Massive portions of buttered peas….

Ffolkes,
And then I woke up…. Another day dawns, bringing me one step closer to Europe. Today and tomorrow will be spent on planning, to make sure I’m not going to forget anything important, and packing what little I have left to put in, having spent much of the last two weeks slowly filling up the bag I’m taking. I’m so jazzed, I’ve essentially been ready to go for weeks. If I weren’t relatively ancient, I’d feel like a kid two days before Christmas; as it is, it takes all I have to keep from dancing a jig, or otherwise making an old fool of myself…

This is also affecting my writing, as I can barely keep my mind focused on the task at hand…. it just wants to think about what’s coming up, and will focus in on what I want to do only with great reluctance. I find myself unable to get mad about it, as the rest of my head is also caught up in the frenzy of emotion that goes with this…. So, I’ve come up with a semi-practical solution, which should serve to get the job done for the today, tomorrow, and Wednesday, before I leave at 0800…..

As I did yesterday, I’ll be dipping into the archives for one section, then go with a poem, chosen from the list in my head, and one old-school pearl, of the short, quick, but pointed variety, followed by the usual ridiculously egotistical closing remarks. This should allow me to get posted, with decent material, but take the minimum amount of time to put together. That’s the plan, anyway….

We’ll see just how much of it Murphy lets go without a response…. He’s been quiet so far today, so I’m hoping he’s focused on some other poor fool for a day or two…. He will, no doubt, have a trick or two to show me on the trip, but, I’m hoping he lets me slide here at home before I go…. Cross your fingers, or legs, or knock on some wood, or somehow help to guarantee my desire…. It won’t help much, but, it makes him feel good, and sometimes it will make him a bit more lenient…..

Once I’m on my trip, look for some more changes, as I intend to write about what I’m seeing, and put up some pictures of where I’ve been that day, rather than trying to maintain the long, rambling politico-religious ranting habits heretofore exhibited so regularly. Other changes my be instituted as well, like posting in the evening, after the day’s events, rather than beforehand, like now. So, stay tuned, as we evolve into a mobile state, and I learn how to put all of my adventures online. Hopefully, it will be entertaining, for y’all as much as me…. For now, ’tis enough to know it’s time to dive….. Shall we Pearl?…..
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Here is an old-style Pearl, from September of 2011….

Ffolkes,

Taking pot shots at political figures is a time-honored pastime in this country, and though I try not to engage in doing so on a regular basis, I’m not above letting all my frustration drive me to rant. The current political scene certainly offers a multitude of opportunities, especially now that so many Republican candidates for the Presidential election next year have jumped out into the glare of public scrutiny.

Every day I can read any number of articles outlining the latest spate of nonsense that is uttered by one of them; the difficult part at this point is choosing only one about which to write. Got some rampant ignorance? Plenty of that going around. Want an outrageous claim or two? Step right up. Like to hear the real facts? We can help, it happens every day…..what is a body to do? There is so much to choose from, they all seem to blend together into one giant nightmare of avarice and ignorance.

I guess the part of all this that is most disturbing to me is just how clueless our beloved ruling class has become. Even the most honorable politicians these days must take part in the insanity, if only to maintain their position where they can do some good. The majority of people who have been elected in this country have no real understanding of the mainstream, whatever that may be.

The gap between the wealthy and the poor in this country has never been larger, and is growing every day. How can a person who makes $200,000 a year even conceive of what it is like to live on less than $10,000 a year?  Quite simply, they cannot. More importantly, they have no desire to even try, because their purpose is not to improve the lot of everyone, but to solidify and maintain their own position. They may feel momentary jabs in their atrophied consciences, but easily dismiss them in favor of enjoying the fruits of their public thievery.

The seeds of revolution have been sown, and are being nourished by the ongoing scenario in today’s world. The rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer. The old saw about a watched pot is not entirely true; the pot will eventually come to a boil, given time and heat. I’ve been watching this pot for a long while, and note that the heat has been turned up. Whether I watch it or not, it WILL boil over…….

After that, I need some uplifting, so onward to the good stuff…..

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” — Krishnamurti   (Amen!)

