Silo Biography Ultimatum and Response

Our employer, the behemoth publishing enterprise Winged Lion Press Cooperative, has sent us – the Royal We and associates – an ultimatum:

Get this book OUT already, or else!

Scared witless, we have been racing against the clock, slaving over our hot pits of seething electronic impulses, endangering life and limb and sanity – but at long long last, dripping with sweat and tears, we are nearing the finish line, bearing aloft a gorgeous tome of over 450 pages, containing more than 90 photographs of Silo and his friends.

I will say no more about dates, having been warned never to promise anything until it is absolutely certain. Gods willing, however, it will be before the Boss’s 69th birthday, which, gods willing, that individual will live to see.

Stay tuned.

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Light at the end of the tunnel…

Hard to believe, but the biography of Silo is entering the homestretch, the last 12-year-cycle of the Master’s life. The first draft of the book should be done by November – then we’ll cut it down by 75%, find an editor, figure out how to publish it, and hopefully have the book in our hands by June 2016.

In the meantime, here is a new chapter from the last part of the book…

 

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Latest on the Biography of Silo

Dear friends – After working on my biography of Silo for the last 10 years, I’ve done something I should have done ages ago: I’ve hired myself.

I think I’ve chosen wisely. The hours are strict, Monday through Saturday, 9 to 3, in our lovely new Healdsburg, California office. No sick leave, no vacation, no insurance, no severance pay, no retirement, but a sympathetic boss.

I just have to be careful not to work too much overtime, which is a temptation because this is really a great job. But then other things fall by the wayside, like the house, the relationship, the children (long grown but still deserving of some attention).

Anyway, the book is coming along. It should be done in the not-too-distant future.

Warm regards,

TLR

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The Truth about WLPC – La verdad acerca de WLPC

(Texto en español a continuación…)

Winged Lion Press Cooperative is a front. The idea is that you walk in out of curiosity… You wander about, sampling the writing and other creative endeavors of a bunch of ordinary people like myself… And before long you find yourself hooked.

Hooked on what? On the inspiration found in the work of Silo – in his book Silo’s Message, in the Community of Silo’s Message, and in the current of thought known as New or Universal Humanism.

Marcos Pampillon

It was 30 years ago that I first ran into Silo’s teaching. I was 37 then, the mother of twin two-year-olds. Since the age of 20 I had been groping through my life in a fog, after having blundered into a powerful dose of LSD that plunged me into to my own personal Hell, a bardo of total non-meaning. Motherhood had seemed like it might be an escape route – but it had only made things way worse. That year, 1984, I realized with a nauseating sense of doom that the world was gyrating toward nuclear holocaust, and I became obsessed by the fear of having to watch helpless as my babies burned alive.

 

 

I’ll never forget the day I found the poster. It said “Peace is Possible – It’s Up to You!”

Me???

What could I possibly do to affect the gigantic insanity in which we were living? Nevertheless, I called the phone number. A jovial fellow named Homer answered, and he assured me we could do plenty. We just had to start right around us. He knew this for a fact, having seen his own life change.

RAFA'S WINGED LION MED1

Rafael Edwards

So I began to work with the Siloists, going to the street with them to talk to total strangers about peace and nonviolence. Miraculously, as I stopped staring balefully at my miserable belly button and started trying to change things around me, my life turned around 180 degrees. One day, to my astonishment, I noticed that my obsessive fear had vanished.

Since then, Silo has become, for me, the most extraordinary Friend. Slipping out of this time and space a little over a year ago, he has only come closer. Now and then I meet him in my dreams, and awake with a feeling of enormous good fortune – the taste of his gentleness and kindness, his strength, his wisdom.

Studying his writings, meditating and reflecting on my own experience, I have discovered that I do have the power to change my life, and to help those around me do the same – if only I can avoid the temptation of believing in fear, if only I can anchor myself in what is deepest and truest within me. And this has made me so grateful that there is nothing I want so much as to share with others the gifts Silo has given me.

That’s the real reason for this blog and for Winged Lion Press Cooperative.

I hope what you find here may inspire you, and help point you toward some clues on the trail of your own most profound and sacred Meaning.

