adventures in dysthymia

Friday, May 27, 2011

THE FLORIDA Folk Festival is once again this weekend and I once again am missing it. It was not unexpected that my caregiver duties would come first.

I've concluded there's no point in thinking 'maybe I can do this' and 'maybe I can go there' and fooling myself into thinking I might set my responsibilities aside for a day or two. I will never do it. There are no rest stops on this road.

But that's okay and someday the road will come to its end, as all roads do. I'll keep plugging along until then. 'Course I'll have to find a new road then, won't I?

With any luck, it will run across a few stages. In the mean while, I hope all my friends who are over in White Springs are having a good time. Reckon it will be hot! And if you're there, be sure to catch Mean Mary's performances, buy her CDs, etc!

One thing -- besides the getting out to any sort of venues -- that I have given up has been any sort of relationship. Again, no complaints and I'm not sure I'm much in the way of relationship material anyway. I know I'm just a little too jealous of my time to share it much.

So I have let things go. I did let my last relationship pretty much just lapse and slip away. As I pretty much did a few years earlier when I was caregiver for my father and knew that travel was becoming out of the question. It's just not possible to have both, at least not if you want to be fair to everyone involved.

* * *

Well, on a completely different note, I've been doing a fairly full-blown revision of my web site. For a while there it was practically impossible to publish it with the dial-up connection being so erratic. Lately, it's still been slow but more consistent. Sometimes, anyway.

Ha, like me -- occasionally consistent. That's a phrase that ought to show up in a song or something, eh?

Though just now I got on at the best speed I've seen in almost three weeks, 36.0. My sister who lives twenty miles west of me finally got high(ish) speed internet over there, so maybe it will eventually be available here. That would be a good thing, assuming I can afford it.

Anyway, I'm getting the site more consistent too, in terms of fonts, colors, layouts and so on. Still working with Yahoo's Site Builder, as long as I'm using their pretty reasonable hosting (but not their domain service -- they charge way too much). I know these drag-and-drop programs tend to produce bloated code, but they sure save a lot of time if you like to move things around to see how they look!

If I ever had to jettison Yahoo for some reason, I've found that Coffee Cup's Visual Site Designer will work pretty well and similarly. Not very expensive, either. But if one wants free, Kompozer is still one of the nicest wysiwyg HTML editors out there.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Along the Road

Every year, another town,
another house -- not a home,

just a stop along our road.
A new school, new bunch of guys

to beat on me. As if I didn't
get enough of that already.

Did it make me what I am
or did I make it what it was?

Every forest has its paths,
though we may blaze them for ourselves.

Did the lad who was lost,
who learned to walk behind his wit

and his fists, always live there,
along the road to somewhere else?

Stephen Brooke ©2002

Another poem recovered from its heap of tattered notebook paper. A tad polished up for presentation but still, well, essentially bad personal poetry.

BTW, I like to occasionally add a disclaimer to the effect that I am first and foremost telling stories here at this blog and in my poems, and am quite willing to embellish the 'truth' in pursuit of a more meaningful truth. It is said that all biography is fiction and all fiction is biography and that certainly has its own ring of truth, doesn't it?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bargains

There are no love songs in my heart,
none left to beguile;
I sold them all to pretty girls
for a kiss and a smile.
And at the time, each bargain made
seemed more than worthwhile,
But now I've not one love song left,
not one song to beguile.

And each and every pretty girl,
each girl I have known,
Took away one verse of my heart
and kept it as her own.
Oh,there's no doubt I loved them all,
though memory has flown;
So who's to say who got the bargain,
I or the girls I've known.

There are no sorrows in my heart,
I'll not regret one song,
Sold to please a smiling face --
in that I find no wrong.
Or win the heart of a pretty girl,
for that's where they belong,
But now I have no more songs left,
no, not one love song.

Stephen Brooke ©2011 (first verse from 2003)

So, the story on this one: the first verse was written back in '03 as a stand-alone poem. Found it with the others from that period I've been looking through and revising and thought 'hey, this is song!' And maybe it is now.

At any rate, it's a longer poem with two added stanzas. Did I slightly change the mood and feel with these additions? Probably so, but that's a risk whenever you rework something. It could be a song...think Irish.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

THUNDER ROAD

This month, back in '58...that's what, fifty-three years? I think so, but I ain't so good at math. Anyway, back in '58, May saw the release of the classic (or cult classic) Robert Mitchum movie, Thunder Road.

And I was eight years old. That one I can figure out okay. Old enough to know what was going on, sort of.

