New Day. New Era. New America.

New Day. New Era. New America.
America Renewed!

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Life. Bite-Sized.

Then you are left with the "tasks at hand."  It is a way of grounding yourself. You shrink the Universe into bite-size bits. You realize you can't solve all the problems in the world. You can't worry about everything. You have to trust that things will somehow work out. You have to give yourself space to live.

You take longs walks. One foot in front of the other. You have "cleanup time," at home; sweep, mop, dust, polish, put things back in their right place. You listen to the news on NPR a bit less, you play good, life-enriching music a bit more, including great records by : Richard Thompson, Stevie Wonder, The Trees, Fairport Convention. 

You meditate. You tell yourself to chill out! You eat a fabulous meal of spaghetti with zucchini and black olives. Yum. You watch Wes Anderson's "Isle of Dogs." So good. Healing. Funny. Sweet. Gorgeous. Canine! You crack a new book about the Talking Heads. You hit the pillow, happy, tired, and ready for a few sweet dreams. You think to yourself, "that was a good day." 

Life. Bite-sized.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Bromides...

Finally. You turn to "bromides" from other minds, great and small. What is a bromide? "A phrase, cliche, or platitude that is trite or unoriginal." You know, like a simple, undeniable truth. I remember reading David Foster Wallace, and he pointed out that those cliches bandied about in rehab & recovery, those insipid words that are often found on Hallmark cards, are actually useful tools in living our lives. For instance: "Fake it to make it." Or "One day at a time." And "This too shall pass." Words that can save a life, no doubt.

"I have always relied on the kindness of strangers." Blanche Dubois, Streetcar Named Desire.

Yes, Blanche, haven't we all. I mean, isn't that what civil society is? What civilization means?


Right. Sounds sappy. Too easy. But WTF, isn't that what it's all about? I mean we have a shit-ton to worry about every day, but why worry ourselves sick? We are here to live. Live and be happy. It's worth giving it a try.

"Run to daylight." Vince Lombardi 

He was talking about football, what's a running back with a football in his hands supposed to do? But you know, I find that one useful from that great Coach. Daylight. Run to the light. Yes, of course. Never forget the light.

"I never promised you a Rose Garden." - Hannah Green

Right. We are here to make it. Plant your own roses. Cultivate them. Feed and water them. Tend to your own garden my friend. Make that promise to yourself.

"When the going gets tough, the tough get going." - Vince Lombardi

Back to the Coach. This one used to drive me mad. But it's true. There will be tough-going ahead. No doubt. It's just nature of our existence. You don't want to be too tough, but tough enough. You don't want to grow rigid, fixed in your ways, too hard, or callous to the beauty of the world. But you do want to be disciplined, mentally tough enough to keep going. To always be moving, morphing, growing. That's a life worth living.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Sometimes You Just Have to Dig...

No way around the mountain. The mountain of pain, the mountain of doubt, the mountain of bad blood. So you dig. You grab your shovel and you start digging. You may dig for a long, long time. You don't know. No one knows. There is no formula, no guidebook, no expert advice. You are on your own. You could give up, give in, throw in the towel. But hell, you only get one chance, unless you believe in reincarnation, so you dig. Maybe you hit gold, maybe you strike oil, maybe you just end up with a pile of dirt and blisters on your hands.  Damn the torpedos. You will get through the mountain, you will get to the other side. At least that's what you tell yourself. Do you still listen to yourself? Dig.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Weird Dichotomy...

I guess one of the things we are here to do, is to be ourselves, to discover who we are, and to be that as fully as we can possibly be, as honestly and soulfully as we can. It seems like it shouldn't be that hard, but it is; we are a moving target, our bodies are changing, we grow, we fade, we dance, we shimmer, & the world is a roiling mess, everything is always moving, morphing, cycling.

So, yes, we are on a journey of self-discovery, but at the same time, we must realize, if we don't want to spend our time on Earth being an egotistic asshole, that we are not the center of the Universe. You know, even though we are important to ourselves, unique beings here for a brief time, we are not that important in the grand scheme of things. We are a teeny, tiny energy in a Universe of energy.

We live in the midst of a weird dichotomy: Everything is Holy, Life is Cheap...

