The Pastor's Kids

The Pastor's Kids

Saturday, July 16, 2016

No Nukes

When Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant partially melted down in March, 1979, it touched off a decade of protest against the use of nuclear power for energy consumption. Radioactive gases were released into the air in a densely populated Pennsylvania and cleanup took many years at a cost of a billion dollars.

In California, the Abalone Alliance (named for the red abalone who were killed in Diablo Cove) began fighting the construction of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant in 1977. This power plant was constructed on the Pacific coast near San Luis Obispo over a Chumash Indian burial site. It was located on the San Andreas fault, as well as the Hosgri fault two and a half miles offshore. Seawater is used to cool the reactors and on several occasions, jellyfish, marine animals and kelp have obstructed operations. Blockades and occupations at Diablo Canyon from 1977 to 1984 failed to stop the construction of the plant. According to David Hartsough [Waging Peace, 2014], “the original price tag for the plant had been estimated at $300 million. When it finally opened in 1985, construction costs were $5.8 billion, with an additional $7 billion in financing costs.”

Concerns about the Diablo Canyon plant have continued, particularly after the accident at the Fukushima nuclear plant in March 2011, as Diablo Canyon is also in an area prone to earthquakes. After the shutdown of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in 1913, Diablo Canyon was the last nuclear power plant operating in California. PG&E said in June, 2016, that it would not seek to renew the Diablo Canyon reactors’ operating licenses past 2025 and will replace its power with renewable energy sources.

While in jail for their protests at Diablo Canyon, activists formed the Livermore Action Group which tried from 1981 to 1984 to shut down the Lawrence Livermore National Lab where nuclear weapons are designed and tested. The group was organized into 20-person affinity groups which could act flexibly and independently. To be part of the protest, one had to go through non-violence training and be a member of an affinity group. Groups took on various levels of risk, appealing to a wide public, though it failed in its stated purpose. Barbara Epstein [Political Protest and Cultural Revolution, 1993] argues that it succeeded in its demonstration of the principles of egalitarianism and nonviolence in political activism.

In April of 1986, an explosion and fire in a nuclear plant in Chernobyl Russia spread radioactivity over much of western Russian and Europe. It was the worst such disaster to that point, leading to the abandonment of the town of Pripyat and many claims about the consequences in terms of damage to humans. It forced the Soviet Union to become less secretive and was a factor in “glasnost,” which paved the way for the Soviet collapse. After this, reliance on nuclear power for energy consumption was slowed or reversed.

In March 2011, an earthquake and the resulting tsunami perpetuated an accident at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. One of the reactors overheated, leading to meltdown and the release of radioactive materials. An investigative committee concluded that “a culture of complacency about nuclear safety and poor crisis management led to the nuclear disaster.”

In the July 14, 2016 issue of The New York Review of Books, Governor Jerry Brown of California recently reviewed a book by William Perry here. Perry notes: “Today, the danger of some sort of a nuclear catastrophe is greater than it was during the Cold War and most people are blissfully unaware of this danger.” Clearly, complacence about nuclear weapons and safety are still a part of America’s culture as well.

Of our three protagonists, Line is the closest to anti-nuclear activism. Her husband Stephen is involved in the Diablo Canyon protests, and she and the whole family attend the blockade at Lawrence Livermore Labs on the International Day of Nuclear Disarmament in June, 1983.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

On the Path

California Path, Danielle Rosa
Working in California doing various kinds of data processing left me free to pursue my own internal goals. I wasn’t clinging to a traditional religion, but I did begin to feel its lack. At first I searched literature, resonating to the spirit I found in the language of certain writers, not others. During the early 1980’s it was the surrealists who followed from the boy-prophet Rimbaud, and led to Henry Miller and the American Beat writers. My guide was Wallace Fowlie, a writer, translator and teacher who wrote “the prophet or the visionary is the man who daily lives the metaphysical problems of his age. How to live is the theme of all prophets. Peace is always the goal.”

Toward the end of this surrealist seam of writers, I found Gary Snyder, a Californian who was a friend of Jack Kerouac and Alan Ginsburg. Snyder studied Zen in Japan and wrote essays on nature and life which met me exactly where I was. According to Snyder, “the man of wide international experience, much learning and leisure – luxurious product of our long and sophisticated history – may with good reason wish to live simply, with few tools and minimal clothes, close to nature.”

