Chance encounters with entropy, unlimited supply….

Ffolkes,
In direct contrast to my state of apparent poverty, I consider myself to be a lucky man, all in all. My physical assets, in terms of liquidity of funding, are, shall we say, less than prolific, and my amount of acquired property isn’t what might be termed a fortune. In fact, more accurately, the two combined amounts may be described as a pittance, if you’re feeling generous. My clothes are getting old and somewhat worn, and I’m about to walk out of my shoes. I’m struggling each month to get enough food for the entire month, and have only enough left over to pay for a phone and internet service, which I consider essential in today’s culture.

However, I also have friends, and two children, all of whom taken together make me the richest man alive. I feel very fortunate indeed to have all of them in my life, as they are all the kind of people, and friends, one knows will always be there when needed, as I have tried to be for them for the last 50 years (the average time I’ve known most of them….). And my children, well, my pride in them knows no bounds. Both of them have become fine, generous, loving human beings, and I couldn’t be happier with them….

So, since I have such great support, and know I am loved, I sometimes wonder why am I so depressed? Then I remember….. my gift….. I’ve decided to look at my PTSD as a gift, though some may think that it is strange to consider a mental disorder in a positive light. Those people, who think it is strange, don’t have to live with it, do they?….. See, it is always surprising me, with outbursts of emotion that bring tears, or just waves of anguish; my eyes and head fill up with fluid, my heart pounds, and my mind veers off into memories of terror and pain. These little episodes of severe angst pop up at the weirdest times, and it gets to be a bit embarrassing, nay, humiliating, when it happens in front of others…..

Hell, as I typed that last paragraph, tears of self-pity were, and still are, rolling down my cheeks…. As you can imagine, this becomes problematic in keeping them off the keys, which could short out the whole shebang. Wouldn’t THAT be a treat? Having my entire stash of writing erased by my own tears would be just too ironic for me; I’d have to either shoot myself, or somebody else….. Fortunately, all the Pearls from last year are backed up on a thumb drive, so I’m safe there, but it would still be a royal pain to lose what I’ve got on here, so I try not to drip too close to the desk when I get hit by one of these emotional storms…..

Ah well, they always pass off, eventually, leaving me a bit exhausted and blue, whereupon I try to put all of what I felt into the next pearl….. which finally brings us to the point we’ve been trying to get to for five paragraphs now….. I think, rather than dwell any further on my ‘gift’, I’ll just dive into the ocean of knowledge and quotes that is Smart Bee and the Internet, and see what we can come up with for a morning rant, or poem, or other form of self-indulgence….  Shall we Pearl?…..
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“By letting go, it all gets done.” — Tao Teh Ching

If it weren’t for serendipity, a lot of the fun in life would disappear, I think. Finding just the right pearl is a perfect example of this phenomenon, and this is no exception…..

For some reason, mostly to do with our inner nature, and its unfortunate flaws when it comes to dealing with reality, we humans have a tendency to hang on to things that are not helpful to us. Hurt feelings, anger, mistrust, suspicion, and most often, fear, all are reactions we have to the stuff that happens to us, whether we want them or not. Once they are present in our awareness, however, it is unnecessary to keep them; in fact, holding on to them only prolongs the associated pain. But, we hold on to them anyway, going over the incidents again and again in our minds, and reinforcing the negative reaction each time. This, as is plain to see, is rather counter-productive, in terms of getting on with our lives without carrying extra burdens around with us….

Letting go, as the Tao Teh Ching suggests, can get us past this road block, allowing us to remove the weight of the anger, or fear, or other negative emotion from our minds, and freeing us to engage the universe on a more positive level. What remains a mystery, to me, and to anyone who has used this idea to help themselves in life, is why so many people refuse to acknowledge its value, and use it. A great many people in the world seem to prefer the experience of feeling angry, or sad, or afraid, to feeling competent, and comfortable in their skin. It’s almost as if they LIKE to feel those negative feelings, and are actually afraid to be successful at dealing with life…. amazing, and sort of ironic, to my way of thinking…..

Of course, I do tend to forget that this little piece of wisdom is not as easy to do as it is to say. It does take some mental effort, to assume the control of one’s feelings enough to move them to a different spot on the scale; “letting go” isn’t as easy as it may sound. This sort of mental effort, inner directed as it is, is foreign to most people raised in Western culture, as the habit of using one’s mind is not encouraged, for the most part, in most American homes. Conformity of thought, and obedience to custom are much more commonly held as the safe way to live, and learning to think is discouraged, as it may lead to discomfort, more effort than they wish make, and certainly more than they intend to tolerate.

I often wish I could persuade people to live with ideas like this to guide them, but, in order for anyone to try a new way of living, they must first be convinced that the old way isn’t working. This isn’t going to happen, even if compelling evidence of their need to change is presented to them. It would mean admitting that the way they have been living is wrong, and regardless of whether or not it is wrong, or right, they are not willing to “let go” of their investment in the old methods of looking at life. It’s just too much for them to contemplate; it’s unknown, therefore, they fear the change, effectively blocking themselves from even seeing it as an alternative.