Live with that, Baby. So yes, we are here to be, to be the best we can be, without getting all uppity about it. You know be like a stone, a leaf, a wave, a ripple, a cloud, a spoke, a glimmer of light in the eyes of a child. Know it. Be it.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Intuition & Gut Instinct...

Ha, ha, ha...

Oh man. I can't even listen to, or take, my own advice (see previous post). Facing a difficult situation, I was wrestling with myself yesterday morning. The previous post was basically me, giving myself a pep talk to just shut up. To wait and see what was to transpire. To let a situation somehow resolve itself. 

Nope. Funny. I just could not do it. True to form, I had to jump directly into harm's way, head straight into danger, damn the torpedos, wade in with both feet, blood flying.

I wanted to be ZEN. My head was telling me I should chill out. Let it flow. Be silent. But I just could not do it. My intuition, my gut instinct demanded that I do something, that I "make something happen."

I wonder what's next? 

I either made a major blunder, or who knows, maybe I moved the football up a few yards? Sorry for the vagueness, the lack of specifics, but basically this is about a situation that has loomed over me the last few months. A problem that just seems to resist any kind of sensible solution or resolution.

I went in mental guns blazing. I'm either a hero or a fool. 

I guess we shall see.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

The Hard Stuff...

This is hard for me...

To not speak my mind
To hold my tongue
To be silent
To not jump to conclusions
To still my raging, warring mind
To not immediately react
To let it go
To let it ride
To go with the flow
To admit I'm not in control
To not try to fix things
To not try to make things right
To not impose myself into the situation
To remind myself that sometimes patience is required
To not listen to the clock's tick, tick, tick
To figure things will work out, one way or another
To accept that what happens is what happens
To not just know ZEN, but to be ZEN

Friday, April 09, 2021

Witnesses...

Clarity. Clear-seeing. A worthy goal. We live in the middle of the maelstrom. There is the murk, the muck, the always morphing, hurly-burly of existence. The human realm is such a muddy puddle.

If we are anything, we are witnesses to the unfolding of the Universe. We are bound and bookended by the immensities of time & space.

It is all a bit daunting. There are no certainties in this realm. Sometimes you can't even trust your eyes, or your senses five. We are at sea, floating in a boiling, roiling vastness without anything to hold onto.

Humbling. No doubt. Looking for clarity. It's a bit like hunting for a needle in a haystack. I mean, even that may be an easier lift.

Thursday, April 08, 2021

Music in Our Kit-Bag of Tricks...

There is a character in Roberto Bolano's great, epic novel "2666" who talks about how music is the "fourth dimension." That totally resonates with me. All musical expression, from the most insipid to the most beautiful & gorgeous is a vehicle of transformation. Whether just listening*, or composing/creating, or playing, music is one of my go-to sources of transcendence. 

It is funny. Much of my life has been trying my best to "be here now." But at the same time, I have always been on the hunt for transcendence. I have had a few life-defining instances where I have glimpsed another realm, a realm where everything is connected, everything is holy, everything is everything. It's hard to write or talk about. The experience can't really be contained or explained.

But I have been there. And I know there are paths to get there. I believe this is just another human thing. Something that I am working thru, like a blindman in the dark. Music; another tool in our kit-bag of tricks that we employ to make it thru this life without going mad, or giving up, or turning into a cold, life-less lump of coal.

*For instance, while I am writing this post, I am listening to "Buena Vista Social Club," (1997) and I am instantly transported to Havana, Cuba with Ry Cooder and an incredible group of Cuban musicians. Vivid. Gorgeous. Beautifully performed and recorded. Another time and place. Humans creating fabulous music together, so rich, and life-affirming. The fourth dimension of transcendence...

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

My Body is a Battlefield...

So, yeah, I was injected (twice) with the Moderna Vaccine over the last four weeks. My 2nd shot was on Good Friday 2021 (see last 5 posts). I had a bit of a reaction, but, then, I bounced, and now feel pretty much better than ever. You know, a new man!

What's going on in my body? The CDC explains:

A Closer Look at How COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines Work

COVID-19 mRNA vaccines give instructions for our cells to make a harmless piece of what is called the “spike protein.” The spike protein is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19.

COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are given in the upper arm muscle. Once the instructions (mRNA) are inside the immune cells, the cells use them to make the protein piece. After the protein piece is made, the cell breaks down the instructions and gets rid of them.

