Yet another hallucination to talk to….


17. “When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.”

~~ Instructions for life ~~


“Sphere Within A Sphere”, Trinity College, Dublin

Hajime…. Officially, the celebration of this date among those in the world who embrace Christianity as their personal form of religion (delusion), began a bit over 9 hours ago, when it passed midnight in Greenwich, England. For me, that’s fortunate, for it means I now have only 16 hours more to remain secluded; it should be safe for me to go out and about by the time this part of the world goes dark for the day. SIGH…. I hate to be stuck indoors on what promises to be a fairly bright, if cool day here in California, but, it’s best for everyone if I avoid crowds, or the chance of too much interaction with the natives on such a day. My patience, as I found yesterday on my long walk, is just about gone; if I hear one more ‘cute’ version of Jingle Bells, the results could be catastrophic… & not just for me….

It’s a good thing I treasure, and enjoy my solitude; if I find a need to leave the house today, I’ll talk myself out of it, without the attendant guilt, which is, in the final analysis, merely a remnant of early conditioning, long thrown into the trash heap of luggage left behind. I’ve come to terms with the fact of my own difference from those I call ‘mundanes’; it’s too bad they don’t seem to be able to do the same. A bit of reciprocity is a good thing in life, for it mimics reality by it’s flexible amiability, and willingness to just ‘be’…. but, that’s okay, too. They can’t help being the way they are; they gave up thinking for themselves when they accepted the idea of having been the lab experiment of some supernatural, misogynistic bully, who generally seems to display the manners of a two-year-old….

But, that’s just me, I guess, & I don’t hold their belief against them. I also, however, try not to use it against them, by taking advantage of their gullibility any more than is necessary for personal security (which is more than can be said of their ‘preachers’ who use their belief to manipulate their minds endlessly, and shamelessly. If there is a viable candidate in reality for feeling guilt, they are the ones who deserve it….). It isn’t very hard, for they’ve been conditioned since they first learned to understand their own language, by their parents, first, who pass along their own conditioning, then by peers also under the thrall, and, by the clergy, the bureaucrats, the predators of humanity, who use these ‘mundanes’ as their own personal slaves…

Hmm… this has turned a bit rantish, hasn’t it? I really didn’t mean to get into a discussion of what I consider the futility of such religious holidays this morning; when I sat down I had the intention of going humorous. I guess, in thinking about how much religion has stolen from humanity, including much of our potential, and any hope for change unless stopped, it gets to my sense of justice, and, voilá, I rant. Oh, well. So be it. I’m a curmudgeon, and I don’t buy any of the bullshit they’re trying to sell. It’s my own thing, and, to keep from alienating anyone who feels the need for such nonsense as conflict, with attendant emotional investment, regarding ideas (the sure mark of a mundane, to my mind….), I’ll cease and desist, here, and now…. Besides… We have better stuff we can do; the Pearl for today is, if naught else, highly entertaining….

We have some rather fine music, (unless you’re tone deaf, or, deluded, you’ll like it….), a decent, if somewhat metaphorically metaphysical poem, and the usual collection of wisdom from the sages of the ages. It’s kept me (relatively) sane for the past couple hours, putting it together, so, it’s all good in my book. I’ve read enough of that book now, so, why don’t we get the slow on the toad, eh?….

Shall we Pearl?

“The world has taken on a thickness of vulgarity
that raises a spiritual man’s contempt to the violence of a passion.”

~~ Charles Baudelaire ~~


roy orbison mtv

Image from via Google Images

Don’t bother asking, because I can’t explain it. As I pondered what music to include today, all I could hear was this man’s voice. Since it’s one of the finest voices to ever lift itself in song, why not? I hope you enjoy it; I picked a collection with most, if not all, of the cuts from A Black and White Night, one of the most incredible performances ever seen by some of the best musicians alive, or dead, ever to play & sing together, with Roy’s brilliance leading the charge…. Incredible is one of the few words that can come close to describing this night’s music…. Abondanza!….


Roy Orbison & Friends





Stray Cats

The veils that billow and fold
between dreams and reality
may sometimes part,
showing the visions of one to the other,
blending, bleeding as one,
only to bring us up short,
closely jammed against immovable fate.

Still, we keep our watch,
seeking to find the vision
that brings with it the mark of reality’s regard,
a humble mind, and a compassionate heart.

Events of broad impact draw us away again,
distracting with shiny glitter and tinny music,
leaving our feelings raw and bruised,
the victim of universal disregard.

Now, in the twilight of years, the music is fading,
and the glitter has all gone….
yet the memory of visions remains sharp and clear,
melancholy reminders of reality’s promises,





Naked Pearls

All paths lead to, and, from here….


