Author Archive

We Went Down That Road

February 4th, 2017 No comments

And saw some pretty spectacular things.
We weren’t sure where the road was leading to but we thought for sure that we would see something different, and we did.

So much of life seems to revolve around what road you are going to attempt to travel down if you choose a road at all. On the road of your choice there will be excitements, perils, uncertainties and the like. How you deal with all of them will ultimately define you and who you are becoming.

Along the way you’ll probably meet people and they will shape who you are as well. They will say things that may impact you and they will do things that may alter the course or trajectory of your life. Fellow travelers wandering around trying to figure out life in just the same way you are. At times the road may become very bumpy and hopefully during these times you will find someone loved or close to you to hold onto to share the experience. Experiencing turbulence alone can be a very unsettling experience but sometimes we are left to grin and bear it on our own, tempering our soul.

Yes, we went down that road and we were scared. We didn’t know what dangers lie ahead but we were determined to forge on and take on the day ahead of us. We had each other. We had the world. We were having the time of our lives. The daylight seemed endless. The road, endless. All we really had was our excitement and our smiles. Our hearts beat. Our hearts pounded. We savored every moment. Would the day ever end? It didn’t seem so but we found our cabin at the bottom of the canyon and I tried to sleep. Water crept to the edge of my eyes as I thought about our day together – our life.

If I had to wake up and do it all over again would I do anything differently? I don’t think so.

It’d be great to hear from you,

Matthew R. Polkinghorne

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Everyone’s An Expert

January 28th, 2017 1 comment

It is becoming clearer and clearer that no matter where you go and who you talk with everyone is an expert. Fewer and fewer people seem to have the inclination to ask questions of other people to figure out what is in their mind or on their mind. Even those with a paucity of a formal education seem to have an informed opinion on just about any topic.

Now this may not come as a shock with all of the social media devices and the explosion of information sharing. Wherever you surf on the internet there is a website that is going to tell you something new about any given topic. Information is readily at your disposal and everyone is a student even if they’re not enrolled at an institution. Everyone is up to date with the latest news and can carry on a conversation at length about anything.

But where does this leave us? Millions of people wandering around going about their day no longer willing to ask any questions of fellow human beings? Experts at every corner that can’t really give us any deep meaningful information about anything. So many of us just skimming the surface to pretend like we know what we are talking about without really caring about the important details.

It’s a new age and and a new era; that’s for sure. But yet even with this reality, most people seem to be walking around peacefully going about their day. At least this is my personal experience in suburbia Southern Ontario. Is this just the calm before the storm? Is everyone just in a phase where they have all their emotional interactive frustrations pent up and everyone’s just not saying anything? I don’t know. It’s hard to get a gauge on the social landscape when you have minimal interactions on a daily basis (i.e.- walking into the local coffee shop, walking into the local gym and going to the local grocery store). I’m really not part of any corporation so I’m unaware of how severe the corporate pressures are and how they effect families and society as a whole.

Sometimes the social landscape feels a little off and you begin to wonder how genuine people are, what they’re not telling you or what they’re withholding to prevent real conversation. As a result, everyone sticks to safe topics and we don’t really connect on any real level, especially romantically but that’s a whole other different can of worms.

Yet the fact remains, we all seem to now being sauntering around as brilliant experts on everything. No one can tell us anything anymore because we already know and we don’t want to hear it. Perhaps this is the new reality – we just don’t want to hear it because we already know because the internet or Google told us and we just don’t have time. The funny thing is though is that we do have time because all of us seem to be wasting it on the devices in our hand. Everyone just stares in a downward direction. It’s actually quite funny. We’re utterly addicted and we don’t care. A bunch of addicts walking around the streets thinking we know everything. It’s actually quite pathetic. When I can I’m going to encourage my daughter to put down her device and focus on her school work, music or something else that would be considered academic. I’m going to encourage her to soak up as much new information as possible because this will bolster neuroplasticity or the formation of new neural pathways.

Yes, I want my daughter’s future to be bright but I recognize that she may one day wander off the good path and indulge in behaviors that may or may not be detrimental to her life. But I would hope that somehow she one day becomes an expert in a given field and can share her thoughts and ideas with fellow people; whoever might be in her social net.

Then again, everyone it would seem is already an expert and we have to deal with this reality and realize that it is creating social problems and how we relate to each other. In essence, we may be unknowingly limiting ourselves and not setting our sights as high as they could be.

I encourage you to think on this topic and how you could potentially modify your interactive behavior(s).

It’d be great to hear from you,

Matthew R. Polkinghorne

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America, Land Of The Ultra-Wealthy & The Poverty Stricken

January 21st, 2017 1 comment

I don’t think it can be any more starkly clear as it is today with respect to the growing gap and disparity between those that have and those that do not. We’re talking here about the divide between the ultra-wealthy and the impoverished in America. How do we expect this problem to go away when we have no viable solutions in sight?

The politicians, higher-ups and ruling class talk about the eventual redistribution of wealth and ‘hope’ for those that fight the continual battle of poverty and when that means every day they wake up and get out of bed. Violent crime, lack of accommodations, drugs at every corner, the list goes on and on and it isn’t getting any easier for those that are stuck under the thumb of the ruling class.

