The only quest I know….

Ffolkes,
There is always a lot of stuff going on in my head, and, in spite of how it should, or could be otherwise, I’m pretty sure that not all of it is completely under my control. This, as might be deduced, is both blessing and curse, and causes me no end of moments of temporary confusion, moments that can stretch to what seems like eons….. Hell, sometimes, it seems like confusion is my most natural state, especially when reality is going through its contortions right in front of me like it does; reality does not always conform to what I think of it, either regarding expectations, or expedience. Hard to say which is more annoying, having my expectations dashed by reality, or having my time killed by it, used up dealing with mundane details rather than exotic dreams, or even hopeful ones….. (Whew! A four line sentence, desperately trying not to run on, and failing spectacularly!…. Oh well…. I just got up, give me a little slack, here, ‘kay?….Or, just call me Balzac….)

If this all sounds a bit vague, you are paying attention, as it is deliberately so. I’m trying to discuss a point that can easily slip over into whining about how Murphy always f___s with me, without crossing the line of demarcation for that state of asininity. Whining feels good, right up until it leaves the mouth, then it is just pathetic, and the shame and guilt set in…. I really don’t know why we even bother with it, as it has no effect at all on reality, and only makes us look and feel bad. Another of those delightful human characteristics that we are constantly working to eradicate from our personalities, if we have any sense. Of course, the possession of sense is another discussion entirely, and would take up far too much space right now, so let’s not go there, eh?

To get back to our original point of discussion, not being entirely in control of what is happening in my head is a deliberate state on my part. I’ve found that a lot of my artistic impetus comes from that area of my experience, so I’ve developed the habit of allowing part of my consciousness free rein to go wherever it may wish, without any oversight by the tapes and rules that govern most of the rest of my persona. This is my version of allowing my imagination to soar, and it seems to work for me, so I don’t fuss with it, or think about it much, as I don’t want to disturb whatever balance and tension that keeps it running smoothly.

Below you’ll find a poem, an original I composed last night, under non-normal circumstances. It’s okay…. not the best I’ve ever done, but honest, and real in its intent and style. Oh, and, of course, it rhymes…. to me, that is important in one of my own poems these days. I spent a lot of effort in my youth writing free verse, with no structure, and no deliberate rhyming. Most of what I wrote back then was pretty sappy…. emotional, at times powerfully so, but lacking in direction, or a whole lot of style.

S’okay, I’m good with it, because nobody will ever see it again but me, and maybe my kids, when they go through my things after I pass (Oh for goodness sake, I hope they don’t try to publish any of it posthumously, I’d die of shame….   🙂   ….) Any who, this poem was written on the edge, as I was about two sheets to the wind, an unusual state these days, especially on a mere half-pint over the course of an hour and a half…. not exactly the consumption of a lumberjack, or even myself three years ago….. But, it was enough for my payday splurge for the month, and gave me a full three hours of wonderful relief from back pain (I’d forgotten how alcohol can do that…. it’s just not something one can use regularly, for a lot of reasons, but, occasionally, it sure provides a kind, and depth, of relief that is very rare for those of us who suffer constant pain….)

Any who, let’s see what else we can come up with here on an early Sunday morning, with the rain and wind blowing and blustering outside, making me glad to have a warm, dry place to stay, with food, and things to occupy my mind, and time. I am indeed a rich man, for all that I don’t have, that is to say, the worry of those who have no such advantages as these. It’s almost enough to make me rant, but I’ll wait until I find a pearl to base it on…. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“There is one God, but which one is He?”– Smart Bee

Now, this is the proper use of reason and inquiry! Such a small question, made gargantuan by the depth of its insight. Which one, indeed, is the real God? There are as many answers to this question as there are what I like to call “preachers”, for want of a better word (I should maybe try to pick a better one, I suppose….); “preachers” are men, or women, who have decided upon one particular system of beliefs on the subject of divinity as being the correct one, to the exclusion of all the others. In spite of the lack of hard evidence on hand for any of the different belief systems, these folks choose one, and stick to it like a barnacle…. which, come to think of it, is probably what it feels like, after a while….

Depending on to whom the question is put, the answer may vary from Odin the All Father of Norse mythology, to the God of Zoroaster, whose specific appellation escapes me just now. In between you will find God, also known as Yahweh/Jehovah to the those of the Tribe, Allah to the Muslims, and just plain old God to most of the Christian sects. There is the voodoo god, Jobu, in the Caribbean; Set, or Bal, or Mammon, or any of the other ancient earth gods;  Ra of the Egyptians; Krishna, and all his incarnations, i.e., Kali, Yama, Ganesha, Maya, and the others in the Hindu pantheon. The American Indians seemed to favor the Great Spirit. Ancient Druids and Wiccans follow the Goddess, with gods and goddesses from the Greeks and Romans thrown into the mix, just for fun. The list seems as endless as human imagination….. which it is, since all of them spring from that source.

