Monday, 28 March 2016

A "Hero's" Welcome

Tina Turner once sang "We don't need another hero" if considered along with the line from the Hopi prophecy: "We are the one's we've been waiting for;" perhaps this is two ways of saying the same thing.

I'm not saying that under certain circumstances I might not "intervene" if someone was in a dangerous situation - I am say that living up to someone else's expectation that I am their "white knight" (or living that idea from shadows of my persona, is exhausting and therefore undesirable). There is certainly value in helping others in times of need as well as each at times, extricating themselves.

To me there is a difference between finding inspiration in the work of, or in how, different individuals are showing up in the world and thinking that knowing them, quoting them, referencing them is going to somehow put my life on a better footing.

Tina's lyrics then are suggesting, waiting for a hero to swoop in and rectify my life (or situations within my community or upon the world stage) could be disappointing to say the least not to mention a colossal waste of time.

To avoid contradicting myself, I acknowledge of have already made references to two other "bodies of work." In my writing I like to play with what others have written or said to further express an idea I am trying to get across. I name them directly, to give them credit for what was said - it is not to be construed as an attempt at "name dropping" on my part. I'm clear - I'm not trying to ride on anyone's coat-tails; so quotes, references etc. I access from a wide variety of sources. On the other hand, interpretation I source from either my own imagination or direct life experience (and I generally specify either way).

Without question time spent with various teachers, schools of thought etc. can all be influential. It is not meant as a slight when I suggest that no matter the caliber of the teaching, how I assimilate it and make it "my own" will shape how I show up in my life and by extension in the world. So I'm not proclaiming complete "independence" but there is disconnect with regard to personal responsibility if ongoing, I'm looking beyond myself for this act of heroism to take place in my life.

I endeavour to avoid or at least actively seek and root out, absolutism and dogmatic thinking of my own; and strive to keep stretching myself develop the best version of myself. One doesn't have to look far to see that many lay claim to following the tenets of one belief system or another, without the heart of the matter coming into play.

No one can live the transformational requirements of any teaching for me. No matter what the world acclaim, mastery, their gifts and talents or the accomplishments of those that have comprised my "education;"  what I do with the raw materials of their teaching, is part of my on-going expansion and accountability. To cast them as the hero of my successes or the villain of my failures, serves neither them nor myself.

I know that incrementally and progressively showing up more and more consistently in my authenticity has a powerful and profound effect on my life. This has the effect of bringing a hero/champion into the arena of my own life. It's a process transitioning to a more stable presentation of expansion. Along the way, at least for me, it can seem as though I hover between (in the immortal words of Charlie Brown) being "the hero or the goat." The thing is if I identify that I'm not being particularly skillful in some area of my life, then that is my work to resolve.

I guess looking for a hero is a bit like the flip side of scapegoating - for me the personal accountability piece is missing. I have no Hopi (or as far as I know - which must be taken with a significant grain of salt, any other First Nations ancestry) however for that particular idea (which resonates for me as truth) I have not come across it said a more effective way.  It is a beautiful empowering, liberating idea with which to infuse my ongoing growth. I happen to believe the truth of it for anyone living the human condition (not just those of Hopi ancestry). So again, I quote the source of where I understand it to have come from - I don't automatically hoist all those of Hopi ancestry onto a pedestal. There would be those that are struggling to embody that teaching among them just as there are untold numbers of "Christians" seemingly ignoring the teachings of Yeshua (Jesus).

I can't speak for anyone else's life experience but I know for me I have been tyrant, judge, jury and executioner toward myself at different times in my life.

Now, it is time (in a healthy and balanced way) to hoist myself on my own shoulders and bid a welcome home to the hero in exile.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Give Me Eyes that I Might See

To witness one beaten down
Presents a cross-road
What then is called for?
A time to cast judgment?
(citing poor choices)
Or perhaps - to offer a ray of hope
Upon an otherwise dismal horizon

Self-love cannot be bestowed on another
However to share what you have
Well may momentarily reduce the sting of self-hatred
Change occurs in split seconds
Where time doesn't exist
Hope shines the way
To allow the next minute

What can possibly be gained
By one who has so much
Choosing to further punish
Rather than offer
The buoyancy of hope
Upon the sea of despair

Perhaps oddly
Described here within
Is not charity
Rather then, imperative
For survival and thriving both


Saturday, 26 March 2016

"Amazing" Grace

Today I'm going to attempt to spin a tale of grace. When I say "attempt" I personally felt the presence of grace weaving throughout my day today - however, to then claim to be able to specifically describe it and or define it; well, that is beyond my scope.

I started the morning considering that I would spend sometime performing in the streets this day. To prepare I decided today would be the day I restrung my guitar. I had been playing it the last number of times out with a mixed bag of strings; some remained from the last time I restrung it, others were a mixture of strings that had been used and then saved as spares, for if and when, I broke strings. This meant they were possibly from different string sets - they sounded ok, though some frequently went out of tune. I had two brand new packages of strings which I purchased about two weeks ago.  The only thing that stood between allowing myself to enjoy the brilliance of new strings was essentially myself; in the form of a story that, I don't have the time to sit and change them. (even though it probably took all of ten or fifteen minutes this morning to do it!)

As I rode the bus into town I pondered potential performance locations. I was getting into town a little later, so I anticipated that a couple of the spots I frequently play, would already be occupied. Sure enough as I came to the library courtyard and there was a fellow playing his banjo. I have chatted with him a few times as I was finishing and he was arriving. I asked him "had he just got started?" He indicated that he'd be there another forty-five minutes if I wanted to come back, make it ten minutes to the hour and he'd give me the spot. I had already decided to try down the stretch of shops that are frequented during "tourist season." I have played there before and hadn't experienced particularly high gratuity rates. That was then - this is now!

I have innumerable performances under my belt since I first wandered with trepidation and my first "busker's license" down that block. I've also been fostering and have experienced, considerable inner transformation - my continuance as a busker might well be more about "the inside job" than anything else. On this occasion I wanted to "play" (pun intended) with holding the energy of love while I played. After the first few songs - the money began to flow. In the mix was a couple of American dollar bills (always a fun part of busking as more tourists fill the streets). I look forward to another journey to Maui one day, so I put all the U.S. money aside for spending money. I'll likely busk when I get back there too.

