thank you

 

Thanksgiving isn’t something to be celebrated, for just one long weekend in October. Being thankful and grateful, should become an illustrious, daily habit. A rare practice to behold today for sure, but a habit we must all consciously nurture and embrace. We can’t make any difference otherwise.

I don’t think this is a matter of nicety either.

I’m not just being poetic.

Saying thank you, or expressing gratitude, in a multiple of ways, is one of the better and surest paths to happiness. It should be a lot more common, or at least as common as breathing, but sometimes, some of us have been known to go for days, if not years, holding on to things that sink us, instead of embracing something that helps us to fly.

Thank you.

It’s an expression of gratitude. An acknowledgement of someone else’s time and gifts. A way to let them know that they matter. Matter to you, and that their contribution is invaluable.

But why are we so miserable?

Who has defecated in our cornflakes?

Why are we happily fighting over tiny grains of sand, in our termite infested sandbox, and jealously guard it against the prying hands of others? Fighting and hoarding fistfuls of it, not realizing, that the world full of deserts.

There is no reason to be miserable.

It is a choice. A commitment. A lifestyle.

But no, you say.

Listen, you don’t understand my problems. You don’t understand what I’ve been through. You can’t appreciate the complexity of my situation.

Perhaps.

But when was the last time you were grateful?

Grateful for anything? Pleased and thankful for everything?

When was the last time?

With all the grudges and tales of woe, you catalog and incessantly update so often, is it any wonder you never find the time? When will you let go? Let go and appreciate the things that you otherwise take for granted. The things that go unnoticed.

Are you a sorcerer? Did you somehow magically turn on all the lights in your house?

And how long did it take you to grow, nurture, and pick all of the Arabica beans you’ve ground, and which are now percolating ever so beautifully, ready to be sipped?

Did you start a fire this morning so you could have a hot shower? And how long did you spend molding and shaping your very own bar of soap? Lavender and camomile.

How many hours did it take you to forge and sharpen your razor?

How many flowers did you pick, to spray that lovely fragrance on your neck?

Perhaps you will agree with me, that there is much to be grateful for. Much to be thankful for. And that much of our complaining only sinks us. Removes us from ourselves and each other.

With all the negative chatter and endless complaining that is in our life, how do we ever find the time to see and reflect on the things that matter.

Thank you for reading.

It’s the least I can do.

Thank you for being one of the few people that encourages me to keep going. That supports my efforts. Encourages me to share my thoughts, which would otherwise go unspoken.

You have done a magical thing for my life and I am eternally indebted to you.

This is where you protest and say that you haven’t done anything, but you’re wrong. Without your eyes and without your kind words of encouragement, all of this comes to a quick and inevitable end.

So, thank you for reading.

Thank you for your patience.

Thank you for the journey so far.

I wish you God speed on yours.

 


standards of measurement

 

Our perverse desire to measure our lives, comes from a very deep sense of restlessness.

It seems to come from the baser part of our human nature. Leaving us broken and defeated, while the victor, satisfied, for the moment at least, takes his bow.

In time, the champion will fall too, and it doesn’t take too long, because after all, it all must, somehow, come unhinged and unravelled. The victor becomes a victim. A victim of their own success. Overcome with anxiety and fear. Overwhelmed by the overindulging standards of success, which in time, they can’t possibly hope to maintain.

And so, we dance.

We raise our hands, longing for our turn. We roll the dice, hoping for the right numbers to fall. We buy our lottery tickets, get the right education, land the perfect job, and we rub our rabbit’s foot, counter clockwise, of course, always counter clockwise, because, really, what else are we going to do?

How about nothing?

Not a single fucking thing.

(Yes, I said fucking, let’s move on).

You have to understand, once and for all, that you have nothing to prove.

There is absolutely nothing for you to do.

There are no standards you must master. Tests you must ace. Palms you must grease. Crowds you must please. There are no goals for which you must endure developing an ulcer.

It’s all make believe.

A nightmarish playground, where everyone is unhappy, because they are not somebody else.

You were given life.

Don’t dismiss it so quickly.

Life.

Being.

The ability to connect.

To be someone.

To make something; for yourself and for others.

