A Funny Thing Happened . . .

A funny thing happened on my way to Eternity: I got born and ended up on this planet.  This totally changed my perspective.  I was used to formlessness, timelessness, and abundant love and energy.  I had no sense of lack and no self-doubt.  It is not the same with my body on this planet.  I am stuck in this world of form with limited time, love and energy and feelings of lack and self-doubt—or so it seems.

The Enlightened Masters tell me that I do have everything I had when I did not have a body; that this world of form is an illusion—a fantasy of my making.  They say that with discipline I can transcend my body and go beyond my thoughts and still experience formlessness, timelessness and abundant love and energy; that I can use this world of illusions to learn lessons to get to where I was, am and always will be.

These Enlightened Masters make it sound so simple, and it probably is.  But the next time I am on my way to Eternity, I’m going to keep going and not get born.

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My Second Embarrassing Moment

I vaguely remember my first embarrassing moment.  It happened in a hospital room.  I met a partially dressed older woman and some fully dressed strangers for the first time.  I was the only one with no clothes.  I expressed my embarrassment by crying.  The partially dressed older woman held me in her arms and tried to comfort me.  That is all I remember.

My second embarrassing moment I remember well.  It happened seven years after my first embarrassing moment.  It was a nice sunny summer’s day and I was wearing a blue T-Shirt and blue shorts. That was the closest I could dress like Superman.  I was alone and standing in my backyard with my back to my house.  I always wanted to fly and here was my chance to make a deal with God.

“God,” I said, “if you make me fly like Superman, then I promise I will go to church every Sunday for the rest of my life.”

I heard no reply, but carried on.

“Okay, God, I’m gonna count to three. Then I’m gonna jump and you make me fly like Superman . . .  One . . . Two . . . Three . . . ”

I jumped, but . . .

“Okay, God, I get it.  You don’t want me to fly like Superman.  You want me to fly like a bird.  I’m gonna count to three and flap my arms like a bird.  That’s the way you want me to fly, right?”

Once again I heard no reply, but carried on.

“One . . . Two . . .  Three . . .”

I flapped my arms and heard a tsunami of laughter coming from behind me.  I looked and there were my mother and father and brother and two sisters on the back porch laughing.  They had seen the whole thing!  And what made things worse was that I could hear God laughing, too.

I ran through them on the porch, into the house, up the stairs and dove into my bed.  I buried my face in my pillow and stayed like that for several centuries.

Enema

Who invented the enema?  Wikipedia says that according to Egyptian mythology, the god Thoth invented the enema.

Many get their creative ideas while having a shower.  During a shower, did Thoth think, “For health reasons,  I’ll shove a tube up my ass and squirt fluids up there.”?

As way back as 1550 BCE, Egyptians used enemas to take medications.  The pharaoh had an enema maker.  He or she was the Keeper of the Royal Rectum.

How is that for a job title?  Keeper of the Royal Rectum.  Imagine that on a business card.  What would the logo look like?

“What do you do for a living?”

“I am the Keeper of the Royal Rectum.”

Could you say that with pride?

So, how many years of schooling did it take to become a Keeper of the Royal Rectum?  What subjects would you study?  Was there a practical exam?  How would you feel if you failed?

Excuse me, but I have to go.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enema

My First Encounter With An Expert

My first encounter with an expert happened when I worked for the Toronto Dominion Bank in the early 90’s.  Computers were not in wide use then, and I was just learning how to use one.  Our Information Technology Department (IT), which is a fancy name for computer geeks, consisted of one guy.

The IT guy knew everything—or he thought he did.  He certainly knew how to tell me that I was wrong when I wasn’t.

My conversations with him were always the same.  I would go into his office and describe a computer problem.  And he would say, “You’re mistaken.  That can’t happen.”

“But it did happen.  It does not happen all the time, but it happens.”

“No, you are wrong.  It can’t happen.  It’s impossible.  It can’t happen.  Look, I’m busy.  Come back when you have a real problem.”

“Just come to my desk and take a look, please.”

Then he would sigh and reluctantly walk to my desk.  If I was lucky, then the intermittent problem would occur when he was at my desk.

