Baffling instants of dawning comprehension….


“It’s not denial. I’m just very selective about what I accept as reality.”

~~ Calvin (“Calvin and Hobbes”) ~~

london globe

The Globe Theater, London

Hajime…. ‘Tis morning again. Some would say, at this age, each day upright is a victory. I can almost agree, but for the simple fact it isn’t my preference to always think of Life as a battle, though, because of our nature, battling comes easily to mind; we’re pretty vicious animals, in the final analysis. I don’t even feel any need to try to justify such a statement; just watch any group of two-year olds play together without adults to moderate their actions; then, I’d agree with the idea of battling life as an appropriate description. Alternately, watch the fucking news, or, read the Bible for a while in the Old Testament…. either is filled with war and violence toward each other….

Thus, having ranted in one paragraph, there won’t be any real need to do so below; just as well. I’m suffering an ethical issue myself. This morning I found Leelu playing with a wolf spider, I think. It was a black color, but, though it didn’t LOOK like a BW, rather than chance Leelu getting stung/bitten, even by a wolf spider (not enough poison to hurt, but, their mandibles aren’t very clean & wounds from them can infect easily) I killed the spider, as I couldn’t get at it with a glass to capture it.

Now, I am really feeling bad, guilty & miserable, for having killed a totally innocent creature, when I COULD have found a way to capture and release it outside, which is how I generally deal with spiders…. Hell, I’ve admired spiders since I was a kid, reading Spiderman, and wishing I could jump 20 times my height, or lift a car with one hand…. not ever counting the silk they make….

I’m sure I’ll get over it, but, as I get older, apparently, my heart is opening further to the world’s suffering, adding to it brings no balance…. Ah, well, another ounce to my karmic burden added; no complaints, I earned it….

All that said, I’ll wipe my tears away, and get on with today’s mess…. Not all of it may be fresh today, but, we’ll see how it goes…. No ups, no extras, no tricks today…. We’re off to the oyster beds, now….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Be honest with yourself until the end of your life. Then listen to the slow movement of the Schubert Quintet and kick the bucket.” — Nathan Milstein


Bo Diddley

Bo Diddley

Image from via Google Images

Since we’ve been exploring/playing the blues lately, a friend suggested this most excellent bridge musician…. I say bridge because he was one of the first musicians to blend the style of blues to the new ‘rock and roll’ being played in the early 1950’s, influenced heavily by the blues, especially as played in New Orleans (ref: think Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, etc…. both followed Bo’s example into the newer style….. Actually, I’m not positive who came first, but, does it really matter? All of them were pioneers, so who cares who scaled the mountain first, except the one who did?….. I just enjoy the results…..) Unless you hate music, you WILL enjoy this one….


Bo Diddley
Live with Ron Wood 1987





We the People...

Men are more apt to be mistaken in their generalizations
than in their particular observations.

~~ Niccolo Machiavelli ~~

“Surely every human being ought to attain to the dignity of the unit.  Surely it is worth while to be one, and to feel that the census of the universe would be incomplete without counting you.  Surely there is grandeur in knowing that in the realm of thought you are without a chain; that you have the right to explore all heights and all depths; that there are no walls or fences, or prohibited places, or sacred corners in all the vast expanse of thought; that your intellect owes no allegiance to any being, human or divine; that you hold all in fee, and upon no condition, and by no tenure, whatsoever; that in the world of mind you are relieved from all personal dictation, and from the ignorant tyranny of majorities. Surely it is worth something to feel that there are no priests, no popes, no parties, no governments, no kings, no gods, to whom your intellect can be compelled to pay a reluctant homage. Surely it is a joy to know that all the cruel ingenuity of bigotry can devise no prison, no dungeon, no cell in which for one instant to confine a thought; that ideas cannot be dislocated by racks, nor crushed in iron boots, nor burned with fire.  Surely it is sublime to think that the brain is a castle, and that within its curious bastions and winding halls the soul, in spite of all worlds and all beings, is the supreme sovereign of itself.” — Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899), “The Free Soul”

You know, I was going to rant, using these two statements as a jumping off point; now, upon looking at them, together they form a perfect coin with two sides of the same issue, from a certain point of view. The first old insight from The Prince gives a logical reason for the human inability to form a society without falling into war or conquest…. The second offers a 180º view of humankind, offering, in a sense, a way out of the ancient fallibility we embrace so easily, due to our animal nature, which we have never learned to integrate with our intelligence without allowing it to pervert our moral/ethical behavior….

