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Michael's Metaphors of Life Journal

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“Hunting Muskie” Sneak Preview: Winter Solstice

December 8th, 2018 by Michael Dyet
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Blizzard

As we approach winter solstice 2018, it seems like an appropriate time to give you a sneak preview of the story of that name in my short story collection Hunting Muskie: Rites of Passage. In that story, intersecting threads of fate from one tragic moment connect the lives of three characters even as another life-altering event is unfolding.

The story alternates between the perspectives of the three characters. This preview focuses on Edana as she endures a sleepless night on the eve of her husband’s funeral.

Edana: fathoms deep—December 21, 7:10 p.m.

 such a long night this is going to be, richard. i have to bury you tomorrow. commit your body to the earth, your soul to heaven. until then i have to keep myself centered. between life and death.

 six feet under. i insisted on that. not necessary, they said. the law only requires two feet. damn the law, i told them. six feet under whatever the cost. they nodded, humouring me, the grieving widow. i tried to explain. he was a ship’s captain. it’s only right. a fathom down.

 they still did not understand. nor can i, for that matter. why you had to die while they live on. a reckless bastard who runs red lights. a gutless man who did not give a damn. he should have stopped. a few minutes more—you might have survived. but he could not be bothered. he lives on while I have to bury you. where is the justice in that?

 Edana: angry wind—December 21: 8:00 p.m.

 it has been snowing for hours, richard. the storm of the season, they say. as if that matters one iota. what matters is this—two children to raise on my own. what am i supposed to do now? two children, two lost souls entirely dependent on me. i just want to scream.

 but instead, i just sit at the window. watching it snowing hour after hour. trying to lose myself within the angry wind. can wind be angry? you said it can be at sea. i want it to be the wind of my grief and my anger.

 i’m transfixed suddenly by a ribbon of smoke. curling and folding from the rooftop smokestacks. it billows and rolls. dissolves into the ash of the night sky. is it you reaching out to me? repeating the dance over and over as i watch? symbolic cremation.

 Edana: storm petrels—December 21, 8:30 p.m.

 i know what you meant now, richard. about losing the sense of time while you’re at sea. it feels like time has folded in on itself. seems like years since i touched your face. and years to go before this night ends. it’s a kind of madness.

 i thought death was only absence. but it’s presence too. an unrelenting hum. like hydro wires in my brain. it has given me this terrible headache. will it leave when you’re buried? i don’t want it to. it’s all i have of you. can’t i hold onto that one connection? like those birds that follow your ship. your sea-friends, you call them. storm petrels. i want a storm petrel to follow me.

 where is he? that soulless man who left you to die? is he suffering? i want him to suffer. he doesn’t deserve mercy. he’ll get none from me.

If you’re intrigued, check out the book trailer video on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPIXPHZgpTc

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Still the Spark of Ignition after 156 Years

December 1st, 2018 by Michael Dyet
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spark

“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” –  Charles Mingus, American jazz bassist, pianist, composer and bandleader.

Hmmm, is elegant simplicity the true measure of technological success?

I had to have my car towed to the garage last weekend. You know how it is when you are waiting for the diagnosis of the problem – particularly when you have an older car. You hope that it will not turn out to be a major repair with a big price tag attached.

When the call came, it was good news – new spark plugs and a minor tune-up. Even as a breathed a sigh of relief, my first thought was: Spark plugs? Do cars still have spark plugs? I thought they would have been replaced by now by a high tech, computer module.

For those of you not familiar with car mechanics,  a spark plug is a device for delivering electric current from an ignition system to the combustion chamber of a spark-ignition engine to ignite the compressed fuel/air mixture by an  electric spark. Thank you, Wikipedia. No, I do not really comprehend the processes involved. I just know a car will not start without them.

I started wondering when the spark plug was invented and by whom. Turns out it dates all the way back to 1860. Belgian engineer Jean J. Lenior, who developed the internal combustion engine a couple of years earlier, is credited with the invention.

