“. . . there was a sharp distinction between what was remembered, what was told, and what was true.” ~ Kevin Powers, from The Yellow Birds

Robert Julian Onderdonk, “Bluebonnets in Texas” (1915, oil on canvas)

“Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.” ~ Patrick Rothfuss, from The Name of the Wind

Sunday afternoon, cloudy, cooler temperatures, 46 degrees.

It was cold yesterday, so cold that we actually had to turn on a few space heaters. In fact, the forecast actually called for snow flurries. All I can say is that the weather in this locale is well and truly whhackkk. Yes, that’s a word.

Frederic Matys Thursz, Untitled (Blue Field, 1961, oil and paper collaged on board)

Yep.

I’ve been on a “Game of Thrones” binge lately, watching all of the back seasons before this final season. I’ve done this before, but what I always find phenomenal about this show is how much you can miss on a first viewing, especially all of the foreshadowing. The writers are very, very good in maintaining continuity from season to season.

I came to the show after reading the first three books, so I was fully prepared to be disappointed because the move from novel to screen is haphazard at best. Stephen King is said to be disappointed with almost every screen adaptation of his work, and George R. R. Martin’s writing is particularly dense with characters, locations, languages, plots and subplots. However, the HBO series has become its own phenomenon: It’s one of those rare shows in which the casting and the execution have melded well, and in that sense, it reminds me of “The Sopranos” and “Orphan Black.”

And as most people know, the show ends with this season, but the novels continue . . . at least that’s what everyone thinks. Martin is a methodical writer, and readers are still impatiently awaiting the next book in the series, The Winds of Winter. No publication date has been set yet as Martin has admitted that the writing has been hard.

I can sympathize, George, and I only shoot for about 1200 words a day.

“you know how deceptive memory is and how coarse the real world.
Nostalgia amplifies things. The memory preserves tastes and smells and images that are of its own making, or that are not as they were in reality.” ~ Amjad Nasser, from Land of No Rain

I actually enjoyed doing Thursday’s update; it was a good writing exercise. I’m still floundering, though, attempting to find that rhythm that I’ve lost as it continues to elude me. It’s hard to explain this to people who do not like to write or for whom words are not foremost in their lives.

Paul Jenkins, “Phenomena Astral Blue (1968, oil on canvas)

That’s not a slur in any way, only an attempt to explain why my recent posts seem to be preponderantly superficial. I have so much roiling inside, so many things that I want to say, but when I start, the words sound hollow, so I stop and try to find other way to keep this blog going.

Consider: If you were an expert at landscaping, and you took your tools to a piece of land, fully prepared to create something beautiful, but once you arrived, you couldn’t remember the purpose of any tool. Or let’s say that you were a proficient bookkeeper, and you sat down with some raw data, and your computer, and you couldn’t remember how to reconcile a spreadsheet. Or what if you were a wonderful tailor, and you had a bolt of cloth and measurements, but you suddenly forgot how to pattern.

I deliberately didn’t choose painting or sculpting or composing music or any of the other traditional categories of art as anyone who dabbles in those or for whom those are a way of life already is all too familiar with the terrible periods of being unable to create. Rather, I am attempting to explain my problem to those of you for whom life is more structure and traditional, but I don’t know if my explanation only adds to the confusion.

“The years of searching in the dark for a truth that one feels but cannot express, the intense desire and the alternations of confidence and misgiving . . . are known only to him who has experienced them himself.” ~ Albert Einstein, from the Gibson Foundation Lecture, 1933

One of the reasons that I do not sleep well is that I have a very hard time turning off my brain. It’s not just mulling over the day or worrying about bills or money or the house or whatever. It’s also that I start to think about things that I want to say. More times than I can count I think that I should just get out of bed and sit down and write, but then I tell myself that if I did so, I would be useless the next day.

