Never having been one to deny myself new experiences, here I am, up and writing, wide awake, at 0335 in the AM…. Over the last few days, I’ve been plagued by a physical side-effect of quitting smoking, one that nobody bothers to mention to those of us considering the move; they just wait for it to hit us, AFTER we’ve already learned to do without the surcease to the spirit that smoking supplies…. I’m speaking of the incessant coughing that I’m experiencing, whether I smoke anything or not…. I’ve given up the cigarettes, though not without some trepidation for losing an old friend; the trade-off of twenty extra years of life is well worth it….
I’m not sure that giving up the pipe, in which I have been accustomed to use to consume my marijuana, which I use for relief of pain, low-level, constant anxiety, and sleep enhancement, is going to work, though…. It seems that NOT SMOKING is causing my lungs to attempt to clear themselves completely of whatever is in there annoying them, which entails an almost constant wheezing, accompanied by a following series of spasming coughs, to try to clear the phlegm causing the wheeze, from the air passage…
This can take up to ten or twelve hacking coughs, each one more violent than the last, to get the obstructing culprits cleared out adequately; until they are, I am gasping, coughing, and generally threatening to explode, unable to get a full breath, all the while experiencing the accompanying mild degree of panic that goes with that state….
“No one sings hymns to breath; but, Oh!, to be without it is death!”…. Rama, God of Death incarnate, from Roger Zelazny’s “Lord of Light”
So, here I am, coughing up a lung every few minutes, in a semi-constant state of oxygen deprivation, with no pot to soothe my spirit, or alter my consciousness far enough to keep me from wanting to kill someone every other moment of the day…. I’m amazed I’m not in jail yet, for having wasted a number of people on the street….. Of course, that may be because I’ve been coughing too much to get out on the streets, but, you know what I mean….
It has to be annoying to my lady; it can’t be easy hearing me cough up what sounds like a hairball every few minutes… but, so far, she has only once accused me of sounding like a sick cat, puking in somebody’s shoes for effect…. She’s more patient than she seems…. But, it is no less annoying for me, to have to stop whatever I’m doing, including this process, every couple of minutes, to take the time to catch my breathe, after completely losing it during one of the attacks…. It also makes it hard to consider going into public, as I get a lot of odd looks when I’m trying to clear my chest and throat of the obstructions provided by my own body’s healing process…. or, that’s what I’m assuming, anyway…
If it IS NOT healing, but is rather a sign that it will NOT heal at all, well, then, I’m really up that proverbial creek, named after our digestive products, without a directional steering device for boating vehicles, otherwise known as a paddle…. Oh well, I guess I can only wait to see if, or, more positively, when it passes, to see how my breathing has either improved, or gotten worse for the period of severe coughing…. I hate it when I have to wait like this, but, there is no hurrying the body in its processes…. They happen at nature’s speed, which has no connection to, nor is affected by how we feel about it, or how badly we want it to change….
Well, now that I’ve self-ranted against my own foolishness, for having first gotten hooked on cigarettes when I was 16, and for thinking that giving them up would be easier than it is, I suppose I should go on to something a bit more interesting for y’all…. Sorry ’bout all this complaining, ffolkes, I’m getting old, I guess, and physical issues are assuming a bigger part of my attention these days, since there are SO MANY of them…. most of which were NOT IN THE DAMN MANUAL!!! But, I promised myself I wouldn’t be one of those old people who are always full of complaints, so, let’s just take the above six paragraphs of whining, and be on our way into the day’s dive for some delectable pearls….
Shall we Pearl?…..
“The shortest and surest way to live with honor in the world is to be in reality what we would appear to be; all human virtues increase and strengthen themselves by the practice and experience of them.” — Socrates (BC 469-399)
“I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.” — H. L. Mencken
Eric Snowden will someday be recognized as the honorable Über-geek he really is; more importantly, I am hoping that he’ll rightfully be admired as an American hero. It is already clear that he was just as brave as any soldier on the front lines of a war, for having had the courage and integrity to defy his corporate-controlled, amoral spy-masters, to reveal to the world the illegal and seemingly limitless spying tactics used by the NSA at the behest of our governmental corporate lackeys, knowing full well that by doing so, he was setting himself up to be persecuted by them. This situation is a perfect example of how the government will say one thing in public, and do another in private…. More specifically, it shows how little the government believes in its own need to follow the laws they make…. They seem to feel as if the making of the laws allows them to assume they are exempt from them….
“I have known a vast quantity of nonsense talked about bad men not looking you in the face. Don’t trust that conventional idea. Dishonesty will stare honesty out of countenance, any day in the week, if there is anything to be got by it.” — Charles Dickens
We have “whistleblower laws” in place in our country, laws which are SUPPOSED to protect people like Mr. Snowden from being prosecuted when they bring illegal activities into the light of day; theoretically, these laws keep them safe from the people they are accusing, who would otherwise try to harm them to stop the bleeding…. However, our dearly beloved ruling class chooses to ignore all that, and are trying to bring charges of espionage and treason against him, as though he were some kind of spy himself, working for another country….
