DECLASSIFIED: Vestigial Structures

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Click here to read the original poem.

Life can make a person feel dreadfully small.

The very act of realizing that your body is a number of well-refined subsystems acting in accordance with one another is just one of them, and one I find myself drawn to every so often.

So I may be, in essence, a machine but how finely-tuned? How well-oiled?

I function, with some minor hiccups here and there. But I’m only human, and humankind is not evolution’s crowning achievement.

Evolution is not necessarily “survival of the fittest.” Evolution is throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. It is a game of inches; it’s about finding the rules of survival and bending them into a pretzel. It’s about how heavily you can game the system.

Humans have some kinks to work out, for sure. Our minds are powerful and flexible, but there are vestiges of bygone eras long since past encoded in the way we organize ourselves (I.E. tribalism), and process the world.

No human alive NEEDS their tonsils or their tailbones. But they also don’t impede the way we go about or business enough to be dealt with by the drip, drip, drip of natural selection.

But we have what we’ve got, regardless of our ability to use it.

This is what inspired me to write Vestigial Structures. Those bits of me left over from when I definitely wasn’t human.

Northern Life

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Lapland has it’s ups and downs,

as static as it might seem.

Friendly people and bitter cold,

a lonely taiga with polar wildlife, plenty of fish to eat,

also the sun sometimes shines through midnight.

You take the bad with the good,

because even the blackest night,

filled with every far-away,

twinkling,

long-dead star,

can erupt with sudden energy.

Swirls of shimmering turquoise,

undulating orange ribbons,

crashing waves of purple,

meet swinging arcs of neon green,

all before disappearing,

like steam blown away from a cup of tea.

Ribbons of light,

electrify,

the air,

while pristine snow,

about your feet,

grounds you,

like white space on a canvas.

You take the good with the bad here,

just so long as you can witness all of it.

Hey, I hit a Milestone!

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So today I reached 100 followers, and I’d like to send my sincerest thanks to all of you!

I must say, when this blog said it’s first words, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect.

But less than a year later, and I’ve seen how tremendously fun and satisfying it can be to share my work with the world.

Trust me, this is a baby step in the grand scheme of things, and there is plenty more to come.

Also, if you swing that way, be sure to like my my Facebook page by clicking here! You’ll know as soon as I post new work!

Thanks again, everyone!

DECLASSIFIED: Hydraulic Jump

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You can read the original poem Hydraulic Jump here.

Water’s strength, in Taoist terms,comes from its ability to yield.

Just as Rome was not built in a day, the Grand Canyon was carved in increments by the flow of the Colorado River.

Gravity, erosion and time can cleave mountains, though it can take an ample amount of that last ingredient.

The through-line? It’s automatic. Insofar as the Colorado River is left largely to its own devices.

And what looks static in the course of a day, a year or a lifetime is actually constantly changing with the topography of its surroundings.

With no mind to straighten their courses, rivers end up as magnificent squiggles, rending valleys and mountains alike.

When a river flows downward (usually in the case of waterfalls) the friction can cause a small portion of the stream to flow in the opposite direction of the current.

This is the eponymous hydraulic jump.

And in that vein, sometimes order can look a whole lot like entropy.

From different perspectives, rivers can take on many different forms.

But at the end of the day, life moves with the squiggles, and is in no rush to adjust.

When you recognize things as they are, then change comes easily– imperceptibly, even.

DECLASSIFIED: Leash Laws

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You can read the original poem here

Dogs do lots of silly, lovable things.

Not included in that list: pooping in your living room, chewing up your shoes, barking at nothing, ‘asserting their dominance’ over your shin and urinating on the things they feel entitled to.

Can you tell I’m a cat-person?

That’s not entirely accurate, actually.

The way I see it, cat people and dog people exist on a continuum. By my estimation: I’m about 65% cat lover, 35% dog lover.

Why do I prefer cats, barring that I grew up with one? Well, for the reason so many find them odious: they don’t care very much.

Cats don’t feel envious when you don’t give them attention.

Cats don’t go wild when they see more cats outside.

Cats don’t get very large or become strong enough to knock you over.

You pet them, they purr. You feed them, they stick around. You bring them outside, they sunbathe.

Life seems simpler for a cat, and maybe the lack of outward affection makes people feel uneasy. When a dog likes you, it’s pretty unambiguous. When a cat likes you, it feels like an accomplishment.

Dogs need more training than cats do. Some find that rewarding, and I think that’s understandable, but it’s not something I need from a pet.

Cats don’t need to learn the rules, they live beyond them.

But at the end of the day, I’ll be sneezing and sniffling regardless of whether the dander comes from a cat or a dog, so the preference means pretty much nothing.

DECLASSIFIED: I Hope you Find What You’re Looking for

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Read the original here.

Ever cloud-watched at night?

It sounds paradoxical, but if there’s enough light pollution in your corner of the world, the clouds stand out even in the night sky.

And it’s disappointing sometimes that you’re able to do that; wouldn’t you rather see the stars?

But just because you’ve been dealt a hand that you’re unhappy with doesn’t make the clouds any less spectacular than they are in the daytime.

Thousands of tons of water are floating miles in the sky, never in quite the same shape or location as their counterparts.

Stars, on the other hand, will always be there. Most are probably dead anyway, so far away that the light we see from them is essentially showing us how they looked billions of years ago. They aren’t going anywhere in the grand scheme of things.

Perspective is what matters, insofar as that it’s under your jurisdiction.

The sky, however, is out of your grasp.

DECLASSIFIED: Wear and Tear

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View the original story here.

yinandyang

 

I edited this piece pretty heavily subsequent to publishing it. A friend told me it “didn’t feel finished” upon reading it, which spurred me to make revisions and extend it too.

It’s hard to hear something that you don’t want to.

Ever baked brownies? If you’ve never baked before, it seems pretty counterintuitive to put salt in them, but anyone whose neglected that one step can tell you it’s just not quite the same.

Criticism, if it’s from a genuine place, is never unwelcomed. To offer guidance is an act of kindness, even if the words themselves sting a bit.

Bad can be good, and good can be bad, doesn’t that mean they’re related? Doesn’t that mean they’re more similar than their surfaces suggest?

Dual dynamic, dyadically-divided, concentric-contrailed comets.
Binary– but also not.

This is yin and yang.

What looks like a Pisces is really a Gemini.