Perfectly So

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In the Rio Grande Gorge, at Pilar.

“When two opposite points of view are expressed with equal intensity, the truth does not necessarily lie exactly halfway between them. It is possible for one side to be simply wrong.” ~ Richard Dawkins

“Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in the least space.” ~ Orson Scott Card

“A scientist can pretend that his work isn’t himself, it’s merely the impersonal truth. An artist can’t hide behind the truth. He can’t hide anywhere.” ~ Ursula K. Le Guin

The word “multi-factorial” is a good one. It explains, in part, why this post is a short one. It’s not that I am not into it. I am. Some distractions snagged me and the time ran right by, and now I am coming up short, and none too embarrassed about it. Stuff happens. I will admit, however, that there was perhaps one too many Rachel Maddow video clips involved. That’s okay. Her show is like going to school for an hour. The clips, just as the whole show, satisfy my need for critical thinking, and intellectual perspective. Just sayin. It’s fun to watch her think. And I learn new stuff. Win/win. Outside the cold air . . . ummmm, I don’t where to go with that except to state the the air is cold, as should be. I’m just not feeling all that much poetic, and poetic expression is the only thing that would stretch this post out a tad. Yeh, that’s okay too. Perfectly so.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

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Past Ghosts of Dinosaurs

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“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” ~ Joseph Chilton Pearce

“Anxiety is the handmaiden of creativity” ~ T. S. Elliot

“Creativity is an act of defiance.” ~ Twyla Tharp

“Keeping busy” is the remedy for all the ills in America. It’s also the means by which the creative impulse is destroyed.” ~ Joyce Carol Oates

“The thing is to become a master and in your old age to acquire the courage to do what children did when they knew nothing. ” ~ Ernest Hemingway

There’s a photo at the top of my Facebook newsfeed at the moment which clearly shows Micky Mouse looking all smug. Or maybe it’s a meme? Meme, photo, whatever. Usually I would let such a thing pass right through my field of perception, unaddressed past acknowledgement. But something caught my eye, so I looked. It was all about booze; sugar-laden cocktails; fancy, clever, pretty concoctions. There was even an image of Simba, the Lion King, gazing lovingly at a peachy tropical blend in a frappe glass. No worries, right? Yeh, right. This brings me to another thing, which my free-range mind associates with an obscure book from Carl Hiassen, a longtime columnist for the Miami Herald, and a prolific novelist, stories drawn forth from the plethora of quirkiness that is life in Florida. The book I note here is non-fiction, and it is a rather scathing critique of Mickey Mouse, and Disney in general, and how the corporation and the rodent colluded in building Disney World. The book: Team Rodent: How Disney Devours the World. (the underlined portion is a link). I highly recommend the book. It is a short and scathing blend of investigative journalism and satire worthy of Twain. Not to mention that Carl Hiassen is hilarious. Boy howdy is he ever. Not that . . . . must be positive, right? Carl is on my personal list of writers who inspired me. Now, going forward, that opening may well be the only portion of rational thought in my mind, so far today. But I’ve gotta work today, and running a cash register requires rationality. No, wait . . . we call ’em POS now. It’s a friggin computer wired up to a cash drawer. Ummmm, “Siri, take his money”. Anyway, my sense of time has been all wonky and stuff for several months now. I’m at the tail-end of two back-to-back days off, and let me tell you those two have been twelve. I don’t know how to say it any better. I’ve not taken the time to analyze the phenomenon, so I cannot speculate as to why and how this time distortion is occurring on an extended basis. No worries. The Sunday drive up to Colorado plays a part, to be sure. New Mexico State Highway 522 runs through some amazing territory, running past extinct volcanos, the ghosts of dinosaurs, and living herds of wild horses. Actually the horses are in Colorado. The highway number changes to a Colorado designation at the border, but I don’t wanna mess up that nice sentence with details. The whole drive is like a trip back in time. This is, after all, creative non-fiction I write here daily. Such as it is. Alas, I have run out of creative time for this morning. Shower, shave, you know the drill.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

