A Biography of Sorts

It started towards the end of the third quadrant in July. 

Monthly quadrants are not all equal, of course.  Those in February are usually seven days long except in quadrennial years, and then each quadrant is approximately seven days and six hours long.  April, June, September and November have quadrant’s that are seven days and twelve hours long, but January and March and May and July and August and October and December are a tiny bit more complex.  And they’re in the majority.

In that July with which we were concerned, the day with which we were concerned was the twenty-second, a sort of magical day in astrological terms, and it was towards the end of the third quadrant because in July, as in January and March and May and August and October and December, each quadrant is seven days and eighteen hours long, so the third quadrant would end at six in the morning of the twenty-third day.  And this was still the twenty-second day.

Had it been in February it would have been during the start of the fourth and final quadrant, but it wasn’t.  Had it been in April, June, September or November, the twenty-second would also have been during the last day of the third quadrant if it were during the morning but the first day of the fourth and final quadrant, had it been the afternoon.  But it was not April, June, September or November with which we were concerned, although the time with which we were dealing being the early morning of the twenty-second day, before the sixth hour, there would have been quadratic coincidence during those months.

It was in a city high in the central range of the Colombian Andes, one overlooked by a glacier astride a volcano whom the aboriginals had once worshiped (whom, not which, given that they personified it) under the name Cumanday.  Perhaps some still worshipped it under that name and it is certain that there were at least some local, dedicated proto-new agers, who did so then.  It had been the year of the dog in the Chinese calendar, although China was very far away.  He’d have preferred the year of the dragon, or at least of the lion, but no lion was included in that calendar, so it would have had to have been, its cousin, the tiger.  But it was the dog.  It seemed unfair that no lion was available given that in the more traditional Babylonian astrological family, the twenty-second day in July was usually the dividing line between the lion and the crab, although that crab had a rather unpleasant name: cancer.

And anyway, being too young to really have a vote (scream and cry though he might, and in fact, as he had) he was stuck with the available signs, a dog and a lion, and maybe a crab with an evil name.  Not so bad really.  But a dragon would have been really cool.

It had been an interesting day (in the Chinese sense).  The culmination of a somewhat unpleasant period for his mother of course, and unfortunately for her, he’d taken his time, albeit not without a good deal of internal fussing.  But he’d finally come out to see the world he’d be inhabiting for quite some time.  He’d been the first of his generation so a good deal of fuss had been made of the occasion.  New waves had formed and in concentric circles, had begun to oscillate, first nearby, then in that special city, in that special department, in that special country, in that special continent, in those special hemispheres, one vertical and the other horizontal, then in that poor, poor abused planet, then in that solar system, in that galaxy, in that universe, and finally, throughout the multiverse, at which point, the wave had started its return journey playing with time and space, and quanta, and dimensions along the way.  Examining black holes and white holes and playing with dark energy and dark matter but, as it approached its point of origin, nothing was there except radioactive residue, well, and radio waves echoing demands that everyone vote for a certain Democratic Party because Russians and Chinese with which Republicans were purportedly in league had to be stopped from destroying everything, and that the Ukraine had to be permitted to join NATO, and that a great deal of money was required, first, to keep that Democratic Party in power, and then, for more and more and more weapons to keep everyone safe from , … well, at that point the echoes became garbled.

So the wave just kept on going, back to the edge of the multiverse it had visited before. And back again, looking for that child who’d first arrived in the third quadrant of the month of July, at the intersection of the lion and the crab in the year of the dog in a once beautiful city high in the central range of the Colombian Andes, one once overlooked by a glacier astride a volcano whom aboriginals had once worshiped under the name Cumanday, and perhaps some local, dedicated proto-new agers had once done so as well.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

Endoplasmic Indulgence

Perhaps he’d always been confused, perhaps it was nothing new, perhaps his confusion was merely more confusing because the world had become so much more incoherent, so much more contradictory, so much more filled with falsehoods and fabrications, so much more, well, … confusing.

Odd that others didn’t acknowledge his confusion, and that the answers which they, for some reason, sought from him, seemed to them both eloquent and precise while he remained so full of doubts, incertitudes and self-equivocation; but apparently, it didn’t show through.  Not that he wanted it to.

He wondered if others felt that way.  If others who seemed so sure, so certain in their postures, positions and conclusions were, in reality as full of doubts as he.  And if the doting crowds that followed them knew in their hearts that those for whom they clamored were merely somnambulating through roles they’d themselves assigned?

The delusional leading the deluded through perdition into despair.  That would explain a great many things.  Most religions for example, and politics, and law, and journalism, and history itself.  Delusional erudition amplified through rhetoric.  It has a nice ring albeit in a horrific context.  Perhaps onomatopoeia run amuck!

