Within arms reach

Yesterday, I had a conversation with a friend - we talked for many hours over several topics -- of course, at one point the pandemic came up, something my friend brought up was how there are so many times in life where we do not recognize the pleasure of a time while it is happening, but only sometime after.

From this, I began to think over this statement that I had heard many a time in the past, and have always disagreed with somewhat. I felt that the moments I enjoyed most in life (for example, performing in concerts) I had truly felt the joy of the moment, and recognized how fleeting it was and appreciated it. I did not think that I had missed it, the way the saying says we tend to do.

However, yesterday I decided to look at this thought a bit differently and recognized within myself, some element in truth in the so often quoted statement. I have come to think that sometimes one does not recognize the most miniscule pleasures of life -- the one I discovered yesterday through our conversation was the pleasure - the value, of sitting next to someone.

As I think of it, it contributes to a sense of closeness. Being able to sit right beside someone on a train, or a park bench, or in a class - anywhere really. The element of trust, the recognition of the other's humanity as you let someone encompass the space around you. How beautiful it is to let someone be within arms reach, close enough to comfort with a hand on the shoulder - it seems I have been beckoned to recognize all this now. Which I did not take note of previously, to feel the meaning that exists in and amidst, in between so many. Between those we recognize and even those that we do not.

To everything (turn turn turn)

Usually, I am a person who really does not like change. However recently I have discovered that I have changed. And now it seems I am more welcoming when it comes to change. Strange.

On a related note (though it may seem unrelated), I recently discovered that the song "Turn! Turn! Turn!" by The Byrds is a complete allusion to a passage in the bible. -- Unfortunately, I did not know this when writing about it in the songbook. -- I have always really liked this song for the seemingly lighthearted way it presents life's ever-evolving circumstances, but I have never actually considered forcing my personality to alter and accept change more graciously. It seems that it has occurred in one sense, on its own. (Though not really on its own).

Anyhow, since I have (or perhaps I should begin saying "have had") -- since I have had such an aversion to change, I am finding the times surprising as change has been something almost idealized in my mind as of late. I made changes to some of my daily ways recently and I have adjusted rather well. My room has been slightly rearranged to make space for an extra shelf…and surprisingly I am quite enjoying it.

It is so strange to welcome change…for a change. Perhaps this is all part of the change.

Change, which comes so unexpectedly (at least it seems so most of the time) has changed me. What a time. The smile book (a.k.a. the "old-man-giving-advice" book) is going to be fun to update.

The month of Maying

I don't know where the phrase "the month of maying" comes from…but since it is the month of May, I thought I would use it.

Lately, I have found that I have been writing in my notebooks less. Interesting. Upon noticing this, I thought about why this may be, and I realized over the past few months I have felt a degree of peace of mind that I don't think I have experienced since I was a little child. With the constant buzzing of life being slowed to a soft hum, I find that my mind is clearer, I have less of an urge to write. I have also been doing much more listening to podcasts and other people's discussions -- so taking in more than usual…maybe because there is more room.

What I have noticed is, I have less of an "urge" to write. With a clearer, more peaceful mind, writing is something I can actually put more thought into, it's less like the sudden rush of water when you break a dam.

So. Another idea about writing -- it can be a useful tool to clear your mind when it is full with all that there is to fill it (and there is so much that often does) -- but making a conscious decision to write is something great to set ourselves thinking and encourage our flow of ideas in a way that isn't done when we simply feel an "urge" to spill.

So in for the ten or so days that remain of this month of Maying, I hope to write more consciously and discover that brings. -- And then maybe, I will write about it.

The times

The other day, it was my friend's birthday and somewhere in the message I sent her, I used the phrase "the times are so timeful".
And they really are.
The other day, I also wrote in my journal -- and lately I've been writing less consistently, every 10 days or so. When reading fictional journals this is something that usually causes the writer to scold themselves. However, writing not so often can be interesting too.

My last three journal entries are dated as follows: March 18th, March 8th, and February 29th.

