Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Pensée du jour

A partner is a main course—a rich variety of tastes and flavours; a friendship is dessert—delicious and energizing, but with fewer nutrients.

Encore, mais cette fois avec des cygnes

Season of the long shadows.
Patterns; textures.
Above and below you can see just how shallow the root
system of our glorious and tall cedars and firs are.  

Warm in my polar down jacket.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Stanley Park Promenade

Above and below, Lost Lagoon and new snow on
the North Shore Mountains in the background. 

Beaver home in Beaver Lake.

Cognitivement Contesté

The white arrow is pointing to a solid yellow
line that I thought was telling me that there
was hardly any gas. In fact, those horizontal
lines on the right indicate a full tank. 

I am humbled and afraid. This is a sad story.

Last night I used an unfamiliar car from the car sharing network to which I belong. When I got in, I checked on the gas level and it seemed to me to be empty, so I began by going to the gas station but they would not accept the credit card so I called the car co-op office and they asked me to use my own VISA card and send in the receipt for a refund. 

Honestly, I took me three or four minutes to find the lever that you have to pull to open the cap that covers the where you put the gas into the car because the interior lights in the car don't work so they are not backlit. Once I found it, however, I could not get any gas into the car; it was as if the car was already full of gas.

It was full of gas. I had totally misread the indicator panel. So off I went to my party and when I got there, I really had to go to the bathroom badly. And guess what. I could not figure out how to get out of the car—again, those non-lit buttons made it impossible to find the unlock button. I thought I would wet my pants. 

Now I know why cell phones were invented. Had I not had one with me, last night would have been a total disaster ending with me not going and in a bad, bad mod. Instead, I went to the party, had a ball and went to bed feeling dumber than ever.

Sunday, December 28, 2014


You could see reflections in the bubbles and gorgeous
the light refracted glorious colours.
I managed to take a photo just as a bubble burst.
I love the red coats of the kids in this photo.

Marcher sur la Digue

I love this photo. 
The seawall is 9 kilometres; walking to it and back to my home is 13 kilometres. Until recently, I believed I walked the seawall, on average, 50 times a year; on October 8th, I decided to start recording my walks to see if, in fact, I walked the wall that many times.

Today will be my 28th 13-K walk since then. I will easily do the wall 30 times this quarter and that means my annual seawall walks, projected and seasonally adjusted, number something more like 130 times, not 50.

Since October 8th, I've walked many more than the 104 kilometres of my official walks±walking for walking sake. Again, projected and seasonally adjusted, I likely walk 1,700 kilometres each year of formal walks.

I LOVE walking. It is my meditation, it is my form of prayer. I feel such extraordinary joy when I am walking and it is sunny as it is today. Yet walking is something I failed into. My asthma prevents me from doing aerobic exercise and I can no longer risk falling. Every time I fall, I break a bone, so walking has become a highly satisfying passion.

la Respiration

This is my breathing record for September,
October & November of this year.
This is December and shows the effect of a recent virus.
Every three months, I get three numbers that speak to my immune system. I can't explain them; I ignore them. What I feel means something to me; the numbers don't, but they can be ignored because they are all good. I also get numbers about my blood, white blood cells in particular, liver and kidney. I have a blood and urine test in the hospital across the street every three months to get the numbers.

But at home, measure my breathing twice a day. Asthma is different than many lung diseases because asthma is about having trouble breathing out, not in. By monitoring my breathing as I do, I know how much of what kinds of medicine to take.

I recently had a virus. You can see it hit me in the December chart where the big dip is. And now my breathing is unstable—there are daily fluctuations, but this is the first virus I have had in four years that did not require hospital treatment! That is amazing and significant for my future.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Je vais obtenir de l'aide.

In my twenties, a woman cut me off on a major street forcing me into oncoming traffic. I could have been very badly hurt. When I asked her to apologize, she told me to fuck off so I tore her windshield wiper off. It really damaged my hand. That was the first time I realized I had a lot of anger inside me.

In my thirties, I had trouble with anxiety. I went on medications at the urgings of my doctor who said it would take 6 months to feel the effects. I felt some effects right away—side effects, but I stuck out the 6 months. Then I went off them it was like there was an empty vessel inside of me filling up with hate and rage. The pills masked all the dark matter; off them, it came back.

