Sunday Offerings; Benign Is A Good Word

Tags

, , , , ,

It was, well, it was a bit of a surreal two week wait. Moments of complete acceptance and serenity to moments of fear and questions of mortality. I am, however, happy to say there were more of the serenity moments than the fearful. What a blessing that can be. I have done a great deal of work around acceptance and personal powerlessness. Especially when it comes to matters of health and well being or dealing with people. Having said that, I will not use that powerlessness as a cop out for turning a blind eye and informing my fellow human beings of insidious racist like movements that spring up on my front porch and threaten to consume, if not the continent, the entire globe.

I digress. Believe me, that is a future post.

Having come to terms with my own mortality in a rather serene mindset, I knew what had to be done. I actually decided it was going to be fun! I was and still am, going to make a video will. I will also make a video message for my after life party. Yea, I call it an after life party. Some people will be sad, some will celebrate my too brief a time here and still others will probably be of the “good riddance” mindset and only show up for the free food. I had a surprise in mind for them. More shall be revealed. I went about putting my affairs in order, in my head of course. I was preparing for the worst.

At the other end of the spectrum I was reflecting on my brief stay in the corporeal world and I would get a bit angry at the powers that be. I had/have a shit ton of stuff to do, don’t you know? I have to experience a great deal more in life. I have….More. I was afraid for the people around me, well, not so much afraid as concerned. A brief few knew and I didn’t want them to become overly concerned or morose but then I realised, it’s not my place to tell them how they should feel. Once I let them go to do their thing, I could do mine.

Oh you should see the video message I’m planning. Hey, someday, maybe you will. But, not any time soon. Nope the doctor walked in smiling and said everything looks good. Just a small polyp that was benign and a issue that is simply treated by a glass of Metamucil each morning. 

Yep, you read that correctly, Metamucil, getting old is a bitch and benign is a great word to hear.

Advertisements

Sunday Offerings; Fear and the Big C

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

I wonder if the pain in my abdomen is real or if I am somehow manifesting the fear. Fear, you ask. Yes. Fear. The Big C fear. Yea, that kind of fear.

It started innocuously enough, with a catheter while I was recovering from hip replacement surgery. That catheter placement was an hilarious episode all its own and j may share it one day. But imagine a nurse holding my parts while her and my lovely muse were cracking jokes and giggling. All the while trying to insert a tube up my…You get the image. Anyway, the catheter insertion caused enough troubles that after being released I made an appointment to see my GP about an enlarged prostate. We did the whole physical thing and it was during one test (stool sample if you must know) that some blood was found. There isn’t supposed to be any where it was.

The doc calls me and says to come in. I thougbt, “oh maybe we are going to discuss my umbilical hernia”. No. He told me the concerns about colon cancer when blood is found in the stool. I was ok with hearing all this. All the things I’ve learned over the years had come to mind.

  • I cannot worry about things beyond my control
  • Worrying does not change the outcome of any given situation
  • Worry is a huge waste of time
  • Do the next thing in front of me
  • Take it one day at a time.
  • Believe in something greater than myself to help me get through
  • Rely on those that love me for support
  • Don’t live in fear
  • Have faith that all will be as it should

Those are good things to practice. Very good things and I do, for the most part. There are times, however, because I am a mere mortal, that fear creeps in. I’m pretty much okay with my mortality but then I thought, “fuck that, man! I still got shit to do!” Pardon the pun.

I am currently waiting for the results of a biopsy taken from something found during the colonoscopy. Which, by the way, is a whole other adventure. I had to laugh when the nurse was putting in my IV valve, or whatever it’s called, and said, “there, that’s the worst of the morning over”. What?

The sticking a camera up my ass, lady! A camera! Up! Worst of the morning, my ass! Oh, haha. That made me laugh.

In retrospect it wasn’t that bad until, I think, they took the sample. That was uncomfortable.

I’m a big believer in project ting to the universe is what we get in return, so I try not to put the Big C fear out there. The pain, however, is real. I want to believe it is gas or something else but it won’t go away. And I still have a week of living in that in between place. The realm of the unknown. Believe me, I try not to spend too much time there or in my head. My head is a scary place under normal circumstances, add the frightening prospect of cancer and well, you get the picture. Speaking of picture, I did ask for a still photo of my colon to add to the #project365, photo a day challenge I have embarked on, but they said no. Damn! Maybe the specialist has one kicking around.

I know on Monday the 23rd, I will have answers. Until then, maybe, just maybe this pain is borne out of fear of the unknown. Stress is a funny thing and will manifest itself in many different ways. In the meantime, could you say a prayer or send a good vibe my way? I’d be grateful for anything you got.