Next, the cell displays the protein piece on its surface. Our immune systems recognize that the protein doesn’t belong there and begin building an immune response and making antibodies, like what happens in natural infection against COVID-19.

At the end of the process, our bodies have learned how to protect against future infection. The benefit of mRNA vaccines, like all vaccines, is those vaccinated gain this protection without ever having to risk the serious consequences of getting sick with COVID-19.

So, you know, my body is ready to defend against Covid-19. That's exciting. What a wild world. Isn't Science amazing?

This morning I feel super-sensitive to the hurly-burly, the roiling chaos of being human. Kind of emotional, expectant, hoping for the best. The human story is quite the convoluted saga. Ups and Downs. Joys and Horrors. We bump along into the Future. Glad to still be around. I am hoping my fellow humans will join the ranks of the VAXXED. What if we could put Covid-19 behind us? There is a Universe of "problems" we need to tackle, maybe we could cross that virus off the list of concerns? Here's hoping.

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Community of Immunity...

Yes. There is life after your 2nd Moderna vaccine shot. I am here to testify, to tell the tale (see previous 4 posts). Feeling alive, lively, renewed, & refreshed this a.m. A new man. I am one of many who now have been fully vaccinated* (*actually, that's incorrect and a bit optimistic, I am on the road to fully-vaccinated, the CDC says two weeks after the 2nd shot you are full metal jacket!), against the Covid-19 virus. It seems significant, and in a small way, sort of momentous. A bit strange too. 

The last year has been a long, hunkered-down waiting game, we were doing our best to avoid infection, hoping to get to the vaccine before we got sick. We are not geniuses, we didn't do anything super-human, we just listened to the experts, we trusted the science, and the medical community. We were lucky too. Lucky to be able to hunker down and somehow defy gravity. We made it financially (all just smoke & mirrors, luck & pluck).We trusted the concept of vaccinations, we tuned out the naysayers, the disinformation, the noise and all the idiocy.

We are no longer part of the problem of the pandemic, we are in the ranks of the solution. The new community of immunity.  

We are god-smacked that anyone is resisting, or in denial, or actively spreading lies about vaccines & science.  It seems incredible folks can ignore so much death and sickness. Folks who lack imagination, who refuse to face the reality staring them dead in the eyes.

What is it that is blinding folks? Religion. Politics. Idiocy. Madness. I mean, how stupid can stupid be? Pretty damn stupid. 

So this is all a double-lesson. 

On the one hand: Human beings are incredibly resourceful, resilient, intelligent, caring, hopeful, willing to roll their sleeves up to join together, to face a crisis, to work for a common goal, to meet the challenge of a world-wide threat from a deadly, contagious, virus.

On the other hand: Human Beings can be so willfully blind, selfish, ignorant, uncaring, cynical, unwilling to lift a finger to protect others, lazy, unwilling to see the truth threatening their own life and their own pursuit of happiness.

What is it to be a Human Being? Such a strange, contradictory, tricky, unreliable and unpredictable creature. 

Monday, April 05, 2021

Reclaiming Your Mojo...

Mojo  (a quality that atracts people to you and makes you successful and full of energy), is a funny thing. Just like all the important things in life, it's invisible; you can't put your finger on it, you don't know how it works, or really, whether it even exists. Muddy Waters sang about it: "I got my mojo working, but it just don't work on you."

You know, it's a magical power, animating, essential. You can live without it, but your life will be much more drab, one-dimensional, and less fulfilling. 

So how to rebuild your mojo? Not exactly sure. It's possible it just evaporates from you, or descends upon you based on its own internal logic. Sort of like a rainstorm or a sunny day.

I think these may be things that helped me regain a bit of my mojo yesterday in the wake of my 2nd Moderna dose journey (see last 2 previous posts)...

Blue sky
Sunshine
Long, rambling walk on the lakefront
Good meal
Lazy afternoon on the couch
Fabulous music washing over me (Dylan's 2 stone-cold masterpiece recordings: "Highway 61 Revisited" (1965), "Blonde on Blonde" (1966) & Sigur Ros' "Kveikur" (2013)... the sound of a metallic glacier slowly melting...)
Hot tea (garlic, honey, ginger)
Early to bed

And this a.m. the coffee brew is "Mind, Body, Soul." The soundtrack is Miles Davis A Tribute to Jack Johnson (1971). My guess, these are major mojo-rebuilders. The coffee bean has major energizing abilities. And, of course, you want to expose yourself to human beings who definitely have major mojo, and you hope that some of it rubs off on you. Can't do worse than Dylan, Sigur Ros, Miles Davis, Jack Johnson. Really. I mean it.

