My girlfriend lives in the small town of Ridgeway, located in the vicinity of Fort Erie, Ontario. The other night i was telling her a few stories (as I am very fond of doing) because she just can’t seem to hear enough of them. And so it goes. Nineteen years ago my home was Simpson Avenue, off the Lakeshore, in Toronto…A college student on the decline mentally and spiritually. There are so many fond memories of that wonderful time in my life, but in the end it became a genuine bummer. But as I walk the streets of Ridgeway during the winter weather I am constantly reminded of my long treks along the Lakeshore. (The why, when , and where’s…so to speak) When I speak or think of those memories I occasionally feel there is a need to give unnecessary justification to many of those stories. There are times when I even question myself about them…”Did that really happen? How and why do I remember things that most people would have forgotten about years ago?” The biggest question I face now is this…How can I harness this silly skill and use it when it comes to structuring the story I have yet to fully write?
Ridgeway, Ontario is what one would expect to see in true north cottage country such as Muskoka, Apsley, or Magnetewan. It’s the type of town without much hype or decadence. Everything you need is within walking distance. If you can’t find what you truly need within a twenty minute walk you probably didn’t need it in the first place. When it comes right down to it, how much does one really need in this world? I own a cell-phone but the tower for it out here is being repaired and I have been without service for over two weeks. Truth be told, I haven’t missed it at all. I own a computer of course…There is internet access everywhere you can think of, from coffee shops to book stores to Wal-Mart. But so what? How much does anyone really need to know at any given moment? What really needs to be heard that hasn’t been said a thousand times before? Is there anything you have seen before that needs to be seen again ten times over? People who live with the idea of knowing what you love the most and appreciating exactly what you are given or deserve are quickly becoming a dying breed. Sometimes good enough is precisely enough! Understanding the answer is the key. All the questions that arise on a day to day basis can be answered with ease, but understanding the answer is a whole different story. Knowing what you are as well as who you are. It is much easier to say “I can’t help what I am,” rather than accept the fact that you might need to change what you are.
A few weeks ago millions of people around the world were staring into the sky to catch the lunar eclipse of a blood moon. Apparently it was in full view and would not occur again for another eighteen years. I’m not judging the appreciation for it. It’s just not my thing…Like Chinese food or Comic-Con conventions or Facebook or unnecessary CGI in movies or children or religion or politics or racism or bigotry or high risk debt or blind faith or the Tragically Hip or reality television or friends who constantly lie in order to fool themselves and anyone around them from seeing the bigger picture…what they really are! I don’t see much joy or satisfaction in any of those things. And there is no way I am the only one who feels this way. I have met others with as much passion as I to enjoy the smallest and celebrate the grandest. Decency and honesty for a level playing field…courage, strength, and a dump truck full of inspiration. That is a tall order for any individual these days, but they do exist. I’ve met a bunch of them in the forty-one years I’ve spent in this ass backwards world. But lately, not so much. For many people, their every day shit is fifty percent human, and fifty percent horse. I’m not alone in thinking this either. That’s because the “other” people have real shit going on. There is not one person in my small circle of family and friends that does not have any really serious shit going on in their lives. The rich, the poor, and everyone in between. Some have lost a loved one while a few others have come very close to losing someone. Addiction, depression, disability, cancer, strokes, broken ribs, broken hearts, mass shootings, and so on and so forth. Everyone knows someone with real shit going down too. But then there’s “some” people. For them, life looks better when they look the other way. To keep living the lie and hope for the best is a dangerous game to play, and some still practice it to this day, but they certainly haven’t perfected it yet. Too many holes. They are more than willing to tell you who they are, but will do everything they can to avoid letting you see what they really are.
Now, back to the blood moon eclipse. The moon was indeed brighter and more prominent that night than usual. If I was truly curious I would have left the apartment to walk around the corner and take a look. Instead, I sat on my balcony with a politically incorrect cigarette in an overstuffed ashtray, two beers deep, and a painful colon from some serious bowel issues lately…Pen and paper in hand, reminding myself of how lucky I am to have all of the small things I cherish every day. As odd as it may seem, it felt good enough that night…Even great! My lady love was fast asleep in our bed…My lovely cat fella was in my sights…I was feeling brighter than anything I would have seen by going for a walk around the corner that night and staring into the sky. I didn’t have to look very far at all to feel truly thankful and grateful for the things I have in my life. Sure it may not be enough for others but for me, it’s all I need right now. And anything more that comes my way will just be a bonus that I will celebrate when the time is right. I think of my friend Jeremy, who passed away over three years ago, when these thoughts occur. He would have loved this…the simplicity of it. He would have given me his pearls of wisdom and then said, “I think you have the answer to your own questions. Do you think you understand it?” And all I could say to that is, “Jer, in moments of clarity like this…In my church of wishful thinking…I think I do! Well, maybe…But I’m working on it.” Sometimes, the point of the journey is not to arrive. With that, I feel like I know who and what I am finally, and admitting without shame that there is still more work to be done. At this moment, good enough is without a doubt enough.