Take  ~ Time,   Over-Achievers



Take it from me, from one who knows. I have been there, done that and survived to tell this tale for you to reflect not only on where you’re going but on the finer points of ‘how’ you’re getting there! The finer points underlying how your life will be once you believe you’ve arrived.


Providing you’ve not burned the proverbial candle at both ends, not to mention portions in-between and fallen victim to over-exhaustion and collapsed as I did. I may be suffering from one of a few post-traumatic syndromes but still functional, so as not to be a burden unto anyone until such time I depart this mortal coil.


It falls upon me to ask you reconsider as you peddle your wares throughout your life aiming for the moon to fall among the stars; that you slow it down a bit, and consider factors success-minded professors give superficial lip-service. We’re in an Age, a Time, an Era where the measure of success is of  spiritual excesses. A hyper-sensibility of self where being the best you can be is better than anyone else, attempting to outdoor what you claim is your own self.


The measure of your best self is better than anyone else in your sphere. You may not say it, realize it, much less accept it consciously; but, the evidence shows the trend it to be at the top of your field, the pinnacle as it were. Seminars, webinars, all manner of consultations and collaborations aimed at improving where you are without acknowledging what and where ‘this/that’ is.


When is enough, enough? The answer I fear is there is never enough in a world consistently and continually unfolding the way things are going. There is always another horizon, and the satisfaction for accepting the here and now has been lost to Time, in Time. This is a conundrum I call, “The Maltese Falcon”!






21. Ocean World DR '12

Not  a  One-Off


It was a day like any other day, much to do on a self-induced scheduled claiming business. What events I had to make in whatever time-frame desired, expected, has been forgotten but not what could have been quite the embarrassment!


The weather outside required thermal undergarment; and, since I chose to walk instead of using public transit or another mode of vehicular transport, I wore said undergarment. I suspect what occurred would be coming during my elder years, should I survive these times. Nonetheless, what claimed my attention to the point of distracted forgetfulness was, and still is beyond my recollection. 


What I do remember was gathering all I required in getting to where I intended to be for what was considered important. Materials gathered, radio turned off and making sure all non-essentials were unplugged, I exited my unit and made my way to the elevators for selection. On my way there something did not feel quite right. I suspected I had forgotten something essential, or possibly I was under-dressed. As in one episode during my early university year, I looked down to realize in confirming I was without pants in front of the approaching elevator.


So caught up was I in my internal dialogue, I exited my condo unit in only my thermal-undergarment, shoes and socks. Fortunately for me, the timing was fortuitous in it being an empty hallway! I made my way back to my unit, entered with renewed awareness of how deep in thought I was with concerns taking me away from requisite preparations. 


Dare I ask if you have had such an experience to be so preoccupied you forgot to complete the etiquette of your social responsibility of basic clothing? Definitely, an action belonging to the category of walking into a room then wondering about your purpose in being there, no?





Reminiscing The Pyre

K i n d n e s s    of   S t r a n g e r s



Time passed, numerous untoward experiences were endured and filed as I navigated this New World Order I was making my residence …              


There were systemic values I was to be introduced to, navigate as I adapt to my new surroundings. As previously mentioned, there were bullying efforts made but were thwarted by responsive and caring peers. Seeing I was set upon by others in the hallway, these lads took it upon themselves to intercede on my behalf possibly realizing my naivety warranted their countermeasures. There were no further efforts by anyone else, so these fellows must have had some sway and I never got to know who they were.


Later, during the summer months, my younger sibling and I were to become regulars at the neighbourhood swimming pool. This was a practice we hadn’t known was a no-no in the deep-south during those years. What I was told from a Polish duo like ourselves, was a forewarning of what would be their behaviour if we were to cross paths. In as courteous and polite as the older sibling could, I was to prepare for non-acknowledgment on the streets as they were instructed, by their parents to not interact with anyone darker-skinned. I thanked him for the heads-up and we resumed our social interaction poolside.


During another year, I was to acquire summer employment as a mail-deliverer of Consumers Gas, later called  Toronto Hydro, I believe. It was a program where high-school age students were employed to take the strain off regular mail-carriers while meeting the need of society for the summer months. During those summers I was to learn my way around the city, also discovering I was subject to allergies. I went through handkerchiefs the first part of everyday for two-weeks!


On a hot day in one neighbourhood, in the westside of North York, I needed to use the facilities after hydration practices. Approaching one house with my envelope, I inquired of a woman seated on her porch if I may use her facilities. She consented, added a glass of lemonade and snacks while engaging in cordial conversation before continuing my rounds, thereafter returning home.


Those were easy and peaceful times of orientation into Canadian culture, learning the in’s and outs of ways in being and interacting. By all accounts, news reports then as now in comparison, I was very fortunate in my experiences. There were other kindly engagements in low-threat environments. Later in the summer of my eighteenth birthday, I was gifted the novel ‘Siddhartha’ by Hermann Hesse. I had no idea the manager of the swimming pool where we developed friendships, that was to last decades, was observing my comings and goings and felt I could benefit from this novel.