In a time when technology is increasing exponentially, I find it reassuring that the spark plug has endured so long. It restores my faith in the principle that good things remain good things and do not need to be improved upon.

I rented a car for three days while my mine was awaiting repair. It was a Toyota CH-R which had a bewildering display of buttons and dials with indecipherable icons. I had to consult the User’s Manual to figure out how to use the defrosters. I kid you not.

Turns out the car has a climate control system that literally runs itself. I suppose I should be impressed by that innovation. But I was not enthused with the idea of turning over control of that simple function to a computer. It made me feel redundant.

I also cannot help but think: Have we become so lackadaisical that we cannot be bothered to adjust the defroster settings? Technology aims to make our lives easier and that is a good thing. But when it encourages us to be lazy it may be doing us more harm than good.

I am happy to be back in my nine year old Hyundai Accent. She does not run as whisper quiet as the new Toyota CH-R. She creaks and groans when we go over a speed bump, has a few rust spots and has had a number of her original parts replaced. But we have been together for seven years. I am not inclined to break up with her while she is still alive and kicking.

Back to the humble spark plug. I doubt you will find it on anyone’s list of the greatest technological innovations of all time. But perhaps it should be. The fact that it has a lifespan of 156 years and counting is a strong claim to fame.

I declare the spark plug to be an enduring metaphor for making the complicated awesomely simple. That is all too rare these days. All hail the humble spark plug!

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Fortunately, Unfortunately: Sisyphus and the Boulder

November 24th, 2018 by Michael Dyet
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Sisyphus

Hmmm, what is a writer to do when life turns him into a disgruntled character?

When I was a child, I had a favorite book titled Fortunately, Unfortunately which spun a story of a comical series of fortunate and unfortunate events. I’m not sure why, but I loved that book. This week I found my life imitating this very scenario.

Unfortunately, my chronic back problem flared up Thursday morning. Fortunately, I was able to stretch it out enough to go to work. Unfortunately, it tightened up again that evening. Fortunately, Advil and I are on a first name basis enabling me to go to work on Friday.

Fortunately, my chiropractor has Friday hours. Unfortunately, he had booked the day off. Fortunately, he arranged for someone to cover for him and I was able to book an appointment. Unfortunately, I also have a squeaky belt in my car which started up again. Fortunately, I have a garage I trust and was told I could bring my car in that day for an adjustment.

Fortunately, the IT Department at work gave me a laptop upgrade Friday morning. Unfortunately, as I was logging off to leave for my afternoon appointments, I discovered that my Outlook Calendar was blank – all appointments and meetings lost in cyberspace! Fortunately, no one heard me cursing a blue streak.

Unfortunately, the squeaky belt needs to be replaced and is located behind two other belts that need to be removed for the replacement to be done. Fortunately, I saw the wisdom in having all three belts replaced at the same time. Unfortunately, the garage was booked up and could not do the work until next Wednesday.

Fortunately, after leaving the garage, I had time before my chiro appointment to pick up some groceries. Unfortunately, I forgot that it was Black Friday and the mall parking lot was a zoo. Fortunately, a good spot had just opened up and I only took out one of the three little old ladies in my way as I accelerated to grab the space.

Unfortunately, on my way to my chiro appointment after shopping, I took Bovaird Drive forgetting about the 410 bridge construction that creates a big traffic snarl. Fortunately, I had time to spare and made it to my appointment on time with only minimal expletives uttered.

Unfortunately, the “Check Engine” light came on during the drive home. Fortunately, that usually indicates that a sensor needs to be reset and driving the car is still safe. Unfortunately, this time the car started coughing and threatened to stall indicating it is likely an ignition coil crapping out. Fortunately, the car windows were up so no one heard me cursing like a drunken sailor.

Fortunately, I was able to get the car home. Unfortunately, the garage was closed by the time I got home and called them. Fortunately, I had no major plans this weekend. Unfortunately, I will not be able to use my car to drive to work until the repair is done which means I’ll have to rent a car for a few days.

