Sunday, April 24, 2016


Crappy weather!  No busking -- just woolgathering.

In the ODES (23 BC), the Roman poet, Horace states that the future is unforeseen and that one should not leave to chance future happenings. Horace suggests that RIGHT NOW is the time to take action for your future.

CARPE DIEM, from the Odes, is Horace’s Latin aphorism usually translated as seize the day, and sometimes in university English classes as grasp the day.   Actually, carpe means to pick or pluck, and so the best literal translation ought to be PLUCK THE DAY (as it is ripe).

From this tag of Horace, I’d like to introduce my latest maxim, CARPE MOMENTUM, to be translated as PLUCK THE MOMENT.  In order, though, to pluck the moment, you first have to make a moment, and it is so important to make that a moment to remember (pun intended).

To make such a moment you must accept yourself as you are, not as how you might be or should be if this or that could or would happen.  Self-acceptance means learning to live with your flaws.  Self-acceptance is a must to keep you in a positive mental state (of peace and mind), and in a positive physical state (of matter and body).  Learning to appreciate oneself,  both mentally and physically, is the major key to fulfilling life of song and dance.  This, however, is easier said than done.

 Let us endeavor to live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry” (Mark Twain, Pudd’nhead Wilson). 

Factoid:  All of us, eventually, are going to meet that sorry or not undertaker.

In the meantime, it is probably best to experience bursts of immortality, which we’ve all done on occasion.  In my memory bank I’ve a few examples immediately come to mind.  

  • One time when I was playing in the NHL (Notekeu Hockey League), I scored four goals in a hockey win against Neville, and in the Neville rink!
  • Another time in a student-teacher hockey game I scored seven goals.  I was an English teacher and over 500 students and parents were in the rink stands to witness such adroitness.
  • Running my first marathon was a burst of immortality .  I ran it with my long-time running mate, Burt, who is now 86 years old and has stopped running.  I am still running.  I love running. 

Factoid:  Today I’ve just changed my running regimen.  I’m currently reading BORN TO RUN (Christopher McDougall), given to me by my very good and fun friend, Chris.  I love running and … I love hiking.  Inspired by this read, I’ve decided now to run hills and nature trails on the rugged east sanctuary side of Wascana Lake, rather than my two decade perfunctory static run around the pollarded west side of  Wascana.   I’ve decide this change in toughness so that I am in better mental and physical condition to hike the exotic trails when I travel Europe and elsewhere.

  • Another burst of immortality exploded when I finally pressed my first set of pies (a 45 pound plate on each side of the 45 pound bar) on an Olympic bench press. That was HUGE. That was an early 80’s burst, and I’m still pressing that and more pounds these days.

  • And getting published … WOW! A WISHBONE EPISTOLARY (1985), ONE HUNDRED DAYS AT THE HOUSE OF CONCORD (1994), THE CREEK (2012), all out there in print!  Before that I’d had a few magazine articles published for bits of pay but … Wishbone was the real burst of immortality for me.

  • And my last example of a burst of immortality is … a first kiss … hmmm … one sweet, sweet moment in deed … it started with a short walk … a couple hugs … and then … a quick and delicious kiss … really, an example of the most significant and primal burst of immortality that oftentimes leads to continuing the species.  And if not, so what … the theme of this particular essay is that such a delicious moment, an example of a moment made to remember, can prompt my planned adventure to forever seek bursts of immortality, those glorious moments of feeling very much alive, until even the undertaker will be sorry when I die.

 “Everyone thinks they need to get wealth first, and wisdom will come.  So they concern themselves with chasing money.  But they have it backwards.  You have to give your heart to the Goddess of Wisdom, give her all your love and attention, and the Goddess of Wealth will become jealous and follow you” (Dr. Joe Vigil, elite running coach, in BORN TO RUN).

Bursts of immortality will certainly occur if you go with your heart to follow your passion, whatever that passion may be.  I do believe that if I ever can muster the inner strength and rid my compunction to follow my passion, I’ll get way more than I can ever imagine in return.

Hmmm … passion!  Over the years I’ve had a few.  My fitness passions have included swimming (NLS and Red Cross Instructor and Lifeguard), a long-distance runner (marathons), a scuba diver (certified through the National Association of Underwater Instructors), and skier (purely Rockies recreation). 

And, of course, there has always been writing.  Writing, indeed, has provided me with bursts of immortality, as mentioned a couple paragraphs ago.  I’m always revising novella manuscripts and do try to contribute weekly to my blog, this blog. 

My passion these last years has been busking.  Anyone following this blog knows that I love summertime BUSKATIONS, mostly to the Canadian Pacific Coast, sometimes to Europe.

As adolescent as this presents, my latest passion is simply to FILL THE REST OF MY LIFE WITH FUN so much that even the undertaker will be sorry when I die, what this particular blog entry is really all about.

I’m going to be 65 years old next month.  Getting older I am slowly getting smarter.  At 65 years of age I know that LIFE IS SHORT.  I know this because whenever I’ve the urge of replicating any adolescent behaviors, as setting up FUN for my latest passion, it seems a self-mockery at times, especially when I’m unwilling to reckon with certain intimate mementos, ever signaled by my diminishing abilities and physical attractiveness.  Yes, LIFE IS SHORT!

At 65 years of age I am learning to SAY IT NOW and DO IT NOW.  If I’ve something on my mind, be it to confess or confront, I tend to vent it ASAP because … LIFE IS SHORT.   And then the matter is done, I can move on, and my future plans can be made.

At 65 years of age I really know that FITNESS IS EVERYTHING.  I’ve only one body and I’d better take care of it.  Fitness is the fountainhead of accomplishing anything FUN in life.

At 65 years of age I’m fortunate to have found WORK THAT I LOVE.  And I will do the work that I love until the day I retire, and that will be on the same day as my funeral. 

I know, I know.  The very connotation of work usually represents some hackneyed moiling in some middle class misadventure with benefits and a pension.  I know, I know, I know that finding work that you love is like never really having to go to WORK.  I’ve had jobs in my youth that involved work, work, and more work.  Swamping on transports was WORK.  Working telephone construction lines was WORK.  Working on pipelines was WORK.  Teaching in high school was WORK.  Even being a swimming instructor in summertime, after years and years transformed into WORK.  However, saying thus, teaching over twenty years at the university has NEVER been work.  And even better, being a counselor for over twenty-five years has NEVER been work.  

At 65 years of age I know that if dancing is the vertical expression of horizontal desire, then TRAVELING is certainly the perfect synonym for that same expression, provided, of course, one has the proper companion to the globe trot.

At 65 years of age I know that I need to continue to MAKE SOME MEMORIES.  And in Zen fashion and while I’m still able, I need to create and savour those micro-moment memories. 


Those marching in my CHAUCERIAN PARADE this week:

 Accompanying NHL scout, BRAD HORNUNG, and self to the game, retired Catholic priest and friend, FATHER BASIL CHOMOS, wins 18,400 dollars on a 50/50 at this last REGINA PATS hockey game played at the Brandt Centre for this season. 

My best friend, COLBY WILLIAMS, is holding a press conference.  His beloved REGINA PATS are now out of the playoffs and so … he’s heading for Hershey today, to join the HERSHEY BEARS (AHL), affiliate of the WASHINGTON CAPITALS (NHL), in their playoff run.


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