A biography of Su Tungpo, The Gay Genius by Lin Yutang, captivated me. Su Tungpo was a Song dynasty (11th Century) poet and politician continually in trouble with centralized imperial rule. He was exiled to remote places whenever he was in disgrace, but seemed to care little whether he was in high places or low. Once he wrote of walking in a garden late at night with a friend: “It looked like a transparent pool with the shadows of water grass in it, but they were really the shadows of bamboos and pine trees cast by the moonlight. Isn’t there a moon every night? And aren’t there bamboos and pine trees everywhere? But there are few carefree people like the two of us.”

This literature wasn’t completely new to me. In high school I had found a book of translations of Chinese poetry by Arthur Waley that I loved. I was very fond of Kawabata’s novels as I found them. In the early 1980’s I was also working in a company influenced by Chinese and Japanese architects, who embodied a tradition quite different than my own. One of my best friends at the time had grown up in Hong Kong. Living on what has become known as the Pacific Rim, I began to see myself as having Asian values.

And then I discovered John Blofeld, who in wonderful language expressed these values. Blofeld studied with the great 20th century Chinese Buddhist Hsu Yun, but also described the centuries of Taoist learning that sustained China in his book Taoism: The Road to Immortality. Blofeld traveled much in China, meeting Taoists who showed him that “when nature is taken as a guide, a friend, living becomes almost effortless, tranquil, joyous even. Care departs; serenity takes over.” He described the Taoist concept of the “indivisibility and indeed identity of spirit and matter.”

What is fascinating about Taoism is its essentially feminine logic. In the Tao Te Ching, we find that “the valley spirit is undying; it is called the mysterious female, whose portal is known as the fundament of heaven and earth.” Taoist hermits retreated from worldly achievements, fame and money in order to live broadly and freely, like water. Blofeld says, “By being content with little and not giving a rap for what the neighbours think, one can attain a very large measure of freedom, shedding care and worry in a trice.”

All of this helped me understand my own deep needs for peace and freedom. Blofeld wrote of the conviction of the educated Chinese that “life itself, flowing in accordance with mysterious natural laws that operate in sweeping cycles of change, is charged with spiritual significance,” and said “true spiritual life must depend on something more solid than belief: namely the direct apprehension of realities that cannot be conveyed in words.”

Having established this base camp, I continued to explore, delighting in the poetry of Basho and the physical and mental explorations of Peter Matthiessen in The Snow Leopard. I turned to many other books, including Deng Ming-Dao’s Scholar Warrior: An Introduction to the Tao in Everyday Life. As I began to study tai chi and qigong, I was reminded by Deng Ming-Dao that “It is only with discipline and perseverance that you will reach your goals. Discipline is freedom, and the companion to imagination.”

Beginning the practice of tai chi with the San Francisco students of Master Tung Kai-ying in 1989, I found a living tradition of moving meditation which quieted my mind and answered my needs for community and disciplined study. Instead of reading, tai chi requires physical practice, attuning the body, mind and heart. It can be done anywhere, on an island in Maine or under the trees at a California YMCA camp. Thus the search resulted not in a religion, but a practice; a path which excludes no part of life and is anchored in the truly ancient subculture Gary Snyder describes in The Real Work: “The subculture is the main line and what we see around us is the anomaly.”

In Nature’s Stricter Lessons, this path is given to Marty. Paul has slipped easily back into his cultural Christianity, leavened somewhat by his readings in Bonhoeffer, and unapologetically open to the growing Darwinian theses about the origins of man. Line’s social justice ideals are not based in any particular religion, though she has been influenced by her husband’s expansive Jewish family, and by the herbalists and healers she knows. She has no problem bringing up her children to a strict morality and an understanding of the love and kindness embodied in the Golden Rule.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Photo Credit: OutpostUSA.org
As far back as 1902, efforts were made by Minnesota state officials to preserve the area along its northeast boundary from logging. The area was known for its beauty: the many lakes created by retreating glaciers, the exposed Pre-Cambrian rock and the thick forest which is habitat for many animals and birds. These officials also asked the Canadian province of Ontario just over the border to set aside its contiguous forests.

