the binding of baskets and nets

October 23rd, 2014

49a9d142677e4_63192bRealize the fundamental point, free from the binding of nets and baskets.
Eihei Dogen Zenji, Recommending Zazen to All People

Just do it! called Nike, of glory and speed. With a flash of white shoes she runs into the night. Do i gotta? I plead, left to pout in the dust, do i gotta, do i haveta, for what reason and rhyme? The echo of her laugh on the wind as she flies. Just do it, just do it, just do it. Just do.

But oh the nets and the baskets, the boxes and bags. Where is my basket and what is my box? Definiton, limitation, punishment, reward. To catch and to hold and to carry and keep. Where is the reason and what is the point?

And what about fame then, and money, and love? If there’s nothing to grasp for and nothing to hold. Don’t ask what the point is. Just do it. Because. Of the basket of air and the net, full of holes.

On the radio

October 20th, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy home entertainment system is a little silver plastic box. It runs on two double-A’s and works best on its back with the antenna pointed south-west. I used to get 3 channels before the recent round of CBC budget cuts, but Radio 2 no longer broadcasts through the old-skool airwaves so now I get two channels: CBC Radio 1 Victoria, and Cortes Community Radio. I don’t have wi-fi so my home entertainment is always fresh, weird, and live.

Romina has officially resigned from the CBC, she says it drives her nuts. She has unplugged her radio and put it on the high shelf. She’s all podcast now. And I know CBC is often no better than the rest. The faux-news, the cute animal stories, the general dumbness makes my eyes roll up into my head. Read the rest of this entry »

Should i STAY or should i GO?

October 17th, 2014

sail awayShould i stay or should i go now, should i stay or should i go now…if i go there will be trouble … if i stay there will be double…so c’mon and let me know …  …  … should i STAY or should i GO?
– The Clash

STAY! like a well trained dog, I can hear the command. I stay, just long enough to suss out the situation. But then like a wild dog off i go—i run off the heel, fail to stay in step. Off i go again running after the next squirrel or car or thrown stick. I go, and there is always trouble—but always reward. There is the rush, the thrill of the chase, the wonder of new roads to run and strange new smells, sights and sounds. Read the rest of this entry »

Polygamy and the question of Bountiful

October 9th, 2014

5-10-16bountifulBountiful is in the news today. Again.

Bountiful is a ‘breakaway Mormon’ community near Creston, B.C. It has been an object of controversy and fascination for many years due to the tolerated practice of ‘polygamy’ under its leader,  Winston Blackmore. The whole thing has me totally stumped.

First, to get this perfectly clear: there is more going on at Bountiful than simply ‘polygamy’, and it’s not good. There are allegations of kidnapping, of smuggling yound women over the border as child brides, and of forced marriages. Read the rest of this entry »

Three great reads

October 5th, 2014

heliopolisI don’t know how long it has been since i dove into a fiction novel like a warm sunlit sea, looking forward all day to the moment of the dive, to hang weightless in a world of words. I had wondered if the internet had killed that pleasure in me but no, it is alive and strong, only needing the time and the space to thrive. This summer season I rediscovered novels. I read three great books, and I feel well nourished and grateful.

The first book is Howard Jacobsen’s The Finkler Question. I picked it up at the little self-serve book kiosk near the Whaletown ferry dock. “Man Booker Prize 2010 Winner”, puffed the jacket. There was a receipt  for 2 bucks from the Salvation Army store in Courtenay stuck into the book, on the back of which was scrawled A JUNK BOOK.  A difference of opinion. Well alright then. I accepted the challenge, put 75 cents in the cookie tin, and shoved the book into my pannier. Read the rest of this entry »

Bird party

October 4th, 2014

DSC06433 (1)robinThe robins started it all. I woke to mad fluttering and chirping, wingbeats too fast for my binoculars to find focus. The robins have stopped by on migration to fuel up on arbutus berries, their fat bellies perfectly color-matched to the orange fruits. Juncos and jays and flickers have joined the party. A pileated woodie creeps around the big fir tree. Kingfishers clatter through the air. The squirrels, irked to have pine-nut gathering interrupted, are doing pushups and shrieking hysterically. It is bird mayhem up here.

Photo by Benjamin Madison at http://victoriadailyphoto.blogspot.com/2013/10/arbutus-berries.html

Bliss is over-rated

September 18th, 2014

450_messy1_0805162When I don’t know where to start or what to do, I know exactly where to start and what I need to do.

I set my timer, sit my ass down, and go. Or really, I don’t go – I stop. What I am actually doing when i sit my ass down, is much less important than what I am not doing—which would otherwise be, letting my thoughts and emotions chase each other around my brain like a room full of enraged cats. Which would otherwise be: making a superhuman effort to ignore the pains in my body, the twist in my belly, the heaviness in my heart. Read the rest of this entry »

Chicklit my ass: an apology to Elizabeth Gilbert

September 5th, 2014

liz_03I just finished reading The Signature of All Things, the new novel by Elizabeth Gilbert. I polished off that huge whomping five-pound hardcover late last night. I had to, because it was due back to the library today. You know, there is a hold queue on that puppy six months long, and it can’t be renewed. So I just had to knuckle down to the deadline. I was even prepared to pay the 30-cent-a-day overdue fine if i had to, but nevermind. I made it, under the wire.

But before I go on about The Signature of All Things, I need to come clean about something.

In case you are truly clued out, Elizabeth Gilbert is a Very Famous Writer—listed, in fact (and according to her bio on the inside flap of the book) as one of the New York Times’ 100 Most Influential People in the World. Yes indeedy. She has written several[ novels and non-fiction books, but what hoisted her onto the Most Influential list was her 2006 memoir, Eat, Pray, Love. Read the rest of this entry »


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