“It’s possible to love a human being if you don’t know them too well.”
~~ Charles Bukowski ~~
This curious galaxy — only known by the seemingly random jumble of letters and numbers 2MASX J16270254+4328340 — has been captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope dancing the crazed dance of a galactic merger. The galaxy has merged with another galaxy leaving a fine mist, made of millions of stars, spewing from it in long trails. Despite the apparent chaos, this snapshot of the gravitational tango was captured towards the event’s conclusion. This transforming galaxy is heading into old age with its star-forming days coming to an end. The true drama occurred earlier in the process, when the various clouds of gas within the two galaxies were so disturbed by the event that they collapsed, triggering an eruption of star formation. This flurry of activity exhausted the vast majority of the galactic gas, leaving the galaxy sterile and unable to produce new stars. As the violence continues to subside, the newly formed galaxy’s population of stars will redden with age and eventually begin drop off one by one. With no future generations of stars to take their place, the galaxy thus begins a steady descent towards death.
Image credit: ESA/NASA Hubble Deep Space Telescope
Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt
From an article on Space.com
There are many times my subconscious mind works in ways that are not apparent to me, until a point at which I suddenly realize I have been sent a message from myself. Today’s opening pearls, at the top, and the bottom of this section, are such an event, which I did not realize until I sat down to write this introduction. I looked at each, one after the other, and the light bloomed…. Between the concepts of each assertion lies the answer to much of what has passed through my mind in the past thirteen or fourteen days, most of which, as you know, I’ve been up, awake, and pacing, though I managed to sleep enough the past two days to regain enough energy to carry on….
In the vast area between Charles’ sardonic, rather cynical observation, and Sam’s tongue-in-cheek, yet completely accurate philosophical assertion, lies another quote, which instantly came to mind as the logical third eye for this epiphany, from our old friend, Robert Heinlein, couched as usual in the words of his most powerful character, Lazarus Long, The Elder of the Human Race. After 2300+ years of life, Lazarus offered up his (Heinlein’s) definition of what he believed was true love, to wit:
“‘Love’ is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”
In my less than humble opinion, it is the clearest, most complete and accurate summation I’ve seen, ever.
It is also very comforting, as much of my recent time thinking was spent in the past, where I’ve lived most of my life (don’t worry; that’s true for all of us. Think about it….) In that time, more than two full weeks of 24/7 necessary mental activity, (not all of which was coherent, I admit), I came to the realization that my life has been less organized and, perhaps, less volitional than I had realized, or believed it could be.
Yet, there the evidence sits, right there in plain sight, right in my own head. When I look back over the years to my youth, I see as many things I’ve done for the wrong reasons as I have done them for what I now know to be the right reasons. The end result, of course, is the same, no matter how I look at it; here I am, today. The only thing that has changed is how I am now able to look at it, and, more importantly, how I feel about some of it.
There are, naturally, I believe, always going to be some events I wish could have gone differently…. But, with what I’ve just come to know, I can at least know one thing; when I have loved, it has been real, according to our accepted definition, above. I know this because I STILL feel the same way, about the first girl, the first woman, and every woman I have loved since my teens, when I fell for the first time. Their happiness is as essential to mine as it ever was, and I can see no way to ever change that, not being who I am. For me, love just doesn’t die; if it does, it wasn’t love in the first place. This quality has, I see now, made my life somewhat more difficult than it had to be, but, I would not trade one instant of my feelings for any of them for an entire lifetime of avoiding the pain I felt when, in the end, each of them chose to leave.
Since I loved them, I let them go, never trying to make them stay; I never wished to make them into something they didn’t wish to be. It hurt, a lot, of course, and will always hurt in some small corner I keep tucked away, but, I know now it was, and is, the right thing, for, at least in one case, I know she has had a good life, filled with people who love her, even though I know none of them can have loved her half as much as I still do….. If she ever reads this, I sincerely hope she doesn’t feel any guilt or regrets; I am very, very glad she is happy, as I am glad for the happiness all five of the women I’ve loved have achieved, whatever it may be. It only validates the strength and rightness of my own feelings, and that is a comfort, especially in my solitude.
Whew! Who knew that was in there? Boy, howdy, it isn’t often I cut loose in the intro, not so seriously, but, when I do, it certainly gets intense, doesn’t it? I’m somewhat surprised at not finding more typos as I read it over; it was hard to see the keyboard through my tears for most of it. But, the tears have washed clean my inner turmoil, leaving behind a serene pool of empty thoughts/feelings, in which to find a pearl or two to get us through the day…. Serendipity is where you find it, wouldn’t you agree?
