All aboard. People I very much appreciate:

Friday, December 14, 2018

The Enigma Of ぼけっと, Its Practice and Unavoidability

The meaning of the marginally translatable and fascinating Japanese word, ぼけっと -- boke tto-- delivers a refreshing freedom in both thought and its release from strict ideation. A photo:
Here is the Moon over a trellis in our garden. I stare at the moon a lot. It is not a "blur", which is the short translation of boke tto. Nor is it yet what it will be when the moon blossoms and spreads across the sky:

ぼけっと also means staring into the distance, thinking of nothing in particular. It is how we imagine.

We receive no information about the universe smaller than a photon, so it is the fundamental unit of grammar. It builds the language of dreams as well as blog-posts --a bottom-dealt extra sense. 

ぼけっと: go outside, look into the distance, think of nothing in particular. There are wonders.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Did Descartes Kick Dogs?

"Hello E(a)rnest, what's up?"
"I am upset. I heard Rene Descartes kicked his dog!"

"That was like 500 years ago, Earnest."
"Time means very little to me, Geo., except for seasons. We squirrels look at you as you look at tortoises, who live several times your span."
"So, how would you know about Descartes, Earnest?"
"Instinct."
"Wow! I know you feral people have a long, wide knowledge of humans but I never get your limits."
"Instinct has no limits, Geo."
"Eh?"

"Geo., instinct tells me Decartes' dog was named Monsieur Gratt and was kicked in an experiment to see if he was more than an automaton of instinct -- or could he think?"

"My French is a little rusty, Earnest, but 'Gratt' --short for gratter?-- could mean scratch, scrape, pick, paw or even strum a guitar."

"Yes."

"So what happened?

"Same thing that happened when the starlings thought you weren't looking. They composed a pattern which you doodled from behind this very fence."
"Earnest, this formation, this masterwork of cooperation, was composed without thought?"
"Indeed Geo., instinct, unlike mere thought, does not allow for error. Oops!"

"I'll ignore your misstep if you tell what happened with Descartes?"
"The dog was really his wife's pet and when she found out --M. Gratt was a Tattler (an inadvisable breed)-- she kicked the merde out of M. Descartes. 
"So how does it end?"
  
"Well, Geo., Descartes' dog  was last seen chasing Shrodinger's Cat down an alley and into a box --which was the start of Quantum Physics."

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Uncle Eyeball Yet Again

I was sitting at the kitchen table with Uncle Eyeball, visiting. We don't let him fly inside the house because of presbyopia (click here), an age-related rigidity of the lens caused by upbringing in poorly lit Presbyterian churches.
For those readers unfamiliar with Uncle Eyeball, please click onto this blue area and catch up on my dear relative's adventures.
No, I don't remember them all either, but can attest he is consistent with my delight in amusements that, in my advancing maturity, approximate the chewy consistency of doggy toys. 

I began the interview with a question that had always been on my mind but I'd never asked: "Dear Uncle Eyeball, from what am I, and all earthly life descended?"

"That's easy,"he said. "You come from my generation of Stromatolites --collected on precambrian rocks in lagoons."

"Good heavens!" I gasped. "You mean we're descended from bacteria?"  I dropped him.

"OOPS!" I said.

When he recovered his composure, Uncle Eyeball kindly said, "Don't worry, nephew. My generation is extremely elastic and durable.When I was a schoolboy, there were no history classes because there wasn't any history yet. Language was no less simple --'oops!' comprised the whole of human vocabulary. 

"Thanks Uncle, your heart's in the right place."

"Well, the avuncular cardiac chamber is among the longest surviving --wherever it is. Its influence is permanent."

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

E(a)rnest's Midterm Campaign Message and Bakasana


This afternoon, I wrote this on another blog,"Invalid's Workshop", and  read it aloud to Norma. She said I should put it on my prose blog instead of a poetry one, so I've copied it here. I should add that Bakasana is a Yoga term for what Earnest is doing in the closing Normaphoto.

Transcript: "Fellow citizens, as a native Californian, I earnestly urge you to vote.

