Sunday, January 23, 2011

Thoughts. Somewhat Coherant...or Not. Your Call. Jan 22, 2011

It’s been sometime since I’ve actually sat down and written anything other than a grocery list or a shipping label, that I feel I’ve been getting more than a little rusty with this sort of thing. I hope, greatly, that I write something worth reading, but all in all I’m doing this just to get out a few thoughts and my hope is to share them with the world.

Of late, I’ve been thinking a lot about strength. Not necessarily physical prowess or capability, but the other forms of strength that we don’t always acknowledge, and yet seem to be as necessary as the physical if we are to survive in this day and age. I’m thinking mental, psychological, metaphorical, metaphysical, inner, emotional, and on and on the list goes. What brought about this thought? I don’t really know. Will this necessarily have anything to do with what I was thinking of…I leave that to you to figure out. Remember, I write these without a clear end in mind, and if it’s coherent, then I consider it to be a massive win. If not, I won’t lose any sleep over it either. There is more important stuff in this world to worry about, than if a Facebook message makes any particular sense.

Probably the fact that right now I’m facing something that I knew would happen…but somewhere very deep within, I hoped it wouldn’t. I am talking, of course, about being separated from my husband for upwards of six or more months, with minimal contact, and all the realities of what he is facing, and what I in turn get to deal with. There is no comparison to what he’s dealing with versus what I’m dealing with, so I wouldn’t dare be so presumptuous to try.

I’d forgotten what it was like, being the sole inhabitant of a space. The vast quiet filling every empty room. There is something in knowing that everything here falls to my hands to be dealt with. It is both a liberating feeling, and oppressive. It is liberating in that I know that I have reached the stage in my development in a psycho-social aspect to be considered by and large, to be able to deal with such things as home ownership and maintenance to be able to take care of entirely on my own. It is oppressive in the fact that this is something that managed well in a partnership between people, and while he is gone, it is up to me to maintain this all to the best of my abilities, and hope that I don’t fuck it up. I didn’t really understand very much why it was that I refer to Matthew as my husband though he usually refers to me as his partner. I took no offense; they are to me a way of describing the same thing.

Only they aren’t the same sort of thing at all. Partner is probably the better way of describing our lives, because with his absence, the realization of exactly what he does for the house (besides work of course) is made quite evident. A partner…a TRUE partner, helps you shoulder the burden and shares in the duties that come with it. That isn’t to say that I collapse under the weight of everything when he leaves and that I’m unable to keep going without the presence of my husband. I am not, after all, a pathetic shell of a human being who needs to have another person to take care of me. I can take care of myself, and anyone else who comes along thank you very much. But the weight of the duty of taking care of the house, the property, the two dogs and the two cats, as well as food, bills, and the million of other things that are easily taken for granted in any given day becomes more and more apparent with each passing day. Believe when I say I can handle it.

But I do miss him. I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t. There are those days, or even those moments where I step back, body just vibrating in exhaustion, looking at everything I have to do, and wondering where the hell I’ll find the time to take care of. Angry at the fact that I’m doing all of this, and so very annoyed that Matt is gone again to work. Those moments don’t last very long, seeing as I’m not ignorant to the fact that he’s gone overseas for work to someplace you couldn’t pay me enough to go to. He does his duty, by doing his job over there. I do my duty, in many ways the silent partner, by taking care of things over here. People as me, a lot lately, how it is I deal with Matt being gone. If it drives me crazy, or how I’m handling things with him gone. When I tell them how I’m feeling or how I’m dealing…and their universal reaction is, “I don’t know how you do it.” Or, “I’d be a complete and total wreck.”

To be really quite honest, I sometimes wonder myself how it is I find the energy to put one foot in front of the other when I’ve run myself ragged. I work, pretty near to full time; I have the house and the animals to take care of; daily cleaning, and the “extras” that the dogs sometimes find for me. (To which I again say they are lucky I love them.) In all of that, add in the fact I serve, daily, as a “warm and fuzzy sounding board” to a half dozen or so people, and I do it all with a smile on my face…well…maybe calling it a smile is an overstatement. Perhaps it is somewhat less of a grimace. Or at the very least it can be described as a less scowley scowl.

ANYWAY…I do all this, day in day out simply because I can. It’s what I do, some of it is what I have to do, and some of it is because it is what I choose to do. I survive the days were I just want to throw my hands up and say, “Fuck it, I’m playing videogames until my eyes bleed,” by having a group of supportive friends and family who let me rage out and vent when I need to. I get up everyday because I know I could have it worse. I carry the weight of my responsibilities with as much grace as I can muster, and to top it all off, I gladly help carry the weight of, and for other people, when they need a friend.

People look at me, and underestimate the kind of person I am. The assumption, I’m sure, is that I’m soft, or weak, or easily fold under pressure. But, I am my parents’ son. I am my own person. I am one half of a wonderful partnership with another man who brings out the best of me. I am me, and my feet are solid on the ground. My eyes are open and I am almost depressingly realistic, but I let my head float in the clouds from time to time, because there’s still that spark in me I refuse to let go out. I am tiny, and unassuming, because deep inside, I’m a powder keg, and you do not want to set me off.

So, as he does his duty for Queen and Country, and serves in Afghanistan until he ships home, so too do I do my duty, and be the silent partner from overseas. I carry myself forward with each step, keeping our lives going here, while all the times standing by as silent support for him while he’s over there. I stand strong, and proud, and lend my support when, where, and how I can, for my Partner overseas, and for my friends back here, at home.

To end:

I had a dream the other night, where I was looking within myself, but some how looking at myself, and found a deep pit within me. Standing at the edge of it, I couldn’t help but wonder what it was within me that I was lacking, where I would develop such a void in my Self. As I looked down into the chasm, a voice…my own voice that is, answered the thought I didn’t put to words.

“There are two ways to look at this, like there are often two ways to look at many other things. You can see this oddity as a hole…but what else can be dug deep in the ground?”

Did I mention dream me is a bit of an ass? I took the moment or two, and the thought finally came to me.

“A well.”

The difference between a pit and well? Both are deep holes, drilled, sometimes at random. In to one, many things can fall. But from the other, much can be drawn out. So the choice is this.

If you see something much like that in yourself, will you let it be a pit, or a well?

