When considering/contemplating clutter, it is not with kindness and compassion but with disdain, for the most part. Speaking of onlookers and sometimes victims of the issue. Clutter is seen as the result of hoarding in the extreme, if not soon to be. I speak of the unconscious collecting of things over a period of time spanning decades, and I am speaking from experience as I sit and ponder the task ahead to de-clutter.


I am told, a little at a time dissolves the mass pile up. Not so, if you’re in the clutches and living alone. The mass has become a non-verbal companion, one of involuntary comfort. I cannot satisfactorily elaborate, nor explain, the sensation accompanying the mass that grew slowly under varying conditions without being noticed. All I can say, my mass grew as a result of caring individuals who wished to show their affection for me over extended periods and I failed to definitively say, ‘No, I don’t need more things among the many already given and accepted.’


Now, ridding myself of these accumulated emotional baggage manifested as gifts has become a monumental task. One I loathe doing in seclusion, as I find myself wanting to spend my time with different pursuits as much as possible. 


I look at the numerous boxes and know just one at-a-time will net me breathing room on many levels. But, I procrastinate as solemn feelings flow without inviting me near the mound in front of me. I turn on the computer and allow words to flow while avoiding knowledge of a storage locker with contents that beckons me, still.


The clutter is a combination of gifts and household contents that ought to be in places where they may be useful, instead of steadfastly occupying boxes. I recall TV shows that put my collection to shame, but that is of little consequence since I was such an organized and tidy person. 


Suffice to say, I did have a catalyst that prompted my clutter dilemma. I was on the border of clutter, when my dwelling dell on complicated times forcing me to adapt by reducing my living space. Sadly, the complication saw not resolution for about 12yrs, by which time I had accustomed myself to a pathway of mobility that resulted with me ‘camping out in my own living space’, as a former neighbour remarked. Among room for the increasing strain I fell into accommodating my self to rudimentary behaviour patterns.


During these difficult years, even though many were aware of my conditions, being unable to offer adequate support, gifts were given in show of solidarity. I accepted the gifts being distracted by my dilemma and had not contemplated the import of the gift-givings. Those same givers now offer advice ’n suggestions to de-cluttering without realizing how my mass evolved, and the psychological aspects of much of my contents, professional portions notwithstanding.


The attachments run deep, not so deep that parting becomes impossible but impractical to simply ‘chuck what has not been used over time’. Being a thinking person, I am conscious of the value of things in spite of not them not being used over time. Therein lives much of my dilemma in parting with my collection. The things are slated to go, but the HOW of their departure hinges on a emotional state in being alone in the process.


Similar to being overweight, it’s more than what is visible that is involved. I am tasked with coming to terms with them all and the resolve to begin. I am on it, and will address it, soon. 





3a. Bathroom:Livingroom Contents





I have often wondered about clutter, this much maligned product-of-unexplained attitude/behaviour/conduct. There are many reproaches and reproofs offered, not to mention advice to eliminate Its expression. Suffice to say, it’s symptomatic of an emotional state going unacknowledged/unrecognized and inappropriately unattended. 


It is my belief, biased in self-analysis, that this is a state of arrested-development accumulating addictive emotional baggage which, if left alone, will petrify. At the same time, forcing – shaming and the like resolves nought as a workable solution. 


The answer is as clear as mud in your eyes, and similarly as irritating for seekers of easy answers.






AWAKENING  MIND     …   c.’67


During our residence in this neighbourhood, semblance of stability began to settle albeit with an undertow of restlessness on automatic since childhood. “What you don’t know won’t hurt you”, is the saying, but that’s for those with privileges and luxuries where others picked up the tab, paid the price.


Time passed and friendships evolved, I discovered our neighbourhood was comprised of Jews from various nations, Italians and Hungarians with a ‘doors open’ policy. Sadly, our homogeneous experiences lasted two years before I was to face another relocation. As usual, going with the flow learning from incoming sagas.


I was to be influenced by so many unconscious conditionings I had no idea how pervasive and affective through adolescence and into adulthood. Decisions made on choices not fully realized nor understood but accepted nonetheless, come what may.


Religious beliefs played a big part in the process, all subliminally inserted into my mind as fact. I was christened Presbyterian; went to a Baptist elementary school; attended a Methodist church on Sunday; spent a year under Catholicism; family ascribed to Church of God Saints of Christ, Pentecostal Revivalism and Seventh Day Adventist dogma. All of these influences, including a maternal grandfather as a roving preacher, before my 13th birthday.


