Developing Beliefs or Gaining Knowledge?

Certainly much of early life is about gaining knowledge, but since retiring from teaching at age 52 in 2002, I have worked more on fine-tuning and coming to know who I am. So the process has become more of finding out and clarifying, refining what my beliefs are.

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I have long had integrity.

(A man with much certainty, purpose, and inner peace)

I am very much a unique individual reflected by most of my life, work, and leisure choices.
I am very much my own person and have always done what I really wanted to do.
I know myself very well, my strengths, limits, and limitations. I never have to angst over personal decisions.
I have long been organized (since age 20) and have always planned out my future so that I am never at a loss for anything to do. Every day is busy with things to do.

The blog name says it all; “To thine own self be true.” Hamlet’s credo has long been my own.

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What I Wanted To Be in the 1950s:

A bus driver. I was always impressed by these guys because if my car-less family went anywhere, it was by bus. I was always interested enough in grades 1-5 to sit upfront where I could see the drivers and their routines. In my only-child fantasy life, I would pretend to be a bus driver and ride my mother’s bike, making stops, pretending to have a route of my own. (As a paperboy, incidentally, I eventually fulfilled one of the bus driver dreams, acquiring a belt-attached coin changer for collecting on my route.)

One of the most interesting bike trips I ever made was with my mother from St. James, Wpg. to East Selkirk, MB one weekend in grade 7 after I finally got my own bike (a three-speed gift out of the blue from my grandmother as a graduation/start of summer present). I mapped out our route via a city map, taking main streets across town to the north end before connecting with Main Street and the highway north to Selkirk. (We did not travel on Portage Ave.)

We left around 5 and got to Selkirk around 9 before crossing the Red River bridge in the dark to the dusty stone road to East Selkirk several miles away. Dangerous to say the least, being passed by cars kicking up stones in the darkness, but the journey kept us going. (My fit mother was in her thirties and had probably worked that day earlier. I had energy, but she was given quite the workout on her old bike which clicked as it was pedalled.) We made it by 10 and phoned home to my Dad who was shocked that we had made it, We stayed at my mother’s sister’s place Saturday, then started back early on Sunday, getting home around supper time.

My mother at seventy, after my father’s death, could be equally audacious, riding by herself on #1 out to Portage la Prairie, 55 miles out of Wpg. one day on a bicycle, cars whizzing by her. A whim of some kind resembling my earlier childhood whim to go see my cousins in East Selkirk, to see if such a thing could be accomplished on bike despite the many miles. Her feat, though, was accomplished in one day so hers was the far more nuttily remarkable.

These days, at almost 70, I confine my rides to the neighborhood and know my limits unlike my mother who often put herself in risky situations throughout her life. Of that, more in another blog entry down the road.

Going back to Winnipeg last summer, I shook my head to recall such unique boldness and determination in making such unsafe, unconventional, daredevil trips.

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June & July in E-Town:

The Summer of Our Discontent.

If you want better, sunny weather, you’ll have to leave the province. Tourists won’t find much open except the zoo. The museum is inaccessible parking-wise. And the Third World Roads remain schmucked or closed. Thanks, Don and city council.

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Re. Trump

Give us this day our daily Twitter distractions, insults, stupid foreign ‘policy’ errors, attacks on American security and the Democrats, racist comments, dumbass writing errors, et al.

All to avoid any public attention to the Mueller report, to the Democrat candidates, to the outstanding subpoenas, lawsuits. All the things that could cost him the 2020 election and lead to his arrest on multiple charges.

God help America if they re-elect him or don’t impeach him before the election.

In Canada, Trudeau’s errors need to be long-listed and recommunicated to the public before the fall election. He is the worst leader this country has ever had.

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“Rollin’, Rollin'”: Not the Riverboat Queen!

Must have been fun with 350 poor souls exiting the boat for several hours in the dark amidst clouds of mosquitos and all as the romantic voyage came to a fated halt on E-Coli Beach.

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Not too many people I know

get invited back to the exact same spot 50 years later (as pictured in Winnipeg’s Bannatyne School gym, below, 50 years before, on the occasion of their school’s 100th anniversary as the main centenary speaker. This event is typical of the many lucky breaks I’ve experienced in my personal life.

In the top picture, I was chosen in grade 8 to receive the school painting when the school extension with gym first opened. (My 2012 speech, incidentally, was about what school life and the neighborhood was like in the ’50s.) The lower picture is that of the original school pulled down around 1968 while I was in university.)

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E. E. Cummings’ Best Lines

“since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;

wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom”

………………………

I have spent much/most of my life in the company of ideals, reason, and rational thinking, but, in the end, it is feelings, emotions, passions, love that give us the most memorable and satisfying personal experiences. These experiences are also much closer to the life of the spirit and, what Johnny Clegg has called “the spirit of the great heart”. More and more these daze, I go back to the Keatsian life of sensations where I spent my first 20 years for the most part.

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So what will be your contacts with

Beauty, Nature, and Art today, this week, this month?
If there are none, why wouldn’t you choose to mingle with any of those three?

(Cherry blossom trees abloom in April, Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver–always a slice)

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Relief

After 6 weeks of rain,                                                                                                                             a robin came by at supper today                                                                                                       and sat on the top of                                                                                                                           the neighbor’s dead tree                                                                                                                     behind us,                                                                                                                                                 to chirp and sing about                                                                                                                      the sun and a new blue sky                                                                                                              he’d only just discovered.

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