Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tabling Arguments

What is it that we all want to read about today? How the West was won? How billions of dollars are wasted on movies that are never watched? Or should never be watched for fear of severe eye and brain damage?

Let's talk about it all. It's all on the table today. Along with the salt shaker, the pepper grinder, the napkin holders, the natty table cloth, and the crumbs from breakfast. Is there an elephant in the room? Put it on the table. 800-pound gorilla? Table. We's gonna talk about it, whatever i'is.

Gotta say that the passing of Walter Cronkite closed the book on a lot of things in this country. The world is so different now. The media is this ravaging juggernaut of disrepute and glitter, so far removed from the respectful and scholarly news media of Cronkite's time. But such is life; all things must pass.

I just want to give Mr. Cronkite his due recognition and a respectful send-off to wherever it is that he's moved on to. Would love to hear his report of what he's found there and how he's doing. He'd be the ultimate correspondent from the afterlife, wouldn't he?

What else is on the table? Peanut M&M's. Ate more than half a 12-oz. bag yesterday and I'm probably gonna finish it as I write this. So it should slow down the typing a bit. And have some effect on spelling and grammar, to be noted and calibrated at a later time...

I fear going into detail.

What does that mean?

Ask your mother...

More table items... medication. Anybody else out there taking Lithium and Zoloft and Abilify and shaking enough to register on the Richter scale? I was mowing the lawns (read: weeds) yesterday and was beset by tremors at several points in the chore-- not exactly helpful when attempting precision work with a weed-eater. So I'm guessing you don't want me trimming your bangs while on this particular cocktail...

M&M break!

Okay. Go ahead and tell me if the load of candy consumption might be my "shakes" problem. But I don't think so.

I'm an ever so little bit closer to having a book written. I've written a children's story about a goat and a cat on the Greek island of Samos. It grew out of the legend of The Wild Cat of Samos that we learned of when we visited Samos in the summer of 2001. Rather than go into a lot of detail right now, I think I'll post the Wild Cat story. Then I'll give more details in a later post about my story. That will give me time to work on the illustrations more. How you like them apples?

They're what's on the table.

The animal which you are about to read about and which you can see for yourself in the Natural History Museum of Mytilinii is a savage feline, related to the tiger, known as a " kaplani " ( wildcat ), with its habitat in Asia Minor.

The Kaplani of Samos.

At the beginning of the present century, this animal was forced, either by the flooding of the River Meander or by fire, to swim over to Samos, where its established itself on the hills around Mavratzaii and became the scourge of the domestic animals and flocks of the district.

Farmers and shepherds drove it out and forced it to take refuge in a cave, which from then on was known as the " kaplani - hole ". Its pursuers, not daring to go inside the cave, built a wall of large stones across the entrance. In this way, they left it shut in for about three months, expecting it to die of hunger and thirst. But by eating the remains of its old prey and drinking the water which drop by drop gathered in a hollow in the cave, it remained in fine form. After this length of time, the villagers, wishing to assure themselves that the beast was dead, opened up a hole in the top of the cave - not risking opening the entrance which they had built over - and tied one end of a rope to a pine tree, dangling the other down into the cave. By means of this, Gerasimos Gliarmis, unarmed and wearing a cape, descended into the cave. Imprisoned in the cave, man and beast were instantly engaged in mortal combat. The man grasped the wildcat in a headlock in an attempt to strangle it, while it tried to tear his cape so that it could rip his chest with its claws and crush his arm with its teeth. Gliarmis called for help, but no one had the courage to approach.

In a little while, the brother of Gerasimos, Nikolaos Gliarmis, who because he was one - eyed and powerfully built, with superhuman strength, was known as the " Cyclops ", arrived on the scene. When he discovered what was happening, he grabbed the rope and went down into the cave. The animal left its exhausted opponent and throw itself upon the newcomer. But he seized the wildcat by the throat with his left hand, while with his right he attempted to draw his knife from his belt. But by the time he managed this, the animal had already choked to death.

Gerasimos Gliarmis had been injured in his chest by the wildcat's claws and died from the resulting infection a short time later.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Distraction Attraction

I'm up early today. And as I sit here at the computer once again, I am distracted by a number of things. I am distracted by a little moth gnat something or other floating around, landing on my computer screen, hovering above my water cup... The instinct to smash and be done with it is strong, but I'm resisting. I can live around it, surely?

Other distractions form my perspective. Should I be up this early? I need sleep. I got some, but don't I need more? Could this be the start of a manic episode?

That last one is far fetched, but it enters my mind nonetheless. Anytime I get to feeling kinda good about myself, about things in general, and start to get some energy about myself and start cookin' up schemes and getting the mind going on all cylinders... along comes the second guessing. Am I okay? Hold on a bit, now-- better take stock of the situation here...

So I'm trying to just write this morning. The distractions will continue, but I want to just write. I don't want to edit as I go, but I will. Because it's a habit. Saves time. I want to try and keep moving and get to the good stuff, the unpackaged thoughts. The ones without all the giftwrapping and bows. The ones that are so raw that they really move you.

So wish me luck. Or you're going to be seriously unentertained here. Well, that might be the case anyway. Again, distractions.

The mothra thingy buzzes my nose horizontally, disappearing behind the Kleenex box. By the time I write about it, however, the matadon has circled my head again. Twice. Lovely, natural, chalky distraction.

I adjust myself in my seat because my back is aching. The moth lands on my leg. What is a matadon, anyway? I resist the urge to grab the dictionary. The distractionary.

Shouldn't he/she/it be hanging out above my head, at the overhead light bulb? Don't know if matadons or moth things are keen on certain behavioral patterns.

Anne Lamott gives me permission to have a really sh**ty first draft. I'm giving you permission to read it. You also have permission to go elsewhere.

More distraction.

What about my brain makes it tend toward conflict? Negativity? What mechanisms are the product of my experience, of my nurtured mind? And what has been prewired and is static, unmoveable?

And where is Thistle Penn?

I think I see him in every transient soul at the busstops and freeway offramps holding cardboard signs. Is that him rolled up in dirty, torn blankets and newspaper, all of his possessions in a cart or gathered around him as he sleeps?

The number one thing that I need to do here is stop getting distracted and write. Where did my thought train go? Where did my moth friend go? Is my moth friend Thistle? Is Thistle my moth friend? Or is he a matadon? A matador?

I pause for a sip of water. The condensation on the cup slides around both sides, coming together to form droplets that launch themselves, castaways, satellites, escape pods from the mother cup... and crash land on the surface of my t-shirt.

Mothra buzzes my left thigh.

I'm trying to figure too much out. I'm trying to do everything right here, right now. I want to work hard and get it done, right now. I want to write about my struggles with bipolar disorder. I want to write a good story. I want to entertain. I want to figure out my job situation. I want to eat more healthily.

I used to do this sort of entry into my carry-on journal. It was with me wherever I went. I wrote almost daily. Hard to read, some of that stuff. But there's some great vignettes captured there. I think.

I want to be loved. But I fear being judged.

My chops are chop suey. I'm out of practice and out of shape. My stuff feels flat, stale. Unleavened? What does that even mean? Distractionary....

Anyway. Mothra is now exploring the Tibetan Wheel of Life poster on the wall above my calendar. No, check that-- it's on the screen... landed on the word "daily"...

And just now, on the "home" icon. Flew in as if to select it on the screen, landed there, stayed for a few seconds, then was off to explore other worlds again.

Is Mothra communicating with me? Make my home page daily writing assignments.

Well, now Mothra landed on the search box.

Time to look up matadon? Unleavened?

Time to go back to bed and forget what I was thinking about?

No answers right now. Only distractions.