Tuesday, 24 September 2013


So I have been taking a creative writing class at my university and thought I would share some of the poetry that has come out of it...


He was built inside a factory
With gears and steel and sweat
And men praised themselves in industry
For the challenge they had met
“He’ll be better than a man” they said
A robot always is
Ship him out and box him up
Put nails into the lid

He arrived at noon and twenty
And the neighbors stood and stared
The father grabbed the crowbar
And the mother pulled her hair
“He’ll do everything we hate, they say”
As he was made to do
Turn him on and let him go
A robot shiny new

At first he washed the dishes
And soon he mopped the floor
He built the tool shed in the back
And painted red the door
“What a wonder of technology” they cried
Far better than a man
He could do almost anything
Where once man had lent its hand

But one night as they were sleeping
From the basement heard
A pounding and a banging
And gears and motor’s whir
What could he be doing there?
Tomorrow we will know
Back to dreams and satin sheets
And let our questions grow

But when they woke up in the morning
And called upon their bot
All they heard we’re tears and cries
And answers they were not
So they crept into the basement
The woman after man
And looked upon their robot
In terror, hand in hand

It had built a little heart
And placed it in its chest
It beat and glowed and spun around
Like a fire within its breast
The mother screamed and the father yelled
And the robot simply cried
He finally felt emotion
And now he wished to die

The moon and the mirror

The bridge is painted fog and holds me still.
The river below as dark as oil,
stirs and sways and licks the banks.
The spear like reeds break through the mist,
Pleading to bring me down upon their softened ends.
Image of a ghostly pearl and clouds that lightly drip.
The deadly sound of the laughing eddies,
Twist sweetly in Mother Nature’s mirror.


I looked around the room then lay her on her back.
She smells like rye.
I smell like cigarettes, rye and ginger.
“Will we always be like this?” she asks.
I forget the time when she wasn't here
like this, unkempt and unimaginative in her looks.
Her heart is here for now, and so is mine.
“Do you think we’ll always be like this?” I ask.
I’m silent and so is she for once.
She’s like the book she gave me on the table,
closed so tightly I hardly care.
The radio sings before I turn it off, “as my guitar gently weeps…”
We look up at the ceiling.
Her body begins to twitch itself to sleep.
Our bodies are tangled and I brush her hair away
and I think, “I hate when it finds its way in to my mouth.”

The Lament of Daedalus: My son

My son, my son, oh greatest of my creations
Whose life was quickly taken by what my hands did cruelly do
That now causes my eyes to shed more than the water that did take you
Curse these hands, whose age is writ in scars and browning callus
Curse my name and all who give sweet praise and dwell upon it

My son, my son, oh greatest of my wonders
How do I bring you back to me, how do I pay the cost?
How does a father say goodbye to a son so swiftly lost?
Do I tell them of your dreams or my looks you seemed to borrow?
But all my words do simply fall and sink beneath my sorrow

My son, my son, oh greatest of my triumphs
For all that I have made and built
From wooden trick to stone and brick
Of monsters made and maidens lost
You were my noblest feat and now my shameful loss

My son, my son, oh greatest of my follies
If Gods can hear, then let them listen now
On bended knee their servant’s head does so lowly bow
Please give me one last mercy and switch the old for young
And raise him like the phoenix and set me like the sun

My son, my son, oh greatest of my regrets
No other could replace you, no other will I raise
And if they come I’ll throw them out on each and every day
Do not wait for me my son, pay the boatman’s fee
And know that though you fell so far, your soul is now set free

Oh Messiah

Oh Messiah       
Let me bend your ear
Will you listen to what I most fear?
The dark of night, the clear of day
A soul that’s lost by what you say

Forgiveness please
For what I’ll do
Due to moral lines you drew
I’ll never be all you want
The devil’s host always taunts:

Dear Child
Please just go in
Do all you wish to win
Drink it down and breathe it in
All these chemicals of sin

Oh Savior
Why was I born to be
Just a pawn in a war for thee?
Though I am weak, you are strong
Yet now my faith in you is gone

Thursday, 5 September 2013


“If you can’t do what you love, fight against what you hate.” This was once said to me while I was on my first trip across Canada. Seeing one’s own country for the first time is a religious experience; you feel its winds, taste its seas, and bring yourself to a connection you never knew was possible. The people you meet are your people, and the words that are exchanged bind you to them like air in your lungs.
 The comment was said offhand by a fellow traveler in the back of a 40ft RV that sped across the vast expanse of trees and lakes. For the speaker, it must have seemed like a simple statement of sage wisdom or a conversation starter while the hours seemed to drag into one another. I remember sitting silently, my eyes out the window and my heart beating through my shirt as his words shook me. I didn't know what I wanted to be but I knew those words were more true than anything I had ever heard before. It haunts me and it echoes.

          There is no question in my mind that everyone has a purpose. We are all here to change the world we live in through action or inaction.  Though you may hide or try to blend into the background, your simple presence on earth reverberates through everything. Your first breath changed the life of everyone in that hospital room, from your mother or father to the doctor who had to reschedule due to your timely arrival. Every time your life touches another’s you send them on a path of unpredictability. You matter and have mattered since the beginning of your existence until the end (and, in many cases, long after). However, as we get older and develop a full view of ourselves we are given a choice to become passive or aggressive in our interactions with the world. We will always shape it, but we may get some say in how we are going to shape it. This can be from the most mundane of occurrences to those times when individuals change the world. So I ask the reader, when do you take a stand? When do you stop something that you feel is wrong or speak out about something you believe is right? How far must you be pushed till you speak out about what you love or what you hate? If you are one of those who are outspoken right from the get go, how do your words or actions produce tangible results? Do you feel that there is no reason to take a stand? If you are one of those who do not speak out but see the inequalities or problems with the world, at what point will you take action? I do not have these answers but I do think we must look inside ourselves. Well thought out action is one of the most beautiful abilities of humans, while thought without action can be one of the most destructive.  So easily can we fall into the pit of cynicism, where we speak out but enact no real change. The Greek word kunikos, which cynic comes from, was originally an adjective meaning "doglike". So I ask you, as I often ask myself, “Am I just a dog barking, spewing nothing but pointless sounds or am I a creature of action?”

Liebster award

So I was nominated for a Liebster Award and thought I’d pay it forward.

