It’s Only Just Begun!!!

That’s it! One year!

Today is a year’s mark in a personal project and performance piece entitled, More Or Less. What a journey! I am going to try my best to break it down for you all in some paragraphs so that you and I can both understand the implications of uniforming a year, simplifying a year and letting go of options to gain.

So, first things first, the outfit.

Thank you Source, Nudie Jeans, My Pakage, Kirkland and Gravity Pope for the quality goods. I wore Nudie Jeans, Kirkland black T’s, Source black hoodies, My Pakage underwear and Vans shoes. There were some clauses in the outfit in case of funerals and weddings. Luckily, no funerals and happily, one wedding. I chose an outfit that I thought was timeless, clean and true to my style. Being one who enjoys a classic look, I took to the form of comfort and style that suited my life; the art, the motorcycles, the traveling and the day to day wear and tear of an active guy. I will say that most all of those I ran into this year had no idea of the project or the fact that I wore the same thing everyday, even with an extensive blog connected from a well built website and video. Crazy huh? I think there is just too much going on every day for this type of thing to stick out; “Same Gear, One Year” and it mattered very little in the end. It felt really good, though. Everyday became a no brainer. Simple. I got more time and more peace out of life this past year.

On to the attire though and the wear…

Tops.

All 3 of my black Source hoodies held up and maintained their shape, fit, comfort and color. I was impressed. The 2 button-up shirts from the Source were only worn about 5-10 times, as were the Krew shorts, which I previously owned. Great quality and fit there on all the pieces! Thank you!

My 12 black Kirkland brand t-shirts from Costco held up really well and retained their shape and color, also. I cut two of the shirts into tank tops and the others I left alone. I love the Kirkland T’s and stand by their quality!

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Bottoms.

Well, as mentioned, I only wore the shorts in Toronto during my friend, Darcy’s, wedding. The humidity out there with the heat made for the denim to be very uncomfortable. It reminded me of Thailand humidity. Weird. That being said, I may have seen 5-10 days in those shorts. My white legs would testify to that truth! It also looks really funny wearing shorts on a Harley, so I don’t see that changing too much this summer. I did purchase a pair of swimming shorts while in Toronto because it was improper to wear those other ones into the pool with my belt and all. I am glad I had the option while in Toronto. It’s hot there in the summer…like shower 3 times a day, hot.

Nudie, Nudie Nudie! I believe these jeans were intro’d to Holt Renfrew in Fall 2005. I bought my first pair of Regular Ralfs there and sure enough, through years of work and proper promotion of the brand, they are now a very common look. I really enjoy the Average Joe fit, though it may be out of production now. It is a classic cut and I like classic; straight leg, not too wide or baggy and with a proper rise. I had some choices in the field of denim, especially looking into cult denim, but this company had me impressed from their intro to Canada years ago, so it was them I went with. The dark, raw denim in the Average Joe along with the black tops were a great choice for a year long look! As with all selvage denim, I mark my inner pockets with the start date and finish date, or rather, first wash date. I had two pair of Joes for this project and I will show each below, as they look today.

Pair 1.

Nudie Average Joe. 32 x34. Dry Dirt Organic. Start date: March 28 – August 1, rest period, February 7 – March 13, for a total of 160 straight days wear before 1st wash. Total washes to date: 1 (on March 13, 2013). Rolled up cuff wore through around 60 days. Crotch blew out at about 110 days. Pockets wore through around the same time. Seat of denim is wearing through quite strong at the moment. Major patching was done by myself and by Wai’s Alterations. Iron-on patches are coming off real quickly.

Pair1MOLP

Pair 2.

Nudie Average Joe. 32 x34. Dry Dirt Organic. Start date: August 2 – February 6, for a total of 188 straight days wear before 1st wash. Total washes to date: 1 (on Febraury 7, 2013). Rolled up cuff wore through around 50 days. Crotch blew out at about 100 days. Pockets wore through around the same time. Seat of denim is wearing through more than Pair 1. Major patching by myself and by Wai’s Alterations. Paint marks both pair, as well a two hoodies and a few T’s.

