Wednesday’s Wondrous World: Magic

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Given the coming changes to Chakra Center, I thought this a MOST apropos topic:


Magic has a great many implications, meanings, definitions.  It can conjure images of shows put on for children with rabbits in top hats.  Magic can invoke the idea of Gandalf or a similar wizard or sorcerer of fantasy.  Magic might even stir the notion of witches, fictional ones like the three sisters of MacBeth, real ones such as Wiccans and the like.


Magic, however, can also take far more pedestrian and mundane appearances.  That amazing sunset over a snowcapped peak.  That fantastical myst arising from the lake, swirling about a romantically embraced couple.  The light passing through a prism.  The person calling at just that exact moment you most need to hear from him or her.  All of these are magic, too.

Magic is something in every life, every day, in ways we often miss.  Sometimes this is a matter of placement and timing.  Sometimes, though, this is distraction, and being so focused on the routine and the mundane that the magic gets lost.  But it happens none-the-less, and it is a wonder we should all be so fortunate as to be more cognizant of.

Magic happens in the most unexpected ways.  It can be that inspirational passage you come across on the internet or in a book.  It might be that person you accidentally bump into whom you suddenly realize you know.  It is that moment when all seems lost, when hope is nearly gone that magic happens, and the world is righted again.  It is love.


Humans are unique to this world in so very many ways.  The manner in which we live our lives, the technologies we build, the means by which we communicate.  We are also unique in the ways we differentiate ourselves from one another.  Skin color, religion, nationality, political stance, gender…in our quest for individuality, we identify ourselves in increasingly divisive ways.  Yet we all strive to find magic in the world.  We all strive to find love.

Magic binds us to one another, to the earth herself.  Everyone experiences it in some form or other.  But along the way we get distracted, we allow the influence of others to sway us from practicing magic.  Yet it is here, always, ready to be touched, waiting to be felt, available to everyone.

Whatever form of magic you see and acknowledge or even practice, this is something the greater good of the world can benefit from.  If more people around the world could see its wonder, if more people could take joy in the magical aspects of our amazing world, we could make it a better place for everyone.

Money, power, greed, exclusion and the like are the antithesis of magic.  They can entice us to believe that they are magical – money can buy happiness, power can gain you control of your destiny, greed keeps these things safe, exclusion keeps the undesirable away – but they are not magic.  Magic is an ultimate wonder for everyone.  And magic is more powerful when it is shared.


In a world full of wonders, some obvious, some obscure, Magic is a glue that can bind the wonders to us.   No matter what form it takes, no matter how it is employed, magic can and should be a greater part of our everyday lives.

Do you remember the first encounter you had with something you considered magical?  Do you remember the sense of wonder and excitement it filled you with?  Do you recall feeling inspired by magic, feeling empowered by magic?  Did you find yourself hoping for more opportunities to feel that indescribable sensation only something magical causes?

Can you imagine how the world might be if more people lived with magic in their lives?  I believe that is the goal sought for the future of Chakra Center, and I am fully in support of sharing this particular wonder of the world to a broader audience.  A more magical world, I believe, is a happier, more peaceful, more inspirational place for all.

Magic is a true wonder of our wondrous world.  What magic have you experienced in your life lately?


Me 3-25-13 smallerI am MJ Blehart, writer and photographer for “Wednesday’s Wondrous World”.  Every week I share a magical wonder of this amazing world, and I hope you will enjoy the journey with me!

Check out my blog, The Ramblings of a Titanium Don, for more of my work.

Also now available, Pathwalking: A 21st Century Philosophy in Book and Kindle form!

Wednesday’s Wondrous World: Television

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It has a lot of different names, but it is something you find in almost every home around the modern world.

Television.  The boob tube.  TV.  The idiot box.  The flatscreen.  The LCD, LED, Plasma screened wonder.

Since the 1950’s, television has been one of the prime sources of information (real and false), entertainment, mind expanding, mind numbing, babysitting, focus and distraction.  TV offers us a chance to see images from around the world, more-or-less instantaneously, and has fundamentally changed the lives of the first world.

Dream Mirror

It began largely as a source of information, following on the heels of newspaper and then radio.  From print to audio to the whole audio/visual package, television broadened the world while simultaneously bringing it closer to everyone.

There used to be a handful of channels and options to tune into.  Then that number expanded, sometimes exponentially.  Nowadays you can have dozens of different options, programming around the world, different time zones, different focus.  You can watch news, sports, reality and fictional programs, movies, and nearly anything else you can think of.  Twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, so long as there is power.

Television has served as background like white noise.  TV is the focal point where some families gather round to spend time together enjoying the programming.

planet grid

The actual device has changed tremendously over the years.  From a large, heavy box that consumed tremendous amounts of power and took a lengthy time to get warm and show its images to the modern, flat screen, side-lit and back-lit LED that is inches thick, weighs almost nothing and turns on instantly.  The two devices side by side seem hardly to be nothing more than distant relatives of one another.

Certainly with the vast number of channels and diverse program choices it can be argued that television is unhealthy.  But I think, like pretty much everything else, consumed in moderation TV is perfectly fine.

However you might personally feel about this particular source of media, television is undeniably a wonder of our wondrous world.  It is still for many people the primary source of information and entertainment, and will undoubtedly remain a part of the lives of people around the world.


