As he sits down to begin, no angels sing, no thunder rings out, the earth remains still, and silent. Only the steady tick of the mantle clock breaks the quiet, until, slowly at first, then picking up the pace, he begins to type, words that have struggled to come forth from earliest memory. Like penitent soldiers, they line up on the page, tired, dusty, line after line, turned out from where they commonly hide, to face the light of day, and the harsher light of regard….. No promises of genius, no hope of publication, no real purpose…. just words, in a row, cast up in denial of repression, and hope of redemption….. Another day dawns, bringing, as always, trepidation, layered thinly with unreasoning hope, challenging all to arise, and survive another day…..
Well, I guess Hemingway doesn’t have to worry much that I’ll be challenging his reputation for powerful prose…. I can’t say the above stinks badly…. In fact, it isn’t bad at all, just rather lacking in direction, which isn’t surprising, since it has none to speak of; none was required, nor desired. All I wanted were some pretty words strung together in a reasonably rational order, just to draw y’all in, and perhaps, give a glimpse of something darker, and deeper, than is first seen… In that respect, it worked okay, I suppose, and, it has the added advantage of being done… Done deals are much handier than stuff left undone, for sure, wouldn’t you say?…. Rhetorical question, obviously, so don’t bother to reply….. unless, of course, you’re the type of reader who talks back to what you read…. in which case, feel free….
Yada, yada, yada, blah, blah, blah…. If this is the best I can come up with, I may as well start mailing this in…. coming into the office doesn’t seem to be working out for me…. Oh, wait, right, I’m not going in to any office…. SIGH…. Oh, well, I didn’t like having to go, anyway, so it’s just as well, I suppose, that I don’t have to go in anymore. I have a feeling that, in spite of the nasty, rude method used to force me to retire before I was ready, the actual state of retirement was the right way to go for me… As it turns out, my body was done with work; flogging myself to continue toiling away would probably have ended up being a bad idea, prolonging my misery, and making it even harder to deal with the physical aspects of getting old.
Now, I have things exactly the way I like them, with the added advantage of a secure, adequate income, an advantage I did not have, or even seek very hard, during all my previous years. Even when working, my necessary outgo always seemed to exceed my income; now that I’ve reduced my needs and wants to the bare minimum, the amount I’ve managed to retire on is entirely adequate to meet those needs, and still have enough to save up to travel on a regular basis. As long as I’m careful, I should be able to live long enough to see all the places I’ve dreamed about seeing all my life….
I almost feel guilty that things have turned out so well for me…. but, then I think back over the last three or four years, (or, in further retrospect, the last 25 years….) and realize that, hey, much of it has been a miserable time, and any good things happening now can be seen as the Universe acting to balance things out…. Karma is asserting itself, I would guess, and all I can say is, it’s about damn time… I don’t claim, even in my most feverish dreams, to be the best man alive, but, I’ve always tried my best to be honorable, to do my duty and hurt others as little as possible; that has to count for something, right?….
Okay, you can stop laughing now… I didn’t really expect an answer, but there’s no need to be rude, either….. Just kidding, it’s all good….. I should know better than to ask for that kind of feedback; nobody enjoys feeling dumb, even me…. This intro section, I think, is getting completely out of control, and needs to be given the three finger salute, soon (Control-alt-delete…). Sorry ’bout that, it’s what happens when I get too much sleep, and try to write with a clear head…. I wasn’t paying close attention, and this section turned into a ramble of massive proportion, covering far too many subjects in way too few paragraphs (or, too many, relative to your viewpoint, I suppose….)…. I’ve hardly left any room for normal pearls, whatever those might be.
I think I stop talking now, and see what kind of mischief Smart Bee has in store for me…. Shall we Pearl?…..
Well, this is taking a long time, but, so far, it seems to be worth it…. I had to be firm, but Smart Bee finally came up with the first five pearls below, which hang together well, and make a very strong point about living well, or at least living, as opposed to ignoring life as it goes by… Then, as if by magic, the last two came forward, shyly asking to be included…. When I added them on, I was amazed, at how well they fit, and how they enhanced the given concept…. Of course, all that might be just my weird sense of humor, but, hey, it works for me….
“It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.” — Ursula K. LeGuin
“By space the universe encompasses and swallows me up like a dot; by thought I encompass the Universe.” — Pascal, Pensees, n. 265
In pride, in reasoning pride, our error lies;
All quit their sphere, and rush into the skies.
Pride still is aiming at the blest abodes:
Men would be angels, angels would be gods.
Aspiring to be gods, if angels fell,
Aspiring to be angels, men rebel.
— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Man, Epistle i, Line 123
“From out of all the many particulars comes oneness, and out of oneness come all the many particulars.” — Heraclitus
“Truth can be a dangerous thing. It is quite patient and relentless.” — R. Scott Richards
See what I mean? Now, let the mind drift, with only that thought to anchor you to reality for the moment…. then, take in the two aphorisms below, and either grin, or guffaw, in acknowledgment and glee… I did, so I thought you should have the same opportunity….
“The purpose of a fish trap is to catch fish, and when the fish are caught, the trap is forgotten. The purpose of a rabbit snare is to catch rabbits. When the rabbits are caught, the snare is forgotten. The purpose of words is to convey ideas. When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten.Where can I find a man who has forgotten words? He is the one I would like to talk to.” — Chuang Tzu
“If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” — Baruch’s Observation
Bang! It takes an accurate blow to drive in a nail with one clean strike…. Okay, put down the hammer now, I didn’t mean it…. calm yourselves…. Here, here’s a poem to look at, just give me the hammer, and I’ll put it away….