You were given a little bit of time, so you can tell the people you come in contact with, what you think and feel. To tell the people you love, what they mean to you. To share your time with them. To laugh with them. To cry with them. To hug them. To remember them. Before you run out of time, or forget.

Life, can’t be measured.

It must be lived.

And being, can’t be won.

I’m not saying that being alive negates our need to work. That it abolishes our need to create or to do something with our lives. There will always be a time to learn something, to do something, to make something, and to sell something. There is plenty of time for all of that, but never, at the expense of living.

And that is the point.

Many of us are resolute to merely survive, so we get a chance to fight again. We lick our wounds, so that we can be well enough someday, to try again.

But life is not about survival.

Life is about art, and music, and poetry.

Life is like a dancer. Moving, jumping, and bending herself to the movements of the music, for no material gain, and for no discerning reason, except that it’s beautiful.

Life is beautiful.

It’s not measurable.

So, stop measuring yourself.

Stop trying to live up to standards, the next generation will ignore anyway.

Live a little.

Laugh a lot.

Be yourself.

Break your damn ruler.

 


weekend quotable no. 57

 

“Courage does not always roar.

Sometimes courage is the quiet voice,

at the end of the day saying,

I will try again tomorrow”.

Mary Anne Redmacher

 

We all need courage.

And some of us need it more than others.

Because for some, probably more than we care to admit, facing the break of day, is a blistering, grinding, daily routine of pain and struggle.

When by chance, they happen to glance in a mirror. Or when through circumstance, their eyes meet yours, they won’t see what they should see. Won’t see, what they need to see.

Instead, they will imagine and embrace someone undesirable. Someone else. A disgrace. An ugly, regrettable, expandable; disappointment.

They will hurl insults at themselves, because by know they have become a source of comfort. Words that could curdle milk and turn fine wine into table vinegar.

They need courage.

A lot of courage.

Not through a roar, a momentary rush of passion, but in the ordinary and quietest of moments.

You see.

They roar so much already.

They rant. They rave, about the unfairness of it all. Hands to the sky. Lungs full of air. Bitching and moaning. Doing anything and everything, to prove themselves right.

Courage gets lost when they themselves are prone to roar. It becomes just another booming drum. Another imposing gesture. Another failed promise. Another futile resolution. Yet another, abandoned moment, of epiphany. A gift unopened.

A map.

Unused.

They need a whisper. Even if that whisper is broken and fragile.

They need a single ray of hope.

A friable, but graspable straw.

They need to know and hear that they have more time tomorrow.

Tomorrow.

To begin again.

To face their demons again. To have hope in the future again.

So, don’t ever fool yourself into thinking you were meant to roar for them.

Understand that you were born to whisper. No matter how small, insignificant, and broken you think you are, you are always capable of whispering something kind, and uplifting, to someone else.

Sometimes we don’t know why. Think it won’t matter. Think that it won’t make a difference.

But if we were to all whisper, not roar.

We would all find the courage, a thousand times a day.

We would all give each other another chance.

A chance.

At a new beginning and the dawning of a new day.

 


weekend quotable no. 56

 

“It isn’t all over;

everything has not been invented;

the human adventure is just the beginning”.

Gene Roddenberry

 

It’s not over.

It’s never over.

You can be down. You can be out.

You can feel like there’s no point in continuing with any of your crazy adventures. You can even fall victim to believing all of the exaggerated news reports, that purpose your dreams to be dead.

You can do all that, sure, but it still doesn’t mean it’s over.

Because one of the reasons you circle back here so often, is because when you look in the mirror, and you get discouraged by a hack. You imagine yourself to be an impostor. You don’t feel worthy. You don’t feel ready. You believe yourself to be a fraud.

You spend the best part of a day, accusing yourself of being nothing more, than a plagiarist. But each day is a reminder to the next that everything hasn’t yet been done yet.

It awaits your contribution. It awaits mine.

It demands your handprint. It yearns for your voice.

Nothing is ever forged in a vacuum. All is borrowed. Everything owes a debt of gratitude to something else.

So, don’t worry about it. Don’t listen.

Your purpose is not to be first or the best, it is simply to create and give. To keep the conversation going. To engage, at least for a little while, in the beauty of the infinite dance.

Your role is to live and share. To contribute. To create.

