Sunday, October 22, 2017


This is my favorite piece of classical music bar none. When I am in a sad mood I usually look it up and listen. The first time I heard this, or actually listened to it, I should say, was during a drive to Delaware. Everything was drizzly wet and the huge brilliantly colored fall leaves were falling from the trees often plastering themselves on my windshield. I listened to the cd which contained this piece and was taken away with emotion. It was of sadness but also a special kind of glorification of the majesty which begets that sadness. I had a sense that the sadness in the world, my world, was a natural part of life. I seemed to realize that sadness is indeed the default state of the human condition and that there must be a higher being, or power, or simply an unreachable something that cannot be readily seen.

I just discovered this version.

The notes: "This first recording is from 1978, long before this work became well-known. It is a pure Polish, authentic performance, by far more raw and intense as the more polished western recordings normally are."

That is a good description. It is darker and yet more majestic in its peaks. What an amazing work of art. While the video is indeed the great unspeakable sorrow the piece is about, I advise just listening to the music which is more universal in its appeal.


First Movement

My son, my chosen and beloved
Share your wounds with your mother
And because, dear son, I have always carried you in my heart,
And always served you faithfully
Speak to your mother, to make her happy,
Although you are already leaving me, my cherished hope.
(Lamentation of the Holy Cross Monastery from the "Lysagóra Songs" collection. Second half of the 15th century)

Second Movement

No, Mother, do not weep,
Most chaste Queen of Heaven
Support me always.
"Zdrowas Mario." (*)
(Prayer inscribed on wall 3 of cell no. 3 in the basement of "Palace," the Gestapo's headquarters in Zadopane; beneath is the signature of Helena Wanda Blazusiakówna, and the words "18 years old, imprisoned since 26 September 1944.")
(*) "Zdrowas Mario" (Ave Maria)—the opening of the Polish prayer to the Holy Mother

Third Movement

Where has he gone
My dearest son?
Perhaps during the uprising
The cruel enemy killed him

Ah, you bad people
In the name of God, the most Holy,
Tell me, why did you kill
My son?

Never again
Will I have his support
Even if I cry
My old eyes out

Were my bitter tears
to create another River Oder
They would not restore to life
My son

He lies in his grave
and I know not where
Though I keep asking people

Perhaps the poor child
Lies in a rough ditch
and instead he could have been
lying in his warm bed

Oh, sing for him
God's little song-birds
Since his mother
Cannot find him

And you, God's little flowers
May you blossom all around
So that my son
May sleep happily
(Folk song in the dialect of the Opole region)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Day of... 10:30 pm until 11:20 pm.

Time still runs on just as I have known it to before.  The experience seems slightly comforting in my pain. I don't have enough of this time to even do justice to an entry. And yet, oddly, filling time will and must become a kind of life and death struggle as everything here in this place now seems so full of my life's history. I must forget this, I guess. It is a past I have chosen to ignore before but now it has come to surface yet again and my carefully designed "better life" flutters as quickly away as it ever did... while what seem to be my accomplishments are... always mirages.

Being alone isn't usually a problem as time runs on. Trusting in humanity is far far worse. I'm damned if this trust isn't something we are born to do. At any given moment, from infancy onward, we are, in a word, subjugated to some other: to their goals, to their likes and dislikes, to their misunderstandings of our lives, our needs, our wants. We are subjugated by proximity and time. We trust in what they teach us about life even though we know, we honestly know, sometimes with amazing clarity, that they have often been absolutely wrong and may be just as wrong each and every time.

So accomplished they all seem in their steadfast views but I know they have been where I am now... struggling. I know that they must know better. It is a lesson not hard to learn as these circumstances in some manner or particularity must be a commonality to all... at some time. Yet those steadfast views remain when the mirages take our senses away from the real.

Time has run on. And such a long space of time it has been since this familiar seclusion was so starkly real. Why did I leave it only to come back? What mirage had me so entangled as to make me forget that I would necessarily be back here, bringing with me learned experience that would be utterly useless?