 

Sunday Offering – Fall Reflections

Tags

, , , , , , ,

img_20160902_071125I was sitting on the edge of my hospital bed, finishing my supper, when my eye followed the contour of Connaught Hill down to the Prince George Library. The late afternoon sun reflecting off the sandstone colour panels triggered a really good feeling. Why the library you might ask? At one time in my early days in PG, I spent a great deal of time at the library surfing the internet looking for work in every other place but Prince George. I had to laugh at this and I had to laugh long and hearty. Not only did I not find work, no, I did have the chance to work in Blue River, making more money than I’d ever made doing something I might have really enjoyed. The one major problem, okay, two major problems; 1) I would have had to cut my golden (now grey) locks and 2) I may not have stayed clean and sober. The amount of cocaine and other things rumoured to be floating around that heliskiing joint (pardon the pun) was deeper than the powder the resort was famous for.

I digress

I was not only going to work in Prince George but I was going to work in a flower shop. It proves to “never say never”. I once said I’d never work in a flower shop again. Yet there I was, in Prince George, working as a floral designer. So many paradoxes in Prince George. I had to surrender to win, I had to give up on seeking love to find it, I had to publish a paper to open new doors and I had to get a severe case of arthritis to learn about how not to take things for granted and the list goes on and on.

Paradox and irony are things I adore and the greatest of all ironies is; the place I desperately wished to get away from has given me everything I’ve ever really wanted in life.

Sunday Offerings- Reflections On The Term “Man-splaining”

The term, I believe, comes from an inability to communicate effectively and a desire to shame males.

Man-splaining or what I will henceforth call: ego-splaining, has absolutely nothing to doarrogant-women with what you may or may not have between your legs. It is an ego driven, arrogant need to display, how much one knows. I used to be that person, until I realized what an  asshat I sound like. Ego-splaining is done by all genders. I’ve seen men do it to men, women to women. It has, let me reiterate, absolutely NOTHING to do with what you carry between your legs.

I suggest these three simple ways to deal with ego-splaining;

  1. Thanks Jane/John Doe but I am well aware of that and have the information saved in the old cranial hard drive but I appreciate your wanting to help.
  2. Thanks Jane/John Doe, I never knew that, that’s really very interesting.
  3. I appreciate what you are trying to say Jane/John Doe but I have no interest whatsoever in the topic. (at this point watch for the facial reaction, it’s priceless)
  4. I know I said three replies to the ego-splainer but here is one for the bootlicks, suck-ups and brown nosers – see #2 and say it with feigned appreciation and the required admiration.

There you have it. It is ego, not gender.

That brings me to the term and the use of the term as a weapon to, yes, man-shame. That shit doesn’t work. Guilt and shame only fosters indignation (sometimes righteous), bitterness, resentment and anger. To generate those emotions, my friends, is not in the best interest of any agenda you are trying to promote. Try using the answers laid out above and if you feel the need to educate someone about anything, try using respect and dignity. Try treating them the way you with to be treated.

I bet that nobody reading this loves to be shamed. I and, if you do, let me know. I know a few people that can lay it on thick.arrogantjpg

Sunday Offerings – The Power Of Music

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We’ve all heard the old adage; “Music soothes the savage beast”. Which, by the way, is an oft-misquoted saying from a play by a 17th-century cat name William Congreve and the saying is; “Music has charms to soothe a savage breast”.  I suppose it could be said that the breast contains the heart and therefore a savage heart of the beast. However you want to look at it and however you want to say it. i truly believe that music has magical properties that can bring a village together. The village, in this case, was the downtown core of Prince George on a sultry but not too hot summer evening this Friday past. The venue was a little cafe called the Black Donkey and the stage was set up against a backdrop of beautiful graffiti (not the terrible shit we often see), there was an arbor of willow and the crowd milled about on the sidewalk, respectful and courteous to those people using the walk. The mix of music was interesting as well, The Burden started the night with some Thrash Metal (not my kind of music) followed by Cottonwood with folk and hen I left it was Jessica with a lovely heart piercing soul-stirring

voice. All this in one evening. All kinds of different genres in a small area in the downtown core better known for it’s homeless people, drug addicts, drug dealers and crack whores. Third and George has always had this reputation of the intersection or for some it cold be considered the proverbial crossroads.

Not this night.

