A lot of life and days come down to bad or good timing.

One should feel very lucky whenever good timing occurs in one’s life.
There will definitely be more examples of the opposite as our society continues to change many times on a daily basis.

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With cutbacks to mental health

in this country and well over half the adult population on meds, pot, and other drugs, it’s no wonder so many people are ‘losing it’ in public places these daze. This epidemic of meltdowns and violence have become all-too commonplace. Untreated mentally ill or doped individuals walking around like powder kegs waiting to explode with minimal provocation.

(The Edmonton guy who started willy-nilly torching vehicles on Whyte Ave. April 12 is a good example of this.)

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Some say it’s just Nature’s way–

animals eating and attacking other animals–but in the case of nuisance predators like crows, one often thinks they’re simply black cawing evil. Much like hawks swooping off with baby birds crying helplessly on their way to doom. A nasty destructiveness built into the natural system. But what would humans know about that kind of misbehaviour, certain world leaders, serial killers, et al, eh? Nature and humans both red in tooth and claw.

Mother’s Day Moment

After dinner and croquet
we sat happy, content
with ourselves
family and world
in the grey backyard
calm of twilight.

The whoosh and cries
came too sudden
for knowing–
the stillness broken
by necessity and
nature’s fact.

The cedar shattered
with absurd terror
as the hawk tore
a path to just one
unready sparrow.

He cleared the bush
in nano-seconds,
his unreal shriek
of triumph lifting
supper, arcing now
an indifferent sky,
the random babe
ripped out of
the only life it had
ever dumbly known.

‘What was that?’ we asked
‘hawk or merlin?’
But exactitude no
longer mattered
in that eerie birdless-hush,
as we turned once more
in private doubt, lost
for words, and resumed
our game of Scrabble.

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Seen a certain way,

schools have long been paid babysitters; teachers, too.

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In Dreams Begin…

Picking up the dust bunnies                                                                                                      Putting out the garbage                                                                                                                 Cleaning the loos                                                                                                                       Washing and vacuuming floors                                                                                                    Changing beds                                                                                                                                  Adjusting the thermostat and lights                                                                                          Cutting the grass                                                                                                                      Washing/drying clothes and dishes                                                                                        Making coffee, tea and meals                                                                                                           Getting ready to meet the day                                                                                                           Buying groceries Putting them away                                                                                               Paying bills                                                                                                                                      Going to the bank                                                                                                                                 Taking the car in                                                                                                                          Walking the dog                                                                                                                       Changing the baby                                                                                                                      Driving kids to school                                                                                                                   Going to work                                                                                                                                           If not you, then who else?

“May you live all the days of your life.” –Jonathan Swift

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Davies’ Theory of Enlightenment: Stages

1. Conscious Perception–the ver-ry first stage. Can’t go anywhere w/o seeing things, taking note of them, making basic distinctions.

2. Establishing Empathy and Relevance: making those basic connections that allow the mind (reason, imagination, consciousness) to go/see further ‘into’ things. Connecting the conscious mind to the world around it.

3. Understanding–have to be able to process all that one takes in and sees. Have to think about and mull over things for a period of time. Requires focus, patience, and analysis. Understandings become fuller with time, experience, and education.

4. Genuine Insight and Application–comes with further experience, epiphanies, time passing, perspective, significant connected learning. One must also apply, practise, and live the vision one has of life to establish the worth of such knowledge, insight, and philosophy.

5. Acceptance and Appreciation–the final stage in which the person is very aware of all the positives and negatives/the world’s built-in ambiguity/irony/craziness, but has Keatsian “Negative capability” with all this information, knowledge, insight, and perspective. That is, “…capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact or reason”. (Keats, pictured above) And has sympathetic understanding and values that which is good in life, nature, and people. In that, self-fulfillment and self-actualization of the highest order.

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An Edmonton Poet-Composer-Filmmaker: James Mireau

Yet another amazing, poetic, filmed record of a life: the filmmaker’s father. The original music by the director is worth a separate viewing and listen.

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1980s Memory

One September Glen Kirkland and I were in T.O. presenting and staying at the Delta Chelsea. We decided to rent a van and head north to the McMichael Art Gallery which houses the most Group of 7 paintings anywhere. What a wonderful epiphany being up close with our country’s greatest art collection under one roof! The Tom Thomson gallery was to die for; I had not previously realized how small most of Thomson’s paintings were in actuality.

It was a terrific, warm fall day and we had time to kill after the gallery and motored further north to Kleinburg where Pierre Berton still lived with half a notion to see him. Kleinburg was a quaint village then, and we also found another hamlet nearby which had had a small, crammed antique shop. We would get very thoughtful and slow down whenever we in such a setting. In some cranny, I came across a gold-colored metal shoehorn looking like something from the early twentieth century. It was sturdy and had survived the ravages of time. I bought it and brought it back to Edmonton where it has resided ever since. I still use it most days and, when I do, I always remember Glen and our beautiful, sacred Sunday ‘getting lost’. It was typical of how we did things back then when we hit the road for conferences. Remarkably, the intelligent, witty, personable young Glen has never been far away during such simple moments as putting on my shoes ever since.

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Seeing cats on walks always reminds me

of their larger, more wild, and dangerous relatives. Cats look as wild, unpredictable, mysterious, and primitive, in any case, slinking about in our civilized neighborhoods.

I am always disgusted by cat owners who flaunt the bylaws and allow their pet cats out to befoul people’s yards and gardens, to attack birds (reverting to primitive instincts), to get run over, or to get poisoned by what they mistakenly eat or drink.

No respect for others, for innocent wildlife, for people’s property, or for their pet’s safety. Stupid, lazy, and irresponsible cat owners should not be allowed to own a cat in the city.

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Disagreements and betrayals

need not necessarily lead to hate and retaliatory action or violence.
Live and let live, as they used to say. Best not to lose one’s overall focus and bliss on account of disagreements and betrayals. “Getting even” is a primitive, ego-centered behavior. Disagreements and betrayals are not necessarily the end of the universe or the end of oneself and one’s own life.

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