The Slump (is over)

January 4, 2011

I’ve been in a mental slump as of late.  My mind, too tired to wander.  My time, too precious to squander…on anything other than the basic essentials of daily living.

Work, care and clean.  Go to work.  Care for my family.  Clean the house.  That’s about all I do.

In terms of money – income=output.  Some months you could replace ‘equals’ with ‘less than’, but never with ‘greater than’.  I am as broke as I have ever been.

My hands are riddled with eczema (stress).  I sweat profusely when (if) I sleep at night (stress).  My back muscles have been in a state of civil war for a few months now (and more stress).

Up at 6am and go, go, go until at least 9pm.  In bed somewhere between 10-11pm.

When do I write?

And this question lays at the base of all my complaints.  I need to write.  It’s ultimately becomes a biological imperative.  If I don’t satisfy the need, then I develop frequent headaches. become moody and self-destructive.  I don’t want to dwell on this aspect of myself.

I need to move forward.  Bring change (growth?) to my life.  Rid myself of my daily dragons.  This constant combat is killing me through attrition.  I have to make a break and finally reclaim myself.  I have to.  Don’t want to.  Need to.

I simply wish I could reduce my wants to the level of my needs.  I guess a billion Buddhist’s are trying to do the same thing.  Very challenging.

Time to refocus and remember my mind generates my reality.  I will be more positive without and therefore, I will be more positive within.  Within and without, although polar opposites, are really the sum of a greater oneness.  It is this greater unified reality which I need to behold and embrace.

Get my life back on track.  Mark my words – big things will start happening for me.


Old Fashion Olfaction.

June 22, 2008

Silence.  No noise other than the whir of my computer, the keys of my board and the birds outside.  Sweet relief.  I am suffering a nullification of my consciousness.  Sleep deprived for four days.  Catching a nap wherever, whenever they roam.  I should be sleeping but having thought about sleeping so intensely, I am kind of weary of it.  So it’s coffee instead.  Caffeine straight to the head.

You ever get the feeling your nervous system is no longer centralized?  You can derail your breathing by thinking about it.  Different nervous system (I think!).  This function falls under a different name at least.

I’ve often wondered, always in jest, if I am handicapped.  If we have five senses and one of them is suddenly turned off, would you not agree the resulting condition is a handicap?  Blindness, deafness – both very challenging conditions.  But what about those people who can’t touch?  Or can’t taste?  Or smell?  Are these three senses any less important?  Yeah, I know they are, but how much less?

If you ask me, I couldn’t tell you which is more important sight or hearing.  I’d think sight is.  To rank the senses – sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste.  My rationale for this ranking is in terms of necessity for survival.  I switched smell & touch around a few times, so I’m not sure which is more essential. 

We rely on smell as a distant early warning system in the approach of an enemy, or in searching out prey.  Hunters try to stay downwind for a reason.  However, the sense of touch informs us when something is hurting, infected or potentially dangerous to our body.  I don’t know, but this certainly isn’t an exhaustive argument one way or the other.

In the wild, loose your sight or hearing and you’re in trouble, more so with the loss of sight.  Loose both and you’re doomed.  After that, losing your sense of smell would put you at a disadvantage when enemies are still a distance away and you could’ve had time to elude.  Loosing your sense of touch would put you at a disadvantage when things are closer, close enough to touch.  However, loosing smell or touch does not guarantee your demise.

Taste is a mere trophy sense (or is it?), so falls last in the ranking.

How many times is a fire detected by sight before smell?  How many times are gas leaks sensed by sight, hearing or touch, before smell or taste?  You see where I’m going with this.  Everything is essential in certain regards.

Did you know that most of your refined sense of taste is determined by your sense of smell?  Taste buds detect only four things – sour, sweet, salty and bitter.  Oh, the tongue detects texture.  So there are five gross categories of classification in the mouth.  That’s taste for you.  All the refinement of the mouth is in the nose.  For instance, the difference between a lemon and a grapefruit is mostly aroma (and a little bit of bitterness – trust me!).

If you loose your sense of smell, you also loose most of your sense of taste.  Double whammy, not only have you lost a full sense, another one is cut in half.  You’re operating with three and a half senses.  If you’re not handicapped, you’re definitely disadvantaged, but not doomed to death in the wild.

There’s the jest of it – here’s the rest of it.

Without a sense of smell one misses the hunger generated from the aroma of cooking.  One misses the arousal from the aroma of their partner.  One cannot smell that wonderful baby odour.  Or a dewy spring morning.  No flowers.  No farts.  Nothing.  All these things add peaks and valleys to our emotions.  You know – the mise-en-scene of life, the full ambience of being.  So where your emotions go this far, mine stop here, a little closer to the base line.

There is an entire dimesion of experience in which those without smell can partake.  The world is has a little less life, a little less beauty, a little less depth.  Oh well.  I didn’t really appreciate when I had it, so what’s the difference?

What do I know?

May 6, 2008

What does anyone know about pain?  For some it’s a last breath.  For others, bead of rain.  For those, it’s a purpose.  For them, the inane.  We scoff at the normal.  We scorn the insane.  It can be beauty.  Or a dreary plain.  So very different.  So much still the same.

Wandering, wondering about a dream I had last night, dark.  I don’t remember, but I think it was nothing.  Literally nothing.  Black.  Dark.  Empty.  Long dream, short night.  What is in my mind?  Nothing?

Cowboy hats, boots and buckles don’t have a sense of suburban style.  Every time I see someone wearing one of them, I can’t resist a smile.

At this moment, the day of Piglet is out of reach, far away.  I wish the meek could inherit the Earth, could proliferate through birth.  But there is no mercy at the bank.  In the rank you file and in the file you rank.

Absent I, absinthe eye.  Just wandering, wondering, why the box of tissue keeps so many secrets?

The speaker was a leaker of meaningless words.  I had to listen, was on every channel. 

On my mask, my painted face, a resemblance of the space between here and every other place.

A voice in the background, a psychotropic sound.  Speak to me.  Tell me the truth about sooth.  Is it real or just another loftless word?

What does friend mean to me?  I don’t know anymore.  Everything diminishes, fades, erodes like the croak of toads, crumbles like oft travelled roads.  Tax dollars pave the path to the politician’s pool, cool envy drool.

There isn’t a trophy for atrophy.  For every inaction, no reaction. 

From Hero to Zero (An Instant’s Blink)

April 30, 2008

All right.  This post is very upsetting.  It also represents one of the first times I am launching a direct personal attack on someone with whom I am personally acquainted.

A little bird told me Robin’s are wimps.  They inspire confidence with their proud, red-chests, then disappoint you when they choose not to live up to it.  We’ve been Rooked by the Robin.

My wife is pregnant.  She’s due in 6 weeks.  There is a baby shower this weekend.  Her father has chosen not to attend.  Why?

Simple.  There was an ugly divorce over ten years ago.  The father can’t get over it.  He is full of piss and vinegar.  He kept a big, thick journal full of all the nastiness which took place during the divorce.  Rather than letting it all go and moving on with his life, he prefers to pull out the journal and stoke his fire.  He loves telling everyone (strangers too!) all about how much of a nasty person his ex-wife is.

“She’s not even human.”  That’s the popular line.

Keep in mind – the father has remarried & has had another child.  So he’s moved on with most aspects of his life, except for his hatred toward his ex-wife.

His new wife has mental problems (I think!).  I fear she suffers from undiagnosed schizophrenia.  Suffice it to say that she does everything she can to push everyone away from her and her NEW family.  She refers to her sons (from another marriage) as monsters.  She has kicked all children (other than her new daughter) out of her house.  She yelled at me in front of 30 people at one of their (weird) family functions.

This is strange.  They weren’t speaking to my wife before we met.  However, once they became aware that she was involved in a serious, mature relationship, they invited her back into their home.  I was the HERO who brought them all back together.  They would be proud to have me as a son-in-law.  I was the best, in their eyes.

That all suddenly changed one night last October, shortly after we learned about the pregnancy.  I expressed some sensitivity towards my wife’s Mother’s (the Ex) feelings.  Well, they would have none of it.  If I didn’t know that Mom wasn’t a human being, then our relationship was based on lies and would never last.  They couldn’t believe I would care about Mom in any regard.  Blah, blah, blah.

Anyways, the night didn’t go well after that.  I won’t be pushed around by anyone.  So I stood my ground, defended the sanctity of our relationship & in doing so, mortally offended that crazy bitch’s lack of sensibility.

Since then, the invitations to dinner have stopped – we were there briefly for Christmas, the Superbowl, then Easter (three weeks after the actual Easter).  I was yelled at during the Easter party!!  That’s the most attention either of us have received from the step-mother since October.

At this Easter party – there were a whole bunch of people we’d never met before.  Neither Dad nor step-mom introduced us to anyone.  Neither of them asked or commented on the progress of the pregnancy.  It was also my birthday, which was completely ignored until I was three feet from leaving, at which time the Father gave me a bottle of Crown and wished me a Happy B-day!

