Human Touch


I met a friend for dinner this evening.  We met after work down at Kits Beach at The Boathouse Restaurant.  Jayne and I always have great discussions.

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I mentioned that I’d been downtown shopping a couple of weeks ago and I had seen the ‘Free Hug’ people in front of the London Drugs at Granville & Georgia St.  I told her how I stood waiting for the light to change, my spirit feeling  considerably  lighter at the idea of a stranger willing  to put their arms around me and share a moment.  I told her that I simply opened my arms and was hugged first by the woman and then by the man.  hug 2

I was surprised she’d never heard of this.  It has been in Vancouver for quite some time now.

Just an act of kindness and a moment shared through human touch.

There is something so intrinsically beautiful and simple in this act. As we parted ways and I made my way home through the streets of Vancouver to the North Shore where my daughter lives, I got to thinking about the people that touch our lives on a daily basis.

I thought of the friends I have, the jobs I’ve held and those who have entered my life and left leaving lasting impressions.

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I thought of people from my past that I’d tried to please who seemingly caused me to bleed the energy from my soul and wondered why I had given this so freely?

Truth is I wanted, craved, desired, needed the basic interaction of human touch.  To feel genuine caring and to feel loved.

I think we all do.  And every once in a while getting that ‘Free Hug’ reminds me that I’m not alone and that I do belong to the collective known as the human race.

Namaste.

Silver Linings


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I am a person who will experience an epiphany and suddenly the whole world and my existence in it makes perfect sense.  Yet as quickly as the insight arrived it sinks faster than the Titanic back into the abyss of my subconscious.  And for me it is a shadow that I will try to pursue, try to recover and analyze.

Usually I have no idea what I’m doing or what I’m trying to discover.  And I just realized that is one of the absolute joys in living this life.

Being open and present.

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I would like to say that I’m open to new ideologies. new thoughts, however, I really don’t think there is anything really new about much of the information that draws me in.   The thing that changes is perspective.  Of how we see something, of how we regard our place in this world and participate in it.

For example, back in the day…way, way back human sacrifice to the Gods was acceptable and considered necessary.  The idea of having angry Gods was a frightening factor no doubt.

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And I often have these questions that creep into my mind’s eye regarding our existence.  How is it that we came to chart the stars?  How is it that we came to understand that they would never change and guide us on midnight journeys across foreign lands and oceans?

Back in 1632 Galileo would be tried and found guilty of heresy regarding his findings that the Earth was in fact circular and orbited around the Sun.

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And mathematics has had a long history in this world and just as I ponder how the written word came into being I too wonder how it is that the science of math began its journey as well.  I would think some of the first measurements would have been made by our own appendages of fingers, feet and hands.   Of course cycles such as daily, monthly, seasonal and birthing became recognized.

But how is it that someone decided they wanted to measure the speed of light from one star system to our own?

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Unfortunately a lot of information has been destroyed and lost to us over the millenniums.  And there is apparently information that the powers that be feel we should not be privy to.

I look for the silver linings in pretty much everything.  There is always a lesson to be learned or a fascinating piece of knowledge tucked away.

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If I rise each day with the idea that I’m open to learning, open to discovering more of what constitutes life and its infinite layers then this is a good thing.  And while I know that life has the bookends of birth and death…it is the fabric in between that we weave that fascinates and humbles me.

Namaste.

 

 

 

The Moment in Time


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A few nights ago I attended a short story open mic event. I noted that many of us seemed to collectively be in a mood to reflect and ponder on this world and the space that surrounds us.

A few of my fellow writers’ shared those moments when they realized that the world was far bigger than they could ever imagine and that the space they were gazing out at could well be infinite.

This induced a rather deep and ponderous thought process for me.

I began to study a little deeper the time factor after writing the piece inspired by the phrase ‘Time Died.’

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I have been reviewing calendars and when they came into being.  I’ve been researching civilizations and when they too began to develop in earnest, and then of course there is my fascination with the written word and its evolution.

And all that I have read over the last few days has sparked the detective in me to try and find out some of life’s little mysteries.

I’m going to begin by following the importance of the Mayan calendar for the moment simply because there are some rather interesting facts that seem to correspond with this particular calendar and the manner by which it tells time and records history.

Five ages, each one 5,125 years approximately in length, have now passed in accordance with the timeline the calendar offers us. The most recent age to have completed its cycle occurred in December 2012.  We have now entered the sixth age.

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I will try to create a brief timeline based upon the Mayan cycle of an Age.

Mayan culture wasn’t around when these ‘Ages’ began.  How is it that the Mayans came upon this knowledge and how is it that they ascertained it meaning that resulted in an exquisitely detailed calendar?

So many questions are slipping through me at this moment.

When did humanity have its ‘Aha!’ moment?

When did we collectively decide to record certain events? When did we begin to see the patterns the stars had mapped out for us?

And then begin to move around this planet based upon their guidance.

What I’ve found is that when I referenced the calendar certain very critical events in our evolution occurred in approximation with the calendar and its timeline.

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The hunt was one of the first events to be recorded as many caves worldwide will tell us.

