Monday, December 28, 2009

The fight

Sometimes a battle too hard-won, was better lost.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Pearls are where you find them

Mister Sub also offered us some lasting wisdom

Friday, December 18, 2009


Charles M. Schulz offered us this wisdom: "Never fall in love with a snowflake."

Monday, November 23, 2009

Allure of surrender

I resist.
As the nail resists the hammer, I resist.
As the tinder resists the flame, I resist.
The record must show; I resist.
The rain pours down and I push against the deluge.
Like the moth against the hurricane, I resist.
The force and fury of ten thousand velvet wings beat me to a puddle where I lie upon the stone, but never let it be said that I did not..

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Lately it's been like living in a James Clavell novel.
A few months ago I was bored. Then it went to dangerous anger where I could have taken more than one person through a window. Threats without witnesses don't count. My palms don't sweat.
Now it's good news on the surface, but looking up every sleeve for the daggers.
Always an agenda.
So much work to do in just a few months. So much opportunity for gain.
So much territory to protect with my back turned, and so much that deeply matters.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Forever falling

Having looked too deeply into the pool, I cannot look away.
I turn my head to the pool and close my eyes to the pool, and drown in a constant suffocation of the pool that knows no close of relief.
Throw me a rope, I will not hold. Pull at my hands, I will only slip.
The damned are the damned.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Open bloom

Complete trust is one of the most valuable treasures.
So hard to win most times. Such a great responsibility to carry.
To earn that from another is to hold that person's beating heart while they sleep.
Our lives, no matter what, are eternal vigilance.
To be able to set that burden, even for a moment, in the hands of another, is the other half of that tremendous gift.
The rare blue flower of the Eastern slope can be sought a lifetime without touching those feathery petals.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


And there's the turn just up ahead.
A checkpoint of suspicious eyes and hidden agendas.
Like a classic suspense, just before the border crossing, someone went hysterical and had to be dumped by the roadside. Now it's asking someone else to climb in with implicit trust. A tall order.
There's 6 months of rough road and bandits in the woods, but as long as we trust each other, we can win.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

And all the while, there's work to be done..

It would be nce to set down some of these spinning plates.
Trying to re-engineer order out of something so damaged while a neanderthal beats on the walls is unbelievably discouraging.
Having to continue denying something I know to be true in order to get a narrow mind to turn away is draining. I walk a fine line daily.
I care too much, but that can't be changed.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Like a bubble burst

And just like that, I now have nothing to believe in.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


It would be nice some time to be handed a rose without being stuck by the thorns.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Within the web

So often lies are an act of complicity.
We pretend to believe, rather than face bleak reality.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Change brings opportunity

Next week the page turns again.
It's been quite a while following the same worn path.
There is the unknown, but certainly no regrets when the change is due.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hills and valleys

From the pent-up adrenalin of last week's frustration comes 3 wins in a row, followed by news that the sun may be coming out.
Finally some of what we've been waiting for looks to be coming to pass.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Yes I will

Those 3 words carry a definite meaning to me that so many do not seem to share.
Apparently I will try forever to kick that football, and experience the same sharp pain every time as it disappears in front of me.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The sharp edge of words

It's not the things we like to do, or even choose to do, which sustain us.
The hard and complex things which give so much meaning to our days are a source of toil, frustration and accomplishment.
I spend my days plotting, debating, explaining. Most of this is done with people who seem so slow to understand concepts; who cannot follow the thread of a narrative; who have made decisions before they have heard any facts.

I do not debate with Socrates or Aristotle.
Too often, I am Diogenes.

There are too many willing to damage the lives of others to advance their personal needs.
I do not go quietly.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


A word used so often. An expectation of an entitlement we all carry, yet how often is justice really done?
Our laws are carved out in an arbitrary fashion which too often punishes the victim.
It was necessary to craft the laws this way since we have so few with the fabled wisdom of Solomon to actually interpret what is right in any given case. We have peperpetual victims who finally fight back against their agressors and are punished for whatever small measure of success they achieve.
We have those who know how and when to put on the cloak of the victim to stand up and say: "I know my rights." Skilled manipulators successfully disenfranchise the trusting.
Sometimes where there is no justice, there will be retribution.
More power to the essential truths of G Gordon Liddy.
Where are you now Don Quijote?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Bruises caressed

My fascination with scars extends deep. I stop at the little imperfections and examine them for the story they tell. The bumps, the healed cuts that represent what I want to know.
I need to hear the story the body will tell me. I need to know of the wounds that shaped the tiny lines at the corners of the mouth and eyes.
What happened here? What have you endured to stand in this place right now?
It's not enough to hear the laughter. I need to know the tears.
The light means nothing without the dark, and I want to drink it all.
I never ask too much; only everything.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Can you hear me now?

