Socially unacceptable in SO many ways….

Ffolkes,

Finding just the right words for an opening statement, after repeated attempts to do just that, for what is now getting close to 3 years, can frequently become, not merely a conundrum, but a chronic pain in the ass, at least until Reality steps in to lend a hand…. which it did today….

Just as I sat down to begin, I noted a light playing on the wall of the house across the street, a spot-light moving along, until it found and highlighted a tall, hooded figure skulking on the porch…. The light, which was coming from a police squad car at the corner, pinned the hooded figure, and apparently issued instructions I couldn’t hear, as the figure froze, put up its hands, and walked slowly out to the street, where two police officers met him, frisked, him, handcuffed him, and took him away in their car….

The entire scenario took about one and a half minutes to take place, start to finish, though, afterward, they sat in the car for quite a while, probably running the Unsub for priors, and starting the paperwork for whatever charges they were arresting him, obviously to include trespassing…. It wasn’t overly dramatic, or a particularly gripping scene, but, it isn’t every morning I get to witness crime being fought, and defeated, right here on my street…. It almost makes me feel safe….. Well, that would probably be stretching the truth farther than is good for it, so, I’ll take it back, and just say it was interesting to watch….

At least it didn’t turn into another Rodney King episode…. I’m not sure I can figure out yet how to work the video capture on my new smart phone, so, that’s probably a good thing, as I didn’t have the expertise to be able to film it, whereupon it would have become another in a long series of acts of egregious violence from police upon relatively undeserving victims that DIDN’T slide through the public’s awareness….

Oh yes, it happens…. In fact, NOT hearing about bad things happens, I would wager, far many more times than ever get reported, or captured on film, or digitally, on somebody’s phone, in the modern world….. It has always been so, it’s just not something people like to talk about, or admit…

That, by the way, is something I’ve never understood…. the reluctance of many people to report unethical actions by public servants like police, or firemen…. It’s as if people accept the sense of entitlement that often goes with such service, and automatically, and unquestioningly, give the privileges and perks that so many officers take as their due, without any real justification, other than their own power of authority…. which, in my mind, should produce the exact opposite effect…. It should make the person who holds any such position humble, and grateful, not make them feel powerful, and special, and deserving of all honor, merely for holding a certain kind of job….

However, if I start going into all that, I’ll get all worked up, as I already am, and begin to rant….. Since we’re just getting to the end of the intro, it wouldn’t be appropriate to start one now, so I’ll let that go, for discussion at another time…. or not, who cares? There’s always a new example to pick from, with the police…. The institution, as it exists now in our society, attracts the very worst sort of asshole to its ranks, men, and women, who are only there because it gives them the wherewithal, and the excuse, to be bullies, to assert their authority over others at every opportunity…. THAT type of personality is drawn irresistibly to police work, as it offers them the perfect outlet for their aggressive natures….

Ah well, I guess it’s only natural, but, that doesn’t make it right, or acceptable, in my book…. It does, however, make it enough material written to form the nucleus of an intro, which, after all, is what we were up to….. In fact, I’m going to go ahead, and just drop you here, so I can get on with stuff…. I think you can find the next section without my help…. I’m gonna go dive…..

Shall we Pearl?…..

“I share the belief of many of my contemporaries that the spiritual crisis pervading all spheres of Western industrial society can be remedied only by a change in our world view. We shall have to shift from the materialistic, dualistic belief that people and their environment are separate, toward a new consciousness of an all-encompassing reality, which embraces the experiencing ego, a reality in which people feel their oneness with animate nature and all of creation.” — Dr. Albert Hoffman

(I am forced to comment on this:  While I am in complete agreement with the good Doctor on this matter, I fail to see how his uplifting, accurate, totally cool expression of what is needed for us to survive will convince a single person to take it up as truth, or how it will get people to make the necessary changes in human nature…. Telling people that they need to “feel their oneness with animate nature and all of creation.” is going to lose everyone who hears it…. In fact, it is such an off-putting, airhead kind of statement, I’d wager that, in spite of the fact that this is absolute truth, and will help people to save themselves from a certain death, nobody is going to hear it, because they automatically turned off their ears as soon as they heard the words “spiritual crisis”, followed by “spheres of Western industrial society”, and “world view”…. That kind of New Age babble-speak will shut off most folk’s heads in a New York minute….. Too bad, ‘cuz its’ totally true….)

“FUN is never having to say you’re SUSHI!!” — Zippy the Pinhead
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My urge to rant today is blunted, for some reason, which I’m not at all willing to try to find…. Life’s like that sometimes; we don’t feel like doing what we know we SHOULD be doing, and don’t care that we don’t…. But, y’know what? It’s okay, for a couple reasons…. One, to me, the word “should” is one I try very hard to avoid either using, or allowing to have any influence over my decisions…. When we use that word, it is virtually ALWAYS something I was told  by someone else, and is something that follows the limits of its own rules, or internal structure…. not mine. In short, it’s something somebody else told me to do, not something I decided for myself….

Two, it’s okay because I’m positive that y’all are as tired of my rants as I am…. Let’s have fun instead, and still soothe the outrage when we can, with some arrows tipped with irony, or even vituperation….

Since I don’t/won’t do what people think I SHOULD, I’ll go ahead and do what I wish, which, 99% of the time, makes much more sense, to me, and to the world at large…. In the case with which we are confronted today, this means new formats for pearls, and maybe other changes, as well…. who knows? I’m in an odd frame of mind today, feeling somewhat crusty and perverse, so just about ANYTHING COULD happen…. we’ll see how it goes….

In the meantime, below, I have put a small group of links, to various articles at news outlets around the web…. I’ve gathered them from a wider array of sources today, with three world-class news organizations represented…. Presenting their versions of the day’s news, crazy as it may be, we find articles from SFGATE (part of the SF Chronicle organization), from the New York Times, and from the British tabloid, the Daily Telegraph…. Each article shows us another side of society’s insanity, in short vignettes of human misery, corporate theft, bigotry foiled, government corruption in conjunction with corruption in the courts, and the mad, mad, world of insane dictators…. I’ll make a comment or two, but, these stories show just how crazy things are, without much help needed….

“A professional politician is a professionally dishonorable man.  In order to get anywhere near high office he has to make so many compromises and submit to so many humiliations that he becomes indistinguishable from a streetwalker.” — H.L. Mencken

http://www.sfgate.com/business/networth/article/Wells-Fargo-gets-big-break-in-federal-income-taxes-5267883.php

(My first question is, why do they get tax breaks in the first place? Hardship? People don’t get them, especially not if they’re under hardship… Why should they?…. This bank paid less of a percentage of taxes than I did last year, and I’m a disabled retiree, on a fixed income…. What the fuck is up with THAT?…..)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Arizona-religious-bill-that-angered-gays-vetoed-5268325.php

(A narrow escape from reverting to the mid-eighteenth century, back into modern reality, for Arizona….. I guess now they can remain in the 21st century with the rest of us….)

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2014/02/27/world/europe/ap-eu-germany-ex-president-trial.html?hp&_r=0

(A politician, even though not one of ours, being tried for corruption? Wow. What a surprise….)

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/28/world/asia/north-korea-displays-another-captured-missionary.html?hp

(There isn’t much left to say about Kim Jong Un (if I’ve gotten his name right, it’s a miracle, because I can never remember which of them is which…. I care so little, I’m not even going to check…. ) that hasn’t already been said…. My only question here is, why do the North Koreans allow him to continue to exist?…. Are they ALL that stupid and cowardly? Even the generals, who keep the county under control for him? For goodness sake, it’s as if all the stupidest, most egregiously cowardly people in the world all gathered together, found the absolute dumbest of them, and set him up as their leader….. I swear, if Reality doesn’t step in to rid the world of this idiot soon, I’m going to lose all respect for its judgment….)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/10664414/One-punch-death-no-big-deal-says-killers-mother.html

(Is it even necessary for me to comment? Obviously, the son got his (nonexistent) sense of compassion, and his minuscule IQ, from his mother….)
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Poetry is what it is, and, says what it says; that’s all one needs to know….. because it will teach you the rest…..

Death Alone

There are lone cemeteries,
tombs full of soundless bones,
the heart threading a tunnel,
a dark, dark tunnel :
like a wreck we die to the very core,
as if drowning at the heart
or collapsing inwards from skin to soul.

There are corpses,
clammy slabs for feet,
there is death in the bones,
like a pure sound,
a bark without its dog,
out of certain bells, certain tombs
swelling in this humidity like lament or rain.

I see, when alone at times,
coffins under sail
setting out with the pale dead, women in their dead braids,
bakers as white as angels,
thoughtful girls married to notaries,
coffins ascending the vertical river of the dead,
the wine-dark river to its source,
with their sails swollen with the sound of death,
filled with the silent noise of death.

Death is drawn to sound
like a slipper without a foot, a suit without its wearer,
comes to knock with a ring, stoneless and fingerless,
comes to shout without a mouth, a tongue, without a throat.
Nevertheless its footsteps sound
and its clothes echo, hushed like a tree.

I do not know, I am ignorant, I hardly see
but it seems to me that its song has the colour of wet violets,
violets well used to the earth,
since the face of death is green,
and the gaze of death green
with the etched moisture of a violet’s leaf
and its grave colour of exasperated winter.

But death goes about the earth also, riding a broom
lapping the ground in search of the dead –
death is in the broom,
it is the tongue of death looking for the dead,
the needle of death looking for the thread.

Death lies in our beds :
in the lazy mattresses, the black blankets,
lives a full stretch and then suddenly blows,
blows sound unknown filling out the sheets
and there are beds sailing into a harbour
where death is waiting, dressed as an admiral.

~~ Pablo Neruda ~~

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Thus far today, I’ve composed very little real material…. most of what has been written has been commenting on the work of others, or filling in space that looks empty to me. I am not going to rant, and I don’t have a poem currently threatening to bleed out,…. So…. the only choice left for me, as is patently obvious, is an old-school pearl, with a point yet to be determined, probably at the whim of Smart Bee, as my own reserves of creativity seem to be a bit low, if not yet bone dry…. Since we are sans other choices, shall we go for a dive?….. No, please, after you…. No, really, go ahead…. No, I don’t mind at all, go ahead…. Get down there and dive, dammit!….

“Actions lie louder than words.” — Carolyn Wells

“These are the days when men of all social disciplines and all political faiths seek the comfortable and the accepted; when the man of controversy is looked upon as a disturbing influence; when originality is taken to be a mark of instability; and when, in minor modification of the scriptural parable, the bland lead the bland.” — John Kenneth Galbraith (1908 – )

“Impartiality is a pompous name for indifference, which is an elegant name for ignorance.” — G. K. Chesterton, The Speaker, 12/15/00

“We’re marketeers, so truth is kind of a nebulous concept to us.” — Ray Scott, DEC field marketing rep

(Sorry, have to comment here…. This attitude about the truth is one that I believe has permeated just about every level of the society in which we exist today…. which makes it really hard to trust ANYONE…. But, most especially, it makes me VERY CAREFUL about trusting anyone who is trying to either sell me something, or get me to believe something, because this concept of “I, and what I want, come first, before truth, before compassion, before virtue of any kind, before anything else….” is one that just about everyone in the world has adopted, even if only to a small degree…. It is an example of how a certain behavior is made to be acceptable because the leaders of society engage in it….. not because it is virtuous, or right, but, only because it is expedient, and convenient to them….. My uncle used to call it “Me Firsterism”, which described it pretty well, I thought ….)

“A soldier told Pelopidas, “We are fallen among the enemies.” Said he, “How are we fallen among them more than they among us?” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Pelopidas

“Don’t believe them, don’t believe them, question everything you’re told.” — Smart Bee

“Do I have a lifestyle yet?” — Zippy the Pinhead

Sorry about the little mini-rant in the middle there…. sometimes it just comes out before I can stop my fingers on the keyboard, y’know?…..
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If the last line from Zippy made the point too broad for y’all, me apologia…. and, too bad, because, hey! Look! It’s done…. and we KNOW what that means around here, don’t we?…. Well, I do….. See y’all 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

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Another in a long line of wretched laundry confessions….

Ffolkes,

Since it’s already six of one, I’m going to assume that it’s also half dozen of another, and, in spite of how it may seem, or whether or not it is ethical, or moral, or not, that’s the way it will stay. There isn’t a damn thing a single one of us can do about it, so any reluctance to acknowledge this state of affairs can only lead to difficulties for you, and, more critically, for your immediate family…. Sorry, but, natural law is natural law, and there is nothing any of us can do about it, is there? Try to capitulate with some grace, and be a credit to your family, eh?

