24th January 2021

The practice of breathing is the most basic of human functions, vital as is to existence itself. Something we do without thinking, continuously, awake, or asleep, a response chiseled into our psyche by that same urgency for life that drew the very first gasp upon our sudden and frenetic expulsion from our mother’s womb.

Throughout human development the connections between control of breathing and various paths to psychic development, religious practice, self-control, explosive or somnambulistic activity, have been researched and practiced. Strangely, and perhaps quite singularly, I have paid little to no attention to the psychological, the emotional effects of breathing, the way the simple expansion and contraction of the lungs creates highly variable moods, pressure induced feelings within the body physical and temperamental.

My sudden attention to this phenomenon happened quite by chance, as I absentmindedly utterly exhaled whilst frowning rather macabrely. The feeling of an emptiness matching my expression was overwhelming. The connection betwixt action and emotion having been made, ‘twas time to experiment with this new found parallel. The more obvious tests were carried out in fast order, and yes lung expansion did result in a return to a feeling of wellbeing, presumably echoing the abundance of life providing oxygen. The premise having been somewhat proven I naturally, I am if nothing more a good hound once a scent is discerned, dedicated some time to thought and supposition around the subject.

I always find that language is ever a good keystone to the mysteries of both science and nature, our ancestors have after all been happily cohabitating with both for eons and necessarily the spoken word has developed in concert. Undeniably, amongst the first two recognizable sounds humanity expressed must have been the intake and exhalation of air, no doubt in some contrived way resulting in more specific terms for in and out, empty and full, expansion and contraction. A simple necessary function of life providing three of languages ‘opposites’, the base building blocks, like yes and no, of communication.

Having successfully moved from a simple reflexing action to the beginnings of a basic form of intercommunication, a short half sentence but in reality probably many a thousand year, it makes sense to investigate, interpret, elucidate, even insinuate, what this automatic muscular spasm eventually contrived, constructed, manufactured, in our now complex, concise, yet beautifully prosaic tongue.

I am full of energy today; I am out of breath; knocked the wind right out of my sails; blowing my own trumpet; full of hot air; till my very last breath; take a deep breath; blow out the cobwebs; hold your breath; don’t hold your breath. The expressions that originate, generate from the simple activity of breathing are unsurprisingly only matched in number by those relating to the circulatory system, the heart, the blood.

That our voice, communication, should derive so much of import, richness, variation, from but base random activity is hardly surprising, for without respiration, circulation there is no language, there is no humanity, no life.

23rd January 2021

The appearance of my eating avocado toast on this Friday afternoon, a reflection of the penance of fast I have been inclined to follow for much of my life, might suggest some degree of impassioned suffering, however, I must admit that the practice is rather more habitual than any adherence to canons 1250-1253 of the 1983 Code of Canon law.

Suffering, distress, tribulation, anguish, heartache, surely should by necessity be a more egregious penalty than such a convenient, fashionable, and tasty alternative, yet most of the woes and afflictions we so often are inclined, with wholly unsuited pride, to publicly advertise and display are in reality nil but substitutes for the actual guilt we inherently know we rightly bear for oft completely unrelated error and sin.

The habitual use of less extreme alternatives, of surrogates as were, is a very humanistic trait, indeed whom amongst us, with the obvious fetishistic exceptions, would not water down unpleantness, pain, whenever opportunity allowed. Whilst the expression, ‘that which does not kill us, makes us stronger’, might philosophically point to some illuminating truth, the actuality that injury, disfigurement, discomfort, necessarily by rote causes personal growth is unlikely in the extreme.

Substitutions, stand-ins, locums, particularly in respect to matters of personal responsibility ever remind me of the ancient use of the whipping boy, a cunningly contrived, if wholly irrational way of physically chastising an errant schoolboy prince by substituting a commoner to endure the untouchable nobles various licks, spankings, inflictions of corporal punishment. The practice of course was pointless, laddie’s of noble blood invariably having not the slightest sense of empathy towards the unfortunate lowly stand-in.

By accepting unquestioned cowardice, this disinclination towards all things masochistic, the need to dilute penance to imaginable, acceptable extremes, are we truly showing avoidance, circumvention, or rather accept the shortcomings of the beast we are inclined, created, to be.

22nd January 2021

Today found me wending my way towards the ivory towers of Eastsound for two distinctly different yet compatible reasons. Firstly, the necessity to procure a replenishment of my supply of the active yogurt that my increasing preference for the vegetarian end of the omnivore diet has made a necessary supplement. My second and perhaps more profound purpose was to test, by simple osmosis, the state of my communities spiritual well-being following the most welcome events of the previous day.

