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Beyond the fishbowl (A Reprise)

Photo: NASA (& the American Tax Payer – for all Mankind)

Listen to an older version of this poem here.


Crossfield
flew across the barrier
Then Shepard rocketed so high
And of Gagarin, and Kamarov before them–
What did they feel?
Not ‘why?’


Truly, there is no Earth membrane
We live on a gas-ensconced globe,

Separated from space by mere thickness
Rotating, revolving and processing
Barrelling in lock and roll


Circling a star–in turn racing
Round the galaxy’s massive black hole
Itself shot out from the center
Venturing
By expansion thus far


All this violence in balance

Enormous–yet mutually constrained
Their motions playing out like ice skaters

In a gliding dance of refrain

. . .

Armstrong & Aldrin first walked on Earth’s moon
With Cernan & Schmidt, the last two
On the face of that satellite ’til next time
They did what billions dream to

And yet

We’re like fish in a fish bowl
Or children confined to a yard
The fishes unaware of the oceans!
The children of nations afar!

Until a day whence
A few more jump the fence—

Like a fish’s brief rise from the bowl
To glimpse the extent
Of a small world we rent
To spy but a limited whole
At an old age, now a lonely Earth sage
We see the limits of home

. . .

There are trillions of planets
Round trillions of
stars
Yet those nearby
We’ve but seen from afar
In our own system:
Six-hundred-ninety-two worlds
Five dwarf planets
Eight, some of us know

And four-hundred-sixty-two moons!
Places we should go!

Let’s visit far neighbors!
The Jovian skies!
With more than mere cameras!
With human naked eye
s!


Like children and fishes
Pets chained to rocks
Moonshots
Are feral
,
Though great

Humans—
Must Go
To the stars!

CA

Photo: NASA/Astronaut Ken Mattingly

Commercial Crew 6 to Launch Monday: Static Fire Test Complete

This is not my writing, but is a post cut & pasted from the NASA website at: https://blogs.nasa.gov/crew-6/. I may add to this and comment.

A Falcon 9 rocket static fire test for NASA's SpaceX Crew-6 mission

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with the company’s Dragon spacecraft Endeavour onboard, is seen on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A during a brief static fire test ahead of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 mission, Friday, Feb. 24, 2023, at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

This morning, Feb. 24, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that will launch the company’s Dragon Endeavour spacecraft and Crew-6 crew members to the International Space Station reached a key milestone ahead of liftoff. While standing on the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida, the rocket’s nine Merlin first-stage engines roared to life for seven seconds, completing the routine but critical integrated static fire test.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 mission will carry NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren “Woody” Hoburg, UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev to the space station for a six-month science mission. Liftoff is targeted for 1:45 a.m. EST Monday, Feb. 27.

Beginning at 9 p.m. EST Sunday, Feb. 26, NASA will offer blog coverage of launch-day activities on the Crew-6 blog. At 10:15 p.m. EST, tune in to a live launch broadcast on NASA TV or the agency’s website and follow along through countdown and other key mission milestones.

This is the sixth crew rotation mission with astronauts using the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket to the orbiting laboratory as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. More details about the Crew-6 mission can be found in the press kit online and by following the Crew-6 blog, @commercial_crew on Twitter, and commercial crew on Facebook.

Spacesuits

Spacesuits: Three Videos with general information and updates on ILC Dover, Collins Aerospace, Dave Clarke, Oceaneering and SpaceX developments. (Vocabulary at bottom)

The spacesuits used by NASA today are old and have been in need of replacement for over a decade–if not longer. Some of them have actually been a hazard, as they are 1970s’ technology. NASA and her contractors have been working on better suits for the ISS and suit for the moon and Mars. Watch this to learn about hazards to be addressed, suit developments, testing, differences in spacewalk and surface spacesuits, training and time-tables for production as well as about the manufacturers. The First video is from 2023 (Feb); the Second video is a more basic tutorial in spacesuit requirements, limitations and human factors issues & legacy concerns and designs. The Third Video offers more opinionated information with lots of humor and behind-the scenes points of view from our friendly neighborhood space influencer, astronomer, physicist and pilot Scott Manley. You can find basics at the NASA website, here. (The “NASA” link is the general site link.)

