Or, sometimes, it gets soft….

Ffolkes,

“Sticks and stones may break our bones,
but words will break our hearts….”

~~ Robert Fulghum ~~

inverness-and-invergordon-004

Across the estuary, Invergordon, Scotland

Hajime…. I am taking a day for myself, one that doesn’t include putting together a Pearl. Since I’m really okay, mostly, I won’t tell you about the demon attack, or, the cost of quelling the insurrection. I’ll merely say, it might take me a day or two to deal with the consequences, both internally, and externally. Don’t fret, Facebook will learn to miss me, too, and like it; otherwise, they’re in for a spot of lumps. Me, I got stuff to do….

Part of this decision arises from a need to touch the Earth; part comes simply from frustration, as Smart Bee seemingly decided to go on vacation altogether. Since I don’t feel like using alternative sources, which, though they provide a bit of variety, are a lot more time-consuming, I decided to take a day or two, to find some shit, so I can get it together. Of course, I am well aware that shit’s easy to find; it’s the getting it together that’s hard. But, I can do it, and shall, in spite of the odds, which are running 3 to 5 against.

Okay, that’s it. I’ll quit trying to write something exemplary with which to leave you; it’s pretty obvious by now, exemplary isn’t in the bag, or, for that matter, in the same county. While I’m gone, I’ll see if I can’t find my muse; she’s probably passed out drunk again, in some flop in El Ciudad Tijuana. Should I do so, the next Pearl should come out alright; if I can’t well, we’ll just have to see, won’t we? I will, anyway. On that note, let’s just get on with this, as anything else makes no sense at all…

Shall we pearl?….

“I live in my own place have never copied nobody even half,
and at any master who lacks the grace
to laugh at himself — I laugh.”

~~ inscribed over the door to Friedrich Nietzsche’s house ~~

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No, we shall not pearl. Not any more than what you see now, anyway. That’s it. I’ll be back in a day or two; if I find time, I’ll post a re-blog, just to let y’all know I’m still alive. Otherwise, I’ll see you when I see you…. Y’all be well, & happy as you may….

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,
and sometimes,
I just sits.

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

Kowabunga!

À bientôt, mon cherí….

Reason to be aloof….

Ffolkes,

“Everything in excess!
To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites.
Moderation is for monks.”

~~ Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love” ~~

ketchikan early

Ketchikan, Alaska, before the invasion….

Hajime…. In my experience, the most difficult part of the continued presence of PTSD in my life is what occurred yesterday. I call it SOD, or, sudden onset depression, a euphemistic acronym, which makes it sound all official and clean, when, in truth, it’s a dirty fucking mess. I’ll be cruising along, & will see, or hear, or experience some sort of stimulus, the nature of which is always unclear before it shows itself. This time, I saw a picture/story on FB, about an abused animal, & before I knew it, tears were flowing down my cheeks, and my mood plummeted into the depths….

Not a happy time, especially since it coincided with the onset of some pretty heavy pain. Go figure, eh? Murphy had a field day with me yesterday; he’ll be gloating for months. And I? I have spent the last 24 or so hours in a deep funk, fighting my way toward some light, only to find myself still grumpy and feeling mean today. Leelu and I are at odds, and I can’t find it in me to bring myself to any sort of quiet, safe harbor, where I could at least look for my center, with some hope of finding it. I tell ya, ffolkes; this ain’t no fun….

I did write a poem while in the throes of misery; I can’t say how it will seem, but, it sure is an accurate description of how I felt at the time, so, we’ll let it stay, & call it confession, which, they say, is good for the soul. I’ll have to take their word for it, as confession has always seemed like a cop-out to me, a way to avoid taking responsibility. But, that’s just me, and, if it helps get this done today, I’ll take it.

I’ll help myself, too, I guess, by ceasing this litany of woe, in favor of getting on with today’s mess. It’s a typical Pearl, but, with some rather ‘different’ material with which to contend; I’d suggest an adult beverage, or good strong coffee, preferably Irish, at minimum. The rest of y’all should think about insurance. Me, I’m going to just get on with this, so, I can go to my room and pout…. Let’s get it done….

Shall we Pearl?….

He said, “Dance for me” and he said,
“You are too beautiful for the wind
To pick at, or the sun to burn.” He said,
“I’m a poor tattered thing, but not unkind
To the sad dancer and the dancing dead.”

~~ Sidney Keyes, “Four Postures of Death” ~~

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PHOTO-Asleep_At_The_Wheel-WEB

Damn! That’s one big cowboy!

Image from http://www.midstatefair.com via Google Images

After my dad retired from the US Army, we moved to a small town in central California, where raising cattle, and/or, growing alfalfa to feed cattle, were the primary industries. As might be imagined, they listened to a lot of country & western music. I spent much of my teen years at dances where the mix of music ran from the Doors, to the Stones, to the Beatles, and, to this band, who have long been an iconic western swing band. It’s straight out, down-home Texas style swing, ffolkes. Lots of twang, but some of the best dancing music to be found… The picture sucks, but the sound’s pretty good….. Enjoy!….

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Asleep At The Wheel

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https://youtu.be/CziPAbs3ROY

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“Six mistakes mankind keeps making century after century:
Believing that personal gain is made by crushing others;
Worrying about things that cannot be changed or corrected;
Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it;
Refusing to set aside trivial preferences;
Neglecting development and refinement of the mind;
Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.”

~~ Cicero ~~

We the People...

“A power has risen up in the government greater than the people themselves, consisting of many and various and powerful interests, combined into one mass, and held together by the cohesive power of the vast surplus in the banks.” — Johann L. Uhland (1787-1862) — Speech, May 27, 1836

For several days now, I’ve been saving this quote for a rant. Naturally, the intended targets are those assholes who have managed to establish a world-wide oligarchy, which is busy destroying the world as we know it, in complete ignorance of anything that doesn’t serve their narcissism. While pondering the issue, I was brought down, down to the ground, by the sudden onset of depression. This, as you may imagine, rather killed whatever rant was brewing. To sublimate for today, here is an old school pearl, which covers most of what I might have said. I hope you enjoy this ‘savior’ pearl, which has saved you from yet another rant by gigoid…. I’ll even add an extra pearl at the end, from one of the first philosophers to take shots at the concept of government…. Enjoy!….

From 8/9/2012:

Since I have already ranted, I’ll save you from another right away by giving this old school pearl…. These quotations all point in the same direction, and will lead eventually to yet another fine reason to mistrust the beloved ruling class…..

Then came the churches,
then came the schools,
then came the lawyers,
then came the rules.

~~ Mark Knopfler ~~

“A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.” — Oscar Wilde, “The Picture of Dorian Grey”, 1891

“People are always talking about tradition, but they forget we have a tradition of a few hundred years of nonsense and stupidity, that
there is a tradition of idiocy, incompetence and crudity.” — Hugo Demartini, in “Contemporary Artists”, 1977

“People are very open-minded about new things — as long as they’re exactly like the old ones.” — Charles F. Kettering

The Government is my shepherd, I shall not work. It maketh me to lie down on good jobs. It leadeth me beside the still factories. It destroyeth my initiative; It leadeth me in the paths of the parasite for politics sake; Yea, though I walk in the valley of Deficit Spending, I will fear no evil, For the Government is with me; its doles and its vote-getters they comfort me. It prepareth an Economic Utopia for me by appropriating the earnings of my grandchildren. It filleth my head with baloney, my inefficiency runneth over; Surely the Government shall care for me all the days of my life And I shall live in a Fool’s Paradise forever. — The Government’s 23rd Psalm

“By definition, a government has no conscience. Sometimes it has a policy, but nothing more.” — Albert Camus

“No matter how you vote, a government still gets elected.” — Smart Bee

That should about do it, I think….. if nothing else, one may get a clear picture of how I feel about government…..

