Authorpreneur Dashboard – JanStephen James Cavanaugh

JanStephen James Cavanaugh

A Bloodied Tapestry

Biographies & Memoirs

Imagine you’re a young man growing up in the pastoral farmlands of Canada, surrounded by your devout parents and seven siblings. You trek 16 miles to church each Sunday to further devote your life to the religion that you believe to be your calling. Life is hard, but you’re at home and alive. Then, like a shot from destiny, everything changes. You find yourself in South Vietnam in the middle of war, attempting to make sense and reconcile the faith and morality from the only world you’ve ever known with this all-encompassing hell of inhumanity and senselessness. This is the disconcerting experience that author JanStephen James Cavanaugh recounts in A Bloodied Tapestry.

In this autobiographical historical account, Jan takes readers through the time he served as a civilian volunteer in the Vietnam War and shows how this experience altered the trajectory of his life forever. Walk with Jan as he comes to grips with the realities of war, and how injustice and violence betray our better judgements.

Much has been written about the Vietnam War; however, this book is not a retrospect on the utter inhumanity and senselessness of war because—sadly—war continues. Alternatively, Cavanaugh extols lessons and observations about the war that may finally reach our collective consciousness and compel meaningful and noticeable change. Much more insight is needed as we fumble our way toward attempting to find a peaceful way to exist together. Cavanaugh still believes we can make the choice to let go of the injustice and ego that create war. He is still hopeful that together we can make the collective choice to turn our backs on war so we may progress and find greater meaning and compassion in our existence. This pursuit is what motivates Cavanaugh and inspired him to revisit this hell, so that we may finally experience the harmony that comes from humanity living in an age of peace.

Sometimes graphic, oftentimes uplifting, A Bloodied Tapestry is a personal account of one man’s immutable beliefs as they are challenged to the very core and his resolution to survive for a greater purpose.

Book Bubbles from A Bloodied Tapestry

I Now Know Why: Sex Violence Love

Five Star Review: A Bloodied Tapestry, April 2024 “This is a man’s book. An autobiography of a boy’s heterosexual development to early manhood. It describes how the themes of sex, violence and love manifested to him. These are challenges that every boy has to contend with to be a man. This man’s book forged in the crucible of war. Each man’s story is unique to him, but sex, violence, and love are three big themes by which a man is measured. This man’s book can be a mirror for every man to take his measure. Through the stories in this man’s book, the author describes how these three themes, healthily integrated, have led him to create a blueprint for peace on planet earth. And a hope for the future of planet earth humanity whose future is being questioned due to global war and warming.” Anonymous

War Is Winning

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, What Do We See: War Is Winning. When I wrote the epilogue to A Bloodied Tapestry in June of 2021, I describe a tightness in my gut that reminded me of the feeling I had in the fall of 67 before Tet 68. Reading the tea then the levels war and more war seemed our future. I see in early 2024 how my gut sensed what was yet unknown. War is winning. Funds for war expanding worldwide … powers afraid and gearing up for war which takes away money to deal with an even greater threat than nuclear war … a planet so warm it is not able to support human life. Our leaders fiddle while our planet burns. Or floods. God help us.

Why Sex in a story of War?

Why Sex in a story of War? A major theme in A Bloody Tapestry is tracking my sexual development. Naïve farm boy a virgin till 25 bumbling along in matters sexual most of my life. Only now in my 80s too late I think I could be a great lover. I knew I wanted to write my story as a civilian living and working in a country at war. Lots of stories of soldiers in war, but not so many of civilians. It turns out to tell how my background collided with war, and how that impacted my life history. The story came out of me as it wanted to be told … in truth I was a little shocked at times at what came out. Not so much about my personal observations of war … but for sure so personal observations in matters of sex … made me blush. I remember after the book came out; I was riding in a car with three women friends … in one voice they said, “we tell people the best sex is in the back of the book.” Laughter. No thoughts on war. I was deflated. I added a Caveat.

Hamas Attack More Like Tet 68 Vietnam

I hear people grabbing for a metaphor to comprehend Hama's brutal attack on Israel. For me, the obvious ... given the utter surprise and scope of battle, the slaughter ... it puts me in mind of Tet Vietnam 1968. When you read the part of my seeing "his toothy mouth in the dim light ... turning away" ... I realize now that it was the angel of death passing me by. My PTSD mostly latent again now triggered ... strong memories of that time haunt me ... and aware of the slaughter that is about to unfold in Gaza. God Help us.

