Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Power of Cookies

About 15 pounds ago, I learned how to make cookies. Last month I decided that if I ever wanted cookies again, I would have to learn the ancient secrets of cookie-making. Why? It’s my wife’s fault. She doesn’t bake anymore. Now before you label me sexist, in no way do I think baking is woman’s work. It’s just that she happened to be the one who made exceptional cookies, muffins, and other delicious what-have-you (or in my case “what-have-you-not”) and I miss all that stuff more than my adult(ish) children. Plus, she is into health and fitness and other mythologies that I struggle to accept.

So, after like two years of waiting for cookies to magically appear, I was struck with a novel thought that some might deem common sense, but not me: bake them yourself David. And so it began. My first batch was decent. But my second and third attempts were impressive and THEN NOW? Well, let’s just say there’s enough butter in my incredible soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies that after 13 minutes and 54 seconds in a 350-degree oven, they all melt into ONE GIANT COOKIE called insert-heavenly-music-here. Actually, I named them Cookie-Monster cookies because, ME LIKE COOKIE. Also, while eating them they fall apart in the same signature way that cookies get catapulted all-sorts-and-such when Cookie Monster unsuccessfully snarfs them down them because (SPOILER) Cookie Monster has no throat.

So then I started bragging to people about my cookies. Anyone with basic deductive skills likely knows what followed. PROVE IT they said. And so I did. And then I did again. And again. And then one more time. Finally, I realized they were manipulating me into making cookies. So I stopped. Then began the gentle inquiries attempting to deflect from the way they USED ME. For example, some asked, “Do you make other kinds of cookies?” My response: “What, like raisin? NO. Raisins don’t have the right flavour, and more importantly, vibe. Basically raisins are sad grapes. Cookies don’t need that kind of negativity.”

Whoa. When did I get so bitter? A sudden realization struck me, a cookiepiphany, if you will. Cookies are more than the sum of their ingredients. They bring people together. They could end global conflict. Therefore, I must make more. AND I must share them. AND SO MUST YOU. Right?

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Let's be honest.

I'm not smiling on the inside
(because this is bullshit). 
When the neighbour kids make a surprise snowman in your front yard, it's quite heartwarming and adorable. Isn't it?

One problem though: WINTER IS COMING (TOO SOON).

Monday, September 19, 2016

Sometimes Time

Sometimes I wish I could freeze time.

No. I want to pause time then replay it when needed so I can relive it and so could everyone else in the memory...but then would it just be a photograph?

Better yet, what if I could stretch time? Or hold an intermission during time? At least a breathing time?

No, I want to amend time. Why pause it? Why not capture it along with a variety of other forming memories and make wine out of it and cork it? Then I could sip it when I need it, when I'm lonely, when I'm missing the ones I love.

No, maybe what I really want to do is mend time. I don't mean fix. I want to sew moments together like a quilt and crawl underneath, grow warm there. If only this were possible.

No...what I want to do is bookmark time. Return to that page. Show it those who need to see it so they can see where I'm coming from, why I have the point of view I do. And to share it too.

If only I could punctuate time. Add a comma to slow it down, a dash to speed it onward, a period to stop, or a semi-colon to wait for a while for the inevitable.

Sometimes I don't know what I want. Sometimes time is cruel.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Things one should never outgrow:

While walking one day, I discovered this home-made "Stonehenge." It reminded me of that maxim
1. Eat.
2. Design.
3. Sleep.

Happening upon this little circle of stones, I felt a kindred spirit. What's the point of life if we don't create something out of it? Whether it's a tool or technology, or a territory, we humans make things. And we hope others will admire these creations. My psychology training tells me it's like self-determination theory: we need to feel in charge of something in the world (autonomy), we strive to succeed at that something (competence), so we can share that something with others (relatedness).

I noticed you kid, I noticed.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Let's be honest:

Hate makes you an asshole.
race is in your head. Racism is not.

1. "I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks." ~Harper Lee

2. "You never understand a person until you see things from his point of view." ~Harper Lee

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Rear or Year?

You need to have an iron rear to sit upon a cactus, or otherwise, at least a year of very painful practice.” Jack Prelutsky

Agreed, wise poet, agreed. Inevitably, during our lives, we will face many “cactuses” (or “cacti” if you prefer). Some big some small. It might be developing a new skill. Maybe it’s our first year with a new job. Or a complicated relationship. Maybe it’s a matter of health or wealth or something we need to change. Whatever the prickly situation, as a comedian once observed, “cactuses are always sort of flipping us off.” But we must remember this: no one gets stronger and wiser without outsmarting cactuses.

