Thursday, July 22, 2010

Welland Ontario

I took my time driving down to Welland today, accompanied by a live acoustic Jackson Browne CD full of Browne's typical little-us-under-a-big-sky kind of songs.

Welland looked, to me, as it always does; smaller than it really is, with small houses (though more than big enough).

In the little school with little classrooms and little chairs, in the little library, I catalogued books. Big books. With big pictures; windows into worlds as vivid, rich and imaginary as our own, but each one different. At 3 the cleaning staff departed and left me in perfect quiet solitude.

I finished the cataloguing project but I will return one more day over the summer for more mundane cataloguing maintenance. There are older books requiring attention of various types.

I adore this little library and this "little" town. I sense a good-hearted simplicity here; an air of guilelessness with just a hint of melancholy. All stemming from highly subjective personal interpretation of course. My own recollections of grade-school experience are a blend of sweet and solemn.

I look forward to September; to the return of the staff - a most warm, sincere and dedicated crew. And of course it will be excellent to see again the returning grade-seven-come-eights who I worked with last year. This time around they will have a superior experience given my own learning from last year. The coming year will feature a writing group and I'm cooking up some very special surprises for them!

Leaving town I left the stereo off before hitting the highway because the truck is just developing an exhaust leak so if I must subject the locals to its grumbles, the least I can do is subject myself as well. I accelerated slowly out of each turn; zig-zagging through the neighborhood. Every street is a shelf; every house a collection of stories. People sit on porches, some of them in groups, smiling and talking; some of them alone and still-faced. To those I almost have the urge to wave.

Any town we spend some time in develops a personality it seems, and this one suits me verily. But I maintain this is mostly illusion; subjective experience. In the end every town is built of the very same components; streets and bricks and pipes and wires and human beings of every possible ilk.

It would be nice to move to Welland but in reality Grimsby and St. Catharines are more probable. Welland will likely remain a very nice place to visit.


Saturday, July 03, 2010

Cause Number One and the Number One Cause

Once upon a time there occurred an event;
A singularity; the biggest bang for the buck
Or the snap of fingers if you prefer, of a great creator;
For it all works out the very same!

And this event would be Cause #1
For billions of billions of billions of billions
Of effects
Over billions of years;
Every effect born of millions of causes combined;
Every effect also a cause
For billions of billions more effects;
Causes and effects uncountable.
Every element of reality an effect-cause;
Every one of them natural;
Every one inevitable;
Every one of them owing to Cause #1 at its root.
Every one connected.

Effect-causes spelled unstoppable change.
Effect-causes organized a sea of chaos
Into sets and subsets; formatted a universe
Made of super clusters
Made of clusters
Made of galaxies
Made of systems
Made of spheres
Made of elements
Made of molecules
Made of atoms.

A world of binding attractions great and small
Revolving; everything revolving,
Expanding, contracting.
Dust to dust.
Cause and effect.

Somewhere a sphere
Bearing critical ratio of elements,
A phenomenal collision of molecules,
At a critical distance from a vast hot central sphere,
Through inevitable cause and effect,
Became a blue and white place.

And there it happened.
A miracle of life
At the meeting of layers;
Rock and air,
Pooling water.
A splitting cell.
Cause and effect.

Cellular organization.
Random mutation.
A cause-effect process of natural selection.
A diversity of species; lives of kind.
DNA and sub-code.

Survival instinct knowing no bounds.
Those with domination instinct the great winners,
Those without it, dead, strangled, swallowed.
Survival of the vicious; the parasitic.
Vines creeping; Roots warring,
Fish eating fish; bugs eating bugs,
Herbivores; Carnivores; Dog eat dog.
Viruses and bacteria eating from within.
Thus life: The process of ultimate thievery.
Cause and effect.

Mammals; Brain cells; Intelligence.
Automatons with limited awareness.
Instinctive response.
Cause and effect.

These beasts emerging;
Bipedal; clever.
With greater awareness,
Though still far from complete;
Still so very far.
Perceiving in their limited awareness
That their limited awareness
Is all there is; some full awareness;
Some ultimate evolution or design.

They’re the greatest pretenders.
The great labelers,
Grouping and labeling everything;
The fantasy of generalization making everything seem easy;
The reality of uniqueness dismissed.
Cooperation; strength in numbers;
Ghastly overwhelming strength in numbers!
Victory through cooperation.
Dominance; the ultimate prize
For their kind, they label human.

And then what?
In the face of victory,
Privileged exclusion from the realities
Of the domination quest;
Exclusion from the hunt;
Exclusion from the fight and the flight;
Food and shelter handed down.
The paradox of isolation.
What oh what then does survival mean?
The forces born of instincts need to know!

Instincts turning inward.
Cause and effect.
Individual survival.
Survival within the society.
Ledgers of contribution;
Money the new survival;
Food and shelter a privilege.
Man eat man.