A Thought...February 14, 2010

I sit here in my quiet house, a song filtered in the back ground, played from the top most floor of my home, reaching me sitting in the basement. The crescendo, a surge of the multilayered track of piano on piano, drum beats, a staccato in the back ground, the guitar providing an accent track for specific chords. A perfectly matched voice to these instruments, it is like an instrument itself. I close my eyes, and let the music fill me up, and over flow. My brain drifts to the images this song provokes. Are there tears? Maybe yes, maybe no. Only I know, and I’m not telling you. Is there happiness? Yes. Oh yes. Bittersweet, I will admit. But that’s okay. I’m where I need to be.

17 days ago I was fired from a job that I loved. I won’t go into details. The details aren’t important. Not for this moment in time. What’s important is that I’m okay now. I’m stressed, of course, but oddly enough, I don’t feel the tension in my shoulders or my brow that I did. My eyes aren’t puffy from the lack of sleep, and my skin doesn’t feel waxy from exhaustion. That isn’t to say that it was all bad. The people, more than anything kept me going back day in and day out. I was good at what I did, because I wouldn’t be anything else.

I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I go where I go, to learn and grow. To triumph and overcome. To fall, and pull myself up and not give in. To look through tears, and see there is the light. And the light I see through the tears, is the rainbow I follow to reach my pot of gold. For too long there have been too many people trying to keep me down, trying to shake to my core my self worth and the knowledge of who I am, so I will in turn fall in line. I don’t let them. I stand on my own two feet, and breathe deeply through the toxic fumes they spew at me. It’s taken a few knock downs to learn this, and every so often I find myself experiencing another one to remind me of where I came from and where I need to be heading.

So instead of looking back on my previous job with anger for how it ended, I instead choose to turn my face to the future, and see this ending as a new beginning. I take what I have learned, both personally and professionally, and embrace my new future. I take those I met, and hold them to me, and invite them to be parts of my continuing being. I mourn only the lost opportunity, but not too long. What’s lost in the past stays there, and there are reasons it’s lost. Instead, I form my world for me, and promise to myself to look after myself better than I had in the past.

I have found things that are truly yours are only taken from you if you let them be. Pride. Self worth. Self esteem. Others may bruise them, but only you can let people take them from you. These traits I still retain. I’d forgotten them for a while, instead letting my walls break down, and allowed what was bottled up to wash away the debris. I’ve given myself a rebirth. Of thought, of consciousness, and of self.

So I sit here now, listening to my music, letting it fill me, move through me, and move me. Songs conjure images. Images conjure my thoughts. My thoughts revive my emotions, and I can look back and smile. Or cry. Or laugh. Or rage. Or rant. Or scream. Or all of these. Or none of these. Sometimes, more than one. It doesn’t matter what the combination, what matters is that I do it. What matters is that I have the choice and the option to do it. What matters is that this is me.

And so I continue on, and regret nothing. I am where I need to be, and perhaps. For now. I need to be where I am.

I Won't Worry My Life Away...January 18, 2010

"The remedy is the experience.
This is a dangerous liaison
I say the comedy is that it's serious.
This is a strange enough new play on words
I say the tragedy is how you're gonna spend
The rest of your nights with the light on
So shine the light on all of your friends
When it all amounts to nothing in the end."

It's rare enough that I start these things off with quotes from others, however I find it a bit amusing that I have chosen once again to quote Jason Mraz when sitting down to write. Perhaps in a few days when I compile one of my playlists entitled "The Soundtrack of my Life" I'll likely lean heavily on Mr. Mraz, and revel in the thought provoking variations in his performances, and juxtapose it with something that allows me to revel in the thoughtless noise I find myself occassionally drawn to. And no, I didn't have to look up the word 'juxtapose'. Despite the ditzy exterior I'm actually smart.

I think perhaps I will not wax poetic as I did last night. At least not for the duration. But then again that is so often the intention, and so seldom the reality. Let us commence with this journey, and see where we end up this evening. Afraid? Don't be. I can at times surprise you, just keep an open mind...those are far more fun to play with.

I find myself drawn to thoughts on people and perceptions. How we behave, interact, and observe each other. The perceptions others have of me, and the fact that I am in reality so far opposite of what they believe me to be, that the looks of shock and awe on their face when they get a peek beneath the surface are truly interesting to behold. Despite evidence to the contrary, I'm quite intelligent. Humble to the extent that I don't draw attention to it, but also sly enough to let people think what they want. If someone wants to be of the rather mistaken impression that I am stupid, or unobservant, so much the better. For me.

When people believe you aren't or don't pay attention, or that you don't or can't remember anything about what they say around you, they pretty well treat you like you're a prop in the background. People have made the mistake of thinking I'm just standing in for a shrub before and it's royally bitten them in the ass. These people I came to realize are the people you have to watch out for every day of your life, because they are the ones who believe that they are the only important on in any given scenario. So, you're probably sitting there wondering where this is going? Having started with a nice quote from an artist I respect and I launch into a tirade, you must be wondering where I'm going with this. I told you. Keep your mind open. You know by now if you've read enough of my works that I always find my way to my point. "It isn't the destination that matters. It's the journey." I take my time, but don't worry. I won't abuse the faith you show me when you read this start to finish.

Things I've observed when people don't think I'm watching are revelations that make me see a different side to everyone I surround myself with. Social situations, or one on one. I see much. I observe all. And I sometimes smile to myself, or I feel my heart break just that little bit, over things that if I were asked about them, I would make some excuse. My observations of people in these circumstances, I treat as though they were treasured secrets they themselves have told me. I would never betray a friend's confidence regarding a deep secret. Or even someone I don't like...I would keep their secrets because of the faith they show me in unwittingly allowing me to see beyond their facade.

I have learned that the most confident person among us can appear to be more vulnerable when the spotlight isn't on them. That not all is as it seems under the veneer of happiness, and that as hard as others try to mask it, I can see their hearts breaking, or hardening from the pain. That the quietest among us are often lost to their thoughts, and the least confident are waiting for that sign that tells them "You too can be strong." The loudest amongst us are trying to hide something about themselves, to distract from the reality of themselves, and those not careful enough to avoid the redirect will go right along with it. (For the record, I'm one of the loud ones. I know it. I accept it. And when it bites me in the ass, I know I have only myself to blame.) The duality of our natures is what makes us each unique. Good/Bad. Light/Dark. Whatever your flavour, there are two brands. Sometimes we induldge in both. Sometimes we don't. But whether we know it or not, or accept it or not, we're each made up of opposites.