First, here are the instructions

1.Link back to ze person who nominated you
    2.Answer ze 11 questions given to you by ze nominee
   3.Pick 11 bloggers with under 200 followers to be nominated
   4. Come up wiz 11 questions for your nominees to answer
   5.Notify ze nominees

Step 1:

Step 2
1.How did you come up with your blog name? I have always just written stuff down on napkins, bits of garbage, body parts and almost anything I can in hopes to keep some record of my jumbled thoughts. Ideas seem to stream out of me without rhyme or reason so i thought my name summed it up nicely.
2. Dream Job? A travel writer.
3.What's the last movie you've seen? The place beyond the pines.
4.What was the most annoying song of the summer? Why? I only listen to radio documentaries, talk radio and the occasional folk… is aqua still happening?
5.Pancakes or Waffles? Im celiac so as long as they are gluten free ill eat the shit out of them with emensejoy.
6. Favorite superhero? Tossup between wolverine and iron man (and this is comic book versions we are talking about not movie ones…)
7.What color would you use to describe you as a person? Green and it’s not easy.
8. Guilty Pleasure?( Something you love but you kind of feel embarrassed or bad about. i.e, my guilty pleasure is phineas and pherb) Cheese wiz
9. Who inspires you? Anyone I see act out a selfless act of kindness.
10. If any, what quote or saying do you live by? I love quotes and that’s hard to narrow down…can I say two quotes, is that ok? Hell, ill do it anyways:

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.

-Albert Einstein
US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)

“I've been making a list of the things they don't teach you at school. They don't teach you how to love somebody. They don't teach you how to be famous. They don't teach you how to be rich or how to be poor. They don't teach you how to walk away from someone you don't love any longer. They don't teach you how to know what's going on in someone else's mind. They don't teach you what to say to someone who's dying. They don't teach you anything worth knowing.”

― Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones

Step 3: Yeah I don’t know 11 blogs so here is a few I have enjoyed reading…

Step 4:

1.What animal combination would you like to exist? (eg. Duckbit = a rabbit duck)
2. What 4 word sentence best describes you?
3. If you could travel anywhere right now where would you go and why?
4. If you could make anything have the ability of human speech, what would it be?
5. What is your favorite book?
6. What do think more people would enjoy if they just gave it a shot?
7. Are you the kind of person who presses the elevator floor numbers multiple times or just once?
8. If you could make one thing disappear from the world what would it be?
9. How would you like the world to end?
10. What is your perfect Sunday?

11. How long can you hold your breath, starting…now!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013


Personal growth is a thing of unpredictability. There are moments when we choose to grow and there are moments when we are forced to.  We challenge ourselves and are challenged by others. We jump head first into the great unknown or the unknown rushes towards us like a wave.  Though all of us will have to mature and become the men and women we are meant to be, the times when we ourselves choose to grow will change us more deeply than anything life could ever throw at us. These are often moments brought upon by self-sacrifice.  

After I had left High school I lost touch with all of my friends for a long time.  When they went to college and university I decided to travel. We never called or wrote and it was a strange parting now that I think of it. We had been close, spending nights drinking and talking of the future, but I always knew that as soon as school ended my time with them was finished. We had different views on life and religion and the cracks in our friendship had begun to widen into chasms. By the time I heard from them again, two had already been married and one, my once best friend, was having his stag party. They had heard I was in town, back from where I had been living in Ottawa, and thought they’d send me an invite. I was so happy and asked where and when.  They said that it was at a friend’s house and that I could bring my girlfriend as it was a stag/stagette party. So we got into my 86’ Celica and after a bit found the house they had described. I remember telling my girlfriend how good these guys had been and how much I regretted not seeing them after so long. I rang the door-bell and they welcomed us in. They were all there and we fell into conversation. I felt welcomed if not a little overwhelmed by their questions. What have you been doing? Traveling, working,  blah blah blah. Have you been to school? I tried but blah blah blah. How did you two meet… and so on and so on as questions often go with friends who have become strangers.  By the end of night we were sitting around the living room as they filled me in on their lives when I realized that we had to go. We said our goodbyes and walked out the door into the night. I looked at my girlfriend in the car and can remember telling her how good it was to see them and that it felt like old times. Moments later I could hear my cell phone ringing. I picked it up and I heard the voice of one of my friends on the other end of the line. Had we forgotten something? No. They began to ask me why I had acted so strangely with them. I was confused and said that I had had a great time but they said that I had not been myself. They told me that the girl I was seeing was strange, that it was strange how I still wasn't going to church and that I wasn't the person they remembered. I realized that I was on speaker phone and that they were all listening, having some sort of intervention for me. I couldn't believe it. I hung up the phone. We rode back to our hotel room in silence. 

Monday, 12 August 2013


 Christianity is a religion that is littered with the idea of death. The Old Testament is filled with murder, war and even a little genocide. The New Testament is martyrs, death upon the cross, and the Day of Atonement. As a child, the good book would leave me awake at nights, thinking of the enormity of what death meant and I would call out to my mother for comfort. This was often triggered by my fear of Hell. There was nothing more frightening to me as a little boy then the concept of Hell. Hell was a place where you would be tormented forever if the life you chose to live on earth did not meet the celestial requirements. Hell was forever and forever was a long time and the torture that awaited me there, if I made the wrong choices, hung over me like an unfathomable weight. Each day in church and school our elders would remind us that when we died we would be held accountable for our actions. Others may have ignored this or grown desensitized to their warnings but I focused on it like a tic burrowing through my skin. Why should a child be faced with his own mortality on a daily basis? How is this way to make someone believe?
                I recently had a conversation with my father where I told him this. He told me that he always raised us to believe that God is love and that he wants us to go to heaven. I can hear him say, "Christianity is a religion of eternal life through Jesus not death". This is fine because I heard these same words before and after each discussion of hell and our immortal soul. However, that was not what my little brain focused on. Death was a scary word. My faith was built upon fear and not upon love no matter how many people told me I was going to heaven and no matter how many told me God loved me. For a child, love is an easy concept to receive and to dismiss. Our parents love us unquestioning and we love them back. We love our homes and all we have. But love is always there and so we take it for granted when it is given and received. Fear, on the other hand, rears its ugly head and leaves a lasting mark; once burned by the boiling pot you never grab hold again. Fear is a strong motivation for a child. I loved God as a child because not loving him meant that I was damned and the fear of that was unimaginable.  My father would say that if I believed in God I should have nothing to fear, but when doubt filled my mind fear was always standing right behind it.

