Anxiety For Nothing, poetry by Glen Mckenzie at

Anxiety although a real issue for many, including myself and at least for me seems at times to be an exercise in wasted energy. The anxiety builds and builds over something, making that something take on a far bigger role than it actually is. And in the end, there was no reason at all for the anxiety that always creeps in …to have crept in.

Not to diminish issues dealing with anxiety and the discomfort and paralysis it can cause. Anxiety is real and debilitating for many people. presents: Anxiety For Nothing, poetry written by Glen Mckenzie, a +50-year-old hiker; canoe tripper; outdoor enthusiast …

Source: Anxiety For Nothing, poetry by Glen Mckenzie at

Thoughts From The Wilderness Poetry – “Rain”

As much as physical rain falling from the heavens can bring new life back from a parched earth, metaphorical rain can in a sense wash away the dirt and garbage within our lives. Whatever form that metaphorical rain might be, we’ll all need it at some point in our life. Perhaps more often than not.



the rain came today

washing dust and dirt

from the hot summer air

soaking into the ground

like lotion on dry skin


each droplet bringing life

back to a bone-dry world

precious lifeblood falling intently

drinking in a renewing frenzy

the change felt after it falls


the patter of rainfall

soothing to hear; soothing the soul

a calming effect on life’s craziness

childhood memories of splashing insane

memories of innocence on a summers day


rain washed away the garbage

memories renewed and recovered of days long past

rain on the sidewalk like a drummer’s roll

cleansed the recesses of baggage long hidden

wiped fresh with no new agenda


the rain came today

washed away yesterday’s toil

cleansed the spirit; my spirit

the rain came today

it was needed; it was welcomed


Thoughts From The Wilderness – Waiting

Although written and posted just over a year ago, the message it contains I think is one we all need to heed at times. “What are we waiting for ???”

The “waiting game” technically isn’t a game(at least I don’t think it is), but nevertheless, it does and can get played throughout the course of our lives for sure. Waiting for the perfect circumstances; waiting until the conditions are just right  or more favourable.

Yes, waiting does have its place in out life, but there are those times when we’ve done all we can do; researched and planned everything carefully…but we won’t take the next step.

Is it fear of the unknown? Fear of failure? Fear of what others may think? I can’t answer any of those for you. Only you can do that.

But, at some point the waiting needs to end and you/we just simply need to jump in the deep end and deal with whatever comes up.

Our time here on Earth is finite. Given this “finality”, there aren’t many second chance cards that get turned up in the “game of life.”

There are those times we simply need to “jump in with both feet.”

“All things come to him who waits, but they are mostly leftovers from those who didn’t wait.” – unknown source.

Waiting sucks…….well it can suck.

The thing I don’t get about waiting is this. I set an appointment to go visit my Doctor and once I arrive at my scheduled time and I’M ON TIME OR EVEN EARLY……the fine receptionist says, ” Great, have a seat the Doctor will be with you in a moment.” 

A second issue with physician’s offices is this. “Why does a Doctor’s office; a place of highly trained and skilled professionals have magazines and other reading material dating back 10 years or more?” The reading material at a Doctor’s office is like stepping into the ancient history section at your local library and scanning the shelf that contains the encyclopedia’s.

waiting for the perfect time

Okay, before we head too far down the “Doctor’s office reading material” rabbit hole, how many of us spend WAY TOO MUCH TIME AND ENERGY ……………………………………..waiting.

Waiting for what???????

Waiting for our “ducks to get lined up” before attempting something or waiting and working on a project so long to get it perfect ……….that the opportunity passes you by.

And by the way, have you ever tried to get “ducks to line up?” My guess is it would be like “herding cats.” Although, if given the opportunity, I do think ducks will line up by themselves.

Source: Google Images

Many times, we spend far too much time and energy planning to make or get something “perfect” or waiting until the conditions are “just right” before jumping into something.

And when we do this…………waiting for that “perfect moment” a couple of things can happen:

  • that “perfect moment” may never come by or show up at all
  • OR – “what does come by” or even worse “passes us by” are moments of spontaneity; those times when we should have just “jumped in with both feet”

So, what does all this mean?

Well, like the rather “thin fella” in the picture we can waste away; waste our lives away………………………. just waiting.

