Of late, the ranting in which I’ve engaged has become somewhat strident, to my ears…. Some unkind persons might take it upon themselves to say I’ve gone all the way over, into shrill cacophony, but, as yet, I don’t think I’ve quite achieved that particularly annoying attribute, so painful to the inner ear, though not for lack of effort, I’m sure….. The reason for this is merely my own sense of diffuse anxiety and imminent disaster, probably due to my PTSD…. which tends to mark ALL crises as personal, y’know? It doesn’t matter whether the crisis is right here, in my house, or out there, in the Big Blue Room, in Washington D.C., or some other place where history is happening…. Any crisis situation, to which I become attuned, brings out the worst of my all-too-familiar left-over fears and anxieties, forcing me to experience the full onslaught of emotion that accompanies them, whenever they show up…
This is why I’ve fallen into ranting in the intro section; when the rants are fueled by the emotional morass inside me, they pop up in the most inconvenient places they can find, pushing their way into the conversation, no matter where it started….. Kind of like the people they are generally talking about, actually….. Convinced of their own correctness, the usual targets of my ire are those feel no compunction against letting out their innermost thoughts, regardless of what else may be called for by the conversation, by the demands of reality, or by intent of the author, to wit: me…. In other words, I’ve lost control of this blog, completely…. That, or I’ve slipped back into the pit of insanity, and it’s all gone to shit….
Nope, I can’t claim that one… I’m still here, and fairly lucid, most of the time….. Well, lucid by MY standards, which probably aren’t the same as those of normal reality…… Mine are most likely much more stringent, as I have very high standards when it comes to how my own brain works….. It may not appear that way, but, it is true, nonetheless….. Normal Reality is a much less logical, and less highly organized, place to be, compared to being in my head, most of the time…. I can probably never actually convince anyone of the truth of that assertion, but, it is the absolute truth, regardless of how things may appear from the other side….
In fact, a lot of what is visible is illusion, just like out there in the real world….. I don’t show ALL my cards at once, not until the last bet is called, as my daddy taught me so long ago….. Okay, now I’ve really done it….. Here I am, talking about my daddy, and what he taught me, before I even wake up enough to realize I’m even writing…. How did I get here? What in the hell am I talking about? Is there any hope for this Pearl? I’d better take a step back, and look at this from a new viewpoint… Be right back, ffolkes…
Ah, okay, found the primary contributing issue…. I forgot this….
“Avoid running at all times.” — Satchel Paige
Satchel gave what is no doubt the best advice for living that I’ve seen, especially given his lack of education….. But, sometimes, as is obvious here, too much education can be an issue, as well, causing as much trouble for its possessors as it does to solve those troubles…. In my case, it only leads to verbal indigestion, but, that can be uncomfortable enough, believe me…. I also found, during my inner troubleshooting episode, that I had been forgetting the following aphorism, to wit: Hanlon’s Razor…. It becomes clear that I’ve been a bit harsh to the BRC, as well as to the priestly hierarchies, and the fools who inhabit them….
“Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.” — Hanlon’s Razor
In other words, ffolkes, they can’t help being the way they are, so shouting at the top of my lungs to make them change their ways is NOT going to be an effective technique for instituting, or encouraging, any such changes…. But, then, I’ve always known, to some extent, that what I do here is shouting into the wind; I’m just one unknown, inconspicuous guy, with no societal props, or creds, as they say on the street, to make people pay attention to what I have to say….
As noted above, I seem to have lost all sense of direction, if not my sanity as well, so we may as well just get on with this, and try to put this one out of its misery…. Shall we Pearl?…..
“As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.” — Henry David Thoreau
It is now the middle of the week, a segment of time that has little meaning to those of us who no longer work…. One of the more interesting issues I’ve noticed since retiring is how flexible time becomes….. The various little segments of time we use to describe different periods, such as “week”, “day”, “month”, “hour”, etc. have meaning to me only for keeping track of specific events that will occur at specific times… Otherwise, there is no strong reason to pay any attention to those distinctions, as one day, or one hour, is much the same in importance as the next, with little to tell one from another, (especially for those of us to whom Reality is a slippery concept, hard to grasp and/or hold for long, before it morphs into something else entirely…..).
The best part about this new scenario is, one assumes a great deal of control over each of those categories of time, by possessing the right and power to decide whether or not to acknowledge them at all; when we do, what we do with that time, too, is ours to choose, rather than being manipulated and/or controlled by the want and needs of other people….. Our time, after so long, is our own, to do with as we please, and it is a heady experience….
What does this have to do with creating a Pearl, or searching for pearls?….. Well, obviously, nothing much, but, then, it also has EVERYTHING to do with that process…. as it is entirely MY choice as to where we go from here… and, I say, let’s go find some GOOD STUFF…. Of course, I’ll leave the definition of GOOD STUFF up to random chance, but, hey, it sounds good, right?… Well, I think so, and it’s my blog, so there…. Sorry, don’t mean to get silly, or huffy, just having too much fun here…. Let’s go see what SB has today for us to find…..
