Thursday, December 24, 2009

Joshua Kreig’s Eleventh Annual Christmas Message

Dear Jesus,

I am sorry.

When I left the seminary I stopped believing in you. You were the symbol of a crumbling out of touch institution that I could not be a part of anymore. There were too many contradictions and hypocrisies to the truth I was learning about you. I liked your message but it was wrapped up in too much bad theological execution. I did not realise you are not the institution. I could not see through the bullshit and the noise.

I literally threw the baby out with the bath water. Trying to throw away something of no value, I threw away you. I am sorry. Because the institution using your name could not pass theological or academic scrutiny, you were abandoned. The pain in my life was too loud for me to find solace in you. I was running from the noise.

This may sound funny but I never stopped believing in you. Now don’t get me wrong I am still struggling with all that has been said about you and who or what you are suppose to be. I guess that is what this life is supposed to be, a struggle to become something, a struggle to give shit meaning Birth is messy; death is messy; so ergo the in-betweens are messy. Shit all over the place. Not by fault but by design. You know somehow I thought things would be a little easier by now but it is still as messy as ever.

So it has been what, 17 years since we chatted? A lot has happened since 1993. I am still crazy – sometimes very crazy. I’ve been searching a lot. I started searching and searching for something new. Something to replace you! Humanist philosophy, Greek mythology, Theosophy, Confucian thought. All end in codes of living life based on respecting life and caring for life.

About four years ago I started exploring Buddhism and in particular the Zen variation. I found it very helpful with turning off the noise. For the last three years I have been exploring the big world of yoga. Those eight limbs are one big to do list. But the biggest gift of yoga has been the quieting of the mind. It has taught me that the noise outside me does not have to be the noise inside me. It is I who disturb the peace inside me. The noise is simply a distraction.

Funny thing is that when I turn off the noise I am able to listen. There is a lot to listen to in the present moment. This past year I heard something wonderful. While listening to Buddha he asked me if I met his friend Jesus in my travels in the West. While listening to Patanjali he asked me if I was familiar with the words of the Jewish teacher Jesus.

And here is the funniest thing; a monkey leaping a sea is no crazier than you walking on one right? When you strip away all the smells and bells, pomp and circumstance, elephant children and purple godheads, and the occasional ascension, you guys pretty much agree with each other on the nuts and bolts of daily human cohabitation. And you all have a thing for tree metaphors.

And in the end I saw that this too is all bullshit. All the philosophies and religions are the creations of their believers rising out of their messy struggles to live with the shit, find meaning, and become something. Then if all is bullshit then I am full of bullshit. My bullshit is the culmination of all the bullshit I have been taught. All I have done is re-digested the shit and excreted it out again.

Now don’t get me wrong I think it is all pretty good shit. Shit is how things grow after all. Fertilizer is shit with purpose. But I think there is still a piece that we are all missing. That piece will make it possible for all this shit to make sense. What that piece is I have no idea. This is where the agnostic in me arises.

Though I have moments of being awake I find it so easy to drift off into sleep again. Staying awake is constant practice. Some days practice is effortless and some days practice is a real bitch. Those forty days in the desert you all ascribe to are a real pain. I’ve done a few. The systems work – but still a bitch.

Two things all systems demand are faith and discipline to be of any use. Faith is the ability to trust in someone or something even if there is no physical proof to observe. Faith is to trust we are connected to something greater than ourselves and we all share this holy connection.

Each path of faith demands one form of discipline or another. That practice takes constant effort. I think most days I fail when it comes to my personal practice. My ego does not like discipline. But that is why it is called practice. We keep doing it and hopefully listening to what is there to be heard. Practice is no longer right or wrong or good or bad, practice is what this body and mind can do in this moment. Practice is simply the daily motion done with mindfulness.

Christianity, Yoga, Buddhism are not a path, they are instructions for a path – my path. They are instructions that have stood the test of time to be elevated to science. These instructions are to help deal with the messiness of life. If I follow these instructions then perhaps the path will be more peaceful for me and all I encounter. But there is still a lot of bullshit.

