Thursday, 13 December 2018

Coming Out From the Silence

I caught wind of a rally today (through the oracle Facebook). It was to be a demonstration of support for the Unist'ot'en First Nations; who on this day, are in the Provincial Supreme Court, to defend their traditional lands, in the face of a Multinational corporation, that is intent on Fracking and pipelines right through their midst.

The five chiefs in the region have all said, "No" - the company is ignoring their rights to self-governance, determination and land management. They are ignoring rhetoric from all levels of government for continued reconciliation - they are ignoring the findings of the Reconciliation Commission; as well a U.N. declarations of Indigenous People's rights.

I have been blessed to participate in a variety of First Nations circles/ceremonies - all of which it has been said, contribute to on-going healing and reconciliation for all concerned (as we are, all in this together). I continue to consider how I participate in the "de-colonization," as the ancestor of settlers and of course, as one that has been advantaged by privilege. Today I decided this was how I would show up.

I have participated in a variety of "rallies".. I tend to approach them, with some discernment. It's my experience, that often there is what the rally is said to represent... but there frequently can be those, that show up with entirely different agendas. Even within the stated cause, I reserve the right of autonomy and will determine from start to finish, how I participate. I won't blindly follow any group anywhere. There is no collective that represent ones sovereignty and well-being at all times. I therefore, do not abdicate my power of discernment.

One of the rally components was the singing of politically pointed songs (using the tunes of a number of familiar Christmas songs)... it felt aligned for me to participate in that... I like to sing anyway & while I don't know the outcome energetically or otherwise, of putting these songs "out there;" I believe, that perhaps those on the front lines of this current battle,  might be heartened to see & hear they have support.

"Rally cries," I would again assess for myself... I can whole-heartedly say I stand with the Unist'ot'en and what they are trying to do.... I don't know, that the company in question "steals" (it wouldn't surprise me to find out they do, but stil,l I can't give voice and energy, to someone else's fabrication (without knowing the truth for myself). It's enough for me to try and express myself authentically.

There were times when the nature of the rally, what's at stake - taking a public stand, were emotionally triggering for me. Sometimes I felt on the verge of tears... How would I know where I am on the spectrum of healing with respect to colonialism, racism, my participation in the world, that has done nothing to lessen oppression; and continued to contribute to economies constructed, to advantage me, a white male and exploit the planet that is all of our home.

I'm trying to find my voice. I can remember in elementary school becoming physically sick at the prospect of giving a presentation in front of my peers. Another time, I was so completely reticent to put my hand up in the class to ask to be excused to the bathroom, that by the time the class was over and I was then walking the 20min. distance home for lunch, I couldn't hold on any longer & I let the whole works go throughout my pants.

Incrementally through 12 step rooms, I learned to speak in front of others, my voice was not welcome in my home growing up. I rarely spoke in groups of people (one on one only ) I seldom voiced my opinion - I just did what I wanted, without engaging the "discussion." Those that know of me now ... know I possess the "gift of the gab.." It might be difficult for anyone to believe I was effectively mute as a child... (no pathology of sorts... everything "functioned" ... I had a voice - I just largely surrendered it). I seek to strike a balance.. I acknowledge "listening" to be every bit as important as speaking.

The first time I saw a "performance" of the "Haka" I was stunned .... That brought me to tears ... I don't want to do the Haka... I'm not Maori.. it doesn't belong to me - it's not who I am.... what touched me upon my broken-heart; was just the power and conviction, that these people unapologetically expressed themselves..

I'm still looking for that voice ... not their voice - my voice... I sit in circles & I speak... I write and I write and I write... I've said before - the words of innumerable people from throughout history, inspire me. But then again, I don't give a shit, about what they've said. I most certainly love that they said it!! Still that is their contribution, not mine. I know the pain of a voice unheard! (at the end of the day, for me, I recognize that that silence was a choice I made)... Even if someone is "demanding" or threatening, in order to commandeer silence - it's me, that would need to comply. I'm more convinced now, that my compromised silence, is far more devastatingly painful, than anything, anyone, could inflict on me for speaking - even death.. Fuck 'em!!

