Once upon a time when I was but a child our mother, being the astute romantic, realized male-guidance was a requirement in my growth for which she was unnaturally predisposed. Having restricted economic resources her courses of action were sorely limited, especially in using her resources lawfully.


Subjected to rigorous influences, she sought out aesthetic avenues to guide my development using whatever means necessary. In her mind Literature was an available and essential avenue. The following is a selection of one of the literary vehicles used to influence/guide/coax me along my path while I grew in Life. I was often left to my own devices and the impressions of this expression sufficed:



If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream — and not make dreams your master;
If you can think — and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings — nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And — which is more — you’ll be a Man, my son!

by Rudyard Kipling


Although there were stumbling blocks along my path then and since, for various reasons, few if any were aware the influences that the aforementioned poem had upon my life. Behaviours in response to my being allowed me awareness of what was perceived of my character/personality, albeit just the tip of the iceberg as many alive today are aware/unaware of similar influences and goings on in their daily lives.


As you proceed, I bid you all adequate/appreciable support mechanism…




II Thessalonians C2: V6 – V12

I find it curious that politicians who pride themselves on their Christianity are absentminded on this portion of their belief practice, among many quotable others!??





Time waits for no one, allowing us to occupy ourselves as we proceed in Life. I am now privy to another dimension of what was suggested to me back in 1984, adding to what I considered was my handsome appearance, good-looks, being an attractive Caribbean male. This has taken me a while, what my supervisor hinting for me to realize I was a black man in a white-dominated society behaving as if I was simply in a world of human beings visually aware of my skin colour, and with whom I could still engage openly/freely?


Curiously, those around me gave no pause in this regard save a few reluctant ones who held biases with which to manage my behaviour in their regard. It appears my untoward upbringing, with its disadvantages, awarded me fundamental carefree behaviours and I was charged to learn to rein myself in according to cultural values and socially imposed limitations. In keeping with these, and other revelations about my Caribbean foundation, I have had quite the time doing this throughout my life.


Interestingly, I did receive some timely feedbacks along my route after arriving in this country, throughout earlier school years:
high school, I seemed overly philosophical; university professors, my reasoning processes was in a minority and would create a difficult Life; Teachers College, more power than comprehended; finally, an Industrial Psychologist informed me that unless I learned to rein in how I expressed my intellectual self, I will lose whatever intimate relationship I may desire.


That final statement, spearheading many other unmentionables, have proven my current living conditions as forewarned. I am living alone, and my understanding of the processes accommodating those observations are only contributing factors of a larger scenario. Like you, if you have read this far, I am a work in progress. To what end is a matter of conjecture, which is nothing new when I consider all the conjectures by others already experienced, and yet to experience.


There you have it, as I go into my next Life experiences…



18. Riding in BC '07





Upon regaining consciousness on waking, what is the first conscious thought/feeling to course through your mind with which you approach the day, carry-overs/new/beginnings? Care/able/willing-to-share?



41b. Water-Spout



Mirror Mystery    1

Once upon a time when I was a younger man, appearing more dynamic, behaving as I ought under past unaware/unknown influences, for unexplained reasons my then supervisor asked if I had ever looked at myself in the mirror? Awestruck, an unusual question to my mind, not to mention unusual to me, not knowing his referencing other than seeing my rather carefree behaviour while I interacted with those about me.


Upon quick reflection, my answer might have sounded glib, but it was in earnest. I replied to his question, “Yes, each time I brush my teeth and comb my hair in readiness for the day ahead.” To my answer, this man who was my superior in my vocation, came this admonition, “Next time, stand longer and look at yourself in the mirror.” To this offering I was even more perplexed, but verbally assented to do as much and waited through the years for his admonition to bear fruit.


Time went on, we parted company as I transferred to another location to carry on in my vocation, all the while looking in the mirror only to see my self. Of course, as time went on I acquired data from others around me of my attractiveness as a man, and accepted it in kind as it was my belief that attractiveness and $3.00 would get me a special beverage from Timothy’s Cafe. This was back in the ‘80s.


The acceptance of being a good-looking Caribbean Man meant little to me as I was always picked on by female classmates in my childhood/youth, which I took to mean they didn’t like me. It took me a while to realize the import of this, as my assault for my good looks differed in cause about which I came to learn living in this culture. A book and its cover, the usual controversy, which I was to learn in its multi-facetted levels.



