It is a commonly held belief that Time is on our side; this, I can assure you, is not true, from at least one standpoint. I can attest from personal experience that Time, as has been previously noted, is a big PITA (Pain In The Ass)….. and I mean that in a bad way…..
Some women I’ve known have been known to call Time the Time Bitch, and watch in the mirror daily, to search for signs of her bitchiness, in the form of crow’s nests of lines around the eyes, and tangles of grey in the hair. We men, not quite as concerned with the outward signs of aging, nonetheless have our own issues with the Time Bozo, with no less degree of hatred involved…..
It’s hard on men in general to get old, especially since, for most of our lives, we are seen as, and view ourselves as, strong, competent, and able to withstand whatever the world throws at us, in order to accomplish our duty. This strength is hard to give up, but, give it up we must, as our muscles grow weaker, and we tire more easily, no matter how much conditioning we try to maintain. Yes, it’s possible to keep the worst effects at bay for a while, with proper exercise and rest, and a good diet, but, eventually, even the most athletic of seniors must put aside the bikes, and the hikes, and trade it in for an occasional waltz with your lover….
In my own case, I am incensed at how my body is losing function, as I’ve always thought of myself as invincible, perhaps even immortal…. Well, guess what? I’m not either of those things, other than in a metaphysical sense (We are immortal, but not in a recognizable fashion from our current viewpoint in Reality…..), and to be honest, I’m beginning to understand a little better exactly why there are so many older folks running around with a piss-poor attitude. After a while of trying to deal with the things that aging brings with it, the frustration builds up, and there is little choice but to find a way to let it out…. It’s just too bad that other people have to be in the way when that happens, but the other side effect of getting older is that we just don’t give a shit about that….
It’s the one thing that saves us oldsters from getting homicidal, actually, this license to grump. And, whether or not you feel that we are licensed to be so, just remember that we don’t give a shit what you think about it, do we?…. Nope, we don’t. So, get used to grumpy old farts like me toddling around, trying to get our shit done, pushing through our hazes of pain and difficult mobility (you try walking around with 50 lbs. of groceries, being pulled in a hand-cart, riding buses, when your hip is screaming with a pain level of about 7 out of 10, and pain and stiffness in the back at about 5 or 6, having to stand and wait, freezing, for buses that never came, for about 90 minutes…..), while we try to live the way we used to do, but much more slowly…..
I hadn’t intended to rant right off the bat this morning, but what I described in the last paragraph took place last evening, and I guess I’m still a bit pissed about it…. I was the victim of a bus system in the throes of destroying itself through budget cuts and piss poor management, and did actually have to stand at a bus stop for over 90 minutes for a bus that never showed up; I ended up calling a cab, and thank goodness I had a cell phone, or I’d have been stuck walking, two miles from home with 50 lbs. of groceries, part of which was thawing during the delay. By the time the cab arrived, I was in tears, and excruciating pain; it took me almost a full minute to be able to sit down in the seat, I was so stiff, cold, and in pain….
Ah well, I suppose I have to get used to that sort of thing, as our society doesn’t place a large emphasis on caring for the aged. Oh, there’s a lot of talk about respecting seniors, and showing them we care, but, I’m afraid I have to tell you, it’s all just smoke and mirrors…. When it comes down to the sticking point, senior programs are among the first to get budget cuts, far ahead of any cuts to the military, or to bailing out the bankers from their latest scheme to rip off the public….. No, I’m not bitter at all, why do you ask?…..
“Alas! it is not till time, with reckless hand, has torn out half the leaves from the Book of Human Life to light the fires of passion with from day to day, that man begins to see that the leaves which remain are few in number.” — Henry W. Longfellow (1807-1882) — Hyperion, Book iv, Chap. viii
Fuck it…. There isn’t anything I can do about it, so I may as well just bury it, down deep where all the other stuff is kept, the stuff I hate, but can’t do anything about…. That’s okay, though…. all that angst, and bitterness, will sit in there with the other stuff, and percolate, much like compost, until it comes bursting out sometime in the future, as a poem, or a steamy, messy, vicious indictment/rant against….. well, somebody…. In the meantime, I guess the only thing to do is go on with today’s dive, and see if it doesn’t calm me down a bit…. Shall we Pearl?…..
“A sense of humor keen enough to show a man his own absurdities will keep him from the commission of all sins, or nearly all, save those that are worth committing.” — Samuel Butler
Smart Bee showed this quote to me this morning first off; I hesitated to use it, though it seems to lend itself to a discussion, and went on. A few moments later, after supplying a few nice pearls for an old-school format, it brought it up again. It usually knows what its doing, so this time I brought it up for treatment here, though still without a clear idea of what to discuss…..
It’s a good thought, and quite accurate in its assumption of human humor as moral mentor. To me, it seems quite obvious…. Then, I realized that, sadly, there is a significant percentage of humanity that possesses NO sense of humor that can be detected. These folks, handicapped as they are by their lack of chillness, often end up in a small category of life tasks, or jobs, as we call them today….
People without any humor tend to flock together in groups; they may not be fully human, but they do need the company of others of their ilk, just like the rest of us. So, they gravitate into professions where their lack of any sense of proportion, or irony, can be an asset rather than a liability, as it tends to be in most of Life’s activities.
