Today, like any other day, has yet to show its true potential, though even now, the feeling of pregnant possibility is almost palpable. It’s hard to describe, actually, this feeling of electric, buzzing anticipation of…. what? The very unknown qualities of the future, far-distant or immediate, add a certain tingle of both fear, and burgeoning joy, to the mix of emotions that swirl as we ponder the day’s dawning….
For some, this jittery, bouncy feeling is too much of a morning, so, they bury their nose in a paper, sip their coffee, and try not to think about what might happen… But, for others, such as meself…. well, let’s just say that there’s no better start to the day than to feel as if it will be filled with challenges, with problems, with solutions, and with both joy, and pain…. Not a bad day, for a human… It’s like Lazarus used to say….
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert Heinlein’s Time Enough For Love
I can do all of the above, except program a computer (I can learn, though, and am in the process of doing so, slowly….), and balance my checking account…. Well, actually, not true… I have had it balanced, once or twice in the dim, dark past; now, I just let the bank do it, and keep track of it online… So, this means I can consider myself a human, by these standards, which I consider to be an accurate summation, and much the same as the conclusions I had already come to in my life. Of course, reading Heinlein’s work since the age of 11 hasn’t hurt a bit in developing those beliefs and standards….
Nor did it hurt to be raised by a Master Sergeant…. I always call my dad that, but, I wouldn’t want to give the impression that was ALL he was… He lived for 72 years, but spent only 20 of that in the army, so, there was more to him than that…. But, in my mind, the fact that, after those 20 years of service, he ended up at that rank as his permanent billet, (though he was promoted after retiring; that is standard. By the time of his death, he had been promoted to major….), is an indication of what kind of man he was…. It is a well-known, and accepted, fact that in the army, Master Sergeants are the ones who actually run things…. smart officers leave the bulk of their duty to the sergeants, merely giving good orders, and staying out of their way….
But, my father was more than merely a Master Sergeant; it’s just a convenient handle to describe him, and to give an idea of what sort of guy he was…. Any who, I’ve wandered around again, without much purpose, and seem to have ended up in a place where I can’t find an easy way out, and into the Pearl… Not unusual, I suppose, merely bothersome…. Oh well, I think I’ll use emergency procedure # 1, which is in its place at the head of the entire group of techniques for saving my ass because it always works… It’s called the Bail-Out, for good reason: it just stops, and…..
And, you never hear from me again on whatever subject was at hand…. Pretty cool, eh? It ALWAYS works…. So, having been dumped here in the first section, clueless as to something to write (No, nothing new in that, I know, but a PITA, nonetheless….). I guess I’ll go old-school, like I had any intention of doing anything else…. 😆
“An older student came to Otis and said, “I have been to see a great number of teachers and I have given up a great number of pleasures. I have fasted, been celibate and stayed awake nights seeking enlightenment. I have given up everything I was asked to give up and I have suffered, but I have not been enlightened. What should I do?” Otis replied, “Give up suffering.” — Camden Benares, “Zen Without Zen Masters”
“When the rich make war it’s the poor that die.” — Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980), “Le Diable et le bon Dieu”, 1951
“His seat back is not in the full upright and locked position.” — Smart Bee
“Food, sleep, fear, propagation; each is the common property of men with brutes. Virtue is really their additional distinction; devoid of virtue, they are equal with brutes.” — The Hitopadesa (600?-1100? A.D.)
“All but the hard hearted man must be torn with pity for this pathetic dilemma of the rich man, who has to keep the poor man just stout enough to do the work and just thin enough to have to do it.” — G. K. Chesterton, Utopia of Usurers, 1917
“There’s a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure truth.” — Maya Angelou
“Never commit yourself to a cheese without having first examined it.” — T. S. Eliot
Poetry such as this needs no adornment from me…..
‘Perspective betrays with its dichotomy:
train tracks always meet, not here, but only
in the impossible mind’s eye;
horizons beat a retreat as we embark
on sophist seas to overtake that mark
where wave pretends to drench real sky.’
‘Well then, if we agree, it is not odd
that one man’s devil is another’s god
or that the solar spectrum is
a multitude of shaded grays; suspense
on the quicksands of ambivalence
is our life’s whole nemesis.
