Some Early Morning Thoughts About Life

It is early in the morning and my brain is pondering on the nature of life.  It occurs to me, that from a physical point of view, life is fundamentally an agitation, a disturbance.  Many nonorganic physical systems tend towards equilibrium; sugar dissolving in water is such a system.  Eventually, the rate of dissolving equals the rate of absorption.  But life resists any attempt towards equilibrium, because such a state would reduce life to water and a pile of chemical ashes.  The way life avoids such a catastrophe is to introduce order(water and food), which agitate and disturb the system, triggering a whole series of responses.  Life must resist equilibrium in what is a noble, but losing battle.  At some point, the oxygen, which helped put the living system in order, reverses its role and contributes to life’s dissolution.  The physical approach has implications in other areas such as philosophy and religion.  Heraclitus recognized the importance of dynamic change, but didn’t have the knowledge or scientific precision to prove some of his philosophical postulates.  Religious thinkers and monks that aim to bring life’s passions under control, and often employ the most stringent diets to achieve their aims, still must drink some water and eat some food to avoid death.  As soon as they do so, the same reactions are triggered in their bodies as would be by a gourmand’s enjoyment of a sumptuous meal.  Fundamentally, there is no difference;  life is a dynamic system that feeds on order.

Life is an extremely complex system as recent science has shown through the magical structure of the double helix and the ever intriguing mysteries of cell division, which may hold the secrets to many disorders.  Can life be reduced to a series of mathematical equations?  D’Arcy Thompson asserts that what is essential to a living system is that it resists all attempts to mathematical reduction.  There is also J.T.Fraser’s notion of the biological clock, which has neither been proved nor disproved, and Henri Bergson’s “experiencing” of life, recreated in the impressionistic novels of Marcel Proust.  Is there such a thing as time’s arrow?  Western civilization affirms it, Hindu civilization denies it.  An example of the dynamic conflicts implicit in human life forms?  And so the questions continue as I enter the final phase of my life, trying to make sense of what has gone before….  Early morning thoughts about life.

Bassoon Bride

When I was in the Rockies

a pluckin’ with a band,

I spied a bassoon player,

and asked her for her hand.

Her eyes were green and friendly.

Her figure lank and tall.

And when she smiled at me,

my heart began to crawl.

I pulled her to the corner,

so she was mine alone.

Then all the guys around me

commenced in to groan.

“She’ll never play a fiddle

or  strum a mandolin,

so walk away without her

or you’ll commit a sin.”

I didn’t listen to them,

but claimed her all the same.

She kissed me very gently,

which proved she was my dame.

When I walked down the aisle,

my chest swelled up with pride.

My ring was on her finger.

I got my bassoon bride!

The Saga Of Sugar Penny And Boy Crusher: An Excerpt.

By now you’ve probably heard all about the adventures of Sugar Penny and Boy Crusher.  I mean you do read newspapers.  But I doubt you know anything about me and the major role I played.  My name’s Mike Johnson, and I’m a journalism major at Bronsen High.  My father’s a gardener, who works every day except Sunday.  Mom is what you call a stay-at-home mom.  Despite my modest upbringing, my parents want me to go to college and fulfill my dream of being a journalist.  And I take their words to heart, because I have a C+ average and only math gives me real trouble.  So, you see that I’m on top of things and I’m right where I should be.

I must admit that I have a passion for football.  I follow college games, and I love being in the stands.  Although one time my father did a great landscaping job for the coach, so he got us special seats down on the field.  But it was weird seeing these bodies bang into each other, and watch real dirt flying.  From then on I prefer to watch from a distance where the teams look more like bands going through formations.  But I’d give my soul for the Thundering Elks.  And when they lose, I feel that I’ve lost something in my life.  I hate to walk home after a loss, because I think that everyone is staring at me and thinking that I’m a loser.  School always seems empty the next day, and all I can think of are the last numbers of the team’s loss, which taunt me with their mocking shapes.  The fact is I just hate to lose.  Maybe that’s why I wasn’t against Sugar Penny and Boy Crusher entering my life…

–Let’s see.  You’re 5’1 and weigh 90 lbs.

