I Do Know This….


Queeens Park April 2015 051

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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A Prayer


I am not a religious person. And by this, my meaning is simple.  While I am a spiritual being, I do not attend a church.   I did, for a few years, attempt to follow organized theology through the teachings offered through church.  For me I found it to be a lesson in deceit, guilt and shame.

There were conditions it seemed to being afforded God’s love, blind faith being one of them.  This is not something I was ever successful in attaining.

When I walked away from the two churches that I was involved with I felt cheated.  Both ministers at each respective church would be caught out exercising not only morally and ethically corrupt behavior but criminal as well.

I have no doubt that there are many ministers out there who are exemplary in what they teach and how they conduct themselves.  And I don’t know if I just ran into a string of unfortunate events.  In any case, I walked away from that experience with a bad taste in my mouth.

Even as a child going to Sunday school it was often reinforced of just how unworthy I was.  Now this was not a deliberate slight but simply my interpretation of certain messages that were quite impressionable at that time.

For a long while the mention of prayer stirred up some undesirable emotions and I found myself equating prayer with religion.

A few years ago I was asked the question “Do you pray?”

My immediate response was “No.  I am not a religious person…though I am spiritual.”

Then just as quickly as I had rejected the notion of prayer I tossed in that I said prayers for family members and friends…but I didn’t really say a prayer for my well-being.  It was a curious reaction and one that confounded me for a time.

I began to open myself to meditation around that time and oddly enough the correlation between the two became very apparent.  An awareness was growing regarding my energy body and how it is affected by everything else on this planet.  Building on that I had experiences where energy forces, life forces, spirit, God…whatever you want to call it…began to rush through me at times.

And this occurred when I was just so tuned in, though I don’t quite know how I came to be in such a state.  Still the impression made was extraordinary.  An understanding of sorts began.  I really started to develop an idea of this unique power that moves through all of us.

Prayer,  I have come to understand, is simply a form of energy.  It’s power can be quite remarkable.  Much in the same way of what meditation does.  They are, in essence, the same coin only opposite ends.  Prayer to me is the projection of energy outward.  Meditation is the projection of energy inward.

Driving through a dark and stormy morning on my way to the gym, I had thoughts of the change in season.  In the week since the autumn equinox occurred the weather here on the West coast made an abrupt change.  The rains began and the we’ve had a couple of howlers now.  It has become quite chilly as well.

As I stretched out my legs at the end of my workout I gazed out at an iron-gray sky that was so menacing in appearance that I just had to smile.  Wayne, one of the trainers at the gym, came up alongside me.

“I just want you know that I am praying everyday for you, Nancy.  If you need anything, just let me know.”

I felt truly blessed in that moment.  Wayne does attend church.  He is a physiotherapist as well as a fitness trainer and he is a very good, very genuine person.  Over the years he has offered me tips to add to my workouts.  And if I am an example of how to manage chemotherapy effectively with minimal effects then I am more than willing to share the information.

All of us react differently to various illness’ and their treatments but I do believe attitude will plays a big role.  And I pray pretty much everyday as well.  I put it out to the universe to bless all of us with a peaceful and harmonious existence.  I don’t know that its possible being the strange animals that we are, but one can only hope.

In any case, I will continue in this vein.  Have a fabulous day.

Resolution…


We are by nature, creatures of habit.  We are living in a time when change is occurring daily and just as we comprehend the new ways of the world that are being dictated to us, they shift and morph into another animal all together.

While I use computers, for me it really is just a tool.  It it is frightening how fast we have become a slave to this technology though.  On certain fronts, yes, it is fabulous.  On other levels, however, I wonder what it’s doing to us as a collective being.

I have been watching a number of documentaries as of late.  One was documenting the use of the new must have, the iPhone and / or Smart Phones.  The waste being produced by outdated technology…well, I don’t need to tell you how alarmingly high the rate is.  So if you think global warming is going to get us first…think again.  Could well be the plastic pollutants and their chemically based counterparts that create our demise.  On the show they were opening up dead fish and birds that had been found and they were full of plastic debris.

Cell phones alone produce a dizzying amount of waste.

The debris now beginning to wash up on the shores of British Columbia, which is my home province, from Japan’s earthquake a few years ago and the tsunami that it produced is devastating to see.  And it will apparently continue on for years to come.  The long terms effects?  Unknown.

