Invariably, when I’m up at 0530, my mind turns to mush, or, more accurately, is mushy upon arising at that early hour….. Since I’m fond of oatmeal, this state isn’t all that unpleasant…. just slow. The addition of some butter, brown sugar, and a little bit of milk, in a figurative sense, puts me right into the correct mood for Pearling, so, all I have to do now is decide where I can find any such metaphorical condiments at this hour…. Real ones, sure, they’re right there in the kitchen, but, metaphor is a bit hard to come by so early in the day. I suppose I’m going to have to go out and milk the metaphorical cow…..
Ouch…. Well, that’s what happens when I try to write before consuming any coffee…. Milk the metaphorical cow, indeed! I walked away from that paragraph, to go get the coffee, and take a moment for morning worship, 😉 then saw that phrase when I got back. Imagine my chagrin, which, albeit strong, wasn’t enough to make me delete it… I’m leaving it there as an object lesson in humility, (or maybe that’s a lesson in abject humility….), and as a reminder to never try to compose anything before focus has been achieved, or at least courted….. Silly ass…. Someone so accustomed to the kind attentions of Murphy should know better than to tempt him with such foolishness…..
Now that I’ve come to my senses, as close as I dare approach at this hour, I find myself at somewhat of a loss to know where to go from here…. Three paragraphs in, and confusion is already rampant; it could end up being one of THOSE days, in which case, I might as well just go back to bed now. It’s too bad, really, that I’m such a moralist; it makes it hard to slough off when I want to hide from reality. Try as I might, I can’t bring myself to duck when reality swings at me; I’ll throw up a block, if I can, but ducking is cowardly, it seems to me, so I just stand there and take the first shot. I’m tough, though, and I can usually get right back up…..
Since my upbringing seems to have cornered me into finishing today’s Pearl before giving up, I guess we should get to it. It’s been great of late, now that the pressure to get done has been mitigated by not having to travel anywhere to post this material. Every morning, I get up to a fresh template for the Pearl, and proceed to fire up Smart Bee for the morning dive, in order to fill up each section with brilliant quotes and ironic humor, just waiting for me to dress it up for consumption.
I’ve been very happy with the freshness of the material that has come out of this process lately, which, given Murphy’s ever-ready presence in my life, should probably make me nervous. Thankfully, though, he doesn’t seem to mind it if I write, as long as I mention him every day….. I guess he wants more press in his old age…..
Wait, no, I didn’t mean that! You’re not old…. You’re just age-enhanced! That’s it….. Ffolkes, I think I’d best be quiet now, and get on with today’s business, before Murphy decides to take offense….. Shall we Pearl?…..
“Life is not separate from death. It only looks that way.” — Native American Proverb (Blackfoot)
Right! What a wonderful pearl! Not only is it short and sweet, it’s just packed with insight and implied wisdom…. In my mind, when I read it, I get a vision of a fireworks fountain, spewing light and beauty into the air, in blazing, colorful sparks…. A bit fanciful, but that’s the impression I got upon seeing it the first time….
You see, I’ve been thinking a lot of late, about Death vs. Life, due most likely to the fact that my own time to face that specter is approaching, seemingly ever more rapidly, as it tends to do later in our lives. When we look back over the time we’ve had on this Earth, the time left seems so short….
But, it isn’t really any shorter, nor, I’ve come to believe, is there anything to fear from Death’s approach. We all get to live just one day at a time…. Nay, not even so much…. we live one moment at a time, and we can’t make it go faster, or slow it down. So, worrying about what might happen in the future is a waste of the moment, and not worth the effort of doing so.
In addition, I’ve come to the conclusion that what happens after Death comes for us isn’t anything to fret over, either, because, logically, death is merely a transition phase, from one level of perception to another, with the other being a reality for which we do not possess the ability to perceive, lacking some organ, or some mental awareness that is needed to do so…..
There is no evidence at all that consciousness, as we understand it, persists on this level of reality after the body has died. On the other hand, there is also no evidence at all that it does not continue to exist, on some other level that we are not aware of; add to this the simple fact that in our universe, according to physical laws, energy, in ALL of its forms, cannot be destroyed, only changed in form. The Law of the Conservation of Energy has been proven many times, and is not a matter for dispute. When one considers consciousness, i.e., the MIND, as a form of energy, it makes perfect sense to assume that it changes forms when we die, but is not destroyed. It is the only logical answer, as far as I can see….
The wise women and men of the Blackfoot tribe apparently were aware of this, as well as being aware that the universe exists as a duality, with each characteristic of reality having its opposite complement, that defines and proves its very existence. We see the world in these opposites, so it is very easy to be fooled into thinking that what we see is the true nature of that reality…. but, it isn’t, because those two opposites are all part of the same grand scheme of things, and cannot be separated, not in reality…. only in our minds, where we separate them in order to comprehend them….
“Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.” — Murphy, courtesy of Smart Bee
Why does he do that? Why wait until I’ve spouted off for almost a thousand words before dropping these little bombs? Ah well, fuck him, and his bloody white horse! Everything I said above is the absolute truth, in my mind, so Murphy can just go f__k himself. Even though this aphorism is also true as the day is long, I don’t think I’ve gone so far astray that it applies… so, in spite of the Irish asshole, we’ll push on….