We allow feelings, generated by the fearful monkey unconscious mind, to dictate the immense power of imagination, turning it to the mechanics of war and violence to achieve our ends, without ever applying our intelligence rationally on a societal level….

And, that’s all there is to say about that… The first tells us how we got here; the second gives/offers us a way out of this suffering, miserable existence, into a more peaceful, rational, ethical society. It’s our choice, but, then, it always has been….

‘Nuff said….

gigoid has spoken.

So be it.

Dont keep calm



A dream, weeping….

“Never a dull moment to spare”, he said
with a crooked grin, and a broad wink.
“Can’t keep Reality hanging by a thread….
what would Chaos, or Entropy think?”

So, we plucked up our dreams of old,
to carry us on, in dutiful, strong arms,
stuffed a candle in the remaining fold,
for luck, and perfect proof against charms.

Storms follow the sun,  but, never stay;
lessons round every corner, all free.
Past fleeting doubts, in a sad disarray,
the journey becomes the reason to be.

Simple kindness manifests untold riches,
in defiance of common cause’s demise.
Bold courage, hanging in stitches,
mends wounds that come as no surprise.

Still, waters run deep, ’tis said by many.
Too much pain cannot apprehend
the salient, sharp points of epiphany,
nor, plainly, to wisdom aspire to pretend.

Folly dogs even the simplest truth,
fumes of toxic ignorance and bile,
alienated as a loose rotten tooth;
it often hides itself, for a long while.

Sought after eons ago, we cried out,
to believe, to suffer no more doubt.
But found instead good reason,
for love, and truth, from season, to season.

~~ gigoid ~~

— 8/30/2014 —


random kitty

A true psycho kitty

Image from via Google Images

Today’s final pearl is possibly the strangest I’ve ever created. The process of selecting the included thoughts was much the same as when I write poetry, to wit: mostly unconscious, and, completely without my input, to any real degree. The pearls you see were presented in exactly the order in which I found them; I don’t see any reason to alter the order, as I don’t understand, yet, exactly what it says, in the larger sense, usually obvious with most pearls….

The picture is one that showed up on Google when I searched for “free images of randomness”, so, I can’t explain that choice either. It just seems to fit….  I don’t know, why don’t y’all peruse the group, and let me know if you come up with any thoughts….

“Any ordinary man can surround himself with two thousand books and thenceforth have at least one place in the world in which it is possible to be happy.” — Augustine Birrell

“Become who you are.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

“The majority of mankind is lazy-minded, incurious, absorbed in vanities and tepid in emotion, and is therefore incapable of either much doubt or much faith.” — TS Eliot

“My mind is not for rent to any god or gov’t.” — Smart Bee, channeling gigoid again

“You know the day destroys the nights.  Night divides the day.” — The Doors

“Everything is simpler than you think and at the same time more complex than you imagine.” — Goethe

“As a general rule, if you want to get at the truth –hear both sides and believe neither.” — Josh Billings

“Breaks balance out. The sun don’t shine on the same ol’ dog’s ass every day.” — Darrell Royal

“Reach high, for the stars lie hidden in your soul.  Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.” — Pamela Vaull Starr


It’s done, and a damn good thing, too. Without going into any details, let us merely say, my remarks above were more relevant than I knew, re: victory over the day. On that cryptic, yet insightful note, I shall bid thee adieu, until I can throw another such piece o’crap together…. That, of course, will be posted tomorrow, hopefully around the same time, but,  at least 24 hours from now…. See y’all then, fate be willing….

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,
   and sometimes,
I just sits.

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.


“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch


À bientôt, mon cherí….


Can you spell ‘balderdash’ boys & girls?….


“Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued.”

~~ Socrates ~~

beagle-2-lander-artist-interpretationEuro-Union Mars Science Lab, Artist’s rendition of post-landing configuration.– from

I’m wondering, if the folks over at Kaiser are feeling a little premonition, a small niggling at the back of the neck, or a vague feeling of uneasiness. If not, they probably should, because I guarantee, they are about to become engulfed in a shit storm. Having reached the end of my patience with the issue they’ve forced upon me, I have consulted the proper authority (Sun Tzu, The Art of War), determined a plan of battle and engaged the first scouts to gather intelligence. Small events have been set in motion, which, combined with the other facets of the plan, will come down on their heads in an avalanche of legal and marginally legal manipulations and court appointments to keep their wolf-pack full of lawyers busy for years to come.

