Chapter 1 Foreword: Set the Stage


“Genius ain’t anything more than elegant common sense.”
Josh Billings (1818-1885) American Humorist

As most of us have done through the course of our lives, we have these moments of genius, where we think that we have just pieced together something grand. We say to ourselves “This is really cool, I’ve got to remember it.” But too often, these great epiphanies get lost in the recesses of our minds, lost to ever becoming developed into further ideas.

“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”
Confucius (551 BC-479 BC)  Chinese Philosopher

I decided to start writing down some of these pearls of wisdom that I have been sharing with myself. Writing allows me to slow down my thinking and organize my thoughts. Perhaps I will gain some insight from these snapshots and mold my direction for the remainder of my life, and how I perceive the world around me.

“Julian had once told me that a story is a letter that an author writes to himself, to tell himself things that he would be unable to discover otherwise.”
The Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafon

It should be made clear that I am writing this little work for myself … I am not trying to sell you anything or change your views.  But perhaps certain musings may cause you to take pause and ponder a bit.

“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.”
Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)  British Philosopher/Writer

I have an affinity for quotations that have a profound depth of meaning,  meanings that aren’t always immediately evident.  Sometimes you have to read the quotation a couple of times to appreciate the brilliance.  As in most things we need to slow down ….

“Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth.”
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) Spanish Painter/Sculptor


“If you never assume importance, you never lose it.”
Lao Tzu (6th or 4th century BC)  Chinese Founder of Taoism

I have chosen to use some of these quotes and sayings as reminders that these paths have been discovered and walked before.  We all can access the world’s knowledge, especially now with the Internet.

It should be noted that I am not a lifer when it comes to writing.  I am writing this book because I feel compelled to do it   It’s a project that I must complete.

To make this work I need some parameters for this little self-indulgent project.  I have to admit that I have not been an avid reader in the last 30 years.  With job, family responsibilities, and youth sports and school activities (and having to read all of those magazines we had to buy to support those youth sports and school activities), it seemed to take eons to finish reading a book once started.  It didn’t help that I am definitely not a speed-reader … voracious would not be a good adjective for my reading skills.

Some of the first things I consider when picking up a book will be the parameters for this book:

  • The paragraphs must be short (I get lost in long paragraphs).
  • The print must be large and well-spaced (it’s easier for me to read and the pages go much quicker).
  • The chapters must be short (I always count the pages till the next chapter).
  • Pictures would be helpful, because they eat up pages (although I’m not sure of what for this venture)
  • The style must maintain my attention. (What can I say? If it doesn’t, then I will never get this completed.)

A couple of other items….I won’t always write in complete, grammatically correct sentences.  As I listen to my self-conversation, I don’t always talk to myself in diagram-able English nor do I always use Webster-authorized words.  I’m aware that I could go back and have my sixth grade English teacher red-mark it, but then it wouldn’t be the true me .

His, her or their.  He, she, they.  Why o why can’t we find a neutral set of pronouns and personal adjectives to tie to the individual, generic “one”?  An example:

  • One shouldn’t be concerned about which path he/she should take in her/his life.

Actually “their” and “they” work fine for me although these words reference a plurality.  I also considered hem or hir, but they still sound like him or her.  Many other foreign languages solved the possessive adjective dilemma with neutral words, for example in Spanish the word su can be his/her/your — clean, flexible, neutral.  I will use the personal adjectives and pronouns a bunch of different ways … mostly because I am non-critical of my grammar in my thoughts.  (Are you?)

In addition, I’ll often use “you” when I’m working things out.  This may come off as me preaching to you, but in fact this is part of my discussion with myself ….one side gets to be I and the other side is the you.  You’ve probably guessed I’m a Gemini.

This book is really not intended to be a rambling group of topics.  I am writing to sort out my thoughts, to see if I can develop a loose list of assumptions, apply a little dose of deductive reasoning, and develop some conclusions that might clarify my views.  I am striving to become a Master of the Obvious.

