I thought I would write today about a few of my experiences with the paranormal. I will tell you briefly that in the past thirty years I have had many experiences treading near the line between darkness and light. I think the best references to describe my abilities are to refer you to the book “This Present Darkness” by Frank E. Peretti, the Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield, and the metaphysical experiences documented concerning Saint Francis of Assisi. I’m sure there are other examples I can think of but for now these will help you.
CASE: 2017, The child with the allergic touch.
First, the most recent, took place earlier this year in Nordegg. I was working alone in the store and went back to clean the washrooms. I took a cleaning rag and some Lemonee to clean the rooms. The lemonee was product I had used before so I know it wasn’t the cause and I was careful not to get it on my hands. I cleaned the bathroom as usual. I didn’t feel the presence of any spirit or entity in the rooms but I did have a feeling when I got back up to the front counter that I was being watched.
It was maybe a few minutes later I noticed a red mark on my arm but it didn’t really register as anything and it was kind of blurry. It was a bit itchy but nothing else. About half an hour or so later a co-worker had shown up and by then the mark on my arm had become more distinctive. I continued to ignore it until, I think it was maybe the next day, that the rash had formed into three distinctive marks.
I showed it to a co-worker who immediately came to the same conclusion that I did. The marks resembled three small fingers almost as though a child had grabbed my arm, but a child with an allergic touch. The rash marks remained there for a week and I was concerned at one point that they would scar the tissue. It wasn’t until I left the store, literally, that the rash disappeared almost entirely within a day leaving just a light pink pale mark behind for a few more days.
I know many of you are probably still thinking it was just a reaction to the cleaner, that I had somehow gotten it on my arm, but I’ve included photos in this blog to show you the rash as it appeared after about a week. I asked four people to look at it and three of them immediately identified the marks as looking like fingers before I said anything. Two of them even took their hand and placed their fingers over the marks to see if they matched up. I think initially my skin reacted with a red almost bulbous mark, two or three, then as the redness went down it showed the almost scarring underneath the red flush.
Like I said I didn’t see or feel anything when I was in the bathrooms cleaning, it was almost a delayed reaction to having something grab me on my arm enough to leave an impression. It is my belief that one of the entities that haunt the town and store property was trying to tell me something. I don’t know if it was just trying to say, ‘get out’ or just ‘hello’ and didn’t know it would mark me physically… or maybe it did and it knew I’d take it more seriously.
I have never had this type of physical manifestation happen before or since my move from Nordegg.
CASE: 1994, Leaning into a demon
I’ve told this story a few times before to close friends and I’ve decided it should go into this blog entry because it was really one of my closest contacts ever with evil.
In 1994, I was dating a woman and on our dates, we would frequent a well known park in Bramalea, Ontario. We would sit in the parking lot for hours and just talk, yeah, I know I was a cheap date, but it was still romantic. Anyways, a couple times we would trek up the nearby hill in the dusk to sit and look at the golden lights of the city all around us.
Now, those of you who know me know that I have an ability (which I believe everyone does) to see positive and negative entities or energies. You can call them angels and demons or whatever you like but I tend to just stick with energies.
We got up to the top of the hill and started getting, shall we say amorous. To be exact she leaned into me and we kissed. We were right next to a shed on the top of the hill, a service building for the ski hill, and I decided to lean back against it for leverage.
She was leaning into me, and when my back touched the wall of the shed I felt this intense wave of energy. For a moment, I saw the most dark, evil looking entity I’d ever seen inside that shed. The pulse was so strong that it went through me and through her. She felt it and even said she had felt a strong wave of a bad feeling pass through her. We both quickly headed back down the hill to our car. Along the way, I could see or sense small entities or demons or whatever along our path. It was as though they knew I could see and sense them and when I looked in the direction of them they would recoil from me. I don’t know if it was my ability to see them or the fact I had seen the one up on the hill but it was clear that this was not a good place to be. I have some experiences, shall we say, walking on the line between the dark and light and I think the dark side of things doesn’t like I can see them and resist them. We got in our car and quickly left the park.
I could describe it, but I believe that negative energy or whatever manifests itself in forms that our brains hold references to. So, for example, if you don’t know what a demon looks like you might see just a shadow, or you might see a red monster with horns, or whatever. You will see whatever your brain understands you to see. In my thirty some years of being able to sense or see these things this was probably the most intense incident I have experienced so far.
CASE: 1991, A stranger beside me
I believe it was around 1991 and I was visiting a Christian friend of mine in Owen Sound. I note that she was Christian because we’d had, together as a group of about five of us, varying degrees of personal experiences dealing with demons, angels and the dark and light forces in the world.
She was, what we call, a “born again Christian” one of these people who has re-discovered “the word” and has decided it is their mission in life to sign everyone else up. Whatever, anyways, at the time I was identifying myself as Agnostic and while I did believe in angels and demons I didn’t believe in much else.
Anyways, I was at her place one day, and for a Christian she seemed to get a lot of visits from dark entities, many of whom I could see, that would cause various problems for her – think of them as tricksters or party poltergeists and it feels more believable somehow. I had just gotten into some sort of argument with her, she was probably trying to shove her beliefs down my throat again, and I’d gotten up and walked into the other room to take a breather.
I was sitting on the sofa in the livingroom. I was on the left end of the 6-8-foot sofa and the nearest window was on the right end of the sofa a couple feet away. I was feeling in sort of a dark place emotionally and I was just staring forward into the room. Then, out of the corner of my right eye, between me and the window I could see a sort of dark (but light) shadow just as it sat down on the sofa. I could see it reach toward my right shoulder with it’s left hand. Just as it was about to touch me I turned my head, stared straight at the spot where I felt it was and gave a most glaring stare that clearly said “No”. I felt the energy recoil from me and wisp out the window.
I don’t think it was trying to hurt me, in fact I felt it was trying to comfort me but I just wasn’t in the frame of mind to be receptive to it.
CASE: 1980, At the foot of my bed
One of my earliest brushes with the paranormal was when I was just a kid. I think perhaps I was maybe I the 8 to 11 age range but honestly, I can’t remember anymore, so that would put it about 1980. I was in my bedroom, it was late, but I believe I had either fallen asleep or was nearly asleep.
I felt something at the foot of my bed. I sat up straight and stared at a white-ish gray light at the foot of my bed. I still remember sitting there, frozen, I didn’t dare speak I just didn’t know what to do. It remained there for about five to ten seconds and then dashed to the left toward the closed door. I saw a flicker of light in the crack under the door and it was gone.
Was it just a dream or my imagination? I don’t know since I was quite young and had no frame of reference to guide me.
Years later someone said it might have been car lights shining in the window. True, they did do that whenever a car came up a nearby hill. The light beams, however, would run across the glass and ceiling when it was car headlights. So, for this to be a car it would have had to have been about fifty feet off the ground, pointing on an angle down at my room, in such a way not to reflect in the panes of glass of the window.
That's all my stories for now, I'm sure I'll remember more or have others opinions to share in the near future. Thanks for reading and remember to comment on this entry you need to click on the entry title - this will bring you to a special page that will have the comments section at the bottom.
When I told someone that I know that I was considering a move back to Ontario they said “well, you’ve done what you went out there to do” or something to that effect. Have I? I saw the Pacific Ocean, check, and while it only lasted three and a half years I did indeed find work. Is that all that I came out here to do? If so, then yes, but I’d like to think there is something more. I think that, and it’s only in the last three months of my forty-seven months here, I did learn several other things.
The first, and easiest to describe, is my ability to live with less. Even when I first came out here I was anchored to Ontario, and then to my duplex here, with the “stuff” that filled all the corners of my world. It was only in February of this year that I learned to value what was truly important to me and to devalue what wasn’t. I now have my entire life possessions down to the size of my truck and I see little need to possess more than that.
Next up I learned, or more accurately, became aware of some hard lessons about my personality – some good and some bad. I won’t say I have learned anything solid yet as I’m still trying to sort it out but I do believe that the choices I make in life and environment have a lot of influence.
The third thing that I have learned is that when I make plans and do so against my “gut feelings” that they rarely work out. In fact, I think it is safe to say that they ‘never’ work out. I have dictated so much of my life based on the opinions of others. Now you may disagree but that’s because on the “larger scale” my life makes brave fundamental shifts. These shifts are when I follow the path that appears before me no matter how different it is from the “norm”. It is in those shifts that I am freer and in sync with the universe. And then, when things are going well I seem to dig in my heels and try to remain in my “comfort zone” and that’s when the path becomes rugged.
The fourth thing I’ve learned is that one can find their spiritual connection wherever they are. You don’t need an ancient forest to connect with nature. It is true that the energy you feel may, will, vary between a park in the city and a great uninhabited forest but the important thing is the “feel” the energy and the connection. I did understand that in the past but now I have a point of reference. I have stood in a park in the middle of a city of millions and I have stood on the edge of a great forest with not a soul in sight for kilometres. It is all about awareness and connection.
The fifth thing I’ve learned is that I can achieve my goals if I step outside of my comfort zone. If you had come to me when I was thirteen years old and told me some day I would drive over four-thousand six hundred kilometres just to see the ocean I probably would have pointed out the fact that I didn’t own a car much less a driver’s license. Thirty-three years later and I am wondering how long it would take to drive to Halifax. The most disheartening limitations placed on your goals are usually put there by yourself.
And, while this certainly doesn’t help my efforts at finding a job, the sixth thing I have learned is that I do not love retail. I’ve been in retail pretty much since I was sixteen years old. I had a feeling last year that I was starting to get fed up with it and it has only become stronger in recent months. It is challenging because, for the most part, it is all that I have really immersed myself in during my life. I have other skills, ones that I would like to experiment with more and see what I can do with them. I am a freelance online writer, I’m good at taking either point form or basic sentences and turning them into paragraphs that are readable. I am an amateur photographer and I have uploaded over four thousand photos onto Flickr since 2011. I would like to get into more domestic photography, things like location photos for websites and helping people sell their services or products online. I currently have several websites, including this one, on the go and don’t charge for the service of updating and maintaining them. I could develop that more and evolve it beyond the hobby stage into something that makes money. If I really wanted to. I like retail because it pays the bills and keeps a roof over my head but it certainly is not my passion.
The seventh thing I have learned is that you will not “find yourself” by going somewhere different. While travelling across the country is an adventure that I recommend everyone do it will not help you to discover who you really are inside. This refers to my point concerning spirituality. You can travel to the most exotic locations in the world but it doesn’t mean that what is inside of you will change – that is up to you. I have seen the other side of the country, well two sides now actually, and I think it might be time to go back “home” and re-ground myself before my next adventure – wherever that is.
I told you there were more important things to write about that old journal entries and here's one of them - footwear. Now I know that the men and the women reading this entry will have differing opinions about this so I encourage everyone to comment in the section below.
These are my current slippers. I bought these light gray Tender Tootsies for Men at the Walmart at least a year or so back. They are quite comfortable and quite broken in as you can see. I have worn them around the house and, as quickly as possible, out to the truck whenever I forgot something and I really didn't want to have to put my shoes back on.
Yes, I said these were light gray, I admit they've seen better days but guys out there will agree with me when I say it's all about comfort when it comes to a good pair of slippers.
The back is bent down over time because, well, I just couldn't be bothered to pull it up over my heel. I didn't opt for one of the flat flip-flop type slippers because those ones slip off too easily. Believe it or not, even though the back edge is flat it creates a sort of traction for my heel that helps keep the slipper on most days.
So my question to you is this. Should I spend the $20 and buy a new pair of slippers, or do you agree that a pair that is broken in and comfortable is far better than a brand new pair?
Share your thoughts in the blog feedback section below here on my website. It will appear when you click on the title of this entry and scroll down to the bottom.
I like my setup here in my truck. I have created a barrier to curb prying eyes from the front and on the side isolating my light to my space within. The one side is totally exposed and since it faces the bushes a strategically placed pillow or my other jacket could plug that if needed. The mattress was an ingenious purchase and will serve me for years. I do not plan on giving up this truck for years but my next must be an equally sized vehicle because I must have room to sleep in the back.
I am back at the same picnic park in almost the exact same spot as yesterday. It is my last full day in British Columbia, but I still have four days of my vacation left afterwards. I woke up at seven thirty today and out of bed at eight as the sun broke over the hills.
When I am older and grayer will I too come to sit and stare at goats? “He is eating” one says “He is grazing” corrects another. “Yesterday he was left of the big tree and today he is right”. “Ah he likes the shade”. Camera click, click, click. Now we can show our grandkids what a mountain goat looks like. “Have they not seen one on movies?” someone will ask. “Ah yes, but this one was real, look here see my picture of it”. Flip, flip, flip. “It looks like a white rock” the viewer says. “Yes, but after that photo it moved” comes the reply.
Late Afternoon – I am trying to charge my camera and phone. I am fighting a strange feeling that someone is around my campsite. I guess I will have to pack in and head back over to ease the feeling. Clearly something is afoot with the internet, it just took me twenty seconds to post a reply on Google Plus. My campfire is particularly hot tonight which is good because I need to burn through all my remaining wood.
Evening – Page one hundred thirty-four of two hundred twenty. Next camping vacation, remember to bring a mallet, and find my portable radio too, and no more beans! Today I had two coffees, two muffins (cranberry-orange and blueberry), one CLIF bar, two waters and two cans of maple flavoured beans – and all of it appears to want out this hour. I left about forty-eight empty water bottles in the pile near the dumpsters.
I have two small logs on the fire and only one left to burn. I might finish “Brace New World” before I go back to work. I will take it to Red Deer with me on Saturday. I wonder if I should take the South route home tomorrow? Seven hundred seventy-two kilometres and ten hours forty five minutes versus eight hundred fifty-nine kilometres and eleven hours fifteen minutes.
It is just after eight, I think, perhaps later, and the last log is on the fire. She is burning now!
I like the smaller journals. I can only fit so much on a page but the content seems better. So, what can I take away from this brief but relaxing holiday? How does this one match up to others?
What were my ‘best’ holidays? Certainly, Vancouver was one, Robson Street at night, English Bay, a different cuisine every day on Denman. And then, Pacific Rim, camping in Canada’s rainforest, the Pacific, the goal achieved. Cape Croker, ten days was it, peace and serenity, the most activity was watching chipmunks and trail walks. And what did those three trips have in common, a contributing factor I am certain to their success – I was travelling alone.
Interesting, the bottled water I bought comes from sources in High River and Inglewood, in Calgary, Alberta.
I recall a geography class one time when we were studying the topography of the Mediterranean. I was called up to the blackboard to draw the mountainous coastline region of Italy. I took the chalk and with one wavy rolling stroke of my hand drew the coast and two mountain ranges. My teacher chuckled and pointed out while the mountains were not rugged enough they certainly resembled something. I stepped back and looked at my sketch and realized that I had drawn two rather bold mountains that closely resembled a woman’s voluptuous breasts. Not bad, not accurate to the Mediterranean but still pretty darn nice.
