Life’s Silver…lining

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Life always has ways of surprising us, from the littlest of things to the grandest. In this Age of Opulence, where one is always vying for the gold, I will always be more than happy with Silver.

This year marks 25 years that Fiona has been my Wife, earning her the win (apparently) of the Silver Jubilee, and not my life insurance since (also apparently) I am still here…writing this (or am I?).

Marking a quarter century is somewhat of a milestone, not so much in bragging rights, as it is in being proud knowing that we have spent that much more of our lives together than apart.

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Today is a day of our celebration of marriage, a crowning mark of the achievements that we’ve made together thus far, and those that we’ll be making in the years to come.

The color is Silver, which I am usually reminded by the Grey in my hair, by the one who likes reminding me most, especially after 25 years.

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I’m just happy to be party to the party.

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I’ve learnt over time that less is oft more. Garner and enjoy your time, and not things. There are always more things, but never enough time. Hopefully that way you may have fewer regrets should events cause us to lose time we wish we had spent, because time is only spent once (obviously I’m still not a believer in reincarnation).

My life lesson that has been learn-ed often enough during this 1/4 century with my Bride.

I’ve gained 25 years that may or may not have been, and am richer for it.

As a Husband, as a Father, as a “silver-haired” man.

Here’s to the next 25 years…

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The Glass is Always Full

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“Is the glass half empty or half full?” a common expression, a proverbial phrase, generally used rhetorically to indicate that a particular situation could be a cause for optimism (half full) or pessimism (half empty), or as a general litmus test to simply determine an individual’s worldview.

2017 seems to have begun with 1 of these 2 views, and based on media (both real and social), obviously more of one than the other.

What we tend to forget that Life, is much like the Tao:

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Yin and Yang, are two opposite and complimentary energies that make up a whole; that one is not ever fulfilled without the other. Yin and Yang cannot exist without the other, they are never separate.

Whether we perceive them as freezing and boiling, dark and bright, good and evil, they are but parts that become a sum.

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Exactly how we view a glass in a”simpler” fashion/expression/time.

A Worldview in the making.

The Mind, like an opinion, is a terrible thing to waste, and recent tidings have encouraged me to be much less reliant on the media machine, for what is fed to us through and media “feeds” preys upon our sensitivities and sensibilities to foster what I deem a lot of air in the glass. Substance without weight that doesn’t really feed or nurture us.

Not to say that all is such, that would bring us back to the Yin and Yang, bits of each in all.

Strong wills create strong views and stronger opinions, but a tempered view can cut a swath through the falsehoods, biases, and untruths. Unless (a) we don’t want to, or (b) we trust too much.

This is where faith and intelligence play into the picture, and we once again return to our yin and yang situation.

Thank you 2017.

We are supposed to be entering the year with an air of rebirth and refreshed ideals. Not of dread, not of ill-will, not of contempt, and certainly not of prejudice.

I am Canadian, and regardless of what I would let all Media believe, I live a Good life.

I am happy to drink from a glass that is half-full, I am even more glad with that the love and respect of my family and friends that my cup doth runneth over.

I will also never let one’s glass ever be empty, it is always filled and refilled at my table, regardless of choice of drink. I judge not.

Judging is one thing, and Respect-ing is however another, and when that Yin Yang becoomes Love/Hate, Respect/Disrespect, I am determined to replace the negative with positive, and the perception of “entitlement” with Gratitude.This year has been painted with more of the former of this (than the latter) til now, and is already due for a fresher coat, or some better primer.

I urge anyone reading this to Believe in Good, have Faith in the Just, but moreso, have faith in you and yours 1st. Think before reacting, and respect the views and opinions that others exude, and file them appropriately.

What separataes from the animals, is that we don’t have to react to instinct, we have the ability to ponder our decisions becfore reacting.

Let 2017 be the year of Action, and not a year of re-Action.

I wish you all the best. Fill your cup, drink until satiated.

Your cup will Always be Full.

One Love.

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“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears…”

…is a line of a speech by Mark Antony in the play Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare (taken from Act III, scene II) and is one of Shakespeare’s most famous lines from all of his works, explicitly as a famous example of the use of emotionally charged rhetoric.

In this work; Antony has been allowed by Brutus and the other conspirators to make a funeral oration for Caesar –  on condition that he not blame them for Caesar’s death. However, while Antony’s speech begins by justifying the actions of Brutus and the assassins (“I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him”), Antony uses said rhetoric to ultimately portray Caesar in such a positive light that the crowd are enraged against the conspirators.

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This in my view, is an apt and vivid portrayal of what our “instant” world has become.

Immediate portrayal of thoughts and emotions with privileged and self-serving motive, that media and individuals can use as a public voice, whether or not founded or just, that may later simply be rescinded with a retraction (most often not), or left to fade into the obscurity of the next concern.

