It cannot recollect
When it began, or if there were
A day when it was not.
It has no future but itself,
Its infinite realms contain
Its past, enlightened to perceive
New periods of pain.
~~ Emily Dickinson ~~
I’ve previously used this poem; it may be one of Emily’s most famous, so it’s probably familiar to many people…. I don’t know if Emily had pain herself, of a physical nature, beyond what everyone else feels, when they bark their shins, for example…. If she didn’t, her depth of insight was even greater than I had previously imagined….. This is an assertion I believe implicitly; Emily was, without doubt, the most advanced human EVER in that respect, in my opinion, and by all the evidence at hand…. Her poetry must be considered as proof of that, proof that leaves no room for doubt as to the accuracy of the claim..
This particular poem explores a couple different sides of the nature of the beast, again displaying that incredibly elegant, towering talent only she possessed, by cramming so much feeling, so much meaning, and so many ideas into eight short lines of verse, it almost explodes into one’s consciousness, growing there like a flower in spring…. She wrote at least one other poem on the subject, a bit different in scope, but nonetheless powerful for that…. It went like this….
Then covers the Abyss with Trance—
So Memory can step
As one within a Swoon—
Goes safely—where an open eye—
Would drop Him—Bone by Bone.
~~ Emily Dickinson ~~
As lovely and powerful as her poetry may be, I’ll bet you’re wondering why we’ve begun today with a discussion of American English poetry of the Nineteenth Century…. Some of y’all, who have been around ECR a while, will guess why I’m writing about it; they’re already aware of how much my pain can distract me from Life at Large…. and would guess that today’s words are in response to a bout with it of major proportions…. They’d be right to think that, too….
Yesterday, as part of a personal quest to get into better shape, if only for the purpose of being able to walk around in those places to which I travel, such as on shore excursions during a cruise, I went for a short walk… The day before, I had tried a new technique, of taking a pain pill, applying some of my magic ointment to my back and hips, then going for a walk…
I was rewarded by a relatively pain-free stroll all the way downtown, with a few sit-down breaks to blow, and let the numbness recede from my thighs; all told, I walked about two miles, and a bit more…. This is much further than I’ve been able to walk for a couple years now, so I was encouraged enough to try again the day after, i.e. yesterday…
This time, I applied my cream, took my pill, and enthusiastically left, to try to cover the same ground…. After a couple of blocks, I stepped off a curb, onto a small twig, which proceeded to roll about two inches, taking my foot, and my balance, with it…. Using my walking stick, a quick shuffle, and a hard, rapid twist, I was able to keep from falling down…. BUT….
The quick movement, with the accompanying twist, gave the injured ligament in my lower back a good, hard yank…. This, naturally, caused me to experience the customary sharp, intense burst of excruciating pain in my lower back, just as if a large knife had been thrust about two inches into the hip, followed instantly by the total freeze-up and pain of my entire back entering full spasming mode…. This also aggravates the hip joints, so I was barely able to keep upright, and mobile enough to walk…. Hell, it was ALL I could do not to start screaming and beating on the nearest object, animate or inanimate, with my stick….
Turning around, I made it back home without getting arrested for assault, took an extra pill, ate some magic chocolate, put on more ointment, and went straight to bed, where I’ve been for much of the last eighteen hours or so…. I’m up now, and still in full spasm mode, though quiet right now, thanks to about a ton of Norco and all the cannabis I could eat…. Since the pain has been my constant companion for most of the last day, I thought I’d try to share some of that, though I’m not sure why…. I guess I thought it would make a little different start to the day….
I guess it’s also because it’s really hard to deal with this unless, and until, the experience is purged, at least verbally, in order for me to process it in a timely fashion…. I’ll stop here, as y’all have no doubt had enough of my near-whiny neurotic need to share….
Sorry, but, getting the concepts, and the feel of the experience, outside the mind helps to deal with what is still there, which currently requires a good large piece of my consciousness to keep me from running down the street, screaming in pain, HOPING that someone will tell me to stop, so I can BITE THEM REALLY, REALLY HARD!!!!!!
Now that I have further indicated the depth of my insanity (Six exclamation points makes that fairly obvious…. A mere four of them has been shown by research to be proof of clinical psychosis….), I suppose it’s time to go for a dive, to find some pearls…. Hopefully, I can sit long enough, and keep at this long enough between breaks, to finish…. If not, well, we may just be here all day, so, if I were you, I’d check to make sure I had my box lunch, and a supply of water on hand….
Shall we Pearl?…..