Jesus, every year I return to my computer to write a Christmas message. This is the first time it has been about our relationship, which is kind of funny since your Christ designation is in it and all. Though I am surprised you were not lost forever. I went to get my coffee at the Cup today and their holiday decor theme is a red background, a white bird perched on a brown stick with a white dot for snow. When I was growing up there was overkill on the nativity scenes wherever one would go. It seems we have let your birthday go to crap. Now it is some reinforcement of value via material possessions.

My return is of more surprise to me than you I am sure. Though my studies have given me a greater appreciation for various belief systems, I never thought I would reconnect with you on such a personal level. It is funny that it was yoga that brought me back. I guess what I am saying is I am no longer a Wandering Aramean. Now don’t get ahead of yourself, you won’t see me in a pew anytime soon. As we reconnect I find the words of Eliot haunting me again,

“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”

I know who you are now. Or better still I can see you again. You are a person who struggled with the messiness of life. A person who awoke and stayed awake through constant prayer to stay connected to the divine. You were a teacher, a healer, a peacemaker, aware that all is god. All you ask is that I love with empathy and compassion and be a good steward of life. You told me I was perfect and holy. You told me to be not afraid for you know the path I am trying to walk and you have guidance. I need only listen.

In moments of quiet and stillness I can see all the beauty and I can see all the suffering and how I contribute to each. As my faith and practice grows I am compelled and obligated to add to the beauty and ease the suffering. Thank you for being a symbol of faith and practice. A nice Jewish boy who loved his mother and tried to bring peace is not such a bad role model – Happy Birthday Jesus.

Peace and love,

PS. Check out Mary J Blige and Andrea Bocelli do a kick ass version of one of your tribute songs.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Joshua Kreig's Annual Christmas Message - Tenth Anniversary

The Path Passed

This story begins winter 1998. I began writing an annual Christmas message to create a personal tradition. It is joyful to hear it has become a part of others as well. The first message went to about forty people. This year, well I stopped counting at year four. Traditions are information from the past brought forward to have relevance in the present context. They are practices meant to give meaning. This message has become a collection of meanings. This message has become a documentation of the innards of my life. This message has become an affirmation of and a connection to the truth that exists in my being.

Ten years on, I find the words even more so a reflection of the movements of my life, perhaps more than my ego had originally intended. As I reread the previous nine I can feel: my ever present pain and fleeting joys, my frustration and my excitement, my disillusionment and my curiosity. More than anything, I see my hope in life, my desire to bloom, my yearning to discover a sense of self. This tenth anniversary edition comes out of rediscovering the themes that have been the cornerstone of each message, and therefore the driving forces of my life. Join me on a journey through ten years.

Two journeys consume my life: the path to personhood and the path to priesthood. These journeys take an inner and outer path. The two paths are unique but follow the same process, slowly converging. Over time, both are an internal and an external discovering of the inner and outer worlds of being. They nurture each other and yet struggle to find the meaning in each other.

This year I have focused a little less on trying to find a meaning to life but a little more on discovering life. It is hoped that this leads to a path of authenticity. When I live authentically all paths to journey are paths to peace.

The Path to Personhood

That story begins spring 1989. It has been almost twenty years since I left St John’s, Newfoundland to become a Roman Catholic priest. When I left studies at the age of 28, I felt like a failure. Grappling with things not having reached preconceived expectations is a theme in this life.

There are two lessons I have learned to help me come a little closer to my peace. First, pay kind attention to life but be willing to let things go. Second, just because something ends does not mean it is a failure. It is only a failure if you cannot take any lesson from it. Things end, we move on – hopefully we grow. Life is a series of little births and deaths, and a lot of living in between each.

That “between” part is where everything happens: the mundane and the exhilarating. I am beginning to understand this implies continuous process and practice. Doing the piled laundry is not separate from wearing the handsome clothes. Washing the piled dishes is not separate from eating the delicious meal. When I do not see the connectedness I do not appreciate the importance of the moments of life.

