Shadow dancing under Northern Lights….

Here is how it works…. I talk, you listen. When I’m done, you comment, or not. If you like it, you hit the button. Afterward, we both go our separate ways…… Put like that, this blogging scene doesn’t come off as particularly attractive, does it? Not a whole lot of human interaction going on there, or any kind of connection between minds. The entire process, looked at from this viewpoint, doesn’t seem to be of much value, leaving out, as it does, all of the passionate emotions that permeate human activity of any kind. Without a connection to what we feel about anything, it loses a lot of the value that we put on those things…..

It’s funny…. WordPress tells me I have 161 WP followers of my blog, with another 30 registered for commenting. Yet, my most viewed and liked piece over the last couple of months runs about 10-12 Likes, with only a few comments. Now, I don’t know how to look at that, or how to feel about it. Should I be encouraged because of what is there, or should I be discouraged? I have no way to compare those figures to those of other blogs, so I’m not sure whether what I’m seeing is typical, or not. Without such data, I can form no conclusions…. frustrating, a  bit….

I answer every comment that someone puts on my posts, so there is a certain amount of connection. However, those comments are only from 6-8 regular contributors, and I typically see the same 6-8 folks on a lot of the blogs I read. I love the interaction, but I wish it was more, so I knew one way or another how people are reacting to what I write…. When I visit the blogs of others, I try to comment much of the time, to let the ffolkes know I read it, and thought about it….. but, this doesn’t seem to drive much traffic to my site, regardless of how much I say….

Ah well, much of the world operates the same way…. we do what we do, and the world pretty much ignores us. So, I guess I shouldn’t feel too badly that folks aren’t paying much attention to what I say…. they never have before, so I can’t expect that to change, just because I’d like it to…. c’est la vie….. It’s probably a good thing that writing this remains as much therapy for me, as much as it is designed for others to read…. with that in mind, shall we Pearl?…..

“It is now some years since I detected how many were the false beliefs that I had believed to be true since my earliest youth.  And since that time, I have been convinced that I must once and for all seriously try to rid myself of all the opinions which I had formerly accepted, and begin to build anew, if I wanted to establish any firm and permanent structure for my beliefs.” — Rene Descartes, Meditations.

For some, reality is an illusion. — Smart Bee

Or, as I’ve said before, reality can be, and usually is, a slippery slope…. Philip K. Dick’s statement is still the best all-around attempt to describe the indescribable; he said, “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”  Perfect, as far as I can see; I’m near-sighted physically, but I can see a very long way when I close my eyes…..

At the same time, Mssr. Descartes most famous declaration on the subject, “Cogito, ergo sum,” (I think, therefore, I am) remains the most eloquent and complete logical proof that Dittoheads do not exist, at least not in the reality of anyone who reasons. ‘Tis unfortunate indeed that such folk occupy actual space in consensual reality, but, then, I’m not in charge of anything outside my own mind, technically…..

“Therefore, be ye lamps unto yourselves, be a refuge to yourselves. Hold fast to Truth as a lamp; hold fast to the truth as a refuge. Look not for a refuge in anyone beside yourselves. And those, who shall be a lamp unto themselves, shall betake themselves to no external refuge, but holding fast to the Truth as their lamp, and holding fast to the Truth as their refuge, they shall reach the topmost height.” — Buddha

Trust the Buddha to find the heart of the matter, and point the way to an answer of how to keep reality in perspective, This grants us the greatest amount of space and time to adjust ourselves accordingly, since adjusting ourselves is all we can really do to reality. A sure path to insanity is to believe that anything other than ourselves can be changed by our own power. We can only “hold fast to Truth” and accept the rest with as much serenity as we can muster…..

“The real in us is silent; the acquired is talkative.” — Kahlil Gibran

And on that note, we will bring this to a close…. it’s probably as close as we can get to a true mutual understanding of reality, so any further discussion would border on superfluousness. (I can’t believe it! Spellchecker says that I spelled that right!…. Now I KNOW it’s time to close this….)  Stay real, my friends…..

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

The free bird leaps
on the back of the win
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and is tune is heard
on the distant hillfor the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
an the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

Maya Angelou

I have only recently been introduced to the poetry of Ms. Angelou, but what I’ve seen has placed her high on my list of favorite poets. In addition to the power and beauty of what she writes, the subject matter she often chooses is very close to my heart, i.e. freedom…. I’m a sucker for a revolutionary woman….. Enjoy!

This pearl consists of a series of statements from Smart Bee (meaning they were found without attribution….). The statements form an old-school pearl, all pointing in a particular direction…. the test is to see where they lead you, and whether or not that is where they will lead others…. At the end, there will be one last pearl, which generally is the best indicator of where the rest have been pointing…. just let your mind go, and allow the pearls to point the way….

