It is hard to believe, I know, but, it’s true….. If I hadn’t already had coffee, I wouldn’t have believed it myself, but, I’m considered by most to be a cynic, so, people expect me to have doubt about most everything, and rightly so….. This, however, is really, really hard to accept, as it goes against the grain of everything we were taught about reality when we were children, for starters….. The fact that it also is extremely offensive to almost anyone with a sense of taste, or style, is just added to its negative impact. Maybe we could just convince it to go back to where it came from? It’s worth a shot, I think….
Oh, didn’t I mention that? Sorry, I get carried away, and forget, well, everything….. Ah, hell, I give up…. It was all a sham, as usual…. I had hoped, by the time I finished the first paragraph, to have come up with some idea as to what the devil I was talking about above, so I could do a 180 degree turn, and leave you all breathless with admiration, and gaping surprise at my cleverness. Instead, I’m once again forced to be honest with you, and admit my failing…. SIGH….. Sometimes, I guess I’m too clever for my own good…. I just wish that was an event that occurred infrequently, rather than being the norm for this blog…..
However, I’m nothing if not realistic, so we’ll go on, despite having embarrassed myself unmercifully; an author needs to have thick skin, especially considering the nature of what I generally write….. In fact, I need to have thick skin, and a strong stomach, but we won’t dwell on that, as it is controlled by a bit of medication…. gotta love modern chemistry, eh? It would be nice if they could come up with an inspiration drug, wouldn’t it? Just pop a pill, and, voilá, floods of ideas pour out of the subconscious…..
I used to be able to use my conversations with my old friends, Mr. John Daniels, and Mr. James Beam, for that, but, I lost my tolerance for hard liquor when I couldn’t afford to drink, so, that’s no longer an option…. SIGH…. I miss them…. Jack was a funny guy, and nobody can tell a ghost story quite like Jim…. Old friends are the best, aren’t they? Plus, neither of them seemed to care if I plagiarized them; they’re just that kind of guys…. But, we lost touch over the last couple of years, and right now, I’m not ready to take up the habits I had when younger, as I can’t keep up like I used to…. or, my liver can’t keep up, which has the same end result…. C’est la vie…. When one becomes a man, he puts away the toys of the boy he was….
I have a few good reasons for drinking
And one has just entered my head
If a man can’t drink when he’s living
How the hell can he drink when he’s dead?
~~ Smart Bee
I see that I’ve managed to blather and ramble enough to call this an intro, and since I have nothing further in my head that I can think of to babble about, I suppose we’d best get on with the day’s dive….. Shall we Pearl?…..
“Have the courage to act instead of react.” — Earlene Larson Jenks
Why is it the shortest aphorisms have the greatest depth to them? This is so deep, one needs scuba equipment to explore its depth safely, or drowning in one’s own ignorance seems certain. This indictment, or call to action, however one views it, is part of what makes the world such a dangerous place. Albert Einstein said it very well, with a quote of which I’m very fond, even though it is an indictment of me, along with everyone else who fails to act at certain times in life….
In my own life, I know that those times when I have failed to meet the dictates of honor weigh upon my conscience most heavily. As much as I feel badly about those acts in my life where I know I caused pain to others by my own lack of control, I feel worse, if possible, about those times when I failed to act, when I knew I should….. No failure of courage is more dishonorable in my eyes, and I will never forgive myself for those acts, or those times when I failed to act, even if God will…. Whether we like it, or not, duty remains duty….
At this point in this narrative, it would be relatively normal to begin a rant about modern society, and how little courage most people show when confronted by evil acts. And, on most days, I would do so…. but, I think the little pup in the picture says all I have to say, and says it much more effectively, than I could hope to do. So, I’m going to leave it at that, and just say this…. We all have choices in life; the choices we make will determine whether or not we can look ourselves in the eye each morning when we look in the mirror…..
“Do not confuse “duty” with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect,” — Lazarus Long
I’m not sure why, but this poem of mine, from last year’s prolific output during September, seems to capture some of the flavor of the above section, so, here you go….
Bold statements of calculated intent
Become common rule of the malcontent.
Avarice assumes such attractive wear
Beguiling deception, illusory and fair.
Grasping and pulling with ghostly hands
Legally proper in all the signatory lands.
Seeking and finding each vulnerable soul
Anguish as payment for exacting the toll.
Wraiths of commerce’s invisible dead guards
Still haunt the dreams left in sad empty yards.
