Same as it ever was

Thoughts on influences of writing and dealing with The Plague.

I got an offline comment recently from someone who said that they don’t follow my blog much anymore because it’s just stuff written by other people. To this I replied they ought to read it, maybe starting with the blog’s description in the right column:

Metaphor is my blog on writing: the art, the life, the culture, the tech, and the inspiration. Plus whatever metaphorically floats my boat, tickles my Elmo, etc.

It doesn’t say my blog of my writing. It says on writing … and the inspiration.

To be sure, the commend wasn’t meant to be hurtful or derogatory. More than anything, it reflects the fact that we’re all drowning in data and it’s become a great challenge to focus and read deeply. That includes me; I often comment on news links posited to social media, based solely on the headline.

Tonight I saw this:

Opinion: “I hope that when both our daughters think back on this time, they’ll remember how many good people worked so hard to keep the world running — often at risk to themselves,” says NPR’s Scott Simon.

I commented: “Maybe they will remember all the people who out of love didn’t put themselves at risk and instead protected their family and community and made a future – and a future generation – possible.” Nice comment. I hope it made it seem like I read the article but I didn’t; I just read just the Facebook post. Time to move on!

But a blog is here for people who are looking for something to read for a few minutes, not a few seconds. And the blogger owes them his/her best efforts to make those minutes worth the investment.

Any blog about writing is essentially a blog about its inspiration, as well as its process and hopefully its product. None of that exists out of context. I read books. I listen to music, watch movies, listen to people, watch life go by. I share it and write about it and comment on it. That’s what writers do. We give attribution – credit where credit is due – and explore what if anything the inspiration brings.

If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.

Carl Sagan

Besides, it looks to me like at least 80% of what’s here is 100% written by me. My poems are shared here when I think they’re worth sharing

Speaking of watching life go by, we’re in Day 36 of quarantine here in California. I asked myself in my journal whether today feels like my real normal life, within the terms of quarantine. My first answer was No. It still feels like my real life got put on pause 5 weeks ago. This feels like life in suspended animation. It feels like we’re not free to get on with Life on Life’s Terms.

For example, I can’t pack a bag, gas up the car, and head off to visit my brother. Not only would that be two separate quarantines commingling. I would have to stop along with way – it’s over 400 miles – and risk infection. Not good. No going. I love my brother and my family.

I realize that my first response to the question is wrong. This is my life today. This is precisely Life on Life’s Terms. I’m just not psychologically acclimated yet. I’m still getting my footing in a situation that’s like crossing a dangerous stream of Time on a mossy, wobbly log. Watch your step there, Scouts!

This is the way it is right now. For some reason, the universe has inflicted us with a time of plague and we can’t change that. Until November, we can’t change the fact that the people tasked with providing common solutions and help on the national macro level are corrupt failures. But we can decide how we’re going to react to it all. And if we’re not to be among the selfish and addle-minded herd, we have to do the right and loving thing and effing deal with those terms life is setting for us. Stay Home. Stay Safe. For the Love of God and Everybody, Stay Apart.

Yeah, I’m saying that the people who are protesting orders to keep businesses closed and stay safe at home are committing acts of incredible selfishness; the moral treason of carelessness; not in any way love for their fellow humans. It’s not hate, it’s ignorant indifference. And as we’ve been taught by Elie Wiesel, the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference.

That’s what I think, and the thoughts are mine and were written by me. [OK, I’m being a little hard on the person who gave me that comment. I’m just hoping if they read the blog again, they’ll actually read the blog this time.] When you read something someone else has written you’re giving the gift of your time. Writers and other artists should never take the gift of time and attention lightly. I am grateful always.


Now with apologies to The Talking Heads, here’s something paraphrased.

You may find yourself
living in a quarantine.
And you may ask yourself
how did I get here?
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful life.

Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down.

Same as it ever was
Same as it ever was
Same as it ever was
Letting the days go by
Same as it ever was