Another Day…

Here I am, pompously trying to impress everyone with “Day 6” of my 365 day New Years resolution to post a blog/journal entry. I really would like to have something interesting, profound even, to say that might have some sort of positive impact on your life. That is what I most truly want, to be able to write something here that might impact or affect your life in some way, however small, that gives you something. Something that might inspire you, something that might give you hope for the rest of today and for tomorrow…hope from a day today that might have left you with little or nothing else.

Indeed this is why I am here. I believe that my words, however seemingly trite or insignificant, or however unprofitable…that this “One Man” might write something here of value to you or the rest of the world.

Indeed, if my words here on this website give even one person in this whole wide world something that inspires, or motivates, or entertains, or lightens their heart, mind and spirit…then my purpose for doing all of this will be fulfilled. And that is all that I dream of doing here, my friends, plain and simple.

You take care…my thoughts, my entire purpose in life, are with YOU.

T.

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.

Tim

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.

The Irony of Life

There was a very beautiful blind girl who hated herself because she was blind. She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her. She told her boyfriend, ‘If I could only see all the world, I will marry you!!!’

One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her. When the bandages came off, she was able to see everything, including her boyfriend.

He asked her, “Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?”. The girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind. The sight of his closed eyelids shocked and, although would never admit to another, repulsed her—she hadn’t expected that. The thought of looking at him for the rest of her life led her to refuse to marry him…and secretly in her heart she knew there must be someone “better”.

Her boyfriend left in tears….and a few weeks later wrote a note to her saying: “Take good care of your eyes, my dear, for before they were yours, they were mine.”

This is how the human brain often works when our status in life changes. Only a very few remember what life was like before, and who was always by their side in the most painful situations.

As for this “One Man”…I remember and am very grateful for those who remain beside me. Thank you all…may God bless you.

A New Day

They say we spend about one-third of our lives sleeping. When we sleep, our normal consciousness stops and we spend the night quite un-conscious. Many people think that sleep is a waste of time, seeing it as an interference to their busy important lives. When I was younger I felt pretty much the same, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve been seeing it differently…

Perhaps one of the reasons that we find sunrises and sunsets so beautiful is because they resonate with something deep within our psyche that instinctually reminds us that a “New Day” is about to begin.

When a new day begins, with it comes the fresh opportunity to do the things that we didn’t do yesterday, or to not do today the things that we didn’t want to do yesterday! To some people that can mean a fresh opportunity to start that new book they bought a few months ago, or to sign up for that course they’ve always wanted to take at the community centre, or to start that new diet or exercise plan, or to look for that new job, or to sit down at the computer and write….It can also mean the fresh opportunity to not do some things, like not picking up that first cigarette, or not picking up that first drink, or not criticising our friends or loved ones, or not sabotaging our efforts to achieve our long-held dreams. The choice is ours. Each and every new day gives us an absolutely fresh slate to draw upon. That makes us all artists—artists of our own lives.

You see, we don’t have to carry forward our yesterdays into today. Of course, practically speaking, our environments don’t change–nothing much really changes in our lives and situations over-night. But what can change is our attitude, our outlook, the way that we choose to view the day, because we really are—at least (and thank God)—free to choose how and what to think.

Most of us carry over our yesterdays into our today’s, via our memories. Memories, however, are like books that we don’t have to carry along with us. We can leave them where most of them really belong, on the “MB”, the Memory-Bookshelf of our brains, just as we leave our real books on the book-shelf in our homes. That might sound a bit trite and simplistic, and you are absolutely right, it is! That is the absolute beauty of it.

We are free to choose the books—the memories, or at least our response or attitudes towards the memories—that we want to carry along with us in the backpacks or briefcases of our consciousness, each  and every new day.

I’m not talking about motivation. I’m talking about the freedom to choose and that is what gives me hope when I go to sleep at night, that tomorrow I can start again, or excitedly carry on, even, with the things that I finally started yesterday! New day, new deal. A new opportunity to be the person I am and was meant to be.

And so can you! What you think, you are! Tomorrow really is a brand new day. Think about that.

For more about who I think YOU are, be sure to visit the “Who are YOU?” page.