The Responsible Writer…


forgiveness

I got together with my writing group tonight.  The topic for tonight’s discussion was a provocative one.  It had in fact sparked a weird conversation on the Meet-up site. I had found the conversation rather amusing in that obscure and animated manner that we at times come across.

The topic for tonight’s discussion was the role of the ‘responsible’ writer.

An interesting notion regarding the ethics of what we write and how they impact the reading public.

Certain things were declared to keep us in the realm of respectability regarding our writing.

One was to not take a real person and fictionalize their life in a derogatory manner.

The second was not to be deceitful. Michael Moore’s ‘Bowling for Columbine’ was used as an excuse as apparently not all the things in that movie / documentary? were factual.

Still, sometimes you have to stand back and look at the message….yes?

Drive the point home by whatever means but some felt he’d been rather deceitful in the execution of telling the tale.

A lot of questions sprang to mind as I listened to the views expressed.  We all agreed that journalism is held to a very different standard than your run of mill book.

And it should be.

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The term ‘literal truth’ was a raised a few times and I sat considering what meaning this held.

It is a factual term that cannot be disputed. For example the Moon circles the Earth every twenty-eight days.  It is a literal truth that is a proven fact and cannot be altered.  Now that I had reconciled it’s meaning in my head then came the ’50 Shades of Truth.’

And I say this with tongue firmly planted in cheek.  This particular book was mentioned a time or two as well tonight.

While almost everyone and their dog that I have spoken with will tell you how poorly written it is, I ask you this?  What then was the appeal?

To say that a lot of bored housewives were out there smacks of a certain duplicity and insults women in general.

I read the first book.  Didn’t like it.  It was billed as erotica and in truth it was a poorly written romance.  Nothing more.

But I will take my hat off (if I wore one) to E.L James.  She sold this book through brilliant marketing.  Sex and controversy!  Hell, now that is combination that is irresistible.  Get the public curious and they will take note.  She also used social media much to her advantage as well.

I can recall when Michael Jackson wrote ‘Moonwalk’.  The lead up to the release was hyped to the max and ‘promised’ to give us the skinny on the ‘gloved one’ in his own words.

Personally it was a disappointment for me.

Michael was trying to sell a story he’d been parroting for years and in many ways it read as though he was trying to convince himself as well. I didn’t buy it.  And it made me sad.

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The responsible writer…provocative.

What if a woman writes about her love and adoration for her husband who happens to be extremely abusive and controlling to the outside world?  Does this set a poor example for our youth?

If a woman is raped in book and confesses to ‘liking it’ what message does this convey?

At the age of 12 or 13 I slipped beneath the covers with flashlight in hand and read my father’s copy of ‘The Happy Hooker” unbeknownst to him until I was caught.  Back in 1970 I wasn’t too certain what much of what I was reading meant, but I can assure you I was not inspired to go out and fuck a German Shepard.

We need to respect that our children are not mindless sheep who will believe everything that they read.  Also we must infuse a sense of kindness and love in them and teach them by example.

Mark Chapman read “Catcher in the Rye”  It triggered something in him and he killed John Lennon.

Is the book at fault?

No.

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Mark Chapman was mentally ill and unfortunately the object he fixated upon was a brilliant musician.  I love John Lennon’s music. His gift of song spoke to me on such a personal level.

There are many who condemn him for being and an abusive asshole.

I do not condone this type of behavior.  What  I saw was a man trying to change, wanting to be a different man, wanting to be better.

I have not always been the lovely woman I am today either.

John was not afforded certain opportunities as his life was cut short.

In high school we read two books back to back in social studies.

“Mein Kampf” and “The Diary of Ann Frank”

Quite simply the lesson was ’cause and effect’ intimately woven together and it was an incredibly powerful lesson.

One was the progression of an intelligent and extremely impotent and insecure man who was falling into the obscene and frightening belief of his own myth that he had created becoming the epitome of evil.

The other was the beautiful innocence of a girl hiding in an attic with her family experiencing the tender chutes and passions of youth only to be discovered and effectively killed.

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I have always been fascinated by the human condition and what we choose to accept or reject.  We can alter our memories particularly those that are extraordinarily painful. We can press them back and deny them simply because they are too raw and savage.

Human kind has a dark history in this regard.  Through the ages the manner by which we’ve killed our own is truly disturbing.

And it continues.  Atrocities still exist.  I see the intolerance that hate has blossomed into and the false bravado these  men try to wear.  Very sad.

Young people are taken at such a young age and fed a litany of propaganda that they later act upon.

Think about this.

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We tell our children there is a man named Santa that comes every year and flies about the world in a sleigh pulled by eight magical reindeer and delivers a gift to each and every child.  Mall Santas’ sit listening to each child’s wish list and Canada Post will even send a child a letter back if they’ve written to the North Pole.

This is of course isn’t harmful to them, is it?  There is a sweetness to it.  Oh they will eventually grow up and know that it’s not true and when they have children of their own they too will carry on the myth of Santa.

I am simply using a very base example of how myth can affect the mind of a child as I can well recall laying in bed on Christmas Eve wondering if Santa would come.  For a time I believed.

Now think of how they take young boys in the middle east and feed them fear, conditioning them to close their minds and only accept a ‘truth’ bound in darkness.  Because to raise a child up believing that by forfeiting their life serves their ‘god’ and a higher purpose is truly tragic.

What I took from the meeting this night was more in keeping with free thought, free speech and the responsibility to ensure we always have it.

 

Peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The First Time Ever….


 

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The traffic was horrible on this evening.  I left the office at 4:00 PM.  I would have to navigate over two bridges on this evening’s commute.  I listened to the first traffic report that indicated a few issues on some of the bridges.

As I passed through the Cassiar Connector. which is a tunnel just past the Iron Workers Memorial bridge (a.k.a. 2nd Narrows), the traffic was backing up and beginning to resemble a parking lot.  I opted to take the 1st Avenue exit and travel along Boundary Road to Marine Way and access the Queensborough Bridge via this route.

I was making a special trip this evening as I was on my way to pick up the books I’d ordered.

This would be the first time I saw my work in print.

I cruised along extremely well and motored to Big Bend shopping centre where the traffic kinda slowed to crawl and sorta stopped altogether at times.

I cranked the radio and checked the gas gauge.  I had a 1/4 tank and should be just fine.  I switched the engine onto economy the sat back and sang out of tune to the songs on the radio.

Time wise I really wasn’t worried as U.P.S. closes at 8:00 PM and it was just 4:40 PM.

The minutes ticked by as the gas gauge slipped closer to empty.  The wild imagination that inhabits this head of mine began to nibble anxiously as the possibility of running of gas surfaced.

I reassured myself and my vehicle that we would be fine.

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An hour and half on the road and I was now approaching the bridge deck to the Queensborough.

Several traffic reports confirmed that accidents or breakdowns had somehow occurred on every bridge this day seemingly.

Michael Jackson crooned, “I wanna rock with you, all night…”

“You’ll get there” I whispered and ran my hand along the steering column like I would a familiar lover.

I squirted past the accident scene, saying a prayer and hoping no one was hurt.  I needed gas and I had to pee!

I seldom venture into this part of the world.  Surely there was a gas station somewhere around here?  Hadn’t I noticed one at some point?

I was down to an 1/8 of a tank when I saw the U.P.S. building and pulled in.

There was a fellow in front of me wanting to courier a watch face embedded with diamonds.  He wanted to insure it for more than $500 which was the limit U.P.S. apparently sets.  A kindly woman was on the phone making an inquiry on his behalf.

Twisting my legs a little tighter, I really didn’t mind waiting, I just need to pee!

The woman gave the fellow the phone so that the individual with the expertise could better explain to him why there was a cap on courier insurance.

After a moment she smiled and asked “Are you picking up a parcel?”

