Monday, August 31, 2015

"Everything in nature is resurrection"

One of the primary advantages of living alone, I assume some of you know from your own experience, is that there is no one else necessary to consult when it comes time to decorate the immediate surroundings. I have been doing a bit of rearranging recently, and what appears in the photograph is among the results. It suits me just fine. The words below and the song are sort of a continuation of elements from my August 23 post. The poetic endeavor, composed by our friend Dante Gabriel Rossetti, is tied in to this post through some of those words of mine and by a frequent theme which echoes in my thoughts, in my memories and in concepts held among some of us who do not doubt the possibility of anything. Before I become any more obscure / obtuse / oblique than I all ready am, I will end this now and allow you to figure out for yourself the circle in which I am walking -- should you wish to do so .... but, but, but not without leaving one further signpost as spoken by François-Marie Arouet, generally known as Voltaire: "The doctrine of metempsychosis is, above all, neither absurd nor useless. It is not more surprising to be born twice than once; everything in nature is resurrection."

That is about as much as you will capture of me for now unless I think there is a chance I will fall in love with you ....

I sometimes like to repeat myself
(Editor's Note: This is the second time during the six-plus years of "my existence" here upon the sea of blogs that I have taken a portion of a response I have written to a comment and reprinted it as part of a later post. The next few paragraphs are part of my response to a comment made by Smareis for my August 23 post. The reason I do this is because I think more people might read it this way and it is something I like to clarify on occasion about my lifestyle and my beliefs. So, here are those few paragraphs:)

I learned many years ago that some rivers are not meant to be crossed -- either literally or figuratively .... hmmmm .... now I am getting poetic.

I sometimes say (and have written in past posts) that I am not certain I ever really, truly, actually have been in love .... I am sort of like the guy in the Foreigner song, "I Want to Know What Love Is." Love is a holy grail of sorts for me. On the other hand, there are two women I have felt so deeply about that I married them, and three others I would have been willing to marry had circumstances been different. I am not so sure that love is more than an illusion.

I guess I agree with Martin Luther in terms of his words which you quoted. Coming at it from a slightly different approach, I do have an instinctual sense that the love I search for is ancient, and was something found and then lost in the mist of time. Perhaps, it has more to do with faith and belief than with anything else; perhaps, it is a genetic memory; perhaps ....

"Sudden Light"
by Dante Gabriel Rossetti -- 1853/54:

I have been here before,
But when or how I cannot tell:
I know the grass beyond the door,
The sweet keen smell,
The sighing sound, the lights around the shore.

You have been mine before --
 How long ago I may not know:
 But just when at that swallow's soar
Your neck turned so,
Some veil did fall -- I knew it all of yore.


Has this been thus before?
And shall not thus time's eddying flight
Still with our lives our love restore
In death's despite,
And day and night yield one delight once more?

Odds & ends at the moment

I went into a saloon (my slang for ninety-nine percent of the bars I enter) a few days ago and ordered a Manhattan. The bartender asked me what was in it. It was a quiet day, so I went behind the bar and mixed it myself .... no one blinked .... uffff .... amateur hour .... need you ask why I call most bars saloons?

I was a bartender for a summer while in college. The bar belonged to my girlfriend's mother .... sweet deal and no application to fill out .... it was a "working man's bar" and I was the only "college boy" in there .... probably ever. But, a chameleon even then, I fit in quickly. I always have been lucky with dice, whether it is shooting craps or horse for drinks .... the bar usually doubled its profits the nights I worked and I made a nice bit of money on the side ....

Blue and blonde and beautiful Sandra Marie, incidentally, was the girlfriend and one of the three who might have been if she would have had just a bit of patience. C'est la vie ....