I arrived on the continent psychologically indoctrinated and on my way to fulfilling my conditioning to become a minister, a missionary a some faith. This was to change arriving on the street where cross-referencing of multiple-cultures accepting each other abounded. While I blended and made friends, there was the sharing of many  ideas within our brood. More incoming ideas than outgoing. It was clear I had been exposed to ideas that I accepted without question, possibly because I didn’t know how to formulate relevant questions. Information was absorbed before questions could be formulated. “Nothing from nothing is nothing”, as the saying goes.


The 2yrs spent in that neighbourhood was the seeding. The gestation was upon me during our move northward for the period of one year.


It was unusual for this to occur, our mother being a reckoning force with when it came to attending church on Sundays which sometimes meant all day! Somehow, the morning light shone differently one particular Sunday. My attendance call to church was requested from my bedroom door. I turned and said, “No, I’m not going.” Expecting a tirade followed by an argument, which I was prepared to endure, but a voice said, “Okay”, then silence. Soon after, I heard the door close signifying attendance in church without me.


I was dumbfounded, wondering not only what just occurred but also what would forthcoming, and its import? What was coming was not only unimaginable, but also influenced by prior conditionings yet to be recognize. I was unable to realize how what was to come was to affect my disposition going forward.  





Waterfront NW - SE Panorama 23.7.13




How much preparation has one done, and how much Time is there leading up to and including one’s Transmigration preparation phasing?


These questions have floated throughout my consciousness during the year, along with others preceding. I reflect on the preparations I am told are essential: Last Will ’n Testament, requiring an Executor; a Living Will requiring a Power of Attorney; and, last but not least as far as I know, a Resuscitation Waiver! 


I considered their suggestions; but then, there are other thoughts. Whence did we come before this consciousness insertion, invasion? Did we behave similarly in other planes of existence? Are we on some awakening process, accorded to each the amalgamation of parts essential to unique specifications for Actuation of the Whole?


I ask this question Loudly muted in text to Alert all on this consciousness level frequency. 


CAN   YOU   HEAR   me?





Rain Aftermath*




I was traversing through Life when I was simultaneously party to puberty and emigrating to another country. I was to discover my education was wanting for things were not as I had interpreted them. I was into our fourth relocation upon arriving within the space of two years. The first relocation was from an internal family policy. The second being the ceiling of the basement apartment was too low for my sprouting height. The third was of unknown origins, but the fourth was an ideal setting where we resided for two whole years.


It was in this location that friendships began and flourished with neighbours of many Eastern and Southern European origins. We, the only colourful ‘n single-parent family living on the street, to engage fluidly with the other adolescents. I found myself greeting passers by from the veranda, easily meeting with most of our neighbours. Meeting one person extended into many, with their welcoming parental units who were usually absent during our peer interactions.


There were two occasions that caught me off-guard, one being more exploratory that the first. The first occurred in grade eight when a fellow student told me of his Italian origins. To this I inquired, what was an Italian and where was that country located. We referenced a map, and to my surprise I was thinking in historical terms and he was speaking of geography. The land mass he referred to as Italy, I referred to as Rome and I had to update my frame of mind including this data going forward.


The second came as an even greater surprise, as it related to religion as well as geography!


I overheard a peer being referred to as ‘slimy’, by other fellows around him. I paid little attention to the tone of the exchange being preoccupied by the confusion of the reference. I introduced myself and inquired his actual name since I doubt his name was truly ‘Slimy’. He told me his name was Solomon and ‘Schloimy’ was a filial reference, the short for Solomon. To this I inquired further as to his country of origin. He claimed Eastern European origins, and a Jew. 


I was perplexed. In disbelief I asked, “What do you mean you’re a Jew?”. I stated, “Weren’t all Jews now Christian since the resurrection?” He was calm and patient with me, noting the sincerity in my reaction. He elaborated that was not so, as the Jewish belief had a different spin on the Jesus thing, my bias. Fortunately, seated upon hearing this revelation, otherwise I could have fallen from this surprising revelation. Caught off-guard twice, amazed in such a short space of time.


The Italian update had a day-to-day exposure process during school activities. Not so with the Jewish-thing. Schloimy and I became friends, and he revealed more of his religious belief, which included the Friday evening practice, and the Saturday Baths exposure I was to experience a few times. 


These Baths took place in ‘Settlement House’ across the street from what is now OCAD (Ontario College of Arts & Design). It was a time relegated solely to males in very warm temperature setting, a pool and steam rooms. I found myself among men of varying ages, mostly senior while Schloimy and I played, swimming and enjoying in our growing friendship and processing mind-altering information.





2b. Setling In c.'65

TRYST          …            …            …         Cont’d.