                As I have grown older I realize this is not the belief of most Christians and most will and do say that I had a miss guided view or feel sad I thought this way, but as a child this was my reality and not a far stretch for Christians to understand. I believe that all ways of life, be it religion, philosophy or lifestyle, are a personal adventure and that no one knows 100% what will come. Being afraid of things we have no control over (like the afterlife if it exists) is crippling and does not lead to a productive life. However, we do have the power to make these lives we live as joyous as possible. I agree with Christians that we should focus on love and not fear. Fear is often thrust upon from outside ideas or events but love is something that we must give. Love is an action where fear is a response. But here is where we may part ways: I think that we must try to make a world where love is an action only used to affect the world we live in. Love should be used to abolish stereotypes, racism and bigotry. Love should be used to bring people together, to heal wounds and to give comfort to those who live in fear. Love should be used to change the world we live in and not to save our immortal souls for one that may follow. 

Saturday, 3 August 2013


When I was first traveling on my own I struggled to meet people. I would sit at a hostel dining table, wondering what to say as conversations flowed around me. By the end of the night I would be the one sitting by myself with a book while other’s sat in circles with guitars or wandered into an evening of possibilities.  I made a decision one day: I would learn three songs.

Music is communication. It breaks all barriers and ties us all together. A single song can make us feel so many emotions and these emotions are the words that form a conversation with our soul. It is an inner dialogue that each individual may experience but that all of understand.  We may not always feel passion, love, anger or those emotions that cannot possibly put to words, but through music we experience these feelings as the artist reaches out with each note.  When we share music with others, that music we listen to in our rooms or behind headphones, we show others that inner dialogue that is so personal and intimate.  
If we take the leap ourselves, to create our own music, we begin to find a new way to express ourselves. No matter what language we speak we being to speak a language that all may understand.  Music and the passion it brings is the chord that ties humanity together. It is the voice of change. It is the voice of community. It is the voice of one. It is the voice of many. And if we allow ourselves to create music, we allow others to realize that they are not alone in the world. It doesn’t matter how well you sing, or what instrument you can play. It is something that must first be done for our own soul and then naturally it becomes for the soul of others.

Lyrics from a song I once wrote:

Wrote your epitaph on the window pane
They said you wouldn’t get better but I loved you all the same
Pictures of you, quiet letters to me
Sideways glances all the words that fall between

Spoke to your father about when you were alive
Spoke to your brother, couldn’t look him in the eye
We laid you to rest in your mother’s dress
I could love anyone, but all I want is you

Wednesday, 31 July 2013


There are times when my brain begins to race. I think of things that must be done or things that happened in the past and they lead from one thought to another. Soon I find myself smothered in the thoughts of things that worry me or leave me with regret. I am so distant from the current moment that I hardly know what is going on around me. John Lennon once said, “Life is what’s happening when we’re busy making plans.”  When we are busy making these plans the world goes on and we miss so many things and our lives begin to slip away.  I have to remind myself constantly that whatever I am worried about for the future, like work or relationships, will be there when I actually have to face them and that things of the past are impossible for me to change.  What is most important is inner peace in every action we do and learning to recognize those things that disrupt it. This takes mental training, that I am in no way a master of, but I have been trying to stop myself when thoughts that cause anxiety in me emerge. They grow and grow and grow till they are bigger than anything I could possibly handle. So I tell myself to stop. I remember that there are always people that love me (even if I don’t really know who they are) and that when I die there will still be things that I have left undone.  Life is constant and unyielding and we will never control it.  Tomorrow will always come and if it doesn't then what is there to worry about? I recommend imagining yourself at your own funeral. How will others see you? Will they have an image of a stressed out individual that did nothing but worry? No one will care that you didn't Ace that last assignment. No one will care that you made some small social mistakes. All they will be left with is the memories of the moments where you were truly in the moment with them: the laughter and the tears that you shared together. Think of the kind of stories you want people to tell about you and start living them. Yes, stress will always be with us but we will never receive more than what we can take. If that ever does happen we won’t be able to handle it, there will be a rough patch, but eventually we will return to a place where we can function. Life has a way of leveling out and storms don’t last forever…nothing on earth or in the universe does. Have faith in yourself that life won’t always be this hard and that everything will be ok; though it may rain for weeks the sun will someday shine.

Saturday, 27 July 2013


With every word you read you are witness to my creation. I have the pieces that are consonants and vowels which are brought into phonemes and morphemes. I attempt to use the tools of grammar and syntax, though my command of them may fail.  All of these come together to bring my creation into being; the words and sentences I have chosen to express my thoughts and emotions. I believe everyone deep inside them has a desire, a need, and an ability to create. To stop this piece of our lives is to deny part of what makes us human. One must only find out what or how they will create. Finding that outlet is the hardest part but once it is found you begin to do your part in shaping the world. We are all builders of reality. We are the ones who create the art, the literature, and the music that bring dreams into reality.  

A piece of a song I once wrote:

Me and you ran deep in the woods
Chasing for stars like good people should
The faster they fell the quicker we went
Till we found those gifts that heave had sent

You cried whoa oh don’t go
Whoa oh don’t go
Time goes slowly
Whoa oh don’t go

My heads been spinning since the minute you left
Shuffling for space in line with the rest
I did something then didn’t make me a man
I buried my so soul and my heart in the sand

I cried whoa oh don’t go
Whoa oh don’t go
Time goes slowly
Whoa oh don’t go

Tuesday, 23 July 2013


I can remember my father telling me many times as a child that sometimes getting angry for the right reason was a good thing. To him, anger should be a controlled force that could be funneled into righteousness. He would show me and my brother how to fight so that, if one day, someone to or our-selves were in trouble or if we ever saw something being done to someone against their will, that we would be able to defend that person. He would put us into self-defense classes and martial arts programs in a hope to better prepare us for a dangerous world. His one rule: Only fight for the right thing. Fighting wasn't fun, it was scary and violence and inflicting pain on another human being was always a last resort.  I would like to say I followed this golden rule to a “T” but to be honest I half followed it.
I literally prayed for someone to be attacked in my life so that I could defend them.  In school, if one of my buddies looked like he was going to get into a fight, I would quickly see if the golden rule applied. If not, I would try and defuse or distract my friend. If my friend was in the right, my fist would fly. When the school called my father he would listen and, if he felt that I was not in the wrong, he would never say a word. I wouldn't say I fought a lot at all,but when the moment arose I relished in it. The adrenalin, the fear, and the solid connection of fist to jaw.