Several old caves containing Stone Age parietal art can be found in central India, South Africa, Australia, Namibia, Argentina and South-East Asia, among other locations around the world.

What occurred to inspire this activity?

When did we collectively begin to draw images of animals and tell stories through song?

Did humankind lay staring at the stars and have that moment of beautiful awareness of what they were and what they could become?

Or did something happen?

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Home Sapiens have been around for at least 200,000 some odd years. It appears our species didn’t rush into the idea of civilization.

Like much of the life on this planet they likely lived simply and instinctually.

Much has been said about the Neanderthal and how they in fact died out.

Sure, there were obvious similarities between Neanderthal and Homo Sapiens of the day. There is no doubt that they met and co-mingled.

What would that experience have been like?

Your tribe is roaming this globe in search of food and water. In search of shelter and you come upon another being that looks somewhat like you…but different.

Were they afraid? Angry? Territorial?

And at some point around 35,000 some odd years ago humans began to record things.

Hand prints also began to litter the walls of caves worldwide.

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Why?

(I was here)

That is the message that reaches out across the span of time. They had found an awareness of who they were and they didn’t want to be forgotten? In the images recorded what is it that they were trying to tell us?

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Fabulous drawings began to adorn the walls of caves worldwide.

How is it that this phenomenon struck the inhabitants of this globe collectively?

What event precipitated this sense of keeping records? What instilled the desire and necessity to make it so?

A hand print on a wall is most definitely a record.

The Cave Chauvet in France is one the most pristine caves filled with art in such magnificent detail.

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And I have to wonder how it came to be so popular worldwide at that time considering they did not have mass communications…or did they?

Perhaps they did, only it was in a very different format than what we might imagine.

Every culture, every cave dweller would come to know the stars and their importance and they would come to know how to read them in order to note where they were on this planet.

How did they come by this knowledge?

That is why I am convinced that at some point collectively all humans from all the corners of this earth witnessed something quite remarkable.

Did they witness the arrival of the Gods?   Visitations perhaps?

Early humans would not have known just how expansive space really was and I can see how they imagined the Gods sitting upon those lofty clouds gazing down at the lot of them.

The similarity in stories world wide regarding the advent of God is remarkabley close. What changes is the interpretation of what was witnessed.  This too speaks to human nature.

At one point a few cultures had twelve such Gods running amok.  These beings had a variety of skills and powers.

Civilization had been born at this point. A hierarchy had been created to feed it that still exists to this day.

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Somewhere along the way the idea of God was whittled down to just one entity.

Strangely or perhaps not, various cultures chose different definitions of this singular God to represent them, protect or define them.

It was in the fourth age that civilization seems to emerged and began form and develop.

And it was during the formation of this civilization thing that time was truly established and cycles were set down.

And how did we come to have the calendar that we currently have? This too has been changed over the course of time.

I had to smile as I read about the above as it seems we’ve really muddled through on recording time and its cycles.  From the Roman calendar, which was rather complicated as it only had ten months and the winter season was not included so there were 61 days unaccounted for. Curious.  The Julian calendar remedied this by adhering to the lunar cycles.  Still there were errors that were corrected when the Gregorian calendar was introduced back in 1532 or thereabouts.

Theories abound! And not all countries adopted the new calendar.

Geometrics then come into play. Between the 3rd and 4th Ages in accordance with the Mayan calendar a whole lot of building began to take place.

We are talking big building! Massive big, man!

Pyramids, temples, Stonehenge…

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Again…not just in one location but all over this globe and likely there were many that did not stand the test of time or may well have been destroyed.

Behind the erection of these monuments there seems to have been a underlying call of divinity? Is this when men began to equate themselves as Gods?

The misinterpretation of power.

And we today have the conceit and ignorance to say they did not have the technology to do what they did regardless of the fact that these monuments stand before us as testament that indeed it was done.

Power is and always has been an intoxicating elixir.

Those at the helm of these projects must have indeed felt like gods.

Was this our imminent downfall?

Did we hunger for the knowledge that was bestowed upon us? Did we, in our human condition, decide at some point that we knew better?

Was there some level of anger shown toward the children of the stars sent to instruct us? In our infancy did we demand to much?

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And at the moment my imagination is skipping back to the innocence of when awareness truly occurred.

I see a meeting between early humans and star travelers. I see an intense and beautiful curiosity from both.

Did our space travelers ignore their own ‘prime directive’ (i.e. Star Trek) and feed us information that may wall have been forbidden to give?

Were we an experiment on a grand scale?

Where did the knowledge of the early sciences come from?

Mathematics, charting the stars, masonry, architecture?

All of these are exact in their implementation. They must be else wise they fail.

Travel, velocity and art are but conundrums in the grand scheme of things.

This planet hurdles through space on a daily basis. Not two days are ever the same.

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And were we, as humans, seeds that were planted amongst the stars?

And I must wonder if we were forgotten in this expanse we know as space.

There are times when as I slip into sleep or begin my ascent from it that the whisper of a long ago time speaks to me.

I was there.

Peace to all of you.