Our human adventure is just beginning.

You’re only just getting started.

It’s far from over.

It’s only the beginning.

 


fresh air

 

I once had a student, in the middle of a lesson, fart so loudly, I think my desk rattled.

He gazed triumphantly at his classmates and with a big smile, relished their obvious disapproval. He then turned his gaze in my direction, and anticipated my disapproval.

“You are kicking me out?”, he asked.

“No”, I said.

His amazement and puzzlement cut him deep for a moment.

He knew the stinky mess he put us in, by dividing our class into those who pass gas, and those who do not pass gas. Yet, he was bewildered, because he was not going to get punished.

“Stay right here,” I said. “the rest of us, on the other hand, will go and get some fresh air”.

And so, we did.

Us vs him.

Us vs them.

And so, it is exactly the same with our own personal life and daily struggles. We see and create divisions everywhere we seem to. We gossip. We complain. We react. We push and pull. We try to manage and struggle our entire life, with what seems to be inevitable conflict.

We divide our world. Divide ourselves. Divide our resources. Divide our families. Divide the roles and responsibilities we have of each other. Then we get accountants and lawyers to interpret the rules we no longer understand, so that we can function and everything is clear.

You do this, and I’ll do that. If this, then that. You scratch this, and I’ll scratch that.

Everything we do, ends up either bringing us closer together, or ends up driving us further apart. Makes us whole, or puts as at odds with one another or ourselves.

Or so at least it’s the story that we tell ourselves.

This division of us and them, seems very made up, and appears to be nothing more than a childish fantasy. A tart fart, that lingers and hangs around, in the middle of our lesson. Our life.

There no us and them.

You cannot divide the planet, or its natural resources. You cannot divide or control the world’s wealth. You cannot control education, or healthcare, or the truth.  

Of course, before you say it, let me add, that I’m not really blind or stupid.

I’m not ignorant of our awful track record, and I am not blind to human history. All that I’m saying, is that no matter how much we wish, or try to part, or divide the sea, despite ourselves, it always comes back to be whole again.

Life shows us time, and time again, that there is really no division in anything. Everything is interwoven and connected. We are just misfortunate to have been taught to look for what doesn’t belong, instead of what does.

We are united. We are part of a whole.

There is only us. There is no them.

And there is a certain sense of freedom that comes from this reality.

It means that if you work for someone, if you have a boss, they are your superior, but they are never superior to you. They can’t be, because without you, their role is redundant and meaningless.

A manager needs people to manage. And people who gather for a common purpose, need someone to manage them.

There are no doctors without patients. No students without teachers. No thieves, if you are only willing to share.

No one ever takes what they don’t need.

You’re probably wondering where this philosophical mumble-jumble stems from. It might originate from the fact that I seem to be heavily medicated (cold remedies), and bit full of grief.

I was thinking this morning how much I love and miss my parents, still, even after a whole decade. I was reminded on this dark, cold morning, that as much as I want to see them one day, I have two loving little faces, looking up to me for guidance, every day, in the same way, that I once, looked up to mine.

I seem to be between two realities. The reality of wanting to have what I can’t have, and being where I know I need to be.

This morning was a wonderful reminder of being human.  

It is a morning full of hope; full of meaning.

Pain and grief serve a purpose. The same purpose as joy and laughter. We of course prefer one to the other, but we should calm ourselves and remember to be content by being united.

We should get outside, if needed, and get fresh air, as desired.

 


Dear Winston

Dear Winston,

I can still see you standing there, in your window that night, watching me, as I cleared my car of the snow that had fallen while we were talking. Watching me labour for a little while, and then you simply watched me drive away.

For the last time.

It was just another evening.

Another moment, of many countless moments.

Another pepperoni pizza. Another curry goat dinner with rice and peas. Generous on the goat. Easy on the rice and peas.

Another night; filled with memorable stories, inappropriate one liners, philosophical musings, political angst, and dreams, many dreams, some within our grasp, and some, a bit out of reach.

But you never did that before.

You’ve never watched me leave before.

I could always count on another weekend. Another day. Another hour. Another one of those magical moments.

Another chance to be, and have, a friend.

This, despite the fact that there was always someone coming to see you. Someone who knew you better. Who went way back. Way back. Way, way, way, back.