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Moderna Journey...

My Moderna Dose 2 Journey...

Friday (see previous post) I got my second dose, and I was feeling fine. No, I was feeling more than fine, euphoric. I was like a multi-colored box-kite flying high in a blue sky. The black cloud of Covid had lifted and all was right with the world. Amazing. Thrilling

Yesterday it was crash and burn. My immune system kicked in, reacted to the dose, and I was laid out on the couch with a full-blown, one-day flu: fever, chills, achy-ness, mojo-deficit. Seems immunity comes with a price tag. Totally worth it. No doubt.

This a.m. I am back with the living. Fever, chills, achy-ness gone. Working on recharging my mojo. I do feel renewed. Flying high, hitting bottom, emerging to face a new day, a new reality. Funny, it's Easter Sunday... roll away the stone, he is risen...

Saturday, April 03, 2021

Turns Out It Was a Good Friday...

Turns out my "Good Friday, " really was good. It was touch and go, for awhile, I wasn't sure if my vaccine appointment was set or not, but found out that my 2nd Dose Shot for the Moderna vaccine was waiting for me at Walgreens yesterday afternoon. Somehow I slipped around the system, and Pharmacist Joe fixed me up.

I was the only one in the store waiting for a VAXX. I was accompanied by my longtime love and companion, who had gotten her first Pfizer shot the day before. Seems more momentous & wonderful and life-affirming than I realized. Didn't feel the needle, it took a minute, and I was back on the road fortified with the Moderna. Hat-Tip to my younger sister for setting it all up, and to Dolly Parton for contributing to the development of the vaccine, and to the Biden administration for taking the virus, and vaccine distribution, seriously.

Amazing. I did feel microscopic waves of euphoria. 

So, so happy. It's been a long year of lock-down. My companion and I have done everything the experts have told us to do: physical/social distancing, frequent hand-washing, staying home, masking (never went out once in the last year without wearing a mask), avoiding bars & restaurants, avoiding crowds of people, eating well, sleeping well, hoping to avoid getting sick with covid. I think we were amazingly lucky too.  It's such a contagious, deadly virus, some folks were just "in the wrong place, at the wrong time." Somehow, we avoided that fate.

We just tried to be smart. Listened to the science, listened to the medical community, listened to other intelligent beings who shared their knowledge. We studied the charts, we read up on the virus, and the vaccines and other treatments. We pretty much became self-taught, amateur virologists. 

So anyway. Everything changed yesterday. The Covid Cloud of Doom & Death sort of lifted a bit. On the other hand, nothing changes. We will stay vigilant: wear masks, keep our exposure to other folks limited. For this to work, most of us will need to get vaccinated. It seems like the smart way forward.

Unfortunately, there are the toxic knuckleheads amongst us. Those folks who pretend that the virus is a hoax, some grand plot, and those folks shooting bleach into their lungs, and living in deep, ignorant denial. Not sure what happens if 30% of the USA refuses to get vaccinated. This story has legs. Surges and spikes could be coming. Stay tuned.

But, still, we have joined the ranks of the VAXXED. Hoping for better days. There are glimmers of light all around us!

Friday, April 02, 2021

Good Friday 2021...

Ha. Another "significant day." When I hear "Good Friday," in the year 2021, I am immediately transported to Catholic grade school. There was always an elaborate ritual enacted on that Friday. A special service taking us thru the stations of the cross. Very weird. Pretty vivid. I now think back to my young, impressionable state, and wonder, WTF?

Never understood why they called it "Good" Friday. Seemed all pretty much a bad scene, especially for Jesus. It wasn't great for us either. Sitting, kneeling, standing, watching the Priest waving the canister of incense, and stopping under pictures of the mayhem. Checking off the stations. We were told we were  responsible for these horrors. Yikes.

