Thursday, June 29, 2017

Soph Laugh

Sophicus Laughicus 

Built like a Goddess (acts like one, too!) 
High Functioning Monochromatic Narcissist, 
but only on Tuesdays
CEO because she's too lazy to change her LinkedIn profile 
to Super Amazing Chair-Person in Heels
Non smoker, except for Cohiba cigars 

What you should know about Soph

Ugh ... this is forcing me to speak in the third person. Ok ... 

Soph has the unique ability to make complex what should remain simple. She cannot cook to save her life but she can write about food in a way that you'll fall to your needs desperate for more. And still walk away hungry. Soph has excelled in her pursuit of education, only because what else does one do with oneself when one is addicted to words and copious amounts of input ... and novelty: for fun, spice, and giggles ... and to keep the engine always primed. Soph's generosity knows no bounds, so if she wants to spoil someone, she does so with great flair ... and toys. Soph's empathy is off the charts. If people got wind of this surely they would take advantage. Soph keeps this in check by channeling her snarky inner swimwear model-cheerleader self, at whose table only the coolest have sat. 

But cool doesn't necessarily mean textbook cool. You better be entertaining or Soph will not sit with you for more than three seconds, at which time she'll think: I'm bored, before smiling and wishing you a nice day. Soph doesn't believe in excuses, she finds them lame and would rather do pretty much anything else than be subject to mediocracy. Soph has the brain the size of a small planet, which is great entertainment for Soph, though she does have a short attention span so would-be suitors must know how to keep Soph intrigued or distracted, both tactics work. If you had a daughter ... you'd want her to be like Soph. And if you had a son, you'd urge him to marry her just so she'd show up to your family gatherings, which would be entirely boring without her sparkling wit, intoxicating sense of humor and lack of cooking skills. After all, someone has to burn the biscuits! 

If you are single and happen to fall in love with Soph, you are entirely doomed ... in which case the only remedy is to play with Soph, for if she gets wind of your affections, like a deer who sees headlights, she'll bolt ... and like the Alicorn, you'll never know whether you ever saw her, or if it was all in your imagination. 

Soph spends her leisure time 

Soph spends all of her free time posting thought-provoking notes because she thinks most people are bored and appreciate the diversion. 

She likes quality time with her two children, whom she raised to like her and into whom she instilled qualities that she and others enjoy. Mostly Soph influenced their thinking because she wished for them to grow up and turn into people she'd actually enjoy conversing or hanging out with. She wasn't about to share all of her toys without getting something back in return. Fortunately, this worked out well for Soph and her children adore the ground upon which she floats, and she likes them too, enough to give them everything she owns, with the stipulation that they let her play with her stuff while she's still alive. Besides the day that is no longer the case, they'll inherit enough money to soothe their broken hearts. At which time all the silly things she wrote will be all the more precious. Soph has cautioned her children that this day will come for every human being on the planet and that the only remedy is to live each day to the fullest. 

Soph has other philosophies that are equally cool, but you'll have to get to know her to find out more. Soph tries to encompass the five "R's" in her daily routine ... Reading, Relaxing, Reflecting, Romance, and Rstuff ... 

Instead of following some predefined path, Soph blew up the path like an industrial oven and went off into the sunset, which of course she didn't actually see, given her occipital lobe does not register color; so really, she just went around the block, but she did so with great style. 

Things particularly important to Soph

Honesty, but only if you share details on a topic that interests Soph, otherwise Soph is a strong believer in non-disclosure. 

Heightened Communication: without it Soph will ignore you entirely. 

Compromise, yours .. not hers. 

A VIVID personality accompanied by an authentic positive disposition, and let us not forget ... a REALLY BIG [fill in blank] ... if you thought something naughty first, Soph will probably like you and you will surely like Soph. If you followed it up with BRAIN, then Soph will slow down long enough to hear what you have to say prior to evaluating at which level your intellect resides. Then she will do her best to Trapeze you to the next island, if only for a peek and look around. 

Soph isn't attached to any of this, including the whole life thing, though she hopes the universe will keep her around long enough to make oodles of money, which she will give away to her children and other people, so long as they are fun to hang out with ... 

Soph cannot tolerate suffering, so she'd rather soothe such things than allow them to propagate. Soph actually faints at the mere thought of discomfort, so please be relatively superficial in your personality ... Soph is deep enough for an entire continent, which of course she cannot stand because deep down she is a very superficial person; hence, the preference. 

Soph knows with acuity that successful relationships take work, dedication, commitment, and multiple high-limit credit cards. For this reason Soph is very particular about whom she allows into her world. If this is a challenge for a would-be suitor, Soph's best advice is to take care of #1 and return once you have succeeded in doing so. 

Soph's strengths 

To remain calm in hectic situations. 

To be chill most of the time; unless she's excited, in which case, to be excited in the moment!

To enjoy stuff she likes, be them simple or complex, or totally twisted like a balloon animal. 

To have great knowledge skills. 

To be romantic, to be wise and perceptive, but never against anyone because Soph is a softy at heart, and only offers information that she believes is of value. With this being said, if you annoy Soph, watch out, because then she won't be romantic, wise, perceptive, or soft ... she'll run and if Zombies are chasing the two of you, she'll trip you so she can get away. She already fell once, helping someone else, and it took years to get back up. Soph's training routine simply cannot afford another upheaval, nor are they pleasant. Moral of this story: The best thing about a relationship with fitness is that you get back precisely what you invest. Invest wisely, and you too can outrun Zombies in the unfortunate occurrence of an undead uprising. 

Soph really really wants you to believe that so you won't take advantage of her when you actually find out that she'll tell you to run to safety, while she goes totally Ninja on those Zombies! Soph is into mountain biking, weight training, and cross fit ... those Zombies are in for a world of hurt! 

And while we're at it, you should know that Soph was trained to drive by retired race car drivers, is an expert shot, and can throw a hand grenade with surprising accuracy. When low IQ brawny men discover Soph's athletic skills, they often think they have met the woman of their dreams. Unfortunately for them, and Soph, who loves manly muscles, these men have nothing intellectual to offer and her erotic zone, being housed in the intellect, only wants them to sit there and look pretty. In this respect Soph is like the superficial men that women complain about, only she looks gorgeous in a dress and heels ... and can steal your breath away. And like Daphne says in Scooby Doo, she can do anything a man can do, but better ... and, in heels.

