‘Did you wallk?’ Camp asked when I took my seat at our usual table at our seaside watering hole. 

‘Yes, the weather is perfect, like July, and the shoreline walk to Gibsons Harbour never loses its magic. There is that smoky haze though, like a silky shroud, covering the firmament. It’s probably the smoke from the Alberta fires. Not a good harbinger.

Camp nodded but would not be deterred from his point of interest for the day. ‘I’ve come across an interesting little item the other day,’ Camp said. ‘Astronomers have witnessed the largest explosion in space. AT2021lwx, as they labelled it, was observed to be ten times brighter than any known supernova, the explosions that occur as massive stars die. This large explosive event has been raging for at least three years and is also  

three times brighter than the light that is emitted as stars are devoured by supermassive black holes. The blast is around 8 billion light-years from Earth and thus occurred when the universe was just 6 billion years old.’ 

            ‘I can’t even imagine anything that long ago, that big and that far away,’ I said, shaking my head and you’re talking to a guy who can’t tell when the moon is waning or waxing.’

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Optimist’s Club Creed

This moral compass or mantra is hanging in a cheap IKEA frame in in my bathroom and I look at it every time I sit down. I don’t always read it but the other day I made a point of it and I thought it would make a good post. Something for everybody. A reminder of what human beings are capable off. The good part. The part that makes good neighbours, good friends, good politicians. No, maybe that’s one too far. Humans are equipped with extraordinary sensory equipment and instincts. If they would only listen to themselves. Stand still and listen.

Promise yourself…

  • To be strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind
  • To talk health, happiness, prosperity to every person you meet
  • To make all your friends feel that there is something of value in them
  • To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true
  • To think only the best, to work only for the best and to expect the best
  • To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own
  • To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future
  • To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile
  • To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others
  • To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear and too happy to permit presence of trouble

‘Those are lofty sentiments,’ Camp said when I showed him the Creed. ‘How is that working out for you so far?’

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Weed vs Booze

‘Camp I know you’ve indulged in the wacky tobacco when you were young and carefree. How much do you smoke these days or is alcohol your poison of choice?’

            ‘First of all neither beer nor weed are poisons. I don’t smoke the stuff anymore because I like my lungs to operate on air and save my throat for swallowing but I do indulge in a brownie or a home baked cookie once in a while.’

            ‘What? To get high or just for the fun of it?’

            ‘Mostly to help me sleep but I have to admit the music sounds better after a cookie.’

            ‘Where do you get the cookies or brownies?’

            ‘My neighbour grows 4 plants, the allowable limit per household in BC, and has become very innovative and creative in getting the most out of her garden produce. She also makes pot-honey. One teaspoon in a cup of tea before bed does wonders for us insomniacs. What about you? You used to smoke the stuff. Remember the lids of Mexican weed, the Thai sticks or hash from the Hindukush?’         

            ‘Well, yes, that was when I thought I’d live forever. These days beer is king and wine is the queen.’

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As soon as I sat down, Camp had news for me. Not good news, just some numbers and figures. ‘For 33 days, the global average temperature at the sea surface has not fallen below 21 degrees, according to data from the American National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This has never happened since satellite records began in 1981,’ he said.  ‘Usually, a period of cooling begins from mid-March. Now we are at the end of April, and there are still no signs of a drop in temperature.’

‘Well, around here it’s still rather cool, too cold to swim for me.’

He ignored me. ‘Here is another interesting stat. ‘So far this year the world population has increased by 22 million people, about the population, of Ontario (15mio), Alberta (4.5mio) and BC (5mio) together. All that in just 4 months.’ 

‘Ok, so what you’re saying is the world and the oceans are warming up; there are millions of more people who all want more stuff and the world isn’t getting any bigger.‘

‘You got the gist,’ Camp said, leaning back in his chair. ‘We’re fucked.’

‘I want to point out to you that all is not lost. The trees are budding, the spring flowers are blooming, the seeds are sprouting and our garden looks the best ever. That is a project we can do something about and I’ll be damned if I just sit around and think about the demise of the human project. Moping in gloom and doom is not a healthy mental condition and is mostly the territory of old people. And I’m not old, just older.’

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Built to Fail

‘This has to be the wettest April ever,’ Camp complained as soon as we were seated. ‘Mind you people read books when they can’t go outside. And the ducks are happy.’

