Pale signs of obligatory horses….

Far be it from me to fuss with a system that works…. For close to 11 months now, I’ve posted here every day, sometimes twice a day. Though the introduction is often strange, it has always been the most normal aspect of the entire process, as it is always done first, before I begin the search for pearls, and it provides the impetus for completing the rest.

I can’t say why it happened that way, but evolution is often more complex than we can see from our limited perspective. However it came about, it has always been the anchor post for the rest of the Pearl, pointing out the path we will be taking, or, at the very least, warming up the arthritic old fingers….

Introductory paragraphs also are important for setting the tone of one’s written offerings, whether humorous, serious, or somewhere in between. And, as noted here previously, the opening words of any tome are the most important words in the piece. The beginning must grab the reader’s attention with a fist of iron, and refuse to let go, or one takes the chance of losing them a few pages later, which rather eliminates the whole reason for being there….

Thus, I try to make the intro section special in some way…. sometimes it is a story opening; other times a litany of complaints. Often I’ll discuss personal ennui, or comment on some outrageous thought I’ve had, or some silly news story. Occasionally, like today, I will bore you to tears discussing the process of creating Pearls, which, though interesting enough to me, probably is putting you back to sleep as I type…. not good….

So, we’ll jump off this wagon, and dive into the water to search for some appropriate pearls…. about damn time, I’d say….

To make a long story short:  Once upon a time….It was a dark and stormy night……..and they lived happily ever after. — Smart Bee

And I oft have heard defended,
–Little said is soonest mended.
— George Wither (1588-1667) — The Shepherd’s Hunting

As he sat staring into the screen at the last two seemingly unconnected pearls, he began to laugh, slowly at first, then rising in pitch and volume until the walls rang with the maniacal cacophony. “Madness!”, he thinks, “madness is here, and owns my wretched soul!” Caught in the maelstrom of his own inner conflict, he felt as if he were a drift of snow, blowing away in the howling winds, scattering to all parts of creation, never to be connected, or whole, again….

Yet, even more terrifyingly, Murphy’s henchman, the unthinkable terror of dissolution, holds him prisoner here, refusing to yield the pleasure of devouring every last bit of agony that can be dragged screaming from his beleaguered existence, keeping him anchored to the endless Now, with fear and loathing. Tears flow freely, long undefended by social convention, tears of grief for the lost possibilities, and tears of sadness for the loss of the years gone past.

Yet all things must pass….Remembering at last that the existence of pain is only confirmed by an equal amount of joy, the scale tips, and the duality of reality severs the hold of entropy on his emotions. The clouds disperse, as Murphy, well-pleased, slips laughing into the remaining mists….. Shattered and bloody, he sits, and thinks….

There you go…. long story short….

As long as we’re going insane, we might as well go the whole way. A mere shred of sanity is of no value. — Smart Bee

“Insanity destroys reason, but not wit.” — Nathaniel Emmons

I believe the word you’re looking for is ‘AAAUUGHHH’.

One of the greatest joys of my life is finding new stuff to read, and learn; here is a poem by someone I’ve never heard of before, in a wonderful modern style, and obviously from a very down home American standpoint, pre-idiocy period…. enjoy!

Knee-Deep in June

Tell you what I like the best —
‘Long about knee-deep in June,
‘Bout the time strawberries melts
On the vine, — some afternoon
Like to jes’ git out and rest,
And not work at nothin’ else!

Orchard’s where I’d ruther be —
Needn’t fence it in fer me! —
Jes’ the whole sky overhead,
And the whole airth underneath —
Sort o’ so’s a man kin breathe
Like he ort, and kind o’ has
Elbow-room to keerlessly
Sprawl out len’thways on the grass
Where the shadders thick and soft
As the kivvers on the bed
Mother fixes in the loft
Allus, when they’s company!

Jes’ a-sort o’ lazin there –
S’lazy, ‘at you peek and peer
Through the wavin’ leaves above,
Like a feller ‘ats in love
And don’t know it, ner don’t keer!
Ever’thing you hear and see
Got some sort o’ interest –
Maybe find a bluebird’s nest
Tucked up there conveenently
Fer the boy ‘at’s ap’ to be
Up some other apple tree!
Watch the swallers skootin’ past
Bout as peert as you could ast;
Er the Bob-white raise and whiz
Where some other’s whistle is.

