Friday, March 27, 2009

A Treasure Hunt!

From Number Two:

When I left my note, I was quite happy with the part I had played. I had been pleasantly surprised by a message, delivered by chance, from a mysterious writer (a dreamer?). The messenger had waited and I eventually wrote a note of my own, entrusting chance to deliver it to someone (the same one?) or maybe no one at all. If the whole thing, from my view, ended right there, it would have been a fun, short story and I would have been happy for my role in it.

But the story doesn't end there. My note got delivered and another one came my way. And now we have a rally going, like trying to keep a beach ball in the air. Part of the fun is finessing and fumbling to keep that ball going. Bounce, bounce, bounce... But even as I get caught up in playing, I do want you to know that I appreciate your thoughts and your generosity in sharing snippets of you. Thank you for sharing your art. I would like to respond in kind, but as someone who spends more time imagining than creating, I'm not yet sure what I can offer. In the meantime, I can keep the ball in the air maybe let you know a little more about me.


I've collected all sorts of paper scraps, stubs, cards and other cut-outs into a small tin. The many little slips of paper describe things about me. I have hidden the tin in a tree. Go to the Philosopher's Walk. If you start at the north entrance, just off of **** St. between the **** and the Conservatory of Music and follow the path towards the **** buildings, you will pass a small bridge with metal railings on your left. If you continue and then move down towards the trees on your left, you'll find that one of them has the tin tied into its branches. You'll have to go right under the tree and look up to see it. I hope you don't mind this little adventure. Though I think I've done a good job of hiding it, I hope that the tin is still there if and when you go to retrieve it.

I hope you have a great day.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A little update

No, I'm not going to include all my correspondence since then, as it starts to reveal more personal details about the senders. I'll just let you know that I think I'm falling in love with Number One.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Your post reminds me of Alexander the Great, more specifically, something that was said about him. "As he gazed over the breath of his domain, he wept; for he had no more worlds to conquer"...

Where's the parallel? I'm hoping you see it; your post hinted of one who has a deep appreciation for both language and nuance, but, its best not to assume.

Many people think twice when considering to walk down a path less travelled; you, however, seem like you like for such adventures; the mysteries to be discovered, quagmires to engage (or sidestep), strangers to bond with, on the journey you both find yourselves on. This is somewhat different though. How hard was it to realize that what you seek was not readily (if at all) available in your environment? As you admitted in your post, you hung out your sign, and then got a deluge of responses. I take it none understood what you sought? Or even worse, some did, but thought against the time and effort required to secure your interest?

Either way, true courage is when one admits the truth to oneself. Which is why I decided to write. Not may people today know what honesty is, much less have the will to face it head on. Being alone is indeed better than suffering the words of knaves and fools, but no person is an Island, that unto themselves.

I've never had a problem attracting the opposite sex, nor have I had any problems in holding the attention of a room with my words. Why, then, am I responding to an ad on CL? Same reason you wrote one. I cannot find what I'm looking for in my own world, and have come to realize I have to expand my search.

[specific details about appearance and lifestyle that are more than swoon-worthy]

If the above has piqued your curiousity, and you would like to learn more, I welcome a response, and we can go from there. If not, I hope I have not offended in any way, and good luck with your search.


That was absolutely amazing writing on that folded piece of paper. I am not a writer but can share my life experiences. It’s always easy to share things when you know that the person is not going to judge you or even if the person judges you it does not matter coz you don’t know the person. Well I have been trying to live a life of transformation but I really find it difficult and stuck at times when it comes to facing reality. I am not the one to probably blow you away , I could have been if it was 9 years ago for sure. Lol.. Well I am not sure you could be the one who write my autobiography. I am 31 year old been HIV positive for the past 9 years. Have struggled so much in life and still hanging in there. I know transformation is what is needed in peoples life and it is this transformation that gives one a life of possibilities. Possibilities that one creates for one self and others.

