Unbaked pies as currency….

Ffolkes,

“The wisest mind has something yet to learn.”

~~ George Santayana ~~

portobello road

Entrance to Portobello Road, London

Hajime…. A week from tomorrow, I’ll be taking a trip, which is the activity I most enjoy in life. This may be a result of being raised as an Army brat, moving from base to place to base for much of my first ten years. We lived in Fort Ord, Fort Lewis, Japan, and Southern California in those times we visited relatives, all by my tenth birthday, when my father retired from the Army. Since leaving home, I’ve traveled as often as possible, for I feel I am fulfilling all my own dreams when I do. I enjoy having a base from which to go, but, for me, the journey is the thing, not the destination, or the beginning point.

In this case, I’ll be traveling for only about six days, to go see a friend get married. I have volunteered my services as a caterer for the reception, which is my usual gift to the bride and groom, as it takes a large burden from them during the time leading to the ceremony. It should be an interesting challenge, as it will be my first event since reaching an age where I cannot count on being able to do much of the actual work myself. Instead, I’ll be coordinating everyone else’s efforts, to make sure the event come off without a hitch. I’m looking forward to all of it, with great anticipation, and a small degree of fear, which will serve to keep me sharp, focused on working smart, instead of hard.

All that said, I’ll add there seems to be some lingering effect on my creativity, or, my angst, which drives it. In any case, these Pearls, for the first time in ages, will be a secondary concern; this means I’m going to fake it, a lot. We’ll begin that today, with a rant from the archives, instead of anything fresh in that section, as it takes the most focus and time to create a worthwhile rant. So be it. I’ll try to keep the rest fresh, but, no promises, as my head is already in Texas, organizing a work crew and space. In twelve days, I’ll be back home, probably ready to collapse for a few days, but, also, ready to write….. I hope.

At any rate, speaking of it gave us a grand opening for today, if naught else, so, we’ll take it, and run. In fact, we’ll break into a sprint, by using one of our standard tricks, to keep y’all fooled , er, occupied while I push this hidden button over here…. See how that works?…..

Shall we Pearl?….

“Even a fool knows that you can’t touch the stars,
but it doesn’t stop a wise man from trying.

~~ Judge Harry T. Stone ~~

********************************

king-of-the-electric-blues

Image from redmp3.su via Google Images

I feel like the blues today, so, here is the King of the Electric Blues, himself…. Live in Dortmund, Germany in 1976, he does his thing, and does it in style…. Abondanza!….

********************************

Muddy Waters

********************************

https://youtu.be/ltLHsD_A9I4

********************************

********************************

********************************

About Hopi Indian Symbols

 
As promised, here is one from the archives…. Not to worry, it’s short, and not at all serious-minded…. Enjoy!

From 10/21/2012:

Okay, so there I was, cruising through Smart Bee, and these little gems popped up. Each one tempted me to begin a rant, or a discussion, but, none of them completely grabbed my attention enough to do the trick. They are all much too valuable to throw out, so I had this idea to include them as a “new-school” pearl….. Y’all can take the ideas herein described, and formulate them into your own pearl of virtual wisdom…. there is plenty here to work with; I’ve used many similar pearls myself to create unforgettable rants, or brilliantly funny forays into nonsense. (Sure I have….. trust me….)

“The correct way to punctuate a sentence that starts: “Of course it is none of my business, but –” is to place a period after the word “but.” Don’t use excessive force in supplying such a moron with a period. Cutting his throat is only a momentary pleasure and is bound to get you talked about.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

“In certain trying circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity furnishes a relief denied even to prayer.” — Mark Twain

“In regard to disagreeable and formidable things, prudence does not consist in evasion, or in flight, but in courage. He who wishes to walk in the most peaceful parts of life with any serenity must screw himself up to resolution. Let him front the object of his worst apprehension, and his stoutness will commonly make his fear groundless” — Ralph Waldo Emerson, _Essays_, Prudence

“I figure that if God actually does exist, He’s big enough to understand an honest difference of opinion.” – Isaac Asimov

“There’s more than one way to skin a cat, but there ain’t no way to make the cat enjoy it.” — Jed Clampett

