Monthly Archives: February 2015
They tell me to keep free-writing until something comes.
“Something is coming.”
“This. This is something — this conversation we are having now.”
“Okay, what can we talk about?”
The weather? Do you have weather where you are?
“You’re asking whether there is weather inside your head?”
Is that where you are? Inside my head?
So, what is the weather like inside my head.
“Bright with a chance of a brainstorm.”
Really? I’m bright?
“Whoa. I never said that you were bright, I said that it is bright inside your head.”
Is it ever not bright inside my head?
“I don’t know. I have not been here long enough.”
Are you new to my head?
“Yes, I just arrived. I’m not sure how long I will stay.”
Where were you before you came to my head?
What made you leave Airy Nothing for my head?
“I wanted a change of scenery, and I saw the inside of your head mentioned in a travel brochure. Your head got good reviews; so I decided to check it out.”
And what do you think so far?
“So far, so good.”
That’s what a man said after jumping off a tall building. As he passed each floor he said, ‘So far, so good.’
“I doubt whether I will crash into any disappointment. If I do, then I’ll return to Airy Nothing.”
And give the inside of my head a bad review in a travel brochure?
“No because even disappointment is wonderful inside your head.”
“That’s what it said in the travel brochure, and that is what attracted me to your head. Now, if you will excuse me, I want to unpack and explore.”
How bright are humans that we have to state the obvious for the sake of conversation? Why say anything? Why not smile at the other person and remain silent? But most people fear silence, and feel that they have to say something. If we are going to say something, then why not say something worthwhile?
We have had a patch of cold weather in Toronto. I suspect that this has something to do with it being Winter, but I am not sure. Everywhere I go some genius says, “It’s cold outside, eh?” This is why we have the power of speech?
I hold back and agree with the genius. What I really want to say is, “Really? It’s cold outside? I had not noticed. This snot running from my nose and frozen to my upper lip must have distracted me.”
What worthwhile topics are there for conversation? Certainly not the everyday weather. Severe weather might be a worthwhile subject to talk about. Talking about a tornado could take up an evening’s conversation. Everyday weather? We must endure it whether it is hot or cold or wet or dry. There’s no point in talking about the weather to someone else who is experiencing the same weather you are.
“There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.”
– An Old Scandinavian Saying
By the way, did I mention that it is cold outside?
I have mentioned this before and still cannot believe the noise allowed at the North York Central Library. I cannot believe it because of how strict stern–looking librarians used to be about noise. You used to get Shhhhhed! if you breathed too loud.
Presently, here are the noises happening now on the library’s fourth floor:
- A man two computers over is sleeping, with his head hanging over the keyboard, and snoring ever so loudly
- The man at the computer opposite me is babbling away on his cell phone
- A woman at a computer across the room is babbling away on her cell phone
- Another woman standing on the floor between then man opposite me and the woman across the room is babbling away on her cell phone
- The nutbar next to the man on the cell phone is singing softly in his Mickey-Mouse voice. Every so often this nutbar lets loose an orgasmic Mickey-Mouse scream
- Next to the nutbar is a woman with the volume of her headphones so loud that I can hear the lyrics to the songs playing on her computer
- A woman at the table behind me is sporadically laughing out loud
- The man at the table next to the laughing lady is chewing out loud
The librarians? Where are the librarians and their stern looks? Why there’s three of them at the nearby information desk having a gabfest. No stern looks. They could pass for fashion models and actresses. Shhhhh! is not in their vocabulary.
Silence, where are you Silence? Why do you no longer hang out at the library? Where do you hang out these days? Can you let me know? I would love to hang out with you.
I read Roger Stone’s Nixon’s Secrets: The Rise, Fall, and Untold Truth about the President, Watergate and the Pardon. My opinion of Richard Nixon has changed. I now admire him in some ways.
People have overlooked his accomplishments as president because of the Watergate scandal. Here are some of them:
- He ended the draft making service in the military voluntary
- He founded The Environmental Protection Agency
- He initiated the peaceful desegregation of southern schools
- He signed Title IX stopping gender bias opening the door for women in collegiate sports
- He was the first American President to give American Indians the right of tribal self-determination
- He participated in the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) with Russia to reduce tensions in the Cold War
- He signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty
- He was the first American President to visit China
- He Supported Israel with massive aid in the 1973 Yom Kippur War
- He ended the Vietnam War
I most admire his perseverance. He never gave up after all of his political defeats. Even after Watergate he managed to stay alive politically.
“Defeat doesn’t finish a man, quit does. A man is not finished when he’s defeated. He’s finished when he quits.”
– Richard Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994)
Time for me to check out my imagination. Since I have no idea what it looks like, I have to imagine what my imagination looks like. I imagine my imagination is simultaneously a modern concrete office building, and an enchanted forest. (How can a place be a concrete office building and an enchanted forest at the same time? I do not know. I will have to think about it.) Besides offices, the office building has a theater so I can watch my imaginings. The enchanted forest has talking trees, fairies, unicorns and blagamets — whatever they are.
One of the offices has a huge filing cabinet labelled, Memories, Dreams, Reflections. A long time ago Carl G. Jung toured my imagination. He saw the label on the filing cabinet and asked me, “May I use that for a title of a book?”
“Sure,” I said. “Don’t worry about giving me any credit for the title. No one will believe you if you said that you got the title from Gary Johnston’s imagination.”
Another filing cabinet, in another office, has the label, Ideas Thought But Not Written Down. The idea for this blog came from there.
A talking tree in my enchanted forest told me, “Some of us used to live in a real forest, but we moved here for safety. We don’t have to worry about Dutch Elm disease and forest fires here.”
