What is a poet?

What is a poet?

A rhymer of words?

Or a mincer of the same?

Expressing what is? What was? What should be?

Perhaps, although I prefer the raw version.

Yes, the raw version, which is, of course, the freshest.

Whatever else follows after isn’t the freshest, although it should be, logically.

I prefer this!

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The irony of life…

noodles

He stops, amid the last chew of his most delicious spaghetti dinner, realizing…he has suddenly, finally, figured it all out, his meaning to life, his purpose for living!!! He takes a huge gasp of inspiration, chokes on the noodles…and dies.

 

 

What is the answer?

Vainglory hope is the answer. How many people have been puzzled by life, hoping desperately to find an answer to the meaning of it all, but die before they find it? I think most, like 99.9 percent.

“Oh, Tim’s full of doom and gloom tonight!”. I may be. But you know, I’m 57 now (2016). 7 years ago, were it not for modern medicine, I’d be 7 years dead. What’s that all mean? That “God” has some plan for me, which is why I’m still alive today? I doubt it. If he has, I haven’t figured it out yet, 7 years later. I’d like to hope that God had some sort of special plan for me, but you know, at this stage of life and living, I’ve learned a lot, and am ok being a bit skeptical now.

The fact is, as I said above, most people die before they figure life out, before they have their epiphany, before they have the “Damascas Road” experience. That’s just the way it is. Why? I dunno.

What can we make of these dismal statistics? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I don’t think we were created for “something special”, folks. Yes, we are each unique and wonderful human beings, but that’s as far as it goes, I think. Whatever we can give or do through to the end of today is itself a huge blessing. I know.

As the bible says, “For today we live and tomorrow we die”. Maybe that’s really it! If we can keep that in mind each day that we awaken, then we might make a difference in the lives of the people around us for that next day’s grace. If we don’t, well…no one will really notice. Oh well.

Today is all we have, folks. Tomorrow is a crap-shoot, a blessing if given…another day to make another day count for those around us. Let’s do at least that.

Old Bill…

Today I take my elderly (compared to me; he’s 75) friend, Bill, for his follow-up appointment with the Neurologist. I took him to his first appointment about 3 weeks ago. Surprisingly, the doctor invited me in then to “hear the news”. It wasn’t good news. He said, “I don’t have good news for you, Bill. In fact it’s very bad news. You have ALS, Bill”. Bill looked confused. “I thought I had Sciatica?” was all he could sputter, surely, amidst his overwhelming clouds of emotion, with a very confused, searching type of look on his face Meanwhile, I’m trying to remember what the fuck ALS is. I should have asked the doctor. I thought Bill might know. I’d ask him when we leave. He didn’t know. We had to Google it, right there in the bloody elevator as we were going down….

The doc said he wanted to run some tests to rule out “other things” that can mask as ALS, like AIDS. AIDS??? Bill??? Hardly!!! Then the doc said he was going on vacation for 6 weeks and wouldn’t be able to see Bill again until June 7th. That’s today. Meanwhile, two days after that appointment, Bill’s back feels better. He calls to tell me “good news”. No back pain, to Bill, means he doesn’t really has ALS. It’s Sciatica afterall! “Oh that’s great, Bill”. “Ya,” he says with childish delight. Post-script: I can still hear his desperately hopeful voice saying that to me now as I re-read this. (Feb 2018).

I know all the “Stages of Grief“. I first learned all that when I was a cop, then later at university in the plethora of Psychology and Sociology courses I took. Bill classically launched  into the “Denial” stage, and has stayed there for the last three weeks. At least he has been able to relax and have some hope for the last three weeks…

I think I’m more nervous this morning than Bill is. Assuming the doctor asks me in again, I know what I’m going to hear. The doctor didn’t say that Bill “might” have ALS a few weeks ago. He said, most definitively that he “HAS” ALS, but wanted to run those other tests, you know, to “rule out AIDS” and the like.

In the meantime I gotta say I’ve been struggling with my own mortality. ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) usually strikes people in their prime. Think Lou Gehrig or Stephen Hawking. Bill’s actually lucky to be getting it so late in life. Once diagnosed, you have a 2 to 5 year lifespan left. There is no cure and sweet all medications to help with it. Not that I’m assuming that I will get it, or God knows what else. There are a host of diseases running around out there. But hey, I’m 57 and very healthy these days–since my near-death experience at 50. But seeing all this happen with my friend Bill really isn’t easy, for Bill especially, of course. I’m ok. At 11:30 this morning Bill isn’t going to be ok. I’ll take him for lunch afterwards to his favourite spot. They serve good beer there too, which I’m sure he will be far more interested in today than the food…

I realized this morning that I’ve lived a very sheltered life. Nevermind that I saw a boat-load of life for the short time that I was in the police department. Since then, I really have been insulated. I don’t know why. Well, our society seems to be built that way. We hide all of the nasty stuff, in sanitoriums or hospitals or rest homes. And I think the police department may have shocked me so much that I unconsciously insulated myself and closed my eyes to many of life’s vagaries and vicissitudes. Surprisingly, I think, in some weird sense, I’ve been missing something important. Time to open my eyes again me thinks, look-see, and write about it, starting this morning with Bill.

