Enlightened

We study words written

a piece of tapestry

A fragment from the long forgotten

Through eyes

with lenses trained by today

They struggle to see

Blinded by the brilliant moment

The Dragon, Lion and Camel

humbled

before a child

unable to stand or speak

wide waiting for the moment of creation

to be taught

or untaught

There is much talk

about the long road

many claim to see the end

of the impossible

a treacherous journey

Where am I along this road?

Is it paved, gravel, a trail or trace?

against the earth or sky

they claim to see backwards

they will show you

for the price of a paperback

or your soul

It seems no one truly knows

in the end

we each must decide

our own next step

Now just One Minute

I remember, when I was a bit younger, hearing that the life of a butterfly, once freed from the prison of its cocoon, lived for only a day.  I’m not sure how true that is as the Monarch Butterfly lives for six months, if memory serves.  Even if it is rarely true it is still an interesting fact.  I always wondered if that single day of life felt like a single day to the flutterby?  Does it feel as short as it sounds?

When I was about the age of 10 years I was struck by a strange near fatal illness.  I have always been under the impression that it was diphtheria, but I don’t know that as fact.  When I think about the butterfly flutteringby for its single day I wonder how long that passing day seems to the little critter.   I wonder if the butterfly can even conceive of the notion of time much less one as complicated as ours.  I wonder what it would be like for a lifetime to be such that the first half occurred in the light and the second half in the dark.  There is a point to this, I think.

We humans are quite curious in the way we understand our world.  Appointments, work schedules, bank accounts, credit cards, maps and countries are just a few numbers we use in almost every moment of our existence.  Nations, distance between cities and the diameter of our little planet and even the date of our birth and death are other numbers we use often.  Complicated ideas like force and velocity are also based on these strange numbers.  Weight, which is the effect of gravity on mass, length, height and time allow us as intelligent beings to develop an understanding of our reality.  These things, weight, length, time are metrics or units of measure are created by we humans and we accept them for the sake of simplicity.  They do not exist on their own in nature, there is a tree that grows yard sticks, meters, kilogram measures or seconds.  In my experience that is where the weirdness begins.

I don’t feel the passage of time naturally.  A clock does it for me but with out one I have no sense of time what so ever, unless I am smoking, tobacco.  Yes, I know it is bad for me.  Its been like that since my breakdown.  Maybe it was different in the respect of feeling times passage pre-breakdown but I have no point of reference, after all it was a long time ago.

I know this sounds crazy.

Really it came home to me after my fathers passing, when the ancient photos of a life so foreign to me came  back out into the world.  I knew the people in the photographs and yet I didn’t know them.  They were like a glimpse into a world that never existed even though I was pretty sure they had.

Over these many years with my strange occasional bouts of melancholy as though something had been lost, a thing that could never be regained, I found myself wondering as to the very nature of that thing.  After The old man’s death, when I became the old man, that sense had become exquisite ad sweet like some exotic food or strained alien mental sensation.

I wondered if I too was dead.

Would I know if I were?

Have my last many years of life been like that of the butterfly, just a day or a few hours as death was in the process of taking me?  I don’t think I would know the difference.  We have such definite ideas about the world but all of them are based on the measurement of our perceptions.

I find my self perplexed by the idea that these many years may be nothing more than phantasms of my dying brain.  My wife and friends and all these efforts to express my thoughts and even my brothers all figments of a sequence of neurons firing in those last few minutes while I lay in a hospital at the age of ten dying.

Does any of this really matter?

I think not.

Look for your Muse.  Only she can be your guide.

Absurd Jokes from the 60s by Meta

What’s big and purple and rides the waves?    Moby Grape

Why do elephants have pink eyes?   So they can hide in cherry trees

Have you ever seen an elephant hiding in as cherry tree?

works – doesn’t it

Why do the natives go into their huts between four and five in the afternoon?

That’s when the elephants jump out of the cherry trees

What’s red and green and goes round and round?

a frog caught in a blender

Acknowledgement of a Man 8/7/2017

It was just a few days ago, Tuesday or Wednesday that Meta and I found out that our Psychiatrist had passed away the weekend before.

