Perhaps not, but his spatula was meticulous….


Pain has an element of blank;
It cannot recollect
When it began, or if there were
A day when it was not.

It has no future but itself,
Its infinite realms contain
Its past, enlightened to perceive
New periods of pain.

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~

I’ve previously used this poem; it may be one of Emily’s most famous, so it’s probably familiar to many people…. I don’t know if Emily had pain herself, of a physical nature, beyond what everyone else feels, when they bark their shins, for example…. If she didn’t, her depth of insight was even greater than I had previously imagined….. This is an assertion I believe implicitly; Emily was, without doubt, the most advanced human EVER in that respect, in my opinion, and by all the evidence at hand…. Her poetry must be considered as proof of that, proof that leaves no room for doubt as to the accuracy of the claim..

This particular poem explores a couple different sides of the nature of the beast, again displaying that incredibly elegant, towering talent only she possessed, by cramming so much feeling, so much meaning, and so many ideas into eight short lines of verse, it almost explodes into one’s consciousness, growing there like a flower in spring…. She wrote at least one other poem on the subject, a bit different in scope, but nonetheless powerful for that…. It went like this….

There is a pain—so utter—
It swallows substance up—
Then covers the Abyss with Trance—
So Memory can step
Around—across—upon it—
As one within a Swoon—
Goes safely—where an open eye—
Would drop Him—Bone by Bone.

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~

As lovely and powerful as her poetry may be, I’ll bet you’re wondering why we’ve begun today with a discussion of American English poetry of the Nineteenth Century…. Some of y’all, who have been around ECR a while, will guess why I’m writing about it; they’re already aware of how much my pain can distract me from Life at Large…. and would guess that today’s words are in response to a bout with it of major proportions…. They’d be right to think that, too….

Yesterday, as part of a personal quest to get into better shape, if only for the purpose of being able to walk around in those places to which I travel, such as on shore excursions during a cruise, I went for a short walk… The day before, I had tried a new technique, of taking a pain pill, applying some of my magic ointment to my back and hips, then going for a walk…

I was rewarded by a relatively pain-free stroll all the way downtown, with a few sit-down breaks to blow, and let the numbness recede from my thighs; all told, I walked about two miles, and a bit more…. This is much further than I’ve been able to walk for a couple years now, so I was encouraged enough to try again the day after, i.e. yesterday…

This time, I applied my cream, took my pill, and enthusiastically left, to try to cover the same ground…. After a couple of blocks, I stepped off a curb, onto a small twig, which proceeded to roll about two inches, taking my foot, and my balance, with it…. Using my walking stick, a quick shuffle, and a hard, rapid twist, I was able to keep from falling down…. BUT….

The quick movement, with the accompanying twist, gave the injured ligament in my lower back a good, hard yank…. This, naturally, caused me to experience the customary sharp, intense burst of excruciating pain in my lower back, just as if a large knife had been thrust about two inches into the hip, followed instantly by the total freeze-up and pain of my entire back entering full spasming mode…. This also aggravates the hip joints, so I was barely able to keep upright, and mobile enough to walk…. Hell, it was ALL I could do not to start screaming and beating on the nearest object, animate or inanimate, with my stick….

Turning around, I made it back home without getting arrested for assault, took an extra pill, ate some magic chocolate, put on more ointment, and went straight to bed, where I’ve been for much of the last eighteen hours or so…. I’m up now, and still in full spasm mode, though quiet right now, thanks to about a ton of Norco and all the cannabis I could eat…. Since the pain has been my constant companion for most of the last day, I thought I’d try to share some of that, though I’m not sure why…. I guess I thought it would make a little different start to the day….

I guess it’s also because it’s really hard to deal with this unless, and until, the experience is purged, at least verbally, in order for me to process it in a timely fashion…. I’ll stop here, as y’all have no doubt had enough of my near-whiny neurotic need to share….

Sorry, but, getting the concepts, and the feel of the experience, outside the mind helps to deal with what is still there, which currently requires a good large piece of my consciousness to keep me from running down the street, screaming in pain, HOPING that someone will tell me to stop, so I can BITE THEM REALLY, REALLY HARD!!!!!!

