pasttime

Writing to join with the spirit and muses in the universe...

A summer spent with a few good books, read in-between walks.

Taking an immersive walk can be spoiled by taking photographs. Reading a good book can be spoiled by taking too many notes. Writing well-thought out material can be spoiled by too much blogging.

Secrecy, privacy and providing meaningful details to engage the reader. Musings to myself about my lack of understanding the social graces.

Privacy seems to have a good cachet. Secrecy's cachet depends on the situation. Meaningful details can become too much information. First, too much information for the reader then secondly, too much information for the safety, security and privacy of the writer. As has been said, privacy allows one to safely hold unconventional opinions. It also allows one to more more safely change one's mind.

Put a smile on your face, speak less and listen more is a good recipe for that all important good first impression. Put people at their ease. It is harder for someone to tell that you might be different. It is harder for them to instantly judge you. A public persona is both difficult to live up to and to live down. People feel very strongly they know you. You have never even met them.

Why do people listen to other people? Why are some people so good at having people listen to them? One person speaks strongly, decidedly and many people are intrigued. Another person speaks in a similar manner and people find them too strongly opinionated, with their opinion always being the only correct one. If, as is said, people reciprocate behaviour shown to them, or follow the golden and silver rules, then listening to others at some point might induce them to listen to you. Telling people what they want to hear is also good for listening. “Maybe you are not as smart as CNN keeps telling you you are,” is only a good recipe for the iconoclasts and “shock jockeys” amongst the social influencers of any age? It does not seem to be an easy career choice, especially if the iconoclast lacks social charm and culturally-appropriate good manners.

Our move out, to temporary rental accommodation, has gone very well. So well that my calendar for the week upcoming is completely empty. I am stunned and uneasy. Is this good or bad, the calendar being so empty? Should I feel ashamed or elated? I do hope the current owners of the home we have purchased are busy packing up so we will be on time for our planned move-in later this year. I will be much busier then.

My father died in 1973.

He was 67 years old at the time of his death. He would have turned 68 in about three months. I remember, after his death, finding the beginning of a book he had started upon retiring. The first line was something like: “People consider 'profit' a dirty word, but I don't.” He never finished Chapter 1. I can't now remember if he got much beyond the first two pages.

He and I never talked that much. He seemed worried, as did my mother, that I didn't like girls enough. I was painfully shy and a complete social misfit, but I definitely preferred girls. I masturbated a lot to photos of women, but real-life relationships were beyond me until I graduated from medical school and moved away to intern in a different city.

All that is to say that my Father never ever talked about himself. I knew he had been a professional photographer back in England before the Second World War. Some of his photos hung about the house. Some were of Mousehole, Cornwall where I understood he had lived and worked with his first wife. At some point, I remember learning that he had been a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society. It wasn't until after his death that I learned how difficult it was to earn such a distinction, nor that he had published articles in the Royal Photographic Society's magazine.

It wasn't until December 2019, more than 46 years after his death, that I ran across an obituary of his first wife, Geraldine, written in 2003. I learned more about my father than I ever knew. He and his first wife had moved to New York during the 1930's Depression and earned a living as freelance photographers. He had been a pilot in Coastal Command during WWII. She had wound up living in Florida for a time after the war. I wondered if that didn't explain a ferry passage record from England to Florida that I had found for my father on Ancestry.com? It was after the war and he was on his way up to Montreal where he had met my mother, but it had seemed an odd route to take to get there. Had he needed to visit his first wife to discuss finalizing their divorce, because he was planning to marry my mother? Their ceremony had been a civil one.

Growing up, one of my first plane trips was a family holiday to New York that my father had arranged for one of my birthdays. He never said a word, ever, about being there before, let alone living and working there during the Depression. He never ever mentioned that he had learned to fly multi-engine aircraft, nor where he had done so. Never do I ever remember a war tale from him, even watching all the war movies or Remembrance Day ceremonies over the years. I had always thought he was in some branch of photo reconnaissance. He always kept a small plaque recording the King's thanks for him having been mentioned in dispatches. He never ever told me what that meant or why he had earned it. In fairness to him, I never asked.

My sister mentioned to me that our father had also completed a successful apprentice as a professional baker. All of these achievements had been earned after leaving school at thirteen and three-quarters. The school leaving age had been told to me many times. It seemed to be both a mark of his success as a business executive and a warning to me to continue my schooling and not have to fight for a living the way he had had to. His achievements, and his life, put mine to shame in many ways, yet he was not loved by me very much. He made our family life hell, or at least he and my mother seemed to hate one another. I was so ashamed of our family and of myself. My mother always saw everyone else's grass as greener. Every neighbour had a better house, better marriage, better jobs, better everything. I am not sure when I was told that my father had been married once before. I think it might have been my mother who told me, perhaps shortly after my father had died. She said that she had had to agree that she and my father had committed adultery in a British court. It was one of the few grounds allowed for divorce in England in the 1940's. My father's first wife never remarried and there were no children from the marriage, but her obituary said that she had come from a large family. I understood her to be Irish, but I have no proof of that fact. Was she Roman Catholic? The divorce was civilly true, but she had stayed true to Catholicism as once married, always married? Her obituary mentioned no religion and mentioned no service. She moved around quite a bit and never to Ireland.

