Reeling, writhing, and fainting in coils….


“When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.”

~~ East African Proverb ~~


Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti and the First Cup of Espresso in Space

NASA Image from

Good morning…..

I had something to I’d intended to say, but, never mind; we’ll do the right thing, & get going on this….

Shall we Pearl?

“After a while he realizes that she is beautiful – he just hadn’t noticed it at first.” — Lazarus Long



    If there is a superstar in classical music, Yo-Yo Ma fits that bill; Isthak Perlman has been my favorite classical violinist since I first saw him on the Ed Sullivan show in the early 60’s. I never knew of Daniel Barenboim until I heard him play with these two, but, obviously, he’s pretty good at what he does, or he wouldn’t be playing with them…. Enjoy, ffolkes, as three of the very best play Beethoven….


Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Daniel Barenboim

Beethoven’s Triple Concerto





Dont keep calm

    To begin today’s discussion, please follow the link below to read the following blog post. It’s a bit hard to read, if one has any sensitivity at all, but, everyone in this world, especially the men, would do well to understand this issue. As a starting point for discussion, this is a very clear statement about of one man’s reaction to being confronted with incontrovertible evidence of the problem of abuse in our society, a reaction which, in my firm opinion, needs to become a universal response among ALL men…. Read it, please….

I had intended to write about this, but, instead, I’m going old-school to have my say; trying to write put me in a nasty place. All I could think about was what sort of gun I should buy…. In the link above, you see comment #208… which is from me, wherein I told the author of the post I would have held his coat for him while he took care of his business…. I envy the author, and find myself wanting to go hunting…. For now, let’s pearl on it….

“For BOTH sexes, abuse derives from powerlessness, not power.” — Smart Bee

“Once made equal to man, woman becomes his superior.” — Socrates

“Man is descended from a hairy, tailed quadruped, probably arboreal in its habits…  For my part I would as soon be descended from [a] baboon … as from a savage who delights to torture his enemies … treats his wives like slaves … and is haunted by the grossest suspicions.” — Charles Darwin

“Tell me why are we so blind to see that the ones we hurt are you and me?” — (Coolio) Gangsta’s Paradise

“But crushing truths perish from being acknowledged.” — Albert Camus — The Myth of Sisyphus

“If you don’t like yourself, you can’t like other people.” — Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

“It is dangerous to make man see too clearly his equality with the brutes without showing him his greatness. It is also dangerous to make him see his greatness too clearly, apart for his vileness. Is still more dangerous to leave him in ignorance of both. But it is very advantageous to show him both. Man must not think that he is on a level either with the brutes or with the angels, nor must he be ignorant of both sides of his nature; but he must know both.”
— Pascal, Pensees, n. 418

“A ferret in the trousers is worth two in the bush.”– Smart Bee

Okay, so, sorry ’bout that last one; couldn’t help myself…. I had to do SOMETHING to lighten the mood a little…. You can always trust a ferret for that…. Here’s one a bit more appropriate to use as a closer…

“What most people need to learn in life is how to love people, and use things, instead of using people, and loving things.” — Smart Bee



    This poet should need no introduction….

When I Have Fears

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charactery,
Hold like rich garners the full ripen’d grain;
When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love;–then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.

~~ John Keats ~~



“When a man lies he murders part of the world.

These are the pale deaths men miscall their lives.”

~~ Paul Gerhart ~~

The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing, in so far as it stands ready against the accidental and the unforeseen, and is not apt to fall.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, vii, 61

“When it comes time to die, make sure that all you have to do is die.” — Jim Elliot

“That’s the way things come clear. All of a sudden. And then you realize how obvious they’ve been all along.” — Madeleine L’Engle

“You should hammer your iron when it is glowing hot.” — Publius Syrus — Maxim 262

“If the sight of a beautiful rainbow no longer excites you, than you had better prepare to pack it in – you are already dead.” — Smart Bee

“Failure to understand reality is not reality’s fault.” — Bill Henneman

“People who matter are most aware that everyone else does, too.” — Malcolm Forbes

“Are all your stars shining?”

~~ JD Salinger ~~


I can’t say much about this pearl; it was neither the worst, nor the best, and very little like one in between, in re: putting it together in a smooth, timely fashion… Regardless, it’s done, so, I’ll take it…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, whether I like it or not….

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


“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch


À bientôt, mon cherí….


Stories from the blank pages of history….


“Primum vivere, deinde philosophari.”

[First comes life, only after that philosophy.]

