Monthly Archives: January 2016

Early Morning Kayaking: Hope River


This  (low density) picture was taken on the little Hope River, a small tributary of the Fraser (which I usually refer to as “The River”) that flows just behind the house.  If I choose to use that channel to access The River, I only need to drag/carry the kayak across the back yard and across about five hundred feet of grassy park land.  Even with encroaching human “civilization” all around, there is an amazing and varied number of birds and wildlife populating its haunts. 

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It’s still a beautiful little river especially at high water in June.  This stream is however heavily polluted with chemicals from agro-business freely-dumped effluents from loafing barns, cattle pens and run-off of chemical fertilizers and pest control used on commercial crop fields upstream.  It is sadly only too representative of the general state of a planet in decay and decadence where nature can no longer cope with man’s gross incursions.  

Sorry about the negativity here, but unless all of us wake up to the reality of what we are deliberately doing to our natural environment we won’t be leaving much of any sort of quality future to the next generations.  For my part, knowing what I now know, having observed man’s ways and current trends, I would choose not to bring children onto this world – it would be too much like condemning them to a life of hopelessness; perhaps of unavoidable horror.   But as the old saying goes, “there are none so blind as those that will not see.”

I know it is currently very politically correct to speak of “climate change” as man’s own creation but I strongly suspect that “climate change” is not man’s most serious crime against a world’s ecology, in fact it is primarily a consequence of a cyclic natural occurrence – hence why “climate change” is becoming such a popular political topic, especially intergovernmentally.  

Two things I know for sure: government-sponsored “caring” about anything or anyone is a complete contradiction – and the majority is always wrong.   

We didn’t create “climate change” as the vast majority whose eyes and ears are glued to info-media is now brainwashed to believe.  Man-made climate change is a carefully constructed psy-op designed so that people will not look at the planet’s real man-made problems.   We did create a nightmare world which is about to get much, much worse, with or without climate change.  Man’s pollution-creating technology is entirely out of control and each new political administration of those nations “that matter” militarily and economically and who could make a difference, talk more and do less about the overall problems.  For these vested interest groups the trick of propaganda is to ensure that “business as usual” proceeds according to rules invented in the 19th Century.


A Sunny River Day in January

Ok, my second try at posting pictures.  Another River day in the kayak, this time on January 15, 2015.   Though it is sunny, it’s the middle of Winter here and the air is quite nippy!  There was ice bordering the shallower ponds with little current.  This, again, is a quieter little side channel to the main River – making it easier to keep up to the current and still handle the camera.  Looks can be deceiving with water: I flipped over here in the Autumn of 2014.  That was a cold experience!  By the way, that is not snow on those rocks.  It’s their natural coloration.  This area is known by rock hounds for its beautiful stones polished and washed down from the Fraser Canyon by the River.

You don’t see the kayak here, but it’s important to remember that kayaking involves long hours of repetitive, rhythmic motion, and you can make those motions into suitable repetitions of life-affirming mantras.  One of those I like to use while paddling goes like this, and each word is a stroke, left, then right, then left…  “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control” then repeat.

This list of “virtues” found in the Christian New Testament is freely available to anyone looking for something truly good to help focus and change one’s life for the better.  The key is listening.  Sure, we can pray, repeat mantras, chant, say all kinds of things: we can talk and we can hear… but most of the time we’re not listening.  Remember the song by Simon and Garfunkel, “The Sound of Silence”?  “People talking without speaking, people hearing without listening, people writing songs that no one ever share…”

One of the great curses of the age is that it produces so much noise and so many words that turn into a cacophony of meaninglessness, or worse, give utterance to uncertainty and fear.  A day in the kayak on the River brings it all back into focus – though it is not the only way, just a way that I chose for myself.


A Day on the River – picture only


The kayak, a small channel of water, sand bars: my local paradise on the Fraser River

I’ve been thinking of dedicating a post once in a while to the thousands of pictures I have taken of my personal paradise on the Fraser River, near Chilliwack.  This picture, offered as taken without any enhancements, was taken in late August 2012.  The high waters of June are much receded here, exposing miles of sandy beaches (as depicted here), and in other places, low willow thickets, grass marshes and gravel bars.  More to come.

