Into the woods

Metaphors played too slowly run the risk of becoming obvious and that smells of bad poetry, foul flowers feeding on falseness, enforced sensitivities manipulated by melodrama. Subject apprehends object. As simple as I can make it.

Definitions. We are taught language from the beginning, it is the human overlay. If you can pay for it you should, but if you are poor, and food and shelter consume all your resources, you take it where and how you can. There is no shame in this. Eternal struggle, those who have and those who lack.

Beginning with yes I love you I see you I want you, soon no don’t do that it’s dangerous it’s bad. Yin and yang, the positive and the negative, the light and the dark, the good and the bad, the right and the wrong. Plato showed us the extreme example of Socrates, assume that somewhere something has to be right, good, light, positive, yes yes yes. And somewhere something has to be wrong, bad, dark, negative, no no no.

Aristotle geometricized it and L Ron Hubbard filled a whole book with charts exploring the full range of human expression in a consideration of how one might better one’s self. Aleister Crowley tripped the light fantastic and like Dionysus in the myth led quite a few people into the woods of madness. But he knew the materials that he was working with and there was a method to his madness for above and beyond anything else, he wanted to be all that he could be.

Currently the trick I think is isolating and neutralizing the subject. A prose poem isn’t an O’Henry story, nor really a spectacle, although it sure can be sometimes, when the moon is full and we’ve had a little too much to drink. We meet at the river of our con-mingling, the us that we are together

For a while I got caught up in that text ideology that flourished at the end of the twentieth century but I think I agree with Badiou, if I understand him and if I don’t, well, this is what I think anyway. I, me, this awareness pecking away at a keyboard trying to keep up with the inspiration that feeds the flow of words that find their way onto the page, subject. Too blunt. Then we have to bring Lacan in and things get complexly perverse.

This body is object, the air around it object, the things and people and plants and animals that determine the limits to this body’s movement object. The social structures that allow me exist in peace with my fellows, object. The subject, the soul, thar part apart that is meaning.

Bizarro world fractured comprehension. Prose poems scratched on the backs of napkins stained by glasses set down perhaps too harshly, an imagined insult, a miscommunication. The message is clear, no matter how hard you focus, there’s no way you can know what someone else is thinking, nor they, you, just psycho mumbo-jumbo, mind games they trick you into, awareness is, subject continuously confronts object, life in its entirety, here now is awareness confronting all the data always and forever.

I feel Whitman-esque in my perversity. I celebrate and sing myself, subject considering object, an examination of the me-ness that makes me who I am.

Turning Pages -prose poem

Turn The Page is the sixth song on the album Live Bullet that was released late 1976 by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band.  It took two years for me to find the strength to raise the page of my life and turn that sucker, walk away from all that I was and knew.

I think I might have found a friend.  I hope so.  Someone else capable of knowing and understanding me as I am.   Someone with whom I can express that side of me that I stifle in order to contain myself within the social contract.  We are, there is nothing I can do about it except remove myself from the comforts that I enjoy as a member of society.

God has blessed me and I am grateful for the mercy God has shown me and for the gift that God has given me.  I have turned quite a few pages over the course of learning to appreciate the Godsend that God bestowed on me.  Like everyone else I did not choose the time and place, I had no say about the man and woman who got close enough to make me and both of them turn pages that for a time would put them on the same page together.  But only for a short time.

And it wasn’t a good page.  She was a hillbilly fresh from Kentucky, a healthy lusty young woman who had seen and known too much and was desperate to find a way out. In 1954 she was a little too easy and he was just randy to score. 

His family had come from Europe, had worked hard to establish themselves as proud Americans.  They weren’t too happy with the news she was pregnant but they were respectable people and rather than go to college he married her, joined the military, moved around, made a few more children. 

Being the eldest I saw even though I didn’t have words I know that I grew up in a passionate, tempestuous household.  As long as he was stationed in the States she stayed with him but when he received orders to Germany he dropped her and the kids off with her parents and never looked back.

