Category Archives: Literature

The Dirty Thirties…

I’m putting a novel together. I started it a long time ago. About the 30s decade. One chapter for every year. Loosely based on my life, and of everything I’ve experienced and absorbed since I turned 30. I think I will publish it for my 40th birthday. If you know me, you’ll probably find yourself in it. Or at least something about you in one of the characters.

Fun, eh?


Things I think about sometimes…

I reread the book The Story of the Eye today.  Compelling.  Have you read it?  It’s not for everyone…  This was the second time through, a borrowed copy, and rereading it so I could discuss with a friend who was good enough to lend it to me….I had a strange dream after, involving this friend attempting to feed me exotic fruit.

And other things on my mind today…..

To be brave is to love someone unconditionally, without expecting anything in return. To just give. That takes courage, because we don’t want to fall on our faces or leave ourselves open to hurt.– Madonna

There’s always one who loves and one who lets himself be loved.  W. Somerset Maugham, ‘Of Human Bondage’, 1915; English dramatist & novelist (1874 – 1965)

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life…You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like ‘maybe we should be just friends’ turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It’s a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.” — Neil Gaiman

The War on Art

Artists (or anyone else) out there….a quick read for you….The War on Art.  Don’t let Resistance get the better of you.  Do the work you’re here to do and get on with it.

Who you are, and who you aren’t…

I saw Tim Burton on Strombo last night.  He said that he has spent his entire adult life trying to become human.  I liked him instantly, and I’ve been a fan of his movies, but to be honest, I haven’t seen many of his latest ones.

He moved to his grandmother’s house at the age of 10.  From an very early age, his difference was obviously out there and he had the familial support for his artist endeavours.  Now, he also lives in a separate house from his wife, Helena Bonham Carter, connected by a walkway.  Best of both worlds, I imagine.  He also lives no where near LA, and prefers it that way.  He has managed to be a huge success, despite everything that could have went sideways along the way.

James Hillman talks about this “perfect storm” phenomenon in many of his books, most notably in two – The Soul’s Code and The Force of Character.  What are the things that happened to you, in your early years, that make you who you are later in life.  Are there interests that are more dominant, but we get beaten out of us.  Burton mentioned this too, noting that most kids are creative, but it gets lost along the way.  Mostly, these things get lost because we think we need to do other things, but what we really need to do is create art.

We can always learn new things, but our interests from childhood, if you take a hard look, often tell alot about a person.  I recently came to this realization when I remembered that I once loved to design doll clothes.  I wasn’t content with what came in packages.  And, I wanted to make up new things.  I also knew that I could because I could knit and crochet from a very young age and I was encouraged to be creative.  And, because my mom always had needles and yarn around, it was a fairly inexpensive thing to do that I could get lost in, much like when I wrote my short stories.  This has carried over to my adult life whereby I rarely buy a Hallowe’en costume.  I would rather buy the materials and create something myself, something no one else will have.

I guess you could say, I like being unique, and I’m not afraid to step into or out of the river.

Back to the beginning….Burton has a new show in Toronto that I would love to see, and I might just try to get down there….to the TIFF Lightbox.

MIA – but not for much longer…

I’ve been missing in action this last month.  Too much going on, and out of the discipline of contributing to this after each session.  I’ve been sick too, and trying to get some living and writing in, so that contributed to my tardiness.

I promise – Wednesday I will have an update.

As for tonight, I am attending the local Linchpin meeting.  Should be an interesting time, if nothing else.

Also reading the book Talent is Overrated.

Oh, but I did get my PT Certificate last week!  All shiny and new….anyone want to hire me?  🙂

February 23, 2010….and beyond

One year later, I’m gearing up for a new set of goals.  Brad, who I’ve mentioned before, helped me out today by explaining a new method of meal “compliance” that he’s been working with for his clients.  It is getting some great results, and is also a manageable way of reaching goals.  It’s a bit more involved at the beginning as you set it up, but over time it is easy and because it’s based on logic and process…it just works.  I like the sound of that.

We also talked about what my “goals” have been since last year.  He suggested that maybe it was just to maintain my weight and eat normally – which is exactly what I did.  I tried to get back on meal planning and whatnot last fall, but it just never felt right.  I think with the new meal compliance will be easier to incorporate into a daily routine.  I’m looking forward to starting and getting into it.

We also talked about progression towards goals – it’s not necessarily that you want to be perfect, you just want to be better than where you are right now.  I like that as a philosophy.  Often we strive for this elusive “perfect” state and never attaining it, we get discouraged.  If we simply strive to be better than we are right now, no matter what the step progression, this becomes a much more achievable target.  With just a little bit of trying, anyone can be one step better in anything they set out to accomplish.  Line up lots of little steps and the target is met.  Just depends on how fast or slow you want to get there.

On another note, but related, Brad mentioned a book, The Talent Code.  I noticed the book jacket posted up at work and even pulled it down to have look this week.  I’m going to pick it up and give it a go to see what new things I can learn.  A mentor I have at work also mentioned the book, From Good to Great, by Jim Collins.  I’m thinking it is along the same line.  So many books to read!

Setting up for the next year…and some philosophical ramblings…

I think it’s important to reflect (see, I’m learning!) on where you’ve been so you can figure our where you need to go next.  Tomorrow, I’ll be sitting down with my trainer and reviewing my progress over the last year (yes, it’s been a year doing personal training already…) and then setting up for the next 12 months.  I know I’ve gotten much stronger, while my weight hasn’t changed significantly up or down (fluctuations by a few pounds no longer bother me…I know what needs to happen if it’s on the rise).

I’ve certainly learned alot over the past year, and I feel like I’ve made significant progress in a number of areas of my life.  Lots of goings on at this time for me.  All good things.

I’ve also been doing some new readings lately.  Books on death and pain.  Not the most uplifting topics, I have to say….but a worthwhile exercise in emotional fortitude.  Could have been why I’ve been feeling a bit “low” the past few weeks.  I also read a book on moral courage, which was better, and actually brought me out of my funk.

I was thinking about pain tonight as a physical perception.  Another thing that we take in by the senses, interpret in the brain, and then the brain spits back a response – like seeing.  When I fell last August, and hurt by ankles, my body was actually not able to comprehend the pain response.  I imagine that there was so much pain that my body hit the safety switch – like the big red switch that was on the wall in our Electronics Lab in college in case something went horribly wrong at any point.  In the body’s defense, it shut me down to reset my pain interpretation.  Cut the pain so I could actually manage my way back to consciousness.

In other words, a body is only able to handle pain beyond the normal threshold by shutting the perception of pain down in the brain.  Too much pain cannot be a good thing.  Hit the emergency switch.  Reset.

I feel as though we are a bit like this as a society.  We are on the brink of hitting the reset switch.  For the most part, we are desensitized to life.  Shut off from feeling alot of the time.  Shut off from being engaged with our physical reality because it may be too painful.  Shut off from our emotional reality because it is too messy.  The more bad news we see on TV, in the papers, the more we retreat.  Too much stimulation – but nothing has hit the switch yet.  We are in a limbo situation….so to speak.  Children under pressure to compete or to excel are playing video games to escape, what?  the stress?  Sad.  How did we get here?  Why do we “feel” more sometimes in projected images (i.e. movies) than we might in real life situations.  So many questions….so few answers.