Josie, Larry and Sandra – a short story

[a short story, by Sha’Tara]

Josie was in the dining room.  She wasn’t dining, she was just there, so please don’t jump to conclusion even if that’s the only legitimate form of exercise you ever engage in.  Neither the human body, nor the human mind were ever designed for jumping: leave it to the deer.  While Josie was thus engaged doing nothing in the dining room, Larry was in the downstairs bar, engaging in his favourite bar exercises routine, competing with himself on how many bottles would stand empty at the end of the session.

There was a loud, very impatient buzz, knock, ring and ding-dong from the front door.  Josie, quite tired from doing nothing and thinking about what else she could be doing nothing about, stood there thinking about answering the door.  But as we all know, doors don’t talk so there was no point trying to give it any answer.  Which brings up a very delicate point: why ever say, “Answer the door” when the door hasn’t spoken?  Seems spooky to me.  The whole buzz, knock, ring and ding-dong repeated itself but they didn’t actually come from the door, but from a delivery person eager to unload a small black cube-shaped box and be on her way.  She had a brown uniform on, with a white patch on the left breast that said simply, “Sandra.”

Josie thought about all of that, not that she could see the delivery person, or the black box, or the brown uniform that said “Sandra” but it made for an interesting bit of speculation.  Meanwhile Larry thought he’d heard “the door” and thought about that too.  Should he answer it?  But, he thought, doors don’t talk, what’s to answer?  Yes he’d been listening to Josie for eleven-point-three-years of marriage and he had begun to think the way she talked.  Which played havoc with his Olympic beer drinking trials.  He slowly looked up at the stairs.  There were exactly eleven steps to the first floor.  He remembered that because he’d begun to believe that with each extra year of marriage a new step appeared at the top of the stairs.  So, being an accountant, Larry wondered about that point-three step at the top, and what that would do when he got there with all those beers just waiting for an excuse to tip out of his tortured oesophagus.

Although an accountant, Larry could, given enough beers, become reasonably practical, especially when such practicality would save him effort.  Larry wasn’t big on effort: a waste of energy he’d say in his most emphatically effortless way to the greying, curly-haired balding head in the left cubicle at the bank.  The head seldom answered as it was watching its fingers keyboarding important facts about money.  Of course there are no important facts about money but you’d be surprised how many people believe in monetary related important facts.  Now you take people with a mortgage and bills for example.  They actually believe they should pay somebody back for loans taken and stuff charged… and not surprisingly there are always somebodies somewhere quite eager to receive those payments, even if the payments never go anywhere near the source of the owningship.  What does make life work?  Belief.  That’s why you end up with important facts about money.  Belief always ensures that everybody has some kind of important facts about something, well, important.

Larry thought he heard Josie moving upstairs.  That was a good thing.  It meant that she would answer the door and knowing Josie, she’d know just what to say, and in door’s own language too.  Josie was very smart about house things; it’s home things she wasn’t too keen on.  Larry heard the hallway floor boards creak.  “Yes!” he almost shouted in delight, “go for it girl, go, go, go!”  More creaks.  Had to be Josie, and she had to be going to answer the door.  Just then there was another, louder, buzz, knock, ring and ding-dong, then a voice that said something uncomplimentary about “this” and Larry frowned.  Until now he’d been sure doors did not speak English, and not only that, but he was just as sure that doors never used profanity.  It’s just not door-like.  If Josie didn’t get to the door soon, he’d have to go up there and do it.  But just in case, he lined up a couple more beers, the proper follow-up-courage-bolstering number according to the bar manual.

Fortunately as these stories go, Josie heard the door swearing to the inside of the house and thought she’d had enough of that.  She stomped through the hallway and viciously swung open the door.  Then, just then, she remembered herself and of course herself was very well mannered.

“Thank God I remembered myself,” she thought.  “Yes?” she smiled and said sweetly to the brown uniformed delivery person labelled Sandra.

“Package for you mam.  Sign here please.”  Now Josie is the cautious type.  She doesn’t just do the “sign here please” thing without proper explanation.

“And who would you be, dear?” she asks the brown uniformed delivery person with the white tag reading “Sandra” “and what is the black box for?”

The brown-uniformed delivery person wasn’t impressed.  “Look, do you want the f*****g thing or not?”

Josie ignored the inserted profanity (she’d learned that little trick from her mother and it had served her admirably well on many previous occasions) and said matter-of-factly,

“My dear, how would I know if I want it or not, since I have no idea what it is?”
“Look lady, it’s a f*****g black f*****g box, and how in hell would I know what the f**k’s in it?”