Eric Snowden was not a spy, unless it was for US, the people; after all, the NSA did hire him in the first place didn’t they? He must have had some technical credibility, and must have been relatively clean of misdeeds, as an über-geek, in order to have been asked to work for them at all, right? I would assume so…. Of course, that makes the arguably incorrect assumption that the NSA has some clue as to what they are doing, as well as at least a small degree of expertise in their chosen field… I could be wrong about that, though….. 😆
I think he’s done about as well as he could to keep from helping our enemies; what he HAS done, to our own leaders, is embarrass them highly; THAT is what they will not forgive…. To a politician “face” is very important, as are all illusions of appearance; why else would they all wear those stupid ties, all of a “power” color, and that silly-ass flag pin…. They feel they cannot afford to be seen as weak, or indecisive, so they will make ANY decision, no matter how wrong it may be, just to keep from appearing as if they don’t know what to do. They’re incapable of making a decision at all if it would make it seem as if they were admitting to being wrong in any way…. To give Mr. Snowden the credit for what has done, they would have to first admit they have DONE wrong, and they are not willing to do that, more’s the pity….
I happen to agree with Mr. Snowden’s assessment of the overall effect of his information leaks; I think he has made the world a safer place for all of us, if only because he made it perfectly clear that we are being lied to, right and left, by our own leaders. This is invaluable information, that the public NEEDS to know, if we are to be able to protect ourselves…. It is a bit disheartening, to be sure, to have to protect ourselves from our own leaders, but, hey, it’s better to know than not to know, for sure…. Now that we know, we can act accordingly to bring more pressure on the government to straighten up and fly right; if nothing else, more people have learned that it is important to keep a close eye on those who would call themselves our leaders, to keep them from screwing us around any more than they already are….
“I believe and I say it is true Democratic feeling, that all the measures of the Government are directed to the purpose of making the rich richer and the poor poorer.” — William Henry Harrison
I believe that not only is Eric Snowden NOT a traitor; I consider him to be a Patriot of this country, deserving of the Medal of Honor, or the Freedom Medal, the highest civilian award possible, for bravery and courage in the face of severe persecution by his own government, and for bringing to light the illegal and immoral acts of our government lackeys. It took great courage, and great commitment to the truth, for him to make the decisions he made, and I, for at least one, thank him with all my heart….
“He who endeavors to serve, to benefit, and improve the world, is like a swimmer, who struggles against a rapid current, in a river lashed into angry waves by the winds. Often they roar over his head, often they beat him back and baffle him. Most men yield to the stress of the current… Only here and there the stout, strong heart and vigorous arms struggle on toward ultimate success.” — Albert Pike (1809-1891)
(Albert Pike…. another interesting fellow…. If you have a few moments, Google his name, and read the wikipedia article about him… It’s a pretty interesting life he led, and I wonder why he is less of a well-known figure than he is… He was responsible for a lot of good work back in the 19th century, and deserves some of our thanks for all he did to preserve the freedoms we DO have today…. Check him out…)
Political ranting over the news is an exhilarating, if a bit raucous, occupation for so early in the morning, and tends to leave me a bit unsettled, if only in my level of anxiety (No worries, said anxiety is ALWAYS with me, to a slight degree, so it’ not a big issue, or one I’m unfamiliar with….Life goes on, with or without it….)… When I feel this way, I always seem to turn to a poem to bring me back to the center. The poems this lady wrote always fill the bill, for me, to bring me some kind of soothing peace, even when the poem has no apparent connection to anything else I’ve been writing about…. It works for me, and, hopefully, will work for y’all as well…. Enjoy!…
He did not know I saw;
He bit an angle-worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw.
And then he drank a dew
From a convenient grass,
And then hopped sidewise to the wall
To let a beetle pass.
He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all abroad,–
They looked like frightened beads, I thought;
He stirred his velvet head
Like one in danger; cautious,
I offered him a crumb,
And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home
Than oars divide the ocean,
Too silver for a seam,
Or butterflies, off banks of noon,
Leap, splashless, as they swim.
~~ Emily Dickinson ~~
It is most likely for the best that the only thing left for me to do today is to go old-school…. It is currently only ten minutes after 5 AM, an early hour for me to be this close to being done with this missive…. I’ll take a short break, to let Smart Bee, and myself, catch our breath, both figuratively, and literally speaking…. In the infamous words of the Governator… “I’ll be back….”
As threatened, here I am, and breathing easily, for a change…. This will be a lifestyle pearl, chock full of the wisdom of the ages, to give us all a clue as to where the next steps on the path to enlightenment might be placed to best advantage… Enjoy!….
“The hardest part about gaining any new idea is sweeping out the false idea occupying that niche. As long as that niche is occupied, evidence and proof and logical demonstration get nowhere. But once the niche is emptied of the wrong idea that has been filling it – once you can honestly say, “I don’t know,” then it becomes possible to get at the truth.” — Robert A. Heinlein
“Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.” — Buddha (B.C. 568-488)
“Character is much easier kept than recovered.” — Thomas Paine
“It is not without good reason said, that he who has not a good memory should never take upon him the trade of lying.” — Michael de Montaigne (1533-1592) — Essays, Book i, Chap. ix, Of Liars89
“A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.” — Paul Simon
“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” — Aristotle
“After enlightenment, do the laundry.” — Zen proverb
Ooh, ooh, that reminds me… I’m out of clean socks…. 🙂
Okay, so they can’t all be perfect….. though that last group of pearls comes pretty close…. Let’s see how much damage I’ve done today…. Okay, that’s surprisingly good, given the handicap I gave myself today by starting so early…. I’ve once again greeted the dawn, and it’s time now to cease my endless chatter, in favor of the pending activities I have scheduled today out in the Big Blue Room…. Rental cars, dentists, stores, doctors, all are in my radar for the next couple days… Wow, it’s almost as if I had a real life!… 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.s
Which is Why….
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.