Down with the Revolution

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View looking north, Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, at US 64

“Do stuff. Be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration’s shove or society’s kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It’s all about paying attention. Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager.” ~ Susan Sontag

“We all feel that the opposite of our own highest principle must be purely destructive, deadly, and evil. We refuse to endow it with any positive life-force; hence we avoid and fear it.” ~ Carl Jung

“Fairy tales make rivers run with wine only to make us remember, for one wild moment, that they run with water.” ~ G. K. Chesterton

Deep cold, crystal clear. At the moment, 13º, feels like 4º. The coffee’s been gone for over two hours. And the cat, after campaigning for 15 minutes, has gone quiet. The campaign? It was like maybe I could find my way to feeding her an hour or so early? Please? I didn’t fall for it. Her dietary schedule is firm, and precise, as per the doctor. Something about consistent blood sugar levels. I’m not sure consistent is the best choice of words, but I am sleepy again. Mind’s not too clear, don’tcha know. The words is going to have to do. I’ve just awakened from an hour long nap, where I apparently just nodded over, hunched over, whatever. Luckily my neck didn’t get all tweaked. I could just as easily nod right back over for yet another hour. But I won’t. Earlier . . . . well, I first woke and got out of bed back yonder ’round 2:30 AM. It didn’t take me long to remember that Donald Trump is still president. That will never stop rankling me. It is the kind of fact that must be repeated, over and over, and it still may never be believed. But like any fact, it doesn’t take my observation to make it true. This is not about me. Nothing is, as far as I can tell. This particular fact carries with it a rumble of low-grade terror, the feeling that some horrid fate awaits the nation. Actually, it’s not just the president his own self, it’s also the radical Right’s agenda, which prez dollops out like butter over a corn cob. Or ketchup over a rib eye. Whatever. I’ve come to view the Right’s agenda as a demonic force with which to render as much damage as is humanly (if you can call it that) possible to our nation’s poorest and/or oldest.  But I’m down with the revolution. The teenager’s crusade. I really do believe that it will roll on into a revolution, eventually. Have you heard these kids speak?! Let’s move forward. I just nodded off again, but only for a few minutes. Today is laundry day. Without a doubt the practical value of the doing will serve to ground me a fair amount. It’s too easy to get all heady and stuff over the torrents of news from the Bizarro world. I’ve noted before that tweaking my intake of news is not an option. The massage therapist, last Thursday, suggested I not read the news before bed. I appreciate and respect her advice. But if it’s not something I read right before sleep it will be something I read earlier in the morning, afternoon, or evening. It’s all that big. It will take love to make things right. That much I know. So, love it is.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Here Below 10,000 Feet

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“The work of each individual contributes to a totality, and so becomes an undying part of the totality. That totality of human lives, past and present – and to come – forms a tapestry that has been in existence now for many tens of thousands of years and has been growing more elaborate and, on the whole, more beautiful in all that time… An individual life is one thread in the tapestry, and what is one thread compared to the whole?”  ~ Isaac Asimov

“Flight of dragons, heavenly argosies
Catch the wind, rise out of sight
Flight of dragons, pilots of fantasy
In the sky or in my mind” ~ Don McLean

This morning feels like Sunday. I’m down with that. Sunday is not my favorite; never has been. And it is highly unlikely to ever be so, except maybe if I, by some infinitesimal chance, were to fall in love on a Sunday, and then who could blame me. Frankly, I’d rather not fall in love. I’d rather it be a gradually procession into discovery. But I don’t reckon it could happen anyway, not at this late date. And the gods would have to be seriously bored to make it happen – and I’d be like, dude, seriously dude? Hey, are you g’wan a tell me it’s never too late? Best get to it then. You’ll feel better for it, even if you already feel right fine to begin with. But me? I’m like never say impossible. Never say never. Geez, I am feeling philosophically cranky today.


