“Nothing has more imagination than reality.” — Miguel de Unamuno, “The Mirror of Death”, 1941
This picture, which I got on the web, somewhere ( I know, it calls for more accuracy than that…. I found it in a photo feature on the London Daily Telegraph web site…..), perfectly illustrates how I feel almost every day when I am trying to create these Pearls…. Because of who I am, such a task, having been assumed as a duty, requires that I give each one my best shot, in terms of using my mind for what it was intended, to wit: …….
Okay, I’m busted, again…. That long, echoing silence you heard was me, repeating to myself all the different thoughts that were NOT running through my mind, in response to the above attempt at intellectual levity, first thing, even before the coffee has hit the blood stream…. It’s a complete wash…. I CAN’T think, at all, but, especially not of what we are supposed to be using our minds for….. Whatever it is, doing this will either help me find out, or will make it so I will never, ever have any such luck…. Luck is probably my best bet, anyway, because sheer grit isn’t going to do it, and, obviously, my vaunted intelligence isn’t completely up to the task, at least, not to the perfectionist degree for which I’m asking….
Just look at the picture, and you’ll get a better idea, anyway, of what it feels like to try to create a Pearl, and get it out to the Universe….which makes the picture all that much more appropriate, as it appears that my Pearls, and the light from this guy’s exploding consciousness, seem to be about equal, in relation to how much the Universe will pay attention…. In short, neither one of us is liable to ever become rich, famous, or notorious, or even ridiculous, very much at all… In fact, he may be at the North Pole, or thereabout, but, he’s probably got as many followers as me….
Pity party all done…. I’m just screwing around, anyway, passing time until something more coherent, or more hilarious, or even more tasteful should come along… Of course, we all know there’s a “fat chance” of any of those happening anytime soon, don’t we? Of course we do…. And we don’t go off to cry ourselves to sleep at night, either…. Just kidding again, I’m actually sleeping well… some days I just tend to go for the cheap jokes right away, or, in truth, when they present themselves. What can I say, it’s a weakness….
The normal course of events would, at this point, find me frantically trying to figure out how to extract myself from the intro section; as is patently clear, today is no exception, with the only difference to be noted in my relative feeling of calm…. I’m not overly amped, or even awake, for that matter, so, even though I AM kind of stuck here, I’m not fretting over it. That’s because I have a secret…. What is it? Well, now, if I told you, it wouldn’t be a secret any more, now would it? Nope…. So, I’ll just show you…. watch closely…..
Shall we Pearl?…..
“Every man is a divinity in disguise, a god playing the fool.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’m in a rather strange frame of mind, even for me…. I couldn’t find any headlines that stimulated any anger, or angst, either, which is pretty new…. I’m also having trouble finding anything in my head that would potentially serve to create anything worthwhile for this section…. You know what that means, I’m sure…. Yep, a trip to the archives…. Here is a fairly short discussion, originally from November of 2012, which I think you might enjoy…. I hope so….
“He who dies a thousand deaths meets the final hour with the calmness of one who approaches a well remembered door.” — Heywood Brown
I almost passed this by when I first read it, then, after I thought a moment about it, it occurred to me that it sounds like a defense of cowardice, which is what we usually associate with the phrase “He who dies a thousand deaths”…. Upon further reflection, though, that phrase, though certainly appropriate for describing the state of uncontrolled fear that brings a human to react with cowardice, could also be used to describe some of my own experience in dealing with violence. To generalize that thought, it could be said that a person who faces situations where death is hovering nearby, always a threat to manifest its presence in reality, is also dying a death each time, because their imagination is always aware of the proximity of the possibility….
I once made the mistake of counting how many times I faced off with a person who wanted to rip my head off, and would have done so had I not acted to prevent that from becoming reality. Suffice it to say it was entirely too many times, though somewhat less than a thousand (not by much, but less….), those were enough to estimate a conclusive figure, showing how often my imagination was stimulated into conjuring visions of possible outcomes that included my own death…. which was each and every time.
