Nullum magnum ingenium sine mixtura dementiae fuit. : “There is no great genius without a tincture of madness.” — Seneca (8 BC) — De Tranquillitate Animi, 17
This is a truism, in my world, which extends itself to include “all the nicest folks I know”; in this way, it lives up to the same piece of wisdom, first told to me by my own father, who told me while I was still quite young, “Son, all the nicest folks I know are just a little bit tetched….” Though he was from Illinois by birth, he said it in a very Georgian, or Texan, accent, with a big smile, and a twinkle in his eyes….. These, of course, were the non-verbal signals to let me know that, though said in the spirit of fun(ny), he was quite serious, and believed it to be an absolute truth…..
I’ve found this to be true in my own life, for certain; just about all of the nicest, most intelligent, most compassionate people I’ve known were all just a little strange…. or, as in my own particular case, pretty damn strange altogether, by intent….. Meeting, and knowing, these people is different than other folks one meets; it reminds me of the difference between some tap waters in various cities…. Some have more flavor than others, such as the water from my old home town, Templeton, which, because of its situation on the Salinas River, had water with a much higher content of minerals and other substances, not to be duplicated in other areas…. It actually tasted great, compared to most of the other towns and cities we traveled to….
People, like water, it seems, need the same addition of various things to make their personalities more flavorful, and a little bit of strange goes a long way, like a good, strong herb does to the right food dish….. Like basil in tomato soup, it can make a big difference in how that person tastes, personality-wise….. We all know a lot of people who tend to try to avoid most of Life, by hiding, or shyness, or fear of interactions, or whatever other reasons they have…. These folks go through life trying to protect themselves from getting too wet, from getting too hot in the sun, and generally missing out on most of what Life has to offer in the way of joy, because they are trying to avoid the pain that comes with it….
As is patently obvious to most observant of ffolkes, avoiding the pain in Life isn’t possible, and trying to do so often will block us from receiving, or perceiving, any of the very real joy that is very often in the same vicinity. In trying to miss the hard parts, these people seem to shut themselves off from finding any of the easy parts…. It often causes them to be bitter, and, in the typical way of the fearful, gun-shy, afraid to come out of their shell of ignorance….. They never seem able to see that by getting past the fear, there is joy to be found….
Ah well, Life is not fair, I suppose, and even as we try to do what we can to make it a more level field of play for all, the universe is going to crap on us whenever it wishes…. It is our place to deal with that, without get all worked up at how discriminatory it seems…. Life craps on us all; only our personal reaction to that FACT is what makes us different….
Having exposed themselves more often to this process, the people I’ve known in Life who handle this the best are those who embrace the hard parts, who make strangeness their friend; moreover, they use it as a tool, to perceive it all without taking it personally, as the universe is completely indifferent to how we feel about whatever happens…..
Now that I’ve expounded mercilessly upon a very odd point, for the entire purpose of justifying my own oddity, we’ll somewhat hastily, if long-windedly acknowledge the point in question, and get on with other business…..
Today’s introduction has been brought to you by the “Animal” (from Sesame Street) Fan Club, by the letter S, and by the number 13….. Portions of this morning’s outburst were created in a studio, and have no connection with reality; the rest of it is fairly normal in intent if not origin…. We hope you’ve enjoyed this little trip into nonsense and back, and urge you to buckle up, and try enjoy the rest of the ride…. One never knows where we’ll end up around here, or what kind of strange turbulence we’ll encounter along the way….. Good thing, too…. I wouldn’t deal with normal very well…..
Shall we Pearl?…..
“If man could be crossed with the cat, it would improve man but deteriorate the cat.” — Mark Twain
I’m not sure just now whether to spend some energy on a rant, or just go old-school…. I know, I’ll look at the headlines, then make a decision, when I see if there is something in this morning’s news at which to get some outrage going….. Be right back…..
“How come you never see a politician laugh? Because they know what they’re getting away with, and if they started laughing, they’d never stop.” — Smart Bee
Naturally, since this is a left-leaning area of the country, this was buried near the bottom, but, it was there…. I’m a bit disappointed in the reported decision, for the simple reason that it was made, as explained by the judge, according to the idea that expediency is an acceptable reason to abrogate personal liberties, and that his own interpretation of the program and its capabilities, including its intent, is superior to the public’s knowledge, making him entitled to decide for them which of their rights are acceptably abrogated when expediency demands it…. I can only hope the next court to look at the issue finds a bit more intelligence within themselves to avoid basing their rulings on personal beliefs that are based on demonstrably false assumptions….
But, that’s just me…. This one, though egregiously down-played by the media source where I found it, is bound to cause a lot of noise over the next few days, as the country begins to wake up from the holiday brain freeze that seems to invade and disable the minds of the nation this time of year….
Don’t forget, this is the same time of year when our beloved leader, the POTUS, signed the NDAA in 2010, or whenever it was, handily utilizing the absence of Congress to make it an Executive Order, thus bypassing that silly public and congressional approval requirement in the Constitution…. That year, the New Year’s holiday session was over a weekend, so even the TV and news outlets were less active than usual, as they were involved in holiday reporting, while the public could be counted on to remain inebriated and ignorant.for the four day period…. Slick timing, don’t you think?
I’ve noted it in the headlines, and, in the little bit of TV I’ve watched, and on the internet chatter….. The world, at this time of the year, seems to want to NOT think very much…. about anything more important than how much egg nog they have on hand in case the neighbors should drop by, or whether to walk the dog, or take a bath. Which is fine…. I have no objections to anyone taking a day or two off from stuff…. but, weeks? Oh well, I suppose it’s just practicing their skills at turning off their perceptions, to be able to adequately ignore whatever they may need to in the coming year…..
