Headaches

Two thirty.

Since this morning the Rush song “Witch Hunt” has played in my head, probably for the last few lines of the lyric:

Quick to judge, quick to anger

Slow to understand

Ignorance and prejudice

And fear walk hand in hand

I’ve heard this song be misinterpreted so ridiculously by those with ultra conservative values and attitudes, themselves the very thing the song criticizes. They are the “madmen fed on fear and lies / To beat and burn and kill.” And then I guess they just disregard the conclusion.

But it’s been on my mind for a reason today, as well as my schooldays when life was really pretty happy for me, from ninth grade to graduation from college. Others in my family tend to disparage education, saying that higher ed is impractical and a waste of time. But simultaneously they hotly resent people more knowledgeable than themselves, or just plain more intelligent. I don’t know whether the situation is fair or unfair, or who’s to blame for the inequality of it. What is the origin of inequality among people? And what am I supposed to do about the yawning chasm between me and some of my relatives? The whole thing gives me a headache. For today, I don’t regret that I’m spending Thanksgiving Day by myself with my dog. Fortunately a dog can’t argue with you or spit nails if you utter one fifty cent word. 

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Benedictions

Seven o’clock.

This time I walked to market under the bright stars and directly overhead the small crescent moon shone at the meridian. Lenore’s car is still gone and she left her dog to fend for herself. I hear her barking at night occasionally. At the store, body language tells the whole story. I must have winced yesterday when Lisa’s mouth was so foul, because today she commented that sometimes profanity is not warranted, especially in the workplace. I never claimed to be a saint, though people have said that bad words sound wrong coming out of my mouth. Oh well. Aesop was overjoyed as always when I told him I brought home his chicken strips. Outdoors, the streetlight is on yet, while the daylight is just coming. In some places there will be thick fog.

The ocean breezes cool my mind

The salty days are hers and mine

Just to do what we want to

Tonight we’ll find a dune that’s ours

And softly she will speak the stars

Until sunup

Language can curse or it can bless. Either way, it creates the world we inhabit. With this responsibility, we are wiser to beautify life and go for paradise.

The Bedrock

Eight fifty.

Polly went so far as to intimate that our brother had unnecessary surgeries done in order to get the pain medications. I just don’t want to know what she thinks anymore. It doesn’t sound likely to me that Jeff would do such a thing. The accusation is so egregious that I don’t believe it… I guess I’m just sick of hearing from her, and the conversation about Jeff pushed me over the edge. That’s the real situation. The fact is that I really love my brother, no matter what he does. Maybe love is blind and unreasoning. He joked to me that he could’ve invented the “reverse nuclear bomb” with his intellect, but he valued getting high more than his brains, or helping humanity. He didn’t love himself and he chose self destruction. My opinion is that he lives with a terrible burden of guilt feelings regarding his first wife. There’s nothing I can do to help, because I’m just a pariah on the fringe of the family anyway. No one gives a damn what I have to say. I’m just “crazy.”

Quarter of ten.

The bedrock for it all is love, and love simply loves what it loves. My mother and my brother were always my favorite relatives even though they didn’t like each other. An old song, “Requiem for the Masses,” comes to mind:

Black and white were the pictures that recorded him

Black and white was the newsprint he was mentioned in

Black and white was the question that so bothered him

He never asked, he was taught not to ask

But was on his lips as they buried him

Hummingbird

Quarter of ten.

Aesop didn’t like his fish dog food today so I won’t buy it again.

There’s something missing from my life

It cuts me open like a knife

It makes me vulnerable, I had this disease

I shake like an incurable, God help me please

Whoa, there’s a hole in my life

Does anyone remember that song? The Police were so much fun. I’ve had dreams that I was jamming with Andy and Stewart. I used to have King Crimson dreams as well: strange dreams where they did a gig in a church or a shopping mall.

I just saw the shadow of a hummingbird on the wall opposite my seat in the living room. I turned to look and he was gone. I saw him again, but only his shade, gray on the white wall. I’d like to see the real thing and in color, but I can settle for this illusion like we all do. It’s after ten and the neighborhood is fully awake by now, though maybe not illuminated.

Go on toward the crimson shore

Beyond this life of metaphors

Where doors of understand’s house

Decorates he them with clove

Acorns smack the roof and patio cover in my backyard. It’s destined to be a lonely day for me but odds are I’ll survive it.

Volition

One o’clock.

It’s a beautiful afternoon with a mild temperature of 72 degrees. I was just pondering why I usually feel so dissatisfied with my life, always waiting for things to get better to no avail. “Lost in losing circumstances, that’s just where you are.” What I tend to forget is that people must be proactive no matter what the circumstances are. I could be waiting here for the propitious time to act forever and nothing would get done.

I finally googled the band I played with last year and looked at their Facebook page. Apparently they did a gig last Saturday in Corvallis with the bass player from before. I guess it wasn’t a big deal— but that’s not the point. The important thing is that they’re doing it, at a time when musicians aren’t gigging much. So I should email my friend on drums to see what he’s up to.

The truth is that I’m stuck in a rut with no car for moving my stuff around. I deceive myself that I’m okay with just walking everywhere, but actually it’s a problem. And the only person who can fix it is myself. First I have to want it badly enough.

“Waiting for the rainbow’s end to cast its gold your way.”

“My ship isn’t coming and I just can’t pretend.”

Jackknife Barbers

Quarter of ten.