Finally .... Lou Gramm, the guy singing in the Foreigner video, is in town this week .... maybe, I can make a run to his performance.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Your guess is as good as mine

If I were an art historian or a music historian or a historian of "The Sixties" or a connoisseur of love and romance and beautiful, young girls and of an era which was better than these times, I could write something meaningful coming or going from at least one hundred different directions about the song, "Twelve-thirty," by The Mamas and the Papas, and link it to this ubiquitous but symbolic photograph. But, since I am none of these beings, nor none of these things, nor wish to be, I will let it go and allow you to use your imagination to reflect upon what I might have written had my mood been only slightly different from what it is. Maybe, even to ponder what you might have missed and how your life might be affected because I wrote nothing instead of something. No, strike that. I am becoming too obscure, and the question, "what if?", too often is asked and usually cannot be answered. The photograph, incidentally, is one of the "canyons" I have been wandering in and about recently. Between light rain outside, thick glass creating distortion and reflection, and the general nature of the photographic limitations of a Blackberry, the image is severely lacking in quality, but good enough to serve the purposes of an "accidental illustrator" such as myself. Think of watching from this window in the morning and seeing the foot-traffic of hundreds on their way to work.
Some of the lyrics
from "Twelve-thirty"
by John Phillips
Young girls are coming to the canyon
And in the mornings I can see them walkin'
I can no longer keep my blinds drawn
And I can't keep myself from talkin'
At first so strange to feel so friendly
To say "Good mornin'" and really mean it
To feel these changes happenin' in me
But not to notice till I feel it ....

Words spoken by Professor Thomas Dare
in the novel, "I, Ripper"
by Stephen Hunter -- 2015:

"And then there are the Germans. Do you know, they form words by just sticking them together, so that their word for 'Gatling gun' literally translates into 'mechanicaldeviceshootingwithoutcockingrifle?' The words get longer still. No word is too long for a German because it's quite impossible to bore a German. You cannot entertain a Norwegian, you cannot bore a German, and you cannot educate an American or a chimpanzee."

Three moments, three moods, three messages

I am lazy and distracted, so I will not write much, but, instead, post three songs. I have posted "Twelve-thirty" before .... and, most probably, will do so again. It is special. I sometimes mention there are a few songs for which I can remember where I was, what I was doing and who I was with the first time I heard them. The more I think about it, the more I believe there are quite a number of songs which belong in this circle of music.

Anyway, such is the case with the one above. It is melodically beautiful and lyrically poetic; it is the type of piece which has led me to believe most "significant" poetry of the last half-century is to be found in song lyrics.

The second song -- "Drift Away" -- is one I like a great deal and is very symbolic to me. I was not aware that The Rolling Stones had a version of it until I ran across it recently while "drifting" along in esoteric time and ethereal space ..... or something like that ....

The third song -- "Can't Help Falling in Love" -- is another I have posted previously. It is sort of dedicated to a young lady from my past whose birthday came and went a few days ago. I still think of her often .... and I miss her .... and I am glad we were together for a few months. She greatly enjoyed this rendition of this song performed by Andrea Bocelli and Katharine McPhee. I do not even have to close my eyes to see her singing along with it while we listened to it. The vision of her is reality for me still, and will be always.

Unfortunately and unlike the song, some expectations of love are not meant to be .... I think we all know that, do we not ?? No matter .... hopefully, you will like at least one of these songs .... after all, there is one for (melancholy) dreamers, one for (melancholy) rockers and one for (melancholy) lovers, and surely you fall into at least one of those (melancholy) categories .... do you not ??

You are blessed or cursed by the times into which you are born, I absolutely believe, in more ways than most ever realize.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Night, sleep & the source of good & evil

Not everything has an explanation

I do not wish any day to end. I wonder why.

I can remember myself and I can recall my mother talking about it and laughing about it that I used to beg her to read me one more story or to answer one more question before I had to go to sleep at night. They are good memories, and make me smile, but I wonder today why I was that way. Was it just my nature? Was I born a "night owl?" Or, was there something about night and darkness and sleep that I feared? Is it a wish for the day to go on and on, or for the night never to arrive?

