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Magnum Opus

If the theory holds that the good guys have to get it right every time and the terrorists only once then there is an inverse truth in the fact that the terror they have to get only once brings out the best of the good guys for thousands upon thousands of times to come.

That terror may kill several thousand and send huge amounts of treasure up in smoke but, those whom they kill do not die in our hearts and minds nor do we critically need the treasure they have destroyed. In fact the memories of those people and things destroyed become amplified and redirected back into our society as a glorious blossoming of love and wellbeing – thoughtfulness and kinship that lasts and grows as our love, remembrance and commitment blooms, matures and is reseeded a thousand times over in our communal family.

Like the alchemist of old seeking the philosopher’s stone that would turn lead into gold those dismal, misbegotten terrorist acts call forth our “Humanity Stone” that shifts us into the domain of loving service to each other and focuses us on our community and its future with a commitment stronger and deeper than ever felt before. It is our Humanity Stone turning the lead of our temporal anguish and suffering into the gold of our spiritual growth, brotherly love and unselfish service to each other and our larger community.

As long as kindness remains, Community will thrive (our Magnum Opus); adversity: our Philosopher’s Stone.

Doors and Windows

Doors & Windows

Edge, surface and shadow The page before us is bound to the next and previous by its edge and as its turn occludes the available light in a moving shadow, deepening until the darkness of one page’s complete covering ends its currency…

The Doorway Leading Out

While I’m not an existentialist (I believe, even more, in tomorrow than I do in today) I feel very certain that the senses tell us things that our imaginations turn into our reality. That makes what we “know” from so-called “empirical” data suspect until subjected to careful scrutiny with a direct eye upon the nature of the illusions we labor before. The senses tell us things about things and never the thing itself. We have this massive indirection built into our sampling of what we all want to believe is reality. That “reality” is, by definition then, totally subjective and crafted by each imagination based upon its experiences, wants and needs.

The upshot here – we are alone and isolated except for our ability to open a variety of “ports” through which we can sample the “other”. These access points bring “data” to our central awareness in ways that allow our cognition to analyze, assess and develop a kinesthetic imagination of the part of the universe in which we are isolated and currently focused. Necessity’s daughters, then conspire, introducing stochastic vagaries impossible to predict or scheme around and, in grand summation, present us with – perception. And because this knowledge can be disconcerting to some it often is rejected out of hand.

But, for me, it is liberating as it answers many questions and frees the mind of earth-binding shackles. As with my parable of the two men at the edge of the cliff (parable of the two men on the cliff ) where the one who knows he cannot fly has a very bad trip down filled with panic and abject terror, but, the one who truly believes he can fly has a busy trip filled with activity, expectation and final, important discovery. Albert Einstein once said: “Reality is an illusion: albeit a persistent one.”. And in that, gives us the nature of the beast – for if reality and illusion are synonymous then nothing changes for us. We may walk through life exactly as we did before and nothing will have changed – except us!

We now have our meta-thinking caps on and have experienced how a single meme can change everything and yet leave everything unchanged. Like falling in love or discovering the person with whom you are smitten was lying when they said they loved you too. And when we discover that the philosopher’s stone of a female touch can turn the lead of a “drive to succeed” into the pure gold of a magnificent love affair, will alchemy still seem a foolish idea and that stone but, the doorstop against the portal of our vanities warehouse.

When Malcomb Gladwell speaks of the weight of an idea eventually “tipping” the full scope of action and how the change that occurs happens in the “blink” of an eye, he is doing service to that moment of understanding, of mind changing awareness based upon a new organization and imagination’s view of perceived data. When a meme is constructed in such a way as to provoke a new opinion of the objects and circumstances it often causes the perceiver to embark on a new path with a new outlook for the future. Thus our “magnum opus” is recognition that the crucial moments when we move from one firmly held belief to another, forms the edges in our existence that are the connections that stitch our life’s “eras” together. And that these “eras” are exclusively constructed of opinion – a primary building block of illusion.

These “passages” give me pause and introduction to the kind of thinking that inspired Paul Valery to say: “The universe is built on a plan the profound symmetry of which is somehow present in the inner structure of our intellect.” and Immanual Kant to decide that perception was all that was to be ours and apprehension forever beyond our grasp. So as with Maugham’s Philip, who had exulted in his boyhood when the weight of a belief in God was lifted from his shoulders; I am relieved of the burden of needing a “reality” I can never apprehend. Stepping out into the fresh perception of sunlit mornings, smelling the heavy scent of the dew bejeweled pines and feeling the morning mist on my face, I embrace and exult in my illusion and if I am to be “the brain in the vat” then I am going to indulge, in the most epicurean way, my tastes and predilections to maximize the potential of this illusory universe. Others dream of castles in Spain – I will live in mine!

