Winifred is our alpha geek now….

Ffolkes,
Affectionate regard is probably the best I can come up with, if that…. More likely, infinite disdain, and barely-controlled rage will be the order of the day, IF it happens…. I’m torn, hoping it does, and that it does not; the former would make ME feel better, but the latter would be better for everyone involved, given most everyone’s feelings after the mess the other day…. Why they couldn’t have just sprayed over it, or melted it somehow, I’ll never know, but the fact remains they didn’t, so we’ll just have to deal with it the way it is…. Pope or no Pope….

Okay, that’s enough for now; it got me here, and that was the solitary requirement for today’s initial paragraph…. Sort of the literary equivalent of sleight of hand, you see…. Practicing the lead in by a bit of fantasy, all made up to move the eyes along, without necessarily engaging the brain too heavily, just enough for the purpose of distraction, while I, the handsome, young, clever male (well, one out of four isn’t ALL bad…..) author of the offending piece, slip up and steal your wallet while you’re trying to decide if anything I’ve said makes any sense…..

It’s all safe enough, really, as the only wallets I can really obtain are metaphoric, and the only real harm is to your dignity, which, as we all know, is a hit and miss proposition in the first place, right? Right…. losing it again isn’t going to break your heart, too much…. Besides, if you didn’t enjoy that sort of horseplay and humor, you’d be reading a different blog, wouldn’t you? Yep, you know you would….

Now that I have denigrated and insulted most of my readership (all four of them….), I could go on to the regular part of today’s post…. though, it really doesn’t matter much, as there’s probably nobody left to direct, anyway. SIGH… I don’t know why, but for the last two or three days, the visits and Likes on my blog have been reduced a LOT, almost as if a bunch of people fell off a cliff all at once, or something…. I haven’t been able to spend as much time as usual reading other blogs, but, that hasn’t had this kind of effect before, so I don’t know what to think about it….

Not that I’m particularly unnerved by confusion; it’s rather a common state for me. No, it’s just a puzzle, one that strikes right at my natural worry that nobody will like me, or what I write…. Silly, I know, but perfectly human, to want approval, or at least acknowledgment, from our peers. This is perhaps less critical in my case, as I don’t write for money or fame, but, for sanity, but, it is a concern, if only a small one…. I have all of those I need, in sooth, and really don’t want any more, so I’m going to set it aside, and deal with it in the most appropriate fashion, by ignoring it….

Besides, while y’all were looking the other way, I got us all the way here to the end of this intro section, without, I would have you note, experiencing any bloodshed, or any minor injuries at all…. Bonus! I’m out of Oxy cleaner, and the bloodstains are getting harder to get out of the seats….. Any who, I think this is sufficient for one day; I ride too close to the edge of sanity as it is, and don’t need to tempt Fate with an overlong intro…. Besides, I’m fairly certain that y’all have reached a state of confusion I can work with, so I’ll strike while the iron is hot, metaphorically speaking, of course…. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“Any culture which in the interests of efficiency or in the name of some political or religious dogma, seeks to standardize the human individual commits an outrage against man’s biological nature.” — Charles A. Reich, THE GREENING OF AMERICA

Most people, on reading this, would, I think, say they agree with it; it has been a rallying cry for the liberal movement for many years, since the book was first published, sometime back around the late 60’s or early 70’s, I forget exactly. It can be considered a defining statement of the humanist philosophy, and can be seen as an essential component in the making of a progressive activist. Like Mark Twain said (I paraphrase…), it can take some time for a man with some edges to him to fit himself into a round hole, square peg that he is….

Yet, the entire humanist movement…. Oops, excuse me… My computer tells me an email just arrived, and I’ve been waiting to hear from someone, and need to check it… Be right back….  Okay…. A single word, which, as you will see, I consider to be a very, very controlled response to the news the email had for me…. In fact, so controlled, I am now unable to let it out the way it needs to be let out….. but, I’ll try….

YEE HAW!!!!  I am saved! Okay, well, a priest might argue that, but, that is how it feels…..  My SS benefits, which includes 26 months of back payments, just hit my bank, and my wait is over. All the patience I’ve cultivated is now rewarded, and I can start the actual process of putting my life on the track I’ve worked to enjoy for fifty years…. I’m abandoning this pearl, and I don’t care at all….  😀  To finish out this section, here is an old pearl, from sometime in 2007, I think… It seems apropos, somehow, and will fill in the necessary space to replace the above aborted discussion…. so, voilá….

