Tag Archives: cancer


I’ve been surrounded somewhat by death these days. Well, there is also some beautiful new life in my world too, but this is on death so we’ll ignore them for the time being.

My grandmother says that as she gets older her friends just keep dying. It seems like for me, the older that I’ve been getting, my friends, or my friends friends, or my uncles, or my great uncles, or my… have started passing away.

I was talking last night with my father about this, and he said it’s disgusting. This death. Specifically with regards to cancer, but I think premature death is always sad, not necessarily disgusting, but just unfortunate and sad. I’m talking death from a disease or accident.

Sitting here, I’m thinking about books my grandmother has given me on yoga.

Let me step back a moment.

I am very interested in photographs, and I’ve taken most of my grandmothers photographs from her albums and scanned them and made them digital. For her own continuity and for mine. Who knows what will happen to those albums. As a result, I’ve gotten to know a lot more about my grandmother in her earlier years, in her young adult life especially, and I have seen how beautiful she was as a young woman.

This leads me to think about how graceful she may have been. How she would have practiced yoga? Did she use it for meditation, or did she use it for exercise? It’s funny, some of these books date back pretty far, long before Lululemon came around [isn’t that when/why most kids these days get into yoga? (kidding)].

Then, I phase back to reality and look at her now. I see her requiring 3 swings to get up from a chair. I see her hunched over with age. I hear her talk to me about how exhausting it is to even make breakfast in the morning. I am trying to convince her and everybody around her that she needs a maidservant to help her with daily tasks, just to make it easier on her.

My grandmother is 93 years old this year.

It kind of scares me how life has already just swept past me as if I’ve been sleeping. I know I’ve been awake, I know there have been many memories in there and many large events that have carried me along, but it still scares me how it goes so fast.

1793 - The Death of Marat - Jacques-Louis David - p817

Father keeps telling me how he hates getting old. Who can blame him? I hate getting old too.

I want to live forever. If I was given the chance to live forever, I’d do it in a heartbeat. Easy choice.

I talk to people about this sometimes, and they look at me saying things like: “Why would you want to live forever? You would get so bored of things, and it would be so sad when all of the people you would come into contact with, your lovers, would die and leave you to continue on.” I say that’s hogwash. Sure, that would hurt. It may hurt so much I’d want to take my own life after a while, but I’d still do it, I’d still live forever. So what if I had a year of depression. So what if I slept a whole day away. I’d live forever. This kind of stuff would soon pass, and I’d find other things to occupy my mind keeping me in the moment. I like to think I’d stay motivated. Perhaps there could be a clause that if I didn’t stay motivated, I would start to age. On second thought, that would make me pretty anxious I think, so perhaps no clause. I don’t need a clause.

In my life right now, I know 4 people being effected by Cancer. I have lost people in my life who have meant a great deal to me from other causes too. Heart attacks, strokes, accidents, sicknesses.

How do you deal with death?

I take subtle queues from Qi. It teaches that one should not get too excited, nor too depressed, and that one should strive to find the balance in the middle where all of life just is. Expect that everything happens as it should, whether it’s good or bad, it’s just the way of the world and we cannot control that.

I like this attitude for some aspects in my life, like death, but I also feel that as a human I can inflict change into my life, change that I want to see happen. So sometimes I just don’t take things as it happens, sometimes I push forward for more. I think this attitude, after all, is what it means to live.

What do you think?

Cut Your Losses


One axiom that I have heard countless times is ‘Cut your losses’, but does everybody really find this an easy concept to grasp?

I’ve been passionate about investing in stocks for a good handful of years now. Although this isn’t the main point of this article, it’s one of the first areas that I use this daily.

Cutting your losses is a very hard loaf of bread to bite into. Can you see how it would apply to the question: If you were faced with the decision of cutting off your whole arm to save the rest of your body from being infected with a disease that had a chance to kill you, would you?

For me, even cutting off a finger would be a hard decision to make, but in the whole scheme of things, I prefer to live than death; I would cut my losses.

I think of Bob Marley, and how he died of a cancer that started in his big toe that he didn’t want to remove because of his Rasta beliefs, or just because he didn’t want to believe it.. Who really knows? This could just be a rumor, but even if it is for him, no doubt there are countless others out there who have died because of this.

Bob Marley

Maybe it can be better compared to the situation with a smoker today, or for that matter a drug addict. You know that you’re killing yourself slowly by puffing on that cigarette, yet you continue to smoke day after day.

I have not yet met somebody who smokes and wholly embraced the smoking habit and loved every minute of it, guilt free. It’s inevitable and proven that it kills you slowly, it eats away at your insides (brain and lungs).

This, I feel, is an example of not cutting your losses: “I’ve smoked for so long, it won’t hurt to have one more.” Or: “I’ll quit tomorrow.”

To apply this to stocks, I’ve learned that a major problem with investing in stocks is that everybody can read good news about a company, or see that the charts tell them it’s going upwards forever; it is time to buy. But, there is a very fine art of knowing when to cut your losses on a stock. I like to believe at the point in time where you say to yourself: “Oh this doesn’t look good at all, tomorrow I can feel it’s going to turn around though..” it’s already to late. Or: “My god, this has gone down so far now that there is no point in selling it.”

I guess the secret is to, at any one of those times, or before times, take your profits, be happy with what you have left, and move on to the next thing that doesn’t make you think ‘it’s already to late.’


I’ve been spending a lot of my energy these days trying to find omens in life, and letting them guide me. A very wise friend of mind was talking with me about this the other night, and she mentioned how most people get mixed up about it, and already have a pre-conceived notion of what they want the omen to tell them, and just look for things that will further their own beliefs, rather than keeping an open mind and accepting them as they come. In a sense, they already know what they want and just want ANY confirmation about what they’ve already decided.

Thinking about this now, I feel that I refer to these types of people as ‘free spirited’. Do you know anybody in your life who represents one of these souls? I know I do, and maybe I do not fully appreciate how they live as a true blessing of the world.

I think it’s the fact that they tend to also lack certain goals that I find are universal in life that makes me think of their ways as rather lazy.. But it would appear they cut their losses immediately and without any worries at all.


I digress.

What I’m getting on about is how it makes sense that they move from place to place, event to event without much else other than a good time, and an eye open for omens of what they should do, and where they should go. Not sticking around to let a situation get to a point where you have to cut your losses, or maybe it’s cutting the losses right away without delay?

I think the point that most people struggle over the most is that they do not want to admit to themselves that

  1. They made a mistake, or
  2. To actually get over this devastatingly emotional event they must move on, which is hard and scary.

But cut your losses! If you start now and condition your mind, you will feel how easy it becomes to recognize a situation you should cut your losses in, and move onto bigger and better things in life. Be it stocks, be it a significant other, or a bad banana (remember about banana cake!), keep it in mind that you can, and will feel much better off when you start to cut your losses, move on and away from things that are dragging you down, allowing you to focus on what allows you to be happy and prosper!

May 25th, 2010 003