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” — Smart Bee (and, most likely, the Dalai Lama….)

As far as I know, Buddha never claimed to be a god, and was, to my mind, not particularly clear on the subject of divinity, as directly related to humanity. The same seems true of Taoism, though certain of its sages seem to hold some of the old Chinese mythology beliefs on Heaven, and the creatures who inhabit that domain, another concept for which there is only imaginary evidence to support its veracity, and its reality. In this way, I see these philosophies as superior to the religious doctrines that purport to worship a deity, as they rely on reason, personal responsibility, and compassion to direct action, rather than fear of reprisal, or hope for reward, as is the wont of religious dogma and doctrine.

This perception of mine may be because I have always thought that the entire concept of a deity is not capable of being described, or understood, if one is to assume that a god is what it claims to be. How can a mortal understand an immortal? There is no common ground, other than the assumption of existence, for which there can be any reason for one to be connected to the other, as we could not comprehend their existence. We, limited to our human perceptions, have no direct evidence of a deity that can be experienced by those perceptions.

Anyone who tells you they do is lying, even if they believe it to be true, unless they can share that experience with another human, directly, with evidence for the senses we possess, not merely for what we wish to be true. Feelings don’t count, nor visions only seen by them, or voices in the head, and neither do personal revelations, or religious fevers, or speaking in tongues…. See, hear, touch, smell, taste…. that’s what we have, along with the ability to reason, and our imagination. That is our tool kit, and unless one of the tools fits, it isn’t real, to our perceptive ability. Items purported to be evidence that come from imagination are just that…. imaginary, and cannot be considered proof of anything other than the naivete of the speaker, and of any who choose to believe them.

“It is a great advantage for a system of philosophy to be substantially true.” — George Santayana

SIGH…. People are people, though, and they will choose what to believe according to what they feel, most of the time, rather than according to what is the truth, which requires effort to find. It has even been said that humans have a tendency more often than not to make choices that are bad for them, just for that reason, that it is too much effort to think their way through to the truth that would ultimately help them. As long as this is true, then our species is in danger, from itself, and its own delusions…. Sad, in a species of such promise…..

And on the 8th day, God woke up and said “Whew! It was just a dream!” — Smart Bee
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“Poetry is what gets lost in translation.” — Robert Frost

Placidly falling in amber waves: old friends

Whiskey, oh, whiskey, I’d forgotten thy balm,
thy loving spread of lassitude, and nature’s own calm.
Misery and pain flee in squalid disorganization,
leaving mirth, happily embraced, in just consolation.

James, old friend, thou has not abandoned me at all,
steadfast and loyal, ever ready to answer my softest call.
Ephemeral illusions of normality come at your instigation
blessed moments of peaceful joy, sans vilification.

Gasps of coherence pound at the door to conscious thought,
muffled explosive memories of battles already fought.
Malleable as the changeable airs of time and circumstance
plaintive calls to reason stand not a single, honest chance.

Sober again, reality’s cold reign brings a new day
ringing in old changes in a new-fashioned way.
To know true freedom’s release from our everyday pain
Is worth a bit of headache, even in the cold, pouring rain.

~~ gigoid, two sheets to the wind, and back

“You will find poetry nowhere, unless you bring some with you.” — Joseph Joubert
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If birth is a miracle, is not death also a miracle? — Smart Bee

Smart Bee is living up to its name today…. Here is a question that most will avoid asking…. Well, perhaps not so much avoid as ignore, by preference. Which amounts to the same, little as they’d like to admit it. It’s okay, though, nobody is blaming them, or suggesting they do anything other than what is comfortable…. Karma exists, like it or not, as the proper and logical counterbalance to entropy, giving it meaning, and everyone gets out of life exactly what they deserve. This is not an arguable conclusion, it is mere fact of reality, and fighting against it is pointless, as well as tiring…..

