Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant.”
– James Stewart —
(as Elwood P. Dowd in Harvey, screenplay by Mary Chase and Oscar Brodney)
“Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom.”
~~ Theodore Isaac Rubin ~~
I think this picture is one of the better ones I’ve taken recently…. even if it did need a tiny bit of digital enhancement and correction. It still came out nicely, I think, and makes the perfect complement to the two opening pearls, adding beauty on a visual level to the beauty of the spiritual beauty implied in the two quotes…. These two quotes would also make a fine introduction to a rant, on human nature, and the flaws therein…. or, on the effect of those flaws on our society, but, I’m not in ranting mode yet, as I’m still not recovered from yesterday’s ordeal….
When inside a period of pain such as the one that beset me yesterday, Emily Dickinson’s lines on that subject often come to mind, to wit:
It cannot recollect
When it began, or if there were
A day when it was not.
It has no future but itself,
Its infinite realms contain
Its past, enlightened to perceive
New periods of pain.
~~ Emily Dickinson ~~
Time ceases to have the same meaning for us when in that state, seemingly becoming a vicious, crafty enemy, spreading out endlessly before our weary eyes, slowing itself until one wants to scream at it, even knowing it refuses to hear. Everyone who experiences such bouts with what is normally merely a warning system develops their own approach to dealing with the pain, an approach that manages to reflect the personality of the one in pain…. Me, I tend to try to push through it, unless I’m drugging myself into oblivion. I don’t like to allow the pain to stop me from living, so I try to go do things, until it becomes so hard I am close to breaking down…. at which time, danger appears, and must be acknowledged
The danger lies in being near other people when I get to that point, of being close to letting go, allowing myself to strike out against reality in some way, any way, that will, at least for a moment, give me some relief from the constant, unrelenting assault from my own nervous system…. When I get near the end of my rope, I’m always afraid I’m going to dump my reaction on somebody close by, who has no reason to suspect they’re about to be bitten, or yelled at, or otherwise dumped on by my amped up emotional state….
Being a tough guy, though, means one must man up, and try to ignore the pain for as long as possible…. So, yesterday, after the morning’s waves of pain had eased off, I took off for a walk, & ended up going to the local commercial entertainment park, Discovery Kingdom, to try to get some photos of the wild animals…. Mission accomplished, with the bonus of talking myself into a membership pass, so I can go back whenever I have the urge….
The potential for photos is, of course, pretty unlimited at the park, what with tigers, penguins, elephants, and dolphins all available for photo ops… I got a few good shots, plotted out future photo safaris, and wore myself out completely, to the tune of a 3 hour nap when I got home…. But, it did feel good to be able to say I hadn’t let my pain stop me from doing what I wanted to do…. Now, if I could only convince all my joints that’s a good thing, I’d be all set….
Ah, the hell with it…. I’m up late, due to the aforementioned fatigue factor, and need to get going on the rest of this…. Once again, we’ll have to resort to one of the more abrupt endings for these intros, such as they are, so we don’t get stuck here all day…. Belts all fastened? Okay, hold on, we’re going in…..
Shall we Pearl?…..
” You are a member of the British royal family. We are never tired, and we all love hospitals.” — Queen Mary (to her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II)
At this point in time, I don’t have any idea what will be put here today…. I’m not going to rant, as I can barely think…. I already put together an old-school pearl, which you’ll find in the third section, where they are accustomed to find themselves…. I could put in some art, from my photo trip yesterday, but, the pix aren’t processed yet, so, that’s out…. Oh well, y’all know what this means…. something from the archives…. Don’t worry, I’ll try to make it a good one, okay? Given my state of mind today, that should be well within the realm of possibility…. let’s see now…
“And torture one poor word ten thousand ways.” — John Dryden (1631-1700) — Britannia Rediviva, Line 208
Wow! Have you ever seen a better description of this blog? :-) I’ve been torturing words now for over 12 years, at least in a bloggy sense; that’s about how long I’ve been doing these Pearls. I’ve learned over the years not to hear their screams, or read the petitions, or pay any attention to the ones who try to distract me with their flexibility of meaning; I just strap them into the rack and start hacking away. Sometimes, in the intro, I force them to assume the shape of a short fantasy; other times I will completely embarrass them by telling them they are haiku, or a poem, when they know for certain I am no poet. I can be pretty cruel to the words in my head…..
I figure it’s only fair, considering how they treat me much of the time. I don’t ask much of them, really…. just the morning group of five good pearls I can use to create these missives, and I’d leave them be. But much of the time, such as today, they insist on playing games, hiding, shifting about, presenting only the quotes they know I’ve already used, or massive amounts of Shakespeare, which they KNOW just annoys me…..
