Mona Se Queda


Why has the world gone greedy and materialistic? Everyone monetizes their blog, and also the people in my church measure success in $$. It’s everywhere, as if it were the right thing to do. But I find it dehumanizing and quite ugly, not to mention shallow. It’s turning into a contest to see who will be the richest, but not in knowledge and wisdom and the things that are worth living for. It comes down to whether you can equate money with happiness. In my opinion, people are creating a hell on earth by making an economic issue of everything. Only after every natural resource is gone will human beings realize that they can’t eat money. Will they ever understand that money is a fiction, an artificial construct made up by our imaginations?

Even though the monkey wears silk, he’s still a monkey.

The Brothers Grimm describe a peasant celebration on the rare occasion when a rich man was admitted to heaven.

The way of the world is overrated, yet there’s not much I can do to fix it. So I’ll just keep making these posts till the cows come home; that, or until the world comes to an end. 



Midnight hour.

I’m up after a three hour nap, though already getting kind of tired. The main observation on my mind is that we all seem to have been bitten by the Gold Bug and gone insane. Not even the church is immune to the infection. I’m just an ordinary person, so how can I argue with the pastor? Instead of other people, we love things: fancy cars, diamond rings, musical instruments, or whatever. It all glitters like gold. This is how we measure success today. Maybe it’s just sour grapes of me, dragging my feet around the neighborhood, shuffling, slouching, getting older and falling behind, missing the boat, wandering on the dock. I can only say the caviar was rancid as the cruise ship sails away without me. And I can tell parables like “The Golden Goose.” I can be a moralist like Owl Eyes in the Fitzgerald classic. Only time will tell if I am right or wrong, and maybe I’ll be riding the ferryboat across the bar without this ship of fools.


Ten o five.

Gloria is here cleaning the bathroom. Outside the sun is shining: a beautiful day. Bloggers seem to be converting their sites to places for selling stuff, so I feel like the only person still doing human interest posts on WordPress. Also, people don’t want to read stuff anymore. Eventually I’ll quit doing this because there’s no reward in it. But I’m disappointed to find that people are so greedy and materialistic, valuing things more than ideas and what makes us uniquely human. I’ve known for some time that philosophy is going out of style, but this is sad. There’s something wrong when people don’t care about life— the examined life that is worth living, preferring things to be cut and dried and readymade so we never have to think about them again. And again I consider the image of the new high school on Silver Lane: ominous dark brick façades that suggest a prison more than a teaching facility. This might actually be the fact. 


After eleven o’clock this morning I headed out on foot to Bi Mart to pick up my cholesterol medication. On the way I passed the plot of land where my old elementary school had been torn down. Not one stick of it remains standing, and a sign says the new high school will be built by 2023, thanks to Eugene voters. It’s a little ironic that I voted for the new school, but I didn’t know that they’d be demolishing Silver Lea Elementary, where I attended during the 1970s. Also, doing this forced the resident Japanese immersion school out and into the building for Colin Kelly middle school over on Howard Avenue, a distance of a mile or two from Silver Lea. So I walked by the field of dirt enclosed by a chain link fence and thought of how the world was running down. People set their minds on the future without considering that nature may not be able to sustain human life someday soon. My grandnephew’s wife is pregnant with their second baby, and I ask myself why on earth would anybody want to bear children at a time like this. Even Polly thought the same thing. Travis and Riley must not be very smart, but I’m not surprised at that. Another sign that bothers me is just the quality of the sunlight in our atmosphere that has definitely changed since I can remember. The sun shouldn’t be as bright as it now is, and especially not at the end of March. Things are not the same anymore, not at all promising for our future. And then there is Pastor’s selfish concern for his church on more than one level. I don’t really understand the politics of the synod and the larger Lutheran church, but there’s a lot of money involved.

Then I continued on to the Bi Mart on River Road and observed the people wearing their silly masks. My prescription cost me nothing, and then I sat down on the bench outside the walk up window to gather my strength for the walk back home. Life all around me seemed like such a desert, everybody so scared and also so sterile and isolated from each other. After resting up, I went home the same way I came. The lyric to “Nights in White Satin” came to me:

Gazing at people, some hand in hand
Just what I’m going through they can’t understand
Some try to tell me thoughts they cannot defend
Just what you want to be you will be in the end

The Moody Blues. When I got home I crashed out for an hour from fatigue. Later I did some writing in my blank book, but no reading today. I discovered that I’d like to drink beer in order to feel more human again. But I’m strong and brave enough to gut it out every day and stay sober. Close to five o’clock I took another nap until about nine.

And I guess that was my day. Please pardon my pessimism today regarding the future of human life on earth. But there’s no way to flip back the calendar and turn back the clock. This is the world we created, so now we’re stuck with it. And the cause of our demise has been short sighted self interest, our greed for more and more for ourselves and the ones we care about.

From Nowhere

Midnight hour.

My mind is a blank. I was just dreaming about going online and buying a new set of pickups for my bass guitar and finding that they were back ordered. But in reality, I have no shortage of gear; the deficiencies I observe are simply me. I feel that I need things to inspire me when this lack is actually a psychological condition. Why is it satisfying to spend money on myself? It seems like an addiction, “the habit forming need for more and more.”

Meanwhile the housefly that wandered in before the weekend still hasn’t found his way back out— which reminds me of Wittgenstein’s analogy of the fly in the bottle of philosophy. He needs to be shown the way back out. It occurs to me that one can also break the bottle, like Alexander cutting the rope with the Gordian Knot. You can have a loss of philosophical faith, particularly in logic, and make the jump to intuitionism. Sort of like experiencing a psychotic break, when the mind is flooded with mythological content from nowhere. Strong wishes just take over and reality is lost in a waking dream, a dream where your wishes come true.

Love of Money

Eight ten.

A cloudy morning that promises another sultry day. Pastor still needs three more singers for Sunday worship. It will sound pretty funny with only two male voices. I won’t preconceive too much, or preoccupy myself. Worrying is just borrowing trouble.

I recall a time at the coast with my brother. He was out or watching tv while I wrote a poem in a spiral notebook with an inkjet pen. It was the first week in September 2007, and the composition of the poem was a decision making process. I said something about building castles in the air, concluding that matter didn’t matter to me. In other words, I didn’t share my brother’s obsession with money. That was the groundwork that prepared me for leaving the industrial job I hated so much. I planned my escape meticulously, and step by step implemented it. This was the first big decision I ever made in my life. The ramifications are still being played out like a ripple effect.

Nine thirty. I ran into B—, the former owner of the market. She was collecting her mail. She’s the same penny pincher she always has been. I can’t help feeling a bit resentful of her for profiting off of people’s addictions, and she did it for 45 years. Think of the alcoholic deaths she contributed to by selling the poison to customers. This morning, she looked to me like a little old witch with long gray hair. “Love of money is the root of all evil.” Funny, but B— wasn’t always that bad. It got worse after they tore down the old shack and rebuilt the store. Her greed has corrupted her mind and body the same way the Ring deformed Gollum in the Tolkien classic. And my brother’s fate has been quite similar. It makes you wonder…