I grinned back “Yes.”

I handed her the tickets then asked if there was a washroom I could use.

She showed me where I could find relief.  Ahhhhhh!

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Upon my return the fellow had left and the woman retrieved my package.

My heart suddenly skipped a beat and crazy excitement began to build.

Completing the transaction my final question was where I might locate a gas station.

She gave me directions and it really wasn’t far.  Now I had the car gassed up and a box full books…my books.

I got back on track and head home to New Westminster.

A warm pleasure ran through me then.  I had been on the road for just over two hours and that was cool.  I was now basking in a strange warm glow as I maneuvered back through rush hour traffic.

The euphoria was building as I crawled back over the bridge.  I pulled out my nail clippers and opened the box then fished about and pulled out a book.  Reaching out I ran my hands along the cover and felt the tears sting my eyes.

I needed to record this moment and I needed food.  There was no way I could cook as every part of my being had surrendered to the sweet emotions that had engulfed me when I saw my first ever book in print.

WTIM Cover

I order some food and a beer then opened the book reverently.

I gazed down at the dedication page and burst into laughter.  My first grammatical error glared at me.

To my daughter I wrote, “Not a day goes by that I do not appreciate the woman you ‘has’ become!’

I shook my head and smiled.  That’s just me trying so hard to get it right.

My daughter did the cover and I love it.  It works.

I knew I would come across a few spelling and grammar issues but I did try my damnedest to get it right.

And then I was just so overwhelmed by all of it.  I did it!  I really did!

This is a first.  This is a moment that will never come again.

Mistakes and all I’ve put it out there and bared my soul in the process.

While writing this book I found a strength and truth in my vulnerability that surprised me.

In doing this I am experiencing a  rush so sweet and pure….this is the first time.

Let me savour this for just a moment or two.

Peace.

 

Another Year…


Fifty-seven years.  Sounds like such a long time doesn’t it?

There are times when it feels twice as long and them seems to have gone by far too fast.

I’ve almost passed another year.

Age really doesn’t bother me so much anymore.  It’s keeping this physical body of mine in good repair and remaining healthy and fit.  These are the factors that will determine how I fare in the next stage of my life.

So many things I still want to do, want to experience, want to see, touch, feel…

For now I have but today and I will try to live it fully.

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For some it may mean that their life needs to be filled with activities and an abundance of wild and crazy stuff.

Tonight I stepped to grab dinner.  I gazed up into the night sky with a sliver of the new moon and a stars dotting the black expanse.

In that moment I was breathless!  Oddly tears stung my eyes as I once again realized I am part of this!

There is an energy that runs through this world and beyond…from our ancient ancestors to those who inhabit other worlds and this energy permeates every molecule of my being.

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Tonight as I walked through the streets of New Westminster, the aches and pains that have resulted from the recent car crash reminded me to take my time.

I smiled.  I’m still alive and kicking, albeit painfully.  But I will recover and rebuild and I will run again.

Shit happens, you know?

Sometimes it feels like you received more than your fair share.  But hell, if anything this only makes me appreciate what I have that much more.  If I can live each day in this splendor then indeed I’m living my life fully.

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I met with friends earlier today. It was an impromptu get together that I tossed out to celebrate the release of the book and my birthday.

Cheryl spoke about Mother’s Day last year…THE BEST EVER!

We were laying on the deck of the Star Princess sunbathing enroute to San Francisco watching ‘Dirty Dancing”.

Yeah, baby!

Then we hit Napa Valley and got delightfully drunk!

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It was ridiculously fun and you know, that’s what it’s all about.  Just being in the moment and enjoying those around you.

Beauty is truly an energy.  It is so far beyond the physical world.

So why do we try to define it?  Try to contain it?  And try to dictate what it should be?

My brother Stephen was mentally handicapped.  He was a forceps baby and suffered brain damage at birth as a result.

He was institutionalized at an early age here in New Westminster.  Thankfully the institution is now gone.

