I See Stars…


For whatever reason I have been thinking about our existence quite a bit recently.  Perhaps this is not so surprising considering recent events.  Last night a friend of mine came over and we walked along the river with a near full moon dancing along beside us.

We spoke of life events, we joked about with our ribald humour.  My friend thought the idea of a beach on the river would be a great idea.  I disagreed.  Too dangerous with a river like the Fraser whose currents are swift and incredibly strong.  It is a working river as well.  The other factor is that the debris this river has in it could definitely prove to be an issue.  I watch fallen logs coursing down the river at high-speed and would not want to be in the way of something like that.

Still, the idea of having a water park much like they have in Coal Harbour and over by Lumberman’s Arch in Stanley Park is a good one.  There is presently a stretch of asphalt that could accommodate such a venture.

I found myself looking up into sky with an awareness of what is out there.  There is indeed an infinitesimal number of galaxies and universes.  How far out does this space go?  Does it have an end?  Does it have a beginning?

We had been discussing movies and I thought of the movie that is about to debut called ‘Elysium’.  It would appear the rich and powerful built themselves a luxurious space station of sorts once our planet began to sag due to mankind’s raping of her resources.  It would appear that Matt Damon is going to set everything to rights but Jodi Foster’s character is going to try to thwart him.  At least that’s the take I get from the film’s trailer.

This triggered the thought about how people are always depicted as lambs being led to the slaughter in these movies.  As is the case in ‘Elysium’ the state of the planet in this movie shows people living in abysmal ruins.  I got to thinking, if tomorrow we woke up and did not have the technology that we currently enjoy, would we be able to survive?  Could we come together as a people and delegate our resources and produce food and living accommodations to sustain our general wellbeing?  If money was no longer a viable necessity and did not dictate our day-to-day lives how would we manage?

It is a tough scenario to puzzle through.  I would like to think we are civilized enough to come together, yet I know there would be factions that would likely revert to a more primal mentality of a dog eat dog world.

Yet, when we see disasters happen worldwide, I am always moved to tears at how people do come together to support one another.  Oh we do see the ugly side of humanity, those that in their ignorance see the possibility of some gain for themselves at the expense of others. But the beauty of genuine caring and love far outshines this.

And I looked up at the stars, seeing only few due to the light pollution we have on this planet now, and wondered about all the other beings out there.  I have no doubt in my mind that in this infinite known as space intelligent life flourishes in abundance.  I wondered if they have had similar struggles as us or is there something in our primal DNA code that causes us to  behave so poorly at times.

And yes, we as humans still have so far to go.  Women are still fighting for equality.  People are still  getting killed because of the colour of their skin.  Children are still going to bed hungry.  Death is being exacted due to our various beliefs in a supreme being. The divide at times seems to grow deeper.  Why?

Perhaps I am naïve in my thinking but I really do believe the good in us will prevail.  We are amazing creatures.  I think if we came together as one it would be a very beautiful world.

And as John once challenged us in song…”Imagine all the people living life in peace…”

On that note I will sign off and get out there and enjoy this Sunday.

Thanks again for stopping by.  Peace.

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In Training (Day 23)…Changes


Yesterday was a great day.  I went to my running clinic on Sunday morning.  We were running for 60 minutes so looking at 10k.  In the hour we did 9.5k at a pace of 6.47 per kilometer.  Not bad for the 4th week of training.  I felt strong.  Felt like I had more in me and that, my friends, is something I definitely need. It was a grey morning and the rain held off until the afternoon.  After the run I went to my daughter’s home to clean up.  She fed me breakfast and I showered up then headed down to Stanley Park.  I had signed up as a volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Walk for Memories.

My role yesterday was as a route marshal.  It did rain, though it was at least a light rain.  The heavy rain held off until the late afternoon.  I was stationed with another woman at the final leg of the walk so I had the pleasure of applauding everyone for their efforts.  It was a 5k event.

The final gentlemen was an old man on his own.  The other route marshals came along to advise that we were finished and could return to the pavilion.  This fellow was a bit behind us now so I turned back and took his arm and walked up the hill to the pavilion with him.

He told me that he was 94 years of age!  That just blew me out of the water.  Yes, he didn’t move that quickly but hell, at 94 he just walked 5k in about 1 hours and 20 minutes.  That people is very inspiring to me.

When I departed from his company I told him I would see him here next year and I will definitely come out to support this event again and I hope that I do see him again.

I have had a few major shift occur in the last week.  Ones that have challenged me to look inward.  Ones that have challenged my to take stock of where I am at and if I am happy at this station of my life.

Truthfully, I am not happy where I am at.  I am going to have to step out of my comfort zone and take some chances now.  That is the only way that I will continue to grow.

