Monthly Archives: December 2013

The beautiful ambush of joy



I’m not accustomed to good days, or to joy – and that’s not a bad thing at all. It means that I don’t expect either, and that I enjoy something wonderful – a gratitude born of quiet humility. That is, when I cease the toil of meaning and striving and all the rest of a day’s potential turmoil and egoism.

They say you can have ‘too much of a good thing,’ but I truly believe that that only applies when ‘good’ is seen as some commodity or other. One can have too much hedonism; too much leisure; too many antique cars or gourmet food. At least, I can. But joy is something you can never have too much of. At the same time, it is not something you can covet. And that’s because it is not something we have manufactured, or can ever manufacture. It is not even something we can simulate, or clone, or manifest in the virtual world, or own.

Joy is not a desktop image or a screen-saver, or the inspiring words on a beautiful poster. It is not purchasable. It eludes our grasping hands.

So what is it?

I believe it is something that is kinetic, made manifest in the fleeting moment when the heart and the eyes see at once perhaps; or when that person’s hand unconsciously brushes yours; or when the geese row along, crying out overhead; or when, stopped for a reason unknown, you feel the snowflake land and melt on your cheek.

I know joy that makes my heart seem to stop: when I look across the table in the coffee shop and notice how intently she is watching the world; when I am struck by the beauty of someone passing by, and know that this infinitesimal segment of time and space will never repeat, and I am alive, simply walking. The sky is there, and the earth supports me, and around me everything is mundane and yet miracle, and I haven’t earned an iota of it. Yet I know that moment of joy and feel crowned, like an angel – a clumsy, striving, loving, fearing creature, touched by joy as if the air has given me a kiss.

There is never too much joy, and yet, if we release ourselves from the bonds of our pettiness, there seems to be a veritable river of it; a river as wide as the day, as deep as the night sky with its teeming stars, millenia apart.

We cannot manufacture joy, but it makes something great of us. We cannot buy it, but it comes to us nevertheless and enriches us beyond articulation.

And still, un-jaded, we must find words to say it whenever it comes, because it is the true gold, to share with everyone.

It was a good day today. I noted some of my joys. And suddenly, more come alive. In fact, I haven’t the time to write them all. Thank goodness for the smile inside. It will remember for me.

I wish you all at least one miracle of joy today, tonight, tomorrow… And I pray, though I am not a religious man, for those who are wretched and suffering, that a medallion of joy will fall into their world, today, tonight, tomorrow… There can never be too much joy…

Speak it onward with your heart. Let it flourish.



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Merry Christmas, humans and animals!

Good thing I couldn’t go to England this Christmas. Heathrow is in a mess, as is much of the country. Freezing rain and nastiness. Of course, here in Canada, that would be just another wintry day and people would still be driving hundreds of miles to visit family and friends.

I’m at home with foster cat, Sonja. She was found, with kittens, on a recycling dump. She seems to have adopted me… so maybe my short-lived fostering days are done. I’m in denial, but Sonja owns me anyway.


Not the best pic., but taken on a tablet, since my camera is out of commission.

Sonja got a pink furry mouse for Christmas, and some special food and treats. Of course, I couldn’t help but indulge (myself probably more than her) and gave her the mousie today. She loves it. I don’t think she’s had a furry friend since her kittens.

Merry Christmas everyone!! I hope no-one who reads this is alone and lonely. If you are, say hello!


December 24, 2013 · 10:38 pm

New e-books for Xmas?

Written by retired USAF Colonel Gregory S. Lamb, “A Dangerous Element” is based heavily on events you’ll be surprised to see in the news. It will take you past the Iranian borders into their nuclear weapons development and uncover a top-secret weapon developed by DARPA – through the eyes of a former combat pilot who knows how to work the system.

After a tragic car accident claims the lives of his wife, Jane, and son, Ryan, Marcus Taylor is immersed in grief. But his family isn’t the only thing he has lost. An addiction to painkillers has taken away his career as a paramedic. Working as a 911 operator is now the closest he gets to redemption—until he gets a call from a woman trapped in a car.

A healthy balanced diet is important for our kids. But how do we get them to eat it? And why is healthy eating vital for an allergic child? This e-book answers your questions and offers seven alternatives to the infamous “hide it in the junk food” approach.

It’s Christmas, and the human caretakers have told the degus that Santa Paws is coming to visit. They have no idea who he is, but since the human caretakers say he’s bringing nibbles for them, and degus love nibbles, they’re excited about it; though the news that he plans to come when they’re sleeping seems strange to them.

Suzuki Harunobu was a celebrated 18th century Japanese ukiyo-e artist who produced thousands of exquisite woodblock prints illustrating aspects of life and society in old Edo – today’s Tokyo. His subjects extended from Kabuki actors and courtesans to landscapes, explicit eroticism and street scenes. Yet the subject at which he most excelled was bijin-ga or paintings of beautiful women.

Gareth Pugh and daughter Adrianna leap backward through time-space via the minds of others.Dead others.Two killer-agents of the elitist Foundation hunt them, missioned to obliterate proof of time-space travel, which might just change the world a little. Brutal Dr. Buckleigh and perverse Cabot join a writhing hunt that slams into murder and a ghost-ridden end in a warehouse in Canada.

Computer-linked Lung People, all geniuses, dangle in a warehouse, grapes to be sucked. An old man becomes a bird and the wind. Hitler chokes on his lunch. London and Tokyo form the backdrops for a monstrous murderer and a suicidal romantic. An odd teenager makes his love-rival vanish. Minimalist or traditional, these tales, as the subtitle says, depict “Life both Beautiful and Monstrous.”



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True story

Story of the day:

-I go to the courthouse to drop off my card that says I completed my community service hours. When I go in, two of the usual cops are sitting at the security desk, one that I went to high school with and one young male who looks like he’s 16…who is always there when I go in and he makes comments like “Ohhhh look it’s the artist!” and is overall really creepy.
-I walk through the metal detector or whatever that is and it beeps, and he tells me to unbutton my jacket. He notices the pins on my jacket, particularly the one that says “I love my vagina”
-he says “that one is kind of weird”
-My response: “Why? Do you not like vaginas?”
-no comment
-“Are you afraid of them?”
-still no comment
-“they’re scary aren’t they?”
-no comment, appears flustered, I walk away

The end.

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To read Burroughs, at least as I see it, you must first surrender your linguistic logic. If you come to his work and cling ferociously to your own reading and language habits, you will come away battered and numb. Surrender your habits at the door, and enter the linguistic alterworld naked, and then you will begin to experience the implacable motion and vitality of the world in his books, on his terms; or, rather, on the terms of a mind that rented space in Burroughs’ head for decades. If this all sounds too esoteric, or just plain stupid, I apologize. But it won’t help and it won’t change anything. Burroughs’ novels not only articulate lives that are in altered states, his very language creates an altered state. It is profound, and very odd, but it is also very refreshing. Zanies, drop outs, addicts, aliens, landscapes that are a marriage of Kafka, the Sopranos and the Marx Brothers, these are some of the incredible elements of Burroughs’ city-planet. Wonderful stuff, if you can take crazy. And great literature, even if you can’t.

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December 2, 2013 · 4:09 am