Snideness aside, this doesn’t exactly fill me with sufficient angst or outrage to rant today…. at least, not more than I just did….The mood of the world is contagious, I guess… In fact, I’m feeling so lazy, I’m not even going to give Smart Bee any parameters to follow in the search for this first pearl…. Nope, not me, and don’t you say anything, either…. THAT would really make a mess!….. Oh, don’t fret, I’ve done this before, lots of times; plus, I’m an uncertified professional, so, no worries….
“Indifference is isolation. In difference is texture and wonder.” — Edwin Schlossberg
“There is no shame in not knowing; the shame lies in not finding out.’ — Russian proverb
“Death, the most dreaded of evils, is therefore of no concern to us; for while we exist death is not present, and when death is present we no longer exist.” — Epicurus
“Where does weight go when you lose it?” — Smart Bee
“If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” — Baruch’s Observation
“Because you’re not what I would have you be, I blind myself to who, in truth, you are.” — Madeleine L’Engle
“I’m just here for moral support. Ignore the gun.” — Smart Bee
See? What did I tell you? Not only did no one get hurt, or even splashed, it turned out to be quite an excellent pearl…. go figure…..
As with any of this woman’s poems, no adornment is required…. only your willingness to open yourself to her vision…..
I dreamt the mists of morning masked the mall
Where silent sentinels stand stolidly.
I wandered lonely in a listless lea,
Where spirits moaned a mantic madrigal.
This scene was like to art by some Chagall
When thereon rose a serpent from the sea,
Who lolled upon that shore complacently,
As there spread ebon darkness over all.
I sought my Sarah in the standing stones
Once raised by people of the Pleistocene.
It’s here a ghostly shaman still intones
Odd chants and runes beyond Death’s thinnest screen.
I know for certain that she is most near,
I wait and hope that she will soon appear.
~~ Sylvia Plath ~~
As iterated above, I’m not outraged enough at any of the usual subjects, OR suspects, in my pantheon of villains to produce a fresh rant, beyond the mere hints of such furnished in the same ‘above’ as is/was noted at the beginning of this sentence, which, please note, is a veritable gem of punctuational and lexicographical brilliance….
I’m also not going to subject y’all to another random pearl, which not all may appreciate so early in the day…. For some, two can cause over-active imagination to chip in with distracting irony the rest of the day; this has been reported to cause some embarrassing moments in check-out lines full of people with no sense of humor…. Any who, what I’ve dredged up is a fairly small, though patently longer than necessary, discussion of, well, stuff…. I hope you enjoy it, but, if not, remember what it cost in a real sense, not counting your time….
From December 1, 2012:
“The sage wears clothes of coarse cloth but carries jewels in his bosom; He knows himself but does not display himself; He loves himself but does not hold himself in high esteem. Thus he rejects the latter and takes the former.” — Lao-Tzu
In spite of how it must appear, there is a small degree of organization to this blog’s contents. Most days I try to make sure that the first and third sections, while possibly related, are essentially about different concepts. The second section is, of course, reserved for whatever poetry strikes my fancy that day, whether classic, humorous, or original (Though it does seem that my recent outpouring of original poems has run dry, I don’t think I’m done with that, yet….). It seems to work for me…. well enough, at least, to keep my internal critics quiet most of the time.
Today, it seems that most of what I’m seeing for pearls are related somehow to what I spoke of peripherally in today’s first section, to wit: the importance of integrity in human life. Integrity…. hmm…. not the precise word, or the characteristic I am thinking of, actually; it’s more than merely integrity. I suppose one could say the concept to which I’m referring is too mystical an idea to be presented clearly, and not be too far off the mark….
However, not being one to ignore a challenge to my vocabulary, I’ll take a few unseen moments here and find the correct word to facilitate further discussion, because, hey, if I can’t, no discussion, right? Right…. Be right back…. instantly, by all you will know and see…. Well, the challenge is a strong one, and I think best answered with more than one word to describe what I’m trying to say. Those words are all contained in Axiom #7 of Peruaosophy, to wit: Do your Duty. Honor the Truth. Respect Life. Share your Love.
I know that it is my own philosophy, and some may think that is cheating, but, not so. All that I hold to be true is in that axiom, and it represents the four cornerstones of my personal foundation. I find that when I am able to live up to all of these concepts, when I am able to use their direction in guiding my actions, my life is much smoother, and my moments of joy are plentiful, to balance the pain that life brings all of us in turn. This, to me, is the best way to advance the human condition, little by little, with the efforts of each man and woman adding its weight to the forward momentum.
Yes, the actions and discoveries that the best of history’s minds bring to us are wonderful, and work to make the lives of every human better…. It is the everyday efforts of each man, though, that takes that wisdom and turns it into reality, by using ideas, and integrity, to add their experience to that of the rest of society. Since there is a large number of folks who do NOT subscribe to this kind of ethical behavior, choosing to make their own self-interest their primary concern, it is the duty of those who do believe in these ideas to carry them out as best they may, so that the world can retain some semblance of harmony. It doesn’t always work, and, in fact, is in constant jeopardy of not working at all, but, it is the only way that will make the changes our society needs to survive…. which is another discussion for another time….
“And now there is merely silence, silence, silence, saying all we did not know.” — William Rose Benet
It’s been an interesting morning, to say the least…. Without going into details at this late stage, let me just say the last two and a half hours are some I wouldn’t trade for anything at all…. It’s been a peaceful, productive period of time, and those are precious moments indeed, in a reality that often takes us in directions not of our choosing, without notice or concern…. As such, they should be cherished…. From what I can see, this is done; I don’t think I can do any further damage, nor would I wish to, given my already heavy karmic burden….. 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,
I just sits.