“Confusion is the only true road to understanding.”

~~ Subtle Bee ~~


“In matters of belief, he who is absolutely sure he is right
is almost certainly dead wrong.”

~~ Kelvin Throop ~~


“If you cannot find peace within yourself,
you will never find it anywhere else.”

~~ Marvin Gaye ~~


“In order to be, never try to seem.”

~~ Sagacious Bee ~~


“Happiness depends upon ourselves.”

~~ Aristotle ~~


“When the ten thousand things are seen in their oneness
We return to the source to remain where we have always been.”

~~ Seng Ts’un. ~~


“Do you know that disease and death must needs overtake us,
no matter what we are doing?
What do you wish to be doing when it overtakes you?
If you have anything better to be doing when you are so overtaken,
get to work on that.”

~~ Epictetus ~~



I find myself, again, at the end, without knowing fully what I did to get here. But, the process is one I’ve learned to trust, (with qualification, of course…), which means I can bring it to a successful close, should I so choose. And, I do. So choose, that is. In fact, I’m done, and, I’m gone…. until tomorrow, naturally, when I’ll be back to torment, er, entertain y’all once again. Just try to stop 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.


“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

Featured Image -- 2780

À bientôt, mon cherí….

Forlorn moments of epistemological apprehension….


The unconscious mind is a powerful thing, especially when its function spills over into the world of our conscious perceptions…. Today’s title enters that twilight zone for certain…. Beyond that, this deponent sayeth naught, lest the quest to understand bring me to the brink of insanity. Let it suffice to know that, as far as the title of today’s Pearl goes, I wrought better than I knew, and leave it at that…. I think all of us will be happier in the long run….

Thus it begins…. the slow, inevitable corruption of morality always begins with a single manipulation, performed “in their best interests”…. In this particular case, we are only speaking of our philosophical intentions, rather than any connected to actual manipulation of events, or reality. But, that really doesn’t matter at all, because the corruption doesn’t know that, or care. The weather change whereof I speak happens in the heart of the manipulator, at the moment the decision is made to alter the truth in order to achieve a certain result. Once that decision is made, it is irrevocable, and further manipulations will follow, as certainly as it follows the air will be clearer after it rains….

In light of the simple fact that I’ve only consumed about four ounces of coffee so far, it might be a bit dangerous to start such a discussion, one with the apparent depth of this one. In fact, the subtle and complex arrangement of thoughts that brought this on seems to be fading from my mind as I sit here and type…. It seemed like a good idea when I started, but, somehow, it’s just a little too deep to dive into first off. I know what it is I was trying to say, but, I’m not sure, at this point, I have the wherewithal to say it with the right degree of clarity…. I’m thinking we’ll shift focus here, and go on to more appropriate material for an intro….

Not that philosophy, or, in this case, epistemology, a branch of philosophy that investigates the origin, nature, methods, and limits of human knowledge, is an inappropriate subject for that…. it’s merely a bit too deep for my current state of intellectual comprehension to cope with efficiently, or more importantly, accurately…. I slept like a log last night, after a night of no sleep at all, and I’m a bit fuzzy thus far this morning; in this state, I’ll be lucky to be able to discuss the relevance of the wisdom of Daffy Duck, so, I think we’ll let the study of the meanings of human knowledge wait a bit longer before we try to take it on…. and, in the process, we’ll keep from making judgments about the morality of manipulation of that knowledge….

It’s too bad, really, as it would have made a great beginning for an epic rant about the mess in Washington D.C…… especially the current budget crisis, brought on by the immoral, not to mention ill-advised, manipulation of events, by a small group of fanatics who found themselves in a unique position, one of having more influence than their actual degree of relevance would normally command…. They took their opportunity in hand, and, being the truly ignorant bastards they are, used it for their own purposes, with complete disregard for the actual dictates of reality, or for the wishes and desires of their own constituents…. As far as I can tell, there isn’t a single point of view one can take in this that doesn’t end up exposing them to as immoral, and, in the final analysis, ignorant and selfish, with marked tendencies toward assholiness….

However, as it sits now, what has happened is that we’ve blathered enough to call this an intro, even though it didn’t introduce anything other than a state of confusion…. but, around here, that can be considered as the status quo for this time of day…. Okay, so this is where I stamp your papers, and say….

Shall we Pearl?…. In fact, let’s do it times three….

“The world is so constructed, that if you wish to enjoy its pleasures, you must also endure its pains. Whether you like it or not, you cannot have one without the other.” — Swami Brahmananda

“Life is not the way it is supposed to be. It is the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.” — Virginia Satir

“A good friend, who points out mistakes and imperfections, and rebukes evil, is to be respected as if he reveals a secret of hidden treasure.” — Buddha

First, a word from the Founding Fathers….

