» Radiation tri-blade » I hesitate to use the term "solitary" to describe the time I spent in jail .. because I did such a short span. (Four days. Friday to Tuesday.) In other words, I dont want to insult the man who has done decades. (Yes, decades.)

Man sitting in a barred jail cell aloneSolitary Confinement

But if you go back and read my old Incarceration entry, you will see that I left myself a spot ..

.. to fill in my thoughts and observations under that very heading ..

.. because I could see that it was a topic of much consequence. For many people. Powerless people.

I sense that today would be a good day to discuss this topic in greater detail. And I have a few nice spins that my fingers are itching to twist.

And also because you might consider life aboard a nuclear submarine anything but private. Anything but solitary. With 150 dudes .. up close & personal. So that represents the expanse of my experience. My range. Respectable, no?

I would feel comfortable sitting around a campfire in Yosemite or Big Sur, discussing the topic of solitary with pretty much any intelligent person. (Long as it wasnt too cold out.)

So I feel like I can provide nicely nuanced perspectives. Either way, I am stoked about it.

Go to jail, go directly to jail, do not collect $200Cuz even if it suks, the illuminating quality of intelligent dialogue will be therapeutic.

Oh, this is an interesting development.

Yes, I was alone during my most recent visit, but I would call that 'isolated,' not alone. Yet I specifically tried to monitor myself .. to observe how the isolation was affecting me ..

.. to be aware, conscious, whatever term you care to call it when you are checking up to see whether you are freaking out ..

.. especially after what that dude told me about his experience.

"When They Opened the Door, I Exploded Out & Started Crying"

So let me tell you about the dude I met during my first time. To be honest, I forget his name. He had been in before, and he was sorta showing me the ropes, which is nice. Cuz he was good at it.

Tho he snored like a volcano for 20 hours a day. And when my coffee headache came, it was not pretty. Not in that concrete-n-stainless echo chamber. Not hardly.

If a representative from the Guinness Book of Records had been walking by our cell during that time, I am confident that he would have felt compelled to award us some certificate-of-achievement.

He told me how he had previously done six days in solitary and he was so freaked out by the experience that when they finally let him out .. he "exploded" out and started crying. Like it fucked him up.

The portion of today's entry that deals with solitary confinement has been off-loaded to Ye Olde Rad Blog v4 .. see here » Solitary Confinement. (This will help keep my topics better organized.)

» The Vatican Embraces Wealthy Pedophiles (Literally)

Did you see the Frontline special on the Vatican? (Released Feb 25. Two weeks ago.)

Pope John Paul II Gives a Warm Papal Embrace to Marcial MacielOh. My. Gawd. I was raised Catholic and I never knew this stuff.

John Paul II .. not cool, dude. That's him with arms wide .. embracing Marcial Maciel the pedophile. Over and over, again.

Why would the pope embrace a known pedophile? That's exactly the question I had myself. Watch the video, yourself. I dare you. I double-dog dare you.

This gives new meaning to the phrase » the system is about the money. I did not think that the sentiment in my earlier entry could get any uglier. I was wrong.

And all this has an interwoven narrative that involves the new pope. The job .. is to put the child-abuse scandal behind. But old ways are entrenched. It is really a battle of epic proportions.

And the side of good has been getting its ass kicked for one decade after another. And this last pope, the one who quit (.. Benedict, real name » Joseph Ratzinger, a German) something that hadnt happened in 600 years .. it was *his* job the bury that thing.

And he failed.

Pope Francis Does Not Judge GaysThis is why I feel that such a radically different pope was chosen.

The first-ever Jesuit. The first non-European pope in many centuries.

It is as tho the Catholic church is saying, "We're willing to try pretty much anything right now. Cuz we been getting our ass kicked by this child abuse sex scandal for so long."

When I heard what the new pope said about gays .. it made me think about what Peter said here.

The portion of today's entry that deals with the Vatican embracing wealthy pedophiles has been off-loaded to Ye Olde Rad Blog v4 ..

.. see here » The Vatican Embraces Wealthy Pedophiles (Literally)

Sitting on a Red Park Bench on a Rainy Day» The Writer Behind the Writer

Sometimes I write .. and sometimes I am sitting back on the bleachers .. the ones at the park with the Little League field right down the street a stone's throw or two .. alone, sorta .. reclining back and resting on my elbows .. watching the writer in me write.

And I call out, "Who are you, dude? Who writes like this? Who says things like that? Who are you really?"

But he pays me no mind and remains focused. But he smiles. Because he finds it encouraging and amusing.

"I hope you dont think anybody is taking this seriously," I call out, teasingly.

No response. Laser beam focus. And I watch him closely.

And a few minutes later, I say more quietly » "Dude, you *are* the man. Let's DO this thing .. this righteous thing."

And then I say » "Oh look .. a few people are coming."

