Wednesday, 27 July 2016


Much to my delight, I was able to take advantage of a day off from some of what constitutes my "day jobs" today and enjoy a morning of busking! There were shift notifications for today and yesterday, but I decided I wanted two days consecutively off; before going into what will be, six days straight back working.

Though I have had some other days off prior to today, I haven't been out singing for awhile. I picked up a head cold like situation and therefore I thought it best to rest my throat. I never got unwell enough to miss any work. In fact during the day, once I was up and about; taken in both a hot drink and a hot shower, it felt as though the "symptoms" were over. But come shortly after dinner time, they would return; apparently this was the rhythm of this particular virus (or whatever it was), so I just did what I could to look after myself and trusted the rest to my body.

The time away from busking had the dual effect of my realizing I was missing singing and then beginning to wonder what if any "if you don't use it you lose it" effect might have transpired.

So today I decided to test the pipes. I was happy to see one of my favourite spots - in front of a downtown market was available; so I was able to get right down to it. The first couple songs out of the gate and finished and it felt great! I could feel my throat was a little "froggy" but that's not unusual during the first songs in the morning any time. I haven't had much in the way of "formal vocal training" but I was then trying to remember the few cues I could vaguely recall about allowing the sound to come from (I'm going to say deeper within - because already just this far into my explanation and I don't really know what I'm saying). Suffice to say, it's easier on the throat.

I was into my third song and a woman I know from encounters while I busk came by with a fellow. They sat on some street benches a little ways down from me. She got up and started singing and dancing; when the song was over she ran over gave me a "high five" (and a quarter) and said, "thank you for starting off my day in such an awesome way!" I thanked her and said, "I couldn't have done it without you!" Which is true, I was just singing and playing as I do, she provided the additional enthusiastic energy with her singing and dancing. I see these folks around, pretty much every time I play down there. I don't know what term is used now-a-days, but they would have been called "rounders" sometime ago. They all hang together and share some wine or a few cans of beer between them; some days I encounter them "sober" - other times not so much. I know only too well that those that spend so much time drinking are hurting inside, so if I can give some cause for some cheer for a brief window in that day, so much the better.

 One of the fellows came up to me and after dropping some change in my case, gestured he wanted to "fist bump" and said, come on brother, give me some of that energy you got!!" That's what I'm there for! I'm trying to get myself out of the way so that the positive energy that is available in the universe flows through me and impresses itself on who ever is open to receiving it. To be clear, I'm not the "source" I just endeavour to express "it" through whatever talent I might have.

Very shortly later, I couple of young women came along and they were dancing along with the song I was singing as soon as they were within earshot. They then put there backpacks down and really got into it dancing back and forth along the side walk - up on the benches. It's wonderful to see what I'm doing being interpreted and expressed by others (a co-creation if you will). One of the girls came over to me when I was finished the song and thanked me, offering me a "smoke;" which I graciously declined and then she says, "how 'bout some weed then?" Again, recognized her generosity I politely declined. She thanked me profusely and said, I just got through some serious trauma and you have just turned my day around!" "What do you want, money?" she asks. I said, I don't need anything, I'm happy you stopped by, thanks for dancing and appreciating my music - nothing else is necessary."

She gave me a big hug, thanked me again, found a "little change" threw that in and off they went. She didn't elaborate on her trauma and I didn't ask. In that moment and for that moment, a difference was made (as it happened they walked by again later in my set and they were still all smiles and waving so I feel good about that. Don't get me wrong - I'm not some sort to purveyor of joy - altruistically ministering  to the downtrodden;  I too feel uplifted in these exchanges,  it's certainly not one-sided.

The performance continued with a not atypical mixture of appreciation, smiles, waves and on the other end of the spectrum indifference, scowls and those doing their best to avoid eye contact. A while later, a gentlemen got out of his vehicle parked behind me and set down a animated wolf/fox head shaped cushion on the ground and then sat his beautiful little daughter (maybe 21/2 - 3 years old) right beside me. They hung out and enjoyed the music part time, while intermittently, daddy's little angel, provided him with some aerobic exercise; when she would just spontaneously get up and go for a run.

Turns out they were visiting here from Kelowna, his partner was in the store buying some supplies for their return trip. He was a "wedding photographer" and they had been in town for a job he did. It is an honour and privilege, that so frequently parents allow their young children, to interact with me while I'm playing music. Another fellow came by while I was playing, with a double stroller with two red-headed twin boys sitting side by side, grooving as they approached - he too stopped so they could enjoy the music for awhile.

It was determined while this was unfolding that the animal cushion (which the little girl had just got) was to be named "foxie." Mom came out of the store and joined them, they had a snack and listened to more music and then "tipped" me very generously (on top of having already tipped earlier). When they were getting ready to leave, the dad carried the little girl over to me to say goodbye and a round of "blowing-kisses" ensued. I asked them to wait for a moment; while I searched through my pocket and found a "gold-like" heart shaped locket. I had been carrying it around after taking a bunch of stuff to a shop for sale; a few items they had no interest in. I'm not sure what I was carrying it around for until just that moment - I gave it to her; telling her that was her own little "treasure." Her parents were surprised and touched exclaiming "you didn't have to give her something "in exchange." I acknowledged I realized that and that this was a gift. (Both the locket and the time we had all spent together!)

There certainly were no further lingering concerns about whether I could still "perform" after a somewhat lingering absence - it had been a magical couple of hours.

After I was finished I "shot the breeze" with one of the regular security guards that works patrolling in that area. Then I sat and had a snack from the market and finished the book I had borrowed from the library - "Round Ireland With a Fridge." The book was on loan to the local library from elsewhere in the province (so it had its own epic voyage getting to my hands; so I wanted to be sure and finish it before it was due back. It is a delightful story, the author has a great sense of humour. Reading the account of his experiences traveling around Ireland were both amusing and further inspirational for me; fuelling my yen for my own walk-a-bout in Ireland. My time will come.

I traded stories with another women that regularly stops and listens to my music, as we compared the "triskelion" pendants we both had. How luxurious to have had a morning such as this. Music, financial abundance, singing, laughing, sharing, food, reading and conversation; rich beyond my wildest dreams!

Sunday, 24 July 2016

What Goes Down can Again Go Up!

Todays allegory is inspired through what may have been the painful experience of someone other than me. Two days ago I was riding home from work (for those that check in regularly to my blog, yes I got right back on the horse - which is to say bike, after my "in" of body experience) - allowing due time to "shake it off."

Ahead of my was a young fellow on a skateboard (one of those "long-boards" which I believe feature increased relative stability, for faster down hill rides). He was travelling in the inside lane (occupying the entire lane) of what is a fairly busy cross-town thoroughfare.  I thought of this - rather a bold (quasi- stupid) move. The city council had made amendments to by-laws governing skateboarding; which now allows for boarding within city boundaries, though it's technically still, disallowed on city sidewalks. This guy was demonstrating some confidence to travel down the middle of the road - however his courage/bravado, was soon to potentially impress upon him some humility.

We were both travelling on a fairly level portion of the road which was soon to offer an appreciable down hill grade; that allows me if I so choose, to coast home. He seemed intend on building a good head of steam before his descent, as he was taking "great strides" to accelerate. To give credit where credit is due, his technique was impressive. Picture John Cleese doing one of his "Ministry of Silly Walks" bits - so then, the leg providing the locomotion is flexed at the hip, thrust forward with great gusto and then brought down toward terra-firma, with an explosive push equally as powerful.

He (we) were approaching an often busy intersection when he gave his already enthusiastic propulsion strokes, some extra oomph.  He wanted to get through the light (which was turning amber as he approached). The extra effort rather than accelerate his forward motion, upset his balancing stance on the board and over he goes (ass over tea-kettle). He can thank what ever he holds holy that it continued to be uncharacteristically light traffic (though not by any means a deserted road). He rolled once on the pavement (much the way the hollywood cops do across the hood of their car) before returning to his feet; feet that now needed to aid the pursuit of his skateboard that was continuing his original route without him. Cars came to a stop in the intersection (despite them now having the "green light") the skate board carrying on its trajectory, careening off the curb a few times, with buddy in hot pursuit. The board which continues to slalom along the road (as if ridden by some invisible other-worldly presence) cuts right and comes up on the sidewalk via the recessed curb for a driveway entrance. By this time the intrepid boarder has caught up, jumps aboard and proceeds down the sidewalk, as though the whole thing was part of his intended commute.