For the last few years of his life though he lived in a facility that provided exemplary care.

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My daughter and I went out to see him often.

Stephen was targeted and picked on relentlessly in his youth because of his condition.  Yet I can tell you he had such a beautiful soul.

Stephen was often given ‘trial’ medications that affected his moods and behavior.  And I hurt for him so much in those moments.

My brother just had such a love of everything and music was right up there.  He loved animals, he loved his sisters and his niece.

He would sing Frank Sinatra and Joe Cocker, though you likely wouldn’t understand the words, but they were there in his beautiful interpretation.  And if I close my eyes I can see him rocking back and forth singing with an expression of absolute ecstasy on his face.

For his 48th birthday we rounded up a bunch his mates and took them all to Boston Pizza.  There was a great deal of planning as many of the guests like my brother had special needs.

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The smile on Stephen’s face that day, well my God, it was just brilliant.  There was such a purity to the joy he expressed.  I remember looking around at everyone that day and saw beauty in its truest form.

Many of those in attendance had lived in conditions that were at times appalling.  They had been treated horrifically at times by an unforgiving society that had cast them out.  And yet despite all of this they found it so easy to love and express joy.

That was Stephen’s last birthday.  He passed away about nine months later.  I was with him as he lay breathing shallow fast breathes.  I kissed his forehead and told him it was okay.  He could let go.

My brother is an angel that I’ve been so blessed with .  He taught me so much about humanity, about joy, about forgiveness, about peace.

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Did he ever look in the mirror and feel less than?

Probably not.

Did he condemn himself  for not measuring up to society’s expectations?

Not a chance!

And here I am now…at the start of another year.

I’m embarking on a new world in terms of the publication and what will be revealed.

This is a virginal moment for me.  There is a purity to it, a newness.

But then in this rediscovery of life that I’ve been blessed with…despite the heart thing and the cancer thing…

I’m coming to understand what it means to just be.

If I can pass this along in any context I will.

Thanks for stopping by and many blessings to you.

Peace.

 

 

 

Thank you for this Magic Moment


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I am truly humbled by everyone who has offered up their best wishes and congratulations.

I feel so truly blessed at this moment.

I am recording the facts and etching the beauty of all of the love that has been afforded me through this project and throughout my life by family and friends.

I couldn’t have done the things I’ve done without them.

I was listening to the radio on the drive into work this morning.  Willy and the gang were discussing this oddity that has happened with some ‘A’ listers in the entertainment industry.

Certain celebrities insist on movie sets that no one looks them in eye.

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Now this is pure ego…nothing more.  It is also a show of extreme insecurity in my mind.

Holding someone’s gaze is a very revealing and intimate exchange.  So much can be shared in this simple act.

Yet for someone, who happens to be a well known actor / actress, to say that anyone who looks them in the eye should be immediately dismissed for their insubordination smacks of an elevated ego and a weird and convoluted idea of power.

Money can have an odd effect on people.

And the names that were mentioned today are not particularly ‘gifted’ in their field.  If anything, they got lucky.

The thing is if someone scores big in a role, or happens to be stunningly beautiful or both…they are marketed like any other commodity.  The problem is several of them begin to believe the ‘legend’ that they are being sold as.

I hope my book does well.

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But you know, I’ve a host of other things I want to do.

A few years ago I got the idea for a fundraiser for women.  I thought it might be beneficial to have an annual event to raise funds and awareness for several non-profit programs that assist women in crisis.  I formatted the letter head, the idea, and took down names of organizations that would participate.

I had roughed out the schedule of events and the female celebrities that I would approach to participate.

I had letters drafted ready to be sent.

I needed to approach the venue that I wanted to use and get the skinny on that.

Then an issue arose regarding my heart.  I muscled through deciding to get myself good and healthy before I continued on with this endeavor.

On the heels of the heart stuff, cancer paid a rude and uninvited visit.  While I eradicated this from my life I made the decision to start my own company and launch the book.