James McNeill Whistler, “Nocturne: Blue and Silver—Chelsea” (1871, oil on wood)

But would being useless the next day really matter in the grand scheme of things? I feel as if I’m doing myself a disservice by not writing when the so-called spirit moves me. Yet at the same time I feel guilty for wanting to eschew traditional sleep and approaches to time because there is so much of daily life with which to contend. Honestly, though, my days are still not productive in that all of my to-do list goes unattended, so the guilt and feelings of worthlessness are there no matter which path I choose.

Consider: Parkinson’s law commonly states that work expands to fill the time available for its completion. But Asimov’s corollary to Parkinson states that in ten hours a day you have time to fall twice as far behind your commitments as in five hours a day. A la Parkinson, I manage to fill my days with mostly nonproductive actions, and a la Asimov’s corollary, I fall twice as far behind.

“Everything about me is unfinished, insufficient.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke, from a letter to Lou Salomé written c. December 1905

In doing a big of reading about eponymous laws, I came across the intriguing idea of the centipede principle, which I chose deliberately because of my great fear of those multi-legged creatures; in essence, this principle addresses overthinking, as in if a person thinks too much about something that comes naturally, then that action can be impaired.

Martiros Sarian, “Blue Flowers” (1914, oil on canvas)

The centipede principle or effect supposedly is based on a short poem written in 1871 by the Katherine Craster (go here to see the original poem), in which the centipede is asked which leg moves first and then next when he walks, and then because he is asked, he cannot walk.

English psychologist George Humphrey propounded his eponymous law about hyper-reflection in 1923, referencing the centipede tale. I also came across another reference to this centipede effect in the work of Karl Popper, who states that “if we have learnt certain movements so that they have sunk below the level of conscious control, then if we try to follow them consciously we very often interfere with them so badly that we stop them.”

In other words, do I set myself up to be unable to write because I think too much about being unable to write? Am I unable to begin the projects that I have set for myself because I think too much about whether or not I can actually accomplish these projects? I was once told that I live my life as a self-fulfilling prophecy: my behavior directly causes my predicted outcome; i.e., I don’t send my work out for publication, so I am never published.

“People who are burdened by acute misgivings about their coping capabilities suffer much distress and expend much effort in defensive action . . . they cannot get themselves to do things they find subjectively threatening even though they are objectively safe. ” ~ Albert Bandura, from Social Foundations of Thought and Action
Thomas Downing, “Blue Space” (c1954, acrylic on cotton)

I realize that this post took a turn towards psychoanalysis, but what of it? Years of therapy have conditioned me to ponder such questions about the self. That, and I have a particular penchant for eponymous laws; I find them fascinating. (If you happen to be interested in such things, Wikipedia happens to have a good listing of them from A to Z here.)

Anyway, I think that most people could do with more introspection about their thoughts and actions. Too few people today actually give deep thought to things beyond the surface (how many likes did my picture get? was I reblogged? etc.). Yet I know that I am the opposite: I think too much. I consider too much. And in so doing, I paralyze myself. I wish that I could say that I am motivated by strength, but the truth is that I am motivated by fear. And truly, I hate that most about myself.

But unlike many who are motivated by fear, I do not cloak that fear with bombast or sanctimony, only to project that fear outward and punish those who seem weaker or more vulnerable. Instead, I project inward, causing harm mostly to my psyche. Regardless, someone is always damaged in the end.

More later. Peace.


Music by Sarah McLachlan, “Hold On”


A Secret Life

Why you need to have one
is not much more mysterious than
why you don’t say what you think
at the birth of an ugly baby.
Or, you’ve just made love
and feel you’d rather have been
in a dark booth where your partner
was nodding, whispering yes, yes,
you’re brilliant. The secret life
begins early, is kept alive
by all that’s unpopular
in you, all that you know
a Baptist, say, or some other
accountant would object to.
It becomes what you’d most protect
if the government said you can protect
one thing, all else is ours.
When you write late at night
it’s like a small fire
in a clearing, it’s what
radiates and what can hurt
if you get too close to it.
It’s why your silence is a kind of truth.
Even when you speak to your best friend,
the one who’ll never betray you,
you always leave out one thing;
a secret life is that important.

~ Stephen Dunn

 

“Contrary to what people may say, there’s no upper limit to stupidity. We can make everything stupider.” ~ Stephen Colbert

                   

“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.” ~ Albert Einstein

Saturday afternoon. Partly cloudy and not as hot, 79 degrees.

A different kind of post today . . .

Reblogged from Felicia’s Melange:

So there’s this awesome video of a 7 year old girl doing Karate AMAZINGLY, you have to watch, and literally I was so horrified at some of the TOP COMMENTS I had to pull some of them out.

Here is the video:

                   

John Cleese

You’re not deep. You’re not intellectual. You’re not an artist. You’re not a critic. You’re not a poet. You just have internet access.” ~ Unknown

When I came across the above screenshots on tumblr, I became intrigued, so much so that I actually went to the original YouTube video so that I could look at some of the comments. It was a mistake. I soon found myself clicking the “show more” button over and over. I couldn’t look away from the stupidity that was unfolding before my very eyes. I kept going and going and going.

I mean, I just didn’t understand. Why all the hate for a seven-year-old girl? So I decided that I’d tried to cull some of the more representative ones and share them with you here. To what end? I’m not exactly certain. I only know that once I post about something that’s bothering me, I can process it better, and with any luck, I can put this out of my mind for the rest of the day. So here goes . . .

Here are even more stupidly insulting comments:

video comments1

Notice how “Steve Rogers” ultimately resorts to calling the commenter the c word, because, you know, comparing someone to some part of female anatomy is the ultimate put down in this douche-bag’s world.

Here’s another in the same vein:

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or this:

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or this:

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Just have to love the ones who take the “I could do that” stance:

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or the ones who tried to argue the point that body strength is what it’s all about, completely ignoring the whole point of the kata.  I just loved all the comments about how she would get her ass kicked in a street fight, or how she’s wasting her time learning about karate because she couldn’t do MMA . . .

video comments11

video comments13

And of course you have the ones who think they have the right to judge her on her looks, because that’s totally what this video is about:

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Try to talk to people with this mindset about how inappropriate and hateful that is, and of course, they end up calling you a name, like bitch . . . The people on this forum who tried repeatedly to explain that this is a kata, that katas are not used for self defense were shut down. The naysayers still had to find fault with it. Try to point out that her exhibition is about mastery of breathing, form, movement, that it’s about precision. Not important. It must be ridiculed because it’s a little girl.

video comments10

 

Of course, the dumbasses making these comments will always fall back on the tired excuse: “I was only joking.” And that’s supposed to make it all just fine. Because joking about doing a child harm is perfectly acceptable because, ha ha, it’s all in good fun.

Until it’s not.

And I particularly loved the people who made comments like “she can’t possibly have a black belt at 7” or “maybe it’s a kid blackbelt”, or “in my dojo, ya da ya da ya da. It makes me wonder where and by whom some of these jokers were taught. McDojo, anyone?

video comments8

There are the positives, of course, but the stupids cannot allow that, again resorting to the predictable name-calling because “Shut up bitch” always works when you have nothing intelligent to say:

video comments4

I also want to point out that there is a video of her 10-year-old brother, and the comments are almost all positive: “brilliant,” or “talented,” or “excellent.” Those posting want to know about his father, or his master, or what form is being presented. I didn’t find anyone who wanted to kick him in the head or kick him in the chest, or anything along those lines.

Why am I going on about this? Because once again, even in something as innocuous as a YouTube video about a young girl exhibiting remarkable control and talent, the males in the forum (of course not all, but a great many in this case) have to negate it, have to put it and her in its place.

Fortunately, I found one with which I absolutely agree:

video comments2

I could go on and on, but I realize that I’m allowing yet another open forum commentary to ruin my whole day, so I’ll stop now, or after just one more thing: Whoever Jack Call is in this forum, I could just hug him because unlike me and people like me who just can’t help but become ired by all of this stupidity, Jack Call just repeatedly says, “She’s 7,”w which is actually the point, right?

video comments14More later. Peace.

