Friday, May 25, 2012

A Food Source

Mother Nature and Human Nature are really One. If we see ourselves as a food source amongst our other useful attributes, we can embrace the universality of all the ions and atoms we are related to, plant and animal and mineral that spend much of the time eating and being eaten by one another, perched on the food chain of life and death. If you believe that you are at the top of the food chain, know that you are food for the mosquito, tape worm, E.coli, the commensals, and at the end, the Yew tree, the grass, the vultures and other members of the so-called lower orders that enjoy you in perpetuity,along with the maggotry that eventually conquers the embalmer. The lower end of the food chain, for which we are a constant source of food, completes the circle of life. We eventually embrace the mineral world when those bones will rise again. Therefore it is hard to call those feeders the lower order, since we all are part of the wheel of life.There is no humility in this matter. There is no humility in being one with Human Nature and Mother Nature. The sin in the Garden of Eden was the sin of believing that we were diffent than the garden and could freely eat of the Tree of Knowledge rather than be content in the shade of the Tree of Life!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Start and Finish of Golf

During the war years, when we lived on the Bald Prairie in Kindersley, Saskatchewan, I golfed with my mother. I was from 7 to 10 years old and golfed with her clubs, sharing them as we went around the 9 hole golf club south of the tracks. I don't think the course was ever irrigated: I remember it as always brown, had oiled sand greens and it was as flat as a pancake.It even had the occasional cow turd as I recall. I think it was rough where it was trod and really rough where it wasn't! Mum and I both loved fried mushrooms and part of my job while playing was to dig them up as we went around. The best ones were the mushrooms that hadn't emerged but showed the telltale cracking of the crust of earth. She and I would have a feast when we got home. My mother was a dreadful golfer but determined and a round with her consisted of a swing,25 oaths, always "damn", and moving forward, ignoring the divot and creating one from the mushroom digging. I stopped golfing after 10 until I turned 50 when my friend George said to me, "Warren, If you don't start golfing now, you will never be any good." I took it to heart and joined the Lotus City golf club, beautiful links, and the pianist bought me an enormous collection of clubs for my birthday with a bag that was so heavy I could hardly carry it. Many of my friends and colleagues golfed there and I bought classic clothing so I would look the part, golf gloves, umbrella, ball retriever and Gor-Tex rainware. I dutifully took lessons and practised all aspects of the short and long game. I remained as lousy a golfer as my mother despite my best efforts. It wasn't all bad. I really never kept score so I could always think of the 4 great shots I had over the 18 holes. I was an agreeable partner, so was sought after by the equally agreeable since I was so bad it made them feel good about their own game. I felt this was a useful service. The downside of the course, recognized as one of the most beautiful in the country, was that there were no mushrooms. I developed Rheumatoid Arthritis after 10 years so eventually gave up playing for the second time in my life. George was right at least about the fun; I was never any good, but the beauty of the walk on the course made up for it, even without the mushrooms.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


This is not a sport! It's serious business! Listening to the current concern, that mankind will falter with the looming changes in climate, food production,and population gives the sense that we must alter the environment! When Jacob Bronoski wrote the screenplay for The Ascent of Man his thesis was that mankind itself was capable of adaptation to change and not a victim of the natural environment as were other life forms. The capacity for abstract reasoning and foresight; the ability to change, adapt and thrive in all manner of adversity was in the past peculiar to man alone! Civilizations came and went, but mankind evolved! The vulnerability of the less adaptable life forces depend on the human capacity to address the changes in the interest of all. Currently pessimism seems rampant! The media is full of dirt and gloom. The comment boards are dominated by the haters. The Jeremiads are in full gallop down the hill. In our little group we discussed this week the sins of the flesh we all possess and the need to repress them in order to function. What we didn't talk about was the nobility of mankind; the love, the drive, the intellect and the willingness to sacrifice to the greater good and to put off immediate gratification for the sake of a greater and later good. I brought it up in the group but it went nowhere since we all prefer speaking of sin over goodness except a few of us sissies. Surely there is a balance in mankind that seems to have become obscured lately. If we are to survive and thrive in these seasons of change, then re-creation will need to occur with the opening, not closure of the human spirit. Not hunkering down, but utilizing the ever present noble side of our nature to open up and embrace the challenge with optimism!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Grammatical corruption