After I had been playing for awhile and had already easily been tipped more than I ever had down there - a young girl stood outside the ice cream shop adjacent to where I was set up. I saw her unzip a little change purse and she came over and place another U.S. bill in my case. I thanked her as was playing, which is my habitual practice. The bill she place was all scrunched up so I couldn't see what it was; but presumed it was a one dollar bill. When she returned to her father I could see they exchanged words and though I couldn't hear what was being said, the facial expression and body language spoke volumes - he wasn't happy! They walked off and after I finished the song I was playing I checked the bill she had placed down - it was a U.S. twenty dollar bill!  I had received twenty dollars from one person on a couple of other occasions, but it's not the "norm." I thought - what a beautiful generous gesture on the part of this young girl (while at the same time gained some insight into her father's scornful expression).  I was marvelling in the "effect" of energy etc. Shortly there after the two of them returned - they both sheepishly echoed the same (likely pre-agreed upon story) she had "mistakenly" given a twenty dollar bill. She was all apologetic, I thanked her again and told her she was a very generous person, while I bent over and fished her money out. They gave me a couple of U.S. ones and a handful of change and went on their way, as I wished them a happy Easter.

I pondered whether the "event" had any reflective value for me? Was there any unconscious "worth" energy within, that might have caused me to balk at receiving "so much money" all at once?  (therefore I experienced first hand, money manifesting and disappearing). I just kept right on performing; quite satisfied that I allowed the two folks on their vacation a positive experience and didn't allow the circumstance, to sully my good time. Within the singing of a couple more songs, they came back and put another Canadian five dollar bill in my case for which I thanked them and sent them on their way with more weekend blessings. (I was certainly receiving plenty!!)

The upshot of my time down on "Government Street" was the highest return I've had down there. The insight and self-awareness on top of that - priceless!

I decided to head back toward the library - I figured if it was available I'd play a short set there (and use the washroom). On my way there I crossed paths with another fellow that "busks" (native american flutes) he stopped briefly and asked if I was going to the library - when I replied I thought I'd check it out - he said, "I just left there it was pretty slow!"

I arrived there - no one "on stage" - went in, used the facilities; came back out - still my oyster!
I played for about forty-five minutes and got another sixteen dollars in return. Just for perspective, I have made more or less that amount at the same place playing for two hours - I've also made twice that - also in two hours. To have made that much for such a short set is a first - I also was given the gift of a couple different people reflecting to me both; that songs I had selected were particularly moving to them, and was thanked for performing them so beautifully!

I'm sure "grace" could be described/defined in ways infinitely more complex - today to me, it looks and feels as I have duly noted here.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Walk On!

Could it be, stone rolled away - while the carpenter was risen
Symbolized oppressive ideas - that keep hearts locked in prison?
A soul trains eyes through the darkness - in order to see
That the invisible prison of habit - taunts - you'll surely not, be free

May your thoughts never -
become so grey
That you frame in darkness - the dawn of the day
Life longs to create - a dazzling Spring display
From within fertility - of your heart's clay.

It may seem safer to cling - to the familiar edge
Urged beyond the known - there lies, life's whispered pledge
Defy must know sown - answer's limits
Instead jump into mystery - enlivened soul, more freely permits

Never too late - shed air and light - on heart's room
Invite a new view - beyond that cold dank tomb
Held in our very being - the power of nature's fission
Making possible - a resurrection, vision.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Who is That Red-faced Lunatic? (hmm.. how 'bout that it was me!)

Without question from various places and times there are bound to be people that might consider me a "talking head;" of course there are other scenarios where I have been with a group of people all engaged in a conversation and after my analysis of what has been presented and then believing I have the perfect contributory comment, the conversation changes; the result being, I remain silent.

My understanding of the term "talking head" is that it is usually reserved for pundits for whom there is a broad range of focus, which includes politics.

I make a concerted effort to not employ "labels" - having said that if one were to be chosen to give some idea where I'm concerned, I suppose it might be something like "generalist." It would follow then with regard to politics as a whole,  I'm neither a pundit or a talking head. Just the same, today, I'm pondering something that falls within the realm of politics, though it could be framed any number of other ways.

Given the upcoming election in the United States even someone like myself that is without cable and doesn't comb the daily mainstream newspapers, nor tune in to radio broadcasts can't help but become privy to some of what is going on down there.

So, how is it that a candidate that seemingly few gave any credibility as far as "going the distance," others quipped that it was likely a joke to make a point, that has unapologetically been outspoken and embodied all things "negative," if not totally offensive (except that it is not having what might be expected as the result of such belligerence) he has not withdrawn, nor been asked to withdraw - quite the opposite, he seems to been gaining huge momentum; to the point where many are suggesting he may well be the forerunner to become the leader, of one of the two parties that actually put their candidate in the Whitehouse. I speak of course of Donald Trump.

I'm not going to spend anytime analyzing him or attacking his character - my only curiosity is, how is this possible?

Nothing is black and white, knowing this I don't wish to over-simplify, but neither is the scope of this post intended to be comprehensive enough as to cover all considerations. I believe that part of the answer lies in that there are enough people with similar consciousness, they may well never be as overt in it's expression, but just the same Trump has plenty of money which gives him a certain amount of leverage, but he wouldn't continue to rise through the preliminary electoral processes without a significant number of people that are throwing their support behind him.

Fear, ignorance and a completely lack of empathy for those that represent "them" to those that rise to power by harnessing the collective mistaken beliefs of the masses (us), is not without plenty of historical precedence. So even though he advocates all kinds of violence to uphold his "vision" and he has not been run aground by his racism etc.  he is not just a lone voice in the wilderness, he represents the unexpressed rage, pain, and wounds of countless others - is presenting himself as the salve for all those individuals with festering and toxic internal worlds, who view him as some sort of messiah.

So whether he is successful at getting into office remains to be seem, meanwhile each can look at him as a mirror and ask him or herself in what ways do his ways of being, represent my own unhealed wounds, unconscious fears and limiting mistaken beliefs. If convinced there exists none of "his" more objectionable qualities what does he trigger in you - that you are ignoring and putting the blame back on him.

It's generally considered that due to widespread apathy on the part of the electorate only a small percentage of those eligible to vote actually do so. Maybe individuals like Trump come along to shake people out of their complacency.