I had successfully completed the weeks of training and, along with the others, was assigned a position at a train yard outside the city proper. All of us were assigned yards and stations to patrol on a rotating shift basis. Not a favourite routine, and definitely an unpopular one, as each week our shift rotated eight-hours: 7am – 3pm; 3pm – 11pm; 11pm – 7am. The one forced my resignation was the 11pm – 7am shift. I had difficulty staying awake in spite of the split-shift on the gate and the shed/yard, patrolling included. 


The gate-shift was lively with trucks coming and going; and, the shed/yard shift with its patrolling became a strain which I didn’t manage well. I would nod off mid-routine after my 3:30am meal. My work ethic, and personal moral compass, left me feeling I was derelict in my duties. I endured, but time came when a strike by workers was set and we were informed of 12hr-shifts. This did not sit well with me, and not comprehending the whole process, worst of all keeping my thoughts and observations to myself by not consulting with anyone about goings on, I took the only recourse in my limited understanding.


I was a CN Police Officer with possibilities of a career ahead, but personal history unknowingly hamstrung my comprehension of this. Having input, no parental or profession, disclosing this occupation’s import made for my faulty choice. This and many other intended opportunities went unnoticed due to lack of knowledge by all concerned, including well intentioned mother and step-father, as well as by the social circumstances/conditions of the era. I chose to depart the job believing I could not manage it because of the twelve-hour shifts, facing strike-workers and that I had not been performing my duties optimally.


I saw this as a ‘getting my feet wet’ opportunity in another police force setting. I now know I my internal dialogues without consultations with others had carried benefits of new insights. Things I was not privy to being a newcomer in more ways than one, also being young. Fortunately, Life behaves kindly towards me since my actions were sincere biased by my comprehensions, limited though they were. True, there were intrinsic losses, but by and large everything balanced out and I landed on my feet during those years.


There were another occupations awaiting me. Not in the enforcement realm, a bit more menial since my information base was limited. To his credit, my step-father was vigilant in steering me into other domains, albeit other spheres to discovery inabilities of which neither he nor my mother were aware. They might have been, but were uncertain of how to broach the subject to me given how we got to where we were. Be that as it may, I learned we all behave according to our conditionings whether in good or ill processes.    





2a. Getting Oriented c. 64




Upon emigrating to Canada I noticed weapon-carrying was the practice, so I decided to forego being a police officer. As I went through Time, I found more than enough experiences where I interacted with them purely by happenstance. In this happenstance I accounted my ‘getting lost’ and being asked why I was ‘running away from home’; almost and inadvertently led into being a ‘confidential informant; getting an impromptu, post-graduate ‘sex-education’ session upon my eighteenth birthday; and, a Hollywood exemplar of a, ‘In the Heat of the Night’ southern cop. Yet, as my age increased, so was there a growth in possibilities for serious consequences by overzealous, discordant and disrespectful officers.


I was able to circumnavigate the social, civil-rights waters with little interaction with law enforcement. It was my mother’s zealous actions, out of necessity, that saw me in-school or doing-any-job to earn supplemental income to support the weight she carried by raising two-children on her nurse’s salary. It was her way to insulate me from biased social information. I was only privy to the fact that ‘work’ was available and I was obliged to attend to any ‘n all opportunities. There were many, and with both our inputs Life was a pleasant blur.


One effort put forward was attending to the recommendation supported by my step-father, an Englishman who opened doors otherwise, and unknown, closed to me during those years. Knowing where to go is just as important as what to go for, being well recommended. It appears this was one of many suggestions he had presented, but I was ill-equipped to seeing them all the way through. Recollection has revealed being without exemplars in having a male-figure, role-model, in my growing years I was badly dysfunctional and without the essential psychological vocabulary. 


This particular job opportunity brought me into room of males. After a time in the room I noticed I was the odd man out. Colouring (smiling to myself) anomaly became noticeable. We were a casual bunch, with lots to talk about while eating together in the mess, and learning about the .303 rifle and .38 handgun. I was also out here by asking a question, which became an issue. Succeeding in training and joined the rank in file, outfitted with uniforms, handgun included. How do I wear the firearm? Feeling awkward, lopsided, I wanted to balance the weight by carrying the gun in the holster and the bullets in the pouch, each being on either side of my body?


In no uncertain terms, I was told this was not allowed because I may be called upon to shoot/terminate any livestock damaged by misadventure with a train. I was now a CN Police Officer, an occupation I didn’t know existed until then, and set to earn a decent wage over the long haul. Of course, I was unprepared, under-informed and immature by Life’s Circumstances. Ignorance prevailed and I quit before realizing this was an opportunity, and it’s import was not duly understood. I could’ve had a career in keeping with my patriarchal grandfather’s. … 





2a. Getting Oriented c. 64



How do you describe, ‘depression’, without resorting to colloquial-speak spawned of journals and media expositions? Have you ever woken up feeling wrapped in a state of suppressed-anxiety, bordering on panic, and feeling Life is circling an unknown drain that empties into an abyss from which reprieve is not expected nor relief believed forthcoming?