There is no past, no future. There is only this moment and being present to it as completely and creatively as possible. This does not mean we should not remember or plan. It means we should not be slaves to either. When we live fully in the "now" we know that by caring for the "now" of those around us, our own "now" becomes richer; back and forth the energy flows and grows.

What keeps me out of the present moment is clinging to past pain. Past pain tethers us to the negative energy and darkness of life. When so bound, it is not possible to accept myself as a person on a journey of discovery. Instead of seeing life as unfolding it is something to be controlled.

Now I am beginning to see and believe that anything is possible if I am willing to stop trying to control everything. In reality, I can control very little in this made up world and by trying to do so, it has a disastrous affect/effect on my psyche. If I continuously try to force every reality then all will fail.

By not forcing or controlling life I can simply pay attention to the lessons it has to teach. I cannot teach life anything. I am forever the student in life. Even as a teacher I can only agree with Socrates: “I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.”

By accepting I am first a student, everything becomes a mutual sharing of individual discovery. We all have something to share. We are all teachers and students.

The Path to Priesthood

That story begins spring 1989. It has been almost twenty years since I left St John’s, Newfoundland to become a Roman Catholic priest. When I left studies at the age of 28, I felt like a failure. Failure because I thought I had dedicated my life to a noble goal, a higher purpose rather than simply consuming more and more. I had left the world of commercialism. And here I was returning to it.

Commercialism is another word for selfishness because it keeps us in a pattern of constantly consuming where everything is focused on tomorrow’s meal as opposed to seeing the rich banquet that already lies before us.

As I travel along the road of yoga and Buddhism I am discovering the personal priesthood that the Protestant Luther believed we all are asked to undertake. Call it what you wish: teacher, truck driver, parent, monk, bodhisattva, guru, mechanic or whatever noun personifies it for you. We are called to care. We are called to peace. We are called to love. This call is found and defined throughout all religions and belief systems – the call to see all life as holy.

Regardless of cultures and creeds, lifestyles and choices, loves and conflicts, we [are called to] look at each other and see the divine that exist in all and show it the reverence it deserves.

The Path to Authenticity

That story begins spring 1989. It has been almost twenty years since I left St John’s, Newfoundland to become a Roman Catholic priest. Twenty years on I find myself still on that spiritual path of learning to become myself.

My self comes in two versions; there are two Joshuas. Joshua one is the smart, intelligent, and confident person acting with noble ideals. He is the perfect teacher and student. He is the one I aspire to be. Joshua two is the one who struggles with life and falls short of his ideals. He can feel lost and scared. He is the one I cringe to be.

This year I learned a great lesson. Both Joshuas are the one. My teaching to be authentic must arise out of my journey, be it fraught with difficulties or filled with pleasures. The truth and intelligence of my teaching has to arise from my own struggles to practice what I preach. This is not an easy task as there are some real challenges.

I am bipolar. And probably will be forever. I am hot and cold. I can be very logical yet I can have a short fuse. I care deeply and profoundly but can be extremely nonchalant. I love many people yet I can be cruel and mean to those same people. I can cry and that is a very good thing. I will always have a deep sadness in my heart for not having a strong nuclear family.

Instead of seeing all that as a burden and stain to hide, bury, or extricate from the fabric of my life, I have come to see it simply as my life. Any truth I know or will discover lies in the messy reality of my existence. Therein lays the authenticity of any teaching.

The Path to Journey

This story begins. As I have chronicled my messy existence I have noticed that a quest for personal peace and societal peace is overarching. The mystics were right; the individual heart living in peace creates a harmony of peace throughout the world. My responsibility is to nurture peace in my personal life and to nurture peace in our world. As I gain more and more personal peace I find a growing urge that cannot be ignored. I am called to be a part of bringing peace to our planet, our home. We are sharing the same experience.

At the core of human experience is the reality that we are physical beings who must acknowledge that without respect for our planet and our selves we cannot have any spiritual connections. Without peace we are all living in darkness.