Ketch a shadder down below,
And look up to find the crow —
Er a hawk, – away up there,
‘Pearantly froze in the air! —
Hear the old hen squawk, and squat
Over ever’ chick she’s got,
Suddent-like! – and she knows where
That-air hawk is, well as you! —
You jes’ bet yer life she do! —
Eyes a-glitterin’ like glass,
Waitin’ till he makes a pass!

Pee-wees wingin’, to express
My opinion, ‘s second-class,
Yit you’ll hear ’em more er less;
Sapsucks gittin’ down to biz,
Weedin’ out the lonesomeness;
Mr. Bluejay, full o’ sass,
In them baseball clothes o’ his,
Sportin’ round the orchad jes’
Like he owned the premises!
Sun out in the fields kin sizz,
But flat on yer back, I guess,
In the shade’s where glory is!
That’s jes’ what I’d like to do
Stiddy fer a year er two!

Plague! Ef they ain’t somepin’ in
Work ‘at kind o’ goes ag’in’
My convictions! – ‘long about
Here in June especially! —
Under some ole apple tree,
Jes’ a-restin through and through,
I could git along without
Nothin’ else at all to do
Only jes’ a-wishin’ you
Wuz a-gittin’ there like me,
And June wuz eternity!

Lay out there and try to see
Jes’ how lazy you kin be! —
Tumble round and souse yer head
In the clover-bloom, er pull
Yer straw hat acrost yer eyes
And peek through it at the skies,
Thinkin’ of old chums ‘ats dead,
Maybe, smilin’ back at you
In betwixt the beautiful
Clouds o’gold and white and blue! —
Month a man kin railly love —
June, you know, I’m talkin’ of!

March ain’t never nothin’ new! —
April’s altogether too
Brash fer me! and May — I jes’
‘Bominate its promises, —
Little hints o’ sunshine and
Green around the timber-land —
A few blossoms, and a few
Chip-birds, and a sprout er two, —
Drap asleep, and it turns in
Fore daylight and snows ag’in! —
But when June comes – Clear my th’oat
With wild honey! — Rench my hair
In the dew! And hold my coat!
Whoop out loud! And th’ow my hat! —
June wants me, and I’m to spare!
Spread them shadders anywhere,
I’ll get down and waller there,
And obleeged to you at that!

James Whitcomb Riley

Christ says, “Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked – the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours.”  — C.S. Lewis  _ Mere Christianity_

I cannot think of anything more terrifying than this concept! The thought of giving up one’s entire Self in order to be someone else, ANYONE else, gives me the serious willies, to use the vernacular expression for abject loathing. It doesn’t matter if the other Self one proposes that I assume is purportedly “better” than my current Self, or rather, it shouldn’t matter, and to me it doesn’t. To make the assumption that I’d be better off as Christ demeans me, and if one is actually a believer in a God, then that demeans God. Either way, I’m not copping to it without some protest….

I’ve spent a lot of years on this planet, trying to make myself into the kind of person I’d be proud to know. I can’t say that I’m perfect, by any means…. we’ve all made mistakes. If one hasn’t made any mistakes, then one hasn’t really been living. But I am also not entirely unhappy with myself the way I am, and I can’t see any logical, or even any illogical, but justifiable, reason to want to become someone else, even Christ. Besides, if I become him, who does He become? Me? Whoa, there, big fella, that doesn’t seem like a fair trade…. I lose out on my laptop, and I hate wearing sandals!

Generally, C.S. Lewis makes fairly lucid sense in his writings about Christianity and his faith, which was strong, by all evidence. But this concept is, to me, part of the explicit danger of faith without evidence. That danger lies in this surrendering of will, to what is construed as a superior power. It has never made ANY sense to me; even as a child the idea made me uneasy (I forget who said “Any religion whose basic concepts frighten the mind of a child cannot be true…”, but he was right…). Giving up free will not only turns a person into a sheep, it also provides the rationalization for much of the absence in modern society of virtues such as honesty, or compassion for others, since any acts made by a saved sinner are forgiven, as long as he/she has signed on the dotted line, and confessed….

