My Story (and I’m sticking to it)[1]

I emigrated to the United States with my mother and sister at the age of six but left my soul roaming the streets of my native Manizales, dreaming of its beautiful people, its fabulously lush mountains and the multiple ranges of snow-clad peaks that envelop it.  I also have a younger half-brother, Theodore (my mother’s son with my beloved stepfather, Leon, deceased long ago); a number of half-sisters through my father and several women: Sari (unfortunately deceased), Ellen, Marisela and Danielle; and, one stepsister, Nancy (deceased).  My father, who passed away in 2022, had several different families sequentially (we think), but unfortunately for him, never stayed around to watch us grow.  Still, with one exception, I’ve had a wonderful relationship with my siblings.  The exception is not mentioned here.

I never remember not drawing but am told I started seriously drawing before I was three and at the of age eleven started writing short poems which grew in complexity and scope as the sails of my life unfurled.  I spent my youth exploring the myriad attractions and challenges of Miami, Charlotte and New York City, never spending much more than one year in any single place until I became a boarding student at the Eastern Military Academy and finally found stability.  Even as a sophomore there my philosophical and social consciousness was awake and my mind was busy questioning why, in an abundant world, so many people suffered on so many levels, questions yet to be answered.  My quest led me to study political science and history during the turbulent 1960’s at the Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, a unique place where opposing philosophies clashed and melded in an environment that stressed duty, honor and truth.

After graduation from college (and a brief adventure trying to find myself and to get to know my long-lost father in Venezuela) I returned to Eastern Military Academy where I eventually headed the Departments of Foreign Languages and Social Studies and for a brief time served as president of its International Division.  While at Eastern, I attended St. John’s University, School of Law, where I earned the degree of juris doctor and then attended the graduate division of the New York University, School of Law, where I earned a postdoctoral degree (LL.M.) in international legal studies.

I then practiced law for a decade or so, serving in public and corporate positions as well as in private practice but eventually became a strategic planning and political consultant.  During that time, I experienced the greatest boon a man can have becoming father to three amazing sons, Billy, Alex and Edward, from whom, I am, unfortunately, estranged.

I eventually returned to academia earning a graduate certificate in translation studies (Spanish to English) and linguistics from the Latin American Studies Center at the University of Florida and then, in a paradigm shift, returned to my academic roots joining the faculty of the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales where until 2016 I served as chair of the Political Science, Government and International Relations programs and was involved as a lecturer in linguistics, political science and as a special counselor with respect to issues involving internationalization.  In 2017, I received a leave of absence which, as 2018 dawned, became a permanent withdrawal from active participation with the university as I dedicated myself to research, civic activities, sports (tennis and softball) but most of all, to writing, much of it available on this site.  Until 2019, I was the official translator for the Institute for Political Studies and International Relations at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia where I also participated in conferences and seminars from time to time, but that did not take much of my time.  I am involved in interviews in Colombian media involving international matters and issues involving politics in the United States from time to time.  I’ve also been actively involved with the Faculty of Law at the Universidad de Caldas as a peer reviewer of masters’ theses and publications and have served as an adjunct professor in that university’s masters’ program in Social Justice and Creation of Peace.

I am extremely interested in world peace, averting a new cold war (or cold wars) helping to decrease political polarization, attaining more equitable economies worldwide, sustainable regional development activities in the Eje Cafetero region of Colombia and in the evolution of a Latin American nation-state modeled loosely on the European Union (I feel copying institutions would be a mistake but learning from them is wise) but avoiding its many serious errors.  I am also passionately interested in furthering my artistic career as a poet, writer and literary translator and reigniting my long dormant love of drawing and painting.

My life has seen great successes and abysmal failures, but I believe I’ve remained true to my ideals and have somehow found the courage to fight for them despite the cost.  All in all, I have to admit that I’ve learned more from my failures and mistakes than from my successes and that they’ve made me a better person.

I enjoy traveling, especially as a cultural adventurer rather than as a tour group member and love natural spots: beaches and mountains, rivers and lakes, but I also enjoy large cities full of cultural events (e.g., museums, seminars and concerts), especially their harder to find, more secret places, those that only local people really know. I love music, dancing (although Latin dancing intimidates me, too many moving parts and way too many rules), tennis, swimming and reading.

I love books that combine comedy, philosophy, history and spirituality.  My favorite authors are currently Mark Twain, Tom Robbins (no more to read though), Andrei Codrescu, Tim Dorsey, Christopher Moore, J.R.R. Tolkien, Frank Herbert, Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein.  My second son, Alex, introduced me to Neil Gaiman whose novels and short stories I find fascinating.  Alex self-published a novel, The Old Breed: Haxan in 2022 and I’ve finished one: Tales from the Light Side: Out of the Dark, which as yet remains unpublished as I frantically search for a decent literary agent (recommendations are welcome).

I’ve been active in “minor party” political matters (I despise both the GOP and the Democratic parties in the United States) and have a passion for comparative philosophy, anthropology, comparative religions, world affairs and history. I’m drawn to the beauty, simplicity and justice of the Wiccan Reede and am enthralled by ancient Sumerian culture, especially Inanna, but my spiritual beliefs center on a broad, panentheistic sense of the divine (now, ironically, impacted by the possibilities presented in Richard Dawkins’ meme theory).   I’ve sought spiritual enlightenment all my life but have yet to find definitive answers; I have, however, found an ever increasing and worthwhile, series of questions on which to speculate.

I’ve had a number of serious relationships (too many in my opinion) with wonderful women and am on good terms with most (but unfortunately not all) of them.  On November 22, 2019, I met my current wife, a wonderful, intelligent, spiritual and talented woman, a chemical engineer very involved in spiritual counseling who produces and markets a line of aromatherapy products under the trade name Anattana.  We were married on September 16, 2020, at the height of the Covid 19 pandemic.  She has two wonderful daughters, born in 2006 and 2008, who live on a sort of farm/spiritual center with their father about two hours away, but stay with us regularly as well.

Obviously Eastern Military Academy’s motto “what you are to be you are now becoming” is still an ongoing process; one for which I’m very grateful.

[1] © Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2007 – 2010; all rights reserved.  Updated during March of 2023.

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