The sky is hanging low, solemn gray clouds hover and swirl around 10,000 feet. I like it. There is a harmonic resonance to it; internal and external vibes, subjective and objective actualities; it’s all good. So, what to do? Two days off, under way, so I can put off the laundry until tomorrow. I had a revelation recently, and it felt kind of musty when I discovered it, so somehow, some way, I have to get it out and air it out. Friggin stale shadow stuff. It was a conversation between a man and a woman; pretty much light-hearted. At one point the woman said “all men are whiners”. Here is the kicker: I became instantly depressed, and I physically, spontaneously turned away from the people, as if . . . I don’t know, just as if. What’s up with this? This trite little tidbit has probably been around since Hector was a pup. Makes me want to go out and whine. But that was her stuff, not mine. I consciously decided to stay out of the conversation, afraid that I might tell the truth. If I even knew the truth. So don’t look for any profound declaration or epiphany from me. I grieve for whatever part of me it is that was so hurt by this. If I can find it I can fix it. Compassion, don’tcha know. Geez, I think I might take a long drive today, just for something to do. The highway up to San Luis (the oldest inhabited town in Colorado) is  a sweet, straight, simple drive. I like that town, and the scenery along the way, the grand, majestic expanse of the San Luis Valley, provides world-class beauty. The town of San Luis has other benefits as well. Yeh, there’s a nice little gift shop there. But whatever I do today I should probably get out of the cat’s fur for a while. She gets testy when I am in a down-cycle. I love my cat, BTW.

Peace out, y’all

Again and Again

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“To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy, but it’s still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.” ~ Bill Watterson

“He who is certain he knows the ending of things when he is only beginning them is either extremely wise or extremely foolish; no matter which is true, he is certainly an unhappy man, for he has put a knife in the heart of wonder.”  ~  Tad Williams

“Before you become too entranced with gorgeous gadgets and mesmerizing video displays, let me remind you that information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, and wisdom is not foresight. Each grows out of the other, and we need them all.” ~ Arthur C. Clarke

Looks like another day of . . . oh, even that does not make sense. Dull of mind, I sit within a headache, folded within a cloud of tinnitus. Ugh. It’s the kind of thing that will pass when I get moving. I would have been satisfied with looking at the stars until they fade from view. Instead I found myself getting caught up in a quote search, to find opening quotes for today’s post. I found myself wanting to argue with nearly all of them. And I found myself wishing I knew what to do with my time tomorrow. The important thing is that I found myself. Again and again. If I keep that up all of the annoyances and worries in my life will fall into perspective. Wasn’t that a thing back in the 60s? “Oh, he went off to find himself”. Do people still do that? I mean, can’t they just look on Facebook? At first, many years ago, yet not back into the previous millennium, I had great disdain for Facebook. Turns out I was justified in that outlook. Look, there are suspicious algorithms and skeevy Russian bots there. I still use it. What can I say? I’d better not say anything more today. I’m . . . . oh, never mind.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Compassion Rocks

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 “Our opposable thumbs and love for coffee are what separates us from the other animals.” ~ Kenneth Mathew Ebert

“There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”  ~ C. G. Jung

“Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.” ~ Erwin Schrödinger

“It’s clearly a crisis of two things: of consciousness and conditioning. We have the technological power, the engineering skills to save our planet, to cure disease, to feed the hungry, to end war. But we lack the intellectual vision, the ability to change our minds. We must decondition ourselves from 10,000 years of bad behavior. And, it’s not easy.” ~ Terence McKenna

It’s been a struggle to get me to begin writing. Usually I would avoid politics, but the mass murder last week goes beyond politics; and I am angry, and appalled, and deeply sad, and grieving. The radical (mild term here) Right Wing of the Republican party have stepped over the edge of sanity. Let us hope they come back soon. There is an army of kids without mechanical weapons coming. They are already taking to the streets. On March 24th they will take, with their words and actions, to the streets in a much larger way. They are fully articulate, and impressive in being so. They are driven. And they appear to be much more intelligent than the the adults they seek to address (here’s a link to the video of the dialog between one of these kids and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. Watch the big man squirm. Click here.) The kids don’t want to be in danger of death just by going to school. I could go on. Who can blame them, right? Please support these shining children.


