This Blog Is an Attempt to Chronicle Joy, Pain, and Life Experienced in Accordance to the Truth of My Heart.
Thank You for Reading

Thursday, October 23, 2008


If you want pictures of my time in Belgium, I have a seperate blog for that. I didn't want to clutter this one (though looking at my last post, maybe this it could use some cluttering). To put things concisely, this blog remains to reservoir for the experience of my life, while the other blog details the phenomena of life. It can be found here.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Belgium's Trails

It was a beautiful weekend, so I went on a bit of an overnight bike ride around Belgium. Saturday afternoon I set out east and was out for about twenty-four hours. I rode east, then South, then West, and finally North back into Leuven. For some reason I expected a nice leisurely ride through the countryside, just gliding along effortlessly, enjoying the surrounding splendor. It very quickly became apparent that the trip was going to be work. Hell, right from the start it was work as I had to struggle to find the start of the extensive network of trails spreading across the eastern half of Belgium. Finding and staying on the trails was a constant discipline in awareness. The stakes were raised when it became apparent that the trails were not along bike paths, but very narrow one way roads. With lots of blind corners.
The biking itself was often challenging- with cobblestones roads (and no shocks whatsoever), bumpy roads, hard uphills, and an overloaded pack. Thankfully the pack was overloaded with food and water, so I was able to eat my way to an easier ride.
It was hard, often scary work, and it was totally and undoubtedly worth while.
In other words, it was a lot like life. On more levels and in more ways then I can describe right here and now, the ride was like a microcosm of life itself. Including that my expectations at the outset for how the ride was going to be matches how I often think life will be. I cannot really find further words for describing it right now. I took a series of videos on the bike ride, and I plan on doing a commentary on them and posting them online. So please just wait for that.
One more thing I would like to mention is at one point I found this ruined church in the middle of a city. It was obviously set up for tourists, but basically all that was left were a few stone walls. The roof and floor were gone, and grass was growing. I stayed there for about an hour, and felt more connected that that one spot than anywhere else in so far in Belgium. I feel drawn to the few wild and forgotten places. The whole land has been completely inhabited by humans for a few dozen centuries, and, furthermore, even in the middle of the night the city is completely safe. I miss the wild. I miss that which is not an artifact of humanity. One thing I love are the street cats. They are utter badassess. I managed to get a picture of one, and I will post it soon (it is currently on a partition of my hard drive I can't access right now).

Speaking of pictures, I don't want this to become a travel blog. It could easily become a travel blog. So I think I will start a sister blog to act as a receptacle for the events of my trips. Look for it in the next few days. This blog will continue to update with the movements of my spirit, emotions, and mind. The other blog will merely be things that I have seen and done.
Talk to you all later everyone!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

I have been rather extremely busy. I have all kinds of notes and stuff to blog. Just no time in which to do so. Please bear with me, and I will regale you all with Leuven Tails soon enough.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Here I am in the Montreal Airport. Weird to think of myself as on my own.
What is strongest in my mind, is the images of my family. The last glance I had as I took my leave. Now those sights are like photographs in my mind. My grandfather... there is a fair chance he will die before I return. I have two images of him in my mind. In one, he is sitting in the rocking chair in his sunroom, fully smiling. I am looking back as I walk out of the room, we had just said our goodbyes. In the other image, he has come to stand in the door of his old stone house as we drive away. He is not smiling now, and he is the only shape in the otherwise black doorway; he looks for all the world like a specter. My mother, looking exactly like my mother, smiling, standing outside the bus terminal as my father and brother, and I drive away. I had missed my bus to the Montreal airport, so my father was giving me a ride to the airport, and my brother was coming along too, but not my mother. I remember her distinctive smile, her distinctive style, that I can recognize from two blocks away. I remember Alexander (my father) and Keir (my brother) watching me leave beyond the security gate. I am walking away, looking back over my shoulder, and I blow them a couple of kisses. Alexander catches his. Keir stands behind him- they are so close, and moments ago I was close with them. Now the hundred feet between us cannot be crossed, unless I abandon my trip.
Now I am in Philadelphia. Now there is geography between me and my world as well. Amazing. It is an odd feeling to walk through the airport. Alone. At first I felt a little paranoid, like someone to be wary of was walking right behind me. My family has always been a constant lifeline. Never far, never unreachable, never beyond their near immediate help. Until now. Now I am operating solo. Twenty and a half years of prep for this trip, and here I am. Waiting for a plane. In Philaphelphia. The last of the sunset is just fadeing. For me, the sun will rise somewhere over the Atlantic.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Alive In Ottawa

I just want to say that I am in Ottawa, doing well, and I have a LOT to blog about. The bus ride, the experience of arriving, what has happened since... I just don't have the time or energy for it right now. I need to be up in about five hours, and have a full day tomorrow...
I will hopefully be able to give a post a day starting tomorrow (Technically today) to get everyone caught up.
Thank you kindly for your patience,

Monday, August 25, 2008

Last Night on Haida Gwaii

So this is my last night on Haida Gwaii. There is so much I want to write about.
Yesterday was the opening for the Haida Heritage Centre. For a lot of the time I was oddly detached from what was happening. Things were beautiful, wonderful, but I was emotionally detached.
The emotions didn't really hit me until I saw a large picture in the museum section. It featured a couple dozen Haida, dressed in their regalia, masks, and paint. A caption said that in an effort to drive out Haida culture, a missionary had everyone dress in their paint and regailia and everything "one last time." Then I felt deeply moved. THe sorrow, the power. "My God," I thought "One Last Time."
Imagine being told it was a last time you could dress as you wished, that you could celebrate your holidays, last day you could live by your own beliefs. But god damn. It wasn't the last time. Now there is the Haida Heritage Centre, now there is the glory of the living culture of the Haida people. I almost cried, seeing that picture. That "One Last Time."

And now I am heading back to Ottawa. Leaving tears me so. It seems like an act of insanity. It seems like there is no good reason to leave. But it is Time. Time seems to be a theme in my life recently. Deadlines, time lines, the past, the present, the future, memory, attention, anticipation, consciousness, awareness... Balancing it all. Moving within the requirements of time, and schedules without becoming owned by them, possessd and torn by them. I was once told that to master time, you need to study it. Keep a watch, and constantly be aware of what time it is. Time how long it takes you to do things. Watch at what time you tend to do things, how frequently you act... study yourself as an entity within time so that you may move through it without being bound by it. Seems like stable advice to me. Now I just need a good watch.

Sometimes, I feel like I am on a mountain summit, or on a stage surrounded by lights. All around I can see variations on my life, on how it will be. So many roles I could fall into so easily.
I could become an academic. Complete my bachlores, maybe return to Leuven for a Master's, three years as an associate prof at some place like King's in Halifax...maybe start a PhD at the same time, and become an expert in some field of philosophy.
I could easily become a neurotic writer like Woody Allen or Philip K. Dick. Cloister myself in genius and madness.
I had more vision of future selves earlier, but they escape me now.
But they are all not me, I feel. They are just false variations. Shades of who I am. I want the source, the true Zander that lies hidden in these stereotypes, archetypes and roles. Nights like this, on the edge of a journey, makes me feel like I am at a crossroads. Reminds me that I live in a state of perpetual cross roads. Well, my laptop battery is dying. Goodnight everyone.