“I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.” — Thomas Jefferson

Now, a bit of insanity, on the identical subject, from a more modern source….

“By all accounts, though, an end seems near for the impasse that has once again exposed a government so divided that it sometimes borders on dysfunction. Though the House failed to muster sufficient support for a conservatives-only bill in the GOP-majority chamber on Tuesday, enough Republicans there seem likely to join House Democrats to approve a bipartisan version if it can be approved by the Senate and sent to them. ”

I was reading the news last night, online, and the latest reports from the capitol say that a deal will get done prior to today’s deadline…. as it always does…. The difference in the deals that get done and those that don’t get done are relatively insignificant, in terms of real life; they only make a difference to those involved in whatever struggle is current. Nobody really understands any of it anyway… not the politicians who spout all the platitudes and figures, not the experts who supply the detailed analysis of those figures, and certainly not the public, who don’t even WANT to understand the complexities…. which is something the pundits know well, and, in fact, depend on to assist them in their endeavors…

“Morality is a private and costly luxury.” — Smart Bee

Sadly, this statement, though found without attribution, was made by an observer who knows human nature well, one who has obviously observed our history closely, drawing from those observations the only possible conclusion…. Society, as exemplified by its leaders, in both the secular and clerical arenas, loudly and boldly tout the twin concepts of morality and ethics, laying claim to them as if they were a coat left lying about. The noise they make in making these claims is generally quite noisome, to my ears, but, serves to cover their asses when later accused of impropriety; they can point to their strident statements as being proof of sincerity, though, logically, sincerity and morality have no real connection.

However, sad as the statement is, it is accurate, and never more so when looking at the budget crisis that we are witnessing today. The assholes who inhabit Congress, especially the conservatives in the House of Representatives, ( an oxymoron, if I’ve ever heard one…. ), DO NOT represent the people who elected them, not even close…. They lie to them, they steal from them, they follow their own agendas, but, they DON’T represent them…

How can they? They are not even in the same economic class as most of them, and never have been…. and, please, DON’T try to tell me you don’t think we have economic classes in this society…. Sorry, ffolkes, but American society is NOT classless, and never has been…. It has ALWAYS been separated into classes, based primarily on economic factors, with those who have more money having more influence and, more importantly, more rights, than those with less money…. The most cursory examination of history, of the world, and of this country, will show this as a fact of little possibility of dispute.

The average US income (which doesn’t give a completely accurate picture, but is useful to make the point….) is somewhere in the tens of thousands of dollars ($10,001 to $99,999, somewhere between the two….). This translates into a basic demographic breakdown of being a very few people making more than they can possibly use, as contrasted by a moderate number of folks comfortably content, though unsure of their stability, and a very large number of people who are struggling to even eat on a daily basis…. This accounts for 99% of the population, and about 1% of the actual money available to that 99%….

On the other side of that coin, we have a few thousand people, the remaining 1%, who have 99% of the money, all making more than a million dollars a year, on average…. Of this tiny percentage, we find that ALL of the Senators, about half of the House members, and the President, of course, are all part of that 1% of the population, a part that has never had to worry about where their next meal came from…. I wish that this were not true, but, these are facts, with the supporting evidence available to anyone with a library card, which they can use to find these numbers….

Of course, the fact that they are “more successful” in economic terms is only proof, in their minds, of their inherent right to make the decisions for everyone else in the country, even though they have no real grasp of the needs of those people. The fact of their disconnection from reality cannot penetrate their sense of entitlement, and they fully BELIEVE in their own mandate…. “Somehow, it never hurts to step back occasionally and ask yourself “Am I contributing to the solution of the problem or aiding in making a bigger problem?”…. this is a process, and a question, that never occurs to them…

This is why I call them delusional, and can honestly claim that I believe them to be clinically insane; a person so disconnected to what is real cannot be considered sane…. except, perhaps, in an insane society. Making assumptions about having the right to decide about the wants and needs of others is a sure sign that one has an unreasonable belief in their own importance to the universe, an assumption that can only be termed as a delusion. This kind of behavior is one society cannot afford to allow, because, if nothing else, these types of delusions are dangerous to the rest of us.  Allowing these “crazies”, for wont of a more accurate term, to act out their fantasies in the real world tends to lead to trouble for more than just themselves…..