“Despair leads to boredom, electronic games, computer hacking, poetry, and other bad habits.” — Edward Abbey
Such as blogging….
As might be guessed on a day such as this, I won’t be ranting, any more than I already have…. I’m going to go for old-school pearls for both prose sections today, to avoid going back to the archives again…. I COULD go back there, but, even the research involved in that seems like more work than I’ll be able to do…. So, I’m going for a dive, where being surrounded and supported by the waters of reason, I can maneuver almost normally…. You’ll see what I find…. Oh, yeah…. no parameters at all today, just random weird nudges toward virtue and/or dignity (if such is possible during the creation of a Pearl….)…..
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.
— Theodore Roethke
“And what is a good citizen? Simply one who never says, does or thinks anything that is unusual. Schools are maintained in order to bring this uniformity up to the highest possible point. A school is a hopper into which children are heaved while they are still young and tender; therein they are pressed into certain standard shapes and covered from head to heels with official rubber-stamps.” — H.L. Mencken
“Everything, saith Epictetus, hath two handles,–the one to be held by, the other not.” — Robert Burton (1577-1640) — The Anatomy of Melancholy, Part ii, Sect. 2, Memb. 3
“Be not diverted from your duty by any idle reflections the silly world may make upon you, for their censures are not in your power, and consequently should not be any part of your concern.” — Epictetus
“Psychedelic drugs cause paranoia, confusion, and total loss of reality in politicians that have never taken them.” — Timothy Leary
“Addison, what are we going to do?” “Me, I’m examining the major Western religions. I’m looking for something that’s soft on morality, generous with holidays, and has a short initiation period.” — Dave and Maddie on Moonlighting
“There were two brothers called Both and Either; perceiving Either was a good, understanding, busy fellow, and Both a silly fellow and good for little, Philip said, “Either is both, and Both is neither.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Philip
And there you have it…. Madness incarnate, right there on your screen….. Well, it WOULD be, if it weren’t all so damn true….
After a relatively short break of twenty minutes, spent in a frantic search for my glasses, (which, it turns out, were stolen and hidden by Jo Jo, the Psycho-Cat From Hell…. I found them in one of her cat caves, where she had stashed them after taking them off my desk….), I’m back… I’ve already used Emily today, so we’ll go with another classic favorite of mine, one of the most influential Romantic poets from the eighteenth century…. There are those who say he was THE driving force for the entire Romantic poetry genre that burgeoned during his lifetime, an assessment with which I have to agree…
Four Seasons fill the measure of the year;
There are four seasons in the mind of man:
He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear
Takes in all beauty with an easy span:
He has his Summer, when luxuriously
Spring’s honied cud of youthful thought he loves
To ruminate, and by such dreaming high
Is nearest unto heaven: quiet coves
His soul has in its Autumn, when his wings
He furleth close; contented so to look
On mists in idleness–to let fair things
Pass by unheeded as a threshold brook.
He has his Winter too of pale misfeature,
Or else he would forego his mortal nature.
~~ John Keats ~~
I can see the light at the end of this tunnel I’ve entered; I’m pretty sure I can make it that far….. Again, an old-school, unguided (and, please, no comments about misguided….)** pearl, ripped fresh from the oyster beds of my mind….. and Smart Bee’s nearly endless database of excellent cookies….
** (Without, of course, a reasoned justifying argument to explain the assertion….)
“Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, iv, 43
“Truth, in the matters of religion, is simply the opinion that has survived.” — Oscar Wilde
“Liberty don’t work as good in practice as it does in speeches.” — Will Rogers
“Government lies, and newspapers lie, but in a democracy they are different lies.” — Smart Bee
“- if it GLISTENS, gobble it!!” — Zippy the Pinhead
“If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor.” — Albert Einstein
Because I could not stop for Death —
He kindly stopped for me —
The carriage held but just ourselves
~~ Emily Dickinson ~~
Well, I made it, and about time, too…. I’ve again consumed a massive amount of drugs, all with the purpose of smothering my nervous system to the point of insensibility….. After a seemingly endless amount of time spent in agony, trying to keep occupied in my mind, I am now starting to enjoy the results, and will soon be free (True freedom is the release from pain….) Since it won’t be long before all coherence flees screaming into the night (well, early morning, anyway…. it’s still dark here at 0530, now that we’ve begun daylight savings for the year….), I’ll bring this to a grateful close (the gratitude is on YOUR end, I’m sure….)
I can’t do this anymore…. See you tomorrow…. Hopefully, by then, I’ll be feeling more like a human being than a pharmaceutical test subject…..
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.
gigoid the dubious