“You can’t start worrying about what’s going to happen.  You get spastic enough worrying about what’s happening now.” — Lauren Bacall

“I maintain there is much more wonder in science than in pseudoscience. And in addition, to whatever measure this term has any meaning, science has the additional virtue, and it is not an inconsiderable one, of being  true.” — Carl Sagan, The Burden Of Skepticism, — The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 12, Fall 87

“What is beautiful is good and who is good will soon also be beautiful.” — Sappho

“Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.” — Oscar Wilde (1856-1900)

“The ideals which have always shone before me and filled me with the joy of living are goodness, beauty, and truth. To make a goal of comfort or happiness has never appealed to me; a system of ethics built on this basis would be sufficient only for a herd of cattle.” — Albert Einstein

Alone I sit, waiting for the future to become now. When it does, I’m goin’ there…… y’all take care out there….

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No comments are necessary to introduce this, but I’ll just say that I wish I had learned of this woman’s poetry ages ago….

Medusa

Off that landspit of stony mouth-plugs,
Eyes rolled by white sticks,
Ears cupping the sea’s incoherences,
You house your unnerving head—God-ball,
Lens of mercies,
Your stooges
Plying their wild cells in my keel’s shadow,
Pushing by like hearts,
Red stigmata at the very center,
Riding the rip tide to the nearest point of
departure,

Dragging their Jesus hair.
Did I escape, I wonder?
My mind winds to you
Old barnacled umbilicus, Atlantic cable,
Keeping itself, it seems, in a state of miraculous
repair.

In any case, you are always there,
Tremulous breath at the end of my line,
Curve of water upleaping
To my water rod, dazzling and grateful,
Touching and sucking.
I didn’t call you.
I didn’t call you at all.
Nevertheless, nevertheless
You steamed to me over the sea,
Fat and red, a placenta

Paralyzing the kicking lovers.
Cobra light
Squeezing the breath from the blood bells
Of the fuchsia. I could draw no breath,
Dead and moneyless,

Overexposed, like an X-ray.
Who do you think you are?
A Communion wafer? Blubbery Mary?
I shall take no bite of your body,
Bottle in which I live,

Ghastly Vatican.
I am sick to death of hot salt.
Green as eunuchs, your wishes
Hiss at my sins.
Off, off, eely tentacle!
There is nothing between us.

~~ Sylvia Plath ~~

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As promised, or threatened, take it as you may, here is an old-school pearl, fresh as I can make it from my immense stash of Smart Bee’s best….. I hope you get the point of this one, it’s a doozy…. and fun, too! Well, it’s fun if one is used to stretching the limits of the mind…. if not, well, probably not so much….

“Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink Nor slumber nor a roof against the  rain; Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink And rise and sink and rise and  sink again; Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath, Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone; Yet many a man is making friends with death  Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.  It well may be that in a difficult  hour, Pinned down by pain and moaning for release, Or nagged by want past resolution’s power, I might be driven to sell your love for peace, Or trade the memory of this night for food.  It well may be. I do not think I would.” — Edna St. Vincent Millay

“Hang sorrow! care ‘ll kill a cat.” — Ben Jonson (1573-1637) — Every Man in his Humour, Act i, Sc. 3

“Stop thinking, and end your problems.” — Lao Tzu

Untwisting all the chains that tie
The hidden soul of harmony.

— John Milton (1608-1674) — L’Allegro, Line 143

“The truly brave are soft of heart and eyes, And feel for what their duty bids them do.” — Byron

“Life is never fair, and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not.” — Oscar Wilde, An Ideal Husband

“All of a sudden, I want to THROW OVER my promising ACTING CAREER, grow a LONG BLACK BEARD and wear a BASEBALL HAT!!…  Although I don’t know WHY!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

Alas, we never do really know why, do we?…..  TTFN….
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Well, I hope this works….. It does, at least as far as it goes…. I don’t believe I’ll need to worry about replying to the Pulitzer Committee anytime soon…. It’s done, though, and, at this point, that’s all that matters to me…. I’m outta here, ffolkes…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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

dozer3

The only quest I know….

Ffolkes,
There is always a lot of stuff going on in my head, and, in spite of how it should, or could be otherwise, I’m pretty sure that not all of it is completely under my control. This, as might be deduced, is both blessing and curse, and causes me no end of moments of temporary confusion, moments that can stretch to what seems like eons….. Hell, sometimes, it seems like confusion is my most natural state, especially when reality is going through its contortions right in front of me like it does; reality does not always conform to what I think of it, either regarding expectations, or expedience. Hard to say which is more annoying, having my expectations dashed by reality, or having my time killed by it, used up dealing with mundane details rather than exotic dreams, or even hopeful ones….. (Whew! A four line sentence, desperately trying not to run on, and failing spectacularly!…. Oh well…. I just got up, give me a little slack, here, ‘kay?….Or, just call me Balzac….)

