The sun poked a bleary eye over the eastern horizon, peering down over the hills to gaze upon the rooftops of the town with its pale, diffused light. A solitary, silent walker strode with purpose down one of those cobbled streets between the houses, looking neither left nor right. The pale light from the morning sun cast a weak shadow on the walls as he passed, disappearing in the gaps between. Dreadful silence covered the streets as he walked; even the noise of his footsteps were muffled, almost inaudible. He turned into an alley between two buildings, coming to a stop before a grimy door set into the wall. As he raised a hand to knock, the door opened…..
Hmm….. not a bad first paragraph, eh? Just had an urge to practice a bit of descriptive prose, and figured , “why not?” The introductory sections of late have been a bit off the beaten track, which isn’t surprising, given the dearth of material I’ve been able to scare up in the mornings. When I first started to blog seriously, about a year and a half ago, I had no idea how hard it was going to be to find ample material for this section. The pearls seem to take care of themselves, but figuring out a good beginning hook every day is much more difficult than it looks before one tries it. A real test of creativity, to be sure….
Having taken, and passed, the test this morning, we can now get on with the real purpose…. Given the state of my mind today, it should prove to be an interesting journey….. Shall we Pearl?…..
A Whirl-Blast from Behind The Hill
A Whirl-Blast from behind the hill
Rushed o’er the wood with startling sound;
Then–all at once the air was still,
And showers of hailstones pattered round.
Where leafless oaks towered high above,
I sat within an undergrove
Of tallest hollies, tall and green;
A fairer bower was never seen.
From year to year the spacious floor
With withered leaves is covered o’er,
And all the year the bower is green.
But see! where’er the hailstones drop
The withered leaves all skip and hop;
There’s not a breeze–no breath of air–
Yet here, and there, and everywhere
Along the floor, beneath the shade
By those embowering hollies made,
The leaves in myriads jump and spring,
As if with pipes and music rare
Some Robin Good-fellow were there,
And all those leaves, in festive glee,
Were dancing to the minstrelsy.
I’m always amazed at the power of some poetry. When I read this, just reading, not dissecting for meaning, I get the same feeling as when I was a kid, and would see a “Whirl-Blast”, whirling leaves and sparkling dust into the air to make it dance. The magic of Mother Nature’s show is a constant delight of changing seasons, passionate colors, and intriguing sounds, a veritable carnival of natural events that are there to be seen, all around us, every day.
Poetry such as this brings us into contact with that carnival, wherever and whenever one reads it. To my way of thinking, just reading a good poem improves one’s state of being, bringing us closer to our center, and connecting us with the rest of the universe in all its diverse glory…
Sir I admit your general rule
That every Poet is a Fool
But you yourself may serve to show it
That every Fool is not a Poet
— rendered from the French by Pope
If 4 out of 5 people suffer from diarrhea, does the other one enjoy it? — Smart Bee
Sorry, couldn’t resist…. I’ll do an extra pearl to make it up to you….
This ought to make up for the previous pearl…. All of these are excellent aphorisms; short, succinct, and pregnant with meaning. My personal favorites are #4 and #14, but each and every one is a worthy exercise in rational thought and right action…..
IDIOT, n. A member of a large and powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always been dominant and controlling. The Idiot’s activity is not confined to any special field of thought or action, but “pervades and regulates the whole.” He has the last word in everything; his decision is unappealable. He sets the fashions and opinion of taste, dictates the limitations of speech and circumscribes conduct with a dead-line.” — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”
When I picked out this pearl, I had intended to write a piece exploring human intelligence. However, my brain had a different plan, and all of the thoughts that I had marshaled to use went into the wind, poof, gone….. Since I’m feeling a bit lazy today, I’m keeping the pearl, and writing something about it anyway, so there….
Ranting about human stupidity is an endless challenge; there is so much of it to pick from that the choosing becomes harder than the actual writing. Every day’s news brings more examples of how dumb folks can be, and finding one that is acceptable is merely a matter of deciding which is the better choice from a humorous view, or a serious view, or whatever viewpoint from which we will write. I’ve yet to see a single day when there weren’t at least four or five instances of stories that illustrate how talented people are at finding new ways to show how stupid they really are…..
“Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.” — Lazarus Long
We’ve all seen this one, I think; if not this one by Robert Heinlein, then one from another author or philosopher. It’s a pretty common theme, after all. Often, examples can be found on the front pages, especially during election years. But the back pages also carry numerous examples, taken from real life…. such as this one….
Back when I was attending the University of Utah, The Daily Utah Chronicle ran a joke ad for a debate between Phil Donahue and Whiskers the Lamb. Over 30 people showed up. (what they were expecting, God only knows.) — Smart Bee
In order to further prove my point, here is an example taken from today’s news….
http://www.fark.com/comments/7182500 This link leads to an article from Yahoo news, and is a perfect example of how the world is going mad, step by step….. I’m not even going to comment on the article, as it’s already too hard to think about it without laughing at the absurdity of the whole issue…..
Okay, I think my point is proved. The human race is pretty stupid, and getting stupider all the time. Sure, we’ve got men in space, we’ve raised the average age to 72 with medical advances, we’ve been to the moon. But we also are still making war on each other. We still abuse animals, and women, and children, and any thing else that will stand still. We are still killing ourselves, and denying that it is even happening. My only hope at this point is for something to happen to change human nature, to turn us away from this path we’ve chosen to walk. I hope it will happen, but I’m afraid the power of stupidity may just be greater than the power of hope….
Like I said at the beginning, it was an interesting journey, to say the least. I am unable to make a judgment as to quality, but hopefully, it will do…. if not, well, there’s always tomorrow….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.