Throughout the 20th century, the struggle over the boundary waters continued. Though mining and logging operations in the area had already diminished, the new questions became what sort of recreational facilities should be provided. In the 1940s resorts were set up in the vast roadless areas to which people were flown in and provided with mechanized gear for sport fishing. In 1948, at least 25 private planes were based in Ely, Minnesota, traveling to the most popular lakes every day. Conservationists saw this as a serious threat to the wilderness character of the canoe country and began campaigns to limit this ease of entry.

Sigurd Olson wrote, directed and starred in a short film, narrated by Paul Harvey, called Wilderness Canoe Country showing himself and his son enjoying the canoe country until a small plane roars in, deafening the silence. This film was shown everywhere. By this time the government was buying up private homes and resorts in what was known as the Superior Roadless Primitive Area. President Truman signed an executive order against airplanes flying over the area below 4,000 ft. in 1949. But conservationist proposals met with bitter opposition as this part of the state was in need of income. Olson, who made his home in Ely, was vilified. A proposed documentary on his life is noted here.

In the late 1950s the battle for what became the Wilderness Act of 1964 began. It eventually included a simple definition of wilderness: “A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” The Wilderness Act had a huge effect on what was now called the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, greatly restricting motor use, lumber activity, and eliminating lodges and private residences in the park.

Wilderness Outfitters, for instance, had to cease its operation of the historic Basswood Lake Lodge, known for its exceptional log craftsmanship. The main lodge was dismantled and hauled across the ice to Snowbank Lake. In 1978 when Snowbank Lake was declared part of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, the federal government bought the lodge again and it is now a visitor center in Wisconsin according to the Spring 2004 issue of Wilderness News from the Quetico Superior Foundation. All of this was painful, but Wilderness Outfitters successfully adapted to changes and is still one of the foremost providers of canoe and fishing trips out of Ely.

Including the million acres of the Boundary Waters, the two hundred thousand acres of Voyageurs National Park, the 1.2 million acres of the Quetico and La Verendrye Provincial Parks in Canada, I count two and a half million acres of contiguous area now preserved as non-mechanized wilderness through the efforts of 20th century conservationists, an incredible achievement.

But when you consider Edward O. Wilson’s current proposal that half of the earth be left to nature in order to stop species extinction, even our own, we have a long way to go. Half Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life, published in March of 2016, “is not a bitter jeremiad. It is a brave expression of hope, a visionary blueprint for saving the planet,” says Stephen Greenblatt. Wilson points out that as a species we are way behind in adapting to the current age, that working piecemeal we think we are making progress but in fact we are slipping. He presents his idea as a goal, calculating that if humans retreated from half of the earth, it would enter the “safe zone.”

The series So Are You To My Thoughts goes unashamedly back and forth between Minnesota and California, the two places I know best. Of my three main characters, Line and Marty live along the California coast, while Paul lives in Minnesota. The whole family has a cultural base in a cabin in north central Minnesota, Mother and Dad’s legacy. My earliest memories (perhaps enhanced by a film made of it) involve a summer spent at Lake of the Woods, which sprawls over the tiny bit of Minnesota which is above the 49th parallel and into Canada. Stories of the Lake of the Woods and fishing trips the men of my Dad's church took on the Rainy River run through my earliest years. As animals ourselves, habitat is incredibly important to us. Surely we can reduce our dependence on mechanized and comfortable pleasures for our own, and the sake of other animals.

Monday, April 4, 2016

HIV/AIDS in San Francisco

Early in the 1980’s San Francisco hospitals, such as Children’s where my sister Solveig worked in an oncology ward, began to see patients with a rare skin cancer, Karposi’s sarcoma, sometimes in conjunction with pneumocystis pneumonia. These diseases occur in people with severely compromised immune systems. At first there was no name for it, but it did seem to particularly affect gay men and needle users. As the cases increased and were studied, it became known as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

In San Francisco, it became a plague. Everyone had friends who were HIV-positive, and thus likely to undergo the later stages of disease, AIDS, and die. There was no known cure, though it became clear that the disease was carried by certain bodily fluids and blood. Condoms were seen as the only way to prevent transmission from one person to another. Not until 1987 was the first drug, AZT, offered to combat HIV-related disease, and it was prohibitively expensive.

