i O S

27/11/2016

The year, nineteen sixty-five, up to now I have lived my short life on a need-to-know basis. The background of this being of a complex nature, and for another telling time.

Suffice to say, my first surprise experience of job acquisition was at the behest of our family’s matriarch, and it did little to offset the need-to-know factor in which I was raised. I’ve often been told, in no uncertain terms, where to be for jobs or I was to find a regular type job on my own volition.

My first job ended rather abruptly, pre-maturely to be exact. I was fired due to me being unfamiliar with the area’s terrain. I had arrived late-September, and was conscripted into delivering prescriptions, on a bicycle, in December no less. No preparation, simply instructed to report to a corner drug-store for unspecified duties, which I did. Being the dutiful son, I was soon to discover the insufficiencies of which I was unaware, as that portion of my consciousness awakened much later in Life.

On this occasion, the summer of sixty-five, I found a job in the Telegram Classified Section. The ad stated: No experience required; training and kit provided, and paid daily. Seemed straight-forward enough. I made the call, and was given details for the job-interview.

I made my way to the location which was three-floors up to an office. Interviewed by my prospective employer, after waiting in a line. A line that went three-floors, up from the entrance to where his office was situated. Like the others that waited, there was a detailed interview followed by being told when and where to meet. A location was well outside my comfort zone, being an immigrant still learning my way around, which definitely made day-pay essential and attractive.

We made our way to the location, at the appointed time, and where our employer was waiting. He gave us each our ‘Sample Kit’ and ‘Receipt Order-Pad’, and his sample sales pitch for going door-to-door. I recognized the area and its inhabitants from memory in later years, under flashback of distant circumstances. It seemed odd to some of us, who were tasked with the job of separating our customers from the benefits of their incomes, however it came, as they appeared hard-working people who might be better off without the the products we were offering. I was not to comprehend this fact clearly, being an immigrant ignorant of the social/class structure; so, off I went with the others.

Diligently, we went door-to-door making our pitch, divesting ourselves of our wares, making sales via these samples that were ‘hooks’ from which the residents were unable to wriggle free. I recall a woman with three/four small children, one in her arms with the others milling about her. For what reason she remained imprinted on my memory I cannot say, but I have a vivid memory of her standing there in the doorway with the children ever since.

That day sped by as I walked the avenues conversing on doorsteps, in doorways, ending where I began. The only difference, I carried an empty sample-case and an order booklet completely filled. All that was given me in the morning was returned to my employer, minus the samples of which he made certain resulted in sales and not simply ‘give aways’!

He then began to step away, whereupon I reminded him of the ad’s “pay-per-day” line to which he replied, “Today was a ‘trial’, your real work-day begins tomorrow.”

I was beside myself! Quickly recovering my centre, I informed him I needed that money for my fare home as well as to return to work tomorrow. “That’s not my problem”, came his reply. My response was no less casual as I turned, preparing my mind for the long walk home only to replay the day’s disappointing experience during my walk.

Having ventured eastward in the morning, I ascertained my return journey was with the setting Sun and began walking, trusting in familiar, recognizable locations that led me to my own doorsteps.

As mentioned earlier, it was decades before I realized the import of the area I was working in that day. I now recognize the Bloor/Danforth route I walked across from Broadview on my return home that day. It screamed at me the first time my mind became cognizant of the it! I remembered it took me 3hrs to return to where I lived. Oddly enough, back then I had prepared for that kind of trek. You see, in my younger years in my birth country of Jamaica, it was not unusual for me to walk such a distance, over such a time in a wanderlust mindset.

I was nick-named a ‘walkabout’, as I tended to wander off after breakfast and not return until the most convenient feeding-time, according to the boarding-house routine where we lived for a 4yr spell. Make it home I did, and informed the family’s matriarch of the day’s occurrence, with the understanding I was duty bound to find another job, asap.

