I was quite amazed when I discovered that the moment, the now, I often stated I was living in was not the same Moment, Now, that existed. It is an altogether different qualitative, not simply quantitative, state of being.


I was on a sojourn up to the Japan Foundation of Toronto from my abode, and was interested in taking a few photographs of the Carlton/Church construction site, last Friday. As I was about to take my second photo, I saw a woman, visually challenged with guide dog, appearing to be having some difficulty while others hurried by not noticing her situation. I asked what she required and discovered she was going in the opposite direct she intended. Being told where she wished to go, I redirected her and she went on her way.


I completed taking my photos and resumed my northbound stroll up Church, and noted all the developments springing up along my path toward Bloor Street. It will be a marvellous sight as the area continues its unrecognizable appearance, as time goes bye and intended developments are completed. Destination reached, I enjoyed a much anticipated Japanese cultural experience, and return home.


It was not until I was approaching sleep, lying in bed, that my discrepancy of the day of being in-the-moment, in-the-now, was nothing but a created comfort zone. Indeed, it gets me through the day; but, while in discourse with the woman with her guide-dog I failed to suspend my picture-taking, cultural goal intention, as I spoke to the details of her walking intentions. True, I gave her directions to get to where she wanted to go, but I could have detoured toward her goal still getting to my desired location.

Reviewing the day, I realized detouring onto her intended path would have been ‘going with the flow’ and truly being in The Moment, The Now. If I was actually paying attention.


There may have been other incidents where this distinction between MOMENT-and-moment, NOW-and-now, were played out and went unrecognized and/or acknowledged; but, it was only on reviewing that aspect of my day did I notice the subtle distinction.


I trust she arrived at her destination safely with/without need of more assistance; because, I was to have yet another ‘chance’ encounter assail me, this time with a self-proclaimed ‘Medicine Woman’.




RaySurround Don




My extensive bachelorhood allows me to ponder the ridiculous and the sublime that passes as through my waking moments in the wee hours. One such thought is the inevitability of death and dying. The dying commences at birth, climaxing in that final breath, however/whenever that may be.

What amazes me is the fact that many of us do our level best to avoid, deny death’s very existence via a multitude of distractions, even in grieving. I’m not saying death is to be doted on, far from it; but, I find it most interesting that at the slightest indication of death’s presence, literally all hell breaks loose in designed imaginings beyond descriptions resulting in the losing of our collective minds.

The numerous industries dedicated to staving off this inevitability, the basics occurring in medicine and religions. Oddly, these two areas account for many deaths they were created to mediate, all the while decaying daily, distracting ourselves by any means necessary.

I am plagued by the noticing of these things via the musings proliferating my consciousness, in the wee hours when many are sound asleep, and the cacophony of normalcy is simply a hum.

Decay is noticeable through injury and old age, as some would call them. Out of sight and out of mind is the preference, while to look on any reflecting surface is to be reminded of what had been misplaced/misused from birth throughout the ensuing years, depending on the era of one’s birth. Our excitement inevitably grows into quiet/knowing where emerges the fear of losing the day, and the dying becomes apparently all too real.

It is then that Death shows Its mantle, some call ‘shroud’, where in the comic realm it’s considered a hero’s cape, a sign of courage, heroism and power. This transitioning I am learning to embrace, while apprehensive of its import; then again, I am still a work in progress, all things considered.

50. HALO



Unsettling Reminder          ~           4


The first six-years of my teaching career consisted of auspicious and challenging times offering incremental financial and professional stability. Along the way student loans were being repaid, and day-to-day expenses were being met, while I supplemented my part-time teaching position with part-time jobs, training and competing along with being an assistant-instructor during my Tae Kwon-Do studies.


I did what I could to develop a social circle, attempting to engage in semblances of intimacy with the fairer sex. I had a whirlwind existence where thinking was in the moment, to say the least, with ongoing communication with my art education supporter I fading into the ether.