They poked into the wrong beehive this time, picking on a target well able to protect himself from their feeble attempts to control my life, to force me to live according to their perverted version of reality. They will find that to be a decision they will come to regret. I have previously stated my reluctance to suffer the machinations of fools; this is no exception. My father would be disappointed in me if I allowed a soulless corporation to dictate to me how I should live; I have no intention of allowing that to continue, to their everlasting regret.

That being said, perhaps y’all will understand why I am so FUCKING TIRED, of pain, of side effects that bring nothing but misery, of the unending stress; most of all, I’m tired of not sleeping…. go figure. Since Kaiser, along with a group of brainwashed, cowardly physicians, who have surrendered their dignity, and their souls, to keep their jobs, afraid to buck the insane demands of the corporation, lest they lose their place in the insane race to achieve the American Dream, long proven to be an illusion, fostered by the elitists who control the world to maintain the status quo, which favors only them, have decided to fuck with me….. Well, let me just say, I am the wrong choice for them to pull this on….

Whoops…. I’ve done it again, haven’t I? Oh well, chalk it up to being preoccupied with pain, and the cause of the pain. My anger is so large, the universe is full; it’s got to go somewhere, or I will explode, at which time a large number of assholes will begin to disappear from the face of the Earth, continuing to do so as long as I can evade their clutches. I’ve taken all I intend to take, of being treated like a slave, who has no rights, and no power…. I may not have the resources of a world behind me, but, I think they’ll find I am quite able to gather the necessary elements to create more trouble than they’ve ever encountered, and, I am quite familiar with the arts of warfare, having been born a warrior….

I hope against hope it won’t come to pass; unfortunately, it may already be too late. We’ll see how the next day or two goes, then decide, Meanwhile, I’ve completely screwed the pooch with this intro, so, I’ll just use the ever-popular emergency method #4, to ease us down into the next section…. That one goes like this….

Shall we Pearl?

“I’ve learned to accept birth and death… but sometimes I still worry about what lies between.” — Smart Bee


Over the past two days, I’ve been reliving my youth, with cartoons from the Saturday morning lineup I was fond of watching every week. Here is another old friend, Yogi Bear, with his old friends, Boo Boo, and the Park Ranger…. Enjoy!

The New Yogi Bear Show – Grin & Bear It


We the People...

“A power has risen up in the government greater than the people themselves, consisting of many and various and powerful interests, combined into one mass, and held together by the cohesive power of the vast surplus in the banks.” — Johann L. Uhland (1787-1862) — Speech, May 27, 1836

Zowie! Eureka! I knew I’d heard this somewhere before, but, couldn’t remember the author’s name. In stating this observation, made not long after the US government was formed, the author takes the hand of Thomas Jefferson, who expressed his fear of exactly this happenstance, in numerous letters to friends before, and after, the signing of the Constitution. He recognized the overpowering ambition and thirst for power so obvious in those who embrace it, attempting to warn his fellow citizens, many times….

As is plain to see, nobody paid the slightest attention, whereupon the bankers, in close conjunction with their myrmidons, i.e., the pundits and lawyers, continued to pursue their evil intent, to secure their hold over government, and, thus, society…. They’ve been so successful, we see in today’s world, they control every level of the national scene; witness the number of Republican presidential candidates who have been sucking up to the Koch brothers, and the Citizens United PAC, with their unlimited pile of money, in use in today’s world buying the loyalty of every single politician they can pervert to their insane desire to make the world over in their own image…. It doesn’t seem to matter at all to them that image is a clear, crisp photograph of the worst HELL imaginable, or that it would entail oppressing 99% of the human race….

Why are many scientists using lawyers for medical experiments instead of rats?

 a)  There are more lawyers than rats.

 b)  The scientist’s don’t become as emotionally attached to them.

 c)  There are some things that even rats won’t do for money.

~~ Smart Bee ~~   

Gee, do ya think I’ve lost some of my respect for lawyers, and their second-slimiest clients, the bankers? (First place in my hell is reserved for pimps, and those who abuse women, children, or  animals…. which, of course, lawyers and bankers do by proxy, with their usual complete indifference to the suffering of others….) Why no, of course not. I’ve lost ALL of it, with what I consider damn good reason, based on 64 years of observing the human drama, along with my own personal experience with both categories of asshole…. The only respect for any of them I have, is for those who actually HELP people, without considering what they can get out of it, other than their own satisfaction for helping people find justice, and a reasonable fee for that help, whether the fee is taken in pies & chickens, eternal gratitude, or simply cash….

