“I love the players and you love the game” ~ Taylor Swift
“He told us that nations of men fell into disorder, so nations of law were set up instead. He told us that nations of law then forgot justice and let the law become a Game, a Game in which the moves and the winning were more important than truth. He told us to seek justice rather than the Game.” ~ Shari S. Tepper
“Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it.” ~ Winston Churchill
Our opening photo is from a lovely storm back on February 28th, 2010. I remember the shoveling that day, not because it took so long, but because I had entirely too much fun shoveling. It wasn’t enough for me to just get the snow out of the way. I sculpted some of it, little walls and stuff. For fun. If somebody had come along to tell me that I could be using my time in a more practical manner my reply would have been playful, and perhaps not entirely welcome. I’m usually pretty good, but sometimes I simply cannot traffic in allusions. Sometimes ya just gotta play, and if that entails playing with words then do it lovingly. At such times I prefer the direct approach, which likely leaves the other trying not to laugh. That’s when you finally have them. What I am saying is ya gotta play. That’s all really. Now, moving forward . . . the Moon looks truly magnificent this morning. It just floated down behind the horizon. The air is wicked cold; sky crystal clear. Tis a workday and part of me is indeed feeling playful. I’ve got a moderate depressive cycle happening, and that actually can make it easier to have fun. When everything sucks (one feature of hardcore depression is that everything sucks) nothing matters as much, so you can be funny. It is almost a necessity, which is said to be the mother of invention. Invent laughter and smiles. Easy enough. It likely will lift your spirits a tad. Case closed. It’s a state of play.
“Traumatized people chronically feel unsafe inside their bodies: The past is alive in the form of gnawing interior discomfort. Their bodies are constantly bombarded by visceral warning signs, and, in an attempt to control these processes, they often become expert at ignoring their gut feelings and in numbing awareness of what is played out inside. They learn to hide from their selves.” ~ Bessel A. van der Kolk
“Social anxiety results from being around people who are resolutely opposed to who you are.” ~ Stefan Molyneux
“After a traumatic experience, the human system of self-preservation seems to go onto permanent alert, as if the danger might return at any moment.” ~ Judith Lewis Herman
There is a light snow falling and the last sip of coffee is completed. It’s been hard pulling myself together this morning. News reports are hampering me, but it’s all good. Seems they have documentation that indicates the president instructed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. This is a whole new level and we can expect a whole new level of crazed actions and self-immolation. It’s going to be hard to watch. If you think the president was bugfuck before, just wait. Just for fun I will adopt a Fox New conspiracy tool for stretching the truth and announce here that this never would have arisen to see the light of day if the president had not fed burgers of questionable nutritional value to buff and healthy football champions. Listen, these sporty boys know that you don’t reach the level of national champions by eating shit. And you don’t achieve a spiritually strong nation by feeding them a steady diet of rather adolescent BS. You are what you eat, Mr. President.
Light snow is still coming down. It’s a workday. The fact that I don’t want to leave the house reflects the opening quotes. I don’t get tired of writing about trauma. I just get tired. It’s the drain from the toxic atmosphere of the marketplace. Me, I’m always afraid. The meds help, including the Indica. That’s maintenance level stuff. Very important stuff. What would really help a lot is something that takes time. So I wait. Such is life, right? I’m in danger of going all existential here so I’m going to mosey along and get prepped for work.
