Sunday, February 15, 2015

Exercising on The Titanic

                             Were these the optimists, or pessimists?                                    

that's exactly how i feel, walking my 4 miles a day! am i kidding myself? yes, my ankle working better. my bruises disappearing (mostly). my psyche begins to settle down, which in itself is a disaster. now it can once again meditate on the uselessness of everything. after me, the deluge. 

Winston Churchill said, It's a mistake to look too far ahead. Destiny reveals itself one link at a time." when i'm ailing, i certainly can't look that far ahead. and the human world itself seems to be practicing exactly that. embroiled in continuous war since 1839, it's a way to avoid any consideration of long-term consequences. today's battles lead to no resolution. a kind of grand futility envelops us.

everyday life can't be cured. food must be found, a shelter earned, children prayed for. Churchill also said, "I'm an optimist. Seems like no sense being anything else." and it is true: a pessimist has already lost. do i enjoy floundering around? how much is chemical? the dogs barking next door, do they know something i don't?

when i booked passage on The Titanic, i took a chance, even knowing the iceberg out there. could we swerve at the last minute? would the water-wings keep us afloat long enough for survival? i had lots of concerns and many questions, which no one could answer. 

of course, i have a choice. i can retreat into my divine consciousness and say to hell with everyone else. after all, growing old a process of losing those you love. and doctors have invented the hell of longevity (for some). is it wise to outlive your own brains? doubtful, yet the temptation exists. 

maybe i actually enjoy this last voyage on The Titanic, knowing time will have an end. after getting bounced around by a speeding car, i heard my doctor say, "now, go forth and enjoy yourself!" maybe if i run around the decks for awhile longer, look for love in the kitchen, let go one last spasm of hope? 

                                                   Kitchen on The Titanic
at the moment i'm lying in my stateroom in a state of perplexity. i'm tempted to enter nirvana, but i don't want to do it prematurely, before i've squeezed the last juice out of the lemon of life. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

My theory of everything

at 18 i realized i didn't understand why people acted the way they do. since then, i've run across many theories: sex (freud), self-interest (la rochefoucauld), power (nietzsche). and every one of them entranced me for awhile. alas, dissatisfaction ensued, disillusionment. i've tried to apply them. say, sex, trouble is, i admit losing interest. supposedly my testosterone normal. then why the devil? 

power attracted me only when i was 12, and as captain of the sixth grade softball team, i threatened not to let a friend play. he squealed to the teacher. i spent my afternoon in tears watching the game from afar. it taught me power a pit full of snakes. as for self-interest, i have pretty much put it in first place. if only i didn't have lapses, like helping my sister stay on her feet.

do exceptions prove the rule? like every theory of everything, a formula breaks down on closer examination. that said, i'm prepared to make the mistake of venturing my own: the whole of human history a fight over territory. in the home siblings go at it. on a global scale tribes struggle to gain the oil, the gold, the prestige. 

obviously, this will end badly. traveling the world, i discovered it's pretty small. think about it's surface repeating itself: sea, mountains, deserts. all like sand running down through an hour-glass. and who will pile it up once again, when time has run out?

true, i do believe in the human equations called aphorisms. i relax when i read them, even writing a few. i've hypnotized myself with these in the last few days:

Without hope life has no dimension.

Our possessions make us poor.

The greatest people unknown, they haven't created an image of themselves.

Nature itself has no story.

Can you accept the world as it is and be an artist?

Vanity makes everything visible. 

You don't know you are a child until you need to be an adult. 

i can pretty much go on indefinitely! and to my detriment, have. to confirm this examine the pages at: 


in fact, i've discovered: if you can't sum it up in a sentence, no one will listen. that may be our tragic flaw, what makes us human. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Habit is the great deadener. (Samuel Beckett)

despite being thrown over a car, another of my nine lives used up, more time given to make mistakes, i'm having a hard time changing my habits. for example, now i can drive my truck, even with its stiff clutch, and i'm tempted to drive everywhere, most of it unnecessary.

i need to walk as much as i can. and living close to downtown, i can do 90% of what i need to do on foot. and i like to walk, it's my main exercise. lately, i've done three and a half miles just walking to class. and instead of cruising to Barnes & Noble for my cafe latte, i've changed to Peet's where i can watch the passing crowd, and in front of which i used up another life. 

still, this morning i wanted to jump in my truck, drive fifteen minutes to my former rest stop, and use up more time and gas. money, money, in my twenties i could live on nothing. now, the dollars don't even reach my hand, despite making better wages. true, i started adding up my expenses for the last year: two thousand for teeth, five thousand for rent, and so on. even the internet takes it's share. 

and i don't know why the government taxes me twice on unemployment and social security. medicare not cheap, at least three hundred a month. oh, well, i did get my money's worth this time. of course, i could do better if i thought i had a future. i've certainly been disabused of that. and so, i say to myself, if it helps you survive, buy it, even if it's consumer therapy. 

here's a quote from the writer jessamyn west pointing up the problem:

"You make what seems a simple choice: choose a man or a job or a neighborhood - and what you chosen is not a man or a job or a neighborhood, but a life."

habits come to stay, little devils that they are, my life a  a tissue of them. it would be easier to change my name than the time i go to bed or when i feel i must brush my teeth. and, blast, if one alteration doesn't change everything else, upsetting the whole system. and this rocking of the boat can be very unsettling. 

okay, no sense beating myself over the head. as ramana maharshi said: "Put one thing in practice." or as van gogh said, "If you get good a something, you can get good at something else." i suppose this is the snowball school of living. if only it were as easy as rolling downhill!

i've combined and posted more photos in the Poet with a Camera gallery: