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In Response

"Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh, and too selfish to seek other than itself.” - Kahlil Gibran

[A tad of an unusual blog this time around. It's been awhile since I've been active here. There is so much said and to be said about, and in reaction to, my last few blogs. They reflected some of my thoughts as I went through a terribly dark period of my life, reaching towards the ultimate act of suicide. That's a scary word to most, I understand that. But words are just words. I despise the way we have come to "politically correct" ourselves when we want to have an honest and open communication. I despise that we substitute phrases like "friendly fire" to mean "murder of one of your own team". I despise that we use phrases like "collateral damage" to me "Oops, we murdered innocents as a side effect of murdering who we were really after. Too bad. So sad." And so, I'm not afraid of words. And bluntness. It's not cruel. It's honest. I almost killed myself. The word for that is "suicide". That's what I almost did. I stopped before I got there, though. There were many things, now that I think back in a sane and safe way, over the past few weeks and months. A lot of small, insignificant things. Some bizarre and off-the-wall cuckoo things. Some deep and wondering things. And your friendship and worry. I can never find the words, as politically-incorrect as I might be in doing so, to express to you the influence that had and is and always will have on my life, the direction it took, and the direction it will take from here.

So why did I say this would be an unusual blog? Well, as a comment to my last blog entry, Matty left a very lengthy and thoughtful comment, and I have just finished composing a reply comment to it. I have realized that, as I was writing that reply, I was really writing this blog entry. It isn't for Matty. It's for all of you. It's been quite awhile since I've written here, and I thought maybe some of you whom I would very much like to read this wouldn't see it if I left it buried as a comment.

And so, the rest of this blog will consist of her comment and my response. Please understand, it is intended for YOU. No offence, Matty! I trust you'll understand!]

[Matty's comment.....]

Rick...I am so thrilled that you are here in body as well as in spirit. Enough said.

Seems to me after reading your latest post....that your writing is calmer...the words flow.....I 'read' acceptance...and wonder! I 'read' life and being and growing spiritually. There is a definite positive change in your writing.

I love Gary Zukov and I have read 'The Seat of the Soul' and saw an interview of him on Oprah a year ago.

Today I don't feel pain in your post and between the lines....I read a new beginning...a better understanding....can I even say a calmer...more peaceful Rick?Don't tell me its the new meds? just kidding..

That is why I'm so excited about Eckhart Tolle's latest book...'A New Earth'......every page I read...I'm nodding my head...the lightbulb is on...I feel peace stealing over me.....and I believe that every few years we get a prophet or Messiah...a teller of truth...who brings us a message.

I would send you this book Rick...this instant...but I signed up at Oprah's website...oprah.com and registered for the 10 week seminar...and I look forward to it. If you haven't bought the book yet....do it.....so far 360,000 people have registered for the seminar on-line free....and it hasn't started yet. I believe its because so many of us are searching for 'our truth' and our reason for being. After the 10-week seminar I'll be happy to send you the book...although it will be 'high-lighted' on every page.I hope you can join me if you can...this will be the biggest classroom on earth.....an awakening to our life's purpose. If you want to explore your spirit Rick....this would be a great way of doing it. (We can do it together and compare notes.) There will be homework and study...etc..

I am so thrilled you had this deep, caring discussion with your brother. I don't believe in coincidences...everything happens for a reason.

Rick you need not apologize for anything you said or implied....we all do what we have to for survival of our body or spirit...but I believe now that it is a part of growing and evolving......that is why I can't wait to take this seminar and 'awake to my life's purpose' and grow spiritually, go wherever it takes me.

I sense..Rick that you are a very spiritual being...in none of your past posts do I find any materialistic wants....just a universal hunger of the spirit.....to be acknowledged...loved...and accepted. Don't we all?

I'll be back Rick...hang in there. Like you.....I've had more than my share of burdens....but I have an indomitable spirit that won't let me give up or give in....my spirit is trying to tell me something...and its my job to listen and learn.I'm curious to know a lot more about Eckhart Tolle....so far... from what I read he came very close to suicide himself...and yet he is a spiritual teacher taking his message throughout the world. I truly believe I was meant to read this book at this special time in my life...and I'm up for the challenge.

And Rick...you don't get through life without stumbling, falling or screwing up....that's a part of life...how we learn and grow. Not only have I stumbled plenty...I really wiped out a few times.

Talk to you soon...and that wasn't stuffy at all...that was straight off the cuff....honest and thought-provoking.

Thanks and peace to you...my friend.

[.....and my response.]

Wow! Matty!

I don't really know how to respond to this. I appreciate that you read a "patient and more calmer Rick" and don't read the pain between the lines.

