What You’re Seeking Can Only Be Found in God

It’s time to stop looking in all the wrong places.

I remember the exact moment I realized money wasn’t making me happy.

It was a year ago. I was working a job I had started out loving, but as the months passed and the stress piled I fell out of love with it. Still, I stayed because the pay was good and I was afraid of being broke.

I was walking to work one morning when I got a notification on my phone that my month’s salary had been deposited in my account. With the addition of that particular deposit, I had more money than I had ever had at any point in my life.

And I thought: But I’m miserable. I have all this money but I’m miserable. Is this all there is to it?

I quit a couple of weeks later.

Continue reading “What You’re Seeking Can Only Be Found in God”

Write, For These Words Are True

I’m bringing this blog back to life.

At the same time, I’m changing it from what it once was.

For a blog I created to house my heart’s stories, this blog has been very impersonal. I’ve never really put anything here that gives any insight into who I am. Or, alternatively, who I’m becoming.

That’s going to change.

My life took an interesting turn recently. The person I am now is drastically different from who I was a year ago. My priorities are different. My passions are different. My faith is different—and that’s what this place is going to be about. Faith.

I am turning this site into a Christian blog.

Continue reading “Write, For These Words Are True”

The Old Man with The Third Hand



The old man with the third hand sat on the beach and watched the waves wash over the sand.

Hi guys.

That up there is the opening line of a story I recently did for the good people at The Manchester Review. For obvious reasons (*cough* they paid me not to) I can’t post the whole story on this site, but you can read it by clicking on that link up there.

This is a story I love and thoroughly enjoyed writing, and I’m glad it’s finally out there. I hope you’ll read it and, if you like it, please share it with someone. (If you don’t, well, you can always send me anonymous hate in the comments. Go to town. It’s the internet; nobody will ever catch you.)

Once again, here’s the link.


Until later,



The Traveller

I travelled the world and saw its wonders:

I walked the edge of the earth and looked down the Great Abyss,

Gaping, proud, endless, whispering words of comfort and invite, calling passers-by to stop, to come closer to the edge, to gaze therein.

But I did not stop to look.

I walked among the pillars of the sky, and I saw the giants who carved them, cared for them, kept the heavens from falling.

I felt their loneliness and their sorrow, and how all they wanted was someone to talk to.

But I did not stop to say hello.

I saw sacred inscriptions on the Pillars, Old words of High Magic that held ancient wisdom long lost to man.

But I did not stop to read them.

I journeyed the seas in infinite wonder, among the kraken and the Sea Witch which rode him, among the many souls of the restless dead which are claimed by the sea for all eternity;

And when my ship sank I walked the undersea halls with the Lord of the Sea.

I saw his treasures, more gold and silver than any man could count;

But I passed them by, and did not take any.

I walked the glass beaches and climbed the Black Mountains

And saw the Brothers at the top of the world, the great Worms that see all:

The Fire Dragon, whose breath causes summer, and the Ice Dragon, who slept because his season was not come yet,

And here I did say hello, because I did not want to be rude, not to a dragon;

But I did not stay for long.

I rode upon the backs of the Great Eagles

And did not once look down;

I walked the desert trail,

And saw it vanish behind me;

I faced the Sphinx;

I answered her riddles.

I sailed the wind; I rode the storms

I fought a Cyclops,

And outwitted the Serpent King,

And chased the moon across the sky,

And ran with the Night Hounds

And I traveled the world,

To come home.

To you.

But you were not there.

Not anymore.

All there was

Was a note

That said

You’d grown tired of waiting,

And you’d left.

The Sun, The Garden, The Wind.

The thing you notice first—if you care to notice at all, and not many do anymore—is the sun. You do not notice it because the day is hot, and you do not notice it by the absence of its effect, because the day is not cold either. No, you feel the sun on your brow, but the thing you notice is that although it is there the sun doesn’t seem to be shining with all its might. It is almost like he—if the sun can be called a he—didn’t wake up fully, almost like he spent too long shining somewhere—on a couple who would be parted forever once night fell, perhaps, and wished with all their hearts that the day might tarry a little longer—when he was supposed to be asleep, and showed up for work today only half awake.

The sun is the thing you notice first, if you care to notice anything at all.

There is a garden in front of you. It is wild and overgrown and bare in patches where the cold earth does not suffer life to take root. Perhaps the garden was tended for once; perhaps someone still comes by and waters it from time to time. Then again perhaps it has always been so: wild and resilient, teeming with life in some places and completely barren in others, just like our world itself.

Green leaves are interspersed with wilting brown. Some leaves carry both, hosting both life and death at once. It is a difficult ground, the garden, and it makes you admire the plants that have survived here in spite of everything. Makes you admire them right up to the point when you cut everything down to make way for a nice little rose garden that you’ll have to water every day, home to flowers that will bloom at dawn and perish by sunset.