Musings from the brink of nothingnessity

an inchoate blackness bled into 
the waning gray, 
cloistering the senses in its chiaroscuro brooding.
a restless sweep, its deliberate cloak, insinuating
its pallid Geist onto the remains of our precious day.
Arduous night; beguile, delight and steal my restless soul, 
with sudden attention, away from those accidental disguises. 
she, a woman - I, not;
looking together at separate pieces
up along the streaming vision of our reflecting eyes
into that half-dark mirror, slicing twain;
that one infinite, inaccessible
this one less so... 

picture the eyes as two-way mechanisms (send/receive) the 
brain taking in the input from sight, touch, smell and sound, 
adding understanding and imagination and sending out a conical 
beam of its abstract comprehension to cover all, at least to 
the edges of visual periphery, and that those abstractions and 
metaphors are constructed, as they stream, into the requisite 
detail to reflect back upon our retinas as the world around us. 
This streaming vision of our reflecting eyes constitutes the 
whole of our visual perception. Our world, then, is a 
sympathetic resonance - a distortion compounded from the 
stimuli we receive at the core of our cognition in a continuum 
of feedback moderated by the imagination.

The vision then: without imagination and cognition the 
sensate world becomes invisible to our perception. The 
world is just a flat white panoply of "noise". Kick in 
the cognition and imagination for sorting and shaping 
and a beam is projected against that "whiteness" to 
saturate and fill the entire perceptual field with our 
perceived reality.
I think therefore there is a world for me to be in. 
Everything, then, is a figment of my imagination. 

culture - not art, music, literature or dance but, 
the ingression of the metaphors, the abstractions 
that represent to us our perception of the sphere 
of our existence

reverberation, resonance, vibration, reflection, 
amplification, modulation joy/sorrow, love/hate, 
light/dark, figure/ground, i am/i am not, edge/plane
It is all about difference (after the vibrations are 
sensed that is). The edges and intersections of stuff 
that allow us to "see" the world around us (or our 
perception of it).  Draw a white line on a white surface 
- can you see it? Stand behind the waterfall and speak 
- hear it? Place the rose in the garbage can - smell it? 
Stand in front of the bonfire - feel the sunshine? No 
discernible edges: No ground against which to isolate 
the figure.

Does gravity, in fact, exist or does everything just suck? 
Is it getting old out…and sad in here?

Steven Wallace sees himself as Peter Quince not with a 
pen but a keyboard making the music that is the feeling 
that makes the story of Susanna and the passions that 
exude therefrom. So Bard writes the play about Quince 
writing the play that is the center of the Bard's play. 
Wallace writes the poem about the music that is the story 
that is focused on Susanne who's feelings help describe 
Wallace's and are central to his poem. Big fleas...

The myth holds that Sisyphus' punishment for offending 
the gods was to continuously roll a large boulder up a 
mountain only to have it teeter near the top and roll 
back and force him to start over eternally. Camus tells 
us that we should picture Sisyphus as happy. That his 
toil is an allegory of the human condition and that for 
him (as for us) life occurs in the walk back down the 
mountain to start the toil again. Life is an endless 
cycle of being driven to work and taking breaks in which 
to focus on the experiences of life.

Kafka's "Little Fable"-mouse continues down his ever-
narrowing corridor until finally he notices how 
restrictive it has become and he spots the small 
dead-end room (cum trap) on the loom. At the 
recognition of the situation he has fallen into 
the following cat tells him he has only to turn 
and devours him. Thus the gnostic "truth" of 
change in direction/change in fate to set you 
free - free to die in different ways.
"If we must fall what matters it how we fall?" 
                   "If fall is all we have then how matters!"

Remember Jerry's rule #1: When faced with overwhelming 
force - run, hide, sneak! Faced with ZUGZWANG the Jerryophile 
says: "Oh - I'm just holding this seat for the mug that is
playing this loser!"

At the point where we finally notice how restrictive our 
lives become and consider changing, death intervenes - 
which was stalking us all along the way.

We are all too willing to allow any monkey to hold up 
our parade: but, once resumed it continues on its well-
worn route.

When I consider how my light is spent
o're half my days in this dark world and wide...

