Posts Tagged ‘Starman’


It was a statement by Jack Knight, Starman (written by James Robinson) in the 90’s that maturity was about beginning to enjoy the Groucho harp solo’s in a Marx Brothers starmanmovie. Perhaps there is something to that. For maturity is about beginning to appreciate the other, the different, or looking into something from a different point of view and growing from it.

Spiritual maturity is something found in the teachings of Brother Jesus (and let’s face it every spiritual teacher/writer in perpetuity). It is about moving from the comfortable and rote, that is from rules based, to intuition based living in the Holy Mystery. That is right.

Jesus taught in parables because of the layers of meanings that could be drawn out of it. Mystic Brother Francis of Assisi taught in wisdom to have internalized a teaching so it was like breathing before moving on. It sounds weird I know, but really it was not about amassing knowledge that mattered, it was about living within Holy Wisdom.

 

Great double talk you say. Okay, so let’s take it to a Trekkie geek level. Think of Star Trek: The Next Generation as a set of parables (not much of a stretch). Then, like most believers we have our favourite parables. Just like in Star Trek. I like the concept of these three, which do you prefer:

  1. Data and Geordi as Sherlock Holmes and Watson battling a Moriarty designed to best Data.
  2. Jean Luc-Picard’s escapades as Dixon Hill, Private Eye.
  3. Worf as Will Scarlett proudly stating “I am not a Merry Man.”

Images, thoughts and lessons can be drawn from each. These jump to your mind whether it is about team work, problem solving, love, family, etc.

Much like the parables challenge us to continue to go deeper. Yet, it is also a challenge for much like the idea of the harp solo as we grow in our understanding of spiritual life lived out a new appreciation and understanding grows. Or as some spiritual writers would state, moving from pablum to meat in the spiritual diet (or for our vegetarian/vegan readers- solid foods).

For those who read my thoughts An Epistle of Straw? this is what I see within understanding the family dynamics of leadership James, son of Mary, brother to Jesus of Nazareth brings out in his words. Striking to the heart of the parables and delivering the hard lessons that some were not willing to move into. Even though the risk could be huge as he was seeking depth of character and caring community, not breadth in numbers. Y’know like some labourer from Galilee had before him.

The question for you in your daily practice, and for me, is are we willing to see the otherside?

Are we willing to be with the harp solo?

Be with Holmes & Watson, Dixon Hill and Worf as he discovers to be a Merry Man?

Will we journey to the heart of the Sacred,

And be better for it?

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What’s in a Picture, Dorian?

Posted: November 4, 2018 by Ty in Spirituality
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I used to have an annual ritual from age of 12 until about 2 years ago. I would read Oscar Wilde’s A Picture of Dorian Gray. Age 12 seems a weird age to discover this book, it was a suggestion from a Writerific summer camp teacher. I had a half-elf/dwarf character named Dorian, and she had made mention of the book (and a cat of hers that was gray and named Dorian as well). As an avid reader, and being in a end of town where our school libraries didn’t get many new releases, I picked it up.

For those unfamiliar with the story, it is quite simple. A young man who trades on his beauty, makes a deal with the Devil for his soul. A picture of him hidden away in his attic would take on the ravages of age and his sin, while he would remain pristine and young forevermore. James Robinson’s Starman comic series for DC in the `90’s even used the picture as a plot point. In that arc Jack Knight and Shade aptly point out that most mistitle the work as “portrait”; once picture is sought, the concept of a kidnapping poster used by Gray to steal folks to continue his youth.

Both are reflections of what the story is about. The cost of remaining static and fearing change. But the flip-side of that is what price are we willing to pay to keep what we see as our perfection? Beauty? Age? Power? Wealth?

Would you surrender a picture to be ravaged to never change? For immortality?

What cost is in the picture for you? For every deal has a price…

What is in your picture?

Sons of the Father

Posted: July 14, 2014 by Ty in Musings
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A rejuvenation of discovery comes to a close. The tenth and final volume of Starman, Sons of the Father reveals the mystery of the Starman of 1951…and is a very metaphysical ride, but at its heart is the story of a decision.

Or as Superman would bring it together for Jack Knight, some are called to the life for life, others for a time (season) as Jack’s love Sadie, pregnant and betrothed to Jack at the end of 9th book left him and his son with the Mist 2 (read Night and Day for the full effect)to be a single Dad and make decisions on his calling.

Was he still needed as Starman or is his time at an end to pursue love and family in San Francisco?

We have all had callings within our life, some have been for seasons (for me this was more likely the years spent in Church Ministry, a season not a life, could it be rekindled, possibly, but I have passed the bible baton to others better suited) or callings meant to be life long or at least until a season closes…

One has to ponder their choices, those that they pass the baton to continue the work, make their good byes and accept their next steps into the future. Sometimes we get to make these choices ourselves, other times they are thrust upon us by circumstance, but true health comes from coming to the same point of acceptance, closure and moving forward.

So what is your current life calling?

Is this part of a larger meta-calling or a calling for a season?

What is your choice in pursuit of love?