Now that I have further indicated the depth of my insanity (Six exclamation points makes that fairly obvious…. A mere four of them has been shown by research to be proof of clinical psychosis….), I suppose it’s time to go for a dive, to find some pearls…. Hopefully, I can sit long enough, and keep at this long enough between breaks, to finish…. If not, well, we may just be here all day, so, if I were you, I’d check to make sure I had my box lunch, and a supply of water on hand….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Despair leads to boredom, electronic games, computer hacking, poetry, and other bad habits.” — Edward Abbey

Such as blogging….

As might be guessed on a day such as this, I won’t be ranting, any more than I already have…. I’m going to go for old-school pearls for both prose sections today, to avoid going back to the archives again…. I COULD go back there, but, even the research involved in that seems like more work than I’ll be able to do…. So, I’m going for a dive, where being surrounded and supported by the waters of reason, I can maneuver almost normally…. You’ll see what I find…. Oh, yeah…. no parameters at all today, just random weird nudges toward virtue and/or dignity (if such is possible during the creation of a Pearl….)…..

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

— Theodore Roethke

“And what is a good citizen?  Simply one who never says, does or thinks anything that is unusual.  Schools are maintained in order to bring this uniformity up to the highest possible point.  A school is a hopper into which children are heaved while they are still young and tender; therein they are pressed into certain standard shapes and covered from head to heels with official rubber-stamps.” — H.L. Mencken

“Everything, saith Epictetus, hath two handles,–the one to be held by, the other not.” — Robert Burton (1577-1640) — The Anatomy of Melancholy, Part ii, Sect. 2, Memb. 3

“Be not diverted from your duty by any idle reflections the silly world may make upon you, for their censures are not in your power, and consequently should not be any part of your concern.” — Epictetus

“Psychedelic drugs cause paranoia, confusion, and total loss of reality in politicians that have never taken them.” — Timothy Leary

“Addison, what are we going to do?”  “Me, I’m examining the major Western religions. I’m looking for something that’s soft on morality, generous with holidays, and has a short initiation period.” — Dave and Maddie on Moonlighting

“There were two brothers called Both and Either; perceiving Either was a good, understanding, busy fellow, and Both a silly fellow and good for little, Philip said, “Either is both, and Both is neither.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Philip

And there you have it…. Madness incarnate, right there on your screen….. Well, it WOULD be, if it weren’t all so damn true….

After a relatively short break of twenty minutes, spent in a frantic search for my glasses, (which, it turns out, were stolen and hidden by Jo Jo, the Psycho-Cat From Hell…. I found them in one of her cat caves, where she had stashed them after taking them off my desk….), I’m back… I’ve already used Emily today, so we’ll go with another classic favorite of mine, one of the most influential Romantic poets from the eighteenth century…. There are those who say he was THE driving force for the entire Romantic poetry genre that burgeoned during his lifetime, an assessment with which I have to agree…

The Human Seasons

Four Seasons fill the measure of the year;
There are four seasons in the mind of man:
He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear
Takes in all beauty with an easy span:
He has his Summer, when luxuriously
Spring’s honied cud of youthful thought he loves
To ruminate, and by such dreaming high
Is nearest unto heaven: quiet coves
His soul has in its Autumn, when his wings
He furleth close; contented so to look
On mists in idleness–to let fair things
Pass by unheeded as a threshold brook.
He has his Winter too of pale misfeature,
Or else he would forego his mortal nature.

~~ John Keats ~~


I can see the light at the end of this tunnel I’ve entered; I’m pretty sure I can make it that far….. Again, an old-school, unguided (and, please, no comments about misguided….)** pearl, ripped fresh from the oyster beds of my mind….. and Smart Bee’s nearly endless database of excellent cookies….

** (Without, of course, a reasoned justifying argument to explain the assertion….)

“Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, iv, 43

“Truth, in the matters of religion, is simply the opinion that has survived.” — Oscar Wilde

“Liberty don’t work as good in practice as it does in speeches.” — Will Rogers

“Government lies, and newspapers lie, but in a democracy they are different lies.” — Smart Bee

“- if it GLISTENS, gobble it!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

“If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor.” — Albert Einstein

Because I could not stop for Death —
He kindly stopped for me —
The carriage held but just ourselves
And immortality.

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~

Well, I made it, and about time, too…. I’ve again consumed a massive amount of drugs, all with the purpose of smothering my nervous system to the point of insensibility….. After a seemingly endless amount of time spent in agony, trying to keep occupied in my mind, I am now starting to enjoy the results, and will soon be free (True freedom is the release from pain….) Since it won’t be long before all coherence flees screaming into the night (well, early morning, anyway…. it’s still dark here at 0530, now that we’ve begun daylight savings for the year….), I’ll bring this to a grateful close (the gratitude is on YOUR end, I’m sure….)

