Mmmmm…. coffee, good….mmph, grglk, blast, hmph, okay…. Sorry, took a moment for the coffee to kick in…. Let me just say this, and we’re good to go…. Draco! Braz! Mento! Ah, yes, all fine now…. Having uttered the proper incantation, to prepare the air for such brilliance, and to put up the wards against theft and interruption, we may now proceed to Pearl, if we are able…. We are always willing, but, often, the flesh is weak, so it’s best to “prepare the palette”, as a painter would say…. Not that I paint, no, far from it…. My drawing of a crowd looks like a convention of stick figures, kind of like watching someone count on an abacus; if you look at it for long, it will make you dizzy….
Drawing is one of those skills lacking from my toolbox; for some reason, probably having to do with spatial visualization, I can’t seem to get the hang of putting on paper what I see with my eyes. Most of my drawings resemble something by Dali during his melting clock phase, without the clarity of figures he painted so well…. An artist must know how to draw properly before turning to drawing in the abstract; since my work doesn’t come close to reality, my abstractions are just weird….. It’s okay, though, one cannot expect to be able to do EVERYTHING one wants to do, unless you are Leonardo da Vinci, or someone of his level of genius….
I can paint a picture with words, though, and pretty well, once I turn my mind to it. In fact, these introductory sections have turned out to be one of my favorite places to practice that skill, as I try one style or format after another, in my constant search for an acceptable template for this somewhat unorganized section. Those days when I write the first paragraph or two as a fictional story beginning are my practice sessions, and some of them aren’t half-bad, if I do say so myself…. Now, as I have been chastised to believe by a number of my readers, all I need to do is to continue one of those beginnings to the logical ending of the story, and I could probably get published for real…..
Alas for the world, I don’t wish to do that just now…. I’ve just begun to receive my SS disability benefits, and if I publish a book, whatever I make off its sale would be taken out of those benefits, in the form of a reduction in the money I receive each month. Since I’ve been waiting for this to happen for over two years, I don’t want to fuss with the system, yet…. If and when I can sell a book for a hefty price, of at least a half-million, I will consider publishing; any less of an initial amount wouldn’t cover what I would lose from SS over time, and would be a chancy risk to take at this point in my life…. If I can broker a deal for more than that amount, I’d consider it, as I would then have enough to cover my retirement, and all I wish to do in this period of my life….
So, y’all will have to wait a year or two…. If I can work on putting together more than one book, then publish them one after another, or a multi-book deal, I might be able to get by on what I’d make from it…. But, until I can get at least a half-assed guarantee of making enough to get by, I’ll continue to publish here on WP, for the same reason I’ve been doing it for the last two years, to wit: to maintain my sanity….. Such as it is….. Why, look! We’ve got ourselves five paragraphs here, which is plenty to qualify as an intro, cheating or not….. On that note, Shall we Pearl?…..
“Somewhere in suburban Honolulu, an unemployed bellhop is whipping up a batch of illegal psilocybin chop suey!!” — Zippy the Pinhead
Fucking brilliant! Bill Griffith, the cartoonist who created Zippy, is an absolutely awesome social critic, and the perpetrator of some of the most obscure nonsense, (that makes perfect sense), that has ever been written, or published….. As is apparent from the frequent appearance of his quotes in this blog, I find him to be incredibly insightful about human nature, a naturally poetic prose writer, weird as hell, and an excellent graphic artist. Zippy’s comments on life and everything he sees in the strange world he inhabits are priceless, for their acute insight, for their gut-busting humor, and are strangely real, despite the unreality of almost everything in the strip…. It’s eerie sometimes, how life will imitate art; I’ll find myself having a deja vu memory of one of Zippy’s lines when I am out in the Big Blue Room, dealing with some business or another, because it matches the unreality of what was in the strip….
At first, I didn’t understand how including this line was to fit into the Pearl, or even into the pearl, but, then I realized…. I am the unemployed bellhop today, and I’m whipping up the distilled mushroom juice, right here on my computer! Look! It’s a whole new type of oyster! (Further research reveals this statement to be false, partly…. I found a couple of old Pearls that experimented with this format, slightly differently, though… so, this is still fairly unique….. end of interrupt….)
I’ve just had a brainstorm of major proportions; since I had no warning of its advent, I went down on the first big wave, and died a figurative death…. I was hanging in limbo, sort of floating there, while the gods decided just how badly they wanted my ass in a sling, when it came to me…. This is a sign from the gods of blogging, to show me a new species of pearl…. which, having been dumped in my head, I must use, before it rots there, or the gods zap me… So, here is a pearl, in this case, the first of its kind, with five pointed quotes, and a number of comments from yours truly, standing in as Zippy, in disguise, sort of…..
I see the lights of the village
gleam through the rain and the mist.
And a feeling of sadness comes o’er me,
that my soul cannot resist.
A feeling of sadness and longing
that is not akin to pain,
And resembles sorrow only
as the mist resembles rain.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), The Day is done
(I often forget about Longfellow’s poetry, and it is what he is famous for, at least during his own time…. Now, of course he is known as one of the Trinameral Poets, that category which includes himself, Ralph Waldo Emerson, George Bernard Shaw, William Butler Yeats, John Cougar Mellencamp, James Earl Jones, and so forth…. all good poets for sure, so he is in good company…. but, what is with those names, eh? Bit egotistical, don’t you think?…..)
