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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Fly East Old Man...

I fly east in the morning, to Toronto, then Ottawa. Living in a rural area, I usually enjoy a city fix now and then. I think big cities were great to live in when I was in my mid-20s and 30s, but I really enjoy the small town and country life now. In the city I soak up the energy, eat good food and if time, visit a museum or park.

I do appreciate the fact that somehow my ancestors conspired for me to born in Canada (I have 2 American and 1 French brothers). Being Canadian has helped me to be healthy, free, affluent (relatively), very safe and I hate to say it, but generally nice. We may be boring, but we are nice... It's a cliche, but when you step on a Canadian's foot, the first thing they are likely to say is, "Oh, sorry!"

If there is something on my mind as I surf along on a busy stretch, it's the value of finding balance. I think the balance I'm most thinking of is that of being engaged in the affairs of the world... and also focusing on beauty. Yes, historically, ecologically, politically, economically and in many other ways - the human world is the shits these days ("Oh sorry!"). And I feel I need to engage with that and fight for what's better.

Meanwhile, everything that's born is going to die (including you and me) and the time I have right now also allows me to look at what's beautiful, to relate to people with love, to laugh whenever possible and to be in the present moment - which is always a profound invitation. I love the teaching of Epictetus (Greek philosopher) - some of his pieces of advice for a balanced life:
  • Know what you can control and what you cannot
  • Approach life as a banquet
  • Never suppress a generous impulse
  • Pursue the good ardently
  • Make full use of what happens to you

I'll think about all this on the plane tomorrow.

What a great blog...and another Canadian..good.I think I shall read for a bit...thanks for coming my way...
Thank you for your comment on This Is War, Gary. I feel for them too, so very much, so much it makes me crazy sometimes. Saddam was a horror but they did have a good infrastructure. The 8 years of war with Iran, the Gulf War, embargo, the radiation poisoning from DUs and deformed babies, and now this cruel and obscene destruction.

I can do nothing about it but protest,and it appears that protests are in vain. So, do I shrug and forget about it because I can't change it?

My only respite is turning to beauty and goodness, family and frienship. Thank God there is that.
You often say exactly what I need to hear. Thanks for the words of wisdom. Have a nice trip!
i now have an ambition to see Canada one day, and when i do i shall definitely step on a foot or two to see if it's true. ;o)

Gary, did i read it here that a canadian is a bit like an american, only more british? Have a good trip east!
Ah, Canadians. So nice! Best neighbors in the world. Wish they could say the same.
Hey Jublu - you're a damn fine neighbour! Let's not generalize. I'd be thrilled in fact if you were our Premier rather than Harper (leader of the Regressive Conservatives). Hey, you could even wear the hat to let them know (in a dignified manner), just who is in charge.
Love that Epictetus stuff. Not so familiar with him. Thanks for posting it.

I'm struggling with some things myself here, something I didn't want to be involved in. I really didn't feel it was right to stand by.
In my younger days, I wouldn't have thought twice, and consequences be damned. But these days, I am not so sure.
I could easily make sworn enemies with this one, and be seen as heavy-handed. Or that might just be what the doctor ordered.
At this time, I'm leaning to making the enemies, if it's for the right cause.
yes, never suppress the desire to be generous, we can post our addresses if you'd like to send a check
Susie, you're pretty funny! If you send me your address, I promise to send you something (it won't be cash or cheque, but will make you laugh).

Anyone who hasn't experienced Susie's sharp wit - git yerself over to her blog and have a look.
Epic Tetus was a wise man.
Making the most of life with humour I think is the essence of life. In Australia it’s common amongst friends and familiar work colleagues to engage in some good natured banter that might appear very irreverent to an outsider. So if someone referred to you as a silly old bastard!! It’s to be taken amongst good friends as a term of endearment!!

Australia loves its battlers and detests any idea of elitism (except in sports. Sorry we to keep all the medals here!!) hence our Lord mayor Mr So whose English is only so so still received rousing cheers from the crowd throughout the Commonwealth Games, erupting in joyful cheers at every mention of his name during the closing ceremony. An army of enthusiastic supporters all ware So’s our Bro (brother) and have entered his name in a competition as they believe he is the most popular politician in the world. Doesn’t speak much, English is poor, but he’s always smiling, courteous, humble, does his best for Melbourne and hence he is greatly loved. A very ordinary fella who’s extraordinarily popular by relating just the right balance in his civic life.
Lindsay, your Mayor sounds like a wonderful character and my experience with friends from Oz matches your description. The way to take life seriously is to be sure to spend time not taking everything so seriously.
Gary, you KNOW what happens to people who go to Susie's blog! They get sucked into the Gobhole, and they're never the same! (You have been warned).

And thanks.
Enjoy the trip bro!

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