I will find my voice... I am finding my voice. It will be a voice of compassionate power, flexible, but un-compromised. It will not be un-erring .. but the same integrity, that will be the foundation of my expression, will recognize when my voice must express accountability and reconciliation.

I'm more inclined now to cite something someone else has said, not to impress anyone with my familiarity with their words, or some variation of "name-dropping," but rather to give credit, where credit is due. I will show up with my words - to express my perspective. My voice cannot be developed, leaning on those of anybody else.

Will I ever say anything that is impactful, influential, significant, profound...... Maybe

Chances are I will utter them, or write them - have moved on and be expressing whatever is next & will never know, where & how, those previous words landed...

It goes without saying (actually I suppose it must be said) that words unspoken cannot impact anything...

R. O'Neill (December  13, 2018)


Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Let There Be Light.......

A repository 
Ten thousand 



Impact - denied

"Out of sight 
out of mind"

But not lost

in wait
An arid forrest
To explode
A raging
into being
Just the right

In less time
Than a heartbeat

So much
Lost potential
The annihilation 

R. O'Neill (December  12, 2018)

Monday, 10 December 2018

Attention Please (Memo to myself)

This morning revealed a day not particularly "busking-friendly" - still I reasoned, if I get into town early enough, I might be able to nab the sheltered library courtyard. The coveted spot (at least I imagine it to be so) in addition to being covered, offers wonderful acoustics. First come, first serve is the understood "booking arrangement."

I have waited around in the past if someone is near finished - but generally, if I'm intent on singing, I don't really want to kill time, doing something else waiting for the spot.

Today I was "first come!"

Not long into my set, someone came from behind, tossed a coin in my case & we exchanged thanks. Then she looked up & recognized me. When she realized she "knew" me, she said, "hey I want to take that back now!!"

"Do as you please, "was my response. It made no difference to me, I don't "need" her dollar, give it open-heartedly and without strings attached, or keep it, that's the choice of the individual. It's an abundant universe, no lack of money out there, just lack of creativity with respect to offering a service or exchange, that people will get behind (that's what I hear anyway).

I offer a decent voice and a familiar repertoire, particularly if you were around in the 70's (even if not,  many of the songs and artists of that time, continue to enjoy being newly"discovered," now).

I also offer the joyful energy of doing what I love.

None of that means it will necessary be a lucrative pursuit, never mind whether it's supported at all.

So what's with this person and a willingness to be supportive of someone she "didn't know," but suggesting she wanted to withdraw her support once she recognized me? (she didn't, who knows what energies took over and had her leave the coin where she tossed it).

Just before beginning to write this, I saw a post that read:

"Your circle should want to see you win."
"Your circle should clap the loudest when you have good news."
"If it doesn't, get a new circle."

I didn't know this person well but, hers was a presentation, that I have experienced from people I have known longer. I have seen people I know coming down the sidewalk and when they see me, they cross the street and continue on their way.

I don't expect everyone to give me money. People are funny about their money and are affected by innumerable influences as to what represents "value." If you can't wish me well, or support that I have the courage to pursue what I love - endure the challenges, succeed, fail, succeed, fail...... etc.

Well I suppose, it's like the quote suggests, my bad for choosing the wrong, support network.
Many will not support you, if you succeed where they are not. Truth be told, they would prefer, the comfort of you remaining in a place of stagnation, right along with them.

I have one foot in the world of being an employee (albeit on-call casual) & one foot (some of the time) in more what I'll call, entrepreneurial pursuit.. For my ongoing needs I will need to develop further avenues of one or the other or both. I feel very little fulfillment in the former, beyond a known income source (based on how many shifts I accept)..... The rest is I suppose, "a work in progress."

Nobody that works in the health care environment, view my "extra-curricular" activity, with any respect. I'd have to say that's appears to be true, of many of people I have been associated with.

There is (in my opinion) far too much emphasis on "credential," fame, financial standing (all constructs of a system that has no interest in people finding and living their passions. Disheartened people that have abandoned their dreams, that are resigned and ideally a little fearful (make better "employees") from the standpoint of a workplace, that is far more concerned with turning a profit for the owners, than the state of the souls of it's workforce.