I am perfectly aware of how virtuous Jesus himself was, at least according to the written reports. His actions toward his fellow men were compassionate and open, given the constraints he placed on himself to try to give his knowledge away with honor, and in a way it would be remembered by a species that is mostly afraid to think.

Yet even this most puissant human being, truly an enlightened soul, has had what he taught twisted and perverted to suit the purposes of the dishonest, indifferent human predators who took immediate control of the organization he started, using those teachings to manipulate the less perceptive into a governable herd….

The perversion has continued to the present day, and in fact has evolved, as any human institution will, into even more viciously bigoted, elitist sects, each of which is convinced it is the true path to salvation. And each one of them, from the mighty Holy Roman Catholic Church to the Western Baptist Fundamentalist Church, depends on people buying into the mind-set described above by Mr. Lewis, surrendering all their free will to the “will of God”, thereby placing their feet on that road of good intentions….

I’m guessing here, but I think it’s probably a good thing I never know when a rant will strike…. it seems to come out unexpectedly every time. Ah well, probably a defense mechanism set up in my unconscious to prevent any pre-censorship…. so be it. I’m happy with how it came out, so we’ll all have to live with it, such as it is…. Like Philip K. Dick said, “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”

Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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



Parsing algorithms at the Sign of the Four….

Often times the words flow freely, tripping out lightly to rest momentarily before someone’s eye, then fluttering away to tease and please the children playing nearby. The flow grows, and the the pace increases, the words assume more urgency, more passion, more, more, more, until they are practically exploding onto the page, assaulting the eyes demanding meaning, scaring the children as they rush by, intent on mayhem. The flow then slows, reassumes the passive, lazy feeling of a late summer day, long lemonade in hand, with the only purpose of killing time, killing it so well, no charges are brought. But then, for some reason, the flow stops…… and I take another sip of coffee…..let’s dive in, shall we?…..

Soon as the evening shades prevail,
The moon takes up the wondrous tale,
And nightly to the listening earth
Repeats the story of her birth;
While all the stars that round her burn,
And all the planets in their turn,
Confirm the tidings as they roll,
And spread the truth from pole to pole.
— Joseph Addison (1672-1719) — Ode

I don’t have any comment here, not of any great profundity. I just like this poem, for several reasons that are too personal to go into just now; it would take too much time, trying to explain something that I don’t fully understand within myself in a way that would be understandable to others. This actually happens a lot to me when I am judging art; I  don’t know much of anything about painting, or sculpting, or the finer points of writing poetry, only what I’ve read. But I do know what I like, and what I don’t, so I just go by that, and let the rest take care of itself as best it can….and I know I like this poem…….you enjoy it too, so this won’t be a complete waste of our time together, what?….

“I, for one, do not think homosexuality is the latest advance over heterosexuality in the scale of human evolution. Homosexuality is a sickness, just as are baby-rape or wanting to become head of General Motors.” — Eldridge Cleaver

While I can in no way agree with Eldridge’s opinion on homosexuality, I do agree with his definition of sickness, one that goes beyond the usual defined parameters of the concept of sickness, past the physical into the behavioral. Pedophilia can, I think, be placed in the category of something that everyone recognizes, as an abnormality that produces behavior that is extreme, to put it decorously. Unfortunately, we also have another subset of humanity that engages in avarice and power-seeking in the extreme, who have somehow convinced most of the rest of humanity that they are not only not sick or broken, but are just the type of folks that anyone could want in a position of responsibility.

Now, obviously, that’s a crock of BS. No rational person would ever consider taking the reins of power over others without serious doubts as to their ability to do the job well; such jobs preclude any but the most serendipitous results by their very nature. But, to those folks who want that power, it is their ticket to ride the gravy train of public service, and they will lie, cheat, and steal to whatever degree is necessary to secure their desired place atop the heap.