I have begun to try something new in the last few years. When I feel angry with someone I breathe and try to be thankful for them. I try to hope them the best and send out as much good vibrations as I can. I have found that the fire of anger is quickly extinguished by forgiveness, love and acceptance. The mind adopts this faster then i would have thought possible. When we dwell on anger it grows in us like a cancer. It fills our bones and leaves us a hollow caste without the best parts of our human nature. Anger breeds anxiety, depression, fear and, at times, even hate. Patience, wisdom, understanding and selflessness breed love. We do not get angrier to become more relaxed. A calm mind and a smile bring peace. This is easier said than done but since I have begun this way of living I have found it easier and easier. Even when people are horrible, when they throw us down into the dust, we must answer back with peace. It is the only way they will change and it is the only way we will change ourselves. 

Saturday, 20 July 2013


 Some of my earliest memories of my father are of him in our local church. I would peek into the side room, down brown carpeted hallways and pale beige walls, and listen to him teach Hebrew and Greek to the willing. To him the words of the bible could only be understood if one got to the original text of the early church. He strived for the truth, whether if it was in his job with the Police Department or in his current teachings in the church. I feel like my childhood was governed by such phrases as, “the word is law,” or, “in all things speak truth.” The bible was our handbook to all things, be it décor or dialogue. This is the basis of the discourse of my family as a child; the “Good Book” defined our existence.
  If one was to walk into the house of my childhood you could literally see the writing on the wall. In light brown picture frames you would read psalms and proverbs; the words to live by were not just passed orally but visual through the medium of needlework. Your eyes were pummeled by the dogma of my family from the moment you stuck your head in the door to the moment you walked out on the, “God bless you,” mat. My father’s jewel was the room at the end of the hallway, the one whose acquisition had forced me and my brother to sleep on bunk beds, which had been converted into a library. Floor to ceiling were the books and smells of biblical knowledge. From apocryphal discussions to the large leather bound tomes that were never to be touched, the spines of all these books spelled out his great respect of the written word. At the end of every meal my father would go and grab one of his books and read some passage he had been pondering while he locked himself away after work.  He would ask us questions to check our comprehension and my brother, sister and I would squirm and day-dream of escaping his inquisitions.
   My parents had met at a small bible college in the woods. It was the 70’s and it was more of a Christian hippy retreat then a bible college. They, and a few small families, had decided that they would live separate from main stream Christian culture. They built a school, church and living space on the property they had bought so that their children could learn in an immersive Christian environment. To go to the school you had to be a part of the church to assure that the doctrine they so fervently believed in would be safe in the hand of the future generations. Every breath, every word and every scratch on paper would be in testament to the glory and power of God. Amen.
   One verse that dictated much of our discussions was Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” To break this law, to swear (the temptation as a child was so great) or speak badly of another would entail the punishment of my parents. This created a very separate world in the dialogue between my parents and the conversations with my young friends. With my parents a slip of the tongue could have you sent to bed without dinner. With my friends the curses and bad talk spilled out like a satisfying deluge. My siblings and I quickly learned the language of Christianity and the language of the outside world.
   As my family aged, views began to develop and change. My mother watched as the steam of our childhood piety evaporated. My father and I’s communication turned quickly into debate, which he welcomed as long as he held the higher ground. He would take out a dusty book and find the answers I apparently needed. I pulled out contradictions and he reverted to faith. The word “faith”, to have it and believe wholeheartedly in it, was the only answer when push came to shove. But one word wasn't good enough for me. Words had been what he had given me and I used them in all their glory; my father was faced with the monster he had created. As I began to read books by the Dalai Lama and talk to people of other backgrounds I lost the language of my childhood and I formed my own. The arguments, that my father and I had, held an intimacy reserved for when a religious father knows he’s losing his son to the outside world. Before the end of high school (one I had switched to after too many problems in the first one) I had moved out of the house. My language and beliefs conflicted with my parents and they couldn't understand me anymore. I no longer went to church and my parent’s greatest fears were embodied: I had lost my “faith”.
   Now, many years after high school and many of those years spent traveling on my own, I have moved back to my home town.  My father has retired from the police force and is just a pastor now. They have long since separated from the old church and school, that is still somewhere in the woods, though the picture frames with the needlework still hang on the walls. He is more relaxed now and we understand each other better. He apologizes for his strictness and I apologize for my verbal attacks I had once been so proud of. Why has our dialogue changed? Maybe it is that I’m not a child anymore, and maybe he isn't the authoritarian I had once believed he was.  I believe the discourse of our family, like in any family, has evolved. Amen.


Wednesday, 17 July 2013


For many people, our relationships in life are like a mountain. In our early years, when we are at the base of the mountain, there is lots of space for friendships. We can stretch ourselves out amongst many people and they fit into our lives with room to grow and change. As we get older and we climb the mountain we find that our groups of friends, our true and close friends, become smaller and smaller. The space on the mountain grows smaller. We define our preferences, what we need from others and what we can fully offer up ourselves. People fade away or move on and some new ones tag along for the climb. As we reach the peak the people we are truly intimate with often become less and less. Many things can be said about this idea. We must try to climb the mountain of life slowly. We should take time to enjoy the relationships we are allowed to be a part of and gather as many as possible. We should know that, for most, there are only a few who will be with us till the end and these are the people who will know us the most deeply. One day we will reach the peak and we will be alone as there is only space for one. And as we look into the sky we will face whatever is next that will come. But to let someone in, to let them truly know every part about you, the good and the bad, is to allow them to climb to the top with you as far as possible. The more people we can let see every part of ourselves the closer we become and the more help we can give each other when we reach the end.

