Friday, December 25, 2009

Lohbado Chistmas


On behalf of dreaming man and the multiplicity of dispersed spirits, we wish you a very Lohbado Christmas and a Morono New Year. December 25, 2009, Kent Avenue, happened on Friday. As everyone on this street knows, Friday is garbage day.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Brain Cake



Get out of bed and face the day. Don't linger. Go out. Be fruitful and multiply how many footsteps between here and the closest cafe times the closest quiet cafe times taking the bus or subway. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tree Spirit


Ladies and Gentlemen of the Dreaming Universe, the Almighty Tree in a park, St. Laurent and St. Zotique, Montreal, has shaken its leaves to the ground and with open branches, receives a major dump of snow, the first snow of the 2009 - 2010 season. Look at the tree in the park. It stands there and doesn't make itself useful; it doesn't try to look busy. It just stands there, without a worry in the world, and enjoys the seasons.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Lohbado Vocabulary


Here one might notice how the word on the vocabulary book has a missing "H". The "H" is missing from the word Lohbado. This could affect pronunciation.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Coffee with Lohbado


Knife and fork on paper napkin, red decorative border; outside, huge black letters spell the word: REST. 

Monday, November 30, 2009

Lobado Beans



When questioned about the rising price of bread, Oogah replied: Let them eat beans. 

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Desire kept them pacing back and forth

Desire kept them pacing back and forth, from one end of the block to the other, warming the sidewalk of Morono Street, in front of El Lohbado Oogah Tabernacle. The dialectic pair considered the negative and positive outcome of pursuing desire, the possible joy of satiation, or the frustration of not being able to get the wanted satisfaction.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

crab meat


What in the name of turkey and crab meat pate is going on here? Lohbado has gone too far. Actually, it's a Club Morono Business Lunch. The heavy-weights got together to come up with a Code of Life, a tool to bludgeon those who resisted the Department of Regulation Policy of Standardization.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ooze Nest

Cosmic Ooze, dog's breakfast, Oogah and Oorsis cracked the egg, whipped it up chaotically into a universe, complete with milky way, black holes, solar system, planet earth, the whole shah-bang. This has nothing to do with science, or the beginning of beginning-less time or any other attempt to offer a rational explanation of what may or may not have happened.

Please Laugh


Gaudy, tacky, primary colors, twinkle pattern, big droopy dream eyes, melancholy puppy, love, so tragic and so young, I saw it, while riding the metro, youngsters making out on the train. They enjoyed my embarrassment and did it even more, hugging and kissing. I got used to it.

When I got off the train, I saw a hundred Lohbados crawling up the stairs and touching the forehead to each step.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hog Virus



A hundred people lined up to get the flu shot. They had some chairs for people to sit down.

Here's a Lohbado question: does prevention lie in the needle, or in the ritual ordeal of lining up? A Lohbado gimmick: the longer the lineup, the greater the expectation of receiving something effective and powerful, something to eliminate anxiety and fear, to make one immune to both real and imagined threat.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Funny Story


Lohbado returned home, after spending five years in the Cha region of the Po Valley, where the Ooo people created a village under a glass dome, concealed within a sand dune of the Saraha Desert.

They went there to withstand radio-active fallout from the Battle of Armegedon, or World War III. The Ooo people got their name from zero, zero, zero, a computer code used to wipe out all incriminating data

Thursday, November 12, 2009

please, don't sin


Please, get a hold of yourself. You're not seeing what's in front of the eye. A blur obscures the eye, a dizzying waterfall of nonsense words poke like needles, all over the body, making it difficult to sit down and concentrate. Please, don't sin, don't transgress moral law or do anything that would make your great great grandmother or grandfather turn over in his or her grave.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

theosophagusted over




Outside Lohbado Hill Housing Hinkery Honk Hullabaloo, (honking at a motorist slow to accelerate, causing the motorist to brake, reach an arm out the window, shouting and more honking at the intersection of Kent and Victoria), at the same time, a taxi driver buzzed the man upstairs, on Kent Avenue, and asked him to move his hybrid utility-mobile so he could back out his Chevrolet Impala and go to work. Meanwhile a machine vacuumed leaves.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

revulsion

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the dreaming universe. This is dreaming man talking. Vapors sometimes, or bile, spleen, winds rise to the brain causing a grumbling, rumbling set of thoughts. I'm guilty of that. Just read yesterday's post. Such posts fill me with revulsion. My grumbling words are like the sound of a spatula trying to flip a broken half-fried egg in the flying pan.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Morono Practice


Once in a while, every so often, every man, woman and child has a bad day. My habitual reaction is to grumble, rant and rave, sort of like a man shouting in pain after dropping a piece of metal on his toe. Such behavior is entirely unnecessary. At Club Morono, one deals with frustration by doing Morono Practice. This practice involves surprising movements and unusual sounds. This practice was received by Ooo Man Harry Dick on the Sacred Mound after World War III.

Monday, October 26, 2009

down the drain

A heavy-drinking man, middle-aged man, who has since lost his job, been divorced, jaded, subject to sudden flashes of anger, and known for erratic, aggressive remarks, advised me, as we sat in a bar back in 1980, to not piss my life down the drain. That image stuck with me. I got up to use the urinal and reflected on his words as golden fluid flowed down the white porcelain niche to the little hockey pucked shaped deodorant pad sitting above the metal drain. Those old arch-shaped porcelain pissers, it felt like being in church to stand there and empty the bladder, a venerable bodily function, a clear stream of beer piss providing a connection to the underworld as the mind sailed away in a wash of pleasant sensations.

It's now 2009, at what age does youth end and middle-age begin? I didn't play the game, missed a lot of opportunity, made disastrous decisions, experienced a fair amount of upheaval, but also got educated, gained some experience, went here and there, nothing to write home about, as a Celine character liked to say. But it's ok. It's enough, no big deal. Everybody does it. Everybody has their tale of ups and downs. Each person's story is a big deal to that person. Scream as loud as you like, for help, or in attempt to get someone's attention. Most people are too busy trying to find help and get attention to hear your cry for help or notice your attempt to be noticed.

The best thing to do, I conclude, is to learn how to be alone, confident, resourceful and imaginative. Don't expect anything from anyone. People are too busy expecting. Great expectations, if you're happy and you know it, clap your hands (read a recent email from a friend. I immediately jumped up and clapped hands). It's ok to be happy sometimes. People prefer it when you're not happy. If you're happy, someone is bound to be jealous or suspicious. It takes courage to manifest as a happy person. When you walk into a gathering of people and smile, subconsciously, people will band together to make sure that smile gets wiped off your face. However, if you're happy and confident, your smile will reduce such people to the level of worms. They'll slink back to their private misery, after doing all in their power to create obstacles in your life. But the obstacles they create could be turned into new opportunities. Aggressive, miserable colleagues mobbed me at work. I lost my job. I now have a year to relax and figure out what to do next. So in a way, I could thank them. Their jealous desire to wipe the smile off my face has caused me to smile even more.