He was brushing himself off en-route - examining is palms, which I suppose could possible have suffered some "road-rash;" however, unless he got to somewhere where he could "lick his wounds" unwitnessed by anyone that had been present for the incident, there was no pause (let alone quitting).

The spill that he undertook was just the sort of thing that led me to my original assessment: brave bordering on asinine. I fully realize that the honing of any sport skill set can involve both thrills and spills, however to add the element that if you do go down, you do so in "traffic," seemed to defy good sense to me. Then again, who am I to say?

Fortunately for him, if he did sustain any injury (which is likely - pavement is not particularly forgiving; though his rolling was likely far preferable to sliding); at least he or his board didn't get run over by a car!

So what was demonstrated here; if we can just forget about debating the decision to skateboard down the middle of a city's main traffic artery.  Certainly the metaphor I already referenced re: "getting back on the horse" seems to apply here. There was apparently not even a brief consideration otherwise - he chased the horse down (sure in part he wanted to get his board back). He didn't just retrieve the board and then limp off feeling ashamed and sorry for himself; at least in the moments to follow, he made the best of the unfolding circumstances.  This most certainly was not how he envisioned his cross-town journey "going-down" (pun intended) however, he definitely rolled with it!

He certainly wasn't held by any "in-the-box" constraints with regard to his objective. Neither was he dissuaded from his intention when he experienced a rather abrupt unexpected obstacle to that objective! Given he was somewhat less advanced on the chronological spectrum - and if we hold to be true that, as such his body, will be more resilient in the face of such circumstances; it's possible that's what let him continue unscathed. It's also possible that he accepts occasional spills to be part of the journey, adjusts for their onset and keeps right on going (even if he is a little battered at the end of the day).  Either way, he's got himself a hell of a story now!

I'm grateful to this young road warrior for the fodder for another blog post and in particular, the opportunity to explore the gifts and lessons from the potentially painful experience of someone other than myself.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Scene One - Take Two (this time let's see that you mean it!)

Yesterday I was waxing on the theme of cycling and made reference to the recollection, of those lazy hazy days of youth. Of course we didn't call it "cycling" then, we didn't call it anything! It was just a given, that if that in order to get from one adventure to another, it would involve our bicycles. Who knows how the simplest of activities have come to be tagged as though an Olympic sport.

Never having had children, I don't know how many kids these days, would be afforded the freedom to "see the world" on their trusty bike. We didn't lock them and we didn't wear technical aerodynamic body condom sports apparel. Our parents thought they knew where we were but - not so much. That was the beauty of the bike, you could cover a lot of territory, still be back at a pre-agreed dinner time (more or less) and nobody was any the wiser where you actually had been. We rode and rode and rode. There never was any thought given to how far and we certainly never stretched.

Now I have made a few concessions to my tongue in cheek appraisal of sports apparel; though not of the spandex variety. I do see the value in some of the quick dry types of material. That was the objective of my quest this afternoon after work. I set out on my bike to find a couple more t-shirt style  shirts that would be suitable for work. I was wearing an all cotton shirt today and due to the physical nature of this job in the care facility, that shirt is too warm and then, it doesn't "dry" quickly. I have a few of the variety with the wicking properties but needed some more. The steady flow of work I am blessed, with means more shirts going in the laundry.

The other thing about this "sports" wear, is that it can be really expensive. So the quest for me becomes, finding what I'm looking for; without a disproportionate concern for the label, and that ideally is a good buy (some might say "cheap"). I often do very well at Thrift shops for this sort of thing, but had just been through a few yesterday; on a different quest, so I had an idea of what they had.

I also know that the retail outlets that sell clothes operate on a calendar of their own. So, though we're barely at the halfway point of summer, they are starting to mark down summer apparel; to make room for the fall/winter line - that's my sweet spot! The perfect time to strike.

I had seen a large retailer called "Sports Traders" when I was cruising around yesterday. I saw posted over their doors "closing sale - up to 70% off." This was to be my first destination. Turned out it was a good idea, but it would have been better, sooner; they had not much left. Sad to see (and hear from one of the longer term employees) that I thirty some odd year old business, was going under. All was not lost - I got to connect and hang out with his dog for a while!

