I got no job

sheep lamb

If you are lucky, very lucky, no, very, very lucky, when you grow up you won’t have a job.

You will have a calling.

And if you are one of the lucky ones, then you will know what I mean.

sheep lamb

In the beginning

In the beginning, we all worked.

Even in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve gathered the fruit that they ate and built the shelter in which they slept. It got worse after their expulsion. Since then work has been part of the human experience. It defines us. It makes possible the good life.

Back in the day, work and jobs were passed down from father to son. A trade was something you learned from dad, and if not from dad, then some uncle.

Education changed that. Go to a university, learn something, contribute to society. Thus, doctors and lawyers filled the earth. And there were hospitals full of patients and courtrooms full of plaintiffs and defendants.

Ouch!

Then Oz had this thought: Artificial Intelligence is making possible another Paradise on Earth. Imagine machines manufacturing things, machines driving cars, cooking food, doing all the things we used to do.

Let’s hope it doesn’t turn out like H.G. Wells dystopian vision in The Time Machine.

All this talk about work reminds Oz of what his father used to say:

Find a job you like and you will never work another day in your life.

The Calling

Gotta go…, Oz hears his wife calling.

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Cinderella

After the battle, when the bombs quit falling, an American soldier in World War I takes a moment to entertain a little girl with the story of Cinderella. Even Hell has its tender moments, and in the midst of despair, there is hope.

Nous savons comment l’histoire va.

 

In a far, far away, long, long ago kingdom, Cinderella lived happily with her mother and father until her mother died. When Cinderella’s father remarries a cold, cruel woman who has two daughters, Drizella and Anastasia, Cinderella becomes a servant suffering in her own house.

One day the King announces that there will be a fancy dress ball…

 

He is Risen

Yellow, the color of sunshine, hope, and happiness, and, as this is Easter Sunday, a sign that He is Risen.

yellow-morning-oil.jpg

If I think I am, am I?

The subject came up this morning when Oz’s daughter tried to quote scripture. ” ‘You are as you thinketh,’ Jesus said,” she said.

Looking it up, Oz found this:

Jesus says in Mark 7:15-16, “There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!” Jesus is explaining that we are what we think. Proverbs 23:7 backs Him up: “For as [a man] thinks in his heart, so is he.”

This is a good shout out for the theory of positive thinking. So, get rid of that stinkin’ thinkin’.

You gotta believe.

 

 

the mist

The mist is rising off the lake, ghostly white
The sky is the palest blue, the softest pink,
The mist becomes clouds of lavender floating just beyond my touch
Through the trees, the sun is dawning, the night fades, and it is morn
And I descend the path to the lake, as the birds begin to wake
And I feel a peace within me, knowing the world is still asleep
For the moment this place is mine, and mine alone
If one does not include my crowded thoughts

water-lake-2

Those who were close to him called him Paul. French poet Ambroise Paul Toussaint Jules Valéry, (1871-1945) said,” A poem is never finished just abandoned.” I suppose that is true, that we are never really happy with the result. It is only weariness or time that moves on to the next thought. Perhaps I shall return as Robert Frost suggested, perhaps not.

Tout bien ou rien

Et si tu le fais bien et vite, tu comprends francais.

 

Has Oz mentioned that his grandmother was French? Oh, there is so little we know of each other, but then, very little we know of ourselves.

 

“Tout bien ou rien.”

I think I got this from John Muir in his dedication of the book On National Parks, 1901. He got it elsewhere, though where, I don’t know. The sentiment is surely an old one.

I translate it as all is well or nothing. That is literal. Somewhat like the English, All or nothing, but not quite.

Some translations give it as, Do your best or not at all. That works too. If that is the case it is like the Flemish, Als Ik Kan, literally, as I can, and figuratively, to the best of my abilities.

The French phrase, tout bien ou rien, contains opposites, all or nothing, polar extremes, it is good or it is not. Shakespeare likde this form of “simplespeak”. It is ambiguous and clear, depending on the intended purpose of the speaker. One is afraid to argue for seeming the fool.