A wind blows gently against your cheek, soothing and cool. It makes you wonder for a second where the wind comes from and where it is going, but it also makes you stop wondering, content to sit here and enjoy the breeze. If someone asked you, you would say it was quiet out here. But it’s not. To hear, you would have to stop moving, stop fidgeting, stop thinking, only listen.

And the first thing you would hear—if you cared to hear at all, and not many do anymore—is the voice of the wind, whispering secrets carried from far and wide into your ear as it went by, carrying secrets from here, too, to the unnamed corners of the world, carrying them to They That Were And Ever Will Be.

The wind is how the gods keep track of all that happens on Earth.

But you do not know this. All you know is that it feels good to sit here in the sun, beside the garden, here with the wind. All you know is that beyond the sound of the wind in your ears is the sound of a carpenter hammering on a block of wood; the chirp of a bird that is here now and will be gone when you look up; the creaking of the Earth as it spins around you; your own heartbeat.

Grandfather’s Story

“Papa, tell us a story.”

Grandfather looked up from the book he was reading. My sister and I stood in front of him, flashing what we hoped were our most winning smiles. I was eight and Ama was six, and we were bored out of our minds.

Grandfather looked at us for a long time, and then he nodded. “Fine, children. I shall tell you a story.”

“Yaay!” Ama said, sitting down by Grandfather’s feet and looking up into his face. I sat down on the floor too, a little distance away from Ama.

“Will you tell us about Ananse and his family?” I asked.

“No,” said Grandfather.

“What about King Arthur?”

“No. I will tell you a new story, children. I will tell you a story that my grandmother told me, and her grandmother told her, and which one day you will tell your grandchildren in turn. I will tell you the story of the river that fell in love.”

“Don’t be silly, Papa,” Ama said. “Rivers can’t fall in love.”

In any other house she probably would have gotten into a lot of trouble for those first three words, but Grandfather simply smiled and said, “This one did.”

“How is that possible?” I asked.

“You’ll see.”

“Was it a big river?”

“Yes, Ama, it was.”

Ama, who, being only six years old, had a hard time keeping quiet, said “A really really big river? This big?” She spread her arms as wide as they could go.

Grandfather threw his head back and laughed. “Quite a bit bigger than that, my child.

“Now will you let me tell the story?”

We both nodded, and he said:


“Once upon a time,” and stopped.

Grandfather cleared his ancient throat. “Once upon a time.”

“Time, time,” said my sister and me together, finally catching on.

Grandfather smiled.


“Once upon a time there was a river that ran by a large village.

“It was the first village in this land, for it was the village of our ancestors, the village of the first of our people.

“The people of the village worshipped the Spirit of the river. They prayed and gave offerings to him and in turn the river provided them with fish for food and water to drink, as well as the biggest swimming pool you ever saw.”


We giggled.

He continued.


“Nobody could remember exactly when the river became their god, nor could they remember a time when it was not so. Years passed, generations passed. Kings came and went in the village, but the river stayed eternal, and all was well with the people.

“And occasionally the Spirit of the river would take the form of a man and walk among the people, unnoticed, and he would listen to their problems and commune with them, though they never knew it. He did not do this often, perhaps only once in a few decades. Gods do not lightly mingle in the affairs of men.

“One day the Spirit of the river took the form of a man and went walking in the forest. And he came upon a young woman bathing naked in a pool, and his heart was stolen away, for she was the most beautiful woman he had ever laid eyes on, and from the moment he laid eyes on her the Spirit of the river was lost.

“She did not see him; he hid himself in the trees and watched until she was done and had gone back into the village. The Spirit made himself invisible – most gods can do that – and followed her. The woman came to the palace and went inside, and the Spirit knew who she was: daughter of the King and Queen of the village, Princess of the land.

“And the Spirit returned to his throne at the bottom of the river, and sorrow seized his heart. Because even though he loved the princess, she was human, and it is not given to the gods to love the daughters of men.”


“So what did he do?” I asked.

“What did he do, Papa?” asked Ama.


“I’m getting to that, children, I’m getting to that.

“So now the Spirit of the river walked in the village more often, always hoping to catch a glimpse of the princess. The more he saw her the more he loved her, and the more he despaired. Especially since she didn’t know who he was; to her he was just another man from the village. And the Spirit dared not reveal himself to her, or she might be afraid, and then she would truly be lost to him.

“A year passed like this. The princess was nearing the age where she would need to take a husband. The Spirit did not want this to happen.

“And so the Spirit of the river sought advice. He left his watery throne and went out into the world, chasing the wind. He chased for a long time, for the Spirit of the wind is hard to catch.

“When the Spirit of the river finally caught up with the wind, he went on his knees and bowed before it, because the wind god is one of the oldest and most powerful children of, Mother Earth.