“Lord, Lord, how this world is given to lying! I grant you I was down and out of breath; and so was he. But we rose both at an instant, and fought a long hour by Shrewsbury clock.” — William Shakespeare (1564-1616), King Henry IV — Act v, Sc. 4

I’m down, and out of breath, from shouting into the wind, at the mountain… A futile task, at best, I know, but, what else can one do at 5 AM? Mountain moving is my specialty, after all…. The truth of the matter is, after two hours by Shrewsbury clock, I’m tired of shouting at the mountain; it’s hard work, to little effect. I suppose it’s all I can do, and that is why I do it…. It’s cheaper, and, in the long run, less troublesome to my spirit and karma, than going out, buying a gun, and making a list of targets…. Less chance of getting shot back at, too…

There comes a time, however, when even I must admit to the futility of this particular task, and grow a bit discouraged…. I’m just not the kind of person who can give up completely, though, so, I’ll be back to rant on this subject another time…. “They” are always out there doing something on which I can comment. For the time being, I’ll leave you with this final lament…

“The world has taken on a thickness of vulgarity that raises a spiritual man’s contempt to the violence of a passion.” — Charles Baudelaire

No words of mine can add to this….

This was the land’s end: the last fingers, knuckled and rheumatic,
Cramped on nothing. Black
Admonitory cliffs, and the sea exploding
With no bottom, or anything on the other side of it,
Whitened by the faces of the drowned.
Now it is only gloomy, a dump of rocks —-
Leftover soldiers from old, messy wars.
The sea cannons into their ear, but they don’t budge.
Other rocks hide their grudges under the water.The cliffs are edged with trefoils, stars and bells
Such as fingers might embroider, close to death,
Almost too small for the mists to bother with.
The mists are part of the ancient paraphernalia —-
Souls, rolled in the doom-noise of the sea.
They bruise the rocks out of existence, then resurrect them.
They go up without hope, like sighs.
I walk among them, and they stuff my mouth with cotton.
When they free me, I am beaded with tears.Our Lady of the Shipwrecked is striding toward the horizon,
Her marble skirts blown back in two pink wings.
A marble sailor kneels at her foot distractedly, and at his foot
A peasant woman in black
Is praying to the monument of the sailor praying.
Our Lady of the Shipwrecked is three times life size,
Her lips sweet with divinity.
She does not hear what the sailor or the peasant is saying —-
She is in love with the beautiful formlessness of the sea.

Gull-colored laces flap in the sea drafts
Beside the postcard stalls.
The peasants anchor them with conchs. One is told:
“These are the pretty trinkets the sea hides,
Little shells made up into necklaces and toy ladies.
They do not come from the Bay of the Dead down there,
But from another place, tropical and blue,
We have never been to.
These are our crêpes. Eat them before they blow cold.”

~~ Sylvia Plath ~~


This pearl is of a type I don’t often use; I chose the pearls first, with an eye to randomness, but also a focus, on gathering quotes that had something to say about Life At Large, so to speak… I think it came out pretty well, but, then, I’m pretty easy…. Y’all may feel differently; if so, feel free to let me know….. though that won’t change any of them, at least I’ll know they’ve been perused….. 🙂   Sneaky, eh?….

“Duty is heavier than a mountain, death lighter than a feather.” — Robert Jordan

“Take Idaho’s license plates – they say ‘Famous Potatoes.’   Then there’s New Hampshire – their license plates say ‘Live Free … or DIE!!’  I don’t know, I think that somewhere between ‘Famous Potatoes’ and ‘Live Free or Die’ the truth lies.  And I think it’s closer to ‘Famous Potatoes.'” — George Carlin

“We think that if we can label a thing we have understood it.” — Sangharakshita

“I am mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, the sale of a book can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too.” — Thomas Jefferson

When the ten thousand things are seen in their oneness
We return to the source to remain where we have always been.

— Seng Ts’un.

“We are more sensible of what is done against custom than against Nature.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Of Eating of Flesh, Tract 1

“For it is the doom of men that they forget.” — Merlin

Once again, I’ve come to the end of a day’s Pearl, without realizing just how close it was to being done….. I suppose that’s a good thing, indicating that I’m well focused on the task at hand…. or, it could just mean I’m oblivious…. Who cares? Not me…. Any who, let’s see how typo-free it is….. or isn’t….

Okay, so much for that…. Several tweaks, adds, and contortions later, it’s done, and just in time, as the street repair trucks just pulled up, and the jackhammers are starting to sing their repulsive tune…. I think I’ll go somewhere, and get some breakfast…. 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.


Luring nuns back into the habit….


Whereas, the production of this blog is essential to the proper functioning of my mind, and, hence, my life, and, whereas, producing said blog has saved my sanity on numerous occasions, and, whereas, nobody has stepped forward to tell me to stop, it is hereby decreed that publication will continue until death, or, more appropriately, until someone cries for mercy…….  gigoid has spoken… so be it….