“Man is certainly stark mad; he cannot make a worm, and yet he will be making gods by dozens.” — Michael de Montaigne (1533-1592) — Essays, Book ii, Chap. xii, Apology for Raimond Sebond

“Once you can accept the universe as being something expanding into an infinite nothing which is something, wearing stripes with plaid is easy.” — Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

So, you should find it reasonably simple to do the same yourselves (creating a pearl, that is, not wearing plaid…) …. and if not, well, they are all fairly strong stand-alone dribbles of good advice/good observations, so you aren’t completely without recourse…. No refunds, though, we’re not completely without shame…. Remember, you get what you pay for in this world, right? TANSTAAFL….. (for the uninitiated, that is, There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch….)
********************************

Comedy_Tragedy

Vague Glimpses of a Rainbow

All the sad notions of propriety had fled,
Screaming their anger for pausing in song,
Until late came the rabid fog, colored in red,
As serenity cried, unafraid to live so strong.

Fallow fields in faithful patience set free,
Dragged from birth, by their own nature cast
Saving each moment against fear yet to be,
Carved into silence, by ignorance held fast.

Historical forces plod slowly ’tis often said
Anxieties streaming stiffly, one epoch to the next.
Cultural mania stands nonchalant in its stead
No sadder epitaph has such bittersweet context.

Patterned bags of forgotten virtue lie in wait
Blessed by reminders whose souls value affinity
Frozen webs surround the fields in gravid state
Grasping passionately within obvious opportunity.

Passage to future realities isn’t guaranteed
Small favors for deities was left off the menu
No roses, nor manna, nor gallant aerial steed
Left traces of fatal, yet originally gracious venue.

~~ gigoid ~~

9/6/2012

*******************************

pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Rare Thoughts

*********

“God, to me, it seems
is a verb
not a noun
proper or improper.”

~~ R. Buckminster Fuller ~~

*********

“One should always be a little improbable.”

~~ Oscar Wilde ~~

*********

“We do not walk on our legs, but on our Will.”

~~ Sufi proverb ~~

*********

“Time is but the stream I go a-fishin in.
I drink at it, but while I drink
I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is.
It’s thin current slides away, but eternity remains.”

~~ Henry David Thoreau ~~

*********

“We have art that we do not die of the truth.”

~~ Friedrich Nietzsche ~~

*********

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

~~ Anais Nin ~~

*********

“To teach is to learn.”

~~ Japanese Proverb ~~

*********

“What is the first business of one who studies philosophy?
To part with self-conceit.
For it is impossible for any one to begin to learn
what he thinks that he already knows.”

~~ Epictetus ~~

*********

********************************

Well, it’s done. Again. Today, I can only thank my sense of duty; without it, this doesn’t get done. Since it is, I’ll forgo any further torture, or, for that matter, possible entertainment value, and merely say, see y’all tomorrow, ffolkes. There doesn’t seem to be any way to get out of it….

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark,Theresa, & Richy
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,
and sometimes,
I just sits.

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

Image

À bientôt, mon cherí….

Not the whole egg!! Just use the yolk….

Ffolkes,

This one’s going to be a tough one, ffolkes, I can tell already….. I got beau coups sleep, and am up a little late, but, not too bad; that isn’t the issue. The issue, damn it, is my brain, which seems to have decided to take a holiday without any notice, leaving me in the lurch for this morning’s Pearl….

Yep, I have very few, if any, brain cells that are functioning as anything other than space fillers; whenever I try to think of something to put onto the screen, all I get is fuzzy static, with no ideas, with no fresh phrases bubbling up from my creative wellspring, such as it is…. It’s not much, but, it’s mine, and it’s not working!

Okay, I won’t panic….. Let’s just see if there’s something else in there that will serve to get us down the page a ways, at least to the point where, perhaps, Murphy will take pity, and let my brain back in from wherever it went. If he doesn’t, well, we may just have to resort to the archives again….. at least for one section of today’s effort, if not more. I can already tell that section three might be of that ilk, as even collecting pearls for an old-school variety may take more brain power than I am currently able to muster….