Prelutsky’s poem reveals important perspectives on how to face life’s difficulties. Which is better: the “iron rear” or “the year?” And that, my friend, is the crux. When faced with obstacles and challenges, we must all answer this ourselves. Based on my experience, some tips (pun intended).
  1. Determine if it’s really a cactus. Maybe it’s not as thorny as first imagined? 
  2. Prioritize your cactuses. Which one first and why?
  3. There’s no such thing as an iron rear. Sure, there may be an easy way, maybe cutting corners is possible, but these are often temporary solutions. Remember “no pain, no gain.”
  4. Admit defeat and withdraw. Like a fortune cookie once advised me: “Stop procrastinating starting tomorrow.” This is an understandably popular option because there’s no conflict but there are still consequences plus, by giving up, there’s zero personal growth.
  5. Suck it up and go for the year. It may be the only way. But remember the key word in Prelutsky’s clever poem: practice. Practice is not just repetition. Don’t practice on autopilot, or like a broken record. Instead, make minor changes each time. Problem solve. It’s all about trial-error-adjust-try again and repeat. Strengthen your assets. Trim the problem down into manageable sections. Expect some pain and increase your tolerance. Invest in Band-Aids if necessary but get comfortable with tearing them off. Persevere. Prove the pricks wrong. Grow. And don’t face cactuses alone. Get encouragement and feedback on your process and progress. Finally, no matter the outcome, share your cactus stories; even the unsuccessful attempts may harbor the words someone else needs to hear. And most importantly, help others navigate through their battles. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

This is my hood:

Um, thanks for this important information about...

(Perhaps your ink ran? Or perhaps this is some advertising ploy to force me to return to this pole sign again and again and again like some puppet until you share the info you're playing hard to get with? And if so, how very dastardly of you indeed.)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Things that deserve the stink-eye:

There's no such thing as a perfect match anyway. Right? 

This seems to me like a good reminder that one need not choose the obvious partner because despite their differences, these got me where I needed to go that day.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Just are.

Palm readers interpret the lines on our hands: the life line, the fate line, the heart line, the head line, the health line, and probably others too. These lines somehow illustrate the course and journey of our lives. I don’t buy it, but if I did, I think the most important line is missing: the friendship line. 

Imagine your friendship line from the beginning until now. Where exactly did important people show up to do important things? How did those friendships begin? How did they evolve? Who left? Who stayed? Who surprised you and why? Who was there just at the right time for the right amount of time?  Who told you the truth when you didn’t even know you needed it? Who gave you strength? Who made you laugh? Who did you need and perhaps more importantly, who needed you? And what did you learn from all of this?

About friendship, poet Walt Whitman said, “I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don't believe I deserved my friends.” I think there’s some part in each of us that is surprised by friendship. Our brains are hardwired for survival and thus we default to distrust. Depending on the degrees to which we’ve been burned or betrayed or abandoned in our lives, we must sometimes consciously over-ride this impulse. But then we have those friends who are just easy. No judgment. No conflict. Even the rough patches are little more than speed bumps. After separation, things pick up exactly where they left off. We should all have at least one friend like this.

Perhaps it’s a factor of aging but sometimes now when I am amongst friends I will remove myself from the conversation and observe. It can be quite moving to see your friends being friends. Just sitting around after a good meal. Just enjoying each other’s company. Easy laughter. Ideas shared and pondered and sometimes played with like kittens batting around a ball of string. Relaxed body language. Smiling faces. Smiling eyes. Forgetting about the long day. Feeling safe. Escaping a worry or two. Feeling trouble-free. Trust. Not aware of anything other than the warmth and comfort in the room and a casual, leisurely flow of positive energy, synergy even. The conversation satisfies, it even spills over sometimes but you and I dear friend, we float along together.

As the saying goes, “to have a friend you must be one.” Is it really that easy? Probably not, except when it just…is. Today I am grateful for friends who just…are.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Things one should outgrow:

narrow thinking.

With age and life experience, I've noticed my worldview shifting more rapidly than it ever has. I've grown tired of narrow thinking, my own egocentrism and others too. Speaking of perspective, that's why I appreciate the leading lines in this photo I took while out for a walk in rural Saskatchewan. Imagine all the people not visible in this photo: airplane passengers, drivers, walkers, you, experiencing it vicariously, all of us, going somewhere. It seems to me that we are all from somewhere but only going elsewhere provides real perspective. One might decide that there's no place like home, but without travel, without trying to navigate through others' lives, without trying to intentionally understand those lives, how could one possibly know?

Henry Rollins said, "A great way to learn about your country is to leave it." It's also the only way to truly learn about yourself too.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...