The following is an updated and considerably revised New Year’s blog from one I wrote back in 2008. In it I share some of the tiny bits of wisdom I have gleaned over the years.
While 2014 has had its up-and-down moments; my particular annus horribilis was 1996. Shall not elaborate on the whys and wherefores, but believe me it was a shitkicker.
Lost loves are meant to stay that way. So stop wasting time pining or fantasizing. You don’t want her/him back. Those people are gone for a reason. They reached their ‘due date’.
If there were a single word essence to my philosophy it would be ‘forgiveness.’
In one of her drunken rambles my mother once said in reference to two of her sons (both of whom were present): “You were always the smart one (me) and Colin (my bro) was the good looking one. Thus damning us both. Forgiveness still comes hard for this one. Maybe someday.
I love my brother, Colin, dearly. And he me. We both cherish that and need it.
Ants are intriguing. They ‘speak’ to one another. There are more of them than there are of us. They are likely more important.
Because I was ‘too talkative’ in my third grade class the teacher banished me to sit on the ‘girls’ side of the room I was in heaven. I suspect that was where some of my troubles all began.
Maybe I was a class clown, but never thought of myself as such. But I was funny. I know that now.
A kid in junior high once asked me how I knew a particular fact. I said I had read it. “Is that all you do is read?” he asked disdainfully. He became a plumber. He probably made more money than I ever did.
The stupidest waste of a year of my life came when I, after I got my degree, decided to take secondary teacher training. The course of study was all inane. You either are a teacher or not, and no half-baked pedant can teach you to be one.
I was a good teacher and a popular one. I hated it. I did not hate my students; I was very fond of them and still have contact with a number of them and love them madly as good friends. But I hated the system and the ‘ethic’ of the average high school which remains all about who gets to sit at the ‘cool table’. So, in retrospect those eight years were not happy ones.
Good reporters should follow the wisdom of the old guys and girls. Read some H.L. Mencken and Ernie Pyle and Martha Gelhorn and you don’t need much more.
In loving ‘more’ is not necessarily ‘better.’ But sometimes it can be. Odd, that.
Every man should someday meet with a femme fatale. You learn from that – if you survive. And what a ride it’ll be, literally and figuratively.
Drug addicts and alcoholics have found their ‘happy place’, but it is a brief one punctuated by depravity, dishonesty and despair.
I believe in God (sorta) but I don’t need somebody in a white backwards collar to interpret God for me.
A friend went on three spiritual pilgrimages to India in vain attempt to find his true spirituality. Eventually he found it was inside himself all the time and he could have saved the airfare.
Vancouver likes to sell itself as a ‘world-class city.’ It is nothing of the sort. True world-class cities (and there are others) that I have spent time in include London, San Francisco, Montreal, and Dublin. Dublin may seem like a bit of a backwater, but there is more history and soul (albeit often misguided) on a single block of O’Connell Street than in the whole of Vancouver.
The best Chinese restaurant I ever visited was in Honolulu’s Chinatown.
I rarely cry. I mist, but rarely cry. But I did cry in early 1997. Great racking sobs that lasted hours. I know it was needed.
Love may keep us together, but money seems to be a vital part of the equation, too.
I’ve had many crushes in my life. I always remember them, and sometimes they have lasted down the years. They must never be realized. That destroys the mythology.
I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions, but I do ‘intentions’, as in this might be attainable or not. But at least I’ve tried. Each year we write out our intentions on a sheet of paper, and as the new year comes in we take them outside and burn them; turn them over to God, or whatever cosmic muffin might be listening. And, I believe He/She/It is.