I like it like that….

Ffolkes,
It’s the name of the game, you know. And if you don’t know, well, look in the old music files; it’s a great song. The offerings this morning picked themselves, and in spite of my protests to the contrary, keep insisting there is a point to be made. Apparently it is a very subtle point, and escapes me completely. But, since each of these is good to go by itself (by my standards at least), we’ll let them have their way….naturally, the point to be made is left as an exercise for the Gentle Reader……

“A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.” — Saul Bellow

“A man must not swallow more beliefs than he can digest.”  — Havelock Ellis

“He who adds not to his learning diminishes it.” — The Talmud

Hmmmm…..it’ll probably come to me as I’m on the throne….. y’all take care out there…..

I was right… it is apropos to the moment, as it speaks to how we deal with those times that are a challenge to our inner peace…. a perfect description of my last three years of life…. Onward, to finish out this Pearl, and get on with the business of the day, to wit: MY GUITAR IS COMING HOME!!!  I can’t tell you how sweet that is, though some of you may know….
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I’m amazed at myself…. Last night, this poem spilled out of my head almost as fast as I could write it down, taking about 10 or 15 minutes altogether, start to finish….. I’ve read it over this morning, and it will do…. I hope you enjoy it….

Fine and Good, Good and Fine

A pig in a poke’s got nothing on me,
cuz I’m as confused as a man can be.
This ol’ world’s got me spinnin’ around
cussin’ and spittin’, a penny for a pound.

Forty ‘leven times since I was a kid, well,
I’ve fallen in love, ‘least too close to tell.
Every damn time, it all went to crap,
Forty ‘leven times I’ve felt like a sap.

‘Course, each time it happens, I forget the last;
why not? I’m havin’ such a blast….
Livin’ in each moment, filled with joie de vivre,
’til it’s all gone away again, nothin’ left up my sleeve.

Don’t want y’all to think I’m sad or blue,
life’s full of sorrow, lots for me, and/or you..
T’other side of that coin, we can be glad,
is joyful love, and that ain’t at all bad.

My road’s been littered with parts o’my heart,
each one colored with trust, which isn’t always smart.
Yet, long as I don’t lose my connection to joy,
I’ll find my own true love, and be a happy boy.

It’s been some kinda fun, even when I’d take a fall,
and doin’ it over makes no sense at all, at all
Day after day, I keep on keepin’ on, as it’s said;
Guess I’ll keep on doin’ that ’til I’m dead.

‘Nuff said….

~~ gigoid, tongue firmly in cheek….

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Due to the events outlined in section one, to wit: money in the house, I will again cheat a bit, by using an old pearl, from the past…. this one is from January 4, 2012, when it was one of five sections of a complete Pearl, all of which had five, at that time…..

“How often we recall, with regret, that Napoleon once shot at a magazine editor and missed him and killed a publisher. But we remember with charity, that his intentions were good.” — Mark Twain

This is the goal. This is my whole purpose in writing. To be this subtle in delivering a blow from a sledgehammer; to insult so thoroughly in one line; to indicate passion, love, hate, literature, sports, and morality with such a smoothly fitted collection of words, this is my Nirvana, my Quest, the object of my jealous envy…….

No really, it just doesn’t get any better than this. It’s the kind of humor that most appeals to me, for it pokes fun not only at the victims of the humor, but at the author too. I can just see Mr. Clemens, telling this with a twinkle in his eye below a raised brow, a small little Mona Lisa smile, and a mustache trembling with the effort not to burst into guffaws. Perfect.

A few days ago, I was flabbergasted, and extremely flattered, when a reader said that one of my lines sounded like something Twain might have written. I almost burst with happiness, and floated around for a while on that little bubble of joy. Now all I have to do is figure out how to sound like that all the time. Well, not JUST like Mark Twain, more like me with his skill. I’ll keep working on it…….

~~ Back to the present…. I think this was a good pearl, in that it remains as valid today as the day it was written, for me…. Writing as well as Twain, without sounding TOO much like him, would be a good thing, I think…. It’s worth a shot, anyway, eh?   😆
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I can stop pretending now…. I have so many things I want to do, I hardly know where to begin… But, I’ll start where I KNOW I want to start…. I’ll see y’all tomorrow, though perhaps a bit late… I’m going now to get my guitar, and I may just play it until my fingers bleed, and I get so hoarse I can’t talk for days….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

dozer3

Formerly from the circular file….