A favourite process of mine is sifting through the opposites, and seeing how they make up people. And no, this isn't a deconstruction of my friends and family for an objective third party psychoanalysis. This is my way of getting to know them better, and to know them completely. People have mentioned they have a hard time keeping secrets from me, because I either know what they're trying to hide, or when they try to surprise me, it ends in failure, because I'm expecting it. I apologize for this frustration, but take it as a sign that I actually care. It's true. I'm not easily surprised. Nor am I easily shocked. And for as vapid as I seem...I'm always thinking. My mind is always active. Thoughts range from music, to movies, to art, to friends, to family, to myself, to the future and to the past. To the good that I am, and the evil I could be.

To the experience.

To the future that fills me with no fear of what lurks in the dark corners of the experiences that I will endure and over come. I will face the darkness, and I'll be damned if I'm the one who blinks first. My friends are why I hold no fear. My light is my own, but those I choose to surround myself with are reflections of my light, and hold a light of their own. In my core, I am my own strength. I am not filled with such hubris that I know I can hold the line on my own against the future bullshit...nor am I naive enough to believe there will be no bullshit in the future. I'm not a stupid fellow. But I look to my friends for support, and I hold trust in them that when the moment comes and I need to lean on them, I will not find myself alone. That when I need a reminder on why I'm doing something, they will be there. And that when they think they are all alone, I hope they know that I am never far.

So once again, the thought train has reached it's destination. A bit more erratic I think, but that tends to happen more and more when I find myself able to write more frequently. More thoughts jumble up than I can express in one sitting and they all fight for dominance. In good time, I will expose my brain pan to the light of day again. So until that day when we see what spills out, and what happens when I give the contents a swirl, I leave you to think on yourselves. Your duality. Revel in it. Enjoy it. Know that you are made of distinctions, and that they are wonderous.

I'm A Free Bitch Baby...January 17, 2010

I love watching the world. Seeing, watching, witnessing, enjoying, cringing, loving, hating, living and breathing this world. The way we reach and stretch ourselves. Looking deep in ourselves, finding ourselves, losing ourselves, loving ourselves and hating ourselves. Looking in the mirror and wondering, what the hell was I thinking? Laughing through the tears, and crying through the joy. Living, loving and losing ourselves to the cacaphony that is truly LIVING in our own skin. Laughing at others, while secretly jealous that they are free to express themselves, all the while not realizing that we are just as free as they are. Strength is what it takes, and those we attack are the ones we envy because they live the way we wish we were brave enough to live.

I sit here now, probably well past when I should have gone to bed. I sit here, watching the words fill the page, not entirely conscious of where they are coming from. I just listen, and wait, and watch, and listen. I feel the pull to write, and so I do. I write and I will write until this mood passes. If there is a point, then so much the better. If not, then I write to sate the deep desire to make words appear. Rolling this language around my mouth, getting a taste for the words, and sharing them. Giving in to myself, and writing my words. Giving in to my ID I guess. Except this has little to do with food, sleep, and most certainly has nothing to do with sex. So having said that, if one of my primal urges is to write, what does that say of my nature? You're welcome to make a comment or two about what you think.

More and more as our culture spirals deeper into the 21st century, I find it amusing the way that each generation tries to separate itself from the preceeding generation, but aiming to "shock and awe" our elders, all the while being baffled by the following generations behaviours. It wasn't so very long ago that we were youths, doing our best to separate ourselves from the expectations of "art" and "culture" that were imposed on us by our parents generation. And now, the following generation is doing the same to ours. Punks and preps had given way to goth, which begat emo, which begat hordes of joking, and people wearing skinny jeans that should really reconsider that fashion statement. We've made a disposable culture, where everything can be purchased, used and thrown away. Our "Celebrities", our music, our films, our commerce, our "must haves" and "really wants", our phones, our sex, our friends and even ourselves. Many are content to go with the flow. To move with the herd. Right to the proverbial abatoir. We scorn those who show true talent for the dime a dozen pop acts that look, smell, taste and act the same. We see anything that deviates from "the norm" as bad, because it isn't what we're used to. And as open minded as we all claim to be, everyone has their limits. Even if you don't know them yet...everyone has their limits.

I look at the music scene today. Some in part because it's my job, staying up to date with what's our there, but also because I've always enjoyed music. What may shock some people is that, while I wasn't able to complete my education in the field, I'm actually a classically trained pianist. I studied, and logged many hours of practise learning to play Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms, and so on and so forth. I grew up listening to Simon and Garfunkle, The Doors, The Beatles, Cyndi Lauper, Chubby Checker, The Monkeys, Frank Sinatra, and on and on my musical education went. If you were to ask me who out of all of that is my favourite, I couldn't tell you. For me, music is not something to favour. It's something to immerse yourself in. Like a warm blanket, a hot bath, or a nice cup of coffee. Or whatever your preference. I surround myself with preferred songs, and hold them dear because they show a bit of who I am. Everything tells a story. Some of the stories are easier to hear than others. But what really saddens me is that the most popular stuff that's out there, is mass produced, and cookie cutter. It's "safe". I will admit, I enjoy some of it too. I love the beat. But in 20 years time, when music that hit it big when I was in high school, I shudder to think that the youth of those days will consider them "Classic Oldies." In as much as I guiltily love listening to Britney Spears "3"...I still shudder to think of the days when those are the classic oldies. I'm beginning to understand the dread my grandparents generation felt about my parents music.

But at least the stuff that was coming out back then wasn't a mass produced spectacle. I truly hope that artists...TRUE artists...not the puppets that "sing" (warble) the words handed to them, played by the music "made" for them...start showing up. There's already one out there who isn't afraid to be different. To go against the grain, while still doing the smart thing of making herself marketable. Being true to herself, writing her own stuff, performing it, and actually being able to play and instrument while looking totally at home with it. We are long over due for a musical revelution. It's time for the drek to dry up, and make room for people who have the talent to back themselves up.