The movie was a hit around our house. Well, I had a flock of teenage siblings, so of course! My older brother loved the cars. No wonder -- he was a bona fide hot rod fanatic. My older sisters mostly cared about the fact that it was, well, Robert Mitchum. 'Nuff said there.

I'll not debate how good the movie might have been, only note that it was a Mitchum tour-de-force (in a two-door-Ford), with Bob co-writing, co-directing, starring. It's certainly well enough realized to be taken seriously as art as well as entertainment.

Mitchum also co-wrote and sang (though not for the movie) the song, The Ballad of Thunder Road. Not to be confused with Springsteen's piece by almost the same name.

Me, I never saw the movie until years later. But the song was on the radio and I loved it. My first real taste of rockabilly fever. 'And there was thunder, thunder, over Thunder Road.' Yeah, I sang along.

It sure beat most of what I remember hearing on the radio at that time. Or don't remember hearing, perhaps I should say. Although I know there was good music around, very little made an impression. And what did wasn't exactly exciting, just catchy enough to get ones attention. Thunder Road was a different bottle of 'shine, that's for sure.

Maybe I liked the story it told. Certainly I loved that hooky chorus that I could sing along to. I know, looking back, that the verses were pretty uninteresting, music-wise. Very little in the way of a melody and at times more nearly akin to a dramatic reading than a song.

But then, that just helps set up the chorus when it comes 'thundering' in. Thunder Road's really a classic bit of songwriting, of the more country sort. These days, that would be alt-country I reckon.

I do think that it may have been the first song to ever reach in and grab my heart. Make it beat a little faster. Show me that music is not just happy stuff, not just radio fluff. That it can be dramatic, that it can mean something.

That's part of growing up, I suppose. We all will have our milestones and one of mine just happened to be along Thunder Road.

Stephen Brooke ©2011

I just typed up and archived (on the PC, that is) poem number 600. That's not including haiku, limericks, and other such short-form work, nor most of my songs. Though a few of the songs do also function as stand-alone poems and are counted as both. By the way, I'm up to 214 finished songs at this point and, as usual, have a few works-in-progress.

Anyway, I'm thinking maybe I'd better data base all these poems (what, data base can't be used as a verb?). I did do that with the songs and there are only like three times as many poems...

It would be useful, though, because I sometimes fear a certain redundancy -- the same poem (or nearly the same poem) saved under two different names. So I've made a start (in Open Office Base, again) , categorizing them by name, date and first line. That should take care of almost any confusion. Oh, and of course, publishing dates for those that have appeared in magazines.

* * *

Back to warm Summery weather here on Peanut Road. In the course of a week we went from record highs (96) to record lows (46) around here. Should be back into the mid-90s again today. And getting dry again -- must get out with the hose and try to keep stuff alive.

I have quite literally hundreds of Madagascar Periwinkles (Catharanthus) sprouting now. I have quite a job of transplanting if I decide to save them (or some of them). There are sandy, somewhat barren spots where nothing flourishes but they might. Like the steep bank along the north side of my place -- I've tried to get crown vetch started there a couple times with no success. I guess the periwinkles would be better than nothing, though I have managed to get some Coral Berry (Indian Current -- essentially a bush honeysuckle) doing okay out there now.

The 'new' dog is settling in well. I've never really had a dog before. The family did when I was a kid but I've never owned a pooch. Lots of cats, of course. I've named this boy (still something of a puppy) Tuck. He seems to be at least part Border Collie and is therefore, not surprisingly, pretty smart. Maybe smarter than me.

But also well behaved and readily trainable. And he likes to herd the cat. He's been here about a month now, after showing up as a stray. I did not feed him for the first week, assuming he had a home somewhere (or would go looking for one) but he adopted me so what could I do? I'm pretty sure he belonged to the folks who opened and closed their motorcycle shop across the road this past year, showing up at my door just after they moved out. Their loss, I reckon.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Song

In caverns known but to the tides,
the blind fish turn their silvered side;
beneath a phosphorescent moon,
they dance the ageless murmured tune

of sea and earth and hidden places.
A song, in turn, each drop that traces
its path along the dew-wet blade
of lawn takes up, lets rise and fade,

and, whispered by the rains of night,
the melody lifts into flight,
as wind gives music subtle wings,
to fill the dark between all things.

Stephen Brooke ©2003

Yet another old poem. Unlike many of them, I remember exactly when and where this one was born -- I was sitting in the campground at the Will McLean Festival near Dade City FL in March of '03.

