The Impermanence of Novelty

Mountain lights 003

“I often like to think that our map of the world is so wrong that where we have centered physics, we should actually place literature as the central metaphor that we want to work out from. Because I think literature occupies the same relationship to life that life occupies to death. In the sense that a book is life with one dimension pulled out of it. And life is something which lacks a dimension which death will give it. I imagine death to be a kind of release into the imagination in the sense that, for characters in a book, what we experience is an unimaginable degree of freedom” ~ Terence McKenna

My mother, shortly before her actual death, said something quite similar: “Ken, after I am gone you will have more freedom than you can even imagine”. I had just been having a snit fit about how I had done nothing useful with my life. Here she was dying and I was being self-centered. I think it is supposed to be that way. Without the center of the self we have no reference point. Besides, I was also being self-ignorant in that I was helping to provide a palliative environment within which she could create the highest adventure in her life. That seems pretty useful to me. My emotional state at the time was pretty much on the brink of being all black hole like and stuff. It was so intense that it fractured my grip on linguistic proficiency, an injury from which I have yet to recover. Sure, I rationalize it as simply using the vernacular as a literary device. Luckily it is only a sporadic phenomenon. I wouldn’t like want to talk all goofy and stuff all the friggin time.

It’s the coldest morning in many weeks. At 11º the air feels edgy but clear. The star show at 3 AM was spectacular, with none of the haze or clouds that have been predominant. It’s a head full of cotton for me. The brain seems to be alright though. That’s good, I’ll likely need it at work today. The sense of novelty there these days is puzzling me but I feel it is wise to keep my feet firmly on the ground and my head just a little below the clouds. I’m used to my head being up that high, so I resist lowering it too much. The change of pressure alone could squeeze my brain down to the size of a raisin, which likely explains a lot. Don’t ask me what that just meant, I ain’t tellin’. But I was yakkin’ ’bout novelty. Patience I’m good at. Tolerance, pretty good. Overall whatever is novel will eventually not be. That’s the way it works. What am I so worried about anyway.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Advertisements

Upon a Gray Day

Socrates 003

“Never underestimate how much assistance, how much satisfaction, how much comfort, how much soul and transcendence there might be in a well-made taco and a cold bottle of beer.”  ~ Tom Robbins

It’s all gray this morning, the sky, my mood, my bathrobe. I’m looking for humor and it is not hard to find. Not at all. Certainly my quest to finally learn that I am still qualified for Medicaid was a boost. It turns out that I will need to turn down any raises my employer might offer or I will lose eligibility. That ain’t gonna happen. Not on my watch. Health insurance with comprehensive coverage ain’t cheap. So I will maintain what I have. Other than that it’s work and go home for me in the foreseeable future. That’s not as dull as it may sound. It beats living in my car, which is a recurrent theme in my dark depression-driven imaginary visions. I don’t subscribe to them kinda visions but they sho do come anyway. Depression knows no bounds and it’s good to keep that in mind. If you don’t let it walk alongside it will jump into the driver’s seat. Not good that, avoid at all costs. Above you see a software-altered photo of Sam and Socrates, together in a cushy bed. That’s Socrates upright and looking into the camera. He’s my favorite cat in the cattery.

I’m wrung out and dull this morning. The dullness shall pass. Maybe the weariness will to. You never know. I reckon that Tony Robbins would strongly and flamboyantly urge me to get out and do something. If I did follow his advice I would amend it with with the advice of another Tom, Robbins, and go get a well-made Taco and cold beer. Pizza would do as well. Yes. And for regular readers – the green chile chicken stew was excellent. Cold beer was in attendance. Bravo.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously

Hold Your Head Up

Franklin 002

“In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.”  ~ Dalai Lama XIV

Today’s opening photo is of Franklin, a male Red Point Siamese mix, maybe purebred. This dude abides. I only say this because he does. Folks sometimes look for hidden meanings in a statement of fact. This dude abides. Trust me on this one, k? I’m in an odd state of mind anyway this morning. Low gray overcast caps a morning with fresh snow that melted only slightly since yesterday afternoon. Having a lightly falling snow shower while working yesterday was a gift for me. For some reason I have been feeling oddly cautious in my job. I don’t get it. My paranoia is operating a tad too high lately. It’s a product of PTSD, which I have in a clinically diagnosed form. Which means it is real, folks. You can trust me on that one too. Thanks, yer a pal. I rarely if ever brandish my mental illness as a way to get my way. That would be like using a garden rake to stir the cream into your morning coffee, or like using a rather goofy metaphor to persuade someone of something. It’s just too big for the job. Straight talk is better. You can trust me on that one too. I’ve got a situation going on in my daily life that is making me, forcing me to, hold my head high and move forward. Friggin inconvenient!