Of course, the key to success in such situations is to be able to put aside, or ignore, those visions, in order to keep them from becoming real…. I learned very well to react very quickly in such situations, in a way that allowed me to control the outcome, rather than random chance or, worse, having the other party assume that control. Fortunately for all involved, I never lost…. at least, not in the sense of becoming physically injured, or dead. (Nobody else that I controlled was ever hurt or killed, either, a fact I’m pretty proud of…. although, mental injuries are another story, entirely….)
The quote at the beginning of this entry is one I find to be a comfort to me as I get closer to the time when death will come to make my acquaintance in this lifetime. As a conscious being, I naturally have to believe that my mind, or soul, if you prefer, will not cease to exist; only a change that we do not understand will happen, one which no one has ever successfully explained with any degree of certainty. There is, of course, no evidence to support the belief that we do not merely stop existing, like the flame of a candle, when we die…. Nor any to support the idea that we will somehow “wake up” somewhere else, according to our particular set of preferences in such philosophies.
Nothing tangible can be produced, or has ever been produced, that makes such a belief a proven conclusion; contrarily, there is also no evidence available that it is not true. We each have a strong feeling that our soul is indestructible, like energy of any type, but no incontrovertible proof is available for either side of the issue. Thus, we can only hold on to our sense of spiritual connection to the universe, that part of us that knows that, like sunlight, or electricity, or heat, our conscious mind is a manifestation of energy, one which, like all the other kinds of energy we perceive, does not cease to exist, ever. It may change forms, or even types (as light can become electricity, or motion become heat….), but it does not leave the universe at all.
To me, and to certain philosophies, the qualities of water are a good example to use as a way of understanding this principle. Water cannot be destroyed. You can, by altering its temperature, cause it to change form, from ice, to water, to steam…. but it cannot be destroyed at all. Our minds, and thoughts, our spirits, if you will, can be thought of as water, ever flexible, ever changeable, yet never ceasing to exist in any way, and retaining within its being all the qualities that make it, and us, what we are…. another unique part of a beautifully complex and wonderful reality….
To me, that is, indeed, a comforting thought….
“If I am I because you are you, and if you are you because I am I, then I am not I, and you are not you” ~~ Hassidic rabbi
Since I’ve gone off the rails with archived material, I thought I should put in a really good poem here…. Sadly, all I could find was one of my own…. sniffle, gasp, moan….
In the most patient moments of rationality
kindness flows smoothly in a special milieu,
fallow thoughts speed first from equality
to give no anxious fever, anger to eschew.
Indignant mothers and step-sons in-law
shall fade simply from brilliant to grey,
intoning ritual dogma, fresh, avid, and raw,
falling, falling, in massive pastoral disarray.
Safety lives not, save brightly in ignorant bliss,
it follows us all, silent and infinitely frail,
foremost too often, soft as a virgin kiss,
alive, always eager, willing, and pale.
Intimate knowledge finds only the bold few
with courage and virtue to gift, unbidden.
No solemn royal version may pass in review,
true love for man, never to remain unhidden.
Sweet feathers of Emily’s hope uplift,
calm, drowsy episodes bursting with light,
With final glad cries we set ourselves adrift,
swimming in the oceans of natural delight.
When sorrow is banished, in ages yet to come,
roots solidly anchored, cold and remote,
Ample supplies of kindness sit silent and dumb,
and the old stranger shrugs on his faded coat.
Dreaming, then, I wait with shadows in the night
aspiring to inspire, a message from the muse’s heart
Never forgotten images, framed in color bright,
tempt me only, grieving, steeped in serenity’s arcane art…..
~~ gigoid ~~
I’m cheating again…. I found this while cruising the archives, and it is one of the best of the Pearls from the year it was created…. Since my head is achingly, heartbreakingly empty, this will make a nice replacement for what might have otherwise gone here…. This is better, trust me….
Good morrow to you…. let us begin as we mean to go on….
“Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” — Gene Fowler
This line is included today merely to give y’all an idea of what I go through every morning to produce this…. whatever it is. It is a pretty good description, actually, because when I’m done, I actually feel battered and bloody….. Actually, bloody well-used-up is what it is. Maybe it’s easier for other writers; I don’t know. But for me, to produce something that my standards will allow me to publish for others to read, is much like having a piece of my soul ripped out, taking a a kidney with it. The funny thing is, though it hurts a lot, I wouldn’t stop doing it, even if I could. The pain of creation, which. after all. requires destruction first, is a worthy payoff for the sense of accomplishment I get when I see one of my pieces online for all to see. Quite a rush actually….
