The Mess of Life

I get
Why should I invest in you — when you are my inferior? An in-valid.
They treated me with obvious goodwill and kindness.
How to tell?
Same way you tell anywhere.
Unconditional acceptance
Of my self reliant adulthood,
Willing to be available if asked
I must be liked and accepted or I am a shit
So I will do this for you at great cost to myself
So I may signal my virtue
I must be liked. So don’t get in my way and compete with me for likes.
For you must do the right thing, whatever I decide that is
or you are a shit
and I can’t stand this inconvenience.

Most people are crazy because they need to be liked – Albert Ellis

I highly prefer to be liked and accepted but I don’t HAVE to be. I never have been 100% and I never will be, stroke or no stroke.

I highly prefer others do the right thing, whatever I decide that is, but they don’t HAVE to. They never have and they never will, stroke or no stroke.

I highly prefer no inconveniences in my life but I don’t HAVE to have that. I never had that and I never will, stroke or no stroke.

The Mess of Life
Copyright 2020 Blackstock Art&Design

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
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

Garden of Earthly Delights
Hieronymus Bosch, between 1490 and 1510

No Munee No Hunee

The surprising number of people that dumped me when I had a stroke. Who would have thought. Two years later it continues. Not their cup of tea. Only I was their cup of tea before the stroke, I was led to believe.
So what is this? Conditional acceptance? Nothing to offer? The feeling that I no longer have anything to offer?

The put offs when I asked for what I want in relationship with now ex-friends are myriad but they all have the same boring similarity; I am no longer a priority. A drain on resources.
Friends aren’t family and I don’t have family just friends.
The most recent was, this feels like emotional infidelity. After 30 years I am intruding in their relationship.
What changed is she deepened our relationship, by asking for what she wanted, to get together on her recent trip to town to visit family. One of many visits in 30 years, the first she has asked to see me. So when she returned to Little Bum Fuck Arkansas she decided that talking to me on Twitter was emotional infidelity. Because I talked to her at some frequency asking why she was ignoring me again.
Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. No win situation.
OK basically she was saying I’m a pain in the ass go away. So I said I would and she said but I was of use to her she liked my comments, but just had nothing to offer because that felt like emotional infidelity. Oh. Stay but don’t ask for anything like communication and companionship. Until she wanted it.


So, living alone with my cat, I woke up confused, my arm and leg sometimes working In that moment I lost my home, my cat and everything I owned, including friends/family that wouldn’t even visit in the coming months. 1/

But I had taught to me on facebook by a guy dying of liver cancer and not upset about it . If it is to be it is up to me.OK then. Paddy Johnson @artfcity suggested a gofundme Cliff Eyland @CliffEyland bought a print and he donated as well 2/

this got my possessions into storage and coffee money and kept my cell phone going. my facebook and twitter friends I had never met but like me donated. so I wrote 2 books on a tablet in the hosp coffee shop each morning before physio. my narcissist fiance never showed once 3/

so I learned about female narcissism and wrote about my experience of it. my single mother was one so I had raised myself in the library, lonely and anxious always and here life was repeating, I was in trouble and alone, but the same tools I could read 4/

write and learn. So I did. So I am. Since the stroke didn’t affect my cognitive functions I was able to search out psychological help, and the hospital gave me physical help. 5000.00 a day for a bed, nurses, 4 specialists, physio, for 6 months and 3 months outpatient at unknown 5/

cost. Recently a twitter writer bought my book and offered to review it in trade for reviewing hers. So I did. She described mine as self pity and couldn’t understand the personal history format I learned from reading the New Yorker mag. No empathy for any loss but hers 6/

If it is to be it is up to me, If I were to be heavily reliant on others, rather than appropriately so, teachers, mechanics, doctors etc I would not like myself or my life. This my responsibility, to create satisfaction, this is the purpose of life to find satisfaction 7/

For instance an attractive woman sidles up to me in the grocery, I am pushing a cart, my cane is obvious, a wedding ring on her hand. Oh you poor man! in a seductive tone, how can I help? 8/