“And if they stare
Just let them burn their eyes on you moving
And if they shout
Don’t let them change a thing that you’re doing
Hold your head up, hold your head up
Hold your head up, hold your head high” ~ Argent

Of course I will take the modern tagline-driven course, which advises me to see the new day that is dawning, and I will do so as a team-player, because the milleau  involved has provided me with a gift that can possibly help me to grow as a person. How can you pass up a deal like that? I shall sharpen my game by learning tolerance, trust, and humility. I wouldn’t mind polishing these things into a nice matte-finish. It would look good on my spiritual resume, and may help on my realtime resume. Sweet.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Green Chile Chicken Stew and an Ermine

cloud-hidden 002 - 2

 

“Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.” ~ William Butler Yeats

I haven’t the stomach for a hideous rush. Not today, not ever. Then there’s the weasel. Go figure. Who sees a weasel at 7 PM on an early winter’s night? Yup, I did. Let me ‘splain. My ex made a batch of green chile chicken stew. That batch was too much for her to finish so she called me and offered me the leftovers. Such things happen. Last night after work I went over to collect the food. On my way back to the highway I was treated to the sight of an ermine running across Jose Manuel Road, right in front of my car, glowing in the headlights. Odd. Ermine wear an all white coat in the winter. Beautiful. I’m still having a hard time grasping this. My friend Scott saw one, but that was up at his cabin in the mountains of Southern Colorado. My sighting was on the mesa just north of Taos, New Mexico. I’m a lucky man. Green chile chicken stew and an ermine, all in one night. But that’s about it, or maybe not. There’s a situation in my life that has my WTF meter maxing out, well, maybe bouncing in and out of the red zone. I’m facing it as a spiritual warrior should: seek to spread love, if possible. It usually is possible. I thought about disconnecting the WTF meter but I reckoned that would make me a little too cold for human company. Discernment is a necessary quality, and it needs input if it is to function properly. I’ll let you know how it goes, k? Boy howdy I’m like all stoked and stuff about havin’ the stew for dinner tonight. It’s always lovely to get onto a good stew. But, about the ermine? That was just friggin weird. Why me? They are mad gorgeous. I guess that’s good enough. I’ve always had good relations with rarities.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

 

 

Gnarly Repetition and Novelty

 

storm tree 002

Now, I believe in life, and I believe in the joy of human existence, but these things cannot be experienced except as we also face the despair, also face the anxiety that every human being has to face if he lives with any creativity at all.” ~ Rollo May

Am I weak? Not to my knowledge. I’ve spent the last two days feeling awful, almost out of phase with my physical self, almost beholden to fatigue, yet fully prepared to shout should the need and opportunity arise. There are certainly physical components to this temporary illness, but I deeply feel that the illness of depression is striking back in vengeance for my having three consecutive days of brightness and vigor. I shoulda known, right? Right. But none of it, not the brightness nor the phased out fatigue, is strong enough to defeat depression itself. Somewhere down deep, in the countless fathoms of depression, someone smiles. It’s like the mythic power of Raven, to dive deep and snatch a jewel, forged from light, from a space that has no light. Silly bird. That seems kinda daft to me, but I have done the same thing and Raven was my role model. Try it, peeps. It works, which is not to say that I feel better today, but at least my body is once again my own.

IMG_0377

“In physics the truth is rarely perfectly clear, and that is certainly universally the case in human affairs. Hence, what is not surrounded by uncertainty cannot be the truth.” ~ Richard Feynman

It’s a new day. No really. I started this post last night. Not really sure why ’cause you wouldn’t know when I wrote it if I didn’t tell you. Whatever malady, or compounded maladies, did the rag doll thing with me over the past two days, it has abated to some degree. I’m down with that. I get edgy when I am sick, but not grumpy. Goofy, yes, but not grumpy. The edginess, I am sad to admit, has in part gone toward the cat, who has been talkative, probably because of the odd energy I was putting out. Snapping at a cat does absolutely no good, because they know beforehand that you are wrong. That is pretty much a given. Good kitty, nice kitty.