Pair2MOLP

All in all, Nudie denim is a great line with great fits. The quality of denim is good. Thank you Zac for the hook up and for supporting the cause. Thank you Nudie for making such a great fit, look and function through your denim.

Footwear.

Well, Vans, you did good! Frye and Timberland, you both did well, also. The Vans Vault Sk8-Hi black leather shoes held up really well. I actually just started wearing pair number 2 on April 12th, after my return from Portland. Pair number 1 were in bad shape after wearing them most of the year. I switched up into my Timberland boots after summer. The Frye Harness, which I’ve owned pre-project, did not work too well in the winter with all the taking 0n and taking off, as well as grip. I love those boots though, and sure enough, have already resoled them once and will have them for plenty of years to come. The Timberlands, though in good shape, did not hold up to the test of smell and sure enough, I left them in the alley after my trip to Portland. I could not bear the scent any longer. I am actually really excited to wear other shoes and boots.

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Speaking of soles, or rather, souls…

It is nice to say I have committed to the year of discipline as you’ve all just witnessed. Whether your attention waned or whether you followed throughout, the fact that I did this makes me smile. Did it move my soul? Did it give me more time for the things that mattered? Did my art change? Did my outlook on materialism change? I set out a list of hope-to’s in the FAQ section of the site, so I’ll try to give an account of the year through some answers listed below.

What do you hope to accomplish in this year?

  • I hope to grow as an individual and as an artist.

Did I grow? As an individual, I feel I grew in the knowledge of my surroundings and current state of affairs. I found myself wondering about the machine we live, that being the need to consume and over-consume. I grew in my understanding of my feelings toward judging others by how they look or what they wear and found myself more accepting, less focused on the outward appearance and more focused on time spent with someone. The value of time increased and the purpose to my life increased, it seems.

As an artist, I found my work to get very colorful and somewhat imperfect this year. I found that I was mixing this type of messy look with precision, creating what seemed to be unfinished yet free, messy yet contained and with purpose. I did grow as an artist and not just in practice, but in purpose. I am grateful for that. I feel as though its been a transformative year. From Fall 2012 until now, it has been a unique time in my life with the relationship to my work. I am excited to see what transpires.

  • I hope to challenge how I view others and myself.

I view others with better lenses, now. I do like good style and good clothing, so I found myself shopping a lot this year for others. In fact, all year I shopped for others and contributed to updating looks or just spoiling friends. It was nice. I view myself as one who is in need of very little, materially, yet very tempted by its pull to have. I am glad to give more than I am to buy for myself and this past year I really experienced that. However, sometimes the gifting was more about time spent or words shared and so I think I grew in that aspect also. On a level of seeing others for their true worth, well, it’s only been heightened through this year. I value human life. I value depth, beauty, spirituality and humility.  I value honesty. I think I just feel like I’ve gotten more in tune with others and myself on a more mature sense of connection that surpasses superficial commonalities.

  • I hope to share, very honestly, the process of my mind and heart as I do this.

Well, I hope you can take the time to roll through the last year of about 70 some posts. I feel I shared rather openly. I noticed, as with most all things, that after the jump, attention starts to wane. Thank you if you have encountered the full year with me or if you checked in from time to time.

  • I hope to understand better who I am.

Oh, it’s only just begun. The awareness of self happens more clearly and properly upon taking steps outside of the norm. It helps beyond measure that through over 27 months of sobriety  I have become more in tune with my emotions and natural state. I do not only think but now I honestly believe that in order to attain true self awareness, one must rid themselves of inhibitors, whether that is alcohol, drugs or anything that alters the mind or physical body. I hear foolish rants about all sorts of new drugs or naturally occurring drugs that bring people to enlightenment and awareness, but in the end, it’s all the same. It’s a substance. It’s from the outside. If you look within, if you hear yourself think, move, breathe, laugh, talk and listen, you will become acutely aware of yourself and most often, God. I find that our society spends very little time in reflection, in silence, in sobriety and in nature. Kudos to those that do! It’s not an easy task but it is rewarding.