 

Below are some of the websites I found of interest in putting this piece together.  Thanks.

http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=ab25

http://www.walkinthelight.ca/History%20of%20the%20Calendar.htm

http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2013/04/the-origin-of-the-7-day-week-and-the-names-of-the-days-of-the-week/

http://www.evoanth.net/2015/03/12/retracing-the-evolution-of-language/

I Do Know This….


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Cherry Blossoms over by Queen’s Park 

Over the past couple of days I’ve been very much in my head playing with plots and sub-plots for several of the projects that I have on the go.

They are in various stages of development.  Lately, however, I’ve found myself consumed by the aspect and the very idea regarding time.

A blog post that I’ve been working on recently and that I hope to post over the next couple of days speaks to the whole concept of time and where it may have had its beginnings and our interpretation of it.

I must say that this topic has intrigued me on a very deep level.

Last week I was flipping channels on the TV.  I came upon a documentary of a woman whose work involves trying to decode early forms of written communications.

The evidence is strewn throughout caves worldwide.  The similarities that exist cannot be coincidental.

What their meaning is, now that’s the puzzle currently being explored and may well be the mystery that is never solved.

A few conversations have been sparked this week regarding what part of history we’d like to visit, spy on or observe.  I found myself asking why my conversational combatants (i.e. friends) would like to experience those particular moments in time.

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I love getting into conversations with this depth as it ignites something in me.

For me personally, I would go back to the moment that humankind had its ‘Ah Ha!” moment.

Something happened some 40,000 years ago and that is where I’d like to be a fly on the wall or in a cave.

A friend laughed and commented that they didn’t like the idea because it would be too difficult to live in the days of the caveman.  Too much work and being dragged about held little appeal.

I smiled insisting they just may like it, then stated that I didn’t want to stay permanently…I just wanted to take a peek at what caused humans to begin to develop the art forms and rudimentary written symbols all within the same time frame on a global front.

Last weekend I found myself researching the whole notion of time.  Time vs. religion, time vs. creation, and for that matter, how time has been measured.  Right or wrong.

One article written by a member of the clergy discussed the time frame around God’s creation of Heaven and Earth and when we made an appearance.

Interestingly enough his take on it was that God didn’t whip the world up with all the animals and people on it in just six days then took a break on the seventh.  His reasoning was that the span of time it took had been misinterpreted.

He felt biblical time was likely more in keeping with 40,000 years.

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This intrigued me.

Now I’m not a religious person.  In fact, I find many religions to be very confining.  Being taught an ideology that does not invite exploration and free thought and where the truths being delivered are expected to be accepted based on blind faith alone is a little frightening actually.

I do know this.  There is an energy that permeates this universe and it is a beautiful thing to tap into this awareness, this consciousness that exists.

My issue is not with the message but rather with the messenger.

Now do you think it possible that maybe, just maybe something has been lost or perhaps omitted in translation?

Humans are by nature and design a rather impressionable lot, are we not?

We can be deviant and downright treacherous.  We are curious beings that are equally gullible and malleable.

Then there is this issue of power.  There are those who hunger for it even when they aren’t sure of what it is exactly.

Don’t you think it entirely possible that an omnipresent entity offered, imposed or bestowed a wisdom upon us and those blessed with this knowledge might well have deviated from sharing all of this to satisfy and/or further their own station in life?

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Why is it collectively we cannot come together to, oh let’s say, end world hunger?  I’ve heard it said that there is enough food to feed the masses and that is all of us ten times over on a daily basis.

Why are we not assisting each other when it comes to illness?  Think of the recent Ebola outbreak.  Man, the minute it landed in North America…by God, they found a cure.

What about AIDS?

Why are we still fighting for girls to gain an education?

Why are we still fighting for sexual rights and freedoms?

Why do we still judge and condemn?

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Every Christmas, while we all have the warm fuzzies, we wish for world peace.

This notion sells a lot of greeting cards, doesn’t it?

These are just a few things that in my mind I’m often amazed still exist on such a large scale.

Still, we wish for it.  Why?

We’ve known its opposite for far too long.

You cannot know or appreciate peace without having suffered the loss and sorrow caused by the upheaval of war.

Much the same with happiness.  If you’ve known the sadness, and most of us have, then we appreciate those moments of bliss all the more.

And we are so good at killing, are we not?

Images of men wearing black balaclavas’ with guns and machetes don’t strike me as a Godly men.

Oddly or perhaps not, the majority of ‘Gods’ at the helm of our religions worldwide dictate that certain behaviours and actions are unacceptable.

Killing happens to be one of them.  So, I will suggest that perhaps we’re not getting this whole commandment thing right.

 

And as I processed and developed my various characters and plot lines for those books that will soon be enjoyed by the masses, I thought of death and its finality.  At least on this plain and our fear of it. I created a new line of friction and the sorrow and pain my heroine will experience leading her to experience a great deal of anxiety regarding the choices she’ll have to make.

And on that note…

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I was here

Welcome to the human race.

Enjoy your day.  Namaste.

 

 

 

 

 

Another Year…


Fifty-seven years.  Sounds like such a long time doesn’t it?

There are times when it feels twice as long and them seems to have gone by far too fast.