If this all sounds a bit vague, you are paying attention, as it is deliberately so. I’m trying to discuss a point that can easily slip over into whining about how Murphy always f___s with me, without crossing the line of demarcation for that state of asininity. Whining feels good, right up until it leaves the mouth, then it is just pathetic, and the shame and guilt set in…. I really don’t know why we even bother with it, as it has no effect at all on reality, and only makes us look and feel bad. Another of those delightful human characteristics that we are constantly working to eradicate from our personalities, if we have any sense. Of course, the possession of sense is another discussion entirely, and would take up far too much space right now, so let’s not go there, eh?

To get back to our original point of discussion, not being entirely in control of what is happening in my head is a deliberate state on my part. I’ve found that a lot of my artistic impetus comes from that area of my experience, so I’ve developed the habit of allowing part of my consciousness free rein to go wherever it may wish, without any oversight by the tapes and rules that govern most of the rest of my persona. This is my version of allowing my imagination to soar, and it seems to work for me, so I don’t fuss with it, or think about it much, as I don’t want to disturb whatever balance and tension that keeps it running smoothly.

Below you’ll find a poem, an original I composed last night, under non-normal circumstances. It’s okay…. not the best I’ve ever done, but honest, and real in its intent and style. Oh, and, of course, it rhymes…. to me, that is important in one of my own poems these days. I spent a lot of effort in my youth writing free verse, with no structure, and no deliberate rhyming. Most of what I wrote back then was pretty sappy…. emotional, at times powerfully so, but lacking in direction, or a whole lot of style.

S’okay, I’m good with it, because nobody will ever see it again but me, and maybe my kids, when they go through my things after I pass (Oh for goodness sake, I hope they don’t try to publish any of it posthumously, I’d die of shame….   🙂   ….) Any who, this poem was written on the edge, as I was about two sheets to the wind, an unusual state these days, especially on a mere half-pint over the course of an hour and a half…. not exactly the consumption of a lumberjack, or even myself three years ago….. But, it was enough for my payday splurge for the month, and gave me a full three hours of wonderful relief from back pain (I’d forgotten how alcohol can do that…. it’s just not something one can use regularly, for a lot of reasons, but, occasionally, it sure provides a kind, and depth, of relief that is very rare for those of us who suffer constant pain….)

Any who, let’s see what else we can come up with here on an early Sunday morning, with the rain and wind blowing and blustering outside, making me glad to have a warm, dry place to stay, with food, and things to occupy my mind, and time. I am indeed a rich man, for all that I don’t have, that is to say, the worry of those who have no such advantages as these. It’s almost enough to make me rant, but I’ll wait until I find a pearl to base it on…. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“There is one God, but which one is He?”– Smart Bee

Now, this is the proper use of reason and inquiry! Such a small question, made gargantuan by the depth of its insight. Which one, indeed, is the real God? There are as many answers to this question as there are what I like to call “preachers”, for want of a better word (I should maybe try to pick a better one, I suppose….); “preachers” are men, or women, who have decided upon one particular system of beliefs on the subject of divinity as being the correct one, to the exclusion of all the others. In spite of the lack of hard evidence on hand for any of the different belief systems, these folks choose one, and stick to it like a barnacle…. which, come to think of it, is probably what it feels like, after a while….

Depending on to whom the question is put, the answer may vary from Odin the All Father of Norse mythology, to the God of Zoroaster, whose specific appellation escapes me just now. In between you will find God, also known as Yahweh/Jehovah to the those of the Tribe, Allah to the Muslims, and just plain old God to most of the Christian sects. There is the voodoo god, Jobu, in the Caribbean; Set, or Bal, or Mammon, or any of the other ancient earth gods;  Ra of the Egyptians; Krishna, and all his incarnations, i.e., Kali, Yama, Ganesha, Maya, and the others in the Hindu pantheon. The American Indians seemed to favor the Great Spirit. Ancient Druids and Wiccans follow the Goddess, with gods and goddesses from the Greeks and Romans thrown into the mix, just for fun. The list seems as endless as human imagination….. which it is, since all of them spring from that source.