And then there is all this talk about new jobs and bringing the jobs back to America. What do they plan to do? The U.S. unemployment rate is already hovering in that perfect and time-tested zone of 5%. That supposedly is when the behemoth economy is operating at its optimal levels and really no more jobs are in sight. But somehow more unskilled workers are going to be hired above and beyond the 5% unemployment rate. How do poor people with no education and no skills fill these imaginary jobs? This is part of the reason as to why I have a problem with the Trump campaign. It doesn’t take into account planned obsolescence and the cyclical nature of employment. It gives false hope and there is something inherently wrong with that. I’m not saying give up before we even begin but there is something very shady about promising more jobs when there may very well be no more jobs in sight.

So will the rich just continue to get richer and not share in the bountiful spoils? I hesitate to say yes this will be the case because that will spell doom for so many others. There has to be a reason those that have less get out of bed in the morning. Sure, we all want to survive and have a roof over our heads. We all want to eat and try to sleep soundly. We all want to satisfy and maintain the basic necessities of life. There is so much we all want to achieve but how do we begin to reach for these goals when they seem so far away and possibly out of reach?

Do we just pick up the phone a call a wealthy person and their family to see if they will share with us freely without a trace of bitterness? Do we shed tears to a wealthy person in the hope that they will be merciful and take us under their wing? Or do we hold on tightly to our pride, bite our lip and go back to the mundane job that we don’t care about? I don’t profess to have all of the answers and I certainly don’t know what path to take here but there has got to be a way to increase our position, to increase our standing without diminishing the status of the wealthy person we may seek to resemble. Besides, why would a wealthy person ever want to part with any of their wealth to increase the standing of a poor person? Supposedly the wealthy person has worked very hard for what they have and the thought of parting with any of it is absolutely heart-wrenching.

And so the hoarding, mine-it’s-all-mine continues. They go to bed peacefully with all their stuff and don’t feel a trace of the guilt. The night is quiet. The night is still and tomorrow is another day for them to increase their wealthy standing and not really worry about what is happening in the life of a poor man, a poor woman or a poor family. The cycle never ends and the pressure to give back is always on the back of those that have more.

But where is the savior? Where is the solace? For the poor, supposedly salvation lies in the heavens and the heavens are theirs according to the traditions and words of the Presidential inauguration. But what are these speeches and words of wisdom really saying? Are the heavens the solace for the poor because they may or may not live? Is that what they’re really saying? If it is, I can’t say that I favor the heavens very much and I don’t want that brilliant pillar of light coming for me anytime soon. Some days because of my existential suffering I might pray that that pillar of light finds me but generally I am healed by the gift of creation and the relief that provides for all the suffering I feel I endure.

Nonetheless, the disparity remains. The daily grind an ever present reality. When will the tide turn? When will the wealthy give freely and offer to those that have less without worry that the money will be improperly used?

Are those that have less deserving? Are those that have less destined to live a life a poverty?

There are so many questions to ask and so little time to answer them.

I’m not sure if America has it right. Supposedly they are the greatest country of the free world and lead the free world. But the fact and reality remain, the disparity is great. Perhaps too great…

It’d be great to hear from you,

Matthew R. Polkinghorne

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Everything Will Be Perfect

January 8th, 2017 1 comment

If everyone wakes up early enough to focus on various tasks.
If everyone is soft enough with each other interactively.

If we agree that the goods and services you are producing are worth purchasing.
If we agree that this is about you and it is also about me.
If we can find a way to stop global suffering on so many different levels.

If, if, if. What conditions can you dream up that will help make this world a more perfect place?

Will everything be perfect tomorrow? Likely (and figuratively speaking). But you may not feel perfect.

How will you find a way to feel more perfect in the world around you?

It’d be great to hear from you,

Matthew R. Polkinghorne

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I Need To Be In Motion

January 1st, 2017 No comments

To avoid lying in bed all day.
To feel the comfort of the wheels moving on the pavement.

To soothe the aching of my being.

Motion heals. It takes the mind away from distracting and painful thoughts.
It makes the mind thoughtless as you drive in a straight line and make all the necessary turns to find the perpendicular road.

I need to be in motion to try and avoid suffering. A suffering I cannot explain that is there.

How much will your words matter? Try to make them count. Try to make them sync with the contact of your eyes and let them flow with the movement of your arms. Try to find someone that will listen and care. There are so many people out there that just laugh it off and don’t really listen. Those people have checked out or have an energy about them that does not have the capacity to internalize what you are saying. It’s not there fault. They may have endured to much stress and cannot take in anymore. It’s a physiological thing.

I seek out motion. The movement thwarts the rumination.

It’d be great to hear from you,

Matthew R. Polkinghorne

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The People That Keep Us Alive

December 10th, 2016 No comments

They are everywhere.
They give us a look. They give us a smile. They say something kind.

Today might be the day that a stranger saves your life with a minute gesture. Never underestimate what these things will do.

It’d be great to hear from you,

Matthew R. Polkinghorne

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I Like Dogs. I Like Cats. I like Funny Looking Hats!

