Saturday, 31 August 2019

Grief's Rhapsody

Profound sadness
In the house

Who then
This guest
To my

Utter deception
My frequent

That supposed
A relatively
It's necessary

From mine
I won't
To Thine

Nothing to see
Shall we
"Move on.."

An art form
Made of 

Truth is
Will be
No negotiation

A heart must 

All that
Kiss of 
"the Reaper"

It's due

It's release

Cast off
What was
What never was
And was never meant 
To be

Stranger awaits
The wings

I die


R. O'Neill (August 31, 2019)

Boundless Liberty


The right 
Tonal Mosaic

Is able
My heart


The abyss

To do so

The most

R. O'Neill (August 31, 2019)

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Can I Sing for You?

I love You 
There is 
No other

I cherish You
Brings to me
Your sweetness
To my life

Are valued
Above all else
Of my life

You are 
A precious gift
Beyond measure
In You
I am

For you 
I have
Boundless appreciation

You are 
Along with
Each beat
Of my heart

Your voice
To me
Like a song
On the 

You are
What makes 
Worth living

I depend
To guide me
Sustain me

You are
The beginning
Of my 

The Love 
My life

R.O'Neill (August 24, 2019) 

Friday, 23 August 2019

Call for Grace

How deftly

Surgical precision

Every time

Was called

Own Heart
With each

Reptilian defences 
Battled hardened
And indiscriminate 
Again & again
Churning out
Collateral damage
The war
Is over

No one
The pain
That generates
Such fury

The carnage

Of Grace

It find
A more

R. O'Neill (August 22, 2019)

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

While Trying to Engage the Spiritual Answer (I forgot what the question was)

Thirty-two years ago it was "suggested" that if I wanted to save my life - I might well consider seeking a "spiritual answer" to my dilemma. The time frame no longer is referenced to in any way, shape or form, imply that I have accumulated some sort of seniority since embarking on this quest. If anything it might more accurately demarcate the measure of my progress along with the movement of glaciers (though of course those are now disappearing at such a pace that metaphor may be rendered mute) or the return to our solar system various comets. planetary alignments etc.

I was duly afflicted by addiction. A mighty convincing motivator - though there are sadly vast numbers of those that will effectively evade this motivation and thereby secure their right of passage to the "great beyond..." So what, you might quip - we're all going there sometime anyway." True enough, however, though an addicts exit might be seen at its dramatic and cataclysmic conclusion, b more often than not; that (by then) perhaps merciful passage, has been decades of suffering in the making.

So what of this foray into "spirituality?" Some that find their way upon one of its myriad pathways become so over-zealous with their enthusiasm they believe they now have the answer for everyone else - that clearly need this!! Others believe that only the weak, naive & pitiful need consider such measures.

Well I've been weak, naive and pitiful. If I think about it, probably as recently as a handful of hours ago. So I guess I qualify on that front. I've also thought I now had the answer for everyone else; one doesn't have to look far to see humanity seems to be clambering for answers. I have gained much hope - but alas it's quite likely, I'm not "the hope." Maybe the embracing of my "high horse," was necessary to orchestrate "Pride cometh before the fall...." it has offered me that in various forms over the years - I don't know about anyone else's journey, but mine has involved a great many falls (some of them quite spectacular) - you see the nature of my wounds are such, that I needed a multi-layered suite of armour...... cover story after cover story... I suppose still only the one "persona" but the trauma of those early years & the subsequent shit-kicking I kept giving myself trying to numb the pain from that trauma - and then the need to keep that pain at bay - once I had given up "my better living through chemistry approach to life.........

Seriously I've been peeling that fucking onion for all of that 32+ years and so far all I've found is more fucking onion... Is it any wonder I'm in a stew half the time.... I'm onion to the core!!

Are my problems or my pain exceptional? They are of paramount significance to me - but beyond that no they are not. Oh I wanted them to be - surely I've suffered deeply enough to garner a "get out of jail free card..." or better yet life owes me card - ya, hand me one of those on a the biggest silver platter you can muster. Such is fitting and just, for someone of my entitlement!!!

