Friday, December 13, 2013


Well, shit, I been meaning to write this one for a long time, and I promised it to a friend a while ago, and repeated that promise since then.. that I'd do an entry about my car. I love my car. The friend I made that promise to... Car.

I named my car Car, and also Cat, and Sister, as in - "let's go, Sister."

I bought it on Feb 29, 2008, an eclipse. It only has a birthday every four years, but man, it's a good one. We made a deal when we got together - "I have fun in you, and you run like a top." So far, so good. 2002 Honda Civic. Four door, easier to get stuff in and out. Sport front end handling. No shit. I could list some speed records here, in BC and Ontario, but that would not protect the guilty...

Car has been a constant companion through what has turned out to be one of the biggest periods of transformation of my whole life. Car is always ready to go, always ready to hit the road.

Car and I have had some wild times, from commuting to my 12-14 hour a day job in TO from Port Hope, in winter, ripping up the 401 in snow tires and machine-revving tension, to the great drive across Canada, to California. California. The best of all the driving days (so far) was the day I entered Cali the night before. I camped beneath the silent redwoods, got up early and set out for the little place I'd rented in Berkeley. I had time, so I decided to take highway 1, which splits off from the 101 and follows the coast, starting at drive-through-tree Park, through Fort Bragg, and rejoining the 101 at Cloverdale. This is one of the best pieces of road in the world.

It was a weekday, no idea which one. A middle one. Roads were pretty empty. I'd learned to really enjoy driving winding mountain roads, and I was single with no dependents. My only family, my brother, I knew would prefer I live my life than save it up for some vague later thing.. so, I said to myself (and this road is nothing but turns, with yellow caution / "slow" signs..),  "I'm going to push it on every single corner, and if, at the end of this road, I've slid at least a foot or two on every single one - I know I've done it right."

Let me explain a bit. I had cooper tires on. They have hard walls. I know, I know.. they are not a high-end tire. I get it. But I have Pirelli's now, and I think I liked the Coopers better. The rubber is harder, and I just developed the habit of sliding around corners. It's fun. When I first bought them they had sharp edges. I was then living in Trenton, ON (shithole), and working in Peterborough (yup), and those little country roads - sheesh.. I had some fun. Scared the bejeesus outta some farmers, that's for sure.

There was a 60 degree corner I took every day, with a little gravel on it, and that was the first time I got a foot or two of drift on a corner. Pretty thrilling. After that I drove on gravel roads a bunch to take the sharp edges off.

So, two years later, those tires were perfect for corner-sliding. And I actually found them safer cause you could feel the slide, there was nothing sudden about it, there were no edges left on 'em at all.  So I pulled over at the junction of Highway 101 and highway 1, and that's where I said it.

I've never been a big drug user, but that must be what hard drugs feel like - your whole brain's lit up - for six hours straight I drove without pause, motor revving, downshifting, accelerating into the turns. Fuck. It felt good. Car.

Thank you. I couldn't take this down until I had honoured you.

For the times, they are a changin.

Or..  we're a stolen Cadillac, racin' for a road block in the distance..

Car. Thanks for the adventures, those I've told, and those I will never tell. More to come. xo

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Island Trilogy II - Bowen and self-love (a life of adventure)

Winding up another weekend of adventure. Came into Vancouver for a course on Friday and went out to Bowen Island that night to hang with a friend and make some new ones.

Had a fun night of mild partying - a few drinks, some music and conversation. The next day we went out for breakfast, then went for a walk in the park. I talked to Doc Holliday (my law school pal) about life, practice, business, and art. We're on a similar trajectory of seeing some changes coming, wanting to exercise our creativity more, and still being children in the world of 'following your dreams and actually making a living'.

Then we all did the requisite skinny dip, I was first in. Yay. Life is to be lived, it is a great buffet, why say, "oh, just water please."? Nope, give me a big bite of skinny dipping with friends at every chance, please.

Saturday aft I came into Van. When I was leaving Bowen I missed the ferry. Doc H. was with me, and as I was running for it some dude's dog came out chasing me and barking. I was a bit sneery about it, but also found it funny, and it took about two seconds for the funny side to get the sneery laughing as well. A sure sign.