I have yet to discern any reason that can logically, or even speculatively, answer the question of why we don’t remember any of the time we’ve spent dead, or whatever it’s called when we’re busy not living on this plane of existence. You know, before you were born? And after we die? All of that is a long time, and since it is logical to assume the energy that makes up our consciousness is still in existence when we aren’t alive, in the classic sense, then it is also logical to assume that our minds are busy doing….. something else.
What that may be, well, your guess is as good as mine…. But, some folks’ guesses aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on…. I doubt seriously that the typical version of Heaven is a likely scenario, nor is Hell…. I regard those as just the unscrupulous concepts created by the BRC and/or priestly hierarchies to try to control the populace, not having any basis, or evidence to support them, in reality. In fact, there is ample evidence that shows otherwise, if one is open to perceiving it…..
I figure what Robert Heinlein said once is the best way to look at it… “There’s no evidence that says we live after death; there is also no evidence saying we don’t. Soon enough, you will know, so why worry about it now?” (That may be slightly paraphrased, but the idea is precisely accurate….)
Ah well, this subject, due to its nature, is one that we, or I, could ramble on about all day, and, from the looks of things, almost have done so. Life and Death are popular subjects, understandably enough, and since we all are experts, there’s no lack of stuff to read about it; everybody’s talking, as Glenn Campbell said. But, since we have the rest of this Pearl to finish, I guess I’ll let this go for now….. Just keep in mind, ffolkes, Death isn’t anything to fear, because, if nothing else, Life itself is proof of our continued existence after it is gone…. Think about it….
“The adventure is over. Everything gets over, and nothing is ever enough. Except the part you carry with you.” — E. L. Konigsburg
“One never realizes how much and how little he knows until he starts talking.” — Louis L’Amour
The poetry of Ms. Plath is relatively new to me, having somehow escaped my notice for most of my life. Now that I have more time to feed the Elephant’s Child, I’m glad I found her…. Here is another brilliant, torturous vision from her incredible mind…..
In the marketplace they are piling the dry sticks.
A thicket of shadows is a poor coat. I inhabit
The wax image of myself, a doll’s body.
Sickness begins here: I am the dartboard for witches.
Only the devil can eat the devil out.
In the month of red leaves I climb to a bed of fire.
It is easy to blame the dark: the mouth of a door,
The cellar’s belly. They’ve blown my sparkler out.
A black-sharded lady keeps me in parrot cage.
What large eyes the dead have!
I am intimate with a hairy spirit.
Smoke wheels from the beak of this empty jar.
If I am a little one, I can do no harm.
If I don’t move about, I’ll knock nothing over. So I said,
Sitting under a potlid, tiny and inert as a rice grain.
They are turning the burners up, ring after ring.
We are full of starch, my small white fellows. We grow.
It hurts at first. The red tongues will teach the truth.
Mother of beetles, only unclench your hand:
I’ll fly through the candle’s mouth like a singeless moth.
Give me back my shape. I am ready to construe the days
I coupled with dust in the shadow of a stone.
My ankles brighten. Brightness ascends my thighs.
I am lost, I am lost, in the robes of all this light.
~~ Sylvia Plath
Okay, so here’s the deal…. I went a bit overboard above with today’s rant on Life and Death, so we’re going old school for section three…. This group of pearls turned out to be one of my favorite kind…. It’s slippery, it’s deep, and it’s a challenge to find the punch line, yet each one could stand alone for a discussion, were I so inclined….. Perfect…. The punch line is, of course, left as an exercise for the Gentle Reader, with the motivation today being outsourced to Sesame Street…. If you think you’ve found the piece of wisdom buried in the coalition of ideas, give Grover a call at the soda shop; he is usually in there between 9 and 11 AM….. He’ll give you the prize for finding today’s punch line, right over the phone….
Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens. [Against stupidity the very gods fight in vain.] — Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805) — The Maid of Orleans, Act iii, Sc. 6
“If you can walk, you can dance; if you can talk, you can sing.” — a saying from Zimbabwe
“I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education.” — Wilson Mizner
“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being.” — C. G. Jung
“There is no harm in praising a large dog.” — Smart Bee
(Let this one roll around in your head a while…. it grows….)
Finally, to put things into the proper perspective, I give you our final pearl of the day…. Say ‘howdy’ to Grover for me, will you?….
“I’m meditating on the FORMALDEHYDE and the ASBESTOS leaking into my PERSONAL SPACE!!” — Zippy the Pinhead
There…. that’s done. I’m content with it, if not ecstatic. But, then, if I ever get ecstatic, it probably wouldn’t be as good…. To find excellence, it is often required to assume that good enough isn’t enough….
For now, though, it’s good enough, even if I don’t work for the government anymore. A fact for which I am eternally grateful, if a bit miffed about style…. I know, that’s obscure, but I wouldn’t want to be inconsistent, now, would I? No, of course not…. Well, maybe just a little…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.