Sunday, January 20, 2019

Vancouver Motorcycle Show 2019 Tradex Abbotsford

The weather was so fine I could have motorcycled to Tradex Abbotsford, an hour’s drive out of Vancouver.  The Vancouver Motorcycle Show is a great event for all riders and wannabe riders.
Laura said, “I remember when we rode on the Harley here  years ago I was frozen when we arrived.” Many years there’s been snow and ice on the road making the trip on the bike out of the question. I’ve had my Harley Electroglide, which I rode across country and back  to Sturgis ,in storage at Trev Deely for the winter this year.  However  I”ve been enjoying the KTM 690 enduro which is lighter and handles better on the slippery roads in winter rains.
The Ford F350 truck,  feeling neglected since hunting season, was thankful for the drive. Gilbert could come along that way too.  It turned out to be the busiest show in years with trucks and cars backed up to the highway.
“Do you think the Seattle Motorcycle stunt riders were the draw this year?” Laura asked as we slowly moved along in the steadily moving line. There’s lots of parking at Tradex but the volume just has to get through the gates
“That probably has something to do it.  But I think the diabolical cost of gas taxation and vehicles has far more young people and women choosing motorcycles and scooters. Remember when we were in Italy and you commented on all the young women on scooters .” I said.
“The girls like the crotch rockets, too “ i said.
“They sound like bumble bees,” Laura said. “I’ve always like the rumble of the Harley.”
Motorcycling in America had once been for the fat old guys like me,  the stereotypical ‘bagger’  rider.  We’re still the Harley Davidson customers given the size of the bikes, the luxury cruisers and the prize tags associated with these high end machines. The HD Sportster Class has always been the attraction for the intro or  young rider. I liked when Bueill was designing the racers and the companies were linked .But now the girls are loving the 500 ccc and 800 cc Harley Davidson’s so suited to the city and surroundings.
"600 cc is all the bike you need even for the BC mountains," a lifelong motorcyclist friend told me years ago.  My brother Ron had ridden across Canada on a 150 cc back when the Japanese motorcycle invasion occurred at the same time as the British music invasion hit the west.  Yamaha and Honda bikes were all the rage with everyone wanting the big 250 cc’s.  I ‘ve loved the 250 cc’ motorcycles I’ve had and still think they’re the best off road size allowing you to take to the deer trails and go where no road goes.  The 600 and above makes a whole lot of sense when you want to take a passenger or some luggage.  I loved my Buell Blast 600 cc.  Suzuki’s 650 is the most popular in this range.  Kawasaki makes some nice bikes too.
My favourite bike was the Harley Davidson Roadster, one of Sporster class, 1200 cc , just like the WWII Harley and Triumph 1200 cc war bikes. I bought mine at Barnes.  That bike took Laura and me motorcycle camping all over BC and to round ups.  We road to Kamloops on the high way, did a hundred miles on logging roads to hot springs and ended up one time driving up to Alkali lakes for meetings, rodeo dances and sweat lodges. I loved camping near Powell river in the pup tent we took to put up beside the Harley,  calling Dad in Winnipeg on my cellphone with Laura beside me to have a chat while the rain was beating down on the tent outside.  Gilbert road on the back of my Electroglide to Sturges North where we camped in the pup tent and  loved hearing Burton Cummings in Merritt.
There’s a lot of truth to the saying that a man remembers his life by the vehicles he has . Women I know judge time by their children.   I bought my present  cruiser, 1600 cc Harley Davidson Electroglide to drive across the US and back thousands of km to attend the annual Sturges Motorocycle Ralley in North Dakota.
This years’ show was all about motorcycles.  Every shape and size.  Last year there’d  been a lot more quads.  The Slingshot three wheel car like a bat mobile though was all the rage.  I must admit I loved the Harley Fat Boy. What a beautiful bike.  The other one I truly loved was the new KTM 790 Adventure. I’ve got the 690 and love it but that extra hundred cc would be great on the highway. It’s heavier though so there’s a trade off. Last year the BMW and Triumph bikes stood out but this year the Ducatis were all the rage.  Aprilia bikes are becoming more popular too which isn’t surprising since they’re favourites in Europe.
I loved seeing the guys from the Christian Motorcycle Association and Gospel Riders. Both Laura and I loved meeting guys who had travelled around the world on their motorcycles.  Laura had read Jeremy Kroeker’s first motorcycle travel book and loved meeting him at the show.We got his latest book , Through Dust and Darkness, the stories of  his travels in the middle east.  I dream of riding my KTM down through South America liked my Turkish friends who rode their BMW’s to the southern tip and back.  They’re now having children in Germany but following their journey gave me a lot of joy that year. Right now I’m following Grace Macdonald’s Sidney to Paris journey on her KTM 690.  It’s an exciting fun read.  Vicarious enjoyment. Biker porn.
This year there was a lot of accessories as usual.
“It looks really good on you,” Laura said when I tried on a new leather vest.  When a beautiful girl says an article of clothing looks good on a fat old guy its a guaranteed sale.  I liked the neck closed protecting one from the wind compared to the standard v neck leather vests. The guy beside me getting one, said. “These are Vancouver Vests and those neck vests are  California weather .”  We laughed.
Laura and I had our standard hot dog and coffee at the show. We walked around and looking at the bikes and great people watching.    Then we were back with Gilbert.
On the way home we visited Victor  who showed us his continued work on changing his Sportster into a Trike to accomodate his hip injury. It’s an amazing skookum job.
Then it was back home for pizza night and TV.  Laura and I, a couple of wild bikers with Gilbert the biker dog, watched outlaw chases from the comfort of the couch. .

Friday, January 18, 2019

Angry People Kick Dogs

Displacement is the term for the expression of an emotion meant for one person but transferred to another person. The classic example was of a person who was chewed out by his boss then walking out the door kicked the dog who was just lying there.

Killing the messenger - this is the strategy of silencing those who tell the truth to delay the retribution or the secret getting out.  The messenger brings bad news.  The classic example was , “Your army was defeated,”. No one wanted to bring the emperor bad news because angry people killed the person who brought the news.

Projection - Denying something about one’s self, the information for instance that your problem is you are angry, a rageaholic, bitter, unloving, unforgiving, alcoholic, addict, slut, wasteful,  whatever behaviour is unbecoming, and angry person will project, throw this back at, the person giving the information. “I”m not that, you are.”  This is like kindergarten fighting. “Your mother wear’s army boots.”  “No she doesn’t your mother wears army boots”.  Often there’s today a subtle or not so subtitle psychopathic twist. “I”m concerned you think I’m - angry, a slut, a liar, a cheat, etc -  I think you must be that to be thinking I am.”  

Generalized anger - commonly a person won’t direct their anger specifically at the target but rather that use a sniper rifle use a shot gun or turn round and round while holding a machine gun to ensure that they take out whatever threat or memory that triggered their fear and anger.

Anger is fear.

Abraham said depression is anger turned inward.  Hence suicide.

However commonly rather than look at ‘one’s part’ in a situation the angry person will blame all those around them.  

Unfortunately today in our society promising instant happiness and instant solution people who have not learned ‘acceptance’ faced with difficulties will become hypersensitive and externalizethe problem.  It’s not that they ‘choose’ this husband or wife and now are in a divorce. It’s not they they voted for this government and now have no money and are facing their dying years paying for his parties and orgies. It’s not that they wasted their inheritance when young and now don’t have money. It’s not they they spent their money on booze and drugs and now can’t afford a bus ticket.

The society of ‘free stuff’ teaches people that they are not accountable and that someone from the government or someone else is the cause of their pain and suffering. Further someone else from the government or elsewhere will fix the problem Unfortunately the people who suffer most and have the least autonomy are most easily duped by promises. They watch TV, a propaganda source if anything and expect that when they go in for help they will encounter the perfect actor who has a whole team helping them appear sweet for that one half hour sit com.

In the complaints department of life everyone is in line.  Self pity masquerades as depression all the time. Unfortunately antidepressants can’t cure self pity, Amber of entitlement.

I resist kicking my dog, hug him instead, because having been kicked all day I have to learn to love. I know they’re afraid. I know that fear produces anger.

I also know that forces have always use angry fearful people to hurt others and act out their political desire.   

There really are people who like kicking dogs and people.

I call to you God

I call to you God. Hear me Lord Jesus. Holy Spirit Come. Lord of lords. Divine and sacred. Wee small voice within. Sound of heaven without. All that is. Here and then and tomorrow. I call to you. Still my fear. Touch me with your love.  I love you Lord. I love you Jesus. Holy Spirit Come.  Forgive me for my double mindedness, my worry and negativity. Help me Lord to go forward. Be thou my rear guard. Be though my flanking force. Be thou the wedge of light I follow. Be with me in all I do to day.  Help me to follow you Lord. Let me be gentle and caring and focussed and kind. Help me to solve the myriad puzzles that come to me each day. Fill me with energy to do thy will.