Soph also likes to take on new challenges, to keep her intellect sharp. With everything Soph is and is not, Soph's priorities are: her son and daughter, her mother, her dog Fia and Lady Midnight, though she cannot pet the cat because she's allergic to animals. Fia is hypoallergenic otherwise Fia would have been sent packing years ago. Fia is a little ankle biter and secretly, Soph thinks this is very funny ... though aloud she will say: "Now Fia, no biting." But really, she encourages unruly behavior because it is entertaining, but only to a degree, Soph has a low tolerance for annoyances, including low level behavior. On occasion everyone exhibits low level behavior, so Soph has devised a "Free Pass" system. Inquire by PM if you wish to know the secrets behind the miraculous "So What" theory of Emotional Independence from Lame & Limited Thinking. 

Interests and Preferences 

Men with interesting stories to tell / Quiet men she can corrupt / Fun men who will blow off an important meeting to go sailing with her 'just because' / Teenage girl TV shows like Vampire Diaries, but only because she likes Damon and deep down wishes she were immortal. Cars, especially fast sports cars / Expensive bicycles because Soph can be a little snobby and prefers quality over mediocrity, plus Soph rides her bike really hard up and down hills, and also on mountain bike trails and thus requires a bike that can handle extreme sports. Soph is an extremist but she has learned to keep that relatively under check. Most people don't know this about Soph because she has a formidable vocabulary and if she is being particularly snarky, will talk circles around others ... just kidding, Soph would never do that but if you thought she would, it just goes to show that you don't really know Soph at all. 

Those who do know Soph think she is a Sweetheart and they will defend her till the day is long. Then they will tease her for not being able to see the sunset, and everyone will laugh and probably drink champagne or bubbly Rosé wine or light up something far more enjoyable and just sit and shoot the breeze with fascinating dialogue that color-sighted people miss the sunset on account of their being entirely enchanted. This makes life fair and then all is well again in the world. 

Soph likes travel for culture, but only if she has someone fun along for the ride, otherwise Soph considers travel tiresome. Soph is an excellent sailor, and taught Jr. Sailing ... mostly, Soph just likes boating clothes. 

Soph loves windsurfing and water sports and health and fitness. Soph was a long distance runner but is now way more cool, for running requires a sort of absence of character to do it well - that, or determination, stamina, and good knees; of which, Soph has all three, just not a spine that can tolerate impacts without showing signs of damage. Soph doesn't want others to think she is broken, so she bikes instead. This makes Soph happy and no one is the wiser. Soph would never date someone who doesn't get off the couch to go outside to play. 

Soph loves music, but only certain sounds because her super big brain processes so much information the slightest ill-frequency can send her shrilling inside and she, like a wild animal, will cut off her leg to get out of the room. Not really, but you get the metaphor. In reality, Soph will smile, praise such music, and then excuse herself before her brain and ears explode ... all the while Soph is so subtle, you won't notice a thing. 

If Soph actually likes you she'll tell you what's going on, but she does so reluctantly because smaller brains get hung up on things that Soph considers "no big deal" .. and later she often regrets mentioning anything in the first place. Soph is a team player though she doesn't play team sports, but that's only because Soph doesn't always want to show up, unless it's on her terms, which means: sporadically and when she feels like doing so. 

Incidentally, "Sporadically" was the word that Cher taught her new project friend, in an attempt to expand her mind: -- Soph's friends often say that she is like Cher, who is really Emma. Thank you Jane Austen, and thank you to my BESTIE who first thought this! 

Soph has enjoyed a myriad of activities over the years, but each season, changes it up a bit. Soph's brain thrives on novelty. 

In a relationship Soph looks for

Someone who does not wish to co-habitate. Someone who will not ask for room in either of Soph's walk-in closets. Someone who will have enough sense to live in his own space and invite her over, so that when she needs space, she can leave. Soph also values honesty, as in ... real honest-to-goodness honesty. Soph might not always like what you have to say, and might actually dump you if she doesn't like or enjoy your mindset, views, or philosophies in life, but at least Soph will respect you, and in Soph's book, respect is very important. 

Soph respects all people and life in general and you'd never catch Soph squashing a poor innocent insect or demolishing an entire community of worker ants. Instead, Soph will call you in to take care of "business" ... and what she means by that is: "Here, take this tupperware and a piece of card stock. Now, please be very careful when picking up that insect because their legs are very fragile and you wouldn't want to accidentally wound them while relocating them to the garden. Thank you." 

Soph is tough, but she is a total pacifist. Fortunately she's not a wimpy person and thus has a backbone, which if push comes to shove, you'll see what that means ... of course, you might be busy running from Zombies. If you're the type to stick around and fight those Zombies off, Soph might actually end up liking you, and thus invite you to hang out more.  Just be prepared to have things to do so that when Soph's attention span wanes, and it will, you don't feel awkward for outstaying your welcome. 

In Soph's opinions, people should be themselves. If they get along, great. If not, no big deal. Move along. Soph has lived this way most of her life, and Soph has pretty much always been happy. The only time Soph wasn't happy was when she was in bed for a year and then stuck in that wheelchair. That chapter totally sucked for Soph and she doesn't talk about it other than in an occasional sentimental moment when she admits how hard she had to work to walk again. 

Fortunately Soph isn't melodramatic, so she'll switch the conversation quickly, back to Zombies and Ninjas. Soph, by the way, looks great in a black body suit! Soph enjoys metaphors, especially construction ones ... such as stable and pillars. 

Soph just made that up, she likes all metaphors equally. Well, not equally, though she does aim to be tolerant of metaphors she doesn't enjoy. 

An ideal day for Soph

Waking up beachside. Taking the yacht to zip around calm waters in search of sunshine, while blasting the music and starring up at a beautiful sky to soak in the sensation of feeling alive. Jet skiing in the crystal blue waters, which Soph knows aren't really blue, it's short wavelength light being absorbed ... but no poet writes about that, so let's go with crystal blue waters. A sunset flight on a private jet to see her favorite band perform live in Monaco. Then, dinner and cocktails on a private beach with a man that doesn't get on her nerves after five minutes with his banal chit-chat in lieu of lovely discourse, where she and her special man friend are serenaded by distant whale songs and some mariachis ... Finally, she and her man friend will retreat to a secluded oceanfront home for champagne and chewy candy because Soph doesn't like chocolate, which unceremonious melts in front of a roaring fire. This is when Soph and her man friend jump into extraordinary debates on world leaders, foreign policy, and whether or not one should eat Mac n Cheese on a first date. Soph thinks: Not unless you prefer friendship over romance. Opinions may vary. These debates and other activities will last most of the evening. Of course Soph will not wish to drift off to sleep in anyone's arms because she enjoys stretching out and doesn't want some man breathing her air or disturbing her slumber, so she'll feign sleep until he falls asleep ... then, she'll quietly go upstairs and get a good night's rest. 

Where Soph feels most at home

At home, naturally. But also under pressure. I know that sounds strange. That's because it is. Soph was blessed with the gift of producing order in chaotic situations. Soph is calm and collected most of the time and thrives in situations most people fear. 

