Loving the Sacred through Word and Image. The Ferryland – New Foundland Iceberg Easter 2017. A Word Press Production.

Nature

Ode to Armageddon …

sts109-sinai-b

Sinai photographed from STS 109 – Shuttle Columbia March 1,2002 …

I’d imagine that if Armageddon was going to take place, this is the place we would imagine the first strike to take place, or the first event. It is 3:10 a.m. on Friday morning. Nothing happened, or should I say, nothing has happened

YET !!!

If you are a listener of Late Night Radio, ala Coast to Coast for any length of time you would know that all the crazies in the world listen to this show night after night. And we have been all through the list of crazies over the last year.

We have the ads for end of days Armageddon style food sales, you know, just for those moments when a disaster takes place and you need those ready to eat meals, They aren’t just for earthquakes and hurricanes Yall !!! If you have a spare couple of hundred dollars that you can plunk down for mass storage food stuffs, and you gotta have a place to put it all, and who has a spare bomb shelter in their property portfolio ???

I hear in UTAH that there are bunkers that have been prepared for today’s calamity to take place. I have also heard that the cleansing of the righteous from the non-righteous will take place today. That God is going to cleanse the earth of the sinful and errant peoples. That only the righteous will be saved from God’s judgment.

There is a town in Southern France that is supposed to be a vortex location and that when the earth meets its end, that the aliens are going to appear there and take away all those who fled to the safety of this mountain perch.

All over the tv tonight have been every kind of end of days programming. People trying to divine what the Mayans were trying to say and what that damned calendar and glyphs really have to say, since they are woefully incomplete, and the end story is all up to conjecture.

We’ve heard over the last year all those good preacher men who have foretold of the coming Apocalypse and twice they were wrong and God did not come screaming out of his heaven to take us all to heaven and send all the sinners to hell.

That would mean all of us LGBTQ folks. Because homosexuality is all so sinful and errant of God’s ways … Oh, I kid …

Did you partake in the hysteria of the end of days? Did you buy into the end of the world? Are you hoarding food, guns, ammunition and all kinds of food stuffs? Because you know, when the end comes later today it is going to be utter anarchy in the streets. People clawing and fighting for food and guns.

And those who are prepared for the end will be hunkered down in their bunkers and nuclear safe type hovels defending themselves from the marauding hordes of people who did not listen to the council of the folks who have spent the better part of the last year telling us all this it is coming and you’d better be prepared.

All this talk of financial ruin coming to the U.S. The wars over seas and the Arab spring running into Arab Winter. You never know if the Anti-Christ is going to rise from the desert sand of the Middle East somewhere like Iran or some other backwater Middle Eastern country. Because like I said above, if Armageddon was going to take place, you’d probably be looking over there for him.

I have read that the sun isn’t going to erupt in some hellish solar flare that is going to knock out the electrical and communications grids all over the world. And at this hour, I haven’t read of any earthquakes, tsunamis or volcanic eruptions taking place anywhere in the world.

And when you wake and come upon this entry – having said your prayers to whatever God you pray to the night before, you will rise and the sunrise will be glorious – just like the day before.

And I am sure on Friday night on Coast to Coast they will be hosting a night of checking in with all those folks who have added to the mass hysteria that today is supposed to unleash on humankind.

Did the ancients get it right? Will we come to rise above ourselves and grow in spiritual awakening? Will we rise to the next level of humanity overnight? And what have we learn in this exercise of preparing ourselves for the end of the world. And what will we say to all those folks who are hiding in their bomb shelters as I write this.

Will we see a nuclear Armageddon from the East? Because if we do, for those of us who could not afford a bomb shelter – we are all goners … So I guess before I go to bed I should say my final prayers – kiss my ass goodbye and hope to wake up tomorrow morning.

Today my husband is traveling to Ottawa to see his family, and it may be his last meeting with them if we are to believe that something BIG will take place tomorrow some time. Who knows.

It’s the end of the world as we know it. And when you wake tomorrow – what kind of world will it be? And what will we say to all those crazies out there sitting in their bomb shelters and on mountain tops and those fleeing the big cities into the interior of the United States and Europe because the oceans are going to swell and swallow up all the coastal land. God forbid you know that volcano on the Canary Islands that is supposed to blow its peak and send a tsunami across the Atlantic and submerge the entire East Coast of the United States.

You are all FUCKED !!!

Shall we make a prediction of what all will happen the day after tomorrow?

Sit tight. I will report more as the day progresses.

More to come, stay tuned …


Ten years ago, did you expect that your life would be anything like it is today?

Courtesy: Pasdechance
Question: Plinky

***NOTE***

It is the eve of my tenth year of sobriety, So I am sticking this to the front page until I post my debrief at the end of tomorrow night’s festivities.

Milestones … Milestones are important. These little signposts that we stick in the ground as we walk the path we are on are useful. I walked through the gate into this land and have been traveling this path for almost ten years.

I could not have told you then, that I expected to be anywhere other than where I was in a dead end position scraping a life together trying to figure out how I was going to stay alive with all the money that was required to be paid out to fund this little life I was living.