One doesn't have to look far to see violence and intolerance playing out on "main-street" where ever your home town is. I was standing on a street corner yesterday playing guitar and singing. It happens it is a four way stop with a fifth street converging just to further make it interesting.  Due in part to widespread confusion to who actually has the right of way; being a "fly on the wall" at that intersection allows the witnessing of many a near miss, horns blaring and tempers flaring. I watched as I sang as individuals squared off across from each other after these various vehicular faux pas and continued to scream obscenities at each other and flipping each other the bird; fortunately stopping short of actually turning their vehicles into a further offensive weapon. How many of these people (Canadians) would be quick to point out the violent nature of those that reside south of the border with their "right to bear arms," completely oblivious to their red-faced intersection tirades.

The comedian "Flip Wilson" used to quip : "the devil made me do it." Though his antics and portrayal of "Geraldine" were amusing, the idea that some other being, entity or person, is responsible for my behaviour is scapegoating at best and a dangerous psychological slight of hand at worst.

I personally have no power to "change" Donald Trump - individually each can only change themselves.  I'm thinking that someone like Trump will stop presenting and making waves when enough people say no that is not okay - this is what we want. Then again - maybe once he's come and gone there will be someone else with a similar or even worse world view; whose presence will provide enough contrasting energy that a more inspiring leader will be spawned.

 After all, doesn't each become more clear about what they want after experiencing enough of what they don't want. Perhaps enough motivation for each, to polish there own stone.

Nature a Class all It's Own

Instead of fixation on logic and reasons
Consider the wisdom taught, throughout the seasons
Within the ice and snow - of Winter's dark
Lies Spring's majesty and beauty, in an unseen spark

Summer's growth and harvest - stage an Autumn's show
Bite of air and swirling vortices blow
Half a year spent coaxing foliage to grow
On cue - no mourning - let them go

Winter's barren stillness - likened to a - maudlin tomb
For some - seasonal centered - pending doom
Expansive thinking - eyes of heart - make room
Pageantry being embraced - in nature's womb

Gratification demands now - don't wait
Ignoring an incremental intelligence steeped - incubate
Ageism and marketing preach -you've lost, too late
Source fed soul renounces - the best before - date

Misrepresented is the phrase "when nature calls"
Won't hear it in - neon addling malls
Put on a coat - step from within - four walls
Hear the rhythm - feel the kiss - of rain - as it falls

Each season is an artistic scene
No isolated event - power held in between
Revere Mother Nature - the loving queen
Listen to the man of the forest - his blood runs green

If you laugh and think this just a charming tale
Unchained hearts can read nature - like hands on braille
No need for wifi - to receive her mail
You may just discover - your long lost grail

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Let There be Life (Light)

Adapting a line from Monty Python's "The Life of Brian" yields: "so then, are you going to the resurrection?" As the time of year approaches which for some features one of the more well known stories which centers around this theme, it must be acknowledged there are innumerable additional stories and traditions (some preceding significantly the "Christian" epic) that are superimposed upon this time of year. The pagan goddess of Spring - Eostre  (aka: Ostre, Austra & Eastre) is celebrate this time of year. "Ostara" signifies the spirit of renewal. The celebration of the Spring equinox on March 21st Ostara marks the point when daylight equals the darkness of night and will continue to increase. As the bringer of light the goddess was often depicted with a hare which represented the arrival of spring and the fertility of the season.

Whether you embrace the Christian theology or not: birth, death and rebirth can be seen occurring through out many facets of life.

So then my play on words at the opening as well as being tongue and cheek, also can be seen to pose a direct question; the resurrection in question being your own. Alternatively, are you just going to keep orchestrating and attending your own crucifixion? My observation of cycles of healing, growth and evolution - most certainly my own, as well as those of others, is that often times there is some "stickiness" in the "crucifixion" phase. I acknowledge that even if we hold true the existence of these "phases," that they don't necessarily operate on a strictly black and white linear path; however for the sake of discussion I will present them as though they are distinct.

If we were then to use the biblical crucifixion story as a model, what I'm referring to would look like this, the suffering that Jesus underwent before hand, the continued torture and anguish he was said to experience while hung on the cross to die and then once "dead," he would be taken down and nailed to a different cross, of course with new nails.

Depending on your belief system, you might think the whole Easter story preposterous anyway, let alone the way I just spun it. The thing of it is, that I did so to illustrate a point, in order for "rebirth" or renewal there is some sort of death that proceeds it. However, if one were to just nail themselves back on the cross of the "old belief system" or behaviour pattern; even if the cross is in a "better part of town," I think it's quite clear, what one might expect.

To utilize another biblical reference the infamous "valley of death" from Psalm 23 is daunting enough  if one considers even being there. The line reads: "even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death......" (my emphasis) the point is, it doesn't say, upon arrival at said valley, pitch a tent and plan on taking up residence there - it implies the way out is "through." I believe that further suggests that one would acknowledge where they are and what is currently true - for the purpose of preparing for a transition (which necessitates a letting go of what was - including "identifying with it" in order for the rebirth to occur. In nature the old growth of the previous summer is discarded entirely to make way for the new growth of spring. Apparently nothing of the former larvae that enters the cocoon emerges as the butterfly - it has been completely transformed!

I remember an old song sung on the even older T.V. show "Hee-Haw" it went something like this:
"Doom, despair and agony on me,
Deep dark depression, excessive misery,
If it weren't for bad luck - I'd have no luck at all
Doom, despair and agony on me!"

Week after week (that same skit came on in the mix of other comedic and musical offerings.
Can you imagine the effect on a life if one repeated and reinforced such thinking - indefinitely?
Think about it - how could it possibly ever be anything differernt?

This is not to suggest that most everyone (maybe everyone) hasn't experienced event/s in their life that have been painful. I personally don't believe in "degrees" of pain - just as comparisons based on any other aspect of humanness are constructs of the mind, so I believe it is with the various storylines that are the source of different people's pain. If one person is led to believe that their pain doesn't merit the same consideration because of arbitrary measures of intensity - it dishonours what they have been through and how that effected them. I believe closer to the truth is, the magnitude of suffering is conceived (by the mind) as a conjunct to the story and becomes the alibi for why only a measured amount of healing is possible, if at all - "Nobody knows the troubles I've seen......." ah, yes there is somebody who has and does, and now they might well be doing TED talks or some such thing. I'm not saying talk show circuits etc. is the holy grail - however I am suggesting that in the history of humankind, what form of human suffering hasn't been experienced?  Subsequent to this some went on to thrive and others perished.

