acknowledgments

Thanks to:

First and foremost, my editors, for heroic efforts to make this book real. In triage, you were as merciful as you could be:

  • Are Solheim, writer and fellow refugee in darkness, for seeing and believing in me and the book, visionary editing, hosting me during the rewrite, and for your sly love for humanity, even me
  • Magnus Vanebo, philosopher, for enthusiastically diving into the text and sensitively editing it

    Also,

  • Bertrand Besigye, outlandish poet and fellow journeyman in darkness, for early support of the book

Hundreds of others in eight countries on two continents over 28 years, who morally and materially aided me during my prodigal search. To name but a few:

Family, immediate and extended: I leaned on all of you that would let me. It can’t be easy rearing a stubborn 20, 30, then 40 year-old psychotic infant in a world that denies everything real. Thanks, especially, to

  • Brother Paul, for shelter you should never have had to give
  • Grandmother Anna Lou Craig Callen Posey, always there
  • Brother Francois, for the constant experience of love
  • Cousin Christopher, for your generosity and grit
  • Uncle Jim—dropout, drug dealer, beach bum, loser, cool-ass motherfucker—for laughingly giving the system the finger till the day you died. RIP.

Trimurti: my second family, torn away as soon as I noticed, for helping raise me

Everyone named as an influence: for friendship, support, and raising the bar so high that anti-gravity boots became necessary. And especially elders:

  • Jack Nuckols: a giant of a man and first among my elders. RIP.
  • Willetta Warberg: who poured her heart and soul into me
  • John Boyer: who fed me with so much of his time
  • Purna Steinitz: who kept his terrible promise
  • DeWaynn Rogers: who helped me up and kept me from the system’s clutches. RIP.
  • Finn Po: elder, master job trainer, pioneer of the way of the future

Each of you gave me the world.

Old friends:

  • John Roberts: lifelong best friend, supporter, host
  • Daniel Meulbroek: guardian, supporter, and host extraordinaire
  • Brian Riggs Sullivan: full-throttle collaborator
  • Evelyn Thomas and Alton Sterling Voss: supporters and fellow survivors
  • Ian Robertson, for the lifering of rationality when it mattered most

Since darkness fell:

  • America
    • Rob Miller, Malia Shultheis, and Jen Carroll: supporters and early retreat hosts
    • Jesse King, John Monroe, and Elisabeth Goward, Dome Villagers at Maitreya Ecovillage, Eugene: serious camaraderie and support
    • Hannah Christina Torres for the original window covering idea
    • Brian Riggs Sullivan: for first help in developing these ideas and, as always, trying them out yourself
    • Daniel Tucker and Les, Ben Ramsey and Stephanie: for KCMO shelter
  • Guatemala
    • The Maya: for your friendship and unshakable presence
    • Chrissy Weisgard: friend, host, supporter, and, like Sandro, a fellow dyed-in-the-wool darkness spelunker
    • *Niels Gronau: for the miraculous Guatemalan facility
    • Elena Rago: friend and provider of an experimental facility
    • Karsten : friend, supporter, client, and for lending me tools and workshop where such things are rare
    • Tom Savage: friend and supporter
    • *Sandro Garcia, Nancy Gayle Martin, and Violet: heroic friends, hosts, supporters, retreatants
    • *Joshua Brang: friend, supporter, travel agent
    • All my clients in Guatemala: for exploring darkness with me
  • Europe
    • Kostas: fast friend, host, and shepherd from Greece to Northern Europe
    • David Friman and Erika Hedstrom for shelter and experimental darkroom workshop
    • Oscar, Limme, and Max at Kulturforeningen Gryning of Helsingborg: friends and supporters. Cheers!
    • Anna Ericksson: supporter and darkness experimenter
    • *Sanna Aatig: friend, supporter, host, and nurse in my darkest days
    • Frank Cicela: angel supporter since 2002!
    • Brad Crutchfield: friend, always-interested supporter, and deep well-wisher
    • Åsa Ringstrom and Johan Lörne: friends and supporters
    • *Johan Järlind: work partner, investor, retreat host, supporter, confidant, and friend in a critical year. You gave me so much, I’m speechless except… thank you.
    • Richard Nöjd for hardwon darkroom design ideas
    • A woman, unnamed, who initiated me in an essential part of my lost self, leading to the conclusive test of this idea
    • Marcus Ivarsson and Emma Sofie Berg: connectors
    • Stisse and Carina Gilgren: Swedish godparents
    • The people and place of Skattungbyn, Sweden
    • Dr Anette Kjellgren: for unqualified, professional encouragement
    • *Bård Anders Lien, friend, host, sponsor, apprentice and guide in Oslo
    • Terje Tjensvoll, supporter, host, collaborator, and guardian
    • Elisabette Molin: friend, supporter, and champion retreat host
    • Simen Kirkerød, Astrit Gashi: friends, hosts, collaborators
    • *Ketil Berg, friend, host, sponsor, treasurer extraordinaire. Without you, 2015 would have been very hard to survive.
    • Marie Richert and Virginie Bournaud, friends, hosts, sponsors, and guides in Paris

I called some people here guides, but anyone who hosted me also guided me. I’ve needed a lot of help for a long time. Everyone on this list put a lot of time and energy into me and my work. There was never any messing around.

Ok, maybe a little.

I also made enemies and hurt some people along the way. I’m sorry it didn’t go the way we thought at first. Here’s hoping it was not in vain.

Acknowledgments in books usually bore me. This one I cannot read without weeping again. Onward, then, till the task is complete.

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