Now, in my mid sixties, people around me are noticing a change. I hear the dark matter in my jokes; I feel it when I am walking, triggered by rule breakers, and it comes out when I am with people. It is time to get help, so this morning I spent hours online and wrote to a counsellor for an appointment. I am full of hope and doubt. I am glad, though, that I have taken action.

And yesterday I made another choice. I decided to out myself as someone who needs and wants a relationship with God—not a religion, not a faith, just a compassionate and loving God. End of story.

So now I have two guys "in my corner:" God and Dr. Fisher.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Joyeux Noël II

Almost every time I walk the seawall I say to myself, "This could be the nicest walk yet." Perhaps that is why I do it. It is my church, as I have said. But today was very crowded—a disappointment after the wasteland of yesterday. But I was buoyed by lovely developments with my "crush" at a particularly meaningful time of year.

Today was particularly nice, though, because it was very warm and bright. And, I saw an otter just chilling in the sunshine.

Joyeux Noël

December sees the arrival of my birthday, Christmas, the winter solstice and New Year's Eve. It is a month with a unique soundscape: hymns and carols and there is an abundance of sentimentality— genuine and faux. It produces the Reflective Effect. You see the Reflective Effect in year-end lists and the Christmas letters of friends. I am not un-afflicted.

Two years ago, I announced my intent to stop travelling. Coming after a lifetime of loving travel, many friends asked: Why? I searched for answers and came up with some, but fundamentally, if I had not stopped travelling, I would not have started writing so rigorously. And reflecting on this phase of a life-long involvement with composition, has me wanting to say two things:

  1. Looking back: I have two inspiring male mentor angels: Dwight and Warren. Without them, none of the writing that is satisfying me more than anything I have done would exist. Dwight pushed me for years to write my story—years! And more than that: To do it for performance and for me to perform. I thought he was absolutely nuts—sweet and loving, but nuts. But he was right. And when Knock Knock was born, Warren picked up the whip.

    Warren saw the story Dwight pulled out of me as a play, as a movie. Now, Uncle Gus' Monkey (I LOVE that name) is on a journey that teaches and thrills me (us).

    These men are my Gods. Honestly! I walk the seawall as my way of connecting with God. I listen to Gregorian chants and the most beautiful choral hymns ever written, and give thanks for my blessings—my skills my friends and, particularly, my two wonderful mentors.
  2. Looking forward: 2015 stands to be an auspicious year. I will:
          - Hear from McLelland/Stewart if my book is to be reprinted.
          - Enjoy the workshop, rehearsal and performances of Trudeau, the Felons & Me.
          - Enjoy designing and building the costumes, wigs and sets for the play.
          - We will hear if our screenplay, Uncle Gus' Monkey, scores with Brad's company.
          - I plan to write and submit a script to The Arts Club in response to the invitation
            I have received. (Put another way, I plan to climb Mount Everest.)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

le Schéma des Réponses

Chris says: "Guess what: Our screenplay is has really interested a producer. My life story may actually be the basis for a made-for-TV movie!" (Please note, I always say "may.")

Already there is a pattern in the responses:

  • Response A: A variant of: "Fabulous. Congratulations.
  • Response B: Yea, like that'll ever happen.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Vraiment un Joyeux Noël

Circumstance Induced Mania was a disease I made up to describe how I felt when a clusterfuck of good news sent me crashing into a very uncomfortable mood. I remember adding a new corollary to my list of life lessons learned: Good news is as hard to take as bad news.

Yesterday I had an appointment with my friend/Doctor, Art, and while I was in his waiting room I got a call from writing partner, Warren. He had great news about our screenplay—really great news (that of course may come to nothing in the long run), but as soon as I hear it all I started freaking out.

When Art arrived, I was shaking like someone with delirium tremens. I was there to renew a prescription but he wanted to know why I was trembling and when I tried to explain, I felt embarrassed and silly for being upset about good news and having to tell someone about it and so I started to cry.

Art knew my Dad. He was Dad's doctor too and he knows all about Dad's issues and he thinks my anxieties about success come from Dad's abuse. I was very happy that someone I trust saw how hard good news can be for me and I value his insights greatly.