Note from the future; here’s your bonus round, to finish off our indictment of the BRC….

“… But when he [the people’s champion] has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.” — Plato (428-348? B.C.), “The Republic”

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Comedy_Tragedy

What the fuck is this?

Insanity waits patiently for me, sitting
in the corner, quietly knitting a psyche knot,
for my throat.

Depression is sitting on the couch, close
by the window, sulking over a broken pot;
he broke it.

Loneliness dogs my solitude, madly barking
into my left ear, while I trot,
half-heartedly, at best.

All my old friends have come to visit today;
a party, at which I was not
wanted, nor invited, .

What if I just ignore them all, I think;
even if it never worked before.
Oh, well.

The darkness fills the day, then carries into night,
until time has passed, until it feels just right.
No peace, no common dreams of light,
no escape, nor safety in flight.

Even poetry hurts.

~~ gigoid ~~

6/1/2016

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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Obscurely Subtle

*********

“He took his vorpal sword in hand
Long time the manxom foe he sought
Till rested he by the tumtum tree
And stood awhile in thought”

~~ Jabberwocky, by Lewis Carroll ~~

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“You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.”

~~ The Little Prince, chapter XXI ~~

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“The supreme triumph of reason is to cast doubt upon its own validity.”

~~ Miguel de Unamuno ~~

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“When you drink the water, remember the spring.”

~~ Chinese Proverb ~~

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“If you are distressed by anything external,
the pain is not due to the thing itself,
but to your own estimate of it;
and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”

~~ Marcus Aurelius ~~

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“Entropy requires no maintenance.”

~~ Amanda Walker ~~

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“It is in the shelter of each other that people live.”

~~ Irish proverb ~~

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“When friends ask, there is no tomorrow.”

~~ Ancient Human Proverb ~~

*********

“What happens to your fist when you open your hand?”

~~ Zen Buddhism ~~

*********

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I’m a crazy old fart, I guess. (The fact I am sitting here, weeping as if my dog died yesterday seems like rather conclusive proof to me….) But, I’m happy-go-lucky, too, so, that’s something. I’ll be back tomorrow, ffolkes. I’ll offer no opinions of how that might look, nor any assurances of any sort of quality literature. But, I’ll be here, with a Pearl for your perusal. You see, THIS is what brings me back from the edge. This is what saves my sorry ass from ending up in jail, or dead…..What you have seen today is what keeps me from taking the bit between my remaining teeth, hoisting Henry’s black flag, and slitting the nearest throats. Believe it. So, I’ll see y’all tomorrow; it’s more important than you know…. to me…..

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,
and sometimes,
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….

Bloody, but unbowed, he staggers on….

Ffolkes,

There are some mornings here on ECR when I’m no longer sure of what I’m doing, or exactly why. I’ve been doing these Pearls so long now at this time of the day, the routine of it will often pull me through any reluctance or fatigue that may manifest… We’ve discussed previously the power of routine in our lives, but, I don’t believe I explored how often routine is ALL we have to maintain the appearance of normalcy…. Our inner world can become so preoccupied with issues with which it is struggling, that the outer world, and all of ITS problems and issues become of distant, secondary concern to us, in terms of our priorities….

For example, today, I awoke with both a great deal of pain, and the full gamut of PTSD symptomatology, in full swing…. I’ve related how I am currently having to switch from one pain medication, upon which I’ve depended for my most complete pain relief for the last 8 years, to using strictly medical marijuana to treat my chronic, severe back and hip pain…. 

For some time now, I’ve used the marijuana products to augment the prescribed pain killer, as it is the most effective way to treat both the pain, and my PTSD symptoms, (consisting primarily of emotional lability, including ongoing anxiety, panic attacks, and insomnia), all without causing any side effects, no risk of overdose, and no known negative interactions with other substances. However, since the federal government’s laws concerning that substance are antediluvian in nature, the doctors turn into myrmidons, and insist on following “policy” rather than honoring their Hippocratic oath to treat the patient, not the society….

This morning, my physical and mental states decided to rebel against the changes that are being forced upon me, as I try to wean myself off the addictive drug they’ve been giving me for 8 years, thereby insuring that I will suffer the lovely group of symptoms of withdrawal from a narcotic, including some rather vicious dyskinesia that is affecting me today….

That is the condition where your muscles are vibrating, you can’t sit still, and the entire body feels as if an electric current is running through the musculature, causing each muscle to spasm in turn…. Oh, it’s a lovely condition, and I’m just glad there are certain of the mj products that help soothe the symptoms when they occur….

Okay, so, how’s the Pity Party going? Anybody else want to chime in?…. we’ve got a lot of whine, to go with any cheesy complaints YOU might have, if you wish to join in the fun….. No? Okay…. It’s probably best if I discontinue any further pairings of whine and cheese, and get on with what I’m ostensibly here to do…. which isn’t complain about my conditions, which is something everybody out there has to deal with, one way or another…. I’m not alone, in that my medical issues aren’t any worse or better than anyone else’s….

But, they’re MINE, and they do take up more of my attention than I like…. I’ve never been “sickly” or even particularly weak in any way…. just the opposite. Which is why I really, really HATE not being able to do just about anything I’d like to be able to do anymore, and end up complaining about it…. I can’t say you’ll never hear about this again, but, I’m done for today…. Let’s get on with our regular business, okay? Okay….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“There is an ancient saying, famous among men, that thou shouldst not judge fully of a man’s life before he dieth, whether it should be called blest or wretched.” — Sophocles (496-406 BC) — Trachiniae, 1
_____________________________

I have to say, (one last bitch), this process isn’t as much fun when I’m having PTSD issues…. The mental effort to remain in disguise, as a normal, intelligent human being, is huge, and when one throws in the pain, it’s enough to have me in tears every few minutes, as I try and try to throw off the unwelcome, and unnecessary feelings of sorrow, from whatever source they’re bubbling up to torment me…. You see, I don’t even know WHY I’m sitting here with tears flowing freely down my face as I type…. I have no big issues of import at hand, at least, not any emotional ones, that I can think of, that would cause any such degree of angst, so, it HAS to be rooted in the past, somehow…. Nothing else makes any sense….

So, anybody have any suggestions, as to how I can get rid of all this shit that keeps coming up to haunt me, when I haven’t a single clue as to what the hell it’s all about?

No?

Well, I don’t blame you for not wanting to get involved…. mental health issues come under the heading of NIMBY for most folks, and, even for some ffolkes, who know a bit more about the issues involved, and are less judgmental…. It’s okay, though, because I have a sure fire way, at least of a temporary nature, that will do just fine to throw these feelings back behind the screen of denial where they generally reside; it’s called a random harlequin old-school pearl, a creative process that never fails to cheer me up…. So, I hope you enjoy the following group of pearls, because they’re definitely going to save my ass this morning….

“It is odd, is it not, that a person’s worth to society by is measured by their wealth, when instead their wealth should be measured by their worth to society.” — A. Cygni

“Belief in God? An afterlife? I believe in rock: this apodictic rock beneath my feet.” — Edward Abbey

— ‘Shit Happens’ according to…  Waitress: “You want fries with that shit?”

