What is the answer?

Vainglory hope is the answer. How many people have been puzzled by life, hoping desperately to find an answer to the meaning of it all, but die before they find it? I think most, like 99.9 percent.

“Oh, Tim’s full of doom and gloom tonight!”. I may be. But you know, I’m 57 now (2016). 7 years ago, were it not for modern medicine, I’d be 7 years dead. What’s that all mean? That “God” has some plan for me, which is why I’m still alive today? I doubt it. If he has, I haven’t figured it out yet, 7 years later. I’d like to hope that God had some sort of special plan for me, but you know, at this stage of life and living, I’ve learned a lot, and am ok being a bit skeptical now.

The fact is, as I said above, most people die before they figure life out, before they have their epiphany, before they have the “Damascas Road” experience. That’s just the way it is. Why? I dunno.

What can we make of these dismal statistics? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I don’t think we were created for “something special”, folks. Yes, we are each unique and wonderful human beings, but that’s as far as it goes, I think. Whatever we can give or do through to the end of today is itself a huge blessing. I know.

As the bible says, “For today we live and tomorrow we die”. Maybe that’s really it! If we can keep that in mind each day that we awaken, then we might make a difference in the lives of the people around us for that next day’s grace. If we don’t, well…no one will really notice. Oh well.

Today is all we have, folks. Tomorrow is a crap-shoot, a blessing if given…another day to make another day count for those around us. Let’s do at least that.

Summer Heat

Fir tree paintingHardly a lovely, cool evening like I last described. Today it’s really hot. Every summer we usually get a few weeks of hot, hot weather. Ok, hot for us here on the West Coast; high 70’s to upper 80’s. But we’re not used to the heat. My spoiled bag of bones finds it unpleasant. I can’t imagine other countries where the heat soars easily into the 90’s or above 100 even, for months.

I had the luxury of going for a run earlier, before the heat set right in. I hit the wooded trails not far from here, in the University of British Columbia endowment lands. Simply glorious. Cooler in the forest, protected by the tree tops. I ran with a special joy today — really seeing, smelling and feeling the beauty around me. Reflecting on my ability, at 55 years of age, a major health scare behind me, to still be able to go out to run, to pound my way throughout the welcoming trails, to fully, completely breath in the pine scents and sweet soil — has to be a miracle. I started running when I was about 8! Oh, gratitude! Life — God — has truly blessed me with these leg’s that can still run, with these these lungs that continue to breath, with this heart that knows and feels and appreciates my real fortune. Indeed, I am a fortunate man. May you find and realize the same…

No recurrences here!

My lung-scan results just came back “all clear”. There is no evidence of present or past clots! What a relief. Life can continue again…

They still don’t know what caused them in the first place. When that happens they suspect undetected cancer. Investigation for that continues, but so far so good.

What is life without fear? Is it possible? Krishnamuriti, whose writings I have studied for years, suggests that it is possible to live without fear. But very, very few people achieve that state of freedom. Even HE was frustrated by that sad fact.

What is fear? We’ll investigate that later.




Today, I’ve had some recurrence of the same symptoms I had which led up to my September hospitalization for Pulmonary Emboli (Lung blood-clots). Coincidentally, and thankfully, I have been scheduled for the last 2 months for my 6 month follow up with the specialist tomorrow. They will be doing another lung-scan and an echo-cardiogram. Hopefully those will show that all is well, although I cannot dismiss the way I have felt today, so I will most certainly tell the specialist about that.

I am feeling better this evening, but today’s experience certainly brought back the stark reality of it all, brought back my awareness of how much the entire colour of my life changed when faced with the possibility of suddenly dying. It could still happen from this condition. Pulmonary Embolisms can re-occur, even while on the medication—“Warfarin”, a blood-thinner, or as many seem to enjoy telling me it is called, “Rat Poison” because it really used to be used for rat-bait.

On Friday, I successfully completed an hour long work-out at the gym: 20 minutes on the Elliptical machine, with minute and a half “sprints” on it every five minutes. That was followed by a half hour of aerobic circuit weight training, using lighter weights with higher repetitions, which also elevates the heart rate. Then I finished up with ten minutes of running on the treadmill. 2 months ago, I could only do 5 minutes on the elliptical machine and about 15 minutes of weights! I’ve been feeling incredibly healthy for the past couple of months, going with that routine ever few days. My resting heart-rate is around 60, my blood-pressure around 130 over 83 (including today). But today frightened me, jolting me back to the September horror. So, I rested for the whole day. Hopefully tomorrows tests will show no “new developments”. I do hope.

