Eco-Friendly Picks for the OutdoorsEco-Friendly Picks for the Outdoors — Adventures in Green Marketing
Photo by Fayette Reynolds M.S.
As your body generates new cells …
code the new issue of cells with what you want to be your beliefs.
Code the cells with your life purpose.
Code them with your Growth SIStem of: Persist, Resist and Insist.
Persist in growing by being curious and humble
Resist the low levels of energy that use pettiness and apathy by being firm in what you believe and flexible in how you achieve it.
Insist in dignity and authenticity.
Integrate your beliefs into daily life:
Using short prayers composed of a few words to align your intentions; or
Long prayers of putting those intentions into action.
New cells are like a newborn baby – fresh from the source – innocent and clean passing from the marrow through your bones Into your bloodstream. There is a heritage of knowledge passed on from ‘old’ cells to the fresh ones. The brand newest of cells are reasserting your well being and ready to receive the human ancestral wisdom. They have a purpose. They have an intelligence. They have a mechanical infrastructure. They have their engraving agility (as opposed to emotional agility). This is an agility to transcribe and translate the DNA via RNA into actionable instructions. This is cellular level synthesis of energy into magnetic information that can be repeated. The residue of this cellular synthesis is hosted by the blood.
What do you want to host in your blood as your cellular orientation. Can they grasp what you want now, as an adult? Or is your childhood programming stronger than what you want?
To The Power of …
As in mathematics.
As in exponential.
As in the power that is incumbent in the design of all things. In the case of humans, power refers to the powers to resist, insist and resist. Resist the lower levels of energy in pursuit of meaning. Insist on being responsible for your thoughts and actions that support the community. Persist in elevating to higher realms that love to be in service to perceptions about growth.
However we are self-inflicted with auto-GMO. The design has been messed with. In the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual domains.
It’s been a fierce few thousand years of downward pointing modification that we have not been able to resist. Modification of men and of women. Of education. Of religion. Modification away from the natural design towards the power of profit. Profit has perverted the power away from purpose.
Maybe the market momentum for electrical vehicles these days is unconsciously mirroring a need for realignment towards something less abrasive to the surroundings; be those people or the planet.
Consider the formula:
Man to the power of two = Man squared. If you think about it, that means man to the power of himself. Whatever he considers himself to be is what will give him power. If he has confidence in himself, in his skills and qualities, they are empowered by his degree of confidence in his ability to get stuff done. Whether that stuff supports mutual growth or the attainment of power.
More man power formulas:
Man to the power of self ignorance; man to the power of the life stage he is passing through; man to the power of soul trajectory. All of these energies a man can process in a span of a few seconds – boom boom boom. Which can cause him to not know what he wants because there are conflicting energies petitioning his awareness. And those around him can think he is lost or doesn’t have ambition.
Man to the power of … anything – implies there is a great versatility in the design of a man to be amplified. And that is what every teenage boy is waiting for. Anything that leads him to build his identity. A teenage identity can be the foundation which leads to meaning for a man as he passes from adult into elder.
A man needs clarity to choose his own alignment? Clarity can take time: perhaps in a conversation, through years of therapy or on one’s deathbed.
What are your alignment options? Align yourself to success, to a sense of community, to your inherited religion – or possibly a mix of all of the above.
What is required to make your alignment relevant and (yet) religious? Actually making it relevant points to a religious life; making it religious makes it relevant – to what is above and below – past and future.
We all use the same tool to measure love. The instinct is like the heart of the soul – pumping the marrow of the moment into your capacities. The instinct assumes that you want to be in the best possible health so your faculties will be in service to your soul trajectory. Confluence of corporeal and soul health is exactly what the planet looks for in a human.
The challenge is when we are lost – meaning not in touch with our instinct – not in communication with the human instinct. When someone is lost, it can be difficult to find the ramp to exit from the highway to nowhere.
Like GPS on your phone is for you to get to the farm outside the city where they have those really expensive u-cut your own Christmas tree, the instinct is the GPS of the soul.
Your instinct resonates with the truth of you in the moment.
The greater we can, on a daily basis, jump out of the claws of being lost and into the embrace of love and its corollaries of awareness, sharing, service, understanding and agility, the more we can experience being responsible for our daily relevance and religious alignment. Thus in the equation/formula of man to the power of ___________ we can insert the alignment we want for us based on our generation of personal beliefs (big and small).
New cells are like a newborn baby – fresh from the source; innocent and clean. They have a purpose. (Since most days of our life there are new cells generating this offers a thread we can follow to connect us to our purpose.)
These cells have an intelligence with which they are eager to permeate our being. Issuing from within your marrow your cells have a mechanical infrastructure to get the job done with grace. Grace is a trinity of strength, beauty and meaning. Cells appear inside you that foster your awareness of meaning. Your meaning seems to us to be written in hieroglyphics because it is written into our DNA. These unique string stories refer to your universal nature that you reveal in your fealty to your instinct in daily life.
Adjacent to your emotional agility is your cells engraving agility. This is an agility to transcribe and translate the DNA via RNA into actionable instructions. This is cellular level synthesis of electrical energy into magnetic information. The residue of this cellular synthesis is hosted by the blood.
What do you want to host in your blood as your cellular orientation?
You are the conscious leader of unconscious cellular syntheses, which can function as your troops. Are you on the same page? Can they grasp what you want now, as an adult? Or is your childhood programming stronger than what you want?
These are micro dynamics that are true to their function and produce accurate results at the level of Elevated energy. The macro dynamic is everyday life. You are the macro manager of the purpose of your cellular micro life.
Our job is to find a way elevated information can be integrated into daily life.
It’s easy when it flows and it is difficult when our intentions are out of sync with our cells’ purpose.
Photo by Dagmara Dombrovska
The following is a good place to start when thinking about runes:
As well as being a literal alphabet used during the Viking ages, runes were (and still are by some) believed to hold power, symbolise inherent qualities and values and be associated with magic, as well as having meanings in more modern divination and oracle reading practices too. https://happypiranha.com
How to create runes to insert in your life for the purpose of conducting your energy through your strengths.
Decide on one of the areas in your life that you will focus on. For example: professional, marriage, personal religion.
State what you want for that aspect in your life.