 

 


By definition is an adjective ” dramatic entertainment featuring the gruesome or horrible” or more aptly the ninth volume of the Starman opus…when evil comes to darken the Opal, and heroes blood runs on the streets. In our journey perspective this story brings to a climaxing crescendo not only the story line of the series up to this point, but in true Robinson fashion, the story line of the Starman legacy up to this point.

I guess Grumpy Old Fan of CBR (Comic Book Resource) is right, with the DC New 52 stripping the post-Crisis legacy super heroic element they have lost a huge chunk of their heroes souls.  This opus proves it.

For it relates to us our own story, when we hit the true epic turning point of our lives where everything shifts gears, we are building upon the legacy of our ancestors before us. Into the microscopic, we are groing up to and concluding chapters of our own novel to that point before stepping into the next chapter, or better yet, the next volume.

For this is the epic conclusion to Ted’s story (the original Starman) and his arch nemesis, The Mist, and allows  Jack (current Starman) to truly emerge into the book of his own adventure.

How do the conclusion of our parents’ stories embark us into our own adventure?

How does what has brought us to each major fork int he road prepare us for the path chosen to ignite a new chapter?

What is the next book of your life ready to open that you just need to close off the current one?

 


Volume 8 brings one deep into dialogue with Eastern Philosophies (and hey I would encourage a trip through this part of your local bookstore to aid in your own self-enrichment and discovery) as it lays heavy on the conversation and beliefs around reincarnation. The journey to discover Jack’s love’s Sadie’s long lost thought dead super hero brother has been brought to a climax as the said brother is not dead, exactly. Track with me, one body, to existences, essences… Prince Gavyn a Starman of an alien world, and Will Payton a Starman of Earth, both thought dead, both alive in the same body.

Which leaves the Starman rebirthed a choice. Remain on the planet with Gavyn’s soul mate and rule, or return to Earth to Payton’s family? Choices we each must face in life and how we let things like social networks, love and companionship to shape our lives.

Reflecting further, look to men in general in our culture as this can become a meta-narrative, but what happens to most men who have spent their entire lives chasing money, prestige and power when they can no longer work? Or due to health or something else they loose these things precious to them?

For men who have chosen family life, what happens when they no longer have their family?

A true adventure love in life sometimes ends with both partners dying close together (note an earlier post speaking of Sandman and Dian Belmont) but sometimes even a grand love adventure ends with one party sipping tea with Jesus and the other on earth still journeying alone. For many women they have social networks that keep them going, but for men, there can be huge amounts of loneliness, and seeking for something to fill that void. Could it be then that the call to companionship and belonging within that partnered realm actually echoes more strongly in men later in life after a spouse has been lost or past than women?

What happens to the individual when love and/or purpose is lost?

Can/should they find renewal?

If you were Payton/Gavyn what would you choose?

A Starry Knight

Posted: July 13, 2014 by Ty in Musings
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The seventh volume of Robinson’s Starman saga takes us into a journey of renewal and transformation for not only Jack Knight, but another Starman from the 1970’s along for the ride, Mikaal Tomas (of the red hair/blue skin).  This collection bounces into deep space and the future but raises many questions for contemplation to reflect upon:

  • How much of our future and what will be our end of story do we truly want to know?
  • How much of our own past anxieties still control and seize us as we enter into our new realities of work, family, life, etc? This is raised as Mikaal who has been healing and journeying through PTSD is called to grow within and heal deeper to become more heroic once more…does he have it within him?
  • But also, as we change, grow and become healthier in our own lives, how much do we allow our past and anxieties to hold us back because we refuse to let them go?

 


Ah a great unwinding as I prepare to preach tomorrow, reading volume 6 of Starman: To Reach the Stars. Previously laid ground work begins to bear fruit and many questions for ourselves to reflect on our own lives journey crops up. For you see, Sadie, Jack Knight’s g.f. is revealed finally to be Will Payton (Starman #5) sister and she knows he is alive and asks Jack to go into space to find him.

A journey fueled by love, but there is more transformation, as within the bookends of the search for a space ship, is a story of intrigue that guest stars the Marvel Family, and raises such questions as:

  • Do we blindly follow orders?
  • Are we willing to step outside of what is popular in the world to reveal what is true and right?
  • Is it possible to change one’s own beliefs and still be true to who one is?

As the journey continues for Mr. Knight, it becomes chasing the space ship to leave earth and what it means to prepare for a global change. What type of global change? From philanderer to monogamous, discovering true love and making a conscious choice to step away from what can be viewed as a tradition of romantic pain to live in the moment.

But also think of our own lives, preparation for our own drastic changes. Do we just jump out of one career and into the next? Or do we prep replacements, empower those who are able to take our place? Once we step into the new reality, are we able to look back on what was and remember what was good? To let go of that which is negative within the change, and either let it die from our history if there is no good and move forward on our own volition to discover a new path?