Just where you left the folded paper I am leaving a folded paper asking you to be my friend. I hope you find it when you come to check if someone actually opened and read the note on your folded paper


As a recently single fellow I find myself cruising the craigslist single ads for a reason can't quite explain. I mean sure - we are all voyeurs to some extent - but I think it also has to do with the fact that I can feel more comfortable in my skin knowing that I am far from the only one living in single land and that there are others out there that may just have some great qualities. I have no interest in the short ads and, to be honest, you would make the first woman I have written back to. Not that I did not delve into the world of online dating in the past, but for the most part craigslist seems beneath us all at times. Your piece was very intriguing though. Earlier today I was running the Don Valley trail and I stopped for some time to watch to river. I spent that time sitting on a large fallen branch and in your romantic world I sure could have found your note. When I came home I sat down to rest for a few and saw your piece. Let's imagine that I
was reading the paper instead. Upon its discovery I had stashed it in my pocket and hidden it running all the way home. Maybe I was a little exited, perhaps I was embarrassed to have stolen the note all for myself. Either way upon coming home and finishing reading it I decided to write back, here is what you would find stashed under the mat on your front porch one day.

Dear Idealist,

If fate does indeed love the fearless then I feel no fear in writing back to a stranger. We have so much to learn and only our words to pry out a discovery at this point. The potential for connection is as vast as the sea, yet the chances of sparks are like lightning. Lightning has a mind of it's own. It touches down rarely and usually without warning. Still if there is one thing to start to know about me it is that I am a hopeless romantic. An idealist who wakes up in the mornings and tells the mirror that this is the day. The day that can change my life. Maybe you feel the same? Maybe you feel a passion for the small things in life and cling desperately to what sense of childlike wonder you have left in your life. Maybe music moves you in a way that film or theatre cannot achieve on their own. Perhaps in your life there is little sense of the mundane as all the details matter. They are like pebbles in a pond making ripples that slowly change the face
of the reflection. I enjoy music. I enjoy film. I spend my summer throwing a Frisbee and my winters playing games and nestling into long nights of movie watching. I spend my entire year trolling malls and endlessly exploring the infinite sprawl of the city. Late night bookstores and patios on pubs. These are the things that leave lasting impressions. That and maybe you. I sleep better next to somebody and never forget a good morning kiss. I'm happier cooking pancakes for two and won't miss the chance to kiss the back of your neck while looking out the window at the city below.

Dear idealist I am not a perfect man but the ability I want most is that to never lose my desire to change. I'm not sure what to expect from writing this or if to expect anything at all. What I do believe is that fate sometimes needs a kick. Maybe next time fate will need a knock on your door.


I remember being Jerusalem filming the miniseries from the book **** and standing for the first time high above the wailing wall of Solomon's Temple and all the Jewish people praying and then going close to the wall. Later when I went down the steps to the square and looked at the wall I saw it was filled; every crack and crevasse with notes neatly folded and perhaps one of ours was there although it was put there by your mother and you were only her dream at the time.

Later I started to read about Homeopathy and the brilliant doctor who recognized and put it into order as a system of healing. He lived most of his life in Germany and when he was 73 with a spinster daughter handling his appointments and another divorced daughter making up his remedies so he could just be with patients and student and visiting doctors from afar and his wife now dead a year one day a mail coach came from Paris and a young man got out of the coach and went into the nearby inn.
The next morning a beautiful woman came from the Inn for she had been traveling as a man in the year about 1830 or so. Well she went in to visit the doctor as she had read his Organum in Paris and was melancholic. She was an artist, with paintings in exhibitions, an accomplished rider and hunts person. She had had two older men who were her mentors ac confident/friends and both had died and she had come to Gothom (sp) for she thought Samuel Hahnemann could help her regain her strength and verve for life. Well they instantly fell in love and he was 73 and she was about 29 and although everyone thought she was after his money it turned out that she was wealthy on her own account. They married secretly after a month and then moved to Paris and were together till his death 8 years later and it was a time where she became his best student and the rich and poor lined the street outside the house she set them up in and were helped. In the evenings they were often seen out in the city. He even had Paganini as a patient.
Well I wonder if my life will move in that direction and you will find in this my note all folded up and lying just there near you and you can feel its intensity for life and its seriousness and also the impish quality that would dare to dream.



