Sunday, October 29, 2006


A rather long rant today and a change of pace that you may find quite startling.


I came first to the Righteous Forest when I was about thirteen years old. While walking in the woods I came upon a small circle of stumps enclosed by towering trees. And in that circle was a stump that faced a small congregation of other stumps. And at that moment, the sun, as it dipped on the horizon, sliced through the tall spruce and poplars and cast a distinct and uncanny circle of light on the podium-stump. I climbed on it and reveled in that slash of radiance that instantaneously warmed my face, thin arms, and soul. I raised my hands toward heaven. And in that moment, I felt that here was the place where I could finally resurrect the true meaning and power of the God my mother had always told me about.

It is uncanny but each time I recall this special place and how it was on that day of discovery, I am reminded of how, years later, I was so intrigued to discover another similar situation and similar understanding. That Celtic garden, you know whereof I speak, that unique faraway place with all those monstrous upright boulders was chosen by an ancient people as a special spiritual place. They too, felt as I did, that a magical ray of light was pertinent to a place where one could expect to communicate with one’s God.

I had tried church altars. Nothing was more difficult for me to do as a shy reserved child than bravely put one foot in front of the other and make my way to the front of a church to kneel at an altar. But I did it. Fearing that I might be hit by a car, fearing I might spend eternity in that awful place the Minister passionately warned about with eyes aimed directly at me. He entreated specifically me, (did he not?), with such concern and such care. Was that not care that made his eyes run with tears like a mighty river? So I wanted to go to the front, but so often I could not. Frozen somehow, maybe with fear, or maybe just the pain of my own insecurity. But eventually the fear of hell was more extreme than my dreadful fear of being conspicuous, so I did.

The first step was easy. That first trip gave me salvation but soon others told me it was not enough. That there was something more needed to be righteously complete. The gift of speaking in tongues. And so, after that first time, more then once, I wailed at the front with head bowed and eyes closed for that special other gift, until I could no longer support my tired body. Righteous, blessed, tongue-speaking, weeping, caring adults stood over me and knelt beside me pressing the palms of their hands against my head and back. They commanded, rather than pleaded, for the Spirit to give me his generous gifts, but still nothing poured from the heavens. Still I felt shut out. While they shuddered in the spirit the only thing that caused my physical shuddering were the sobs of my discouragement and wretchedness. The only thing that caused the paralysis and weakness that made others collapse in the Spirit, was my physical exhaustion. And the only thing that caused my tongue to stammer was my attempt to oblige the requests I heard whispered in my ear to ‘let go, to loose my tongue’. Detach myself from it and allow it to speak words unknown to me. More than once this long imploring happened, and more than once I eventually staggered from the altar feeling totally defeated. No tongue-speaking, no miracle, no vision, no sensory climax.

I was afraid to ask them why and with no other explanation, I could only think that I had done something, some grievous sin in my past, though my past be brief, that had locked me outside heaven’s gate and there I must remain for all time. It seemed as if I and my closest girlfriend were the only remaining teens at Camp that had this problem. Everyone else who made their way to the front of the church spoke in tongues before the sun came up except her and me.

But then on the final night of camp, my closest friend who had wrestled with God as long as I, eventually began to stammer in tongues. Later when we returned to the bunkhouse to ready ourselves for bed, I told her how much I envied her for having finally received the Spirit.

That’s when she looked at me blankly and after a long pause, she whispered in my ear. “I have a confession to make,” she said, “but you must promise on your Bible to never tell anyone.” I promised solemnly on my Bible to never tell. And then she told me.

“Haven’t you noticed that some of the adults always repeatedly say the same phrases when they speak in tongues? I have been listening carefully for the last few evenings and tonight I simply repeated what I heard some others say.”

I was aghast, but I didn’t let on what I was thinking. How could she do such a thing? Did she not understand how such falseness was like welcoming bodily and spiritual harm to the Nth degree? Harm that would dog her heels and probably snuff out her very being this night, this day, this month, this year. And then plunge her into a pond of molten lava to burn forever. My conviction of this was so intense that I wanted to reach over to her, where she was sitting beside me, and kiss her forehead as a kind of farewell before it would forever be too late for me to give any physical expression of my fondness for her.