Of course, there are those who would probably say that what you’re seeing today is nothing new for me; they are liars, of course. We ALWAYS have things under control around here, and I NEVER suffer from writer’s block….. And, to borrow a phrase from Lazarus Long, if you have the kind of mind that can believe that statement, then I have a wonderful deal for you, in a bridge. Cash only, no checks….

Let’s try this…. No, better not….

Okay, how about this?….. No, wait, I’m out of those…. sorry, I’ll try one more time….

How about them Giants, eh? Grand slam walk-off last night in the twelfth inning in Colorado, as the offense finally broke out after six games of non-production, to provide enough fireworks to win an official Coors Field game, 12 to 10 (an official Coors Field game isn’t over until both teams have scored 10 or more runs…), after five games of wondering just how many millions of dollars are needed to get somebody to not have slumps….

But, then, that’s baseball, especially in Colorado, where the game is different…. You may note, it is also an Excellent Example of a run-on sentence, perfect for the classroom full of budding young writers in need of a bit of education re: style, and/or the lack thereof…..

Well, that was a LITTLE better, but, I don’t think it’s going to fix this intro…. In fact, I’m pretty sure that by now, there is no further hope that this will EVER get to where it needs to be, so, I may as well just apply emergency method #4, and get on with the rest of this mess… In fact, that is what I’ll do…. now…

Shall we Pearl?….

Zeb: “Tomorrow I will seven eagles see, a great comet will appear, and voices will speak from whirlwinds foretelling monstrous and fearful things. This Universe never did make sense; I suspect it was built on government contract”. — Robert A. Heinlein, 666, aka “The Number of the Beast”, his final indulgent paean to solipsism….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As I noted in the introduction today, my mind is NOT in its sharpest state today…. which means that ranting, as such, is pretty well out of the question. I’ve been known to hurt much more than just myself when I rant in this state; I’m not going there today. I have to do something, though, so I’ll do this…. I’ve found some good articles, and a literally unbelievable quote from a modern film producer, links to which I will provide below, along with a couple of comments, which makes this one of the new school pearls I’ve been working on…. Let’s give it a whirl, shall we?….

http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/2014/04/22/stand-up-or-die-trying/

This one really hits me where I live…. Mr. Morford speaks here of a syndrome of physical symptoms, including the ever-popular back spasms that hit about 12 on the pain scale of 10, that can be brought on by periods of long term sitting by humans, and talks about what a revelation it is for a healthy, well-conditioned human to suffer severe back pain, merely from having sat in front of a computer for too long…. which is a perfect description of ME…. Well, at least, a description of how I USED to be, up until my fortieth year, or so, when I first began to notice how my body was falling apart….

The article was written in Mark’s unique style, using far more of the dictionary than most columnists realize exists, which I appreciate greatly. His logical take on this issue, one near and dear to my heart, offers some new and uplifting points for consideration, and I found it to be quite a good pep talk, relieving me of much of my self-imposed guilt over having lost my physical prowess, upon which I depended heavily. I can relax a bit now, knowing there was little I could have done to prevent what I now experience, which removes some of my guilt, always a good thing….

For they starve the frightened little child
Till it weeps both night and day:
And they scourge the weak, and flog the fool,
And gibe the old and grey,
And some grow mad, and all grow bad,
And none a word may say.

Each narrow cell in which we dwell
Is a foul and dark latrine,
And the fetid breath of living Death
Chokes up each grated screen,
And all, but Lust, is turned to dust
In Humanity’s machine.

And all men kill the thing they love,
By all let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword.

~~ Oscar Wilde ~~


Next, we come to an article in Rolling Stone magazine, which consists of an interview with a film producer, one George R.R. Martin…. The article begins this way…. I lost the link, but, if you go to the other article from the magazine, you could find the whole thing…. All I’m concerned with in it is the following quote….

