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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Today we lost a great Canadian...

A few years ago I wrote of the Canadians that I thought were a few of those that personified the true character of Canada. Four of the five I wrote about have been dead for many years. One though, was alive at the time of my musings. 

Today he died.

I never got to meet the man. I am saddened by that. I was never able to thank him for the joy he brought to my life. But I'm sure he brought similar joy to many Canadians, both young and old; those born here, those that traveled miles to be here. I was never able to tell him that my sense of being Canadian was built upon the stories he told, the adventures he shared, the beauty of this country that were expressed by his words.

Farley Mowat died today.

Farley Mowat's Canada is my Canada.

Every Canadian should read his works. It should be demanded upon every new Canadian that citizenship should not be rewarded upon them unless they have read his works. 

Canada only exists because of the spirit that Farley Mowat personified.

Without Farley Mowat, Canada's character and personality would be less.

My Canada is Farley Mowat's Canada. My Canada is "Owls in the Family," "Lost in the Barrens, "A Whale for the Killing," and "Never Cry Wolf."

Tomorrow, when I awake, no bird will sing...       

Friday, March 28, 2014

"A just weight and balance are the Lord's..."

Mama told me when I was young Come sit beside me, my only son And listen closely to what I say. And if you do this It will help you some sunny day. Take your time... Don't live too fast, Troubles will come and they will pass. Go find a woman and you'll find love, And don't forget son, There is someone up above.

And be a simple kind of man. Be something you love and understand. Be a simple kind of man. Won't you do this for me son, If you can? Forget your lust for the rich man's gold All that you need is in your soul, And you can do this if you try. All that I want for you my son, Is to be satisfied.

Boy, don't you worry. You'll find yourself. Follow you heart, and nothing else. You can do this, if you try. All that I want for you my son, is to be satisfied.

On our path through life we strive, we strive for many things. Right now, I'm striving for balance. An even keel. A comfortable bed. Solitude from the masses in my personal time... Regularity. Not routine but balance. I need to be at peace with myself for the next adventure. Simplicity...

But finding balance in a world with so many distractions can often become quite the conundrum.

In my attempt to find balance I do as much as I can in my free time. One of the things I did last month was visit the Toronto Sportsman Show. This visit though disturbed the balance. I went in with high expectations that soon were quashed! It is no longer the "show" that Dad and I attended so many years ago! It isn't even the "show" of TWO years ago where I volunteered my time at the NWTF booth.

I had some good conversations with a few people. I even met a friend, a young person looking to get more into the sporting lifestyle. Were he able to attend the shows of my youth I'm sure he would be even MORE enthusiastic!

"The fishers also shall mourn, and all they that cast angle into the brooks shall lament..."

There's one thing though that I absolutely loved about the Sportsman Show of my past...
Grab bags! 

Brown paper lunch bags with simply a price on them. A couple of lures, maybe some hooks and sinkers and a spool of line. And there would be this table of them. $5, $10, or $15 dollars each! Or, grab a brown paper bag and three lures, or three spinner baits for $8 or $10!  

But the weight of the contents, undisclosed, of a brown paper bag often doesn't equal one's expectations!

I don't purchase mystery bags of fishing tackle any more. More often than not, they do not weigh as much as the anticipation. They're off balance!

So, balance. 

Balance is best found in simplicity. Equations and problems are best solved when the numbers are simple.

The "Beatitudes" are simple...
Blessed are the poor, those that mourn, the meek; those that hunger, that thirst. Blessed are the peace makers, the mercifull; Blessed are those that are pure in heart!

These characteristics are simple, but they are not easily obtained!

But, they are worth the effort!

In my journey towards balance, a simple balance, these characteristics will make my bed softer, they will help ease my mind, and each day's grab bag of tackle will weigh more than the initial expectation!

Sinplicity and balance are not convoluted, finding them may be hard work, but the rewards are just

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

This is for "White Dog"

Another Facebook post prompts another blog entry...

Here's what a friend posted this morning;

"Another 10cm of snow last night what's that about 1000cm for the winter !! I'm done with winter it can leave now !!!!!"

Well, I'm quite sure, that not withstanding the ever so slight exaggeration, many of us have similar thoughts! It's been quite the winter! An early start, much snow, and the plummeting temperatures have made this season one for the record books, a test of patience and of resources. 

