Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Rock My World

Stalwart bastion of ancient wisdom
Edifice of human longing
For immortality

Adorning the square

Drawing life from the four directions

Still will anyone - stop to commune
With your timelessness?

Let alone each other!

Forged by an inferno of creation
The craftman's chisel
Aims to improve upon
The Master Artist of the cosmos.

Cold, hard granite
A superficial judgement
While at the core
Infinite energies in suspension
Where they can be animated
By the spark
Of an enlivening catalyst.

Your limitless all-knowing patience
Has out-lived countless generations

I pray that while I sit
That I can listen, as you speak.

Slovenia Serenade

Bravo Slovenia
Intricately
Woven
Upon my Heart

Just as love is foundational
To national moniker
Instantaneous
Transformation
From
Foreign
To
Familiar

I can no longer
Be the same
Deep and vast
Your embrace
Encircles my soul

How often
Have I sought
To avoid
A painful parting
Love left
Dangling to dry
Upon the vine

My heart
These lands
Those that inhabit them
Call for
And merit
So much more

As deep as the lakes
Is my love
As powerful as the rivers
I will let Slovenia
Open my heart
So that I
May love her
      in
  Return

      I
Cannot
    Nor
  Will I
Leave my Heart
    For
Slovenia
   and I
    are
Now One!

   Hvala

Bog po┼żegnaj!

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Timeless blessings - In Shapeless Tradition

Bells peal, reverberating throughout downtown Ljubljana. Whether a call to prayer or the announcement of the arrival of Christmas, these are no mere Jingle Bells.

I had in mind to experience the Midnight Mass at the Franciscan Church in the city centre. Interestingly, after having a peak experience, heart-centered day, the thought occurred to me, this "mass" might just pale in comparison.

"Low and behold"..... it did! (but apparently I needed to go and experience what I could have already known, had I chosen to "listen.")

First of all I had my own beautiful, connection healing experience; in that very church a couple days previous. I had decided I wanted to see it from the inside, as I had seen the outside innumerable times. When I entered there was a service going on - with just a small number of people in attendance.

I decided to sit. As the service was in Slovenian, I couldn't understand a word of it. This in itself allowed for me both to "listen" differently and ensured I could not be "triggered" by anything that was said. These distinctions in combination allowed me to be far more present.

I decided I could observe my own sacred silence and prayers, which could be directed with a focus on whatever came up for me. My hunch was that this was a Catholic service (based on all the sit down ... stand up..... sit down again..... etc.)

My youth included attendance at a Catholic school (despite my being "Anglican") so I determined right in the moment, that I was "here;" to heal and forgive the various trauma of that experience (mine is not the story of abuse suffered by many - just the same, I won't dismiss how I was impacted). I even went through the ritual of communion - believing my "communing" is with myself and the Creator of All that is (as I understand it). What does it matter if there is a different meaning assigned to this sacrament, by the church itself?

My time spent in the church on this occasion allowed for an experience that was "alive" personally significant and potent. I knew and acknowledged this within myself. A day later while walking with a friend (who lives in this city) my experience was more deeply affirmed, when she told me it is a "Franciscan church." I had seen a couple of "clergy" dressed in the traditional simplicity of the Franciscan order - but had not entirely, put it together. All I knew, was I was drawn to go inside.

Francis (the founder of this order) is a significant energy in my life. Not due to the "religious" association - I don't happen to believe that "his" energy, is exclusive and is accessible for anyone from any background - with or without "a spiritual belief system."

Christmas eve. night, same church, same recent past profound experience - but my attendance may have been more motivated by (for example) some sort of perceived need to "do" rather than just be, an old idea that I "should attend" consequently..... there was nothing there for me! The experience proved to be energetically flat... extremely crowded and not where I needed to be.

As I was leaving there was an older man still sitting in the outer entrance. He had been there when I first entered and was asking of all that passed through, for money.  As I approached I reached in my pocket and found a five euro note. I handed it to him, removed my glove and offered to shake his hand. He took my hand and thanked me ... while I wished him to be blessed and Merry Christmas.

There were hundreds of people in that church.... imagine if everyone, gave him even one euro. It is not my intention to judge whether others gave or did not give. I will never miss that money. My life has provided me with wealth and riches beyond my wildest dreams and, that money can't buy. I am truly prosperous. I didn't "empty my pockets" - there still remained, enough for my needs. My return to the church may have been all about that simple exchange.... Influenced by (the question: what would Francis do?)

I have not renounced "wealth" or comfort. Traveling is a constant reminder to me of how much is enough and when and where I reach excesses; all, a work in progress. Let's face it, that I am, at this time, able to travel, assigns me a degree of privilege.

Earlier this same day, I had the opportunity to go with a friend (the same friend that gave me the expanded knowing of the church in the city) for a drive to the beautiful seaside coast of Slovenia. Now this journey was alive for me; with the love of soul-friendship, the spirit of generosity, which I was graced to be the recipient of and the fresh, revitalizing air and energy of the sea. Coffee at the marina, walks through the quaint sea side towns, moments of connection with a resident cat, for me, all brought embodiment of the joy, peace and bliss "associated" with Christmas - but that may remain hollow sentiments, when sought through mechanistic, "tradition."

We came to a small church my friend knew of, that was dedicated to Mary. An invitation to sit for awhile. To my soul, this is like asking my body, shall we still breathe? The silence in there was so penetrating - and I perceive limitless ..... what a grand "Christmas" gift.  As I mentioned with regard to Francis, I hold the same to be true of Mary. Some religions have embraced them as "their own." I believe neither Francis nor Mary, carried such notions of exclusion or divisiveness. These are my beliefs personal and intimate to me - not in any way, shape or form, to make wrong the beliefs, of others.

As we were leaving the chapel.. my friend informed me that this too, was a church affiliated with the Franciscans.

We journeyed to another town, getting to a wondrous cliff top view point, as the sun was beginning to set. There were other friends in the area with which we had been in communication but that seemed to be walking parallel paths. With no concrete plan to meet - once we arrived at the lookout, they appeared from the other direction. Ironically this place was adorned with a "cross." If we were to remove for the moment, any other association with this symbol, perhaps it stood there announcing the crossing of two paths.

We chatted, laughed, took pictures and determined that this moment in time was indeed where we would both meet and determine; that our paths once again, were to become divergent.

After parting ways, my friend and I hiked down the trail to the beach, where we could directly experience the sea and the continued splendour of the sunset. I resurrected my "rock skipping" skills, more laughter, pictures and sea side healing.

As I indicated in a blog post before I left Victoria; the shoes I was, and am wearing on this trip, were immersed in the Salish sea back then. Now they were to be blessed in the waters of the Slovenian coast. As I walked into the waters edge, directly in front of me, in shallow water, a magnificent heart-shaped stone!

We had an amazing sea side dinner in another town which we deemed "Christmas dinner" and then drove the hour or so, back to Ljubljana.

I might have known that after a full day of "worship" and communing with heart, spirit and nature; there would be nothing further to experience, at a "Midnight Mass."

I guess I needed to experience.. that there was nothing more to experience... than the affirmation of a previous experience...

I'm sure this season ... I have received far more than I have given....

It may be true.... "you cannot out give the universe...."

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Season with Heart

The "season"reached for its inevitable zenith
Electronic friends fall silent
Called to all forms of sacred observation

What then will I celebrate?

Heightened senses stumble in the void
Attuned to each nuance

Connection to community ebbs
Giving rise to questions of authenticity

But wait, there you are........

Life symbolized by a hotel carpet of green...
There was room at this inn!

Within the warm embrace of this foreign refuge
A newly found apple tree wood pen (wand)
Conjures a heart's delight

Green polished apple wood
Weaving silken words
That glide across the page

Tethered to my heart
With gossamer threads.

Images stabbing upon the blank screen
Christmas' - Past, Present, Future?

No matter where you currently reside
Nor from placement upon time's illusory spectrum
Can you hide
From the limitless reach
Of my love drenched heart

Join me there in a mystical forest
Scattered beneath the windswept canopy
Are all forms of life's gifts....

I hold up agony's abyss
Soul-quaking ecstasy
Profound betrayal
The delirious delight
 Of a heart
Newly kissed

Blinding rage
A shame so pervasive
It wants nothing more
Than to consume itself
Before it is seen.

Unbridled laughter
That shakes bones and marrow
Until they plead for arrest

So then;

I will celebrate......

From all my heart.....

I love you all

I cannot miss you

You were never gone.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Traveller's Stew

This may prove to be an interesting blog post. Not necessarily, because I have suddenly been imbued with the capacity to convey the realm of the profound. This is the first post since my arrival in Slovenia. I have now been nearly twenty four hours in the country. I'm a currently staying with a friend in Ljubljana. Upon logging into the blogging platform, I notice all the menu links and tabs are in Slovenian! I don't have a comprehensive knowledge of the system in general terms and I have never had occasion, to change the language. So far, this is the only language anomaly I have encounter (online) - which is fortunate, as I don't know why this particular technical transformation has occurred; nor do I know how to change it.  I think I have enough recall of the position of some of the "buttons" I more commonly use, in order to function.

Just another example, albeit a rather benign one, of the experience expanding opportunities, of travel. Beginning tomorrow evening, I will be in a workshop for six days. Though no two are ever the same in terms of personal, nor collective experience; if some of my previous experience comes to pass, I likely won't be writing to the blog again until after the workshop is over. So then, assuming this post actually makes it online - the variance in visual appearance of the blog word processor, may be said to be, a non-issue.

While I appreciate the gift it is to be able to express in multiple languages, it is not currently my reality. That in combination with for example, though as I sit and write this now, it is 1:30 p.m. (local time) while meanwhile, "in a galaxy far ... far.... away" (Vancouver Island) it's 4:30 a.m. which is more in keeping with what my body is attuned to. I immediately adjusted my watch as I transitioned through various time zones. Once there, I would try and find a happy medium between what time a day it was and "listening to my body" so that I could generally get acclimatized. I suppose working the varying shift times back home, might make that process less abrupt. However, with respect to day/night here, I was still tired and energetic at will (not mine).

All these variances make for some interesting perceptual experiences. Those moving sidewalks in the airports are perceptually deceptive.  For me it was like looking at one of those animated optical illusion youtube clips - it presented as challenging; making stepping on in correspondence to the visual of the moving track bed.