If Soph freaks out it is because one of these things are present: Someone else is driving around curves. Soph does not like heights. Soph went skydiving to try to alleviate her fear of heights, and only discovered that she is more afraid of being whimpy than of actually dying, so Soph, despite better judgment: JUMPED! 

Soph now loves skydiving but she still doesn't like heights and will never let anyone drive around the curves. She'll take the wheel and that will be that. Other than heights, if you see Soph freak out, then you better take notice. There must be something big, unholy, and immortal closing in on us fast! Which reminds me ... you should really learn how to run, fast. Like today. 

If Soph had one wish

She would wish for more wishes ... duh! 

Soph should say something like: I really hope to find the missing piece in my life puzzle, but Soph cannot say that because it is not true. Soph does not feel incomplete. Soph is happy and content and is enjoying life to the fullest. Soph is ready to check out at any time and is thus at total peace with the idea of non-existence or elsewhere existence in another form. Soph doesn't really have a choice. This is how Soph knows she is not God, though Soph has wondered if she is a demi-god, which is a totally natural thought once you get to know Soph. If you haven't thought the same thing about yourself at least once, you probably have absolutely nothing in common with Soph, in which case you should stop reading and go back to twiddling your fingers in an attempt to find meaning and purpose in finger puppeteering, which Soph will encourage and label as: Authenticity. Something she values and encourages in herself in others.

But, first and foremost ... Soph's wish is the more wishes thing, this way she can ensure that everyone she loves and cares about is safe, and other people too, and animals and insects, and entities living on other words and in other dimensions. Soph is totally inclusive and appreciates true solidarity among the spheres. Of course Soph says that with a grain of salt because she has imagined such a scenario and in doing so determined that "balance" is just another word for imbalance that someone has to manage 24/7, which sounds pretty exhausting. Soph encourages some discord into everyone's universe just for real balance, which should be chill and effortless. So, really Soph does not wish for universal solidarity and balance, she wishes for EFFORTLESS CHILL. Soph is still a Kid Creedy and the Coconuts-listening skater chick at heart. 

What Soph does not like 

Limiting thoughts. Intolerant people. Arrogant people. Brussel sprouts. Cooking. Working. Anything domestic. Having to show up when not in the mood. Bright lights. Shrilling sounds. Whimpy, whiny, complaney men and women. People who don't have the guts to speak up. People who won't stop talking about banal things. Weak character traits. Low intelligence. Dust and crumbs. Anything out of order, unless purposely thrown to the floor in a fit of passion. Taking her first steps of the day onto a hard ground. People who think Heaven is anywhere but here or within. Soph is confident that existence is all there is ... while it's around, that is. People who think too much about the outcome rather than enjoying the ride. People who think being rude under any circumstance is acceptable. The idea that anyone anywhere is suffering. Failure. Laziness. Ineptitude. Negativity. Complaining. Criticism. Small minded thinking. Lack of vision or creativity. Lack of imagination. Lack of insight.

Soph doesn't enjoy people who panic or overreact. People who are overly emotional. People who can't deal. And finally, someone who is just taking up space in the world without giving anything back. If you're not "looking out" for everyone's well-being, then you can't really call yourself trustworthy. Someone who thinks that love is possession instead of a celebration ... *roll credits* 

Things which Soph could not live without 

1. Oxygen
2. A healthy body
3. Food
4. Her Future World Leader son
5. Her Future Fashion Mogul daughter
6. Her inspiring, caring, and loving mother
5. Her darling little Fia 
7. Her sunglasses 
8. Her unique mindset
9. Her really big brain
10. Her cell phone
11. Her Mac
12. Her Special someone
13. Her library 
14. Her unique tastes and personality. Things that make her ... Soph. 

This makes Soph Laugh

The fact that Facebook thought Sophy Laughing wasn't a real name, but yet allowed: Soph Laugh. 

Soph now prefers Soph Laugh and if Soph ever changes her name again, which could happen, Soph will consider "Soph Laugh" or "Sofia Laughing" ... just because Sofia is so very alluring ... but Soph realizes she can call herself whatever she wants and she will still be 'Soph' ... 

Soph has fluid belief systems, that makes Soph Laugh and also smile knowing she will never be dogmatic. Soph enjoys being an ever evolving quixotic realist and she thinks any type of humor that falls into that category is funny; thus she laughs. If Soph were to be slightly more precise she'd probably refer to her existential attitude as German reflective, English moderate utilitarian pragmatist w/a hint of creative juxtaposing bubblegum superficiality for good measure and lighthearted humorous insight, which she adores. 

Soph has already written her epitaph so she was able to take that off her To-Do list. She knows that at some point her statue into which her decaying body will be placed will read: She died Laughing. Soph has also designed the hermetically-sealed chamber so that she might maintain the correct temperature, lighting, and humidity for however long this planet is capable of sustaining life.

Soph loves double entendres! They make her laugh. Soph laughs easily because she has a lighthearted sense of humor and bubbly personality. Soph is fun to be around because everyone usually ends up laughing, or thinking. Both activities are equally fun. If none are in the mood to laugh or think, Soph usually hits the bike trail. 

Soph also enjoys people watching. There is nothing more satisfying, or enjoyable than watching people be ... well, people! There is a broad spectrum of crazy out there and they never disappoint. We now have crazy in the White House and rather than complain, Soph sent Trump a bouquet of Cookies. Trump has a good sense of humor for a natural idiot. Soph has worked with many men similar to Trump so she knows not to take him too seriously; unless, of course, his finger is on the button ... in which case Soph is happy that she knows engineers smart enough to build her a kick-ass fall-out shelter. If Soph had to stay there she would take a book titled:  ... now, that's funny!

People watching, hors d'oeuvres, and a bottle of Rosé champagne satisfy Soph's voyeurism trifecta! 

Soph is most grateful for the following things 

Time. Love. Shennendoah. Bo Erik. Mom. Fia. Lady Midnight. The ability to walk. Her ability to look death in the face, kick him square in the **** and walk away to tell the tale. In and Out Burgers and chocolate milkshakes. People who like to laugh. People who don't take life too seriously. People who know we're not getting out of this alive. People who don't really give a Fuck about what other people think. People who aren't offended by the F-word, even if they find it vulgar .. and who know when and when NOT to use it. People who can curse creatively, with letters or interesting adjectives. Men who can write and entertain her and who are really amazing in special circumstances. People who are confident enough to let others be themselves. People who kick their biases to the curb when higher values are there for the furthering. Not being distracted by color, otherwise Soph might not ever get anything done. 