Many a day I rise from my sleeping place to perform required bodily functions, then to quickly and quietly return to same place of sleeping, no one the wiser or aware if I hadn’t. Of course, there are medications of varying blends to assist in managing each day’s processes, many choices of lesser evils offering temporary relief effects given the qualities and quantities of desired consumption.


Thankfully, there are those rare days when the mobile chimed offering an inviting distraction to refuel my diminished soul, instead of the usual illusive deceptions that continually challenges dwindling intrinsic resources; phew! 


Still, reprieves are temporal from which I awoke daily. 


But, should the formats of contributions be adequate/appropriate to my needs sensibilities and sensitivities, I feel obliged to continue in the postponement into that inevitable passage.


How natural and long-lasting are your selections providing uplifting resolutions in postponing that inevitable journey? 





BEING   NEIGHBOURLY                …            b.



Exiting the elevator, more of my thoughts turned to comparative exemplars of unneighbourly behaviours I experience this past year. Prior to this year were many examples of kindnesses, but not many this past year. I recall when paying for groceries I was distracted by an automated prompter, only to leave my wallet atop a machine and not being accorded a reminder by those in line or staff there. Somehow, all were preoccupied and I was forced to replace documents including recently withdrawn cash.


Months later, while in the Research Library, a young fellow passed ‘bye’ my table on his way to friends around a corner. As he passed, $15 fell from his pocket, one bill at a time with no one seeing. I got up from my seat, picking them up, followed to see him greeting his peers. They looked up at me in wonderment, to which I remarked, “Do you want these? I can keep ‘em, if you’re wealthy enough to allow cash to fall from your pocket?” He was alarmed. He thanked me for returning his cash, and they all laughed as I turned around returning to my desk.


A week later, walking west along King approaching Simcoe, a woman dropped $10 bill while fielding her cellphone in conversation. I remarked at the bill’s fall and a couple behind her retrieved it and handed it to her. She thanked them and went on her way. 


A few days, I found myself repeating the same scenario I did previously at the grocery store. This time I placed a promotional text atop the machine noting to myself to place it in the bag along with my purchases. To my dismay, I found I left it atop the machine again having been distracted by a nearby customer requiring attention form a sales attendant. Without someone to watch your back, all sorts of losses will occur as tensions mount these days. 


Even then there’s little assurance of one’s safety. 


While returning from a volunteer group meeting I passed two-street residents exchanging updates, possibly gossip, concerning a mutual associate. Between them I overheard the words stating, “He had shot up, overdosed and died.” To this the other remarked, “He died?” The other confirmed repeating, “Yea, turned blue ’n died right there.” I continued on recalling one of the items covered in the meeting touched on the topic of ‘safe-injection sites’ which, it appears, not all will make use. Here was another statistic to be added to the list of human lives lost.


Where are we on being our ‘brothers’ keeper? Upon overhearing this update, all I could do is write about it. How are your goings on? 





1. Spiral Out 03.1.13:18

BEING   NEIGHBOURLY                  … a.



What is it that makes a good neighbour? Each nationality, I contend, has a format in thinking that is culturally biased. Strong when in adulthood, from youthful indoctrination but questionable and fluid as one ages out of this mortal coil. 


I witness examples of this as I passage through Time, while inhabiting this time-space continuum. I have seen give and take of varying degrees occurring, cultural values dependent. Yet, of cursory modalities biased in individual preferences. The increase in neighbourly expressions may be need based, biased by reciprocity in many cases.


A neighbour of an Asian culture disclosed his outlook on his belief of his passing out of this Life. We have been neighbours nearing 20yrs, and we exchanged many greetings biased on the weather, a customary human exchange in our society. I noticed a distinct change in his demeanour from not having seen him for a time. I often wondered on seeing him as he emerged after a lengthy absence, but kept my peace as he appeared restrained and I wished not to intrude on his demeanour.


This day I hazard a touch-gesture with a few words, while awaiting the elevator. This was all it took. Out poured his sensibilities on ‘accepting the Death that took his wife earlier, and he was not in fear of It. In fact, he was waiting for it biding his time self-medicating with alcohol, which afforded the loss of his driving license.’ His spirit appeared lifted, while those in earshot displayed discomfort and impatience during the lift’s rise to their floors.


He exited exclaiming his joy of what’s to come, and I bid him farewell as the door closed and awaited the arrival of my floor to disembark.     …   …   …





47c. The piece External view

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