“In this world there is always danger for those who are afraid of it.”
~~ George Bernard Shaw ~~
Hajime…. ‘Tis indeed unusual for me to feel energetic, or, for that matter, less than homicidal, at this time of day. That’s a simple, obvious direct result of the severe insomnia I experienced for about 3-4 months. Now, after a night of 10 solid hours, again, I find myself feeling almost normal in the mornings, if with a bit more pain than in previous times in life. Hey, I accept, now, I’m 65, not 25; for a long time, like, I think, all of us, we try to deny the passage of time; that feeling of immortality we maintain for much of our youth carries over into middle and elder stages, unfortunately…. Then, something brings us up short, realizing, hey, that hurts! And, it’s something that never hurt before…. and, we realize, our life will never be quite the same….
THAT is, I believe, a moment which must come to us all, like it or not. Oh, we can continue to deny the effects of the passage of time on our bodies and minds; in my opinion, there’s a word for folks who try that…. corpses. Yep, that’s one of those really STUPID things we humans tend to do, and, every time, it will kill us, because, hey, the Universe just doesn’t give a shit about how we feel, about anything, much less a force of nature like aging, and dying…. After all, the process IS merely another example of how our lives are so connected to reality, for all of reality experiences the same aging process…. The Universe, however, doesn’t seem to have a problem with it, as we seem to do….
Ah well, maybe if we’d try, as a species, to understand a bit more about death, perhaps we would handle living with a bit more style and elegance. As it is, much of humanity dies hard, and afraid; it’s considered a lucky man or woman who dies at an old age, in bed, with friends and family at their side. The major portion of life is spent trying to arrange a comfortable death, with the greater part of us failing miserably at that…. Or, at least, that’s the way I see it. I guess maybe I’m getting cynical in my old age, for I see the ever-present battle in Reality being won by Chaos and Entropy, while the Order and Reason attempted by Man, falls into disuse and ill repute.
At this point in this narrative, I see it has already fallen into ranting mode, which is always dangerous here….. Y’know what else. I’m tired of all the doom and gloom I see all over the fucking world, including right here where I live, where every day I see falsely-entitled police forces hassling homeless and poor people, just because they can. I’m tired of the assholes who run this world thinking they can lie, cheat, and steal from everyone else, and get away with it. And, I’m tired of being lied to…. especially that. The so-called leaders of this country, and of every country in the world I read about, in their own words, suffers the same issue; the world is being raped, and pillaged, by just a small percentage, while the rest of us try to get by in a world gone mad….
Fuck it, let’s go find some pearls, to help get rid of some of this angst, and, maybe, in the process, find a bit of humor, and maybe even some hope….
Shall we Pearl?….
“Life is the childhood of our immortality.”
~~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ~~
Images from an email from Dead.net
Last night I was listening to some of the music I’ve downloaded from You Tube. Specifically, I was checking out some of the bands who played covers of Dead music for the Dead Covers Project in 2014. The Project started in 2013, I believe, and has produced some of the finest home-grown, home-made music one can find anywhere. I listened to the one I’ve included, and can tell you, you HAVE to see, and hear the lead guitar solo in this song. About three or four minutes in, the band breaks into some solo breaks. The lead guitar player, like most of the band, is an obvious O.O.F., apparently about 70-75 years old….
I swear, the old fart NAILS the solo; not only does he nail it, he kills it! Fast, clean, and rockin’, he, and the other old farts in this particular band, rocked the house where they played, back East sometime in 2014…. It’s well worth seeing, as are any number of the other covers that amateurs sent in each year…. Check them out; there are a lot of surprises. Some are really bad, but, some, like this one, will amaze you at the musicianship of the players…. Enjoy, ffolkes…. It’s a blast from the past, right here in the future….
