Friday, 8 June 2018

CHANGE MEANS ADAPTATION

Anthony Bourdain died today. First thing I saw on my newsfeed. For some reason it left a very profound sadness in me. I didn’t know him, didn’t watch his show, Parts Unknown, faithfully, although I did watch from time to time if I found it interesting.
He seemed like he had it all. Money, travel, fame and he got to eat some of the best damn food in the world. But beyond that, he connected with people. People shared their recipes, their food, but mostly their thoughts, their life, their country and what makes people tick.
I wondered as I thought about all this. People die all the time but this was a suicide and that makes it different. It makes one realize that what you see on the surface is often a far cry from the inner person, their demons, their troubles and something so strong as to leave the world leaving an eleven-year-old daughter behind.
Yes, people commit suicide all the time and most of the time we don’t even hear about it, or it doesn’t make an impact not like it does when it is a celebrity that we follow. Someone that we see on our tv screen and relate to at times.
I wondered again as to why this impacted me so much. Then that made me think of all the people in our lives that die. People so close to us that the hurt doesn’t just last a few days like it does with a celebrity but the rest of our lifetime perhaps, or close to it.
And it brought me to a conclusion or at least a theory. It’s continuity. We don’t like change. The people in our lives that are around us either in person or on tv are staples to our frame of mind, to our feeling of comfort and peace of mind that although things might be going to hell in the political world, these people are constant.
Another example is the cancellation of a tv series that one has been following and looking forward to each week. When it gets cancelled in the middle of it before it has had a chance to play out and come to a logical and perhaps satisfying conclusion, we are hurt. We don’t like it. It has upset our balance of comfort, our continuity.
So, really, it’s all about us. How we feel about ourselves. How the death of someone that we know or know of is going to affect us in our daily life. I remember when Elvis died and I was young, just early 30s. Elvis had been part of my comfort life since I’d been fourteen. And that was most of my life. So, it hit me hard. I even wrote a poem about it. I thought at that time that things would never be the same. How could I live on when Elvis was dead? Yep, sad maybe but idols and celebrities sometimes are part of our life even if we never really know them. So, like with Anthony, they have a life that we are not part of but the part of their life that we know means something to us.
Us humans like stability, safety, knowing that tomorrow things will be the same even if we long for change, we find it hard to accept it when it comes.

So, to sum up, we are all about ourselves, how things make us feel, and whether they create havoc in our lives with nothing we can do about it. We like to be in charge but that is fickle since we are in charge of very little. And I think that scares us a bit. When things in the outside world change, we know that changes us just a little bit. And so, we must adapt. 

Monday, 15 January 2018

LIFE IN A GARBAGE BAG


Have you ever stopped to imagine life after death? So, you probably think I’m talking about resurrection or perhaps out of body, but I’m not.

I want you to take a moment to pretend something. It might bring some perspective to your life, it might not. But it won’t hurt anything and it might help. It might bring you back to reality. The reality that you will not always be here, but others will. That is the ‘life and death’ that I’m speaking of.

So, I have seen both my mother and my sister and my father all die or newly dead. In each case they looked the same. Dead bodies with mouths agape, eyes staring at nothing and me wondering, what was the last thing that they ever saw? Did they in that final moment see something we never see when we are alive? Probably not. Although there are some who call out names of loved ones that had been long ago gone before them.

No, probably they saw nothing and that is probably what I will see and what you will see, if you play this game of imagination with me. So, let’s move on.
It’s over, okay? You’ve died, flown the coup, kicked the bucket, passed over, whatever you want to call it, it’s all the same thing. You are no longer a member of this earth. You are a dead body of rotting flesh and spoiled organs.

Sorry to be so gross but it is the facts. I do believe I’ve read too many detective stories or books on what the body does after it is dead. I had to read those you see as I am a writer who wanted to write about that sort of thing. And when you want to write a novel that has dead people in it, then you owe your reader the right to know that you know what happens to the decaying body. It’s called research.

But this is not research, or maybe it would be nicer to call it that. Anyway, so now you are dead. You have been put in the ground, or slung out on the wind or thrown in the ocean, or your ashes that is, unless you happen to have been on a cruise when you kicked the bucket and maybe had to be buried at sea. But would they really do that these days? Zip you in a body bag and toss you over into the ocean after a few comforting words from the captain or a priest or a minister who happened to just be on that same cruise who by the way you might have just had supper with the night before at the captain’s table. So, I digress.