Fortunately, I have a healthy sense of the occasional absurdity of life and am only mildly freaking out. Unfortunately, next week is going to be a very expensive and stressful week.

So what is a writer to do when life turns him into a disgruntled character? Take refuge in metaphor, of course. Some days we become Sisyphus rolling the boulder up a hill only to have it roll back down inches before we reach the top. The upside is that this series of events will eventually find their way into one of my stories and repay me for the week of frustration.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Trump and the Media: Carp in a Feeding Frenzy

November 10th, 2018 by Michael Dyet
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Common Carp on a feeding frenzy at Pymatuning Lake Pennsylvania.

“Left to its own devices, the media is like a pool of hungry carp on a continual, mindless feed frenzy. When one carp swims after a crumb of bread, all the other carp swim as fast they as can to get a piece of it.” ~ Katherine Albrecht

Hmmm, can either side live without the other in the all-out feeding frenzy?

I remember the night when Donald Trump won the battle to be president of the USA. When it was apparent he was going to win, my reaction was: My God, he’s actually going to do it.

In the interests of objectivity, let me say that he had every right in the world to be in the race. The people who voted for him had their reasons and made their decision based on what they believed was best for their country. Many of us may disagree with their decision, but we have to support their right to cast their votes as they see fit.

We’re now at the two year mark of Trump’s tenure as president. What disturbs me, almost as much as Trump’s behavior, is the media’s love affair with the man. I’m willing to bet that not a day has gone by in that year without at least one story behind published or broadcast about him. The headlines below are all from today on the Microsoft News site.

Trump Trashes Kelly Conway’s Husband

Trump Cancels Cemetery Visit

Trump Hits Back at Obamas

Trump Dismisses Michelle Obama Criticism, Slams Barack

Michelle Obama Won’t Forgive Trump for ‘Putting Her Family at Risk’

Trump Denies Knowing the Man He Appointed Acting AG

Trump Slams Macron in France

Trump, Macron Gloss over Differences in France after Rough Start

Trump Demeans 3 Black Female Reporters in Three Days

Trump Calls French President ‘Good Friend’ After Testy Tweet

Trump Calls Florida Polls Disgrace

Civil Rights Groups Sue Trump over Asylum Claim Curb

If there is one behavior that defines Trump, it is that he loves publicity and does not particularly care whether it is good or bad in nature. This is a dream come true for the media. They never have to go searching for a story now. There is always another Trump outrageous speech or tweet or act they can jump on.

Earlier in my life, I was a reporter-photographer for about 18 months. In that time, I witnessed the media’s hunger for scandal and dirt. It was one of the reasons I decided the profession was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

The plain truth is that the media and Donald Trump are hopelessly addicted to one another. Their addictions feed off of each other to the point that they are co-dependent. Either side would experience painful withdrawal symptoms if the other went away.

Using Albrecht’s metaphor from the top of this post, Donald Trump is the monster carp. The media are the smaller carp chasing after him, nipping at his tail, hoping for a tasty sound byte or video clip. Sadly, the feeding frenzy isn’t likely to end anytime soon.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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A Tangled Web with No Paper Trail

November 3rd, 2018 by Michael Dyet
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Tangled Web

Hmmm, in the words of Sir Walter Scott, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. Methinks this applies to the e-mail I received today.

Subject: Business Proposal

 Date: 2.11.2018

I have a confidential business proposal for you which is worth a substantial amount (GBP 13.5M). If interested, reply back via the below e-mail for more details.

 Best regards,

 Sir David Edward John R., Deputy Governor, Markets and Banking,

Bank of England, Tel: 075 4328 2201

Re: Business Proposal

Dear Sir David:

Thank you so much for your business proposal! This must be my lucky day. I can’t imagine how you came to make this offer to me. But I am certainly not one to look a gift horse in the mouth.

GBP 13.5M. I believe that converts to $22,900 – quite a windfall! I see a new car in my future. But wait, what if the “M” stands for “million”? 13,500,000 GBP! I can’t begin to imagine what that equates to in Canadian dollars. But who cares! I’d be filthy, stinking rich!