Anyway, Warren and I got very good news. Essentially, we have a seriously interested producer and what is shocking is the degree of his interest considering he has not read the script. That is the point of this post.

Sure, the screenplay is important but as he says, it will go through at least four evaluations and re-writes. What matters is the plot—it s drama and its politics, the characters and their gender (strong female roles are a huge plus, as is an appeal to a female audience), writers' union membership (we would have been doomed if we were unionized writers) and rights—we won points for being a true story with a living subject who is willing to have his story fictionalized.

Warren and my non-union membership, the dramatic roles for so many women, the subjects of adoption/loss and reunion and the French and English nature of our story in our bilingual nation allowed our producer, Brad, to tick off so many of his boxes that the actual words on the page became secondary. Now he's reading it, but I am confident that his reading will reinforce his enthusiasm not dampen it.

Uncle Gus' Monkey may actually become a movie. I may actually be able to add "executive producer" and "screenwriter" to my irrelevant curriculum vitae. But what a great way to enter heaven.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Freudian Slip

When you say one thing but mean your mother.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

La Vie Dans le Centre-Ville

The fellow in all back on his side was really
putting ups fight and yelling. That is what
attracted my interest.
Going through their pockets.
Two police cars with the two fellows' very
car in the middle plus a car that was just
parked there.
Some evidence is collected.

The evidence piles up.

This fellow was left face-down on the tarmac all the time. The other fellow was sat up against a wall. I kept thinking about once when I slipped on ice and fell onto the pavement and I could not get up. I had to wait for help and it was dark and cold. I remember the intimacy of the pavement as he experienced it.

A van took them away.
10/4 Danno.

la Disadvatage de la "Seawall"

A Soul Portrait of the Artist

I walk watching where I walk because I do not want to look up. I see the textures of the previous posts because I focus on things that keep my gaze from people. My favourite times on the wall are when there is no one there. Why? Because so many people trigger the titanic sea of hate and anger in me.

I ask myself: How can I get rid of the anger? Beth would tell me to see a therapist but I have little faith that a stranger can tell me more than I can discover on my own. Besides, I use my fabulous Gestalt trick to find answers and it tells me I am angry because my mother got sick and left us and that led to the collapse of our family. I am angry still, because I was left alone.

The Gestalt trick reveals self-pity over two mothers leaving me before age twelve. It also reveals a fear that I am unlovable because I am the constant in my list of failed relationships that includes one father and two mothers.

The dominatrix in my brain says: Get over it. My inner bitch says: Believing you drive everyone away is highly egocentric. My inner King of Reason says: You have lived 24,881days already and you will similarly live through the rest of your days.

Today I said to myself: Look down and think happy thoughts and it worked until this guy on a bike who is not supposed to be on the seawall clipped my shoulder. I did not hear him coming because I was listening to my iPhone which is supposed to be a safe thing to do on the seawall and his touch unleashed the hounds of hate—Baskervilles full.

It’s become worse of late; people are noticing. I am relieved I was the first to become aware of it and there must be awareness before there can be change. How to affect change is the challenge.

I trust my instincts. I always have. My friends will wince but I might try going to a Latin mass for a while. Although I loathe religion, I love the idea of God and the spoken words of masses in Latin are completely inoffensive.

Un Séjour sur le "Seawall"

My two favourite days of the year are the day each year that daylight saving starts and today, the winter solstice. Tomorrow is the first day towards summer 2015; today is the beginning of longer days. That is the best Christmas present possible.

Today, as usual, textures caught my eyes as I walked as did iconic sights. Cedar, the pattern of waves on sand, clouds/fog/clouds/the ocean blending together, leaves, grasses… there is beauty everywhere but never have I been more aware of the stunning sights of winter.

These mistletoe bombs are everywhere.

There are orange, red, blue and white berries.
Beautiful berries abound in winter.
On the west side of the park are high cliffs
and because of all the winter storms, there
are lots of new streams.

Seriously wet.

I love the composition here.

As ferns decay, their colour deepens.

Look at these colours and textures;
I love this composition.

These, in life, are a deeper violet.  They are
stunning salad (Gaultheria Shallon) leaves.