For the most part, we let them do it, if only because we don’t have the ruthlessness and disregard for human rights that are the hallmark characteristics of those who would be king. But then, if we did, we would be them, and that is just as unacceptable. We just need to find a way to keep them as poorly funded and poorly supported as possible, so they don’t do as much harm in their thrashing about…..

“Look at these three words written larger than all the rest, and with special pride never written before or since — tall words, proudly saying “We the people” .. these words and the words that follow … must apply to everyone or they mean nothing.” — Kirk, “The Omega Glory,” stardate unknown.

“No one need think that the world can be ruled without blood. The civil sword shall and must be red and bloody.” — Martin Luther

The American Dream isn’t as shiny as it used to be; the fact of its existence only contributes to the feeling that it is an unattainable dream, a lie promulgated to keep the ignorant going each day to their little job, eyes focused on the big bright picture of SUCCESS! that hovers ever out of reach. Each successive generation who is disappointed once again, who sees no fundamental changes in the way things are run in the world, soon understands that it is mostly futile to fight the status quo. Thus, the soil of American thought grows to be ever more fertile ground to nurture change, more ready to accept the fact that it is probably a good time to hold the next American Revolution, wherein the forces of reason will battle the forces of ignorance, hopefully to settle the matter, once and for all………. now that we’ve had our serious political discussion for the morning, here are a few thoughts in a lighter vein, if no less sarcastic….

“He who knows nothing, loves nothing. He who can do nothing understands nothing. He who understands nothing is worthless.” — Paracelsus
(But he can still run for President! This is like a job want-ad for a Republican POTUS, and all the current candidates fit right in there….)

“Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.” — Elbert Hubbard

What this country needs is more unemployed politicians.

“Congressional terms should be … ten to twenty with no possibility of parole.” — Walt Handelsman

A little sweet, a little tart, a little savory, and you’ve got a flavorful stew…..

“Marjoe and Doshen were meditating in a field when Doshen just went and smacked Marjoe upside the head.  “What the hell did you do that for?” asked Marjoe.  “Nyuck nyuck nyuck,” replied Doshen. At that moment, Marjoe ordered pizza.

Hackish humor can be pretty subtle. This isn’t particularly surprising, as working in abstruse fields of mathematics can cause some interesting changes to the mind, leaving it open to new vistas of previously little-known parts of reality. This koan is a clear indicator of this kind of vision; it is true to the principles of Zen thought, while immersing itself completely into modern hacker culture, with an almost calculated  irreverence thrown in for decorative purposes. The funniest part of it, to me, is that I can see myself having this interchange with some of my friends; and, yes, we are all considered a bit strange by the Mundanes. At least it keeps me off the streets….

“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

If reality wants to get in touch, it knows where I am.

Am I a dreamer, dreaming that I write? Or am I a writer, writing my dream? Reality is always a slippery slope, if only because taking one’s attention away from dealing with it can be either help or hindrance. And only in retrospect can one tell which took place….. I always liked the way Philip K. Dick defined reality, as “…what is left when you stop believing in it.” This viewpoint shows both insight and experience, in a man who should know; he spent much of his life struggling with a form of Schizophrenia that makes any perception suspect, even those we hold to be most familiar.

It is no picnic trying to get along in life when one’s sense of what is real is constantly being challenged by what is perceived. It can’t be easy to be in a crowd when one believes they can hear what others are thinking; we who do not suffer from this sort of delusion or hallucination cannot really understand how terrifying it is to live with this every day.

I’ve had some struggles of my own in this respect; reality takes on a very dark, foreboding aspect when one is suffering clinical depression, and the climb back into the light can be an exhausting effort. So, one learns to adjust feelings in ourselves, to make changes to the only part of reality over which we have any power to do so. We can change ourselves, if we wish, but we cannot change anything in reality, beyond exercising our means of perceiving it. In my younger days, when I knew so much more than I know now, I once wrote, “true power is control over the routes of perception.” I didn’t know then that I was closer to the mark than I thought……

As the words flow gently toward the final destination,let us bid adieu to another trip through the nether portions of my mind. I’m happy that I could still find my way out; we could have been stuck there for days!….. Y’all take care out there…..

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