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Smelling Her Perfume

A good fragrance is really a powerful cocktail of memories and emotion. ~Jeffrey Stepakoff

You smell the ocean’s perfume before you see her but, by the time you set eyes upon her beauty, the aroma of her perfume has long since dissipated like the love between two partners that have long drifted into the indifference of lives focused inwards beneath the shimmery surface, focused on getting mine rather than celebrating the other and growing the us. Self-centered. Self-imposed isolation slowly transforming into a corpse rotting from the inside out. A slow suicide.

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The Sorrow of War: A Novel of North Vietnam by Bảo Ninh

Justice may have won, but cruelty, death, and inhuman violence have also won.
~Bảo Ninh, The Sorrow of War: A Novel of North Vietnam

I picked up the book, The Sorrow of War: A Novel of North Vietnam, in my ongoing quest to read around the world, to read books not originally published in English, to help me grow a fuller understanding of the human mind and cultural nuances by filling in my blind spots. That it was about the Vietnam war added to the allure.

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The Sacred in a Subway

Descending Aztec Steps

Nya b’a’n tu’n tcub’ neje, ex tu’n tcyija cyi’jxjal, aj toc ten b’etil ku’n b’e’x chi xjetw’elix timi× a mo tjosa.

It is not good to go forward and back while walking because this will cause abnormalities in your breasts or testicles
~Mayan Proverb

It took me 39 steps to reach the top of a Mayan period surrounded by a jungle at the UNESCO heritage site Tikal in Guatemala. 39=3×13.  The first pyramid I encountered at Teotihuacan near Mexico City required me to climb 39 steps, 39 steep steps seemingly too high for a people history claims were diminutive to reach the top. 39÷3=13

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Right or Effective?

The purpose of thinking is to be effective, not right. ~Edward De Bono

People seem to be more concerned with being right, with winning than they are with learning, especially when the learning may challenge their world view. Thus Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, polytheists and monotheists become entrenched in a view of reality and oppose, sometimes violently anyone or any idea outside their own myopic view. People choose to possibly remain in a perpetual state of ignorance. This is sad.

What has happened to learning?

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Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try. – Dr. Seuss

The pressure builds until my hands, my body feels shaky. I lie in bed exhausted but am unable to enter the little death that replenishes because there are cymbals clashing. Cymbals clashing, echoing in my head keep me awake. Cymbal noise generated by countless ideas crashing upon themselves in the darkness, each vying for my focused attention.

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Is Hate Increasing?

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. ~Martin Luther King Jr.

Hate seems to be on the rise in our world. It seems to be growing exponentially, spewing out of human vessels in a heap of vomit onto fellow vessels. It’s a stench affecting the lives of both.

Is it actually growing or has the atmosphere become conducive to the expression of hate? I tend to lean toward the latter, that humans, in their base state, the ignorant state, feel a need to hate. It’s why Trump, May, Duterte, Le Pen, Erdogan, and other right wingers are coming to power.

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The Poverty of ISM Thinking

Pastoral scene of the gallant South
The bulgin’ eyes and the twisted mouth
Scent of magnolias sweet and fresh
Then the sudden smell of burnin’ flesh

~ Strange Fruit, Billy Holiday

I make it a practice to read books outside the mainstream, revolutionary and counter-revolutionary works, ideas seeping from the underground and in the wide open above-ground from respected houses. Books by authors with English as a first language and, increasingly, by people without knowledge of my mother tongue writing concepts that have no counterpart in my language thus are imperfectly translated.

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