Perhaps it has lessened, I don't really know. I do know two things though:

1) It's still there to some degree, and

2) there are a lot of beautiful people in the world. (And of course, I mean "soulfully" beautiful).

The supposrtive comments and e-mails that I've received from folks truly have helped me through a very dark and scary period of my life. I am always aware that it may happen again, I don't know what triggers it. I obviously suspect it is in someway related to being bipolar, but I don't want to use that as an excuse. But I do thank you, and all the others who have lent support to me. Don't any of you, please, for an instant think your words or your concern were wasted, even if I didn't respond directly to them.

I am aware that what I have been writing lately has been disturbing and upsetting to some of you folks. I don't do that intentionally, believe me. Well, come to think of it, yeah, maybe I do. I suspect I do it as a kind of therapy. By letting it all go in a public forum this way purges me. The price, unfortunately, is that it upsets and worries some very close and dear "internet friends" that I've made over the past few years. All I can say to that is, "Share your joys, and they're doubled. Share your pain, and it's halved.".

Thank you, to all my friends and strangers alike, for helping to share this current pain with me. It is a treasured gift, and is immensely valued, and always shall be remembered.

I know there has been a "selfish" element that has woven its way through all of this, thinking of myself instead of the worry it might cause you and the others. But realizing and hearing about the "worry" has helped me understand that it's not selfish at all to ask for help, and to do it sooner than I have had a tendency to do. "Fight your own battles, no one else cares" mentality has been pervasive throughout my life.

An affirmation here, now. I have a "right" to be selfish, in the sense that I have the right to be who I am. That was a significant part of the discussion I had with my brother. On any non-trivial decision or direction I've considered in my past, it has, unspoken, but strongly and mentally, begun with the deterministic caveat "What would the family think if....". I won't say now that I no longer care, but I can certainly say now that it won't be the deciding, overwhelming factor. I will be that factor. That decision-maker. Of course, I don't want any of them to worry or fret because of me...the same thing I wish for all of you, but I think I have finally got it through my thick skull that sometimes that is the price to be paid. And others can "handle".

I suspect, having reflected a great deal the last while obviously, that I have projected my own perspective and identity far too much onto others. Up until now, I think the word 'martyr' might easily be applied to me. In other words, sacrifice your own wants, needs, desires if they are in conflict with anyone else's. Always default to the other guy's wishes. Well, while that will still be a consideration, from now on I think it will be more of a "mental negotiation" with myself, rather than a clear dictate.

I prefer that much more over the word "selfish". Selfish denies others completely. "Mental negotiation" doesn't.

I just wish I could find the words to express how liberating a feeling that is for me. Will it last? Time and future will tell. It lasts today, and for today, that's all that matters.

So, thanks again to all of you, and if I may, particularly the "special ones". You know who you are!

I don't know if this makes sense to you or anyone else. I hope so. The irony is that what has always been true in my life in the past has simply been reinforced by this most recent experience of mine. "What doesn't kill you will make you stronger".

I feel stronger today. Much stronger.

And perhaps that is where the "spill-over" to paying more attention to the Rick-spirit that you address has entered more of my conscious thought and wonderment of late.

With love and peace, spread it around


Rick, I see you have discovered an essential truth about blogging. Many times we blog for its cathartic effect on our souls, essentially to purge the pain by expressing it openly. Fear not there will always be pain in one way or another, for without knowing pain we could not appreciate the peace and joy we find when we release the pain. May your spirit continue to guide you and may the great spirit grant you peace.

I don't have anything to say other than this is a really beautifully written post.

Cori: Thanks so much for your encouraging words. It's always nice to get a pat on the back ain't it?!!!

BTW, I'm not sure if we've ever been "properly" introduced yet (Mackey, get with the show will ya?!). If I remember correctly, you fill out the triad from Edmonton, yes/no?

Do you mind if I add your blog address to my sidebar? It's always nice to "check in" with neighbours.

Thanks again for taking the time to read the blog, and drop your comment.



Uncle Gerry: As I get to "know" you more and more, I am recognizing the gentleness of your soul and spirit, your caring of others, and your acceptance of yourself. I think that is a wonderful combination. Frankly, with the hundreds of readers you get on your blog, it truly blows me away that you find some time to drop a thought or two my way. That makes them doubly appreciated.

Hope the move went well, and you're getting settled in to your new surroundings.


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  • I'm Evydense
  • From Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • And I'm tired of living in the shadow of narrow-mindedness and ignorance. So here's the fax, Jack! "The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and three hundred and sixty-two admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision." - Lynne Lavner*** I'm confused; curious; satisfied; realistically resigned to being a frustrated idealist; usually at peace with myself, but not always. Amazed at how little I know, and wondering how much I need to understand.
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