“Do not be angry with me if I tell you the truth.” — Socrates (470?-399 B.C.)
I used this tagline yesterday, as an apology, sort of…. In retrospect, I’m thinking this may just be something I could have tattooed on my forehead, as it seems to be one of the most common phrases I use, in a figurative sense…. This entire blog demands that I express some sort of explanatory excuse quite frequently, just by the nature of my chosen subject matter, and my chosen manner of discussion…. Well, in my world, it demands an explanation, anyway; just because other folks don’t live by what my daddy taught me gives me NO reason to do so. In fact, a big part of what he taught me is the concept of Duty, which precludes any sort of shirking, or abrogation of responsibility for our words and actions…..
In conjunction with that thought, came another…. It had to do with something else my father said to me one time, a piece of wisdom that, as it does at one point or another in every father’s life, occurred to him, and prompted him to share with me; I have since shared it with my own children, as part and parcel with the other important lessons I felt they should be taught, as I was…. He said to me, in so many words, “I have taught you all that you know; I have not taught you everything I know.” He smiled as he said it, to take some of the pain from its delivery, but, he couldn’t hide the truth of it, which often causes pain to those who insist on having it, straight up with no ice….
That being said, I have, at least in one respect, tried to do a bit more for my own children, as I am aware of my own failures as a father (we all have them…. we just try not to dwell on them….), and can’t hope to emulate the example he set, in some respects…. But, I have left a legacy for my two kids my father never had time to create, if he so desired…. and that is this blog, along with all the years of Pearls of Virtual Wisdom I created before 2011…. a history that goes back to 1997, when I was first in computer school, and chose my user name, gigoid…. The first Pearls came out, via email, a year or so later, when I got my first computer & Internet hook-up, slow as it was….
The rest, of course, is history, sans any editing by the winners/losers of any societal issues that may determine whose version lasts any length of time…. In the past three years alone, in putting out the Pearls for this version of the Follies, I’ve written well over two million words, all in my own inimitable, irritable style…. These words, and those yet to come, are what I leave my children as my legacy…. With these words, I am trying to transmit to them all the things I’ve never had the time to relate to them, thus giving the lie to that old saw about not teaching all I know….
It may not be the most lucrative legacy ever left, but, it’s what I’ve got, and it ain’t bad…. To further the process, I’d say I’ve wandered around this idea long enough for one day, and now decree it is time to get on with today’s business…. I’ve been working on this one for a while now, as the idea for the first section today struck me solidly in the forehead about two days ago, and I’ve been trying to find periods of time without major spasming to work on it….. my walk around the pirate conclave on Sunday was a bit more draining than I had first imagined…. I’ll live, but, it’s been a bit of a struggle to keep wanting to do so….
Ah, the hell with it; if I don’t get on with it, it’s going to explode, or dissolve in its own tears…. Shall we Pearl?….
“Language is the apparel in which your thoughts parade before the public. Never clothe them in vulgar or shoddy attire.” — George Crane
Oops! Now what?…. Oh well, we’ll just go on, as if we hadn’t seen this at all….
Welcome, gentle readers, to another episode of the Life and Times of the Wise Old Pine Cone…. Like me, you’ve probably heard stories all your life, telling happy tales with magical, happy endings, filled with anecdotes and descriptions of the Old Cone, and how his wisdom and understanding of The Way, and the Force, as well as the Metaphorse, helps him, and all who hear of him….
I know, I didn’t expect to find him here, in this somewhat bedraggled excuse for a city, either, but, I was waiting for a bus one day, and, there he was, just hanging out, waiting to catch the same bus…. We got to talking, and one thing led to another…. He came home with me, to continue our conversation, and further explore how he could help me, and I could help him, to leave a record of his words, and actions, for generations to follow…. Of course, I was humbled, and honored, agreeing at once…. We tried a couple of forays out into the BRC last week, and now are heading out for another walk, just to stretch a bit after the Pirate Festival I attended, and ended up walking A LOT more than is normal….
First, here is the Wise Old Pine Cone himself…. basking in the morning sun, looking forward to the day….. For all I know, he was meditating, as well, on some esoteric point of philosophy beyond my comprehension…. or not…. He looks content, though, doesn’t he?….
As we walked, we came across some of his friends from the tree, a married couple, the Burleycones, (I know, they’re HUGE, aren’t they? The WOPC tells me they’re examples of a certain strain of cones, who are all much larger than the rest of them…. kind of like a whole sub-species of giant sized cones….), who apparently had something very serious to discuss with him, to which I was not privy…. All I know is the Old Cone was a bit withdrawn for a while, kind of thoughtful…. Here he is talking with the two towering Cones….