 

La verdad acerca de Winged Lion Press Cooperative

Tengo que admitir que esta página y Winged Lion Press Cooperative, son una suerte de pantalla. En apariencia, ambos sirven simplemente para publicar mis escritos y aquellos de ciertos amigos, así como también todo trabajo creativo que realicen. En realidad esto está diseñado para “engancharte” en la inspiración que se puede encontrar en el Mensaje de Silo.

Hace veintiocho años que por primera vez me encontré con las enseñanzas de Silo. En ese entonces tenía treinta y siete, y era madre de mellizos de dos años de edad. Desde los veinte años andaba por la vida a tientas a través de una niebla, luego de haber cometido errores como haber tomado una fuerte dosis de LSD que me hizo caer en un infierno personal, un bardo de sin sentido total. La maternidad me había parecido una vía de escape, pero eso solo empeoró las cosas. Aquel año, 1984, me di cuenta con una sensación nauseabunda de condena que el mundo estaba virando hacia un holocausto nuclear. Me obsesioné por el temor de tener que mirar indefensa cómo mis bebes se quemaban vivos.

Nunca olvidaré el día en que encontré aquel afiche. Se leía “La paz es posible – depende de ti”

¿De mi?

¿Qué podría hacer yo que afectase la gigantesca locura en la cual estábamos viviendo?  No obstante, llamé al número telefónico que aparecía en el afiche.  Me respondió un tipo en tono más bien alegre llamado Homero, quien me aseguró que podíamos hacer mucho. Solamente tenemos que empezar alrededor nuestro. Él sabía eso por experiencia, habiendo visto cambiar su propia vida.

Así comencé a trabajar con siloistas, yendo a la calle con ellos hablando con personas desconocidas acerca de la paz y la no violencia. “Milagrosamente”, a medida que dejé de mirarme el ombligo ominosamente y comencé a tratar de cambiar las cosas a mi alrededor, mi vida hizo un giro de 180 grados. Un día, para sorpresa mía, me di cuenta de que mi miedo obsesivo se había esfumado.

Desde entonces, Silo se ha convertido para mí el amigo más extraordinario. Poco más de hace un año, cuando estaba deslizándose fuera de este tiempo y espacio, lo sentía aún más cercano. Ahora lo encuentro en mis sueños y me despierto con sintiéndome una persona muy afortunada y el saber de su suavidad y bondad, su fuerza, su sabiduría.

Al estudiar sus escritos, meditar y reflexionar sobre mi propia experiencia, he descubierto que verdaderamente tengo el poder para cambiar mi vida si logro evitar la tentación de creer en el temor, si logro anclarme en lo que es profundo y verdadero dentro de mí, y  a la vez, ayudando a otros a lograr lo mismo.  Esto me ha hecho sentir un gran agradecimiento que no hay nada que quiera tanto como compartir con otros los regalos que Silo me ha dado.

Esta es la verdadera razón de esta página y de Winged Lion Press Cooperative.

Espero que lo que aquí encuentres pueda inspirarte y colaborar con ciertas pistas que te ayuden en el camino de tu más profundo y sagrado Sentido.

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A Cooperative Space… Un Espacio Cooperativo

(Texto en español a continuación…)

Winged Lion Press Cooperative is a bilingual* open space for creativity inspired by the work of Silo: a place to share and explore the great diversity of expression inspired by this South American writer, thinker and spiritual guide. In the spirit of Silo’s Message and Universal Humanism, this is a place both to rejoice in the uniqueness of every different voice, and to work together; a place to validate each other, to give each other constructive feedback, and to learn from each other.

Our themes: Nonviolent Transformation of the Human Being and the World, the advent of the Universal Human Nation, Death and Transcendence, contact with the Sacred and the Profound…

Our categories: Word (books, articles, interviews, poetry and short fiction, etc.); Image (photographs, paintings, drawings, sculpture, etc.); Video; and Sound (music, spoken word).

“Coming Attractions” is an opportunity to tantalize – or be tantalized – with previews of works in progress in any category.

This is not a business. Money, while undoubtedly necessary under the current conditions of life on earth, is not the motivating force.

The door is open. Contact us at wingedlion@gmail.com to submit your work.

*For now this site is being built in English and Spanish; we hope, in the spirit of the Universal Human Nation, to one day become multilingual.