Images seared into my consciousness. Poor Jesus. He was treated so badly. We were told it was "good news," but it was hard to believe. I do remember wondering: if humans would treat a guy like Jesus so cruelly, what's in store for the rest of us?

This morning, spinning madly, spiraling away from those grade school days. The day doesn't mean what it used to mean. I rarely enter a church. I let all that shit go. All that remains is the theater of it all, the pomp and circumstance. And this pesky residue in my head. Can't erase that, and of course, it's all part of me, of who I am. Building blocks of a personality.

Now, I know, whatever was in store for Jesus, is pretty much in store for all of us. The luck of the draw: happy & relatively unscathed, or unhappy & totally destroyed. We kind of hang between the two fates, we get to experience both, a little more of one or the other determines the balance of a life. We are always left wondering, what's next?

Thursday, April 01, 2021

Universal Joker...

Ha! April 1st, 2021.  April Fools Day.

Yes, and well, folks, the joke is on us. Let us, for a minute, just for "shits and giggles," propose that there is a Creator, a Higher Power that conjured up this whole shebang.  Let us posit that SHE decided to name it "Universe."  And what are the main animating ingredients that she hot-wired into her little creation?

Ever-changing. Always morphing. Always moving. Ever-spinning. Always confounding. Befuddling. Wondrous. Life popping up in unlikely places. Death comes to all. Energy. Everything is Energy. Transformation. Everything transforms. Everything is Everything. 

Ok. It's sort of a joke. We have pulled the Joker's card. It's a joke on us. On all that lives. Our "Creator," well, it's safe to say, SHE is a "joker, a smoker, a midnight-toker." She must have been high, and then well, she set this kooky thing up and let it fly.

You know, it's bit overwhelming, and sometimes super-sad and tragic, but then again, life, who wouldn't want to give it a whirl? 

And then, just because we can, we choose  Hope, Hilarity & Good Cheer. I mean, hell, why not?!

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Life-Altering Work...

It feels like a major accomplishment...

Last night I finished reading Roberto Bolano's great, epic novel "2666" - 893 pages (2004). A major work, no doubt. So yeah, it's safe to say, one of the greatest novels I've ever read. I don't really want to "review" it. I mean, it would be like reviewing a mountain range, or a waterfall, or a volcano, or a rainforest, or a lightning storm.

I do think just the reading altered my consciousness. It is a total experience; engaging my imagination, influencing my dreams, forcing me to rethink my life, and to reexamine my beliefs on what life is all about. It's dazzling, horrifying, thrilling, funny, weird, amazing. What's in it? Everything. Really. There were a few times I wanted to put it down; too real, too consuming, too much, but I never seriously thought of abandoning ship.

Renews my faith in Art. And in the power of the novel. It is an art-form unlike any other. Expands your consciousness, expands your human-ness. You can't ask for anything more than that. Bolano etched his heart, his soul, his blood, his prodigious imagination into every page. Life-altering work.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Stupid People/Stupid Ideas...

- Kim Stanley Robinson (sci-fi writer)

A reminder that stupid people and their stupid ideas can be quite toxic and toxically influential. In the 80's we all made a dramatic turn, led by the stupidity and the brutal, pin-headed, small-mindedness, and bad faith of leaders like Thatcher and Reagan. Two figures lauded by the right-wingers to this day. Hailed as heroes. They were selling a toxic snake-oil. The damage to our consciousness, to government, to society, to "the West," has been incalculable. I wonder, and I hope, that someone like Joe Biden and his New Green Deal, and his Build Back Better movement, could return us to a smarter, more forward-looking perspective. Think FDR. Government is us. Yes, of course we live in a society of individuals. Not in an all against all battle to the death, no, instead a community of like-minded souls working together for a better world for all.  Let's not believe the bullshit. Let's leave the stupidity behind. 

Monday, March 29, 2021

A Free Mind in a Wild World...

Yes. It was an off-hand comment from a poet, "think for yourself," (see previous post), that set me off. It pretty much sums up my madness and my method this time around on the planet. I am a product, no doubt, of my times. Just like everyone else. I am the sum of all my experiences & influences. Being born in the USA in the 20th Century comes with lots of baggage and assumptions.