    ‘My washing machine broke down, meaning the machine sounded like it was full of chains instead of laundry. I spent the next few hours trying to find out what’s wrong, how to fix it and how much it would cost.’

      ‘Let me guess: You couldn’t find a tecky in Gibsons, the problem could be fatal for the machine and parts could be weeks away and the cost prohibitive,’ Camp said.

        ‘How did you know? I spoke to a rep for two hours until he asked me for my zip code at which point he confessed that his branch office did not service Canada. A sad waste of time. Next, I watched some U-Tube clips about fixing my specific washer problem and how to solve it. Turns out that the machine is built to fail, after about ten years. An aluminium part next to a stainless steel drum which is frequently full of water. There is such a thing as galvanic corrosion which happens when the metals are exposed to a liquid like water. Really? Electricity is conducted between the stainless-steel cathode and the aluminum anode. It’s a washing machine for chrissake!  Something the makers of these machines are perfectly aware of. My machine is only six years old.’

        ‘Spacex is building a new Starship since the first one exploded shortly after takeoff. Musk calls it a success. Think about that! I suppose you’re buying a new washing machine?’

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Hammer and Nail

We’ve had a very wet and cold Easter Weekend here on the Westcoast and Quebec has just had the worst ice storm in recent memory that knocked out power for over a million people, including Montreal. Sitting in our usual spot in the heated pub this doesn’t feel like spring at all yet. ‘Give me back Mexico,’ I said to Camp taking off my rain-soaked jacket.

Camp raised a quizzical eyebrow. ‘Here is a quote I read: With a hammer in hand, everything looks like a nail. With a gun in hand, everything looks like a potential target. Add a uniform to go with the gun, everything looks like an actual target. It’s about the Mexican Military taking control of the country. AMLO (Andrés Manuel Lopéz Obrador)dissolved the federal police and handed civilian security over to the military. There is no more civilian oversight and Mexico is turning into a military dictatorship. They build airports, resorts, run the railroads and the lucrative customs; they manage themselves and act with impunity and the blessing of their misguided president.

‘Doesn’t surprise me,’ I said.  ‘He’s an admirer of Ortega, Castro and Chavez and even went hat in hand to El Chapo’s mother in Sinaloa. When video surfaced of his brother accepting bags of cash or his son living in a mansion in Houston, he blames the media.’

‘He is a populist who believes in amulets and spells and his ‘hugs instead of bullets’ gospel did not curb Mexico’s rampant violence,’ Camp said raising his pint.

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‘You rent out your cottage as an Airbnb?’ Camp asked me. I had barely sat down.

“Yeah, we’ve done it for 15 years, first as a B&B and we were part of an association here on the coast which in time got replaced by the no-brainer easy-as-pie Airbnb. They do everything: reservations, bookkeeping, correspondence, peer-reviews, collect and payout the money and arbitrate in case of trouble. They are really a fantastic service.’

‘Considering it started as a couch surfing app. Yes, they have become the most successful millennial organisation. They are so successful; they’ve created a monster and like all monsters it needs to be tamed.’

‘You’re referring to the latest rules and regulations here in lovely Gibsons town?’

‘Yes, and I would like to have your valuable input,’ Camp said, sitting back.

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Too Big

Camp was already parked in his seat by the window in our seaside pub, focused on his small screen like a teenager. Maybe his bookstore is financed by Credit Suisse?

‘Hey Camp what do you think of the implosion and subsequent acquisition by its rival of one of Switzerland’s and indeed the world largest banks? Was Credit Suisse Too big to fail?’

‘That’s an oxymoron right there my friend. It should be: too big to function, too big to trust, too big to protect, too big to be responsible. As it turns out the Swiss taxpayers are on the hook for billions of dollars of unconditional bailout money and guarantees.’

‘You nailed it: Too big to trust. On the other hand, I have to trust my bank teller who knows everything about my financial situation at the click of a mouse. They know more than my family and sometime even myself, like: Are you aware that your account is overdrawn or your term deposit needs to be renewed?’

