Thursday, June 26, 2008

Busy week. Paul and I are now parents to a labrador/rottweiler puppy named, as of 2 hours ago, Muddy (Waters, and because of the unusual brown splotches of fur on his mostly black body). We adopted him through Litters and Critters, a foster-based shelter here in Nova Scotia.

Here's Muddy (7 weeks, 8 pounds):

In a world of ideal pirated internet connections, I could upload a cute video of him eating dirt, or my toes. Alas, the internet has not quite reached that level of sophistication in this isolated corner of the world.

Speaking of this corner of the world:

Thats us. I am sure with a wide angle lens I could have worked wonders. I apologize profusely.

Correction: actually, that is not us. We are 2403. But ours looks very similar, sans barby.

I have also started to train to be a YMCA Day Camp counsellor I always spell that word wrong, and don't trust spell check).

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Through the process of unpacking my boxes, i ran across all of my old journals, plus a lot of papers that didn't make it into one of the main "volumes," but were small pieces of the puzzle. I flipped through, looking for all the January 1 entries... looked for the 3 am entries... for the pre- and post- transatlantic journey entries. Even some that didn't mark milestones contained those twisting reminders of oneself. 
What would i say then about myself now? Would this have been enough to satisfy the young's thirst for substance? 
I found the latest journal I wrote in... and wrote some more. I think my writing has been so disorganized lately. I'm not really blogging it, not really writing fiction (just re-writing), not even putting it in the private collection where it all used to go. Is this growing up? "Fragmented" was a word I used to Paul to describe how I feel. Perhaps the internet or the old journals... concentration dispersed, future questioned. Well, not really, I know I want to do journalism school, but I want to know How I am going to do it. Not questioning the possibility, but the whole thing in itself : How are you going to be, how are you going to continue to be? 
Passion is still so important to me. To write clearly, like in a journal, without fear of judgement or without even feeling like you have to make sense... because it is just for you, at this moment in time. It is easy to be passionate when there is no pressure to make sense. I read the old writings and I want more, now. I want integrity. I want concordance. I want it to mean something.
(maybe that is why I am more careful about what I write)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Worth Repeating

Words inside square brackets are, I assume, modifications of the text by my dear Heidi. "We live in a society where people are able to have more and more material things. The net result, however, has not been to make us perfectly happy. Quite often what lies behind affluence is a spiritual void. This doesn't mean that wanting to have [a good income, comfortable things, and a lover] is wrong or shameful. The spiritual void wasn't created by wanting things. It was created by turning to externals and expecting them to do what they can't do. Externals can't fill spiritual needs. The saying that a rich man has as much chance to enter heaven as a camel does of passing through the eye of a needle isn't a condemnation of wealth. It simply points out that money has no spiritual value. Money isn't the gate to paradise. The wizards have always taught that desire must be seen as a path. In the beginning, desires are about things, like pleasure or survival or power. But in time, the path of desire leads beyond these gratifications. They are not baser desires, but earlier ones. Just as a child outgrows toys at a certain age, the desire for more and more will eventually lead a person into a natural phase where the desire for god becomes all-important. "Don't worry about becoming a seeker after god," Merlin said. "You have been a seeker since birth, only at first the god you sought was toys, then approval, then sex or money or power. "All of these you worshiped and wanted with great passion. Rejoice in them when they are the desires of the moment, but be prepared for them to fall away. The great problem you will face will be not desire but attachment, holding on when the flow of life wants you to let go." The exercise for this lesson is a pure thought experiment. Imagine the thing you want most passionately right now. Perhaps it is a certain car or a life of wealth or some kind of love. Try to pick something you're still pursuing so that you can feel how powerful the pursuit of desire really is. Now, back up to a desire or wish in the past, one that has already come true. It might be your last new car or successful project. Compared with your current desire, this old one will feel different. You won't feel so keenly the hunger to pursue the old desire because you've already tasted its fulfillment. What you are experiencing in this contrast is how life pushes you forward. Yesterday's desire had its own impulse for fulfillment, which has now shifted to today's desire. This forward-moving impulse isn't random. It has carried you from an infant's wants to a child's to and adolescent's to an adult's. If a positive model of desire is established early, then the baby will grow up with natural desires that match its true needs. A psychologically healthy person, in fact, can be defined as someone whose desires actually produce happiness. But if the baby is imprinted with the opposite notion, that its desires are shameful and are only grudgingly met, then desire won't develop in a healthy way. In later years the adult will keep searching for fulfillment in externals, needing more and more power, money, or [lovers] to fill a void that was created in his or her sense of self as a baby; the person's very sense of being is judged to be wrong. In extreme cases desire becomes so distorted that its need turns into a need to kill, steal, commit violence, and so forth. These desires can cause untold harm, both personally and socially. yet no one knows, seeing a murderer or thief, where his or her values went astray. To a wizard all desires begin in the same place, at that point where life simply wants to express itself; it is the obstruction or condemnation of desire that creates the problem. Unhealthy expressions of desire simply reflect unhealthiness in a psyche that desperately needs to know itself, just as all of us do, but has--at least for the time being--failed. Therefore, it is vitally important to come to terms with the nature of your desire, to realize that in the divine plan all your desires are meant to come true. God isn't blocking you from having anything and everything you want. It is you who believe deep down that you don't deserve anything and everything. Such self-judgment creates blockages in the natural flow of life, but once they are removed the path of desire becomes a joy, because is is the shortest and most natural way to god. No desire is trivial, because every desire has a spiritual meaning. Each is a small step leading to the day when you desire the highest fulfillment, which is to know your own divine nature."

Sunday, June 01, 2008

A day

Well, we're here. I will show you pictures sometime. I will show you our portly blue house, squished between two of its twins. I will show you our piles of boxes, our space under the stairs where many of our piles of boxes will likely sit, unpacked, for weeks, while we get motivation to look into them.
I walked to Gottingen to pick up a half litre of milk today at a little convenience store/meat market. Gottingen St. is a boarded up store front, white paint peeling off a graffiti mural. It's a dirt path that cuts through an empty lot littered with lottery stubs. It's a library, a YMCA. It is lined with crack-houses and art galleries, cafés and shelters. I used to go to one of the drop-in centres to hang out, but stopped going because there was nothing there for me to do. Things are ok on Gottingen St., people have their own routines, they know the routes they walk. I don't know if it is in my head, but there is a bit of a look of the hunted in some eyes. 
This morning was our first at this new place. Paul went out on the bike this morning, and on his way back, a block away from home he passed a taped-off crime scene. A homicide, an old man, stabbed in a school yard at 3 am. I don't want to live here without living here, you know. We have chosen a neighbourhood where it is imperative to know your surroundings, to get to know your neighbours, to learn your own routes, good routines. It is important to be trusted, to be seen and to fit in. I think it is a good thing to force ourselves to do: this country is built on neighbourhoods where you can safely get my knowing none of your neighbours. It is in the inner city that your likelihood of thriving, of even staying safe, is very dependent on your connection to the community around you. 
I think this is a good thing.