What are you doing with that ferret?….

Ffolkes,

Freedom = Responsibility

Attribution is not required for an Unarguable Truth

If you feel you MUST argue it, well, bring it on…..
 
~~ gigoid ~~

potd-mantis_3059577k

    The most excellent picture, which highlights the absolutely perfect form displayed by these two small warriors, is from The Daily Yell (London Daily Telegraph) Animal Pictures of the Week, 10/3/2014. Notice the strength of the stance, with four legs firmly gripping the limb, perfectly balanced, and the formidable knife-like spikes on the forearm and hand sections, held in perfect position to strike…. Their sifu would be proud….   *modest smile*   Perfect tong long tong long bu…. preying mantis style kung fu, straight from the source….

One might think, given the week I’ve had, I’d be more, or less, insane…. In either case, more, or less, it would seem I’ve made a case for the newest format here on ECR, even if it is less than rigidly structured, or perfectly designed. Both of those qualities wouldn’t work well around here, anyway, so, it’s just as well… I suppose, since y’all have already had your tickets punched, you feel we’ve some sort of obligation to provide some of that sort of service…. but, you’d be wrong, both in reality, and in theory….

You see, service, and obligations, only happen when there is some sort of transaction, with real money exchanged; since we only charge the going rate for a blog (to wit: nada damn thing….), that never enters the picture, and such expectations from y’all is kind of disappointing…. One would think, after the exposure y’all have had to the process of actually USING the mind, rather than just providing a means for your ass to get from toilet to toilet, you’d have more sense, or, at least, more street cred…. TANSTAAFL, ffolkes, remember? But, then, Americans DO tend to believe that doesn’t apply to them, as a matter of course….

Not all their fault, of course, as the Asininnies are continually pounding the message into the thick skulls out there that they ARE entitled to all they can steal, so, it’s only natural there would be some sense of entitlement, even if it IS completely unwarranted, and unearned…. But, all the preachers, and all the political pundits, are forever trumpeting how special we are, and how we have the rights to do whatever we want to other nations, and/or people, without ever having to answer for our actions….. How else to explain our willingness to bomb almost anything that moves, if it will make us seem more important in our own eyes….

Bah, humbug! I’m ranting again, in the intro, aren’t I? Ah well, it’s just so easy to do, and such a natural thing to do, when confronted with all the BS and nonsense that goes on each day out on the world stage…. But, doing it here makes it hard to keep the process smooth when we actually get to the section where the ranting is appropriate…. It DOES, however, get us far enough down the page to call the intro complete, such as we see today…. Funny how that works, isn’t it? I suppose y’all think I plan it that way…. HAH! Fooled ya!….

But, since we did make it this far, and without shedding any blood, to speak of, we may as well use the escape clause that is presenting itself… In fact, I think, if we jump right here, it should all work out fine….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“As for courage and will – we cannot measure how much of each lies within us, we can only trust there will be sufficient to carry through trials which may lie ahead.” — Andre Norton

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’m late today, having actually gotten some decent sleep; I have no idea why it happened, it just did….. Since I haven’t had time to even look at the news, I’ll use an appropriate piece from the past…. Besides, it’s been a while since we discussed the process of Pearling, so, it’s time…. Here is a bit of explanation of this whole deal, just in case it seems important to y’all…. or not…. Don’t fret, it’s not a rant, and it’s not too long, so, it makes a nice change of pace, I think…..

From 3/28/2012:

“All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster’s autobiography.” — Federico Fellini

It has been a while since I talked about Pearls, so when I stumbled upon the above quote, I knew it was time….. Pearls of Virtual Wisdom come with a caveat and disclaimer, to wit: These Pearls consist of ideas and concepts, and even procedures, that are Virtual Wisdom. They should never be confused with, or used as, Real Wisdom; the results can be somewhat unpredictable, have been known to cause injury, and in one case, (my own), have resulted in months of severe depression.

