Never a dull pencil…..

New blooms proved their worth to all the attentive witnesses, by the beauteous precision of their display, while the soft sound of French horns played from the ancient speakers on the balcony. The prince and princess wore their hair up, to ascertain and signal the proper venue for the flags. Still, another fleet of mercenary swans from the East, wearing turbans all in matching colors, portrayed a lonely study in futile feather fluffing in the parlor, gabbling and prattling, until the butler cried for mercy. But, mercy never came, primarily because she was never even breathing hard, compared to the Lord Chancellor and his party. At that very moment, the phone rang…..

And, boy, is it a good thing that phone rang when it did…. that was threatening to turn nasty on me. It was an innocent attempt to re-capture that sense of nonsense that I find so valuable in the early mornings, but it turned dark, and evil…. every time the Lord Chancellor comes into a scene, all sorts of dirty things happen, and I generally end up trashing it…. I caught this one early enough it will pass muster, so all is well that ends well….. we hope….

I’ve decided there will be no more whine served with breakfast; I’m sure that will come as a surprise, and most likely a relief. It is a good way to vent, yes, but, I’m starting to feel like I’m dumping on people, which is unacceptable to me; rude is not one of the personal characteristics that I cultivate, at least not on purpose. I’ve never had to; it comes naturally…. It can be tough to keep all that anguish and pain inside when it gets so big, but I’ll try to sublimate it into poetry or something; I’m not in this to try to garner sympathy from ffolkes, and it is starting to appear as if I am, so, enough, I say….. I’ll save up all my angst and let it out on this psychiatrist at my upcoming appointment for SS, thus giving them a complete and accurate take on the status they are looking for; I just hope it doesn’t frighten him/her too much….

But for such episodes, life really isn’t bad, you know….. If one doesn’t count money, or pain, or angst and tension, then everything is fine! Of course, this is before we look at the news, or think about what to eat, or about trying to do anything beyond the four walls of my room…. or any other activity that normal folks pursue on a daily basis. And, before I think about the tough times that a couple of my friends, who are fighting cancer, are going through….Before I do, and this turns back into a whine tasting, shall we Pearl?…..

“The human being says that the beast in him has been aroused, when what he actually means is that the human being in him has been aroused.” — James Thurber _Lanterns and Lances_ [1961], “The Trouble with Man is Man”

In my family, we have always known we were a bit different than other people; acknowledging and accepting this was part of our education when very young. It has always been a given for us that, in the words of the vernacular, “all the nicest folks are just a little bit tetched….”….. Knowing this gives us a degree of confidence that those who do not share this cannot possibly feel; conformity is safe, but not encouraging. As well, when taught with a proper amount of humility, accentuating the differences goes a long way to providing an appreciation of diversity in life that, in turn, does a good job of teaching tolerance for others….

As self-defense, such knowledge was intended to, and succeeded at, providing us with superior skills at learning to judge people by what they are, instead of how we would like them to be; noting differences can be crucial in negotiations or interactions between people, and is supported by the idea that more information is better than none. However, this basic difference, in outlook and temperament,  can also lead to the exposure of other kinds of differences, ones that are not as acceptable to those other folks…. One difference I’ve noted, is in how people view, and deal with, the presence of violence in the world. It is an issue that everyone can agree on, in certain respects, though certainly not in all. Everyone, for example, will admit that violence is part of life, but almost everyone disagrees as to how much of it they will allow in their lives, or at minimum, how much they would LIKE to allow….

A small percentage of humanity uses violence regularly in their personal interactions; these people are often those who grow up in violence, who have it forced on them by the adults who live with them. These sad children learn to cope with it, one way or another…. some by retreating from it, learning to use their victimization as a survival tool; others attempt to cope by adopting it as their own modus operandi. All of them, both those who stay victims, and those who learn to victimize others, are permanently damaged, emotionally, and for the rest of their lives will suffer the consequences of living life with such behaviors as their primary source of defense against the world and its dangers, consequences that include mistrust, hatred, and constant fear of outbreaks of violence, with results that, predictably, please no one…..

My father spent 20 years in the US Army, during and following WWII, yet was not a violent man, so, in our family, the subject was addressed in a regulated manner; in his persona he was very controlled, and basically gentle in his manner. We were taught that it is best to know that violence is part of human nature, but does not have to be the controlling characteristic, and, in fact, is only a tool, one of many tools that a well-rounded person has in their possession, a tool best used when not used at all….. It is also well to acknowledge that it has its place in the world; those who will tell you that violence never solves anything should go talk to the Mongols, or the Jews in the time of the Holocaust. They will assure you that violence, applied with precision and ruthlessness, is quite capable of acting as a final solution to many issues….

My own life dealt with the human tendency for violence in others for many years, when I was a psychiatric technician, trying to help mentally ill individuals cope with life while dealing with their inner issues. The eleven plus years I spent in that particular field of work called for me to deal with the violence of people out of control of their emotions on a daily basis, either emotionally or physically, and I became intimately aware of the process through which humans traverse in their minds when violence is a part of reality, both in myself, and in others.

