" mystery in a luminous word..."
charles frode
Author & Writer
Charles Frode Bio

Charles Frode was born in Stockton, California and spent a "Leave It To Beaver" childhood there until 20. His Down brother, John, started Frode off on the road of sensitivity and compassion. When he was a freshman in high school, Frode heard the call to a spiritual life, and it took him a year to realize that spiritual life meant monastery. The novice master of New Clairvaux Abbey in Vina, California told Frode he couldn't enter the monastery until the age of 20, so Frode began his own spiritual life while living at home. Up at 2 am, mediation and prayer, riding his celeste Bianchi Team Issue to school, waiting for 2 years to evaporate.

During those 2 years, Frode baked bread with his mother, June (not Cleaver), fished, camped, skateboarded, bicycled up into the Sierra Nevadas, and all the while prayed and meditated on a monastic schedule. It wasn't until his parents drove him up to Vina to enter the monastery that his father, Carl, could see that monks weren't fleeing life but were just focusing on an often overlooked part of human life. Frode was in the monastery as a postulant for a year until the Fathers suggested he finish his university work. The academic year was spent at UC Santa Cruz studying world religions and scriptures while the summers were spent at the monastery. It was during the prune and walnut harvest that Frode would meet someone with whom he would connect deeply and forever, Brother Paul. Frode and Brother Paul realized quickly that they both were living out the archetype of Hermann Hesse's Narcissus and Goldmund. Their friendship flourished even when Frode decided to leave the monastery knowing that (as saintly Father Timothy told him) "you carry your monastery in your heart, Brother Charles."

Just as Goldmund, Frode dove into life, humanity, joy, ecstasy, and pain, all the while visiting and writing his Narcissus on an irregular basis. When Brother Paul contracted pancreatic cancer, Frode and his family (wife and two children) witnessed his funeral at the monastery. Buried directly into the ground, with an unexpected wind swirling around the crowd, the spirit received Brother Paul's body and soul back into the Unmanifested.

Frode became a language teacher, teaching adults, secondary students, and teachers for 35 years. During that time he lived in Salinas, California, met Doctor David, Kurt, and Kap, his forever male friends; he divorced and remarried Elvira, his Aztec princess and soulmate. He and his family moved to southwest Idaho and resettled in Eagle. There he and his wife continued their careers as educators, and it was at Boise State University that Frode earned his Master's Degree in Educational Technology through their only online Master's program. Frode retired in 2014 to pursue his goal of continuing to write and publish short stories, and to play alternative bluegrass music with his nuclear engineer buddy, Jim Crow. 

Frode has four great children. Piper--bilingual, living in Colorado, world traveler, compassionate woman, great daughter; Miles--great word and graphic artist, loving free spirit, bilingual, living in Oregon, soon to be famous for his word-wielding. Maya--living with Frode and Frode, fashionista, communications journalist, soon to fly the nest, a talented young woman. Carlo--living on his own now, named after Frode's father, Carl, bilingual, hard-working, sharp dresser, a great son, and soon-to-be aeronautical engineer. Frode's brother, John,lived with the family for the last ten years of his life, but passed away from complications with diverticulitis and surgery. RIP.

Frode and his wife enjoy cooking (Mexican, Thai, Italian, Japanese) and eating together and with family and friends, and discussing kids and staff members who need attention and training. They regularly haunt Boise niteclubs to listen to music (Jonathan Warren and the Billy Goats, Stone Seed, Possum Livin,' and The Fiddle Junkies, their favorites) and kick up their heels dancing.

Let the good times roll!   


See yourself reflected back to your mind and heart in extraordinary ways.

Ord  er your own personal copy of both of my short story collections now--A Dream of India & Other Mystic Stories of Radiance and Darkness and One Times One & Other Numinous Stories of Redemption and Loss and my just published memoir, I Am Goldmund: My Spiritual Odyssey With Narcissus.