Lynn and I came across this guy when we spent a morning in Canmore while adventuring in the Rockies back in 2015. Not sure what he was waiting for, but it’s pretty obvious he wasted away to just about nothing. Maybe he was waiting for someone to get him another beer?

Point is, sometimes we just have to seize the moment…………..and “jump in with both feet.”

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the need for planning; risk evaluation; a SWOT analysis and all those wonderful “catchphrases.” But, there comes a point where we just have to …………….do…………..take action.

So……what are you waiting for.

Will you be like our Canmore friend and waste away waiting for that “perfect set of conditions?” or will you be, “hey, I got enough information; done just enough planning to take a step in THAT new direction. I’ll figure out the next step when I get there.”

Waiting for a plane to take us on our next adventure is a good thing; waiting in the drive-thru to get an early morning coffee and muffin when heading out on an epic canoe trip is a good thing.

Waiting for those “perfect conditions”; planning our time on Earth “within an inch of its life” ………… that good; bad; …..somewhere in between?

You need to decide that.

Source: Google Images

“All things come to him who waits, but they are mostly leftovers from those who didn’t wait.”

This picture pretty much sums up my life I think……………

Duck Pond
Source: Google Images

Are you a person who waits or are you more of jump in with both feet?

Thoughts From The Wilderness -Lighting Up Our Lives(sort of)

Lynn’s been away for the last four days or so, visiting her Aunt and then her Mom. This post isn’t necessarily about her being away(although it is much better having her home), but it got me thinking how many people see their lives or desire their lives to be a rich and marvellously interwoven tapestry with friends, acquaintances and family.

Especially family and friends.


Where the universe has divinely ordained this interconnection of people within our time walking the Earth. Everything thing and everyone all fitting in nicely to create this wonderful patchwork of relations(with the odd exception every now and then).

At the end of our days, we can wander back through our memories and see the fantastic relationships of friends and family all interlaced resulting in our own “Persian rug” legacy.

And who doesn’t stand back in awe when looking at a woven wall hanging of such brilliance and craftsmanship and wish they had something similar for themselves.

Everything fitting together, each piece is where it is supposed to be. No blips or outliers that mess up the final product.

Nice concept, but sort of boring don’t you think.

This might be what we hope for. All fitting in where it is supposed to be; a place for everything; conformity up the ying-yang. Everything and all is a “lovely shade of beige.”

Don’t rock the boat, because “what will people think?” They’ll probably think, “geez, no different than anyone else.”

But really?

Chances are it looks like this.

Nope, our lives and the connections between family and friends are weirdly a “knotted mess.”

Deep down if we all admit it, we want those interconnections to be the“the knotted Christmas light ball from hell.”

Even you’re screaming back at me right this very moment, “no f@cking way” is mine like that or would I even want it,” chances are yours is just like it. A swirling mix of tangled lights, burnt-out bulbs, weird colours and short-circuited wires.

As much as we have those people in our families or our friends for that matter, that desperately want the “perfect tapestry”, the reality is simply this.

family 1


family 1


sister 1

Our relationships with family and friends are, that tangled mess of “Christmas lights” that no amount of work will get sorted out. So why fight it “the force.”

Embrace it; love it; life is meant to be filled with adventure; fun and just a few secrets that only we know about.

Even if you or someone manages to get the “Christmas ball lights from hell” untangled there will be some bulbs that are burnt out, a few may be far too bright, some will be exceedingly colourful(those are the best) and unfortunately there is always a bunch of lights the same boring colour all in a neat row.

Remember, there is always someone who is at the ready and, honestly loves what they see and who they are and is willing to “flick the switch” at a moments notice. Thus, the whole world or at least the neighbourhood can see and unfortunately to the dismay and shame for some, your “tangled but nevertheless interesting mess of bulbs.”


One final note, even if it works that you or someone else get the mess untangled and has all the bulbs lit and in perfect colour coordination, there is always a “Clark Griswold” in your life you may have forgotten about, who innocently or perhaps not so innocent will wander back into the garage to get another box of lights.

I bet my last dollar that the box contains yet another “tangled ball of lights from hell.”

Remember….embrace the “lights.”



—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —

Thoughts From The Wilderness – Poetry – “I Thought Of Her Today”

The pain of losing someone can be overwhelming. For many it is a pain that never leaves, even though it may subside slightly over time. They say time heals all wounds. Perhaps it does or perhaps it doesn’t.

