“One may not reach the dawn save by the path of the night.”
~~ Kahlil Gibran ~~
Tiananmen Square with the OYA Posse
Hajime…. Observe, then, the bent, grizzled old man, sitting stiffly in front of a computer, perched painfully on the front edge of a chair, typing quickly in his haste to get down what must be said, while moderating the speed to minimize any errors requiring a stop to repair the damage. Grimacing, with a low grunt, as he shifts in the chair, he leans back, stiffly stretching, then leans on the table for support once more, & begins to type…
For very nearly five years, since beginning to blog here on WP, the only extended absence I’ve had was a few days when the cruise ship I was on didn’t offer adequate internet speed to make it worth the time. Even then, I didn’t always miss posting, as I just left out any pictures to decrease the upload/download time; text doesn’t take up much space, http-wise. When this Pearl gets posted, I’ll have missed, at least, four or five days, with the last freshly created work over a week ago, just when I seemed to be hitting some sort of stride. Since the creation of the daily Pearl has been, for all that time, and, remains my form of personal therapy, you can imagine just how much internal stress/angst has accumulated. Well, perhaps you can’t, but, I, sadly, don’t have to imagine, as I’ve lived through it.
I’m working at this now simply as a distraction, taken for a short time to think of something other than the sharp pain in my lower back and right hip, a song of lamentation, sung in concert with the usual pantheon of irritated nerve endings which live to complain at the top of their inner vocal range. Mostly I can tune them out, or sing accompaniment louder to drown them out, at least long enough to get some thoughts down on screen. When the main melody becomes stridently piercing, like an alto soprano in full flight through an aria in the high C, glass-shattering range, it becomes too much to think, much less, hold still long enough in a position that exacerbates the tune’s volume, to get much done in the way of coherent composition.
Here I am anyway, for the nonce, to release some of the pressure, while simultaneously continuing the major effort involved in fixing what is wrong with my physical persona, which, in spite of any thoughts we might entertain to the contrary, cannot be separated from the psychic/mental persona, at any junction or point. They are one and the same; trying to act otherwise is generally how we go wrong in the first place, so, it’s well to begin the correction process with a reminder of that, so our efforts can address the complete picture/issue, & not forget any part of what is needed.
With all that said, we’ll now return to relatively normal space/time, to rejoin today’s exploration of consensual reality where I had originally begun, several days ago. What follows has been patched together in five to ten minute increments over the past week or so; since it’s all a wash, whatever happens, no matter how long, or short, or cogent, or silly, will have to do, for it’s what there is, & I ain’t a gonna do it again. First time damn near killed me, as is…. Let’s see now, where did I put that? Oh, right… Okay, let’s go….
“A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that balances are correct.”
~~ from “Manual of Maud’Dib” by the Princess Irulan ~~
This Pearl has been a difficult one to work on, for a number of reasons. First, as reported, I’m fighting my demons almost full time. In the process, I made some attempts to reconnect with reality, part of which involved going out to be social, at a bar. Friday last, the 29th of July, in fact, I walked to a nearby establishment, actually having a decent time, then cutting myself off at a decent level, (well pre-inebriation to excess, a good sign), to take the walk home. ‘Twas a fine night, and the walk was pleasant, as it naturally would have to be, with half-a-snoot-full of prime bourbon on board….
“The Law of Unintended Consequences carries it own penalties…”
~~ Smart Bee ~~
Does anyone else see the problem here? No? Well, allow me to continue, then….
For a couple weeks, since first walking by the route taken to the bar, (though, those times, to somewhere else), I had noticed a small puppy, quite good looking, and friendly, if excitable, in a small enclosure overlooking the sidewalk, not situated in a good spot for a pet, right in the sun, with no shade. There was water, and food, but, nobody was ever around, at any of the various times I went by; the dog was, naturally, starved for attention. He was there on Friday, still in good cheer, though not as happy as usual. I told him if nobody was around when I came back, I’d say hello again, & went on my way….
Got it now? No? Okay, full confession, then…. On the way home from the bar, I stopped to greet the dog, who was happy to have the attention. Since my judgment was gone, into the bottle, I decided to ‘rescue’ the dog, if possible. I went to the door & offered the people $20 for the dog. They turned him over without a whimper of protest, telling me I’d done the right thing. I took the food, and tied one of my ropes to the pup’s collar, & off we went home…. where we were greeted by a very unhappy cat. I got the dog & cat separated, & quieted down enough for all of us to get to sleep….
For the next day and a half, I tried to find a place for the dog, unsuccessfully, while acting as simultaneous animal trainer, referee, and apologist to a cat for subjecting her to such an outrage. She was NOT pleased, to be sure, thought the pup was ecstatic… and therefore boisterous. This, it seems where the law of unintended consequence steps in, you see….
I was a responsible dog owner while he was with us, meaning I walked him at least twice, or three times a day…. As it turns out, walking a boisterous puppy, with no training of how to behave on a leash, is a physical strain on the parts of my body that are not capable of such wear and tear any longer…. By Monday morning, I was in sheer agony, with my lower back and hip on fire, causing spasms and anguish in the other muscles, to the point I could not get out of bed, at all. To my undying embarrassment, I had to call my daughter to come rescue me. and the dog & cat….
