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Saturday, May 23, 2020

The Enigmatic Evolution Of Normative Statements

It is a strange title, I admit, but these are strange times. I haven't had to gas up the car in months. Still, I'll invent some reason to get out among people --matches, toilet paper, wine, prescriptions. Everything else gets delivered to the house. I would have prescriptions delivered, but declined years ago to have my life depend on our often dyslexic rural post office. Do I sound stir-crazy? I think so.

Sometimes I watch clips of road-rage and bad drivers on Youtube just to feel better about sheltering indoors. Fortunately, we have an abundance of outdoors, which Norma has been very busy with.

As you can see, the foreground object is la Tour Eiffel, so those roses are really big! I like the Eiffel Tower, and many other ingenious appointments added to Baron Haussmann's improvements to a squiggly-streeted city that could forever be controlled by cannon-fire down straight streets from a central point. No more revolutions? It is, I suppose (and I HATE this expression!) what it is. I believe it was David Hume who argued there is no coherent transition from a positive statement (what is) to a normative one (what could or should be). Uh, time for another Normaphoto:
The universe put her in my path and me in hers. Now she puts plants in my path and Normaphotos them.  Imagine a library,1968, a stunningly beautiful Norma and a suave, debonair me. I walk in, sit and notice something quietly elegant on my right. I couldn't help sneaking glances. She finally said,"What?"

I debonairly and suavely said,"Buh, hamina dut?"
This confused her so I tried again:
"I'm Geo., would you like to go out?" I knew her name was Norma because it was written neatly on her flute case --still is.

She said, "No."

I replied, "What if I persist?"

She quietly and forcefully said,"Well, then I'll have to beat-choo up."

I'd give worlds to know how that turned out.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Letting Ivy Grow


I have nothing in mind but a doodle done years ago and
       its little poem: I have let ivy 
                               Grow across
                               A disused door.
I am reminded of it by frequent encounters lately with symbols like this:
They announce May as our National Mental Health Month. I imagine a door in there somewhere but don't know which side of it we're on.

May has been Mental Health Awareness Month since 1949. I was born in 1949. I do not think this was mere coincidence.

May is now about 1/2 over-with, hence my fractional observance. Mid-month is an appropriate celebration to those of us who are half nuts.

Life is a responsibility, and it is up to half-sane people like me to set a good example.

Go thou and do likewise.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Brothers And The Permanent Jumps

(Yes, I am back to cat photos. This pandemic has revived some agitation in me and I had to go out and look at them. They are strangely and effortlessly calming --they invite imagination.)


I have been trying to write poetry lately. It usually gives me some escape from enforced social precaution and its surfeit of isolation. 

I believe I have just described the permanent jumps. I'd ask the government about it but they'd just tell me to mainline Lysol, so I won't.

However, I remember when we were kids, my brother and I would wrestle --he'd go easy on me as he was older, taller, bigger and stronger (still is!). This leads us to the introductory Normaphoto  available over this text.

What you see is two brothers, Tux and Hairy Tux. They are about do this:
Let's listen in:

Hairytux: Why is Uranus blue?

Tux: My what? Oh, U know, it's a thing in space with an atmosphere of water, methane, ammonia, helium and hydrogen. Under that influence, methane reflects only sunlight's blue wavelength into outer space. But just to make sure, I'll ask my vet.

Hairytux: What is the chief export of the Arctic?

Tux: Frozen fish, of course!
Tux: Hey, get off me or I'll call Geo.! 

Hairytux:He's too busy watching Nature reclaim his bathroom!

Tux: You seem to know so much. I am frightened!

Hairytux: Méfiez-vous de l'illusion de la connaissance!

Tux: Yes, yes! We are in accord.
Hairytux: Of course, dear brother. But hopefully we've helped Geo. stop sneaking up behind himself and yelling "BOO!"

Geo.: So far, so good. Anything for a treat, guys.


