Welcome to my Parlour ...

On August 26th, 2010, my mother passed beyond the veil.
This event has become a catalyst for change in many and often profound ways in my life.
This is my way of chronicling those changes so that I may, at a later date, have the ability to review and reflect upon them.

~ Go dtugtar breith orainn dá réir ár ngníomhartha. ~
(Let us, by our actions, be judged)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sleepless in Surrey ...

heh ... ok, well, this is becoming too much of a habit for me to be happy with. And I have to be up early in the morning to go with Kara to that Pride thing ... eh, a fair bit of ambivalence from me with regards to that one. On the one hand, I want to be supportive of Kara's progress and, on the other, I really dislike the whole Pride thing.

My dislike it not due to any homophobic issues, but because I can't help but feel that it has all the dignity of a bad burlesque and about 1/3 the class.

While I know there are people out there that would try to admonish me with the "oh, they're just having a good time" and "it's all in fun" and "lighten up and enjoy", the blunt reality is that I was raised to believe that one needs to comport one's self with honour and dignity. I was raised to believe, since Gaelic families tend to have VERY long memories (just ask any Scots about the Campbells and the MacDonalds [Glencoe 1692] or the MacGregors [pre1400 - 1774] if you want an idea of just how long their memories can be), one should always act in a manner that would bring honour not only to one's self but to one's great-great grandchildren.

Any person who wishes to demonstrate their pride in themselves should, by all means, do so ... in a manner that reflects the respect that they wish observers to have for them. It's the same reason I won't be caught dead at Mardi Gras (yes ladies, let's display our dignity by flashing strange drunks for plastic beads ... that shows a lot of self-respect *eye roll*) or other similar "parties".

My personal belief is that the conduct of what is likely a highly visible minority of GLBT buffoons does more to hamper the community's struggles to gain equal status under the law with heteros in areas such as marriage, etc., than it does to help. Being that these fruitloops are the ones that get the sensationalist media exposure, and not the demure same-sex couple and the well adjusted child they are raising, it is those images that are called to the 'more likely to be closed than open' minds of politicians and your average Joe and Jane Doe, with their 2.5 kids and a dog, when important issues come up.

Thank you, but no.
I'll be supportive of the struggle faced by GLBT persons, but I cannot approve or appreciate the Pride spectacle. It's just not my thing ...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Defining the Self ...

A couple of days ago, I challenged Jyslin to get to work on the identity portion of her growth by seeking to reach an understanding of WHO she was. As a result, I appear to have created a bit of a stir, as the ripples of her initial blog-post's content have motivated certain of her friends to echo her.

Gradually, as I observe the various attempts to answer "Who am I?", I begin to understand that (for a majority of these people) there isn't a sufficient understanding of the question itself to even begin to formulate an answer. A number of them do not even realize how vital having a strong grasp of the question is and flounder away with explanations that reflect WHAT they are, but not WHO.

Being that we are not, currently, a culture nor a society that encourages independent thought ... favouring superficial appearance and conformity over individual uniqueness ... I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that so many do not know how to define for themselves what the question means so as to be able to figure out what the answer is. Considering that "Who am I?" is the hardest of all the questions a human being is likely to ask of his/herself, I have a great deal of empathy for those who are struggling with it.

While I cannot lead anyone to the right answer for themselves, perhaps I can lend a hand at defining the question and provide a framework that can help set them on their way towards discovering their answer. It is also important to understand that the process of "BEING" is ever evolving ... what your answer might be at age 20 will be different from what it is at age 40, 80, or 100. It has to evolve as you learn and grow, as nothing stagnant is ever healthy.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Broadening my Horizons

And so, I have come to a decision about what to do with Merritt ... once I have the mortgage issue sorted out and disbursed, I'll be putting it back on the market for sale.

Here, in Canada, taxes are high (they have to be to fund our social programs) ... homeowners are aided, in this regard, by the Homeowner's Grant which reduces the amount of property tax an individual needs to pay yearly upon their primary residence. There is no grant, however, to aid with the taxes on a secondary/recreational property.

