If such were not overtly mundane, I’d let myself go insane today; the weather’s perfect for it….. But, as with any activity whose successful application depends on timing, this one requires the highest degree of precision possible, in order to have even a small hope of making the grade. No doubt, the responsible parties involved won’t assume any blame, should things go badly, even though any such event would be entirely their doing, but, I knew from the get-go that would be the case….
In fact, that is precisely why I allowed them to be present at all; now that the time for action draws nigh, I can admit, at least to y’all, that this whole thing has been a sting operation…. We’re running a clandestine operation to find and gather together the largest collection of bad metaphors ever created in one space, in order to use them as the kindling for a massive concept burning this evening….
No, I haven’t a fucking clue as to what any of the above means, or even if it SHOULD have any meaning…. My brain is so foggy and, well, empty this morning, I just started typing, to see what would come out…. The above paragraphs are the result, and yes, I’m pretty ashamed…. It’s as bad as anything I’ve ever written, I think, and is only saved from immediate deletion because I can use it as an example, of how NOT to go about drawing people into one’s story, or post, with a compelling beginning…. I mean, I’d feel lucky to know that ANYONE got through those paragraphs without retching, or otherwise showing the natural reaction to such dross and drivel…. Hell, even as an example, it’s boring….
I’m still not sure what this will mean for today’s Pearl, but, THAT is nothing unusual, I would guess…. I often haven’t much of a clue as to where I’ll end up…. Hell, I mostly haven’t a clue as to where I’ve started…. All I know right now is that I’m still sleepy, and typing is making me cranky…. I should probably go have some pizza for breakfast, to get back into creative mode….
If the pizza didn’t have jalapeños all over it, I’d do that…. For me, it’s a bit early for hot peppers, no matter how savory they may be after a night’s marination, swapping flavors with the pizza cheese…. In addition, having had a LOT of experience with pizza for breakfast, I can guarantee that consumption of both pepperoni and jalapeños before 6 AM is considered too dangerous for someone of my age…. Someone (not me….) could die before everything returned to normal…. As you are well aware, we HATE dead bodies around here before 8 AM; once the kids are off to school, disposal is much more convenient….
Having lost all sense of proportion and/or culpability, I give up, officially…. I don’t know what I’m going to do, but, this isn’t it….. You may end up with a great deal of recycled material today, which, given what I’ve seen so far, is probably a good thing…. It may well be the only thing that saves my ass, and yours, should you choose to come along for the ride….
Shall we Pearl?…..
“There are no educators. As a thinker, one should speak only of self-education. The education of youth by others is an experiment, conducted on one as yet unknown and unknowable, or a leveling on principle, to make the new character, whatever it may be, conform to the habits and customs that prevail: in both cases, therefore, something unworthy of the thinker – the work of parents and teachers, whom an audaciously honest person has called ‘nos enemis naturels.'” — Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900), The Wanderer and His Shadow
I was right in at least one respect; you’ll see quite a bit of archived material today, even if this section is all you get to read….. Here is a discussion of the ins and outs of mental health, or the lack thereof, from someone who has a pretty good grasp of BOTH sides of that issue, to wit: yours truly, with over 15 years having worked as a psychiatric therapist, and over three decades of experiencing personal insanity of varying degrees, at various times throughout the latter half of my life…. Been there, done that, so let’s move on shall we?…. Hope you enjoy this small interlude, and short journey into the precepts of madness, gigoid style….
How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but it takes a really long time and the light bulb has to want to change.” — Smart Bee
Boy, if it wasn’t for the power of metaphor, I would be lost!….. This statement, though presented in a manner that makes it obviously a joke, is actually quite serious in its relevance to sanity, psychiatry, and how the mind works, in general. I worked for many years in the field of mental health care, as a therapist, and I can tell you quite honestly, that this is absolutely true, in many cases of what the rest of society terms insanity…. which is a word, and a concept, that most of society avoids at all costs, with a complete lack of understanding of what it is, for the most part…. You see, every person who lives in this society on Earth today is just a little insane, with some of them reaching higher levels through their own efforts to excel at what they do…. Society itself is insane, you see, and one needs to be the same in order to effectively cope….