The morning has started bitterly cold. For some ungodly reason, I woke up first at five-thirty. My guess is one of these recent arrival citiots set off their alarm or slammed their doors or turned on their headlights and woke me up.
It is bitterly cold, as I said, seven degrees, but not for long. We are to climb rapidly and peak around give o’clock at twenty-nine degrees. It will be fast too, so I may suffer with shorts around a nice fire. Two more nights til I leave, I should buy another bundle of wood or two.
I had a weird dream. I woke, saw the time. I leaned through a window sill into another room. I saw a television, clothes and a bed. There was a body buried under the covers, head at the far end. I asked if they were up, a woman’s voice said “yes” and I told them they had to get up for work and had about one minute to get there. She jumped up and left the room.
Then I turned back into my room and a figure across the room spoke. It was also someone I knew and she motioned if she could sit on the foot end of my bed. “Sure, no problem” I said and she sat down. “If you come closer I will have to do more to you than talk” the words poured out like sand from my brain to the darkness then light as I was yanked back to reality again.
It is time to get my lazy butt up as the sun just broke over the hills. I need to dress, shave, and find coffee. I was just thinking about the dream last night and the rules I have written in my life regarding relationships. I do not and will not have such relations with a co-worker, not that that is what the dream was about but just one of my top rules. The mistakes made with my ex- prove quite clearly that relationships with co-workers is an unwise affair. It is a rule I have kept since 1996 and the reason I never hire women I could see sleeping with. Another rule is age, I happen to like the formula of half my age plus seven as the woman’s minimum age [that would be 30 years old] that I would have a sexual relationship with. I have kept that rule of minimum age requirement since about 2003 when I returned to Canada. A third rule is they must be clean, no health issues at all. In addition to not wanting to “catch” something I also wouldn’t want to be stuck in a relationship because we both had it and my options were severely limited for a life beyond her. I would expect them to, of course, have the same standards for me.
A helicopter just flew past, far too low to be legal, below the treeline. It was black with writing on it and a couple squiggly coloured lines on the side, not police or rescue. So low, must be with BC Hydro checking out camps and the reservoir. I can hear it out over the water out of my view. They love their helicopters here, helicopters and one lane bridges.
What a rip off, I paid almost nine dollars for a bundle, bundles, of wood at the gas station when all along I could have bought them at the grocery store for six. My loss of about twenty-four dollars for three cheaper bundles. I was not impressed, but sympathetic as I know who their distributor is.
Midday – Have I grown bitter and cynical or aware and realistic? I believe if the former then I would be beyond hope. I would not see the beauty in the world, or appreciate music or desire to love or to be loved. I am just tired of the hype, tired of fakery, tired of the need of the masses for little more than will the handsome, rich and lonely bachelor fall madly in love with ‘the one chosen by you our viewing audience, cast you votes now’.
The news, the pathetic drivel that one refers to as “news” only bores and disgusts me – another day of ‘who is killing who’ and ‘what can you buy with your slave dollars?’. I glance at the headlines, more to see that the rest of the world is still out there and some exotic new disease has not killed us all – and if it did, if millions died, would it even get five minutes’ mention between the Hollywood scandals and Sports scandals and ads for laundry detergent – seconds of which cut short by the message ‘Keep out of reach of children’ and ‘Do not eat’. I remember my mother saying, “Do not touch that” and I did not touch it, the laundry soap, the hot iron, whatever household item it was. I think she knew as her mother knew and as I would come to know that laundry soap is not good to eat. There was no need for bright clearly written warnings in the days when common sense prevailed. Now the parents have more common than sense and their children eat the soap and they try to sue “It was not our fault” says Miranda Homemaker “there was no label to tell me to keep the soap away from little Mirabelle. And how am I to know my child would want to eat it. There should have been a label!!”
‘Next up’ the computer news blares ‘dozens of children sickened after eating laundry soap shaped like candy’ but first Sports scandal rocks the blah de blah. Nods to sexy female sports anchor hired not for her knowledge of football growing up with six Wisconsin brothers but rather for how her voluptuous breasts protrude beneath her blouse and drive the ratings up faster than the middle aged dicks watching her lustfully.
I remember the day I ran ahead of the class, up in league with a few athletes our school churned out each term. We ran up the hill, well down and then up, and I was tied for top place. It was around my house a thought occurred to me “If I win I will be expected to run like this all the time” and I loathed sports and running. And so, I slowed, first, second, fourth, just enough to not make the cut, just enough my gym teacher would consider it just a fluke and leave me be. “He heard his mom washing and slowed down” the other boys taunted me, their explanation for my fall from first to fifth or eighth or whatever. The truth never told. [until now]
I hated sports and I hated running, I could run, I could pace, and I could have done the CWOSSA or OFFSA or Track and Field – is not the track on the field? But I did not see the point of it. I was the tech, the scorekeeper, the one who gave out the medals to the ones who loved sports and loved running. They forced you to compete, ah the irony, to run or jump or throw or kick. It was not an option to just sit and watch and pretend to cheer. “No, we make them run or jump or throw or kick the other two hundred and sixty-four days a year so they must on this one hot spring day as well”. “Music, art, literature, all crap if you can not block a shot into the net at least twice per game”. There was no room for intellectuals in nine and ten unless they subscribed to at least one athletic embarrassment. “We are raising champions” they belched above the drone of bleating sheep.
