If You’re a Cohen Fan,

Google ‘Canada Post store’ to see most of the very limited edition items now available. (There is also a First Day cover and a cut sheet.)

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Cannas at Sunset

(taken by my daughter on her patio)

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As much of the world goes crazy and deconstructs,

what’s an individual to do?

Well, having causes and taking actions for what believes in still works. I still drop money in the jars for causes and support charities I believe in that need support. I still speak up when someone in public/a business tries to screw me around. I still leave the phone messager on to filter intrusive calls attempting to get me to waste money for their agendas. I still hit Mute when the commercials come on. I only support legitimate charities with identification at the door.

Much of the ‘outside noise’ and non-stop selling is an attack on the senses (loud music at the movies and crap music at some eating places) and sanity designed to distract large masses of the hoi-polloi. Overall, most of what passes in our society today is aimed at creating the lowest common (buying, consuming), unthinking denominator. You see this unthinking, too, in how most people walk around with earbuds or lost/buried in their drug-phones, disconnected from the immediate physical world and Nature. Hence, by extension, the climate crisis and people’s inability to identify plants, flowers, trees, animals and birds.

Every day I put out food for the backyard squirrel and birds. They are in tough with a 1/5 loss of birds in the past half-century, for instance. If one has a value, one should support it and put their money toward it.

It is important to remain grounded in one’s personal life. Yesterday I painted the fence because it needed to be done. Who else would do it anyway?

It is also important to look after one’s own health even it means annoying trips to the doctor and spending money for prescribed medication for real health conditions one may have. It means overcoming pride and ego even if it means, for instance, using a cane to get around better and more. Common sense stuff.

Speaking of filthy lucre, it often means that money in and of itself is not the be-all, end-all of a person’s life. Money is only a means to an end, and at best, as in the case of philanthropy or someone like Bill Gates, can be used as a positive to help others.

Re. ‘things’. All things are, of course, ultimately disposable and though some may be very valuable and precious to an owner, you can’t take it with you, as has often been remarked. These daze I find myself divesting myself of more and more. ‘Things’ are largely the antithesis of spiritual matters and experiences in any case.

I spend most of my days against the background of self-inflicted man-made crises, suffering, and craziness on a higher plane of regard, where I have long lived thanks to Nature and the Arts. It is there I continue to find meaning, sense, understanding, appreciation, escape, and more moral and uplifting calm and focus. It is a place I still consciously choose to live that keeps my soul and integrity intact after 70 interesting, relatively growthful years.

If I was to give any advice to someone it would be:
-choose where and how you want to live and practise/experience your own preferred values and dreams. Inner peace is only possible by going this way. One can’t do better than to follow one’s own bliss.
-be true to yourself, as Hamlet said. Don’t be drawn off your best self and instincts. Be honest with others as well.
-take care of yourself first because you can’t succeed or survive if you destroy yourself or let others pull you down toward lower/lowest levels.
-spend a portion of each day enjoying and experiencing the Nature around you
-learn something new every day. Take charge of your own education and edification.
-explore the Arts. They have so much meaning, purpose, wisdom, depth, spirit, and refreshment to offer individuals. Imagination, thinking and awareness are key parts of fully-lived experience.
-live more at the individual level and develop your consciousness to come to know yourself, others, Nature, and the world. It is no one else’s life and you only get one shot at this life as far as we know. Don’t let others control or live your life for you.
-much of life is absurd, funny, and ironic. Enjoy these aspects and learn to laugh at yourself and life.
-learn to accept, let go, and be truly free of external controls and restraints. Many of our limits are self-imposed.
-be thoughtful and mindful of others. Give freely of self to those in need and especially to those you appreciate. Gifts of self are the highest gifts of all.
-family is the most worthwhile social unit to be attached and devoted to. If you are prepared to die for companion or a family member, then you have likely ‘maxed’ as a compassionate, empathetic person.

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Elitist Arrogance

Superior shit stuff all the way: Trudeau. “Some animals are more equal than others.”
Smiling as he apologized yesterday: the depth of his sincerity and honesty.
He has long had zero credibility and substance.

His favorite/main trait is ‘dressing up’ and making fun of non-caucasians. He is a huge fake. The mass of Canadians have been deluded about his essential nature.

How he ever got to be PM was a massive con game going back to Andrew Coyne’s 20 page love-in with T2 in Maclean’s: he’s Trudeau’s son; therefore, he’s meant to be PM. This kind simplistic ‘reasoning’ unjustly rocketed a privileged frat boy to levels way beyond his morality and common sense.

Yesterday his response was”Forgive me and love me all over again, everyone.” Not!!

I have no problem answering the ‘which one/face is the real Trudeau?’ It was and still is the fratboy face in the photos and video.  Facts: He was 29! and a teacher (role model and leader of the young) in two of the photos. He now has zero credibility on the world stage. He has lost any right to govern and lead this country. In the end, Trudeau diehards (especially in his own riding) are as dumb and selfish as Trump diehards. There is no way he should be re-elected. That is not common sense fairness nor justice.

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Saint Francis de Sales:

“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a clam spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.”

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Review: Earl’s/Tin Palace on Jasper

The Tin Palace still lives with the excellent outdoor patio and the semi-outdoor section (where my party sat) which feels like it’s outdoors with overhead cover and openable windows. Still not much they can do about occasional vehicles suddenly roaring past. The large darker inner restaurant with different sections remains the preferred long winter part. Parking, to the east of the building remains free, but you need to get there early, say before 5 pm on weekdays to find a spot.

Earl’s features a wide range of drinks from Vancouver wine to lime Daquiris, And an extensive menu from oven baked salmon to burger and veggie-conscious fare. Servers are numerous, attractive, and personable with well-timed intrusions. Dinner for 2 with drinks about $60.

A nice visit there during the dinner hour on a beautiful summer-like evening followed by a post-sup tea and dessert at a valley-edge hi-rise overlooking the Italian park, High Level Bridge with a wide-angle view of the beautiful beginning-of-fall river valley including the Legislature and lit-up 105 St. bridge. Tea was a fruitful decaf and dessert was two modest slices of pumpkin and pecan pie side-by-side. Company was fun with my old 1975 McNally teacher-friend and his retired nurse-wife. The olde jokes and stories still remain the best.

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It’s getting pretty bad

when old rock stars who are older than you are dying and you’ve never even heard of them or can’t identify one of their songs.

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The Bird and the Butterfly

The blinds were closed that Sunday September afternoon. I had closed them for my wife’s father who, otherwise, would have been blinded by the light as we watched the football game on the tube. A familiar context, for sure, and an outing for him, nothing unusual until I looked at the closed blinds.

On them were two strange shadows. The bird shape I knew because of its location–a black bird decal on the outside of the window to ward off the many backyard birds from entering whatever vistas they might be visually tricked into beholding/imagining. The effect of sun and light on large late summer patio windows. The limitations of bird perception combined with the hard presence of man-made objects in overlapping worlds.

But here in the strangeness of show and surfaces–a butterfly had found the black bird shape and amazingly, on a wingtip, a place to call home for fifteen minutes or so. In that duration, it had found its precise missing piece, completion, or context and made a choice in response to the similarly deceptive,but in a way contrary to how the window decal repelled real birds. Like the birds, though, the butterfly had bought the illusion.

What joined the two shadows, one a flimsy physical item, the other a living presence? The windows are large and there is so much space to choose for a butterfly’s landing. Why the wingtip and not elsewhere? The timing was similarly uncanny with both humans inside witnessing this found art shadow-show. In that moment for two people–a privileged glimpse into the oddities of perception and Nature. In that moment, a vision of absurd connection not possible had the blinds been open, had we not been sitting there at that precise miraculous macro-conjunction of normally separate random worlds.


“To increase consciousness is to increase mobility by metaphor.”–Northrop Frye, “Entry, Notebook 23”

“…all understanding is in a sense metaphorical understanding.”–Northrop Frye, “The Transferability of Literary Concepts”

“I think there are all questions and there aren’t any answers.”–Northrop Frye, The Great Teacher


Dedicated to the memory of Clifford William Reade

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Leisurely Reading for My Saturday

A glimpse into my sensibility…

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Down at the 7-Eleven This Morn

The young woman ahead of me in line buying a loaf of bread to start the day. Breakfast? Survival food? Needed for toast or a sandwich later? No matter how you cut it, survival or continuance for the body, self, or family.

And me, for my part, after having breakfast, buying The Globe and Mail and The National Post to read, to engage with ideas, to find out what’s happening in Canada and elsewhere–a sumptuous, pleasurable luxury/workout feeding my mind, feelings, spirit, and soul.

Different levels. But you know, looking back in history, that’s how it was for a long time; early peoples had to feed their bodies just to survive and get along, moving ahead to a time when after meals, there was time to explore other possibilities; notably those having to do with ideas, thoughts, plans, and other possibilities.

Transcending earthier, more basic levels to increase and experience consciousness and awareness. To exercise other faculties within and expand inner growth and external, physical life possibilities without. Overall enhancing the quality of self and life in larger, deeper, richer ways.

Further thought: that one cannot so readily explore such higher planes of regard sans a loaf of bread or a good meal. About as basic, still, as it gets.

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