“You might be poor, your shoes might be broken, but your mind is a palace.” ~ Frank McCourt, from Angela’s Ashes

Albert-Einstein

                   

“I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde, from The Happy Prince and Other Stories

reblogged from ultrafacts:

The Nine Types of Intelligence

Naturalist Intelligence

Designates the human ability to discriminate among living things (plants, animals) as well as sensitivity to other features of the natural world (clouds, rock configurations). This ability was clearly of value in our evolutionary past as hunters, gatherers, and farmers; it continues to be central in such roles as botanist or chef. It is also speculated that much of our consumer society exploits the naturalist intelligences, which can be mobilized in the discrimination among cars, sneakers, kinds of makeup, and the like.

Musical Intelligence

Musical intelligence is the capacity to discern pitch, rhythm, timbre, and tone. This intelligence enables us to recognize, create, reproduce, and reflect on music, as demonstrated by composers, conductors, musicians, vocalist, and sensitive listeners. Interestingly, there is often an affective connection between music and the emotions; and mathematical and musical intelligences may share common thinking processes. Young adults with this kind of intelligence are usually singing or drumming to themselves. They are usually quite aware of sounds others may miss.

Logical-Mathematical Intelligence

Logical-mathematical intelligence is the ability to calculate, quantify, consider propositions and hypotheses, and carry out complete mathematical operations. It enables us to perceive relationships and connections and to use abstract, symbolic thought; sequential reasoning skills; and inductive and deductive thinking patterns. Logical intelligence is usually well developed in mathematicians, scientists, and detectives. Young adults with lots of logical intelligence are interested in patterns, categories, and relationships. They are drawn to arithmetic problems, strategy games and experiments.

Existential Intelligence

Sensitivity and capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence, such as the meaning of life, why do we die, and how did we get here.

Interpersonal Intelligence

Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand and interact effectively with others. It involves effective verbal and nonverbal communication, the ability to note distinctions among others, sensitivity to the moods and temperaments of others, and the ability to entertain multiple perspectives. Teachers, social workers, actors, and politicians all exhibit interpersonal intelligence. Young adults with this kind of intelligence are leaders among their peers, are good at communicating, and seem to understand others’ feelings and motives.

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence

Bodily kinesthetic intelligence is the capacity to manipulate objects and use a variety of physical skills. This intelligence also involves a sense of timing and the perfection of skills through mind–body union. Athletes, dancers, surgeons, and craftspeople exhibit well-developed bodily kinesthetic intelligence.

Linguistic Intelligence

Linguistic intelligence is the ability to think in words and to use language to express and appreciate complex meanings. Linguistic intelligence allows us to understand the order and meaning of words and to apply meta-linguistic skills to reflect on our use of language. Linguistic intelligence is the most widely shared human competence and is evident in poets, novelists, journalists, and effective public speakers. Young adults with this kind of intelligence enjoy writing, reading, telling stories or doing crossword puzzles.

Intra-personal Intelligence

Intra-personal intelligence is the capacity to understand oneself and one’s thoughts and feelings, and to use such knowledge in planning and directioning one’s life. Intra-personal intelligence involves not only an appreciation of the self, but also of the human condition. It is evident in psychologist, spiritual leaders, and philosophers. These young adults may be shy. They are very aware of their own feelings and are self-motivated.

Spatial Intelligence

Spatial intelligence is the ability to think in three dimensions. Core capacities include mental imagery, spatial reasoning, image manipulation, graphic and artistic skills, and an active imagination. Sailors, pilots, sculptors, painters, and architects all exhibit spatial intelligence. Young adults with this kind of intelligence may be fascinated with mazes or jigsaw puzzles, or spend free time drawing or daydreaming.

Source: http://openrobotics.blogspot.ca/2007/09/intelligence.html