Sorry, just have to make it official now and then, to appease the gods of bureaucracy, that, despite having been retired for about three and a half years now, still have some influence on my actions, volitional as they may be at other times. It’s kind of like knocking on wood, or throwing salt over your shoulder when you spill it; old habits and superstitions die hard, and one never knows when one of the elder gods will take offense at something we’ve done to unconsciously insult them. It’s best to cover all the bases, as it were, right? No point in taking foolish chances, not in reality; it bites……

Now that is out of the way, I can dive right into today’s display of temper, or outburst of creativity, or just plain drivel (as is usually the case…), searching for just the perfect pearl to start things off…. You see, it’s all a random process, and I never know beforehand just what I’ll be doing, or where we’ll be heading off to to find something worth writing about…..

I’ve been watching the news, and the usual suspects are busily carrying on the normal course of idiocy out there in the public venue; I’ve even seen a couple of items that stirred me to write, almost…. However, the afterglow of contentment I have in my attitude bag from the cruise seems to have blunted my rant mode, at least temporarily….

Who knows? Not me…..It could pop out at any time, so, we’ll see what’s up when I begin to peruse Smart Bee in a few moments…. The first viewing of that little gem is always a surprise, as I never know if it will cooperate, or pretend to be dumber than it looks. It can be a pain, fortunately infrequently, but still on a regular basis, and I have no way to determine how it will act beforehand…. yet another example of how metaphor is everywhere in life, once one learns to see and appreciate its immense variety, as well as its ubiquitous presence as part of the fabric of reality…. which  brings us around once again to where we need to be, poised and ready to dive in and begin the search for pearls of virtual wisdom…..

Shall we Pearl?…..

“When the ten thousand things are seen in their oneness, we return to the source to remain where we have always been.” — Seng Ts’un.

“Place your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

Since we were talking about metaphor, and the power of the Metaphorse in reality (well, I  was talking about it…..), the above is a perfect lead-in to a discussion of the finer points of how to take advantage of this phenomenon, or, at the very least, minimize the damage that NOT knowing, or not caring, can bring to those who ignore its power…..

Fortunately for y’all, I suspect my brain is still a bit too fuzzy to get into the subject deeply enough to make the correct point, or, sigh, to make the point correctly, (for any grammar Nazis out there….); making it incorrectly could conceivably cause even more damage…. Naturally, I’ll resort to my tried and true method for hiding my own shortcomings, and use the very power of which I speak, to put the message into an old-school pearl…. The point of this one should, by now, be completely transparent…. if not, well, there’s always tomorrow….. To preclude any whining, this will NOT be on the Quiz…..

“Beware the man of one book.” — St. Thomas Aquinas

“The impression forces itself upon one that men measure by false standards, that everyone seeks power, success, riches for himself, and admires others who attain them, while undervaluing the truly precious thing in life.” — Sigmund Freud

“Force has no place where there is need of skill.” — Herodotus

“It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.” — G. K. Chesterton, The Cleveland Press, 3/1/21

“I don’t want to panic, but my alphabet soup says, “Forget about me … just try to save yourself.”” — Tom Wilson (“Ziggy”)

Don’t have it yet? Okay, okay, I’ll clarify…. but, you only get two more….. if you don’t have it by then, well, I’ve failed, and will go shoot myself….I don’t want to die, so, please, pay attention…..

“God may be in the details, but it is also important to know the big picture.” — Deng Ming-Dao

“There’s only one way to kill a rat…” — Robert A. Heinlein

There…. it seemed only fitting to finish with Heinlein, as I’m a firm believer in the old Irish adage of “Begin as you mean to go on….”  Whoops, it’s another metaphor…. Okay, I’m done for now…

I offer no apologies for the poems I pick to include in this section, but feel I should explain why they sometimes don’t fit with the rest of the Pearl, attitudinally (if that is a word….) (hmm, must be a word, because the spell checker didn’t even flinch…)…. Actually, it’s quite simple…. I use the same random method for this as for picking pearls…. If it grabs my eye and my fancy, it stays, even when it has little or nothing to do with the rest of the post… In this case, it is not altogether out of line, but, no matter, because it is one of my favorite poems….. Enjoy!…..

And Death Shall Have No Dominion

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead man naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan’t crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

~~ Dylan Thomas ~~


Whew! For a moment, I thought it was time for a rant, and I don’t have one on tap…. but, then I remembered it’s time for the next installment of the Alaskan Adventures…. Good thing!

After the intense (NOT!) experience of exploring Icy Point Strait and the booming Alaskan village of Hoonah, the ship sailed overnight to Juneau, where we spent the 4th of July, sans any overt displays of either fireworks, or excessive celebration of the holiday in a formal sense…. (Who needs a party when you’ve got some guy on board wearing a sleeveless American flag t-shirt with his used-to-be-greyish-white Bermuda shorts and flip flops, sweating his way through the buffet line?….)

