It goes on and on and on. I think I’m going a little mad. Try to be nice to me. I probably can’t hear you.

I don’t want to go deaf. I’d miss music too much. I wouldn’t miss the sound of people’s voices.

Target: 1400 words
Written: 1504 words, novel: Father Lightning

less productive

It’s weird how being in the office has had no effect on my productivity; save for the things I do for myself in a day. What a world we would have if we cut out all the unnecessary bullshit and let people do the things they love, and celebrate them for it.

No working for a dollar. No rock ‘n’ roll pros, playing for the lawyers, as Local H would say.

Just people playing on whatever they want, without judgment, only help and support.

No more assholes. No more soul crushing work. No more cruelty.

Just a life of kindness and support.

What a fucked-up world that would be, isn’t it? The fact that you’re (and by extension, me) are already thinking it’s impossible shows just how far we have to go, and how much better we could be.

It doesn’t have to happen all at once. Protopia is better than utopia, any day. Incremental improvement is still improvement; the only sin is being so far jaded that the effort becomes impossible, instead of inevitable.

Target: 1400 words
Written: 328 words, novel: Father Lightning

on strike

Well, not me, but my union is on strike. I’m considered code one, which I guess means business as usual for me. Honestly, I’m fine with that. Working normally and leaving for France, or getting partial pay, and having to spend my days tromping on a picket line?

I’d rather keep working.

My life has been through such upheaval over the past year, the kind thing to do for myself is allow myself time to relax and not stress about things. Stressing about whether or not I’m going to get enough money to cover food this week doesn’t sound like it’s conducive to that.

I support the union and its aims, as inflation has made the cost of living so much worse, but I still feel like I dodged a bullet. I’m not sure I have the bandwidth for all that at this point. I need a long break, without the constant at-at-at, just to find some way to find some semblance of a head on straight.

And then, we can get back to the business of justice and equality and all that good stuff.

For now, I hope it works out for the union; I hope it works out for taxpayers. I hope it works out for everyone.

That’s really what I hope for everyone in every situation involving injustice or inequality or general unfairness.

Sadly, I am oft disappointed. If I weren’t, Donald Trump would be in jail, Pierre Poilevre wouldn’t be anywhere near politics and Vladimir Putin would be suffering tremendously as his people ran free.

Such is not the way of the world, so it is imperative on me to make my little piece of it as bearable and kind-hearted as possible. I would not contribute to the insanity; only to the hugs in the midst of the madness.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 152 words, novel: Father Lightning

being better to myself

It’s become pretty clear to me that kindness isn’t just for the people around you, and random strangers that you let go ahead of you at the grocery store.

I’m pretty tough on myself; the result of a reversal of many years of denial and bullshit and stupidity, turned the other direction. Once I came to the realization that freedom and responsibility were inseparable, that we are both entirely free all of the time, no matter our scenario and entirely responsible for everything we do, say and think… well, it was only a matter of time before the previously repressed and desperately ignored guilt over behaving like such an asshole came to bear.

It’s been almost a decade since that realization and I’m still an ineffectual nobody; I just now more intimately aware of how my own actions, the thoughts I have and the things I say impact the world around me. People love to put realizations like this out as epiphanies, but that’s bullshit. A lifetime of behaviour, whatever it is, doesn’t change in an instant – not for the vast majority of it and us. Change is often gradual, tiny realizations we come to that shift our values, our needs, our wants.

For example, I wanted to be rich once. Now, I just want to make enough of a living not to worry about money too much, and to be able to do the things I want to do. I’m more interested in a simple life filled with joy than a lucrative one filled with bullshit. Mo’ money, mo’ problems, as they say.

(Of course, whoever complains about being rich should be forced to be dirt poor or homeless for a while. Extremes of poverty and riches each have their own particularly nasty repercussions.)

The point here is that kindness begins at home. I have to start being kinder to myself; forgiving myself for the way I behaved as a teenager, as a young man in my twenties, as an idiot finally beginning to realize what an idiot he is/was, and now, as a man in my forties whose fears and depression dictate the level of risk he’s willing to endure.

Ironically, my DNA tests suggest I am a risk taker. Perhaps I would be, under different circumstances.

For now, the biggest risk is to forgive myself, to let go the sins of the past and finally, to remember them, but to learn what they’re trying to teach me, so as not to repeat them.

(And maybe stop referring to them as sins, but rather mistakes. Whoopsies. Duhs.)

Target: 1300 words
Written: 218 words, novel: Father Lightning

not my sunday

I started this morning with a meditation on stress triggers, which had me visualize stressful situations from my past and think of ways to better confront. Unfortunately, I already know what needed to happen in those situations and how to avoid them, so all I ended up doing was rehashing how shitty the situation was.

It’s put a bit of a damper on the morning, but I’ve decided: fuck it.

Those assholes don’t have any power over me that I don’t give them. We’ve nothing to do with each other anymore, and their lies and bullying have long since come back to bite them in the ass, costing them their jobs, their reputation (what they had of one) and from the sounds of it, legal fees from suing, using the same lies, all unprovable except in their own heads.