“You live in a deranged age, more deranged than usual, because in spite of great scientific and technological advances, man has not the faintest idea of who he is, what he is doing, or where he is going.”– Smart Bee

Everyone gets what they deserve….. what a novel concept! Of course, many folks, of the sort who don’t like to accept merely what they deserve, try to manipulate reality, and end up accumulating much more than they deserve. What they don’t understand is that time is not on their side, and karma will eventually come to them for an accounting, and all will be brought into balance, at their expense. It’s not a pretty sight when it happens, and it is so unnecessary, considering the consequences that can be avoided by simple acts of honor and integrity. Sometimes, living is a worse punishment than dying, in such cases….

Another lesser-known part of karma is one that most folks have a hard time both understanding, and, once they do, accepting. This principle is stated simply as: Not only are you 100% responsible for what you DO, you are 100% responsible for what happens TO you. Yep…. completely. If the world has punched you in the face, well, all I can ask is, what was your face doing in front of that fist? There are no excuses in the eyes of karma, and we become truly ourselves when we learn to understand this, and to make it a part of how we make decisions in life, including those leading up to the second miracle of our existence, dying.

“When the ten thousand things are seen in their oneness, we return to the source to remain where we have always been.” — Seng Ts’un.

In the ultimate sense, this goes back to the discussion in section one above, tying all of it together in this way: “the ten thousand things” is the Chinese literary euphemism for reality, or Heaven, or the universe at large, depending on who one asks at what time of day….. By this statement, Ts’un shows his knowledge, and acceptance of his own divinity, and connection, according to the principles of karma and how we interact with reality, to everything that exists in the universe, including all gods, or ideas about gods, or God. Take your pick, they are ALL correct, in their own little way, or according their own little piece of the Truth. What is actually TRUE for everyone always makes itself obvious…. because that is what happens. What is, is….

“Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle. Some things are within your control. And some things are not.” — Epictetus
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I have to say, this one isn’t bad…. I’m not going to even question why it came out as well as it did, but will go with the flow of karma, and accept what is….. Unless I wish to wait until late this afternoon to post this, I will have to hike through the rain for a few blocks to get to the Wi-Fi spot at the coffee shop, which I believe will be the best way to go. I’m no tireless, invulnerable warrior like I used to be, but I think I can make it three blocks in the rain for this without suffering the tortures of hell. Unless, of course, pneumonia sets in…. Well, no point in tempting Murphy any more than that, so I’ll close this here, and hope for the best…. All I need is twenty minutes of cooperation from the rain gods, and all will be well…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Layered in pugnacious pyjamas….

Ffolkes,
I’m beginning to think that my habit of writing an average of 1500 words every morning is depleting my store of inspiration; if not, it is at least getting weary, and hiding from me more often. I can’t really blame it, as I’ve asked it to perform miracles almost every day, turning pearls, and what is in my head, into something worth putting down on paper (note: that phrase is rapidly losing all meaning, as computers become more ubiquitous….). That’s a lot of miracles in just about 300 days.

“This writing business. Pencils and whatnot. Overrated, if you ask me.” — Winnie the Pooh

But, having set myself the goal of posting a Pearl every day (set long ago, and too late now to worry about changing…), I feel duty-bound to make the best effort I can to meet that goal. So, I carry on, in spite of the increasing difficulty. I suppose it has to do with how writing is not for the weak-minded, or for those with no staying power to their will. Since I’m now not a chef, or a psych tech, or an executive assistant, writing is what I do, so I’ve left myself with very little choice but to keep on keepin’ on, as Jerry and the boys would have said….

I see my life go drifting like a river
From change to change; I have been many things –
A green drop in the surge, a gleam of light
Upon a sword, a fir tree on a hill,
An old slave grinding at a heavy quern,
A king sitting upon a chair of gold –
And all these things were wonderful and great;
But now I have grown nothing, knowing all.
Ah! Druid, Druid, how great webs of sorrow
Lay hidden in that small slate-coloured thing!
— William Butler Yeats, “Fergus and the Druid”

What does that mean for this process? Well, nothing really…. but it got me two more paragraphs of semi-literate, if relatively meaningless discussion of a personal problem, and a great pearl from Yeats, and that ain’t nothing…. so, we’ll just use that as a very, very loose segue into today’s dive for pearls…. shall we Pearl, then?…..
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“I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round.” — John Lennon

Men are afraid of women… hence all the jokes about them taking over, over slyly ruling us without us knowing it. Men’s fears of just that thing are what cause him to hate women, because they do not understand them, and fear arises out of lack of understanding. Here are a few examples of such lies, the lies that perpetuate the war between the sexes…..