“You seem a bit stressed,” said Josie in her most polite and proper tone, “would you like to come in and have some tea?”

“Look lady, this may be my last day drivin’ for these a-holes, but it’s not the last day of my life.  Tea?  Did you actually say, tea?”

“Yes, of course.  It’s a very proper, very calming drink.  I would serve crumpets too, of course, dear.  I think you need to relax before you get behind the wheel of that monster on the street.”

“I just came here to deliver this, oh, hell, forget it.  I’ll throw it in the trash.”

“Oh, please don’t do that.  It may be recyclable.  Look, maybe my husband knows what it is.  I’ll call him and he can come up and do the “sign here please” thing for you.  Will that do, dear?”

“Allright, take it, take the damn thing!  And I hope it’s a bomb!”  The delivery person in the brown uniform labelled “Sandra” ran down the front steps – all six of them, got in the brown truck and peeled off up the street, ignoring a stop sign and practically running down two old people hobbling painfully across the crosswalk, possibly having decided in a moment of unexpected lucidity to give themselves a head start for the crematorium.

“A bomb,” thought Josie.  “What am I to do with a bomb?  I never ordered a bomb.  Must be a wrong address.  I bet it’s for those Johnson’s up the street.”  She picked up the black box, shook it, then decided it didn’t matter.  She tossed it downstairs, turned and started walking back to the dining room where she’d left her unfinished thoughts about doing nothing… and that’s when, of course and predictably, everything stopped.

Local paper headlines, next day:  Larry and Josie Marshall’s remain were found in their demolished home when what is believed to be a sophisticated detonation device exploded in their basement yesterday.  After sorting through the chaos, forensics believe they have evidence that a sophisticated detonation device (I should mention at this point that it’s not politically correct to call it a bomb, hence the proper name “sophisticated detonation device”) was delivered to the wrong address.  The destroyed house is at 234 Ash Lane.  The address found on the remains of the container says, 234 Ash Court.  Investigations are continuing but terrorist activity is not suspected.

A spokesperson for the mayor’s office had this to say, “Well of course we’re very sorry for the Marshalls.  They were in all likelihood very nice people.  They have no criminal record and that speaks well of them.  Apart from that there’s nothing to be concerned about.  These are accidental deaths, collateral damage in an increasingly complex world.  No need for any alarm at all.  This sort of thing just happens.  The mayor wishes to remind everyone alive and well on this beautiful day to be thankful.  Please remember to vote on February 8th.  Thank you.”

Can you tell me when you Died?

[ a short story by Sha’Tara]

(I quietly slipped into the room wearing my white robe with the black trim denoting my profession and position. As always, I was barefoot to indicate my position as servant.

A blond man, slim, tall, rather handsome, was sitting at the glass table. He kept his hands in his lap, so I assumed he could not handle the situation yet, and they’d just fallen through the table top.)
Hello, I’m Haati. I’m here to represent and assist you.  May I have your name, please?

(He raised his head, so I knew he’d heard. But he didn’t face me, so he could not see me.  This might be a long session, I feared.  Some are difficult. His lips moved but no sound came.  I would have to continue with my interrogation until his frustration would force him to use his senses; to wake up. Time for a bit of shock treatment.)

Tell me, when do you think you died, was it today, or yesterday?

(His eyes widened. He moved his head left and right and lifted his right hand.  Again his mouth opened and I watched as he mouthed his reply.  Of course I could “read” him, but that’s not my role.  I’m an awakener and re-mobilizer.  They come to us this way and if they are not dealt with quickly we lose them.  They become zombies.  But then, why am I explaining that to you who have witnessed these therapies dozens of times?)

Can you tell me when you died? Was anyone else with you when it happened?  Do you remember the accident?

(I could see the marks on his changing flesh. And of course I had the report.  A DUI that had gone bad, resulting in a road rage altercation and an exchange of gun fire, my man, the victim.  We get those all the time from this part of that world’s hemisphere.)

Talk to me about your accident. Were you shot?

(He stood up suddenly, raising his arms as if to ward off a blow and moved into the table. He was partly through when he noticed what was happening.   He screamed then.  Not audibly, but I recorded the intent.  Finally something to work with.  I screamed back, audibly, then imitated the sound of an ambulance siren.  He backed out of the table and sat down again, moving his head back and forth, his face pinched as if he had a massive headache.  However, this time his hands stayed on the table.  Progress. I made the sound of a police radio, interrupted conversation with static.  He turned to me, to the source of the sounds.  He was remembering.)