The next place I wanted to check out was just down the next block. I glided into the parking lot, not a care in the world and looked for a place to ride up the walkway to the bike stands. This is where another "memory" of bicycle stunts gone bad (another aspect of those days of yore, that takes the romanticism out of those lazy hazy days). There was a small curb to traverse. I have a "hybrid" bike that has the skinny road bike style wheels; as such, not the ideal design for jumping curbs etc. However I reasoned, such a small curb won't do my wheel any harm. (I hadn't even conceived any potential harm to me).

I slowed down some as I approached the curb with the idea I would lessen the impact of riding up and over. Best laid plans (and all that shit) not only was I not going fast enough to clear the curb, all I accomplished; was an abrupt stop, which catapulted me off the seat and wrapped my genitalia around the stem of the handle bars.

I remember some of the jumps we built as kids (inspired by watching "Evil Knievel" on T.V.) of course we lacked the insight into the number of times he crashed and the numerous injuries he sustained. Consequently frequently, someone's enthusiasm for thrill-seeking was dampened when they suffered one of these assaults to their boy bits. It was always funny when it happened to the other guy, to a point; there was still, some form of innate compassion. Everybody knew how much that hurts. Of course conditioning was such, that nobody could be seen "caring too much," as long as the dude got up again eventually, everyone just concerned themselves with setting up the ramp again.

I have been the recipient of a more severe reckoning with this anatomical design flaw; on bikes, being the road hockey goalie, being punched or kicked. On this occasion, gratefully, the impact was lessened. Of course it doesn't take much to "get one's attention."

Still straddling my bike, I did my best to wheel myself up onto the side walk; before dismounting the bike. I  quickly surveyed my surroundings to see if anyone had seen my faux pas. It's painful enough without ending up "live at 5:00" on someone's phone video. Once I was satisfied that I had not been "seen," I was then free to become fully conscious of my now registering pain receptors. Despite not recently having occasion to deal with such circumstances - I immediately summoned and channeled my little league coach and his perennial wisdom: "Walk it off.... atta-babe!" (seriously WTF does that mean? - is that the best you've got?) Truth is  - that's about it. Nobody is going to apply ice, even if there were any! So one "walks it off." (I suppose this is meant to show "what yer made of) It ain't easy maintain anything like a care free swagger under these circumstances; however, it will only hurt until it stops.

It was not my intention to belabour this incident but even as I gingerly made my way into the store an analogy was forming in my mind. I can't let a good metaphor/allegory go to waste; even when it involves personal suffering!! (There you go .... "I'm walking it off coach ... atta babe?")

So then ... why didn't this work out? It was because I half-heartedly tried to jump the curb (not enough speed nor momentum) the result - PAIN! The lesson, well as they say in the A.A. rooms "half-measures availed us nothing......" by which I'm saying, if your going to do something - GO FOR IT - a half-ass attempt will often lead to a half-ass (maybe painful failure) result.

I know this story will find it's way to some that will experience it in a "preaching to the converted" fashion; you are already taking life head-on. Good on ya, if nothing else, maybe I gave you some comic relief. For some of the rest of us (to be clear I'm part of "us") I'm preaching to the perhaps could stand to be converted; in that, sometimes out of the gate we might be a little tentative, trying to play it a little too safe and WHAM!

I'm just saying, a little drive, a little force, a little forward momentum, can go a long way!

Thursday, 21 July 2016


Wind-kissed, heart-enlivened freedom
Sun-drenched gracious embrace
Singing wheels harmonize with asphalt
A joyous hum reverberates
Through a corporeal antenna
Connecting heaven and earth
Pedals bridge purpose and pleasure
City sights and sounds
Immediate and intimate
Sensed flooded
Cacophonous sound bites
Underwrite a bold visual collage
Cross-town destinations
A woven nomadic mosaic
Routes dictated by whim and fancy
Locomotion and benificiary
The entire community is my oyster
A sun-soaked mid-summer's day
Have bike will travel
Once thought the sole domain of youth
Resurrected by the young at heart

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Everything Old is "New" again

I came across a webpage today that featured "rudimentary Latin phrases." I had been reading an article that was addressing the once given inclusion of Latin; in institutes of "higher learning," in the Western world, which had since given way to English. Included in that article was the link to the afore mentioned page.

As I was skimming the various phrases and its translation I noticed this one: "faber est suae quisque fortunae."("every man is the artisan of his fortune.")