Dog-Dude said, "you missed your ferry, was it important that you get there right away?"

"No, not really ..  (confused inner expression)"

"So, was it important, do you need to get there.. ?"

"(slowly clueing in..) Yeah, yeah.. I kinda need to get there.."

"Oh, want a lift?"

"(What planet am I on?) .. Sure, I'd love one!"

It turned out Doc H knew Dog-Dude, so he came along for the ride, and, after a quick tour of Dog-Dude's sail-boat that he lives on, we skipped over the wave-tops in a tiny white zodiac with a 20hp outboard, and beat the ferry there by 30 seconds or so.

I remember when I was living in Ontario in 2008-9. I met this awesome Elder, and I realized, through some tough times, that I had some serious healing to do, and was not so happy with life. I asked him to be my counsellor, and it turned out he was a pretty important guy, who gives his time selflessly to causes bigger than mine. But he said yes anyway. Just that kinda guy. We never really connected for a session, but we talked on the phone a few times very briefly. He asked me my story, and I told him. He said, "Paddy Mc-aloon (not what he really said), I just have one question for you to think about - do you really love yourself?" That's what he really said.

I still think about it, but very differently than I did. Today I'm writing about it. In five words he summed up all the therapy I needed, and gave me food for thought for years and a door to step through that I wouldn't even begin to understand until long after I'd done it.

So, I got to Vancouver, and later last night went to a little party of a bunch of radical activists who are most certainly high on any 'enemy-of-the-state' lists. And my 'very-good, sweet-young-people' list. Good time.

Over the last two years I've allowed myself to slip back into suffer-mode. And when it's suffer-for-a-cause-mode, it's not any better. Ridiculous.

When I left Ontario three years ago and went on my Great Road Trip # X out of a Zillion, I didn't realize why I did it until much later. Again, the clarity came in that critical time in Northern California three or so months into it. I've written about it before: I saw that in my process of healing I had come to love myself, I had made choices that reflected self-love, and I was happy.

Chatting with a friend this morning who was gracious enough to sit and listen to my story, I heard it again and got a new lesson from it: you can write I Love You on your bathroom mirror every day for a year, give yourself notes in your lunch box, and really feel it too. It doesn't go that far. If you make choices that are fundamentally abusive, if you constantly seek to change yourself in a way that implies that your current 'you' isn't good enough - that's not love. It's a juvenile crush. You need real, mature love from yourself, and that is: Acceptance.

Once you've accepted your Self - everything flows from that - you can (and will) make choices that are in acceptance and recognition of the real you.

Heading back to my tuff little town this afternoon, slightly transformed by travel and joy. Slightly awakened, perhaps, again, not to something, but by it; by my choice to take a few weekends of my September, and enjoy myself. No "I love you's" needed. The writing is on the wall.

But now - what choices flow from that?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

his foot (Splashing into the beautiful unknown / silver and gold)

"One night years ago I came upon my boyfriend passionately embracing another woman. We were in the house of a friend who had a priceless collection of pottery. I was furious and looking for something to throw. Everything I picked up I had to put back down because it was worth at least ten thousand dollars. I was completely enraged and I couldn’t find an outlet! There were no exits from experiencing my own energy. The absurdity of the situation totally cut through my rage. I went outside and looked at the sky and laughed until I cried. 
In vagrayana Buddhism it is said that wisdom is inherent in emotions. 
When we struggle against our energy we reject the source of wisdom. Anger without the fixation is none other than clear-seeing wisdom. Pride without fixation is experienced as equanimity. The energy of passion when it’s free of grasping is wisdom that sees all the angles." Pema Chodron (my other girlfriend) (From her book, Places That Scare You) 

"I was listening to a John Lee Hooker track and I asked, 'Who's playing the drums?' 'That's his foot,' Keith [Richards] said. 'He was just kicking at the floorboards.' I was blown out of it. I left with my head in a spin and I went back to my hotel room on my own and wrote 'Silver And Gold' and tried to apply what I'd just heard to the project at hand, which was an anti-apartheid record. I called Keith the next day and said, 'Can I come round, I've got a song I'd like to play for you? Maybe you'd like to play on it?' Keith said, 'Sure.' So I recorded an acoustic version of this, my first blues song, with Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood."
- Bono, U2 By U2 2006

In the shithouse a shotgun
Praying hands hold me down
Only the hunter was hunted
In this tin can town
Tin can town

This entry, I am writing (ahem, quoting), on the day where my reason for being where I am has ended. Every minute is like a Littlest Hobo episode gone past the hour. Or am I just being dramatic? My "errand," or a part of it, that I came here to do, is done. My part, anyway.