Anyways – here’s the point:

The Father has decided not to attend his daughter’s baby shower because the ex-wife, new boyfriend & former mother-in-law will be there.  The step-mother can’t attend because she is working in a government office on a Sunday afternoon.  I don’t even think I should have to comment on how unrealistic this seems, but we don’t care, we don’t really want her there anyways.

His excuse for not being able to attend is the trouble he’s apparently experiencing trying to find a babysitter.

Well, wait a second.  He received the invitation a month ago (or more!).  If he ever entertained a thought of attending, he would’ve made an effort to find a babysitter at that time.  He didn’t, which indicates he never planned on going.  He’s just playing some stupid game to make himself feel/look better.  It’s so see-through.

The saddest part is – the father is a really nice guy.  I know he loves his daughter.  I know he wants to know his granddaughter.  But his new wife is mentally ill.  She won’t let him.  Well, hang on, “won’t let him” is not the best way to describe what the father lives with.  He can do whatever he wants, provided he is capable of enduring the incessant nattering from his new wife.

She will lay into him, rag on him, nag, nag, nag, until he finally gives in.  She won’t relent until her point of view is accepted as reality.  I’ve seen it in action.  He’s inadvertantly told me about it.  I know it to be the truth.  So, after nearly ten years of marriage, he’s finally figured out that the best thing for him to do is avoid her ‘wrath’.

For this reason – he is a wimp.  I feel sorry for him.  He is losing the most important things in his life trying to keep her happy.  He is tossing his own happiness into the black-hole of her misery.

The long-term ramifications of his actions are clear to me.  He won’t have a relationship with his grand-daughter, which is precisely what step-mom wants, and this will hurt him.  Step-mom will not hold, touch, see or meet our daughter until she receives professional psychiatric attention.  She is not a grandmother & will never be in a position where she could act like one (if she even could).

So…sorry, but we don’t want to invite negativity into our daughter’s life.  Shit, she will experience enough of it just by growing up.  I don’t ever want to have to explain this to my little girl.  I don’t want her to know that her grandfather’s a puss & that his wife is a hateful, spiteful, unreasonable wench.

I am so friggin’ mad that he could do this to his daughter.  I am so friggin’ upset that she was hurt by him in this way.  I know, come Sunday, his absence will hurt my wife.  She will conceal it & try to make the best of the situation (as she ALWAYS does), but her day has been ruined.

There’s no gift he could give (or send) that could make up for what he’s taken away.  I don’t think he understands that.  I don’t think he understands that when he met me, he met someone who is stronger, feistier and more righteous than he could ever be.  I won’t let him forget this.


The Stonecutter’s Desire

March 6, 2008

I don’t know if you know this story or not.  I probably won’t tell it well.  I’m revisiting my deep memory for the words which construe it.  It’s significant enough to have stuck in my muddled mind all these years.  First time I read it was in high school, grade eleven I think.  I was branching out in terms of ingesting philosophy, good times.  Free to think.  Free to learn.  Free to experience.  That’s really all we’re supposed to do as teenagers, at least that’s what I think now. 

One caveat though – if I wanted to experience life on the wilder side, then I had to think and learn more than the tamer ones.  I had to earn the right to let loose and live free.  There’s a price for everything.  I’m still paying the price of mine.

Anyways, the stonecutter.  A Taoist tale.

There was a Stonecutter, who made a meager living from chiseling stone, toiling under a tropical sun.  There was a big kerfuffle one day, everyone who lived on the Stonecutter’s street stopped and bowed in reverent duty.  A royal procession, servants, slaves, soldiers and the Prince perched in a gondola on their shoulders.  The Stonecutter envied the Prince.  “What power has this Prince?  To make everyone stop and bow.  Happiness he must surely know.”

A simple wish and the Stonecutter became the Prince.  Endless processions, endless interruptions, endless bowing, but his happiness was not long lived.  For one day, during a particularly long procession march, the Prince experienced discomfort, sweat dripped from his brow.  He looked up at the sun-disc, blazing in the afternoon sky.  “What power has this Sun to make me seek shade, me who makes all bow before him?  What majesty and happiness the sun must know.”

A simple wish and the Prince became the Sun.  He blazed, he blared, he razed.  Every living thing cowered before him.  He knew happiness and majesty, but only for a while.  For one day he felt his power over living things dwindle away.  He looked down in rage.  A storm cloud.  “What power has this storm cloud?  Stronger than I who beat upon peasants and Princes alike?  What power this storm cloud must know.”

A simple wish and the Sun became the Storm Cloud.  He thundered, he poured, he soaked, flooded and destroyed.  He knew power, happiness, and majesty, but not for long.  For one day he felt himself dissipate, his power diminished.  “What is this that could be more powerful than I who blot the sun from the sky?”  A Strong Wind blew to him to infinity but not before a wish.

