A is for “A Fettered Mind”

Hiroshima Dome:

We’re all fettered by something, not least of which is our biological “gilded cage”.

Anyone who has had more than a passing interest in either the martial arts or zen would recognise that “A Fettered Mind” stems from Takuan Soho’s book The Unfettered Mind – Writings of the Zen Master to the Sword Master. But things for me are always more organic than just lifting a title from someone else’s imagination.

It was somewhere in the 2000’s that my writing focused switched from technical articles, mostly related to Spatial Science (my day job) and the martial arts experience particularly Aikido and Ki, towards more creative writing. My grandfather was an officer in the Second Australian Infantry Forces and served in a non-combat role in Europe,ack home in Australia, and later in East Asia. My mother was born after he enlisted but by the time the war had ended five years later he had not been home to see her. Rather than return home to his family though he chose to volunteer for the British Commonwealth Occupational Force (BCOF) in Japan. Most of this I discovered shortly after his death.

Why would a man I knew to be good and kind abandon his family?

It was a question I had failed to answer through research so I decided that I would literally solve it myself. At first this project wa entitled “Tex” the name he was known by, having been born in the small town of Texas, Queensland, Australia. Late one evening while researching the novel Takuan’s “The Unfetered Mind” fell onto my writing desk from the bookshelf.

“Now that is one saying I can’t use to describe you Tex,” I said into the darkness.

I browsed straight to my project and entitled it “A Fettered Mind”.

A is for “A Fettered Mind”

I have uploaded the short story Hanami, which is based on my grandfather Tex’s service with he peace keeping forces in Japan.

11 thoughts on “A is for “A Fettered Mind”

  1. Pingback: A to Z Challenge – a retrospective « A Fettered Mind

  2. Neat story. What do you do for a job that revolves around Spacial Science? How intriguing! Really neat to see how a book affected you. I have had so many experiences like that and I do love a good creative writing session. Also, I’ve never read “A Fettered Mind”; i’ll have to pick it up and see how I like it.

    Anyways, I look forward to reading more of your blogs and thanks for stopping by mine.

    • Hi Maggie/Luper. Day job is mostly designing spatial user interfaces similar to Google Maps/Earth. Nothing too exciting but I enjoy my work. Writing is a passion too. The book “An Unfettered Mind” was written in the early 1600s and is basically a collection of letters Takuan wrote to Swordsmen of the day. I isn’t a story as such but to me is indispensable to my life. You can read it online from a link on the Wikipedia page but you can’t print or copy/paste from it.

      • Awesome! I’ve found over the years that enjoying what you do for a living is a treasure. =] Nothing can really replace that, especially if you’ve had to work some crappy jobs beforehand.

        I’m with you! I absolutely love writing.

        Ah, letters are always interesting to read. I’ll definitely check it out on the wiki. Thanks for the information.

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