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” — Smart Bee (and, most likely, the Dalai Lama….)

As far as I know, Buddha never claimed to be a god, and was, to my mind, not particularly clear on the subject of divinity, as directly related to humanity. The same seems true of Taoism, though certain of its sages seem to hold some of the old Chinese mythology beliefs on Heaven, and the creatures who inhabit that domain, another concept for which there is only imaginary evidence to support its veracity, and its reality. In this way, I see these philosophies as superior to the religious doctrines that purport to worship a deity, as they rely on reason, personal responsibility, and compassion to direct action, rather than fear of reprisal, or hope for reward, as is the wont of religious dogma and doctrine.

This perception of mine may be because I have always thought that the entire concept of a deity is not capable of being described, or understood, if one is to assume that a god is what it claims to be. How can a mortal understand an immortal? There is no common ground, other than the assumption of existence, for which there can be any reason for one to be connected to the other, as we could not comprehend their existence. We, limited to our human perceptions, have no direct evidence of a deity that can be experienced by those perceptions.

Anyone who tells you they do is lying, even if they believe it to be true, unless they can share that experience with another human, directly, with evidence for the senses we possess, not merely for what we wish to be true. Feelings don’t count, nor visions only seen by them, or voices in the head, and neither do personal revelations, or religious fevers, or speaking in tongues…. See, hear, touch, smell, taste…. that’s what we have, along with the ability to reason, and our imagination. That is our tool kit, and unless one of the tools fits, it isn’t real, to our perceptive ability. Items purported to be evidence that come from imagination are just that…. imaginary, and cannot be considered proof of anything other than the naivete of the speaker, and of any who choose to believe them.

“It is a great advantage for a system of philosophy to be substantially true.” — George Santayana

SIGH…. People are people, though, and they will choose what to believe according to what they feel, most of the time, rather than according to what is the truth, which requires effort to find. It has even been said that humans have a tendency more often than not to make choices that are bad for them, just for that reason, that it is too much effort to think their way through to the truth that would ultimately help them. As long as this is true, then our species is in danger, from itself, and its own delusions…. Sad, in a species of such promise…..

And on the 8th day, God woke up and said “Whew! It was just a dream!” — Smart Bee
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“Poetry is what gets lost in translation.” — Robert Frost

Placidly falling in amber waves: old friends

Whiskey, oh, whiskey, I’d forgotten thy balm,
thy loving spread of lassitude, and nature’s own calm.
Misery and pain flee in squalid disorganization,
leaving mirth, happily embraced, in just consolation.

James, old friend, thou has not abandoned me at all,
steadfast and loyal, ever ready to answer my softest call.
Ephemeral illusions of normality come at your instigation
blessed moments of peaceful joy, sans vilification.

Gasps of coherence pound at the door to conscious thought,
muffled explosive memories of battles already fought.
Malleable as the changeable airs of time and circumstance
plaintive calls to reason stand not a single, honest chance.

Sober again, reality’s cold reign brings a new day
ringing in old changes in a new-fashioned way.
To know true freedom’s release from our everyday pain
Is worth a bit of headache, even in the cold, pouring rain.

~~ gigoid, two sheets to the wind, and back

“You will find poetry nowhere, unless you bring some with you.” — Joseph Joubert
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If birth is a miracle, is not death also a miracle? — Smart Bee

Smart Bee is living up to its name today…. Here is a question that most will avoid asking…. Well, perhaps not so much avoid as ignore, by preference. Which amounts to the same, little as they’d like to admit it. It’s okay, though, nobody is blaming them, or suggesting they do anything other than what is comfortable…. Karma exists, like it or not, as the proper and logical counterbalance to entropy, giving it meaning, and everyone gets out of life exactly what they deserve. This is not an arguable conclusion, it is mere fact of reality, and fighting against it is pointless, as well as tiring…..

“You live in a deranged age, more deranged than usual, because in spite of great scientific and technological advances, man has not the faintest idea of who he is, what he is doing, or where he is going.”– Smart Bee

Everyone gets what they deserve….. what a novel concept! Of course, many folks, of the sort who don’t like to accept merely what they deserve, try to manipulate reality, and end up accumulating much more than they deserve. What they don’t understand is that time is not on their side, and karma will eventually come to them for an accounting, and all will be brought into balance, at their expense. It’s not a pretty sight when it happens, and it is so unnecessary, considering the consequences that can be avoided by simple acts of honor and integrity. Sometimes, living is a worse punishment than dying, in such cases….

