What an odd sensation I’m experiencing this morning! I am awake, almost fully, it seems, but every bone and muscle in my body wants me to go back to sleep….. I can barely hold my head up from what feels like fatigue (after almost 10 hours in bed….), but my mind is alert and ready for the day, so to speak. Weird…. I’m typing while leaning on my right arm, and my back is bowed, all because I’m tired, or feel that way. I know I shouldn’t be tired, but, there you go…. More gifts from an aging body, I guess, and not one I’m going to worry about, or give in to. Not that I’m bursting with creativity or anything like that this morning…. I’m just tired of giving ground, and I’m not ready for my rocking chair yet….
Oops…. that was a conclusion, given too early, I think. Now I don’t know where to go with this intro section, having already delivered the punch line, so to speak. But, in keeping with the theme of no complaints, I’ll forge onward, despite the self-induced literary suicide I just performed. Well, suicide is maybe a bit harsh…. let’s just call it a faux pas, and let it go at that. A faux pas is much easier to repair than a suicide, that’s for sure…..
Trite, trite, trite…. what was I thinking? Oh well….. It’s looking like today may just be more of an adventure than even I was prepared for; so far, I’ve found myself performing several little contortions that do not bode well for the rest of the day. An egoistic curmudgeonly moment, followed immediately by clumsy lexicography are not the most hopeful signs of brilliance I can think of, off hand. This may take some rather severe mental contortions to make it to the end. Ah well, I had a feeling when I awoke that this would be one of those days, so I mentally “girded my grid for the big one”, as the bozos say….
Hmm…. “gird your grid for a big one” is a phrase that I see might need some clarification, but, oh well. Now is not the time, so unless you feel like plugging it into Google, to see if it knows where it is from, I guess you are S.O.L., as they say downtown, because I’m not going to do that right now. I could, but, I’m not…. leftover curmudgeon, I guess. But, I’ll soften enough to give you a hint…. it comes from one of the Firesign Theater’s albums, and the word “bozo” is a second hint….
Well, none of the above is going to win me any literary prizes, and I have sputtered through five or six paragraphs already, so it’s probably all for the best to go on to the regular program. Not that I think that will be of any use, or help…. this one is already too far off the tracks to worry about trying to get back on…. we’ll just wander through the uncharted territories today, and let the chips fall where they may…. Shall we Pearl?….
“I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over our cities, we, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics but for our contributions to the human spirit.” — former US President John F. Kennedy
At last! A worthy pearl! JFK, like the current President, was a superb public speaker, “Ich bin ein Berliner” notwithstanding, and whether he wrote his own words, or relied on his speech writers, he delivered, arguably, some of the most memorable, and insightful, aphorisms in US political and social history. The above statement is a perfect example, as he expresses a sentiment that can only be applauded, if not verified. I say verified because there is not a lot of verification from the past that history remembers anything BUT the battles. But, one can hope….
Actually, I believe what Jack said very strongly, in the sense that there are different histories that are remembered, most of which become altered in some way over time, as does all memory. The great teachers and philosophers who have lived have left their mark on the world in more ways than always show, in spite of the records of their deeds not always surviving intact. But, throughout history, there have been men, and women, who have done much to advance the human condition, whose words and deeds were never seen, and never recorded, but, nonetheless. whose effects still ripple down the river of time.
Some of the great minds in history, such as Lao Tzu, Zoroaster, Genghis Khan, Gautama Buddha, Jesus of Nazareth, Mohammed, Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, and many others, all made such advances in the human spirit, and their ideas keep proving their worth every day by their relativity to modern society. Men like Leonardo da Vinci, whose genius was so bright it shines even today, and modern philosopher/scientists such as Albert Einstein, and Stephen Hawking, have advanced that human spirit as much as anyone.
I’m not being as eloquent as I’d wish for such a deep subject…. What I’m trying to get to here is that we all, each and every one of us, have the power and opportunity to do the same as these historical figures, to advance the human spirit, just by the way we live our lives. What the philosophers say, and write, and the wisdom they pass on, is all very good, and a lesson to the rest of us…. But, what the average person does every day in their lives is just as important to the future as any scientific breakthrough, because what they do will determine what their children learn, and THAT is where the advancement really takes place, in the moments of teaching that happens every moment for children, and their adult teachers.
Living a life of integrity, with honesty and duty as the watchwords for action, is the best teaching method there is; to provide a good example for a child holds no less promise for mankind than all the work of all the genius’ of all time. How each one of us approaches life will, in the end, determine what happens to our species as a whole. It isn’t easy, especially given all of the people in society who do NOT wish to have any part of advancing anything but their own interests…. especially when so many of those kinds of people are in positions of authority. But, it can be done, and is done, every day, by millions of men and women of good spirit…. They are truly the future of mankind, and, if there is any hope for survival, it lies in their honest hands….