I thought of her today

I cried

Memories slowly fading

Like pictures

Too long in the sunlight

Her memory knocks at the door

To come in

To the emptiness of my existence

My soul is a wound that never heals

Slowly leaking the life that is within me

I awaken expecting her

Reality startles me

She is not there

Her memory returns like a rushing wind

Swiftly filling the void

In the recesses of my heart

Time does not heal the pain

What is time but merely seconds ticking by

It heals nothing

Only stretches out the pain and hurt

I thought of her today

I cried



Thoughts From The Wilderness – You Are More Than Your Component Parts

On a recent adventure to Algonquin Park, one of the trails Lynn and I tackled was Booths Rock. It is around 6 kilometres long(more or less), but the thrilling part for anyone who hikes it, are the stunning views out over the Algonquin landscape and Rock Lake from a rocky cliff about halfway along the hike.


Always wanting to “freeze in time” the majesty of the moment when we’re outdoors, Lynn captured the above panoramic shot of the landscape and Rock Lake from the rocky precipice along the trail.

What makes the above picture so interesting from a technical perspective, is that the shot is not one photo, but a series of five pictures stitched together in post-production to create the resulting panoramic.

The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

Each separate picture is something within itself, but when combined together, the result is far more satisfying and mind-blowing.

We as individuals are exactly like the panoramic shot out over the Algonquin landscape.

All those parts that are blended together into a rich tapestry that make us who we are, are simply “the parts.” The physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, psychological parts combined with all the other elements create the person we see in the mirror each morning.

sum 3
Source: Google Images

We see some of those parts in a positive light, while others we may view as negative or unfavourable. Regardless of how we see them as positive, negative or even neutral, they are the amalgam that is us.

Screen Shot 2019-08-06 at 5.39.15 AM
Source: Google Images

So, on an early Tuesday morning and as I sit here in my darkened living room typing away while Lynn is still in bed, I slip ever so slowly into the depths of the observing and dwelling in only those negative elements that is the “richness of me.”

Not intelligent enough; too emotional; far too many mental wellness issues and the list goes on.

I suspect there are many others sailing the same boat as I am.

Notwithstanding all of this and to not diminish where any of us may be at the moment, you and I as individuals regardless of how the parts are assembled or if we think there are more negative elements as compared to positive units – “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.”

That was easy to write.

Much harder though to believe some days.

The whole is greater than the sum of the parts

sum 4
Source: Google Images


—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —




Treachery Of The Performance

the deception of theatre

the mask one bears isn’t the role




reveal the truth

hidden disguised in hideous phrases

a masked society of actors

looking good

feeling good

smelling good

reveals the plot

what the stage demands

hidden from others incarcerated by




self is destroyed

society relishes conformity

falseness keeping you a prisoner

locked away within yourself

acting a play within a play

performers confirm the delusion

buried deep in the subplot




love the make-believe

lust the fantasy and loathe the truth

better the lie for all to stomach




I am me behind the mask

a breathing soul

living found within layers of life




we live a deception in a world not real




the illusion that all is good

the ultimate illusion

Thoughts From The Wilderness – “Soft Kitty….Warm Kitty….” (Update)

Update(Sunday, July 21)….

This is the kitty.

Her name is Kiwi.

Lynn took the pic the night we arrived with Kiwi in Halifax.

The story of how we ended up in Halifax, follows below.


Okay, this isn’t a post or dissertation on that particular song from the recently finished “The Big Bang Theory.”

Nope, just a short post to describe the events leading up to today, Sunday, July, 14.

Our daughter Sara, much like myself is allergic to cats. I’m more allergic than Sara, but we are both allergic to furry felines nonetheless.

Notwithstanding the allergy bit, Sara and her roommate wanted to get a cat. I do remember, them saying, a dog at this stage wouldn’t fit into life at the moment.

So, a cat would work, right?

Great question and a good choice for the most part, other than the whole allergy conundrum.

Given my relatively limited knowledge on a variety of subjects, I do know that there are hypoallergenic cats, or so they say.

You should be able to see where this going.

Sara and her roommate, well mostly Sara purchased a hypo-allergenic Siberian type of cat. Well, a kitten to tell the truth.