And there is the accumulated wisdom of the ages. I've dipped into that pool often. As the Grateful Dead once sang: "take what you need and you leave the rest." You have all the holy books and mumbo-jumbo. You have late stage Capitalism and Secularism. You have the Scientific Age. You have Pop Culture. 

You have the towering influences & touchstones: Beatles, Stones, Dylan, Hendrix,  Zeppelin, Sigur Ros,  U2, Dali Lama, MLK, Buddha, Mandela, ZEN, Jesus, Miles Davis, Wm Blake, John Coltrane, Vonnegut, Philip K. Dick, Melville, Wm. Shakespeare, Joseph Heller's "Catch-22," Bukowski (the road of excess), Kerouac, Ginsberg, Patti Smith, Sam Shepard, Henry Miller, Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman," Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorcese, Stanley Kubrick, Robert Bresson, Vince Lombardi, FDR, RFK, Michael Jordan, r&r, drugs, meditation, sobriety, discipline, goofing off.

Everything counts. Everything is important. Holy.

The events: JFK/RFK/MLK assassinations, Vietnam, Watergate, Fall of the Berlin Wall, 9/11, Iraq & Afghanistan Wars, Torture Regime, the 24/7, - the always on, never fails to horrify, can you believe this shit, Terror-Dome.

A Revolution in the Head...

Yes, indeed. "You are the authority." - Philip K. Dick

It's a bit intimidating. You decide. Think for Yourself. It's all up to you. You come on the scene in the middle of the film. You don't know how it all started, you don't have a clue how it will all end. You have to make instant decisions every day. You have no idea if you are doing the right thing. You are just living. Day to day. You may be the authority, but you don't know what you don't know, and you don't know if what you do know is worth knowing. All your knowledge is partial, arbitrary, contradictory. Hey what's going on in your head?!

It's not easy being Green. An incredible opportunity, a bone-crushing responsibility. A free mind in a wild world. Wow.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Think for Yourself - Scary!

Think for yourself. I know, it's a super-dangerous thing. 

Right: A mind is a terrible thing to waste. 

We all have brains of various capabilities. We are using them all the time. Best to use them wisely. Of course, we need to cultivate them, help them grow, fill them with knowledge, experience, music, poetry, art, politics, day to day events.

We should read the great authors and playwrights. Listen to all the great, and not so great, music. Classical, Pop, Rock, Jazz, Country, World. I mean. Whatever. Listen to the opinions and arguments of the day. Read Philosophy. Study all the major religions. Pick and choose the things that resonate with you. Make up your mind.

Do not submit your mind to any State or a Religion. Your mind is bigger than any form of government, and any organized Religion. Don't let people tell you who or what God is. Or even if there really is a God. That's up to you.

You can believe in things. But best to keep those things lofty and abstract: Goodness, Love, Democracy, Hope, Vegetarianism. Or super-mundane and practical: One step, one breath, one thought, at a time.

I know. This could all be quite confusing, contradictory, basically leaving you out to sea. That's part of it. No easy answers, lots of questions, always seeking and questing. Grabbing onto life-rafts. That's life.

Feeding your brain, cultivating your mind, is the task at hand. Its like tending a garden. You must feed it and care for it with intelligence and determination. Yes, it's an incredible responsibility. I mean, thinking for yourself, yikes.  It's kind of scary. No one can help you. You are pretty much on your own, with only an enormously grand Universe stuffed with amazing, incomprehensible and splendiferous phenomena to astonish, influence and guide you.  Have at it people!

Saturday, March 27, 2021

I think I know a Few Things...

I think...

Everything counts
Everything is connected
No one is alone
We swim in meanings
Everything is Holy
Life is Good
Things are complicated
There are more questions than answers
Need an answer? One good answer: Love
Humility & Grace are important tools for your kit-bag
Humor too
Best to not take the Universe Personally
Wonder, always start the day with Wonder
No Justice, No Peace
Meditate on it
Humans are the Solution to Human Problems
Humans are the main source of Human Problems too

Friday, March 26, 2021

Birthed by Chaos...

"Only in chaos are we conceivable." 

- Roberto Bolano, page 736, "2666" (2004).

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Persistence, etc.

Persistence.
Perseverance.
Stick-to-it-tive-ness.
Hanging in there.
Keeping at it.

Doing it.
Feeling it.
Seeing it.

No trying,
doing...