“So live that you can look any man in the eye and tell him to go to hell.” — Smart Bee
The Wild Old Wicked Man
BECAUSE I am mad about women
I am mad about the hills,’
Said that wild old wicked man
Who travels where God wills.
‘Not to die on the straw at home.
Those hands to close these eyes,
That is all I ask, my dear,
From the old man in the skies.
Daybreak and a candle-end.
‘Kind are all your words, my dear,
Do not the rest withhold.
Who can know the year, my dear,
when an old man’s blood grows cold? ‘
I have what no young man can have
Because he loves too much.
Words I have that can pierce the heart,
But what can he do but touch?’
Daybreak and a candle-end.
Then Said she to that wild old man,
His stout stick under his hand,
‘Love to give or to withhold
Is not at my command.
I gave it all to an older man:
That old man in the skies.
Hands that are busy with His beads
Can never close those eyes.’
Daybreak and a candle-end.
‘Go your ways, O go your ways,
I choose another mark,
Girls down on the seashore
Who understand the dark;
Bawdy talk for the fishermen;
A dance for the fisher-lads;
When dark hangs upon the water
They turn down their beds.
Daybreak and a candle-end.
‘A young man in the dark am I,
But a wild old man in the light,
That can make a cat laugh, or
Can touch by mother wit
Things hid in their marrow-bones
From time long passed away,
Hid from all those warty lads
That by their bodies lay.
Daybreak and a candle-end.
‘All men live in suffering,
I know as few can know,
Whether they take the upper road
Or stay content on the low,
Rower bent in his row-boat
Or weaver bent at his loom,
Horseman erect upon horseback
Or child hid in the womb.
Daybreak and a candlc-cnd.
‘That some stream of lightning
From the old man in the skies
Can burn out that suffering
No right-taught man denies.
But a coarse old man am I,
I choose the second-best,
I forget it all awhile
Upon a woman’s breast.’
Daybreak and a candlc-end.
~~ William Butler Yeats
“The sage wears clothes of coarse cloth but carries jewels in his bosom; He knows himself but does not display himself; He loves himself but does not hold himself in high esteem. Thus he rejects the latter and takes the former.” — Lao-Tzu
In spite of how it must appear, there is a small degree of organization to this blog’s contents. Most days I try to make sure that the first and third sections, while possibly related, are essentially about different concepts. The second section is, of course, reserved for whatever poetry strikes my fancy that day, whether classic, humorous, or original (Though it does seem that my recent outpouring of original poems has run dry, I don’t think I’m done with that, yet…..). It seems to work for me…. well enough, at least, to keep my internal critics quiet most of the time.
Today, it seems that most of what I’m seeing for pearls are related somehow to what I spoke of peripherally in today’s first section, to wit: the importance of integrity in human life. Integrity…. hmm…. not the precise word, or the characteristic I am thinking of, actually; it’s more than merely integrity. I suppose one could say the concept to which I’m referring is too mystical an idea to be presented clearly, and not be too far off the mark….
However, not being one to ignore a challenge to my vocabulary, I’ll take a few unseen moments here and find the correct word to facilitate further discussion, because, hey, if I can’t, no discussion, right? Right…. Be right back…. instantly, by all you will know and see….. Well, the challenge is a strong one, and I think best answered with more than one word to describe what I’m trying to say. Those words are all contained in Axiom #7 of Peruaosophy, to wit: Do your Duty. Honor the Truth. Respect Life. Share your Love.
I know that it is my own philosophy, and some may think that is cheating, but, not so. All that I hold to be true is in that axiom, and it represents the four cornerstones of my personal foundation. I find that when I am able to live up to all of these concepts, when I am able to use their direction in guiding my actions, my life is much smoother, and my moments of joy are plentiful, to balance the pain that life brings all of us in turn. This, to me, is the best way to advance the human condition, little by little, with the efforts of each man and woman adding its weight to the forward momentum.
Yes, the actions and discoveries that the best of history’s minds bring to us are wonderful, and work to make the lives of every human better…. It is the everyday efforts of each man, though, that takes that wisdom and turns it into reality, by using ideas, and integrity, to add their experience to that of the rest of society. Since there is a large number of folks who do NOT subscribe to this kind of ethical behavior, choosing to make their own self-interest their primary concern, it is the duty of those who do believe in these ideas to carry them out as best they may, so that the world can retain some semblance of harmony. It doesn’t always work, and, in fact, is in constant jeopardy of not working at all, but, it is the only way that will make the changes our society needs to survive…. which is another discussion for another time…..
“And now there is merely silence, silence, silence, saying all we did not know.” — William Rose Benet
All in all, not a bad start to December. Now, if the configuration issues I noted yesterday on my site have been cleared up by my renewal of the domain name, all will be well. I am hopeful, if not sanguine…. And, if I want to get this posted today in time to get anything else constructive done, I’d best draw this to a close…. No poem, yet, but, I think you’ll like what I’ve added there…. I’m off to the library and farmer’s market…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.