The other concern is social behaviour as a result of this technology.  Go into any coffee shop and you’ll find the familiar glow of a laptop on several faces.  I see tables of young people not talking to each other but texting on their phones.

Indeed, when I come across someone simply reading a book it is a relief of sorts.

Yet the age of electronic and computerized technology continues to devour us.

And here I am still trying to get it together emotionally.  They say there is an APP for everything.  Not one for healing emotional traumas.  I wonder if somewhere someone is actually working on such a thing?  I am sitting here envisioning myself going in for a session with a robotic psychologist.  And you can pick if you want a female of male inclined robot.

Here is a brief re-enactment of what I am imagining at this moment.

I enter a barren room.  A white leather sofa sits in the middle of the room.  Two armchairs of a rich red material sit facing each other on either end of the sofa.  Mr. Loco my robotic doctor sits on a slightly elevated platform directly before the seating in a white metal chair.  For him (and I use this term only because he has been fashioned as a male) comfort is not an issue.  The walls are white and the floor polished concrete.  There is a carpet in the sitting area. 

“Hello Nancy, please have a seat.  Would you like some water or would you prefer tea?”

Hello Dr. Loco.  A glass of water will do fine.  Thank you.”

A door opens from his abdominal area and an arm protrudes moving first to the water cooler then toward me with the cup of water in hand.  I press the release button on the side and take it from the arm.  The arm withdraws back into its cavity.

I have a weird obsession with this arm thing.  It can move to any place in the room within a 20 foot radius.  I wonder if Dr. Loco ever malfunctioned what kind of damage that arm of his could do.  I slap myself mentally.  “Stop this!”

“Tell me how you have been since our last session?” He inquires.

“Hmmm.  Hard to say.  I’ve been okay I suppose. I find all this a little strange.  I know I signed up to be a test subject but lately I have been having some second thoughts about all this.”

“There is no such thing as a second thought Nancy.  All thoughts are created equal.”

“Easy for you to say.”

He does not respond. 

“Are you ready to get started then?”

Begrudgingly I agree.  From the back of his head another appendage emerges.  It is shaped like a small disc and is attached to a delicate metal cable and it rounds over his head then moves over to mine and hovers above.  A few electrodes move out from the disc and attach themselves to strategic points on my head to measure my cognitive functions. 

“Are you comfortable?”

“No but let’s get on with this.  As I have expressed before, sitting here with this contraption on my head will never feel comfortable.”

“Very well.  I am programmed to ask this though.”

“I know you are.  Please proceed.”

Dr. Loco makes a few buzzing sounds as he assessed his memory bank.

“We will work on early childhood trauma today.  We have been reviewing the results and I believe you are ready to access these memories.”

I grimaced then nodded.

“Nancy, I will require an audible reply.” he reminds me.

“Yes, okay.” I mutter. 

I felt the odd sensation as the electrodes were activated to record whatever the hell was going on in my grey matter.  An image flashed before me then another.  Memories better left forgotten began to emerge.  I am a child.  Crying, pain, hurting, frightened, hiding, wanting, desperate.

“Stop now!” I tell Dr. Loco.

He waits for a moment til everything stills then asks, “Tell me how those memories made you feel?” 

I felt a rush of resentment at the tin can sitting in front of me.  Then again, when I had done this same thing with a flesh and blood doctor years before, I had felt the same resentment.  He waited silently.  They always do.

How do I feel?  I looked at this automated creature that doesn’t feel and has no idea what it is I am telling him.  He simply collects the data and somewhere, unseen people program him to ‘fix’ me.  It is a pilot project designed to clear the neuropathway’s of all the repercussions of trauma that can occur to the human race.  It sounded intriguing at first.   Now, I’m not so sure.

“Raw.” I begin, “I wanted so much to please my father, thought that the reason I wasn’t was because I wasn’t worth it.  But I tried…at least in the beginning, in my early years.  Wasn’t quite so jaded then.  I believed in God.  Thought he could fix things.  I prayed every night for the fighting to stop.  Always things would quiet for a bit, then the tension at home would start to build again.  I remember asking my Sunday School teacher, Mrs. Potter, if God answered everyone’s prayers.  She smile sweetly and told me that he only answered those that were worthy.  That confirmed it.  I wasn’t worth shit.  I’ve spent a lifetime denying myself of what should be given naturally.”

Pausing I looked back at this and just felt so empty and alone.  I was never prepared to go out into this world and yet, somehow I turned it around.  Somehow I managed to get to this point in my life. 