9. Pat M. & Don '86

When we were born our bodies were foreign objects to which we were to become accustomed. The journey was arduous, more so for some and ever more so for many altered by pre-natal accidents and post-natal violent exchanges. What was to come for survivors of these alterations, apart from those from growing into adulthood is a factor some strive to avoid, ignore, hoping those realizations are never to be engaged.


While growing into our varying levels of consciousness fingers and toes, tongues, major and minor motor functions ensued with onlookers in various modes of appreciation and apprehension. We, emotionally for the most part, strove to please and gain in agility throughout the early processes. Of course, more than required, were forced to continue in the emotional tug-of-war over our agility’s benefits on becoming athletically inclined.


What was overlooked in the process, in athleticism and day-to-day functioning? The gradual deterioration toward the inevitable many spend enormous amounts of currencies to postpone, deter and eliminate. I shall not debate or deliberate if this can, ought-to-be, or will in eventually be accomplished. Simply, that the evidence is there that the quest for immortality has been in the works for some time and is beyond the scope of this edition.


We survive, somehow, childhood into our formative years, through adolescence into adulthood stages resulting in senior years. It is then that the sense of truth in living this Life appear to reign in our consciousness, which is the reflection of this piece. Seeing and feeling the incessant creep of waning energies which, regardless of efforts, forces acceptance of the unknown denizens within the Abyss. The final frontier alluded to earlier in a popular TV show, this time going where many have gone before.


We leave behind our corporeal form, our living body, without the spark of consciousness whose origins have preoccupied so many philosophers and scientists. More often than not, the significance is consciously lost on those surviving. The transition into the hereafter is felt as a loss to that portion of Life’s Fabric comprising a reality unknown to the living, and only made worse by grief biased on the levels of intimacy felt and remembered.


S/he is not truly lost, as I and others ofttimes believe, but in onto the Actual Frequency of Existence from whence we all came. Our vehicles well used, or misused, depending on perspective, are what remain as evidence of our living experiences. Often full comprehended as few were privy to full disclosure even while we lived. The minutia of out remaining Time are results of individual choices previously made and include the adage of “what goes around, comes around”, whether or not believed and we do live to be recipients of those choices.


My two-cents worth, take ‘em or leave ‘em, live well – do good – love.



The Hug

Walking home down Yonge Street late one night, I saw a street huckster plying her trade on a fellow across the street at Gloucester. Feeling secure in her position, I continued on my way never giving her situation a second thought in relation to me. No such luck as I misread her capacity. I approached Carlton, and while waiting for the the light-to-change, she was upon me. Before she spoke, I declined her interrupting her pitch-sentence which began, “May I ask you…?” Cleverly, she switched tactic saying, can ask you to buy me a coffee and a muffin? Feeling outmanoeuvred I consented, and we went into a corner store where I informed the clerk of her intent which took considerably more time than I had cared to spend.


Her choice was a very large coffee, with more sugar than I cared to consider, and she carefully selected her muffin. Upon paying, she slid in a request for an Aero chocolate bar to which I consented. I paid and went on my way, stopping in at Amato for a slice to consume while I continued my walk home down Yonge St. Along the way I passed many sleeping and hunkered down street people. Passing by them took a certain amount of emotional strain, but routine was not one of them.


Before reaching Shuter, with The Eaton Centre to my right, two young fellows came my way assessing me as they closed in on my munching movements. They thought better of making direct communication save visual acknowledgment which contained a regard noting my possible opposition to any advances they may make.


Passing Shuter and coming upon Queen, there were other minor assertions, as were at Dundas. Then, to my surprise, my coffee-and-muffin assailant rounded the corner as I approached Richmond/Yonge. ‘What the…! From where did she come, and how did she happen to get there before me without breaking a sweat? She greeted me calmly and, without skipping a beat, asked ‘if I wanted a date?’


I was now familiar with this question, in this setting, although I was not some twenty-five years earlier. I declined, saying ‘No thank, I’m okay’, signalling I was not in the market for such her offer. I crossed the street, continued heading south approaching a tall, shadowy figure who withdrew with a few shuffles, on hearing a sound unintelligible to me as I passed him ‘bye’.


I continued on, passing other street-people, one over the grate in front of the GoodLife Fitness, another lying in front of McDonald’s on my way to Adelaide. It was at Adelaide where I encountered another straining plea buffeted by a fellow admonishing this talented beggar to get off the street for his own safety.
I left the scenario and went on my way, turning left along King Street eastward then southward onto Church. I crossed diagonally into Metro for some Goat’s Milk, preferring late-night shopping for its quiet and lack of line-ups.