“I want …… in my ……..”
“I want mutual support in my marriage.”
Work it into a declaration sentence.
“In order to instil mutual support in my marriage I will seek the good in my wife and offer honest expressions of my goodness.”
What symbol can you create that holds the essences of your sentence? It is your declaration sentence for what you want so you choose what works for you.
In that sentence is a power word(s) you will select. This power word has leverage to get you from the level of daily energy to elevated energy. The power word is what accesses your Emotional Agility in the moment. Your Emotional Agility is what allows the flow of life energy to be expressed in the daily and elevated aspects of your life.
This can work well with meditation to further engrave the reality of becoming what you want by activating your strengths.
The Rune Meditation:
Pair the word and the symbol: draw the symbol and below it write the power word.
Close your eyes and picture that symbol – say the power word out loud.
As you breathe in, imagine your breath being permeated with the power word.
Have it print on your blood for the minute that it takes to circulate through your body culminating with an exhale.
Open your eyes: you radiate your power word.
As you grow forward draw your symbol and say your power word out loud as you wish.
It wasn’t supposed to be a beauty contest. If it was, Nicola would not have won. Her bigger bones had sharper angles; her beauty didn’t quite fit into her body. Being an odd, perceptive woman she attracted people’s attention but not the love of a man. Which was one of the reasons the priests chose her. Her father’s connections were another. And the position was open as a third. And by coincidence, Apollo was unlucky in love.
Being one of The Pythia engaged Nicola’s thoughts and replaced her need for a man’s love even if most of the priests that surrounded her had no interest in her. Within six months of Niolca starting her training Anna, the most experienced Priestess, contracted pneumonia, could no longer attend the temple and was buried soon after. The other priestess got knocked up by one of the visiting supplicants who she met bathing in the Castalian spring. With her two ushers unavailable Nicola had become the Oracle of Delphi.
Though Nicola knew she lacked sufficient training and practice she felt her belief in herself could make up the difference until she had more experience. Her belief however was not important to the priests of the Temple of Apollo. They felt she hadn’t observed and absorbed the wiles of Anna. Anna was an excellent actress; she could feign possession by the spirits and struggle to find the human lexicon when translating the message from Apollo She tailored her private performances to each supplicant so they would go away with a prophecy that was promising yet mysterious. If the prophecy didn’t lead to their desired result then the supplicant could be accused of lacking faith in the Pythia and follow through on the prophecy.
Now Nicola would be in charge of an apprentice. She didn’t want her assistant to know more than her so she asked her father to tell the priests to interview her brother-in-law’s sister as the next Pythia in training. Dimitra was a young woman of status but not of any specific intelligence that could be developed for the role of the Pythia. Plus Nicola felt, in those warm afternoon breezes, she looked better than Dimitra in the colourful, flowing robes of steel blue and ruby red.
Before being tarnished by greed, being chosen as the Pythia was an honour. It was one of the few official positions where a woman’s instinct in the society was valued. Now the priests would appear beside the supplicants and provide context to the cryptic message from the Oracle. Nicola grasped that she was to play the role of a possessed priestess or she would be replaced.
She coached Dimitra on how to respond to the requests of the supplicants. Both women faked possession by the attendance of the essence of Apollo. Most of the time the priests had no idea what their message was; they simply knew what the supplicants were looking for and would convert the gibberish into witty riddles and enigmatic poems that could be taken either way.
The more tenuous the connections between the woman, her instinct and the planet, the more accessories were used during the ceremony. The clouds of incense that filled the temple gave Dimitra a headache so she couldn’t think straight. She would become dizzy causing her to wobble on her stool which only helped to further the myth of her possession by Apollo.
Nicola and Dimitra preferred to knock their clients off their game so their methods couldn’t be questioned. Relaxing them with an excess of food and libation and possibly female distraction they were less demanding for details about naval victory or political alliances as they were now feeling more satisfied in the moment. For those who came with questions of lesser importance, like family disputes they would simply embroil them in greater family drama using guilt and blame. In such cases there was no connection with Apollo, nor consultation of any respectable god energy.
The elders had called a Symvoulio, a local Council meeting, to express their increasing concern about the direction of the gymnasium for the children, Apollo’s sanctuary and the descent of the Pythia towards drachma and away from caduceus. Jonas, one of the local elders, showed up with a handful of arrows and a scowl. The myths, rumours and convenient lies that manipulated the role of The Pythia for social and economic means was atrocious. The priests were scared.
The elders told the priests to choose, as the next Pythia, a woman who didn’t abandon the female instinct. A woman who knew her decisions would impact generations of Pelasgians and many rotations of the planet. A woman who loved the beautiful story of the gods as a way to make the higher realms of life energy tangible yet still sacred.
Lydia had travelled with her dad’s cousin Jonas on one of his business trips; was engaged to Tobias who was working his family’s olive orchard. She saw that not only did Dimitra and Nicola not have the desire to deepen in the understanding of higher connection but lacked the capacity to engage the discipline of the role of an oracle. Lydia knew not to attempt to clarify for these flousies that Apollo was not the source of the vision of the future – that it was a local planetary energy that permeated the rock of Delphi, resonating in the minerals and the water reaching hundreds of metres down.
Sprouting at the shore of the Gulf of Corinth there was a gnarly vine of human survival ascending from fishing off the coast to olive groves on the mountain side levelling out to ranching sheep as Mount Parnassus plateaus to where the spring hosted the Oracle.
Provoked by a sense of purpose Lydia’s gait lightened as she climbed the mountain path to the temple. Lydia sensed that she had become a nexus of powers that expressed themselves through a human life. Challenging; confusing and possibly crazy making while being inspiring and intriguing. It was on her walk up the mountain to the temple with her head covered by a white sheer headscarf and a turquoise skirt she could feel the force settle on her head like a sparrow on an olive branch. It was weird the first time it happened. When Lydia asked, Dimitra had no idea about any sensation of attendance of higher forces.
The day before she is to provide prophecy Lydia feels the power of the office of Oracle settle in her body. She eats a small bowl of vegetable broth and drinks water with lemon the rest of the day. As dusk would succumb to evening she would sit in her small room looking out her window above the neighbour’s roof and into the sky. When she lay down to sleep she felt received by a benevolent force that rejuvenated her. She was learning this was the attendance of what was called the power of Apollo.