“George R.R. Martin sits in the Santa Fe theater he owns, watching the Game of Thrones episode in which Ned Stark is unexpectedly beheaded. “As many times as I’ve watched this,” he says, “it still has great effect.” — from the Rolling Stone interview

Excuse me? I am fairly certain that I have never heard of an unexpected beheading described as “a great effect” so casually, as if the experience of witnessing the excessive gore, the blood and guts, as well as the extreme emotional impact of a sight such as this, were an everyday occurrence, as normal as any other sort of event that we perceive. I’m certain, in my own mind, at least, that this kind of acceptance of such violence is a sure indicator of a society-wide loss, of the ability to be shocked by this kind of violent behavior…. It is as if such an event is normal, and only valuable as a form of entertainment…

Now, I don’t know about y’all, but, I don’t ever wish to get to the point in my own mind where the sight of a beheading does not shock my sensibilities in a negative way; even the lack of ANY response, of ANY compassion at all for the victim, even if fictional, is an emotional state in which I would never wish to find myself….

I haven’t watched any of the Game of Thrones TV shows; now, I know why…. I’m not going to pretend that I find the glorification of violence, treachery, unbridled avarice, and rampant violence used as a means of securing power over others, to be an entertaining way to pass time…. I believe the entire series to be a clear indicator of how little ethics and morals are a part of the modern world, and a sure sign of the decay of civilization…. Shows like this can be directly correlated to the Roman circuses, held to keep the masses happy, while those in power go about their lying, cheating ways…..

As always, if anyone has any evidence to the contrary, I’d be happy to hear it; that’s what the comment section is for, you know….

Next, I offer this final article from Rolling Stone…. This is an excellent breakdown of the most critical issues that are the operative reasons behind the loss of faith, and membership, being suffered by the modern Republican Party, as they continue to stuff their heads into the nearest piles of sand…. I’d go on, but the author of the article has laid it all out very clearly, so, just read it, & then we’ll talk….

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/six-studies-that-show-everything-republicans-believe-is-wrong-20140423?utm_source=dailynewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

Ffolkes, I’m going to be nice here, and NOT rant on this…. I could, very easily, as all of this is stuff I’ve ranted on previously…. but, it wouldn’t help make the points any clearer, and could conceivably drive away some of my more impatient readers….. So, instead, I’ll finish this off with a five-star pearl, which, I hope, will make a nice ending statement…. Smart Bee is usually pretty good at this, so let’s see what we find…

Well, it took me three tries, but, I think these will do…

“If we do not believe in ourselves — neither in our efficacy nor in our goodness — the universe is a frightening place.” — Nathaniel Branden

“It does take a perverse form of optimism to have any faith in the news media when almost every time they cover something you _know_ about, they get it wrong.  Maybe they’re wrong that often covering subjects in which I’m not an expert?  Naw, it just couldn’t be.” — Grant Edwards

Like a young eagle who has lent his plume
To fledge the shaft by which he meets his doom,
See their own feathers pluck’d to wing the dart
Which rank corruption destines for their heart.

— Thomas Moore (1779-1852) — Corruption

“Any effort that has self-glorification as its final endpoint is bound to end in disaster.” — Robert M. Pirsig

“Everyone talks about reality, but no one ever does anything about it.”– Smart Bee

See? It’s all in the wrist….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

No ups, no extras, just a poem….

A Dubiously Soft Morning

Idiosyncratic images, clamoring for regard,
fill up the white, white screen on which I view
my life, never seeing, nor invited to sup
ambrosial remnants of anything new.

Still, but almost in motion, allegory sails away
bobbing gently, quick and easy to find,
signs of one happy child, seriously at play,
blissfully immersed, focused joy in mind.

Formidable cries of outraged simple justice
echo plaintive relevance, in half the time.
Maladaptive infants, destined for hospice
salvage an only child, daring to sing in rhyme.

Creativity equals unquestioning farce,
often reaching for absurdity, brazenly afire.
Instead, a blow is felt that no joy will soften,
accepting the price, added to the cost of desire.

~~ gigoid ~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As mentioned in the intro, even an old-school pearl could be trouble today; it worked okay for the five-star in section one, so, rather than push my luck in that respect, I’ll go with this old-school pearl I found in the archives, from a couple of years ago…. it’s a pretty good one, & I hope you enjoy it…. I KNOW you’ll like it better than any of the potential rants implied in the included pearls…..