In keeping with today’s theme of picking on lawyers and bankers, and, to save energy for my upcoming battle, I decided to pick out an old school pearl, aimed at the former, as they’re an easier target, all in all…. They’re just SO…… weaselly! Well, there are some are exceptions, sure, but, the others infest the world so prominently, the good ones are hard to find…. Ah well, here are some observations about them, from Smart Bee, and a number of other people who feel the same as most everybody else, about those lawyers who use their skills to benefit themselves, showing complete indifference as to whether it benefits anyone else….

Liar, n.: A lawyer with a roving commission. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

“A group of white South Africans recently killed a black lawyer because he was black. That was wrong. They should have killed him because he was a lawyer.” — A. Whitney Brown

“Always take a lawyer with you, and bring another lawyer to watch him.” — Bo Diddly’s Observation on the Law

“Fleas can be taught nearly everything a lawyer can.” — Smart Bee

“Here’s an amazing story. A man in Orlando, Florida, was hit by eight cars in a row and only one stopped. The first seven drivers thought he was a  lawyer. The eighth was a lawyer.” — Jay Leno

“If a lawyer and an IRS agent were both drowning, and you could only save one of them, would you go to lunch or read the paper?” — Smart Bee

“In a man’s world…simian aptitudes are rated high, and so not too many women get in. To succeed as a lawyer, for example, a woman would have to throttle two of her chief attributes: her disdain for the petty accumulations of useless knowledge, and her sharp feeling for the truth. What men in their imbecility consistently mistake for a deficiency of intelligence in women is merely an incapacity for mastering small and trivial tricks.” — H. L. Mencken, Chicago _Sunday Tribune_, January 8, 1928

“In the Norse mythology Loki originally was on the side of the rest of the gods, helping them once or twice using particularly nasty forms of trickery. He was a cunning negotiator with a talent for technicalities. He was sort of the Norse equivalent of a lawyer, no doubt the reason they tied him down in a pit dripping acidic venom on him.” — Martin Terman

“How many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb? You won’t find a lawyer who can change a light bulb. Now, if you’re looking for a lawyer to screw a light bulb… ” — Smart Bee

LAWYER: A professional advocate hired to bend the law on behalf of a paying client; for this reason considered the most suitable background for entry into politics. — Definition from “THE CYNIC’S DICTIONARY”

Needless to say, I could do this forever, no sweat, or guilt; there are already nine pearls, and I’ve only used three of the ten pages of quotes I’ve collected on the subject. But, I suppose there ARE more productive things we could all be doing. This is pretty cool, but, as with all good things, it can’t last forever…. Onward, into the day….

Oh, hell…. Naturally, AFTER I’ve finished, I find the PERFECT pearl for this group. Since we’ve already completed it, I’ll just tack it here on the end, where it will enjoy its highlighted position; I call it perfect because it takes a shot at two categories at once, both of which are current players in my personal drama…. This one tells it like it is, for sure and for certain….

“Doctors are the same as lawyers; the only difference is that lawyers merely rob you, whereas doctors rob you and kill you too.” — Anton Chekhov

gigoid has spoken…. So be it.


“But groundless hope, like unconditional love, is the only kind worth having.” — EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow, “Cynthia Horner’s Eulogy”, Apr. 1994

Unsolicited Gratitude

Fear becomes familiar when reality bodes us ill
pain assumes first position, no matter our will.
Powerless, we founder, no strength to prevail
anguished and afraid, against unwanted Fate we rail.

Still, a grain of hope deep inside, hidden well against need
gives us reason to survive, our starving souls to feed.
Failure of courage burdens time, of being bested,
until our souls, in submission, become foully infested.

Bitter tears wash through us each day, with little care,
no thought, no feeling, no wish, or need to be fair.
Rendered clueless, confusion falls upon us, as prey,
we surrender a piece of our soul, little as we may.

Yet, always, a bright beam of hope is seen from afar,
no matter how dreary, or dark, it may seem where we are.
None knows, nor would consent to tell, it seems
from whence it hails, or why it so brightly gleams.

Saving our sanity, absolving our unwanted fears,
dispelling the myths and lies that come with the years.
Each man has known the precious gift that hope may give
And gives glad thanks, as long as he may live.

~~ gigoid ~~


I managed to get a bit more sleep than usual last night; no idea why, as I was mostly uncomfortable all day, & didn’t expect to sleep much at all. Ah well, gift horses, and all that….. I’ll see now if Smart Bee is awake and aware enough to cough up a few pearls; if not, I’ll find a good one in the archives to take up the slack. Let’s see what happens if I give SB a set of weird parameters, eh? See if you can figure out what they were, why don’t you? If naught else, it will get us down the page to the closing section…..

” Never use your thumb for a rule. You’ll either hit it with a hammer or get a splinter in it.” — Uncle Ed’s Rule of Thumb

“It is no use to blame the looking glass if your face is awry.” — Nikolai Gogol  _The Inspector-General_ [1836]

“The laugh of a child will make the holiest day more sacred still.” — Robert G. Ingersoll (American lawyer and orator 1833-1899)

“I exist as I am, that is enough.” — Walt Whitman

“One can endure sorrow alone, but it takes two to be glad.” — Elbert Hubbard

“All men are created unequal.” — Lazarus Long

“Awright, which one of you hid my PENIS ENVY?” — Zippy the Pinhead

Well. Hmm. I think, perhaps, I’ll not comment at all on this one…. We’re done, ffolkes; looking at this pearl tells me, we’re just in time, too….


I did it, against all odds…. not that anyone would have put any money down, anyway. Hell, I wouldn’t have bet on me this morning, and it’s my blog. Oh well, I suppose they can’t all be perfectly okay; with this one, I think I’ll avoid any attempts to categorize or label it, all for the better, I think. In fact, I think I should go now, before I lose it any further….. I’ll see y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, given a rising tide and a bit of luck…..

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,
   and sometimes,
I just sits.

gigoid, the dubious


“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch


À bientôt, mon cherí….

And take what the day gives us….

Vast, empty corridors stretch into infinity, with doors every few yards on both sides. Silence rolls ahead of the quiet footsteps that pace down the hall, seeming to absorb the slight sound of the soft shoes worn by the tall, darkly humanoid being who paced there. Shimmering pillars of moonlight shone through the windows that marched between the doors on the east side, throwing shadows across the floors and walls as the trees outside trembled in the soft breeze. No other movement, and no other sound invaded the space around the walker as he moved toward a door on the inner side of the hall, where a light blazed from under the bottom edge, glaring against the softer moonlight on the walls. Even as his hand moved toward the handle, the door opened wide…..

And then I woke up, and smelled the coffee…. Not too shabby, I suppose, but I never know where to go from where I stop…. just as well, then, I guess, that I don’t keep going, so I don’t end up somewhere I hadn’t planned to be…. Boy, this waking up business is getting complicated…. It has been some time since I felt a shortage of material, but there seems to be a large void spot in my head today, soaking up any directed focus I try to put out. It being Sunday, the library isn’t open but a few short hours this afternoon, so I have plenty of time to get this done before posting. That is a good thing, considering how it’s gone thus far. I can see already it will be one of those days when I spend an inordinate amount of time waiting for inspiration to strike, hating every moment until something pops up that I can use…. It’s that purpose thing I told y’all about the other day; us guys just feel better when we have a defined purpose….. even in the small things in life….

Without a defined purpose, like most men, I tend to wander around like the proverbial bull in a china shop, crashing into delicate items left and right, creating havoc. That is what it feels like anyway, a sort of out-of-control rushing about, with shattering glass sound effects and the whole nine yards. It’s probably not as bad as it seems to me, but, mine is the only perception that counts, and I don’t much like it…. However, there have been any number of times during life when I’ve had to do stuff I didn’t much like doing; we all have that cross to bear. So, I guess I’ll quit whining about it, and get on with the search for material I can turn into a Pearl. There has to be something out there I can use; Smart Bee has never failed me yet, and I don’t expect it to do so now….. fool that I am….

So, without further ado, shall we Pearl?…..

“If you disclose your alms, even then it is well done, but if you keep them secret, and give them to the poor, then that is better still for you; and this wipes off from you some of your evil deeds.” — Koran (c. 651 AD)

“Don’t let your mouth write a check that your tail can’t cash.” — Bo Diddley

“It is a waste of energy to be angry with a man who behaves badly, just as it is to be angry with a car that won’t go.” — Bertrand Russell

“It is as useless to argue with those that have renounced the use and authority of reason as to administer medication to the dead.” — Thomas Paine

Okay, so here’s the deal…. The three first pearls in this group were collected in one swell foop, all together. The fourth one I added this morning. When I saved the others, I didn’t know just why; the three quotes don’t seem to have much of a connection, though all are good trains of thought around the subject of righteous behavior. The last one almost ties them together, but actually speaks to a different subject altogether. So…. it’s a wash…. none of it means anything, and I’ve wasted the time it took to put them together. SIGH…. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a spectacular failure of systemic nature like this one. All the usual lack of control I use to semi-direct the subject matter had no effect at all….

Sure, all four of these are pretty good pieces of advice, or good knowledge to possess…. but they don’t do anything special, and they don’t fit together like I intended…. I’m not sure now what I ever intended, as those first three, looked at now, have very little to do with each other, and certainly don’t stretch to cover a portion of reality that means anything important. The last one is damn good, for what it is, and shows us that we are not the only culture to have to deal with the deliberately ignorant; they’ve apparently been around, bugging the rest of us, for a long time. But, it doesn’t tie all the others together into a neat little lesson for the Gentle Reader, not by a long shot….

Hell, now what? I guess I’ll try to find a closing pearl that can save this section from complete uselessness….. Hmm, how about this?….

“If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of potential — for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints; possibility never.” — Soren Kierkegaard

Now THAT’S a pearl! And, now that I see it clearly arranged, it actually DOES save this section from uselessness. It issues a joyous peal of hope, that passion for potential, that is exactly what I try to capture in a POVW (pearl of virtual wisdom). The last line says it well, and goes a long way to pulling the entire exercise in imagination together into a coherent mass…. A bit jumbled, and tumbled, but coherent. What we are trying to do here at Exploring Consensual Reality is just this, to bring the joy of the elevated spirit and mind to life, to give everyone who reads this, that sparkling, electrifying connection with the potential that exists in every single moment….. Grab on, ffolkes, and hang on for the ride of your life…..

“Each of us has a spark of life inside us, and our highest endeavor ought to be to set off that spark in one another.” — Kenny Ausubel

“When you said “HEAVILY FORESTED” it reminded me of an overdue  CLEANING BILL..  Don’t you SEE?  O’Grogan SWALLOWED a VALUABLE COIN COLLECTION and HAD to murder the ONLY MAN who KNEW!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

I’m feeling a bit stressed today, for reasons best left alone for the time being. But, it gave me an urge for some Emily…. so, here she is….

To my quick ear the leaves conferred;
The bushes they were bells;
I could not find a privacy
From Nature’s sentinels.

In cave if I presumed to hide,
The walls began to tell;
Creation seemed a mighty crack
To make me visible.


One wasn’t quite enough, I wanted more, so…..

Delight becomes pictorial
When viewed through pain,–
More fair, because impossible
That any gain.

The mountain at a given distance
In amber lies;
Approached, the amber flits a little,–
And that’s the skies!

~~ Emily Dickinson

Okay…. I’m not feeling all that well after all; since I started this a couple hours ago, my body has decided to give me a few symptoms to deal with, (which I won’t detail…. too graphic, and unnecessary….). What it boils down to is that I’m not up to a lot of sitting and cogitation right now…. so, I’m going to fall back on some of the stuff I’ve written previously…. About a year or so ago, in a form of self-therapy for some depression I was fighting to overcome, I wrote a four part series of short pieces that described my life, and the events that led to my acquisition of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is what I have as a complement to the relatively constant physical pain with which I live…. I’m just lucky, I guess….

Any who, I’m going to reprint those four articles, beginning today, as the third section of the daily Pearls. As I created these documents, I re-lived a lot of the events, which was both painful, and helpful…. I’m hoping that doing so again will also help again, as the darkness threatens to creep into my head, and I cast about, seeking the light…. and, it can’t hurt, so, I’m doing it anyway…. So, here is part one of what I called “Repercussions”….


When I was four, my father was stationed in Japan with the US Army, at a base near Okinawa. He was there for about 18 months, and the rest of the family, my mother and, at the time, four kids joined him there for the last seven months of his tour of duty. During that time, I was made aware, simply by traveling to and living there, that the world was much larger than I thought, and there were a lot of different kinds of people living in it. He was an officer at the time, so the six of us lived in a large house on base, with two Japanese housekeepers. Learning about Mariko and her sister, whose name escapes me, taught us many things about Japanese culture, and my mind grew in leaps and bounds.