A wrong-o there "Draper, Mason, O'Neill....." will the real Robert John please stand up!!!!!!

Has my journey in quest of inner peace been exceptional. In many ways for sure it has!! But does that make me special ... I'm afraid not. Wanted it too.... felt shitty enough about myself that I hoped it would get me a brownie point or a couple dozen. But there are those that are infinitely more enlightened than me & they have never left their village. Not that this is a competition, nor is there anything wrong with travel.

But while I'm on the topic of travel.... isn't there a lot of Ado made, of visiting "Sacred sites?" I sure tried to get my share of accolades for having done it... Ya know.... if you got a gastro-intestinal bug .... a sacred site is the nearest toilet!!!!

I mean no disrespect to any group and what they hold sacred ... I tried to raise the point in my book that the realizing of the sacred is such an individual and personally significant connection, which I believe could involve most anything...

I have been blessed to travel to many such places.... Having said that, having not known my ancestral origins most of my life and then learning of my Irish heritage - the whole damn island was sacred to me, including all of its inhabitants, the roads, the pedestrian walk signals, the sights, the sounds, the music the garbage in the street - I was there!! Seeing it, living it, bedazzled and befuddled by it ALL!! (not just the places that are deemed "sacred")

A great deal of what was significant about travel for me was for a good portion of my life I was too afraid and insecure to "travel the world..." over time I was "out there..." catching planes, trains, buses ... walking for miles - getting lost and getting found, having mind-blowing experiences and at times making some dodgy choices and subjecting myself to some harrowing and expensive cause & effects.

I even had some unexplainable "other-worldly" kinds of experience ...... I now realize that: a) these don't make me special; b) that they were "road-signs" - not the territory, nor the destination; c) the greatness of it all, had nothing to do with me, and everything to do with the Creator; d) that it doesn't matter how many "sacred sites" I visit, if after I've left, I still don't realize the sacred temple of my body, heart and soul; and direct due reverence there, and to that which created it, by doing so.

Lest we forget, for some of what are considered "sacred sites," there is conjecture that human sacrifice took place there.... now that might well have been a sacred rite to the "sacrificer," but how did the "sacrificee" feel about it. There are those that believe it honourable to die for what they "believe" in - while for others, life itself is of irrefutable value.

Maybe my spiritual awakening was - "I don't want to die before my time," (certainly not through self-abuse). Anything I've come to know along the way since that turning point - is meaningless, if all I do with it is create more exclusion/divisiveness, pain and suffering in the world.

I was on the fast-track to hell at one time in my life... through Grace I was given another lease on life; where I access, I'm on the slow boat, to enlightenment. Nothing much to get all haughty about - thought God knows I have.. I'm willing to trust, in the infinite patience and compassion of Great Spirit: it must be, given the breadth & depth of putting it to the test, which occur from the likes of me. I've not been a quick study nor always a willing student. I don't know what I know .. what's more, I don't know, what I don't know.

I have no idea how any of it works - all I know is that I was ready to throw it all away those three some decades ago - so everything I've experienced since then must be a gift - how could it be otherwise?

R. O'Neill (August 20, 2019)

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Life Brings about Suffering (no need to bring more suffering to life)

Yesterday I participated in a motorcycle ride organized by a group of riders in Victoria with an eye toward raising funds which enables then to extend a "helping hand" to families that are brought to their attention and they decide as a group how the funds will be distributed.

I don't know how far we rode (I'm going to guess it was probably between 2 and 3 hundred kilometres) by the time you considered getting to the starting venue and getting home when all was said and done.

The first portion of the day was mercifully overcast and made the ride very comfortable. Nothing to do but enjoy the scenery and some connection at the various slated stops (the "event" was a "Poker Run" so at each stop you drew a card with which to build a poker hand at the end (there were cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place finishes).

As I said the ride was, enjoyable enough and it was a good feeling to recognize the money raised was all going to a good local cause (minus the expenses of running the event).