I’ve almost passed another year.

Age really doesn’t bother me so much anymore.  It’s keeping this physical body of mine in good repair and remaining healthy and fit.  These are the factors that will determine how I fare in the next stage of my life.

So many things I still want to do, want to experience, want to see, touch, feel…

For now I have but today and I will try to live it fully.

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For some it may mean that their life needs to be filled with activities and an abundance of wild and crazy stuff.

Tonight I stepped to grab dinner.  I gazed up into the night sky with a sliver of the new moon and a stars dotting the black expanse.

In that moment I was breathless!  Oddly tears stung my eyes as I once again realized I am part of this!

There is an energy that runs through this world and beyond…from our ancient ancestors to those who inhabit other worlds and this energy permeates every molecule of my being.

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Tonight as I walked through the streets of New Westminster, the aches and pains that have resulted from the recent car crash reminded me to take my time.

I smiled.  I’m still alive and kicking, albeit painfully.  But I will recover and rebuild and I will run again.

Shit happens, you know?

Sometimes it feels like you received more than your fair share.  But hell, if anything this only makes me appreciate what I have that much more.  If I can live each day in this splendor then indeed I’m living my life fully.

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I met with friends earlier today. It was an impromptu get together that I tossed out to celebrate the release of the book and my birthday.

Cheryl spoke about Mother’s Day last year…THE BEST EVER!

We were laying on the deck of the Star Princess sunbathing enroute to San Francisco watching ‘Dirty Dancing”.

Yeah, baby!

Then we hit Napa Valley and got delightfully drunk!

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It was ridiculously fun and you know, that’s what it’s all about.  Just being in the moment and enjoying those around you.

Beauty is truly an energy.  It is so far beyond the physical world.

So why do we try to define it?  Try to contain it?  And try to dictate what it should be?

My brother Stephen was mentally handicapped.  He was a forceps baby and suffered brain damage at birth as a result.

He was institutionalized at an early age here in New Westminster.  Thankfully the institution is now gone.

For the last few years of his life though he lived in a facility that provided exemplary care.

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My daughter and I went out to see him often.

Stephen was targeted and picked on relentlessly in his youth because of his condition.  Yet I can tell you he had such a beautiful soul.

Stephen was often given ‘trial’ medications that affected his moods and behavior.  And I hurt for him so much in those moments.

My brother just had such a love of everything and music was right up there.  He loved animals, he loved his sisters and his niece.

He would sing Frank Sinatra and Joe Cocker, though you likely wouldn’t understand the words, but they were there in his beautiful interpretation.  And if I close my eyes I can see him rocking back and forth singing with an expression of absolute ecstasy on his face.

For his 48th birthday we rounded up a bunch his mates and took them all to Boston Pizza.  There was a great deal of planning as many of the guests like my brother had special needs.

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The smile on Stephen’s face that day, well my God, it was just brilliant.  There was such a purity to the joy he expressed.  I remember looking around at everyone that day and saw beauty in its truest form.

Many of those in attendance had lived in conditions that were at times appalling.  They had been treated horrifically at times by an unforgiving society that had cast them out.  And yet despite all of this they found it so easy to love and express joy.

That was Stephen’s last birthday.  He passed away about nine months later.  I was with him as he lay breathing shallow fast breathes.  I kissed his forehead and told him it was okay.  He could let go.

My brother is an angel that I’ve been so blessed with .  He taught me so much about humanity, about joy, about forgiveness, about peace.

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Did he ever look in the mirror and feel less than?

Probably not.

Did he condemn himself  for not measuring up to society’s expectations?

Not a chance!

And here I am now…at the start of another year.

I’m embarking on a new world in terms of the publication and what will be revealed.

This is a virginal moment for me.  There is a purity to it, a newness.

But then in this rediscovery of life that I’ve been blessed with…despite the heart thing and the cancer thing…

I’m coming to understand what it means to just be.

If I can pass this along in any context I will.

Thanks for stopping by and many blessings to you.

Peace.

 

 

 

Another One Comes to and End – A Look Back at 2014


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2014 has been a good year, a challenging year and one with many subtle and not so subtle transitions.

A year ago I was emerging from the cloud of chemo and recovering from the brutality of radiation.  My hair was like peach fuzz on me wee noggin’ and I think I stayed in for New Years last year.   My memory is still a bit spotty surrounding that time.

I can tell you what I did for New Year’s Eve two years ago in detail.  It’s just the later part of 2013 and the first few months of 2014 that have left some areas in the shade.

I was feeling rather defeated at the beginning of the year though.  This I do recall.  My feet were still a little numb and I was just a tad stuck in a job that gave me no joy.  I questioned my own intelligence at times and felt useless and insignificant.

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The shift came when I had the absolute joy of going on a cruise with a group of fabulous women that I went to school with.  It has been an absolute pleasure and delight getting to know these gals again.

Life can pull us in many directions.  Sometimes it pulls us apart.  Sometimes we find ourselves isolated and alone and wonder how it is we came to be in such a state.

I do know that at the end of every path taken that there was a starting point or perhaps it was a breaking point?