Nonsense and snide innuendo aside, how y’all doin’? It’s been an interesting two or three days, what with moving, landlord bullying, and internet epiphanies, so I’ll try to correlate some of the more outré information into a palatable format, thus turning shit into jewelry (crap –> pearls). Or not, I’m not sure, and I definitely don’t care HOW it happens, as long as it happens, and does so without bloodshed. I’m running out of bandaging material, or I wouldn’t even care about the blood, so, since I’m strewing BS all over the place at an alarming rate already, we’ll go on, to save resources…

Where, you may ask? Where, indeed…. we are off into the wilds of gigoid’s brain, where there is no telling just what we may find in the nature of biting criticism of humanity’s most dishonorable, shady behaviors (especially as perpetrated by those who would be seen as our leaders…), elegant verse (well, I DO post other poets!….), gut-busting humor, and crunchy, healthful, and flavorful snacks….

Okay, so I’m a bit delusional this morning; it’s a natural defense against getting up so early, which, having failed to keep me asleep, inevitably turns to the bag of tricks furnished by a long history of insane thought patterns, along with years and years of exposure to the most virulently insane folks on the planet, when I worked as a psychotherapist…..

But, I digress…. I think…. Is it possible to digress, when one is already lost in space, and time? Hmm, I’ll have to think about that one, one of these days…. In the meantime, I should probably think about getting started with today’s Pearl…. We are fairly well settled in to the new place, and the cat is now a happy camper, with three more rooms in which to practice her psycho-kitty skills, and an extra person to bedevil…. There are only four more boxes of stuff to put away, and a bed to buy….. otherwise, we are good to go, and much more content to be in a building with only one quiet neighbor, instead of 16, comprised of people displaying diverse levels of ignorance, as well as a significant number with unfortunate taste in music . It’s a good thing, yes, it is….

It is now 0540, and I have the entire day ahead of me…. which, I just realized, is one of my favorite things, because these moments are filled with potential…. nothing is yet determined, and the day is mine to do with as I please…. It’s nice to start it with a kiss from a beautiful blonde, too… Since the day is starting so well, and I have wandered sufficiently around my head for the intro section to reach the legal limit, I’m going to make like a tree, and leave…. Ouch, sorry, didn’t mean to get so old and corny…. it just sort of sounded right, but, next time, I’ll go more modern, and save the corn to cook with…. (Sorry again…. couldn’t help it…)

Shall we Pearl?

“A string of excited, fugitive, miscellaneous pleasures is not happiness; happiness resides in imaginative reflection and judgment, when the picture of one’s life, or of human life, as it truly has been or is, satisfies the will, and is gladly accepted.” — George Santayana
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“The great French Marshall Lyautey once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardener objected that the tree was slow growing and would not reach maturity for 100 years. The Marshall replied, In that case, there is no time to lose; plant it this very afternoon.” — John F. Kennedy

What a great little anecdote! I love to see a great life lesson told in a few short words…. Here is a perfect description of the attitude one requires to achieve happiness…. Yes, happiness, an old word, one bandied about much by the uninformed, and the unhappy…. Happy people never need to use the word itself, as they are just…. there. There is little need to think about being happy, when you are, and in fact, not thinking about it is one of the keys to holding it, once found…. Sadly, it is a rare person in today’s world who can sustain long periods where they feel happy the entire time; the world intrudes too much into our lives to give us leave to be happy, unless we know the secret…..

Yes, there’s a secret….. Of course, it’s the kind of secret that is hidden right in plain sight, like Poe’s Purloined Letter. It only requires that one be willing to accept it, and to allow it to enter into one’s spirit, suffusing the world in the less harsh light of contentment, rather than the cold, hard light of resentment. People tend to be like the gardener, blocking their own happiness by finding all kinds of reasons to NOT allow it entry into their world. As humans, we are taught at young age to view reality with stoicism, and mute, unquestioning acceptance of our lot; we are shown all the ways to look ahead, to see the worst of what can happen, in order to be prepared….

But, there is another way to approach the matter, one little known, and therefore little taught…Reality is a tough go, for sure, but, with a little bit of mental effort, much easier than the alternative, one can be in control of how it (Reality) affects one’s life. In short, Life treats us all like shit; what determines how much of it gets in our sandwich depends solely on us, and how we react to that shit…. We can slap the shit between two slices of bread, and choke it down…. or, we can use it as fertilizer, to grow some rather nice weed…. potent, and good for you….

Whatever one decides, the choice remains, as long as one is aware of the options. The problem with most folks is, they don’t see the options, or they don’t believe they will work, as their attitudes keep them from even trying a lot of new ways to do things. I won’t say it is this way for all people, but the greatest majority of people I see in the world are unhappy, without ever realizing that a) they don’t have to be unhappy, and b) being happy is within their power to choose…. It’s too bad, really, because that unhappiness is part of what makes people go wonky, losing integrity, honor, and any sense of morality, in order to reach for an illusion, an illusion of happiness that, even if grasped, will drift away and vanish, like smoke in a breeze….

This little mini-diatribe was intended to be more…. more clear, more inspiring, more helpful in getting people to think in different ways…. However, I seem to have lost that thread, and it’s getting a bit obscure, and thick…. So, I’m going to switch to old-school, and politely ask Smart Bee to give me the right words to accomplish that intent, without having to subject y’all to another thousand words of pedantic persuasion…. Well, that’s how it’s supposed  to work, anyway…. If not, at least it will have been more palatable, with more chocolate chips….

“Going to bed with a woman never hurt a ballplayer. It’s staying up all night looking for them that does you in.” — Casey Stengel

“Pizza is a lot like sex.  When it’s good, it’s really good.  When it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.” — Smart Bee

“Beware of the “Black Swan” fallacy.  Deductive logic is tautological; there is no way to get a new truth out of it, and it manipulates false statements as readily as true ones.  If you fail to remember this, it can trip you – with perfect logic.  The designers of the earliest computers called this the “Gigo Law”, i.e. “garbage in, garbage out”.  Inductive logic is MUCH more difficult – but can produce new truths.” — Lazarus Long

“Man errs as long as he strives.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust

“‘T is but a part we see, and not a whole.” — Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Man, Epistle i, Line 60

“If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.” — Mark Twain

“Eternity is a mere moment, just long enough for a joke.” — Hermann Hesse

Okay, so, that works, sort of….. My apologies…. It’s not as clear as I’d hoped, though it’s quite good, in its own small way…. Not bad directions, if one is accustomed to pearls…. I’ve got it! Here is an example of how happiness works, and is available for use by anyone who wishes to use it….

I’m happy now…. I’m done….

(That’s it…. that’s the secret….. No? Not clear yet? Ah, well…. Well, we’ll try again later, ffolkes…. just remember, you CAN be happy, any time you wish…. It’s all a matter of choice….  Bonus? Nobody can take the choice away from you….)
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While searching for today’s pearls, I saw one by Pablo Neruda, so I thought I’d find, and use, one of his poems for this section; that decision is always a good one, as there are an awful lot of good poems in his work from which to choose…. Abondanza!….

Lost in the forest…

Lost in the forest, I broke off a dark twig
and lifted its whisper to my thirsty lips:
maybe it was the voice of the rain crying,
a cracked bell, or a torn heart.

Something from far off it seemed
deep and secret to me, hidden by the earth,
a shout muffled by huge autumns,
by the moist half-open darkness of the leaves.

Wakening from the dreaming forest there, the hazel-sprig
sang under my tongue, its drifting fragrance
climbed up through my conscious mind

as if suddenly the roots I had left behind
cried out to me, the land I had lost with my childhood—
and I stopped, wounded by the wandering scent.

~~ Pablo Neruda ~~

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In section 1 today, I spoke about happiness, and how to find it (i.e., stop looking, it’s right there inside you….)…. While I was searching for the proper pearls to use in the old-school portion, the following group of pearls kept popping up…. Together, they all form another fine pearl, pointing in a general way to a picture of just exactly what a person who is happy and whole looks like, or, at least, the kinds of things they do, or say, or just think they say….

“I am free, no matter what rules surround me.   If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them.  I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.” — Professor Bernardo de la Paz

“When the need arises — and it does — you must be able to shoot your own dog. Don’t farm it out — that doesn’t make it nicer, it makes it worse.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s   “Time Enough For Love”

“It is the ability to choose which makes us human.” — Madeleine L’Engle (Walking on Water)

“How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, iv, 18

“I think a man ought to get drunk at least twice a year just on principle, so he won’t let himself get snotty about it.” — Raymond Chandler

“A person will be just about as happy as they make up their mind to be.” — Abraham Lincoln

“Sometimes, you just gotta say “What the fuck.”” — Risky Business

Wow…. perfect…. If y’all don’t like that one, well, there’s just no more hope….
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“All’s well that ends well.”….. There are days, such as today, when this is appropriate, with a slight change in punctuation… Let us say this…. “All’s well that ends, well….”, and leave it at that, shall we? Some days this process goes better than others; given the handicaps, this is better…. Now, let’s see what it looks like from the outside, shall we?….

Hmm…. That took a while…. but, I think it’s all going to be okay. Considering the content of today’s effort, I can only say that I’m good with all of it, as it not only gives me something I can be happy about, it gives me both the means to keep being happy, and a reason to do so… What more can a man ask for from life, eh? Well, winning the lottery wouldn’t hurt, and, I like to follow the example of all cats, who feel that it is always alright to ask for what you want; you won’t get it at all if you never ask…

What this means in the long view isn’t exactly clear to me right now, but, it seemed to fit, so, we’ll just show another cat-like quality, and ignore it…. I’m done, stick a fork in me…. Wait, try again, bozo…. Stick a fork in me, I’m done….. See ya, ffolkes….

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest  Carole…
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

dozer3

But, Mom, Papal edicts only show the retail cost….

Ffolkes,

Nervy bastards, aren’t they? Even when it’s counterproductive, or, for that matter, illegal, the congress of holiday droids brought in for this morning’s show insist on keeping their motors idling; it must be admitted, they look wonderful while they’re doing it. Of course, it always seems more like winter when they’re trundling about, showing off their latest chrome package, or some new style of working appendage.

Clyde and Em like to put out special feeders for them, but, if you do that, then use the wrong brand of oil, boy, do they get weirded out; I’ve seen them attack a guy who put one in his blog, and forgot to fill it; the only positive outcome was that the remains fit all in one box….. Maybe this year, we could ask the town council to have them stay over after the holidays, so we can have a better look at them when they’re not so involved in their dances and rituals…..

I give up…. I can’t make this any more obscure, or meaningless, so, I’m on the mark there, but, somehow, it’s just not coming out the way I’d envisioned. I think I’m using the right tone, but, I can’t seem to find just the right level of strangeness…. very essential to this type of outburst…. Maybe if I….. No, that won’t work. Never mind. I suppose this means another morning of blather…. I’d hoped my oh-so-creative-mind could come up with something more fascinating than the recent previous intros have been, but, once again, it seems we’re destined to just wander the corridors of my mind, lost and afraid…

Well, I suppose we don’t HAVE to be afraid, though, at this point, lost is a foregone conclusion…. You may as well as throw “confused” into the mix for today, too, because I can feel it gathering around the edges, and, once it settles in for the day, all bets are off…. We may as well go back to bed, if that is the best we can hope for…. That won’t get this Pearl done, though, and was never really considered as a viable option…. I just like to blather, as we know…. No, that’s not right…. I DON’T like to blather, but, I mostly don’t get a chance to do much else…..

Since we’re destined to experience another metaphor for the rest of our lives here today, I’m going to go with the flow, and use some of my dissatisfaction with the opening to fuel even more blather. It’s the only option, now that we’re this far into the process…. In the past, I’ve made other attempts to place a limit of some kind on the amount of blather that gets spread around, but, the only time it seems to have an effect is in the closing section, where it’s already a part of the task to be done there….. Otherwise, the crap just keeps on flowing out, getting all over the screen, and, no doubt, on your clothing…..

Once again, I’ve gone from fantasy, to folly, sidetracked over into severely stunted sincerity, stepped in some small piles of crap, and, now, come back around to fantasy…. We’ll end this here, as we’ve reached the legal minimum required by law, and can now make a serious attempt to get back into the creative portion of this…. whatever it is…..

Whatever it is, I can see it’s going to be a struggle to get it done today….. It’s never a good sign when I have to use a cudgel to beat stuff out of my brain, which is as close as I can come to an accurate description of how this is going so far…. Damn it, I’d hoped to get out of the intro without having to break into the first aid kit!….. As they are fond of saying downtown…. Oh, well….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“How many, once lauded in song, are given over to the forgotten; and how many who sung their praises are clean gone long ago!” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, vii, 6
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I’m a dog lover, having had one in my family since I was born. One of them taught my younger sister and I to walk, by standing next to us, letting us stand & grab their fur, and then walking slowly away, pulling us with them….. Her name was Butch….   😆  

All my life I remember one dog or another being there, providing me and my siblings with the perfect example of how to get by in the world, and how to do that cheerfully; they show by example how to live with honor, joy, and compassion for all creatures. I consider the species to be the most morally and ethically advanced of all those on this planet, and if there were a God, then one could only assume that He put dogs here to be our mentors in that respect…..