Definition of Terror: A female Klingon with PMS. — Smart Bee

If you can believe ten impossible things before breakfast, then you should join: The Church of Counterfactual Belief.  The Church of Counterfactual Belief has been set up to cater to all who don’t allow demonstrable truth to get in the way of their beliefs. In addition to creation science and the flatness of the earth, the following beliefs have been certified by Pope Duane as Church dogma: that there is a hole in the Earth at the North Pole from which UFOs come. That pi equals precisely 3.000.  That sex can be enjoyed only by blacks and homosexuals.  That Billy Joe Wilson (Hoopla, Miss.) has successfully squared the circle. That Harry Truman is still president, and doing a fine job.  That pi equals precisely 22/7. Several other important counterfactual beliefs are presently being studied, including Reaganomics, A.I., and that the moon landings were done in a Hollywood special effects studio. These will be the subject of a forthcoming Papal Bull… — Smart Bee

You will be surprised by a loud noise. — Smart Bee

Don’t need to be born again – Did it right the 1st time. — Smart Bee

When a person brags about his ancestors, the best part of him is underground. — Smart Bee

You buttered your bread, now lie in it. — Smart Bee

“Well, it’s no use your talking about waking him,” said Tweedeldum, “when you’re only one of the things in his dream. You know very well you’re not real.”
“I am real!” said Alice, and began to cry.
“You won’t make yourself a bit realer by crying,” Tweedledee remarked: “there’s nothing to cry about.”
“If I wasn’t real,” Alice said- half laughing through her tears, it all seemed so ridiculous- “I shouldn’t be able to cry.”
“I hope you don’t think those are real tears?” Tweeldedee interrupted in a tone of great contempt. — Lewis Carroll, in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Okay, I lied…. the last one isn’t a Smart Bee quote. But, it still points the way to the desired end point, so it will do quite nicely for our purposes. We may now return to our regularly scheduled program….

As we come to the end of another day’s effort, we look back with some trepidation to see what has been wrought…. Not too shabby, I should say….. It will have to do…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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




15 thoughts on “Shadow dancing under Northern Lights….

  1. Hello my sweet friend…. 🙂
    Just read your intro… This is what I think..! Pictures, that leave the visitor to interpret (through his emotions) seem to elicit the most responses – be they ‘likes’ and/or ‘comments’…
    Perhaps many visitors are similar to me in that they do not have enough ‘time’ to read all of the blogs they follow…. (the easy ones, therefore, which require little concentration receive the most visits).
    As it is now, here in Oz, it is 1:30am Monday morn. Tomorrow I will be getting on with my business stuff; you know – bookkeeping, housework, counseling, dance practice, being a friend/mother/lover, etc., you get my drift.
    Regarding stats: I have a similar number following. I recently checked out a number of these blogs – some no longer blog – many post extremely infrequently – and many, I suspect, follow for the sake of being followed with little to no desire to interact in a closer fashion.
    End Note: A ‘core’ of individuals who share a desire to know you, I believe, is more gratifying than a hundred of ‘fair weather friends’…. What is that saying: If you can count your ‘real’ friends on the fingers of one hand, you are doing well, my friend…. Even though you and I don’t converse often, I feel a closeness to you; I understand and accept you. I think that’s a pretty good thing; don’t you?

    • Aye, it is indeed a good thing, my lady. I see what you are saying and can only agree with your assessment. So, I’ll take what I get with more appreciation for it, because you are right about the few who connect; they are more gratifying than the fair weather followers…. thanks for the lift… 🙂 And, I’m glad you do feel the connection, too…. have fun today there in the land of Oz…. I’m still working my way through Sunday…. take care, & Blessed Be, milady….. 🙂