On February 29th I wrote of my own random thoughts, and this incredible star I saw in the sky that left me mesmerized. (It was so bright, and I've kept seeing it every so often since, it's not always visible…I don't know what it is…?)
On March 8th I wrote of a funeral, and all the emptiness that comes with that.
On March 18th I wrote of all that's been happening in Canada with COVID-19.

Before beginning to write on the 18th, I read over what I'd written on the 8th and noticed -- a lot has happened. In the past two weeks, so much has happened. And it made the entry, 10 days later, so much more interesting to write -- like a story where the rising action is just so abrupt, you can barely believe where you've come.

A couple of months ago, I learned of the term "catharsis". And I like the idea of it. "The process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions."
I think journals are good to keep because they help with catharsis. Even if you don't write very often, every day, it's an interesting way to take all that's inside and attempt to make sense of it.
And even if you don't want to be a philosopher and make sense of your thoughts and existence -- it is an interesting way to put things into perspective, show you how all things change.

Which reminds me of this short poem by Robert Frost: "Nothing Gold Can Stay". My friend and I talk about this poem all the time. And many a time as we've discussed our troubles (they and I always have great discussions), we've reminded each other and ourselves:

Not only can nothing gold stay -- but nothing black, red, green --- nothing -- can stay. Journals, I've come to realize, do a pretty decent job of capturing that. They capture the change of you, your place, the times. And if really looked at and thought upon, could make for some profound discoveries.


This past weekend has been a long one. Literally. Because it is a 'long weekend' -- "Family day weekend", they call it. I have four days off of school (Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday) -- which I consider to be quite a long time.

Seeing as there is no need to wake between the early hours of 4 to 6 am on days that I do not go to school, I took every night of this weekend as an opportunity to stay up late watching whatever there is to watch on Cable TV these days. I watched nineties television shows, 'F.R.I.E.N.D.S', and 'The Nanny'. I watched random movies ('One Day', 'What's Your Number', and 'Larry Crowne' -- maybe they're going for a Valentine's Day theme or something? I don't know..?)…anyhow, I also watched a few random documentaries.

I watched one about Auschwitz Survivors (I think it was airing in commemoration of the fact that it's been 70 years since the liberation). I watched one about British courting and how novels shaped a few changes in that realm. I also watched one about the Russian government. They were really interesting, I thought. Something I wondered upon watching them, however, was a possible bias in them…? Documentaries can be presented with bias. That was not something I had previously considered. And not something I will be discussing here, but something interesting to think about nonetheless.

Anyhow, I've found, that I quite like watching random documentaries. Maybe it's the whole "I like boring books" aspect in me coming into play, but documentaries are really something of a treasure I find.

Some things to appreciate about documentaries:

  1. You learn random facts. -- And usually you can learn random facts from reading, but it's different when you're LISTENING to first hand accounts. It's as if you are being spoken to. It almost feels more real. (Perhaps making it harder to identify any bias…?)

  2. The music playing in the background -- for the dramatic feel, has an interesting effect. Maybe I just like music. I don't know.

  3. It provokes thought (hopefully) -- and anything that provokes thought, can provoke you to write -- and of course, who isn't all about that?

  4. They are oddly calming.

I'm not sure if it's just me, but I find documentaries oddly calming. I don't quite know how to explain it, or rather why exactly, I've not pondered enough yet. But upon a very small amount of reflection, I have come to realize the very calming effect watching documentaries has on me, so I thought I would share that random thought.
In relation to writing, as I mentioned before, documentaries can provoke you to think, which can, in turn, provoke you to write. Writing about your thoughts helps you to organize your mind. And organizing your mind is certainly something that can be of use. In some sense, it allows you to align yourself, in a metaphorical sense. But furthermore, the more you write, the more of your own documentary you create. A vast and complicated amalgam of works, all to document the existence of one human being. And although you might not think so, they are inevitably interesting and important. Even if you don't think so.

So I encourage you to watch a documentary or two if ever you're feeling stressed, and maybe even try documenting something yourself.