The fairies keep to themselves. They only talk to me if I talk to them first. I suspect that they do not wish to talk to me at all, but feel obligated because they are in an enchanted forest in my imagination.
The unicorns are friendly. I often see them in the office building’s theater watching my imaginings. The unicorns are clean and never make a mess. If I did not see them in the theater, then I would never know that they had been there.
I really should not mention the blagamets because no one has created them yet.
Now it’s time for me to get back to reality. I have to go to the bathroom.
The title of my life is Hakookum. I have no idea what that means. I thought having a title would give my life focus, meaning and direction. I asked the voices in my head for a title. The voices said nothing. They guided me out of my body to that place that is the source of all creative ideas.
That place is nowhere and everywhere. Every person who has created anything whether it be an invention, sculpture, painting, novel, short story or blagamet has gone there. No one can create without going there. That place is so dark that you cannot see anything, yet so bright that you can see everything.
I stood for a moment, and then asked out loud, “Can you give me a title for my life, please?”
Immediately I heard and saw the word Hakookum. I was about to ask what hakookum means, but found myself back in my body.
The title of my life is Hakookum. I do not know what it means, but I am having fun.
By the way, I mentioned blagamet only because I saw one while I was at that place. The blagamet telepathically told me, “I don’t exist yet. I am waiting for someone to create me.”
I mentioned pinhole glasses in yesterday’s blog. I find them amazing because they correct your vision whether you are nearsighted or farsighted.
Many years ago, I was at a party and pinhole glasses came up. I had my pair with me. A man I met for the first time asked me about them. He had glasses that were thick, but not as thick as he turned out to be. I do not remember his name. Let’s call him Stupid.
Stupid tried on my pinhole glasses.
“Wow!” he said. “I can read things up close and see things far away and these aren’t bifocals. This is amazing!”
I told Stupid how I had given up my glasses and how my vision improved. I said that I use the pinhole glasses because they do not keep my vision impaired the way regular glasses do, and actually exercise my eyes.
Stupid kept my pinhole glasses on for a long time. He could not believe how they were able to correct his vision.
“Where do you buy these?” asked Stupid. “I gotta get me a pair.”
I told Stupid where he could buy them.
“Great,” he said. “I’m going to buy a pair.”
A year passed before I saw Stupid again. It was at another party at the same place I met him the first time. He was wearing his thick glasses.
“How did you make out with the pinhole glasses?” I asked Stupid.
“Oh, I didn’t bother buying them,” he said.
“Well,” said Stupid, “I asked my optometrist about them. He said that he never heard of them, and they were bullshit.”
“How can they be bullshit?” I asked. “You tried them on and saw how they worked.”
“I know, but my optometrist says that they’re bullshit so I’m not going to waste my time with them.”
That was many years ago. I have not seen Stupid since. I am willing to bet that his eye glasses are thicker now, and his optometrist is mortgage-free.
“You’ll have to wear glasses the rest of your life. Your eyes will only get worse.”
That is what an optometrist told me when I was in my teens. I felt ashamed about the thickness of my glasses, and asked him whether there was a way to improve my vision. “No,” said the optometrist. I believed him.
I gave up my glasses in July, 2004. I always needed glasses for distance. As I got older, I had to take my glasses off to read and work with things up close. That meant that I needed bifocals, but my vanity would not allow me to get bifocals. Bifocals are for old people and not me.
Because of the work I was doing, in July, 2004, I went three weeks without wearing my glasses. After three weeks I put them on and it felt as if someone was squeezing my eyes. I could not wear my glasses. During the three weeks, without any vision-improvement exercises, my vision had improved!
Dr. William Bates (December 23, 1860 – July 10, 1931) came up with the Bates Method for improving eyesight. If the optometrist knew about Dr. Bates and the vision-improving exercises, then the optometrist never told me. After all, there is big money in failing eyesight.
According to Dr. Bates, your vision fluctuates and is not always perfect. Your vision gets weaker when you are stressed and tired, and stronger when you are rested and relaxed. Glasses do not allow you eyes to fluctuate. Dr. Bates recommends not wearing glasses and doing vision improvement exercises.
My vision improved, during that three weeks, naturally. Glasses are like crutches. Walk with crutches all the time and you will need to walk with crutches all the time.
In July, 2004, I started doing vision-improvement exercises and wearing pinhole glasses when I needed to use glasses.
Unlike regular glasses, pinhole glasses correct your vision and allow your eye muscles to fluctuate. They do not stop your vision from improving.
I rarely wear my pinhole glasses now. How much my vision improved since July, 2004! I do not know whether my vision is perfect, but I can see so many things in the distance that were only a blur before. I give thanks for what I can see today, and look forward to what I will be able to see tomorrow.
If I were a snowflake, then I would make sure that I dressed cold enough to last the entire winter.
If I were a dust bunny, then I would protest against vacuum cleaners, electric brooms, mops, and dust foxes.
If I were a dictionary, then I would make sure my life had meaning.
If I were a word, then I would find a page in a nice quiet dictionary, and settle down.
If I were an idea, then I would hide in that airy nothing until a creator gave me a local habitation and a name.
If I were a blog, then I would be about as many topics as there are snowflakes.
Everywhere I looked today I saw smiles. They weren’t on people. People rarely smile—especially first thing in the morning. These smiles were in clouds, trees, wall and floor patterns, and even garbage.
I have no idea why I started seeing smiles. I was not in a euphoric mood, but I soon became euphoric when all I saw was smiles.
Do I have smiles to go before I sleep?