Its, it's and 'tis! My colleague Tony castigates me repeatedly for the use of "it's" for the possessive pronoun. In an editing workshop last week I posed a question to the group,by asking why, if a mule's ears are long and hairy,why not "it's" ears are long and hairy? To say that the possessive "its" ought not have an apostrophe, while the noun it reflects does, makes no sense to me. The consensus at the workshop was that it differentiated the use of the two words. Why would anyone care to go there? The context declares it! Then I read in the grammar detective, that "it's" as a possessive pronoun, was used on a regular basis a couple of centuries ago but was changed to "its" when "'tis" became deemed archaic, so "it's" was substituted for "'tis" as a contraction of "it is" and "it's" was shoved out of the rightful place as a possessive by the grammarians. What the hell! I can hardly wait to confront Tony, start using "'tis" again, for "it is" and talk about mule's ears without a lame excuse about differentiation. What a contrarian either I am or English is!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Penny for your Plots

Monday, my daughters and their partners came and planted the ailing elderly gentleman's dahlias in his time established (in modesty I can't say honored) protocol. In short, when the soil warms and the muck goes, a hole is dug every 18 inches, 8 inches deep; a handful of 13-16-10 is chucked in; the Mantis is jumped from hole to hole to make a soft feathery bed for the little creature, and a 5 foot rebar is hammered in next to the creature so we know where the shoot will emerge when we weed. The rebar is always on the north side of the creature which is covered with 2 inches of soil and lightly tamped. Later, hilled in! My family planted over 200 dahlias in exemplary fashion. One of the faults of some exhibition dahlias is weak flower stems! Large blooms with weak stems and the floppy, droopy appearance is a big no-no! Out with it! Off with their heads! Some time ago the pianist noted that the cut bouquets of tulips stay ramrod straight in the vase if a couple of copper pennies are placed in the water at the time of arrangement. I have, in the past, scoffed at her assertion, accusing her of swami-like thinking, but double blind studies, albeit ineptly done in our living room, suggest it might be the case. Unfortunately, I didn't think of pennies and her protocol in time to consider activating the technique into my current dahlia scheme. I'll do it next year if I am still here and alive. Another use for the dying Canadian penny! Chucking a couple of pennies in the hole maybe a cure for the more beautiful of the Droops.

Friday, May 4, 2012

A Person

In the days of spontaneous abortion, if you held a 14 week foetus in a kidney basin that made silent mouth opening signs, chest fluttering, and limb writhing activity, it seemed like a person and you might have strong feelings thereupon about personhood. If you were the parent of a 13 year old girl who ran away from home because she was pregnant by her brother and you were in agony to find her before she did something desperate, you also might have strong feelings about personhood. Maybe Jeremiah 1:5 is wrong. No amount of abstract reasoning by elderly judges, swayable politicians or fossilized medievalists will answer this question. There there may be an answer but there is no solution arising that satisfies! Content ourselves therefore that we are merely tissue in a world of a Petri Dish? I have no ideas that are useful! What may work? Depersonhood! It may be easier to see ourselves as tissue that talks rather than barks!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Thumb and Sinew

Ten days ago I ruptured my left thumb extensor tendon. I have Rheumatoid arthritis and it was an attrition rupture due to the long standing tenosynovitis the tendon had to traverse to cinch up for its muscle, Extensor Pollicus Longus. Because of the shoals and pitfalls of the four inches of Rheumatoid tenosynovitis at the wrist level, instead of gliding smoothly on a sea of serenity, the tendon was secondarily softened and degenerate and liable to fray and split with little or no direct violence. I suddenly noted after lawn cutting I could not move the thumb out from my palm. Luckily we have been provided with two extensor tendons to the adjacent index finger. We only need one tendon, so a transfer of one of these tendons to replace the gap in the thumb tendon was done along with the removal of the erosive source. Now the index finger extensor muscle, Extensor Indices Proprius and its tendon will have to be taught to be a good little thumb extensor.Homo sapiens could never have spanned the head of Neanderthal man in order to bash it against a rock unless he could fully extend the thumb to reach an octave length. Homo sapiens could never develop fine and complex pinch and text unless he could lift the thumb out of the palm. Mankind"s opposable thumb is the singularity that has allowed the use of this early gift in the development of intellect! The sinews are the source of mankind's strength and complexity! We no longer have a hand that can only hook and clench,it can grip and pinch! Arborial becomes terrestrial!