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Michael A Koontz
Author & Photography. Health & fitness, science and sustainability advocate | a Norse View.
Author & Photography. Health & fitness, science and sustainability advocate | a Norse View.

Michael's posts

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The Gateway Earth Chaebol. A 2028AD stand alone sci-fi short story.
'The Musk colony' as it was informally called could right now be thought of as a real but still very challenged success simply because the fleet had actually managed to reach their destination and somewhat to his own surprise, the entire fleet was still operational, bruised but functional.

And considering how space travel and logistics had been prone to so many errors in the decades leading up to their unparalleled launch, the fact that they were all here, it was nothing but amazing. Taken for granted by the crew, by now at least, but still nothing but amazing.

And while it was true, that they still had not actually put any human feet on the ground. Or even landed a single ship or UAV.

We had reached our destination.

And we had deployed the organic magnetic shield that now wrapped around the planet like a thin layer, and it lived, it was operational and it was holding up and over time, a natural atmosphere had taken hold and biologically it was rapidly evolving closer to the point where we would finally be able to breathe the air without having to shield ourselves behind our domes and suits just to survive.

So it was a success in so many incredible ways. Despite the fact that they were still locked up in space, shielded from the sun and space inside this floating marvel of steel and glass. But being out here, above the planet, seeing the atmosphere take hold, it was a good thing, it was a life saver because life on the ship had started to wear heavily on the small fleet of ships that now orbited this planet.

But soon we would finally be able to touch down, to at last go ahead and unload our cargo, set camp and walk outside and once again get accustomed to breathing real air, instead of this recycled thing we kept calling home. To think that I would soon experience natural sunlight against the skin yet again. My fucking god, that will be so good. Pure bliss awaited my fucking god it really was about to happen.

Adrian smiled at the thought of unloading their indoor gardens, and the simple act of being able to transplant half of the annual crops outside in the soil.

For some strange reason, the mere thought of growing something as ordinary and quite dull as potatoes and their gene-edited strawberries on a completely new planet. To finally see organic GMO earth life take hold and grow in soil from a virgin ecosystem completely untouched by human hands and feet made him feel pretty giddy and beaming with hope. Yeah, it was a bit of a drained hope, a muted jolt of energy. But nonetheless, it was pure hope and pure exhilarating joy.

It was a level of excitement like he had not felt since the day they left Earth.

And behind the exhaustion, the stress and dull relentless monotony and demands that had drained him dry he had in parts been transported back through time to his early childhood Christmas mornings.

Those long forgotten years and exhilarating moment when he would open his eyes, already knowing what day it was, tossing the blanket to the side, and putting his feet down on the cold floorboards as he rushed through the still silent house, down the open stairs with the glass rail, and into the living room with the natural conifer that they kept growing for real all year round in the big and open living room and all the presents that lay waiting for him and the others, pure life joy, gift wrapped and all in front of the big open fireplace.


That kind of excitement was rising in him and he could see it in the faces of the entire crew too. There was a new layer of shine and vibrancy to the voices and expression of every single one of the brave and capable people that made up his crew and passengers.

Yes, they were tired, everyone of them, and they all knew that they had started to cut things very short, they all felt it, and they all looked the part, but for every day they came closer to that enigmatic moment that was touchdown there was a new edge inside of them that grew stronger and more visibly filled their voices and eyes, the shine on their skin and hair beamed just a little bit extra with life and exhilarating anticipation.

Their voices and entire movement came back to life with renewed vigor and vibrant energy.

Just a few more days.
Just a few more days, he kept repeating that phrase inside of his own mind, it was in fact, by now stuck on endless repeat inside his own mind. Audible to no one else but himself and his ai. And he could not stop repeating it.

That phrase consumed him as it bounced around his insides.

Just a few more days and they would land this bird, discard the drones and start printing their very first base home and this colonization thing would finally be under way in a real way, in a significant and life changing way.

