~ Circularity “We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” T.S.Eliot
In many ways, my upbringing was culturally quite rich, despite being raised in a very small house with three brothers, all in one bdrm. Our family immigrated to Canada from England when I was a tick over 3.
Mama was very English; a giving person who taught me about gardening. She had the greenest thumb imaginable. Mama was ‘organic’, long before that word became fashionable. Mama was one of the secretaries for General Doolittle, during the Allied invasion for WWII. Papa was Austro/Hungarian and overly strict. It was the European way in those days. Father was a giant of a figure in my life and that of my siblings. He had an MD, PhD & CEV; was a student of Sigmund Freud in the 1920’s. In the late 1940’s, papa became assistant to the Queen’s physician, Sir John Weir, notable for his abiding faith and hers, in homeopathy. I grew up east of ‘the big smoke’ in Oshawa, ON.
My building history goes back well over 50 years. I made tree huts and ground forts in my pre-pubescent youth. My innate talents for creativity and implementation of design shone in high school woodworking; yet, I still loved the universe of ideas as a youth and young man.
I went to Waterloo Lutheran, before it was renamed Wilfrid Laurier, studying religion and philosophy, switching to classes at the U Of W in my second year. I turned away from formal schooling during the War Measures Act of 1970, eventually moved to the country and built the geodesic dome in 1972 from our archives. However, the hunger to continue learning has been ongoing.
I have 3 grown children, with two grandsons. In 1982, my family and I emigrated to the South Island of New Zealand for 1-1/2 yrs. We returned to Canada to establish a second homestead and woodworking shop in Brighton, ON which again is archived.
I’ve also played seriously at being a ‘gearhead’ back in the 1990’s. I built a Cobra replica from a kit. I modified the body, put an LED third brake light in the full roll bar, painted it and spent thousands of hours making stainless steel appointments for it, such as engine turning the hood insert and dash panel. In the image below, my best bud, Barry and I went on a wine tasting pilgrimage to the Niagara. We had the tiny Cobra trunk stuffed with several hundred lbs. of vintage juice and every dip in the road caused the suspension to bottom out. We never lost a bottle and had a grand time. The car exuded the philosophy that too much was just about right! I grew out of that passion or obsession, depending upon your POV. Automobiles for me now are simply transportation appliances.
I became involved with the professional manufacturing & marketing of state-of-the-art loudspeakers circa 1984. These speakers were my pride and joy, becoming well respected as amongst the best transducers in the world. Canadians have a reluctance to say anything we do is best. The speakers were technically advanced and there are still US based recording companies using my speakers for monitoring and editing of classical and jazz sessions. The brand is known as ‘Waveform’. I retired in 2001 from a 3 decade long career in self-employed cabinetry.
If any of my former business acquaintances, competitors or friends, from those more than two decades of heady, high-end HIFI days are looking for a rant about that particular hardware industry…look elsewhere! I choose to recall only the good moments. As the sages of the times told me often: “Hey John, it’s nothing personal; it’s only business.” Below, is a small part of the original Waveform site through the 1990’s. http://www.scrounge.org/speak/waveform/wave3.html You can navigate around this earliest web site by clicking on the stylized *W* link at the bottom. So sorry, as it really IS all about Love. The philosophers, minstrels, poets and seers were right all along. Love is all that remains. I left Ontario in 2005 after my own midlife alteration. I lived in the Comox Valley ’til 2008 when I moved again to the Annapolis Valley here in NS. While I loved Vancouver Is., to own property, to build one more homestead in that heavenly place was not an option, if it meant mortgaging my retirement.
I’ve purchased 5A and am in the very early process of creating a sanctuary. This retreat encompasses ideas such as passivhaus, passive solar, increase of thermal mass, zero-energy home, with a large and ever increasing organic gardens. Here, one can take note of the ravens squawking, as they tumble through the air.
Viewing eagles gliding on thermal uplifts is a weekly occurrence. I can listen and gaze endlessly at the water falling down the mountain in the brook. One can see the tufts of Lynx footfalls in fresh powder and become immersed in the majestic silence inside the serenity of the North Mtn. forest.
I try to harmonize my passion for outdoor pursuits (hiking @#1!), walking, gardening, canoeing, snowshoeing and building, with my indoor interests of reading, yoga, energy work, alternate and foreign film, massage, Reiki, dance, The Course in Miracles, Non-Duality discussions at Manning Chapel in Wolfville, cooking and the preservation of food. Since writing this several years ago I’ve adopted the diet of a vegan, in that I eat whole foods and only plant based . . . save honey. I’ll write more about that later.