My last dog, Noah, was an Aussie Heeler mix, very smart, and very loyal and loving. He lived with us for close to 17 years, passing on in November of 2011. At that time, I wrote a tribute to him, and to his spirit, which, in a way, was a tribute to the spirit of all dogs, who have lived as mankind’s best friend, and teacher, for untold thousands of generations, and years….. I am re-posting it here today, because I miss him….

An Ode to Noah


Noah came to live with us when he was about 10 months old; we rescued him from taking the long walk at the Humane Society kennel in Santa Rosa. It was my son’s fifteenth birthday, and he wanted a dog, swearing up & down that he would take responsibility for its’ care. Pets were always part of family life when I grew up, and our last dog had been gone for a bit over a year, so it was time to expand the family once again.

As Cory and I walked down the aisle between cages at the kennel, a large variety of dogs started a welcoming cacophony of different barks; shrill tiny ones, deep booming ones, polite yips, all blended together in an almost desperate frenzy, as each animal, many of them almost frantic, tried to get our attention. Some pawed at the gate, some jumped up, some looked nervous, others looked friendly, and all of them, it seemed, were making noise.

As we drew near the last cage in the aisle, we saw a medium-sized black and white dog, not barking, not jumping, just sitting down, leaning against the wall by the gate. He was looking me right in the eyes with an expression on his face that just said, “get me out of here, please!”. What could we do? He was obviously our dog, and he realized it too. We told him we’d be right back, and went back to announce our choice, and complete the paperwork.

The attendant brought Noah in to us just as I finished. He still looked a bit nervous, but calm. That is, he was calm until I clasped his new collar around his neck and hooked on his leash. All of a sudden, when he realized he wasn’t going back into the kennel, he was immediately a new dog, wagging his tail furiously, looking at us with his eyes shining, almost dancing and vibrating in his eagerness to go. As we walked back to the van, he walked proudly in front of us, tail and ears up at attention, almost prancing, looking back every few steps to make sure we were still there, a very happy dog…..

Noah settled into the family immediately. He proved to be very well-mannered, both with people, and in his habits. When on walks, he would stop to sniff, and lift his leg, on every interesting bush and tree, just like any other male dog. But when he had to do his secondary business, he made it clear he preferred to go behind a bush, or somewhere out of the way, and preferably out of sight.

He would assume a very embarrassed expression when not sufficiently hidden from sight, and would turn away, as if he felt guilty. A very private, discreet individual, to say the least. If he had been overlong between walks, and was so much in a hurry that he made a mistake on the sidewalk, he would act just like a cat, and pretend that it had not happened. What mess? Who me? I don’t know what you’re talking about…..

Noah was an extremely intelligent dog; I’ve known a great many animals in my time on this old planet, and he’s one of the smartest I’ve ever been around. When he came to live with us, at about 10 months of age, he already knew how to sit on command (both voice and hand), to lie down, and to stay. 

Truth be told, he had a little trouble with the whole concept of stay; he didn’t like being left alone, and would often follow after a minute or two; it’s like he just didn’t want to believe we really MEANT for him to stay. He figured he should be with us so he could do his job. As long as he could see us, he’d stay where he was; if he couldn’t, he believed it was his place to find us, and we just couldn’t come to terms; on this point he was firm.

We also never had to teach Noah any tricks, as he seemed to have figured stuff out on his own, and his way was definitely cool….The first time I ever gave him a treat (a milk bone), I showed it to him and told him to sit. He sat. I told him to speak, and he gave one quick howl. I held out my hand, & he offered his own to shake. I straightened up, tossed the treat in the air, and watched him not just catch it, but after making the in-air snag like a professional left-fielder, he tossed it back up into the air. He watched it hit the floor, whereupon he dove on top of it, rolled over, and did a happy dance, by twisting his back and hips as if scratching his back on the floor.

I swear, he looked just like Snoopy doing the Dance of Joy. When he was done dancing on his back, he rolled over and proceeded to enjoy his milk bone, with a big twinkle in his eye. I always wanted to video the move to submit it for Stupid Pet Tricks on the Letterman Show, but never had a camera handy when he performed his feat, so Noah missed his chance for stardom.

Noah’s gotten old now; we just observed his 17th birthday in February of this year, so in dog years, he’s going on 120 or so. He can’t hear anything but very loud noises, and can’t see more than a few feet, and I suspect that is mostly shadows and moving light. I’m afraid he will be passing on soon, as he can no longer get up without assistance, and cannot control his bodily functions. I sometimes feel like I should have him put down, to ease his pains, but he doesn’t act as if he is hurting, and I can tell he enjoys just lying around and sleeping, as long as he knows I am near.

For his entire life with us, over 16 and a half years, he has been a true and loyal companion. He has observed with honor the pact that was made between man and dog many thousands of generations ago, and taking care of him in his declining years is both a privilege, and an honor. In my entire life, I have never known anyone more loyal, more compassionate, and more courageous in standing up to life. He is by far the best friend that any man could hope for, and by far the best person I’ve ever known……

Noah

R.I.P. Old Friend

_____________________________

This poet needs no introduction; he is, without a doubt, one of history’s finest…. I love this poem, and gladly re-post it today, in deference to my nostalgia jag…..

A Dog Has Died

My dog has died.
I buried him in the garden
next to a rusted old machine.

Some day I’ll join him right there,
but now he’s gone with his shaggy coat,
his bad manners and his cold nose,
and I, the materialist, who never believed
in any promised heaven in the sky
for any human being,
I believe in a heaven I’ll never enter.
Yes, I believe in a heaven for all dogdom
where my dog waits for my arrival
waving his fan-like tail in friendship.

Ai, I’ll not speak of sadness here on earth,
of having lost a companion
who was never servile.
His friendship for me, like that of a porcupine
withholding its authority,
was the friendship of a star, aloof,
with no more intimacy than was called for,
with no exaggerations:
he never climbed all over my clothes
filling me full of his hair or his mange,
he never rubbed up against my knee
like other dogs obsessed with sex.

No, my dog used to gaze at me,
paying me the attention I need,
the attention required
to make a vain person like me understand
that, being a dog, he was wasting time,
but, with those eyes so much purer than mine,
he’d keep on gazing at me
with a look that reserved for me alone
all his sweet and shaggy life,
always near me, never troubling me,
and asking nothing.

Ai, how many times have I envied his tail
as we walked together on the shores of the sea
in the lonely winter of Isla Negra
where the wintering birds filled the sky
and my hairy dog was jumping about
full of the voltage of the sea’s movement:
my wandering dog, sniffing away
with his golden tail held high,
face to face with the ocean’s spray.

Joyful, joyful, joyful,
as only dogs know how to be happy
with only the autonomy
of their shameless spirit.

There are no good-byes for my dog who has died,
and we don’t now and never did lie to each other.

So now he’s gone and I buried him,
and that’s all there is to it.

~~ Pablo Neruda ~~


Translated, from the Spanish, by Alfred Yankauer
_____________________________

Okay, I’m done being maudlin…. I’m in the mood now for some real, honest-to-goodness nonsense…. Smart Bee is generally pretty liberal in handing out samples of same, so I’m going to see what there is today, to bring us a smile, or a belly laugh, or just a chuckle or two….. Any entries you may note that do not have attribution were found that way in Smart Bee…. It contributed several pearls, and I didn’t feel like typing it so many times….

“Ah… memories, memories. Where is that brain damage they promised us?” — Hunter S. Thompson.

“Two men jump from an airplane. The first pulls the cord–and the chute works perfectly. The second pulls the cord–and nothing happens. He keeps falling straight down. As he passes his friend, the guy gets mad, unbuckles the harness, and shouts, “So, you wanna race, eh?” — Charlie Callas

“This passion, and the death of a dear friend, would go near to make a man look sad.” — William Shakespeare (1564-1616), A Midsummer Night’s Dream — Act v, Sc. 1
(I know, not too funny, but it seemed to fit with the joke….)

Fundamentalism: an effective form of mirth control.

He that would not when he might,
He shall not when he wolda.

— Thomas Percy (1728-1811) — The Friar of Orders Gray

Ignorance can be cured.  Stupid is forever.

— Bother! said Pooh, when he realized he wasn’t wearing any pants.

Couldn’t be better if I’d done it myself…. Good to go….
_____________________________

Today’s post is a perfect example of how fear of failure can be a motivator…. Since we are in the closing section, I’m not required to explain that, so I won’t…. Let’s see how badly I’ve screwed the pooch…. Okay, unfortunate phraseology aside, not too badly, I think… It will pass the legal requirements, which is good enough for me….. Not that legal is my primary goal, but, it does fit in with my policy of not attracting undue attention in that respect…. and if that isn’t pompous enough for you, I can try again….

Nah, the hell with it…. I’m done for the day…. See ya….

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest  Carole…
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

dozer3

Just fill in the holes, William….

Ffolkes,
And then, I woke up….. afraid….. SIGH…..

I had hoped to never find myself in this position again, but, that was apparently wishful thinking, at best. I really don’t enjoy some parts of my PTSD symptoms; actually, I don’t really enjoy ANY of the symptoms I experience in that respect. Tears and emotional lability sometimes, depression others, and in between, just a bunch of anxiety and near panic attacks, for good measure, as it is said…. Who says it, I don’t know, but, you hear it all the time…. None of which is of any particular moment to me just now, as I am sitting here struggling with my emotions, trying to keep them out of my head, so they won’t make me cry (for no apparent reason I can see…..)…. Ah shit, it’s not working…. I’ll be back….

Sorry ’bout that…. I had thought, what with all the money, and cruising, and general gaiety going around, I would be immune from such attacks, but, I guess not…. Fuck, fuck, fuck….. Actually, I know why this is happening, and I’m not happy about the reason. I have an appointment with my doctor to discuss medications, and I am worried that he is going to turn conservative on me, and start getting all weird about my use of drugs that are not what he prescribes, exactly…. Unfortunately, discussing this in a public venue could conceivably have bad results, so I can’t really go into it much…. suffice it to say that my own doctor is the one causing this anxiety in me, and I need to do something about it, today…..

I can see that this is getting a bit sticky, and obscure, so I’m going on into the pearling process now, before I lose all control, of myself, and this Pearl. I hate to do this, but, I’m going to surgically excise any further nonsense in the intro section, and get on with the dive for today, before I seize up and get really weird… It’s been known to happen on such days….. For now, let’s get on with it….. Shall we Pearl?…..
__________________________________

“Will this never-ending series of PLEASURABLE EVENTS never cease?” — Zippy the Pinhead

http://www.sfgate.com/news/texas/article/Damaging-storms-moving-through-east-south-4569342.php

http://www.sfgate.com/news/world/article/Quakes-kill-2-in-Taiwan-injure-33-in-Philippines-4569405.php

http://www.sfgate.com/news/world/article/UK-politicians-caught-in-lobbying-scandal-4569418.php

http://www.sfgate.com/business/technology/article/Apple-antitrust-suit-over-e-books-set-for-NY-trial-4569709.php

http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/4-wounded-in-3-Oakland-shootings-4569499.php

“One U.S. lawmaker has been to Bangladesh since the collapse of the Rana Plaza building on April 24, 2013, killing, at last count, 1,129 garment workers. That would be Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, who returned to the Bay Area Thursday after a week of meetings with government officials, garment factory owners, and survivors of the building’s collapse.

He had harsh words for Gap and Walmart, who have refused to sign a legally binding Bangladesh safety accord. “It’s very clear whether you are Walmart or you’re the Gap, you have to make a decision now whether you want to have blood on your labels. The fact is, they’ve led this race to the bottom over many years and it has led to this dangerous situation in the industry.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The foregoing are all taken from the news in northern California on Sunday, June 2, 2013. I collected them because I was struck by how the batch of them, taken together, is almost surreal in its degree of negativity. 13 dead in storms; 2 dead, 35 injured in quakes; politicians taking money (gasp! what will they do next?); Apple and publishers conspiring to steal money from consumers (another gasp!…); 4 wounded in shootings….. and OVER A THOUSAND garment workers dead, crushed and/or burned up in a building that collapsed, because the builders cheated on the materials, the owners didn’t care, and no safety measures were in place at all. The owners/operators crammed about five times the safe number of people and machines in the facility to grind out more cheap stuff for the big stores to sell. So many people, and so much machinery and materials, the building collapsed.

Garment workers…. That’s a nice, impersonal title, don’t you think? Not bad to describe, and disconnect from, the OVER A THOUSAND human beings who died there, all of them so poor they had to cram into one building with no possible escape, just to earn a starving wage, so fat white folks can make more money off the cheap stuff they’re making…. But, hey, they’re just gooks, right, not even Christians, or white, or anything, so it’s not like it counts, or anything like that, is it?…. Hell, most of ’em were probably women and children anyway, living on welfare…..

“Will it improve my CASH FLOW?” — Zippy the Pinhead

One day’s worth of headlines… I can’t wait to see tomorrow’s leading stories….. Somehow, I don’t think they will provide any of the balance so badly needed, unless, of course, the aliens land, and give us the answers to all the tough questions. The odds on that are slim, at best, so I think I’ll just try to not read them any more…. Of course, then I won’t know just when it all is going to finally collapse, will I? Oh well, I’ll just have to remember to read the comics first, I guess….