If there were a book about you, I'd read it

So it is currently exam season, and the times are unfolding, so I will attempt to keep this short. I was going about my daily life yesterday, when (of course) I took the time to write in my "Journal through" notebook.

After writing all the musings of my mind, I decided to look back on previous entries. I came upon one (from September of last year) and read it. And I genuinely enjoyed it. It was lovely to see what interesting "musings" had come of me, and it was truly a great pastime --- (although perhaps a pastime better for times when there is less to be done), anyhow, I read what I'd written from those months before and it really did interest me.

Which made me think of some other thoughts I've had before --- "If there were a book about you, I'd read it."

^^ I've had that sentence pop up in my head several times, and I realize, there is quite likely someone interested in reading about you. Your writing can reveal an element of yourself, it can bring out all those characters in seemingly the form of one. So write.

Because if there were a book about you, I assure you, someone would be interested in reading it. And wouldn't it be lovely to see what could come of that?

Perhaps I'll continue this thought later. Till then.

Daily Inspiration?

Well hello to all and everyone. Life can be (perhaps almost always is) rather unpredictable isn't it? Although many a time it doesn't seem so.

A few days ago, I lent a $1.25 to a girl who passed my friend and I in the hall. I didn't know who she was, but I recognized her as I've seen her in the school before (I think maybe she has the same break as myself?)

Anyhow, she was walking down the hall when she approached us asking for $1.20 for the bus. I happened to have $1.25, which I gave her. I must admit, I wasn't exactly sure that I wanted to lend even that miniscule amount to a random stranger of a peer that I happened to recognize. I'm wasn't sure that I would've approached random people at school like that, but I decided to go with it.

A few seconds after she (the girl) had taken the money and walked a few metres away from where I was sitting with my friend, she came back and told me that I had given her a "special coin" (it turned out to be some sort of "limited edition" of the loonie). She handed it back to me asking if I was sure I wanted to give it to her, upon looking at the coin, I recalled that in fact I had intended to keep it as it was a different type of loonie, so I searched my purse to see if I had another -- but I did not. I looked to my friend, but she could not come up with the sum, so I thought about it a few seconds before deciding aloud, "Well, my life won't change," and handed the girl the "special coin" once more, telling her she needn't pay me back (as I really didn't expect to encounter her again, even though we go to the same school). She walked off to catch her bus, and that was the end of that.

Except it wasn't. Two days later (i.e. today), I encountered the girl once more, as I walked down the hall to go sit with one of my friends during my break. She spotted me and immediately exclaimed with a lovely smile, "Hey! You helped me when I needed money!" I don't recall saying much, but smiling along with her. She wished me, "Have a great day!" and walked on by. That left me with the most uplifted feeling, it was really quite astonishing to see how much that girl's appreciation affected me. It quite literally made my day.

Later during the period, when I was seated during my break, that same girl happened to pass me in the hall, and seeing that I saw her she waved with a smile once again! How interestingly pleasant the world can be made by the coming together and joining of such small acts! It really is a wonderous symphony.

So as it turns out, I was completely wrong. Wrong in the statement that "my life [wouldn't] change" upon handing that girl that loonie. For it certainly did. It brightened my day (albeit, two days later) grandly, and seemingly leads me to believe that good comes of good. And there is some daily inspiration. I hope you can find some daily inspiration of your own too.

And let's hope I write again soon.

The Experiment

It is 2020! A whole New Year! A time indeed.

Anyways, I have tales to tell. It's kind of an interesting one, you could call it a nonsensical one. I've missed that word. It's going to have to make a come back.

But alright. The experiment.

So, as you may (or may not) be able to tell -- probably not, actually but…alright, now I'm probably just confusing you.

Let me begin again. // I'm not sure how evident it is, but I'd say that my spirit is about 400 years old. And the response to that by most would probably be, "you exaggerate". Which is true, I suppose, but all the same, my masked self is very, very old. Outdated almost. Although I'm not sure that that's the most accurate way to put it.