“And how do you feel about yourself now?” he inquired.

Foolish.  What had I hoped to get out of this experiment?  Did I really think being examined by a machine would help me finally lay all of this to rest? 

“Just ducky.” I replied.

For a moment I heard the buzzing as he tried to comprehend my repsonse. 

“Could you rephrase your answer?”

“No, I can’t.”

“So what you are telling me is that you feel like a duck?”

I smiled at this.  “Yes.  I feel like a duck.”

“Why do you think you feel this way?”

“Because ducks are goofy but everybody loves them.”

“So you feel good then?” he responds.

“As good as I would were I a duck I suppose.”

Dr. Loco processes this for a moment.  “We can explore this revelation at another time.”

I don’t respond because he misses some of the little oddities we have in our speech.  If I come back he will surely have been programmed to understand these little euphemisms.   In all fairness, he does catch quite a few. 

“I think I’ll leave now.” I tell him.

“We haven’t finished our session though.”

“I need some time to process what I am feeling.”

“The purpose of this programme is to record what you’re feeling, Nancy.  By leaving now, we will have to access…”

“No, you won’t have to access anything.  I will certainly recall how I feel and these memories have surfaced….they won’t disappear again.”

“Still it would be of benefit…”

Again I cut him off.  “The benefit would be for the program…not necessarily me.”

I am feeling agitated.  “Can we end this please?” 

The disc and electrodes are still attached.  A second stretches into two.  He makes all of this little buzzing noises then I feel the machine as it withdraws and watch as it recedes into the back of Dr. Loco’s head. 

Standing, a thought occurs.  “Has anyone ever cursed at you?  Sworn.  Used profanity?”

I don’t know why this is of any importance. Just a random thought. 

“Of course.” he replies.

That was it.  “Good bye.” I respond as I turn toward the door.

“Good day, Nancy.  I will see you next week then.”

I don’t answer.

I’m not too sure where this little drama came from but such are my imaginings. I wonder if such things are being explored in the technological field. We are a strange animal, that much is certain. I hope we never lose our individuality.  I hope we never lose our wonder.

And for me I will continue on this path to where I am content to just be.  So much more to learn, so much more to feel.  But I’ll get there.

Enjoy your weekend everyone. Namaste.

 

 

 

In Training (Day 34)….Essence


Our favorite day of the week has arrived.  Friday.  That erstwhile day we all get to exhale the week’s worth of stress as it winds down and leads us into the weekend.  Or at least that is kinda, sorta the theory behind it.  I slipped out into the dark of morning for my run with the temperature hovering around zero.  A thick frost was on the cars and rendering the blades of grass motionless and white.  Under the yellow street light the streets glistened like diamonds.

Man, I love running in weather like this.  Stars were peeking out at me and I exaggerated my breath so that it came out in billows of steamy white puffs.  Smiling I greeted the world around me and began my run.  I fell into a rather meditative and contemplative frame of mind today.  One thing I noted is that nothing has ever come easy to me.  Perhaps that is the point.  Perhaps that is why we set challenges for ourselves.  I thought about running, of when I introduced myself to this activity again.

At times the physical pain felt was excruciating.  Yet I didn’t let that stop me.  I accepted that the pain was in some way necessary.  With each level of accomplishment completed I would raise the bar a little higher.  Now I have raised the bar yet again.

I have changed the course of my Friday run a bit.  Now the first third of the run is going up a gradual hill.  I wondered if it is more difficult to go up an incline that is stretched out over several blocks than running up a hill that is steeper, but substantially shorter in distance.  The gradual hill at times feels like it is more challenging.  But in each of the courses there is the point where it levels off.  I don’t have to work so hard now.  The body is warmed up, the pores are open and the breath becomes stable and then the run is just pure bliss.  The hard part has been overcome and now the reward is the freedom I feel in this movement and the place it takes me to.

Last night I met with my writer’s group and had an interesting conversation with a gentleman about religion.  We were discussing our writing projects.  He explained that he was, through his writing project, seeking his essence.  He is of the Islamic faith and when he moved to Canada, a host of things presented themselves causing him to question his place in this world, his existence.

At one point he stated that I had ‘closed the door on religion’ because I related a few incidents in that I found religion to be confining and judgmental.  Now at no time did he ask me what my beliefs were and I did not ask this of him either.  Yet there was this assumption on his part that I was in essence denying a part of myself because I had turned away from religion.  Curious I thought.  I told him that I looked at all religions and noted their similarities rather than their differences.  He liked this statement. The other curious thing in this conversation that stood out was that he referred to God in the masculine the entire time.  I left this alone as well.  In my mind it is irrelevant.

