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The People of Your Life Grow Sparse

May 25, 2018 Leave a comment

I’ve decided to write at this moment, while my feelings are in great tumult. Although my life has kept me isolated from my boyhood pals and girls for several decades, I consider them a part of me, as part of the good and bad adventures we sometimes shared, and the stories we shared about them.

The advent of the Internet enabled us to search the world for old acquaintances. I’m in my eighties. I just learned that Bernie died. He was my closest friend from the age of fifteen to thirty. We were even brothers in law in our twenties for many years because we married twin girls. The news of Bernie’s death has shaken me a bit. I’m two months younger than Bernie, and I’m still here.

I read in his obituary details of Bernie’s final years. He suffered. He was supported by friends but cared for by strangers in several homes where they placed him. It breaks my heart to think of him in squalor. He was a fabulous character. He always dressed impeccably in fine garments. He always wore alligator shoes. He was exciting.

I felt the first impact of loss of past friends some years ago. I was told of the death of my long-time steady girlfriend from high school. At the same time I learned that her closest girlfriend, who I had dated once, was also dead. My “steady” had been a music teacher and the other woman had been a doctor. They’ve been dead for many years.

Added to my emotional burden about Bernie was news of another one of the guys. Marty was seen walking with a caregiver because he has dementia. The mutual friend who told me about it said Marty didn’t recognize her.

I have just one brother. There used to be three of us brothers, but our middle brother passed away several years ago.

My one remaining friend is seventy-three, and an active athlete at competitive levels. He participates in vintage formula auto racing, snowboarding, and tennis. I was never an athlete, but I’m able to do heavy work for short durations. I write blogs or stories every day, and usually do some drawings as well.

Why are Howie, Steve, and me  still here, while our flesh and blood and our friends are gone, physically or mentally?

Luck and genes I would guess.

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A Dearth of Mensch

April 10, 2018 Leave a comment

If you’re a woman of gentle nature and living a wholesome life, you might be seeking a special, exclusive partner. Women who fit that basic description are up against a tough situation. Although women of this type are desirable, and men would love to partner up with such women, it doesn’t happen happily as often as it should.

The main thing that diminishes the number of happy unions between gentle women and men who desire them is the dearth of mensch. The scarcity of good, kind, decent and honourable men is a potential problem for women of that same kind. Many women are not attracted to cowboys, high rollers and tattoos on bodies rippling with muscles.

Most any woman is attractive to a man of some type, but many men are unattractive to women of taste and quality. I don’t mean divas, or wealthy women. I mean good, honest, intelligent women. A man in a flashy car with a tattooed elbow out the window will be compellingly attractive to some women, but a woman with much self-esteem might find that image dated, or even comical.

The situation is such that for some women, a good man is hard to find. For other women, a hard man is good to find.

The Time of Your Life

March 20, 2018 3 comments

On the day you were born, you began the journey through time to the day you will die. We rarely know what day our life will end unless we end it ourselves. A life can span over 100 years or as little as a day. You are reading this blog, so you still have the time of your death to come, sometime in the future.

All we are given in life is time. The time is ours to use as we wish: we can kill time, waste time, save time, or use time in any way that we choose. There is no doubt that the more we put into our life’s time, the more we get out of our life. The person who lives through a life of simple work just to acquire the money for a case of beer with which to waste a weekend will get little out of life.

The person that works in exchanging currencies or buying and selling stocks that might or might not support profitable enterprises might enjoy the climb toward oligarchy, but fail to experience the rich value of nature and genuine friendships. That person might enjoy yachting, which is a good way to experience nature. Or they might enjoy yacht racing, which would rob them of the opportunity to absorb the wonders of wind and water except as a competitive platform.

Each of us should appreciate the value of time. Quiet time spent reading a book is not a waste of time. Camping in a forest, sitting around a crackling fire is not a waste of time. Lying on a beach getting fried by the sun might very well be a useless waste of time, unless a deep tan is of value. It probably is not, except as a cosmetic enhancement. In fact, it might shorten your life through the destructive forces of excessive sunlight.

Working constantly in the pursuit of wealth cannot be called a waste of time. Neither is it the maximum good use of time if it is not interspersed with times of relaxation, family relationships and social interactions.

Use the time of your life wisely because it is all you are given when you’re born, and you don’t know when you might run out of time.

Responsibilities and Illusions

March 8, 2018 Leave a comment

My father’s eldest brother was, by default, the head of the extended family. He was well worthy of the responsibility. He arrived in Canada with his parents and three of his four siblings. My father, the youngest in the family was born in Canada shortly after their arrival on the shores of North America.

The family was clearly respectful of the eldest son. He worked hard and studied hard and became a corporate lawyer. He had earned a million dollars while he was still young, and was wiped out in the crash of 1929. Undaunted, he continued his work ethic, and climbed back into wealth. Even as a respected lawyer, he carried his lunch to his office to which he walked until he had earned again his respectable fortune.

Many years passed, and he was always looked to as the family patriarch, leading us into respectable lives. As the patriarch, he was our religious leader as well. We did not see him often, but we followed his example all the same. We respected the religion which he advocated, and were satisfied that we were doing right.