On this night, young and old, metalhead and deadhead, pokemon folks and civilians all gathered and put aside the differences between us and looked at the commonality. The music we all love. I mean, even the sidewalk mosh pit was respectful (as mosh pits go). I may not have liked the Thrash and I’m sure many young folks didn’t care a whole lot for the folksy stuff. It didn’t matter. What mattered is that we all came together to enjoy the downtown. A much maligned and embattled downtown seemingly forsaken by city council after city council. Businesses like The Black Donkey, Nancy O’s, Groop Gallery, PH Photography and others are taking chances and gambling that one day, the politicians will pull their heads out of their collective asses and make more of an effort to revitalize downtown. Not just the “facade clean up”. Which to my way of thinking is just putting nice makeup on a crack whore. She’s pretty but she still be a crackwhore.

Events like Friday’s the Burden CD and tour launch along with the open mic at the Black Donkey, open mics at Cafe Voltaire, Jazz nights at Nancy O’s and others will draw people downtown and hopefully we as a community can demand that our council give us even more reasons to be proud of what might be a vibrant cultural centre in the downtown core of Prince George, BC.

Sunday Offerings – Writing, CRS and Practice

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

Like every Sunday I have a great idea but that was from the Sunday before and now the Sunday to write the piece is here and I have forgotten what the great, earth shattering, revolution starting idea was. I mean, yea, I could start writing a Sunday offering on Monday or Tuesday. Hell yea, I could write a bunch and have a Sunday Offering savings account. Like any good bank, it would offer little to no interest while gouging me fees and….I digress. I could write those other days but then I would feel like I was cheating Sunday. So, I wait. And in waiting, the great idea I forget to write down or record into the expensive voice recorder I purchased, for just such an event, slips my middle aged CRS riddled mind.

Where was I?

Oh yes. You are probably wondering what CRS is. I’ll tell you as soon as I remember. As I was saying. Wait, I wasn’t really saying anything so I’ll just start here. I have come to fancy myself as a writer. Yes! Me, a writer! Why do I have such delusions of grandeur? Because the universe is sending me signals. No, not THOSE types of signals. Although  do get those and believe me, the aluminium hat does nothing but enhance the reception. I’d wear a lead hat but I’m sure it would give me neck troubles. Signals, yes, in the form of Twitter followers. That’s write  right, the people that communicate using only 140 characters. Oh but there are so many that could learn a great deal, OK, never mind, they should be forced to use only 140 characters and allow the rest of us some peace. Yes, writers, editors and their ilk have begun following me. And not my serious, somewhat news like Take 5 account, they are following my “If you read this, I’ll never get elected account.” Yes, I am going to run for office but that is a story I will forget for another day.

Maybe I am. Maybe, like I did years ago when I acknowledged and nurtured my artist/photographer. Maybe I should acknowledge the fact that I am, in fact, a writer. Maybe a hack, maybe just a once a week self published coffeehouse rag writer or maybe just a pulp fiction Sunday only blogger. Who cares? It’s writing, and you know what? I’m good at it. I could use some polish, to be sure.  But like everything, practice, practice, practice. many of you know that I am a photographer as well. It was this video that reminded me that I should be shooting more, painting more, drawing more, compositing more and especially learning more.

This can be applied to everything. So, I’m off to shoot, write, draw, paint, post and tweet. Oh yes, follow me on Twitter. Just look to the right and you’ll see it. Don’t forget to get involved in the latest movement. The daily #onepositiveonegratitude

And as far as the CRS, I just remembered that it means:

“Can’t Remember Shit”

Sunday Offering – Grandkids Sleepover

Tags

, , , , , ,

It is 5:43. Five forty three, 05:43, _20160725_070837That’s in the AM. Five forty three in the morning and I’m still a bad ass Papa.
No offense to other grandfathers out there but I am pretty cool, even if I had trouble getting that sleep bag off my grand daughter at 5:30. I walked in, turned on the light and picked her up because she was screeching. Of course the blinding light at that tie did not help but Papa’s comforting arms did, that is until I had to lay her

DSC_0184

Princess 5AM

on the floor to extract her from this sort of baby bondage device that she is forced to wear at nap and bed time. Then the wailing began, I thought as I unzipped the bag and tried to get her little arms through the hole that Kathy is going to walk in and look at me lifting her from the floor and think, “My God, he’s dropped her!” Sure as shit, Nana walks in and the look on her face was AWESOME! The word mortified comes to mind. However, being the Nana’s girl (which causes me no end of pain) she is.
The little princess got quiet and Kat knew I, in fact not dropped her on her head. And so what if I had, the floor is padded and babies bounce, more or less.