Through all my life, the only modern, media I've ever had are -- e-mails, a smartphone (so like texting??) and then, this weblog. And then over the last summer, I decided to make an Instagram account. An interesting thing I chose to do. I suppose I was curious about this other world I had never dared to venture into. Of course, I had had my prejudices and presuppositions about it for several years (ever since my peers began to enter that realm), but I finally decided to throw all those to the wind and try it for myself, for I was genuinely interested and curious. I wanted to know, see and do just as everyone else. What was this world people constantly told me to join?

I wanted to experience it. Maybe my old presuppositions were wrong after all, I thought.

And so I did. I entered the realm of pictures, captions, an endless supply of memes…a literal place of infinitude. And for a while, it really did captivate me -- it really was interesting to see all there was to see…and there is so much to see, I followed things, and allowed a small "following". I posted things. I explored the explore page. --

But I am old. Really old. Much too old. And much too much of a thinker. So after a little while, I found myself wanting to go back to my old ways. For my old ways weren't the most ill-founded. Maybe even well-founded, I'd say. I pondered over it quite a reckless amount.

I realized, the old, 'not exactly in tune with the times, but not exactly out of it' person that I was/am was exactly what I wanted to be. So after the aforementioned reckless pondering in my mind, I decided, that I had wanted to experience, and I had. I had wanted to learn what this realm was, and I had

I wouldn't say my presuppositions concerning the whole ordeal were exactly right. All the same, I wouldn't exactly say they were wrong. Maybe they were accurate, but not exactly precise? (I'm getting flashbacks from my Physics course now -- good times).

I didn't expect the endless supply of "entertainment" that was available on that thing. That certainly surprised me. I did expect the random photos of people and their little doses of randomness to add to our lives. I was right about the randomness. I was wrong about the sentiment towards it, for it was kind of nice. But I was right in my supposition that it did make me feel like somewhat of a scatterbrain. Too much information. Too many things. I was partially wrong about it being entirely meaningless, for there was some kind of pleasant sentiment to someone appreciating your post or you appreciating theirs. I was partially right though because it didn't have enough meaning for me. Being the 400-year-old self that I am, it didn't have enough in it for me to want to continue.

And so, after all, I decided I really didn't want the whole ordeal. Somehow I actually knew myself well enough and I am back to my original self. Well not exactly, I guess, because I've learned some new things. How can one ever remain forever one's selfsame self anyways?

So goes the story of my experiment. I suppose I'm just not prepared to escape that "outdated" part of myself. Or maybe I take life entirely too seriously.

Someone will probably read what you write

I really am keeping my word of writing, aren't I?

This happens to be the third time I'm writing (typing) here this week! What an astonishing event. I certainly didn't expect it.

Anyhow, it is evening time in the Eastern Canadian lands, and I have inevitably managed to be (by my very own self, of course) pulled into a deep melancholy tide of thoughts. As I was pondering over the various details of existence, particularly my own, I came upon the idea that I should write all these thoughts down.

A little fun fact about me: I like to talk to myself. Well, really it's not a matter or like or dislike. The fact of the matter is that I happen to talk to myself.

So, as I began spinning in my own array of thoughts I spoke to myself as I got up to get my 'Journal through' notebook and said, "Write this down, it could be useful for your kids."

And of course, me being what I am, I began to think of the meaning of that sentence I had quite semi-consciously spoken to myself.

(See, if anyone here has taken an English course before, you may recall having to analyze the meaning of seemingly meaningless things -- like perhaps, "What is the significance of the green doorknob? Why is it green?", but you see, the English teachers/professors are not crazy. Even I try and find meaning in what is seemingly meaningless….of course we are making the very bold assumption that I am sane, and not crazy here, but no matter.)

So back to the story. I began to think of what I had just told myself, through no will of my own. "Write this down, it could be useful for your kids." -- I mean, it was the most interesting thing. This idea proceeded to fascinate me and take hold of nearly all my conscious thought. The idea that my writing is not for me, but for someone else. Using the context of that sentence, people I haven't met yet. People who may never come into existence. People I could, quite possibly, never know. But the idea that I should write this down because it might be useful for somebody.

