15 Apr 2005

Taking it day by day — sometimes, that’s the problem, isn’t it? I remember back when, one of my abortive attempts to quit smoking (I finally did quit a year and a half ago): never have I been quite so starkly aware of TIME. For someone who basically had to have a fix every hour, when the clock ticks by those magic minute markers, all you want to do is get your mind off the one thing you can’t stop thinking about — a furious futility. Needless to say, quitting cold turkey didn’t work out. I think I lasted two days, if that. Yes, I realize that the phrase “take it day by day” means that you worry about what is before you, and think not of how long it’s going to be before you finally don’t have that urge anymore. But it does take that long, and there’s no fast forward past the bad stuff. Makes you wish you could hibernate, and let time do the healing without the slow, gnawing exorcism of addiction, or anything else that can only be achieved by waiting. Like maybe a broken heart, or anything of suffering that makes you live forever in a day.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

14 Apr 2005

Dreams I dream sometimes I pray never see the light of day.

Dreams I dream get me through a few days when there is no other light.

Dreams I dream fly off when I wake, as if they fear the morning reality.

Dreams I dream I rarely have more than once — but it’s enough.

Dreams I dream are so light, float away so quick if I let go.

Dreams I dream I mercifully forget, or my head would be overflowing.

Dreams I dream never give me peace, not if I am to follow them.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

12 Apr 2005

He who wanders far enough forgets that he ever began.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

Midnight

Thought has not the will
to budge me from my infinite torpor,
nothing left of hope
but a burned out candle,
and the clock strikes midnight
here at the end of the world —
time when all time runs out, no more seconds
left to diligently pass —
but I find that even so, I cannot
for the life of me get myself
to care. What happened to the childhood
brightness? What happened
to the little hands that
held all the potential in the universe,
casually waiting for the
opportune inkling to dribble
down from heaven, so to
build a bridge across the vast expanses?
I am spent, a penny
that has scraped the sidewalk
until Lincoln is indecipherable,
coals that are nothing
but burnt ashes, and I
wait for the impossible, for lightning
to charge me without that
it renders sudden thrashing death….
But I look out from my station
here in the gutters of my mind,
staring up at the stars,
and I wonder, just for a moment,
if even this, this garbage,
is meant to be, and destiny
still waits to catch me
as I wander aimlessly…
and the clock strikes midnight
here at the end of the world —
time when time begins again,
the greatest beginning there will ever be.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

11 Apr 2005

I think it is no mistake that it takes no talent, no extraordinary intelligence or charisma, to be happy. That a simple man can even be supremely happy with simple things, while some who are rich and famous languish in despondency. I think it is something many of us forget, or really, never realize. For we seek after things like notoriety, like wealth, like status, like power — but for what? Is it not that what we all truly are searching for is happiness, in the final analysis? Yet so many of us forget all else when caught up in the game, perhaps not understanding that what we seek is not what we seek, what we want is not what we want — that life can be so much simpler than we make it for ourselves, but that we refuse to acknowledge this could be so. We become lost in plain sight: thus never knowing how cast away we are from our true north.

The simple man, with simple dreams, dreams that come true because they are so available to us: because of their commonness, those in their high towers look down on them as sheep, that something must be wrong with them because… they are happy with what they have. But they miss an even higher purpose that works in the world, that satisfaction is not something that only they who climb the airy heights may taste (of literature, science, business, art, technology, what have you), climb to achieve great things. Not to say that happiness does not lie in greatness, but one may discover, if having had of both the common and the great, that one really is not more than the other. Just different. For who is to say which is the more joy — the man with wine older than he, or the child with the chocolate given him by his favorite uncle?

The world works, I think, in stranger ways that we imagine — but not in stranger ways than we can imagine. The world is a complicated thing, if we try to work out why to the nth detail. But one may find that it is like love: it is so simple we’ll never understand it. That simple joys, those within the province of anyone to attain — these may be the best of all. And I think I will not tell you why this is so, but tell you that this is so. Truly. Listen to what your heart tells you about the subject, and don’t think so hard if you want to figure out such a why!

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:07 am

9 Apr 2005

I was burned out from exhaustion, buried in the hail,
Poisoned in the bushes an’ blown out on the trail,
Hunted like a crocodile, ravaged in the corn.
“Come in,” she said,
“I’ll give you shelter from the storm.”

– Bob Dylan

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

A. G. Rizzoli: Temple of Life

Click on the pic for a larger version.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

8 Apr 2005

(I don’t really know where this is going, something I thought up on the train home. Sorry if I never finish it, but here: the start of a sci-fi short story.)

