Fighting by the Duke’s rules….


I am forced by law, and by custom, at this point, to give fair warning to all who stop in to read today…..  Lack of inspiration, though it is a constant companion to me, troubling my existence every day, has yet to keep me from creating these Pearls, in spite of the fact I’ve yet to discover a logical, or, for that matter, an illogical reason why that should be…. Nonetheless, it won’t keep me from writing today, either, even if it IS the most daunting lack I’ve yet encountered, in the going-on-three-years I’ve been putting myself, and y’all, through this exhausting, yet completely enervating process, each and every morning (minus a handful…).

Such lack has never kept me from producing, (one could even say over-producing), episode after episode of Pearls of Virtual Wisdom, with nary a repeat among them, aside from the occasional trip to the archives that all blogs rely on in times of material shortages, or, perhaps, the sometimes redundant subject matter….. I’ve only had to resort to archive/dumpster-diving a couple of times, usually when I’m physically under the weather, so, I’m happy about that….

My warning is this…. on days like today, when the freshness of what I write is suspect, due to the absence of any kind of creative spark, you may literally see just about anything at all show up here, with or without taco sauce, and certainly without salsa. I mean, I COULD supply the salsa, but, the tomato crop this year was terrible…. I wouldn’t feel too badly about this, if I were you; there’s really no downside to it…. I don’t have to make salsa, or taco sauce, and y’all don’t have to put up with any of my usual boring blather…. Of course, you DO have to put up with THIS boring blather, but, hey, a guy’s got to live, right? Right….

So, with said warning delivered, thus making it no longer implied, but expressed, I could legally go on into the Pearl’s body, and start tattooing for all I’m worth. That is, if I could tattoo at all…. Sadly, the most complex drawing (sketching, painting, whatever, it’s all a mystery to me….) I can do involves a simple tree, from a distance, so there aren’t any particular details to supply, with some mountain shapes in the background, for perspective, as it were….. It’s pretty primitive, believe me; I’ll never get a job as a police artist, drawing faces…. All of my faces look like the smiley face we see everywhere these days…. just a round circle, with two dots for eyes, and a curved line for the nose and mouth. Maybe a couple of half-circles if I want ears, or a crown of squiggly lines for hair….. It looks a lot like Charlie Brown’s head, wearing a bowl of spaghetti, to be honest, but without the detail….

Wait a minute! What if I broke precedent, and started a piece here that is full of dignity, and decorum, with just the right amount of reasoned discourse, all pointing to a logical, beneficial idea that everyone can appreciate and enjoy, using the concepts to improve their lives, and the lives of others?…. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?…. Now, if I could only find some dignity, or decorum, or reasonable ideas, I’d be good to go. Instead, I’m reduced to this, just babbling away, putting down as many useless words as I do words that mean something, just to take up the space needed to call this a legal intro….

Which, you will please note, we have once again done, and done quite well…. I’ve managed to put out five entire paragraphs of inane, chatty, intimate, yet meaningless prose, full of bad jokes and worse analogies, all for the purpose of filling in space. What can I say? It’s a gift….

Shall we Pearl?…. Have no fear, we shall, we shall, indeed, pearl our little hearts out…… In fact, here is an excellent pearl to start the day….

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, Who are you not to be?  You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.  It is not just some of us. It’s in everyone. And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  as we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” — Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love — (widely mis-attributed to Nelson Mandela’s 1994 inaugural speech)   

All true, but, remember, you are not a child of God…. Thou art God…. It all remains the same….

There are times, such as today, when a pearl will write itself, over all my objections…. When I began to collect this group, I saw right away it would be troublesome, from a logical, reasonable point of view. Then it really went south, but by that time, I could see where it was trying to go, so I let it have its head…. This is the resulting mess, for which I refuse to take full responsibility…. It’s not my fault! The dog ate my homework! The cat puked on my notes! I got married!…. Well, none of that actually happened, but, I’m not sure I want the responsibility for this one anyway…. Oh well, so be it… It’s really not bad, if you keep your eyes screwed up with the correct degree of silliness….

“Alexander [the Great] asked Diogenes if there was anything in the world he wanted. Diogenes, without looking up, replied: `Yes. Get out of my light.'” — Plutarch

“I am a traffic light, and Alan Ginzberg kidnapped my laundry in 1927!” — Zippy the Pinhead

“A State which dwarfs its men, in order that they may be more docile instruments in its hands — even for beneficial purposes — will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished.” — John Stuart Mill (1806 to 1873, English philosopher and reformer)

“Now the trumpet summons us again — not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need — not as a call to battle, though embattled we are — but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle year in and year out, “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation” — a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself.” — John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963)

“If you can’t fight and you can’t flee…FLOW” — Smart Bee

“Everybody has something to conceal.” — Humphrey Bogart

Who combats bravely is not therefore brave,
He dreads a death-bed like the meanest slave:
Who reasons wisely is not therefore wise,–
His pride in reasoning, not in acting lies.

— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Moral Essays, Epistle i, Line 115

See what I meant? Sheesh, it’s not as if we were TOTALLY obstreperous to the Pope, or to our Vatican chaperons…. and they got a good tip, didn’t they? They did, so you can’t blame me if it all fell apart….. I’m not sure, but, we may be nearing some sort of black hole in time and space…. I’m starting to feel a bit of cosmic twisting….