I'm reminded of the crabs in bucket metaphor. There is no need to put a lid on the bucket (concerned that the catch will escape).. Anytime one starts to climb toward its freedom, the other crabs will pull it back into the bucket.

I've had intermittent support at various places in time... so I'm not going to suggest I'm a "self-made" anything. I'm not really sure that it is useful to expect much in terms of support from others.. They have their own visions, goals and aspirations. I'm inclined to think an expectation (or hope) for support is courting disappointment. I'd place myself somewhere on a spectrum, having walked away from the extremes of "lone wolf.." now trying to self-determine, a healthy balance between self-reliance, and some form of community.

I really believe one need be their own: cheerleader, motivator etc. Granted that can appear to take place at times, upon a desolate backdrop. Still one needs to build a resilience within themselves for the inevitable point in time when no one is available to "support" or those that once were, have lost interest and withdrawn their attention .

I can change circles again & again... it doesn't matter what circle you are in ... there will be those that are indifferent, some antagonistic, some will become more known, some not at all. The bottom line my support of my endeavour and ongoing belief, must remain, no matter what.

I returned to a new community I introduced myself to, not long before going to Ireland (for a month). Of course, no one knows me long or deeply there. Of those I have had a more frequent interaction with, I was invited to share (in what amounted to the equivalent of the "30 sec." elevator speal) the highlight of my trip. Frankly, when faced with such a suggestion, I just want to say, ah forget it... I'm not going to desecrate my experience, trying to jam it into your limited attention span..

I had life changing experiences in Ireland I always do... but no one else give a shit! They want to bring the conversation back to the inane. Most it would seem, have been groomed to have only a limited appetite for the extraordinary - and can't wait to restore the levels of mediocrity. So given this reality, I have to, give a shit!! I have to keep my own limited thinking in check... I don't need to be, the recipient of that, from others.

I need to weed out any & all ways that my orientation to life, is still seeking validation from outside myself - it's not uncommon, but it's also not helpful. I can forgive myself for abdicating my responsibility and buying into this paradigm. I need to continue to seek- out those places that are wounded within myself; (due to not receiving the love I required) and instead of insuring that I received the requisite love, I looked for it everywhere but from myself.

It has been & it appears it will continue to be, a significant undertaking to transform my being into a residence that supports me in a life that encourages thriving & succeeding, nurtures and holds with compassion: those times I have lacked grace, erred, or downright failed - that generally cares about my well-being and makes the necessary course alterations.

Given the time it has taken me to create this truth for myself - I don't suppose I could expect anyone else, to take that much interest in what I'm doing.

R. O'Neill (December 10, 2018)

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Down is Not Out (The Way Up Can be Seen From There)

Our great glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. - Confucius

Not the quote I had in mind originally. It was another I have seen drifting around social media innumerable times. I couldn't remember it, to quote it directly, so tried to find it based on the theme. I knew I would recognize it when I saw it. My search proved fruitless for said quote, & as it wasn't crucial to this piece. I went with this one because it has the same flavour.

Do I circulate memes? Yes, sometimes. Some, the idea held within, inspires me or offers a new perspective. Do I think the circulation of memes (regardless of "who" said them) will change my life?

Not one iota!!

Does that mean they are useless? No - not entirely. For me, I'm a writer. I wouldn't know if anything I've written to date has inspired anyone. Well okay, that's not true, I know it to be so, because I've had direct reflections telling me so. Certainly I can be inspired by an idea expressed by virtually anyone.They don't have to have attained or accomplished some pinnacle that has earned them the pedestal.

Such pearls can at times provide that wee spark, (an "Aha" moment) however, Inspiration ... without the necessary "perspiration" leading to assimilation - to me, is just like the flashpoint of getting high. It momentarily glorious, then it's gone, nothing remains but the irrepressible want to feel it again.. So instead of working toward and building something sustainable - the "quick fix" is sought, again & again & again.

But as a writer, the experience of others, written or otherwise, is not going to hone my craft. My life will inform my writing and as much as I'm willing/able, my writing will express my life.