One of the things we learned were some basic Judo (the gentle way) techniques, by one of Mariko’s friends who was member of a dojo (school). This exposure to the martial arts stayed with me, but after returning to the USA, there was little opportunity to pursue the arts further. Especially when my parents had another child, and money became a permanent issue in the household. But I never forgot Mariko, (who made the best cinnamon roles ever), or any of my experiences in Japan.

Much later in my life when I went to college, at the University of California at Berkeley, Judo was offered as a physical education course, and I at last had the opportunity to study in earnest what so long ago had made such an impression on my young mind. I took the course for 3 quarters (UCB had switched to a four-quarter-per-calendar year schedule some years before my admission), much as a duck takes to water, and after less than 9 months I had been awarded a second-degree brown belt, Nikkyu, one level below a black belt, 1st degree.

I loved the arts with a passion I had not felt since I first discovered science-fiction at age ten. It was, perhaps, a lesser passion than when I discovered that girls weren’t so yucky after all, but studying the arts became a significant part of my life, and I have studied one art or another ever since, a matter of about 42 years. After Judo, I took some lessons in Karate (the empty-hand), Tae Kwon Do and Shotokan styles, a little bit of Tai Chi, and some Aikido.. Then in my late twenties, I joined my first class in the Chinese art of Kung Fu. All my other exposure, Tai Chi aside (which though useful in that respect, is an art not primarily designed for use in fighting), had been to arts developed in Japan and Korea. I learned that all of those arts had been patterned after the precepts of Kung Fu many centuries before.

The origins of Kung Fu are shrouded in some mystery, but the consensus is that the monks of the Taoist temple of the order of the Shaolin were the first to learn the basic art, and developed it as a means of protecting their temple from the degradations of the numerous marauding warlords fighting over the various geographic regions in China. It is said that the art was brought to them by none other than Bhodi Dharma, an ancient warrior of India who traveled all over the Far East during his life, using his unspeakably powerful skills, developed by him during many years of studying Yoga, to protect the weak and oppressed, much like a wandering knight in Europe during the age of chivalry.

The Shaolin monks developed the skills they learned to such a high degree that the temple was eventually destroyed by warlords who had developed cannons, because they feared the monks so much. The monks scattered over the rest of China taking their skills with them, teaching them to the people, and to monks at other temples. It was said that a Shaolin monk could disappear from sight, could walk through walls, and fly through the air, and their reputation protected them probably as much as their fighting skills.

In the 1970’s there was a show on TV called Kung Fu, loosely based on a figure in Shaolin history, their greatest warrior, whose name on the show was Kwai Chang Caine. Though subject unfortunately to the occasionally bizarre demands of Hollywood culture, it was nonetheless a relatively accurate representation of how such a monk would have approached the new culture in the United States, and gave a good idea of how effective the skills learned by the monks could be, even against superior forces and weaponry.

When I was first introduced to Kung Fu, it seemed as though all the other arts I had studied became irrelevant. I had graduated from the high-school level of Karate and Aikido to a more advanced university, that started with basics, then led the student into deeper and deeper knowledge, not just of the techniques of fighting and training, but knowledge of both the body and the mind, which are never considered to be separate entities in Chinese culture.

The techniques learned became only a part of what one learns; much of the rest of what is taught was concerned with learning to control one’s mind and spirit. The first lesson was the most important one, and it consists of one concept…..restraint. Simply put, we do not learn these skills to fight, but to grow; to learn how to accept the danger that exists in human society without being paralyzed by fear, allowing one’s higher principles to guide action for the betterment of all creatures.

Learning Kung Fu, as well as the other martial arts I studied, was a seminal part of my own developing philosophy of life, and has been, in my mind, an invaluable tool in my own growth. But learning the arts, as I was later to learn, would have repercussions so powerful, and so all-encompassing, that they would send shock waves of pain and anguish down every step of my path in the world; repercussions that would stay with me for the rest of my life…..

To be continued…….

Well, I kind of feel as if I’ve cheated a little bit, but, given the way I feel physically right now, that’s just too bad, so sad, because it’s done now, and nothing will make me go back and do it over. It will be all I can do to get down to the library to get this posted later, so I’m going to go deal with my physical issues, and hopefully get past them….. I’ll be fine, it’s just miserable for a while, until it all passes…. life goes on……  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.