Another lesser-known part of karma is one that most folks have a hard time both understanding, and, once they do, accepting. This principle is stated simply as: Not only are you 100% responsible for what you DO, you are 100% responsible for what happens TO you. Yep…. completely. If the world has punched you in the face, well, all I can ask is, what was your face doing in front of that fist? There are no excuses in the eyes of karma, and we become truly ourselves when we learn to understand this, and to make it a part of how we make decisions in life, including those leading up to the second miracle of our existence, dying.

“When the ten thousand things are seen in their oneness, we return to the source to remain where we have always been.” — Seng Ts’un.

In the ultimate sense, this goes back to the discussion in section one above, tying all of it together in this way: “the ten thousand things” is the Chinese literary euphemism for reality, or Heaven, or the universe at large, depending on who one asks at what time of day….. By this statement, Ts’un shows his knowledge, and acceptance of his own divinity, and connection, according to the principles of karma and how we interact with reality, to everything that exists in the universe, including all gods, or ideas about gods, or God. Take your pick, they are ALL correct, in their own little way, or according their own little piece of the Truth. What is actually TRUE for everyone always makes itself obvious…. because that is what happens. What is, is….

“Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle. Some things are within your control. And some things are not.” — Epictetus
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I have to say, this one isn’t bad…. I’m not going to even question why it came out as well as it did, but will go with the flow of karma, and accept what is….. Unless I wish to wait until late this afternoon to post this, I will have to hike through the rain for a few blocks to get to the Wi-Fi spot at the coffee shop, which I believe will be the best way to go. I’m no tireless, invulnerable warrior like I used to be, but I think I can make it three blocks in the rain for this without suffering the tortures of hell. Unless, of course, pneumonia sets in…. Well, no point in tempting Murphy any more than that, so I’ll close this here, and hope for the best…. All I need is twenty minutes of cooperation from the rain gods, and all will be well…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Myths of ancient warrior kings….

Ffolkes,
Since my appreciation of the obvious is keen, I’m aware today is Sunday. That’s it. That’s all I’ve got. It’s Sunday…..since finding a coherent thought doesn’t seem to be on this morning’s agenda, we’ll just dive in and see if the cold water can work its magic…..

A lawyer and a pope died on the same day, and both went to heaven. When the pope noticed that the lawyer had a larger mansion, he questioned Saint Peter about the allocation of rewards.  The justification was “Well, we’ve had 265 popes up here, but this is the FIRST lawyer!”

I have to confess, when I read this for the first time, I laughed so hard I got hiccups. It gives the world’s most perfect joke (**see below) a good run for its title, even though the whole idea of lawyer jokes is one more sad commentary on how humans can pervert a good idea. The jokes, while they take their humor from the frequent human experience of getting shafted by the kingdom of Law and its knights, fail to take into account the fairly significant number of lawyers out there who actually perform their function with compassion, and a sense of altruism. There are those in the legal field who make it their goal to assist normal folks in obtaining justice from our legal system, guiding them through the tortuously complex legal maze. But there are far too many other lawyers whose sole purpose is to find more billable hours, regardless of their client’s ability to pay, or whether or not they are guilty or innocent. To them, its all a game, one which they are the only ones who know the rules, and they use the needs of normal people to find justice to fuel their own avaricious ambitions. It’s unfortunate, perhaps, that the good lawyers get tarred with the same brush as their less moral colleagues. But, for my money, there is no better way to deal with bullies (for that is what they are, the same kids out on the school playgrounds who tortured other kids for their lunch money, grown up to hide behind the law, but continuing the same behavioral pattern) than to laugh at them. Even the most evil of men are afraid of being laughed at, and justly so……

**In a recent world-wide poll, researchers asked people to vote for the funniest joke ever told. The winner was this…. The 911 operator received a call: “My buddy and I are out hunting, and he accidentally got shot. He looks like he’s dead; what should I do?” The operator says, “The first thing to do is to make sure he is really dead….” The guy says, “OK!” and rushes away from the phone. The operator hears a gunshot, and after a short moment the guy comes back on the line, “okay, now what?”…..
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‘”Food for thought is no substitute for the real thing.” — Walt Kelly, Potluck Pogo