Post-apocalyptic WarriorAnd he says, "Cool. They must have got my message. That means it's time."

And I say, "Time for what?"

And he stands up and says, "Time to get this party started."

And these people came bearing special gifts .. that it gave them immense pleasure to use. The most amazing gifts.

And I say, "You're right .. I would never have believed this."

Still on the Trail of » Dostoevsky

Dostoevsky also plays off this notion of a writer behind a writer (.. behind a writer) .. in » Notes From Underground.

Speaking of Dostoevsky .. I have been on his trail for quite some time now .. but I have not yet caught up with him. Like Stanley chasing Livingstone thru the heart of Africa.

Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881)But I have indeed found signs that he has been this way. Yes, sir.

Let me tell you what I've found. More than just broken branches and footprints.

As the one-year anniversary of Newtown approached and especially after the new reports that came out at that time .. I found myself (automatically) reaching for Dostoevsky.

For me, the most meaningful thing about Dostoevsky can be found on the inside flap of the Everyman copy of The Brothers Karamazov .. which begins

"Dostoevsky's towering reputation as one of a handful of thinkers who forged the modern sensibility .. [ and ends like this » ] .. told with hair-raising intellectual clarity and a feeling for the human condition unsurpassed in world literature."

In particular, note where he says » an unsurpassed feeling for the human condition. I would contend here that you cannot write with a feeling for the human condition if you do not HAVE ONE. (And a very good one at that.)

It is beyond the scope of today's entry .. but let me quote for you a short passage from chapter three [ titled » Second Marriage, Second Children ] that (for me) plays into the claim of Dostoevsky's "unsurpassed feel for the human condition."

In this passage Dostoevsky is talking about Ivan, the middle son, the middle brother, and how he was a "boy-of-genius" .. but how his father was a piece-of-shit (my words) who did nothing to support his son's education.

When I read this passage, it validated for me the claim of Dostoevsky's "unsurpassed feel for the human condition," which, until that point, seemed downright outlandish. See here »

» It must be noted that he [ Ivan ] did not even try at that time [ during his first two years at university, when he had no money ] to communicate with his father — perhaps out of pride or contempt for him, perhaps because his cold common sense told him that he would not get even the smallest token of support from his papa.

I could write much on this topic. Very much. But I won't. Only to say that the claim of Dostoevsky's "unsurpassed feel for the human condition" ceased to be hyperbole for me at that point. (With that sentence.)

The fourth paragraph of the [ 16-page ] introduction to this book talks about how one of the more remarkable things about this book is that it speaks fresh to each succeeding generation. .. "like that famous portrait whose eyes seem to follow you around the room."

Yes, I most certainly concur. It feels (somehow) like the book was written JUST TO ME. How can this be? A book written in 1879 and 1880. [ 135 years ago. ]

The novel's introduction [ written by Malcolm V Jones of England, not Pevear the translator ] begins by looking at what makes the Brothers such a classic. He says a lot of shit, of course, but none more awe-inspiring than this »

» "it echoes and develops some of the most ancient paradoxes and preoccupations [ neuroses? ] of humanity .. and foresees intellectual, social and political developments of our time."

What are the most ancient paradoxes and preoccupations of humanity? Whatever they are .. they seem to be calling me. Ancient things are very powerful. They must be .. in order to endure so long. This seems to induce a sense of reverence.

Does the phrase "foresees-developments-of-our-time" not sound a little like » prophecy?

The Brother Karamazov | Written 1879-1880 by Fyodor DostoevskyAnd the book also manages (somehow) to say different things to different people. How can this be?

Well, here is my take. The reason that it speaks fresh to each succeeding generation is because .. each generation must confront some the same challenges. To a certain degree, the song remains the same ..

.. at least until we get it right.

And as to the question about how the same book / story / novel / section can speak different things to different people, I will leave that for you to figure out.

But .. if while you are figuring out this riddle .. may I suggest that .. if you find yourself standing on a red X labeled » lightning-bolt of morality strike here .. step away.

I will send a hoverboard come to pick you up. Do not delay. And then you will also say » "You're right .. I would have never believed this."

Oh look. There is a new movie coming out in May based on one of Dostoevsky's novellas. The Double, starring Jesse Eisenberg, the guy who played Mark Zuckerberg. And Mia.

It was originally published in 1846. That means 168 years later, it still resonates.

As a reader, I find myself looking at different things in Dostoevsky than I do as a writer. And as a writer, the thing I keep coming back to is what Mikhail Bakhtin said.

Where he says that the principal distinguishing feature of Dostoevsky's major novels (.. this sounds to me like » the thing that makes Dostoevsky Dostoevsky) and the Brothers Karamazov in particular ..

.. which Bakhtin says never happened before Dostoevsky .. is that Dostoevsky gives all of his characters their own voice .. whereas all other writers (merely) give their characters a voice that is subbordinate to that of the author himself.