Point of fact, having learned to fabricate my age looking older than I appeared, this was to have a crucial bearing on future undertakings. At this juncture, I doubted I fooled anyone, which made me a prime target for misuse by this ‘charlatan’ doing the hiring for ‘The Fuller Brush Company’. Be that as it may, I have come to see this experience as one of the many ‘unofficial’ immigrant Orientation Systems proliferating the human condition, in our Modern World. Mind you, this does not discount others’ stories elsewhere, far worse or kinder throughout Life.

 

 

Spring 1965

1965

A W D

21/11/2016

2. Early Walking phase

 

Once upon another time, there was a small boy living on a tropical isle called Jamaica. Nothing unusual about this lad from all appearances. Except, on this day unbeknownst to him this, was a special occasion. He does not remember being told, but he was bathed and dressed, differently than on other days when he was allowed to play as he wished.

This day, being nicely dressed in his Sunday best as some would say, he roamed about beneath the attention of the big people among whose legs he walked in the room. Where this room was he did not know, but he walked about freely examining everything that drew his attention.

He saw flowers, felt a softness beneath his shoes as he walked about, and thick velvety curtains called drapes. Wandering about he came upon steps leading up onto a platform. Looking up he saw something that he had not seen before, unusual as some would say. Undeterred, and since no one noticed, he made a decision to have a closer look.

He strolled to the first of three steps and made his ascent. Upon getting closer to the object he noticed it was mainly made of glass and someone was laying inside! What accompanied this sight was an odour he had not known, and logging into his mind, he peered into this unique casket containing a person laying in comfort.

Determining this sight as a dead person in a partial-glass casing, not a Sleeping Beauty, he associated the odour to be the smell-of-death. He stood in silence. No one approached him, and after a time he made his descent onto the main flooring to continue his roaming, not expecting this was the first of many encounters to come with death, so long as he shall live.

To his recollection, this was his Audience With Death!

U P S

15/11/2016

No matter where you go, there you are …

Warrior4Peace's Weblog

Every now and again, he used to get images, flashes of long ago occurrences as have so many others. Upon of relaying selected ones, he received surprised expressions muted by glimmers of wonder. One such was accompanied by, “How do you remember that when you were barely two-years old?” Others receiving cursory remarks to deflect further inquiry, as dates and location faded into undesired resurrections.

What I shall now relate are two such memories, relating impacted contemporary developments realized after-the-fact.

Melancholia 1

Imagine if you will people milling about, most in shadow, it would appear an eighteen-month old’s mind. He heard, what was to him, unintelligible sounds coming from adults engaged in dialogues. There were people going about in determined ways. What did intrigue him was a square white-surface, four-corner posted, rope-stringed raised platform: a ‘boxing-ring’, with bright lights shining down from the ceiling above accompanied by feelings of anticipation in the…

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U P S

13/11/2016

Every now and again, he used to get images, flashes of long ago occurrences as have so many others. Upon of relaying selected ones, he received surprised expressions muted by glimmers of wonder. One such was accompanied by, “How do you remember that when you were barely two-years old?” Others receiving cursory remarks to deflect further inquiry, as dates and location faded into undesired resurrections.

What I shall now relate are two such memories, relating impacted contemporary developments realized after-the-fact.

 

Melancholia 1

 

Imagine if you will people milling about, most in shadow, it would appear an eighteen-month old’s mind. He heard, what was to him, unintelligible sounds coming from adults engaged in dialogues. There were people going about in determined ways. What did intrigue him was a square white-surface, four-corner posted, rope-stringed raised platform: a ‘boxing-ring’, with bright lights shining down from the ceiling above accompanied by feelings of anticipation in the air!

What was this place, what was its purpose and contribution to all these people’s feelings of excitement? He was but a babe on his mother’s knee, overlooked in importance in the grand scheme of things save for the usual ‘child appreciation’ platitudes. An unknown memory for decades, until in conversation it was revealed both were to witness a boxing-match in which her then husband was to do combat.