You can see from the Wise Old Pine Cone’s expression, he’s got a lot on his mind…. He sat on this bench, staring at a small congress of crows, for over a half-hour before we set off for home….
When we got back to the house, I found out we’d been followed…. by a young pine cone I’d never seen before…. It seems the Burleycones have a son, and the Wise Old Pine Cone agreed, after much inner turmoil, to take the youngster on as his new paduan learner cone…. It’s a big job, for both of them, from what I know of the tradition…. As well, knowing what I do about the Wise Old One, it promises to be a very long, arduous, involved, and challenging time for the young cone…. He looks pretty sturdy, though, and seems to have an intelligent look about him…. We’ll see how he fares, at the Art of learning the Way…..
Here we see the Wise Old Pine Cone giving the Paduan his first reading assignment…. It’s a book written by a blogging friend of mine, Jeremiah Stephen, titled, “Sphere(s)” (as you see below….)….. Jeremiah’s blog, where you can find a link to purchase the book, (I did, and consider it well under-priced for the value of its work, and the worth of its contents, which is virtually incalculable….), is located here…. http://knowthesphere.wordpress.com/
Having read portions of it, (thus far; I’ve only had it a couple of weeks, and Jeremiah’s work is DEEP…..), I know that the young learner has his work cut out for him; it’s a challenging book, excellently written, full of solidly based, well-thought-out, and eloquently presented points of philosophy, all using a metaphor connected to spheres, which allows him to display his deep insight into reality…. He does all this in a fresh, innovative style of writing that engages the reader without becoming overwhelming….. Heavy praise, I know, but, which doesn’t even mention the accuracy and sheer, instinctive rightness of the conclusions he presents, as the logical, and meta-logical, results of his arguments. It will be interesting to see what our young paduan makes of it….
Here we see the young pine cone meeting Guan Yin, the Chinese goddess, aka the Empress of Heaven…. The Wise Old Pine Cone, in his wisdom, knows there are many things the young paduan can learn from her, things only she can teach him…. If you don’t know what they are, you don’t want to know, or it would do you more harm than good, thus negating the purpose of sharing the knowledge…. Trust me, the WOPC knows what he is doing, and so does Guan Yin….
Below you see the paduan meeting another of his teachers…. The Wise Old Pine Cone, having learned long ago to not try to do it all himself, assigns much of his paduan’s learning to other teachers, to provide more than just one point of view of the same material…. and, since Buddhism is an inherent part of what he teaches, why not go directly to the source to obtain the needed instruction?…. Wise, indeed….
In the picture below, we see the young paduan learner being introduced to a peer, one of the students of the Buddha…. Scrappy-Doo found out about the school, and figured out he would benefit from the calming effect the teachings have…. You see, Scrappy has entered puberty, and would like to meet some girls…. but, his aggressiveness and scruffy manner puts them off. So, he’s trying a bunch of different things to improve his chances of meeting a girl…. which, when you think about it, isn’t stupid….
Here you see the two famous teachers relaxing with an adult beverage, (or, perhaps, two or three of them….. they’re adults, after all….)….
The kids are tucked in bed, & Guan Yin doesn’t drink, so the two enlightened Ones have the place to themselves…. I hope they don’t go overboard, like they did last month…. The school had to shut down for three days until they recovered…. Oh well, we’re all bozos on this bus…. or, so I have come to understand…. which means that everyone, even the driver, gets more than just one chance…. After all, we are all bozos, right? Right….
I hope you enjoyed today’s little foray into silliness… I did…..
“A little nonsense, now and then, is cherished, by the wisest men.” — Willie Wonka
Since we’re being silly today, here’s a poet who does silly better than most anybody…. Enjoy!….
A Boy Named Sue
Well, my daddy left home when I was three,
and he didn’t leave much to Ma and me,
just this old guitar and a bottle of booze.
Now I don’t blame him because he run and hid,
but the meanest thing that he ever did was
before he left he went and named me Sue.
Well, he must have thought it was quite a joke,
and it got lots of laughs from a lot of folks,
it seems I had to fight my whole life through.
Some gal would giggle and I’d get red
and some guy would laugh and I’d bust his head,
I tell you, life ain’t easy for a boy named Sue.
Well, I grew up quick and I grew up mean.
My fist got hard and my wits got keen.
Roamed from town to town to hide my shame,
but I made me a vow to the moon and the stars,
I’d search the honky tonks and bars and kill
that man that gave me that awful name.
