The most dangerous F word

Fear

Hate is fear rationalized. Hate is fear acted upon.

Hate is the belief that fear is finite; that if I bestow some of my fear on you, I am unburdened.

But that is a lie.

Fear isn’t of this universe. It doesn’t live by the E=mc2 paradigm. Fear has limitless potential for growth.

Any more than I can relieve myself of a pestilence by giving it to you, my fear remains and may even grow when I pass it along.

Surely a little fear is okay, keeps us from stepping off cliffs or traveling dark paths.

Fallacy.

Fear doesn’t keep us safe. Knowledge does.

Vista

Knowledge keeps you from stepping off the cliff. Fear keeps you from seeing the spectacular view.

Knowledge removes darkness from the alley. Fear keeps you from seizing new opportunities, from discovering new paths.

Fear doesn’t come into existence of its own accord but like a virus, is passed from person to person.

The newborn infant has no fear until startled by a parental “No”, the opening dose of fear.

infection

We do not naturally fear others until given a reason. And rarely is that reason the other we have chosen to fear, because fear rarely approaches face on.

Fear is the demon that eats us from inside, a parasite that controls our minds for its own perpetuation.

But what is worse, what makes it so insidious, is that fear is easy, demanding little of us other than that we close our senses to the truth.

And it is the facility with which so many of us are willing to do this that makes fear the most dangerous F word.

Burden

Happy Canada Day

Canada Day

It’s time again to express my gratitude for everything that my home & native land has given me, and to wish you all–Canadian or not, here or abroad–a safe and wonderful year.

My only wish is that you all have the good fortune I have experienced and know the love that I know.

Peace be with you all.

Fight to stay positive

despair

I try to stay positive;

I try to stay upbeat,

As I watch cities aflame

And walls crumble earthward,

Whether through acts of Man

Or through acts of Nature;

Man destroying man,

Betraying them,

Slaying them,

Playing them,

For personal advance

Or simply fear of change.

 earthquake

I try to stay positive;

I try to stay upbeat,

As I hear voices raised,

Weapons of metal, wood, stone,

Wielded in white-knuckled fury;

The bastions of knowledge,

A cultural cudgel used to

Oppress them,

Compress them,

Divest them

Of their worldly goods,

Lives covetously shattered.

 APTOPIX Suspect Dies Baltimore

I try to stay positive;

I try to stay upbeat

As I watch Nature be raped,

Shorelines and shorebirds

Tarred for their feathers;

Ivory affectations shorn

From faces yet breathing;

Air given cancerous substance,

Stilling them,

Killing them,

Willing them

To the precipice of extinction,

Silent hillsides the new norm.

 rhino with no horne

I try to stay positive;

I try to stay upbeat,

Hope my only option

In a world angry and mad.

We must heed the cries,

Must all feel the pain,

Must all see the anguish,

Lest the sweet sleep of death

Numb our senses forever.

And we must stay positive,

We must all stay upbeat.

anguish_zps775f09d74

No time to hate

hug

I’ve seen a lot of hate and anger in my social media feeds lately, directed at people of different religions, heritages, philosophies, and lifestyle choices, and it makes me sad.

I am sorry that the individuals who have posted this stuff feel this way and think these things. They are not bad people. They have their reasons of which I cannot possibly fathom. I can only offer them my love.

If I have contributed to these feelings in any way, through my humour, sarcasm or cynicism, I am sorry. That was not my intent. I meant only to induce people to smile and think.

The world can be an amazingly shitty place that naturally prompts fear, anger, hatred. The challenge is that these feelings only serve to make a shitty situation that much shittier.

The world can also be an amazingly beautiful place that hopefully prompts feelings of wonder, awe, unity and love. And just as in the previous situation, these feelings too serve to make a beautiful place that much more beautiful.

I cannot ask you to set aside your negative feelings. We all feel pain in our lives. To even suggest that you ignore these feelings is to invalidate them. That would be wrong of me.