Spacesuit Vocabulary

IVA – Intra-vehicular Activity – activity inside the spacecraft, referring to equipment/suit(s) intended to protect the astronaut from cabin pressure failure and/or parachuted descent in-atmosphere
EMU – Extravehicular Mobility Unit (spacesuit for space Station EVA – usually equipped with a SAFER
ACES – Ascent and Entry Suit (the “pumpkin” suit): spacesuit used for launch and reentry; and IVA suit.
MACES – a proposed spacesuit variation of the ACES intended for ascent, reentry and contingency mid-duration contingency scenarios in space
EVA – Extra-vehicular Activity: work outside a spaceship (on a planetary body or in space)
EVA Suit – a spacesuit used for use outside a spacecraft, in space or on surface
SAFER – Simplified Unit for EVA Rescue – q “jet-pack” all ISS astronauts are equipped during EVA, which is for emergency mobility for return to the airlock in the event of detachment from structure due to disconnected tether and loss of tether or proximity
PGF – Pressure Garment: The actual container portion of the suit that seals the astronaut off from the vacuum of outer space or harmful atmosphere of a planetary body
PLSS – Portable Life Support System: basically the machinery in the backpack running the suit, providing respiratory filtration, breathable air, pressure to contain the constitution of the astronaut, drinking water and cooling system
MAG – Maximum Absorbancy Garment: chemically treated diaper which whisks solid waste from the astronaut’s body, crystalizes it and draws it into a lower layer to protect the skin from toxic exposure; this is rarely used, if ever, as no one likes to defecate in his or suit–to the extent that a low residue diet is observed up to a day before EVA. (If you are daring, ask me about my having taken the NASA Space Poop Challenge in 2018–which doesn’t mean I pooped for NASA, but that I attempted to design a waste Management System for the MACES.

This list will grow as I have time to update it.

A Self; ‘still got the guns–but she has the ring, the ocean & the stars. Who’s got that old Motorola? © CA 2009-2023 / All rights reserved
Sunset over Gangnam, & The Han River, from Gwangjin Gu (and my window)
© CA 2009-2023 / All rights reserved

Cradle of The Universe: What is it?

In 2009 I started using this web host to build my blog–Wordpress.. Before that I used Geocities.

It was an exciting time. I was living over the Han River in a 15th floor apartment provided by my boss at a Reggio Method Kindergarten in Seoul, where I sang, danced, drew, chanted–and painted with children.

Gazing Toward The Future © CA & AP 2009-2023 /All rights reserved ®
Drawings on The Window ©CA & AP 2009-2023/All rights reserved
Getting Marked
© Chang-gyu Park 2008 – 22023/All rights reserved®

I was moving up in surroundings and comfort…. It was a great time for creativity. I had recently become a Buddhist–formally–made new friends and visited Insa Dong, often–the beautifully cultural art district of Seoul, with its great galleries, museums and brush shops…. I went to Dharma talks, meeting my Zen teacher and Dharma brothers….

© 2009-2023 Carl Atteniese/ All Rights Reserved ®
This ‘has reasons for which reason knows nothing.’ – Blaise Pascal
© 2009-2023 Carl Atteniese & AP
/ All Rights Reserved ®

I had a wonderful girlfriend, and life seemed promising. It always seemed to get better in Korea, year after year. It had–arguably–been hard for a year, before, when I broke up with someone else and had to leave our awesome abode overlooking the mountains of Chooncheon….

Times always change. Can we? I had–but it was finally good, again; my new girlfriend was an artist (we had met in a gallery)–a thinker, a poet, a vegetarian, a humanitarian and cat-lover, as I was–and she was a musician–and an English teacher to boot. And she was a blogger. We even started a blog together. We had virtually everything in common, except “religion”–age, and nationality and while I no longer played the saxophone, I could–and can–whistle and & sing–carrying a tune. What could go wrong? Well, with that much right in paradise, only one thing ever triumphs over such sincerity and goodness: evil–in the form of prejudice: our differences bothered her father–and I don’t mean that he took issue over my not accompanying her piano-playing on a saxophone…. But I digress…. About the website:

Dining in Hongdae, Seoul
© 2009-2023 CA & AP /
All Rights Reserved ®

I named my blog Cradle of The Universe. This was because I was building on an idea I had come up with years before, and which was validated in words, in the Steven Spielberg film Schindler’s List–a concept that was deeply personal to me, as I had taken human life more seriously since learning about certain wars in my reading and in having become an Urgent Action Letter-writing-activist for Amnesty International, and developed a multi-point thought, which I shall delineate here:

I. Life to me was–and is:

The result of long, arduous and incrementally slow–epochal …


evolutions…. (notice the ‘s’, there, please);
evolutions that were (and are when not interfered with by us):
stellar-
galactic-
solar-
geological-
and
biological-

That’s not news to anyone who is remotely and scientifically literate–but how many of us think of that on a daily basis–especially when considering the treatment of others, day to day–or when choosing a candidate, or whether or not to support one or another policy in health care, police or military issues–or when choosing a car, for that matter?