Soph is really passionate about 

Everything, unless it is something that is mean, vulgar, or simply uninteresting. Soph's greatest passion has always involved going outside to play. Climbing up a tree for the pleasure of being able to do it. Climbing to the top of the roof for a better view. Sweets. Exploring amazing technologies and ideas. Soph is honored and humbled that she brought two fully-functioning awake and cognizant human beings into the world. She is passionate about their well-being, their happiness, and their individual abilities to make the world a better place for their own enjoyment and the simultaneous betterment of others, whenever possible. Mostly Soph is passionate about being alive. Also, Soph likes men who cook for her on romantic evenings, but have enough sense to hire a cook or order take-out when time is of the essence. Outside of that ... sushi. Definitely sushi. 

Soph enjoys these activities the most 

Tomatoes. Only kidding, Soph doesn't like tomatoes .. except for in salsa. In Soph's infinite supply of spare time, she enjoys hanging out with her kids ... they're pretty cool. She likes outdoor activities and plenty of mental stimulation. She like relaxing but only for a bit, as she considers this boring. Relaxing is just another name for checking one's FB or Twitter feed, which one can do from anywhere. 

Soph prefers activities that get her mind and body moving. Soph enjoys good food but not enough to cook it. The first thing Soph splurged on when she moved away from home was a maid and a cook. Soph has never been domestic and has no intention of changing that for anyone. Soph does, however, make her own bed. Soph likes to workout a lot because it makes her feel happy and free, she looks better in cute outfits, and it helps her clear her head. Soph considers the ability to unwind and relieve tension a very healthy habit and mindset to possess. And, if champagne & other indulgences are part of happy hour with friends, Soph is happy to serve as hostess and will also serve Petit Fours, because they are beautiful and yummy! 

Soph is an attentive hostess. 

Friends would describe Soph as

Really sweet, funny, quirky, and totally unique. Others might tell you she is "Wicked Smart" and a really good friend. If someone describes her as Easygoing, they just don't know Soph. Only teasing, Soph is actually very chill ... 

A few final words to describe Soph

I think Soph's sense of humor stands on its own, in the middle of the bed, where you will most likely find her jumping up and down for the fun of it. She often requests rooms with two Queen beds so that she can make a fort and then jump back and forth ... but only for about 5 minutes, because after all, she's a grown woman with highly sophisticated tastes and only plays when blowing off steam. 

However, if you can act like a 12-year old for at least 5-10 minutes, follow it up with some video games, great discussions on life, philosophy, psychology, physics, politics, astrophysics, mind-reading, or any intriguing subject, and if you're lucky and physically appealing, Soph might let down one of her many well-fortified shields and tell you that she likes you and thinks your fun. In which case you might start to melt inside, just a bit. 

So long as you remain fun and don't get overly serious, Soph will hang out with you when she isn't otherwise doing something else. And if you ever need Soph, she's definitely the kind of person to be there. She is a dog in the Chinese zodiac, and thus one of the most loyal of creatures ... 

To date Soph

Request an application, today! 

If Soph were a boy

She would have named herself Joe, after the coffee merchant Joseph Martinson. This way Soph would always have a fresh cup of coffee waiting for her. Also, everyone would like Joe, and everyone would invite him over for coffee and fun chats. Joe would then channel his inner "Soph" and have everyone high on caffeine and good humor.  

Post Script: 

I like to laugh and make other people laugh. After all, it is the best medicine, right? ... Wrong! The answer we were looking for was Penicillin! :D 

I'm also a very caring person. Family means everything to me. I would crawl naked over hot, broken glass for my family. Ok, I would at least go barefoot on the sidewalk ... In the Spring, though. Not summer ... because that's just crazy! 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

An Ode to the Romans of Decadence

Romans in the Decadence of the Empire, 1847
Thomas Couture

The Spirit of Decadence 

It is natural to dream of ascent toward the Heavens, in which the noble soul ascends by means of the "noble" ... winged horses ... of the gods ... soaring upward, as is the rule of the universe. 

Our imagination working like the light of the sun on Icarus's wings ... we droop in our flight and at last settle on solid ground, but this descent to earth is an imaginative eidos, essential in the sense of "essence" and also as an idealization of other worlds. 

Here is our "heaven" ... the pastoral retreat, the ideal Republic, the Golden Age. 

Necessarily imagined as departures from other worldly experiences to higher spheres or manifest spheres in the absence of matter. The essential and the accidental are mixed in formal concepts like objects of logic and a whole series of conditions that essence reveals. 

Above and beyond the intuition, "essences" concern their conditions into existence. The pursuit of essences involves the consideration of paradoxical instincts in the notion of ideality of all, the cosmic symphony. 

It is no wonder the Romans were so decadent 

The Devolution 

In an acceptance of the conditions of earth, the sensual and intellectual possibilities of life and poetry, the possibility of transcending, of touching another human being, and of letting go of time-bound existence, death, and the limits knowing enables, an essential condition of being becomes "event" ... 

In extremis the affirmation occurs in a world proud and strong and also in the withdrawal to stellar pallor. To touch this poverty is to know autumnal space between words complete and essential to being on earth, and touching that which one is and which one is not. 

Vivid expressions of the conditions of earth's aesthetics mirror divine harmonies. Historically, or mythically, the descent plummets "essence" to earth. Exalted images of floods of white that burst from the clouds and the winds that blew life forth contort strength around the sky, until it swoops down in a notable fall. 

Here the world becomes noble even in its raucous sociability, as in Couture's Romans ... the poet is the earth's metaphysician in the dark, twanging a wiry string that gives Sound to passing rightnesses, the noises of Shakespeare and the sweet airs of New Caledonia that give delight and hurt not. Humming in our ears is an echo of instruments chosen as analogies to the modern mindset, arguing only with analogy and historical influence. 

The ideas alternate in movements toward heaven and earth and accessible in the light of eidos, without need for explanation, is the idea of the depreciated concept of being human, an essential element in Shakespeare's many plays. Pointing to our earthiness and our experiences of noises we create the accompaniment: 

The music

The Meditative of Earth

Our experience of earth's noises confuses and fuses our senses into what is natural and what is created and plays onward toward that which we create and that by which we are eluded. Beings are subjective and objective, internal and external. Self identity expresses earth's many harmonies and is experienced as "rightness" by both poet and actor. 

The impulse to soar, to rise above idealized otherness, is implicit in those that neglect worldly ends. Dedicated to closeness with the notion of "the One" in a perceived betterment of an already perfect existence is the mind, the dukedom's library large enough to fit legions of civilizations hoist one upon the other in a never ending symphony of ideas and tragedies. 

Our commonwealth is the knowledge that this is a shared experience. No need for magistrate, no riches, no poverty, no service, no occupation, no idleness and no purity or innocence. This is the dream of the golden age, of excelling and excellence giving way to delight and sensation. 