Keep in mind I’m still working full-time and taking care of an engineering company.  Gotta have a cash flow to pay the bills, you know?

Now I’ve got to figure out how to sell this book that’s I’ve just launched.  What has also resurrected my attention is this fundraiser I thought of a few years back.

So I will fine tune that too.

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If I sold a million books and made a boat load of cash there is this part of me that knows I would never live to excess.  It’s not me.

It would of course be nice not to have to worry about financial issues but I’m not one who would run out and purchase a mansion and hire a staff to maintain it.

The idea of someone else washing my underwear is a little creepy to me, but then that’s just me.  Perhaps it’s my ingrained independence.  I’ve always taken care of myself…kinda sorta.

And what really is a perfect world?

Perfection doesn’t exist, not really.  As much as we want that physical sense of timeless and youthful beauty with all the perceived accruements that go along with this, understand the cost for this conceit.

And when those ‘beautiful people’ who grace our movie and television screens look down at us meer normal mortals, that is typically when  I  lose interest…fast.

We are all connected.  We always will be.  To think otherwise can be very lonely.

What happens on the other side of world will have an impact on me in some form or another.

When I was invited to run in Rick Hansen’s “25th Anniversary Relay Race”  and was awarded a medal as being a difference maker, I can assure you I took this honour seriously.

I want to make a difference through the power of love and forgiveness.

And I know that I’m just one woman and can only do so much.

But at this moment I feel a certain magic. And at the very beginning when I began this blog I spoke of what magic means to me

There is a radiance, a wellspring of wonder that I’m feeling.

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And such a debt of gratitude to each and every person who has ever loved me.

It is this love that has sewn together a heart that was so badly broken and allowed it to heal and expand in a way I could never have imagined even a few years ago.

So thank you to all the people I know and love for encouraging me to find my voice and share it through the written word.

You have saved me.

Peace.

 

 

 

 

The Birth of a Dream


 

 

(Above is the link to Amazon.com)

Here I am on the edge about to plunge into the world of publishing.

I’ve crossed over from dreaming about it, to making it real.  The book has now been published.

(See above)

And there is this part of me that still doesn’t quite believe it…pinch me!

There was for a moment that insecure part of me that insisted ‘It’s not good enough.’  These are the demons that have bound me in ‘If only…’ for the majority of my life.

I am past ‘If only…’

I am past ‘I wish I could…’

I am at ‘I can and I will.’

I’ve been thinking about some of the past conversations I’ve had with members of my writing groups.  We’ve discussed success and what it means to each of us.

I can tell you this.  Any one who writes a book and wants to publish it really does want to see their work do well.

We want to reach out to the masses and emote, entertain, touch and inspire.

We want our voice heard, understood in whatever genre we’ve chosen to express our creative self.  We look for acknowledgement.  In all the words we writers’ pen, they hold a part of our soul.

I’ve read obscure books that were brilliant.  I’ve read books so poorly written that were best sellers.

And the difference comes down to marketing.

A  few years back a fellow who attended a couple meetings of our writing group had published a book on Amazon.  Excitedly I asked several questions and then he told us that he’d taken it down after a week as there had been no sales.  I pressed for more information wanting to know what his marketing strategy had been.

There in lay the problem…he didn’t have one.

You can write the best book ever but you still have to market it and let the masses know its there.

Books do not and never will sell themselves.

Nothing will for that matter.

Vince appears on our TV screen and slices and dices his way into our homes convincing us that our lives will be so much better with this little gadget he’s selling.  How we’ve managed to get by without this item in our lives is really quite extraordinary.

I’ve watched infomercials and purchased items believing that I will benefit.

When the Dermawand was being marketed I had just entered into my 50’s.  With the promise of aging skin being tightened I had to at least give it a try, didn’t I?

And I did.

We’ve been inundated with products that will make our lives that much better.

Kitchen, beauty, diet and fitness items top the list.

Take this pill  and lose all the weight you want.  Workout just 15 minutes a day on this machine and you’ll have that six pack you’ve always wanted…guaranteed.

