Operating Instructions

<August 15/13> Semi-random musings from beside a favourite lake in Algonguin Park (Ontario, Canada) one lovely August morning…

Seek the sun

and the shade

the wind

& the not-so-windy spots


Seek balance

Enjoy it when you find it

Knowing it’s one of Life’s perennial challenges


Wear your hat

Eat when you’re hungry

Rest when you’re tired


Water (& friends) are essential


Stay in the moment

Don’t try to hang on

Go with the flow


Let go

Breathe deeply


Love with abandon

Live fully

Love fully

Grieve fully


Fear is best left mostly behind


Know war & peace exist side by side [1]

Don’t resist reality

(Though you may need to take occasional “breaks” from it)


Pack carefully

Jettison freely when something no longer serves you


Practice gentleness

With others…with yourself


Stay on the move

(Except when it’s time to be still)


Veer to the left

Take the fork in the road


Have it All

& let it go gracefully when you must


Go slow

Enjoy the detours




Learn to yield


Live simply (but with elegance)


Cultivate community, & conversation

& also solitude, & silence


Clean up after yourself (No littering!)


Watch your step

Embrace Mystery

& be open to wonder


Be open to change

(knowing transition times are challenging)


Make mistakes

Apologize. Atone, if need be.


Be yourself.


Interfere/intervene when necessary.


Love Nature


Overcome obstacles

Avoid gluttony & greed


Take a second look

Pay attention


Pace yourself!



p.s. I came up with this funny little list as I was walking around the island we were camped on. Poetry literally in motion, only it isn’t really poetry… just ... musings.

p.p.s. & my buddy & I swam over to that rock that's featured at the top of this blog, & said hello. One of my very favourite rock-y spots!!

p.p.p.s. about 4 days after I wrote this, I was back to "civilization” & watching an episode of ‘Real Time’ – the Bill Maher show – with a friend, & was delighted to encounter Tom Shadyac & his book Life’s Operating Manual. Betting it may be one of those books I’ll be buying multiple copies of, & giving away as gifts! Great YouTube of him talking about the book here. He is one of those people on the planet who really gets that life is really not about money. If only we had all “gotten” this a whole lot sooner, eh?

p.s. # 4: all canoe trip postings now gathered up under this heading. 

‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued. It must ensue. And it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself.” – Victor Frankl

[1] The great peace of this lake in Algonquin Park is sometimes broken by the sounds of war from nearby CFB (Canadian Forces Base) Petawawa. So incongruous, the occasional whump-whump of arms being set off when most of what one hears here is silence ... or the call of loons.... or maybe the slap of a beaver's tail on the water. Or fish jumping. You know??