So, where does this leave me? How did I get to that rant from where I started? Simple. I just followed my traing of thought. It jumped tracks, and I hung tight. It was a hell of a lot of fun too. And that's the thing. No one has fun any more. We're all so busy taking ourselves too seriously when we don't need to, but not taking ourselves seriously when we really should. It's an attitude I see more and more every day. Rampant immaturity, and when people are called on it, they snap like overstretched elastic bands. Have fun, but act your age. Be responsible and own up to your shit, grow a fucking pair, and relax. Confused? Don't be. It's how I live my life. I love my life. I love me. I stress out when I don't need to, but I'm working on that. I have fun, because life is too short not to. I take myself seriously, because I know not everyone does. People don't seem to realize there's more to me than they see. I just keep Me very close to my chest.

I encourage everyone who reads this, and everyone who doesn't, to go out and create something. It doesn't have to make sense from start to finish. Nothing ever does. I've yet to read about someone's life from start to finish and say, "Hmm. Well. That was all very straightforward. Yes. Very well done. Pip pip." Because apparently when I read biographies I'm British. Who knew. Go out and do something...ANYTHING. But do it because you want to. Do it because you can. And in the end, do it for yourself because it's something you want to do for yourself. Not because I encourage you do to it.

And now, I find myself scraping the bottom of the well. And you know what...I'm not rereading my writing this time. Spelling errors happen. Mistakes happen. It's not the end of the world.

So good night all. Feedback is as always appreciated. Negative feedback will of course be read, and depending on severity of ignorance, it will either prompt me to write one of these in response to your ignorance, or I'll delete your comment after milking it for every drop of inspiration I can.

Because, let's face it, I'm a bitch that way.

Details...October 1, 2009

"Hold Your Own. Know Your Name. And Go Your Own Way..."

I sit here on the eve of my 27th birthday, listening, in enjoyable silence, to Jason Mraz. As I write this, the song "Details in the Fabric" is playing. I'm relaxed. Contented. Sitting with a buzz that usually comes from a few drinks with good friends. I am, however, stone cold sober, with that lazy feeling of heaviness in my limbs. I am reflecting on the last 27 years, the same way a dear friend of mine recently reflected on the last 30 years of his own life, and I have come to realize that...Damn. I've done a fair bit already.

How the hell did that happen?

I count my blessings, among them are friends and family. A job I love. Coworkers, and managers who are awesome. A beautiful husband who, despite my flaws, loves me for who I am. Friends with whom I can entrust myself when I'm at the point I can't see past my glasses, and can feel no further than the tip of my nose. Family who I can lean on, and know that they aren't a crutch, but instead another of the support pillars I am truly blessed to have.

And my writing of notes that may or may not hold cohesive thoughts. The gift and ability to be able to sit and write these. And the bravery to post them, regardless of what I have to say. They are my words. My thoughts. No one elses. And if people like them, then that's wonderful. If they don't? That too is wonderful, because at least they know their own minds enough to know what they like or not.

I know I have seen and done much. I've been through shit that no living soul should have to deal with. I face down my personal demons, and make it emphatically clear to them that they are my bitch, not the other way around. I know things that make me the envy of those who are older than me, and I look at those who know things I don't with a mix of curiosity and pride. What a wonderful thing it is to possess a knowledge others are only vague about. And what a great thing it is, to be able to impart a bit of wisdom without hubris. I won't stop learning. I refuse. It's fun. Keeps y'sharp. "An enlightened man knows that he truly knows little." There is more knowledge in the world than I'll ever learn. But that's fine. As a human race, collectively...we know it all. We just need to learn to work together on it all.

"At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want. " Lao Tzu. I don't think I've ever heard a more fitting statement for where I am right now in my life. At times, in the tempest that is my life, I feel overwhelmed. Stretched thin. Pushed to a breaking point. I can feel the pin prick tears behind my eyes, and the shortness of breath. But then I take a deep breath. I close my eyes. I feel my world spinning around me. But the ground beneath my feet is solid. Still. Anchoring me where I need to be. I look deep in myself, and I see Me. Battered? Yes. Bruised? Definitely. Broken? Never. It will take more than anything in this world to break me. Because I know who I am. I know what I am. I know where I am going with my life, and woe be to the one who tries and stops me.

"Listen to the music of the moment people, dance and sing. We're just one big family. And it's our God-forsaken right to be loved..." Feeling the warmth and strength of hands on my shoulders, or the kind words from can I feel anything but loved? With the different kinds of love that are out there...I know I am blessed. And my gods, my heart is full. My husband. My family. My friends. Each one has a piece of my heart. And in different ways, I love them all. And too many people get hung up on that word. It is a powerful emotion, but we can thank society for creating the hang ups. That is one thing we can never have enough of.

So I look back on the last 27 years, and prepare to face my 28th with enthusiasm. I know who I am, which is more than what most can say. I am at peace with myself. As turbulent as that may be. I am strong. Stonger than people may think I am. I am content. I am, at present, alone. But I'm not lonely. There are too many people who surround me, either in body, or in spirit. Love. I love and am in love. And I am loved. I protect my friends, as best as I can, and I am there for them. Always, and all ways. No matter how dark things can get for me, I can see rays of light, and I let them warm me. My legs may shake with effort as I take each step, carrying the weight of my world on my shoulders. But I take each step, on shaking legs, knowing that I have the strength to carry myself, and any others who need my support. I can be ugly, but through that, I find something in myself that is beautiful. I am wise, because I will never be anything less than that.

And I am Robert Dakin. Living my life. Loving every minute of it.

As I started this note, I shall finish it as well. With a quote from a song.

"Are the details in the fabric
Are the things that make you panic
Are your thoughts results of static cling?

Are the things that make you blow
Hell, no reason, go on and scream
If you're shocked it's just the fault
Of faulty manufacturing."

And remember. Everything, will be fine. Have faith. Be strong. And when you find you can't keep going...I will always be here. No matter who. No matter why.

Love you

Open Letter to Love...June 22, 2009

Dear Love;

I am writing you today in an effort to understand the past animosity between us. While it may seem a bit cloy and trite to say this, but for the first two decades of my life, it seemed that you had a mad on for me, and for the life of me, I cannot understand why.