Who am I? I asked that question in the video. I wanted to find out who I was. I am still finding out day by day but now, more than ever, I am starting to see the dynamic and beautiful way I was created. I have left some of the old habits, some of the old thoughts on doorsteps that will remain closed and instead opened up new passages, stepping into those ways with new insight and new peace. These truths I am understanding: I am a child of God, I get that. I am eternal, and this body is going to die on me one day. I am more than what I wear or what I choose to share. I am okay, as is. This earth and the things in it, are temporal and are passing away. Eternity was set in my heart and that’s a journey that has begun here and will run on and on and on. Yup, that’s about it for now…

  • I hope to commit to this very odd task and complete it.

Guess what, it was not too odd and now, it is completed. Thank you. Oh man, what am I going to wear?

  • I hope to have one sweet story to share with others through it all.

Look back and read or jump ahead and create your own project and journey. It was a trip. I am glad I did it.

  • I hope to challenge your life by living out mine.     

And yes, I hope I did challenge some of you not just with looking at spending habits and over-consumption, but with life’s simple and more difficult questions or thoughts. I tried to be as transparent as I could. I tried to remain true to the project. I tried to share as much as I could but found it difficult some times due to the fact it was such a personal project and really, more of a personal challenge than a triumphant move for humanity. In any case, I did something that I set out to do and committed through it all. Uniforms are great. It makes life easy.

“Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” – The Good Book; some chapter, some set of verses, a lot of truth.

Thank you so much Brock, Ian, Zac, Bree, the Source fellas, the 54 Blue boys, my favourite and only worn PKG undies,  the many people who supported this and who followed along. It’s just clothing. Life is of greater value than what we wear. Looking to the wisdom shared by Christ in the Scriptures, he says:

“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

Makes sense.

 

That’s it, that’s all. If you see me around, you can ask questions or have a convo about it. Enjoy the day!

MOLP. Thanks,

David

What’s Next

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This image above was taken 3 months into my project. July, 2012.

More or Less. This project has become a way of living that has spurred on many changes in my material life, my emotional life and my spiritual life. My creative pursuits this year, my view on money, my outlook on the world, has all changed due to the discipline of uniform and the taming of materialism. Being debt free, being okay with what I have, living within my means, being okay with not knowing and staying true to a process of openness and honesty has shifted my life in great ways.

What is next? I leave to Portland for some things to do on the 21st. I will be there until 5 days remain in this 365 day project. Yup, I will be there for a while and I will pretty much finish off my journey south of the border. What does the end of this look like for me?

Well, I opened up my box of things I put away this past week. I had two boxes of clothing remaining after packing it all up. One box was full of denim mostly, and some pants, while the other, tops; whether it was t-shirts, hoodies or button ups. I gave most everything else away. As I opened up the denim box I started to be reminded of choice. It overwhelmed me. I have so many pairs of jeans! I tried each pair on. In one pile I placed ones that fit right and were good to use as is. In the other pile I placed the pairs that I wanted to take to Wai’s for alterations. 5 pairs made it to Wai’s. The total damage of the changes was 165.00. I gave one pair to my roommate, Ryan, and then packed the box up again.

I went to Home Depot and grabbed some galvanized tube and connectors to make a second level rack for the oncoming flood of already owned clothing. I built it up. It looks good. I am still in awe of how much I own and what using it all will look and feel like but at least I am now prepared for the weight of what is to come.

That’s just it. I kind of want to stay in black T’s and these Nudies for life now. They work. They are comfortable. It is easy. It is mindless. Options make for more decisions which make for all sorts of emotions. People get bent outta shape about what to wear or how they look. Even my hair, in growing it back, is getting to that point of not wanting to manage it but simplifying it by shaving it once again. Vanity, vanity, right? It’s all good, cause none of this really matters in the end. It’s just hair, just clothing, just whatever – it’s not my soul, my heart, my mind; that path, that journey, is far from over and this all just added to it. Where will these boots tread next?

