book.

So in a way, my book, though not about Taoism, still stemmed from it.  The teachings of Taoism are what lead me to libertarian ideas, and what keeps me there.