Me 3-25-13 smallerI am MJ Blehart, author of “Wednesday’s Wondrous World”.  Every week I share a wonder of this amazing world, and I hope you will enjoy the journey with me!

Check out my blog, The Ramblings of a Titanium Don, for more of my work.

Also now available, Pathwalking: A 21st Century Philosophy in Book and Kindle form!

Wednesday’s Wondrous World: Flowing Waters

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I was born and raised in “the land of 10,000 lakes.”  So it should come as no wonder that I have a huge affinity for bodies of water.

Each body of water is itself a wonder.  Oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, streams, ponds and so on and so forth each has its own ecosystem, its own special beauty, its own unique attributes.


While I am a fan of pretty much every such body of water, I believe that my favorite is rivers and streams.  Oceans are impressively huge and salty, lakes have tremendous variations in current and size and make-up…but rivers and streams are constantly in motion.

Rivers and streams flow.  They move along, sometimes fast, sometimes slow, carrying with them flotsam and jetsam, as well as aquatic natives from the course it plots.

Rivers cut into the earth like a knife through butter, leaving their mark and showing the way between sometimes tremendous distances.  The Mississippi virtually splits the United States in half with its north/south course.  The Colorado river snakes through the immense Grand Canyon, providing an end point at its base of tremendous power.


Rivers and streams sometimes carry the most amazing sounds.  A shallow example might have small cresting waves over large rocks, that rushing, whooshing sound made by rapids as the current washes over high points.  It can be an amazing, relaxing, soothing sound, often replicated on sound machines for its ambiance.

Rivers and streams bring life.  Not only do they carry silt along the current to fertilize their banks, they also provide fish and insects for birds and beasts.  Sport fishing in streams is very popular around the country, and you can often find men and women up to their waists in the flowing waters, casting lines.

Another amazing thing about rivers and streams is their incredible variations.  Some are nearly as wide as lakes, hard to see across.  Some are incredibly deep, much history beneath their surface.  But some are mere inches thick, and just a few feet across.  Impressive variations, but all amazing.


I love when I go for a hike along a wooded path, and unexpectedly find a river or stream.  There is nothing I like better than finding somewhere to sit beside it, a rock or such, and listen to it running it course.  I find it so much easier to meditate when I have a river or stream near.  There is something incredibly relaxing and refreshing about its flow.

Unlike wider, more still bodies of water, rivers and streams carry along in their current constant changes.  Whether it’s a large log, colorful leaves, ducks, or even random garbage from upstream, you never know what will flow along past you.  You could spend hours in the same spot and never see the same thing float by twice.


Rivers are not just landmarks, but before highways and byways they were the path you followed.  Even today, pilots using visual flight rules navigate with rivers.  Rivers have been a source of commerce and life to the beginning of human history, all over the world.

Amongst the many bodies of water to be found across the globe, rivers and streams are a wonder of nature I think impossible to deny.

What rivers and streams do you frequent in you travels?




Me 3-25-13 smallerI am MJ Blehart, “Wednesday’s Wondrous World” writer and photographer.  Every week I share a wonder of this amazing world, and I hope you will enjoy the journey with me!

Check out my blog, The Ramblings of a Titanium Don, for more of my work.

Also now available, Pathwalking: A 21st Century Philosophy in Book and Kindle form!

Wednesday’s Wondrous World: Reenactment

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As children we called it make-believe.  As adults, we call it reenactment.

A lot of people participate in some form of this or other.  Whether they do cosplay at conventions and symposiums, live action role playing (LARP), Steampunk, Civil War or Revolutionary War, people still take time out from their regular lives to basically play.


I personally have been a part of this for over half my life.  As a freshman in college, I was introduced to the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA).  This world-wide organization does various medieval reenactments spanning from the end of the Roman Empire (approx 600AD) to the death of Queen Elizabeth I of England (approx 1600AD).

Members of the SCA (called SCAdians) can learn and take part in all kinds of medieval arts and sciences (cooking, calligraphy and illumination, dance, music, fibre arts, etc.) as well as various forms of combats (heavy armored combat, rapier (fencing) combat, archery, equestrian, thrown weapons) and many other really cool things from all over Europe, Japan, Persia and such during the previously mentioned time period.

On many a weekend over the past two decades I have dressed (sometimes well, sometimes less so) as a 16th Century Englishman I have named Malcolm Bowman.  During these events I have participated in various fencing tournaments, partook of often sumptuous medieval feasts, and danced with some very lovely ladies.  I also have served as a steward of events, a marshal (coach/safety officer) of fencing and archery, and a herald (cryer) for the King and Queen.


This is a whole other world it can be very easy to get lost in.  But escaping into that world can be tremendously fun!

I have made some amazing friends along the way, and am constantly amazed by how far around the world those people can be found.  I attend fencing practice weekly, other occasional meetings, Saturday and whole-weekend events, and even “wars”.

One such event is the Estrella War, held in Arizona every winter (used to be February, now it’s in March).  This event draws somewhere around 7000 people, and over the course of a week or so all kinds of combats and arts and more take place.

Me at Pennsic XXXVIII 2

As you are reading this I am attending possibly the largest of these events, the Pennsic War.  Held annually in Butler, Pennsylvania, this event has been known to attract more than 10,000 people.  For up to two weeks we live in a massively mixed medieval world experiencing classes on all kinds of arts and sciences, as well as endless fencing, heavy armor combats and archery shoots.  We are among friends, enjoying each other’s company and escaping (mostly) from the modern world and our jobs and such.  It can be quite the vacation (and quite a work-out, too.)