So, that’s it. Use what I have – yet I still have a month and a bit left to use these patched up, creased up Nudies and paint splattered T’s. What a trip! After that, I think I will gladly use up what I already own. The choice of purchase is a privilege we take for granted in North America and abuse endlessly. I like quality goods. I appreciate quality products. I am leaning toward making my own quality goods, for quality people, for quality time…so stay tuned.

X’s and o’s kiddos! #brakerelease

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50 Days left.

What will I do once this is done? I have no idea. I have 50 days left. How did this year go by so fast? Oh wait, that’s right, I’m older now and time waits for no man…

Really, I have no idea what I will do with this More Or Less Project. I have lost track of what this project is doing or has done. In fact, I am living out each day in this uniform with little to no thought about clothing or my look. It’s black on denim. It’s simple. I couldn’t have picked a better look. Am I going to go nuts with spending on clothing once I complete this journey? I don’t have that in mind. That is the furthest thing from my mind, though I am thinking of altering what I own already and wearing it out; like using it fully, for the duration of its life.

It makes sense to me now to use garments for there intended purposes and to wear them until they’re done. I may look at fashion as too regurgitated for my tastes or too heavily pushed by advertising to be seen as legitimately fresh and so classics now make sense; classic denim, classic T’s, classic jackets and button ups, classic shoes, etc. Classic is brainless. It takes little thought. It looks good, most always. It allows you to go about your day thinking about your day, not about what you wear or what they are wearing. No, clothing is an after thought at the moment. I no longer think too much about clothing, what I look like or what I will wear. Besides that, I care very little as to what people think of me, even so much as attending a mostly formal lunch with Mayor Nenshi this past week in jeans and a T-Shirt. Yup, I don’t think too much about it at all. It’s not to say I do not appreciate nice things. Again, classics work in this space. Great garments, well made, last a long time and that is key in my world from suits to jeans, athletic apparel, to footwear and jackets.

In fact, what I do think about is much more personal. Lately, it has been a mind full of everything from my growing motorcycle activity to my changing creative world, from people’s daily choices to the immediacy of life and its gift. For once in my life, I haven’t even wanted to share much of what has been going on because I am fully aware its happening and that is good enough for me to experience without sharing, without words. Actions speak louder than words in ALL situations anyway, so what would I add to that!? Shut up, right?

Does that make sense?

And then there are choices…

…choices, choices, choices.

I chose this project. I chose sobriety. I chose this city. I chose this stance. I chose that trip. I chose that word. I chose that kiss. I chose that response. I chose that thought. I choose based on love sometimes, and yes, admittedly, I choose based on fear other times. In fact the latter is often the influence, yet I make up in my mind some silly and funny excuse as to why I really chose something. Yup, another story. We choose based on fear or we choose based on love and the majority, unfortunately, base decisions on fear. That is a broad statement but security, comfort and control stem from that, I believe. Love, on the other hand, ignites adventure, courage and faith. I have a life to live, wide awake, and aside from all the nonsense of everyday living like happy little carrots, I am not subscribing to the garage to parkade to cubical to parkade to garage with cable in between, dream life. No.

I am living in the same clothing for a year.

I am living within my means and debt free.

I am living clean from all substances.

I am living honestly to the point of annoying most of you who will not read this and, guess what?

I am living like I never have before and yet none of this matters.

It’s just a project and a bunch of honest and open thoughts related to this project. That is all. The transformation of my life is happening regardless and it has little to do with wearing the same thing, though that affects it. It has little to do with sobriety, though that aids it. It has little to do with humble means, though that encourages it. It has more to do with my openness to change, my natural unwillingness to let go and yet my spiritual willingness to want that letting go and my desire to have faith in God, living within this world but not of it. This big, bad ass, beautiful mess of a man met Jesus and that truth is taking me to places I have yet to see and down roads I have yet to travel. Dammit, what a trip. In my most honest thought, I have no idea what He even looked like, let alone how radical He was but it sure does make me wonder cause I’m opposed to religion, opposed to close-mindedness, opposed to hate and opposed to judgment and He seems to be similar (but perfect at it).

I know very little. I have very little to share. I want to keep on living my life and keep on living well, inspiring others and making a difference. Beautiful, crazy life.

