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Can you leave your mind behind?

(1)

Truth is in the perception of the moment like the time I set my room on fire. I was fascinated by how well Brute burned until I looked and saw the trail of fire I had dripped across the floor. In a panic, i threw the Brute into the trash can. Moments later my room began to fill with smoke. In another panic, I poured the contents of my trash can out the window. Better that than the truth I’d learn if my mom found out I was playing with fire.

(2)

Can you leave your mind behind, those 70,000 stray cat thoughts of visions and revisions a thousand ways she walked.

(3)

When it comes to dogs, I like a mix between a German Shepherd and a Dobberman Pinscher, else I like the scruffy mutt that followed Mel Gibson around in Road Warrior. Or maybe Charlie of Travels with Charlie fame. I quite fancy that. Getting a dog and pick up truck and hitting the open road. The dusty open road. The kind of road where I’m not likely to see many other people for miles. The kind of road with wide open spaces on either side.

(4)

Stephen Hawkins died today. He was 21 when he was first diagnosed with a very rare form of ALS, a form of motor neurone diseases. Few expected him to live beyond a couple of years.

“The realisation that I had an incurable disease that was likely to kill me in a few years was a bit of a shock.”

55 years later on, death finally caught up with him.

(5)

He scribbled the words ‘rights of passage’ on the chalkboard.

In 1968, American troops landed on the shores of Vietnam. Many of these troops were boys about to undergo one of the most important rights of passage for men since man first picked up the stone and the spear to defend what he considered to be his by divine right. They were about to undergo a baptism of fire, not in the biblical since, but ever much as enlightening.

Do you remember your first kill?

(6)

You can win the battle and still lose the war. Remember Pyrrhic? He was the king of Epirus. He managed to defeat the Romans in two major battles between 280 and 279 BC. He strode into Italy with 25,000 Men and 20 elephants and lost so many men that his victory essentially null and void. It was a hollow victory and deserving of becoming forever known as a Pyrrhic Victory.

Life sometimes feels like a Pyrrhic Victory.

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dispatches

truth or beauty?

I decide to have a sit down lunch today. It has been at least a couple of weeks since I’ve had a decent burger. I spot the Slug and the Lettuce. They do a decent bacon cheeseburger, so I head there. The place is not busy which surprises me for a Friday lunch time in the city.

A quick glance at the menu and I understand why.  £9.75 for a burger. Geez…

A little stunned, I order from the chap at the bar.  He tells me to take a seat wherever I like.  I pull out the Time magazine I bought this morning. I am eager to read the interview of novelist Jonathan Franzen, although I have never read any of his work, I figure he must be important to grace the cover of Time magazine. Only 5 other novelists have done so – Salinger, Nabokov, Morrison, Joyce, and Updike.  Besides, I like reading about other writers.

The interview reads well.  I like what Franzen seems to be about as a writer.  I will have to read a couple of his novels, Corrections being his most known work, and Freedom, which is out at the end of this month.

I clocked that the clouds have burst and the rain is coming down heavy.  Good reason to hunker down delay going back to the office.

– –

Emerson, in his essay on Nature, says that the poet and the philosopher differ only in their main end.    The poet animates nature with his own thoughts, as does the philosopher.  However the poet’s main end is Beauty  and the philosopher’s main end is Truth.

I fancy myself a poet and a philosopher.  How true that is, I am not sure.  I am probably more the court jester than a poet or philosopher.  That aside, I had to ask myself the question: is my main aim beauty or truth?

I believe both ends are noble pursuits, but I think for me, on balance, Truth is my main end.  It underpins all that I do.  Perhaps it is that I seek the truth in a poetic way.