I know, I know, you're out there thinking,'But he's a squirrel! He's not human!' Well, I ask you: has that ever stopped any candidate in the past? Has it?"
"Course not! I know my main rivals, the admirable Gavin Newsom and John H. Cox are human but do they depend upon ecological stability as much as I do? Ok, I guess they do. All species' worst fear is starvation, but squirrels now...we squirrels fear evolution like anything. We love being squirrels and we work for peanuts --walnuts anyways. No evolution for us, nossir! I'll kick it out of school curriculum so nobody'll want to do it. What? You don't like that? Well, I ask you: can the other candidates do a cool handstand like this?
Ha! Didn't think so. Write me into the ballot, elect me governor and I'll forget it, just like I forget where I buried my nuts."

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Halloween Treat Enigma Solved!

My Halloween treat was sent to me this year by Daughter in Chicago. It was a very unusual-looking cupcake. Of course I knew I shouldn't eat it before the 31st. Don't know where this photo came from:
On closer inspection, I realize there was an unsuccessful attempt at ingestion which prudence disallowed. Hopefully, that will serve as my confection, I mean confession. The cupcake looked back at me:

Immediately reminded of a collection of favorite cartoons of the 1960s and 70s, I made a long arm at the kitchen reference shelf and retrieved an old number of Jayzey Lynch's "Nard 'n' Pat" --a favorite of the kids when they were little. It was about "the hope of th' world!"
One squeeze, and the enigma was made clear!
Happy Halloween Everybody, and may the hope of th' world strengthen with every poot.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Autumn In Earnest

"Earnest?"


"Gah Wahnut imah mouf!"
"So I see, a walnut as big as your head. Need a break?" 
"Lemme pitidout down dere."
"Sure, but don't forget where it lands"
"'K, pitooie!"

 "Now, what do you want to talk about, Geo.?"
"Fear, I guess."
"What do you fear, Geo.?"
"Mortality, like most humans, penury, the clink."
"What is 'clink', Geo.?"
"A cage, a disgrace, the hoosecow, the pokey."
"Explain."
"When I gardened in high schools, there were obstacle courses essential to law and equity classes that had to be kept in order. Students were made to scale a 6-foot wall and drag a rag-dummy down decomposed granite tracks to a place where they practiced throwing it into the pokey." 
"I don't know "pokey", Geo."
"Happily, I don't either, E(a)rnest. But I've heard if you're under 7 feet tall you become somebody's 'bitch'."
"I thought you humans were far more humane."
"I wish we were, E(a)rnest, as do many humans, but despite copious literature advocating rehabilitation and general smartening-up, our greatest minds can suggest nothing more than..."
"Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis?"
"Precisely, don't abandon your squirrel-ish scolding, your chattering welcome, your openmindedness and trust in instinct."
"Geo., you embolden me, but I can't do all that and remember where my nut is."
"Base of the stump."
"Oh yes, humans are good at remembering."
"Heaven help us, E(a)rnest, we are excruciatingly good at that."



Thursday, October 11, 2018

Why I Love Buddy Guy

I was out beside the busy road this morning, hauling the trash can and green waste bin back through our gate and up our little lane, when I saw a familiar face doing the same next house over,  then a familiar smile. D.W. doesn't live there, but his mother does --I help her when her pump goes flooey. D.W. does everything else. We waved and walked toward each other, met there in the gravel between highway and ditch and asked how each other was.

Hope you enjoy this compassionate song as much as I, down the years:Buddy Guy, "Done Got  Old"

He was the first kid I met when my family moved to the Vineyard area in 1959. He was 11 and I was 10. The little country school we attended had three grades to a classroom, so we saw each other all the time. 

Now we are somewhat older. He takes turns with other relatives to help his mom, so I glimpse him from time to time and had to ask how he was doing. 

He said, "Well, I had cancer two years back and open-heart surgery a few months ago."

I replied, "I had heart surgery 12 years ago and cancer over the summer."

"Well Geo.,"he said."We always did things backways around from each other."

"There was always some common ground, D.W. What've you  got now?"

"COPD."

"Hey, me too! Got an inhaler? A nebulizer?" 

"Yep and yep." 

"D.W., I've been repairing a bench out back and have to sit down every ten minutes."

"I been clearing mom's garage and doing the same thing. That's why I have a sit-down desk job now, Geo."

"That's why I retired...couldn't get a desk job."

We looked earnestly and happily at each other, then collided in a hug. Cars whizzed by, busy-busy-busy, while two old men embraced on a country road. All those frantic commuters --I hope such happy hugs are in their futures.