Long delayed, and much needed.
But now here we are he thought, and today he did not spare a single thought in his mind on life back on Earth.

He did not wonder about their abandoned garden anymore.
No thoughts on how old Erdoğan had kept clinging on to power that was not his to have while the ocean and warmth and turmoil continually built higher around the world.

No thought on the North Korean crisis or the whole sordid Trump thing that had still been unraveling as endless ripples as their ship left the docking station just outside of Earths atmosphere for the last time ever.

He did not think about the pollution or the jobless, the rising water or the greedy wars.
No, he did not contemplate about the old world at all.

In his mind, he did not obsess about that last far away earthly marble for the billionth time as it continually grew smaller and smaller until his eyes could not make it out to be Earth anymore.

No, not today, today his eyes and mind were focused on this new home, this unexplored world that lay waiting for them, that was the thing that consumed him as he looked down at the red planet that floated far beneath their ships and feet.

It´s hue of thin blue and white kept fleetingly changing in the turning light as they all traversed through space locked together in orbit around that burning star not far away.

Looking down he thought about how remarkable it all was, a far away planet that had lost its own atmosphere hundreds of millions of year ago, or so his annoying as fuck science chief had told him, and now, there it was, once again with a natural atmosphere growing and breathing organically, man-made as its origin was, it was by now an actual living, thriving even, aspect of this planet's biological ecosystem. Deep beneath the growing atmosphere, he could see the gigantic dust clouds that formed in the torrent of air that tore the surface apart, a reminder that life on this planet was alive and livable, but not at all resembling life on Earth.

This was a new kind of life. A new wild harbor, and a new unexplored home.

And that thought was all that floated through his transfixed mind and eye this day.

The doors opened behind him and he could feel the presence of the man that entered the room, long before he took to words.

Before the man had time to speak, he let out a breath of air and said.

We are running low, the man replied.
And the cryo?

It´s all good, nothing to report with no new incidents the last 72 hours.

The atmosphere should be livable in 8 more weeks. So cut the rations as hard as is possible, and seal the floor. We will just have to make do.

Crunch the full data set once more overnight and give me a personal report tomorrow, I seriously just can not stand that fucking science talk of Dr Richardson right now, one more of his word salad and 'I got a stick up my ass' science sentences of his and I swear my head will explode and pop right off, so give me your version once you have it all, first thing tomorrow. OK?.

I hear you, the man chuckled.
So, 8 more weeks?.

The silence fell in the room as they both found themselves looking down towards the same planetary view beneath them.

They both knew what that meant, they had seen the data, over and over and over again, and it never changed. It was the situation that kept ticking down, not the day and date when the atmosphere would be safe and ready.

8 more weeks, fuck me, they both thought the very same thing, standing in this silent room with an alien world far beneath their feet, there was no real use for words. It was what it was. And they both knew it as well as the other.

He looked at the man beside him. The silence had been busy choking the lights out in the room for more than half an hour by now, but they were sitting down now.

And between them, a real handmade chess board in marble held both their attention during a silent game of minds.

The other man moved a rock behind a pair of pawns.

The entire board and all its pieces were as much a work of handmade art as it was a game of war and intelligence. And the handmade pieces and board caught the light of the outside world as it kept moving and breathing outside their window.

Reflecting the pulse of the stars and living planet outside in the black and white marble that was as polished as a blank mirror.

He frowned and started laughing, 'you know, I fucking hate chess!'.
The other man leaned back in his chair as he stretched his arms straight out and with a smile he confessed to fucking hating chess too, my god how he hated this game and the strange fucking way it made their entire life on this god forsaken fleet feel like they were all trapped in a cursed time loop.

'It´s a fucking hallway of repetition playing you'. the man said.

They both started to laugh as the red planet kept turning outside their window.

He moved the knight and said nothing more.
But for the first time this day he did think about life on Earth, he thought about her profile, her naked, sculpted shoulders and the curvature of her collar bones.