your post kind of intrigued me because believe it or not I've actually left a folded up piece of paper in a tree before.
Ok, ok, not exactly, it was just near a tree, let me explain.
About 8 years ago I went on a trip to England and Israel. My roommates friend was going to be working on a kibbutz a few months after me being there so I gathered materials from the different cities that I visited and when I was in Jerusalem I built a 8-10 inch well out of all of the materials that I had collected. I had rocks from the Meditarian, olive branches, palm leaves, bark from a tree by the Jordan River, etc. etc.
I wrote a little note, placed the folded up piece of paper in the well and hid them both in the Kidron Valley just outside of the city. It's on the mountain side of the Mount of Olives under a big tree in case you are in the area:) (my roommates friend never found it)
Why did I do all of this?

Because "What makes the desert beautiful," said the little prince, "is that somewhere it hides a well . . ."


Dear lady,
I feel your words are true and honest, and can see by your tone you really do miss the closeness of being with someone. A true romantic is the only one who can realize the manner in which you feel content being alone and joyful for the freedoms it affords you yet somewhat hollow inside from the lack of a person to confide in, to keep company with, to hold you for the sake of close human contact. Someone who communicates not only with words but with touch and action.
The problem is that this city is the singles capital of North America. We seem to have a knack for attracting people who like being single way into their 30's and sometimes 40's. the amount of individuals who do not understand how to be considerate and forthright abounds yet because of the sheer numbers a few like minded individuals find themselves with a glimmer of hope in finding their corresponding like minded partner.
The events which bring us to this state are varied. Sometimes we loved and lost. Sometimes it is a decision to release someone because we know it was not good for either partner to stay together and apart, finding the right mate would be possible. Sometimes we are left by others and at times we have done the leaving. No matter the reason or the manner, in the end we are here, past adolescence, past young adulthood, and find ourselves alone discovering who we are slowly yet missing the benefits afforded by a relationship.
I have seen many things in the Craig's List realm and some things show me that some people have become something I never expected to see in my lifetime. The women who leave long relationships and decide it is a license to begin activities that are out of character. The people searching for persons with low self-esteem in order to gain pleasure from entrapping them using their weaknesses. The inability of people to just be there to help others. It is a scary thought.
And then you appear, like a beacon of light in the darkness. A lighthouse showing lost seafarers where the shore is in darkness. A person whose words can be seen as an example.
i hope to hear from you.


I was walking through the forest one lovely early spring day, hunting actually (a passtime I enjoy), and I was passing and old Oak tree, when something caught my eye. Tucked away, in a knot was a small folded up piece of paper. I retrieved said piece of paper, dog eared and weather worn and carefully unfolded it. Inside, I found; to my surprise... myself. My wants, my desires, my dreams and my fears. Carefully penned as if by my own hand. I sat down, lit a cigarette and wondered; is this a dream, have I crossed into some parallel universe through a vortex on the trail, disguised in a ray of sunshine through the trees. I carefully re-folded the note and was about to return it to where I found it when a thought occured to me. This is me; therefore, it is mine. Here for me to see, not meant to be left behind. So I stowed the dog eared old note in my pocket and continued my walk, but not really focusing on the real reason why I was there in the first place, now distracted and light headed, as if the trees had stopped giving oxygen, and then, it got dark......When I came back to my senses I was at home, with a pen in my hand; the old note unfolded once again in front of me and beside it, a new one. One I knew that I would be returning to that old Oak tree. In that note, to my surprise.....was myself. Exposed, vulnerable and naked, penned carefully in my own hand. So I made plans to return with hopes of passing through that ray of sunshine, that vortex on the trail, to the spot where the world passed through the eye of the needle and the full circle was made complete; and I wondered, is this a dream?


