The Five Man Electrical Band missed the point when they wrote: Signs, Signs, Everywhere there’s signs. Blocking out the scenery. Breaking my mind.”

So much more than identifications or directive missives, signs can be amazing mystical things.

They can be unintentionally funny or provocative. They can hold hidden messages. They can bring wisdom.

Can’t you read the signs?

Declaration of independence

I lost an acquaintance the other day, someone who wafted into my life for a brief period, didn’t like what he saw and wafted back out. But not before admonishing me for “being stuck in one gear…first-person singular” and challenging me to “set aside the superficial…and start ranking the real priorities in your life.”

The following was my response to him, and to all others who would see me curb my enthusiasms for what they see as a more appropriate direction for my life:

[Name], I’m sorry to hear that you struggle with my humours, but appreciate that it is not to all tastes.

I have been very fortunate in recent years (the latest of my 50) to have surrounded myself with wonderful friends who appreciate the unique package I present in life–the ability to write deeply insightful poetry, starkly analytical science, ribald comedy, biting sociopolitical ripostes, and prosaic tutelage–and while I appreciate their love and support, and hope that I return it in spades, I am ultimately happy with the person that I am and require no outside validation nor light.

As I have only come to realize in the past couple of years, I have wasted too many years of my life, trying to live the life that others would wish me to follow, and was slowly driven to self-destructive distraction in my failures to live up to everyone’s expectations, well intentioned or otherwise. I now live for me above and beyond all others.

I wish you the best in your journey and hope you find the truth you seek, as each of us must find our own.

All around, the vistas were laden with new peaks to explore, heights to achieve.

All around, the vistas were laden with new peaks to explore, heights to achieve. (Mt. Baker, Washington)