The second cup of coffee is brewing and I have just stepped back inside after a brief respite in my little corner of the great outdoors. I like getting out of the house occasionally. Especially in the early morning. Boy howdy it’s friggin 20º out there! You’d think I know better. Rest assured, I don’t. I was thinking out there that I asked my psychiatrist, during the last visit, how I can get some idea of where the physical symptoms from the depression leave off and physical symptoms of a physical illness take over. I wanted some indicator because I most often refuse to believe that I am physically ill. I want to attribute it all to depression. She told me that there is really no way to determine that. She also told me that the main thing is to take care of myself, because depression is a feeling of powerlessness, so taking care of myself is an empowering thing to do. Take self-care, add a little empowerment, shake well. I’m always a little shaky. That part is easy. The hard part is having mercy on myself. The disorder is difficult enough without self-mercy, but I almost always forget to do that. My bad. Geez, I just did the self-judgement thing! And I just used an exclamation point where it really wasn’t needed. I’ve obviously got a lot of work to do. Things tend to snowball. Last week I had three days of feeling good. It’s not pessimistic to acknowledge that a down cycle will come. I slept a total of fourteen hours Saturday night. There was obviously a reason for that. A good reason. How’s that for optimism?

So, I will indeed make it into work this morning. The cats will help me to get out of my funk. They always do. Heck, I always do. That will have to do. Now, don’t get the idea that I am trying to mimic Hemingway by repeating a word, using it three times in the same paragraph, but I know where he’s coming from with that technique. It mimics life itself, wherein with all of the glorious possibilities, the rich and spicy variety of probabilities cast out before us, with creativity itself a major player, with all of this stuff repetition adds a staccato rhythm to meaning, a rhythm that says a lot. Without repetition there would not be a whole lot of novelty either. Dude it’s all like rich and spicy like some burrito from some roadside stand. Friggin gnarly dude!

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

Upward

A cats 001

“I am somewhat exhausted; I wonder how a battery feels when it pours electricity into a non-conductor?”  ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

I just can’t seem to get started this morning. That said I’ll see what I can do. I can’t call into work because it would mean admitting I am sick, both to myself and to my employers. Why is that such a problem? I don’t know. My concentration is low today, my brain foggy. I was going to forego writing a blog post but I did that yesterday and I don’t want to go two days in a row without posting. This is because I feel obligated to my readers, and to myself. Two days might go to three, then to four . . . that pretty much explains it.  I’ll have to pull myself together before I go to work, thus the short post. It’s time to start thinking upward instead of down.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

If There Is Snow

IMG_0973

“Integrity’s a neutral value. Hyenas have integrity, too. They’re pure hyena.” ~ Jonathan Franzen

The ringing in my ears about covers it. The morning’s quiet is all that I expected it would be. And it does well what I cannot accomplish, what I can only imagine, when the illness has my mind in it’s talons. Depression is a dark bird hovering. PTSD will make you jump and run from any bird that resembles the one which hovers. And brain damage? It clicks when it ought not. This week is not National Mental Health Awareness Week. That was back in October, the first week. I missed it altogether. But I can play it my own way and make it today, a whole week in one day. With the way my thoughts race, on the best of days, I can do stuff like that, do things that arbitrarily make life weirder than it need be. It’s weird – ummm – compared to what? My bad.

A second cup of coffee sits before me, nearly gone. There’s talk of a winter storm blowing in from California. If there’s snow I’ll be happy. The forecast picks Sunday morning as the probable time for the snow’s arrival, which works great for me, since I have the day off from work, and Sundays have always been a mild bane for me, which is to say that unease is usually my companion on Sundays. There’s sometimes sad comfort in tradition. But I will have that faraway look in my eyes and the Longing will be mine to do with as I please.

blue

It will be a sojourn,  a medicine against anathema, a time of hoping that the friction that has been so hard to avoid is in itself also trying to avoid me. Now, if that sounds mysterious, rest assured that is indeed that. My head aches from controversies that just don’t fade. Not yet. It is so easy to get all riled, all over again, all of the time. I suppose that there is a boulevard of healing somewhere in a mess of feelings such as that, shadows beneath trees, beneath a crisp and bright blue sky, and somewhere in those shadows rests the hard feelings that bend the light just a little more. They are only shadows after all. Which kinda sorta reminds me of something that John Adams once said in a court of law – “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence ” and those words just make me wonder even more about my state of mind when the illness is upon me. I can say things should be different. It doesn’t make them so. I dwell on morbid fears when I should be cleanin’ up some mess that needs cleanin’. And sometimes, just sometimes, I blame other people for the things that didn’t seem quite right at the time, which doesn’t get me nor anyone else off the hook. Oops, I’m rambling. I’ll leave it at that. The illness is upon me these past few days. It distorts things and I look for villains under metaphorical rocks, where they are much too easy to find. When I feel threatened I always feel justified in a huntin’ them l’il suckers down. When I feel mercy for myself I cancel the hunt, shut it down, and tuck it away in a safe place where it can do no harm.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

