Hello, darkness

Sleeplessness has become a problem for me. I fall asleep easily, then I’m awake in the middle of the night consumed with worry, then I fall back asleep. If this happens on one of the two mornings the alarm isn’t set, then I sleep in and do fine; if it’s not, then I’m in for a long, weary day.

There are a lot of things in my life to worry about. My wife’s health, my father’s health, my own health; the next-door neighbors who take drugs and bicker all day; whether I have the time and skills to do all things that need doing around the house.

I used to think that if I solved these problems then I’d sleep at night, but I don’t think that anymore. I think of worries as sort of a dark amorphous cloud that descends first, then finds something to focus on- and there will always be something.

That’s life.

We’re brought up in sort of Freudian universe, where every effect has a cause and every problem has a solution, but I’m starting to believe that world view is false.

Sometimes things just are. That’s just the way it is.

Hey windowpane, do you remember?

Full lyrics HERE.

That opening is just amazing.  It almost seems like the vocals are fighting against the percussion, and losing, but then the other instruments join in…

Zinn

Two hopeful quotes by historian Howard Zinn:

To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives.

Whenever I become discouraged… I lift my spirits by remembering: The artists are on our side! I mean those poets and painters, singers and musicians, novelists and playwrights who speak to the world in a way that is impervious to assault because they wage the battle for justice in a sphere which is unreachable by the dullness of ordinary political discourse.

If happiness had a sound track…

 

Desire

“Boredom: the desire for desires.”  ~Leo Tolstoy

Ourselves

“The happiest people I know are always evaluating and improving themselves. The unhappy people are usually evaluating and judging others.” ~Qasim Rafique

Within You Without You

“The biggest development of the immediate future will take place, not on the Moon or Mars, but on Earth, and it is inner space, not outer, that needs to be explored.” ~J.G. Ballard, in 1962

Just For Today

George’s widow Olivia Harrison said that this song is her favorite of his.

Someone on YouTube pointed out that it has two separate guitar solos, which I suppose is the sort of thing that happens when the lead guitarist writes the song.  What I always enjoyed about it is that it seems like something from a 12-Step Program for people struggling with Life.

I was reminded of it recently when I read this poem by blogger Ria.

Full lyrics HERE.

This Be

This Be The Verse
By Philip Larkin

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
  They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
  And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
  By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
  And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
  It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
  And don't have any kids yourself.

 

It’s a deliciously awful little poem– even more so when you find it, as I did, among a collection of Mother’s Day poems.

But it’s not entirely accurate.  It’s important to remember that man also passes on joys and delights to man, and that you get to decide for yourself which joys and miseries to keep, and which ones to discard.

I was a stranger, and

Matthew 25: 34-46:

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

 

I wonder what Jesus would think of America’s border policy?

I guess there’s no way to know.

The King James Bible is in the public domain, and may be downloaded freely from Project Gutenberg, HERE.

Life

“It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose.  That is not a weakness.  That is life.”  ~Cpt. Jean-Luc Picard

 

I Hear It

The Lake Isle of Innisfree
by William Butler Yeats

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.