Curating Your Own Past

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
George Orwell, 1984

Any quotation from 1984 usually implies that the author is about to write something sinister or dystopian. Today, I’m going to turn that notion on its side a bit, consider the wisdom of Orwell’s “Big Brother,” and discuss how it relates to how people think about their past, present, and future. Continue reading “Curating Your Own Past”

Masculinity, Non-Toxic or Otherwise

I’ve been reading a lot about “toxic masculinity” on the Twitterverse and elsewhere, and I suppose enough comments got under my skin to post something here. The goal is not to flame anyone, denounce anyone, or otherwise have an unseemly flash of temper. I merely wish to share the thoughts of a nearly-50-year-old guy who grew up in a household run by a single mother and more or less taught himself how to be a man. Continue reading “Masculinity, Non-Toxic or Otherwise”

Poetry Interlude: Thunderbolt

Thunderbolt

It starts placidly enough:
A couple ice crystals of thought
bumping into each other like
random atoms,
inconveniently colliding as they make their way
purposefully through the universe.
The collisions create energy, though.
The atoms collide with others,
inconveniencing their fellows
up and down the cloud.
The ice itself grows thicker,
building higher,
billowing into a floating, bloated mountain,
feeding on the heat and energy below.
The collisions keep coming,
bringing the moving mass out of balance
with the rest of the world.
Abruptly the atoms achieve critical mass,
crackling with an energy all their own.
No force can stop it,
no logic will deny it;
the wavering electrons must go somewhere.
In a moment, they discharge their fury,
unleashing their destructive force
on the nearest, most prominent target.
With the speed of light
and the righteous power of the gods,
they smite their target, blasting through water, air,
artifacts, people.
The place where the atoms strike is charred,
a smoldering, blackened ruin
where once there had been innocent peace.
The storm passes,
the atoms of thought no longer colliding or inconvenienced.
But the damage has been done.
An ashen hole in the ground marks the thunderbolt’s passage,
eventually to be covered by forgetful grass and weather and time.
But the damage has been done.

/b
11/15/18

Still

Still fluffy on the outside. Plush.
Still bumpy on the inside. Mush.
I don’t pretend to know how to fix
the mess inside.
My only weapons or tools or saviors
are work and peace and writing and time.
Work for distraction.
Peace outside to emulate inside.
Writing to get the gunk out where I can see it,
push it around into smaller, grimy piles and sort it out.
Time to heal and rest and forget.
Maybe, eventually, time to make some slight repairs
to the messes I’ve made, the things & people
I’ve broken.
But I can’t repair others
until I can heal myself.
And the much-too-tender soul
underneath the exterior crust
needs time, as much as the world can spare.
I have a lot to learn about how to heal
and be kind to all, even myself.
Still so much to learn.
Still.

/b

10/12/18

Impressions from AIAA Space 2018, Part 3

This is my third of three summaries of what I observed at the AIAA Space 2018 Forum (the other posts can be found here and here). This isn’t necessarily the last posting on this conference…I might write later about my overall impressions of the space business in a separate entry in a week or two. However, these entries are long enough (this entry runs over 3,300 words, my apologies), so let’s get to it. Continue reading “Impressions from AIAA Space 2018, Part 3”