“… if the democratic nations fail, their failure must be partly attributed to the faulty strategy of idealists who have too many illusions when they face realists who have too little conscience.” — Reinhold Niebuhr

The world is currently in what Robert Heinlein used to call “The Crazy Years”, merrily going to hell in a handbasket; the above headlines are proof positive that we are a society out of control, with no apparent way back to any sort of sanity. I don’t know at this point if there is any chance to pull ourselves back from the brink of extinction, not with the way things have proceeded thus far. And, to be frank, it would, and will be, our just desserts, for all the lack of understanding and wrongheadedness we have displayed in our sad history….. Ah well, it must be time for a nap……

If of all words of tongue and pen,
The saddest are, `It might have been,’
More sad are these we daily see:
`It is, but hadn’t ought to be.’

— Francis Brett Harte
__________________________________

Pablo Neruda, the Chilean poet, has been in the news of late; apparently, he didn’t die of prostate cancer, as first reported when he died, but, may have been murdered by a CIA operative on the orders of the dictator of Chile at the time, Augusto Pinochet…. His body has been exhumed, and forensic scientists are examining his remains for poisons, and/or signs of terminal cancer…. Results are pending…. Regardless of all that, he was an exemplary poet, and great philosopher, in my opinion…. Here is one of his works that seemed to speak to my mood today….. It’s a bit grim, but, sometimes, we need grim….

A Song Of Despair

The memory of you emerges from the night around me.
The river mingles its stubborn lament with the sea.

Deserted like the wharves at dawn.
It is the hour of departure, oh deserted one!

Cold flower heads are raining over my heart.
Oh pit of debris, fierce cave of the shipwrecked.

In you the wars and the flights accumulated.
From you the wings of the song birds rose.

You swallowed everything, like distance.
Like the sea, like time. In you everything sank!

It was the happy hour of assault and the kiss.
The hour of the spell that blazed like a lighthouse.

Pilot’s dread, fury of blind driver,
turbulent drunkenness of love, in you everything sank!

In the childhood of mist my soul, winged and wounded.
Lost discoverer, in you everything sank!

You girdled sorrow, you clung to desire,
sadness stunned you, in you everything sank!

I made the wall of shadow draw back,
beyond desire and act, I walked on.

Oh flesh, my own flesh, woman whom I loved and lost,
I summon you in the moist hour, I raise my song to you.

Like a jar you housed infinite tenderness.
and the infinite oblivion shattered you like a jar.

There was the black solitude of the islands,
and there, woman of love, your arms took me in.

There was thirst and hunger, and you were the fruit.
There were grief and ruins, and you were the miracle.

Ah woman, I do not know how you could contain me
in the earth of your soul, in the cross of your arms!

How terrible and brief my desire was to you!
How difficult and drunken, how tensed and avid.

Cemetery of kisses, there is still fire in your tombs,
still the fruited boughs burn, pecked at by birds.

Oh the bitten mouth, oh the kissed limbs,
oh the hungering teeth, oh the entwined bodies.

Oh the mad coupling of hope and force
in which we merged and despaired.

And the tenderness, light as water and as flour.
And the word scarcely begun on the lips.

This was my destiny and in it was my voyage of my longing,
and in it my longing fell, in you everything sank!

Oh pit of debris, everything fell into you,
what sorrow did you not express, in what sorrow are you not drowned!

From billow to billow you still called and sang.
Standing like a sailor in the prow of a vessel.

You still flowered in songs, you still brake the currents.
Oh pit of debris, open and bitter well.

Pale blind diver, luckless slinger,
lost discoverer, in you everything sank!

It is the hour of departure, the hard cold hour
which the night fastens to all the timetables.

The rustling belt of the sea girdles the shore.
Cold stars heave up, black birds migrate.

Deserted like the wharves at dawn.
Only tremulous shadow twists in my hands.

Oh farther than everything. Oh farther than everything.

It is the hour of departure. Oh abandoned one!

~~ Pablo Neruda ~~

__________________________________

I have a lot to do today, and need to get started early to get it all done… so, I’m cheating here, but in a good way. This is a Pearl from November of 2011… Much of it is apparently written around the same subject as discussed in section one of today’s effort, so I’m including it here, to save myself some time, and give y’all a bit of contrasting text to compare…. You can check for me to see if what I wrote then is consistent with what was done today, or if it was better, or worse…. Whatever it was, it’s a bit long, so, here it is, so you can get started…. It’s long, I know, but not bad, so, enjoy….. please….

11/16/11
Ffolkes,
Good morrow to you…..let us begin as we mean to go on…..

“Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” — Gene Fowler

This line is included today merely to give y’all an idea of what I go through every morning to produce this…..whatever it is. It is a pretty good description, actually, because when I’m done, I actually feel battered and bloody. Bloody well used up is what it is. Maybe it’s easier for other writers; I don’t know. But for me, to produce something that my standards will allow me to publish for others to read, is much like having a piece of my soul ripped out. The funny thing is, though it hurts a lot, I wouldn’t stop doing it, even if I could. The pain of creation, which after all requires destruction first, is a worthy payoff for the sense of accomplishment I get when I see one of my pieces online for all to see. Quite a rush actually…..

“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.” — Aldous Huxley

This observation, as far as I can tell, is 100% accurate, and because it is, many of the problems society is facing are easily explained, if not easily resolved. For example, when was the last time you gave a thought to what else besides oxygen is in the air that you take into your lungs on the average of 15-20 times per minute.? When you last got a glass of water from the tap, did you stop to think about what was in the water you use to drink, cook with, and bathe in? As Mr. Huxley pointed out, most folks, yourselves included, seldom think about or appreciate such simple necessities, or what might happen if they were no longer available.

What will we do when the air is so full of carbon dioxide that the amount of oxygen in it is decreased below the point where it will sustain life? Will we all have to wear breathing apparatus in order to brave the outside world? What will happen to all the other animals if there isn’t sufficient air? What will you do when the water you drink is no longer safe to consume? We need water as much as we need air; our chemical make-up is 90% water, and not having enough of it to replace what we lose is a sure path to the grave within a matter of days.

There are other issues connected to this subject; the consistent degradation of our planet’s ecosystem has a great many negative effects, small and unnoticeable at first, but growing larger over time until they are added to the list of processes that will eventually lead to extinction of all of this planet’s life forms.  Part of the problem is that it is a slow, insidious process, this degradation, and the deleterious outcomes are not evident until too late to reverse.

And remember, the Universe doesn’t care, one way or the other, whether we survive or not; the rules are the rules, and fighting against the natural laws of our space-time continuum is a fool’s bet. Like it or not, we, as a species, are going to need to make some serious changes to the way we do things, if we are to survive at all. And we will need to do it starting yesterday…..

“A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary.  Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.” — Albert Einstein

I really admire Albert Einstein, and not because he was a great scientist, as well as one of history’s shining examples of men and women who greatly advance human knowledge, and do so out of their love of mankind. Albert’s wisdom was not restricted to the principles of physics and math; he had a unique way of looking at the world, and the ability to share their deep insights into life and the universe for the benefit of others. He was an eternal optimist, and as the above quote demonstrates, had a firm grip on the concept of living with honor and dignity.

He believed in the inherent goodness of every man, and lived his life in a way that it stands as an example for the rest of us. I cannot wholly agree with what he states above, because I have a much darker view of what human nature is capable of, and less faith in mankind’s willingness to submit to natural law. But what he said does show with clarity where our salvation lies, and in his own inimitable manner, he shares his deeper knowledge with the rest of us in the hope it will inspire others to act honorably……

“To laugh often and love much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to give of oneself; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sing with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier: this is to have succeeded.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

From what I gather in my study of 19th century American writers, a lot of the best were what I would call masters of advanced curmudgeonry. Emerson, Walden, Thoreau,  were all libertarians living in compromise with a democracy, and spent much of their time either complaining about society, or hiding from it in their forest retreats. This is not to say that what they wrote was bad or mistaken in premise, necessarily, but if you read their work with this in mind, it becomes apparent that they didn’t much like other folks, or put much trust in their rationality.

But, as the included quote indicates, being a curmudgeon doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t understand humanity, or what it takes to make life complete. This paragraph from Mr. Emerson demonstrates this perfectly. One cannot argue with conviction that all of these attributes listed, and experiences from a long life, are positively rooted, and make perfect sense. Whether or not we actually have all of these characteristics is unimportant; the list remains valid even if incomplete. And it provides anyone with a good map and directions that can be useful to us in our pursuit of happiness…..

So much for another day…..Hopefully, you have consumed a fair portion of food for thought, and found it palatable enough. If not, feel free to let me know, and I’ll see if I can come up with something more savory….in the meantime, y’all take care out there….
__________________________________

I can’t say that was entirely painless, but, it’s done, and thus joins the ranks of so many others that have been thrown out there for y’all to peruse, and abuse, if you must…. Once they leave here, I have little control over that, so I’m becoming a fatalist in that respect…. So, we’ll leave this one to its fate, and go on with the day’s business……  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

Phlegm can be a fluid subject….

Ffolkes,
Breaching the surface of reality, I swim into consciousness slowly, my mind already set on the first sip of coffee, which I can smell brewing in the kitchen. Daring Murphy to fuck with me before I have any of that which gives me reason to live, I sit up, groan, stiffly rise to press the power switch on the laptop, then walk over to switch on the lights. As soon as my eyes clear up a tad, I type in the password, and go pour that first, life-saving cup of auxiliary blood. Adjusting it to my preferred level of sweet & light, I listen as the computer goes through its boot sequence of whirs and beeps, sitting down in front of the monitor to take the first, life-giving sip.

As focus and power flow through my bloodstream, I realize that Murphy has once again respected my need for quiet and privacy, long enough to get that first sip into me…. Since this is the ONLY time he does that, I take a moment to silently thank his spirit, not that the asshole ever acknowledges it, or gives anyone a break for it….. I don’t care if he does come back at me for saying so, but, he’s really an asshole, you betcha. I’ve been trying for years to come to some sort of truce, or at least a sense of common respect, but the dickhead just keeps stepping in it, and doesn’t seem to care how it makes him appear to others…..

I suppose that is all one can expect from spiritual iconic forces of nature. They tend to pick up a sense of entitlement about their invulnerability, and lose all sense of tact and proportion. In short, he is a full-grown asshole, stuck with the attitude of a 13 year old prick (Picture the elitist son of some rich politician… that’s Murphy all over….. Vicious temper, lack of impulse control, no compassion, sick, perverted sense of humor, and acne, which explains why he’s uglier than the average bear….. I know, picture in your mind any of the Romney boys, add in some acne scars, and you’ve nailed that asshole perfectly…..)

Ah, well, sorry ’bout that…. didn’t mean to get all vicious myself, but I get carried away when talking about Murphy, and his ubiquitous presence in my Reality. I should no doubt just be thankful that I am grumpy enough to make him keep his distance in the morning before I’ve had my coffee; I can assure you, and him, that is a wise decision. There are several secret places in the world where the remains of those who didn’t observe that precaution are located, and I’d just LOVE to have him join those foolish people in eternity. Sometimes, I actively wish he WOULD bother me just then; it would be pretty satisfying to get back some of what he has taken from me over the years…..

Now that y’all are firmly convinced of my complete break down, it’s probably a good time to go for a dive. In looking back over this intro, it is clear that nothing further can be done to salvage the moment, so….. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“Not only does God play dice with the Universe he sometimes casts them where they can’t be seen.” — Stephen Hawking

Yesterday, I was standing outside where I live, enjoying a bit of winter sun, and for some reason started to think about Stephen Hawking, and his latest project, the search for a Unified Field Theory, a theory that will tie together and explain all of the various branches of science that we explore as humans in a strange and beautiful universe. I began to ponder just how he would go about it, and spent almost 10 minutes standing in one position, following the train of thought to its end. (I’m not sure how I was physically able to do so, and I was quite stiff when I emerged from my trance & realized I hadn’t moved for so long….)

It was the most amazing inner journey I’ve taken in a long time, ranging from the sub-atomic level of the building blocks of all matter, neutrons, protons, and electrons, to the composition of the galaxies farthest from our own position among the stars….. a truly epic journey. Alas, my own skill at mathematics is not deep enough to have suggested a possible path to the UFT equations, but, I felt a revelation nonetheless, as I realized something about the structure of the Universe, something that might just point to the solution, in a simplistic fashion.

I don’t think Mssr. Hawking, brilliant as he is, needs my assistance in his quest; he IS the most intelligent man alive, perhaps the most intelligent who ever lived. The rest of humanity is not even capable of understanding how his mind perceives the universe, as it obviously does so much more rapidly, more deeply, and with greater understanding, than any of the rest of us. But, all of us have something he doesn’t have, too, and that is our own unique perspective on what we perceive…. I think he is smart enough to know this, and has always been aware of not only the differences between him and those of lesser ability, but of the similarities, and the connection we all possess, with each other, and with the universe.