While absentee nobles sit in stiffly elegant splendor
Served by sad-faced detainees in abject surrender.
Escape from reality is illusory at best
Often we falter and fail its daily test.
Only when focused on inner strength
Does peace stay with us for any length.
Peace lies within, always…..
I’m feeling lazy this morning, even though I slept well; probably my inner nature asserting itself…. Any who, I’m going to cheat a bit again, and put in a pearl from an older Pearl… from 2012, that is, so not too much older…. It’s not bad, and seems to fit in to today’s scheme…. Enjoy!….
“If you make people think they’re thinking, they’ll love you; but if you really make them think, they’ll hate you.” — Don Marquis
This is a lesson that I didn’t learn until I was almost out of high school, even though I had ample opportunity to do so. I guess I was less skeptical of human nature then, having had less direct experience at dealing with all its idiosyncrasies….. but, learn it I did, to both my everlasting regret, and my endless gratitude, for a gift that has lasted a lifetime. Being able to tell the difference between the two states, to wit: thinking and thinking they are thinking, has been invaluable in preventing trouble, as well as remedying it when it occurs. Which is alladamtime, in the vernacular of the streets of Rome….
“No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says; he is always convinced that it says what he means.” — George Bernard Shaw
I was a very good student in high school, and though I didn’t carry that tradition into college, during those teen years of the early 1960′s, I was considered a reference source by most of my classmates, and ended up tutoring them fairly often in the course of joint studying, assuming a teaching role. (Being such a reference source can also be a potential problem, but that’s another story….) This was my first real exposure in how human nature affects learning, and what works with some people to get them to comprehend what they are trying to learn won’t work for others, who are not as invested in the process of using their mind for anything other than counting change for a dollar…..
“Then you should say what you mean,” the March Hare went on. “I do,” Alice hastily replied; “at least – at least I mean what I say – that’s the same thing, you know.” “Not the same thing a bit!” said the Hatter. “Why, you might just as well say that ‘I see what I eat’ is the same thing as ‘I eat what I see’!” “You might just as well say,” added the March Hare, “that ‘I like what I get’ is the same thing as ‘I get what I like’!” “You might just as well say,” added the Dormouse, which seemed to be talking in its sleep, “that ‘I breathe when I sleep’ is the same thing as ‘I sleep when I breathe’!” “It IS the same thing with you, ” said the Hatter. — Lewis Carroll, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”
This conversation from the other side of the looking glass creates in me a very strong sense of deja vu…. Many of the conversations I’ve had while acting as a tutor to my peers sounded just like this, only we were discussing mathematics, which makes it that much scarier…. But, it also highlights the problem for those of us who act as tutors to our peers, relating back to the original quote…. When teaching others, you must find the right mode of speech, the right way to approach the student in a way that they can comprehend the lesson…. A good friend sent me a poem yesterday which states the difficulty perfectly (Thanks to Shawna Alexander, who also forgot to send the author’s name…)…..
Which is better?
A genius knows when to dumb it down
A smart man knows when to know nothing
And an idiot can be all three
Well what does that mean?
You’re only as smart as others allow
So if you’re too smart to be understood,
To others your intelligence level goes down
So to truly be a genius you must know when dumbing it down is good
To know nothing isn’t unintelligence
It’s best for different situations
Though very different from a genius,
A smart man recognizes when on his knowledge to put limitations
An idiot is in the best position,
Because it’s second nature for them to put it in layman’s terms
An idiot has the best potential for genius if it’s his intention
And being an idiot is how others feel their intelligence is confirmed
Thus we can see that in order to successfully teach, one must be flexible enough in their own persona to be able to assume the characteristics that will ensure a successful lesson, by speaking to the student at their level of understanding, and by fooling them into using their mind to think with, rather than just using it to find their way home every night….
“Neither man nor woman can be worth anything until they have discovered that they are fools. The sooner the discovery is made the better, as there is more time and power for taking advantage of it.” — William Lamb Melbourne
“Correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t the fine line between sanity and madness gotten finer?” — George Price
The answer to that would be a resounding “Yes!”…. Well, you can tell the Pulitzer Committee to stand down; we won’t be needing them to meet in special chambers to award this any prizes….. But, it’s not exactly the worst Pearl ever created, either. It has the distinctly advantageous quality that I so admire in a Pearl, which is to say, it’s done, and I’m not doing it over…. Y’all will just have to chew it up the way it is; swallowing is optional…… I’ve done enough damage for one day, so….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.