Verbal parity got sacrificed today…..

Apparently, what I’ve experienced thus far has just been the warm-up period; Life is really going to get serious now, and the pain and anguish that has been my lot will be as nothing compared with what is to come. Nightmarish mornings, horrific days, and terrifying nights are to be my lot, with lots and lots of turmoil and strife to fill in the slow moments…..

Okay, not really…. I’m exaggerating, of course. Life dumps on all of us, indiscriminately; the difference lies in how we react to that….

We can react with sadness and depression, or we can react with tolerance and joy. There is also a lot of ground in between those two points on the emotional scale, and we can spend it where we choose. The key is to remember that we do get the choice…. when we allow the negative to color all we see, then we tend to react negatively, and we spend our time in the emotional dumps. If we can remove the emotional content from our reaction to what occurs, we have a better chance of being able to deal with it effectively. “Steady as she goes….” as they would say on board a ship under power….

I try to choose the latter method of dealing with life, even though the negatives are what seem to be happening more of late. It’s tough, but concentrating on the good things helps…. like my daughter calling just to say hello, or my son calling to get advice on dealing with a dead battery. I figure that I’ve done something right in life, if both my kids, fully grown, not only still talk to me, but actually ask my advice or opinion on their activities. It’s a good feeling, for sure; I know a lot of folks whose kids never call, never come by, and don’t want the parents involved in their lives beyond the minimum, so I’m lucky in that respect….

Up, down, and all around, Life is a roller coaster, and there’s no getting off until the ride is done…. we may as well learn to enjoy the view from the top, while we can…. Until you can get your tickets for the next ride, though, perhaps you would care to join me in a search for pearls for today’s missive? It’s often fun, and always interesting, to see what we can come up with for dissection, er, discussion…. shall we Pearl?…..

“I feel like I’m in a Toilet Bowl with a thumbtack in my forehead!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

“Men know that if a woman had to choose between catching a fly ball and  saving an infant’s life, she would probably save the infant’s life, without  even considering whether there were men on base.” — Dave Barry

Normally, I try not to get involved too deeply in the ongoing War between the Sexes; I find it to be generally unproductive. (A nice way to say it’s stupid, and can lead to bloodshed….) But, this statement is just so perfect, I couldn’t resist. It is, as far as I can tell, completely accurate. I have, in fact, tested this theorem on several occasions, and can honestly report that the women who were tested chose to save the baby, every time, and no outs were recorded….

Now, one might think that this is putting too much importance into a game, to even make the comparison. But I think it is a good test, one that clearly indicates the nature of each sex, and identifies the motivation of the involved parties. I mean, hey, the guys on whom I also tested the theorem scored a 98%, only dropping the baby twice to go for the ball. That’s not bad! And they got the outs, so…..

Don’t worry, no babies were harmed in the filming of this event; they were dropped onto a small, padded patch of grass, and given a cookie if they cried…. The important piece of information here is that the male contingent scored eight outs, putting the women to shame in that category. Of course, they did lose the contest, as the penalty points for the dropped infants put their score in the toilet…. but hey, no guts, no glory, right?

So, ladies and gents, don’t get all het up because guys are different than girls; fighting against that difference isn’t going to get you anywhere, except maybe a stay in the Heart Break Hotel. Learn instead to appreciate the differences that make each of us unique. We each just need to realize that it is those differences that actually make us fit together so well.

The characteristics of the male stick out in such a way that they fit exactly into those characteristics of the female that are the complementary opposite, like two wheels with teeth that fit together to turn the hands of a clock. Neither one keeps good time by itself, but working together, time passes smoothly, like the river to which it is often compared…. and, it is much more fun to float down the river with company….