As I stood there yesterday and cogitated, it occurred to me that the structure of atoms that we have developed by observations and deductions, verified by experiment, is almost exactly the same as the structure of solar systems. The analogy goes even further, as one can assume the different size and colored stars, with their differing types of planets, could be likened to the way atoms of different numbers of elements form different types of matter. The way the solar systems come together to form galaxies, clouds, and globular clusters can be likened to the way different types of matter join to form biological systems of infinite variety. Though not exact, the similarities are startlingly alike in the way they can be combined in an infinite array of dissimilar objects and substances…..

So, I think that, when Mssr. Hawking is successful (and I truly hope he is…. a Unified Field Theory would mean an entirely new chance at life for our species, as it promises, by its very nature, to give us the key to unlimited energy, and unlimited possibilities that were never before even considered, as being out of the scope of our capabilities. Anti-gravity, telekinesis, telepathy, teleportation, faster-than-light ( FTL) travel to other stars, safe, reliable atomic energy, in the form of atomic fusion, all are just the beginning of what UFT can give to us…..) he will find there are a very large number of clues left lying around in the way that the universe is constructed, and that looking at one level can increase our understanding of another…. It works at a human level, and I think it will hold true for all levels of perception…..

And though the course may change sometimes,
Rivers always reach the sea.

— Led Zeppelin, Ten Years Gone
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I’ve been thinking a lot lately of Noah, my compatriot and best friend, who died a while back… I’m pretty sure I’ve shared this one previously, but I don’t mind repeating good stuff, and this poem is perfect for my current state of mind…..

A Dog Has Died

My dog has died.

I buried him in the garden
next to a rusted old machine.

Some day I’ll join him right there,
but now he’s gone with his shaggy coat,
his bad manners and his cold nose,
and I, the materialist, who never believed
in any promised heaven in the sky
for any human being,
I believe in a heaven I’ll never enter.
Yes, I believe in a heaven for all dogdom
where my dog waits for my arrival
waving his fan-like tail in friendship.

Ai, I’ll not speak of sadness here on earth,
of having lost a companion
who was never servile.
His friendship for me, like that of a porcupine
withholding its authority,
was the friendship of a star, aloof,
with no more intimacy than was called for,
with no exaggerations:
he never climbed all over my clothes
filling me full of his hair or his mange,
he never rubbed up against my knee
like other dogs obsessed with sex.

No, my dog used to gaze at me,
paying me the attention I need,
the attention required
to make a vain person like me understand
that, being a dog, he was wasting time,
but, with those eyes so much purer than mine,
he’d keep on gazing at me
with a look that reserved for me alone
all his sweet and shaggy life,
always near me, never troubling me,
and asking nothing.

Ai, how many times have I envied his tail
as we walked together on the shores of the sea
in the lonely winter of Isla Negra
where the wintering birds filled the sky
and my hairy dog was jumping about
full of the voltage of the sea’s movement:
my wandering dog, sniffing away
with his golden tail held high,
face to face with the ocean’s spray.

Joyful, joyful, joyful,
as only dogs know how to be happy
with only the autonomy
of their shameless spirit.

There are no good-byes for my dog who has died,
and we don’t now and never did lie to each other.

So now he’s gone and I buried him,
and that’s all there is to it.

Pablo Neruda

Translated, from the Spanish, by Alfred Yankauer
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All things being equal, I would normally (hah!) put another pearl here that stimulated my outrage, in order to rant; a news article headline, a quote from one of the Ignoramusi, or the latest lies from the political arena. All things, however, are not equal, nor do we ever approach normalcy here without first obtaining all the appropriate licenses and permits, which I consider a complete waste of my time. So, I’ve fallen back to my default position in such instances, and gathered together a string of pearls, in this case a grouping of random thoughts and comments on religion, philosophy, and/or spirituality. Each of these has the added distinction of my complete agreement with the sentiments expressed…. Enjoy!…. As a treat, the Quiz for this week is canceled…..

“We may not be able to persuade Hindus that Jesus and not Vishnu should govern their spiritual horizon, nor Muslims that Lord Buddha is at the center of their spiritual universe, nor Hebrews that Mohammed is a major prophet, nor Christians that Shinto best expresses their spiritual concerns, to say nothing of the fact that we may not be able to get Christians to agree among themselves about their relationship to God. But all will agree on a proposition that they possess profound spiritual resources.  If, in addition, we can get them to accept the further proposition that whatever form the Deity may have in their own theology, the Deity is not only external, but internal and acts through them, and they themselves give proof or disproof of the Deity in what they do and think; if this further proposition can be accepted, then we come that much closer to a truly religious situation on earth.” — Norman Cousins, from his book “Human Options”

“All cats are NOT gray after midnight.  Endless variety …” — Robert Heinlein

A man fell off a mountain and, as he fell, saw a branch and grabbed for it. By superhuman effort he was able to get a precarious grip on it.  As he was hanging there for dear life, he looked up and cried out, “Is anybody there?” A deep majestic voice answered, “Yes my son, I am here. What do you need?” “Help me!!” cried the man. “I will help you”, said the voice, “just let go of the branch and you’ll be safe.  All you have to do is trust.” The man thought for a moment and cried out, “Anybody ELSE up there?” — Smart Bee

“Things go better with Buddha.” — Smart Bee

“I am the Supreme Being, you know.  I’m not entirely dim.” — Sir Ralph Richardson (as God) in TIME BANDITS

Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum — “I think that I think, therefore I think that I am.” — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”
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In the past two years or so, since I began blogging full time (i.e., posting daily, somewhere…), I’ve used a lot of quotes and material more than once, when it is appropriate. So much so, it is getting hard to remember whether I’ve used some things before, or not. I don’t help myself by not giving clues to the content in the title, but, that is too much a habit now to change; if I want to know what is in one of my posts, I have to find it and read it, just like everyone else.

My memory, however, is pretty good, and I can mostly keep from repeating myself too much without having to go back and find out for sure. Unfortunately, as happens all too frequently on days like today, I can also get so lost in my memory that I not only cannot figure out whether a pearl is old or new, but I forget entirely why I wanted to know. We have reached that point here, and now. When I started to write this closing section, I had a whole series of ideas and thoughts all ready to get down…. Well, they’re all gone now, and I’m stuck here wondering what the hell I had in mind…. if I wasn’t already done with the rest of the Pearl, it would be a pisser, for sure…

I did go back and proof it, for what that is worth, and can only say, well, it’s done. I like it, mostly, and it isn’t overly consistent, or too sane; with those characteristics, it could be considered one of the best. I will refrain from even guessing, however, as it isn’t my place to do so….. That is why I keep y’all around, so to speak…. and now I am truly rambling. Okay, I’m done…… Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

dozer3

Just another well-planned wardrobe malfunction….

Ffolkes,
Having survived the nightly battle with my pillows, I awoke pretty early today, with no real story or discussion in mind, but lots of eagerness to begin writing. Now, I’m wondering why I bothered, as I’m sitting here staring at the blank screen, without a single word coming to mind. It seemed to take forever just to formulate that first sentence….. which is kind of surprising, actually. As I lay in bed this morning, just before getting up, several story beginnings were vying for attention in my head; now, they’re acting like virgins at a biker bar, bashful and reticent, and refusing to come out of the ladies room…..

Of course, none of the story lines would be allowed in a ladies room, even in a biker bar, so the analogy isn’t really accurate, but you get the picture. I don’t like to think that this reluctance to be written has anything to do with Murphy; as yet he hasn’t shown that kind of influence INSIDE my head, just in the outer world. But, it could be my own foolishness fussing with me, copying Murphy’s techniques; that is a scary thought, itself, and I sincerely hope it isn’t the case. I don’t think so, but, what with all the quotes from Zippy running around in there, one never knows for sure….. and, when under the influence of his darker side, Pooh can be pretty tricky, in a nasty sort of way…..

At this point, there isn’t any way to check which is the correct supposition, so we’ll use our normal method of dealing with odd stuff around here, and just ignore it until it either goes away, or fixes itself. It seems to work for me….. even if I have to clean the walls more often than most ffolkes do….. I’m just happy that modern cleaning solutions are effective at removing blood stains from almost any surface; otherwise, the landlord would NOT be a happy camper….. and neither would I be….

Okay, that’s probably enough. Since I was unable to come up with a literary opening, having to settle instead for more inane babbling on my part, the normal course of events around here would lead us into the primary sections of the Pearl in question, via the dive into Smart Bee’s massive database of wisdom and humor. And so it shall be today…. Shall we Pearl?…..
__________________________________

“History is a lie commonly agreed upon.” — Nietzsche

I often wonder how the future will view these times, it being a given that the fabric of our society is based primarily on lies and/or delusions.* Which ones will stand the test of time, and end up in the books as being the one everyone agrees upon? It has also been said that history is always  written by the winners, and that seems to me to be fairly close to the real truth of the matter. It would be a bit more acceptable to me if it weren’t so bloody predictable, and that there was at least a small chance that the events we experience would be reported truthfully. Alas, I am not hopeful that will ever be the case…..

* (Note the use of the technique of the positively stated assertion, using the assumption of its truth as proven, the same as exemplified in ALL religious doctrines as the basis for their truth and relativity…. Just thought I’d make it clear, that this is real, serious stuff….   🙂   ….)

In all honesty, I’m not convinced that we, as a species, will have much of a future. Given the current state of the environment, I can’t see us lasting more than a couple hundred years more, without some major changes to society, changes that are not imminent, or even under consideration. When I first started this blog, over a year ago, I posted a link, to a World Clock at Poodwaddle.com ( I love the human imagination!…..). You can find that clock here:  http://www.poodwaddlecom/clocks/worldclock/     This clock has a number of faces, one of which shows exactly how much CO and CO2, along with unnatural amounts of other toxic substances, are being pumped into the atmosphere every second, by industrial and manufacturing facilities, and by cars and other vehicles.

I am a scientist, first. I chose the path of the scientist in my youth, before my tenth birthday, before the warrior’s path I chose later. In essence, scientists ARE warriors, and vice versa, as battling the universe requires study to be effective, and acquiring knowledge requires the curiosity and courage of a warrior, in order to find, and face, Truth. Each path, or persona, complements the other, and, in my time, have led me on a journey of great beauty and wonder. This journey, though, is in danger of being ended before its time, by the asininity of the human race….

There are some scientists who believe that humans do not have the power to harm the planet, and the danger is not as great as others, and the evidence, might indicate. In one respect, they are right…. I don’t think the planet itself is in danger from what we are doing, though I’m sure it is suffering pain from the symptoms we’ve managed to saddle it with in our time. No, our activities, such as polluting the air and water, wasting resources, and killing the other creatures we live with indiscriminately, only endanger us, and the other life forms on the planet. Once we are gone, the planet will easily clean itself of the trash we deposited everywhere, and move on to the next evolutionary step in the parade of Time.

“Where man walks the earth hurts.” — Smart Bee

Many years ago, I used to believe in the ingenuity of scientists, to overcome the technological difficulties we’ve created, and find a way to keep us alive, perhaps by colonizing space, and leaving Earth behind. But, the figures don’t lie, and the figures say we don’t have the time to fool around waiting for space travel to solve the problems we have. By the time we could achieve any kind of significant progress there, we would be forced to live in domes, and wear protective gear to go outside them, to walk on the surface of our own world. That is if there are enough remaining resources to build the domes, and to power them sufficiently to survive.

The other possible solution is for the ruling classes of our species to come to their senses, to reverse their moral compasses, and start acting in the best interests of everyone, instead of just themselves. The whole problem with pollution we have today exists solely because the ruling classes, the people who control all the resources, don’t have any moral compass, or, choose to deliberately ignore its demands. They choose to deliberately structure society in their own favor, so that they have the power and control over what occurs, while the rest of us try to survive on what they don’t want. It is the same picture that history has drawn for all the millenia since we came out of the caves to live in cities, and the 1% of mankind who is in control is not interested in helping anyone else, unless and until they have secured their own….

Even the lies we agree upon in history show this to be true, so I don’t think there is a huge chance that we will see any changes before it is too late for it to matter. I just don’t see those in the beloved ruling class all of a sudden reversing the entire course of the history they’ve chosen to allow to happen; it is not in their nature to be altruistic to even a small degree. We are either going to have to rise up and throw them out on their asses, or suffer an ignominious death, when the air we can no longer breathe begins to choke us as we walk down the street toward our destiny….. which at this point, leads only to a coffin…..

“I can’t decide which WRONG TURN to make first!! I wonder if BOB GUCCIONE has these problems!” — Zippy the Pinhead
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Absence

I have scarcely left you
When you go in me, crystalline,
Or trembling,
Or uneasy, wounded by me
Or overwhelmed with love, as
when your eyes
Close upon the gift of life
That without cease I give you.