He thought about her long feminine hair, her sculpted arms and back, her full breasts and the way she looked dressed in nothing but that white corset.

As always, the memories of her pantiless and shaved privates, dressed in nothing but that white corset turned him on unlike anything else in life, she gave him purpose. Joy, life, and energy.

Those memories and the profound reality of the emotional and physical response in body and mind was his anchor with earth and the life they had left behind.

She was his bridge into the unknown future. And all the rest, that was left behind, all those other things he had no more room for that in his mind, not today, not now.

He had a game of chess to win, a world to colonize and he had to make it safe and turn it into a second livable home, and she was every reason needed, every lesson learned, every hope and memory.

Curious for more 2028AD stories?
Here is another stand alone short from my shared book universe, this one is called The common cyborg and this scene takes place down on Earth.

the website version of this short story if you prefer a cleaner high resolution reading experience

music of the day
Pillars of the sky by Netherbirds

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The ancient battle of fun and health, and serious life-saving skills
Martial arts is as old as sex. Yes, people talk about bedtime skills as the ancient one. But really, people have been making out as long as we have been painting caves and bashing heads, collecting berries and fought for fun. So they are all as old as the other, steeped in the soil of every prequel step towards becoming homo sapiens, from when we lived in the shape of any of the countless of ape species that came first in the hominid lineage, to the countless of early human species.

Martial arts is as old as the ancient toddler. Long before it called itself a human being.

We have always known to play for fun, because like every other animal species we knew that learning to fight and being physical as children were incredibly healthy for our longevity and we also knew that it was a vital skill to learn how to survive when the going got tough.

And it always gets tough at some point in life.

One reason why today's world is plagued with obesity is that adults feed children nothing but crap as if the adults are still mental kids themselves incapable of seeing the harm they cause. But the other and equally big reason are that adults have forgotten how vital it is to encourage and promote and allow themselves and each other and every kid to grow up fighting for fun.

Playing in physical tests that might bruise you and bloody your nose up promotes better health and more evolved young and old.

Kushti wrestlers, however, they still get it.
Now man up adults of both genders and bloody your nose, I promise that doing so will provide both better health and better, more capable bodies and more joyous hearts :)

Also do not forget to check out the website article and photos by +Siddhartha Joshi

music of the day
Flesh coffin by Lorna Shore

Gym Diaries. Day 8 874
Morning walk, chest and abs, followed by 5 minutes of HIIT MMA, and low impact cardio in the evening.

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Why death metal speaks to my soul with the richness of the subtle and earthly beauty of the Scandinavian landscapes.

Life is this endless canvas of soft and hard, varied in the raw and softly spoken whispers, and inside of that endless change and variation it gladly have room for differing taste in music, and my kind of metal is absolutely not for everyone :).

As such I have never been surprised that most of the same people that find something pleasingly calm or beautiful in my writing and photography usually consider it an absurd contradiction that I so happily mix it up with grinding death metal of various shades. But for me it speaks with the same voice.

You see, to me music like Noctem, which you can find represented here in this article is the hymn of life itself. It is part of that same natural palette that makes life so rich and endlessly beautiful for me.

Like the 'civilized pagan' that goes to war with the weights in the gym and the pleasant, subdued siren song of the northern realms. It calls with the same expression and it speaks to the same canvas of earthly, boundless colors and emotions.

It is a raw and vibrant voice that speaks of life's full scope with the same beautiful and visceral life force, that is so very much alive and raging free in the Nordic outdoors, yet like the flowing landscapes of our arctic home, instead of resembling kitschy hdr done wrong, it is an emotional and softly fluttering song of changing organic beauty which is steeped with all the energy, heart and emotional, almost minimalistic touch of that serene Scandinavian nature and the earthly colored landscapes I often write about and capture in my photos.

I can for obvious reasons see why the music might seem contradictory to others, but to me tho, these things walk beautifully hand in hand as the honest celebration of life that they are, as they create and form new moments together.