So, Ken, how are you this fine morning?“. That was my Muse speaking, questioning. Yeh, I’m pretty good, but I am having a hard time getting back to my usual self-absorbed ways; the ways I must employ to write my usual daily blog post. And my typing is difficult, and dyslexic in the same way it was three years ago (nearly to the day) when I had a tiny seizure. But I’m not going there today. I allowed myself to become informed by that episode. Yeh, the neurologist and psychiatrist both stated that the risk of another seizure is extremely small. I agree. It’s been three years. Being informed takes the fire and immediacy out of the kind of mental state I am in this morning. Hey – I’ve got to work today, and I have a slice of cold pizza to take to work with me; a lunch supplement. And I had a massage yesterday afternoon. The masseuse took extra care because of the knotted and painful state of my body. Because of this she slyly stated that I should have a massage once a week. I can’t afford that but I would if I could. Whatever. She does excellent work. Now, going forward – I’m gonna grab a quick shower, grab the pizza, and head to work. It is 10º friggin degrees out there! I think the underlying message of today’s blog post is that information trumps impassioned idiocy, in the long run. Listen, lives really are more important and precious than guns. Anyone who tells you otherwise, through their actions, has stepped over the edge. Let us hope they come back soon, and lay down their weapons – and talk. Information trumps ideology, in the long run. Keep an eye out for those shining children. They are coming. It is gonna be quite a show. As for me, don’t worry. I’m not into anomalous neurological events, and I never was. The reason it got to me was because I never expected such a thing. I never saw it coming. Now informed, I can approach this neurological episode with compassion. Compassion rocks. Dammit, be kind. Treasure yourself.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Rainbows and Pizza

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For perspective: the mountain is about ten miles straight across from the donkey shack,and about one mile high.

“The question is not what you look at, but what you see. It is only necessary to behold the least fact or phenomenon, however familiar, from a point a hair’s breadth aside from our habitual path or routine, to be overcome, enchanted by its beauty and significance.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

“There’s nothing wrong with enjoying looking at the surface of the ocean itself, except that when you finally see what goes on underwater, you realize that you’ve been missing the whole point of the ocean. Staying on the surface all the time is like going to the circus and staring at the outside of the tent.”  ~ Dave Barry

“Panicky despair is an underrated element of writing.” ~ Dave Barry

How weird it is to see something new blossoming from the extreme tragedy back down in Florida. I can say “back down” because I am up in the high desert mountain of Nuevo Mexico del Norte, USA. Florida is back east because I lived in the Florida Keys for 23 years, and I am now in the desert southwest. Florida is down there because . . . well, ummmm . . . I’m at 7000 feet and Florida is at sea level. Because of my years long residency I feel a strong connection to the school mass murder at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School. I know the writing of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas quite well. Her book, The Everglades: River of Grass, (click here) is a remarkable piece of non-fiction. I loved it. It almost reads like a novel. She begins with the arrival of Ponce de Leon, who dubbed his new territory Hispanola, then proceeds to tell the history of Florida, from that day back in 1521 up into the 20th century. The connection I see is that the kids from the high school, fired up from the horror they endured and survived, have risen to a revolutionary level within the one week since the massacre. They are a power to behold. And they have leaders (friggin high school kids!) who are so much more eloquent and articulate than the president of this nation that the president has ended up looking and sounding like a . . . ummmm, I’d best not go there. But, dammit, I’m having a heckuva time keeping my compassion for that man. Listen, the point here is that these kids are literally writing the new history of Florida; and even the nation. They will win this fight, or so they say. I reckon they will. This is juggernaut stuff going on here. Yeh, I have spent a goodly amount of time this morning, watching videos from and about this rising tide of children. They have awakened in a way that has not been seen since the 60s. For all of you non-Boomers out there I can only say that we changed the world back then. Dude, like you have no idea, dude. It is happening again, right before your eyes, and in your ears. Listen. Watch. New history is burgeoning in a beautiful way. This is the way of the mythological phoenix, except you have blood instead of ashes. This is what rising consciousness looks like. Now, having said all of that, I’m gonna step out on the deck to look at the snow on the ground, and listen to the silence. There wasn’t much snow last night. But that’s not the point. Yeh, I wanted more – but you can’t truly see the beauty when viewing through glasses of unfulfilled expectations. Bisy backson.