My love,
We have found each other
Thirsty and we have
Drunk up all the water and the
Blood,
We found each other
Hungry
And we bit each other
As fire bites,
Leaving wounds in us.

But wait for me,
Keep for me your sweetness.
I will give you too
A rose.

Pablo Neruda
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So, there I was, cruising through Smart Bee, and the following quotes popped up, not in this order, but, enough so that the picture they make together is relatively clear. It is merely a reiteration of a theme common to this blog, and needs no significant explanation in order for almost anyone to enjoy…. If the meaning isn’t clear, well, that’s okay, too…. Each of the quotes is good, simple stuff (hmm…. that word, again….), the stuff of which real, not virtual, wisdom is made. And, the crown of potential achievement offered by the overall view of reality that these show is virtually unlimited….

Whew! That’s quite a lot to ask of a few simple aphorisms, but, it’s just the kind of guy I am, I guess…. I just want everyone to be happy, that’s all…. (actually, Aristotle said, approximately, “He who tries to be friends with all, is friend to none.”) Well, maybe that’s a bit presumptuous…. but, I do want everyone to use what they have between their ears, and I’m not talking about their fabulous hair…. In any case, I think this makes a good pearl, so good, it WILL be on the Quiz, should we ever have one…..

“The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists.  That is why they invented Hell.” — Bertrand Russell

“Being good at being stupid doesn’t count.” — Smart Bee

“Such is the human race.  Often it does seem such a pity that Noah and his party didn’t miss the boat.” — Mark Twain

“I give up, what is the meaning of life?” — Smart Bee

“For several years more I maintained public relations with the Almighty. But privately, I ceased to associate with him.” — Jean-Paul Sartre

“I have partaken of the Great Banquet of Life.  What I need now is the Great Alka-Seltzer of Life.” — Smart Bee

See? As I said, numerous times before, it’s all in the wrist….. and, timing is everything.  TTFN….. (ta ta for now…)
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SIGH…. another attack of whimsy there at the end, but, all in all, not too bad, I think. Actually, after going back over it to edit and proof, it’s better than not bad, by a few notches, at least. Once again, it has reached that point of doneness that qualifies it for publication, and I’m glad. It was pretty hard work, in spots…. At any rate, as I said, it’s done, so, I’m off to a spot to publish….

The library is out, so coffee shop is in; the email Pearl Drops should be happy, they’ll get their morning nonsense right in their inbox….. I know, I’m making an unwarranted assumption that seeing my Pearls makes them happy, but, hey, what else do you think keeps this going but my ego? Or, at least, the assumption of an ego…. Whatever…. I’ve now lost all credibility, I’m sure, so I may as well take your leave, before I do any further damage…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

Kowabunga!

In defiance of common sense, he spat….

Ffolkes,
How interesting….. I have just noted that, in my case at least, the amount of will power needed to keep from committing murder is about equal to that which will suffice to oh, say, move a mountain. Of course, my case is special….. if only because it is mine. If you can believe that, I’ve got some wonderful property for sale, in a bridge…..

Actually, since being warned by a fellow blogger re: watching what I say, due to the police state we live in, a state disguised as a democracy, I should probably amend my stated desire to murder to one of unspecified vengeful acts. He’s even more paranoid than am I…. wonderful stuff on conspiracies over on his site, much of which is true…. and he tells me to be careful…..

I love the world of blogging….and that is not being facetious, it is sincere. To tell me to be careful, when he posts material that makes my occasional rants seem like a treat of ice cream, is the mark of a true brother of the revolution of the mind. Given the recent events back east, the school shooting, I expect there to now be another period of cacophony in support of gun control, and I can see why he might be concerned.

The beloved ruling class would like nothing better than to gut the power of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution, as it is what they want in the first place. They have never liked having arms in the hands of common citizens, and have been making sustained efforts to get rid of that amendment since the day after it passed into law. Sometimes  I suspect them of staging these shootings themselves, in order to frighten the public, and stampede them into voting against gun rights while they are still afraid. But then I remember it isn’t necessary; there are enough crazies out there, and if one waits, one of them will snap, and start shooting innocents…. I wouldn’t, however, put it past them; they’re fairly unscrupulous, all in all.

Well, it’s kind of strange, even for me, to rant in the intro section, and I’m not sure how I got started…. Oh, yes, the feds…. Well, we’ll let that matter drop for the time being, as I need to stir the pot today, so to speak, and should wait for the results of that before I start picking out potential targets. I think today, my own lawyer is going to receive a piece of my mind, as I have some significant questions re: their actions in the past few weeks of my ordeal of infinite patience. I’m hoping my eloquence is at its peak, as I’m pretty upset with the whole issue, and their job is NOT to make it more difficult for me…..

Gosh, I’m a bit more upset than I knew…. I’m trying to bring this to a close, and keep finding new things to say to vent. I would say, even though I’m up very early, I should get started on the diving portion of the program, and find something else to write about…. this one is going to turn sour on me, relatively soon, I can tell. On that note of uncertainty, and of gravid possibility, Shall we Pearl?…..

“I’m meditating on the FORMALDEHYDE and the ASBESTOS leaking into my PERSONAL SPACE!!” — Zippy the Pinhead
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“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.  With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) Essays: First Series (1841) “Self-Reliance”

This is a particularly comforting quote right now. I had intended to write about this from a different direction, but just before I began, I dealt with a phone call that, though successful in its purported task, left me in tears, due to a stealth stimulation of my PTSD (it happens…. visualize a shrug….). After the call ended, I composed myself, and looked up to find this statement, and was struck at how fate can work sometimes…..

I HATE this tears and angst crap that keeps embarrassing me whenever my emotions get stirred up. Just because I have to give up on Christmas again this year is no reason for me to get all weepy; my life is limited enough in scope that I only have my children, and a grandchild, to think about at this time of year; my own siblings and I haven’t shared Xmas for decades, since we all lived too far apart, mostly. My kids are grown, and know how my financial situation is, and my grandchild is two, and barely knows I exist, so it isn’t a lot of family time and sharing to do, not like when the family was still together. But, the mere fact of it, of not being able to participate in the season, is both disheartening, and to some extent, demeaning, and when I am reminded of that fact, it produces the unwanted waterworks….

So, it is comforting to remember, or be reminded, that such states are transitory; I won’t always be so vulnerable, and I won’t always have to adjust my life to living well below the comfort zone, in a monetary respect. Money cannot buy happiness, but lack of it is certainly connected to unhappiness, by all evidence, and I’ll be happy when my own finances have been straightened out…. I mean, it’s not as if I’m asking for society to give me anything I haven’t earned; I’ve been pouring money into SS since I got a card, with my first input into my account taking place sometime in the 1950’s, or by 1963, for sure, for that is when I started working during the school summer months, hoeing weeds in the sugar beet fields near where I lived as a boy. Even if we go from there, that is 49 years of input, i.e., my money, set aside for this purpose, and all I want is to now get it back to me, when I need it….. as intended…..

The worst part of all of this, I think, is how it makes me feel to have to continue to wait. Not because of the waiting itself; in my time, I think I’ve learned quite a bit about patience. No, it is because of the irrational feeling of abandonment, or disillusionment, that eats away at my self-esteem, and makes me feel like I’m less of a person. I have a pretty healthy ego, as y’all may have noted, but I have to say, that ego is damn tired of feeling like something less than a “great soul”…. which is why I am comforted at Ralph’s reassurance about consistency, a characteristic currently absent from my head, and my life……

“Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you’ll be able to see farther.” — Thomas Carlyle
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‘In the wave-strike over unquiet stones’

In the wave-strike over unquiet stones
the brightness bursts and bears the rose
and the ring of water contracts to a cluster
to one drop of azure brine that falls.
O magnolia radiance breaking in spume,
magnetic voyager whose death flowers
and returns, eternal, to being and nothingness:
shattered brine, dazzling leap of the ocean.
Merged, you and I, my love, seal the silence
while the sea destroys its continual forms,
collapses its turrets of wildness and whiteness,
because in the weft of those unseen garments
of headlong water, and perpetual sand,
we bear the sole, relentless tenderness.

Pablo Neruda
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Once again, the malaise that has dogged me for weeks now is rearing its ugly head, and my mind’s ability to concentrate scatters to the four winds…. Fortunately for me, I have a default position to fall back on, so the consistency I worry so much about will be maintained. Or, if not consistency, at least continuity is assured. Since the malaise I feel is arguably age-related, these comments on Time seemed to assume rather more importance than is probably their due…. nonetheless, together, they make a compelling statement, or, at minimum, a cogent one……

“Time does not relinquish its rights, either over human beings or over mountains.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

EFFECT, n.  The second of two phenomena which always occur together in the same order.  The first, called a Cause, is said to generate the other — which is no more sensible than it would be for one who has never seen a dog except in the pursuit of a rabbit to declare the rabbit the cause of a dog. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

“Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.” — Earl Nightingale

“Tomorrow never comes! It’s all the same fuckin’ day, man!” — Janis Joplin

“Only the imagination is real; I have declared it time without end.” — William Carlos Williams

“If 7-11 is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, why are there locks on the doors?” — Smart Bee

Okay, sorry, it got away from me there at the end….. just use the last one as either counterpoint ballast, or as dessert. It won’t take away from the overall ambiance of the meal that way….   🙂
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I am uncertain about this one…. I suppose it is no odder than many of its brethren, and the uncertainty I feel may be connected to my own state of mind, more than it is to what I’ve written, which, all in all, isn’t too bad. Perhaps a bit revealing on a personal level, but, that’s what happens when one writes for personal reasons, or from an agenda that doesn’t always match the public’s perceptions.

I write to stay sane, quite simply; if I didn’t have this outlet, I would surely have snapped by now, and would no doubt be living to regret my thus-far imaginary acts of retribution and release. So, in that sense, I suppose, society may give thanks, and y’all may give a sigh of relief, because, once again, I’m done…. until tomorrow…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

By all means, make it palatable….

Ffolkes,
Having survived, and even thrived, through another morning’s immersion into the mundane issues of physical demands, I sit to write with clear head, and burgeoning hope. The clarity of mind is welcome, if a tad surprising, and the hope is undefined, but welcome nonetheless for its bolstering qualities. Heretofore, I have been tempted to rail and rant against the inevitable presence of our resident nemesis, but even Murphy cannot disturb me this morning, as I bask in the glow of….. Wait, that isn’t me. I don’t bask, nor do I glow, so what is that doing in my paragraph? And Murphy ALWAYS disturbs me, it’s his job….

Must have been some imp, fussing with my typing hands, slipping that in on me when I wasn’t paying close enough attention. Mischievous little suckers, those imps…. Well, then, good morning, again, or, on looking, initially….. The perfect word to describe my current SOM (State of Mind) would be “discombobulated”, a word of fine pedigree and stately pronunciation, and perfectly descriptive of how it feels this morning to use my brain. Of course, that right there should have been a clue, when I first sat up in bed; one isn’t normally accustomed to “feel” one’s brain when it is working, any more than we “feel” a muscle move when we ask it to perform a task, or “feel” our fingernails growing….. “Feeling” the brain in action would seem to indicate a certain stiffness and/or a degree of dysfunction….

But, then, dysfunctional brain issues are nothing new in my world, so it doesn’t surprise me that I didn’t notice at first how things were going to be today. There are steps I can take, and will take, to reverse the course of my brain’s initial direction, so it isn’t a catastrophe, merely an inconvenience. Hmph…. inconvenience…. there’s another word that I’ve become all too familiar with in the last couple of years, at the behest of the federal government…. Ah well, inconvenience has yet to transform into impossibly frustrating, though it does approach that level regularly, so I guess we’ll just accept this as one more day started out with less than normal smoothness, and get on with it….

With all of that noted, whatever it was, we should now proceed to our daily attempt to bring some degree of comprehension to reality, to try to stimulate some random coherence amongst the population, with the overall intent of increasing the total amount of thinking that goes on in any particular day on this planet…. The more thoughts floating around, the better chance we have of one of them helping the situation, desperate as it may be. All you can do is all you can do, and this is what I do….. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“I always have a quotation for everything  — it saves original thinking.” — Dorothy Sayers

I knew there was something about Ms. Sayers I liked! Besides her books, of course….. My muse seems to be taking a short sabbatical, and I’m stuck here, trying to figure out something about which to write, or rant. I really do feel like I’d like to take some shots at the government, but an appropriate pearl doesn’t seem to be forthcoming. However, some others have surfaced that will do quite nicely for an old school pearl, so I’m forced, as it were, to fall back on that format….. Here then are some relatively random, but pointed thoughts on government, and the peripheral co-conspirators of those who delve into that cesspool of human ambition….