He took all the money with him and left her and her four children, one brain damaged, to the mercy of her already stretched drunken hillbilly family.  Long story short she did what she could do and coped as best she could in an environment that took advantage of a still attractive woman in her position who was always more than grateful to anyone who helped her make the rent and feed her children.

And then the things that happened to me, myself, the sad consequence of a primal licentiousness accepted and condoned.  Had I been old enough to choose, to acquiesce,,, I only accept responsibility for what happened later, the choices I made.  I processed and made peace with a fundamental and central truth about myself. I accepted at an early age the understanding that I am who I am and for whatever reason God made me who I am because this is the me that he wants me to be.

I don’t know if I will turn many more pages in my life.  I hope to find a new blank page ready to be filled with a story of friendship and connection, a chance to explore a new uncharted, at least by me, territory fraught with both danger and promise.  There is a Shakespearian splendor to Bob Seger’s wailing in harmony with the electric guitars wailing, screaming out into the Chaos, I am alive.  I can still turn the page.

Greek

Breath and Will became aware, the word was made flesh.

Alpha knew he was first.  Alpha was arrogant, an asshole most of the time.  The oldest, the strongest, he never knew restriction, limitation, the world was his for the taking.

Beta came along soon after.  Beta bore the brunt of Alpha’s exuberance.  He was brave and bold and willing to go where no one had ever gone before.

Gamma took his time.  Gamma was a grave little fellow and he grew into quite the inquisitive one.  Always digging into things, wanted to know why.

Delta was a welcome surprise.  Dark and mysterious Delta was everyone’s darling and frankly she couldn’t have cared less, she was always sufficient unto herself.

Epsilon was born of love.  Epsilon loved everyone, she was a fresh wind, Breath saw herself in her youngest transformed.  Epsilon was the last of the second generation.

Five is a good number, the number of man.

 

Alpha, being first, took them both in equal measure, Breath and Will.  Aaaaa  Beta took more after Will.  B-b-b-b-b. Gamma was Will personified.  G-g-g-g-g. Delta was just plain strange, different somehow, pulled in, withdrawn.  D-d-d-d-d. Epsilon was Breath reborn.  Eeeee

When Breath and Will began to wane the children cried please stay alive, we will seek out suitable mates, for we want Breath and Will to thrive.

When Alpha saw Zeta it was love at first sight.  He wooed her and won her and that was that.  Beta had a love hate relationship with Eta and although it could get quite bad sometimes when it was good it was really, really good.  Gamma was shy so everyone was surprised when he and Theta became a thing, there was an intensity about them together, an energy that was vaguely threatening.  Where Delta met Iota no one ever learned but she softened his ego and he understood her, which was something none of the rest of us could do.  Epsilon thought Kappa was quite the catch and being the youngest could not be denied.  So the five became ten and we began to thrive.

 

Lambda, Mu and Nu appeared one day, from the north, solid, dependable, hardy and capable they were.  Xi, Omicron and Pi wandered out of the mysterious east, with whisps of exotic odors teasing us, taunting us, teaching us many strange and wonderful things.  Rho, Sigma and Tau came marching out of the west.  Conquerors they blazed a new path and gave us a sense of security.  And from the south crawled Upsilon, Phi and Chi, moist, fecund, they brought fertility to the clan.  Psi was the first of the third generation, his cousin Omega came along shortly after and we found we were many.  Thus Breath and Will live on.

 

Again – an evil flower

Charles Baudelaire and Stéphane Mallarme, Verlaine and Rimbaud, Edgar Allen Poe and Walt Whitman, it is more than the sweet perfume of the forbidden, the intoxication that inflames our senses and allows us access to the muse. The first thing we do when we prepare to meditate… just take a deep breath and relax.

Friday, late-afternoon after a rare rainy night and the overcast day that follows, I do what I have to do because I am who I am, just as I am without one plea because God placed me here in this place and told my soul to experience the passage of time.

I am a passenger on this drunken boat lumbering down this long and treacherous river headed God knows where.  Occasionally I come out of my stupor long enough to wonder how I came to be here, I guess I should accept their judgment, I don’t know what to say, things happened as they happened and I accept that it was my own fault, my own grievous fault.

