[Most Recent Entries]
Below are the 6 most recent journal entries recorded in
|Friday, October 17th, 2003|
The following is the result of a discussion with a life/coach in my home town. She asked me to write down my DREAM. Here it is:
Daydreams To Dreams: Can They Be Realized??
The following two general components would have to be realized to make the dream come true. First there's income:
My gross income right now would be sufficient with certain modifications. If the net, or take home amount was significantly increased that would suffice. The dream would be able to support my children's education without student loans or the associated worry about the means to pay them back. A tension-free education would be wonderful. The ability to have my spouse stop working would be a great advantage to her health. She would then have the time and support to improve her life style. Ideally a nest egg and a consistent method to save for emergencies could be developed. It would be wonderful to be able to give to those less fortunate and to manage that giving. If I were able to give anonymously and if found out deny it, that would be most satisfying.
The next important area is the general concept of time. That could be better broken down into units of time to. Time to:
· READ- time to pursue my areas of interest; go online and reserve materials that I run across in my reading; go to the library, browse for materials, research, gather information to aid the creative process, compose and write when the muse dictates.
· RACQUETBALL/SQUASH- both games remain an integral part of my life and they have been for more than twenty years. The primary reason is, that very likely those two activities were the key implements used in my successful bid to quit smoking those many years ago. I remain active at the Y, helping to coach, assisting with league play and helping with the racquets program. To continue: it would be wonderful to travel with my son to play in tournaments, the U.S. Open, the World Championships. Or, to have the opportunity to watch the best in the world play! Or, play myself in Masters' Tournaments across Ontario.
· INTEGRATION OF HOUSEHOLD ACTIVITIES - It would also be a dream come true to effectively mix all enjoyable activities like gardening, making preserves, cooking, even the "hum-drum" chores with the creative writing process. Once again it would be the realization of a dream to work for oneself while simultaneously surrounded by all the things you love.
· NURTURING THE CREATIVE PROCESS- One concept outlined in Julia Cameron's book The Artist's Way is the artist's date. You go for a walk in an unfamiliar area, you attend a play or a networking session, you attend a musical, browse a bookstore or market or second hand store. All of this with the idea that it's done to observe and gather data to be used later in the writing process. Example: I went for one of my walks recently because there has been a lot of coverage about the intricacies of the trails in Brantford. I hiked the Mt. Pleasant stretch of the old LE&N rail bed and it was a treat. To do that without pressure, without stress, merely for the joy of observing! Well! Many of my poems carry a nature theme and to do those sorts of things at my own volition would be marvelous.
· SPIRITUAL GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT- my "practice" as I define continues to grow. A dream would be to attend a retreat, take a theology course, volunteer without pay to help a person with Alzheimer's, be trained to do bereavement counseling or addiction counseling, volunteer in a soup kitchen. The dream would be to have the faith to do these helping things without the fear, the fear that Hydro will install a limiter without notice, or that the gas company will take my meter away. If the dream were true the fear is gone.
· TECHNICAL EXPERTISE, COMPUTER SKILLS- my computer skills have advanced a great deal with my time off. I firmly believe that computer technology will continue to map future directions. The dream would be to continue to marvel at and use this ever-changing technology to gain financially.
· END PRODUCT OF THE WRITING PROCESS- the dream: to have a set of poems published by a legitimate publisher. Then I might be able to access grant money to continue as an emerging writer. I would like to share my writing through a writer's circle or group or to give a reading. I am working right now on a chapbook to distribute to family and friends.
· RECOGNITION-in some small but significant way this aspect has come to pass. Let me illustrate: I got to be quite close to my neighbours two houses away. For several years I would go on my evening excursion to the convenience store to pick up my inevitably losing lottery tickets. I would always stop to chat with Harry, Harley (the bulldog), and Mary. The family unit, husband, wife and pet loved to sit on the porch. Some of our discussions would last for a half hour or more and I would be too late to pick up the ticket. Harry developed inoperable cancer and Harley had to be put down. Harry's service was at the house. I wrote a poem (to follow) placed it in a frame and gave it to Mary. I would have shared it but the house was a bustle of activity. Mary sent me a thank you card and I never thought any more about it. Months later I chatted with my mother. She had been standing in line at the bank and the woman behind her noticed that my mother's last name was Bosnell. She asked,
"Is Brian your son?"
"Yes, he is."
"Did you know he wrote a poem about my father's beloved pet dog Harley?"
"No he's never mentioned it."
"It was wonderful, what a thoughtful gesture. Would you thank him once again for his tribute."
It turned out that the woman in line was Harry's daughter. At one time I had tutored one of her children so she knew the name Bosnell. Simple, well meant recognition like that makes the dream come true. I felt uplifted and honored that my writing had contributed in a meaningful way.
