Oddly enough, I woke up today feeling odd. That is to say, not quite wrong, but not quite right, know what I mean? No? Well, hmm…. okay, how’s this? As I look around my humble abode this dark morning (well, it IS only 4:30 AM or so…..), and I rest my gaze upon some random item (such as my guitar, rescued at last from the clutches of the pawn shop…. I swear, it’s never going back there again….), out of the corner of my eye, a shadow moves, just enough to catch my attention. Of course, I look over quickly, but nothing is there, of course.
It’s not really disturbing, or scary…. just odd. Well, having had that word applied to me often enough in my life, beginning at a very early age (four year-olds tend toward confusion when one of their peers, me, of course, prefers to stay inside and reading to being outside torturing insects….. they’re not confronted with that attitude a lot….) (actually, I loved it outside, I just hated the pulling wings off flies part…. sickos, even back then….), I’m not going to spend a lot of time worrying about it…. unless the shadow gets a lot more solid, and makes a threatening move toward me…… “Worriers spend a lot of their time chasing smoke.”– Claude McDonald
Well, I don’t see how I could have come up with an introductory section with any less gripping interest than this one, and that’s for sure and for certain…. quite the yawner, isn’t it? Ah well, I suppose I can’t hit the sweet spot EVERY day……. I guess we’ll just go Pearl, and consider this a wash….. after you, just down those stairs and through the dimensional portal at the bottom…… I’ll meet you there in just a moment…..
If God goes to sleep will the universe dream? Just wondered…. even if there is no answer, pondering the question has value, I’d say…..
“The no-mind not-thinks no-thoughts about no-things.” — Buddha
When I came across this today, I sat and thought about it for a few moments, trying to absorb the meaning, which is unaccustomedly obscure for something Buddha said; his homilies and koans are usually quite clear. After some time following the twisting path this sentence takes one down, I had to start chuckling, for I had realized the truth. I think the Buddha was misquoted on this one (hey, it happens….); whoever was on transcription duty that day was tired, or forgot his ink brushes, or some other little peccadillo that caused this particular statement to get garbled.
I think Gautama was just working out a new homily, and the student took what he was muttering as a serious quote, meant to be added to the teachings. Look at it…. he could have said, with different punctuation, something entirely different than this seems to be. I mean, think about it…. would one of history’s greatest teachers, known for the elegant reasoning and beautifully worded form of his lessons, allow a statement of quadruple negatives to be put out with his name on it? I think not…. I wouldn’t spend a lot of time trying to figure out how this one can help you in your search for truth and enlightenment; you’re liable to get stuck in the same position for a long time, trying to find your way out of the endless loop this koan produces in the mind…. while the boat leaving for Nirvana leaves without you…..
Scots, wha hae wi’ Wallace bled,
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led,
Welcome to your gory bed,
Or to victory!
Now ‘s the day and now ‘s the hour;
See the front o’ battle lour.
— Robert Burns (1759-1796) — Bannockburn
One word. Bagpipes. Okay, okay then, two words; try not to be so shrill, if you please…. Skirling bagpipes. There, that says it all… Maybe it’s the wee bit of Scots blood I have in me that makes me hear the skirling of the pipes whenever I read this from Robert (which is pronounced “Rrrrawberrrrt Burrrrrns!”, with the “r’s” rolled like they hoops fleeing a small boy with a stick. The exclamation point indicates the volume at which it is spoken, or shouted, whichever term you wish to choose….).
Then again, hearing the pipes at all can be considered a hallucination, or a delusion, or at minimum, a perversion, at least in the eyes and ears of the English. The English still do not have a comfortable time thinking of the Scots; probably something to do with their long history of periodically having to confront large, angry, naked, madly capering, blue men with large, sharp weapons, who were about to do their best to kill them, dancing about insanely to the tune, for lack of a better word, of the pipers.
Fortunately for the rest of England, the English monarchs figured out how to pacify the Scots. They just began granting public house licenses to every little hamlet in the Highlands, and made sure the ‘pubs’ were amply supplied with Scotch whiskey and stout. They also encouraged Scottish involvement in their own pacification, by also granting licenses to manufacture even more & better varieties and brands of single malt, double malt, blended, and other exotic Scotch whiskeys.
Finally, to put the cap to the issue, the English cleverly taught the Scots how to angle for trout in the Highland streams, to keep them fed, fit, and healthy (and not occupied with revolt against the king), as well as convincing them they were all fantastic painters of their homeland, so they would stay there trying to paint….. pretty clever, eh? No wonder the Scots still refer to the English as Sassenach, which is, I doubt, a term of endearment….. Google only says it means ‘English, or a lowlander’. (I would say, to a Highlander, there IS no greater insult than to be called either English, OR a lowlander….) Ain’t history grand?…..