A formal party wasn’t necessary, as we were docked at 7 AM, with two other huge cruise ships anchored in front of us, and another pulling in behind just after breakfast…. There was another Princess ship, a Holland American ship, and a Norwegian Cruises ship (shown below). This meant that close to 12,000 people were in town for the day; our own ship wasn’t scheduled to depart until midnight, due to a miscommunication with the town authorities….

It seemed as if at least 5 or 6,000 of them were walking around at any one time, all hell-bent on finding another 3D magnet or Tanzanite necklace…. If I’d still been in my twenties or thirties, I might have joined in the fracas at the Red Dog Saloon, one of Alaska’s oldest taverns, but, being 62, I just went back to the ship and took a nap after my (for me) extensive walk….

It seems that Juneau sets off its fireworks display for the 4th at midnight of the night before, to ring in the day with the hullabaloo rather than end it that way. (Alaskans are different, trust me…. They work at it….) Unfortunately, this didn’t get into the memo that Princess received, so we were there for the duration, with only the local stores and bars in which to while away the hours (a mistake for which I’m sure they were eternally grateful….).

I went a bit nuts again on the souvenirs, but did find all we needed to cover everyone on our lists, finding some rather cool stuff (gotta love that fake snow!….). We also overdid it on the walking, going ashore twice, and hoofing it about 2 miles each time, walking down the pleasant wharf-side path past the ships, or passing among the crowds on the sidewalks in front of the myriad of shops, bars, and restaurants that lined the streets nearby.

Having looked over the last two posts, and this one, I have to say I’m a bit disappointed in my pictures. I had thought I got more, and that they were better, but, so far they’re not up to snuff…. The next couple of days, in Tracy Arm Fjord and Victoria, will show a little better, though, as I got the hang of the camera better, and took more shots… I hope you enjoy these as much as I do, and did while taking them…..

Alaska Grand Adventure 059 Alaska Grand Adventure 038 Alaska Grand Adventure 039 Alaska Grand Adventure 053 Alaska Grand Adventure 054 Alaska Grand Adventure 055 Alaska Grand Adventure 056 Alaska Grand Adventure 057 Alaska Grand Adventure 058_____________________________

Very well, then…. I shall now go peruse my effort….. Not too shabby, but needed a bit of punch-up, now done. Therefore, with no further ado, I shall take my leave, to go forth unto the new day, hopeful…. foolishly, perhaps, but hopeful, nonetheless….. I am, after all, getting fairly adept at this living stuff…..  Now, if I can only learn to do it well…..  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.



The only quest I know….

There is always a lot of stuff going on in my head, and, in spite of how it should, or could be otherwise, I’m pretty sure that not all of it is completely under my control. This, as might be deduced, is both blessing and curse, and causes me no end of moments of temporary confusion, moments that can stretch to what seems like eons….. Hell, sometimes, it seems like confusion is my most natural state, especially when reality is going through its contortions right in front of me like it does; reality does not always conform to what I think of it, either regarding expectations, or expedience. Hard to say which is more annoying, having my expectations dashed by reality, or having my time killed by it, used up dealing with mundane details rather than exotic dreams, or even hopeful ones….. (Whew! A four line sentence, desperately trying not to run on, and failing spectacularly!…. Oh well…. I just got up, give me a little slack, here, ‘kay?….Or, just call me Balzac….)

If this all sounds a bit vague, you are paying attention, as it is deliberately so. I’m trying to discuss a point that can easily slip over into whining about how Murphy always f___s with me, without crossing the line of demarcation for that state of asininity. Whining feels good, right up until it leaves the mouth, then it is just pathetic, and the shame and guilt set in…. I really don’t know why we even bother with it, as it has no effect at all on reality, and only makes us look and feel bad. Another of those delightful human characteristics that we are constantly working to eradicate from our personalities, if we have any sense. Of course, the possession of sense is another discussion entirely, and would take up far too much space right now, so let’s not go there, eh?

To get back to our original point of discussion, not being entirely in control of what is happening in my head is a deliberate state on my part. I’ve found that a lot of my artistic impetus comes from that area of my experience, so I’ve developed the habit of allowing part of my consciousness free rein to go wherever it may wish, without any oversight by the tapes and rules that govern most of the rest of my persona. This is my version of allowing my imagination to soar, and it seems to work for me, so I don’t fuss with it, or think about it much, as I don’t want to disturb whatever balance and tension that keeps it running smoothly.