“Even very young children need to be informed about dying. Explain the  concept of death very carefully to your child. This will make threatening him with it much more effective.” — P. J. O’Rourke

“He hoped and prayed that there wasn’t an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn’t an afterlife.” — Douglas Adams

“Whoever invented the eraser had the human race pretty well sized up.” — Smart Bee

“Euripides was wont to say, ‘Silence is an answer to a wise man.'” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Of Bashfulness

Those of y’all who have seen a number of pearls in your time reading this blog will recognize this one as damn near perfect….. If you don’t get why, not to worry…. It’s all good advice, or good concepts upon which to spend time considering, and, thus, is worth reading…. If the point it makes isn’t clear, don’t push it, it will come to you in time…. If you are like me, it may wake you up late at night, out of your sleep, to say a loud “AHA!”….. And if not, well, you didn’t waste much time, and it DID improve your mind, know it or not….
_____________________________

I really wish…. Well, why not? Let’s see what happens….

Blithely Untitled

A poem came to me today, willy, nilly,
along with a sharp blow to the head.
Since it left me feeling just a bit silly,
anything that rhymes should lessen the dread.

Manifesting destiny into a small, insidious group
we push on toward sanity, concentrating hard.
Full engaging moments spent navigating the loop
shall ever make a difference to victims found in the yard.

Still corpses of creatures, straight out of nightmare
fill up the corners of our tortured minds.
While ever saddened, the iconic male, most debonair,
gazes softly, ironically, at all the mutual interest he finds.

Moronic public statutes compel outbreaks of sanity,
responding to momentary impulses toward inducing peace.
Still, the motions get completed, in fertile stages of inanity
while the bulk of our inmates can find no surcease.

Reluctant motivation to continue is unbound,
striving to ascertain how far there yet remains to go.
No precognitive guesswork will make any less of a sound
to soften the final strains, to teach us to really know.

~~ gigoid ~~

_____________________________

Well, it came out… such as it is…. I think it may get some editing done on it, some day… for now, it’s fresh poetry, so treat it nicely, ‘kay?…. In the meantime, my ranting ability for today is rather limited, I think, since I can’t sit very long before having to get up to take a break… makes it hard to follow a close line of reasoning, necessary for a good rant…. So, we’re going back to an old-school variety pearl, just because I can, and I want to…. Besides, I think today, it’s for the best….

On previous occasions when I’ve tried to rant after writing a poem, or, in the mood I’m in, terrible things have happened, and regardless as to whether or not it may or may not happen again, I don’t care to take that risk today…. mostly because I’d be tempted to just leave the dead bodies where they laid, giving them no respect or burial…. Then, two days from now, I’ll regret it because of the irrevocable odoriferous nature of dead bodies after two days…. With THAT lovely image in your head, allow me to just move out of the way, as y’all stampede the bathroom, to give it up at the throne….

All back? All serene? Good, sorry ’bout that, won’t happen again…. Just enjoy the pearls, ffolkes, it’s the best way to get this done so you can get out of this mess….

“A noble man compares and estimates himself by an idea which is higher than himself; and a mean man, by one lower than himself. The one produces aspiration; the other ambition, which is the way in which a vulgar man aspires.” — Henry Ward Beecher

“For it is mutual trust, even more than mutual interest that holds human associations together. Our friends seldom profit us but they make us feel safe… Marriage is a scheme to accomplish exactly that same end.” — H. L. Mencken (1928)

“Do not say a little in many words but a great deal in a few.” — Pythagoras (BC 582-507)

“A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.” — Mahatma Gandhi

“One should always be a little improbable.” — Oscar Wilde

“A life directed chiefly toward the fulfillment of personal desires sooner or later always leads to bitter disappointment.” — Albert Einstein

“It’s a lot of fun being alive…  I wonder if my bed is made?!?” — Zippy the Pinhead

Okay, well, I like it…. so, it stays….
_____________________________

Today’s Pearl is, as are most of them, unique…. But, if something can be MORE unique than any other thing, if only by connotation, then, this Pearl is more so than any I can recall…. and my memory is VERY good…. Legally, I can’t go back and even start over, as it has a completed poem in it, so, we’ll just have to let it fly as it is, and hope for the best…. I hope y’all enjoy it, and aren’t turned away by the personal nature of a lot of it, or by the unreasonably huge amount of whine and cheesiness that was served up front…. I guess all I can do is all I can do, and I’ve done all I can do…. So be it, gigoid has spoken…. See ya….

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

dozer3

A frail piece, outlined in pink aspic….

Ffolkes,

— Bother! said Pooh, as he realized Piglet was indeed the essence of Chaotic Evil.

As unbelievable as it may seem at first, this is exactly how I feel this morning. Oh, not to worry, Piglet isn’t here, so I don’t have to bother about that, but, I know just how frustrated and surprised Pooh felt when it became clear just what those late night episodes with Piglet meant…. it’s a bummer, to say the least.

The problem is, I have absolutely no reason to feel any such emotions right now…. Oh, there are the usual number of worrisome events going on in my life, the kind that are always threatening to occur, but, nothing that should cause the degree of fear and anxiety that is sweeping through me as I write, and, as has plagued me since getting started today….

Ah, gotta love this mental illness, it’s such a joy. To awaken in the grip of diffuse anxiety, and unreasoning, unspecified fear, with tears, ready to flow, sitting behind the eyes, adding the pressure of filled sinuses to the catalog of the day’s events…. So, you can add a runny nose to all that is bugging me right now, just for good measure….

The pisser remains that I have no good reason to feel like this, in truth; it’s all a gift from my unconscious, which has apparently decided to continue punishing me for allowing myself to become broken, by the work that I did for so long…. I don’t know why it is still so upset; the choice at the time was either to go to work for the state, taking care of the mentally ill, or to go into the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines (shudder….) and get carted off to play soldier in the jungles of Southeast Asia….

I didn’t use heroin, so I had no investment in fighting over there that at the behest of the government, to protect THEIR drug interests, and had no intention of falling into the trap of lies they told the public, all about how Communism would overrun the West Coast if we didn’t go over there to fight them gooks….. I have no problem with the armed services, only with the illegal use of them for the private interests of the politicians, who lied to the public, both about why the war was necessary, and about why we needed to go there to fight. Since it WAS all lies, I had no compunctions about refusing to participate in it…. Of course, they’re still at it, but that’s another story, for another day….

A lot of my peers went, though, and suffered the hell of being in extreme danger for long periods of time, eventually becoming depressed by their experience in such numbers that the old term “combat fatigue”, around since World War I and II, used to describe how people react to long-term immersion in situations of life-threatening danger, evolved into a new psychiatric diagnosis, called PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder…..

It is a condition with which I can empathize, as well as sympathize, as I fell prey to its depredations in my own work, with dangerously violent mentally ill individuals, who lacked any and all control of their actions, resorting to violence on a regular and frequent basis to achieve their wants and needs…. It doesn’t take bullets flying through the air to make a person afraid for their life, believe me….

Any who, that’s all in the past, but, it does reach out to slap me down now and again, and today is one of those days…  I have a lot to do, out in the real world, so, I’m once again blazing new trails in blogging…. This is all I’m posting today…. just the intro section, and then a teaser for each of the three sections that normally would follow…. I’m so….. fraught, I guess, is the right word…. I’m so fraught with anxiety and distress right now, I don’t even have the wherewithal to use archived material, so, rather than cheat more, I’ll just post again tomorrow, and hope that I still have a Gentle Reader or two out there, hoping to find another pearl of virtual wisdom….

