“Man the pumps! Run around in circles, yelling, “fire, earthquake, flood, pestilence!” Send the women and children overboard! Throw some fire on that pail of water! Kick the cat! And above all, DON’T PANIC!”….. Or, if you’d rather, you could just pass me the sugar there, in that bowl….. thanks. Now, where were we?…. Oh, yeah….
Buenos dias, amigos…. how’s it goin’? Or, in the vernacular, whassup? Hmm? Oh, that? No worries, it isn’t connected to anything real, so no need to pay any further attention to it. I was just practicing my alarm system…. You know, settling on the final version of what the alarm will do…. Like most ffolkes, I don’t like those beepy, loud, stridently obnoxious noises they use for most alarms. Very annoying, and no class at all…. So, I like to use other sounds…
I used to use some nice comforting musical reminder, but found it didn’t create the right sort of panic to get people moving, like when I had a soft voice, with a nice soft jazzy piano in accompaniment, saying, in the sultry tones and style of Miss Peggy Lee, “Watch out, it’s getting hot, big boy!” So, I’m having the recording changed…. This time, I’m having the above lines set as the message, in a silly, screechy Monty Python voice, I think…. That should get ffolkes going when it needs to!….
I don’t know, though…. What about a nice loud rendition of say, Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries”…. that will certainly get the blood moving, although people may think it’s the start of a movie, and not an emergency…. Ah well, I’ll go with the new Monty Python jobber, that will be a good one…. and it will certainly be different than your average alarm, yessirree…..
Awwww, Spell Checker doesn’t like my word, yessirree…. I don’t know why, I used it all the time when I was a kid, so it’s not like the word hasn’t been around a long time. It’s kind of like that line from “Sleepless in Seattle”, when Tom Hank’s character is talking about geography with his son, and says to him, “I don’t even want to think about what they’re NOT teaching you in school!” How could such an old word, even slangish, not be in there? Makes me feel even older than I am…. S’okay, though, I trust my own head more than I do Spell Checker…. I’m constantly having to add new words to it, that it doesn’t know, and I do…. I know, a bit arrogant, but, hey, it’s true, so….. They (whoever programmed it) should have fed it a bigger dictionary….
Well, I’ve managed to meander all over the place this morning, and have gotten exactly nowhere, in a literal sense, as well as figurative. I mean, that’s okay and all, right? I’m not getting paid for this, other than by the kind attention and regard of the Gentle Readers, so it’s not like there is any strict qualitative standard I’m held to, right? Right. At least, that’s what my copy of the contract says….. If yours is different, well, sorry, I can’t do anything about that, and you’ll just have to deal with the authorities as best you may to achieve satisfaction. That particular item (satisfaction on your part…..) is not my responsibility either, at least from a legal standpoint…. Thank goodness for small favors, eh?….
Now that I’ve completed the process of removing all sense of normalcy from the proceedings, we are officially cleared to dive. The waters look inviting, and I’m sure we’ll find something your uncle will just adore….. oops, wrong group. Sorry….. I’m sure we’ll find something YOU will enjoy…. or die trying…. Well, nobody’s ever died, but we’ll try hard to prevent any serious injury….. Shall we Pearl?…..
“I wanted a perfect ending … Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.” — Gilda Radner
What a lovely phrase! “Delicious ambiguity.” Such perfect contrast in the words, that together create an entirely new springboard for imagination. Such insight is also very useful in dealing with Reality, with all its innovative transformations seemingly designed to catch us unprepared. In one respect, at least, it reminds me of being a boy in Washington state, where we lived before my father mustered out of the Army.
We lived in that watery, constantly dripping paradise for four years, and one either learned to appreciate and deal with the incessant weather changes, from rain, to not-rain, to rain, or one went quietly mad (the rain drowns out any loud noises….). Aside from the rain, it is incredibly beautiful country, with the rich and varied forests providing endless landscapes of high adventure for young boys, so I got to like it…. but, not all can learn to do so, just like in many other aspects of life…..
I guess this is destined to be a short pearl, because the only other thing that occurs to me to say about this is this: Life and Reality do not always match our expectations, and it is easier to learn how to appreciate the differences in those, and accept that we can change our expectations, than it is to try to change either life or reality. We can only change ourselves, and getting uptight about having to do so only makes us feel worse…. it sure doesn’t change anything…..
“The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it.” — Richard Bach
For some months now, this center section of the three part Pearls has been reserved for poetry. This was a purely personal decision, made simply because I needed it. For much of my life as a “Man” here in Amurrica, it was not considered a manly trait to be overly fond of poetry. Even when I had grown beyond the false and ignorant reasoning that prompted such a custom, it was, by then, habitual to separate myself from frequent acquaintance with those parts of the human emotional scale that is touched by such things. Habitual as well as defensive; I couldn’t afford to be too soft hearted in many of the situations in which I found myself, without courting disaster.