This, to me, is at the core of a most monumentally grand realization–that life–especially sentient life–taking billions of years to become… is so much more staggering, impressive and realistic an idea worthy of appreciating–far more than the lazy and archaic notion of a god making life–in a few days or even a few millennia–which to me contributes to the adoption & validation of prejudice, fiat, overlord-ship and cruelty….

And stemming from this idea is the notion–that if we and all life–so far scarce in the universe–in terms of our communicating with itdeveloped over billions of years, incrementally–and resulted in our able and industrious consciousness and bodies (which should leave the average person capable of abstract thought, gobsmacked with a whiplash in awe over how fortunate our species is–and how through the battle for survival our existence was not-guaranteed), then we should consider ourselves and all complex life“sacred”–and not unworthy“. And that all life should thus be considered so–especially–sentient life; all life–especially human–thus, should–never be disrespected, neglected, abused or worse…snuffed out–for each one of us, thinking and seeing differently, in essence, holds different perceptions of everything–even the universe itself. We hold and create these perceptions in the mind–our minds–or in us, as we are our minds.

II. Each sentient being cradles his or her version of ‘life, the universe–and everything(as Douglas Adams coined the phrase) in our cerebral cortex–generated in our conscious experience and cultivated in our heads.

III. And a similar thought–akin to the one I witnessed in my mind–as expressed above was that our minds and ourselves are part of the universe (yes, I thought of this before it was popular to say); we are a conscious part of the universe, itself.

And finally: The cradling-of -the-universe-in-our -minds-idea which is mirrored and suggested at in the Talmud, and this is what I heard in Schindler’s List–a phrase that had been inscribed on the ring given to him by his grateful holocaust survivors:

If you save a single life, you save the world entire.

This is from the Mishnaic tractate of the Sanhedrin, tradition–I have learned–as follows:

Therefore, Adam [from whom all humanity descended] was created singly, to teach us that whoever destroys a single life in Israel is considered by Scripture to have destroyed the whole world and whoever saves a single life in Israel is considered by Scripture to have saved the whole world.‘*

For each mind, in its seeing not just life, not just “the world” (our tiny pale blue dot, as Carl Sagan called it, witnessing it in an image made by the Voyager–at the far end of the solar system)–but the Universe itself-possesses a potentially different view of the universe, making it a different universe, in each mind! This is to be cherished as a defining quality in human consciousness and a capacity never to be taken away for any reason, in the destruction of a human being–by anyone— ‘meaning, we should never kill anyone–anyone human….

And for me, this also meant no one who was non-human, but also sentient (Obviously, this idea becomes complicated when considering diet, for many people–and the consumption of other species.)


I was an activist against the death penalty, and a human rights activist in general, since I had been a teenager–so I had thought for years about the horrific, torturous details involved in the information I received from Amnesty International each month–about people thrown in prison around the world--for speaking their minds–people often ill-treated, neglected, poorly fed, refused medical care and legal protection, beaten and tortured–and “executed”–killed with the taxes taken from the common people–like you and me–(all working people: children with paper routes, young clerks, waiters and waitresses, old people on pensions–even from priests and monks)–and the death penalty, itself (hardly a penaltybut rather an act of political vote-garnering finality that can’t teach a practical lesson and only exacts expensive, useless kith & Kin -fear, -suffering, -mourning, -horror-producing dread, -depression and -shame--as well as justifying state-killing)–which… is called “Capital Punishment” in the United States, and which has been proven to betray a staggering 40% incidence of constitutional error–where it was at its worst–and especially in the The South, disproportionately meted out–often unfairly and via corruptions of justice–against populations descended from slaves… the African- and Caribbean- American groups of people.

So–I was staunchly–and still am–vehemently opposed to ending an existentially conscious and sentient, ‘walking, talking, breathing human life’ under any circumstances wherein that life could be made better–through giving it a chance to be found innocent, or where guilty, rehabilitated, adding what it lacked and subtracting what abuse and neglect and ignorance it suffered….