Shall we NOT Pearl?…..
_____________________________

“One of the merits of democracy is quite obvious: it is perhaps the most charming form of government ever devised by man.  The reason is not far to seek.  It is based on propositions that are palpably not true — and what is not true, as everyone knows, is always immensely more fascinating and satisfying to the vast majority of men than what is true.” — H. L. Mencken

Tomorrow, I will use this quote by Mr. Mencken as either the basis for a rant (for which it is eminently suited…), or as one of a fine, lustrous old-school pearl on the subject of politics and government, or, as we say around here, we’ll take a few shots at the BRC…. I’m almost looking forward to it….
_____________________________

Here, I’ll post a poem…. duh!
_____________________________

“The belief that there is only one truth and that oneself is in possession of it seems to me the deepest root of all evil that is in the world.” — Max Born, physicist

Boy, if this isn’t another fine rant, waiting to be written…. It almost makes me want to throw off this depression, and start writing…. But, since I still can’t seem to go five minutes without tears starting to flow, we’ll just go on to another day…. Sorry, ffolkes, I hate when this happens, but, it’s best to get past it before I do something stupid, which, as you know, is anathema to my soul….
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That’s all I’ve got today, brothers and sisters…. Again, my apologies, or, if I haven’t offered them yet, here they are…. Sorry ’bout that, but, I just don’t have it today, and don’t feel like pretending I do, as is often the case…. I’m going to go let it go now, and go finish crying, so maybe I can get on with the rest of the day without further embarrassment…. If I can find any pride left, I’ll see y’all tomorrow….  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

Chance encounters with entropy, unlimited supply….

Ffolkes,
In direct contrast to my state of apparent poverty, I consider myself to be a lucky man, all in all. My physical assets, in terms of liquidity of funding, are, shall we say, less than prolific, and my amount of acquired property isn’t what might be termed a fortune. In fact, more accurately, the two combined amounts may be described as a pittance, if you’re feeling generous. My clothes are getting old and somewhat worn, and I’m about to walk out of my shoes. I’m struggling each month to get enough food for the entire month, and have only enough left over to pay for a phone and internet service, which I consider essential in today’s culture.

However, I also have friends, and two children, all of whom taken together make me the richest man alive. I feel very fortunate indeed to have all of them in my life, as they are all the kind of people, and friends, one knows will always be there when needed, as I have tried to be for them for the last 50 years (the average time I’ve known most of them….). And my children, well, my pride in them knows no bounds. Both of them have become fine, generous, loving human beings, and I couldn’t be happier with them….

So, since I have such great support, and know I am loved, I sometimes wonder why am I so depressed? Then I remember….. my gift….. I’ve decided to look at my PTSD as a gift, though some may think that it is strange to consider a mental disorder in a positive light. Those people, who think it is strange, don’t have to live with it, do they?….. See, it is always surprising me, with outbursts of emotion that bring tears, or just waves of anguish; my eyes and head fill up with fluid, my heart pounds, and my mind veers off into memories of terror and pain. These little episodes of severe angst pop up at the weirdest times, and it gets to be a bit embarrassing, nay, humiliating, when it happens in front of others…..

Hell, as I typed that last paragraph, tears of self-pity were, and still are, rolling down my cheeks…. As you can imagine, this becomes problematic in keeping them off the keys, which could short out the whole shebang. Wouldn’t THAT be a treat? Having my entire stash of writing erased by my own tears would be just too ironic for me; I’d have to either shoot myself, or somebody else….. Fortunately, all the Pearls from last year are backed up on a thumb drive, so I’m safe there, but it would still be a royal pain to lose what I’ve got on here, so I try not to drip too close to the desk when I get hit by one of these emotional storms…..

Ah well, they always pass off, eventually, leaving me a bit exhausted and blue, whereupon I try to put all of what I felt into the next pearl….. which finally brings us to the point we’ve been trying to get to for five paragraphs now….. I think, rather than dwell any further on my ‘gift’, I’ll just dive into the ocean of knowledge and quotes that is Smart Bee and the Internet, and see what we can come up with for a morning rant, or poem, or other form of self-indulgence….  Shall we Pearl?…..
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“By letting go, it all gets done.” — Tao Teh Ching

If it weren’t for serendipity, a lot of the fun in life would disappear, I think. Finding just the right pearl is a perfect example of this phenomenon, and this is no exception…..

For some reason, mostly to do with our inner nature, and its unfortunate flaws when it comes to dealing with reality, we humans have a tendency to hang on to things that are not helpful to us. Hurt feelings, anger, mistrust, suspicion, and most often, fear, all are reactions we have to the stuff that happens to us, whether we want them or not. Once they are present in our awareness, however, it is unnecessary to keep them; in fact, holding on to them only prolongs the associated pain. But, we hold on to them anyway, going over the incidents again and again in our minds, and reinforcing the negative reaction each time. This, as is plain to see, is rather counter-productive, in terms of getting on with our lives without carrying extra burdens around with us….

Letting go, as the Tao Teh Ching suggests, can get us past this road block, allowing us to remove the weight of the anger, or fear, or other negative emotion from our minds, and freeing us to engage the universe on a more positive level. What remains a mystery, to me, and to anyone who has used this idea to help themselves in life, is why so many people refuse to acknowledge its value, and use it. A great many people in the world seem to prefer the experience of feeling angry, or sad, or afraid, to feeling competent, and comfortable in their skin. It’s almost as if they LIKE to feel those negative feelings, and are actually afraid to be successful at dealing with life…. amazing, and sort of ironic, to my way of thinking…..

Of course, I do tend to forget that this little piece of wisdom is not as easy to do as it is to say. It does take some mental effort, to assume the control of one’s feelings enough to move them to a different spot on the scale; “letting go” isn’t as easy as it may sound. This sort of mental effort, inner directed as it is, is foreign to most people raised in Western culture, as the habit of using one’s mind is not encouraged, for the most part, in most American homes. Conformity of thought, and obedience to custom are much more commonly held as the safe way to live, and learning to think is discouraged, as it may lead to discomfort, more effort than they wish make, and certainly more than they intend to tolerate.

I often wish I could persuade people to live with ideas like this to guide them, but, in order for anyone to try a new way of living, they must first be convinced that the old way isn’t working. This isn’t going to happen, even if compelling evidence of their need to change is presented to them. It would mean admitting that the way they have been living is wrong, and regardless of whether or not it is wrong, or right, they are not willing to “let go” of their investment in the old methods of looking at life. It’s just too much for them to contemplate; it’s unknown, therefore, they fear the change, effectively blocking themselves from even seeing it as an alternative.

So, I just ramble along, singing my little song, and pointing out little gems like what Lao Tzu wrote above in the Tao Teh Ching. People aren’t going to make changes just because I tell them to; they have to make the decisions themselves. But, I can hopefully provide some sign posts for them, to give them an idea of a place where they may find a more peaceful, fulfilling existence than the one they currently are living. Maybe I can’t change the world, but I can at least point the way to where the changes are made….

“Well, O.K.  I’ll compromise with my principles because of EXISTENTIAL DESPAIR!” — Zippy the Pinhead
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I feel like a bit of the classics today…. how about y’all?…. Keats will do nicely, I think….

Lines on The Mermaid Tavern

Souls of Poets dead and gone,
What Elysium have ye known,
Happy field or mossy cavern,
Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?
Have ye tippled drink more fine
Than mine host’s Canary wine?
Or are fruits of Paradise
Sweeter than those dainty pies
Of venison? O generous food!
Drest as though bold Robin Hood
Would, with his maid Marian,
Sup and bowse from horn and can.