Since there is an epic-sized rant today, an important one, and a wonderful new poem from one of my favorite poets, we should probably head out to the oyster beds….. Let’s just do that today without any fuss or bother, okay? I’m already washed out….. ‘S okay; the music is right below, and these guys will get any party going, without any delay….
Shall we Pearl?….
Life does not consist mainly, or even largely, of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thought that is forever flowing through one’s head.” — Mark Twain
The Allman Brothers Band
Image from knoxmusictoday.com via Google images
Today’s selection is a band I’ve seen many times, not to mention having listened to their music in practically every venue imaginable; at home, at parties, in the car, at the beach, in clubs; they’ve been one of the best, and most popular southern-rock bands since their inception back in the 60’s (I think; some of that period of time tends to blur a bit in my memory…. but, they are still there, almost everywhere….) (Addendum; The band formed in 1969…. always good to do the due diligence research, eh?) Enjoy, ffolkes, they were always better live than in the studio….
Addendum: Oh, yeah, this is a good one…. I checked out the opening number; it’s a medley; it jumps out rocking hard, slows to blues, goes jazz, and back to rock for almost exactly twenty minutes…. All I could say was, “Wow; nice opener!”…. I’m looking forward to the rest with some rather keen anticipation, and, so should you…. Turn it up, for goodness sake!
The Allman Brothers Band – 40: 40th Anniversary Show
Spoiler/disclaimer: The following material is both disturbing, and, vital, to you, to me, to all of us. Most importantly, understanding, acknowledging, and making a commitment to changing the issue is just as vital, for all of us. If you don’t have the courage to face the following TRUTHS, you may as well just skip down to the poetry section, for this will certainly challenge your reluctance to become involved. If there is any phrase which might describe the concept intended today, it is, as noted in the fourth paragraph from the closing poem, to wit:
“Free our sisters, free ourselves.”
Oh, and for goodness’ sake, pay attention, please…..
This is a long rant, ffolkes…. When I start on this particular subject, I have a hard time stopping…. this time, to the tune of over 2500 words…. I figured I should give fair warning; this is not an easy rant to read, nor will it give any quarter, to those it targets as the evil protagonists, or, and this is important, none to the reader… If you don’t feel up to it, then you can skip it…. However, this is an extremely important subject, to me, so, I’m asking you to take the time to read it, think about it, and maybe pass it on…. This needs to change, for sure, and for certain…. I’ve even given it a title, in case I decide to publish it alone, elsewhere….
A True Plague upon Our Houses….
In which we take issue with those who would call themselves Men,
while possessing none of the qualities of a Man…..
“Resolved, that the women of this nation in 1876, have greater cause for discontent, rebellion and revolution than the men of 1776.” — Susan B. Anthony
As we know now, 1976 has come, and gone, along with 1776, and 1876; yet, the oppression and ongoing abuse of women continues, unabated and unchecked, in spite of any progress shown by society, all of which would be thanks to Ms. Anthony, and others of her ilk, for having instigated, and overcome a number of the legal challenges involved in securing full rights for women, efforts resulting in SOME legislation that SEEMED to make some needed changes, not the least of which was voting rights…
In too many ways, unfortunately, things are worse, due to the ubiquitous attitudes, of misogyny and unreasoning fear of sexuality, which is so ingrained in both the male, and female members of society; there are few who even acknowledge the issue, unless pressed…. at which time, they generally become either defensive, feign indignation, or go into active denial…. This fear, based on ignorance, of course, is complicated by religious attitudes heaped upon men and women from birth, which only encourage such ignorance, in favor of dogma….. Now, 40 years into the next hundred years since the beginning of the women’s movement in America, the same can be said to be absolutely true….. Nothing below the surface has changed at all….
“You, you, you shouldn’t, you shouldn’t traumatize women with sexual intercourse. I should know, I’m a medieval doctor, I own a mansion and a yacht.” — excerpted from the AMA manual of advice for teens and newlyweds, 1910, 1926, 1933, 1947, 1955, and, every year since then, without changing a word….
Okay, so, it’s not really there…. but, it certainly would be, if they could get away with it…. and, is definitely there, in place, in the ingrained prejudices of virtually every male doctor alive…. This idiocy is an example of the attitudes of which I’m speaking; the hidden, slyly perverted belief that women are no more than the sum of the misguided and totally false characterizations placed on them by men, who insist on perpetuating the false image of women, in general and as individuals, as weak, feeble-minded, emotional, sex-crazed, or frigid, selfish creatures concerned only with using their beauty and sex to control men….