The paradox of cooperation/competition;
However to do both?
Instinctive forces perverting.
Cause and effect.
Necessary duplicity.
Puppets born of reputation and ego;
Pure charade.

The rise of the matrix;
The superstructures that overwhelm
And tell them what things to pretend.
Labels labels labels!
Tribes tribes tribes!
Arbitrary categories
Pretended to be real,
Make everyone a friend;
Make everyone an enemy.

Such pure fantasy can only be pretended
When the reality of uniqueness is dismissed.
Oh the confusion;
Now to navigate?
The domination instincts still thrive,
Looking for victims.
They label them sins,
Pretend the sins are not to thank for their existence,
Pretend the sins do not dominate their living moments,
They ascribe them to a scapegoat and call him the Devil.
They teach this to their children and let the children
Suffer, ever suffer for they each think they are each the devil.
The survival instincts have it covered.
Fight to disallow such crippling despair
Duplicity solves all.
Cause and effect.

Confine it to the greater brain;
The non-awareness.
But oh the self-loathing!
They must ignore those terrifying glimpses;
Suppress the confusion.
For they must navigate the matrix
One way or another
And win their bread;
Oh but not just bread,
But win their almighty material trophies,
For survival instinct knows no mercy;
Only domination.

The structures all demand from them
The appearance of subscription to the rules
And hidden contrariety,
Because in the matrix angels are trodden on
And cheaters prosper.

The dual duplicities:
The lies they tell on purpose
And the lies of the sub-awareness
Tragically mistaken for golden truth.
They think it a matrix of lies and truth,
This matrix of lies and more lies.
Cause and effect.
Puppets tricking puppets.
The matrix weaving layers and layers of illusion
So tightly woven, the pinpricks of truth
Sparkle so rarely just as the tiny volume of light
Out of all stars in the universe
To penetrate a smoggy Toronto night sky.
When finally the young have aged;
Developed sufficient senses,
It is too late; the matrix has snatched them
Through the TV’s and the institutions
And the things you will not hear said;
The endless bullshit eaten and eaten;
The investment in illusions signed and sealed.
Cause and effect.
There’s no turning back.

But wait, there is a second miracle!
Not intelligence but the boon of it;
Imagination! Creativity!
The regard for unvarnished truth.
The capacity to evolve beyond the domination instinct
Simply because they dreamed of it!

Such a phenomenal departure from the nature of life.
A celebration of that idea called love;
That Bordeaux blend of attractions and addictions
Just another label,
But so useful when applied:
Loving kindness; generosity; harmony.

They each participate to some degree; great or small
In living without harming and for that
Every human is beautiful; Hear this, you human!
For that, you are beautiful in this universe!
So fascinating, this evolution, to some.
Some of them scientists; some of them poets, musicians, artists,
Those who engage in true learning; an act of solitude,
Some are the sufferers; forced to bear reality,
Some of them the ancient champions
Of beautifully intentioned religions
Before the inevitable corruptions.
Cause and effect.

They are those who escape the unmerciful web
Of the matrix’ mighty structures
Through rare unexpected circumstance;
Rare causes; rare effects.
Those who embrace the reality of cause and effect,
The reality of uniqueness,
The reality of nature; of inevitability,
The reality that all of one’s frustration is one’s own cause;
All hate, all stress, all fear, all rage,
All intolerance;
All of it the result of one’s own flawed expectations
And flawed perceptions;
The result of all the blaming when in truth
There is no one to blame but the blamer.

For those who fully escape the matrix
There is no confusion but only peace,
No illusion but only freedom,
No sadness but only joy,
No rage but only love; real love;
Not addictive, not of lust,
Not directional but all-directional;
The love that is a state of being;
So awesome; so shockingly euphoric
It is at first devastating
In all but the smallest doses.

And above all there is desire for harmony;
That everyone would give care for all others
And mercy for the less evolved,
Not in the hopes that what goes around comes around
But damn it, for the sheer joy of it!
For that is the ultimate destiny.
All evidence points there; scripture; poetry; science.
Cause and effect.

But where is the road map to that complete evolution;
That ultimate humanity for all?
This imperfect author; flawed poet does not know.
This is the quest; the number one cause.
Flawed versions are written here and there
In the works of poets long dead or just,
In the temples, mosques and churches
So vulgarly and inexpertly taught
By the pawns of old cold organizations.
But while poets survive on the fringe of welfare society
Outside the matrix but privy to its comforts,
Not with false nobility!
Knowing they are cheaters!
But looking to be useful,
Looking to nurture harmony,
Looking for the rare candidate for escape; the next Neo,
They leave their calling cards;
Their hints in these places
Because if just one more can be freed,
By god, It’s all worth it.