Getting sober was the first step in making this life possible. And the group of people that I got sober with were instrumental in getting me to the point that I could look forwards. Last night I tried to pin down some dates to tell a particular story and my memory is too far gone to remember the finer details of the dates to plot on a map to say I was “here” and I went “there” and I did “this” and ended up “there.”

Suffice to say the beginning of this long journey into life began in 1994 when I first attempted to get sober. I held onto that for more than four years and a few months. That’s as close as I can get to the specific date of when I fell off the path.

There was the errant few years of uncertainty and my eventual re-arrival back at the starting point where I had been living to begin with. There are a series of memories that fall in this time period. When I arrived back in Miami – the summer of 2000. The last time I saw my parents – New Years Day 2001. Living in my studio and being called on the morning of 9-11 by Ricky to turn on the television because something was going down. But what I was doing from the summer 2000 until the summer of 2001 is missing.

I remember where I was, I think. All these points on the timeline can be confirmed. I’ve written about all of them before. I know what I was doing the months leading up to my return to the rooms. And then my final drink occurred and we reach the 9th of December 2001.

I was living. I was sober. I was hitting meetings every night with my friends. I made some connections online that ended in me coming to Montreal to visit over Easter of 2002. I came for a week, I stayed for two. Thus began the second chapter of my life in a new city, far from where I was.

If you told me then, that I would live – not just survive, I don’t think I would have believed you. But sobriety had its perks. There were a group of people in my life here in the city that were instrumental in me getting where I am today. And those people are still in my life today.

The meetings have changed. People have come and gone from my life. People are only meant to be in your life for a specific period of time. I know that some of those people were not meant to be with me longer than they had. But I had a good foundation in the program by people with some serious time in the program.

The first year and a half were spent learning to stay in my day, and live one day at a time. It took me a long time to learn that lesson. And as I remained sober and also stayed rooted in the series of meetings I was attending everything was coming as it would, in God’s time, and not my own.

Nobody tends to remark that I am still alive at this stage of the game. I think people take it for granted that I live on borrowed time. I don’t know who’s life I am living but someone has granted me this time for some strange reason. The god’s must be crazy. Why they took so many lives from me and at the same time allowed me to go on living is still that mystery I have yet to solve.

I am a medical anomaly. If you looked at my numbers you wouldn’t know that anything was wrong. These little med students I get to meet along the way are humorous. My doctor prides himself in telling the same story every time we get a student in the office. He grins and shakes his head as they look at me with skepticism. They don’t get it at all.

For the last ten years, as the years pass by, new abilities came to pass. New lessons to learn, new experiences to have. And all of it came by way of the rooms. Nothing I have today came from outside. All these years of gifts and lessons came by way of the program, because I did what I was told to do.

I had no idea when I got sober this time around that anything that has happened to me was foretold by anyone. The only exception to this story is the man I met on the beach so many years ago who gave me some sound advice. “Don’t wait to die to ask those questions in your head.” Ask them now. Find the answers now.

I guess it was fate that when I got sober, it must have been a sign from God, but the dance club I used to get drunk in closed its doors for good just after I got sober. It was a sign that I would never have to go back there and drink. But I walked by that building every day on the way to the meeting on South Beach.

All these achievement that I have been blessed with are gifts of the program. Canada has become the land of plenty. The passage of civil rights for LGBT people was a massive score for Canadian gay and lesbian men and women. We are a forwards thinking country. And many of the rights I have today came after I had moved here. Thank god for lies and people who told them. Because I have them to thank for this journey into life.

It’s amazing that so many years later, I haven’t spoken to my family at all. And in the end it was my family that made all of this possible. I know where they are and if I needed to I could go looking for them. Facebook is a useful tool, and I had my dalliance with family on facebook, that never materialized anything but silence.

But I have reconnected with family here in Montreal and the outlying areas. I had a relationship with my late great aunt Georgette before she died of cancer a number of years ago. That was a gift that came from my mother of all people. She was the one who told me that sister was still alive somewhere. And had I not visited the Mother House in Old Montreal on that fateful day, none of that would have happened.

My parents may not support me because I am gay. And they don’t, let’s not make bones about that. Their Catholic upbringing did nothing to assuage them into becoming friends with me at any point. There is error on both sides of this story. And one day Sometime maybe in the future I will get to make my amends, which has been long since overdue. but until then, all I can do is pray for that situation and hope one day it will resolve itself. But it is not on my radar of expectation.

I remained true to my heritage. I live the life I set out to find when I came here in the beginning. I followed that spiritual path that I was introduced to very early on in  my life by my grandmother Camille. It was her faith and determination that fed this journey from the beginning. Had she not taught me all that I know about today, I would never have ventured into this without something to go on.

I’ve learned a lot over the last ten years. Probably so much that I could possibly fill a book, if I ever decided to sit down and write it. But all the stories that would go into it, are here on the blog. You can read all those stories here.