All those who I love have been uppermost in my mind today…I don’t want to leave them, not YET!

But the point that I want to make tonight is how significant and impactful it was having that sort-of near death experience, back in September. It coloured and completely changed the entire perspective and course of my life. Knowing that I could—bam—suddenly die was a very sobering (I’m still working on that too!) and frightening experience. However, on the day that it happened in September, when the doctors were talking to me as if I was not going to walk out of the hospital, I was completely resigned and even open to it. I was strangely peaceful inside. I wasn’t afraid to die—but I WAS terrified to leave the lives of my loved ones. This was not a selfish rumination. Rather, I was thinking about them, because I wanted to stay on as an active part of their lives for what I believed I could give to them, and which I still believe, yet.

That is my dream tonight. God willing, that as I recovered in September, so tomorrow I will continue to be free to pursue the most important things in my life…to fully love my loved ones and to continue this amazing and wonderful journey that I began back in September to completely discover who and what I am, so that I can BE that person and in turn bless not only the lives of those closet to me, but also if God so grants, a lot more people around me in this refreshing, warm sea of humanity.

Indeed this is my calling. A hope, to be fulfilled.

Thank YOU, dear readers for being a part of my dream.

Blessings to you all,


The Trilliam, a native flower of Ontario.
As a very young child, I discovered them flourishing in the forest behind our home.
My delight in their beauty spawned a life-long love and appreciate for them and all flowers.
Each human, each individual, is just as beautiful as these.

So far, so good!

On this, Canada’s Thanksgiving day, I have a lot to be thankful for.

Today, Rashin and I went out for a RUN. Well, not exactly a run, but it was a quick walk with four 1-minute jogs in between. I felt great! Ok, a little light-headed afterwards, with a WEE-bit of pain in my chest, but otherwise it was fine. Even I am finding this a bit hard to believe that less than a month ago I was on deaths door-step from multiple clots (AKA Pulmonary Embolism’s) in my lungs.

Well, whatever happened today was good. We will celebrate tomorrow with our Thanksgiving dinner, with dear friends—including my longest and dearest “Friend of all-time”, Dan Fairweather. He attended his own families Thanksgiving dinner today, but was warned before it, that he should control himself and not, “Pig-out like last time”. I suggested that today he temper his pig-like tendencies and save them for tomorrow at my place. He seemed to like that idea. Very good.

In fact, all is “Very-good” today here at my home and with my life, with few exceptions. I am looking forward to welcoming Dan and the rest of our invites for the day tomorrow, celebrating this Thanksgiving. AND, there is one joining us tomorrow someone who we must all be especially thankful to be here, seeing yet another Thanksgiving dinners—our friend “Mitra” who has been battling cancer for the past few years, and thus far winning the war!

So, yes indeed I am very, very thankful this Thanksgiving…for my own health, for my friends health and prosperity and for the Universe blessing all of us with yet another Thanksgiving day to enjoy. I wish YOU, my dear readers, the very same.

Take care.

Pulmonary Embolism Shmembolism!

I’m sorry, I haven’t had the energy to write lately. Guess I had a delayed reaction to my illness. Today’s news has added to that. I saw my Family doctor for a follow-up appointment. She has received all of the test results from the hospital. Turns out both of my lungs were completely covered with multiple clots, encompassing the entire surface of both. They have NO IDEA what caused this. Apparently it does happen to some people sort of spontaneously, like mine, without any explanation. The hospital specialists and my family GP are all scratching their heads. When I went into the hosptital, they thought I was a goner! 5 days later I walked out, feeling pretty good, all things considered. Everyone is amazed, including me!

The next step in cases like mine is to continue the search for the cause. Their first suspicion is CANCER. Oh great. In fact, the Ultrasound they did while I was in the hospital did reveal a growth of some sort on my liver…(not related to alcohol consumption) which they THINK is a cyst, which of course is harmless…IF that’s what it turns out to be. I have another Ultrasound scheduled, along with a CT scan, for the near future to take a closer look.

Other than that, each day I feel better and better. My lung capacity feels only slightly impaired. But I certainly can’t move very quickly or exert myself for more than 30 seconds without getting winded. For sure, assuming I don’t have cancer, my recovery will be fairly long-coming, but at least certain.

My birth grand-father (I’m adopted) died at 66 from Colon Cancer. He was first diagnosed at age 42. My birth-mother (his daughter) died at 66 from Pancreatic cancer. So the history is there. I just hope that that is not MY history to be as well!