I have heard that on a day
Mine host’s sign-board flew away,
Nobody knew whither, till
An astrologer’s old quill
To a sheepskin gave the story,
Said he saw you in your glory,
Underneath a new old sign
Sipping beverage divine,
And pledging with contented smack
The Mermaid in the Zodiac.

Souls of Poets dead and gone,
What Elysium have ye known,
Happy field or mossy cavern,
Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?

John Keats
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What we have here is what I term a “Seven Star Pearl”  The name has a certain significance, and extra points are available, should you choose to address the reasons why I call it this. I’ll give this clue… The choice of quotes was entirely random; I had no particular point in mind when collecting them. I let my impulsive nature pick those it considered suitable, without asking it to explain why…. these are the result. The point(s) it brings out for our examination turned out to be quite appropriate, given much of what I’ve written earlier this week, and today, but, I don’t need to tell YOU that, do I? Of course not….   🙂     Any who, not to worry, none of this one will be on the Quiz, significant though it is; I’m lazy today, as you might have guessed from the old school format of this one…. Enjoy!

“More persons, on the whole, are humbugged by believing nothing, than by believing too much.” — Phineas Taylor Barnum

“The fear of death is the most unjustified of all fears, for there’s no risk of accident for someone who’s dead.” — Albert Einstein

“Belief gets in the way of learning.” — Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

“That proves you are unusual,” returned the Scarecrow “, and I am convinced the  only people worthy of consideration in this world are the unusual ones.  For the common folks are like the leaves of a tree, and live and die unnoticed.”” — L. Frank Baum, “The Land of Oz”

A poet is someone who is astonished by everything. — Smart Bee

“There is nothing like a dream to create the future.” — Victor Hugo

“People are strange.” — The Doors
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Two hours, twenty minutes, flat. Not too bad, for a Friday morning, in dead of winter, I’d say. Now, let’s see how it proofs….  Decent… three or four little wipes with the polishing rag, and it will do nicely. It isn’t blinding, but it’s shiny…. I declare this dive completed…. 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!

Even running amok requires proper attire….

Ffolkes,
Mmm, coffee…… coffee good. Want more….. there, that’s better. Focus now achieved, thanks to the life giver….. There are a lot of folks who don’t drink coffee. So they say….. I myself don’t believe it; they may hide it from everyone else, but I don’t believe that anyone in their right mind would deny themselves that morning shot, that moment of truth.

There is an instant every morning, right before I take the first sip, when I hate everything in the universe passionately; that hatred is immediately dismissed, eliminated completely and efficiently, as the benign jolt of divine caffeine strikes my bloodstream, and all is suddenly well with the world. That moment is highly addictive, leading as it does to a happier, more stable frame of mind, and I flat out disbelieve anyone who says they don’t like it, or can do without it once tried….

But, that’s okay, we’re all allowed a delusion or two, and if they want to insist on perpetuating such a lie, even such a white one, well, hey, it’s their karma, neh? As long as they don’t proselytize to me about it, or make any attempt to sell me something better, they can live…. Awfully big of me, I know, but I’m a nice guy most of the time, as long as I’m not crossed….. and even then, I’m very neat about my mayhem, and try to be accommodating by offering folks their preference as to landing spots, i.e. “Which wall would you prefer to fetch up against?”……

It is interesting to note that J.S. Bach wrote a Cantata to Coffee, complete with poetic text by a collaborator, in the early 1700’s, when Europe was first discovering the magical beans, and assimilating them into European culture, especially in Vienna, where some of the world’s finest coffees are brewed…. A noble bean indeed……

Now that we are completely off the track, let’s try to get back into Pearling mode, shall we? Without further distraction, we will now enter the world of deep knowledge known as the WWW; watch for the oysters, and try to spot the ones with pearls….
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If you lie, you’ll cheat. And if you cheat, you’ll steal. — Smart Bee

Though there is no attribution for this statement, I regard it as a truism, having been demonstrated in reality uncountable times. Not only is it true, but has been adopted as the cultural definition of a required skill for politicians. If one can assume that the latter sentence is as true as the first, then both of the major political parties in this country are guilty of acting this out on the public stage.

Democrats, thanks to the President who had the unforgivable temerity to get caught lying, are generally regarded as being subject to this “stretching” of truth, but Republicans have the unique skill of uttering lies, with a completely straight face, then denying not only the lie, but the utterance itself. (Hence, G. Bush denying a statement from two years earlier, a statement that had been recorded…..)

It’s hard to say whether the other parties out there, the ones who never get elected (Libertarian, Independent, Socialist, etc.) are as devoted to this principle as are the major parties, but, if they wish to ever get elected, they’ll have to buy into it…. it seems the public demands that our politicians lie to us.

There certainly hasn’t been any evidence forthcoming that might indicate that the public WANTS to hear the truth…. no one is ever rewarded for telling it. Usually, a person who stands up to tell the truth is shouted down by the liars, who use all sorts of tried-and-true techniques to draw attention away from, or to de-legitimize, anyone who dares wax eloquently for the truth of any matter.

“Things true and evident must of necessity be recognized by those who would contradict them.” — Epictetus (c. 60 AD)

This is the worst part of the process of lying; those who do so in public CHOOSE to lie, deliberately. As well, it sometimes it seems as if the whole idea of truth is one that the common man ignores completely. It doesn’t seem to matter to him whether or not some talking head is telling him the truth…. all he cares about is that what is being said feeds into his own desire to be left alone, and doesn’t cost him any money, or thought, or extra work. If it meets those requirements, it is acceptable, and anything that doesn’t, anything that makes him think or sweat, becomes an object of dislike, and even hatred….

How many of the men who went after Clinton for his Oval Office BJ’s were doing so because they wished it could have been them? A lot, I’d say…. Many more than the number who actually cared at all (most of the entire European continent still remains confused about why that whole thing happened, as in their cultures, sexual affairs are not considered inappropriate behavior for public figures….) , and far, far more than those who actually cared about the truth of the matter…. Ah well, all one can do is SIGH……

“We would like to apologize for the way in which politicians are represented in this programme.  It was never our intention to imply that politicians are weak-kneed, political time-servers who are more concerned with their personal vendettas and private power struggles than the problems of government, nor to suggest at any point that they sacrifice their credibility by denying free debate on vital matters in the mistaken impression that party unity comes before the well-being of the people they supposedly represent, nor to imply at any stage that they are squabbling little toadies without an ounce of concern for the vital social problems of today.  Nor indeed do we intend that viewers should consider them as crabby ulcerous little self-seeking vermin with furry legs and an excessive addiction to alcohol and certain explicit sexual practices which some people might find offensive.  We are sorry if this impression has come across.” — Monty Python

In truth, I have to say, sorry, I’m not sorry, and this is exactly the impression I’m trying to give you….. I wouldn’t want to lie to you, now would I?…..
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“I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.” — Alan Watts

One of the less comfortable aspects of having a lot of time to think is just that…. having a lot of time to think. Since there is a lot more past to remember than there is present to think of, our minds linger in that unforgotten but never recoverable time. It is all there, the good, the bad, the ugly, and it can be a tricky task to keep from becoming maudlin when one lingers too long in the past, too easily turning to regret, and that is as useless as it is painful, in the long run.