Once again if the "Easter" story is taken at face value - Jesus was supposed to have known his fate ahead of time so he had to be willing to die, in order for the resurrection to occur - alternatively he could have just buggered off!

Francis of Assisi - wrote (or was quoted) as having said "it is in dying that we are born to eternal life." We cannot begin to know our "eternal" unlimited spiritual nature, which is at the core of our very being, without incrementally allowing to "die," a vast array of many limiting ideas.

Trust me when I say - I have utilized no "spiritual by-pass" in order to talk in such a seemingly detached manner from my pain - it comes as result of knowing the fury of my own pain that I have the deepest compassion for the pain of others. It is why I lovingly suggest, that each take themselves from the cross they both constructed and keep nailing themselves to, and allow the love that is available to them, through them and for them, to prepare for a glorious rebirth.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Being one who has for considerable time "identified" with being a "seeker," I can now say of what I've "found" - neither makes me special. Not that I sought, nor what I found. It is possible that what I have uncovered on my "quest" so far could be useful to others on their own search. It is equally possible that it has nothing to do with what they are searching for, they have their own objective which they will recognize when they discover it for themselves. Ironically, that's part of what I found on a pursuit that began as a desire to stop hurting. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. Didn't begin as a "spiritual" search - in fact, the idea that I saw and heard reflected in those around me, that "the answer was spiritual" I frowned upon, in truth, I thought it was absolutely repugnant.

After a myriad of viewpoints, practices, systems & teachers; many of whom touted the virtues of transformation, it seemed to me I couldn't be farther from enlightenment if I tried. I uncovered instead beliefs (albeit mistaken) that I was so profoundly flawed "transformation" sounded like an attractive idea in as much as what I saw I looked upon with contempt. It had not become apparent that I would be called upon to "be the love" that would be the catalyst for these changes. I had imagined it would be a process rather like plastering over the blemishes on a wall - loving them seemed oxymoronic.

So I suppose I began my seeking much like a drowning man would seek a life preserver. A further irony was (to continue the metaphor) I wasn't drowning. However, I discover that the lens through which one "seeks" colours what they are apt to "find." It is by far preferable to enjoy learning to, or continuing to swim, for the shear pleasure of swimming rather than the terror of drowning. The matter is complicated further if water were to represent life & I consider everyone else to be swimming however, I'm a stone! Now having committed what I vaguely recall may be a literary foul in the form of an extended metaphor I'll see about redirecting myself.

The thing about a "spiritual path" commandeered by the ego, I could consider myself beyond reproach, or that I am special for being on it, for what I think I know now that I've trekked from wherever it was I was, to wherever it is I am now. I might think less of others that aren't doing what I'm doing or consider myself :"fubar." All of which ignores that I would still be using any of these ideas or all of them, to make myself feel ok about myself or that I'm so much worse off than anyone else.

There's nothing "spiritual" about any self-aggrandizement at the expense of others nor self-contempt at cost to myself.

As I said, I didn't come to explore spirituality through any virtue of mine, it was more a case of looking for a way to get my ass out of the fire; so it's interesting to see the piety creeping in at various times. I don't know about any experience beyond my own - but life (or perhaps my interaction with life) has always served me a generous portion of humble (berry) pie on these occasions of my over-inflatus ego-rama.

Incidentally, my education regarding humility has undergone a series of changes which I'm sure will continue. I knew nothing of it initially - thought it to be the same as humiliation. Then that it entailed constant bowing and scraping - how was I to assert myself in the world using this posturing? Perhaps then it was to be self-effacing? Then I found that if this was done disguising "approval - seeking" it then amounted to  "false-humility." Just today I read a quote:

“To realize one's destiny is a person's only real obligation and when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”- Paulo Coelho

It is not humble to remain small & ignore ones heart calling, nor does it make me better than the next person, if I engage the pursuit. It's not a competition no one has the monopoly  on suffering nor it's transcendence. 

So humility contains elements of recognizing where change needs to occur and finding the courage to take action. It also recognizes where things are perfectly okay and even where I excel - celebrating it, expanding it, appreciating it and offering it in service.

There is not necessarily anything to be gained in change just for the sake of change. Chronic cycles of change can be a means of avoiding something which presents should the knee jerk compulsion to change no be given in to.

Various forms of support networks can be helpful in facilitating  change but only if they continue to encourage each other toward the identified goal set out by each person. Environments where participants only commiserate in one another's suffering but don't move through to call for it's healing; I have not found helpful.

I am not saying that anyone should be pressured, criticized or coerced to change; that choice need come from within each individual. However, there is value in recognizing what one wants & therefore their intention & to be clear whether your "support network" aligns with your vision. Neither is "right or "wrong" but they are distinctly different; one could be said to  have an intention and focus on healing, the other, a spoken (or unspoken) agreement to uphold the suffering through mutually abdicating personal responsibility. Each has the choice to define their path & undeniably the ability to scrutinize  & exercise the power of discernment can grow along the way.

Association with a "spiritual path" does not guarantee change. Embracing the need for change & all it entails in order for it to occur, can of itself become a spiritual path. It has more to do with becoming aware of and honouring one's inner world than what chair they sit in or whose picture is over the altar (if there even is one). What part do I play & how do I contribute to the greater mosaic? Not, do I, or how can I, out-shine the other threads in the tapestry?

I do renounce systems or ideas that declare me to be flawed - I acknowledge a continued walk through life that can still reveal patterned behaviour or threads of ideas that no longer serve me. I make a concerted effort to catch any thoughts of self-admonishment. I'm clear, I can't be shamed (or shame myself) into "wellness" - it is not "well" to do so in the first place nor is it okay.

As the Hopi prophecy states - "I am the one I've been waiting for....." and when I get there and arrive to greet myself it will no longer be with a big friggin' stick to beat the crap out of myself with!

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

The Life of Nature/The Nature of Life

As I walked to work the other day I passed an apartment building that had for quite sometime been concealed in shrouds while the entire exterior was given a "face-lift;" or perhaps, it was one of the many buildings from a few decades ago that shared an architectural "snafu" which rendered them vulnerable to our temperate rainforest climate (aka "Leaky Condos"). Either way the exterior was once again exposed for all to see.