What struck me immediately was the similarity to this phrase and those that suggest "that we create our own reality." Many detractors blow off such suggestions with such weighty arguments as: "that's just a bunch of New Age bullshit!"

I'm not intent on trying to prove or disprove this claim. I don't even know what fields of knowledge constitute the full spectrum encapsulated under the umbrella of "New Age." I can't sit here now and tell you what is "legitimate" and what is "snake oil." I can't even dismiss snake oil, it might well be great for something for all I know. I don't know "the shit from the shinola." (heh, what do ya know - there's another George Carlin -ism) ... maybe George was an Avatar?! (I would have loved to hear him respond to that supposition.

I do know that medical science throws it's collective hands in the air on some scenario's and there are those that would say at that point - that's it, game over. This is not even close to being true in all situations.

I have had a fairly diverse number of experiences that fall well outside the "mainstream medical model." By no means have I experienced it all. I have witnessed others having some sort of experience (that was theirs and therefore not directly my experience or even within my comprehension) suffice to say, you wouldn't see these things happening at the "drop in clinic."

The thing about the idea translated from the latin phrase I opened with, it is attributed to a Roman "politician" that lived between 340 B.C. and 273 B.C. Maybe his contemporaries dispelled him as just another "New Age" crack-pot? My observation is that the time period he lived in is a far cry from the "New Age," yet this idea he was espousing has survived through the eons. My question then - what is the life expectancy of Bullshit? 

As it happens I remember, I also have noticed this sort of "parallel" teaching in an old book "The Power of Positive Thinking" by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. In many of the concepts he was expanding on throughout his book, he was giving biblical passages as supporting cross-references. If nothing else this demonstrates the variety of sources I have sought over the years for answers and the "passing of the torch" over the passing generations and cultures.

Once again there are ideas from both those sources that have been carried forward by more recent authors/teachers and even upstart would be writer's cum spiritual seeker/philosopher's like me.

Of course on that note all we need do, is refer once again, the Latin phrase site and it yields: "barba non facit philosophum." (a beard doesn't make one a philosopher).

I hadn't really considered that one did, however, having now digested that pearl of wisdom; I feel vindicated and heartened, by another phrase I will leave you with: "docendo disco, scribendo cogito."

"I learn by teaching, think by writing."

Monday, 18 July 2016

Truth First

My sisters “we” (which is to say) I, have failed you.
I cannot answer for the sins of omission or commission, of my brothers.
Only those of my own!

Though not my responsibility to make you “feel safe in the world”
I can contribute to an environment that supports you, creating your own sense of safety.

Have I done this always, in all ways?

No I have not.

I have too many times, allowed ignorance to prevail
Its face upheld by my silent witnessing
Misguided approval seeking of errant brothers
My fear assuring your condemnation

I have aggressively defended my knowing, out of nothing
Relentlessly clinging to the bastion of my righteousness
I refused to hear your voice
As it spoke the wisdom of your truth

I needed you to need me, to validate my usefulness
I vetted my rage and disowned my fear of redundancy
When you sought to empower yourself
I made my wounds, your problem

Afraid of my own shadow
I whistled in the dark
I took up my fight, with you, my mirror
I could not – would not, see myself

My disowned failures, cast you as the adversary
My fragmented perspective
All too often – engaged “win at all costs”
You were made a casualty, of an undeclared war

I wish I could say that I didn’t know any better
I cannot
My lust grew for the taste of the misguided “power”
To salve my perceived impotence

I knew what I did hurt you
I chose to uphold my fragile ego
Rather than admit the err of my ways
Blinded by survival instincts run amok – you were expendable

A mounting unacknowledged shame – fueled my rage
I made you a sacrificial scapegoat
To destroy myself in effigy.

I ask for forgiveness
Knowing full well the answer could be – No!
I do so with no less than the transparency
Of my sacred full confession

I offer nothing of a hollow apology
           No less
 Than a full transformation
 Of my conduct

I am responsible
For my thoughts, words and deeds
Truth is the price I now pay
I stand in contribution – as my reconciliatory action

A Moment in (With) Time

A glorious day ensues, commencing with no burning need to be up before five a.m.  A morning framed in my profound appreciation for the leisure to have a second cup of tea – an opportunity that avails upon me, a sense of the riches of Solomon, whilst be-throned upon my La-Z-Boy.