Meta was on the phone talking to someone about our Psych Prescriptions.  I was only really listening out of the side of my ear, not paying particular attention.  There wasn’t any change in the tone of Meta’s voice as far as my ear could consciously detect.  New appointments were made for our case manager and so the conversation went.  I was struggling with some piece of software or some other ridiculous bit of semi-make work in my hole that I commonly refer to as my cubby.   I practically live in the place.  That’s when she broke from her phone call for a minute stating to the person on the other side “Wait a minute I got to tell Iba.”

I didn’t give her the chance.  I simply stated that “Doctor Lee is dead, Right?”

She wasn’t shocked or amazed as this type of response has happened before.  There is a logic to it but I will spare you that.  She quickly returned to her conversation.

Doctor Lee was our third personal headshrinker and practitioner of the mental health medical arts.  My first Doc was one Dr. Funk.  I know and I am not making it up.  I don’t think I worked with her for a full year before she had moved on to a private practice.  The second Doctor was one Dr. Zick for a little over two years.  Then, after a long distance relocation, a new apartment and finally a new Doc, Dr. Lee.  Dr. Lee was our longest, time wise, psychiatrist at a little over twenty three years.

Doctors Funk and Zick both worked at a mental health clinic in a college town that was at the center of an otherwise rural county.  It was entirely funded by a small percentage added onto the local sales tax, if memory serves.  Our appointments were frequent, sometimes twice a month and generally about a half an hour.  That clinic didn’t have admitting privileges at any hospital so they dealt with everything that they could out patient.  They also had a lower number of clients or consumers if you prefer.

Doctor Lee on the other hand worked in many clinics, all in the same system, over several counties in a far more urban area.  He had admitting privileges at the Psych Ward of the local hospital as well as the Psych Wards at some of the larger hospitals in a very large near by City.  This system was largely federally funded and, I think, served as a magnate for people needing treatment.  Each appointment that either Meta or I had with Doctor Lee was about 15 minutes long,  This is clinical work and many do not know that this is a clinical quarter hour so I actually spent about 7 minutes talking with the Doc which was fine by me.

For most of the time I have been seeing him, he had slightly over two thousand patients or clients under his supervision.  Just a few years ago he reduced the number to about 800.  I think I maybe have spent more actual time talking to him than doctor Funk but because it was spread out over all those years and in small doses it gave me time to acclimate.  Meta explained to me that he had been practicing here since the early 80s.  Not a glorious job or even a well respected position but he stayed at his post.

I had grown accustom to the fact that he would always be here.  I wasn’t conscious of that fact until the other day.   I fully expect that any morning that I awake my family, those few that remain, and close friends will all be dead and I am grateful when they are not.  The thought as far as Doctor Lee was concerned never crossed my mind.  I may have been able to get more out of, or put more into the relationship if such a thought had crossed my mind.

I will remember him.

Intangible

Tangibility is the key

give it a number

weigh it

measure it

run some electric through it

Does it react?

Misbehave?

Get angry?

The Intangible carries no weight

An assembly of numbers

is still responisible

somehow

as though

The subtle might have a say

Even though it is not

This is

We are

That is an uncomfortable question

The Internet Tarot Weather Dude’s Alien (ET) Invasion Forecast

I’m having fun with this and I hope anyone reading enjoys as well.

Region:  The Globe

Date(s):  The 5th of August through the 5th of September, 2017

Deck:  Renaissance

Cards Drawn:  The Hermit (9 Major Arcana, inverse) and 3 of coins (inverse)

Forecast:  August is a excellent month for sky watching, especially this August with the solar eclipse due to occur.  The date escapes me at this point, I want to say the 12th but my memory being what it is the date could just as well be the 21st.  If anyone is interested, I’m sure the actual date should be easy to find.  Either way I hope to see it with Meta.  There are the annual meteor showers, conditions permitting, if you are far enough away from the city lights.  I will probably miss it this year as I am currently town bound.

For any curious sky watchers with an eye towards aerial phenomena the Hermit indicates that being away from people, cities and towns or any other source of light pollution should prove interesting.  Odds are that any lights in the sky are of earthly origin as the three of coins leads me to assume, but you never know.  On a clear night in the proper conditions you might be able to spot the space station with the naked eye.  I had that pleasure myself years ago at a campground in Michigan called Sleeping Bear Dunes.  Really any campground with a clear view of the sky should do.