These claims are, of course, completely untrue in reality, but, the unreasoning, innate fear of their own sexuality, and the fear of being controlled by women, that permeates male attitudes, causes them all, or mostly all, to believe all of it, true or not… Thus, as the quote below from former President Jimmy C. notes, this belief in a full set of delusions, falsely accusing women of evil intent, is used to justify all of the pervasive objectification, abuse, and oppression of women throughout history, continuing today, no matter how much anyone says to the contrary….
Jimmy Carter sez:
He would know, wouldn’t he?….. I should think so….
Below this paragraph, I am placing a link, to the web site/blog of a woman who rescued herself from sexual slavery; there is no other term that fits. She was forced, at a young age, to become a prostitute, and spent most of her childhood and teen years trapped in the sex trade…. Her experiences should never happen to anyone; when I read her writing, it takes ALL of my control to keep from jumping up, buying weapons, and going hunting, for human males…. I get so angry it wouldn’t even matter to me WHICH males I started wasting; all bear equal guilt, from at least one point of view…. Otherwise, why would the rest of us, we males who do NOT wish to oppress our species’ mates, ALLOW this to take place? How can we know of this, and not act?
Lack of honor is the only answer that occurs to me; there are not enough men, it seems, with sufficient honor to stem the tide of idiocy, gross perversion, and lack of moral fiber that infuses the greatest portion of humanity’s male members…. I would guesstimate that 98% of all males never even THINK about the issue of how women have been oppressed throughout history; most are perfectly happy to enjoy the lack of responsibility that such moral and ethical blindness allows; we are, as a species, after all, lazy by nature…. (Nothing wrong with lazy, as long as it’s not a way of life, but, rather seen as a tool, to stimulate one look for smarter ways to do things….) But, to allow that laziness to act as an excuse for not acting in this respect, can only indicate a complete lack of what I call HONOR…..
This may sound like a harsh accusation; to that charge I say: Yes, it is and so fucking what? It’s a harsh world, and what men have been doing to women for millennia is, quite simply, atrociously ignorant, and indicative of extreme COWARDICE….. This has been true, not for years, not for centuries, but, for MILFUCKINGLENNIA, PEOPLE! From the beginning of recorded history, men have deliberately kept women in a position of subjugation, period. No exaggeration or hyperbole is necessary or, in my case, desired….
Listen up, all of you men out there, because I am talking to YOU!…. It IS harsh, and I make the accusation without apology, because, I must in all honesty include myself in the group of those who have not done all they could to see the issue addressed…… for, if it is never addressed, it can never be resolved…. I’ve done more than many, perhaps, and I do acknowledge the seriousness and urgency of the issue…. but, I, too, am guilty of not DOING enough…. S’okay, it just makes me madder, & more determined to keep writing about this….
You see, the whole issue illustrates one small, but, critical facet of human nature that is part and parcel with those other character flaws in us which are leading us merrily down the road to hell, blithely wishing we had a bigger handbasket….. This tendency on the part of human males, to abandon honor and ethical behavior, in favor of allowing their fears and misapprehensions rule them, for our ENTIRE history, has held us back, from becoming all we have the potential to be, as rational creatures with an understanding and appreciation for what is good and beautiful in life.
Instead, we have witnessed, over those thousands and thousands of years, virtually unending wars, conflicts, slavery, abuse of women and children, or anyone considered weak and unable to defend their rights. We have seen people learn to use lying, cheating, aggressiveness, and self-interest as their primary tools for obtaining the resources needed to live, and to hoard what they have taken, by right or threat of force; this process is, in today’s world, considered to be a blueprint for successful living, with the ultimate goal in life being the fulfillment of one’s own personal goals and desires, at the cost of whatever it may take to wrest it from other people, and the world at large….
“Get it while you can!” Do unto others before they do unto you.” Bigger is better!” “One nation under God!” (It would be more honest if they just said what they REALLY believe which is, “As a Christian, I have more rights than anyone who isn’t….”)
Okay, so the last line, in parentheses, is one most people will only say under their breath; you can be sure, though, that every “Christian” alive believes they are the elite of the species, the only ones with the true answers…. This, you see, naturally gives them all a completely unwarranted and false sense of entitlement, one that really annoys the rest of us, who haven’t fallen under the spell of that particular delusion, and couldn’t care less who they think they are…. I GUARANTEE, even if there WERE a God, such as the figment they seem to believe in, I’m pretty sure, as an omnipotent entity, She wouldn’t want to have anything to do with such idiotic wastes of sperm….