“That’s what literature is. It’s the people who went before us, tapping out messages from the past, from beyond the grave, trying to tell us about life and death! Listen to them!”~ Connie Willis
“He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.” ~ Gabriel García Márquez
“A decade or two on the rocks gives a person character. Although she’d never believe it, those lines in Gillian’s face are the most beautiful part about her. They reveal what she’s gone through and what she’s survived and who exactly she is, deep inside.” ~ Alice Hoffman
Just a few minutes ago I was sitting here in a cloud of envy, because a friend up in Black Lake reported, on Facebook, an inch of fresh snow. So then I go outside to find that it has begun to snow; first a few big flakes, then a fine powder. The envy popped like a balloon, dispersing a suppressive emotion into thin air. And now without the emotion I can fully feel this morning’s version of trepidation and reticence. It’s the same old annoyance: I don’t want to go into town to go to work. I don’t mind going to work, mind you, I just don’t want to go into town. It’s not a rational thing, totally agoraphobic. Don’t call it an illusion, please, because then I will have to tell you that it doesn’t matter to my central nervous system whether or not it’s real. In the words of one of my favorite songwriters, “Prison bars imagined are no less solid steel”. Chronic anxiety commandeers the imagination to feed a form of paranoia that seems to be mandatory, or something stupid like that. I’ll live, right? You betcha. A pretty woman’s smile, an unexpected laugh amidst seriousness, the waggle of a dog, these things put mental dysfunction out to pasture for a spell. Blessings one and all. Yesterday morning’s fog . . . oh man, can you believe it, how thick it was?! I ventured forth into the mist with Steve Earle playing “Copperhead Road”. That’s what I call rock and roll. Something magical came to me through the mist, a treasure from the Spirit world, rich in secrecy, something that I must savor without needing to identify or define it. Heck, I don’t even know what or who it was this time. That’s life: all you need is love. Right? Let’s just see how it goes, k?
“If in any quest for magic, in any search for sorcery, witchery, legerdemain, first check the human spirit.” ~ Rod Serling
“Those [things] that we encounter for the first time immediately have a spiritual effect upon us. A child, for whom every object is new, experiences the world in this way: it sees light, is attracted by it, wants to grasp it, burns its finger in the process, and thus learns fear and respect for the flame. ” ~ Wassily Kandinsky
“The world is fairly studded and strewn with pennies cast broadside by a generous hand. But- and this is the point- who gets excited by a mere penny? But if you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted in pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days.” ~ Annie Dillard
Wicked cold sets the mark for today. That and good coffee. Rosie the cat is grouchy and somewhat vocal about it. Lately I have come to be more aware of the now clearly evident signs that my 15 year old cat is indeed actually 15 years old. Which is to say nothing of my own agey-ness. I still seem to be 17, give or take. Except for my neck, or my posture, or my amped out nervous system. No, I don’t worry about signs of aging. There’s like no organic gluten-free Botox or something I slather on my face each night so I can be all pretty and stuff next morning. Yeh, a little cheapy skin lotion, perhaps. I can harken back to something that Lauren Hutton once said in an interview, that she earned every one of her wrinkles. Yeh, me too with mine. Same goes for the aches and pains. Something else comes to mind. Not too long ago a coworker said something to me that inferred that she and I are around the same age, so I told her mine. She simply replied “no” and commenced to stare at me. Then she did it again. Another coworker told her “he’s got 30 years on us”. Maybe 25 dude, I mean come on. The whole thing gave me a lingering giggle. Little did I ever suspect that . . . oh, never mind. Now, moving forward . . . today is my mother’s birthday. She woulda been 87. And this post marks the 1600th posts here at EyeYotee blog. Go figure, right? Perhaps the oddest thing on my mind these past few days, ever since that righteous snow storm expanded said mind, is a sense of wonder at having been asked twice within the past week whether or not I know anything about quantum entanglement. Let’s get something straight here: I work in a hardware store in Taos, not in the labs of Los Alamos. I sell nuts and bolts, not mysterious scientific theories, k? As it turns out I actually do know a tad about quantum entanglement. It’s not a point of pride, I read a lot, and I do grok it, though not to the extent that I can put much of it at all into words. BTW, that article I referenced in the link also touches on the “many worlds” interpretation in quantum physics. This stuff is background research for my novel, which still is almost on sabbatical. One of these days, right? Now, I’d best meander along and go warm up the car a little – 12º don’tcha know. Workday.
