Tuesday, June 30, 2015

sardine sandwich

sandwich signal
During the transition from one month to the next one might have fresh intensions or aspirations. Last month one experienced ups and downs. Perhaps this month Lohbado could avoid foolish behaviour or speech. More than likely, he will continue to say and do foolish things, from time to time, as long as discursiveness and confusion exists in his mind. Maybe the mind could slow down and relax. One could proceed with caution, in a methodical fashion. Maybe one experiences moments of inspiration, spontaneous rhapsody, surges of electric activity in the brain causing one to dance around and sing. Sometimes it’s fun to behave like a child. The pressures of existence... climate change, the refugee crisis, water and food scarcity, economic conflicts, relationship difficulties... the human condition is not easy. That’s when it helps to go for a bike ride, paint a picture, write a text, play the piano or guitar, record some video or meditate. Do whatever it takes to cheer up and not lose heart.

Monday, June 29, 2015

falling on the Plains of Radiation

On the Plains of Radiation after the Apocalyptic War, Lohbado underwent baptism. He woke up groggy, after sleeping on gravel. His shoulders and hips ached from a night on hard ground. He cooked oatmeal over a small one-burner white gas stove. He threw in raisins and sunflower seeds, plus some cranberries he picked along the way.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

evening bike ride in Montreal

Pho Hao Restaurant
Decairie and Sherbrooke
Rue de Courcelle
Lachine Canal
One of the joys of living in Montreal is being able to go out and enjoy a variety of visual forms, textures and colors. Lohbado went on a Saturday evening bike ride, since the forecast was for heavy rain the next day. It's fun to ride on a Saturday night and to listen to the parties going on, especially while riding through old neighborhoods like St. Henri and Verdun. In the old days, people used to hang out on balconies and front steps and socialize on a pleasant summer evening. That way of life appears to be giving way to the new era of gentrification, high rises and condos, not to mention the competition offered by cyberspace or private Internet worlds. Enjoy the old ways while they last.

It's pleasant to finally arrive at the water. There's an excellent system of bike trails and greenery, with benches and picnic tables along the way. One can relax and let go of the pressure. Worries and fears become like water under the bridge.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Pat Fiction

Pat had no pat answers. Pat refused to be categorized. Words leave a lot to be desired. As far as Pat was concerned, many of his words were a work of fiction. Pat was more a person of image.

Friday, June 26, 2015


A contemplation about moisture and fluids, a river flowing inside the circulatory system, blood vessels and veins, water flowing off a mountain from glacier melt, the sound of water created waves of relaxation. To walk at the edge of the ocean and to listen to waves flowing in and out, one instant then the next, the flow of time, Lohbado got lost in a stream of consciousness. A body contains moisture. A dead body dries out. The skeleton eventually might crumble to dust. The moisture occurs in containers, or flows in a canal. Water flows from a fountain. Rain falls from the sky.

Lohbado went for a walk in the graveyard. He gazed at the Virgin Mary and thought of his mother who died in 1981. He contemplated how he formed in her body. He thought of her kindness in making sure he stayed alive once he was born. Of course, he would rather not have been born. But one has no choice in the matter. One either lives or doesn't live. To live requires motion, that one eat and drink and make friends. Without others, one would not survive very long.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

sunny afternoon at the oratory

Even though it's been raining quite a bit in Montreal, sunny days still occur. A great outing is to visit St. Joseph's Oratory. On a nice day, the Garden of the Stations of the Cross is a quiet area, with lush greenery, conducive to relaxation and contemplation. Someone was playing the organ in the large sanctuary at the top of the basilica. It has a very impressive and beautiful sound.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Lohbado's diary

It rained heavily last night, after a thunder storm. Lohbado woke up, sheets damp, a humid morning. He got up at 5:30 AM, had porridge for breakfast. A wave of worry and fear surged in his stomach, so be it. Don't torment yourself. The worst torment is to let worrisome thoughts take over the mind.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

dumpster diving

vegetable stand at Jean Talon Market Montreal

Dumpster diving has become quite trendy. Lohbado had a coffee with Christina at Jean Talon market in Montreal and watched various people dive into a dumpster. The first character, about 20 years old in ragged jeans, shoulder length hair, grungy backpack and iPhone hopped right inside the bin, like it was his new home. He tossed about a dozen tomatoes, a bunch of bell peppers, swiss shard and a quarter sack of potatoes into a cardboard box then climbed out. He swayed back and forth in delight, like he'd just won the lottery. Then a couple women came, dressed appropriately... don't want to get your nice clothes dirty. It's best to wear sweat pants or old jeans. They dug in deep, right up to the elbows and extracted more tomatoes and peppers.

The most fun group came next, four young women, about 19 or 20. They went at it from all sides. They turned it into a real fiesta. One of the girls looked right at Lohbado and asked him to not take her picture. He was so mesmerized by her intent eyes, he realized that he'd forgotten to put the lens cap back on his camera which sat on the bistro table facing the dumpster. He reassured the young woman. She went back to the dumpster operation, and pulled out some swiss chard. Lohbado got up. He paused to take a few photos of peppers and tomatoes at a fruit and vegetable stand facing the bistro.