Help? I don’t obviously require any, she must be in this to look good, uh ok what are your feelings on adultery, I ask? Offended that she should be seen as fucking less than the most physically able specimen, she leaves with an awful look on her face. This makes my day 🙂


If you are not skeptical about religion

then you will likely be conservative

and believe what you are told to believe

kindly present the evidence

you have to convince me

I don’t have to believe anything

I remain unconvinced

your anecdote in unconvincing


A Very Poor Trade Off

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is the life & work of its creator, Dr. Albert Ellis, Ph.D.  Central to REBT’s teachings is the ancient psychological insight of Epictetus, who said, “What disturbs men’s minds is not events but their judgments on events.”  That idea helped REBT become both an effective, evidence-based psychotherapy and a philosophy of living.” – Will Ross

OK then. I’m at the transmission shop, having just given the owner $6500.00 and my car is leaking oil, again. Still. All the O rings, whatever they are, have been replaced blah blah blah, mechanics bullshit, and it turns out they didn’t tighten the oil plug.

Then, looking at my cane and stroke affected arm, he wants to wonder how I handle all this ‘bad luck’. He complained previously of being stressed out, he is losing his remaining teeth, constantly eating sugar candies.

I said life is random, if I demand the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune shouldn’t happen, I’ll be asking that my next lover or art patron won’t arrive either.

High tolerance of frustration is the key to success in any endeavor, including, being alive. It doesn’t mean being comfortable it means tolerating discomfort.

Like if he went to the dentist he would learn to tolerate it, and find out it’s less discomfort than not going and having teeth rotting in your head.

Like going to the tranny shop and basically making a new car. Runs like a new car and it’s time consuming and expensive to attain. Short term pain for long term gain.

Then he reveals his source of anxiety: “I suppose God wouldn’t give you what you can’t handle.” I said if you believe that. I prefer to think that events are 50% a pain and 50% not, random, like throwing a coin.

I used to agree with him, avoid the dentist and other self helping discomforts. In return for lifelong discomfort. A very poor trade off.

So my limited budget is more limited than before. I can learn to tolerate this discomfort by making my own coffee to go, rather than Starbucks for example, focusing on how well I am budgeting and enjoying the coffee costing me 25 cents rather than $3.50.
I can go for drives with my camera because the car is cheap to operate and fun to drive.
I can enjoy my hobby of reading and building my library, The Library of The Duchy of Jerald.

See? Already I’m having fun and my teeth and car are healthy.

Ignoring = Abuse

Well it does. I’ve experienced this all my life from family, but didn’t realize till recently what this icky feeling of anxiety shame embarrassment guilt all mixed together was.

I met a woman on line, Louise Bak, an artist in Toronto. I tried to collaborate, and deepen the friendship, which she ignored. She maintained contact with daily updates of the news, similar to a twitter feed.

She sent me photos of herself for an editing project I was working on, but no comments on the results. Ever. I had enough work to begin a book project, Letters from Louise, I did a cover sent it around twitter, no response there or email.

I felt myself sink into a depression, I had trouble walking again, had trouble seeing the joy of my recovery from stroke.

Then I read up on ignoring someone:

It is abuse to ignore someones needs emotionally and make them feel worthless, depressed and will cause long term damage so much so that in many cases it can lead to the victims physical health being harmed.To deliberately cause harm to someone by use of the silent treatment, deny a person any emotional care, deny them any praise, starve them of love, affection, compliments, positive feed back, to regularly reject, degrade and deny a person any emotional responsiveness and to ignore a persons needs is mental abuse or also known as psychological abuse. It is repetitive abuse that’s aimed at controlling, diminishing another persons well being in order to hurt, punish, harm or control them.The silent abuser is able to switch himself off emotionally to the pain and suffering he is causing his victim and will deny he is the problem and he may tell himself or others that he is the victim.You stop being a victim when you become the abuser

In REBT, this is called the activating event 
My unhealthy negative emotions, the anxiety shame etc and my self defeating behaviors, such as isolating, weren’t caused by this event. This is just what gets the kettle cooking. This is called life.