Ffolkes,
Oh, joy…..0245 AM, and depression strikes. Wide awake, in pain and anguish, and hating every moment. Well, I guess that first sip of coffee wasn’t so bad….. but it sure would be nice to be able to sleep without interruption…. I can see how this would tend to wear one’s defenses down after a while, so it’s a good thing, I suppose, that I’m not the suicidal sort…. Too selfish & cowardly for me, thanks anyway….

I know why I’m up now…. My patience took a big hit yesterday, when I found an email from my lawyer in my inbox, informing me that SS is sending me to yet another medical exam, and getting X-rays of my back…. like they don’t have any already. This, of course, promises to add another 12 weeks, minimum, to the time before a decision is made. They KNOW that I have PTSD, but they insist on dragging this whole thing out, making it worse every day. I’m nearly at a point where I will have to assume enemy action (1st time, happenstance; 2nd time, coincidence; 3rd time, enemy action….), and take countermeasures….. which NOBODY will enjoy….

Was that a vague enough threat? I’d never really hurt anyone, you know, not deliberately. I say such things for the release, and once said, the urge to commit homicidal acts is generally dissipated. It’s a parallel effect to swearing, which, as we all know, can release a lot of tension merely by the expression of certain words in a forceful manner. But, in these days of paranoia over terrorists, one must walk a narrow line between release and offense….. and cops notoriously have no sense of humor…..

I’m not sure right now just what I’m going to do…. I mean, I know I have to wait again, because shooting at them won’t help. It might get them to move faster, but also might prejudice my case a bit (ya think?) if they figure out it’s me. I’m pretty frigging tired of pinching pennies to eat, and these psyche symptoms of my deeper anguish are getting a bit obtrusive. It’s tough to be out there, looking for love, with tears running down my face, and fear in my heart….. one can’t present a very attractive image in that state…. and who wants to kiss a mustache with snot all over it?

Now that I’ve thoroughly disgusted y’all with that image, I’d most likely be getting on with the day’s dive for pearls. I’m not going to try to predict what kind of pearls may get engendered, as that would be foolish AND stupid, not to mention dumb….. But, I will warn you to handle them with care today, as you never know what they might do after I let them loose…. keep a tight grip!….  Shall we Pearl?…..
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“Unknowingly, we plow the dust of stars, blown about us by the wind, and drink the universe in a glass of rain.” — Ihab Hassan

What a beautiful line! I wasn’t sure when I saved it last night just what kind of pearl it would make, but it creates such a beautiful image in the mind, I couldn’t resist. I suppose it makes a fine contrast to how I feel just now, and as such, can be used to demonstrate how our attitudes are under our control, if we but choose to assume it…..

I feel like shit, emotionally, for various reasons, and that is reflected in my attitude toward the day; I don’t want to face it. I’d like to be able to just turn it all off, and go visit a friend somewhere far away. But, being stuck here, waiting for relief from my financial limitations, keeps me on the edge of depression, as well as keeping me in place…. If only for the time it takes to read, and contemplate this line, beauty takes over, and my thoughts and attitude undergo a marked change for the better. All it takes is a reminder of what we always have as creatures of this reality, our potential for grace.

“Grace”. Interesting word, that…. I like what it implies, the feeling of being connected to the universe, and enjoying that tie for the joy it can bring. To live in grace means to act rightly, surrounding oneself with beauty, and increasing the joy in life by living it well, passionately, with compassion and humility. I can understand how religious folks would seek to receive such from the practice of their faith, though I can’t agree with them about exactly where grace comes from. They seem to believe that it is something given to them, when in reality, it is something they have to learn to give, and can only be found inside themselves.

“The supreme irony of life is hardly anyone ever gets out of it alive.” — Robert Heinlein

Perspective…. the proper perspective can be hard to find, and it is good when such can be provided for us by a simple phrase, like this one, and the first one, above. The first phrase tells us to remember there are two sides to life, and only one side is inherently painful. This quote, from the Grand Master, is a reminder to SEEK perspective, and is one nobody should ever lose track of, as it is universally applicable. One may, at least temporarily, find ways to avoid paying taxes, but there is no avoiding death…. none.