The primordial is antithetical to the ordered, controlled state of Plato. Rome rests comfortably and fruitfully in earthly harmony. The imposition of control and discipline in such a world cedes, and the scene is abandoned to its "natural" state, which is bountiful and providing. 

The decadent splendor

The Idyllic Pastoral 

The Platonic world of Ideas are reflected in common earthly realizations that rise upward toward the ideal, a soaring architecture of symbolic perfection realized in the social design of the city state. With the ascendancy raised to the forefront of our aspirations, the eternally true and geometric supreme, these essential exaltations of the ideal of humanity and of human nature in relation to the supreme world contribute to our education under Prospero's tutelage. In it we recognize a Platonian anamnesis: that the dream of the ideal is humanity's gift to itself. 

Humanity sees itself mirrored for the first time in the other's company, and after having intuitively recognized other as divine, declares 

"How beauteous mankind is! 
O brave new world
That has such people in't!" 

The Antithesis 

The insensate brute, paradoxically brutish and aesthetic. The clanging of a thousand pots and pans. The brute cannot hear the sounds of sweet air, the noises of earth instead imbue him with an unnatural strength, which he presents and supplants with impulse. 

When the brute sleeps, the natural world manifests a benevolent and generative appreciation of quietude, though his voracity hums like an aching wanton buzz. When awake it twangs, refuting and disappreciating the ennobling instinct, though he joins it in a paradoxical essence, such as in The Tempest

Inherent in this worldly brutish experience is a human recognizing experiences sympathetic to force and desire, both central to existence. Martin Heidegger's earthly path, a felicitous way of being human. 

Linking discordant or opposing impulses appears oxymoronic, a pitying of Prospero and Miranda in a "loving wrong" or "sacred orgy" of the Bacchantes, destructive as it is restorative. 

Pentheus's craving for a voyeur's watch is ripe in the imagery which is titillating and scandalous. Tales of ecstasies permeate and serve Aphrodite rather than any new god. Teiresias warns him from above, hand outstretched against villainous pestilence, but Pentheus cares not for wholesome remains. 

Revelry from which no good comes 

The Miracles

Women perform miracles in the natural world, causing milk, wine, water, and honey to rise from the earth. The messengers of surreality's effects, but also of their activities, until interrupted by intruders, including the ethical, law-abiding, faithfully devout and dutiful. Blame against idyllic and harmonious with nature-like activities drunk in abandonment taunt the righteous and in fierce opposition in the name of that which is praiseworthy they place judgment. 

Gratifying their lusts alone amid the woods, by wine and soft flute-music maddened, but resting on the ground, flung carelessly, they discover modesty. 

The new view of woman is echoed in the Golden Age, innocent and pure. Woman's idleness, unlike man's, is a reassurance of her virtuosity. What she hears is beauty, springing up from a strange, fair array of ordered ranks: a miracle of discipline to behold / a wondrous sight of grace and modesty. 

The messenger of miracles assures Pentheus that if he could see her honor god himself would appear and in his arrival grant him eternal and everlasting joy and the flowing of heaven's eternal bliss. 

Honoring the gods Penthesus aligns with righteousness and the brute, though terrifying in his subsequent deeds, does all in the name of this new and blessed state, in harmony as a group and at one with the notion of nature. 

In repose ...

The Transformation 

The character is transformed akin to the music of the spheres, the rise to heaven, the ennobled escape from the environs of earth, its boisterous noise, its danger, and its darkness. The music of Bacchantes, in its raucous affinity with earth, rises up. 

In the opening stasimon, the Chorus sings, not of the elevated image of the individual ego characterized by Pentheus in his arrogance, self-aggrandizement, self-assurance and certainty of things, but in the virtue of love, participation, and community - the highest dance of Dionysus and his followers, accompanied by the deep heartbeat of the drums and thunderous-kneeling of timbrels. 

The sound of the booming drums symbolize the "win" of victory, the maddening and ecstatic Satyr-band, winning favor from the mother-goddess for their participation in the festivities. Having been appropriated, the most unrefined of creatures are sweet in their crying breaths and Phrygian flutes. All dance at her festival. 

To snare the nimble marmoset

The Exalted World 

The idea of an exalted world is attached to the architecture of the city, represented in the painting. It is the city Pentheus rules. His sense of rightness and privilege essential to the protective and benevolent social design that is mimetic of cosmic logos. The duplication of ideal reality in the state. Plato's Republic is implicit in the painting's attitude of superiority and control as a safe harbor, even for chaos. 

The Dionysian principle literally demolishes and burns the palace in a fiery ecstasy, bringing it crashing down as the archangel pulls at Teiresias's robes (far right). The release of the sacred into this world is not an event of justice and order but a renewal of earth's power, the reaffirmation of earthly truth in the face of Cosmos, who asks "What is wisdom?" 

Man concludes that wisdom is found in he whose life day by day is happy and blessed: "Happy is he whose bliss from day to day doth grow". To accept being on the earth is to accept that which suffices in the essence's remembrance of joy, heard in mortal music. 

Echoed in a finite sky

The Affirmation 

The earth fosters a presence as sweet as noise, a counter- but also an alter-beauty, and the twang and drum noise of the Satyrs, with their raucous harmony. Not mere cacophony, nor meaningless sound, but truth: essential as the structures idealized in the painting, represented in the aboveness of the expansive sky and the belowness of the bacchanal scene. 

The primal truths speak like essence in self-discovery. The gaining of purity and an exactitude of knowledge in a recovery of purity and innocence. It is the return to the world that retains its virtú

If one must again become ignorant by the death of Phoebus and the death of the one god, then one must mirror the death of all, the certitude that is the ending of life. The first idea - and the last. 

This notion is not presumed escapable, even to childlike innocence. The past idealized condition makes way for disciplined achievement from pure perception: the new understanding. The precise awakening of knowledge not in ideas but about the thing itself - it's authenticity. 

Birds with their scrawny cries, appropriate to the earth, precede the choir and part of their knowledge becomes the earth's new reality. There is no romanticizing here. The past pays attention to the present in the concreteness of life while intentionality yields only to originality. 

Where art reveals
Nature's lack of design

The Drama 

The Romans reemerge, falsified and previously impoverished by the naturalistic tendencies of their time, only to overflow the world with nature, recapturing the contours and richness that life in its abundance deems interesting and boring, useful and useless, beautiful and ugly, ridiculous and anguishing.

The world of our time unlike in the painting has moved toward its center. Our time's naturalistic tendencies are countered by the noise a recovering world, the idealized image of beauty, the "desired," and those reborn Romans who recline in the warm basking temperatures of heaven, sleek in their natural nakedness.