The grounds around the condo no longer bore the manicured landscaping, but were stripped down to earth riddled with construction rumble. Through this microcosm of destruction - erupting defiantly, despite rock, concrete/mortar fragments and the topsoil itself trampled and compressed, was a lone crocus in full bloom. What a staggering display of the resilience of nature. Whether it was the off-spring of previous growth or had been transplanted through the droppings of a passing bird - the fact remained; in the face of what appeared to be (albeit small in scope) utter devastation, creation continued it's ongoing symphony.

Regardless of humankind's deluded thinking that nature is being "conquered" there is endless evidence that the "nature" of nature, is that it won't be squelched. When humans will embrace more universally, that there is no point in trying to defeat nature, is anybody's guess. Nature won't be "controlled" (though clearly science has found ways to manipulate it) attempts to do so, have either proven to have undesirable outcomes; or we are still mid-story in some scientific folly, so the verdict is yet to be realized.

There is an awesome power at work - that raises spring pageantry through construction rubble! Why would I (or anyone for that matter) think that "we," no matter to what extent ourselves have be "devastated;" through the very same magnificent creative force, acting on us and through us, cannot enjoy a similar "resurrection?"

    Almost 99% of the mass of the human body is made up of six elements: oxygencarbon, hydrogen, nitrogencalcium, and phosphorus. Only about 0.85% is composed of another five elements: potassiumsulfur, sodium, chlorine, and magnesium. All are necessary to life. (Wikipedia)
    At our elemental face value, it might be said we have more in common with "Play dough" than anything else. However the same creative intelligence that is at work orchestrating events both so infinitesimally large and small (and everything in between) that they can't even be measured, replicated or explained, is at our very "nature."
    I am neither a biblical scholar nor an adherent of a particular faith path that relies upon (nor proclaims to lay claim to the one true interpretation). I'm inclined to believe the words held within, are metaphor and allegory and hold living truth which, can see to it, that each reader receives exactly what they need at the time - based on their own inner discernment. Before you discount my interpretation, consider it certainly can't do any greater harm than those that claim to be "guided by God" and then they rain scud missiles on other groups of people that are often ill-quipped to defend themselves.
    As this post was being created I was "guided" to search the following scriptural references - using nothing more than a couple of key words - it's not a passage I already knew by rote, nor was I thinking about it when I began writing. It would seem it was being "suggested" as it can be seen as useful given the "train of thought" I was riding.

    Matthew 6:26-34New King James Version (NKJV)

    26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
    28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
    31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
    I am not trying to sell anybody on the bible or Christianity nor do I wish, to through out the baby with the bath water. Personally I look to what unites the various wisdom paths and don't restrict myself to only a select few. My point where that is concerned is that we all, by are very nature, have common interests which I'm suggesting would likely be better served, if we acted in harmony with nature, our own nature and the nature of others. I love that in the past week I heard reference to a line in this scripture: "Seek first the kingdom of God...." I had no idea that it was contained within what I have inserted here - to me the synchronicity would have the hair standing up on my head (if I had any).
    How much of what is so commonly deemed the "problems facing humanity" with respect to our "impact" upon the planet,  is due to too much concern for amassing so much more than what any individual, community, or nation requires in order to thrive. I'm not for a moment suggesting care and concern should not be extended to our environment - Mother Nature/Mother Earth; I just seriously doubt we will "wipe out the planet" - given my observation of the "death defying" crocus,  I wonder if nature and humanity by extension, are impervious to complete eradication. We are (I'm suggesting) to nature, as wet is to water; this includes our "relationship" with the source of creation.  Certainly the quality of life for those inhabiting the planet can manifest along a very broad spectrum of possibilities. This is not a treatise on the "evils" of wealth, prosperity - if anything I would hope to represent that there is enough for everyone - that those that hope to monopolize and exploit are subverting natural laws. I am aware there is wealth and prosperity that have nothing to do with finances (except that they do) - some of those ideas are given voice in the bible as well - perhaps the fodder for a future post. 
    Another reference to "sowing" and "reaping" suggests one reaps as they sow. I certainly know from my own experience that whatever sustains life (actually constitutes life) has continued to seek resurrection through countless personal crucifixions. I don't consider myself unique in this light - I must state out front, that this continued to be true, even when life itself, sustained me far more than my existence was upheld, by anything I could take credit for. To the casual observer, my walk through life must have appeared as though the only biblical reference at play in my life, was I was inclined to go about "smiting myself in the head."
    So then, my respect for life and nature had to start very close to home. I believe in "heaven on earth" - I believe it is encapsulated in the first scripture ("therefore do not worry about tomorrow.....") I also believe that before I concern myself about expanded possibilities for people around me, or the world, I need to believe it possible for myself. Nature, planet earth, the universe support my (and everyone's) expansion - which is not the same thing as "the world is at my disposal." I need to continue expanding my sense of awe for the web of life in it's entirety. Why are "goose-bumbs" reserved for sunsets, mountain tops, symphonic crescendo and rainbows when each and everyone one of us walking the planet, contain all of these and so much more!
    Granted it might not be entirely pragmatic but if I knelt and held in reverence and awe more,  of life in it's myriad forms, maybe a wave of people "acting in kind"could be generated. Laugh if you will... it already happens at sports coliseums world wide - it simply requires a change of intention.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Played Them a Song - I was the Guitar Man

Today, in a manner of speaking, two of my "worlds" collided. Before explaining myself I just realized it's actually three worlds, because now I'm writing about the other two. I had worked a shift at a residential care facility yesterday. A women (one of the regular full-time care-assistants) who knew of my guitar playing, asked if I would be working the next day and if so; "I should bring in my guitar and sing for the residents." As it turned out I got a shift today, so I decided I would go ahead and play some music.

It had been quite sometime ago that she and I were talking and she had mentioned "loving to sing" - I said, "well hey, you should go out and do some busking!" She laughed and quipped "Ya right - things haven't got that bad!" When I told her I was serious, and that I frequently "performed" around town, she quickly reversed herself and replied, " you really do that, wow that's great!"