“My notion of a wife at 40 is that a man should be able to change her, like a bank note, for two twenties.” — Warren Beatty

A lady is one who only shows her underwear intentionally. — Smart Bee

— Yo momma……so fat she has to buy two airline tickets. — Smart Bee

“A beautiful woman is paradise for the eyes, hell for the soul, and purgatory for the purse.” — Smart Bee

“Passionate kiss like spider web, lead to undoing of fly.” — Confucius say (No, he didn’t, but liars don’t care….)

Really, really sexist, misogynistic, and paranoid, yes? Yes….

The mere existence of these jokes, and others like them, indicates clearly what men are afraid of in women, and that is their sexuality. We… well, men, not necessarily we men, because not all of us hate them… No I don’t understand them, but that doesn’t make them any less fascinating or wonderfully different. I am aware of my own self, and my own powers, and they have naught to do with what women can do; I feel no need to compare the two, or to assume one is stronger or better. They are just different, and what is different about women is not to be feared, even if not understood. It is just to be learned, and appreciated, that’s all….and the learning is a totally awesome trip, I assure you….

But, back to the sexuality that men fear. Their fear exists because these men have never learned to understand themselves, or their place in the scheme of things; that makes them unable to understand women, and turns their ignorance to fear, and from thence to hatred and abuse against them.

Men cannot stand the thought that a woman might be more important than him, and that is a certain sign of lack of confidence, and of ignorance.  Men who know their place in life, and who are confident of their own ability to cope with that place and its demands, have no need or desire to be more important than anyone; they are complete within themselves….

Too many men in this world don’t come anywhere close to this kind of self-knowledge; most go through life without exercising more than two neurons at once, and those tend to lose function whenever the blood goes elsewhere than the brain (such as during an erection). Most men are so afraid of women that they spend half their life telling jokes like the above, and spreading the nonsensical lies that perpetuate this atrocity.

Yes, atrocity, because it is this fear and loathing, of both themselves and women, that leads to issues such as domestic abuse, sex trafficking, prostitution, and abuse of children. The only women who are actively engaged in these activities are those who have been brainwashed to believe the crap they’ve heard all their lives, and who have given up their own humanity; they are very few in number. Otherwise, it is men who perpetrate these vile actions on women…. all because of their own fear and ignorance…. I say, shame on them, for they are not men, in my world…. They are vicious, irredeemable beasts, and should be put down like the dangerous creatures they are…..

“In the dark colony of night, when I consider man’s magnificent capacity for malice, madness, folly, envy, rage, and destructiveness, and I wonder whether we shall not end up as breakfast for newts and polyps, I seem to hear the muffled cries of all the words in all the books with covers closed.” — Leo Rosten
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“The power of a bold idea uttered publicly in defiance of dominant opinion cannot be easily measured. Those people who speak out in such a way as to shake up not only the self-assurance of their enemies, but the complacency of their friends, are precious catalysts for change.” — Howard Zinn

I would like to take a moment here to acknowledge a very honorable, and brave, act by the President of this country, Barack Obama. Yesterday, in a press conference, the President put the power of his office behind the defense of human rights, by stating that his administration was fully convinced that legislation that denied marriage to gay couples, or to anyone else, was directly in opposition to the Constitution by which we live. He made this a national announcement, and set the stage for what is sure to be a fire-storm of protest from the political and religious factions that have made this issue their rallying cry.

The idea that marriage between people who are not male and female is acceptable is one whose time has obviously arrived. Current polls nationwide have borne out the fact that a large majority of the population agrees with that assessment. But it doesn’t detract from the bravery required to mount that horse at this time, for it had to be known that it would be a decision that would create a lot of noise from those who feel differently.

So, I am, for once, proud of what a President has done; it is something I cannot recall ever happening in the past, at all. Most of the time I am forced to shake my head and hide my face in shame, agreeing fully with the Dixie Chicks when they apologized for Bush to the rest of the world.

Let us all take this time to appreciate how this President has taken the reins of leadership firmly in hand, to direct our country toward a future where human rights are more important than living in fear and ignorance…. Yay, Barry!…. Good Job!

