So glad to hear your voice and know that you are not only with us but show no
signs of diminished capacity that I can detect.
On Jan 9, 2019 12:02 -0500, Lawrence Helm <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, wrote:
And just yesterday in the packets with the monthly reports I found slips
from my broker asking who he should contact in case he noticed "diminished
capacity." I had pretty much concluded that there might be no one in easy
reach in case I noticed any such thing in the world round about. It isn't
that I blame God for Susan's years of suffering and demise in a wasted-away
condition, but I did notice that the church round about seemed in a
diminished capacity -- unless it was the other way around which those
involved seemed willing to believe -- that is, that any diminishment is in
what they saw and not in what they were.
I often think of Ted Kaczynski and how our part of the world thinks of him
as a thorough-going nutter. He was partly right of course. We have filled
up this planet and then some -- not enough to destroy it most likely, but
enough to destroy us; which Richard Leakey in Nairobi Kenya wrote about
before giving it (writing) up to protect the rhinos and elephants; that is,
that our species is unlikely to last any longer than any other species,
which he told us was about 200,000 years. Of course that was before all the
work done by geneticists so it is just as well he gave it up.
And, we must ask, who shall we contact in case we are convinced of our
species diminished capacity? Perhaps if we define it as having begun or at
least provided evidence of beginning in the cave paintings in France and
Spain that we might be just shy of 200,000 years. But if as the geneticists
say, we have evolved only slightly from the "species," that preceded ours, I
don't think that is what Leakey had in mind. If the Great Ape in Kenya and
elsewhere dwindles further and as a species dies, Leakey can count back and
pause perhaps in his tracking down of elephant-tusk poachers and say to
himself, "yup." But in our case it is not quite that clear cut.
Kaczynski thought that if he killed a few scientists and got the world to
read his manifesto, he could coerce it away from technology and return it to
a system of pre-technological villages -- well he was a complete nutter, but
he was right about believing that something needed to be done.
Being privy now to genetic information not available to Richard who
predicted our diminished capacity and demise, or Ted who attempted to cause
our demise, evolution is continuously at work and "may" cause us to
supersede our species in the same way that we superseded homo erectus and
his like; thus causing Leakey's 200,000 year clock to begin again (of course
the "us" in the above is a matter for ongoing speculation and concern).
Or . . . if we accept the Koheleth "there is nothing new under the sun"
belief that mankind is the same as it has always been and will be the same
on into the future however long it lasts; then, as we can read in Nasa and
other such organizations' proposals, we can hie to the moon, Mars, Saturn's
moons, and continue on as we have always been for another 200,000 years and
Kaczynski built himself a little ten by ten hut and lived as a hermit before
his brother and the law caught up with him. In my case I had my son build a
ten by ten Hobbit House . . . or at least that is what I told him to build,
but it looks pretty much like the tool sheds in my neighbor's yards. And of
course it contains tools and not me. I live mostly upstairs in my study (in
case anyone is trying to catch up with me); although I have converted
Susan's bedroom to the room in which I do dumbbell exercises. My main
workout area is downstairs in my three-car garage. Having just one vehicle
I have plenty of room in the other two spots for barbells, and some other
workout equipment. Also, I use all this equipment, and beyond that continue
to hike very regularly with my dogs while brandishing a camera. Thus,
despite actuarial evidence to the contrary, at age 84 I am not feeling a
need to have anyone else determine when my capacity has diminished. My
200,000 years is showing no signs of ending any time soon.
As to writing, I still do quite a lot -- nothing poetic recently, of course,
which elicited the above "whence." T. S. Eliot though, I hasten, to remind
the inquisitive, gave me permission to write away in all sorts of forms so
that when the white-hot heat of whatever it is that inspires me to write
poetry is of a sufficient incendiary nature, I shall be able to. Still not
feeling in any way diminished I expect I shall be sufficiently fiery the not
too distant future.
As to Sage, she died in September 2013 of renal failure. My dogs are now
Duffy, a small Schnoodle born in May 2010; which Susan bought when she
decided she was no longer strong enough to handle a Rhodesian Ridgeback.
Ben; after Sage died, I acquired (at the end of November 2013) the
three-year-old Ben, a former show dog so that Susan, who was bed-ridden by
that time could at least see and be able to pet a gorgeous example of her
favorite breed. A year after Susan died I bought Jessica, an Irish Terrier
appropriately born on April Fool's day 2016. You can see evidence of the
hikes we have thus far been on in January 2019 at
Lawrence, feeling somewhat defensive over not being appropriately diminished
From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]
On Behalf Of Ursula Stange
Sent: Tuesday, January 08, 2019 10:45 PM
Subject: [lit-ideas] Whence Lawrence Helm?
In conversation at a poetry reading today (well, yesterday) someone
mentioned a dog named Sage....so I began to wonder....
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