~~ Seneca ~~
(B.C. 3-65 A.D.)
Today is a day pregnant with possibilities…. I have high hopes that when I return from my outing today, my life will have undergone some significant alterations, at least in one or two respects, and, all I can say is, it’s about damn time….. I feel as if I’ve been stuck in a rut for months, and have an opportunity to break free of whatever it is that has been keeping me from LIFE….
Hence, the quote from Seneca seems to me to be most appropriate, encouraging us, as it does, to look forward, to see what there is to see, and to learn, rather than wasting precious time trying to hold on to something in the past, expressing the advantage of keeping our eyes on the road ahead…. The most excellent photo doesn’t hurt, either, if only to please the senses with its incredible scope…. thus highlighting the quote by showing us a view of infinity, stretching through time and space, from the ancient stone dance, to the endless array of galaxies and stars….
Besides, who knows when I’ll actually find another pair of pearls, of different media, to fit together so well…. I’ve been putting these together now for a few weeks like this, and it works really well for its purpose, which is, essentially, to save my sorry ass from having to come up with something new to start with each day…. My brain informed me some time ago it was very close to becoming a completely dry hole, no oil, no water, and no more creative images or words…. I had wracked my brain too many times, and it was about to revolt….
That’s when I started adding the pictures up top, which had a dual purpose, of eliminating the need to find and/or include attribution for those pictures that I didn’t take, and to get me out and about to practice my photography skills, with the intent, naturally, to get better at it, as well as to increase my ability to walk around for greater distances…. A win-win-win situation the way I see it….
Hell, it even works on a day like today, when I just needed the intro to complete the Pearl, which I have worked on ahead of time, in order to be sure I don’t get held up today, heading out to my day full of potentially wonderful events….. I mean, there is always the chance the day won’t live up to my hopes (which I’ve been pretty successful at not allowing to become expectations….), but, I’m thinking that my odds are good enough, it’s well worth whatever risk of that there may be…. Murphy can’t be everywhere at once, can he?
Regardless, the new method has also allowed me the space and time today to sort of wander around like this without ever really getting into anything…. That’s okay, I got into plenty down below, believe me…. All good, of course, but, if not, well, I’ll refund every penny you paid, okay? Can’t say fairer than that…..
Shall we Pearl?…..
“Whatsoever that be within us that feels, thinks, desires, and animates, is something celestial, divine, and, consequently, imperishable.” — Aristotle (B.C. 384-322)
In keeping with the promise made, in the pearl that is now in section three, below, this section, and the second section, for poetry, will be kept to a minimum, to balance the weight of the last pearl…. I hate breaking my word, so, I’ve chosen to include only the two links, to different articles, below in this section, without adding any ranting, or any discussion beyond this introduction…
The first one is an EXCELLENT discussion of the events now taking place in the Middle East, concerning the war being fought, on several fronts, as the radical Muslim group, known as ISIS, attempts to form a caliphate, with their own interpretation of the Quran (Koran) as the basis of their laws, and directing their political identity…. Mr. Carroll gives us some intelligent perspective, and even more intelligent analysis….. It’s a fine read, with some very good points that often are overlooked in much of the coverage in the media…. I think you will enjoy it….
You won’t enjoy the second, I guarantee, though it is what I would consider to be essential reading; it’s a report, about a report from the UN, on a subject about which I’ve been ranting for a couple of years now, climate change and global warming, a report that demonstrates how nothing is happening at all to make any needed changes…. It’s a report that I am certain will achieve the self-same results as all my rants, in terms of what it may cause to change out in the real world, i.e., none… Nothing has changed, and this article makes it abundantly clear, it is most likely too late to do anything about it… Well, not this article, the second one….
And there was mud.
And God said, “Let Us make living creatures out of mud, so the mud can see what we have done.”
And God created every living creature that now moveth, and one was man.
Mud-as-man alone could speak.
“What is the purpose of all this?” man asked politely.
“Everything must have a purpose?” asked God.
“Certainly,” said man.
“Then I leave it to you to think of one for all of this,” said God.
And He went away.
~~ Kurt Vonnegut ~~
Between Time and Timbuktu
Uh, oh…. too late…..