Every dossier I received, detailing the lives of death row inmates, spoke of childhood neglect, mental illness, poverty, abuse–both drug and physical–horrible guardianship–or brain damage and low IQ. ‘Who expects model behavior from such victims?’ I thought: ‘An idiot–and/or vastly thoughtless and corrupt people- themselves steeped in cognitive, intellectual and moral ignorance. And the politicians who profited from this machine of horror and death: they were evil ones.

When such parties–those accused and convicted of murder–were found guilty–they were not champions of society living in the lap of luxury benefiting from the best food, shelter, clothing and accessories to the good life; they were the ones beaten by life–from birth–and such lives could be improved, made to thrive and be safe–as well as safe for others–and productive–where mental health, esteem and opportunity was restore-able and possible. It’s done in other countries. And in my dossiers I saw it done in prisons.

I took a particular interest in the prison-life of a man named Gary Graham, whose story so touched me that I drew his portrait; he had been accused of murder in the South and in a situation where he was accused of stealing food for himself and his sibling in a market altercation; and if that is not tragic enough, there were witnesses saying he was not there that night–in that place. And in prison he became a journalist, a father and a productive man. But he was later executed, anyway.

To me the tragedies of moved-trial-venues–to accommodate all-Caucasian juries–with under-paid and sleepy public defenders and evidence-free cases employing “eye witnesses”, incurred on our economies expensive death row budgets–just so we could pay to torture people like Gary Graham with an arranged and future death at the hands of the citizen taxpayers–which usually was far from painless; and this continues until today–in one Western Democracy: the United States of America–where the pharmaceutical chemical cocktail of death is hard to come by, because its manufacturers in Europe have been banned it, and its former makers will no longer furnish it to the Americans. And so makeshift replacements administered by mostly grieving henchmen and women in America, who botch executions, so men suffer horrible, painful and prolonged & embarrassing deaths on tables not unlike a crucifix–in front of witnesses, including family, watching through glass. Is it better than people catching fire in electric chairs–as used to happen? The whole business rivals medieval torture, and in my opinion makes monsters of us–we who should know better; but can you do with a country that worships Bronze & Iron-Age religions: “Eye for an Eye”. Why can’t these theists embrace the Talmudic call to save lives–or the words of their own Jesus–to “love thine enemy”?


Thus–in my view (then and now)–of course, no life should be taken by corruption or by accident–meaning taken from even a person diligently and fairly found guilty--let alone from an innocent person. This has happened in the United States many times in the machinery of our justice system. And if it has happened in the United States, it has happened and continues to happen elsewhere–in many other places–especially where there are theocracies, a lack of democracy (or in flaccid ones, where the people do virtually nothing to be politically active)–and it happens where there are dictatorships–some of which the United States has and still supports, diplomatically–in the interest of economy and national security.


So–that long explanation–which I thank you for reading (and listening to)–is part of why I call my blog and website the Cradle of The Universe, once again. It’s been a hard few years in Japan–where the people seem to exhibit such a concern for etiquette and in some cases, here and there, go out of their way to be kind–but largely, I have met with more difficulty of a dishonest, cowardly and cunning type, than I have ever before–in work places, especially; however, I don’t become prejudiced and I don’t blame the Japanese people. Indeed, some of the thoughtlessness has come from those who once assisted me and were kind to me–and a couple are from both my one culture and a variation of it. But they are human, so I understand–even if I can take no comfort in speaking with them any longer. Some people will not change; they just bounce like a ping pong ball between good and bad actor and a net (you or me).

Humans, in the wrong conditions, resort to such–after all; for as great as we can be, we still primates and have primate brains, which have not evolved since we have–to match the power of the machines we make. And–more to the practical point: the last decade has been–and the time going forward may be–extraordinarily difficult–in some ways (the ways that matter, not in rocketry and AI–but in human ways of trust, kindness, generosity, communication & honesty) tested to their limits.

