A Real Treasure

I posted things like this on dating sites, hoping to meet someone with a sense of humour. About me: Art degree with a major in gynecology. I’m not a doctor but I’m willing to have a look. About you: You have sufficient musicality to be able to hum the William Tell overture complete with cannon. You can view this handy instruction video here

It didn’t work too well for dating but I had fun which come to think of it, is why I wanted to date. Win/win.

2. I really like Coen brothers movie The Big Labowski. Reminds me of growing up in redneck Calgary with an equally bizarre underground drug culture of stoned weirdo’s. I see that they were all aspiring to be Scots:

3. I recently changed my genes and their expression of diabetes and heart disease in 3 months by reading this guys book and doing what he suggested. After an ultrasound and a thallium stress test the cardiologist said I went from a candidate for a heart attack to having the blood pressure of a fit 35 year old. My blood sugar is now normal.  CHANGING LIFESTYLE CHANGES GENE EXPRESSION A Talk with Dean Ornish. The science is better explained here though: Sugar the Bitter Truth.

14. I’m an ordained minister. At least I think I am. After spending 10 bucks on the Internet they sent me this handy email, so it must be true: Congratulations, You are now a legally ordained minister at the First Church of Atheism!

5. I’m an initiated yogi. Hang around Ashrams long enough and someone will eventually initiate you. I’m not sure what it means but at least they didn’t ask me for the deed to my house. I gave all that up for REBT. See#7

6. I am an INFJ  in the Myers Briggs personality type system. Rarest of all types I relate to 1 person in 200. So I’m on the outside observing. Same type as Gandhi, Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King. Oh yes and God help me Shirley McLean as well. I hope I’m not channeling an ancient Egyptian cause that would be like weird. Find out your type here.

7. My Dad died when I was 2 from lung cancer, he was a coal miner. I grew up in a state of anxiety in poverty and abuse. I medicated the effects of that with sugar, then nicotine, and then pot and dropped all that for yoga/religion. Finally I found Albert Ellis, the foremost psychotherapist of the last century, read a couple of his books and dropped all that other stuff entirely.

8. When I was 40, after a brief career as an addictions counselor, and a longer career in transportation logistics, I went to art school. For 6 years. A process where every 3 months your work is put before the foremost artists in the land, and they decide if you get another 3 months of school. This process I engaged and did well at, 3 times on the President’s honour role, earned 2 degrees, while watching it tire and burn out 18 year olds. Only 100 graduated of 800 entry submissions. Then I taught there for 10 years, specializing in Adult Education.

9. During Art School I was married to a woman who developed a terminal degenerative brain disease (Huntingtons) that affected her personality and emotions negatively and was very difficult on relationship, to put it mildly. We finished up at the same time as I lost my brother as well as my best oldest friend, both to cancer. I lost relationship, my house, studio and my business and family. I was 50 and I started over. What choice do you have? A social worker recently said to me, Jerald you must have been devastated. Is that what you call that? Oh. Now I know.

10. I have taught painting and drawing in the faculty of extension (adult education), having earned an adult education certificate, at local Art Collages and University.

11. I have practiced art as therapy, (using the creative model) in long term care institutions, with people with incurable illness, as they degenerate into slow demise.

12. I learned Photoshop and the internet at art school and eventually spent a few years making a decent living producing images for internet advertising, until the customers left for India and their attractive economy. I would go back to this if I found the right gig. Selling crap to Americans using fear I find to be morally reprehensible, generally speaking. Besides, design isn’t art as I understand it and I prefer to practice my art. Perhaps in the right gig……

13. I have resolved this: If a person I care about doesn’t return my love, I can seek out others who will love me. I could devote more time to my hobbies and other enjoyable pursuits. I can teach myself to enjoy life without a lover. Then if (and when) I do find a lover, I can be doubly happy. I can practice unconditional self acceptance and accept myself with or without a lover.

14. I used to irrationally believe in astrology. I can’t explain what pleased me about it or why I found it to make sense but it just did (confirmation bias). As a Virgo I find this a very strange belief. Must be my Pisces rising and Cancer moon having an effect.

15. Picasso and I are both born in the year of the Snake in Chinese astrology. When I read his quotes I find myself satisfied and vindicated as an artist. Such as: Success is dangerous. One begins to copy oneself, and to copy oneself is more dangerous than to copy others. It leads to sterility. Also: The people who make art their business are mostly impostors.

16. Cameras for me are a delight, as they handle the details, as do computers. I am vaguely interested in the settings of the machines, but mostly revel in the happy accidents of the technology of art, whether it is the chemistry of paint or the code of a flash presentation. To me, it’s all ways to intuitively express my feelings in depth, and it’s impossible to predict the outcome. Don’t ask me how I did something in Photoshop or Painter, I really don’t know. I just push buttons until I get happy then quit.

17. Beth, my  former lover, died when we were 17 or so. of a brain tumor. She said to me, “I’m going to die aren’t I”?  It was the hardest question I ever had to answer.

18. Glenda Ferster, my former lover, died when she was about 21. She was killed by her taxi passenger, an inmate of a mental institution on leave, while she was driving cab. He raped her and left her body in the bush near Exshaw Alberta. It was the hardest funeral I ever had to attend. The search for her had been called off but the cab drivers didn’t quit. We kept going till we found her. http://www.taxi-library.org/canada/ferster-g.htm

19.The movie Good Will Hunting makes a lot of sense to me. I also was a (virtual) orphan, who was adopted by working class trade folks (transportation) who went on to higher education and career after receiving counseling.

20. I love to drive. I once worked at a bus company training their drivers. Driving heavy equipment pleases me.

21. My Taylor guitar makes the most beautiful sounds. I love everything about it, the smell the feel of my fingers on the strings. It can be loud. I call it my banjo-killer.

22. I studied voice (opera) for a year. My teacher Maudi said, “you really can’t sing can you ? All right then!

23. I got busted for a joint when I was a kid. I got a hundred dollar fine. Still can’t get into the States or work for the City due to my record. I find I don’t miss either experience.

24. I love Patrick O’Brian’s Master and Commander series of books. Read all 20. 6 times. You are the nutmeg of consolation, the rose of desire and the very flower of consideration. Ahhhhhhhhh bliss. I highly prefer character development to procedural. He is the master.

25. This is what I have come to believe from all of that:

A Real Treasure

There is only one of me.

I am a unique individual, one of a kind.

Therefore I have value,Whether I am young

Or old

Fat or thin

Tall or short

I accept myself as a unique work of art

Vastly interesting

Fascinating

Endlessly changing

Person

Of limitless possibilities (I think of Steven Hawking, wheelchair bound, immobile, scientist, professor, husband and father if I happen to contemplate my `inability’ to create satisfaction in my life)

Because:

I am always in this process of change

Therefore:

I cannot be a finished perfect`Anything’ (Insert label here [if you must])

This imperfection (by definition) has no bearing whatsoever

On my `value’ or `worth’

I have value or worth because I am a unique one of a kind piece of very fine constantly evolving art that has perhaps not existed before and perhaps may not again

And in my mind, so are you.

So I take pleasure in you, simply because I want it,

A real Treasure.

Blackstock ‘07

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