Regardless of personal or global traditions we can all buy into the Christmas story of peace. Behind that story is a belief that darkness will never overtake the light. By not being afraid of the darkness we see in ourselves and each other, we are able to see the light that resides there, the light that moves us to love. The Jew, the Christian, the Muslim, the Hindu, the Buddhist and the Humanist all believe in peace and that we are responsible to and for each other.

These words though easy to type are challenging to live when things get messy. The last week of classes before Christmas, we had a week-long book club activity of don Miguel Ruiz’s Toltec divined The Four Agreements. It had been three years since I last worked with it. Post yoga and Buddhism introduction, it was a wonderful rediscovery, a reconfirming of cosmic truths. I still use it as a guide to personal peace. Though tough to live, they are wonderful tools for mindfulness worth re-sharing.

“Be Impeccable With Your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

Don't Take Anything Personally: Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

Don't Make Assumptions: Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

Always Do Your Best: Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.”

Yet again these words are so easy to type in a message once a year but so hard to live.

As I look back at the last ten years of Christmas messages I am filled with a great sense of hope for the next ten, a patient hope learning to appreciate the unfolding of each step on the path. There is great love here. I have a joy-filled vocation, wonderful family and friends, and a beautiful partner – I adore all.

Christmas is a holiday with heightened everything. We seem to be a little more finely in tune with the life that we see, want, or do not have. But hopefully we are blessed knowing that there is a richness of colour, love, and light enfolding us despite the darkness. There will always be some emptiness we will be trying to fill. I think that is one of the uniquely human qualities we possess. But if we take the time to evaluate our lives we will find we are doing well. We have many reasons to have a Merry Christmas.

Be peace.

(December 24, 2008)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Joshua Kreig's Ninth Annual Christmas Message

…A year of heartbreak and insanity…I found yoga…A year of joy and hope…I am crazy…I love life…Matters of influence…Fragments collected…

This ninth year of Christmas finds me sitting down to write in a way I have never felt when writing before. This is the first year I write from a place of joy and hope in my heart.

At the end of 2006 I had my heart broken with the only man I have fallen in love with since Singapore 2001. The stresses of bipolar were affecting so many things with us. As he said so eloquently, “The more I am around you the more bipolar I become. I don’t like that.”

It took the first six months of 2007 to get perspective on all that. It hurt long. And even the other night we had a Christmas celebration together I continued to gain a little needed perspective. I learned a lot from Daisuke. I love him dearly. The successes of 2007 could not have happened without Daisuke being there in 2006. I try to be Zen. Daisuke is Zen. Simple and steady. Walking through the world with a sense of awe and discovery. Definitely a candidate for most influential person in my life this year.

I knew my health was not what it should be to start a relationship and I am glad we did not try. It would have been disastrous. I love him too much to put him through that madness. But losing a guy because of Bipolar stung. The illness was yet again bigger than me. Bigger than what I thought I could do or offer someone. That caused a downward spiral.

Around this time I was beginning to feel that the latest round of meds and my personal health and life choices were not working. I was becoming a rapid cycle bipolar. In one day I would go through multiple mood states from high to low.

In April I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands. I had given my doctor and other practical wisdom since 2001 to fix this. I decided to fix it myself. In April I began a journey to better health. I took two months off from work. I stopped talking medications.

I stripped my life down to the bare essentials of health and nutrition. I let my body detoxify. I had never approached this from a basic health perspective. I needed to see what a peak efficiency Joshua brain and body would function like. At the same time I started to practice yoga. This has saved my life. I have been practicing a form of hot yoga called Moksha three times a week for over nine months. Recently I did a 30 Day Challenge that stretched my mind and body in ways I did not think it could go. With a combination of Yoga, Nutrition, Meditation, Alternative Medicine I am healthier than I have ever been.

There is still a long way to go but the directions things are going are fantastic.

As alluded to earlier, this year can also be categorised with a most influential person review. So far we have Daisuke.

Bruce Chung. Bruce has been a part of the discovery of two of the four ways I am currently treating bipolar. I never take this for granted. Bruce has been my yogic companion these nine months and I believe will be for some time to come.

