“Why are you bothering to learn guitar?  It’s such a silly waste of time.  I mean, you’ll never get any good at it.”

What a statement.  It was all he could do to contain the disappointment.  It’s surprising, he thought, what people you call friend can sometimes say.

A few minutes into practice, he put the guitar down in frustration thinking about the question ‘why bother’.  Why bother doing anything creative?

“Let me ask you a question.  Do you remember what Aristotle said about language?”

“Vaguely.”

“He said language is sound with meaning.  What do you make of that?”

“That makes sense.”

“It seems about right to me too, until you really think it through.  Now ask yourself, which came first, the sound or the meaning?”

“Well, I guess you’d have to first create the meaning before you create the meaningful sound.”

“I think you’re right.  It’s what goes on inside the mind first that’s the prime mover behind our creative efforts.  So it may turn out that Aristotle, in a sense, had it backwards.  Language is most likely meaning with occasional sound.”

“What’s you’re point?”

“I’m answering you’re question.  Our language or ‘higher’ intelligence, however you want to describe it, gravitates towards the imaginative.  Poets, philosophers, photographers, particle physicists, Lascaux cave painters and yes, learning guitarists all do what our brains intuitively do:  liberate our most inspired thoughts.  And if you’re willing to be serious, the world needs more poets and physicists, the more the better. People should be free to create in whatever way suits their talents because it’s the essential and inextricable part of being human.”

His friend sat there deliberating, quietly. It was a risky quiet.  He knew from experience that friendships, like wayward vessels, sometimes suddenly and unexpectedly run aground.

But then the jury of one calmly stood up, walked to the kitchen and grabbed two beers.  On his way back, he picked up the guitar.

“Will you teach me how to play this thing, please?”

 

If we could fill the sky with answers

Why we heave a heavy sigh

To stars that guide us through the night

Their wisdom we deny

 

If we could fill the sea with remedy

Peaceful thoughtful free

No mindless illusions, disaster confusion

As far the eyes can see

 

If we could move us forward down the line

On the sacred path of time

Scatter our burdens to the wind

And redeem a sense of rhyme

 

The mist is rising

On the path ahead

Upon wayward sails

Of souls misled

 

The earth she whispers

Words to the wise

To remember the sacred

And open our eyes

 

In the future before us

On the path ahead

Only fools speak hatred

Speak love instead

 

For My Father (1933-2017)

 

Mother earth is calling

Our time has come

No room to deny

What has been done

 

While dancing like fools

We smile for naught

Blinded by illusions

Our follies have wrought

 

But truth is before us

If we listen in kind

Mother earth is calling

With wisdom to find

 

He was born with a small mind.

Nonetheless, over time his head ballooned to epic proportions, yet the mind within this vapid space remained stubbornly small.  It was his good fortune however to live in a time of smallness, of pettiness, a time when the smallest minds ruled the world and were granted the greatest rewards for their smallness.  No accolades too grand for these masters of petty thoughts.

Surrounded by many other small minds, they pillaged a planet, while lost in a sea of smallness.  But in the unbounded euphoria of the age, it was very popular to be small-minded; indeed competitions flourished to manifest the greatest degree of small mindedness.

Of course there were great thinkers and ideas in this era of hollow pursuits, but they were not permitted to see the light of day.  They were not allowed to enter the consciousness of the modern mind since they ran the risk of expanding it to new horizons where new ways of living might be perceived and, dare it be thought, realized.

The dictates of the smallest minds could never allow this to happen.  The perniciousness of their souls would never allow this to happen.

And so the tyranny of smallness, untethered from reality, continued its wayward trajectory until what minds of greater acuity predicted would happen, happened:  mother earth rendered her omnipotent conclusion to this parade of pettiness, infantilism and smallness.

Future archaeologists of extraterrestrial origin possessing vastly higher levels of intelligence and experience would later explore this cosy blue and green backwater, discover evidence of a once thriving ‘civilization’ and render their own conclusion:  once again an emerging species of ‘higher’ intelligence made the classic mistakes of allowing their technologies, greed and fatal dismissal of their own environments to outpace their moral, social and intellectual development.

So concludes another small story.

165

 

We witness her beauty with eyes that won’t see

What was and what is, and what ought to be

 

Nature our teacher, from the roots to the tree

Plundered for profit, what she gives us for free

 

But on the horizon with eyes that must see

What was and what is, and what ought to be

006

 

If we could fill the sky with answers

Why we heave a heavy sigh

To stars that guide us through the night

Their wisdom we deny

 

If we could fill the sea with remedy

Peaceful thoughtful free

No mindless illusions, disaster confusion

As far the eyes can see

 

If we could move us forward down the line

On the path of space and time

Scatter our burdens to the wind

And redeem a sense of rhyme