Ok, I know this is a lot of nonsense. Life is not fun; however once born, there's no choice but to keep on living. Eventually death will turn this body into a corpse and provide relief from the agony of existence.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Simplification


After coming home from the café, I sat at the kitchen table to read a book about knowledge and understanding, about various ways in which a person describes or attempts to understand reality, or the nature of things. The clock tick on the wall has become soothing. It’s a good mix, the soft, comforting click of the clock, and the beat of my heart, ringing in the ears, and breathing. I’m able to concentrate and read philosophy. The humor of philosophy is that nobody has the final word; the mysteries of life are never eliminated. Concept is limited by the nature of being concept. Understanding can only go so far before it reaches the limit of reason or thinking.

Beyond reason, your guess is as good as mine. The sky is the limit. Imagine whatever you like. Some people enjoy creating fantasies to plaster over what can’t be explained. If the fantasy is seductive or pleasing enough, one might even forget that it’s just a fantasy and begin to treat the fantasy as fact. Through force of habit, the fantasy turns into belief. Belief solidifies into faith. Presto: one becomes effectively sealed off from the nature of things. One sinks into comfortable distortion, the simplification provided by faith and belief. Naïve views about reality and strong emotions become a way of life. If anyone dares to argue, you could get angry and then the person would stop arguing and either agree, keep quiet or go away.

As for the nature of things, I have not much to say, except that it's helpful to examine the various ways in which one creates fiction and fools oneself into believing that which is not. The act of recognizing self-deception opens the mental horizon. One could plunge into the vast and profound ocean of existence, without trying to shrink it down to personal size.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Doctor Narine, Nosturologist

Another Dance of Death photo. Each photo has a story. As the dance progresses, it might be nice to share some of the stories.

The above image shows Dr. Narine, an ear specialist posing as an expert on noses, in order to work his way through top security into a nurses' residence. What an unscrupulous man! Such a sleaze, led by desire to peep into nurses' nostrils!

He worked three years examining ears, but then went through fragmentation. Intense attention to sound caused his identity to crumble. To get an idea of what this means, pause for a moment and listen. Most obviously, you'll hear outer sounds. In an apartment you might hear the sound of a refrigerator, or the hum of the furnace or purr of air vents, the sound of traffic outside, the neighbor flushing the toilet or washing the dishes, the thump of bass from the neighbors below, someone making love upstairs and so on. Next, listen to sounds of your own body, the sound of your breathing, the sound of blood rushing through the veins. Listen to the sound of the ears, a kind of ringing. The ears contain a scale of sounds. If you listen carefully, you will hear them. Next, listen to inner sounds, or the sound of thoughts in your head. Sometimes thoughts have voices. Some thoughts have a male voice, others a female voice. Some thoughts are melodic, others mumble, growl, complain, preach, proclaim, plead, pander, whimper and wheedle, voices happen in an infinite variety of tones. Do this exercise for fifteen minutes and then you'll understand how someone could take it the wrong way and end up at a complete loss of who or what one was pretending to be.

This happened to Dr. Narine. His behavior became so bizarre, he was forced to quit his practice as an ear specialist. Oh no, this is getting too long for the little space of this post. I'll have to continue in future posts. I'll tell the story on radio tomorrow and also on Tuesday night, how Dr. Narine went from being an ear specialist to an expert on nostrils and his adventures at a nurses' residence.

The Aggression in Me

The above picture is part of a work in progress called: Lohbado's Dance of Death. Dance of Death is a respected genre, popularized during the middle ages, during the time of the plagues. One of the most famous death dances was Holbein's series of woodcuts, The Dance of Death.

Death is part of everyday life. It's not something to fear. For example, what happened to five minutes ago, or to yesterday, last year or ten years ago? What happens to this instant? Where does it go? Could you even find the essence of this instant? Are you afraid of what's going to happen to right now? I'm defining death as impermanence. Look at photos of yourself from ten, or twenty years ago. What happened to the person that existed then?

What about aggression? Aggression sometimes bubbles up in me, like dark clouds. Grandmother used to complain about how the bile would back up into her face. At times, her talk became erratic and belligerent, so much bitterness and anger. Where does it come from? I thought about the aggression in me, and then thought of the Jim Thompson novel The Killer Inside Me, published in 1952. What is the origin of aggression? What is it all about?

Before jumping in with predictable ideas that we've all heard many times, take a look at the aggression in you. Sit up straight and look at it. That's what I'm doing. Look at the aggression, but don't act out. Practice non-aggression. Some of the "disturbing" images I create might be considered aggressive. They're actually an attempt to look at aggression, to try and see it for what it is and at the same time, to contemplate death, or rather, to contemplate life. What does it mean to be a physical, thinking being? What is this life all about?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Healing

Healing cream, balm, salve, rub, antibiotic ointment, various healing substances applied to the skin for a variety of purposes, it's all part of the healing process. Jesus made ointment using mud and saliva. He rubbed the mixture in a blind man's eyes and the man was able to see (John 9: 1 - 12).

I overheard a wise man spouting wisdom at the cafe in a strip mall the other day. He said western medicine is a disappointment. He went to the dermatologist about a skin condition and got the same advice the doctor gave to everyone. His mother had a liver transplant. Using different disciplines before she was dying, a herbalist asked her to take thistle tea.

"Chinese have been using it for three thousand years. Don't know what it does. Give it a try. Some doctors are more open-minded than others. Energetic body things come out," said the man, loud enough for everyone in the cafe to hear.

Coconut smelling sun screen, urine colored glass of brandy, bubbles on top, I sat in the comfort of the kitchen, a drink to soften the rough edge of reality and thought about his words . "If you use the word "maybe", people stop listening right away, because it suggests that what you propose won't work. You go in there and say, ok, here's what we're going to do. You do it. Then if problems arise, at least you're in the game; whereas if you say "maybe", or indicate any uncertainty, you won't get past go."

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Dizzy Spell

I woke up dizzy from a dream about flying. For two hours, things spun around and I felt sick, like throwing up and pressure on the chest. I walked slowly to the cafe, but was unable to drink the coffee. I went home and lay down for almost three hours, until the phone rang. The body sure does strange things sometimes to the mind.

There were problems, understandably, to understand, easily ironed out during conversation, or resolved during a friendly promenade with talkative talkers. First, unhook personality. Restrain reason from rushing in and grabbing inspiration by the throat. Reason will thankfully prevent psychotic breakdown, or aggressive ignorance and self-destructive passion. A good old system of checks and balances, I went down the street to read signs and to admire decorative lettering.

In order to be checked out, the street walk had to happen down past the string of grocery stores, restaurants, bakeries, religious supplies, hardware, music and whatever else one might find during such a walk. Leave the smell of melted candles and burned out matches. Follow your feet as they pound the pavement in order to get somewhere and achieve something.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Lohbado's Third Eye

Opening of the third eye, to see what was there all along, removal of the veil, crumpling of the tissue, crack in the veneer Lohbado caught a glimpse where he'd gone wrong, but felt powerless to do anything about it. He didn't know what to do, so he went to the cafe.

In the cafe, he witnessed the drama of laughter, a little competition between two women to see who could laugh the loudest. It began as a young woman in a red dress and Bambi voice tilted her head back and howled a forceful, harsh, declarative laugh. A woman at the next table responded with a hearty, teary-eyed laugh from the belly. The Bambi woman topped the teary-eyed laugh with operatic syllables, ha, ha, ha! Not to be outdone, the other woman raised her head and hollered a mezzo-soprano, trilling, window-shaking laugh.

