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.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Only days left on Haida Gwaii. It seems like time is just flying by. still feel good, still feel really good, really glad to be finished work.

It is something I really enjoy, to be able to dictate what I do and when... to not have precise deadlines for being places... I am determined now not to end up with a job that has regular hours. It simply is not as fun.

Which brings me to writing. I have felt he inclination towards writing recently, but haven't ended up doing so. I think a lot of the inspiration is coming from a book series I have been reading, called "The Prince of Nothing." Its the first fantasy I've read in a few years, but damn it is good. The author is a Canadian, and a scholar in the fields of literature, philosophy, history, and religion. And you can really tell that he is. Never have I read a book where philosophy plays such an active role in what happens. That alone was inspiring, and more so, for some reason, I've always been inspired to write when I read fantasy, even though I find almost all of it to be poorly written. Or maybe that's why I find it so inspiring- I see so much room for improvement.

But the battery in my laptop nears death. So I must sign off. I haven't really said what I wanted to say, because, unlike most blog posts I've made, I've started without a clear topic in mind. I am just flabbergasted at how quickly the summer has pasted, and at the dramatic difference between working and not working.
Cheers beautiful people!

Monday, August 18, 2008


Yesterday was my last day of work. Holy hell, its hard to believe I've finished my first real job.

Let me say, it was a damn cushy job. Fun, easy, educational, unstressful, excellent management, awesome co-workers and good pay.

Yet I feel an immense relief that it is over. I immediately felt ten times better, like a huge load had been lifted. It amazes me how much I dislike working under someone else's schedule. I always feel strain when doing so. Even when I enjoy what I am doing, I want to do it on my schedule, or else I get... I don''t know the word... I guess one could say resentful, but thats not quite right. Nor is lethargic...but its like if I am doing it when someone says I should, instead of when I decide I should, then it is automatically less fun. It is like it takes it away from me. Something I have to do, instead of something I rise to do.

I am reminded of my studies of the Neoplatonists, where heterokinesis and homokinesis are discusses. To be heterokinetic is to have your soul moved by the events of the world, while homokinesis is to have your soul move itself. I thought for a while that it was this principle applying to me- I did not want to be heterokinetic.

Then I realized that is just a fancy way of saying "I want what I want when I want it, how I want it, or I don't really want it." Puts a whole other light on things, eh?

So here I sit. My first day of work. Damn I feel good. It also feels like I have finally and truely arived on Haida Gwaii. What a spaz that makes me. Not truly being here because I am working? Shite. And only a week left.

Well dear people, I wish you all a good night. Please have sweet, engaging dreams.
Cheers eternally,

Thursday, August 14, 2008

So I have been sick, and I have been stressed. And when I am not feeling good, I don't want to post. I tell myself I should, but it just doesn't happen. Right now I am feeling pretty stressed about our bus ride back to Ottawa. My father, who is travelling with me, bought the tickets doing what research he could, and mostly talking to the Greyhound people on the phone, but it appears to me that said greyhound people had no idea what they are talking about. So we may need to change our tickets around, but right now we are scheduled to arrive in Ottawa on the 30th of August, at 2 in the morning.

I am also worried about Leuven. In theory, everything should happen by the deadline. In theory. Everything is lined up, I have time to do everything I still need to do. But if anything takes longer then it should, I make be shit out of luck.

As I said before, I have been feeling a bit down. Sorta functioning at a level lower then before. There have been times when I have nearly broken through to where I was before, but not quite. Couldn't stay there, only touch it.

I am also missing a lot of people. I look forward to seeing everyone again in a few weeks. I am really sorry I probably won't be seeing Denika for a few years.

Its weird. So weird to think this summer may be over. A month to the day, I will be leaving for Leuven. It is amazing when I think of everything that has to happen in that month. Amazing. Odd to think of what has happened in the past three months.