Lawyers, accountants, politicians, preachers, all, by virtue of the nature of their work, don’t need a sense of humor; in fact, it slows them down to have one, as they see what they do as important and dignified, no place for levity. They never understand that, by doing so they are acting as the most hilarious of clowns, while being completely oblivious of how ridiculous they appear to the rest of mankind.
A guy calls 911, in breathless panic. When the operator answers, he cries out, “My buddy and I were hunting deer, and he accidentally shot himself! He looks dead! What should I do?” The operator, trained to be calm, says to him, “Okay, first, go make sure that he’s actually dead.” The guy say, “Okay.”, and puts down the phone, The operator hears some footsteps,then, a gunshot. The guy comes back online, and says, “Okay, he’s dead. Now what?”…..
See? That’s funny, right? Since this joke was chosen by a nation-wide search to find out what people thought was the best joke ever, we may assume it is…. Plus, if it isn’t funny to you, then you may want to get examined by a psychiatrist, as you may have lost the sense of humor you once had; quite frankly, it’s bloody hilarious, and quite true to human nature.
That’s all…. I’m going to leave this here, as I can feel my own sense of irony getting heated up, and I’m liable to start spouting off my own funniest stories…. Given my macabre, perilously close to perverted, and often unexplainable sense of humor about almost everything I perceive, especially if it has to do with people and their antics, that could be disastrous…. plus, we’ve got a long way to go yet today. So, I’ll leave this here, and just say this….
We are all Bozos on this Bus, whether we know it or not; it’s not something we have choice in, it is our nature to be clowns. The best, and easiest way to deal with the universe is to accept this, and not try to force Reality into an unnatural shape to suit our own folly, because when people try to do that, they just end up funnier than usual, to the rest of us, as Reality demonstrates its unwillingness to allow any such alteration. As the Firesign Theater said, so many years ago, “If the nose grows, let it show!”….
“Why is the alphabet in that order? Is it because of that song?” — Steven Wright
After my experience last night with the bus system here, I’m feeling pretty lazy, unwilling to make any effort to get past my recovery stage. I’m also feeling too tired to go searching for a good poem, so I’m going to resort to the ultimate cheat around here, and include here a poem of my own, from a few months ago; October of last year, to be precise…. It seemed appropriate for the occasion….. You may have seen it then, but, whether or not you did so, I hope you enjoy it….
Raging at Aging
As old as you feel, we are told, is old as you are,
custom assures such vision will carry us far.
Reality begs to differ, may it be so bold
it is really quite painful, and very, very cold.
The power and strength felt in our halcyon youth
desert us with age, yet another unwelcome truth.
Irony rules our time here on this bountiful earth
as we reflect the changes over time since our birth.
As physical powers fade from this fragile shell,
we learn our mind can serve us quite as well.
The strength that once filled our bones and hearts
is now applied by our will, to more arcane arts.
Life’s greatest gift is our freedom of choice
no matter how often we forget, we still get a voice.
Energy, or apathy, by our will we may choose,
failing to do so, our only way to lose.
Each of us lives in the grip of time and space,
always seeking our balance, our own chosen place.
One must accept reality, for it is true at the core,
all we can do, is all we can do, and nothing more.
Today’s Pearl has apparently been taken over by Smart Bee…. In searching for a final pearl to discuss, it kept giving me a series of related quotes, as if it were trying to tell me which way to go…. Since I’m feeling so lazy today, I have allowed it to pick out a seven star pearl for your reading pleasure, and left it to chance that it will have some sort of relevance to reality….
Of course, each of the following, save the second pearl in line, by Mr. Graham, are worthy of an entire pearl alone…. Even the one by Graham is one I could rant on for a while, and have, in his case, in the past….. But, as I look at them all together, I find them to be not so much a pointed lesson, as a group of lozenges to treat the figurative sort throat that swallowing Reality can produce….. Enjoy!….. They taste almost like cinnamon…
“This universe is a trinity and this is made of name, form, and action. The source of all actions is the body, for it is by the body that all actions are done. The body is behind all actions, even as the Eternal is behind the body. — Upanishads (c. B.C. 800)
“God is more interested in your future and your relationships than you are.” — Billy Graham
(Sorry, couldn’t resist including this, as a contrast to the rational material on either side…. this is so full of shit, it would counteract five pieces of real wisdom…. and any number of pearls….)
“It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man.” — H.L. Mencken
(Especially after being exposed to Billy Graham….)
“Say not, when I have leisure I will study; you may not have the leisure.” — The Mishnah
“Having a passionate commitment to social justice does not excuse you from knowing what in the hell you’re talking about.” — Smart Bee
“It is good for a man to eat thistles and to remember that he is an ass.” — E. S. Dallas
“If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got.” — W.L. Bateman
As I sit here on my sore butt, it occurs to me that I need to get a better chair….. Any who, I’m done for now…. After a short break to clear out the cobwebs, we’ll see how it came out….. Hmm…. well, it will do…. Actually, considering the struggle I’m having today just to keep from screaming at something or somebody, it didn’t come out so badly…. good enough. I won’t tempt fate any further today….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.