I believe there's an assumption that the "words of wisdom," of all those that are thought to be made of something more than the rest of humanities milieu; actually live all that they write about. Some might. It's just as likely that some, left worthwhile signposts through their written works - but never quite attained them for themselves.

That tells me that, the wisdom contained in any given meme, scripture, sonnet, poem etc. must be made real for me through assimilation; or, I become aware of it, through some lived experience (or many, sometimes, of the same variety).

I came to begin pondering the idea in the above quote, because today, I lived it to the letter!

I was "on a mission" this afternoon. I had two bags stuffed full of warm clothes that I was going to drop of at the street drop in centre. I know from past donations, volunteering and brief employment that these items will go directly to people that are in need of them. Unlike many donations received by the centre, these clothes were virtually in new condition. I hadn't worn them to ragged and then "donated them."

Many people have the attitude that beat up clothing etc. is "good enough" for the likes of them. I don't share that idea. I buy half decent clothes - to try and get some longevity. Sometimes brand new, sometimes from consignment or thrift stores. Buying stuff has on occasion been for me just another compulsive way to avoid facing myself. If allowed to carry on for a while, it results in too damn much stuff!! Some of these purchases have been impulsive. Some have created redundancy. Ultimately there are a given number of "go to ..." items, clothing.. etc. etc. many things become forgotten, seldom (if ever worn) clutter and excess.

I recently walked through the downtown east side in Vancouver. The suffering was visible, obvious, palpable, shocking. It forced me to exam myself. Why should so many, suffer so much, have so little? Meanwhile some of my choices, threaten to bury me in the excess of my compulsions, perhaps accelerating me toward my own redundancy. Maybe some of the fruits of my "addictions" can be repurposed, to bring some form of comfort to those still suffering in their addictions.

So I go through my closets - two bags full are removed. I'm still not suffering any "lack." That which was removed wasn't worn. I dropped the stories that might rationalize their remaining. If the pants don't fit now, then they're gone. No intended weight loss scenario to justify keeping them. If I actually attain a narrower waist line ... I'll deal with that at that time. My "security" cannot be allowed to override someone, is freezing their ass off as I'm writing this. How can I justify clothes I don't/won't wear - remaining unused in my closets?

So I drive down to the centre - there is parking nearly at the front door (parking angels are pulling the strings!!). I get out of the car, open the back door, grab the two bags - and lock the doors (trust God but tie up your camel)

I walk across the street, one bag in each hand.. go to negotiate what should have been a "routine" step up over the curb and the next thing I know I'm airborne!!! Must have caught the toe of my boot on the curb or something..... there was no recovering, I ended up sprawled across the grass boulevard (muddied from recent rainfall) certainly the landing could have been more physically traumatic, as it was; it was somewhat like a head first slide into home plate...  Both palms slid through the mud (but weren't jammed as to cause fractures or sprains... somehow I kept my head/face from planting... Still had a bag in each hand. I was up almost as fast as going down. I heard a few oohs & ahhhs from the "patrons" that were hanging around out front. Nothing in the form of any verification of the status of my well-being.. Perhaps my dignity was being preserved. Certainly seeing someone fall is not new to anyone down there. Maybe more indicative how disinterested many people are, in what goes on around them.

I can certainly say, there would have been a time, when I was absolutely mortified over such an occurrence. Would have either beat a hasty retreat or lashed out looking to make someone responsible. On this occasion, "my mission," was no less - my mission. I brushed myself off some, realizing I was going to need a further "clean-up." I went into the centre, waited for a client to finish her conversation with the fellow behind the desk; and then, gave him the two bags, indicating they were donations for the organization.

I looked myself over, I was mud all up one sleeve of my jacket, both knees of my pants, hands.... I went back outside and around the building, to enter the drop-in area and to use the washroom to clean up some. Everyone out front of the centre, as well as those inside, were squarely occupying their world and reality, as I was in mine.

Why would such a thing happen? I fancy my "feet are on the ground.." (maybe not as much as I'd like to think)... Was I coming there ... all haughty and full of myself and my magnanimous gesture... I don't want to be that... I would like to embody some genuine humility ..