Choices are made.  Sometimes we desperately want to believe the dysfunction as it worms its way in.  It will dilute and fracture the ideas we first had though.  And they always begin with such sincerity and honest passion, don’t they?

Believing in a lie then recognizing this is a tough pill to swallow.

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When that nagging little whisper becomes a scream, best you listen to it else you’ll become deaf and indifferent to the common sense and reason that is desperately trying to intervene and prevail.

And no one likes to admit they’ve been had or taken.

God knows I shrank back from this world for a time, suspicious, hurt and wallowed in a pity pool.

I’ve met many people who’ve stayed in that state.

As I watched the ‘Grinch Who Stole Christmas’ for the millionth time, it actually made me tear up a wee bit this year.  The simplicity and beauty in the ending of the tale of how the Grinch’s heart grew ’10 times that day’.  That four letter word again…LOVE.

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Yup!  It’s a balm that will heal any and everything.

I could well have lounged once more in the pity pool considering some of the health issues that I’ve been faced with but you know, I am so over that.

There was a time when misery parties were my thing. Oh yes!  You think your life sucks?  Pull up a chair.  Let me tell you a tale of my time in hell….oooh and ahhh!

And then there was that moment of reflection when I saw the ugliness in my behavior and what it was doing to me.  That naked truth when I had to make a decision.  Either change or bury my head even further into the bed of lies I’d accepted as truth.

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Peeling off that mantle of delusion has taken some time.  Each lesson learned along the way I’ve appreciated more than you will know.  And yes, sometimes those lessons come packaged in sweet disguise.

And this year began coming out of a very dark place.  I had refused to consider Cancer’s taunt.  Yet still, for a time, the mantle of warrior was too much.  Fear crept in and the tendrils of depression stroked my ego as would a gentle lover.

Having experienced this a time or two I was able to cut it off at the pass with guns a blazing.

Oh come on!  We all love a good western, don’t we?

And now this year is coming to a close.  I’m feeling even stronger having reached a few new pinnacles.

And I’m on the cusp now.  The dreams and efforts  that I’ve been working on are about to come to fruition.

The book will be out soon.   I’ve got an idea of where I want to take this company that I’ve been forming just a few technicalities remain.

And it’s not about me.

This has and will always be about the written word and celebrating the freedom and expression that it provides.

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And as this brain of mine continues to formulate thoughts and ideas, I accept now that it never shuts down.  Sometimes I don’t like the thoughts and ideas that come to me.  But what I’ve learned is that I need to acknowledge those filaments of thought.  Sometimes they take hold and more often than not they sink back in amongst the vortex of neurons and protons that are firing away.  Those filaments will dance with ambitious delight in offering up an idea that I just may want to entertain and process further, even if it is dark in nature.

And with every night there comes a dawn and vice versa.  it is the way of the world.   Those erstwhile opposites that actually compliment each other and always have.

I was standing beside the river the other night spellbound by the beauty before me.  That moment when night kisses day good-bye.  I had that sensation wash through me of being so connected to this world that I inhabit.

I am coming to love these moments.  I feel small and yet so vital.  The mountains that stood before me have taken hundreds if not thousands of years to form.  They will remain long after my time on this earthly plain is done.

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For the moment, however, they are stuck with me.

For all of you that have followed my ramblings, I thank you and may the New Year bring your heart’s desire.

Many blessings.

 

Peace!

Good-bye 2014 and thank you!

Happy New Year to all!

 

 

 

Back in Training: Week Seven, The Christmas Week


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I’ve worked out a few times leading up to Christmas.  I worked out good and hard too!  On the 23rd I was at the gym getting my sweat on.

Time for the Christmas confessional.  I’ve imbibed a wee bit.  I’ve consumed some beer and wine over the past few days.

On the 24th at noon my boss tossed a couple of growlers up on the table and along with the rest of the staff I raised a pint to toast the season.

For the most part I’ve been quite good with not over indulging in the food area of the holidays as well.  Mind you a pizza recently visited my life as well.  I’ll man-up about this though.  I was simply too damn lazy to cook.

This occurred on the 26th.  I drove a great deal that day you see.

I visited with my sister who lives about a one hour drive away.

And as I left I went about my second task of the day which was to replace my T.V.

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I’ve had the current television for close to 15 years.  It is just the third T.V. I’ve owned in my life and still worked just fine, however, with the new technology my unit kept losing the signal.  The technicians, who were are very pleasant and based out of Guatemala did their best to assist.

The problem still persisted.  I pondered on the fact that perhaps my old tube T.V. just couldn’t translate the information adequately. I had been advised that if a technician was sent to my home and the problem was my ‘fault’ then the cost would fall to me.

Odd, yes?  I haven’t touched anything behind my T.V. other than to clean in the last 5 years.  In any case I considered what my response would be if I was informed that my T.V. was too old for the technology.

I decided that perhaps it was time to purchase a new T.V. rather than possibly causing bodily harm to a technician.

I did my homework on the Boxing Day offerings.  Had my budget set out and decided that Visions Electronics had the most lucrative deals.  Next was to find a location that would not be inundated by the masses.  In other words, I had to find a store location that was not attached to a godforsaken mall.