Instead I silently prayed that God would spare her. Forgive her for a lack of knowledge of his truth. Forgive her even though I had been told that somewhere in the Bible it said that God’s spirit will not always strive with man. God warned against such disobedience. He warned that he would turn his back on souls that would eventually become desperate but their cries would forever be in vain. He warned he would forever leave those hopeless souls crying out for mercy to a deaf God. So as much as I wanted to be included within that inner circle of all those who validated their friendship with God by speaking in tongues, I vowed it would never happen until I was certain that it was an anointing outside my own control. Nothing could ever make me desperate enough to act this out. My anointing would be a spiritual orgasm that could not be questioned, denied, or falsified. But now, I could no longer concentrate on that pursuit. With my friends confession, priorities had been altered. Right now, it was no longer about me. It was about a dear friend that needed my most ardent and fervent prayers to preserve her mortal life and her eternal soul.

But yet, I could understand how my friend fell into such a temptation. I noted that when some child, any child, went to the altar and eventually began speaking in the Spirit, you could suddenly feel the love by the prayer workers surrounding that child. The love was tangible. It was as if it stemmed from their own personal pride and satisfaction in a work that they had done. As if they had bent down and scooped up gritty, flawed, contaminated sludge from a waste sight and with the skill of Spiritual Artisans had deftly crafted that raw material into a Spiritual Creature of gold and glory and shining wings. And even when I, still struggling for my own blessing, knelt in close proximity at that same altar, I could feel the presence of that cloud of sweet love drifting about. Invisible, but at the same time thick, fluid, but forever determined that its wispy edges would not touch my own skin or snap any sparks of static impulses to my sensory nerves that would give me the comfort of inclusiveness.

So I remained odd man out. Excluded. And the next day we left camp. We would not return until the following year. I left with sadness and discouragement. But I found two small sources of comfort.

It only takes a few months of school in Grade One to realize that every effort whether it be dress, behavior, or academic, is scaled and graded. So I picked up on this and graded everything around me. People, plants, animals, affections. I graded people for wealth and poverty, kindness, humility, and righteousness. I graded the prayer workers at the altar. They got top marks for greater blessedness, greater righteousness, greater understanding. Their affluence was right up there as well. They had finer clothes then I, they drove far better cars than my Dad’s old jalopy, they wore fine watches, suits and silks, and buffed shoes. These special blessings I thought must have proceeded from the God with which they had a complete and secure mutual understanding. The God that regularly put speak in their mouths in a foreign diction that only they could understand.

And so when they commanded, implored, beseeched that God, who they understood so much better than I, that he should bless me with these gifts, and he didn’t, I drew comfort from the fact that although it seemed he wasn’t listening to me, and that was expected, lowly worm that I was, he was also turning a deaf ear to these, his bosom pals – a ear as deaf as the ear that I was trying to bend. But in their righteous arrogance, did they realize that? Or did it just increase their righteous arrogance to a higher mark? A greater level of confidence in their own special status? Why could they not, with their polish and common mutual communication skills impose or seduce God to anoint me with the speaking of tongues, not so much maybe for my sake, but for their own? To validate the strength of their own blessings.

The other thing that gave me a minor bit of comfort was although I was dismayed and embarrassed that I could not move from outside the circle to the inside, I was still forever grateful I was not walking in my friend’s shoes. I shuddered to think of it. To live each day with fear and no one to call upon. To live in mortal terror of a condemned afterlife or a mortal scourge at any time of plague and sickness, and no lap to run to for just one brief moment of comfort.

So I guess it boils down to it being the best of the worse that encouraged me a small bit. But with my discovery of the Righteous Forest, I was truly encouraged. Perhaps now, without distraction, me and my God would form a pact of understanding. I would demand and evoke his blessing, where both of us could be as intimate as we wanted to be and where neither of us would need to feel conspicuous or embarrassed. Here, in this special place, I might finally seek and find a blessing. Here my creator might finally seal his relationship with me by allowing me to speak in tongues, and allowing me to share with him the sensory experience that I had so long envied and observed. The sensory experience that made some walk, without falling, the narrow back rails of church pews, and made others fall to the floor, or dance in the spirit. In truth, why should I need the support of others who were so ill adept at transferring a blessing through their touch to me as if they held control? I am in no need of that. Common sense tells me I would be better off to do this thing on my own.

