Thursday, May 17, 2018

"Was there a Time"--poem by Dylan Thomas

Was there a time when dancers with their fiddles
In children's circuses could stay their troubles?
There was a time they could cry over books,
But time has set its maggot on their track.
Under the arc of the sky they are unsafe.
What's never known is safest in this life.
Under the skysigns they who have no arms
Have cleanest hands.
And as the heartless ghost alone's unhurt
So the blind man sees best.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

"Don't Hesitate" --Prose Poem by Mary Oliver

If you suddenly and unexpectedly fee joy, don't hesitate.  Give in to it. There are plenty of lives and whole towns destroyed or about to be. We are not wise, and not very often kind. And much can never be redeemed. Still [,] life has some possibility left. Perhaps this is its way of fighting back, that sometimes something happened better than all the riches or power in the world. It could be anything, but very likely you notice it in the instance when love begins. Anyway  that is often the case. Don't be afraid of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Dance Every Friday

Many years ago I was returning from a visit with my children in Asheville to my home in the Greater Atlanta area. I stopped at a rest area on Interstate 85. I noticed an abandoned yellow rubber ducky underneath one of the picnic tables. I decided to keep it and make it into my mascot for when my children rode in my automobile. I would set it on my dashboard when my children were with me.

I decided it needed a name and decided to call it Alpha Betty. I took the complete alphabet as my template and guideline for its complete name.

ABCDEF evolved into "Alpha Betty Can Dance Every Friday" from which I am using as the title of this blog entry.

GHIJKLMNOPQ evolved into "Good Health Is Just Knowing Larry Makes Nice Onion Pineapple Quiche." My children had for about three  years a stepdad named Larry.  He was my ex wife's high school sweetheart and her second husband.

RSTUVWXYZ evolved into "Root Specialists Treat Underground Vegetables With Xenophobic Yellow Zits."

I have thought of alternatives to the third name, one being Route Specialists Treat Undocumented Vagrants With Xeroxed Young Zebras.

Anyway I hope even John Doe can use the letters of his name to create something humorous and useful.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Hunter and the Game Warden

      The game warden was making his rounds in the woods one day during hunting season.....he saw a hunter with a large off-white sack with draw string.  After he introduced himself to the hunter he reached into the hunter's sack and pulled out a squirrel.  He put it up to his nose and sniffed a bit. He finally said to the hunter this is a Kentucky squirrel; do you have a Kentucky hunting license?  The hunter took out his wallet and produced his Kentucky hunting license....The game warden reached a second time into the sack and pulled out a groundhog. After holding it up to his nose and sniffing it a bit he said this is a Tennessee groundhog; do you have a Tennessee hunting license?  The hunter reached for his Tennessee license and showed it to the game warden.  The game warden reached into the sack a third time and pulled out a rabbit.  He held it up to his nose, sniffed it a bit and declared this is an Alabama rabbit do you have an Alabama hunting license?  The hunter handed his Alabama hunting license to the game warden.
    The game warden was a little puzzled by now and reached into the sack one last time but the sack was empty.  He then looked at the hunter and said all your licenses are in good compliance with the various state laws----where are you from, anyway?  The hunter turned around so his rear end was facing the hunter and said YOU ARE THE GAME WARDEN; YOU SNIFF MY REAR END; YOU TELL ME WHERE I'M FROM!!!
   I heard this joke from my next door neighbor in Indiana many years ago.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Consequences of Weird Behavior

Unusual behavior tends to produce estrangement in others which tends to further the unusual behavior and thus the estrangement in self stroking cycles until some sort of climax is reached. In Phaedras' case there was a court ordered police arrest and permanent removal from society."   (Chapter Six.--Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance--Robert Persig.)

Friday, May 19, 2017

100 years in total ---36,250 days--give a day or two

Hurricane Matt my son turns 35 years of age in 12 days.....I hit 65 years of age 12 days ago---what's not to like about that?  Trump and Associates may  stifle a yawn or two if they wish..:-)

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Ironwood Rhubarb #7

"Whether we or our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do." (Wendell Berry)



Every human  being goes through transitional states in life. At some point you outgrew your diapers. Later you learned how to tie your shoes and learned how to read and write. Perhaps at one point or another you decided to get married, take a job in a different state, buy a house, or start your own business. Too many changes (transitions) in a short period of time may have adversely your mental health and overall satisfaction with what life has brought your way.

If there was a sanctioning elder during these transitional states your experiences might be considered liminal, a threshold between two differing personal realities. If there was no sanctioning elder, these threshold experiences would be considered liminoid.

In the book of Genesis Jacob wrestles with an angel and is given a new name and mission.  He suffered physical injury while wrestling with the angel. Thus we have the motif of a shaman as a wounded healer.

Proverbs 26:4 and 5 give two contradictory approaches when a fool is messing with your reality: respond in kind or don't respond in kind. You will be in a transitional phase as you decide the appropriate response.

The liminal/liminoid state is a threshold state, neither here nor there, neither up or down, neither up or down. One has to dispense with the old before acquiring the new.

An entire society may go through these transitional states. One that comes to mind is the 2000 USA presidential election, ultimately decided by a 5 to 4 decision of the Supreme Court.

Sometimes a liminal/liminoid state can last a long time with no clear outcome or sense of finality. George W. Bush declaring war on terror might be considered an example of this. Even Donald Rumsfeld felt that the phrase "war on terror" was not quite right.

Cultural anomie--deteriorate/shifting norms of a society--also came about as a result the Roe versus Wade decision, creating division regarding unwanted pregnancies.

For an ordinary Joe or Jane a transition may come after a vivid and disturbing dream. Other changes could be deterioration in health, falling in love with a third person while in an unsatisfying marriage, loss of employment, or the death of a loved one.

The milieu for a successful liminal transition will involve sacred space and time with a tribal elder--often an individual that is a psychologist or a minister of a church that you feel comfortable telling your stories to.  For a liminoid experience you might want to spend time at the seashore, camping/hiking in the woods, or reading a book that guides you through your change, the author filling in for tribal elder.

When Ronald Reagan wanted to quite using tobacco, he started munching on jellybeans, though I don't know if that was the best way to transition.

You can't win them all. Happy transitioning!