I love playing this game.  I love dressing in the garb and experiencing what amounts to a whole new world within the world I occupy.  It is a fun-filled escape, and can be quite the party if so desired.  For some this is THE event they most enjoy in the SCA.

me at spwf 2012 - ed

I have found that in addition to participating in the wondrous world of the SCA, I am also quite the fan of getting dressed up in neo-Victorian Steampunk gear.  The outfits are rather amazing, and the addition of fantastical steam-powered weapons are pretty cool.  I have found considerable inspiration from the Steampunk in my writing as well.  I am hard at work, currently, on a Steampunk-themed novel.

Creativity and escapism make the world of reenactment a terrific adult game of make-believe.  I wonder that if more people participated in such, would we see less stressed, more creative and happy lives?

Do you still make-believe in some way?


I am MJ Blehart, rapier-wielding writer of “Wednesday’s Wondrous World”.  Every week I share a wonder of this amazing world, and I hope you will enjoy the journey with me!

Check out my blog, The Ramblings of a Titanium Don, for more of my work.

Also now available, Pathwalking: A 21st Century Philosophy in Book and Kindle form!

Wednesday’s Wondrous World: Seasons

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I don’t care how hot it gets outside…summer is my favorite season of the year!

But living in the northeast of the United States, I get to experience all four seasons rather decisively. And that is the wonder I am choosing this week.

Summertime here can be a crazy event.  Not only do we get immense sunlight and great warmth, we also get impressively powerful storms and flooding rains.  Despite the heat and humidity, summer is my favorite season.  I love being able to wear shorts and t-shirts and sandals regularly.  And being solar powered, I love all the sunlight the summer presents me.


Yes, it can be muggy and overly hot, but I still love the summer best.  Summer is also the season of camping events and outdoor picnics and plenty of hiking and beachgoing opportunities.

Summer of course gives way to fall.  Autumn here on the east coast presents some of the most beautiful color you can imagine.  As the leaves turn, the greenery gives way to oranges and reds and yellows and outright golds.  The air begins to take on a crisp tinge, the shorts get put away, and for a lot of people it is the most comfortable time of the year to play outdoors.

Fall is the time of harvest, in particular apples and pumpkins.  My friends and I annually go apple picking, savoring the numerous varieties local orchards have to offer.  And all the crisps and pies and other treats one can make from apples are pretty impressive, too.


Fall moves on to winter.  Winter in this part of the northeastern United States is relatively mild.  (I emphasize the phrase ‘relatively’ because I grew up in the upper Midwest of the country.  We measure snow most winters in FEET, not inches.  And I am not making up tall tales when I say I had to walk to school in BELOW ZERO (Fahrenheit) temperatures and even more brutal windchills).

It can be cold and icy at times, but snowfall is almost always a beautiful sight to behold.  Those unique flakes, drifting gently downwards, covering the land in a white blanket.  While not all the bodies of water here ice over completely, those that do take on a unique hue only an icy cover can give.


Winter is the best time of the year for cuddling with loved ones.  Winter is crackling fires in the fireplace, mugs of hot cocoa and fresh baked goods.  Many people take immense pleasure in all the ways one can use to get warm.

I will not deny winter is my least favorite season.  But in time, it fades, and spring returns life to the land.  Trees begin to bud, the birds return from their migratory vacations, the grass begins to recolor itself from brown to green.

We find we can take off layers, the sun has greater effect and adds warmth to the air once more.  There is a smell in the air at springtime that is refreshing, reinvigorating. It is like you can smell the rebirth of Gaia’s children, and the promise of longer, warmer days to come.


Spring of course completes the cycle, and after three months or so becomes once more Summertime!  And where I live, we truly experience each of these incredible wonders, each season in its time, and all that they can be.

This is just one incredible wonder of our wondrous world – the seasons.  Which is your favorite?


Me 3-25-13 smallerI am MJ Blehart, writer of “Wednesday’s Wondrous World”.  Every week I share a wonder of this amazing world, and I hope you will enjoy the journey with me!

Check out my blog, The Ramblings of a Titanium Don, for more of my work.

Also now available, Pathwalking: A 21st Century Philosophy in Book and Kindle form!

Wednesday’s Wondrous World: Flash Drives

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Ok, so this is probably silly, but one of my favorite technological wonders of the past decade or so is the USB flash drive/thumb drive.

What a great little device!  It’s utterly pocket sized, and yet can hold an unbelievable amount of data!   It is a tiny, incredible manmade wonder, but a wonder none-the-less.

As a writer I am a firm believer in the concept of the back-up.  Many copies of anything/everything are essential!  There need to be back-ups, and back-ups of back-ups to protect my stories, my ideas, my blog posts.

flash sp

This was less practical when I was a kid, and writing was pen to paper and a notebook full of sentences and ideas and so forth.  As I got older, and computers became more readily available, it was floppy disks that allowed data storage and back up.

Remember the 5 ¼” floppy disk?  Flimsy thing, literally living up to its name.  These diskettes (an improvement themselves from the prior 8” floppy disks) could hold from 90 kilobytes to 1.2 megabytes of data.  Later it was the 3.5” disk, which was much sturdier, more portable, and now able to hold from 1.4 megabytes to 240 megabytes.  Then there were zip disks, which were nearly the same size as a 3.5” disk, but much more durable and capable of holding 700 megabytes of data.

