No Stranger To Stranger Lands:
A Journey Through Strange Coincidences, Connective Thoughts,
And Far Flung Places
* * * * *What do Naomi Klein, Switzerland, and the Beatles have in common? Where do Jack Kerouac, Homer, and the Australian Aborigines walk the same path? What links Kurt Vonnegut, Alice in Wonderland, and Synchronicity? Promoting Democracy and Freedom; narratives as spiritual mappings; strange coincidences – these are a few of the themes touched upon in this combination of travelogue with thought journal that amounts to one woman’s attempt to achieve a General Theory of Everything through literary non-fiction.
Whether you enjoy exploring places ranging from Zürich to Moab, from tropical Polynesian islands to the farthest corners of Australia; or you prefer wanderings of the mind, from investigating what ideas themselves might be to what secrets might be revealed by archeology, from deconstructing Free-Market Ideology to reinventing Spirituality; this multi-layered journey seeks connections between every aspect of the cosmos, from the musical sphere to the stratosphere, and beyond.
As I move about, from place to place and thought to thought, I explore the boundaries of my sense of anger, my sense of humor, my sense of balance, my sense of sanity, while trying to make sense out of my experience of the world. In a little apartment in Florida, I sense strange forces at work in the universe. In the stony desert Southwest, I feel as if I am on an island in the middle of the ocean. On a verdant island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, I am reminded of the smoldering volcanoes of the Aztec Empire. At a sacred midden site on the lonely coast of Tasmania, I look across waters that reach all the way across the globe to the shores of Patagonia. On an old farm in wintry West Virginia, I look inward to discover what it means to be “human.” And on a four-day odyssey across the continent of Australia by train, I muse:
“Maybe a confused soul, disoriented, questioning what is real and what we think is real, looking at things from strange perspectives, looking at the moon from upside down; who found that it was possible for Space and Time to fluctuate; who thinks that she is connected to a Thought-o-Sphere, that her thoughts are directly affected by ideas floating around in this Thought-o-Sphere, and that these thoughts and ideas along with memories and feelings might exist in a more than ethereal way in tiny twisted other dimensions that our brains are able to access; maybe a person like that could have just the right combination of experiences so that she discovers the Possibility of some Brave New World of Ideas, and then expresses them out to the Thought-o-Sphere, so that they may percolate and resonate and synthesize and crystallize and turn into something interesting and important... Sigh, a girl can dream."
No Stranger To Strange Lands has landed!
Now available as an ebook at Smashwords.com. Soon to be available at other online book vendors such as Amazon.com for Kindle, Apple iPad, and in other electronic formats from Barns & Noble, Sony, Kobo, and Diesel Ebook Stores.
Below the Table of Contents, I have included the Bibliography, both of which offer a good idea of the kinds of topics touched on in the book. Additionally, you can read the first 15% of the book for free from Smashwords, while Amazon Kindle makes 10% available. All purchases of my work will be very greatfully appreciated and keep me writing. There is so much just in this book alone for me to write a companion book for or a series of essays about, beginning with the issue of fear-mongering /scapegoating, a topic that is rather alarming these days, or how about an essay about Tom Robbin's novel, Skinny Legs and All, in which an Arab and a Jew open a restaurant together across the street from the United Nations....
I also plan to post photos and images to go along with my book, either here or linked to from here, so stay tuned!
Table Of Contents
Prologue: It’s About Time
Dedication And Apology
Part I: Movements About The Northern Hemisphere
Chapter 1: Strange Coincidences
Chapter 2: Synchronicity
Chapter 3: Switzerland
- The Shock Doctrine
- Well Excuse Me, Milton Friedman
Chapter 4: On The Road
Chapter 5: Oklahoma
- On Sadness
- Tragedy And Irony
Chapter 6: Texas
- Who Is Howard Zinn?
Chapter 7: New Mexico
- Power Requires Wisdom
Chapter 8: Colorado
- Chief Ouray
Chapter 9: Utah
- Studs Speaks
Chapter 10: Heading Back East
- Militias To Mercenaries
Chapter 11: String Theory
Chapter 12: Heading North To Go South
Part II: Movements About French Polynesia
Chapter 13: Tahiti
- Romancing Romanticism
- The Man On The Tram: A Short Story
Chapter 14: Moorea
Chapter 15: Huahine
- Here And There
Part III: Movements About Australia
Chapter 16: Learning Aussie Speak
- Cuckoo Clocks, Condottieri, And Character
Chapter 17: In Darwin’s Footsteps
Chapter 18: Cultured In Sydney
Chapter 19: On The Train
Chapter 20: Oz Of Oz
Chapter 21: Southwest Corner
Chapter 22: Dream Time
- Origins Of Ideas
Chapter 23: New Year
- From Ferlinghetti To The Beat-les
Chapter 24: Across The Continent
Chapter 25: About Tasmania
- Emergent Patterns
Chapter 26: Southeast Corner
- Creative Spiritualism
Chapter 27: Back To Sydney
- Skeletons And Calendars
- Making Things Right
Chapter 28: The Longest Day
- The Power Of Music
Part IV: Back In North America
Chapter 29: West Virginia Dreamin’
- Rethinking Thinking
Chapter 30: Human-Nature
- Someone Who Cares
Chapter 31: Waves
- Duct Tape Dick
Chapter 32: White Lines On The Freeway
- Consequences And Truth
Chapter 33: Synchronicity II
- Message In A Bottle
Chapter 34: Confluence
- Hadrons On My Mind
Chapter 35: …And Now, Back To You, Kurt
- To Kurt Vonnegut
- It’s About Place
- George Carlin
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About The Author
Julie R Butler grew up near Littleton, Colorado and currently lives with her husband in Lago Puelo, Chubut, Argentina. She is the author of the essay, “Connections,” in the philosophy anthology, What Do You Believe? (Brooklyn, NY: Outside the Box Publishing, 2009). She has most recently been blogging at Because The World Is Round… about her life and travels in South America. Other writing projects include her socio-political blog, we fear what we don’t understand, and articles posted at Scribd.com.
Connectively Speaking is the new literary project launched along with this book with the intent to expand upon the themes, topics, and ideas raised in these pages. I am also planning to post images that go along with this narrative, and to add more context to the layers I have already laid down. It’s about Connectivity.