The outcome of the fighting remains a mystery; although, what followed in their lives involved an eventual parting of ways!

 

 

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

Have you ever had an incident you felt to have been the result of an unknown cause, at the time? Try this one on for size. You are small child who awoke crying loudly, startling those asleep in the room. This ‘room’ appearing quite large to your young mind, and this room is inhabited by a group of people asleep in various places around the foot of a bed whereupon you slept.

Your sleeping position, along with other young children, was at the feet of men also asleep in the bed. Your young mind is unaware of the reasons for this sleeping arrangement. It was simply the way of things ongoing at the time. What you do remember was the male children at bedtime shared sleeping space the foot of this bed. A space saving/sharing matter, among other unknowns, most likely.

What you do recall up to that moment, was that your life was one of many changes that continued for years, thereafter.

On this occasion, your loud crying on waking startled the household. Especially, the men at whose feet we slept. There was a reflexive response. A reciprocal startling shout from a man which stopped you cold in its retort. “Quiet, we need sleep! We have to work in the morning!” Startled, but regaining spatial awareness, you returned to your sleep position, head-to-feet with the other children at the foot of the bed, and returned to sleep. Nary a sound, nor commentary followed, thereafter.  Surmising the scenario and its underpinnings, you logged its contributions unknown in its affectations within the context of living, at the time.

In keeping with the treatise of living an examined life, comprehend its placement in what is called the Unknown-Places-Spaces of growth undertaken. Contemplative and Reflective, perhaps ongoing Meditation?

Surviving this Life

07/11/2016

Upon reading the recent Weekend Edition of the Toronto Star’s International New York Times Section, I happened upon an article with a photo containing this graffiti: “whiteness = virus”, and right below it, “blackness = disease”, followed by an article with information concerning a ‘proposed’ Law in the South African government to curb anti-hate speech!

 

Of course, here in North America, and possibly elsewhere, you will have those arguing for ‘Freedom-of-Speech’ unconcerned with cause-and-effect. To their minds, they consider this childish use of the term a rhetoric worth fighting for. Although, it’s not what any good parent in a long ago generation would allow. In fact, those parents would make certain they instilled what they believe to be respectful speech, and not the callousness that is allowed today. Question is, how did we get from there to here?

 

This ‘careless’ language rhetorically considered, ‘speaking your mind’ may very well be a direct result of a ‘permissiveness’ evolution that is now confronted by another runaway practice, ‘political correctness’. We see these two modus operandi locked in erroneously defended dispute with reason-the-casualty!

 

Basically, what I consider responsible speech is not only a lost cause, but also the path to human extinction, if there’s no turning around by good parental upbringing for socially aware children. Connect-the-dots, if you dare…

 

 

over-my-sholder

A – G – E

05/11/2016

Upon exiting the garage with all its bars, bar-bells and weights, this little tyke wandered out into the walkway/roadway of the area where homes were arranged in rows, side by side, to which he was accustomed. His little feet carried him along a well worn path whereupon stumbling was overcome long ago.

 

Something different was to occur on this occasion, after his garage experience with its patience lesson. He heard a commotion which was a result of the previous days rainfall. Several of the men had gone out on their customary rustling, as he had come to know. This was the opportune time to harvest land-crabs, as he heard the practice called. There was a vehicle returning from just such an excursion and he was to witness what was collected. Somehow, he remembered this and he looked forward with anticipation to what would result in a communal feast.

 

He saw large crocus (burlap) bags that moved in an undulating manner denoting their contents, land crabs! As he somehow knew, these were not creatures to be dealt with carelessly. If ‘handle with care’ was ever to be heeded, this was one of those occasions!

 

Large oil tin containers were cleaned, and seasoning added to an established level of water. Then came the moment he anticipated, the insertion of the live crabs into the boiling water. He looked on, when one of the men asked if he wanted to ‘hold’ one of the crabs. Without a moment of hesitation, ‘Yes’ came his reply. ‘Alright, then’, came the confirmation he hoped to hear.