As I was driving home last night it occurred to me as well that he did not ask me if I believed in God or not.  So it was an interesting conversation where subtle assumptions were made.  I enjoy conversations of this nature as I can also reflect on my points.  What I was trying to relay to him was that truth is in fact very subjective.  We do have absolute truths as I have discussed before but if there is one thing I love, it is engaging others opinions regarding this.  It is our humanness that is so unique to each of us that I delight in sharing.

And as I ran through the morning I gazed at the point where the parallel lines of the sidewalk seemed to meet.  It occurred to me that while my eyes tell me they are in fact joined at a certain point, I know this to be untrue.  I know this is just perception and that the lines will in fact never meet.  Yet the eyes see a different reality.

How we interpret information may vary and what we take from it can direct how we live our lives.  At some point though, I think we will all find that absolute truth that we seek, that is our essence.  Perhaps that is the just the simple of joy of being human.  Embracing the journey we have been set upon that will ultimately lead each of us to where it is we need to be.

Happy Friday everyone!

This Thing Called Fear


Getting over my fears has been one of the biggest hurdles of my life.  I was born in fear.  It is likely one of the first emotions instilled in me.  What fear does is restrict and confine.  It kills creativity and silences debate and free thought.

I am ruminating about these things as read that Malala Yousufzai, the young girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban, has had a successful surgery but remains in critical condition.    Let’s all send our thoughts and prayers to her for a speedy and full recovery.  I know at the age of 14, I was ruled by the fears that bound me.  I admire this young girl so very much for laying down the gauntlet and saying that it’s not acceptable to be treated in the manner that young girls and women are in Middle East.  That they deserve equal footing, an education and the same rights and privileges that men do.  This is a world-wide issue for women everywhere, as even in the Western world, we are still not on equal footing with our counterparts.

Understand too, that fear is what was instilled in the men who took it upon themselves to shoot and try to silence her.  It is not some sort of power or bravado that drives them.  It is fear.

Fear of their God.

This for me is one of the most fundamentally incorrect statements ever uttered by religious leaders.  Why should I fear God?

Yet these young men are taken as boys and fed a barrage of hate which masquerades as religious training.  But teaching someone to blow themselves up and take as many infidels with you  or  shoot to kill for the sake of appeasing your God…well, sorry.  I don’t buy it.

These young men come out of this tormented state fearing the world around them.  Anyone who does not agree with their ideology is considered a threat and must be eliminated.

Very sad that this is allowed to continue under the name of religion.

I have met people from every religion.  Good, beautiful people who worship regularly.  They don’t fear me nor I them, despite our different points of views.  I have met many people who have walked away from the faith they were raised in and I have known people who have found solace in a different faith.

The beauty of it is, there is always a respect shown and given.  No judgements are passed. Believe what you will, as long as your heart is in a peaceful and loving place, that is what matters.  And a person who goes out and willfully shoots someone in the head does not have their heart in a peaceful and loving place.

For a very long time I existed within the confines of fear.  Then the question that kept coming up was “What are you afraid of?”  And you know, I couldn’t answer right away.  It was a line of thinking that had simply never allowed me to look beyond the chains that bound.  And when I did venture out and begin to look beyond the realm of fear, what I found was so very beautiful.

That said, fear doesn’t let you go that easily.  It will still creep up ever so subtly to work its way back into the recesses of your thoughts.

I have been thinking about a silent protest.  Now, I am somewhat ambivalent about the use of that word.  Protests are, by their very nature, confrontational which can lead to heated temperaments and violent interactions.  So perhaps I should say just a silent gathering.

Here is the idea.  Everyone who reads this post, please share the idea that on Sunday, October 14th, 2012 at 11:00 AM go outside of your home.  Gaze up at the sky and offer your heartfelt prayers  and wishes  to Malala for a speedy recovery  but also offer a prayer to the young men who did this that they might find peace and guidance.  I know that many will find it abhorrent to offer such sentiments in the face of such a horrific act, yet a part of me feels we must somehow let these young men see past their fear.  Perhaps this is a start in offering our energy to assist them in this endeavour.

I don’t know.  It’s just a thought, but I am going to do it.  I hope you will join me.