        • i agree with carolyn completely on this. our society has tempered people to see and wholly understand/hit the like button in seconds. thus the de-evolution (if that was even possible) from facebook to twitter to instagram. Even those who are avid readers tend to conk out of a blog after 300 words nowadays. BUT: dont change what you’re doing here. just know that the folks that comment and like are the ones taking the full time to read and go through the some additional hoops and circles that wordspress makes one go through to comment and/or press the like button.
          which brings me to my next point. reading wordpress blogs from cellphones is s**t. tend to read your blog at night and from my cellphone. to like a blog i have to press like, then sign in, then save passwords (because ill prob have to sign in again), then go back down to the like button, then like again. which is way harder than it sounds on a tiny phone screen with no physical keyboard. sometimes wordpress asks me to verify that its me signing in. so i have to sign in twice. also the final “log in” button is a mm wide and sometimes even my pinky cant hit it right. each time i hit it wrong (which is often) I have to reload the right web page, go back down to the like button, like again, sign in, put in my user name and password, and try to log in again. all for a like!!! yesterday i tried to sign in unsuccessfully for 3 minutes. guess who didnt get a liked by me that night!
          to comment i have to go through the sign in process and then leave my name and email , etc… this is all after trying to at least write something coherent on a square half the size of a business card on a cellphone with no tactile buttons in the dark while lying down.
          to combat all of the inanity, i have made a menu page called xtr spcl which i have added your blog to. its where i can now keep all the blogs i like to read. no loading a reader, no sifting through the blogs of the millenia to find gigoid. just one and done (well sorta kinda). that way i have more time to read you and more time to go thru the frustration of acknowledgement/sharing/feedback.
          to sum it all up (and thanks for clarifying smart bee vs end quote, etc…that was helpful, though i did think smart bee was you 🙂
          we are reading and we do love your blog. and we all experience the same thing. Likes are down. membership sign up abates. and a few fellow bloggers rise from this dark abyss to truly like and write meaningful comments.
          A wordpress circle has 5-10 folks. just like a real life friend circle. who would have thought 🙂

          • Odiemama…. Wow… what you describe is an incredible ordeal, reminiscent of my troubles with accessing my blog a month ago… for mine, maybe reading it on your PC is preferable… I wouldn’t want anyone to stress over it… and you are one of the regulars of whom I spoke anyway, so no worries…

            Aye, who would have thought it?…. sorry took so long to respond; I went to visit my grandson, a rare treat… thanks for commenting, and for the kind words… 🙂
            Take care, & Blessed Be, milady….

  2. Soylent green is people! ( oh wait, that was for a post in the past )

    Philip Dick was a hell of a writer. I suppose that the drugs are good for a science fictional fan base too. ‘-) I read somewhere that he actually believed some of the craziness he wrote.

    Do you believe what you write?? Of course, everything I write is an absolute lie.

    • One of the things Philip wrote about was his life-long struggle with schizophrenia, which is one reason I tend to trust his take on reality; it was a very slippery slope for him. And it wasn’t so much that he believed it, as he had experienced it in his mind, and who’s to say it wasn’t real?…

      Belief is also a slippery word… I don’t think it would be accurate to say I believe everything I write, by any stretch of the imagination, but if I express it as an opinion, then I say so, and in that sense, I believe it… As with almost everything, I’ll believe almost anything, until there is evidence to disprove…. and vice versa, of course… 🙂

      • I am the same way. I stress opinion when I haven’t completely made up my mind (enough evidence). I do love telling people things that are unbelievable, but true!

  3. Why compare your blog with others ?
    Simple fact to note – People who liked your blog signed up for it.

    Whenever you asked a question, you always get a response ! Isn’t that proof enough of how much we like your blog Ned ?

    FYI – Why care for the explicit approval of others ? As it is said in the Mahabharata – “Do your duty. Don’t worry about the fruits of your labour.”. So carry on your good work !

    ps : I never warmed up to the like button up there….I only use it when someone points it out like you did now 😀

    • Rohit…. thanks for the comment… I think you usually do say something when you come by, as do all the regular readers (of which I know you are one…), and those alone are encouraging. I count all comments as a like, whether they hit the button or not; the comment tells me enough… what I said in the intro was more of an observation than comparing this to other blogs… not a good idea, cuz apples & oranges, you know? Too different to compare…. but I get what you mean, about those who sign up because they are liking what I’ve written, and that can be something I forget… But, mostly I write for my own self-serving purposes, anyway, and I’m old enough to not care who I offend with my off-the-normal-path ideas….. kind of self-therapy from a lifetime of keeping my mouth shut when I wanted to speak, for survival’s sake… the brown monkeys object to pink monkeys in their midst….

      Sorry, didn’t mean to wander… I use the likes just to figure out how many folks dropped by, because that is how I let others know I’ve been there, when I don’t have the time to comment, or because I didn’t have anything relevant to say…sometimes even when I disagree with what they’ve said….data is data, so that’s what I use it for…. 🙂

      Take care, my brother, and thanks for the kind words…. Blessed Be…..