I was off to a late start this morning; I simply slept in a while. One thing I keep telling myself is the difference between fantasy and reality. And it’s the reality that counts for more. We’re having rain showers today, so I took my umbrella on my walk. The FedEx driver waved when we passed on my street. Just now a little tune by Jethro Tull appears out of nowhere, with exaggerated moralism: “And the jackknife barber drops her off at school…” I ran into Melissa, a former employee of the market, while I was there. She says that her four year old boy is a dinosaur expert and can inform you all about them, and correct you when you make a mistake. At the time I was shopping, I sneaked a peek at the price on my old poison of choice in the beer cooler: $10.49 before deposit. But I was only curious and not seriously tempted. “There’s no problem that a little alcohol can’t make worse,” said my next door neighbor five years ago… A few factors have conspired to make me think of Aqualung, the classic prog album. It gave alcoholics a bad reputation, perhaps, even with these lines: “Aqualung my friend / Don’t you start away uneasy / You poor old sot, you see it’s only me.” I guess I’m sensitive to criticism like this. It’s much easier to judge others than be in the hot seat yourself. Everyone needs a taste of their own medicine occasionally… The showers have ceased for now, and in a symbolic way also. My five year birthday will be sweet.

The Answer Is “Yes”

Quarter of one in the afternoon.

Yesterday I went across the street to ask Roger for his help with my bass guitar again, since we did a rather incomplete job the first time. He smiled and agreed to work with me tomorrow at ten o’clock. It’s sort of a symbolic truce to my mind. Though he’s a Republican and I’m a Democrat, still we are civil to each other and achieve something together in the name of music, which shouldn’t have an ideology… The unseasonable rainy weather keeps on day after day, with showers that come and go. I suspect that when the sun shines again it’ll be like summer already, so there’s no hurry on that. Gloria was here and we did some tidying up around the house. In passing, she expressed her hope that the former president doesn’t run for office again, saying how rude he was and how insane— and she’s a Republican. A few lines from a Yes song come up. “A simple peace just can’t be found / Waste another day blasting all the lives away / I heard the thunder underground / Tunneling away at the very soul of man.” And later: “There, in the heart of millions / Seen as a godsend to us / There stands our future / There can be no denying / Simple as A B C D / There stand our children’s lives…” Is this too optimistic, or too utopian for people to grasp? Have we lost our faith in the power of poetry and song? It is said that two wrongs don’t make a right. When love is no longer the solution to our problems, then humanity is in deeper dudu than ever before. This demands that we go back to the drawing board and search not just our minds but our hearts. “It takes a loving heart to see and show / This love for our own ecology.”

C.R.S.

Seven fifty five.

Later today it’s supposed to clear up and be sunny. If I looked into the little book by Wittgenstein it would either baffle me or maybe support what I’d already known about the structure of reality. Logic may be a great thing, but it doesn’t compass love… I wore my old blue parka out to the store this morning, the one that survived the fire and was preserved by the packers afterwards. I don’t remember the last time I put it on before today, but it’s a souvenir of schooldays long ago. Whatever else has changed, one or two things remain the same as I recall them. Or perhaps stasis is an illusion— but everybody is saying that these days. They say that memories of the past are a very bad thing, and so on ad nauseam. But I think this is because people generally can’t remember shit.

Long ago it must be

I have a photograph

Preserve your memories

They’re all that’s left you 

Reformation

Ten thirty five at night.

I woke up from my nap at nine o’clock with a desire to hear Burt Bacharach once again. So I found the CD in a stack of them and played it, thinking of my last love interest six years ago. What I really miss about her is not only her intelligence but the full range of her emotions, like a piano keyboard. She was not a severed head at all but could actually feel something. Since we separated, I’ve met many people who are impassive and cut off from their feelings, the things below the neck, that come from the heart and the gut. This stolidity might be the result of being too religious or maybe immersion in this age of electronics and cyberspace. People are becoming more mechanical than the machines they use, but the only ones who can change this condition are human beings themselves. “As long as we see / There’s only us / Who can change it / Only us to rearrange it / At the start of a new kind of day.” A few people lately have said what I’ve been saying for a long time: we need to get back to basics and experience life like biological beings again: emotional beings. Get ourselves back to the Garden, as it were. We are stardust and golden. It’s time to turn away from our apocalypse. 

Logic

Quarter of eleven at night.

The dreams during my nap were superstitious; some stuff about ghosts and spirits that can’t be explained logically, yet many people believe them anyway by a leap of absurd faith that is largely unconscious. I suppose it’s a childlike thing people never grow out of, though the immaturity of it annoys me. A song comes to me from the early seventies:

See the funny little man…

In his search for something to build

Perhaps a church on the side of a hill

And the Moody Blues:

Building castles in the air

Whistling to the wind

As Nature bows down her head

See what tomorrow brings

So Romantic! And maybe it’s just human for people to be spiritual like children, in the tradition of Wordsworth. The real bugbear then is the existence of logic itself. As Yes puts it:

Far away, in the depths of Hawking’s mind

To the animal, the primalistic grind

You bring me reason, a simple fact of life

You don’t say you’re sorry

There’s also a book whose arguments are so compelling that I can’t finish reading it: it’s The Essential Plotinus. For him, nothing can exist without The One, which is the same as God. This ontological discussion I’m still unable to refute, and it drives me crazy because I don’t want to be wrong in my atheism. So the person being illogical was myself all along.