Digressions: MIM4.5a – To My Surprise

Posted on July 6, 2012. Filed under: MIM4.5a | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Your word for the dayabdicate = relinquish; hand over

For most of my life, whim and impulse have been the motivators of my undertakings.  No guiding Muse to fire me up, set my direction, and approve or disapprove my achievement…   if you don’t count “self-satisfaction as an entity.

Today, I find myself in possession ofwell, more accurately, possessed by — a motivator that is so close in character to being a real-life, bona fide Muse that I have felt compelled to name her.  That would be MIM4.5a (Don’t try to make sense of that; it is strictly between me and MIM…   at least, it would be between us if she even knew about it.)   It’s sort of like that tattoo in the song “Margaritaville” because, even though she’s a real beauty, I haven’t a clue how she got here (with apologies to Jimmy Buffett). 

Ever lose something and not know that you ever had it?  Really, how do you even become aware of such a thing?  A sudden vacuum?  An absence of the usual?  You only know that a very elusive something is dragging you down, and, you can’t put your finger on it.  Eventually, you suspect the source of the aching, but, in the world of rationality, there is no reason you should be missing it.  Two or three months of Ronstadt’s “Long, Long Time” playing on a loop serves only to accentuate the “loss” while doing absolutely nothing to explain either the why or the nature of Longing’s dark, tide-like surges.

And, then, you start doing things that you only planned to do before...   for a very long time, you have been planning to do them.  Out of malaise, a burgeoning need to do, a need for approval…   but…   whose approval?

In the most remote recess of psyche, there is a cleft, a place where precious few are permitted.  Here, in a region that oscillates between nothingness and sentiency, the quintessential SELF begins.  In a soup of emotions, urges, and purposes, SELF works to assemble its identity, learning quickly that, as a member of a dual-gender life form, it is only half of that equation;  thus, courtship and an active effort to entice another to share this sanctuary.  But, sometimes, it’s a lot easier; the other just barges in and sets up shop.  One becomes smitten, as it were, and abdicates the throne of SELF.  A joyful descent from absolute master to willing servant.  Twice, I have submitted to that access.  Twice that place became a shambles, a pitiful reflection of my emotional condition.  And, after a lengthy recovery period, I said, “Never again.”  Filled it with rubble.  Locked it.  Sealed it.  Stayed the hell away from it.

Became a hermit.  A crabby one, too.  Didn’t need that kind of pain anymore.  Yet, here, in quiet reflection, I view this once abandoned realm, this scene of former abasements.  In wonder, I view the whirlwind bustling about the old place, purposefully tidying, dusting, tossing, refurbishing…    all without consulting me and in total oblivion of my presence.  She doesn’t know she is here, and — given my predilection for solitude — I truly don’t know how or when she got in there.  But, I must say, I like it.

I finally took Ronstadt’s CD off that player loop.  The aching is still here, but it has muted somewhat.  I think I may have figured out how this situation arose…   maybe.  So, indulge me just one more “digression” before we get back to The Great Cluster Fu…

Next up:  MIM4.5a – One drop at a time

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Digressions: Where No Foot Has Trod

Posted on July 2, 2012. Filed under: General Interest, MIM4.5a, Philosophy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Your word for th daymuse = someone who is a source of inspiration

The old Greeks had them. Muses, I mean.  In earlier posts, I touched on them, even if somewhat irreverently.  For the Ancients, they explained what moved that most remote recess of Self, the mysterious Psyche, to elicit from it the creative urges and even the dark manifestations that we call the  human spirit.

For most of my life, I didn’t have a Muse.  But, I had a love of poetry, so I guess you could say that Erato was my nominal, default Muse.  In verse, I could take “the road less traveled,” and “rise with eagles” to “touch the face of God.”  By finding reflections of my own inexpressible feelings toward this torture we call Life, it gave comfort that I had fellow travelers on a journey I just knew would, somehow, end badly.  But, what the heck…   eat, drink, and be merry…   right?

In spite of the Muses, in spite of the poetry, not all that emanates from the Psyche is definable.  There is the unexplained, a pathos that darkens the soul, a heaviness that ensconces the heart making its every beat a Herculean task.  An aching that surges to unbearable fullness, then ebbs, only to surge again; a vast emptiness that hovers just beyond feeling, where echoes fade like  diaphanous whispers into infinite nothingness. 