There was always someone who needed you and you were there.

To pick your brain for some training advice, diet advice, prep advice, posing help, relationship help, and in some cases, some mental health.

You were a friend to so many.

And some, couldn’t make it today, but the rest of us are here.

And we miss you.

You came from St. Vincent. A little Caribbean island, which you loved, but an island, which was too small for your heart. You needed a bigger place to run free.

You became a citizen of the world. A worldly ambassador. An intellectual hermit. A benevolent, infectious, inconspicuous traveller. A true inspiration to those of us who had the pleasure of your company.

In St. Vincent, you were a member of the Bridge Boys. A group of young men who spent their days and nights, dreaming and encouraging each other, to be great. Pushing one another, to be better. Better at anything. Better in everything.

It is around that bridge that you learned how to dream.

And you dreamed a lot.

You never stopped dreaming. Connecting. Uniting. Inspiring.

You came to Canada on an academic scholarship, but you didn’t boast about it.

You were a bright young man and chose to study at Mount Alliston University, in New Brunswick. At a time, when many universities, did not expand much effort into their weight training facilities. Not like today.

So, because of your immense passion for bodybuilding, you trained with brooms and potatoes sacks. 

Someone took notice and you just couldn’t help yourself. You helped Mount Alliston to develop and build, one of the very first weight training centres in New Brunswick. You won’t get the credit, but with you, it was never about the credit or the applause.

It was always about a dream fulfilled.

It was at Mount Alliston that you learned to become a great historian.

You loved human history. Canadian history and Black history in particular. The rise and fall of empires. The innovation and relentless pursuit of progress, along with darker side. The stubbornness, ugliness, and wretchedness, that rises now and again.

After Mount Alliston, you followed your brother Alfie and settled with him in Montreal.

Along with a few others in your community you created CariFete. The very first festival of its kind in Canada. You gave the Canadian people, in the early 1970’s, a chance to see Carnival. A celebration you loved so much.

Little did you know that the Weider Offices, were only a few blocks away where you lived.

You didn’t ask permission. You didn’t wait for an invitation.

You were Winston.

You walked in. Introduced yourself. And the next thing you knew, you were shakings hands with Ben Wider, and walking out with as many magazines, as your hands could carry, and the rest as they say is history.

Ben Weider introduced you to many people over the years, and your passion for the sport of bodybuilding gave you an incredible life. You gave your heart to the sport. You gave everything you had. You sacrificed a lot. Sometimes, regrettably, perhaps a bit too much. 

It was during this time in your life, that you began your long friendship with trainer and physique photographer per excellence, Jimmy Caruso. You had the pleasure of honouring him in Toronto, in recent memory.

Those early days in Montreal is where you weaved yourself into the International Federation of Bodybuilding. The IFBB.

You wrote their constitution.

Others have sometimes mistakenly taken the credit, but who else but a great historian could have been entrusted with such an enormous task?

You wrote the judges handbook too, and selected the mandatory poses, but what you enjoyed the most, was running and watching things, from behind the scenes.

You built the stage, and let other people take their curtain call.

Above everything else, it was your presence that was so magnetic.

It is your presence, that all of us, today, probably miss the most.

You could brighten a dark room. Straighten people out. Encourage them. Make them laugh. Make them feel like they were the most important dignitary of the moment. And no matter what. No matter how they felt, they knew, you were always on their side.

Unless you weren’t, but those people aren’t here.

This all feels strange. Very strange. I can’t believe I am reading your Eulogy.

I think one of the most misunderstood decisions you’ve ever made, was to lead the IFBB, to stage a contest in South Africa. It was 1975 and it was your decision to host the contest in Pretoria. The backdrop for the now famous documentary Pumping Iron.

You were a historian.

You knew that Nelson Mandela was in prison. You knew the fight that was going on there. You knew about the embargos.

Your decision wasn’t easy.

You knew you would be misunderstood.

But the final decision to go, was yours and you went.

You went because of something that the black delegate from South Africa, Fred Tadebe, told you in private, that evening.

The rich white folks have enough money to come and go as they please. The embargos don’t really impact on their daily lives. They are still free citizens of South Africa. They are free to travel, to go wherever, and whenever they want. But those of us who are denied that freedom and full citizenship, have no-where to go. Unless you came.

