Friday, December 2, 2016

Ug and Craythur -- That Old Time Religion

Everyone probably knows I'm heavily into religion, with a slight difference from your everyday fundamentalist; to me, it's all good, with a few caveats, a big one, that it be life-affirming. There's nothing like a little transcendentalism to start your day. That's the way I get going, with a big difference being that now that I'm losing my memory, I have a hard time remembering later in the day what spiritual stuff I did. I only hope it's still cumulative in my various spiritual centers without me having to consciously recall it!

That's not my idea today, though, although that would be a great one someday. Today, I'm thinking of a time way back, way back before any of us were alive, in fact even before Cain and Abel were around, when there was another pair of first brothers, Ug and Craythur. (Look in any good encyclopedia of religion for more on that particular dynamic duo. My picture of Ug or Craythur -- scholars on divided on which one it is -- has him tapping out a message, presumably a message of affection for the other.)

I mentioned religion. This memory hit me today: Ug and Craythur, like Cain and Abel, loved whichever deity was current in their time. There's an old song we used to sing in Sunday School, "Give Me That Old Time Religion," that had a interesting (and revealing) verse:
Give me that old time religion, give me that old time religion, give me that old time religion, it's good enough for me.
It was good for Ug and Craythur, it was good for Ug and Craythur, it was good for Ug and Craythur, it's good enough for me.
But enough about that. I feel the need to riff on their names. Ug and Craythur go into a comedy sketch, centering on their names:
I'm Ug.
I'm Craythur.
Craythur is craythur than Ug.
But Ug is pretty crayth.

How'd you get to be Ug?
My mom looked at me and said Ug.
How'd you get to be Craythur?
After Ug, anyone would be Craythur!

Friday, October 7, 2016

It's Incredulous, But I Believe

I made the mistake the other day of allowing the old song "I Believe" to strike my sense of hearing. It just happened. I was messing with my phone, then before I could stop it, it was playing this song. I heard the first few words -- which actually is all it takes -- before ripping the earbuds from the thing. It was too late. So since then, it's been with me. "I believe that every time I hear this song, there's no escape!"

Well, since I'm infected, let me invite you in. You must remember it anyway: "I believe for every drop of rain that falls a flower blooms..." And it goes from there, rising in intensity till the heavens are swaying in agreement; this one guy's wondrous belief makes the planets spin, the various rings that are their motions through space happen, and in the end all is right with existence. Starting with just a single drop of rain.

Now I'm singing it. The past few days I've been singing it, the bits I remember. And all day today. I've only come out of retirement at this blog to write this post and hope that it helps break the song's curse. It's got hold of me and bad. I don't make graphics anymore -- to tell the truth -- but I went back to it today to make the crummy pelican graphic above. Also part of what I hope helps break the curse. I think the song mentions birds, maybe it does; let's say it does; I'm not listening to it to find out. If you write in, don't give me the lyrics or the context, just a "Yes it does" or "No it doesn't" will suffice.

Today while singing it I went into variations on the theme. Such as, "I believe for every drop of rain that falls, it makes me pee." A little juvenile, I know, but everyone does it. I haven't got to the point that rain makes me automatically pee, but I suppose it could happen in a few years. Everyone's getting older. Then, continuing this version, it seems I was going, "Ladies, drop your pants, men your flies, and join me in this urinous song with a steady stream to show that all of us, today and evermore, simply BELIEEEEVVVE!" Then, magically, it quit raining and that was that; my pants were still dry.

That wasn't the end of the song and its curse. I'm hoping that comes tonight. Working through curses is not something I've perfected, so we shall see. But "I believe it can be done, the race is run, the peeing's done, so that's why I -- yes, I, that's why I, little old I -- I believe!"

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

I Can Tie My Own Shoes

Some of my handiwork

As I get older, I've been more appreciative of the lessons of the past that really "took." I'm the first to admit that I didn't learn everything they taught. It probably wouldn't be too far off the mark to say, in fact, that most of it ("whoosh!") ... went over my head. Even so, I can balance my checking account, change channels on the TV, and sit up and take nourishment. Life is good.

Everyday I get out of bed. And my dog Roughage is sleeping in the crate by my dresser. Because I want her to stay asleep -- which she usually does -- I dress in the dark. Which is harder than it sounds, because with the least lack of attention I'll get my shirt on backwards. Every time that happens, say I need to reach to get my phone, it looks like I'm scratching my armpits. Embarrassing when someone sees.

Part of dressing is putting on your shoes and tying them. OK, so there I am in the dark, literally tying my shoes without seeing them. It's amazing, but the lesson learned in school of tying my shoes really "took," since I can do it without the slightest difficulty. At least you'd have to admit they're tied good enough for a guy to pad around the house in the early morning hours, although, I'd still claim it's a good enough job even for public display!