“Those who hope for no other life are dead even for this.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
(Goethe had a knack for this kind of deep, many leveled insights, pointing out with just a few well chosen words a very complex principle of human nature, or interaction… This one, no matter how one interprets it, is true as the day, and gives an appropriate feeling of emotional content, namely sadness, both for the one lacking in vision, and for the person observing them…..)
“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken away from a man except one thing: the last of the human freedoms— to choose one`s own attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” — Victor Frankl
(Not much to add here; this is pretty clear, and also quite true…. It has been said that true freedom, is the release from pain, which is absolutely congruent with this idea. When one chooses one’s reaction, and makes their own choice of how to feel, they are choosing to let go of their pain, and gaining their freedom, if only in their own mind…. Another way of saying you can’t make a truly free man do anything he refuses to do…. You can kill him, but you can’t make him change his mind, or take away his freedom in that respect…..)
Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time. — John Keats (1795-1821) — Ode on a Grecian Urn
(Just too beautiful a line to leave out…..)
Behold on wrong
Swift vengeance waits; and art subdues the strong!
– Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — The Odyssey of Homer, Book viii, Line 367
(Hmm…. this is a bit depressing, if it means what I think…. Nah, I must be wrong, so, never mind…. Oh, I see now…. Okay, well, I guess so, but, I think I’ll use my stick for that….. Ya think?….)
Well, there you go…. you will probably see this format again, though with different quotes, of course…. And, I think I can even do it this way with a normal pearl, maybe even a Seven Star….. Wait! I didn’t mean it as a threat! Come back!….. Oh, hell….. Ah well, c’est la vie…. hopefully, they’ll find their way to the exit, or on to section two…. If not, I’ll send out a search party after I’m done here…..
“I always have fun because I’m out of my mind!!!” — Zippy the Pinhead
I’m working on a poem, but it’s only half completed, so this morning will see another haiku, served up freshly composed, and a poem I wrote last October, about Love, sort of…. Hope you like it….. As every day this month, this is for the April National Poetry Writing Month Challenge, with the updates to be found here: http://www.napowrimo.net/
I can write haiku
quick, at the drop of a pun.
Such wonderful fun.
~~ gigoid ~~
Passion burns, shining like iridescent paint
yet solitude stands mocking such mundane complaint.
Schemes and dreams promise to tempt attraction
never ending effort spends wit in perverse reaction.
Hale and hearty reports of honor and love
draft recruits to collect manna from above,
while searching each soul for that which will serve
to bring pure sensation to each expectant nerve.
How simple to fall into complete helpless hope
of two hearts bound in tradition, with cultural rope,
living a simple life, shared, in joy and in grief
promises consummated, in consensual belief.
Reality dictates our degree of control over its state
insisting on changing whether or not we can wait.
Love will be present when we are completely at peace,
allowing ourselves, to give of ourselves, without cease.
~~ gigoid ~~
Go boldly forth, my simple lay,
Whose accents flow with artless ease,
Like orient pearls at random strung.
– Sir William Jones (1746-1794) — A Persian Song of Hafiz
I had intended to rant in this section today…. Unfortunately for me, (I won’t presume to say the same for y’all….), my back is killing me today, and I’ve a number of things to accomplish, in preparation for my upcoming trip(s) to Tejas, and to Europa…. which is a roundabout way of saying I’m about to cheat again…. Here is a pearl from 2011…. bonus points if you can figure out the month it was written, from whatever context you may find…. Enjoy! And, good luck, or as we say downtown, buena suerte!….
As I’m sure you’re aware of by now, it takes a really, really weird guy to do this every day, rain or shine, clothed or not, and that the process of putting these ideas down and sharing them is one that brings me not just pleasure, but pain as well. (Like anything worthwhile in Life, I suppose). I’m writing for a blog site, and wrote a piece yesterday that took me back, in first person with full audio memory, to a time of my life I’d just as soon forget most days. But it helped ease the pain somewhat, and reminded me that I don’t write for recognition, or praise, I write because I must! Not writing is……unthinkable. I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t write; I think it would act much like my bowel disease, causing alternate bouts of mental diarrhea and constipation, with the accompanying pain and discomfort. Since I don’t enjoy that, particularly, I choose to write….. lucky you……
“A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew.” — Herb Caen
A good pun is its own reword.
“Cato requested old men not to add the disgrace of wickedness to old age, which was accompanied with many other evils.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Roman Apophthegms, Cato the Elder
“Religious liberty might be supposed to mean that everybody is free to discuss religion. In practice it means that hardly anybody is allowed to mention it.” — G. K. Chesterton, Autobiography, 1937
“It’s said that ‘power corrupts’, but actually it’s more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power. When they do act, they think of it as service, which has limits. The tyrant, though, seeks mastery, for which he is insatiable, implacable.” — David Brin, The Postman
“People who don’t Think probably don’t have Brains; rather, they have grey fluff that’s blown into their heads by mistake.” — Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne
“Well, Stanley, this is another fine mess you’ve gotten us into…. What do you have to say for yourself?” More bonus points are available to anyone who can give me the first name of the person who said those lines, frequently….
Okay, so, I’ve read back over what we have here, and I think….. Well, quite frankly, I don’t know what to think…. I’m going to leave it alone, and let it fly, as is, trusting to luck and my lawyers to keep it from becoming legally actionable…. In the meantime…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.
Which is Why….
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.