Thank you Lord for this life. Thank you for the rest of night. Thank you for Gilbert and George my furry companions. Thank you for this home, this roof that kept the down pouring rain ootside, the furnace that gave me heat, the toilet that takes waste from inside to outside, the water system that brings fresh water in. Thank you for the clean air. Thank you for this body with it’s mostly working parts.  Thank you for the exercises and the couch. Thank you for my fingers. Please keep them safe. Thank you for my eyes and ears and mouth and hands and feet and heart and lungs and abdomen. Thank you for family with their good cheer and momentous events transpiring. 

Thank you for expresso. Thank you for Ipad and Kindle and books of history and writers and story tellers. Thank you for science and chemistry and neurotransmitters and synapses. Thank you for the amygdala and hippocampus, the frontal lobe and pituitary. Thank you for serotonin, gabba, norepinephrine, dopamine, threonine, ATP, nerves, bundles, ion pumps, hormones and messengers. Thank you for the moments of eureka, the great and small insights. 

Thank you for love Lord. Thank you for the glue of the universe. May I know it more deeply. May I show it more surely. Help me Lord. Be with me. May I walk with you and lie with you and sit and stand with you.  Please Lord use me as a vehicle for your love. Let me be your hands your mouth, your eyes and ears and servant.  Please Lord quiet my mind, still the fears within me. Lessen the pain.

Help me in all I do to guide others to see the possibilities and potentialities. Help me to refuse to join them in their self condemnation and restriction of possibilities. Help me magnify placebo and nullify nocebo. Help me restore hope. Help me help the healing process.  Help me weed out the interfering variables. Show m how I can best serve the stranger who comes to me in pain and sorrow.

Help me avoid the anger, hate and shame that hurt people throw around them indiscriminately randomly like feces hoping it will stick to some wall. Too long have they not known or not accepted where their faults lie and blamed others and demanded that others change when only their changing can still the pain that is grating on them. Help me help them to take their hands out of the flames.  Help me help others. HElp me help myself Lord.

Thank you Lord for the gifts of healing and training that you have bestowed on me. I have served you faithfully mostly and ask that I continue to do so as best I can.  Take my méager offerings and transform them. Mould me.  Lift me up.

Please Lord I beg of you. Be with me as I try my hardest with every tactic and strategy, with every means I have to steer people from danger, death and disease. Protect them from the poseurs who would claim to serve them serving themselves and using them for their weapons.  I know there were promises galore and that the wounded person is bleeding without the beds, the medicine, the doctors or the nurses they paid for and were promised. Help them to direct their anger where it belongs and not at me who is one of the last left in the field . The rich and powerful and aloof stay furthers from the front lines and take all the resources that were promised the troops and the injured. We have none of what was promised bu their are infinite committee and police and generals and chiefs and back room deals.  Help me make up for what is lost. Help me despite the soul destroying weariness of standing with the lsst survivors facing the disease hand in hand at very least when there are rooms so very far from the front with all manner of great ideas and smugness and back slapping and award giving each other. Let me forget that Lord. Let me focus on my role. Let me focus on the person I am with. Let me focus on the here and now and try whatever I can to help them this day.  Help me help them to change and help me to change.  Together we are burdened by the graft and corruption.  Help me see the light. Help me walk through the darkness. 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death Thou art with me.  Let me feel your presence. Let me see your path. Hold me up Lord. Stil my fear.  

Thank you Lord. 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Mother Love

She is talking, matter of factly. The child is playing quietly beside her.  He is studying a book. She continues speaking adult to adult. But the child quiets for an instant and she reaches across to him touching him. He continues to turn pages. It’s a brief second. Like a ignition switch touch.  Two spines entwined. I’m outside of this. The adult talking to another adult. One whose body held this child with hers for short of a year. But now still connects with a spiritual umbilical chord.  The child is comforted by the touch. Goes on with his childishness.  HIs mother is close. All is well in his world. She is beautiful in her grace

I sometimes feel this with God. My own mother long dead.  Overworked.  Used up, depleted. Spent. Sweet in death as in life.  Now there are moments when I’m comforted by synchronicity and sacredness. It’s not the same. But it’s as close as I can come long past the age of this child, this side of the other place, called haven. Where my mother is.  

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Jesus Baptism: Christian Theology , Materialism and Faith

Evolution says we developed from the ape.  We are as humans very similar to chimpanzees.  One of the important differences from animals that man appears at times is the ability to ‘self reflect’ or ‘internalize’.  Tool making was once a distinguishing feature but we now know that not only do monkeys make and use tools, birds, which evolved directly from dinosaurs and even fish and insects use tools.  We don’t know if they have imaginations or they think so called intellectual questions. Indeed in the matter of quantum physics, string theory and different dimensions cats may as we have presumed be only present in this dimension utilizing the teeniest fraction of their intelligence.

The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy posited that mice were running the earth as an experiment.  The Lazy Man’s Guide to Enlightenment by Thaddeus Golas suggests that our present state of awareness is a reflection of our general anxiety and depression.  The enlightened mind is capable by contrast of God like insight and capacity. Certainly neurologists have long noted we don’t appear to use much of our tremedous brain power, something most brilliant students have heard from their teachers or parents.  

Aetheism whose principle social expression to date is communist socialism  a pure fantasy that the world is solely materialistic and man’s principle goal is power.  The world according to aetheists is divided into the oppressor and the oppressed. Later cultural Marxism following on the Frankfurt school and the fall of the International Marxist Socialism  of the USSR and the National Socialism of Nazism.  China continues with it’s totalitarianism for now with  the consequent increasing murder of those who are different. Communism has recently killed millions.   One considers this devolution of aetheism into the tribalism and law of the jungle of so called primitive man to date perhaps to be the most primitive and reductionist analysis of humans to date.

Even the superstitious primitives and tribal humans posited an unseen world. Local Aboriginals fore fathers claimed there was a Creator and that humans had a relationship with the creator and all of creation.  Creation gods abound in history.  

Aetheists claim at best a Big Bang.  Dr. Mario de Beuregaard, neuroscientist author of Spiritual Brain gives the best description of the PSEUDOSCIENCE that dominates the politics of today.  

The question of the Big Bang is tied to Marcus Aurelius and St. Augustine. We simply don’t know that yesterday exists any more than we know tomorrow exists. We even must ask others about our supposed birth and must rely on ‘memory’ to conclude the history of our own existence.  An elegant analysis of time and intelligence simply showed it was impossible for a monkey to learn to play piano like Bach in the time given from the proposed Big Bang To now.  Owen Barfied described the fundamental function of the brain was to ‘save the appearances’.  We fill in the gaps and we make up things.  We are a fanciful creature. 

Indeed the argument has been made that the big brain of the human is an evolutionary development that was for deceit. That a wholly honest animal would signal to a lion it wanted to eat it and get eaten.  The Book of Tells, How to Read People’s Minds by their Actions is a classic text for gamblers by Peter Collett.  It shows that man has attempt to succeed with the development of a ‘poker face’ and various other deceits which are apparent as incongruences between what is said and what is shown.  Actions apparently speak louder than words. Trojan Horse is one of the children’s classic tales of enlightenment. Today we have journalists, fake news and Wikipedia. 

Christians believe in Jesus Christ.  He is an unseen god, also the son of an unseen god, who promised to send his believers an unseen god to serve them.  The Trinity, is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Gospel which translates as the Good News says that Jesus was born as a human child and did miracles. He was baptized by John, preached in the temples of the day, taught and interpreted the scriptures of the day for ordinary men and women, then  healed people with sickness by asking his father for healing.  He said he served his father and he was an advocate for man. His father was in heaven.

Heaven is not of this earth. It may be inside.  The detractors of faith always put heaven in the sky when it’s clear that Christians have described heaven as connected to the nous or spiritual heart centred in the chest.  

The powerful men of the day faked being spiritual for profit. The soldiers and police of the day lorded over the physical world taxing and stealing the work and profits of others. They saw Jesus as a threat.  His own people’s leaders betrayed him to the conquering army’s leadership and he was crucified.  

The Good News is he resurrected from the grave and rose to heaven. This rising was described in a sense into a different dimension however it’s hard to describe with certainty for the knowledge of the galaxy as we know it today was unknown to the followers of Jesus perhaps.  Whose to say he wasn’t beamed up by God. Alien intelligence just begs the question.  There is little doubt  that he taught his followers, walked their world and that they too gained the ability to heal and enlighten. If we believe in a linear yesterday as opposed to a stellate now.  We awake each day and sleep only to awak with a new set of memories and priorities.  Fragmented hard drives etc.   Even the notion of infinity in in doubt to an agricultural people who viewed time only so far as a ‘long time’.  Greek philosophers, all of which were religious and spiritual, not at all aetheistic, like some philosophers today, have to a large extent conceptualized and described modern ideas thousands of years ago.  That Jesus resurrected was not a  ‘idea’ before him.  Reincarnation was an old idea. It was not only a Jewish idea which is evoked in the book Evolution of God by Princeton University’s Robert Wright. He addresses some of the early ‘rewritings of the bible’.  The earliest text of the Jewish Torah is definitely abridged by a later priestly writer much like the editing of Christian writings by the Council of Nicaea. Ideally there would be a prime text with a ‘commentary’ but some ideas are expunged especially by the STATE which is never truly in favour of FREEDOM of SPEECH as seen today with the latest hydra of Censorship under the guise of protecting people from Hate Speech despite history’s lesson that the Government is the most hateful creation of all time.   Christianity’s fundamental message is that Government Kills God.  Beware of Government.  In the  case of Jesus there were ‘witnesses’to his resurrection. .  The most important of the  skeptics was ‘doubting Thomas’.

Jesus taught Love God and Love your neighbour as yourself. This is not something we’ve seen our state leaders and politicians doing now nor apparently in 2000 years since Jesus was killed by the Government of his day for this Revolutionary Idea.  Christians remain the most persecuted people in the world.  .  

Neitze by contrast posited a Superman God and argued that Christianity was a poor man’s God. Jesus was seen as the ‘servant god’ , a vulnerable human baby who was eventually killed on a tree.  The early God’s of empire had been God Kings.  The Magna Carta of England had placed restrictions on the political figures of the day.  Even today the political figures insist they are intrinsically superior.  Locally the ‘hereditary chiefs’ of the aboriginals lord it over others of the band in the classic tribal hierarchy that had the ancient ‘nobility’ of Medievalism arguing that greatness was in the blood and breeding.  
God king leaders are still common in the world today though not as overtly as such in the west as they remain in the east.  Pride goest before the fall the Greeks taught. Hubris remains an issue today.  Most nations are lead by Committee, a central gang with a particularly physical world clever man who once was called the ‘big man’.  Some argue a small group of families rules.  Niall Ferguson’s The Square and Tower study of networks undermines most conspiracy theories as the world is a complex and interconnected as the neutrons and synapses of an individual brain which is said to have as many connections as stars in the galaxy.  We may well be looking at our own thoughts when we look at the sky. Apparently the Chinese put a rover on the dark side of the moon. Trust the communist to be ultra secretive.  If luck has it a new generation of spy novels will develop with Bruce Jenner playing an East Indian James Bond seeking an Oriental communist spymaster made by the Turkish film industry with Oprah as the new spy girl. Strange is the new reality.

The Hindu religions having no difficulty with reincarnation long argued that the ‘illusion’ or Moksha of this wis that the world is the ‘material’. The world is spiritual like the Gnostic movie, the Matrix.   Einstein argued that Energy and Mass were related solely by time and speed. Mass being slow energy.  

Christians believe in general that God created the world and that his Son Jesus elucidated the plan and purpose of creation.  We would be wise to follow his plan.  The scriptures give a glimpse of this.  The law of attraction as developed by Emmett Fox and other later Christians popular in California suggests what Pascal premised was true. Aetheists not wanting God die and that’s it. So it’s really best if they get all the toys and conquer and have baby temper fits and arrogantly spout nonsense because a loving God wouldn’t force an afterlife on such trolls.  Or are they baby souls who just refuse their soul food.

Christianity was  derived from the teachings of Jesus as observed and recorded by Luke,Mathew and Mark and later John.  St. Paul wasn’t an actual witness or confidant of physical Jesus and took his theological background from Judaism which had fundamental difficulty with the idea of a ‘servant king’ or a man who preached ‘love’.  St. Paul stoned the first Christian he could and only stopped stoning Christians when he was told by God not to.  He then spread churches and helped develop the Christian teachings into a sect that became a religion.  Jesus, by the way, did not say, spread churches.  The institutions and real estate and money and land are all interpretative. Jesus did say carry the message.  Theoretically this could have meant solely word of mouth or because Christians lived a certain way this way would spread. Indeed the Way remains the most threatening thing to the Secular Authorities. 

Constantine in 300 ad made Christianity the State Church of the Empire.  He wed the Christian teachings to the Greek and Roman Empire of the day.  He called the Council of Nicaea to begin the process of ‘orthodoxy’.  Prior to  c . 300 there was a lot more Christianity.  Even Paul and Peter disagree in the existing gospels.  Further when Jesus is questioned about people performing miracles in his name he doesn’t really get into splitting hairs but says if they are healing and doing good so be it. He does have his objections to the rich.  He says you “cannot serve both God and money”. That’s a direct quote. Ironically Jesus doesn’t talk about same sex marriages but he does talk about money and fear which are often not the topic of church sermons especially when there are insurance agents and bankers attending..

Do not be afraid was a principle ‘command’ of Jesus.  When I told a friend I was a Christian psychiatrist he said that was an oxymoron. Certainly Christian psychologists were not a necessity when Christianity was a more encompassing religion than a Sunday affair. Robert Graves in the Golden Bough discussed the purpose of all the religions of the world to the common man.  The superstitious role of the Christian pastor is as scapegoat. Fields of Blood by Karen Armstrong showed clearly that the spiritual leader of the day in all religions, not just Christianity,  must support the material leader of the day or he was likely go the way of Thomas Beckett.

The  Council of Nicaea  rejected fundamental ideas about matter and god and spirit and human.  To be a state church orthodoxy the interpretations had to be made into law to give work for lawyers and beurocrats and ensure that religion followed the state power of the God Kings of the Day.  Constantine never stopped being a God King. Roman Emperor, he himself was a Sun Worshiper , not that original as God Kings go. Egyptian God Kings were always  the  party favourites.  Constantine’s Sun Worship was the reason for the Sabbath becoming Sun Day rather than traditional Hebrew Saturday. Jesus was liked by the Centurions. Aetheists aren’t particularly common in foxholes. Constantine was a warrior and he saw the soldiers of the Way were superior to pagan soldiers.  The Milvian Bridge clash won him the Roman Empire.

The question for the enlightened was if there was anything beyond the gospels in the first three hundred years of Christianity which might well have been what Jesus said but didn’t appeal to Constantine or church leaders or an empire builder like the wealthy Rabbi  Paul. The Gnostic Gospels were found and these suggested secret teachings but had a cloak and dagger feeling which is too much based on the political ways of the world, inclusive and exclusive.  Jesus said ‘if you have ears you will hear, not a secret society.  

The Good News was fairly inviting. Jesus said, “Follow Me’.  He also said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”  See here, ‘deny themselves’ and ‘pick up their cross’.  That’s the rub.

The God of the Psalms who Jesus taught said  “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me I will answer. I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them with long life and give them my salvation.”

Aetheist materialism has a number of arcane beliefs which scientifically are seen as ‘hypothesis’, not ‘facts’ but ‘assumptions’.  No one except perhaps Justin Trudeau has been more scientifically illiterate than Lawyer Obama.  Merkel who trained as a scientist should be ashamed of herself but as an East German Stasi she really knows the power of deceit and fear. 

 In contrast Christian spirituality says historically this man and these men said this about reality and God and how can we reconcile what is seen and unseen. We seem to do just fine with WiFi but have more difficulty today with idea of Prayer.  

Physics with it’s string theory has no difficult with religion.  The vast majority of scientists and philosophers of all time had no difficulty with God.  Aetheists are a very tiny minority of very loud and often very angry depressed anxious people.  

Jesus said ,” Do not be afraid’.  Jesus said.”Pray”.  He actually taught prayer specifically.  

Good news.  The real world goes beyond death. The real world has greater depth and breadth than this ‘known’ world. The  male age of rationalism was followed by the female age of emotionalism and we are already in the  the most advanced age of intuition. Migration serves to dilute the age of Aquarius which was as terrifying to the war machine today as Christianity has always been.  

I wonder what the Emperor and Church Father’s and the Orthodoxy proponents suppressed of the teaching of the first three hundred years. It is clear that their ideas were rapidly challenged as the church proceeded to divide and grow almost imediately following the Council of Nicaea. The Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Catholic and the Coptic Christians were early divisions. The umbrella of the Church as a whole existed because each of the subsequent divisions were maintained as monasteries.  These divisions within the Christian world were seen in the Buddhist and Hindu Religions as with the Muslim political religion. The divisions are predictable in the orthodoxies. Each line of each Creed speaks to the divisions of early years.  Luther is a Johnny Come Lately.   

The history of spirituality argues that spirituality is like genius. It has a pure ness about it. There is a light which attracts insects.  This light can be either for earthly benefit or may be destroyed as potential risk to earthly power.   The Library of Alexandria might have been arson. Certainly the Vatican library long argued the place of ultimate censorship has everything about it that we ascribe to Roswell. 

The story of Jesus is a powerful teaching story what is claimed by the unenlightened as ‘merely’ ‘myth’ yet those who know might argue that as all is ‘myth’ the most powerful of ‘myths’ and indeed the most practical.  

Jesus Christ. 

I was in church today. Today was the Baptism of Jesus Day.  As a congregation we were asked to repeat our baptism vows.  We all qualified.  We’re in. We’re saved.  We need not be afraid.

I pray. The mystics teach that prayer and breath go together. The Dessert Fathers and St. Augustine taught the same.  Breathe. Pray.  Do not be afraid.  

Jesus Christ.  I am a spiritual being living in a material dream.  I am indeed a dreamer in God’s dream. I am made in the ‘image’ or ‘imagination of God’.  I am a spiritual being living in a spiritual world.  

St. John who baptized people in water was asked if he was the Christ. He said he wasn’t but that he was coming. He said the Christ would baptize in the Holy Spirit.  When St. John baptised Jesus in water he saw that God had baptised Jesus in the Holy Spirit.  There is a sense that such Love can be seen like a lightning which allows the visualization of the energy we call electricity.  Imagine seeing love. Perhaps only the blind do.

Do not be afraid. Pray. Jesus Christ.  Holy Spirit Come. 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Ethiopia? What am I thinking!

“What am I thinking?!” I thought waking today from a night of bad dreams. I was in Athens again being surrounded by Muslim young men screaming “infidel!”. They surrounded me like hounds and a bear, shoving me, trying to trip me, ripping the gold cross from inside my shirt. I broke from the circle before they could knocked me down and pile on me. Then I ran, faster than the speed of sound.  I was back as fly in doctor in Churchill when the gang of dock workers began punching me, surrounding me, knocking me down, putting their steel toed boots to my kidneys. Again I escaped.  Youth, athleticism.

Before going to bed I finished reading , North to Lalibela: Searching for Ethiopia by Duncan Lanser.  He and his friend traveled the Northerrn Historic Route I’m planning on following.  That was in 2015. It’s a sad account of a third world country with poverty, out of work teenagers and aggressive begging. Immediately they were mobbed and Duncan’s buddy Mike had his cell phone stolen.  Duncan had his flashlight stolen. Everyday throngs harrassed them at first friendly then with hostility demanding they buy this, give this or take this guid. It’s a really sad tale with little talk of the obvious incredible history and beauty of the place and land. There are obviously reprieves and nice people they meet but the police are unhelpful and there’s a general anti western atmosphere even in the tourist centres. As well there’s bed bugs, malaria mosquitos, parasites in the water, and just generally each day seems like they have to go through a war zone of demanding hustlers to get to a church or museum. There’s also the altitude which affects respiration and heart rates.  No wonder I have bad dreams.

Last week I was at the Travel Clinic -Vancouver Coastal Health -on Broadway - delighted to have Dr.Angela Ernst give me all the vaccines I need, including meningitis, and provide me with the Malarone protection against the Falciparum Malaria , Blackwater fever.  I even had my Yellow Fever certificate from years back updated and already had Hep B and C but needed my Tetanus renewed.  Apparently traveller’s diarrhea is fairly ubiquitous so I’ve antibiotics for Ethiopia’s Montezuma’s revenge, something I first encountered in Mexico. I was actually feeling rather elated and confident as insects were my principle fear.  I still must be concerned about rabies, a problem in Ethiopia, especially as I’m interested in meeting the famed Galada baboons. 

Asked why I was going to Ethiopia I explained that I wanted to visit the Coptic Churches but Muslim Brotherhood linked terrorists were blowing up Coptic Churches in Egypt. I’d been near  IRA bombings seen the effects, been repeatedly evacuated when I lived in London as a young man. I saw the after effects but wasn’t actually bombed so won’t tell a Hillary Clinton war story about that. My intrepid gorgeous partner Baiba at the time did come home from work one day with face scratches from flying broken glass, the building across from her office blown up.  So I joked and said I’d chosen Christian Ethiopia over Muslim Egypt because “I’d rather face “mosquitos than Muslims” The Sunni terrorist seem to be always Wahabism .There show no respect for other religions   A fellow recently in Cairo said he was robbed consecutively the first three days he left his hotel and mugged the fourth day. He caught a plane home having foregone seeing any of the tourist sites of Egypt. When I wanted to go there and went to Turkey instead the travel advisories were against any Canadian travelling in Egypt without being in a guided group. 

The Canadian and American consulates have a warning against going to parts of Ethiopia especially the border of Somalia and Sudan,and  Eritrea and Djibouti even has cautions.  There are border clashes between the Ethiopian military which sounds like a very impressive group and tribal and terrorist neighbours. Al Shabam the ISIS and al Quada related  Muslim terrorists bombed the main city of Addis Ababa more than a decade back but have had multiple terrorits attacks thwarted by Ethiopia’s fine  anti terrorism unit. This year there have been terrorist attacks in other parts of Ethiopia. Right now there’s tribal conflict in Oma to the south where there are so many colourful ancient tribes. Also there are troubles in the Danekil Depression, tectonic action, volcanoes, hot springs not only is the landscape prohibitive there’s been advisory of risks to tourist.

I read In Ethiopia with a Mule by Devia Murphy, a young Irish woman trekking alone along this northern route in 1968.  The bugs were terrible and she too was mugged and robbed, seriously once by a known criminal and murderer and a couple of times by opportunistic thieves. The police and authorities were extremely helpful. As Amharic is the official language and few spoke English , language was a problem in difficulties as it was for in 2015 Duncan Lanser. 

Ethiopia’s attractions are  associated with it’s history of conflict.  

Axum or Aksum is the northern city that was the site of a great empire. King Exana influenced by his childhood tutor, Frumentius, introduced Christianity to Ethiopia in circa .300   The Queen of Sheba of Biblical times, Queen of the South, Ethiopian,. visited King Solomon of Jerusalem circa 550.  Judaism was present from early days  .  Abyssinia is the  name historically for the Ethiopian Empire. Because Christians couldn’t pilgrim to Jerusalem because of the Muslim attacks the idea was to create Lalibela as a “New Jerusalem”. Hence the apparently unforgettable incredible rock churches.  The Aksum empire which became Christian had been pushed south by Muslim invasion. Lalibela became the new capital fo the Zagwe Dynasty. With Ottoman assistance the Abyssinian (Ethiopian) empire was overtaken in 1529. The Muslim onslaught was only stopped with the assistance of Christian Portuguese. 
1632 the new capital was at Gondar.  (What surprised me was that Yemen where Aden is, across the Red Sea, was once part of the Ethiopian Empires. Canada is presently selling war materials to  Saudi Arabia in the Yemen War against the Hthoui Rebels - small world). 
In 1896 Ethiopia defeated an Italian invasion. Menelik II and Hailie Selassie increased modernization. Hailie Selassie
I read Evelyn Waugh’s quite funny eye witness account of Haille Selassie’s coronation in his book Remote People (Evelyn Waugh, 1930)). The Rastafarians saw Hailie Selasie as as the new Messiah.
Between 1935 and 1947 Ethiopia was occupied in WWII by Italy only to be freed by British and Ethiopian rebels restoring Haile Selassie to the throne.  Ted Allbeury’s fast paced novel, The Girl from Addis is an novel about a British Agent in this era that read’s like an African Version of Smiley’s People. 

Haile Selassie was overthrown in 1974 by the murderous communist DERG Regime. The Red Terror with the murder of hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians followed by a famine that killed millions. That famine was reminiscent of the  USSR central socialist agricultural policy that murdered millions of Ukrainians.

In 1991 the Derg fell and Federal Democratic Republic under Meles Zenawi followed. The Ethiopian Military began to train with the US army and a counter terrorism task force with military advisors was established Ethiopia.  In 2006 Al Quada linked Somalian forces fought with Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Army winning and then withdrawing after the Battle of Mogadishu. Somalia remained in the hands of a small African Union force and the Somalia Transitional Government. Pirates operated out of Somalia for years after stealing ships and giving rise to the great Tom Hanks Captain Phillips movie about the US container ship Alabama pirated in 2009.   The Federal Government of Somalia, first central government since war, was only ushered in in 2012. 2017 Mohammed Abdullahi Mohamed was elected President and appointed Hasan Khaire as his prime minister.  There continue to be clashes along the Ethiopian and Somalian border.  

The Ethiopia Prime Minister is Ably Ahmed. He is Ethiopia’s first Muslim Prime Minister,  President Sahle-Work Swede is the first female president. Ethnic strife persists in Ethiopia. The colourful history of Ethiopia in ancient times and continuing to today has given rise to a variety of influences on the country’s architecture and people.  

(I read Wings over Ogaden by Tom Cooper an amazing account of the of the Ethiopian - Somalian war 1978-79 showing the extraordinary sales to Ethiopia of multimillion dollar weapons from the US, Europe and Russia.  Similar sales were made to Somalia. The gripping  movie Black Hawk Down with unforgettable war footage as engaging as the beach scenes of Saving Private Ryan, letting audiences catch a teeniest grip of what has forever been called the ‘fog of war’ was about 1993 . US troops withdrew in 1994.)

Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Ahmed Hussen,under Liberal Globalist PM Justin Trudeau, was  born in Mogadishu, left Somalia as a teen in 1994 and  became a lawyer in 2012 in Ontario Canada. It has been his policy to bring millions of migrants into Canada. 

I enjoyed reading a question in North to Lalibela which was a boy was asking Duncan, “do you think all of us Ethiopians are beggars’.  No , he responded,  but as a tourist he said, he was exposed disproportionately to beggars. 

The Lonely Planet guide series did make a point in one article comparing the relative risk of terrorist attack, or deaths or dismemberment or disease in Ethiopia  versus the chance of death or disease in North America. I’m more likely to die in a traffic accident than a terrorist attack.  Certainly if I take the precautions I am likely to have a very good time but now that I’ve learned of the teen boy assaults and thefts I’m going to take more precautions about that.

 I talked to Brilliant Guide Services and really think that going with them I’d have had a safe grand time without any risk at all. They were very helpful.  The trouble is I’m still able to be independent and I want to go slow at churches and avoid markets or crowds.  

So as with every expedition or adventure I’ve been on ,I have had moments of loss of faith. What am I thinking? I believe that it’s going to be increasingly difficult to travel in future with increasing divisive leftist politics and religious extremism.   We have a lot to learn from the Swiss and others.

I love that the Israelis air lifted some 30,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel when the DERG aetheist communists threatened them.  I used to feel towards my country the way the Israelis I know have felt towards there’s.  Part of the experience of travel has always been that it makes me appreciate Canada more. Canada for me is like my mother, I can criticize her but I don’t take kindly to anyone else criticizing her. 

What I love to see travelling is that planes fly, businesses run, people have babies.  All the lies of over population and war and politics are constantly exposed by the faith and endeavour of ordinary people. The principle problems in the world today are still greed and avarice, politics and envy.   It’s the problems I hear at the university, in the church and in my own workplace. 

Personally like everyone else today I can be a great’ critic’ but the fact is I’m thoroughly impressed that the human race crawled out of the water onto the land. I have trouble getting off my couch. Travelling I see the profound evidence of the greatness of men and women. I look forward to seeing the Lalibela Churches just as I looked forward to seeing the NASA launch pad. or 

Life is dangerous. There’s only one way out.  I dont want to be diseased or maimed but I’d rather see life as a journey where we help each other than something I really believe I could hide from.  The latter were described as leading  ‘lives of quiet desperation’.  What am I thinking? I’m thinking I’m going to Ethiopia.  I expect God will as always care for me and I will learn most likely a little more what I don’t know and what a pompous fool I can be in my ignorance. 

I also look forward  to seeing LUCY, our 3.2 million year old ancestor. The world’s not going to end any time soon. We’re still muddling along though the names have change,  gossip probably remains the same. 

Two Coptic Christian Ethiopian nurses cared for my mother in her last year. They were so loving and caring. I vowed then to go to Ethiopia one day to learn about the people, their home and this religion that made them so caring of a stranger.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Gun shot

“Get down!” He screamed in the crowd even as the first victim fell, The crimson painted her back as blood pooled around her.

He guaged the sniper direction of entrance and exit wound like finding north on a tree from the presence of the moss.

The sniper was moving to her second target still standing in the square.  A trousseau sculpture about to fall. SHe liked he way her bullets reached out and knocked the people over like bowling pins.  SHe had no emotional. Efficiency was her motto.

Under and behind the truck tire, he scanned the building a half mile away as people continued to exit the square bodies falling like bowling pins.  

At last he saw the open window. 8th floor.  He spoke quickly into his cell floor.  “8th floor,  Pink high rise. Open window.”

It was all he could do.  A team was headed there from outside of the kill zone.  He knew by the time they arrived the killer would be gone.  More shots rang out.  More bodies fell.  The last one was going back to help a woman, a friend, a lover. The two died.  The paper would show next day that 12 had died.

Next day the police had no clue.

She long left the square and boarded a train.

He had his Glock 9 mm in the shoulder holster.  It had been easier to get it onto the train. The plane would have been faster but  there would have been more hoops to jump. He didn’t like chasing a sniper carrying only a Glock 9 mm but it was better than going unarmed. The way things were going in the west , only the criminals would be armed soon. They had their own weapons manufacturing and soon would be building bazookas.  Every Afghan village could produce an AK 47. Not much to it.  Modern weapons were getting deadlier but the tech to create them was getting more available.  3 d printing was even a stage further forward.

On the train the passengers about him were reading, sleeping or listening to iPods. He would have napped if he could but sleep evaded him. He was wearing a tan cordoroy jacket and jeans. He took a Toblerrone chocolate bar out of his jacket and had a generous piece.  

She’d got on the first plane out of the city.  The rifle was shipped by purolater, broken down into parts. Even if scanned, placed in a box with the right miscellaneous mechanical parts, no one would see the rifle parts.  She’d be able to observe the site where it was to go when she got there to assure her even more there was no concern. Right now she wanted to nap off the rush she’d just had.  Pulling her black tongue low over her eyes , she curled innto the window for a nap. She hardly noticed the plane take off.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Travel Clinic - Vancouver Coastal Health

What a great experience at the Travel Clinic Vancouver Coastal Health. The staff were positively delightful. Everything was really easy.  Lovely offices at 601 Broadway.  It’s on the ground floor at the back so a tad tricky to find.  

The receptionist was welcoming.  The intake form easy to understand.  Dr. Angela Ernst was truly praiseworthy.  As a clinician myself whose done a bit of travelling I had some significant concerns about travelling to Ethiopia. Mostly mosquitoes and falciparum malaria.  Black water Fever.

It’s interesting that in my residency in community medicine and public health I’d learned about Falciparum Malaria and Sickle Cell Anemia. The British medical doctor, Dr. Burkett of Burkett Lymphoma fame  had noted a correlation between the two areas of distribution of these disease.  Dr, Burkett hypothesized the overlapping distribution of the two diseases was more than just coincidence. It was postulated that the carrier state of Sickle Cell anemia was selected for in the overlapping regions. 

Now here I am decades later heading out to where these textbook mosquitoes breed. I’ve already bought Ben’s 20% Deet. 

Dr. Angela Ernst was on top of everything.  All the latest vaccines. I’m not a Luddite anti vaxxers. Thanks to Dr. Ernst I’ve got my Hep B and A vaccine, my tetanus renewed, meningitis vaccine. I even had my yellow fever certificate renewed.  I had the shingles vaccines a couple of years back so that was good. I had TB treatment in the US after acquiring the infection as a flyin doctor in Northern Canada. Dr. Angela even offered me the flu vaccine which I was glad to have now that I’m aged enough to be in a population which warrants it.

The staff actually poked me with no loss of limb. They were so competent and caring that the vaccines were less painful than a mosquito bite.

What Dr. Angela Ernst gave me was a ‘holy’ prescription for MALARONE ,the malaria prophylaxis. This is why one needs a travel specialist.  There are a dozen anti malarials and malarial prophylaxis. Historic quinine was in the tonic water mixed with gin to protect the colonia era British travellers.  Different malaria’s require different anti malarials today.  Thank God Dr Ernst conscientiously keeps abreast of the advances and changes in international infectious diseases.

She also gave me Zithromax  for traveller’s diarrhea. I told her I’d written a paper comparing Septra and Doxycycline for traveller’s diarrhea some 30 years ago to. Today the recommendation was this newer medicine I only ever recommended for STD’s and URI’s.  

It felt so safe here.  How can one ever travel without visiting a travel clinic?  I came here when I took off to study medical Spanish in Costa Rica and again before sailing solo across the Pacific en route to the Mariana Islands.  My friend Laura told me she’d been to this clinic and loved it before she flew out to th Marianas. My friend Mary Lou is heading out to the Phillipines for vacation. She came to this clinic too and loved it,

I confess I was exuberant. The prospect of being a ‘free man in Paris’ again after a few years is intoxicating. I last felt this way about adventure and exploration going to Cappadoecia.  The Christians built under ground churches there to survive the invasions and persecution. Now I’m so looking forward to seeing the rock churches of Lallibela.

The cost was minuscule too, cheap for private medicine, the cost of a room for a night.  The benefits the same as insurance.  I loved Dr. Ernst’s comments on footwear and clothing, ways to protect myself to maximize the benefits of travel while minimizing the risks. 


Out of Control

“She is out of control. She’s been going down town and picking up men randomly for sex,” he said, quite hysterical
“Is she using a condom?” Raven replied
“How can you ask that. She’s married to one of the most important men of our time. This could be a public relations nightmare.”
“It could be a whole lot worse if he and she both die of Aids. Or word gets out she has syphillis They don’t call it the English Disease or the French disease any more. People know how STD’s spreads.” Raven answered, looking at her long painted nails. She’d chosen red polish with tiny black roses.
“Do you think she’s infected now? Do we have to get her tested.? Will she listen to reason.’ He was shuffling papers feigning to look for something. It’s what he did when he was anxious. He was very anxious now.  His job depended on the present regimen. There was never any security but he’d just invested in some offshore property. He had commitments. He didn’t need her acting like some teen age girl who’d had her first orgasm.

She was very beautiful. Exotic in the manner of tall willowy black haired women.  She knew men desired her. She had known since her father climbed into bed with her and she felt that pain and his covering her mouth as she tried to scream. Her mother was angry at her in the morning. But her father had told her after that she was his number one. Her mother made her clean her own laundry. But she stared down at her mother after that. Shameless. She knew.

Her father then came into her room night after night. There was only a little more pain. She began enjoying the attention anticipating his coming.  Learning from him what he liked.  She moved her hips and her tongue danced.  “You’re so much better than your mother, ‘ he told her.  She liked that until she saw her mother crying in the morning.

She would cry scant years later when her younger sister became her age. Her father never came to her bad after that.

She’d learned her power. She watched other women, how they walked, how they held themselves. She practiced on the boys at school but they were children.  Her teachers were a bit more interesting.  Her mother had taken her to her own doctor. She’d begun the birth control pill. Every culture knows about in breeding. Until the Pill and IUD all cultures had were taboos. 

 Her mother become more her friend and sister . She stopped being mean to her.  She was still a little girl. Her sister now was old before her time.

At college she was in control. She rode her policy professor like a little donkey. 

“Men are so easily pleased’, she thought, smiling to hersel. They’re useful too.

She wanted so much now. She had fine clothing and a fancy car. Her own car. A little Fiat.  Her father had bought it for her.  She’d used it to fuck the professor in the back seat, not caring he found it cramped, having to open the door, risking being caught,  that first night , in the park.  

She liked the feel of men between her thighs.  She didn’t always orgasm.  She liked them serving her..She really wanted  servants. 

“I’d prefer slaves,” she’d laugh to herself. A master of pc, she to keep that thought to herself. 

When she had her degrees she got a job that came with her own staff.  She was quite the bitch.  Behind her back they called her names. What did she care. She was smart and elegant. Men wanted her. Women too. Her boss was a woman who introduced her to a whole different world, More rough in some ways, more tender in others.

It was after that she got into politics.  She liked to dress up and talk with powerful men and women.  Raised in the family she was ,with the associations of her father and the relatives of her mother, she’d a certain ease of relationship with people of what was once referred to as “class.”  Her group was a classless society now.  It would be a terrible faux pas if she were to let that word slip at some party.  Class was one of the many new “banned” words. They all knew  there were things that they didn’t say. 

Whwn one of the others was among them they made it seem as if he or she was like them. Outsiders didn’t know.  The atmosphere just changed when they were gone. She and her former boss would love to laugh  and gossip. They didn’t share a bed so much anymore but when they touched there still electricity. The bedroom door wasn’t closed. They had both just expanded their range..  At the spa naked together in the steam room just a towel between them they’d talk of lust and lovers.  When they having they would talk of politics without names. They had demeaning nicknames for all the players.. They were very careful not to let anything slip from their adventures in the board room. But beneath the sheets, that was different.  It was also knowledge.  Knowing a person’s particular whims in private gave one a certain power.  Only the inner circle shared this knowledge.  Knowledge was power.

She saw him first.  He was acting silly with his mates. She’d not have paid him any attention except for his name.  He was cute too in a girlish sort of way.  Not strong like her father.  Boyish and sweet when she got to know him.  So insecure.  Right from the start he let her use him.  Their engagement followed not long after.  She was getting too old to be single. Twenty six.The married men were beginning to consider as mistress material.  She needed her own fiefdom. 

She wasnted to compete in these domains.  She’d thought of being a concubine but she saw early the power of religion especially to the other women. She didn’t believe in any of the nonsense but the forms were pretty. She liked the rituals. She felt something when she practiced especially with the women, some of whom she’d known outside the place of worship.

Now married it followed she would have children. She stopped the pill. Her mother and sisters were close to her. Together they shared everything.  Her mother was even friends with her former lover now. She was even a bit jealous. They talked of shoes though. There was no doubt  they each coveted what the other had.

She remembered her first 4 inch heels, how she’d had such difficulty walking in them. The sales girl said, “Honey they’re not for walking. If you’re walking in those beauties you’re definitely doing something wrong.”

When they came, she liked her children.A girl and a boy.   She didn’t know if she would have, were it not for her nannies. She enjoyed best when her sisters came over. They had children of their own.  She, her mother and they would drink  wine and some  smoked hashish. Her mother preferred opium. The nannies prepared the little ones for naps and fed them.  She began drinking a bit more.  Shiraz was her favourite.

Those days her husband was sleeping with his secretary . A little blond who was too coarse to keep him interested too long. She was everything she wasn’t.  Her mother had been the first to notice the  change in him. She tried to warn her.  No one would say they  plotted but the women  did discuss it at length. In their circle it wasn’t approved of but men were pigs. It was only considered acceptable if he was discrete.  It was obvious that’s what he wanted. They were not sure about her.  

A friend of her sisters took the time to talk to her about discretion. The girl was quite shocked to be confronted by this powerful woman . The woman explained to her the rules as if she was a school girl.  It really was all about class but no one would call it that. After that the affair didn’t last much longer. All the sauciness had gone out of the girl when she understood the  larger picture.

This wasn’t about individuals. In her mind she’d been competing with the wife. The  wife was alone in her mind. That just wasn’t alone. The wife was part of a coven. A nest.   A crèche situations.  Even the man didn’t know how many were involved in the fabric of this thing.  

“You’ve had  a bit much, don’t you think dear,” he said to her that first night after the secretary quit. He’d used her for his pleasure, the first time in months,  a moment of desperate manliness. He’d not even bothered to wait for the bed. In the garage he’d pinned her to the wall,  pulled down her black lace panties, staying behind her,  pinning her with one arm against something metal.  She’d felt dirty. She even worried a bit about her crimson gown getting soiled. There was no pleasure for her. She was just a convenient receptacle. He didn’t take long.  She brushed her skirt down, picked up the panties from the cement floor and followed him into the house. She went straight for the wine cabinet.

She was on her second glass of Shiraz when he made the comment. She was wet with him and sore.


“I don’t know how we can keep this out of the news if someone sees her.” He carried on. Raven was listening. 

“She’s not taken the Mercedes down there. She leaves it by the train and uses that to get to the city.”

“Did you have her followed.”, “There’s always been some surveillance for the family. His father insisted . But I stepped it up myself after she hit the parked car on the street and we had to have our lawyer friend brought in to avoid the police her.”

“Has there been more.” Raven asked. 

“More? I’d think the pictures of her naked in that back alley down town with a homeless man would be enough.”

“Of course it’s enough but how much more is there?

“Well we have her in the western bar.  There’s  a gang of black men in the porn club. She’s been to the park as well.

“God, how long has it been going on.” Raven sighned. She was staring at one nail with the black rose. 

“I told you, it’s only been a couple of weeks.’

“A couple of weeks.’


“And she’s the same in every other way.”

“Yes. With the kids and in her own work. It’s just she seems tireless.  All that fucking. All those nights out. Whenever he’s on trips away , she’s up half the night drinking and going  with different men. There must be 30 or more already.”

‘We have to stop this.’ Raven said, adamant, no longer studying her nail, looking straight at him. 

“What do you think I’ve been saying?” He asked, his tone hurt

.”while what do you suggest. You must have some suggestion. You’ve been building up to this’

“I think we have to Talk to his mother.”

“Really. “ she said, looking back at her nails

 “Yes. Not just because she has her own problems. She’s got the most to lose.  I’ll talk to her mother too.  Lets the ladies handle it. I expect they’re concerned but they don’t know all of it. I was hoping it would stop without them but it hasn’t. I need you to arrange it.”

Raven understood. It just wasn’t in her job description as a bodyguard. She didn’t like things to get messy and this really had the potential to get messy real fast. Besides she liked her job.


The mothers talked to her shortly after, in the morning, over coffee.

“We’ve decided it would be best if you took a vacation dear.” 

She’d looked from one to the other.

“We know’ her mother said.

She looked around the carefully decorated sitting room, bay windows ,brocaded couch. Her eyes settled on the French Provincial Furniture legs.

“What if I don’t want to take go ?” She asked. after taking a sip of tea from her cup peering over the rim  at the two women, calculating.

“It’s best for the children.” Her mother said.

“ We’re only thinking about the children, Dear.” His mother said. 

She wondered how much they knew. They’d never say but it wasn’t about details now, was it. Not to these women.  She’d not seen them look so strong in so many years. She didn’t like them looking at her this way.  She felt sick and she didn’t think it was just her hangover. She tried to think of her options.  She was wearing a linen pant suit and found herself staring now at the fabric, admiring it as she did the incredibly expensive Persian silk and wool carpet 

“Where would I go, “ she asked, after a while

“We’ve made all the arrangements with friends back home.” 

“I dont want to go there.”  She abhorred that place.  So strict. So secretive. So controlling. She thought she’d run away if they insisted. She was studying the bone china cup.

“You’ve given us no choice dear.”  First one mother spoke then the next.  They were sitting side by side.  Matriarchs  

It was only days later she was on the plane.


Raven  had flown out with her. Neither spoke. 

Her husband met the waitress after her shift was finished. He took her to the suite at the Beach Hotel  he’d rented for the occasion.  She really was a young thing. So energetic. She’d insisted on being on top and he liked that.  He couldn’t remember how good strange felt. Looking up at her pert breasts and pretty face as she ground her hips and moaned in ecstasy her head flung back her long neck stretched back, he felt young and powerful. After they’d done it once she’d wanted  him to take her from behind. He’d liked that. He’d even been a little rough. Slapped her ass a few times. Like a porn star.  After they’d showered together.  He’d watched her dress.  He’d thought of offering her money but when she didn’t ask he’d thought nothing of it.  He just figured she’d liked it as much as he did.  He was planning on seeing her but she was a little coarse. A bit cheap for his taste now he was dated. Lacking class, he though He didn’t know what he thought of the ‘Fuck You’ tattoo she had cursively written across the small of her back either. 


“What were you thinking?” His father asked him two days later.  The family lawyer was present.  “Forget that question. It was stupid of me. You weren’t thinking.  Now tell Mark here exactly what happened and perhaps he can make it right. You can can’t you, Mark.”