And so the preparations began. It is important that things of such gravity be approached with proper planning and in good order. So on that day of discovery in the woods, I gathered a small amount of water from a pool in a sand pit nearby and returning to my podium, I prayed for God’s blessing on my small cathedral and named and baptized it with all reverence and respect, “The Righteous Forest”.

to be continued...

Friday, October 27, 2006


This coming-out is hard for me. It is not easy for me to tell you how silly I am or how silly I can be. They say, “She is too old to be so silly.” “Mature people shouldn’t be that silly,” they say. They want me to ‘smarten up’.

Their hope is that through expressions of their disapproval, they will eventually compel me to stick to my knitting and crocheting and be serious. Now that would all be good and well if they wanted me to be serious so that they could tap into the wisdom of my maturity. For that, I would be serious. But is that what they want? No. They say I’m too old, too square, too out-of-the-loop to pass along relevant wisdom. So, if that is the case, why do they want me to be serious if they can’t take me seriously?

Anyway, it really doesn’t matter, because I am who I am. And I will not be full-time serious if I don’t want to be. Whether I’m nine, nineteen, or ninety. I will continue to have my moments of utter silliness. Although I should probably be embarrassed about it, I am not. Because I have found it encourages others to be lighthearted.

Still some hold back, clamp their lips, and continue to frown because of their fanatical conviction that mature people need to act more dignified than any other age group. But, so what? The rest of us, of the silliness persuasion, continue being silly until eventually we double over at the waist, throw our heads back, slap our knees, and roar with glee. (Some of us, because of physical maturity, dribble in our pants) but so what?

It’s just another silly reason to laugh louder and longer.

P.S. ‘Feeling silly’ and ‘being silly’ are NOT one and the same. ‘Feeling silly’ is self-deprecating and painful, but ‘being silly’ if allowed, can be delightful.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


A little Meme today that you might like to try. This one was done without contemplation so it is all over the map. A list of Eight Things compiled in quick time.


1. Eat snow – I’ve already eaten my share. Even used it to substitute for egg in cookie recipes when I was a kid. Yellow snow (probably), infested with snow fleas (probably). Yuk!

2. Howl at coyotes just for the fun of it. If one can call a moose one can probably call a herd of hungry, maybe even aggressive, coyotes. I did that as a kid until I realized that each time I howled the responding howl was closer. I wish Hub would stop doing that when we are walking in the woods. I fail to see any humor in it.

3. Grow long hair and attempt to keep it groomed without the benefit of Creme Rinse. Ow! Ow! OW!

4. Wear any polyester, nylon-blend clothing if I can possibly avoid it. Wrapped myself up till I was air-tight and moisture-proof in the sixties and I don’t intend to do it again. My skin is still testimony to the abuse of perfumed bath powders, overlaid with nylon underpants, then panty-hose, then polyester slacks. The cruelest of fashions. Unbearably hot in the summer and unbearably cold in the winter.

5. Wear rubber boots without liners in the winter. That’s what we all wore when I was a kid. God, my feet were so cold I still shudder when I think of it. But luckily I never froze them. I can only believe that since I didn’t freeze my feet in those rubber boots, I could (but I don’t want to) probably walk on hot coals without burning my flesh.

6. I will never be a Vegan. I was forced to live that way when I was a kid during the summer months and I still feel sorry for myself when I think about it. I suffered unbearable cramps in my stomach during the day and at night every dream, every nightmare was about steaks, bacon, pork chops, and potatoes drenched in grease. It is unfair that in dreams people can drive, run, fly, inherit wealth, hug, kiss, and even copulate, but they can’t/don’t eat. So all I could do was flounder around in dining halls and hotel smorgasbords with sealed lips and drool on my pillow till it was sopping wet. Utter, total Misery.

7. I will never use recyclable sanitary napkins – forced to use them for too many years in my adolescence. My older neighbor won’t either. When she started her menses, her mother told her to use moss wrapped in rough chaffing rags. Not that either of us need them anymore, but still…

8. Sleep with dog-sand in my bed. Hub can manage that sort of thing, but I cannot! If there’s dogs in the bed, I’ll be sleeping in the other room.

What did you once do that you will never do again?

