Thoughts for a Wednesday Morning

Growing up I used to think that other people knew things I didn’t know. As I have aged I have come to the conclusion that I was right. The things they knew were things that came from not knowing other things… the things I knew. Because I knew the things I knew, I could never know the things they knew, nor could they ever know the the things I knew, because our childhood was over, and nothing can substitute for the experiences during the formative years. The cards had been dealt, the thing we had in common was that we had to play the hand we had been dealt.

I came to accept that it was not possible for me to know the things that other people know. I consider it hubris, and ignorance, to think that one can acquire through any “after-the-fact” analysis, the complexity of a lived experience. I am surprised at how many people demand to know the things I know, without having to have the experience. It doesn’t work like that. A person is only a tourist in another person’s lived experience. One can be compassionate, empathetic, kind, and supportive, but they will never really be able to grasp in all its complexity, the experience of another human being.

I respect what I don’t, and cannot, understand, which is another person’s experience.

My hand has been very hard work to play. There has been no time for whining, or feeling sorry for myself; that is a luxury not afforded by the hand I play. When I express my feelings, my thoughts, it is about optimizing my chances of survival. The survival of my integrity, my heart, my soul, and my body. I refuse to give up expressing myself for the sake of making less self-disciplined people, or people who received more advantageous cards from the dealer, or people who spend their lives pretending that all hands are dealt equally, or people who are predators waiting for any chance to use their advantages to take more than their fare share of resources, more comfortable. Their comfort is not my primary concern. My comfort is not their primary concern. Their comfort does not trump my comfort, nor do I expect mine to trump theirs. On a personal level, it is a balanced equation. On a social level the card game is not dealt with integrity; I believe that the universe seeks balance, and will have it.

The universe can play the long game, humans cannot.

The forest.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 10:00 AM EDT Wednesday 31 August 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 22.9°C
Dewpoint: 21.0°C
Humidity: 89%
Wind: SW 16 km/h
Humidex: 31


“While the fates permit, live happily; life speeds on with hurried step, and with winged days the wheel of the headlong year is turned.”
5 BC – 65 AD

“There are so many men, all endlessly attempting to sweep me off my feet. And there is one of you, trying just the opposite. Making sure my feet are firm beneath me, lest I fall.”
Patrick Rothfuss

These two little videos brought tears to my eyes. Durr is hinting at the way I see the universe, I fell less alone.

The First Tuesday in March

After coming through the night at -24C, we awoke to snowfall. This kind of weather will keep me close to home, as three firings of the masonry heater each day require that the damper be closed down after the burn; that would be my job. Attila does the tough stuff, the splitting and toting, and I do the monitoring and closing, and adjusting the window blinds and fans according to weather conditions. It works, and it is work.

I follow a variety of blogs, all English language, and mostly written by people living in English speaking countries, for the most part. Unfortunately I do not speak multiple languages, or my reading adventures would have a much longer reach.

It struck me this morning, as I read the entry for rooting fig trees in Virginia, that the thread of similarity in the blogs I read is that each of the writers offer the world their integrity. What sent me off in this direction of thought this morning was contrast, contrast of focus. The Virginia farmer has a perfectly functional and snug home, which does not conform to idealistic cultural visions of rural life and farms, or architectural beauty of design. Where a farming blog may not have one jot of interest in domestic aesthetics, the homemaker might be creating a domestic environment that exudes comfort and beauty, and soothes the soul. At first glance there may seem no similarity between these two bloggers. But there is for me. Both have their own way of interacting with their environments with integrity, love even. Neither are ensnared in the larger scale social dialogue, which is almost entirely focused on violence, disaster, and political intrigue, among other things, all of which emphasize a negative spin on life on earth, and a complicit acceptance that this relentless gaze on the negative is the only “correct” way to look at things.

After reading about rooting fig trees, I left for Scotland and goat farming, then to Saskatchewan, Canada for a glimpse of prairie life, to the lobstering shores of Massachusetts, then the rolling Atlantic waves of the California coast, and on to all the wonderful places I have found. Each and every visit is a different kind of pleasure.

I choose to spend my time reading the thoughts and descriptions of lives well lived. The doings of the wealthy, powerful, political, capitalized world are rife with atrocities against humans, both in terms of intentional harm and collateral damage, and no amount of discussion about it, yay or nay, has ever diminished this debacle of human social disease, after thousands of years of blabbering on and on and on. My interest in quotes informs me, that throughout human history, since the inception of the written word, grasping after more than one’s fair share, of anything, has been rotting the barrel for the majority of our species. And since most of human history took place long before the written word appeared, we do not know that this has always been so, and I seriously suspect that it has not always been so.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 6:00 AM EST Tuesday 4 March 2014
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 102.8 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -22.1°C
Dewpoint: -24.4°C
Humidity: 82%
Wind: SE 5 km/h
Wind Chill: -27


“Nothing more completely baffles one who is full of trick and duplicity than straigthforward and simple integrity in another. A knave would rather quarrel with a brother knave than with a fool, but he would rather avoid a quarrel with one honest man than with both. He can combat a fool by management and address, and he can conquer a knave by temptations. But the honest man is neither to be bamboozled nor bribed.”
C. C. Colton


“Charles Caleb Colton (1780–1832) was an English cleric, writer and collector, well known for his eccentricities…

Colton’s books, including collections of epigrammatic aphorisms and short essays on conduct, though now almost forgotten, had a phenomenal popularity in their day. Toward the end of 1820, Colton published Lacon, or Many Things in Few Words, addressed to those who think., in a small cheap edition. It attracted attention and praise, however, and five additional printings were issued in 1821. Lacon, Vol. II appeared in 1822. In 1822, Colton re-published a previous work on Napoleon, with extensive additions, under the title of The Conflagration of Moscow. In Paris he printed An Ode on the Death of Lord Byron for private circulation and continued to write. At his death he left an unpublished poem of 600 lines called Modern Antiquity.
In the twentieth century and to the present day Colton has been read most frequently perhaps in quotation books, including Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, where many of his aphorisms have been preserved.
One of Colton’s most famous quotes: “Imitation is the sincerest [form] of flattery”.”