It has ever been my belief that the élan of both society and the individual can be motivated quite easily by significant public events confirming the continuation of humanities goodness, perseverance, and positive aspirations. If ever I could imagine a moment in the last half decade to demonstrate such a theorem, today was the day.

The market, my chosen supplier of all produce dairy orientated, is also my prime place of human contact and interaction. However, as is my custom before entering those hallowed grocery halls I took the opportunity to partake in a refreshing and psychologically exhilarating cup of my chosen poison, a double shot mocha. Perchance my visit coincided with that of an acquaintance whom I had opportunity to chat with for some considerable amount of time. Necessarily our conversation quickly paned through the previous few months happenstances, before arriving, quite suitably for my research, upon the previous day’s events and changes wrought thereby.

Favoring as I do the liberal over the conservative, the social over the commercial, I was quite happy to discuss at some length the long overdue raising of the minimum federal wage. Of all the measures suggested as possibly, likely, probable, this one notion, in unison with the institution of an integral health program, would move United States workers to parity with the majority of modern national economies. Whilst we agreed such measures must fundamentally change the nature of society in complex and multifaceted ways, we also concurred such alterations were both positive and decades overdue in their arrival.

21st January 2021

Throughout history there have been names so disliked, distrusted, afeared, distained, that their very mention would result in behaviors bordering upon revulsion. Such was the distaste that those obliged to voice the unfortunate epithet would immediately spit upon the ground for fear of either vomiting or suffering outrageously bad karma simply from the repetition of the cursed word.

The habit was particularly followed of mentioning Satan, the devil, or those of extremely opposing and unpalatable views, to one’s own, for example a
pope to the virulent anabaptist, an anarchist to czar Nicholas, Benedict Arnold to an American revolutionary. Recent times have seen an abandonment of this phenomena, quite probably because as highly civilized beings we are inclined to consider ourselves superior to such base public displays of displeasure or possible misfortune.  

Today I found myself quite comfortably reinvesting in the tradition. Certain patronym still prove utterly worthy renunciation.

20th January 2021

 Whilst facing mortality is unquestionably the last thing we want to do, it doth become somewhat necessary towards twilight to recognize the surety of the setting sun, accept its weakening light and amend activity accordingly. Medical practitioners, health gurus, life coaches, those particular professions and callings with a vested interest in amplifying the  longevity of an existence, will make much noise about ensuring a good lifestyle, adequate exercise, natural and nourishing dietary habits, discarding unnecessary and probable irritants like nicotine and alcohol, in short sterilizing what remains of time allotted in a banal, unedifying and unappetizing manner, for we all must  admit that in general  it is the noes, the sweet negatives of life, that prove the more attractive to the aged.

Physicality is very much a province of that now far-off state named youth, a country where far too much is made of speed and freneticism, and far too little of contemplation and stoic acceptance. When exactly we emigrate the incomprehensible distance from one to the other is debatable, deliciously vague, a subject for endless literary contemplation in poetry, prose and soliloquy. Fond as humanity ever is for labeling, naming, categorizing, our languages are remarkably lax in explicitly defining the ages of mankind.  

Childhood, adolescence, youth, adult, middle age, elderly, old, all are lingually descriptive, often legally defined by necessity, but have the most blurred, indistinct, ambiguous, abstract of feeling, taste, flavor. Perhaps it is the uncertainty, the ambiguity, the indeterminacy of the span that bewilders conceptualization, for the end might quite literally be momentary, or interminable. The question of debilitation is of course weighty, whether the effort of continuance is reflected in the quality of the reward. Such argument is in my humble opinion vapid, without choice in the matter, a dog in the fight as were, endless churning simply creates anguish, additional white hair upon an already snow-covered dome.  Having teetered on that particular windowsill myself a few times I can assure that the resultant landing is not particularly appealing.

19th January 2021

Beyond doubt an individual’s fairness, their acceptance of the principles of equality and egalitarianism, directly reflects their base honesty, integrity, presumptions about position, worth, perceived import, both to the hierarchy and comparatively to others. However, humankind is not the most obvious of beasts, particularly in their considerations to and about their peers.

Obscenely self-centered, undeniably vain and conceited, the very qualities that make the species homo sapiens remarkable, even unique in their rise and consistent departure from the mire, are directly opposed to any that might suggest a propensity for humility or altruism.