“A commitment to diversity is not a commitment to blacks or gays or any other group. A commitment to diversity is a commitment to respect and value each individual employee (person) for who they are, a commitment to help them become the best they can be by honoring their nature.” — Callan Williams
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OPERA
For centuries now, Opera has been the foremost method of humiliation available to the security forces. It began in the late 1600s, when peasant rebels were made to dress up as ridiculously fat people and get up on wooden planks in front of hundreds of their peers and shout the same things over and over and over, to a musical accompaniment. By the time the French Revolution came rolling along, it was the aristocrats who were forced to the stage to sing, gesticulate wildly and loudly perform plays devised to spread Revolutionary propaganda.  Nowadays, Opera has been driven underground, but is still carried out by the perverse, the deviant, and those with very big tits (both men and women), their audiences made up almost exclusively of establishment figures. — Daniel Bowen’s TOXIC CUSTARPEDIA

That’s what I’m talking about! Opera, to me, seems like a perfect example of how a lot of folks get all worked up over something that everyone else says is cool, but really has nothing to justify that opinion. Sure, there is some good music that came out of opera, and a few cool songs (far fewer than any opera buff would have us believe…), but for the most part it is just a bunch of hype that normally smart folks seem to fall for on a regular basis, just because a consensus says they should. It seems to me that anything that anyone does because they ‘should’ gets exactly what they deserve, i.e., twaddle… and a good portion of it.

So, don’t fall for this nonsense folks. Remember, friends don’t let friends go to an opera… unless they’re mad at them….
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Underneath this sable hearse
Lies the subject of all verse,–
Sidney’s sister, Pembroke’s mother.
Death, ere thou hast slain another,
Learn’d and fair and good as she,
Time shall throw a dart at thee.
— Ben Jonson (1573-1637) — Epitaph on the Countess of Pembroke

And as she looked around, she saw how Death the consoler,
Laying his hand upon many a heart, had healed it forever.
— Henry W. Longfellow (1807-1882) — Evangeline, Part ii

“For good men but see death, the wicked taste it.” — Johnson

“Be happy while you’re living, for you’re a long time dead.” — Scottish Proverb

Mankind has always had a fascination with Death, which, I suppose, is natural, considering it is one of the few things in this universe that all of us will experience at the same time in our lives. It is the Great Equalizer, in its finest sense; no one escapes. There are probably more books and treatises on Death, or involving some manifestation of Death, than of any other subject, save perhaps Love, another subject that deeply affects us all.

My writing about it probably enters the realm of superfluousness, but I found these great pearls, so I couldn’t resist…. Besides which, as I move ever closer to my own time to have a face to face with the Reaper, I find myself turning my thoughts to the subject, somewhat morbidly I’m sure….

How each of us faces that particular moment is about as personal as things can be, for we are all ourselves, little as we may understand that phrase, and the things we have learned in our lives are what will determine whether we are able to greet Death with dignity, or pitch a fit of major proportions….

I’m not going to go any further into this at this time, as I’m not so close to my time as all that. But, I will say that I hope that I can approach my own demise with some aplomb; I really hate to make a scene. It’s so embarrassing to wash one’s dirty linen in public, and I hope I have more panache than that…. I guess we’ll see, won’t we…. like we had a choice in the matter….  🙂
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“Most people want security in this world, not liberty.” — H.L. Mencken

Mr. Mencken has put his finger firmly on what I see as wrong in our culture today, to wit: the average person in this country has assumed the “slave” mentality, and has adopted security as their preferred state over that of being free. Far too many of my countrymen, and women, have given up the right to think for themselves, opting instead to let the beloved ruling class decide for them what they may think, and what they may do.

They have given up this right for the illusion of security; I say illusion for the word ‘security’ has no meaning in Reality. One can never be completely secure; it just isn’t possible in a world where there are so many people devoted to taking advantage of one another.

Most folks who allow this degradation of their own liberty don’t realize that they have chosen an illusion. They believe that the people who have promised them security can not only give it to them, but are doing so because they care about what happens to their constituents. This, of course, couldn’t be further from the truth, for not only are they NOT doing it for their constituents, they are deliberately lying to them to get them to believe it.

The actual danger of being taken advantage of does not come from outside our country, but from those very folks who tell us we need to be secure, rather than free.  The very people who they think are helping them are the ones who are ripping them off with both hands….

“Any body of men who believe in hell will persecute whenever they have the power.” — Joseph M. McCabe (1867-1957)

It’s enough to make a man want to drink… a lot…. At least when I’m stone cold drunk I don’t feel so bad about it. Of course, in that state I don’t feel bad about anything, so it’s obviously not a solution, but it does offer some temporary relief from having to watch it happen. Ah well, so much for the American Dream, eh?…..
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Well, I must say, this has been one of the most interesting, and chaotic Pearls that I’ve ever composed. It seemed to go all over the map as I was writing, taking me from subject to subject willy-nilly, and having a grand time about it. On looking back over it all, it seems to have held together fairly well, so I’m going to go with it once again without trying to make any sense out of why…. 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!