I just stayed put at the terminal (London South Gatwick) I had a hotel there, to conceivably relax before the next flight, which is less than 24 hours after my arrival.  After checking in and freshening up, I sat at one of the airport lounges (Cafe Nero) that served coffee that at the time, was nectar of the Gods. While I sipped that, I indulged in some "fly on the wall" people watching (and listening). Certainly no one needed to be concerned about whether I was "eaves-dropping," as noted above  in my spoken language disclosure. Meanwhile I was surrounded by this international cacophony.

The next thing I observed was a couple members of airport security?  They had "Police" on the back of their shirts -  I don't know whether they were part of the regular force - assigned to the airport or specifically airport security. They were just strolling along "shooting the breeze." I wasn't inclined to approach them with my transplanted curiosity. After a double take on my part, I realized these two were each carrying, a rather menacing looking, submachine-gun. This was in addition to, amply equipped "utility belts" - they looked a little like Star Wars "storm-troopers" - except for the fact that this was real. I'm not dismissing the courage and responsibility, potential risk or dedication these individuals carry - just recognizing that for me, this imagery is atypical and therefore surreal.

As I pick up on the blog post, as I had speculated earlier, multiple days have elapsed since beginning this writing. The workshop has completed which is to say I and we, no longer physically occupy the seats of the circle. Participants have dispersed and I imagine, for each (through what is true for me) the "workshop" is in no way "over."

 Now back in Ljubljana (after 6 days in Murska Sobota) I now have expanded opportunity, to both experience my current environment through a self in flux and have a self reflected through my surroundings.

"Love is in the air," I cannot dismiss my own contribution to this, as I embrace the splendour of my own heart, enthralled in the shear delight of exploration. As much or more, it is the people of Slovenia that I perceive, provide the foundational experience of this love. Warm hearted, passionate  giving people; I am held in awe, humility and a state of unending inspiration. The vibrance of the city feeds my own appetite for adventure. Of course I have the present luxury of being "foot loose and fancy free" but even still, the contrast between the sleepy hamlet I call home and my current surroundings is stark. This is not about good or bad. I'm not about the creation of "10 best cities..... for ......... lists) it's just not my lens. More so, I am expressing a recognition that I am in the midst of making real, a more personal sense of "home" as not being defined by my address. I'm not talking about "Hallmark" sentiments about homes and hearts.... those are great, as far as they go (probably more so, for some bottom line somewhere).

I'm talking about my actual heart.... and the living, breathing, real time experience, of residing there! I'm not sure that I'm the one to divulge any groundbreaking revelations about the heart. However, I'm infinitely qualified to attempt to describe the experience of the evolution and revolution of my own heart. If my life journey is a kiln, learning institution and training ground, for the expansion of my heart; then Slovenia, is a full immersion transformational incubator of love, that is the catalyst for quantum leaps of healing and nourishment for the soul.

I would count my blessings to have the good fortune to be here, except I may not be able to count that high and I'd rather be out there continuing the experience.

My sense is I enjoy to be written through. I am offered through time spent honouring this connection a particular path to contentment. While I believe in upholding the sanctity of my sacred practices; I now must consider a need to observe the furtherance of the ceremony of diversity.

Which is to say - my butt must leave the comfort of this chair and once again venture out. Any moment now, there is an exchange of blessings about to occur. I have my part to play & I don't want to miss out!!






Monday, 12 December 2016

Can I Help You? (Many thanks, why yes you can!!)

Well.. the journey has begun. Of course when hasn't the journey been in progress? I was given a ride to the ferry by my friend and former wife and her partner. The beauty of this (besides one less bus ride) was I got dog blessings all the way to the ferry terminal. There was the Irish Wheaton Terrier (Sadie) that I use to co-habitate with and The Labra-doodle (Belle). Sadie seemed to believe I needed a head clearing as she kept sticking her nose on the back of my neck; while Belle was doing some "paws" on healing giving me alternatively one, then the other front paw to hold on to.

The ferry ride was relaxing - I had already eaten while waiting to board. I had some stuff to finish up from my fridge.  I sat near a young women that was engrossed in her electronics; so no conversation, but we traded off baggage security favours. I shared some of my mini mandarin oranges with her and then got back into my book.

When the arrival announcement was sounded I made a bee-line for the lower deck. I was given a tip to do so rather than disembark at the foot passenger ramp to save time getting to the bus to begin the transport/connection process of getting into Richmond. Apparently those that have been on board with their pets gather and walk off; so I was to "join" them. I was the first to arrive down there and began to think I look a little conspicuous - what with having "no dog." Besides that, I was standing right in front of the two rows of motor vehicles that would soon be keen to disembark. At the beginning of the cue were all the buses.

I was relieved that I was soon joined with more people and there pets! Which you guessed it, meant more dog blessings!! We docked that ramp was lowered and the gate was released for us to leave. We were steered toward a pathway that both got us out of the road and was solid asphalt versus the metal grating of the main road way. The ferry workers warned people to not have their dogs walk across as their legs could slip through.

So I'm leader of the pack now, once all the dog owners peeled off to the left (as they weren't catching a bus). Only problem with heading the procession is, it's of no particular advantage, when you don't know where you are going. I slowed down some and let another women catch up - I asked her, "where am I going, for the bus. She explained I could go the way she is about to go, or she's seen others going a slightly different route (which she didn't know the reason for or outcome of) so I chose the tried and true!

I asked her some questions re: fares etc. she says, "oh I don't know, I'm not catching the bus." Nevertheless angel number one got me fourth from the front of that cue. While I'm standing there I'm sorting some change as I know from reading online it's one of two cost and "exact change" is required. I'm nattering to the couple behind me and then angel number two pipes up, if you go in over there and buy a single trip ticket - it will get you on this bus and then the skytrain after (had I paid the driver I would have still needed to purchase something at the next terminal). Life I maintain (in fact God) is in the details. Of course this might be partly due to my seeing the world through a Virgo lens. Remember that next time I'm spinning a story that has you on the verge of a comma. Simple things - but they make a difference in the flow - that's one very crowed bus on which I got a seat!

Budda bing ... budda bong.... we're at the next terminal.... "I'm asking ... now I have to swipe to leave to?? Yup... then through various gates... tap and the gates open unto you!!

The skytrain terminus was directly across from a mall that had right in front of me a branch of one of the credit unions I "bank" at - so in for some quick cash. Found the facilities and then "customer service" found me my hotel.

I refreshing walk there - revealed that on the opposite corner was Ceilidhs "Irish Pub" (and I thought I was just booking this hotel because it was close to the airport!!) Soon there after I learned there is a Celtic cross in town (I'm sure the ancestors would not want me to miss that). This led to another brisk walk to the cross and then back to the pub for a delicious Veggie burger and yam fries, complemented  with a "kick-ass" Virgin Caesar.

When I returned I took care of my a.m. airport shuttle booking and clarified my morning exit strategy. When I showed up at the breakfast area - I stood perplexed at the cereal canisters. Two of three had a knob at the bottom that you spun to fill your bowl. The canister of the one I wanted was "knob-less."

As I studied this a moment looking for some secret latch - a hotel employee observed me and came over. "It's broken, just a minute please." She left and came back with a large ladle to scoop cereal from the top. While she was there she refreshed my memory on those "complimentary breakfast - waffle irons." Alright - got it!! Thank you!!

Today - I got to the airport really early!! I was checking through with people for the flight ahead of mine!! I toasted the fellow behind me as I drank my water, before getting to security. I then joked with him, "just so I don't become, "that guy" and then you're behind me - would you mind giving me a few clarifications while were way back here in the line?" He laughed and happily gave me the info.

The fact of the matter is - there's a very good chance I will be - "that guy," however I am delighted to re-experience just how helpful people can, want and are helpful.

I don't know about anyone else - but I can read the guidelines until I'm blue in the face and it's not as impactful as some simple in the moment guidance (delivered from a live being!!)

Makes me wonder how much value there is in reading things like "scriptures" - it just might be, that the live version of those is indeed God, as delivered through the presence of all those earth-bound angels along the way!!

Post script - written very quickly while waiting for a plane (no time to edit - I'm going to see about some food) - so I'm not that guy!! (last to board the plane).


Saturday, 10 December 2016

Now Boarding

Poised on the brink of departure
Creative energies employed
To allow for "minimalist" encumbrance
Mindful preparation bestowing
An appreciation for each article
Illuminated along the way
Inner "baggage"
May correlate
With a back's burden
"Google-Maps"
Unable to reveal
My uncharted geography
A pilgrimage unfolds
Guided by a gossamer thread
Spanning eons
Though timeless in origin
Unique while universal
Hearkening the call
To re-member
To re-unite
Echoing through the glens
Animating the dance of the trees
Heard in the song of the wind
Held in the stones
Released by the fire
A respond (ability)
Required to get me to here
Though I have been the beneficiary of change
I no longer claim it was, "my idea"
The call enlivens each foot fall
To a destination unknown
Arrival guaranteed
Mysts unfurl
To reveal
Fresh steps yield ancient knowing
While worn paths
Can still yield - untold treasure.


Friday, 9 December 2016

Miracles - Belief Outside the Box

On my way to the coffee shop to commence this current instalment; I had a flash of inspiration for the opening theme - however that train of thought left the station & I'm still on the platform. It's a little bit like I was at station 9 3/4 and I ran at wall, the idea got through, however I'm taking five on my keister.

No matter - there's always another train. So then.....

Does the universe experience pressure? I don't mean the variety that compresses decayed plant matter into "a girl's best friend." Or that which is released in Super Nova's or forms mountains while dividing continents. What I am referring to is what with all the expectation for "seasonal miracles"- is the universe lamenting: "Jiminy Cricket" I'm overwhelmed with this Christmas preparation - everyone wants a miracle.........

You might wonder, would the all powerful, omnipotent, infinitely intelligent force "behind" the universe, actually utter - Jiminy Cricket? Well you might recall, he was known to be in the habit of wishing upon a star. So clearly the cricket and the universe, had history. One verse alone from that classic song yields:

"If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star as dreamers do"

It would seem the universe can and will take it in stride. But, it was just a kids show, not even a real cricket..... (I can hear the arguments) - somebody had to write those lyrics.... What do you suppose they were based on? There are all sorts of supporting passages in numerous "wisdom texts" - so maybe not just a Disney blockbuster?