From 10/21/12:

Okay, so there I was, cruising through Smart Bee, and these little gems popped up. Each one tempted me to begin a rant, or a discussion, but, none of them completely grabbed my attention enough to do the trick. They are all much too valuable to throw out, so I had this idea to include them as a “new-school” pearl….. Y’all can take the ideas herein described, and formulate them into your own pearl of virtual wisdom…. there is plenty here to work with; I’ve used many similar pearls myself to create unforgettable rants, or brilliantly funny forays into nonsense. (Sure I have….. trust me….)

“The correct way to punctuate a sentence that starts: “Of course it is none of my business, but –” is to place a period after the word “but.” Don’t use excessive force in supplying such a moron with a period. Cutting his throat is only a momentary pleasure and is bound to get you talked about.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

“In certain trying circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity furnishes a relief denied even to prayer.” — Mark Twain

“In regard to disagreeable and formidable things, prudence does not consist in evasion, or in flight, but in courage. He who wishes to walk in the most peaceful parts of life with any serenity must screw himself up to resolution. Let him front the object of his worst apprehension, and his stoutness will commonly make his fear groundless” — Ralph Waldo Emerson, _Essays_, Prudence

“I figure that if God actually does exist, He’s big enough to understand an honest difference of opinion.”  – Isaac Asimov

“There’s more than one way to skin a cat, but there  ain’t no way to make the cat enjoy it.” — Jed Clampett

“Man is certainly stark mad; he cannot make a worm, and yet he will be making gods by dozens.” — Michael de Montaigne (1533-1592) — Essays, Book ii, Chap. xii, Apology for Raimond Sebond

“Once you can accept the universe as being something expanding into an infinite nothing which is something, wearing stripes with plaid is easy.” — Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

So, you should find it reasonably simple to do the same yourselves (creating a pearl, that is, not wearing plaid…) …. and if not, well, they are all fairly strong stand-alone dribbles of good advice/good observations, so you aren’t completely without recourse…. No refunds, though, we’re not completely without shame…. Remember, you get what you pay for in this world, right? TANSTAAFL….. (for the uninitiated, that is, There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch….)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Though the creation of this Pearl felt a bit choppy as it progressed, it seems to have come out okay; it will do…. To keep from pushing my luck, which has held together enough to get us to this point, I will take my leave, before anything untoward can take place…. See you tomorrow, ffolkes….

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,
and sometimes,
I just sits.

gigoid the dubious

dozer3

In defense of inconvenient innuendo….

10/20/12, aka 10/21/12 ~~ Time, or the labeling of same, is mine to dictate, so, today is tomorrow…. the missing day is banished from memory. So Be It….

Ffolkes,
It seems my unconscious mind has taken a hand in directing my conscious life as well…. but, in this case, it seems to work fairly well, all in all, so I’m going to leave it alone for the time being. I know that sound mysterious, but saying this precisely this way is merely withholding details that would be unenlightening, and at the same time, counter-productive to discussion. Suffice it to say that I am here now, sitting down to write, with more than average clarity, and a degree of unusual comfort…. Thank goodness for coffee, eh?……

I know, I know, that was a less than illuminating paragraph, but, believe me, you really don’t want any more details, so let’s just get on with our regular business, shall we? Suffice it to say that this is a case where you need to trust me, you don’t want to know any more than you do now…. So, you may as well give it up, because I ain’t talking…. Well, I wouldn’t be, but this IS the intro section, and I have to say SOMETHING….

I could point out that, here at Exploring Consensual Reality, you do get more respect…. I could have skipped the above two paragraphs entirely, and not even mentioned the new schedule changes, thus avoiding inadvertently letting out TMI, but figured that my readers are too smart, and might notice something…. so, I figure it’s better to just mention it in passing, rather than try to fool you all into a false sense of complacency. Such a condition is anathema to me, and I refuse to create it in others, if at all possible…. I’d rather create a small bit of confusion, than a great deal of it….

With all that being said, and so cheerfully, we should probably get on with the search for pearls; it promises to be somewhat of a hard line search, as I am starting off with zero to work with (as might have been surmised by this intro, and it’s obvious stretching of ingredients…). This will be posted from the library again, as it is that time of the month when my available cash is scarce…. Until we can get to that point, though, we need to find some pearls…. so, shall we Pearl?…..