“Men who allow their love of power to give them a distorted view of the world are to be found in every asylum: one man will think he is the governor of the Bank of England, another will think he is the king, and yet another will think he is God.  Highly similar delusions, if expressed by educated men in obscure language, lead to professorships of philosophy, and if expressed by emotional men in eloquent language, lead to dictatorships.” — Bertrand Russell (1872-1967)

“A Galileo could no more be elected president of the United States than he could be elected Pope of Rome.  Both high posts are reserved for men favored by God with an extraordinary genius for swathing the bitter facts of life in bandages of self-illusion.” — H. L. Mencken

“Big Business and State Socialism are very much alike, especially Big Business.” — G. K. Chesterton, G.K.’s Weekly, 4/10/26

“A man attains an elevated position only when his mediocrity prevents him from being a threat to others. And for this reason a democracy is never governed by the most competent, but rather by those whose insignificance will not jeopardize anyone else’s self-esteem.” — Nicolo Machiavelli

“Men often believe — or pretend — that the “Law” is something sacred, or at least a science — an unfounded assumption very convenient to governments.” — Smart Bee

“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty.  Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel.  Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force.  Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.” — Patrick Henry 3 Elliot at 45, Debates In The Virginia Convention

“It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man.” — H.L. Mencken

I LOVE this job! Oh, wait, that’s right, nobody’s paying me…. well, it’s probably a good thing, then, that I enjoy it so much….. That last line turned this from an merely average poke at the PTB, aka our beloved ruling class, into quite an adequate rip. So be it….. and let us thank our lucky stars I didn’t fall into a rant, which, by the look of the above, would have been a doozy….. (I must have used that word previously, as Spell Checker ignored it completely…..)
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“All men are poets.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“All poets are mad.” — Robert Burns

‘Perhaps not to be is to be without your being.’

Perhaps not to be is to be without your being,
without your going, that cuts noon light
like a blue flower, without your passing
later through fog and stones,
without the torch you lift in your hand
that others may not see as golden,
that perhaps no one believed blossomed
the glowing origin of the rose,
without, in the end, your being, your coming
suddenly, inspiringly, to know my life,
blaze of the rose-tree, wheat of the breeze:
and it follows that I am, because you are:
it follows from ‘you are’, that I am, and we:
and, because of love, you will, I will,
We will, come to be.

Pablo Neruda
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All of us have our little illusions about life, and how we fit into the big picture. For example, I like to think that I am fortunate to have been born with more than an average appreciation of the world in which we live, or perhaps, a deeper understanding than most of how it works, and just how beautiful it is. This isn’t to say that I am better than any other person in any way; it’s just that my perceptions have always been faster, and deeper, and more accurate than those of my peer group, by all the evidence I can muster. It is not just a blessing, either, for it is just as much a curse, tending to cause a certain distance between me and others, one that takes time, and familiarity, and a certain willingness on my part to adapt, to keep that distance from becoming a problematic issue…..

“People who know little are usually great talkers, while men who know much say little.” — Jean Jacques Rousseau, “Emile, ou de l’education”, 1762

To look at this blog, it would seem that I am one who knows little, as I tend to ramble on incessantly, seeming to care not at all that I am exposing my potential ignorance to others. And, quite simply, I don’t care…. For most of my life, I spent a lot of time keeping my mouth shut, and my opinions to myself, even though I could see that what I was thinking was more accurate, and certainly more reasonable, than what I was observing others to perceive, and/or think. Or, in many cases, what passed for thinking….

Over the last 60 years, mostly, I kept my silence on a wide range of subjects, to preserve peace, and to ensure that my opinions, which were often radically different than those of my peer group, did not produce enmity among them. Since retiring from work, and reducing my social interaction to the lowest level of my life, I find that all those opinions and thoughts are pouring out of me at an almost alarming rate. I also find that I quite simply don’t give a shit what anyone thinks about it….

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance,
I have not winced nor cried aloud
Under the bludgeoning of chance;
My head is bloody but unbowed.
It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishment the scroll;
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

— Henley

Not that I will not listen to opposing viewpoints; I am always ready to consider reasonable contrary evidence. But, if anyone gets offended, or upset in their emotional status in any way, by what I’ve written, well, all I can say is, too bad, so sad….. Any such will just have to learn to live with disappointment, I guess…. Actually, now that I’ve gotten used to being able to express myself without any self-imposed limitations, outside the boundaries of good taste, and compassion, I enjoy hearing what others may have to say about my thoughts. Dialogue with a challenging mind can be an intense pleasure, for sure, and I like it when people argue with me with passion, and reason.

“Speak the truth, but leave immediately after.” — Slovenian Proverb

However, I have also found that this piece of advice to be a valuable one. Sometimes (most times, actually….) it is a good thing to say what is there to be said, and then leaving….. This allows the other party to assimilate the ideas, and to come to some conclusions about it, without having the distraction of my presence. If their reaction is one of great passion in a negative sense, then it is better that I’m not there to either witness it, or to suffer its perpetration upon my psyche; in extreme cases, it saves me from having to duck and cover, or to defend myself on a physical level, neither of which is a preferable outcome to peaceful dialogue. So, I tend to say my piece, then boogie, as it were, to avoid any potential unpleasantness….

Having now submitted nearly eight hundred words in support of the first aphorism in this section, I’ll try to bring this to a logical close. I guess I’ll do it like this….. I saw a picture on Facebook, with some accompanying text that is the perfect ending for this small diatribe…. It’s a small piece of advice, well-stated, that summarizes what I’m saying quite nicely, to wit:

“If you really want to learn how to not care about what others think, just study your cat….. Seriously, they don’t give a shit.”

Pax ominbus……
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Not too shabby, for one created sans any help from my muse…. Though, come to think of it, that last section may have been a late gift from them….. Hmm… I guess now I’ll have to apologize to them for doubting their loyalty and work ethic…. So be it. Now that the delusional portion of the program is completed, it must be time to send this on its way through cyberspace into the internet cloud…. as soon as the library opens….. In the meantime…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

What’s a few platitudes among enemies?….

Ffolkes,
It’s  been said, with good reason, that true freedom is the release from pain, and I am ready to go on record as willing to testify to that in a heart beat. Not all gone, of course, some degree of it is bound to be my constant, boon companion for the rest of my days, and I can live with that, albeit reluctantly. But, for the greatest part, my recent overload seems to have eased off enough to make life worth living again. SIGH, now if I can score a bowl of oatmeal, and my check hits the bank today, I’ll be a happy camper…..

Yay, me….. and enough about me. The last few days of pain and angst have been too self-oriented for me, too involved in personal drama for my spartan tastes in that department. Yet the pain grabs hold, and occupies the major part of one’s attention, until it fills the world, so it seems. Finding any objectivity becomes a struggle, and the perceptive world shrinks to include only the pain, and the struggle to get past it. When the fever breaks, so to speak, and the struggle lessens, the sense of relief is so great, it is actually greater than the pain, and the world almost seems to be in balance for the time being…..

“Pain is just nature’s way of telling you you’re alive.” — Smart Bee

So, I’ll take advantage, and use the time to try to write something more than just an intro, or an old-school pearl, with mostly quotes and a few comments. Who knows, maybe there’s a poem in there, waiting to come out…. We’ll see I guess…. I think I should get to it before my body decides I’ve had enough of a break, and gives me more BS to deal with….. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“Perhaps one of the only positive pieces of advice that I was ever given was that supplied by an old courtier who observed: “Only two rules really count: never miss an opportunity to relieve yourself; never miss a chance to rest your feet.” — Duke of Windsor

I would say the Duke was going for the cheap laugh here, and missed, slightly, but the old courtier knew something of life, for sure. Both rules are quite important to a life lived well, as they both offer techniques to keep one prepared for whatever life may present…. as well as offering advantages in life over those who do not use them….

First, think about NOT taking care of business when you can, and later having to deal with say, a bus ride over a road under construction; the pain would be excruciating, although the dancing one would be forced to exhibit would be, I’m sure, quite entertaining to others on the bus. Or, perhaps you find yourself meeting the Queen, who wants to discuss your latest book, for the next hour, while you stand there and dance in place, growing redder in the face by the moment… It’s a good rule…. Always take the time to be prepared, is what it can be boiled down to, and it isn’t just for Boy Scouts….

The second line is similar in its proactive nature, and in being prepared for action. Jim Brown was considered one of the greatest running backs in NFL history, setting records for almost every category of statistics for his position during his relatively short career (He played nine years, getting out without ever suffering a major injury…. an unusual accomplishment for NFL retirees…..). He claimed that one of the secrets for the consistent bruising power in his running style, and his apparent tirelessness at the end of games, had to do with his habit on the field, of resting completely between plays…. When he carried the ball, and was tackled, he did not spring up and run back to the huddle… He would lay on the ground for a couple of breaths, then slowly roll over onto his hands and knees, taking another breath or two in that position.  Only then would he push up onto his feet, whereupon he would WALK slowly back to the huddle, always getting there in plenty of time, but with his breath already under control, and his muscles relaxed, ready to run again.

Using ideas such as these to give oneself the advantage in a game is the same as in life. Foresight and preparation are as important as skill and dedication, and the intelligent use of available resources for maximum benefit is far more effective than merely reacting to perceived need. These are skills that, it seems, are more apparent to older ffolkes, as it is the kind of thing one learns over time, rather than as one illuminating lesson, sent down in a flash of thunder by the gods. Old folks know how to save energy, as we only have so much, and it wouldn’t do to run out right in the middle of a tango, now would it? No, it wouldn’t….  in fact, that would be quite embarrassing, and none of us old farts would ever be caught flubbing a tango….

“Whose undertakings are all devoid of desires and purpose, and whose actions have been burnt by fire-of-knowledge, him the wise call a sage.” — Gita, Chapter 4, Verse 19.
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I sat here, and opened up a couple veins, but, nothing has flowed out but random globules of greasy, grimy, gopher guts…. sorry, just a bit of adolescence left over…. No poem is forthcoming from my head, though, so we’ll have to go classic, or perhaps, exotic…. we’ll see what comes up when I get to Google…. Ah, perfect….

A Dog Has Died

My dog has died.
I buried him in the garden
next to a rusted old machine.

Some day I’ll join him right there,
but now he’s gone with his shaggy coat,
his bad manners and his cold nose,
and I, the materialist, who never believed
in any promised heaven in the sky
for any human being,
I believe in a heaven I’ll never enter.
Yes, I believe in a heaven for all dogdom
where my dog waits for my arrival
waving his fan-like tail in friendship.

Ai, I’ll not speak of sadness here on earth,
of having lost a companion
who was never servile.
His friendship for me, like that of a porcupine
withholding its authority,
was the friendship of a star, aloof,
with no more intimacy than was called for,
with no exaggerations:
he never climbed all over my clothes
filling me full of his hair or his mange,
he never rubbed up against my knee
like other dogs obsessed with sex.

No, my dog used to gaze at me,
paying me the attention I need,
the attention required
to make a vain person like me understand
that, being a dog, he was wasting time,
but, with those eyes so much purer than mine,
he’d keep on gazing at me
with a look that reserved for me alone
all his sweet and shaggy life,
always near me, never troubling me,
and asking nothing.

Ai, how many times have I envied his tail
as we walked together on the shores of the sea
in the lonely winter of Isla Negra
where the wintering birds filled the sky
and my hairy dog was jumping about
full of the voltage of the sea’s movement:
my wandering dog, sniffing away
with his golden tail held high,
face to face with the ocean’s spray.

Joyful, joyful, joyful,
as only dogs know how to be happy
with only the autonomy
of their shameless spirit.

There are no good-byes for my dog who has died,
and we don’t now and never did lie to each other.

So now he’s gone and I buried him,
and that’s all there is to it.

— Pablo Neruda

Translated, from the Spanish, by Alfred Yankauer
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“I’m having an emotional outburst!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

“It’s the last one, I promise!” — gigoid

Repercussions, Part IV

Reality Considered As A Slippery Slope

“Yes! Living in today’s complex world of the future IS much like having a hive of bees live  in your head. But…..there they are!” – Firesign Theater.

Sometimes, in my more lucid moments of reflection, I wonder if everyone else ever feels like that. If they did, then maybe it wouldn’t bother me so much when I do, because a burden shared is a burden eased…. To this, I can personally attest…..

In the immediate aftermath of the events described in detail yesterday in Part III, I continued to work at NSH, on the adult units, and for some strange reason, not a single psychiatrist or psychologist, nor any other therapist or administrative staff, suggested that perhaps the staff members who were involved might wish to talk about those events. It didn’t occur to me that maybe I should take some time off; I thought keeping busy was best, and when staff take time off, the ones who remain have to cover the time one would be off, thus making the job even harder. So I came to work, but I had changed, both my attitude, and my approach to the job.

Holding group therapy, and other normal, mundane functions of the job became low priority in my sphere of perceptions, while being alert to the possibility of small situations that could conceivably worsen became my focus. In retrospect, I firmly believe that my adrenal gland was regularly and periodically giving me doses of our natural defense system’s ‘pick-me-up’ in response to how I perceived the events around me. My hearing became extremely acute; I distinctly remember hearing a small noise one evening while standing in an office doorway, one night a few months after the incident with Al, and when I had tracked it to its’ source, I found that I had to go around three concrete walls, and through two metal doors to find what turned out to be two young men arguing, but not in particularly loud voices. No one else had heard anything.