They make each other whole, just as how life is made up of all its beautiful pieces. Someone else recently spoke about sexual kinks, and she is, of course, 100% right, you are complete only the real way that you are, life, you, sex, nature, music, the things you like and dislike.

Speak plainly and openly, embrace it and share it without shame and regrets with your lovers.

Explore and enjoy it all. That holds true in life and nature, and the bed between naughty, kinky consensual adults, because that is the whole you.

And that is the beauty of the flowing landscape of Scandinavia, the mountains that rise up out of the fjords, the permafrost that refuses to thaw, and the swelling ocean which we perpetually rise up further out of, and in the same 10 000-year-old and counting forests, those hills and trees and ancient mountains, they also hurl themselves with a hungry smile back down to the same cold deep, they do so in search of the leviathan.

And screaming, they breach the surface and shoot back up to the moon.

It is the land of Vikings, and it sings to us in a subtle voice, raw and full of all its kinks, without a care for imaginary gods and man-made ideas that are only designed to subjugate and restrict who you can be allowed to be, it is visceral, and perfect just the way it is.

It is the ancient pagan old that is buried deep in the soil of the ever tree, where it transforms and evolve, endlessly becoming something new that cling towards the skyward stars with each sunrise and calling bird, it is the living past that makes out with the changing future, alive and vital soaring with the howl of the wolves and the naked soul.

The dancing butterflies and the smallest of flowers.

It is the ebb and sea, and the serenity of the visceral winter at its darkest point and snowy white that both eats the sun and spits it out with dancing sheets of green.

It is the muddy spring, the dull and muted pale northern tones, the white-tailed eagle and the lynx that is so shy yet fierce. It is the place where girls can be as horny and free as the men.

Metal and the Northern realms, like life always holds this dynamic range-defying and full of subtle serenity that speaks with old wisdom and relentless vigor, fully there, yet not always apparent.

Death metal is also quite often spoken of as a Scandinavian flavor, and in truth, the same poetry that is nature's solemn but raw and subtle Nordic beauty that creates each passing day in new but connected variations is very much the same natural whispers and poem that is death metal in every shape and form.

It is the threeway that is unashamed and free and honest, in all its pleasures, and it is good music that catches the setting sun as it slowly burn itself into the ground, the westward mountains and the open ocean.

And this, and much more is why death metal walks hand in hand with nature and life, my writing and photography because these things, they are all the calling of the Earth and it is the unspoken joy of life and peoples every shade.

That complete and changing whole is what speaks directly to our Viking soul because that landscape, the music, the changing seasons of the mountains and archipelago, the forests, this planet and the tunes of metal, the raw and simple truth of the world and the people, it is the wordless whispers from all the corners of this world and all these things converse in mutual and unbridled joy with our Viking soul.

The song of life and nature speaks to us, and we speak in union with it.

music of the day
The paths of the lustful abandon by noctem

buy this fine art print

As for the photo, this beautiful lakeside morning somewhere in Scandinavia did spend a few years in a previous but ultimately unfinished form, and further down this collection you can find that earlier version, but now it has found its final form in this fine art incarnation.

Changing but complete.


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a Norse summer song, pt 5

if you one day stand
resting deep inside the forest
right next to the sounds of my slowly moving creek, in
which the beaver
insists, that this, is his own
fairy tale like garden

You might, in fact, find, quite
peculiar, that at this
alone, but never meant
to be
a resting porch, that is
by now, both
old and worn, it calmly rest in peace
and solitude

beneath the skies of cloud and sun

On top this porch, in snowy winter
and sun filled springtime, a cat from tales of old
and yet to be adventures, calmly stands, and sometimes
on the old and weary

trees of yore
he weaves his own

two tales
of both
the old and newly
deep inside this forest
blue, and dampened earthly
nordic colors

from behind
his guardian eyes, the souls of old
quite peer out
realms that slumber, in joyous awe
they see
his vivid kingdom

that speaks the words
of bears and you, and night time ravens

music of the day
Whispers of the ancient gods by Noctem


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Why lifting weights should be an essential tool and choice for every single 'I wish I was petite and toned for life' girl

But this week, those are not just my words. Instead, I will give room for the g+ acquaintance +Dr. Nina Cherie Franklin. Simply because voices that complement each other is nothing but a healthy addition to every individual's life.

