Today is the Thirteenth of Never…..

So, here I sit, thoughts tumbling around in normal morning disarray, when all of a sudden, it hits me. My left hand, that is, slapping itself smartly to the forehead in dismay, as it occurs to me that not a single one of the hundreds of loose thoughts running around in there is suitable for publication. Most are thoughts I wouldn’t submit to Hustler magazine, and they’re pretty slack; I wouldn’t dream of putting any of them out for your consumption. There could be a bad run on the ER soon afterward, as most of them are toxic. Oh, wait, here’s one that doesn’t look too bad…..kinda dinged up, & could use a coat of paint, but it should fly…..okay, we’ll use it. Cut. Print…..

“There are few things, apparently, more helpful to a writer than having once been a weird little kid.” — Katherine Paterson

If this is true, I should be a lock for a Pulitzer Prize! I won’t say I was the weirdest kid in my neighborhood. I can’t, because there weren’t any kids in the neighborhood. All the other families with kids moved away after a few days of their kids coming home after playing at my house, and telling their parents that, like me, they were going to start their own cockroach farms, so they could sell them to the other kids, too. My folks never did figure out why everyone was always moving in and out again; they figured it was the taste of the tap water. But then, they were fairly clueless themselves; they both were astrophysicists, and spent a lot of nights at the local university where they taught, watching the stars or talking to computers. They thought it was good that I had interests outside of physics, and encouraged me to expand my circle of interests to whatever intrigued me. A very progressive pair of parental units they were, though a little stuffy otherwise. I mean, who still listens to old Lawrence Welk music? Or Burl Ives? I swear, by the time I was six, I had a very complete, detailed daydream of how I would take my Uzi down to the Ugly Bug Ball and have some fun….. that’s not weird, is it?…….

“The cry has been that when war is declared, all opposition should therefore be hushed.  A sentiment more unworthy of a free country could hardly be propagated.  If the doctrine be admitted, rulers have only to  declare war and they are screened at once from scrutiny …  In war, then, as in peace, assert the freedom of speech and of the press. Cling to this as the bulwark of all our rights and privileges.” — William Ellery Channing

“It’s easy to tell when a politician is lying. Watch his lips.  If they move, he’s lying.” — Charles Lyall (Think about it; the mere existence of this joke is evidence of the accuracy of its premise…..)

Too late. We weren’t watching closely enough, and ‘they’ finally revealed their true colors. I really had such hopes when Obama was elected in 08; that is probably why he was elected, because everyone else also had the hope that changes would be made, changes that would turn this country back onto the path of reason. But, for three years and more, Barack has, one-by-one, broken every campaign promise he made, culminating a few days ago with the most egregious bid for power ever seen in this country.

By signing the National Defense Authorization Act, Barack Obama has sealed the fate of the Bill of Rights; they have been condemned to death, with no appeal to be allowed. With the collusion of Congress, and the willing abrogation of duty by the Supreme Court, the American people have just witnessed the end of democracy in this country. Free speech, freedom of religion, freedom to assemble, and the freedom from unjust laws (i.e., right to counsel & jury of peers, writ of habeas corpus, right to be confronted with accusers, all gone…..), freedom from unreasonable search & seizure. All of these “rights” are now gone, poof! And nobody is saying a word about it in the press… plans for the future have changed, and I will be seeking somewhere else in this world to live out my remaining years. I’m not going to stay here, when I know for certain that I will end up fighting with my own brothers and sisters over the loss of our rights. As soon as I can get it figured out, I’m outta here; it’s no longer a free country…..literally.

“I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends…that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them.” — Adlai Stevenson (Neither the Repubs nor the Demos are at all interested in the public’s well-being, and as such have become a problem that isn’t even looking for a solution…..)

No greater grief than to remember days
Of joy when misery is at hand.
— Dante (1265-1321) — Hell, Canto v, Line 121
(sorry, after writing the comments, I kept finding perfect Pearls to go with it…..)

Do not read this fortune under penalty of law. Violators will be prosecuted. — Penal Code sec. 2.3.2 (II.a.) (NDAA, v 3.0, 1/1/2012)

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself.  Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.  And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy. — Max Ehrman (1872-1945) – “Desiderata” (1927)

Ah, Desiderata! How well I remember reading this for the first time. At that time, I was a newly minted Hippie, attending the university in Berkeley, and engaging full time in the expansion of my belief systems. This piece became one of the signature signs of the movement, sort of a manual for free love and all it implies. Every line here was designed to be uplifting and positive in its outlook toward life in all its glory. I admit, its really sappy in places, and somewhat naive. But it remains a pretty good outline for a life well-lived; its not as easy as one might think to be this positive all the time. But according to the precepts of the piece, that’s okay too. It’s all okay, because the universe is unfolding as it should……whether we think so or not.

“How often we recall, with regret, that Napoleon once shot at a magazine editor and missed him and killed a publisher. But we remember with charity, that his intentions were good.” — Mark Twain

This is the goal. This is my whole purpose in writing. To be this subtle in delivering a blow from a sledgehammer; to insult so thoroughly in one line; to indicate passion, love, hate, literature, sports, and morality with such a smoothly fitted collection of words, this is my Nirvana, my Quest, the object of my jealous envy……. No really, it just doesn’t get any better than this. It’s the kind of humor that most appeals to me, for it pokes fun not only at the victims of the humor, but at the author too.

I can just see Mr. Clemens, telling this with a twinkle in his eye below a raised brow, a small little Mona Lisa smile, and a mustache trembling with the effort not to burst into guffaws. Perfect. A few days ago, I was flabbergasted, and extremely flattered, when a reader said that one of my lines sounded like something Twain might have written. I almost burst with happiness, and floated around for quite a while on that little bubble of joy. Now all I have to do is figure out how to sound like that all the time. Well, not JUST like Mark Twain, more like me with his skill. I’ll keep working on it…….

Curse on all laws but those which love has made!
Love, free as air at sight of human ties,
Spreads his light wings, and in a moment flies.
— Alexander Pope (1688-1744)  — Eloisa to Abelard, Line 74

As with any good piece of poetry, nothing needs to be added here. Just enjoy…..

Well! I should get up early more often, I guess. No shortage of material today; it just kept flowing on. Hope you enjoy taking it in as much as I did getting it out. Y’all take care out there…..

Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.




2 thoughts on “Today is the Thirteenth of Never…..

  1. Sometimes I just sits- Quoted a lot on blogs. I first heard it about the people in a nursing home, but I have read that it was written by AA Milne. Do you know who came up with it?

    Good luck with the Twain aspiration. Keep practising…

    • I’m sorry, I don’t have the attribution on that. I googled it just now, and got Satchel Paige, and several others as having first said it. I myself first saw it on a poster in the office of a social worker at Napa State Hospital, back in 1982. The poster had a picture of a tall kitchen stool, and the text, that was all. I’ve been using it as part of my sig file since 1997, when I got my first computer….thanks for stopping by to read and comment….always like to hear from new readers…:-)

Thanks for visiting! Please feel free to comment, and, please, play nicely....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s