 

Un Espacio Cooperativo

Winged Lion Press Cooperative es un espacio bilingüe*  abierto a la creatividad inspirada en la Obra de Silo: un lugar para compartir y explorar la gran diversidad de expresiones inspiradas por este escritor, pensador y guía spiritual sudamericano.

 

En el espíritu de El Mensaje de Silo y en el Humanismo Universalista, este es un espacio tanto para alegrarse de la singularidad de cada voz diferente y trabajar juntos; un lugar para convalidarnos mutuamente, para darnos un feedback constructivo y aprender uno del otro.

 

Nuestros temas: transformación no violenta del ser humano y el mundo, la construcción (advent parece que llega sola) de una nación humana universal, la muerte y la trascendencia, el contacto con lo sagrado y lo profundo de la mente humana.

Nuestras categorías: Letra (libros, artículos, entrevistas, poesía y ficción, etc.); Imagen (fotografía, pintura, dibujos, escultura, etc.); Video; and Sound (música, palabra hablada).

“Próximamente”  es un item para tentar, o ser tentado, con avances de los trabajos en marcha de cualquier categoría.

Winged Lion no es un negocio. El dinero no es la fuerza motivadora aunque indudablemente es necesario dadas las condiciones actuales de vida en este planeta.

La puerta está abierta. Contáctanos en wingedlion@gmail.com para enviar tu trabajo.

*De momento este sitio está siendo construido en los idiomas inglés y español. Esperamos, dentro del espíritu de la nación humana universal, que un día sea plurilingüe.

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Walt’s Miracle: On Wings of Intent is on Kindle!

After weeks of single-minded, brute-force doggedness, my hero, Walt, has at last unraveled all the preposterous, brain-numbing conundrums in Microsoft Word and achieved the impossible:  On Wings of Intent – a biography of Silo – is now available as a Kindle e-book.

The e-book is where it’s at. At $10 on Amazon, it’s half the price of the print version, and twice the quality, especially the photos, about 100 in all. If you read it on your computer you can see many of them in color.  And if you buy the print version of the book, you get the e-book for free (see “Matchbook Price”).

 

On Wings of Intent is a biography of Silo, Mario Luis Rodriguez Cobo, “Sage of the Andes.” Born in Argentina in 1938, Mario Rodriguez was a brilliant thinker, prolific…
AMAZON.COM
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On Wings of Intent – a biography of Silo – Done!

Dear Friends – We did it!!

The book - On Wings of Intent
The book – On Wings of Intent

On Wings of Intent – a biography of Silo, Mario Luis Rodriguez Cobo, “Sage of the Andes” – is finally FINISHED.

The English edition – nearly 500 pages – is now available on Amazon, in black and white (color will be available in the future, but at a much higher price). The kindle version will also be available in the near future.

The Spanish translation is also complete – mil gracias Puchi! – so editions for Spain and Latin America are in the works.

We hope to find a way to make the book available at the Parks of Study and Reflection, and also find ways to print locally in other parts of the world so that international shipping costs can be minimized.

Writing this book has been an amazing experience, and an enormous privilege -thanks to everybody for your ongoing enthusiasm, support, and encouragement.

Most of all, thanks to Silo for living such a life!

For everyone, Peace, Force, and Joy

Trudi

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Cracking the distribution conundrum

Distribution – that’s the big issue for anyone wanting to reach a broader public, and not just preach to the choir. Distribution companies are the only ones that can place books in bookstores – and they won’t accept self-published books or books from a micro-press, only books from “real” publishers.

Well – what’s to prevent us, Winged Lion Press Cooperative, from becoming a “real” publisher?

I did some research. Apparently anyone can call themselves a publisher – but if you only publish books by one author, distributors will consider your books self-published, or at best micro-press-published.

However, if we can show that we publish more than one author – the more the merrier – it could increase our chances of having our works accepted by distributors.

That’s why we’re taking WLPC off the back burner, and embarking on a campaign to “get real” by publishing titles by different authors.

So – this is your golden opportunity. If you are thinking of publishing or reprinting, please consider using the WLPC imprint.

What does that entail?

It simply means listing Winged Lion Press Cooperative as the publisher on your title page, and publishing through one of the many print on demand services.

