In Light Of A Bohemian Smile

God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.
– Voltaire
Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.
– Henry Miller

 

How easy is it for you to smile? Can you manage a fake one? Do you need someone’s help? Go on and give it a shot.

A few mornings ago, I looked in the mirror; it was my birthday. I’m 49 – a little older and a lot wiser with still lots to learn. Ok, maybe ‘learn’ is not the right sentiment; maybe ‘make sense of’ is. In any event, I think the older I get, the more I scratch my head over life, which no doubt might be the reason for my thinning hair! Still, compared with other male members of my family, past and present, I still have plenty of hair on my head, so I really shouldn’t complain.

Indeed, I have a lot to smile about and day by day I try really really hard to remind myself of that. If you blink though, you might miss it.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Dangling Angles: Rules, Lines And Floaters

WORK-TO-KEEP-FREE-NARA-516190Enlightened people seldom or never possess a sense of responsibility.
– George Orwell
 
Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.
– Albert Camus
 
It’s important to know thy keepers … because they certainly know you. Yes, they are watching, planning and plotting as you go about picking up the pieces of your daily dander. They are watching to make sure you remain occupied and don’t venture too close to the unmarked boundaries they have drawn. Go on and scoff all you want. Go ahead and laugh, too. It’s ok because that’s exactly what you’ve been programmed to do; when in doubt, keep on doubting.
You see, our lives are marked by rules to follow and lines not to cross. A friendly tip might suggest for you to be mindful of where you step. Step on the wrong toes or tread on the wrong flag and you will be crushed, most certainly. ‘Step on a crack, break your mother’s back’, remember? Yes, that’s how the life goes; ‘them’ is the rules. And, there are quite a few angles, as well. 

In Apathy We Trust (Never Mind The Drone)

“I don’t know, I don’t care, and it doesn’t make any difference.”
– Jack Kerouac
“When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.”
– Thomas Jefferson

 

“Don’t tell me. I don’t want to know” is an exasperated cry often heard by the apathetic and scared. “Run for your lives!” often punctuates a panic, and many are all to eager to comply. Children are admonished to heed the words ‘curiosity killed the cat’. Build a bomb shelter, stick your head in a hole in the ground and live to hide another day.

And then there’s denial … obstinate denial. ‘It can’t be true!’ we exclaim. We don’t want to believe that which is perfectly obvious because some how or another we may become implicated. So, we shake our head, close our eyes, cover our ears and refuse to listen, see, care, feel and most other than behaviors that characterize us as living and breathing human beings. In light of this, maybe it’s true, as a friend of mine is wont to say, that ‘the dead ask the best questions’ … simply because many of us don’t.

Continue reading

Drive Me To The Occupation

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin’
And the first one now will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’
– Bob Dylan (The Times They Are A-Changin’)

 

Back when I was a teenager, I remember being eager to reach the legal age at which I could take the examination for a learner’s driving license. It wasn’t that I really thought I’d be driving, but I wanted the license just the same. It signified some rite of passage to me, I guess. License to go and be free.

A friend was kind enough to give me his copy of the ‘Driver Handbook’ published by the ‘Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ (read: road hogs) to help me study for the required exam. One of the first things I remember reading were the words “In the state of Florida, driving is a PRIVILEGE.” The words sort of jumped right off the page and blind-sided me (almost as unnerving as the way in which Florida Highway Troopers (read: stormtroopers) would suddenly appear, riding your rear bumper, their blue lights a blazing). Before even delineating how one attains this privilege, the handbook launched into a list of how said privileges could be taken away. Words like ‘suspended’, ‘revoked’ & ‘incarceration’ seemed menacing … purposely so.

I’m sure you will agree that teenagers quickly catch on to what the word privilege means, especially because they are always being threatened with having theirs taken away. It does seem fairly sadistic to teach children the value of ‘liberty’ by robbing it of them every now and then. It’s even more perverse when the exercise has less to do with education and more to do simply with authoritarian ‘control’.

Continue reading

Wool And Water: Who’s Fleecing Whom?

“Can you do addition?” the White Queen asked.
“What’s one and one and one and one and one
and one and one and one and one and one?”
“I don’t know,” said Alice. “I lost count.”
– Lewis Carrol (Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There)

 

I ask you … is inconsistency the only thing consistent in your life? Is ambling through life with no real purpose seem to be the norm for you? Does getting through the day seem to be both a tall order and the order of the day?

Turbulent times, indeed! I’m reminded of the old Chinese toast that chimes, “May you live in interesting times”. Of course, the saying actually reflects a curse … but then I guess it’s all how you interpret it. Still, a devil’s advocate might suggest that going all ‘Pollyanna’ would most likely mean that something has gotten lost in the translation! Yes, it’s often hard to know what to believe and more importantly what to think.

Continue reading

Crabalocker Crabs Boxed In Sideways

Some get the gravy
And some get the gristle
Some get the marrow bone
And some get nothing
Though there’s plenty to spare.
– Joni Mitchell (Banquet)

 

They say that moving houses is one of life’s most stressful situations. With this statement I tend to both agree and disagree. However, more to the point is that it’s just a depressing affair. There are surprises, usually of the morose kind, as well as subtle disappointments, bith expected and unexpected. The ‘normalcy’ of what you have come to expect, even if defined by ‘normal standards’ as ‘abnormal’, tends to be replaced by a form of irreverent and frenzied ‘hell’ …a helter skelter of sorts that fans of the ‘Lost’ television series know all too well. Yes, I think ‘lost’ is a shade of one way of describing how I feel these days.

I really don’t know where to begin in attempting to extricate myself from this self-imposed purgatory, because ‘sideways’ is not a usual option. But, that is pretty much the way I’ve been moving through life the last 2 months or so. Shuffling to the left, shuffling to the right, I shuffle and shuffle … and then I shut down. Not one for banging my head against a wall over and over again, I’ve just withdrawn into my crabby shell and have been waiting for this state of suffocation to pass … sometimes even forgetting to breathe.

Continue reading