Sunday, March 31, 2013

       The gulls were flying over the town here about 4:30 AM and later. I took a boat one time
way out in Lake Nippissing, and I saw where they sleep. Literally thousands of them
sleep on the same smallish island, basically just a dome of rock extending up over the water.
I guess gulls don't need much privacy.
        I was thinking of a song I heard years ago when I was living in a driftwood hut
on a peninsula extending out into the sea from the Island of Formentera, Spain.
It's a smaller island 5-10 miles off the more popular, Ibiza.
        I'm going to see right now if I can find the song and attach it to this blog.

Saturday, March 30, 2013


         I was driving down a hill into the town on my small red bicycle.

it`s  a woman`s bike, but it`s small and  light and it`s fast off the 

mark. It would cost me a fortune to get it`s equivalent in a shop that 

sells racing bikes.

        I`m told I look silly riding it. I`m six 

feet and about 230 pounds, so I suppose I do look odd

on that little red bike with no crossbar.

"It`s good for my ego", I`m thinking . If some kind of humility is the 

goal.  Maybe looking ridiculous every once in a while will help.

       Peeling down the big hill, seeing the lakes beyond the small

city,  at that speed trying not to have a mystical experience.

        A poem`s been in my head these last few days,

 a poem by Wallace  Stevens. It goes something like,    

"Things exactly as they are 
  You can play on the blue guitar."

       So I`m zipping into town, sun shining on my face.  After 

February, which has been a month of utter and ignominious  

darkness, worse than usual, the sun feels great on my face.

I`m  smacking  my lips thinking of the three bottles of sherry I was 

going to be able to buy at the liquor store,with the twenty dollars I 

had left.

        I was coasting straight down Cassels Street directly,

 when I got this feeling. I`ve learned not to ignore this feeling, when 

it comes, which is not`s  usually significant.
 I got the sense that I was to turn left and go into the small

forgotten mall at the bottom of the hill.
       So I did.
       There at the edge of the mall, I see an old dusty looking

small used furniture shop. I get off the bike and walk over

and peer into the window.  The front window was full of oddities, 

oddities I appreciate like old Export A tobacco tins, old pliars and 

ancient metal files.

        I opened the shops door, walked in and said hello.  A woman 

showed up out of the back. We said a few words, nothing about 


        She said, " Here,  I`ve got something to show you. " 

She walked through a door that led down into the basement, 

leaving me in her shop with all her valuables.

         She re-emerged from the basement after a few minutes.

She was carrying an expensive-looking guitar case She set it down

gently on the glass counter.

          She opened the case for me and said,  "Take a look at this."

          And there it was before me, a blue guitar.

            So I picked it up and held it above my head. It was damn 

nearly as light as an old Martin. I looked at the neck . The neck was  

was straight and the steel strings were beautifully close to the 


            It takes a lot of strength for a guitar neck to hold the stress

of tightly wound steel strings.  So steel string guitars are often quite

heavy to lift. This one was light as a feather. This is a very good sign

           We bargained a bit, but I`m really not that good at it.  I was 

broke and not in the mood to buy a guitar. Whatever the price

it was going to cut dangerously into next week`supplies.
But I knew it would be a bad thing, a spiritual letdown in the

universe, if I didn`t follow this feeling that destiny had taken

a hand in the life of those around me

        The shop-woman`s name was Pauline.

Pauline and I made a deal, and she was kind to me, letting me

have it for half the asking price.
         She said, `The asking price for this make of guitar

would normally be three or four times this price,  musicians tell 

me. I don`t normally sell guitars. I sell furniture. But I had a funny 

feeling about this one, so I set it aside.`

        She said, "Perhaps because it`s blue.  I knew someone would be 

coming for it. I just didn`t know who."


Living alone for the last few years I`ve done some thinking.

Trying to write these books, and taking myself too seriously, I 

 had been a selfish prick for the last considerable while. Don`t

get me wrong, you`ve go to be extremely selfish, arrogant and 

determined just to get to the typewriter .But I`d carried it to an 


             I`d also been deeply suspicious about women for many years 

and that did not help the overall situation. 

               I`d turned into a hermit, and something in me wouldn let 

me even walk to the post office. To mail a book to my

reputable publisher who has been waiting for... for over a year.

And the book was finished! There was nothing more to be done.

             I just can`t seem to do anything anyone expects of me. I 

can`t seem to follow orders.I won`t even obey the orders I give 

myself! Go figure.
              This is very odd, and more than a tad disturbing.
              I decided I was going to something do for someone else

every once in a while.  So the blue guitar I was buying as a gift for my 

little daughter. "Happy Easter," I was thinking. I looked up. The wind 

was high, the sky was blue.

                Just like the guitar.

               Somewhere I could hear the angels singing.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013



         A zen master was  asked what zen is like.

          He answered, "It is like sitting up in bed in utter darkness and reaching behind you for your pillow."

           A focus without thought, a concentrated mind.


           I was playing tennis the other day and I was running hard,
dodging and stabbing with my racket, just reaction - no time for thought and breathing hard.

            I was in a very pleasant place, no thoughts... just eager to react. It was like a dance, a "cosmic dance" as my opponent said,
but then again - he had eaten some hallucinogenic (sacred) mushrooms, and he really didn`t care if he won or lost. This can be
a little distracting, but not for long.
           I was in the "zone".  Sportsmen write of the zone, a place of pure mind and reaction.

           You don have to be sitting still to have a mystical experience. Lately I`ve been trying to get into that rooted sense of universal oneness on my bicycle.
            But there`s too much snow and ice up here still in the Great White North, and working yourself into a trance state at 30 miles per hour can be suicidal.
             I don`t advise doing your mystical experiments at high speeds -  though sometimes in a car late at night driving into a turn at ninety miles an hour, passing through patches of fog and mist, this can come close...