Hmmm  Really?

And now I’m thinking how to market this book…honestly.

Will it change your life?

I don’t know but it changed mine.

I hope that my book will bring some insight into the issue of abuse.  I hope that it will offer comfort on some level to those who’ve experienced this.  I hope they’ll know they have choices and they are not alone.

I want to work toward a day where we move past judgments, move past negative energy and move past living as victims.

And while I’ve mentioned those demons that still haunt, still taunt, I do know that they will never take away what I’ve found.  They are simply echoes from another time.

I hope you’ll read my book and that you’ll take something from the words I’ve written and the memories I’ve shared.

I can’t ask for anything more than that.

Peace.

 

Not Your Average Bear!


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I’m not too certain what made me thing about Yogi, but the smile that curled my lips when I did was immediate.

Saturday morning cartoons.

It was a ritual growing up.  Two hours of nonsense where I could get lost in an animated world.

Characters got blown up, had humongous rocks fall on them and fell from cliffs regularly.

But they never died.

If a cat has nine lives then animated characters are indeed immortal.

Silly pranks were played.  Scheming villains tried in vain to execute their various brands of treachery.

Every week their debauched visions were crushed by sly intellectual bunnies or awkward buffoonish bears.

Yogi and Boo Boo ruled ‘Yellow Stone National Park’ much to the chagrin of Ranger Smith.

This was and still is a sweet innocence for me.  There was no hard sell.

It was always a simple formula, one that I came to expect and it was offered week after week, year after year, and it worked.

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A capricious bunny, an enamored skunk, a witty road runner, a southern rooster or a hero of a mouse…just to mention a few.

We were blessed with so many lovely characters.

Back in the 1990’s though, we were all grown up and adult animation became a demand and began to move to the forefront.

Some of the creations were a delight.  Pinky and the Brain, Future Cat & Friends are a few faves.

“The Simpsons” truly changed the landscape or animation.

Some very dark characters emerged during this time.  Then gaming exploded.

I got to thinking of cartoon from the Merry Melody collection called ‘One Froggy Evening’ done in genuine black and white.  It was likely produced in the 1950’s.

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A man finds a frog who can sing like  Pavarotti.  Elated he thinks he’s struck gold.  He advertises this and fills a concert house.  The frog, however, will sing only for him…alone.

This has been a favorite of mine for a lifetime it seems.  There is a joy in its simplicity that is so endearing to me.

These days its hard to find a cinematic production that is just plain old fun.  Making movies is first and foremost a big business.

Last weekend as I was curled up suffering from a dreadful cold and convinced I would never smell the sweetness of a rose again.  I watched ‘Guardians of Galaxy’.   I enjoyed it.  Now perhaps it was the fever but hell, there was a quirky innocence to each of the characters.

This doesn’t happen often in movies such as this for me.

It was silly, goofy and totally predictable, but what sold me was the depth of the characters.  I liked them and wanted to get to know them better.  When this happens I’m hooked.

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I read an article about a year ago that stated that movies follow just twelve various formats.  That’s it!  And as I pondered this I likened it to be true.

Why is it that some movies just blow us away?  Certain catch phrases are adopted or personality traits are adopted and emulated.

Others movies are forgotten before we leave the theatre.

Why did one leave an imprint and the other fade away?

This principle applies to the written word a well.  Those books that capture our imagination and allow it to expand.

In a nutshell, it is character development and plot execution.

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How do you take something that has been told a million times or more before and tell it again…originally?

What I’ve learned may sound simple but can really be the toughest thing you’ll ever do.

Tell your story as only you see it.  That is what makes it unique  because none of sees or feels the same about anything really.  Individually we all have variations.

This perhaps, is the most endearing factor in the human equation to me.

Perfection is a myth.

Forgiveness is the key to freedom.

Love is absolute.

…and how each of sees the rise and set of each day is as infinite as the sky we gaze into each day and each night.