No, I hate sports and I hated running. I hated to run or jump or throw or kick. What I desired I could not be allowed to achieve. I loved books and writing and reading and all the things a C minus student ought not to worry their simple minds with.
It is Wednesday and in two days I will be back on the road to Alberta. It is different this time than last as “home” is only nine hours away and not three days. Do I regret not going back to Ontario this year? No, not at all. I have but one regret and it is not something so materialistically achievable. This vacation is, and rightly should be, about me, not my friends or family.
What is so fascinating about these foothills that people stop to photograph them and spy on them and tell their friends about them? Perhaps living next to the Rocky Mountains, I have become spoiled? Perhaps I am cynical and the grandeur of the rocks and trees and millions of years in the making, are just piles of rocks and trees to me? No, I appreciate their existence, I think it is just their smallness that ceases to impress me after a moment or three.
The people interest me more than the foothills, oh not their stories or their culture or their origins. It is their interaction with each other and with their environment and with each other in their environment that interests me. It is their shape and form, their rhythm and their unyielding conformity. They pay thousands and travel great distances to experience the world unique from others – only to rent the same monstrosities and travel the same roads to see the same sites as everyone else. “Oh, you must visit Seton lake, or Banff, or Jasper or Vancouver. It is so unique and so grand you will love it” the call to “do as I did, to see as I have and to be where I have been and still it will be unique”.
Two are watching birds, one reads a sign that four did already, two, three buckle in for the ride and turn the ignition in automated harmony. A beautiful blond girl munches on an apple and reads the sign, but she’s barefoot, a non-conformist in her youth. For a moment, til she grabs a body wipe and in unison cleans her hands and arms, along with two others seated in the sedan, of any ‘nature’ that might be inadvertently dribbled on their pale pink flesh. Conformists all.
And me, sitting in solitude, writing, careful not to stare at the beautiful blond girl for fear it might be staring to long. Why be beautiful if not to be observed and admired? It is only in our puritanism society to stare at beauty and ever consider it to be for too long.
How can one limit their appreciation of the beauty of a young or old woman? True, youth begets more admiration – curves, mounds, folds, smooth, silky, sensuous, longing to be touched, to be desired, to be wanted by not to be had. I think back to my youth and recall the ones I considered beautiful at the time. Their soft, virginal skin and doe-ful smiles, innocent and yet in the back of their minds deceitfully aware of the power they have over men. I’m sure several of them ended up pregnant, planned or not, and married to some rough neck who drinks too much and has more fun after the bar than the woman does.
A mountain goat with his scruffy white beard and devilish horns is grazing several hundred metres up on the side of the cliffs. I captured it on my camera and zoomed right up to its face. It reminds me of the goats in the satanic rituals and horror films with no historical accuracy at all.
So, what did a C minus student like to do? I liked to write. I wrote poetry and prose for Creative Writing class and my teacher submitted my works to the local paper many times. I would have kept it up but one time the paper took a particularly long piece of mine and butchered it into a dozen space stuffers. After that I refused to submit another thing – my teacher understood she said.
The thick green grass beneath my tired feet lush with clover and stiff brown pine needles and tiny drops of dew that refuse to submit to the hot sunlight. Hot in the sun and cold in the shade, so different from Alberta that seems to be warm regardless of how dense the shade.
My feet are a most graven white, almost dead looking, clearly, I am in desperate need of far more sun before the sun is gone. This is the first time perhaps that I have gone barefoot, in the grass this year, and aside from the glaring discovery that I need to clip my toenails, the grass felt nice and cool under my feet.
Evening – the first of just two more evenings left in British Columbia then its back to Snordegg. When I return, I am going to do some work around the house to improve the safety and security of it. I need to bring more light into my house so I will use privacy sticky tack on the windows and then I can leave the curtains open more often.
I just got off a long messenger chat with my soul-brother, most of our chat recalled what we already knew but it was nice to reconnect with him just the same. I threw another log onto the fire and it began to smoke out. I grabbed two Firestarter sticks and jammed them in – instant hot flames are now broiling the new log. The blackened mass that went before it too is dancing in blue and yellow auras. It is as if someone stuck a propane gas jet beneath them, all this fire from two innocent little sticks. A cyclone of smoke rises, sucks downward then swirls up to the starry heavens. It is somewhere around ten o’clock, the moon seems to move slower with each crossing of the night sky. It is almost full now, just a tiny sliver on the left is missing.
I did not go later to buy alcohol, I forgot, oh well. I will not bother tomorrow night since I leave for home on Friday morning.
The Big Dipper is sitting low in the northern sky high above Lower Lillooet. I saw Cassiopeia directly above me as I set down for the night. I have not lost weight but this week I did not notice my hernia. I guess my body liked most of the MRE’s.