A poem I memorized decades just a few years ago often surfaces during my own musings.  The third verse of Each in His Own Tongue by William Herbert Carruth (1859-1924) captures that feeling; at least, it has for me:                     

Like tides on a crescent sea beach, when the moon is new and thin, into our hearts high yearnings come welling and surging in;  come from the mystic ocean, whose rim no foot has trod.  Some call it longing, and others call it God.

Yearning.  Longing.  A deep, aching feeling devoid of anything that could define it.  When all is said and done, is this the total eulogy that Life will intone for each of us?

Next up:  MIM4.5a

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Sorrow

Posted on March 28, 2012. Filed under: Memories | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Yeah.  It’s not what I indicated would be the next topic.  I pretty much had “The Merger” composed, but before finalizing it, there was this distraction.  It wasn’t much at first, just a hint of…   something…   like the whisper made by a butterfly’s shadow as it flits along a sunlit wall.  Just that tiny focus of attention was enough, and, through that opening, zephyrs from other-when, laden with yesterday’s treasure, wended their gentle paths through my thoughts. 

Familiar faces, sounds, smells.  Like they were still here. Happy times, and not so happy times.  And, then, I am in front of the reason I avoid this place — that door.  The one that opens without my hand, the one that hides the endless, dark emptiness that all of us fear.  Again, it opened.  again I trembled and shook as it swallowed me, again the tears choked me, and again I silently screamed my useless anger to an unresponsive void.

I’m from a large family.  This month marks the passing of two of us, and next month that of another.  Some years ago, I wrote a poem after the youngest of use became the first to take this voyage.  Following is an excerpt of Pegasus (In Memoriam:  DKD)

Life’s morning, so fresh and bright, softly glowed from her waiting gaze; He knew not how soon the night for her would come and steal her days.

Time.  Memory.  Pain.  Regret.  The measured beat of sorrow’s song.   Time, memory, pain, regret — echoes left by a life now gone.

Sorrow is a concomitant of LIFE; you can’t sneak through without being touched by it.  Like passion, it is fed by mysterious springs from deep within the psyche, suddenly breaking loose and crashing like a storm surge along the beaches of our well-ordered lives.

Words.  We live by them.  But, sometimes, we just cry.

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Passion: The Intervention

Posted on March 4, 2012. Filed under: General Interest, language | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

C’mon!  Get outta here!!  PCs got passion?  Sneakers got passion?  If you doubt that, pay attention to those television ads.

The “how to” guide I read that introduced me to this blogging thing makes the innocent observation up front that, at some point, I must get passionate about this pursuit if I wish to be “successful” at it.  Fair enough, I can concur with that usage, but, the author almost lost me a few paragraphs later when, in lieu of the word interests, he plugged in passions — repeatedly.  Within the context of that author’s point, I — like the cheetah — would have “checked out all the interesting choices, made a selection, then broke into an all-out passionate sprint toward the goal.”  Actually, had I written the manual, the words passion and passionate would not have appeared at all.  There are too many other words available without resorting to perfunctory HYPERBOLE.  The use of passion here is way overstating the effort.

Passion, it seems, is perceived as being a mere synonym of interest, but, passion is not a synonym for anything.  Using it as such says, “Look, everybody, I’m ignorant but Bertrand Russell used the word wrong decades ago, and he is a Great Learned one, so it must be a refined word, and, by using it indiscriminately myself, maybe you will mistake me for a Great Learned Refined Person.”  Maybe that sounds a bit mean-spirited, but, I just get riled up over this repeating-by-rote-because-it-sounds-refined thing.  And, it’s not my fault either, because PBS is the one that sensitized  me to it.

Passion is not a choice.  It is an imposed condition, a restless beast caged within, responding only to the command of its master, the mysterious Psyche.  We do not schedule its release, it is just suddenly there like a lightning-torched forest fire, and we succumb to its power, either in anguish or mindless exhilaration, so long as it rages.

How about it, writers and speakers?  Let’s get Passion off that street corner, pandering that which defines it to every trite expression that walks by and every product or service looking to really appear relevant.  Have you no sense of shame?  (I shouldn’t have asked that question; I know the answer.)

Next up:  I dunno.  It’s a new week, I’ll think up something.

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