I know that you are not an easy thing to get along with. At times, you have almost caused my heart to break, you've made me an emotional mess and, oh yes, let's not forget that pesky anxiety attack that you will on occassion have come and visit. I know that's MY favourity house guest. Yes. I was being sarcastic.

But as I move more and more into my adult life, I have to look back and wonder why I fought so hard against welcoming you into my life. I have come to know you more and more these last few years, and you've brought along a couple of your other siblings. Though why your parents names you all love is beyond me, the fact is, they too have set up house with me, and instead of feeling overwhelmed, life's feeling more and more complete. Happier. Safer.

And it hasn't just been yourself you've brought to my life. Through you coming to stay, I've met my Husband. A person whom I care about moreso than I actually thought possible. And through your siblings, I've met the Other Two. Combined, the fact that I now have The Three in my life, all thanks to you, makes for a debt that I will never be able to repay. I know. There are all those other people out there that I care about, and they are all in my life in ways, shapes or forms that make them important to me. But outside of Family (in Laws count)...the fact that there are three people whom I love, and care about in the unique ways that I do...if you'd have asked me a number of years ago if I ever thought I'd reach this point I'd have laughed.

So, through you I now turn the attention outward. Bringing in the younger siblings, such as "Care", "Friendship", and the like. If you're reading this and I miss your name, do not feel slighted. You all should know I have a crappy memory, or am easily distracted. Also, I'm intentionally leaving family off this list because, my gods, I don't think I have enough time to write that all out. LOL.


Matt: You are my husband. The one whom I have chosen to spend my life with. Through thick or thin, good or bad, bitchy or not. We have gone through Hell Fire together. We've been tested, and we've been pushed. We still are. I love you, more than I can ever put into words. You are one of my best friends, and I cannot imagine what my life would be like without you in it.

Heather: Who knew what started out as a few random comments at a Drag Show and at Group would develop into what we have? I sure as shit didn't. You've worked your way so seamlessly into my heart and into my life, it's as though I've known you forever. Your help, not only around the house when you lived here, but in my life after Matt left for his course...I will never be able to thank you enough for all you've done. Doesn't mean I won't try.

Luke: I can hardly remember what it was like not having you around. You have helped me bring a balance in my life, and have helped me keep my head when I was starting to worry about losing it. You've given me refuge to fall apart if I need to, and while I was never able to, completely, like I've felt I've needed to, you also gave me something more precious than gold. Acceptance. Understanding. Refuge. Solace. You are a one in a million friend. Though friend and family no longer cover it. Whatever you call it...I am grateful.


To all the others out there. Kyle, Jamal, Randi, Shawn, and on and on the list will go. While I am no firm believer in God, or Fate, or anything like that, you people help me see that maybe, just maybe, there is a reason behind everything. I can't say I don't believe I've met you all, and become as close to you all as I have, if there wasn't some reasoning behind it. For the different aspects you all add to my life, I am proud to know you all.

So now, Dear Love, as I sign off this letter, I just have one last thing to say.

Thank you. You help make my long days bearable, my life enjoyable, and have brought me to those who have helped make my world complete.

Signing off

Rambling...April 27, 2009

Every now and again, I get the time to sit down and write. Just...let the mental babble out on "paper" and debate whether I let other people read it or not. I think, fairly obviously, if this is being read then yes. I've decided to let people read it.

Saturday's Drag Show was a very interesting experience to say the least. It was awesome entertainment, and good times. Had a couple drinks, but stayed responsible, as in more than capable of driving. Took a very inebriated friend back to his house, and left him in the care of his roommates. And then I brought my little microcosm of a world back to my place where everyone either fell asleep, or passed out to varying degrees, and all was right with the world.

But what happened between the start of the evening, and the end of the evening is where it was the most interesting. See, for the last few months I've been trying to get some of my Straight Friends to come out to see one of these shows because I honestly think they'd have a blast. Some have expressed interest. Some have expressed curiosity. Some don't really get the point. All of which are valid responses, and ones I totally respect. But one of them finally decided to pull a Nike (the shoe brand, not the goddess) and "Just Do It." He came to the drag show with me and my friends, and had an absolute blast.

What's interesting though, is this was perhaps the first time the "Straight" world that I work, live and breathe in, came for a visit to the "Gay" world that I am only able to escape into every once and a while. And while I hate using labels like that so bluntly and obviously, it's the only way I can really express my thoughts. I hadn't realized it until recently, but these two sides to the world that we live in, remain pretty separate for the most part. But one brave soul kinda catapulted through the barrier and joined in on the Gay Side. Blessedly, he enjoyed his visit, got along with my friend Luke, oh how did Luke put it, "Like a House on Fire" or something like that. Anyway. Two total strangers got along like they'd known each other for years. All through the wonder (terror?) of knowing me, and me finally getting them both to come out with me for an evening's entertainments.

The real eye opening thing on this, is that it is an opposite to what most of us Gays or Lezzies deal with every day when we step out that front door. We bring a tiny pocket of the 'Mo World with us, but we are utterly and totally surrounded by a Hetero-Centric society. We've made great strides toward equality, don't get me wrong, but one look at the media, and you can still tell we have a ways to go. Anyway, my intrepid straight friend stepped into about the Gayest side of the world you can get, bringing just the tiniest pocket of Het World in with him. And through the glories of being open minded, and comfortable with himself, he joined in the fun, and had a great night out.

So, you lost yet? Bear with me. I hope I get to my point. If not, whatever. It's fun anyway. Like I said. Mental babble.

Anyway. I never really even realized what it is that I do when I walk out the door, until he walked into another one. I steal myself to the coming day, knowing full well that while I am lucky to be surrounded by people who respect who I am, I'm still moving amongst a world that doesn't understand what I am. But. I understand that world I move in, whether I like it or not. I stay true to myself, relax, let go, and just have a blast in it.

You can only make change in the world, by being the change you want to see. A paraphrase from Ghandi of course. So what change is it that I try to make in the world? Opened eyes, opened hearts, opened minds, and opened arms. I approach the world with a smile on my face, and the strength of will and character that could have only been molded with a gentle touch, and fire from passion, and heat that would rival any sun. I am held up by the pillars of my background, and I develop through every encounter with every person I meet and cross paths. I stand, whispering to the darkness, because a whisper can sometimes sound louder than a scream. And I do this, because there are people, like my friend, who are more than willing to meet me halfway, stand beside me, and try to illuminate the darkness.

