Saturday, March 7, 2009

Imagio's Silly Reviews Page

An insightful and mostly irreverent poke at books I have read and loved or hated. This may become an ongoing blog antic.

The first shall derive from papers I submitted to the interminably patient faculty at the Valencia Campus of UNM. Sometimes I just need to cheer myself up this way.

To paraphrase my Mother (and her Mother) , If you can't say anything nice, for God's sakes at least make it funny.




as inspired by


By Robin DesJardins

Spring 2007

Instructions: Read this thoroughly then throw it away and forget it.

If you are born into wealth and comfort, walk away from it. If you are born with nothing, spend half of your life struggling to get wealth and comfort and then walk away from it.

Learn to live on nothing. Hang out on the side of the road until you resemble a starving dog. Starve until you can see through yourself.

“ Find a girl, settle down. If you want you can marry. Look at me; I am old but I'm happy”, (Cat Stephens, Father and Son).

Go into town and find a rich woman. Let her give you a nice suit, a job connection and a son.

Learn how to be the life of the party. Be generous and hang out , get drunk with gamblers, phonies and bums. Wake up one morning and notice the crow's feet on her face. Notice the pot belly and flabby mind you have acquired. Notice how you have turned into the opposite of what you left home to become. Tell yourself it's all for nothing and ........walk away from it all. (What?)

Go to the river. Wash the self loathing from yourself, if you can. Suffer , suffer, and suffer yourself until you would rather die. you're getting somewhere! You are still on the road to Nowhere. Since you cannot even kill yourself, you just surrender to simply Being.

Are we there yet? No, but it's not far now. You still have attachments to loose: Your son will die, his mother too. Finally, your mentor tells you to make friends with something and then wanders off into to the woods, never to be seen again. Is there no end to this suffering? “ Maybe yes....maybe no” Say this out loud while holding your nose. ( Rocky Rococo, Nick Danger Third Eye by Firesign Theater, 1969 )

Finally, you stop thinking. After all, this has been the source of most of your problems all along. Try making friends with a stone. Try listening to the river that would not kill you. Notice the stone needs nothing, does nothing and yet it succeeds at being what it is. Notice the river does not need to apologize or explain itself. It is as the stream of life, bringing everything to you, if you wait long enough. Notice how the river is everywhere else, even while it seems to be right in front of you, as you have been everywhere and yet only moving in place.

You have been every kind of man by now, and found the thing you wanted to know. All of the roles and costumes can be cast off. What remains is Being, and connectedness is not attachment. As your friend the stone waited a million years to become itself, and will wait longer to become sand again, so too will you become and un-become. The stone does not care...and neither do you.

Congratulations! Now , you are a Holy Man.

In case you've never read or heard of this book before:

Monday, March 2, 2009

From the Big Orange Chair

I bought a big, orange chair recently. It rocks, swivels and sometimes puts me to sleep. Every time I come home it greets me with that orange color, upstaging Sally's loud welcoming barks. I think it wanted to be gold in color but just didn't make the dye lot. The best way to overcome my rather pale love of Orange, in fabric, is to just sit in the chair. Small of stature though I may be, this effectively hides most of the disagreeable color.

In the world of my parents and older ancestors, chairs designed for thinking and studying were brown, dark green or maybe a racy cordovan hue. The upholstery was often an ancestor of the loopy half of Velcro. I could easily locate and aggravate a hang nail on that stuff. If you wanted to get daring and modern, you might go with leather and lots of brass tacks. These were normally in a lawyer's or doctor's office. As a kid, I thought I'd be a lawyer, just so I could have no excuse not to have leather chairs with brass tacks. Mom was always telling me to 'get down to brass tacks'. Not a one to be found in our house, unfortunately!

A chair like this serves more than a few vital functions in my life. Just to come home and crash down into it is it's first and foremost duty. I do this when I have a lot to think about, and would prefer to digest, rather than actively think my way through things. A chair such as this could be the birthing place of great novels, brilliant screen plays, or tragic love songs. A chair such as this is just what the doctor ordered when the kidneys start kicking like an unborn child 40 years over due. It's a great place to slurp chicken soup when one is entertaining the flu. I turn my head to the west window and watch the cranes go squawking past overhead. My fingers get to stroking the soft nap of that velour upholstery. This triggers associative thoughts by the dozens. See?
Thinking is not as encouraged as flow-charting the endless waters of the mind in a chair like this. Perhaps that's the reason for horsehair, loopy victorian fabric and leather in the Thinking Chairs of old?

Yesterday, I woke to the kicking of the kidneys, and resigned my self to The Chair for The Day. Yes, the whole day and night! I watched every episode of Stargate Atlantis on the computer. The chair became my Command Seat in the Shuttle Craft. The chair became my hideout from the Hybrid Zombies created by Micheal the bad guy from the Pegasus Galaxy. The chair became my sanctuary from thinking in general. Every time I had to get up it waited, faithful as a dog, for my return. The seat was still warm. It does not creak complaints. It knows when I need cuddling. It knows when I need to cry. It, better than any other, knows all of my favorite foods and doesn't mind wearing them from time to time. At the end of that day, I could have sworn I heard it sigh quietly, as I got myself up to go to bed.

Could I have finally found my perfect relationship?

It is most fortunate that The Chair lets me know when it's time to do things, like go to bed. When it's time to write about stuff, I have to sit in this ugly wobbly old office chair on stuck wheels. I suffer the lumps in the seat and the unadjustable backrest banging on the kidneys willingly, like one who loaths being at an office cubicle all day, because I know who is waiting for me to return and make it all feel better again.