So it seems that Bakhtin is saying that Dostoevsky says to his characters » "Go do your own thing, and let me know when you're done, and I'll turn loose the next character."

I can't help but think that his mock execution had something to do with this. When he was marked for death. Because, if that doesnt fracture your personality, what will?

Along these lines I find interesting what Frank says here.

» Brunelleschi Puts the Dome On .. Where Others Have Failed (Many Others)

On the subject of working up to one's ability .. let's look at Brunelleschi. Fillipo Brunelleschi (1377-1446). He's the dude who did what no one could do .. at least not for 140 years. No one.

Brunelleschi's Dome (1436) Sitting On the Florence CathedralHe's the dude who put the dome on the Florence Cathedral (completed in 1436, nearly seven centuries ago) .. and made Florence » the place to be.

One of the greatest engineering feats of all time.

For the artist or craftman who does what no one has been able to do .. that must be the sweetest, juiciest most-nectar feeling.

He lived for another 10 years after he finished the job. So he was able to enjoy the fruit of his labor .. unlike many other artists.

Nearly seven centuries later people are still trying to figure out how he did it. In this video you can hear master craftsmen say, "I've been laying brick for twenty years and I've never seen shit like this."

Botticelli was born (1445) the YEAR BEFORE Brunelleschi died.

Leonardo was born (1452) on the SAME DAY (April 15th) that Brunelleschi died (1446) .. exactly six years later. You've heard of Leonardo, yes?

Michelangelo (1475-1564) - was born 29 years after Brunelleschi died. He was born 39 years after Brunelleschi finished putting the dome on and Florence strutted about the world stage.

Guttenberg (1395-1468) had invented the printing press (movable type) in 1440-ish .. a few years after Brunelleschi finished the dome. The printing press has many parallels with the Internet, and especially with the Web. It is one of the main things (if not THE thing) that brought about the Renaissance (.. Rinascimento in Italian, rebirth).

Get-Out-of-Jail-Free cardMartin Luther posted his Ninety-five theses in 1517 and the shit was on. Game the fuck on, dawg.

With the Catholic church, does it not seem like the problem remains the same? In Martin Luther's day, they were selling Get-Out-of-Jail-Free cards, signed by God himself (forgeries) ..

.. upon which Martin called 'bullshit'. And during more recent decades they've been selling other things .. things much worse.

Along the lines of "putting the dome on" .. remind me to tell you how I sometimes feel how I have been able to put on the dome .. where Dostevsky could not (.. who died 135 years ago, coincidentally). Because of censors and society and the culture of the day.

I know this is a ballsy statement. Sometimes the size of my cojones surprises even me. But the artist must push on .. cojones and all.

But I feel as tho I have evidence to back-up my admittedly, seemingly outrageous claim. Seeing that Dostoevsky has been called » "one of a handful of thinkers who have forged the modern sensibility."

What does that even mean? How do you help forge the modern, contemporary sensibility? How muscular does your arm need to be? What tests and trials are involved?

If you read on, those others dudes referenced by his "handful of thinkers" include the likes of » Shakespeare (Hamlet, 1602) and Cervantes (Don Quixote, 1605) and Goethe (Faust, 1808).

Tho I will probably conveniently forget to return and complete my boast .. leaving you wondering what it might have been. Then, when you least expect it, I will throw-down in some future post.

» More Sex With Powerful Women

Talking about sex with powerful women .. I went to see Monuments Men (which I thoroughly enjoyed) .. but we arrived 30 minutes early. So I sat in on some of 300: Rise of an Empire.

Obama with Denmark's Helle Thorning-Schmidt at Mandela's funeral on December 10, 2013, as Michele looks on, oviously not happyI think it was the latter portion .. but which included the scene from the trailer ..

.. where the dude runs and jumps off the cliff .. descending like a falcon in freefall.

You know the scene. The one where you can almost hear him thinking » "Your ass is mine, bitch."

At the turn of the next century, Film buffs will look back on that as one of the greatest cinematic scenes ever to grace a screen. Right up there with » "Say hello to my little friend."

I love shit like that. But I also saw the scene where the Spartan Numero Uno Stud goes for a ride to the Bad Girl's barge. They play. Wow. Tho the woman is left unsatisfied.

In the very next scene, she systematically demonlishes his entire fleet .. nearly single-handedly. Which was about the time I had to go (.. MM was starting).

The scene where the Bad Girl walks away in dreamy slow-motion, and everything behind her on fire .. and you can almost hear her thinking » "I *told* you I would light this bitch up. Didnt I?

As I walked out, I thought » "they got that shit right." [ « Frustrated woman singlehandedly wrecks death and destruction far as the eye can see. ]

I thought that the encounter at the barge was strong .. if not downright surprising. I just want to mention it here because I may have some more thoughts to share on the subject.