I have in the last few years developed a confidence in self.  It is not arrogance.  Not at all.  If anything I am looking at how I can better serve the world I live in.  The quest is really on now to find my full potential and to live it.  Always it seems I have these echoes that hold on and seemingly don’t allow me to move forward.

It is a mirage, nothing more.  The fears surrounding success are unwarranted.  You may question the statement I have made but I think it is valid.  If you go through your early years being told you can’t do anything, failure is what you expect of yourself.  When success begins to occur, it is a strange animal indeed and if you are like me, you wait for the bottom to drop out.

When that does not happen a funny thing happens.  You begin to believe in yourself, however small.  Then it begins to grow and blossom.  Soon you find yourself looking in the mirror asking yourself why you didn’t embark upon these changes sooner.

I have been given many opportunities over the years.  I have had to work through the real and imagined issues as they have presented themselves.  I say imagined for the simple reason that at times I have created scenarios in my head as to why I shouldn’t do something.

I don’t think like that anymore.  If I do then I adjust the thought pattern.  And so the changes continue.

Enjoy your Monday everyone and thanks again for stopping by.

Rites of Passage


I woke this morning with these thoughts running through my head and bathed in the now familiar sweat (a.k.a. a hot flash).  Our rites of passage as we move through this life. Each moment and event culminating to build a story that will relay the living of it.  Depending on who you ask, it may be viewed differently to others than the person writing the pages of it.

I have had a fabulous weekend thus far.  It is a long weekend here in Canada as yesterday we paid homage to those who have died in war in defense of our country and to those who have served and continue to do so and survived.  I always wonder what my father was like before the war.  I wonder if the horrors that he witnessed forever changed him.  Is this the reason he was so abusive toward his family?  That died with him.

He never spoke of his time in the war.  The only time really that he did speak of it was when he was completely inebriated and so far into his cups that he couldn’t see straight.  Then sometimes the utterances, while they may have sounded non-sensical in their delivery, came out something like this.

“Fuck Dave I don’t mind telling you I’m looking forward to a home cooked meal and a warm body.”

“Yeah, I am with ya on that one Jackie boy.  I am with ya on that.”  He would then make the sound of gunfire.

“Fuck I hate this, fuck I hate this.  You okay Dave?”

Nothing.

“Dave? Holy fuck…”

“You stupid bastard!  Why the hell didn’t you get down?  Look at you?  What woman is gonna want you with your head blown off.  You stupid bastard.”

At times he would then cry.

When first I heard this drunken monologue, I was about 13 years old.  It gave me some insight into this man.  The following day he was working on the car and I was watching him.  I decided to ask him about this.

“Hey dad, last night you were talking about a guy named Dave from the war.  Did you see him get killed?” I asked this in a rather tentative and nervous manner.  He looked at me and his eyes hardened immediately.

“Shut the fuck up about it.” he instructed.

“But I just thought….”

“SHUT THE FUCK UP AND GET THE FUCK OUT!”

There would be no discussion on this.  If he was sober, it was not an area that could or should be mentioned.  I did find at times though I could have brief conversations on these matters while he was in a drunken stupor, but then you walked a fine line with that one too.  You never really wanted to awaken the beast in that state as things could get ugly.

And has life continued to unfold in its somewhat strange fashion at times, during Remembrance Day I would always ask myself the question, ‘What was he like before the war?’

In my father’s youth I believe that war was romanticized to some degree.   I think those young men and women who left to defend all that we hold dear might well have been a little idealistic at first.  I don’t know.  I am only speculating at this point.  I can’t imagine what it would have been like to kill someone for the first time.

But in war this is what happens.

Yesterday I was down at Sunset Beach with my daughter during the moment of silence.  I gazed across the water with the familiar questions now playing through my head once more.  Always the questions about this stranger who was my father.  I never really got to know the man.  That was never open to us. Just every once in a while we caught a glimpse inside.

When I had my daughter, I promised to do all the things for her that were not afforded to me in my youth.  So as the moment passed and I offered a salute to all those who have passed in wartime, my daughter and I set out on a hike.  The day was overcast and it rained in the end, but we went on a good 6 KM hike through Stanley Park then found a restaurant and had breakfast.

My daughter knows me very well, and as she has grown from child to woman, we have developed a very deep bond.  There is also a friendship that both of us hold in the highest regards.

It’s sad that my father was not able to open himself to love and that he could not find it in his heart to accept forgiveness.  But he gave me the gift of life and for that I will always be grateful.  I hope that in death he has found some measure of peace and all that haunted him during his lifetime has been laid to rest.

The legacy I want to leave when I pass from this world can be summed up simply.  I want to leave a mark of gentle kindness, hope and love.  If I can do this, then I will have lived my life to the highest expectations that I can think of.

I pray that there will come a time when wars are no longer necessary.  And on that note I will close this commentary.  Enjoy your day everyone.

Peace out.