I will have time to ponder before lost again.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Minutes of the Snake Committee

If you see a snake, just kill it - don't appoint a committee on snakes
- H. Ross Perot
  • 4 people like this.
  • Michael DeVore smile emoticon
    Like · Reply · 2 · 3 hrs
  • Like · Reply · 1 · 2 hrs
  • Cat Lane While I would never kill a snake, I wish I'd taken the core message here to heart many years ago. Live and learn.
    Like · Reply · 1 · 2 hrs
  • Blössm McBeans Yes...some things you just can't work with.
    Like · Reply · 2 hrs
  • Katharine Alice Jones Not good advice, because one shouldn't kill snakes. It's not just a bad example, it's a bad premise.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 2 hrs
    • Hide 85 Replies
    • Katharine Alice Jones Action without understanding is bad.
      Like · 2 hrs
    • Cat Lane I agree, but I took this to mean, if you are in clear and present anger, take whatever action you need. I spent years trying to reason with orcs....never again. At least thats how I took the expression.
      Like · 1 · 2 hrs
    • Michael DeVore Ross Perot was not exactly known for being PC. smile emoticon
      Like · 1 · 2 hrs
    • Katharine Alice Jones But that's just my point. The danger isn't always so clear. How many snakes die because people don't know most snakes are harmless?
      Like · 2 hrs
    • Katharine Alice Jones Just because something looks scary doesn't mean you should try to kill it.
      Like · 2 hrs
    • Cat Lane Yeah, it's a bad analogy. I think my own form of idiocy is really special, I knew full well I was under seige but kept saying things like "can't we talk this through?"
      Like · 1 · 2 hrs
    • Cat Lane The other thing is - when a thing doesn't really look scary, it can be vastly more terrible and dangerous.
      Like · 1 · 2 hrs
    • Katharine Alice Jones Right. The subject is far more complex than Perot suggested. And understanding is the key to all things.
      Like · 1 · 2 hrs
    • Michael DeVore I think though, that it is as if you are worried about the characters in the analogy more than the meaning. He could have used anything for the snake but he is a Texan. It is like saying that hares should never race tortoises because tortoises are known to have heart attacks.
      Like · 1 · 1 hr
    • Katharine Alice Jones It's actually not like that at all because that makes no sense. Also, it has nothing to do with someone advocating thoughtless action.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore He is not advocating thoughtless action. In his analogy the snake is an obvious thing that needs killed... there is no need for discussion. It is an analogy about unneeded bureaucracy. It is an opinion that is kinda funny and does make this discussion as silly as my tortoise example.
      Like · 1 · 1 hr
    • Katharine Alice Jones But that's the point! HE thought it was obvious it needed killing. He was wrong. He made a bad decision because he didn't know shit about snakes and remained ignorant by choice.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore The snake is a character in an analogy. The analogy is sometimes right and sometimes wrong.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Katharine Alice Jones It's an excellent analogy for what happens when violent people don't want to learn.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore It is an analogy for this conversation as well.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Cat Lane I actually think it's a pretty good discussion. Made me stop and consider some angles here. If I was under major attack, on any level, ever again I would not hesitate to put a stop to it by any means necessary.but I also think, that part of me - any of us - that gives benefit of the doubt - that aims for peaceful resolution - is our better part. I would never want to become a hot head who just lashes out in panic at the first sign of danger. But if danger is close, you do what you have to do.
      Like · 1 · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore By the way, the analogy to a Texan is that of a rattlesnake about to attack. If you discuss it too long, you are dead.
      Like · 1 · 1 hr
    • Cat Lane Thats actually what I took t to mean and why I agreed with it (in those cases). I like to think that, most of the time, you can get out of harm's way. smile emoticon
      Like · 1 · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore I cannot believe I am defending Ross Perot. Yesterday I was defending Lynyrd Skynyrd. The world is upside down.
      Like · 2 · 1 hr
    • Cat Lane We 're not defending HIM, just that one line.
      Lynryd Skynyrd - now that's scary.
      Like · 1 · 1 hr · Edited
    • Katharine Alice Jones I would describe the cause of your previous predicament as the fact that you failed to understand that they couldn't be reasoned with. Lack of understanding.