“There are many who consider as an injury to themselves any conduct which they have a distaste for, and resent it as an outrage to their feelings; as a religious bigot, when charged with disregarding the religious feelings of others, has been known to retort that they disregard his feelings, by persisting in their abominable worship or creed. But there is no parity between the feeling of a person for his own opinion, and the feeling of another who is offended at his holding it; no more than between the desire of a thief to take a purse, and the desire of the right owner to keep it.  And a person’s taste is as much his own peculiar concern as his opinion or his purse. It is easy for any one to imagine an ideal public, which leaves the freedom and choice of individuals in all uncertain matters undisturbed, and only requires them to abstain from modes of conduct which universal experience has condemned. But where has there been seen a public which set any such limit to its censorship? or when does the public trouble itself about universal experience? In its interferences with personal conduct it is seldom thinking of anything but the enormity of acting or feeling differently from itself; and this standard of judgment, thinly disguised, is held up to mankind as the dictate of religion and philosophy, by nine-tenths of all moralists and speculative writers.” — John Stuart Mill, _On Liberty_, Chapter IV

On most mornings, this would be enough to send me on a rant, taking aim at politicians and preachers, and at the apathetic public itself. But, thankfully, this is not most mornings, it is this one, and I am not in the mood for a rant…. well, maybe a little one….

One disturbing thought occurred to me as I read this…. Mr. Mill speaks of the bigots who commonly hold fundamentalist religious views, and characterizes them as completely self-centered in their view. The experience of the other person in the equation, whomever they may be, is, to these walking statues, irrelevant, as it doesn’t match THEIR experience. Their narcissism is so limiting, it’s as if they wear blinders, like they used to use on horses, to keep them from seeing anything which might distract them from their own view. They do not even realize the bigotry they display, even though it is in complete disagreement with the principles they reportedly follow, as outlined by their particular version of a religious icon….

“I can’t stand intolerant people.’ — Tore Adolfson

It is this blindness that makes it so hard to educate these folks; they won’t let go of their long-held beliefs to even consider any evidence that is contradictory to those ideas. In order to learn, one must first admit that they don’t know; these folks KNOW they know, even though their only proof is what someone wrote in a book over a thousand years ago. It has been said, with good reason, that a little learning is a dangerous thing, and this issue is proof of that pudding, for sure (nothing like mixing a few metaphors to cloud up an issue!…)…. I could only wish that the danger posed by the bigotry displayed by most religious zealots weren’t so universally extant; I don’t enjoy knowing that their ignorance will eventually kill me, too….

End of Rant….

True ease in writing comes from art, not chance,
As those move easiest who have learn’d to dance.
‘T is not enough no harshness gives offence,–
The sound must seem an echo to the sense.
— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Criticism, Part ii, Line 162

“If people find fault with you and try to put you into bad light, wrongly slandering and vilifying you, just step back and observe yourself. Don’t harbor any dislike, don’t enter into it any contests, and don’t get upset, angry, or resentful. Just cut right through it and be as if you never or saw it. Eventually malevolent pests will disappear of themselves. If you contend with them, then a bad name will bounce back and forth with never an end in sight.” — Yuan wu

A Galloway Song

Ah! ken ye what I met the day
Out oure the Mountains
A coming down by craggi[e]s grey
An mossie fountains —
A[h] goud hair’d Marie yeve I pray
Ane minute’s guessing —
For that I met upon the way
Is past expressing.
As I stood where a rocky brig
A torrent crosses
I spied upon a misty rig
A troup o’ Horses —
And as they trotted down the glen
I sped to meet them
To see if I might know the Men
To stop and greet them.
First Willie on his sleek mare came
At canting gallop —
His long hair rustled like a flame
On board a shallop.
Then came his brother Rab and then
Young Peggy’s Mither
And Peggy too — adown the glen
They went togither —
I saw her wrappit in her hood
Fra wind and raining —
Her cheek was flush wi’ timid blood
‘Twixt growth and waning —
She turn’d her dazed head full oft
For there her Brithers
Came riding with her Bridegroom soft
And mony ithers.
Young Tam came up an’ eyed me quick
With reddened cheek —
Braw Tam was daffed like a chick —
He coud na speak —
Ah Marie they are all gane hame
Through blustering weather
An’ every heart is full on flame
Ah! Marie they are all gone hame
Fra happy wedding,
Whilst I — Ah is it not a shame?
Sad tears am shedding.

John Keats

Ah, but I won’t be shedding sad tears, not after that…. just a little break for some “cultcha”, don’t y’know?….. Enjoy!

All things considered, this hasn’t turned out as badly as I had feared. Still running about 50/50 on the chances of being correct in what I fear…. Probably a very average score….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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