“The highest forms of understanding we can achieve are laughter and human compassion.” ~ Richard Feynman
“And a step backward, after making a wrong turn, is a step in the right direction.” ~Kurt Vonnegut
“The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.” ~Nikola Tesla
This is it, a nearly perfect day, cold, gray, white. There are many things to talk about. None spring to mind at the moment, save for magic. The overcast is complete and there is snow in the forecast. More snow. That storm a couple of days ago was indeed profound. Folks were saying that they have not seen such precipitation since they were a kid. And I’m like all they look much older than that. There was a snow like this four years ago. One does not forget that degree of shoveling, nor the time involved in completion of the task. Besides, I have these blog archives to use as reference. But I try to respect peoples’ own personal mythos. There was snow up to ‘here’! But that was decades ago, right? Yeh, right. Boy howdy I know that I hold probably plenty such personal stories, where the facts have been tweaked or ignored completely. The bottom line is that it snowed and it was good. As for magic, there is plenty in the air, even if it is simply just me. Magic is the manipulation and/or experience of the material and emotional world through consciousness. Sure, there’s more to it than that. This hunger for magic today rests in the small things that rest entails. I’m not really clear on this. Isn’t material reality enough in its own right? No. Just no. I think I’ll leave it at that. For now, dude, for now.
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” ~ Hunter S. Thompson
“I do not insist,” answered Don Quixote, “that this is a full adventure, but it is the beginning of one, for this is the way adventures begin.” ~ Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
“Tom said to himself that it was not such a hollow world, after all. He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it — namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain.” ~ Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Well, I could have put this off forever. Believe it or not I carry a feeling of dutifulness toward this blog, and I like to do it daily, if I can. I nearly skipped it today. Yesterday’s snow was pretty intense. When I got home from work yesterday I nearly became stuck in the driveway. Now, I have to go out in the dark to see if I’ll be able to get out without further shoveling when I go to work. Yeh, I could call in snowed in, but I won’t. Big snow is without doubt an adventure. I don’t know what to make of it, nor do I truly know what to write about. Just stopped by to say hi. Tis but a big snow day.
“Myth and nature are the two great garments of the world, with nature being the living green garment that covers the planet and myth being the multidimensional, many-colored fabric that continually weaves human culture.” ~ Michael Meade
“Despite the fact we give hurricanes names like Katrina and Rita, a hurricane isn’t a self-contained unit. A hurricane is an impermanent, ever-changing phenomenon arising out of a particular set of interacting conditions – air pressure, ground temperature, humidity, wind and so on. The same applies to us: we aren’t self-contained units either. Like weather patterns, we are also an impermanent, ever-changing phenomenon arising out of a particular set of interacting conditions. Without food, water, air and shelter, we’d be dead. Without our genes, family, friends, social history, and culture, wouldn’t act or feel as we do.” ~ Kristen Neff
“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again.” ~ Joseph Campbell
These dreamy peaceful mornings could become habit forming. Perhaps the habit has already crystalized? Yeh, maybe. The snow triggered me earlier. I did not know there was going to be snow, did not look at the forecast at all yesterday. When I first stepped outside, about 2:45 AM, I noticed that the doormat was wet. I was barefoot so it was easy to tell. This perplexed me for a few minutes, until I realized that there was fresh powder on top of the old snow. So now the snow is coming down slow and steady, still micro-fine powder. It’s gonna be a pretty one today. Powder is the best. Heavy wet snow is visually impressive, but powder has a sparkle to it that can’t be beat, visually speaking, that is. “Visually speaking”? Yeh. From my perspective part of a writer’s job is to paint a picture, as if words could be crafted into pictures. Turns out they can. Words can be crafted into pictures simply because they were crafted from pictures in the first place. How long have humans been able to speak in a formal or even formative language? Take it back a million years or so. Seems to me that language kinda sorta was born of images. Or better yet, take it back a measly 20,000 years, a time frame suggested by the wall paintings in the Lascaux caves in France. I’m not going to carry this too far today, so suffice it to say that Paleolithic humans had a language of pictures. It’s complicated, right?