At my age, the future is, of course, an uncertain, yet delightful unknown, so the present becomes, as Alan observed, all there is. And regret in the present is foolish, for there is no solution to it, other than resolve to change whatever produced it in the first place.

This was driven home to me this morning (whatever morning it is…. they’re all sort of blurred together….) when I opened the door outside for the first time. I was a bit under the weather, and full of the angst the above serious inner debate had brought. The sheer beauty of the sky, and the light, and the colors of the grass and buildings, all overwhelmed and made insignificant whatever burdens I had been carrying. I took a deep breath of air, stretched a bit in the sunshine, and felt a new man emerging….

Why you look so sad when the sky is perfect blue? — Smart Bee

When this popped up before me, after experiencing the jolt of universal connection I just described, I realized that the entire experience felt even better when I look at it as a lesson…. When I had opened the door, the Universe had seized my perceptions, and forced me to exist only in that moment, absorbing the visual, auditory, and olfactory stimuli, and the feelings those produced in me, creating a form of experiential gestalt of Now that I would never forget, no matter how far from Now I may find myself…… I have no doubt it will come in handy at some point….    🙂  

But I’ll settle for what I have Now….. for Now….
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“I cannot here avoid giving my most decided suffrage in favour of the moral qualities of maniacs.  I have no where met, excepting in romances, with fonder husbands, more affectionate parents, more impassioned … than in the lunatic asylum, during their intervals of calmness and reason.” — Philippe Pinel, ‘Treatise on Insanity’ 1801

Mssr. Pinel relates an interesting observation here, one that parallels my own experience with those who struggle with mental illnesses. The only difference between us is that he is surprised by this observation, while I am not. I observed mentally ill folks for many years, and have come to the conclusion that those who suffer from long periods of insanity have an intense, strong attachment to those types of feelings that give them relief from that mind-storm, much more so than the “sane”, and love of family certainly tops the list of effective sources for those feelings.

Those who have only periodic forays into the world of sanity tend to appreciate those times most avidly, as they are often few and far between, and offer them the only moments of peace that can be found in their all-too-active inner lives. I believe it is this appreciation that drives them to love so strongly, to give so much to those they love when they are feeling well. They are aware, if only peripherally, that their time with those they love is limited, and they make their best efforts to show what they truly feel.

Those who are considered sane, I have found, tend to take such feelings for granted; this is one reason that there are so many divorces in modern life, as people don’t seem to want to do the work that is necessary to maintain a relationship. In this sense, their feelings are less important to them, or at least less in their attention, and they suffer the consequences that follow as certainly as a sunrise.

In fact, relationships are not the only area that so-called sane people could learn valuable lessons by copying what insane folks do. I’ve found that a lot of folks who can’t handle reality very well are very good artists, and studying their techniques and mind-sets can be a tool of some value for other artists, who don’t necessarily suffer from insanity. This is true even though a lot of artists are accused of it because of their art, and what it makes them do….. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, “he’s not insane, he’s an artist….”   That’s me all over…..   🙂

“Insanity — a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world.” — R. D. Lang  ( R.D. Lang was a psychiatrist who lived in the twentieth century, and wrote a lot of material on mental health, in individuals and society. I like this statement, as it is a perfect representation of reality.)
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A Lecture Upon The Shadow

Stand still, and I will read to thee
A lecture, love, in love’s philosophy.
These three hours that we have spent,
Walking here, two shadows went
Along with us, which we ourselves produc’d.
But, now the sun is just above our head,
We do those shadows tread,
And to brave clearness all things are reduc’d.
So whilst our infant loves did grow,
Disguises did, and shadows, flow
From us, and our cares; but now ’tis not so.
That love has not attain’d the high’st degree,
Which is still diligent lest others see.

Except our loves at this noon stay,
We shall new shadows make the other way.
As the first were made to blind
Others, these which come behind
Will work upon ourselves, and blind our eyes.
If our loves faint, and westwardly decline,
To me thou, falsely, thine,
And I to thee mine actions shall disguise.
The morning shadows wear away,
But these grow longer all the day;
But oh, love’s day is short, if love decay.
Love is a growing, or full constant light,
And his first minute, after noon, is night.

John Donne

No worries…. morning poetry break…. enjoy!….
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We all do some of our best thinking in places that otherwise might not be considered particularly conducive to deep, complex subjects; serendipity comes where it may, though…. and it just occurred to me, in another room that shall be nameless for the sake of delicacy, why I’ve been struggling so hard of late to produce these Pearls.

Over the last few weeks, it seems as if quotes/pearls are hiding from me. It’s been taking me up to three hours a day just to find five pearls worthy of being explored in writing. Very frustrating, even though I read so fast I can cover literally thousands of quotes in an hour…..

What occurred to me is that one of the things that makes me what/who I am is reading books. At the age of 10, due to circumstances beyond my control, I was put in a situation where reading was just about the only form of entertainment available. So, I read, and practice, practice, practice pushed my reading speed up to a point where I could actually read as fast as my mind could absorb the material.

This works out to about 1200 words/minute, basic speed. Deeply complex material, of course, slows it down, and light material allows it to run free, but on average, that number is about right. It works out that it is a perfect speed for consuming one 250-300 page book in one day.

So, I did. I started reading a book a day, and the habit became not merely fixed, but unbreakable. If I go too long without reading, I get physically ill, seriously. Headaches, malaise, distraction, all are caused by not reading enough, and are cured by just a few minutes spent in a novel I’m currently absorbing.

Just letting my eyes work their way over the “words in a line” is soothing; any words will do… cereal boxes, magazines, comics, anything, but a book is best. My mind NEEDS the stimulation that taking in the concepts, ideas, and stories that a book supplies; it’s like breathing to me, I don’t feel right when its smooth functioning is interrupted, and I’ll do almost anything to put it back to rights…..

Thanks, however, to the lasting effects of PTSD, I’ve been unable to concentrate long enough to sit and read. It has been hard, as well, to sublimate by visiting my co-blogger’s sites to read what they are thinking about. And this inability to read sufficiently is what is behind all my difficulties here…. For me, this is an epiphany, for it is a problem with a simple, sustainable solution, easily and immediately applicable.

All I have to do is set aside more time to read, and use a bit of tough-self-love…. I’ll tell myself whatever I need to in order to sit and finish a few books (which, of course, I’ve already got lined up…. it’s not like I haven’t thought of reading, just haven’t dug in to do it….), and all dysfunctional habits, or at least the underlying cause, will disappear like the illusions they really are….

This also, in short order, should act as a spur toward being able to read more blogs, which will be good, too. I’ve been feeling some guilt, something I almost never give in to, because I’ve been unable to get to a lot of sites where I’ve become attached to the authors and their work…. But, I’ve been instructed by at least one of them that I am not to feel guilty, so I won’t. I’ll just be glad I can get back to reading some of them….   and back to eating, er, reading, a book a day….
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There is something to be said, I guess, for falling asleep at 6 PM and sleeping straight through to 4 AM. This process went much more smoothly this morning, after a couple of rough starts. More proof that “sleep is a weapon”, no doubt…..

As usual, after a good effort, I’m a bit let down, not yet having finished the technical aspects of publishing, but done with the creative part. Good practice for learning to enjoy even the negative experiences in life, if only for being the precursors to all the good…. 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!

Flats of unwarranted pebbles slid home….

Ffolkes,
I’m sorry…were the voices in my head bothering you? They bother me sometimes, but I’ve learned to ignore them, mostly, and I tend to forget that others might not like it either. Since I killed my doctor and stopped taking the medications, I’ve felt MUCH better! If they get to be too much, just let me know, and I’ll blow a few of them away; it quiets the rest of them down for a while….