It may surprise some ffolkes to know that they are insane; I know it surprised me when I first became aware of this fact. We all go through our lives with a certain image of ourselves, and very rarely does that image in our minds look insane. But, let me assure you, there really isn’t any visible way to be able to tell if a person is insane, as it is completely invisible, under most circumstances, as long as the person isn’t speaking, or acting in some way that provides a clue as to their inner state of mind. Even for those of us trained in recognizing its presence, through the use of observation of other defining characteristics, there is no guaranteed method for spotting someone with a mental condition, unless they give it to you up front, by acting out in some overt fashion.
Sure, there are tells, as a gambler would say…. When one eye is happily spinning in the opposite direction as the other, it’s a pretty good sign of some inner turmoil…. Pacing and mumbling to oneself, back and forth in a small area, while ignoring everything around them, can be another dead giveaway of someone who is experiencing a few extra perceptions in comparison to the rest of us. Sometimes, really bad grooming can be a sign that the person’s mind isn’t focused on how they affect others…. Staring at a wall, holding what appears to be a conversation with oneself, is generally considered to be a clear indication that not all is well in that person’s world….
But, without some overt signs such as these, you just can’t spot mental illness; it is extra hard to see it in one’s own image, since we tend to clean that up before we look at it, or try to share it. And, since EVERYONE ELSE is also insane, at least a little, it can be hard to spot, for the same reason one cow in a herd is hard to pick out. You may have heard the old saw about “one in four people are insane, so if you have three sane friends, it’s you”….. What would be more accurate to say is, “all of you are insane, but three of you are coping with it in an effective manner, and one isn’t…. “
It’s helpful to know that the overt signs one may see are indicative of the severity of the condition, i.e., the more acting out one observes, the more severe the break in the mental state. But, that isn’t always accurate, as normally sane folks, acting in the grip of strong emotion, can show the same kind of acting out, with the difference of not having it occur all the time, but only when provoked. Thus, it can be seen, it can be very difficult to judge whether a person is permanently insane, or merely temporarily out of control….
This is where I bring it all together, by referring back to the original pearl…. Coping with life can drive anyone crazy, and does, every day…. Some cope with it better than others, and those are the people who are considered to be sane, as they can deal with reality without resorting to outlandish ways of dealing with their fears. Those who cannot find ways of coping with their fears, which arise from what reality gives us to deal with, end up acting in ways that are strange and uncomfortable for the rest of us, and are often dangerous, in a physical sense, for them, and for those around them….
In all my experience, with every kind of mental illness I saw in almost 30 years working in mental hospitals, the primary characteristic of those who got better, was that they made up their own minds to do so…. That’s it…. Simple as it may seem, deciding to give up the methods they used in the past, and make a change, was always based on a personal decision on their part, and is THE key ingredient in the regime of ideas, medicines, therapies, and treatments used to combat their illness. In other words, it took a long time, and they first had to want to change…. Without that, nothing worked…. It is a well known aphorism among mental health therapists that, “they get better IN SPITE of what we do, not because of it….”
So, if you’re getting worried about your own coping skills, just keep in mind that to remain sane, it means you have to want to do so…. But, that’s all it takes, if your are sincere, for you will do whatever else is needed, once your will power has been engaged…. That’s what people do….
“Great minds think alike, apparently so do we.” — D. Bennett
“Falsely luxurious, will not man awake?” — James Thomson (1700-1748) — The Seasons, Summer, Line 67
As is often the case, I have no idea why this particular poem is the one that ended up here today…. I found it while searching through old Pearls for material for today, and it INSISTED on being included…. I’m a sucker for poetry, as you know, no matter whose it may be, and more so with my own…. so, here it is, such as it is…..
