The Wonders of The Startling

When the concept of the Epiphanal Startling was initially realized I was not quite certain where the book would go.  That doesn’t mean that I did not have a grasp of the message I was lead to convey nor did it mean that I began it and ended it in a completely different way than I envisioned it.   What I did initially see was it was to be a standalone piece that would allegorically depict God’s love that had been shown to me.  Hence there is a significant personal experience embedded between the cover pages.  This should not appear to be any major revelation, or epiphany, it is simply fact and one that I share with many that attempt to transfer their understanding and view on sometimes very stark pages.

Discussions of time and more accurately life can be illuminating or they can cloud one’s perception of the course that we believe we have charted.  Learning from past experiences seems to be a commonly accepted ‘best way’ to improve our situation and thus ensure that we will are always moving the proper direction.  The learning of lessons is extremely important but I have also discovered that what we might perceive as the intended lesson was in reality not what we were to take from the experience.  It is much like being the witness to any life event, our vantage point and perspective will temper our analytically determined conclusion.  We simply have a limited view, one obscured by our predilection.  We are flawed and as a result we can only hope to bumble our way to the correct conclusion.

The gentleman pictured in this article is Brigadier General A G Jenkins and he was a member of the Army of Northern Virginia  under the ultimate command of Robert E. Lee.  In my book the First of July – an Epiphanal Startling, copyright © Clifford Adrian Balson 2014, I represent this man as a pivotal motivator in the fictitious character, Leopold Jenkins’ desire to correct a time line that he had seen as flawed.  Leopold was attempting to right a tremendous wrong that had been swept under the carpet for many years.  The fact that A G Jenkins was a lawyer and a politician that haled from West Virginia and was a slaveholder made the supposition an intriguing one.  Add to this the observation that he apparently played a limited role that he played in the Battle of Gettysburg according to references made within Edwin B Coddington’s book The Gettysburg Campaign – A Study In Command copyright © 1968 by Caroline Q Coddington.  This means that the General was regarded from two different points of view through the foggy glasses of historical perspective.  He was a well respected member of his society and his biographical data highlights the modest success that he had.  He died as a result of his wounds that were suffered in combat and that can evoke feeling of sympathy.  He also was a character that fought to at best preserve state’s rights but more accurately to maintain the yoke of human bondage.

The book I wrote is deals with the concept of ‘what if?’  It introduces the reader to a series of characters in the not too distant future that are searching for a better life.  It draws upon fabricated past images and does not attempt to judge the past only the present.  Society of that future has not changed too much.  Technology is more sophisticated in some areas but less in others.  People struggle to attain an ideal and to conform to the social norms of that day.  They view each day as a challenge to their needs and wants, when it is really a reflection of a collective problem that must be confronted and whose solution must be embraced.  The past and the future are as such wound together

Each time thread, the path that we travel, must be acknowledged as just one of a myriad of possibilities.  Each of our destinations are  subject to change in an instant, our headings are not clear.  What we choose to do when we learn this, and experience a resultant epiphany, gives us opportunity focus on on our true purpose.   Imagine you are on a bus ride.   You have three choices of where you can view the surrounding as you travel down the road.  You can elect to look out of the front window and view what is ahead, you can turn your head and look at where you have been or you can simply look out the window next to you and experience where you are at that moment in time.


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