Instead of a mental health therapist, I became a ‘brain cop’, ever alert to the slightest quirk in even the most delusional of individuals, often being able to intuit what they would do before they acted, magically appearing just as they would start to move. Even these agitated individuals can be fairly easily redirected, or at least distracted from their initial violent impulses, with the correct timing. And if the timing wasn’t quite right, well, I became even faster at assuming physical control, with the intent of entirely removing violence as one of their behavioral options, no matter what the situation.

As became obvious later, I was becoming somewhat grandiose myself, trying to assume the sole responsibility for the safety of ‘everyone’ in my space. I had forgotten, or refused to remember, a very old saying in the field of mental health, which cautions, “You will know that a nervous breakdown is imminent when you begin to believe that what you are doing is very important.” In my narrowed field of perceptions, what I was doing assumed a HUGE importance.

After a year of this, I wish I could say that I’d had enough, and asked for help. Perhaps my feet would have found the path I needed to follow sooner. But, I didn’t; another friend at work finally worked up the nerve to point out to me some of the things I was doing, and how they weren’t in my best interests, or in the best interests of the folks I was there to help. She was very compassionate and supportive, and despite what I wanted to believe, I’m not deliberately stupid, and had to admit the veracity of what she was telling me. I was broken inside, and no matter how hard I tried, I wasn’t going to be able to fix what was broken by myself…..good thing for me, I didn’t have to do that all alone. In that, I was a fortunate one….

I asked to see the on-duty physician the night my friend spoke to me, and after some discussion, often somewhat heated on my part, I decided to leave work, due to a temporary disability caused by repeated exposure to extreme stress. In the next days, I began seeing a psychiatrist, at the suggestion of a lawyer I had been advised to see, who would ensure that my claim for disability  got me the help I needed. For the next two years, I saw the good Doctor K, and my time with him became a weekly hour of calm in the midst of the intermittent storms in my mind. My last year of work had been marked by sleeping problems, periods of anxiety & depression, and the advent of the beginning symptoms of a physical disorder that wouldn’t fully manifest for another five years, but caused a constant feeling of lethargy and general malaise.

With time away from work, and compassionate care from my psychiatrist, and the presence of my family, my anxiety and depression became less pronounced, and eventually I processed my feelings about what had occurred to the point where I was no longer troubled by daytime flashbacks and nightly dreams of the horrible events. I found my way back to my center, but as a changed person. I am much more in touch now with my emotions, and have learned not to block them out as much when they are too strong. It has taught me that it is okay to break down, and even to cry, as long as you remember to believe that you can always get back up…..

Hopefully, The End….

P.S.  I can’t leave it there, being who I am now…. Tomorrow, or, if not by then, in the near future, I’ll finish this story, as far as it has gotten since last explored. I got back up, yes, and am still up, but, there remains not only a lot of pain and anguish in my soul about those events, but echoes of that pain that I still hear today, in spite of my nearly constant struggle to mitigate anything that will bring me this kind of emotional turmoil. Reality does intrude, though, and life still must go on…. Any who, enough of being mysterious and obscure…..  More later….

The picture is an image of a Celtic Knot from the MS Clip Art collection.

P.P.S.  Above the title of this last section, I made a promise…. and it seems now like a good one to fulfill. I’ve read over this again, and felt again all the anguish I felt then… but with a hopeful sign. The aftereffects have not lasted as long, and I’m achieving some emotional stability earlier in the process… That’s a good thing…. But, I’m tired of all this re-hashing of old business, and hereby resolve to put it away for a time…. It’s certainly taken up enough of my life’s portion of time spent on negative events and issues, and it’s time I try to spend some time elsewhere in my reality…. So be it… gigoid has spoken….
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Now that the delusional third party nonsense is over, I think I’ll get on with life. I have high hopes…. for what I’m not sure, but, in the wake of the last few days, I’ll take whatever comes up, gladly. Hmm… as I look outside, I see that Murphy has turned his attention to the outer world, and it is raining significantly, which will complicate my trip to the library…. Ah well, c’est la vie, as they say in Nice, and probably Lyon, too….  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!

Prior to the arrival of thrills….

Ffolkes,
Vague. A very descriptive word, though what it describes is anything but precise in nature. It certainly fits my mind this morning, and looks as if it could slide right over into being the word of the day. It would be an easy choice, as no preparation is needed; I’m already there. I’m not sure it’s the kind of word I want to base a whole day on….. then, again, not picking it may annoy Murphy, who no doubt flung it up there into my head himself. It’s just his style……

As well, it’s not as if it is a condition that is unknown around here. I’ve been known to get vague, and stay that way, for days on end, actually. It’s kind of fun, teasing shop workers, confusing bus drivers, and if a chance to annoy a cop comes up, well, I’m all over it. I know, that can be dangerous here in Vallejo, but, I like to live dangerously sometimes, and if one can’t annoy a cop now and again, where is all the fun in life to come from, I ask you? Though not in the realm of CEO’s yet, the police are pretty well-paid these days, and are the obvious target for anyone who has a gripe against society; they have to know that going in. So, don’t get all righteous and prim on me; they’re supposed to be able to take that kind of harassment from the public, and if they can’t, they’ve no business wearing a badge. To my mind, a sense of humor is the single most important tool a police officer can have, and the ONLY one he/she can’t do without….

Now, how did we get from being vague and curmudgeonly to a discussion of societal mores? Sometimes I amaze even myself…. and I have no idea how it happened this time. Hmm…. must have been the mention of the salary of a CEO that set me off. THAT is certainly a subject well worth dissection, and a bit of people bashing. I can’t think of a single category of society that deserves it more than CEO’s, the assholes. Any one of them will do….. I don’t care how stupid and mean a person is, they have to know that NOBODY is worth the kind of money they are being paid…. NOBODY. NOBODY. NOBODY…… I don’t care how much they spout off, and quote figures, or anything else; they aren’t worth that much money, nor is whatever function they perform. It isn’t, period. And nothing can be produced to support that it is, so they may as well just shut it….

I can see from the last paragraph that a rant is coming on, or could be if I were to allow it…. not surprisingly, I guess. The salaries of those corporate assholes is one of my favorite peeves, and it doesn’t surprise me at all to go from 0 to rant in one half-paragraph. Again, I can’t think of a more deserving group of folks about which to rant, but, I’m not even out of the intro yet…. give me a break, will ya? Hah!…. I’ll bet this is all Murphy’s work…. leading me by the nose into a subject that he knows will cause me to blow up like a puffer fish, then standing back and laughing, as I try to write my way back into some semblance of normalcy (not that normal is ever our goal here….).  I’d call Murphy an asshole, too, but, he already knows he is, and delights in it too much….

Weird…. there’s another fine word, and one that fits well at this point. I guess you could say this was a better than average intro section, as it traversed the land between vague and weird, and never once fell into whining, or complaining about Reality, though goodness knows there is always enough of that to provide ample material for those activities. Not doing so is considered a win around here….. Since we’ve won so handily today, it would most likely be best to go for a dive before things start to fall apart…. which can happen in a heartbeat…..  So…. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“Be wiser than other people if you can, but do not tell them so.” — Lord Chesterfield (to his son)

One might think that Lord Chesterfield was being somewhat devious, or ingenious, at least, when he said this to his son. But, I can attest, from personal experience, that he is right in every respect, and for anyone who is smarter than your average bear, necessary knowledge, if one wishes to survive. It is a hard truth, and one that many people will find distasteful, but, it is nonetheless true for all that….. That truth is this: some people in the world are smarter than others. If you are one of them, it is well to not advertise that fact too loudly, or try to assume a lot of prominence for one’s intelligence, for several reasons, the foremost of which is that other people, not as smart, will object, merely on the principle of ‘fairness’, or ‘democracy’…..

I’m not sure about why it is so hard for a lot of folks to understand the concept of ‘average’, but it is clear that it doesn’t seem to register with a lot of people that the very meaning of the word implies that at least half of the people alive are well under that average in intelligence. They HAVE to be, or it would not be the average, now, would it? The hard part for people to understand, I suppose, is that the odds are that THEY themselves are part of that lower half. Someone HAS to be, but, nobody wants to be labeled as “below average”, or to think of themselves that way. For anyone who is at all empathetic to inner turmoil, it is hard to watch, knowing controversy and denial is inevitable, yet wishing it weren’t…..

“Every person is an individual; we all have a set of designer genes.” — Smart Bee

Knowing this, and accepting it, is the key to solving the intelligence issue, if it exists for you. Whether smart or dumb, ugly or pretty, thick or thin, each of us is unique, and therein lies the key to living with serenity. Learning to use our abilities to their maximum, at whatever level they exist, is the only use of knowledge that will lead us to success; concentrating on the differences in life that exist is a time wasting proposition, and will lead only to more trouble and pain. Our salvation lies in our uniqueness, not in how we are the same. The knowledge that there are people smarter than us, and there are those who are less so, is knowledge that should give us hope, rather than take it away, for it implies unlimited opportunity. When there is no limit to the kind of people who exist, then there is no limit to what can be done by them when they interact…. That is common sense, not deep logic…. though it is deeply logical as well….

“The logic of worldly success rests on a fallacy: the strange error that our perfection depends on the thoughts and opinions and applause of other men!
A weird life it is, indeed, to be living always in somebody else’s imagination, as if that were the only place in which one could at last become real!” — Thomas Merton, “Seven Storey Mountain”

Sometimes, it seems as if it would be nice if there weren’t so much diversity of ability in the world; it might make things simpler. But, given human nature, probably not…. We’d still find some way to fuss and fight with each other…. If it isn’t about intelligence, it would be about looks, or money, or ancestors, or any of the other myriad of subjects man finds to fight about…. We are contentious creatures, at best…. and often, I am left, after writing such a treatise as this one, with a feeling much like Friedrich gives us here…. in fact, I’ve felt this way often…..

“It is hard enough to remember my opinions, without also remembering my reasons for them.” — Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)
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I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You

I do not love you except because I love you;
I go from loving to not loving you,
From waiting to not waiting for you
My heart moves from cold to fire.

I love you only because it’s you the one I love;
I hate you deeply, and hating you
Bend to you, and the measure of my changing love for you
Is that I do not see you but love you blindly.

Maybe January light will consume
My heart with its cruel
Ray, stealing my key to true calm.

In this part of the story I am the one who
Dies, the only one, and I will die of love because I love you,
Because I love you, Love, in fire and blood.

Pablo Neruda
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“No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.” — Taoist Proverb

“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

Monk:   Where can I enter Zen?
Master Gensha:  Can you hear the babbling brook?
Monk:    Yes, I can hear it.
Master Gensha:  Then enter it there.

A bird can fly, but a fly can’t bird. — Tao of Pooh.
(Not as undeep as it seems…. think on it….)

“I wanted to change the world.  But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.” — Aldous Huxley

Okay, so here is a bass-ackwards pearl, just because…. I started off collecting for a pearl on a point of Eastern philosophy, and how it differs from Western. That changed, into what seemed to be a collection of different ideas from separate philosophies, all of which were connected somehow. But, then it came to the final pearl, and it all fell into place…. What we have here is nothing more, and nothing less, than a complete philosophy of life, in five short lessons. Encompassed within the relatively non-existent confines of these principles, one from each of five different parts of the world, each from a different time in history, and from a different master of thought, is everything that one would need to live a life of complete rationality and peace. Sometimes, I just don’t know how I do it…..    🙂

‘Nuff said…. just meditate on the five truths, and you’ll get where you need to go….. and remember axiom 7 of Peruaosophy…. “Do your Duty. Honor the truth. Respect Life. Share your Love.”…. and all will be well….
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Smart Bee was particularly cooperative today…. one of the best things it showed me was a new disclaimer. I am adding it below, because it mirrors my thoughts on this subject perfectly…… enjoy! Just replace the words “All software” with “Whatever gigoid wrote”, and it will all apply perfectly…..

NOTE: “No warranties, either express or implied, are hereby given. All software is supplied as is, without guarantee.  The user assumes all responsibility for damages resulting from the use of these features, including, but not limited to, frustration, disgust, system abends, disk head-crashes, general malfeasance, floods, fires, shark attack, nerve gas, locust infestation, cyclones, hurricanes, tsunamis, local electromagnetic disruptions, hydraulic brake system failure, invasion, hashing collisions, normal wear and tear of friction surfaces, comic radiation, inadvertent destruction of sensitive electronic components, windstorms, the Riders of Nazgul, infuriated chickens, malfunctioning mechanical or electrical sexual devices, premature activation of the
distant early warning system, peasant uprisings, halitosis, artillery bombardment, explosions, cave-ins, and/or frogs falling from the sky.” — Smart Bee

I think that should about cover it….. if not, well, I’m sure you’ll let me know what I’ve forgotten, won’t you?…… 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!