I was placed in a junior high school which sequestered my attention immediately upon arrival. Synchronistically, it was also at the time I attempted a marriage with my honeymoon relegated to the duration of a long weekend. My teaching experience increased, along with my other avocational endeavours, during which time I was able to secure my first full-time teaching position, albeit on a year by year basis.


It was nine years after graduating from the Art/Dramatic Arts Education Program that the temporal aspect of my full-time teaching retained aspects of permanency. All the while my conditioned observations presumed the external expressions of established personalities round about me were seen to be of issues dissimilar to mine. By their self-possessed exteriors, and wealthy possessions, I believed their lives were experiences of smooth sailing as Life pressed onward.

In time, relocating into a secondary school after my junior high school tenure, memories of my art education supporter faded even further, although not my memories of how her support opened me the opportunity to apply myself towards this career path.

As I was nearing the end of my tenure in teaching, unsettling discoveries about her and my Psychology of Education Mentor surfaced. Chance meetings with colleagues/associates, where reminiscence of the past were shared, brought to mind kind regards about these personalities as well as unpleasant revelations.

Bits of unpleasantness I accepted tempered with my fond regard. Still, I was left wondering, if given the chance, would the ending of their lives bring closure to our relationships that faded over the years? About her, I was regaled with details of the stages of her unravelling, as if in passing.

Unbeknownst to me, her personal life had eroded, with disclosure nonexistent. This non-disclosure, as many refer to as ‘privacy’, leads to dissolution which may or may not have been imminent. The details that came forward illustrated an out of control, self-medicated assistance fuelled loneliness.


A fall that proved fatal occurred while she was on a retreat, which cut short any opening to an opportunity for recovery. Her life may have been but a footnote in the Annals of Life; but, to me, her inputs into my life were noteworthy, highlights that provided me opportunities to actualize what inspired me in that Central Technical High School grade nine Math Class, in 1963.


16. Room 113a Mid-'90s



FALLEN  ANGEL                3


A Turn of Events 


One year passed, as I explored other career path options and found them wanting in substance for mutual benefits. Nearing the year’s ending after graduating with a bachelor’s degree, I sought to speak with friends from my university days concerning the ‘teaching’ suggestion. I was pleasantly surprised when one discussion resulted in a proposal for some decisive input. One friend’s sister-in-law was a high school teacher in my discipline, unlike the martial arts classmate who taught English at my old alma mater.

A social meeting was suggested during which time she would regale me with insights and answer any questions I might be entertaining. Questions, of course, would be biased in ignorance similar to my ongoing state of affairs. We agreed upon a time, her home being more convenient and comfortable.


Our information session social came and went, adding a developing friendship in the process. My application to Teachers College was fortuitous and successful. Thus, began my journey into the realm of education. The school year sped bye, with a kind coincidence occurring. As was expected, teachers-to-be participated in four on-the-job teacher training sessions in their area of study. Curiously, my second assigned school took me to the sister-in-law’s school, demonstrating the practicality of her advice/input.


What she said no longer feigned past-experience/theory impracticality to the day’s clients. I was able to see actual exemplars in her practice in comparison to my naive-detached comprehension. I completed the other assigned practicals and found myself facing an uncertain future on many levels. Were it not for the kindness in timely mentoring by a professor of Psychology of Education, I doubt I would have survived for as long as I had. A whole other journey for the telling in my multi-layered process through this Life. There was yet another turn of events, a timely alignment of stars, in my uncertain Life process.


I was unable to secure a full-time job teaching, due to declining enrolment, but I was able to secure a position on the Occasional Teachers Roster, unlike what it is now. Unexpectedly, I found myself substitute-teaching at my pre-teaching, and practicing-teaching, advisor’s school for an absentee colleague. On another occasion, I also substituted for her on emergency days. Two years following, I secured a half-time teaching position which became available in her school!


Being aware only of my survival needs I missed signs of her developing issues, holding onto romantic notions of education. I did not notice her unravelling, as I encountered an occasion to be threatened by one of the adult-students there in attendance. Subsequently, I was transferred to a junior high school benefitting all concerned, but not her as I was later to discover.



