Bill

Photo: Ghostbusters

The Bill Ryan I knew was a dairy farmer. His dairy was on a hill. The paddocks his cows fed upon were all on lower ground than where he milked them. As king of all he surveyed you could expect him to be the ruler of his mob. (He was married to Helen (Ella) and he was Jennie’s uncle.)

It is not unkind to record he did not rule over this land. Instead he was one with it. He accepted the challenges it gave him. A major challenge was the way the ground he bought to farm shrank under his ownership.

Logically it makes no sense. How did his land shrink? The reality was the perversity of the weather. Throughout the 1950s it rained. Rainy months were followed by more rain. In that rain Bill trained his dog to fetch the cows feeding on the abundant grass growing on the productive grassy banks of his property. It was no mistake when he called his land Lovely Banks. The ground was Lovely.

By the time I got to know Bill he had reared his family on that land. The rain that fell in the wet years filled the lake. Lake Corangamite flowed over the flat area at western foot of his land. By the time of my first visit, the lake surface was punctuated by fence posts that once defined the border of his property.

Bill may may have felt aggrieved by the loss of land yet he retained a stoic attitude to the hand he was dealt and he farmed the remaining ground as best he could. His farming, like many agriculturalists of the time, followed a simple routine dictated by the seasons. The busy fertile spring determined the size of the summer harvest. The dry days of autumn were punctuated by the returning wet days of winter.

Twice a day, Bill tended his herd of cows in a life lived without fuss. He made one concession to a macho image. He always had a hand rolled cigarette hanging from his lower lip. As he talked the smoke flipped up a down in fascinating rhythm to his utterances. That fag was a fixture. At some stage of the day the exposed end had been burnt – however all these years later – I don’t think he ever smoked that thing because I never saw it alight.

I remember Bill at this time in my life because he was a born philosopher, and I turn to philosophy to wrest reason where none exists. Like the rest of the family he was a Catholic from birth and a man disinclined to sin in any way the church enumerated, yet I have to say philosophy determined his attitude to life. I have written he was stoic. (The Ancient Greek Stoics accepted the hand they were dealt with – with resilience. They were confident and calm.) Bill never said things that were better left unsaid because kindness was also a feature of stoical lives. Of course his training in the field of philosophy was never formal – it came from the simple way he lived.

Another natural philosophy Bill lived sprang from a saying he frequently voiced. He had a habit of saying, “The faster I go, the behind-er I get.” I could have learned sooner in life many things if I had thought more on this saying. To live life purposely you don’t have to be ambitious. You don’t have to please everyone. You don’t have to do too much. I have found when you study “isms” , and look at the work of philosophers, none gives an infallible road map of how to live your life. Just find something you must do and do it as well as you can.

Better to be like Bill – keep busy but not so busy as to lose a way to make your life meaningful. And ponder on my experience. It seems true enough. When you wondered aimlessly about the Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris, and stood beside the grave of Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, was it serendipity alone it took to remind you of existentialism?

A Birthday Wish

Pinterest

Dear grandchild,

Twenty percent of the century you were born into has gone. In that time the little child has learned so much. Tell me, what have you learned that makes you now an adult?

Is it the sense of fairness you picked up playing sport? Was it the value you gave to your team mates when you played? The friends you spent twelve years at school with day after long day will drift away on their own journey of life. Think of them.

What did you learn from the classes you took that you will never forget? Was it the ability to understand the lessons your teachers gave? From this point on you have to make sense of what you heard, what you read, and what was left unexplained. in doing so – become yourself.

What lessons have you learned from the places you have called, “My room”?

Is there one thing your father has said to you you treasure? What about your Mum? She has been with you all they way. Waking you up, getting you ready for school, cleaning up after you. What have you learned from her you prize? Have you told her?

I do not want your answers. They are things for you to think about in the depth of the night. Not that you have sleepless nights now. You will one day – and on those occasions you will have time to think of what your family means to you.

These are your salad days. With luck, now you are in the most wonderful bloom of love. You are soaking up: the music, the art, the culture of your day. I am most grateful that you are experiencing these days. Our lives are better when we can think about our good days. Some days are grey days. Days when there is no sun. No matter how much we long for things to improve they just seem to get worse.

You will have days like that. Everyone does. We never think we will, but we all do. Birthdays are good days to reset our mood. They are days when we can aim for the moon. If we miss the moon, it’s not bad. Life is just different than we imagined. The best part of birthdays is you get a chance to hear from those who love you. We, your family, love you. Have a happy day.

If one day you remember anything I have written here. This is my point. Live today, (tomorrow, and the forever days ahead) one day at a time, because that is how we make what is to become ourselves.

Nonet

Author supplied

Lockdown and a certain age of folk

Ensues it is safer indoors.

The sun shines over the yard arm

The whisky bottle’s empty.

Get another one.

No luck. Humbug!

Pandemic

The trap.

Blah!


These are words. They do not represent my thoughts at this terrible time. The only way they do is it is hard to understand the mind set of the people rushing liquor outlets and gun shops now they have emptied grocery stores of food.