Soon, I’m sure, the pressure on my head will abate…. when change is ubiquitous, one need merely to wait for all things to pass with patience, and all we desire will come to us. And if not, well, we can always run amok. Oh wait, that one is on hold…. that’s right, I signed an agreement not to kill anyone else this month; my lawyer is still recovering from my last outburst. It took all he had to get the insanity plea accepted, and having to do this on a regular basis seems to be affecting his sanity a bit; as an ex-psychiatric technician, I can testify that, despite all medical opinions to the contrary, mental illness is contagious….

“There’s nothing on my mind that couldn’t be expressed by a long insane outburst of hysterical rage.” — Ashleigh Brilliant

But, don’t worry, it can’t be passed through the computer screen, so y’all are perfectly safe. Of course, safe is a relative term, especially when dealing with what I generally write about. I’ve purposely been peppering my work with buzz words for the NSA to find, words like terrorism, or war, or government flunkies, stuff like that. I’m sure that I’ve been on their radar now for a while; it’s kind of fun, trying to see just how much I can get away with saying before they come to have a word with me about it…. It must be the shit-disturber in me….

Ah well, I suppose we should get on with the business of the day…. shall we Pearl?…. Let’s do….
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But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling like dew upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.
— Lord Byron (1788-1824) — Don Juan, Canto iii, Stanza 88

If I could use words like this, then what I produce could conceivably influence millions of folks, for certain. But we all need to know, and observe, our limitations as an artist. Even though a big part of creating something worthwhile consists of going beyond those limits, it is still good to know when to stop, too. I can write a decent haiku, but a poem such as above seems to be beyond my capability. I’ve tried, goodness knows….

I have notebooks full of passionate, complex, really bad poetry that I created when I was young. Free verse, classical format, rhyming couplets, iambic pentameter, I tried all of it at one time or another. I let it sit for years before going back to read it over, and am forced to admit that not only was it not very good, I couldn’t think of any way to improve it. Ah me, I guess I can’t do everything, much as I like to think so…. SIGH…. You’ll just have to settle for Pearls of Virtual Wisdom….   🙂
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“If a sufficient number of people who wanted to stop war really did gather together, they would first of all begin by making war upon those who disagreed with them.  And it is still more certain that they would make war on people who also want to stop wars but in another way.” — Gurdjieff (1873-1949)

Actually, this is not so much of a predictive statement as an observational one. It certainly matches what I know of much of history, and how little the actual reasons for fighting wars are understood by either those who fight in them, or those who cause them to be fought. Neither of those two groups are mutually inclusive, as well, so the reasons that one group may have, or believe they have, for fighting may be (and probably are…) much different from the other groups reasons, stated or actual.

Now, if I can be any less clear in my meaning, please let me know, because I think that paragraph is pretty obscure….

What I’m trying to say is, the folks who get talked into fighting wars don’t fight for the same reasons as the folks who asked, or told, them to fight. That is because the folks who end up fighting are the honorable, dedicated men (and women) who believe that they are protecting the people they love.

The folks who send them to fight are not as honorable, and their reasons for initiating the conflicts are seldom related to people, but rather to money or power, which is what they love. It is a perverted love, yes, but it is nonetheless the primary motivating factor for those who would have power over others, for money equals power in the reality they inhabit.

Gurdijeff’s statement is, I find, too limited in its scope; it doesn’t account for all the different reasons that people are motivated to fight wars. It is a fair and accurate assessment of what is a likely progression of events if men of little purpose beyond their own prejudices are united in cause, because, hey, humans here, not rational creatures by any means, especially in groups….. But humanity is comprised of more than just these folks, and ALL of the different kinds of people in our species have historically resorted to violent means to settle large disputes. It’s a human thing…. not pretty, but there it is, just like a wart that won’t go away…..

So how does one stop war? Hmm… well, I can’t claim to have the answer to a question that several thousand years of human history has shown to be somewhat hard to solve with any lasting effect. I’ve managed to avoid taking part in the actions that our country has involved itself in in my lifetime, having seen none that I could honestly say was as important to fight as the government was trying to tell me it was. If I’m going to die, it will be for an honorable goal, not for someone’s profit margin….

War isn’t going to stop unless we change the whole structure of our culture, and remove the benefits of one person having power over another. It’s a very deep, subtle, and pretty well impossible change, its success resting as it does on changing human nature…. That hasn’t happened in all of history so far, and I don’t see it happening anytime soon… so we’d best stay alert to avoid the worst of the fallout from whatever happens….

If a lawyer and an IRS agent were both drowning, and you could only save one of them, would you go to lunch or read the paper?– Smart Bee (It’s a subtle connection, but it’s there, trust me….)
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“Anger is a tool, not a master. Anger is meant to be tapped into and drawn upon. Used properly, anger is useful. Sloth, apathy, and despair are the enemy. Anger is not. Anger is our friend. Not a nice friend, not a gentle friend, but a very loyal friend. It will always tell us when we have been betrayed. It will always tell us when we have betrayed ourselves. It will always tell us that it is time to act in our own best interests. Anger is not the action itself. It is action’s invitation.” — Julia Cameron  “The Artist’s Way”

Interesting take, and the secret of the berserker….. who is, after all, a martial artist who has channeled his anger into following the path of the Way. I like this viewpoint in its proactive sense; it doesn’t allow anger to control, but instead assumes control of the anger. It is a tricky proposition, at best, but when learned, can be very, very effective as a tool in dealing with outbreaks of violence not of our choosing, which I would hope would be all of them…..  😉

During my years of studying martial arts, I was taught to practice this kind of control. In competition fighting, there are many tricks one can use to get the opponent to make a mistake; one of the most effective is to do something that angers the opponent. In most folks, anger causes the reasoning part of the mind to shut down; actions, or, more accurately, reactions, that occur in response to anger are impulsive, spur-of-the-moment decisions for the most part, and as such, do not always make the best choice of strategy or tactics. If one can maintain one’s own sense of equilibrium in the midst of a physical battle, it becomes a distinct advantage, as the calm person is more capable of processing new information and making more rapid adjustments to meet the needs of the moment.

But, even if one becomes infused with anger, it CAN be channeled constructively, and in truth, when acting under its influence, using proper regulation, it can increase speed, strength, and power by a large factor. If not used correctly, it still adds strength, but the strength is usually misdirected, thus reducing its effectiveness. But, when correctly channeled, one enters the “berserker” state, almost robotic in its precision, and becomes a most formidable weapon of destruction. It’s quite exhilarating, actually….

It has its dangers, as well…. allowing anger to flow completely is accompanied by a release of adrenaline into the blood stream. Adrenaline is a very powerful hormone, affecting every system in the body in some way, and prolonged use of it is deleterious in a number of ways…. In my own case, due to the work I did for many years, and the number of times I had to enter berserker mode, it produced Post Traumatic Stress Dysfunction, with all its attendant wonders…. such a joy…..

So, while this is a healthy attitude to take about one’s own anger, it is not a solution that is without risk. Anger is a volatile emotion, and like any explosive substance, it should be handled with care……

“If you don’t deal with anger, it will deal with you.” — Will Limon
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“If I read a book (and) it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me, I know that is poetry.” — Emily Dickinson

Once again, my dive for pearls is coming up short for poetry…. I’ll have to cheat…. but will do so with an appropriate tip of the hat to current events…. at least, current to me….