In the temple, Lydia had placed a piece of amethyst crystal in a tiny accidental niche in the wall in the rear porch where the air stayed cool. It was a gift from cousin Jonas and not something Lydia could afford to replace. In the morning Lydia trained herself to inhale and exhale along the lines of her connection to the amethyst in the temple. She would breathe in the immense sky then, in her mind; walk to the temple picking up the wafts of myrrh before arriving, feeling her fingertips running over the dimpled limestone columns.
On these vision walks in her mind, she was discovering that the Pythia’s role was more of a healer than a diviner. It was the healing guidance she offered that made people think she knew the future. She knew that if you had issues with uric acid then juniper berries would help flush it out. She knew that the incense could be used for much more than just bathing the supplicants in dramatic clouds of smoke; it had the capacity to elevate the atmosphere into a higher realm of awareness.
Lydia was not popular because she didn’t require the service of the priests to translate her prophecies because she did not spout trance induced Gibberish. Using her powers of observation plus her instinct Lydia promoted clarity and well being by applying two of the three Delphic maxims: Know thyself paired with nothing in excess. Her straightforward manner angered the priests because it lacked mystique; it had a way of clearing mental fog with belief in oneself. The priests banked on that fog and people relinquishing their belief to the translation abilities of the priests.
Whereas the Priestess Pythia was portrayed as a beacon of serenity behind the scenes there was a lot of infighting. Lydia argued with the other two because they insisted they had to wait 7 days after the new moon before they could offer prophecy. Lydia explained that the point was to be clean, both the Pythia and the supplicant. That is why she had designed a 3-day retreat for the supplicants as opposed to the bacchanalia of Dimitra and Nicola. The retreat was only to include fresh fish from the gulf and water from the spring. Likewise it was the woman who would, once cleansed by the moon, be ready to receive, grasp and deliver the message of the gods.
The priests knew that Lydia was very well prepared for the role of Pythia. Much more so than the current two that were neither experienced or perceptive. Lydia’s sincerity jeopardised their business model. The Castalian spring was well known and had many visitors even before the reputation of the Pythia grew. There were important visitors from afar bringing gifts and wealth. The priests didn’t want their status or their economy to be diverted. With international fame the energy of the place was more about the buzz of commerce than the connection with Gaia.
Lydia wanted the opposite to happen – she wanted a thriving community based around listening to the Oracle – even if it wasn’t her because she knew there could be somebody much better than her at connecting with the air of Apollo. Someone who is fresh as the vapour from the spring yet as wise as emanation of the rocks.
Tobias agreed to help her decorate the temple in a manner that would be pleasing to the attendance of Oracle energies. He was happy to support Lydia but also wanted to get on with their life as a family. They had a sincere love that their parents remarked on but the family growth was stalled. First it was because Tobias went to war but that was 4 years ago now. When he returned home he discovered Lydia had left on a trip with her dad’s cousin Jonas to Italy. This was quite unusual for a woman at the time but not unexpected of Lydia.
It was the sound of how he inhaled that said it was over. Which was no surprise. But it wasn’t fair. Lydia knew that she could be The Pythia and a wife and a mother. She knows it. It was heartbreaking. Like this moment now with Tobias. She loved him and she knew he loved her but she couldn’t let go of the Pythia. It was more her than she was herself if that made any sense. Lydia said it was her duty to her lineage, her land, to be The Pythia.
Lydia’s father could not understand why Lydia didn’t marry Tobias when he was ready to make a life with her. Lydia’s mother who knows how to deal with her dad and chose her moments when his point of view needed adjusting. This was one of those times. She stood up and he sat down. No words were spoken. He was glad because he had no idea what to do next.
Within a year Tobias would be a happy husband and a satisfied father. He would make his father so proud by marching off to fight for the Spartan Alliance in the battle of Marathon. He would make his wife distraught by not coming back.
Emotional Agility is the capacity to synthesise elevated emotion with daily life.
Elevated emotion is the power within the growth of natural development.
What is your inheritance?
Is it: money, traditions, culture, a place in the family tree, unconscious beliefs, family trauma, a house, a business, lack of love/ self love, belonging, forgiveness.
Compare the following life themes in previous generations to identify what you have received and what you have impacted: family, neighbourhood, how much money there was and the work to get it, the awareness of the condition of the planet, religion, health, education, travel, communication, marriage, old age, language, goals.
How do all those themes influence your beliefs? Are your beliefs the same as the previous generation(s)? Have you updated the beliefs that you inherited? How much do they impact you? Do you have information previous generations didn’t have that you have used to update your beliefs? Are your beliefs better than other peoples?
What do you want to give continuance to?
What do you not want to inherit?
Use your Sistem.
Persist – towards the light, towards elevated emotion, building Emotional Agility.
Resist – below and around you; friends, enemies, opportunities, habits; low level leeches
Insist – inside you. Insist to uphold what you stand for. What do you stand for?
Clarify your Big and Small Beliefs
Big B Beliefs are those about what it is unto itself, in theory, for everyone.
Small b beliefs are how that Belief reveals itself in your life, in practice, in your daily life.
The challenge is to make small b relevant to Big B and Big B relevant to small b beliefs. The flow of belief in action highlights your Emotional Agility.
Big B Belief – A man is willing to participate in the growth and well being of his community.
Small b belief – I, as a man, love seeing my family safe and curious about life.
10 good reasons for young men to be angry young men:
1. Nobody can tell them about their Soul
2. They can’t get traction on responding to the stages in life.
3. He has been cut off from Nature.
4. They don’t understand women.
5. The proverbial ‘man cave’ does an injustice to their abilities and needs.
6. They have no real rite of passage into manhood.
7. Satisfaction and Fulfillment have been usurped by blame and guilt.
8. They can’t find an elder.
9. Their youth and future have been tarnished by lack of vision by weak elders who know fear and lack of resistance.
10. The female instinct is not respected.
The two month delay because of the strike meant the real estate developers were way behind schedule to get 120 townhouses framed on their big Rowntree 3 project. In order to avoid stiff fines for not having the homes ready for their buyers to move in on time they had to get the project done in a ridiculously short window of time. As a result they were paying top dollar and brought in any and all guys who could swing a hammer. Diego could swing a hammer. He could also stand around with his hammer in his hand and talk while you work. You would think he was single and had no one to talk with at home and so he used work as his therapy. Paco wasn’t single either, he just looked that way. His family was back in Guatemala where he hasn’t been in the three years he has been in Canada.
