Monday, 9 April 2018

The Fog of War

'"The first casualty, when war comes, is truth."

Hiram Johnson (1866 - 1945) was referring to the First World War. 

A progressive U. S. senator, he died on the day the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, immediately killing 80,000 civilians. Tens of thousands would later die from radiation exposure. Three days later, a second B-29 dropped another A-bomb on Nagasaki, immediately killing an estimated 40,000 people. 

These two bombings remain the only use of nuclear weapons in the history of warfare, to this day... Our leaders appear to be blundering blindly into dangerously escalated war once more.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Forge A New Path

Minimize stress. Do not obsess about what ails us, harms us, confronts us. Let go of the shackles, the ties that bind. Stasis, the status quo will grind you down.

Rebel. Strike out in a new direction, on your chosen path. The way will reveal itself. Leave your baggage behind. Become unstuck, no longer trapped.

Make a plan. Follow it in stages, one day at a time. Do not sweat the small stuff. Dream the big picture.

Make hard choices. Clear the path. Forge the future. Act resiliently. Be ruthless.

Act. Do it, before it is too late. *Tempus fugit. Carpe diem.* Seize the moment. Gain momentum. Take a leap. Be brave.

Follow your heart, your deepest desires, your innermost passions. Connect with others in love, joy, community, sharing. 

Care for family and friends, those near and dear. Lean on others for support. Nurture heart-felt relationships.

Honour life in all its guises. Practise tolerance, respect. Do not yield to fear, frustration, hatred, or to those that harm you. Walk away from them.

You are alive. You owe it to yourself. Stride confidently, with firm resolve, into a future you create. Live the life you envisage.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

In A Bubble

So many live in a bubble, trapped in their small worlds and narrow, shallow minds.

What do they really grasp of geopolitical endgames, false-flag framings, governmental machinations, corporate power, media bias, political posturing, elitist control, military manipulation, universal greed and abuse perpetrated by those empowered?

They scan headlines, pontificate, prognosticate, post commentary, shoot from the hip, passing judgement based on learned behaviour or perspective. Black or white, left or right, right or wrong, true or false.

What do they understand of true suffering, grinding poverty, gnawing hunger, blood, sweat and tears prompting lifetimes of oppression, segregation, alienation, displacement, colonization, tyranny, war, genocide?

Only what they have read in distorted histories, blinkered accounts, political oratory, by sleight of hand, what they have been told and led to believe. 

No doubts, no questioning, no intellectual discernment, no moral scepticism, suckered in by the cult of personality, charisma, hyperbole, rhetoric.

What do they truly understand of others, not of their tribe, of their proud cultures, tortured past, collective resilience, living traditions, simple grace, community spirit in the face of perpetual onslaught?

Burst the bubble and find people bound together in dread, in hope, in pride, in beauty, in toil, in love, in scratching out a living in humility, in solidarity, outside the bubble.

The bubblers are babblers, screamers, spouters, scare-mongerers, knee-jerkers, trumpeters preaching bigotry, misogyny, jingoism, xenophobia, intolerance with closed minds and cold hearts.

Without love, insight, and compassion, they are destined to remain entrenched against life, forgiveness, acceptance, inclusion, destined too to forever repeat the wretched barbarities and treacheries of history.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016


Smugness, exceptionalism, complacency, hubris… have so much to answer for, especially at a momentous moment such as this.

For months, we have been in a bubble, consumed, mesmerized by two obscenely rich and powerful people vying to rule over us, even if from afar. Meanwhile, the planet spirals out of control.

A swig of humility, an ounce of contemplation, a taking of stock, a pause… would  go a long way.

Then, let’s get active and set about the challenges we face together, building bridges,  restoring mutual trust, moving ourselves, our community, our world forward with good humour and oodles of resilience.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Future Resilient or Consigned to the Past

Photos from my drive home from selling Rolling Hills Organics produce at a Toronto (Evergreen Brick Works) farmers market yesterday afternoon. Took the scenic route along the lovely, up-and-down County Road 9 through Port Hope township and the rolling Northumberland Hills. Avoided the congestion and construction along Highway 401 and thereby decompressed so much sooner.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

A Vision

Poem by Wendell Berry

A Vision

If we will have the wisdom to survive,
to stand like slow growing trees
on a ruined place, renewing, enriching it...

then a long time after we are dead
the lives our lives prepare will live
here, their houses strongly placed
upon the valley sides...
The river will run
clear, as we will never know it...
On the steeps where greed and ignorance cut down
the old forest, an old forest will stand,
its rich leaf-fall drifting on its roots.
The veins of forgotten springs will have opened.
Families will be singing in the fields...
native to this valley, will spread over it
like a grove, and memory will grow
into legend, legend into song, song
into sacrament. The abundance of this place,
the songs of its people and its birds,
will be health and wisdom and indwelling
light. This is no paradisal dream.
Its hardship is its reality.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Overwintering Monarch Butterflies

On February 26, we made a special pilgrimage – to see the over-wintering Monarch butterflies high in the mountains of MichoacanMexico. The day began serenely at the lovely Agua Blanca canyon-side spa inn in Jungapeo, at an elevation of 4,850 feet above sea level. Gundi started her morning with a long swim in the mineral-rich pool waters, which she says took away the aches and pains of years. In Chris and Allan’s rented Jeep we climbed 5,000 feet via the town of Angangueo to the butterfly-viewing base at El Rosario. This is part of a 56,000-hectare sanctuary for the mariposas monarcas (of which the butterflies only inhabit a fraction), declared a Biosphere Reserve in 1980 and a World Heritage Site in 2008.  From here, it was an hour’s steep climb in thin air another few hundred feet to close to the summit at over 10,000 feet. It is here that millions of monarchs cluster high in the oyamel fir trees, making forays in the sunshine to find water and food from the plentiful forest flowers. On mostly cloudy mornings such as we experienced, the butterflies are lethargic in starting their day, so action on the wing was tempered. Nonetheless, the sight of so many monarchs freely finding their ancestral annual winter home was a mesmerizing one to behold.  With a hundred or so fellow “pilgrims” watching on quietly in awe, this was a profound  and moving spiritual experience, with Nature playing out for a whole species. 

Monarch butterflies are severely threatened by a number of challenges, all of which are brought on by humanity’s greed and over-reach. Their habitat across their summer feeding and breeding grounds in Canada and the United States, their migration route to the southern states and Mexico, and their over-wintering forests all need ongoing vigilant protection from toxic pesticides, desert-like monocultures, development, mining, and logging in order for their current numbers to be sustained and increased. They are highly dependent on the milkweed with which they have a symbiotic relationship across these vast territories. Our relationship with them has to be symbiotic too, as they pollinate wild flowers, bring us beauty and joy, and as we continue efforts to conserve them as a fellow species. They need us as we need them.