No, they’re not very nice to me, so I feel no compunction about torturing them to get them to do what I need them to do. If I didn’t, I’d never get anything written. If I didn’t write as much as I do, I’d build up all this incredibly strong angst and tension, and eventually it would have to come out…. and, at that point, it can be dangerous, especially if there is anyone else in the immediate vicinity of the blast zone….
So, you see, this blog is really a public service in disguise…. No thanks are necessary: since they are my words, I take responsibility for them, and consider it my duty to keep them from harming others (except, of course, when I want them to do so…..). I just didn’t want y’all to think I was hiding anything important…. I just call this my Literary Guantanamo Bay for Wayward Words, where we have the leeway, and the executive authority, to torture those nasty little terror-inducing buggers into submission….
gigoid has spoken…. So be it…..
This poem is one I wrote in 2012, soon after ending the thirty year hiatus I had going of NOT writing poetry…. I remember quite clearly, it was written soon after a bout with my PTSD, that happened to occur on a day when my physical pain was also quite active, so, it was, in simple terms, a bad day… But, if work of this nature comes out of it, I cannot entirely regret the experience, though I hope not to live through it too often…. It’s not what I’d call the most comfortable way to exist…. Any who, all that aside, I hope you enjoy the poem….
Deep within the inner abyss, tears lay in wait
Ever on the verge, tending to infuriate.
Real moments of sadness cracking our need
Swift, deadly waves of appalling terror freed.
Memory hurts badly when visiting now
Leaving me alone, forgetting even how
Killing the sunshine still pouring over all
Darkening all spirit, holding it in thrall.
Knowing no blame seems almost to heal
Yet healing is blunted, plainly not real.
Innocence is pointless compared with pain
On the soul it tattoos an indelible stain.
Hours become days, days turn to a year
Serving up only a compendium of fear.
Blind groping for light finds only dark
In caverns of terror, angry and stark.
Trails of endless sorrow fill up the nights
Confounded at last by unfathomable sights.
No hope can find its way to the fore
Never to sail safely, lost forever more.
~~ gigoid ~~
Okay, ffolkes, here’s what we have…. Below are a bunch of pearls, all on one particular subject, with which I am sure you are familiar… we all are. The process of modern political phenomena is complicated, even more than the natural state of the beast, by the influence of those flaws in human nature, which tend to lend themselves to the obsessive pursuit of power and control over others…..
However, instead of ranting today, this is my sublimation of that urge, a group of political pearls, that hopefully, poke some holes in the faux dignity all of the pundits assume when they climb to the podium, wrapping themselves in the flag, issuing veiled proclamations of intended thievery and crimes against the populace they so despise….
“If the people are given the power to vote themselves bread and circuses, then they will.” — Cicero
(Actually, you will note, in the case of this nation, they did…..)
“The Law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich, as well as the poor, to sleep under the bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.” — Anatole France (1844-1924)
“Happiness is being famous for your financial ability to indulge in every kind of excess.” — Calvin & Hobbes
(The latest version of the American Dream….)
“Take away the right to say ‘fuck’ and you take away the right to say ‘fuck the government.'” — Lenny Bruce
“If A can prove, however conclusively, that he may, of right enslave B, why may not B snatch the same argument, and prove equally, that he may enslave A. You say A is white and B is black. It is color, then; the lighter, having the right to enslave the darker? Take care. By this rule, you are to be slave to the first man you meet with a fairer skin than your own. You do not mean color exactly? You mean the whites are intellectually the superiors of the blacks and therefore have the right to enslave them? Take care again. By this rule, you are to be slave to the first man you meet with an intellect superior to your own. But, say you, it is a question of interest; and, if you can make it your interest, you have the right to enslave another. Very well. And if he can make it his interest, he has the right to enslave you.” — Abraham Lincoln, 1854.
“Believing ourselves to be possessors of absolute truth degrades us: we regard every person whose way of thinking is different from ours as a monster and a threat and by so doing turn our own selves into monsters and threats to our fellows.” — Octavio Paz
“There’s no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.” — Will Rogers (1879-1935)
Well, ffolkes, there you have it; another fine mess from the messy mind of gigoid….. Remember, what I said above, about how the pain had gone? Well, it’s back, so, I’m going to go engage in the necessary activities to prepare myself to do battle with my own body…. In short, I’m going to go take a bunch of heavy drugs, and go back to sleep for a while, in the hope it will go away again…. This Pearl, choppy as it is, is done…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, as long as I win the battle….
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…
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.
gigoid the dubious