I've been off-duty for a few hundred seconds. Not out of the country, but away from this ship-log; I couldn't find any opportunity to write. Much has happened in the meantime. Earth-shattering events...
On Saturday I visited my boss at his home residence, as is my habit, and his mother and aunt stopped by and stayed for a while. This made me nervous. One should never be forced to mingle with one's boss's mother and aunt. Then in the evening I went to an outdoor barbecue with my sweetheart's colleagues. A barbecue is a gathering at which meat, fish, or other food is cooked on a portable grill. But it rained, so we all stood inside the house.
I don't remember what happened on Sunday.
O! now I remember: Sunday was the new Twin Peaks episode. Hour thirteen. Was it passable? No.
Then on Monday morning we awoke and entered our garage and sliced up some wood. There is a big pile of scrap lumber from years ago when I built my deck, and I've all along been meaning to get rid of it; but it won't fit into the trash can because all of the boards are too long. And there is an old door, and an old door frame, and other wooden objects in the pile too. So I got out a circular saw, a power tool, very loud to hear when it is in action; and I used this to cut the wood so it would fit in the trash. This story may sound boring to you, but it was a real adventure for Yours Truly. Each cut I undertook with the blade seemed as though it might be my last moment alive, because one false move would deprive me of life and limb. I'm very paranoid; I'm bad with power tools in general, and I always believe the worst is about to happen. But everything went fine. My sincerest apologies.
The thought of accidentally severing my arm off leads me to think about health care. That's the big topic of the moment, in the news; or at least it seems so to me. I hear people on the right wing of humanity say that we need the freedom to choose who will be our doctor, and that privatization will lead to greater competition, which in turn will lead to lower prices. And then I hear people on the left say that health care should be the government's job alone, and that this will keep costs down because it'll eliminate the waste caused by the middle men, the insurance companies which keep denying aid to people while jacking up their rates. And both the right and left say many other things as well, but these are the major arguments that I could recall at the moment. I side with the left, so my attempt at giving an unbiased account of this matter was probably not just biased but SUPER-biased.
It's interesting. We're all going to die, apparently. And one can mitigate the amount of pain and suffering that one undergoes before one's ultimate end; but one's end WILL come, and some modicum of pain or suffering often bleeds through whatever barricade of drugs that one set up to...
All that a soul can do is make peace with pain. Make peace with death. Until a superior steward of life arises.
I was born in the U.S.A. Does this fact make me more or less important than someone who was born elsewhere? (Did St. Paul ever claim that he was a citizen of Rome?) I've heard that certain other countries offer their populace not only HEALTH CARE but HIGHER EDUCATION gratis, which means: free of charge. Which is to say: these things are paid for via taxes. Here in the U.S.A., health care is so expensive that it bankrupts every single living creature, and higher education leaves even GOD in debt up to her eyeballs. So if I focus on just these two areas of perdition, it would seem that being born in the U.S.A. is a blank rather than a blank. But then there are countries that the U.S.A. is bombing or sanctioning or...
We watched A Clockwork Orange (1971) the other night, because we saw it on the shelf at our local library when we were browsing, and my sweetheart said that she hadn't ever seen it before, and she was curious. I myself have seen it many times. I've always had mixed feelings about it; I mean I love certain aspects of it and yet I have misgivings about other aspects. I think that violence doesn't work well on the silver screen. One of my favorite books is Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy; it's extremely violent, and tho I recoil from its carnage, I think that its presentation is responsibly challenging (pardon my milksop phrasing); and I would never want to experience the book as a film: I think that some subjects should remain exclusively in the realm of text, the realm of the mind alone. Thus A Clockwork Orange bothers me because much of what it presents violates my Code of Proper Movie Behavior; yet it is obviously masterful in its artistry, and, as the details of my personal history prove, I'd rather watch the film repeatedly than abstain from ever seeing it again. Incidentally I've read the book on which the film is based, and I think the film is better than the book. I love the music, especially the synthesized score. And I suspect that I should be embarrassed to admit this, but a lot of the artworks that are featured in the film, for instance the paintings (or whatever they are) that're hanging on the wall in the "cat lady's" studio, really appeal to me. I love that form of blatant eroticism. But I don't like the phallic sculpture near the door – that's too jokey. It works for the film but it doesn't transcend its utility.
What's gonna happen? When's it all gonna collapse? I'm speaking of the world in general; human life specifically. Doesn't it feel like a tragedy is immanent? How much more can the global economy take before it folds? Or has it already folded and we're pressing it to fold even further?
What are we, humans? It seems that life has subsisted in different styles than the current crown-species: Arm Leg Leg Arm Head. What about cephalopods? What about dolphins? What about elephants? I always think about Blake's lines in the Marriage of Heaven and Hell: How do we know but every bird that cuts the airy way, is an immense world of delight closed by our senses five? How can we percieve the evidence of so much life having preceded us, even just here on Earth, and not consider the possibility that abundant life will follow in our wake, whether what we call MEN survive or not? I love the human form, I think it is divine, and I hope that it wriggles thru; but at the same time I know that everything's...
Everything is. It just IS. But is it wanted or unwanted? I don't know. Do I want it? I'm not sure. I sort of half-want it. And does WANT mean "desire" or "need"...?
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. (Psalm 23:1)
Someone mentioned at Saturday's indoor barbecue that they were reading a book by a popular senator. This fact came to my mind because the above quotation is considered to be religious, and we're advised to avoid mentioning either religion or politics at social get-togethers. The senator in question is considered by the masses to be a leftist, so the statement by the attendee that she was reading his book could be taken as an invitation to lark, lark, lark about politics. I did not bite this bait. I felt a surge of desire to express my love for certain true leftists and their ideas, but, out of politeness, I refrained from speaking. I don't always agree with the masses. I wonder how many soldiers are wounded in war on account of their too-polite way of attending to slaughter. You'd think that once they put a weapon in your hands, you'd immediately begin to shoot at your uppers, your authority figures; but I guess this isn't always the case. If you're a police man, you honor your boss. If you are a soldier, you honor your boss. If you are an artist, you ape your college professor. Everyone needs a shepherd. But I shall not want. Long have we timidly waded holding a plank by the shore; but, as Whitman says:
Now I will you to be a bold swimmer,
To jump off in the midst of the sea, rise again, nod to me, shout, and laughingly dash with your hair.
That's the end of section 46 of "Song of Myself," which poem is MY religion, MY politics; and this is from the beginning of section 47:
He that by me spreads a wider breast than my own proves the width of my own,
He most honors my style who learns under it to destroy the teacher.
THIS maketh me to lie down in green pastures: THIS leadeth me beside the still waters. THIS restoreth my soul.