Am I a “positive cynic”? I guess the question is more why do I need to be labelled at all? I am who I am who I am need I be someone else?
The moon is almost bright enough to read and write with. I can see the grass, the detail of my truck wheel, and shrubs on the hillside behind me. Every so often a couple Canada geese go honking overhead. I have not seen any around so these might actually be migrating toward Vancouver.
I am sitting on a bench overlooking Seton Lake, British Columbia. I have had my coffee, toured Lillooet, confirmed my schedule, texted and now I get to relax. I took many photos with my camera and phone.
I am debating driving further down the highway, which means that I will. It is Tuesday and while I want to stay until Saturday I have booked until Friday. The nights are colder now. If I go back on Friday I can check out the late autumn colours on Saturday, edit pics on Sunday and do whatever on Monday. I work on Tuesday at one o’clock in the afternoon.
I have now about five hundred and fifty photos to edit, I will have over seven hundred by Friday. I should see if Fields has any SDHC cards, I might need another.
British Columbians curse when they hear of Ontario, Albertans apologize when they hear someone is from Ontario. You do not have to be a genius to see the division between west and east here.
Afternoon – I spent ninety minutes this afternoon colouring a mandala. I walked all the way over to charge my camera and phone and, of course, I left the plug for my cell phone back at my truck. I will charge my camera first, get food, then return to charge my phone. Kitty is on his usual patrol across the lawn, probably inspecting the mowing job while pissing off a nearby raven. The stupid plug in my truck, instead of charging my camera, completely drained the battery. Awk.
Evening – I came back first to charge my phone then I will eat. I want a nice fire going during dinner but I would like it to be darker out first. It is seven o’clock now and already the temperature is down to, wait, twenty-two? No way it is that warm out here.
Night – It is after nine and some morons are running their camper down near the washroom, the headlights beaming down the lane at several campsites of people trying to sleep.
The train is passing, the dogs or coyotes are howling, the fire is crackling, and that camper is still idling. I would be amazed that no one has complained yet, and a loud white diesel truck finally left.
I am on page thirty-seven of “Brave New World”. I recalled before that I had read a portion of it in my exams in high school. Interesting they never told you what it was about but they expected essay responses to the questions on it. It was a test perhaps to reveal your true nature through your answers. A test to see if you were a conformist or an anarchist, an Alpha or an Epsilon. A believer or a troublemaker. I am certain I was the doting conformist as expected. I did not have a clue, back then, what the story or passage was about. In my streamed general knowledge, it was arguably above my caste.
I got a text the computer was not communicating. I texted back and then called and walked them through it. All fixed again. I got another text, and replied my assumption on the schedule and my missed days off and then promptly switched my phone to airplane mode. Twenty minutes goes far too quickly and I have used half of it already.
I am on page seventy-two of “The Bell Jar”, once my phone is charged enough I will return to my site to write and read some more. There is a chill in the shade but certainly nicer than the minus six Nordegg had last night. It is plus five there now and plus seventeen here – and Nordegg is one hour ahead in the day.
Afternoon – my beard and moustache are full of what appear to be gray or white hairs, I think it is just my original blond peeking through but I am told that gray makes me more handsome, so gray they are. I am on page one hundred seventy-four of “The Bell Jar” with only fifty pages left to read.
Sylvia Plath committed suicide at the age of thirty. It is interesting how they refer to it as “a defiant coming-of-age story told in sharp prose and shot through with black humour”. I find it a vivid, honest reflection of real life of how mental illness can darken ones’ soul. She must have been a fascinating young woman.
I am at the wifi lounge charging my camera, impressively it went four hundred and eighty-eight photos on a single charge, that is half my vacation.
Late Afternoon – I have noticed that when I write out a list of things to do that I include things I have just recently completed. Is this to inspire me somehow to complete the remaining tasks, or is it in case my list is discovered and I appear to complete tasks I assign to myself. “Oh look” they would say “he must be organized and driven in his thoughts for he completes so many tasks so quickly”.
And then there are the tasks that I never seem to complete and reside on my list day after day, week after week, as the growing and now inaccurate pile of receipts in my office will attest to. I just accidentally, or perhaps subconsciously intentionally burned over a dozen receipts. If I record all the ones I have then the list will never be complete.
I do not know why I keep a ledger anyways. I am not reimbursed or taxed on ninety-nine percent of it. A strange curiousity stemming back to my ninth year in school perhaps? I recall my father keeping a ledger, and how one of us re-drafted his chequebook record into a lined notebook. I remember the bills, and cheques sorted into neat piles on the diningroom tablecloth. I remember seeing once how on his wages he could support a wife and two kids, a car, a dog or cat and a house, on that was beyond me. I live alone and eat like a poor man and I still would not take a job for less than thirty thousand.
Tomorrow perhaps I will drive up into town and play a tourist photographing this and that. I saw the most marvelous paving of a back parking lot and I must get a photo of it. The lot, the hills, all one uninterrupted wave of asphalt.
