Gather Round

Prompt: Google it


Oh dear Wednesday,

When you look out a window and see the tops of trees and think only about trees for a moment, it’s hard to be upset with what’s going on in the world. The problem is that we can’t look at trees forever, all the time, and are instead bombarded with news of great injustice, which we attempt to mitigate in our small ways or big ways, but which stress us so much that we need the visions of trees to calm us down again.

Balance, that’s what life is about. So sure, I can hug and scratch Rosie the therapy dog for half and hour, and feel like Anne of Green Gables. Afterward, when I turn on my device or switch on the news I am faced with IT again. For the moment, IT is personified into the image of one person, who is ignorance, malice, greed, and egoism with two arms and two legs, fake hair, and a fake tan.

Please go and gaze at treetops if you can’t take either IT anymore, or criticism of IT’s personification. I won’t rant, or swear, or write graffiti, or stick pins in anything. I’ll just submit for your enjoyment/ dismay/ venting a few of my favourite cartoons and one angry quotation. Warning: Serious cussing ahead.

cartoon distraction

cartoon don jr fredo

cartoon gather round

Donald Trump is also a coward. For all of his tough talk and bluster, the president of the United States is a punk ass bitch. And this has also been apparent for as long as we’ve known who he is. He slipped out of draft duty because of… bone spurs. Bone spurs don’t even get you on the NFL injury report, but he used it to stay the fuck away from actually having to fight. We know his history of bullying and insulting women. And, since he’s been in office, we’ve seen him cower to Kim Jong Un and literally get Deeboed by Vladimir Putin — two men who, for all of their faults, would definitely whoop Trump’s ass.
We’ve had racist presidents before. We’ve had malignant misogynists in office before. But never has our president been such a fucking wimp.

—Damon Young, Just Remember That Your Punk-Ass President Would Never, Ever, Ever Call LeBron James Dumb to His Face, in The Root, published August 4, 2018.


Sincere wishes for peace and love from someone who is actually quite calm and gentle,

~~FP

Adventure, Old Age, and Special Interests

Prompt: Adventure


Dear Wednesday,

They say growing older is an adventure, though who is “they”?

Today is my birthday and time to reflect blah blah blah… Nevermind, I had a great day and a fine feast and my brother drove up to surprise me— coming to the door just as I was cleaning the toilet. The roads were clear despite frigid weather, bitter winds, and a frozen lake. Only last week a dozen blindingly white swans were our companions, wondering whether to continue their journey south. This week they decided: yup.

But what was I doing cleaning the toilet on my birthday? That is a question for the ages and for aged, of which I am not; though someone tell my body.

Ursula Le Guin had this to say about old age:

I’ve lost faith in the saying “You’re only as old as you think you are,” ever since I got old.

I’ve known clear-headed, clear-hearted people in their nineties. They didn’t think they were young. The knew, with a patient, canny clarity, how old they were. If I’m ninety and believe I’m forty-five, I’m headed for a very bad time trying to get out of the bathtub. 

I’ve never heard anybody over seventy say that you’re only as old as you think you are. Younger people say it to themselves or each other as an encouragement. When they say it to somebody who actually is old, they don’t realize how stupid it is, and how cruel it may be. At least there isn’t a poster of it.

But there is a poster of “Old age is not for sissies”.

Look at me, I snarl. I am a sissy. I always was. Who are you jocks to say old age isn’t for me?

Old age is for anybody who gets there. Warriors get old. Sissies get old. In fact it’s likely that more sissies than warriors get old. Old age is for the healthy, the strong, the tough, the intrepid, the sick, the weak, the cowardly, the incompetent. People who can run ten miles before breakfast and people who live in a wheelchair. 

If you eat your sardines and leafy greens and SPF 150 and develop your abs and blabs or whatever they are in order to live a long life, that’s good, and maybe it will work. But the longer a life is, the more of it will be old age.

The compensations of getting old, such as they are, aren’t in the field of athletic prowess. I think that’s why the saying and the poster annoy me so much. They’re not only insulting to sissies, they’re beside the point.

I’d like a poster with two old people with stooped backs and time-worn faces sitting talking, deep, deep in conversation. And the slogan would be “Old Age Is Not for the Young.”

I thought of that passage from the book No Time to Spare today, on my birthday. I thought about how I treat old people, and how people may soon treat me. Then I got drunk. Happy birthday!

In keeping with Wednesday tradition, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons, the first of which is loosely connected to today’s prompt, “adventure”?

cartoon chess horsey

cartoon flight on time

cartoon special interest


Now I’m off for a ten mile run!

Love and peace,

~~FP

Waves and Clicks

Prompt: Undulate


Dear Wednesday,

Man has not invented the harmony of music.

It is one of the underlying principles of life. Neither could the harmony of movement be invented: it is essential to draw one’s conception of it from Nature herself, and to see the rhythm of human movement from the rhythm of water in motion, from the blowing of the winds on the world, in all the earth’s movements, in the motions of animals, fish, birds, reptiles, and even in primitive man, whose body still moved in harmony with nature…

All the movements of the earth follow the lines of wave motion. Both sound and light travel in waves. The motion of water, winds, trees and plants progresses in waves. The flight of a bird and the movements of all animals follow lines like undulating waves. If then one seeks a point of physical beginning for the movement of the human body, there is a clue in the undulating motion of the wave.

  • Isadora Duncan, The Art of the Dance

Lovely.

Now, on to a selection of my favourite cartoons, which are entirely unrelated to this week’s prompt, “undulate”:

cartoon whale in bar


cartoon sold to paddle


cartoon desert island man


Have a wonderful Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, weekend, month, year, life!

~~FP