15th April 2021

Deflection, the purposeful placing of a distracting scenario before a susceptible individual to help overcome if not avoid an unnecessary upheaval. Sounds complicated, but is in fact simplicity itself, so straightforward that each one of us uses the technique continuously as a means of overcoming our own inertia, unenthusiasm, torpor, hebetude, passivity.

The prisoners last supper, a tempting and luxurious event arranged for no other purpose than to fill the about to be departed with some degree of peaceability, affability, maneuverability, is a prime example. A base diversion, a physical and mental befuddlement that place the future center of attention in a situation deliberately obscuring, misrepresenting, a ruse, purposeful contriving.

Tomorrow is the anniversary of a particularly mournful or painful episode in life, many a individual would be inclined to commit to almost any ancillary circumstance that avoids a face to face confrontation with that memory. Such spiritual avoidance is a necessity, a coping mechanism, a way to bypass the unpleasant by focusing on alternate possibility. What in modern military or political parlance would be called a false flag, becomes a harmless diversion to escape the threatening oppressor, loitering specter.

In every possible situation humans are inclined to control their own reality, to superimpose the preferable over the less acceptable. To create an alternative environment when actuality is better avoided, shunned, disdained, neglected. This mechanism is not momentarily contrived, well planned, calculated with cold or manipulative intent, but simply an undirected or unintended armor against the harsh unpleasantries that avoidance will momentarily if not utterly deburr, blunt, dull.

We enter the realm of the dog pill well obscured in a tasty piece of steak, the small innocuous pinch that conceals the prick of an inoculating needle. Simple, but effective divertissements, disguising the true face of evil with a harmless harlequinesque masked interceding intruder.

14th April 2021

Today will see me elbow deep in domestic labor, not something I generally look forward too, but a necessity in times when living alone and without aid makes such efforts a requirement.

The most time consuming of these tasks ir ironing, removing creases from the various clothing items that are washed, dried and ready for suitable storage. Try as I might I have never successfully got over my inherited phobia to non-ironed shirts, sheets, towels, underclothes, nicely pressed trousers, and kilt pleats, all either correctly folded and shelved or placed on appropriate hangers and hung in marshal order in the closet. I experimented with drip dry, no pressing necessary, quite the savoir of time and effort in the seventies and eighties, even dabbled with the wrinkly look, very hippy, nuevo chic, but frankly wholly unsatisfactory.

So at quite the ripe old age my hand still wields a steam iron, for no other purpose than to satisfy a dated esthetic, a sad but quaint reminder cultural times that considered adequate servility a measure of success.

13th April 2021

Partner, oppo, associate, teammate, companion. Over time I have had many, for differing reasons, of multiple vagaries, various purposes, each and every social, ethnic, gender and moral persuasion, many irreplaceable, some decidedly forgettable, always different, ever presently imperative, individuals who shared, altered, directed my efforts, ideals, considerations far beyond the point I am ever comfortable admitting.

When we talk about influences we are inclined to list, events, happenstances, personal decisions, measured or involuntary reactions, seldom do we mention the degree our collaborators enlighten, shape, guide, foster our behaviors. Perhaps it reflects supposed individualism, a pride in independent thought and concept, or simply a wish to claim all we are for our own aggrandizement, hoisting our undeniable smallness upon a flimsy petard. I suffer such failing with you all, am inclined to bloviate singularly, but in secrecy recognize the pull, the control, influence, power, of a thousand good, bad, and indifferent exemplars.

12th April 2021

On occasion time simply disappears, slides away on a seeming ice flow to infinity, without a sound, lacking in any form of recognizable reminder, leaving a gap, a chasm where once there was purpose and possibility. The vanishing is not surprising, over a lifetime one becomes accustomed to such blank periods, to the gaps in memories that indicate the realm of blankness. Sleep is a different animal, for sleep often results in somnastic dreams, journeys impossible in reality, unimaginable within practicality, but often seeming real as everyday mundanity.

I have spent much time considering such voids, diagnosing where mind and body travel too, for they must surely momentarily vacate these three dimensions, visiting a fourth, a fifth, a non-catalogable list of alternative realities, places philosophers imagine, scientists speculate, you and I accept begrudgingly as probable if impossibly removed from our naive understanding.

Emptiness is a peaceful place, strangely comforting, oddly homely, perhaps akin to staring at the inside of ones own eyelids.

11th April 2021

Promises are of course easily given and equally easily broken. So easily ignored it became necessary through time and sad in adherence to increase the level of a simple promise to something more intransient, a pledge, an oath, a plight.  

Of course the importance of personal honesty is always paramount, neither promises, or any other kind of assurance can override simple deviousness, even when the giver of the guarantee endorses their covenant by accepting some terrible repercussion for failing in their bond.

A pledge tends to be given to an inanimate object, a nation, a flag, something that has an idealistic meaning, inherent moral or ethical stances, which unfortunately often fails to rise to the committers expectations.

Oaths are contradictory, in one instance being the most committed of promises, sworn under the auspices of some relic of religious significance. Equally the word can indicate some expletive of deep and dark origin, both failing to bring any guarantee of success.

10th April 2021

Relay races are strange affairs. For something traditionally athletically subdivided mathematically, lengthwise, between equal and often matched colleagues, the reality is often far from the theory. Conceptually we imagine all handovers similarly, an exchange of effort, responsibility, toting, at a predesigned point, withing fixed parameters, and but a fleeting halt in a race continuing to a clearly defined predetermined finish.