For those who are unfamiliar – the original units of data storage in the world of computing were bits.  It was not long before the bit gave way to the byte, which is itself made of eight bits (the original number of bits required for a single character of text).  So, taking that into account, a kilo-byte is a thousand bytes.  A megabyte thus is a thousand-thousand bytes, or rather a million bytes.  So now we reach the gigabyte, a thousand thousand thousand bytes, or rather a billion bytes of data.


Let’s examine this a moment, shall we?  I got my first personal computer, an Apple IIe, in 1985.  The 5 ¼” floppy disk back-up could hold approximately 140 kilobytes of data.  To protect and transport the floppy disk, you needed a hard plastic case, and probably a book bag or backpack of some sort.  Now, in 2013, the USB flash drive I can carry easily in my pocket can hold 8 gigabytes of data.  This tiny, two inch long by about ½ inch wide device is capable of holding more than 57,000 times more information!

In the course of just over 30 years we have exponentially increased the amount of information we can carry away into a convenient and miniature vessel.  Libraries of information available at our fingertips, and yet stored in our pockets.  These tiny drives can hold up to 256 gigabytes of data (and are growing further).

flash r2

If you want to take with you all the stories you have written, all the books you have ever read, all the photos you have ever taken, any digital information you wish to have and more – you can keep them all in a pocket!  Such a simple, miniscule device, yet an amazing wonder of our modern technological age.

Yes, I know you can store your data in the “cloud”, somewhere with almost infinite storage on a server you will never see.  But I prefer the security of that data being where I know its physical location and who has access to it.  And yes, for the uber-geeks reading this – I know that flash “drives” haven’t the moving components of their predecessors – but they still hold more information and are more durable, and the term “drive” has long been accepted for them and their ilk.

I understand if you are not, like me, a tech geek.  But isn’t it amazing how something so tiny can hold inside something so vast?  Truly, the flash drive is a wondrous manmade wonder in our wondrous world.

How do you like to store YOUR digital data?


Me 3-25-13 smallerI am MJ Blehart, your geektacular guide to “Wednesday’s Wondrous World”.  Every week I share a wonder of this amazing world, and I hope you will enjoy the journey with me!

Check out my blog, The Ramblings of a Titanium Don, for more of my work.

Also now available, Pathwalking: A 21st Century Philosophy in Book and Kindle form!

Wednesday’s Wondrous World: Rock ‘n Roll

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The great thing about rock and roll is that someone like me can be a star.” – Elton John

I’m not just talking about the wonder of music – too broad a topic.  No, today I want to get into one of my personal favorite forms of music – rock and roll!

I am a huge fan of the rock music across all of the decades.  It began in the 1950’s (Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, The Everly Brothers, et al.)  There are the greats of the 60’s (The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, etc).  Despite disco, there were great acts of the 70’s (The Eagles, ZZ Top, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin and more).  The 1980’s brought us classic rockers (Rush, Yes, Genesis, Queen) and hair bands (Bon Jovi, Guns n’ Roses, Skid Row, Poison and such.)  In the 1990’s it was Grunge (Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Robert Westenberg.)  And the beginning of the 21st Century has given us some great rock (Foo Fighters, Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Evanescence, and others).

Rock is often an ill-defined, multi-faceted genre of music (I have left out a LOT of class acts, I know).  A lot of what is considered rock is also pop, folky, quirky, and everything in between.


To me (and this, fyi, is wholly my opinion) rock involves these specific elements:  Guitar.  Bass.  Percussion.  Tonality and musicality.  Some of these songs make you bop your head, set your body in motion.  They energize, they engage you; whether it’s a jamming, hard-rhythm tune or a power ballad.  Rock literally rocks you, can change your energy and your vibration in pretty awesome ways.

Rock and roll music, if you like it, if you feel it, you can’t help but move to it. That’s what happens to me. I can’t help it.” – Elvis Presley

Many tunes and artists classified as rock will cause you to scratch your head.  Whether that would be Sonny and Cher in the 60’s or Bob Dylan in the 70’s or Elvis Costello in the 80’s or Liz Phair in the 90’s or Barenaked Ladies today – all fall under this broad classification.  And all mostly match my own elemental specifications.

However you like your rock (soft, hard, pop, metal, whatever) there are over a half century of musical acts to choose from, and amazing tracks to learn and discover.  The vast history of rock and roll even has its own museum dedicated to it in Cleveland, Ohio.


There are a lot of musical genres to choose from, many of which I am also very fond of (and which may get covered here at a later date).  Jazz, classical, opera, showtunes, folk, new age…music is an emotional switch that is like no other, and rock and roll in particular can be used to attune every possible feeling.

There is a song in every age of rock and roll to suit every emotion.  Some even cover wider ranges like Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven or Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, changing tone and temple from start to finish.  Rock has even been mixed with other genres like Classical to bring an even richer, deeper sound (like The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band or The Moody Blues’ Knights in White Satin or Michael Kamen’s orchestra and Aerosmith doing Dream On.)  Rock and roll is a wonder covering an impressively wide range.

Music alone is a wonder, but every artist, every genre, arguably every instrument by itself could be a wonder of our wondrous world.  But rock and roll in particular is immense, moving, multi-faceted and full of color and light and sound.  Despite my own varied, eclectic musical tastes, it is most often rock to which I listen and give my soul.

