One never knows what circumstances Life awaiting. The conditions included cannot even be imagined. Take, for example, the country in which you are born? Can you imagine, much less fathom, the time and place goings on upon arrival by your birth? These conditions/circumstances are things accepted, taken for granted in which we operate hitting the ground running, so to speak.


I had been alive fro 14yrs, thirteen of which was on a Caribbean Island, and the fourteenth in a northern city in North America. I entered a high school to begin my journey through a new education system, learning as I grew which included the realms of biology, psychology and sociology. During the latter years of my learning one area involved what was considered extra-curricula, specifically track and field. Little did I know I was amassing qualifications to receive a certificate of athletics award.


It was during my third year, that a turning point for the school’s track and field team occurred. A coach who had a passion for the venue took over the team. He was to cultivate and develop a tradition going forward. Unfortunately, it was at a time I was heading toward graduation so his attention focussed on the lads who would benefit the school from his efforts. I was transitioning out as they were transitioning in. 


Nonetheless, I crossed path with another student, one in the Visual Arts section of the school, and a member of the track and field team. He was a junior, one who would benefit from this new coach while I transitioned out. Two years later, I was to graduate and journey through Life’s awarded conditions for twelve years. Life offered circumstances for me to immersed myself in a self-defence system of the martial arts for ten of those twelve years. 


I had transitioned out of the martial arts school Life conditions had presented, and was in the early phases of attempting to continue developing my skillset by establishing my own martial arts school. During one of my usual walkabouts I decided to step into a jewelry establishment I had passed on occasion because its marquee imaged a symbol for which I had an interest. It was a stylized image of a Unicorn.  


I entered the establishment by way of a descending stairway opening into an marvellous expansive space with original-crafted, free-form jewellery pieces. What made this decision to enter synchronistic was the experience of recognition that followed. It turned out the proprietor and I were track & field teammates in our high school years, thirteen years earlier during which time a myriad of drama/traumas occurred. 


There we were, face-to-face, not knowing that this meeting was just the beginning of unimaginable drama/traumas to come.       







Forewarned  –  not  –  Forearmed



For the first time, after numerous occupations since my arrival in Toronto and upon completing 25yrs in teaching, I received a government document in the mail revealing decades of pension contributions. It was noticeable because, in tandem, I received notification I would qualify for early retirement in 3yrs. A timely notification as decades of stress and drama/traumas I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, symptoms I had unrecognized when experienced.


Many years have passed since my early retirement began, and what appears a constant is the unfolding of decades of missteps and misadventures that might have been avoided if those around me were not either intimidated and/or had envious inclinations of how I may have benefitted at the time of their inputs. Luckily, I did receive one or two inputs which I was able to explore, and one resulted in being employed in the teaching profession. 


Although, I was able to enter into that vocation it was not without its naysayers, opposition and withholders. Even their promoted concept of mentoring was not applied to me by those who had it within their jurisdiction to support me by such data. Unbeknownst to all, navigating the education required astuteness to grasp as whatever straws were within reach as I overcame early stuttering and dyslexia both of which were not labelled as educational restrictions then.


Through strict discipline, corporal and otherwise, I was able to develop strategies to process and learn through my undiagnosed dyslexia, obsessive-compulsive and attention deficit hyperactive behaviour. Other laymen terms used during my early childhood years, especially upon emigrating to an anglo-dominant society where I received a definitive set of labelling geared toward my ethnic appearance.


Nonetheless, ‘I made it through the rain’ as the lyrics claim, albeit in a different context to where surviving my life’s dramas/traumas, which included asthma, have brought me. Appreciating where I am requires more time than I feel is afforded me by the preceding years achievements which, upon reflection are many. I am tasked with recognizing and releasing the hurt and pain heaped upon me deliberately and happenstance/ignorance along my way.


The way forward involves making peace with the way travelled, requiring the kindness of family, friends and strangers alike; including, the naysayers, the angered and injured along the way. My ignorance from lack-of-support caused unintended injuries as I too was likewise injured. So much forgiveness to going forward from backwardness, which is the only way toward healing and growth if wholesomeness is to be experienced while ageing out of this mortal coil.








During my first attempt at acquiring what was deemed a higher education, I hit a brick wall founded on ignorance meted out via cultural shifts: being a person of colour in an otherwise uncaring and unknowing system after emigrating from a similar system where I was a majority yet minority. Contemplate that statement a while and I hope it does make sense.


After finding myself in unfamiliar territory which required tools other than the required educational qualifications of which I was unaware, I was unprepared to accomplish the goal I had yet to set for myself having arrived on the scene. I faced other dilemmas to choose among in order to proceed under conditions bearing down upon me. I had arrived onto this higher education stage and found I was misplaced. I was erroneously registered in a faculty of interest without requisite qualifications!


WHAT  to  DO? I was admitted conditionally with borderline qualifications, via the student loan program and without information to improve the condition of faculty misplacement. Dropping-out/leaving was not a desired option; then, what!?