“I think so. It would have been worse if she’d gone to the police. The fact that she called you is a pretty good indication it’s just a straight forward shake down. I don’t like the bruises.  You didn’t do any of this, I presume.” He showed the picture of the girl with a bruised and swollen eyes and split lip.

“Of course not.  That’s ridiculous.  I never hit her face. I slapped her butt maybe but I didn’t do that. I’d never hit a woman in the face.” The son was furious. Bantu cock furious. 

“I didn’t think so, so this could mean either she’s done it herself or she’s got an accomplice.’

What’s she asking?” The father asked. 

“Well she’s not asking anything yet. She’s just saying she doesn’t want any other woman to go through what she’s gone through. She says she feared for her life and wanted you to know that she isn;’t after money or anything but that she’s concerned. She thinks your son needs help.”

‘God, that means she wants a lot. What do you guess. 5 figures, 6 figures.” The father looked at Mark. 

“I’ve asked Lou to find out if there’s a boyfriend. I think she wants 6 figures but we can get it down to 5. It’s not like she’s anyone.  What we can tell from her  family is that they’re into drugs.” Mark said. 

She was admitted to a private hospital overseas in a country where oversight wasn’t an issue and privacy was respected more than anything. The country existed solely to serve the wealthy and powerful. It had been that way for hundreds of years. Most times  such hospitals didn’t  even records. The staff kept what they needed to protect themselves if anything  unravelled. 

Her case was fairly straight forward. There were twenty other women all about the same age, young to middle age mothers, all supposedly depressed.   They had all been fairly  shaky the first days after their arrival.  There was no talking therapy.  Good food, rest and clonepin. There was no liquor in the facility.It wasn’t easy to come by in the country. Not  that that had stopped the local women of class. What they hadn’t been able to buy on the black market their young bodies and obvious intelligence had been able to procure. 

It was different for her.  She’d always had it.  No restrictions. Wine racks always stocked. Until now.  She didn’t like feelings she had now.  She’d been in a foul mood when she spoke to the doctor, called him all manner of names but he’d just put her in a room by herself. The women in the white uniforms, were all butch. Big girls.  Russian by the accent. She’d tried to seduce one but she’d only laughed at her.  


He sat watching his father and the lawyer. It was the second discussion. 

“There’s a biker boyfriend. He’s behind the extortion. He’s not affiliated though. Just a druggy. Even sold his Harley last month for some more crack. Its desperation. The two of them.  Drug addicts who thought they’d lucked out. Wanting the big score. Feeling entitled to it.”

“What can we do.” The father 

“They only want $10,000 . They’d started at $100,000 , just as I said. They settled for $10,000. I have the pictures of her and don’t think there are any more. They’re not smart enough to have kept copies. I scared them a bit too”

“But what happens when they use up the money you’ve given them and they need more drugs. Won’t they keep coming back.’ He asked, even though he’d felt relief at what he’d heard. 

“I don’t think so.  I talked to a friend about that and they said they’d look into it.” The lawyer answered, sharing an imperceptible nod with the father.


A couple of months later there were two more fentanyl deaths in the city.  The man wasn’t known by any one locally. The girl had a mother who identified her body for the police. The father’s whereabouts were not known.


The young woman came home a couple of months later.  She was older now. She wanted to be angry with her mother but she couldn’t be. She was just so glad to be home . To see her children.. To be in her own house. She talked half the night with her sister who caught her up on what was going on.

“Serves him right,” she said when she heard.

That was it.


Life went on.  She talked with the psychiatrist like a good girl. He never asked her anything about herself just wanted to know about the medication. It was what they’d given her in the hospital.  An antidepressant and something  that curbed her desire to drink as well.  

She saw the psychiatrist every month for fifteen minutes. When she’d tried to talk to him about her past or anything but the medication, he cut her off. “I’m sorry our time is up. We can discuss that next session.”  But nothing was discussed.  He was a private psychiatrist and the husband’s family paid him $500 each month.. She learned to take the medication and dutifully comment on her sleep and bowell movements.

Everyone was happy.

She was the wife of a very powerful man today.  The man’s lawyer took him on vacation to some island a couple of times a year.  There was all sorts of scandal in the news feeds but nothing stuck to her or her family.  When her father died her mother told her how much money they had overseas. She hadn’t thought she could be surprised but she was. 

That night she slept with her old boss and told her. “I knew all along girl. It never mattered to me.  Never let the kids know or it will go to their heads.  You don’t want children to lose control now , do you.”

“I guess not, ‘ she said.  She remembered the men in the back alley and the park. She could use a drink. She took an extra pill that night. Her son would be  graduating college soon. She didn’t want to think of her past.



Sunday, January 6, 2019

90 minutes in Heaven

I just watched this movie 90 minute in heaven. I don’t know why I did. I normally prefer gun fighting, car chases, and easy women. This wasn’t any of that. It s the true story of a young Pastor, Don Piper and his wife Eva, their family, friends and congregation, Don died in a car accident and came back to life. Multiple operations and months in hospital, a year unable to walk, excruciating pain and all the trials and tribulations of sickness.
Hayden Christensen and Kate Boswoth are amazing. Dwight Yoakim, Michael Smith and Fred Thompson were great too. The acting and writing were superb. It could so easily have been maudlin or slow but no, it wasn’t. It was an amazing choreographed. Michael Polish was the director. As sensitive and thoughtful as a director could be.
No alien invasions, hero’s charging forward on elephants or lamborghinis and pole  dancers. I loved it nonetheless. Truly brilliant moving and captivating.
Thank you

Friday, January 4, 2019

2 years old : Love and Shit

I don’t remember being two. It’s surprising when one considers all that happens in that year.  My earliest memory is of my Mother, my aunt and my Grandma in my Grandmother’s kitchen in Toronto.  She was smiling big time and laughing as were my mom and her sister. My father was holding me. My brother was standing on the big black and white tile floor.  There’d be later memories of dinner at the long dining room table with my grandfather. . Friends of my grandfather’s would be there and friends from the Baptist Church. The family from the United States came up one year. They were ‘well to do’ as my mother said.

My aunt had been the executive assistant to the Canadian ambassador  in Washington during WWII. She’d become close to the American’s in the family as a result.  She once told me of her years in Washington, wanting me to know about war. ‘It was a big party, Billy, the grandest party you could ever imagine.  Important meetings all day and dinner and dancing all night. We’d feel sorry for the men who came back from the war. We could tell they had a difficult time but in Washington it was just a series of parties and a whole lot of money.  I had a grand red coat and noticed that when I cam back to Toronto. I was standing on Youge looking up and down the street. As far as the eye could see I was the only bit of colour. Everywhere there was austerity. But not in Washington.  I just thought you should know.  When you talk of war and peace. I thought you should know about the parties. ‘. .  

 I think I was  2 when I remember being held by my father as we’d be coming and going through Grandma’s kitchen.  We always had dinner as a family back in those early years in Toronto.  The three years old and after memories begin to gel fairly solid but that time before two I’m not so sure. 

I knew a man who remembered being in the womb, blue light and steady beat of a drum. I used to do past life regressions with hypnosis with people I was working with in hypnosis but this time I’d just asked the fellow to go back to when he remembered being happy. He was sitting their in my office with a little smile mouthing a bit like a fish so I told him, ‘You can still speak and answer my questions whatever age you are.’  He didn’t know where he was but he was happy and he’d not been able to recall ever being happy in his life. But here he was happy. He described floating in dark blue surroundings and what was the comforting sound of his mothers’ heart. He was one of the saddest most depressed patients I’d ever treated despite his having gone on to achieve success at university and later in work in finance. He’d never married and never had children and lived pretty much alone following a rather onerous routine with no cheer.  We’d build on his womb experience in the months that followed awakening his positive feelings. I don’t know if ever achieved joy but he did find a modicum of happiness.

 Most people’s memory kicks in around 3 though a lot with trauma in the early years blot out their whole life of the time.  Walking off the good and bad.  Mentally doing what the body does faced with tuberculosis, walling off both healthy and sick parts of the lung to stop the spread of disease.   Walling off that trauma and past at what cost. The best of therapy is regaining the positive that was lost, exploring the good tissue, once the disease is identified.  I was easy for me to do therapy having begun in surgery. So much is similar. But I didn’t like that counselors with too little training focused in some kind of vicarious delight on the sick and dirty parts rather than moving beyond these to celebrate the healing, the scarring and the life that no longer needs to be forgotten but can be reclaimed.  

My own first trauma was the stray dog that bit me under the street lamp in front of our house. . I was drawn to the little grey terrier because he was shaking and cold.  Being a kid I didn’t realize it was summer and hot out and the dog shouldn’t have been sweating and shaking.   I always loved animals especially dogs. But this one was too afraid even for a little boy of three to approach him. He bit me and ran away. To this day I figure he was telling me to stay away because he couldn’t control himself like a were wolf going into a change or a human losing the last vestige of humanity as the zombie takes over in the horror movie. My parents were really scared. I was crying and bleeding but it wasn’t that bad a bite.  Punctures.  They were scared though and I remember Dad speeding on the way  to the hospital, every one serious.  I didn’t know about rabies.  I was treated for that all summer.  Because I’d told them about  animal being cold and sick and hot  and shaking, a stray that no one could find, I had to be treated.  Who knows if I did get rabies. It might explain things.  Especially to the later ex wives.   It was summer then and the moonlight and scent of flowers was something I remember. Also the hospital smells and the nurses and doctors in white.  My parents anxious that summer.  Everyone told me to never approach strays again. Not only would I approach them I’d make a career out of helping them. Not dogs but humans. Though I treated my share of animals when I was a fly in doctor in Northern Canada, the bush planes and helicopters the taxi service that took me in and out of remote reserves.