Bagpipe: Stuff cat under arm. Pull legs and chew tail. — found scrawled on the bathroom wall at The Duke’s Wanker, a pub in the back alleys of London….. honest, I’ve seen it!….
“When you slithered out of your hole that day, and you spewed your venom all over this defenseless 12-year-old girl, you made this court’s top 10 hit list. In a way, the best sentence this court could give would be no sentence at all, because if you left this courtroom I don’t think you would be alive 10 minutes. You are nothing but a weed, a weed among wheat…And when we have a weed, it’s my job to eradicate the weed, because if you don’t you will choke the wheat. Therefore, I’m going to take you off the streets for just as long as I possibly can. It means you aren’t even eligible for parole until you’re 92. That leaves only one more count, aggravated robbery. ..You stole this little girl’s bra as a souvenir, probably to brag about it to your friends later on. Well, I’m going to give you a souvenir of Trumbull County justice. And that is, you will receive a maximum sentence of 10 to 25 on the aggravated robbery for the stealing of that bra. And I hope that if you last 25 years in prison that you remember that souvenir. Get this scum out of here!” — A sentence passed by Judge W. Wyatt McKay of Trumbull County, Ohio
One down, several million to go…. I wonder if this judge is still sitting on the bench; we could refer all the cases of human traffickers, rapists, abusers of women or children, and others of that ilk to his courtroom, and trust they will receive the maximum legal punishment of which the law is capable…. then, once they are inside, we just leak to the other prisoners what they are in for; I imagine they’ll take care of the rest…..
A fella has to have his dreams….. and in my dreams, I can hear them, sisters, daughters, children, all crying out for help, waiting in anguish for someone to care….. who else, then, will stand up with me?….. During the 1960’s, in times of social changes gone ‘viral’, there was a poster I saw all over Berkeley…. It pictured men and women marching together, united in purpose…. the only caption said, “Free our sisters, free ourselves!” This is a sentiment we all need to embrace, as valid now as it was over 40 years ago; if not now, when?…..
Okay, let’s try this….. I’ll lump all these together, and get them all out of the way (translate: out of my head….) all in one swell foop. See, perfect timing, again….
A new Sports Stadium was completed in Warsaw, Poland, recently. There have been a large number of complaints about the design, since no matter where you are seated, you are seated behind a Pole. (Sorry about that, really, terribly so, awful much!)
“I love to go down to the schoolyard and watch all the little children jump up and down and run around yelling and screaming…They don’t know I’m only using blanks.” — Emo Phillips
Catastrophe: An award for the cat with the nicest buns.
“Hanging is too good for a man who makes puns; he should be drawn and quoted.” — Fred Allen (Sarcasm is the sour cream of wit.)
“A poet who reads their work in public may have other nasty habits” — Lazarus Long (Robert Heinlein)
Elvis Presley had a twin brother named Jesse who died at birth. (Did I HAVE to know this?….)
Yeah, I love cats too…want to trade recipes?
Okay, that’s probably enough of that…. I wouldn’t want to cause any nausea before breakfast….. I feel lighter and cleaner now, with all that stuff out of my head. Hopefully, so do you…. of course, this is not to say that dark and dirty doesn’t have its place…. I’ve always loved mud football at night….. :-)
Ode on a Grecian Urn
by John Keats
Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? what maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear’d,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal–yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!
Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearied,
For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
For ever warm and still to be enjoy’d,
For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy’d,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.
Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead’st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e’er return.
O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,
‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty’–that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
Obviously, no critical or extensive comment from me is required…. saw a snippet of this yesterday while diving for today’s pearls, and thought it would be nice to show the entire Ode, as evidence, should you choose to agree, of why this poem is considered by many to be the best of the best, the most influential poem in modern English literature in the time since it was first published….. ’nuff said. Just read and enjoy…. or not. To each his or her own…. gotta say, though, I can see why folks would say so…. ‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty’–that is all, Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know….. Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness, Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time…. Whew! Good stuff….. and I am a connoisseur of Good Stuff, having read every copy of Mad Magazine cover to cover since the first one hit the stands……
As I look back over what I’ve written this morning, I am struck, as I often am, by the diverse subject matter included. I suppose it is a direct reflection of how my mind works, not stream of consciousness, exactly, but sort of. I’m not certain most of the time how it will fly out there, but once I hit Publish, there’s little sense in fretting over it. I’ll just do as I always do, which is to deal with whatever responses I get, one by one, and settle for that. Not a bad way to spend time; I’ve had worse gigs in my day, that is for sure and for certain…… Y’all take care out there……
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.