Upon this day I have been bestowed an interlude –sans – schedule (the first day following a run of thirteen days with only one day off). Clearly, abundant am I. Even from the midst of the last two days of “work,”  I allowed myself to envision, “a minimum of two consecutive days off.” I continued to be inundated with more opportunity to work longer into the days I was already working and to transform my envisioned hiatus, into more work. I held fast to the vision, declining to “bid” on shift for today, successfully securing one for Wednesday (which still allows me to entertain taking Thursday off as well).

With nowhere in particular to go and no time frame in which to get there, I basked in the lap of liberty. Various objectives began to present themselves as possibilities; with delight my backpack became the container for my collective selection.  Bike rather than public transportation caravan the decided mode of conveyance – I set out seeking adventure, accompanied by a solar presence more associated with July.

I was going to visit the library take a couple dvd’s back and inquire regarding renewing a book I hadn’t finished yet (“Round Ireland With a Fridge”). This was a title recommended to me (somewhere by someone) that was available at the local library (but had never been returned – which of course makes it “unavailable”) however; they found it for me somewhere in the province and brought it in. I had initially thought I was “unable” to renew having attempted through the regular online system and been declined (I wondered if it was due to it being sourced from “out of town” – as I had been told upon picking it up, that there were some exceptions to the regular borrow/return procedures.

There was an email address on a card clipped to the book that I had sent a renewal request email to – that elicited no response; that is, until today (minutes before I was ready to go).  An incoming email tone sounded from my computer – I was prompted to “have a look” and it was a notice extending the book until August 8th. That gave me clear direction as to whether I should look to purchase a copy of the book – as I did want to finish the story; but I wasn’t so sure I wanted to purchase and then have the book thereafter, in order to do so.

I went to the library anyway to return two of the three movies I had already watched. Such a contrast my current viewing arrangement presents. Just a week ago I went to the Imax theatre with some friends to take in a movie on that bigger than life screen; meanwhile my viewing pleasure at home takes place on my 13-inch laptop Imax).  I thoroughly enjoy a somewhat more intuitive selection of movies while at the library – mostly I have no familiarity with the titles. Sometimes I read the cover note, however not thoroughly as for example, a movie I selected “Soul Kitchen” (with the idea that I need not be particularly engaged to watch it) turned out to be in German with English subtitles – just the same I really enjoyed the departure from “Hollywood.” Last night I watched “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” – I had thought upon selecting it, that I had either read the book and/or seen the movie before. Nonetheless I brought it home. Once into it I realized I had seen it, but just the same I was moved and inspired with rediscovery.

As I came out of the library I observed a “shift change” of a couple of street performers I’m acquainted with. There they were doing what they do (doing what I sometimes do) – it was deeply satisfying to consider that sometimes “doing that” serves me on many levels, today there was nothing to dictate that I “should” be doing it. I currently have a need to be considerate of some sort of "body language" that attended me in the form of intermittent “head-cold” like symptoms; therefore singing might well be an exertion today that doesn’t serve.

I got on my way with a couple of more movies (I love that they are free and being “older releases,” I have them for at least a week; so I can get to them if and when it works, before they are due back).

My next envisioned visit was to a local watch repair shop, I had this old watch I found in my mom’s dresser when I was clearing out their house. I also found an old watch chain that belonged to my dad’s dad (which as it happens also has my initials – well that is to say, it has the initials of what is my “legal name.” At some point, when I complete the transition to the “O’Neill” clan, I suppose then the chain will demarcate – where I came from, in order to stand in where I came from – which then will be where I am.

The watch “didn’t work,” so I wanted to get an estimate on its repair. It looks a little bit like an old “pocket watch” though not with the closing cover. I had envisioned removing the strap and hanging it on the chain.  This particular shop I have visited various times with watch repair scenarios. I suppose according to some schools of thought all encounters be they “business transactions” or otherwise, are “gifts” (or therein contain gifts) – invariably, every time I go to this shop; (albeit infrequent) I’m clear that I’m in the presence of said gifts! It’s time and again an experience that makes me feel like generating more support for their business even when I don’t currently have anymore – just for the sheer pleasure of it. I don’t know exactly why I don’t feel this way regarding other interactions?