Who'd-a ever thunk that such a pretty little girl might enjoy getting thrown around a room.

» Only One Thing Really Matters

Perhaps this might be a good place .. to share some insights into sexual technique. Because once the act of love-making becomes "like brushing you teeth » same ol' thing" ..

.. when love-making becomes like that .. why bother?

Every time should be better than the time before. Every galaxy you take her to and that she takes you to .. should be further or cooler than the ones you visited together before with her.

An I an anomoly? I hope not. For your girls and especilly for you women .. I hope not.

As a man, you must conserve your energy .. your sexual energy. You feel me. And these hotties, these women .. they will try to suck it all out of you. These sexuilly eager women. You know.

Especially if they are in outstanding shape, physically.

Anyway .. I would just let them have it with both barrels. Leave them with their eyes rolling around in their heads .. and then walk away .. so you can live to play another day.

I was like one of those pump pellet guns that we had as kids. If you pumped it once or twice, the pullet would shoot out with decent velocity.

But if you pumped it up 5 or 6 times, it would shoot out with much more force.

That was me. Pumped up with 5 or 6 charges .. before I let my bullets fly. (You feel me, bro.) You could feel the supercharged sexual energy behind gun, so to speak.

But this bothers some girls. Almost as if they somehow feed off of you .. as tho your release is their release. I do not fully understand what dynamics are at play, no.

But this is my observation .. that » if you can ring her bell on a regular basis .. with an increasingly resonant ring .. she really does not give a shit about much more.

You may be an axe-murderer .. "Oh, that sounds nice. Is it very sharp?"

But if you can't .. for whatever reason .. you might very well be able to walk on water .. and she could give flying happy fuck.

Almost as tho they are saying to you » "There is only one thing that really mattter. And if you listen closely, I will tell you what you need to do in order to ring that bell. So pay-the-fuck attention. Cuz I might tell you twice .. but if I have to tell you three times, you're done."

Update » this is hilarious .. on the subject of what women (really) want from a man .. check out this video .. near the end, at t=5:50. [ My brother sent the link .. thanks, bro. ]

I admit that sometimes they dont really want YOU, per se. Rather, they want » your chromosomes. They want your genetic code. They want your ______ .

TexasSnowden Does SXSW » Live From Moscow

You didnt think I was going to omit mentioning Snowden at SXSW, did you? I am so happy that I going to tell you stories I ordinarily would not. Relevant stories .. perhaps.

When I heard that .. I thought » "It's a new world, dawg. Can you believe that shit?"

I did not even know such a thing was possible. I thought somebody would trace the connection and go shoot him. Or poison him, you know.

Okay, you went thru seven proxies (proxy servers). To be honest, I did not even know that you could go thru more than one proxy. That is so cool. Wow.

My afterthought from his talk left me feeling like the government tried to fuck up the internet ..

.. and we said, "No, no. Don't touch. Or we will be all up in your shit. Would you care for a free, complimentary sample demonstration? We got this digital twenty-first century shit going on, dawg. Connectivity and friends. Don't you have anywhere better to bring your world-famous dysfunction?"

Oh, dude. I just saw this » TED. Is that for real? The video was posted two days after SXSW ended. "From an undisclosed location .. somewhere in Russia."

I am going to tell you about my connection to Texas. It is based on the time I spent (4 years) stationed aboard a nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine (.. which you probably shaved with this morning).

There are TWO CREWS for an operating FBM (Fleet Ballistic Missile) submarine. And the people who STAFF these 150-man crews .. I do not know anything about them, no.

But I *do* know a thing or two about » staffing. And basically, of course, after competence, you want people who can work together.

And my crew, the GOLD crew (of course) .. especially in the tightly-knit engineering spaces .. consisted very much of New England boys .. New York (especially Long Island) and Jersey (like the Dog) and Massachusetts. Being from Connecticut .. I got these guys. I understood where they were coming from.

Yes, they were all impressively smart and capable, but on a social level, I got them.

Then Washington cuts a deal with Moscow to limit nuclear weapons (sounds like a good thing, no?) .. and we have to take off our missiles .. and in the process the two crews become one (.. called 'crew consolidation')

And they ask you,"Dude, do you want to stay here or do you want to go to another boomer?"

And I say, "Fuck, I only have another two years. I guess I'll just stay. This way I wont have to requalify at a new boat. I already know this one."

But the other crew is all southern boys. And many from Texas. All of them saying » "When I get out I'm using my GI-Bill and I'm going to the University of Texas at Austin. That is the best school in Texas."

» Southern Blacks

And I am going to tell you about this big black guy .. who I became close with .. we shared the same watch-section (6 on, 12 off, repeat. For months.)

Southern blacks are different from northern blacks .. at least that is my experience. Just as southern whites can be different from northern whites. I am not going to get far into this, but it definitely helps set context and tone.