(Of course, that depression may not be due strictly to the intrinsic differences in the Pearls themselves, but rather a direct result of inattention to which variety I was using at the moment)  Regardless of how real Pearls of Virtual Wisdom may appear, or how shiny they look to the untrained eye, the author assumes no liability for failure to heed this caveat.

That being said, let us for a moment consider pearls as incarnations of jewels, as the precious gems of rare beauty and great value they become when freed from the oyster, the shelter which created each layer of the pearl’s beauty out of its own pain…. The soft sheen of a fine pearl, luminescent in the dimness, glowing in the light, has captivated the eyes and imaginations of men and women since the first oyster was plucked from the sea bed to become someone’s supper, and has inspired those who fall under its spell to acts of great sacrifice, and acts of great cruelty, in the quest to possess these timeless treasures from the sea.

Thus the metaphorical nature of the Pearls of Virtual Wisdom becomes apparent, as we see that although virtual wisdom looks just like real wisdom, the difference may be likened to the difference between naturally produced pearls, and those that are cultivated in laboratories.  One is shiny, and of great value for its rarity and beauty, naturally endowed; the other is shiny, but of lesser value, due to lesser rarity, and a somehow lesser beauty, as made by the hand of man.

The subtle differences are of little note, except to Reality, which always knows which wisdom is which, as it knows which pearl is which; hence the caveat and  disclaimer, to avoid any conflicts with Reality due to negligence on my part…..so, please use these Pearls with appropriate caution, and they will bring you joy for years to come…..

“Did an Italian CRANE OPERATOR just experience uninhibited sensations in a MALIBU HOT TUB?” — Zippy the Pinhead

Note from 2014: There…. that should help make things clearer… and if not, well, so what, eh? It’s not as if you spent a lot to get in, is it?….. Right…..

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Very little needs to be said about these two gentlemen, or the music they created together…. Serendipity, indeed…. Enjoy, ffolkes…. this is one of the greatest concerts ever…. with music that will never again be created just this way….

IN CONCERT ” SIMON AND GARFUNKEL ” LIVE IN CENTRAL PARK NEW YORK 1981

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As I heard quoted in a movie recently, “I think Wordsworth is sometimes underrated.”….. So do I….

The Solitary Reaper

Behold her, single in the field,
Yon solitary Highland Lass!
Reaping and singing by herself;
Stop here, or gently pass!
Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain;
O listen! for the Vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.

No Nightingale did ever chaunt
More welcome notes to weary bands
Of travellers in some shady haunt,
Among Arabian sands:
A voice so thrilling ne’er was heard
In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird,
Breaking the silence of the seas
Among the farthest Hebrides.

Will no one tell me what she sings?–
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago:
Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of to-day?
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
That has been, and may be again?

Whate’er the theme, the Maiden sang
As if her song could have no ending;
I saw her singing at her work,
And o’er the sickle bending;–
I listened, motionless and still;
And, as I mounted up the hill,
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.

~~ William Wordsworth ~~


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It’s been some time, but, here is an old-school pearl, of the type that has lasted the longest…. It is merely a grouping of comments on Reality, Life, and how to approach both with some dignity, and a bit of style….and, in the process, perhaps, teach us a bit about ourselves, and our inner nature…. It helps if you pay attention….

“A candour affected is a dagger concealed.” — Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD) — Meditations, book 9.

“I have known a vast quantity of nonsense talked about bad men not looking you in the face.  Don’t trust that conventional idea. Dishonesty will stare honesty out of countenance, any day in the week, if there is anything to be got by it.” — Charles Dickens

“Make your enemies by choice, not by accident. The same applies to friends.” — Xavier R. Quinton

“Hell hath no fury like a vested interest masquerading as a moral principle.” — Smart Bee

“Nothing can come out of nothing, any more than a thing can go back to nothing.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, iv, 4

“A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew.” — Herb Caen

“Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is.” — Francis Bacon

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Not too shabby, for a Pearl thrown together on the fly, and in a massive hurry…. In fact, it came out rather well, all things considered, and we know better than to look at the teeth of any horse in the stable, no matter where it came from, or what wagons it may have dragged in behind it…. whatever that means, metaphorically, euphemistically, or, practically…. Of course, in this case, only the latter counts…. Since that is true, I’m outta here, and y’all can’t legally stop me…. though, why you’d wish to try, I haven’t a clue…. That last statement may just cover the whole business, and before we find out…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes…..

