"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!

Monday, 27 February 2017


As frustrated as I am with life right now, I still take joy in the little scenes that happen when I am out in the world. Today I rose from a fitful, almost combative sleep in time to catch an early train into the city. I was grumpy and chewed my coffee with a certain disdain during the drive to the station. I waited on the platform with Trump amount of people; seemed like a million, might have been fifty, all sleepy, many screen-hobbled. All of us wondering what we were doing at the train when we should be down at the harbour where our ship would come in. The train is full. No seat for many of us. I didn't complain. I'm an adult.

I pretended to be lost in time and space, standing there with my gear on the floor at my feet and my hand on the closest steadying pole. I tried to get fascinated with the safety warnings running along the tops of the windows. I crouched to look out at the lake as we passed. I pretended not to notice the totally ridiculous photos that this one woman, seated near me, was looking at. You would not believe... We arrived at Union and detrained, me frustrated because I was still grumpy. It was as if I hadn't really taken a full breath yet and didn't exist completely. This was all a movie. Then finally...

You can call it fake joy and you can take that to town and wail, but the servers at the Starbucks this morning triggered in me the feeling of a good pulse. Vibrant, attentive, Off-Broadway flamboyant, they teamed up to take my money and give me coffee, a breakfast sandwich, and the trade-marked and, yes I know, fictional feeling of being part of something hip. Play along with me. I felt better. I chose a seat one space away from a slightly older woman. I sat and before I had finished my chow, a gangly kid in a hoody, patinaed in a sorry attempt at rough demeanour, asked me for spare change. Remember, I was feeling better. I was included in hipness. I gave him a buck. The kid thanked me and moaned his plea to the lady. Without hesitation, she summoned the voice of some vile character from perhaps a Stephen King novel and spitted,              

                    "Whadda YOU think?"


I assumed she had the breakfast-vitriol sandwich. I did not make eye contact but feel sure that I caught a glimpse of her head rotating. Our boy made fast steps away.

I finished eating, walked towards the main entrance and stopped to do up my coat. There were three important-looking construction workers wearing white helmets, standing, arms folded, low talking in short sentences out in the middle of the hallway. They seemed to be trying to solve something. I looked down and happened to see an allen key on the floor behind the seat next to the wall. I grabbed it and walked toward them holding the shiny "L" for them to see. 

"Looking for this?"
"What is it?"
"Allen key. You guys looked like you were missing something."

They stood and blinked for one beat, two beats. 

"It was supposed to be a joke. I figured you could finish the whole project now that you had this."

They relaxed, glad that I wasn't a lunatic. They laughed. I laughed. We laughed. There was much laughing. Fella on the end leaned over, 

"You can keep it!" 

"Excellent." I pocketed the key. "The day is mine!"

Three little scenes, all in the space of thirty minutes. Three little connections made, except for angry Marge, that helped me ground and balance.  I realize that I am grateful for this more and more lately. Plus, I'm one allen key richer.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Your Truth

I don't like the word, journey. I know that it's popular when describing life, but it gives me the impression of moving along at a sensible pace with a steamer ticket and a packed lunch. It makes me assume that proper plans were made and that naps were taken, hats worn. Path is too idyllic. I think of grassy hillocks and sheep. Trajectory is close but involves too smooth a curve; careful calculation right from the beginning to avoid wobble. And there's lots of wobble. It dawned on me that the words I was considering were all physical descriptors when what I want is  something to describe internal growth. What I am looking for is a word to describe the Dawning Of the Comprehension Of Self As Crucible For Your Unique and Sacred Truth:

                 DOCOSACFYUST for short.

Yes, I suppose I could use, inner growth, but that makes me picture a middle-aged man wearing a thick woollen turtleneck sitting in a therapist's office. Yawn.

The process is varied for everyone. You are born, and you hit the ground charged with carrying forward the DNA of your ancestors. The environment may, or may not be nurturing. You may, or may not experience the mirroring or attachment that triggers a ravenous appetite for involvement and agency. You may look around one day in the family kitchen and wonder who the fuck these people are and why can't they see that you're doing a brilliant headstand while finishing a sandwich. You somehow thrive but more in spite of your environment. Gradually, in between taking care of everybody, you begin to comprehend your self. This might take twenty years, or it might take forty and you find yourself running to try to catch up to where you feel you should be. This is when someone says to you that,

 God never gives you more than you can handle

and you wonder how long your jail term would be if you reached over and throttled them. Because you want to throttle them. Vigorously. There is something in your DNA that is moving you forward but still forcing you to chew knots. Then, after five decades of bullshit you finally feel that you're close to being a real person when Trump happens. Now as you are, and with this DOCOSACFYUST, you find the hate unleashed by Trump traumatic but you can't look away. There is something in your DNA that is forcing you to engage, to poke the badger. 

Nothing is certain: life, politics, fantastic parking spaces. You wonder what the point of it all is. What is this truth? You're exhausted. You haven't had olympic-level sex in too long. But something keeps you moving ahead towards the next knot: DOCOSACFYUST, or whatever the proper word is, and a deep down desire, a craving for someone to simply acknowledge that you're standing on your fucking head.