Siesta Vistor November 1967

Dr. Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai Might it be that you write their love story ... we far enough from that troubled time that people will be drawn to a great love ... for that time of war. JanStephen Cavanaugh, Ph.D.

Be a Peace Warrior

Peace Warrior 2023 A Bloodied Tapestry is the story of how my time in war shaped me to be a peace warrior. Dedicated to making planet earth humanity a law-based civilization. Looking for fellow peace warriors to get it done. A law based civilization can be built. This world wide web wired humanity … our evolving global consciousness … just waiting for good news to solve what ails us. Planet Earth Humanity on present course is the equivalent of the “wild west,” much needing law to quell the grave injustices that stink to heaven. Planet Earth Humanity in need of the good cowboy. A peace warrior. is a meeting place to get the conversation going … ending war and warming. It can be done when enough of us want it done. Be a Peace Warrior. JanStephen

Very Roman Catholic

Sex and Violence I was raised in a Church whose theological position is that all violence is to be manage by justice through good government. A Church that prays for the end of war. Understands violence will always be with us or we are not human, and a path to redemption. A Church that teaches if there is to be blood shed it is shed in the Name of Jesus Christ at the Mass. Humanity empowered with the power of His Blood, our soul now fed. No longer the lust for war. So, with that moral compass you might not be surprised that my story in war came to be a story about an age of peace. In the matter of sex, I was Catholic through and through. You do not touch yourself. Ever. Do not sexually touch a woman till marriage night. I took those teachings to heart. As you will read the voice of Jesus at age 7, “You not like other boys dominated by their dicks”. A marked man. So, with that as a starting point you might not be surprised the dandiest details in memory that stand out of what stood up as I came of age.

Early Sensitivities to Sound of War

It is true, I was not given the training a soldier gets to prepare for the sound and fury of war. But even so I often wonder was I "extra sensitive" given my childhood traumatic response of almost fainting at sound of cannon and thunder. And so early sensitivities to the horror of the sound of war aroused in Vietnam . And for that I suffer PTSD ... now well controlled ... for the most part ... low these many years. And now to wonder was my early life experience of the sound of war part of my soul's code to learn the lesson ... to speak of peace from a heart felt space that gives direction and meaning to my life. What was once a suffering given for a purpose that I might see more deeply the path to peace on earth.

The Sound and Fury of War

When I Listen to the Sound and Fury of War. From my time in war still the shock of how unprepared I was for the unnerving sound and fury of war. Had on the job training to get my “war nerves.” And all that came of that. And maybe the reason for no preparation to hear the sound and fury of war deeply and listened deeply. The Barbarism of war. And why we pray the sound and fury of war does not come our way. And if war, it stays over there. War is hell on earth. But not forever. So also, peace is heaven on earth. Forever. If we, planet earth humanity, want it. We do understand first time ever we the people of planet earth the power to quiet the sound and fury of war on planet earth. As far as I can tell humanity is leaning into the sound a fury of war and not away from it. And this scares me so. That is what I hear when I listen to the sound and fury of war.

The Sufferings of Civilians Ukraine

As I reread my writings from my time in war as a civilian in Vietnam 1967-1969 ... the horror and terror of it all. And what I experienced so also the Vietnamese civilians all around me. The barbarisms of war inflicted on civilians in Ukraine on TV. My heart goes out to them ... the hell they are living. I pray peace comes as quickly as it can upon that blood soak land. I pray in time planet earth humanity will rise up and end the barbarism of war. That we live in a time with the power of the WWW to do that gives me hope.

Biden Negotiate End Ukraine War

A year ago this June 2022 I wrote the epilogue to my book: Fearing then that humanity is on a path to great destruction, and now a year later talk of nuclear war as Ukraine war grinds on ... the next chapters in WWIII. The truth be told Ukrainians are being slaughtered at the altar of USA power. Zelensky is their puppet. And now he is in a deep trouble. As Pope Francis and Rand Paul noted our complicity in this unlawful war is the truth. Shame on Democrats for what I understand to be willful blindness. We need a march on Washington to demand President Biden Negotiate An End to the Slaughter. It won't be popular, but our message must be clear. The record is clear: USA and NATO provoked this war and just as guilty as the Russians in starting this illegal war. Let peacemakers join Francis and Paul ... to amplify their message. In the streets a plea for Biden to do the right thing ... from power broker to peace broker to end this unnecessary slaughter.