It’s The Way You Look

Hawk 001

“Birds reflect a union of the conscious mind with the unconscious. They reflect the achievement of full realization. Because of their ability to fly they are associated with aspiration, flights of intuition, beauty and levitation. Birds are a source of creative imagination, and they have the ability to awaken within us our own flights of magic.” ~ Ted Andrews

Yes indeed, I have flights of magic, and I have times when I really must sit down. GeezerWatch has warned me to be careful with this sittin down stuff, but they ain’t supplied the beds, nor the meds, nor the crutches, so I pretty much have to get by on a wing and a prayer, as well as on a metaphor and an aphorism, which are pretty much the same thing, ‘cepts when they ain’t. Capiche? They, today, ain’t, even remotely related, nor similar.

“Curiosity killed the cat, but for a while I was a suspect.” ~ Stephan Wright

IMG_2132

This fine fellow is named Socrates. I gave him that name so he has power over me. That power is simple affection and love. Yes I love this cat. We caregivers love them all, but some, like Socrates, are special. Lucky me. Now, I don’t have the foggiest what is up with the boldface font. It could be anything. I tried to make it go away, to no avail. Please bear with me, it’s still readable.

You know, I like to look at the stats which arise from you good folks who read this blog, for whatever reason you do come to read here at EyeYotee. I welcome you all and am grateful for your interests, whatever they may be. Yes, thank you.

In yesterday’s post I mentioned a meeting with the director of the animal shelter where I work. It was nice. I enjoyed it. He’s a bright guy. What we discussed was a difficult situation, and all I expect from the discussion is that it result in something. I hate it when nothing comes of communications. We’ll see. But I also note that the stats here always show more readers when it has to do with politics at the shelter. That’s good! It means that things are becoming more present and more people are becoming informed, whatever their interests or motives for reading here are. I get satisfaction from that. Lucky me. Communication is the goal. The content of that communication could be anything, which gives the vernacular saying “Whatever” a whole new level of meaning. You may ask me what I expect out of the lingering controversy at the shelter and I will, from here on out (not!), say “whatever”. It’s pretty much a Zen approach – deal with all that comes as something that happens. Simple.

“We think in generalities, but we live in details.”  ~ Alfred North Whitehead

And on that note  – oh, wait! My morning started with coyotes and dogs going at it, no blood,  just incessant squabbling. No one got hurt. It was probably a fence that kept things civil. Later I heard the cock crow just as I spied a shooting star. It’s magic, I tell you! There is a web that keeps us all interconnected whether we like it or not. That is kinda sorta why we get and need Karma. It’s like all gnarly and stuff dude and that’s why stepping back and having a gander at your way of informing any given issue is so important. Input engenders output. The way you feel is one thing whereas what you do about it the other thing. It’s like the old Billy Crystal line, from when he was on Saturday Night Live, “It’s not the way you feel, it’s the way you look!”. It was satire, wasn’t it, Billy? Please say it was, please. I dread the alternative, dude.

Peace out y’all. Goof gloriously, k?

When Courtesy Informs

Sleeper 2 001

“True philosophy must start from the most immediate and comprehensive fact of consciousness: ‘I am life that wants to live, in the midst of life that wants to live”  ~ Albert Schweitzer

“I don’t believe that consciousness is generated by the brain. I believe that the brain is more of a reciever of consciousness.”  ~ Graham Hancock

Daphne was all hissy while Willy Wonka just rolled with the change. I was taking a chance, altering the life, the residence, of two sentient beings. Would it work out as well as I hoped? You never can tell when arranging partnership between cats. You just can’t. There may be folks who have a knack for this kind of thing but there ain’t no experts. But I am happy to report that it worked. Both are adult cats and I thought that they both would benefit from being in a group cage, with room to move. The only question that really applied was if they would get along. I’d reckoned that they would, and that Daphne would be the alpha, regardless of Willy Wonka’s gender and size. It didn’t happen that way. Daphne was intimidated from the start. Willy Wonka didn’t even need to try. He just laid down, chill as can be, and claimed his status.