AIDS had, and still has, a huge impact on the culture. For the first time since the 1960’s, people became more wary about sex. People who were HIV-positive were stigmatized and politicians proposed proscriptions, such as quarantine, which compromised people’s human rights. The gay community in San Francisco responded with organizations and information, protests, care and dignity. But, every year, until the United States reached the highest number of deaths from AIDS in 1995 (48,371), mortality from AIDS increased. The hospice movement which was getting underway was pushed along by the need to care for so many people losing their lives to AIDS. A timeline of scientific, government and community response to AIDS can be seen here.

The stories of those who died from AIDS are kept alive by the Names Project Foundation and by an amazing quilt (Cleve Jones’ idea) which has grown to epic proportions and traveled all over the world. I worked in architectural firms and many of the architects and designers I knew in those years slipped quietly away. Larry Canega, who played the piano for the Pitschel Players and had been my sister’s great friend, died in the early 1990’s. One of my gay friends found that everywhere he looked, every place he went in San Francisco held memories of friends who were gone. “We are being compared to holocaust survivors,” he said to me in 1991. “It’s that bad.” I recall getting one of the “lavender letters” people sent out to friends when their gay partners died.

I remember doing tai chi push hands, in which two people work together, with a man who had very visible Karposi’s sarcoma on his arms and chest. One woman turned away in horror, but the rest of us worked with him. We knew we could not catch it from his skin. I also knew a woman who was married to a man who had been given an HIV-laced blood transfusion. When I again became single in 1989, I had several blood tests to make sure I wasn’t HIV-positive. This was still an emotion-soaked issue in 1995 when I worked on a documentary in which sexually-active students at a Danish film college took similar blood tests.

One of my tai chi teachers, Emilio Gonzalez, is a long-term survivor, doing daily tai chi and keeping close tabs on his health, including using some AIDS drugs. “When I first learned I was HIV-positive [more than 30 years ago], I wouldn’t even subscribe to a magazine!” he told me. He and George Wedemeyer developed Qigong classes which were particularly adapted for immune-compromised people. In 1996, I helped produce a video of these Qigong routines, and especially the Tiger Mountain Tai Chi Gong which Master Kai Ying Tung developed for our school. The best-selling video has been on television, sold as DVDs and is still available on youtube.com here.

The bitter story of AIDS is not mine to tell. But my fictional memoir of the late 1980’s, Nature's Stricter Lessons, would not be true to life without its presence.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Hot Springs Eternal

One of the glories of the winter months in California is the presence of natural hot springs. I don’t get to run off to the hot springs whenever I want to, but I have enjoyed significant times at four of them. Because the springs are located in isolated places, they are vulnerable, especially during our drought years. Two of them have had devastating fires in the last year.

Tassajara Hot Springs is the most beautiful. It has been an arm of the San Francisco Zen Center since 1966, and is a training center and monastery, but it opens its gates to visitors in the summer. It is located off Carmel Valley Road in the mountains at the edge of the Ventana Wilderness about four hours south of San Francisco. The gravel road in from Carmel Valley is so steep, that four-wheel drive should be used, but the first time I went, I drove a rental car, very slowly, taking an hour to drive the fourteen miles!

The monastery occupies a meadow beside Tassajara creek and the hot springs issue from different places along this creek. A Soto Zen temple for meditation and study is central to the complex. There are several kinds of accommodation for guests, including cabins and yurts. The oldest stone building is used as a dining room. Pools for men and women are separate for most of the day, except late at night. The woods around the area are typical of California, with manzanita, laurel and madrone, though gardens and non-native trees have been brought into the resort area. Kerosene lit the night when I was first there, but solar power is increasingly used. I volunteered for a Zen Center “work week,” working mostly on the lawns and in the garden, being rewarded with delicious vegetarian meals and baked goods. Don and I have been back, to find that a sojourn in this luscious place makes up for the difficulty in getting there.

I went to Wilbur Hot Springs several times in the 1980’s, where healing waters spring up in Cache Creek, near Williams. It is also isolated, but easier to get to. When I was there, we stayed in the hundred-year-old lodge which had been restored by its owner, Dr. Richard Miller. He found the place derelict in 1972 and began to offer free Esalen workshops in exchange for work on cleaning up the place. The hot springs, which are 140-150 degrees F., have been channeled into pools which are increasingly hotter. Clothing optional, the resort has an etiquette of modesty and respect which benefits its reputation as a place of healing and rejuvenation. Tasteful wooden fences screen the pools and the area is now a nature preserve.