Rock and roll has probably given more than it’s taken.” – Charlie Watts.


Me 3-25-13 smallerI am MJ Blehart, rocking writer of “Wednesday’s Wondrous World”.  Every week I share a wonder of this amazing world, and I hope you will enjoy the journey with me!

Check out my blog, The Ramblings of a Titanium Don, for more of my work.

Also now available, Pathwalking: A 21st Century Philosophy in Book and Kindle form!

Wednesday’s Wondrous World: Books

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As a writer, it was really only a matter of time until I reached this particular wonder:  Books.

Books are the ultimate gateways to imaginative worlds, to mythologies, to knowledge, to language, to the continued growth and education of the whole human race.

You cannot open a book without learning something.” – Confucius


Before the advent of the book, there were stone tablets, codices and scrolls to communicate information.  Later the advent of movable print made it easier to mass produce what came to be called books.  In modern times, of course, books are being supplanted by the internet, e readers and other non-print media.  But a book, whether in physical paper form or on your Kindle, Nook or iPad, is still a book.

Books have been written containing things both true and false, containing information and entertainment, comedy and tragedy.  Books stretch across every imaginable aspect of the human condition, and can educate, inform, entertain, annoy and delight everyone in some way or other.

Books offer a form of communication that is the ultimate path to realms of imagination.  Books can convey information about every known topic, and offer words and pictures and color and context.  It is in books that I have spent many an hour exploring and developing my imagination, learning new information, and gaining greater knowledge and experience.

Certainly there are things better learned through doing than reading, but books are the best place to place knowledge.  I know that while the internet is at our fingertips, there is something about having the physical book to leaf through that adds a whole other layer to the experience.


As much as I can glean information online, there is nothing quite like going into a bookstore and exploring the volumes there.  As I do so, I imagine coming across the spine of a book featuring my name, one of my worlds, and that sense of excitement at being a part of something far greater than myself.

There is no friend as loyal as a book.” – Ernest Hemingway.

As a child with a curious mind and extremely active imagination, losing myself in books helped to shape me into the man I am today.  I think it was through books that I learned to be delighted in learning, through books that I began to form the molds to create my own imaginary worlds, and books would be my closest companions.

As a writer, I sometimes neglect the energy I should give to reading.  I still need, besides my own stories, to pick up the books of others, for both pleasure and knowledge, to expand my own experience.  Reading books provides a much needed escape.  I especially enjoy taking the text outdoors, finding a space beneath a tree or in a comfortable chair, with no distractions.

my book

Even with e readers and tablets and other portable devices becoming more prevalent and inexpensive, the physical book will remain an important and constant wonder of our wondrous world.  But no matter what form you prefer, no matter what information you are seeking to digest, books can provide us with both uncountable answers and even more questions.

Books.  An expansive wonder of a wondrous world!

What books are you reading?


Me 3-25-13 smallerI am MJ Blehart, book-loving author of “Wednesday’s Wondrous World”.  Every week I share a wonder of this amazing world, and I hope you will enjoy the journey with me!

Check out my blog, The Ramblings of a Titanium Don, for more of my work.

Also now available, Pathwalking: A 21st Century Philosophy in Book and Kindle form!

And while we’re on the subject of books – you can ALSO check out my fantasy short story A Treacherous Stone in the anthology Rum and Runestones, and my steampunk short story The Vapor Rogues in the anthology Spells and Swashbucklers.

Wednesday’s Wondrous World: Choice

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You would think with all that the world has to offer, choosing a wonder to share every week would be easy.

I mean, really, there is wonder around every bend, in every place, at every time to be discovered, explored and enjoyed.  And these wonders take on innumerable forms – man-made, natural, microscopic, ginormous, tangible, intangible and so on and so forth.

As such, today’s wonder of this wondrous world is choice.


We humans have the incredible opportunity to choose our lives.  We can make any choice about any option.  We can choose our job, our car, our home, our friends, our location…you name it.  Life is all about choice.

Choice can take on an unbelievable number of forms.  Choice can be tangible and intangible.  Choice can be big or small.  Choice is all about options, and what we care to do with them.

Unfortunately, many people do not believe they have much choice.  They live life as life lives them, unable or even unwilling to believe that they have the ability to make choices.  You and I can choose so very many things for our lives, on so many levels.  Yet somehow, many cannot see this incredible wonder for what it is.

I cannot deny that some choices are hard.  Some choices are not without consequence, good or bad.  And while some choices can be brilliant, insightful and incredible, other choices may be stupid, selfish, and incorrect.  Nonetheless, we have the option, and the choices are ours to be made.


We can choose what kind of a person we want to be.  Am I a generous, thoughtful, pleasant person or a stingy, thoughtless, mean person?  Do I choose to give or take?  Do I allow others to make me feel sad, or do I work to make myself and others feel happy?  So very many choices.

And choice is constant.  Every day I make choices, simple ones from when to get out of bed and what to have for lunch, versus more complex one, like whether to move to a foreign country or to choose a wholly new employment.  But there are always choices to be had, and there are always multiple options from which to pick.

Some people prefer to not make choices for themselves.  They far prefer to let others make choices for them.  And while small children are in many respects better off for the choices a parent makes for them, as adults we need to learn to be accountable, and to choose for ourselves.