I decided upon the store location on Marine Drive and as I arrived it was as I suspected busy but not unreasonably so.

A young store clerk showed me my options and I asked a series of questions then I told him I would like consider my options and he left me alone. I read the fine print and half hour later waltzed out of the store with a 40″ Hisense LED Smart TV at a cost of $350.00.

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Yay!  I had met my objective.

I headed home with my purchase.  I passed the lineup on the Queensborough Bridge.  The outlet mall on Queensborough Landing was just insane as cars were lined up for miles trying to access the stores.

I was really hungry at this point so I dropped the T.V. off then headed out to grab a quick bite.  And as I consumed my meal it occurred to me that I have a ‘Smart’ phone that still confounds me on many fronts.

Now, admittedly, I really only require the basics of talking and texting from my phone.  There are a plethora of apps available to me of this I’m assured, but they hold no appeal to me personally.

They don’t really make phones with just basic functions any longer.  Still there are those moments when I’ll push something I ought not to have and the damn thing won’t do what I want.

Bloody hell!

And it is in these moments that I feel very foolish and not particularly intelligent.

For example shortly after I had purchased this smart technology, I was certain I’d found a ‘lemon’ as it was now frozen.  I went back to London Drugs and expressed my dismay to the clerk.

With a slide of his finger and an apologetic smile on his face the clerk handed the phone back to me.

I had inadvertently locked the phone.

I have this affliction though.  When it comes to directions I glance at them then launch into whatever it is I am trying to accomplish.

Why I have this idea in my head that I should know what I’m doing without the benefit of being guided by the directions that have been so thoughtfully included, well I wish I had an answer to this.

I paid the bill and headed back to my homestead to get this technological wonder up and running.

So let me ask you this.  Having just made the confession I did, do you think I read the directions prior to embarking on this task?

After all I only wanted to plug it in and ensure that it did in fact work.  How difficult could this be?

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Welcome to the episodic adventures of ‘The Dumb Blond Meets the Smart TV.’

First I had to unhook the old T.V. and this proved to be a challenge. I needed a wrench to loosen the cable that was screwed in tightly to the back of the set.  Then I pulled the cumbersome beast off onto a sheet I’d placed on the floor so that I could pull it out of the way without scraping up the floor.

Next I removed parts from the box.  The stand seemed to require screws and after a brief search that lasted a nanosecond I was convinced that his puppy snapped together like Lego as I could not find any screws.

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(Queue the music…the theme from Pyscho or Jaws will do)

Note to self:  It would have been very beneficial to have read the directions at this point.

They did in fact kinda sorta snap together.

So I crawled in behind the T.V. and began plugging in various coloured cables into various coloured plugins.

The flashlight was directed at the plugins and the batteries were fading fast. The object was so that I could see which colour I was inputing and damned if I could find a yellow plugin for the yellow cable. Briefly I wondered at their various designations.  It was at this point as I poked about the back that the T.V. that it fell forward onto the floor.

I gasped in horror as my mind immediately began trying to make excuses to trade this back to the store with no additional cost to me.  Now just how pathetic is that?

Gingerly I lifted it up and it appeared fine. My smart T.V. had just survived its first test of having me as the owner.  Laying the screen down gently I walked back over to the stuff strewn across my sofa.  There an image glared at me depicting screws going into the holes on the stand.  A few moments later said screws were located.

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I now had everything secured and hopefully plugged in correctly.

Several buttons ran down the side of the screen and I noted the power button and with baited breath pushed it.

A red light came on and I felt a small wave of triumph wash over me.  The word ‘HISENSE’ appeared on the screen in a lovely shade of light turquoise.

A tentative sense of relief slipped in.  I’d not broken it!

Now it asked me my language preference and where I lived.  It asked my provider and my password and that is as far as we got. It kept looping back.

Maybe I did damage it I thought in despair.  Would I not be able to watch a show?

I gazed down at the remote and pressed the button that said TV on it.  We had contact, baby!

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Brightly coloured people appeared on the screen unusually short and wide much to my delight.  I played with the settings and managed to get them looking fairly normal.

And the manual sat before me taunting me.  Yes, I will read it.  Just not at that moment.

My home once again resembled a war zone. I stared at my kitchen and loathed the idea of cooking.  I had tested my mental acuteness and the idea of cooking just seemed a rather exhausting task, hence, I invited a Pizza into my home.

As I nibbled on the cheesy goodness and watched ‘True Grit” on the Tele, I assured myself that I would go for a run in the morning.

At 7:00 AM I woke to the sound of rain falling outside.

People, I ran in my heart!  Truly I would have but hey, this induction back into running in the dark of morning just can’t begin with a torrential rainfall in the mix.

But yes, it is time to hit the gym and get back to training in earnest.

I had a lovely celebration with my daughter and her boyfriend.  My daughter cooked her first Turkey dinner.  She was insistent from the outset to do all of this on her own with no assistance from moi.

I smiled in pleasure as she swore like a banshee as she tried to extract the food she’d stuffed into her too small apartment oven.  In the end everything was delightfully delicious.