I know the hopelessness, isolation & shame of addiction ... through grace the more glaring aspects of that have not been part of my life for a very long time..  Well if there was any unconscious airs of superiority along with me... a swan dive through the mud, might be just the ticket, to take the edges of any further inflated pride.... Trust me, if it were operating where it once existed, there would be no chance, I would whisper a word of this to anyone...

Maybe my momentary lack of physical grace... was necessary to remind me of the grace operating in my life.

Parroting the wisdom teachings of others ... doesn't for a minute, mean I've embodied them (even if I can do it word for word). I've generally made it a point not to try and memorize such things, because I want to experience them organically and newly, each time I consider them.

Ironically sometimes I'm sharing memes, as a way of avoiding my own writing. Not fruitless .. for you see, now I have been given the awareness, that is what I was doing. There's no harm in it nor "social media," as a whole (but for me I must make the distinction, am I using it as a form of connection or disconnect?).

I don't know how others operate in the world. But for me I'm inclined to learn a great deal more from my falls, than I will ever learn, from the success or revelations, of someone else's life.

Maybe I'm going to fall all the way to wisdom and humility. I am truly grateful, for the grace of my creator, that helps me find the means and cause, to keep getting back up..

R. O'Neill (December 09, 2018)

Friday, 7 December 2018

Heart of Stone

I suppose it could be accurately proclaimed that my writing is inclined to meander. I don't even know at the onset how the various themes, experiences and references will ultimately weave. I further suppose if what one is looking for, is a linear ("get to the point..") offering; they will be disappointed/frustrated with what I yield.

For clarity's sake, I don't offer this introduction apologetically. This is how it will be...

Having begun thus, it might then seem contradictory that I now claim, I'm going to proceed to "get to the heart of the matter."

Seven years ago, was the first time I would set foot on the lands of Ireland. It was the answer to prayers I didn't even know I had uttered and life changing experience on all levels.

During that journey I found the stone pictured above. Through some teachings related to some of the "old ways" of Ancient Ireland, there had been mention of the use of a stone with a natural hole in it for purposes that I'm still not clear about. (Suffice to say, uses beyond the typical attributes associated with stones). It was also stated that they aren't all the common & therefore hard to come by.

Much to my surprise during my travels (which that time were only 2 weeks in & around Ireland) I found this one.

I brought the stone home with me, unaware of the full implications, beyond the recognition that it seemed significant that I found one; & another experience within that which comprised, the astounding and magical first visit to Ireland. (imagine such a journey - mystical/inexplicable serendipities - unique to me in as much as, I had never experienced such things before). Inside, I was mystified, curious, excited my outward presentation was, "nothing to see here," at times, what's the use of this occurring? I can't tell anyone (which means no further clarity) - "they'll lock me up & throw away the key." 

I had gone to Ireland that first time wondering if there would be any vague sense of my "roots" upon visiting. I was adopted as a baby and had no knowing of my ancestry until considerably later in my life.

I attended further healing/spiritual circles when back in Victoria; all of which continued to focus upon the healing pathways from Ancient Ireland (& beyond). The subject of these stones came up in the circle. On a break I went home I got mine.  I brought the stone forward when we resumed - unsure of whether I should actually have it in my possession. I was told that I should wear it around my neck and not take it off and allow it to lead me back home to Ireland.

The next 4 or 5 years were extremely challenging. I underwent long term unemployment and both my adopted parents passed in the same year. The idea of returning to Ireland never left me, the stone remained around my neck - the likelihood of actually returning, seemed very remote.

I went on to secure employment and after a long process, received additional monies from my parents estate. Seemingly overnight (though not so at all) I was in the position to return to Ireland. I was back (including two weeks in Slovenia the winter of 2016 - being overseas for a total of 6 wks. - I returned back to Victoria  for a little over a month and then went back to Ireland for what turned out to be 6 months. (from April 2017 until mid-Oct. of the same year).

I continued to attend the healing circles as well as explore Ireland as I was guided. During a process in one of the circles a multi-layered scenario came to light; that encompassed many of the energies of the long standing conflict, between the Irish and the British (it happens those are the respective ancestries of my natural father and mother). At a home I was billeted at during the workshop, one night in the middle of the night, I got up to use the bathroom. Half-asleep and unsteady on my feet, I lost my balance, I stepped right on a women from Ireland (needless to say a rude awakening).....

