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Podcast 2019
Middle Kingdom Podcasts (2005-2017)

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The Language Company
Timothy M. Leonard's books on Goodreads
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Entries in fear (2)


Pollatomish, Ireland

The view from the one-story grey stone hostel in County Mayo was exquisite, the Atlantic Ocean all blue-green opening up its long voyage.

A terrible sad beauty recognized the spirit of the young girl who killed herself in a room upstairs years ago.

She visited often, looking for her love, looking for meaning. It took a long time for us to trust each other.

She visited at night, her spirit roaming upstairs.

It took courage for her to trust me.

I practiced silence. Listening.

She told me stories.

She opened her windows to let darkness invade her privacy. She took comfort in the stillness. Her heart was pure but her spirit was restless.

She told me what happened in this dark place when she was a child. She grew up fast and sure of herself before they took the key away. She was a prisoner of memories, dreams, and reflections.

She had few if any friends. Her school was Nature. She was trapped in time, a circle of guilt, punishment, suspicion and neglect. Her mother died of a broken heart.

She was the daughter of a priest. He wouldn’t let her out. He locked her up. He taught her fear. He carried a big black heavy book full of fire and brimstone with him forever and ever and ever.

She died for his sins or so he wanted to believe. He wanted the scared primitive narrow-minded simple village people to believe. He ordered them to believe he sacrificed his love for her out of anger at his wife because she was weak. He taught her to be weak and when she became weak he loved her. She was vulnerable and he worshiped a book of prayer. The Word.

His daughter’s silver eyes were chained to her destiny, her fate. Her heart was stained with blood.

Local people had a real fear about the house. You can feel it when they see you coming up the narrow road. They think they know who you are, who you might be, but they are not sure. They know you are not one of them. This fact ensures they remain suspicious and guarded. You are an outsider. They remain uncertain about you being here in this sad, lonely desperate place.

They are blind in one eye. They want to live in your pocket and know your past, present and future.

Knowing and understanding are two different things.

Suicide was not a viable option in their cloistered world of saints, superstar nova and bursts of gamma rays. They were illuminated manuscripts on vellum.

They congratulated themselves with a real superstition about her death. It carried them through hard times. It gave them the will to live, the will to accept their destiny without questioning autocratic authority. They kneaded, rolled, basted, baked, sliced, and buttered hope.

After the girl vanished they huddled around peat fires wrapped in her death late at night speaking in mute whispers. Her death became their perpetual source of gossip and innuendo. Her iconic free spirit confused their sanity, sense of purpose and sacrifice.

The house was a heavy stone fortress in the middle of nowhere facing east. No trees, no flowers, shrubs. Living, growing thing were cut down, burned down, and destroyed by hysterical madness.

Estranged provincial neighbors still talked about her in hushed quiet scared tones. She was the young vagabond spirit and cheated old age with her eternal restless way. She saw through their hypocrisy, mediocrity, piety and failures.

They never figured her out. Her father was the command and control module in their economically and geographically distant distinct world. They were lost sheep wandering heather ridges and he was given the mandate to drive out imaginary snakes.

The small cemetery off the path of lonely planets was overgrown with wild waving weeds, tall Timothy grass and broken purple heather in harsh winds. Gray stones whispered hand chiseled names, ages, dates. The rusty iron gate hung on a broken hinge at a precarious angle.

400 million year-old orb weaving spiders created their magic. Dew diamonds danced and sang along strong supple silver amino acids mixed with protein in wind rushing from the sea.

Two mute men dug a new grave on the gentle sloping hill surrounded by heather and wild flowers. Their tools bit hard soil. They’d finish their labors and retire to the warmth of a peat fire, cold whiskey and gossip. They’d toast the passing of another soul gone to the greater glory as tongue flames leaped and danced.

Dance and melancholy music, a common ancestor, integrated the community. The keener wailed her banshee oral tradition and they blessed themselves in the silence of accepting what they couldn't see.

“A shudder passing through your body means someone has walked over your grave,” I said.

“Grief for the dead was the origin of poetry,” said the girl's spirit.

Weaving A Life (V3)


Writing in Burma


Ice Girl

  Red dust Banlung town turned windy.

Swirling quality gem stone particles and degrees of indifference spiraled through air.

Redwood slats covered open sewer drains.

  Locals watched Leo with curiosity and suspicion.

They stared from a deep vacuum.

When he made eye contact they glanced away with fear, uncertainty and doubt.

They didn’t see many strangers here.

They listened at 49% or less saying yeah, yeah with panache.

  Leo's questions were constantly repeated.

  Questions grew tired of repeating themselves.

This is so fucking boring, said one question.

We are abused. We are manipulated and rendered mute. Useless.

It's a test, said another question. Patience is our great teacher.

I’ll try, said another question.

Yes, said a question, these non-listeners

have a distinct tendency to say more

and say it louder when they’re leaving,

when their back’s turned away from eye contact and potential real communication.

I’ve seen that too, said a question, who, until this moment had remained silent.

My theory is that it’s because of the genocide and fear. It’s also a delicate mixture of stupidity or indifference, said another question. Why is the most dangerous quest-ion, said one.

  Can you explain, asked a question.

Sure, people ran away to survive. People started running and others would ask them a question like

why are you running, who’s chasing you, where are you going

or what’s the matter or when

did you become afraid or why don’t you

stay longer and the one running would keep going

trailing abstract question words behind them

like memories or disembodied spirits or molecules of indifferent breath.

I see, said a question.

That explains it. Yes, said a question. Being correct is never the point. Tell me why oh my.

Ice Girl in Banlung