If you weren’t able to tell, I’m in a sort of odd mood today…. That, in and of itself isn’t all that odd, and isn’t a problem, but, it does affect the content herein, and nowhere quite as much as in this section… To go with today’s ambiance, I offer the following gem from one of my favorite contemporary poet/artists…..
A little too small — just a bit
Couldn’t get used to it,
Took it off.
I tried on the dancer’s shoes,
A little too loose.
Not the kind you could use
Didn’t feel right in ’em,
Kicked ’em off.
I tried on the summer sun,
Nice and warm — knew it would.
Tried the grass beneath bare feet,
Finally, finally felt well dressed,
Nature’s clothes fit me best.
~~ Shel Silverstein ~~
Below you will find one of my favorite rants, regarding the events in 2001 that have caused many of the restrictions placed on freedoms we, as US citizens, formerly held, restrictions with which we now live, and regard as normal…. I see this as evidence of the accuracy of what is written below, and supports its validity today…..
“Necessity is the plea of every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” — William Pitt (1759-1806) speech on the India Bill, Nov. 18, 1783
I had not intended to start with a political rant, but this just came up, so here we go…. This is as true today as it was in 1783, perhaps even more so. Since 9/11/01, when those fanatic idiots carried out their insane delusions of grandeur on the world stage, the “necessity” for Homeland Security has been the watchword of the political pundits who unfortunately are in charge of the legislative and executive branches of our government. Bill after bill after bill keeps coming down the pike and bulling their way through into becoming law, or even worse, is created by executive order, without the benefit of review by Congress, useless as that may be.
The entire incident that happened that day was blown completely out of proportion by the media. Yes, it was a tragedy, in which something over 3000 American lives were lost, in three separate incidents. The videos of those planes hitting the buildings in New York must have been replayed a thousand times before noon, all over the country, until every American who had access to a TV was informed of what had occurred….
The American media, and the political machinery that manipulates it so effectively, then proceeded to flood every channel with the after-effects, making sure that the sorrow and fear of every person they could find willing to speak of it on camera was put on the evening news, and ensuring that no rational, dispassionate examination of the events would take place. Before the first day had passed, the national reaction had been whipped to a frenzy, stirring the fears of every paranoid in society, and making it seem as if the entire nation was filled with anger and vengeful righteousness. Though I didn’t join in the paranoia, I could feel it happening all around me, as normally intelligent people became so angry they lost all sense of proportion, or for that matter, all sense of truth.
In the ensuing years, whenever the politicians have wanted to distract the nation from what they were actually doing, all they needed to do was mention the word terrorism, or national security, to immediately put attention off of them, and onto the pitiful group of fanatical Muslims they blamed for the attacks (completely ignoring all the reasons those same politicians had provided those fanatics in the first place, reasons designed to stimulate an attack….). And thus, the Hunt for Osama bin Laden was on!
In this country, as a result of those attacks, approximately 5000 American lives were lost (that figure is larger than the actual number, purposely…. it is near enough to correct to make the point…). At this time, in the quest to find Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, over 50,000 Afghani civilians have been killed. In Iraq, which we somehow decided to invade, even though they had nothing to do with 9/11, well over 250,000 civilians have died to soothe our national pride. In that same period, we lost another 1000 or so soldiers in fighting and bombings. And, as a side effect, the US Bill of Rights has been effectively eliminated, by Executive Order, disguised as Homeland Security (June, 2013 — Now authorized by what is so laughingly called the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012…. signed by President Obama on New Year’s Eve of 2011, while everyone was partying, not paying any attention to their so-called “rights”…..).
“Hatred is the coward’s revenge for being intimidated” — George Bernard Shaw
So, what is my point here? My point is this…. those pathetic fanatics killed more than they had ever been able to kill, one time. Since that one time, our country has killed over 300,000 civilians in retaliation; you can call it what you like, I call it schoolyard revenge by bullies. It has caused every politician in this country to wrap themselves in the flag, not to proclaim their patriotism, but to manipulate the unreasonable fear they created in the public to keep them from realizing the truth of the matter.
That truth is this: we are in no real danger from Al Qaeda, or from any other splinter faction terrorist group, nor have we ever been in any real danger. They may be able to pull off stunts such as this one occasionally, but for the most part, the world has gotten pretty good at either catching them in hiding, or stopping their plots before they actually carry them out. Governments have a LOT more resources than terrorists, no matter how rich they may be personally.
No, the pathetic, desperate people who become terrorists are created by those same political pundits who are reviling them and hunting them down. They are not a real threat to anyone, as they don’t have the wherewithal to perform more than one act of violence at a time; they cannot wage a war, they can only try to act as guerrilla forces, at best. Mostly, they are just sad schemers, planning glorious deaths, that ultimately have no meaning, other than to provide the Western politicos another unreasonable fear to use against the American public, in order to continue their raping and pillaging among their own people.
The entire issue is one that is repugnant to me; I have watched in horror, not as terrorists have been hunted, but as the rights of the American people have been taken away in the name of “security”. Security from what? We don’t need more security from terrorists; those techniques for dealing with it are well-established, and effective, as they employ the very same methods used by the fanatics to achieve their ends. No, we need more security from our own pundits, who have utilized this tragic events for their own benefit, to the everlasting regret of every true patriot….. bloody assholes, every one of them…..
“I have formed a very clear conception of patriotism. I have generally found it thrust into the foreground by some fellow who has something to hide in the background. I have seen a great deal of patriotism; and I have generally found it the last refuge of the scoundrel.” — G. K. Chesterton, The Judgement of Dr. Johnson, Act III
So be it…. gigoid has spoken….
Well, there you go…. Such as it is, it is done, and I’m glad, as it took a supreme effort this morning to stay on track…. Not sure why, but, it no longer matters, as long as it proofs okay…. Which, in fact, it does…. I will reiterate…. So be it. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.
Which is Why….
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.