Below you’ll find a poem, an original I composed last night, under non-normal circumstances. It’s okay…. not the best I’ve ever done, but honest, and real in its intent and style. Oh, and, of course, it rhymes…. to me, that is important in one of my own poems these days. I spent a lot of effort in my youth writing free verse, with no structure, and no deliberate rhyming. Most of what I wrote back then was pretty sappy…. emotional, at times powerfully so, but lacking in direction, or a whole lot of style.

S’okay, I’m good with it, because nobody will ever see it again but me, and maybe my kids, when they go through my things after I pass (Oh for goodness sake, I hope they don’t try to publish any of it posthumously, I’d die of shame….   🙂   ….) Any who, this poem was written on the edge, as I was about two sheets to the wind, an unusual state these days, especially on a mere half-pint over the course of an hour and a half…. not exactly the consumption of a lumberjack, or even myself three years ago….. But, it was enough for my payday splurge for the month, and gave me a full three hours of wonderful relief from back pain (I’d forgotten how alcohol can do that…. it’s just not something one can use regularly, for a lot of reasons, but, occasionally, it sure provides a kind, and depth, of relief that is very rare for those of us who suffer constant pain….)

Any who, let’s see what else we can come up with here on an early Sunday morning, with the rain and wind blowing and blustering outside, making me glad to have a warm, dry place to stay, with food, and things to occupy my mind, and time. I am indeed a rich man, for all that I don’t have, that is to say, the worry of those who have no such advantages as these. It’s almost enough to make me rant, but I’ll wait until I find a pearl to base it on…. Shall we Pearl?…..

“There is one God, but which one is He?”– Smart Bee

Now, this is the proper use of reason and inquiry! Such a small question, made gargantuan by the depth of its insight. Which one, indeed, is the real God? There are as many answers to this question as there are what I like to call “preachers”, for want of a better word (I should maybe try to pick a better one, I suppose….); “preachers” are men, or women, who have decided upon one particular system of beliefs on the subject of divinity as being the correct one, to the exclusion of all the others. In spite of the lack of hard evidence on hand for any of the different belief systems, these folks choose one, and stick to it like a barnacle…. which, come to think of it, is probably what it feels like, after a while….

Depending on to whom the question is put, the answer may vary from Odin the All Father of Norse mythology, to the God of Zoroaster, whose specific appellation escapes me just now. In between you will find God, also known as Yahweh/Jehovah to the those of the Tribe, Allah to the Muslims, and just plain old God to most of the Christian sects. There is the voodoo god, Jobu, in the Caribbean; Set, or Bal, or Mammon, or any of the other ancient earth gods;  Ra of the Egyptians; Krishna, and all his incarnations, i.e., Kali, Yama, Ganesha, Maya, and the others in the Hindu pantheon. The American Indians seemed to favor the Great Spirit. Ancient Druids and Wiccans follow the Goddess, with gods and goddesses from the Greeks and Romans thrown into the mix, just for fun. The list seems as endless as human imagination….. which it is, since all of them spring from that source.

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” — Smart Bee (and, most likely, the Dalai Lama….)

As far as I know, Buddha never claimed to be a god, and was, to my mind, not particularly clear on the subject of divinity, as directly related to humanity. The same seems true of Taoism, though certain of its sages seem to hold some of the old Chinese mythology beliefs on Heaven, and the creatures who inhabit that domain, another concept for which there is only imaginary evidence to support its veracity, and its reality. In this way, I see these philosophies as superior to the religious doctrines that purport to worship a deity, as they rely on reason, personal responsibility, and compassion to direct action, rather than fear of reprisal, or hope for reward, as is the wont of religious dogma and doctrine.

This perception of mine may be because I have always thought that the entire concept of a deity is not capable of being described, or understood, if one is to assume that a god is what it claims to be. How can a mortal understand an immortal? There is no common ground, other than the assumption of existence, for which there can be any reason for one to be connected to the other, as we could not comprehend their existence. We, limited to our human perceptions, have no direct evidence of a deity that can be experienced by those perceptions.

Anyone who tells you they do is lying, even if they believe it to be true, unless they can share that experience with another human, directly, with evidence for the senses we possess, not merely for what we wish to be true. Feelings don’t count, nor visions only seen by them, or voices in the head, and neither do personal revelations, or religious fevers, or speaking in tongues…. See, hear, touch, smell, taste…. that’s what we have, along with the ability to reason, and our imagination. That is our tool kit, and unless one of the tools fits, it isn’t real, to our perceptive ability. Items purported to be evidence that come from imagination are just that…. imaginary, and cannot be considered proof of anything other than the naivete of the speaker, and of any who choose to believe them.