I don't want to ramble, I don't want to waste your time. I have been doing better then past few days, and I will force myself to keep in touch, and keep blogging.
Cheers, my dear, dear, dear readers.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Almost a Sizzle

I've spent a lot of time recently spinning. I have been sucked into the computer again, sucked in strongly. Sabotage. No need for me to be surprised, and I am not. No commitment lasts forever, but one can always recommit. The internet world is enthralling, easy to become lost.
About two and a half years ago now, fall of grade twelve, my faith in my ability to improve the world, to inact a positive change in the world, was burried. My entire highschool career was largly a quixotic effort to make life better for my peers, the student body. I gave it my all, and burned out. I haven't really beleived I could change the world since. At least, not until a few weeks ago, around when I started this blog. My flame was rekindled, I was ready to devote myself to the world again. Then I saw the movie Zeitgeist. It shook my confidence, badly. It planted doubt in myself. Now I am coming back into myself. I was shaken again, but confidence is returning. It is a more aged confidence. Not quick as firey as before, not quite as quixotic, but wiser. Less likely to burn out fast.
So, here I am- four or five weeks in- and I've already stumbled and slipped back into old ways. That was a damn good run! Pretty much a month! Time to rise again- rise anew, commit anew. I do not feel defeated or saddened by having become distracted and scattered again. I feel renewed and invigorated. Energized.
I was watching a friend of mine, a skilled artist, work on painting a carving. The design was of Taan, in the Haida language, or a bear, in english. He said bears were a powerful symbol for this time. Bears are healing animals. They also hibernate for a third to half the year. He said that Haida culture had been hibernating for the past couple of centuries, but now it is waking up again. It made me think there is nothing wrong with hibernating, with sleeping, resting, living off your stored power (or fat), so long as you remember to wake up again.
Here I am. Six months ago, to the day, I turned twenty. Another six months, and I will have completed twenty-one years of living. On one hand, it seems like a great accomplishment. Holy hell, I've almost been alive for twenty-one years! On the other hand, I seem so young. My God! I've only been alive for twenty-one years! Most of my friends here on Haida Gwaii are at least two or three times my age. That really puts my youth into perspective. Six months left of being twenty, and I feel energetic, powerful, and dedicated.

P.S. I have decided to buy the domain ""

Friday, July 25, 2008

Serial Experiments Zander

Please pardon the delay in updates. I have happy news- my new laptop has arrived! It has taken a few days to get set up, and I am still working at making everything work right, but I am very pleased, and very afriad. Afraid, because I have a powerful addiction to the internet, and to computers. I want to have one of my own, to customize, fine tune, and harmonize with. And to be online, fully online with a fast connected and my own machine is to become submerged, connected- integrated. Integrated into the reality that is the internet. Integrated into that vast hub of lives, the great data nexus of our age. The so called sea of information, and the greatest thing about it is that it is still a primordial sea. To be part of that is a glorious feeling. Very addictive. And most of the internet is fluff, at best. Wastes of time and energy, drainage points for life. Elovutionary dead ends we have yet to prune. I am afraid of losing life to these distractions. Of being totally sucked in an owned by my addiction. I think it is a very realistic fear.
But I have other options. I am priveledged with an awesome array of fantastic options. I live in a time when the internet is still embryotic, and very impressionable. I, we, all of us, are in a perfect position to shape the development of the internet, and with it the future of the human race. Quite a privalege indeed. We can choose whether the internet will be a wasteland of distractions, porn, malware and ads, or a coperate playground. We can decide whether it will be a new mailbox, encyclopedia, dictionary and directory. Or we could make it an auxillery soiaty running parallel to our own. A new way of integrating the entire human race. A tool for connecting with people in ways that we have never imagined before. Right now, it is all these things. It will always be all these things. The internet is like a person. It is never just one thing. The question is which parts of it we will feed and nuture.
Now I have become quite sidetracked from my original point, so let us tie this diverging post together. The internet is like a person. It is like the reflection of a person, or the mind, spirit, and emotions of those who have created it. The internet is a mirrior for ourselves, and for humanity. If we think it sees us darkly, not clearly, it is because we do not like what about us it is reflecting. But it doesn't just reflect- it invites us to come in and play. It creates a playground duplication of whatever mental state is dominate. I am afraid of what my internet habits will tell me about where I truely am right now, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. I am afraid that given the opertuity, I will get lost in the parasitic, vampiric sections of the internet. The parts that will just suck my life away. The part of the internet dedicated to connecting with people, to sharing ideas, innovating, helping, giving, integrating humanity- this is the part I want to be addicted to, to be dedicated to. Just as I wish to live in accordance with the corresponding part of myself.

The latop's name is Lain.

P.S. You either get it or you don't.