What’s in it for you? 

At this point, mainly just the great satisfaction of increasing our distribution potential and making it easier to spread the word about Silo and his legacy.

Other than that, we are happy to share our own experience with print on demand publishing, and with promotion and marketing. For the future we’d also love to talk about trades – such as exchanging editing, translation, and desktop publishing services.

WLPC’s mission statement is below – if you feel like your work fits, and would like to support this effort, please send a copy of your book or other piece to wingedlion@gmail.com.

Winged Lion Press Cooperative Mission Statement

Winged Lion Press Cooperative is a vehicle and a gift Inspired by the life and work of Silo, Argentine author and spiritual guide. We welcome a broad spectrum of participants in all fields of creative and intellectual endeavor:

  • anyone who yearns to make contact with the Sacred and the Profound in daily life, in the arts, in dreams and meditation and visions;
  • anyone who wishes to contribute to the study, investigation and development of human knowledge beyond what is accepted by convention;
  • anyone who dreams of transforming this world nonviolently;
  • anyone who hopes for transcendence beyond death. 

Publishing categories include Word (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, screenplays, and other creative works; testimonials of experience; and scholarly and investigative productions); Image (photography, painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.); Multimedia (film and video, comics, etc.); and Sound (music, spoken word, etc.), in both print and electronic formats.

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No Co-suffering!

For weeks some of my dearest loved ones have been going through hell – one from the stress of an unknown future, another with heartbreaking relationship agonies, another with oppressive health issues. These are the closest people to me in my life, and when they suffer, I suffer with them. Of course. I can’t help it, it’s what we do. Every parent and spouse I know does this.

Today, exhausted from all this self-flagellation, I go to hear Anam Thubten Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist, speak in Pt. Richmond. Hundreds of people come to hear him and talk with him whenever he is around, and it is as always joyful and calming to be there, in silent focus with all those people, meditating in search of the unnamable and the Profound.

In his talk after the meditation, Anam talks about compassion: how difficult life is, how we all suffer, how everyone has the same fears and doubts. How we all would like to find a “special friend” to help us in our difficult moments, and how hard it is to find one. The only way out, he said, is compassion. In the end, that is the only “special friend” you can rely on: the compassion in your own heart.

Afterwards I go up to greet him. My daughter went to hear him last time he was here, and I want to tell him how much his talk meant to her. When my turn comes I sit before him and I tell him that, and the whole time I am speaking he looks at me curiously, like he does when he knows you’re not saying what you came to say.

Finally I say, “Today you were talking about compassion… there are so many people in my life right now who are suffering…” and just telling him that, I get emotional and start to cry.

He cuts me off. “Oh! No. No co-suffering!”

His cheery forthrightness shocks me tearless. I feel like a dog being scolded by his master for doing something bad without knowing better…

“There are so many people suffering already in this world!” he says gently. “I don’t want to add to it by co-suffering with them.”

For a moment I am silent. Of course, it’s so simple! I see all at once, like a flash-forward of possibility, that all I have to do is not go to the place of suffering

Then doubt comes to save me. All very good to say that, but I don’t know how to not go to the place of suffering.

I do know that suffering is not part of compassion. When I was listening to Bach not long ago, the music made me feel such joy and reverence that when my thoughts drifted to my son and his agonies, I found myself for one long, miraculous moment feeling compassion for him without suffering. It was as if the Sacred both amplified my ability to feel the fullness of his suffering, and made me immune to it. I could feel it completely, like never before – but without any fear or anxiety. Instead, all I felt was the most enormous love and compassion…

That was a precious and rare experience. A teaching.

But I did not learn from it. Since then, I’ve continued to wallow in suffering with my loved ones at every possible opportunity.

As if in answer to my doubt, Anam tells me, “My mantra is this: I want to be able to open my heart, so that I will be able to help people.”

He looks at me intently to make sure I got it, and then dismisses me with a bow.

And it hits me: compassion is something I have to do intentionally. Whether I know how to or not, I have to go in that direction, because that is the only direction that brings peace and happiness.

