In fiction, the dream must be vivid and continuous, you simply have to find out what happens next.

Retablo by Joel Nakamura for Cowboy Surfer’s Journal

Cowboy Surfer’s Journal, “The Lost Ember”

“Up until now my life has been a fiction . . . nothing has been real, it’s been a dream.”

The Life and Times of John Henry McCanles
-William Henry McCanles

It has been a long time in the making, this book, this Quest for something more, something that matters. We can’t wait to grow up and it seems youth is eternal, until we’re not young anymore. Growing up with awareness is painful; consciousness always comes with a cost.

I’ve often been accused of being selfish, lazy and self-destructive, and always the one with potential. What a curse it is to have potential. It’s something you never quite know what to do with. It’s like a pair of shoes your afraid to wear because you might scuff them and ruin the shine. Potential, it’s something left to others interpretation, something we are denied access to, only we know no matter hard we try we can never measure up to the expectations. As this last year turned, finding its denouement, I pondered my life and its legacy. What I came to understand in looking at my lack of accomplishments by societies standards, a life of vast opportunities, adventures and unfinished projects, merely represented another take on life. The day-to-day grind has never much appealed to me, it’s forever seemed pointless, really. In contrast, I’ve always been up for the event, the rush of being in the moment, immersed in my senses, which has added up to a collection of experiences, fragments or episodes, that required I behave as a human being, not just go thru the spurious motions of life a human doing. And yet, all of the experiences of my life have served me, made me human, real, and given me seasoning and perspective, for which I am grateful.

My reason for developing the Cowboy Surfer’s Journal Anthology, is to share my insights and experiences, fragments of a life lived and imagined, as I continue my own journey, from childhood and earlier into the future. My portrayal of the McCanles family is my own way of exploring the truth and mythology that is uniquely mine, and universal. I hope reading the fragments of our experiences, both real and otherwise, will resonate with you, entertain you, be informative, interesting, and cause you to look deeper at the potential that exists within you—to help free you from the chains that bind your soul—the very ones that enslave us all.