Being an avid reader since I can remember, and writing professional communication products for work, I embark on a new journey. Writing is something I enjoy and I find inspiration all around me, especially in nature. Let's see where I go.
September 10, 2021 This morning I feel good, like really good, probably the best I have felt in nearly six weeks. My sleep was mostly uneventful, except for the crazy dream that woke me just before midnight. Looking around the room, my lamp still on, helped bring me back to reality: I was at home and not in Afghanistan. Back to sleep.
This story is based on my experiences both in Afghanistan in 2007, and at home, some 14 years later, when the news broke in August that the Taliban were retaking the country. It describes what I was feeling in that moment and in the weeks following. Although some of the information is fictional, the basis of the story is a true reflection of incidents then, on my last night in Kandahar, and now, as I work to overcome PTSD. I managed not to do what I describe in the last paragraph, but that reality exists, always challenging me.
16 year-old Max Palmer is so enthralled in the moment that he does not hear his mom calling for his attention. In the tall grass, just beyond the side of their rented Land Rover, something has caught his attention. Large, golden eyes with sharp, black pupils. It’s confident stare transfixes him. Not even the savannah heat distracts the lion. For years Max dreamt of this moment, and now he is living it. Strong and relaxed but threatening at the same time, this young male has seen his share of action, witnessed by the scar breaking across the bridge of his nose and a left ear which Freddy Kruger himself may have sliced and diced.
PTSD and me
“Everyone has untold stories of pain and sadness that make them love and live a little differently than you do. Stop judging, instead try to understand.” -Author unknown
His first experience
The first days of university are stressful as first year students struggle to adjust to their new environments, find their way around disorienting campuses and make new friends. For Matt, the unusual, long-haired kid from a small city on an island more than 4,000 kilometres to the west, the University of Toronto offered a chance to start his life again. With its long and colourful history, sprawling campus, numerous organizations and students groups, Matt believed St. George Campus offered a bright future, one he hoped would be very different from his past.
Polar Bears hunt and kill whales?!
Polar Bears are fascinating animals, more so than other bears because of their large size, unique colour, and arctic environment where they live. They are the largest land carnivores in the world, and live in some of the coldest and inhospitable places on Earth. People who are interested in and learn about these tough and rugged bears know they normally hunt seals. Hunting seals takes patience and strength, as the seals polar bears routinely hunt can weigh up to 150 pounds and must be hauled out of the water after being caught. If you have tried to lift anything out of the water, you know how hard that is. It doesn’t hurt that male bears can weigh as much as 1400 pounds, which is nearly 10 times as heavy as a keg full of beer. They massively outweigh their regular prey.
Fact: African Cheetahs originally came from North America
That’s right. Cheetahs, even though they are one of the “must see” animals on an African Safari, are not originally from Africa, and it was only recently that I became aware of this.
Can't You See the Sign?
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign. That line was his favourite. He preferred the Tesla version of the song, even though the original was written by a Canadian band. Being a Canadian himself, he had a fondness for homegrown music, but there was just something about Jeff Keith’s raspy voice that made him shiver inside. It was those feelings that drove him to be a musician in the first place, that and the killer rock 'n' roll lifestyle.