"Spin" in aviation training: a "stall" or loss of lift, a subsequent nose-down spin, the specific actions required for recovery, and the feeling, after recovery, that you could tackle absolutely anything!

Saturday, 19 April 2014

My New Friend

It is early and few are on the streets. I meet a man dressed in orange driving a street vacuum that looks like a golf cart fitted with an elephant's trunk, at the cross walk. He has climbed off of his charge to deal with some issue. I am waiting for the light to change. I look back at him, then step closer and ask, in a yell so he can hear me above his elephant's roar, if he would come and do my living room. He pauses, the offending piece of street refuse, paper, in his gloved hand. English is not his first language. He smiles and comments on how the day is going to be good. "Sun!" I smile back. "Yes. Sun. Thank God." We laugh. 
…and today I don't want the light to change. I want to spend the day with him, my new friend.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Existential Window Cleaner

I step out of my door this afternoon and begin walking to an appointment. I listen, starting with my own breathing and move out to the breeze, my footsteps and to the broader sounds of the streetcars, traffic, and sirens. It reminds me of a film set and I begin wondering "why." Why all of this? 

Viewed from space, we must seem a curious lot: 'running around buying coffee, going on cruise ships and in some parts of the world, thumping our neighbor to death because they have different views or origins. How is it that there are still people on this planet who can not read? Why is it that some people are still hungry? And as I pass by a CAMH building(Centre for Addiction and Mental Health), I wonder why so many people are still so troubled. There is no need for this. We have constructed arbitrary limits on what some people deserve and how far we are willing to go because of economics. You are not allowed to die, but you're not allowed to thrive unless you are very lucky.

I know, "this is just how society works." That's what you're going to tell me. But it's NOT working. I don't believe this paradigm gives us credit for our true potential. If we could skip the struggle part and move to the creating part. Take away the fear of not having food and shelter and replace it with the gift of knowledge and the ability to connect with the world around us...

As I near my destination, I look over and see, amongst all the rushing and phone checking, a man dressed in orange supported by ropes and a harness, cleaning windows on an office building. He is far away but I can still see him move on the building. I stop and stare, and envy him. How wonderful to be up above the street, above the lunacy. When I say lunacy, I don't mean the panhandlers and folks with mental health challenges. I mean the rest of us that go on with our days letting this all play out. Why, indeed.