Ooh! That was harsh, too, wasn’t it? Oh well… Again, I have to say, so fucking what? If people insist on showing their lack of intelligence in public, they are fair game for anyone who cares to come along and poke holes in their lack of logic, and/or foolishly naive belief in delusions that someone taught them before they could defend their own minds…. It isn’t my problem if they are offended; that is their own reaction, for which THEY bear ALL the responsibility….
I welcome dialogue, and will listen to any argument, as long as it is evidence based…. However, don’t even think about coming at me with something that has nothing more to verify its veracity than “ispe dixit”…. You will regret it to your dying day….. And, so will I, for I am not really mean, or cruel by nature; I just can’t abide people acting as if being stupid is better than ANYTHING else; it isn’t, and wishing won’t make it so…. But, it’s better to put such folks out of their misery, before their ignorance can spread to others….
Men and women are in this together, ffolkes; neither sex can possibly survive without the other, and why would anyone wish to? But, the way things are going now, if we don’t figure out, soon, how to take care of each other, instead of being at odds all the damn time (as all the people who spread jokes about the “war between men and women” keep yelling about, thus keeping the divisiveness alive, and actively harmful….), we will surely reach the point, in the not so very distant future, when our insistence on making the worst of our differences will result in the only possible ultimate end, to wit: our own extinction as a failed species.
The abuse of women, children, animals, or any form of life; war; sales of drugs and/or arms; and the relative insanity of the divisive elitism as acted out by all organized religions….. All of these blights and plagues upon the spirit and growth of Man, carried out for thousands of years by those in our species who refuse to embrace any sort of beliefs that do not serve their own ends alone, all spring from one source in human nature; the expression of that negativity in our spirit has held sway since the beginnings of recorded history……
It is that part of our inner selves which compels us to use our innate talents for violence, treachery, and selfishness, using them to take advantage of others for our own benefit, using fear, and the threat of reward or punishment to control others, the use of which has led us to the impending threat of doom we face in coming days…. In order to survive, human nature MUST change…. Hmm…. not terribly good odds, I should guess….
I wish I had the ultimate answer; I wish I knew just the right words, and could say “THIS, THIS, and THIS…. just do that, and we’ll all be okay….” I don’t have them, though, any more than anyone else has had so far…. The worst part is, I know what needs to be done; but, due to the fact that I can only make changes to myself, I can’t just DO it, or even just SAY it…. It has to come from all of us, or it won’t work at all….
SIGH…. Damn if I know what to do…. I guess I’ll just go out, shoot a couple of pimps, and call it a day….. Oh, and if those pimps happen to be wearing a uniform of some sort, you may count on them being fully guilty as charged, with sentence carried out according to the dictates of justice…. in spite of any loud noises they might make to the contrary. Any noise they make in these situations is merely an automatic defense against the insistence on taking responsibility for their actions….
Any lawyers who may try to involve themselves may try to make us feel differently, but, we can discuss that later, right? (We can decide what to do about them when we figure out where to dispose of the bodies….) For the moment, my day will be over, and justice done; it’s all I need to get to sleep….. especially knowing the women freed by my good aim will have the choice and opportunity to start the process of changing out of their slave clothes, into something a bit more free, and of their own choice….
Well, we all have our fantasies, right? Now, the trick is to remove all the above from the realm of speculation and imagination, and make it so, in Reality…. I guess we’ll see how it goes, eh?…. Later, ffolkes, & remember…. Free our sisters, and we free ourselves….
This took a long time to write, because it’s important to me…. Hence, I took a long time to pick a closing pearl, one that had the right feel to it, to express the depth of emotion involved, while still giving a nod to importance of addressing the issue’s less palatable aspects, such as the way women who must live in today’s world, or any world we have thus far seen, are consistently, often brutally, abused, made to feel secondary, and at the very least, completely misunderstood, by their own alleged mates.
I am speaking of men who, in the final analysis, are failing their own species, not to mention failing to understand the concept, or to comprehend the importance, of such old-fashioned words as honor, compassion, and duty…. any one of which requires much more strength than any sort of aggressiveness, or shows of physical prowess…. Such behaviors are those of a child, based on fear, a child who never grew out of being selfish and/or afraid of girls, (i.e., afraid of their own sexuality, and of women’s….), refusing to grow up and truly BE a man….. Peter Pan gone to seed….