The conditions have worsened this: an unequivocally collapsing Eco-system (yes, the very spacesuit sustaining us in the cosmos is failing, filled with pollutants and leaking–as it were); a degrading world-order and respect for international borders, an increase in despicable litigiousness over words, declining security in healthcare, pandemics–likely leaked from labs in horrific accidents of hubris and negligence–killing millions–and in war, with Russia acting like my country had in its illegal invasion of Iraq–the second time around–and the cause and justification, lies and campaigns–ad campaigns–for the first invasion were not stellar in justice or morality, either–or our actions in Vietnam, or like Japan in China and South East Asia, or like England in India and elsewhere) now threatening the world economy and deteriorating the rule of law; China–as usual–acting like a smiling bully, abusing their people and people in places they promised they would let democracy thrive among, the increasing risk of nuclear exchange, and the rise of populist fascism in the US, Latin America and Europe.

We seem–as we are poised to return to the moon and create artificial humans smarter than us and physically more capable–to be going backward. It is estimated by people more expert than Elon Musk in areas of economy, government and development (and he is a genius) that the populations of several economic giants are crumbling–such that there will not be mature people of reason to continue the growth that has sustained our species…. And the massive layoffs are starting now. So this–all this and that in the aforementioned–makes some people less generous, more desperate–and cruel–because they are scared.

A Roman philosopher is said to have theorized that the greatest evil is ignorance. This was a wise saying–but it is wrong:

Ignorance is the most pernicious disease; cowardice is the greatest evil.

You thought I was going to say that fear was the greatest evil. This, too, is wrong:

Fear is natural; what one does with it is either benevolent or belligerent–
the latter stemming from cowardice.

And yes:

Ignorance and belligerence orawareness and benevolencedepend on
our growth in a plethora or dearth of love & cognitive development.*

*You could read “spiritual development”–and by that I don’t mean believing in fantastic phenomena and saviors.

There are plenty of kind ignorant people. All the evil people are cowards. But the answer is not to hate them. Cowardice is created, by us, in our behavior and institutions–religions and philosophies….


Thus, I have found it helpful to return to a deeper, more intimate practice of meditation–or at times, when I don’t meditate, to powerful mental methods of control I have developed and adopted over decades–and especially since becoming a Zen Buddhist and learning Stoic thought experiments from the likes of Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius.

And, finally to the point of this essay–about The Cradle of The Universe: I want my influence–here and elsewhere–to reflect that freshness and maintenance of a cultivated mind–awareness, well-being and love–excitement and benevolence, which I felt in Korea (for a time)–and a continuation of the love I had and still hold within, which was pouring from me–surviving–and cultivated from childhood–whereupon it was poured in… to me (and which survived some kinds turmoil, itself)–by friends and family, beginning back in Brooklyn, New York and in Lynbrook, Long Island–from childhood, through living in and working in New York City–out to the mountains of Colorado and its wonderfully open, progressive and friendly people of Boulder… traveling on through the Mojave Desert… and on to Korea…now in Japan.

I need that love, kindness and anti-violent benevolence my life has always been about–and which most Korean hosts showered on me in Seoul, and some offer in patience and generosity in Tokyo–today–to be available to all I meet. But I hope for it to emanate from everyone–you, too–and I want its resurgence to be showered on the people of Japan–and the world, where it is needed, respecting and cherishing life… every human life.

And if we are really mentally advanced, I want that love and well-being–stemming from this awareness of the cradle of the universe in all sentient life, to be afforded other sentient creatures, because, come on, dear reader–or listener, you know other mammals are just like us; be honest with yourself (the foundation of honesty with others-and the base of your mental health)–those other creatures we share the Earth with don’t belong to us (what a sick idea); they feel, think, wonder, socialize, care for one another, dream, play, rejoice, and betray in their actions narratives in their heads; they are conscious! And they suffer… and die… as we do–and in far worse ways–thanks to you and me. It’s not natural; it is unnecessarily man- and woman -made suffering, like the suffering we mete out on one another–because we are scared, and cowardly.

It’s time to wake up and love–for every sentient mind is a cradle of the universe–because–we, Earthlings of all types–are sentient minds, seeing the universe differently from every single other sentient mind. ​

Thank you for reading. I wish you love, peace, joy, enlightenment… and courage.

Sincerely,


Invisible Finger Sketches & “Bad Words”

Stone Age And Rocket Age Records—Lost in Time (or 1s & 0s)

I saw a cartoon on a friends Facebook page, by Wiley, of Wiley Ink dot net. It depicted a Paleolithic cave-dweller beginning an inscription on a wall. By the likes of the image, he is using a primitive means of inscription (Duh!) —probably the ash of a spent fire-stoking branch. The caveman had only succeeded in creating one line, whereupon another stone-age dweller—his wife?—hands on her animal-skinned hips at the mouth of the cave exclaiming – “Woah, woah, woah! Stop right there, before you get any more offensive!“ Amused by the apparent over-sensitivity implied in this cartoon—obviously about our social media age and its regression into puritanically controlling speech-limitations, I had a “Eureka!” moment.