A concise definition of “rhetoric” is language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect on its audience, but often regarded as lacking in sincerity or meaningful content.

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Narcissistic-ally; media, social media and technology have provided voice to the masses to allow common courtesy to go the way of the dodo bird. The “look-at-me” syndrome has been perpetuated to make celebrities out of pretty much anything on a whim, and taking focus away from truly important matters. Information at one’s fingertips, once a blessing in disguise, is now wikpedia-izing all of us.

A decade (maybe 2) ago, having computer lab time was a privilege, and was time well invested. Now, we can google the distance from here to there measured in marshmallows, or how much sand runs through an hourglass. Nice, but not really relevant – unless that is your vocation.

An email or a text sent, and not replied to in moments; is now regarded as offensive in our instant world. The public having become acclimated to their own particular sense of importance of obviously being “that” important that they merit immediate attention, is a resultant sum of the technology put to us.

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Whereas I do understand somewhat these scenes, I don’t prescribe to them. All in due process, and all in due measure.

Professionally, personally, or even just amicably…everything in its right time.

Communication is losing it’s art form, verbally and technologically, because everyone and everything has to be bigger, better, and faster. As an example; someone recently sent me a text; announcement of a date and time of an event. That was it. Was it an invitation? A simple notification? A bragging achievement? The lost art progresses.

Just the perception that everyone is always accessible to “internet” is something that still surprises me as I punch the keyboard. I still like writing by hand, correcting myself instead of having auto-correct make me spell properly.

We are human, and therefore prone to error, and it is by error that we learn and improve.

The time that I cherish, and look forward to most, is periodically unplugging and going to the woods.

No electricity, and very simple comforts and pleasures. To sit and practice the art of conversation, to be free of the impetus of net-life, and to not have to endure the drama that proceed the postings, texts, and hashtags that make our modern acumen. The true reality of “freedom” sans-drama, no need of “likes” or accolades to prove that what we do has to be instantaneously approved of, or disapproved of. I can eat red meat if I want, I can smoke a cigar if I want, I can admire the beauty of my family, and I can kiddingly jibe my friends to their face.

That is Real.

So, much like some music, my life is a lot better…unplugged.

Unless, I’m just reciting…rhetoric…

Time Canon

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Writer’s block always strikes at some point.

The Creative process is sometimes a fickle thing, and we can either experience it as the flow of the stream, the roar of the river…or as the ebb of the tide.

Lately, due to circumstance(s), creativity has been much at a standstill. Living life has been more the priority, or more in fact, ensuring that I’m able to live the life that I/We want.

Health issues have never been “issues” to me through out the time I’ve spent living thus far, but apparently life does have a way, like most things, of catching up with you.

More genetics than lifestyle, my new found eye openers, have given cause for a lot of reflection (having had a lot of “empty time” waiting in hospitals and for doctors), and I’ve decided that the legacy I choose to leave, if any, will more so be the memories that I can leave with loved ones, than not have to have made those memories.

That’s to say, easily now, that time wasted is time lost.

Money we can earn and spend. It provides us a means and an end to:

Objects,

Things,

Stuff.

Time is the Gift, that once spent, is lost.

Irreplaceable.

So, here I find myself, happy to make some hard decisions that will grant me guiltless freedom (not that I ever really felt that guilty over decisions) that will constantly remind me to put any wasted time to be WELL wasted time, that I decide to spend of my own volition, and not out of any sense of “have-to” and “need-to” as prescribed to make that better $$$ life.

Decisions and detractors have pillaged enough of the time that is now behind me, and lost to me, but that ever-fresh smell of coffee serves to lighten and direct the id to the place it needs to go.

The Spirit is better, the head is better; the heart is getting there, as are the eyes.

Life can be fickle.

Health can be fickle.

We fight for what we want.

To Be,

To achieve,

To give,

To Love,

To be Remembered.

As much as I hope to stay here as long as possible, Time is a finite essence and I want to spend it with you in the best way possible.

In terms that I control.

On terms that I can navigate.

With those I want.

I hope to all that I give a little piece of time, at some point appreciate that anything that  was spent and invested with you, was at an intrinsic cost.

I like to think I am choosing wisely.

15 to Life

15 Years In

One and a half decades ago, I was asked a very simple thing.

“Stop, please!?!”

That instant, as depicted in film, “where Life passes in your mind’s eye in a blink and a heartbeat”, ensured/insured that I was done. I didn’t have to be asked a 2nd time, then, or anytime since, and “It” was, and is, one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever made, and with the passing of time; has become a self-crowning achievement.

