Tag Archives: writing

The Year of Living Dangerously

Danger, biszkopclik, deviantart

Welcome to a new year. Time for a fresh start, to etch out some life on the blank slate before us. A time of new beginnings, deeper relationships, promising hopes  and dreams. (Insert your favourite new year’s cliche here).

Still, this morning I find myself in somewhat of a reflective moment – reflecting on the year gone past. Given the relative void of posts from me last year, the opportunity to play a little catch-up is one I can’t ignore.

In my last post, I’m sorry, I  shared some of the challenges i was facing of late. One that was particularly significant was this:

It seems to me that living with Parkinson’s presents some real conundrums. As my health declines, I find it increasingly harder to get the energy to go out and be active yet I am brutally aware of how important it is to be active. As my fitness level deteriorates, I feel less and less physically strong  yet I know how key exercise is to slowing the progression of the disease.

I can’t say that this struggle is over. More than once, I’ve felt defeated by PD. Especially in this past year. I’ve felt myself dangerously perched on a precipice – worried about succumbing to one or another of my health challenges .

Yet, I have made some definite forays into more positive space.

In May, as our last of 3 children prepared to leave home for university, and in anticipation of an “empty nest”, we shed the burdens of our 1950’s bungalow (read high maintenance house) and moved into a newer condominium townhouse in a more pedestrian-friendly town about an hour away. We really miss the neighbours and the community but the increased walking and the perpetually parked car have been a boon for me!

In October, I started Rock Steady Boxing 3 times a week and find it to be a great workout, a cognitively challenging activity and a much-needed social support. I’m still trying to get my regular water-wings back into Aqua Therapy!

Throughout the fall, I’ve been able to reconnect with a few old friends from this area and to meet some new ones.

Finally, in December, all of our children arrived  for Christmas and, for the better part of a week, we managed to live together in the tighter quarters of our new home without killing one another. Now that’s living on the edge! That’s living dangerously!



Happy New Year all!






You want it darker

fade into darkness, lostknightkg, deviantart

This has been quite a year this 2016.

Looking back, violence seemed to reign supreme. I’ m thinking of the many terrorist attacks in Europe and the Middle East and the stunning loss of lives they wrought. Conflicts raged on in places like Syria and Iraq and we saw the horror of life in cities like Aleppo that led to the Syrian refugee crisis. In Europe, there was Brexit and the possible collapse of the EU. Assaults on our planet escalated environmental protests and drove a chasm between people that seems impossible to bridge.

We also lost some noteable people as the plethora of year-in-review lists will attest. Of particular note for me I would say were Mohamed Ali, David Bowie, Prince to name but a few.

The final two months of the year were even darker times for me (as it was for millions more no doubt). First came the US presidential election, followed by the death of one of my muses, Canadian poet and singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen. Finally, some personal health concerns weighed heavy on me as the year drew to a close.

I don’t want to toss another log on the the political hay storm fires that are burning. I’ve read at least a few dozen articles on the election results that have been much better written than I could ever hope to do. Suffice it to say that I am stunned by the election to such a position of public office of someone who spews such vitriol and hate, seems so racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, homophobic, divisive, provacative, ill-tempered, unethical, exploitive, angry and down-right rude. No matter how strongly one may be against another party or candidate, how in the world can so many support someone who behaves like this? I do get it – lots of people were angry at conventional politics in the US but was no one listening to the things this guy was saying? What he’s been doing?? Sorry – I said I wasn’t going to stoke this fire – and I think I just may have. Let me just say, I am one of those who face this new future with a great deal of fear. These are particularly worrisome times for  vulnerable people – and that must include people with Parkinson’s living in the US. I could be wrong about Trump and for the good of all, I sincerely hope I am.

As for the death of Leonard Cohen, I must say that his writings and music have been both an inspiration and a source of joy throughout much of my adult life. While it wasn’t a total surprise – he seemed more fragile of late and had publicly mused about his impending death in interviews and in his final LP You want it darker– hearing that he had died,  I felt like a great weight had been placed upon me. I felt crushed.

Finally, as if all that doom and gloom weren’t enough, I found out that both myself and one of my daughters will be required to have surgical operations later this month. More weight to carry…

After the Preface

Thank you for sticking with me on this one. Seems like a lot of black clouds have accumulated overhead in this latest blog entry. BUT, this has all been an elaborate preface to explain my relative dearth of blog entries in recent months. To help explain why I haven’t been as active or as inspired to pen additional works.

Simply put, as I have been following all the “doom and gloom” developments noted above, I’ve been feeling that anything I might have to say about living with Parkinson’s pales in comparison.  My experiences, my challenges, my questions and concerns all seem so insignificant or petty in comparison.  How can I write about the pain of my dystonia (curling of toes) when another 47 people are killed trying to flee Aleppo? Or when I read Trump’s new years message to the “losers” who didn’t support him? Or when I consider the void left by the death of another cultural icon?.

A writer friend advised me that while these more “global” concerns may be real, there is still very much a place for the voice of the individual. In fact, the voice of the individual often times tends to be the voice of many others. You reflect back or mirror others experiences in ways that they themselves can appreciate and you also hopefully contribute to a larger discussion of these issues or experiences.

I’m not sure if I’m convinced as yet. Still, a seed has been planted. I’ll let it germinate a bit and we’ll see what grows in the weeks and months ahead. One thing is for certain – I’ll need a little less darkness and a lot more light for this thing to grow!

Blessings for the new year!

All good things






Everyday i write the book

Jack Nicholson, The Shining, Warner Bros.

In the midst of new year’s festivities, I read somewhere that the new year provides each of us with a book of 365 blank pages and we should eagerly begin to fill them. A worthy, though somewhat hackneyed sentiment.

No matter that it’s “just-another-day”, it’s unavoidable that the new year brings with it a period of reflection. A time to look back on the year(s) gone by and forward to the days ahead.

This year, more than ever, I am feeling that my “book” is not the blank slate it may have been before. Parkinson’s has made an imprint before the year begins. It has smudged the pages. It’s stain has seeped through pages to colour all that I dare to write.

New challenges to my health have also left me feeling somewhat devoid of content – like I’m living desolate days. First I had a month of recupperating from bruised ribs sustained in a fall, followed by a wicked cold that I have been unable to shake. Day after day has been focused on trying to heal and little else. Stir in some frigid weather to limit my outings and you have a fine mix for a dearth of inspiration and production.

Yet, all that being said, it is but a few days – and just a few pages -into a new year. My pages may be tainted and somewhat devoid of content, but here’s my first blog of a new year. This entry is somewhat akin to what Steven Wright said about writing – “I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done”. Hopefully there will be more to come in the days ahead as I chronicle living my life with Parkinson’s Disease (and more!). Like it or not, and in fact, productive or not, everyday, I still write the book.