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This was a great Christmas.  The last few years I’ve felt the strains of battle.  The continuous fight with depression, issues with my heart and the battle with cancer.  The residue effect has been felt over the last few Christmas seasons but always I’ve been with those that I love dearly and for that I am so blessed!

This Christmas I felt as though we’d come through that darkness and a promise is beckoning.  I just have to stop and read the directions.

I am rebuilding and I’m back on track.

On the morrow I have my reading tasks set out.  Not too sure still why I feel I should know that which I do not.  Perhaps I’m simply human after all.

Cheers!

Another Year Passes….


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The Lions peeking over the ridge taken Dec 7, 2014

Reflections and musings.  A quick look back.

This year is quickly coming to a close. It has been a year that has offered many insights and challenges.

Depression kicked in earlier in the year. That old devil of mine whispered all my shortcomings to me. The fear that I had pushed back during treatment washed over me threatening to pull me under.

I’ve always had a hard time expressing these emotions,  never wanting to give them voice.

I wasn’t happy.

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The life I’d been building was put on hold while I turned my attention to managing my health.

And now the battle was done and it was time to pick up the pieces.

The work place felt like a lead weight around my neck. I was treading water and sinking fast. And I knew it.

They wanted me gone and I wanted to go. Decidedly the architects pushed the envelope coming up with a lame excuse about getting rid of my position all together.

Oh, I could’ve sued and won. Of this I have no doubt. But I found a better place, a rewarding place and moved on.

Some will say I should have held the architects to task. The abuse over the last five years I was there was substantial. The reward would have been a monetary one as that is the only way I could have hurt them. It’s in their DNA.

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But you know at the end of the day I really believe in karma. I thought of the people that are involved on a daily basis with the partners at the Architectural firm.  I’d met many of them.  I pondered how my rage may have affected them. Everything has a trickle down effect, the good and the bad. It has been my objective over the last few years to move through this life with a forgiving and loving heart.

So I ended things with this particular employer with an air of dignity and appreciation.

The partner, who had tormented me, particularly over the last year, was offered a hug and a handshake with a ‘thank you for the opportunity that you’ve afforded me.  I have learned a great deal.’

And the surprise and astonishment that was written on his face.  He wasn’t expecting my generosity of spirit. I caught completely off guard.

Oh, I knew they would hire someone else. They had to and they did a week after I was gone.

The thing I’ve always done is honour the job, I always have and always will.

And I left with a quiet dignity, not with spite and loathing.

Should I have waltzed into court bearing the mantle of a maligned and mistreated employee?

I did consider this option but quickly dismissed it.

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I’m not a victim. I can and have survived more than most. I knew for several years prior that I was working for an asshole.

And in my stubborn optimism I tried to convert the prick.

My suffering was prolonged due to other circumstances as well. I was seeking another job, a better job prior to the cancer diagnosis.

When that sentence was given to me well, I kind of had to just set the rest of this life I’d been chasing off to the side for a time.

And then I got to thinking too of those we lost this year.

Robin Williams.

A man whose desire to make everyone laugh almost seemed manic at times. What a beautiful soul! And he was weighed down by demons that I can’t even begin to imagine in their brutality.

Yet Robin still wanted to make us laugh even though his own despair was swallowing him in that slow death we know as mental illness.

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That phrase is frightening to many isn’t it?

I know this first hand. I’ve dealt with depression for a lifetime. Denied it for at least half of this journey and it was only when I acknowledged it, said it out loud, and accepted it that I truly began to heal and manage it.

In this I gained an understanding of how to deflate the power this thing had over me.

For all of us that do suffer with mental illness the degree of its savagery is hard to calculate.

I believe also that for Robin the weight of his fame was just one more aspect that he had to deal with.

Yes, I want to be a writer and put it out to the masses. You’ll either like it or not.

And I’m cool with that.

There will always be those who criticize. They’ll nit pick and put down every effort made. Hell, I do this as well at times.

Could someone tell me why the Kardashians are famous for example?

But I don’t know what it’s like to be under a magnifying glass. I don’t know what it’s like to have a demanding public. I don’t know if that would be of importance to me really.

Does it become a drug, something that is craved?

The adoration of the masses? The race to keep them happy?

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What I do know is that a beautiful and troubled soul lost the battle. His family will miss him. His friends will miss him.

They knew a very different Robin. They knew him when he stepped off the stage and turned off the performance. They probably knew the pain he felt, the torment and like him, they didn’t know what to do about it.

And Robin managed to keep the severity of his illness from many and so the torment was experienced in a silent hell.  I’ve visited that room a time or two.

As Christmas draws ever closer, I want to just hang my hinges onto the beauty of the human race and run with it.

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I don’t want to try to imagine why terrorists would walk into a Pakistan school and kill all the children. I don’t want to wrap my head the ideology of a woman who killed her eight year old daughter then stuffed her in the trunk of car.

I do know these acts are the result of a malfunctioning brain and/or brains. There is a disconnect, a mental breakdown.

We are fed a litany of violent images. Sexuality has become this monstrosity that young people now equate with the phone they hold in their hand that dictates their life.