..when I can look life in the eyes
grown cold and very worldly wise
life will have given me the truth
and taken in exchange my youth.

...this is the way the world ends
not with a bang but a whimper.

If you wish to live like the rest of humanity; 
follow the arrows and watch for the cat. 
Just get on the road and follow it: roads have 
but one purpose; to take you where someone else 
wants you to go. It is the easy way in (or out).

The Light at the End of the Funnel

tickle and itch, tingle and twitch
inspires dance, march or fight –
a demand for bold, immediate action

Remember that we are not focusing on Dancing but, the tickle and itch in music that makes us want to dance, to tap our feet, to bob our head in rhythm synchronized with the music. Not the note played but, the sympathetic resonance in the world around it.
– The things that can occur from sound as it pours into our brain – transmogrified resonance…

These sounds become invitations recognized to belong to something larger, the call to be part of the larger group…to dance…to sing…to speak at circle! The herd, pack, flock, hive, tribe, Rotary, Masons, Elks, Lions, DAR, VFW, Boy Scouts, Crips, Extreme fundamentalist Methodist bake sale mothers, Visionary Mystics, mormon tabernacle motorcycle gang, mother mccreedy’s tabernacle of the holy oracle and premature ejaculation control center choir, musicians, stamp collectors (Pederasts of the World UNITE!!) We do so love to exclude! To become a part of a small group with kindred interest. Then, to form a sub-part of that group to control (or disparage) the larger group. – Until finally; Facebook, Twitter, Instant Messaging, linkdin – all indication of how much we really don’t like each other but, are desperately afraid of being alone. The need to belong but, not be there. Texting and cell phone talk in public is the gentle art of not being where you are…of denying where you are of your presence.

streaming vision, reflecting eyes, mirror (half-dark), sound in, images out through imagination.
hear about fairies and dragons, find them in clouds and stars – reflection/transmografication.
hear of the seasons of ones life, feel the fall or winter of your age upon you.
these are resonances. these are,not the string plucked but, the one next to it – the world around it. hear music; be compelled to dance. hear insult; be compelled to fight. hear the trigger words of common cause; be compelled to join.

the empty mind is the ground, the negative space, and imagination – the figure.
imagine the sorting that goes on in the mind of the incredible assortment and quantity of reflected light and sound frequencies to allow identification, location and amplitude, ranging, foreground, background, over, under, behind, left, right, first, after, blue, texture, pattern, recognition,, comprehension, woman, fire, peach pit, 1953 Desoto hood ornament, the edges of an erect nipple beneath a blue cashmere sweater…

Those vibrations in the throat of one
beat against ears of others and impel,
into those minds, abstractions
that become images or actions – dreamt or manifest; our oneiric reality
that make marks on stone or paper which,
later years, will spring into, yet, other minds
to form concepts, precepts, theories, rules and actions
and make skys bleed, oceans wretch, the wakeful – dream.

ideas, like virii, need an host organism to thrive. they can lie dormant on stone, paper or canvas for hundreds of years and one day touch an host mind and spring, 10 and six pence, alive! (beware, the bitch that bore him is in heat again!)

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? -yeats

Oh Fatherland, Fatherland,Show us the sign
Your children have waited to see.
The morning will come
When the world is mine.
Tomorrow belongs to me!

The babe in his cradle is closing his eyes
The blossom embraces the bee
But soon says the whisper, arise, arise
Tomorrow belongs to me – old german folk song impressed into service by the nazis

“Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. WORKING MEN OF ALL COUNTRIES, UNITE!”
– Karl Marx

Scots, wha hae wi’ Wallace bled,
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led,
Welcome to your gory bed,
Or to Victorie! – burns

Wagner’s leitmotifs : musical themes and his extensive musical language/phrasing – Wagner- EG. ride of the valkyries

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.
For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother; – Henry V – Charles IV – Shakespeare

J P Sousa’s marches

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” – M L King

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul. – Henley

Let us, then, be up and doing, With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labor and to wait. – H W Longfellow

That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts. Who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o’er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.” – John Milton

We are the hollow men, we are the stuffed men
leaning together, headpiece filled with straw, Alas!…
This is the way the world ends
not with a bang but a whimper – T S Elliot

Had we but world enough and time…
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run. – Andrew Marvel

Are there not Festus, Are there not, dear Michal,
Two points in the adventure of the diver,—
One, when a beggar he prepares to plunge;
One, when a prince he rises with his pearl?
Festus, I plunge. – R Browning