“Donde chingados esta mi coche?” said Diego, freakin out. “NO me dices esto,” he says, with his eyes scrunched shut and pulling on his short black hair. His new-to-him cobalt blue (no sunroof) 2016 Chevy Cruze is gone. He stood still for a few seconds playing a very brief mental movie in his mind called Fear.
Fear of his girlfriend/mother of his daughter cell-yelling when he wasn’t home by 5:30. If he was driving he couldn’t text but when he declines her call that drives her crazy. Then he would text her to say he would be another 30 minutes and she would think to herself why is he texting if he is driving. Or maybe he isn’t driving, he is with una vieja and I’m gonna pull his hair out and feed it to her and pull his hair out and feed it to her.
Then, according to the script, when he gets home he can expect:
‘I told you not to get a car. You know you can rent a car for like 80 bucks a day so to take my mother to Niagara falls you don’t need a car. So you can’t say it was for me or for my mom or for the baby. It was for you because you don’t want to wake up early and take the bus.
‘Or stand in the fuckin cold at the bus stop,’ Diego, the pudgy whiner, imagines himself saying.
Paco looks at the screen on his cell and sees it’s a call from Diego – he already regrets recommending this guy to Gus.
“One second Gus,” Diego turns away and sings as much as he talks his greeting. “Que pasa hermano?”
“Alguien robó mi pinche coche. Vieron algo?”
“No me dices esto bro,” said Paco without caring.
“Preguntale brother,” insists Diego.
“When are you gonna learn English cabron?” said Paco.
“Askem bro, por fa,” said Diego thinking his Spanglish would help his cause.
As Paco drops his hand with his phone to his hip he puts it on speaker.
“Hey Gus, Diego’s car is gone. Do you know anything?” Asked Paco.
Gus motioned with a quick flick of his chin towards the side street beside the job site.
“No idea. Remember. I told you earlier. Tellem – Don’t park there – they will towem. And fuck me. Looks like they did just that,” said Gus, restraining a stupid-people-do-stupid-things-laugh.
“Is that what you yell this morning?” asked Paco.
“Ya. I saw you nod and smile,” said Gus. “So I thought whatshisface would move his car.”
“Porque no me dijiste pendejo?” Diego heard everything over the speaker.
“Where take it, you know?” Diego yelled into his phone so Gus would hear. His love of his car overcame his fear of speaking English.
“You gotta phone the city. They impounded it. Shouldn’t be too far.”
“Impounded? What the fuck,” cried Diego.
“Diego buddy Tabarnak, they towed it. That’s all I know.” said Gus looking at Paco with wide eyes that asked ‘who the fuck is this guy?’.
“How much pay?” persisted Diego.
“Dunno. Couple hundred bucks maybe.” said Gus accepting his steaming hot coffee, “Thanks Dimitri.”
Gus was a few years older than Paco but both of them were in their 30’s. Over the past few years they had been on a few projects together. Gus liked Paco but didn’t make friends on the job because when push came to shout Gus couldn’t have any favourites. But there was that one time when the concrete guys saw his name on his hard hat and started talking shit like, ‘Paco, where’s the taco?’ and all of them laughing. Gus in a very calm voice actually said to their foreman.
“If you and your fuckin clowns don’t shut it and say sorry to my guy then there might be an engineering report that says the drainage is not to grade and this whole slab needs to be repoured at your expense. And I don’t think your butt ugly money grubbin boss is gonna like that. Are we clear?!” Said red faced Gus staring the foreman straight in the eyes.
“We are,” said the pissed off foreman.
“I want to see you in the site office now.” Gus yelled at Paco,
At this point Paco had been with the company only a few months so he wasn’t sure where he stood with management. Once in the trailer Gus keeps talking,
“Did you hear what they were sayin? Calice” Gus swore in French. His French is still really good but he only uses it for choice swear words.
“Is no big deal,” said Paco.
“I am not going to school those fuckin morons on Latin cusine am I?”
“No,” agrees Paco, having no idea where this was going.
“Guatelmans don’t eat peaches tacos,” said Gus pacing around the trailer with the awareness of his poor pronunciation but in the moment he felt he had earned some cultural credibility by trying to swear in Spanish.
“You are so right Gus,” said Paco wondering if this out-of-character burst of Latino solidarity maybe came from a previous life when Gus was a Mayan curandero.
So now when Gus gave the ‘kill it’ signal with his hand at his throat Paco took it off speaker.
“Diego, come back and I will help you later,” said Paco and hung up.
“Hey Paco, what did you think I said?” asked Gus.
Paco laughed at himself and shook his head.
“I thought you say, tell Diego he’s a fuckin toad.”
“I said – tell’em if he doesn’t move they’ll fuckin towem”.
Maritza was gonna kill him. It was Diego’s first day on the job and he was losing more money than he was making. He relieves his self inflicted stress by comforting himself they will start receiving the child tax credit very soon. Diego says once the baby arrives she will want a car. But she says they have a bus stop right out front and the No Frills supermarket is 3 blocks away. She keeps repeating that you don’t need a car in the city. It’s a waste of money according to her dad.
Maritza remembered her dad being there in person for her eighth birthday. While he worked in the US for 6 years they would Facetime but it felt weird. It was sad when he would sing Las Mananitas on her birthday. As he sang her mom would bring the gift that he sent money for from Oregon where he was driving a tractor in a vineyard. He was close to Canada but never went there. He figured the Americans would grab him at the border before he crossed. He should have tried, he says to his wife now that he has been sent back. If they wouldn’t have let him travel to Canada then they just would have sent him back and it is the same result.
He got deported when he got in a car accident in town with a lawyer who had been drinking. The car accident meant he came back home which made her happy but that is where Maritza got the idea cars were a bad idea. Plus the maintenance. But when you get one, if you can’t afford a good one – don’t buy one.