October 7th, 2016 No comments

These lyrics coming from my 7 year old daughter as she writes her first mini song on her keyboard.
Her words, funny as they are, touch me and light up my life.

To see her express herself creatively is truly a wonder and I hope that she continues to express herself in this way. Who knows what continued dedication and hard work could do for her skill and craft.

But isn’t this one first mini song good enough? Yes, I think it is. If this is all she ever writes and wants to do on the keyboard I’d still be perfectly happy and proud as she doesn’t have to live up to any of my expectations. Not that I have any anyway but there is a small part of me that wants to see how far she can take it.

After all, I play the acoustic guitar and I write and play creatively too. So I guess there is a part of me that sees myself in my wonderful daughter. Funny how narcissism gets the better of us sometimes and wants us to propel our children forward.

When I listen to her song that was recorded via iPhone video it helps me to rise out of bed in the morning. It kickstarts my day as I feel the pride and sense of accomplishment beam through me. “By God!” I say to myself, if she has the energy and motivation to create this song it surely means that I can get out of bed this morning and put in another full day even if a part of me doesn’t want to. I’d rather lay in bed all day and ruminate about my life and perhaps a little bit about my death.

But the notes on her keyboard ingrain in my head and push me out of bed. I feel the deep crack in the front of my shoulder as I push myself out of bed. It feels that way because I just did a tough chest workout 2 days ago. I start walking and feel my spine adjust in many different places. I start walking a little faster and luckily today, again, everything feels relatively OK.

Then I think about my wonderful daughter again. She did it. She created a brief song on her keyboard and it filled her up with pride and a sense of accomplishment. If I have one hope it’s that that feeling continues to circulate through her being making her feel emotionally full inside.

I couldn’t be more proud.

It’d be great to hear from you,

Matthew R. Polkinghorne

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Losing The Literary Touch

September 24th, 2016 No comments

I don’t know why it happens but sometimes the words and ideas surrounding the words escape me.
It’s a block. It’s a curse. It is something that is very hard to overcome.

Years ago, the ideas came to me endlessly. I never thought I’d ever run out of things to talk about. But that’s graduate school for you. Always saturating your mind with endless amounts of information.

When will the creativity return to me?

Only time will tell.

It’d be great to hear from you,

Matthew R. Polkinghorne

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What To Do At 3:30am?

August 22nd, 2016 No comments

Awake at 3:30am…what to do? Well I could construct something but it’s much too early and to be honest I don’t really enjoy construction all that much. I could call someone but it is highly likely that most people I know are asleep.

So I resolve to write something. Something that may have some sort of meaning. I still don’t know if I feel passionate enough to write about a topic at length. I used to feel that passionate about a topic (like Marriage & Family Therapy, interactive dynamics, leadership, organizational behavior and relationships) but that feeling has seemed to fade somewhat. So now what? Where do I go with this drive? This inertia? This energy? How will I attempt to express myself in a meaningful and worthwhile way?

The thoughts come to me sporadically – not in a seamless flowing sense. Maybe I am not reading enough. I haven’t ingested enough new material to keep the neuronal machine going. Perhaps my neurons are sputtering and I am just not recalling information and expression of words like I used to. Maybe I have said all I needed to say and there is nothing left to say. Maybe I feel like a fraud.

I don’t know. There are all these feelings and sometimes words have a tough time expressing them.

What’s wrong with me? What’s with the ball on anger in my stomach that attacks my psychological and physiological well-being? I wish I could say. I wish I had more to give you. I try and give as much as I can. Giving can make a person feel better if only in the short-term. But it’s never enough. It will never be enough. I wish giving had a more elongated effect where it makes a person feel better for a sustained period of time. Then I could be happier for a longer period of time and so could you. Yet we fight in this struggle. The balance of giving and taking. And the resentment builds when the balance of scales falls out of whack. The hate. The loathing. The humiliation. The embarrassment. When we see what we have. When we see what we want.

Life is not fair and it challenges our patience every day.

If you can, try and give…

Matthew R. Polkinghorne

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Despite My Limitations

July 29th, 2016 No comments

I will take on the day ahead of me.
I will believe that I can rise above and set the bar higher than yesterday.

I will forget about the one last Harrah! and believe that today is good enough and worth living.

I will believe in that my abilities are enough to get me through the day in a meaningful and worthwhile fashion.

Despite my limitation to love you I will try and dig deep and find a way to love you. Even if it goes against every fabric in my being I will try and find a way to forgive you and think that time with you is a good way to spend time and I won’t be missing out on anything else.

Despite my limitation to accept I will do my best to accept you and believe that the way you want to live life is a good way to live life. And that my way of living life is likely not the best way to live life.

Despite my limitations I will try and learn to love myself and begin to see myself as good enough even if I have been measured against my peers and deemed a failure.

Despite my limitations I will do my best to give my daughter as much as I can and to help her see the world as clearly as possible.

This much, I can begin to see as a starting point – a way of being.
I know I can work hard to not let myself down even if I want to give up and lay my hand down.

Despite my limitations I know I’d be lucky and it’d be great to hear from you,

Matthew R. Polkinghorne

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