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, the dubious

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….

 

Not the whole egg!! Just use the yolk….

Ffolkes,

This one’s going to be a tough one, ffolkes, I can tell already….. I got beau coups sleep, and am up a little late, but, not too bad; that isn’t the issue. The issue, damn it, is my brain, which seems to have decided to take a holiday without any notice, leaving me in the lurch for this morning’s Pearl….

Yep, I have very few, if any, brain cells that are functioning as anything other than space fillers; whenever I try to think of something to put onto the screen, all I get is fuzzy static, with no ideas, with no fresh phrases bubbling up from my creative wellspring, such as it is…. It’s not much, but, it’s mine, and it’s not working!

Okay, I won’t panic….. Let’s just see if there’s something else in there that will serve to get us down the page a ways, at least to the point where, perhaps, Murphy will take pity, and let my brain back in from wherever it went. If he doesn’t, well, we may just have to resort to the archives again….. at least for one section of today’s effort, if not more. I can already tell that section three might be of that ilk, as even collecting pearls for an old-school variety may take more brain power than I am currently able to muster….

Of course, there are those who would probably say that what you’re seeing today is nothing new for me; they are liars, of course. We ALWAYS have things under control around here, and I NEVER suffer from writer’s block….. And, to borrow a phrase from Lazarus Long, if you have the kind of mind that can believe that statement, then I have a wonderful deal for you, in a bridge. Cash only, no checks….

Let’s try this…. No, better not….

Okay, how about this?….. No, wait, I’m out of those…. sorry, I’ll try one more time….

How about them Giants, eh? Grand slam walk-off last night in the twelfth inning in Colorado, as the offense finally broke out after six games of non-production, to provide enough fireworks to win an official Coors Field game, 12 to 10 (an official Coors Field game isn’t over until both teams have scored 10 or more runs…), after five games of wondering just how many millions of dollars are needed to get somebody to not have slumps….

But, then, that’s baseball, especially in Colorado, where the game is different…. You may note, it is also an Excellent Example of a run-on sentence, perfect for the classroom full of budding young writers in need of a bit of education re: style, and/or the lack thereof…..

Well, that was a LITTLE better, but, I don’t think it’s going to fix this intro…. In fact, I’m pretty sure that by now, there is no further hope that this will EVER get to where it needs to be, so, I may as well just apply emergency method #4, and get on with the rest of this mess… In fact, that is what I’ll do…. now…

Shall we Pearl?….

Zeb: “Tomorrow I will seven eagles see, a great comet will appear, and voices will speak from whirlwinds foretelling monstrous and fearful things. This Universe never did make sense; I suspect it was built on government contract”. — Robert A. Heinlein, 666, aka “The Number of the Beast”, his final indulgent paean to solipsism….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As I noted in the introduction today, my mind is NOT in its sharpest state today…. which means that ranting, as such, is pretty well out of the question. I’ve been known to hurt much more than just myself when I rant in this state; I’m not going there today. I have to do something, though, so I’ll do this…. I’ve found some good articles, and a literally unbelievable quote from a modern film producer, links to which I will provide below, along with a couple of comments, which makes this one of the new school pearls I’ve been working on…. Let’s give it a whirl, shall we?….

http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/2014/04/22/stand-up-or-die-trying/

This one really hits me where I live…. Mr. Morford speaks here of a syndrome of physical symptoms, including the ever-popular back spasms that hit about 12 on the pain scale of 10, that can be brought on by periods of long term sitting by humans, and talks about what a revelation it is for a healthy, well-conditioned human to suffer severe back pain, merely from having sat in front of a computer for too long…. which is a perfect description of ME…. Well, at least, a description of how I USED to be, up until my fortieth year, or so, when I first began to notice how my body was falling apart….

