Thursday, 21 March 2019

Cards on the table.


Because it needs doing, this writer does it.

A fellow somewhat renowned for lack of ambition, were someone else tending to it, you may rest assured a man would not persist with effort both thankless and difficult.

For to this writer, the well of whatever from which the words spring has ever been both mystery and necessity.  A man was also forced, long ago, to accept that a life-long struggle learning to master and control what ~ from the outside ~ amounts to little more than angst-ridden neuroses propped up by emotional immaturity, could lead to neither popularity nor riches.

Despite this knowledge and with serious intent, the writer kept the business to himself through what was a lengthy and often public life.  Not because he wanted to, but as result of knowing it should not be managed by any other means.

For to know, there is but a single way.  One must be.  This according to a man reckoned wise by minds brighter than this, who is claimed to have once said ~ paraphrased here ~ that to be, one must do.

Long ago, in a land far away, this writer drank of that beverage.

Everything since was as result.

To make sense of it, one must first accept that playing a part, like an actor, is not a substitute for living life.  Nor is reporting of its events, from any perspective, be it live or from a historical viewpoint, considered here a realistic documentation of facts suitable for fictional history.  For by now, we should all know most of the stuff that fills our textbooks, web searches and news sources was written by peons at work on behalf of history’s winners.

The paradox and failure of most writer’s work, after all, is a need to report third-hand information as first-hand knowledge.

So it is, and so it shall remain.

For this writer, even second-hand information is much like moral authority, a necessary evil considered best practiced by others.  In these parts, the job is telling the facts of how it was for a participant, not telling you what to think, believe or feel about it.

Like it or not, life remains short, brutal and dumb.  The long-term danger of whitewashing both history and diversity, though often convenient, has rarely been more apparent in western democracy than it is just now.  A society spoon-fed single-viewpoints in search of homogeneity without acknowledging the sometimes-bitter facts regarding alternative lifestyles or differing perspectives, eventually leads to repressive and stunted political regimes marked by divisive populism and tyranny of the masses.

These are facts of early twenty-first century life.

The challenge to writers and artists in all disciplines, everywhere but here in the west particularly, is responding to the times in which we live and create history together.

As the next man, this writer leaves the crumbs he can produce to mark a trail for those who might seek to find them.

That’s part of what it means to be a responsible individual around here.

As required by such a philosophy, the writer works to record what happened, not as observer, but as participant.  In each case, with a first goal of telling how it was.  That means including the hard stuff, and not dressing up or rationalizing any of it.

How it went, is all that’s been told.

The characters you meet in this writer’s work may not be beautiful or famous, but they reflect a shared time and common experiences lived not so long ago.  A man is also comfortable saying that like many of us, most of them do the best they can to get by, and that’s about all that can be asked of anyone.  Thus, though like a mirror easily distorted, literature provides a lingering reminder of the endlessly confounding and multi-dimensional nature of our shared temporal existence.  Able only to reflect that which might pass before it, the looking-glass yet reveals secrets we find near impossible to either resist or deny.

In that way, this writer’s work seeks to provide a reflection of the singular experience of a markedly small and decidedly underrepresented group of people from within the cultural and historical mosaic that composes life in modern Canada.  The goal is to create a recording of a rarely-told individual history, written neither from a need for apology nor desire for reconciliation, but rather as an unvarnished and uniquely Canadian history that reveals the facts of life in post-colonial society.

For here, just as people do everywhere, we recreate each other using images distorted by perspective, for better and for worse.  This writer’s sole purpose and art’s real societal value ~ the raison d’etre for each ~ is achieved only by revealing that fact.

To this writer, there can be nothing more.

As the reader, everything else is up to you.

Thanks for being here and thanks for sharing the blog.

 

  • TFP
    March 21, 2019
     

Monday, 11 February 2019

RIP Mr. Koko Pruden, December 5, 2002 - February 11, 2019

After a brief illness, with great sadness I must report the passing of my adorable, Mr. Koko Pruden.
The resolute dog has left the building.
A little man in a hair suit made completely of love, Mr. Koko was my best friend, ever and always. The last of the actual road dogs, Mr. Koko stood guard for Harwill at over 1500 show stops and traveled more than a million kilometers from coast-to-coast and throughout North America. We spent the best days of our lives together and my baby boy gave love to the end before passing away in the arms of his papa.
Beloved by all before circumstance brought him to live with me at age two, throughout his life Mr. Koko also found great joy loving and caring for his original and extended families. For the life we shared and all I learned from him, there can be no recompense other than to report he taught me how to live. The subject of 2015 #1 hit song 'I love my dog (the ballad of Mr. Koko)' on the US Americana charts, there never was, nor could there ever be, another like him.
Though our tears must fall, the love and wisdom of his teachings lives in our hearts forever.
So long pard, it's been good to know you.


- TFP
   Feb 11, 2019

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Age vs. Wisdom


I’m a recluse, not a hermit.

To confirm this fact, simply look up the Webster’s dictionary definition of each or a little not-so-well-known history.  Soon enough, what’s revealed is that by this time, I’ve lived a long and quite public life.  That a fellow surviving such adventures might occasionally want the curtain pulled should be no surprise.

What ought to shock, is interest in prolonging said travail.

Yet even now, having lived this life so long, a man discovers want for more of it!

Or perhaps, and more likely in fact, the veil of ignorance is lifted last for those gifted with a fool’s nature.  In either case, a man’s none the wiser and better off to appreciate the news for what it’s worth.

For there are secrets not only there, but many stories yet to be discovered.

On that basis alone, for the writer, a misery is worth its continuance.

Those of certain experience know well of what I speak.  For the rest, warnings are plentiful regarding the dangers of venturing down an uncharted path.  To any pursuing such knowledge, however, they must accept the reticent sharing of caring forebears most as desire for these appreciations to be their own, un-poisoned by inevitable cynicism.

