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rainy Friday afternoons…

May 22, 2015

It is increasingly coming to light just how much influence Stephen Harper is using to muzzle federal scientist – as if he, and his Christian conservatives, have somehow worm-holed back to the 1700’s, when the Christian (and Muslim) hierarchies tried to shut down science in the name of “faith”.

But if you look at History, when hasn’t there been a time when the megalomaniacs haven’t tried to control the world, and when haven’t the rest of us suffered for it?

When hasn’t there been the Koch brothers, or the homophobic, or the sociopaths?

And when haven’t they been countered by the Angels of the Light, and the Martyrs for Freedom and Truth?


In the darkness of night you lie awake and you know who you want to be in the world. You know what is good about you – what you aspire to be; and you know who you are not – or have never been allowed to be.

And in the gap between the two selves lay a wide range of things…


I’m sitting in a north-end Halifax bistro, decorated in that ironic “if this was you aunt and uncle’s modest slight white trash cottage circa 1974”, where hipster men with beards wear those hand-knitted coats of the type my mother knit for me in Grade One – with a horse head on the back, and skinny jeans rolled up and classic vintage shoes bought in some trendy vintage store over on Gottingen or Agricola for $75.

Other mean wear toques, despite the fact that it is 22C and the sun blazes away on a beautiful day.

As I wait for the person I am supposed to meet, I realize that I am in a performance piece – a piece not particularly satisfying, and moving down a dead-end street.

But then an old north-ender walks in. Harley tee-shirt – a picture of mountains, oil rigs, and motorcycles on an open highway. Old sweat-stained camouflage baseball cap. He leaves with a coffee and gets into his Dodge Ram truck. Nice.

The invisible collision of imaginary universes.


My partner often laughs at my country hick ways. But deep down she also admits that its one of her favorite things about me. She likes that I grew up on a farm and know what a field of wild flowers look like. What it feels like to stand in them as a little boy. To know what a 100 acres of crickets and grasshoppers sound like on a hot August afternoon. All I have to do is talk about my mother’s summer garden of vegetables and flowers and she gets all misty eyed.

She likes that as a 17-year-old boy I watched as the bull first smelled the rut, and his subsequent pursuit against all enemies – real and imagined – including me (otherwise his best pal) – as his mortal enemy.

She likes that I understand what it means never to go into the field with the bull during mating season – where he will defend his herd with his life.

Do you not believe that vice and innocence can be one and the same? Have you not looked to build Paradise, even for an afternoon?


Found in an old notebook:

“I’m not a writer. I snatch phrases – string them together.

Fuck plot, linearality, objectivity!

The whole universe is a  phrase. Give me cliches or give me death!”  


“Who made the day?

Who made the swan, and the black bear?

Who made the grasshopper?

This grasshopper, I mean –

the one who has flung herself out of the grass,

the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,

who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down –

who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.

Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,

which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what it is you plan to do,

with your one wild and precious life?”

Mary Oliver

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