Hello. How are you? I am fine.
This is my introduction.
I am a man. A father. A single father (meaning, 3 days of every week my exclusive job is to be the exclusive parent to two young daughters). I have lived in Vancouver Canada for a long time, most recently spending the past 7 years in Vancouver’s notorious little “ghetto” affectionately known as the Downtown Eastside (DTES, to some). I am employed. For the past 5 years (I’m mid-40s but with a charmingly youthful approach co-existing with a prematurely geriatric crustiness, what a package!) I have finally been appropriately employed as a Harm Reduction Worker, which means nothing to most. What I really do is work at Insite, the first and currently only legal supervised injection site in North America. It is a job I am proud of.
So this is my introduction. Me introducing myself to any who might read this and my introduction, finally, to making a frickin blog entry. I have, for years, had a meta to-do list (along with a thousand other lists consistently lost in a pile of good intentions and crap handling). And a blog has always been on that list. I have registered a website in the past and my hope was to be able to give voice at some level to the Struggle from my angle on the planet. And to track my own struggle and my commitment to struggle on.
The Struggle? I can describe it from any angle, for me or for others. The Struggle is about justice. It’s about resistance. It’s about transformation, confrontation but ultimately compassion and love, especially those times when all that is witnessed seems to be hatred, discord, injustice, and chaos and the temptation to be the same burns you alive. Then struggle on.
But the Struggle is also about the interior landscape. Health- physical but especially mental and spiritual health. Regarding mental health- I have a weird window. The best (or perhaps easiest) description might be ADD. The more appropriate is the Buddhist term Mind Monkey (or Monkey Mind, but Mind Monkey is really what goes on). When sitting still, the monkey jumps from tree to tree. Simple words to describe an immense mystery. Most people can parallel this experience to a degree, but my monkey is a beast. And those who know me well can attest- mine is a brutal beast. Yet I struggle on.
And regarding spiritual health? I am a champion doubter. And a champion Jesus emulator. And a champion pluralist. And a failure at all of the above- even doubting.
But the real struggle? I just moved into a derelict, desecrated, defaced, yet undeniably incredible cabin in the woods on a mountain on an island right close to Vancouver. I couldn’t be more amazed. And now I have to make it both habitable and appealing for my two young daughters.
And I have a tendency to repeatedly get in over my head. Yet it appears I struggle on. And in some manner this is my expression of hope for others to continue to struggle on.
Honoured to make your acquaintence