I’m not sure I can do this….. not this way. I’m sitting on a complete Pearl, you see. The one that was completed for posting on the 13th has not made it to the Net, as I haven’t figured out yet whether it will work to edit the old post, or just add a new one with that material….. The title I came up with on the 13th was certainly one of the best I’ve done… “Despite the disaster, yak butter was still on the menu….” Brilliant, if I do say so myself, as it tells a whole story all by itself, without any supportive material; I don’t know about y’all, but I get a mental vision of some poor sap in a dingy kitchen, struggling to chop vegetables, as he worries about the price of yak butter…. perhaps not quite Hemingway, but, maybe Raymond Chandler?…. Okay, Steven King, and he’s my last offer….
Any who…. I’ve got all this material already finished, ready to post, and can’t seem to settle enough to sit down to write a Pearl. I’ve got pieces in progress (who doesn’t?) but it all seems pointless, when I don’t have to do anything at all, and will still have stuff to put up. I had not realized just how tied into the routine I’ve become, I guess; I’m still human, it seems, and can fall prey to mundane habit-forming drills like anyone else, until it becomes the dreaded “routine”, harder to break than a five minute egg. (Five minute eggs won’t break; they just smoosh….) These can be fatal, if not treated at an early stage….
And the verbs! What will I do with the verbs? All my conjugation, so precisely aligned to the proper time frames and concomitant pronouns, all useless! How will I ever know what day it is, if I’m always a day ahead? Since retiring, keeping track of what day it is has become hard enough; I don’t need any help in forgetting. But, it should be okay, in the end…. I’ve finally figured out the bus schedule, and it can tell me what day it is, just by what time the buses go by the house. Of course, that is assuming they are running anywhere close to on time, an event of scarcity during the major portion of the week…..
Enough blather…. I could produce such for hours, probably, if I ever gave myself the chance. But, since nobody is paying me for this, it doesn’t seem very productive, so I’ll take this opportunity to get on with today’s effort at composition, and dive on in. I must say, the water looks inviting today, all blue and refreshing….. Shall we Pearl?…..
“This is the true joy in life – being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you consistent.” — George Bernard Shaw
When I first began creating Pearls of Virtual Wisdom, there was only one quote each day, with short comments by me, only to introduce, and perhaps provide a bit of background to, the pieces I chose, generally on the subject of Liberty, Freedom, Honor, Truth, etc. In those days, this pearl would have definitely made the grade, and, given that I don’t remember all the quotes I’ve used, it may have been used back then. It still makes the grade, so much so that I’m leaving it to stand alone, aside from the closing quote from Mr. Twain, which echoes the sentiment expressed by Mr. Shaw perfectly….
“Let us endeavour to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.” — Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), from Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar (1894)
“Cruel as death, and hungry as the grave.” — James Thomson (1700-1748) — The Seasons, Winter, Line 393
The only possible comment is the same word that made up the first thought in my head when I read this… WOW…. Such an incredibly powerful line, so gripping and real, it makes me as jealous as I allow myself to feel. To write such a phrase would be enough for me; I could die happy. I’ll do so anyway, (die happy, that is….), just to spite Murphy, but, if I can write one line half as strong as this, I’ll be content, for sure…. Here is something that came to me last night…. at least, it began last night…..
Beauty must define, as augment to existence,
as life must be more than mere subsistence.
Nature demands more.
It ain’t long, but it’s much…. and better for being so, rather than the reverse….. Just as an afterthought to this section, I offer the following as proof that even genius can feel insecurity and jealousy….
“There are two ways of disliking poetry; one way is to dislike it, the other is to read Pope.” — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
“Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right actions arises by itself?” — Lao Tzu
Ever since being first exposed to the precepts of Taoism, back when I was in college in the late 60’s, it has always appealed to my sense of rightness, and makes the closest approach to what I personally believe about the Universe at large. Not the mystical parts, that cater to the religious order of the time it first was clarified by Lao Tzu, but the essence of the concept of reality, as being both within our perception, and unknown to us as beyond our understanding. We may not possess the necessary sense to be capable of receiving such information, whether about reality or fantasy, and if we assume the omnipotence of a god, then we would not be able to comprehend their existence, lacking the tools to perceive them with our five or six senses…..
This knowledge, however, is tempered by the deduction that, as a physical part of the universe, we are connected to it, and to every other part, if only by sharing that existence. The connection, intuitively, is deeper than merely the physical; it extends somehow into the spiritual plane, which, though not tangible, is nonetheless a proven part of our mental reality. (What IS the mind?) It is this very lack of the ability to explain by which we may know the connection exists, as it echoes the nature of reality itself, which cannot be explained in words. Goodness knows why I’m trying, to be sure…. this is getting pretty esoteric, although, so far, it is consistently rational, if not entirely illuminating.
“Since everything in life is but an experience perfect in being what it is, having nothing to do with good or bad, acceptance or rejection, one may well burst out in laughter.” — Long Chen Pa
And what better way to acknowledge and celebrate the perfection that we can see, or hear, feel, smell, taste, or imagine?…… It’s certainly preferable to a long, dusty discussion of esoteric concepts, and will encourage enlightenment just as efficiently, if not quite so verbally. In some way, I’m always looking for the perfect quote, the ultimate aphorism, that delivers that cosmic truth we are all seeking in one swell foop, and the above from Long Chen Pa comes very close to it, especially when considered in the light of what one concludes from considering the answers to the first two questions today. As a Westerner who has learned to appreciate what the East brings us, the following resonates very well….
“Somehow, in the midst of their horrid history, the best among the _gaijin_ learned a wonderful lesson. They learned to distrust themselves, to doubt even what they were taught to believe or what their egos make them yearn to see. To know that even truth must be scrutinized, it was a great discovery, almost as great as the treasure we of the East have to offer them in return, the gift of harmony.” — David Brin – Dr. Pak’s Preschool
There’s the key, ffolkes, right there in front of you…. Even truth must be scrutinized, or the universe will have its way with you, and you may never find the gift of harmony that is also there for the taking….. There, not so esoteric, after all…. not too shabby, eh what?…..
“The ancient Taoist sages were poised and alert…. like ice on the verge of melting.” — Taoist proverb
All things considered, this didn’t come out too badly. It’s going to have to do, as I now have more material ready to post than I’ve ever had previously, and I’m not sure quite what to do about it. I know what I’d like to do, but, I’m still waiting for the green light from SS on that, so…. I suppose I’ll just have to pretend it’s the day before tomorrow, when it’s really the day after yesterday….. if you see what I mean…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.