“What?” he would say.  “That’s not supposed to happen.  It’s impossible.  It can’t happen.”

“See?  I told you.”

“But it’s impossible.  Why is that happening?”

“You’re the IT guy.  You tell me.”

Sometimes he would be able to figure it out and fix it.  Sometimes he could not figure it out and fix it.

This first encounter with an “expert” helped me to realize that experts do not know everything, and that nothing is impossible.

Shadow People?

For several weeks, up until two days ago, I have seen shadow people.  I would sense that someone was behind me or beside me.  I would turn to see a shadow out of the corner of my eye.  But when I turned completely and looked directly, then the shadow disappeared.

At first, I dismissed it as my imagination.  But it was happening a lot, in various locations, from the time I got up until the time I went to bed.  I was never afraid and the shadows never did anything to scare me.  They just disappeared when I looked at them directly.

I mentioned it to my sister this past Saturday.  She has had many paranormal experiences.  She said, “Before you go to sleep tonight, ask them who they are and what do they want.  The answer will come in a dream.”

So I did exactly that before going to sleep on Saturday night.  I awoke Sunday morning and could not remember any of my dreams.  But no shadow people appeared all day Sunday.  And none appeared today, Monday.

Who or what were these shadow people?  Ghosts?  Demons?  Aliens?  Time travelers?  Interdimensional beings?  My imagination?  Who knows?

If they show up again, then I am going to ask them, “Why do all you people buy your clothes at the same place?”

Hot Showers and Blank Walls

 

Two of my favorite activities are having a hot shower and staring at a blank wall.

I have mentioned before how hot showers are part of my morning mindfulness.  It is so easy to be in the moment when having a hot shower.  I love the hot water gently beating down on my body.  It is like getting a massage.  And perhaps the warmth reminds me of being back in the womb when I had no cares or worries.

I could stand in a nice hot shower all day if I did not have to go to places and stare at the walls.

Oh, to stare at a blank wall!  I often sit and stare for long periods.  Some may think that I am catatonic.  Ideas come out of nowhere while I stare.  Then they lead me through the wall to adventures in other dimensions.  How amazing what exists on the other side of a blank wall!

I could sit and stare at a blank wall forever, but eventually the wall gets irritated.

“What the hell are you staring at?” says the wall. “Go have a shower!”

People People and More People

A Thing of the Past

Soon, empty seats from Toronto subways will be in a case in a museum with a plaque that reads, A Thing of the Past.

I cannot believe how crowded public transit is no matter what time of the day.  I have griped before about crowded transit and I am griping about it again.  I can accept the crowds during rush hour, but it is rush hour all the time.

The crowds consist of all types and all ages.  I would love to ask them, “Why aren’t you in school?  Why aren’t you at work?  Why aren’t you in jail?”

Attitude is everything.  I must change my attitude to avoid getting stressed when pushed and squished and squeezed into other people on public transit.  I will pretend that I am a virus, and that I am happy because of the multitudes I can infect.

Calculus

I have started teaching myself calculus.  Well, I have not started calculus yet.  I am still reviewing the algebra and trigonometry needed for calculus.  It is precalculus.

How much further ahead would I be in life if I had this desire to learn everything while I was younger and still in school?  I had no idea of the fantastic opportunities I had to learn things.  I discarded these opportunities because I saw learning as a chore and homework as a burden.  I tried to find ways of avoiding both.  What the hell did I know then?  What the hell do I know now?

Oh well, I am still on this side of the grass.  And as my good friend Alfred Tennyson said, ” ‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.”

A Little Family History II

Flag of Norway

My grandmother, Mary Wright (née Henriksen) was the oldest of three children.  She had a brother named Christopher and, as mentioned in Friday’s blog, a sister named Gudrun.

Mary saw Gudrun once after leaving Norway, but neither Mary nor Gudrun saw Christopher after World War II.  Mary could not see her brother because she was in Canada.  Gudrun could see her brother, but chose not to.  Christopher became a Nazi in Norway during the war.

Imagine that!  My grandmother’s brother was a Nazi!  How would he feel knowing that his older sister married a “darky” and that they lived in a mostly Jewish neighborhood in Toronto?  I bet he is rolling in his grave.