I have learned a lot through my friendship with Bruce. It has been fraught with great joy and pain. But in the end only the joy remains. For me to dislike Bruce would be to dislike yoga. They are so connected. Yoga is keeping me alive. I cannot see a healthy future without the practice.

In March of 2008 Bruce and I are going on a journey to India. Supposedly predicted by a psychic and then confirmed by a medium. Who knew? Not I. We will be doing the first month of an 11 month training course in the birthplace of yoga. India. I am still a little unreal about it. Needless to say we are individually and collectively rather excited. I have been doing a bit of fundraising to get my poor white trash ass over there. I want to say a big thank you to those who have sponsored the 30 Day Challenge. Also some close friends have really shown their love and belief in me. Thank you. It is written on my heart.

I will be doing a yoga class fundraiser in the New Year for friends to experience it all. (More cash needed ahem clears throat.)

I am crazy. No nice paragraph transition. I am crazy. And I want to thank Jeffrey and Adam for helping me realise that it is okay to be crazy and often it is more an asset than a liability. The only problem is good is really good and bad is really bad.

Jeffrey I first met in New York in 1999. Adam I first met a mere two months ago. I was listening to Jeffrey go on and on about something one day and I realised he was plumb crazy. I told him so. And without skipping a beat and with such candour as if he was merely telling me the sky is blue he says, “So are you.”

I realised he was right. It is the secret to our endearing friendship. I realised sanity and insanity are such interesting human constructions with a lot of flexibility. I kind of relaxed a bit. Jeffrey is simply Jeffrey. He does things and thinks things that not a lot of people do or think. Does that make him crazy? Does that make me crazy? I use to fear going crazy. But when you accept you have already been there for quite some time you just stop fighting it which frees up energy for more fecund pursuits.

Adam on the other hand is same make and model crazy like me. Adam and I just looked at each other and saw the darkness. He recognised it first. I never recognise other bipolar people as I would not wish it on my enemy. We met at a time of darkness for both of us. It was so nice to be with someone where there was nothing to explain. I will be seeing Adam in February in London before heading to India. I look forward to that comfort. Crossing time zones and geography and altitude is very hard on the bipolar brain. Adam will be a good lightening rod in London. He will help ground me for the leg to India.

Where Adam grounds my darkness I recently met someone who grounds my light. Whenever Berchman and I are together I am the most gentle, calmest, attentive person. I am so aware of my mood states. Adam and I can walk around in each others heads and look at the monsters and not question anything. Berchman and I walk around in each others heads and point out the nice things we see. We make silly faces at the not so nice things we see and let them be and feel just a little sad for them. Adams knows the five year old in me who is very angry at the world. Berchman knows the five year old who takes joy in the world.

Berchman drew the portrait here. I think it captures my cockiness and that “don’t try that shit with me” “I got your number” aspect of my personality. He also drew it from what he saw as my internal age as opposed to my physical age. Very kind indeed. And the hair looks fantastic.

Jeffrey helped me accept I am crazy, Adam helped me accept the darkness, and Berchman helped me stay in the light. They have helped me reach a state of calmness (equanimity) with who I am as a person by just being themselves. And letting me be me. For some interesting reason these three people ground parts of me that need grounding. Definitely candidates for the most influential person.

Another candidate for most influential is the dynamics between my sister and me. We went through a paradigm shift this year. For many years we have been companions on roads that have been often very painful. This past year we have taken a path where we can find more individual strength. Our healing required time for us to explore outside each other. I think there has been marvellous growth for both of us. I think in some way we have been quietly inspiring each other as we reach new levels of health. I look forward to our further explorations.

Daniel Oliveira deserves honourable mention. Daniel and I have had the luxury of working with each other yet again. Daniel and I are the model for what I call the perfect working relationship. What I can’t do he can. What he can’t do I can. We have a marvellous synergy and trust each other implicitly. This trust is based on a profound respect for each others talents. We created a pilot project for Rotman School of Management that may yield good future fruits.

My roomie Mattie the gentle giant has been my summer long extended into fall impromptu partner. Many bottles of wine have been consumed on the deck with hours of fabulous ravings and bullshit. Mattie has been a calm and a joy. He has called me on my bullshit and supports me on my journey. He too is blossoming on his journey of life as he faces new career challenges with competency and skills that surprise him and all those around him. The man knows his shit.