So we could rave on, darling, you and I,
until the stars tick out a lullaby
about each cosmic pro and con;
nothing changes, for all the blazing of
our drastic jargon, but clock hands that move
implacably from twelve to one.
We raise our arguments like sitting ducks
to knock them down with logic or with luck
and contradict ourselves for fun;
the waitress holds our coats and we put on
the raw wind like a scarf; love is a faun
who insists his playmates run.
Now you, my intellectual leprechaun,
would have me swallow the entire sun
like an enormous oyster, down
the ocean in one gulp: you say a mark
of comet hara-kiri through the dark
should inflame the sleeping town.
So kiss: the drunks upon the curb and dames
in dubious doorways forget their monday names,
caper with candles in their heads;
the leaves applaud, and santa claus flies in
scattering candy from a zeppelin,
playing his prodigal charades.
The moon leans down to took; the tilting fish
in the rare river wink and laugh; we lavish
blessings right and left and cry
hello, and then hello again in deaf
churchyard ears until the starlit stiff
graves all carol in reply.
Now kiss again: till our strict father leans
to call for curtain on our thousand scenes;
brazen actors mock at him,
multiply pink harlequins and sing
in gay ventriloquy from wing to wing
while footlights flare and houselights dim.
Tell now, we taunt where black or white begins
and separate the flutes from violins:
the algebra of absolutes
explodes in a kaleidoscope of shapes
that jar, while each polemic jackanapes
joins his enemies’ recruits.
The paradox is that ‘the play’s the thing’:
though prima donna pouts and critic stings,
there burns throughout the line of words,
the cultivated act, a fierce brief fusion
which dreamers call real, and realists, illusion:
an insight like the flight of birds:
Arrows that lacerate the sky, while knowing
the secret of their ecstasy’s in going;
some day, moving, one will drop,
and, dropping, die, to trace a wound that heals
only to reopen as flesh congeals:
cycling phoenix never stops.
So we shall walk barefoot on walnut shells
of withered worlds, and stamp out puny hells
and heavens till the spirits squeak
surrender: to build our bed as high as jack’s
bold beanstalk; lie and love till sharp scythe hacks
away our rationed days and weeks.
Then jet the blue tent topple, stars rain down,
and god or void appall us till we drown
in our own tears: today we start
to pay the piper with each breath, yet love
knows not of death nor calculus above
the simple sum of heart plus heart.
~~ Sylvia Plath ~~
I haven’t ranted today, and I rather think I’ll not do so at all, being, as I am, in a state of mind NOT conducive to the proper critical assault of some deserving asshole in the public venue…. although, I’m certain, there is SOMEONE in the news today who deserves an insult or two as payback for their asininity…… Hell, I could easily take two or three minutes, peruse the news headlines, and come up with the name of one or two appropriate candidates…. I’m just too lazy this morning to do so….
I’m gonna go for another old-school pearl, as you probably knew I would, once you saw the word ‘lazy’…. Let’s see what The Notebooks of Lazarus Long have for us along the lines of some ironic, or possibly sardonic, observations on that historically ubiquitous obstacle to the progress of mankind, Religion, or as we like to call it here, the Priestly Hierarchies…. All of these are from Robert Heinlein, via Lazarus, with just a bit of help from Smart Bee….
“History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help. But, like dandruff, most people do have a religion and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it.”
“One man’s theology is another man’s belly laugh. “
“Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.”
“The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history.”
“God split himself into a myriad parts that he might have friends.” This may not be true, but it sounds good — and is no sillier than any other theology.”
“God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent — it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks, please. Cash and in small bills.”
“Doubt is the beginning, not the end, of wisdom.” — Smart Bee
Well, there you have it, ffolkes…. My own personal invitation to Hell, if the Christians have their way…. 😉
Okay, so, they can’t all be brilliant…. Now, if only I could get ONE of them to approach that, I’d be happy…. Let’s see where on the scale this one falls….
Okay, well, I’m impressed… I was barely paying attention, and this came out pretty good…. I’ll have to try this more often, if I can figure out whatever the hell it is that I did differently…. See ya, ffolkes…..
Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…
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.