As I re-read this story again, one all to familiar, it reminded me of preparing for changes within my own life, from religious driven work to secular, putting aside one calling to embrace a true light. But in each of these moments, realizing I could look at what was released and continue to hold it in detestment, distrust and hurt…or to realize that through these times it was active discernment that has brought myself and my family, to our point of health and contentment now. Would it have been nicer to have missed out the awkward and sometimes painful bits before reaching here? Yes. But like Jack Knight prepping for space and not knowing if he is to return alive to his Opal City and lady love, without the preparation, the next step of the journey may not be as sweet or as fun.


Ah Binge reading…volume four of the Starman adventure that shaped a young writer’s life.  The binge reading continues with Vol. 4 Time’s Past, a collection of stories from before Jack Knight. Stories that are of the past, but foreshadow the future stories to come.

I enjoy these stories now, for simply it shows us another reflection for our own journey. Too often we dwell on the past and bemoan what has shaped us for nought and cannot be changed. Yet in Time’s Past what is shown is what has shaped us yes, but what we learn, grow and experience new strengths and transformations of the journey we are on.

It truly lays out what one should think of when they look at their journey up to this point:

1) What happened?

2) What could I control/not control?

3) what help do I need to move beyond the negative and/or evil and to embrace the good and positive?

4) What old strengths are realized, what new strengths are discovered, what current strengths are  affirmed?

5) What for the future does this reveal for me (foreshadowing in my own story)?

Those are just some, and they are many, yet even in our meta-narratives that exist in this day and age we can discover gems…

What has been your story to this point?

Enter Sandman…

Posted: July 12, 2014 by Ty in Musings
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Yup another Starman entry lol. As dear reader you can tell since finding these tombs at my public library they have kick started my muse, and I am oh so binge reading them (is that healthier than binge viewing via Netflix?).

Wesley Dodds and Dian Belmont enter the series via a mystery in volume 3, but it is in volume 5 Infernal Devices where the most touching moment comes for these two former heroes in failing health through a simple 2 page letter to young Jack Knight. For you see they are off on one last grand adventure never to return, truly flying off into the sunset. What a way for a love story to end…true love living out new adventures until final breaths, and part of their legacy is funding Jack’s new store so the past can be connected to a new era.

Adventure and legacy, all simply extolled in love.

Now it is time for me to be mushy, as I hope this is what happens with my family, Shawna my love, we may adventure to the end together and leave a legacy through our children of the world continuing to be made better…

Visiting With David…

Posted: July 12, 2014 by Ty in Musings
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For those comic connoisseurs out there, those of us that like the bright and strong (ala Spidey, Supes, Bats, Wonder Woman et al) but still groove on the fly under the radar quirky Visiting with David was an annual tradition throughout the run of the `90’s Starman.

What was it? A way to illuminate history, show family, but also for me a place of some healing. Jack Knight was Starman, the 7th. His father, Ted Knight was the first, David Knight was the 6th. I first met David in the Wil Payton era Starman comic when he was trying to “seize” his father’s mantle. Time mellows (and Payton’s “death” saving the Universe in the Eclipso annual event did not hurt). It was Zero Hour, the Justice Society of America was returned, and aged. Ted desired someone to take up the mantle, David jumped for his father’s approval and within the 0 issue a sniper (one of the Mist’s henchmen, but I shall not ruin too much, pick up the singles of this great series, TPB’s or Omnibus’ and enjoy the ride yourself). His death triggered Jack’s ascension to hero in his own way. But each year there would be a visit.

Very Eastern a discourse with ancestors.

But something began to resonate within me, at the time of life when I had been hit hard by the first major loss of my life, my Granddad, and this made tangible through story what family had told me, you can visit wherever. A familiar tradition I have carried forward knowing that in our hearts we carry those who came and gone before us, and can visit with whenever we choose (for true ghost stories there are visits to my children within their dreams from ancestors as well).

But one that would be revisited as in my 20’s going through yet another Superman renewal in my life I discovered Schwartz’s new age work, An Unlikely Prophet and the world of Tulpa. Again an Eastern concept that fed my writing for at that time of life my subconscious was wearing, working through anxiety and depression, loss and grief.

Unbeknownst the idea of “Visiting with David” and the Tulpa emerged as I began to write myself into a journey with a sidekick character I had since I was 9 in most if not all of my stories, John MacCurtis, who had many incarnations and actually was a cornerstone of my “Verse” of the pulp hero adventures. It was through this journey of rediscovery of the past that I opened up the true worth of narrative in healing, self-discovery, and bringing wholeness to one self, it also began the genesis for my second book and first course at a University level, Pilgrimage to the Heart of the Sacred.

Why did this jump out of me now? Simply revisiting old stories I used to enjoy reading, and then meditative reflection on life. For it was through this reflection that led me to one of the most unique tattoos for a pastor of the time to choose, an ANKH, with the op hoop pink. Why? Through the journey, remembering to honour those who aided, the pink for the cancer battle of my godmother and my Mum…

Reflecting here 12 days out of what would have been my Mum’s 64th birthday, but she went to the tea party with Jesus in the Fall of 2013. I ponder, wait, and know that there will be many visits with Mum 2014.