That novel was a page turner. I could not put it down. In fact, I was so taken by this author I was to purchase and read as many of his writings as I could devour. I began and continued to discover the nature of my being. I was only scratching the surface of a veneer which I had to learn and ascertain was a protective device a lot later in Life …





2a. Getting Oriented c. 64

c. 1965

Kindness  in  Strangers


I have heard it said, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” Then, added was, “It’s not who you know, but who knows you.” Subsequently, I discovered, “It’s not only who knows you, but who knows of you and is watching you.” Most of all along the knowing path, is that those in-the-know have influence, can and do affect change for the better in your life.


Case in point. When I was new to this country I was subject to bullying biased in the difference of my ethnicity. In 1963, immigrants were in abundance from the European stage of performance. There was a minority of us from the Caribbean, some coming by way of Europe as did many from Eastern Europe arriving from the Mediterranean in not too recent times. While after registration in the School System, I was set upon by a select few who felt obligated, justified even, to let me know of the place I was to occupy by their belief system. Unfortunately for them, my naivety saddled with a genuine disregard for their belief system, I attracted a goodly sum of stalwart Mediterranean and European students who held different belief systems. Consequently, their efforts at bullying was ambushed in a timely manner putting a stop to them, permanently.


That did not stop those in the teaching staff of a subtler nature, and in positions to effect influence in a timely and traumatic way. This also, I was blissfully unaware until much later and accepted the pain which was to strengthen my within while awakening the knowledge and awareness of ethnic diversity as an issue of contention. I had still yet to develop the armour for this opposition and continued in Life with a pleasant outlook.





6. Growing Still




‘To Serve and Protect’ is the slogan emblazoned on the side of vehicles driving through the city. I can accept that, but on occasion one is forced to wonder if it’s an established belief throughout the police departments? Is it a statement adhered to by all upon entering and throughout training?


I recall in 1992, after having one beer and a lengthy conversation, I was driving home when I was pulled over for a ‘Spot Check’. I was greeted and questioned as to my consumption. There was no erratic driving, swerving, I was the sole driver in the area. I told the truth and was requested I take a Breathalyzer to confirm my claim. After a few minutes I was cleared, given the do-dad I used and bid a good night. I drove away wondering how things could have gone sideways there being two-officers and me being the single driver? It has gone as such for others.


Five years later, 1997, I was invited out by a few former-students and taken to a nightclub outside the city. It was a happening place and many beverages were consumed, but being the teetotaler that I am, I kept it to a minimum that I may remember the joyous experience. We closed the establishment, and the lads we quite inebriated so I elected to drive the group to a diner for the usual after-club fare and sobering-up process. There was a line up of squad cars just outside the parking area to check on patrons departing the nightclub.


We were pulled over along with a number of cars, and I was asked the usual question about consumption. This time my response, also true, “I was the designated-driver.” Upon inspection of our vehicle’s passengers’ status, I was seen to be speaking fact. I was bid a good-night and sent on my way, the lads continuing in their reverie with a few realizing what had transpired. The rest of the night went off splendidly and all got to their respective abode safely.


During the early 2000’s I was invited to another former-student’s nuptials where I had another splendid experience. Having gotten their by driving I elected to restrict my alcohol consumption. I had met a pleasant woman there, and engaged in jovial conversation. We were departing at the same time, so I inquired if she would like a lift to her home, as it was on my way. She accepted, and away we went.


I drove across the highway, it being an easier and direct route. Exiting the off-ramp was not to be as easy as it once was over decades of exiting on this ramp. I was pulled over by another ‘Spot Check’. There was a difference on this occasion, there being a more inclusive presence on this Check. The officer requesting my alcoholic consumption happened to be of similar ethnicity, and our exchange was familiar as on previous occasions. Another difference was the attitude of the other officer, whose ethnicity differed and similar to my passenger. 


He, rather impatiently, shouted what was taking so long? Came the  answered, “I am clearing the system.” That officer went silent implying I could have been blowing on an already blow system which was not pure! This officer was doing his due diligence, honestly. Had I blown in this equipment, unless going to court with the advertised ex-cops defending I would be screwed! I had only one glass of wine throughout the evening, toasting, and enjoyed the feast provided. I blew into the equipment.


Breathalyzer experience completed, I was sent on my way my passenger ever aware of what had transpired. I graciously parted with my company upon arrival at her destination, went my merry way with no more ‘Spot Checks’ throughout the remaining miles to my dwelling. 


One is always to do their due diligence, but HOW is the deciding factor which garners the reputation for a safe and enjoyable vocation into retirement. How often is that the aim upon choosing PSI as a career path?              It would be mine …





18. Riding in BC '07

%d bloggers like this: