I decided that since I have not released a blog post on this blog in a life time (so to speak) today is cause for some celebration! The best full album I’ve heard in 2017, Never Go Unknown, is out today digitally as per this announcement on Adam Wendler’s Facebook page (full album credits and the beautiful album cover art is also there) I say that as my own personal opinion, realizing I’ve got the bias of having the singer-songwriter as a younger brother (but biases aside, Juno-award winning producer Siegfried Meier did decide to tackle this album with Adam.) I know that there have been many times where I have heard a song long before it is polished and unleashed to the masses.
Such was the case back in January when I had my second or third (both 2nd and 3rd happened within days of each other) bout in the hospital with infections including pneumonia. I felt absolutely horrible at the time! I did not have much of a desire for anything. And while the hospital seemed the best option that day, my lack of desire for anything included the desire to make the call about actually going to the hospital. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to get out of this position of suffering where I found myself. But to be the one to make the decision about actually going to hospital seemed silly to me when there was a plan in place to go at a specific time that I felt I agreed to, after a plan for an earlier time was not advised due to the busy nature of hospital emergency at the time. I think it was a situation where (a) there was a feeling that there was no real reason for anything, no sense of hope or a personal purpose of existence, and (b) when health is down, patience can decrease (patients aren’t necessarily patient ;)).
After over a year of being on different antibiotics, both oral and IV and some multiple times, it got to a point where from a medical perspective some were suggesting the possibility of amputating my lower left leg. In my mind, that would involve rehabilitation which would result in me having to figure out how to do things all over again while also being responsible for telling everyone helping me what to do (and keep in mind this guy who’s thoughts you’re reading is an introvert.) So you know for a guy who had done many seemingly insignificant things, maybe euthanasia would be a better idea? That was logical in my mind. But life’s not all about logic. I’m sure some readers would agree it would be best if the mind would just quiet down at times!
But anyway, it was that evening, sitting in the emergency room with my mother (and being in contact with my brother (via technology, which is significant because he’s not the most keen to sit there and text or chat when he could be playing his guitar instead. But who can blame him, listen to the album (links toward end of the post) to find x in the following equation: talent + drive & determination + the right connections = x ) For whatever reason, “Until You Came Around” was going through my head in the way that songs do, one part of it on repeat. The lines “It takes an honest man to go, but a better man to stay” were just jumping out at me. So powerful, yet so simple. Sometimes it just feels like there’s no hope, the blinders are on and darkness is what is visible. Love can be present but not observed or felt in that place. It depends how deep you are there and what your beliefs and convictions are just how much you can go in the spiral. But if you can tough it out, who knows what good will come when you see the love and support that was always there. I recently read a couple of good blog posts written by someone I know from my days attending summer camps that are related to allowing love from others and loving people well which I found particularly insightful. So feel free to check them out here and here.
The following quote I’ve heard many times (being a Michael Jackson fan), but it finally seems to have more meaning to me, given the above story:
“I am an instrument of nature. Love is my message.” – Michael Jackson
I feel as though “nature’s” voice was coming through to me in the song.
Amazing album that has the potential to reach so many people, and give so many more the opportunity to simply get their groove on.
You can listen to the album at these links for now (other online platforms to come):
More posts to come!
I was thinking about my first post, and how I could argue that I’m the lowest of the low in the human race and turn around using the same categorizations that I fit and describe myself as a very privileged individual. Thanks to those people in my life who I’ve learned this skill from over the years! It’s helpful to be able to argue one thing and turn around and argue it the other way a split second later.
Another influence to this post is a video of Bill Maher and some others, including Slash. It could be argued that the discussion itself merits it to be valuable. It could also be argued that because the discussion lacks a vital half of the population to partake in the discussion, the discussion is unfair without all voices present.