There came a summer weekend when I was a young father. My father had bought a lovely lakeside cottage on an island in the Great Lakes for he and my mother as well as I and my brothers and our children to enjoy. I went to the island on a weekend when all the other members of our immediate family were otherwise occupied. I took my son and daughter and one of my nephews for a weekend of swimming, fishing, and sitting around a fire.

There was a phone in the island cottage through underwater lines. It was the 1960s, and there was not yet satellites circling the Earth, and cellphones would not be heard of until several decades later. The phone rang unexpectedly. When I answered, it was my father. He called to tell me that my uncle, my father’s eldest brother and the religious leader and patriarch of the family had suddenly died.

I asked Dad if I should pack up the kids and drive the three hours back home for the funeral and other rituals. To my surprise, he said no. He told me that my uncle had left written instruction in which he stated that he only acted the role of religious example for the family because he felt it was his responsibility. In his true, personal beliefs, he was an atheist, and wanted all of the religious rituals to be disregarded, and to just be simply cremated. Cremation is against our religion, and that was a strong statement of his personal beliefs.

The kids and I were left to enjoy a happy summer weekend. More importantly, my brothers and I, and our children and cousins were free to follow our own personal beliefs. I have always been an atheist, at least since I was about 18. It’s comfortable to be free of the burden of the absurdity of religious rituals.

Christ Died For…?

March 3, 2018 2 comments

The name “Christian” is obviously derived from the name “Christ”. Perhaps this means that so-called God’s so-called Son died to absorb the sins of Christians only, rather than all human society. Perhaps this is another of so-called God’s mysteries in which we are to have “faith”, whatever that is.

If one were to hang on a rope from a high cliff, they would need faith that the rope will not fray and separate. If the faith was misplaced, the faithful would plunge into the valley below, bouncing and smashing into boulders and outcroppings all the way down. The faithful would be dead and gone “to a better place” before they hit bottom.

Perhaps the mountaineer’s faith should have been put into God and Christ instead of a mere, earthly rope. Not bloody likely. Faith in God and Christ would be misplaced because there is no God, and Christ was just a guy with a good idea to pitch to the ignorant. Before he knew it, he had a gang that called themselves Christians, even though Christ was Jewish.

What about Jews, by the way? Were Jews “saved” because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross? What about Hindus and Muslims and all the other denominations, each with their own God. How many Gods are there? As many as religion hustlers can dream up. The entire God myth is ridiculous, that’s why it can’t be properly described. Why do many otherwise intelligent, logical people believe in God? It’s beyond reason.

There is no “better place” called Heaven to which a believer goes. There is no Hell and damnation to which non-believers go, because there is no demon Devil or flaming fury just as there is no God and Heaven. When it is said that God is within each of us, does that mean Jews, Muslims, Hindus and what have you as well?

In the unique case of “God is within each of us”, it might be said that it’s true in a way. Within each of us there is morality, judgement, joy, anger, and feelings. This is God in the way that God is nature and nature is God. Some people are kind and generous; some people are greedy and jealous. Some hate animals and forests, some love them. Some love cities and crowding, others abhor it all.

This is human nature, mistakenly called God by some people. We should all be kind and generous not because of fearing God, but just because it’s obviously right. We should not be violent and selfish because it’s obviously wrong. If you want to believe in a non-existent God, believe as your God would want you to believe. If your God wants you to strap a bunch of explosives to your body and blow yourself up among innocent people, and you do it, you’re just f*cking crazy.

No God Created This

February 26, 2018 Leave a comment

The Sahara Desert in North Africa has no water. That’s obvious – it’s a desert. The Sahara does have birds, however, and that’s not obvious – it’s odd. How do the birds survive without water? They don’t. They get the water they need in a way that could not have been designed by a so-called God. It can only have come about through  millions of years of evolution.

The Sahara Desert swarms with flies. These flies drink ocean salt water. Their bodies assimilate the salt water and make it into sweet water. The birds of the Sahara eat the flies, and in this way acquire the water they need for life.

Evolution over millennia brought about this amazing survival system that no God could.

The Sad State of Contemporary Morality

February 12, 2018 Leave a comment

We can read the decline of social morality by observing the tone of commercial advertising and products. In the U.S.A., the head of state is a proven, psychopathic liar and traitor bereft of morality, yet he was chosen by selfish fools to be head of state.

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What does it tell you that the long-time board game, Monopoly, now has a version that is designed to please people that choose to cheat?

The idea of winning by cheating is a sad circumstance to suggest to naïve children. There are television commercials and programs in which one person takes advantage of another by nefarious means. It’s subtle, like Mom tricking her son so she can snatch one of his potato chips. Or Dad claims to need to pick something up at the store, so he can go for a solo drive in his new car. Another husband hides from his wife that he receives kick-back money from his insurance policy so he can enjoy the bonus personally.

Face it, contemporary society sucks. Cold people struggling to get more than their share occupy every opportunity to cheat.

Do you?