Friday, 20 September 2013


Have you ever wondered who is in charge of your body? It might seem like a simple question. But it can become very complex. 

For example, the story of the "Six Million Dollar Man." (You only have to watch the first two minutes in order to catch the concept; sorry if you're stuck with a commercial at the beginning.) 

Now, did you notice that line of dialogue: "We have the technology; we can rebuild him." All very well and true.

BUT, does Steve Austin want to be rebuilt that way? 

Aye, there's the rub. 

After all, it's his body; shouldn't Steve have some input into the discussion of, and decision about, what happens to him? Indeed, shouldn't we all have some control over what happens to our bodies? 

Welcome to the world of medical ethics.

Normally, I would have put this on my blog The Ethical Pilgrimage. But I consciously shut that one dow a while ago. That means that ethical issues that Bear Noting will appear here. 

I must be getting healthier; I can actually think about these issues again. I take that to be a good sign. 

By the way, Steve Austin's choice is a matter which falls within the ethical category of "Autonomy." I'll have more about that in the future (soon, I hope).

Blessings and Bear hugs!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013


In the Beginning . . .

"Involutional melancholia or involutional depression is a traditional name for a psychiatric disorder affecting mainly elderly or late middle-aged people, usually accompanied with paranoia. It is classically defined as 'depression of gradual onset occurring during the involutional years (40-55 in women and 50-65 in men), with symptoms of marked anxiety, agitation, restlessness, somatic concerns, hypochondriasis, occasional somatic or nihilistic delusions, insomnia, anorexia, and weight loss.'"

Thus, Wikipedia.

Sounds like the Bear. Except for the "somatic concerns, hypochondriasis, occasional somatic or nihilistic delusions,  … anorexia, and weight loss," which, in the Bears case, should read "weight gain." But "weight gain" is natural for Bears in the summer, depressed or otherwise.  

Enough of that, already. Sheesh.

Something Old, Something New?

The good news was that, over the summer, I have been able to get a firm grip on the "Black Dog" which has been dogging my footsteps for so long. I tossed that dog out of the house!

But now, something else, something more vague, shadowy, perhaps. Fortunately, it is not debilitating, like what I have experienced in the past. But it does cause me to ponder — and to ask: where is this coming from, and why now? 

It feels more like a kind of "existential depression," which is different from "involutional melancholia." It is a kind of depression that "cannot be directly traced to a cause. We are quietly haunted by a vague sense or dark mood. Thru the hollow depths of our being sounds a low, moaning tone, which breaks into consciousness when our daily preoccupations fall away." In other words, it just is. It's a sense that comes from looking at the world — the violence, the poverty, and so much more.

Truth is, I am always bothered by troubling things. I was a sensitive child, who has grown into a sensitive adult, in a world that does not value a kind of existential sensitivity. A misfit. Attuned to injustice and pain. Desperately wanting to see other things — to see things differently, to see them becoming better. Whether war in Syria, or poverty on the streets of North America, or, . . . or.


In Other News

There is a new poem on my Urban Forest poetry blog. A bit romantic, a touch sensual. It is a response to another poem — I've explained that.  

I'd like to spend more time writing poetry. First, however, I need to clean out my den, to get ready for winter. That will only take me until the end of October. As in October, 2015. 

And so to Conclude

Time for a little bit of music: "Come to me my melancholy Teddy." Well, perhaps not this time.

Blessings and Bear hugs, folks.