Saying Goodbye to The Fisherman

I recently read the book “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Lessons from the Crematory” by Caitlin Doughty. It is a witty and thought provoking look at the history of caring for the dead and how the process has been sanitized by today’s funeral industry. The author explains the process of cremation in some detail – all very fascinating if you are interested in options to the ‘casket in the ground’ type of burial.

The Car Guy’s dad, The Fisherman, passed away in October 2017. The Fisherman was cremated. It was a good choice because a number of events, including the weather, made it preferable for us to hold a burial service the following June.

As the date for interment approached, our family discussed what kind of special box or urn we would use for the ashes. We decided that a wine bottle in a wood presentation box would be an excellent choice because The Fisherman had made his own wine for decades.

The Car Guy filled one wine bottle with ashes for the cemetery. With the remaining ashes, he filled several half bottles and three spice size jars.

A half bottle now sits on a shelf in The Car Guys Garage, a place where father and son had worked every Wednesday for many years building and fixing things, including  a Yellow Challenger T/A, a Corvette, and a Fargo half ton.

The spice jars were perfect for the ‘road trips’ where his ashes were scattered – at the farm where he was raised and two of his favourite fishing places.

As for the Cemetery Interment, we knew it was going to be a ‘do it yourself’ project because the cemetery was a very  rural, ‘old school’ sort of place that let you do that sort of thing. We also knew the ground was rock hard. But we didn’t need a very wide hole, so a post hold digger was the logical tool to use.

The Fisherman’s Daughter conducted the service, a lunch was served at a country hall, and a two day Family Reunion was held at a rural retreat – all were the perfect way to say good-bye to The Fisherman.

If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.
-Doug Larson –

Where is Your Codex Vitae?

Is Codex Vitae a technical term for a part of your body or does it sound like a disease?  To answer that, I’m going to start you with Twitter, drag you through YouTube, and deposit you in a Book.

Twitter – What do you Seek?

Twitter receives a lot of criticism, but like everything else on the internet, the value is there if you take the time to look around. Think of Twitter as an almost endless series of doors. You open one door and if you don’t find anything of value, you can close it – but you might find another door there that is of more value to you.   It is through this exploration of doors that I have found a growing movement of people who don’t identify with ‘tribes’. They are open to listening to others they may not agree with. They have discussions and share ideas. Many of these people can be found at the Intellectual Dark Web Site.

It’s the great agony and the ecstasy of the Internet today. I think we have more great stuff to read than we ever have before, but of course the downside of that is we have more great stuff to read than we’ve ever had before.
– Robin Sloan –

What do You Want to Seek?

The QuipperyThe Intellectual Dark Web is populated by a number of individuals who have been vilified by those who identify with a ‘different tribe’. One of the more controversial figures in recent years is the Canadian author, clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Toronto – Dr. Jordan Peterson. A lengthy but extremely interesting summary of his thoughts is presented in this video: Dr. Oz interviews Dr. Jordan Peterson.

Dr. Peterson has written several books, does podcasts, and lectures about the value of having an aim in life. He has become the self-help guru for many young people who find they are unprepared for the realities of an adult world. What is ironic, to me, is that this same sense of ‘aimlessness’ sometimes happens to older people when they retire. Free time isn’t so free feeling if you’ve got a lot of it, and you don’t know what to do with it.

OK, now write for 20 minutes. Don’t worry about grammar or spelling. This isn’t a composition exercise. You get to have what you want three to five years down the road. What does your life look like, hypothetically? Write it out. That’s the first part. The second part of the exercise — now you’ve got your thing to aim at. You think, “well, now I’m motivated, because I got my thing to aim at.” It’s like, “you’re not as motivated as you could be, because you don’t yet have your thing to run away from. If you really want to be motivated, you want to be going somewhere, and you want to be NOT going somewhere else.”
– Jordan Peterson in a discussion with Lewis Howes

Once You Have Found It

Last stop is a book. I just finished Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. This book is, to me, the ultimate intersection of old-world handwork, Old Knowledge, books, digital technology, fantasy and a Codex Vitae (which is the capture of all you’ve learned throughout your life – Jordan Peterson’s ‘what does your life look like’.)

