Friday, April 27, 2012

Sand and Time

From one log to the other, as the peeking sun is revealing the choices I have to grab and pack the bits and pieces of this Iona Beach into my memory card. And my brain. It's a long path over the lose sand between the river and the ocean. Hard to walk on, but worth it. I'm giving my devoted attention to this piece of quiet land. We all need attention. Praise. Like. We need to feel special, meaningful, different from the rest of the water in this social ocean we live in. I wish I could be as these chunks of washed over logs. They don't care. They simply are. As God. And they are effortlessly beautiful.

In all the pressure the media and social establishments are imposing, we forget the purpose why we do what we do, why we live the way we live. My gut feeling is telling me the system is created to keep us on the edge, just comfortable enough to not complain much, but far from success and fulfillment the top elite is milking from us. Most people feel something is utterly wrong and going the rotten way, but are kept too busy and too drained to focus on questioning. There is discomfort and general irritation felt in the air, on the streets, pretty much everywhere. You can hear it in most talks around. But we are far from the real revolution. We are not suffering enough, we are not on the verge of existence, we are still not desperate.

The great people who changed history came mostly from periods of extreme social suffering. That is the reason why I don't believe the next one this globe needs today will come from these areas. I hope I'm wrong. This global dissatisfaction we all feel in recent years and months will have to get ripe. It's still green, a bit sour, little lost, wondering blob of unclear form. I know one day, sooner than we might think, it will take the shape of a rock, and will be thrown. Hard.

We all have our own ways to cope with it. We focus on kids, focus on jobs and advancement, focus on money, and often on completely wrong causes. I do this, I make music, I live nature. It bugs me a bit that of 208 people on my mailing list only 2 have checked my last blog page. I justify it by posting it around the Easter. Both Catholic and Orthodox. Ultimately though, I do it because I have to. For the sake of putting it on this virtual wall. For the sake of creating those images, compose these sentences. For the sake of believing. Some will get it, hopefully, or not. It shouldn't matter. Certainly feels good being able to share it with a few.

With age I must admit I developed a dose of (healthy) bitterness. As many of you over 40, I often question where my life has gone and if I made all the right choices. Certainly not all of them, but what I'm most thankful about is retaining the ability to understand and admire the beauty around me. Especially in nature, but otherwise too. And the need to create. Those two things alone are weighing enough to balance all the rest. I wish however that my dreams have not been dented, especially with the most recent social awakenings happening all over the world. They might be dented, but I'm more than thrilled that I still dare to dream. And I dream of a future that will be more just, and more creative.

As much wiser people then me said, it's not about being happy. Happiness is impossible to achieve. Content with what we have, and the choices we have made along the path we follow is what matters. For the most part I believe I'm content. The things that I could be more satisfied with are mainly out of my control. So not worth dwelling about.

I notice I'm writing about the same thing over and over again. We need the purpose, a deeper meaning to all of this that is going further and further from making us belong. I'm noticing every day a dissatisfaction of the general public. Everybody is feeling that something is just not quite right, but we need to provide for our families, we need to pay off our mortgages, cars, lines of credit. We are all chained, weather we want to admit it or not. Today they said on the news for every dollar we make, we spend 1.5. We make our purpose in spending. We often try to heal momentarily by buying stuff, overfilling our places, while our hearts are left more and more empty.

There is three main parties in Canada. The Liberals are losing in BC. In three municipalities in Greater Vancouver there is extraordinary elections. They need a change. Every year however, I'm wondering what real difference does it make? Sooner or later, the changes each of these Parties bring is superficial, and more or less everything stays the same. I feel the people will one day get so fed up with it and will require a profound change of the whole System. I just hope I will be around to take part in it.

With all this technology around our lives should become simpler. We should have more time for ourselves and our families, to do what we really love and what makes us fulfilled. Instead, the abundance of this technological gadgets we are bombarded every day with is making us so busy that we don't have time to communicate in real time with our closest! Paradoxically, we are more than ever virtually connected with thousands of people screaming for attention. And we all more or less feel desperately alone. So alone that we make choices and tolerate the weirdest personalities around us. We justify, we forgive, we are frightened of losing.

More and more people are becoming aware of their relentless competition for achieving more, earning more, acquiring more, yet becoming more and more stressed and depressed. At the end, nothing of that will make us happy. Sooner or later we have to face it, stop, and ask ourselves what we are doing and where we are really going. And the answer is often that we don't really know. We are lost. How to really live a content life when the system is established in such a way that creates frustration in most ways we turn? And what do we do? We give up, we run away from it all, we get defeated by setting for less. And we rarely consider devoting our lives to change the system. Somebody else will do it...