Equally strange to me, eager for any details I could find all these years later, the unpleasantness around the divorce was carefully avoided by the person writing the obituary. “They eventually grew estranged and divorced.”

It is soothing,

not that someone will read what you have written, but that someone might.

Soothing is only true if they should like what you have written, or at least have some sympathy and empathy for it. Feeling you have a psychopathy, no, that would be at the very least unsettling.

Why is consenting to the loss of agency such a sexual turn-on for me? Is it proving how loyal and trusting you are to an apparently superior being? Does it just feel so good to go along on their ride? It is all just a pathetic fantasy for me that serves only to alienate me from my spouse and vice versa. I have been very lucky so far in my life that is all that the fantasy has done.

Moving on in what turns out to be a circle.

We are moving homes, so the entries have been few over the past few weeks. It may be so for a couple of months yet.

I feel I have blogged this before, but the thought keeps returning. If earth spent millions of years sequestering carbon dioxide underground in the form of coal, oil and other petrochemicals, allowing the earth to become more temperate or water frozen; why do humans think there will be no ill effects from combusting all that carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere over a period of less than five hundred years? Shall cloned dinosaurs have the last laugh on humans after all? Humans will turn out to be a small interregnum in time between Jurassic Parks. One Park a natural evolution; the other a scientific remnant from the interregnum.

A note to myself written in early 2015

Occasional thoughts

Hope after death gives hope through to death. Is there anyone more desperate than a lonely, isolated exhibitionist? Stop being a human doing occasionally to be a human being. Be in the moment, not solely ahead of it in your thoughts and presence.

Pray to be ever ready for God's will even when it takes you by surprise. -St. Mary MacKillop

I seem to recite my Rosary a lot on Tuesdays and Fridays. They are the days of the sorrowful mysteries. Why? It doesn't seem a conscious choice. Patient bearing of trials and pardoning of injuries are about as unnatural to me as discipline, submission to a higher power in God's will and quiet mortification of the senses.

Sitting through the night hoping the patient's fever and delirium will break to again allow the dawn.

Whether it is “Extraordinary Delusions and the Madness of Crowds” by MacKay or “The French Revolution” by Carlyle, the idea of delirium sweeping through, infecting, great swathes of people in a country is no longer new. Everyone has their opinion on the most dangerous or ridiculous current fad but mine is the unquestioning worship of globalism. Everything must and is better if it has been moved 5000 miles to the other side of the planet. This applies to people as much as goods, raw materials and services. Whether it be cost or value, moving “it” somewhere else is the preferred solution to making “it” in as short a radius as possible from the need.

All forms of worship have their declared heresies. Paradoxical beliefs are poorly tolerated, or not tolerated at all. Scientism and all other religions are a human activity. As such, like all human activities, they all are ridden with unwarranted assumptions, naive beliefs and prejudices accepted as prevailing wisdom. The one constant is that the people on the “outs” of the great and the wise in the prevailing religion are still completely stupid, even if their previous heresies are now spouted as gospel by the wise.

Immigration having positive values is the current orthodoxy to be preserved at all costs. The idea that a society will continue to do just fine staying in place by itself is the accompanying heresy. The fact it could actually be a case of paradox, with both beliefs true at once, is unthinkable to the high priests. If North America had not been discovered by Europe, or the reverse had happened, the society here today would be just fine, as would be Europe's.

At the end of the Second World War, many nations lay in ruins. The solution was not to move those peoples all over the planet to somewhere else. It was to build them back up in place. That solution worked so well, nations like China, Japan, Germany and France are among the world's top economies today.

Adam Smith's idea of dividing labour into particular jobs among ten or fifteen people to allow an area to produce more pins is compatible with not having the world's entire supply of pins produced from one giant factory in China.

Over millions of years, atmospheric carbon dioxide was sequestered into the oil sands of Alberta. Shipping this tar to the other side of the world for processing for fuel to again release those millions of years of supply into the atmosphere over the next fifty to one hundred years while pretending that absolutely nothing could go wrong or be irrevocably changed is not a bet that I am willing to make. Letting the tar be processed by a powerful dictator bent on world domination who doesn't like us only doubles down on an already very bad bet.

Discipline: Mastering the loss of novelty bias as one works steadily towards a goal.

Addiction: A novelty bias that never ceases to be novel.

Enter your email to subscribe to updates.