One of my favourite writers in my late teen years was James Thurber.
He died in 1961, and was already gone before I discovered him. Known primarily as a cartoonist for The New York Post, his writing grew in strength and depth as his eyesight failed. He stated that if he had the choice, he would still rather write than draw, since that was the more important connection.
Connection is the key word.
Years later, while visiting a friend's house, he was lectured by his stern, authoritarian father. I noticed in the course of it, that this man had a full collection of Thurber in his bookcase, and I felt that we shared some sort of kinship, though I never found a way to bring that up.
I am primarily visual, feasting on photography, on flowers, on patterns in water or ice....I focus as much attention on the way a woman's eyes move while she speaks, as I do on how her sweater drapes on her breast.
Nevertheless, I am with Thurber in that it that connection which is most important. I need to hear what someone else thinks about a subject, and how they feel about my opinion. It's only that dynamic exchange that makes the opinion worth having.
Ideas in a vacuum seem ultimately futile.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Under cloud

Strange how much emotion is like insulin.
Riding high on a sugar rush that feels like it goes on forever.
Then comes the crash.

Thursday, April 30, 2009


How is doubt so strong? Where once we trusted an oaken floor, now we eye each board with the thought of falling through.

Friday, April 24, 2009


Lately it feels like the tale of a battle being heard again.
There are rumblings of drums over the hills.
Now and then comes the hiss of an arrow and someone nearby falls.
Others ride off under cover of night.
You stand with your back against the only one you trust and wait.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Winds of change

The signs are there to show a confrontation coming over the horizon.
In one respect it's simple since the history is there to not sell out, surrender or ask for a break.
I've never shrunk from the unknown, so the possibilities are actually objects of enthusiasm: TDL, Sysco, Summit...
And 2 little letters say that no matter what, I have a fallback position. AZ.
So many decisions get made every day by people who do not have enough understanding of the problem, nor any idea of the value of what they already hold. Every week I find myself trying to explain to someone chanelling General Custer that we have a warrior in need of training. He looks with blinkered vision, as someone looks at him, and so on down the line.
In other quarters, mediocrity gets praised and rewarded while outright incompetence and dishonesty are tolerated. If people only knew what goes on behind the annual report...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Ebb tide

More than 30 years after reading Tolstoy's opinion that people mistake excitement for happiness, I'm still not sure where I stand, because I've believed one side, then another. There's a line to be drawn in the stress/agitation/ excitement stimulus between adding fuel and burning out.
I warmly remember the Sunday afternoons rowing on the river when it was like glass. If I had to choose, I'd take that stormy night, rowing against a tide so strong it broke an oar, and I had to grab at pilings and tow the boat with the rope over my shoulder.

As the past few days have unfolded according to plan, I feel unfulfilled. While there are times requiring reflection, I'm in a phase requiring the unexpected. Ennui begets entropy.
Much as I love the roses, I'm drawn too by the thorns.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hearts for Sale

Going into Horton's tonight, I was almost intercepted by a heavy-set young woman storming toward the garbage to dump her drink.
I heard the young man driving the pick-up truck calling after her: "sorry, sorry, sorry."
Whatever he may have done to cause the problem and call for an apology was not what caught my attention.
It was his tone and the look on her face.
She had the power to make him miserable and intended to use it.
He was young and trim-looking with a late-model pick-up and this girl had him at her mercies.
By and large, the only way people gain that ownership of any us is that we hand it over. We make a bargain of some kind, and so often in the context of what is supposed to be love, comes the struggle for power. What is supposed to be a partnership too often becomes a contest for dominance, and the balance of power may shift from one to the other, with a consequent need for futher punishment for past indignities. We lose sight of why we got into the soup in the first place. That great old tune "Paradise by the dashboard Light" sums it up in the last few verses. "I would love you till the end of time. And now I'm prayin' for the end of time, cause if I gotta spend another minute with you...."
What happens to us? Why are we so determined to punish each other for our own choice of surrender?
I give you the power to hurt me in the belief that you will not.
It's an odd bargain in which the greatest minds of all time have still lost their way.
And having given that power, why is it so hard to take it back? We suffer as much torment from leaving as we do by staying. Crimes of passion are born from the fact that the higher mind cannot reason with the primal one.
While the energy poured into that turmoil may burn us, we feed on it at the same time.
I hand you a single rose, and as you take it, silvery strands wrap round your fingers and the contest of hearts and minds begins.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The quality of mercy