The overcast sky is lightening. Sunrise is only an hour away. It is snowing almost not at all. I’ve heard no sounds of vehicles or animals since I first awakened. The silence ain’t golden so much as it is crystalline in a rich and proper way. I’ve got no use for gold. Give me optical grade Mexican calcite crystals any day, and I will thank you kindly. Crystals like that are all about refraction. Gaze into them and you end up gazing into the depths of your mind and dreams. If you look just right you can also see the outlines of your soul. I enjoy doing that. Now, the refraction comes in when you put a scientific view into the picture. Refraction of light can turn that light into rainbows. Soooo, going forward, I’ve got a fairly big day ahead of me. Psychotherapy at noon, pizza party at work. I’m off today, but who in their right mind would pass up free pizza. I’ll have only one slice, and I’ll take another home for dinner. I must eat light because I have a massage at 4 PM. My lovely masseuse has good hands, and she knows my muscles and knots quite well. Then pick up a pint of IPA at the convenience store — then home just in time for pizza again. It don’t get no better than that.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

A Blues-Cycle Trough

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“And how do you know that you’re mad? “To begin with,” said the Cat, “a dog’s not mad. You grant that?” I suppose so, said Alice. “Well then,” the Cat went on, “you see a dog growls when it’s angry, and wags it’s tail when it’s pleased. Now I growl when I’m pleased, and wag my tail when I’m angry. Therefore I’m mad.” ~ Lewis Carroll

“Madness need not be all breakdown. It may also be break-through. It is potential liberation and renewal as well as enslavement and existential death.”  ~ R. D. Laing

“I have studiously tried to avoid ever using the word ‘madness’ to describe my condition. Now and again, the word slips out, but I hate it. ‘Madness’ is too glamorous a term to convey what happens to most people who are losing their minds. That word is too exciting, too literary, too interesting in its connotations, to convey the boredom, the slowness, the dreariness, the dampness of depression.” ~ Elizabeth Wurtzel

“Zaphod felt he was teetering on the edge of madness and wondered if he shouldn’t just jump over and have done with it.” ~ Douglas Adams

Gonna keep this post short. Good and happy stuff is going on for me, but today is a down day. Allergies big time, down depressive cycle, anxiety. That kind of stuff. I don’t know. Feels quite manageable to me. I must say that there’s a situational component to the  blues – cycle trough. It stems from the conspiracy mongers who are attacking and insulting the survivors of the Parkland School massacre. These people have voluntarily stripped themselves of their essential humanity in doing so. Madness. I find it to be deeply disturbing. I haven’t been this deeply moved by societal happenings in years. As for the morning:

“Sun’s up, uuh huh, looks okay
The world survives into another day
And I’m thinking about eternity
Some kind of ecstasy got a hold on me.
I had another dream about lions at the door
They weren’t half as frightening as they were before
But I’m thinking about eternity
Some kind of ecstasy got a hold on me” ~ Bruce Cockburn

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Simply a Prayer

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“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.” ~ A. A. Milne

“I turned silences and nights into words. What was unutterable, I wrote down. I made the whirling world stand still.” ~ Arthur Rimbaud

“What we have forgotten is that thoughts and words are conventions, and that it is fatal to take conventions too seriously. A convention is a social convenience, as, for example, money … but it is absurd to take money too seriously, to confuse it with real wealth … In somewhat the same way, thoughts, ideas and words are “coins” for real things.”  ~ Alan Watts

“Secrets, silent, stony sit in the dark palaces of both our hearts: secrets weary of their tyranny: tyrants willing to be dethroned.” ~ James Joyce