There are a few stories I could tell about fearing the night and sleep, but they are not why, to this day, I absolutely hate going to bed until I drop. Many people say the morning is the best part of the day. I do not disagree, but since I have discovered that I can see in the dark and most others cannot, I suppose it gives me an advantage in darkness which I appreciate while others cannot.

At some point in my journey between being a child and becoming an adult, the night has become a place in which I feel safe and secure. There is little difference to me between daylight and darkness, and night has become dominant. I actually have run wide open though dense woodlands on moonless nights and never had a misstep. That is inexplicable, is it not?

Gullies, fallen logs, loose soil, boulders, low-hanging branches do not slow me down .... you tell me. It is partially sensing, partially seeing, but mostly primitive, animal, intuitive instinct providing built-in radar of sorts. I cannot explain it. It simply is. It has come in handy a few times, but mostly it has been an odd phenomenon simply to enjoy and to laugh about.

To be honest, I like to think it is a million-year-old genetic memory which developed from necessity and which has resurfaced a number of millennia later to create a natural-born hunter descendant like me. We all carry ancient genes .... which, to me, explains things like survival of the fittest and good and evil.

I have no idea how many people ever encounter by accident or while on a search of self-discovery what unusual traits or talents they might possess. I began searching at an early age. Another characteristic which I have mentioned in past posts in addition to this "night vision" perception is that I have an uncanny (so it would seem) ability to hit just about whatever I shoot at with a handgun.

It is like the pistol becomes an extension of my arm and hand. (I should have lived in the times of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday ....) But, conversely, with a shotgun, I am a lousy shot, pure and simple, which is illogical because of the "scattergun" aspect of the shotgun.

Whatever, it is fun, I think, to look within the usual and see not only where you might be below average, but where you might have a skill or an ability which breaches the boundaries of the ordinary. It is more than fun; it is fascinating, even if you are such as me and discover that your particular talent came one hundred years or thereabouts too late for real purpose .... or whatever.
I still think we homo sapiens sapiens might be more different from one another than we are the same, and the game is to learn how to get along with our differences rather than attempt in socialistic fashion to treat everyone as a cloned lemming.

All right .... you have heard the story. Tell me, why do I not want the day to end? Why do I fight going to sleep at night? It might have been fear of the dark when I was a small child, but, most certainly, that is not the reason still today when the night has become my friend. So, why?
Not too many care about these words, these thoughts, these concepts. The point is that I do care. Let us leave it there .... but, believe me, I would have preferred to be good with a guitar than with a handgun .... hmmm .... on second thought, it might be a bit premature to make a definitive pronouncement in that regard .... after all, the future is not ours to see ....

I was asked about the "Bolin boys," Tommy at the left and Johnnie at the right, after my last post, so I will offer an introduction to Tommy and his time with Deep Purple by including this 1975 rendition the song "Burn" with this post. Tommy and Johnnie were from Sioux City, Iowa. Tommy is the magician with the rhythm guitar in the video. David Coverdale is the front man, Glenn Hughes is on bass and backup vocals. Jon Lord and Ian Paice are in their almost-always roles on the keyboards and the drums, respectively. It is a strange mixture, in a way, like a ghost of a ghost of a ghost of a phantom. I will leave it to the historians of rock 'n' roll to decipher that sentence -- if any historians actually exist other than in my imagination; most opinion purveyors are merely inept critics, like myself. "Burn," incidentally is one of my favorite rock anthems -- no matter which of the six or seven or whatever incarnations of Deep Purple is performing it. I am chair dancing to it right now. It is too bad neither the video nor the audio is of good quality. Tommy died of a drug overdose in 1976 at the age of twenty-five. Johnnie, today, is the drummer with Black Oak Arkansas, the band which opened for Deep Purple last week in Sioux City. Johnnie came back home to perform and, I suppose, to visit the grave of Tommy. Neat, hah? Rock history and personal memories meet and meld. By the way, if you are into great guitarists and their guitars, you can obtain one based on Tommy's favorite from Dean Guitars in Tampa, Florida. Since this post is not about the Bolins or Deep Purple, I will leave it at that for now .... but, this sure was an easy way to provide an illustration and a song to accompany my words !! Sliding sideways for a moment, love the hair, guys .... and, I really, really do feel sorry for kids growing up with today's mostly junk music and teeny-bop and/or trash performers. This sure is a discombobulated post, is it not ?? If not, what is it ??