So I am basically one of the few Gold crew members who came over to their ship. That's kinda the way it worked out. Which gave me the advantage of seeing how BOTH crews ran things. Whereas they never got the chance to see how the Gold crew ran things.

If I had an advantage over them, that was it. Far as disadvantages go, I was a 'yankee' among an overwhelming number of Texans. Open season.

It was their ship, their crew, their captain, their XO, their engineer. Their everything. And me. Yankee boy.

[ Goldies had better ORSE scores than the Bluies, which would represent an unbiased opinion. ]

So I learned a lot about southern boys. They are much smarter than they sound, sometimes. In ways I never would have imagined.

Now I very much enjoy learning shit about people .. yes, even if I have to take a beating to do it. I can handle myself in a wide variety of hostile environments. If necessary.

So I remembered how these guys would gang up on me about being a yankee and shit like that. Playful sure, but this yankee "is gonna hear another side of the story" (.. which is similar to what Bob Marley said).

For me, all I knew about the south was that they lost the war a long-ass time ago .. before my grandparents ever sailed here from "the old country". And I watched a little Beverly Hillbillies on TV. That was all I knew.

Oh, these southern boys educated me right proper. We're talking months and even years together. They were smart, capable guys. And I guess the short version is » they earned my respect. And gave me an appreciation for southern boys that I did not have before. Certainly for Texans.

You do a lot of dreaming during your last dwindling months of enlistment. And the experience leaves you with the feeling that you can handle pretty much anything that comes down the pike.

But before I get to far down that road .. let me say that I heard » Tim Berners-Lee was there at SXSW for the Snowden broadcast. And that TB-L was actually able to ASK Snowden a question. Live!

That is the thing that made me think » it's a new world, dawg.

SXSW basically costs a thousand bucks .. for the whole dealy-o .. if you buy your ticket early. $1,700 gets you everything, everywhere at the last minute.

So I feel like my shipmates from Texas said to Snowden, "You're cool with us."

I read that last year, it was estimated that SXSW brought in a few hundred million dollars to the area. That makes SXSW a player.

Dude, did you go to the Olympics? Incognito? They were looking for you. The News people. Trying to see if they could spot you.

Did you see the closing ceremonies where they paid tribute to the Russian writers? That was my favorite part of the whole deal. I was spellbound. They have so many kick-ass writers. Giants in the land. And the way they did it. I'm still not sure how they did it.

Regarding the time when I arrived at the submarine in Hawaii .. I will just say this .. I was very immature when I arrived at the ship. At the "boat" as we called it.

I had just turned 21 a week before I landed in Honolulu. It would be an exaggeration to say that you had a punk running a reactor on a nuclear submarine .. but you catch my drift.

I stepped ONTO the plane in the middle of a blizzard (mid-January) in Connecticut .. and stepped OFF the next day (after a rather uncomfortable sleepover in the San Francisco terminal) .. in Hololulu, 73 degrees ..

Waikiki, Hawaii.. palm trees swaying gently in the balmy ocean breeze .. sunshine casting minimal shadows.

"What just happened? Let's go to the beach! Yesterday I was freezing my ass off in arctic temps. I could totally get used to this shit.

They said my sportster is here already. Wanna go down to the warehouse with me and pick it up tomorrow? This is Sportster country if ever I done laid eyes on such a thing. Do you ride?"

» Northern Blacks vs Southern Blacks

Anyway, this big black dude from Texas and I would always walk forward (.. to go eat) after getting relieved by the on-coming watch station. If he got relieved early, he would wait for me. If I were relived first, I would wait for him. But usually we got off at the same time.

[ This guy was 300 pounds of solid muscle. You should see him in the gym, "Help me throw another plate on here, will ya?" I've seen him bench 350#. Legs like tree trunks. ]

And he would die laughing whenever I did my black shuck-n-jive walk. "Let me show you how the bro's walk up north."

He would collapse against the wall (the "bulkhead") .. because he was laughing so hard. It didnt matter how many times I did it. It would crack him up every time. And then HE would try it. (No, I'm not gonna tell you his name.)

So we got to be friends. Because he and I were scheduled to get out of the Navy at about the same time. And we were the same age.

» The Wise Old Texan

But even more than these shipmates, perhaps, there was my old Texan friend from the coffee shop there in Laguna. (At Main Beach. The gang. All smart guys. Professionals.) I actually wrote a little about him » here.

That was one the most difficult things I have ever wrote. I think because of the implications. I was shaking. Tho I wasnt exactly sure why.

It felt like I had a window-of-opportunity that I could take advantage of, but for which another would be most unlikely, because of its nature. (Far fucking out.)

So in a way, I felt like I wasnt ready.

Anyway, beyond the writing itself, I have always appreciated the things that old man shared with me .. from the negative side, sorta. What *not* to do. (If you dont want live your remaining years as a bitter old men.)

