Sunday, June 8, 2014



Have you ever met someone with whom you were smitten, someone you thought you could never distaste?  Have you ever met someone you found to be bewitching, who later proved to be a vexation?   

Have you ever met someone you thought was cool, then whose interests you realized never rose above workaday and pedestrian?  Or ... have you ever met someone who would make you laugh, then by malicious design make your heart ache?  Or ... have you ever met someone who made you feel absolutely wonderful then abhorrently unworthy?

Fact:  Life is not abecedarian, but a happenchance series of surprise.
Fact:  All thoughts in life can neither be anticipated nor predicted with certainty. 
Fact:  Life is UNFORESEEN, and all thoughts and all things (especially including interpersonal relationships) in life are UNFORESEEN.

THE UNFORESEEN title of this blog is taken from THE UNFORESEEN, a television weekly drama of the late 50’s and early 60’s.  THE UNFORESEEN was a type of suspense drama, a weekly thirty minute story always with a twist in conclusion.  THE UNFORESEEN was, like real life, always filled with surprise.

Generally, we can anticipate and predict our day-to-day trudging events with considerable accuracy, but all such predictions are just really good guesses, imaginings based upon the empirical evidence in our lives at the time.  In any contest, games of sport for example, we never really know what is going to be the outcome, and the outcome of any event in our lives is just as uncertain.

Forgive me, dear reader, for such a negative opening paragraph, but most of the surprises in our lives weigh down, rather than uplift.  In our Yin and Yang existence, this probably isn’t true, but are brains seemed to be more programmed for pain than for pleasure.  Pain we remember forever, pleasure we remember only for a season.

The examples in the opening paragraph, generally speaking, seem not to work well in reverse.  Have you met someone you loathed at first, but now love?  Have you met someone your eye found repulsive but now you deem strikingly attractive?  Have you met someone you felt was caustic, and then determined to be cool?  Have you met malicious people that make you laugh?  Life does not seem to work from negative to positive.  If ever it does, this is truly surprise, surprise!

Life is, according to your metaphor of choice, mostly a highway, a path, or a river.  Our uncertain lives are filled with detours, forks, and rapids.  Always, these detours lead on to more detours (hence our shaggy-dog tales), more bends and turns, and more roundabouts. Whilst we breathe, we are forever navigating rage after raging river, sometimes wading, sometimes treading.  Every road, every trail, and every river takes us somewhere, and that somewhere is always unforeseen and filled with surprise.

Let us go to busking down at the market.  On any given day I can with considerable accuracy predict, in a very general way, how my buskapade will unfold.  I will arrive and pick my buskspot somewhere between 9 o’clock and 9:30 a.m.  (It will likely be near my best vendor neighbour friends, Greg and Valerie Asher of ASHER DESIGN LANDSCAPING.)  This is my comfort zone for busking with either my guitar and harmonica, or my pencil and sketchbook.

I know I will meet several people during the four-hour busk, some friends, some colleagues, some strangers, both familiar and unfamiliar.  Strumming or sketching I will make approximately one hundred dollars.  Generally, this is how my busking at the market will typically unfold.   

Specifically, I shall describe how my morning at the market did unfold.

I did not arrive between 9 o’clock and 9:30 a.m.  I had to retrieve my car from the parkade beneath the hotel across the street (long story), then I had drive over to my son’s apartment for a quick emergency (an even longer story).  Finally, I arrived at the market and set up just minutes before 10 o’clock a.m.

I did set up across from ASHER DESIGN LANDSCAPING, but Greg was a no-show.  Valerie was operating alone.

I took only my pencil and sketchbook.  I find that strumming my guitar and blowing my harpoon for a four-hour market to be wearisome, humdrum, and colorless.  Sketching pencil portraits, on the other hand, I find to be animated, stimulating, and bright. 

My morning at the market went generally as I had anticipated; specifically though, my morning was filled with surprise.  And here are just a few examples of some awesome people that came my way:




My unforeseen CHAUCERIAN PARADE this week includes:

  • Allen is a Financial Studies university student, who happens also to be taking a camera class.  Allen approached me the week previous seeking my permission for him to take a picture of me while sketching a pencil portrait.  If it was okay with the consumer, it was okay for me, I told him.  Allen did take some pictures, and did quick interviews of Linda (pictured above) and myself for his camera class project.

  • Ponziano Aluma is the author of WE’RE HERE!  NOW WHAT? (This is a non-fiction book about newcomer misadventures).  For his next book, he wants me to be the illustrator!

  • Gordon asked me if I drew dogs, and if I would draw one from a picture.  I told him I could but it would cost him a lot of money.  I told him if he brought the dog to market, I would do the pencil portrait for the usual $10.  Gordon said he’d be bringing his dog for a sitting next Saturday.

When I return to work tomorrow I can generally predict that I shall have a morning chat and chuckle with my friend and band mate, Darren (pictured below), and an afternoon chat with my imaginary Rubicon, Kimberly (pictured below).  Darren and I always have a philosophy-to-go type of chat; whereas with Kimberly, I’m always sadly reminded of my senescence.  What will actually happen between Darren and me and Kimberly and me has yet to be really determined.  My day at work tomorrow is right now unforeseen.


To close, we humans (according to Sam Keen, 1973) are featherless, gregarious and storytelling creatures just wanting to get along with one another, oftentimes needing moral support from one another.  This could mean a written letter, a personal phone call, a text, or at the very, very best, a vis-à-vis over a coffee.  Not so strangely, my unforeseen interactions at the market seem suffice to temporarily fill such a social deficiency in my particular make-up. 

No matter what we believe and think ... 
Our lives from beginning to end are a complicated series of eight-lane highways and dirt roads, happy and sad trails, raging rivers and still ponds --- ALL OF WHICH BEING UNFORESEEN TALES OF SURPRISE!    

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