Category Archives: Deep Thoughts

Vanishing Point

The point may vanish, the parallel lines converge, but the memories (a few good, a few more horrific) remain.

If I knew then what I knew a couple hours later, let alone what I know now, years later, would I have followed these rails? Or was the good worth it in the balance? Was the bad blown out of proportion? Maybe this was a sign (or maybe a portent) and I’m still not seeing the message?

That’s the problem with not having any gods, reliable oracles, or accurate psychics to lean on. Some answers would be great, but they’re nowhere to be found. The unknowns are winning.

Stupid universe!

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Keep Color In Your Life

One thing I noticed in watching all of the news coverage of Hurricane Ian slamming into Florida as a Category 4 storm was the lack of color in most of the scenes. The clouds and rain are white and gray and the lack of sunshine makes everything that does have color seem washed out and pale. The sea not only turns angry and threatening, but it turns gray and black with the whitecaps showing up as the winds explode.

Colorful signs and storefronts and home turn to debris, brown, gray, black, with occasional splotches of color which are quickly spun away and scattered by the storm, to be sunken into the brown and black storm surge.

I think that’s a good analogy for the way our lives are going right now. We want life to be colorful, filled with blue skies, green fields, yellow sunshine, white clouds, multicolored flowers. Instead, some days so many things feel like a hurricane going through our lives, leaving everything broken and reduced to various shades of white, black, gray, and brown.

Keep the color in your life. Fight for it. Cling to it. Share it with others. And if everything’s gray and black and white and brown for you, ask others if they can share some of theirs.

 

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Filed under Art, Deep Thoughts, Photography, Weather

Pressure Test To Failure

Water. Heat. Steam. Biological chemistry. Seven small test subjects.

Will they survive the ordeal intact? Or will one fail?

Will it be quiet and subtle, a tiny crack, a weakening of structural inegrity but not a failure?

Or will it be spectacular, explosive, creating a mess and leaving an end result only vaguely resembling the desired result?

Some days you are one with the egg.

Intact, cracked, or exploded, do your best to do your best and know that at the end of the day, when the pressure goes away, know that you’re worthy and valuable, no matter the result.

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Thriving Amid Adversity

There’s a drought, fourth year. We’ve got some significant watering restrictions outdoors. It’s been hot, pushing into the upper 90’s almost every day for weeks.

The lawn is turning brown. The dirt is hard packed.

Yet my little pal next to the driveway has found a way to thrive. (Assuming I can avoid running him over when I park.)

It’s hard out there for all of us. Politics. The economy. Inflation. Gas prices. COVID. Stress. Uncertainty.

Yet we do have the ability within us to be like this flower, finding a way to get up when the world knocks us down. We can bring the tiniest bit of beauty and joy to the world, even if it sucks. We can still make it better.

Even if you have to fake it. Function follows form.

Be the flower.

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Soar

I think a lot about the contradictions in the human condition, in particular the way we can soar to immense heights and accomplish astonishing things, both as individuals and as a species, yet we spend so much of our time bogged down in the details of daily life and the petty nonsense that ties us to the ground far more than gravity ever will.

If there are an infinite number of infinite universes, you can’t even ask “Are we in one of the good ones or one of the bad ones?” By definition, there are an infinite number in which there are happier and better off “us” versions, and an infinite number in which the “us” there is worse off and suffering. A little bit more clarity and a better scorecard might be highly desireable, but we’re just going to have to live with uncertaintly and unanswered prayers.

I believe the time spent on prayers would be better off in getting off our collective asses and getting to work on the problems. But that’s at least 90% that midwestern, Catholic school, Republican, Protestant work ethic upbringing.

Damn it.

Work on soaring, not slogging. The view’s better, if nothing else.

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Not A Marathon Or Even A Triathalon

That finish line? It’s not, just the start of the next race.

Off in those branches there used to be two adult squirrels. In the last couple of weeks there were two adult squirrels and at least three, maybe four (or more?) baby squirrels. Now there are two adults and two former baby squirrels, so presumably there’s also a well-fed hawk or owl around. Circle of life.

The squirrels don’t race. They just are. Trust me, with brains the size of peanuts, nothing profound passes across those squirrelly neurons beyond stealing bird seed.

We race, and if we expect something at the end of a marathon other than another race, well, that’s on us, not on the races.

If we think we’re running a triathalon and we expect something after the swimming, biking, and marathon other than some other kind of race, and then another, we don’t have any cause to be disappointed when our expectations turn out to be bogus.