To be honest, I'm not even sure if that is the way he meant it .. or if he were just venting family frustrations. But I definitely got the message.

He had a script for legal, medical cannabis. He would take a hit to help him fall asleep at night.

Did I say that I appreciate this man? This Texan. The wise, old, experienced, well-travelled Texan. Because I do.

Going to See » the Commodore (the Wizard)

Heck, I might even tell you the story about the time that I had to go talk to the Commodore. Dude, a commodore is the guy in charge of a bunch of Captains .. who are guys in charge of an entire warship. (And everybody on it.)

Nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarineAdmirals are in charge of whole fleets (.. such as the Atlantic fleet or the Pacific fleet). A commodore is in charge of a part of that fleet.

Do you know that scene in the Wizard of Oz .. where Dorothy and her three friends walk down that long hallway to go see the wizard?

Well, that is pretty close to what is was like for me the time that I had to go talk to the Commodore. Because his office was at the end of a very long hallway. And I was shaking like the tinman.

Not really, but I was definitely on high-alert. I think it was better the way that the Master Chief did it. He just came and got me and said, "Come on, let's go."

This section about going to see the commodore has been off-loaded into a separate entry in Ye Olde Rad Blog v4 .. see here » Going to See the Commodore (the Wizard).

Yin-yang | A well-placed tattoo» Embracing Duality

Sometimes when I am writing and in the flow .. or maybe I am feeling strongly about a topic ..

.. and I feel like I am operating in a zone where I am performing at a level ABOVE which I am probably capable of .. if such a thing is possible ..

.. sometimes I write things .. things that come to me (.. who knows how?) .. things that surprise me .. in various sundry ways.

I could write at length here [ for example, see quote #10 here by Ezra Pound ] but one such example is » embracing duality .. which followed the idea / notion of yin-yang.

[ Uh, I have gone back after some time and reviewed this section, and I could not see why the quote from Ezra spoke to me here.

So, if I dont get it myself, it seems unlikely that the reader will get it. But now I remember.

It's because Ezra talks about the "natural object" always being adequate. And a woman's butt is about as "natural" as you can get.

I did not know about Ezra's quote before I selected that image. Hemingway talks about hanging out with Ezra in his book » A Moveable Feast. So I feel like I have a sense of him. ]

And sometimes when I want an image or a graphic that represents an idea or thing I am addressing in a large block of text ..

.. I will search Google images for the term(s). And the one of the tattoo on the girls butt (lower back?) was the image that spoke best to me. Why that is you can guess at.

Now you will not believe me but I am going to say it anyway. The fact that the notion of "embracing" as something a man might do to a woman's butt .. that did not occur to me until a month or two later.

At least not consciously. And there is a feeling that comes .. when you feel like somerthing is trying to write thru you .. something smarter than you. And stronger. And maybe even more virile.

[ Here I will inject some of my experience regarding my creative process. Here in the fold of this other topic.

Being a nuclear kind of guy, I would like to have control over my creative process. (Who wouldnt?) The nuclear industry being (understandably so) very much about control and the rules of this control.

But it does not work this way. No, sir. You cannot use nuclear rules to control the artistic, creative process.

The creative process, as I experience it .. seems to come when you least expect it .. and even when you are least prepared for it.

You may be tired. Exhausted. Spent. Ready for bed.

And the thought comes > "This is the *worst* time, right now." And you know (tho, how you know, I don't know) .. that you have this window. This very narrow window. (Right now, because in 30 seconds, it might be gone .. never to return .. at least, not for this particular thing.)

And you can go ahead and throw down or you can go to bed and think that you'll capture it in the morning .. when you are rested. And fed. And showered. And have your taxes done. Etc.

But that is not how it works (.. not for me, anyway). No. Rather, you get this opportunity to throw-down (capture) the thing that comes with this creative impulse.

So the feeling is something along the lines of riding a dragon. Trying your best to hang on and ride it out. To stay with it, and it twists and turns and leads in unpredictable directions.

And you wish that you were better prepared. Better rested. Better everything.

And sometimes, when I am feeling like shit, I say, "Fuck it." And I go for it. And I jump on and ride the dragon of creativity.

And everything (physically) may hurt. But you try your best to ignore that and remain conscious of the staying with (on) the dragon.

Which seems to be galloping three times faster than you are capable of handling. Yes, and sometimes you lose hold. And sometimes you say, "Ah, there he is," and you can jump back on.

I am talking about my creative process here. My point is that .. it is rarely a pretty thing. (Type-o's, grammer, spelling, etc.) But the more you do it .. the better you get at it.

So that .. sometimes, when he (the dragon) shows up, you can say, "Your ass is mine, bitch." (.. even tho this might be the worst time for me)

Sure, later you can go back and polish your rough-looking art. It may not mean anything but to you.

But that's not the point. The point is .. ah, I lost it. Dang! What's the point?