      If in another situation you failed to understand that someone you thought was your enemy COUL
      D be reasoned with, the result would be another mistake.

      Now, if Ross Perot had said "rattlesnake" we all know rattlesnakes actually are dangerous. "Snakes" is completely different and changes the implications of the statement. He didn't say anything about a rattlesnake, he generalized that all snakes are like rattlesnakes and should be treated the same. It's essentially the same thing as racial profiling.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Katharine Alice Jones The quote makes the assumption that the only thing anyone might reasonably do with any snake, ever, under any circumstances, is kill it. Bad logic.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore lol. Yeah, it went like this. The person said that Nazis has popularized the confederate flag. I said that while true, Lynyrd Skynyrd should be given due credit as well. Then the person said that divine intervention had killed the band for the flag and that he was glad they were dead. I said "hatred ceases not with hatred." and it went from there.
      Like · 2 · 1 hr
    • Katharine Alice Jones So this was a crazy person...
      Like · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore There are times that demand quick action and delay would mean disaster. There are also times that the opposite is true. That is the analogy. When there is something obvious, action is required.
      Like · 1 · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore No... this was a liberal correspondent.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore Possibly a crazy liberal correspondent... yes.
      Like · 1 · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore Analogy: a young man comes into the emergency with a gunshot wound. The doctors have a meeting deciding what to do. The patient bleeds out.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Katharine Alice Jones I agree with THAT sentiment, but I don't think that's what Perot was saying. He was implying that all situations require quick action. He didn't say anything about there being other situation.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore That is exactly what he is saying.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore His situation was specific. A snake (to him an immediate threat).
      Like · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore A fuller rendition of this analogy: I come from an environment where, if you see a snake, you kill it. At GM, if you see a snake, the first thing you do is go hire a consultant on snakes. Then you get a committee on snakes, and then you discuss it for ...See More
      Like · 1 · 1 hr
    • Katharine Alice Jones But the snake wasn't really a threat.
      Like · 1 · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore And the hare did not have heart disease. It is extraneous to the analogy.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Katharine Alice Jones You need to build an environment where the first guy who sees a snake knows whether or not that particular species of snake is dangerous and reacts to a situation correctly.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore gees. he comes from an environment where a snake is dangerous.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore He has set the fact up in the first sentence.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore In his analogy the snake roams around dangerous.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Katharine Alice Jones All snakes? You're saying there are no non-venomous snakes in Texas?
      Like · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore I am saying that you must stipulate that the snake is dangerous or you are not talking about his analogy but some other.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Katharine Alice Jones He didn't stipulate that at all.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Katharine Alice Jones He didn't say "If you see a dangerous snake" he said any snake. He advised killing harmless animals just in case they might be dangerous.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore He doesn't stipulate. He asks you to stipulate that this is a dangerous snake up front. Otherwise, don't listen because you will not get the meaning.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore It is a simple analogy. My coworker laughed heartily at it. smile emoticon
      Like · 1 · 1 hr
    • Katharine Alice Jones The meaning was, essentially, assume everything you don't understand needs to be killed, understanding is for saps.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore I had heard it before. It is part of the story of how Pixar was not purchased by GM. smile emoticon
      Like · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore It is as if he said: If a snake is dangerous then you must kill it before it kills you. Don't hold a meeting about it.
      Like · 1 hr · Edited
    • Michael DeVore The meaning could essentially be: laugh at the analogy because it is funny. Don't pick it apart on a long thread. smile emoticon
      Like · 1 hr
    • Katharine Alice Jones It's not as if he said that. Again, it's as if he said "All snakes are dangerous. Kill them."