It is not pretty knowledge, or easy to accept, but, it doesn’t care about any of that; it is there, and I’m not sure all the time what to do with it…. At least I am adept enough to never let it control my own behavior, other than to tip me toward a tendency to verbalize severe physical violence, without ever coming near actually committing any such acts….. Whew! Good thing, too!….. Of course, though it never enters the realm of possibility in my outward behavior, the effects of that violence on my inner world are significant, powerful, and painfully real…. but, that is another story….

Unfortunately, as the gunfire I could hear from a few blocks away last night indicates, the rest of the world doesn’t always have that kind of control. So, it’s best to stay alert, and do whatever one needs to do to minimize the presence of violence in their lives…. because NOBODY will ever argue with wanting less of it in their lives, given a choice… nobody in their right mind, anyway…. Of course, it’s good to remember that not all of the folks one sees on the street are in their right mind…. If their eyes are rapidly spinning in opposite directions from each other, it’s kind of a dead giveaway, and you should either cross the street, or tighten the grip on your weapon of choice…. whether voice, stick, blade, or explosive device…..  🙂

“Do thou restrain the haughty spirit in thy breast, for better far is gentle courtesy.” — Homer

“What a lumbering poor vehicle prose is for the conveying of a great thought! … Prose wanders around with a lantern & laboriously schedules & verifies the details & particulars of a valley & its frame of crags & peaks, then Poetry comes, & lays bare the whole landscape with a single splendid flash.” — Mark Twain

A Song About Myself

There was a naughty boy,
A naughty boy was he,
He would not stop at home,
He could not quiet be-
He took
In his knapsack
A book
Full of vowels
And a shirt
With some towels,
A slight cap
For night cap,
A hair brush,
Comb ditto,
New stockings
For old ones
Would split O!
This knapsack
Tight at’s back
He rivetted close
And followed his nose
To the north,
To the north,
And follow’d his nose
To the north.

There was a naughty boy
And a naughty boy was he,
For nothing would he do
But scribble poetry-
He took
An ink stand
In his hand
And a pen
Big as ten
In the other,
And away
In a pother
He ran
To the mountains
And fountains
And ghostes
And postes
And witches
And ditches
And wrote
In his coat
When the weather
Was cool,
Fear of gout,
And without
When the weather
Was warm-
Och the charm
When we choose
To follow one’s nose
To the north,
To the north,
To follow one’s nose
To the north!

There was a naughty boy
And a naughty boy was he,
He kept little fishes
In washing tubs three
In spite
Of the might
Of the maid
Nor afraid
Of his Granny-good-
He often would
Hurly burly
Get up early
And go
By hook or crook
To the brook
And bring home
Miller’s thumb,
Not over fat,
Minnows small
As the stall
Of a glove,
Not above
The size
Of a nice
Little baby’s
Little fingers-
O he made
‘Twas his trade
Of fish a pretty kettle
A kettle-
A kettle
Of fish a pretty kettle
A kettle!

There was a naughty boy,
And a naughty boy was he,
He ran away to Scotland
The people for to see-
There he found
That the ground
Was as hard,
That a yard
Was as long,
That a song
Was as merry,
That a cherry
Was as red,
That lead
Was as weighty,
That fourscore
Was as eighty,
That a door
Was as wooden
As in England-
So he stood in his shoes
And he wonder’d,
He wonder’d,
He stood in his
Shoes and he wonder’d.

John Keats

“I might not know what Art is, but I know what I like!” — Every other person alive….

Truer words are never spoken than these, when it comes to the real meaning of Art. It is a subject upon which EVERYONE has an opinion, and it is one of the very few of which it may be said, with perfect sincerity, that each and every person alive is entitled to their opinion about it, and that opinion is just as valid and real as anyone else’s can be considered….. So, here is an old-school group of pearls, chock full of meaning, but meaning that only I can ever fully know…. SIGH…. The artist’s dilemma, you see, is how to transmit what is in the mind, to the minds of others…. my own preference is for this modified Zen koan exercise, using the wisdom of the ages, from wherever I find it…. good luck…. oh, and no worries, this group’s meaning is purely for entertainment’s sake…. no deep issues addressed at all…. maybe….

“Belief? What do I believe in? I believe in sun. In rock. In the dogma of the sun and the doctrine of the rock. I believe in blood, fire, woman, rivers, eagles, storm, drums, flutes, banjos, and broom-tailed horses….” — Edward Abbey

“All of a sudden, I want to THROW OVER my promising ACTING CAREER, grow a LONG BLACK BEARD and wear a BASEBALL HAT!! …  Although I don’t know WHY!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

“We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves.” — Eric Hoffer

Dharma: “What is the greatest mystery of all?”
Yudishthira: “That each day, death walks the earth, and we continue to live as though we were immortal.”
— The Bhagavad Gita

“Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life.” — Bertold Brecht

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.  With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) Essays: First Series (1841) “Self-Reliance”

So much for overweening ambition…. It could be a lot worse, ffolkes, believe me…. I’m going to go now, to find a venue from which to post this puppy…. I managed to scrape two bucks together, so I can check my email today, too…. yippee!  It doesn’t take much these days to give me a thrill….. and, on that note, I will bid thee adieu, and hope you have a decent day…..  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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