Ah, here it is .. the point is that you take advantage of the dragon of creativity when he shows up. This takes determination. Focus. Tenacity. And even courage, sometimes.

What kind of artist gives a shit about what anybody thinks? (Yes, that's a rhetorical question.) Except their inner artist.

I once sent off a copy of a manuscript to a potential publisher, who responded by saying, "You're not following the rules."

To which I thought, "Uh, that's my whole point. I'm not a clone."

When you are ready for him, he rarely shows up. "Here dragon, dragon. Where are you? I would like to go for a ride." It's only when you are not .. or maybe it just seems that way.

Sure, there are minor creative rides. But I am not talking about them. I am not talking about the rides where you are very much in control.


Rather I am talking about those surprising flashes of inspiration that seem to come out of the blue at the most inopportune times.

When you are like » "Shit! This is the worst fucking time for this." And either you jump on that dragon and you let him get away.

Here I am talking primarily about publishing. But there are also times when I capture the inspiration on Moleskine. Cuz I am not near my laptop. Physically impossible to capture electronically.

And these things (ideas, memories of experiences, etc.) may sit in my Moleskine for much time (weeks or maybe even months) ..

.. and then, when I am writing about something seemingly unrelated .. they come. They return. The ideas.

And here they are MORE DEVELOPED .. because my subconscious has had a chance to ponder them.

I *love* this kind of throw-down .. because it LOOKS LIKE spur-of-the-moment thing .. but actually I have been working on it for weeks or months.

Because back then, when I Moleskine capture .. it was not the right time. And I feel like I wasted my time with that particular topic. But when I seen how it fits in later, I think "That was very cool .. how I captured the rudimentary elements back then .. and how they developed inside me over time.

And when they come (later) they are usually quite different from my orignial (Moleskine) capture.

Public publishing is always more ______ (word?) than Moleskine capture (private, cuz no one sees Moleskine but me).

Moleskine can be very raw .. and I sometimes feel like I do not have the strength to capture these raw, fleeting ideas in Moleskine).

So it (Moleskine) takes, or seems to takes/require) much tenacity. Whereas, when I am writing at keyboard to publish, I usually feel more of the spitit moving me.

Dylan once said in an interview about his creative process (something like), "I know that sounds _____ (word = ethereal-ish) .. but I actually have a pretty good handle on it."

My point is .. you have to want it pretty badly. And you have to take what comes .. when it comes.

In other words .. it seems to come from BEYOND you. ]

Speaking of embracing duality .. remind me to tell you about the dream I had .. where I am standing on the top of a reactor vessel (which contains the core) ..

White Angel / Black Angel Dream of » Embracing Duality Before Launching Off Top of Reactor Vessel

.. and I am a white angel standing and wrestling with a black angel. We each have hold of each other about the shoulders and upper arms. And we launch off the side of the reactor vessel and head down toward the concrete floor below. (Head first.)

Which is a long way .. a few stories maybe. And on the way down .. I am thinking to the black angel, "Dude, do you really wanna do this?" Because I am thinking that we are both going to die.

And a second or two later there is a giant explosion (.. in which I think I am going to die). But I come up out of the smoke and dust no problemo. And the dark angel has been turned into the smokey dust.

And my first thought is » "Wow, that was very cool. Can I do it again?"

I dated a girl once who had read a book on dreams. She had interesting interpretations (.. according to this book). Sometimes what she would say would be more interesting than the dream itself.

Anyway, back to embracing duality and this curious intuitive thing .. that is actually better demonstated than explained, perhaps.

I guess my point is that .. after a while you start to trust this intuitive thing .. strange as it might seem sometimes ..

.. cuz there definitely is a sense of awe and respect and reverence that comes .. yes.

And when I finally saw how the phrase 'embracing duality' could be construed sexually .. even tho that is definitely NOT the way I intended it .. I thought of that dream.

James Joyce (1882-1941)Does that makes sense? Can you trace my thread? I admit that I may have gotten off onto a bleeding avante-garde edge.

Which I might conceptualize as an abstract consciousness .. or an attempt that heads in that general direction.

Something like that. Multi-dimensional. Throwing down artistic flair for points in authenticity. I am operating very much on intuitive feel right now. My inner-critic hates this shit.

Later, when I go back to edit and distill .. my inner-critic (editor) is going to say, "Dude, have you totally lost your mind? How am I supposed to edit this shit? Were you on acid? Does the word » coherence mean anything to you?"

[ Can you now see why the artist needs to embrace duality? ]

Now I have had many cool dreams .. but none that evoke the idea of » "What the fuck does *that* mean?" .. as this one about the white angel wrestling with (embracing) the black angel.

And when I saw how "embracing duality" could be construed sexually, I (shortly thereafter) saw that the term "embracing duality" could be applied to my dream ..