~~ Latin for everyday occasions ~~

Lights over Dunstanburgh Castle in Northumberland-UK- Owen Humphrey-PA
Northern Lights over Dustanburgh Castle, Northumberland

UK Guardian, February 2015, Owen Humphreys PA

Damn! Damn, damn, damn!….. and, damn, again….

Nope, it didn’t help, though, it should have. Seldom has a series of epithets, so powerfully expressed, been found to be so useless. Today, such vituperation apparently offers nothing; nothing, at least, to relieve the frustration built up by thirty minutes of staring at the blankest damn page I’ve ever seen…. or, maybe it’s just my mind that is so blank….

Hmm….I see the vast, empty white space, filling my mind with terror, has spread all the way to the title today…. THAT’s when we know it’s too late…. when what is in my head leaks over into the title, it means we’re in big trouble, right here in little China…. or, was that River City? Good movie, either way…

Also either way, it’s another day in the canoe, riding familiar waters of a well-known creek, without the proverbial, or, even a literal paddle… Of course, many of us are becoming accustomed to such days; anyone can come to accept, if not exactly appreciate, even the foulest, most odoriferous of environments, if that is the only type gracing our nostrils…. (Wow, what an awkwardly phrased sentence!…. it’s amazing it got all the way to the end of the sentence….)  People are odd that way; we can get used to almost anything, if we must endure it for long…. There are far too many examples in history to think otherwise; such stories are plentiful, though, not on the blank pages….

Hmph…. Imagine that. A small spark of inspiration just struck me; no worries, there’s no blood. But, it did remind me I DO have things I could relate in this section, as I had a visit yesterday with the grandkids…. I’m not so cruel, however, as to subject y’all to hearing how big they’ve gotten, or the latest cute stuff they’re learning to say, to my son’s total embarrassment…. You see, the little spark also lit up a small additional piece of information, regarding intros, and the ever-popular emergency exit method #4, which we’ve been forced to apply two or three times of late….

How does that work? Easy, just like this…..

Shall we Pearl?

“What you cannot enforce, do not command.”

~~ Socrates ~~


Today’s video choice has three superstars of the classical world playing together…. If this doesn’t fill you up, you need to learn to relax a bit more…. Exquisite!…..


Beethoven: Triple Concerto (Yo Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Daniel Barenboim, 15.02.1995)





I got nothin’…. nada, zip, zilch, not a damn thing wandering around in there…. Y’all know what THAT means…. a trip to the archives… Today, we’ll go for something a bit lighter than the usual faire…. Ah, just right…..

From 9/7/2011:

Morning muse
A Morning Muse

Sometimes, when I’m alone for a long while (it happens pretty often these days), I admit that I talk to myself. I’ve heard all the cliché responses to that remark, having worked in the mental health industry for many years, so let’s just sail right on past those and consider what I actually mean by that. I think all of us do it, though many would say they probably would enjoy it more if they didn’t answer back. However, giving that the attention it’s due, what I’m talking about are, more or less, complete conversations, with all three of the sides part of any argument being expounded by yours truly, unashamedly, often with elaborate accents and voices.

It’s really okay. I’m not crazy; who would know better than me, right? One day, I just realized, only when I talked to myself could I really relax, and be myself. I mean, who understands me better than me? Who can better formulate rational and reasoned theories to explain even the most outrageous questions I can ask myself? Who won’t be offended by even my most base and bestial impulses? Who won’t be mean if I ask a dumb question, or make an obvious mistake out of ignorance, or, advancing senility? And, who will ever make me laugh at myself, if I don’t? Of course, the only question that ever really gets answered is, “If I don’t talk to myself, who else is likely to do so today?” And I know the answer to that one already.

Now maybe this is all illusory; in reality, I’m not really having those self-induced delusions of adequacy. Maybe I’m channeling for some ancient Egyptian priestess and her demon lover, who are trying to steal my body, sending my soul to hell for all eternity. No, wait, that was an episode of Charmed.

Well, see? There you have it, first hand. The boy has finally and truly slipped around the bend. I HATED that show; after three minutes, the plot was apparent, with only special camera effects of which to take note thereafter, in between the 4-5 minutes of commercials between vignettes (well, and, who doesn’t take note of the witches’ wardrobes, or lack thereof?….). The very idea that I’ve been hiding that little  time-bomb in some dark corner of my mind makes me shudder to think what else might be in there somewhere.