I suppose one might say that this principle is the driving force behind this entire process of gathering, collating, and creating Pearls of Virtual Wisdom. At least, that is my primary focus of intent. I look at the world, and I am dismayed; my entire life I have watched as our society rushes ever closer to oblivion, with each and every person alive heedless of the part they are playing in their own impending demise. Those of us who struggle to bring our brethren into knowledge of the very real danger of not paying attention, of choosing deliberate ignorance over rational thought, are forced into the admission that it may too late. There may not be enough time, before everything falls apart completely, for humans to come to their senses, and stop the madness of our mindless march to extinction. In spite of the overwhelming evidence that pouring carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at a historically unprecedented rate is causing ecological changes that will eventually kill us, the average American is worried that they might not have enough money next month to drive their 5mi/gallon SUV down to Florida to visit Disney World. This is just how the one percenters want it; they don’t want anything that cuts their profit margin to be allowed into the public consciousness. And they, with their money to protect them, don’t believe that they will die along with the rest of us. Pogo’s observation above tells us why it is happening, to all of us…….the Grim Reaper doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, he just wants his dance with each of us…..
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“The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures. It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers. It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth and death, in ebb and in flow. I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life. And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood at this moment.” — Tagore

I have a wish….I wish that every human alive today could experience what Tagore has described for us. Whether one can agree with his world-view or not, the sheer beauty of his expression draws the reader into acceptance. I am unfamiliar with Tagore, so I cannot say for certain if their background is Oriental or Occidental, or even if they are male or female. But not knowing takes nothing away from this litany. Seeking this state, of oneness with the whole universe, is the goal of every living creature, whether they are aware of it or not. All of our human behaviors, as grandly outrageous as the spectrum may be, are all formulated within us for the purpose of finding this connection to…hell, we’ll just go with the most obvious word….the Force. The Force, as described in the Star Wars anthology, exists as a part of reality, and our knowledge of it is the connection we seek, whether we know it or not. It is where we came from, and where we will eventually return, and all our actions on this plane of existence have their basis in the need in us to find and maintain that connection to everything…..
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Oft in the stilly night,
Ere slumber’s chain has bound me,
Fond memory brings the light
Of other days around me;
The smiles, the tears,
Of boyhood’s years,
The words of love then spoken;
The eyes that shone
Now dimmed and gone,
The cheerful hearts now broken.
— Thomas Moore (1779-1852) — Oft in the Stilly Night

I don’t know whether other folks are like me, but when I find a poem that grabs my attention, I experience a giddy delight, just for a moment. It’s like the cadence, or the meaning, or something about the piece echoes in my soul as if it had always been there, and I get that odd, deja vu-like sense of “oh, there it is! I found it!” It’s probably why I spend so much time at looking for good pieces of it, trying to re-create that feeling of serendipity, and its companion, joy.  Each of us is alone here, inside our own head, and how we choose to find our sense of basic happiness is important, if only to ourselves. Some folks like music, some like tennis. I like to read, and poetry is one of my favorite methods of making myself happy. If I don’t, who will?……
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“When a man’s knowledge is deep, he speaks well of an enemy. Instead of seeking revenge, he extends unexpected generosity.  He turns insult into humor, … and astonishes his adversary who finds no reason not to trust him.” — Baltasar Gracian

Sometimes it is uncanny how a powerful idea insinuates itself into the public awareness. The concept proposed here by Mssr. Gracian is one of those powerful concepts, one that can apply itself to individuals, and to governments as well. It is the same concept as demonstrated in the Christian tale of Jesus of Nazareth, the same as in the ancient Hindu writings regarding Krishna, and the same as the precepts of Sun Tzu’s Art of War, where it is said, “The surest way to defeat your enemy is to turn him into an ally.” This principle, of seeking connection rather than controversy, choosing negotiation over dogmatic intransigence, echoes through the annals of history. It is unfortunate in the extreme that in today’s world, none of the world’s leaders seem to be aware of this, though history has proven it to be the most effective, efficient solution to conflict, with longer-lasting results than any other course of action. SIGH……I’m SO disappointed…….

Well, I’ve dragged just about all the angst out as can be dealt with in one sitting, so we will now return you to your regularly scheduled program…. y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Dozer at play..

Kowabunga!

Keeping banker’s hours….