Mere contemplation of our own death is a sure way to gain perspective. It may not always be the most amenable, or comfortable perspective, but it is the most truthful that can be acquired, without exception. Nothing will ground us better than thinking about our own demise, as there is no room for anything but truth when dealing with the whole concept. Anything less than the truth just fails to compute….. Not the most comforting line of thought, unless one has learned not to fear death, but, who is ever very successful at that? I mean, that’s why there are so many different religions out there, all offering their own way of dealing with that fear…. they’re just not very good at it. Well, not very truthful, anyway….

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” — W. W. Zeige

I’m not sure whether I can truthfully classify this as a pearl. The criteria for that decision  are pretty loose, all in all, so it will fit in that respect. But, I do rather like to make some valid point, and this one doesn’t seem to have one I can find offhand. We humans spend a lot of our mental energy on stuff like this, which may be a clue as to the whole problem of the inability of so many of us to cope with reality without some kind of crutch, or without letting someone else do our thinking for us. That isn’t a danger for me, thank goodness, but most of humanity seems to fall into that pattern, and that, in itself, presents me with perspective issues, as mine differs radically from most everyone in the mainstream of society.

Oh, there are a lot more ffolkes such as myself out there; WordPress is proof enough of that. But, the major percentage of the population of this country generally prefers not to have to exercise their mental muscles any more than is absolutely necessary. Whether the inertial momentum that is built up by such a large percentage is amenable to adjustment remains to be seen, and all we can do is our best, to spread the virus of rational thought as far as we can….. “You’re our only hope, Obi-wan!”……

“I feel better about world problems now!” — Zippy the Pinhead
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Here’s a treat… Two of the world’s best, ever, each with a link to the entire piece, for those with the time and inclination to absorb all of it….. Enjoy!

The Moving Finger writes; and having writ,
Moves on; nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.

— Omar Khayyam (died c.1133) — Rubaiyat, Stanza lxxi

Link: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-rubaiyat-of-omar-khayyam/
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A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.

— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Criticism, Part ii, Line 15

Link: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/an-essay-on-criticism/
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I’m feeling a bit muddled…. discombobulated…. fuzzy…. sluggish between the ears. I suppose it isn’t entirely surprising, given the time of night, or morning, whichever you prefer; either is accurate at 0425 AM. (Yes, I realize writing the time thus is oxymoronic, if not merely redundant…. some folks don’t comprehend military time, so I do it for clarity…. I’m just that kind of guy….) I’ve got pearls ready, chosen yesterday and saved for use whenever, so, of course, my brain isn’t capable of dealing with them adequately….. Now I’ll have to dive deeper, to find a pearl or two to augment this group, and bring some kind of form to this nebulous mass…. ‘Scuse me, I’ll be back….

In the words of Neville Longbottom, “That went well…” Two very fine additions to round out the first three, and we’re good to go; I couldn’t be prouder. I suppose if I had written these myself, I could feel a bit more so, but, I’ll just bask in the reflected glory, and be content, knowing I’ve done my part to decrease entropy at least a small bit……

“Knowledge is the antidote of fear.” — Emerson

“Any culture which in the interests of efficiency or in the name of some political or religious dogma, seeks to standardize the human individual commits an outrage against man’s biological nature.” — Charles A. Reich, THE GREENING OF AMERICA

“Of all the benefits that virtue confers upon us, the contempt of death is one of the greatest.” — Montaigne (1533-1592)

“Life without learning is death.” — Cicero

“Hypotheses are not to be multiplied without necessity.” — Occam’s Razor

See? As I’ve said before, it’s all in the wrist. Oh, and, of course, timing is everything…..  Ta, then…..
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Even after taking the time to edit, and proof, once, this Pearl is done, and it is still an hour and twenty minutes before the earliest I ever get up these days. Translated, that means it is now 0455 AM here in California, and even the classical music DJ is still on the night-time programming schedule. What to do now just became a critical issue, one I’ll have to go deal with personally, I suppose. Ah well, for such an out-of-sequence kind of deal, this didn’t turn out too badly, and it has that ineffable quality of “doneness” that I especially appreciate…. (No, “doneness” is NOT a word, according to Spell Checker…. what’s your point? You know what I meant…. and, since there is no such thing as a dumb question, don’t fret, no worries…. Besides, this is the end, so we can waste as much time as I want….)   Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!