H E R

12/05/2017

Human  Expressions  Reviewed

 

While people-watching, without the ‘stalking’ nomenclature, I saw a lovely young lady walking in the mall a week ago, and what came to mind was how she appears to be one of the many who wish not to be here.

 

I don’t know if you know those vague expressions, with micro indications, that we all project onto unsuspecting others and receiving appropriate responses upon exchanges without being the wiser? We communicate through these unknowns, most often with difficulties and with some luck survive due to traditional context generationally accepted and understood. I trust I haven’t confused you!??

 

We’ve survived this long as a specie and may not bring about our own extinction, so long as we awaken to these unknowns over time as we evolve in full status as Human Beings. Given current status, goings on, our survival appears touch ’n go in spite of historical data theorized.

 

Back to my observing, ‘people-watching’. In addition to the hurry, scurrying that escalates as Time goes bye, it behoves me not to comprehend varying projections not intended for my consumption. I see the joys as well as the sadness that many carry about within themselves. I often stay away from possible encounters that may take a turn for the worse as a default of engagement and exchange. But, this time I was caught off-guard when I saw such a lovely young miss walking with such a countenance.

 

I contemplated the possibility that I was observing my own projections onto each person according to their demeanour; but, I’m not that adept, much less inclined to working that hard simply looking at passers-bye. So, I recapitulate and wonder at what may have contributed, is contributing, to her expression that others in her vicinity are most likely unaware. I wonder if she has a confidant so as not to be overtaken, overwhelmed to become victimized by what I was seeing.

 

She was long gone from my purview, as I finished my meal. I continued observing others going bye with varying expressions for me to catch-and-release. Hers, as stated, stayed with me having ambushed my sensibilities as she might have been had she known. I trust she is doing well, in a fairer state of mind as her body politic appears gifted by Nature, according to my appreciation of her appearance.

 

Life goes on, nonetheless.

 

 

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UNDERCOVER

05/05/2017

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.

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THE SANCTUARY NOW

30/04/2017

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

NO – HOLIDAY ~ 8

24/04/2017

PETIT  MAL ?

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

NO HOLIDAY ~ 7

18/04/2017

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

NO HOLIDAY ~ 7

15/04/2017

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

NO HOLIDAY ~ 7

12/04/2017

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

NO HOLIDAY 7

11/04/2017

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

SUNDAY BEST  c.’62

CREATION

 

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

NO HOLIDAY 6

29/03/2017

Kendall  Train  Catastrophe    c. 1957

 

Once upon the time, between my childhood foray in the funeral home and teenage pallbearer experience, there was a national railroad catastrophe in my birth country. It was an out of the blue occurrence that struck at the heart of the country. What stood out were the reports of inhumane behaviour of many on the scene. The carnage described included screams among the wreckage, with so-called rescuers victimizing those expecting help. Those reports made indelible images behind my eyelids over the years.

 

Unbeknownst to me during this reporting cycle, my grandfather worked for that railroad, the only one in the country. I had no knowledge of this having abnormal family connections. Thus, I was spared the rude awakenings accompanying this catastrophic incident. At the time of this news’ airing, I had relocated to a then ‘boarding house’ under the guardianship of an elementary school teacher; my sibling and I getting settled into our new residence.

 

Those were truly, disorienting and surreal times, living among strangers without our mother, primary caregiver. This was made more difficult and horrendous as we would no longer have accustomed nurturing, being left in the guardianship of this school teacher’s boarding house, unaware of reuniting in five/six years.

 

In retrospect, was this railway catastrophe a premonition? Life mirroring our relocation-orientation living condition circumstances? A catastrophic accident, a one step forward with two steps back synopses, setting the stage for what awaits us in our future-present lives?

 

The news reports, both written and spoken over the radio, captured the country’s attention. Our micro-spheric Caribbean Island continues its contribution to Life’s grand designs supported by the inhabitants’ destinies.

 

 

5. About 1yr Later

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