All good music, both live and recorded is a deep passion, especially classical. Folk festivals each summer have become a definite addiction.
During these past 12 years, I commence the day with my own private, very personal yoga in the very early AM. This has become central to my way of life. Ask older people what they’d rather have: muscular strength or flexibility with deep inner peace? With yoga, one attains both. That’s part of the Oneness of being.
I adore the Love poetry of the Sufi saints such as Jellaludin Rumi, Hafiz, Lalla & Ibn al ‘Arabi. I will often refer to it in conversation as the poetry of swoon. ():>) That’s my halo on top. For me, being fit implies a unity in other areas perhaps even more fundamental than the body; areas such as the mind, the heart, our psychology and most important, our relation to the greater whole, The Universe. These are the areas of concern that inspire me now. Comparatively, building happens to be incidental. There is a direct quote from a tome I am currently re-reading: The Perennial Philosophy of Aldous Huxley from 1946: “The soul lives by that which it loves rather than in the body which it animates. For it has not its life in the body, but rather gives it to the body and lives in that which it loves.” St. John of the Cross All these aspects of life infill me with a child’s sense of wonder. I have volunteered in my community and also take part in local social issues that move me, such as the dissolution of farm land. I’ve become a crop circle formation and UFO junkie in the age of peak oil and peak everything!
I have a deep ecological and environmental interest in Gaia, our Earth. It’s all Spirit and it’s all spiritual. Many in the spiritual community say we are not our body. Well, I choose to differ: the material part of my existence, i.e., my flesh and bones my mind and heart, is me in the moment I become aware of saying that and keyboarding it. You don’t have to agree, but if you accept me as I Am, we can have a great conversation. As with any human pursuit, building being no exception, there are those who will insist that their way, is the only way, to the point of argument and exclusion. Hmmmm! You cannot build incorrectly. You can only build with an increase to your carbon footprint, necessitating a more expensive heating and cooling fuel load = $$. That in itself affects all others within society, in the same way as smoking in public or driving gas guzzlers does.
My favourite bumper sticker reads: We All Live Downstream. I am reminded of the continuing story don Juan relays to Carlos Castaneda: Do everything as if it’s the only thing in the world that matters, knowing full well that, it doesn’t matter at all. For this writer, if the reader has not as yet figured out what the intent of calling an autobiography circularity means, is that we eventually come full circle, to that place where all little boys and little girls dwell; our hearts. My life’s work has always sprung from the wellspring of my heart. If I’ve said it afore, I’ll say it again; “Work is love made manifest.” And so ’tis with ‘eye’. When we become childlike in our wonder of the world around us, and see material reality with awe and splendour, our curiosity is without bounds. We truly are in that place of our essential Selves. Go there. Find it. Live it. During the last several years, I have been volunteering extensively within our Woodville Community, having migrated to serving with the executive, as part of Building and Grounds with Ron Rafuse. I have now for the time being withdrawn from these activities of which I shall write more later. In September 2012, I joined the North Mountain Chorus, as it was and still is in need of tenors. I’ve been having a wonderful time extending social contacts and just learning to sing my heart out. In Dec. of 2012, we had our major performance outing and if you didn’t go the United Church in Berwick, to hear just how fortunate we are here with all the musicians in this part of our Valley, then you sorely missed a really big shew as Ed was wont to state. That’s Ed Sullivan for those in the dark.
As a single man ‘of proper age’, awaiting The Good Grace at Its pleasure, I cherish relationships with those who wish to reveal themselves. Intimacy is what happens around the kitchen table. What transpires in the bdrm is another thing, closely aligned with how one chooses to manifest their Spirit within. Friends wish to be known and they wish to know of Self & Other. Another take from the 13th C Sufi master, Rumi through Coleman Barks relates; “And for those who do not wish to hear the sound of the reed flute, it’s best to cut the conversation short, say goodbye and leave.” I’ve come to understand that living in the woods here on the mountain, one spends a great deal of time alone with the Alone. You get to know yourself; experiencing the difference between desire and need. Differentiation is the cement of any lasting relationship with Self or other. I’ve been told often enough that: ‘John, you’re just right out there!” Yah? So what? Have you found a more authentic manner to live? And, will you share that with all these readers too? I have slowly become a Maritimer. Nova Scotians love to tell their stories. If you listen carefully, they/WE will do anything to help you, as fast friends are a short story away. Again, work and play is Love made manifest. In the end, it’s entirely just our own personal story.
This one’s mine. I AM John Ötvös, aka jayöh