I didn't take her original attitude toward busking to heart - I'm well aware that many people see it as a measure for those that are "down & out." If not echoing those mind-sets, it also reflects a societal attitude around what constitutes a legitimate income source and a diminishing in value, of the "arts" and creative expression (which is prevalent except of course for those that are afforded "celebrity" status). Yes, there are some street performers that are supporting their drug and alcohol addiction which raises the hackles of moral judgment, but has nothing to do with the talents of some of these same musicians etc. Many individuals have practiced for years honing their skills and literally take their show on the road all over. Anyway, I digress - I have a great deal of fun playing in the streets maybe it will never go anywhere beyond that. Even if that were true, I know from the direct reflections of various people that have stopped to tell me so, it bring many people, moments of joy! I don't think it gets much better than that - I am doing something that brings me great joy and touching others with that joy. (Combine that with my joy of writing and now I have Joy to the power of 3).

Yesterday evening once I both knew I had a shift for today and had "decided" to bring in my guitar; I started to second guess myself. This would be the first time I have brought one of my passions into the open forum of one of my "work environments" and though I understand I'm not "what I do" - I do believe I bring who I am, to what I do (which includes the care of those residents) and I was concerned about "exposing myself." More consideration of the matter allowed me to recognize that this was a golden opportunity to share one of my gifts and in fact was a gift to me as well. So gratefully I got over myself and went through with it.

I've played in front of people dozens and dozens of times by now - this was a little different. We used what is normally the residents dining area and combined the "event" with their afternoon tea. One of the differences was, while busking some people are very attentive, many are absorbed in their own thoughts and pay little or no attention. There is also (depending on location while busking) the noise of traffic and sirens etc.) Here I had the luxury of everyones rapt attention. It took me a song or two to "adapt"with respect to volume - as I'm used to singing over all the ambient noise of the city.

I remember years ago peers of mine joking about what it would be like when we were all in nursing homes - sitting around listening to 60's & 70's rock/pop/folk songs. This afternoon's performance gave me a little more live presentation of what that might look like. It was great to see the residents more animated, many were singing along, or tapping a hand or foot. There's no question the (what amounted to maybe a forty minute performance) raised the energy in that place significantly!

Toward the latter part of my singing a women showed up and started digging music books out of the piano bench (I hadn't been told that anyone else would be there to entertain). Turned out she was there to oversee the residential church service (which apparently happens a couple times a month). Humility prevented me from telling her - "hey these folks have already been to church!" After all, they had just elevated their spirits while they "Imagined" came "Back Home Again" wandered "Country Roads" proclaimed themselves "King of the Road" climbed the alpine slopes in order to embrace the "Edelweiss" and finished with a rousing round of "Hallelujah" - how are you going to top that?

Of course I didn't say this - I honour her for being there and what she represents to those that attend her gathering is every bit as sacred as what I hold dear to my heart.

As I was putting my guitar away and getting ready to leave, many of the residents came forward and thanked me and exclaimed how great it was to not only have the music, but to "see another side of me." I must say it was delightful to share another side of me & the icing on the cake was, I was being paid my "regular wage" for doing it.

Another real time opportunity to experience Joesph Campbell's "bliss following" suggestion. It's a good thing - a very good thing!

Friday, 4 March 2016

Judge Not Lest You be Judged

A week or so ago I was busking in an area of Victoria known as James Bay; in front of the liquor store in the "village." I had only been there a short while when a fellow I've come to know from that neighbourhood arrived. I first met him sometime ago in the same neighbourhood, he sells a magazine called "Megaphone" which is a street magazine that is both sold by homeless and low-income folks and features content that highlights the lives, stories and creative expression of many who lives are impacted by these same challenges. The magazine is based in Vancouver but as it has gone on locally, to replace a previous paper from our city that folded, it does have a Victoria presence as well.

He had always been a positive presence in the neighbourhood - we had coffee together a few times on the benches on the block. I didn't see him around for quite awhile and then not so long ago he had returned to his usual spot, but he was know in a wheel chair having had one of his legs amputated below the knee; due to a chronic infection that got in the bone. Naturally he was adjusting to this new reality, but he talked optimistically about his leg healing and getting fit with a prothesis. He continued to be a positive presence on the block, he is well known to many in the area ,and always has a cheery welcome for everyone.

Fast forward to this time I saw him again more recently and the story he tells me is not so bright. He tells me he's been drinking again and had some issues with his previous apartment (which may have been alcohol related - however I didn't press him for details). He certainly was looked more haggard than his usual appearance. He tell me he was seeing his doctor regularly (who was naturally encouraging him to stop drinking again) to not do so, would compromise the clearing of a post-operative infection (a short-term consequence) the longer term results could be far more dire and complicated.

Despite all of this he was excited to show me the new edition of the magazine and opened it to show me one of the articles. The magazine regularly features stories on the various vendors and he was in the current issue. He really wanted me to read his story. Though as I said, I have talked to him on various occasions I had no idea what he had been through. He was originally from Afganistan - he left as a young man to escape mandatory military service (in his words, he didn't want to become part of his countries killing machine) he managed to get out of the country and went to India. Through some friends there he learned of life in Canada and found a way to immigrate as refugee (knowing that he would have been severely punished if he returned to his homeland). I believe he lived in Montreal for a period of time before coming out here. Various health issues landed him on a disability pension.

He apparently has a line on a new apartment beginning this month so this would get him out of shelters etc. (where he has been apparently wearing thin, his welcome). I also learned when I further read the article, that he is trying to raise money through some sort of non-profit arrangement to support some of his family back home. I have not seen him since to find out more about this.

As I was preparing to go, he asked me if I could go into the liquor store and buy him a six-pack of beer. All kinds of paradigms, attitudes and judgements flashed through my mind in seconds. What I came up with according to my consciousness was as follows: all the sources I have encountered with regard to spirituality/personal growth etc. suggests that each has their unique gifts and to utilize these gifts in service to others is the highest form of fulfillment. He didn't ask for my judgement, he deserves the dignity of his own choices (without value criticism, lectures on morality or even further control and criticism (disguised as "advice on wellness") I would really like to see him restore his state of health - but that is not my business. If I had walked his journey maybe I'd be looking for a beer now too.

When Jesus, Francis of Assisi or Mother Teresa showed up in service of the poor, the sick, the bereaved - they didn't concern themselves with whether they were "enabling" this person, there was no judgment as to whether the individual was worthy of their love and service. There was no denying someone this attention because of social caste, religion, gender,  etc. Someone with leprosy was not faulted for having this infliction and therefore ignored. He called me to be of service and so I provided him with that service. Of course I have concern for the well-being of my friend - but I have no idea what his soul-journey is about; even though I have a intimate knowledge of addiction. I believe that to offer him unconditional love will be of far greater benefit - regardless of whether he stops drinking or not. Of course there would be plenty that would argue this was not in his best interest - I wrestled with it myself. I believe preserving his dignity and freedom of choice were of more importance than anything that could be accomplished through treating him in a paternalistic manner.

For anyone that reads my blog in Victoria - if you happen to be in James Bay around the liquor store on Menzies, please consider buying a magazine from this gentlemen. If you want - let me know and I will reimburse you for the cost. Buy all he has - I will find places to distribute them to help raise awareness of the issues discussed within. If and when I find out more about his fund-raising efforts I may feature that in another blog and be looking for creative ways to support him.

Don't Kill the Messenger

I acknowledge that it is entirely possible that those that read my blog could collectively represent the reality of my "preaching to the converted." I hope to present as someone that first and foremost, is not preaching. I share my experiences, my insights (sometimes gained through painful "mistakes") and absolutely at times, my opinion. Frequently my writing is an exploratory conversation with life or different parts of myself and as such some of it is literally revelatory to me. I don't presume that anything I express is necessarily "news" to everyone else. As again recently, I was reminded of the idea, that "healing" is a  spiral path (rather than a linear one) and therefore things I have addressed in terms of "my issues" may well come around again, to be understood and healed at a deeper level, and be assimilated through my being more comprehensively; I may well revisit various themes that I'm re-remembering, or perhaps I "know" intellectually, but haven't fully integrated into my ways of being.

I would be sincerely delighted if those that read my work, find they can relate to it, that it is helpful in someway. None of it is "Sermon on the Mount." I strive for continued authenticity and transparency - while fully acknowledging - I don't represent "the way and the truth." I have a natural curiosity that will continue to question pretty much everything - I am for the most part content to know that in terms of absolutes I may not always get a satisfactory answer. All this to say, I don't share my experiences believing others don't already have an understanding of their own, about whatever it is I'm focusing on. It's one of the ways that I believe I'm making a contribution to the conversation regarding the human condition.

As a follow up from an experience I had a couple days ago that was referenced in the last blogpost I will introduce into this piece the idea that one not "shoot the messenger because they don't like the message" or "discount the message because they believe they don't like the messenger."

The other day due to a "meeting" in progress somewhere within the government offices adjacent to where I was busking, I was asked by one of the building security officers to move on. (to be fair he did suggest that I come back in about an hour or so and "I'd probably be good to go.") I went away grumbling and the come back option/invitation was momentarily lost to my awareness.  One thing led to another and I ended up getting my income tax processed (which yielded considerably more than I would have made busking that day or for a number of busking sets for that matter).

Today I decided I was going to go into town and play music again.  I had originally set my sights on a spot that is open to the elements and on the way into town on the bus, the driver's need to use his windshield wipers led me to concede the unsheltered spot was not going to work. I wasn't so sure about going back to the library - not because of events of the other day, but because I generally try not to go there too many consecutive days as I don't want to wear on the good graces of the library patrons (or the government workers). I decided to go there and hopefully get one set in where I could stay dry.

When I arrived there was the same security office speaking to another fellow up on the raised platform. He had a case of some sort open partially covered with a silk cloth.  I stood back not sure what the nature of the conversation was to see what was going to happen. Parked beside the platform was a two seat recumbent bicycle with all kinds of gear tied to it. Part of what the security is there for, is to manage the courtyard, so various activities of some that frequent the downtown core, don't take place there.

The security officer finished is conversation with the fellow and then approached me. I wished him "good morning" and asked, "if there were meetings scheduled for today?" He indicated that as far as he knew nothing slated. I apologized for be "grumpy" the other day - he laughed it off and graciously said, "compared to what can go on down here - that our interaction was a non-issue." He then said - what you've got to realize down here, is that those of us that are the visible messenger are seldom the one's from where the "request" has been generated." I indicated that I understood - "ya you guys are just doing a job that in effect sets you up  to potentially be cannon fodder; when you have to carry out the agenda of those that will remain invisible in their offices." He said of the fellow on the platform - he's a pretty easy going guy, you might be able to get a chance to collaborate "on stage" if you ask him." I asked him what he played (as he was still organizing his stuff, turned out he's a clarinet player.) I was told he was living at the tent city at present but that he was just passing through town.

I said for the moment, I was happy to let him play and follow afterward. The security officer introduced himself and invited me to continue talking with him as we walked around the area (part of his "rounds"). We had a very easy going conversation - what do ya know, he's just a regular guy and a pretty decent one at that! By then, the fellow on the platform was in full flight with his clarinet - he proved to be a very gifted musician. I received another lesson about "judging a book by it's cover" - I was thoroughly enjoying his performance, I don't often take the opportunity to listen to other performers there (I just arrive do my thing and leave). I was happy to tip this fellow for the beautiful music he was creating.

After a few selections he asked me what time it was. After telling him, he said, "time for me to get on with my day, are you here to play?" I indicated that I was. He said, "I was going to play one more, so why don't you come up here and we'll jam and then, I'll be on my way." My blood ran cold, as I have very little experience playing with others. I indicated that to him and he replied, "no big deal you just play a song that you normally sing and instead of singing it right through play the chords for the song and I'll improvise a solo." He didn't want to wait for me to get my stand set up (in order for me refer to any of my song sheets - so I said, "I know Green Green Grass of Home" by memory - will that work?" "Ya - let's do it!" We played the song together which certainly turned a few heads. When we finished he said "that was great!" I was amazed at his virtuosity and thanked him for the experience. Someone came by as I was setting up and he was putting his clarinet away and gave him a tooney - he reached in his pocket and fished out a looney and gave it to me. (our first remuneration as a duo!)

