A Shrewdness of Apes


“During periods of root expansion things have always looked as confused and topsy-turvy and purposeless as they do now. The whole Renaissance is supposed to have resulted from the topsy-turvy feeling caused by Columbus’ discovery of a new world. It just shook people up. The topsy-turviness of that time is recorded everywhere. There was nothing in the flat-earth views of the Old and New Testaments that predicted it. Yet people couldn’t deny it. The only way they could assimilate it was to abandon the entire medieval outlook and enter into a new expansion of reason.”  ~  Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

The opening quote here came to me serendipitously, or synchronistically. Whatever. It really fit in well with an amorphous feeling I had at the Renaissance Festival last Saturday. A Scottish drum band was performing, and although I was annoyed by their lounge lizard humorous patter the crowd was eating it up. At one point one of the drummers took a left-handed swipe at the president. My mind and heart kicked into a higher gear and I found myself wondering about how much damage the president and the right-wing folks could do before their efforts ran smack up against consensus reality. How much? Here I was smack in the middle of 14,000 people having fun and celebrating life in a facsimile of a period in history when reason was coming into play against a feudal mindset. How could the buzz-kill idealists stand up to such high spirits and knock us revelers down into manageable cubicles? The 60s term “square” comes to me as I write this. These thoughts of mine are just two steps beyond unformed. Hey, I’ve only been at it since last Saturday, k? Geez, I’m grouchy this morning. What it is is frustration from flirting with optimism while being uncomfortable with the notion of positive thinking as it is plied in trendy modern ways. That said, I’m in my usual morning beginnings. The workday draws near. The coffee has been consumed and the cat is asleep in her new bed. I brought the bed home yesterday and set it where her old bed, which took up too much space in this tiny room (I am spatially conservative), had been sitting. When she first paid full attention to the new bed she got a little startled twinge. Change can rattle a soul. Cats are no different. We mammals are hard-wired in . . . hey, I said these ideas are mostly unformed, k? I meant that too. I’m trying to look at our current political crisis from a mammalian point of view. We’ve got a shrewdness of great apes in charge of our country. You know how we have different names for a group of animals? Yeh, apes congregate in shrewdness (click here for link). Hey, how bout them silverbacks! I am not making this stuff up. But right now I gotta get on to my day. Bueno bye.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.



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