By the name Tom Weller he was scarcely known, the man with the heavy AKA: a.k.a. luxØr, he was the the one responsible for that famous HLPIMTRPD virus which, yes, even in this day and age (or is it especially in this day and age?) convinced some unwitting users to believe that there was a man trapped in their computer. Focus: upon an ordinary screen, probably running an internet browser or word processing program, which is surreptitiously seized at an exact, predetermined time, and whereupon begins to be scrawled “Helq me! I am trappeb inside this machine!” (Yes, a couple of the letters were even reversed, to mimic if someone were actually, imperfectly scribbling the message from the inside.) Hook the keyboard input to an Eliza*-like interface writing back in a semi-random script, and whammo — 9 out of 10 (actually, more like 2 out of 10) users can’t taste the difference from a decaffeinated virus. You will note that the intent was never to do harm, but just to laugh his head off the next day, which he did. It didn’t destroy any files, and its propagation phase was already quite complete by that magic hour — no annoying emails to everyone you know. And whaddayaknow, it made CNN.com, so the objective was well achieved: LOL, and L, and L, and L… until later that next day, when something very similar to what he had perpetrated happened to him.

*Eliza was a program that acted like a psychotherapist, to which some people were so taken as to tell their real problems to.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

7 Apr 2005

Looking into my heart, which is perhaps the best way of looking into other men’s, I know that the Savior I want is one of whom I can say with Thomas of old, “My Lord and my God.” It would not suffice for my need that He should be only an heroic brother, man divinely inspired. I owe Him my soul, He fills my whole spiritual horizon, I seek to lose myself in Him that I may find myself eternally in life and love divine.

– R. J. Campbell

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

How could this man who now I am have ever been a child?
No, I was born fully grown, fully dressed, walking to the office.
Childhood was just a dream, and it gets shorter each time I look.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

5 Apr 2005

We forget for most of the day that today is all we have.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:05 am

Back in my wilder days, one of my favorite videos to watch was Woodstock (3 days of peace, music and love), the documentary about the festival of the same name. You know the one, 400,000 people zonked out of their minds listening to rock ‘n’ roll. The one that was declared a disaster area. Yes, that one — there is, of course, none other that you could really confuse this with, the anniversary concerts being such crass commercialism that one must just shake one’s head when one thinks of them using the same name. But the original one, in that huge gig, I think about this line that still stays with me, an announcement when they realized just how many people showed up, most without tickets: (I paraphrase) “There’s only one way this is going to work. See that man next to you? He’s your brother.” And I think that really, that so applies anywhere, everywhere you may go. See this world? There’s only one way all of this, this whole deal is going to work: see all these people around you? They’re your family. Yeah, man. That’s cool.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:03 am

4 Apr 2005

The Lord would have us follow His example, not toward victory by strength of arms, but to win it all by way of love. For He is unique among all the gods of the world, that He did not come as a conquering hero, but instead, as the lamb slain for the transgressions of the many, transgressions He never Himself committed. It is no fairy tale. And He would have of us that we should be like the above, from where He came, for He gave us that charge: to love one another as He loved us. That to lay down one’s life for one’s friends — there is no greater love than this, and we can indeed be called His friends when we follow the calling with which He called us. It need not be so extreme, I think, but can be something we do daily: when given the choice between force or understanding, between our own wills being done or to turn the other cheek, that we choose to be strong not in arm, but in the heart. For it was true strength that died on the cross, the symbol of which we today look upon to give us courage: remember that that is a crucified man we worship!

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

2 Apr 2005

Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone but in every leaf in springtime.

– Martin Luther

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:04 am

A. G. Rizzoli: The Cadevtr

Click on the pic for a larger version.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

1 Apr 2005

The preacher and the writer may seem to have an… easy task. At first sight, it may seem that they have only to proclaim and declare; but in fact, if their words are to enter men’s hearts and bear fruit, they must be the right words, shaped cunningly to pass men’s defenses and explode silently and effectually within their minds. This means, in practice, turning a face of flint toward the easy cliche, the well-worn religious cant and phraseology — dear, no doubt, to the faithful, but utterly meaningless to those outside the fold. It means learning how people are thinking and how they are feeling; it means learning with patience, imagination and ingenuity the way to pierce apathy or blank lack of understanding. I sometimes wonder what hours of prayer and thought lie behind the apparently simple and spontaneous parables of the Gospel.

– J. B. Phillips

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:04 am

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