The concept of scavenging for throw away food is great. With climate change threatening many plant, animal, fish and bird species, it's wise to not waste. The economic situation is not easy. Many people struggle to survive as food prices, rent and cost of transportation increase, while wages stay low. There's obviously an art to dumpster diving. One has to know where to look and how to avoid troublesome situations.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Pig Sonata

Lohbado had eggs on toast for breakfast, sardines on spaghetti for lunch, then went for a bike ride from Cote des Neiges down to Lachine Canal. The sound track was made from an old cassette recording of pigs on a ranch in Alberta, summer of 1981. Randy Peters played mandolin in the instrumental section.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

evening imagination

There's something eerie about the entrance lobby to an apartment building. One opens the outer door, walks past the mail boxes, opens the inner door then goes up to one's apartment. If one does this every day, it's easy to not even notice. Once in a while, one does notice; then it becomes vivid, sort of like the magical feeling one gets on returning home after a long absence. It stimulates the imagination. A key to imagination is to pause for a moment and notice what is so familiar, one often doesn't notice. Of course, in order to stay focused on a task or sequence, it helps to tune out what is not related to what one is doing. To concentrate on a book, one might try not to hear the quarrel going on in the next apartment, or the blower machine and street sweeper outside.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

temple of appearance

acrylic on painted book

mushroom compote
Lohbado cycled to the Lachine Canal. He decided to avoid the freeway service road, since it can be quite busy and dangerous for cyclists. Sometimes motor vehicles don't leave enough space between the curb and the flow of traffic for a cyclist to get through. Sometimes the cyclist has no choice but to ride on the sidewalk. The thought of getting hit by a vehicle and getting crippled or killed is not pleasant. The rights of cyclists has come a long way since Lohbado was a boy. Fifty years ago, many took the attitude that cyclists had no business being on the road; roads were for cars and trucks, not bicycles. Now cycling is at least respected. Many motorists also enjoy cycling.
They are more attuned to the danger and so drive cautiously, leaving cyclists enough room.

Monday, June 15, 2015

ant sandwich

    Ever since Lohbado ate ants in a tuna sandwich, his stomach hurt. He lived with constant nausea. The ant eating incident happened a few years ago, around noon outside the ruins of a gas station. He sat on some spindly weeds and spiky grass and ate half way through the sandwich before a girl told him there were ants in the sandwich. It didn’t bother him.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

advanced solitude

    Lohbado lay on a sofa in a shack that used to house war prisoners. The front door opened into a large cluttered inner space. The sofa sat near the middle off the room, as if workers had carried it in off a truck and dumped in there. Nobody had bothered to move it.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

sink friend encounter

sinky and friend
They shook hands to confirm their dream world agreement.

Friday, June 12, 2015

fallen to the ground must arise from the sky

"... fallen to the ground..." is from a Zen essay from Shobogenzo by Dogen*. This saying flashed in Lohbado's mind as he got up, still groggy, from the ground. He spent the night on a thin foam pad under a juniper bush during the time when he crossed the Plains of Radiation after the Apocalyptic War.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

dream walk

Walking east on Bernard, from Parc to Outremont, it felt like a dream.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

outside and inside on a Sunday afternoon

Relaxing late on a Sunday afternoon...

Friday, June 5, 2015

Lohbado dance of death

Nobody lives forever. Artists have illustrated the dance of death for over a thousand years. Lohbado's favourite was the one done by Hans Holbein. In previous centuries, people didn't live so long. There were plagues, in which an estimated 30 to 60 % of Europe's population was wiped out. Egypt lost about 40 % of its population to the plague during the 14th century. Death was out in the open. Since life is so fragile and of limited duration, this raises the question of how to live one's life. What is the best way to live without wasting time? A lot depends on one's attitude. A huge variety of attitudes are common, for example, nihilism, hedonism, materialism and various religious and spiritual orientations.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

what is your deepest fear?

from Lohbado's notebook
Lohbado sat in the park for a while and felt a wave of anxiety. He asked himself: "What is your deepest fear?" The answer doesn't particularly matter. Fear = X. What interested him was the faculty of continuously generating anxiety. He could be in the middle of nowhere and suddenly fear would hit in the pit of the stomach. It happened independently of his will. He appeared to have no control over it.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

the new normal

Dr. Jane Wormsly
What is the new normal? That's a scary question. At Lumpkins University, in the department of Helminthology, Dr. Jane Wormsly continued studying worms, even though funding had been greatly reduced and she was only allowed to share a watered down version of her discoveries. Even the behaviour of worms could be viewed as a threat in a world of surveillance and suspicion. In her private life, she was friends with Lohbado. She didn't have a lot of free time for hanging out. Her work involved a lot of pressure. Administration bowed to demands for results. Research scientists were asked to put together publications with charts and illustrations that would look good and provide some sort of interest or entertainment. Sometimes, after work, she was too tired to do much of anything except relax. It could be lonely at times.