Two is an incredible time of walking and exploring and talking and opposition.  They used to think that kids who didn’t toilet train according to the clock were obstinate. They’d punish them. There was discipline and regimen in those days.  The military had won the war so all things military were admired. I don’t even remember diapers.  I don’t think I missed the magic time a kid  should stop shitting where I shouldn’t. Years later I’d piss in potted plants.  That’s what happens when you drink too much and there’s a line up at the washrooms in the parties of fancy millionaires and such. Now I’m worried about descending to Depends stage.  Sometimes I dream I’ve shit myself or pissed myself but it’s just a message to get out of the bed and use the toilet.  It’s still a harbinger of times to come.  As a kid though  I was probably okay. It no doubt contributed to my confidence . I was said  by all accounts to be a protege or sorts.  So I can only extrapolate and guess I did well on the big shitting and pissing test that back then no doubt separated the winners and the losers.  . Maybe I was out of diapers early.  I simply don’t know. I don’t remember and everyone I could ask about this is dead. Worse I doubt they considered it important even at the time. I know parents fuss about it but later it’s not all that memorable.  Like trauma that whole stinky diaper period is walled off. Not surprisingly kangaroos and other marsupials, are thought by some, especially males, to be an advanced species.

I carried the oppositional streak throughout my life.  I said no to all manner of things others just kowtowed too.  I wondered if they were beaten into submission as children. Maybe failed the shit piss stage so gave up on rebellion early.  I wasn’t anything but loved and cared for as a kid.. My mother was an incredibly happy red haired Irish beauty whose children, family and husband were the centre of her life.  My father’s father was a rancher and dad loved animals.  To him I was a special hairless kinds that tugged at his heart strings and caused him no end of concern.

My aunt always said I was such a lovely baby and little boy.. This was in contrast to what I’d later become.  My brother was always there. Four years older he was my hero. He did the most unusual things which to him were no big deal but to me were quite genius. Like doing up the buttons on my shirt for me or tying my shoe laces. He cared for me when I was small. There are pictures that tell this truth of the family love but I remember the warm feeling of family then. I remember loving hanging out with him, hugging my dad’s leg and curling up against my mother’s bozom holding her with arms hat didn’t even reach around to the back. I love the scent of my mother.  Lilac and lavender.

I just don’t remember much about two..  MCMLIII was a non descript year for me probably because I was caught up in really important matters like speech and locomotion and shitting on a toilet.  

It’s important now for me that Samual Beckett’s play, ‘Waiting for Godot’ premiered in Paris that year.

I’d had a recurrent dream that I was a bit of light in a translucent bright bubbles flying through the galaxy , stars all around me, with other light filled bright bubbles accompanying me, when all of a sudden, a cataclysmic event of some kind, knocked me off this happy exciting tranjectory and took me down through earth’s atmosphere to earth.   All my own kind, carried on,  on to a further destination, another planet perhaps,  where I was supposed to go with them but I ended up alone on this earth.   I didn’t feel I’d landed on the right planet at the right time. The people here were nice and loving but they were not my kind and my being here was a product of a huge mistake. I wondered when or if I’d ever be re united with my own kind.

A theologian came to teach at Regent College UBC. He was giving a free lecture at the ‘Under the Green Room’ series. He told a story about his second child being born when his first was only two.  The two year old asked if he could be alone with the baby. He was insisting he needed to be alone with the baby without anyone else being there. Having had their share of psychology and sibling rivalry tales  and never seeing the two year old so agitated. they decided to allow this to happen only while they stayed right outside the door having put a camera in the crib.

The two year old then walked unsteadily up the his brother and said quietly, ‘Do you remember Him?  I’m forgetting what He was like. »
The baby burbled some while the 2 year old went on,, ‘I used to see his face and hear his voice but it’s going.  Please tell me what’s He’s like again. I’m afraid I’m going  to forget Him.’ 

There was no more except the parents had this tape and the profound sense the child was speaking about God.

It’s would be a few years later I’d dreame of  a shining mother and father god comforting me in my bed, their faces hovering over my bed and speaking softly to me about my being on earth. It was a place to be and a time to spend but it was clear from what they were saying this was just a temporary place. Like the child’s place before and the world we were going to. Here we were just passing through.

Waiting for Godot really.  When I studied that play at University of Winnipeg in my first year of English studies I was immensely moved by it. We acted a bit of it and later I’d be blessed to see a live performance in England.  The existentialism of the war years.  Long before my birth. I was a post war baby.  My father had been in the Air Force.  He married my mother wearing his blue RCAF uniform.  My mother kept the jacket folded in the bureau.He wore it on very special occasions like Remembrance Day.  He never gained weight like I did. He was as slim and fit in his 90’s as he’d been when he first wore that blue RCAF jacket and went to war.

1953 was also the year that the CIA sponsored Robertson Panel first met to discuss the UFO phenomena.  Naturally that seems significant to me knowing what I know. James Watson and Francis Crick announced their discovery of the structure of the DNA. Something I’d study some 20 years later in depth. I’d love the movie Gattaca.  I ‘d study the history of Canadian women doctors research in eugenics later taken forward by the Nazis’s for their Final Solution. At the age of 2 knew no more of the double helix than I did of Stalin who had a stroke that year.  Without his doing so we’d never have had the great 2017 movie comedy, Death of Stalin.   

Dag Hammasrskjold and Nikita Khrushchev would come into prominence that year and both of them would be significant to me in later years. I’d hear of the Mau Mau in later years  but not really know they were a genocidal tribe in Kenya.  I’d mix them up with a wrap around skirt from somewhere else in the world.  

 More important to me personally was Ian Fleming publishing Casino Royale,  the first 007 James Bond book.  I read all his books and saw all the movies several times over, starting in my teen years after the Hardy Boy years. I still love Bond. My friend and I look back on our lives and wonder if we haven’t simply tried to emulate this fictional character.  The drinking, the fast sexy women, the PPK, guns, fast cars, fast boats, scuba diving, skiing.  The movies were an advertisement  for a kind of sophisticated masculinity that we fell hook line and sinker for. We’d read the books as they came out and watched all the movies over and over again, bemoaning only that we didn’t have a’ license to kill’. Thanks to Ian Fleming I learned at an early age the difference between freedom and license.  I’ve always had the freedom to kill. All I lacked was the license.

Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norqay became the first men to reach the summit of Mount Everest. If I’d been more than two at the time this would have impressed me. At two I was scaling my own Everests climbing up anything and everything that took my fancy.  Mount Everest now is  regular freeway to the top with tourists companies vying for the business. That didn’t matter. When I met a doctor at a wilderness medicine conference I was attending I was thoroughly impressed that he’d climbed Mount Everest. I learned a lot from our casual conversations and have quoted him for years. A gorgeous girlfriend of mine had been the doctor to the base camp of Mount Everest. I loved that my doctor friends from Winnipeg liked to hike in Nepal and Tibet taking their little children hiking at the base of these peaks. It didn’t surprise  to learn later of the the daughters  outstanding athletic and academic achievements. 

At two, I simply wouldn’t have known that Queen Elizabeth II had her coronation in Westminster Abbey in 1953.  I’m sure my mother’s would have mentioned it because in Canada’s the Royals , as they were called, were given a lot of attention. The Beatles themselves would even write a short song in Queen Elizabeth’s honor, ‘Our Queen is a very nice queen, though she hasn’t got a lot to say’ Coronation news is  not something that comes up when one is focused on toilet training and climbing out of cribs. Apparently I was a daring escape artist at that age. There was considerable doubt that I would survive those years as I was forever climbing and falling down and climbing back up again.  Definitely I was focussed on intensive training for later life.

Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russel starred  in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes that year.  The Korean War ended. The Rosenburgs were executed at Sing Sing and USSR got its first Hydrogen Bomb. The Korean War ended.  Kinsey published the second of the Kinsey Reports, Sexual Behaviour in the Human Female.  This continues to disturb men especially in Africa and the Middle East till today.  

John F. Kennedy married Jacki O. in Newport. REM and RAM were in the news. MACH II was reached by a manned aircraft.  The name MACH II, is used  today for a penile balloon type prosthesis implant, presumably for marketting reasons. Hugh Hefner published the first issue of Playboy with Marilyn Monroe as the centrefold nude. Hank Williams dies.

The trouble is I don’t remember any of this. . A whole lot was going on but I was not atypically satisfied to play in the bathroom, walk, run and fall, climb things and learn to speak so I could swear, something it was noted and brought to my attention I did at a very young age.   My fondest memory still remains my family in my Grandmother’s kitchen with the black and white tiled floors.