The article was written in Mark’s unique style, using far more of the dictionary than most columnists realize exists, which I appreciate greatly. His logical take on this issue, one near and dear to my heart, offers some new and uplifting points for consideration, and I found it to be quite a good pep talk, relieving me of much of my self-imposed guilt over having lost my physical prowess, upon which I depended heavily. I can relax a bit now, knowing there was little I could have done to prevent what I now experience, which removes some of my guilt, always a good thing….

For they starve the frightened little child
Till it weeps both night and day:
And they scourge the weak, and flog the fool,
And gibe the old and grey,
And some grow mad, and all grow bad,
And none a word may say.

Each narrow cell in which we dwell
Is a foul and dark latrine,
And the fetid breath of living Death
Chokes up each grated screen,
And all, but Lust, is turned to dust
In Humanity’s machine.

And all men kill the thing they love,
By all let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword.

~~ Oscar Wilde ~~


Next, we come to an article in Rolling Stone magazine, which consists of an interview with a film producer, one George R.R. Martin…. The article begins this way…. I lost the link, but, if you go to the other article from the magazine, you could find the whole thing…. All I’m concerned with in it is the following quote….

“George R.R. Martin sits in the Santa Fe theater he owns, watching the Game of Thrones episode in which Ned Stark is unexpectedly beheaded. “As many times as I’ve watched this,” he says, “it still has great effect.” — from the Rolling Stone interview

Excuse me? I am fairly certain that I have never heard of an unexpected beheading described as “a great effect” so casually, as if the experience of witnessing the excessive gore, the blood and guts, as well as the extreme emotional impact of a sight such as this, were an everyday occurrence, as normal as any other sort of event that we perceive. I’m certain, in my own mind, at least, that this kind of acceptance of such violence is a sure indicator of a society-wide loss, of the ability to be shocked by this kind of violent behavior…. It is as if such an event is normal, and only valuable as a form of entertainment…

Now, I don’t know about y’all, but, I don’t ever wish to get to the point in my own mind where the sight of a beheading does not shock my sensibilities in a negative way; even the lack of ANY response, of ANY compassion at all for the victim, even if fictional, is an emotional state in which I would never wish to find myself….

I haven’t watched any of the Game of Thrones TV shows; now, I know why…. I’m not going to pretend that I find the glorification of violence, treachery, unbridled avarice, and rampant violence used as a means of securing power over others, to be an entertaining way to pass time…. I believe the entire series to be a clear indicator of how little ethics and morals are a part of the modern world, and a sure sign of the decay of civilization…. Shows like this can be directly correlated to the Roman circuses, held to keep the masses happy, while those in power go about their lying, cheating ways…..

As always, if anyone has any evidence to the contrary, I’d be happy to hear it; that’s what the comment section is for, you know….

Next, I offer this final article from Rolling Stone…. This is an excellent breakdown of the most critical issues that are the operative reasons behind the loss of faith, and membership, being suffered by the modern Republican Party, as they continue to stuff their heads into the nearest piles of sand…. I’d go on, but the author of the article has laid it all out very clearly, so, just read it, & then we’ll talk….

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/six-studies-that-show-everything-republicans-believe-is-wrong-20140423?utm_source=dailynewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

Ffolkes, I’m going to be nice here, and NOT rant on this…. I could, very easily, as all of this is stuff I’ve ranted on previously…. but, it wouldn’t help make the points any clearer, and could conceivably drive away some of my more impatient readers….. So, instead, I’ll finish this off with a five-star pearl, which, I hope, will make a nice ending statement…. Smart Bee is usually pretty good at this, so let’s see what we find…

Well, it took me three tries, but, I think these will do…

“If we do not believe in ourselves — neither in our efficacy nor in our goodness — the universe is a frightening place.” — Nathaniel Branden

“It does take a perverse form of optimism to have any faith in the news media when almost every time they cover something you _know_ about, they get it wrong.  Maybe they’re wrong that often covering subjects in which I’m not an expert?  Naw, it just couldn’t be.” — Grant Edwards

Like a young eagle who has lent his plume
To fledge the shaft by which he meets his doom,
See their own feathers pluck’d to wing the dart
Which rank corruption destines for their heart.