Her dad taught her English even though he and Diana, his wife, knew that meant she would be more apt to leave when she got older. Also he wanted to prove that being away so long has brought some benefit to the family. He had sent more money than he could have made if he stayed in Mexico but he hadn’t been there for the childhood of their daughter and son. Or for their marriage. At least he came back. He was faithful to his family – to his wife not so much. Reynaldo, his son, was bad at school but good at soccer. He was a good striker being tall for his age. He didn’t show potential so he had no future as a pro player. It was fun for now but difficult for later. Maritza was the bright light of the family.
Before she gave birth Maritza worked as a Cook A in a restaurant for 2 years while Diego would spend about 6 months in each job. She worked till she was 7 months pregnant and then couldn’t handle being on her feet all day. The restaurant liked her from the get-go and had offered her a full time job after a few months. That way she could apply for a work permit. Diego also got a work permit being her common-law spouse.
She was really scared when she got pregnant. But now they had to rely on Diego’s income for the whole family. Maritza knew that was a recipe for a stress fueled, argument filled disaster. She needed something she could do while the baby was sleeping.
Also she didn’t know, maybe they would cancel her work permit and it wouldn’t give her enough time to apply for permanent residency. Rhonda, the manager of her restaurant location was so supportive but it was not her decision – it was the owner’s: Mr. Jackes. But she would speak to him. He had various restaurants and other businesses on the go. Maritza knew Mr. Jackes was a lawyer and had met him briefly once when he came to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
A few weeks later Maritza was tying up her apron and looking at her belly when Rhonda called her into the tiny, cramped office. Rhonda motioned to the only chair in front of the desk.
“Have a seat Maritza. How are you doing?”
Feeling fine,” she said, seated on the edge of the plastic chair rubbing her belly. “We just had other doctor’s appointment, all good,’ she said, putting two little thumbs up in front of a weak smile. “But obviously I’m nervous.”
“Yes, of course. Obviously no heavy lifting. Get Clifton or someone to help you,” said Rhonda.
“Yes, thank you very much.”
“Listen Maritza, I talked to Mr. Jackes last week. I explained to him your situation and I told him you were an excellent person and an excellent team member, fast learner and that it would be a good idea to find a way to keep you on board. And of course for your work status right?” Rhonda looked into Maritza’s dark anxious eyes. “So he called me this morning and he had a very interesting idea.”
Maritza nodded as if she was riding a bike on a bumpy road and wrung her hands.
“His idea is for you to transition out of the kitchen into an IT role. Updating websites with promotional materials for his restaurants and stuff like that. What do you think?”
“Wow, sounds amazing. Thank you so much. Because…”
“Because in a few months you can’t be in the kitchen all day on your feet.”
“Yes, of course,” Maritzasat back and laughed, then she breathed a huge sigh, then she cried as the stress left her body and joy germinated – all in succession over the course of ten seconds. She looked at Rhonda and smiled and suddenly she hiccuped. They both laughed.
The rain was neither here nor there. The thing was, which was becoming irritating, Gerry. How is he going to react?
“D’you check how long the rain is supposed to last?” asked Oddie
“All fuckin morning,” said Gerry.
“Gerry, we’ll be in there,” said Oddie over his shoulder as he ran to the trailer. “Let us know if you go on a coffee run,” said Oddie from the top step.
“I’m gonna leave the door open cuz otherwise it gets too steamy,” said Oddie.
“Bro, that guy sucks the energy right outta the room,” said Manuel.
“Jou know what I mean, moron.”
“How do you say moron in Spanish?”
“Imbecil,” said Manuel motioning to Octavo to take a seat in the trailer, “Sientate guey.”
“Imbecil. I was expecting something with more, you know, meat, less English. More insulting.”
“That’s more like it,” said Oddie smiling.
They took off their wet hard hats and shook off their jackets putting them over the back of the plastic chair.
“Si nos pagan por estas horas verdad?” asked Octavo.
“He’s asking if they pay us to sit on our asses?”
“For an hour. Any longer than that and Gerry will panic and send us home.”
“Que tiene en contra del Herry?” asked Octavo.
“He’s asking what you have against Gerry.”
“Nothing really. It’s just ya know. Nothing wrong with therapy but the construction site isn’t the place. He panics, usually for no reason and we always deliver results regardless of what he fears or thinks.”
They broke out their lunches even though it was only 9:30 am and ate to the sound of crinkling aluminum foil and slurping coffee.
Oddie’s phone pinged on the dirty, white folding table so he picked it up and disappeared into the screen.
To Manuel rain meant mud which smelled of the minerals of home which transported him fast and far. He leaned forward in his chair as he picked at the dry skin around his fingernails.
Octavo leaned back in his plastic chair, joined his hands on his belly and closed his eyes, soaking up the peace he got from being on a good team and the satisfaction of working with his hands.
Octavo was sliding into snooze mode and Manuel was staring out the open door when he heard Oddie talking to himself.
“Yashmal kula shay,” said Oddie.
“What’s that bro,” said Manuel.
“I’m no exper but was that English?”
“Are you doin an hechizo on me?
“Hechizo, you know, like magic n all that.”
“No, no no. I’m learning Arabic.
“Cool. Are you going to Arahbia?”
“Is Arahbia coming here?”
“No, Arabia! Is not coming here. Stop being stupid.”
“But is so easy for me.”
“I’m… Listen,” said Oddie and he paused as he breathed in deeply.
“My uncle got me into studying the Quran.”
“What’s that like?”
“Cool. But …. I am lost. It’s so .. big and ..”
“What jou say? A minute ago in Arabic”
“Oh. Yashmal kula shay. It means ‘encompasses all things’.”
“What does encompass means?”
“Does that bring jou closer to God?
“Less call him,” said Manuel, spreading his hands apart above his shoulders like it was a banner, “‘The big guy, in the sky.”
“Well I want something more than this shit,” Oddie kicked some mud off his boots.
“I’m with you bro.”
Octavo yawned and stood up, stretched as he put on his jacket and went out to the port a potty. The rain had let up a bit.
“So, tell me abou the Quran.”
“I don’t know. Its ancient, is huge it’s mystical and its confusing.”
“Sounds like Gerry,” said Manuel laughing.
“Ya! Minus the mystical,” said Oddie smiling.
