From the Introduction

The “Tau Bada” tale I’m about to share is not simply an achievement or an outcome, or a recipe for the attainment of goals and self-improvement, or even a romantic happy ending. It is about the quiet transitions to real courage and the soul milieu that connects and binds us as mutual occupants of a shared planet.

Chapter 15 – Pigs

The ceremony was perfunctory in most respects. But his opening remarks were quite entertaining. “My friends, as we gather here today to see the first white people ever to be married in our village, let us not forget not too long ago we would not be marrying them, we would be eating them,” he said. The congregation said: “Amen.” Fiona and I responded: “Amen.”

Chapter 20 – Kweno Mountain

Had all of this work and progress been thrown away by one person’s desire for personal gain, and was that possibly condoned by the community at large? … I felt compelled to confront this culture of stealing and demonstrate the morality of transparency.

Chapter 27 – Never Say Never

In all directions, wheat fields are stretching out as far as I can see. This is the “beauty road” attested to by our own Native Americans. I just left South Dakota, riding over a bridge into Wyoming, peering down on the Missouri River. I enter the Standing Rock Indian reservation. On a bluff, I gaze at the road just traveled. I am in sync. My inward man and outward man are one.

Chapter 28 – Welcome Back

Whether it is a PNG sorcerer/chief casting or supporting fear-ridden spells or a Western corporate CEO or politician implementing marketing strategies, the results are similar. Well-constructed cultural fortresses are nearly impossible to penetrate. Leadership’s defensive routines and behaviors are intransigent.

Chapter 32 – Bushwhacked

Brusquely, the vehicle veered to the center as an object loudly and forcibly hit the Land Cruiser. Fiona screeched. To our left, five hooded men, three of them armed with what looked like spears, lunged out of the bush and pumped cartridges from rifles at our vehicle.

Epilogue

Fiona is now known as the woman who would not be shot. They are at loss to explain how she could be as powerful and invincible as a man.

Epilogue

The highway behind gives me courage to move into the future. I desire to see the first light of tomorrow.

The quotes below from the book are highly representative.

Introduction

The cowboy, leaning over his horse, asked the bartender for a six-pack of beer. I turned around and looked up and said, “I would like to buy you and your horse a drink.” He said no thank you … turned around and rode out. … A patron informed me that I had just met the “Zen cowboy.” … With one fluttering upper tooth, he stuttered out a Buddhist koan uttered by the Zen cowboy. He said: “It is what it is. It ain’t what it ain’t. Never say never. Let it go.” … This would stick with me during frequent squalls and a few storms over the course of coming years.

Chapter 2 – First Steps
“What was risky, and what was I fearful of? Was it the untraveled asphalt and concrete roads or the unchartered inward journey? There were no maps for the latter.”

Chapter 3 – Refuge

To my right was a pretty woman with blonde braids, milky-blue eyes, and a tender and engaging smile that sprang from a soft, beautiful pale face. I liked the strength in her look. … I grabbed her attention. She quickly remarked: “… I’m Fiona Delaney, from Papua New Guinea.” My response was automatic: “Papa what?”

Chapter 3 – Refuge

I started my first diary at the age of 10. I don’t think it can ever be completed.

Chapter 5 – Circling Back

Self-importance and the illusion of invincibility eventually ended my reign as chairman and CEO of a publicly traded company. I failed my organization deeply, hurting employees and shareholders alike. … Truthfully, I evolved into an asshole. Many of my friends disappeared as the king’s castle collapsed. Such insights were mortifyingly obvious.

Chapter 7 – Metal, Metal, Metal

Fear is viral and has few boundaries. From the Potomac River think tankers to a microdot island village in the Solomon Sea, we are interconnected.

Chapter 9 – Abeyance

I wanted to enter into the mind of God in order to reach a higher consciousness and a consequent new way of being. Like a wrestling match, this can be a dirty, sweaty and smelly affair; I gained glimpses of my core rot in secret places.

Chapter 11 – Misnomers

We carried the roasted coffee beans back to the village of Tabuane. The orchestrated villages’ sing-sing would be lifted to a new level of energy by a caffeine buzz never before experienced. They would taste and drink their coffee for the first time since planting began in 1963.

Chapter 17 – The Christmas Present

To my right and then quickly to the left, two warriors jumped out from behind the welcome committee, thrusting spears at my feet to signify I was welcomed. Highly stimulated, my response was typical. I almost crapped in my pants. Fiona reassured me by saying, “Everything is fine darling. The closer the spears the more you are hailed.”

Chapter 32 – Bushwhacked

The take I am talking about is a legal buyout and corruption of one’s soul. It is an inner larceny I am referring to. Sucking up to power is part of the game. … You become part of the system you were ordained, elected or hired to change.

Chapter 32 – Bushwhacked

We never conceived the community where we were helping to build a sustainable business would become jealous enough to erupt….

Chapter 33 – Diminishment

The emotional healing has been an evolvement where we are feeling almost whole. The financial ruin is still a challenge. … Even more disconcerting was to conjecture that equal love for the most part is a figment of my imagination.

Chapter 1 – The Picnic

Fear is a powerful conditioner and has little regard for honest conversations with oneself. Fear is the master builder. Until the threshold of pain becomes greater than the fear to change, I remain in a buoyant state.

Chapter 5 – Circling Back

A sardonic grin materialized in my passenger window reflection. Times had changed since those hard-charging days, and I had paid a steep price. Self-importance and the illusion of invincibility eventually ended my reign as chairman and CEO of a publicly trade company. I failed my organization deeply, hurting employees and shareholders alike. Truthfully, I had evolved into an asshole. Many of my friends disappeared as the king’s castle collapsed. Such insights were now mortifyingly obvious.

Chapter 3 – Refuge

Fiona and I must have looked like any typical motorcycling couple, out for a simple pleasure ride, but, unexpectedly, I noticed tears running down my cheeks. I glanced into my left-hand mirror and saw that she was crying too. I realized we were unexplainably connected, and I felt really good…It was magic.

Chapter 15 – Pigs

We were holding hands as we walked down the coffee-garden path to our home. I glanced up as a military truck pulled up. At least a dozen uniformed men with automatic rifles piled out. The sudden pandemonium, screams, wailing, and sense of fear were overwhelming. These militant “pigs” took over the village. We were stunned – like an avalanche or tsunami stunned. We were ill prepared for such an event. Survival skills for such a mishap were not a priority.

Chapter 20 – Kweno Mountain

I did not feel courageous. I felt like crapping my pants. I was, at that moment, empathetically extending myself by not redirecting the truck back down the Kweno Mountain road. The vehicle veered to the left and missed a significant bog. The headlights erratically fell onto the faces of one hundred villagers. Standing in the dark and mist with the stoicism of granite statues, they had been waiting in silence for Fiona and me to arrive. The rain began to fall harder.

Chapter 35 – Reaching Home

A series of out-of-body experiences (OBE) unfolded in the span of two weeks after I landed in Detroit, confirming my insanities.