I’ve dragged this out about as far as possible, with not much more to go, so, I’ll merely say at this point, this was an act of compassion, for which I am paying a heavy price, with some rather intimidating implications for the future, given my reaction to the strain. I have been unable to write, or sit, or stand, or even lie down for long, without pain interrupting with sharp complaints. It will pass, with rest and the right approach, but, it’s slow, and, damn, it hurts. But, I did the right thing, and the dog, now with a pet rescue organization who will find him a good home, will be a much happier dog. So be it. I’ll take the pain as part of the duty, and be fine with it….
Since that’s probably the longest intro to a Pearl, ever, let’s get to the rest of it, which I’ve been working on for over a week. It’s all fresh, complete with a new poem, and I hope y’all enjoy the output…. Let’s do this, before I forget how….
Shall we pearl?….
“Few, if any, children survive to their teens.
Most surrender to the vague but murderous pressure of adult conformity.”
~~ Maya Angelou ~~
Go figure, eh?…. It’s both a great performance of a iconic piece of music, and, a pearl of virtual wisdom, with a message….
“The disappearance of a sense of responsibility
is the most far-reaching consequence of submission to authority.”
~~ Stanley Milgram ~~
“Collective responsibility brings a lowering of moral standards.”
~~ Freeman Dyson ~~
“No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.”
~~ Stanislaw Lem ~~
The three quotes you see above are an example of why I pearl, at all. Each of them is a statement which essentially says the same thing, yet each is distilled, and presented, in such a way the wisdom contained is made clear by its simplicity. Together, they bring to the reader a concept I hold to be the single most critical failure of the American people, and the primary reason they have become willing, if unwitting, slaves….
When beginning this Pearl, I’d intended to produce a considerable rant, if only to show myself I still can do so. The physical constraints I’m currently experiencing has prevented such an event, as I am still in considerable pain when sitting before the computer. So, I’m going to do us all a small favor, and leave today’s lesson at that. I’ll add two more pearls. The first, from our old friend Albert, is echoed by my own feelings on the matter of government sponsored killing, which is made possible by the above clearly cowardly abrogation of honor by most of the American public. Albert states what ought to be a common feeling, and, is not….
“He who joyfully marches to music rank and file, has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.” — Albert Einstein
Lastly, I give you Emily, for, in spite of how bad things are, or how bad they get, for some reason, I cannot seem to give up hoping we can pull it off, and survive the consequences of our own idiocy… Maybe we will, maybe we won’t; the hope doesn’t seem to want to die….
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I’ve heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest sea,
Yet never in extremity
It asked a crumb of me.
~~ Emily Dickenson ~~
Patterns exist to bring sanity, if illusory, at best;
follicular, reality seems to slip and slide.
Still, formal insanity consistently fails the ultimate test,
why place faith in answers. from which truth can hide?
Following the music brings us back in good time;
forever seemingly retreats from relevance.
Crazy, time stands still with yet another innovative rhyme,
no burgeoning intentions for sale, to shimmy. or dance.
Folly sits easily upon this brow;
fateful and afraid, entropy bows in shame.
Into the river of time, slowly, forgetful of how
courage gives strength, no matter the game.
Capricious, the muse demands obedient attention
at risk of exhibiting true durance vile.
Bereft, single copies sit unused, despite all intention;
while singular examples of fate pass at the stile.
Seminal events bring their own weight;
no scale necessary, no guessing by eye, or hand.
Only one lesson to learn, just pay the freight;
the music is playing, and you’re part of the band.
~~ gigoid ~~
Life at Large
“From hence, ye beauties, undeceived
Know one false step is ne’er retrieved
And be with caution bold.
Not all that tempts your wandering eyes
And heedless hearts is lawful prize,
Not all that glisters gold.”
~~ Thomas Gray ~~
~~ Elegy To A Favourite Cat Drowned In A Bowl Of Goldfishes ~~
“Meddle not in the affairs of dragons,
for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.”
~~ Scott Adams, maybe ~~
“Everything has two handles,
–one by which it may be borne;
another by which it cannot.”
~~ Epictetus — Enchiridion, xliii ~~
“Be entirely tolerant or not at all;
follow the good path or the evil one.
To stand at the crossroads requires more strength than you possess.”
~~ Heinrich Heine ~~
“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”
~~ Hanlon’s Razor ~~
“Do not speak of what men deserve.
For we each of us deserve everything,
every luxury that was ever piled in the tombs of the dead Kings,
and we each of us deserve nothing, not a mouthful of bread in hunger.
Have we not eaten while another starved?
Will you punish us for that?
Will you reward us for the virtue of starving while others ate?
No man earns punishment, no man earns reward.
Free your mind of the idea of *deserving*, of *earning*,
and you will begin to be able to think.”
~~ Odo, The Prison Letters ~~
~~ Ursula LeGuin, “The Dispossessed” ~~
“Do not settle for less than the best your own excellence can command.”
~~ Anne McCaffrey ~~
“It ain’t over until it’s over.”
~~ Casey Stengel ~~
“When the way comes to an end, then change
– having changed, you pass through.”
~~ I Ching ~~
In spite of all the handicaps faced, it’s done. I’m going to post it, so I can say I’m still blogging…. sort of. I’ll be back again, though, with my back in the state it’s in, it’s hard to say when that may happen. I can’t promise it will, but, the odds are as good as they ever were, so, we’ll all have to live with the ambiguity for a time. See y’all then, mes amis, with more expulsion of angst, I’m sure…. You may count on that…..
“Don’t embarrass us.”
“Have I ever?”
~~ Buckaroo Banzai and Perfect Tommy ~~
Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark,Theresa, & Richy
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
The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.
PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.
“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch
À bientôt, mon cherí….