photoThose things that I can see even with my eyes quite tightly closed are objects of reverence and awe. No matter how much I admire the visible world for its quirks and art and prettiness, I cannot always navigate it with precision. I often can’t recognize faces out of their expected contexts. I miss obvious details that people around me have noted with nonchalance. I fail to see the marvel in many a beautiful everyday thing.photoSo when the attractions of anything are so intense that they live, beyond existing in the visible world, within the depths of my mind’s eye, I accord them special significance. They become icons of a sort, or waking dreams. I can carry with me those images that hold their places in my soul with something stronger than mere physical presence can ever begin to attain.

Best Hardware-Software Combo Ever

digital collageWhat? People. Easy-peasy. People, people. The most productive combination of ideas and imagination with the support structures to bring them to reality that was ever created. And hey, the human machine is able in turn to create further things. Yes, like hardware and software, among many-many-many others. What a strange invention is the human, the first ‘learning computer,’ yet so prone to errors and malfunctions and full of operational bugs that if we’d been a product, our inventor would’ve gone bankrupt in a cosmic instant.

Despite our messiness, though, we remain marvelous and surprisingly elegant machines. The thought of building structures that are not only composed entirely of living cells that, in health, constantly renew themselves and rebuild but are also able to contain and generate and synthesize and communicate intangibles like belief and imagination is quite astounding. That we creatures are able, as well, to imitate our own invention by being creative ourselves is nothing short of bizarre and miraculous.

How lucky we are, how blessed, to be–despite our fragile and somewhat freakish nature–able to be powerful and lovely in our creative ways too. How grand that we can appreciate this loveliness. And how rich and potent, above all, that we can still recognize how small and fleeting all of this goodness is in the greater scheme of invention that embraces us, our fellow living things, our world, our galaxy, our universe–and all the marvels that are yet unknown to us. We are tiny, we are mighty, and we should always be in humble awe.digital collage

What if I Never Grow Up?

digitally doctored photoAside from the fact that all of you know already that this is a given rather than a question, I can still pose it rhetorically and ask it of all people in general. See, I think about this a fair amount, and not just because of my own level of maturity at any given time or in any given category. It’s simply a question we all get asked in one way or another at some point, or should jolly well ask ourselves, at the least.

This marvelous Möbius loop of inquiry and insistence begins the first time we are told, as children, that we need to Grow Up, and it can be applied to any number of circumstances. The irony that this mandate is almost invariably handed down to us by a person or persons barely older and more grown than ourselves is of course lost on all of the parties involved, because we’re all too inexperienced and naive and, conversely, too full of ourselves to understand it. The bigger kid tells the littler kid to Grow Up mainly because the elder wants something that the younger has or has simply lost patience with her.

It doesn’t change. When we’re older, the toys and privileges may have changed to different brands of money and power, but as long as we think someone else has more of whichever kind we desire than we do, we’re just as inclined in adulthood to nit-pick at that someone for his supposedly lower maturity levels both as cover for our covetousness and in shallow hopes of shaming him into being more generous than we are ourselves. The failure of this silly system doesn’t change either, but it doesn’t stop the less magnanimous and less mature from nagging at those who are more so, no matter the age or the occasion.

There are perfectly good reasons to wish anybody, including ourselves, would think and act with maturity and keen sense and the wisdom of experience. Those things tend to lead to our being more level-headed in emergencies, more practical in the everyday, and more inclined to share those traits and all sorts of other things with other people–and that leads to better community. Who knows, even World Peace.

But isn’t it grand, all the same, to forever retain a large enough pinch of immaturity and, if not childishness, then at least the ability to be childlike, that we can still look at the wide world with the awe and wonder it requires. We should hang on, with youthful enthusiasm and gleeful tenaciousness, to innocence and hope, to curiosity and rambunctiousness, to unalloyed silliness whenever the moment permits. Maybe we should even be willing to get down there with the actual kids and roll around in the grass once in a while without batting an eye over how dirty it’ll get us or whether it might make our old joints sore tomorrow. If we can’t still do somersaults, then we’d better find other ways to regain and retain our not at all grown up point of view, because the world, especially while it’s still short of outright Peace, can really use a healthy splash of the ridiculous now and again.


I Know My ABCs, but I’m Not So Clear on My Ps & Qs

What I don’t know: what happened to yesterday’s post (this is it, again). I could swear I’d posted this and even gotten a comment or two on it already. Where it went baffles me. Apparently it’s now keeping company with the magically disappearing previous post about coulrophobia, which I also had to re-post. Go figure. So here’s Round 2 of Yesterday’s Post.

That slyly generous character ‘Nessa, over at her Stronghold, has tagged me once again, this time to participate in a bit of speculative introspection via the medium of the ABC award. I am happy to state that she did not give me the ABC award in the sense that I knew it as a young squirt, when we generously offered our playmates ABC gum (Already Been Chewed). So while I know from reading her post that ‘Nessa did indeed ruminate on the award before sharing it, I am glad to announce that there was no saliva whatsoever on the award when she passed it along. In fact, it was much like getting a good and playful cyber-hug, something I would call quite the opposite in a very nice way. So I send many thanks to dear ‘Nessa and will give many thinks to the alphabet I am to present to you as a response.

Awesome Blog Content Award

Rules of this award:

1. Pass this on to unlimited fellow bloggers.

2. Share some things about you, using the alphabet.

You know that I am going to put my own spin on the whole thing, because that’s just how my strange little brain prefers to work. While the award’s tradition appears to be that one offers a personally resonant word for each letter of the alphabet with a couple of words of explanation for each choice, I feel compelled to do some of my rhyming play with the puzzle, for no good reason of course, so I’m off to scrawl an alphabet of quatrains.
And as for sharing the award, I must tell you that the reason I subscribe to your blogs and read them as faithfully as time will allow (whether I have a moment to comment or not every time) because your blogs are simply brimming with awesome content. So I would be horribly remiss if I didn’t share this award with each and every one of you with whom I am so happily carrying on commentary-conversations and from whom I am delightedly learning new and funny and moving and useful and otherwise wonderful stuff every single day via my subscriptions. That means that if you’re reading this and we have conversed about our blogs, I am offering you the opportunity to play this amusing game yourself and consider me a grateful sharer of the fun. If you’re too busy, private, tired of blog tagging, or committed to more meaningful activities, believe me, I will not be insulted by your opting not to join in the play. I bless you for choosing to do or not do what suits you best.
Here, then, is today’s Alphabet of Me. I cannot promise to mind my Ps and Qs despite the alphabetical mandate, because behaving properly tends to chafe me. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

A is for Art

Art I seek, and fain would honor Art
with skill and courage, for the larger part
of life and love and light that may be found
awaken to Art’s call, no other sound.
Balance neatly conjured from unlike, unequal parts
is best achieved by using that most delicate of arts
which we might call diplomacy or mediating care
or just the coaxing of agreement from the thinnest air.
Community is my desire: I would the flame become a fire,
the bloom become a garden whole, the note float into barcarolle,
the morsel be a meal complete enough for everyone to eat,
the joy be broadcast far and wide until there is no Other Side.
Doggerel dances its jigs in my brain
until, irresistibly, I can’t refrain
from making up poems as silly as dogs
would be to write doggerel verses for blogs.
Ethereal loveliness, sweetness and grace
all whisper their zephyrs of breath as they chase
my sorrows and fears and my troubles away
and replace them with lyrical words night and day.
Flora, garden goddess thou,
wreathed with flowers upon thy brow,
what scented bowers have you grown
that leave my senses overthrown!
Gothic grotesqueries fill the abyss
of night in my cranium; stranger than this
is that, while they are creeping their hideous way
into my grey matter, it still feels like play . . .
Hungry every minute,
always looking for a spoon,
my midst has something in it,
but I wanna eat more, soon!
Idiosyncratic me,
how idiotic would it be
if I should be less odd? Absurd–
also unlikely, ‘pon my word.


J is for Jester

Jester to the king and queen and to the populace,
I’d like to have the wisdom and the humor to express
what should be said for betterment and conscience-pricking itch
without offending quite so far as be condemned a witch.