In the book, and in real life, a Codex is a printed book. ‘Mr. Penumbra’s’  fictional character, Griffo Gerritszoon, was the real life Francesco Griffo who was born in 1450. The book’s character Aldus Manutius  was a real life printer and publisher. Aldus commissioned Griffo to cut the first slanted italic type. Aldus also invented pocket editions of books with soft covers and normalized the use of punctuation. The books fictional fifteenth-century font called Gerritszoon is perhaps the font we call Garamond – Claude Garamond worked with Aldus Manutius and Francesco Griffo.

By the end of Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore I had the answer to why, or what, ties me to blogging. This is my Codex Vitae – and I can only keep writing new chapters if  I am learning from all people, not just the ones that share my bias. I can only keep writing if I keep aiming for better and moving away from the person I don’t want to become.

How have you preserved a record of your life? Scrapbook? Calendars? Photo Album? Blog? Journal?

Dark Days

It comes with no warning. Days of being sad. Energy tank on empty.

Dark, dreary, heavy days.

Overwhelmed. Too much, too many.

I’ve been down this road many times before. It always passes. It is seasonal or hormonal or just being sad.

It isn’t depression, but it is a gift that helps me to understand those who battle real depression.

If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather.
– Stephen Fry –

I wanted to write down exactly what I felt but somehow the paper stayed empty and I could not have described it any better.
– WTM –

This is my Crone Voice

On one of my recent ‘wanderings’ I came across the word ‘Crone’ or more specifically, the Crone Archetype. Initially, I had a not so pleasant vision of a ‘Crone’, but further reading made me realize that some might say I AM a Crone! Perhaps you are too. (If you are a man, then your corresponding Archetype would be Sage.)

If you are a woman of a certain mature age, have abandoned the need for ‘properness’, are up front, and don’t mince your words – you might be a Crone. If you are seen as a being a straight talking mentor, occasionally a trifle crabby  and perhaps even  a bit flirtatious and sassy – you might be a Crone. If you have found an inner peace and accept who you are; if you are realistic and have practical expectations – you might be a crone.

I ticked off a lot of the ‘You might be a Crone’ boxes. When I reviewed the content of my blog, my ‘Crone Voice’ was evident in so many of the posts that had defied all my attempts to corral them into a single category. This was the birth of  My Crone Voice.

That resulted in a new Facebook Page, This is My Crone Voice. I began posting links to all my favourite stories from conservative, pragmatic environmentalist, climate change realist, garden variety, common sense folks like myself.

Apparently this alarmed an algorithm or actual person at Facebook, because within  a few weeks of starting the page, I was issued a warning that ‘Limits have been placed’.

I don’t know what these limits are, nor what I have done to deserve them. I can’t find any explanation or documentation other than this:

I’ve appealed it, of course. I pointed out to Facebook that I only have one follower, a Sage called The Car Guy,  and I only get one ‘Like’ on most posts. I don’t publish spam. I publish links to posts that I agree with.  I am not being misleading, fraudulent, or deceptive – unless those are the descriptors Facebook assigns to conservative pragmatic writers…

I eventually decided to delete the page. I’m getting real close to deleting Facebook from my life…

 

The Upside to Absent-mindedness

For some reason there is a malfunction, some disconnect, between my imaginary hello and, well, my actual hello… Just know this: if you have ever passed me in the hall and I appeared to ignore you, it actually wasn’t like that at all…
– Stuart McLean, The Vinyl Cafe Notebooks –

An imaginary hello. Yes, that describes the greeting I sometimes don’t give.

It’s caused (they say) by a condition called absent-mindedness (also spelled  absentmindedness or absent mindedness.) Often, I don’t even know that I’m being absent-minded. On other occasions, it is quite apparent: I search for my glasses and find them on the top of my head or I walk into a room but forget what I came there to do.

I don’t think it is something to be stressed about. On the whole, my memory usually runs fairly smoothly and  I’m fairly adept at focusing when I need to. I see the shift into absent-mindedness as something that sets me free to think in abstract or creative ways – (that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.)

What was your most interesting absent-minded experience?