For many years now, though, I’ve been able to present a more realistic face to the world, in the manner of a Samurai of old Japan, or one of the Knights of Templar, whose skills and knowledge are traditionally not restricted to merely those of war, but include Haiku, calligraphy, and an appreciation of the beauty in Life. So, here in Exploring Consensual Reality, beauty, and the magic of poetry, will ever hold a place of honor, and central meaning, whether it comes from a poem of mine (hopefully….), or of one such as this one, that I found floating around Smart Bee. It isn’t, perhaps, the most romantic or strictly beautiful pieces I’ve seen, but, the scansion and rhyme is perfect, and the language simple and clear, so the beauty comes from the structure as much as the content, for me…… Enjoy!
On a lone barren isle, where the wild roaring billows
Assail the stern rock, and the loud tempests rave,
The hero lies still, while the dew-drooping willows,
Like fond weeping mourners, lean over his grave.
The lightnings may flash and the loud thunders rattle;
He heeds not, he hears not, he ‘s free from all pain;
He sleeps his last sleep, he has fought his last battle;
No sound can awake him to glory again!
— Leonard Heath — The Grave of Bonaparte
As a treat, a little extra, a bonus for your patience and tolerance of an old fool’s foibles….
A Drink With Something In It
There is something about a Martini,
A tingle remarkably pleasant;
A yellow, a mellow Martini;
I wish I had one at present.
There is something about a Martini,
Ere the dining and dancing begin,
And to tell you the truth,
It is not the vermouth–
I think that perhaps it’s the gin.
One of the most elemental pieces of insight I have come to understand about men has to do with our need to have a sense of purpose, a chosen duty, or set of duties, that we must fulfill to keep our self respect. The same principle is operative for women, as well, I am sure, but, not being one, I cannot say to what degree, other than what I may surmise from observation; let us say only that I see it as different, in some respects, and let it go at that…..
Men who don’t feel a sense of purpose are lost, and will find all sorts of ways to give themselves, and an objecting world, a lot of trouble. Of course, the chosen purpose can also have deleterious effects on both the man, and society, especially when the so-chosen purpose is self-serving, or deliberately cruel and ignorant. But, with a chosen duty to act upon, one that serves society as well as the individual, most men become creatures of honor, and can be trusted to do the right thing…..
One of the duties I try to serve is to think, as often and as deeply as I can, and to share what I think with others, while comparing what other historical figures and men of honor and intelligence have left for us to consider. This set of pearls is one that expresses several of my views on thought, emotion, imagination, and purpose, and inspire me to share it with others, if only for what they may find in those historical pearls of wisdom…. Virtual or real, this batch is of some note…. Enjoy!…. Oh, and no quiz today…..
“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bounds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties, and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.” — Patanjali (Second century B.C.)
“Any man can work when every stroke of his hand brings down the fruit rattling from the tree to the ground; but to labor in season and out of season, under every discouragement, by the power of truth — that requires a heroism which is transcendent.” — Henry Ward Beecher
“Everyone knows that dragons don’t exist. But while this simplistic formulation may satisfy the layman, it does not suffice for the scientific mind. The School of Higher Neantical Nillity is in fact wholly unconcerned with what does exist. Indeed, the banality of existence has been so amply demonstrated, there is no need for us to discuss it any further here. The brilliant Cerebron, attacking the problem analytically, discovered three distinct kinds of dragon: the mythical, the chimerical, and the purely hypothetical. They were all, one might say, nonexistent, but each nonexisted in an entirely different way …” — Stanislaw Lem, Cyberiad
“Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.” — J.K. Rowling, The Beginning, — Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2000, — spoken by the character Albus Dumbledore
“If little else, the brain is an educational toy.” — Tom Robbins
“Yow! Maybe I should have asked for my Neutron Bomb in PAISLEY–” — Zippy the Pinhead
(Think about it!…. Neutron bombs kill people without destroying property…. Paisley markings would double the number of tourists who came to see it, thus doubling the kill rate inside a five-mile radius….. elementary psychology!….)
On that note, I rest my case….. Q.E.D., as Mr. Malthus might have said……
Odd, isn’t it, that Sunday would be a day when a deadline becomes more critical than on a weekday? But, it’s a hive of bees, so it must be faced…. Fortunately, I think I’ve done it. If nothing else, it’s done, so it will have to do…. I guess I’ve done worse…. At least it’s inconsistent…… Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.