Harley implored Harry to come home.
With a quizzical, look announced in the eyes.
But Harley knows where the Master goes.
I wanted to tiptoe onto the porch, sight unseen
And speak with you, Harley.
But that would be silly!
I could never change a pet's pain?
Harley knows where the Master goes.
Of course, I walked on
Prudently, not stopping to knuckle your ears.
I am sure you lowered your head and sighed.
Harley knows where the Master goes.
There are certain ironies here. I have in fact lived this "daydream" for the last few months. Many of the elements discussed here have been experienced. Of course, because I have been paid to be "off." Note that I say "off" because the notion of productivity is culturally engrained, imbedded so much that what you do is what you are. You feel guilty because you come to enjoy being "off." Reality says that the "daydream" must be shattered, that I cannot objectify it to make it real, that my experience over time is nothing but a sand castle in the air.
And that of course is my dilemma.
|Friday, October 10th, 2003|
Next Friday is D-Day #1 and the following Monday is D-Day #2. On Friday I see my physician and on Monday I see the new superintendent. Between them they will officially decide if my teaching career can be saved. There are three options:
(1) I go back part time and wait until the LTD claim is approved or dis-approved.
(2) I take a leave and find something else.
(3) I resign and take my pension contributions plus interest.
I've analyzed the pros and cons to death. There are so many variables to deal with. Overall, since I do have a history I'm leaning in the direction of #2. All the terms on the LTD form are clear because I was able to find an internet explanation right out of the psychiatric manual. "State" disorders and "adjustment disorders" were clearly defined. I find it quite ironic that all the tools I have developed over the years, my "practice" as I call it have prevented me from meeting the disability criteria. That routine also gave me an early warning system that I use to vacate that classroom. I should look on that as a positive because there are many teachers who wait too long and "carry on".
The public perception, of course, is to stop whining and get back "in the saddle". We shall see!!!!
|Sunday, October 5th, 2003|
I ran across a tiny ad in the Toronto Star offering a course to become qualified to teach ESL in four weeks. I also found their website by cross referencing the phone number in the ad. I emailed them for further information. It certainly will be, I believe, the wave of the future, and the timing is right. I could be qualified before my leave runs out and go to the board armed with some new qualifications.
My meeting with OTIP (the early intervention specialist) and the local OECTA president will take place on Tuesday. It will be interesting to see what develops from that. I was hoping to be armed with the draft of a letter from my physician to take to the meeting. I wonder if I will here from him tomorrow?
I had a phone call from a friend in Fort McMurray last night. It's a measure of how far I've come because he can't even turn on his new computer. It will be exciting to exchange photos and emails.He said it was 27 degrees Celsius on the edge of the Arctic Circle yesterday. I wonder if I'll ever have the chance to visit him? He has no reason to come here. All close family members are now gone. I went to his sister's funeral on his behalf earlier this year. He keeps phoning me to tell me about long lost mutual acquaintances who have expired. There have been many and I'm only fifty-two.
In fact Jon had to bail out one such acquaintance who remains alive. I don't think he has much of a liver left but he's alive. I must email Tommy and tell him. Tommy and his wife Brenda (my wife's sister) are fifteen year recovering alcoholics. Any time Tommy comes here he'll facilitate an AA meeting. Impressive!!!
The text, although somewhat choppy, flowed nicely today. I'll leave with another poem. I just want to share my stuff, that's all. I just want IT out there in as many places as possible. Just maybe, someone will read and take pause for a moment.
Five bills Friday morn
Between table and the slot
First roll every time
Three symbols on the dot.
No better sound
Than tokens dropping
No better sight
Than wheels stopping.
It lasted to Sunday noon
Super 7, Lotto too
All told a winning run
I deserved it, I was due.
That the winning stress
Is the same as the losing
What real cost for success?
Adrenalin flows just the same
Wasted time, addiction leaps
Can't keep the handle away
Consuming obsession creeps.
|Saturday, October 4th, 2003|
It's done! I borrowed my mother's carrier and took the found feline to the SPCA. Just as I thought no one called. The center was filled to over flowing, of course. They will keep her for a couple of days just in case someone comes in. A form had to be filled out and signed. I had no choice in the matter; I do not understand people who abandon animals. She likely would still have been in the area where I found her, or worse ....
There's a workshop on EFT in two weeks. I have been using the technique for over a year. It takes only five minutes or so and the movements SEEM so ridiculous. If you have never heard of it go to www.emofree.com for the details.
It was extremely windy last night. I was careful as I walked along the dike for the sound of falling trees. I shortened my walk along that tree-lined section. There have often been trees crash down that require a chain saw to remove. The strikers at one of the factories I pass by sat in their tarp-wound trailer. It must have been like sitting in a boat. One small unionized group at this factory have been on strike for months now all over the inclusion of a twenty minute paid lunch. Still the teams will not sit down to solve the situation.