Each laughing woman sat at a table with a quiet puppy man, smiling and a little overwhelmed from the harsh trumpeting laughter. I could not control myself any longer. I threw out a sizzling ham, eggs and bacon, uproarious laugh, aah, ha, ha, ha, ha! Slap happy laughter, spanking glee put me in the competition. I swilled the rest of my coffee and tried to read messages in the grinds at the bottom, as a garbage truck drove past the terrace and left a cloud of morning perfume, like the smell of the body after it rises from the bed to seek its first cup of coffee.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Chapter Z from Lohbado's Eternal Sneeze

The idea is to slow down, take a thread and follow it to the end before branching out in new directions. Unfortunately, Lohbado doesn't work that way. He's an explosion of scenarios, sneezing all over the place, starting half way through the book and working diagonally back to the beginning, for example, just as Little Jack Horner stuck in his thumb and pulled out a plumb, sort of like in the above photo, (another picture from a sequence in progress entitled Lohbado's Dance of Death), Dreaming Man, like any true dreamer, using Finnegans Wake as a template, Lohbado attempts to tell his story, entitled, The Experiment of My Life.

By the way, here's a nursery rhyme I wrote years ago: Little Tommy Tucket/ Barfed in a Bucket/ He wiped his nose between his toes/ And then he said, aw fuck it.

I apologize if sometimes the ranting gets a little obnoxious or insulting, like in the last post. I did that post after a few ounces of whiskey helped me get the glow on and ended up insulting myself. I'm a lover of humanity, a follower of the Secret Jesus, believer in a hard day's work, or a good honest effort, I love to touch and be touched, to sneeze and be sneezed, to listen carefully until sound fractures the wave-scape and to watch carefully as the surface of reality fragments into billions of tiny colored dots.

There's a lot to do. I better save the rest for tomorrow or another day and get busy on sweeping out the heart-temple for the upcoming Balshazar's Feast. But first I'll see if Nebuchadnezzar stopped walking on all fours. He had some funny dreams. Good old Daniel tried to help, but Nebby's arrogance prevented him from listening. He was too wrapped up in himself.

Regarding the plum in the above picture: Granny took a semi-liquified plumb, forgotten for six weeks in the back of the fridge, and pressed it through the flimsy screen door, where flies got in through little tears in the mesh and made deep purple-red ego-puree. Eat it from a bowl, or spread on a slice of human flesh, the flesh of a man who never got over the loss of mother's apron strings and melon breasts, a man who never recovered from the bad breath of his father who shouted commands too early in the morning.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Days Before Intestines

In order to create the world, God first had to deal with Oogah, who preferred floating in liquids to standing on solids. He didn't feel creation of a solar system and a planet earth would be a good idea. Humans would be sure to mess things up. Oogah predicted ecological disaster, climate change and wars within wars. These were the days before intestines, when chaos rumbled in God's belly like half digested material mixed with microbes, working its way downwards in a cold, squeezing, oozing motion.

The sixth awakening of Oogah happened when dirt got in his third eye and someone called him stupid. The dirt of policies, and standardization, the wriggling of parasites working for the giant make-work bureaucracy, The Department of Regulation, it was all part of the zeitgeist, like number nine, in the Beatles revolution. A slow tossing and turning resulted in Oogah getting out of bed forty years later.

The creation had already happened. He noticed people stealing and lying. In some places, alcoholic psychosis, the triggering of aggression centers of the brain, many took it literally and acted out, with devastating consequences. Aggression is like a fart. There's an art of farting in public, so as not to make people run away; otherwise you're likely to end up feeling even more alone and alienated than before.

Oogah had a glass of Scotch and bitters to unlock sections of sky between skeleton key branches of trees infected by acid rain and various diseases. Revolution is a joke. "Blah, blah, blah; open up your hand---SMACK!"-- goes the angry mama across the street after a boy hurts a girl. Don't mock her righteousness. She's the backbone of a rotten society. Beware of her curse. Society can't be avoided, unless you're tough enough to be able to endure extreme solitude and loneliness.

This late afternoon glass of whiskey to gladden the heart of rootless, unemployed nomads watching responsible citizens go by like the scenery outside the window of a bar car on the train, drink magic orange elixir when down-struck by dehydration and intestinal virus. Behold, the voice of God, an eye in the middle of a blazing white triangle in a blinding cumulus brain-shaped cloud. This is the comic book riddle version of the universe, serious and mean like flip-flop sandals on the gorgeous feet of a young blond who has no respect for men because her mother was a psycho, alcoholic earning a hundred grand a year, while her father floated away as a deadbeat, welfare bum with a drinking problem. Or you could be serious about the materialistic dream. Get a job. Marry, husband and wife work hard as a team, send kids to daycare in order to buy a house to keep up with the neighbors and feel self-respect before descent into hatred, marriage crisis and perhaps divorce. Divorce could be quite likely after the kids are old enough to explain the situation to therapists, after the kids grow up to be spoiled, pampered, high-salaried bums feeling on top of the world because they landed in a smooth sell-your-soul situation, which could be rationalized later, because we're all in the same boat.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

An Honest Effort


Zombie shuffle to the cafe, a woman crossed my path and inspired me with her zest for life. It almost made me feel human. I stumbled off on a dreaming tangent into the cafe, ordered the forbidden fruit, went astray, got lost in the woods, sat by a lake in front of my grandmother's house in the bush, white pine, silver birch, maple. The beauty of the forest inspired me to spread a sheet of paper on some exposed granite and to make a picture, or to record words from grandmother's dream.

She said: be proud of what you are. Appearance doesn't matter. You don't have to be sexy or suave. There's a tradition of tall thin men who seek places of quiet solitude in order to contemplate existence. There's a place for people who lounge through life, who appear to do nothing, but introspection.

Don't feel bad about not having a regular job. There aren't enough jobs for everyone. I had a job, but somebody with more qualifications wanted it and felt no hesitation about taking my job. I made an honest effort to be part of the system, but was expelled from the hive, an alien bee, fly away, no connection to anywhere, no place to call home, always a visitor, space alien, immigrant, eternal exile. It's not a problem. One is never completely alone. Kindred spirits find each other. There are a lot of people in a similar situation, flying Dutchmen and women, fellow travelers down the side roads of life.

In the morning, I felt groggy, sheepish, low self-esteem, but then saw somebody and realized everything is fine. There's a lot to explore.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Loss of Time

Staggering backwards and forwards in memory, going way back, retracing steps, the final landing after a bout of chaos, waking up alone, but connected to other people, the challenge is to stay within the picture until the candle goes out.

I had a good session on the computer, digital painting. When the eyes started burning, I stepped into the back yard for a moment, cup of coffee, wind blowing the foliage into soothing sound, dark shadows from thick tree trunks and branches, bright light filtering in to lure Dante into Inferno or John into the past, jolting the needle of reality out of the groove, the reality I'm supposed to pretend is real, in order to avoid being disqualified. I'm in a good situation. I don't want to blow it, time to make pictures and gaze at the sky through the breaks in the trees.