The Storm Cloud became the Strong Wind, the most powerful thing that could possibly be.  He blew, tormented and raged, destroying crops, houses, lives.  He knew power.  He knew happiness.  He knew majesty.  Until the day the Strong Wind came across something he could not budge, knock down or destroy.  “What is this that could be more powerful than I, the Wind?  Is it possible for something to be more powerful than I?”  The Mountain didn’t have much to say, so it just sat there and shrugged his boulders.  (I couldn’t resist!)

A simple wish and the Strong Wind became the Mountain.  And there he sat, basking in his power, his majesty and happiness, unmoving, unyielding, seemingly resilient against all things.  The most powerful thing that could possibly be was he, the Mountain.  One day the Mountain felt something strange, something was breaking him apart, breaking him down, piece by piece.  He rumbled, “What is this thing that could be more powerful than I, the greatest Mountain since the first drop of magma cooled?”  He looked down, so far down he had to squint. 

There it was, the most powerful thing that could possibly be – a Stonecutter.

 Wisdom from the sages of the ages.  Powerful, huh?

491 Words to Mine Self

February 2, 2008

Living in defiant compliance to the appliance of science.  Where does religion fit into the equation?  Does God have anything to do with religion?  What if the preachers are wrong and their concept of an omnipotent and ever present deity doesn’t jive with post-reality?  Why does wisdom begin with the ‘fear of God’?  Why do you need to fear your supposed creator?  It’s the preacher who wants you frightened, easier to persuade and control you when you’re afraid.  Preachers can’t stand up to logic because there is no logic in religion, no logic to God, no logic in a singularity.  It doesn’t make sense.  Have faith, my child – or so they told me.  I wonder…how strong would any Church be if it was built upon faith alone?  I simply don’t understand religion.  I am sorry, but don’t you have any of your own ideas?  Do you really live your life and think your thoughts as would a pious person?  Probably not.  I would say the pious person is a myth, another reflection on Socrates’ cave wall.  We all want to kill someone.  We all want to hate.  No one tells the truth all the time.  That’s why no one truly trusts anyone else.  We live in a world of deception, confusion and interference.  No wonder you seek for someone else to tell you how to be and what to do, but it’s not you and you can feel it.  The deep inner frustration of unfulfilment (I know it’s not a word, but I like the sound of it!).  You can’t wait for something you don’t know to happen, it might never be.  You have to take advantage of now.  Something (anything) is manifest quicker by work than by wish.  Or you can sit on an uncomfortable pew and lament about your pain.  The two worlds of self and God cannot co-exist.  They tear each other apart and the tatters are remnants of what we hoped we could be, but are not.  If everyone’s on stage, there couldn’t be an audience.  Do you understand what that means?

Fatherhood (A First For Me)

December 9, 2007

I’m going to be a father.  Holy jumpin’, look at me, a father?!  I have so much work to do on myself before I can be a reliable guide.  I’m frightened sometimes.  Overwhelmed at other times.  Excited too.  All sorts of emotions, fears and fantasies are engaged in fabricating this certain surreality surrounding me.

I am in love with the baby’s mother.  I love the baby.  I want them to be happy, comfortable and safe.

But, holy shit!  Can I do this?  I know I can, but there’s that damned part of me that won’t let the rest of me relax until I know for certain.  So I push myself too hard – all work and no play sort of mentality.  Mind you, some of my work is play.

I haven’t been writing here because I’ve used every spare moment to write and edit the first draft of a new screenplay.  Writing here is a frivolous waste of my precious time, but I like it.  The story is pretty good.  I was hoping to squeeze another in before Christmas, but it isn’t looking good.

All these things – work, writing, fears, fantasies – slip away when I see something like this…Ultrasound (Dec 05 07)

This is our baby @ 12 weeks, 4 days.  In a freakish twist of fate, I was allowed to watch the entire ultrasound session (Wednesday past).  Wow!  Alive and kicking.  And that’s all that matters.  This feeling overwhelms me.  We’re a family.  And tears swell up in my eyes.  I get that painful lump in my throat.  I grow lost in some endorphin enriched sensation of perfection.  My family.  Beautiful mother and child.  A miracle in the making.  Mind blowing, all encompassing love and compassion.

In these moments, I drop my guard on the backdoor of my consciousness and my fears flood unobstructed through to the very sensitive centre of my being.  This feeling, not a nice feeling, is what wakes me up most mornings.

Can I give my family the life I think they deserve?