Am I being too obvious, stealing images left and right, sounding bells within bells walled up in a word prison of my own making, protesting my innocence, the DNA will exonerate me.  I have been judged already, I accept my fate whatever it may be.  It has been a good life and I’m glad that I lived it, am living it.

What might have been is a fool’s game but I can’t help but wonder if I had had the internet and the ability to blog when I was young… these young Turks, I am currently fascinated by James Franco, he has gotten my attention.  I have not watched his movies but I have read Palo Alto and Actor’s Anonymous.  He’s handsome enough but he’s not to die for as the girls used to say.  I recognize in him an artist at work, growing, becoming.

But no, this is my time and place, God allowed me to have this blog this voice because this is what I am supposed to say, this is the puzzlement I have to work my way through and I have been blessed and I know it.

I sing my song, the one God gave me to sing.

Capital considerrations

Capital is the capitalist measurement of value. Money is the counter, the objectify-er of the value of things, the means by which things are assigned relative value.

For more than forty years I have pondered long and hard on communication. Sound and vision and meaning. The letters form words and phrases that your eyes receive in order to allow your mind to perceive them as sounds which impose themselves into your ever-present awareness. Some people read to drown out their physical reality for a while, to get away, to escape. That can be a good thing. Sometimes.

Perhaps when I was young I read mainly to escape but I quickly realized that I was learning, too. Adult books helped me understand a lot of the dances that were determining the timing and structure of much of my life. I would lie in my bed upstairs, reading by the bathroom light, listening to a bestial accompaniment to the passions explored by whichever racy book I had happened upon. I began to see beneath the placid surface of high school and began to recognize the lives of my fellows, to know and see myself in a sea of many.

Life is. Life is the commonality that we all share together. As far as we know, life follows what we call the laws of nature, which are readily apparent and whose results are available to all. Awareness cannot be shared directly and is inherently unpredictable, thanks to free will. Awareness is the questing soul. Life ends for all but the soul will continue on and return to from whence it came.

This is enough for me. I recognize the limits of time and space and accept that there are things I will never know nor understand. I fought with that understanding for a long time but I learned to accept it because Ludwig Wittgenstein did, that’s the hook that let me into the Philosophical Investigations, the sweet meat that nourishes me and keeps me there. A couple of years ago I even found a new translation of Tolstoy’s The Gospel in Brief, which I believe, from my reading, gave Wittgenstein the strength to stand and continue to walk his own path. I consider myself a Wittgenstein-ian semiologist, a word man, to make it simple. “In the beginning was the Word…” (John 1:1, Gospels, New Testament, Holy Bible King James Translation)

Philosophically I have been, since I was seventeen, a transcendental existentialist. My teacher said I couldn’t be, they were contradictory, mutually exclusive. I don’t know about that. I believe. Existential experiential life is, understanding and accepting this allows me to call myself existentialist. Life is, deal with it. I have a soul and my soul is aware that it is here and now and is doing the best he can because he knows that eventually death will come and he will let go of all the aches and pains of life and return to whence he came. I don’t need a book or a prophet or a preacher to tell me this, I know this, this knowing came into life with the first flowing of the spirit of God into Adam.

The past couple of days I have been reading Thomas Picketty’s Capital in the Twenty-first Century. But having just completed a university level survey of western civilization I feel competent to tackle his argument if not to challenge his methodology. The Enlightenment experiment continues, the results are clear, we are making life better for more and more of the human population. It’s a work in progress that isn’t nearly done.

 

Tricksy

I feel so tricksy! Sitting on my cluttered but comfortable patio on a blindingly bright and sunny summer day in the American desert southwest, feeling a cool dry breeze pull the moisture from the surface of my skin before it could form sweat, watching the day come to life typing away on my tablet listening to Pink sing We can learn to love again.

Contemplation is doing the time warp, meditation tries to escape this distraction by becoming at one with the here and now. Thinking about imposes a time distortion, the experience is past, where do we go from here. Do we go sailing across uncharted waters?