He strode to Gauthier, in his throat
Gave him the lie, then struck his mouth
With one back-handed blow that wrote
In blood men’s verdict there. North, South,
East, West, I looked. The lie was dead,
And damned, and truth stood up instead. – R Browning

When I can look life in the eyes, grown calm and very coldly wise,
life will have given me the truth and taken in exchange my youth – SaraTeasdale

do not carve in stone or wood he was honest or he was good
write in smoke on a summer breeze just seven words and the words are these
telling all that a volume could he lived, he laughed and he understood – D Blanding


What if never was impossible, ever were in its callow youth and 
yet but, a difficult improbability? Sun would shine, trees would 
green and swallows would molt, mate and migrate without permission 
or apology. The vast pressures of the continuum would bear down on 
all things pressing each hard against the surface of the nothing 
that separated it from the next and tranquility would remain a 
matter of opinion to all. 

With that firmly in mind I step off, vigorously, into the remains 
of my forever wanting surface; remembering edges.

How Time’s Track is Sometimes Misplaced

He awoke noticing that the flames were starting to melt the soles 
of his sneakers. He rolled over to face Congolia and said: 
"There is no way we are going to beat this fire down the ravine! 
I think we're going to be here till its over." 

They, discussing the social significance of the rising price of 
concord grapes and fresh-caught sole, died in the flames. 

Later, when the river was dammed and the ravine had been filled 
with fresh water for several decades, a motor boat passed over 
their remains and its single passenger caught an undersized 
land-locked salmon directly over what once was their Saturday 
Bocce court. No one noticed.

The fisherman had been using an hand-made smelt lure and later 
that day noticed that his hands smelled fishy.

Restoring Nothing’s Good Name

Tolstoy thinks that when the meaning of life devolves to nothing one should commence believing the lies about something.

The simple problem here is that “nothing” is a thing that we know nothing about. It is the stuff that exists when our ability to sense, and develop instruments to sense, fail to sense anything. “Nothing”, then, may be comprised of a single particle type OR of an entire new universe of particle types that form into ever larger globs of stuff we cannot sense and serve the final purpose of keeping everything we can sense from mashing together in one giant preter-post-primordial stew that has no edges – anywhere – ever!

Nothing may well consist exclusively of edges, surfaces and time.

The important thing to note here is that there is a great deal more nothing than there is everything else. nothing is the major component of everything. Nothing may be the fundamental element of life. We know little of it. Pay it no note. Gloss over it on the way to the various somethings. So it may well be the secret ingredient that, when studied and understood completely, answers all the unanswered questions we have asked.


His chalance erupted into the cave with lips and tongue spewing fire;
belly- a cauldron boiling with virulent, explosive flammability and eyes;
glowing yellow-red, intense tunnels into the molten core of his volcanic rage –
He Was Alive!
And for that they would all pay!!!.

The Young Prolitariati

What makes this poet speak so?
“The fence throwing down a spray of shadow on which blue and orange birds parade and feed. ”
“it is a hobby of the North American to notice everything that doesn’t work.”
“the sorrow bird singing in the mangrove swamp. Slogans painted on the sewer pipe, sprayed on the mayor’s house: land and sun and ownership and God the conqueror who comes in a raised and gilded throne lifted by the children he had cured.”
“Ecstasy and rapture of the sun.”
“Hey, mister! This is a hand raised up for change: photographed, and taken home.”

what is it he sees in such detail?
the occasional missed “tock” that presages the cosmic clocks final unwind
The edge of the blackest pit of impending doom?
or just the bottom side of the imaginatrix he uses for careful self-awareness and identifying himself to himself, himself.

testing his soul to be certain that it is sufficiently numb before he ventures forth with his senses exposed.

the poet ,in his dank cellar or musty book-insulated library, looking out at the world through a long, lens-capped pipe, focusing on the unanointed, under washed, beneath-pitiful, ennui-inducing, sub-realities; to record stultifying detail in dismal abundance – enough to infuse deep subtext, ambiguity, misdirection and distracting analysis. (I weep therefore I am)

and one day, when the poet finds himself without the pebble in his shoe he will write a greeting card instead of his usual polemic dirge, bending his artful prolix to the task of making Pippa proud and mothers everywhere weep… and finish the laundry.

© 2018 What's That On the Road – A Head
Magic Vision | Design: NET-TEC of Schwedenhäuser. Coding: Spielturm of Hochzeitseinladung.