"We pass the word around; we ponder how the case is put by different people, we read the poetry; we meditate over the literature; we play the music; we change our minds; we reach an understanding. Society evolves this way, not by shouting each other down, but by the unique capacity of unique, individual human beings to comprehend each other." - Lewis Thomas

Monday, June 21, 2010

Ignorance is Bliss

I ended up taking a little trip down island this weekend. Gorgeous days, sunshine, warmth and friends what more could some one ask for? Well perhaps the drivers of the roads to be a bit more 'aware', concientious and to add a dash of selfless-ness to their ignorance.

My weekend of amazing drivers started with a van attempting to pass me in a non-passing section of one our more dangerous highways. This would have been fine if he had not been behind me when the passing lane that merged into a single. Once he saw that, he gunned it and passed me, just before it was too narrow to do. Well, again, it wouldn't have bothered me much if this person would have driven the speed limit after he so forcefully passed me just moments before. He attempted the same to a truck who had just witnessed his actions to me, but the truck wouldn't let me do it. Later, passing this #$%hole I found out his van is part of ICBC (our isurance company in British Columbia), and part of the collision experts of it. Irony...

There were other within the city limits. Too many to list.

The drive back was not to, too bad. Except for the small part that an ambulance was attempting to get through on the highway (sirens on everything). I got flipped off for attempting to move over, and honked at. Watching the ambulance attempting to weave the traffic I couldn't help but to think what would happen if I was who ever this ambulance was attempting to get to. I watched as cars refused to pull over, tailgated, honked, cursed and so on.

I found out this weekend, I have road rage. I know this is the second post in a row about cars.

"Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace." - Buddha

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Car Crash

Life is such a precious and fragile thing. It's a like a rough gemstone being shined and buffed into a beautiful shinning stone. Each year is the gemstone's beauty being shinning and shimmer. As fragile as it is, once it slips out of our finger tips it wil shatter upon impact. Life is such a fragile and beautiful thing, such a precious thing.

Today I had my life flash before my eyes. I am only 20 years old and I witnessed all the things that I haven't and have done fly by me. Today, while driving to an 'outreach event' at a local High School, my coworker was hit by a car in the centre of an intersection by a car running a rubyred light. I was in the car behind her.

This morning went excellent, we had four/five new job postings with out online job bank and I had a radio interview with the local station here (The River). It was a beautiful sunny day, got too work on time, good cup of coffee, everything seemed to be doing well today. Yet, as the universe has shown me on timeless occasions that it needs balance, nothing can be too good without something devastating will happen to even the scales.

We decided to take separate cars and just rock paper scissors to see who was to go on their lunch first and since we'd be half to either of our houses. I pulled up behind her at a red light, and lent down to turn on the Air Conditioning (first day of beautiful sunshine and it was warm) and turned up the volume on the radio.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw the bright red brake lights turn off and sat back up, to get ready to pull through the intersection. I took my foot off of the Government Car's brake pedal and began to pull forward slightly. My peripherals caught a quick glimpse of a sharp blue flat and quickly slammed back on the break pedal. I watched as in slow motion this blue Pontiac Sunfire impacted with my coworkers car. Time slowed down so I could witness every small detail of his front end being crushed into itself and her silver Mazda's passenger side door being pushed inwards.

Shaking I put my car in park and turned the engine off. Staring blankly at the scene, my coworkers car pulled forward out of the intersection and parked just off on the continuation of the road. my hand began to shake as I shook off the shock and dialed those fearsome number 9-1-1. I described the accident to the operator on the other end. The car began to heat up sitting in the sun. Once snapped back to reality I realized I needed to get the car off the road, I backed up and off and quickly ran to my coworkers vehicle.

Her eyes were red from tears and she was shaking. There are a couple other people checking on her. She had said her arm and her back was sore. Fumbling with the phone, the police officers on site ushered us off to the side so the Paramedics could take a look at her. When all was said and done, the guy who ran the red light was taken on a stretcher into and ambulance. She was looked at and released to go to the hospital and get looked at.

We all see car crashes and accidents on TV and in the movies, but I will not lie, it is one of the scariest things to witness in real life. To all those who have not witnessed and accident I hope you never do, and never see some one you know get in one if you do.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Hermit and His Castle

There was once a man, who isloated himself onto an island called Hornby. In his youth, he had worked as a Park Ranger for the forestry. As he aged his mind deteriorated, manifesting itself as a mental illness recognized as OCD(Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) more specifically Hoarding.

His Kingdom, similar yet much broader and wider than those presented to us on that TLC show "Hoaders", was vast, thriving and lushuous. Like any good king he sat in on his throne, a lawn chair setup in the centre of his collection of memories, and watched over his 'subjects' (objects). A minstril in the shape of an old, wooden radio sits next to their king for entertainment.

As he regards his subjects with eager eyes, memories flood through every pipe of the brain, like a newly 'pumped' bath. He sits in the centre, watching each of the carefully carved trails through his memorial kingdom. The saying "One man's trash is another man's treasure" is not lost on him at all. Each piece of his so called 'junk' held a specific and special memory which kept this lonely king's soul alive.

His collection, his material memoire, cost him his princess and his queen. The life of a king amongst inanimate subjects took a toll on the royal family of his Island Kingdom. His method of coping was to keep more, and more, and more. His kingdom expanded and grew, like a roman general commanding a legion of men across Europe. He placed each object, each subject into its respected place. Old baby carriages with old baby carriages, tires there, coat hangers here...oh and over there an elephant lamp fraternizing with the lawn gnomes.

A soul tortured by his illness. He covered his house with his physical epic. He discovered upon the water front a place where he could bath, the rocks held the heat of the sun which warmed the salt water. His life held meaning within his objects, his objects showed him his worth. A king looks down at his subjects and the subjects kneel before their king.

Life continued on as normal, bathing in the ocean, resting upon his throne with his radio minstral playing. He looked out upon his empire, with a reminiscent gaze. Adoring, memorizing, organizing.

As history has shown every man, great or small, every glorified empire must tumble into rubble. Even those created out of the rubble of exiled objects. The sound of backhoes, bulldozers and excavators unvieled themselves at his door step. They began excavating his collection, burning his memoire, erasing the memories he held.

A warrent had been issued by the Island Counsil to clean up his property. Our king was arrested for attempting to stop the crew. He was held, and made to watch his world be crushed around him. His kingdom burned to the ground, and with it all everything he held dear, everything that was special (which was everything mind you) was tossed into the flames.

A man who was made to watch everything he owned being taken from him, having to watch his own world being destroyed before his eyes. A true story which happened to a man on Hornby Island, near my home town. He was an old fellow who was a legitimate 'hoader', his illness progressed over time and had caused his wife and daughter to leave him. He was a park ranger before retirement, smart and articulate. A lonely soul, who was not offered much compensation for this, except access and information on mental health services he can contact.

I thought I would share a rather breif story about this man. As when I had heard about this story from the police officer that had to arrest this poor man for interferance, I was taken back, a bit hurt and got rather worked up over the injustice of it. The officer, my mom's boyfriend, had a good and working relationship with the man and liked him very much, as he caused no trouble to no one. His only flaw was that he collected, sorted and hoarded objects of 'meaning' to him. There were some health issues with the property, so for that I can understand, yet I still can not help to feel terrible that my province, and that this has happened so close to my home.

This was the only thing that I could think of to do for him, was to share the story with those of you who do read my blog. I feel bad for the man and I could not imagine having to watch my world fall around me. Having my property invaded by judging others who hold their wealth and power over the heads of others.

Thank you for reading this, as it is stories like these that have influenced my studies in Psychology and my possible persuit into Law.