It gets overwhelming for sure, there is so many things that need to be changed, corrected, or simply extinguished. I remember a lecture I saw here at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, by Paul Hawken. At the beginning he started showing a list of global organizations that work on all those issues. The list was rolling from bottom to top of the large screen. He said it would continue to roll for a day, two days, three, a whole week, and still wouldn't reach the end. Two weeks, maybe even three! The sheer number should be making us ask ourselves how come there is so many things that need to be fixed? How come we let those things go the wrong way? Because we are too busy with our gadgets.

The Occupy Movement gave me a big hope for a day, a week even. But than it became clear that the movement is confused, lost, undefined and disorganized. The opposition took that to their big advantage and the movement almost ceased to exist. I hope only for a while. I can't wait to see it rise again stronger and more organized than ever. Why should ordinary people in Greece have to pay for the mistakes their irresponsible and greedy government was committing in their name? They did the best they could: they worked, they were paying their taxes and  mortgages, they were taking care of their families. Most ordinary people don't need much more. Now, they need to tighten their belts, get their salaries reduced or worse yet lose their jobs altogether. We get our banks bailed out by billions and billions of dollars taken from ordinary people that struggle already. They will not take that forever.

If someone makes 173 times higher salary than the average is simply not right. They are not that many times more skillful or better as people. The only thing they might know better is how to play and use the System. People will not tolerate it, I can feel it in my guts. If everybody else gets taxed more but the Corporations, people will not tolerate it forever. If the prices of gas rise without slowing down, people will not tolerate it forever. I hope the society at large is realizing this and feeling it too. There is abundant amount of wealth around there, and only needs to be redistributed more evenly and justly.

Talking about the justice system, that one needs much work! Sometimes I feel it might be out of control already. If I had a child I would be terrified of what is awaiting them in the future. The rulings are not making sense more and more, the criminals are negotiating with the law, the system is basically teaching them what to do and how to act in order to get away with their crimes. I feel it's slapping me personally in the face every time I hear a decision that does not make sense. And it's happening too often. There is four realities out there: this one, unionized one, virtual one, and the justice system one. Who needs any other parallel one?

In a way, the System looks kind of a freshly cut log of an old growth. Rough, half eaten by bugs. It needs this water to be washed away, softened, rounded, refined. It takes lots of time, but sooner or later it will happen. Before that, we all need to face each other, our own values, our own worth. How much are we worth? Some think the measure of our value is our salary, some think it is where we live, what we own, our career, how much we traveled. Not many people actually think about our talents, highest quality of skills.  Perhaps, the reason for this is that it does not seem important enough.

Our advancement in life and career is only dependent on how high people and superiors around us are allowing us to go. It's surprising how often it does not depend on high quality, skills, competence, efficiency. Most often it depends on personal liking, company politics, profit. It is very easy to convince an honest person that he or she is not good enough. We all have our insecurities that can be easily played with. Before I moved to Canada I had a perception of The West as the world where only truly the best and highest quality is what matters. Sooner than I wanted, I realized that it's far from that. It's a very average combination of good enough talents, skills, personality and character that fits the company, the politics, the community or any area of involvement. And does not stir up things too much.

Change, originality, and different opinions are highly valued and promoted, but only if they stay within the boundaries set by the top structure of any establishment.  Personal preferences, liking, subjective opinions, personal gains are too often the driving force behind decisions, be it on the highest governing level, or personal. It's extremely hard, if not impossible, and rare that a true individuality breaks through. In many ways this reminds on regimes like Communist for example, only under a different propaganda - about "freedom" and "democracy" only to realize that both are in a very gray area of relativity, and hardly even exist!

These logs still don't care. They lay along our path half dug in the send between a river and an ocean. They are washed by the waves, the stream, and the rain. There are all those different waters that we must endure to reach the end. The secret is how we manage to use them, while maintaining our integrity, values, confidence, growth. Do we embrace it or hate it? In any case, walking on the sand is quite hard. The river, and the tides can get you before you blink. We must learn to live with it, to use it to our advantage. Otherwise, reaching the end is pointless.


  1. Thanks for sharing and caring from Annette on Vancouver Island. Beautiful voice and music!!

    1. Thanks for caring to read and listen!

  2. as always Bran saying what others are thinking..all true !
    Really great pictures too!