–Well, really!

–I’m just doing my job.  This is an interview.

–I know that.  But does it have to be so personal?

Sugar Penny and I examined each other from across a long wooden table.  Sugar had just grabbed a large jug of Fuzzy Buzzy juice, and was drinking straight from the container.  I knew why the girls liked Fuzzy Buzzy juice.  In the girl’s mag, Feeling Fine, there was an ad for Fuzzy Buzzy juice.  It read:  Girls!  Drink plenty of Fuzzy Buzzy juice!  It will add color to your complexion, and make your breasts swell!  I looked at Sugar Penny’s flat chest, and thought “So much for truth in advertising!”

–What are you staring at?

–Nothing(which was really true!)

Sugar then shot me a smile, which I couldn’t dodge.  Her soft brown hair didn’t help matters.  I began to wonder if her creamy complexion was due to Fuzzy Buzzy juice.  While my thoughts were being tossed around, one stuck in my mind:  The guys called Sugar Penny the “but” girl.  There was a reason for that:  When a guy asked her for a date, she always had a “but”excuse:  “Sure I like you Bill, but…; “You’re real good looking Jim, but…”;  “You’re light on your feet, but…”;  “I know you’re real smart and all that, but..”  Sugar’s smile got stronger and stronger.  I’m not sure what it was made of, but I thought it was something special.  So, I had to take my chances.  After all, I was only twenty pounds overweight, as good a rock skimmer as anyone and I was well-liked.  This was my chance and I had to take it.

–Sugar?

–Did you say something?

–Would you like to go to the next baseball game with me?  It’s Friday night at 7.  I could pick you up at 6:30.

The smile began to change before my eyes and melt away into something I couldn’t touch.

–I think you did a good interview, and I’m real pleased, but..

That was it!  I went into the “but” basket with all the other guys.  I excused myself, jumped into my old chevy, and headed for home.

A Little Humor And A Little Wisdom

While I was doing my usual spring cleaning and dust was flying about, I found the following items:

1.  “You don’t have to worry about termites in Montana, they just freeze!”  –Elsie Birkholz

2.  “Cohen was a lovely husband, but he’s no good frozen.”  –Allan Sherman, “J.C. Cohen” from For Swingin’ Livers Only!

3.  The first words that a single mother’s child learns to say:  “Ma-ma”, “Mo-ney.”

4.  Russians are very proud that they don’t resemble Eastern or Western civilization!

5.  “A critic is a person who can turn something into nothing.”  –Hans Christian Andersen

6.  “A lifetime is more

than sufficiently long

for people to get what there is of it

wrong!”  –Piet Hein, from Grooks

7.  “The interesting thing is not actually reaching B, but in how one gets from A to B.”  –Don Juan, The Art of Seduction

8.  “The way to deal with something deadly serious is to try to treat it a little lightly.”  –Mrs Which, from Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time

It’s Spring And I’m Back In The Garden Again.

My apologies to the late Gene Autry, but I’m back in the garden again.  When it comes to flowers, Mrs. Medford has been a veritable treasure of information.  I hope my fledgling garden does some justice to the inspiration she has given me.  Mr. Medford, as usual, has helped me with necessary repairs.  I can’t thank him enough for all the time he has given me.  The following photos, however, do not come from my garden, but rather from other places I have visited.  I hope you enjoy them.FO12IMG_2354IMG_1920IMG_1202IMG_1205IMG_1207FW 1

And I Wish…

And I wish when I die,

I could strip to my soul,

and dive once more

into the ol’ swimmin’ hole.

(Reworking of lines by James Whitcomb Riley.)sc00019e90

What The Child Says

What The Child Says

The child says:  “This tree is me.

The singing bird is me.

The buzzing bee is me.”

The child says:  “The fuzzy caterpillar is me.

The moon is me.

The blinking stars are me.

The sky is me.”

The adult says:  “You are a child.

You are not a tree.

You are not a bird.

You are not a frog.

You are not a bee.

You are not a caterpillar.

You are not the moon.

You are not the stars.

You are not the sky.”

The child says: “…”