      Like · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore Nowhere in the analogy is the snake not actually dangerous. He comes from an environment where a snake is dangerous. .
      Like · 1 hr
    • Katharine Alice Jones There is no environment where "a snake is dangerous". In fact, he comes from an environment where it is acceptable to kill things for no reason.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore I promised myself not to give up.
      Like · 1 · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore The analogy is a situation where quick action is required.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Katharine Alice Jones Nope. It's a situation where rash action causes you to kill something that pretty much just wanted to avoid you.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore Are you saying there is no situation that does not require quick action?
      Like · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore I think you are saying that it is ironic that Ross Perot should use the snake as a villain. Is that what you are saying?
      Like · 1 hr
    • Katharine Alice Jones There no situation which requires you to take violent action without understanding the situation.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore Violence is not necessary for the meaning of the analogy.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore Do you think that every situation would end out correctly if violence was not used?
      Like · 1 hr
    • Katharine Alice Jones If you see a snake, it takes less than a tenth of a second to determine whether or not it is acting aggressively.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore You are close. That is what you must stipulate to understand the analogy.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Katharine Alice Jones If it is not, walk the fuck away. If it is, still walk the fuck away because it's a snake and it doesn't WANT to bite you.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore You are reading too much into the snake. Ross Perot says the snake is dangerous up front.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Katharine Alice Jones No he doesn't.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore Are you parsing the word "dangerous?"
      Like · 1 hr
    • Katharine Alice Jones The word dangerous is not present.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore So, when faced with a fuller rendition of the analogy containing the word "dangerous" you cannot see that this was the meaning of the shortened version of the analogy (which honestly I am not sure he said.)
      Like · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore Is Ross Perot dead? Because otherwise he should pay me. smile emoticon
      Like · 1 · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore I will agree to disagree with you if you want.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore i dont' usually shill for billionaires. smile emoticon
      Like · 1 · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore Well.. nice chatting with you.. Is it ok if I use your name when I blog this because I would like to.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Blössm McBeans Ross Perot is alive and just turned 85.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore Somehow, I'm glad.
      Like · 1 · 1 hr
    • Michael DeVore It would be terrible if he had died of a snakebite. smile emoticon
      Like · 1 · 1 hr
    • Katharine Alice Jones Feel free. This was fun.
      Like · 1 hr
    • Katharine Alice Jones He'll certainly never die of a snake bite, but he might well die from bad assumptions.
      Unlike · 1 · 59 mins
    • Michael DeVore My wife is extremely frightened of snakes. She cannot even watch one on a TV show. I tell her that it is unlikely that snakes around the house are dangerous but.. that is not nearly enough. So... a snake was under a bunch of weeds I was pulling. I about had a heart attack myself. I have no idea if he was dangerous. I just stomped my feet in case he was so he would go away. He did. I would not even consider telling my wife or she would not go out in the yard.
    • Michael DeVore I was always told to stomp my feet if I think there is a snake around as they don't really want to harm you. I'll hope that is true.
    • Katharine Alice Jones I was afraid of snakes as a child, so I responded to my fear by studying them. I can now accurately identify every venomous snake in the South East US at a glance, and determine if any snake in the world is venomous, at a glance.

      That is correct. The 
      ONLY notable exception being the territorial cottonmouth, which has been known to actively chase people, but will not bite as long as you retreat.

      Now if a cottonmouth takes up residence in your yard, kill it. You'll know because it will hiss aggressively and show a white mouth full of very obvious fangs.
      Like · 1 · 51 mins
    • Katharine Alice Jones Rattlesnakes also do not tend to retreat, but of course they make a distinctive sound.
    • Cat Lane I love my snake-babies. I often have one around my neck while I work here.
      Unlike · 2 · 45 mins · Edited
    • Michael DeVore I'm just getting my second wind. Let's discuss "Had it been a snake, it would have bitten me." next. smile emoticon
    • Katharine Alice Jones Also a flawed logic. If it had been a snake it would have left because it doesn't want to be near you.