You indicated that this is a confidential business proposal. That puzzles me a bit. Is this something illegal? I wouldn’t want to have the RCMP knocking on my door.

But you are with the Bank of England. I checked Google and that’s a real thing. You have a website that uses cookies, so it has to be official. Surely you can’t go wrong when you’re dealing with an institution that has been around since 1694.

However, it occurs to me to wonder why the Deputy Governor, Markets and Banking would be spending his valuable time on a transaction with someone like me. Surely you have more important things to do with your time?

And I kind of wonder why you’re contacting me by e-mail. Is that normal for a serious business proposal? I would think you would send me a letter by registered mail.

Umm, maybe you don’t want a paper trail. I have to tell you that that is worrisome. You did give your telephone number. But it wouldn’t be that difficult to set up a dummy phone number and answer it in an official manner.

Tell you what. Send me $1,500 to cover the cost of a return flight to London. Throw in another $1,500 for accommodations and $1,000 for miscellaneous expenses. You can deduct this $4,500 from the GBP13.5M. I’ll make the trip over to meet you and we’ll get this deal done!

Best regards,

Michael Robert Dyet

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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The Blank Deed: A Thursday Morning in Late September

October 27th, 2018 by Michael Dyet
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The Blank Deed

A sneak preview of the story The Blank Deed from Hunting Muskie: Rites of Passage. (Check out the book trailer video.)

Three cormorants, wings folded downward like flags at half mast, cut recklessly across the path of the Sam McBride as it churned across the harbour toward Toronto Island. Lauren watched Jonathan’s grandfather, his eyes narrowing with concern as he followed their flight. Were the cormorants a harbinger of things to come or a reflection of the past she was compelled to confront?

Lauren studied the old man’s noble, weathered face. It was expressive, and yet, inscrutable. The experiences etched there were beyond her understanding. She searched for traces of Jonathan. There was a slight resemblance.

“Are you okay, Grandfather? This must be terribly hard for you.”

“And for you.”

“Am I crazy to be doing this? Everyone seems to think so.”

“Our people, the Anishinabe, believe we can’t be separated from the cycle of living things—life, growth, death and rebirth. So no, you’re not crazy.”

“Anishinabe? Jonathan told me he was half Ojibway.”

“Ojibway, Mississauga, Chippewa. We’ve been called by many names.”

Lauren turned her eyes to the island. A rising dread gripped her as the ferry neared the Ward’s Island dock. It felt disrespectful to be chasing after Jonathan’s ghost. But the journal hidden in her handbag urged her on.

 There were a handful of passengers on this Thursday morning in late September. They filed towards the bow as the ferry manoeuvred into the dock. Lauren held back, waiting until they had all disembarked, before she guided Jonathan’s grandfather over the gangplank onto the dock.

 “Thank you for coming with me, Grandfather. Do you mind me calling you that? I know we’re only related by marriage.”

 “It’s fine. You’re Jonathan’s wife and the mother of his child.”

 “Was his wife.” He cocked his head slightly. “Sorry. I don’t quite know how to refer to myself yet.”

 He nodded and crooked his arm in hers as they started down the path toward the Ward Island Clubhouse. Gulls skittered off the path ahead of them, protesting the disruption. Their plaintive shrieks sounded like cries of distress.

 

Lauren: You know that I keep this journal. So you’ll know, I hope, to look here when they come to you with the news of what I have done.

 I know you will be angry and wounded. Please, keep reading, if you can. This is my last will and testament—literally all that I have to leave you. A paltry inheritance. And yet, in some ways, more than I ever had to offer before.

 I will not say that I am sorry. People spit out those words so often as if they erase all the harm. But they never do. Apologies will not change what I feel. I have descended, slowly at first and then in terrible leaps, into a dark and unspeakably lonely place…

If you’re intrigued, Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet is available online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble. Check out the book trailer video on YouTube.