Never walk through life only listening to one singular voice. And when it comes down to things that are based on both scientific facts and pure mental determination, joy, and inspiration, having several sources of knowledge and inspiration makes for a better whole. And that is certainly the case with crafting an entire life of health and fitness.

Besides, this article by Nina is pretty much spot on with recent conversations I have had here in my healthier living collection with some of you in recent days :).

And as such, I will happily let my own message get amplified by the voice of health and fitness advocate Nina Cherie.

My own message is simple and clear, if you are a girl wishing for nothing but a healthier and more petite and toned body, that maintain and enhance your femininity, worry less and lift weights girl :).

And now, for Dr Nina. One short quote from her article on why girls desiring a more toned and petite feminine body should 100% include weights in their life.

And once done, head on over to her website to read the entire article, and why not also give her health and fitness collections a go, you will even find me popping in on her posts with a comment or two from time to time :).

when coupled with cardio exercise and sensible eating resistance training is the absolute best method for sculpting the perfect body. Whether you want a firmer butt or shapelier arms, resistance training is the only non-invasive, non-surgical method by which you can make your body look the way you want.

full article

Get fit collection by Nina Cherie Franklin

Stay healthy and fit people, and enjoy your weekend.

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Scream sweet tree ( dark forest )
Scream sweet tree

For out of the shadows, to the left
Of the garden triptych

Each starlit night, things not yet there
make their way
to attend to the life you almost not, dare
to dream of

They disappear and reappear
inside the skyward darkness, born like dust
one stray thought falling from the stranger's hand

not yet full
take their gestating form, one by one, and all together
they melt and bend

right next
to the stars that weave
this world from afar, the darkest void
of air, fading fast, and muted

sitting still, they soon
grow and tumble
reverse and slide, becoming slowly

from a place still out of view,
just a few
more inches
to the left of the garden

that thing, you
hesitantly ask, and beg for,
to perhaps call yours
in the drawn in silence
of nightly conversations

music of the day
Malthusian collapse by Origin

buy this fine art print


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To curse in the gym, or not.
That is the strange question :).
Right now the whimsical science of using curse words in the gym is making the rounds around the world amongst less fitness focused outlets, such as The Verge.

But seriously, there is no need to use curse words or to ever entertain the thought that certain words increase your gym performance.
What that whimsical study hints at is, however, the real science that every real & raw gym grunter and serious athlete already know perfectly well.

When you amp your own primal ‘lizard’ brain up and you go to ‘war’ with your workout. In every set or whatever workout or fitness challenge it is that you do, you 100% improve your performance because that is how we hominids are designed in body and mind.

So next gym visit or forest trail run or MMA fight.

Amp your primal beast and go to war with your workout, push your physical boundaries up an extra notch by pushing your primal mind and body into that mental state of war. Because when you go into that good old pagan state of mindful determination, your body will follow your mind beyond the expected limitations of what you can do, and the simple, recurring reward is you becoming stronger, faster and more tenacious and durable, every single time.

And that is real fitness science and with zero need for curse words. What it comes down to is you learning how to harness the full potential of body & mind working together.

The mental warfare of fitness and the potential of the civilized pagan.

This is also why some will see their fitness drive and edge diminish as they mature and become more civilized and calm in life.

As we grow older and more complete emotionally and intellectually in life, most people become not just more mature and more polished incarnations of their younger selves in life.

A lot of people also tend to 'forget' that fitness and pushing the physical limitations of your body is as much about the mental aspect as it is about the physical bit, you need to teach your mind to hit that primal beast zone in order for your body to give all of what it has to give that particular day and moment.