Choice should not be something to be feared – it should be celebrated.  Everyone wants different things, everyone has different motivations for their lives, and choice is a part of that.  What I choose in a given situation may be vastly different from what you might.  And this is not something bad or out of control as some might see it, but something amazing and fantastic about the human condition.

We are a unique animal in this world, capable of choice beyond the basics of food, shelter, selecting a mate and survival.  We can have, be, and do whatever we want to choose, if we are willing to make choices to bring us to where we desire to go.  Choice is not a bad thing at all, but a wonder to be embraced and exercised with zeal and enthusiasm.

Choice is one of the most amazing wonders of our wondrous world.  What choices, big and small, will you be making today?


Me 3-25-13 smallerI am MJ Blehart, author of “Wednesday’s Wondrous World”.  Every week I share a wonder of this amazing world, and I hope you will enjoy the journey with me!

Check out my blog, The Ramblings of a Titanium Don, for more of my work.  Every week I post on Wednesdays about Pathwalking, which is choosing how to live life, rather than let life live you.

Also now available, Pathwalking: A 21st Century Philosophy in Book and Kindle form!

Wednesday’s Wondrous World: Rainbows

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Why are there so many songs about rainbows and what’s on the other side?”  – Jim Henson’s Rainbow Connection.

People have found this wonder of nature astounding, mesmerizing, amazing, inspiring, and beautiful.  Rainbows have been the source for stories of bridges to other dimensions and pots of gold at their base.  Truly, one of our world’s wonders.


The rainbow, we know from science, is caused when light passes through water droplets, usually when a rainstorm is followed by a sunlit break in the clouds.  It comes in the form of an arch across the sky, sometimes by itself, sometimes doubled, a spectrum of colors frequently including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and deep purple.

No matter how many times I have seen a rainbow across the sky, I cannot just ignore its beauty.  It is graceful, colorful, and wondrous.  And it adds such a range of amazing colors to the sky.

Rainbows are visions, but only illusions, and rainbows have nothing to hide.”  – Jim Henson’s Rainbow Connection.

Not only have rainbows inspired songs, but they have inspired many works of fiction.  From leprechauns and their pots of gold to a means of travel between vast distances of time and space, rainbows can provide a great deal of inspiration.  Have you ever tried to chase down the base of the rainbow to find its beginning and end?  Great arch of color crossing the sky like nothing else in nature.

Rainbows have taken on other, more important meanings.  Rainbows have been used to symbolize hope, to express a unity of color and those things that supposedly make us different being one, whether that is race or sexual orientation or nationalism or what-have-you.  The rainbow and its separate but equal colors shows us how no matter our differences, all are part of the greater whole.  Rainbows are the ultimate symbolism of the oneness of everything, no matter how different its components might appear.

Twin Flame

Songs, stories, art, even various religions have explored the many hues of rainbows.  Different visions of the multi-colored wonder cause us to open our eyes to worlds of imagination.

There is a purity in the rainbow arcing across the sky.  It is the most simple expression of its various colors within nature itself, lighting up the sky in ways the sun and moon and stars cannot.  Rainbows give us nature’s colors in another manner akin to flowers, but loftier.

I defy you to not stop and observe the next rainbow you come across.  Truly, a natural wonder of our wondrous world.

Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection.  The lovers, the dreamers and me.”  – Jim Henson’s Rainbow Connection.



Me 3-25-13 smallerI am MJ Blehart, colorful author of “Wednesday’s Wondrous World”.  Every week I share a wonder of this amazing world, and I hope you will enjoy the journey with me!

Check out my blog, The Ramblings of a Titanium Don, for more of my work.

Also now available, Pathwalking: A 21st Century Philosophy in Book and Kindle form!

Wednesday’s Wondrous World: Darkness

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There is no darkness but ignorance.”  – William Shakespeare.

Darkness.  In certain connotations, this is a negative thing, an emptiness of light, a space of terrors and horrors and nothingness to be feared.  Yet darkness is a wonder not to be discounted, for like most things in this world, it is what we make it to be.

Beyond a doubt truth bears the same relation to falsehood as light to darkness.”  – Leonardo DaVinci. 


This is a perfect example of how darkness is a wonder – without it, we cannot know light.  Darkness is the yin to light’s yang.  The polar opposites that all others are defined between.

Darkness can be the birthplace of imagination.  From darkness we can find incredible creatures, unique worlds, and a place in need of light. 

But darkness serves other purposes.  Darkness tells us that the sun is at rest, that the world needs to slumber, that we need to get sleep.

There are creatures that thrive in darkness.  Nocturnal hunters and deep sea creatures that cannot abide the light.  For them, darkness is when the world holds all its possibilities.


And the deepest depths of space are full of darkness.  At the point where the light of no star can reach, we can only imagine darkness.  But space is vast, and filled with uncountable stars and worlds and probably other life across those dark reaches.

Darkness is shadow.  Darkness is contrast.  And it is on the other side of darkness where we can find its opposite.  The “light at the end of the tunnel” or “through the darkness to the light” create instant images in the mind.

If dark is yin and light is yang, it is the extreme.  For even in darkness, color is not absent, just as in light.  Darkness can be partial, total, absolute, and many shades between. 

Darkness is not simply and overabundance of color or lack thereof, nor simply an absence of light.  Darkness represents desire, represents blank spots in time and space, gives us a start point or an end point to reach of depart from.  Sometimes darkness gives and takes secrets that cannot be hidden in light.