The video could also be argued as purely humorous as well. Nevertheless, it felt fitting for the post as it shows Slash (who I’ve only known as a guitarist more or less) in a setting which doesn’t have him performing musically, but instead focuses on identity and perceptions even if only a narrow perception. Getting back to me though…
I’m a male, which you could argue that is notorious for forms of abuse to their partners and/or children. They get in bar fights with their drunken buddies and cause damage to the pub and to each other. The male came over from Europe and started out a search for new areas to colonize where they discovered North America. At least it’s males who are noted to be explorers from what I hear and read. It’s them who, with their (perhaps Western values?) values of greed and gluttony that decided land could and should be owned . They worked out a way to give themselves more power over land that was previously inhabited by people with a completely different set of values and beliefs which (by my understanding) was more thankful for what was given to them rather than desiring to take advantage of everything they could find.
I’m also a white male, known to be able to have all the success and privilege desired in our
Western society. I’m also a person with a physical disability, one who has had to attend days of various medical appointments, seating appointments, be assisted by Personal Support Workers for personal tasks that others can do by themselves and therefore without opinions of others coming into the mix about what is best and what is not. There’s a plethora of things that go along with having a physical disability that are less than entertaining and pleasurable.
But then I start to also see that there are situations where my teacher has recommended I go from point A to point B first so I can leave the classroom before the throngs of classmates block my path. I see the bus driver telling people to wait while they lower the bus and fold out the ramp for me to enter first. I see the throngs of people outside the bus at busy stops when I’m simply trying to exit the bus. I see all these people and I start to feel like I must be worthy of being video recorded by someone in the crowd that might be in the paparazzi. I want to put my hand over a camera so it can’t grab a picture of me because I want my privacy. I feel like I should pull my jacket or shirt up over my head to hide my identity from the plethora of people who I forget are simply waiting to board the bus to get wherever they are destined to go on the given day. Little do I recall that the reason that these people are really waiting is much more of a give away of who I am than a real celebrity. Oh right, and I should mention that I’m referring to this celebrity comparison to suggest that physical disability can be looked at in a privileged way, though you could take “celebrity” and argue the pros and cons of it to make it out as good or bad too. But back on topic: Who can hide a wheelchair with a jacket? I haven’t tried, but I don’t think I can that well. I might require two or three to cover different sections if I want it all hidden. One of those rain ponchos would be a better bet, but they often get caught in my wheels or under my wheels if I’m not watchful of where it’s sitting.
Long story short, who I am is all in perspective. What I do with who I am is my choice, and can only be influenced by me, myself and I. I know that’s a lot of people, but it is what it is. I can take suggestions from others—I can hear out the opinions of others. But if I think about the celebrity concept—if I drowned myself in the opinions of others, well I might as well be dead because some opinions of celebrities out there are pretty varied or just plain negative. I feel we forget that they’re human, even if what the media tells us about them suggests that they’re complete and utter psychos. I don’t want to live the life where I’m so obsessed with what everybody thinks. I’d rather do my own thing, and influence people to think for themselves; to be who they want to be. I mean, my given name happens to be Nicholas, and a quick google search for “name meaning Nicholas” shows that the name which comes from the words “nike” meaning “victory” and “laos” meaning people ultimately means “victory of the people.”
It might not have been as out of the blue as me picking a middle name for my sister when I was around 4 years old, but I’m willing to guess that my parents probably didn’t scour the meanings of various names to figure out what meaning they wanted to go along with me. They might have; I’ve never asked. But I feel it’s me taking what was given to me and choosing to make something of it. That aside, I’ve known for years that I’ve wanted to help people, regardless of my name or whatever labels I hold.
I struggle with this idea that you have to have something to say you’re something. I guess because here I’ve argued you can have something, be something or be nothing with that something with just the amount of time it takes to give the explanation of it being something or nothing. Philosophical isn’t it? Not necessarily, it’s just explaining away the realm of existence (or something like that.)
I’ve been told I write well, and that I express opinions well through writing. You can be the judge of that as you follow this blog. I’m not going to say. I just know that writing out thoughts and ideas is positive in my eyes. I can express views on the world and everything around me that sparks an idea for writing. Whether I’m the first trillionaire on wheels, or one of potentially many that are below the poverty line who are on wheels, as long as I do something I enjoy I might as well keep going. At least I have something, my own self fashioned identity through my own perspective.
I’ve looked at some covers of Same Love by Macklemore. This one caught my attention. I thought it seemed fitting to post, and maybe it would generate conversation in the comments?
What do you think?