Monday, August 10, 2009

Say what you will about the church

(I'll almost certainly agree with you, after all)
I will grant, however, that Francis of Assisi was a pretty damned good poet.

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Leaving out the 'lord' and the 'divine master' bits, I think it's a pretty damned nifty phrasing of the golden rule- just taken to a wider scale.
Sort of a step beyond doing unto others and so forth.
- because you can. It doesn't have to be because you're trying to do God's work, as it were, but because... well, because you can.

My brain chemistry is pretty screwed up right now. Everybody who needs to know, knows. The really short version is, I tried something to make a thing better, and it only made other things worse.

I stumbled across this little ditty as performed lyrically by Sarah McLachlan, and it really struck a chord with me.
I'm not entirely sure why. It probably hearkens back to a time when I believed I could make the world a better place.

/end quasi-emo gush of the night.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

You'd think they could have found a trainer...

How is it, that in 7 years as Buffy Summers (the Slayer), Sarah Michelle Gellar never learned how to throw a punch?
I mean, I've never had much use for punches myself; I'm more of a knees, elbows and boots kinda guy, but at least I know how it's done.
I mean, sheesh- just because your character is superhuman, it's ok to punch like a girl?

As a side gripe- why bother fighting all those bad guys? Hunt them down and slaughter them, then go have lunch at a nice bistro.
Don't fight on the enemy's terms, when and where the enemy is strong; have a wholesome breakfast and then napalm the Big Bad while he's in bed.

You're the slayer, not the scrapper.
'Buffy the Vampire Boxer' is closer to the truth.
I'll grant, it doesn't have the same ring...

Sunday, March 08, 2009

I am not an individual.

And neither are you.
Think about it- if you wanted to get really simplistic, you could classify 'self' as the voice in the darkness behind your eyes.
But that 'voice' isn't a voice, is it? It's a chorus of voices, even if most of us give no thought to subtle refrains and variegated threads of that chorus.
What about the parts of your brain that track the demands of your body? Your body which is always too hot or too cold, too hungry or too full, too uncomfortable...
Sometimes you listen, not even realizing you are- you think it's your idea to eat... and it is- but it's not just 'your' idea.

I am a committee, and so are you.
Freud, Jung and all of those prats would natter on about the ego and the id, the conscious and the subconscious.
But there is only the committee. It is all one thing, yet the components wrestle for dominance constantly.

The parts that communicate with the body have the ability to override logic, compassion, everything.
Why? Because those are the members that are most closely related to the oldest members of the mind- the dark, red, entirely uncivilized parts that coil in the hindbrain, waiting. The parts that joined up before civilization, the parts that were there before we were properly human.
And with the occasional exception, the parts of the mind that end up running the show when the world crumbles under your feet.

Amazing species, humanity. Until it all goes pear shaped, we never know if we're predator, prey or other. Those primal voices from our brain stem are all the same- we all come from the same origins- so why is it that he is predator, she is prey and I am other?

What part of the committee... taints, dilutes, those old voices?

Why did he wet his pants under fire, even thought he continued to fight? Because he is prey, but training allowed him to function, to some degree, regardless. Why did that one go nuts- nearly berserk- fighting back? Maybe he's predator, or maybe he's just particularly dangerous prey... I don't know.

And why did the world slow down for me? Crystal clear and perfect, I'd swear I could see the disturbances in the air from passing bullets, I had nearly been killed, might still be, and the world... was... perfect.
I felt the broken ceramic back-plate grind against me as I shifted target to target, the blood running from my nose and split lips, soaking the cravat tied around my face against the road dust...
This wasn't supposed to be a war story.

The point is, people often talk about your mind playing tricks when it thinks it's gonna die, and maybe it does. But I don't think that's what was going on.

I was calm because the the deep, feral things and the rest of the committee were in perfect accord. The mind cannot be allowed to anticipate death if it's going to destroy it's threats most effectively. Does that make me other?
And it never failed me. Heh. It's probably the last time in my life that my mind wasn't messily fragmented. Maybe that much... integration isn't good for your brain.
That was probably the best time of my life, for all the horrifying shit I saw... Me and my Beast, all of mind, focused...
The Beast sniffed them out, and the rational mind dealt with them- the Beast's aim is, frankly, shit.

Monday, February 16, 2009

It's not paranoia...

How can you know if you can trust someone with your death?

It's remarkably easy to trust someone with your life- you do it pretty much every time you step onto a crosswalk.
Most folks won't bother with your life, especially the strangers waiting on you at the stoplight.
But your family... your family's statistically more likely to kill you, yet, perhaps perversely, they're also the ones who will fight to the bitter end to keep you alive.
Even if you don't want them to.
Who can you trust with your death?

See, some of the cases are silly- lady's got the mind of a gourd but you're keeping her alive through artificial means? Absurd, but it's your money, mate.

But what about the coma patient that shows brain activity? How long do you wait? How long do you leave your loved one trapped in their own mind? IF they wake up, will they be the same person? Will they even be sane?

How about Cancer Dude? The guy with the slow but excruciating and untreatable cancer eating him alive? Who can he trust to understand his desire to punch out a little early?

I'm sure you can see where this is going.
This is not an e-suicide note. My readership isn't wide enough for it to be effective. ;)
This is just something that has nagged at me now and then, as the years pass and the pain grows worse and more frequent, as my mind frays just a little more.
No, not a suicide note.
Just pontificating a bit.

Would my family understand?
If not, what would it take to convince them?
Dare I risk them not understanding? Do I dare risk their betrayal of my trust to their misplaced faith- whatever that may be?

Who can you trust with your death?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Like tap-dancing on a landslide

"This is the hand you were dealt..."?
So, can I fold?
I mean, it may not be a losing hand, per se, but it's no damned fun to play this one...

Stubbornly persisting on playing out a questionable hand is gambling addiction.
Holding because you expect the hand to get better- that's insanity.