The saying is, you become what you eat. And that is true.
But it is also true that you become the way you train. And as a result of that, as people ease off on powering through and instead of giving 100% settle for an 'ah well, I gave it a 70% effort today' the wavering mind will over time result in a wavering fitness level.

So learn to work your mind each workout as much as your body, transforming yourself into a civilized pagan.

Be a civilized zen pond of wonders outside of the fitness challenge, and flick the switch and unleash that primal pagan whenever you hit the weights or the forest trail, the MMA cage or the ice hockey game, the morning lake swim or the yoga class.

Transform your fitness thing into a mental colosseum where the only way to conquer the challenge is to empty 100% of everything your body and mind has to give that day. Transforming the goal from easing through things as easy as possible to pouring it all out on the floor.

When you can learn to harness your mind to push every cell, every ounce of strength and determination, and to use up every gram of atp and muscle glycogen and to completely disregard the lactate buildup and just keep going, that is when you will truly tap into the full potential of your own body and as long as you feed it proper recovery and food you will reap endless amounts of benefits in health and fitness.

And that starts inside of your mind because like your muscles and heart, you have to train your mind to become that tool. The solution is not cheap words, the solution is you mastering that pagan switch and going at it every single workout.

So next workout, go to war with your fitness challenge and cement the long term truth that the only adversary of progress and fitness is more than anything you not giving 100% of all that you had that day. Most of the time it is the mind that fails the body even before you start training and not the other way around.

But if you instead learn to harness the potential of your own mind and body, and if you apply that to every single workout and fitness challenge the reward will 100% come out as improved health and fitness, and mental determination over time.

music of the day
Serpent of the ocean by Firespawn


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Gender equality in the world, as it can be seen in the shape and gender-based makeup of our governments

This is a short view of the gender balance in our governments around the world because what better way to spend mothers day than to talk about gender equality.

Btw, did you guys know that the first US mother day happened in, May 10, 1908.

The United nations supplied data does not mean that this list correlates perfectly at all with how those nations go about actual gender equality in society at large. But it can serve as a good indicator, and in some case's it absolutely does correlate to the growing understanding of the importance of gender equality in our world.

Countries are ranked according to the percentage of women in official ministerial government positions, reflecting appointments up to 1 January 2017, and all data are from the official United Nations survey.

Global rank to the left, and the % and the exact number of females holding positions out of the total number of ministers in that nation.

Equality quote 50 to 59.9%

1 Bulgaria 52.9, 9 females out of 17 positions.
“ France 52.9, 9 out of 17
“ Nicaragua 52.9, 9 out of 17

4 Sweden 52.2, 12 out of 23
5 Canada 51.7, 15 out of 29
6 Slovenia 50.0, 8 out of 16

music of the day
Damnatio ad Bestias by Firespawn

Take a look at the official United Nations data used in this short equality post. Where you will also find plenty more nations being represented.

But creating a healthy society and real equality in this world between class and gender, culture and origin is for obvious reasons not just about pure numbers, instead it comes solely down to what the individual people actually stand for, appointing people to important positions in society mean very little if, for instance, those that are appointed work against equality and progress, such as Paula White that spend her days behind the scenes of the White house administration whispering sweet lies based on imaginary gods, greed and intolerance into the ears and minds of the population and government.

Because when that is the case it becomes just another wasted opportunity to make the world a better place and instead you are actually moving the world backward.

So make your choices count and move the world towards a planet that is both more progressive and equal, catering to real equality, real science, real progress and real health and wellbeing.

More on pastor Paula White, the Donald Trump whisperer


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hung yogurt and mango dessert
a super tasty and healthy recipe courtesy of Maria +maria nasir . That also happens to be naturally very low in lactose ( all 'properly' made yoghurt is as low on lactose as it gets ).

I did remove the sugar from the original recipe and added the optional casein protein powder. Just because protein is that good for you and I rule my kitchen with firm hands :).