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World on Fire

Camp is away in the big city today for a book event. My chance for a monologue. Every day when I wake up my phone dings and beeps with depressing news flashes on the one side and quirky WhatsApp messages on the other side, plus emails, more daily news, bills and the odd personal note. Depending on how I feel I thumb first through the humorous stuff, add my smilies, thumbs-ups or hearts, then move on to the calamities of the day. Today: A mass shooting in a Jehova Witness temple in Hamburg; intense missile attacks rain down on Ukraines infrastructure; Tiktok app banned from all Canadian and British government phones; visa denied to Chinese diplomat on security grounds and on and on. The best one was a new book by Trump: Dear Donald, a collection of letters from politicians and celebrities. Everybody apparently loves Donald. 

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The Canadian Way

Camp and I talked about differences between Canadians and Europeans and I told him a story that highlighted the polite nature, sometimes painfully so, against the cut and dry and pragmatic central European way. 

 ‘If a Canadian wants to have a day off, say Friday, they will write an email that reads something like this:

            Hi Jack (presumably they are on first name terms) Sorry to bother you. How are you and your family? Did you have a nice vacation back East and how is Fluffy, your adorable poodle?

            ‘I hope I’m not imposing on your time but due to my cousin Erin having had a baby and her husband being away on a work commitment, I promised to help her out next weekend. Due to this ‘family situation’ I want to ask you a big favour. Could I take next Friday off? I’ll make sure that Bernice will cover me and nobody would be inadvertently affected. I hope that works for you and please let me know if that’s possible. Sincerely, Yours Truly.’

            ‘Ok, I get it, too much information. Too much blah, blah. What’s the Swiss way?’

            ‘Here It is: Hi Jack, I need to have Friday off. Thanks, YT’

            Camp laughed and said: You missed something in the Canadian way. Where and when does Yours Truly apologize for nothing? Like: I’m so sorry Jack but I hope I’m not imposing…

            We both took a sip from our brews and contemplated the different ways of the world. ‘I remember my French friend during his first time in Vancouver. We got on the bus and the driver said a polite: How are you?  Pierre looked at the driver taken aback. ‘Why do you care how am I?’

            ‘Even strangers used to say a polite hello, when they passed each other. Today not so much. And thanks to Covid we even step aside when we encounter somebody coming towards us, as if in passing we could infect each other. Mind you, I find Canadians on the whole a very friendly and polite bunch and I’d rather be known for being too friendly and too polite than a curt pragmatist or a snob or loud and uncouth.’

            ‘May I ask you a personal question Camp?’

            ‘Are you being sarcastic now? Trying to be a super-Canadian?’

            ‘I just want to know if you feel like a Canadian or an Irishman? You are after all from good old Irish stock, aren’t you?’

            ‘I feel like myself, most of the time, not fitting some label or stereotype. I’ve been known to be abrupt and short fused but that’s just me, neither Irish nor Canadian. How about you? Are you Swiss or Canadian?’

            ‘I’m a hybrid,’ I said, ‘mostly friendly and polite but I don’t say I’m sorry, every time I want to ask a question and I try to be exact and to the point and on time which is an exact measurement not a fluid and flexible commodity, like some other people think. And I don’t start sentences with ‘if’ or ‘when’ and I don’t answer questions like: ‘What time is the ferry today?’ with” ‘I think…” I either know the time or not.’

            ‘Point taken but Canadians are usually on time except they make sure as in: Oh, I’m sorry, I hope I’m not late.’

            ‘Sorry to bother you two. How are we all doing? Ready for another one?’ Vicky asked and we both said in stereo. ‘Yes please?’ She gave us a funny look but then she knows us by now.


‘Camp isn’t it ironic that we’re living the most comfortable lives of any generation since the beginning of time. We are the most mobile, the technically, medically, socially and financially most advanced, the best fed, pampered and educated of any species ever to wander this planet. and yet, here it comes: we are not happy and the future looks shaky.’

‘I could say something silly like the future always looked rocky, as in the middle-ages, as in the depth of a world war, as in the middle of an earth quake. But you’re right, Instead of a natural disaster, we’re on a path to self-destruction. We are so successful and ingenious that we’ve introduced problems that we have neither the political will nor the resources to solve. Ronald Wright outlined this brilliantly in his 2004 book: A Short History of Progress, a series of Massey lectures about societal collapse.’

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STOP (The War)

Today is the sad anniversary of the Russian invasion of its neighbour, the Ukraine. Eight million refugees spread mostly across Europe and an equal number internally displaced, mostly women and children. The majority of those who fled do not want to go back. Life in places like Switzerland and Germany seems a lot safer then back home and the war is far from over. 