.. of a white angel embracing a black angel. Tho here, the term 'embrace' is used differently than the way is which I use it to conceptualize yin-yang. Very differently.

Which makes me think of » pair-annihilation .. in radiation physics. No?

I mean, I had this dream » years ago. So it has had impressive staying power. What could such a dream mean?

I must admit. I like the idea that I am a white angel. If I were the black angel, that would suck. You know how dreams are. You can't really control them. Tho I knew this girl who claimed to be able to dream lucidly.

If any of this sounds "like so much horse shit" .. then I definitely would not feel bad. Because it sounds like so much horse shit to me, too, sometimes.

Now it might take a while, I admit, but sometimes you start to think » maybe it wasnt so much horse shit after all.

Sometimes when I am neck-deep in the flow .. trying to hold on (to it) for dear life .. the thought comes (paraphrase) » "Your ass aint bad enough to hold onto something like this for very long. So you must have been given a special pass. So try not to fuck it up."

Hemingway writingHemingway talks about "not emptying the well". He means that you should quit writing while things are still going good.

This is probably the #1 way in which I differ from Hemingway. Dude, when I am in the love-groove .. I stay with it.

Sure, I may not be able to write (or even think very much) for a few days. [ That's the reason why Hem says you should quit while you're still good-to-go.]

With my technique, I can get to places that Hemingway can't. Much to say here for such an outrageous statement .. but I'll just leave it at that.

But my thoughts on this run parallel to the notion that writing should evoke a sense of the zeitgeist.

And you will notice that Hemingway is famous for making his appear » seamless. Of all one piece.

And none of his novels epitomize this all-one-pieceness more than » Old Man & the Sea.

Now I know a little about making shit seamless. And it is work. Focused concentration. Discipline. Wonderful work ethic for any writer.

The Schnooner Escape, all wood, anchored in Catalina, built in 1933But Hemingway wrote this book in '51. Dude, that's how life was back in the early 50's. The book was published in '52.

I read it sitting on Sidney's schooner (the Escape, now in France somewhere) .. while anchored at the isthmus at Catalina for the Fourth of July one year.

But our twenty-first society feels very fragmented, no? Which shows up politically, to a degree. Tho I am speaking about » culturally. Or is it just me?

I do try to channel some of the spirit of the age into my writing, yes, You want somebody from the next century to be able to get a feel what it is like to live when you lived. With just the right touch, a few small dabs on a canvas can evoke the atmosphere in a telling way.

Also note how Hemingway was thinking in terms of writing the novel, which is a long and often painful process. Whereas the twenty-first century writer can better adapt to the technology (and also with it).

Anyway, these are my thoughts on why I may differ with Hemingway in some respects .. who I normally find myself resonating with. So these areas of mismatching catch my attention.

It is sort of like comparing a long, slow weave with a focused throw-down right now » blammo! Hemingway is not a blammo type of guy. He's a long-distance runner.

By the way, what do you think of this Hemingway quote?

It can difficult, challenging to stay in the juiciest-juice of a flow. (Taxing?) It's like » this is what you train for. The Olympian trains all his life for a few minutes in the pool, or on the balance beam. While the artist trains to be able to get into that creative flow .. and stay there long as possible. Like being in love. Pure heroin.

And sometimes you work very hard and shit doesnt come. And other times you seemingly FALL INTO a river. So you can feel pretty undeserving, at times, even tho maybe you have poured out your soul trying to get there.

And yes, part of you is saying, "Dude, try to remember how you got here .. so we can come back here after this rollercoaster ride is over."

But you are trying so completely to be and remain one with this flow .. like riding a tiger .. the bobsled of creativity. It is so good (for the artist) that you just want to stay there long as you can.

But the whole thing is, sure, you might be able to retrace your steps .. but that shit gets old.

[ I once asked an older co-worker what sex was like with his wife of many years. He said » "Just like brushing your teeth: same old thing."

I remember having sex with this girl and thinking, "This feels so new and fresh and different every time. How can that be? Is that me or is that her?" I never aked, tho.

It's sorta like every time you explore a new galaxy together.

I prefer the constellation of Pather, myself .. but am open to suggestions .. if you have other ideas. ]

And you want the freshy-fresh. We may go there .. ideas about how to get in line (resonate) with the master sine-wave. [ The word » commitment comes to mind. Also » tenacity. ]

But I can say that you have to leave logic behind. You operate more on 'feel'. Intuition. Degrees of variation more than on/off, yes/no, good/bad. (strict duality)

Here's my point » if the stuff I write doesnt make sense .. give it a while.


By the way, the Bug is student-of-the-month. His picture is hanging in the main office.

I am so proud of him. You can't imagine how good that makes me feel. I said, "How does it feel?"

"It feels good," he said.

I told him that I was glad that other people were recognizing how cool he is .. something that I have known all along.

To be continued. Or maybe not.