Don’t Believe All You Read In The Headlines

Take a good look around, the misfits are everywhere

It is disturbing to watch the fabric of reality being torn in two. Each reality seems, in the eyes of its beholder, to be absolute and inviolable. To me, it seems obvious that we should take the advice of medical professionals to maintain social distancing and wear a face covering in public to contain the spread of a virulent, rampaging disease. To others, the dangers of spreading a disease that 97% of people survive is being exploited to control the population and take away our freedom. To me, the president is a lying, cowardly, bigoted sexual predator, sociopath, and traitor. To others, he is a vast improvement over Obama and Hillary, a president who truly loves his country and is trying valiantly to make it great again as he fights against a biased media and the deep state.

Maybe it is a good thing to shred reality every once in a while, to peek behind the veil, to understand that reality is only a perception. Drugs can open the doors of perception. So can meditation, and love, and art.

If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is: Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.

-Aldous Huxley

It is very American to believe in a reality where we control our destiny, that with hard work and freedom we can accomplish anything. Ancient Greek and Chinese cultures saw a reality where destiny was beyond our control and acceptance was the accomplishment. It is a quality of the inhabitants of that little island off the west coast of Europe to keep calm and carry on. To them, questions of perceptions might just be a distraction. There is work to be done.

Have you heard about trouble throughout the land
With the fascists and the left wing militants?
Out of work executives are killing themselves
And the I.R.A. are killing everybody else
Don’t panic, don’t lose control
Keep your head, keep ahold
Act normal there’s nothing wrong
Stay cool, just carry on

You gotta live life and be yourself
You can’t live life for anyone else
You gotta live life that’s all you do
Nobody gonna live your life for you

Don’t get depressed when you read in the press
About world revolution and social unrest
Try not to panic when you switch on the news
And see crooked politicians and the unemployment queues
It’s only life it’s really fine
So don’t you believe all you read in the headlines
Live life see it through
Carry on it’s all you can do

You gotta live life for yourself, can’t live for anyone else
You gotta live life, that’s all you do
Nobody gonna live their life for you

Ooh life’s a mother, Ooh life’s a mother

To His Coy Mistress

Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down, and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love’s day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges side
Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide
Of Humber would complain, I would
Love you ten years before the flood.
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.

But at my back I always here
Time’s wingéd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found.
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long-preserved virginity,
And your quaint honor turned to dust,
And into ashes all my lust:
The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace

Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once at our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapped power

– Andrew Marvell (1621-1678)

When the wind is strong

When the wind is strong,
The earth seems like someone’s kite.
But as it is still high noon,
Men notice that night is already there.

The wind uses no words,
But only frets as it swirls about.
I think of the winds on other starts,
Whether they could be friends together.

On the earth, there is night, there is day.
Between them, what are the stars doing?
Silent, spreading. How do they endure?

In the daylight, the blue sky tells lies.
While the night mutters the truth, we are asleep.
And in the morning, we say we dreamed.

– Shuntaro Tanikawa

I’ve changed completely

I’ve changed completely
Yes I’m wearing the same tie as yesterday
I’m as poor as yesterday
As useless as yesterday
Even so I’ve changed completely.
Yes I’m wearing the same clothes as yesterday
I’m as blind drunk as yesterday
As clumsy as yesterday
Even so I’ve changed completely

Faced with all the half smiles and grins
Curled sneers and guffaws
I shut my eyes tight and stay still
Fluttering through me towards tomorrow
Goes a beautiful white butterfly

Saburo Kuroda (1919-1980)


Words words


Makoto Ooka

I keep on vacant land
A horse which none can see
Now and again grasping the reins
I go to meet a twelfth-century Zen priest
He lived for eight hundred years
There is no trace of his body
His body has turned into words
Soon even the words will be gone
Until then a temporary home
Borrowing the eaves of words
‘Flowers open and the world arises’
When he says this
He is the flowers opening he is the world arising
As words within words along with words
Opening and closing
Floating and sinking
Born killed
Continuing as words
Continuing to live inside words
Unable to die
While words exist on earth
He turns into rocks wheels love
He transforms into blood sky calendar
As so he must continue to be tortured
By the painful recognition that he is the world’s equal
What is it that is painful
There is no pain like
That of words become flesh
That mankind does not feel it as pain
Is because they do not truly feel the flesh
Says the withered priest.

– Makoto Ooka

Makoto Ooka once pointed out that the modus operandi of traditional Japanese poetry is a dynamism between two conflicting mindsets: one that is willing to let go of one’s ego and create harmony with others, and another that pursues ultimate solitude, what he called a sort of “party” attended by “lonely hearts” — Utage to Koshin.