Why the zombie-like staggering man in the picture? I make the picture and ask questions later. I remember visiting the grandparents in Parry Sound, Ontario. They lived in a big brick house on Gibson Street. The grandparents were larger than life.

One day, a drunken man staggered into the cozy little world, as we sat in the car, saying goodbye to the grandparents. The drunken man leaned on the car, gave us a funny smirk, said a few maudlin words about how it's nice to see a family together, after all the damage he and his drinking did to his own family and then he straightened up as my father backed the car out of the driveway. That man was like a dent, a slight tear in the tissue of coziness that existed in the golden world of childhood, where everything seemed to be fine, until that drunken man leaned on the car. I never forgot him. Even at the age of six years old, I felt his sorrow. He was like a doorway into the shadow world, the world where things didn't go so smoothly, where embarrasing and unpleasant details stick out like sore thumbs. Don't go there. It's a slippery slope. Things only get worse. Do you really want to know what lies outside your golden-pink bubble? Let's not think about how death will happen and pleasant situations come to an end. Let's pretend it's a fairy tale world of happy endings, where nobody gets hurt and everybody eats cake.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Digest and Be Digested


Maybe some of the pictures were a little morbid, deadbeat, whatever. There's more to the story. The pictures are part of the sickness. The next phase is taking medicine and dissolving the sickness, or emerging from dark clouds of affliction. This is the true meaning of resurrection. Rise, candles in the bathtub, (more about that in future posts) and then zombies appeared in the hot light.

Ultimately, the medicine is to keep making pictures and texts and to find out what they want. The pictures and texts are like demons, asking to be noticed. They won't go away until I pay attention. Maybe it's not possible to understand the images. The situation digests itself; a sequence of images fade and then others appear, light and dark.

A doorway opened, a tear in the membrane, the wall melted into soft tissue. A procession of zombies attempted to rise from the bed, to overcome the pull of inertia, sluggishness, exhaustion, thantos, disintegration, or spontaneous self-digestion. Imagine a body capable of consuming and digesting itself from the inside out.

The body undergoes a kind of digestion, in the belly of the environment. The body loses moisture, (I'm studying moisturology), gets stooped, shrivels into old age, dries out, life evaporating, body decomposes, crumbles to dust or burns in the fire. My body is half-digested, the smooth youthful skin rough and dry, wrinkles, growths, discoloration, moles, melanomas, red patches, varicose veins pop out like worms, as if some invisible force squeezes and wrings the body, a kind of churning, pulsating process that turns a youthful body into something worn, ravaged, used and abused. Muscles go to flab. Gravity yanks at the eyes. They sink and droop deeper into the sockets.

Ravage of time and the toll of slavery to a job digest the body. First a child is born. The baby swells to adult size. Young adult body bloats and puffs into middle-age body. When it feels as though the body can't expand anymore, the shrivilege and shrinkage of old age, sickness and death happens. The digested body becomes a corpse.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Medicine


Medicine: walk slowly to the cafe, past a row of tall trees, past delivery trucks and people going to work, into the cafe, noisy with jazz radio, a friendly greeting from the man behind the counter. I would like to be cheerful like him.

Chase away the blues with a few cups of coffee. Slow down, look at the mind; gaze at the beauty of nature in the city, foliage and flowers. Don't dwell on the past. Be here now. Good times come and go. Don't cling to the highs. Most of life is spent cruising the highway through plains of unspectacular scenery.

The road of life, nobody knows where it leads, although there are as many theories as there are languages. None of them cross the wall of mystery, although some people insist they have the answer. The answers are full of holes. This is not to say life has no meaning. It would be foolish to make dogmatic statements about existence one way or the other. How could one talk about something that can't be talked about, other than to describe the situation and to point out the limits of reason and understanding?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Dance of Dream

Did you sleep all night and forget everything? Yeah, I forgot everything. I lay in bed all night, eyes closed and remember nothing. I woke up, pounding headache. Take pain killers. Pull out a scribbler. Draw circles to ease the pain. I feel a power coming out of the ground.

Later we went swimming, first swim of the season. Cool water, beautiful wooded hills, floating. I watched a boat cruise to shore. A retired couple put the boat on the boat carrier, pulled it out of the water, a radio playing talk radio. I didn't feel like sitting on damp ground in the shade. A bunch of us left and went to the village store. Malina had an ice-cream. I bought a six pack.

We stopped to look at the coke colored river. Foamy water surged through a dam. We're on vacation, get away from daily worry, relief from the way of the world. Forget negativity for a while. Hills turn soft green. Flowers sparkle like jewels in the evening sun. A brief moment of happiness; take a photo of the smile before it fades.

Later, insomnia happened, at 3 AM. Lie in bed, head spinning, thoughts racing, wanting to jump up and start projects or tackle problems right away. But you can't, because it's the middle of the night. I got out of bed, thoughts pouring out like a waterfalls. I try not to fool myself with candy. It's better to face the pain. Maybe if it gets too intense, it could be crushing and destructive. If it goes too far, a person needs help. Help yourself. It's cheaper.

Go outside in the moonlight, a dark cloud hanging near the moon, cool air, smell of skunk and animal hormone. Go inside and feel strange sensations in the gut. Squeeze and twist, ooze and push sensation in the abdomen, bodily function, everybody does it.

Later I started talking to a woman who said I could write a book about the north. I started telling her a story. She found it intense and walked away, fleeing as if I'm some kind of psycho. After that, I went joyriding down a windy road along a river. Stop along the way to take a few pictures.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Interlude


Burp after smoked turkey on baguette. Bodies, desire, looking for somebody or something, not satisfied, driven to search, journey in quest of satiation.

Beauty imprint of light, color and form on the mind. Perception and then desire, cruising, appetite, talk, negotiation, check out the vibes, shopping, surprise package, is it what you wanted? The novelty soon wears off and then you're stuck with a relationship. Wake up and wonder: who is that person? You'd like him or her to go away. It felt ok the night before, but not the morning after; like dirty dishes piled up after the party.

Then you're out wandering the street alone again, checking out people and responding to beauty and pleasant mental sensation as beautiful people come and go. I went to a cafe, walked into the quiet dark room adjoining the noisy room, during Saturday afternoon. Take a few pain-killers. Coffee and a glas of water, wet burp reflux acid burn, sweat, drool, water spillage, coffee puddle on the table, one too many coffees stimulant, weird conversation, sweaty feet. Serious young men in puffy hairdos, tight tee shirts, torn jeans talk to bambi women, voices laughing and chatting. Off to one side, middle-aged man watching as young men and women tentacles soft touch rendezvous communication setup for later.

Finish your coffee. Go meet friends. Do a photo session. Write memoirs. Eat some Italian cracker sticks and a wiener. Newspaper headline: wife breaks wind as man blown away by answer.

Get used to free time and energy upsurge. Rules and repression eased off, leaving a field for play, free range. Don't be scared when you lose your job, when structure is removed during a time of free fall, sink or swim, on your own, no reference point. Nobody is looking at you for longer than a second. Nobody cares. You're not that important. Don't be paranoid. Let go of identity, free flow associate.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Meaning of Meaning

Why is there existence when it would make more sense for there to not be existence? Such a question might happen during a time of leisure. Walk into the cheapest cafe in the neighborhood, where people could hang out. A man at the next table slept, head slumped forward, the whole time I was there. He sat motionless, like a corpse. I looked closely to see if he was breathing.