Interaction with other fellows is a constant struggle with our wholly divisive nature, a case of having to inspire the more liberal self to overcome the genetically predisposed, aggressively protective, conservative face.

Perhaps the first step towards positive progress is an admittance of inherent error, a recognition that any first consideration, the most naturally seeming solution, will invariably be of a wholly selfish nature,

18th January 2021

The divide between imagination and reality should logically be obvious to all, one being a consequence of spurious, fictional happenstance, the other quite literally actuality, unvarnished, truthful, and manifest. Yet that clear distinction has perhaps begun to dissolve, become confused, higgeldy piggeldy, without clearly defined parameters, a concise illustration of the dissolution of the theatrical fifth wall, or that enigmatic consideration named kayfabe.

The need to propagate untruth, to facilitate vagary, must surely only result from an unwillingness to accept a singular narrative that adequately, indeed unequivocally, demonstrates all the requirements of scientific proof directly in contradiction or opposition to a previously unassailable belief, religious or dictatorial.

Society merges the boundaries of fiction and nonfiction at its peril, mixing fact and fantasy to produce a dish of inconsistent and ill-defined nature, the epitome of unidentifiable and mysterious protein, resulting in both questionable dietary value and possible if not probable toxic repercussions.

Humanities circuitous insightfulness throughout history would of course ordain such a path, moving with alarming regularity as it do between truth and illusion, certainty and mystery, an endless contradiction that exactly reflects the eternal struggle betwixt evolution and regression.

A century or two of enlightenment, then the tragic but certain retreat into benightedness, the restoration of intellect hastily followed by the reappearance of dark and despicable ignorance. Such is the rocky ravine infested pathway that ascends the mountain of progress, a road with no particular goal except a small and unwelcoming peak promising naught but a moments respite from sudden assured fall.

Man’s first discovery was fire, enabling the world to ignite and burn, his second a club, stopping any hope of timely escape, his third the wheel, ensuring constant repetitious encircling of the same inescapable axis.

17th January 2021

There is always a moment in dreams, in imaginings when reality breaks through the illogic and presents the utter foolishness of what had momentarily seemed the perfect solution to all the errors and deceits of the world. This happenstance is what those in the scientific community rather casually refer to as waking up. In general this moment of epiphany takes but a millisecond to take hold, often accompanied by a somewhat violent shaking of the head and a bit of a scratch.

Such great, wonderous, but wholly impossible ideas are soon discarded, shunned to that place where infantile pipe dreams ever go to founder and dissipate. As an adult we are instructed, expected, to put away childish things, but invariably on occasion some remnant will remain, persistently, naggingly, intimating an action or concept foolish and brash. The sensible will ignore such echoes, the less pragmatic might regrettably be inclined to be persuaded. There but for the grace of god is the destruction and downfall of us all.

16th January 2021

Was a time irony, sarcasm, wit, were acceptable forms of persuasive humor, the operative word being of course humor, suggesting that the remarks must by definition have some meritorious occasion to invoke amusement. Unfortunately, we seem to have reached that stage in our vocal and graphic development when should a throwaway statement, cartoon, photograph, meme, not include within itself some form of inherent brutishness then it is no longer considered worthy of dissemination.

Cruelty has never and never will be a solution to or even constraint against bad behavior. You cannot persuade humans any more than you can an animal purely by harsh means, eventually any beast will strike out, whether in embarrassment, retaliation, or frustration.

Consistent devolvement to such inauspicious methods simply reduces any user to a parody, incapable of expressing or even recognizing the positive means available, good example, proactive persuasion, empathetic education. Cruelty begets cruelty, and a cruel society induces evil and unrest.

15th January 2021

Disappointment in ones fellow man is understandable, surprise rarely is. Despondency resulting from an individual’s endless gullibility, their infinite reckless ignoring of sense and sensibility becomes almost a given, their capacity for crass absurdity an accepted constant source of frustration and frustration.

However, dealing with such challenges is not as problematic of as we are inclined to state through clenched teeth, the answer to such situations having been writ large through all recorded history, and no doubt muttered in the dark corners of even the basest of cave dwellings. Accept and move on, take a deep breathe and smile, nod agreeably, without indicating agreement.

Ron White makes an excellent living simply stating, ‘there is no cure for stupid’, and sadly his sentiment is more or less entirely accurate. It is patently better just to jump over the obstructing burrows, that try to investigate the rabbit holes in obviously bad company.