“I listen to a couple of these guys talk about their experience and they reference the Quran. It helps to guide them in some kind of higher purpose they say. I don’t know if those are my kind of words. But, anyway, I can feel something.”
“Impulse. Ya, I guess. It’s an urge but it’s not mine.”
“Who is it?”
“I don’t know – who else could it be?”
“Is annoying no bro?”
“It’s annoying but, annoying like when you’re in high school there is a cute girl but she is really stuck up, but you still are attracted to her, you want her. Why do that?”
“What is stuck up?”
“Your God is arrogant?”
“No bro, not at all. It’s the feeling I have that annoys me. Like I need to do something that takes me beyond. But what?”
“Beyond, that sounds far out.”
“Ya . Beyond the daily grind.”
“Was daily grime?”
“Trabajo bro,” said Oddie. “That’s why Gerry is so annoying. Not him. But the feel of the cloud that is always over his head. That there is nothing more to life than a shitty job bro.”
“Bro you need a anger management session at the pub.”
“That’s the thing. It’s not anger at anyone. It’s, it’s frustration that I, there isn’t a person I can talk to, you know, someone to…”
“The church has priests.”
“The church also has lawsuits because those priests can’t keep their hands off little boys.”
Octavo stomped back into the trailer, shook the rain off his jacket and took his seat. His entrance broke the flow of the conversation so they just sat there in the musty yet gritty trailer air. After scrolling for a bit Manuel spoke,
“I read the bible.”
“You read the bible now or you used to,” Oddie sought clarification.
“When I was jung.”
“What did you get out of it?”
“Well it was the bes way to talk with girls because the mamas approved of bible class.”
“Honestly, is like I remember nothing. But I have this residuo of believe.”
“Residue of belief. I like that. And how does that impact you? My point is do you have, do you feel an impulse, impulso?”
“For answering the call. It’s like I can hear my cell phone ringing,” said Oddie, putting his hands in and out of all of his pants and jacket pockets. “But I don’t know which pocket it’s in,” said Oddie, hunching his shoulders.
Octavo understood very little but the conversation caught him. He listened to them with his eyes closed as if it was the World Cup finals on the radio. Manuel pulled on the various hairs in what passed as a beard and sat up straight. He hadn’t thought about this stuff in a long time so it was really clearing away cobwebs in his mind.
“Bro, is like the daily grime is analog and belief is dihital,” said Manuel.
Oddie sat there a while with his elbow on the table and his chin on his fist digesting Manuel’s pronunciation and then the concept.
“No. Is like Defi.” continued Manuel with his next analogy.
“You mean like crypto?”
“What does Defi mean again?”
“Decentralize finance. And that iss what I think you are talkin about. Taking control of your shit, your destiny. That way bro, jou discover what has value for jou, here,” said Manuel as he sent his right hand into the air imitating lift off. “ And for jour beyon.”
Autumn rain fell on the trailer roof as the soundtrack to this episode of connection. Their phones forgotten, they could hear their own breath as they picked at dirt on their boots for a while, sipped coffee.
Oddie walked to the trailer door and looked at the lumber skeleton of the house they were framing. He associated with the wood and the precision and instinct it called him to use. He hadn’t realized that before. That was why he liked his job. Not so much his job but the work: the feeling of building something – and working on a team – and needing vision to complete a project.
Octavo looked at Manuel. From behind Manuel looking at Oddie framed in the doorway. Manuel could tell Oddie was engaged by something.
The rain had let up. The air was clean as Andre the project manager pulled his SUV up to the curb. Gerry jumped out of his pick up where he had been this whole time and said,
“Quit playin with yourselves and get to work,” as he walked to greet Andre. Nobody in the trailer moved. Gerry shook hands with Andre.
“Now,” Gerry yelled at the trailer.
“Alan,” said Oddie standing in the doorway as his mind landed back in his reality.
“Who is Alan?” asked Manuel.
“Alan? I dunno.”
“But jou just said his name.”
“Oh, Alan. Wow. I said that outloud? Alan means now in Arabic.”
Alan – From the Short Story Series: Tool by Kevin McNamara
I spent a couple of delicious hours yesterday at my library, soaking up the ambiance as well as a cranberry scone and black coffee, perusing the newspaper and a copy of Canadian Geographic, and came across this article:From Canadian Geographic I did not succeed in taking a ‘readable photo, but the article says that the […]Burn after seeding and other Black Spruce stuff — bridgesburning
Entering the Mind by C von Hassett PURCHASE . . . Read Chapter 3 Excerpt: The View . . . Back Cover Blurb In these extraordinary teachings that speak to the way one confidently enters the mind and observes it in its natural state, C von Hassett…Entering the Mind — Riot Material
Cappy survived the electrocution.
It was torture. Not stuff of Guantanamo Bay legend. The torture was not being able to use my hand, Cappy remembers saying as he turned over his calloused hand and listened to some pencil pusher tell him how the world worked.
The engineer who had signed off on the project, saying that it was ready to remove the old boiler, forgot to disconnect the power in the mechanical room. And Cappy got zapped with a near lethal dose of 240 volts three years ago.
“Ok. Ok. I will. Ya, you too,” said Cappy, hanging up the phone. He looked through the streaked windshield but was talking to his supervisor Sammy on his right.
“They agreed that we can bill them for the extra labour. The fuckin moron hadn’t even read the contract when he signed it.”
Sammy just sat there. He could feel it coming even though it hadn’t happened in something like a year.
“I just want to rewind the movie of my life to the day before I get electrocuted and just be there with that dumb ass engineer, and just ask him, ‘yo bro didya double check that the power got disconnected?’ And then when we both see that even though on his little officey clipboard it has his signature with his little P.Eng number right under it, that the fucker didn’t do his job. And I can see his reaction and look im right in the eye and say, ‘Bro!!? What the fuck?!”
Sammy had heard Cappy’s rant a thousand times. The vitriol towards the engineer, the engineering company, against life was on a gradual decline. Sammy didn’t clench his stomach anymore when he accompanied Cappy down this road.
Sammy waited a few seconds before saying, “You done?”
Cappy looked over at Sammy, the four days of whiskers slide across the collar of his hi-vis orange coat. “Ya. I’m done.”