Walk into the franchise, order a coffee. Sit in a hard plastic chair attached to a hard plastic table. Pull out a book, newspaper, crossword puzzle and mind your own business. Some people, after doing this for a while, reach an advanced level of cafe creativity. There's the man who brings a briefcase, containing a tool kit: screwdriver, plyers, scissors, glue, ruler, compass, pen, pencil, pieces of wire, string, elastics, a jar of keys and a scrap book. Everything one dollar.

I relaxed over a coffee and watched motor vehicles on the freeway and on the freeway service road. Vehicles move like fish in an aquarium. People in vehicles, bodily movement dictated by the machine; the actions of getting in and getting out of the car, truck, van or SUV, the seated position inside the vehicle, body rock, sway and bobbing as the vehicle rolls along. Inside the car, gaze at pedestrians, buildings, soothing motion, the world going by, each neighborhood a new scene in the movie; streets of desolation, streets extending to infinity, huge skies at the edge of the city, after you clear the skyscrapers, tall buildings and residential neighborhoods. Sit in the back seat, lulled, dazed, sound, motion, slight nausea, hypnotized, drowsy, in a dreamlike stupor. Gaze with detachment at people crossing the street as your car waits at a red light. Gaze from far away, as if the people were specimens, or alien creatures. Sit in the omnipotence of the back seat, in a cushy, expensive car and watch the strangers. You could be one of them. The only difference is your economic situation. Strip away a person's job and bank account and then see what's left. Then I become what I scorned and feared.

Ok, I start grumbling. My mind gets negative. I wonder about the meaning of life. Where did the concept of meaning come from? For this to happen, there has to be something else. Who is asking? The quest for meaning maybe started as a person experienced trauma, loss, disappointment, privation, abuse, frustration... If things went smooth, as in Fool's Paradise, maybe the question of meaning would never occur. Suffering, the first noble truth, caused me to stop and wonder why this unpleasant scenario is happening. I have no idea. I'll order another cup of coffee, relax and enjoy the flowers along the way.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Night in Limbo


Sitting, cold feet, on the edge of the bed and wondering what the future will bring, half awake, half asleep, a night in limbo, a little insomnia won't hurt anybody.

Unable to silence that part of the mind not satisfied with what you were supposed to believe, the reality peddled in school, the funded version, the other version was suppressed, policed, ridiculed or ignored, the shadow that's been there since the beginning of beginingless time. No amount of righteous indignation will remove the bristles from a porcupine, or stop the drool of a cow. The tea party is subject to variable cloudiness and unexpected rain.

Bloated belly, puffy guts, putrefaction, gaseous lumpkin lying in bed, tossing and turning, some kind of maina throughout the night, fall asleep at sunrise. Turn on the radio. Talk show: void hot words into airwaves, undulating flatulent know it all hum and haw, laughing and gurgling in smug self-satisfaction, but irritated underneath to know that nobody buys the scam, except other lonely Lohbados willing to form a club in order to have a shoulder to lean on or an ear to cry into, an ear to hear the murmuring moan of self-pity and resentment, because life didn't give you what you felt you deserved. Hopefully one could get old and get over it. It's all too easy to turn into a dried out grasshopper body that lost its hop, an old grandfather cabinet body with a key around the miser's neck as death approaches.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Chapel of Original Sin


Whipping from the Reverend Woodlot Stumps Wood-church of leather in the forest, paper birch, spruce, fir, white pine, jack pine, tamarack, prickly needles, trembling aspen leaves, a congregation of trees gathered to witness the wriggling wigglement of original sin. Permit me to show you where Adam went wrong and how Eve did not fully exploit the possibilities of that juicy forbidden fruit.

Leaving Cain, and his dark cloud, cursed, feeling of being rejected while your brother wins favor, aside for a moment, we could do a signalment into his torture, inquisition, secrecy, initiation, inner sanctuary, holy of holies approach to child rearing. However, my mind was easily led astray by wandering daffodil poet ting ting abbey. Oogah!

Devalued, rejected, expelled, excommunicated, sit hungry outside as the feast goes on inside; they might throw you a crumb. Trickle down effect doesn't work. Rich hold it in, swell up, no limit to the size of ego. Satan led the frustrated man-woman to lash out in frustration and powerlessness. Shouting makes no difference.

The door is unlocked. You can set your burden down. No need to stay in the tool shed, toast and coffee breath, mildew rot, perfume, wet dog fur, damp newspapers and kitty litter. Reverend B. Goat wanted to call a spade a spade. Reality can't be shovelled.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

the letter A

A ball or flash of light, the luminous letter A, in a jet plane as I took a photo of myself in a mirror, above the steel sink, where it’s important to wash your hands. A natural kind of Orgone accumulator, in a jet plane, I bring my camera with me at all times, after narrowly losing it in January. I had set the camera down on a seat in the airport and went for lunch. When I got back, a friend had the camera. I was really lucky she found it; otherwise it could have been stolen.

Absent minded, so many things to keep track of, it’s easier to keep the camera strapped to the body at all times, a fourth eye. The third eye opened between my eyes during a wilderness retreat on a thin, sweet little piece of land extending between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, not far from where I was born. I’ll write about that another time.

As the letter A appeared in the mirror, I broke into a sweat and started shaking. It was like I became the jet plane and the jet plane became me, pieces of metal riveted into the form of a bird roaring through space at top speed, erasing all sense of location, impossible to pin point a body in motion, other than to set approximate parameters. That’s just one of the freaky ways reality breaks down into the huge mystery of why the letter A.

A little pop, a ball of light, fireworks in the mirror next to my head, the letter A emerging and swirling around, like dots, luminous letter A, like when you see stars after standing up too fast. The pop, flash of light and letter A in the steel water closet, just large enough for toilet, sink, soap dispenser and trash bins, happened in the snap of a finger. In the blink of an eye, it happened, one world over, the end. Another world begins, unknown. What happens will depend on state of mind.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

intestine jar


Strange to be in a body, the mirror in a house reflected this funny looking body as I walked upstairs to bed. The image in the mirror was so freaky, it sparked another bout of insomnia. Of course, it doesn't matter. I don't have to get up for work. I no longer have a job, which is fine for now, until the money runs out, then it will be a problem.

It's upsetting to have to be in a body, or to have to be anything for that matter. It would be more rational for there to be nothing. As for "earning a living", is life really worth earning? However, once born, you have no choice but to live. Ok, so let's make a virtue of necessity and have a look at this so-called reality, this sack of guts walking around, driven by desire and survival needs. I don't know what to make of it. And this voice in my head, I have no idea what that's all about, all these thoughts, so much sound and fury for nothing.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Face Fell Off

"For God's sake," said a man picking up coins, "Everybody's gotta be good at something."

Fluids rip through plastic wrap, aerate the brain. Change takes a while to sink in. It raises a lot of emotions. I don’t even know where the emotions come from; one moment happy, the next sad, one moment in despair, the next euphoria.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Travel from North to South


Heat, holiday, bright light, back in the city, walk to a bookstore, buy an art book for under twenty dollars. Come home. Sit on the balcony. Fall asleep. The woman upstairs rings the bell and asks if I would carry her recyclables bucket down to the curb. I go back to sleep, wake up, make a coffee, sit on the balcony, feel groggy and dazed, alone, city retreat, relax, no problem, don’t worry.
Slowly unpack the suitcase. Hang shirts in the closet. Place electronic devices on a spare bed, cords, cameras, flash, extra lens, chargers, external hard drive. Keep those things organized.

Musty from heat and humidity, cat hormone, mildew, rot, wood swells up, the house smells like a sick room, like an old man whose diaper needs changing, heavy rain, thunder, lightning, strong wind, power outage. Sleep, slowly return to life after the shock of crashing headlong into heat of the big city. Michael Jackon died last night in L.A.

It takes a few days to recover. It's hard on the mind and body, going from the cool north to the hot south, from space and simplicity to congestion and noise. It's absolutely fascinating, all part of the experiment to see what happens when you live. Even the loneliness is vivid and picturesque. Wander the streets of Montreal in a daze, like a space alien. It's worth a try.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

To Sin Again


Libation to the earth, via the body, digested beverage. Pour through the mouth, down the throat and out through the bladder. Chemicals to soften and enliven the brain, to dissolve dark clouds, to enhance connection with sight and sound, I don’t know where else to turn, except to open windows to clear away fog and rank odor. Make offerings to the uptight, closed down, rigid mind, fluids to render the mind flexible and ready to leave the mind-created prison behind in order to enter the vast world.
Sin. Take a photo of the vodka bottle and put the word sin on the label. Add religion as a mix, sin and religion, add a little piss and blood, you have a perfect cocktail to blow the mind, should you wish to put your burden down and be free of the fearful illusions passed down from one generation to the next.
Just don’t ever be arrogant. Arrogance is the enemy. Arrogance, a false sense of self-importance, a feeling of power, big-time Charlie, strutting around until somebody knocks him down. Arrogant people get knocked down. Arrogant teacher receives punches in the face. He can press charges against a little girl who hit him. He might win with his arrogance, but he reveals his true character in the process. Ultimately, nobody is fooled, except the person trying to fool others. He’s fooled into thinking he could fool others.
Sacred smell, sound, smell, art, smell of cheap perfumed deodorant, sound of the camera shutter, art of the visual field and the challenge of monkey ego, dancing around like dust motes in sunbeams, desperate for attention. Well then, for goodness sake, give it attention and then maybe it will be satisfied and go away. But if you deny attention, it will become increasingly belligerent and insistent. It will use every trick in the book to get your attention.
Nobody is special. Get over it. It’s so infantile to sink into despair when you realize that reality is not like mama’s big tit, ready for you to suck on whenever you feel the itch. It’s so pathetic when guys realize that the tit is not readily available and so they become bitter, filled with despair and rage, all because they failed to realize that mama has a life of her own and can’t always make the nipple available.
I’m grateful to madmen for helping me understand this. Maybe there’s a little bit of infant in every man. In the romantic tradition, the picturesque romantic poet and playwrite calls to mama as he dies. I’m not inventing this. It’s a true story. In the book of the dead, a more enlightened spin: mother and child luminosity unite at the moment of death, to the person who cultivated mindfulness or awareness. For the person who spent a lifetime running after illusions, lost in discursiveness, reacting to various urges and itches, without reflection, without learning from mistakes, and there’s nothing more sad and pathetic than a man or woman who is unable to learn from mistakes, such a person, at the moment of death, blacks out. There’s nothing to recognize when dying, after spending a lifetime of ignoring. How could you recognize that which you ignored?
Drink sacred fluids from grandmother’s body, before it’s too late. Did it ever occur to you that you’re alive right now and that you don’t have to believe everything you were taught?
Such truths become evident when the rug is pulled out from under me, when things fall apart. I lost my job, my home, am forced to pack everything into boxes, load the suitcase, catch a plane and fly off into the great unknown. Something may happen, you never know what.

Good Digestion

Pietro Poopini is quite a funny man. I don't take him too seriously, dressed up in his blue gown, hands raised as if ready to lead some sort of religious ritual. All he did was eat some figs. Figs and anxiety made digestion vivid, churning stomach, intestinal cramps, just keep your cool. Don't explode. It's easy to have an explosion when stress builds up. Little things could make a person fly into a rage.

I spent the past week packing and sending boxes to the airport. I'm returning to the south. Having to move I would rank as one of the top five most unpleasant tasks, next to looking for work, trying to find an apartment, getting a divorce. It's nerve wracking. The challenge is to keep your cool. That's a good test. Learn to withstand small irritations and then gradually increase the ability to not react to greater irritations. In time, one could learn to stay even keel, no matter what happens.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Tundra Walkers


I had a strange dream last night, a procession of weird characters, like in the tundra walkers picture. I took photos of the tundra walkers by raising my hands and make believe with the fingers, but no actual camera. With bare hands, no camera, I took photos, in the dream, of tundra walkers. It was weird. I still don’t know what to make of it.

I spent the weekend packing boxes, dissolving the home, fitting worldly goods into boxes. Tuesday I'll take them to the airport and ship them to Montreal. My worldly goods take up about thirty boxes, mostly books.

It’s a challenge, to pack up and move without losing your cool. See if you can do it. Of course, it feels impossible. I lost my cool yesterday, but didn’t explode. I merely cried out in agony, which is an improvement. I remember, during past moves, flying into a rage and hurling half-loaded boxes across the room. I won’t do that anymore. It makes more work, because after there’s a mess to clean up. Stay cool and the task will go smooth.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saliva-filled Pelvic Basin


Lobadoh kindly allowed me to provide a few items from a long list of artistic suggestions offered during a typical Morono Art Workshop.

1. make a list of ordinary things.
2. make a list of sounds.
3. funky text: pelvic basin, two legs to stand on ground under foot
4. the bathrooms here are well kept.
5. Greyhound Voyage, Jean Coutu clock, string to tie suitcase, wallpaper paste, the way of the toilet, dripping tap, pool of urine, single-ply toilet paper, don’t dry your hands on greasy towel, don’t touch the door handle, microbes.
6. wasp attracted to lip mucous on a glass, one tub of ketchup, one tub of mayonnaise, murmur of conversation, sound of jet plane, dishes being collected from tables, child screaming, air vent.
7. two bottles olive oil.
8. ongoing description of yourself.
9. bearded one from no forest, black fly tumors. Dream the other way. Tell-tale look in the eye. Flicker of recognition.
10. He looked like he wasn’t having fun in life, until the turkey sandwich provided inspiration. It reminded him of the good old days, mama’s turkey dinner, with stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce. Turkey stinks when it cooks. It smells steamy and warm, like flatulence.
11. He came out of moldy, musty cracks in the brick and concrete to deliver bad news, you broke a minor local bylaw. You forgot to measure the weight of caffeine in the coffee. The Department of Coffee needs to know in order to determine what level of permit is required, and the cost (racket) of the required permit.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Big Joe Smash, alias Lohbado


Here's the inspiring story of a man who nearly died during a plane crash over Peru. Thanks to the healing qualities of Morono Juice he experienced a miraculous recovery.