 

As the day unfolds, the dark opportunities whirl into orbit around me. There are so many possible disasters… At first, amazingly, it isn’t hard to ignore them. Anam’s admonishment, “No! No co-suffering!” are fresh in my mind, and when the opportunity to suffer arises, I just don’t go there.

What’s more, not-going-there is not something I have to do – it’s a not doing. Like making a void, turning a blind eye, to the option of suffering.

It’s not so hard – just a matter of choice. I only have to ignore the seductive gravity of suffering. When I am able to do that, I’m in a void – a strange, bounteous emptiness that good things like compassion and love can fill.

It may be easy, but as the day progresses it eludes me. I’m so out of shape – my not-suffering muscles have dwindled to nearly nothing from disuse. I have to get in training.

And I remember the Bodhisattva’s Vow:

Just as all the Buddhas of the past

have given rise to the awakened mind

and continually lived and trained

in the way of the Bodhisattvas,

likewise, for the sake of all,

I shall give rise to the awakened mind

and continuously train

in the way of the Bodhisattvas…

 

Doggedly, I keep trying. Again and again the shadows bombard me.

Sometimes I’m able to the plug on the darkness and face into the brilliant void, full of potential. When that happens all is well. Then, with gratitude and excitement and only a smidgen of guilt for not suffering, I put my life before me, flush with possibility, and sally forth with joy to give my all.

More and more, though, I fail. Then, floundering down into the murk, I pull the darkness over my head like a blanket.

Because that’s what I’ve always done. It’s what I know how to do, I believe it’s the right thing, and I hope it will somehow help.

By the end of the day I am exhausted. Not-suffering does not come naturally.

But I know it’s possible – I just have to persist.

To make it easier, I remind myself of what helps:

It helps to immerse myself in beauty – in Nature and Art and all Sacred Creation.

It helps to give thanks – for beauty, for Life, for Love, for all opportunities to learn.

It helps to remember that co-suffering just adds to the world’s already steaming mountain of woes.

It helps to go deep inside and ask for help: help me open my heart so that I can help others.

 

 

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On the Wings of a Bird Called Intent – Biography of Silo – Progress Report

Hello everybody –

The biography of Silo, tentatively titled On the Wings of a Bird Called Intent, is well underway (read a new sample chapter here – without footnotes, which are still in process). It’s pretty complete up to the 1980s, but the last 3 decades are still in process. If you knew and worked with Silo during that time and would like to share your experience, I’d love your input!

To jog the collective memory, I’ve made up a list of key moments between 1962 and 2010 (up to Silo’s passing, and continuing with examples of significant ongoing developments in epilog and appendix.) I’ve stretched these key moments over a framework of “rotas,” or “turns of the wheel” of 12-year cycles – differentiation, complementation, synthesis…

To check out this list, see below. If you have memories, information or experience you’d like to contribute, or any other key moments to add, especially for the period from 1980-2010, please email me at wingedlion@gmail.com. Anything welcome – written or audio, words or images!

Hola a tod@s –

La biografía de Silo – tentativamente titulado “Sobre las alas de un pájaro llamado Intento” – está en marcha (se puede leer un capítulo nuevo – en inglés – aquí – sin notas a pie de página, todavía en proceso). Esta bastante completa hasta la década del 80, pero todavía estoy recogiendo información sobre las últimas 3 décadas (80-10). Si conociste a Silo durante ese periodo, y querías compartir tu experiencia, agradecería mucho tu aporte.

Para refrescar la memoria colectiva, he hecho una lista de algunos momentos claves, sobre un marco de “rotas” o ciclos de 12 años años (diferenciación, complementación, síntesis…), comenzando con las primeras reuniones en 1962. (Información sobre eventos importantes después del 16 de septiembre 2010 se incluirá en el epilogo y apéndice).

Se puede vera a continuación la lista de momentos claves (solamente en ingles por ahora). Si tienen recuerdos, información o experiencias que desean contribuir, o cualquier otro momento clave que añadir, especialmente para el período comprendido entre 1980-2010, por favor envíeme un email a wingedlion@gmail.com. Todo es  bienvenido – escrito, audio, palabras o imágenes.

 

On the Wings of a Bird Called Intent

The Life and Work of Silo, Sage of the Andes

 

KEY MOMENTS 1962-2015:

 

1962-1998 – 1st Great Cycle – The Movement

1962-1973 – 1st Rota – Differentiation – Training Individuals

1962

First study groups – “the thing”; crypts, camps & bases

1966

La Paz, first international mtg

Base 1, El Arenal

1969

Lives at Hermitage Jan 1-May 4

Healing of Suffering

Talks in Chile

“Forbidden Talks” in Yala, Cordoba, Bs Aires

1971

Young Power

Inner Religion

1972

Talks and arrests in Cordoba, Mar del Plata

United Youth Front

 

1974-1985 – 2nd Rota – Complementation – Forming “Cadres”

1974

Cordoba Center of Work, ending with arrests; attempted talk in Bs Aires, 500 arrested

1975

Corfu

1976

Canaries I

1978

Canaries II

1979

The Inner Look; birth of Alejandro

1980

Meaning of Life talk, Mexico City

1981

Internal Landscape

Tokarev Report

Mission of the 80s – travels to Madrid, Barcelona, Reykjavik, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Milan, Sri Lanka, Mumbai, Paris

1982

Birth of Federico

1983

On What is Human 

1984

Launching of Humanist Party; No to Pinochet, HP in Chile

1985

Greens, gathering in Rio

 

1986-1997 – Third Rota – Synthesis – Reaching the Masses

1986

Religiosity in Today’s World

1989

Humanize the Earth, Guided Experiences; First Humanist International – Florence

Travels to Madrid, Reykjavik, Zambia

1990

Travels to Madrid, Mexico City

1991

Contributions to Thought, Universal Root Myths;

Travels to Santiago de Chile, Mexico City

1992

Moscow – Humanism & the Crisis of Civilization

Travels to Rio, Moscow, Madrid

1993

Letters to My Friends, Day of the Winged Lion, Humanist Document

First Humanist Forum, Moscow; Honoris Causa

Travels to Madrid, Moscow

1995

Santiago forum

Silo in Bogota

The Theme of God

Travels to Colombia

1996

Dictionary of New Humanism, Silo Speaks 

1997

Travels to Arica & Tacna, Chile; Haiti

 

1998-2034 – Second Great Cycle – A Mist Under the Door – Silo’s Message

1998-2010 – First Rota – Differentiation

1998

Collected Works Vol. 1

Dinners with friends in different cities

Travels to Florence

1999

30 Year Anniversary

Latin American Humanist regional

The Assembly

Silo leaves the Movement

Travels to Santiago de Chile

2002

Silo’s Message, Collected Works Vol. 2

2003

PdV Casita

2004

Mass ceremonies

1st Celebration of the Message, PdV

2005

Work with Fire

First regional ‘halls’

Inauguration of La Reja

Parque Chaco

Visits to salitas

Travels to Bomarzo, Toledo, Aranjuez

2006

Psychology Notes

Quito forum

Inauguration of Manantiales

Travels to Quito, Lisbon, Attigliano

2007

Days of Inspiration at PdV

La Paz forum

Disarmament spots

2008

Silo & School at PdV

Silo’s Message 2nd Edition

Transmissions

Travels to Rome, Attigliano, Grotte, Torino, Manantiales

2009

Commentaries on Silo’s Message

Messengers Manual, Book of the Community, HM Training Manual

The Four Disciplines; Energetic Discipline, Material Disc., Mental Disc., Formal Disc.

World March

Nobel Peace Prize Summit

Sage of the Andes

Travels to Manantiales, Toledo, Berlin

2010

En que estamos

Message from ___ about ‘Our Friend’

Silo’s passing

 

2011-2022 2nd Rota – Complementation (Epilog & Appendix)

2011

Parks continue multiplying around the world…

2011

Silo’s Messengers meeting – PdV

2012

Silo’s Messengers meeting – PdV

2013

Silo’s Messengers meeting – PdV

2014

Silo’s Messengers meeting – PdV

2015

Silo’s Messengers meeting – PdV

Etc.

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Biography of Silo – Preview and Au Secours!

I owe a great debt to my dear friend Fernando A.

I had forgotten completely, but I was supposed to write Silo’s biography. Actually I weaseled out of it 10 years ago – then Fer reminded me the other day. So thanks to Fernando, I’m back at it. I’d already done some work on it, and luckily much of that is adaptable – here’s a sample of two chapters – the Introduction and Chapter One: The City.