As Hawkeye Pierce said (more or less), “Carry on! Cary Grant! Carry me back to old Virginny!”

Hawkeye kept on going. He didn’t have a choice. And neither do we.

Stupid squirrels.

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No Context For You – May 09th

Blurred. That’s what reality feels like at times these days. Like a Twilight Zone episode where you suddenly can start to see the machinery behind the scenes or be able to poke your finger through the fabric of spacetime and see what’s lying underneath, maybe give it a little tear.

Too many deadlines some days, too little time to breathe, headaches just a bit too sharp, everything just too, Too, TOO!

Maybe there was a dream that was a bit too vivid, a bit too desirable, an inch too far out of reach when we woke up. Maybe the news was a bit too bizarre, a touch too threatening, a dollop too insane.

Maybe all of the above.

Keep moving, don’t look too closely into the corners or shadows.

Keep moving.

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Skyscapes – May 08th

Some days you have pretty clouds and skies and trees and you just have to allow yourself to sink into the combination of them all while listening to the birds.

Better days ahead, worse days ahead.

Hopefully far more of the former and far fewer of the latter!

Either way, you have to take them both.

Some days it sucks, but that’s sort of how the game is played.

Yes, the game is rigged that way, but if you didn’t have the bad, how would you know how wonderful the good is?

Maybe you got to spend some good time with your mother today, either in-person or electronically. Good for you!

Maybe you couldn’t, but you got to remember her and talk to her anyway. Maybe she talked back. Good for you!

Maybe you’re a mother yourself. Good for you!

Whatever the circumstances were, I hope you had a good weekend and are ready to kick Monday’s pathetic ass.

Make Monday your bitch! Report back in here afterwards to sing the songs of your battles and tell of the glorious downfall of your fallen foe.

(No, I haven’t had anything at all to drink. Why do you ask?)

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Filed under Deep Thoughts, Family, Photography

Okay May, Let’s Talk

First of all, April? Long hike, short pier, don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split ‘ya! Capiche? You were better than January, February, or March, but that bar wasn’t set very high and we had such hopes for you. Which you failed at delivering.

May, listen up! I don’t want there to be any misunderstandings!

Big picture – if the stock market could start recovering and stop plunging, if gas prices could get back under $5/gallon, and if the Russians could stop whatever insanity they’re up to that would all be super great! Make it so.

It’s good that the Kings made the playoffs and the Angels are off to a hot start and in first place after three weeks or so. It’s a little icing on the cake that the Ducks, Sharks, and Golden Knights are sitting at home watching the playoffs on cable, and the Dodgers aren’t in first place while we are. (What, me petty and vengeful? Damn straight!) Now let’s see those things continuing and improving even more. It’s that whole “Big Mo” thing (momentum, for the non sports addicted) and we need to see it snowballing.

It’s been pretty good at work and I’m hoping that continues, although there are always storm clouds on the horizon. If those could hold off another month or so, so much the better. If not, then at least give me a bit of a heads up, okay?

On the personal time management and existential stress front, some time to get caught up on “Picard,” get started on “Strange New Worlds,” and get to the theater for “Top Gun 2” would really push your evaluation score towards an A+.

And as always, if you really want to graduate cumma sum laude, you could do something appropriate with COVID or the GOP. Do both and you’ll be a freakin’ legend.

It’s up to you, May! We’re dancing as fast as we can here, a little help on your part would really be appreciated!

You’re on in 36 minutes.

Good talk!

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No Context For You – April 26th

First of all, I notice that the filename on the WordPress server for this is “no-context-for-you-april-26th-3” which means that it’s actually the fourth time I’ve posted one of these “No Context For You” posts on April 26th. (The WordPress file naming convention for duplicate file names is pretty obvious.) They’re supposed to be more or less at random, so the fact that this particular date (which also happens to be my brother’s birthday) has had one of these particular posts four out of nine years is really odd. I wonder if there might be something that’s causing it. (It’s not that I’m out partying with my brother – we’re thousands of miles apart.)

Anyway…


It occurs to me (and probably should be far more obvious than it is) that if you’re frustrated with what you have, it helps a lot to have an actual clue about what it is you want to have instead. “Not this” can be the simple answer, but it’s not always intuitive that “different” is equivalent to “better.”

This insight, in turn, can add to the frustration if you have no clear idea of what it is that you want or how to answer that question. The knowledge that you’re actually at least one step further away from the answer isn’t necessarily useful.

There’s probably some theory named after a 16th Century Lithuanian philosopher that states that more eloquently, but looking that up and figuring it out is left as an exercise for the student.

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