Modern society attends the tranquil pastoral scene with wit and with intelligible twittering that substitutes for intelligible thought. Like the unpromising thickness of the Romans' robes, human thought, human language, and the accomplishment of regaining or reconstituting the world is exalted into what Levinas calls an

"Overflow of Nature" 

The New Generation 

The new generations currently populating the earth hear their own music and in response and participation, opposing Plato's view of the depreciative artist echoing braying asses and crowing cocks (noises of an inferior and contrary nature, sound effects of earth's crackles, moans and groans), share the assonance and dissonance of earth as an entity with its own justified and justifying music.

A capable human voice is but a mirror of earth's sound. Attuned to the creatures of earth, the sounds of the planet are echoed in ancient instruments and modern ones, too.

Distant cries of the sea-nymphs announce that the sea is changing. Revelers hear them and their companions create a religion of wine and worthy earthly sustenance to adore the unfolding. Untamed beasts are left to run wild. Trees adorned to press, the cries of nature's elite, a dance in unison for the Dionysus of the mountain top toward which the adventurous brazenly trek.

In response the hills are thrilled and join in bacchic worship. The devolvement is the newest voice of nature exalted into Earth Day, simultaneously elevating the language of Pentheus, who ostentatiously identifies his superiority as evident of his lineage: he is Pentheus, son of Agaue and Echion.

Par excellence among the newer tribes of pantomimic imitators is the high-toned, those jovial singers ode'ing to the spheres. The poetry of their verbal exuberance representing the onomatopoeic sound effects vital in their engendering of the world. The only satisfactory human existence is now imbued with that which has been undermined and overcome.

Perfection in the dream of Saints

The Renewal 

This condition establishes a necessary renewal or retrieval from one generation to the next. In the imagination of the ultimate horizon of being, beyond the last thought, the image of Rome's decadence reappears in the bird's song. Knowledge and happiness are placed as heroic icons with the human as center of the universe, among the gods. The abstracting power of the intellect makes this possible.

The bird's song has no human equivalent. It is in and of itself complete. The appearance of the winged creature on the horizon represents the transcendence of thought. Identifying with its essence humanity understands the essentiality of being human. This makes one happy or unhappy.

To know is not the reason.

The bird's feathers swoop down and then extend upward toward the fire-fangled cosmos. The effect is heard among the multitude of diverse voices expressing a mimesis of that which is considered an essentiality of becoming a fully realized human.

A richer experience
A finer susceptibility
A newer mode of thought,
acts or passions

The Notion of Truth 

The notion of truth makes us happy. Delight and sense sing of springtime while poems end in the imposing thickness of winter's austere hand. Both sing puissantly. Echoes of past songs are ransom for Willow's rebirth.

The ultimate meaningfulness negotiates regions of the earth and of the human psyche, from which the philosopher rises ambulatorily, joining in the song that is not primordially a logic of language but of the extravagance of the mind's intelligible twittering.

Together with the poet the philosopher participates in the transforming, transmogrifying celebrant appropriate to exalted worlds. Pentheus's image of himself takes center stage, and declares twice:

"O brave new world!"

The Comic and the Imp

Befittingly becomes comic, even grotesque. Opposed to the heroic stands comedy, natures balancing act. King Pentheus produces pictures of aged men dancing, paradoxically, the youthful dance of age. There is something foolish in the avowal that one should tire in old age, and remain repose all day and night long, striking the earth with nothing but a cane or walking stick.

Forgetting joy in age is the first assurance that one is old. Feeling young enough to dance is joy in costume, comedy in errors, arrivals in departure. The ridiculous trappings and their linking arms shame the modesty of grey hairs so sense-bereft. The only senility is shame.

Delivering a lecture in metaphoric pentameter, the Comic reveals Dionysus's truth and power. Teiresias warns Pentheus not to deem himself wise, nor laugh in scorn ... but instead to wreathe his head in leaves, grasses, flowers and branches to dance with Ivy.

Comedy is indignant, scoffing at its appearance, clad in dappled and worn-torn cloth. Greybeard cannot dance but at the same time he knows he must. Attuned to the forces of earth unleashed he seeks tribute to youthful celebrants found only in nature's imps. His reawakening is because he "must".

The grotesqueness of this image is repeated in the beast with four legs, under the cloak. It is Rome's only animal shape. Referred to as fish and monster, sometimes as both or amphibious: half a fish and half a monster. But this monstrous image is compounded by union with the Imp.

In a frenzied fright he lies with her wondering whether he is a man or a fish, and, as the storm approaches, decides to creep under his gaberdine, an action making for strange bedfellows.

Pleas for mercy are sung to the Imp in a most delicate and monstrous manner, to heal the monster she pours wine into its mouth and into her own. The comic antics of these types reiterate the comic figure that Pentheus and Teiresias make together, and the depreciation, like that of old men, brings them close to the mouth of earth.

Society declares the Comic not the victor but the fool, reassuring him that the noises and sweet airs of the Imp's voice are attuned to the intelligible twittering of birds, and when he protests, it is said that the two are one in the same in their absurdness.

But it matters not in this moment ... because the Comic also brings release. His voice grows ever mellifluous in appealing to his new Imp's senses. Mimetic in his stuttered song about his new freedom. He has a new master and he bows before her only.

Eternity, Fidelity, Affection

The New Poetry 

The Comic's ode becomes the poetry of positivity, of, "here and there, an old sailor / Drunk and asleep in his boots no more" ... he who catches tigers in red weather and the grotesqueness of his old figure stripped of illusory decrepitude in favor of virile robustness. A new nobility in poetic ennoblement. 

Imps delight in their fortune's twists of fate and the image of ourselves overcoming our demons paints a picture of nakedness newly clothed. The monster is to myself as two things are together as one. The self as Comic and Imp singing the heroic image of bearded bronze just because the singer must. 

Yet another form of renewal essential for the interdependence of those expressions embedded in the time and place of our collective being and becoming. The loss of despair the greatest beauty and clearest distinction between life and the premature death of living. 

The desire to go and see and explore the garden

The Scene is Set

What is repeated in the script is now only a souvenir. Life learned the speech of place and time and in it saw the face of the people reflected in war and that which suffices for peace. Poetry is once again ablaze, constructing a new stage upon which the world, a theater, in its construction of self exists. 

The intricate elicitings of language and being in the most delicates ear produces a meditation of satisfaction. The scene transcends, as Aristotle would argue into a new reality. Like the aged man whose intellectual gymnastics mesmerize an Imp, life is again an intrinsic image of contorted and contorting, the "eccentric" and the elemental participant in a decomposition and consequent fertility of earth. 