Monday, October 23, 2006


There is nothing that puzzles me as much as ‘amnesia’. Not the partial amnesia where after a trauma, an individual wakes up and discovers interim gaps in memory or faltering failures to recognize familiar faces. That happens to me without amnesia. I forget names, faces, what I did yesterday or even this morning. But that is not what puzzles me. What puzzles me is those victims of amnesia that every once in a while are discovered in places far from home with no memory of name, address, who they are, or how they got there.

Recently a victim of this kind of amnesia was discovered in the States. He is a Canadian with complete and total amnesia. With no name, no past, no former life. Medical officials have verified that. Yet when interviewed on TV he reminisced about how lonely he was, how lost, how isolated. And that is the part that puzzles me.

If I suddenly were to find myself in a strange place, without any memory of home, how could I long for that which is no longer resident in my mind? You see, when I forget I had a thing, when it goes astray, I neither miss nor search for it. So without any memory of friends, how could one feel lonely? It’s as impossible for me to grasp as a search for shadows in a world without light.

But just because it is beyond my limited understanding does not mean it isn’t so. If anything, this lack of understanding on my part, the impossibility of a situation that to me is akin to a world of shadows without light, rouses more sympathy than it would if I fully understood it.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


It’s all a matter of opinion, and this is my opinion.

First, a bit of background. This story is about the Good Man (GM) and Good Woman (GW) who once had a romantic connection and a Conservative Party connection. But then the PM secretly offered GW a prestigious post in the Liberal Party and she found it an offer too attractive to refuse. She crossed over. Meanwhile GM had no suspicions, no warning. When he heard what she had done, the shock caused a staggering personal and political rift between them.

That was some time ago. Now only last week, while government was in session, a Liberal party member sitting adjacent to GM inquired in a murmuring voice something about how his dog was doing. And GM reportedly replied, “I don’t know. You have HER now.”

A mike picked up the conversation and immediately so did the media. When GW was asked about it, she did not hesitate to respond. She condemned GM for his slurs and emphasized that this kind of disrespect to her showed disrespect for all women.

Now I don’t think that slurring race, gender, or religion is acceptable. But I do think Politicians need to think beyond their own id. But when I watched GW asserting and re-asserting her demands for a stand-up ‘personal apology’ in the House, my assessment was that GW has a self-serving, self-preserving, mindset. I am in favor of positive action to end gender discrimination, but her response was not for that intent. Her intent was to portray herself as a flawless victim. How disappointing that she had such a narrow vision of the situation that she failed to realize that this was not so much victimization as a golden opportunity.

So now I have to ask. How would the public have responded if GW had simply stated these facts?

“Yes, GM and I had a personal relationship that ended badly and left both of us wounded. There were circumstances in our relationship that earned him the right to speak badly of me and I of him. Beyond that, I have nothing further to say because I have no time for personal issues that could sidetrack me from my commitment to the constituents that I serve.”

With that kind of response, we might be convinced that here at long last was a politician to be admired. A politician who understands that in the hallowed halls of government there is serious work to be done. And the GM/Bad Man, whose best defense up to this point has been deny, deny, deny, would have no comeback. And GM felt compelled to speak, her truth would have forced him to speak his truth, rather than denial. Such a response would also send a message to Parliamentarians about parliamentary decorum as well. A message that would have many re-considering their own ridiculous rants/antics. She would have made all of us so proud of her. Proud of her authenticity. Proud of her commitment. Proud enough to want her for our next Prime Minister.

But no, she had to waste that golden opportunity to seek revenge. But I’m not surprised. In politics, self-preservation and small-mindedness still rule. Obviously anything different (i.e. complete transparent honesty) is indicative of a wise politician-in-the-making and in this country that species has long been on the endangered list, and is now extinct.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


The other day I made a new Friend and in our introductory conversation, my new friend excitedly told me about her massive collection of old songs. And yes, when she rattled off the names of the songs in her collection, I knew them. The titles were as familiar as old nursery rhymes.

Then she offered to loan me her collection. Generous on her part but I needed to decline because of emotional whisperings in my soul. But how does one explain that? I began to mentally draft a response when I suddenly realized that maybe I’ve been blogging too much. Blogging so much, that I had forgotten that conversation does not allow equal freedom of expression. In casual conversation, no one wants to hear whisperings of the soul. Those whisperings can cause discomfort akin to the embarrassment of “too much information”. Yet, in blogging, they’re okay. Blogging openly invites whisperings of the soul. (NOTE: just another little item to add to your list of ‘Why I Blog.’)