I can’t do this anymore…. See you tomorrow…. Hopefully, by then, I’ll be feeling more like a human being than a pharmaceutical test subject…..

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


Stealing from politicians is not a crime, by definition….

Far into the night, I searched within, only to find….. nada…. No quotes. No ideas. No nothing. So I went to bed, and figured the morning would bring some inspiration…. fat chance! Now I’m stuck, writing off the top of my head, which is already complaining. I may have to retreat back to bed, just to get away from the drama, which I do not enjoy, and refuse to put up with in my life at all anymore. I have even considered putting my No Drama Allowed sign up on my front door, just so it is clear to all and sundry who approach….. I have yet to do that one, but it’s close, it’s close….

For the nonce though, we’ll have to come up with something for today’s Pearl, which is looking a bit thin at this juncture. Aha! I’ve got an idea, and it should work well…. let’s go see…..  Yep, I think it will work…. It may be disturbing to know, in this age of digital everything, but today’s quotes are all taken from books…. real, physical books, that I held in my hand and read by turning the pages….. It was fun….. and reassuring to know that even though my database of quotes is gone (until further notice), I still have a place to go to find what I need…. And it is a very fulfilling feeling to pull it out of the pages; I’ve always been a heavy reader, and it’s good to remember that real books are still the best source of, well, everything you want to know….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Instead of comparing our lot with that of those who are more fortunate than we are, we should compare it with the lot of the great majority of our fellow men. It then appears that we are among the privileged few.” — Helen Keller

Being in my current position, it is natural to fall into the trap as described above by Ms. Keller. It reminds me in a way of the same thought from Socrates (I believe) who said, “If every man brought his troubles to a central place, where it was said that all men would bring theirs, and each would take away an equal amount, most would be happy to just take up their own troubles and go home.” I guess it has always been a natural tendency among us humans, to compare our own situation to that of others, and make a judgment about relative worth…. not an admirable trait, but understandable, given our ego-driven natures.

I do know for a fact that I am better off than most of the world; I am still overweight, and much of the world hasn’t enough food to ever get to that state. I also live indoors, with plumbing, and have enough clothing to cover myself in inclement weather. I have a steady, if currently small, source of income, even though retired. I have medical insurance, and even though the co-payments are hard to handle, I have no fear of not receiving medical care if needed. All of this is much more than probably 50% of the people alive on this planet have as resources, so I can hardly consider myself to be entirely poverty-stricken…. I’ve actually been there, or close to it, and this is not the same…..

One time, in my early twenties, I fell into an unemployed state for several months, and during the last month and a half, it got to the point where I was actually hungry a lot of the time. I was living in my truck, on the streets of Berkeley; the truck, fortunately, had a camper, so I did have a place to sleep and stay dry, but couldn’t ever get off the streets for long. I lived one entire month on a jar of peanut butter, some bread given to me by friends, and a jar of excellent multivitamins, which kept my teeth from falling out of my head from scurvy, and the like….. It was not a pleasant experience, at all, and I didn’t particularly enjoy the feelings of depression and despair that went along with it. At the end of the month of PB and vitamins, I was able to find a job, and have not been unemployed for long since then, for the most part.

Having felt at least some of what the folks who are stuck living in such poverty feel, I empathize with their situation completely. I also feel a great deal of disdain for the average American, who has no idea of how fortunate they are to be living in this country, where the opportunities to pull one’s self out of the hole of poverty are so much more available than in much of the rest of the world. I listen to these political pundits, screaming their outrage at how the poor are shiftless, and only want handouts, and to have society provide them with food and shelter, all at the expense of “hard-working Americans who pay taxes”, and I am completely filled with my own sense of outrage. These people have no idea of how lucky they are, or how little part they played in securing the resources they command, and have no idea at all of what it is like to not have those opportunities available to them.

These people are the same ones who spend so much time chasing the Devil, and spouting off about religion. They assume that the poor of the world are poor because God wants them to be that way, or that they are somehow responsible for their own poverty, having offended God. Ms. Keller also had something to say about them, which I believe completely, and share in her wish to see more of it in the world….