I must admit that one of my greatest faults is mistaking passion for love. I have met people who completely enrapture me and I fall head over heels for them. The way she smiles or the curve of her neck as it reaches for her shoulder. The way her hair twists and curls or the feel of her hip as my fingers dance down her side. When I met her on my first trip alone and she served me dinner or when I met her sitting on the ground in front of the coffee shop. When she sang that night in front of a group of strangers or when I raced her back to our fire on the beach and she fell in the water laughing. When I first noted the shade of brown in her eyes or when I saw the happiness in her blue ones. At times, all of these people, I thought I was in love with. But love has only truly been with me once. I had known her for years and our love grew slowly. Our love grew out of honesty. We knew everything about each other, from the darkest secrets to the funniest quirks. We understood when space was needed and when we needed each other. We saw our country together and slept on couches for months keeping each other warm. She painted pictures and I watched. I learned to play her songs on an old guitar and she laughed. We talked and we listened. And then, as can only be done by people who truly know each other, we broke each other's hearts. It's strange how hard it is for me to be truly honest with anyone now but yet how much I wish for a love like that again. I give the illusion of intimacy while wanting nothing more than to love and be loved. I pick and choose my honesty and it leaves me with passion but far from love. Hopefully this time will be different. I have told her all my horrors and she has told me all of hers. I have held her while she laughed and kissed her cheek. This time she is all the things I have loved in all those other girls, from the moment I found her again, sitting by the fire, to the fingers dancing down her side. I will be honest with her, come what may, and only time will tell the rest.

Sunday, 14 July 2013


I went on a bike ride today. It was warm and blue skies seemed to stretch like a never ending dome above me. I thought of how beautiful my home is. The trees that scrape the sky. Rivers that twist through the town with small bridges that cross them. There are spots that allow the music of nature to erupt, unburdened by human cacophony. 

 There was a silent awe that filled us when we looked around.  There was not a soul in site and the strange quiet gave a feeling of supernatural energy in the air.  We unpacked our belongings into the emergency shelter and we went our separate ways. I went to a rock that overlooked the lake below and the vast mountain ranges stretching off into the distance. Here I was at the edge of my countries frontier and I imagined I was looking at places where man had never touched. As I sat there I slowed my breathing and felt my body calm. To my right I could see members of the group, some in twos in deep conversation or listening to music, others alone wandering the ridge to the tree line. To my left, the peak of the mountain watching us.  As I relaxed with arms and legs folded, the sun began to set. The sky exploded with layer upon layer of colour and the lake bellow echoed the sentiment. The hills were silhouetted against the pastel sky like sleeping giants. I was reminded of a Korean creation story “Cheonjiwang Bonpuli”.  In the beginning, earth and sky were one. At some point a gap appeared in the middle of all that was. All that was heavy became the earth and all that was light became the sky. Then, from the sky fell a clear blue drop of dew, and from the earth came a dark black drop of dew. As these two drops mixed, all that existed between earth and sky was made. From these two drops came humans, animals, plants and even the gods.

Saturday, 6 July 2013


If there is one thing I am sure of it is that human drama is inevitable. Some seek it out and their lives are often a very busy thing. Others may try to live a peaceful life or even try to avoid dramatic moments all together but almost all of these will at some point run into unavoidable interactions. We are social animals, and even though we ourselves may try to be anti-social, those other social animals tend to barge right in. This is not a bad thing or a good thing. It is simply the way we humans tend to live our lives. We are pushed to moments where we must make decisions and these decisions have the habit of affecting the people around us.
The moments when we are forced to make choices are amazing. Every day, every second, every turn of the head, we make choices that define the rest of our lives. It’s completely beautiful and absolutely terrifying. But we all continue to make these leaps into the unknown. Each day we not only make decisions for ourselves, but our decisions affect the people around us. Their decisions, in turn, also affect our own. We are all interwoven through our own personal experiences.

But sometimes, once in a while, there are the decisions that make you feel so alone. Though we make countless choices every day that define everything, they usually follow the inertia of our lives. We are so comfortable with these choices that they are not even seen as  choices but just living. But sometimes, once in a while, something big happens. We are faced with a moment that will change the direction of our lives.  In my own personal experience I feel these are some of the moments I have felt most alone. Leaving home, moving on, arguments, career choices, personal stands, travel, falling in love. We are forced to make choices as humans and we suffer or rejoice in them.  These things are inevitable. But, as with most things that are unavoidable, the best method to deal with it is accept it, to face it head on; to try to live life through it and embrace the change that comes. This is no easy task, but when we are driven to these moments of actions we pour into the lives of others. We suddenly become not so alone anymore. We meet new people and we affect their lives. Some for good and for bad, but no matter what we perpetuate the ongoing creation of who we are and who they are.

Monday, 1 July 2013


Duality is the concept that everything is divided. You from me. Us from them. East from West. Good from evil. Up from down. Yes it exists in the world, but it is no law of the universe. It is a human invention and one often perpetuated by religions.  I believe it doesn't have to be this way. We do not need to feel the distance between things but rather we should look for those things that link them together.

I am fascinated by other beliefs and philosophies. If they can teach me how to live a better life or make the life of others around me better then they are a part of me. They are all pieces of the human condition to understand the unknown; to try and make sense of it all; to reach out with our minds and find order in the chaos. There has to be no greater endeavor for the human soul. 

I hope that, like in a dream, I will see her one day and she won’t recognize me. I imagine that she will be working at some coffee shop and I will be a customer. She looks up at me and smiles and asks me what I want; a general friendly chat that can only happen through small business transactions. I’ll see her and know that she’s at peace, she will just go on living and I’ll see her smile. 
Sometimes i wish i was just like an animal she heard of suffering somewhere in the amazon. She is aware, keeps up to date on the news if someone mentions it, but has no more than a disconnected connection. I simply exist as a thought unburdened by her emotional investment. I wish I had never entered her life because, then, she would never have entered mine.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013


           I was once invited to a funeral while I lived in Thailand. I had been working, trying to sell condos in an area completely devoid of tourists (a rarity in Thailand), and found myself driving around looking for a place to eat.  I had stopped on the side of the road for some gas when a man came up to me and invited me to what I thought was a party across the road.  I agreed and entered the funeral. It was for a little girl I had never met, her little body lying on a bed in front of me. I can remember her family crying around me and the petals of brightly colored flowers.

Grief is such a tough thing to witness and is so rarely seen publicly. When faced with it I think most people are understandably uncomfortable. What do you say to someone who has lost a child? How do you comfort those whose world has fallen apart around them? Public displays of grief seem to strip the participants naked in front of us, showing us the pain that all of us fear to feel.