We are about to begin the Fall of 2011. Lots to do and life will progress. We live only for the day. We hope for the best and we strive for the truth. Hubby’s career in teaching will begin not too far down the road. And he is looking forwards to that. I have my studies and you know I do my best and hope for the best as well.

The seasons will change and the fall will come. And soon we will celebrate the coming of the silence. That is the most important day in my yearly observance of the seasons. That night always comes, but you never know it is there until it is upon you. So watch this space. It is one of the most blessed days in my spiritual observances. We welcome the mother maiden of the silence for her season. And it is always glorious. This time of year is truly magical.

Because we see the outwards changes in our surroundings like no other place. I love the seasons. The ending of Summer, the coming of Fall, the welcome of Winter. It is all magical and blessed. Life will move with the rhythm of the seasons. We shall get there – my 10 year anniversary.

I am having conversations with an old timer from the West Island at Friday West End. I may end up joining that group and quite possibly take my cake there in a few months time.

But we are not there yet. God willing and one day at a time. This has been a brief look at what ten years of sobriety has brought to my life.

More to come, stay tuned …


28c …

Courtesy: Troll

It is 2:30 a.m. and it is a humid 28c. The humidex is 38c.

Holy Fucking Shit !!!

It was sweltering last night and I did not get very much sleep because It was just way too hot. We don’t have AC in this apartment. None of the apartments have ac in this building. Unless you hang one yourself. It isn’t supposed to be this hot in Canada.

But the globe is warming… don’t you agree?

The heat dome they tell us is parked over central Canada and over most of the United States.

I planned to get out of the house this past evening to go to St. Matthias. There is water main work on Sherbrooke street so the busses are detouring off the main down from Sherbrooke, so getting to any point inside the detour area means that you have to walk in.

It being almost 30c in the sunlight posed certain problems like staying cool. It was swelteringly hot all day into the night.

I got up around 6 and took a cold shower and got ready to go. Hubby had filled several bottles in the fridge last night so we had plenty of cold bottled water to carry with us, and he packed my bag with a couple of bottles.

I set my route to the church through all the underground city in Westmount Square and the Forum. I walked from Greene to Cote St. Antoine down Sherbrooke. I was a sweaty mess when I got to the church.

My friend Cliff was standing outside the church greeting people as they walked up, we were watching the sky, it was 7:30 p.m. and the clouds were beginning to bunch up in the sky over the city. A storm was brewing above us, I figured it wouldn’t rain for a few hours at least.

One of my friends showed up at the meeting, fresh out of rehab 3 days ago and he didn’t look very good, he stunk of beer. He sat down and we spoke to him about why he chose to drink? It is an insidious disease, this alcoholism.

He tried the “just one” experiment, which led to ten more.

Good for one, good for ten … he said…

He was drunk. Yet here he was back again trying to get sober once more. Sad this member can’t seem to stay on the wagon. He is stuck in the revolving door and it seems to be spinning faster than he can keep up with it.

It was a good meeting. I hate when people mumble … Trying to pay attention to what the speaker was saying was a problem tonight.

Mumble Mumble Mumble …

I gave our drunk friend my phone number, since I know his sponsor, is out of town for 2 weeks in Cottage Country. We’ll see what he does with it. I pointed him to the next meeting at 7:30 tomorrow morning – well, this morning. And he may hit a meeting tomorrow night.

I am going to Friday West End Friday night.

I left the meeting and walked halfway home, when I got to the edge of the detour I waited for a 24 bus to come and take me the rest of the way home, which was good because it was lightening pretty fiercely overhead. The storm was still building.

I got home a little while later and thunder started pealing across the sky. The heavens opened up and it poured down rain for half an hour. That’s the problem with these night time rain events. They flare up out of nothing, they build up to a raging storm and it drops a little rain, that doesn’t make a bit temperature difference over the city. The pavement is still steaming from an all day assault from the sun, and yes it rained but it is still 28c outside.

When it rains it only rains for a brief amount of time. The storms piss themselves out too quickly to make a dent in the days heating. It doesn’t rain long enough to impact the days heating.

Then the clouds blow away out of the city as fast as they came in. The sky is cloudless at this hour.

The seasons need to start changing already. August is only a couple of weeks away. Hopefully by the weekend we will get some relief. They are calling for the teens later on in the weekend at night, so we’ll see how that pans out.

I wish it would snow already …


Strange Occurrences …

Courtesy: Cordisre

It was a very hot day today, unseasonably warm. That made it very sticky out all day into the night. Around 9 p.m. I was standing on my balcony and looking out over the land I survey, and it was dark over the mountain, to the north and the west, it looked as if the sun had set.

At that same moment I looked to the south and there was a sunlit sky. It was dark on the right side of the sky, yet it was sunny (on the left) where it should have been much darker. I am looking Left to Right from my balcony. We face West and have a view across an expansive sky from the height in our building.

When the Sun drops below the horizon of the mountain, the entire sky darkens as one. Well. Looking to the south, the sun was still up, and I walked back inside and said to hubby that it was sunny on the wrong side of the sky. And he said it must be a trick of light because there was slight cloud cover and that maybe the sun was peeking out over the clouds in the south sky!