Fred Tadebe promised you, that you would be embraced.

And so, you were.

To your surprise, the racist government of South Africa, capitulated to all your demands.

You demanded that South Africa had both black and white athletes represent their county, and they did. You fought against division and demanded that, all the athletes, all of them, stayed in the same host Hotel.

You demanded that all the whites only signs were taken down around Pretoria.

You also demanded that there would be no segregation at the Theatre. Everyone was equal, and could purchase their tickets on a first come, first served basis.

 

And so, it was.

How you must have relished that week. How you must have loved being politely unkind, and unnoticeably cruel. How you enjoyed making a political statement that nobody really noticed.

You were a true Colombo.
(Not Franco. The other one. Peter Falk).

You never ran away from a challenge. You always followed your heart. Right or wrong, you took the road less travelled.

To some you are Winty.

But to a few of us, you will always be; the Dark Knight.

Your favourite movie was Batman. He was your favourite superhero. Just one man, raving against the unjust world, and paving his own destiny.

Dear Winston.

Thank you for listening. For smiling. For making us laugh.

Thank you for sharing your life with us.

Thank you for the Winstonian Vortex.

You held court whenever and wherever was possible.

You travelled the world. Visited every continent, many times over. Dined with dignitaries, and shared a moment with all of us present.

Back in Montreal, you opened a legendary gym called Winston’s. You had your very own television show, along with your wife Alison McIntosh, which was titled Black Is. During those glorious 1970’s, along with Alison, you explored and highlighted the black experience in Canada.

You were the General Secretary of the IFBB. You were in charge of all the Judges. You started the Canadian Bodybuilding Federation, the Quebec Bodybuilding Federation, and you had your hands in establishing the Ontario Federation as well.

You worked until the end.

You left us, as the Southern Regional Director, but you were always above all the titles.

You did all these things, because you believed in people. You had a dream.

You competed in Bagdad in 1972. You were the first black Mr. Canada, not once, but twice. You ran a restaurant called the Runaway Slave. Your life intersected with some very shady characters, who walked on the other side of the law, but never once did you become seduced, or forgot who you were, or compromised your principals.

Above everything else.

Throughout the years.

In all of our conversations, it was clear that you loved your daughters.

You were so proud of your girls.

So proud, of Ayanna. Nataki and Kamillah.

You loved them always, despite some of the struggles.

You spoke of them often. Spoke of your wonderment and awe, of who they became.

You were so very proud of their independence. So proud of their accomplishments. So proud of how they lived their lives. The great men they married. The wonderful children they were raising. With such kindness and purpose. And always with love and meaning.

I guess the only thing left to mention before we say goodbye, are the years we both spent teaching at Notre Dame.

We met when I was 337 pounds of solid blubber, and I needed to desperately lose at least forty of them, just to be able to even step on a treadmill.

Dear Winston, I can’t thank you enough.

Through your love of weight training, you saved me from a lot of cardio.

You were a great teacher!

Perhaps leaving the R rated film Training Day, for young impressionable grade 9 students, while your principal watched your class, because you were sick and recovering in the desert air, judging the Olympia contest, might have not been ideal. But hey, it was Danzel.

Maybe telling the custodians that the fridge in your room was only a prop, wasn’t a good idea either, or safe for that matter, but then again, no one ever reported anything to anyone, and if you didn’t take it with you when they pushed you out, it would probably still be there.

There is not enough time for more stories, and there are so many wonderful people here, who are waiting patiently to tell theirs.

There are so many people here, because you meant a great deal to a lot of us.

Dear Winston.

Thank you for being my friend.

Thank you for being our friend.

Thanks for your guidance. Your encouragement. A kick in the pants when it was necessary. For your support, and for introducing me to some really, really strange, and truly bizarre people.

I wouldn’t change a thing.

We have all gathered here Dear Winston, to pay our final respects.

We are here to celebrate your life.

This is not a goodbye because there will always be more time to think fondly of you. A time to remember what you meant to us. 

We will continue to remember you, in our own quiet way. We will continue to think of you.

We will continue to love you and speak your name.

Thank you for blessing our lives.

Until we meet again.


