17 February 2018

Thoughts and Fucking Prayers

Yes, blame guns, and blame easy access to guns, blame the types of guns available and who can get there hands on them. And blame our inability to support and understand those with mental health struggles. But it would be wrong to ignore the deeper symptoms, the underlying pathology of alienation in mass society and how exasperated its becoming with technology, social media and the erosion of real human connectivity.

31 January 2018

First they came for the Mexicans and I did not speak out because I was not Mexican, then they came for the Iraqis and I did not speak out because I was not Iraqi, then they came for the Polish and I did not speak out because I was not Polish, then they came for the Irish and I did not speak out because I was not Irish, then they came for the Welsh and there was no one left to speak for me.

25 January 2018

Ursula La Guin 1929 - 2018


Ursula La Guin published a worthy version of the Tao Te Ching amongst her many other literary achievements. Like all reasonable anarchists she had a solid understanding of the Tao. This quote fits in nicely with the current state we're in snd with her death perhaps a good time to reflect on it. 

 "We’re in one of those big yin-yang movements, and the yang is so extreme. But then it will do what all extremes do, it’ll suddenly begin turning into the opposite. There’s another part of Taoism that we haven’t discussed that is part of my view of the world – extremes always do implode and begin to turn into the other thing."

19 December 2017

16 December 2017

If you work with the most vulnerable young people, you will deal with metaphorical and literal puke, piss and poo. You will have to clean it up. You will deal with heroin rigs and crack pipes. You will be told to Fuck Off and you will have stale bagels thrown at you. If this is a problem for you, do something else with your life. If you work with the most vulnerable young people, you will see kids you care about going to jail, into foster homes, disappearing under bridges for months at a time, sold for sex, selling others for sex, selling themselves for sex. If this is a problem for you, do something else.

If you work with the most vulnerable young people, you will hear the most horrible stories. Things you imagine happening in the most destitute ‘third world nations’ happening in the same city that puts up such a fancy farce. You will hear about abuse like you never thought possible. You will wonder how this person before you is even alive. And you will hear about death. Young people you know will die. Some will kill themselves on accident or on purpose, some will be killed by other kids you know, someone with developmental delays might be stabbed and burned alive after being kidnapped by a street gang (I wish I was exaggerating but I’m not). If this is a problem for you do something else. 

If you work with the most vulnerable young people, you will be compensated poorly. Poor wages and poor gratitude. Sometimes, your work will even be questioned by others who should be on your team. You will be told you are doing it wrong. You will have to translate the people you work with and their stories into data and dollars to convince bureaucrats you are doing the right thing. And they will question you. If you have a problem with this do something else. 

If you work with the most vulnerable young people, you might think you can handle it. Your daughter might ask you one morning before taking her to school, “Are you ready?” And you say, “No, but I’m going to do it anyway.” And then it will hit you like a punch to the face. All the shit and death and treating each other badly and you melt and you bury your face, trying to be tough, because you’ve got to get your daughter to school. If you have a problem with this do something else. But every once in awhile you might give someone the keys to their first apartment, you might help someone get a scholarship, you might be the first adult they’ve felt safe enough to talk to about real shit, you might get cooked an amazing meal by someone who spent the last year living in their car. You will see some young people blossom and bloom, creeping out of protective shells and taking steps towards being healthy human adults. You will witness amazing resilience. Amazing feats of survival, survival, survival. Someone who never talked to you during the years you worked with them and just communicated with methamphetamine-affected grunts comes back and says, “Thank You.” And you wonder how the hell did I help you? And they say, because you were there. You showed up, ready or not and you did it anyway.

11 November 2017

Horripilation

Horripilation: 

 When the hairs on the back of your neck, top of your head or forearms reach out to the universe and attempt to sow themselves back into the fabric of everything. When the underlying ‘force that drives the green fuse’ reaches out to you and a forgotten part of you reaches back, waking you up in the process.

19 October 2017

hereherehere



I dreamed of this place long before I ever went there or knew it existed. But I ended up there completely randomly on a visit to Oregon with no clue it was a surf spot. As I was hiking down I came across a couple of surfers in the woods on their way back up. "You find waves down there?" I naively asked. With giant grins on their faces, they replied "Oh man... just the two of us... right after right... eagles... whales..." They went on. "Hum." More over-enthusiastic, over-exaggerating yanks, I thought to myself. "Cool." I replied. 

Years later, I was placed under the same spell they were that day and I've got stories. I've got stories about walking down the trail at dawn on ice cold October mornings, about deer on the beach, finding free beer gifted to me from the gods in the bushes, whales in the line up, eagles flying over perfect waves, sharing waves with just a couple of friends for hours on end, getting stuck outside on a 10' day and kissing the boulders when I finally made it to the shore, a friend getting lost in the woods never to be seen again in quite the same way, learning to breathe underwater, returns to Eden and of course stories about the secret of eternal nows/ perfect presents. Of my top ten surf sessions, a couple took place down here. But truth be told, the reef is a fickle beast, sand shifts, things change and its easy to forget the good times and pretend she doesn't exist because she rarely does. And in reality the waves are usually secondary to the whole experience. And its an experience of commitment. You know, if you've been. 

As a result, significant time can go by without even a visit. Its been years now since I've 'scored' this place. But rest assured, its now OK to bury some of me here. After my last breath, surely send half of me to the Gower Peninsula but at this stage in my life I'm starting to feel somewhat Oregonian. Enough of me has been shed here that I can now comfortably be chopped up and thrown off this towering cape into the green waters below. Let me be devoured by fish, sea lions, GWs, and birds of prey and return to it all. 

Here.