“Growing old is not for sissies or the faint of heart.” — Smart Bee
“Let us not say, every man is the architect of his own fortune; but let us say, every man is the architect of his own character.” — George Dana Boardman
“A closed mind is like a closed book; just a block of wood.” — Chinese Proverb
“I could not, at any age, be content to take my place by the fireside and simply look on. Life was meant to be lived. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
“For when I was a babe and wept and slept, Time crept. When I was a boy and laughed and talked, Time walked. Then when the years saw me a man, Time ran. But as I older grew, Time flew.” — Guy Pentreath
“A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupery
“Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” — Mark Twain
When speaking of aging, and time, who better to finish with?….. I like how this turned out, but, it needs two addenda, making this a nine-star pearl, in order to have the absolutely correct feel….
“Is not old wine wholesomest, old pippins toothsomest, old wood burns brightest, old linen wash whitest? Old soldiers, sweetheart, are surest, and old lovers are soundest.” — John Webster (c. 1580-1625) — Westward Ho, Act ii, Sc. 2
“We all have a face that we hide away forever,
And we take them out and show ourselves when everyone has gone.
Some are satin, some are steel, some are silk and some are leather.
They’re the faces of the stranger and we love to try them on.”
— Billy Joel, The Stranger
Some days, this process is rather a revelation, in terms of what the presence of entropy in the universe can do to how we view reality….. I went to find a poem for the rather odd mood I’m in today, and found a perfect candidate on the first try….. Here is a poem, which I find to be quite complex and intricate in its very simplicity… and quite powerful for all that…. It’s from a poet new to me, who sadly died recently, though not without recognition for his work… His name is Seamus Heaney, an Irish Poet Laureate….
My father worked with a horse-plough,
His shoulders globed like a full sail strung
Between the shafts and the furrow.
The horse strained at his clicking tongue.
An expert. He would set the wing
And fit the bright steel-pointed sock.
The sod rolled over without breaking.
At the headrig, with a single pluck
Of reins, the sweating team turned round
And back into the land. His eye
Narrowed and angled at the ground,
Mapping the furrow exactly.
I stumbled in his hob-nailed wake,
Fell sometimes on the polished sod;
Sometimes he rode me on his back
Dipping and rising to his plod.
I wanted to grow up and plough,
To close one eye, stiffen my arm.
All I ever did was follow
In his broad shadow round the farm.
I was a nuisance, tripping, falling,
Yapping always. But today
It is my father who keeps stumbling
Behind me, and will not go away.
~~ Seamus Heaney ~~
This is what I call a left-over pearl; these kept popping up for consideration while I was looking for the pearls in section one. Since they all were connected, obviously, by subject matter and/or intent, it seemed wasteful not to use them…. so, here is another randomly chosen pearl, but with more of a point to it, critically speaking…. Seven stars should be enough….. Works for me…
“In America, anyone can become president. That’s one of the risks you take.” — Adlai E. Stevenson
“The heresy of one age becomes the orthodoxy of the next.” — Helen Keller
“Reason transformed into prejudice is the worst form of prejudice, because reason is the only instrument for liberation from prejudice.” — Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind
“Patriotism is a pernicious, psychopathic form of idiocy.” — George Bernard Shaw
CABBAGE, n. “A familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man’s head. The cabbage is so called from Cabagius, a prince who on ascending the throne issued a decree appointing a High Council of Empire consisting of the members of his predecessor’s Ministry and the cabbages in the royal garden. When any of his Majesty’s measures of state policy miscarried conspicuously it was gravely announced that several members of the High Council had been beheaded, and his murmuring subjects were appeased.” — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”
“As you know, I planned a trip out there for some time, so it fits in very nicely.” — President George Bush, on his trip to LA after the riots
“Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.” — P.J. O’Rourke
“I don’t have a weird sense of humor. Your reality is just weird.” — Smart Bee, speaking for gigoid again…..
As I suspected after writing the intro section, this turned on me, into an epic effort; I haven’t taken this long to put out a Pearl for quite a while…. Let’s see if it was worth all the perseverance and dedication…..
As I noted above, today’s effort has been somewhat of a revelation…. With a few minor tweaks and/or edits, it turned out pretty well, all things considered, so I’ll once again consider myself fortunate, and will post and be done with it, until tomorrow….
Hmm…. maybe, someday, someone will see one of these Pearls, even a strange one like this, and think it worthwhile to bring to the attention of the world at large…. Nah, that’s too much like a fantasy, or a sitcom scenario…. which would, given the nature of this beast, probably result in lasting harm to the space-time continuum, and a huge alteration of history…. Never mind, probably not a good idea….. Until tomorrow, then….
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.