I see snow

 

I see snow.

You probably see winter. Blizzards. White out conditions. Accidents. Slippery roads. Fast and dangerous drivers weaving in and out of traffic.

I see snow.

But I’m not blind to what you see.

I drive the same roads. In the same weather conditions. With the same time constraints, and I get lapped, by the same reckless drivers.

But I choose and want to gaze at the snow.

The fluffy, beautiful, falling snow.

But it wasn’t always like this.

There was a time, a long period of time too, when I was unable to be comfortable with myself, and refused to let go of the many stories, which I falsely invented about myself. Stories that held me back, like quicksand. That demanded way too much of my life, and left me completely exhausted.

There was a time when I resembled the walking dead. A time when I was not alive.

I did not know happiness. Or understood that I was not determined by my environment.

I became a human being that has learned artfully how to bend, to bend low, and bend often, but no longer a creature, that could not help himself and break.

And so, I now see the snow.

I see one snow flake anxiously following another, in very rapid succession and purpose. Falling on trees, on the cold pavement, or on anything and everything in its sights.

Relentless. Unapologetic. Unconcerned with what we think of it.

Unforgiving.

I see snow.

I hope you do too.

Many of us become stuck in what the psychiatrist, Dr. Viktor Frankl called, the existential vacuum.

We become trapped in a dense darkness. Not a suicidal type of darkness, an emotionally painful darkness, but the type of darkness that confounds many brilliant astronomers. The darkness of space and time, where nothing exists, and nothing happens.

All of us. Without exception.

At some point, inevitably, absolutely, and sometimes, a few times over, we face this existential vacuum, despite our stubbornness.

When we are born we are given this task, to figure out why we are here. To figure out what being alive is all about.

We are on a quest to figure out what makes life worthwhile.

What makes her meaningful.

Perhaps we are here to see the snow. Or ignore it, and see instead, the havoc that snow gets blamed for.

Boredom.

That is the true indicator, you are smack in the middle of an existential vacuum.

Boredom.

You have nothing to do. Or you have so much to do, that you can do nothing.

You have no time for yourself or for anything that matters.

You’ll do it later, of course. When you have more money. More time. When you retire. When your kids grow up. When your husband changes. When they elect a new president.

You are satisfied to live a life of exhaustion. Numbing repetition. Confusion and full of anxiety.

You’ve settled for a life without excitement.

A life with traffic accidents, but a life without snow.

When was the last time you let a snowflake land on your hand and gazed at it like a child?

Saw the stars? Visited your grandmother who is imprisoned with dementia? Were kind to your ex-wife? Or were understanding of the pressures your children’s face at school?

When was the last time you were truly excited about something? Couldn’t sleep because you couldn’t wait to get up and get going in the morning?

Ate meals to fuel your body, instead of to simply pleasure and soothe your mind?

I see snow.

Do you?

I see things that I missed for decades.

I am excited about living again, to the point that I’m worried I will burst.

I hope you don’t have to wait that long, to get excited too.

I hope you get to see what for so long, choose not to see.

I hope you let go.

And see the snow.

 


weekend quotable no. 55

 

“You’ve gotta push the sh*t up!”

 M R A

 

If you have worked for something. If you’ve been driven to create something great, you know that inevitably, someone is going to come along, and try to flush your dreams down the toilet.

Your enemies, most certainly, have you in their sights.

But sometimes, the resistance you’ll experience the most, is somewhat unintentional.

Your boss, your best friend, or even your boyfriend for that matter, have a desire to help you. They have a desire to not see you disappointed when you fail. They don’t want you to change. They don’t want you to risk. They don’t want you to leap into the unknown. To reveal yourself to the world, where wolves prowl in open sight.

They mean where, but they are determined to keep you, just the way you are.

But that is not who you want to be.

Not now. Not anymore.

Not the you who wants to emerge on the other side, as someone else. The you that dreams of a remarkable and spectacular synthesis. A you that longs for a new day and a resurrection.

There is a lot of sewage, that will most certainly flow down in your direction, in the vein hope to stop you, or at least slow you down.

You gotta push that shit up.

Push back.

Resist.

Fight.

I don’t care what you smell.