You are gone. But your house stands there with all your possessions. As you sit and look around at your surroundings while you are still alive and breathing and feeling frisky. Take a good look around, examine some of the items that you have collected over the years, the furniture that is brand new or very old but you love it just the same. Think about all that you have accumulated over the years. Some more than others maybe. Some people have the smarts enough to get rid of most things by the time they hit 70 or 80 as they know what’s coming. And if you ever had to walk into someone’s house after that poor soul has passed on, and you ever had to get out the garbage bags and start tossing stuff into them. Stuff that means nothing to you but meant the world to them, then you know what I mean.

So, now you know of what I speak. Life after death is who’s left. Who has to do that nasty job. Probably your kids or kid or some relative or other. Hopefully it is a distant relative or a stranger, who was hired by the family who could not bear to go through your stuff. That would be better wouldn’t it? Some stranger could do it much more efficiently, without remorse of tossing those treasured pieces. 

But maybe it is someone that was close to you. It depends on the nature of that person or persons. What kind of heart they have, what kind of feelings they can’t control or can stuff away in order to do this horrible job. Who ever it is, the job will get done, must get done because the place must be cleared out for a family member to move in or to put the house on the market so some strangers can move in and bring all their crap through the door.

So, when the garbage bags are all full, and a few of the pieces that they have decided to keep or to give away or whatever, the house stands empty. It only holds memories now. But they are not your memories anymore. Your memories died with you. If someone or hopefully more than one loved you very much, your memory will live on, but not your things. They are at the curb in the black garbage bags. That’s your life!

Saturday, 25 November 2017

MEMORIES

I forget things! I think that a lot of us do that, especially these days when there is so much to keep up with. For me, I have my music, my books, my painting (that I never seem to get around to) and then I have my life.
So, getting around to blogging sometimes takes a back seat. A way back! So far back that I was actually shocked that I had not checked in here and wrote a post since last May!
Yep, you can believe that. But is there anything to say since then? I've been thinking about a lot of things so let's start with just the art of thinking. Something I do way too much of. In fact, I think so much that I barely have time to talk. To anyone.
I don't think it's probably good to do that much thinking. But I was born thinking. I remember the first memory I had, lying on a couch taking my baby bottle. I was in heaven. I mean what could be more deliriously happy than enjoying that wonderful bottle in a warm comfortable kitchen. I was lying on my back and looking at the wallpaper on the wall behind the couch. I remember raising my leg and tracing over the images on the wallpaper with my bare toes. It all seems like a dream, and why wouldn't it? After all, it was over 70 years ago. I remember finishing the bottle and take it to the table and setting it on the table. My sister told me that someone was always watching and when I would reach up on my tiptoes and stick the bottle on the edge of the table then walk away, someone would grab it as it toppled there ready to crash to the floor and break in a bunch of pieces.
I did not know that part. I, in my infant state of mind,  would not have figured out that the bottle might not be stable on the table. I never hung around to see if it was going to be okay or if it was going to topple over.

So, my thinking was not so hot back then. Anyway, take some time to find someone to talk to so you won't be lost in your mind thinking all the time. It's good to think, but not all the time. There is a world of other people out there and sometimes they need a bit of attention.

I hope not to be so long coming back next time and to have a better, more interesting subject to talk about. 

Saturday, 13 May 2017

UNDERSTANDING THE UNIVERSE WITHIN





Where are you right now? Are you in a crowded room? Standing by a beach? Alone in your bedroom? Watching a noisy TV show? Cooking supper?
Whatever you are doing, (and you are probably doing none of the above if you are reading this) then I assume you are sitting reading on the Internet. How you found this I don’t know, but I would like to. Was it by chance? I imagine it was as I don’t have that much traffic to a normally dull blog site.

Anyway, to get on with it, as the title suggests, I believe there is a universe all around you and I’m not talking about far away, up above, outside of our planet. I’m talking about inside of you. So, if you can, I suggest you stop reading, close your eyes, take a long breath and just breathe out slowly. With your eyes closed, you can now go deep within yourself. Unless your kid (or significant other) is screaming at you for attention, then you will have calm. Gradually tune out what is going on around you, even down to the smallest tick tock of a clock or rumble of a refrigerator.

Take a moment in time to discover the inside you. All of your body parts that go on working for you whether you acknowledge them or not. You eat, you drink, you sleep, you laugh, you cry, you get the point, but all of these things occur naturally without much strain or struggle from you. Well, hopefully anyway.

Now that you are calm and cool and understanding that your brain is functioning for you and creating all the movement and digesting and separating that goes on in your body, and all you really have to do is breathe, then you are getting with it. Is that so much to ask of a body that is made to last over a hundred years?