In truth, there are few things that I wear on my sleeve

  • the Love for and of My Family,
  • loyalty to friends
  • the want to help others when needed

but they had to eventually and finally be paired with something I had to do for me; to make me better…better than what I thought I was and could be.

But more so: To make me…Free.

My issues were the catalyst, enticing My vice. The causes are mine…and private. Those who know: know. That is the historical part of life that belongs in my head, and not in print. The effects that were earned are another thing entirely, and luckily they were parlay and witness to some, and not many. While entertaining, evocative, and provocative; my head and heart are not alcohol friendly.

Good times did not become better times because of liquid, but they certainly have become more memorable without.

Trying to put 15 years of effort into words, is a little tough, especially for one who doesn’t normally convey much, shall we say; emotion. Yet every now and then, that stray thought of openness hits, and type flows where verbosity can’t. The written words here aren’t touting any egotistical achievement, not false pride or bravado.

The are indicative of Want, Will, and Spirit. (simply put)

I’ve proved to myself, and at the same time (hopefully) to the experiences that my Son’s will go through in Life’s challenges; that your measure is constantly tested, and how you rise to the challenge Will strengthen your resolve.

We are created flawed, and the ability to make choices and reason is what creates the aspiration, to be…free.

Albeit, somewhat idealistic, free-dom is a varied level concept, but once being outside a cell of your own doing, you do have a different perspective on the inherent effects that a vice can have on your character.

Subduing, controlling, and ridding oneself of any vice, is as a friend put to me “Willpower”. I view it more as determination; for the want of change, the need to succeed, but even more, the need to Overcome. Every footstep is one in the right direction, and one more than I would have had should I have pursued a different path.

I thank those that have chided me, and thank those that have supported me, but it is still my demon to “bottle-up”.

And because of one loving question…I have a Life, Freedom, and Love, that could so very easily…been much different.

Decision made.

Life made.

Life is still a lesson that I’ll have learnt when it’s through.

A Father’s Day

 

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Urban Dictionary defines “Dad” as:

The guy who’s on your ass 24/7 about grades, sports, what you do with your free time, drugs, alcohol, your behavior….etc and will never give you a break, or room to breath, he can also be pretty chill when he has vented all his rage on the rest of your family, he likes classic rock, talking about politics, he is never wrong and will argue until his face turns red to prove his point no matter how ridiculous it may be, he is either the best or the worst when he drinks, he is extremely controlling with what you do and how you manage your time, he does love you (well i mean he is your father right?) and after owning you he usually says its because he loves you (which is usually bullshit) overall you still love your dad even tho he may be a total asshole, and when u move away you will love him even more.

 

I’d like to think of my Dad as the Best of those things, and that I’ve continued the Tradition set out before me. Even the more flagrant negative aspects are truth in this latter definition, but that’s what makes us “responsible” parents.

I am forever grateful that my Sons have walked their own steps, and have not emulated or perpetrated anything remotely close to the follies of my youth (or so I would think and/or hope), and quite probably, my Dad thinks the same.

“Always” being the cool Dad, would be great; but the likelihood is as much or equal to the chance of winning the lottery, getting hit by lightning, or being bitten by a shark…great odds, eh? 

That’s the “what” that proves that Tradition, trumps being Cool.

Learning and maintaining values instilled in us by those we hold dear, and then passing those values on to our children, is what constitutes parenthood. Teaching them in the way that you can is by choice, as much as the absorption of the education is by the kids we’re trying to bring up in this “new and improved” world. That to me is being a Dad.

That’s Life, and Life is a Lesson.

If I can instill a few modicums of memories, experiences, and learned values in my Sons as a Dad, I’d like to give these:

  • Respect, is a Commandment that is universal, regardless of Faith. I hope my Sons will always respect me in the way that I respect my Dad, and in the way that my Father respected His.
  • Responsibility. I would like my sons to be like me, but that’s their choice, and they are completely free to make the choices of their own (albeit with some guidance here and there). They have to abide and follow through on their choices, accepting the responsibility that supports their decisions. Their path, their destiny.
  • Honor. I said honor, not pride. Hold true to your beliefs, your heritage and your name. They do mean something, and as a Dad gets older, you do realize that they do mean more than they had when you were younger.
  • Choices. Always make your decisions wisely, and not rashly. Checks and balances, pros and cons, weigh them as rationally as possible, and treat them all with importance, even as trivial as some may seem. 

These are but 4 to cite, and as a Dad, I hold each as important as the other.

I pass these on not merely as words, but as ideals.

Please hold onto them and consider them.

Those are my Father’s Day gift, on my kind of Father’s Day, being able to share with my Sons. The Act of Giving has always been more in my Nature, than the want of receiving, having learnt earlier in life, that every day, is a gift: I choose to pass that gift on, one way or another.

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