It's not over...

If one were to personify this winter, this season seems to be a bully! Muscling its way into the year, forcing autumn off the playground; taking away our joys, compelling us with mean-spiritedness to seek shelter from its cutting winds... and causing us to tremble. Trembling not from fear, but from its icy touch!


As a child I suffered bullying, most of us did. I despised, maybe even hated those schoolyard thugs! But I was given some resources to deal with them, and some thoughts about my loathings. 

One day, after a run-in with a local goon, my Mum said to me that someone, probably their mother, loves that person for some reason or another. She told me to look for that reason. So I did. That was a great piece of advice for a twelve-year-old! My hatred soon turned to feeling sorrowful for the bully. 

After having aged, gained experience and having met many scores of people throughout the world; one in ten being a sociopath, one in maybe a hundred a psychopath; I've learned that not all bullies are even loved by their mothers! In fact, some mothers hate themselves for having created such a bully!

But we do learn lessons from bullying. A lot of our social skills can be attributed to bullying; we learn tact, patience, we even discover navigation! How to navigate a conversation so as not to rub a bully the wrong way, and in the worst case scenario, how to get home via a different route and avoid the bully altogether.

In my case though, I also learnt compassion. 

But this winter has been such a bully! And the only way I can think of dealing with it is by using my Mum's words... But paraphrased... 

Winter's mother loves winter!

Mother Nature truly loves Winter! Mother Nature sees that Winter's harsh words and heavy handedness are not because Winter isn't caring or thoughtless. It's because Winter is not capable of acting in any other way. Mother Nature has given Winter the task of cleaning up after Summer and Fall, and to protect Spring's sleep. Winter will withdraw its heavy hand and icy stare from all the others in the forest when Spring is ready to awaken from that deep slumber. 

So how am I going to deal with winter? 

You cannot talk to Winter.

My feelings are inconsequential; Winter cares not for me.

I haven't the financial resources to steer clear of Winter. So navigation means I must walk and drive with care.

So I will look for those reasons that Mother Nature loves Winter so much. I will look for Winter's saving graces. I will find, and  appreciate Winter's effectiveness, Winter's contribution, Winter's... BEAUTY!

One last word on winter...

"Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth fruit." 

St. John the Apostle, Chapter 15, verse 2, KJV 

If White Dog is still with us, St. John's words will always be in her mouth...


Sunday, February 16, 2014


I discovered an unusual website yesterday. It intrigued me. So I wandered around a little on it.

My path to it was a little whimsical, yet also a bit melancholy; Somewhat reflective of my mindset, present mood, and the attitude I find myself gripped by at this time. 

We'll start with one odd, obscure, little word...


(n.) The overwhelming desire to kiss.

Comical in a sense, yet pathological in another.

The word piqued my curiosity though. I suffer from it, I admit that. But not because I have to kiss, but because of who I want to kiss! 

Yes, Aimee sent me the word; my closest companion, love of my life, dearest friend!

So, back to this winding digital path. From there I found the word "sonder." From there...


And THEN, liberosis!

They're all interesting words. Liberosis though is the only one which I would have been able to define, at least to a point. It's an interesting word. It's roots are easily researched, defined and underscored.

Liber and osis.

Osis is of course a functional disease or condition.

Liber finds its origins in the classic-romantic languages, English not being one of them!

Liber; freedom, French. Libre; balance, Spanish.

The symbol for the English pound is an L, crossed; balance. Of course we have the zodiac sign of Libra or the Balances.

"L"a symbol of balance or, better yet, equality... and value.

So my strange delving took me to this definition;


  The fear of losing one's freedom because the cares of this world seem too daunting...

I'm a walker, a hunter, a gatherer, a wanderer and traveler. I always look forward, backward AND from side to side. As I walk I also take photos. I take lots of photos. I have files and files of photos on my computer. I have albums and boxes filled with prints, negs and slides! I hope each new image will capture something new, something memorable, something unique. But quite often this is not the case!


That's one sobering word! Especially for a landscape photographer like me.

So then we come back to that second little gem of a word...


For those in our midst who are "micro managers" or worse, narcissists, this must be a terrible feeling!