Friday, April 10, 2020

Speedbump Enigma

I'm going to risk a break from adorable cat photos --which have admittedly distracted me from current ills-- and address a problem of societal conscience. Here is an illustration:

It has got us stuck like a big boat running up a shoal, a speedbump of mind, and getting stuck. Impact alone succeeds in knocking our moral compass out of its binnacle. Subsequently, our ship of state is unled. But enough about the world, let's consider me.

Norma has an envelope labeled "Money"--sure to foil burglars. It's for household expenses. She asked me to drop by the bank, while I do errands, to restock it for another month --or whenever this lockdown ends. She said, "Oh, and wear your gloves."

"I do." I said, but she wasn't finished. 

"Also", she said, "Governor Newsom says you should wear a mask."

I thought a moment and replied with a question. "I already wear rubber surgical gloves in public, but a mask? I have trouble with the idea of entering a bank with a mask on. Does our governor also want me to carry a black sack labeled LOOT?

I'll find out tomorrow if tellers can call me by name and smile or say,"Well, aren't you whoever you are?"

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Gray, Noire

These little girls are sisters, twins really --same mother, same birthday. You can tell they're related because there's some slight resemblance around the eyes (ya think?):
I post their pretty faces because we are living in strange times --overwhelming, underwhelming. Who's doing all this whelming in the first place? "Don't ask me, I don't give a damn." I sure miss Country Joe. There seems to be a Hadean ambience returning to earth. But that was the '60s --or is it?-- and I get blue if I don't watch life, its gray and black fur, pleasantly psychotic eyes. Also, I'm in my private, internal 70s and have slowed posting because I'm too busy forgetting where I leave everything. Well, maybe not so blue as gray and black, like my hair these days.
Sequestered, I become more bibulous. It helps actual humans cope with the wisdom of their leadership. 

Indeed, the 1960s were full of moral indignation, relieved only by gym classes smelling of sweat and foot fungus --constructive human smells. The rest was debate and tension that sent us glissading down into the 23rd Psalm valley.



We are watched, if not from above then from below, observed by Nature. Can we hold our place of responsibility on Earth, or be crippled by mismatched socks? We need to learn by what learns from us, to feel at peace with our place in the Universe, to love.






Saturday, March 21, 2020

Triple-glazed Poetry

It's nearly impossible to tickle yourself--
Or dominate oneself without a mind -- 
So I remember springtimes more kind,
Like this...
            ...in 1995, we fit together like puzzle
Pieces --kept alive its mysteries, and now
Look back twenty-five years after , through 
All the tears and laughter , another 25
Years from this dangerous future, where
Optimism,(thrifty); the sum is fifty, looking
Back, a half-century as only she could, watch
Me pull in...
                   ...and proclaim me "still good".

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Double Glazed Poetry

Wallace Stevens wrote in his beautiful poem, "Thirteen Ways Of Looking At A Blackbird":
      
"I do not know which to prefer,
       The beauty of inflections
       Or the beauty of innuendoes..." 

This Normaphoto, yesterday taken and titled by Norma offers a solution.  We see four young cats left by their tiny blackfurred mother on our property five months ago. I saw her. She looked weak and unhappy, then crept off into the prairie. We fed them cow's milk, then dry cat food topped with tuna. They stayed --remained feral, only one allows us to touch him (Tux, second from front).

So let's identify them: Hairytux (closest); Tux, behind Hairy; Queen Noire, on bench; Ms. Grayboy,  who surprised us with her well-disguised gender until we had them all trapped, neutered, vaccinated and returned by a wonderful local non-profit group. But, by then she was already named Grayboy. 

I think of their little mother, her sad and frightened expression and pendulous, exhausted teats, heading off in tall grass to heal. We buy milk, and it has dates stamped on it, but there's no expiration date on the healing process. I felt a kinship there. Yes, I told her they'd be ok.  She couldn't possibly understand. I too am a child of Nature. In winter I froze. In autumn I dried, puckered and fell from trees. SO:
      
      Innuendo or out-you(r)-window?
      What does it matter?
       I prefer the former far
       Less than the latter.