So, returning to our original discussion, that is why I couldn’t be forthright about why I didn’t want the music. Instead I awkwardly slithered away from the topic by simply saying, “Thanks for the offer but no thanks. Maybe later.” And that was the end of that. But now, I am back to blogging. So you are less fortunate. You are going to get the complete goods on why I don’t want to play old tunes.

It’s really quite simple. If I listen to the music, I know what will happen. Those tunes, so adeptly masquerading as Sweet Nostalgia, are really ‘Star Trek Transporters’ in disguise. And I am immediately slapped into a transport beam that takes me back to the best and most optimistic time of my life.

You see, ‘Once upon a time…’ in olden and more optimistic times, I lived in Camelot. A special place where there were no global concerns, political concerns, and few other concerns. At least not from my perspective at the time. So one would think a return visit would be a pleasurable jaunt. And it is except for one thing. The music takes me there, but when the music stops, I am transported at break-neck speed back to today’s realities of utter chaos, corrupt politics, failed morality, and common sense replaced with nonsense. And that is when I crash and burn.

To explain further, the music spawns lucid recollections of all the wonderful idealized notions that come with Camelodian (people from Camelot) ethnicity. The conviction that wisdom lights the way for politics. That any just endeavor will bring a fair reward. That the sky will always be blue, streams crystal-clear, and last, but not least, the conviction that after the cold war (and John Lennon), there would be everlasting love and peace.

So can you blame me? In today’s world, I’d rather not listen to that old music that buries me up to my neck in the self-styled and erred thinking of my native birth. Instead, I prefer to sit in silence and let the thick fog roll into my memory bank. Memory avoidance deletes all those failed hopes, as long as I remain vigilant in my determination to avoid the music.

And in addition to all that, I don’t want to listen to Dean Martin croon (and God he could croon). When I hear him I weep and fold. Whoops, sorry about that. That was ‘too much information’ for even a Blog.

Friday, October 13, 2006


I used to love shopping. Love, love, loved it. Nothing better than a trip to the city and shop, shop, shop. But now you know it. You’ve heard me say enough times about the ‘dreaded trip to town’ and how I hate shopping. So who ruined my shopping trips?

No, it wasn’t Hub. All he did was shrug and say, “What? More shoes?” But he didn’t pursue the matter further. So who ruined my love of shopping? Was it rude clerks? It well could have been, but it wasn’t. Was it poor quality for too much money? It could have been that as well, but it wasn’t.

My shopping joys were ruined by some philosophical fool who had nothing more to do than think, and think he did. And after thinking and thinking, he explained in some silly exposé, the adrenaline rush of shopping. A detailed explanation of the reasons shopping provides such joy and instant gratification. A discussion of how the sense of power (while standing at the counter and laying down cash or that reliable bit of plastic) makes one want to buy the best and flaunt the rest. He discussed how a special momentary indulgence makes one feel important and envied enough to want to repeat it frequently. And he outlined how all of it fits into the category of ‘addiction’. That was the pin that burst my power balloon. And so, to get it back, that comforting and powerful feeling of being in charge, I had to prove to myself that he was wrong – that I could easily ‘quit’.

Although his explanations were annoying, I had to admit they made sense. But it wasn’t enough that he took one of my ultimate pleasures and spun it into cold technicalities. With all that time to think, he went even farther. In the end, he prompted me to define what I admire most in others. And to my surprise it had nothing to do with grand apparel or furnishings.

So that was the bloody Dork that ruined for all time my shopping pleasure.

And right now, waiting in the galley, are others from that same tribe of Dorks that want to change my remaining pleasures into cold technicalities – my wild imagination, romantic notions, pumped up nostalgia, simple contentment, uncomplicated life, and other fixations. I don’t want these ‘addictions’ stripped and torn into component parts.