I departed Metro avoiding any kind of contact or conversation, save pleasant exchanges with the employees there, crisscrossing through the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood making my way home.


Reflecting on my path from Bloor/Yonge intersection, southward along Yonge to King, eastward into The St. Lawrence Neighbourhood, I was privy to numerous paired/single, sleeping/waking panhandlers. It was quite the journey, with more familiarities than preferred; but, that’s the nightlife in any big city today, even our Toronto. The not-advertised, readily available Toronto After-Dark, for those inclined: ‘indulge at your own risk!’



52a. In the Way

In my basement apartment, sometime between 21 – 23yrs of age, contemplations merged into meditation and what some say is astral projection as I was able to see and feel myself not myself and looking back on myself. On one occasion I became aware of the ceiling returning my breath on my face and, when it became apparent I was flushed against the ceiling, terror struct and I felt my body slam onto the bed at an unexpected height accelerating my breathing almost to hyperventilating!


I calmed myself, giving it second thoughts, but only wondering at its import. I had no one to discuss this with, for the time being.


Within that timeframe, another out-of-body experience. This time further afield. I experienced a weightlessness that defied description and visual construct when it occurred. What I did recall was another terror state bordering on panic, so much so I travelled a great distance in a flash slamming into my bed once again. But, this time with a difference.


I was disoriented and out of sorts. I processed my place in the space/time continuum with a series of geographic place acceptance, which went like this: I was on Earth; then, I was in North American; then, Canada followed by being in Toronto. Then, seeing that I was on my bed on my designated street, in my basement apartment. Only then, did I breathe a sigh of relief as to my whereabouts after feeling not myself for a brief space of time resulting from emersion in deep meditation/contemplation.


This might be something to explore further; but, everything in its own time and frame of reference. I was gifted with ‘a thing’ without a guide for furtherance, so I’ll let things be until such time deemed appropriate. When the student is ready for the teacher that is ready.


3e. Impending Doom



Depending on your age and cultural bias, I presume you’ve heard the phrase, or something akin to it, “Never judge a book by its cover”? If you haven’t here’s where you enter my discourse, and I trust you’ll enjoy the ride.

Each time you look upon faces, are you able to determine the content beneath the facade, without prior information required if you’re not to engage in supposition? Unfortunately, supposition is the norm with a myriad of falsehoods attached! I consider this the result of the intrinsic human fight or flight survival mechanism, whereby we proceed in our so-called civilized society without always drawing weapons before engaging one another in violence. This in mind, it may be safe to say that those who engage in the aforementioned supposition have yet to evolve above the level of narcissistic suppositions biased in fear.

Now, thinking beyond mere survival is a major position in life played out in day-to-day behaviour, evidenced further if children/off-springs are involved. It is presumed by this time, those involved in having family spectrum, areas of having this family is sourced and vetted to be safe, be it urban or rural. It is safe to say, what I am proposing will automatically be imprinted unto the offspring(s) upon his/her/their emergence into this realm of existence as ‘how to proceed’ policy, until such time as maturity and independent thought emerges and takes hold.

Moving on, how do you perceive the body in front of you with all her/his finery? To what degree are you influenced by the superficialities? Are you aware to what degree you are influenced, and are you aware of what additional ingredients you bring to the encounter? Or, are you like me wholly unconscious and meet the other awaiting for their fluid input to create a working image in concert with what is brought?

A lot to consider, I know, if you comprehend my implications which is to tease your mind into a continual state of flux where conscious awareness of reflexive bias, prejudice/discrimination, is our way of living. The challenge our humanity faces is peaceful coexistence and will continue to be for as long as we fail/refuse to acknowledge what the majority of us do to sabotage the peaceful coexistence that is achievable.

We can live in peace, but the needs of the few fearfully affecting the needs of the many keeps this coexistence at bay. All you need do is give yourself the time to look around and deconstruct, analyze, goings on near and afar to comprehend how we allow our peaceful coexistence to be compromised with our permission by omission; and, worst of all, accepting less than what is beneficial to our well being.

Many seldom, ‘Do unto others as we would have done unto us’ as the biblical saying advises, simply paying lip-service and rationalizing our day-to-day processes with, “That’s just way things are, always had been, etc.”

What do you say? Are you counted in the ‘many’ referred to above? I await your performance answer, Paradoxical Mindfulness.




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

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