But if you must try
be the blue sky...

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Of Course You Should VAX!

"To vax, or not to vax."

Come on, really? Of course you should VAX!

I am surprised this is even a thing. How has vaccinating, or not vaccinating become a political/cultural hot button topic?

Over here we believe in the scientific method. Vaccinating is a proven technique for avoiding sickness and death. As a little child I remember being vaccinated at school, and taking a sugar cube too.  That is how we avoided Mumps, Chicken Pox, Measles and Polio.

Is this another Blue Bubble thing? I don't know. Seems like common sense. Over here we believe in Vaccination, we believe in Democracy, we believe in common sense, we believe in good cheer, health and happiness.

Yesterday I found myself in a room with a small group of people. Two of us were masked. Everyone was socially/physically distant. And every one of us were in various stages of the vaccination protocol for Covid-19. 

Welcome to the Brave New World.

One of us had one dose of the 2 dose-Moderna vaccine (that would be me), so my immune system is primed and ready for dose # 2 in a couple weeks. One of us had the one dose-Johnson & Johnson vaxx. One of us had 2 of the 2 dose Moderna vax, and one of us had 2 doses of the 2 dose Pfizer vaxx.

There was a bit of a sense that we were stepping into a new reality. A reality where Covid was no longer this cloud of doom and death that it has been looming over us this last year. We could see a glimmer of a post-covid reality. We all are still very careful. We wear masks to protect ourselves, and others too. We keep distant to protect ourselves, and others too.

That just seems like the sensible, responsible, serious and healthy-making way forward...

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Modern Gothic Fiction...

I read about the 2021 "Spring Breakers" debauching in Florida and immediately flashed on Edgar Allan Poe's gothic fiction "The Masque of the Red Death" (1842).

Spring break in the shadow of Covid-19.

What is driving those hordes of young people? Raging hormones in the midst of a raging global pandemic. A potent combination, leading to sickness and death.

I marvel at the folly of my fellow human beings. What are they thinking? Maybe there really isn't a lot of thinking going on up in the cranial cavity? There is the need to party. The need to drink, and to drug to excess. The need to dance, to flirt, to engage in promiscuous sexual activity.

The body leads and the mind follows.  I can remember those early years where my body was a raging, throbbing thing. Yikes. Youth, it's a gift and a curse.

So in the modern telling of the tale: No masks. No social/physical distancing. Lots of close contact and touching. And the virus, yes, the virus outside,  in the air, passed from one breath to another. It circulates willy-nilly. Multiplying. Infecting. Inhabiting. Growing. It's alive on the beach, in the hotels, on the dance floor, in a crowd. Spring Breakers, the young and the beautiful, the latest zombie horde, spreading the virus, bringing it to their friends, their parents, their grandparents, yes, indeed, bringing it to a town and a cinema, near you.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Beautiful Reality...

"Energy is Eternal Delight." - Wm Blake

Animated.
Enthusiastic.
Energized.
Bubbly.
Over-joyed.

Sometimes the a.m. coffee surprises, and really does its thing.
It is a beautiful reality.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

PTSD...

I think it's true, and I don't mean to minimize the syndrome, but, I believe, in a way, all of us, collectively are experiencing various levels of PTSD.  This has been a working theory of mine for a long time.  

I mean, at least, if you are paying attention, you plug into the media-scape, you have, on a daily basis:  "experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, or rape or who have been threatened with death, sexual violence or serious injury."

Yes. Every day. That's just the daily news. Life in our 24/7 always raging media-scape is traumatic. No doubt.

Add to that 4 years of the Toxic Gaseous Dirigible's "daily hate & outrage," AND a raging global pandemic where a little virus threatens us all, and well, we swim in a toxic, combustible stew of events, worries and fears. 

A virus has made us aware that every breath we take holds danger. Disease and Death are in the air, alive in our fellow humans. Every encounter is a potential life-changer. Yikes.

Amazing we can hold it together. Are we holding it together? Yes, I think so. Some of us, barely, one step and one breath (masked of course), at a time.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Spring 2021...

Spring. They say: "First day of Spring."

It's encouraging. Comes around once a year. Another example of our "circular" existence. Everything is a cycle. Everything is always moving, turning, changing. 

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."  - Charles Dickens great opener. 