Hands stiff, neck stiffer. Oh, and how about the middlin’-sharp pain in both temples? Eyes rough, worn through, like threadbare wool. Ouch. I can’t complain, however. No one will listen. Relax. That was all just a description, cast forth from a fair approximation of mindfulness. It is the hour in the night when morning is only thinking about it, not quite here, not quite sure. Last I looked there was a break in the snow, a trough between one wave and the next. It’s only about an inch, so far, there on the deck and ground. Here in the thick of a worrisome drought that inch could be a mile. It’s moisture, it’s water. This is Northern New Mexico. People have been killed fighting over water. The point is that, as a man in the thick of social interaction that ain’t digital, I have not heard complaint number one, as far as the weather goes. But complaints in general? There’s always that guy who complains about not being heard when he complains: “Can’t complain, no one will listen”. I don’t recall ever hearing a woman say that. It’s always some guy. And I just want to reply, “What did you say? I didn’t catch that” –  but it is never a good idea to piss off someone who is merely trying to be clever. Now, I think I will step outside and sit a spell, and check out the snow. Bisy backson.


It’s nice out there. The night is imbued with that sweet snowy stillness and softness. There has been no more snow. The temperature is 23º, humidity 72%. I couldn’t stay out there long. I suppose I could have worn some socks, but bare feet are part of the experience. My workdays are spent in company of people. As an introvert and empath I can often take a beating out there. Away from that scene I like to take it slow, and to intentionally experience some of the sensuousness of Nature. Sometimes it is simply a prayer to feel the exquisite cold air against the skin of weary feet. It is simply a prayer to walk barefoot in the snow, which I will do before moving forward into the workday. I know, I know, walking barefoot in the snow?! “You’ll catch your death of cold”. Nah. On the contrary.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

A Smack on the Back

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“Ravens are the birds I’ll miss most when I die. If only the darkness into which we must look were composed of the black light of their limber intelligence. If only we did not have to die at all. Instead, become ravens.” ~ Louise Erdrich

“It is possible that the city of London was initially named for ravens or a raven-deity. According to the Oxford Companion to the English Language, the designation comes from “Londinium,” a Romanized version of an earlier Celtic name. But the word closely resembles “Lugdunum,” the Roman name for both the city of Lyon in France and Leiden in the Netherlands. That Roman name, in turn, was derived from the Celtic “Lugdon,” which meant, literally, “hill, or town, of the god Lugh” or, alternatively, “…of ravens.” The site of Lyon was initially chosen for a town when a flock of ravens, avatars of the god, settled there. Whether or not “Lugdunum” was the origin of “London,” ravens were important for inhabitants of Britain for both practical and religious reasons.” ~ Boria Sax

 “Put a tray of cookies out and the Ravens were like a bunch of eight-year-olds, not a clubhouse full of hard-ass bikers.” ~ Laura Kaye

There isn’t much to say this morning. Or is there? There have been times that I didn’t think I had much to say, but I was wrong. Never can tell. I pretty much wing it most every day anyway. Yesterday I wrote a bit about ravens, because I had a conversation with one recently. Today I open with a few quotes about ravens. What’s up with this? I can’t rightly say, only speculate, and even that might take some time. In my years long and daily search for magick I sometimes come across signs that lead me to the magickal state of mind. I’m feeling that with this raven thing. Trickster? Check. Explorer of the darkness, on a quest to find hidden light? Check. A god? Check. There is more but I think you get the point. I’ll either figure it out or I won’t. Sometimes when some magickal reminder comes to me it is really no different from when a Zen Master smacks a student on the back with a rod, to remind the student to get out of his, or her, own head; to return to the present, the here and now that Ram Dass recommends. No, he’s not the only one. It kinda goes with the facts of life, the territory, whatever. And I could use some of that, most days. In continuously dealing with chronic depression there is always the threat of borderline-chronic rumination. I find that easy to do. So far, all I can do is to break up the chronic part into smaller pieces, which I then feed to my Inner Narrator, who in turn chews them up then feeds them to the novelist in me, so that he can get some use out of them. Works pretty good. I’m just riffing here. Turns out I don’t have much to say today.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.