Speaking of festivals, it is almost certain I won't make it to the Florida Folk Festival this year (again). No rest stops till I reach the end of this road.

Rooms

You gave love by the room
when I desired houses.
Such small spaces; how could I
dwell there, ever a guest,

ever a visitor? I would not
have mussed your towels too much
nor broken all your china.
No, rooms were not enough;

my heart needed houses.

Stephen Brooke ©2003

Another older piece. I'm slightly shocked (yes, shocked I tell you!) at quite how many poems I wrote around that time are rather naughty (or even downright pornographic). Must have been a phase I went through...or I fell into bad company on the internet! ;)

I've been fooling around with Open Office Draw lately, seeing if will serve as a replacement for my venerable copy of Corel Draw 8 when this old XP-running computer bites the dust. It seems I can do most of what I usually do in Corel but it is mighty clunky and slow in comparison. I don't think I'd want to work with it regularly.

So I'll look for something else when I finally switch to Windows 7 or whatever. I've found that the free GIMP is a fine alternative to Photoshop Elements so I've got that graphics program covered but I need something to work with for the vector stuff and layouts and such. There are some open source and/or free programs out there I intend to investigate. Or maybe I'll just invest in something new from Corel. I must say, I've always liked Word Perfect too, as a word processing application. Especially nice for laying out poetry and that sort of thing, but Open Office Writer is not at all bad.

At My Age

It seems a strange admission at my age:
she was the first, the one-true-broke-my-heart
love-of-my-life. The rest just qualify

as ships-that-passed, my turnings of the page.
You love, she said, too much, become my cage,
and we would both be happier apart.

She is, perhaps, but when will life restart
for me? It's not as though I didn't try,
pronounced my empty lines and wondered why

I still perform such roles upon my stage,
I cast myself in such roles at my age.

Stephen Brooke ©2002

I found several somewhat mediocre poems from the 2001-2003 period in my notes, stuff that existed only in handwritten copies. Most of them were posted in online writing groups back then, I think, but never existed in typed form on my own computer. Or if they did, they were lost when my last PC died. Anyway, I'm going through them -- when I feel like wasting some time -- and getting them rewritten and archived. There's a lot of lovesick stuff among them...drivel, in general.

This one, I guess, is a little better than most. At least, it's nicely metered.

Wake, Little One

Wake, little one,
the day is new.
The sun is shining,
the sky is blue.

The birds are singing
in the trees.
The grass is dancing
in the breeze.

The sun is drying
up the dew.
His face is bright
and yours is too.

My little one
is still in bed.
Wake up, little
sleepy head.

The sun is up,
why aren't you?
Wake, little one,
we've things to do!

Stephen Brooke ©2011

I'm not quite sure what this is but I wrote it anyway.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Broken

Cold cuts, cigarette butts,
Sittin' here, goin' slowly nuts.
TV news, a couple of brews,
Seems like I've got nothin' to lose.

Dirty dishes, misplaced wishes,
No more point to bein' ambitious.
Another dawn, she's still gone,
And life just keeps on keepin' on.

Another broken heart,
That tries to understand;
Another broken life,
I've done all I can.
Every broken promise
has broken who I am;
Broken dreams have left me
Another broken man.

Lately I'm just wastin' time,
Tryin' to force some reason and rhyme.
A lost hound waitin' in the pound,
Hopin' someday to be found.

Morning light, sat all night,
Wonderin' what is wrong and right.
Is what a man does and what a man was
Nothin' more than appearances?

Stephen Brooke ©2011

A song lyric of a country bent. Old-school country, that is -- you aren't so likely to hear stuff like this on contemporary country radio. More suited to the alt country/Americana thing, I suppose. There should be an instrumental break between the third and fourth verses. Or wherever. As usual, there are bits of tune in my head but nothing definite right now.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

WHY I AM (MORE OR LESS) A VEGETARIAN

There are three primary reasons why one might choose to be vegetarian: ethics, morals, and health.

The ethical arguments are that the production and consumption of meat is wasteful, expensive, bad for the environment. Perhaps so, especially in these days; once upon a time, having a family pig or such was actually a good and natural way to go. I would not choose to be a vegetarian only for such ethical reasons, though I do consider them valid concerns.

Health is certainly a concern as well. Yes, eating meat can be bad for one. So can not eating meat. If health were my only concern, I would be moderate in my consumption, not abstemious.