There was discussion and banter to do with this incident ... but within myself, I believed it to be an enactment of colonialist aggression, upon the indigenous of that country.

There was an evening circle some weeks later and the Irish/British trauma, was still glaring large in the room... Both myself and the women I stepped on were among those in attendance...

Quite spontaneously, I felt guided during the circle, to give this stone around my neck back to her (Ireland) ... the land .. the culture/spirituality etc. I was of mixed feelings doing this.. I wasn't sure what the ramifications were of giving away something that I was specifically told to hold onto... it meant a great deal to me (for reasons that I wasn't even entirely sure of) but it seemed there was something far bigger at stake, way beyond the matter of my feelings. I also reasoned I was told to allow the stone to lead me back to Ireland (and I was there) so maybe that meant my time with the stone was through... I relinquished the stone - feeling it was now, where it belonged.

Later that same trip .. while walking a beach in another part of the country, I found another stone with a natural hole right through it.. I couldn't believe my eyes. It was as though the land really wanted me to have one of these stones. There were thousands of stones on this beach....  but this one stood out like it was the only one on the entire beach.

I booked another trip to Ireland for the autumn of 2018. This time it was to be just under one month. I didn't consciously leave the stone at home... but I did. In fact one night, while in Ireland I woke out of a sound sleep - with the words ringing through me: "where is my stone?" 

During contact with a friend that was checking in on my apartment while I was away, I asked could she have a look in a couple places I often have the stone. Neither place revealed the stone. I was concerned but not excessively; because I knew that it was there, and had thought, I must have tucked it way somewhere safe, somewhere that escapes me at the moment..

In a subsequent communication, it was discovered that I had included the stone, on a small autumn altar I had created sometime before travelling.

While in Ireland I was happy to have the opportunity to attend a couple of circles facilitated by a friend of mine. Near the dates of the circles, I was surprised to learn that another friend (that's right, the same one that became the keeper of the first stone) was to be there. I arrived at the venue and it was so good to see my friends again!! 

Immediately after greeting, I was told, "I have something for you.." Really? Okay, cool, "thanks!!"

She opens her hand and there in her palm, is the original stone, the leather tie I had hung it on, all coiled around it. She insisted that the stone belonged with me!

I gratefully, though a little sheepishly, accepted it back.  In all honestly, I don't have a great deal of clarity around this stone/s. It seems evident I'm meant to have one (now two). Ireland holds for me, a sense of lineage and lost spirituality/identity... My being there 4 times now (in total 8 some months) provides me both; answers to questions beyond my awareness, while at the same time, it's the source of mystery, that only deepens each time. 

There's no question, I most certainly will be returning.  

During one of my visits, a fellow that had association with the IRA (and my tour guide) scoffed at my "heritage" ... "Oh ya, " he says, "everybody wants to be Irish."

Anger flared from within me immediately, my reply was, "Listen, I've spent most of my life not knowing my ancestry/identity," "I didn't decide, oh I think I'd like to be "Irish." After years of pain and anguish I learned that it was part of my lineage. "I'll be damned if you or anyone else, is going to take that away from me!!"

If the stones are any indication, the land (or my ancestors) or something... seems intent on leaving no doubt, of my connection!

To what end? The mystery continues to allure, confound and unfold..

R. O'Neill (December 07. 2018)

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Sometime, About Some time, Noting Something about Nothing

Time is an illusion. So we are told from various esoteric sources. Perhaps an underlying tenet, of  complex disciplines of science, which I wouldn't pretend to understand, or be conversant with.

For an "illusion," I can certainly attest, that when one messes with their customary relationship with it... one gets, hammered!!

I'm sitting in the dining area of a hotel, now having spent 2 full days back in Canada - since just after 4 a.m. (it's now nearly 6!). I was in Ireland for nearly a month, which represents, an illusory difference, of being 8hrs ahead of this "time zone."