So for the 100% original recipe, you should absolutely check out Maria's website.


3 cups plain yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
1 big mango or suitable fruit/berries
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds crushed

Casein protein powder.

This Is What You Do:

Hang the yogurt in a muslin cloth for 4 hours or till all the water drains out of it, leaving behind thick, creamy curds. Don’t forget to place a bowl under it to collect the whey that can be used in other recipes, like in bread dough.

Or you can do the easy and quick thing and buy Greek yogurt or Sugar-free Kvarg and a splash of thick creamy sugar-free yoghurt mixed with the Kvarg for a quick fix.

Beat the curds smooth, add honey and stir till it dissolves.

Add crushed cardamom seeds.

Peel and slice the fruit and add it to the yoghurt mix.
If you are so inclined you can torture the fruit in a mixer until you have the desired consistency, but if you are like me you will prefer the organic texture and density of real fruit slices and berries in the yogurt.


Garnish with berries and more cardamom seeds on top.

Serve chilled, and for added protein, ( which have added benefits for muscular growth and recovery all the way up to 40-50g of protein per serving ) you can add 15-30g of casein protein to the mix before you add the fruit and berries on top.

Serves 2

Hit up the website of Maria for the original recipe and for even more healthy & tasty succulent recipes.

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We ran down the scorching hot and dry street with dust and sand that kicked back up into the air with every step of our aching feets, dust, and sand seemingly melted into our skin and airways, and soon our choked out lungs and dirt filled pores mixed with the increasing beat of our racing hearts.

And right there, caught in the cross section of this world that was made up of nothing but dry sand that screamed endlessly for water to quench its thirst, that was when you fell to your knees in exhaustion. Blisters on your arms, and cuts and bruises that painted your bare skin, like painted tattoos from the old world. Blood and dark ink upon human flesh came to a scratching halt as your hands slammed into the ground, ruptured skin and blood melted into the sandy soil.

But there were no time to loose and we could not allow anyone to slip and stumble, not now, not with the barrier of sound rapidly making its way towards us from the labyrinth of human filth and excrements that we had just left behind us, so I urged you to get back up to your feet as I reached my hand out to grab yours.

As I write this, I do not know if you heard me at all in that moment, or if I had even spoken out loud, but I do remember with vivid clarity how your dry hair caressed your emancipated face, and I knew that you had never looked more radiant and beautiful before, not in my eyes as you coughingly clawed your way back up from the sand and dirt, leaving traces of blood and oily sweat on the ground.

Moments later, we hid together behind a perforated shed of rotten planks, worn down concrete and rusty steel.

We hid there, huddled down in silence and aching throbbing low jolts of pain in the not dark enough shadows. Neighter of us spoke, and perhaps we did not even breathe at this point.

The world was silent, and so where we.

We hid away from the world right there, and we waited.

We waited for them to find us. For someone to sell us out for a loaf of bread and point them in our direction, we waited for our dirty footprints to betray our location.

We waited for bad luck to strike, and for this day to turn even worse.
We waited for death to call us home.

But none of that happened, and instead, hours later as the sun started to fade you found this long forgotten journal in the rubble and filth behind our shelter, a leather bound journal in gritty pale brown with the words "a matter of trees" scribbled on the first page inside its bland and humble covers.

You found this journal hours before we escaped, and in part, I guess it kind of helped change our lives. Who wrote it, we will never know, and I do not think anyone ever will.

Perhaps no one else will ever read it, and if they do I doubt that they will ever get to know that we wrote most of the rest of this journal.

At least I think this journal will end with the end of our own journey.

It had no proper end, no it did not, not the day we found it, and not today as I write this, and nothing in this journal ever revealed a single personal detail to disclose who had started writing it. Or even why they ended it abruptly in the middle of a paragraph.

There was no purpose revealed, not directly at least.
But there was real purpose in the words, there was purpose inside of the stories it told.