Whom to pick, in the face of cosmic upheaval?….. In such times, I enjoy the way this poet points me in the right direction, toward the center….

Alone Looking at the Mountain

All the birds have flown up and gone;
A lonely cloud floats leisurely by.
We never tire of looking at each other –
Only the mountain and I.

~~ Li Po ~~


According to my usual modus operandi, this section would, and may yet be, a rant of some nature. It’s been a while since I took any real shots at the churches, but, then, they are a bit less of a worthy target than are the politicians of the world.

Let us not even begin to think about how the shadowy master class of corporate vampires deserve all the disdain, vituperation, and vicious criticism we can heap upon their nasty little heads; whatever we do will never be enough to pay them back for the damage they’ve done to others, and to our world in general….

No, I’d say I have no real lack of usual targets for my critical regard…. What I have is a lack of angst and/or emotional drama to drive that big ol’ truck…. The one I’d like to flatten them with, as they cross my road to the future….

It would be simple to cruise over to a news site, and pick up a current headline or two to work with; there’s no lack of material there, for sure. Even that doesn’t attract my interest; I guess my birthday gave me a good enough chance to get a lot of that out, and there’s not enough left today to drive any further attempts at ranting….

Too bad, actually, as I did have some rather interesting introspective moments yesterday, as the import of my increasing age grew in my thoughts, taking on a deeper meaning than is usual for me during my day…. I love when that happens, though, even if the contentment and serenity it brings me is such that I don’t want to write about it…. It feels too good to talk about it…. Kind of how a joke is like a frog; if you take either one apart to try to figure it out, they both die….

Since I wouldn’t want anyone with the discrete sensibilities of my Gentle Readers to be confronted with that kind of issue, I’ll just fade back ten yards, and punt…. Here is another old-school pearl for your delectation…. Since I’m not ranting about anything today, I’ll let Smart Bee pick out which pearls it thinks should be included, with, possibly, a few comments of my own, in parentheses to avoid any further confusion….. Remember, ffolkes, this is VIRTUAL wisdom…. don’t try to use it as if it were real….

“If you dig a deep enough hole, someone will want to jump in.” — Smart Bee

(It’s always good to start off strong….)

“My indignation, like th’ imprisoned fire, pent in the troubled breast of Aetna, burnt deep and silent.” — Thomson

(SIGH…. if only it had, we’d have a rant today…..  😦    )   😆

“The silence drew off, baring the pebbles and shells and all the tatty wreckage of my life. Then, at the rim of vision, it gathered itself, and in one sweeping tide, rushed me to sleep.” — Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar

(At first I thought this was here just because it’s so bloody brilliant, in both content and style of execution… Astounding imagery, and powerful yet simple language, expressed with such beauty, the heart aches with it….. It also stretches beyond that, into the outer reaches of credibility and connection, to form a tenuous bond with reality, right here in this pearl…. Amazing, isn’t it?….)

“When great changes occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the majority are wrong.  The minority are right.” — Eugene V. Debs

(Mr. Debs, a political activist and reformer in the early twentieth century, had a lot of interesting things to say, many of them equally as true as this one…. If you have the time, look him up; smart guy…..)

“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being.” — C. G. Jung


“We would like to apologize for the way in which politicians are represented in this programme.  It was never our intention to imply that politicians are weak-kneed, political time-servers who are more concerned with their personal vendettas and private power struggles than the problems of government, nor to suggest at any point that they sacrifice their credibility by denying free debate on vital matters in the mistaken impression that party unity comes before the well-being of the people they supposedly represent, nor to imply at any stage that they are squabbling little toadies without an ounce of concern for the vital social problems of today.  Nor indeed do we intend that viewers should consider them as crabby ulcerous little self-seeking vermin with furry legs and an excessive addiction to alcohol and certain explicit sexual practices which some people might find offensive.  We are sorry if this impression has come across.” — Monty Python

(Actually, this sums up my opinion of 99% of the politicians I see in public, with incredible accuracy….)

(No apology from me is, or ever will be, tendered for making these assertions, either…. fuck ’em all……)

(When I say, “fuck them all”, I’d like to be clear that I don’t intend that in any positive way at all…. What I mean is, FUCK THEM ALL!!!…. and the white horse they say they rode in on, too…..)

“And never, ever cut a deal with a dragon.” — Smart Bee

(I’m with SB on this one…. The last pearl brings all the rest together perfectly, while at the same time reminding us that we already know the important stuff… I mean, it’s just common sense, right? Any dragon master knows this…..)

What we have here, today, is living proof that age does NOT imply sanity, or vice versa…. Nor does it imply having enough sense to keep one’s mouth shut, once it has begun spewing…. Nevertheless, it’s finished…. let’s see if it’s done….

Boy, is it ever! I wouldn’t touch that with someone else’s hands, even with gloves…. Not toxic, I’d say, but definitely subversive, in its own little way…. Good enough for my loose standards, so, we’ll get on with the rest of the day now, and let this die a natural death…. See ya….

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,
and sometimes
I just sits.



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