Funny, thing is though there are no breeders of this type of cat in eastern Canada.

Undaunted, why not simply contact a breeder in Ontario and not far from where Lynn and I reside in the “old homestead” and buy a kitten from her.

And thus she did.

One problem… kitten in Ontario…..Sara in Nova Scotia.

Of course, the simplest solution is for Lynn to take the kitten out to Nova Scotia on a plane and then fly back in a couple of days.

Well, the simplest solution would have been for Sara to pay for the breeder to ship the kitten via air. Small issue, though, the breeder didn’t want to ship the kitten in the cargo hold on a plane.

So…. kitty and Lynn take a flight.

Lynn and Kitty at Terminal 3 – Pearson Airport

Long story short, Sara bought Lynn a one-way flight on WestJet from Toronto, so Lynn could take the kitty in the cabin with her. As I type this, Lynn and Kitty have been in the air for about 30 minutes or so.

So, how do I fit into this?

Another great question.

My birthday and Father’s Day, always fall within a day or so of each other. This year, Lynn and Sara had a slight challenge in coordinating these two important celebrations for the “old man.” However, when Lynn was on the phone with Sara, desperately trying to make sure Dad wasn’t forgotten, Sara suggested that she would buy me a ticket to fly out and enjoy the “kitty festivities.” Nail, both birthday and Father’s Day in one massive shot.

Thus, I’m sitting patiently waiting at Hamilton International Airport for my 6:20pm flight.

But, Lynn flew out of Toronto you say!

True enough. By the time this all came about, for me to get on the same flight as Lynn was pushing $600. Flying in Canada can be expensive as all get out!!

So, I sit in Hamilton typing away waiting for my $150 flight to board.

Lynn and I will fly back into Hamilton, late Tuesday afternoon.

To finish up this tale, the stress and worry about getting the cat on the plane has evaporated. It will evaporate even more, once I touch down in Halifax and crack a cold beer or two at Sara’s apartment.

Not sure why it was bothering me, Lynn’s flying with the cat!!



—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —


Thoughts From The Wilderness – Why I Ventured Into Poetry(or have I lost my mind?)

One alternative working title for this piece, was “Have I Completely Lost My Mind?” Another one, which I think in hindsight is far better was “How Poetry and Insanity Collided and The Resulting Train Wreck.”

Notwithstanding, the choice of title, the question still remains, “why venture into poetry?”

Over my many decades roaming the Earth, I’ve evolved into a state of bliss in my waning years of “you’ve done the difficult routes….now choose an easy route now.”

A good approach, that I find for the most part is serving me quite well.

So, not having read or wrote poetry since some time I’m sure in grade 9 or 10, heading down the “poetry rabbit hole” doesn’t seem to fit at all in my “relative state of blissful existence.” In fact, it appears to be a huge contradiction to my normal way of skipping along.

As many would agree, writing in any form can be a challenge at best. Adding poetry into the mix for someone who doesn’t know squat about poetry makes no sense at all.

The reality is though, as “blissful as I think this existence” might be, we all need to “spice things up” every once and a while. Perhaps not so much as “spice things up”, but a challenge in some area of life to push the edges of the envelope out just a little further than they were the day before.

One thing that I’ve come to observe and certainly is a mantra of mine is that, we are never just in neutral. We are either pushing forward in life through searching out and accepting new challenges and experiences or we are moving backwards.

So, challenge accepted.

With a few ideas in mind, I simply started hitting the keys on the computer and didn’t stop until I had something out that expressed what I wanted to say.

Do I have a style? – no, not really.

I write until it’s done.

Most, if not all of my writing swells up from within my soul and can be very heavily emotionally and experience-based. Poetry for me is exactly the same way.

I that at least at this stage of the process, I find I need to be in the “right frame of mind” to begin crafting a poem. Trying to force a poem out, when my mind and emotions aren’t in the right spot for the most part results in an exercise in futility.

Poetry is the hardest style of writing I’ve ever done, but at the same time, it has been some of the most rewarding.


It forces me to go deep within myself and examine subjects and emotions which often are found in dark and forgotten recesses of my soul. But, that’s all right. All of those emotions and experiences need to get out into the light. Writing and expressing myself through poetry for me is a tiny light that shines through in my darkness.


A tiny light shining in the darkest of places can make a world of difference.



—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —