Flat Rock, Wide Pond

by Roy H. Williams on April 25, 2016

Roy H. Williams · Invisible Heros · April 25, 2016

Pendulum in Action, invisible heroes, Wizard AcademyA Barely Explicable Collection of Moments

Every person is a collector, I think.

Business people collect money

Travelers collect places.

Competitors collect shining moments.

Insecure people collect conquests, panties hanging from the bedpost.

My own collection consists of curiosities, tokens of moments nearly forgotten; captured glimpses of interesting lives. I’m not certain what this says about me but I like to think it says I’m a writer.

Marcel Proust lectured, “The duty and the task of a writer are those of an interpreter.” So I try to interpret what I find.

Arthur Schopenhauer added, “The business of the novelist is not to relate great events, but to make small ones interesting.” So I do my best to make each small item in the collection interesting.

Mignon Eberhart echoed my soul when he confessed, “I seat myself at the typewriter and hope, and lurk.”

My collection of curiosities is a rock that skips across 500 years of cultural icons. The worldwide ocean of art is impossibly deep and wide and my rock touches only a few superficial places.

But the ripples are amazing:

A 500 year-old Spanish ship’s bell dragged up from the ocean floor in the Philippines, very possibly from one of the two ships Ferdinand Magellan lost there in 1521 during his historic circling of the earth.

A pencil sketch of Napoleon drawn by his little brother, 24 year-old Lucien Bonaparte, shortly after the pair of them captured the throne of France in 1799.

Don Kehan, Marshall of Manchon, the original manuscript of an unpublished book about Don Quixote written by John Steinbeck.

The world’s only copy of a 1936 photo of Jacqueline Bouvier at a horse show when she was just 6 years old, but already unmistakably “Jackie O.”

The Wise Men who sat on the piano of Liberace each Christmas, complete with Joseph and Mary and an angel with just one wing. A one-of-a-kind, handmade set dressed in velvet. (Liberace was a flamboyant piano player known for his over-the-top costumes, the original Elton John.)

A cultural icon is never about the thing itself, but the idea it represents.

Magellan = Exploration
Napoleon = Strategy
Quixote = Commitment to a Dream
Jackie O. = Elegance
Liberace = Showmanship

You’ll find these and other curiosities touching Teddy Roosevelt, Pablo Picasso, the Wright Brothers, Oceanic Flight 815 and dozens of other ripples on the water of time as you tour the campus at Wizard Academy.

You’re coming, aren’t you?

Wizard Academy is a 501c3 nonprofit educational organization committed to helping individuals achieve the things they have committed to do. You choose the star. We don’t care. Our only job is to get you there.

A solid limestone plateau rises 900 feet above downtown Austin, overlooking that city from 20 miles away. We cut perfectly northward into that limestone with heavy diesel equipment for 4 months, then planted a vertical sword in the wall of the Stardeck that sits like a crown on the million-dollar tower we built at the end of it.

Walk to the center of that deeply cut limestone becauseway and stand on the Laughlin stone on any clear night. The point of light just above the hilt of the sword is Polaris, the North Star that rises above the axis of the earth. The whole world revolves around it. Polaris has served as a navigational tool for millennia because unlike other stars, its position never changes.

Can you name the star that beckons you?

We cut a 300-foot furrow 14 feet deep in solid rock on top a 900-foot plateau and then built a landmark tower with a sword in its crown purely as a symbol to help us make a point: that’s how serious were are about the importance of picking a destination and launching your life’s journey.

Wizard Academy is not a school for whiners, posers, devil’s advocates, nitpickers, handwringers, crybabies, complainers, chicken-hearts or fools.

But it is definitely the school for you.

Come. The next chapter of your adventure is about to begin.


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