Then of course, as we all might guess, Reality always asserts its’ presence. When we start to wander too far afield, it gleefully steps up next to our shoulder to administer a sharp slap to that really delicate spot right behind the ear. You know that one, right? The spot that just explodes pain into the side of your head, to remind us forcefully of what actually is something we must  not only believe in, but deal with, no matter our pitiable opinions of fair and unfair. Therein lies my challenge every day, when I ask myself when I wake up each day if I really want to get out of bed at all…..or will the demon lover take over my body, casting my soul into hell for all eternity, laughing, laughing at the poor, pathetic human? I suppose I’ll have to get up to find out….

Note from 2015: Naturally, Zippy has provided us with the perfect closing pearl for such an astute discussion, to wit:

“Will this never-ending series of PLEASURABLE EVENTS never cease?” — Zippy the Pinhead


One of my own poems will do today; this one was written during the 2013 NaPoWriMo challenge, to write a poem a day for the month of April, 2013…. I made it through the challenge, with only minor cheating…. I like this one, though I don’t really know why…. I hope you like it as well….

Funny Bones

Dreaming the way home, lost, unseen,
from the dance, where
he felt so free, and clean.
Sorrow couldn’t find him there.

Waiting, filling up the hours, hoping,
some connection can be found
keeping busy as bees, coping.
Love creeps in, without a sound.

Fat days, skinny nights, passionate
visions of semi-conscious entities,
cannot seem to fully illuminate
or hide our innermost frailties.

Resolute, find the perfect sense, codify
simple rules with every breath
never waiting, anxious to modify.
fear nothing in life, not even Death.

~~ gigoid ~~


Smart Bee is on strike today, apparently; nothing at all came out when I asked for an old-school pearl…. Rather than fight with it, here is a pearl from the archives, to save the day, and a bunch of time we can find a use for later….

From April of 2013:

Having ranted today once, I’ll not subject y’all to another…. though there’s more in there to rant about, for sure…. I just don’t want to make y’all think I’m insensitive, or have become overly personal, or judgmental (read: boring….). So, we’ll fall back into default position, and put together a fresh pearl, with some kind of point, yet to be determined by my subconscious mind…. I just let that happen as it happens, as you know…. If you get the point today, be aware it’s worth extra points, and this one WILL be on the Quiz…..

we can never be born enough.
We are human beings;
for whom birth is a supremely welcome mystery,
the mystery of growing:
the mystery that happens only and whenever
we are faithful to ourselves.

~~ e.  e.  cummings. ~~

“The universe is like a safe to which there is a combination — but the combination is locked up in the safe.” — Peter DeVries

“One day with life and heart is more than time enough to find a world.” — James Russell Lowell (1819-1891) — Columbus

I see my life go drifting like a river
From change to change; I have been many things –
A green drop in the surge, a gleam of light
Upon a sword, a fir tree on a hill,
An old slave grinding at a heavy quern,
A king sitting upon a chair of gold –
And all these things were wonderful and great;
But now I have grown nothing, knowing all.
Ah! Druid, Druid, how great webs of sorrow
Lay hidden in that small slate-coloured thing!

 ~~ William Butler Yeats, “Fergus and the Druid” ~~

” Never eat anything bigger than your head.” — Kliban’s First Law of Dining

“I may not understand what you say, but I’ll defend to your death my right to deny it.” — Albert Alligator, in Pogo, 26 September 1951

“Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” — Bhagavad-Gita (and Robert Oppenheimer)

Well, there you go…. If that isn’t obvious, I’m doing something wrong…. it’s not your fault, so don’t hurt your brain trying to figure it out. My insurance company refuses to cover self-inflicted mis-comprehension…. I do have some nice tea, though, if that will help…..


As I sat today to begin, I was not at all sure how it would go; happily, with a bit of struggle, it went reasonably well, all things considered. To show my appreciation for such politeness from the Universe, I’ll not torment y’all any further today, but, will take my leave in a dignified, timely fashion… In fact, I’ll do that right now…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes…..

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


“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch


À bientôt, mon cherí….


Damn fine socks, mister….


“I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.”

~~ Socrates ~~

Animal Pictures of the Week London Daily Telegraph

Animal Pictures of the Week
London Daily Telegraph

    “I am especially grateful to Saint-Expury for bringing out a paradoxical truth which seems to me of great psychological import: that man’s happiness lies not in freedom but in his acceptance of a duty.” — Andre Gidet, 1931, in the preface to Saint-Expury’s “Night Flight”, called “Flight to Arras” in the English version.

