For a time, it looked as if I was going to make it work….. Then, of course, Reality stepped in to remind me not to make assumptions like that, so, I put aside my anger, and disappointment, and unloaded….
No, sorry, this isn’t going to work, and I’m not speaking in any fictional voice this time…. I had thought to begin today’s Pearl with another spate of fictional fantasy, but, the stuff that is coming to the surface isn’t what I was hoping it would be, quality-wise, and I just don’t feel like forcing it out, then polishing it to a point it would fly unassisted. I don’t like to post stuff that comes out like that; I feel like I’m settling for less than my best….
So, here I am, chatting away, nattering, really, with nothing particularly compelling to say, or discuss…. I guess I could talk about my Life, such as it is, but I doubt that would be any more compelling, and would most likely end up as being much more embarrassing, on a personal level. Besides, I have found that blogging tends to magnify the apparent size of problems, at least in the sense that issues sound worse than they are, and people get the wrong impression of what is real, inadvertently causing them distress…. It’s best not to get too detailed in these moments of sharing….
I suppose I could mention a new piece of information that I realized regarding my SS disability. Once it begins, I am forevermore restricted from working at all for pay. This, apparently, includes writing books…. If I publish a book, any money I make from its sale will be deducted from what SS pays me as benefits, because it would be viewed as income, meaning, to them, I am able to work…. So, in order to be able to enjoy my retirement without worrying about whether or not I can make anything from what I might write, I must forgo all attempts to better my situation, and must accept no more in compensation than they are pleased to give me, until I die….
From one aspect, I can see the virtue in this, as it seems to say that the money should only be given to people who are unable to make money any other way than the accepted forms of work. In other words, if one is educated, and able to use their mind for acquiring income, without using the body, then they are not qualified for disability, no matter how badly disabled they may be, or how much it costs them to perform whatever mental functions they do to make money; writing, speaking, etc. It doesn’t seem to matter that they may be doing all that in pain, or at great physical cost; if they make money, they are disqualified to the extent that they are allowed to make no more than they receive from SS….
As usual with any federal bureaucracy, this policy is treated as if it is a religious tract, and the people who make decisions about whether or not to allow exemptions or exceptions to the rule are chosen for their unwillingness to make any changes at all. They are bureaucrats down to the bone, and their sole purpose in life is to maintain the status quo in re: federal regulations, to make sure NOTHING is done to challenge their validity, or make them more flexible, and thus, more able to help the people for whom they are ostensibly designed. That would make too much sense, and would never be allowed to be taken under consideration in any federal institution.
So, I have to decide if I can make more from “potential” book sales than I would make, for certain, as a disabled retiree…. which is a scary proposition, to be sure. There is no guarantee that anything I publish would sell well… One may hope, but it wouldn’t be wise to count too heavily on the tastes of the general public to support me in my golden years…. That particular grouping is a bit too unpredictable to make that something worth betting on with real money…. People are too random to ever let myself fall into that trap…. But, there is also my pride to consider, and my belief in myself….
Ah well, having reached an age where I can use my mind to look ahead, as well as behind, I know the best thing to do for now is NOTHING. I’ll just go along for a while, and see how I like living on disability, and whether the amount I’m able to count on will be enough for my wants…. I know it will meet my needs, for I’ve been doing that for over two years now, on less than half what I’ll be getting….
If what I will be making is enough to fix my financial picture, set up a legacy, and get some traveling done, then I’ll just go with the flow for a while…. Then, when I’ve got several books ready for publishing, I’ll maybe take a chance, and put them on the market…. I figure I’ll need to make about a half-million or so to be able to cover my retirement for the remainder of my time, so, after a time of waiting, I will have a better chance at making it work…. Hey, it’s a plan, anyway…. Even if it doesn’t come to fruition, it’s will give me a direction in which to travel…..
Well, that was certainly chatty and informative, wasn’t it? Being positive y’all are mostly asleep by now, I’ll quickly change directions, and see if the cabin movement will wake anyone up, without frightening anyone with loud noises…. I’m not sure where all this personal chat stuff came from; I guess I’ve been brooding more than I thought, being forced, again, to wait for the bureaucracy to finish grinding its wheels…. I’ve got verbal confirmation, but, so far, nothing else…. Oh well… Since this intro has grown beyond all rational bounds, I’d best be off to dive…. Shall we Pearl?
I’m uncertain at this juncture whether a rant is on tap, so we’ll begin with an old-school pearl, to see how the waters are today…. Random pattern, with, hmm, let’s see, I know…. I’ll keep the word “truth” in mind today as I cruise, using it as the touchstone for picking today’s pearls, and we’ll see what we can come up with for your edification, and positive delectation…..
“It matters not what you are thought to be, but what you are.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 785
“You thought, as a boy, that a mage is one who can do anything. So I thought, once. So did we all. And the truth is that as a man’s real power grows and his knowledge widens, ever the way he can follow grows narrower: until at last he chooses nothing, but does only and wholly what he _must_ do.” — Ursula K. LeGuin, _A Wizard of Earthsea_
“It is not enough that we swallow truth: we must feed upon it, as insects do on the leaf, till the whole heart be colored by its qualities, and show its food in every fibre.” — Coleridge
“The goal of all life is death.” — Sigmund Freud
“Beware of me, for I am a poet!” — Friedrich Nietzsche, “Thus Spake Zarathustra”
Well, that turned out fairly well….. Let’s see what else we can find…..