A passage from a reading on Native American Animal Teachings (Cricket): "If a cricket crosses your path, it is a sign of extremely good luck. All the things you have been working toward and dreaming  about are now possible."

Bah Humbug..Coincidence!! (retorts the miracle resistors). Humbug you say....  recall if you will the bonding power of a plateful of humbugs..... forget "crazy glue" - now there's some miraculous adhesion and damned if they don't taste great too!

A couple of passing thoughts regarding "miracles." If I don't believe in the possibilities, I can push them right out of my experience. The other thing is.... though I happen to believe miracles are happening, all day every day (not just through the month of December) it might be useful to spread the vision and associated expectations over the entire year - you won't save the universe any "strain," however, for yours truly..... (no not me..... you!) the relief might be considerable.

While I'm on the topic of miracles, a couple evenings ago I was to meet for coffee - my former wife and a niece of ("ours"). The former I have interacted with intermittently throughout the time we have been out of wedlock. She stayed connected to my parents right up to and through their passing, I have met her new partner on a number of occasions - she is driving me to the ferry to begin my adventure. The niece I have not seen much through the eight years since the "separation." There is no right or wrong here - this is how it went; it was a joy to see her again. Her brother was to be there as well, but he was detained up-island. He's one of the "on-air personalities" on a radio station up there. They had been doing a food hamper drive all day and when it came time to finish - the truck that had been provided, by one of the local rental agencies, to collect all the food malfunctioned. The back door wouldn't close so they couldn't leave, because they now had a truckload of food.

We have made arrangements for another gathering in the New Year after I return. My nephew was recently in Scotland/Ireland, my niece is going to Guam over Christmas and of course, I'm about to embark on a journey to Slovenia/Ireland - so we will have many travel stories to exchange.

I was in the village early where we were to meet for coffee (even after having dinner) so I decided to walk down to the waterfront. It was a beautiful still evening. Clear skies and accompanying, frosty temperatures. It was an opportunity to enjoy what snowfall remained; each footfall a sensual delight of crunchiness.

The lights from Port Angeles (across the Salish Sea) were fully visible; the sky was saturated with stars. I offered prayers of thanks to the ancestors of these lands - invited them to join ranks with my ancestors; as we journey to the sacred lands of my clan. I walked down to the beach from the lookout platform and was inspired to stand in the water just of the shoreline. Why you ask? It was right & perfect at the time - those same boots might well find themselves standing off the shoreline, on the Northern Ireland coastline.. I don't know, it could happen.

The following evening I attended a Christmas open house at the law office - where my family estate was mediated. I could have easily decided "it's not my scene," and to some degree that's true. However, it was a chance to step outside of my "comfort zone" and just go and experience being. It was a perfectly enjoyable gathering - the catered food was awesome!! I had a nice chat with the lawyer who had represented me - it was healing to be back there, having moved on from the "negotiations" and just chatting about our respective trips. I took the opportunity to sound her out about my need for a will. Oh, to be sure I have a will - however, I don't have a will (at least a current one). So that's a conversation for next year. Everyone was offered a bottle of wine as a parting gift - I don't drink, so initially I'm thinking, I can graciously decline that. Then I was "reminded" - you've got a staff Christmas lunch to go to (with a gift exchange) - I'll have a bottle of the white thanks!!

The staff lunch was fun - they sat us at the enclosed patio area, which features a beautiful brick fire place in the centre. What better way to generate festive season warmth. The recipient of the bottle of wine was happy with her gift. We all had a good laugh as, even though I had looked at the bottle (out of curiosity - frankly I know squat about wine) however, I hadn't noticed, that also in the same bag was one of the law practices "rack-cards."I had just creatively twisted the bag closed, attached a candy cane with festive red electrician tape and put the whole thing in some random gift bag, I had in the closet.

From lunch I was meeting another friend for coffee, however I had a couple of hours (and a bus to catch) before our meeting time. While I was waiting for the bus I saw one of the local "street magazine vendors" near the stop. He also had for sale their annual calendar "Hope in Shadows" - I decided to pick one up. Certainly I'm no stranger to shadows - you can spin that anyway you like!

The theme struck a chord for me - I happen to know and believe, that the shadows reveal unending potential and reason for hope. The caveat would be, not to remain mired in, nor to ignore the shadow; but to bring to it, the light, along with zeal and great gusto. I am a stand for hope. When the call came to "drain the swamp" it was hope that drew me forward, albeit cautiously at first, but nonetheless resolutely. I'm proud to have that calendar grace my wall.

Earlier this year another vendor had asked if, while I was busking he could take my picture (to submit for a contest for pictures for that very calendar). We (which is I suppose, to say I) didn't make the cut. He doesn't seem to hold that against me!

Maybe through the grace of that all intelligent universe - when I've been praying on all those stars - the light has finally over-taken the shadow, all in all - a pretty good problem to have I'd say. The truth is - I ain't no pin-up guy; and I'm infinitely okay with that.

Me and my concealed six-pack may never reach "heavenly body" status; however, I know miraculous blessings are unfolding around me constantly. Thank my lucky stars for that!

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Plan(us) Interrupt(us)

Well, I've made my list and checked it twice..... Pardon my attempt to be "seasonally" attuned. Of course the statement would only be true if the "season" in question was specifically, Christmas and had I made any sort of list.  So, given the overall appearance round about the 'hood if nothing else, the retail world is set to embrace "Christmas;" despite the number of people, that don't necessary celebrate that particular event.

My list (had I made one) would have been in preparation for my pending travel, which is now two days from the launch pad. I certainly have been doing things to get ready. Some of it has been to do with the trip specifically, some has simply been; what's in front of me to do (which I would be doing whether I was going away or not). I was inspired by a friend before she went away, to travel with only carry-on baggage. I don't even know if she actually did that or not. Nevertheless, I decided I was going to. This entailed getting a bag that meets "carry-on" criteria. After I first made the decision and began considering what I would need for six weeks away - I felt a little anxiety arising. I wasn't about to let that "steer the ship;" so I just set out to see what I have, that is suitable for winter and space efficient. I already had various articles of "outdoor" clothing, so then it was just a matter of acquiring anything necessary to augment. Everything I've purchased "for the trip" I most certainly will continue to get regular use of; both for future trips and day to day use at home.

In affect I have just done what has occurred to me to do, when it has occurred to me to do it. This is largely how I see the trip going. I started looking at various places that had some sort of ancestral link. This proved to be fruitless, as I don't retain that sort of information. I haven't entirely eliminated thoughts about the future or the past; but to a very large extent, I live moment to moment. I hope to more fully embrace that while I'm travelling and see where I wind up. I've made a couple of hotel bookings for places I need to "over-night" before flying again - it made sense, to take advantage of lower cost options by "booking early." I also reasoned in those scenarios, I don't necessarily want to be scrambling to find something - nor have my feet held to the fire for higher costs, because the staff at the hotel will know, that is the case.

I tried to look at the various transportation links in some of these airport scenarios - it's pointless, I'm not going to remember the details come the time I need them (though perhaps some names might sound "familiar.") The last time I travelled in Europe, I didn't know anything about coming and going from the various places I visited. I didn't know I was going to visit them - until the night before in some cases. Everything I needed to know always presented (in some way, shape or form) to me when I needed it. I am trusting this trip will be the same. There is some part of me that wants to "organize" - then as I said, I start to read the "directions" and it just freaks me out. Walking myself through something is always so much easier than trying to assimilate the written instructions. Rather ironic given I'm a writer. On that note, I suppose I further trust, that if suddenly people on mass, were to renounce the written word, I would evolve in my ways of expression. Perhaps that will happen naturally anyway - I'm sure there exists, that which wishes to express through me, that might prefer a different medium - it just happens at this point in time, I haven't much developed that capacity.

Other preparatory "task" were the renewing and subsequent transferring of my mortgage to a different financial organization and submitting the draft of my book to a professional for "beta-reading."  Though my mortgage has nothing to do with my travel; having it addressed, gives me the freedom to be more present while I'm traveling. As much as possible, if my home front affairs, are just running quietly "behind the scenes," then there will be minimal need for me to administer them while away. The forwarding of my book project, represents my wish to have my trip be a continuance and expansion of my life - not a complete interruption. So, the manuscript was submitted - I've received it back with suggestions for refinement and now I am re-working it to prepare it to be edited.  I will be able to continue this work while away - though I don't intend to be holed up somewhere the entire time writing. I will continue to move it forward though.

Further preparation involved cleaning a couple bags full of non-perishable foods out of my cupboards for the collection hampers at one of the places I work. The food is being collected for an organization called the Mustard Seed (one of the local "food banks"). A couple of years ago I utilized these services while I was in the process of a life-reorganization. I am grateful the service was available and I know; all times of year they are challenged to keep their shelves stocked - so now I'm in a position to give back.  Similarly, I had a medium size "day-pack" that I was able to stuff full of various articles of winter clothes that I no longer, or rarely, wear. I took the whole thing down to the street shelter. One might ask, was it necessary to add this sort of activity to the mix; of that necessary to "plan," a get-a-way? Well, I could have waited until I returned to clean out my closets, however the folks that need that clothing, need it now! It would make absolutely no sense to me whatsoever, to be away for six weeks through what could potentially be the coldest part of the season in this region and all this surplus clothing is hanging in my closets; inaccessible and useless, to anyone.

I will even get a couple of "seasonal" gatherings under my belt before I go. As such I will have my cake and eat it too.

Even doing these various and a sundry tasks, here I sit, with the time and leisure to write about having time and leisure; with still two full days to go for any "last minute" preparations. My life is rich in oh so many ways, I am grateful to be able to enjoy the moments. Perhaps there are useful times and places to utilize the adage: "failing to plan - is "planning to fail! " However, I happen to know first hand, that the glory of the present, can be completely and absolutely lost, when I'm too engrossed in "making plans.

"Perhaps I will never be highly sought as a "tour director" - I would be hard-pressed to present others with "the plan." Conversely, I can assure you I will be on an adventure the moment I leave my door!