Monday, July 21, 2008


So I finally bawled. I’ve known a good cry was coming since Mary died, and it just took five days to happen. It’s amazing how therapeutic crying is. I feel so much better, just from five minuets of crying. Yesterday, I was distracted, scattered, and discombobulated. So many big things happening in such a short period of time-my brain was fried. This morning I was irritable, taking everything personally. But now, now I am good. A weight has evaporated.
I am pretty scared right now. I am scared because I might not be able to go to Leuven, and I might not find out if I can go until after the deadline for Carleton registration. I am afraid I am still sabotaging myself, and that I am not doing all I want to do with my life. I am afraid of going to Leuven next year, and the change it represents in my life. I am afraid of other things that I cannot explain briefly (await later posts). I am afraid I am holding the pain of loosing Mary under the surface, and it is festering there.
I am angry with myself for holding the pain it, and not dealing with it. I am angry at myself for putting off doing the paperwork for so long that I might not be able to go on exchange to Leuven next year. I am angry with myself for still not being able to keep my living environment clean and tidy and organized. I am angry at myself for being afraid to go to Leuven, and angry with myself for still sabotaging myself.
But being angry with myself… surely that is being self-defeating as well. I need to let it all go. The past few weeks have been filling with the preparations, ceremonies, and trappings of letting go, but none of them replace the simple act of release, only try to facilitate it. I have not been able to fully let go yet. I started the process with the cry, and continued it with this post, by my work is not over.
You know, I have been moving forwards a lot recently, growing a lot, but I have put all my energy on development, on becoming, and barely any on letting go. On shedding the old and useless. Taking up new burdens, while still carrying the weight of the past. Growth always involves change, and change invariably involves death. Mary is dead. Another part of my identity turns out to be another shade of Zander. I release them to the wind.
I have a lot to blog about. A LOT of stuff. Things have recently been happening so fast, life become so dense that I’ve felt intimidated by the task of blogging it.

Before I forget, here is this weeks list.

- Get in passport forms! Tuesday at the latest!
- Push ups ever day. I commit.
- Drive at least once. I need to start practicing again.
- Work towards letting go.
- Work on the script for Keir
- Get a doctor’s appointment
- Call the CORRECT people about getting another copy of my high school diploma

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Jot Notes From a Funeral

We came in waves, sad waves creating the current to carry Mary from the world of the living.

The coffin seems charged. To touch it is to touch something between worlds. Something defiantly not Mary, yet still feeling of Mary. A symbol for Mary. Its called a symbol.

Its like a glancing blow by the enormity of life and death.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

For this Week

It is late, but I have another list of things to do this week. I like this practice, I am going to continue using it.

-Do push-ups every day (already not completed).

-Read a chapter of Alexander's book.

-Send in my application to renew my passport (Remember this from last week?)

-Work on movie script for Keir (again).

-Call about getting another copy of my high school diploma (This also looks familiar...)

-Get a doctor's appointment (I'm healthy, I just need proof of said fact so I can get my VISA

-Have another list ready for next Monday.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


There is a lot I want to write about, I know I can't get it all in one post.

Mary is dead now.
She died shortly after midnight, July 16th, 2008. She was forty-six years old.
On July 15th, 2008, my mother turned forty-seven years old.
My mind is still struggling with this fact.
I visiting Mary two hours before she died. She had been non-responsive since noon.
Everyone in the room had this tight, sad, warm little smile, myself included.
As I stood beside Mary's bed, my mind did not want to believe she was actually there, so close to dead (it was obvious she was close to death).
It kept telling me I was looking at an image on a computer screen, or television.
Goodbye Mary, and thank you. Thank you so very, very much, from the bottom of my heart.

I don't know when her funeral is going to be. I don't like the kind of things most people say at funerals. I think my favorite thing I've heard said was at a funeral was a quote by Kahlil Gibran. Ironically, said funeral was a fictional one on a TV show.

"Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore, trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility." -Kahlil Gibran.