That maybe the sun had not set as I expected.

Then it got really strange.

The area over which there was ample sunlight a few minutes before got dark eventually. And the clouds were split, some were dark and some were blue. I know clouds don’t turn blue, but that’s the way it looked overhead. And a storm was brewing right over our heads. Coming from the south.

The sky began to roil. We could see from our vantage point that there was lightening in the sky. But no thunder yet. And it seemed that the lightening was stuck in that one patch of sky. It was stationary in the sky. And we watched for some time, the lightening streaking from cloud to cloud across the sky in a really great light show. It must have lasted an hour. The sky roiling and gaining steam.

At one point we were watching tv and a great clatter of thunder peaked across the sky, it was unusual thunder in that it went on and on. As if it was moving across the sky. Eventually the storm gained enough energy and a microburst sent pouring rain down over the city.Where did the rain clouds come from? Because before the sun set there were light clouds over the city, not really dark storm/rain clouds…

We hadn’t seen storm clouds over our section of the city, but several of my friends commented on facebook what they were seeing in other parts of the city from where they lived. The sky was in fact roiling.

I have noticed over the last two weeks that the chem trails have been appearing over the city on a daily basis. Two jets flying at high altitude, like they were coming from someplace else, and not from our city airport on the west island.

The jets were flying too high to have come from just over the mountain. And there are always two jets who follow each other on the same trajectory from west to east over the island.

Two of the jets flew from farther south and west than from over the mountain. A second set of jets on another day fly over the mountain from the north and west to the south and east. Following each other quite closely as the chem sprays from behind them in the sky.

It makes for fantastic weather over the mountain and over the city. We get amazing sunsets and roiling storms that pop up seemingly out of nowhere right on top of the city.

Weather manipulation???

Jet liners don’t usually fly over the city. They keep to a circle path around/over to the west island where the airport is. They track around the island and not across it. When you fly into Montreal, you track around the island for a landing in the West. You don’t usually see landing aircraft track over the city at all. They usually keep to the other side of the mountain.

Then you have these high altitude passes by aircraft trailing what must be chem trails over the city. I wonder where those planes originate to get as high as they do – it must be far away to able a plane to reach altitudes like I have been seeing, You can’t take off from our airport and reach those altitudes right over the city, it is just impossible.

It was a wet end to the day, a fantastic storm that popped up right on top of the city. Kinda freaky, weather usually moves from one section of the sky to another and storms roll in as the winds would carry them. Tonight, not so much. That storm parked itself right over the city and grew in the sky as if it was feeding off the surrounding sky.

You can’t help but notice when strange things happen in the night sky.

Someone is playing with mother nature …

Time for bed …


Start the Clock …

AstronomicalClock

It is raining and blustery outside. Not your favorite type of weather, kinda makes you want to stay in bed and sleep, which is what I did today. Hubby did laundry this morning and I slept right through the folding fun.

We are T-minus 48 hours from the beginning of the Holiday season here in Canada. The turkey is in the fridge thawing out and all the fixins are in the cupboard and we will be having a full turkey dinner this weekend.

The march on the Holidays begins this weekend. The dollar store, the harbinger of all things holiday has begun to change up its display, moving Halloween decorations aside to make room for the (wait for it) Christmas decorations… (shudder…)

The 7 day outlook has more rain in the forecast and temps will be dropping into the single digits. Looking at one website’s 14 day outlook, there might be a chance of flurries here and there. We shall see. There are too many green trees in the neighborhood still although many of the trees around here have turned.

That’s all for now.

More to come, stay tuned…


The Doughnuts and the Bears

camping-nc-trip-1984-85

So you all want a story? ok. I will tell one maybe two.

David and I were young then. And we were tent mates. This trip forced us to go without certain items for a period of days. We had to carry what we ate, so we did not shop for junk food or munchies. We all had huge packs that we carried our tents, supplies, clothing and our bibles.

Each night one of us had to prepare a Bible Study for the group. I need to tell you that there were some very strong personalities on this trip. And I was the littlest boy there.

So on the hike we had access to a store once. John attempted to keep me level headed and sane by limiting my access to sugar, because I was totally hyperactive. David and I usually found ways around that. And on this particular day we got around that problem. We spent a good amount of cash on goodies, sugar items and doughnuts.

Every night we had to sack our food and hang it from a tree limb so that the bears would not get our food. There was a group of scouts a few days ahead of us on the hike that kept getting hit by bears. I never saw a bear on the hike.

David and I hid our stash of sugar in our tin pot kits that we could eat out of – they were two piece pan that had space inside to put stuff. We were in our tent one night (that night) and bears came lumbering through the camp. The food was all up a tree, but we had sugar there on the ground. So what do you do to make sure that the bears dont find the sugar?