Close your eyes, and see what images cross your mind.  Your eyes see flashes of color, seek out points of light.  If you move towards a meditative trance you can see the past, the present, the future, and realms of fiction and fantasy that may only exist in your mind.  But through the darkness there is wonder.

Darkness is not something to be feared.  Darkness is the yin to the yang, darkness is as awesome or as terrible as we make it out to be.  It can be the inspiration to aspire to greatness, or to pause and take rest.  Darkness can be the gateway to unimagined worlds and alternate realities beyond.

Metaphor, simile, pure fact…darkness is a wonder. 


Me 3-25-13 smallerI am MJ Blehart, your deep, multi-dimensional, sometimes disturbed, occasionally dark “Wednesday’s Wondrous World” author.  Every week I share a wonder of this amazing world, and I hope you will enjoy the journey with me!

Check out my blog, The Ramblings of a Titanium Don, for more of my work.

Also now available, Pathwalking: A 21st Century Philosophy in Book and Kindle form!

Wednesday’s Wondrous World: Coffee

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Today’s wonder of the world is something I am personally in awe of.  On a regular basis it provides me with sustenance, fortification, comfort and pleasure.  I speak of one of my great loves of this life, an amazing wonder of the world – Coffee!

Yes, I acknowledge that coffee is not for everyone – but even most non-coffee drinkers I know (like my mother) appreciate its heady aroma.

Coffee is not just a beverage that can be consumed hot, cold, or outright frozen – it is a wonder for all six senses.  It provides something on every level.


Let’s start with the obvious two – taste and smell.  The aroma of fresh coffee beans is intoxicating, rich and bold, with notes of smoke and cocoa and comfort.  Coffee beans, in fact, are a good source or palate cleansing.  For example, if you are taking a sniff of multiple scents of perfumes and candles and such, taking a whiff of the coffee beans will clear your nose and allow you to maintain sensitivity.

And the taste varies widely depending on the lightness or darkness of the blend, what type of bean or beans are used, fresh ground versus instant, regular versus espresso.  But coffee has such a unique texture, it can roll across the tongue and awaken the taste buds to other accents and flavors, and is an excellent carrier for cream and sugar, chocolate, caramel, mint, berries – you name it.  Coffee can be readily blended with any number of other flavors.

So that’s just the tip of the iceberg for taste and smell.  Touch?  When the caffeine of a good cup of coffee hits the blood stream, you are more awake, your head is clearer, and you get an energy boost.  On a cold winter day a hot cup of java will warm you body and soul, while on a hot summer day a coffee ice cream will cool you down and refresh you.  The beans themselves are crisp to the touch, solid but fragile, and the ground coffee can be an excellent ingredient for an exfoliant scrub.

coffee beans

Sound?  The dripping of the coffee into the pot builds your anticipation for the excellent beverage you are preparing to drink.  The grinding of the beans provides a satisfying sensation as you anticipate preparation of your brew.  Also, if you need to release some pent-up frustration, you can imagine its source being finely powdered amongst the beans.  Lastly – there is that satisfied sigh a coffee connoisseur makes as they taste the fruits of their or their barrista’s labor.

Sight?  People are going to great trouble at coffee houses around the world making amazing decorations in foam atop coffee drinks.  But beyond such flights of fancy, there is something comforting in the dark brown liquid in your mug, and all the colors it takes as you add creamer or milk or even water to it.  As you gaze into your cup you might see yourself and your surroundings reflected back at you.  And seeing that full pot of coffee when you get to work you know that it is there for you, waiting to be savored and enjoyed.

As to the sixth senses – coffee can induce a sense of wellness and heightened awareness through all the other senses, making us more receptive to our intuition and energies.  I cannot think of any other beverage (save tea, perhaps) that has this kind of power, this depth of character, this ability to awaken, relax, inspire, warm or cool.


Yes, there is something to be said for beer, wine, scotch and many other beverages – and I am a fan of all of these, too.  But society accepts that coffee can be consumed at any time of the day or night (unlike these alcoholic beverages – and I am sure that argument can be made, but we aren’t all college students), and it can be appreciated on every level I can think of.

Perhaps you disagree with me.  Perhaps, you might think I have an addiction to this beverage, and rather biased as such.  But I can still make the argument that coffee truly is a wonder of our wondrous world!

How do you take yours?



Me 3-25-13 smallerI am MJ Blehart, coffee-loving composer of “Wednesday’s Wondrous World”.  Every week I share a wonder of this amazing world, and I hope you will enjoy the journey with me!

Check out my blog, The Ramblings of a Titanium Don, for more of my work.

Also now available, Pathwalking: A 21st Century Philosophy in Book and Kindle form!

Wednesday’s Wondrous World: Fog

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Through the mist I could barely make out the figure approaching me.  The unusual fog obscured my sight, and I could not tell if I was seeing friend or foe.

Fog has been used as a plot device in countless stories.  Its ability to totally hide in plain sight everything it touches is a true source of wonder.

Scientifically we know that fog is naught but droplets of water vapor or ice crystals suspended in the air in precisely the same manner as a cloud, but right down onto the earth’s surface.  It has varying degrees of thickness or density, sometimes creating what some refer to as mist, other times it is “as thick as pea soup.”


But the effect of fog is rather remarkable.  It can create a halo around a normally clear light source.  It adds a depth to woodlands that makes a small grove of trees appear to be a vast forest.  It inspires a sense of dread at what may emerge from its depths, or anticipation of something amazing stepping through its clouded lens.