“Ok great.” Sammy rubbed his hands together and then cupped them to blow on them. It was more theatre to break the moment and get a move on as opposed to actually needing to warm them up. “So now ya think you might be able to throw yer fancy truck into drive. That will help me get a little bit closer to my cup of coffee and my breakfast sandwich”
“Why in the world are you gonna get a breakfast sandwich? It’s noon.”
“At this rate I’m not gettin anything if we keep sittin here.”
After fifteen minutes of idling during the phone call Cappy finally started driving and as a joke slammed on the brakes while they were still in the parking lot.
“Whoa, bro, settle down.”
“You’re a fuckin joy to work with,” joked Cappy.
“I can see why your wife keeps sending you to work. She doesn’t want to have to look at your irascible face all day.”
“Wow. Irascible. That’s a big word. Do you need to take a nap now?”
Sammy laughed hard as he looked out the passenger door window and saw the temps coming down the stairs .
The boiler extraction had gone sideways because they couldn’t get the bin up to the loading dock to just dump all the metal. They had to hire some temps just to unload the debris from the indoor cart, carry it down the loading dock stairs and reload it into an outdoor cart so they could take it around the corner of the building because that was the only place they could put the bin because they weren’t permitted to block any of the loading bays. It was a shit show.
It had actually been decent weather for February. Minus 15 degrees or so Celsius. The temps made a good team and got it done. A temporary worker wants to impress the boss so they offer him full time work so it can actually work out really well for all parties.
Cappy got a pretty good pay out in the settlement with the engineering firm. They still do business together but who knows what happened to that forgetful engineer.
Cappy could’ve retired with his union pension and the payout but what would he have done. At the time of the accident he was 59 years old and didn’t golf. Even if he did he wouldn’t have been able to hold a driver properly. After 2 months of moping around the house his wife sent him back to work.
It made him famous. They wrote articles about him in construction safety journals and engineering publications. Even the guys taking down the perimeter fencing at one job site grew his legend:
“That’s the guy …”
“Wow! How is he still alive?”
“Much less working.”
“And at his age he should be at home. Unless his wife can’t stand him”
“How many watts was it?”
“Is that a lot?”
“Man, he is livin on borrowed time.”
“I’ve seen him before, what’s his name? I think I worked on the bridge repair with him years and years ago.”
“They call him Cappy.”
“Like as in Capitain.”
Sammy visited Cappy at the hospital daily after the accident.
“We’re amazed that Mr. Moravic survived. And to be honest a little worried that he is so adamant he is going straight back to work after such a massive jolt of electricity lit him up,” explained the doctor. “We want to hold Mr. Moravic for observation for an extra few days.”
“Ok doc, he’s all yours.
“They don’t make em like that anymore,” said the doctor.
“Ya, Marty’s old school all the way,” agreed Sammy.
I am just so amazed. And very happy for Cappy.”
“Cappy? Who’s Cappy?”
“Ya they nicknamed him Cappy”
“Why would they do that?” asked Sammy.
“He shouldn’t be alive much less lucid after getting fried like that so we are bringing all our interns to come and see him so they can have first hand experience with his case. This group of interns gets a kick out of giving the patients nicknames. They don’t tell the patients. I really shouldn’t have told you,” said the doctor.
“But, what does Cappy mean?”
“Ya, of course. Well you probably know better than me but capacitance is the ability to hold an electrical charge. And your boss can hold more charge than anyone we have ever seen. And lived to tell about it. So they called him Cappy for capacitance.”
Sammy thought this doctor was a real cowboy.
“And what are the side effects and timeline to recovery and all that?”
“He will need to come back in for revision in two weeks and once a month for 3 months and then we can give him the all-clear to go back to work. Or not. Depending on his progress. We have to ensure there are no motor or cognitive issues.”
“Well he can do stuff. He just can’t work for the time being.”
“He is going to be bouncing off the walls,” said Sammy.
I can see that he is such a hands on guy that he might get a little antsy.”
“That’s an understatement.”
“Ya he has been somewhat impatient already, said the doctor”
“”Ya, and he is only getting more irritable the longer he isn’t working. You might see him again. If he has to stay home for very long his wife will start throwing pots and pans at him.”
Tomas was Veronica’s dad’s name so she wanted to honour him by naming their first born after him. Five years later Cappy liked the name Bertrand for his second son. Tomas is a lawyer who moved to Ottawa to work in government so they don’t see him too much. Tomas looked for a job in Ottawa because first Sheri landed a job out of law school working on intellectual property law. Tomas got a job in the Department of Innovation, Science and Industry. Veronica doesn’t like such a long name or that his wife took her son so far away.
Veronica tells Tomas,
“Are you losina weight? Cherry should start to cook a little for you,” Veronica mis-pronounces Sheri’s name on purpose. Even though she has been in Canada for over 40 years Veronica still blames it on her accent. It used to drive Tomas crazy but now he just glosses over it. He just visits by himself because Sheri called her relationship with his mother temporarily suspended in the best interest of everyone. Sheri came for the funeral but hasn’t been back since.
“She is just as busy as me working so I can’t just expect her to …”
“That’sa right. It should just naturally be what she wants to do. Anda do it,” interrupted Veronica as she stirred a steaming stew on the stove to prove her point. Veronica gets all theatrical with her old country accent when she feels she is being left behind by her sons. By life.
“Anyway Cherry is no a very good cook so maybe it’s even betta, that Cherry doesn’t cook so much.” Veronica stuck to her one more time.
“Ma, Sheri is a good lawyer and focused on her career. Plus, Sheri makes more money than I do.” Both Veronica and Tomas know he never says she when he talks to his mom about his wife just so his mom knows he doesn’t accept her mom’s pronunciation.
“Ti in tvoj denar. Just like your papa,” said Veronica.
“Ma, that’s totally unfair. I gave Bertie twenty thousand for his brewery business.”
“Twenty?” said a surprised Veronica. “Your papa told me you gave only ten.”
“Only ten?! It’s a lot of money, ten thousand dollars! Listen ma. I told papa I gave Bertie ten in case, if papa were to ask Bertie if he can help that you wouldn’t feel pressured to give more if I had given more. Also I figured if I gave him twenty then maybe he would feel what he brought to the table and that he wouldn’t take money from you and papa.”