Though a "charity" event my attention was drawn toward the old adage, "charity begins at home.." (I haven't now gone and extensively researched the writers original intent with that idea) - but I take it to mean, the "good works" need to be consistently and necessarily applied toward ones own life before directing care and attention outward (or at least they need occur simultaneously).

As it turns out most of the participants would be among what could be deemed my "peers" - some a little older, maybe some a little younger; though as I sat and considered being part of the "conversations" at the check-points (which frequently are pubs/pub-style restaurants) - I quickly realize - first of all, I don't drink. Now not entirely an impediment to inclusion, as I would say that generally the consumption was very low. As I listened to the popcorn style topics, looking for where I might engage - I soon realize, wow there are a lot of conversations around, declining health, the "old-age pension," etc. Those present, are reflecting on those no longer present, some present are on the rebound from medical realities that forbid them to participate with the same vigour that they once had. Questions abound (spoken & un-spoken) what is the prognosis for recovery? What will be the new "normal?" Could "this" happen to me?

I fully realize that just to ride a motorcycle has some inherent risk. However, I also have met and am aware of others (through media stories) that where mowed down in cross-walks while walking by motor-vehicles while they had the right-of-way." So let's be clear, there is no risk-free living!!

Just the same, this group of people seemed to share in a resounding theme of generally unhealthy choices... Some proclaiming surprise (at still being alive) - I get that, I completely understand - though I lean more into gratitude for my life (most of the time) and can really see reflected through contrast - that my efforts toward wellness over the last over thirty-two years seem to be fruitful - even considering that within that time frame I have undergone various (for example) physical transformations & then systematically undone them. Still I've been blessed not to have the litany of surgeries, maladies etc.

Don't get me wrong - pensions (or some form of ongoing financial income stream is a reality for me too - as far as I know) - I haven't had some flash of inspiration as to how to skirt that need altogether. If anything I've lived like there was no tomorrow & the repercussions of this maybe yet fully unknown. I am curious ongoing what the scriptural reference brings to bear on this matter.

19: Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth
and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor
rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

"Live and let live" rings through my thoughts.. I don't sit in judgement of what is going on around me - I do wonder where I go to find connection (but that's an ongoing story) certain it can be found even within desparately seeming circles...) I found some humanity in one of the participants that was still a member of the Canadian armed forces (ironically not where I would think to look for it) he had served in a number of different "tours of duty.." I generally don't embrace his need or anyone else's to be serving in such capacity - but he had been in parts of the world where I have been blessed to visit and I felt for his having been there in such horrific times and could at least embrace his belief for himself to do so.

I didn't want a "heavy meal" in my gut to ride with the rest of the day and (as noted in a recent post) my food intake is getting a revision anyway. My body seems happy overall with a no meat diet - so be it.. The only vegetable product elsewhere in my midst was the ketchup (oh & some onion rings) - I even heard of something called poutine/onion rings. I don't care how good any of this tastes in the moment... I know the after-math for myself.. Those that had ordered mountains of this fare - were then trying to pass off their left-overs (this proclaimed as an overture of mindfulness)... One guys rings out - I'm eating healthier these days because "my old lady" tells me I have to!!!"

Meanwhile I'm trying to live a life of personal responsibility - not to mention that if there should be any women in my life on an ongoing basis - they are not "old lady.." nor any other derogatory reference.

For God sake - eat healthy because it will effect the quality of your life - if you want to eat otherwise then enjoy that & not make it about someone else.

I am at a loss with this crowd.. to discuss what I know intimately about my bike might comprise a few sentences (& that only because, I'm never succinct about anything). My gender/sexuality etc. is not defined by how "large I live" or how self-abusive conduct myself. If I make an unhealthy food choice, I don't need someone to make that okay for me - increasingly I'm becoming aware when I'm doing that as a means to escape. Sometimes I just want to enjoy and cold cone on a hot day.