Sunday, 27 November 2016

Once Upon No Time

Precious child of the universe
Your ravenous cries
Resonate to the farthest reaches
Of never ending time and space
Be heartened - they are heard
The answer awaits
Your willingness to harken a silent voice
You were impressed
With an orphan's story
So you might come to know
For you
Of a love so complete
That there is no part of you
That is not elementally
Comprised of the same
It surrounds you
It embraces you
It is you
No matter your resolute non-requital stance
Denied experience
Not equal to
Denied existence
Closer than your next breath
Triggered by your yes
Unconditionally accepting of your no
So endlessly patient
That none is required
Imagine an all pervasive "force"
Offering an unlimited all encompassing freedom
That flash of recognition
Allows a glimpse
Upon the unfathomable source
Yours for the "asking"
Limitless compassion reaches out to your cries
While their utterance limit you
Again and again
Know that an infinite answer
Was dispatched and is winging its way
As an immediate response
To your finite story
Live your "apology"
Forgiveness is yours
Animate gratitude with each step
I Love You

Saturday, 26 November 2016

"Be the Change/Same"

Though I'm hesitant to affix labels, today I am pondering what it is to be a "activist."  I suppose I would be remiss if I didn't describe the "marching orders" I operated from at other places in time, which might be tagged "in-activist." At least now, that which I write might have some sense of honesty, a more comprehensive conveyance and imply some form of movement.

"Movement" as it happens, is an integral part of my telling of the story. Which if one stops to think about it, might be considered a key element of "activism." I might then, need to "do something" in order to engage in activism.

There was a time when I was convinced there was a great deal "wrong" with a great many things - my  action; or rather my lack thereof, might then have suggested, I was equally convinced, someone else should be doing something about it. (Whatever "it" was).

A quick look at the online definition of the term: "activist" it produced the following list: militant, zealot, protester, radical, extremist.

It's interesting to me that this list of "synonyms" seem to distinctly have been derived from the perspective of those that would prefer the status quo remain intact. Who the hell was this "Roget" anyway?

An excerpt from the Wikipedia "bio" states: "his obsession with list-making as a coping mechanism was well established by the time he was eight years old."

One could interpret this as evidence that Roget himself was an "extremist." Who then decided to adopt his window on the world, as a main stay English language reference manual?

So, if you passionately believe in an inclusive, sustainable, equitable (to name a few) world, then you are a "zealot." If you would prefer to uphold those pillars that comprise the "establishment" (which is utilizing the same dogmatic adherence to their ideology) I suppose you have to refer to an alternative Roget page, or perhaps an entirely different book exists to define that shit.

In general terms my form of "activism" might well not align with that of others. Ongoing examination will no doubt reveal additional ways I hold fast to some idea or another; as though, "this is the way it is." I hold a vision of myself as capable and willing to undergo expansion and evolution. However, that which I "cling" to (as though it's life itself) must be considered "dogma." I don't necessarily insist everyone believe or behave accordingly - but it most certainly influences my ways of being (until such time as it doesn't).

Still, just because I might attend at a particular "rally," or put some energy and attention to the a particular cause - does not mean I will blindly follow others that claim to be "like-minded." For example I once attended a rally on the lawns of the Legislative Buildings in Victoria that was either for an oil tanker free coastline or against tankers, tar-sands etc. I suppose others there could represent a vibrant healthy life-sustaining eco-system...... (so then, innumerable people and potential motivations to be there - some known, some completely unconscious even to themselves).

Someone standing beside me proclaimed to me, "We are going to do whatever it takes to defeat these bastards....." While I can acknowledge their passion, I'm not about to be swept up in misguided "group-mind." I informed this person, there are undoubtedly things upon which we would agree, however, don't presume to speak for me; I have my own directives and won't be led anywhere. My participation can not be assumed to follow the crowd. The end does not imply unfettered rationalization, for the means.

Somewhere along the line, as life has "encouraged" me, to get off my ass - I have also been enrolled in a curriculum that is fostering in me, an ever-deepening awareness, of personal responsibility and accountability for my actions. So - just because I decide to "take action," it doesn't allow me impunity with regard to what form, those actions take.

To further clarify my position with regard to "activism" I believe one need hold very strongly to their centre whenever engaging. No one, or no group of people, can represent what is true and appropriate for you. The onus is on the one to be guided from within. Behaviour, decisions, choices of a group make it no more valid -no matter the size of the group.

Whenever there is a truth being upheld, the power of that action is "attractive." The challenge becomes, maintaining the integrity of the stand, in the face of those that profess to be joining ranks (& like minded) however, they have their own agendas.

Some spaciousness must be located between "we are all in this together" and something a kin to, "follow the leader."

 Before accepting an invitation to "join us" it might be prudent to ask, "where is it that you are going?"

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

No Small Contribution

What can I say, that has not already been said regarding the peaceful, prayerful, vigil at Standing Rock? Virtually nothing! Yet is "participation" relegated only to those that are there on the front lines of the peaceful protest? No question that those that are there; are in a great deal more jeopardy directly related to the actions of law enforcement personal, being brought in to heavy-handedly enforce the agenda, of those responsible for the pipeline's construction, than I am.

My awareness has been raised due to the courage and commitment of the indigenous peoples from all around the planet to champion for the land and I am grateful. As I consider how to expand my own consciousness beyond profit driven economies and unsustainable consumption, I deeply appreciate the challenge that presents, while attempting to connect and disconnect at the same time.

To date, I have signed numerous petitions and shared various articles on social media. Stepping beyond the status quo is not an overnight transition. And despite my daily attention to Standing Rock I know there are many who aren't talking about it - at all. Here at "home" having fairly recently undergone a change in Federal government; there is a pending decision on various proposed projects, that are of the same nature as The Dakota Access Pipeline (in as much as their very nature, is potentially devastating, to the environment - "Nature") the envisioned routes are through sacred, pristine, environmentally sensitive lands and Pacific coastline. Frankly what body of land is not "sensitive," to the assault and trauma of pipeline construction and the invariable leaks. I know of some calls to world-wide prayer and have contact info for sending on cash resources.

Governments speak of "world class" spill response (on the next breath after new technology is touted as being "far safer" than years gone by). Fifteen percent of an overall oil spill recovered is considered a successful intervention. "World class" doesn't mean spit, if those are the standards that comprise the definition.

I have foregone the use of a motor vehicle for over two years now.  To be honest I don't know that has done anything to impact "green house gases" production. I can say, that I can attest to many of the tenets of consumer society, as being false and misleading. Much that is touted as being "necessary" simply isn't. Without question, day to day life changes quite radically, when one explores divesting themselves from the "rules of engagement." It's possible, I may operate a vehicle again at some point. My point is there are many ways to usher in change. No matter what form it takes, that actions of one, may well become the inspiration for another. Change is required on many fronts. Agents of that change, must be diverse and call upon the pinnacle of their creativity; in order to represent that change.

I recently transferred my personal finances from one of the larger corporate banks to a local Credit Union. I didn't see the name of the bank I was involved in on the list of Canadian banks financing DAPL - however I know their hands are dirty in other ventures around the globe; that I don't care to be invested in. I got involved in that bank three years ago through a mortgage broker. My primary focus at the time, was consolidating some debt and "the best interest rate I could attain." Three year later I had the opportunity to "renew" and a shift in my awareness, requires that my financial world (meagre as it may be) "walks my talk." I might require one more conversation with my new branch manager to translate the tale of the paper trail generated through this transfer; but I am satisfied I have landed in a better place (for me). It may well be, that it "cost me" more to transfer; rather than just "roll over," and renew at the previous institution. However, had I stayed, the incongruence would have been for me, a more unacceptable longer term consequence.

I don't know that I will ever occur in the world as any sort of "leader." Having said that, I suggest that every one of the "100 hundred monkeys" is required to create that change "momentum." 

So as I said to begin with, I don't know that I have anything new to say. But maybe, it's just as important that I stand and be counted, while I'm saying it.


The Way of Write

Through the wonders of electronic technology my book manuscript is winging its way overseas; while I am still here on the home front, continuing to plan for my trip (which commences in 3 weeks). Once I land in London I will briefly be on the same land mass again with my gat-about manuscript. As I'm in London less than twenty-four hours before I'm off again; so the book and I will once again part company - I will be off to Slovenia while it will remain, in Britain. Of course the original continues to reside upon my laptop. (which reminds me, it might be worthwhile about now, to transfer a copy to a storage drive as well). As I consider it's transportation across the globe, as well as mine; I am deeply present to the miraculous.

This electronic medium hasn't even existed over the entire time I've been inhabiting planet earth. Overseas travel, manuscript submissions - wow, the whole thing is a little surreal to me! I am loving that it is all transpiring, I am blessed to have the opportunity, to have these experiences.

It has most certainly added to the excitement I have been experiencing regarding the trip to include in the preparations, correspondence with the individual that will now provide me with the service of "beta-reading" my manuscript. To then be followed by an editing process. Therefore the copy of the original, may soon evolve into something vastly different through this continued evolution. The whole under-taking of the book (as well as the practice the book was based on) is a continuous dance with the unknown. This will be the first time I have subject my written work to this variety of scrutiny. Previous to this, I have submitted to a few "contests" which is a step beyond, sitting on the product of my written expression - but largely hasn't had as it's aim, the providing of feedback nor suggestion for change.

I fancy I can remain open and detached and hold this process as that, which will yield the best possible outcome for this project (at least in terms of it's content and format). But how do I know? I haven't been "here" before.

There are some similarities with the trip. I have some "known" destinations and "events." Even still, they will not present and unfold along predictable lines. The rest of the trip, at present, is comprised of roughly four weeks without itinerary.

Will I continue to engage in the process of the book while I'm travelling? It's possible! I plan to have my laptop along. I had originally envisioned that I would at least continue writing to my blog. I'm sure I'm not the only client, and given both she and I will be "traveling" through Christmas - I have no idea at what rate she will engage with my manuscript; nor what I will be called upon to do with respect to revisions. Should I have waited then, to undertake this next phase, when I was "settled," back home again?

I'm going to go with - No! I was inspired to move on the travel and the book. It does feel to me that there is a fair amount of energy stirred up. That in itself, I'm finding enjoyable and preferable to stagnation. After Slovenia I'm traveling to Ireland. It's possible that once there, I will focus my travel throughout the land of my ancestors. While it's true that there is a vast history of oral tradition throughout the lands; more recent history has left a rather significant legacy of various written works (and those that produce/d) them. I can't begin to delineate exactly how my (re) connection with Ireland is part of my personal soul evolution, however I just "know" it is inextricably going to influence all that I am. What if the call of my ancestors is influencing ..... well.... all of it.