“It’s OKAY — I’m an INTELLECTUAL, too.” — Zippy the Pinhead
__________________________________

Okay, so there I was, cruising through Smart Bee, and these little gems popped up. Each one tempted me to begin a rant, or a discussion, but, none of them completely grabbed my attention enough to do the trick. They are all much too valuable to throw out, so I had this idea to include them as a “new-school” pearl….. Y’all can take the ideas herein described, and formulate them into your own pearl of virtual wisdom…. there is plenty here to work with; I’ve used many similar pearls myself to create unforgettable rants, or brilliantly funny forays into nonsense. (Sure I have….. trust me….)

“The correct way to punctuate a sentence that starts: “Of course it is none of my business, but –” is to place a period after the word “but.” Don’t use excessive force in supplying such a moron with a period. Cutting his throat is only a momentary pleasure and is bound to get you talked about.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

“In certain trying circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity furnishes a relief denied even to prayer.” — Mark Twain

“In regard to disagreeable and formidable things, prudence does not consist in evasion, or in flight, but in courage. He who wishes to walk in the most peaceful parts of life with any serenity must screw himself up to resolution. Let him front the object of his worst apprehension, and his stoutness will commonly make his fear groundless” — Ralph Waldo Emerson, _Essays_, Prudence

“I figure that if God actually does exist, He’s big enough to understand an honest difference of opinion.”  – Isaac Asimov

“There’s more than one way to skin a cat, but there  ain’t no way to make the cat enjoy it.” — Jed Clampett

“Man is certainly stark mad; he cannot make a worm, and yet he will be making gods by dozens.” — Michael de Montaigne (1533-1592) — Essays, Book ii, Chap. xii, Apology for Raimond Sebond

“Once you can accept the universe as being something expanding into an infinite nothing which is something, wearing stripes with plaid is easy.” — Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

So, you should find it reasonably simple to do the same yourselves (creating a pearl, that is, not wearing plaid…) …. and if not, well, they are all fairly strong stand-alone dribbles of good advice/good observations, so you aren’t completely without recourse…. No refunds, though, we’re not completely without shame…. Remember, you get what you pay for in this world, right? TANSTAAFL….. (for the uninitiated, that is, There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch….)
__________________________________

Choosing a Theme

Powerful words playing hide and seek in my mind,
teasing with subtle cruelty, pretending to be kind.
Grand visions and flowery verses of beauty and truth
evaded my inner eye all through the days of my youth.

Affable interludes interspersed with allegorical wit
softened the crimes, against all reason, to finally acquit.
Time became at once an enemy, and an ally
Never once compelled to provide an answer why.

Giving gifts of simple kindness are their own pay,
spreading ripples of compassion are felt far and away.
Love given freely is precious, we are ever told,
increasing love received, more than a hundred fold.

Living long and with passion has centered my soul,
allowing me room, and time, to choose my own goal.
Now that I’ve gone past any need to pretend
I love everything in life, even knowing it will end.

~~ gigoid
__________________________________

I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.

— Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) — Just So Stories (1902) “The Elephant’s Child”

I first read the phrase “feeding the Elephant’s Child” in a Robert Heinlein novel, many years ago, and enjoyed it as a metaphor for reading/learning, before I knew from whence it originally came. Once I did know (a moment of illumination whose exact placement in time is hazy….), I liked it even more, from an aesthetic standpoint. The above little ditty is brilliant doggerel, astute observation, and deep insight, all presented in a simple, straightforward style, with a powerful, basic lesson for any would-be philosopher, or any one who wishes to encompass reason as their modus operandi, so to speak. Besides which, I find that another piece of Bob’s advice fits well with this one, to wit: “Life tastes better in big bites….”

“Never wear anything that panics the cat.” — P. J. O’Rourke

I like this, a lot. It summarizes perhaps one of the most elemental rules of getting along in the Universe, in essence saying, “You can learn a lot by watching what happens around you…” It is the perfect companion to the concept of learning as presented above, as it contrives to speak to both sides of Reality, i.e., how you approach reality (the clothing you choose to show to the cat….) and how reality will change to react to your approach (the cat’s opinion of your clothing….) It also gives one a subtle warning about how the wrong clothing can produce unwanted consequences, and we all know how an offended cat is likely to respond…. as Mark Twain once remarked…. “A man who carries a cat by the tail is learning valuable things. He will never again be dim or doubtful. Chances are he’ll not carry the cat that way again, but, I say, if he wants to, let him!”  You can’t say fairer than that….