And the winner of the most influential person is. Bruce Chung. Without Bruce I would be dead. I have grown so much this year as a result of his direct and indirect influence - and most of it is positive.

But Bruce is 25 and young and there are many times I want to strangle his bitch ass!! I am sure he says the same of me. The strangling part that is not the young part. It is with Bruce that I get to practice and talk about yoga off the mat. Yoga is only truly useful when it can help us in our daily lives. It is with Bruce that my practice is grown and also challenged. He and I are so different that conflicts naturally arise. So far we seem to weather them.

It is in these times that the true benefits of yoga shine. I find I still feel things intensely but I do not let the negative shit drag me down. And I am learning to not let the positive things create unrealistic expectations. I have as many failures as successes at doing that by the way. My favourite word this past month: equanimity. So good, so hard, so needed.

The biggest thing I have noticed about 2007 is the darkness has lifted. I once again feel bigger than bipolar. Even in times of distress the darkness does not cripple. It is still there and raises its ugly head from time to time but it does not cripple. And with that has come a sense of joy and hope. Many of my friends say they see a difference, everything from a completely different person to a more calm approach to things. This does not mean I am all OOMMMMM! There are many people who can attest to my many errors this year.

But that is just it. Regardless of the shit, I love life again. I am excited. I look forward to the future as opposed to dreading it. I am at peace with my past as opposed to being haunted by it. I am learning to walk in the moment and really see and listen. This is my life’s practice. That is my yoga on and off the mat.

During all previous life transitions I feel as if I have aged whenever there has been a moment of enlightenment as to how the world works. This year yoga has provided some profound changes and moments of enlightenment and for some reason I feel younger. Yes yoga can make you younger too.

The Sanskrit word “Namaste” is used to close yoga classes. It means the divine in me recognises the divine in you and bows to it. What a lovely idea don’t you think, especially for Christmas?

If regardless of cultures and creeds, lifestyles and choices, loves and conflicts, we could look at each other and see the divine that exist in both and show it the reverence it deserves?


Merry Christmas and may love and peace be yours.
(December 24, 2007)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Ladybug/bird/beelte many names many things

I was on the deck the other day and saw this and had to capture the moment in images in the wonderful late afternoon light. Having know the ladybug as a symbol of luck it was interesting at this point in time to learn this:

"Ladybug: The Ladybug is associated with spirituality and religious devotion. The name Ladybug originated in Europe during the Middle Ages, when insects were destroying the crops. Catholic farmers were said to have prayed to the Virgin Mary for help. Soon after, Ladybugs appeared and began eating the pests and saved the crops from destruction. The farmers began to call the Ladybugs “the Beetles of Our Lady” and eventually they were known as Lady Beetles. The Ladybug's red wings are said to represent the Virgin's cloak and the black spots her joys and sorrows.

The Ladybug is widely considered a symbol of luck and is seen as a good omen when it comes calling. In Sweden, it is said that if one lands on a young woman's hand, she will soon get married. In France, it is said that if you are ill when one lands on you, it will fly away with your illness.

Ladybugs are also considered to be symbols of fire and the Sun. Ladybug teaches life is short and it teaches to let go of ones' worries and fears, to trust in spirit and enjoy life. It brings the gifts of renewal and regeneration."


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Bipolar Fun Fact #1 or, the trouble with joshua - He's not FUN!

I am not fun.

I am funny - downright hilarious at times.

I am fun to be around and there are times when I am having a lot of fun.

I find things funny. I like to have fun.

But to be fun is to be light - to live the moment in breathless wonder of each discovery while seeing the torrents and tedious steps as part of a joyful whole.

There are moments I am that piece of theory. There are moments of fun. But there is a lot of darkness around that fun.

I was dating a guy once and he said that one of the lessons he learned in life is to tell people when we are having fun with them. I sometimes forget to do that. Even when we are alone and catch ourselves having fun we should acknowledge it. For that is the moment we are looking for. Fun. Simple.