I do have to say that waking up on some other beings terms, unless of course, it’s morning sex, is not one of my favourite things. My house, my terms. It is a concept quite foreign to a 6 mos old baby and I would have to say, a challenge to her two year old brother, the prince. Prince Beelzebub. That’s his new name. His cousin is Paco Diablo, so I couldn’t use Diablo, which, for my non Spanish speaking friends, means devil. So, we have Paco Diablo and Prince Beelzebub. He looks at me with those little two year old beady

DSC_0194

Prince Beelzebub

 

eyes and I can imagine in his head, a trumpet and a speaker saying, “Let the stand off begin!”. Once I learned that he was being defiant for defiance sake, I let him. Of course he doesn’t entirely grasp the concept of “action/reaction” or “action/consequence”, until that is, the realization sets in that, in fact, we are NOT going to the park because he didn’t eat his supper. No bargaining. Here is the choice. Eat and go to park or don’t eat and don’t go. Simple.

He decided playing in the playroom was the way to go.

Because I married into papahood and have never have had children of my own. I have never experienced the sleep deprivation experienced by parents. I have to say I’m grateful. After Princess 5AM , I have a better appreciation. I cannot understand why couples would continue to propagate after experiencing the first child but they do, and I’m actually grateful for that too. I need children to grow up as responsible tax paying individuals and pay into the Canadian Pension Plan so I can retire comfortably. Go baby makers go!

Lennox

Mr. Mellow (so far)

Not only was it a nice weekend with on set of grand-kids, it was also a celebration of another’s first year. The fact that all he cared about was the balloons and how they bounced off his face reminded me that all the hype is really just for the parents and grandparents. The guest of honour could not have cared less, even had he let go of all the balloons for long enough to try. Happy birthday Lennox. Grow, grow to be a productive member of society and make us all proud.

Sunday Offerings-One Positive, One Gratitude.

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

A movement is afoot. One borne of goodness instead of hate and anger. Something we ALL can participate in. Something, my friends, that was started here, in Prince George. That’s right, our beautiful city. That slowly growing movement is the One Positive One Gratitude Movement or #onepositiveonegratitude if you are seeking to be a part of. And you can be a part of it.

We are all inherently good people. We all, even the most heinous of us have something positive about our character that we can and should acknowledge. Yes, even The Donald might find, if he were to look deep enough, a redeeming or positive quality. dalailama446740I can say that because when I or we find something positive within ourselves we are more likely to notice the positive traits of others. It is not as easy as one might think, however.
A least not for me and many others I know. We have had a lifetime of negative reinforcing messages through media, family and loved ones. Those are painful but they do not define us if we choose not to let them.

Positive: A good, affirmative, or constructive quality or attribute.

“take your weaknesses and translate them into positives”

The history comes from a time when I was changing when I realized that I do have some redeeming qualities and I needed to explore them, acknowledge them and share them. At first, I kept them to myself, then I opened up to one person, then one day I put it on Twitter.  Just recently, my blogger friend Sarah, whose writing you can read at “Musings of The Amusing Muse”, had somehow needed to use the Positive and Gratitude to help her feel better or good or whatever, in my selfishness I never asked and I don’t think I even thanked her for giving this movement a kick start.

The second part of this daily ritual is the Gratitude.  A heart or spirit harbor resentment when it is filled with gratitude. True that, I know. For me resentment is the number one killer. I can hold that resentment, if I choose, for a long time. There is a saying the puts it into perspective; “Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” That quote has been attributed to everyone from The Buddha to Nelson Mandela, whomever said it, nailed it.

Gratitude: The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

“she expressed her gratitude to the committee for their support”

Think of one thing for which you are grateful. It could be anything from the colour blue to something as profound as divine intervention.2A3C424B00000578-3155949-image-a-27_1436518867307 It’s not for anyone else to judge why or for what you are grateful and neither is it up to anyone else to decide what is positive about you. Only you can do that.

Join the movement, you deserve to acknowledge your goodness and share with us those great things about you and those wonderful people, places, things and events that cause you to be grateful. You will find it a great way to start the day, and when maintained, a way to deflect negativity from anywhere.

This my friends is an all inclusive movement that can, if we share it, can spread across the globe. Share with us your One Positive and One Gratitude each day.

 

 

Sunday Offerings – Meanderings

It appears to be one of those days where my head, like many a fictitious character in a great novel, is filled to the brim with thoughts and ideas. Some serious, some whimsical and all very real. Some thoughts cause me to despair for humanity and others cause me to laugh with my inner five year old and still others cause me to feel that, like generations before me, what happened to the simpler times? Some thoughts are like the mist of dream not quite remembered. So fleeting that it’s like trying to squeeze and hold water in my hand.

