The Nexus of the Crisis, and the Origin of Storms

hindenburg

I wish I would have thought of the title line, but it’s actually from a song by Blue Oyster Cult (later covered by Metallica) called “Astronomy.” It’s probably a good thing I don’t have (and I certainly don’t need, nor want) access to the psychotropic drugs that were available in the mid 1970s, but people came up with some hella cool song lyrics while stoned on that stuff.  Now it seems the pop stars and rappers are more worried about whether or not the words rhyme, and/or if cop-killing and sister-raping can be successfully included in the story line.  Apparently today’s drugs just don’t motivate good song lyrics.

I like that old psychedelic stuff.  The song lyrics, that is.

I found last Saturday’s short hiatus and respite to be most energizing.  I love it when I can turn off the world for awhile, and I need to do it a lot more often than I do.

Tonight I have to do something rather distasteful, although it does involve a short solitary road trip (that part of the adventure should be pretty good.)  I have probably at one time or another told the story of my grandmother’s twin sisters – the ones who, when my great-grandmother died, were about 70 years old. The both of them were rather eccentric, and their tastes were largely indulged, as they were both married to relatively wealthy men.  I never really liked either of them very much, but I acquired a little bit of contempt toward them when they got in a fist fight over my great-grandmother’s paltry belongings.

01351~Muffled-Screams-Posters

70 year old twins duking it out over a bunch of worthless old lady kitsch is a little bit over the top.   I’ve walked past better stuff at garage sales.  Great-Grandma was not a wealthy woman, and she didn’t need a lot of stuff.  None of her stuff was particularly valuable.  Neither of the twins needed any of that stuff.  It was about possession and control.  I was never close to either of my great-aunts, and after that I never really wanted to be.

Witnessing that little melee convinced me that I never want to fight over dead people’s stuff, even if it’s really good stuff.  My sisters will cannibalize my parents’ stuff, should they both outlive my parents, and they will fight over it, though the oldest one will ultimately end up with everything she wants.  If I am still alive, I won’t be there to stand back and watch.  They can have it all.  My Dad had to hide a lot of Grandma’s stuff- as well as all of Grandpa’s WWII medals and other memorabilia- to keep my oldest sister from taking everything.  What she wants, she takes.  Unless she can’t find it.

dropdead

The only reason I don’t drop dead is that I don’t think my son can stand the visual of my sisters fighting over my bras and underwear.

The older twin (I think she was 98) finally went to the Great Beyond last Saturday, and the calling hours are tonight.  I can’t take off work tomorrow to go to the funeral (OK by me) but I at least have to show up at the calling hours to keep my mother from having a coronary, and so Dad might have one sane person to talk to.  Mom’s relatives are downright weird, and they are the huggy-kissy type which is positively nauseating to me.  But politeness dictates.. so I will show up.  Briefly.  Very briefly.

I wish funeral homes had drive-thrus.  I don’t think the idea would catch on in Ohio, where people make a really big deal out of funerals and wakes, but I wish that at least that the one I have to go to tonight had a drive-thru.  Sign the book and get the hell out…

drive thru funeral

Cosmic Crap Shoot, Happenstance Cathedrals, Everywhere and Nowhere

If Asthma cigs are so great, why deny the kiddies?  Or do they just have to suffer from the paroxysms like the brats they are?

The more that I study the evolution of science, I am amazed regarding how much we don’t know, and how much of what we thought we knew that has been proven wrong.  Personally I would like to see if any of those three-pack-a-day Camel smokers from 1950-whatever are still alive, or if they all ended up dying from emphysema like Aunt Sam.  Aunt Sam (short for Samantha, no, she was not a former dude, even though her voice was so trashed and raspy she sounded like one) died back in the late ’70’s- thankfully she didn’t take anyone out with her.  She went out presumably the way she wanted to go: gagging on an unfiltered Pall Mall as she lifted up her oxygen mask to take another hit.

Sure, Sam, you keep on smoking these mo-fos and you’ll live forever!

Then again, not so much.  Aunt Sam was only 59 when she died.  She looked about 318.

Medical science has evolved quite a bit in the last century, but it’s too bad that a good deal of that crucial knowledge came too late for some people.   Jerry’s Dad still believes that kerosene is a hemorrhoid cure, and he’s also under the assumption that women have prostates.  I can only hope that he doesn’t think you have to buy boxes of Tampax to go swimming and horseback riding.

I could only safely wear white after the hysterectomy- nice try guys!

A good number of astronomers, physicists and other scientists who have achieved notoriety or academic acclaim (because they could understand the math that I just am not wired to get) are atheist or agnostic in their belief systems.  Even Carl Sagan, who had so much insight on astronomy, was a self-described agnostic.   Cosmology (not to be confused with cosmetology or cosplay) is the science of the origin and the evolution of the universe.  I would have to attribute the origin of the universe to something other than random chance.  Maybe it’s just me, but whenever “random chance” is involved in my life it’s never a good thing, and is almost always indistinguishable from Murphy’s Law.

Perhaps to maintain my mental stability I have to trust that there is a higher power or a supreme being, because I could never get the math, but even I get enough math to understand that the odds of coming up with the universe, life, and Steve Perry in spandex are pretty much so astronomically high as to be statistically impossible.   I find it hard to believe that a cosmic crap shoot is all there is, even if the placement and timing of the universe and life could be proven to be random.  Tell me, Who is throwing the dice?  Perhaps it is my own human limitation to assume that if something is created, that it necessarily had to have a creator behind it in some way.

I don’t necessarily take the Garden allegory literally, (and I don’t believe the Genesis account was meant to be taken at face value,) but it would have been cool to wander about naked in a garden all day with wild animals.  Just sayin’.

I don’t necessarily take the Flood story at face value either.

Blaise Pascal (and I’ve outlived him by four years so far) was a mathematician and also somewhat of a theologian.  He put forth the notion (Pascal’s Wager) that even if you can’t prove that God exists that the odds that He does are strong enough that it’s worth your while to live as though He does.

The only problem with living like there is a God is that it’s impossible to do so aside from His grace.

This being said, I am definitely not the greatest example of piety and selflessness out there.  Mother Teresa, I ain’t.

I tend to connect more with things spiritual in happenstance cathedrals- places that seem unlikely and that are often temporary.  If it’s quiet, if it’s secluded, and if there’s a sort of chaotic beauty, those are the kinds of places where I feel closest to God.

I loved places like this abandoned railroad bridge.  It was destroyed in the early 1990’s for its scrap iron.

I’d have to say there is some kind of solace in the chaos of entropy, and in the patterns to be found in the disorder, as strange as that sounds.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been to one of those convergence points that seems like everywhere and nowhere at the same time.  There are simply some places where time isn’t what it is everywhere else, and I find those places to be amazingly spiritual and amazingly renewing.  I don’t have an explanation for them just as I have no way to effectively convey how I know God not only exists but is present in and through everything.  That’s just about how metaphysical I can get, and then I simply have to say I don’t know.