Hilarity. One can only hope karma and justice are real things. I don’t believe in an afterlife, but I’m increasingly open to the idea of a reckoning when it’s all said and done.

I’m not sure that much fits with my kindness vow; my focus is on what is, in reality, not bearded white men on thrones in the sky.

So, I wish for them to discover how their behaviour negatively affects their lives and the lives of people around them, and pray they find a way to take responsibility for their actions, and work on growing as people, so maybe by the time their lives are over, they can be the kind of people people can respect, instead of the assholes they became by believing with their delusions of grandeur and inherent self-deceit about the nature of their being.

In other words, I’m choosing to forgive and let go; not for them, because forgiveness is always about letting ourselves move on, and never about absolving others of the responsibility of their sins.

My sins won’t let me go; why should anyone else’s?

Target: 1300 words
Written: 2506 words, novel: Father Lightning

kindness focus

I’m trying to focus on being more kind. I’ll admit struggling with being too affected by the many sob stories I hear in my work. Sometimes, they make me angry. Sometimes, my unrelenting empathy makes me feel too sorry for them. Sometimes, they mirror my own depression and that feels worse.

I’d like to start, I think, when I get back from France, daily meditations on kindness, finding various quotes and theories on the virtue that might help guide me to a better headspace. I’d like to be remembered as a kind person, among other things. I’m not sure how much presence or focus or joviality I can muster these days, but kind, I think I can do.

It’s a good first step, anyway. Better than the fatalist views of the past, in any case. We only go around once, so why make life miserable for yourself and others? What’s the point of that?

Target: 1300 words
Written: 143 words, novel: Father Lightning

world without money

I dream of it. What we could accomplish if we weren’t scrambling for scraps, while human pieces of filth hoard all the rest.

The only issue would be overcrowding on the beautiful places, but I would hope without this urgent greed, we would learn more civility and kindness, and more appreciation for our nearest and dearest, the local culture, the flora and fauna of where we live, and stop being sold on always needing to go to the same type of places.

While bikinis and margaritas are enjoyable (though I don’t look particularly good in a matching two-piece thong, given my waistline and the fact that I’m a middle-aged man), there’s so much more to the world than sand and palm. Antarctica, tundra, northern Ontario, Lapland, the Outback, all over Africa, Europe, Iceland, Greenland, Kingsville, Pelee Island, British Columbia, redwood forests, salt seas, steppes, Nepal… the list is quite literally as expansive as the universe itself.

Arbitrary systems of currency should not be the sole reason we can’t go see it, or spend time in our community, or loving our fellow humanity.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 2363 words, novel: Father Lightning

long walks and baked hams

We took Mazy for a long walk yesterday out in the country. I felt bad because I forgot to bring poop bags and for the first time ever, she took a shit on a walk. Go figure. The way the universe works. It likes to come at you when you’re most unprepared.

Call it training for forgiveness. I do still feel guilty. Mazy’s a hundred pounds; it looks like some dude squatted and let loose. Trying to be nice is hard; being prepared is, I suppose, a prerequisite.

Assume the worse, expect nothing; aim for everything.

That’s the rule.

Today, we bake hams, make salads and devilled eggs, and enjoy the company of blood.

Always a pleasant evening, if a bit too formal for me. It’s the obligation of the holiday that bores me.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 107 words, novel: Father Lightning

good friday

I mean, I’m not religious, so it’s just a day off for us to take our dog for a walk down a sideroad, but hey, it’s time off. Time for family, and that’s important.

Zombie Jesus isn’t that interesting, although as a metaphor for the killing of kindness, I can agree. Old Testament God is spiteful and hateful, a demagogue in all-powerful trappings. The ultimate masturbatory fantasy for wannabe fascists.

The New Testament is less angry, less vitriol. Less control. It’s like God’s rebellious son decided to buck his petty, authoritarian jealousies and become a straight hippie (with caveats, obviously – there’s still a power trip there).

Anyway, I’m pretty sure Jesus fucked Mary Magdalene and never actually died. They just went on a three-day bender of perversity and orgasm (and wine – you know dude was into it), before coming back and having to make shit up about dying and coming back to cover up their illicit affair and hangovers.

How’s that for a good Friday?

Target: 1300 words
Written: 1225 words, novel: Father Lightning

personal change

The fact is, I have to change. While I was busy wallowing in The Mungk, the realization that maybe I wasn’t helping myself was slowly germinating in my brain, and I couldn’t get rid of it.

And unlike in the past, I couldn’t just chuck it all and start over, incrementally fucking myself as I went back to the drawing board, once again.

Finally, I feel on a path forward, though I have a long way to go as far as making my dreams happen. But… progress.

I feel like the current place to focus was with kindness, because after the fatalism of The Mungk, who couldn’t use a little kindness in their lives?

And let’s be honest. As things to work on, things to bring more into this world, kindness, I would imagine, ranks fairly high in our list of needs, especially currently. Who could truly argue that kindness is a negative, without revealing their own wicked and revolting nature (cough, Marjorie Taylor Greene, cough)?


Let’s be anti-Marj, and treat the people around us with some respect and kindness, instead of vitriol and hatred.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 129 words, novel: Father Lightning