‘This is brilliant’, I thought—but for an interpretation my cortex likely read into the work—which maybe the cartoonist didn’t intend (or maybe he did):

Hardly anyone ever stops to think that the Internet is something that is not even seen in the real world (can you hear Lawrence Fishburn’s ominous and sarcastic voice from The Matrix?), thus the setting in the cartoon--a cave.

One needs an electronic device to see anything that’s written on the internet—drawn, created or stored there; I’ve thought about this many times:

All of the writing and digital artwork I have created on the internet is electronically generated and must be seen via a machine. If I don’t print my photos, drawings, photography and essays—my comments, maxims, petitions and books in progress!—print them out and store them somewhere–they could be—and likely will be—lost—were some disaster to befall our civilization (in which case, depending in the severity of the disaster (aren’t all disasters severe?)—it might not matter. Well—what about a partial disaster—say, with ISIS, the Taliban or Russia destroying the Internet?

In a thousand years, if our electrical systems and mainframes have not been destroyed—or even if they haven’t been—virtually no one (if we are still here) will know about the volumes of things that have been created and kept there—unless (and even then) their creators are famous—if they are not stored on memory devices compatible in some future world of tech—gone, forgotten… as good as never made—for that matter, unless they are so prophetic, ground-breaking or helpful that they wind up in museums or nuclear-war- and killer-asteroid- proof time capsules. Kids today don’t know how to “turn on a cassette tape”. Remember Zip drives? Floppy disks? ‘Neither do I.’

It’s almost like we’re tracing out invisible finger sketches—of math problems—in our pockets—lasting long enough to draw a sum.

Offended

And for people to get upset about what other people say in this near invisible medium—is likely something our descendants will laugh at—if they even know about it.

Moreover–even if I and all creators on the Internet were to print out everything they did on paper, bind them in books, magazines or manuscripts and save them, think about this: People read very few books, magazines, journals, periodicals or even letters any more—how many in their lives—in their lives? And most people read digital media. And many are out of fashion in a decade–forgotten. Have you ever been to a used book store? Oh yeah?—how long ago? It’s a grave yard one has trouble finding classics in—and I don’t mean the classics;I mean last year’s best sellers.

Imagine people seeking out the digital media of forgotten people and times, even thirty years ago!

Who is going to remember what Elon Musk or Donald Trump said, other than historians?—or a rapper who thinks he is good at design and philosophy. People argue over what Neil Armstrong said—even though people skilled in dialects and those who knew him know what he said—and he’s as famous as Jesus Christ—and Caesar! And he really did fly–a lot faster than the wind and better than most pilots. really did walk on the moon, which some people will die on a hill over–to say he didn’t.

‘What’s a pilot?…’—people will say in a hundred years, ‘one of those people who used to drive planes?’ So maybe we should lighten up about what is said by a famous so-and-so on social media–or a not-so-famous so-and-so. And definitely stop causing professors and comedians to lose their jobs over a joke no one will remember–especially because, we won’t find in 10 years—or know what it means in 30.

Read a book—and write a real one.

This can also be found on my website at My Site

Thank you for reading.
Carl Atteniese,

Tokyo

What’s Wrong with Substack (for me)

I’m going to make my Substack essays available on my website. at http://aaclass.jp/. It takes too long to do the audio engineering that I produce for my Podcasts. It’s a lot of fun—but I didn’t set out to compete with musicians. My world is a world of ideas; it’s why I sacrificed drawing long ago. Ideas are more important than visual art—to me. but I saw a cartoon today on my friend Steve pier souls page, and Spond the essay linked below—So a picture can be worth 1000 words, and more words than it was set out to inspire.