            ‘But the Ukrainians need their people to return and rebuild,’ I said.

            ‘All this talk of rebuilding is futile when the Russian army and the brutal Wagner group are still destroying towns, infra structure and killing people with impunity and no respect for any international agreements nor basic human rights.’

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Instead of my usual conversation with Camp I am posting this article below. It appeared in the Tagesanzeiger, a Swiss newspaper and they encourage sharing. You can also find it in the Guardian. It’s real news. It’s an eyeopener but not unexpected in this manipulative new age of electronic communication where AI avatars are about to replace real people and The News is an electronic soap box, accessible to anybody with the tools and some skills.  As you can see from the article below, manipulation is everywhere. Scary? You bet. Real? Absolutely? Effective? You’ll be the judge? 

Destabilize a democracy? Team Jorge does it for 6 million

The suspicion: A secret troupe hacks politicians and manipulates elections for money. For proof, three reporters visit the group’s command center in Israel, disguised as customers and with hidden cameras. Ein Recherche-Krimi.

Cécile Andrzejewski, Bastian Obermayer, Frederik Obermaier, Oliver Zihlmann

Published today at 05:00

Jorge greets the undercover journalists who pose as potential clients – and then the Israeli shows what his team can do: With a hidden camera in the headquarters of the election manipulators.

His name is Jorge. Or George. Actually, he has no name, says the man in the blue shirt. “That’s who we are. We are nothing. We are air.”

It’s towards the end of 2022. Jorge is sitting in a desolate office in the industrial area of the Israeli city of Modiin. Here, between a scribbled whiteboard and a screen, he receives customers to offer his product: “Suppression of voter turnout”, for example, is written in English in a PowerPoint presentation of his company.

It is a kind of “manipulation AG”, but it is not in any company register. No wonder, because it also offers services such as the “disruption” of elections or “accusations” of political opponents.

Jorge and his partners are Israeli ex-agents. The office is part of their command center. They laughingly talk about how they hack politicians, in which countries they have already been active, how they proceed, what it all costs. They talk casually, because they think they have new customers in front of them. In reality, they are undercover journalists of a research team, equipped with a hidden camera. In total, they record six hours in exchange with Team Jorge.

Any politician, any country in the world, including Switzerland, can be the target of an attack: “Jorge” at the meeting in Israel.

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I told Camp about a recent conversation I had at the post office the other day with a woman I’ve known for years but never really had any interaction with. We were both waiting in line. I said something about Biden shooting down the Chinese balloon, trying to make small talk. I was not ready for the unusual response. It went something like this: ‘You do know that Biden is dead and the guy you see in the news and on TV is an actor, put there by the deep state.’

            I didn’t know how to respond to that. ‘Where did you get that information?’

            ‘I do my own research since the media cannot be trusted.’

            ‘Research? Like scientific, peer reviewed and fact checked?’

            ‘Don’t tell me you’re sucked into that science crap. You know it’s all mumbo jumbo to hide their real agenda.’

            ‘Which is?

            ‘Taking over the world and making us all into obedient slaves without any personal freedoms.’

            I tried to humour her and said: ‘Like making us believe the earth is flat and the cosmos does not exist.’

            ‘Exactly,’ she said in a conspiratorial tone with her eyes darting around like looking for enemies in the jungle, except we were in the post office.

            I thought I had made a joke but it was obviously more serious than that, telling by her haughty look. ‘Ok, but you are aware that we are all here on our own free will, say, read and watch what we want, move about and go where and when we like,’ I said.

            At that point it was her turn at the counter which was the end of the conversation. After she was done, she marched out, without another word.

            ‘Lucky you,’ Camp said.  ‘At least she left.

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Rich and Poor

              ‘A new report by Oxfam says that since 2020, or over the span of the pandemic, the richest 1% of people have accumulated close to two-thirds of all new wealth created around the world.’

              ‘No surprise there,’ Camp said. ‘The rich get richer and the poor stay poor.’

              ‘According to the report the pace at which wealth is being created has sped up, as the world’s richest 1% amassed around half of a new wealth over the past ten years. Gabriela Bucher, executive director of Oxfam International, called for taxes to be increased for the ultra-rich, saying that this was a “strategic precondition to reducing inequality and resuscitating democracy.”

