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:

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Enjoy When You Can, Endure When You Must: A Small Wisdom

.This is Johann Wolfgang von Goether, a prime genius, a polymath, a man who must have been filled to the brim with small wisdoms

Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I guess the great genius of German literature got that about right. My goodness, how we do all endure. It's all about endurance. You see it everywhere, world wide. Life, the endurance contest.

Why, I remember once, in China during the Viet Nam war when I was a soldier there, seeing a man with no legs scrabbling along the filthy street, sliding along on a piece of cardboard, picking up scraps of discarded food with a pair of chopsticks--a pair of chopsticks! I was just a kid then, really, and the image has stayed with me. How dirty he was.

And last month, going into WalMart, I saw a similar phenomena, a man who walked, boldly as a king, through the automatically opening doors, on his knuckles. He had no legs and no torso to speak of either. He swung along smartly, too, and knuckle walked right up onto one of the electric shopping carts they have there for shoppers who can't walk, and hopped on. I was gratified and horrified and sufficiently mystified at the gift humans have for enduring when we have the capacity to end our existence. How much pain and hopelessness can a person endure?

Lots of it. And so, I've come to the conclusion that the filthy and hopeless and downtrodden, the legless and the sightless, and brutalized and abused, those of us who seem to have good reason to be utterly devoid any reason to want to go on living--go on living anyway.

There must be a small light in there some where. A small point of hope or love or something, that keeps them going. They ought to share it, this infinite resilience. Let us, who have so much more, see it and maybe we will understand ourselves better.

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