Ambiguity is a fact of life. It puts one in trouble and keeps us out of trouble. Just ask any politician, who has to explain contrary positions to opposing sides.

Tout bien ou rien, c’est bien fait, c’est tout.

Now, quick, try this – Vite fait bien fait.

cliff_2

Butterfly Jokes

butterflies-wide

Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent. Ludwig Wittgenstein.

I cannot fly

but I can see

I  cannot be a butterfly,

But if I eat

a caterpillar, or two, or three

Will I, can I, would I

have butterflies in my stomach?

Would I feel light, would it be right

Would I be airy, like a fairy

Or just sick to my stomach?

One of the first jokes I learned as child goes like this:

Q: Why did the little boy go to the kitchen window and throw the butter out?

A: He wanted to see the butter fly.

Wittengenstein  speaks to the nonsensical attempt to understand purely mental concepts like color.  Green, blue, red, and yellow are purely mental constructs. We cannot represent them as absolutes, but rather as categories that only can be understood over a broad range. Or not at all  if one is blind.

Humor is our acknowledgement of the futility of imposing absolutes to any word. Paradoxes are punny and puns are paradoxical. We see both, understand that both cannot be true and yet they are.

Two more butterfly jokes:

Q: Why wouldn’t the butterfly go to the dance? A: It was a moth ball.

Q: Who is the king of the insects? A: The Monarch!

Ruff words

Oh, to listen, to hear, I think it queer I speak and no one hears. It is no better than to talk to my dog, but at least he’ll sit and stay, even if he knows not why. Then again, he must think me strange, that I cannot talk as he. To me, his growl seems quite rough, his language quite complex, yet quite simple, if only I would take the time to listen and hear.

dog-labrador

Just like us, dogs talk through body signals and barks and emotion rises or falls with pitch or volume. Like us, love is expressed best in a look, a lick, a nuzzle when we need it most.

Bring in the wine

Oz had a glass of wine, which got him thinking about the Oscars, translation, understanding, and Chinese poetry.

Go figure.

Lost in Translation, one of my favorite movies, written and directed by Sofia Coppola. Insert Oscar shout out here for female writer-directors. The 2003 Indie movie stars Bill Murray as an aging actor Bob Harris, who befriends college graduate Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) in a Tokyo hotel. The romantic comedy-drama plays out on many levels while the couple film a Japanese whiskey commercial.

Bring in the Wine, eighth century Chinese poet, Cen Can (aka Cen Shen and Cen Jiuzhou) commiseration about getting old and getting drunk with old friends. The Chinese characters are 將進酒 Jiāng Jìn Jiǔ, which must have been a mouthful if one was already drunk. Kind of like saying, “rubber baby buggy bumpers,” which makes no sense, but it is still fun to say.

You know, we are not so different, Japanese, American, Chinese, then and now… A little whiskey, some wine makes it easier to get along. And the hell with getting lost.

You can check out my translation here.

wine-cellar

Ineluctable vs inevitable

When it comes to word comparisons, it is inevitable that I come to this ineluctable conclusion, sometimes something is superfluously said.

in·e·luc·ta·ble
ˌinəˈləktəb(ə)l/
adjective
adjective: ineluctable

unable to be resisted or avoided; inescapable.
“the ineluctable facts of history”

 in·ev·i·ta·ble
inˈevidəb(ə)l/
adjective
adjective: inevitable

1.
certain to happen; unavoidable.
“war was inevitable”
synonyms: unavoidable, inescapable, inexorable, ineluctable;
More: assured, certain, sure, fixed;
fated, destined, predestined, predetermined, unpreventable;

“at this point, war is inevitable”

informal
so frequently experienced or seen that it is completely predictable.
“the inevitable letter from the bank”

noun
noun: inevitable

1.
a situation that is unavoidable.