Heady stuff, right? Yesterday was a heady day, starting with my therapy sessions, which drifted quite a ways into quantum entanglement as it relates to synchronicity. Not long after that I fell into a discussion about ancient aliens, quantum interconnectivity on an intergalactic scale, and simultaneous time. Other than me being there for both the two conversations were (supposedly) not connected. This is synchronicity. No more commentary on this for now. I gotta let it all sink in and simmer in the cauldron for a spell. Soooo . . . moving forward. That first trip outside also gifted me with the distant call of a coyote, followed minutes later by the scream of a big cat. Now that was a thrill! I’ve never heard a scream like that in the wild. Yeh, maybe on YouTube or PBS. There’s no telling if it was a bobcat or a mountain lion. It could have been either, as far as potential appropriate habitats are concerned. The species offering the scream is not important, the important thing is that it happened at all. I’ve long suspected that there is a big cat in the vicinity. Now I know. And on that note I’m gonna meander out to the car and see how much scraping and sweeping I will have to do to get it ready for the snowy trip into Taos, where I must go to work. The peacefulness of the snow along with the existential rush from the big kitty somehow combined to nudge me into troubadour mode, so it will be devotion to the Goddess, and seeing Her in every woman, all done with a song in my heart. To create romance in my life I will hafta somewhat ‘ditch’ the Goddess devotion thing. You get to talking straight to the big gal yer gonna miss out on the human aspect of the woman before you. That would not be cool. My thing is to think of the woman’s feet as they address the ground with each step. Our connection to the Earth is through our feet, says me. And you can tell a lot about a person by the way they walk.. There’s one woman who’s walk attracts me more than others. I’m not talkin’ ogling here. That is one of the joys of troubadour mode: there is no need to ogle when you can see into deeper layers of human interconnectivity. She looks right fine to me. Words fail me. Gotta go.
“Knowing that internal stress could cause failure on the exam merely set up internal stress about the prospect of internal stress.”~ David Foster Wallace, The Pale King
“To me, at least in retrospect, the really interesting question is why dullness proves to be such a powerful impediment to attention. Why we recoil from the dull. Maybe it’s because dullness is intrinsically painful; maybe that’s where phrases like ‘deadly dull’ or ‘excruciatingly dull’ come from. But there might be more to it. Maybe dullness is associated with psychic pain because something that’s dull or opaque fails to provide enough stimulation to distract people from some other, deeper type of pain that is always there, if only in an ambient low-level way, and which most of us spend nearly all our time and energy trying to distract ourselves from feeling, or at least from feeling directly or with our full attention. Admittedly, the whole thing’s pretty confusing, and hard to talk about abstractly…but surely something must lie behind not just Muzak in dull or tedious places anymore but now also actual TV in waiting rooms, supermarkets’ checkouts, airports’ gates, SUVs’ backseats. Walkmen, iPods, BlackBerries, cell phones that attach to your head. The terror of silence with nothing diverting to do. I can’t think anyone really believes that today’s so-called ‘information society’ is just about information. Everyone knows it’s about something else, way down.” ~ David Foster Wallace, The Pale King
Adequate sleep makes adequate coffee taste better, more than adequate, whatever. I decided to go back to my old standard coffee, from when I still lived in the Florida Keys. I’m sorry to say that I was in Walmart when it happened, but when I went to grab a bag of coffee while I was there I noticed that they carry Cafe Bustello, which is good Cuban coffee. Just finished my second cup. Mmmmm. I was in Walmart on a mission. I only go in there if I need to, because frankly the place redlines my creep meter. “Redlines my creep meter”?! I love that phrase. Think I’ll keep it, use it some other time as well. Yeh, I’m being self-satisfied. What’s it to ya? This is one of those times when what looks like egoism isn’t. It’s more like that moment when you are on stage performing music and you hit that sweet spot and the performance is perfect. And you smile from the heart rush. And it gives you the good-chills. That’s especially fun when playing in a band. Suddenly the song hit the Groove, the Zone, whatever, and y’all look around at each other. Every player knows it when it happens. There is nothing like it. I think it’s good to acknowledge when you achieve something excellent or simply exceptionally pleasing. So, yeh, that phrase I just coined is way cool. So is music. Just a few minutes ago I was watching a video of Donovan and Crystal Gayle singing “Catch the Wind”. It gave me the good-chills. I’ve a bit of a hunger for things creative this morning. Melancholy does that to me.