Rather than a result of fearful indecision, understood only by those old enough to know and forced to live with it.  For that which we accept as the arrow of time itself demands an inviable fact must ever remain; the more one knows, the more one must appreciate how little it is possible to understand.

As result, the experts upon whom the world of every age depends multiply with the requisite exponential scale of the population, rendering factual appreciation of the simplest of daily experiences more insensible as time passes.  For example, consider no less than the conundrum of early 21st century society, wherein the planet literally drowns in terabytes of so-called ‘data’, but remains functionally illiterate to the assorted realities of modern life itself.

Without a ‘guy’, a video or a search engine to answer questions, as the years pass the functional distance between life elemental and the individual does also increase on a seeming exponential basis.  It must also be noted as fact however, that whatever existential discomfort such thought might expose pales in comparison to its recompense upon the daily temporal experience of an individual.

Welcome to the party ~ did anyone mention we’re soaking in it?

However, at this point I must digress, as by now it’s far too late to close that particular door, for either reader or writer.  It’s also not why you’re here, and we both know that.  Welcome to you and here’s hoping it’s worth your effort.

As the writer, I’ve also searched for an elusive something, far longer now than reason might defend according to the calendar.  Like most everyone else, at one time or another I’ve decided I’d found whatever it was for which I believed I’d searched.  Again, like those with a taste for the facts, only time would eventually reveal my mistake.

Most often, when confronted by the consequences of them the response here has not been gracious.

To a man’s great good fortune, it turns out there’s no one of any consequence keeping score aside from the fellow living within an individual’s mind.  Despite assurances from the latest ‘secure’ technologies and the relentless mining of ‘private’ personal information by social media, it’s also objectively clear utopia won’t be found by subjectively responding to society’s ills with more of it.

Of course, you’re likely wise to those facts or why would you still be here?

Much like myself, you made it here seeking an answer.  To what or how you arrived makes no difference.  By now, the search is either something of which you’re oblivious or serve as slave to obsession, though in many cases it’s an often-frustrating mix of both.

If we share nothing else, this writer bets a desire to be rid of it spars with the love for its blessing within you, perhaps daily.  Of certain value, you must also beware bets placed here are most often upon the writer than a favorite.  Let there be no doubt, that’s result of an ignorant man’s bliss.

For quoted odds rely upon the irrefutable science of mathematics for their predictions, making betting against them the futile act of a senseless gambler.  Those who would do so repeatedly, by and for whatever excuse or explanation, can therefore make no objective claim to either wisdom or sanity.

Let alone coach you with claims of existential insight or profound enlightenment.

For the answer accepted here is as horribly clear as that we most certainly dread.  The more you know, the less you can.  Like the speed at which moves light, beyond that is only darkness.

Unfortunately, the only experience known to our kind that does not end, is change.  Thus, change itself is the experience feared most.  Leaving those such as you and me here, relentlessly seeking an alternative to a hopelessly foregone conclusion despite claiming an existential acceptance for a temporal plane of existence.

My answer to this miserable but fact-bound circumstance was, is and ever shall be revealed only in my writing.  To put it succinctly, if not written by my own hand, it’s not a fact of either how I lived nor what I thought, believed or desired to communicate, and must be disregarded.  The analog to the speed at which light moves here, is beyond that which I have written is only bullshit.

For the writer worked as this man lived, by a code of his own design.

Science now teaches us a black hole of uncertain but immense dimension lies at the centre of our universe, much like a distant analog to the fearful blackness underlying the concept of mortality for our kind.  In each case, individual awareness of the facts makes little subjective difference to the experience of either.

Whether good fortune or bad, that also seems a reliable feature of temporal reality.

To those wanting more, my latest novel ‘The Recalcitrant P.I.’ is now available most everywhere on Amazon.

Thanks for being here and thanks for sharing.

 

  • TFP
    February 3, 2019
     

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Literary Notions



As the responsible individual can only know that believed to be factual, the value of a personal library is considered beyond measure in these parts. While most humble, the shelves here make room only for those works considered worth reading again. To a child of the book, from this and little more is happiness composed.
As a writer since early in my youth, I've always done plenty of reading. Despite or perhaps due to advancing years, I consider time spent with most any book wisely invested. I also admit to being a library card holder & the buyer of many a used volume. Those not returned to the library or finding a home on one of my shelves, are donated to the local Salvation Army. Because no matter how many times a book is read, to every reader its words are new.
I love books. Always have & ever will. To me they're like magic, reliably opening doors unimagined & imagining doors previously believed closed. If an opened mind is what you seek, I recommend reading as many of them as you can find.
As contempt prior to investigation is a bar against all knowledge, reading & books are some of the only safeguards against the scourge of ignorance & intolerance. The world being what it is, these few tools are all that stands between modern society & a return to the bigotted, racist & homophobic inequities of the past. While only those aware of the delicate veil from which civilization is constructed seem cognizant of these facts, we're all best-served to beware of them.
For those living outside the top levels of society however, the veneer of civilization remains little more than worn cheesecloth. From my Aboriginal cousins living without safe drinking water in Canada to refugees fleeing violent conflicts abroad, those with the least continue to suffer the most everywhere. People with sense enough to notice or non-white themselves meanwhile, don't miss the outsized role skin color plays in these economic divides. For like most everything else found on earth, racism breeds racism. Neither ignoring the facts nor spouting rhetoric changes any of it.
That concept provides the basis for The Mac Armstrong mysteries & the plot of my latest novel. The Recalcitrant P.I. is available now on Amazon most anywhere. If you're a person with interest in such things, it's likely worth a look.
Thanks for being here. Enjoy the read & love your life.


- TFP
  Jan 24, 2019