I have 64 followers on YouTube, over 1,000 friends here on Facebook, near a 1,000 on Twitter and 200+ on WordPress. I haven’t counted how many followers I have on Quora, where ai have thousands or reads on my maxim page and answers—but rather than Substack making money for me (and I have only 20 followers there), it’s making my writing and my audio more obscure—because no one has paid to follow, and I don’t blame them; I haven’t earned it—and the written posts are mostly hidden on a medium people expect to get for free. Yes – there are people making money on Substack, but it’s their full-time jobs and they are either professional journalists, or they have a steady job to support their work. i’m still struggling to survive in Japan – a place that they probably will not be for long, because even though I recently was excepted by a talent agency my former boss is preventing me from working with them. I do have an interview for a part-time job coming up — but he’ll likely block that too, saying that the government wants me to have a full-time job to maintain my visa. So — I’ve been starving for years here, and now I’m trying to do something creative – which is turning out half assed like everything else I do creative — because I don’t have a steady job to support myself. Asia has turned out to be a huge waste of my time. And the problem is I don’t wanna come home because it’s the best place for me to create. Home is too toxic, too violent, and woefully inconvenient for a person who doesn’t want to own a gun or drive a car. But I digress.

I’ve entered the “recording industry” and ‘left’ writing — something I was arguably just getting the hang of (and my sound engineering sucks car fumes).

I’ll continue making audio for Substack, but I simply don’t have the time—if not getting paid—that it takes to make it purely a podcast. I wish I could. I love writing poetry with the strength of an essay in a quarter of the time and then making it an entertaining soundbite with music. But it takes more than an entire day to make an audio recording with music. I have several projects in the works right now, but can’t afford to work on them full time—and that’s what real explosive creativity takes. One sitting. Ask the Beatles or Led Zeppelin. You can’t keep putting some thing quote in the drawer quote as it were and have it turn out as wonderfully spontaneous as when you do it in one shot.

So have a look — and join please. You don’t have to pay to join – that’s for people who want to support my work. I haven’t really earned that, yet. So I think I need to do more writing to do so.So, without further ado here’s my latest article – and there aren’t many there because I’ve been spending too much time making audio.

Podcast: In Memory of Walt Cunningham

Astronaut Walter Cunningham has passed away. Here is my dedication to him on my Substack Podcast:

https://therightwords.substack.com/p/to-the-memory-of-astro-walt-cunningham

Photo Credit: NASA

Poetry Reading

Hello, folks! Happy New Year, and how are you?
I’ve remastered this. It’s not perfect, as I have to get better at noise reduction, but it is clearer, more fun (?) and affected, simpler–than before….

https://therightwords.substack.com/p/podcast1wordsmatter?utm_source=profile&utm_medium=reader2

When A Loved One Dies…

This poem can be heard here.

We say,
“So sorry to hear.”
“So sorry for your loss….”

But–just remember:

To this “passed on” friend or loved one — he … or she... is ‘asleep’… and actually lives on in you….

This special place in our mind,
which we affectionately and poetically call
the heart”, is
the part of us which celebrates and mourns–
is inspired and gets excited…
maybe is the place which is the origin of our fear, as well;
but I doubt it.

The “heart” is the place wherein our mind creates
the avatars of others–most sentimentally…
of those we love and care about–and…
the “heart” is the part of those we love in us…
as we read them through it–caring for and loving us
And it doesn’t go anywhere–when they do, or
it doesn’t have to–
which is up to you–and me.

Realize:
As close as we get to friends, family–
those we value and admire;
we never share their consciousness;
we experience of it — what they share… of it, with us —
and we receive an interpretation of it
in our minds.

We cherish this interpretation, and…
sometimes despise it–
thinkingand for practical purposesbelieving that it is they
He… or–she–the actual person with whom we enjoy–
or struggle
have experienced with
been in love with–
but this is a facsimilesadlydependent… upon the limits…
of our mind

This avatar is something that our mind simulates, and like us,
he or she has an avatar of us
an avatar we made together–and with the reactions of others–can be a place we go, to visit
whenever we wish

Despite its limitations, this is a good thing,
because we really are not meant to know everything that another person feels and thinks…

Let me tell you a story…

. . .
I woke up this morning with the memory of a dream of–
spending time with a friend whose identity I couldn’t identify
in the dream,
at his work place–slouching down and hanging onto
the machine he was working–
and looking through an open window in the wall
front of the apparatus, from the controls
I saw… a horse…
being cut through…
with a large blade.
I experienced this interlude of the Id in a matter-of-fact frame of consciousness–
no shock,
no horror,
except ..
after waking up–


But why was the persona–in the dream–
a person that I assumed was me–
not disturbed?

And why did I dream of a friend–
whose face I can’t remember and whose identity is a mystery to me?
Who was this person–killing a horse–in what was obviously a facility for procuring meat?