Serendipity can be of great help when one is floundering, if one is able to put aside any confusion to notice its presence…. I am in a deep funk, one brought on by a resurgence of PTSD symptoms, in reaction to some stressful issues with which I’ve been dealing over the last few weeks…. The details are not important; nor is any real discussion of my own neurotic/psychotic tendencies of any help that I can see….

However, the process of finding one’s center, and the inner balance to maintain one’s position there, is often helpful to discuss, if only to point out those ideas that may bring some relief, to myself, or anyone else, from the issues at hand…. In this case, the above quote from Mssr. Gide reminded me of something I already knew, but, lost track of in my floundering around in my head…. Easy to do, methinks, especially for those of us who dwell in our inner spaces a lot….

How does all this relate to a Pearl? Well, the fact is, I’m seriously considering NOT Pearling for a while…. The duty I have in life now is not one of my own choosing, in one sense, though there is, of course, another sense which always knows that ALL of what we do, and all of what happens TO US, is all our choice…. But, right now, I’m dealing with more pain and misery, for reasons found in the state of my own physique, than I ever imagined, much less thought to feel; having been healthy all my life, I didn’t imagine ever having my own body betray me…. I suppose that goes to show how little we actually know, and how much we need to learn to pay closer attention….

In any case, it seems to me that I’ve become too sedentary; my whole life these days revolves around the process of creating these Pearls…. The routines I’ve built up all are centered on the early morning period when I write; the rest of my day is generally taken up by methods of passing the time without increasing my pain…. In fact, my entire existence, including the writing of Pearls, is designed to keep my pain at a level that can be managed…. By pain, I am referring to both the physical pains I feel, from arthritis, diverticulosis, and the aftereffects of a life spent in hard labor (so to speak….), and the internal, mental pain that plagues me when my PTSD flares up….

It’s hard to say which is more debilitating; the physical pain is tough, especially when it all kicks in together, but, I can usually push past it to do stuff…. The mental pain is, perhaps, a bit harder to deal with, as when it strikes, I don’t want to do ANYTHING, not even think…. The chemical means I use to manage both types of pain are helpful, but, there are times when the pain pretty much IGNORES anything I take, and will push through all chemical barriers to make itself known…. Those times, while illuminating in terms of what one learns about one’s self, are NOT pleasant…. a word which, in this case, may be termed as reverse hyperbole….

As can be seen, today, my hands and joints are better; I’m typing without a need for long breaks, and the magic cream is working fine. Hence, this long, wordy, wandering intro section, all just to say that this may be the last Pearl you see for a time…. I am not sure. but, the statement above, re; duty, has caused some deep resonance in my spirit, and I feel I may be taking a hiatus from writing to go find my duty…. It’s that simple for me, you see…. I’ve always known that I am duty-driven, as any man worth his salt is…. Whether we like it or not, it’s the way we’re built, and we don’t do well without a purpose, one we have chosen to fulfill….

So, bear with me, ffolkes…. This could get maudlin, or it could get brilliant (less likely, I’m sure, in my current frame of mind….); what it WILL get is DONE, one last time, if it kills me….

Shall we Pearl?

“A hug is a heart to heart talk.” — Bobby Matherne (American writer, 1940-)


In order to keep with the theme today, here is some gorgeous music from a brilliant artist, playing music designed for the instrument he plays…. Enjoy!….


Yo Yo Ma… The Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello by Johann Sebastian Bach


I definitely don’t have a rant in me today, other than one against reality, which is totally useless…. So, here is a discussion from the archives, that takes life down to a pretty simple level….

From 9/15/2012:

“I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinions of himself than on the opinions of others.” — Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

See? There, now, I’ve been saying this for years, and here’s old Marcus Aurelius, that Roman cogitator extraordinaire, putting it straight out there, way back around the time of J.C.’s failed attempt at societal reform. A very cogent, yet poignant description of human nature and the preponderance of Ego that drives most of humanity to act out of their own ignorance, rather than consider the veracity or usefulness of someone else’s ideas. This format for stating this answer to one of the great questions is one that all the best philosophers choose when creating aphorisms; clear, simple language and brutally honest self-examination provide us with true wisdom, like it or not……

What particularly gets me about people at large is the high percentage of folks who fall into the trap that Ego sets; for some reason, people seem to prefer the cozy blindness with which ignorance can cover them to the cold, harsh light of self-knowledge. The very ego that sets them apart from the rest of the animals who inhabit this planet becomes also the greatest threat to survival, when it is allowed to dictate how one views reality.