I don’t want technical and rational explanations that remove the magic and make everything part of a cold swamp and a Big Bang Theory. These pleasures I want to keep just as they are.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Are you following along because somehow, by default, these last few blogs are developing into a bit of a 'Somber Saga'? Eldest Daughter (ED) is on a road trip and with so many miles between her and home, she pulled up my blog on her phone to see what was up. When she read my last blog about MD’s melt down over a couple of bees, she decided to forego reading the ‘Honeybee Whispers’ story. Her thought being that if MD was brought to tears, she would probably weep as well. So with thoughts aimed at emotional ‘self-preservation’, she discontinued reading my blog and stopped at a news-stand for a newspaper instead.

And in that newspaper she read an article about the Amish school shooting. Including the fact, that in the midst of such sadness, here were men and women with such faith in God, that they held no ill will or malice toward the assailant or his family. They not only gave voice to their forgiveness, they expressed it further by visiting the murderer’s family and inviting them to the funerals of their dear children.

ED was so awestruck. Stunned by the revelation that in out-of-the-way places, there still exist those with such kind and loving hearts. And so, when she phoned me, she was having an even more massive meltdown than MD had a day or two before.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


I hope MD (Middle Daughter) will forgive me for sharing this intimate story with you, but I feel I must.

‘Empathy’, if understood, is easy to clone. And it is as easy to wear a pretense of overt empathy as it was for the Emperor to strut and parade before his subjects in his new, invisible clothes. But there is nothing to admire in a generic façade. Real empathy, on the other hand, exists deep in the heart where it fashions moment-by-moment 3-D realities of the discouragement and sadness that others feel.

The other day MD called me after reading my blog about ‘Honeybee Whispers’. And although I thought it was story peppered with a fair bit of humor, she was still sniffling as she admitted that she wailed and wept after reading about the hopeless situation of two lonely, destitute, and homeless insects. I was surprised. Her reaction was so unexpected. Sill, I have to admit, I consider it a complement when I am able to write something that touches readers in an undeniable way. But, to me, the greater complement has little to do with my exposé, and much to do with MD. If the unfortunate circumstances of two insignificant insects touched her in such a staggering way then I know for a certainty that her sense of empathy is very real.

Still I regret that I inadvertently made her feel so sad.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Despite the ongoing chaos among the people on this planet, I still marvel at the rhythm and order of the natural world. The rotation of seasons, the magic of moon and tides, the manner in which animal and plant live is sustained and renewed.

But this year I discovered laws of nature being broken. Last year the jumbo pansy seedlings I bought at the greenhouse grew and blossomed into monster flowers. In the fall, without disturbing the pots, I stored them for the winter. This spring, when I brought them back out to warm the dirt, new pansies began to sprout. But to my wonder and surprise, when they matured, though robust in every other respect, the foliage and flowers were not much bigger than miniature violets.

And last summer, I also had a patch of monster poppies. A friend examined them and asked if I would save her some seed in the fall. So I did. This spring she planted that seed and the poppies that resulted were nothing more than tiny miniatures of the parent plant. I was again so surprised until a wise and experienced gardener told me this happens with volunteer pansies and poppies from a previous year. And not only that, she told me next year the plants will even be smaller. I was amazed. What happened to the rules of order in this process? I could only surmise that the original seedlings I purchased were some kind of artificially developed hybrid-cloned seed with sexual and DNA deviations that interrupt the laws of normal reproduction.

So why not add these observations to the scie-fie conjectures about cloning that could end up to be prophetic reality? Could it be that if we clone hybrid humans and mess with the structures of normal reproduction, like my poppies and pansies, we could end up with a race of individuals that progressively become smaller? So small that eventually we discover that we have cloned a race of Lilliputians.

So what would we do with tiny people no bigger than flies? Several things. We could dress them in fatigues and put them in the cockpits of miniature drone planes that the military can now only clumsily fly with remote controls. Or we could tuck them into George Bushes’ hat-band or Rumsfeld’s eyeglasses to give either of them a good hard thumping crack on the head each time they speak false rhetoric. We could use tiny little people skilled in sword-fighting or the martial arts to slay internal bacterial body-invaders and others trained to locate and lay waste parasitic viruses. Those skilled in the field of electronics could re-wire brains and short out synapses of the too imaginative that teeter on the edge of a dark abyss.

Now come on, don’t shake your head in exasperation. Everyone has to admit that George Orwell and Gene Roddenberry, were well ahead of their time and, maybe, just maybe, so am I.