Monday, October 5, 2015

When Was The Last Time You Were Phubbed?

 I've long been interested in language, communication, social skills, and inter-personal  relationships. Here's a new word in the on line Zeitgeist. Phubbing describes those of us who are preoccupied, and are more interested in our phones, and ignore communicating with the person(s) who we are with, face to face, in the flesh. It means you've been snubbed by a person using a cell phone.

 I have been phubbed a few times. Usually I directly address it when this happens and pose the question, why they won't put their phone down. Sometimes they put the phone down, but aren't long getting back at it again. It doesn't leave you with a very good feeling when you are ignored or phubbed. You've been usurped by a phone, an inanimate object.

There was a time, many years ago, when cell phones were first coming onto the scene, that I did have one. But between the expense, and seeing how easy I could become addicted to these communication devices. I then stopped using it and haven't had one since, and I like it that way. I prefer a slower communication.

Computers and the internet in general are addictive and internet addiction is very real, especially if you have addictive tendencies, or personality. There have been recent studies on this which statistically show a high percentage of folks are doing damage to their relationships and it is adding to feelings of depression, because it is hurtful to others, when they are being ignored by those who are constantly on their phone, and seem to prefer this kind of on line communication.

This isn't rocket science, and we don't need another word to point this out. It's just plain and simple rudeness.

I'm certainly not anti computers, nor am I against cell phones. I'm pro real face to face communication and positive inter-personal relationships with one another that is respectful and loving.

If you are lost and fearful without being connected to your phone you're probably a phubber, or just plain rude.

Friday, October 2, 2015


Just getting over a real bad cold and with the change of the season, which is usually a sad time for me, I'm very happy to be having started on this day a new blog. It's called Eudemonia. In Greek it's spelled Eudaimonia, and means happiness. Oh goody. I could certainly use some happiness. Not that I'm unhappy, but prior to 21 years ago I came to the realization I am the only one responsible for my own happiness and ever since then that's what I have been doing. If I am happy I feel successful yes, however happiness is complex, and much more than feeling.

My blogs correlate, and also directly or indirectly relate to happiness. So I figure happiness is the perfect theme, and subject of this brand new blog that I have been wanting to write. If anyone had told me years ago that I would be writing three blogs I could've never imagined taking on this kind of commitment.

Writing is a disciplined commitment like any art, and I do it because I love it, whether it is long hand or online. I learn a lot about my inner and outer world through the writing process, and it gives my world order, plus it's real cheap therapy.

 " Success doesn't come from what you do occasionally, it comes from what you do consistently."

The idea for this blog started incubating in my mind a while back. I had no idea what it was going to be about.
Creativity and synchronicity work hand in hand I believe, and when all things intersect at the right time, shit happens, good shit. It might not seem so good at the time, but some how seems to work out, without awareness or even knowing it. Mistakes and crappy things are all part of the mix that go into a  new creation. Trusting that muse, and creative guardian spirit is crucial.

This word eudemonia  is a beauty, and I can only imagine if it were to be anthropomorphized, what might take the form of a water being that shape shifts and powerful energy flows into everything.

Of course happiness is different or similar for every individual. Perhaps it can be reading a good book with a good friend over a cup of tea in the garden, or the beauty and bounty of nature. The simple pleasures often provide the most happiness. Primarily for me happiness is pleasure, and finding gratitude in these simple pleasures.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

You Got Me Singing Take It With Me

 I heard Tom Waits Take It With Me last week on Bruce Cockburn's My Play List, a really neat CBC radio program that features musicians and their own personal playlist of their favourite music, and what it means to them. l've been a long time fan of Bruce Cockburn since I was about 16 years old, and the same with Tom Waits. I've had the great pleasure of seeing both of them in concert. Take It With Me expresses the feelings most of us have about our memories of life, and love.

 The one other artist I also put into that category of consummate poets and philosophers, is Leonard Cohen,  and whom I would dearly love to see live.

 The changing of the seasons, like from Summer into Fall, brings up a sadness in my soul that comes to the surface because of the losses I have had in my life, and I think about people, places and the events in the past, that live deeply in the memories of my heart. We all experience times like this in our lives. Music and words can touch the soul so deeply, and be a healing balm to a troubled soul.

I was profoundly touched by this particular Ideas broadcast entitled Global Migration and Finding Home with Pico Iyer, that includes Leonard Cohen's beautiful song, You Got Me Singing. I love what Pico had to say about Leonard.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Informed Creative Leaders

 I've been without my internet for three days and finally got it back this afternoon. I felt lost not being able to write my blogs. So I played Solitaire and Pin Ball. I'm not sure this helped with my creativity, but it was a good distraction from my frustration.

 My technical problem was a simple matter of not knowing one of the cables to my router had been accidentally disconnected, and then I re-connected it, but didn't do this correctly.

 Thank goodness for computer technicians. Sometimes as artists we can feel like technophobes and just don't 'get' technology, and this can be frustrating, which I think is a good thing really. When we come up against a technological problem as a creative person, most of us see this as a creative challenge to solve.

 There may just as well, be technologists that feel they don't 'get' art. This got me thinking about art and technology. There are those of us creative types that believe, and know that there is a complimentary balance between art and technology. The kind of interdependent balance that Robert Persig talks about in his book Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

I found this video of John Maeda's TED talk about how art, technology, and design inform creative leaders to be very insightful.
To me creativity is not so much about the finding the answers to our questions, but more about the questions we ask along the way, during the creative process.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Disposable Youth - Henry Giroux

Henry Giroux's Spur lecture given in Toronto Ontario, and based on his book Disposable Youth he speaks emphatically of the crisis within North American society that has an ever increasing philosophy of a punitive police state, more concerned with controlling youth, as opposed to understanding.

This is the second time I have listened to Henry Giroux speak on the CBC Ideas program. It is even more compelling to me now, considering the present state of the world. I have grievous thoughts about the kind of future legacy being left for our children and the future that is ahead for them.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Rare Breed

Canadian Heritage Horse - Oil on Canvas - Catherine Meyers, 2010

I was excited to hear an interview this morning about Canada's National Heritage Horse being featured at North America's longest running Agricultural Fair in Nova Scotia, the Hants County Exhibition, which first exhibition began 250 years ago.

The Canadian Horse was in Canada before we were actually a country. It is still endangered as it's numbers have declined. Canada owes so much to this rare breed in the establishment of our great country Canada.I have been a passionate fan of our Canadian Heritage Horse since I first found out about it in 1994. 

The video I have included is of Lacey, that belonged to Pat Garland at Cosyland Farms, and demonstrates the beauty and majesty of the breed. One of the best I have seen.Very sadly Lacey is no longer alive, and Pat's breeding farm was sold as were her beautiful horses.

In the past I've loved making the Canadian Horse my subject matter for my oil paintings because I am so passionate about the what is affectionately called The Little Iron Horse, due to it's endurance, legs of steel, good confirmation, intelligence, being an easy keeper, and gentle loving nature.

 The industrialization of agriculture has helped in lowering the cost of food, however the cost is much greater now, being the consequence of extinction of many breeds in livestock and animals.
 In order to protect the future of our entire planet, we must honour, preserve and protect our rare breeds and all animals within our world and delicate eco-systems.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wade Davis " Catalogues of Culture "

Wade Davis

I've been listening to Wade Davis on a number of the CBC Radio Ideas program. So practically educated and visionary, he has so much to say about culture, language, and story telling. He states politicians follow, but story telling changes the world. The Catalogues of Culture lecture I think is the best I have heard. It is so rich the depth and breath of wisdom I'll listen to it again.