              ‘Tell that to the new US Congress,’ Camp said. ‘They want to reduce spending on social and health programs and give the rich and corporations another tax break.’

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Drink Up

As the rainy winter drags on and outside activity comes to a soggy standstill, the only fun times seem to be the frequent ‘happy hours’ with friends and neighbours; a glass of wine or a drink in hand, kicking back and telling tall tales and regurgitating memories and old stories. Our weekly Thirsty Thursday meet at the local waterfront pub falls into that category. I wouldn’t want to give it up nor would it be the same with a cup of tea instead of a cold, golden lager. 

‘You must have heard that the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction published a real spoiler last week, recommending that Canadians limit themselves to just two drinks a week – and ideally cut alcohol altogether.‘

‘Indeed, I’ve heard and read all about this shift towards prohibition funded by Health Canada. The previous guidelines issued in 2011 recommended 10 drinks a week for women and 15 drinks a week for men. Talk about a double standard.’

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       I told Camp that I read an interview about a group of researchers at Harvard that had been studying the same 724 men from Boston for over 80 years. They have been observing and interviewing the study participants since 1938, since they were teenagers. One of the boys was future President John F. Kennedy. 40 of the men are still alive today, now around 100 years old. These researchers began studying their children and grandchildren decades ago and eventually included their spouses as well.
          ‘I hope some interesting conclusions can be drawn from this long observation span, I’m sure.’ Camp said. ‘Did they figure out what makes a good life? The key to happiness? Can you be happy without your own family? Is it possible to escape a difficult childhood and still live contentedly?’  
‘Robert Waldinger, the current director of the study supplied some answers in the interview. Strangely, they all struck me as common sense and I didn’t really learn anything that I didn’t know already. Like the conclusions that a healthy diet, a comfortable median income, stable relationships and nurturing friendships all make for a happier life than one of addiction, unhealthy eating habits, poverty, estrangement from family and friends. Apparently, stress, be it existential like wobbly jobs and marriages or poverty makes for an unhappier life than a stable existence surrounded by loved ones.’               
‘Really?’ Camp said, somewhat cynical.  ‘How about the fact that money doesn’t buy happiness but financial security buys peace of mind, resulting in less stress. It took all those resources and brainiacs to come to these conclusions?’               ‘Well yes Camp, I thought the same thing. Guess what, one of the happiest participants wasn’t the richest or the most successful but a teacher who lived a life full of compassion for his pupils and his family, always putting the community ahead of personal needs and finding satisfaction and happiness in the achievement of others under his tutelage or within his realm of influence.’                ‘Ok, I get it. A windfall from a lottery ticket or a goal in a soccer match gives one a burst of happiness that lasts a short time but when a pupil graduates and thanks the teacher or when a charitable involvement results in the betterment of the recipients, that kind of satisfaction goes a lot further. What astonished me is that it took dozens of academics, psychiatrists and psychologists over 80 years to come to these conclusions when they could have just asked themselves.’        
  ‘Kind of reminds me of a story about this hermit who after many decades of meditation finally mastered how to walk on water. ‘For a few coins you could have taken the ferry, the buddha is known to have said to the pious sage.’        
  ‘Ok, so the key to happiness is: help those around you, reciprocate and nurture the love of your friends and family, be humble and fair and enjoy the life you have.’          ‘You’re now sounding like some wise guy. Just enjoy the beer, the pristine vistas and the company you have. That includes Vicky who just happens to be on her game today,’ Camp said with an appreciative nod to our server’s perfect timing with two fresh frosty mugs.           

Weather and Politics

‘In with the new year, much like the old year.’ I said as I sat down across from Camp, We were the only two guests on this soggy and glum winter day. 

‘You’re right, not even the weather changed,’ Camp said. ‘Have you noticed how people in Canada constantly check their weather apps, several times a day, looking for improvement when the rest of the world just stick their head out the door or window?’

‘I do it as well, just to confirm that what I’m looking at is actually true. The weather is much like politics: unreliable, unpredictable and subject to change.’

‘A new congress in the US, hijacked by a fistful of fanatics from the extreme fringe, promises cold and chilly winds coming from the right. It seems to me that wherever you look, from Brazil to Israel, from the US to Alberta, a militant, fascist minority impose their ideology and agenda onto the majority by way of political blackmail, and siege tactics and propaganda built on lies and conspiracy theories,’ Camp ranted.