“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.” — Aldous Huxley
This observation, as far as I can tell, is 100% accurate, and because it is, many of the problems society is facing are easily explained, if not easily resolved. For example, when was the last time you gave a thought to what else besides oxygen is in the air that you take into your lungs on the average of 15-20 times per minute.? When you last got a glass of water from the tap, did you stop to think about what was in the water you use to drink, cook with, and bathe in? As Mr. Huxley pointed out, most folks, yourselves included, seldom think about or appreciate such simple necessities, or what might happen if they were no longer available.
What will we do when the air is so full of carbon dioxide that the amount of oxygen in contains falls below the point where it will sustain life? Will we all have to wear breathing apparatus in order to brave the outside world? What will happen to all the other animals if there isn’t sufficient air? What will you do when the water you drink is no longer safe to consume? We need water as much as we need air; our chemical make-up is 90% water, and not having enough of it to replace what we lose is a sure path to the grave within a matter of days.
There are other issues connected to this subject; the consistent degradation of our planet’s ecosystem has a great many negative effects, small and unnoticeable at first, but growing larger over time until they are added to the list of processes that will eventually lead to extinction of ALL of this planet’s life forms. Part of the problem is that it is a slow, insidious process, this degradation, and the deleterious outcomes are not evident until too late to reverse.
You must remember, the Universe doesn’t care, one way or the other, whether we survive or not; the rules are the rules, and fighting against the natural laws of our space-time continuum is a fool’s bet. Like it or not, we, as a species, are going to need to make some serious changes to the way we do things, if we are to survive at all. And we will need to do it starting yesterday….
“A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.” — Albert Einstein
I really admire Albert Einstein, and not because he was a great scientist, as well as one of history’s shining examples of men and women who greatly advance human knowledge, and do so out of their love of mankind. Albert’s wisdom was not restricted to the principles of physics and math; he had a unique way of looking at the world, and the ability to share their deep insights into life and the universe for the benefit of others. He was an eternal optimist, and as the above quote demonstrates, had a firm grip on the concept of living with honor and dignity.
He believed in the inherent goodness of every man, and lived his life in a way that it stands as an example for the rest of us. I cannot wholly agree with what he states above, because I have a much darker view of what human nature is capable of, and less faith in mankind’s willingness to submit to natural law. But what he said does show with clarity where our salvation lies, and in his own inimitable manner, he shares his deeper knowledge with the rest of us in the hope it will inspire others to act honorably….
“To laugh often and love much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to give of oneself; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sing with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier: this is to have succeeded.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
From what I gather in my study of 19th century American writers, a lot of the best were what I would call masters of advanced curmudgeonry. Emerson, Walden, Thoreau, were all libertarians living in compromise with a democracy, and spent much of their time either complaining about society, or hiding from it in their forest retreats. This is not to say that what they wrote was bad or mistaken in premise, necessarily, but if you read their work with this in mind, it becomes apparent that they didn’t much like other folks, or put much trust in their rationality.
But, as the included quote indicates, being a curmudgeon doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t understand humanity, or what it takes to make life complete. This paragraph from Mr. Emerson demonstrates this perfectly. One cannot argue with conviction that all of these attributes listed, and experiences from a long life, are positively rooted, and make perfect sense. Whether or not we actually have all of these characteristics is unimportant; the list remains valid even if incomplete. And it provides anyone with a good map and directions that can be useful to us in our pursuit of happiness….
So much for another day…. Hopefully, you have consumed a fair portion of food for thought, and found it palatable enough. If not, feel free to let me know, and I’ll see if I can come up with something more savory…. in the meantime, y’all take care out there….
Today’s Pearl is one of the reasons I go with my instincts a lot…. I was going to write fresh today, but, every time I turned around, a better alternative presented itself…. So, I went with the flow, and can only say I’m glad I did…. This came out pretty well…. Now, if I can get more than five or six ffolkes to read it, or even a few more folks than normally drop by, I’ll be happy as a clam at high tide…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes….
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