Thoughts destined to be washed away by the tides of life.
I've been studying my cover photo for a while now, and it seems to me that it is more than just a photo of what is there that can be seen, more than just three white rocks stacked on a beach. It contains an important question about the future, about what happens long after the photographer has gone. What will happen to our pile of stones when the tide comes in? Will it topple or has the architect built this structure at a safe distance? |
I don't know what will happen to these words that I stack here on the sand. They may prove safely distant, or they may be swallowed up by a rush of self-doubt. They may be here for a season. They may lose their balance and be scattered by the shoreline, or be hidden away under shifting sands. Perhaps someday, the tides of life will reclaim them.
Or maybe that's just a bunch of poetic, romantic nonsense. After all, this is just a blog.
|I turned the coffee brewer on without placing a cup under the spout this morning, so perhaps I am not in the best mental position for discussing philosophical issues, but I may have a bash at one anyway. I wiped up the first ten ounces of coffee with a kitchen towel and set up a retaining wall with another as the kitchen counter flows downward to the right, then made another cup of coffee. A few more sips and I will be ready to type (this much has taken ages, but I feel the synapses coming alive and the signals beginning to connect with my fingers).
First, let me say that I hope no one takes memes on Facebook seriously enough to alter their worldview. Facebook philosophy is flawed at best, dangerous at its worst. I remember when I first saw the word "meme", I mistakenly thought it was borrowed from the French même, meaning "same". A little research reveals that it is a made-up word based loosely on a Greek root word meaning to mime or mimic, and was coined by Richard Dawkins in 1976. However, I think a more literal meaning can be taken from pronouncing it as not one, but two syllables as in “me-me”. Because the majority of memes are all about “me”. They are screaming “me, me!” and it seems like an unhealthy trend on a site dedicated to social interaction.
The me-me that I saw this morning (and which led to this diatribe) declares that someone found the author intimidating but the question was “is she intimidating or are you intimidated?” and then declares that the author refuses to take responsibility for how others react to her.
It’s a good thing that Emily Post is dead, or this would have killed her.
Hey, I believe that everyone is entitled to be their own, true, authentic selves. I also believe that civilization depends on our ability to follow a few rules of behavior that make it possible to live together. One of those rules would be to not go around intimidating people unnecessarily. Admittedly, there may be times when intimidation is a good thing, such as in war or political negotiations. It absolutely is not necessary to be completely self-absorbed in social interactions, however. While it is true that some people are more timid and easily intimidated, it is still a better answer to find out what about you intimidates people so that you can make sure that your message isn’t lost in the delivery.
Other me-me messages that draw attention and sympathy abound. These are annoying but much less harmful. They generally tell you that the author possesses some faults but that they are wonderful and lovable anyway (and if you don’t agree you can do something obscene to yourself). They might declare that the author is silently suffering but will never complain (which they have just done in the me-me). These me-me messages fulfill the need for attention that caused the poster to spread them. But they don’t encourage anti-social behavior.
The perpetuation of the me-me does help one to understand the study which found that the use of Facebook had a detrimental effect on mood. The more time users spent on Facebook, the sadder they became.
And if you find this blog post intimidating, then it’s not my responsibility.
|The only thing I have to blog about today is heat, sweat and struggle.
It's ridiculously hot here. There is no way we should be in an extended heat wave in early June. Before you cry "global warming", let me say that the last time I remember an early heat wave, it occurred in April and we were all fooled into planting flowers. Then, just a few short days later (they are short days, it being spring still) we had snow and ice in early May.
Honestly, I would be alright with a surprise snowstorm.
As far as I know, it hasn't snowed in June in New England since 1815. So very little hope of that.
Obviously, the sweat is a result of the aforementioned heat, so we won't delve into that.
The struggle is that this isn't my first post in June. I am going to blog for The Bard's Hall contest and wish I had known about it before I wrote my first June blog post. But if I edit that post to add the link to the contest, it changes the date on the blog post to today. The problem is that it's a much better post than this one. I even wrote a poem, for crying out loud. It's far too hot to be poetic or philosophical today.
So, I would advise anyone reading my blog to immediately stop reading this post and go read the post from the third. Or maybe wait and read the next one. With any luck, it will be better than this.
"The Bard's Hall Contest"
|There's a media prompt this week, It's a song about pretending to be something you're not in an effort to try to please others, or perhaps to make up for your own insecurities and how this pressure makes you a liar. Although I know people like that and perhaps, have felt that pressure myself at times, something quite different came to mind.