The fellow pops the back of the watch open and looks at it through his magnifying eye-loupe. I guess part of what appeals to me is that though they carry all sorts of “modern” watches, this gentlemen represents “a time gone by” (pun intended) – he fixes things, if possible, doesn’t just throw it away.

Just the other day on my walk to the park (which was featured in another blog post) there was a “big screen” t.v. on the boulevard with a “FREE – works well, moving, nowhere to put it” sign on it. I had to laugh at myself as I briefly considered what it would take to wheel it back to my place. Fortunately, I’ve been there done that! Some years ago I had one of those behemoths! I was stunned at this thing sitting abandoned on the boulevard. In it’s “hay-day” it probably commanded a price somewhere between $3500 – 5000) now there it sat, redundant and free! Trust me, even if you acquire it for nothing – it is not “free.” At some point it will cost you: time, money, energy or all the above. I was fortunate mine still worked when I decided to “free” myself of it. I found a local non-profit that wanted it for their women’s shelter for “movie nights.” They even came and picked it up. Otherwise when they cease to function, you are faced with a huge repair bill, or the monumental task of dealing with this significantly inanimate hulk.

The watch repair fellow says “seems to be working fine” needed winding. (oh ya, I remember now, that once was a requirement of watches – I flashed to a line from an old George Carlin bit: “I don’t know whether to shit or wind my watch…… Maybe I’ll just shit on my watch!!!)

“Good thing it works … probably $150.00 dollars to repair”, he says.  Not really worth it – nobody fixes these old watches anymore. Not worth anything – unless you have a gold case, even then, just the case is salvaged for the gold – don’t fix the watch. Sentimental value only! Be very careful with this watch, not shock proof……. Ha-ha-ha, not even dust-proof! Nope not a gold case – there you go – sentimental value.. They don’t even keep time, but it’s working!!

“What do I owe you?” “Nothing”, he says. He had taken off the strap and I hung it on the chain. Then I let it swing back and forth and said, “look now I can hypnotize people!”

Don’t swing the watch …… they’re not shock proof, sentimental value only!!

No gold in the watch – but certainly the mother lode in value regardless. “Wind the watch!!.. humbling and a reminder, I can always learn newly (or be reminded of an old idea I’ve forgotten) The watch was a conundrum sitting at home; an answer revealed, when I became willing to seek it from someone else. “They don’t keep time anyway- only sentimental value…” There is more important things than “time” and ultimately time doesn’t really matter (nor exist at all….)

As I sit here writing this now (some three hours after being at the shop, the watch is still running and has “lost only a couple of minutes.” The value of the watch is the part it played in the “quest” it created – how many – days, weeks, months, years are lost – “living and dying” over minutes? Experiences are denied or obscured while priority is given to “how much time it took or will take…. Maybe too much “value given to sentiment?”

I knew my intended journey was going to involve getting to Beacon Hill Park, by that time the “itinerary” took the shape of gastronomical delight, to enjoy in combination with, nature’s embrace.

I went by a local market and got myself some “picnic food” to have at the park. As entered the park I began to seek somewhere I could enjoy my food and some shade. As I approached the “band shell” it became apparent there was a performance underway. I believe it was an all women’s choir (as far as could tell from my vantage point). I found shade beneath tree (where I continue to sit now, though the concert is long over).   I’m now like some twenty-first century seeker – my “Bodhi tree” a Douglas Fir (though I have over the last number of years come to be associated with the “Green Man” – I don’t know at present what, the tree might have been called prior to the colonialist “Sir” James Douglas and his band of privateers, pirates and cultural dismantle-ists arrival. Perhaps another quest for another day! My “cushion” the padded case for my laptop. How luxurious – space both inside and out – food not just a minimal portion with which to sustain life, but a feast; while it’s consumption exceeds it’s simple fare, nourishing heart and soul.

The choir’s “encore selection” “Parting Glass” – the bevy of angels weave harmonies that stir the voices of the O’Neill’s through the ground I sit on, reverberating in my heart, conjure my eyes a wash with a love that surpasses “time and sentiment;” that beckons from another time and is saturated in sentiment like myst hung upon the bog.

An old watch from time past; a throw-back to yester-year, “doesn’t even keep time,” but it opens the door to the profound present.

“Not worth much, only sentimental value!”

Priceless I’d say!