Some thoughts cause me to despair for humanity…,

I wonder how the world, not just my neighbours to the south (USA) became so divided. I suppose it may always have been, in one form or another. Perhaps the rose coloured glasses of my youth (literally, they were rose tinted, it hid the redness) had cause me to view the world of an idealist, a dreamer. Be that as it may, there didn’t seem to be as much death and destruction as what there is today. Back then, I wanted to save the world from the horrors of nuclear Armageddon.

I suffered from terminal uniqueness

I even believed I was important enough that the RCMP were stealing my mail and had me under observation of one form or another. Let me tell you something friend, if you think there are no effects, long or short term from chronic marijuana use, you are sadly mistaken. That may be the topic for another day. Back then, of course, I suffered from terminal uniqueness. I was different that everyone else, if you’d had a life like mine you’d understand the way I behave, you’d understand my desire to ease the memory pain. If only you had witnessed or experienced the injustices of my life, you’d understand. I told everyone I knew about my woeful childhood, the unfairness of the world, the emotional chains that weighed me down, the guilt of my mother’s death. It served a purpose, this self pity, it served to keep me trapped, it kept me in a jail of my own design. A jail that closed my eyes, my mind and my spirit to the greater good. It kept me, for the longest time, from embracing something greater than myself.

The great paradox for me is that I needed to surrender to something bigger than me, I had to give of myself to something greater than me, I had to learn how to protect a fellowship or I would as an individual, surely die. One stick is easy to break, a bundle, not so much.  I suddenly found that the more I immersed myself in something bigger, the more of the individual I became. The more I became part of the whole the more my uniqueness shone. How is this happening? Hell if I know. It’s one of the great paradoxes for me. And, I have to say, I really dig it.

There are more;

  • I can only win if I surrender.
  • I can only keep my gifts if I give them away.

So, I really had no idea where I was going with today’s post. I thought I’d make some profound statement on whatever was going on in the world or maybe make an announcement that my creative block is fully removed and a flood of images is causing my brain to ache or maybe a rant on the sorry state of our medical system in the province. Canadians say how blessed we are to have affordable if not free medical care but we turn a blind eye to the fact that wait times for procedures are growing and even though…ah…I’ll rant on that another day, unless of course they call me for my new hip.

More shall be revealed.

 

Sunday Offerings- The Block

Tags

, , , , , ,

 

I never really had a writer’s block. More of the creative block hat always kept me just on the edge of seeing what was in my imagination. Let me tell you, if you are the creative sort and you experience this for any length of time, it is one scary situation. In fact, my greatest fear is not being able to get what’s in my head down on paper, canvas, pixels….etc.

Today there seems to be a clarity and a deluge of imagery . Like a creative damn has broken in my mind and a flood of ideas is washing over me. I had talked to other about the block, my lovely muse would ask me, daily, if it had cleared. “I don’t know. OK?” was always my answer. Perhaps, a little too brusque. She never retaliated she just nodded and said “alright”. One artist said to go and make shit, make shitty images until something not shitty emerges. I did that, I prayed, I meditated, I howled at the gods of creativity, I looked at what other artists were doing, I sought inspiration everywhere and although I felt I wasn’t seeing any – I must have been feeling some. Once the eyes and the spirit hooked up properly, I began to see, once again, beauty in the most mundane. Fragments came and those fragments began to assemble themselves into full pictures, similar to how my grandsons put together a puzzle. And, I might add, I assembled those “puzzle” pieces with the same joy and excitement. Seeing, in my mind’s eye what the final piece will look like and knowing that, in reality, it rarely looks like it. I’ve come to terms with that.

I have, and this may be another reason why my curse was broken, started to get back to image compositing, 3D and 2D imagery, fantasy type photography. Is it my roots? No. It is, however, a style or genre that I had become more and more talented and creative than at other times in life. I don’t think it was a conscious decision to return to the discipline. More an influence of what I’d been reading, what I’d been viewing and also, yes, marketability of images with view towards next years Northern Fancon. Yea, as much as we creatives hate the thought, we need to smash the myth of the “starving artist”. It only serves to diminish the value of ALL our work. Creating is work and it can be demanding work, physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s alright to create for the sake of making beautiful shit, my friends, but if any of you say “I have never thought of how sweet it would be to make a living while doing it”, I say you aren’t being honest. Fact is, friends, you can make a living. Like any other profession, we start at the the beginning and work our way forward or up or however you view it. You will have to humble yourself, you will have to accept rejection and outright critical snobbery, you will suffer the slings and arrows of your insecure contemporaries who fear your success, you will be attacked by the voices in your head that call you a fake and a wannabe. Still, if you desire it, you will succeed.

Well. enough of that inspirational stuff. It’s time for me to get at the creating bit and worry about the marketing later. I’ll leave you with a few new images that got me through the block.