Last night, a Friday, in my younger days, I would have stayed up late, playing some guitar & having a deep philosophical discussion at intervals between songs with both Tom, my playing partner, and either John or James, (Daniels & Beam, respectively…), whichever we were entertaining that night as monitor for the session. A few other like-minded individuals may have been in attendance, and the air would have been rife with speculative, joyfully creative flights of imagination, music, and Life. Such nights fueled much of the rest of the week back then, providing impetus for making it to the next week’s jam….
Ah, but, those days are gone now…. not forgotten, obviously, but gone, only accessible by memory. Such memories, however, are the soul food for the present; they provide me with ample reason to last another day. Lasting another day, at this point, has assumed a more immediate relevance than any previous time in my life, as the effort to do so becomes greater, seemingly more so each day….. I still try to put some speculative, joyfully creative moments on the agenda, but those moments are definitely fewer, and further between, coming as they do in the mornings when writing these Pearls…. My guitar, alas, is currently in gaol at the pawn shop until I can break it free….
But, I do have to say, although the occurrences of moments of value happen less frequently, they are no less uplifting, and continue to provide me with reasons to last another day…. if only to post another Pearl…. shall we get on with doing so? I think that would be best….
My life, described in six words….
“Looked for love, found it everywhere.” — gigoid, to KDFC DJ Hoyt Smith, 2009….
While listening to the radio one day, the DJ was talking about a meme activity he had received via email, earlier that day, from a listener. The challenge was to describe your life in exactly six words; he gave several examples of those who had already responded, and asked the listening audience to call in with their own. After a couple of moments the above six words floated to the surface of my mind, almost unbidden, so I called in, and, to my surprise, my call was taken, and my quote was put out over the air.
For life, with all it yields of joy and woe,
And hope and fear (believe the aged friend),
Is just our chance o’ the prize of learning love,–
How love might be, hath been indeed, and is.
— Robert Browning (1812-1890) — A Death in the Desert
Considering that what I said in those six words is as true as the day, it felt kind of good. Fortunately, it didn’t lead to any more than 15 seconds of fame, the time it took to say my name, and my contribution…. not that I was hoping it would lead to an appearance on Letterman or anything, but it did feel pretty good, as I am proud of the quote….
Of course, I’ve never found the secret to getting love to stay, other than the love between friends that is so important. Our culture, so tenuous in its support of monogamy, provides people with so many ways to leave a relationship without penalty, no one seems interested in making them last an entire lifetime any more. It’s like, “Oh well, that didn’t work… there’s lots of fish in the sea….”, and off they go into the dating world again…. Frankly, it makes me dizzy….
I can’t say I know what the problem is in society that dooms relationships these days; if I did, then it wouldn’t be a problem, as I’d know what to avoid…. What I do know is that on five occasions in my life, I’ve given my heart to a woman, and spent all my energy giving my all to that relationship, faithfully and fully. On all of those occasions, the woman eventually decided, for their own personal reasons, that they didn’t want to continue, and left. I guess they like Will Shakespeare more than I do… as they seemed to take on his attitude…
“I dote on his very absence.” — William Shakespeare (With all he wrote, even he came up with something coherent occasionally….)
I’ve been fortunate, I guess, in that of those five times, only three were painful in their intensity; two of them were relatively amicable breakups. But, it hurts when a woman I’ve loved for 23 years, and intended to die with, decides she’d rather pursue other options;it hurts, and it hurts a lot…. It also hurts when a woman has said she loved me for ten years, and has been lying the whole time…. that kind of betrayal brings a very lasting pain, and is slow to pass…
I hear you reproach, “But delay was best,
For their end was a crime.” Oh, a crime will do
As well, I reply, to serve for a test
As a virtue golden through and through,
Sufficient to vindicate itself
And prove its worth at a moment’s view!
. . . . . .
Let a man contend to the uttermost
For his life’s set prize, be it what it will!
The counter our lovers staked was lost
As surely as if it were lawful coin;
And the sin I impute to each frustrate ghost
Is–the unlit lamp and the ungirt loin,
Though the end in sight was a vice, I say.
— Robert Browning (1812-1890) — The Statue and the Bust
Pain is an old friend, though, in all its various guises, and I know it always passes in time. Now I am looking for love again, in my own time, still trying to find that one woman who can be both loving and honest. The ones I’ve known so far have all had a problem with that last part…. it’s not something our society teaches well. But, until I find her, I’ll have to make do with the pain….
I know she is out there, somewhere….. There’s got to be some woman who would enjoy being worshiped by an old, fading, but faithful, romantic curmudgeon with a soft spot for dogs, cats, and kids….
In the desert a fountain is springing,
In the wide waste there still is a tree,
And a bird in the solitude singing,
Which speaks to my spirit of thee.
— Lord Byron (1788-1824) — Stanzas to Augusta
The thought manifests as the word;
The word manifests as the deed;
The deed develops into habit;
And habit hardens into character.
So watch the thought and its ways with care,
And let it spring from love
Born out of concern for all beings.
— The Buddha
I can’t think of a single thing that needs to be added here, so I won’t….. As Nike says, “Just do it….”
“Strange, because they are so frankly and hysterically insane — like all dreams: a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave his angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice and invented hell — mouths mercy and invented hell — mouths Golden Rules, and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man’s acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship him!” — Mark Twain, _The Mysterious Stranger_
Perhaps it’s lazy, perhaps it’s stealing…. but my comments here wouldn’t add anything that would make this more accurate or more effectively true, so again…. just take it in, and hold it alongside all the nonsensical tripe you hear for balance….
One day, I’ll find a way to make this process less haphazard…. today it seemed as if the pearls kept following the discussion, popping up to say, “Oh, look how perfectly I fit here!…” while I’m looking for a new one to use for the next pearl. And then, finding pearls that don’t lend themselves to discussion, being too perfect as they are…. Ah well, I can’t complain, I guess…. it’s done. And done fairly well, so it will have to fly as it is, once again…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.