In the photo, I believe that's a shoe I bought once when I was on an exercise kick. I seem to recall it was a Tuesday, after a long weekend of eating myself sick (probably a holiday), and resolving, "I'm gonna die if I don't do something." I bought the shoes secondhand, and who knew they had shoelaces long enough to make a sturdy noose. So I had to double-tie them. You can see the lump in the middle is twice the normal girth. Which I never actually learned, but I was still able to improvise and accomplish it.

My usual shoes, which I have on my feet even now, are tied in the classic single tie manner. I'm not tooting my own horn -- not much, anyway - but they're tied beautifully! And all done in the dark, again, so as not to disturb Roughage in her dreams. With me thinking, literally as they're being tied, "Wow! I"m very good at this! They taught me, perhaps someone said I'd never get it, I don't know ... But I did!"

I don't know what else to say about it, except maybe just to repeat as sincerely as I can, I'm not bragging, that's not what this is about. Maybe I'm encouraging someone. Say you're someone who had trouble learning, and now you wear only slip-ons, and you're afraid someone will find out your secret, that you just didn't get it about the shoelaces. The encouragement would be -- it'd about have to be this -- that you'd figure out how to tie your own shoes, too, and do it completely on your own. It doesn't have to be in the dark, unless you want your dog to stay in bed.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Mother's Brewing Company

I was just inches from the Mother's Brewing Company's truck. Leading me to think, Everybody's gettin' in on the act! With their own brewing company, since beer is so extremely popular, and has been ever since they overturned Prohibition.

Beer was never popular at our place, though, growing up. The idea of my mother having her own brewing company would be ridiculous. She hated even the existence of beer and never had a good thing to say about it. Grandpa was a mean guy when he was drinking, and Mom said he used to keep a bottle stashed in the outhouse and she'd pee in it occasionally. Which might've been what made him mean. I'd be mean, too, if someone pissed in my hootch...

But mothers aren't all equally made. Of course there's mothers who are up for anything. Which has to be the story behind this mother starting her own brewing company.  But can she stand the competition? Does she even foresee it? From father and the children.

That's the set-up. We now have a scene where mother walks into the room and says she's got her own brewing company, Now we're all set. But father isn't one to be shut out, since he's the man and thinks he's in charge; I've got the damned schlong and it'll be a schlong damned time before you get the best of me! He walks into the room and says he's got his own brewing company, too, Father's Brewing Company. Bold move, especially when he announces, Now we're all set, our family's complete. Because that only rankles the kids, who immediately get together with their pals -- the boy's club and the girl's little clutch of friends. The kids step into the room and announce they've also started breweries, the Son's Brewing Company and the Daughter's Brewing Company. Now, at long last, the family is complete. Everyone's got something they're in charge of.

I like this part. To me this is where it gets interesting. Because it shows it's basically endless. No sooner does it pass the lips of the girl that "Everything's complete" when through a series of doors come Grandma and Grandpa. Who announce that they also now have brewing companies of their own, or the intention to start them. Being shortsighted, however, through the same set of doors appear their parents, older Grandma and Grandpa, with older Grandpa cackling, "Don't put the cart in front of the horse; you're not putting one over on us!" Brewing companies for one, brewing companies for all!

Never let it be said that I myself am shortsighted. I'm nothing like this older Grandpa, who's thinking Now all is complete just because I and older Grandma have our own brewing companies. I can see the implications, with an even older Grandma and Grandpa -- withered and badly bruised from decades in the afterlife -- coming through the door, with even older Grandma cackling malevolently, "Not so fast! You've forgotten us that fast?!" It's true, why wouldn't they also want their own brewing companies?

OK, it goes on like that, even older Grandmas and Grandpas popping in from the afterlife, each generation looking worse than the one before. Until, when you get back too far the degeneration into corpse soup is so pronounced that someone just opens the door and flings in a bucket of slop. It's about there that the generations' desire to have their own brewing companies comes to an end.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A Thousand Years From Now

Here's a self-help exercise I thought of earlier tonight. Which has helped me put a few things into perspective, so now I'm not nearly as bummed out.

I was really feeling lethargic and even depressed. Everyone has "real lives," and in very short order they can become clogged up with various demands on you, this or that person holding something against you, criticizing you, and basically getting you in a corner. So every damned day seems like it's just dragging along. I'm still a bit depressed, but definitely not as much. Not as long as I'm daydreaming and singing about a thousand years from now!