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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10 Top Reasons It Sucks to Be Old

October 20th, 2018 by Michael Dyet
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Falling-Leaves

Hmmm, shouldn’t there be a reward for growing old?

Some days, yes there is. Other days, not so much. Let me prepare you for the experience by spelling out the top 10 reasons that somedays it just plain sucks!

#10: Your brain insists on believing you are still 25. But your 60 old bladder begs to differ halfway through every meeting at work and in the middle of the night.

#9: You’re now entitled to the $5 senior’s credit on your monthly banking fees. But the price of gas just went up again, so kiss your 5 bucks goodbye.

#8: You’ve earned the right to slow down and smell the roses. But the world move so fast the best you can manage is to slow down the rate at which you’re falling behind.

#7: You’ve reached the age at which you are willing to pay to have things done for you. But technology double-crossed you and converted the world to self-serve.

#6: The roulette wheel spins every morning to determine which body parts will hurt (other than your back, which is a given) or decline to wake up.

#5: Your idea of the perfect evening is binge watching old sitcom reruns. But they’ve all been replaced by So You Think You Can Dance or Big Brother or Hell’s Kitchen or Kid’s Baking Championship or some other reality show you can no interest in whatsoever.

#4: You’re not overly concerned about how your body looks, so you can indulge in comfort foods… except that your body can no longer process dairy or gluten and everything that tastes good has one or the other in it.

#3: You’ve reached the age where you can laugh at yourself, but there are way too many things to laugh about.

#2: You’ve lived long enough to maybe see the Maple Leafs will the Stanley Cup again. But if the final game goes into double overtime, you’ll be asleep on the couch when it happens.

And finally…

#1: Along the way, you figured out the 3 most important things in life. But now you can’t for the life of you remember what they are.

Life has its seasons and aging falls into the autumn category. Thankfully, it is a long, slow season that has its pleasures as well as its challenges. I just wish the leaves were not falling off the tree at quite such an alarming rate.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Paper Candidates: The Mushrooms of Election Season

October 13th, 2018 by Michael Dyet
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Mushrooms

Hmmm, why would I vote for you for political office if your qualifications are paper thin?

We are a week away from the 2018 municipal election here in Ontario. Election signs in myriad sizes and colours have sprung up in the last few weeks, giving a whole new meaning to fall colours. Elections are money in the bank for sign printers.

I have about had my fill of the candidate’s rhetoric, the inevitable war of words and the whose-past-is-the-most shameful debate. News flash for all candidates: We all have skeletons in the closet. Get over it! I do not expect perfection, but a dose of discretion and decorum during the campaign goes a long ways for me.

One thing that continues to puzzle me is the sheer number of candidates and the disparity in their qualifications. Here in Brampton we have 7 candidates for mayor. In my ward, there are 7 candidates for city councilor, 3 for regional councilor and a dozen for school board trustee.

It is encouraging to see so many citizens stepping up to serve. But unfortunately, many of the candidates have little or no qualification for the position for which they are running. Why in heaven’s name would I vote for someone who is no more qualified than I am – and I am definitely not qualified.

It is a fundamental principle of our election system that any citizen in good standing can throw their hat in the ring. But I am inclined to believe there should be some kind of screening process that candidates must pass through before their names go on the ballot.

It does not have to be a complicated process – just a simple filter that ensures candidates have some sort of professional, academic or volunteer experience that prepares them to serve. After all, the role each of them is applying to fill has considerable accountability and the implications of screwing up are serious.

Yes, I know that this is unlikely to ever happen. If it was put in place, there would be considerable risk that the people given the authority to do the screening would lack objectivity and they would be at serious risk of corruption. More’s the pity.

Democracy is a wonderful thing and brings with it inviolable rights and privileges. But I do not believe it is in the best interests of democracy for every one and his brother to be able to put their names on the ballot regardless of their qualifications or lack thereof.