I might have known that various bastions of "old boys" thinking would hold-up in motorcycle groups (actually some of the women where more "macho" than me) & this is largely a group of "bikers" that have day jobs and have or are raising families (they are not on anyone's "most wanted list..") - just a slice of humanity that happen to like to ride motorcycles.

My point is not to point out the short-comings of others - it's more my recognition that I'm not going to continue abusing myself to fit in with any group of people. It's also sad for me to have a want for connection - but find so much challenge in that. Sure I can "hold my centre," but it gets tiring living what I identify as in the best interest of my well-being & have it be continually scrutinized by those that choose otherwise.

At the final venue (where there was to be "split the pot" draws) and door prizes - the vast majority of the group sat at the outside tables in the direct sun.... I was in heavy jeans and a couple layers of protective upper body clothing (work style shirt with elbow, should and low back "armour" & a leather vest.... I helped out some with the selling of the 50/50 tickets because I know of the value of "being of service" after that it was too friggin' hot so I went inside. Ordinarily I would have taken the layers of any even got a little sun - I don't generally care for sun "bathing" (or too much heat) & on this occasion I had two-day old tattoo work that definitely doesn't benefit from being in the direct sun.....

Eventually seeing me sitting in the much cooler climes of the pub - a few others joined me ("it's too friggin' hot out there!!!!) - "No shit, I'm thinking...." for me, it has been a life-long challenge to be me (not specifically because of my life-circumstances) more that in the company of others, as the numbers increase - I have been known to "follow the crowd.." The price of this is profound misery and as far as I can see:

Misery doesn't actually enjoy company - it's just a chorus of misery.. I empathize &, I want more, for me and all beings - I can have an impact on others through my choices, but the greatest impact still seems to be for me personally. 

"Each to their own,"  & "To Thine Own Self be True"

R. O'Neill (August 18, 2019)

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Each Tear a Blessing

With each tear drop
A sovereign foothold

A stifled voice
Rings out
From exile 
A life-long
Shaking loose
Ancient bondage
A heart
Reaches tentatively
At first
Not for long

Each taste
The pace

Now stalwartly
The embrace
It's Creator

R. O'Neill (August 14, 2019)

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Approaching "The Golden Years..." - Fuck that!!

All things remaining equal, in a little more than two weeks, I'll be turning sixty! For those of you that have already reached and exceeded this milestone, this of course is "water under the bridge," and of no significance. The major distinction is, that it is happening to me!

There has been quite a run-up to this pending occasion... yes, right you are "Mr. Wizard," some fifty-nine years!! some of the smart-alecks in the crowd might quip.

However the time I'm referring to is framed by a period of time that evades me, some now nebulous yesterdays, that has been obscured by either my increasing moment to moment presence (subsequently I'm then so completely ensconced in the here & now that I can't remember shit about what happened previously) or I'm just plain losing my mind.

At any rate some time ago I realized damn I'm "too young to feel this damn old.." a combination of personal circumstances combined and conspired to render my previous fitness level into what could have been utilized as the quintessential "before" photo. I won't go into the details - mostly because no one gives a rat's ass, suffice to say there had been too much of somethings and not nearly enough of others.

Upon taking note of my declined functioning - I thought, "fuck this," and proceeded to revamp my lifestyle. I would love to say this time it's for keeps, however, I won't be so smug or pretentious. Today I'm motivated to be mindful of my wellness - I'm not so arrogant, that I will suppose to sustain model excellence.

Here's what I know, I'm not going to become a lab rat for Pfizer et al - once again, fuck that! I will do everything in my power to reverse the decline and sustain my wellness naturally - if that doesn't work then, I will break on through, the same way.

I recently visited a Naturopathic doctor - (previous to this visit my diet etc. had already undergone some significant changes) of course there were still those harbingers of my compulsions; that were stamped for expulsion, now that the visit has occurred. In case you haven't availed yourself to one of these very comprehensive health professionals, Naturopath (loosely translated) means: "Supreme Remover" (something like Ganesh - no not in appearance, I don't want any misunderstanding of my meaning)... Ganesh of course is the "remover" of obstacles - this is fitting. At first one might think that which is being removed, is the very enjoyment of life. While actually to be restored to wellness and vitality is a genuine gift, therefore to "remove" the barriers to that, is a most worthwhile pursuit, in my estimation.