Life on Shuffle...December 7, 2008

I’ve been listening to a lot of music lately. It has been some very diverse music. Some would be described as depressing. Other music would be described as peppy, fast, slow, hyper, trance, techno, and on and on the list of descriptions and genres would go until you’ve covered pretty well everything except for Polka. But pulling the focus back on the stuff people would be calling depressing… Sarah McLachlan, Anna Nalick, Michelle Branch, Sarah Bareilles, and on and on that list goes too. I will admit. On the surface, some of their music is pretty sad, and depressing. But, that’s simply a matter of interpretation.

I know I tend to come back to music, but perhaps there’s a reason for that. As some people may know, I was in piano lessons for a while when I was a kid, and then a rather unfortunate incident happened which left me having to drop out of lessons. For a lot of kids, that would be a blessing, but for me, talk about a curse. While I’ll admit, I didn’t much care for my music exams, the very act and art of playing was a balm. It helped bring order to my thoughts, and helped me keep focused in school. I loved the very act and art of playing. Learning to complexities of the music, and overcoming the thought that “I’ll never be able to do that” and then nailing it. A perfect run through. Knowing that, while I may not have written the music, the music came from inside me. It was some other person’s words, but it was presented by my soul, through my hands. Me. Mine. No one else’s.

I look at my hands now, from back then. My fingers are more twisted now. The articulation is still not what it was before I nearly shattered my hand. The reflexes are not sharp enough to go back to exams, and I know enough to teach myself now. Every so often, when I’m near a keyboard, or a piano, I’ll sit or stand there, and just play. Sure, it may just be scales. Or maybe just some chords. But even the simplicity of them, I can still put my own twist. Variable time measures, emphasis, soft notes, sharp notes, discordant notes, anything that I can do to the music to make it mine, even the simplest of it. It doesn’t make me feel powerful, or in charge, or anything half assed crap like that. What does it make me feel then you might be wondering? That answer is going to sound odd, and perhaps flawed. Which is perfect, seeing as I am odd and flawed. Everyone is after all. I just take much delight in this fact. But it makes me feel creative, happy, open, honest, I feel that pump of blood that normally only comes from driving a really nice car really fast on the 401. I know, it’s odd that simply playing a few notes can give you that rush, but I’m not a normal person.

I am flawed, eccentric, happy, sad, angry, bold, strong, weak, ugly, beautiful, mild, wild, boring, interesting, but most importantly. Absolutely, and MOST importantly, I am me. There are people out there who try to distract my focus from that detail. That try and turn my head, and follow the herd. They seek to quiet my voice, or beat me down until I feel so sad or depressed that I can’t or won’t fight back. I am man enough to admit that there have been times in recent history where that’s been a danger, and it’s almost succeeded. Okay, maybe in the grand scheme of things they were nowhere near, but for me to let it get to the point where I was able to notice that their efforts were having an effect…well…that’s epic.

So, how does this bring me back to my latest musical selections? Simple. In nearly all music that is out there, there is a message inside that we can use to bolster our strength, steel our resolve, soften our hearts, or open our eyes. Sometimes, it’s just to breathe, or not settle for the next best thing. Other times, it is putting in words what we need from someone. But most importantly, it’s the sound track of our lives. Nearly ever person I’ve spoken to and asked at random, “What song can you just not be without right now.” It can change day to day, but about 85% of the people I’ve asked, have a song for me.

I’ve received some private messages from people lately with some of the blogging I’ve been doing. Seeing and making sure I’m doing well, and all that sort of thing. And in interests of answering these people, I’m just sayin’ this. Thank you, for your concern about me and my well being. But, even as sad as the tone of these may be at times, I don’t think I’ve actually been this good for years. Yes, it is true, I have been doing some soul searching lately, but every so often, that a good thing to do. Like emotional spring cleaning. Going through everything, and letting go of the stuff we don’t need. And sometimes, letting it go can hurt, and be painful. We have to let go of the bad, no matter how hard it is. It can be rough, and gut wrenching, even though we know it has to be done. That’s why I like pouring it out on paper. To release myself of it, to stand back, and look at things objectively. As much as we let things go, they still linger with us. The important thing is being able to look at our baggage, and see it, not as an insurmountable dilemma, but objectively and realize that yes, there may be this tremendous mountain of stuff sitting infront of us, but there is nothing you can’t do, if you just work at it.

How do you eat an entire elephant? One bite at a time.

So, in the tremendous shit storm that is my life from time to time, even if my notes don’t touch on the actual problem, they still serve to help me take the next bite. Just like music was for me, writing is for me now. I take the risk, and pour my heart and soul into these words, and publish them for everyone to see, to comment on. To analyze, or criticize, or compliment. And does it make me nervous? Or scared? Hell yes it does. Which is all the more reason to do it.

Now that we have reached the end of this train of thought, and taken a few interesting diversions, I ask you, what song can you just not be without right now. Feel free to post it as a comment, or send as a private message. If you want to say why, then please do. If you don’t, then no sweat.

And now, in parting, I leave you with this thought.

Every life we touch is left altered by our presence. Whether it is good, or ill, that is up to you to decide. Those who openly welcome you into their lives…move softly. You already walk within their heart. And those with whom you join over time? Feel the joy of having made a difference in their life.

So, my friends…the ball is now in your hand. What is the Soundtrack to your Life?

Recommended Listening List:

This is what I was listening to while I wrote this note. Some beautiful, some heart wrenching, and some that hold a meaning that only I’ll understand. Remember. I’ve been listening to these all with a smile, there is no sadness here.

Breathe (2 A.M.) – Anna Nalick
Strong Enough – Sheryl Crow
Fairytale – Sarah Bareilles
When I Grow Up – The Pussycat Dolls
The Game of Love – Michelle Branch and Santana
Everywhere – Michelle Branch
Near You Always – Jewel
Full of Grace – Sarah McLachlan
Blackbird – Sarah McLachlan’s cover
The Path of Thorns (Terms) – Sarah McLachlan

Peace and Quiet...November 20, 2008

One advantage to waking up early in the morning to take the dogs out before going in to work, is the utter silence that fills the void between objects, surrounding me with a comfortable hug where my thoughts can run free. Standing out there, and at this time of year, watching the steam come from my coffee cup, meeting the steam that comes from my breath, I watch the forms in it take shape, and let my mind wander.