Anyway, looking at things positively, this experience has certainly helped me to focus on what is important to me. I think my years and years of procrastination are finally over! My sense of urgency has multipied exponentially! So what’s next? First, to be declared cancer-free. I’m holding my breath for that one! Until then? Until then it’s just live each day to the fullest. I’ll do my best to document these travels here, for those of you who care.

Cheers for now.

Just another Saturday in Vancouver, Iran, and the rest of the WORLD!

It’s 12:41pm, Saturday August 29th, 2009. Off in the distance a car alarm is sounding. The sun is shining on the Maple tree leaves just outside my window. Fresh (as fresh as city air can be) cool air is wafting through the open window above my desk (bringing city dust in along with it).

My two-day’s-ago-turned-19-year’s-old daughter, with whom I have been texting back and forth this morning, has just arrived in Nanaimo with her friend to do some shopping.

My office is a bit of a mess. I have things to do around the building in which I live and manage. Things I should do, probably, but it’s my day off so I don’t really have to. I’m thinking about that. My sister-in-law is angry with me. My brother doesn’t talk to me. They both think they have good reasons for that. My brother has high blood-pressure. I worry about him. I’m the worlds worst Uncle to his children. My children and his children never did get along, so they aren’t on each others “Facebook” pages as “Friends”. Nor am I, being the worlds worst Uncle.

My dear friend Bill, who is 82 (whose wife recently died), disappeared this week. I thought he was “gone”. Rather, a “goner”; maybe had done himself in. I had terrible images of that. He lives an hour and a half’s drive from here. Had he not finally answered his phone last night around 7, I would have immediately driven out to see if he was there, dead or alive. I cried—tears of relief—without his hearing or anyone else’s seeing (I was at the Pub), when I heard his voice. He called me his “Son” during the conversation, as he excitedly described his visit to a wonderful medical clinic down in Portland, Oregon. They think he should be open to getting married again.

I’m 50 years old. My Mom and Dad’s magic number for me, but I won’t explain why. I feel like a loser, given the sad state of my life and affairs after all these years, although my therapist assures me that I am not, that I have some GOOD REASONS for being a loser! (I mean this facetiously, no disrespect intended) She’s beginning to convince me, thank God.

Someone is watering the plants with a garden hose at the apartment complex next door. It sounds cool and refreshing, even though it isn’t hot here today.

Iran’s political leader, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced on Friday that he wants the guy’s who ran against him in their so-called Democratic political election, ARRESTED because they incited opposition towards him and the Holy Clerics during the election. Now THAT’s what I call a good incentive for future political leader aspirants to NOT run for public office in Iran!!! I’ll bet you a hundred dollars that Mr. Ahmadinejad is losing votes right now for the next election…!?

The sky is blue right now. I’m hungry.

The Swine Flu (H1N1) has mutated to a more virulent form as feared and predicted, going straight to the lungs, causing severe respiratory failure, requiring those afflicted to be hooked up to respirators. Children, people with Diabetes, Asthma (that includes me), or are Obese are especially at risk. That’s a LOT of people! Hospitals are not equipped to handle that. There simply are not enough respirators to go around. A lot of people are going to die. Not those who have AIDSs, however. For some strange reason people infected with the AIDS virus are resistant…!? What an ironic twist that is.

Everything that I have been writing about today is, put very simply, “What Is”—what is happening right here around me in my home, in my thoughts and around the world. There is a LOT more happening, a lot more of “what is” going on around me, in my thoughts and the world than I have just described, of course. A lot of Philosophy, Eastern philosophy and religions in particular, focus on this concept of “What Is”. If we can simply stay focused on “What Is”, then we won’t be WORRYING about what REALLY IS… what is actually happening around us. Less worry, less stress. Nirvana! Ostrich head stuck in the sand. Truck coming around the corner?! Maybe, maybe not.

I think I will get myself something to eat and then call my friend Bill. After that I will probably do that work around the building that I can’t seem to let-be, let-is, what-have-you!

Cheers and thanks for visiting. If fate landed you here, on the first day of this Blog’s posting here on WordPress….bless you.


Lost futures…

A dear friend of mine’s wife is critically ill in hospital right now. She’s 85. My friend is 82. He and his wife has been married just shy of 50 years. We visited with the both of them only 2 weeks ago. Mary seemed tired and said she was suffering from an infection of some sort. A week later, she had a stroke, followed by another shortly after. As of today, she’s in the hospital, dimly hanging on. Bill knows that she’s dying. He’s preparing himself for that.