Think about what our minds do mostly. We create a safe place for ourselves. Sure, we care about other people, but it all comes back to ourselves and how we feel, and how we look, and how others are going to think of us. Should I wear those pants, they might make me look fat. I think those boots make me look too tall and skinny. I wonder if my hair looks okay. I just found a new pimple, when are they gonna go away for good? I wonder if I sound okay.

See? It’s all about us. Our little universe is more important to us than anything around us on earth. Other people are important to us but sometimes we say, I’d die without him. She makes me feel so good. Those kids make me laugh. I love this food. No matter what we do or who we see or how much we attend to others, it ends up being all about us in our head.

Rejection is a big deal to most of us. We avoid doing certain things because of rejection. We are afraid of rejection and why? Why do we care so much what others think? Most of the time other people are thinking about themselves, not us, not if we are fat, not if we look tall and skinny, not if our hair looks great that day. They might mention it but if we get a compliment or an insult, it’s over for them. They say it and move on. We are left with the spoils, the heartache, the rejection, the pain, over and over we carry it around in our little universe. It spins around us, encapsulating us in our own world.

Most of the time, we don’t even notice the inside of us. How often have you thought about it? It’s just part of life mostly. But once you take the time to go quiet inside yourself and think. Really think. Not about what you will prepare for your next meal, or what movie you will watch tonight, or what book you might read. But think about nothing really. Just go silent and listen. Hopefully you won’t hear too many strange sounds coming from your personal universe. But, the silence will fulfill you, open you up to who you really are, what you really want and where you are going.

Do this at least once a day, maybe before bedtime. Or, maybe first thing in the morning might be better for you, or in the middle of the afternoon when no one else is around. Call it your own personal meditation break. Get in touch with you, your universe, your magical body and it is magical and omnipotent. Learn to use the power that is inside you so you can face rejection, face fear, face whatever comes with strength from within.

It's mind blowing and empowering, but you must be patient with yourself also. It takes time to get to know you. But it’s worth it. Let me know how you make out.

TRAIN TRACK BLUES

I've been writing poems for a long time. This one is from a new poetry book that is in the planning stages. All poems will be about trains. 


TRAIN TRACK BLUES

They’re ripping up the train tracks
A sad sight to see
The time has come, they say
And many do agree


But some people are upset for sure
They’re trying to resist
Marching, chanting
Hoping the train can still exist


We don’t need those nasty trains
We’ve got big trucks
And modern highways
The train has had its day


Reporters gather,
Watching the show
Writing frantically
About what they know


The photographers are busy
Snapping photos of the mess
Some people watch what’s going on
While others are quite invested


I saw a girl quite upset
She stood beside the tracks
A policeman ventured over
And nudged her to go back


She looked at him but didn’t move
With resistance on her face
He walked away when someone else
Became a better prey


The train rode to the station
For the very last time
The people gathered round
They formed a long, sad line


A commotion started at the front
I walked with others to observe
The same policeman bent over
The same defiant girl


But this time he couldn’t move her
She lay there on her back
He called for backup because she had
Chained herself to the track


Before long they removed her
And the crowd dispersed that day
The last train to the station

A ghost of yesterday

Thursday, 27 April 2017

RANDOM THOUGHTS

Last year I posted a bunch of random thoughts. Here's some more.

You are only as big as you feel.
It would be nice if you just let go.
Coming or going, it's never an easy trip.
Make life count, it's all you have.
Be the one who smiles when the world is crying.
If only you knew the real me, we might then understand each other.
I can't complain because I sometimes have pain.
Whether or not you are with me, I am always with you.
Take it or leave it, there's no other choice anyway.
A day is just a day but a lifetime is all you have.
Grab the train or take a bus, however you travel, it will get you there.
If you hate flying then try walking on clouds.
Hitchhiking never was safe, so just because you are old now doesn't make it safer.
What kind of mind rambles on all the time?
It's pointless to worry, but we do it anyway.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

EVER HEARD OF VISITATION DREAMING?


While some people might scoff at what I am about to say, that is okay by me. I do not expect many people to believe that this is possible, however, I am just going to tell you what happened to me.

In case you don't know what I am speaking of when I say visitation dreaming, maybe we should call them after death contacts. Yes, if you've ever been contacted by someone who has died, and this has happened in your dream time, then you might have had a visitation dream.

Let's stop here while I assure you that I am no Christian fanatic. I am not even religious. However, I do have a spiritual streak. 