YOU EAT everything that was in the stash – licking clean the paper wrappers and licking the pots clean so as not to attract a bear to get into our tent. We laughed so hard, but it really wasn’t funny. David was a hoot…

Story two

There were little rest areas on the hike where there were shelters and one one particular day we came across this shelter and next to it was an out house. Now an outhouse on a trail was much better than shitting in the bush…

And we all took our turns in the out house. On the floor in the corner of the outhouse was a small bundle of stuff. You never knew where animals will pop up on the hike. And so I was sitting on the throne of thought and this little bundle of stuff began to move. I raised my feet off the floor and did my business and left the outhouse and its little foreign occupant.

One of the girls went in to do her business and a mouse came running out of the bundle of stuff across the floor of the outhouse and scared the shit out of her. I never saw someone come out of an outhouse so fast in my life. It was hysterical.


Ground Hog

Says SIX more weeks of Winter !!!

God help us all…


We as Canadians…

We as Canadians strive to do many things. As a people, we strive to be better people, we are good members of our communities, better stewards to the land, and we as Canadians have very strong beliefs when it comes to certain ideals, morals and convictions.

No matter where you live in Canada, we are one community. We are leaders on the world stage, We are international trend setters, and the world watches us as leaders in this global community. Canadians are a proud people of their nation, of their provinces and of their communities. We work to take care of ourselves, and we spend time taking care of our families and our communities. We work together to build strong communites, we work to maintain our land, and we work for the betterment of Canadians as a people.

We have set ideas on religious and moral issues. We believe that we must be good stewards to the land and that if we don’t change the turning tide of pollution and deforestation that our beautiful country will go to hell in a hand basket.

I as a Canadian work each day to present myself as an upstanding member of my community, no matter what that community may be, be it the HIV community, my spiritual community, my recovery community and as well my academic community.

Today I am thinking about these little guys. Who are they, where are they and are they safe. Will they ever know how they impacted our lives here in Canada and across the blog sphere? Will they ever know that there were hundreds if not thousands of people who were invested in their little lives, and also invested in the life of their so called “father.” I wonder about the person who chose to make a decision that would rock the world as we know it? To tell such a compelling story about loss, life and love.

And it brings me to the question, What kind of Canadian are you that you would do such a thing to unsuspecting people. How could you bring the lives of these children into the open and weave a story that, to me, was some of the most wonderful writing that I had ever read.

It is one thing to hoodwink one person, it is completely another beast that you hoodwinked an entire community here in blog land and that you have so negatively impacted us so badly that a number of bloggers have been led to shut down their blogs because of the scandal that has so emotionally impacted so many of us.

I wonder who you think you are? And I wonder if you realize that as a Canadian on the world stage you have brought shame to us as a country, a community, as a people and as community on the world stage. One blogger and those who are still involved in this drama are responsible for making Canada, once again, a laughing stock. You have embarrassed us as a community and you have embarrassed us as a people, as a nation.

You have eroded the sacred trust that lies at the core of blogging. You have violated us in ways that many of us did not expect from a man, whom we thought was caring, devoted and remarkably present to the world at large and on any given trail in the woods.

I don’t believe that the Cooper I knew, would accept or support the kind of heresy that you have committed upon our community. I don’t believe that Cooper would have spun a web of lies, I don’t believe that Cooper would have put his children out there and told us this story with malice intent. I believe that the Cooper I knew would abhor this kind of behavior.

So I ask you, who are you and what would you say about yourself? You have embarrassed Canada on the big stage, you have embarrassed us on the communal stage, and you have devastated us on the familial stage. And I wonder if you feel any kind of remorse for what you have done to us? I wonder if you think of the little children that were at the center of this story and how this drama will play out for them in their young lives? And as a Canadian who believes in honesty, integrity and trust, I wonder how you could break these most sacred of boundaries?

My Cooper would not have stood for this kind of behavior. He would rather have receded into the background and taken his kids off the world stage and he would have distanced himself from this kind of drama. He would not lie to his readers, He would have upheld the sacred boundaries and I for one believe that he would have a strong sense of integrity when it came to his children.

Cooper was an upstanding member of the community. He had a beautiful vision of the world around him, he knew the land like no other did. And in the immortal words of Cooper, I share with you the totem.

totem_pole_stanley_park-200x300.jpg

*****************

I stand in the great hall of the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, head bent back, gazing up forty feet to where precise images have been carved into cedar totem poles by craftsmen whose art has been almost entirely erased by time. Near the bottom of a nearby pole, a smooth-shouldered wolf rests in the shadow of a killer whale. The eye of the whale is a shadowed well.

This wood, these bones, trace the nature and purpose of a vast awareness, a living spirit in the grain, each knot and every growth-ring a secret hieroglyph worked carefully into many layers of meaning. The echo of leaves is here, the resonance of damp fields half submerged in twilight, of dark soil and tales of night. And long, interwoven strands of time knitted together by wood and human hands.

The wood has been coaxed into shape … whittled, chiseled, sculpted with broad, incising strokes … by tools of utmost antiquity, by weapons, by stones, by countless forms oiled by brown muscled skin.