So, I just ramble along, singing my little song, and pointing out little gems like what Lao Tzu wrote above in the Tao Teh Ching. People aren’t going to make changes just because I tell them to; they have to make the decisions themselves. But, I can hopefully provide some sign posts for them, to give them an idea of a place where they may find a more peaceful, fulfilling existence than the one they currently are living. Maybe I can’t change the world, but I can at least point the way to where the changes are made….

“Well, O.K.  I’ll compromise with my principles because of EXISTENTIAL DESPAIR!” — Zippy the Pinhead
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I feel like a bit of the classics today…. how about y’all?…. Keats will do nicely, I think….

Lines on The Mermaid Tavern

Souls of Poets dead and gone,
What Elysium have ye known,
Happy field or mossy cavern,
Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?
Have ye tippled drink more fine
Than mine host’s Canary wine?
Or are fruits of Paradise
Sweeter than those dainty pies
Of venison? O generous food!
Drest as though bold Robin Hood
Would, with his maid Marian,
Sup and bowse from horn and can.

I have heard that on a day
Mine host’s sign-board flew away,
Nobody knew whither, till
An astrologer’s old quill
To a sheepskin gave the story,
Said he saw you in your glory,
Underneath a new old sign
Sipping beverage divine,
And pledging with contented smack
The Mermaid in the Zodiac.

Souls of Poets dead and gone,
What Elysium have ye known,
Happy field or mossy cavern,
Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?

John Keats
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What we have here is what I term a “Seven Star Pearl”  The name has a certain significance, and extra points are available, should you choose to address the reasons why I call it this. I’ll give this clue… The choice of quotes was entirely random; I had no particular point in mind when collecting them. I let my impulsive nature pick those it considered suitable, without asking it to explain why…. these are the result. The point(s) it brings out for our examination turned out to be quite appropriate, given much of what I’ve written earlier this week, and today, but, I don’t need to tell YOU that, do I? Of course not….   🙂     Any who, not to worry, none of this one will be on the Quiz, significant though it is; I’m lazy today, as you might have guessed from the old school format of this one…. Enjoy!

“More persons, on the whole, are humbugged by believing nothing, than by believing too much.” — Phineas Taylor Barnum

“The fear of death is the most unjustified of all fears, for there’s no risk of accident for someone who’s dead.” — Albert Einstein

“Belief gets in the way of learning.” — Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

“That proves you are unusual,” returned the Scarecrow “, and I am convinced the  only people worthy of consideration in this world are the unusual ones.  For the common folks are like the leaves of a tree, and live and die unnoticed.”” — L. Frank Baum, “The Land of Oz”

A poet is someone who is astonished by everything. — Smart Bee

“There is nothing like a dream to create the future.” — Victor Hugo

“People are strange.” — The Doors
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Two hours, twenty minutes, flat. Not too bad, for a Friday morning, in dead of winter, I’d say. Now, let’s see how it proofs….  Decent… three or four little wipes with the polishing rag, and it will do nicely. It isn’t blinding, but it’s shiny…. I declare this dive completed…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

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8 thoughts on “Chance encounters with entropy, unlimited supply….

    • Aye, t’is sad, indeed, especially when one considers that they have to choose ignorance over faith, and self-interest over compassion, to do so…. our fatal flaw….

  1. I am indeed saddened on reading the first paragraphs… intellectualism and monetary aggrandizement seldom travel together!!! Let me enrich you by saying I admire your writing skills and the repertoire of readings you quote from…

    • Thank you… my reading is what saves my sanity much of the time, and the writing keeps all the bad things moving out of my head… 🙂 I appreciate your compassion, but, fear not for me… time will pass, and my physical and environmental issues will all find mitigation, and I am hopeful that will happen this year…. as long as we have hope, we have a reason to keep on keepin’ on…. Thanks for the kind words, and Blessed Be…..

  2. Reblogged this on gigoid and commented:

    Ffolkes,

    My life has suffered an explosion of drama, which kept me from either writing, or even getting started on a Pearl, beyond picking a picture to use. The hardest part to assimilate is the simple fact none of the drama is my own; it is spilling over from next door, where my neighbor’s difficulties are erupting in emotional outbursts and less than rational behavior, most of it loud… which activates my own emotions, thanks to my ‘gift’ of PTSD, which equates noise & strong emotion with danger, due to my past work dealing with such danger. Long story short, I am not able at this time to write, or post, so, you get this rather good re-blog from 2013, with some even older material included. I’ll try to post a fresh Pearl tomorrow, but, must wait to see if the drama gets resolved… In the meantime, be well, and happy as you may…. I’ll see y’all in a day or so….

    gigoid, the dubious

    😎

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