Spring seems like an optimistic season. Sprouting. Greening. Growing. Days getting longer. More sunshine. Warmth beckoning. 

We hear rumblings that the covid-19 vaccine is coming for all. Can't wait to get "VAXXED!" Another sign of movement, and "progress." A step forward. No doubt.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Questions, A Cloud of Questions...

There is a trend going on over here. It's all the latest rage. Questions. I have questions. Many, many questions. And I have no answers. None. Nada. Not one answer. Just a cloud of questions hanging over my head. Seems this last year has been a grand series of tests. What is the #1 Test of the Year: Testing my patience. I don't like it one bit. As a general rule, I am not a patient Human Being. Getting a bit testy...

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Frazzled/Un-frazzled

Worries. Doubts. Concerns. Fears. Regrets.

Yes. Like the famous Sinatra song says: "I've had a few."

If you are paying attention, alive, aware, awake, it's hard to see how you could NOT be a frazzled mess filled with all the detritus of a well-lived life, once in awhile. Yes. It happens to me. I think I'm managing my life, my day to day existence, and then the slow train of doom & gloom comes hurtling down the track. WHAM! Electrified with extraneous shit. 

That's life, Baby. You clear your head, you clear the deck, and the Universe comes crashing in like an unwelcome guest. You just have to deal.

How to un-frazzle? 

Best I can figure: live in the moment. Simplify. Take stock in what you have right now. Two eyes, two ears, the requisite number of fingers & toes. Don't think too far ahead, or too far behind. I look to the basic things: good coffee brew, good music, a good book, good conversation, good meditation. A few people you can call a "friend."

Don't expect too much. It's fine to dream, to wonder, to explore, to imagine. But take it all as it comes. "What will happen, will happen, when it happens." Or not. No sense in worrying about the things you have no control over.  And you know, seems most things you have no control over.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Good News/Bad News


Great title for a record. A great record from Modest Mouse. I am listening to it now, on this gloomy St. Patrick's Day morning in the heartland. 

Modest Mouse - what a weird band. I think of them as an oddball outlier. They are led by the very verbose and over-caffeinated Issac Brock. He is a musical dynamo. He frequently gets a bit over-excited in song. Still even his "shouty-ness" is quite musical. He is not an angry dude. Just super-enthusiastic, always bursting with fascinating things to say. Take a journey with Modest Mouse and you will find surprises all along the way.

Funny too. I find myself often laughing, enjoying Brock's twisted sense of humor.

Lately, I have been doing a lot of listening to the three or four other Modest Mouse records I own. They are all quite good. This is one ranks as one of the best. No doubt.

I am not one of those people who love bad news. Bad news is part of the deal of being human, but I don't look forward to it. I do know some people who do. They love bad news, they love to share bad news, their lives are just chock-full of bad news.

Best to give those folks a wide berth. Put me in the camp of those folks who try to find to good in the middle of the bad. Always looking for a silver lining. It's doesn't always work. Often the bad news comes streaming in like a tsunami, and there's no denying, just an accounting.

Times like that, we hunker in and pray for a better day.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Holy Music...

Listening to Junun (2015) this morning. A collaboration of three entities: She Ben Tzur, Johnny Greenwood (Radiohead), and the Rajasthan Express. It does transport you to another time and place. In fact, it sort of comes to your ears as timeless music, rich & alive, conjuring up ancient vibes and grooves. At the same time, you get electric guitars, and beats and the fabulous Radiohead engineer Nigil Goodrich. So it's an interesting mashup of things, old, new, traditional, modern.

The record is a true labor of love.

Energizing. Mysterious. All the lyrics are in a foreign tongue. I just checked out the the booklet, all the songs are about GOD. Heady stuff. Holy stuff. Transporting. Yes. Transporting this morning. A bit of time & head tripping. The lyrics point upward, but to my ears it's like talking in tongues. Holy babble. Strangely it, makes it all the more engaging, enchanting and powerful.

Talking to GOD. Holy gibberish. Probably the only way to be heard.

I look out the window. Snow on the ground, bare trees, a bit gloomy today, dark clouds looming. But the music of the morning fills my ears with another reality. Animating. Beautiful. That's what I love about music & art, and the human imagination. This is a soundtrack for the head & heart. And soul too!

Blog Archive