” It is wonderful how much time good people spend fighting the devil. If they would only expend the same amount of energy loving their fellow men, the devil would die in his own tracks of ennui.”

Pretty smart lady, that Helen Keller….. the world will never see her like again, and that is a shame, to be sure……

Children’s Rhymes

By what sends
the white kids
I ain’t sent:
I know I can’t
be President.
What don’t bug
them white kids
sure bugs me:
We know everybody
ain’t free.

Lies written down
for white folks
ain’t for us a-tall:
Liberty And Justice–
Huh!–For All?

Langston Hughes

This poem gives voice to and defines the vast distance that still exists in this country between the folks who feel this way, and their opposite numbers on the other side of the issue. Racism is alive and all-too-well in this country, and this election is proof of that pudding. The Republican Party has adopted a platform that just barely avoids outright statement of such bigotry, but not by much. Their inner circle has already made public that the agenda of the GOP is to make Obama a one term President; there is no mention of taxes or the economy, jobs, medical insurance, war, or any other of the possible issues that are under the public eye. Their single goal is to get the black man out of the Oval Office; they don’t care, obviously, how many people they alienate in their efforts, either, as they chose the single most contentious candidate possible.

Yesterday, or the day before, I mentioned that this country is at a crossroads, which elicited some support among commenters, with good reason. This election is going to show exactly how many people are still out there ready to buy into any set of lies in order to maintain their own bigoted outlook. The Romney/Ryan team, and the GOP, has given up any hope of mainstream acceptance, and has sided with the fundamentalists and fanatics who believe that government should be secondary to religion. They have managed to alienate about 75-80% of the American public with their fascist, religion-based platform, while still garnering the support of millions of dim-witted people who are only concerned with their racist agendas. The campaign has already shown how racism has survived intact, and on election day, every bigot, every fanatic, and every religious nut in the country is going to vote to show their support for policies that will be the worst possible thing that could happen to them, all because they believe that a black man should not be President.

I am appalled, not only by the actual people who are voicing these asinine concepts, but by the media, who reports what the GOP candidates say, just as if it made any sense, thereby lending credence to the idiocy they espouse. But, I am also encouraged at the response to all of this, which appears to be swinging in favor of the incumbent President. All the most recent polls show the Democrats to be leading, in every issue, and the GOP campaign is scrambling around in terror, in absolute shock that their policies are being rejected by the majority of Americans. I am growing more hopeful of an outcome that we can live with, instead of one that promises to send society into chaos. It may be a slim hope, but it is a strong one, and I can only hold good thoughts for the ascendancy of reason over ignorance in our society in the years to come…..

I came upon a treasure trove of quotes in one of my copies of the Bathroom Reader’s Institute’s tomes, called Uncle John’s Ahh-Inspiring Bathroom Reader…. If you are unfamiliar with these books, take the time to access their website, where you can get a good idea of what they are like…. fun, interesting, and chock full of both nonsense, and sense…. Here are a series of quotes from some modern and historical figures, all of which pertain to the current campaign for the Presidency in this country…. at least peripherally….. These all have a pointed remark that leads us to some disturbing conclusions about public life in America, but, what else is new?…..

“Fundamentalism isn’t about religion. It’s about power.” — Salman Rushdie

“In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.” — Napoleon Bonaparte

“A little learning, indeed, may be a dangerous thing, but the want of learning is a calamity for any people.” — Frederick Douglas

“The universe is an intelligence test.” — Timothy Leary

“There is no place in a fanatics head where reason can enter.” — Napoleon Bonaparte

“There is no act of treachery or meanness of which a political party is not capable; for in politics there is no honor.” — Benjamin Disraeli

There, that should lead to the proper level of confusion and glassy eyes…. I’m just glad the polls are showing some progress in the number of folks who have come to realize that the Romney/Ryan ticket would be disastrous, for everyone, not just a few. Perhaps there is still a chance for common sense to assume a place in public life…. one can always hope…..

Another odd Pearl today, ffolkes…. it’s getting to be a habit. I can’t say it wasn’t fun, trying to figure out how to create material out of nothing much, but I think I’d rather try to get back to the old routine one of these days…. This waiting game is getting tedious, to be sure, and I will be very glad when something happens to change my situation….. It is said that having to wait for change leads to patience, but in this case, I wish they would just keep their bloody mouths shut…. I guess I’m getting cranky, which is understandable, if not desirable. So be it……. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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