I vaguely seem to recall that others I've heard discussing travel, mention coming or going as being the more impactful in terms of "jet lag." Seems to me, I was influenced in both directions.. I arrived in Ireland mid-afternoon" (local time) enjoyed the remainder of the day; within clock face value, of what would be something close to a typical pattern (whatever that is) for me. Went to bed around 11:00 p.m. feeling tired from a "day" of travel and then was wide awake at 3:00 a.m.!!! I remember then seeing 4:00 a.m. and 5 something.. Next awakening revealed 11:00 a.m. & the realization; that my affinity for the bed.... resulted in the foregoing of, the equally appealing secondary "B" (breakfast!!)

Having returned, my "eco-driven" solar powered techno-gluttonous watch; was readily readjusted (with the push of a couple buttons) to snap right back into this "time zone." Not so, this bag of bones loosely defined as "me."

I have been operating within what would be "average" time parameters ... expending energy, living and experiencing my current location - my body however, would seem to be proclaiming, "Feck that!!"

I was "dead" tired last night around about 7:00 p.m. (either end of the travel experience for me seems to avail a form of "tired"- that I typically don't subject myself to) - I suppose on one hand, it is a demonstration of what is available with respect to "inner resources." I think it safe to say, that kind of tired is not sustainable. We came back to the hotel room.... I stretched out for "a while.." and a "power nap" - becomes something closer to coma.  A few hours later, upon waking, the prospect of undressing and preparing, to "go to bed.." - feels far more arduous than it merits.

Gratefully sleep is attained once again. For what felt a reasonable period of "time." Nature calls - I answer - I avoid a "time check," I really don't want to know. Another short respite in bed and I'm aware; I have more consciousness of the heater/air-conditioner,  a few jet airliners winging their way elsewhere and "morning?" commuters. "What the hell are they doing on the road already???" At, ah shit... 4:00 a.m.!!!!" More to the point, why am I awake to partake, in a "pre-morning," experience.

There's not a hope I'm going back to sleep!! Now the room & another being, ASLEEP!!! begin to feel as though they are closing in on me... I can't let my "insomnia," bring someone else into the murky abyss of sleep deprivation..... Can I?

No ... this is my fate.. a quick check in to inform I'm going to take my laptop elsewhere. I will dance this one alone.

How surreal is my impression of my situation. Geographically, I'm somewhere between where I've been and where I'm going. More immediately, I'm at a table, beside an adorned pseudo-tree. I have as my audio-backdrop "the Global News" (I sat as far away from it as possible).. it is audible, but I would have to pay attention to take in any of what is being "reported."

There are people I love and care about where I've come from .. the same is true about where I'm going. Will I actually live long enough, to become adept at navigating my own heart? Loved ones left behind, loved ones with whom to reunite. Christmas..... chains of seasons past .. rattle and reverberate at this "un-Godly" hour - creating a cacophony of emotions "time-stamped" elsewhere - experienced now!!
Where and how and if, I celebrate - there will be many that will not, "lift a glass of cheer" along with me.
A long walk in Vancouver resulted in passage through "the East end." The streets for blocks and blocks, lined with survivors/casualties of mental illness/addiction/homelessness/violence/hopelessness /despair. The most glaring part of that statement, is that I "passed through." I can't begin to know, of the untold suffering of anyone of those souls. Addiction marred and wreaked havoc in my life for 15 years, I could have been walking those very streets, just the same, with no perceived way out. Maybe I should have been. I know the futility of asking "why me, why this, why that..." - just the same, I'm clear - I'm not any more deserving of being spared that fate, than anyone living there. There is no one there, that "deserves that life!!"

Meanwhile, they "news" - focuses on the memorial service and glorification of a U.S. War Criminal/President). I acknowledge his "loss" will impact his family, while at the same time, world "leaders" with lesser or equal legacies of atrocity have been vilified, and used as scapegoats for dubious military strikes,  he receives a "heroes," send off.

I suppose his passing will ensure "justice," will never be served and though perhaps truth remains unassailable .. I wouldn't know, in this case, when it extracts the requisite accountability.