It’s a cold morning. My second cup of coffee is forthcoming. I have a lot on my mind, but it all can wait, mainly because I don’t know what all I can do about any of the concerns. All I can do at this point is to go to work and do my job as best I can. I came to the animal shelter simply because I needed a job. I got the job. I found that I liked it. I’m not an expert in the field but I consider the animals to be compadres  rather than lower beings that need to be kept. The philosophical and societal issues involved are not usually on my mind. I’m a working stiff. We are all in it together. The animals are my family. The administrators and bosses and stuff are all my family as well. We are all in it together. All of us. You’ll note that I repeated a sentence here. I did it on purpose, for emphasis. And I note the administrators and bosses and stuff are included in my family because they are, but also because I have a meeting with the executive director this afternoon, concerning internal politics relating to the potential hiring of someone I have concerns about. My goal in the meeting is to make my concerns known and to do so in a civil manner. Because of my keen interest in consciousness I feel driven to let intuition be my guide. Just like in the story that opened today’s post I have to consider that my manipulation of the relationships of others must be done in a consciously aware manner. I can’t be driven by “what if I am wrong?”. What I need to do is to be advised by “what if I am right?”. More proactive, don’tcha think? Regardless, I am eagerly looking forward to the meeting. I’ll get to know the guy better and he me. The matter at hand will be discussed and then it’s a matter of que sera sera, whatever will be will be. I will have informed his decision. That, my friends, is my only goal. Of course I have that other side that wants to have it my way and only my way. Mine, mine, mine! That side advises and informs me but it will be dropped at the door when I go into the meeting. I will paraphrase Kurt Vonnegut here and then go make my second cuppa Joe – courtesy succeeds where love often fails. Yes, Mr. Vonnegut, it does.


Well, that did it for me. The moonlight is nice and mellow this morning. The second cup of coffee tastes better than the first. I plan on it being a good day. I’ll be surrounded by friends. Sounds good, doesn’t it. Let’s leave it at that, k?

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Many Worlds

Sleeper 001

Wow, the cat let me sleep in, a whole hour longer than usual. She’s a pal alright. Of course, she being my familiar, it may be that no friggin dark spirits were trying to come bother me, so the cat got the night off. Maybe dark spirits are like mice, they stay away when an alert cat is in the house. Never forget the magical skills of cats. They are strange critters, and valuable friends. They see things we cannot. Now, this topic of the spirit world intermingling with the material world can easily go into the world of quantum physics, noting especially the Many Worlds Interpretation, which essentially gives sway to the possibility that many other universes exist alongside of that which we usually consider to be the only one. Ponder that if you will, or continue to read this blog post. According to the Interpretation you can do both and probably are at this point.

That may all sound like silliness and silliness is frivolous, right? I don’t think so, because silliness does not in any way preclude veracity. Why would it? And the philosophical tendencies of today’s post come into play regardless. Oft times I find myself taking a gander at just how the psychical level of things affects bipolar disorder. What purpose does psychical influence play in the bipolar thingy? It’s a great question! Back in the late 90s I joined the Institute for Noetic Sciences, which was founded in part by the astronaut Edgar Mitchell. On their discussion board I found a thread titled “Depression As Archetypal Possession”. I could see right away how archetypes most certainly play a part in depression. Heck, they play a part in all we do. But possession?  Really? Really?! As I see it neurochemical imbalances are either a commanding presence in depression or a response to our reactions to a friggin crazy world that does not make a lot of sense a lot of the time. Anxiety breeds internal disorder and it becomes set in ‘set in stone’, metaphorically speaking, of course. But what if it both? Now there’s a fooler if I ever saw one, because it is likely that such questions are indulgent by nature. Yet we must sometimes indulge to get movement to do what it does best. Depression is a kind of stuckness. Any movement within the stuckness may be bogged down but it enables progress.

“As we experience the external world, we collect our experiences, creating over time a personal, subjective reality for ourselves — a picture of the world as we know it; and “object vision”, if you will. We integrate these various interpretations of experience as templates within our psyche; these are our ideas, assumptions, and expectations. These ideas, assumptions, and expectations are in turn the filters through which we both perceive our social environment, and further interpret its perception of us. This is one part of the larger developmental tapestry that contributes to the manner in which we weave not only our picture of the world, but our self-perception.”  ~ Michael J. Formica, MS, MA, EdM

That quote is from an article in Psychology Today. I’m forever wrasslin with the perception thingy. It ain’t what it seems yet I do not know what it is. Depressed folks just ain’t got the same perceptions others do. In the dark of their off-kilter mentations it’s a question of what to do about it and a proclivity to avoid doing anything that hurts. Sometimes life hurts. How do you avoid that? Not today. It’s a work day, with a clutter of cats that needs good care, and I ain’t dropping the reins on that horse. No way.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.