Ffolkes,
With a smile, a whistle, and a joyful heart, the day begins…..

“Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well.” — Buddha

Living in today’s complex culture gets to be pretty stressful and frustrating. The more we do, the more it seems there is more to do. Bombarded on every side with demands, duties, expectations, and a myriad of “it’ll just take a minute  of your time” favors for friends, we end up with no time left for ourselves. I recall the days when I had a wife, two small children, a mortgage, car payments, and two full-time jobs; I became the Master of the Nine-Minute Nap, and spent each day chasing my tail to try to keep up with all there was to do. And that feeling, of being hemmed in and having no time for anything except more work, is pretty common to much of our society. The complexity of what is needed just to survive these days has men and women scrambling and scratching to make ends meet, leaving little time for relaxation or much-needed recreational activities.

Is there a solution to this problem, common to so many? Yes there is….it is really very simple, and revolves around one little word that a lot of folks have trouble saying, or meaning. We all learned this word at the age of 2, or thereabout, and have used it with varying effect ever since. Naturally, the word is “No”. That’s correct, “No”. Nothing else is needed, or even desirable, when confronted with yet another demand for assistance from a “friend”, or another pile of work from a boss, or another fundraiser. As long as it is delivered in a voice that carries authority, it needs no other help to rescue those stolen moments. Nancy Reagan had the correct slogan, Just say No!, but tried to apply it to an area of society that just laughs at such puerile nonsense.

     When applied to one’s own self, however, it becomes an invincible shield, protecting you from yet another waste of your time on other people’s behalf. Time is precious enough for us; we are mortal, and have only a finite amount of minutes here on this plane of existence. We each need to learn to protect those minutes, and keep them for use in service to our own goals and aspirations, instead of everybody else’s. You’ll be amazed at how much time you actually do have……

If I had thought thou couldst have died,
I might not weep for thee;
But I forgot, when by thy side,
That thou couldst mortal be.
— Charles Wolfe (1791-1823)
— To Mary

This little gem was another instance of serendipity. I was looking for a specific piece of information, and came across this in my search. I love that feeling, of getting a free gift from the universe. And when it is produced by something like this, that good feeling gets re-created at every reading. What I like about this one is the depth and breadth of the ideas being expressed, and how a few little words in the proper order can create in one’s mind an image that is richer and more detailed than could be surmised from just the words alone. Two little couplets strung together are enough to bring back the feelings one has when in the midst of infatuation, that first blush of love when the entire world assumes a compelling dream-like quality, and every sunrise is cause for joy. In this state, the mind is focused only on the object of desire, and any other perceptions are ignored, swept away from consciousness as if totally unimportant. It’s a very passionate time of life, and I find this little poem to be a truly exquisite conveyance back to those times……”There is no happiness like mine. I have been eating poetry.” — Mark Strand

Happiness is a state of mind.  Not happy?  Change your mind.

When I was in my teens, many, many moons ago, I read a book that is part of the sacred writings of Hinduism; it is titled, “The Bhagavad Gita. In the book, a young prince named Arjuna was entering a battle in ancient days in India, riding a chariot. His charioteer is none other than Krishna, the original Hindu god, from which all the others sprang, who then had a conversation with the young prince about life and philosophy. In answer to a question from Arjuna, Krishna replies, “All anger arises from obstructed desire. Thus all anger can be controlled, merely by altering the desire.” The concept works for happiness as well…..

What a powerful idea! To be able to control all of our anger with a small attitude change is a tool that every single human child should be given at birth, or at the very least, before they reach the age of reason. Imagine, an entire generation of people able to control and regulate the most passionate parts of their nature, with the power of their mind. Controversy and argument would vanish. War would be a distant memory. And humans would face life without fear, having replaced the passionate but unreliable emotions based on ignorance with a mind free of fear, and of the distraction of emotional turmoil. I can speak from experience to say that I know it is true, and really does work. I still experience anger and emotional turmoil, but it doesn’t last long in the face of reason and knowledge. This concept could very well be the next evolutionary step for our species; changing the way we deal with ourselves internally, rather than trying to modify the world to fit our image very well could be the answer for us. It couldn’t hurt…….

Whew! I could keep on writing on this subject for a long time, but I do have other stuff to do today. This is a good start though, and I may write more on this idea; it’s worth a second look. In the meantime, y’all take care out there……


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!