Hard Hat Diving, Stromness - You can't swim, you don't dive, yet you quite fancy walking along the ocean floor? Then this might be for you. Weigh yourself down with lead and brass, screw a helmet onto your rubberized shoulders, and take this chance of plummeting to the seabed in Scapa Flow. A different sort of day out from Stromness, ideal for wet weather! (Original material to this site)
Writing in Zimbabwe - from The Guardian, March 2006
A Conversation with James Purdy - a record of conversations with the writer James Purdy, in his home in Brooklyn Heights. Wonderful insights into a magnificent writer, and into how to manage a daring and creative life even as the world turns in on itself.
Guadalupe Peak - Discovering America's Sacred Mountain - My book On Sacred Mountains led me to the Guadalupe Mountains, a chain runing down through New Mexico into Texas. The visit brought me the singular most visionary experience of my life. This is a version of the story, newly edited for this site - it seems important that this story is avaiable as freely as possible, not just for those who find the book.
The Mountain Holyman of Arunachala - On Sacred Mountains has a visit to the Indian holy mountain of Arunachala at its heart. The book includes my visit to the meet the holy man who sits on the mountain's summit. This is an introductory episode, original to this site.
- ORIGINAL ONLINE MATERIAL - You've read I Was Carlos Castaneda? - Here's a three part sequel, brand new and unique to this site.
Scotland and Sacred Mountains - Part of an introduction to On Sacred Mountains that I dropped from the book (I decided to lead the book with the punch of narrative drive instead instead of this more personal reflective mode). I lived in Glencoe for some years, and Glasgow for more. Scotland was my awesome primer in the way of mountains. - ORIGINAL ONLINE MATERIAL -
The Amazon Bites Back - Ayahuasca and malaria in the jungle, a travel piece and photo for "LA Weekly"
Nella Bielski - The year is '42 - review from the New York Observer
Pankaj Mishra and the buddha - A New York Observer review
Chez Moi - A travel piece and photo on our home village in the Pyrenees, where Castaneda came to visit
Sai Baba A visit to the most popular guru in Indian - Original Online Material
Free to Die Laughing - My favourite piece. The words are not my own but belong to the poet and film-maker James Broughton. I compiled this piece, from an interview I did with him, to keep him in my mind on the day he was dying. It is the most joyful and wise account of living a creative life that I know.
South By High-Tech - A teenage guide to New Mexico.