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” — Buddha

One can always trust the Buddha to state the most profound thoughts in the simplest way…. I often wonder how he came to such a complete understanding of Murphy, whose presence is acknowledged in all of what the Buddha stated, but whose ministrations seem to have passed by the Buddha’s existence…. either that, or Murphy shows him a lot more respect than he does anyone else alive. At times, it seems that what the Buddha states, such as in this statement, is, in at least one respect, an answer to a question that is raised when Murphy intervenes in our lives…. in simpler words, he explains why Murphy is able to affect us as he does, by cutting through the bullshite we perceive to the truth of what is real….. SIGH…. one of these days, enlightenment will slap me upside the head, and I’ll be able to see Murphy coming…. I hope…

There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.” — Bob Dylan

Often I feel as if not only is life a joke, but it is our duty and purpose on this plane of existence to codify that joke, to put it down on paper, or on screen/disc, to free ourselves from the prison of sobriety, achieving an understanding that everything in this silly universe is here for our amusement, and we have been taking it, and ourselves, seriously for entirely too long….. So seriously, we have begun to offend those parts of the universe that just want us to relax and enjoy ourselves, and the time is growing nearer when we will have to admit that the joke is on us, for not being able to change our inner selves enough to be able to handle the humor of our situation…. See, the universe thinks death is funny…. not because it is cruel, but because death is just another part of life, and it doesn’t care about one more than the other…. See, now, isn’t it funny how you never noticed that?…..

I once read a science fiction novel, whose title and author escape me completely; in all it was very poorly written, with prose that did not live up to the good ideas contained in the plot line. However, it was a great plot line, in all….Specifically, there was one chapter I liked, which had a super-genius taking on the task of finding the solution to a mathematical treatise, an equation so complex and advanced that no civilization in the galaxy had ever been able to completely solve it.

The genius/hero of the book shut himself up in his room for three weeks, working on the problem. At the end, he was thinking so hard he entered a trance-like state, computing while nearly dead…. after a week of this, he suddenly opened his eyes, gave a look of astonishment, and burst into uncontrollable laughter for approximately 25 minutes. When he could finally control himself, he simply said, “It’s a joke….” and would never discuss it again….

In a pearl such as this one has grown to be, there comes a time when I have to decide whether to continue on, to try to reach the conclusion that was nebulously hovering somewhere in my mind as I began, or to admit that I have once again wandered into uncharted territory, and might find it a bit tricky to find my way back to clarity. This is that time…. and I’m leaving it up to Smart Bee, as always…. If I don’t find a proper pearl to carry on the tenuous chain of thought I’ve created, then we’ll take the first one that will appropriately wrap it up as a lost cause….. all within a specified number of attempts…. so, here we go… You’ll know in a moment what will happen….

“In a word, neither death, nor exile, nor pain, nor anything of this kind is the real cause of our doing or not doing any action, but our inward opinions and principles.” — Epictetus (c. 60 AD) — Discourses, Book i, Chap xi

There, see?…. That didn’t take long at all…. and I managed to find the perfect pearl to cover both bases…. In this case, we will use it as an ending quote, since it sort of summarizes a lot of the discussion, after a fashion. It could conceivably also be used as a springboard for further discussion, but this has gone on long enough, and I wouldn’t want to lose anybody due to an injudicious application of excess verbiage, culminating in tedium…. Of course, we may have reached that point some time ago, but, hey, who’s counting?…. Any who, I hope you enjoyed this little foray into not very much….  🙂
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Well, there you have it…. Yesterday, or recently, I said, in a poem, “All you can do, is all you can do… and nothing more.” I’ve done all I can do today…. A couple thousand words, mostly all original, an old-school pearl, a new-school pearl, a poem…. it’s going to take me some time to close all the veins I’ve had to open up this morning…. but, it was worth it. It kept me from considering Reality for quite some time, other than as an objective subject for thought, so, that is a good thing…. and, it has the added positive characteristic of being DONE…. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing this one…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!