I can see that a poem I recently submited to Dverse was poorly communicated to readers, possibly placing me more firmly in la-la land than usual. This is to clarify: I got the idea from information in Life’s Engines (2015) by Paul G. Falkowski, a book recommended by members of the science readers group on “Goodreads.” The lion’s share of the work was done while Falkowski was on sabbatical leave at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University.
On page 39 we find: “What we do know is that is that the basic structure of the tree of life has helped us understand that all extant life on Earth is derived from a single, extinct microbial organism. But if Earth is derived from a common microbial ancestor, when did that last common ancestor arise?” The eventual answer, after much evidence, is about 2.4 billion years ago. In case you missed it, the poem which I wrote, is:
NOT one after another, but at the same time! In psychology class we learned that at any one time we aren’t feeling just one emotion, but several. For fun (and boredom) I decided to check out my emotions and their subject…object? I’d be interested in hearing yours.
Worried…That Lucky, my blind and deaf red cat may be failing. I thought maybe I could write a poem about him dying but I haven’t yet nor has he….That you might I’m being cruel for not “putting him down,” but he can still purr and eat and sleeps wih me.
Joy…That after losing only about 8 pounds I have more energy and recently videotaped 3 hours of the International Street Fair, Poetry Corner at the library, the Psychic Fair at the Rec Center, a great talk by an anorexic, and made a guest appearance on Kaleidoscope, with Jane and Shannon, all as a volunteer for Athens Public Access cable 23.
Lonely….If I don’t keep busy.
Sad….That I have been disowned by someone in my family.
Disappointed…That my books aren’t selling.
Shy (is that an emotion?) ….Too shy to peddle my books.
Angry (well, a little miffed) that someone was in my parking space tonight and I had to park elsewhere and run the minor risk of being towed.
Fearful…. that an organic chemist in Florida wants to mess with our DNA, inserting new “letters” into its code. Evolution has done pretty well–many of us are alive. What would a change like that incur?
Sleepy…I KNOW that’s not an emotion…exactly, but that’s what I am right now. G’night.
I enjoy making collages out of “found” items and in my enthusiasm today I trawled along the banks of the Ohio; literally along, down the banks of the river, carefully stepping over the rocks and debris. Then I was ready to come back up to the car and I’m afraid I made a spectacle of myself. I went down on my knees–a customary way of traversing sometimes, but then near the top of the embankment I found I couldn’t get up. I was very aware of all the people sitting on swngs up above at street level who were enjoying the view of the river…and me. My dauhter Mandy tried to give me an assist, and I had a sturdy stick, but I was stuck, until I was rescued by one of he boatmen who was loading or unloading his boat, I’m not sure which. He was tall and muscular and raised me from my knees. But what am I supposed to do next time I want to go collecting???
Do you remember Alan Watts, who wrote The Wisdom of Insecurity, The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, The Way of Zen, and Nature, Man and Woman, plus a number I haven’t read?I was re-reading The Wisdom of Insecurity (1951) the other night and saw his anagram on page 72:
Watts gave the above as an example of how to find the answer with a relaxed mind, “and in a very short time the brain will deliver the answer without the slightest effort.” In a footnote he added: “If you don’t succeed within one minute, read on! Otherwise you will be annoyed either with yourself or with me, and the consequent strain will interfere with the process.” I can’t recall whether the answer came to me when I read the book earlier, but it did not work the other night! YOU CAN GIVE IT A TRY, but don’t go asking me for the answer.
I’ll tell you my response now, since first, I don’t want to upset people and second, it was written 20 years ago and he didn’t know any better, Trouble is, I got the book in the library, so his unenlightenment goes on. I think I’ll take it down, since I just realized how much it can aggravate folks.
Tell me what you think and I’ll tell you my response, later.
MARTIN E. P. SELIGMAN, author of WHAT YOU CAN CHANGE AND WHAT YOU CAN’T, (Knopf, NY, 1994) says in effect that
I don’t usually like folks’ grumpy rants, but here goes one of mine. Although I think of it more like expounding, than fussing. Still, it’s a new format for me.
I move to abolish the word “Love” and also the word “God.” When folks use “love” in a communication they don’t know what they’re saying, nor do people who use the word “God.”
I think it’s already been validated that most folks don’t really know what they mean when they use the big G word; but how about “love?”
I’ll bet if we really knew it, “love” is more often used as a con than otherwise. And remember, when love deceives, the urge is often to try and hurt back. I think we’ve learned that parents who love their children too much are projecting themselves onto the child in a manner that inhibits the child’s own development. (See Normal Neurosis for more about this).
I guess almost all of us sign off from a phone converstion with family with “I love you,” although the content of the conversation may have been fraught with hostility.
So if we toss out the word “love” what do we use instead? Whatever’s really meant. Desire; enjoy; like; am comfortable with; am dedicated to; am loyal to; am attracted to; feel close to sexually or emotionally; respect; value; etc. I’ve run out of words (temporarily). I suspect that when we use that word we are fooling ourselves as much as the “be-loved.”
It was with surprise that I learned during therapy that if an excessive amount of energy is put into a word or statement, it turns out the opposite is also true, that the extra energy reflects an underlying conflict. Kinda complicated, so you can ignore this.
Now, “I believe in God” has no content value at all, except that the speaker does not consider themselves an atheist or agnostic. In general, it probably means that “I have a need to make sense out of life and to believe that it has meaning.” Or, “I am fulfilling a need to feel especially ‘loved’ and taken care of.” (I understand the Hottentot’s God was a preying mantis, a fun statement that’s not really relevant here.)
Excuse me for using this space for a rant that’s not crucial. I just felt an urge to “run off at the fingers.”