Since retiring in 2011, (2010, technically, but, ’11 was my first full year in that state, so, we’ll use it as the jumping-off point, for the sake of mathematical convenience….), I’ve been slowly, steadily having more problems with my ambulation, as my spine, hip & shoulder joints, and overall level of arthritic deterioration reaches levels of effect that can’t be ignored, or compensated for, without paying a price, measured in steps of the 10-point scale of pain…. This includes whatever pinching of my sciatic nerves is going on to create the numbness that forms on my thighs when I stand, or walk, too long…. I can now only get a couple of blocks before sitting down for a recovery period becomes mandatory, lest I go into distressed metabolic crisis mode from the grinding pain that builds up….
Now, I’m a tough guy, for the most part…. Football, basketball, judo, and kung fu (to name just a few of the sporting activities I once pursued, daily….) taught me well, how to use my body to the limit of its strength and ability, while ignoring certain levels of pain, which were part and parcel of smashing into other’s bodies in football, and other sports, as well as the physical training involved in the martial arts, not to mention throws, kicks, punches, blocks, and many other skills that are painful to learn; learning to turn off pain’s demands on our attention is a primary skill of any athlete, or martial artist…. Pain becomes another motivational factor, not a limitation….
Then, of course, age related issues intervene, and one can no longer tolerate the physical demands of sports and the arts; for me, this began around age 40-45, when certain issues involving digestion became the foremost point of experience for me…. It’s a condition called diverticulosis, and there are physical aspects of having it that preclude certain athletic pastimes, so, starting at that age, my level of conditioning began to decline, and I began to experience more pain, of several different types….
Why, you are asking about now, is he regaling us with these tales of woe from his past? Hell, I’m not exactly sure…. except that this morning, pain is foremost in my mind, since my body decided to gift me with two of three possible types of pain, both at a level I can’t quite get stuffed into the box where it won’t affect me so badly…. which, in turn, is making it hard to concentrate on this Pearl…. So, in what may have been poor judgment, I decided to try to use it as a springboard for discussion, and lead into today’s Pearl that way…. However, it seems to be more of a bitch-fest, and that wasn’t what I had in mind for today, by a long shot….
I think I was going to try to turn the discussion into how to deal with pain effectively, but, since I can’t seem to do that myself this morning, trying to tell y’all how to do it might be asking more of my writing skills than is wise…. It also might be more of an intellectual challenge than I’m up to, as I can’t seem to concentrate for long on any one thought…. That makes writing, or ranting, or even pearling, particularly problematic…. Since that’s all I do here, it’s going to be touch and go as to whether or not this bombs completely….
I’m going to take a chance, though, and continue on to the rest of today’s effort…. It may turn out to be a mistake, but, that’s a risk worth taking, to get past this morning’s wonderful state of agony with a bit of aplomb….
Shall we Pearl?…..
I definitely don’t have an organized, official-type rant in me today, so I’m going to use a pearl format that I’ve used a few times previously, to good effect…. I’ll let SB pick out five pearls, then I’ll comment on them, hopefully in a way that will lead us somewhere worth being…. or, we could end up somewhere we’ll never find our way home from…. It’s a risk, but, I’m pretty confident I can find my way back from wherever we find ourselves, so, let’s give it a whirl….
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.
— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Criticism, Part ii, Line 15
It’s always good to start with a poetic pearl; it’s just classier…. This, of course, is a very familiar poem, (Okay, it’s actually an excerpt from a larger poem…. be that way….) even to those people who don’t read a lot of poetry. The first line has become almost a cliche in common speech patterns, as it has been used ever since first appearing, to indicate the perils of both possessing knowledge, and the lack of it, when reasoning, or, trying to reason…. It is only those of us who go on to read the rest of the epic poem who can truly understand the poignancy of this lament, as the last two lines of the quatrain show plainly the marked price of original sin…. and, in the process, gives us a hint of WHY we ate the apple…. Powerful stuff, of which Pope created a LOT…..
“You don’t tell deliberate lies, but sometimes you have to be evasive.” — Margaret Thatcher
When I first saw this, I thought it was the PERFECT way to show how the thought processes of politicians operate; upon reflection, I believe it to be even better than that, as it shows not only WHAT virtually every one of them thinks, but, also shows the self-delusion that MUST take place in a pundit’s mind for them to turn that direction….
This little statement implies that, not only is a little white lie okay, when it’s for the good of those who are being led (“good”, naturally, being decided by the one elected, not the folks being led….), it’s practically a duty to lie, in order to be in the position to make that decision for others (you HAVE to be evasive?)….. Of course, this doesn’t admit to possessing, or come anywhere near any display of ANY sort of ethical, or moral reasons for acting in this manner, as there aren’t any that are justifiable…. That, unfortunately, has never seemed to matter much to them, or kept them from making up their lies….
“Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.” — Marcus Aurelius
Okay, so, this one ISN’T about politicians, or preachers, or corporate snakeheads…. it’s about Life at Large, and how to live it well… And, darn it, it doesn’t need any more embellishment from me…. Oh, well, onward….
LAWYER: A professional advocate hired to bend the law on behalf of a paying client; for this reason considered the most suitable background for entry into politics. — Definition from “THE CYNIC’S DICTIONARY”
Now THAT’s what I’m talking about!…. This is a wonderful observation, made all the more appealing to me because it SOUNDS as if it is said in jest, when, in truth, it is a perfectly sober, accurate definition, based on long-term observation of Reality, as it pertains to society and culture….
Our government is inundated in lawyers; in certain circles, of which I am a conversant member, we refer to their presence in such numbers as an infestation, which gives a better feel for what they’re really like, to wit: vermin, such as rats, mice, or fleas…. the assholes…. As Jay Leno once noted, the definition of the word “politics” is from the Greek…. That is “poli” from “poly”, meaning “many”, and “tics”, meaning, “small, blood sucking vermin”….
Sorry, maybe I DO have a bit of a rant in there…..
“Nations and empires flourish and decay,
By turns command, and in their turns obey.
Now this is a very deep, incredibly insightful little couplet, from an poetess who lived well over 2000 years ago…. Even then, so long ago, there were enough ffolkes who could see the grand folly that permeates human society and culture, and were able to foretell the outcome of their own era’s repetition of what had gone before…. Now, if only we could get some of those who are in the position of leadership in this country to comprehend this concept, there might be a better chance for us to survive….
I’m not particularly hopeful that will ever happen, though, as I’m firmly convinced the men and women who inhabit the halls of our government wont’ ever get a clue, as they have what they consider more important work to do, that of emptying as much of the public treasury as they can fit into their own pockets; that doesn’t leave them room enough to accommodate, or even entertain, any such altruistic notion as species survival…. more’s the pity….
So, there you have it, a pearl of nondescript origin, in a reasonably new, different format, to take the place of what would probably have been merely another indictment of a lot of guilty folks, which happens often here, and is no doubt becoming a bit stale…. Hopefully, this little breath of fresh air will clear the atmosphere sufficiently to allow us a bit of breathing room, so we can come back to rant again another day…. When I do, I’ll be using this brilliant manifesto of technique, voiced by an old British bulldog, who became a politician, though reluctantly, I think….
“If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time–a tremendous whack.” — Sir Winston Churchill
Having begun the day, in section one, with a bit of classicism, it must be time for another reprint of an old favorite, from one of the masters…. Enjoy!….
A Thing of Beauty (Endymion)
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its lovliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkn’d ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
‘Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.
~~ John Keats ~~
As noted, today, pain is causing this process to move along at a rapid pace, without a lot of heavy thought, which would be beyond my current capabilities…. It’s really too bad, too, because I’d hoped to spend a bit of time today visiting a few of my regulars, to let them know how much I appreciate seeing them at my site each day…. That will probably have to wait until, at least, later in the day, if I can manage to get some relief… In the meantime, here is a fresh, old-school pearl, with parameters set to let SB pick today, as I don’t have the patience to sit that long…. Hope it comes out okay….
“The more you know, the more confusing everything becomes.” — Smart Bee
“Man, were he not corrupted by Governments, is naturally the friend of Man, and that human nature is not of itself vicious.” — Thomas Paine
“It is not necessary that whilst I live I live happily; but it is necessary that so long as I live I should live honourably.” — Kant, Immanuel (1724-1804)
“Following the Noble Path is like entering a dark room with a light in the hand; the darkness will all be cleared away, and the room will be filled with light.” — Buddha
“It seems like once people grow up, they have no idea what’s cool.” — Calvin & Hobbes
“His own character is the arbiter of every one’s fortune.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 283
“I may not understand what you say, but I’ll defend to your death my right to deny it.” — Albert Alligator, in Pogo, 26 September 1951
Hmm… a little obscure, but, all in all, not bad at all…. I’ll take it.
As well, since I have little choice in the matter, at least, none uninfluenced by the level of pain I’m currently living with, I’ll take whatever is above, as is…. No matter how many potential typos it has, it’s going out sans editing or proofing, other than what I’ve managed to do while trying to swim this horse across the Rubicon, or the Styx, or whatever mystical, metaphorical river you choose to call it…. Me, I’m calling it done….
See you tomorrow, ffolkes, God willin’ and the creek don’t rise…. (Pido disculpas por la blashpemia, pero, es necessario para mantener mi dignidad, si no otra razón….) (I know, it’s probably well mangled Español, but, I don’t claim any particular fluency, just basic comprehension, suited to my purpose… Plus, as an obsessive type, I looked up the words I’d forgotten….) Ta ta, then….
Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…
When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.
Which is Why….
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.
gigoid the dubious