Alas, paper candidates are a fact of life we have to accept however irritating they may be. Like mushrooms that spring up in rainy seasons, who-the-hell-are-you candidates emerge for every election season and fade away quickly after election day.

By all means, do vote. But make sure the candidate you select has the skills to do the job.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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In Praise of Mother Nature’s Plain Jane Children

October 6th, 2018 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, how unfortunate that we often overlook the graces of Mother Nature’s more subtle works of art as we marvel at her more exuberant brushstrokes.

Another summer has come and gone. I cannot fathom how it passed so quickly. I was determined to squeeze every last drop out of it, but blinked at the wrong time and it got away from me. In this cool and rainy first week of October, it seems the right time for one of my summer retrospectives of winged wonders that fluttered across my path.

Why not look at some common species that paused in just the right spot for a photo opp.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Clouded Sulphurs appear in early summer and endure well into the fall. This one had the fashion sense to perch on a patch of parched ground to show off its lemon yellow attire and faintly checkered, pink wing edges to best effect. It was quite by chance that it was framed so artistically by woody green stems of weeds and withering grasses.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Northern Pearly-Eyes do not have much of a claim to fame in terms of colour. But their muted brown attire, with chocolate spot band and scalloped wing edges, has a nondescript charm about it. This one seems almost to be hovering for effect on the waxy green leaves it chose to rest upon after darting about in the shaded areas.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Silver-spotted Skippers are quite common but always catch my eye. In this view, you cannot see the whitish silver blotch on the outer wing that gives it its name. But the angular, dirty orange markings on the inner wing are a handsome field mark. Once again, this specimen shows off its best mid-summer outfit to maximum effect against a backdrop of verdant green.

Butterflies will ever be my living metaphor of choice for the glories of summer – delicate, forever free and light as the air they float upon. These three Plain Janes of the butterfly world remind me that beauty need not be outspoken to be enjoyed.

Lesson learned: Common does not necessarily mean unworthy of notice.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

 

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Prevailing Winds and the Distant Shore of Wisdom

September 29th, 2018 by Michael Dyet
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Wisdom

Hmmm, what is this elusive thing called wisdom and how can I lay my hands on it?

Now that I am in the sixth decade of my life, I spend more time pondering the elusive concept of wisdom and whether I can lay claim to having acquired it. In all honesty, I do not believe I am there yet. It seems advisable to seek out the insights of influential thinkers who have covered this ground before me.

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.

Socrates, Classical Greek philosopher

You cannot go wrong with Socrates, right? Ordinarily, yes, but I am not convinced he is on the right track. His perspective seems defeatist to me as it implies that wisdom is not attainable. Looking deeper, however, I see his point. Our individual body of knowledge is but a water drop in the ocean of all knowledge. Coming to terms with that fact must be part of the equation.

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.

Thomas Jefferson, Third President of the United States

Jefferson’s take on wisdom also seems at first blush to be too simplistic. Yes, honesty goes a long way in keeping us on track. But is it that pivotal? Perhaps the real gem here is the book metaphor which implies that wisdom is multidimensional and more than the sum of its parts.

The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr, American Physician and Poet

I do quite like Holme’s take on the subject. Acquiring the discipline to stay within the field of play is a requirement in the journey. But nothing is written in stone. Learning to recognize when an exception applies and how to recalibrate accordingly is a byproduct of hard-won experience.

There is a wisdom of the head and a wisdom of the heart.

Charles Dickens, British Novelist and Social Critic

I think my old friend Dickens may be closest to the mark. His words speak to the essential dichotomy of our existence – the tug of war between the logical, no exceptions frame of reference of the mind and the sometimes messy but more encompassing outlook of the heart. Dickens’ great works of literature all drive home the reality of that struggle.

You will not be surprised to hear that I identify with Dickens insight because it leaves room for the role of metaphor. Acquiring wisdom is a lifelong journey, full of stops and starts, wrong turns and miscalculations, with the mind and the heart taking turns steering the ship. Marrying the two in a state of harmony is the prevailing wind that will get us to the distant shore of wisdom.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

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