Non Vi, Sed Arte Et Cor – 'Not by Force, but with Art and Heart!'
Here you’ll find diary-like posts, about recent events or such in my life, much of which I do not set up as visible to the public. Sometimes these Journal posts are writing experiments, or photo diaries and as such will often overlap into & can be found in other categories.
What is Beauty? They say it’s in the eye of the beholder. Can beauty exist without someone to see it and call it beautiful? I can’t answer that, but while pondering what beauty is as we perceive it, my mind started to link things together that for me was very profound. I don’t for a moment think that I am the first to consider these things in this way, but… Well, I’ll try to explain myself.
First beauty is a pattern. We see something that we recognize as beautiful and it is always going to consist of a pattern of some sort. There’s all kinds of patterns in nature. Look if you want. Here is a full encyclopedia article on just that.
“There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody’s expense but his own. … And as for small difficulties and worryings, prospects of sudden disaster, peril of life and limb; all these, and death itself, seem to him only sly, good-natured hits, and jolly punches in the side bestowed by the unseen and unaccountable old joker.” Moby Dick, Chapt. 49, by Herman Melville (1859)
I know that Melville here was talking about the effect that those people risking life and limb come to experience in the height of danger; the “free and easy sort of genial, desperado philosophy” that life-threatening experiences engender. But even without physical danger there have been times — often in the midst of psychological or emotional tribulations but sometime even when all is well with the world — that I have had that feeling that the Universe is some Great Joke… And that the joke is on me.
It’s not necessarily a bad feeling. After all, I don’t mind being the butt of a joke… As long as it’s a good one.
But maybe it’s more than that. Maybe those times where you feel that everything is a joke is a faint understanding of how infinitesimally small everything you experience, think, feel and perceive actually matters in the grand scheme of things. That’s not to say that we are unimportant. But when you put our individual lives beside the Universe as a whole, how laughable and ludicrous it is to think that whatever is going on in our lives is the be all, end all of… of anything.
It really is quite funny when you think about it. No, really. Let’s think about it for a moment. Consider the three images I have included in this post’s header image… Continue reading The Great Joke
I stumbled on this interesting article on a singer / song-writer / comedian / satirist by the name of Tom Lehrer who was active in the 1950’s and ’60’s. He long preceded the likes of “Weird Al” Yankovic but his music, despite it’s age, was right at home on the Dr. Demento radio show of the ’70’s to ’90’s. Besides the pure “cool” factor of the man and his work, his career spurred thoughts in me bordering on the philosophical.
Well a guy came to get my old Nissan Pathfinder today. I know it’s just a car, an inanimate object… But it was a little like saying goodbye to an old friend. I had that car for 18 years…
I got the car just after I got my last dog, Buddy. I remember when I took Buddy for his first drive in it as a puppy. It started to rain, and when I turned on the windshield wipers, he started to bark at them as they went back and forth. 🙂
I bought the Pathfinder new, shortly after I got out of the Navy. I was working as a photo copier repair guy, my car was my office, and I had to carry a bunch of parts & tools around with me. I had a small Saturn sports coupe and had just spent a winter driving it to clients’ business all over downtown Denver and the Denver Tech Center. I decided I needed something with more carrying space and that could handle winter driving better. Continue reading Goodbye, Pathfinder…
“Non vi Sed Arte” is Latin for “Not by Strength, by Guile”. It is the motto on the “coat of arms” of Admiral of the Fleet David Richard Beatty, the first Earl Beatty (1884-1927). It was also used by a couple of different military units. For example it was the unofficial motto of the Long Range Desert Group, a reconnaissance and raiding unit of the British Army during WWII.
I always liked the saying. But my take on the slogan has changed as I have gotten older. When I was younger, not being the strongest of guys and having perhaps an excessive opinion of my intellect, I liked the idea of success due to mind over body. But as I grew older this “take” on the slogan not only grew to lose its appeal, but I began to feel a negative reaction to the slogan. Why be proud of a lack of strength or determination? And most dictionaries define guile as a treacherous cunning or skillful deceit. Did I really want to use that as some kind of guide or brag about my character? Continue reading ‘Non Vi Sed Arte’ – What does it mean to me?
Tucson Sunset HDR Panorama 1/4 size
On vacation visiting family in Tucson, Arizona. After a fun day at the Pima Air & Space Museum (& taking tons of photos), I was treated to this beautiful sunrise out my parent’s back door.
I discovered the poem “Burnt Norton” in a recent post from Brain Pickings, a blog I have really found engaging on multiple levels. So many thoughts and literary works it has brought to my attention that I have wanted to pursue. But there is so much to read, so little time, and I DO so love my Sci-Fi & Fantasy escapes.
Anyway, back to the point. Below is a bit of the poem “Burnt Norton” by T. S. Eliot which is all about Time and our perception of it, and a little about writing & poetry, and how the universe and our bit of time in it, does have an order (Logos), and that writing and poetry is our attempts to encapsulate a bit of that order, that bit of time, into our own mutable words. I need to study this poem much more, as there are parts that I don’t quite grasp but “feel”. Continue reading The Still Point of the Turning World…
Sigh… Ok, I’m not really eating corn flakes. But it is much too early to be thinking this “deep” and depressed about something so trivial. Driving to work this morning, this song — heard a hundred times previous — really punched me in the gut. It’s a great song, but…
Outwardly, the song’s about being “wishy washy”, a flake, unable to commit, tied up by life’s baggage, habit or laziness. But what it communicates to me is the frustration and exhaustion one gets over the inability to really communicate with someone you care for, either because of your own uncertainties, the other person’s, or both. Read More, Listen to Song & Read Lyrics →
To an Introvert, people are just weird… Ourselves included…
Had my annual physical this morning, so after being poked and prodded I was really looking forward to relaxing over a late breakfast at the Egg & I. It was delicious. As soon as I sat down however, I was continuously talked up by a grey-bearded stranger maybe a decade older than I in the booth adjacent to mine.