I've always thought funerals were far, far more for those who loved the deceased, than deceased herself.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Last night we had a fire for Mary. A few dozen of us came together, lit a fire, and Mary came outside, probably for the last time in her life. The lighting of a ceremonial fire is rooted in Haida tradition, and several Haida elders were present. We prayed, made offerings, and then there was a time for individual prays, silent or out loud. It quickly turned into everyone taking turns telling Mary how significant she was to them, how grateful they were to know her, and how much they loved her.
And you know what? We shouldn't wait till people are dying. We really, really shouldn't. It is a maddness of our society. We are all ingrates! (I say with my tongue in my cheek). Other cultures have a much more highly developed sense of gratitude. Yet we have so much to be grateful for. And, odd as it may sound, there is a tremendous joy and power in gratitude.
I didn't write down insights that I had during the fire. I didn't want to interrupt to whip out my notepad and pen and start jotting notes. They were so clear I was sure I would remember. But now, they have lost coherency, and I find it hard to even begin to express them. But I know they had to do with an intimate relationship between death and gratitude. Almost as if one was the shadow of the other, or perhaps a boundary.
Mary is dying, and in doing so, she is showing us how to live, I remember saying this at the ceremony. I remember saying that it seemed to me the cerimony was as much for us, as it was for her. The essence of it, was letting go. Mary, getting ready to let go of her mortal coil, and the rest of us, getting ready to let go of Life-With-Mary, and begin Life-Without-Mary. And I think maybe the key to that, to making the transition, for all of us, is gratitude. By being grateful for something I incorporate it into myself. I am running out of words to explain what I am trying to explain. By being grateful for something, I move away from needing it to actually be present, to actually exist, because by being grateful, I have created a verson of it within myself, independent from the actual object. Gratitude blurs the subject-object distinction. And now I have been sufficiently removed from my original insight, that I will stop this here.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

In Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Dr. Gonzo is described as being "One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die."
This line always stuck in my head. I've felt that was some times, like I was some strange prototype. Sometimes I fear that I am. But I have not recently. Not since I've started this blog, anyways. I have just been feelings damn good.
The sun is shining today, a rarity, as anyone who has lived on Haida Gwaii can tell you.
I am not going to finish everything on my list. And that is okay with me. The list is a mental construct representing things I though at the time needed doing. I have the freedom to add, ignore, scratch off, or delay any item I want. The quantity of list items completed does not imbue value to the week, it is not a report card, and it is not a measure of failure or success. Instead, it is a guide for organizing my time.
So the question that matters- the only question that matters- is Do I feel like I have been squandering my life?
No. No I don't. I feel good about this week. I have lived well- beautifully, even. And I'm feelin' good.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Things to do, life to live.

I have a friend who is dying of cancer. She is only a few weeks younger then my mother, and has two children of her own. She is days away from the end of her life. It is clear to me that “July 2008” will be written on her gravestone, for she shan’t live out that month. With her death so close, I have been reflecting on my own mortality. I also just finished watching The Doors for the first time. It surprised me to learn Jim Morrison died at 27. With this as a mental background, I was reflecting on this blog, one weekly goals, and on something my father, Alexander, said earlier. He said about a month before going on a long trip, he made a list of everything he needed to do before he left. As it grew closer to the time to leave, some things he would scratch out because they were completed, and others because he recognized they didn’t actually need to be done. One way or another, he said, just about everything would be struck off when it was time to leave. My small weekly goals, I have come to understand, are to little. I am still afraid to jump in to the proverbial swimming pool, just dipping in my proverbial toe. There are things I want to do before I die. Things I really should do soon. So here is a list (or maybe technically a few lists) of things to do in the next week, this summer, and before I die. I will update it about once a week.

In The Next Week
-Write to my Uncle Brian and my Grandfather Stu
-Send in my application to renew my passport.
-Work on movie script for Keir
-Call a short list of friends, keep in contact with them.
-Call about getting another copy of my high school diploma
-Select my university courses for next year
-Sit with Mary before she dies. (DONE, but want to do again)
-email Pascal about working on a graphic novel or webcomic together.

This Summer
-Finish a science fiction short story about Eusocial humans that I started.
-Write a short book about providence.
-Finish the script for Keir
-Get a letter of permission from Carleton.
-Get a Student Visa so I can go abroad next year
-Get into better shape
-Become more grounded, balanced, and disciplined.
-Finish reading and editing Alexander’s book.
-Hike up Sleeping Beauty Mountain.
-Hike to the Pesuta Shipwreck.
-Visit North Beech and Tow Hill.
-Give a gift to my elders

Before I die.
-Father children. Note the plural. Raise them with their mother.
-Give to the world. Make a large-scale contribution, and change it for the better.
-Travel the world extensively.
-Learn to think in another language.
-Practice playing the flute
-Complete my Bachelor’s degree.
-Learn Calculus, discrete mathematics and advanced algebra.
-Hike up the East coast of Graham Island.
-Travel on a Sailboat.
-Learn about enough about tracking, wilderness survival and wildcrafting that I could live alone in the forest indefinitely .
-Live on Haida Gwaii for a consecutive year.
-Return to Yasodhara Ashram
-Take the Yoga Development Course at Yasodhara ashram.
-Study Philosophy, including Aesthetics, formal logic, Nietzsche, phenomenology, more Plato, whoever wrote “The Doors of Perception,” Descartes, Leibniz, and more.