As far as alien invasions go, Unlikely.  So feel free to enjoy this August with out feeling the need to lay in supplies to survive the terror from deep space.

Have a better than average day.

don’t forget to count your blessings this midsummer’s eve.

Mid Summer Vegetable Soup

Come August, around the beginning of the Month although sometimes we must wait until mid month, Meta and I make a special trip to the local farmers market for our first real fresh from the farm purchase.  It gives us an opportunity to gorge on local produce and local farms provide most of the ingredients we need for a large pot full of vegetable soup.

Generally by now in Ohio the tomatoes should be well established and even seconds will be available which are perfect for soups and sauces.  I am a scratch cook so for me its just a question of throwing whatever we find into a large stock put and cooking the shit out of it.  When I first started the category of Kitchen Witchery I had intended it to include recipes.  The problem for me is the odd fact that I don’t measure anything.  It has been a stumbling block of sorts.  So I am going to take a shot at getting this recipe down for your perusal using approximate measures and guesstimates.

So here goes…

16 quart stock pot

1 and 1/2 to 2 pounds of beef chuck (Optional)

1/2 peck of tomatos

4 yellow of light green peppers (sweet)

4 – 5 green peppers (sweet)

3-5 small or 2-3 medium zuchinni

a couple hand fulls of green snap beans

a couple hand fulls of wax beans

6 small or 4 large turnips

3 – 5 medium potatoes

two hand fulls of white mushrooms

one cup of pearl barley

clean veggies, chop or slice and skin when necessary (turnips) and throw in pot, don’t expect all the veggies to fit comfortably int the pot so save some, Potatoes especially for later in the cook.  Taters can cook to nothing so chop one for later in the boil into very small of thing pieces.

Tip 1:  Potatoes can be used to thicken the broth.  I myself don’t really care for thin broth

Tip 2:  Soup is at least 50% water.

Spices:

4 and 1/2 table spoons of Thyme

3 Tablespoons of Marjoam

3 Tablespoons of Sweet Basil

! tablespoon of Savory

1 tablespoon of Rosemary

1 teaspoon of oregano

half of a teaspoon of black pepper

3 – 6 Bay leaves

3 – 6 cloves of garlic

Salt  (Don’t be shy)

Chuck the the chopped meat (optional), chopped veggies and Potatoes (Holding one tater the pearl barley back for a couple of hours, once the veggies begin to melt then these last two plus any other left overs can be added.)

Ideally the contents of the stock pot should fill said pot to a couple or three inches from the top.  Once this level has been established it should be maintained through out the cook.

Once a soft boil has been reached it should be maintained.  The heat can be high until boil is reached then the batch should be cooked over lower or low heat until finished.  As a rule of thumb the contents shouldn’t boil hard, if you get splatter from the inside of the pot onto your stove then the heat is too high.  I like to maintain a patch of bubbles maybe number six or eight or so near the middle of the pot.  Cook uncovered, add water as needed.  Stir frequently but not constantly.

If you want a neat amount of time on this mess I can’t give it to you.  Generally it takes about six hours once on the heat.  sometimes a bit more.  It is one of those dishes that takes most of the day to get right.  Taste it once it is well under way, and again after about four hours and you should have a pretty good ideas how the taste will develop.  Also use Thyme, Marjoam, Basil and Oregano along with Salt to finish.  Don’t be afraid of the salt as the ingredients are fresh.  Tasting as it cooks can give one the taste as it changes and develop strong anticipation of what it needs to finish. Whenever a person cooks from scratch and uses fresh ingredients it takes extra special effort to screw it up.  Meta and I will be putting this together later this very day assuming that nothing out of the ordinary happens.

If you want to try something a little different add a quarter cup of millet to the batch at the same time you add the pearl barley.

This has become our traditional (Twenty years now) Lamas meal and we usually party some once it has started cooking.  Even though this won’t be happening on the holiday proper I don’t think that really matters.

This is recipe is NOT intended for novice cooks.  But if you are a novice and have a sense of adventure don’t let this warning stop you.

Best of luck and happy eating.

Have a better then average day.