 

Emotion and Bullshit


face pain 1I’m sore and aching.

This is becoming common place now and it totally sucks but I’ve got to push through this.

Hell, if I could work through the ails of chemotherapy and radiation then I can work through the pains of a soft tissue injury a result of the car accident.

I’m feeling a great deal of stress.  I was offered just $5,000.00 for my car.  Yet a part of me feels I should get more.

Why?

The plan had been to trade it in on a new vehicle in a year or two.  That is the approximate value I would have expected.  Still, that was down the road and in another universe.

Headaches have been occurring daily, sometimes a few times a day.  I don’t get headaches typically and these are making me feel akin to a space cadet.  At work I’ve made herculean efforts to maintain my focus and it has literally been exhausting.

There is no choice in this.

Some will say I should stay at home…rest up.  And do what?

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I’ve been blessed or cursed, I’m not too sure which, with a brain that just doesn’t stop.  I look for and try to still and quiet this mind of mine but it isn’t easy.

Even in meditation it’s hard to keep the mind still.

And this job is too important.  I’m committed.

I will be attempting to launch the book this weekend.

And yes, I’ve worked really fucking hard for this.

I have to put my training and running back on hold…again.

This is a major piss off.  A few short weeks ago I joined my running group again and was so bloody emotional that I found myself in tears.  I was so happy to be back, to be re-building.

Now I have to suck it up and push through again.

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It could be worse though and I know that.  Hearing that my vehicle sustained $7,000 to $9,000 in damages was a total shock.  That little of car of mine served me well right up to the bitter end.

I’m pissed off that liability hasn’t yet been ‘officially’ determined.

I’ve pondered the question a few times of hiring a lawyer but that would be a whole other animal.

The thing is I don’t want this to consume my life.  I just want to be well again and carry on.

I simply want to be treated fairly.

I’ve conceded that $6,000 is a fair price for the car. I was pushing for $7,000 but in truth this is not a realistic.

Yes, I feel indignant and I feel shit on in this situation.

I hurt.

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Corporations have that impersonal thing about them that make my skin crawl.

You become a number, a statistic.  Nothing more and I resent that.

And because I didn’t get ‘upgrades’ my car is somehow worth less?

Am I paying for good looks or quality?

Do I need a surround sound system in my car, a TV, a GPS, or any number of the other technological wonders that come with our cars these days?

No.  I need and want a reliable, safe and dependable vehicle and that is what I had.

I didn’t need the bells and whistles. I find them distracting.

And yet I feel I’m being punished for my choice in wanting simplicity.

heads up

And I want to know how having a car that will warm my ass up at a moments notice is an ‘upgrade’.

Perhaps if I lived in a climate that was prone to extremely cold conditions then I could see this as a sought after feature in a car.

The other night I pushed the button inadvertently and well, the warming of the seat induced a hot flash.

Some of the upgrades that are being offered up are of concern.

Cars can now ‘see’ so if your are drifting off into another lane it will advise you.  Cars can park themselves.

So tell me, do these features make a better driver or a co-dependent driver?

Know if you are drifting into another lane because you’re exhausted…coming out of that state can be a little disorientating.

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A collision happens in a nanosecond.

In truth, if you are exhausted you should pull over and have a nap.

I’ve always gone with a base model.  I like to drive and I’m good at it.  Air conditioning is not something I need either and I fact it makes the engine work that much harder.  Perhaps if I lived in Las Vegas, A/C would be warranted but up here?

I roll the window down and enjoy the breeze.

The idea is to take care of your vehicle and I did that.

Not once did my car not start the first time.  Nor did I experience one mechanical problem with the engine.

Oh, the brakes were replaced, oil changes and tune-ups were done.

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Toyotas’ are known for their longevity.  At 169,025 km my little car had a lot of life left in it.

I will miss that little green munchkin and will go on record to state that it is the best vehicle I’ve ever owned.

But I have to take the emotion out of what I’m working through regarding the vehicle. I have to be far more factual.

And I will be.