 

Flag of Scotland

As for my father’s side, my great-grandfather was from Scotland.  I do not know his first name, but his last name was Johnston, a fine Scottish name.  He went to Jamaica and married a Chinese-Jamaican woman.  I do not know her name.  They had my grandfather Ferdinand, and other children.

Flag of Jamaica

Flag of China

 

 

 

 

Ferdinand became a police officer in Kingston, Jamaica.  He met my grandmother, Christine Agatha Cooper, who worked as a nurse in an asylum there.

I don’t know anything about Christine’s parents other than either her father or grandfather was Scottish.  Cooper is another fine Scottish name.  Also in her background was Native American Indian.

I don’t know why Christine and Ferdinand left Jamaica for Canada after they married.  Christine came first, 1910(?), and worked as a maid for an influential Toronto family.  When Ferdinand came, 1912(?), he tried to get a job as a police officer with the Toronto police. But hiring quotas and tokenism had not been invented yet.  The family Christine worked for used their influence to get Ferdinand a job as an inside worker at the post office.  He worked there until he retired.

Christine and Ferdinand had eight children, but three died during childhood.  The five survivors were Doris, Harold, Leonard, Hubert (Bump) and Roy (Chic).

My parents, Minnie and Chic, were both born in Toronto.

Sometimes I get confused when I think about my racial background: White Norwegian, Black American, White Scottish, Black Jamaican,  Native American Indian, and Chinese.  When I get confused, I ask my friends, “What am I?”

And they answer, “You’re an idiot!”

That ends my confusion because that makes me a human being.

 

A Little Family History

From Left to Right: Alice Smith (née Wright), John Wright, Gudrun Nortby (née Henriksen), Mary Wright (née Henriksen), Henry Wright, Minnie Johnston (née Wright), Frank Wright, William Wright.

 

On June 6, 1976, my grandmother Mary (Maw) Wright and her six children celebrated her 84th birthday with her sister Gudrun who was visiting from Norway.  The sisters had not seen each other for 63 years after Mary left Norway for Canada.

Mary Henriksen had a childhood sweetheart: Arne Johann Fahstrom.  Mary called him “Johann.”  They would have married, but Johann left Oslo, Norway to go to New York to learn the theatre business.  He was planning to return to Oslo and open a theatre making Mary the lead actress and his wife.  He left on the Titanic.

A short time after Johann died, Mary’s father died.  Mary was close to her father.  With the love of her life gone and her father gone and her dream of acting crushed, Mary felt that there was nothing to keep her in Oslo.  She left Norway and later came to Toronto, Canada.

William Henry Wright was from the United States and had become a Canadian citizen.  He worked as a cook on a boat that toured Lake Ontario.  Mary worked on the same boat as a cleaner.  They fell in love.  It did not matter that William was black.  There were lots of blacks in Oslo, Norway when Mary was growing up.  She had a school teacher who was black.  His parents were black and white.  He had dark skin and one brown eye and one blue eye.  After marrying William, Mary found out that the attitude towards blacks was not the same in Toronto as it had been in Oslo.

Mary and William had six children: four boys and two girls.  (William, Henry, Alice, John, Minnie, and Frank)

Mary never told her husband or her children about her childhood sweetheart who had died on the Titanic.  She would have carried that secret to her grave if I had not asked her, when she was 91 years old, why she had left Norway to come to Canada.  She told me all about “Johann” through a gush of tears.  I had never seen my grandmother cry so much.  Imagine carrying that grief all those years.

I always think about this part of my family history in November.  Mary and her daughters, Minnie and Alice, left the planet in November.  Mary left November 15, 1991.  Minnie left November 9, 2002.  And Alice left November 18, 2009.  Of course, I also think about it when anyone mentions the Titanic.  Indirectly, I would not be here if an iceberg had not introduced itself to the Titanic.

https://www.gettyimages.ca/detail/news-photo/sees-sister-again-after-63-years-mary-wright-celebrated-her-news-photo/502253861

https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-victim/arne-joma-fahlstrom.html