His friend joined us on the platform and was very complimentary about the blend of my voice and the clarinet - he says, the "resonance was perfect!" We went on to discuss the acoustics of the courtyard (him in far more knowing terms than me) as he pointed out various elements of the architecture that lent to the beautiful sound in there. Then he went on to tell me about the knowledge of sound and acoustics that the Benedictine monks are privy to, that is centuries old, and then made reference to the "walls of Jericho" being brought down with the sound of a trumpet ("that's not just a story - they know how to do that stuff). Again I'm humbled by his depth of knowledge as my assessment of the courtyard is pretty much, the acoustics in here are amazing!"

I can forget - the light of Spirit is in everyone and they all have their own gifts and unique expression.
The security guy chatted me up throughout my performance time there - clearly much better to befriend folks than alienate. I had a great chat with the clarinet player and his friend before I started. And with largely the same repertoire that I have performed there in the past and overall a shorter performance duration - I made the most money I ever had in that location to date!

Much could be said about the difference my attitude and energy have on a particular outcome (part of my point being I didn't actually conceive today's outcome before hand - but I am reflecting on what positively contributed to it)

I certainly gained more first hand experience of the benefit of building "bridges" rather than "walls" In case you haven't guessed I have vast experience at building the latter - more of my bridge related experience might be classified as "arsonist." Of course the wall building can be attributed to times in my life when I believed it necessary for my own preservation (in some cases which was absolutely true). Today I need to further recognize how & when I do that as part of transforming wounds and behaviour. Having the experience of "bridge-building" serves to demonstrate to me that something else is possible and is infinitely more valuable than hearing or reading the experience of another (in terms of my own transformation). Anecdotally there is value in my hearing of the experience of others as it shows me (mirrors) what is currently true for me, while I'm still having contrasting experiences - then I can decide what I want to bring into my life.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Don't Just Mean What You Say (Do it!)

As there was no shift booked today from either of my "day-jobs" I set out with the intention of busking. The forecast wasn't favourable for locations without shelter so I set my sights on the downtown library courtyard - it has the features of being sheltered, good acoustics and as far as it goes, typically, for me,  it's middle of the road in terms of financial gratuity. I was only a few songs into my set when another fellow that busks (plays various wooden flutes) came by. I could tell by his energy he had something on his mind. He waited until I finished the song I was singing and then quipped "aren't we the early birds?" It wasn't early for me, it was the general time I show up there which for the most part allows me to play and get out, leaving me time to play elsewhere if the weather is conducive, or get on with other errands etc. I'm not keen on waiting for someone else to finish playing and fortunately I'm not entirely dependent on this income (I certainly can make use of it) - but if it's raining or I don't choose to play elsewhere, I certainly don't engage the busker "turf wars."(I don't want to link my financial well-being entirely to busking so that I don't feel the same pressure that others might).

After his opening line which thinly veiled his actual agenda he - said pointedly, "one hour" I replied, no, I just got here" 
"Yes he answers, so, one hour then!"
"No actually I'm here for 2 hours" (which is the generally accepted duration and the time frame outlined in the "street performer" by-laws).
Off then he goes to points unknown.

Not surprising I suppose, that because unlike a sunny day, "performance" options are somewhat compromised therefore some become rather "heavy-handed" and frustrated when their intentions are thwarted. It's an even playing field for us all - first come first serve. I have on many occasions, when I see someone coming to play - worked it out with them, frequently I have given up the spot (share the wealth) I can play anywhere - it doesn't matter). Sure, some places are "tried and true" however all I've got to lose playing somewhere entirely different, is the time I spend doing it. Of course I love to put some additional jingle in my jeans - but I also love to sing; I don't come away with anything less if the location isn't as "lucrative." I play (pun intended) with my energy when in any location - insisting the a particular spot is the only place I can be "successful" is no different than believing I need to attend a particular location in order to connect to Great Spirit or that I need an intermediary to connect and they can deliver the message. Just the other day - I had fun and done "well" in tips inside an hour - a different performer approached, I asked him if he was wanting to play and he said - "ya- sure whenever you're done." I said, "I could be done now, I've got the platform all warmed up for you - on with the show!" His reply, "I was really enjoying listening to you, why don't you play a while longer?" A completely different interaction. I sang a while longer - then we nattered about his little back-packer guitar and I went on to enjoy playing elsewhere (not having worn out my voice and hands there).

In today's instance I decided I was going to take care of my needs (which weren't necessarily to make money playing) but I wasn't going to let this guy's aggressive approach get the best of me, so I stood my ground.  Ironically the day unfolded to encapsulate a further lesson for me in not being attached to outcomes. I no sooner started again and one of the building security officers approaches and informs me there is some meeting in progress and they have informed him to "shut down the music." In the moment I was irritated - but packed up nonetheless. Normally - musicians and the "Ministry of whatever...."seem to be able to co-exist in that locale - not so today. I don't feel compelled to have this post degenerate into a rant regarding "authority figures or government employees.  I had other things in mind to do today, this simply meant I commenced earlier than anticipated.

What turned out to be not the most favourable window for busking is certainly a stellar opportunity to write. In the last few days I have taken the opportunity to get more of my written expression where it can be visible. I readdressed the spirit of creativity itself and committed to following through on "inspiration" in order that the work is accessible. It is not for me to determine who, when or where creativity expressed through me, becomes meaningful for someone else. I do believe that at it's source, an indefinite period of time will not be afforded to the one that first was visited by a particular inspiration (doesn't mean you'd be cut off from any future connection) but creation seeks expression so if not through me - then there's bound to be another recipient that is ready to spring into action. How else do you suppose - an idea that "you had" that you shared with no one (but also didn't act upon) materializes through someone else as it's "creator?" No foul, no punishment - they were ready and willing to do the footwork.

So maybe my pledge to give my writing regular energy, focus and intention was given a bit of a "leg up" in the form of - "what has singing got to do, with building, expanding and maintaining some momentum with your writing?" Nobody is denying you love to sing - it's working for ya, and is generally positively received - however, if you intend to write and you end up singing, you're singing a song that might be tagged "The Procrastination Blues." "What have you done about your desire to be a writer today?" Did you mean it? The Ministry nor it's employees can't stop you from singing - only you can do that! If you want to sing, then sing! By all means if you chose, to sing rather than further your intention to write, go ahead and do that - you might consider doing so in a way that is supportive of your writing intention." "There is no reason you can't do both, just don't fool yourself into thinking that doing one - will magically lead to achieving the other."

There we have it - for good, bad or indifferent another blog post is conceived and delivered!