“And the river god said: ‘Oh Mighty Wind, I have sought you for many moons with diligence, and now I humbly seek your counsel.’

“The Spirit of the wind, The Four Winds who is One, replied and said unto him: ‘Speak, young one.’

“And the river god spoke, and told his problems to the wind, saying: ‘You have travelled the world many times since the dawn of Time, and you know the ways of men better than I. Tell me how I might win the princess for my own.’

“And so the wind told him.”


“What did the wind say to him?”


“You’ll see.

“The Spirit of the river returned to the village. He took the form of a man for the last time, and crept up on the princess when she was bathing alone in the forest. And there he struck her down, and stole her life and hid it, and thus the princess died.”



“He killed her?”


“He killed her and left her body for the people of the village to find. And when they did there was great mourning in the village that went on for many days, because the princess was well loved by everyone.

“One day the King and Queen of the village came to the river, just as the Wind had foretold. They brought the body of their only daughter with them. They came alone, in the early hours of dawn.

“They knelt by the banks of the river and offered the Spirit everything they had in exchange for their daughter’s life. The Spirit of the river, ever generous, told them that he would bring their daughter back to life again, but only on one condition:

“That she be dedicated to him for the rest of her life.

“She would stay by the river, and she would serve him all the days of her life, and she would never marry another man.

“And the King and Queen agreed. Anything, they said, as long as their daughter would live again.

“And the Spirit of the river gave the princess her life, and she opened her eyes and drew breath, and became alive once more.

“The village rejoiced. The princess was eternally grateful to the river (for she did not know that he was the one who killed her in the first place). The villagers made a hut by the banks of the river, and there the princess stayed. And in the nights the Spirit would appear to her, though never in the form of a man, and talk to her, and over time the princess became quite fond of him.

“And time passed.

“But the princess was not happy.”


“But you just said…”

“I said she grew fond of the Spirit, and she did. She liked him, but she was not happy.”

“Why?” Ama asked.


“Well,” said Grandfather, “She missed the company of other people. She missed the chatter of the young women, and she longed for the warmth of a man. She would occasionally visit the village and watch the little children playing. Deep in her heart she wanted children of her own. A family. You cannot start a family with a river, you know.

“One day, when the Spirit of the river arose from the depths, the princess was gone.

“The river was furious, thinking that the villagers had snuck in the night and stolen her away. He overflowed his banks. He destroyed the crops the villagers had planted. He poisoned their wells and drowned their livestock. And the people of the village were afraid that he would kill them all.

“And he would have, too, but in the dead of night the princess came back to him.

“She begged his forgiveness, begged him to spare the village. She told him that she was run away of her own choosing.

“And the river was angry, but he loved her and was glad that she had returned. So glad, in fact, that when the princess knelt down and asked him to grant her a wish, he told her to ask him anything.

“And so the princess asked for permission to leave his side and start a family with another. With a man.

“Now upon hearing this, the Spirit of the river was deeply saddened. It broke his heart to look into her eyes and know that she was unhappy with him. It broke his heart that he couldn’t keep the one he loved happy. It broke his heart that he was not enough for her. It broke his heart that she desired another.

“But he had given her his word, and he could not take it back.”


Here Grandfather paused, and said quietly, “And perhaps even an immortal being like a river Spirit could come to learn that sometimes when you love someone the best thing to do is to let them go.”

My sister and I, for once, were quiet.


“So the girl went to the village. She met a young man, fell in love with him. They made plans to leave the village and the river and start a life on their own.”


“Where did they go?”


Grandfather smiled. “Far away. And every day that she was gone the Spirit of the river mourned.

“The princess settled in a faraway land with her husband. There she bore him many children. There they raised a family. There they grew old together. There she finally came to know happiness. But she missed the river, and thought of him often.

“And then one day she fell sick, and she knew she was going to die.”




“Death comes to everyone eventually, child. One day it will come for me too. We just have to accept that. Besides, she was very old.

“And when the hour was come and she was ready to go, she asked one final thing of her husband:

“She asked that, when she died, her body be returned to her home village and laid in the waters of the river, that she may know his embrace one final time. Her husband gave his word that he would do so.

“And so, closing her eyes peacefully, the princess died.

“The morning after her death, her husband wrapped her up in her favorite cloth, packed supplies, and set out on his journey.

“The journey took him many days and many nights, and he was no longer a young man. He was exhausted by the time he stumbled to the banks of the river, starved and near death himself. But it did not stop him. He waded in and gently lowered his wife’s body under the surface of the water.

“And the river water took her body from him, and she sank out of sight. Then the Spirit of the river came out of the depths and spoke to him, saying:

“‘In Life she was yours; in Death she belongs to me, and neither of us is any worse off for it.’

“When he heard these words the husband turned and left, and never returned to the village or the river.