We need each other, men and women; nature’s other creatures have shown us how it is supposed to work, using the blueprint of nature’s design…. Each gender of a species is made to contribute certain characteristics to the solving of the puzzle of living, in concert with their opposite half, with the caveat being the simple FACT, neither can survive, one without the other. Both are needed for the species to prosper, and grow…… It’s a damn shame there are so many men in the world who are so afraid, of themselves, and of women, they can’t learn to act as men….
Between the acting of a dreadful thing
And the first motion, all the interim is
Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream:
The Genius and the mortal instruments
Are then in council; and the state of man,
Like to a little kingdom, suffers then
The nature of an insurrection.
— William Shakespeare ~~
Julius Caesar — Act ii, Sc. 1
Image by Mari Sanchez Cayuso
I found the website of this poetess almost immediately after joining WordPress, more than four years ago; since then, with every poem she writes, every photo she connects to it, I have only grown more in awe of her depth of talent and artistry, and her connection to that in herself. Her poetry is wildly metaphoric and wildly powerful; sometimes her use of words leaves me breathless…..This poem is a good example of her work, and you can not spend your time any better than to go browse her archive of poetry, prose. and photography…. You will gain a complete new appreciation for the entire concept of what an artist really is….
Mari is an artist; art is in her every cell, in every breath she takes, in every ounce of joy and hurt she feels, and every one becomes ART, for that is how she exists; her art is what saves her…. I feel her poetry will someday be spoken of with the same respect as that of Yeats, Keats, Pope, Tagore, and, Emily…. I am serious in this, too; her work is incredible…. Enjoy, please… Really, I don’t think anyone truly human could do otherwise…..
That every silver lizard
Would color itself red
Surrendering to the texture
Of my curves; a mother
Yet, you call me child
Altogether makes sense
The arrogance in me rises
Prickling in every direction
just as a portable veiny stem
Inseparably loves me
Tangling itself, in my hair
Wonder if the coast that surrounds you
Moves quite fugitively, nebulously
Just as you taught me – kneel like
A dog, digging my pride, where depth
No longer frightens me, less foolishly
Than we last spoke, mom . .
~~ Mari Sanchez Cayuso ~~
This is an odd pearl; it speaks of life from a standpoint I’m familiar with, but, not in the way it is presented here. As usual, it really doesn’t matter if I understand all of it; the message it offers is its own reward…. All you have to do is figure out what the message is…. No worries, right? Besides, think of how much it costs you, and, how you do love a bargain….
“Now, that the sovereign power and deity, whatsoever it is, should have regard of mankind, is a toy and vanity worthy to be laughed at.” — Pliny The Elder
“Decay, inherent in all component things.” — Buddha-last words
“We all know that art is not truth. Art is the lie that makes us realize truth — at least the truth that is given us to understand.” — Pablo Picasso
“Probably no invention came more easily to man than when he thought up heaven.” — G. C. Lichtenberg
“Not by years but by disposition is wisdom acquired.” — Plautus — Trinummus, Act ii, Sc. 2, 88, (367.)
“Virtue is its own revenge.” — E. Y. Harburg
“A man can do something for peace without having to jump into politics. Each man has inside him a basic decency and goodness. If he listens to it and acts on it, he is giving a great deal of what it is the world needs most.” — Pablo Casals
“Neither man nor woman can be worth anything until they have discovered that they are fools. The sooner the discovery is made the better, as there is more time and power for taking advantage of it.” — William Lamb Melbourne
“And unextinguish’d laughter shakes the skies.”
~~ Alexander Pope ~~
~~ The Iliad of Homer, Book i, Line 771 ~~
As I have said before, and, will, no doubt say again…. it’s all in the wrist…..
I can’t be certain, but, I may be getting fairly good at this. But, then, I’m looking at it from the inside, which changes the perspective entirely. So, rather than claim it’s good, I’ll merely note it’s long, and, in spots, pretty decently written. (No snickering; I mean the quotes, naturally…. my writing is…. well, it is what it is….) Since I AM certain it isn’t perfect yet, you know where I’ll be tomorrow…. Yep…. I’ll be back, to coin a phra…. oh, right. Well, I will be back, even if Arnie said it first…..
Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark,Theresa, & Richy
and everyone else, too…
When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.
Which is Why….
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.
gigoid, the dubious
The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.
PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.
“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch
À bientôt, mon cherí….