‘And what is their agenda really?’ I said and didn’t have to wait long for an answer from my friend.’ 

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Year End Rituals

            Once again, we’re moving into the season where schools close, year-end reviews permeate the airwaves and print media, the weather turns nasty and the many coloured lights come on lighting up neighbourhoods, trees and even construction cranes in the city. It’s supposed to be a time for reflection, taking account of the past year, and making personal resolutions for the year to come. Or not. 

This is also the time of year where families gather despite the difficult travel and weather conditions, presents are exchanged – or not – and foodbanks need all the donations they can gather. To be homeless at this time of year is multiplied by the fact that those unfortunate enough to have no home, most likely have no family and few friends they can count on. In other words, this time of year exacerbates their predicament. The rich are richer and the poor are poorer. Glamorous parties are the counterpoint to long lineups at the foodbank and the soup kitchens. 

Children at this time of year are excited with all the lights, the feverish shopping of the parents, being out of school, the cookies and the anticipation of presents. Of course, there are the religious celebrations, the enactment of romantic stories about a poor, homeless couple with a new born fleeing persecution and finding shelter in a stable full of animals. This of course has no resemblance to the homeless down on their luck in our inner cities, living in tents and makeshift shelters.  No temples and cathedrals are going to be built in their honour. 

We’re in Mexico where the decorations and religious rituals are taken to another level and town squares are turned into magical fantasy sets replete with over life sized straw animals. Aztek warriors with splendid plumage on their heads and fisher folk casting imaginary nets are joined by indigenous dancers and of course, always eclipsed by a large and splendidly decorated tree. Church-bells are ringing at the oddest times and fireworks go off most every night. 

Many Mexicans still live in extended family households where everybody joins in keeping the family unit functioning and together. Old people are cared for within the household, babies and toddlers are looked after within the family and those who work and earn, share and participate. This includes those who have to go afar, to the US or Canada, to make a meagre living in order to send some money home. We don’t see many homeless here. Yes, there are street people but most of them have something to sell, a few fruits or vegetables or some other products like honey or simple weavings or a small basket made of pine needles. Yes, the weather is warmer here than in Vancouver at this time of year and nobody freezes to death. Yesterday there was an event in the decorated plaza that advertised itself as ‘Nobody goes cold’ with various musicians playing for donations of blankets and warm clothes. By the end of the day a large pile of ponchos, blankets, hoodies, jackets and sweaters was collected to be distributed to those in need. A sense of communality is evident by the crowds gathering every day to just walk and look at the lights and sights whereas at home we are mostly enclosed in our homes or the malls. Not much outdoor life at this time of year.

To end the year and start a new one is part of the cyclic nature of our lives and closing rituals are an essential part and they help us release and let go of the past, good or bad; it’s a time to think about the future and what’s yet to come. We all have the three ghosts of Dickens tale, the past, the present and the future and all together they make up who we are and the things we’ve done and have yet to do. 

Do we have a reason to celebrate and make merry? I suppose it depends on your situation. Personally, I don’t really care about the rituals of this season – bah-humbug – but I enjoy the lights, the food and the gatherings. I‘m thinking of my friend who is dying; I’m  thinking of my niece and her fragile, new baby; I’m thinking of our neighbours and friends who enrich our lives and how fortunate we are to have each other.

Feliz Navidad

Good News

I walked briskly along the waterfront just when the light was fading and only the sugar-coated north shore mountains where still lit by the dipping sun. I was early and waited for Camp who showed up in an unusual good mood. ‘What’s up? I asked.

            ‘I had a record day of sales today. Maybe people got wound up with all this Black Friday and Cyber Monday hype, making them feel like they missed something. Also, more people are reading books this time of year when it gets dark so soon and they’re stuck inside.

 ‘Did you have any black Friday sales?’

 ‘You’re kidding right. How about ‘Free Books Tomorrow’ or ‘Buy two Books for only one Bill.’

            ‘Talking about books; I’m reading ‘Human Kind’ by Rutger Bregman, I’m sure you know it. It’s a hopeful history of our species and full of positive stories about how disaster and wars bring out the best in us, not the worst as so many want us to believe, from old philosophers like Hobbes to anthropologists like Chagnon, to today’s tabloids and news outlets.’

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