So, here's the story. I was walking in the park last fall, taking some time to immerse myself in the glorious colours of seasonal change. I wandered past an old oak, but found myself drawn back to the inviting textures of its aged bark. I ran my hands over it, letting my fingers settle into whatever folds and cracks they came across. My hands searched higher and higher, compelling my legs to climb and follow. As I think back on it, it seems more like the oak's sturdy limbs were raising me up.

I scoped out a spot, just above me, where the branches and limbs crossed as if to fold themselves into a cradle. I imagined that I could not have been the first to discover this secure seat from which to survey the park. And when I finally settled in, I was pleasantly surprised to find that someone hat sat here once before. This, of course, was the spot where you left your note.

I loved finding your note. Folded--almost rolled--and tucked into the crevices of a knot, I wondered if it was ever really meant to be found. It was a secret waiting for the elements to claim it, but willing and hoping for a serendipitous discovery.

The part of your note that really stood out was on ideals, and I have to insist that there's nothing hapless about idealism. Much like values, ideals are choices. I have given thoughtful consideration to those choices and will continually do so, perpetually renewing my confidence to channel energy into the best things we can imagine. The only unfortunate outcome would be from betraying those choices. And from everything else you've written in your note, I think you believe that too. So, if we should ever meet, let's not talk about hapless idealism again.

I must have sat there for a good hour, maybe two, alternately taking in the autumn scene and rereading your note. If I had brought a pencil, I would have responded right then and there. Maybe the reason I lingered so long was to see if the writer might pass by. But no one came by, and as the sun began to set on the sky and on my hope, I knew that a conversation might only happen on another day.

I walked home with your note in my pocket, thinking I would pass the same way the next day, or surely the one after that. The truth is that intentions that are crystal clear in one solitary moment are often hijacked by the pervasive demands of obligations and habits. I made my way back to the park for the first time only just today. I left behind my own folded note in the place where yours once sat. And now it also waits for the elements, but hopes to be discovered.

I don't know what will happen next. There is potential for so much here. And even if you and I never meet or even speak, I haven't come away from this empty-handed. The whole experience made me smile and reminds me that my ideals are the right choices for me. Your secret note is in my hands now, and I hope your idealism will be happy with where that secret has settled.


I was strolling through the yard of the **** Museum when I found your letter. I come here every once and a while to marvel at the persistence of that tree. As I don't own a pen I've written my reply with a stick in the sand on the shore.

I have an affinity for oaks in general, I keep an acorn on my desk and am reminded of the saying "Every majestic oak tree was once a nut who stood their ground." When I was a young child there was a period of about one year when my Mother brought me to see a psychiatrist. I forgot about this experience for many years and later when memories of it crossed my mind again and I asked my Mom about it I was told she wanted to know why I was different than other kids. I still don't understand why I'd want to be the same as everyone else. My clearest memories of those psychiatric visits were collecting the acorns at the edge of the driveway. I believe it's my stubborn idealism of the natural and the physical that has brought me here alone. Even if I did respond to a personals ad on Craigslist I fear I will be expected to spend too much of my time watching tv, or sipping drinks in some dank night club or some other popular form of entertainment that somehow eludes the simple pleasures which are ultimately all that really work for me. In a way visiting that tree is both a source of joy and consolation.

It's risky, before long the tide will come in and smooth away the rigidity of the thoughts I left behind. Nonetheless, I am confident the message will be found if need be. I don't think I have any other choice than to be optimistic, this is the only way I can write my wishes and have them still make sense to me. Should they disappear unnoticed I will have at least enjoyed casting them into the world. As I continue walking along th shore I'll keep my eyes open for new messages others have left around me.