New Minglewood Blues
Dead Covers Project 2014
“The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.” — Joseph Conrad, “Under Western Eyes”
What a wonderful beginning for a rant! Too bad I’m not up to writing one… Plus, I’m in too good a mood to go there, so, instead, we’ll go with this discussion from a very good early Pearl, about a year after coming to WP. I hope you enjoy it; I did…. and, hell, I wrote it, and I’m a harsh self-critic….
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.~~ Rudyard Kipling ~~
~~ Just So Stories (1902) “The Elephant’s Child” ~~
I first read the phrase “feeding the Elephant’s Child” in a Robert Heinlein novel, many years ago, and enjoyed it as a metaphor for reading/learning, before I knew from whence it originally came. Once I did know (a moment of illumination whose exact placement in time is hazy….), I liked it even more, from an aesthetic standpoint. The above little ditty is brilliant doggerel, astute observation, and deep insight, all presented in a simple, straightforward style, with a powerful, basic lesson for any would-be philosopher, or any one who wishes to encompass reason as their modus operandi, so to speak. Besides which, I find that another piece of Bob’s advice fits well with this one, to wit: “Life tastes better in big bites….”
“Never wear anything that panics the cat.” — P. J. O’Rourke
I like this, a lot. It summarizes perhaps one of the most elemental rules of getting along in the Universe, in essence saying, “You can learn a lot by watching what happens around you…” It is the perfect companion to the concept of learning as presented above, as it contrives to speak to both sides of Reality, i.e., how you approach reality (the clothing you choose to show to the cat….) and how reality will change to react to your approach (the cat’s opinion of your clothing….) It also gives one a subtle warning about how the wrong clothing can produce unwanted consequences, and we all know how an offended cat is likely to respond…. as Mark Twain once remarked…. “A man who carries a cat by the tail is learning valuable things. He will never again be dim or doubtful. Chances are he’ll not carry the cat that way again, but, I say, if he wants to, let him!” You can’t say fairer than that….
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” — Buddha
One can always trust the Buddha to state the most profound thoughts in the simplest way…. I often wonder how he came to such a complete understanding of Murphy, whose presence is acknowledged in all of what the Buddha stated, but whose ministrations seem to have passed by the Buddha’s existence…. either that, or Murphy shows him a lot more respect than he does anyone else alive. At times, it seems that what the Buddha states, such as in this statement, is, in at least one respect, an answer to a question that is raised when Murphy intervenes in our lives…. in simpler words, he explains why Murphy is able to affect us as he does, by cutting through the bullshite we perceive to the truth of what is real….. SIGH…. one of these days, enlightenment will slap me upside the head, and I’ll be able to see Murphy coming…. I hope…
There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.” — Bob Dylan
Often I feel as if not only is life a joke, but it is our duty and purpose on this plane of existence to codify that joke, to put it down on paper, or on screen/disc, to free ourselves from the prison of sobriety, achieving an understanding that everything in this silly universe is here for our amusement, and we have been taking it, and ourselves, seriously for entirely too long….. So seriously, we have begun to offend those parts of the universe that just want us to relax and enjoy ourselves, and the time is growing nearer when we will have to admit that the joke is on us, for not being able to change our inner selves enough to be able to handle the humor of our situation…. See, the universe thinks death is funny…. not because it is cruel, but because death is just another part of life, and it doesn’t care about one more than the other…. See, now, isn’t it funny how you never noticed that?…..
I once read a science fiction novel, whose title and author escape me completely; in all it was very poorly written, with prose that did not live up to the good ideas contained in the plot line. However, it was a great plot line, in all….Specifically, there was one chapter I liked, which had a super-genius taking on the task of finding the solution to a mathematical treatise, an equation so complex and advanced that no civilization in the galaxy had ever been able to completely solve it.
The genius/hero of the book shut himself up in his room for three weeks, working on the problem. At the end, he was thinking so hard he entered a trance-like state, computing while nearly dead…. after a week of this, he suddenly opened his eyes, gave a look of astonishment, and burst into uncontrollable laughter for approximately 25 minutes. When he could finally control himself, he simply said, “It’s a joke….” and would never discuss it again….