My thoughts are with those who have lost their jobs due to enforced business shut downs. They are also with the families grieving loved ones lost to Covid 19. I am grateful to all the responders and all those still turning the wheels of society. Thank you. Stay safe everyone.


Singular Vision – (shared post)

Expressing and recording your personal history is vitally important in its own right. It needs no further justification or rationalization.

Singular Vision

Our experience of life has an internal, and an external expression. When thoughts are recorded we are enabled to “see” the invisible thoughts of the individual. Whatever is produced need not be earth shattering. As this piece illustrates.

As the artist and the subject, you can’t judge what’s important or what isn’t. You have to leave that to others. Do you think that Beethoven could have told you that the 5th and 9th symphonies were going to be really important and the 6th and 7th weren’t going to be? No, he was just Beethoven doing his Beethoven thing.

Just as well. The world would be poorer without Beethoven’s music. I can’t choose as they all have a place in my life, but The Pastoral relaxes me.

Why does one read? I recommend you visit http://sydweedon.org/2019/12/30/singular-vision/

Truth indeed

Photo by author

The smart book cannot feed you

As twisted old vines can

Supermarket purveyors sell

Fabricated nourishment as milk and meat.

No matter how much the sellers bleat.

The stuff of all wholesome sustenance – once lived

Machinery assures its by-products – waste.

Sure, senses sharpened in the laboratory

Allow mankind to reproduce the chemistry of life

Yet they cannot sense love

Any better than understand cant and hypocrisy

Take care and value

Our life giving innate world.

Keep in touch with the natural and

Honour the human generations to follow

Why? Millenniums of past life were

sustained as providence intended

Google smart books find unintended meaning in text

Yet analytics misses the point

Found in the germination of an idea.

Wealth is to know truth.

Its simplicity guarantees a contented life.


http://theconversation.com/friday-essay-a-real-life-experiment-illuminates-the-future-of-books-and-reading-131832

Image. The Conversation

Can you identify hidden meanings from a page of a book?

Norwegian troll? Yes and no.

Image reditt.com

Unwittingly I became a Troll. I though I had just made some acerbic comments on someone else’s comments on social media -and I got back more than I expected. I had heard about how awful Trolls were but I had to consult a dictionary to discover what I had done was to trolling. Since I learned what it was to Troll I have been more circumspect.

I do enjoy this age where publications call for comments. I find no matter what is said there are always statements in favour of what is written or they are against the proposition. Further I have observed there are always a few Trolls on the prowl but most readers can’t be bothered to call them out. Their statements are generally taken with a grain of salt.

Frequently,of the dozens of journals that issue articles calling for comment, these are the ones I enjoy reading. Most authors on WordPress allow comments to be published after moderation. The Guardian, The Conversation, Pearls and Irritations edited by John Menadue, all encourage comments. Many of those that comment are experts in their field, and from them one gets a better understanding of what and why certain views are held.

I read a range of subjects printed in Medium as well. I find in many of the articles the author has written with the sole object of attracting click bait. I am getting better at discerning genuine authors, ( those with something interesting to say), from those writing for attention. For instance I decide not to bother when the heading reads something like, Ten things you didn’t know about xxxx

When the author says, What is consciousness? I expect to learn something worthwhile.

Quora also calls for comments but as I am no longer fifteen this forum does not interest me.

I certainly do not comment on everything I read, however I have become a frequent contributor to the Guardian. I have got a buzz from being chosen by the moderators for publication as the comment of their choice. On one occasion my sincere comment received over two hundred likes. However likes have never been my motivation.

Do I spend too much time in these time wasting pursuits? I even take time to answer comments made on the ABC’s Radio National RN or the BBC. Do I waste time? No I don’t consider it a waste of time because in formulating a considered opinion on what had been read, or said, I have been an active student. I try to remain alert to learning given my slow start to understand we learn best when our motivation determines our success. If we learn things to pass exams we have no real interest but to gain a piece of paper. When we learn to see things differently we are like children and we gather information without struggle. Our work begins when we put in self effort and recalibrate why we know what we know.

Yesterday I spent an interesting hour discussing the US elections with a WordPress writer. What 2020 delivers seems to be a mystery to many American voters. I hope they all turn out to vote for the candidate with the most thoughtful policies this year.


https://academicearth.org/electives/psychology-internet-troll/ says, “The only way to beat a troll is not the play the game.

Thank you – before you leave you can keep me busy if you troll me.

Regrets

Author supplied image

This moment is the most symbolic one I have lived. You and I share this moment to think about how our lives are better because of the past. Reflection is the reverse of how we actually see things – so learn from it. (Your hair -for instance – is parted left or right. In reality whether it goes this way, or that, depends on which side of the mirror it is seen.) Any regrets we have are experiences of the past that have shaped us. Regret must not hold us forever in its grasp, for if it does, it is to die in loss. In my eighty years I have learned real happiness is found now, not when.


This thought was prompted from a list of possible regrets I just read. How you respond is something we might both learn from. Tell me what it has done for you. Thanks for stopping by.