When I was in high school there was in a car accident. My friend, my brother, and two other boys were driving when they collided with another car. The two boys in the back died, the two in the front survive. My friend and one of the other boys was in the back, my brother and his friend were in the front.  I can’t imagine the pain my friend’s parents felt as they heard there son was not coming home again. Each person involved dealt with grief in their own way. Many cried. I turned against my religion. My other friends wanted to talk. My brother, one of the survivors, became quiet, left with a sadness that destroyed his confidence.   My mother announced that she would write a book.
The book my mother decided to write, her first book, would be a children’s book on the subject of grief.   When she announced it to the family I don’t really think any of us thought she would follow through with it. My mother is a quiet, non-articulate, shy woman. She has battled mental illness for years and is often uncomfortable in many social situations.  She is the woman who stands behind my father with his confidence and clear voice. I think for many of these reason I have always felt a distance from her.We are so different and i admit that she embodies many of the things i fear.
 We encouraged her politely, saying it was a great idea. She interviewed members of the other families involved the best she could and then locked herself away in her sewing room to write her magnum opus. After a several months we all forgot about the book. We all adjusted to living with our grief as many often do. One day she began to talk about a writer’s conference that would be coming up that she wanted to go to. They would read her manuscript, add some constructive criticism and help her with information on the process of publishing. No one had read it but her. We sent her off with the best of wishes, though deep down I think we all felt apprehension and fear. We wanted to protect her but we didn't want to hurt her. It’s strange how we want to protect the emotions of our loved ones, while in turn not allowing them to grow emotionally. She left, off by herself for the first time since before her and my father’s wedding. She left and then one week later she returned. She never talked about what happened there. She never told any of us how it went and if she told my father about it, he never said a word.
After high school I left home. I went across Canada for a year then down the west coast, saw a bit of Mexico, spent a couple months in Hawaii until I finally found my way back. My parents gave me my old room back until I could find a place somewhere downtown. One day I walked into the kitchen and my mother was at the table thumbing through a stack of papers. I asked her what she was doing and she said it was her book and asked if I’d like to read it. I sat down, turned the page and began to read.
It began with my mother explaining what she was like as a child. She described herself as full of fear. The world was a big place and the people, places and things in it often left her with anxiety. There was a tree on the little farm in Saskatchewan, and there she would hide from the world. As I read I realized that I had known nothing of my mother’s childhood. In fact, I realized that I had never even considered that my mother had a childhood, she was simply my mother; she had always been a two dimensional character in my own story. I loved her but I never knew her. Here, on this piece of paper, my mother became a human. The story was short, clunky, slow and utterly personal. As it progressed she wrote about the accident. She described the circumstances around the death of my friend and the other boy. She talked about the grief it brought and how it made her want to hide. She held guilt over the happiness she felt of my brother’s survival and deep sorrow for the parents of those who had lost their own sons. She wrote about how the other families dealt with their grief and how, through family and community, she had found safety.
   I asked her if she had published it and she said no, it needed a lot of work and it probably never would be good enough. My mother’s grief was displayed before me on the table and I didn't know what to do with it… and then I realized there was nothing I could do. For my mother this book was an attempt at healing and, according to her, it has helped. It didn't matter if it was good or bad or whether I liked it or not. It didn't matter if it was published or not. We all grieve in our own way and this was the way my mother chose to do it. All I had to do was just be there and that is often the case with grief. Kind words often fail. We cannot understand what other’s go through and I believe we should not try to. When confronted with grief, all that’s usually necessary is to listen, to witness and perhaps on occasion, to read.

Thursday, 20 June 2013


In religion there is an important rule that should not be ignored: “Knowing” and faith are separate. If someone turns faith into knowing they take away from best parts of anyone’s religion by trying to make it fact. They take away the leap of faith and the unknown; we take away the arguments and discussions that breed a more full and richer understand of our personal walks in life. We close the door to other better or opposing ideals that could raise us up to greater heights. Religions can contain wisdom for all if they choose to follow it, but it doesn't mean it’s for everyone.  There is not one truth but many because no one knows what will happen in the end; we are all taking a chance. No religious person should fall into the trap of stating that they “know “a faith is true. If this is done then religion, as well as philosophy, lose their beauty and power to transform. We are all trying to understand the unknown. Never stop questioning and never stop listening.


How do we define ourselves? What makes us individuals in all the mess of human drama and idea? Do our actions ring out, as we hope, or do they end meaningless?   I realize that my mind often thinks about this when I’m alone. I look into the mirror and wonder.  I have spent half of this life trying to figure out who and what I am and I’m sure that this will not stop. Who is that I see in the mirror and who is that I see is being reflected by the emotions of the people I talk to?
   I want to be many things. I want to be honest though, at times, I lie. I want to be just but sometimes I am selfish. I want to love but I rarely allow it. I give and I take. I am happier now then I’ve been in a long time and yet…I still have not found myself. Many things I have wanted to do I have done. I have seen some of the world though there is still so much to see. I have loved and lost and my heart still aches and will again, I’m sure.  My family is rooted so deep inside me that I will never let them go. And after all this, a list that could go on,  I am left wondering if there is something I am missing in my list that I have not discovered. There must be and there will be and I hope I will find it.
   So I sit and think and question myself in every action. Maybe there is one moment that is yet to come?  I worry that if I get a glimpse of what I could become that I will run away like a coward.  Will I take my chance if it comes?  Will my defining moment come and pass me by? I am afraid that if I wanted to change I won’t be able to and I will stand and question who I am without taking action. Sometimes there are people and I want to speak with them, to know who they are and what they think they are.  Maybe I’ll find my answers in them or see a shadow of what I could become.  

     Every life seems so beautiful that I forget how to see the beauty in my own. Sometimes there are moments when you look into someone’s eyes and you feel you know them. I am not speaking of what they did or how they do things but who they are. You see kindness or perhaps grief. You see trust or perhaps mistrust. But at these times you get a glimpse of what the person truly is and what defines them. I wish I could see this in myself and make sense of it all.