“.. does your DRESSING ROOM have enough ASPARAGUS?” — Zippy the Pinhead
Whoops! 😳 Sorry, couldn’t help myself…. One more, then I’ll leave you be for the moment….
“Being intelligent is not a felony. But most societies evaluate it as at least a misdemeanor.” — Lazarus Long
There you go, a complete, accurate take on truth in advertising in modern America…. Really, it is…. Oh, hell, just let is simmer for a while, until it gets to a consistency you can use….. Meanwhile, we’ll go on….
I had hoped that a poem was percolating in my head, but, if so, it’s not giving out any advance notices…. so, I will retreat into one of my default positions, and find an appropriate piece by another of my favorites…. We’ll see what Google comes up with today…. Okay, this will do nicely…. Here is one from a most powerful voice; the poem has nothing to do with anything in particular for me today, I just like it….. and so will you, I think….
SWEENEY AMONG THE NIGHTINGALES
APENECK SWEENEY spreads his knees
Letting his arms hang down to laugh,
The zebra stripes along his jaw
Swelling to maculate giraffe.
The circles of the stormy moon
Slide westward toward the River Plate,
Death and the Raven drift above
And Sweeney guards the horned gate.
Gloomy Orion and the Dog
Are veiled; and hushed the shrunken seas;
The person in the Spanish cape
Tries to sit on Sweeney’s knees
Slips and pulls the table cloth
Overturns a coffee-cup,
Reorganized upon the floor
She yawns and draws a stocking up;
The silent man in mocha brown
Sprawls at the window-sill and gapes;
The waiter brings in oranges
Bananas figs and hothouse grapes;
The silent vertebrate in brown
Contracts and concentrates, withdraws;
Rachel née Rabinovitch
Tears at the grapes with murderous paws;
She and the lady in the cape
Are suspect, thought to be in league;
Therefore the man with heavy eyes
Declines the gambit, shows fatigue,
Leaves the room and reappears
Outside the window, leaning in,
Branches of wisteria
Circumscribe a golden grin;
The host with someone indistinct
Converses at the door apart,
The nightingales are singing near
The Convent of the Sacred Heart,
And sang within the bloody wood
When Agamemnon cried aloud,
And let their liquid droppings fall
To stain the stiff dishonored shroud.
~~ T.S. Eliot
Okay, so I’ve decided to cheat…. I’m feeling lazy, and late, so I’m going to fall back on some of the material I’ve written in the past…. Below you will find two Pearls, both of which were created sometime in 2006 or 2007; it’s hard to tell, but from the format, and the placement in my archives (which are NOT clearly labeled for posterity….), that is about when these first appeared. Both were written for the 250 or so ffolkes who received it when I was sending them out at NSH, from my office in Program 3…. The first is from a Friday, the second is from the following Tuesday, I think…. Any who, I think they’ll be perfect for today’s mood….
Fit is never a problem…
No I don’t know, so don’t ask. It is Friday, and it promises to be very….interesting. And it has already been a somewhat remarkable week, in perhaps too many ways. I can’t recall feeling this fatigued, even on a Friday, for a long time. Some of it is no doubt medication related, but the brain is not just tired, but deep-fried. Hence….
Warning: Whimsical when bored.
Paradise : two cubes with dots on them.
Paradox : Dr. Kildare & Doc Holliday
“Consciousness is that which it is not, and is not that which it is.” — Sartre
“This writing business. Pencils and whatnot. Overrated, if you ask me.” — Winnie the Pooh
Y’all take care out there….
Next, this little gem, from a few days later….
if you have to ask….
When I am distressed I tend to retreat; I think that is a natural reaction. What may be the important thing to consider is to where we retreat. What gives us shelter from Reality and its’ harsh and painful nature? Most times I’ll pick up a book, and try to find something in it that eases the pain, or at least postpones it until I can deal. Here is what I found today……
“It did not matter, after all. He was only one man. One man’s fate is not important.
If it is not, what is?
He could not endure those remembered words.”
— Ursula K. Le Guin
Too, too deep, and yet deeper still we shall go, in search of a Truth…
Y’all take care out there…..
So, there you go…. a double blast from the past…. I hope you enjoyed it…. 🙂
Alright, so it turned into a real battle today; this Pearl did NOT come quietly….. But, it’s done. Let’s see how it drapes on the wall…. Aside from the altogether-too-long intro section, not too bad. The intro, though not quite classifiable as a rant, nonetheless used up most of what I might have had to say about either politics or religion today, so, they get a rest, no doubt well-deserved…. I try not to give them very much slack; they already have things too much their own way….
Any who, it all works, I think, for another attempt to rescue my head from tearing itself to shreds from inside…. which is often how it feels in there…. Don’t think too much about it, it will only give you a headache, like it does me…. Better to just ignore it, and now that you’ve finished today’s torturous path through the wilds of Neddom, (homeland of the dubious few, the ONLY place where gigoid’s rules are valid), you can congratulate yourself at having gotten through the experience without bruises, bloodshed, or excessive stains on your character…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.