When Bill and I spoke, he said to me, “You know, Timothy, when I saw her lying there today, I saw almost 50 years of my life about to disappear. I’ve always been able to look forward to the future, but now at my age, the future isn’t there anymore….all that there is now is today.”

Bill is a retired United Church minister, and Real Estate Agent. In an ardent attempt to cheer him up, I said,  “So Bill, perhaps it’s time now to consider yourself a Buddhist!”. He laughed  and then asked why. “Because Buddhists only recognize and live in today, in the present moment. They believe that today is all that there is…so congratulations, you have reached Nirvana! The goal of all Buddhist’s! To achieve pure living in the present moment.”

He quickly changed the subject, but before our chat ended thanked me for helping him to feel a little better about things and ended by saying, “So I guess I’ll have to think like a Buddhist now”. This time we both laughed, and I bid him well.

This story is not about what a great guy I am by cheering up my dear friend. Rather, after our conversation it made me think about how religious or philisophical views can influence our lives. Bill, a lifetime devout Christian, has lived most of his life looking forward to tomorrow. And for good reason; Christians have been “looking forward” to the return of Jesus for 2000 years, living each day in hope of his return.

Can you see how this religious-based forward-looking thinking can transfer over into the rest of a persons daily life? Bill has been living in this way for 82 years. Now, with the prospect of losing his wife after almost 50 of those years, and with a fresh stark realization of his own age and mortality, he feels that he has little, if anything left to look forward to. He’s right of course. Yes, being the devout Christian that he is, he can still look forward to the return of Jesus, and if his wife dies, of joining her in Heaven. But, something tells me that Bill doesn’t really feel that way today.

But this essay is also not meant to be a criticism of Christianity. Instead, I’m merely trying to point out how strongly our attitudes and beliefs can affect the outlook of our lives. If Bill were a Buddhist, would he be feeling any different today? I’m going to say “Yes”, but with a hint of trepidation, because it seems that no matter how strong or “valid” a belief might be, in the end the core, or fundamental reality of the human psyche and spirit will most often push the beliefs away leaving only our basic, instinctual feelings to rule; stuff like in Bill’s case, a fear for his survival and loss of hope for tomorrow. His “Faith” may or may not bring him out of that. “May or may not”. Therein lies the true reality, the “Isness” of Bill’s life today and, I suspect, most of the human race, living faintly day by day in this thing that we call “Life”. Indeed, this is it.

Social Anxiety Disorder, Depression, Zoloft, and Christmas.

Yes, what could these three things have in common? Me! Sort of… When I was young, I suffered terrible “Social Anxiety Disorder”. That means, I was at home–at home, but in the most horrible part of whatever the worst part of the world was, during the rest of the time, I wasn’t. No, I was not Agoraphobic….I was just terrified to be singled-out, when I was out in public. Let’s call that “Public-aphobic”. That was me, to the tee—then.

In later life, as an “Adult” I suffered terrible depression and anxiety, especially after the break-up of my marriage and seperation from my kids. I tried every and all anti-depressants during that time, including Zoloft. The “SSRI’s” like Zoloft, Paxil and Effexor are very, very effective at addressing those suffering from Social Anxiety and/or Depression. I ended up taking Paxil for about 6 years, rather than Zoloft. Zoloft’s immediate side-effects didn’t agree with me, but I hear that it works just about as well for many others as Paxil did for me. For the last few years I have been taking “Remeron”, which has worked quite well with both my Depression and Anxiety…quite well, but not totally.

Nothing, however, could replace, cover-up or “fix” the pain that I felt in my heart and soul as a result of my seperation from my children…my experience anyway.

These days, I’m “Philoso-phobic”. I no longer fear the outside world. Times passing has worked it’s magic for the worst of the depression and anxiety problems (for the most part). NOW I fear what the REST of the world are experiencing in THEIR outside world….ascribing to this or that philosophy….believing in it so much that they kill people, or even worse, as torture, deny or don’t care about those people who are outside of their “mini-brain”, narrow lines of thought.

But this is Christmas! This is supposed to be my first Christmas…..no, lets call this my first “Trans-Christmas” gem of thought, isn’t it?