Big Joe: You're afraid to look at me? It took me a while to get used to the looks; the shock, how people would gasp, or turn pale when they first saw my burned off face. You think my face is bad, you should try living with it. Try waking up in the morning and seeing this face in the mirror. You never get used to it.


To not be depressed, I imagine my face is a painting, lots of texture, plenty of line and wrinkle decoration. Some people deliberately mutilate their skin with tatoos and piercing. I don't need any beauty treatment. Who knows, maybe face burning will be the next fad? Burn off your face as a primitivistic way of trying to feel something.


Let this funny face of mine be a warning. Stay away from drugs. I used to fly drugs out of Columbia. One day, the plane burst into fire over Peru and crashed in the jungle. We waited two weeks to be rescued. The only way we could survive was to eat those who didn't survive. For two years, my face looked like pepperoni pizza, all dressed.


Thanks to the healing properties of Morono Juce, my face is quite presentable.



Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mechanical Operation of the Spirit


Ok, the last post contained a lot of long winded, rambling muddy nonsense. Opinions tend to be a bore, anecdotes more interesting. That's my opinion

Today I took fifteen boxes of books to the airport, since I'll be moving back to Montreal at the end of June. Two students helped me move the boxes. In return for the favor, I bought them lunch at the Coop store. It's a sad feeling to dissolve the home, to pack things in boxes, to leave a place behind, to set off into the unknown.

Later, as I went out to enjoy the sunshine, a jealous colleague shouted my name and gave me a dirty look, as if to say: where do you think you're going? She rode by in a pickup truck. Some people get really upset if they suspect you're enjoying a moment of happiness. I ran home, had a fresh cup of coffee and read a hilariously funny text by Jonathan Swift, entitled: Concerning the Mechanical Operation of the Spirit, a satire on religious fanaticism.

The text treats of many useful matters, such as "three general Ways of ejaculating the Soul," "methods of managing the senses," in order to enter a state of rapture or inspiration, during which time a person receives revelations about the mysteries of existence and the cosmos. To go into trance, fanatics "violently turn their Eyeballs inward, half closing the Lids", sit rocking back and forth, "making long Hums". Basically, to experience mystic knowledge, one should suspend reason and allow imagination to lead one into "a thousand Deliriums."

I love spiritual recipe books. One of my favorites is Spiritual Exercises by Loyla. I read it years ago and don't have it with me now. He suggested that a sure fire way to see God is to go without eating or sleeping for several days.

What struck me in reading Swift was how his writing sounds so contemporary. Walk into a new age book store and browse through some of the books, the world of make-belief. You don't even need to go to a bookstore. Just listen to some of the fantastical things that people believe about the "after life", auras, astral travel, reincarnation, vision quests and so on. To be a wise man or woman, all you have to do is wear the right clothes, have a funny look in the eye, speak slowly and seriously, flash a toothy smile, act self-assured, as if there's nothing you don't know, because all has been revealed to you, including the answer to the riddle of the universe. What is most strange is how so many people are willing to set aside reason and play along with it, perhaps in the hopes that they too might one day acquire spiritual powers.



Saturday, May 16, 2009

Nobody Wins



A pack of black dogs got angry at the gray dog the other day, when it tried to get into my house. The other dogs tore into the gray dog, as if to say, who do you think you are? Get back here like the rest of us. Only the most powerful dog can come up to the door. The other dogs wait at a respectful distance.
Humans are that way, a pack of humans ripping into the human not strong enough to hold his or her ground. To seek power requires strength, stamina, deviousness, egoism strong enough to overpower conscience, and self-interest intense enough to allow one to harm others and not feel bad about it. Wanting to be top dog is not the problem. The problem is that if you’re going to be top dog, you better be willing to fight. Top dog has to fight the immediate contender. If top dog can’t fight off the contender, the pack moves in and tears apart the dog that wanted to be top.
The dog rolled on its back, tail curled between the legs, paws bent, ears folded back and whining in complete submission. The stronger dog stood on top of the weaker dog, growled, bit the weaker dog a few times and then stood there, satisfied for a minute or two, to enjoy victory and to savor the humiliation of the weaker dog.
A human who reveals weakness, or suffers misfortune, is treated in a similar manner. Someone who schemes for your downfall and succeeds knows no greater pleasure than listening to you describe your humiliation and defeat. That’s one of the greatest pleasures a power hungry human could experience, to gloat over someone who suffered because of the hungry human’s malicious gossip and pressure tactics behind the scenes.
Often the person who wishes your downfall is motivated by wounded vanity. You weren’t sufficiently quick or humble to respond to directives from administrators who justify their salaries by offering unrealistic and impractical directives. You didn’t fill out forms properly. You made an unforgivable mistake, which went on your record.
Such a mistake is worse than being listed with the credit bureau. Each time you reapply for credit, one notes that you were previously rejected and so you will be rejected to infinity. Each application adds another rejection to your record. It snowballs, all because of a minor act of negligence. Go ahead and beg for mercy. It might help.
If you’re able to demonstrate that you are a true believer in mandates and procedures, you might be given a reprieve, but the black mark will never be erased from your record, especially if an expert made the mark. An expert is someone who has done a job for ten years or more. Degree of competence doesn’t matter. If you make it that long in one job, you generally have enough allies in the organization.
Nobody would risk his or her security by questioning the judgment of someone who had done a job for so many years until promoted into a position of power. I’ve heard people state their primary credential as being the fact that he or she has been in that job for many years and is therefore an expert. Experts are pretty close to infallible. When the expert speaks, those lower down the line will nod their heads, eager for approval, anxious to fit in so that one day they too may be experts with power to shake those lower down the totem pole.
For example, when questioning a social worker, as she tried to decide whether or not a child was injured by accident or on purpose, the social worker’s main argument was that she’d been doing her job for over thirty years and knew how to do the job properly and that I shouldn’t question her judgment and would I please stop interfering with her work. Your request for information or clarification would be noted down in your file as being aggression or lack of cooperation.
In other words, she had the power to play god. Depending on her mood, or gut feeling, she had the power to say whether the parents were lying or telling the truth and whether the parents got to keep the child, or whether the child had to go to foster care.
Of course, the social worker’s behavior was theater. The decision was made in advance, and the interview with the parents a mere formality. She acted according to the dictates of a doctor, who was convinced the parents deliberately harmed the child, and so the parents had to spend thousands of dollars and go through an eight month long nightmare to prove their innocence. Fortunately, they won their case in court and are able to continue as a family, scarred by the traumatic brush with child services. Psychological distress to the child, after the child was kidnapped by social services and placed for six months in foster care, while the parents fought it out in court, was a minor concern.
Such dramas point out the corruption of the system. The system is made of up people with the power to make crucial decisions, which affect lives. Such people have too much power. There’s not enough accountability. I don’t believe the people in the system are innocent.
The worst part is when administrators deliver bad news. They invent a story to explain how they arrived at the decision. They expect you to believe it. If not, they become impatient and turn away. They won. There’s nothing you can do about it.
I don’t have the energy to fight. Even if I won, victory would be shallow compensation for the amount of energy expended to win. My contract will not be renewed, because I don’t have a permit. For six years, I was hired on the basis of equivalency, meaning, I had more than enough education. Whether or not I got hired depended on the boss. For six years, I was lucky in having a supportive boss. This year I was unlucky with the new boss. So be it.
Welcome to the club. It happens to a lot of people. It doesn’t mean I’m a bad person or didn’t do a good job. It just means; it’s time to move on. Unfortunately, with the recession happening, this is not the ideal time to be unemployed.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Open Mind