And so I have written this poem. I am putting it here in the blog, killing two birds with one stone.
I swear, I didn't kill any real birds.
Not that I wasn't tempted.
The mockingbird cares not if I sleep
Crying out from a nearby tree
He explains to the risen moon
That he can be all he was meant to be
Not a robin, a chickadee or even a loon
He sings forth his practiced rhythm
Hiding himself in the thick of the leaves
He does not mind his plain color or form
It is enough for him that everyone believes
That he is not a tiny bird, but a car alarm
| I remember that when I was young, one of the most derisive epithets that my older brother and his friends tossed at each other quite liberally was "fathead". This probably stems from having watched so many hours of The Three Stooges, followed every Saturday morning by the spectacle of professional wrestling (a sport in which many participants appeared to be fatheads). This might have been a good thing.
You see, I read some interesting brain facts this morning, the most surprising of which is that the brain is 60% fat.
Suddenly, I felt better about the butter on my breakfast.
And about watching The Three Stooges. I remember remarking to a Stooge aficionado once that the Stooges were entertaining in their genre of comedy if one appreciated them for what they were and may have said something along the lines of "well, it's not Noel Coward" and the hurt reaction I received has prevented me from ever again entering into any deep critique of their body of work.
So, my goal for today is to be a great, big, fathead. I hope you all can be fatheads, too.
|I am thinking about blogging again. It's one way to keep writing even when I have nothing to write. But thinking about it is as far as I have progressed this morning. I was asked what my plans were for the day, and as usual, my plans are both visionary and practical. That means I will dream big and accomplish little. Visions are always hampered by the existence of practicalities.
If I can think of anything to blog about, I will be back. The day's prospects are bit bleak and sodden under a leaky grey sky, so I wouldn't form any expectations.
|It's been more than a month since I updated my blog. For a short time, I was blogging daily and feeling very proud of myself. Now, if there is only one email in my Inbox, I won't even look at my email. I know what it will say. Update your blog. Such an optimistic term, though - "update". It implies that interesting and exciting things have been happening and it's time to let everyone in on them. I assure you, that is not the case.
Spring has arrived since I last blogged. It isn't a very impressive spring. It hasn't bowled me over. There has been the usual amount of grey skies, the occasional downpour day and a few windy nights that blow right through the window casings, making spring feel every bit as cold as winter but sound slightly noisier. Snow is cold, but it is very, very quiet.
I put that line in because I seem to have wandered away for an hour or two. Oh, I remember now. I was on one phone call while a second person was calling me and a third person was texting me, so I went off to wash the dishes. Then I had lunch.
I think I must be done blogging for today.
|The Media Prompt this week is a video of the song Jumpsuit by Twenty One Pilots. Prior to this, I have only one brief experience of this band and their musical offerings. Since it is the only story I have about Twenty One Pilots, it's the one I will write for my blog post. Warning: In the beginning, it won't seem like the story is about Twenty One Pilots, but it is. Hang in there.
It started with The Mandolorian, the latest entry in the Star Wars saga. I had not watched this show as I didn't even have Disney as a streaming service. So, I was completely unaware that The Mandolorian had become a sensation, as big as any Star Wars character had ever been in popularity. So big, that his fan base was eclipsed by only one other Star Wars character - his unnamed sidekick, called "Baby Yoda" by fans of the show.
I first saw Baby Yoda when my daughter texted me a photo of him and asked me to crochet a Baby Yoda for her. I said that I would, little knowing that crocheted Baby Yodas were all the rage and it was almost impossible to find any yarn in a sort of mossy green color since all the crafters making yodas had cleared the shelves. Eventually, I found a source and got to work. A woman who works with my son's girlfriend saw photos of my Baby Yoda and wanted to buy two of them. So, I made another two yoda dolls. She loved them and asked if I could make a Ned for her daughter.
I confess, that I had no idea what a "Ned" was. Aside from being Ned, it had no meaning for me. It was then I was directed to a video of the song "Chlorine" by Twenty One Pilots.
Ah ha! Now there seems to be some point to this rambling story, you might say. But you'd be wrong. The only point is that Ned and his song are my frame of reference on this band. And from what I've seen and heard, I feel like the songwriter is not very happy. In the song "Chlorine", the singer ends up sitting at the bottom of a swimming pool (with Ned) looking rather depressed. Chlorine may cleanse the water, but in a larger concentration is poisonous. One wonders what Chlorine represents in the song, cleansing or poison? He sings "sippin' on straight Chlorine" and says he's running for his life.