Post-script: Bill died in November 2017.

Midsummer’s Night…

Midsummer night, the birds alight….
Sunset’s now, I don’t know how, to express the thoughts yet so bright
The fields lay fallow but now aren’t shallow, they burst with life and little strife
Seedlings gone, now tall and strong, the sunflower leans and faces high
Cricket’s groan, upon their stones, frog’s all follow into the shallow
Bright moon waning, after such a showing
Too little that we’ll ever know
Not to matter, tomorrow is another day, that I say with crickets groaning, the frogs a croaking almost soaking in this and that and the other thing, another day for us to sing!

Just another Saturday in Vancouver, Iran, and the rest of the WORLD!

It’s 12:41pm, Saturday August 29th, 2009. Off in the distance a car alarm is sounding. The sun is shining on the Maple tree leaves just outside my window. Fresh (as fresh as city air can be) cool air is wafting through the open window above my desk (bringing city dust in along with it).

My two-day’s-ago-turned-19-year’s-old daughter, with whom I have been texting back and forth this morning, has just arrived in Nanaimo with her friend to do some shopping.

My office is a bit of a mess. I have things to do around the building in which I live and manage. Things I should do, probably, but it’s my day off so I don’t really have to. I’m thinking about that. My sister-in-law is angry with me. My brother doesn’t talk to me. They both think they have good reasons for that. My brother has high blood-pressure. I worry about him. I’m the worlds worst Uncle to his children. My children and his children never did get along, so they aren’t on each others “Facebook” pages as “Friends”. Nor am I, being the worlds worst Uncle.

My dear friend Bill, who is 82 (whose wife recently died), disappeared this week. I thought he was “gone”. Rather, a “goner”; maybe had done himself in. I had terrible images of that. He lives an hour and a half’s drive from here. Had he not finally answered his phone last night around 7, I would have immediately driven out to see if he was there, dead or alive. I cried—tears of relief—without his hearing or anyone else’s seeing (I was at the Pub), when I heard his voice. He called me his “Son” during the conversation, as he excitedly described his visit to a wonderful medical clinic down in Portland, Oregon. They think he should be open to getting married again.

I’m 50 years old. My Mom and Dad’s magic number for me, but I won’t explain why. I feel like a loser, given the sad state of my life and affairs after all these years, although my therapist assures me that I am not, that I have some GOOD REASONS for being a loser! (I mean this facetiously, no disrespect intended) She’s beginning to convince me, thank God.

Someone is watering the plants with a garden hose at the apartment complex next door. It sounds cool and refreshing, even though it isn’t hot here today.

Iran’s political leader, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced on Friday that he wants the guy’s who ran against him in their so-called Democratic political election, ARRESTED because they incited opposition towards him and the Holy Clerics during the election. Now THAT’s what I call a good incentive for future political leader aspirants to NOT run for public office in Iran!!! I’ll bet you a hundred dollars that Mr. Ahmadinejad is losing votes right now for the next election…!?

The sky is blue right now. I’m hungry.

The Swine Flu (H1N1) has mutated to a more virulent form as feared and predicted, going straight to the lungs, causing severe respiratory failure, requiring those afflicted to be hooked up to respirators. Children, people with Diabetes, Asthma (that includes me), or are Obese are especially at risk. That’s a LOT of people! Hospitals are not equipped to handle that. There simply are not enough respirators to go around. A lot of people are going to die. Not those who have AIDSs, however. For some strange reason people infected with the AIDS virus are resistant…!? What an ironic twist that is.

Everything that I have been writing about today is, put very simply, “What Is”—what is happening right here around me in my home, in my thoughts and around the world. There is a LOT more happening, a lot more of “what is” going on around me, in my thoughts and the world than I have just described, of course. A lot of Philosophy, Eastern philosophy and religions in particular, focus on this concept of “What Is”. If we can simply stay focused on “What Is”, then we won’t be WORRYING about what REALLY IS… what is actually happening around us. Less worry, less stress. Nirvana! Ostrich head stuck in the sand. Truck coming around the corner?! Maybe, maybe not.

I think I will get myself something to eat and then call my friend Bill. After that I will probably do that work around the building that I can’t seem to let-be, let-is, what-have-you!

Cheers and thanks for visiting. If fate landed you here, on the first day of this Blog’s posting here on WordPress….bless you.  Please pass my site on to your friends and I WILL reward you! Send me email to ask me how.

Tim