Thanks Always Returns
A collection of poetry and dialogs. An experimental life journey of dreams, visions, and imagination. A slam on modernity, conformity, consumerism, institutional thinking, and their lifelong effects on the alienated who may seem successful, but only from the outside. More
Shalom is a creative intellectual who becomes world-weary and cynical from an early age. Sick of observing his family and those around him expecting Jesus to arrange easy atonement for coldness and cruelty, he seeks true redemption by agreeing to go to hell himself. The hell he experiences is revealed through life stories of his failure to bond with others, to enter the passionate romance he craves, and to bring peace to those he loves. Instead he brings them, and the reader, a unique perspective as he explores the rarely questioned cultural assumptions he finds at the root of his ongoing cynicism.
Among the many topics explored are the hidden costs of gender-role reversal, the superficial sanctimony rampant in both new age spirituality and organized religion, the futility of one-size-fits-all solutions, the worship of established authority in medicine, law, and other professions, and the deprecation and strictly-for-profit treatment of both the creative and the intellectual in modern society. Other thoughts thrown in, along the way, involve the courts, folk remedies, meditation tools, addictions, a unique grand unified theory, the relationship between software and life, the nature of faith, and more.
Can Shalom find the path to redemption that he has hoped would coincide with his life path? Insights come through a marriage that reinvents what two adults can mean to one another, through recognition of his place in a cycle of abuse that has haunted his family for generations, and through the pending arrival of a first child. As the verses draw to a close, he is left to contemplate how a shift in perspective -- from that of everyone's undesirable misfit to that of their patient and loving parent -- can change the world.