Remember the Animals

I’ve been thinking about the killing of Cecil the lion..

It is a tragic, senseless, stupid, deeply selfish waste of a life that should have had and should have had some deeper meaning. That life could have been lived with dignity and ended in peace and wisdom. Instead, it was simply wasted. For nothing.

The life of the lion was wasted too, but it was lived much differently, and from that we can take some measure of consolation. In Cecil’s life, in great contrast to the other, there is a legacy of beauty.

Wherever “Painless” Palmer is (ironic, huh?), I hope he’s never found. Let him who has caused suffering abide in oblivion. Let his name be stricken from the memories of the people. Let him be forgotten, forever denied the comforts of kindness in society with his kind.

Remember the animals, passing from our lives.

“We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals. Animals suffer as much as we do. True humanity does not allow us to impose such sufferings on them. It is our duty to make the whole world recognize it. Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace.”

– Dr. Albert Schweitzer

Oh The Places You’ll Go

I’ve read a lot about blogging over the years. I’ve done a lot of it and I’ve read a lot about it. Seems like those who can do sometimes also teach. Or something.

One of the recurring tips I’ve seen is never blog about how long it’s been since you posted last, and why it’s been so damn long. Nobody wants to read that shit.

I don’t know. That could be wrong. And as I behold the fact that it’s been a solid month, and that my page views have slid off the continental shelf into a deep, cold sea, I say better to blog about shit than nothing at all.

So I’m going to write about not writing as a means of raising the wreck. I’m doing to throw caution to the wind and see if the dog can smell it.

First, here’s something to look at. This map shows where Google has followed me via GPS in the 30 days since last I wrote to you.

See if you can guess where I’ve been, and why.

Here’s a hint you can google: Everybody’s dancin’ in a ring around the sun.

My Google Location History 2015.06.17 - 2015.07.17

Click to enlarge


The Little Engine That Clicked

My trusty Lexus wouldn’t start this afternoon. It just said, “click.” I said, “shit.” And it said, “click” again. I didn’t think I needed to say anything else.

The problem began a couple of weeks ago. It would say “click,” but then it would say, “vroom!” Then the problem went away for a while. It happened again last Friday and the battery connections got a thorough cleaning. It started perfectly for almost a week, until today. Shit.

Both times it said “click” this evening, a jump-starter got the car to go again. So I hope it’s just the battery. But the battery was brand new last August. The starter was brand new in 2011. And even if all it needs is a new battery, I’ve got appointments tomorrow. I’ve got a trip to northern California in a week. It’s gonna be a while before I stop dreading the “click” when I turn the key.

I hate car trouble.  It makes me nervous. It makes me use bad language. It makes me question the material efficacy of the universe.

I was telling my Dad this afternoon that together we’ve been dealing with this sort of thing periodically for 38 years, when I was 16 and he was 45. Now I’m 54 and he’s 82, and having a car that won’t start and might cost anywhere from $0 to $1200 to fix still takes pretty much the same mental and emotional toll on me as it did then. (Though in 1977 $1200 would buy a lot more of a car than a starter.)

He said, “it’s an inconvenience.” And he’s right. It’s an inconvenience, not a problem and it’s absolutely vital to modern human sanity to be able to recognize the difference. But I prefer to the term, “manifest and unsettling pain in the ass.”

By the way, can anybody explain to me what evil possessed the Toyota engineers, that they put the starter under the engine’s manifold? Pernicious plot, I say.

I need a new battery, I might need a good and honest and not-to-expensive mechanic, and I probably need at least 50 minutes with a good psychiatrist.

F–kin’ Click, is my point.

Useful Stuff

I see a lot of content online that I find useful to me as a writer, inspirational, and worth sharing with other creative people. I usually don’t mention it here in this blog because I’ve come to think of Metaphor as a place only for my own creative output. So I share those things on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Tumblr. (Using Friends+Me to syndicate a single post.)

The thing is, those links don’t get much engagement in those other places. My audience for creative topics is actually here at WordPress. And I used to share a lot of links and thoughts here, about writing tools, computer issues, and a wide variety of topics.

Things changed, so they can change again. So I’ll try a return to sharing things I enjoy – but which were created by others – here in this space. If this material gets some positive feedback, cool; if not, that’s cool too.

Let’s start with a post today by Evernote — part of their NaNoWriMo series — called

How Neil Gaiman Writes with Evernote.

I use Evernote a lot to keep track of ideas for writing, to save interesting ephemera, household flotsam, and for business.


Nathaniel Mackey wins Lilly Poetry Prize

“The poetry of Nathaniel Mackey continues an American bardic line that unfolds from Whitman’s ‘Leaves of Grass’ to H.D.’s ‘Trilogy’ to Olson’s ‘Maximus’ poems, winds through the whole of Robert Duncan’s work and extends beyond all of these. In his poems, but also in his genre-defying serial novel (which has no beginning or end) and in his multifaceted critical writing, Mackey’s words always go where music goes: a brilliant and major accomplishment.”

Don Share