Indeed. The Christmas that most of us celebrate here in North America is a watered-down version of Christainity. Watered-down, however, for good reason; Christians have been waiting for over 2000…that’s TWO THOUSAND years for Jesus Christ to make good on his word. Even his closest disciples thought that what he said was going to transpire within their life-times. WRONG! I dunno, but if I was Jesus—who professed to be God (indirectly at least)—I don’t think I would make myself in any way VAGUE…if I was certain that I would return very soon, I wouldn’t make my best friends wait TWO THOUSAND YEARS! If I had I friend like that, by now I would say that he was either very mistaken in his calcualation…or very rude, or at worst, totally deceived in his own thinking!!!

As for me, I’m not waiting for Jesus to return before I enjoy my Turkey dinner, are you??? If you are, I hope your enjoy the next TWO THOUSAND years, cause that amount of time is way too long for any sane human to wait. Come on….isn’t it? I can see you wavering….digging up the latest theological reason for this guy’s horrible truancy! Come on…

Nevertheless…I still recognize the “Uniqueness of Jesus”….as so beautifully described in a little booklet publish by the organization, “Campus Crusade for Christ”, written by its founder, Bill Bright. But as much as I recognize that, 30 years later, I stand somewhat disappointed, because I have not seen in my own life any evidence all of those so beautiful claims and promises that Jesus apparently made. I am these days, therefore, a reluctant skeptic. Prove me wrong!!! I welcome your input!!!

IN THE MEANTIME:  On behalf the the ever-absent Jesus Christ in my life….I would like to welcome all of those who are alive in THIS present time and age to still enjoy at least the kernal of what Jesus left us after all these years…to enjoy the spirit of giving, more so of compassion that he showed to us, however brief his time was, and to NOW connect with a “REAL LIVE PERSON”….who, I’m sorry to admit, will probably only live another half century—at most—but in the absense of you know who….I would be happy to connect with you…to give you any and all encouragement that I can, to keep on keeping on in this very, very long “Jesus-waiting-line”….but rather in this thing that I just call “Life”…which is as it is….so sorry to disappoint you…but by simply accepting the TRUTH of the matter (something Jesus spoke highly of, until he ‘ascended’, leaving the rest of us ‘descended’) but which, if seen from a slightly different angle, can still be GLORIOUS.

That’s my CHRISTmas wish, and New Years dream….to be able to put here on this simple blog…something for you that will enflame your heart and spirit and hopefully nourish your soul.

I wish you all the very best that could happen…that might happen…that could still happen on this beautiful Xmas Eve of 2008. We just have to have an open heart and open mind to let it, to let LIFE be…as it is. Let life be as it is. Don’t try to make it what you think it should be….just let it BE, AS IT IS. If you do that, I PROMISE you….more peace and happiness is in your future than you can imagine.

Much love to you all,

P.S. If you would like to hear more about my years of Anti-depressant and Anti-Anxiety drugs and experiences, pleast let me know.

Life’s little blessings

Just as I’m celebrating the long-time coming birth of this blog, another REAL birth-to-be, presents itself–literally.

Indeed, within minutes of writing my first blog entry I checked my email. There, was a message from my son, announcing that I’m going to be a grand-father, now for the second time . Their first child, beautiful “Aria”, now 4 years ago, made me a grand-father for the first time. That was an incredible experience, feeling my life suddenly extended beyond my own children. One of my own children was having one of his own. In the process I took on the additional role/tile of being more than just a father, becoming a “Grand-father” (although it’s probably quite debatable just how “grand” I’ve really been…..)

This time, with the soon-to-arrive birth of my second grand-child, the feeling is a little bit different. I’m not acquiring a new role or title this time; once a grand-father, always a grand-father, regardless of the number of grand-children. Instead, I feel like—lets call it the “Chain of Life”, has been extended from me by yet another link. That knowledge, that feeling, is certainly as much rewarding as the first time around. It’s certainly made my day, if not my month, and perhaps my year. In fact, I’m counting it as one of “Life’s little blessings”, thank you to my son and daughter-in-law, Jeremy and Robyn.

“Life’s little blessings”, don’t come around very often. That’s why we call them “Blessings”. Blessings, although originally a religious term, have in common day culture and parlance become simply representative of really good things happening to us, regardless of the source. Credit can be given officially to “God” for the religious folks, or more commonly today for the not-so-religious, given just about as officially to, “The Universe”.

Wherever they come from, they are blessings because they make us quite happy. We really enjoy having them! Perhaps their rarity gives them their uniqueness. Whatever their source or nature, they are certainly “blessed” to have and—I will now challenge the reader—even more blessed to give!