When I brought Don to Wilbur in 2001, to cheer him up the first Christmas we were without Jesse, we also stayed in the lodge. Guests bring their own food, which is stored in propane refrigerators, and cook it on the enormous gas ranges available in the kitchen. It did revive Don’s interest in cooking. In March 2014, the lodge at Wilbur burned and the top two floors were lost. But Wilbur has re-opened, the ground level of the lodge has been restored and new cabins brought to the site.

Harbin Hot Springs was burned to the ground, along with much of Middletown, by the Valley Fire of September 2015. All the structures were lost, but of course the springs and pools still exist. At this time the place is closed, but, like a phoenix, it is rising from its ashes. I made a meditation retreat at Harbin in 1998 at Thanksgiving using Sylvia Boorstein’s book: Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There. I was alone and not terribly comfortable, but it did work. I spent quite a bit of time in the warm heart pool, steam rising into the cold air, and practiced walking meditation along the paths.

In the 1980’s, when we were most mad for hot springs, we found several public pools in Calistoga, about an hour and a half north of San Francisco. Our favorite for day use was Dr. Wilkinson’s Hot Springs Resort which had a big, indoor pool. I’m not sure whether you can still go there just for the day, however. Calistoga has hot springs all around it, and it has become a spa town, just above of the wine country.

These hot springs are part of the colorful geography and history of California in which Line and Marty and their families reside. Marty has more chance to make use of them, and more need for them, as it turns out.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

With Some Grace

I chose the title for the next book in my series about the Mikkelsons, Nature’s Stricter Lessons, from something Gary Snyder wrote. This book chronicles the time in which I became aware of him and his earthy, human, ecological writing. In The Practice of the Wild, which he published in 1990, he writes about place, wilderness and people. “Recollecting that we once lived in places is part of our contemporary self-rediscovery. It grounds what it means to be ‘human.’” He writes that gravity and a livable temperature have given us our bodies. “The ‘place’ gave us far-seeing eyes, the streams and breezes gave us versatile tongues and whorly ears. The land gave us a stride, and the lake a dive. The amazement gave us our kind of mind. We should be thankful for that, and take nature’s stricter lessons with some grace.”

For the Mikkelson kids, in the decade roughly between 1979 and 1989, stricter lessons begin to make themselves evident. Line’s kids are growing up and her wildest one, Christopher, remains incorrigible to anyone but her. In her work in a community hospital, she finds death and dying as important as birth. Marty, though she enjoys being a young, upwardly mobile professional, must acknowledge that her marriage has not matured into a partnership, that perhaps it won’t. Paul feels he has finally found the place he should be, but is surprised when family events put more responsibility on him that he ever expected.

As I prepare to write, I am surprised to find that the incidence of both natural and manmade disasters during the decade of the 1980’s is staggering. All over the world! Our awareness of these disasters was intense, though it was well before the internet became available. Mostly it came through newspapers and the occasional television news broadcast. And from each other. It was impossible not to know what was happening if you were out in the world, living and working.

I was at two architectural firms during that time, for approximately five years each. I had a friend who dedicated himself to anti-nuclear activism after the meltdown of a nuclear reactor at Three Mile Island in 1979. Other friends talked about the ash that lay over northwestern cities as the Mt. St. Helen’s volcano erupted in 1980, and continued to be active, leaving a vast grey landscape. The homeless population was rising, as Reaganomics dictated that social services were too expensive for a wealthy country like ours. I remember walking to work along the Embarcadero every morning, seeing a small population of people who woke up in sleeping bags laid out at the edge of the Bay. I wondered whether living in the open was actually so bad!

During the second half of the decade I worked with many talented architects who were rapidly dying from AIDS. My sister took care of these sufferers at Children’s Hospital, where at first people recognized only the Karposi’s sarcomas and related diseases they were seeing. The breakup of the Challenger Space Shuttle as it rose into orbit cast a pall over all of us, effectively shutting down the space program for several years. The Exxon Valdez spilled 260,000 barrels of oil into Prince William Sound affecting the habitats of fish, sea mammals and birds for many years to come. And I was at work in 1989 when the earth buckled all along the San Andreas fault during the Loma Prieta earthquake.