We live the unlived lives of our parents. We enter a world that they never saw, full of opportunities and failures.  We either surpass and impress or veer off the road. I’m now older than when my father had his first child. What does that say about me? When is it time to move on from their expectations or be what they always dreamed you could be? Are they my dreams? Am I something similar to a reincarnation of my father, trying once again to become something bigger than what I was? I see my eyes, my father’s eyes, and they watch me in every reflection.  

We search a world of facts for moments that resemble fiction. Magic is simply when the world defeats our expectations. A miracle is when, somehow, words bridge the gap between thought and reality. These times are rare but searched for like a lost world. We drench ourselves in the unexplainable moments that drive us into understanding.  I am comfortably uncomfortable with the questions life has made me wonder.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013


We must never forget that we are capable, as a nation of power on the world stage, of great atrocities and terrorism. We must also be aware that those who seem to terrorize us might simply be a small fish fighting against a great shark. The story of the pirate and Alexander the great must not be forgotten and is an excellent example. Alexander asked a pirate after he had been caught “what is your idea, infesting the sea?” The pirate replied “the same as yours, as in infesting the earth. But because I do it with a tiny craft I am called a pirate: because you have a mighty army you are called an emperor.”

Ideas are aggressive. They do battle and there is a winner. Two may have different views, which sit in their own reason, but one will conquer if the will behind that view is more powerful.


I think therefore I am.... In our age things are made to be faster, more user friendly and more efficient. The hope is that these objects will be so easy to use that they become an extension of our body, successfully transforming us from human to cyborg. The less we have to think and the more intuitive technology becomes, the happier people are. Though I am guilty of these desires and I understand the pleasure of technology, I fear we are losing, or perhaps even sacrificing, parts of our humanity. Our social lives are now a constant with text messaging, e-mails, instant messengers, and social networking sites. We are closer than ever before but still we feel a distance (one that many feel comfortable with) growing in the human condition. I would not be surprised to hear that 70% or more of our social life is digital. How has the need of human touch, the beauty of a smile, or perfect words with a hand on your shoulder been pushed aside by technology? The machines we use have become mother and father, confessor and forgiver, lover and betrayer; where there once was flesh there is now the World Wide Web. This technology may make you feel, at times, like you are part of something bigger. You may feel that because your consciousness can travel through to the other side of the world that we are all connected. This is a lie. We were always connected through the bond of human nature. Now we can talk about reality and get what we want more efficiently from farther away, be it entertainment or commodity.  The internet is a selfish thing in most cases, though it asks us what we want and it delivers to us. It satisfies the individual’s desires in the now. One no longer has to think about what is good and bad because the time to think is over; true love is just a click away. Thinking is a thing of the past, live in the now. But thinking is what defines us. It is all that is our being. For thousands upon thousands of years man has been using his brain to think, to understand, to reason, to dream, and now we let machines do it for us. Yes, technology can be used to bring our imagination to life but we would not cease to be creative without it. 
Thinking is not just the reading of information, it is the searching for it, the time one ponders on it and rules if it is applicable to one’s own life. I think therefore I am.  But I think that when we think, when we sit and contemplate, we cannot help through introspection to think about others. We are drawn to the idea that happiness, peace and the common good of all is in the best interest of society. When we think of others, we realize that typing a message is not enough and that a hug is much more efficient in expressing love. There is a word in an African language, UBUNTU, which means “I am because we are”. We need each other in not just a mental sense but in a physical one. We must think, so that we are aware of each other and how much we need each other. We must always understand that we exist to be with one another; we exist because of one another.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013


 How the immortality of nature surrounds us
 As we move around it and above it
Who is it to be blessed with so many faces?
And we with our roles in these short lives
We unlucky inhabitants of nature
At all times we are so immersed in things that live on
Like the sun rise, or the flight of birds
Dark water and blue skies
Oh, our love affair with it runs deep
Perhaps that is why it is so hard to sleep

The people we meet affect us so deeply: their ideas, their hopes, and their needs. It is impossible to live apart from this. We are inextricably guided towards interaction and drama, whether it ends in tragedy or comedy. How easily the touch of a loved one can change a day, or how the distance from one can bring it down.  How beautiful a breath can be; the moments that fall between words when we just are. To describe these connections is like trying to explain a dream.  You know of if its importance but can’t understand what it means. Have I searched the whole wide world just to have these connections? Have I searched the whole wide world just to find you? For up to these meetings there is nothing but the past, a past you weren't apart of, and from now on you are a part of me, into whatever future that comes.

Love has to be one of the most difficult and most sought after experiences in human existence, though the genuine article is so distant I sometime assume it doesn't exist. The closer I get to real love, the farther it is from me.
When you fall in love, you’re not yourself anymore. You lose control of being natural; showing the beautiful parts of yourself. All anyone recognizes is total desperation; a fool trying to run on water. 


My father use to keep national geographic magazines on the bottom shelf in his library.  I’d look at them and realize that the world was big. I’d imagine my body floating around the world and standing beside the people I saw on the pages.  I wanted to be there.  I made mental notes to one day go to these places. I’d get there but I didn't know what I’d say to them, but I knew they were real.  

There was a time when I was in Vietnam where I closed my eyes while I was riding over a bridge with other commuters. The sound of the engines around me and the smells and heat prompted it. I was happy. In that moment I had gotten what I wanted since I was little.

 I know so little and will ever know so little. I could travel all my days, talk to all I meet, read books and study maps and still be lost. We don’t need to look to the stars for the infinite but to the world around us. The possibilities, the people we can meet and the places we can go are beyond our understanding, for new creations are born every second and the world is ever changing.

So many of the people I’ve met, in the countries I’ve been to, will never travel abroad, hell, even out of their city. And they are content and live full lives. Travel is the luxury of the rich. Many of the travelers I meet are either running away from something or want something new. Its funny how, when we travel, we spend most of our time trying to capture moments of a simpler way of life. Like it’s out of our grasp and we get a glimpse of it by going to foreign countries. We envy the Farmer toiling in his field while we would never trade our lives … I understand this. The grass is always greener. What a lie! Life is simply life, Complex how it may seem, for every person on earth. You deal with what you got. It is by our choices, our desire to change or to be content that we shape it. I think travel, at its core, is just a way to put proof to statements like, ‘’it’s a small world’’ or that we are all part of humanity. One giant entity. People are the same everywhere. They want a place to sleep, things to eat, and people to talk to but we don’t fully understand it till we see it. But still, the grass is always greener.
Then maybe, we should travel to take advantage of a gift so few have. We should travel to gain experience and to open our minds to different ways of life. Maybe just to appreciate what we got. Traveling is often a selfish act but it breeds selflessness. Being anti-social or an asshole will only ruin experiences around the world and thats a lesson to take back home. You learn to depend on and appreciate a conversation. There have been days where I haven’t talked to people because I don’t know anyone, just to realize that it’s my own fault and that I have the power to change it (even if we speak different languages). Fuck self-help, go traveling.