Yet the worm wins

The Worm-Poet is Speaking 

The worm battles with the Chieftan while the chicken clucks in a carefully construction illusion of himself as a ten-foot dinosaur among inchlings. The worm in its pretentiousness enlarges and exalts himself, creating an illusion of himself consistent with the exalted illusions of humanity's splendor. A laughable illusion crying in defiance to uncertainty. 

Affirming the inchling is smaller than he, the worm inches his way along the earth and aligns himself in the philosophy of being a comically diminutive worm-poet who makes fun of the world in which he performs. His "fear not" and his "all is well" transform his shape and the metamorphosis that occurs, orchestrated by the universe, that remarkable protean composer, and enables us to see that he is affinity expressing capability held in form. 

Now, that's a mouthful. 

The worm-poet knows that "he" and "it" are as inseparable as performance and activity. He might as a matter of taste prefer one over the other. So long as he does not exalt one and deny the other, taste is only a matter of taste, and also of being there and there-being. 

Such versatility from a worm-poet enamors the world and in their own bodily metamorphosis which produces mimicked sounds they shift the quality of the comic further toward the grotesque as they raise the Worm to Heaven's Gate. 

The worm-poet looks down upon the world and sees nothing but the idea of beauty. Instead of joyous experience relishing in itself judgment enters, which is an experience in itself. Being a worm the worm-poet knows that a decomposed object can be reconstructed as beauty, and that putting something back together is a metamorphosis. Conserving, preserving, restoring and reanimating for an audience a metamorphic act. 

The worm-poet creeps along the fallen jugs of wine in search of ideal-forms of distortion while composing his next ode. 

Here are their lips
one by one
the bundles of bodies
and the feet

The Eccentric 

The eccentric enters with her noisy distortion of standard form. Squawky sounds and high-tones in opposition to Poetry. Squiggling like saxophones, the Eccentric appears in devolutions. In doing so the "essences" are being retrieved, or discovered, made or found. 

Reconstruction of the awareness of need is awakened in the world, and in the idea of a fruitful earth, a world of belonging and possibility is realized. The worm-poet shares this impulse with the Eccentric, and both echo the Dionysian celebrants of a "new" religion, the religion of authenticity. 

Found here are those who preserve a recalcitrance to being uplifted by anything but their own bootstraps. Like Pentheus's Apollonian architecture, the Eccentric believes it is language that causes rebellion against civilizing. And in a rebellious tone she abdicates authority admitting her own thing of darkness and lightness. 

Essentially the world idealizes the blessed rage of order, as identifiable as it is elusive. A place of books and imposing high-minded values, provocative to balance against a paradoxical acceptance of earth as human beings cede to mother nature. The immanent image of nobility plunges to the ground. If transformation is to occur, the flower is to take the place of Narcissus's corpse. 

The forces of the earth, the danger and destruction, the withdrawal into darkness, the comic and the grotesque, regenerate in the losing of temporal power and beauty. The year ends. Spring has not yet come. Without renewal presence in the eccentric is absent.

While Orpheus plays the leading role

Spring Comes Forth

The music of the earth once again echoes across time. A new season opens with the pervasiveness of the paradoxical grounded in impish thought provoking monstrous appetites. The sense of dismay is replaced with childhood's harmony while nature while glory has passed away. 

Spring is the dialogues of business, of love, and of strife to which honeybees affix their tongues. Solitude is replaced with earthly delights and the tale repeats itself again. 

We return full circle to the blessedness that comes with knowledge and the belonging that comes with an earthly domain. The perpetual benediction sings sweet songs of thanks and praise for the achieved awareness of a previously obstinate questioning. 

Sense and outward things fall and vanish and that divine purpose, insomuch as it is intuited by humanity, necessitates an acceptance and identification with the meekest of flowers whose petals are also blown about by the wind. 

For one final instance we can trace the earths twists and turns in Couture's painting pressed down upon the canvas of the earth, and thereon setting our sights anew, pulling them in a lavishly upward direction toward an unattainable impulse. 

The Roman desire to apprehend cosmic design is dripping with spring in this painting which reflects a total sky without defect. The ephemerality of the frenzy appears as a pool of flowers, brief as they were, eternal as they are. 

The contingency of things in nature is not to be lamented but rather to be celebrated. The essence of being, in the progress of this ode, is from the pleasures of youth, and the sweetness and beauty that gratify because they satisfy the need for "ache" and they "sting" ... it is for a mature appreciation of only the most powerful of pleasures and pains of the senses, and aims to satisfy a craving for both with the stain of honey and of tears. 

The worm-poet becomes a moth while the poet transforms him into a butterfly. He flies alongside the winds of the cosmos, humanizing nature with his song. The old men in Euripides's play delight in their Bacchantes.  The birds sing and the lions are tamed. 

Apollo takes measure and smiles

Monday, May 15, 2017

A Curmudgeon and a Termagant Walk Into A Bar

Termagant: O, it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings, who (for the most part) are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb shows and noise. I would have such a fellow whipp'd for not associating me with being a true vixen.

Crumudgeon: Swear thou art honest, Vixen! Heaven doth truly know thou art falsity jostling others for dominance, with brute power the final factor of your raging encounter.

T: It is the very error of your moon that brings you nearer to a state of lament, where you will most assuredly find your incredulous thinking!

C: Command you not of governing cosmic peculiarities. We lay traps for the likes of you.

T: Those may be your final words. 

Why have you grievance with me, surely the question of your own motivation is sufficient without quirk or injury to my blessed tragedy.

C: I refuse to be drawn into your inquiries. I shall remain steadfast to my impenetrable resolve.

T: So striking it is that you invite it here for examination?

C: Don't try to inquire further! Be content with the knowledge you have. 

T: Tush, never tell me. Mock me not. Trifles light as air are to the jealous confirmations strong. As proofs holy writ. 

C: As prime as goats or hot as monkeys! 

T: Just order the scotch, already.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

A Fish in Love

I never met a metaphor I didn't like. Not only is this fish out of water, but it is riding a penny-farthing. Of fishes, Lynda Barry wrote:

Love is an exploding cigar we willingly smoke. 

Dr. Mardy Grothe, a very clever and witty writer and author of treasures for the intellectually insatiable, wrote about the 1995 novel Corelli's Mandolin, where Louis de Bernieres tells the story of Pelagia Iannis, a young beauty who lives with her physician father on the small Greek island of Cephalonia. When the island is overtaken by Italian troops in the early days of World War II, Dr. Iannis and his daughter are forced to billet the officer in command, Captain Antonio Correlli, in their house. Corelli is a handsome and cultured man who always travels with his prized mandolin. His passion for music is matched by a disdain for military life, which he demonstrates by replying "Heil Puccini" whenever he is offered the Nazi greeting "Heil Hitler." The beautiful Pelagia soon falls for Corelli, even though she is betrothed to a young Greek fisherman who has left to fight in the war. The developing love affair gravely concerns her father, who sits her down one day and says:

Love is a kind of dementia
with very precise and oft-repeated
clinical symptoms.