We were also aware of the many disasters which didn’t touch us quite so closely: the terrifying loss of life from famine in Ethiopia in which a million people died by the end of 1984; earthquakes in southern Italy, Chile, and Mexico City, which killed thousands and left millions homeless; two different cyclone seasons in the intensely populated Bangladesh in which over 10,000 were killed and more millions homeless; the toll of victims of a toxic gas leak in a chemical plant in Bhopal, India reached 23,000; and in Chernobyl, Russia, a nuclear plant meltdown killed 4,000, while 350,000 had to be resettled. The hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica was first discovered in 1985.

These many disasters, some triggered by men and some not, punctuated the 1980’s. But also, by the end of the decade, the iron curtain which chained in communist countries began to come down and Poland, Estonia, Romania and Czechoslovakia proclaimed their freedom; the Berlin wall came down in Germany; and apartheid, as a policy, failed in South Africa. Even in China, a failed attempt at democracy began with protests by Chinese students in Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

It was a tumultuous decade indeed, prompting many of us to think in terms of the “stricter lessons” caused by both men and nature, and reminding us to be grateful for the tenuous net of human life on earth. It is also worth noting that in 1989, a proposal for what was known as the World Wide Web, upon which I am now able to set down these thoughts, was made in Switzerland by Tim Berners-Lee.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Lightly Held Adventures

So. The top of the mountain is now in sight. I’ve just uploaded the text for Pulled Into Nazareth, with its fresh ISBN number, which completes the adventure I set for myself this year: to publish the four books I’ve written in the last few years. The books are a series about Line, Marty and Paul, who move from their Midwestern cultural roots toward the wider world. The expedition now looks to be successful and I am surprised and pleased to see it through! In a couple of weeks, all four will be available for purchase on the Amazon website.

Connie, by Don Starnes, 2011
When Don and I first got together in 1999, we promised to hold each other lightly, allowing each other to be who we actually are. Lightly Held Films became the name of the production company we put together and when I turned to books, for me they were Lightly Held Books. Readers of this blog know all about the “making of” the series, which has the overall title of So Are You To My Thoughts.

Of course I’m using a “disruptive technology,” self-publishing, so I get what I deserve! I.e., so far not much in the way of reviews or attention. But also, as Don says, I am working “against story.” It may seem that I am na├»ve, or misunderstand the business of writing. But that is not the case. These books are exactly what I intend. Unpretentious characters, an atmosphere informed by my own life and what I know to have happened, an organic unfolding unlike what anyone could have predicted. This results in a vivid liveliness which contrived plots cannot match. A few readers have grown to love the characters and cannot wait to hear more about them.

And there is more. The currently written books leave off in about 1979. Line has a house full of kids, but wants work of her own, Marty’s marriage appears precarious and Paul is about to begin a new life in a new place. Where will their fortunes take them? Next year I will be working on their further lives in Nature’s Stricter Lessons. If all goes well, there will be three more books.

There is one other area in which I may be “disruptive.” One of my friends worried that perhaps I ought to have the permission of the Lenny Bruce estate, since the poster of him we had on our wall in Ann Arbor, Michigan, appears in a cover photograph. In fact, throughout the books, I quote snippets of the songs which so affected everyone I knew. The book titles themselves come from well-known songs. I believe that I use this material in the context of “fair use” of copyrighted material. Where songs are not well-known, I note the songwriter’s names in the text.

In the front of each book we state: "The author believes that all quotations in this book have been used under the 'commentary and criticism' fair use of copyrighted materials." The “fair use” doctrines, as they continue to be litigated, are based on the purpose of one’s use, the amount used and the effect of use on the value of the copyrighted work. As Ed Black, president of Computer and Communications Industry Association, says, “Fair use is the foundation of the digital age and a cornerstone of our economy.” Don too says, "If we want to have a culture, we must be able to quote from each other freely." In general, I believe that my quotes will enhance the use of copyrighted material, reminding people of its existence!

Books exist somewhere in the space between the reader and the writer. A book must leave space for the reader to become involved. The writer cannot, and should not, do all the work. If you read reviews, which are everywhere now, you will note that each tells quite a bit about the reviewer. Even professional reviewers, if not telling much about themselves, often reveal where their bread is buttered! The conversation is endless. It is what makes up a culture. What writers want is to be part of the conversation. It is certainly why we write.