What causes the emotions and behaviors is how I look at the activating event.
The consequences of my belief system, my philosophy. This is called the three major musts.

In my case it was, I must be liked and do well or I’m a loser, life is terrible and I can’t stand it.

The next step is to dispute this. Is there any evidence I’m a loser and I can’t stand a setback?
The next is to answer rationally and honestly. The is no evidence. I highly prefer to be liked and treated well but I don’t have to. I have been standing it, I am standing it, so I will stand it. The disputing irrational beliefs form has great suggestions, including the wonderful question, what good can I make of this?

My new motivating self helping negative emotions are just disappointment, sadness and annoyance, my new self helping behaviors are talking to strangers and asking for what I want. Oh yes, and finding nicer friends.

There is no reason, why things should be different from the way they are, no matter how unfortunate or unfair their present state of existence is. Albert Ellis

No matter how badly you may be frustrated or deprived of something that you badly want, you normally need not make yourself terribly unhappy about this deprivation if you do not define your preference as a dire necessity. Albert Ellis


The photoshopper is an armed version of the solitary walker reconnoitering, stalking, cruising the internet urban inferno, the voyeuristic stroller who discovers the net as a landscape of voluptuous extremes.

Adept of the joys of watching, connoisseur of empathy, the flâneur finds the world on the net “picturesque.”— paraphrased adaption of Susan Sontag, On Photography p.55 

all rights reserved

A Liberal Albertan Speaks Up

Political parties in Canada campaign from the right or the left but govern from the centre. The conservatives think we broke that deal when we instituted Universal Health Care but as long as we didn’t do PharmaCare, Free Tuition, DentalCare, or Guaranteed Annual Income like civilized European countries, such as Germany, and a large part of our income came from selling cheap oil to the Koch brothers, they could live with that.
Now the USA fracks it own cheap oil and gas, China, a rich massive communist country, wants ours, and our population wants more from its resource revenue.
The conservatives are very afraid we are going to give it to ourselves.
They are authoritarian because they demand certainty in an uncertain random world, they hate change. Similar to small children.
A mature adult says, yes, life is often uncomfortable and uncertain but evidence shows not only will we deal with it, but that we are very good at dealing with it.
The conservatives rush instead to powerful rich cults which worship bronze age deities and have centuries of stored wealth and political influence at their disposal to manipulate those in anxiety that was created by demanding certainty. The church offers certainty of an afterlife but if you and I don’t know, then they don’t know. You and I aren’t broken, the church isn’t bequeathed with special mind powers, it’s a snake oil con game based on evidence.
Hostility and anxiety go hand in hand such as the religious based USA, mass murder capitol of the world.
We in Canada are an evidence based society that deals with uncertainty in healthy, mature, adult ways.
We no longer have to choose between taking our daughter to the hospital and paying the rent, or mortgaging our homes to pay for our cancer care.
The conservatives like us to live in fear, attempting control others by offering blame based solutions such as work harder, save more, pull yourselves up, save for retirement while working at their companies for minimum wage creating their wealth like good little economic slaves.
Change is coming, it is always coming, it is always here.
I say to my many many conservative friends (I live in Alberta): it’s OK, the Adults have this. Strong, rational, sane, scientific, educated grown ups have your back. You don’t have to live in such fear and hostility anymore.

Predator and Prey

How did it happen?

She approached me an the gym

I was sought out

Slightly handicapped

Seduced, flirted and flattered.

Chatted me up for an hour.

Walked away with my contract for training

Specialized in stroke recovery

With a side of implied romance

Oh you have made my day love bombing

Undervalued and Dumped

Didn’t respond to an email

Cancelled last minute

Our first session

Another client took it more priority

Grooming with guilt and obligation to accept

Manipulation with nice