Choice. It’s all choice and a ton of grace!

 

What If

Easily one of the best shorts I’ve seen in a while. This short is based on the poem that I shared yesterday. Share this link, this film…

Which Is More

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Quite fitting for most days, especially today, and onward on. Thanks for sharing this Michelle, it definitely deserves a ponder upon walk…

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling

I will head into another week after what seemed a long and beautiful one; one which had me meet both joyous heights and heart breaking lows, but who knows, it’s just a moment I suppose. Tears flowed for the first time in a while and just the same, laughter in all its fullness. As I notice and as I look around, eyes look different to me now; honesty seems commonplace in practice amongst my lips and more over, within my heart as I connect to these soul windows. Dishonesty is too heavy a cost for this man. I’m not trying to be something or someone I’m not nor live by a standard that the world sets up as normal, fresh out the can or packaged just right, man. We choose what we will in this life, the best we know how. The cost of living certain ways is weighty, on both sides, whether you runnin’ up or walkin’ down. I am a living dichotomy, I’ve heard some say. I am full of all sorts of wondrous things, some will exclaim and yet the praise of man pales in comparison to the knowledge of actual self and the need for grace, so with real life, I can relate. My heart currently sits in a heavy state but heavy and blessed as its beats regulate; the former, the first, the best and the worst, the blessing, the curse and what the day just dispersed.

I really like that poem above. I do. I also really enjoyed The Dudes playing over my stereo this afternoon; real loud like, ya know, blasting “The Fight” and ‘Love Is Dangerous’ from their Brain Heart Guitar release. One of my favorite albums of theirs. Music, it does wonders to the moment, doesn’t it?

I ain’t trying to make sense of anything from this week. It takes up too much time, choices are choices and life moves along. Too much goes on to even keep track! I am beyond blessed to be exactly who I am and to stand as a man comfortable in my own skin. Best part is, if I am not, I am certainly getting there with each new day and that, my friends, is worth more than money that’s old, those portfolios which may fold and that retirement gold. Oh fun! Now to balance both…

___________________________

Strive to be authentic, people. If you’re lying to yourself or others, give yourself a smack and smarten up. If you’re tired and bored, get some rest and liven up. Do something that makes you feel alive. Yeah, go buy a Harley, fly to somewhere exotic, or take a chance again in your complacent marriage or mediocre relationships. Change up your diet. Try something new. Don’t be a machine. Get to being. Comfort is good, but it cages up courage, and courage is needed to live a strong and fulfilling life. After all, its all choice.

7 billion ways to live, choose one.

G’Night.

 

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Move Us For A Minute

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The same kit; this Kirkland black t-shirt, Average Joe Nudies and black Source hoodie for 300 days. Yup, today marks 300. I remember when I hit 300 with sobriety. Miss Liz Izzo took me out to The Coup. It was a beautiful night and that accomplishment felt more amazing than wearing the same thing everyday. After all, it’s just clothing. Today, I take myself to my favorite Diner Deluxe and enjoy the start to this new day with a fruit cup and some eggs benny.

So, there are 65 days left in this year long project. Have I completed my goals and have I shifted my perspective on life as I thought I would? Possibly. What’s interesting is that many people still are just finding out about this project and the daily uniform. Isn’t that odd? A full website, a blog, Instagram, hashtags, Twitter (though I’ve been on hiatus on all accounts since Oct. ’12) and numerous other posts and conversations and people still seem to wonder what I’m doing and why.

I get asked often what will happen upon my ending of this project. Will people even care? What will it do for my world? What has it done already? I believe as with most things, we are so wrapped up in our own lives that very few will consider the impact of this project on themselves and their worlds. Many may applaud the performance and dedication, but few will consider the changes made and shifts encountered during this year. That’s fair. The reason I know this to be true is by stats that I get from this blog site and by the fact that I’ve lived long enough to be a big part of the human condition in a fast paced world. We are all too consumed with self. There is no fault there or no concern, as those who have been impacted have graciously shared their stories with me via email and have shown their support in many ways. We are just that way as human beings. Life is busy, life is fast and though many things may move us for a minute, very few things will shift us for a lifetime.

As for the impact on self, let me say that I have shifted heavily in my view towards clothing. In fact, thinking about not wearing this uniform in 65 days makes me a little nervous. Will I bust out a few thousand dollars and go on shopping spree or continue to wear what has become my “look”? Will I subscribe to the uniform that most of my friends wear? You know, the same trendy looks that drape over every dude nowadays? I’ve thought about all the gear I put away and the only thought that seems to enter my mind at the moment is to open up the boxes, go through the clothing, and head to Wai’s to get everything altered (if need be) to wear it and use it accordingly. What might be the point of buying new? To keep up with the advertising dollars? I’m not going to say I’m beyond that shit, but I will say that it concerns me very little. I like quality. Man is made up of who he is by his values, his integrity, his presence and his spirit. Although style is a very big part of my life, it comes from the essence of a man or woman and not the exterior, though that will play a part in the initial and surface level interaction. Just as beauty is often first noticed by mere appearance and later revealed truly by core of a person, so too with most things but how does that add up in what seems to be a society (in North America) plagued by surface level interactions where saving face, playing a part and showing strength outweigh being authentic, showing humility and embracing vulnerability. The latter gets tired and empty real quick. It’s a game that never ceases until we quit it, or until our credit is racked up and our closets are filled with things we don’t need to impress who…people we don’t even like (as the saying goes).

My opinions are my own, I understand this very much, and in no way do I desire to push my own revelations upon those with deaf ears or stronger opinions. I have lived in a way over the last 300 days that partially removes me from the narcissism of the consumer culture we idolize. I have also lived outside of the confines and grips of any substance, breathing life through new found clarity for 772 days. These two things combined give me a perspective very few will have or possess. It changes your spirit, your emotion and your physical life. It raises the awareness of self, this culture and this world. It has brought me to a place to question much and to live in those question with a courageous stance toward the unknown.

Letting go has been a theme not chosen by me, but chosen for me throughout the last few years. It was bound to happen and once I quieted my spirit, slowed down and listened, there it was. There stood the voice, with great assurance, calling me forth to be separated even more from the rat race, the dis-eased culture we accept without question and foolish choices of my own demise. Whether it is in my heart, friendships, surroundings or artwork, it has been trying and beautiful. 300 days have passed, a lot of shit has gone on, a lot of things have been experienced and much more is waiting to show up. I’m here, right here, living and it’s good. I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s a uniform. It’s a choice. It may mean very little to you or may be completely absurd, it may seem self-focused or very cool, but regardless it is a journey and one I am grateful for.

Plus, it makes road trips on the Harley easy and light for packing…

Cheers, thanks for reading.

Alive!

It’s interesting what occurs when you disconnect humans from one another; from voice, touch and time together. Texts don’t add up. Pictures may say a thousand words but those words are never as sweet as the real thing, are they? The space between myself and another is often enjoyed but once the heart grows fond, that space grows cold if it is not filled with that known warmth. We are not made to be alone. Humans are designed as deeply relational and made for connection. We can see it most clearly in the unadulterated, uninhibited and pure ability that children possess in their unrestricted approach to life, one another and connectedness. It’s beautiful! For the most part, no hindrance occurs on a playground. You leave children to play and color matters not, looks matter not and space is not respected. Life is lived, hands are grabbed, smiles exist and laughter erupts. Even upon a kid getting hurt, their return to the game or playground is almost immediate. We, the adults, with our views and concerns corrupt the innocence of youth. We create the barriers and reasons for such things.

And isn’t it a beautiful thing to see two complete strangers grow in familiarity with one another? Drawn in by some attractive features and a possible idea as to who they may be, the curiosity and interest grows boldly enough to embark upon that mostly awkward first couple of steps. A few days, weeks and months into this new encounter and they possibly find themselves longing for more, with great unknowns ahead, or content to leave things as is and enjoy what simply was. I’m fascinated by the heart and its voice and yet dumbfounded by the mind and its chatter! It’s filled with such noise and insanity about how life is because of the past that it makes our present automatic and reactive rather than encouraged and responsive.

I’ve lived a life that has been marked by caution of the heart, for fear of hurt, for many years. I’ve skimmed the top best of all those I know in order to maintain the peace and ease of the freedom to just be. Many may not know it but the prevalent aspect to our culture is to protect, guard and otherwise, keep shallow our hearts. Danger! Danger! Danger! We flee for fear of what we’ve known, experienced and created meaning from. The excuses then build as to why I’m detached as I figure that my options are plenty and my desire is great. It is best to remain a flight risk, one foot always able to hop out the back door in order to keep a great friendship and not get hurt in the meanwhile. Everyone wins right? Funny action that is! No real depth or commitment exists there. Sadly, no real experience either and what’s worse, I’ve been acting small with this big heart of mine. Hearts are meant to hurt and get broken. They’re a muscle and when muscles grow, they tear and stretch and build up. Its biology. Its truth.

It’s difficult to use our excuses and stories of the past in the face of our futures because it can disable our present. Without even knowing it we launch every fear, every story and every personal meaning into our present, from our past, and knock out our future.
It’s not fair. Mostly, it’s absurd.
Though this conversation is about two people connecting, it has a lot to do with our general existence on earth and in our worlds. We create who we are over and over again by what we’ve encountered and what meaning we gave that encounter, and guess what, we call it fact! We’ve been hurt, we start to guard our hearts. We’ve been mistreated, we discount another person’s love and do not allow them in. We are told we are this or that and we believe it. We play victim to our circumstances all the day long and then wonder why we do not live these extraordinary lives full of choice and opportunity.

I know, I know, right – you have every reason and experience to back up your playing small and feeling bad. I get it, because I do too! It just doesn’t serve me any longer. It is better to let go and choose my future, than to have it dictated by my past. I think that’s how it’s supposed to work. Like when I paint, I do not paint from an already painted canvas in order to create a new work. No, I start fresh and create from a blank slate. In my life I did not understand that until just this past weekend. It’s unbelievable how we go through life allowing the things we’ve survived, lived through and encountered to affect us each new day. That’s just plain heavy and without possibilities! That’s dull. That’s sad. That’s not empowering or fun.

Today I get the privilege of choosing my day and response to all that life throws my way. I get to keep myself as a blank slate and only respond to what I will as it comes my way. I’ll place as little or as much meaning on it as I desire and move forward with a whole realm of possibilities. You can too. Yesterday is dead. It’s nothing. It’s gone. It does not exist. Now, that’s it, just now…

Go live a true, honest, authentic and involved life. The other one you’re living is a waste of your precious days and your precious time. We all die, and yet very few actually, truly ever live.

Day 1, Project 2

And so it begins…Construkted. Day 1 of another year long project started today. I won’t share too much just yet as the whole package launches in February, but I will say thank you Adam Bowen, Heather Robertson, DDG, Ian MacFarlane and the magic mind of Joey Camacho. It takes willingness, humility and love to see change. I am grateful to be here for a brother, to encourage a brother and to see results in another person’s life that will change their world completely. My More OR LEss Project blog is not the official site for this new project. That site launches soon…

Clip from Day 1 #Construkted with Adam “Truk Norris” Bowen

Coming soon: CONSTRUKTED.COM So be aware.

Sorry for the vertical video. Never again.

Missing The Boat

It is not so much that the boat passed
And you failed to notice it.
It is more like the boat stopping
Directly outside your bedroom window,the captain blowing the signal-horn,
The band playing a rousing march.
The boat shouted, waving bright flags,
Its silver hull blinding in the sunlight.
But you had this idea you were going by train.
You kept checking the time-tables,
Digging for tracks.
And the boat got tired of you,
So tired it pulled up the anchor
And raised the ramp.
The boat bobbed into the distance
Shrinking like a toy –
At which point you probably realized
You had always loved the sea.

-Naomi Shihab Nye

Beautiful poem found in the pages of one great book, Putting Away Childish Things, by Marcus J. Borg. Thanks for the gift, Mike.