It’s hard to avoid bumping up against closed-mindedness. I’m closed minded sometimes, but aspire to be open. If I catch myself closing down, I try to open up.
People do make judgments, saying something is good, bad, weird, boring, positive, negative, and so on. Often the judgments are hastily made, without reflection and without the person being properly informed about the matter. Gustave Flaubert wrote an imbecile’s dictionary, The Dictionary of Received Ideas, a collection of common opinions, predictable, ignorant and downright stupid pronouncements on various topics.
This could be quite amusing, except that one has to deal with such ill-informed people just about every day in a variety of situations. If you question the person, he or she might get emotional, intimidating you into keeping quiet. He might even bully you into playing along with his or her ignorance.
I learned over the years what happens when you try to have a discussion with someone who is not open to discussion. I’ve been punched in the face, spat on and lectured into silence and submission. One time a man literally followed me home from the café, attacking me with an endless monologue. He really wanted to set me straight. I literally had to walk into my house and slam the door in his face. He wouldn’t allow me to interrupt his monologue long enough to say goodbye. It’s amazing to meet people who are so self-assured and who feel they know what is right me and for the universe, a kind of megalomania. Name a topic and he or she has the answer.
Anyway, the question I’m raising: why is it so difficult to be open-minded? Why is it so difficult to examine one’s assumptions and beliefs? Are there certain concepts you hold sacred that you would never be able to question?
The other day I listened to the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour. The album was quite interesting and unconventional when it appeared. A response one gets when mentioning the album: yeah, the Beatles were on LSD when they did those songs. So that’s all there is to it. End of discussion.
Strawberry Fields, I Am the Walrus, Blue Jay Way and similar songs don’t fit the pop song mold. They stretch the genre of popular music, maybe even making some listeners uncomfortable or perplexed. However, the Beatles were sufficiently popular, so people accepted their experimental songs and they too became popular.
It never entered the discussion that one does not have to be on LSD to write something that pushes the boundaries. One merely needs to be open-minded enough to allow the imagination to play, to give oneself permission to explore. Exploration is generally discouraged or curtailed with snide remarks, like: that’s weird, twisted, warped. One might even accuse the artist of deliberately trying to piss off the listener. Some people thought Picasso was deliberately leading people by the nose and laughing as he broke the conventions of painting. They say: that’s not art. I don’t understand it, etc.
Basically such refusal to understand, and such dogmatic statements are based on uptightness and closed-mindedness, in other words, a refusal to be open to what is there, an unwillingness to even give it a chance.
John Lennon appreciated culture. He mentioned the influence of James Joyce, who pushed language, pun and word play to the limit, in a way that John Lennon enjoyed and tried to emulate in some of his song writing. Creativity does not depend on drugs; it depends on having an open mind and giving oneself permission to explore what lies beyond the limit of habit or belief.
It’s amazing what you can do when you give yourself permission to explore, when you’re awake and brave enough to set aside what you’ve been taught, or what you habitually accepted as being the last word on reality.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Getting Old



Getting old is like ending up at a garden party on a freshly cut lawn, the smell of damp grass and earth, a few mosquitoes, a little shade and bright light. As the body becomes weak, the mind could be porous, open, more holes in the tissue of lies, after losing illusions and dropping expectation.

Accept and experience the pain, without sinking into dullness. There’s nothing to prove, no prize. You score death.

Graduation ceremony is the funeral. There’s nothing to obtain, nobody to impress. Might as well keep going. Cheer up. Don’t sink into self-pity. Don't be afraid. Deal with whatever is happening. Forget about going somewhere or doing something. There’s no progress. The pilgrim gave up. He went into a hotel, ordered something to drink and talked and listened to whoever was there.

My mind gets working overtime. Find a sheet of paper. Make some pictures. Write a story. Pretend to be a Sasquatch, all hairy, and with giant feet.

A man on a side street spoke in the shadows into a cell phone: “The relationship is over. We’re really sorry about the threats. Let’s forget the past. Let’s just call it quits. The relationship is over.”

Vulture Nest Dweller says death is a scary experience. You thought life was scary; wait until you encounter death.

Ok, maybe this is a fancy way of saying, I got laid off. My contract will end June 30 and then it's unemployment. The worst thing about getting laid off was the bullshit story the organization invented as a reason for termination.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

spring break

Halleluja, brothers and sisters of the dreaming universe, a long overdue spring break happened for teachers of Nunavik. After reaching burnout, I boarded an Air Inuit Dash 8 for Kuujjuaq and then transfered to a jet plane to Montreal.

On board the plane was party time, people looking forward to unwinding after the stress of work, a breather in the south, visit friends, restaurants, whatever you like. I didn't sleep for the first few days. The change from northern to southern world is a shock to the system. Sometimes I feel like an outsider, watching the world through a window, unable to connect to what's happening.

But there is a way to connect. Go to a crowded cafe; sit there and drink coffee. After a while it starts to soak in, people sitting around talking, reading, laughing, hanging out. Watch people line up along the platform as the subway train pulls up to the metro station. Some cafes no longer torture customers with background music. Natural sound is soothing, the melody of voices, footsteps, doors opening and closing, buzz of coffee machines, cash register. I remember the old days, back in the sixties, when it was normal to be in a public space without the bombardment of background music. Background music forces a person to talk louder. It puts my nerves on edge and nine times out of ten, it's not my taste in music.

Some cafes have four or five TVs featuring sports, weather, news, whatever. I sit back and watch the people, for example, a man in a faded brown leather jacket, cracks in the leather, iguana skin, elephant ass jacket and faded tight jeans, tall leather boots, long white hair, unshaven jaw. Circulation of people, in and out. Grizzled man, maybe forty, with eastern import bride, maybe twenty, pretty face, thin and small. He's happy when she leans over the table and gives him a kiss.

Soccer fans, eyes glued to TVs, glued eyes. Laughter, cheering, shouting, sports chatter, coffee cup commentators, woman laughing at every silly comment from her beau. Pseudo-mystical dread-lock man, channel aggression through eastern guru swami wise man trip. It's all in the hair, bandana, poncho and jeans, in the threads, a cartoon costume. The man ready to speak in a far away deep hollow voice at the Feast of the Last Soccer Game in Social Club. Another man with beard, scruffy silk scarf, offers himself to whoever will listen. I go pee and get dizzy from looking at psychedelic, chemical eyes, like grandmother's eyes in the mirror. The cowboy man looks small from a distance but big up close. He fades into light of the doorway, skeleton shadow, a man risen up like a snake from the dust.