— Thomas Moore (1779-1852) — Corruption

“Any effort that has self-glorification as its final endpoint is bound to end in disaster.” — Robert M. Pirsig

“Everyone talks about reality, but no one ever does anything about it.”– Smart Bee

See? It’s all in the wrist….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

No ups, no extras, just a poem….

A Dubiously Soft Morning

Idiosyncratic images, clamoring for regard,
fill up the white, white screen on which I view
my life, never seeing, nor invited to sup
ambrosial remnants of anything new.

Still, but almost in motion, allegory sails away
bobbing gently, quick and easy to find,
signs of one happy child, seriously at play,
blissfully immersed, focused joy in mind.

Formidable cries of outraged simple justice
echo plaintive relevance, in half the time.
Maladaptive infants, destined for hospice
salvage an only child, daring to sing in rhyme.

Creativity equals unquestioning farce,
often reaching for absurdity, brazenly afire.
Instead, a blow is felt that no joy will soften,
accepting the price, added to the cost of desire.

~~ gigoid ~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As mentioned in the intro, even an old-school pearl could be trouble today; it worked okay for the five-star in section one, so, rather than push my luck in that respect, I’ll go with this old-school pearl I found in the archives, from a couple of years ago…. it’s a pretty good one, & I hope you enjoy it…. I KNOW you’ll like it better than any of the potential rants implied in the included pearls…..

From 10/21/12:

Okay, so there I was, cruising through Smart Bee, and these little gems popped up. Each one tempted me to begin a rant, or a discussion, but, none of them completely grabbed my attention enough to do the trick. They are all much too valuable to throw out, so I had this idea to include them as a “new-school” pearl….. Y’all can take the ideas herein described, and formulate them into your own pearl of virtual wisdom…. there is plenty here to work with; I’ve used many similar pearls myself to create unforgettable rants, or brilliantly funny forays into nonsense. (Sure I have….. trust me….)

“The correct way to punctuate a sentence that starts: “Of course it is none of my business, but –” is to place a period after the word “but.” Don’t use excessive force in supplying such a moron with a period. Cutting his throat is only a momentary pleasure and is bound to get you talked about.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

“In certain trying circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity furnishes a relief denied even to prayer.” — Mark Twain

“In regard to disagreeable and formidable things, prudence does not consist in evasion, or in flight, but in courage. He who wishes to walk in the most peaceful parts of life with any serenity must screw himself up to resolution. Let him front the object of his worst apprehension, and his stoutness will commonly make his fear groundless” — Ralph Waldo Emerson, _Essays_, Prudence

“I figure that if God actually does exist, He’s big enough to understand an honest difference of opinion.”  – Isaac Asimov

“There’s more than one way to skin a cat, but there  ain’t no way to make the cat enjoy it.” — Jed Clampett

“Man is certainly stark mad; he cannot make a worm, and yet he will be making gods by dozens.” — Michael de Montaigne (1533-1592) — Essays, Book ii, Chap. xii, Apology for Raimond Sebond

“Once you can accept the universe as being something expanding into an infinite nothing which is something, wearing stripes with plaid is easy.” — Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

So, you should find it reasonably simple to do the same yourselves (creating a pearl, that is, not wearing plaid…) …. and if not, well, they are all fairly strong stand-alone dribbles of good advice/good observations, so you aren’t completely without recourse…. No refunds, though, we’re not completely without shame…. Remember, you get what you pay for in this world, right? TANSTAAFL….. (for the uninitiated, that is, There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch….)

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Though the creation of this Pearl felt a bit choppy as it progressed, it seems to have come out okay; it will do…. To keep from pushing my luck, which has held together enough to get us to this point, I will take my leave, before anything untoward can take place…. See you tomorrow, ffolkes….

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 the dubious

dozer3

Boxloads of bastards for sale or rent….