“Poetry is sane because it floats easily in an infinite sea; reason seeks to cross an infinite sea and so make it finite… The poet only desires exaltation and expansion, a world to stretch himself in. The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.” — G. K. Chesterton “Orthodoxy”
Expressed or still;
Exists in every human nature
Admitted scarcely to itself, it may be,
For credibility’s temerity
Adored with caution, as a brittle heaven,
Were hopeless as the rainbow’s raiment
Yet persevered toward, surer for the distance;
Unto the saints’ slow diligence
Ungained, it may be, by a life’s low venture,
Eternity enables the endeavoring
~~ Emily Dickinson ~~
Today, I’m extending the scope of the recent additions to section 3 with some old pearls from 2011, when each pearls is what we now call an old school style pearl… After that format got old, I changed to accommodate my desire to produce more, and practice different styles and techniques of writing…. so, I changed the look of each day’s Pearl, to include five sections, each with its own short pearl, and discussion based on that pearl… It’s an example of what I went through to evolve what now become my rants…
Each of these sections, as you see them below, in today’s format, would be treated with a more thorough discussion, but, for today, since together the five pearls make it long enough to stifle anyone’s enthusiasm for reading, we’ll just put it here in section one, then pick a short poem, and a short pearl for section 3, to save y’all some time & energy…. It’s the least I can do, considering I’m subjecting y’all to such a long foray into my my mind’s indubitably odd twists and turns…..
Obviously, we’ve had a change of plans…. it’s okay, though, as I managed to do so without adding any extra ranting, or long, involved discussions to the mix… As promised in the paragraph above, written BEFORE the change, unlike this one, I kept sections one and two to a minimum of material, though both of excellent quality… All of that notwithstanding, here you are, about to finish up for today, and didn’t even know it…. Funny how that works, isn’t it?…..
In my wildest, most disturbing dreams, I never thought the world would come to this juncture. We stand once again at a fork in the road ahead. Down one road lies extinction; it’s actually the road we are on now, but we have come to the last possible exit, onto a road that continues on into the future, bright with promise. On this road, humanity has new forms of transport, sustainable and clean. The air is clear, the ocean is blue, and all the creatures who share this planet have been welcomed into the circle of Life, wherein we now reside. Everyone is treated the same, and there are no more distinctions drawn between one man and the next. Resources are husbanded and shared equally, and economic manipulation is a dim memory.
Sounds pretty nice, eh? I think so too. I’m just not terribly convinced that the rest of humanity is going to come down that road with those of us who take it. I’d much rather we all went together, but I refuse to choose to continue on the road we have been traveling, just as I refuse to consider killing myself. It’s all so clear to me, I have a hard time understanding why others cannot see what I am seeing. If we don’t stop what we’re doing, we’re going to pay the consequences; that’s not a guess, not a theory. It’s truth. I hope y’all can deal with it….
I think I lost my mind. Please watch where you step.
(Note from 2014: Note the last line in the second paragraph…. then, remember what I said above, about having ranted for two or more years on that subject…. It seems it’s been even longer than that….. gigoid…)
You beat your pate, and fancy wit will come;
Knock as you please, there ‘s nobody at home.
— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Epigram
A gen’rous heart repairs a sland’rous tongue.
— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — The Odyssey of Homer, Book viii, Line 432
Pope, living and writing in the 17th & 18th centuries, is apparently channeling Homer Simpson, 300 years in the future….. Doh! Even wonderful poetry can be turned into low humor; here is solid proof. These two short pieces of pieces were just irresistible, as they immediately brought to mind a clear image of Homer slapping his head. See, I can be whimsical!…..
“Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute.” — Josh Billings
“I’m a man of my word. In the end, that’s all there is really….” — Avon
Tough to argue with these; they both are basic elements of my own philosophy. It’s a shame, really, that society in general doesn’t buy into this more. Strong, silent men are in short supply in today’s world, and the twin pillars that hold up our culture, Duty and Honor, have fallen into sporadic use at best. Not enough children are being raised under the moral aegis these concepts provide, and the results are as predictable as they are ugly. Too many young men and women are reaching the age of reason with no inner strength, no strong morals to guide their way; rather than cloaking themselves in honor and duty, they are approaching life armed only with an imagination whose scope has been severely limited by their moral shortcomings. It can be a tough world out there, and it’s only going to get tougher at time goes on, unless society can find a way to shore up the shaky underpinnings of our culture, before it’s too late to try…..