Life, and/or love, will seldom fit
into any box we keep for them to sit.
Loose and limber, without any reason,
always somewhat out of season.
Surprise, surprise, they seem to say,
can’t help it, it’s just our way.
If only you would learn, instead of know,
maybe you’d find yourself with one to show.
Deal, just the way it is, now and here,
follow the path, on the other side of fear.
Finding the future isn’t all blood, sweat, and pain,
far, far more than mere joy we stand to gain.
The sages all say not to try, just do,
sounds as simple as putting on a shoe.
I’d say we could really go places,
if we could learn, to tie up the laces….
~~ gigoid ~~
Well, it’s two and a half hours since I arose to begin this missive, and my brain continues to function at a level somewhere near the floor, so to speak…. Neither sugar, nor caffeine, nor jalapeños have had any significant effect on my stupor to date, and it’s getting late…. I’m going to go old-school (as if I would go somewhere else….), with the only search parameter being one of simple, basic direction, which will hopefully bring me to where I need to be….. Hmm… I guess that’s a lot to expect from a few little quotes, but, hey, I can be as unreasonable as the next guy….. These are all intended to find ME, or at least, point out where I’ve been hiding….
“I guess a cynic smells different.” — Smart Bee
“The most common lie is that which one lies to himself; lying to others is relatively an exception.” — Nietzsche
“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” — Buddha
“I admire the serene assurance of those who have religious faith. It is wonderful to observe the calm confidence of a Christian with four aces.” — Mark Twain
“As to values, I was taught — and still believe — that a sense of honor is necessary to personal self-respect; that duty, recognizing an individual’s subordination to community welfare, is as important as rights; that loyalty, which is based on the trustworthiness of honorable men, is still a virtue; and that work and self-discipline are as essential to individual happiness as they are to a viable society. Indeed, I still believe in patriotism — not if it is limited to parades and flag-waving, but because worthy national goals and aspirations can be realized only through love of country and a desire to be a responsible citizen.” — Lewis F. Powell (Former Supreme Court Justice)
“For the skeptic there remains only one consolation: if there should be such a thing as superhuman law it is administered with subhuman inefficiency.” — Eric Ambler
“There are too many books I haven’t read, too many places I haven’t seen, too many memories I haven’t kept long enough.” — Irwin Shaw
It seems like I’m forever using this closing statement to apologize in advance for any damage I may have inadvertently caused in my thrashing about; I suppose it’s as good a place as any, and I’m too honest, and compassionate, to ignore the potential damage that my material is capable of causing….. Me father would be proud, if a trifle confused….. and, I can just hear my mother saying, “Oh, Ned!” in that exasperated tone of voice she employed so well to dish out portions of the guilt, which was her weapon and tool of choice for manipulating her offspring….
That may sound a bit critical, but, it really isn’t…. I loved my mother, deeply…. I just learned very early to recognize the ways she had to get her kids to do her bidding; those methods weren’t always what I’d call completely reasonable, but, they were what she knew, what she had been taught to know, and she was no more capable of changing those ways than she could change her gender…. I never held it against her, I just learned to deal with it without letting it affect me greatly, and without hurting her unnecessarily…. I hope….
How did I get off on THAT tangent?…. Oh, right, the closing damage assessment…. Let’s see what happened up there, shall we?….. Well, I don’t think it will cause any loss of blood, unless someone overreacts enough to bash themselves somehow… which would be THEIR problem, now, wouldn’t it? Yep, it would…. Anyone who has been here before knows enough to watch their heads, and first time visitors are covered by the “ignorance of the law” codicil, excluding them from bringing any liability suits for their own reactions…. Well, that’s what the lawyers told me, anyway…. I suppose only time will tell, as it always does….
Okay, I’m giving up trying to make any sense out of all this…. I’m outta here… See ya….
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.