Evening – I took half an hour this evening to re-organize my truck. I am not sure what I will do with the forty empty water bottles I removed by I do have plans for the two bottles of Smirnoff. Some citiots have arrived, first they parked and proceeded to cut branches from the tree in their way. Tonight he went down to the river and dragged up two fallen trees while she pulled over wood from a neighbouring campsite. Now he is over there hacking the hell out of things – are they too cheap to buy wood like the rest of us, and not destroy the natural landscape, or are they just ignorant?
I can hear a few coyotes off in the direction past where I took my walk the other day. They sound like they are moving further up hill, maybe near that farm I saw the horses. They are clearly worked up about something, barking, howling and yelping. I can hear three but I am betting there is four or five.
I think they were those damned dogs again near the entry. They sounded so much like a pack of coyotes on the hunt. Yup I need rest.
It is a good thing I pack up at night and sleep in my truck because it rained a lot. I would say at least two or three millimetres which is unusual for a desert-like region. I am taking a few minutes to relax then get dressed, find a washroom and charge my phone.
Morning – I went around town to look for other wood supplies and did not see any so I went back to the gas station. It is threatening to rain but I am defiant and built a fire. With a reserve and a veneer plant it is surprising more people do not sell wood here.
This ‘thriving’ community is not so thriving downtown. I saw at least six businesses closed and up for sale including the lumber store and a historic building built in the eighteen sixties. If I won the sixty million I would buy up most of them, first thing I would do is open a camping supply store in the old lumber store. This town could use a Coghlans/UST supplier, add firewood and make a small garden section and I think I would do very well here.
There is a clear division of wealth in the native community defined by how they keep up their homes. There is also a serious issue of abandoned vehicles on native properties. As many as eight in at least one homestead. It appears they run them into the ground but instead of selling off the wreck for scrap metal they park it in their yard. Perhaps it is some unusual status symbol, I do not know but the landscape and villages would look nicer without them. There’s another business idea, a scrap metal processing yard.
And abandoned buildings, I saw many of them in Lil’wat, N. Quatqya, and Sek’wel’was. We give a lot of money to the native tribes but their leaders squander it and the people suffer. Instead of blaming their leaders they continue to go after the Federal government. They claim that some, like that woman in Ontario, do not speak for them. But the leaders who do are just as corrupt. I do not believe in reserves. I think every native person should have been given one acre of land, and each child native one half acre, then it would be passed down. And there would have to be annual allowances or stipends for them to care for their land. Plus, I would create hunting reserves where ‘tribes of natives’ maintained a village. Perhaps a hundred acres encircling a ‘village’ of twenty-five acres or more.
How can a tribe claim to have ‘sacred land’ or locations on a reserve when reserves were created by the white man following the white man’s dominance of the region? I wonder why the iron rock has never been returned, from the Church, to its rightful place in nature. We covet a rock from space that does not even belong to us. It is clearly a way for the white man to deny the native people their religious practises and beliefs, but seriously this is the twenty-first century, give it back already.
I never even noticed until now, the foothills to the south of town have snow on the top of them. The one has a light covering extending about two hundred metres down from the peak. I am not sure how high the hill is, maybe three thousand metres or more.
Evening – I walked down by the creek late this afternoon. I photographed a heron from only five metres away. The snow remains on the top of the hill a sign that winter has not forgotten Lillooet. I returned to my slumber only to find that the dream had left me. Why did I post to Facebook when I said I would not even use my phone? Because I wanted to share my experience and show my friends there is still more than memes can express of my life. I am more than my Facebook status. I should not continually have to sell myself to be adored, the woman should want to be with me without hesitation or doubt.
Tonight, I am thinking a lot about my time in Nunavut, not in a homesick way though. It is more in a cultural way or a life experience way. The woman who is traveling up and down the coast in her VW van left this morning. I never spoke to her but I wondered if that will be me in twenty years. I do not want to be caged but I do not want to be alone either. I could be and pursue a relationship, built on my past love, but to what end? As I said before and I will say it again I should not have to convince someone to love me. I un-hid my profile on the online dating site I use, it is time to get back into the world again. I am sure that some people will notice I did not delete my profile but you know what – I do not care.
And any town that breeds black widow spiders in the campground washroom is not a town I want to live in. I think the thirty plus degree weather in summer already discouraged me mind you. I am debating moving, I need to prep my dentures but I am comfortable here by the fire. I guess it will only take a couple minutes then I can sit for a while without any obligations.
Night – I will have a confusing time re-adjusting to my life next week. I love being on vacation not because it is an escape but rather because it allows me to look at my life from outside of the box. To ask myself with a level of neutrality “Am I where I want to be at this point in my life?” The answer is not so black and white. I have a good job, a home, savings, a truck that runs, internet, an identity… is a lack of true love the reason my life feels incomplete? I don’t feel the connection with my latest relationship that I did before. I still love her in a way but not in the way on which a meaningful relationship is built. I do not desire to “settle” for her nor would she have me “settle” for her.
