to hear a little song,
read a good poem,
see a fine picture,
and, if it were possible,
to speak a few reasonable words.”
~~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ~~
Since I never learned to speak, or read, or write in Latin, the soothing release of creating a poem in Virgilian hexameter is denied me; this is too bad, since I could use the bleed-off of some of this internal pressure. Beset on all sides, (for how does one escape one’s own memories?…), I have been withdrawing from the outer world, partly for my benefit, but, mostly to keep from inadvertently dumping on those who don’t deserve it, a nasty little habit to which just about everyone alive falls prey, at one point or another in Life. At least I’m old enough to see it coming, isolating myself until the danger passes….
My mind is being stubborn, though, and even staying away from the public as much as possible isn’t doing the trick; waves of dark memories keep assaulting me at odd moments, bringing with them the same passions they held when current, thanks to the now seemingly permanent stripping away of all my distance from them, a distance hard to build, and harder to maintain, apparently… It’s been a couple years since I felt this unstable…. and, I want to go on record as saying I don’t much like it…. a perfectly natural reaction, by the way….
That is my main problem, you see…. One of the psychiatrists I saw for a time told me once that I wasn’t really insane, so much as having a sane reaction to insane conditions in my life…. Not terribly helpful, other than as a directional pointer, but, it does make it a bit easier to accept, as being the only course of action available to keep myself sane…. It’s just that the sanity I’m experiencing resembles too closely the insanity I’ve also seen… more’s the pity….
So, I’m subsisting through each day, minute by torturous minute, trying desperately to find my center again…. It is an old, familiar search, but, sadly, needs to cover new ground each time I have to go looking for it… so, any maps or techniques I’ve managed to keep are not valid, or particularly useful in completing the search…. All the answers are to be found buried in new ground, which I first must find…. It sounds complicated, and, to an extent, it is… but, it’s also very simple, once I find the key, which is knowing not so much what to stop, but, where to look for something to distract me from the insistent remembrances that plague my waking hours…. i.e., finding that distance, between me and the pain, whether physical, or mental….
Ah, the hell with it, I’m just whining, so, fuck it…. I see a place we can break loose here, so, let’s take advantage of it while we can…..
Shall we Pearl?
Let us begin with a pearl that puts a very fine point on a core reason for the state of the world today, concerning how those who prey on others can bring themselves to do so, seemingly without conscience, or empathy of any kind….
“Alienation without must be accompanied by alienation within; that is the law for every social level, even individuals. To harm one’s fellows, even one’s enemies, harms you, takes away some essential element from your self-respect and self-image.” — Greg Bear
Or, as someone said, long ago, in a simpler time….
“It belongs to human nature to hate those you have injured.” — Tacitus (54-119 AD) — Agricola, 42
Having spent the last few days in conflict with myself, I accept there is no rant in me just now; one must be confident to spew….. As part of the battle, here is a piece from shortly after this blog was begun, with some words about some of what I’m dealing with…. You could easily skip this section today, as it is chiefly here to assuage my own needs…. But, it’s not a bad little pearl, so, read on, if you’ve got the time….
I once read an article or essay somewhere that made this claim: when we cry or feel deeply sad over the death of a loved one, we are really crying for ourselves, not for the departed. In at least one respect, that is true; the person who has passed away is no longer suffering, and presumably has gone on to a better place, so in truth we ought to be happy, not sad. But we are sad, because it hurts to know that one in whom we have placed our trust and love will not be around anymore for us to be with, to talk to, to enjoy. So in that sense we are crying for ourselves, in lamentation for lost love.
But, unlike the author of the piece I was reading, I believe that is okay. It is, if nothing else, a completely human reaction to feel pain at a loss, and to a certain extent our reaction may be called selfish; no one can deny that selfishness is purely human. But it is more than merely selfish, because humans are never just one thing at a time. We also feel our loss in other ways, and with other feelings.
There is relief, for the ending of whatever pain the loved one may have been experiencing. There may be guilt, too, for taking the presence of the loved one for granted, or for not telling them they were loved. All of these differing reactions, and the many more I haven’t mentioned, only prove our humanity more, for in spite of what some would have us believe, we are not simple creatures. The relationships we build throughout our lives are held together with a myriad of feelings, all relating to the other person and the time we have shared with them. Our feelings don’t occur alone; there are always more than only one, for when they occur, they engender other feelings, which will then cause another, and another, and so on.
These thoughts, and a million more, have been circling around in my head for about a day now, since my brother called yesterday to let me know that our mother had passed away at about 1:00 pm. It was not unexpected; she was 90 years-old, and had been in the hospital for a week after suffering a massive stroke. I am sad, of course, and will miss her very much, but in truth, I don’t think it has really hit me yet.