After ticking off some of the "symptoms" that he has observed in the young lovers, Dr. Iannis launches into an extended analogy. 

Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body ...

That is just being "in love," which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew toward each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches, we found that we were one tree and not two.

Ambrose Bierce wrote: Love, n. A temporary insanity curable by marriage or by removal of the patient from the influences under which he incurred the disorder. 

Returning to Dr. Iannis' lecture to his daughter, this is where Mardy and I take a divergent path. It is the path of awareness. Dr. Iannis speaks from his perspective, which is conventional love. Living in society this is perhaps one of the easiest loves to have. It is intimate and personal, but it is also illusory when two people deny their essence in the name of pragmatism or even altruism. If it is the first, it may be more authentic, with two individuals living in earnest. These are the people who claim to have met their soulmate. Another person with whom they are naturally inclined, with both sharing the preference for and ability to sustain a long lasting love affair. But if one is secretly languishing, denial and resentment can arise. These sentiments are formidable even for a well balanced mind, and require higher faculties to escape. These are the willingly chosen ideals that result in a very rich and creative inner reality - sometimes turning one into a phenomenologist. 

Although the sentence: "I never met a phenomenologist I didn't like" doesn't have the same ring as "I never met a metaphor I didn't like" - even if one could argue the structure renders these two concepts categorically equal. 

The next category is love for convenience. History and literature are filled with woeful unrequited ultimately loveless tales of this nature. When we read these stories, we feel instantaneous "compassion" and "anguish" for the main characters, those pour suffering souls living in secret torment, under the spell of insatiable love or the hope thereof. 

If this happens to a flat character, usually a fortunate or unfortunate impetus occurs, and the person follows an almost predestined path back to their senses or a more "suitable" suitor. Either that or the author kills them off creatively. 

If forbidden love happens to a dynamic character, a journey or odyssey begins. These characters are the Odysseuses of the world whom wanton readers will follow, sometimes to the scaffold. Where despite innate trembling imagine their hero or heroine (Joan of Arc, for example) step upon the scaffold with nothing but dignity and grace. Like Marie Antoinette and probably Anne Boleyn, they take one final breath, gaze up upon the morning sky, and let go of enough inner pretense to accept the harsh hand of fate. Their true natural eliteness (not elitistness) will not allow them to superimpose their ideals upon another, so their final word is conciliatory. If nothing happens that requires one final courtesy, such as apologizing for tripping over the executioner's foot; then their deepest hope and faithful desire is their last steadfast thought. In a single helplessly beautiful heroic act, they free their heart from their body, close their eyes, and wait. 

This is just one of many death scenes that history has imposed on some of its most dynamic characters. It is the tragic fate of those unyielding souls who can hear the sun set between perfect action in accordance with self and perfect action in accordance with other. 

Folklore describes these beings as cursed or solitary in nature, and in many ways they are. They may become beloved orators, steadfast to the great potential in every conceivable landscape. They are often educated by the best teachers of the day, but their autodidactical approach to living will seek knowledge from every conceivable source. 

Some are born into old and respectable families, others arrive into states of chaos. Most all turn to some form of writing or the arts, or toward physical experiences that are all-encompassing. Ultimately they set their sights on love and amorous intrigue. If the dynamics of love are not present in such a captivating way, they channel desire elsewhere. Devouring a sophisticated and pleasure-seeking society in perfectly unique ways that speak to them. They may be popular or unknown, but others are not necessarily unknown to them. 

Venus and Adonis - Abraham Bloemaert (Dutch, 1566 - 1651)
The Statens Museum for Kunst

Ovid was married three times, finally finding contentment in his third marriage. His first two marriages were short-lived and not particularly harmonious, giving special relevance to a line that appeared in the Art of Love: 

Love is a kind of warfare

Our penny-farthing riding fish out of water picks up the shattered pieces of Odyssey's heart and turns and twists them into metaphors or historical remedies, reminding us that Ovid was one of the first in history to say that love is war, a more powerful concept exposing the weakness of character behind Dr. Iannis'  love is a mental illness.

The timid would stop here, but a more insatiable being would ask: 

What about fire? 

That ancient flame - the flame of love - has been a central theme in world literature. In The Divine Comedy, Dante used the metaphor to suggest that a great passion can spring from a modest beginning: 

A great flame follows a little spark.

In Guardians of the Galaxy, baby Groot is ever more adorable and irresistible because he has the heart of Groot inside. In the seventeenth century, an English proverb commonly attributed to English cleric Jeremy Taylor continued the theme and became one of history's most popular observations: 

Love is a friendship set on fire 

Lord Byron saw love as a kind of celestial fire, calling it "a light from heaven, a spark of that immortal fire." Honoré de Balzac wrote that "Love is like the devil," adding "Whom it has in its clutches it surrounds with flames." 

Of One Hundred Years of Solitude, the Chicago Tribune Book World described García Márquez as taking one into a dream, where the reader emerges with their mind on fire. Not as twisted as Nabokov's enormous appetite and imagination, nor his fatalism either. Like rum calentano, these stories go down easily, leaving a rich, sweet burning flavor behind. 

If only it would stay gone. 
But it doesn't. 
It returns.
Again and again, fecund, savage and irresistible. 

In the words of Maya Angelou: 

Love is like a virus. 
It can happen to anybody at any time.

It may be a gift we give ourselves, it may be designed to catch a heart like a fish, it may be Anouilh's "one arch-enemy" ... it may be instinct, a way to find the way to one's own heart, or it may be a feeble insect in search of its next flower, with an innate will that nothing can dismay nor turn aside (Honoré de Balzac). It may be Nature's fairest gem or an exploding cigar. It may be a flowing wine held in existence or the wild card of existence. It may be wrapped or bare, savage or barbarous, dark, or so primal it purges vanity and leaves one with no other choice but to yield, if only to drag oneself from its torturous grasp. 

It may be fiction or reality or history. It may be the promise of an alliance of friendship taunted by lust. It may become pliable and overly yielding, or die of starvation. Whatever it is, love is a passion exalted and refined, gross and sensual. It is friendship set to music and the foundation of all civilization. 

It is an ocean of emotions, surrounded by apologies and personal expenses. For some it could prove to be more painful that being alive, a perpetual, relentless aching wound. Love is every ode willingly ascribed to it.

Of all it is and all it is not, love is always one thing above all else: Spelled correctly.