In a clearing, like a box….


The human mind is a flexible thing….. mine has been hovering around the edge of depression for days now, and nothing that reality provided for consumption had the proper impact to cause it to want to change. Then the mail came yesterday….. Social Security has decided, for some unknown reason, to get at least part way off its duff, and get a move on… I received the package from them that I’ve been awaiting since May 11 of this year, when my lawyer filed the appeal of their initial negative decision.

What I received is, of course, another demand for information, to be coughed up by me in the shortest amount of time they can give…. get this….. after delaying the assignment of my case to an analyst for close to five months (!!!) they now demand I supply them with three complicated forms full of information on my condition, (from myself and up to three other people….) in ten days! Actually, only seven days are given, because the letter was dated three days before I got it…..  typical federal bureaucratic behavior…..

But, it’s here! This means that one period of waiting is done, and once these forms are submitted, I’m into the (hopefully) last period, up to three months, of waiting for a decision…. If it’s negative, well, off to court…. but, if positive, then I’ll be all fixed by Christmas, or New Year’s at the latest….. so I’m trying to control myself from dancing a jig, and shouting off the roof tops, as one might imagine…. Don’t want to get my hopes up too far…. it can be long fall if Murphy takes a hand, and he’s well-known around these parts. Instead, I’m trying to pretend it is just another delay; not working, though, because I’m still giddy…,

So, I’m going to distract myself with writing for a time….. Shall we Pearl?……

I can’t be humble — it’s just not honest. — Smart Bee  {Calm down, calm down…. it’s a joke, right?….. Sheesh, and people wonder why we are so shy about sharing?…..}

Possunt quia posse videntur. (They can because they think they can.) — Virgil (70-19 BC), Aeneid, v

On the fictional planet of Pern, there be dragons. These dragons, the creation of Anne McCaffrey, are fire-breathing, and adept fliers, as all dragons should be, coming in a variety of colors, each of which has to do with its social status in dragon society. At birth, the dragons are bonded with a human, who lives with them, rides them into battle, and sees to the health and welfare of their bond-mate. The dragons of Pern have two characteristics which are special to them on their planet…. First, they can teleport, moving from one point in space to another in virtually no time. Second, they are capable of lifting “whatever they believe they can lift” even though it may not be reasonable to assume, given the size of the dragon, and the size of the load to be lifted. If the dragon believes it can, it can…..

This characteristic is only important to them as part of a plot design by the author, in which this talent is used to help solve a technical problem that faces the planet, placing it at extreme risk. But, in reality, the same characteristic may be shown to be present in humans, in this respect…. what we believe we can do, we can do. It has always been thus, throughout history, (as noted in the above statement from Virgil in the Aeneid….) and remains one of mankind’s most powerfully useful characteristics, for those who learn to utilize this elusive talent.

“A man can do all things if he but wills them.” — Leon Battista Alberti

Sound familiar? It should; it is virtually identical in meaning to the first quote.  Alberti sounds like a more modern name than Virgil, so it seems that the concept has been a common theme throughout history, and remains so now. Everyone has heard the amazing stories of human accomplishments that seem outrageously unreal. People lifting cars off of loved ones. People climbing the sheer face of a cliff a half-mile high, with no ropes or tools. Soldiers carrying a wounded comrade miles and miles while wounded themselves. A man in the mid-1800’s is documented to have survived a bear attack, and crawled hundreds of miles through wilderness to reach his home, alive.

     Many more stories are included in the complete lexicon of human experience. Some of the feats are planned, or trained for; some are the result of instinctive reaction to extreme danger, or need. But, in each story, the common element that remains when the separate circumstances are removed from consideration, is that of the depth and strength of human will…..

The will is not a simple tool; it is not like other talents humans possess. To be its most effective, it must not only be practiced and strengthened by use, but it must be nourished, by experience and motivation, that can only come with life and learning. Those who have chosen their Duty are much more likely to have used it as motivation to strengthen and harden their will to act, than are those who try to act from disorganized, or motivations ignorant of any moral or ethical direction. Like any strength, it can be abused by humans; fanatics have a very strong will, sometimes, at least in their intent to hold on to their delusional beliefs. It has been said that a fanatic is one who redoubles their efforts when they cannot recall or justify their original intent, and that takes a lot of will. But then, karma usually takes care of that particular problem, as they end up reaping the whirlwind that their ignorance gains them…..

This is a subject that needs, nay, is worthy of, further discussion, but reality calls (you know, stuff that CAN’T wait…. stupid Murphy…. bloody feds….), and it will have to wait for another day…. I’ll put it on my calendar for a couple days from now…. please feel free to come on back and see where this takes us, as I meander through whatever occurs to me between now and then…. until then… onward….

Considering what I’ve been through this morning, this seemed just the right poem, and I had an urge for Emily, anyway…. enjoy! (Not you, Shawna…. you may go on to the next section, if you wish….  🙂   )

A narrow fellow in the grass
Occasionally rides;
You may have met him,–did you not,
His notice sudden is.

The grass divides as with a comb,
A spotted shaft is seen;
And then it closes at your feet
And opens further on.

He likes a boggy acre,
A floor too cool for corn.
Yet when a child, and barefoot,
I more than once, at morn,

Have passed, I thought, a whip-lash
Unbraiding in the sun,–
When, stooping to secure it,
It wrinkled, and was gone.

Several of nature’s people
I know, and they know me;
I feel for them a transport
Of cordiality;

But never met this fellow,
Attended or alone,
Without a tighter breathing,
And zero at the bone.

~~ Emily Dickinson

“Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle. Some things are within your control. And some things are not. — Epictetus

This statement, and its reappearance in front of me at this exact moment in time, reminded me of why I do this. Making Pearls. Reading, and serendipitously finding a piece of wisdom from a sage of past age that speaks directly to me and my current status in re: dealing with reality without biting myself or anyone else….. Since the start of the morning, to this point, my thoughts and emotions were unreasonably and unexpectedly dragged along on a roller-coaster ride of some proportions, courtesy of, well, let’s just say, a party that I had not expected to be forced to consider as a liability. In fact, I had every expectation of the opposite.

Then, Eureka! On seeing this quote pop up, I realized that my morning’s distress was exactly what I deserved for expecting…. anything. My expectation of how reality would behave is the only problem; without it, I would not be upset… As I’m accustomed to regular adjustment and deletion of expectations, I have now done so….

So, thank you, Epictetus, for saving me from my own folly….. now, I can get on with the day…..

All things considered, this didn’t come out so badly…. and it will have to do. So be it…  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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





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