I already had attained continuity with the gym and a morning stretching and meditation time. Now I can not only touch my toes (though still a little tight) I can see them too!

We are operating on the premise that my digestive tract needs renewal. I thought I was just working at developing my own natural gas alternative to fossil fuels. Turns out yes Rob you are advancing in age, and no - that much gas is not "natural." Probably just as well, maybe by Autumn, this will all be made right and I won't then need to worry, about attending any Samhain bonfires and blowing myself and any in near proximity, into orbit.

So now, some foods to now exclude, a variety of digestive enzymes and probiotics now occupy space on my counter and are to take up residence in my colon (easily consumed with apple sauce) Fuck I'm getting supplements in apple sauce now! This is a far cry from the vision I had decades ago, of being ushered off the rock; in a haze of sex, drugs and rock & roll...

That didn't happen .... I began to seek the spiritual answer to my addictions, thirty years later I discovered I was addicted to the spiritual answer - as well as food, exercise, the internet, spending money...... (but for the love of God... I stayed sober!!!)

The whole thing has taken my head from out of my ass, and force-fed me my humanity and maybe a smattering of fucking humility......

I frequently am visited now, by the repressed grief (that was exiled so many years ago) which collides with tears of joy and wonderment - time will tell whether a "Spiritual awakening," is underway or just a garden variety "nervous-breakdown.." - again, who give a shit?? Unless I sold a million copies of "7 ways to turn your nervous breakdown into your dream lifestyle".....  Then  wouldn't the masses sit up and take notice.. Mercenary bastards!!

An overriding want, nay demand, for authenticity now dogs my every breath.... I spend considerably less time now on Facebook anyway (no there's nothing "wrong" with social media - it just happens to be one of the myriad of ways I've attempted to "numb out.." anyway the other day, I was deleting shit and mowing through people like an assassin. I "answered the call...." at some points in time - naively thinking that people actually wanted to "be my friend" - great I thought, the 21st century version of "pen-pals" - well that didn't happen! More names were amassed, as I worked at getting word of my book - "out there." That may have marginally worked, but - I look at all those names, some of which I have actually exchanged a chat or two with - many that don't give me the time of day, unless I reach out first ( again & again) .... Not anymore!!!

The naturopath wants me to have a regular physical exam (and associated blood work)... never had one of those - I guess I'll need to drop into some random clinic; apparently my G.P. retired I was told through a chance meeting with a childhood friend... No thanks for the memories (or the shares of the payments made on my BMW that your visits provided) - frankly, no we closing the practice, here's the names of other GP's accepting patients... who knows even what became of my medical records..

Anyway I wasn't particularly a frequent flyer - I always felt she was overly-fond of unnecessary diagnostic misery, so I didn't go much..

In a way I envy those that have such unbending convictions about some avenue of spirituality or another (even though I think their full of shit...) I still seek the "Spiritual answer...." for myself

I plan to spend less time reading what every Tom, Dick and Harry have to say (those were the less well known apostles..) maybe move to a small beach community and - tune-out, turn off, and unplug.....

I am no stranger to suffering and human angst..... that said, likely no more than anyone else.. Still mine, is my responsibility.. So I respect the views beliefs of others - I will not follow you anywhere and I certainly won't bow to what you believe in... I will bow, to the right to bow to whatever you choose!

So if you find yourself "unfriended," - don't take it personally (or do) I can't see the point of thousands of dormant names, on thousands of lists, on dozens of social media, upon which nobody says anything, to anybody.

If you have special request to be de-listed "personal message" me - I'll give you a special send off. I'll light a candle, as I return your name to its rightful residence.

As I sit here now I consider "60" might well be the portal to my becoming an "instrument of thy peace...."

But it's entirely possible, that I need to purge a whole lot of Piss and Vinegar first!

R. O'Neill (August 13, 2019)