Sometimes the wiring in my brain gets so screwed up I don’t even realise it is until it reaches a critical mass. Critical mass can take many forms. Usually it means I stop having the ability to rationally understand the world around me. Everything takes on its worst form, craziest form, intense form, joyful form, darkest form or a little of each. That is the difficult thing about this thing it is always adapting and morphing.

I hit critical mass many times in April. Cleanup time.

Bipolar Fun Fact Affect – Relationships suffer.

Imagine all the craziness of a relationship and having in that relationship episodes of great emotional instability. That is NO FUN!! And worst is they are very unpredictable.

Every guy I have gotten to know recently talks about all the fun things they are planning on doing. Most of it involves a lot of travelling. I can travel but if I was to take a long and distant trip it would have to be planned with the knowledge that there will be meltdowns along the way. That is NO FUN!

Friendships suffer. My closest friends know and understand this illness a little. But there have been many times our time together has been robbed.

Nobody wants to be around someone who is not FUN! I don’t even want to be around me then.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Sakura in High Park

The Japanese celebration of Hanami centers around the delicate and beautiful cherry blossom (sakura) tree. The cherry blossom blooms for a very short while each spring. The windier the spring the shorter the bloom.

It is during this time you will see people sitting under trees having a meal spending time with nature.

The cherry blossom is a joyful symbol of life.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

When Goodbye Is Right

The other night a person I am fond of had this MSN tagline, “goodbye love, thanks it was a wild ride”.

Letting go of any relationship is difficult. I was having difficulty letting go; Daisuke and I cannot be lovers. But that tagline put it in perspective for me.

When Daisuke and I met at the beginning of July 2006 it was suppose to be a casual hook up. He did not want a relationship in his life. He just ended his four year relationship a few months previously. I was still working on my own health issues and did not feel I had enough handle on it to invite someone to share my life. Also I was helping my sister deal with her health issues. My career was providing great satisfaction. The weather was beautiful. The complexities of a relationship did not seem wanted.

But something happened on that afternoon. We felt a connection. Beyond a really hot afternoon we realised there was a similarity in feeling. We decided we owed it to ourselves to explore that connection. We felt emotions in a similar way; over the next 6 months that would become more evident. Whenever we were together it was as if our hearts were sharing some of the same place. It was comfortable and effortless. Sometimes when we were together it felt like two people in the same space sharing a body. Often it was hard to tell where one body began and ended. Yourself and mixed with that person at the same time. You wish you could just melt into them.

But because we had that potential for high then there is the potential for the low. Daisuke does not analyse his feelings. He feels them. Because we connected, when I went down he went down with me. That hurt us both in more ways than one. But regardless of the down time I liked who I was with him in the good times. I was a nice me.

Over that six months we loved, laughed, and played to a wonderfully high level. We had many great experiences. I have the pictures to prove it. We also seemed to appreciate things at a similar level. Wine, food, skies, sex, music, and more. I found myself getting closer and closer to him but on some level I knew the ride was ending. It was not the right time for either of us. We are still learning to find the right place in each others lives since getting off the ride. Time will play its role. But I think we will always know that we touched each others life. I think we will always be two people who enjoy each others company.

Though that was a good rational decision it always takes the heart a little while to catch up. We would all be lying if we did not admit that in every casual encounter there is a sliver of desire or hope that this person be THE person. That is where saying a goodbye to a possible relationship is difficult. Funny thing about my heart, it likes to let itself be informed by my brain. I realised I just had to figure out a way to say this to myself so I could help my heart move on.

We cannot command anyone’s presence in our lives but be thankful for the shared moments. We can anticipate with joy not hope, with desire not thought, with now not tomorrow. It would be arrogant folly to think that just because we desire a person they should desire us back in the exact way we wish. The lover has no freedom. And no one should want a lover in a cage.

It has been a wild ride!! SONOTORI!


This is also worth saying here. When I am not in a bipolar swing I can think all these thoughts and truly believe them and feel them. When I am down it robs me of all of this.