  4. OMG, there was so much to read here! You know why I haven’t been commenting much lately, right? I’ve been too busy, working, moving, working, moving…endlessly, it seems. And I’ve been stuck in this depressive, emotional, horrible state. But I do at least hit the “like” button on what you write, just to let you know that I did read it. Half the time, you’re just plain too smart for me anyway. If I’m going to comment, I try to at least make it sound halfway intelligent, seeing as I’m a Berkeley sister and all, and that takes more time than I have lately. But most of the time, I can tell that your level of intelligence goes way beyond my own…and that’s the truth. So I just listen…and you teach. 🙂

    • Carol, my dear lady…. you make me blush….Yes, I know why you haven’t been commenting; in that first intro section, you are definitely one of the regulars of whom I spoke…. it seems like all of the regulars who saw today’s post took the time to comment, which is pretty cool, and definitely encourages me, because, to combine what Rohit, odiemama, and Carolyn, said above, I appreciate having a circle of just a few good friends, and they wouldn’t have signed up to follow if they didn’t like it… so, I am content with that… I do see every time you hit the Like button, and I appreciated it all the more because I knew you’ve been busy and stressed… hopefully some of what I wrote has been of benefit to you in reducing some of that tension you’ve been under…. I have to tell you, I have about 30 more Shakespeare bombs ready to go.. I may have to devote an entire Pearl to that soon… 🙂

      As for my intelligence, I know that I’m smarter than the average bear, but it really hasn’t done me a lot of good in some ways, as I lack the killer instinct needed to take advantage of other ffolkes, so I never got rich, or elected, which amounts to the same thing in this country…. 🙂 I learned too early in life the lesson in the old Chinese saying, “If you wish a life of trouble, fill your house with treasures.” Between that, and having hippiedom thrust upon me in my freshman year in Berzerkeley, my desire to get rich or famous fell by the wayside, never to be missed… 🙂

      Do you have your degree from UCB? I never got mine, only completing two full years before running out of money, and ambition…. well, other than that one time I made myself a degree with Photoshop and Publisher, so I could get a job in China…. According to the guy who recruited me to come over to teach English, they want college grads, but they just take your word for it, and never check to see if you really have the degree…. So, I made a pretty convincing copy of a Bachelor’s Degree from Berkeley to take with me… It would have worked, but I wasn’t able to secure a job before I ran out of money & had to give it up & come home… quite an experience, though, 10 days of job hunting in Beijing…. the people were exceptionally nice to Westerners, and very curious, except for the relatively few older Communists & Maoists, who still wore the revolutionary clothes, and were very conservative, glaring at us on the street…. fascinating culture…..

      Here I am rambling again…. probably should just copy and paste all these comments for tomorrow’s Pearl; it might be a good one…. Thanks for taking time to comment, and I hope things settle down for you soon…. take care & Blessed Be, milady…..

  5. Hi Ned! You make such a good point about likes and comments. It is so easy for me to get caught up in how many people liked my blog or commented on my blog. You just can’t help noticing. Even if you tell yourself, oh I don’t care I just write for myself (but I don’t because if I just wrote for myself, I’d have a diary instead of a blog).

    I’m trying to find a system that is workable. And by workable I mean a system wherein I can write my blog and then put in an hour or so of reading other blogs each day. I want to spend some time outside! 😀 On the other hand I do feel bad when I don’t keep up with reading those especially if they are loyal readers of my blog. I want them to know that I really do appreciate all their likes, and comments and follows very much! And I do enjoy reading their blogs. I wish wordpress would come up with an easier way of navigating and commenting on blogs. Ok, that’s my two cents worth.

    I loved the Alice and Wonderland quotes. I think I’m finally emotionally old enough to understand it and I’ll have to read the books.

    Doesn’t it seem like being “born again” means reincarnation and being “saved” might mean, you’re DNA needs to be saved for an eternal life?

  6. Reblogged this on gigoid and commented:


    It appears my absences of late have put a serious dent in the number of readers who stop by…. SIGH, Oh, well, such is life, they say, & I tend to agree. I’ve never actively promoted readership, other than by my own participation on other blogs, a pastime I now have abrogated in favor of walking about the world with eyes open…. so, I suppose the decrease in readers is not so very surprising. Perhaps by reblogging, I can let ffolkes know I am still around, and still spewing out the singularly erudite nonsense so typical to my persona…. but, in the end, it’s all about the journey, not the destination, or the end result.

    Here, then, for your reading pleasure, is a blog from the very early days here on ECR, with a pretty good collection of some of my finer nonsense and blather, all pretty well conceived, if not elegantly composed. It works for me, & fulfills my purpose for the time. I’ll be back, & I’ll try to be more regular, but, cannot yet promise to go ‘commenting’ quite yet. The BBR is much too compelling in its complete realism, so, bear with me, or, without me, but, please, know I love you all, and hope you enjoy what I share here….

    For now, be well, & happy as you may, and, please, enjoy today’s mess…. See ya soon enough….

    gigoid, the dubious


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