This type of dream is quite different from the regular dream of seeing a deceased loved one in your sleep. If a loved one that is no longer here on earth invades your dream and walks around or talks like all the other characters in your dream time, this is not a visitation dream.

A visitation dream is most often a one-on-one thing. They come to you, maybe out of the blue, not in a dream that makes sense (if we can say any dream makes sense). A visitation dream is much different. 

For one thing, the person visiting you will have a point to the visit and most likely leave you with an answer to something or a settlement to a problem you have been having. And it will be a settlement when you wake up because you will realize that it was no ordinary dream, and you will remember it clearly. You will remember the vision in front of your eyes. You will remember the way your loved one looked. And you will not forget this for a long, long time, maybe never, and it will probably stay as vivid in your mind as right after it happened. And you also will have no trouble trying to remember. It is like it might have been seared into your memory, unlike most dreams which fade quickly.

Some of the differences between an ordinary dream of a loved one and a visitation dream might be the shortness of it. If you could remember or could have timed the dream, it might have lasted only short seconds. I know my dream did. And, it didn't need to last any longer. The message was clear and it was passed along quickly but so amazingly.

So, I guess it's time that I told you about this wonderful dream I had. I can't tell that there was a story going on and characters interacting because this was not the case. It was alone, no other dream characters except myself and the visitor.

I was lying in bed and suddenly woke up (meaning I was awaken in my dream not in real life time)
I sat up in my bed and there before me at the end of the bed, not on the bed but floating in front of my eyes just beyond the bed, was a vision of my mother. I knew it was a vision because she had never looked like that before. She was clad in white, a white that was brilliant and actually vibrated around her. I never did realize what age she was or what her hair looked like, or what colour. My vision seemed concentrated on the white glow and her eyes, and her smile. 

It was a smile that radiated and instantly set my mind at peace. In fact the whole incident was so calming and so un-earth-like that I had no reason to feel alarmed or afraid. I can't even say that she was of an earthly size, yet her head, which I had concentrated on, seemed of a normal size. The rest of her just seemed to be absorbed in this white, bright glow. 

Anyway, the moment or second that she was before me and smiling at me moved away quickly as she began to come towards me. She did not walk around the bed and walk to me, she just hovered and moved very quickly by my side. I was so in awe that I could not even speak. As she reached my side, she kissed me on the cheek. At that very second of the touch, thoughts developed in my head. No outward words were spoken. I suppose this could be called telepathy. 

But with that very short contact, I realized that what had troubled me for such a long time, would not trouble me anymore. There were really no words, but I had for a long been feeling guilty that I had not done enough, that I was wrong to place her in a nursing home when I could no longer control her whereabouts once she had dementia. Her 'running away', being aggressive, outbursts of anger directed towards me when I tried to tell her that what she was seeing and thinking was not true or real. It was a very long process as anyone who has had a loved one with Alzheimer's or any form of dementia. 

I carried the guilt around for years, often wondering if I should have tried to keep her at home longer, if I should have visited more often. If I should have done this or done that. But at the moment of the kiss on the cheek and the brilliant smile, I was assured that I was indeed forgiven for anything that I might think I had done wrong. 

After the kiss, she receded backward and as she went, she grew smaller and smaller and smaller still until there was nothing but a ball of light which then disappeared. 

After that I woke up in real life. I lie in my bed, not afraid, not frightened at all by the experience. In fact, I still felt that peaceful feeling. It was like no other feeling I had ever felt. And there was also something else. During the visitation dream, there was a very strange feeling of love and peace, the love was so strong that the feelings I was experiencing were nothing ever experienced by me before and it was unexplainable. It is unexplainable to this day. And you can take whatever from this that you like 

However, If you are interested you might want to Google visitation dreaming and read more about it.
To this day I remember the visitation dream as vivid as it was when I had it. I can't even recall what year it was, but I seem to think that it was a few years after she passed away.  I have read that more than one visitation can be had, but I have had only the one, so far anyway. 

It is also said that you must be open to this. I was not open to it at the time, as I had never heard of visitation dreams. I never expected it, nor was I even thinking about her at the time. Odd things happen so they say, and yes they do. Many things that one cannot explain in this life time occur. Many people believe in many things, and many people believe it is all hogwash, or wishful thinking or that a visitation dream was probably just like any other dream only more vivid. I am here to tell you that in my opinion this is not true. You will know if you ever have a visitation dream. 

I can't explain it, nor does it matter to me to do so. I am just passing on some information because I do think of it at times and when I do it is as clear as it was when it happened. So if you have had such a dream, or some other form of visitation from a loved one. Please share your thoughts and memories. I know I'd love to hear them.