Pain has an element of blank;
It cannot recollect
When it began, or if there were
A day when it was not.

It has no future but itself,
Its infinite realms contain
Its past, enlightened to perceive
New periods of pain.
— Emily Dickinson

This is one of my favorite poems from Ms. D. I first read it in high school, but even then it resonated with its insight. Now, of course, it’s as if she could see into my soul, and pluck out my pain to look at like a bug under a microscope…. She must have felt a fair amount of it herself, to achieve such a clear vision of its presence in the spirit of those who have it as constant companion…. No matter, I like it, so it stays….   🙂
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I love this, and it is a perfect ending pearl…. as well, it is a trailer, as it were, for another Pearl, coming later….
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I’m shooting for a bit of variety today, and actually will try to get some productive stuff done in the Big Blue Room. Well, as much as can be accomplished on a weekend anyway…. I also want to mention that I will be posting two Pearls today… The second will be posted after this one has been let fly, and is a departure into another area…. photo pearling…. I hope you enjoy it, as I hope you enjoy this one…. 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!

Alone with brazen pastries….

Ffolkes,
I started to write about retirement this morning, and how the system screws with us over our own money, but it turned into a bitch-fest, and I really don’t feel like going there, so I deleted those two paragraphs, and am starting over….. much better….

I’m barely awake yet, and I was already getting all worked up over the fat cats in Congress and the government organizations that eat all our money for their perks (such as subsidized healthcare and retirement, at our expense….). It is getting all-too-easy to rant on the subject, I’m afraid…. all I have to do is think about it, and my fists clench up, along with my jaw, and I start looking for something at which to spew….

Such instant angst is counter-productive, when it arises so quickly; it tends to cause spew before thought, which may be satisfying from a cathartic viewpoint, but seldom lends itself to good writing. I’ll often find myself three paragraphs deep in a rant, with no place to take it to finish it off; if one wishes to reach a destination, one must plan a route there first….. The first and only thing on one’s mind at those moments is to shoot, shoot, and shoot again, not particularly caring how many times one hits the target, as long as we can get it to duck, or produce some reaction.

Ah me, t’is all moot, anyway, as I’m not going there just now. It would be too easy, and at the same time, too depressing to think about stuff like that so early in the day…. Instead, we’ll just dive into the WWW for a few pearls, and see if we can’t find something a bit more productive to talk over….. sound good? Okay, then, let’s be off to Pearl…..
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“In boxing they have the “undisputed heavyweight champion.” Well, if it’s undisputed what’s all the fighting about? Undisputed means everybody  agrees. Some guys are getting beat up pretty badly over something apparently we all agree on.” — George Carlin

SIGH…. I miss George. Don’t you miss George? I do, a lot. Nobody could impale the dignity of the government like he could, effortlessly. With either a dead-pan face, or a sly, knowing grin, he could pull anyone along with him into his world, where wickedly accurate social commentary was commonplace, generally skewering the reputation of some public figure or institution that definitely deserved it.

There are truly only a few human souls that could approach the stature that his genius grew into; his body of work will someday be the subject of complete college courses on social history, I am certain. I’m also certain that we will never see his like again, more’s the pity….

“It’s not that we don’t have enough scoundrels to curse; it’s that we don’t have enough good men to curse them.” — G. K. Chesterton, ILN, 3/14/08
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“One of the inadequate preparations being young allows is that you are not prepared for the time when you will be old.” — Smart Bee


In this case, who cares? My only thought was to wonder just exactly was going through both of their minds just then…. though knowing that couldn’t make it any less funny or cute…. found on Facebook….
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Tho’ lost to sight, to mem’ry dear        / Thou ever wilt remain;
One only hope my heart can cheer,–       / The hope to meet again.
Oh fondly on the past I dwell,            / And oft recall those hours
When, wand’ring down the shady dell,      / We gathered the wild-flowers.
Yes, life then seem’d one pure delight,   / Tho’ now each spot looks drear;
Yet tho’ thy smile be lost to sight,      / To mem’ry thou art dear.
Oft in the tranquil hour of night,        / When stars illume the sky,
I gaze upon each orb of light,            / And wish that thou wert by.
I think upon that happy time,             / That time so fondly lov’d,
When last we heard the sweet bells chime, / As thro’ the fields we rov’d.
Yes, life then seem’d one pure delight,   / Tho’ now each spot looks drear;
Yet tho’ thy smile be lost to sight,      / To mem’ry thou art dear.
— George Linley (1798-1865) — Song

I’m pretty sure I’ve included this triple verse poem before, but I can’t help it; I love these! So, just enjoy it for it’s creativity and competence, and we’ll move on….
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“In search of cognitive dissonance…” — Smart Bee

Perfect! I’ve been searching for just this concept, oddly enough. It is the perfect accompanying phrase to go along with “Exploring Consensual Reality” I believe… let’s try it out….

“Exploring consensual reality, in search of cognitive dissonance….”   Yep, it works just fine… and I think it will be a clearer indication of what I try to accomplish here every day than just the initial part. I do explore reality as I see it, but much of what I end up examining can be put in the realm of dissonance more easily than it can in any other category.

Of course, that may merely be an effect of the observation process; there is certainly more dissonance than harmony out there to be observed in society. Perhaps it will help me to look more closely at events, to seek out the harmony that I know must be hidden somewhere…. perhaps not.

On second reflection, however, I don’t believe I’ll make the change to the title of this blog, at least not now…. For one thing, I’m not sure I want to go in to that part of the Dashboard today, to try to figure out how to make the change in the Appearance tab. And for another, perhaps it is concentrating too hard on just one side of the coin. I already tend to look at things with a cynical eye, and searching directly for dissonance could conceivably become habitual.

There…. not bad, eh? Four paragraphs of waffling, all over a non-event prompted by someone’s randomly sardonic wit. Does this mean I’m a writer? Or does it mean I should go back to bed? Tough questions…. neither of which is particularly crucial to the day. I suppose I should just let this die a natural death, and get on with the remaining bits of drivel….
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Okay…. I’m going to be a bit narcissistic here… Below is my philosophy… I mention it occasionally, but have not posted it here since last year (I think)…. any who, this is what I developed about 25 years ago, when I thought to myself, “Hey, if Plato, Sartre, and Descartes can have one, why not me?” So, here is my take on Life and All That Stuff….

Peruaosophy
Or
The wisdom of pearls…
(The world is my oyster; which way to the pearls?)

Axioms

1)  I think I am; that’s close enough.

2) The nature of the Universe is Change.
Unpredictable, innovative transformation of Reality is the Norm.
If you have a problem with this, you’re in for a rough ride in Life.

3) Thou art God, you know.  Let’s do lunch.

4) Excellence is its’ own reward.

5) Girls think differently.  So do boys.  Don’t fight it.

6) Axiom #2 X axiom #5 = And God so loved the world, He said, “Quit whining!”

7) Do your Duty.   Respect Life.   Honor the Truth.   Share your Love.

8)  Go back.  Everything you need to know is in the first seven axioms.

gigoid

“When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking.” — Albert Einstein
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After some serious threats of falling into complete disarray, today’s effort has come to a satisfactory state, and may even fly; it’s a bit ungainly, but so is a bumblebee, and they do fine…. It doesn’t matter now, anyway, as it is done, and I’m not going to do it over after so much blood, sweat, and coffee…. I did manage to avoid subjects that might make me cry today, easy as that is these days of active PTSD…. ah well, t’is done, and all will be well in the end, it is said… 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!