“Watson. Come at once if convenient. If inconvenient, come all the same.” ~ Sherlock Holmes
“Destiny doesn’t always come when it’s convenient or when you think it should. It comes when you’re ready, whether you know it or not.” ~ Kelly Thompson
“Enlightenment is man’s release from his self-incurred tutelage. Tutelage is man’s inability to make use of his understanding without direction from another. Self-incurred is this tutelage when its cause lies not in lack of reason but in lack of resolution and courage to use it without direction from another. Sapere aude! ‘Have courage to use your own reason!’- that is the motto of enlightenment.” ~ Immanuel Kant
Feeling short of words here. Convenience and destiny are on my mind, perhaps even haunting me to some extent. Thoughts of convenience come because that is kind of an undercurrent theme in my novel. The title is “The Final Convenience”. That’s you first clue. Thoughts of destiny run deeper than that. There is a situation in my life, ongoing, that puzzles me as well as thrills me. The puzzlement is pretty much pervasive, the thrill comes and goes. I got one of those thrilling rushes yesterday. It was refreshing, and nurturing, as it always in. Here’s the thing – I believe we choose our own fate. But destiny? Not so much. I mean, some people don’t even believe in destiny. I’m sure that was meant to be, right? As far as the ongoing situation goes (geez, that was an awkward bit of word usage) I once had the whole thing figured out. Turns out the figurin’ was irrelevant to the matter at hand. Ain’t no reckoning to be had. It’s a mystery at heart and I mean to keep it that way. Now, I could expound on this at length but that would spoil the magic. True spiritual inspiration started the whole thing. Something happened that was compelling, and still is. And so it goes. I sense the touch of the Trickster here. It’s a calling. As is my obligation to start getting ready for work. That’s not a metaphor, BTW. Gotta go.
“There’s no comfort, it seems, in the world of objects.” ~ Michael Cunningham
“Know ye not that there is here in this world a secret confraternity, which one might call the Company of Melancholiacs? That people there are who by natural constitution have been given a different nature and disposition than the others; that have a larger heart and a swifter blood, that wish and demand more, have stronger desires and a yearning which is wilder and more ardent than that of the common herd. They are fleet as children over whose birth good fairies have presided; their eyes are opened wider; their senses are more subtile in all their perceptions. The gladness and joy of life, they drink with the roots of their heart, the while the others merely grasp them with coarse hands.” ~ Jens Peter Jacobsen
“There is a phase of melancholy—a phase that has sloughed all urgency—that seems to me always a revelation of that ancient, familiar thing, my true self. If there is anything in a person with which one may be in love, surely it can only ever be the self that such melancholy reveals. There are potent and austere traditions that teach us a true self that has no qualities, no atmosphere, and which thus could never be revealed by melancholia; some of these traditions maintain, in a tone that suggests resistance is folly, that there is no self at all. But such traditions are not native to my soul, and within my life they are new, though they are older than me in history. For me, the self revealed by melancholy is older and thus truer.” ~ Quentin S. Crisp
There is much truth in these quotes. Especially in this hour of the day, when the things the cat tells me ring true, as true as vesper bells at the wrong end of the day. The cat is asleep right now and I do not have the luxury of being so. As I said: it is the wrong end of the day for such a thing. Sigh, big sigh. I’m used to this stuff. It’s morning stuff – don’t want to leave the house, don’t want to deal with the inevitable tailgater on US 64. I’m pretty sure it’s always the same guy, and he simply drives a different car every day. Yet it could be that woman with the phone in her right hand, left hand on the wheel, all the while checking her mascara in the rearview mirror. I just know she wants to grab a sip of mocha latte! And then that one time I got stuck behind gramps in his turquoise Model T, doing 30 mph all the way down to the coffee shop in El Prado, because that was about the top speed of his ride. Yes, I kept a safe and respectable distance from gramps that day. The speed, the automobile, it all just felt right. Would that I could hold the same attitude toward the other two drivers. Now, hmmmm . . . I reckon all y’all might expect me to be casting the net of melancholy over my romantic longing. It always looks good draped over that, whereas out on the highway that just doesn’t work. Then later, in the marketplace the longing gets almost quenched when the eyes of a beautiful woman meet mine, and like in the movies there is a brief surge in the intensity of the lighting, and a whoompfing sound that is very nearly a flash in its own right. She smiles, I nod. Then it’s all over, back to the day. The hour of the vesper bells is when such longings should rightly be entertained. Twilight is – as Castaneda said – the crack between the worlds. Through that crack I can see her smile once again and my heart surges, like the lighting and the sound effects in the movie, only real this time. Longing is firmly based in reality, any reality, yet it transcends that by its very nature. And on that note I’m a gonna meander on off to work. There is time for all this later.