The idea of eating the decaying flesh of animals does seem a bit repugnant, when one thinks on it. But then so are many other things that make up our ordinary lives. It is certainly possible to live a healthy life with or without meat, so I do not count this as a particularly strong argument for my own vegetarian choice.

Though both of the preceding reasons do help weigh in the favor of a vegetarian diet, it is the moral argument that has primarily swayed me. I should say that my position reflects a private moral choice and is not a comment nor judgement on anyone else's decision to eat meat.

There is the matter of respect for life. Ah, but what life? Plants have life too. The virus that might kill me has life (sort of) and I'm quite willing to eradicate it. So there is a hierarchy involved -- some life must be considered more valuable than other.

For me, the dividing line is the ability to think. And I define thinking as the capacity to learn. An ant does not think, by this definition. It will always do exactly the same thing when faced with identical conditions. Its responses are hard-wired. It can not learn to do anything else. This is true of most, but not all, invertebrates.

A corollary of being able to learn is the feeling of pain. Obviously, if a creature is unable to learn then pain would serve no purpose. It could never be taught to avoid it. It would never recognize it. It is reasonable to assume, then, that any creature that can not learn would not feel pain in any sense that we do. It avoids 'painful' situations purely in a mechanical, non-thinking manner.

All animals with backbones have the ability to learn. I would believe that they do feel pain, just as you and I. I do not eat (and try not to kill) any creature with a backbone.

Some animals without backbones, however, do exhibit the ability to learn and to avoid pain, most notably octopi and squid. So I've crossed calamari off my diet. I am willing to eat clams, oysters, probably shrimp and scallops. I don't consume a lot of them but I can't find a valid moral reason not to.

Nor can I find any objection to the consumption of milk, honey, or any other food created by animals. At one time, I was on the fence when it came to eggs, particularly fertile ones as they do grow into animals, but I've concluded that an egg is just an egg, obviously not able to think or feel, and therefore completely acceptable.

A friend told me, several year ago, that she was not willing to eat anything she would not be willing to kill. In her case, that meant no beef or pork, nor, I have assumed, mammals in general. She consumed turkey and chicken and fish readily. I think that's where my current vegetarianism got its start, though I had dabbled for health reasons (and the occasional religious fast) earlier. I realized that I was not willing to kill any creature that was aware of its pain and, therefore, was also unwilling to approve of their killing by eating them.

I do recognize that there are times when we might have to put aside our moral objections. If we are starving, if our lives are threatened, we will kill. The thing is to recognize that the taking of life is still 'wrong,' not to become callous, to know that the lesser of evils remains an evil, however necessary it may be.

So I've no qualms about swatting a cockroach -- no more than pulling a radish out of my garden -- but I do regret having to kill a rat. As with many Native Americans and other hunter cultures around the world, I try to respect the spirit of the animals we may be required to kill. It is a serious matter -- yes, even taking the life of a mouse.

Since this is, as I stated, a private moral decision, I do not force it on my carnivorous animal pets. It would be poor judgement -- and possibly downright cruel -- to attempt to make my cat and dog into vegetarians! I regret that animals die to feed them, but that is indeed the way of nature and they can not choose. I can, being human, choose otherwise for myself.

And I have chosen otherwise. I've pretty much always been in favor of nonviolence but it took me a while to work it out in some areas of my life. I certainly don't claim any great gift of understanding, any extraordinary insight. I'm just trying to work out the terms of my personal peace treaty with creation.

Stephen Brooke ©2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

This is another try at the 'classic' song form, in this case gong for something reminiscent of what might have been written for a Broadway show of the Thirties (or earlier). As such, it is best seen essentially as an exercise.

IN THE PARK

(opening verses)
It would be lovely to be in love;
Everyone loves to be in love.
Oh gee, oh golly, perhaps it's folly,
But I would love to be in love!

Everyone seems to be in love;
Each boy and girl has someone to love.
Oh golly, oh gee, why not me?
It would be lovely to be in love!

(verses might be sung together or alternated boy and girl -- possibly repeated between choruses)

(chorus: boy)
Each day I see her in the park,
One girl, just one of so many.
Oh, but I might not be happy with any
Other girl in the park.

I should pause, make some remark,
As she passes, laughing with her friends.
When she comes close, my courage ends,
The girl in the park.

(chorus: girl)
Each day I see him at the park,
The boy I pass by as I walk.
I wish that he would stop and talk,
That shy boy at the park.

Sometimes I feel a sudden spark;
Is it the prick of Cupid's dart?
I think that I could give my heart
To the boy at the park.