The state of society in today’s world rests on the brink of total collapse; any number of issues currently in play in the world can lead us to upheaval unseen since the last Ice Age. Pollution, created by mankind, is pumping tons of carbon monoxide into the air every minute, and all those precipitates are eventually bound to cause changes to climate that we will have no power to stop, or reverse.

The economy of the world is constantly on the verge of collapse in these times, due mostly to the unacknowledged crimes of the 1% of mankind who controls 99% of the money and resources. These crimes arise, again, out of Ego, as the elite of the world believe that they are “different” from the rest of humanity, and deserve to make all the decisions, which oddly enough, are only beneficial to themselves….. again, the power of Ego trumps virtue…..

I’m a smart guy, pretty much, but this is a problem for which even I cannot find a solution, other than the age-old, time-worn, and always ineffective war between the classes. That solution has been tried innumerable times throughout history, and each time the same structure of society re-settles into the same old shape, with a few people at the top, making all the important decisions for the rest of humanity. All because we, as individuals, and as a species, cannot learn to control our ego, to persuade it to act for the benefit of all, rather than just looking out for itself….. I figure that whatever happens will be what we deserve, and I can’t say that I think it will be very pretty, for the species….. or for a lot of individuals…..

Maybe there is a solution…. as a matter of fact, there is one that has been around for as long as mankind has been writing stuff down…. and it’s always the same little piece of advice, a little idea that can change one’s entire life and world-view….. but only if it is accepted, and believed, and applied to reality…… Everybody knows this, but, how many actually live it?…..

“Do unto all as you would wish to have done unto you, and reject for others what you would reject for yourself.” — Mohammed

That’s right, the Golden Rule…. a basic tenet of EVERY philosophy that Mankind has ever formulated; even most religions will acknowledge the wisdom of this, though it doesn’t serve their interests as well as they would wish. But, throughout history, we have always known what is the right way to act…. we’ve just always chosen not to apply the principle in interacting with others…. Instead, we allow our ego to dictate how we behave, thus bringing us to the current world, with all of its problems and dangers…..

SIGH….. It’s really quite easy, and it’s the only answer that will work, in the long run. It really is too bad that most of humanity isn’t buying into it, isn’t it?……


I’ve been inundating y’all with my own poetry, so, here is one we all have seen before, at one time or another, from a poet who needs no introduction from me….

The Arrow and the Song

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

~~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ~~


Above, I stated I don’t have a rant in me…. but, that doesn’t mean I don’t have anything about which I want to rant. It only means I don’t believe I’ve got the mental acuity to do it right…. Smart Bee, however, seems to be in fine fettle, now that it has gotten over whatever snit it was pursuing there for a while….

This pearl speaks about modern society, in this country specifically, but with relevance to the entire gamut of human culture today…. Follow the bouncing idea ball to the perfect resolution to the issues brought forth by this most excellent indictment…. I couldn’t have done better if I’d tried….

“Existing order thrives upon ignorance and lies. Objective truth and individual reason are feared above all.” — Smart Bee

“Democracy is a form of government that substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few. In democracy, what you get generally is bad government by a bully, tempered by the pen of several newspaper editors.” — George Bernard Shaw — Man and Superman (1903) Maxims for Revolutionists: Democracy

“But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.” — Frederic Bastiat, The Law

“It doesn’t require any particular bravery to stand on the floor of the Senate and urge our boys in Vietnam to fight harder, and if this war mushrooms into a major conflict and a hundred thousand young Americans are killed, it won’t be U. S. Senators who die. It will be American soldiers who are too young to qualify for the senate.” — George McGovern

“The history of most countries has been that of majorities – mounted majorities, clad in iron, armed with death, treading down the tenfold more numerous minorities.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes poet, novelist, physician 1809-1894

“Capitalism did not arise because capitalists stole the land, but because it was more efficient than feudalism. It will perish because it is not merely less efficient than socialism, but actually self-destructive.” — J. B. S. Haldane

“We’ve got to end this foolishness.” — Smart Bee


“So as this only point among the rest remaineth sure and certain, namely, that nothing is certain. . .” — Pliny The Elder

Pliny the Elder, in many of his works, tended to lean a bit toward the fantastic, especially when it came to biology, a science of which he knew very little, but said much… The above, however, is perfectly true, and is a good place to end today’s missive, as it fits right in with my mood…. Most days, at this point, I would say, see y’all tomorrow…. Today, all I will say is, be real, and wish me luck, in finding some peace of mind…. 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.

gigoid, the dubious



À bientôt, mon cherí….