This was a book steeped in magic, the words were all born in the magic of life and truth.

And as such, the few entries that it contained like an ancient tomb that beckons you, it awoke this fewer in us, it spoke to the truth we had hidden away deep inside, that this is wrong, and that life should be so much more. It stirred up lost and buried energy and it gave us a different kind of resolve and strength as we hid away in the darkness.

The journal called to us, and as delusional it might sound, we knew that it spoke the simple truth. We knew that it was not a lie.

And so we escaped, to seek that truth.
To follow this journal, and as it is, it just did not matter to us at all who wrote it or why.

It did not matter to us at all that whoever started this journal obviously never finished it, and the unspoken reality of that, that they never got their own happy ending, that did not matter to us either.

We escaped to pursue this dream, we escaped to follow in this unknown authors path, to continue their work and to see for ourselves. And perhaps, we would even find out why they had made their way back to this forgotten, god awful place.

We escaped because this was not how life was supposed to be, this was wrong and we knew it, we knew that this life of servitude and bottomless despair that they pushed upon us, it would never lead to anything but misery and the same slow drawn out death that happened to every other person that was born into the same kind of servitude.

And we desperately wanted more, we needed more because we knew that life was more and so, we escaped because anything was better than this.

Even if rising up from our knees would lead to nothing but death, it was still better to stand up, to escape and to dig deep down in a quest for something better. At least, that way we would have lived for real like real humans.

I still remember that day, and the way that the rest of our real life started, I remember the way we left the shadows, sprinting into the night on wobbly legs and empty minds, I remember the starvation and fatigue, and I remember the snow.

I remember how we fell once again, how we lost our footing on snow and ice, I remember the surprise in your eyes and how I knew that expression so perfectly well mirrored my own.

Can you imagine that, that the first few steps we took towards a real life, was met with something as alien and unimaginable as snow!.

For the first time in as many years as I can remember having lived, it was actually snowing.

At first, we did not even understand what it was, it was not until much later that we realized that it was snow, that all this white cold that burned our skin and made our lungs scream in pain inside of us was nothing but real snow.

So we ran into a night of snow that wrapped around our face and body, not with warmth and fabric, but with a strange coldness that was both wet and biting, yet those flakes of coldness that seemed to lay like blankets around the moon and the stars and the few electrical lights that were left intact this close to the border, that coldness, it warmed us too.

I will never understand how something so small and bitingly cold can devour the entire world with white coldness, and yet somehow, as cold as it is it seemingly warms you too.

But well, it was magnificent to witness the whitening of an entire world that up until this moment had spent every day and moment that I am aware of in scorching heat and suffocating dust and sand.

At daybreak, when the sun once again returned, it was still snowing and the rising sun revealed a world of soft white on the ground and above us in the sky, the air around us and the entire world, it was an endless white rain that made it impossible to see with clarity beyond our own hand, and for the first time in my life, it was as if we were actually walking inside of a daylight dream without even having to sleep.

It was a beautiful white dream of silent softness, and I will never forget that moment, when in front of us, a solitary flower all of a sudden revealed itself from that white world and how it seemed to guide our way further into a life of freedom, it was such a small flower, but inside that snowy day it seemed like it was the biggest lighthouse in the entire world that rose up out of the white and blurry world, unmoved and unfazed by anything this world could throw it.

That flower guided us towards the future as we followed the hazy past of some unknown writer.

At least we followed their words, and the emotional impact that they had left behind, and perhaps it had been written by several others, perhaps it was not real, but we followed that dream straight into the snow, we followed the few entries that someone had left behind in this book, and we set out to make it our own, guided by a snowy flower and some john does long abandoned words.

The witness account has been faithfully retold, honoring the way it was written down in journal 28 of "a matter of trees".

You can connect with journal 248 here

and journal 5 can be found here.

The complete 'a matter of trees' book will be published later in 2017.

music of the day
Cleanse the bloodlines by Unleash the archer

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