I’m not a poet. Many years ago I wrote some bad poetry and sent it into the college literary magazine at UMO. This was during my freshman year, and my poems got soundly rejected. I now leave the work of poetry to my son, Mark.
I mention poetry and a particular work of poetry for a reason that will soon become apparent.
John Berryman was a popular poet during the 1960s when it seems poetry was ubiquitous in America. That period was many things—both good and bad. It was a time when artists (and poets) had more cultural cred, or so it seems now in retrospect.
Discipline is an old-fashioned word. It belongs to the time before everyone’s shortcomings got filed under disease, disability—or better—blamed on someone else or a societal injustice. To use “discipline” in a sentence or conversation is a great way to get you branded as an anachronism.
That’s fine. There are some things that can’t be fixed without traditional approaches.
I was thinking about this as I was swimming my lengths in the YMCA pool, part of my twice-weekly routine that I’ve adopted to remain fit and flexible. I rarely am excited when I wake up at 4:30 to be in the car by 5:15 (that’s AM, not PM!) to do something that three years ago I considered impossible. But when I’m done, I’m thankful for the intrinsic motivation that got me up and out the door.
Discipline means having your own personal drill sergeant.
A few weeks ago, I stopped over at Aunt Tomato’s for a cup of tea and a treat involving cake and ice cream. I refrained from sweeping crumbs on the floor. AT says that the “coffee pot’s always on.” Those aren’t just words—she means it and I’m enjoying having her only 6 miles away, across the river, instead of living in a neighboring state.
AT and I have been going round and round about what we refer to as “collapse.” If you aren’t a reader of blogs by James Kunstler, Morris Berman, and John Michael Greer, I’ll excuse you now, as this may or may not make much sense to you. However, if you’ll hang with me for a few more paragraphs, I think it might start hitting home with some of you, even if you’re not well-versed in the collapse industrial complex. Some of you might connect with my premise that social media and all its attendant promises are as filled with rocks as Charlie Brown’s Halloween bag. More on that in a little bit.
AT surprised me a bit two weeks ago when she told me that while she knows that working for Whitey the Man for enough shekels to keep a roof over her head can be frustrating and sometimes damn near impossible to deal with, overall, she’s happy with the things that Whitey allows her to have with the scraps he offers from his table. That’s American capitalism 101, really. She’s also not going to try to single-handedly save the world, either. Preach it sista!
On this particular day, I threw out a “what if” scenario, given our history of talking about men in tinfoil hats that implied that perhaps everything collapse-centric was designed to get us all to give up and stop enjoying the beauty in life, and the attendant joys that life lived on this side of paradise has to offer. I could tell that she was seriously pondering what I was offering up.
Being without power and being inconvenienced by a lack of electricity is admittedly a first world problem. However, when you live in the first world, electricity is an expectation. So, being without electricity generally sucks.
I really like “the” Twitter. It’s better than “the” Facebook and many times, it rocks a lot harder than “the” Linkedin.
Is my use of “the” annoying you? It’s how my sister and I talk about “the” social media networks and many other things. It’s a long story and it involves too many sordid details to represent here, but let me tell you, Mister Man, it’s a cocker of a tale that I’ll tell you about in some later post, so don’t change that channel, chummy! Continue reading →