Materialism would have us see existence as the sum of all we can have and know, that which is measurable and definable, that which we share in common not what we know and experience, which they have managed to convince us is faulty, false even, all we can know is the vision afforded by a deficient processing machine.

You are reading these words so for this moment at least I am communicating with you. You probably think I’m a pretty strange duck. I am, I am a disco duck, join me on the dance floor of life. I accept that I can never see the flow of experience as you do, I will never know if thought is the same experience for you as for me. But we do hold language in common, and the experience of reality.

Other things we share in common, dark and light, want and surfeit. Desire and desperation. I, Don Quixote, man of La Mancha, hear the music of the spheres, the resonance of the celestial harmony that anchors awareness to time and space, the here-ness of now. I remember as a kid wishing to know someone as well as Richard and Karen seemed to know one another when I listened to them singing Close To You. We’ve only just begin never did much for me.

I really don’t envy youth the experience ahead of them, young people just beginning to experience their lives. I did my time, served my sentence being sentient. God made me because he wants me to be me and when this experience I will return to whence I came. I will not just “not be”. If that’s the best science can come up with, I guess the advertising executives are right and people will buy any lie as long as it gets them what they think they want, what they are being told to want.

There is no right or wrong way, there is only the way, the way it happens. We experience, our senses record and our mind assigns value to the accumulated data, determines what deserves our attention, and provokes the chemical changes necessary to provoke us into the proper emotional state to deal with the challenge. That’s life.

Tuesday morning, clear, not quite as bright as yesterday, scattered cloud cover provides respite from periods of direct sunlight. When I was young I thought that there was available a pure and perfect language that would and could speak to anyone anywhere. I became a reader because I was isolated and alone and no one around me seemed even remotely like me, no one wanted to talk about things I found fascinating, no one I knew wanted to be do have. A couple of my mother’s sisters were avid if indiscriminate readers and they gave me access to books that would never have been brought to my attention in the local library. Books brought me in contact with others who were like me, full of questions and concerns but desperate to be do have.

 

Credit Essentials

Listening to Bob Seeger, Night Moves, remembering youthful confusion finding expression in rebellious reflections, simple songs electrified, charged by the searing strings caught in the relentless rock beat, soaring determined to escape these mortal bounds.
The postmodern urge takes advantage of Enlightenment romanticism by applying classical classifications to the application of meaning to any given moment. As far as experiential awareness is concerned, there is only here now, this place this moment, me. You read these words you are not here with me now but there in your when, sometime later some other place. These words I will post to the internet, on my blog, hopefully this post will find a few readers.
I believe in God, the one God. There is no god but God. God is not definable or limited in any way and all names and definitions are merely the human impulse to make sense of that which is beyond us. Everything I do, every word I write, every thought I think, I do all the In the name of the one God. There is no god but God, I affirm, and then I submit with, Your will not mine. So let it be, oh Lord, amen.
Pentecostal holiness. Religious demon. Half-assed atheist, skeptical agnostic, seeker. I chose to follow a life path that would show me the scope and range of modern religious expression. Coming to adulthood in the fourth quarter of the twentieth century I found my choices limited, Stendhal wrote that a young man without connections really only had two choices available to him if he would succeed at life. The red or the black. The church or the military. I cheated and took them both, I joined the military and trained to support the chaplain corps as they ministered to the souls of soldiers.
For a dozen years, three college educations I dedicated myself to serving ministers of every religious group recognized as having representation in the United States military. I set up Roman Catholic mass, assisted in the preparation and participated in a Jewish Passover, maintained a place for Muslims to say their prayers. I took advantage of my position to learn from scholars and holy men, I too advantage of the resources available to me. I circled the world.
I read in my spare time every crank and theory that I thought might help me make sense of all the confusion. So many all claiming to know God, denying that any of the others have a true understanding of God, bitter ideological enemies forced to pretend to be friends. Twelve years I gave the military. Then I turned my attention to philosophy. Foucault and the history of knowledge, the flowering of the Enlightenment seed.