How amazing would it be, to have the opportunity to allow myself to be further steeped in the peat and marrow of my ancestors? To write my way home and bring more home, through what is written.

If I am the lens (the vessel) through which creativity can express - what more can I do to (re) member who I am, where I came from, the vast legacy of my clan, and my part in carrying that forward. I vaguely know that I am part of something far bigger than I ever imagined as one called "O'Neill." Yes I am also part of the greater whole of Humanity itself; but there is a great deal of power and foundation available through ancestral lineage. It anchors, while at the same time empowers; a place and a stand, within the whole. The whole is diminished while it's composite parts deny their potentials and soul inheritance.

Transform the messenger - transform the message.

Potency and clarity await the under-taking of an alchemical refinement. As the warrior's sword is forged through a creation process of it's own - so is the one who will wield it. It can be no different for the "writer" and what was first left on the page. Through hammer, anvil, heat and skilled use of force, iron is honed to tempered steel. In this case then, am I hammer, anvil, forge or the blade of the "instrument?" Do I participate in shaping the outcome or, is the outcome the shape I assume; once the sands of change have shifted and realized reformation?

The journey itself, all of it, is replete with immeasurable spiritual wealth. Knowing it's bigger than me  relieves me of the burden of the need to know; where it's going or how "I'm," going to get there. Mine is to open to that which is beyond me. That make my part pretty simple - I don't have to generate the power; it's really a matter of coming back to a place of saying yes, (again and again) to working with that power.

I did say I was aware of the miraculous at play. I believe this is happening all day, every day, to scores of people. In this, I'm am not unique. I believe it is a learning (or recalling) to have faith in and to expect, miracles. I can state quite emphatically that a great many more doors are able to swing open when one holds this mindset. This is in stark contrast to beliefs I have held, that would suggest: nothing like (fill in the blank) could ever happen in my life...........

I'm taking the shot. It doesn't guarantee there will be no disappointment. However, no shot, draws a very predictable result.



Friday, 11 November 2016

Branch Management

Be like the branch - "Grasshopper..."

Like the what?.....

If you will offer me your listening ..... I will elaborate...

Do you mean.... to say... no two branches are alike?
Growing uniquely, in the direction of their choosing.
Some reaching skyward,
Others bending until they nearly touch the ground.

Well that was both a marvellous demonstration of speaking
And a telling commentary, albeit limiting
Now, I will remind you once again,
Of the invitation to listen.

A branch which has assumed the solitary condition you describe
Might be better described as a "stick" or "switch."
It has by no means lost its functionality
Woven together with others
A fence or thatched roof
Stacked and aged
It will release stored energy
To warm hearth and home
Left on the ground
It's decaying form
Will be digested

However, in order to perform any of these functions
The branch will have relinquished it's life
The outcomes are rather predetermined and predictable

The distinction is the presence or absence of Source
Or better said, the "connection" to source
It's an active participation in life rather than "passive"
Source then - still providing, "fuel"
Rather than the severed branch - becoming fuel
It can then be, the conduit through which life source flows and expresses
Or, an inanimate object consumed by life.

Which would you rather be - Grasshopper?

Why do you keep calling me "Grasshopper?"

Because you are, a grasshopper!!

Know thyself Grasshopper!! Know thyself!!


Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Write of Passage

Today I took another baby step; or perhaps it's a quantum leap, I suppose it all in how one frames it. I contacted someone to enquire regarding her services which include: editing, proofreading, "beta-reading" some or all of which,  I wish to direct towards my book (long held in manuscript limbo).

It was earlier this past summer that I was given this individual's name and contact info. Clearly the advance toward readiness; was not undertaken in haste. I believe I was told she is based in England somewhere. A quick glance around her website reveals pricing in "British currency" that would seem to further indicate: "memory serves."

Why someone on the other side of the planet? To be honest, at this very moment, I'm not able to provide a particularly comprehensive answer. The friend that "introduced" her to me (who is also a writer and intending to work with her for her next project) is familiar with my book. I participated in a couple of different writing "circles" of hers. One was specifically dubbed an "Author's circle." We came together and shared with each other - parts of our book that we were currently working on, some presented or solicited reflection, on the crafting of their outlines etc. So she knows the concept of the book, she is familiar with my writing "style" and has even "witnessed;" some of the actual completed chapters.

So all I can say (he says after all the previous) is that based on our brief conversation - (which occurred while I was "busking") - I just had an immediate sense that this was the right person to work with. Of course now having just contacted her via email; to feel out her willingness to be that "right person," only time will tell, whether she vetoes or upholds "my gut."

The book is an introspective journey, that occurs while walking a labyrinth; as part of a daily practice for forty consecutive days. I "journaled" each day's insights. This is my largest writing project to date. The "readiness" factor has had nothing specifically to do with the writing of the book. It has been in it's current state of completeness for quite sometime. I suppose you could say that the ongoing preparedness, has been comprised of, the ongoing walking of the labyrinth of my life. Nothing I've done over this period of time existed on any sort of outline; which might have delineate the planned approach, to getting from beginning to end, of this project. Yet, I would submit, that all of it was necessary to, "get ready."

I can say at this point - there was a great deal of satisfaction and learning in the writing of the manuscript. However, that would fall significantly short, if I don't realize some form of completion. In order for this "book" to become a more visible presence - it will need to undergo significant scrutiny; to make it all that it can be.  I am more ready than I've ever been (I realize now) to dance with that process.

I am better equipped to deal with the "rejection," criticism etc. that is apt to be part of the refinement process. I neither specifically prepared for this; nor would it be accurate to say,  I look forward to such reflections. I acknowledge, my best work might be left "in the rough," without the experience and expertise of someone, in the know about such things.

I suppose what is shifting is my relationship with "rejection/criticism" and fears regarding the same. I have some relative separation, between me and the idea of being critiqued.

One of the most obvious objectives of walking the labyrinth, is navigating the path, until you reach the centre. The ensuing years, along with the experiences along the path of my life; since I walked and journaled the labyrinth experience, have been further transformational. I set about additionally flushing out the raw material of my journal, into "chapters." I created "suggested" self-exploration guideline questions, which appear at the end of each chapter. The events I have experienced throughout my life; since completing those processes, have further acquainted me with and expanded for me, my sense of "my centre." Is this now some unassailable fortification of self-assurance? No, that would not be my claim. Most certainly I can still continue to grow and expand. I think more accurately I can state overall, to being more "risk tolerant," with a greater knowing of resilience; qualities I would see, as being assets for some dream-weaving and manifestation.

I continue to want this for myself; consequently, even without knowing what the resumed pursuit will entail, I take that next step. Something is called for in order to do that. Doing that, will call for something further.

Somewhere I envision there is a "place" one would reside, that is neither solely concerned with recognition/visibility; but also, is both recognizable (as being of value/service to others) in which case, it would obviously be visible as well.

There are so many avenues and mediums (for the written word) one can access in this day and age - it may well be accurate to say there is unprecedented opportunity. I don't need to access them all. I trust that I along with my ongoing belief and faith, that has led me this far; the doors will continue to open  and I will be pointed in the direction I'm meant to go. Really my only "task" is to get myself out of the way; therefore, I can be open to the guidance and opportunities as they present.

At the end of the day; whenever that is, I believe I will be more satisfied having embraced the urge to write and allowed the natural evolution of where that leads, to define itself. My having "taken the shot," might never be that impactful for anyone else.

But I'm convinced that having done so; regardless of outcomes, is already it's own reward!


Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Elemental Ode

While Orcas breech,
Tide pools house mass communities.
Falling stars paint the heavens.
Each moment contains a dance.
Infinitely complex.
With a choreography,
So magnificent.
That the most sophisticated computer,
Cannot begin to unravel it's wonders.

 A morning dew drop,
Adorns a solitary grass spear.
While casting a web a glow,
With luminescent pearls,
Inestimable dividends deposited upon the heart,
Of those that witness the soaring eagle.
Behold the tapestry of Autumn's finest frocks.
Each falling leaf gracefully pirouettes downward,
Where a playful wind, can coax a spiralling presentation.

Window pane canvasses.
 Winter's gallery of eclectic,
Abstract frost offerings.
Silence embraced in the shroud of darkness.
Ever while, the seeds of spring, are held in incubation.
Once suitably warmed,
The bird song aria,
Will pronounce it's arrival.
Death gives rise to new life.

Stones mark that passage of time.
Witness to all.
Wisdom there for the asking.
They remain stalwart & unperturbed whilst ignored.
Rain the giver of life.
One group bemoan it's abundance,
While another dances for it's return and celebrates it's arrival.
Cleansing, refreshing, nourishing - elemental building block.
Transportation and energy transducer medium.

Fire - warms the planet creating a hospitable environment.
Ushers in transformation through creation and destruction.
A key element in cellular metabolism & byproduct of energy production.
Natural forest management system.
While inviting community,
Warming hearth, heart and homes.
Appreciate for the moment,
The sun shines equally on all - divinely inclusive!
There is no question of who is -"deserving."

A random selection of observational musings.
Though perhaps nature itself,
Is far more knowingly selective.
What do I know?
Mine neither definitive nor exhaustive.
Another day - another view.
How delicious!
 Should I arise tomorrow,
That which was unseen, might come into view.

Therefore my list,
Whether one thousand by one thousand,
Will remain incomplete,
Never capturing it all.
It is not necessary to see everything.
Understanding too - on a "need to know basis."
Still I reserve awe and reverence,
For each element,
That composes the divine symphony!





 






Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Forgive Me My Trespasses!!

Today after a short four hour morning shift, I walked about for the next six hours to various appointments around town. Ironically one was with my chiropractor (who I've seen twice in the last three days). I'm aiming to get a handle on a flair up of plantar fasciitis - most certainly before I depart overseas in mid-December. At least some portion of my time over there, I have tagged "walk-a-bout;" I don't know for sure how much walking I will actually do - but I would prefer it does not become a "hobble-a-bout!" I enjoy walking, so potentially I could log considerable mileage while away. I will see my chiropractor one more time (Wednesday) before she's out of town for ten days - over which time I will continue with the "self-treatment" homework she has provided me; alone, or in combination with either another practitioner of the same or perhaps, a different discipline.

When I first felt the tenderness beginning in my foot I recognized it from past experiences. I quickly resumed using the custom orthotics I had made ten years ago; as part of the intervention for the same problem. I'm beginning to suspect that these inserts might be now "over-correcting" my feet and arches; as today for example, I came home briefly from work took off the boots (with inserts I was wearing) the pain that steadily increased over the morning, lessened immediately. I resumed my day with different inserts and shoes and the comfort level was significantly better (not perfect, but probably ninety-odd percent better). Of course now having changed two things, I can't be sure which, or whether both, in combination provide the necessary "fix."

Of course I had hoped to "walk this off" and avoid practitioners and their associated fees - in hindsight not an effective strategy. As is often the case, if treatment begins sooner than later; factors such as inflammation cycles, are minimized before they become more deeply entrenched.

It may take some time and experimentation to determine which foot wear and insert combinations work best for my movement mechanics. I'm trying to "listen to my body" - I am in fact listening, I'm just not entirely sure what it's telling me at this point.  At least at this point I'm "asking for help" & I'm following the guidance/suggestions.

Perhaps I need look not much further than the notes from Louise Hay's "Causes of Symptoms:"

Foot Problems - Fear of the future and not stepping forward in life.

Inflammation - Fear. Seeing red. Inflamed thinking. Anger and frustration about conditions you are looking at in your life.

In the last couple months the finalizing of my deceased parents "estate," has finally been resolved. It had been over two years since my mother passed, with my father passing nine months later. He passed the end of the same year and was the "surviving spouse," so this initiated the processing of their affairs. Some of the time involved was typical processing time for probate etc.; however, further complexities occurred when my sister, "contested the will."

I could go into some of that "history," but I don't believe it serves any further good. I believe what does serve; is that I look at cleaning up my part in this dynamic, as a means of obtaining greater freedom.

Love in our family was primarily expressed through money (directly or indirectly) and food. The latter is not relevant in this discussion - except to say it still can come into play (to the extent I utilize it as a "strategy," to avoid or alter my feelings - i.e. "numbing" or creating a sensation of "fullness.")

What I can't ignore here, is the "normal" dynamic of "sibling rivalry;" which I'm sure came into play, when my only child reality, was altered when this "sister," invaded my turf. Her's was always a more outwardly expressed presence, which demanded/sought attention.  I would have had the natural need for love and attention a baby/toddler requires - but was far more reserved and introverted. I used to think as a young boy that I was "out-smarting" the adults - and my sister, as I fancied I had this ability to "fly under the radar" unnoticed. Given the attention my parents offered was not always conducive to thriving, I was "happy" when "people just left me alone."

Obviously I wouldn't have had the consciousness to articulate my needs not being met; nor was it an environment, where that information would have been taken in stride. More likely it would have been taken out of my hide, or at least involved a verbal haranguing. It would also hold true that at such a young age; I had no awareness of my want of the love and approval of my parents, (vital for human survival) nor my creating the belief, that what stood between me and my receiving that, was my sister!

It's time to acknowledge these dynamics (whether they operated "a little or a lot") I wish to vanquish them from my heart, to further take responsibility for my life, choices and beliefs.

My inner peace matters more to me than holding these grudges of antiquity.

If I take away the "morality factor" with regard to various dynamics and interactions that led to my sister being "disinherited" - my part comes clearer. I used as an alibi her perceived transgressions rather than owning the projected younger age energy of the afore mentioned sibling rivalry and directed it at my sister. The same goes for  any other grudges or perceived betrayals that were repressed and left unresolved. With her "out of the way" that would mean more love (money) for me.

I didn't get up one morning and premeditate this. I had nothing to do with my parents decision, nor was it my role to "negotiate peace" between my parents and my sister. I also didn't suggest at anytime, that what they were putting in place was "over-reacting." I suppose it's not surprising that I managed to spin the story; so that I was "deserving" and entitled, and she was "getting her comeuppance." It's interesting to me; even as I examine the dynamic in myself, that one can interpret the idea of "karma," in such a skewed manner. I can in no way, shape, or form claim the moral high ground; or a past life of altruism, yet I most certainly envisioned, two distinctly different ministrations, of justice.

My responsibility is to honestly face myself and negotiate peace within myself. 

I ask for and allow the spirit of forgiveness to wash over my relationships with my parents, my sister and myself. Where there is any old hatred, anger, confusion, remorse or shame, I willingly release it and ask that love prevail. I send love to all those concerned, most importantly myself. As is true for all concerned in this family dynamic, I did the absolute best I could at the time, with what I knew and my consciousness at the time. The forgiveness I enact is not for the benefit of anyone else in my family (their journey's are their own) - I stand to gain the most from cleansing my heart. Where my sister is concerned my forgiveness in no way, shape or form is an indication that I would put myself in harms way where she is concerned. There is no implied condoning or condemnation of her actions, nor those she associates with; I will however take any necessary measures, for self care.

Over the course of my walking around to complete my errands I found in total, three poppies. Three of course, a number that is spiritually significant in numerous different contexts. The "Poppies" themselves being the familiar symbol used to remember the fallen (and those they left behind - from World War 1) on "Armistice Day." 

Armistice is defined as: an agreement made by opposing sides in a war to stop fighting for a certain time; a truce. Synonym: truce, ceasefire, peace, suspension of hostilities.

The armistice was signed at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. When I consult with sources that focus on the significance of "numbers," it yield the following insights: number 1 resonates with the vibrations of new beginnings, independence, individuality, masculinity, assertiveness, success, leadership, originality, initiative, the pioneer, organizer, instinct, courage, inspiration, strength, creation and creativity. (there are additional attributes in the continued list).

When Angel number 1 appear repeatedly it signifies that an energetic gateway has opened up for you, and this will rapidly manifest your thoughts into reality.  The message is to choose your thoughts wisely, ensuring that they match your true desires.  Do not put your energy into focusing on fears as you may manifest them into your life. (sourced from website "Joanne Sacred Scribes")

As I believe always to be the case - the information I include is only of significance to anyone, if it resonates for you personally. Otherwise you might find it interesting; or you might even consider it "hogwash." It could also been seemingly meaningless one day and powerfully significant, sometime later. What matters is in this case - is it's meaningful to me. It's conveyed through means and forms that get my attention and that serve to find some direction, meaning and or affirmation. I believe that "guidance" is available to anyone who seeks it and the infinite universal intelligence, will see to it that it comes in a form that is meaningful to you.

I share my experience because that's what I do. It is of no consequence if anyone else believes or discounts my journey.

As I found myself "called" to a bonfire yesterday (while in the midst of writing this) therefore it would not be completed, until today. While in attendance at the fire I took time to acknowledge my ancestors and their invitation to seek the fire. I offered all that was in my awareness up to the fire, for transformation. At this time of the thinning of the veils I called upon all my ancestors to assist, accompany and guide me, on this journey of personal evolution. I felt a strong connection to the fires of past, present and future. A deep connection to the humanity circled around the fire. My aching feet were "held" and grounded upon Mother earth, while I stood at the fire.

Today I observe my feet are vastly improved. Before I left my home to complete my errands, I got a call from my chiropractor. She was calling to let me know she wouldn't be able to see me tomorrow after all. She had thought she could fit one more appointment in before she leaves town - but it's not going to work. Seen another way, I don't require the treatment tomorrow - the "work" is done. She also informed me that when she returns she will be in practice for herself (no longer to be part of the "clinic" where I had seen her). She will be part of a collective of various practitioners; where she can enjoy more autonomy - new beginnings.

I was also home to receive my new passport. Had I not been there to sign for it - there would have been, at least, the added need; to take the notice of delivery somewhere at some appointed time - rather than now, have it in my possession.

I might add that I was able to put my hands on the documents which were requested by an account manager at the Credit Union. My finding them so readily is nothing short of a miracle; given my somewhat lack of affinity for the administration and storage of paper. So far my exploration of renewing/transferring my mortgage, is moving along with ease and grace.

I invite and welcome continued aid and support from my ancestors. Please continue to guide me and help me. Help me to find the courage to follow my heart and to discover and know my soul's calling and to develop the strength to carry it out.

Let it be done!





Sunday, 30 October 2016

The "Three R's" - Regressive, Redundant, Repressive

While I never occupied space upon the "honour roles" while in school - God only knows what I might have achieved if I'd harnessed a larger portion of that "untapped potential." Now, I'll openly admit, my phone is probably, "smarter" than me!

Of course this whole idea of "intelligence" as assessed and determined by the "public education system;" offers a skewed/distorted perspective at best. Much like the analogy of a fish being assessed as a lousy monkey, because; despite it's gills and fins, it can't climb a tree. This system is designed to have it's participants regurgitate a predetermined body of information (not even truth) and then grades each on their ability to do so.

There was a time when I was stellar at "memorization." Then somewhere in the scheme of things I lost interest. As far as I could see, no one cared about what I was good at - or was interested in. Somehow, I then placed myself, on the fast track to "who gives a shit?"

I certainly can't hold the school system responsible for the outcomes in my life; or all of the "belief systems" I adopted. Certainly there was more operating than just my overall impression of the lack of relevance, I was being force fed. Then again as the old saying goes: "you can lead Rob to "education" but you can't make him learn." Oh I learned all kinds of stuff - much of it just didn't happen to be on the "approved curriculum." I also for reasons of my own (naturally) - didn't create a viable alternative so I just half-assed my way through.

Stories abound, about different individuals that were vastly successful in different fields of pursuit despite a "poor academic performance." It's safe bet I'm not going to be the next Gates or Jobs; as I said, I concede victory to my phone; so I'm not likely to develop the "new and improved" line of technology. The phone is apt to be dead, broken, or lost, long before I ever achieve "mastery" of it's various functions. Actually on those occasions when I've been looking to replace a previous phone; pretty much as soon as the sales rep opens his or her mouth (to me, it's just like Charlie Brown's teacher, "Waugh waugh waugh...... waugh waugh") the "cutting edge" doesn't compel me. 

I like the "smart phone" keyboard - but then, I fancy myself a writer. Of course the recipients of my "messages," might wish I had an old flip-phone; requiring me to toggle through the keys in order to get each letter - chances are my text would be shorter! Actually more likely I would bury, said phone at sea! Conversely, I could care less about "scanning my retina" or fingerprint access. For the love of God, I just want to make a quick call!