In order to allow myself to go back to school, I will need to look for a residence in or around Vancouver ... so that public transit can be made use of for transportation. Rather than rent in the city, I would prefer to own my own home. It would allow me more freedom and a sense of security that one just doesn't get in a rental (not that I'm dissing anyone who rents ... it's just not my thing). Buying in the GVRD would mean that the property I purchase would become my primary residence and qualify for the Homeowner's Grant. It also means that Merritt, as a result, would not ... and I would have to pay a larger amount in property tax for the acreage.

By selling the property, I would not only save myself that extra cost in taxes but I would free up capital that would allow me to do something a bit different instead. Well ok, if I'm being honest, what I have in mind is a lot different.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Bean Tighe, 'tis me?

A Bean Tighe (pronounced ban tig) is an Irish familial spirit akin to the Bean Sidhe (ban shee). Like her more fey cousin, a Bean Tighe was connected to a particular Irish family (usually older blood like my mother's folk) but, unlike the Bean Shidhe, her interactions with the people of the family to which she was attached was of a benevolent/beneficial sort. If seen, which was rarely, she appeared to be a small, elderly woman dressed in a leine mna (plain linen undergarment/chemise worn next to the skin), an ionar mna (woolen over-dress cut shorter than the leine), a brat (woolen rectangular cloak as long as the wearer is tall), a caille (veil/shawl), and a crois (tablet woven woolen belt) with a mala (pouch).

The Bean Tighe is a helpful spirit that is likely one of the inspirations for the "fairy godmother" type donor/patron from faerie and folk tales. She is the one who makes it possible for others to achieve their potential ... whether it be helping with the maintenance of one's home, one's finances, or the ability to make one's dreams come true.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bittersweet Tears ...

note - I wrote this two days ago but seem to have hit save instead of publish ... that's what I get for blogging at 4am, I guess.
The date for this entry SHOULD be Monday, July 11th, 2011

I got told something the other day that put a smile on my face even as it made me cry. Thanks to Denese Durden Rhoney and John Durden for that.

John is training as an EMT in southern Georgia, USA (So proud of him!) ... back in the 1980's my Da created the world's first emergency psychiatric department at Vancouver General Hospital (among a plethora of other things he's known for) and he pioneered a revolution in protocols for the treatment of patients, victims, and family of such.

Not too long ago, John comes home from his training to tell his mom about my Da's work. Apparently his protocols are still being used; his methods are being taught to EMT first responders as standard procedure. According to Nese, he made my Da out to sound like quite a famous person ... which, I suppose he was, within the bounds of medicine. He was just such a modest man that he really downplayed his own importance outside of the job. She teased me about it (in a good natured way, of course), accusing me of holding out on her about my celebrity status but her teasing got me to thinking.

Friday, July 8, 2011

It's all in the perspective ...

One of the things that has been replaying itself again and again recently in my life, has been a powerful connection to the camera ... or more accurately, my handing (literally or metaphorically) a camera to someone as a means to help them develop a little perspective outside their current comfort zone.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Temporarily Situated ...

And so, it's been a little while since I wrote anything here. Best do some catching up ...

Towards the end of June there, I was getting to the point where I was coming unglued. Mind you, I did come down with a bacterial sinus infection that necessitated me to go on some mighty powerful medication, both antibiotics and a strong analgesic to help deal with the infection and the pain resulting from it. This led to me being quite a bit less patient and calm than I normally am, both with Rachel and with Kara (on messenger). The meds have helped, but I suspect that I'm still sick now ... just can't afford another $70 for a Dr visit (which I am stuck paying until I can get my birth certificate replaced), so it'll have to do for now.

I managed to find a place to live ... a fairly nice furnished 2 bedroom garden suite with all utilities included (incl wireless, tv, and laundry) for $900/mo. Which is, all things considered, pretty good. It's not big, but it'll do us till the new year whereupon things should finally be settled with the estate.