The focus of the collections is northwestern …hundreds of examples … an eagle with a five-foot, intricately carved beak, a tenebrous skull shape, moons and ravens and wild spirits of the forest. There are objects of great power here. The spirit of creative work calls to whomever will listen, and as I gaze at these ethereal faces staring back from a lost age, their muted colors hiding a secret flame, once again I hear that whisper spiraling out from the primordial source of things.

This is my spiritual heritage.

The instant I reach my hand to the wood and sense a silent energy thrumming inside, I become aware of being pulled into an elemental state. The stillness of that source lies behind the dream of an ancient, verdant grove that sometimes wakes me in the night.

Dark sky, cold rain, and a ground made bright by the sinuous shapes of wood sawn fresh from the tree … ivory of birch, faded porcelain of maple, linen of alder. There is some cypress, too, its scent of lemons reaching to sting me with exhilaration. A black, rough walnut rests alongside the opened bole of a Douglas fir, its orange grain glowing from a sunrise heart. I reach down to touch the alder, and in the moment of reaching, of touching the silent wood with its living core of mystery, I become acutely aware of the life-blood of my ancestors within me.

I acknowledge that the wood’s redemption … its escape from dissolution … is also my own. We are bound now, fragments of becoming. We share the journey of the totem. The faces of the figures are hidden in my own hands and heart. The totem is a spiritual heraldry. It describes, through a vast shorthand, the indications of the unfathomable. It is a finger pointing to the beginning, a wind blowing from a pristine field of possibility. It relates the tale of meteoric iron birthed as companion to the sun. Totems are reminders to remember, and to act.

I step into the landscape of my own totem. I see my Nana, the falcon, her brow etched like the grain of rough cedar, weathered by pain, made bright with love. I hear the voice of my mother, the wolf … first a clear call, then a tremor, and finally a sorrowing wail. I feel the hands of my unknown father, the ghostly raven that I sometimes watch, looking for myself.

I am the eagle ….the one who carries and sustains, whose touch is redolent with solace.

My oldest son, to whom I gave the second name Cedar … the swift little deer … blueberry stains on his chin, shouting with joy as he runs through green fields. And my baby boy Rowan, the seal, cradled by wonder, darting into the light with luminous eyes.

I wonder what indelible traces I will leave … and they … what teeth marks from carved mouths? I reach toward a horizon of prophecy, to mentors and unknown guides, the gods and goddesses of an unbroken cord of lineage secured at the source by invisible hands.

This is where I begin.

**************************

This is the Cooper I knew and that I cared for. Do you think that the man who wrote this would have spent years weaving a web of lies and deceit? The person who perpetrated these lies terribly misrepresented the man of the myth. As a Canadian who is linked to the Up Coast, one of the most Sacred areas of our country, I say shame on you. You desecrated the land you walked on. You desecrated the holy lives that were part of Cooper’s family, or whomever family they belonged to. You desecrate the written words of traditions past.

I am ashamed as a Canadian to know that we come from the same country. I am ashamed as a member of this online community to think that someone could do such a heinous act. What you did smacks in the face of all that Cooper was. All that he stood for, all that he lived for. What you did do, you desecrated a life, you desecrated a number of lives in the telling of lies and the web of deceit. You led us all on, and I would bank my very last dollar on the fact that Cooper would never have done this kind of thing to people who were clearly invested in his life and in the lives of his children.

Shame on  you.

In reading this piece on the Totem, I am struck once again by the sheer grandeur of the spiritual meaning of the totem, and how they affected Cooper and how they grounded him to the land and his tradition. I am a spiritual man, and I can tell you that I am terribly upset that you came into our lives and you shook the tree of spiritual truth and tradition. You have walked on the grave of those who came before you and the ghosts of those men and women of the totem now haunt you and will until you are dead.

I take the sacred very seriously. And I take tradition very seriously. I asked Cooper to write for my birthday last year and he did. I believed in the ways that Cooper walked. I believed in the tradition and the sacredness of the land that he held so dear. I walked those trails with him as he led us into the woods. And what did you do to the person of Cooper? How dare you walk upon sacred ground and write such sacred prose only for us to come to find out that you were a fake.

It is one thing to desecrate the religious, it is quite another beast when you desecrate the traditions and the land that is steeped in the ways of the native people’s of that land. I believe that you have upset the spirits of the land. I believe that you have desecrated the land and the people of that land. And I think you ought to be ashamed of what you did to so many, what you did to me.

You toyed with the one area of my life that was sacrosanct. My beliefs and my traditions. You toyed with that area of so many lives, and I wonder if you realize the terrible damage that you have done to us? Cooper would never have done this to us. Cooper would never have desecrated the land and its people. Cooper would never have participated in our lives to the degree he did, only to pull the rug from under us and laughed in our faces telling us that this was all a huge JOKE!!!

Cooper was better than that. He was a better man. He was a spiritual man. He was a believing man, which totally blows my mind to sit here and think that you took such time to build this story in such detail and deceit, Who you are and who Cooper was did not jive in any way shape or form. You spit in the face of a young man who captivated us with his prose, his tradition and his knowledge of the sacred.