I suppose what I had running was a combination of; a sense of futility in school, but no clear path or confidence to create an alternative; of course, I'm not done yet. I suppose one way of defining; at least some of my life journey, would be an ongoing quest, to expand my self-assurance, in order to step beyond the boxes of conformity.

Having said that, I can't maintain a victim stance with regard to the "boxes" I perceive, contain me. Even if someone suggests  or imposes a box - I'd have to continue to agree to reside there - so then, who's box is that? (hmm!)

I suppose various people, have a wide variety of "banks to their river;" even those that fancy themselves such, "free-spirits." They might cite some version of : "oh, that's just some of my little idiosyncrasies." Not for a minute, am I suggesting this is a bad thing. My experience seems to suggest, that if one goes about dismantling too many of their banks, to soon - the immediate swelling of the river, can be experienced on a spectrum anywhere from exhilarating to rather overwhelming! So no one else should be dictating the rate at which another goes about seeking such expansion.

There are people that are absolutely brilliant at various things that the "education system" doesn't even acknowledge or recognize. I suppose if your lucky you might be blessed with one of those exceptional teachers that is interested in bringing out the best in individuals. There have been many movies made of these teacher/cum heroes, that bucked the "system" to teach outside the curriculum or the standardized teaching strategies. In these instances students that were deemed incorrigible, chronic under-achievers, were guided to reveal their shining star.

Why are these "stories" the exception rather than the rule? How can it possibly be acceptable to continue to support a system that sets up so many individuals to fail? As a society, why wouldn't "we" look to create learning environments that encourage "success." I'm not talking about something that coddles and carries. I'm certainly not advocating anything that continues to uphold dualistic (i.e. winning/losing mindsets) - in fact if I were to take a stand, I would say I renounce these paradigms entirely. 

It's all well and good in sporting events etc. (as far as such contests go) to conclude the competition with a "winner" and "loser." I believe the disproportionate status of assigning value to winning doesn't serve; it most certainly does not, where "learning" environments are concerned. 

If someone spends a large portion of their school "career" struggling to jump through the hoops of that system; by the time they complete (or wash out) their view of themselves might not be conducive to "taking the world by storm." I would suggest that the "cost"to society is significant. To begin with, all those that "fall through the cracks" might spend as much time (or more) mitigating their pain than creating a thriving life. 

Why is there more concern for "dwindling natural resources than people;" perhaps a better question is, why is the net not more broadly cast, to include all human life, as being part of these "resources?"  We then insist on the maximization of the potential for everyone - no one is left behind; I suppose, unless they choose to be. Mind you, if people were given the impression that they are going to be directed to the path, whereby, they can best use their strengths and gifts, why would they opt to give up?  Quit pounding people over the head with standardized (blah..blah..blah) the "collateral damage" (though not thought of in these terms) is not an acceptable trade-off.

Of course there are those that enter school with pre-existing traumas and challenges - I'm not saying that the school system is solely responsible, for the infliction of trauma. I believe they could adhere less to the paradigm of pass/fail, one size fits all and do more for those that "fall;" rather than accept this as some form of "natural selection."  I also believe they could play a far more active role in assessing the needs of everyone and then being the conduit through which people access an optimal, (for them) situation. "Alternative" varieties for education models etc. should be made "publicly accessible" - further barriers (such as finances) should not exist which thereby make these "speciality" environments, inaccessible. Investing in people sooner than later, would inevitably pay dividends in the long run. (despite the financially attuned language, I don't intend to equate humanity only along monetary lines - nor do I wish to ignore it's relative importance in our modern world).

When human value attains a more universally accepted prominence above "market value," there would be a quantum leap in the evolution of humanity.




Monday, 17 October 2016

Take Cover - Imminent Storm (ah..... well....... There could have been one.....)

Where, if at all, do you experience, prophecies of catastrophe?
From that set jaw, to that puckered sphincter
What would it be like to draw with regularity,
An unguided "cleansing breathe?"

What are you preparing for?
Do you fear disaster,
Your mortality,
or being seen complacent - therefore caught "off guard."

How much is enough for "a rainy day?"
Knowing you will not, stop the rain.
What did you lose while waiting,
For the storm that never came?

Would the "calm" be of benefit during the tempest,
rather than anxiously frittered away, awaiting its arrival?
Where is the devastation most acute,
External environment or your inner sanctum?

Excessive chronic "diligence" depletes reserves
Without yielding even a modicum of peace in return.
Reach if you will, exerting your utmost
And still you won't see beyond the horizon.

Listen beyond the hype
You can hear the "eye of the storm"
Go into hiding,
Or embrace a walk in the rain.







Friday, 7 October 2016

Did You See the Wind?

Unseen forces weave with vortices of inevitable change.
The standing tall ones bow,
Creaking and groaning.
Self preservation gives way to reverence.

Windsong - Four part harmony,
Melodiously imparted by the directions.
Chorus rising and falling,
Whispers to quaking crescendo.

Diminuendo concealing intended finale.
A Song echoed across the heavens,
Reverberating through the valleys.
Devastatingly beautiful - embracing creative destruction.

Wisely selective.
Outcomes shrouded in mystery.
 The morning after blanketed in fathomless silence,
Soon reveals newfound transformation.

Stepping outside.
The path reveals.
 A walk.
Through the knee deep debris of release.







Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Heroes (Humble) Journey

Gyms aren't always the first places that spring to mind when one considers humility. Of course all gyms aren't created equally and some court a higher concentration of inflated egos along with the marvel comic (esque) physiques. While I was at the gym which is located at a public recreation centre I met a fellow that was to me both a source of inspiration and humility (not to mention gratitude).

I had noticed that while he was doing some of the various weight machines, he seemed to be having a challenge, getting his body to work in unison. It was a little like each muscle group was firing individually - rather than some providing support for others that were creating movement. The other side of his body was doing its own thing as well. I had thought that perhaps he had M.S.

At one point I was using a machine next to the one that he was using and I had finished and was wiping it down. I could see that he was speaking to me, so I removed my earbuds so that I could hear what he had to say. He was apologetically "suggesting," that if I was in need of the machine he was using that it would take him awhile to complete and that we would need to keep adjusting the weight stack back and forth.  I assured him that I wasn't in need of that specific machine, which was true. Even when I am utilizing a few pieces of equipment in a circuit fashion, if someone else wants to use one of them,  I won't tie it up and from my fitness trainer past I can always come up with an alternative exercise.

He then both proceeded to explain his situation which he said was "Chorea" (a neurologic movement disorder in the same vein with Huntington's disease) and apologize again for "disrupting my workout." Once again I interjected assurance, indicated I can always enjoy a little breather. Ordinarily I am on a mission when I go in to workout. I've usually woven it into other activities of the day, so I like to get in, get on with it and get out; so usually little or no chit chat time. I do on occasions make acceptions and this was one of those times.

He told me it's "like Huntington's" though he didn't elaborate on whether the prognosis was similar. I have cared for people with Huntington's in some of the facilities I have worked in - their future was cut significantly short. I certainly wasn't going to introduce any of that in this guys field and consciousness.  He says to me - "I'm struggling a little - I'm just getting back into it..." I know how that is! It would be so much easier to stay stopped. "I've been the better part of the last year in hospital," he tells me. "Hope you're not in a hurry to get on this machine - I'm not going anywhere fast,"

"Hey, you're going - good on ya!" "Starting back calls for a little ease and grace." "Thanks, he replies." "Don't worry, I'm not not going to let this thing get me, I'm going to beat it!"

"Alright then, I promise you I won't lie awake worried about you!" He laughed, we both agreed life calls for a great deal more laughter!!

I have no idea whether he will, "beat this thing." But I believe one hundred and ten percent that if he was going to, then his belief around that, is vitally important.

I also believe that nobody wants to be seen as "sick," that's why I sensed in the moment, I could joke with this guy and he would be okay with it (which he was). He remarked what a great facility this was and that people were so friendly. "I could go to one closer to home, but I like the atmosphere here." (again of utmost importance - if I can be allowed to generalize for the moment: people are looking for reasons not to work out - so enjoyment, convenience, atmosphere, preferred activity, etc. can easily be make or break points).

Anyway I don't know if it's a "gift" per se - but I have always just interacted with people with various challenges, without any undo focus on that challenge. If they want to talk about it - so be it. Naturally in the course of helping them there will be times when I must take their situation into account. Here at the gym, it was just two guys shooting the shit. Not him with this "condition" and me not. Sure as shit, if you looked in one of those diagnostic compendiums, you'd find they've created some syndrome or "disorder" that you could use to describe me. Unless I ever have something that calls for a specific mode of intervention; then I renounce labels. So I have, "the human condition." Challenging in various ways, at various times and eventually fatal.

Still if this guy can - with what he's contending with, get to the gym and have a positive attitude, there's precious little excuse, for me not to be able to do the same.

What a gift wellness is! How fragile it can be. I'm not suggesting anyone walk on eggshells or assume a hypochondriac mindset (there's a label for ya!)

Just before we parted ways and got on with our respective workouts this guy says - "I met this "Kiwi" recently - (this he's saying to me with an accent that I might have pegged round about, that same part of the world) turned out he's South African; anyway, the "kiwi" says to him, regarding his movements, if you had the right music on, you'd be right in sync!" He smiles as he tells me this. So I said there ya go, you just need the right sound track!! "That's it Mate," he says.

He thanked me for taking the time to chat with him and I said most sincerely, it was every bit as pleasurable and worthwhile for me.

You (which is to say "I") don't have to look far to find a hero; those performing heroic and superhuman feats.

(in case gender is implied or assumed here, I use the term "hero," to be genderless.)

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Give me (Pop) Eyes That I May See!

Yesterday morning I had a vision for my day. I was going to work an early shift at the hospital (7a.m. - 3 p.m.) which would have me off early enough in the afternoon, to go to the gym. The scope of this vision was conceived Sunday evening before I went to bed.  During the afternoon on Sunday, I attended a "energy releasing circle" - that had to do with working with ancestral energies. Though I fell asleep readily enough that evening, I was awake at two in the morning!.

Now, it's not unusual (in my experience, for sleep to be fragmented after undergoing various forms of energy work; so I wasn't "concerned." (Well except that I intended to get up at 4:45 a.m.) I laid awake for sometime and just as I felt I was nodding off again, I was abruptly awakened once again; by the most bizarre voice. Holy shit it was surreal. I shook my head and ensured I was awake (and not dreaming) and listened again.