License and registration, please!

(– in my best cop voice imitation. Sometimes I can make this fun.  He began to search his clothes for the documents.  He looked around, presumably to try to locate his vehicle.  Shook his head.  Frustration, confusion, but remembering!)

You remember, don’t you. Can you tell me your name?

Ahhh… An… drew. My name is Andrew.

Good, very good. Do you know where you are?

Ahhh… no, I have no idea where I am. What happened to my car?  What time is it?

You don’t remember what happened to explain why you are ‘here’ and not ‘there’?

There was trouble. A man rear-ended me, yes, that’s it, I remember.  He staggered out of his car and he was drunk.  He had a gun and he started yelling at me, cursing and blaming me for the accident.  Several people tried to calm him down, and the police were called.  I remember the gun pointing at me, and then, something felt strange.  I don’t remember after that.  And now I’m here.  Is this a hospital?

Not exactly, but for now, yes, it’s a hospital to you. Tell me more…

Well, there’s nothing to tell. I’m here, talking to you, whoever you are.  Was I shot?  Yes, I was shot.  In the head!  So how come I’m here talking to you and I don’t feel a thing, and there’s no bandage on my head?  Is this some sort of experimental therapy?  Am I drugged, imagining this conversation?

(He looked at himself, staring for a while at his hands as he flexed his fingers. He had nice hands, not callused – office worker no doubt.  Or maybe even a musician with those long, expressive fingers.  An artist, but not a painter.  Digital art.)

What do you do for a living, Andrew?

I work for a design group. We do art work for ads and create commercial web sites, that sort of thing.  I can’t talk too much about that, corporate secrets and all that, plus I don’t know who you are.

My name is Haati, and I’m what you’d call your legal representative, only I’m somewhat more than that.

You’re a lawyer? Awful young to be a lawyer, if I may say so, you don’t look a day over sixteen years old and you don’t sound any older either.  You’re just a kid.

It’s a matter of perception, Andrew. And I’m much more than a lawyer.  I’m a re-awakener, and an after-death therapist.  I’m a guide.

You’re a what? Sorry, you lost me there.  Or I’m still hallucinating.

No, you’re not hallucinating Andrew. In fact you’re doing surprisingly well, all things considered.

Ok, ummm, Haati, square up with me.  Tell me, in plain talk, who you are, and where I am.

It may be a little soon for the whole truth. Do you notice anything unusual about your surroundings, about yourself, your body?

Enough to feel more than a bit antsy. Didn’t my hands go through that glass table before?

Yes, they did. And you can make them do it again if you’ve a mind to.  Recent awakenings can find it amusing to push their bodies through what appears to be solid objects.  Would you like to take a walk with me, go for a drink?

Sure, I’d love to get out of here, but aren’t you too young to go in a bar, assuming you meant alcoholic drink?

Yes, of course that is what I meant. And no, I’m never “too young” to do anything I choose to do.

Wherever this is, I’m beginning to like it.

(And then he finally deliberately and slowly looked me over. I had switched from my professional gown to a see-through gauzy wrap.  I saw his eyes grow wide as he realized I was wearing nothing more than a gauzy completely translucent material.  Perhaps I should have waited a bit longer, but I love to see the men’s expression when they gawk at my nakedness.  That’s of course part of my treatment: make them feel good; make them experience that most powerful desire, that aphrodisiac, and sex always works with them.  No exceptions yet.)

You’re, uh, you’re gorgeous… but you’re going out in public wearing that?

Oh, I don’t have to. I can take it off if you prefer.  Nude is how I prefer to be.

(Of course I knew what he meant, but I like teasing them to throw them off their old path and into a new one. I have to work relatively fast and this works fast.  I let him stare at my girl form and I could feel what he was feeling.  I smiled to myself – I was doing it again, I was healing him, bringing him into a new reality he’d want to be a part of.  He’d remember, then temporarily forget to plunge into a whole new experience.  Closure would come later.)

Naked? You walk around in public naked?  Is this one of those private centers where they try out all kinds of weird stuff on people to see how they will react?  This can’t be real.  No one walks around in public naked.

We’ll see, won’t we, Andrew. Of course you could join me and take your own clothes off, or I can do it for you if you want me to?  Would you like me to?  Would you like to feel me against you, feel my hands all over you, or have your own hands caress me all over?  It’s what you’d really like, isn’t it?