At what point is someone not held accountable for their own actions?
People are troubled, disadvantaged, handicapped, misunderstood, stressed, pressured..and still succeed.
Someone else gets turned down for a date and takes out a blind rage on those around him. Modern wisdom is to offer him understanding.
Under this, there are no criminals, only lost souls.
Forgiveness is an individual choice which should not be mandated by society.
There are those I care for enough to forgive eternally.
I would not expect the court of our society to show the same leniency.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Every second of every movement

We like to believe that our lives have order and plan, but so very much is just random sparks.
Yesterday a friend I hadn't heard from in over 15 years called me up. Thinking it was telemarketing, I immediately hung up. Luckily he was with someone I know very well, who placed the call again, and we connected. I joked at the time, but might there have been others?
Likely, in one form or another at some time or other.
When I look back over the life-changing moments, I see how fragile were those threads. I could have chosen not to make that hospital visit almost 33 years ago. I would have gone to the tavern with my cousin and formed some other relationship.
Reading want ads, 30 years ago, I might have started at the top of the page, instead of the bottom. I would have a different job, a different house, I might not have children....I would not know any of the people who now form part of my daily life. A voice I hear every day that is music in my ears would belong to a stranger living in a different reality.
Things so simple, so tiny...It's not just the path not taken, it's a single blade of grass that makes the difference.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


We like to believe that the mind is in charge, despite all evidence to the contrary.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The maze unending

Paths and choices.
What literature would we have otherwise?
As many times as we've heard the stories, we play our own in constant rewind. "If I'd hit the ball. If I hadn't picked up that package. If I'd chosen Jenny instead of Sue."
So many choices slide by actually unnoticed. We choose sometimes without even weighing.
It's the conscious choices that offer a vertigo all their own, beyond the outcomes good or bad. To feel as Caesar felt; looking across that river.
To make the statement that closes one door and opens another; to touch the hand that shouldn't be touched; to dive into the pool without knowing if there is a bottom... Then at least, you can look back and say: "Right there. That's where I won or lost, but it was my choice to make."

Thursday, March 5, 2009


There are not enough islands of time in the way I live today. One of the most satisfying things I can do is to simply sit and talk with someone who is as interested as I am in discussing anything at all without reservation.
The pace is too frantic. I get bulletins. It may be weeks before I get to complete my thought on something and find that I was misunderstood at the beginning. And as Nina Simone told us; there's nothing worse.
I find kindred souls who are as engaged as I am in rowing the boat, bailing out the water, and fighting off the sharks. It can take us a year to find that we both like lime punch; never mind actually getting time to share one. Conversations of truth and loyalty and love and longing take a back seat to a few quick words about the best way to kill a shark. Even cavemen fighting tigers found time to paint on the wall.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Just returned from my regular Sunday trip to Guelph. There's only 5 more to go. That's not a target, it's a diminishing pool.
The opportunity to share this time with my Daughter is a gift of time. We talk about everything, anything, invent words, listen to music. Lately it's been dance-pop, but I think we'll switch back to Wolfman Jack.
Just as I drove to Holland Landing every Sunday, or Brampton every weekday; that changed like a closing door, and the world was different.
There's things we all do everyday that we just assume will always go on, and then one day comes the end. People move to different corners of our lives, or disappear like a shining soap bubble.
We see the same coffee server or grocery clerk and depend on that touchstone until they change jobs, the store closes or they are hit by flying debris on the highway in one of the many random events that shape the world without regard.
We hug or kiss our most beloved and never know when that is the last lips we will ever touch. The open mouth sharing of vulnerability has a number, as something heads towards us in a world moving ever onward in a journey we will never understand.

Saturday, February 28, 2009


I've spent a lifetime working on my invulnerability. Generally you can't hurt my feelings with a barge pole. I'd have to care.
And that's the part where I don't fully understand my own criteria when I decide to let someone in, and give them permission. What, out of the millions on Earth, suddenly makes another person special to me so that I care deeply what happens to every teardrop?

In The Gods Must Be Crazy part 2, a wolverine attacks our hero, and stays determined to pursue the attack for so long that a strange bonding occurs that sees the wolverine being carried so as not to die in the outback. I've not had that happen, but it's a recurring theme in literature as long-term adversaries develop respect bordering on affection. Sherlock needed Moriarty. Batman needs Joker.

For me, it more often comes out of my Catcher in The Rye complex, but eventually moves on to role reversal. I set out to help, and in the process am helped myself. It's trading the pain for something that fulfills.
And no one ever gets expelled, even in the face of disappointment. Inside is forever.

The shining moments make it worth it.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Breaking in the pen

Just a string of words to claim the blank space.
A few marks on the wall because I followed someone here; and if not to find our way back, then at least to see where we've been.