Well–maybe it’s because last night I was working on a project that involved the decision not to eat meat…
and yet, having to admit that I’ve only fully eliminated pork and beef–

. . .

Maybe I was the friend….
I w a s t h e f r i e n d
I w a s t h e f r i e n d

And–all of this is to say that:

We don’t understand every thing that happens in our minds,
happens in our minds,
h a p p e n s i n o u r m i n d s ,
h a p p e n s i n o u r m i n d s ,
h a p p e n s i n o u r m i n d s

What would we do with every thing
that we could acquire from someone else’s mind?
while we might not lose our minds,
we certainly might have questions about the people
we are friends with–
until we could understand
u n d e r s t a n d
what they were thinking or dreaming.
After all–especially these days–people find huge fault with one another over one another’s utterances;
they don’t understand
u n d e r s t a n d
u n d e r s t a n d
what the other has said–
w h a t t h e o t h e r h a s said–
yet react–
y e t

more than ever before, it seems
and over less and less a consequential nuance–
c o n s e q u e n t i a l n u a n c e
often over ignorance
o f t e n o v e r i g n o r a n c e
o f t e n o v e r i g n o r a n c e

Imagine if you could embody someone else’s consciousness; that would be a burden that we couldn’t bear.

And this is a gift
a g i f t
a g i f t
a g i f t a g i f t a g i f t a g i f t


Don’t read the following aloud; think of the sound
… of rhythmic tapping —
of a chop stick on a hollow wooden lunch box:

Bop!- Bop!- Bop!- Bop!- Bop!-

And the rhythm increases, with the taps growing more frequent, then doubled, in sound, mirroring each other:

Bop! Ba- ba- baaap. Ba ba baaap. Ba ba baaap. Ba ba baaap. Ba ba baaap. Ba ba baaap


–until it sounds like a colt galloping–and then this sound turns into the singular rhythmic, isolated beats, evenly spaced–non-musically–of the knocking of a wooden mallet–on a monk’s gourd, from a crescendo to a whisper of taps in the distance:

Bok! Bok! Bok! Bok!

Bok! Bok!

Bok! Bok!

Bok! Bok!

That we see the other person as best we can
through our own efforts
and love
and love
a n d l o v e a n d l o v e a n d l o v e and and love

(And) what the other has said…

And the pinnacle reward of this gift
is in when others can no longer remain with us on this Earth–
can no longer live in the bodies we are…
we are afforded the prize of keeping their avatars! avatars! avatars!
in us!–
that tabernacle of friendship, of love, of acquaintance…
inside of us… even after that person is no more, physically

Brothers and sisters–revel in your minds!
All you have loved are there with you–
if you cultivate them cultivate them
cultivate them
cultivate–
their avatars–
the greatest gifts of conscious experience!
the living memory of those we love–in usto experience
and share, forever!
It’s what the phrase “Remember me” means…
It’s what the phrase “Remember me” means…

I know someone will ask me–someday–‘do you feel, now, the way you always tell other survivors they can feel when someone “passes on?”‘ — and, all I can say is, ‘hopefully’ — but also remember, this person whom you love–and can still love–is not suffering now; all the possible things we can endure, he or she doesn’t have to–and won’t–and feels no loss of it.

He or she would mourn our having to be here–still–no matter how he or she would want us to enjoy it.

And that gift is what we celebrate–
the mirthful, positive endurance…
and the inspiration of our fellows who have “passed on” — given to us–to continue the acts…
of being mirthful, positive and enduring and inspiring others;

something we keep until we are no loner bodies ourselves

And what would this person, whom we love–who is no longer “alive” separately from uswant us to do with this gift–
to mourn?– or say:

‘I am so glad we got to know each other; wasn’t it great?!’

Let me tell you something about my friend!

Let me tell you of the wisdom this person shared with me
that he–or she–may live on in you, too!

Let me share with you a little bit
of what this wonderful person expressed to me!’
so we can live on– happily and with his or her memory!”

That’s what we are here for–
not to “send off” (someone) with the idea–
that this soul, this person–is missing something,
and not to be pained that we couldn’t have more time
with this friend, lover or admired personality–
especially, because, ##:
if we meditate on the one we love who is no longer here in a body, after a few short moments–
there’s our friend,
in the tabernacle of the mind–our mind
There he is; there she is,
right in the sanctity of our us–alive.

Copyright 2010~2022 Carl Atteniese / All rights reserved
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