Civilians Caught in the Hell of War

My friend Eve Marko who is a Founding Teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Order, called the other night. She had just finished my book and was excited by the story well told. She said, “I’ve met and talked with many Vietnam War veterans, but never with a civilian who volunteered to work with the people and got caught smack in the middle of a murderous war. Vietnam’s American War left scars not just on soldiers, but on ordinary people with high-level skills and the best of intentions. The images and sounds described here stay with me since my reading. When war intersects with generous idealists in a beautiful country, devastation ensues not just in the countryside but also in the hearts and minds of human beings." Yes, my hope to draw attention to “ the hearts and minds of human beings” the plight of civilians caught in war. In country not a few weeks … words from my soul to capture the horror of war as it hit me. And why humanity needs to abolish it. (Thomas Merton)

Me And The Stripper

I learned from a group of women who read my book … apparently the word is out, the sexy chapter is last … and they all laughed. Apparently from a woman’s point of view that is the place to start. I live in a retirement community that also has a lot of retired nuns. Apparently one of the nuns wants to read it, and my friends wondered about that. I flashed back to the time held up in hotel downtown Saigon for weeks during Tet 68 (nothing to do but party to drown the noise of war) … if what I saw be a measure of nuns at play, nothing to shock that crew. But this did get me wondering, so that I start out in better light, maybe to recommend to nuns, or anyone, to start with Sr. Mary McD.'s recommendation for graduate school at the very back of the book. I do recommend reading the story from the beginning that my whole story can be seen in context. And in me in truth I felt a little saner for that interaction … Eros not Thanatos, at least for a brief moment a blessing.

Boy Raised in Patriarchy

My story is a story of boy raised in patriarchy and him no more aware of it than the air, but there all the same. Learning the lessons, he needed to survive and maybe thrive.

There Are a Lot of US

I talked recently to lifelong friend about his time as a civilian in Vietnam. His work there in a time of war. His experiences of war. I realized there are a lot of us civilians who worked in Vietnam. We all got stories to tell of what that is like trying to a job as the bombs are going off. And the many here with stories to tell with loved ones over there. The writing of my story a healing for me and maybe for the reader, a healing. . God Bless,

Maryknoll Novitiate Class 67

My life journey to Vietnam took me though a time with Maryknoll. There are many of us who served in military and civilian capacities in that war. My story is from the civilian side. I look back on those times in Maryknoll. I remember great comradeship, and the excitement of change for a more just world ... Sexual Revolution II, Civil Rights, Vatican II, Camelot, Kennedy's speech American University June 10, 1963, to build a world beyond war. And oh my God, Father and Mother in Heaven, I look out my window and what I see is far from the promises of those times. The dogs of war are off the leash. We are in the opening chapters of WWIII. We desecrate Mother Earth. Tell me it is my time in war past that has me seeing the future so darkly. It would be a relief to accept that I am just 'round the bend'. And I fear I am not.

Imprisoned In Terror of Noise

By God's plan what I remember strongest of my trip north to meet with Bill Rose of Friends Service Committee was not what I experienced there, although even that enough. It was on the trip south I had a life altering experience of war. Even now 55 years later still a strong echo in my soul imprisoned in the terror of noise.

Vietnam, Life and Love

From boyhood on farm to young man off to do humanitarian work in a country at war. Off to war with none of the necessary preparation mentally to be in war. What I think now, more than anything in my life ... now pushing 80 ... Vietnam a major influence in how I view life and love. .

War In Ukraine Stirs Deep Fears

For reasons that may have to do with my time in war over 50 years ago and maybe due to stirring up stuff in the writing of my story, all I know is Ukraine War stirs me deeply. More so than the many wars in last twenty years. This war as most wars do, will end in negotiations. The question is when? In my gut a feeling of great anxiety that only gets worse by the day. I can only hope it is my trauma in war from times past that has me seeing the future so darkly.

A Bloodied Tapestry

Biographies & Memoirs

Civilian Perspective, American War in Vietnam, II Corps, South Vietnam, 1967–1969 My story draws from a well of personal journals written during my time in war as a civilian. Journaling is a habit I started in Catholic seminary and unwittingly gives witness to my story. What is written herein is a series of essays that interweaves a tapestry of memories that crisscross my time in South Vietnam from 1967 to 1969. The “American War,” as the Vietnamese have named it.

Book Bubbles from A Bloodied Tapestry

Civilian Terrors

In answer to the why now that I finished writing my story. I see the story more clearly. It is a coming-of-age story of a very young man working in a foreign land in civil war. Walk with him and feel your way. I wonder now I survived to tell the tale of the horrors of civilians in war ... that we might see more clearly ourselves in the mirror.

Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish

We use cookies so you get the best experience on our website. By using our site, you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy. ACCEPT COOKIES