In the song, Jumpsuit, he's standing on a car that's on fire and being chased by a figure who may represent Death. Death appears to catch up to him, but only smears dark ashy fingerprints on his neck. It seems significant that the coat that the singer puts on has high-visibility stripes and looks like a fireman's jacket. At the end of the song, the car is burnt but the fire is out and the jacketed singer, safe in his coat but carrying the marks of fire on him, walks away from the charred chassis. The singer has survived the fire, and Death was not able to take him.
Yeah, I think that the songwriter for this band thinks about death a lot. Or maybe I have it all wrong. Watch both these videos and see what I mean. Or tell me I am full of hooey.
|It's snowing. The air is filled with delicate white flakes. It's a winter wonderland.
Enough, already. I've seen all the breathtaking beauty of winter landscapes that nature can throw at me.
Give me March with its mud and its soggy, yellow grass. March when the crocuses poke their heads out in inappropriate places they were never planted.
Enough of the delicate white-laced arms of trees raised in reverence towards the sky. Enough, do you hear me?
|I don't usually blog on the weekend, but I knew that I missed Friday and that broke my blogging streak. I thought a quick update this morning would make up for that, and then I discovered that I had missed Thursday, too.
Well, it's not tragic. It's not a job and I won't be fired for not showing up. No one is eagerly awaiting each day's installment and so there is no one to disappoint. I did feel quite accomplished in having blogged so many days in a row and this is my most prolific blogging period since I started the blog. I have to be proud of myself for the small things, mainly because I never do big things.
I'm trying a version of "bulletproof" coffee this morning. I don't have any MCT oil (I don't even know what MCT stands for), no ghee, or any of those powders and creamers that the YouTube vloggers put in their morning brew. Just a pat of organic butter and a little cream. But this is a very different experience for me and I am not sure you can appreciate how brave an act it was to inject my coffee with contaminants. I have been drinking my coffee black for almost 30 years. I learned to drink it black to avoid the disappointment of being out of milk or cream, as so often happened in the office. But once my taste buds became accustomed to that bitter, deep, dark and robust flavor of the unadulterated bean, I realized that coffee needs no embellishment. It's perfect just as it comes, hot and steaming from the coffee maker into my cup.
As for the experiment, however, I think it works. That is, my cup of coffee was somewhat filling and satisfied that morning desire for something to go with my coffee. The headache I woke up with is gone, but any old coffee will cure a headache. I didn't hate the coffee, but I did add a bit of Stevia to make it palatable.
It's a fad. But everything since hunter/gatherers has been a fad, really. Humans like change and challenges. We get tired of the same old roasted mastodon and push the limits of our ingenuity and our biology's ability to withstand imposed hardships and indulgences. Some fads, like lead makeup, were doomed to failure and others like going over Niagara in a barrel tend to weed out the more foolish among us. Humans who aren't involved constantly in a battle to survive get up to a lot of foolish things and put them on YouTube or Tik Tok or even blog about them.
As fads go, bulletproof coffee is okay. Whether or not it rocks my morning remains to be seen.
|Here I am, blogging at night again. I am yawning and I don't think this is going to go well. I would give my eye teeth for a cup of coffee. Except, I don't know which teeth are the eye teeth. As far as I know, none of my teeth ever had eyes. Now, I don't remember all my baby teeth, maybe some of them had eyes. But, my mother would never have let me drink coffee when I was a baby so it wouldn't have done me any good to even have eye teeth.
I didn't get anything done today. I fielded a million phone calls, sometimes two at a time. Of all the people in the world, I am the least likely to be of use in a crisis, the least equipped to solve anyone's problems, the least qualified to give advice. None of that keeps people from calling me for help, solutions and advice. I think I have identified the two main causes for this: 1.) I pick up the phone when it rings; and 2.) I don't hang up in time.
It's been a day of recalling life as it was, missing people who are no longer with us, and wishing for the simplicity of the past (as I remember it and not as it actually happened). Nostalgia mixed with distraction is not a good formula for ambitious accomplishment.
I didn't even answer the QOTD and I had such a good answer. I would answer it now, but I am yawning with such intensity that I sprained my face.
This is really a cheat, writing these blog posts about nothing. But it still counts, haha! I do like having completed at least this task every day.