But it was Gatlinburg in mid July and I had
just hit town and my throat was dry.
I’d thought i’d stop and have myself a brew.
At an old saloon in a street of mud
and at a table dealing stud sat the dirty,
mangy dog that named me Sue.
Well, I knew that snake was my own sweet dad
from a worn-out picture that my mother had
and I knew the scar on his cheek and his evil eye.
He was big and bent and gray and old
and I looked at him and my blood ran cold,
and I said, ‘My name is Sue. How do you do?
Now you’re gonna die.’ Yeah, that’s what I told him.
Well, I hit him right between the eyes and he went down
but to my surprise he came up with a knife
and cut off a piece of my ear. But I busted a chair
right across his teeth. And we crashed through
the wall and into the street kicking and a-gouging
in the mud and the blood and the beer.
I tell you I’ve fought tougher men but I really can’t remember when.
He kicked like a mule and bit like a crocodile.
I heard him laughin’ and then I heard him cussin’,
he went for his gun and I pulled mine first.
He stood there looking at me and I saw him smile.
And he said, ‘Son, this world is rough and if
a man’s gonna make it, he’s gotta be tough
and I knew I wouldn’t be there to help you along.
So I gave you that name and I said ‘Goodbye’.
I knew you’d have to get tough or die. And it’s
that name that helped to make you strong.’
Yeah, he said, ‘Now you have just fought one
helluva fight, and I know you hate me and you’ve
got the right to kill me now and I wouldn’t blame you
if you do. But you ought to thank me
before I die for the gravel in your guts and the spit
in your eye because I’m the guy that named you Sue.’
Yeah, what could I do? What could I do?
I got all choked up and I threw down my gun,
called him pa and he called me a son,
and I came away with a different point of view
and I think about him now and then.
Every time I tried, every time I win and if I
ever have a son I think I am gonna name him
Bill or George – anything but Sue.
~~ Sheldon Allan Silverstein ~~
Well, it’s been a productive morning…. We’ll finish off today with, of course, an old-school pearl, just as if we had it all planned out that way….. which, of course, we didn’t…. but, serendipity is our friend around here….
“I spent hours trying to come up with the perfect tagline. This isn’t it.” — Smart Bee
“After things have gone from bad to worse, the cycle will repeat itself.” — Farnsdick’s Corollary to the 5th Corollary
26. Read more books and watch less TV. — Instructions for life
O! If I were a fish
I’d lay hap’ly on my dish.
Yes, that’s my one and only wish —
To be a fish!
For fish don’t ever mish;
They needn’t flush after they pish!
Yes, and life’s just swish, swish, swish,
For all the fish!!!
— found in Smart Bee with no attribution, other than the essential quality needed, to wit: it’s damn silly….
“Facts are stubborn little bastards, be careful with them.” — Smart Bee
“One useless man can be called a disgrace. Two really useless men can be called a law firm. When you get more than these together, you have all the essential ingredients for a committee. And after the committee has made one or two criminal errors which are against the law, you have all that is deemed necessary for the formation of a congress. Our country has two separate bodies of these people, no one room being quite large enough to contain them all. And then there is the executive branch, but we shall discuss this later under the heading: “Extreme Absurdities You Would Not Believe!””– parts attributed to John Adams (though I suspect the last sentence or two were added sometime after the new millennium began….)
“Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.” — Langston Hughes, Dreams
“Therefore, be ye lamps unto yourselves, be a refuge to yourselves. Hold fast to Truth as a lamp; hold fast to the truth as a refuge. Look not for a refuge in anyone beside yourselves. And those, who shall be a lamp unto themselves, shall betake themselves to no external refuge, but holding fast to the Truth as their lamp, and holding fast to the Truth as their refuge, they shall reach the topmost height.” — Buddha
“In dealing with the State, we ought to remember that its institutions are not aboriginal, though they existed before we were born: that they are not superior to the citizen: that every one of them was once the act of a single man: every law and usage was a man’s expedient to meet a particular case: that they all are imitable, all alterable; we may make as good; we may make better.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1802-1882)
This is an unusual pearl, ffolkes, but, that fits right in with today’s essential theme…. This one went from silly to sublime, in nine (mostly) short steps…. I hope you enjoyed it….
Ffolkes, I just don’t see how I can do this any better than this…. and, if so, I’m not sure I want to…. The best part is, I get to try again tomorrow… Well, that’s the best part for me…. y’all have to take your chances, as we all do when surfing…. I’ll make it worth your while, though, you can be sure of that…. Until then, stay silly, ffolkes, it’s a good excuse….
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,
I just sits.
gigoid the dubious