Bullet the blue sky.

Sarah Connor, "The future, always so clear to me, had become like a black highway at night. We were in uncharted territory now, making up history as we went along."

Me, "Sarah, surely you know, there is no fate, no fate but what we make."

Ok, that's no exactly how the conversation went..
It's weird, like when I was in Ontario and my boss told me the work I'd been hired for two years to do (after 11 months) was done. There's some sadness to it, like a relationship that's ending, "One day I may lose you, lose you like I lose my sight, day falling into endless night.." where you cease to be welcomed into the mystery any longer, and like "the falling yellow leaves of our hundred other lives", a new mystery beckons, a new choice.

The temperature is rising
The fever white hot
Mister, I ain't got nothing
But it's more than you got
Chains no longer bind me
Not the shackles at my feet
Outside are the prisoners
Inside the free
Set them free

And to what next purpose shall I be summoned? Today, I just feel. Sadness. Joy. Release. Fear. Excitement. Sadness. Joy. Like a slave with no master, that stunned feeling that just makes you stare off into the stars and, and..

Ok Edge, play the blues.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Heronesque Confessions / patient pathfinding

- Whatever magic it was I had, of 'travel' or wandering-power, or maybe just joy, it's gone. Not meaning to sound negative, but somehow I've slipped into some dull dreary routine I thought I had escaped forever. It comes in many guises.

- I recently discovered that a group of seven or eight Herons flies over town at about 9:30 every night. I assume it'll get earlier as the evening shifts.

- I haven't posted for a while, for a number of reasons. Kinda self-conscious about it. And, not much to say, I guess. Those phrases are interchangeable.

and disappointing you, is getting me down

- I'm definitely not feeling 'ahead by a century'.

*Hasn't this become an August theme for me? : Go within.

- Herons hunt with single-minded focus, patience. I think Herons are nocturnal, and no-one's figured that out yet. Sounds Ridiculous, I know (that I could figure something out about Herons that is not in books). I saw one at night once, hunting. It was on the sun-shine-co-ast, with my bro Jesse James.

- Change is 'a comin'. Don't know what yet. I can feel like it like a line of hidden CIA explosives in a twin tower..

I run like a river, run to the sea...

- Was in Bamfield a few weekends ago. Started an entry about it. Deleted it. Remarked to Diana the Huntress, as a big beauty Heron flew by, out the harbour, faster than Herons fly, ridin' the wind; "Funny, for all the time I spend outdoors, I've never found a Heron feather, they're a beautiful blue-grey, as big almost as eagle feathers.."

- We walked off the dock where we had fish burgers and I had a beer, and there one was, in the weeds, in the sea. I hopped the fence and splashed knee-deep to get it. Hunting. Patience.

- I am lost. Can't find my path. I spent a lot 'a time in the woods when I was a kid (and an adult): blessed time. I learned that those moments come, especially when you're rushing, when you lose your path. Running around trying to find it = you are fucked. Stop.


Relax, look around.

Enjoy the woods. "Oh, hey - there it is!"    ;)

HHhhhhhhh.. (the sound of me trying to breathe)

Monday, July 1, 2013


Three years of Liberty. Thank God!

Freedom stretches only as far as the limits of our consciousness.

3 years since.. I left job, home, stability, 'normalcy' ... three years since I committed to completely living my life (I've definitely forgotten the commitment on lotsa days). And what that means has changed over time.. what the hell does it mean?