“We gave ten. I wanted to lend them more money but papa said no-no-no. ” said a proud Veronica.
“Have they paid you back yet?” asked Tomas.
“Mashee, don’t be like dat!” Veronica scolded Tomas using his childhood nickname. But, yes they had.
The other son, Bert, partnered with a friend from college and they started their own microbrewery. The brewery was just getting off the ground when he died. Killed by a drunk driver on a beautiful spring night as Bertie rode his bike home after visiting his new girlfriend.
The closure, as a couple, they never had about Bertie’s death has felt like a really bad hangover since he died. It was the drunk driver who did all the drinking and now Cappy and Veronica feel like shit everyday. Cappy couldn’t deal with the stupidity of it all. So he boxed up his grief in a strong box and purposely forgot the combination to the lock.
Bertie had been a really good soccer player in highschool but lost interest after no American schools gave him a scholarship. Upon graduation he immediately focused on learning about business. He took business courses at night at the college campus downtown. Even though it was easy to take on-line courses he liked doing the group work so he could meet girls. He also met Chad at school.
Chad and his dad Ross brewed beer at home as a hobby for years. Chad and Bert put together a business plan and took it to Ross. Ross put up most of the money. Bertie needed three credits for his diploma when they signed the lease for the brewery. Between working full time, opening up a brewery and his new girlfriend finishing a college diploma took a back seat.
With all the supply chain delays they had to postpone the opening of the brewery so for the last six months Bert worked at Chad’s dad’s accounting firm learning the ropes of corporate taxation. Bert was more of a numbers guy, Chad was the beer guy and Chad’s half brother Brad was supposed to be the marketing guy. Brad came up with a cheesy name and logo for the brewery but after Bert died they decided to call it The Bertrand Brew House.
Through the church Veronica tried to get Cappy to go to grief counselling. Then they tried anger management as a back door to get Cappy to talk. Cappy stonewalled them all. Gently enlacing his massive fingers on his friendly belly he would just sit there. It’s not that he didn’t listen to them. He actually couldn’t hear them. He generated a force field to block out anyone who wanted to fix him. He doesn’t even remember the funeral. No one saw him get drunk and weep, look at pictures of Bertie or even scream in anguish at the gods demanding to know why. He just couldn’t deal.
Almost two years after Bertie was killed, Cappy got electrocuted.
That is why Veronica doesn’t want Cappy at home. When he’s home it’s like there is a pinata filled with grief hanging from their living room ceiling, slowly swinging back and forth like when the air conditioning is on. And what Cappy just needs to do is grab the stick and bash, smash and crash that pinata. Make it bleed sweet grief. And rejoin the party.
The coffee shop is buzzing with Saturday afternoon millennials typing and talking into their laptops. Sitting down with his brother-in-law Paulo Sammy gets distracted by all the attractive young women sipping chai latte thingamajigs and just stops talking mid sentence.
‘“Focus Sammy Focus,” said Paulo.
“Bro, I think I am officially old. The girls are so young and …”
“So you called the ambulance and …,” prompted Paulo.
“Ya so anyway, I went to the hospital with Cappy. We’re in the ambulance and I am just shitting myself. I am practically yelling at him, Don’t die you stubborn fuck. And the paramedic guy says for me to cool it. So I’m looking at Cappy lyin’ there thinking Marty, If you are gonna be stubborn – today is the day – now is the time – you’re gonna live. In those days we still called him Marty. Cappy refused to die like the stubborn mule that he is.
“Once I knew he was gonna make it I went over to his house to speak with his wife. So I go get my truck and I’m driving over there. Actually I am amazed that I didn’t get in a car accident. You know when you are imagining something inside your mind and that is where all your focus and your consciousness or whatever goes. Then you are just totally on autopilot. Well, that was me driving all the way to his place imagining how I was gonna tell Veronica Cappy was in the hospital.”
“At least you didn’t have to give her worse news,” said Paulo.
“True enough. Anyway I was so surprised when he asked me about you,” said Sammy.
“Well, I am happy to be of service if I can help. I’m pretty sure I met Martin, or Cappy, years ago at your place for a barbecue, a birthday party, something like that.”
“Ya, I think so too,” said Sammy.
“So according to you what would be a good result from our meeting?”
“Cappy needs to talk. After that if he commits to follow up or something with you that would be awesome.”
“Would you say he is reserved or introverted?
“No. We have great banter at work. He’s just, gotta get comfortable and feel that you, or whoever, is sincere. Not yankin his chain.”
“That makes perfect sense.”
“Ya, and I doubt he will do the whole small talk thing; how are the wife and kids. I think he will want to … Hey there he is.”
Sammy and Paulo stand up and shake hands with Cappy.
“Grab a seat there handsome,” Sammy directs Cappy who was dressed in his church clothes: checked button-down long sleeve, v-neck sweater and his navy blue windbreaker.
“Cappy. You remember Paulo. He was saying you guys met at my place one time.”
“Hey Cappy.” Paulo felt weird calling him that.
“Paulo, how ya doin.”
“Can I get you a coffee?” Paulo asked Cappy.
“Green tea if they have it.”
“Since when did you start drinking green tea?” asked Sammy.
“Coffee is giving me bad heartburn all the time and my family doctor said green tea is good for me”
“Green tea it is,” said Sammy. “Let me get this. Paulo, did you want anything?”
“No I’m good, thanks,” said Paulo.
“It’s one of those March days ya know when the warm sun on your face feels great but once you turn the corner and you are in the shade of a big building it drops like 10 degrees.” Cappy is talkative because he is happy it’s spring which means the days are longer so they can work later.
“I guess I should call you Cappy.”
“Ya. Your knucklehead brother-in-law over there just had to go tell anyone who would listen about that nickname they gave me in the hospital. And now here we sit. It stuck like flies to shit.”
“Cappy it is.”
“Doc. listen. You’re a doctor right?”
“No, I’m a psychotherapist.”
“Sammy told me you were a doctor.”
“It’s confusing, all the different titles. A psychiatrist is a doctor. I focus on behaviour change through something called Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy. All that means is we talk about options for how you are going to grow.”
Cappy was almost stunned by the word grow being applied to him and not referring to his round belly.