Saturday, October 09, 2004

The Direction the Arrow is Flying

Beyond the Blackened Stump

When an arrow is released from a bow, the assumption is, it will travel to where it was originally aimed, and, presuming it was aimed correctly, it will strike the target and stick.

And like all good movie soundtrack arrows, it will "thwanggggg" with authoritative certainty.

What I wonder is this--What if, at mid-flight, it becomes apparent that the arrow will miss its mark? You know, that perhaps wind speed and the passing semi were not accounted for? That the time it took the arrow to reach its destination allowed the circumstances to change enough for the arrow to now be heading toward your favorite Aunt's butt? Think about it....

Is the certainty more or less important than the outcome?

Saturday, October 02, 2004

The Levitating Cat With Toast Theory of Governance

Back for more groans......

The Levitating Cat With Toast Theory of Governance

Once, a very clever man got bored and started thinking. His mind bounced around from coffee tables to electrostatic principles while his eyes watched a cat fall from a tree limb most ungracefully, only to land squarely--and predictably-- on its feet. "Ahhh, now there is a principle I had almost forgotten," he mused. "A cat always lands on its feet." Just then his toast toppled from his plate (he was too intent on the cat) and it landed--predictably-- butter side down. "Ahh, now there is another!" he thought. "The dropped toast will almost always land butter side down." And since he was bored and his mind was thinking, a thought occured to him. He giggled. "What would happen to our laws, if I strapped the toast onto the back of the cat? Would this? Could this?" The very clever man proceeded to capture a cat (gently, of course, with tuna on his fingers) and toasted up a piece of whole wheat, slathered in butter, and tied the two together with the butter opposing the nimble cat's feet. He threw the pair into the air and the cat, twisting hard, turned and got its feet underneath it just in time. "Ahh", said the man, "that was what I expected." The man went and got a smaller cat and a bigger, thicker piece of toast. He heaped on the butter, tied the pair, threw them in the air, and watched as the cat twisted and strained and flailed its legs with its claws out, and, finally, managed to get its feet down underneath it, running off and then squatting and turning to lick the butter from the toast. The clever man was ecstatic, having 'seen' exactly what he was looking for. This time, he went to the pound, got a scrawny, almost sickly cat without much agility at all and the biggest, fattest piece of toast with practically a cube of butter slathered on it. Joining the pair, he threw them in the air. The cat twisted, the butter fell. The cat torqued, and the butter screamed toward the carpet. At the last minute, they stopped. The cat and the piece of toast.... Levitating! Floating about six inches from the ground, the cat twisting, the butter obeying the laws that governed it..... Magically..... A levitating cat strapped with toast.

Now. Here is the moral: If you can find the subtlest of balances in all situations, magic happens. As sure as a cat lands on its feet and butter lands face down on your carpet. Don't believe me? Go try it.

Thursday, September 30, 2004


Beyond the Blackened Stump

Take a Good Look at What You're Stepping In

Every now and then, someone will step on something that squeaks, and will stop, bend down and investigate. We do this because out of a million steps that our lives take, very few of them actually squeak. Oh, some may 'pitter' and some may 'slish slish slosh' after a rain and some may 'cutsh shutch cutch' across the snow and some may 'click click click' across a thin film of floor wax...

But squeak?

Even the least egalitarian contrarian would have to concede the squeak is unique!!

It's that moment when those paying attention realize that the march we are all in cadence with is a march. It is that moment that veers a lemming and turns a tank around. That moment when the monotonous cadence of the drum breaks away for its solo and the moment when the baby bird first tries to fly.

The squeak is the first time you asked your 'love' out for a date. The first time you realized what else that thing is for. It is the first death in your life. The first time you realized someone hates you enough to see you dead.....

What's squeaking for you now?

The War in Iraq has pitted drummer against drummer. It has been the "Battle of the Bands" without the sexy girls bobbing atop the square shouldered boys (I sure miss that...) It is the Pro vs. Con....... Yes vs. No....... MEvs.U............Boom! boom! boom! Katish Katish....

At the juncture of this time, it is "how do we get to the other side from the side we are standing?"

Road vs. Wade?

The war, for many of us, has boiled down to which websites we frequent to head-bob ourselves into our delusions,elusions,convolutions of truth, and which ones we don't. We are certaint that our perception through our square box is better than the perception of another, through their square box.....


You've all just stepped in it. Tell me what you realize you've been wrong about. Or, peeking through your convictions, what nags at you the most?

Wednesday, September 29, 2004


Well, I got you on the same page, that's a start.... But really, I am absolutely STUMPED. I got no clue. Shoulda Woulda Coulda. He said she said they said. Your fault is his fault is their fault..... Ochres calling people with the Blues -- Maroons. Some described as Yellow....You're wrong, I am right. A Chimp beats a Poodle in a pit..... Baby!!!
With all this dying going on, you'd think there would be a collective agreement somewhere in the middle of this 'war', where a convergence of sanity occurs.... You would think, anyway...
What happened to the human condition? The basic notions that serves us all in a pinch? You gotta eat.... Stay warm.... Stay cool.... Mind your manners.... Never disrespect somebody's momma.... Get some sleep.... Look after your little brother.... Say you're sorry.... Help out.... Look after your sister.... Wanna bet these and others are common in every language? Like the expression-"Excuse me, where's the bathroom?" these expressions of our commonality are infinitely more profound and all pervasive than an argument whether the egg or the chicken fired the first mortar round.....
In that light, I open this little enclave "Beyond The Blackened Stump", a place, (I hope) where the commonalities of existence can be shared with humor and good will, so that things like death announcements affect us all equally, and inspire us all to seek, perhaps, 'out of the box' answers to the situation in Iraq and where ever else people need to use the loo while fear scares the shit out of them....