The flash of breasts and other body parts finds young girls forever shamed and some to a point where death becomes preferable.

And what would I tell these girls?

Love who you are. Love your body and delight in the sensations it gives you.

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NEVER BE ASHAMED OF WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU FEEL!

And love this life!  My god, the beauty I’ve witnessed, the rush in the simplest of things.

And if someone tries to convince you that you are less than, that you are a slut, a whore…

Smile and know that you all woman.  I’ve got to tell you as well that all those nuances that are yours hold them close.  They are what makes you the person you are.  Build on them…they are your authenticity.

Labels have been around since the dawn of mankind.

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The understanding of power has been misunderstood as well.  If you are wanting to look like the Photoshopped model in Glamour or Cosmopolitan magazine ask yourself why.

True beauty has so much depth. It is an energy.

So as this year closes I am thankful for the lessons this life has handed me.  And I am so thankful for all of those who have touched my life.  From all of them  I’ve learned and tried to be just that much better.

I will continue on this path.

And thanks to all of you who’ve continued to read my ramblings. The New Year will see the book publication take place and I will continue to continue on this path of mine.

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Peace out!

Back In Training: Week Six: Oh, the Pain!


 

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As I write this my posterior has seized up and my abs feel like I’ve laughed incredibly hard for the last 24 hours!

I am in pain.

Tamer stepped things up yesterday.  She pushed me a little harder, a little further.

Have I mentioned that I’m in pain?

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I told my daughter this in a conversation today and she chuckled and said ‘Good!  Your trainer is doing her job!”

No sympathy, none!  Oye!

I guess I thought that this part of my anatomy was in better shape and of course I’ve had yet another rude awakening.

These new exercises will now be incorporated into the mix as I formulate some new routines for the gym workouts.  The goal right now is to put together four workouts combining the exercises Tamer has given me.  In some cases I will use certain exercises during each workout, for example the T-Rex.  Not too sure why these straps tacked up against the wall are called this but they are great for upper body strengthening.  Perhaps in a week I  will make the attempt at trying to do a pull up from 90 degrees once again.

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I’ve been feeling a little rickety and tired as well.  There have been all kinds of flu bugs making the rounds and I’m not very hospitable when it comes to the flu/cold thing.

Sleep is what the body has been craving and I have obliged it.  Still, I’ll wake after a great night’s sleep and find it hard to stay awake.

I am sitting at my desk these days resembling a bobble head of sorts.  This morning I feel so much better!

And the homestead once again has the appearance of a war zone.  This time with wrapping paper, gifts, cards and ribbon strewn about the place.  In a couple of months time I will be 57 years of age.  I would like to be in the best health of my life and a month into training for the 1/2 Marathon in May 2015.  It is the holiday season and I’ve attended about four social events thus far.  Still have a few more to attend and then the big day itself.

It was a delight to drop off the gifts at BC Children’s Hospital.  This was right after my trainer had worked my behind off!  The pain had not yet settled in.

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Shortly after writing the last sentence, I fell asleep on the sofa. Flash forward and it is now Friday evening at 7:51 PM! And no, I didn’t sleep for the entire week!  🙂

This week has been just crazy.  I’m trying to keep things organized as I morph into the persona of Christmas geek.  Oh yes! I love this time of year.  Chocolates, cookies and cards have been given to all the people I work with.  All the cards have now been mailed.  My homestead once a ware zone now looks like a mad woman tried to wrap the interior of it and all the contents.

Photographs, gifts, scissors, tape, gift bags and tags and cards that have been purchased and not used from years past are now strewn across every available surface.

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I was at the gym tonight getting in yet another kick ass workout and opted to step out for a nibble as I must go back to the insanity that awaits me and clean it up.

Most of the Christmas gatherings are now in the bag so to speak.  We are going to go to Bright Nights at Stanley Park on Sunday then I’m off to the bi-annual solstice party!  And I’ve much to be thankful for.

A year ago I wrote on a piece of paper how I wanted to be rid of the cancer, the poor health issues and of the fear.  No more setbacks.  No more tears.  Then I tossed it into the fire and released it.  I had jotted down on a second sheet of paper what I hoped 2014 would bring.

Progress in my growth as a writer and to publish my first book.  A more rewarding position as an accountant.  I wanted to continue to grow as an individual, to give back, to live humbly.  I wanted to continue working toward being a more loving and gentle being and a healthy one at that.

I then tossed that into the fire.

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And I’ve certainly been making progress on all those points.  It is an ongoing thing though.  I know I will never wake up one day and feel that I’ve fulfilled every goal.

For every success or accomplishment, while I can quietly enjoy their purpose, I know that their completion opens up a host of new ideas and challenges to be explored.

What do I want for Christmas?  Just to enjoy the company and love of friends and family.  It really is that simple for me.  If I can make someone smile in delight on Christmas morning that is the ultimate gift.

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And when someone says those three simple words (I Love You) and means them then I know I am truly blessed.

Have a great weekend all and I’ll be back soon bitching and squawking about the terrors of my trainer!

Peace out.