And for me that is the greatest sin that you have committed.

You desecrated sacred land, and for that you should be punished. You desecrated the sacred beliefs of the people of the upcoast, and for that you should be ashamed. You desecrated our lives with your web of deceit and lies, and for that you should pay. What you did was sinister and evil.

What you did, Cooper would never have done.

The person you are and the sacred man whom Cooper was do not match. How can you talk about the sacred and the land like you were connected to it at the hip, and do such evil? How can you even speak of the sacred and perpetrate such evil? How can you talk out of both sides of your mouth like that? And I wonder how you can live with yourself – how do you sleep at night?

I imagine that the sacred men and women of the totem are terribly disturbed by your desecration of their lives and their traditions. And I imagine that Cooper would never deign to do what you have done to us. What you did was deplorable. What you did smacks at everything that I believe in. Everything that I have studied and everything that I stand for.

All I can do is pray for you now. We are powerless over people, places and things.

You must make peace with the spirits of the land, you must make amends for the heresy you committed, you must make amends for the desecration that you committed. May the spirits of those you walked upon forgive you. May the spirits of those you spat on remind you of what you must do now to repair the damage that you have done to them as members of this community, as guiding spirits of the land and of the people and of nature.

May you never forget that the Cooper I knew, abhored people like you…


Second volcano erupts in Alaska’s Aleutian chain

By Yereth Rosen Tue Jul 22,

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – A second volcano in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands has erupted in less than a month, shooting steam and ash as high as 20,000 feet into the air, officials said on Tuesday.

The eruption on Mount Cleveland on Chuginadak Island took place 90 miles west of Okmok Volcano where ongoing eruptions since July 12 have captured the attention of scientists and forced nearby residents to evacuate.

The initial eruption on Mount Cleveland, a volcano about 940 miles southwest of Anchorage, occurred

on Monday, showering ash on nearby fishing vessels, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory, a joint federal-state office that monitors Alaska‘s plentiful volcanoes.

Mount Cleveland, one of Alaska’s most restless volcanoes, has continued to spew clouds comprised mostly of steam and there is what appears to be a small lava flow trickling from the vent, the monitoring group said.

“It erupts so frequently that it’s not a surprise when it erupts,” said Peter Cervilli, research geophysicist for the Alaska Volcano Observatory, noting that Mount Cleveland, which rises to 5,676 feet, erupted last year.

Cervilli called the proximity of the two eruptions a coincidence and said the two events are unrelated.

The events at Okmok, a 3,520-foot (1,073-metre) volcano on Umnak Island, have been more dramatic, prompting the Alaska Volcano Observatory to keep staff at work around the clock.

Explosions from Okmok have recurred regularly since the initial eruption on July 12, sending steam and ash up to 30,000 feet in the air and keeping the remote island’s 10 evacuees from returning home.

If Okmok remains true to historical patterns, eruptions there are likely to continue for weeks or even months, according to projections from the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

In the fishing hub of Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, located 65 miles northeast of Okmok, ash has turned skies hazy and prompted air-quality advisories from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

Airline pilots and mariners passing through the area are also under advisories to avoid the ash.


Second volcano erupts in Alaska's Aleutian chain

By Yereth Rosen Tue Jul 22,

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – A second volcano in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands has erupted in less than a month, shooting steam and ash as high as 20,000 feet into the air, officials said on Tuesday.

The eruption on Mount Cleveland on Chuginadak Island took place 90 miles west of Okmok Volcano where ongoing eruptions since July 12 have captured the attention of scientists and forced nearby residents to evacuate.

The initial eruption on Mount Cleveland, a volcano about 940 miles southwest of Anchorage, occurred

on Monday, showering ash on nearby fishing vessels, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory, a joint federal-state office that monitors Alaska‘s plentiful volcanoes.

Mount Cleveland, one of Alaska’s most restless volcanoes, has continued to spew clouds comprised mostly of steam and there is what appears to be a small lava flow trickling from the vent, the monitoring group said.

“It erupts so frequently that it’s not a surprise when it erupts,” said Peter Cervilli, research geophysicist for the Alaska Volcano Observatory, noting that Mount Cleveland, which rises to 5,676 feet, erupted last year.

Cervilli called the proximity of the two eruptions a coincidence and said the two events are unrelated.

The events at Okmok, a 3,520-foot (1,073-metre) volcano on Umnak Island, have been more dramatic, prompting the Alaska Volcano Observatory to keep staff at work around the clock.

Explosions from Okmok have recurred regularly since the initial eruption on July 12, sending steam and ash up to 30,000 feet in the air and keeping the remote island’s 10 evacuees from returning home.

If Okmok remains true to historical patterns, eruptions there are likely to continue for weeks or even months, according to projections from the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

In the fishing hub of Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, located 65 miles northeast of Okmok, ash has turned skies hazy and prompted air-quality advisories from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

Airline pilots and mariners passing through the area are also under advisories to avoid the ash.