Sincerely

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Taking a trip to the dump after Christmas was pretty eye opening. I must say that Calgary seems to have a great waste management program. Big, big pits that get filled with consistent drops from city trucks and citizens, making the earth more full of garbage each day makes me think about my project and about my life. The malls and shopping centers they build on top of old landfills most would never know about. I didn’t know about them. Apparently the area to the north of this landfill is built upon what was once what we were then filling up. Go figure, right? We fill up these pits with gifts and purchases of the past and then develop more opportunity for excessive spending right above it, once the pit is filled. Funny visual huh? Buying the new product atop the very land that is filled with products of the past.

I didn’t buy a single gift this year. I stopped buying gifts at overly saturated times of the year, years ago. Why? It’s a consumer based, materialistic excuse to push an emotion or group of emotions better reserved for real moments. Coca-Cola is not happiness. Their branding of Santa and Christmas is not at all what Christmas is about and if the actual Saint Nicholas saw Christmas today, sorry, XMas, he’d lose his shit; the poor mostly going without and the rich mostly trying to outdo their last year’s status. It’s sick. Then, wouldn’t you know it, boredom and rust and brokenness and outdated and then, the garbage and dump. I don’t think that was the purpose of Christmas. Oh secularism, you wonderful flavor of our current age. You’re doing a great job on shifting perspective, focus and meaning of these holidays. Well done!

Yup, we are fascinating creatures who place way too much emphasis on sales, on items, on material. The majority of the world now lives on credit and we have bought into that idea that its normal. The rich get richer and their pockets swell because we must have when we really cannot afford. Must? What? When must you need a new vehicle each year? Or new shoes every other week? Or a new computer every six months? Really? If your head ever got grounded or your world ever got turned upside down by tragedy or despair, then you might realize the balance and health needed to stabilize and reduce your debt, live with contentment and overall, stop the pollution of air, land and sea. You might even see that you’re not reaching for an item of clothing or a gadget when someone is hurt, dead or dying. Perspective plays into the scope of life here.

Oh shit, what would we do for jobs if we slowed our needless consumption? Where would half these people work? If consumerism stopped or drastically slowed down, there would be a lot of useless people unable to really work. Work, you know, that thing you do with your mind, body and force. Building, fabricating, planting, harvesting, creating, growing, actual work. Thank goodness for machines, computers and consumption, though. We gave all our work away to China’s slave work force in order to then sell our own ideas and companies to a rising super power of a communist nation. Awesome. It’s now cheaper for me to buy things I get rid of or lose interest in, within weeks. I don’t even have to worry because the screen is telling me I need a new one right away and it’s being produced 4 seasons in advance with a certain life span in mind to keep me buying.

Again, I didn’t buy gifts this year at Christmas. Throughout my year I lovingly gave to those I knew and did not know, alike. I did however, learn a trade. I learned to barber and make my friends look great. It’s a hobby at the moment. I paint as well. I will always create. I love making spaces look amazing and adding beauty to people’s lives and homes. I like the idea and execution of purchasing local, more and more. I like articles and items designed by friends, made in my country. I’m actually learning more about this all the time and wish to support it more and more. Big business does not thrill me for the purpose of what it is, but more so for the fact that someone created something that then became so big! What a feat! That is the amazing side of it. The majority of big business sickens me though, because its no longer personally run by purpose as much as profit. I’m not sure if you know and I’m sure it doesn’t really matter, but we all die and wealth of the pocket has little to do with wealth of the soul. Happiness has nothing to do with purchasing. Security has nothing to do with zeros after a digit in an account. Freedom has nothing to do with being able to do anything you want.

Look, listen and observe. Go to the dump with your own garbage sometime. Check your labels. Clean out your closets. Organize your busy lives. Organize your things. Place value on what is really valuable. As my friend Erwin once said, “Greedy people cannot be trusted with things more valuable than money.”

———-

“We live in, live on and I believe quite possibly, we are starting to actually consume our own waste. Way to go Consumerism, we’ve done it!”

Sincerely,

Greed

😉