Ffolkes,
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, unkept…..

Hmm…. silly me. Words sometimes don’t flow from my head, through my fingers, and on to the screen…. they leak. Kind of like a small cut on the hand, that won’t quite close for a while because it keeps getting re-opened by movement. You think it’s closed, then a few minutes later, a small drop of intense red appears on whatever is in your view, and you know that Murphy has been hanging about somewhere, just waiting for you to pick up whatever important document you just bled on…. Any who, that’s kind of what it’s like to wake up with paragraphs like the above, waiting to get out of the way before any other, possibly intelligent, words can break past them into the light of day….. It’s not necessarily painful, but it is inconvenient, especially given that it is a personal problem, one that only I could conceivably fix…. Being too lazy to do so DOES have its advantages….

Of course, if I stop letting stuff like the first paragraph out before I write something more appropriate, there is no telling what it might do, just sitting around in my head, rotting and decomposing, until it makes everything else in there reek just as badly. Or, it will join forces with more trifling drivel of its own ilk, and force me to try to post it sometime, knowing full well that I’d have to commit hara-kiri immediately, should that ever happen. It would be the only honorable thing to do, in that sad case.

Since, however, I’m unwilling to carry out such an extreme measure at this point, I’m just as glad that it got out, and onto the screen at the beginning of a Pearl, where the damage it can cause is minimal. I mean, who reads that part with any expectations, right? I think I’ve given ample proof that when it comes to the opening of a Pearl, there is no telling what may pop up, so most ffolkes are prepared to that extent…. That should keep the injuries down today…. If anyone does incur any wear and tear, trying to get past today’s introductory words, well, you know where the first-aid kit is located, right?…. Just over there behind the archives…. Plenty of duct tape in there….

Now that we’ve established the proper tone of nonsense and whimsy, I think it would be best if we went for the morning dive, which, to some degree, took place last night…. Whether it survives in that state remains to be seen…. Shall we Pearl?…..
__________________________________

“If you can see a thing whole… it seems that it’s always beautiful. Planets, lives…But close up, a world’s all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life’s a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. You need distance, interval. The way to see how beautiful the earth is, is to see it as the moon. The way to see how beautiful a life is, is to see it from the vantage point of death.” — Ursula K. Le Guin, Dispossessed

Whenever I come across a quote from Ursula Le Guin, for some strange reason, I am always taken by surprise at how deep a chord she strikes in me with her insight, into people, into writing, into beauty, and life. The surprise is because I already knew how good she is, yet her words show up here far too infrequently to entirely please me….. and I don’t know why I never remember to look for her when I’m searching, or need something specific….

It may be the depth of what she writes, and the skill with which she illuminates those depths…. The pieces that can be used for reasonably short discussions are rare, due to the very complex nature of her plots. The questions of life, and how we humans deal with it, that she raises in her stories, are more than just complex, they are also subtle, and often quite revolutionary in scope. The very nature of the worlds she creates can shock the most flexible of minds, yet the power of her imagery and vision is such that it makes the fantastic real, engendering understanding by showing how someone so completely different than normal, still remains their deepest humanity, through the power of love. The depths of the human spirit come to life in her books, with great power, and great beauty, and her artistry with words shows how that spirit can shine brightly from even the darkest depths, in the hands of a master.

As I approach death more closely in my own life, I find myself thinking more about it in ways such as suggested above by Ms. Le Guin. We all tend to get worn down by life, because we MUST view it close up; we spend our days right up against the skin of reality, having to peer at its pores, seeing, and feeling, every wrinkle that time carves into our faces with the unfelt knives of seconds, hours, and days. It is only when one stops, and stands next to death, that the beauty of the pattern of our lives is visible to our perception, and we can see just how much the trip has been worth the effort we’ve made.

It is easy, unfortunately, to lose that perceptive viewpoint, to fail to remember how it feels to know the contrast between what we feel and what we hope. The weight of everyday is mighty, indeed. But, we always have the choice, to take a moment, to take a step back, and look at the bigger picture, to gain the perspective, and the vision of hope for the future that lives inside us, if we only know where to look…. and know that we have such a choice available to us in need….