Animator Miyazaki’s new film hits screens in Japan

This is such fantastic news. If you’ve never seen a Miyazaki film, then you must. I have an entire collection of his films.

TOKYO (AFP) – Hayao Miyazaki‘s first full-length film in four years hit screens across Japan on Saturday, putting aside speculation that the Oscar-winning Japanese animator had made his last picture.

A 650-seat movie theatre at Tokyo’s shopping and business district of Hibiya was filled with his fans, mostly children and their parents, to watch “Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea,” which the reclusive 67-year-old wrote and directed.

Inspired by the 19th-century fairy tale “The Little Mermaid” by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, the story centres around a tiny fish-girl, Ponyo, who rides a jellyfish to escape her home in the sea.

She meets a five-year-old boy, Sosuke, who vows to protect her, but Ponyo is taken back to the sea. Desperate to be a human and live with Sosuke, Ponyo heads to land again with help from her sisters.

Miyazaki is one of Japan’s biggest cultural exports. His last film, “Howl’s Moving Castle,” broke opening box office records at home in 2004 before winning a cult following in Western and Asian nations.

Miyazaki has said repeatedly in the past that he wants to retire.

The 2004 release of “Howl’s Moving Castle” was met by speculation that it would be his last film, raising concerns in Japan for the future of the lucrative animation industry.

But “Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea” has dampened such concern.

Miyazaki, who had used computer graphics since “Princess Mononoke” in 1997, decided to shun hi-tech effects in his latest picture.

Miyazaki’s second to last film, “Spirited Away,” won the Academy Award in 2003 for best animated feature, Japan’s first Oscar for a full-length work in nearly half a century.


Animator Miyazaki's new film hits screens in Japan

This is such fantastic news. If you’ve never seen a Miyazaki film, then you must. I have an entire collection of his films.

TOKYO (AFP) – Hayao Miyazaki‘s first full-length film in four years hit screens across Japan on Saturday, putting aside speculation that the Oscar-winning Japanese animator had made his last picture.

A 650-seat movie theatre at Tokyo’s shopping and business district of Hibiya was filled with his fans, mostly children and their parents, to watch “Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea,” which the reclusive 67-year-old wrote and directed.

Inspired by the 19th-century fairy tale “The Little Mermaid” by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, the story centres around a tiny fish-girl, Ponyo, who rides a jellyfish to escape her home in the sea.

She meets a five-year-old boy, Sosuke, who vows to protect her, but Ponyo is taken back to the sea. Desperate to be a human and live with Sosuke, Ponyo heads to land again with help from her sisters.

Miyazaki is one of Japan’s biggest cultural exports. His last film, “Howl’s Moving Castle,” broke opening box office records at home in 2004 before winning a cult following in Western and Asian nations.

Miyazaki has said repeatedly in the past that he wants to retire.

The 2004 release of “Howl’s Moving Castle” was met by speculation that it would be his last film, raising concerns in Japan for the future of the lucrative animation industry.

But “Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea” has dampened such concern.

Miyazaki, who had used computer graphics since “Princess Mononoke” in 1997, decided to shun hi-tech effects in his latest picture.

Miyazaki’s second to last film, “Spirited Away,” won the Academy Award in 2003 for best animated feature, Japan’s first Oscar for a full-length work in nearly half a century.


Wall-E

Tonight, being home alone, I took myself out to dinner and to a movie. Tonight’s feature is a Pixar Studio’s animated film called “Wall-E.” It was a cute movie – to sit back and enjoy the fun animation that went into this film. The short that preceeded the film was cute. If you can enjoy story telling without much dialogue then you will enjoy this film. Pixar has another HIT on its hands. They have shown that they can produce such wonderful material.

I have to say that going to the movies at the AMC theatre here is a very quiet experience. We do not get the crowds that most theatres get at the old Forum space. The theatre tonight was not full but there were more people seeing this movie than usual.

This was a cute tale of how the earth has become a wasteland of garbage and humans are traveling the galaxy on star-cruise ships – ours was called the AXIOM. A probe ship was sent out to collect living specimens that would direct the ship to return to earth and recolonize. There was a really interesting nod to 2001 A Space Odyssey with the auto pilot character on the ship, in a “Hal” like role. Eve collects a plant specimen that was given to her by Wall-E. And the whole rest of the movie was the aquisition of the plant that has to be set into the Holo-system so that the ship would be autopiloted back to earth some 700 plus years later.

This little adventure was funny and sad and happy all at the same time. You can take away many messages from the film and I will leave that to you to divine. A good time was had by all tonight.


April 4th …

Just when we thought that Spring was making an entry, I got up today to this…


Photo Essay #17 Snow on Monday 12 hours in

Time: 1:57 p.m. Monday afternoon
Cabot Square in the Summer before…

There is at least a foot of snow on the ground and deeper in unplowed areas, and it is still snowing now 12 hours into this snow storm.

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Cabot Square this afternoon…

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Looking [back] down the street I have photographed from above

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Out Front of our building

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This is a 12 foot snow drift…

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The corner / intersection next to our building…

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