Just when Margaret thought Frank was going to say something else ...
While this photo looks like a sunset, it was actually a sunrise. I took it in Virginia Beach on April 17, 2017.
[This is a chapter from a currently-unpublished book I’m writing on meditation and mindfulness.]
As a spiritual being, one possible way to think of life here on Earth is as a “game” that serves as a training ground for the soul. It’s a game like other games, so it has many levels, and they get harder and harder as you progress. So in this case, the better you become at the game of spirituality — the Soul Game — the harder the levels become.
To help set some rules for the game, let’s say that it has fifty levels. The first time you play the game you’re born here on Earth in Level 1. Hopefully you score some points and move up, so maybe by the time it’s “game over” for your first lifetime, you’ve passed Level 9 and you’re playing on Level 10. Maybe you get a brief break in between lifetimes, but the next time you’re born you start right where you left off, at Level 10.
This brings me to a very important rule: Once you start playing the Soul Game, you’re strapped in for eternity. (That was clearly mentioned on page 52 of the End User License Agreement.) Once you’re in the game there are only two ways out:
Watchin’ the clock
It’s four o’clock
It’s got to stop
Take no more
She practices her speech
As he opens the door
She rolls over
Pretends to sleep
As he looks her over
She lies and says
She’s in love with him
Can’t find a better man
She dreams in color
She dreams in red
Can’t find a better man
There’s no one else
Who needs to know
She tells herself
~ Better Man, by Pearl Jam (a favorite song of the last week)
Today’s song of the day is, Can You Read My Mind, from the 1978 Superman movie.
The name Homer on The OA reminded me that my uncle was named Elmer, but we knew him as Uncle Mousey. He was a famous jazz drummer, and he called everyone Cat or Cool Cat. When he visited, my dad made him smoke his special, hand-rolled cigarettes outside (and often joined him). Here’s a short video of him on the drums with some other cool cats. :)
(Men in the Alexander clan don’t live long. He passed away at 66, my dad died younger than that, and their other brother — who was a favorite cool cat — died in his 40s. I assume complications related to mast cell disease was involved in there.)
April 24, 2015: I don’t know how you spend your mornings, but these days I spend 40 minutes each morning administering intravenous medicine to myself via a PICC Line that has been inserted/installed in my arm and chest. You can read about the whole experience in my diverticulitis diary if you’d like.
(April 24, 2017: Today marks the 11th consecutive month that I haven’t required a trip to the ER, which is pretty much a record for my last four years.)
Famed programmer Joe Armstrong passed away this weekend. He created the Erlang programming language, based on the actor model, and without using Google, I’m pretty darned sure that Erlang had an impact on Akka, the very cool actor library for Scala. Here’s an article Mr. Armstrong wrote some years ago, titled, Why OO Sucks (OO as in OOP).
I edited Chapter 6 of my new book whilst listening to Moon Baby by Godsmack. I’m not sure I can be held responsible for whatever ended up in that chapter. :)
A couple of things happened recently that make me feel like a piece of meat in the organ grinder of life. First, I was in talks with a publisher about publishing a book with them, and their contract began, “You grant to Us ... the exclusive right to ... sell and otherwise commercially exploit your Work.” I thought, “Well, I guess that’s what work is about, organizations exploiting your work for their commercial profit,” but their writing felt dirty and sleazy, like it was totally controlled by a scumbag lawyer or CEO.
Next, I live in the Terracina apartments in Broomfield, Colorado, and they were recently bought by a new company. With the old company everything here felt like a family, but when the new company bought the place they fired the previous staff, and with most of the new staff it feels like I’m just a number. When I walk in the office the reception feels like, “Number 232 ... you always complain that your kitchen range is vibrating because your downstair’s music is so loud, what do you want? We’re trying to make a lot of money here and you’re a troublemaker.” Twice the office manager has barely looked away from her computer monitor while talking to me.
Both situations remind me of the Bon Seger song, Feel Like a Number.