“Cowardice” and “self-respect” have largely disappeared from public discourse. In their place we are offered “self-esteem” as the bellwether of success and a proxy for dignity. “Self-respect” implies that one recognizes standards, and judges oneself worthy by the degree to which one lives up to them. “Self-esteem” simply means that one feels good about oneself. “Dignity” used to refer to the self-mastery and fortitude with which a person conducted himself in the face of life’s vicissitudes and the boorish behavior of others. Now, judging by campus speech codes, dignity requires that we never encounter a discouraging word and that others be coerced into acting respectfully, evidently on the assumption that we are powerless to prevent our degradation if exposed to the demeaning behavior of others. These are signposts proclaiming the insubstantiality (sic) of our character, proclaiming the hollowness of our souls.” — Jeffrey R. Snyder, Fall 1993 _The Public Interest
A crucifix? Oy vey, have you got the wrong vampire! — Smart Bee
In my diving for pearls, over the years I’ve gone past this one several times (sometimes the randomness generator doesn’t quite live up to its’ name), and have just smiled and gone on. But today, for some reason, I finally got it…….and it’s fucking hilarious! What I wouldn’t do to see this character in an episode of Twilight (though I have to confess I’ve never watched it), or Buffy, the Vampire Slayer! They could call him Simon, pretender to the throne of Satan, master of Guilt, who bores his victims into a stupor, leaving them at mercy to his dark secret, a fetish for the blood of sons and daughters of mothers of the Tribe. If nothing else, the media frenzy in the religious world would be fun to watch….. You may be asking yourself, is nothing sacred? All I can answer is, “Nope.”………
“The very emphasis of the commandment: Thou shalt not kill, makes it certain that we are descended from an endlessly long chain of generations of murderers, whose love of murder was in their blood as it is perhaps also in ours.” — Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
Siggy had his moments of clarity amid the nonsense of a lot of his assertions exhibit. This is one of them. Part of what makes a man civilized is to be able to accept this part of his nature, and deal with it in the only honorable fashion; each morning a man must awake and make a conscious decision that, “Today, I will not kill.”, and then abide by it as best he can. Nothing else will work as well, and though it takes no small amount of courage to keep his word, a man of honor will do so, no matter the cost.
I think one of the most disheartening aspects of today’s culture is the lack of honor most people exhibit. When I was brought up, in the 1950’s, it seems like everyone believed in the concept of Honor, and it was just assumed that one could expect others to behave in light of that. As time has passed, I have seen the concept fall further and further out of the public consciousness with each passing year, and selfishness and avarice have assumed the central position in most folk’s attitudes. SIGH……I really do miss it……
“Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.” — Bertrand Russell, Autobiography
These are wonderful sentiments, and I can only hope that when I die, I can have put on my headstone some indication that I had fulfilled all three of these passions. The ability to share love, the passion for learning, and compassion for the weak and troubled are the highest expressions of the human spirit, and pursuit of them is an honorable task to take up as one’s Duty. No man could ever hope for a more fulfilling existence, acting in service to those he loves, which includes all living creatures. One can only wish that this attitude was more prevalent in society at large; we might have avoided some of the troubles we’re having. No sense crying over spilled dairy products though…..you just have to hang on to your hope…..
Now I understand how the little piece I found yesterday fits in to the puzzle. Not to replace the sig, but rather to join it……..yay, me….y’all take care out there….
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.
Which is Why….
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.
(Note from 2014: See? We can learn something new every day…. Apparently, this is the Pearl in which I first used this particular part of the closing signature (sig) lines…. I did not remember that…. Huh….)
Incredibly, it’s done…. not only done, but, done early, using the famous, or infamous, powers of a Time Lord, which we managed to
steal acquire some weeks ago, through some rather subtle, clandestine wand work…. For now, suffice it to say, damn, we almost pulled it off! See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, possibly in a completely new/old state of mind…. I know, that’s a bit unfair, but, hey, if the big studios can hand out teasers, so can I…..
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
(Today’s picture, of the stone dance under the stars, came from, I believe, Space.com, from a group of award winning astronomy photos…. a group I also saw at another site…. so, it’s probably not a copyrighted piece…. If you wish any further information, copy the picture, then paste that into the search box on the Google images page, so it can find it for you…. it will…. & I’m too lazy….)
PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.