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Butterfly Soul

Rod Amis - Unbound

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Rod Amis at the ruins
of Romuliana
Gamzigrad, Serbia
Photo of Rod Amis in Romuliana, Serbia.
22 July, 2001 - NEW ORLEANS - It's been two months since I left the United States to go on my latest World Tour. It's been two weeks since I returned to America from Serbia. And in these two weeks I have endured pain akin to the pain of being born... I guess I should have expected as much. But some of the things that have happened have made me redefine what I believed friendship to be.

In at least one instance, a person who I willingly helped a little over a year ago, when I was flush, couldn't bring himself to let me hold $50 for a week's time. I had to marvel at that. Instead, he wanted to act like my Dad and ask me what I planned to do now that I'd returned to America. If I planned to stay put this time. I thought that was awfully ballsy for a mere fifty bucks.

The best thing I've done since returning is talk with Barbara. She still makes me believe that I am loved. I am grateful for that. She verifies the horror of what I undergo and then makes me laugh about it. That is enough, more than enough.

I explained to her that I have been here in body, but in my mind I am still in Serbia. I listen to the CD which Sneza (Snow White) gave me on the day I left Belgrade. I write to Dragan and Dragana via e-mail every day. I finally hear what was going on with my crazy friend, Rastislav Durman, before I left --- then I joke that he should not have imbibed all the brandy in Serbia before I return. My heart is there. I have a reason again.

It was only two months ago that I told my dear sister, Rudell, that I had NO REASON to live. I had written enough, I said. I had lived enough, too. I went to see my mother, painful as it was, to say "Good-bye" in my own way.

But now I do have a reason to live, again. That is something.

And that is it, isn't it? Everyone wants to know a butterfly, a magician, a world traveler, a globe trotter, but not accept the ramifications of what that type of hero must be? They don't want to see the suffering that this kind of life entails, the ramifications of being a Citizen of the World --- and thus a man without a country. Wait! Stop! Rod you are tripping...

Hello, Man Without Fear.

It's been another "interesting" week. Mike never did come through. When he was caught in the lie, he decided to use that age-old strategy of going on the attack:

I didn't have an answer for that. I had done the work, as promised. I was being attacked for asking for a reciprocal response. What did that have to do with whether he thought I should be in New Orleans or not?

I wrote back that I'd just appreciate getting my clothes back, at least, so that I could go on with my life, thank you very much

Nawlins

Photo of Matt Stowell.This is Matt Stowell, my friend from San Francisco with whom I'm living now. Matt is standing beside, presenting, a fish that was part of a New Orleans public art street faire last summer. The fish isn't there anymore, because it was auctioned off to support local charities. Matt's still here, though, and has graciously taken in your Butterfly Soul.

It's this Matt, my friend, who convinced me to move to New Orleans.

This is what is what Matt says about New Orleans:

New Orleans presents a certain type of opportunity for the person who is adventurous enough to jettison the trappings of the "American Way."

Everyone's heard about the great music and food, and they are integral parts of the culture here. But the thing that really ties it all together is that people in New Orleans have a passion for life that cannot be denied.

People in the rest of America are overly concerned with how much money they make, or what kind of car they drive, but people in New Orleans place a much higher priority on simply living life to the fullest.

When we eat, we want more than mere sustenance. We want to experience a moment of magic.

When we hear music, we want it to move the soul.

When we party, we want it to last all night.

Tomorrow is something to be dealt with when it arrives. New Orleanians drink and smoke and eat and dance and love intensely, and on average we die ten years earlier than average.

But what would you rather do? Burn the candle quicker and live the life you've always wanted to lead? Or live longer and die bored, wondering what could have been? New Orleans is also a study in paradox. You can find endless debauchery (literally endless because the bars don't have to close at night) if you want it, or you can just spend a lazy Sunday sitting on the front porch, chatting with passersby and enjoying a cool drink.

It's about being in a large city, but knowing your mailman on a first-name basis. New Orleans offers the potential for both chaos and serenity, all in the space of a single afternoon.

Millions of people visit New Orleans every year, looking for a small piece of what our daily lives here are like. They go back to wherever they came from, and then spend their time dreaming of New Orleans and planning their next vacation. What they fail to realize is their lives could be that good all year round if they only had the guts to let go of what's been jammed into their heads for years and take a chance on living.

Butterfly Soul

An animated butterfly image.I talked to my Portuguese brother in Oregon, Dove. He is sending me some money as soon as he can, to keep my body and soul together.

I checked the mail, but none of my valued readers took me seriously when I said they might want to help keeping the magazine coming.

My brother in Hershey, Land of Chocolate, Darryl called today. He sounded wonderful. It was a pleasure to hear his voice, too. He had so much to say about what has been going on since I left the country, and his son, Corey, even got on the phone to welcome back his "Uncle" Rod. Corey, who is all of four years old (almost), sounded as precocious as ever. (Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you that I've always loved kids. Not surprising, considering what a big kid I am myself.)

So, yes, there is still friendship, Children. There are true and false friends, I guess. I've never been able to really suss that out because I'm

That's probably why when people disappoint me the first thing I want to do is cry...

But I get over it. I'm an Aries, born on the same day as Harry Houdini, and things wash over me. I continue to believe in ESCAPE and the power of magic.

I can't hold a grudge for very long.

THINGS I LOVE THIS WEEK

1. Notes from Dragan and Dragana every day.

2. A city that suits my clothes

3. Being a writer.
Thanks for coming back this week.

"Work like you don't need the money,
"Love like you've never been hurt,
"Dance like no one is watching..."
Rod


This is another Web site made on a Macintosh.

Apple Computer's Think Different logo.

ROD AMIS has published this magazine since 1990. It first appeared as a hardcopy 'Zine. In March, 1996, he launched it here on the Web. Rod was a Contributing Editor at Suite101.com, where he wrote the " 'Net Publishing" feature. His work has been featured in the San Francisco Bay Guardian Online, NRV8, and at WebLab's Reality Check site. Rod was also a contributing writer on technology for Faulkner Information Services. He wrote Web issues for MethodFive.com's Hyper newsletter.

Rod was a columnist for the Andover News Network, where he wrote over two hundred articles on web design and development issues. He was also principal writer and Editor for IT Manager's Journal, where he reviewed technology issues weekly, producing 383 editorials. He became the Managing Editor for Electronic Mail/Newsletter Publications at Andover.net at the end of February, 2000, and left in September of the same year. He was a contributing writer for ACCESS magazine, which appears both on- and offline for 10 million readers in 100 newspapers like the San Francisco Chronicle, New York Post, Boston Herald, Austin American-Statesman, Denver Post and Orlando Sentinel, among others. Rod was the US reporter for Silicon.com, a division of Network Multimedia Television in London, UK, reaching 3.5 million European readers, until May, 2001.

Rod lives in New Orleans, Louisiana, right now. The new home of the magazine. But he plans to return to Serbia next year.

He continues to be committed to integrity, chastity and a dose of humility.


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