My sister, the widow, is doing her best to cope with Don Edward Boles buying the farm. Some family members are doing their best to protect my sister’s feelings. They don’t want her to feel any more pain.
My sister is doing her best to protect her mother-in-law’s feelings. My sister does not want Don’s mother to have more pain over her son’s death.
My father’s mother lived until she was 97. She developed stomach cancer when she was 96. My father did not want to tell her that she had stomach cancer because he wanted to protect her feelings.
My grandmother lived through two world wars. She lived through the Depression. Three of her eight children died while they were still children. She survived a kitchen fire when the doctors said that she would not make it. She saw her brother run over and killed by a horse and buggy. And my father felt that she could not handle the news that she had stomach cancer. He never told her.
Please don’t protect me from feelings. I need to feel, to experience, to learn and grow. I also know that there is love and support if I feel overwhelmed. Thank you.
It’s been over a month since Steve, a gay man at the YMCA, has made sexual comments about my “down below” and what he wants to do to me. I have blogged about Steve and his harassment before.
We interrupt this blog for a digression:
“Down below” is what my mother called down below. She used this term for both my sisters, too. “Did you wash your down below?” Mom would ask when we were old enough to take baths by ourselves. Sometimes Mom would omit the “your” and just ask, “Did you wash down below?” Whenever Mom asked this question, she would have a serious expression and raise her eyebrows. We grew up in a time before someone invented the words “penis” and “vagina”.
We now return to our regularly scheduled blog:
What stopped Steve from sexually harassing me?
About a month ago I was in the shower room alone when Steve came in. We were the only men there.
“Gary,” said Steve, “I have to tell you. I love you.”
I immediately responded with words that dealt with sex and travel.
“No, no, I’m serious,” said Steve. “I love you. You’re a wonderful man. You’re good-natured and sensitive and such a beautiful person. I love you. I would kiss you if you let me.”
Once again I used words dealing with sex and travel.
“I’m not joking!” said Steve. He looked so intense.
“Look Steve,” I said, “this is weird. I have never been naked while another naked man tells me how wonderful I am and how much he loves me. It’s weird!”
“Perhaps you should get used to it,” he said.
“Not as long as I am breathing thank you very much.”
It seems that Steve needed to seriously express his feelings for me. He had to get it out of his system. Since that time he has made no comments. We say hi and sometimes engage in small talk, but he has made no embarrassing sexual comments. How long will this last? As long as I am breathing, I hope.
In April, 1982, Toronto Constable Gregory Murray lost three days pay for eating a pear while on duty. Back then, Toronto officers were not supposed to eat food in public while in uniform. Police Superintendent Harry Smith, who presided over the police trial, warned that eating a pear on duty could lead to more serious offences. “It could lead to fish and chips, ice-cream cones, and other edibles being consumed on street corners, in scout cars and on streetcars,” he said.
Constable Murray’s punishment only acted as a deterrent for 35 years. In January, 2018, two 13 Division officers were suspended for eating marijuana edibles while on duty. They had hallucinations, and called for back up. The Professional Standards Unit (Internal Affairs) is still investigating.
So, is this progress that police are going from pears to pot?
On Tuesday January 30, 2018, I left early to get an early start on the day. The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) said, “Ha!” A forty-minute subway ride took two hours. And crowds? The subway was so crowded, I had people standing in my underwear. Fortunately, I was wearing clean underwear.
The delays? Everything. Even the Public Address system broke down so Transit Control could not announce the reasons for the delays.
Okay, so that was Tuesday.
On Wednesday January 31, 2018, I left early to get an early start on the day. The TTC said, “Ha!” The forty minute ride took just over an hour. As for the crowds? Not as bad as Tuesday. They only stood in my pockets, during the subway ride, and not in my underwear.
Yesterday and today I did not leave early. Yesterday and today there weren’t as many delays. The ride took less than an hour.
The TTC has weekend closures, for parts of the subway lines, to prevent the delays that occurred Tuesday and Wednesday. Of course these weekend closures create more delays on the weekends . . .
“Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes-Benz . . . “
Pi. Wow! No matter how big a circle is, its diameter goes into its circumference just over 3 times. 3.14159265389 . . . is more accurate. That means that if you could bend a circle’s diameter to see how many times it fit into the circle’s circumference, it would always fit just over 3 times. And the circle’s size does not matter. Amazing!
“You need to get a life,” some people said when I expressed my amazement about Pi. Perhaps they are right. Perhaps I need to get a life. So, I will look for a life. And while I am looking for a life, I will keep an eye out for the simple wonders of this world and marvel at them, too.
I was taking my bags out of a grocery cart, at a store, when an old white woman approached me and said, “This explains why I feel superior. Everywhere I look I see niggers.” And then she walked away.
I looked around. I was the only nigger there. I saw lots of white people, from various backgrounds, and Asians, but no black people. I was the only jungle bunny, spear-chucker, coon, little black sambo, mau-mau, baboon, ape, monkey, boog, spook, ace, nignog, darkie, gook . . . (I know, gook doesn’t apply to me, but I claim poetic license because I wanted something that rhymed with spook.)