It's amazing what can be observed along this route. I often extend it to take in one of the popular hiking trails and then return home along an abandoned railway bed. Wildlife still abounds if you slow down enough to watch for it. I even wrote a Sestina about picking up garbage along the dike. The local editor wouldn't publish it. Here it is:
Sestina: Across the Dike
I walk/pray across the dike.
It's hard to keep a measured pace
Since I am behind a veil.
I slow, hoping the bunched butterflies
Will help me flick the litter
Off the trail.
The evidence is on the trail.
Wrappers, butts, strewn on the dike.
A broken path of litter
That slows, interrupts my pace.
I stop to watch the butterflies
Flit under the leafy veil.
Walking to the sun I part the veil
Stooping, stopping along the trail.
I leave behind the butterflies
To do their dance above the dike.
I quicken my pace
Hands full of litter.
Every pray/walk it's different litter
Strewn behind the veil.
I reach out my hands, change the pace
To clean the trail,
To keep the dike
Safe for the butterflies.
Gone, gone are the butterflies
But not the litter.
That's a constant on the dike.
Never hidden behind the veil
Persistently on the trail.
I tire of the pace.
It will always be an unsteady pace
To dodge the bobbing butterflies.
Yet, I keep on the trail
And gather the litter
Beyond the veil
Forever across the dike.
Scattered rubbish along the trail disturbs the pace.
The measure of the dike outlasts the butterflies.
The volume of the litter shreds the veil.
I'll just put my stuff in cyberspace, that's all. This is just another vehicle to do that. Some of it can be accessed through my personal website as well at http://pages.zdnet.com/bozzz11/
I guess I'm making the assumption that someone will read these. I'll have to make them as interesting as possible. Still it's my journal. Current Mood: annoyed
|Friday, October 3rd, 2003|
I feel better because I got up early to do my morning pages on the computer. This will not be a three page treatise but I will improve both in quantity and quality.
Near the end of my nightly walk I found a kitten crying on the river bank. There are certain sections on the route without a defined path or sidewalk so I take my flashlight to warn oncoming traffic. It darkens early now and I had to shine my light in the underbrush to locate the feline. I didn't have to coax her, picked her up and carried her home, still about a kilometer off. I took her because she was wearing a pink collar and obviously appeared to be someone's lost cat.
I placed an announcement at the radio station and now await a phone call. She moved right in, had something to eat and accept for the occasional growl at Missy (# 1 in seniority) slept the night away. However, we now have a dilemma. There is yet another cat in the picture. In July someone dropped off a several kittens at the park across the street. That act was observed by several of my neighbors. The one that comes around our home, also a female juvenile, is stunningly black, pitch black. Even her whiskers are black. She's moved in (practically!) of her own accord. I now suspect that a pink collar on one of them may be meaningless. Trouble is we can't have three felines hanging around, two of which may not be "fixed" or needled. A trip to the SPCA means certain death.
Instead of saying "I hope" I'm going to say "I wonder if " someone will call. That way I'm not involved directly in the drama. Someone is probably thinking right now, how does this person have the time to arise at 5:30 A.M. and write about some trivial lost cat incident? Well, I'm not teaching, I'm off, so I write. Write what you know it is said. Thus I write about daily experience. Here then is one of my poems about the black cat:
Black kitten/cat's back
Bats bees, falls off the step,
Scratches the door: I'm in.
A novice, no lives used
She leaps at the table.
Momma SHOOS her away.
Get the carrier and SPCA.
Sneak a bowl outside.
Can't name, Blackie doesn't fit
The depth of her blackness.
She pawstamps my page.
What do you do with a castaway?
Current Mood: accomplished
|Thursday, October 2nd, 2003|
This is the first entry ever! Priority one is to find someone who has done what I have done. I'm not being melodramatic here, I just need to communicate with any teacher who has by conscious decision left the profession. I did it quickly over the course of one weekend and didn't go back. What are you doing now? I was exhausted when I left, I'm replenished now, but still tired of hearing, "Your courageous, but crazy to leave that kind of money and all that time off." It came down to my physical and mental well-being, that's what it came down to. I have not resigned, that would be a mistake, but I do not anticipate upcoming negotiations for a graduated return to go very well. If there is someone out there (I know you exist!) contact me.
I've been writing " morning pages" as defined by Julia Cameron in her book "The Artist's Way for months now. Priority two would be to use Blurty as a vehicle to do those daily pages. It would give me solid practice in writing spontaneosly at the screen. It will take awhile to share things in cyberspace that once could only be seen by myself.
Current Mood: amused