In a pearl such as this one has grown to be, there comes a time when I have to decide whether to continue on, to try to reach the conclusion that was nebulously hovering somewhere in my mind as I began, or to admit that I have once again wandered into uncharted territory, and might find it a bit tricky to find my way back to clarity. This is that time…. and I’m leaving it up to Smart Bee, as always…. If I don’t find a proper pearl to carry on the tenuous chain of thought I’ve created, then we’ll take the first one that will appropriately wrap it up as a lost cause….. all within a specified number of attempts…. so, here we go… You’ll know in a moment what will happen….
“In a word, neither death, nor exile, nor pain, nor anything of this kind is the real cause of our doing or not doing any action, but our inward opinions and principles.” — Epictetus (c. 60 AD) — Discourses, Book i, Chap xi
There, see?…. That didn’t take long at all…. and I managed to find the perfect pearl to cover both bases…. In this case, we will use it as an ending quote, since it sort of summarizes a lot of the discussion, after a fashion. It could conceivably also be used as a springboard for further discussion, but this has gone on long enough, and I wouldn’t want to lose anybody due to an injudicious application of excess verbiage, culminating in tedium…. Of course, we may have reached that point some time ago, but, hey, who’s counting?…. At any rate, I hope you enjoyed this little foray into not very much….
Today’s poetry choice is here simply for the final line; it fits perfectly with my mood, and, tells us everything we need to know to have life just the way we want it, if we are smart enough to take it….
Dreaming of Calliope
La belle dame sans merci speaks aloud through endless night,
torturing dreams, with powerful words and stentorian phrases.
Manifest visions bathed in unbearable grace and light,
destroying all direction, standing lost, in unfathomable mazes.
Fate plays a part, one that will never face denial,
as fear and courage eternally vie for ascendancy.
Conflict becomes valid, gifting strength in open trial,
but honest emotion wears no costume so fancy.
Blood, sweat, and tears stroll on avenues of gold,
unlikely heroines heralding as in ancient lore;
Sharp, competent knives cut through tales untold,
eternally shifting reality past the naked shore.
Drifting toward origin, bereft of mandate or cause,
finished, nay, abandoned, tied with a figurative bow.
No simple gift from muses to give comfort or pause,
save that all we need to know, we already know…..
~~ gigoid ~~
Naked Pearls III
“To know and to act are one and the same.”
~~ Samurai Proverb ~~
“Happiness follows sorrow,
sorrow follows happiness,
but when one no longer discriminates
between happiness and sorrow,
a good deal and a bad deed,
one is able to realize freedom.”
~~ Buddha ~~
“Do not eat your heart.”
~~ Pythagoras ~~
“Truth is the summit of being,
justice is the application of it to affairs.”
~~ Emerson ~~
“Learn or die.”
~~ Reality ~~
“Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.”
~~ Salvor Hardin, in Foundation by Isaac Asimov ~~
“Adversity is the first path to truth.”
~~ Lord Byron ~~
“Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute.”
~~ Josh Billings ~~
Already I stick, and who shall help afford?
The ‘word’ at such high rate I may not tender;
The passage I must elsewhere render,
If rightly by the Spirit I am taught,
‘Tis written: ‘In the beginning was the Thought.’ By the first line a moment tarry,
Let not thine eager pen itself o’er-hurry!
Does ‘thought’ work all and fashion outright?
It should stand: ‘In the beginning was the Might.’
Yet even as my pen the sentence traces,
A warning hint the half-writ word effaces.
The Spirit helps me – from all doubting freed,
Thus write I: ‘In the beginning was the Deed.’
~~ Dr. Faustus, Wolfgang Goethe, “Faust” ~~
Well, gosh. It’s done, and I’m NOT exhausted. What a nice way to start the day! Without my usual mistrust of such good feelings, I’m going to take the money and run. Should be easy, as the money doesn’t exist. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes. I’m afraid there’s just no way to avoid it; it seems to be written in stone…..
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….