I will add to the list as I think of more.

Monday, July 7, 2008

One Week.

So its Monday, and it has been about a week since I started this blog, and about a week since I made the commitment to this new way of living. I mentioned earlier that I had a strategy, but never explained it. I will do so now.
The strategy was to spend no more than 24 hours a week doing all those distracting things that waste my time. Watching movies, reading books that are just entertaining, aimlessly wandering the internet, watching TV, reading webcomics, sleeping in, etc. That comes out to about 3 hours, 25 minuets a day. The rest of the time I would have to spend working (at my job), sleeping no more then 8 hours, eating good foods, doing good work (art, food gathering, etc), moving towards my goals and dreams... I think you get the idea.
And after trying this strategy out, I don't think it will work. I think it is too lax, I am very sorry to say. Too much room to spin around, doing almost nothing, and not counting it towards the 3&1/2 hour daily limit. I have too much room to stagnate.

I need to set small, manageable goals for myself, every week. Nothing big, but some step, something to move me along the way. Keep myself placing one foot in front of the other on the good red road. It will also give me lost to blog about (not that I am in any way running out of material.

A friend and fellow blogger David Scrimshaw made a brief comment when I announced I was starting a blog.
"I just subscribed on my google reader.

If you're not just some flash in the pan I may even blogroll you.

But just so you know, you don't have to endure any more optional pain in order to keep my attention."

Upon reading, I immediately felt a snap of indignation. Of course I am not going to be a flash in the pan! This will last, my commitment will last! But then I realized that his statement was entirely justified. The one about being a flash in the pan, I mean. This could very well have been, and could very well still be. Yet I do not believe it will. I want this blog to live, so I will make it live.

So I will make another commitment, and first I want to thank some people who have helped this blog, and me.

Thank you, David Scrimshaw, for grounding me with your comment. Thank you, Alexander, for all your love and support and insights. Thank you, Keir, for your support, caring, brilliant ideas, and laughs. Thank you, Manon, for your support, encouragement, and giving birth to me (that probably hurt a lot more then getting a tooth drilled). Thank you, Woodsy, for your rigorous devotion to commenting on my blog, I felt heard and cared about as a result. Thank you, Lilia and Ady (who really, really should meet each other), for your comments and attention. Thank you, Ashly Colton, for your awesome blog, your compliment, your attention, and for sharing my blog with others. Thank you, Zander, for doing the work to write this blog. Thank you, Haida Gwaii, for being my home, and for nurturing and sustaining me. Thank you, everyone who reads this, for your attention.

I commit to continue working to live in accordance with the truth of my heart, to set manageable goals to work towards this, to maintaining this blog, to not wasting anyone's time with junk content on this blog, and to be happy.

This week, I will write send a number of letters I should have sent weeks ago. This includes, but is not limited to, letters to my Uncle Brian, my Grandfather, and to the government of Canada so I can get a new passport. That is my goal for this week.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

A Love Letter to the World, Written Well Past My Bedtime.

I want to create. I want to exhale and have galaxies form in the wake of my breath. The tension of the potentially is a tightly wound ball near my heart. It is love. Creation and love blur in my breast.
I want both. How else to carry my love to the far corner of the Universe but to create? So what is my medium? It is these words, which seem such flawed vessels for my meaning? Is it Life? How can words suffice when I want to gather the cosmos in my arms and hold it close to hear my heartbeat. So I give. I try to give to this beautiful work, and it is such privilege to give. I am grateful. And yet…it is hard to find a gift for the world. All tat exists the world already has, so I must create for it.
Now I have come a full circle, because again I feel like what I wish to express cannot be contained in any medium. Symbols fail, and are faulty, fractured. I wish I could touch you all directly. But what is this word? “Touch.” I could spit the word. A linguistic key to a detailed structure of concepts. I say touch, and if I have words my words wisely, you think of gentle contact, care, a kind of intimacy, and communication. Yet it lacks the power of simply laying my hand on yours.
The word has failed. When I use it, people don’t know what I mean. As a society, we lack a unified concept to associate with the word “love.” So many use it too sparingly as if they must bloodily and painfully sacrifice their heart each time the word is used. So many use others without any meaning attached other then “if I use this word, I will be given things I want.” When I love you, I feel joy at your very existence, or that you have existed; I feel joy, and happiness. They tangibly exist in my being, and move me towards radiance. And it is within me. I require nothing from you, and am grateful, so very grateful, you do exist. I want to thank you. Thank you. And there is more, well beyond the limits of words. This is the heart of one of the concept structures I tie to the word “love.” Love has enough concept structures to make up its own city. Does it mean the same for you? That is not a rhetorical question, please comment with one of your descriptions/definitions. It’s all tied to one word! Oh, how that word has failed. So in what medium can I truly, not darkly, express love, this love for which our language is too clumsy and imprecise?
Sometimes I think only life itself is a sufficient medium, and I need only to live, beautifully. But life is such a hard medium to master.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Around the beginning of June, a lovely young woman walked into my work, and we briefly spoke. As soon as we begin talking, a rare thing happened- I stopped spinning around in my head. I was suddenly grounded. As our brief conversation continued, she was able to, as Neal Stephenson would say, condense meaning from the vapour of nuance. In short, she was someone I wanted to, at the very least, have as a friend. We never exchanged any proper form of contact information, but she knew where I worked, and I knew the name of the sailboat she was working as a cook on that summer. So yesterday, when the captain of that sailboat came into work, I quickly jotted my name, email and phone number on a slip of paper for him to pass on to her. He didn’t mind at all. I also wrote a brief note on the paper.
I would like to chat with you again some time. Drop me a line anytime.
I told a lie there. I would love to chat with her again, but I lost my nerve, I wrote “like,” instead.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Saturday Morning Time Warp.

I currently do not have daily internet, so there is some time delay in my posts. For example, the first post I wrote last Thursday, but couldn't post it Saturday. I will try to get a post up every other day or so, but until I get a more reliable internet connection, no promises. This below I wrote Saturday morning, and its only getting up now. I was going to edit it and expand it, but it really was written in a moment of passion, so I decided to leave it uncut. . So with one minor clarification, here is Saturday morning.

"So I have a strategy [for combating my self-sabotaging, life squandering ways]. But with a strategy comes a lot of fear and expectations. I am afraid that I will not be true to myself, true to the plan, and slip back to where I was. I expect of myself to apply to insights I recently gained to my life, and live by them. I am afraid I won’t measure up to my own expectations. Last night I had a headache, and still had it when I woke up. This was the first time in my life that this has happened, except when I’ve had a fever. The expectations, the hopes, doubts, fears, and beliefs just have me so wound up, clenched up, that I gave myself this headache. I have to laugh at the irony. So worried about being self-defeating that I give myself the most persistent headache of my life. The Irony! The Irony! I just need to breath, remember that whether I am honouring myself is a function of the present moment, and let the rest go."

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Sometimes, a little rot makes its way through the tooth's defenses, and starts to eat away at the soft and vulnerable dentin. From the outside, everything looks normal, but inside the tooth is decaying, all through its centre. Then the enamel crumbles away, and suddenly the nerve is exposed. This happened to me recently, both literally and metaphorically.

An old book on the shelf tells me that decay of the "4-6" tooth represents being "self-defeating."

I can understand that. I've done my share of self-sabotaging. Who hasn't? But for the past little while, being self-defeating has seemed like a lifestyle. An inescapable lifestyle, for in the past I have tied, and failed, to break away from it.

It hurt- both the way of life, and the tooth. I had the tooth drilled and filled. I refused anesthetic. I hurt. It was the greatest pain I have ever lived. By far. Every pain I believed to have had experienced is negligible by comparison. Before the process was over, I asked for anesthetic. By that point, in a room cold enough to have had me shivering before the drilling started, my whole body was sweating. I could feel it running down the backs of my legs. While the dentist, a very gentle man, was working, it was all I could do to remember to take breaths, and not move my jaw. I was told the decay was on the nerve, and the nerve itself needed to be drilled or scraped. That really, really hurt.

I took more pain then I ever imagined I was capable of withstanding. One of the few coherent thoughts I could hold during the drilling was that the pain I am experiencing is the pain of being self-defeating.

And I've had enough of it. Enough of not living the life I was born to live, the life that makes me happiest. Enough of being afraid of doing the good work enjoined in living in such a life, and enough of placing highest value on wallowing in the distractions I picked up along the way to keep myself complacent.

So now, taking the lesson of the pain as a milestone, I commit to honour myself. I will no longer let my life drift away without purpose. What purpose? Stay tuned. This blog is an attempt to chronicle joy, pain, and life experienced in accordance to the truth of my heart.