Usually the shapes end up looking like lumpy mashed potatoes, so I look a little further than that. That's when I look to the sky, and smile softly at the fact the air is now so cool, crisp and clean, that the light from the stars is just that much sharper. Don't get me wrong. General rule of thumb, I hate the cold, and I hate the morning. I'm not a winter person, nor a morning person. But there are those moments when everything is just so beautiful, so perfect, that I don't mind being up that early.

Leaning against the house, that constant reasurring pressure at my back, the slight cold seeping through my jacket, feet bare in my runners, coffee hot in my hand, and cold air washing through me, and the sound of the dogs running around, I realize that, even when things can sometimes be crap-tastic, the small things are always still there to help bring a smile to my face.

Head tipped back, nose in the air, eyes on the skies, I feel myself sliding back to a more simple time, many kilometers, and many years away. Back when my Grandmother on my Mom's side was still very much alive. Out on the deck at the cabin, we would sit and look at the stars, between slapping mosquitoes of course. A nice breeze off the lake, rustling the leaves, we'd sit, the pair of us, and look up at the stars. She taught me all the constellations she knew, how to find them, and where to find them in the over crowded skies. An advantage to very few street lamps out there, and the ones that were around were usually obscurred by trees.

I'd look then, as I look now, and separate myself from the overwhelming thoughts in my head. Confronted with such beauty, I now, as I did then, give my self over to the power of nature, and realize that there is nothing keeping me from feeling the tranquility now, at 26, that I did then, when I was only 6. 20 years difference in age, and even with the responsibilities of work, and home, I can still take a moment, and divest myself of all this shit I find myself mired in. I know it's still there, waiting for me when I break out of my reverie, but in those scant moments, I find myself lighter than I have ever been. The weight lifted, and I am free.

Even if only for a moment.

Then, I take a sip of my cooling coffee, lips curling at the bitterness of it as it cools. I take a breath, and exhale, feeling the world come back, to settle on my shoulders. I feel the weight of it, but I do not begrudge it. I now welcome it back, knowing that I have been given the tools to handle what ever may come. I have been given these tools by every person that has touched my life, and I know that there is nothing that I cannot face. I know I have to get ready for work. And I will. I know I have to go to work. And I will.

I draw myself away from the stars, and the cool air, and begin to go back inside, casting one last furtive glance over my shoulder at the sky. A silent promise to myself that tomorrow, I will be back. Cup of coffee in hand. The welcoming silence and darkness waiting for me. The stars, as watchful as eternity, I know that whatever will all be alright.

And now, my stars here on Earth...your thoughts? Your comments? All are always welcome.

A Meditation...November 17, 2008

This meditation is not for the squeamish, or those who do not want to know what's been boiling in my brain pan. I would like you to consider this to be a special invite into my mind, and have some fun with the gooey gooey innards. Feedback is as always welcome, encouraged, and craved. Only in the examination of one's mind do we learn to grow, and brave the changes we are faced with. So shall I start. And thus, I shall begin.


Some we live with, some we chose, some are chosen for us. Some we love, some we hate, some we tolerate, and some…some we would just rather ignore, and pretend they don’t exist. Love them or hate them, society is built on them, and there is no breaking away.

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Pansexual, Asexual, Transsexual, Non-sexual, Straight, and a million other politically correct labels to identify the myriad of colours in the sexual mosaic that make up this world. But under it all, aren’t we all just people? Short answer. Yes. Long answer. Yes we are. The real answer though? The one society operates by? No. We can’t just be people. We have to be something. But it isn’t enough to define yourself, to work hard, and to be what you will. You have to be gay, or a lesbian, or bi, and on and on it goes. And if you’re something other than the ideal heterosexual, living in the suburbs, driving that damn SUV with 2.5 children and a white picket fence, then you exist on society’s fringes. We’ve made great strides to be in with the whole of society, and in Canada, we’re damn lucky compared to other places around the world. But to be accepted, truly accepted, it’s expected that we deny who and what we are and fit ourselves into the glorified cookie cutter of creation that we’ve been told to be since before we were old enough to think for ourselves.

I for one take pride in being on the fringes. I found my power, I find my strength, I find my voice, and I find my fire by existing in the in between state of being socially acceptable, and being on the fringe. I have found the best people out here with me. Strong. Beautiful. Proud. Noble. Witty. Funny. Delightful. And Perfect. Christina had it right. “We are beautiful, in every single way. Words can’t bring us down.” Let them label us. Call us names. Mock us. But don’t let them win. Take their words, and wield them as weapons. Where they use words, we use thoughts. Where they seek to insult us, we take those insults, and forge our armour. We stand strong, we stand together, and we walk towards a brighter day, where we toss aside these labels we’ve been saddled with, and simply exist as “Human.”

But until that day, I stand strong and proud. I am a gay man. I live in a hetero world, but I’ll be damned if I bend to the collective will and deny who and what I am. Until the day when I am accepted as Robert Dakin, nothing more, nothing less, then I will be happy and proud to wear whatever label society chooses to give me. But make no mistake. They intend to give it to me, but I have chosen to take it from them. Make it my own. And I stand with my allies, my friends and my family who support me, and don’t give a rat’s ass about what I’m called. I stand with my friends, whoever they may be, and know that they are beautiful, and perfect in my eyes.

So, society labels us, and puts us out to the fringes? That’s fine. We shine from within. We carry a light within us. Look at our rainbow. Isn’t it beautiful?


Now the part of the meditation I so seriously debated on sharing. But I figured…what the hell. You all know aspects of me. Why not share my own personal thoughts and observations. I’ll be honest in saying, it may not appear to be a pleasant analysis, at least in part, but it is honest.

I am 26. I’m married to a wonderful man who, despite my many flaws and faults, loves me for who I am. He stands by me, and helps me realize parts of myself that I thought either forgotten or misplaced.

I grew up too quickly I think. Sometimes. I was always such a serious person when I was younger. Still am I guess. But I’ve learned to find the fun in more things now than I had in the past. I let my heart lead my head on occasion which has been a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it has given me access to levels of my emotional self that I may not have realized otherwise. But a curse in that it’s lead me to trouble on more than one occasion. Ooops.

