Number Eighteen


This past week, I was an audience member at TEDx Manitoba. The day was spiced with all sorts of talks, from how to build your own solar powered home to conquering oppression at all odds. From my plastic upholstered chair I witnessed so much that I left wondering If I had enough strength to carry it all away with me (thank goodness for live streaming). I wish I would have recorded this right after, because as time passes certain threads get dropped and memory tends to blur around the edges, numbing some of the emotion that tied you to something in the first place.

Better late than never I suppose. At the end of the day Brad Tyler-West, went through his talk in spirals, sneaking up to a conclusion, and as he pointed out his style I realized that is how I too digest the world…up down and side to side, but it is rare that I will get from A to B using a straight line. I tend to swaddle memories into layers of emotion, what did it feel like?  Through the day I jotted down themes that vibrated through me: Here are a few that stick out best.

• The laws of polarity state that two energies of equal power cannot reside within the same place at the same time. So one must conquer the other. When Wilma Derksen gave her talk about letting love fill a devastating void as opposed to justice, the thought brought me to my knees. I have always known love must conquer, you know it deep within yourself, a certain pure wisdom that is just true. With trivial things, it is easy to put love first, with things of little consequence. But as you up the anti, it gets more and more difficult…but what about my pride, what about my dignity, my power? And sometimes these win. But when Derkesn explained that when faced with absolute terror and and the embodiment of lovelessness, she chose again and again to counter it with love. Holy shit. If that isn’t raw enough beauty to make you cry I’m not sure what is.

• Failure. Ashley sent me a text a while ago asking that “What is beautiful in Failure”. Aisha Alfa, did her whole talk on just that. How we draw the blueprints of our lives bounded by avoiding failure. We keep our lives small, so that we will never be confronted with failure, restricting ourselves. But what about all the opportunities missed? Sometimes you have to go through 30 failures to achieve one success. And if you are brave enough to fail, you will have a vibrant and joyful life, so throw it all in. Failure scares me more than spiders, but its one of those things I want to make friends with. In her talk on Fruit Sharing Getty Stewart said at one point ” I was faced with doing something new (passion) or sticking to the safe route (security) and oh how easy it would be to be safe but wheres the fun in that?”. There it is again, how many things do we give up on before we even begin, because we are scared we won’t succeed? That thought should be scarier than spiders.

• The ego. This seemed to be a theme running through a lot of talks. The North End MC Michael Redhead Champagne and Art teacher Kale Bonham, spoke about what it means to have less than an ego. They confronted the oppression facing kids in the North End, about the stigmata that is associated with this area of our city and how it completely misrepresents population there. What would the world look like if we all turned down the volume on our egos? The ego, is linked to failure, it is a barrier in letting love conquer in your life. Our egos end up separating us. From each other, our goals, true wisdom and our own bliss. In TJ Dawe’s talk he discussed how we could all learn a lot more from one another, if we stopped taking sides of an argument, and really listened to one another.

Oh its getting late. The day was packed with so many beautiful ideas, I hope will stick around as an aftertaste for weeks to come. Tonight those three themes stick out from the experience though. And how simple the are: Love, generously. Don’t be afraid of failure. Don’t let your ego get in the way of your experience of life, too much ego reeks of wet dog. Isn’t it funny how simple these lessons are. We know them inside out and its in our bones, but the simplest lessons always seem to be the ones I have to re-learn every day.

Check out the live stream:

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One thought on “Number Eighteen

  1. shrinkled says:

    Beautifully stated. Perhaps it’s so easy to take these things for granted because they are such constant themes throughout our lives. They can become background noise if you let them. But I suppose relearning the lessons can be an inspiring experience.

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