Some places find fog a common condition.  There are places in the world where fog is a constant companion, while elsewhere it is hardly ever seen.  Songs and stories have been written about misty mornings and London fogs.

I woke up this morning and saw how the fog obscured the trees just across the parking lot.  It inspired me to consider how amazing this weather condition truly is.  And then I recalled several years ago a sunrise visit to the Grand Canyon.  It was amazing both for the sun peaking atop those mighty rocks, yet also for the mist rolling across its surfaces like smoke across a rooftop from a chimney.


There is something about fog that either creates a sense of cleansing, or a sense of utter foulness.  Of course, there is its man-mad cousin, smog.  Dust particles burned by mankind trapped in the atmosphere and hovering above the surface in a similar manner to fog, but smog is far more sinister and deeply unpleasant to breathe.

Some mystics will tell you that fairies and angels, spirits and wood nymphs alight in fog.  People have seen visions inside the low-hanging cloud throughout history.  Fog has even been used to hide the movement of armies to surprised and overwhelm their opposition.

Fog can also be a nuisance and a hazard.  Planes landing in fog have to rely on their instruments, and drivers have to take extra precautions on the road.


For me, a favorite driving condition has always been at night, in a foggy rain.  There is nothing like cruising down the road, seeing only a short ways before me, immersed in fog.  It’s like I am in a whole other world, filled with unknown wonders and tremendous mysteries waiting to be discovered.

The next foggy day you find yourself in, take a look at this inspirational natural wonder, and see if for all its mystic properties.



Me 3-25-13 smallerI am MJ Blehart, your familiar, friendly, fickle “Wednesday’s Wondrous World” author.  Every week I share a wonder of this amazing world, and I hope you will enjoy the journey with me!

Check out my blog, The Ramblings of a Titanium Don, for more of my work.

Also now available, Pathwalking: A 21st Century Philosophy in Book and Kindle form!

Wednesday’s Wondrous World: Imagination

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“Imagination rules the world.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

Imagination has been the gateway to our own self-directed evolution, creativity, inventions, and the advent of the information age.

It begins when we are children.  We start reading and learning and seeing the world around us, but we are exposed to a broader world at the same time.  Our minds are so open to new ideas, new ways, new perspectives, it is during this time that we begin to develop the power of imagination.


This power will lead us to varied and unique places.  Some of us use our imagination to create worlds, alternate realities, art and other fictions.  We become writers, painters, illustrators, television and film creators.

Some people see needs in this world in a wholly new, never-before-imagined way, and they set about creating it.  They use their imagination to create cures for disease, rockets to Mars, incredible skyscrapers and other wonders.  They become doctors, scientists, engineers, inventors, architects, landscapers and more.  They use their imagination to expand our world in ways never done before.

Just a hundred years ago cars were still few and far between.  Telephones only worked via miles and miles of wiring.  Airplanes could not fly across the ocean at regularly scheduled intervals.  Computers were naught but ideas in fantasy stories.  We could not instantly contact someone on the other side of the world.


Every single innovation over the past century came about via imagination.  Someone imagined this notion, and then believed they could make it manifest.  And in time…they have.

Imagination is more important than knowledge.”  – Albert Einstein

While it is unknown if other animals on this planet imagine, certainly none have been endowed as we have with the ability to not only imagine it, but to create it.  Beyond simple things like shelter and hunting and gathering, we can do anything we set our mind to doing.

Two hundred years ago, the idea of man-made satellites orbiting our planet was utterly unthinkable.  The notion might have existed only in pure fantasy, but nowhere in reality.  And yet, here we are, connected across our globe by an immense network above us.


If necessity is the mother in invention, then imagination is its grandmother.  Because without the ability to imagine it, we could not invent it.

Nothing is impossible. Not if you can imagine it. That’s what being is a scientist is all about.”  – Hubert Farnsworth, Futurama.  Maybe this is from a cartoon, but the sentiment is NOT mistaken.  Science takes imagination and works to make it part of our reality.

Society has become so focused on trivial matters, we neglect the things that develop our imagination.  Schools take away funds for the arts in favor of mathematics, sports, standardized tests and hard-data science without wonder.  Even movies are less and less original, and more “re-imagined” notions of past story ideas.

Creativity is kept in check in favor of blending everyone together.  But one of the most incredible wonders of our world is our ability to imagine, and from there, to create.

We need to encourage our children to explore their imagination.  We need to develop their minds to think critically, to see the world for all its wondrous possibility.  And of equal or greater importance, we cannot as adults let our imagination die.


We have to allow ourselves to imagine, to dream.  We have to work to make the world how we want it to be, and not get caught up in the mundane trappings.  Imagination and creativity go hand in hand.

Everyone imagines.  We need to remember that, and rather than stamp it out or ignore its importance, focus on using our imagination to make our personal corners of the world a better place.

It starts small.  But using imagination can go a very, very long ways.

“Happiness is not an ideal of reason, but of imagination.” – Immanuel Kant


Me 3-25-13 smallerI am MJ Blehart, your imagination, ingenious, interesting impresario of “Wednesday’s Wondrous World”.  Every week I share a wonder of this amazing world, and I hope you will enjoy the journey with me!

Check out my blog, The Ramblings of a Titanium Don, for more of my work.

Also now available, Pathwalking: A 21st Century Philosophy in Book and Kindle form!