Sure enough "the voice" sounds once again. Though perhaps not a perfect match - imagine the voice of Popeye and you'd be in the ball park. The difference was instead of proclaiming "I Yam what I Yam" and ringing endorsements about "loving me spinach," this individual was muttering a very colourful and creative mix of obscenities; the source of which, sounded very close to my bedroom window. My condo faces out onto what is a fairly busy crosstown thoroughfare during the day, and at night, it's not unusual that there can be the foot traffic of those, in various forms of inebriation and sometimes the discourse, is chemically infused passion; other times same infusion of lubricants, but the emotion of choice being expressed is rage. Aside from being jolted awake (and sometimes upright) these nocturnal exchanges usually fade; as the participants continue on to wherever it is that they are going.

I waited to hear the status of "Popeye" and intermittently the sound of his voice indicated he was still there. Now those hacker/slasher movies are not my usual fare anymore, but I've seen my share at one time or another. As such, I know better than to go sticking my head out the window to see what's going on. To do so, would invite a meeting with the chainsaw or machete, of some goalie-mask wearing fiend.

It got quiet for awhile and I surmised "Popeye" must have carried on his merry way. And the reason it sounded so close was just the stillness of the night and my bedroom window was ........ OPEN!

The night fell back into silence and I mindfully set the intention that if I didn't fall entirely back to sleep, I would still arise rested and refreshed.  I have no idea what time this would have been; I didn't want to look. What I can say is that the simulated harp "alarm" at 4:45 a.m.; seemed about 15 seconds later!

I forgot all about Popeye by the time I went to bed the following night (until precisely 2:00 a.m. when I first woke and then realized I was now living "The Return of Popeye - Part Deux.") There is also an owl out there somewhere; which I have heard on the occasion of my nocturnal stirrings in the wee hours). I was convinced I want to go out and see if I can locate the owl; now I'm not so sure, it might be one of Popeye's minions!!

This morning Popeye was more vocal than the previous morning. Far more expressive within the context of what sounded to be, a demented dialogue. I listened for awhile and Popeye neither moved on nor quietened down. In fact, he got louder and more agitated. I could also hear what sound like the sound of plastic tarps rustling every so often. I thought to myself, great he's taken up residence out there. The grounds in front of my building slope down from the road; then there is a garden at street level; full of various kinds of the perfect kind of foliage that would offer one privacy down below. My unit (and balcony) are on the second floor so Popeye would need to be Spiderman to gain access. However the folks on the first floor would have an eye to goalie mask view, if they looked out their windows.

I could hear stirring in the unit below me - but Popeye wasn't settling nor did "anyone else" seem to be doing anything about the situation. I decided enough was enough, Popeye could get hypothermia out there and I wasn't going to go without another night's sleep. If he'd piped down (pardon the pun) I might well have gone off to sleep and let sleeping Popeyes lie.

I called the non-emergency police number and was flabbergasted to be answered by a automated call queuing recording (in their defence they did indicate that if this were an emergency to hang up and dial 911). It wasn't much more than inconvenient as I'm placing the call and wading through the cue options; however, they needed to realize, any moment Popeye could flash up the Husqvarna and then it's a whole different scenario.  Finally I get a real live dispatch person and proceed to give them the nature of my concern. (I refrained from describing the visitor as having a voice like Popeye and just went with "sounds disturbed" - which was the truth, the content of his rambling was troubled to say the least - however if I included the voice like Popeye, I wasn't sure the dispatcher would be able to discern whom was the "disturbed" one here.

All the while I'm on the phone with the dispatcher who is now asking me to give him the coordinates of the front of the building (north/south etc.) and by extension, Popeye; I'm thinking, " I said my name is Mason, not Magellan; I can still hear Popeye cussing up a storm!

Then, no sooner did I hang up and get back in bed, than it becomes "dead" silent! First I'm thinking, oh ya if and when the cops show up, I'm going to look like a monkey cuz Popeye's buggered off. Then I realized, ah, this is just a ploy, the silence is to lull me into a false sense of security, I stick my head out the window and then ushered in by a cello generated crescendo - I become the ghost of unit #204.

It was quite sometime before a police van pulled up on the street. I could hear him calling to Popeye (of course he didn't know his true identity) and shining his flashlight which lit up my room as the blinds aren't all the way down (I certainly wasn't going to tip my hand by dropping them down and then Popeye would have a fix on my coordinates and then it's curtains for me!!!!) Yuk..yuk...yuk

I guess the cop must have worked his way down to the lawn in front of the window and now he is engaging Popeye in conversation. But wait a minute, Popeye's voice has morphed! Not only does it not sound like "his" voice - it is the voice of a women? What the hell....?

I'll refrain from any dime store (pop-psychology assessments) but now I'm thinking Popeye is "Sybil"!!!

It probably took a good three-quarters of an hour for the police supervised breaking of camp. To his credit he interacted with her with a great deal of patience and humour and deescalated her a few times during the proceedings (even suggesting she head for the park if she's intent on sleeping outside where she would be less likely to be disturbed than when choosing "private property" - she indicated that it was her preference to sleep outside).

Anyway my digression to the Popeye epic was to create the context that despite the setting of intentions, literally anything can transpire in the midst of it all (not always of this nature but....) I did get up the first morning at the call of the harp. I got ready, observed my morning rituals and set out on my bike to go to work. It's a good thing I left early; in order to arrive there with plenty of time for perhaps a cup of tea and or, a little reading. I got within a few paces of the bike storage locker at the hospital and I suddenly realized, I don't have my electronic access card! If it were only for the bike locker, I could have locked my bike else where. However, I need it to access the locker/change room, various areas in the hospital that I might go if I was doing the "porter" job and even to operate the "staff" elevator. So, I did a quick one-eighty and now I'm pedalling my butt back home to get the card. My sleep deprived being was now called on to pedal three times the distance before I began my day of work!

By the time I got back with my card and changed, I showed up in the department a couple minutes late. Nobody made a fuss about that and I explained the situation to one of the supervisors after morning report (excluding Popeye - just the forgotten access card/staff i.d.) The work day itself was uneventful and not exceedingly busy. When I left after my shift was over my continued intention was to go to the gym. First I needed to go to the mall where I had purchased a new shirt on sale. When I got the shirt home and was going to throw it in the wash to begin working it in - I discovered they had left the security tab on. I had left the store without tripping any alarms, but learned upon returning with the shirt, that the contents of the tab was ink (under pressure) and if you tried to dislodge it; ink would be infused into the garment and potentially in your face (hence the written warning :"unauthorized tampering could result in damage to the garment or personal harm) - seems a little heavy-handed for a shirt! Needless to say, I wasn't going to try and take it a part at home.

I got the shirt dealt with and hopped back on my bike. It was plenty early enough still and the gym wasn't far from the mall. However, then it started: "I'm tired!"  "I could just go tomorrow and make a fresh start" I've already ridden three times the distance to work and now to the mall and still need to ride home!"

I rode to the exit of the mall parking lot where a directional decision was necessary: Left (home) right (gym). I went right! (Even still it didn't mean with a zig here and a zag there I couldn't still - "go home.") I got to the intersection that required another turn to head toward the gym; I made the turn. I parked my bike and locked it. Even while approaching the front door - I'm thinking, I could still just turn right around and go home. What the hell difference does it make? (there is invariably a price to pay for such "selling out." Certainly legitimate fatigue can call for a rejigging of the scheduled intentions - this was not that!

I walked through the door and dug out my membership card - even scanning in, wouldn't make a great deal of difference. I have a three month unlimited pass so even if I left without doing anything it wouldn't be like I used up a "visit." However I would have created a deficit in a different ledger. It is my experience that these inner conflicts are like exercising a muscle - one needs to hold to the intention in the face of this "inner racket" it doesn't mean you won't encounter it again; but it does give you a growing confidence that you can override it.

Within the first few sets of different exercises I was "into it." The gym wasn't very busy so I was able to keep to a steady momentum and intensity level and be in and out under an hour (one of the best workouts I've had lately). That's what I'm saying, I wouldn't be able to say that or have experienced it had I caved in.

I went home energized and ready to enjoy an relaxing evening; after which I anticipated a good night's sleep, which was not in the cards.

As an aside, how does this act of inner victory have application in life? Well beside the gym intention, it is transferrable to most anywhere an intention is set (that is in jeopardy of being derailed). Today, after another night with Popeye I was glad to not be booked to work. A mid-morning shift offer came through via text, but by then I was intent on completing the online "on-boarding" process for another casual position that I successfully interviewed for. One of the requirements was a Criminal record check - no problem I have no reason to not submit to the requirement. Besides that, I had one "not so long ago" if I can just put my hands on the letter...... Bingo I found it! I emailed back and forth with a contact at Human resources who responded with some instructions re: contacting the "Ministry of Justice" - a conversation with them, punted the ball back to human resources. More emails to the H.R. office - now with different instructions (which were presented in such a way that, I would have seen them had I thoroughly read my online package - despite the fact that I had already received and tried to implement her specific contrary instructions) - translations, they messed up and wanted to tag me with it.

As you recall my intention was to see this process through (that would include even in the face of mounting frustration with "run-around.")  I just kept doing what I was able to complete and then informing H.R. where things were at. Nothing more, nothing less. Invariably I would receive more contradictory direction - still I followed the guidance. Even now, eight hours after I began this process this a.m. I fielded another email with new instructions (which failed upon implementation) - the ministry website indicated there is no previous record to share with my new employer (despite their representative bringing that document up on her computer when we spoke this morning.

I began the process again, this time selecting the option to submit a new record check application - naturally the system allowed me to engage where the requirement is to submit more money! So I have written H.R. back, informed them I now have a "new application" underway; as well as the original and a copy of the one, that is supposed to be good through December 2019. Step by step, "flustered" and "overwhelm" be damned!! I just do what's in front of me to do. I will not let "my racket" take me out!

What I am transforming for myself is a life long practice of throwing in the towel. Of course there are times when one's time and energy value have been exceeded and therefore to continue to engage, is fruitless.

There is also times when one might cite the above scenario, however in truth, they are quitting on themselves. (ouch) I'll let you decide which it is, for yourself.