I decided to continue onward, staying-in but dropping-out having accepted being unsuccessful as the eventual outcome. I rationalized my particulars: no working-tools from home and school experiences; inaccurate faculty placement; student loan commitment; and, no job possibilities had I chose returning from whence I came. It was the most logical choice to my understanding. In spite of the accepted outcome, what was ahead was a vast unknown being where no one had gone before in my family history! I had arrived on the plane of university higher-learning, I was a University student! The first in my families, being the first-born from both parents families, albeit disenfranchised by divorce!


The year proved a most essential part of growing into adulthood, although void of understanding adulthood and manhood apart from what was onscreen in movie theatres during my formative years. Transiency and disruption was a mainstay throughout my earlier years which I navigated with calm exterior many observed, and I learn to manage behaviours as I proceeded in Life. In my head, through my childhood eyes I observed Life and Death, deciphered according to developing environmental customs, which changed randomly and spontaneously on the whims and necessities of the adults/grown-ups in charge then.


Now, in university, I was to choose and decide on those preceding life-stylings which were biased and sparse. Paying attention to the moment, acting on what I observed in university life at the time in Windsor of the 60s, across from Detroit, USA, my adventure far away from home began. Lodging was the priority, as I began my worldview education; a first, abiding inadequate acquisition.





2b. Viewing the Archer




Repressions/Suppressions were the patterns in my growth. There was never a time when excitement was not followed by grief and hurt, so I relegated myself to being mindful of all that I did and/or was invited into doing as Time went bye. 


Of course, being human I dared on occasion either through forgetfulness or hopefulness to follow a whim or fancy only to find I had chosen unwisely. Not all were without benefit(s) but all were followed by, if not accompanied by a pain. I was somewhat aware of my reserved manner and apparent lack of excitement toward experiences where others would otherwise show enthusiasm. It is difficult for me to be as expressive when the aftermath of similar experiences brought out naysayers, not to mention those scheming to demean any of my achievements or accomplishments.


Maybe, as it appears, folks just cannot help themselves. 


On one hand they compliment and cheer me on, all the while reserving reflexive opposition and disdain. Without their knowledge, by happenstance, I would often overhear their private statements in tones that lacked the praises they previously showed in public. I am approached in friendship while plans are made to subvert any kind of success in favour of others. It was a usual mainstay of my martial arts experience: praise with envy, when followed by an honorarium. I found myself on a mountaintop with unexpected accomplishments many believed I desired due to my fervour in getting to the so-called ‘top’ of my game. 


Similarly, in education, I was the first of my generation to acquire a degree and, although admired and possibly praised, I am given the moniker one to whom a certain respectful distance is given. Unfortunately, this respectful distance acts as a barrier whereby nothing knowingly gets in or out. 


Then, there is the physical appearance to which I had not been consciously aware, until 1986 when I was recommended to ‘take a look in the mirror’. I was unable to comprehend that recommendation until 30yrs later. Since it was first mentioned, I would look and ask myself, “What was I to see that I had not seen before?” After all, my reply to the initial question, “Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror?” was, “Yes, whenever I brush my teeth and comb my hair each morning.” 


Thereafter, came the recommendation, to “just stand there and look at yourself”, which I did on occasion but was unable to gain the insight of comprehension until decades later. Much had to occur in the interim, and it wasn’t until reflection in my early-retirement did I begin to grasp what I was to apprehend. Too little, too late? Maybe; too soon to tell, possibly?






11b. Outside the Ring  '74





Vancouver, 1985, one year after becoming acquainted with a lovely and pleasing lass, we decided I would spend 5weeks of my summer vacation with her and her daughter of 2yrs. It was to be, without being consciously aware, a part of healing which I was experiencing after separating from my wife in December of 1983. It was an odd phase in living, as I was unaware of the larger contributions to the entire process. Nonetheless, having met a year earlier, I felt drawn and driven to spend this time in bonding with her and her daughter.          


In spite of the good intentions, I was to experience something that was to surface 14yrs in a future-present stemming from a childhood experience, drama/trauma, some 28yrs earlier. The feeling was unnoticed at first, subtle and innocuous but it impacted on my consciousness like a freight train. My immediate response was a frightening followed by the desire for flight, which I did. I had a visitation offered to reside with a family during my travels and, without intending to accept at that time, I elected it as an escape route. I was experiencing panic unaware of its root cause.      


I have had desires to leave situations before, but none so acute with fear. I did know I felt I was becoming attached to my paramour’s 2yr old daughter, with the fear I would feel a hurt unlike anything I could bear and I had to return to my life in another province 3,000miles away. Although, I was establishing an intimate bond with a new love, simultaneously there was a bonding with this little being that I was not expecting. Especially, not expecting in this manner, but I had never been in this kind of relationship before. It was to emerge much later in my mind ‘separation anxiety’ played greatly as an unknown in my living.


 Until the future-present knowing, I was to live my life in episodic fashion without anyone being aware, least of all me. I was simply observed as a man about town, without desire for commitment and carefree. During the entire process, I did harbour a distinct opposition to the commentary, “What you don’t know can’t hurt you”, because what I came to know over Time was proving that a fallacy and misdirection. Painful as knowing may appear, I always elect the knowing.    


I now know of my experiential conditionings. What was not known, and was to be accepted, the way forward unfolding. 







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