I will give the vibe that I’m detached, sometimes cold, distant. It’s the mask I’ve created to hide my heart because my bad habit of wearing it on my sleeve and wiping my nose with it. I don’t say “I love you” unless I mean it, and I don’t say it often. Sometimes I don’t say it often enough. Some people I want to tell, but chicken out. But for me, for me to love someone, it isn’t the same way I love Matt. He is my husband and my partner. For me to love, it is a feeling that goes beyond the simple ties of friendship.

But in this all, I still see myself on occasion as an ugly thing. As high as the peaks are, so are the depths of my valleys. I feel joy, love, but also sadness, and see darkness inside. We are all people of light and shadows, it’s only in finding the balance do we really know who we are. I am not blind to my darkness, nor do I shy away from it. Which scares me sometimes. Sometimes, I feel myself wrapped in my shadows, so tightly I can barely breathe, and all I want to do is scream at it. Rage against the darkness, but I’m lucky if I can barely muster a muffled squeak. It is with your helping hands, my friends, that I shred away the darkness. That I take the shadows that would seek to consume me, and with your help, push them back, and keep them at bay. And in that I find happiness, that there are those I can lean on when I don’t have the strength to keep myself erect. And in that happiness, I find shame, that I cannot do it on my own. And with this conflict, I can feel the pricking, burning tears forming behind my eyes, and I don’t know whether to rage, or scream, or cry or laugh, or sit numbly, and just let it all out. I try, everyday to be a good person, and I’ve been successful thus far. I stand strong, but sometimes, I just want to surround myself with people I can trust, let the defenses drop, and let it drain away. But I won’t. I can’t. Because, when it comes right down to it…I’m simply not strong enough.

The Morning...November 12, 2008

In the silence that surrounds me when those first moments of consciousness hit me, I stare blindly at the ceiling, musing upon the possibilities of the coming day. I feel a shift beside me. Firm, and constant. My rock, my love and my friend. Gentle breath on my shoulder, and a warmth that I know I will soon miss.

My feet hit the ground. It's cold, and hard. Unyielding. Like the person I know I have to be at times. Like the person I can sometimes be, when I really don't want to be. Unlike the floor though, I've never been refinished. Perhaps it's time to invest in that. Some personal refinishing, to bring out the natural beauty that I'm sure is there, but is simply hidden by some years of neglecting it. The glimmer is there...but maybe it's time to bring out the shine.

The smell of coffee. Warm, comforting, familiar. A searing sensation every morning. A simple reminder that sometimes in life, we have to endure a little something bitter, but find something enjoyable in each day, no matter what. And when things get a little too bitter? Just add a little milk, and you're set.

The shower. The morning ritual of cleansing oneself of the previous days toil. Restoring, at least on the surface, a veneer of cultured civility. Preparing oneself to face the day, and the posibilities that the new one carries. Allowing the heat and pounding pressure of the water to force you to release the pent up tension from the previous day. Letting the soap suds draw out the toxic thoughts, and sloughing them off down the drain where the rest of the waste belongs.

To dress, to primp, to preen. To assume the mask we must display at times to get through the day. To cover the cracks that appear in time, and show a strength we may not always find true in ourselves. Because god forbid we ever EVER show weakness in the face of adversity. Chin up, shoulders back, and walk heel->toe->heel->toe...wait. That's high heels isn't it? Be strong. And enter the world with the power of a hurricane. Be a force to be reckonned with. And never back down...even when sometimes that's all you want to do.

And to tag people in a note when you haven't even mentioned them by name. Perhaps it is a call out, for input on your thoughts. Either to encourage healthy debate, or cultivate a positive feedback. You know that you're not alone in these thoughts. Or that others may see you in a different way? Or perhaps, just to know that your thoughts have been heard.

My friends. I love you. You are beautiful. And thank you for your time

Family and Friends...November 9, 2008

Interestingly enough, this thought came upon me during the Drag Show I was fortunate enough to go to on the 8th. Being so far away from my parents and sister, and my in laws, with only my husband down here with me, I got to thinking about what it means, getting older (growing up is, of course, optional) and the family that we surround ourselves with. And most of the time, these people start off as strangers, though some find their way into your heart, leaving you feeling more complete than you were before.

The interesting thing about this, is these people, and the dynamic you hold with never even knew you were missing them in the first place. It gives you the feeling like you're floating on air, and if nurtured correctly, is a feeling that you never have to let go of. It's a different kind of love you feel than what you have with your kin.

Growing up, I was very lucky. Never for a minute did I not know that I had at least one best friend I could always go to...always count on. That would of course be my sister. Always a constant support, even when we would fight, even when we were so mad at each other we were seeing red...we always had each other's backs.

And I miss that. I truly do. It's always nice having a personal cheering section, and being one for someone else.

So where does that leave me now. Southern Ontario, with my delightfully zany husband. And, my new family. People that I'd go to the wall for. That I care about as if they were my own family. And in a sense, they are. Eli, Ryan, Heather, TJ, Jamal. All the wonderful and wacky people that I've met, and only known for such a short period of time...They all give me a connection to things around this place that I never thought I'd have again, especially after some of the unpleasantness in Cold Lake. (Excluding the wonderful people I met there of course.)

I'm not a person who easily considers people my friend. Been burned on that a few times before, so I'm far more selective these days. But for those of you whom I do consider to be my friends, it is an honour and a priviledge to know you. You're beautiful. You're fabulous.

More to come


HI! Thanks for coming. More than anything I'm starting this as a bit of a challenge for myself. My goal is somewhat regular postings on things that cross my twisted little mind. I hope I can convey my thoughts in a cohesive manner, though sometimes I admit I greatly enjoy watching the thought process unravel and see exactly where the strings of consciousness lead me.

You'll likely recognize some of my early posts, as I will be transferring them from Facebook. I want my journal to all be in one handy location. I'll tidy them up, spelling, grammar etc. Not actually CHANGING anything in them. From here on, I'll probably either post simultaneously between the two, or put up some sort of notice on my Facebook page.

My hope is that eventually this will open a dialog, not just on this site, but in general. Or expose you to something a bit different.

I do hope you enjoy the ride and I look forward to you joining me on this endeavour.

Love to you all!