 If you look back on the video cassette tapes that my father documented our childhood on, you see some footage of me standing and starring into a TV screen. I’m four feet away with glazed look and a slight lean forward. The TV enraptures my 4 year old brain and I am too weak to fight back. I am told this was some of the last days of cable tv in our house. I think this was a wise decision. My parents obviously saw a danger here and the cable was canceled.
 After the cable went we were strictly on a movie diet of entertainment and, being a religious family, that meant only classics. Ben-hur, The wizard of OZ, Lawrence of Arabia, Citizen Kane, Treasure island (1932), Abbot and Costello and Gone with the wind. If they predated the 1970’s, with some limited exceptions, we had seen it. I would watch the same black and whites over and over again. These movie’s pop into my head from time to time or a quote I’m reminded of when someone talks.  They have become some part of me. They were my moral compass as a child, educating me about a world in grey.

Childhood, more often than not, is destroyed quietly. We read something or a friend informs us on the truths of the world and we take it in and add it to what make sense. We breathe in…and then out. Not every story is romantic. Not every battle is glorious. Reality isn’t a good story and it is rarely ever black and white.

Monday, 17 June 2013


  Let’s start at the beginning. As any good child raised in a Christian home can attest, the beginning of our human existence begins with Adam and Eve, be it mythology or truth.  They are naked and without blame. An unnamed and untouched world awaits them and they can do no wrong but one: they must not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. With no history behind them and the vastness of future ahead, they are without shame. Shame… this word, as a child, was always what stuck with me. They had nothing to be ashamed of. Innocence had its blessings.
  The story goes that one day Eve is walking in the garden and the devil, in snake form, tempts her with the fruit of the forbidden tree. She eats of it and then shares it with Adam and God finds out and searches for them. Like any good father that knows their children has done wrong, he gives them the chance to come clean. When they finally come forward they are hiding their nakedness. No matter what this story is trying to tell us or symbolizes of our early existence, the loss of their innocence stays with me. There is shame in the innocence they once had and the realization that they were once so naïve.
  When I was younger my family use to go camping a lot and one place was always Eden: Bay view. This campground on the North West coast of America was my adventure into the world outside Christendom. Here, in the big open field surrounded by campsites I would learn the lesson of a world foreign to my upbringing, here would begin my fall from grace. Here children cursed and talked in hushed voice about the things we overheard our parents say. The knowledge of good and evil hung heavy from these limbs.  But, in the beginning, my innocence held me back. In the beginning, these new words didn't need to become part of my diet.  In my world, the problems and conversations of parents were akin to a higher power which did not concern me. My innocence was all encompassing.
  To describe myself at this point would be to say I had no grasp of the judgement of others.  I was still in that eager learning period where my opinions were still protected by a child’s mind. I was malleable but had created a comfortable view of how the world around me worked. It is not till we grow old that we feel our lives are incomplete. I could act in this world as one without a character picked out for it. I was free to be what I wanted and, for the most part, lived in the moment as most small children do.
  This memory is one of my earliest. Is so clear to me in my life I feel I can touch it, though, at the time, I did not know how to interpret it.  This was the moment where I became ashamed and aware of judgement. This was my fall from grace.
  We were all playing in the field and I began to laugh. I cannot remember what it was that had made me laugh but it had been something I was thinking about. While all the other kids played on, I stopped and laughed harder and harder. I think I even forgot about what I was laughing about but the laughter had caught me and I reveled in it. I fell on the field and laughed. The other kids must have noticed and made their way over to me. I can remember looking up with all their faces looking down on me. My brother’s face was there along with the faces of other children. I remember not caring and simply laughing but then suddenly one of them told me to stop. They asked my brother why I was laughing and he said he didn't know. They began to kick me and became angry. I suddenly realized that something I was doing was wrong.  Before this moment, their opinions of me didn’t matter. In fact, the idea that people had opinions of one another was foreign. I realized that what I did and what I said mattered to others and changed how they saw and treated me. I had now realized that I could be judged. I had now eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I was ashamed of my innocence. I was ashamed that I hadn't cared what others thought of me. I ran back to the trailer that we had borrowed from our grandparents and cried alone, hiding this shame from my parents.
   Though I know the statement is bold, I believe this was the moment that defined how relationships in my life worked. Every word I said, every move I made, was not mine but someone else’s to take. I was not defined by myself but by the others around me. I wanted to be loved and so I created my character to the world set forth by what it wanted. I learned not to laugh out loud at things I thought were funny but to think of what others would find funny. Still, to this day, I sometimes find it difficult to truly laugh in public. I learned self-control and fitting the mold was what they all wanted.  I internalized. I constantly worried how others perceived me. My innocence was gone; my fall from grace, complete.

  Now, as I sit here, I feel the judgement of the world surrounding me but I have learned to live within it and have begun to laugh at it. I am starting not to care. Still, I have my moments where I hold back and follow the inertia of the group but they are less frequent. The innocence and wonder I once had now does not seem so buried or hidden behind the leaves of shame. I wish I could talk to myself and tell him to not care and go on living in that world.  I find myself trying to draw out that younger self in me, like God trying to find out where Adam and Eve are. I am beginning to realize that paradise is not lost but simply hiding.  For me the story of Adam and eve is the story of what all of us face at one point or another, though many may not remember it. It is the loss of our childhood and the discovery of a world full of the views of others. But who, I ask, who are the ones we lift up and praise? The ones with the curiosity and wonder of children; the ones who break the mold and bare all to be judged. They are the ones that define our culture. Strangely, like the fruit on the tree, we are given a choice. Do we choose to be defined by the world around us or to define the world? Luckily, unlike the story where Adam and Eve are cast out of paradise, we can, if we have the courage, re-enter that world of wonder; a paradise that is not defined by others but by what we want it to be.