“We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.” — George Bernard Shaw
__________________________________

Ancient Air

I climb up high and look on the four seas,
Heaven and earth spreading out so far.
Frost blankets all the stuff of autumn,
The wind blows with the great desert’s cold.
The eastward-flowing water is immense,
All the ten thousand things billow.
The white sun’s passing brightness fades,
Floating clouds seem to have no end.
Swallows and sparrows nest in the wutong tree,
Yuan and luan birds perch among jujube thorns.
Now it’s time to head on back again,
I flick my sword and sing Taking the Hard Road.

Li Po.
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“In ecology, as in economics, TANSTAAFL (There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free  Lunch) is intended to warn that every gain is won at some cost. Failure to  recognize the no free lunch law causes the buffalo-hunter mentality  syndrome — the unthinking assumption that there will always be plenty because there always has been plenty.” — Dr. Robert W. Prehoda

See? Now, this is what really ticks me off….. There it is, all laid out so an idiot can understand it, and nobody pays any damn attention. It is a statement that is self-fulfilling…. in which I mean that it has already come to pass, and our society has decided to act on the buffalo-hunter syndrome basis, and the ecological decisions being made are NOT in favor of the buffalo…. I defy anyone to tell me otherwise. Go ahead. Show me one piece of evidence that shows that we are, in any way, acting as if we are expecting a bill for lunch. I guarantee, the bill is for enough that we don’t have enough cash, or enough credit, to even come close to paying it….

“Humanity prefers comfort over truth.” ~~ Smart Bee

Since this is also true, nobody is paying any attention to this little conundrum. Ever notice how well the mocking campaign worked against Al Gore? Does anybody listen to his message anymore? Nope. Yet he is right. He spoke nothing but well-documented truths, yet the unwarranted lies that were spread about what he said, and the smear campaign over his unfortunate delivery style, turned what is the most important question facing our species in this century, and the last, into a joke, just so the people who are profiting from the sale of the buffalo meat can continue to live their fantasies at the expense of our reality….. As long as the cable reception isn’t interrupted, most folks won’t care one way or the other, sadly…

A monk said to Joshu, “Your stone bridge is widely renowned, but coming here I find only a heap of rocks.”  Joshu said, “You see only the stones and not the bridge.”  The monk said, “What is the bridge?”  Joshu said, “What do you think we are walking on?” — Smart Bee

What the majority of people today don’t understand is that they are walking on the bridge, and do not realize that the bridge is being washed away, as they are walking, and will no longer be there to cross, once they have passed it (and IF they make it to the other side). There will be no turning back to the right path, because we will be paying our lunch bill….. and since we don’t have enough to pay for it, we will be removed from the field of play…. If you are not worried, and scared of how things are going, well, folks, you just aren’t paying attention….  Ah, the hell with it…. I’m gonna go take a nap….

On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree. — Things We Can Learn From Dogs
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Well, for a standard Pearl, it’s a bit foreshortened today, by an unforeseeable complication presented by my oh-so-creative petty side, to wit: fractured fairy-tales. Yes, they’ve been floating in and out of my head all morning, distracting me from following a train of thought, or even a local bus of thought. I call them fractured fairy tales, but all they are, are silly little epigrams and phrases that pop up into my head, never on subject, and always intended to send my mind down some heretofore unnoticed hallway in the dusty corners of the back towers of consciousness. Quite annoying, and, as can be seen, somewhat disruptive to routine.

They were bigger than me, Ma, but I beat ’em! It may not be Art, but it’s done, and nobody’s gonna make me put it all back; that’s like trying to get the toothpaste back in the tube once it’s out…. not terribly productive. Y’all will just have to take it the way it is…. not that you haven’t had to do that before…. but, I do like to give warning. I guess a warning isn’t too effective, is it, coming here at the end? Probably not…. ah well, all I can do is all I can do, you know…..   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!