The Legend of Juan Valdez

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“Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves”   ~  Abraham Lincoln

“No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.”  ~  Ansel Adams

“The country was in peril; he was jeopardizing his traditional rights of freedom and independence by daring to exercise them.”  ~  Joseph Heller

Twas a rude awakening indeed this morning. Well, maybe not rude; I don’t think cats can be rude. I’d been sleeping, in two periods, for nearly eleven hours, which for me is remarkable. I don’t believe I am “coming down with something”. What does that even mean anyway? Anyway, she was tearing all around the place, calling out as she flew. She sounded pissed, so I too woke up tossing sleepy, maybe too loud, grumbles her way; I too was pissed, as if eleven hours of sleep was not enough. It was nearly 6 AM, not quite her feeding time, which must be regulated due to diabetes. But I gave her a few nuggets of kibble to calm her down, then started a pot of coffee, Starbucks, Italian Roast, mmmm. I didn’t do it at the time, but I am doing it now, conjuring the image in my head of Juan Valdez and his donkey, standing down at the far end of an aisle in the supermarket in one of them old Folgers commercials on TV. Yeh buddy, I really loved that guy and those commercials. I still do. His brand of coffee I can merely tolerate. That’s not the point. Señor Valdez and his donkey have become imaginal for me. The difference between imaginary and imaginal, in cases like these, is that imaginary does not pack as much punch, whereas imaginal is when imaginary acquires the ‘as if’ factor, which means that Juan Valdez came to conjure an effect in my imagination. My affection for some guy that ain’t real, so to speak, made him real for me, over time; he affected my life as much as some flesh and blood person might. He has become legendary. That was a difficult sentence to read but I explained myself as well as possible for me at the moment. I love that guy and I love his donkey. That’s what I mean: he has earned a place in my personal archetypal pantheon. Just Like Foghorn Leghorn, or Bullwinkle J. Moose. Wow. Now, moving forward . . . I’m just about out of words for the time being. I’m feeling profoundly sad this morning, and it’s the president that did it. He hardly seems human to me. His ugliness, that seething cauldron of guck in his raisin heart, is profoundly disturbing, at least it is for me. But I feel the smile inside that has nothing to do with such things. Ob la di ob la da.



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