Douglas Arvidson is a past winner of the WICE/Paris Transcontinental International Short Story competition. His short fiction has been published in Paris, Prague, and in literary magazines in the United States and he was recently invited to be a staff writer for the Prague Revue, a cutting-edge, online literary journal ( The novels in his fantasy series, The Eye of the Eye of Stallion, include The Face in Amber, The Mirrors of Castaway Time, and A Drop of Wizard's Blood. His new novel, Brothers of the Fire Star, was selected as a finalist in the ForeWord Reviews 2012 Book of the Year national awards and as a finalist in three categories in the 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards: Action Adventure Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Young Adult Fiction. It has become part of the pantheon of Pacific literature and is now included in school literature programs. Brothers of the Fire Star is an adventure story set in the Pacific during World War II and concerns two boys of different races and cultures who escape the island of Guam in a small sailboat when the Japanese army invades. They must then struggle to survive as they master the secrets of the ancient Pacific navigators. Appropriate for young adults as well as adult readers, Brothers of the Fire Star is available on Barnes & Noble, ( and Visit the author's website:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Suviving Jet Lag, Sake, and Hirohito's Revenge: Blogging From the Far Side of the World

Here is the traveler, just new in Tokyo, jet-lagged, imposed upon, lost, gagging on the truth of his duality. Referring quickly to a copy of the Teaching of Buddha he found in his hotel on top of the Gideon Bible, the agonizing pilgrim finds the Dhammapada: A fool who thinks he is a fool is for that very reason a wise man. The fool who thinks that he is a wise man is called a fool indeed. And then, below that, our foolish-indeed traveler reads: Hard is birth as man, Hard is the life of mortals, Hard is the hearing of the Sublime Truth, Hard is the appearance of a Buddha.

Sensing a step toward enlightenment, the weary castaway reads on: Not to do any evil, To cultivate good, To purify one's mind,--this is the advice of the Buddhas.

But where to find the Buddhas? In the bright lights and big city that is Tokyo?

No, the sublimely foolish wandered finds the Buddhas in the temple. Lots of them. And then, later, in the company of fine friendships, takes another step toward---what? If it is the things we cling to that make us suffer, the traveler releases his jet lag, willingly, but clings to his friends a bit longer.

The cause of human suffering is undoubtedly found in the thirsts of the physical body and in the illusions of worldly passion. If these thirsts and illusions are traced to their source, they are found to be rooted in the intense desires of physical instincts.....

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