“It is a great advantage for a system of philosophy to be substantially true.” — George Santayana

SIGH…. People are people, though, and they will choose what to believe according to what they feel, most of the time, rather than according to what is the truth, which requires effort to find. It has even been said that humans have a tendency more often than not to make choices that are bad for them, just for that reason, that it is too much effort to think their way through to the truth that would ultimately help them. As long as this is true, then our species is in danger, from itself, and its own delusions…. Sad, in a species of such promise…..

And on the 8th day, God woke up and said “Whew! It was just a dream!” — Smart Bee

“Poetry is what gets lost in translation.” — Robert Frost

Placidly falling in amber waves: old friends

Whiskey, oh, whiskey, I’d forgotten thy balm,
thy loving spread of lassitude, and nature’s own calm.
Misery and pain flee in squalid disorganization,
leaving mirth, happily embraced, in just consolation.

James, old friend, thou has not abandoned me at all,
steadfast and loyal, ever ready to answer my softest call.
Ephemeral illusions of normality come at your instigation
blessed moments of peaceful joy, sans vilification.

Gasps of coherence pound at the door to conscious thought,
muffled explosive memories of battles already fought.
Malleable as the changeable airs of time and circumstance
plaintive calls to reason stand not a single, honest chance.

Sober again, reality’s cold reign brings a new day
ringing in old changes in a new-fashioned way.
To know true freedom’s release from our everyday pain
Is worth a bit of headache, even in the cold, pouring rain.

~~ gigoid, two sheets to the wind, and back

“You will find poetry nowhere, unless you bring some with you.” — Joseph Joubert

If birth is a miracle, is not death also a miracle? — Smart Bee

Smart Bee is living up to its name today…. Here is a question that most will avoid asking…. Well, perhaps not so much avoid as ignore, by preference. Which amounts to the same, little as they’d like to admit it. It’s okay, though, nobody is blaming them, or suggesting they do anything other than what is comfortable…. Karma exists, like it or not, as the proper and logical counterbalance to entropy, giving it meaning, and everyone gets out of life exactly what they deserve. This is not an arguable conclusion, it is mere fact of reality, and fighting against it is pointless, as well as tiring…..

“You live in a deranged age, more deranged than usual, because in spite of great scientific and technological advances, man has not the faintest idea of who he is, what he is doing, or where he is going.”– Smart Bee

Everyone gets what they deserve….. what a novel concept! Of course, many folks, of the sort who don’t like to accept merely what they deserve, try to manipulate reality, and end up accumulating much more than they deserve. What they don’t understand is that time is not on their side, and karma will eventually come to them for an accounting, and all will be brought into balance, at their expense. It’s not a pretty sight when it happens, and it is so unnecessary, considering the consequences that can be avoided by simple acts of honor and integrity. Sometimes, living is a worse punishment than dying, in such cases….

Another lesser-known part of karma is one that most folks have a hard time both understanding, and, once they do, accepting. This principle is stated simply as: Not only are you 100% responsible for what you DO, you are 100% responsible for what happens TO you. Yep…. completely. If the world has punched you in the face, well, all I can ask is, what was your face doing in front of that fist? There are no excuses in the eyes of karma, and we become truly ourselves when we learn to understand this, and to make it a part of how we make decisions in life, including those leading up to the second miracle of our existence, dying.

“When the ten thousand things are seen in their oneness, we return to the source to remain where we have always been.” — Seng Ts’un.

In the ultimate sense, this goes back to the discussion in section one above, tying all of it together in this way: “the ten thousand things” is the Chinese literary euphemism for reality, or Heaven, or the universe at large, depending on who one asks at what time of day….. By this statement, Ts’un shows his knowledge, and acceptance of his own divinity, and connection, according to the principles of karma and how we interact with reality, to everything that exists in the universe, including all gods, or ideas about gods, or God. Take your pick, they are ALL correct, in their own little way, or according their own little piece of the Truth. What is actually TRUE for everyone always makes itself obvious…. because that is what happens. What is, is….

“Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle. Some things are within your control. And some things are not.” — Epictetus

I have to say, this one isn’t bad…. I’m not going to even question why it came out as well as it did, but will go with the flow of karma, and accept what is….. Unless I wish to wait until late this afternoon to post this, I will have to hike through the rain for a few blocks to get to the Wi-Fi spot at the coffee shop, which I believe will be the best way to go. I’m no tireless, invulnerable warrior like I used to be, but I think I can make it three blocks in the rain for this without suffering the tortures of hell. Unless, of course, pneumonia sets in…. Well, no point in tempting Murphy any more than that, so I’ll close this here, and hope for the best…. All I need is twenty minutes of cooperation from the rain gods, and all will be well…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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