13. After Teaching '81



FALLEN  ANGEL                                     2

Personal Interruptions                                                           


A plethora of naive decision-makings, resulting in unfortunate/fortunate episodes, placed me in the position of studying Tae Kwon-Do in the Fall of ‘70. The following year, I changed my majors and resumed studies to acquire an Honours BA in Fine Arts. Insofar, as to be asked about having a career path upon graduation by my TKD classmate, I was unable to give thought to an answer that would give it meaning and qualification.


I was having second thoughts about the goal I had in mind from grade nine, upon hearing my Math teacher’s advice which played over and over in my mind since. At the time of hearing the advice in 1963, I had no way to contextualize much less qualify what I was hearing. There was no one in my household to whom I could run-it-by for such necessary content ‘n context. It was expected, a custom, that I was to sort things out as I went along,there appearing no calamity in sight, as schooling was believed pretty much a straightforward endeavour.


I was left to my own devices which appeared easy going on the surface, as I made it through to graduating high school and university. Fortunately, I overcame all the inherent/intrinsic nuances, surviving the life in higher learning, with family members standing proud of that achievement at convocation in 1975.


To fully answer the question asked, I was inspired to seek advice about teaching as a career path. I sought to gather enough data to augment/supplement my knowledge/survival base, as never before. I had never considered pursuing any career path, much less this unique, and to my mind then unusual, idea of being teacher. This sourcing quest was underway…




Sault Ste Marie Championship



FALLEN  ANGEL  ~    BEGINNINGS                        


It was the Winter of ’74 when a then friend and fellow martial arts student, who was a high school teacher, asked what I intended to do with the university degree I was about to acquire after four years of study? My reflex reply, secure a job. I did not know how to qualify my answer, even to say a good paying job. Neither he nor I knew the cause to not have a qualifier. His question brought to mind how I happened to be where I was, and on what he was unaware about his inquiry.


MY journey began in my high school math class of ’63/’64, where/when Mr. Graham looked upon our large group of immigrants, eager to learn, and offered a bit of advice, as he was want to do on occasion. He noted our ethnicities, Eastern Europeans, Europeans-Mediterraneans and Caribbean, me, as cause.


He, being Irish, understood what was before us and strongly suggested, if possible, that we secure a university education in order to have a meaningful and economically stable future. He went on to qualify his suggestion with getting a good job, having a home and family, and not allowing ourselves to be limited.
Given social conditions then, it would not have been a stretch to consider me not excluded in that offering. Superficially, socially limited by proxy, I was unaware of the civil rights biases ongoing at the time. I took his advice to heart and set about keeping my head down, nose to the grindstone, as best I could going forward. Passed each grade, graduated grade thirteen and secured admission into university five years later, the Fall of 1968.



c. 1962




Is the content of our being simply the musings on conditions by brain circuitries, considered our spark by many?


We are born, we live, kind of; and, we die, to transmigrate, as the saying goes, with our contextual content. How did this come about, and how did we maintain, use and survive till our ending?


I ask these questions biased in personal musings regarding societal values placed on my human being contents. Reflecting on my varied life contexts during late night quiet moments favours a mindset reminding me of what has been lacking in my life.


It is a matter of what I’ve come to learn from years of education, which reveals through the years how my current disposition evolved. All have been results of nature and nurture, much of which I have been gifted but unable to cultivate by a lack in quality of nurturing. This situation is not uniques to me. In fact, it is my position that the world’s primary energy crisis is that of human energy.


Similar to many others, I was unable to have access to resources that would allow proper and mutually beneficial developments of my abilities; abilities, many call talent. I have observed many people with single and multiple talent modalities remain that undeveloped, some leading to frustration with various debilities.


Do we create to communicate, dominate, or benefit the whole? How do we choose to gainfully cultivate our abilities? Is our specie destined to be at war with itself favouring individual gains displacing overall global well being until we learn how-the-lesson of Infinity?



2. I spy

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