They say to run your blade against the grain
if you would safely slice in meat or wood,
yet seek the easy way out when we should
accept that gain and glory require pain.
What makes us human, with our massive brains,
is that we choose to suffer, when we could
select to run our blade against the grain
if we would safely slice in meat or wood.
With conscious choice against personal gain,
in service to another, greater good,
unlike the low and primitive, who would
by instinct flee in fear from strife and strain,
we choose to lay our blades against the grain
and slice out equal portions, meat or wood.
9 MAY 2017
OK, so as of January 4, I’ve quit smoking. Roughly a 25-year, 2 pack a day habit and now it’s done. No patch. No gum. No Wellbutrin XL (which my better half who also quit needed to help her over the first week). I did have a doozy of a cold, though, which qualifies somewhat as cheating — since I tend to not smoke whenever I have a fever-cough-chest congestion condition and I get them for a week once or twice a year. This one happened to coincide with the smoking cessation date. So sue me.
I’m hoping that the non-smoking, in combination with voice strengthening exercises from Jaime Vendera, will help me recover what has for the last 8 or 9 years been a slowly increasing loss of range (about an octave and a half lost in that time).
I wonder, however, whether it in fact is the smoking that has been the primary factor, or the lack of use. I also wonder about polyps. My cousin had them and had to have them removed, and I’ve known several other singers who have suffered the same situation.
1 month 5 hours 32 minutes smoke-free
1,254 cigarettes not smoked
4 days 8 hours 30 minutes life saved
I wish that I could still believe the lines
that feed the young and nourish childhood dreams,
the reassurance everything is fine
despite the raging chaos it may seem.
I wish the world would confirm to my will
when I am sure the course the world should take,
but what I want to move often stays still,
convincing me such wishes are mistakes.
I wish the course of my life was less blurred,
and that the path ahead was much more clear.
But often truth and logic are obscured,
and what seems plain is not what it appears.
I wish that the religion of my youth,
the vanity of hope I held so dear,
would have ten years ago revealed the truth:
that who you are is not found in the mirror.
I wish, and then for wishing want an end;
instead of dreams, to just touch solid ground,
and in this world, that often seems pretend,
to be at peace with what small things I’ve found.
But wishing is a habit hard to shake,
a tool that serves its purpose for a while,
resisting all attempts one tries to break
its hold, to seek for substance rather than its style.
I wish instead of wishing to just be,
and in that state to become without fear;
to loose the chains of whimsy and stand free.
When faced with being, seeming disappears.
26 FEB 2005
Who decides what lives, what dies,
based on more than the needs of some,
but on what is best for the entire world
so balance can be maintained?
Who thinks they have the right to choose
that some should flourish while others fail,
that their kind is much more essential
and so deserves more space, more food?
The gods of course.
For only the gods act out of concern
for the whole; their own interests are not part
in any way of the actions made.
The point is this:
if you benefit in any way from a decision
to kill or not to kill today;
if you gain more ground, or food, or power
by taking others’ things away,
you’re not a god.
This is not your dominion.
You are not the most auspiciously born.
You are only a small part of the whole.
And if you act as if you’re a god,
without that knowledge,
you will only result in destroying everything.
You will fail.
And you will find excuses for your failure,
like “man is a fallen creature,
bound by sin to make mistakes”
because you don’t really think so —
you think man is a god,
and that the world just doesn’t work right.
Well, it just doesn’t work the way you think it does.
Sometimes in fits of restless pique
I lose the will to even speak;
and listening to voices lie
reduces me to tears. I cry
not for their souls in peril; no,
but for a world that makes it so
worthwhile to bend and shape the truth
this way and that, a mood to suit.
And weeping, once the phone is dead,
I sit and wonder, seeing red,
why those who have integrity
must bear the brunt of infamy
while tarred and feathered by those fools
who will not play by agreed rules,
but choose instead to twist and wreck
the facts. But then, in retrospect,
I pity anyone who must
rely on guile instead of trust
to count some coup against their foe
scoring them, one, everyone, zero.
06 DEC 2004