“And the next time the villagers visited the river and gazed into its depths, they saw the spirit of the princess and the Spirit of the river dancing joyously within.

“And there they have remained, dancing, ever since.”


Here Grandfather stopped, and we knew the story was ended.

“Now off to bed with you, children. It is late.”




There is another version of this story.

That one is told among the gods and the spirits, the children of Father Time and Mother Earth, in the language that existed before the world was made and will exist long after the world has passed away. And in that version of the story perhaps things happened differently.

But then we may never know, for that is a tale of the gods, and it is not told to men.








The Forgotten.

It is the year of our Lord 2135, and the world is breaking.

If you are reading this, I may or may not be dead. That is of no matter. What matters is that this story be told, and not be forgotten.

What matters is that you remember.

The world has changed, and I feel that I am largely to blame. Even as I write this I only have to look out my window to see them walking around, blissfully unaware, with that look in their eyes. That blank, emptily content look that shows that particular person has made a recent trip to The Memory Bank. There are more of them every day; the rich and the poor, the tall and the short, the young and the old.

It is enough to drive a man to despair.

The Memory Bank was first inaugurated in 2100. It was the culmination of my life’s work. Hailed worldwide as the Bank of the future; a life-changing establishment. The media called it “The 22nd Century Bank”.

I suppose they were right in all these things, for my Bank could do something that no other human establishment in history could:

The extraction and storage of human memories.

That was its purpose, the goal I had spent my entire adult life perfecting.

My father immigrated to America from Serbia in 2049. I was born in 2061. My mother died bringing me into this world.

My father was all I had.

Then Alzheimer’s took him from me.

As I watched the man I called Papa unravel before my eyes, to the point where he no longer recognized me as his son, my life’s dream took shape.

I created The Memory Bank for Alzheimer’s patients like my Papa. It was created so that patients of that terrible disease could come and keep their precious memories in a safe place when the vault that was their mind began to fail them. They could then come back and re-live those memories. If they so chose.

And they came.

For the first few years this is all my Bank did. We cheated the disease that sought to take our past away from us.

But then the War began, and everything changed.

In the year 2113 the United States of Africa, led by General Mutombo, rose up in revolt. The Africans proclaimed that they would no longer live in the shadow of the Rest of The World, no longer provide their precious natural resources to other Nations while its children wallowed in poverty. The Africans knew full well that we could not simply nuke them into submission, for by so doing we would destroy the very resources we were trying to recover.

There was only one thing to do. So we sent in soldiers to fight.

But the war dragged on, and the soldiers who did return home were scarred for life. The horrors they had seen were tearing them apart from the inside. For as long as those memories remained, they could not adapt to the routine of normal life.

And so they chose to forget.

The Government funded the establishment of Memory Banks all over the world (except Africa). The broken soldiers came, and left their dark memories behind.

From there, it was a small step to making The Memory Bank open to the general public. From a place of sanctum for victims of Alzheimer’s, the Memory Bank became a place where anybody – anybody! – could come and leave their worries behind.

And in this way, my Bank has harmed the World more than it has helped save it.

For you see, the People choose to forget.

The world is breaking, and the People choose to forget. Overpopulation and global warming are everywhere. Crime is at an all-time high but few cases are ever actually reported, because the People choose to forget. Children are dying in the wastelands of Africa but the War drags on, because the People choose to forget.

We are no longer facing our demons, because the People choose to forget.

Nobody ever comes back for their memories anymore, because they don’t want to remember. My Bank has become a place for people to avoid their problems, problems that are never actually fixed.

The world breaks, and the People choose to forget.

I have created a monster.

I myself have only ever used the Memory Bank once. I was drunk and depressed one day, as I mostly was in those days. I drove too fast. There was an accident…

…a little girl died, I killed her…

I knew her name once, the girl I hit that day. But I could not live with the guilt. So I erased her from my memory, but no matter how hard I try I cannot completely forget her face. At the same time I cannot atone for my sin, for I cannot really remember her either. The 22nd Century Bank saw to that.

Is this what I have done to the world?

I have created a monster; only I can destroy it.

My name is Doctor Randy Djokovic. If you are reading this, I may or may not be dead. It is of no matter.

I have on my desk twenty plasma grenades. I intend to set them off in the main Storage Room of The Memory Bank headquarters. The resulting explosion should sufficiently damage the storage banks, rendering the Headquarters useless. Without it, all the branches in the world will in time fail as well.

The Memory Bank will be no more. Only then can humankind begin to heal. Only then can we face our demons head on and maybe, just maybe, fix the world.

It is the only one we have.

I have asked for nothing but your indulgence, but now I ask one more thing of you. You may hate me, curse me, vilify me, support me, empathize with me, but do not forget me.

Do not forget.

Above all, remember. You must remember…




Randy Djokovic,

1st April, 2135.