“Thou shouldst not have been old till thou hadst been wise.”
Fool, King Lear, William Shakespeare(1564-1616)  English Playwright

Now that I am older and retired, I can address some ageless questions:

“Why do I exist?”
“What is my purpose in life?”
“Where do I fit in?”

Now granted, when these questions pop up in the minds of many people, they can just brush them aside and go on living their lives, wandering on their path.  For some reason, I need to dig a little deeper and to write about them.  All of the answers are probably in front of our noses.  What is Obvious we must Master.

“The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.”
Jean Paul Sartre (1905-1980) French Philosopher

Perhaps, I will actually develop a purpose for myself, my being, a purpose which includes the past and the present that have led me to the path of the future.  And maybe, just maybe, this purpose could define for some other people a ring-tone that’s familiar.  Obvious … simple … yet as big of a challenge as climbing Mt. Everest or raising children.

“It is not at all simple to understand the simple.”
Eric Hoffer(1902-1983) American Social Writer



Slam-Klunk is a ringing expression of disapproval.  It means that some person (probably many) have just read something they don’t agree with and immediately SLAM the book closed and throw it in the waist-basket …KLUNK.  In case anyone else should read this, I will often show a (S-K), just to make sure you remember that this is my thought, not an attempt to change your thoughts.

If at any time this book becomes too much for you, feel free to Slam-Klunk  … it’s just not your thing.  If you choose to proceed after your first thought of Slam-Klunk, I’m sure there will be other opportunities to S-K.  Hang in there for a while.  It will be interesting if someone besides my family members actually reads this book through to its end.

At least I’ve probably already written, in advance, the one (hyphenated) word review of this book …   “S-K”

9 Responses to “Chapter 1 Foreword: Set the Stage”

  1. MAC65 Says:

    Something grand is growing from the soil in this garden.

    It is all too often that the worries of the day and dangers of the moment overthrow the raging storm of ideas, hope and optimism that each and every one of us is capable of… It is only at times of loss, fear and desperation that we truly value the miracle of our lives.

    I am grateful for the spark of inspiration that ignited this project in you. It is a worthwhile jaunt into the garden of wisdom that comes from a life well lived.

    Please write on…

  2. Pismo Painter Says:

    I’m intrigued. Being at the same point of time in my life as the writer creates a curiosity and “tagging along” seems prudent. Perhaps I may even have something to add or comment on as the journey progresses.

  3. alpinerainn Says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with Pismo! I am very intrigued and eager to tag along…a couple of years later! =]

    • papadlight Says:

      Thank you so much for catching the train …. I would be interested how you found the website. I’m going to set up a self-publishing thing and put this to print … at least for my 150. Your comments fuel that task.

  4. J Says:

    I have begun to re-read Follow d’light and again find it intreging. Some things are ponder worthy for me others not so much but I enjoy your views. Are you writing anything else?

    • papadlight Says:

      Thanks for wandering back. I am finishing the first draft on a novel that incorporates many of the concepts outlined in FD. I’ll notify all in my FD group when it is published (I’ll self-pub at minimum. I’ll also be self-publishing these ponderings soon. Thanks for asking.

  5. Alan Says:

    Looking forward to reading through this from the beginning, your special kind of ‘blog’ if you don’t mind that description, having come across page 7.11 while researching the possible benefits of positive energy through a group hug or holding of hands in the workplace. The way you write is impressive, it strikes a cord with me. Just one thing though, about your mention of being a ‘Gemini’ because I personally think astrology is nonsense but believe that the season we were born in will have affected our perception of the world slightly as we gradually became acquainted with it as a baby, hence some similarities between others born in similar season. I hope that is an interesting notion, I thought it worth mentioning.

    • papadlight Says:

      Thanks for your thoughts. The positive energy transfer is the most popular “searched” item that delivers people to this site. I have taken a shot at a novel that delves further into positive energy in general, as well as a short history man’s relationship with the Earth, both physical and spiritual. In Quest of d’Light on

      • Alan Says:

        Thank you Dennis. This will be my first Kindle App purchase to read on my Android tablet. Well done and I hope you make lots of sales.

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