When my father passed away, 20 or more years ago, the full reaction didn’t come until weeks later, and I have the feeling that in this instance, it may be some time before I can grieve fully. It’s just so hard to accept their absence; there is never any real belief they are gone until one day, all one’s feelings just crash in at once. So, I have that to go through yet, which is okay by me. I have enough problems just now, and can’t really afford to fall apart at present.
Today’s Pearls were picked out before I heard about my Mom, and so have no particular point in light of that. They are. however, well able to make their own point…..
“A ‘No’ uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble.” — Mahatma Gandhi
“He who is most slow in making a promise, is the most faithful in the performance of it.” — Rousseau
“Here I am in the POSTERIOR OLFACTORY LOBULE but I don’t see CARL SAGAN anywhere!!” — Zippy the Pinhead
“If you never assume importance you never lose it.” — Lao-tzu
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total oblivion. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me and turn my inner eye to follow its path. When the fear is gone, there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” — The Litany Against Fear (Frank Herbert, -Dune-, 1965)
“Before you speak, just remember that you will not be asked to explain what you did not say!” — Smart Bee
Such a fine group of Pearls really deserves some witty or profound remark in response, but I’m afraid that may be asking too much of my Muse today, so we’ll have to make do with this…..y’all take care out there….and don’t forget to tell the people you love that they are appreciated. Ya never know when they might not be there any more to tell…..
Note from 2014: Okay, grieving for today is done…. let’s go on, shall we?…..
I picked this out days ago; if you’ve never heard of this artist, I’m not surprised, but, am also disappointed, as he was a legendary performer, and songwriter, perfectly voicing the beliefs and feelings of the time he was performing…. He also is one of the very few artists to give it all up when he started to become famous; he didn’t like the way it was changing his life, so he retired, to a private existence, only re-emerging recently to give us a bit more of his music… This was one of his few live performances, before he retired….
One thing about angst; it can make me bleed words….
Tiresome, the darkness, sitting in the sun,
submissively balancing over the pit.
Quiet as old terror, each brick one by one
building crescendo, sans music, sans style, sans wit.
Shadows thrown offer speculative fiction,
earning respite from burgeoning miscellany.
Light’s presence offers potential benediction,
if not divine, perhaps, then, beautifully zany.
Hours pass in days, minutes in a week,
challenging Reality to argue, adding a subtle smirk.
One humbly submits in hope of grace, small respite to seek,
in spite of prescient insistence ’twill never work.
Wave upon wave crash against the bloodied shore,
wearing down all natural defense.
All light is extinguished, darkness evermore;
if preserving life and love, sin no more.
~~ gigoid ~~
I’m not certain it’s done, but, that’s all there is for now…. I have a feeling it will grow further; for now, it’s all I have in me….
Now we come to the freshes part of this pearl…. picked out yesterday, in the midst of the cacophony in my head, I cannot vouch for how it came out, though I do accept responsibility…. Try to enjoy it anyway, okay?….
“What then in the last resort are the truths of mankind? — They are the’ _irrefutable_ errors of mankind.” — Nietzsche
“Freedom of speech and freedom of action are meaningless without freedom to think. And there is no freedom of thought without doubt.” — Bergen Evans, The Natural History of Nonsense (1946)
“Human Kind cannot bear very much reality.” — T.S. Eliot, “Burnt Norton”
“To see what is right and not to do it, is want of courage.” — Confucius Analects
“We learn from experience that men never learn anything from experience.” — George Bernard Shaw
“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” — Aldous Huxley
Shadow and sunlight are the same;
The vanished gods to me appear;
And one to me are shame and fame.
They reckon ill who leave me out;
When me they fly, I am the wings;
I am the doubter and the doubt,
And I the hymn the Brahmin sings.
~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~~
Before I forget, today’s first photo, of the beaver family, is another shot from the London Daily Telegraph Animal Pictures of the Week series. This one had a nice story: A young couple started observing two beavers in the wild, watching from a distance as they built their dam, had a baby, living their peaceful lives… After a couple years, the beavers became so accustomed to their presence, they allowed them to approach closer, to the point of greeting them whenever they came to visit, and posing for this picture…. It’s nice to see a story about something other than bombs, and rape, and police aggression…. hence, the inclusion here, as a reminder of something good in the world….
Thus far today, I have abused a surly security guard, two smarmy lab technicians, and one way-too-perky nurse, who dared address me prior to having coffee, but, I didn’t kill anyone while I was out, in spite of being caffeine-challenged…. Even when the sunshiny little perkette smiled at me & gave out with a classic cliche, (She actually said, “you’re alive!”, when I growled at her), I managed not to hit her with my stick, though sorely tempted. I did, however, reply to that statement with “Yeah, and not real f__ing happy about it, either!”, so, she went away with a bit less of a shine on her day…. I was sorry for it, but, it was her own fault for talking to me after I’d already growled a warning….
On that note, I’ll be leaving now, before I dump on somebody else…. See y’all tomorrow…. maybe…. I might have fled the country by then….
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
PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.
À bientôt, mon cherí….