 


A Groovy New Rhyme

A Groovy New Rhyme

(A Villanelle for Winton)

 

I wish we could have had, just a little more time

There were so many things, left unspoken

A little more time, for a groovy new rhyme

 

A few more years, would have been sublime

But only silence remains, the rest is bespoken

I wish we could have had, just a little more time

 

I wish we could have had, a few more dreams to climb

And that your joyous laugh, could be gently awoken

A little more time, for a groovy new rhyme

 

You left on your own terms, a dancing pantomime

Despite your battles, you remained unbroken

I wish we could have had, just a little more time

 

A little more time, just a little more time

For a few more words, which now remain unspoken

A little more time, for a groovy new rhyme

 

People spend their life in love with a dime

Restlessly embracing a sickly cold token

But I wish we could have had, just a little more time

A little more time, for a groovy new rhyme


an Elephant and some Cherry Pie

 

Isn’t our perception of reality funny?

Funny in the sense that while we all believe truth exists, the actual colour, shape, and form it holds, is often filtered through our own, limited, best guess scenario, set of assumptions. We hinder and distort reality by the very fact that we don’t know everything. We can’t know everything.

This is magical in a sense, because in a world of science, there are no surprises.

We distort our reality by being human. Gloriously human. We fail to see right because we are limited by the very square space from which we gaze upon the truth. That little piece of the whole, which we call our experience, which always distorts what we see, creates what we want to see, yet it is the only way we can derive any of our understanding in the first place.

And its magical.

I understand that our distorted understanding of the truth is very vexing for everyone. We are all shuffling our feet in total darkness, holding on to a different piece of the elephant, arguing with each other who is right.

Our limited version of the truth, which in our defence is all we were given, can create some unpleasant confusion, and lead to serious frustration.

When we share what we think we see with others, we are putting ourselves on a collision course to be seriously misunderstood.

Reinterpreted.

We are putting ourselves on a path to clash with other people’s versions of reality, and their own prickly little insensibilities.  

This is why it is socially forbidden to talk about politics or religion at parties, with people of good social standing.

This is silly I think, because they are the most important of all the subjects, which is probably why people are willing to die for their truth, something which they are not willing to do for a nice piece of cherry pie. Not unless it is a really, really good piece of pie.

Religion tries to deal with why we are here, and what the ultimate purpose of our existence might be, while politics, on the other hand, deals with how we are to justly govern ourselves, what we have to do to live meaningful lives, and how to better care for the vulnerable.

Or so they should anyhow.

A bit philosophical perhaps, but our perception of how we see what is real is funny nonetheless.

Let’s turn to you.

What about your reality?

What about the truth of how you see yourself and where you are going?

Do you have the courage at any time in the day to look yourself in the mirror? To have a good look. Do you have the valour to gaze into your own eyes? Your windows to your very soul?

What will you find there?

Pain? Regret? Sorrow?

Words of hate and admonition for yourself? Voices from the past hurling hateful epitaphs in your direction?

Or will you find joy?

Peace? Forgiveness? Unused blueprints of some abandoned dreams?

Perhaps some faith and hope? Some love?

Words of encouragement and understanding? Voices from the future calling you towards something greater than yourself?

If truth and reality is not as reliable as we were taught to think it is, when we were children, wouldn’t it make more sense to shape it, the way we want reality to appear?

If other people will not understand or will misinterpret your, is that a good reason to capitulate or abandon your dreams, or give up trying?

I mean, if you are too blind and unsatisfied with the piece of the elephant you are currently holding, wouldn’t it make more sense, instead of arguing or getting angry about it, to simply suck it up and stumble in the darkness, to look for another piece to hold.

A piece that perhaps feels a little better? Suits your life a little more?

Reality is very cold, calculating, and most scientific.

But we as artists are born to wrap it up, in our own warm blanket of technicolour.

To shape things how we want them to be. To shape our own destiny.

Reality really doesn’t matter much. People will see what they want to see. Truth will not be offended by the choices you make, one way or another.

In the future, you will change your mind how things were a thousand times. You will reshape and thinking of what you remember a million ways.

You are bound to forget.

So, forget who you think you are today. Erase what other people think you are.

Don’t be afraid to stumble in the dark.

Keep circling that elephant and stop arguing who is right.