This little song I started singing dirge-like to a very slow version of the tune of "You're In The Army Now." Thinking ... once again, of those glorious far-off days of a thousand years from now, when everything about me, everyone else, and every problem I either have or think I have will be so definitely forgotten ... it's basically ridiculous to even think about it now.
"A thousand years from now,
A thousand years from now,
Nobody then will even care...
A thousand years from now."
That's the basic gist of the thing, but I'm tossing in some riffing on the words, like "No one will even know my name," "No one will care and that is true," and "No one will give the faintest shit, a thousand years from now."

In addition to singing the song I'm thinking how true it is. A thousand years ago was 1016, OK? And I assume some guy like me, probably pounding out shoes for the horses of a village, was having some problems with others. Couldn't get the metal ... or his reputation had taken a hit; a horse crapped on him during a fitting and he shot it in the ass. Something harmless like that. Well, a thousand years has now passed, and we have no idea about that guy, who he was, who his friends were, what the horse's name was, whether the horse ever walked again, anything! A thousand years has passed and it's all completely forgotten.

Because a thousand years leaves zero witnesses. They've all moved on. A thousand years from now even Lee Harvey Oswald won't raise any immediate thoughts. But they'll speak his name and a computer will regurgitate something. But it's not going to be mentioning me ... with the relatively little reputation and problems I have. Even though they feel big to me right now. And even though I'm down in the mouth, going through the motions, all lethargic, yawning, etc. A thousand years from now heals everything.

"You did what???" "I don't know. Is it even gonna matter ... a thousand years from now?"

It actually won't matter -- none of it -- 30 years from now. I'm sure it won't. I'm 63, and as we all know I'm going to die when I'm 85. That's only 22 years away! Meaning, in 30 years I'll already have been dead eight whole years. And I find it hard to believe anyone's going to still be complaining about me then. The average guy dies now and you're immediately forgotten after they've scattered the ashes.

You got a problem? Put it in a larger perspective. What difference will it make a thousand years from now? It won't make any difference at all.

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year: Circle The Wagons

Friends, I've taken a big step for myself. After all these years of being at everyone's mercy, being tugged and pulled, rather relentlessly, and being all things to all people, I've resolved at long last to "Circle the Wagons." From this point forward, everything changes. I'm going to make soul progress, find my perfect place.

This is a rather personal, spiritual statement, I realize. But having spilled my guts so often on the blog as to my dissatisfaction and dissolution, I feel it helpful also to note my progress, the things that will make for satisfaction and perhaps even healing. Maybe it will be of benefit to others also deciding to Circle the Wagons. I feel I owe everyone that chance.

The Wagons is my term for That Realm above. According to sources, you can profitably visualize it directly at the top of your head proper, or, as I've chosen, between two and four inches above the head. The connector, as it were, is said not to be merely imaginary, but an actual (unseen with the eyes) channel of the subtle currents of the body. Being seen in artwork as a circle made up of petals, and everything in wonderful order, containing currents/energy, those are my "Wagons," not just unconsciously but consciously Circled. Protecting and providing.

Sounds weird, I know. But, seriously, you wouldn't expect me to carry on the way I've been, not if I can make things better, whether it's weird or not. I look at it this way: Either you've got the tail wagon the dog or the dog wagon the tail. It's not just a case of six-of-one half-dozen-of-the-other; it makes a difference to the dog who's wagon who. If the tail's wagon the dog, the dog could end up permanently propped against a tree, the elimination instinct never satisfied. Whereas if the dog's wagon the tail, he'll pee and get on with his day. My dad used to say, "Piss or get off the pot," and that's good enough for me.

There is, however, a time for everything. Who knows the adjustments we go through? When it's mid-year, I might be mired down with the tail wagon the dog. But New Year is a time for a new start, and hopefully with a determined follow-through it will be so. And so, let it be stated: From hence forth, from this day, this dog's wagon the tail, the Wagons being decidedly Circled! I believe it shall be done.

I started it this morning, visualizing a thousand (alternately 10,000) Wagons in a perfect circular arrangement, a lot like in old westerns, holding off the slings and arrows -- mostly arrows -- of the enemy. "I am impervious behind my Circle of Wagons! No man -- regular guy or savage -- can pierce this line, this Circle!" (If you remember one of my earlier resolutions -- I believe it was 2009 -- I had much the same scenario, except it was based on the Gingerbread Man ("Can't touch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!"), but this time I hope to keep it. And, frankly, I like a Circle of Wagons more than 10,000 Gingerbread Men; that daily suggestion led to substantial weight gain.)

There are wonderful truths at work here, much like Horatio or someone said in Shakespeare, "Something something something dreamed of in heaven and earth." Right there's the validation, all the validation I need, to press on, Circling the Wagons, and having all the defense/offense I need ... for January 1, January 2, January 3, and beyond.