(choruses might be sung as written here or alternated boy and girl)

(bridge: both)
Perhaps on some fine summer day
When we pass, each on our way,
We will find the words to say.
It should happen and it may
In the park.

Stephen Brooke ©2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

ON FREE VERSE and Various Other Ramblings

Free verse, although identified with 'Modernism' in many minds, is nothing new. Indeed, it may be as old as poetry itself.

Who might say whether the first poems, couched perhaps in some meager primeval language (did Homo erectus have poetry, perhaps?), were recited to a beat or chanted in free form? Both exist in all the cultures of earth, from the most primitive to the sophisticated. Gregorian chant, e.g. is essentially free verse.

But I would write here of modern free verse, the stuff that's been written since the mid-19th Century (so, you see, it's not really all that new either). Much hated -- as was 'modern art' -- by many people for many years, now it is commonplace, rather the norm, in fact.

As is modern art, modern music, and all the rest of Modernism. It does amuse me occasionally to come across magazines that look down on rhymed or metered poetry as 'old fashioned.' It is no more so than free verse, these days.

Although Edgar Allen Poe never wrote a free verse poem, it has been recognized that he played an important role in its appearance. Poe was loved by the French (the Jerry Lewis of his time?). As a result, prose translations of his work were widely read. These profoundly influenced the Symbolist poets.

Translations in prose/free verse form, French to English, English to French, are where it pretty much started. Before long, those French Symbolists were writing the first prose poems. Not long after, Whitman and others were composing English-language free verse. This was not the Modern era -- this was the Late Romantic.

The Symbolists can be considered somewhat as poetry's analog to the Impressionist painters. They saw words in much the way those artists saw light, recognizing that the whole is made up of these parts, that each had its own host of connotations -- symbols and metaphors -- attached.

Both Symbolists and Impressionists had their day. When the Romantic era faded and the Modern began -- around 1910 or so is a useful date for this -- Modernism took up the free verse form quite readily.

The Late Romantic, of course, pre-shadowed the Modern, just as the Late Renaissance pre-shadowed the Baroque and the Late Baroque pre-shadowed the Romantic. Once the old ideas and ideals are brought to full development, the innovative begin to look for new artistic inspiration. Sometimes this results in the bizarre, the mannerist; sometimes it plants the seeds for the next great era.

Certainly, many great Modern poets did not write free verse, or did so only at times. Frost, Neruda -- they used meter and sometimes rhyme. Though with Neruda and his fellow Spanish language poets, it must be noted that rhyme and meter are decidedly easier to employ in their native tongue than in English. The whole concept of rhyme and strict meter came into English language poetry from outside, anyway, from French and Latin and Arabic influences. But I'm getting off the subject, a bit!

Why did Modernism embrace free verse? Was it the urge to rebel, to shock, to do away with the old? Traditional rhymed poetry certainly carried a lot of baggage with it by that time and Modernism was big on leaving that baggage on the platform and jumping unencumbered onto a fast train to the future.

There was also the desire, as with Cubism, to find new and different perspectives -- to break the rules that had governed our way of looking at things, of thinking of things. A host of 'isms' sprang up, trying to formulate these new ways, to put forth new concepts. Modernism could well be named the Age of Concept (and yes, I'm borrowing this from Tom Wolfe, somewhat).

Conceptualism, in all its many aspects, is ultimately -- in my opinion -- the reason for the wide spread acceptance of free verse in the Modern era (and Post-Modern, which is really just a stage of Modernism). It is the idea that the idea is the important thing. This is not the 'all' of Modernism, naturally, but it is a major facet.

A corollary is the now-commonplace statement that form follows function. The Modern poet, more often than not, saw no need for the old forms. They served no purpose in what he or she was attempting to achieve.

Form does, however, have its uses. We like form. It provides a jumping-off point, a reference. It provides order.

Now, free verse is also a form. That's why it has a name, after all! Recognizing that we categorize and name all things, that we see forms and order everywhere, allows one to choose a path. It becomes a map for our artistic journey.

So, today I might write free verse, tomorrow something alliterative and accentual, and perhaps heroic couplets the next. Or create a way of my own, if possible and if need be. The thing is to know why one chooses ones form.

Free verse is, obviously, here to stay, as thoroughly entrenched as any other way of writing poems. There is a great deal of bad free verse written, however, by poets who don't grasp the metaphors of the Symbolists, the visions of the Imagists, or the power of language in general.

Language must have power. The ultimate reason for relaxing the structure is to allow the words to shine through unimpeded. Which brings us back to original purposes of the Symbolists.