This old woman looked normal and she sounded normal, too. But obviously she is missing some pre’s from her judices.
My father raised me to see myself as a human being. “You’re a human being like everyone else,” he said. “If you want to see yourself as Canadian or black, then that is secondary. Think of yourself as a human being first, and see everyone else as a human being first.”
Seeing myself as a human being has given me an inferiority complex. I look at what my fellow human beings do to each other and the environment and I am ashamed. Of course human beings do good things, too, but being human means that I only focus on the bad.
That old woman feels superior because everywhere she looks she sees niggers. And me? I feel inferior because everywhere I look I see human beings.
I couldn’t write because it was so cold my pencils froze. Is that an acceptable excuse?
The good thing about sub-zero temperatures is when the temperature goes up. Today the temperature went up to just above zero Celsius (32 Fahrenheit). Wow! What a heat wave! Zero Celsius is a heat wave compared to -35 Celsius (-31 Fahrenheit).
During the cold spell, I went to my high-school friend’s funeral. He had shed his mortal coil before Christmas, but the funeral was not until January 6.
(I have noticed a relationship between death and funerals. Almost every time someone dies, there is a funeral. This isn’t a coincidence.)
My friend’s funeral was mostly nice, but the presiding minister ruined the mood by carrying on and on and on. This is common for religious leaders to use a funeral as an opportunity to preach to the heathen. Why can’t these religious leaders realize that funerals are about the deceased and not about God? People come to honor the deceased. They do not come to hear how great God is, or how they better accept Jesus as their savior or else it’s Hell for Eternity.
My friend was the star of the show with God and Jesus having supporting roles. But the minister ruined the show by making God and Jesus stars and giving my friend a supporting role. The funeral was upbeat and moving with several people speaking words from their hearts. Some read from The Bible. Amongst the speakers were my friend’s son and daughter who gave a wonderful loving tribute to their father. What a positive note the funeral would have ended on if it had ended after the son and daughter’s tribute. Nope. The minister started preaching about God and Jesus and God and Jesus and God and Jesus blah, blah, blah . . . She had forgotten that people had come not to be preached at.
And while the minister went on and on and on, I wondered whether my friend was watching from above and thinking, “Is she going to stop soon?”
(I would have posted this blog yesterday, but the Toronto Public Library’s Internet had not thawed out from the cold snap.)
Santa surprised me! I received gifts for Christmas that I was not expecting. According to some people, I have not been a good boy because I am not doing what they think I should be doing. They know better than my gut feelings what is best for me. They judge me as stupid for following my gut feelings. It’s okay for me to follow my gut feelings as long as my gut feelings agree with what these people think I should be doing. They say, “Your gut feelings are wrong and don’t make sense.”
There is a Wisdom beyond logic and human understanding. This Wisdom often cannot be understood, but it can be experienced. Understanding is not needed to experience it, and the experience is beyond words.
My gut feelings do not make sense because they come from a place beyond words, beyond logic and beyond human understanding. They come from that Wisdom, and have caused me to experience some of that Wisdom.
The people who judge me as stupid for following my gut feelings are terrified to follow their own. They always look outside themselves to outside authority rather than listen to that still small voice inside. These people say, “If it can’t be proven by logic and science, then it is nonsense.” Words spoken in fear, methinks.
Imagine trying to judge the Wisdom of the Universe by human logic, human understanding and human science! That’s like a grain of sand judging all the beaches in the world.
I am not enlightened, but my gut feelings have brought me to a place where I feel spiritually abundant. From the time I was a teenager, thoughts of suicide used to lurk over my shoulder. I would always consider suicide as a possible option to solve whatever problem I was facing. Following my gut feelings has brought me to a place where suicide is not lurking anywhere. Now, I would never do myself in. I want to live. I enjoy every moment of my life—although there are times when I forget that I am enjoying every moment of my life.
My critics dismiss me when I tell them how following my gut has brought me to a place of spiritual abundance. They say, “How can you feel abundant when you don’t have a permanent home?” But their words and judgment cannot take away from my gratitude for the abundance in my life.
I am grateful for Santa’s gifts, but more so I am grateful for my spiritual abundance. I give thanks and I give thanks and I give thanks. Amen.
Judging by the facial expressions of my fellow public-transit travelers, you would never know that it was three days before Christmas. I did not see one happy face. They all had such tired and stressed-out looks. These people are thinking about all the work they have to do in order to have a Merry Christmas.
I hope those who wanted a White Christmas are happy. We got lots of snow, and there’s more on the way.
Instead of snow for a White Christmas, why not white sand? White sand on a beach with the hot sun blazing away. Doesn’t that sound like a nice White Christmas? Who needs snow? Santa Claus? No. He and his sled, with reindeer, fly. It does not matter what is on the ground.
I would wish you a Merry Christmas, but you will choose to have the kind of Christmas you want to have no matter what I say. Choose wisely.