I can only ask that you try love whenever you are able.

Not in the hope that it will cure your ills or diminish the slights you have suffered. Merely in the hope that a surfeit of love in the world will make those ills and slights easier to bear, if only because you will find you do not have to bear them alone.

obama-bear-hug

(Images are property of their owners and are used here without permission but in the hope that I have done them justice.)

My Favorite Life

Peter O'Toole as Alan Swan

Peter O’Toole as Alan Swan

The announcement of Peter O’Toole’s death came as a bit of a shock to me. Not so much that he died—he was a very old gentleman—but rather in how it affected me. I felt like I’d lost a friend whom I had not seen in quite some time.

Fairly or unfairly, I give Peter O’Toole a lot of credit for the life that I am leading right now: the life of a creative artist who plies his art with words. You see, Peter O’Toole was the biggest name in a little movie that might not have seen the light of my consciousness had he not been in it.

The movie is My Favorite Year.

My Favorite Year poster

For the uninitiated (For shame, Swanny), the movie tells the story of a couple days in life of a budding young comedy writer working in the 1950s on the King Kaiser Show; a clear homage to Sid Caesar’s Show of Shows. On the day the movie opens, Benjamin is going to meet his greatest hero, fading matinee idol Alan Swan; a clear homage to Errol Flynn. Unfortunately, Swann’s star has faded into alcoholism and practical destitution, and it becomes Benjamin’s job to keep Swann sober enough for the live television performance. The rest is a love story between these two men; one ascending, the other wishing he were dead.

If that doesn’t want to make you see the movie, you’re dead yourself.

The thing is, for all the university science degrees and work I had done, my life was incomplete. What I didn’t realize right away upon seeing My Favorite Year—mostly because the young are stupid and blind—was that I desperately wanted to be Benjamin. More accurately, I WAS Benjamin, I just didn’t know it.

Benjamin Stone stares lovingly at his idol and now friend Alan Swan

Benjamin Stone stares lovingly at his idol and now friend Alan Swan

I was a creative writer. I was a comedy writer. But I didn’t know how to express it beyond my own personal doodlings. And even if I had, science seemed the more rationale move (btw, I love science…really, I do).

As I’ve related in previous posts on my creative journey, it wasn’t until my wife took me aside one day and cornered me into answering what I wanted to do more than anything that I realized and embraced my inner Benjamin.

My life of today was still about a decade away, but that moment, that recognition, that admission started the ball rolling.

I had a visual to go by, a guide. I couldn’t go back in time to write for a 1950s sketch comedy show, but I could work toward the modern equivalents.

The other posts will tell you what I did, but without having seen My Favorite Year, I might not have been able to articulate my dream that fateful day.

And without Peter O’Toole, there might not have been a My Favorite Year to see.

So thank you, Mr. O’Toole. Aside from being one of the finest actors to walk this stage, you made dreams come true. This dreamer will be eternally grateful.

 

Links of possible interest:

My Favorite Year trailer

If I were truly plastered (scene)

This is for ladies only (scene)

Who the hell is Niblick? (scene)

(Images are property of owners and are used here without permission, but a lot of love and gratitude)

Little Joe’s Heart at rest

Goodbye

I am saddened to report that Little Joe has “joined the angels”. He gave life a valiant effort but in the end, was unable to win the fight.

My heart goes out to his parents and his beautiful sisters, who stood by his side throughout his too brief time with us.

I hope you will join me in remembering this little boy who brought so many people together and who reminded us how fragile life can be.

We can still remember Little Joe by continuing to spread the urgent need for people to register as organ donors. Although we were unable to help Little Joe directly, his legacy and memory will live on.

Peace be with you, little man. Know that you were loved.

 

Story background:

500 views of Little Joe’s Heart post

Little Joe’s Heart – An infant awaits a donor

A parent’s call in the darkness