I’m on my phone. A lot. I’m not sure of the deep rooted ’causes’, but at times I’m #NoseDeep. This has caused some issues. And while at evident at times, I don’t know if I ever understood them. 

Last night; however, over take out, things become a little more clear. 

I watched an episode of Black Mirror. This particular episode, entitled #Nosedive – a satirical and at times awkwardly creepy look at our interaction with / use of social media. 

It gave me pause for reflection and as I walk the sidewalks or the hallways of work, I can’t help but wonder. Certainly can’t help but think of my own actions. 

You? 

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I’m a bit late to the game, but ‘better late than never’ – I guess.  

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent – 40 days where Christians are called upon to deepen their individual and collective spiritual lives. 

The notion here being that the sustained practice will help improve our spiritual well-being and help us become more mindful/aware of how the Spirit is present and working in our lives. 

Recent events, whether they be minor accidents, passing comments, or something deeper, have given me pause to reflect on how I am being ‘present’ and if I am truly mindful of my being, my actions and my intentions. 

Instead of ‘giving up’ something for Lent, I am going to embark on a journey of sharing. 

I’ve had a passion for photography and over the last couple of years that passion has waned. Grant it – I still take many photos but with no real intent or purpose. 

So tonight I took a look at my photo library and I was amazed at how many photos I have taken. While there are over 15,000 photos in my library, I have forgotten what some of those photos mean – the memories, the importance, and the instrinsic value has all but been lost. 

Recognizing that, I thumbed through, as one can do, my digital library and picked out 30 photos. With each photo came a memory – an opportunity to reflect on a time, place and / or person. 

Over the next 30 days, I will be sharing those photos via my Instagram feed. I’ll be using this time to silently recognize and appreciate a time, place or being and how my life has been enriched. 

If you are so inclined, you too can share what’s important to you. 

Writing – Good for the Soul

November 15, 2015

A grey Sunday morning. You can feel the change of the seasons. 

There’s so much noise around us, around me and I look for an escape, a way to let go of what’s not important and at the same time concentrate on what is. 

Writing helps. Writing is an outlet. I don’t share much of it. Most of it is tucked away in a black note book that I keep close to my guitars.

I’m going to share some of it here. Very basic. Amateurish and perhaps silly at times. But still a creative outlet… 

Friday Night (a work in progress)

It’s Friday night and I’m all alone / As the snow / It covers the city / Play back the memories / Find your face / Can’t help but say aren’t you pretty 

It’s been 3 months / Since you’ve been gone / Since you hid those tears from your eyes / As you walked away / You turned and you said / I just can’t wear this disguise 

It hurts like hell / And the pain is real / Even with the passage of time / I know you’re hurting / You want a change / Just wish you were mine 



That Moment…

October 31, 2015

That moment. That exact moment. Do you know it? I just experienced it. My heart is broken.

If you have ever talked to me about my life in Thunder Bay, you are likely to hear stories of my time at Lakehead University, the wonderful friends I’ve made and the majestic beauty of its natural surroundings.

 

In the same conversation, you are also likely to here me rave about The Hoito.

 

The Hoito Restaurant is a Finnish-Canadian restaurant and for nearly 100 years has been a cultural institution in Thunder Bay.

 

To say I was shocked to hear that it could close would be underselling it. I’m reading the CBC story (http://www.cbc.ca/m/news/canada/thunder-bay/thunder-bay-s-hoito-restaurant-could-close-1.2997152) and it’s clear how any business can be crushed by debt.

 

However this doesn’t change how I feel about the place or the memories of the great times it conjures up.

 

There is something very special about this place. Each time I visit Thunder Bay, as part of my volunteer work for the Alumni Association of Lakehead University, I make a point of having breakfast here.

 

I cozy up to a counter seat and order a chocolate milk. My order usually consists of Finnish pancakes but on those occasions where I’m feeling extra naughty, I order the Hoito Burger. Yes – I’ve ordered a burger and fries (with gravy) at 7:00 in the morning.

 

Even the mention of gravy brings back waves of nostalgia. Perhaps I’m being over sentimental, but I’d like to think not.

 

I’m sure the resourceful people of the Finlandia Club, the people of Thunder Bay, the students of both Lakehead University and Confederation College will find a way to save this institution. I can only hope.

 

For those in the know – this post was written by Gravy!

New Music Mondays

December 1, 2014

It has been more than a few Mondays since I last shared my musical ramblings, but it’s back and more personal and raw.

Just over two weeks ago, I co-MC’d a talent show in support of our workplace charitable campaign. This show was an opportunity to have fun and celebrate the diverse talents that exist within the federal public service. And from my perspective we had fun.

You can check out some of the highlights and talent here.

Now as an emcee, I was also encouraged to share my musical talents. I’m not convinced that there is talent, but in the spirit of community, I took the plunge and shared.

I will spare the results, but if you have a morbid interest, and are even a basic Internet sleuth, you can find the video.

I’m rambling for early Monday morning and will get to the point. After the show, a long time friend invited me over to his place to record the song.

Matt is a musician, has worked in professional recording studios and suggested he could ‘spice’ up my very amateurish song. I took him up on the offer.

This wasn’t a simple hit record and play. He helped me rearrange the song, trim some verses and together we came up with a chorus.

Matt laid down a drum beat, a bass line and also added another guitar track. I was impressed. He worked that board – well like a professional.

His feedback was honest and direct but luckily I was doing this for simple fun, so no bruises.

I have a rough cut of a song. It’s comes in at a short 2 and a half minutes. I’m looking forward to hearing the final version and look forward to the next recording session.

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The Way I Feel Today

November 29, 2014

I can’t remember the last time I was truly sad. Sad in the way where your gut wrenches and your thoughts are consumed.

It’s a strange feeling. I’d like to think that my friends and family think of me as upbeat, ‘happy go-lucky’ if you’ll excuse that colloquialism. But today I feel sad.

This isn’t a seasonal thing, nor a persistent and/or recurring feeling, this is, as I alluded to earlier, something I haven’t felt in a long time.

So I find myself back here, writing, thinking and sharing.

I’ve made mistakes and bad decisions. Some of those were fuelled by selfishness, others by carelessness, and others were propelled by a misguided sense of adventure, which has caused sadness for others and sadness for me.

For those that know me – I mean truly know me, I don’t easily disguise my feelings. When it comes to reading my emotions, I’m the Saturday morning comics. Simple.

The way I feel today is strange. Sad. Honest. Heart-wrenching sadness.

Perhaps it’s true that sadness can’t be experienced without knowing happiness. Happiness – more on that in a later post.

I’ll be alright.