Who are we, and what are we doing here on this little blue marble, spinning boldly and precariously through the blackness of space? There seem to be two ways to search for the answers: from the outside, and from the inside. Blue Planet Journal, the love child of Brook and Gaurav Bhagat, is a little of both, featuring nonfiction on ecology and green finance, creative nonfiction on travel, meditation, love, goddessness, and the cosmos, and a fictional fringe of laughter, including the popular Humorscope and a reinterpretation of the ancient tales of Mulla Nasruddin. Blue Planet Journal welcomes submissions in all categories.
Perhaps the most compelling character of Eastern folklore, Mulla Nasruddin and the stories about him have many levels: they are simple jokes, good for a cheap laugh; they are moral lessons, illustrating the pitfalls of human behavior and culture; and they are zen koans, capable of giving glimpses from beyond the veil.
Mulla Nasruddin used to go every evening to the tobacco shop, and sit there with the shopkeeper smoking his pipe and talking. One day the shopkeeper noticed that Mulla was starting to grow a beard. Mulla complained about how hot and itchy it was. This became his favorite topic, and every evening he told the shopkeeper more about how much his whiskers troubled him. Finally, one day, the shopkeeper got tired of his complaining and said, “If you hate the beard so much, why don’t you just shave it off?”
“Well,” said the Mulla, with a twinkle in his eye, “my wife hates it too.” read more
Dance of the Autumn Women
Twenty paces away from the fire, moving around a low, flat rock, the medicine woman is doing her work, her body softened almost to silhouette by the periwinkle blue blush of dusk. She is so near to the wilderness in nature that you cannot be sure how long she had been there when you became aware of her. You cannot see the mystery surrounding her, the light emanating from her, but you can feel it. She is gone, a hollow bamboo, a deep, still lake reflecting the farthest stars of the night sky… and yet she is with us, she is preparing tea for us. read more
Om Mani Padme Humm!
Tibet: A Diamond in the Lotus
When a country is taken by force, and brutally occupied, and its people are regarded as little more than an impediment to another end, without basic rights, what chance can that country’s plants and animals have? And do we have the right to concern ourselves with flora and fauna when human beings, perhaps some of the most beautiful and peaceful human beings on this planet, are also nearing extinction? It is not necessary to choose. For thousands of years the Tibetan people have lived in harmony with their ecosystem and been a part of it; therefore, their struggle to survive must be included in a discussion of the destruction of that ecosystem. read more
Goin’ Down to Memphis: Beauty and the Blues
Real blues, in a voice, a chord, or a single soulful note of a 100-year-old harp or an angelic electric guitar is liquid emotion, a drop of pure life. It makes the distance between hearts, minds and time disappear. The blues is not a self-indulgent celebration of sadness; it is a celebration of life without a filter, of humanity without a mask. There are joyful blues, laughing, stomping, swinging and grinding blues; but melancholy and madness and love and loss are also part of our human experience, and they have their sweetness, their depths. They also deserve to be sung about. The funny thing is, as a wise man once said, when you sing the blues, you lose the blues… you yourself disappear, and what is left is real. I have loved the blues madly for the better half of my life, and a three-day road trip to Memphis, Tennessee, the blues capital of the world, was a dream come true for me. read more
In Grandma’s Eyes
They say that you can’t really love anyone until you love yourself, and maybe it’s true, but it’s not so neat and clean. It’s all mixed in the river, like mud and leaves and ice breaking off and melting. When someone loves you like that, so totally, a beautiful person like Grandma thinks you’re worth loving—you open up to the possibility, simply because there’s no way she could be wrong. read more
Blue Planet Journal Humorscope
Gemini (May 21 – June 20)
An awkward collision with a mysterious mustachioed gentleman wearing a lavender tuxedo in the light bulb aisle of the grocery store will result in a fissure in the space-time continuum, and you will be briefly transported to the exact same location five years from now for about five minutes, and then returned to your own time. This won’t be as life-changing an experience as you might imagine, the only difference being that you will begin stock-piling those fluorescent light bulbs around the house and telling all your friends and family that you know they are the “light bulbs of the future.” They won’t believe you, but if you invest heavily in fluorescent light bulb stock, there’s a good chance you’ll make a fortune and you can rub it in later. Good times! read more