My fire is down to embers, the wood boards of the bridge rattle beneath the tires of crossing vehicles, the music continues softly on a distant radio, the water of the nearby creek continues to roar over the rocks making a wind-like whooshing sound, the vehicles rumble and groan and swish past on the highway above, the voices of other campers carry through the darkness. I am more cold than tired and the fire is all but burned down to a pile the size of my hand. I am writing by the light of my lantern and neither it nor the fire provide adequate heat for me to sit out here any longer. I have much to say, but I will do it from the warmth of my truck and sleeping bag.
This week of vacation so far, I have read – “Native Chiefs and Famous Metis” by Holly Quan; “David Thompson” by Elle Andra-Warner; “Hudson’s Bay Company Adventures” by Elle Andra-Warner. Last week I finished “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde; and a week previous “Animal Farm” by George Orwell. I am about to start “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath. So profound and famous and yet she only ever wrote this single novel, curious.
I am waiting on coffee, after half an hour it is almost ready. I ate my MRE in less time than it takes to brew a pot of coffee.
Rain is rare in this area, as the forecast tells of another two to six millimetres of rain expected to come today. It is the most rain they have had in years, following the least snow and low river levels, sounds familiar to me. Between July third and September third in Nordegg we probably had ten full days without rain, that means forty-two days it rained at some level within the day or night. It is a chilly fourteen degrees out right now. I think it must be a couple degrees cooler here in the river valley. It is supposed to be more favourable weather tomorrow with the sun returning for the week.
It took an eternity to brew a pot of coffee, and now, after about twenty minutes my cup is still too hot to drink.
Afternoon – I have ventured to a ridge south of town, below me I can see a hydro canal, cows, and a relatively quiet road. They like to take up space in Lillooet, the residential lots, the commercial, even the structures themselves are spread out to cover much land and appear much larger than they are. The natives live in poor housing but have more money than they appear. Each driveway has at least one or two vehicles and in the one trailer a fifty-inch television set in the window.
When in Nunavut I was given an Inuit name, it was the name given to someone before so I took little value in it. But as I read of the native tribes and their histories I find that it is not a bad thing to be named from another. I saved a piece of cardboard with the name on it, I should include it in here later.
A train with two engines and thirty-four cars in tow is leaving Lillooet Canadian National Railway station. And so, I depart from my perch and return to camp.
Mid Afternoon – I walked up an old road into the south hills. I know the area is called desert-like but that name was proven with the presence of cacti, yes green cactus growing on the hillside. At first, I thought it was my imagination but a second pass by the spot proved it was very real and thriving.
I just realized today that all my receipts were kept safe in the back pocket of my journal, the one I burned to a crisp yesterday.
Evening – The pen burned. It started at the top, fuelled by ink and plastic… blood and body. It burned with an eerie greenness to the flame. It burned as a wick, from top to bottom but unlike a wick the tip was spared until the end. All that remains beneath an undying flame is an oval shaped pool of blackness one can only presume to be the ink. A fitting end, to burn until every drop of blood was given, and then, in the blink of an eye to vanish from existence. The pen is mightier than the sword until it faces fire that is. The pen in flames burns and dies, the sword in flame might bend but it would not end.
I plan to be up late tonight, just as I did last night. Tonight, I have fire and fur and drink; and with that I toss another log on the fire. It is warm but it is vodka just the same. Looking down into the red-hot coals I think I should have saved the cap but it’s too late now. I guess I will have to drink the whole bottle now.
A passing train is creating a strange waterfall noise in the direction of the hill to town. The winds have picked up and ominous gray clouds are approaching our valley. The train whistle sounds off as it snakes its way through the town above.
I am sleeping, in total, about nine hours per night. The walls of my truck block more irritations than expected. I was told that a truck went down the hill early the other morning using its engine brakes. I did not hear a thing. I know that most towns have made it illegal to do so, so they must be quite loud.
I do not understand the moon here. Last night it peeked over the hill and took forever to show itself. Tonight, it started higher in the sky to the left and is slowly making its way back to the point from last night, it’s movements defy logic.
Another train passed just as the first left but it sounds like one of them is still east of the river.
Night – I am sitting here waiting for the coals to die down enough for me to consider it justified in drowning them. I am tired but when I finally do pack it in for the night I fully intend to finish another twenty-five pages of “Dorian Gray” at least.
Later – The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have a truck sitting at the intersection of ninety-nine and the road up to Lillooet. They are either waiting for drunk people to come down the hill from the bar or they are watching the campers here in the valley. A crew camping near the entry were kicked out of three hotels in town for bad behaviour and they have a campfire circle going tonight. I seem to be plagued with health issues when it comes to the lower mid portion of my body. The mystery nerve issue, the thigh nerves issue, weight gain, umbilical hernia, kidney stones, mucus, hemorrhoids, oh and the irritated prostate are all connected to the stress I feel at my current job I think.
A woman in line at the gas station had this indescribable ‘fresh’ scent about her, I’m not sure what it was but it was nice standing near her. I have never sensed such a refreshing scent on a woman before. I should have had the balls and just asked her, it would not be the first time I did something potentially embarrassing and personal.
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