On the other hand, I still have quite a bit of research to do, especially about the last 20 years of Silo’s life. So I want to invite anyone who knew him to share with me any information or reflection you wish from that period. Please email me at wingedlion@gmail.com – we can agree on the easiest possible way (email, skype, phone, chat…) – and I will be forever grateful.

Below is my slightly comical confession about why and how I weaseled out, and why it had to be that way…

He quedado en deuda con mi querido amigo Fernando A.

Me había olvidado totalmente que había emprendido la tarea de escribir la biografía de Silo. En realidad, eludí la responsabilidad por 10 años – hasta que Fer me hizo acordar el otro día.

Así que he re-emprendido el proyecto, gracias a Fernando. Todavía me falta información – así que quiero empezar por invitar a quien conocía a Silo a compartir conmigo cualquier información o reflexión acerca de los últimos veinte años de su vida. (Podemos hablar por skype o teléfono, o chat, o puedes escribir algo – lo que resulte más fácil para ti. Envíame un mail al wingedlion@gmail.com y podemos decidir… )

También quiero compartir mi confesión un poco cómica de cómo y porqué eludí la responsabilidad, y porque debía ser así… (a continuación, desafortunadamente solamente en inglés)  

Why and how I weaseled out:

Getting into this biography thing was my own doing. In 2003, a year or so after Silo’s Message was launched, it occurred to me that I could write the story of Silo’s life – something that might be an important contribution to letting people know about him and his work, especially in English-speaking countries where he was little known.

I wrote Silo and asked – and much to my surprise and delight, he wrote back, saying yes, “it would be a good idea if someone put all that twisted history in order.” But, he told me, I will not help you, and you may not bother my family.

That was fine – there were plenty of other people to talk to. I traveled to Argentina and interviewed dozens of his friends; I read interviews, news clippings, his own works, and anything else I could dig up that seemed relevant. Slowly the story began to come together…

It was not long, however, before I began to get discouraged. This was a lot of work! And “twisted history” was no exaggeration. It was really hard to put together anything like a “factual” narrative, because so many of the stories people told me were contradictory, and some sounded like they must be tall tales. And besides, biographies are so dry…

Then I came up with a clever solution. I would write not a biography, but a biographical novel! In fact, that might be even better. After all, more people read novels than dry old biographies. And besides I had always wanted to be a novelist, to write compelling poetic fiction and receive the accolades people with such artistic gifts deserve.

In May 2004, at the first annual gathering of Silo’s Message at Punta de Vacas, I chased Silo down the hallway at the hotel after the event and cornered him. He listened patiently while I explained my difficulties with the biography and told him I had decided to writing a novel instead. I asked if I should use a different name than Silo. All he said was, “I believe that would be best.” Without another word, he turned around and left.

Well – fine. I was disappointed at his lack of enthusiasm, but at least he didn’t say no…

That was ten years ago. By the time I saw Fernando a few weeks ago at our monthly gathering at Red Bluff Park of Study and Reflection, I was still grinding away at the novel, by now a 300+ page tome with no end in sight.  

We were sitting around after dinner at Mary’s house when Fernando asked me what ever happened to the biography. I told him about the novel, and he said, “Oh yes, now I remember… But you really should write the biography. It’s an important work, and I don’t know of anyone else who is doing it. Silo expected you to do it, and everyone understood that you were going to!”

“Oh… but…” I began – and then recognition went off like a light bulb in a cartoon, and my feeble objections shriveled under the glare of the simple truth. “OK. I’ll do it,” I said.

So I’m back at it, writing a biography of Silo. And it’s fine, even the ten years “wasted” on the novel. It took me that long to get over tooting my own horn, something I had to get out of my system before I would ever have the patience to write a real biography.

In fact, now that that’s over with, it’s an enormous privilege, and a relief, to just put down the way everything happened, up front and straightforward: the story of Silo’s life and work. And I’ve made some progress. Click here for a preview of the first chapter – feedback welcome.

Peace, Force and Joy for everyone!

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Mountain-climbing tale

Hot off the allegorical press! :)

 

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