Well, I don’t imagine that’s too hard to figure out. And you’re OK with that?  I don’t know, I don’t trust this, or you.  You’re too young for that anyway.  Can we go for a walk, and can you at least put your wrap back on?

Sure Andrew, as you wish. (I put my wrap back on and he still stared.  Then I took his hand and walked to the far wall.)

I though we were going out, out.

Yes we are, stay with me. (I began to walk through the wall and had to hold tight to his hand as he tried to pull away.)

Come, come, don’t be afraid. Follow me.

(I dragged him through the wall and out unto a sun-warmed beach. There were some people in the distance and I watched him as he looked around.  I could tell he was still distressed about the wall thing.)

Why don’t you forget about the wall, Andrew? Why don’t you go for a nice swim before we go for that drink?  This is a nude beach, don’t worry about taking your clothes off here.

(And I shed my wrap and walked into the gentle swells until it was deep enough to swim. I dove out of sight to watch what he would do.  He finally undressed and quickly ran into the water.  It was barely to his waist when he threw himself in.  He wasn’t a very good swimmer, and he was looking for me but couldn’t see under water.  I slipped up under him and touched him.  He jumped and I surfaced, laughing, throwing my waist-length hair around and spraying him with it.)

You scared the livin’ shit out of me, girl. I thought it was a shark, dammit!

There are no sharks here, Andrew. In fact, there are no fish in this sea, it’s reserved for therapy.

An entire sea reserved for therapy? (I rolled over to float and he actually did the same.  The high saline content of our waters helps!)

Yes Andrew, it is. You don’t see too many people around but that’s because the place is quite extensive.  We actually do a very brisk business here. Lot’s of patients. This treatment center, if I may call it that for your understanding, is a whole planet.  In size, though it can vary depending on needs, it is currently twice that of what was your planet.

(I thought it time to risk letting him know he was no longer on earth, in case he hadn’t yet figured it out. Some people from earth are a bit slow on the uptake, they are so terribly brainwashed by their power systems and they have such antiquated or foolish ideas about death, or the possibility of life after their bodies die.)

Are you telling me that I’m not on earth? That this is… what… heaven maybe?

Oh no, this isn’t what you would think of as heaven. Are you of those people who believe there’s no life after death, or of those who believe they go to heaven after they die, Andrew?

To tell you the truth… uh… Haati, I never gave it much thought. I figured I had lots of time to think about that and in the end it wouldn’t matter much what I thought about it.  What is, is, isn’t that right?

Ah, actually? No, that’s not right.  What’s right, Andrew, is there is no “what is, is” if you get my drift.  We, all of us, including you, we make it up as we go along.  The sad thing is, so many people are never told that so they let others make the decisions for them.  And, well, that’s where I come in, you see?

(We were now walking on the beach again. He stopped for a while, looking over the sea, frowning, deep in thought.)

I was shot in the head.  I died.  I really died!  That’s why I’m here.  I’m dead.  Gone.  Back there no one can know that I’m here now, still aware, still alive, still thinking about them and wondering what they’re thinking about me.  They know I’m dead, don’t they, Haati.  Dead.  Does that mean that all this is just an illusion?

(There was a deep sadness in his thoughts.  I could feel his total sense of loss.   This is the tricky part; this is where I specialize: in taking them through the final transition.  Some just can’t or won’t.  This is especially true of those who consider themselves atheists and those who are deeply religious.  This place, me, what I am, what I do, they aren’t prepared for that and they can’t integrate it with their own beliefs.  But Andrew would be easier: he had only vestigial beliefs,  nothing solid, nothing definite.  Almost an open mind.  Yes, it would be easier to heal him.)

No Andrew, what you left is the illusion. This represents, for you, a deepening reality.  This is a new dimension.  For you, this is but another beginning of a very long journey – an endless journey.


Oh no, not “now” now! I’m not done with you by a long shot as they would say on your world.  We have a bit of journeying to do together before you leave here, but don’t worry about that.  When the time comes, you’ll know and you’ll be so eager to get going, nothing will hold you back.  Meanwhile, there’s me, and I’m willing, and waiting, to be explored.  Ready for that drink now?  Clothing optional, remember.

(I gave him my most open and guileless of smiles and he smiled back. We were on the way.  By the way, I find naked earth men astonishingly attractive.  That drink is going to taste very good.)