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The good, the bad, the ugly

Protesters from the Animal Rights Coalition and the Minnesota Animal Liberation organization gathered in front of Dr. Walter J. Palmer's dental practice in Bloomington, Minnesota, this week to display their outrage for the dentist's illegal killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe. The photograph was taken by Glen Stubbe of the Star Tribune. As for the music, which I have used before, write it off to the best I could do given my mood.
I hope you comprehend the difference
I am certain many people would define me as a "gun nut."
By this, I mean I love firearms. I love to look at them, to hold them, to own them, to shoot them, to modify them. I caress them and I kiss them and I talk to them.
Being a "firearm aficionado" (I wonder if terminology makes a difference ??), does not mean I love hunting. I was a hunter when I was young and did not know any better. I grew up in a rural community where most men hunted. Although I have not hunted for years, I still do condone it, but only in the sense of this: If you shoot it, you eat it.

I probably would not endorse hunting even to that extent if it were not for the fact that hunters are the greatest force at stopping anti-gun nuts (the opposite of me) from gaining the majority and imposing more and more ridiculous anti-gun laws.
Going back to "if you shoot it, you eat it," almost certainly you have heard about or read about the idiot Minnesota dentist -- Walter J. Palmer of Eden Prairie, Minnesota -- who killed Cecil, a half-tame lion which has been the subject of scientific studies for the past thirteen years in Zimbabwe, and who cut off the lion's head for a trophy while leaving the rest of the body to rot beneath the African sun.

Apparently, this impotent ass began with a crossbow and needed a rifle to complete the act. Not only inept, but unqualified to claim the title of legitimate hunter -- as so many are these days. I would wager our root canal man does not have a military background where shooting goes in both directions. These types generally are cowards trying to prove to themselves that they are not.

Frankly, if the guy wants a real trophy hunt, I would be happy to offer him one .... but, I suppose that would be politically incorrect. Anyway .... he should be pitied as well as scorned ....
Hunters, men or women, who are pure and simple trophy hunters are among the scum of the earth in my opinion. Rude as it might be, I would spit in the face of any trophy hunter whose path might cross mine.
For those of you who have never hunted, let me tell you it is easy for anyone who devotes a bit of time to study and to practice. Ever hear the cliché, "Easy as shooting fish in a barrel?" Well, that is hunting in this day and age.

Rifles, for instance, often have telescopic sights with range finders or laser sights. Populations of wild game are at the highest levels they have been in decades. It is amazing how tame many wild animals have become because they live in such close proximity to "humankind."
Let me repeat: I think trophy hunters are among the scum of the earth. This does mean I consider a hunter who shoots a deer or an antelope, for instance, and who mounts the head to be a trophy hunter if he also eats the deer or the antelope. That is the key, the difference, from my perspective.
In fact, it would seem to me that hunters who actually shoot and butcher some of the meat they eat are more honest and less hypocritical than are those individuals who condemn all hunting, but who still enjoy their home-grilled steak and fast-food hamburger. It amazes me and mystifies me how and why so many people are capable of self-delusion.

Way beyond that, I can remember Thanksgiving dinners in the past where an assortment of wild game shot and dressed by me while still a boy was a thoroughly enjoyed part of the menu and appreciated just as much as the farm-bred turkey which was the centerpiece of the meal.
Simply my opinion ....

Something special ....