The vagaries of reality of course do no follow the Olympian traditions, tend to be messy, badly organized, changeovers occurring in determinedly, ad hoc, as circumstances insist or allow, for myriad purposes, from the purely mundane to the most catastrophic. Teams tend to be badly matched, of varying sizes and abilities, ensuring progress is decidedly haphazard, of unspecific speed or effort, sometimes enhancing, possibly debilitating.

Evolution is a relay, of poorly trained and suited participants, with arbitrary rules, the results utterly capricious, whimsical.

9th April 2021

Children are the very essence of changeability, able to turn themselves upon a sixpence and become the individual the moment requires, however fleeting. For a child everything can alter, reconstitute in a second, their short lives and memories erased, expunged, turned to dream like imaginings in a solitary moment of time. Adults are more complicated.

People, grownups, have positions, situations, empowerment, have gained kudos, have made, and followed choices, actions taking them in directions that align with their wishes, considerations, hopes, desires and designs. Children have yet to ascend the precarious stepladder that is life. Adults have commenced climbing, accomplished a level they presently feel comfortable attaining, a position that can be defended, improved, even drawn back from as required.

Comes a time in maturity that protection becomes the most important function of all, keeping what has been won, gifted, earned, rightly or wrongly, ideas, influences are static, insoluble, the adaptability of the child, that flexibility to mold to ever changing scenarios dissipates, we become exactly in form and logic whom the years have manufactured, as if we are pig iron, rock like, impervious to further alteration. This staid adult persona is the basis and reasoning for most of the overwhelming compulsions that permeate society as a whole, even the most forward looking, liberal, free thinking of seniors are heavily outweighed and outvoted by a not so silent majority whose views sway towards the contemporary, the already accepted view, thought, comfort zone.

Where are the adolescent leaders, the young politicians, the free thinkers, those whose ideas of propriety have yet to become fixated or stagnant? They are connivingly oppressed, cunningly controlled, carefully educated, statically organized, despotically directed, trained unceasingly in the patterns, ways, ethics, principles, of their elders. Never gaining freedom from the oppressive yoke till they too have become as corrupted and shackled as their teachers. Revolution is the source of change. Naturally, insurrection is despised by the status quo.

8th April 2021

Chill has a way of climbing right inside my bones, raising bumps over any exposed skin that touches the frigid air. Not a real cold cold but seeming unseasonably enough to make a blanketed bed de rigour in the midafternoon.

Being a creature of the northern hemisphere I naturally enjoy the chill as much as the warmth, finding differences in climate equally homely and comfortable. Creeping age certainly makes warmer more obviously comfortable, the level of additional heat required to elicit ease becoming increasingly high. Adequately warm but not roasting, equatorial highs are still uncomfortable on my flesh, make sleeping fleet and disturbed, diet difficult with the foods that are generally inclined to moisten my mouth and rumble tummy. Hot, or at minimum warm drinks fit the bill, iced beverages are not seductive, indeed tepid is the ideal temperature for simple refreshing hydration.

We exactly remain what we are birthed our entire lives, as the dessert lynx, or snow tiger, we are constructed for purpose and place.

7th April 2021

On occasion I become so drawn into fictional stories that their reality overreaches that of actuality. I worry about the characters, their emotions, the ups and down of their every day, as if they are family rather than simple inventions of a particularly imaginative writer. Self-made heroes or heroines are my particular weakness, individuals whom by their own hard work and perseverance have raised themselves to the best they can be and carry an ethical beacon that illuminates their actions and every event that they witness.

Real icons are few and far between, genuine valor, outstanding fortitude and moral fiber have become confusingly entwined with theater, rumor, gossip. Hearsay about a present-day Ajax or Helena far outweighs any genuine facts, indeed the stars in the present firmament are decidedly more illusion than heavenly objects.

Literary players expand, develop, have depth, touch mind, heart, and soul, but average Jim and Mary are more often than not bland, unappealing, unremarkable, painfully forgettable.

6th April 2021

We are a generational race of people, as time passes knowledge increases and changes, our views are inclined to move quickly and unflinchingly from old ideas to newer ones, perhaps sometimes slower, dragging the less prepared unmercilessly forward, but still advancing steadily. Children are inclined to be unkind to their parents dated logic, the lifelong held beliefs that were the very foundation of lives long lived and enjoyed, indeed the very font of the youngsters now poking fun and ridiculing. Children rousting their parents is not a new phenomenon, indeed that piece of bad manners has existed for as long as humanity itself, ever inexcusable, unnecessary, easily avoided, but still laid as heavy mortar by the ever-forward-looking masons of the futures heavily readjusted foundation and panorama.

I have always found adaption, persuasion, preferable to destruction and enforced will. The gentle art of alteration a particularly pleasing form of the new and honoring the older and staider. Obliteration of ideas is so very difficult, thoughts have a way of traversing time, logic, erasure, hence we still debate heatedly to this moment the improbable possibility of the earth being flat. The library of memory, of propositions good and bad, is not rewritten momentarily in some constant blur of updating. Transformation is slow, often faltering, not a simple matter of seconds and minutes, but often centuries of repetitive reaffirmation.

What feels particularly disturbing is the ease with which people disavow, disown, disprove truths that for multiple generations have formed the basis, the foundation, of everything they believed about themselves and about the world. The reality we believe is the form that of our particular moment in space and time, in the same way prior generations organically assimilated fact. Too easily the now berates and makes fools of the past, the new offspring ridicules the grandfather, great grandfather, not for their lack of knowledge but lack of foresight. Until all is known indefatigably tomorrow will ever present disruptions to today’s rigid doctrines. Accept and show the understanding our ancestors deserve.