Just for the…

April 12th, 2015

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Gilean Todd was moored over at the landing, said to have rockfish, halibut, and cod. Spattering rain, gale warning in effect. But the tide had just turned so I put on my all-purpose bike gear, hauled out the blue kayak (like a split milk-jug), and set out for the wharf. With one boot full of seawater and the wind at my back.

I pulled up alongside and shouted up to the boat: Hey—you got fish?! Yup. Halibut. But only whole fish, said Silas, hoisting a glossy 14-pounder. Both eyes on one side, shiny as live. Just yesterday swimming off Comox.

I paddled round the wharf and dragged the kayak up the beach. Gary showed up and we worked out a deal. Silas filleted the fish artfully with his huge knife, and Gary took the bulk of it—meat in one bag, carcass in another (for the garden). I climbed back into my vessel and headed back across the lagoon, hard into the gale with my haul: three pounds, plus a cheek.

Supped on halibut in a crust of almonds and herbs, with a light sauce of yogurt and dill. I did it, and of course, it had to be done. Just for the…well, you know. Just for the fish.

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Mine won’t be having any

April 11th, 2015

generations_at_sunsetI was hanging out at the cafe with two longtime Island friends. Both about half a generation ahead of me in age. The g-word came up (grandkids!) and Kate immediately started in on the marvels of her latest grand-progeny. Denise, an accomplished qi-gong instructor and youthful, energetic force, shrugged. “Mine won’t be having any,” she said. Lynn stopped gushing and nodded, mmmmmm, like a balloon that the air had just gone out of. The expression on her face was entirely familiar to me—that same look of incomprehension and mild pity I’ve seen on the faces of women when I tell them I don’t, and won’t, have children. “Mine won’t have any, and I’m fine with it, either way,” said Denise, with a smile. And I thought, cheers to you! What an accomplishment. What a gift. A gift for yourself, a gift for your children. Without expectations your life is just perfect, and you will be happy, any way.

And this is why i quit my job

April 4th, 2015

CBHsUmZUQAEO5lS.jpg_largeNo hard feelings Hollyhock. Its been a nice cozy winter, sitting in my corner office overlooking the ocean, three days a week, tap-tapping away on my (thank god) Mac with the nice big monitor, grooving with the marketing team. I think I’ve done a pretty good job. But that’s enough—I’m too old for this nonsense.

This nonsense being, the act of sitting in front of a computer for 8 hrs a day (well ok less than that, with lunch and plenty of stretch breaks), investing my heart and soul into something which isn’t my passion. Don’t get me wrong—I totally respect Hollyhock and the good people that make it tick. If I didn’t, I couldn’t work there for even five minutes, in any capacity. I respect, and I support. But I am 50 years old and I’ve only got so much juice in me. Life is too short to atrophy my body, or to pour out my soul, for something that isn’t the very reason why I am alive on this earth. Read the rest of this entry »

My dharma nephew Misha Mountain

March 2nd, 2015

Misha Mountain Ross SchmittThis is Misha Mountain Ross Schmitt, my new dharma nephew. His mom is my dharma sister, Red Sara Ross. Misha entered into the world in a brave and unorthodox way— a bicycle buddha baby for sure.

Long before we were dharma sisters, Red Sara and I spun through each others’ orbits. Coinciding at Vancouver art happenings, celebrations and demonstrations, we were two red-headed shit disturbers, hell bent for saddle leather. For years, we circled the bike activist world of Vancouver like twin suns. But it wasn’t until I returned from Upaya in 2011, a newly-minted zennie, that we deeply connected. Read the rest of this entry »

Intimacy in relationship

February 1st, 2015

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am working on intimacy in relationship, from the epic to the microscopic.

When I worked at the bike shop, sometimes I would challenge myself to have an intimate relationship with every person who walked into the store that day. I know, that sounds like a good way to catch a disease. But that’s not what I mean.

I would decide, if I sell a customer an inner tube today, i want our relationship to be intimate. From helping them select the right tube to leading them to the register, to swiping their debit card and handing them a receipt. I want that interaction to be intimate: mutual, respectful, and complete. Read the rest of this entry »

A small fortune

January 18th, 2015

Fortune_cookieI got an email callout today from a filmmaker friend, asking if anyone could help him pay down some credit-card debt. The bastards had let him exceed his credit limit, and then without warning had simply upped his interest rate and added a hefty monthly surcharge to his bill.

My friend declared that he would much rather pay the interest to a friend than to those bloodsuckers. He is confident that he will be able to repay the full amount, with interest, within a few months. Could anyone lend him $1,000 for a few months? Read the rest of this entry »

Only seeing one side of the moon

December 22nd, 2014

dark moonWhen you see forms or hear sounds fully engaging body-and-mind, you intuit dharmas intimately. Unlike things and their reflections in the mirror, and unlike the moon and its reflection in the water, when one side is illuminated, the other side is dark. –Eihei Dogen, Genjo Koan

I knew there would be darkness, outside and in. Can’t say no one warned me, I said, I understood. On this long night the dark lies thick as a rug and the rain falls like stones from the sky. I don’t mind the dark, and I don’t mind the rain, blackness warm as a sweater, rain caressing my spine.

But the blackness within, well—I knew that would come. I was warned. I understood. I was ready, I said. Read the rest of this entry »

I live for library day

December 18th, 2014

libraryThe new library at Linnaea Farm is the joy of my week. In the summer i’d ride around the lake to the farm, stopping at the produce stand for blueberries or peaches. I would choose a book from the library, then wander down the trail to the huge fallen log, strip off my clothes, and dive into Gunflint Lake. And then I would lie naked on the smooth old log among the bullrushes, reading my book and eating blueberries, or dozing in the sun to the sound of blackbirds and giant dragonflies. Careful not to drop the book in the lake. Read the rest of this entry »


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