And I admit to a fondness (or weakness?) for the work of those French poets (who, as you may be aware, directly and heavily influenced Bob Dylan's song writing, as well as that of Patti Smith and many others, and indirectly influencing just about everyone else.). Recognizing, of course, that they are from a different era and attempting not to fall into pastiche -- that's something I do far too easily.

I'll never be a 'New Formalist' (not so new now, they've been around a couple decades or so), but as a writer of songs as well as poems, I do appreciate and explore the use of structure. It's important too, just as with words.

It's a matter of balance. We can push the words into the foreground, we can emphasize the structure, but both must be there, the one balancing the other. When I feel the need to let the words and their meaning shine, I may tend toward free verse (or the loosely accentual form I frequently employ). If the musicality of the structure is paramount, then its time for a stricter form and the words will serve that.

I can see a day when free verse will go out of style. All things do, inevitably, and, just as inevitably, come back. The poetry of 'slams,' the proliferation of the (mostly bad) rap-influenced rhyming poem, may point to that day.

For now, though, the free verse poem is still viable, still has power. It will still be written and read.

Stephen Brooke ©2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Amytis

Here, there are no mountains,
no tall-treed valleys of shade
and rest. No streams run laughing
beside us, laughing at us

and our love-making. Once,
we knew such laughter, mingling
with our own voices' song,
tumbling away. Such youthful,

boisterous rivers are lost
to hearts that fade, fade as
the flowers we left in
the mountains of the Medes.

We are naked, here.
There is no hiding from
the sun, no secrets kept
from night's knowing stars.

Our faces have become
those of the gods who guard
the city gates, the painted
masonry, weary

of their pretense of power,
of vigilance, of life.
Your kingdom squats upon
these plains, bounded in.

Bounded by great rivers
and by great mountains beyond,
Babylon, the mighty,
is my prison. I long,

O, King and Husband, I long.
For the mountains, I long,
for Media, my home.
Here, there are no mountains.

Stephen Brooke ©2011

This is an imagining of the lament of Amytis of Media, wife of Nebuchadnezzer, for her home in Media (more or less modern Iran). In response to his wife's unhappiness, the Great King built the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the legendary Seven Wonders of the World.

Maybe. Evidence suggests that the original Hanging Gardens were in Ninevah, built by an Assyrian king a couple centuries earlier. Maybe Nebuchadnezzer copied them or maybe the story just got attached to him by the Greeks.

I've kept this poem accentual, three stresses to the line.

There's a heat wave here on Peanut Road, temperatures well up into the mid-90s. Summer weather, but a little early! We may see worse later in the season, but this is, in general, about as bad as it gets. Especially when the rainy season isn't on us yet to cool things down in the afternoon, a tad. I'll have to be diligent with my watering for a while. I hope that the incredibly thick swarms of gnats let up some so I can get out there with the hose!

Internet remains rather frustrating. We actually got a little better this past weekend and I was able to connect on nearly-normal dial-up speeds a couple times. Back to abysmally slow and erratic yesterday, however. Overall, we do seem a little better but it's certainly not what I've been used to the last four years here.

The Florida Folk Festival is coming up in a couple and a half weeks. I'm simply not going to make any plans for attending. It could happen but, well, if it does, it does. The niece (Mean Mary) will be performing, of course. She's also doing the Ormond Beach festival this weekend. I'm not hearing much from her so I don't know if she intends to hang in Florida the week and a half between the two. 'Twould be silly to go anywhere else, though!

Monday, May 02, 2011

ETERNITY

Time is a dimension of our finite universe and therefore also finite. There is no eternity, no infinite time, within a universe that began and will end.

There is an infinite reality that lies beyond this universe. It is 'extratemporal.' It is outside of time or, more properly, time (and our universe) is within it (using 'within' loosely, as the word implies spatial dimensions). The infinite is not governed by time nor any of the laws and limitations of this (or any other) finite universe.

Yet, as part of infinite being, it could be argued that time shares in that infinitness. In this respect, perhaps, one could speak of eternity. Although our universe has a start and finish, those events are measured only by the time that exists as an intrinsic part of the universe.

And our universe, finite though it may be within itself, is one of an infinte number of universes that can and must be. It is a part of the infinite which knows no time. Is that the same as being eternal?

I would say no, by the strict meaning of eternity, but the end result is much the same. It 'goes on,' just not through time as we know (or try to know) it.

Stephen Brooke ©2011