Now, of course, this is no new ordeal, people write things for others all the time, I know. But those are the usual writings, consisting of the likes of newspaper articles, self-help books, non-fiction books, storybooks, blogs like these…but people don't typically write in their journal of sorts "because it could be useful for their kids". The exact reason for which I cannot exactly deduce, although I do have some reasonable ideas.

  1. People do not typically assume that their personal journal shall be read by anyone. (At least not while they are still alive).

  2. People are not thinking about their hypothetical kids. What exactly they are thinking of seems to be a complex place to abode, which we should leave to another day.

  3. People do not realize that their thoughts are worth thinking and can be useful to others, who need help thinking thoughts. Or articulating some thoughts --- maybe some people need new thoughts? More thoughts? Deeper thoughts? -- (Also something I may or may not have begun pondering about, we will have to discuss 'thoughts' in a future post, but for now -- )

The 3 points, above-mentioned are all reasons that lead me to believe that typically, deciding to write about something in your journal "because it could be useful for your kids" is something rather odd, or at the very least, unusual. But, this case of unusualness interests me. And I'm writing this, in hopes that I can interest you with the idea that you should write not only to get your thoughts/worries/fears/melancholy mind sorted out, but also with the knowledge that someone will probably read what you write.

Someone will probably read what you write. Just imagine that! Someone will probably read what you write. They will read from it. Your thoughts will merge with their thoughts. In a small sense, your thoughts will be theirs for a little while, and wouldn't it be so intriguing to see what could come of that?

Although, it is unclear whether or not you will be able to witness somebody reading what you write, or that you will ever even know of someone reading what you write, it really is quite likely that someone will read what you write. And they may love it. Or they may hate it. Or they may not care, because they don't understand it. Or don't feel a great deal in relation to it. Regardless, they will have read it. And your thoughts will exist evermore.

And that, Dear Readers, is yet another reason to write. Because writing is evidence of your thought. And your thoughts are worth thinking. Because your ideas could definitely use some processing, and rethinking. Your thoughts probably do need to be re-thought. (Try not to overthink while doing so though ;)

Remember, someone, will probably read what you write, and be mesmerized at the beauty of your mind.

How many people are you?

Hello to all and everyone! Merry Christmas!!
So I said I would try and write more during this time, and so I keep my word.

An interesting story, (well, in all honesty, it's not the most interesting, but it interests me, so maybe it'll interest you too). Anyhow, whenever I study, I like to have music in the background, because it helps keep my focus, and I decided to go onto Youtube to listen to this new (although it's actually old) Bruce Springsteen song, "Blood Brothers" that I discovered. An advertisement came up, and I guess my laptop's been stalking me, the advertisement was about -- well can you guess?

Writing! It featured a writer telling his story of how he became a writer, how he wrote every day for "15 years" before he wrote his first book. He spoke about how he writes and rewrites his works all the time, how he reads them aloud to audiences and takes notes as he does that. I found what he had to say really very interesting. Although I don't want to become a professional writer, I did take everything he said about becoming a writer to heart. A confusing sentiment to explain, but I guess most sentiments are. Anyways, I think that's the first time I didn't click on the 'skip' button on an advertisement. I actually paid attention to it.

What's more to say? -- I'll have to think on that one.

Or not. I think I have more to say. When I watched the aforementioned advertisement, the man in it encouraged the keeping of a diary, because your life "feels like a story sometimes". I would agree. But I think to really capture the times, you need more than a diary. To have everything stored in a diary is possible, but I once read a quote that mentioned that writers are many people trying to be just one person. Personally, I feel like that holds true. For those reasons, I have many notebooks, because each one captures a slightly different side of me. Every place that holds my written works holds something different. And one day, when someone reads them all -- well I don't really know what'll become. But I expect that it'll be an interesting discovery to see how so many people can come together to be just one.