 

He saw the large-hand holding the crustacean, its limbs/claws moving as if vexed at being manhandled. He was cautioned to take hold where his larger hand held the back of the crab. This little tyke’s hand felt the hardness, the residual dirt and grit from whence the land-crab was retrieved as he tried to grasp the vehement crustacean. Slowly, the bigger hand released its grip as the tyke realized two-hands were required, and none too soon.

 

This ‘holding’ sent sensations unfamiliar and frightening throughout this little tykes body-mind. In an instant he became aware of the association of force related to movement outside of himself. An unfamiliar shock accompanied questions that awoke in his mind added to his earlier garage experience. Instantly unexpected and enlivening was this experience, soon to be eclipsed by what was to come.

 

The crab was taken from his little hands and placed into the boiling oil-pan of seasoned water. As the pan was nearing saturation of crabs scrambling for survival, another was being tossed in. But, this one would not go quietly and offered up resistance. One last ditch effort, a grasp of defiance which found a fleshy substance on which to hold.

 

One of the men had somehow gotten careless and found himself in the clutches of that defiant claw. The one that was not so inclined to going quietly into the boiling pot, reflexively pinched in his direction. Without deliberation the claw was broken from its host-body. It was a forgone conclusion that this crab was to be included in this batch for the communal feast.

 

Into the seasoned, boiling water it went minus its still tightening claw that had to be removed quickly and carefully before breaking the skin of its intended victim, the owner of the claw seeking life over being the dinner menu. All this the little tyke saw, absorbing the process of life and death relative to communal dinner menu. This Aftermath Garage Experience, was a double-barrel afternoon learning session for this 4yr old, with more to come so long as he shall live.

 

 

2. Early Walking phase

G I

01/11/2016

Once upon a time on a small island colony in the Caribbean called Jamaica, there lived a baby boy. This little tyke was all about wandering about beneath the attention of those where he wanted, or so he thought.

 

Where he lived, in his mind’s awareness, he believed to be his entire world. He came and went at will without any restraint, because his little legs would not carry him very far and in his awareness there existed little else than where his feet would carry him.

 

On this particular day there were people going about their daily affairs which allowed his the freedom he so enjoyed each day. His awareness came into being on waking, and ceased to be at evening’s end where his mind shut down for sleep, this child’s world.

 

As I was saying, on this particular day two things were to occur which remained within his memory for decades to come. The first had to do with sounds coming from a garage space of which he was familiar. He was not allowed in unless what occurred within was over and done with of which was beyond his comprehension. On this occasion he was on hand to explore that inner space as goings on had been suspended for what was to be his second memory content.

 

He wandered inside the empty garage and saw what were equipment for body-building which the men of the compound used repeatedly. Of course, this practice he had never witnessed but he did hear the sounds of effort escaping. As he inspected each circular metal laying on the ground, he could not help notice their differences in size and thickness. There were also long bars laying about disconnected to the circle-things, unlike those that ran through others. It was at this time he ventured to touch one of these long bars.

 

He selected one of the bars laying by itself, deciding that those running through the centre of the circle ones were beyond his capability to lift. His little hands he felt would slide easily under the bar allowing him to lift it. Not only was his little fingers unable to slide under the bar, he felt a distinct pressure as he tried to roll it onto his fingers and decided this was not a good idea and would most likely end in what is considered pain!

 

Suffice to say, after a few attempts with the same potential for hurt, he relented to the Garage Insight, understanding that a lot of Time would have to pass in growing up like the big men who used these equipment, before he would be able to at least lift the bar to experience its effects without the suspected potential pain.

 

 

2. Early Walking phase

 

 

One final backward glance into the garage, he slowly wandered out to face the second memory experience he was to face.

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