Even though I was no longer able to sleep, I don't "feel," a suitable match, for the requirements of the day that I was given the jump on. Today I will make the journey back to "Vancouver island" to the wee small hamlet (which itself, would now be saying "I'm a city, damn it...") "Yeah, yeah..." whatever you say...."

To get there from here, there is a "sky-train" ride, to connect with a bus, to be delivered to the ferry, where we will join the ranks of the "walk-on" passengers (a respite in the form of the 1hr. 40 min. ferry journey) then another bus into town and potentially a last bus, in order to be delivered closer to my apartment.

The fatigue that has been fed, by packing "excess," will be compounded by the same excess. Anything I have considered about "simplifying" my life, will not provide me with the brawn or energy to meet the demands that I have in part created and lay before me. On the other hand, there are those facing today... at various places upon the face of some clock - and they face far more onerous realties than I.

I have come to know at various places "in time," that I have no idea, what I'm capable of. Through these experiences - I am unable to hold myself the same way as I did previously. I'd have to say, that is still true. Even armed with the knowing of what I have come through, or accomplished (the mental, physical, emotional, spiritual challenge & growth) I'm still inclined to "rest on the laurels" of past accomplishments; and/or, lay out a path, that isn't going to "ask too much of me."

I suspect that given the "time," my day began today, I may pay a corresponding hit later today; that might look completely contradictory to, the "posted time."

The breakfast area, is now full of hotel guests - commencing their day. "Don't they know, the day began 3.5 hrs. ago???" Of course for all I know, I might be ready to hit the sheets again, about the time I supposed to check out of here.

The world operates on clock driven, schedules - which of course have a dodgy relationship with what is actually occurring. My return trip began, with my first flight being nearly an hour later than scheduled to take off. One can hammer on the schedule cited on computers, emails, tickets... bring in as defence witnesses, any number of clocks - and it all amounts to nothing.... In this case, regardless of "time schedules," - what was relevant, was "having missed what was previously your flight to Vancouver, would you like to see about getting on another plane heading that way, or consider, an "unplanned" - experience of London." I chose the former - so I had, that experience.

I had brought down a book I found yesterday in a used book store, incase I was unable to fill my "time," on the computer. The book an autobiography of Keith Richards...  It occurs to me, (and I haven't even started the book, other than read random sections, while I was still in the book store) - that this story will represent to me an example of someone that lived unapologetically as themselves!!)

It is quipped endlessly in the media, that against all odds - this guy is still alive! I've had various experiences with "extremes." At some points the consequences have been undesirable (albeit I suppose "educational.") Other times if I had not pushed, some pre-existing envelope I wouldn't have had the innumerable amazing life experiences.

I have enjoyed the "Rolling Stones" for years. Saw them once in concert back in the early 80's.  The book appealed to my curiosity. I also had reasoned, it would be a welcome departure from "spiritual/personal growth" titles. It's possible, I won't achieve that objective through this book. Here is an authentic account,  of a life well lived. I'm clearly not going to "walk in his foot steps." But I might learn a thing or two about relationships, with time. After all, as already noted - he has outlived anybodies expectations (maybe even his own). The Rolling Stones collectively and individually, have broken all the "records," in terms of longevity of career (in "Rock and Roll" no less - that of itself, usually imposes a significantly present, finite life "time.")

"Maybe next time" No "time like the present." "Time is on my side" If not this time, perhaps another." "Time waits for no one." "Time heals all wounds" "Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time" "How did it get so late so soon?"

As can be seen, there are innumerable observations about "time." It might be an illusion, but in that case there exists a great deal being said about nothing.

R. O'Neill (December 06, 2018)

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Heart's Concerto

Your heart

Rhyme & song

The lines


To be


Do not

Pinching off



The breach

From you




(in all ways)

R. O'Neill (December 02, 2018)

Saturday, 1 December 2018

The Glare of Nowhere

Taunts and sneers
Glaring defiance
Just a hint
The abyss
Creative stagnation
With the
Fear's inferno
Be stirred
To a wildfire
The longer

Screaming starkness
 A Deafening 
Soul shattered

No further
A breath away
The form
A shroud

If not 
For the 
Self satisfied

R. O'Neill (December 01, 2018)