I sought freedom, and to yoke myself to only one thing - what I saw as my highest purpose. I wanted to be free of constraints, to do what I love. I still struggle for the balance. I travelled for almost a year, then settled here and have been working (way too much) since then. Some of my work is kind of mundane, some - I never dreamed I'd have the privilege of doing. Still, I have days where I wonder if I was/am a better 'self' when I was homeless and wandering.

Liberty, she pirouettes, when I think that I am free

I did the Radar-Schooner hike again yesterday, at high tide - took a long time.. With Diana the huntress.  It was a beautiful sunny day. Walked past some of those same dreams as two-and-a-half years ago (, this time - many have come true. Saw my eagle brother-father, for the first time in a year or so. He said again, just like he did when he first got my attention twenty years ago - "Grab your things, I've come to take you home."

And today, again, I commit to saying, "you can keep my things, they've come to take me home."

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Something extraordinary is about to happen..

I was just about to say this to my girlfriend, Diana the Huntress, and then thought better of making crazy pronouncements. We walked about another ten steps along Long Beach when an eagle flew past us by the woods. It perched, and another swept down out of the trees onto the beach right right in front of us, maybe 50 metres away.

I later posted this on facebook;

Saw an eagle feeding on a dead sea lion yesterday. Was pretty cool to watch. The female went down to feed and her partner stayed in a tree high above. If other birds approached her, they had to be below him, giving him air superiority. First he chased off a big juvenile eagle, then a male about his size, and then that male went off and got his mate and the two of them came back, and he chased them off too - with a full-fledged aerial battle with barrel rolls and screeches and everything. All this time his mate was feeding, and they were in communication both with looks and sounds. He never, even facing a pair of eagles, asked for her help, but let her eat. Lessons in teamwork from Nature. Gratitude.

Indeed. Sat there for two hours and watched them. Went back the next evening, alone, and the male came down and circled around me while his wife was feeding hungrily before night enveloped them and sent them to their roost. Wolf tracks in the sand. Waves crashing

Seconds, falling off the map..

This time I will say it out loud, "Something extraordinary is about to happen.."

Are you Ready?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pentecost II - Go Ask Alice (again)...

So, this Sunday is Pentecost again. Why would I note such a thing? I just like it.

Pentecost is both a Christian and Jewish holy-day, and because of that I feel like it has deeper roots in the origins of Christianity and Judaism - Grove-based religions, or something simpler. And, more importantly - it's when King Arthur's knights left for their great mission, their PURPOSE - to seek the holy grail.

A friend sent me a great book referral lately - Finding Your Way in a Wild New World, by Martha Beck, a Wayfinder. Honestly, I've been feeling like giving up lately. I set out on this course in 2010 and although I've made great progress, I still face frustrating obstacles that make me think I'm barking up the wrong path altogether.

So I've been reading inspiring books. Because, being inspired, I will either renew strength on this path, or chuck it and find one more true. And that will happen on its own (mostly). Also reading Instructions for Happiness and Success, by Susan Pearl, Synchronicity: the Inner Path of Leadership, by Joseph Jaworski (mentioned previously), and Eye of the I, by David Hawkins (yeah, still - I'm taking my time, alright?!).

The wild, fluid world of the twenty-first century means that you not only can free yourself from your iron cage, but that you must.

This became our central focus: finding a way to dissolve the perception of separateness... once they have experienced the shift to wholeness, they cannot deny the insight that results. Relatively few individuals working together in this way could have a profound effect on society because, according to Bohm, their consciousness is already woven into all consciousness.

A strong sense that the mission, whatever it is, is getting closer in time.

When we stop to assist a helpless beetle with a twig so it can turn over off its back and resume life, the entire universe knows it and responds.

Simply to wake to your life...

I did my first "Pentecost" entry at roughly this time last year. I didn't end up doing the ceremony I was envisioning. This year I am blessed with a sweat lodge the day before, to make me clean. We'll see what happens. I first marked Pentecost in 2010; I committed on that day to my highest purpose and expression in this life. I didn't know it was Pentecost, a friend later told me.

This will be my commitment:

I commit to living my highest purpose in this life, and I commit to figuring out what that is, and I commit to living it relentlessly until I figure out what it is.

What is it? Go ask Alice.

"Whatever it is, we move at dawn."