“Endoplasmic indulgence”, a phrase apparently heretofore unused, a virginal phrase taken a bit further than is really rational.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

Memories:

He’d liked his brandy sweetened.  He’d loved apricot brandy when it was “apricot brandy” and not just apricot flavored, and he liked it strong, at least eighty proof.  And he’d liked regular brandy too, sweetened with Grand Marnier.  And Armagnac, Clés de Ducs if possible; but he’d preferred Spanish to French brandies, especially Cardenal Mendoza, or in a pinch, Gran Duque de Alba.  But he hadn’t like it alone, after supper over coffee, he’d liked it with a bit of cheese, sharp cheddar if possible, and with an apple sliced with a paring knife, and with hot tomato soup.  And he’d liked it best listening to symphonic music, especially Beethoven or Bach, while he was reading, especially Tolkien, or researching religious mythology.  Especially with a roiling fire burning in a large hearth. 

Especially in a Normal-style castle, set on the highest point on a long island, set between a river and a small harbor, in a town named after cold springs.  In a castle with a gym and a football field and a baseball field, and with students and faculty members, and maintenance personnel, and a nurse, and retired military personnel who’d had adventures they enjoyed sharing.  A castle full of memories where new ones were made daily, at least for a while.

One would think those aspirations were unrealistic, unless one had lived them.  And relived them, over and over again, long after the castle was just a shared memory.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

“And then there were none”: Reflections in an Empty Pond

He remembered.  That’s all there was, and, of course, his body.  Everything else, everywhere was gone, well, except for imagination.  Strange that he’d list that last, it was possibly the most important thing that still existed.  Mankind was gone, as was nature, as was the multiverse.  Only he stayed behind; the last guardian, but guardian of what?  Of memories he guessed.

And he’d known what he was doing when he’d agreed to take on the task, if not why. 

His hair still grew, it was infinitely long now, as were his nails, and he still perspired, but that soon evaporated and then vanished into the eternal nothing, actually, infinitely longer than eternal.  He didn’t breathe and of course, urination and defecation had ended, at the end.  He’d accepted the charge when the universe was still young, when the multiverse still was.

And he’d known what he was doing, that it would be irrevocable and endless, if not why. 

But someone had to assume the role.  He’d known how desperately lonely and boring it would be, until only despair remained, without any hope for respite, without any hope for death.  Without any future, only the vacuous present and memories of the past, and his growing hair, and his growing nails, and every once in a while, a bit of perspiration that all too quickly vanished.

Hopefully the first trillion years were the hardest.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

Remembering Father Nicholas Trivelas on the Fourteenth Anniversary of His Passing

Today, September 30, 2022, is the anniversary of the passing of Father Nicholas Trivelas, formerly pastor at Charleston’s Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity while I was a student at the Citadel many, many decades ago.  Reflections on his passing brought to mind two other Greek Orthodox priests who were a comfort to me during trying times, Father Nicholas Nick of Fort Lauderdale’s St. Demetrius Greek Orthodox Cathedral and my family’s Greek Orthodox pastor in Queens, New York, when I “wore a much younger man’s clothes”.  The latter’s surname was, I think, Volides.  Because they can marry and father children, Greek Orthodox clerics tend to be more empathic than celibate clerics, and warmer, in a safe manner. 

I confess that I am not a “believer” and it may be that I was not then.  I’m at best an agnostic and a seeker, but I profoundly respect the faith of others.  Indeed, I have studied most major religions and as a young academic, taught a course on mythologies and comparative religions, something that has remained a life-long interest.  I was baptized Greek Orthodox at the age of ten at the insistence of my step father, Leonidas Theodore Kokkins, born in Flushing, New York where he is interred, but I had already been baptized as a Catholic and, as a member of a church associated with the Theosophical Society.  It’s not really as confusing as it sounds.  My maternal family were theosophists and thus generally accepting of all religions.  But the three priests I referenced above were special people in my life and in the lives of others, too many to count. 

The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, of which I am a proud graduate, was and is a very special place.  Although it is in continuous evolution, something with which many of its graduates do not agree (being deeply traditionalist), its values seem constant.  The Citadel involves a profoundly demanding, integral experience combing academics, athletics, military training, civic involvement and ethics, one that took everything we could give and then some to complete (indeed, many decent, intelligent and competent people do not succeed there and move on to other endevors elsewhere, with the Citadel’s blessing and best wishes). 

Father Trivelas helped me make it through the Citadel’s rigors and supplemented its values, as did the wonderful Greek community of Charleston, special among them three families, the Misoyianis family, the Kirlis family, and especially the Lempesis family.  It’s hard to think of one without the others, and each always inspires feelings of profound love and gratitude.

As tends to happen in this mobile and dynamic world, one where values seem much less relevant than they once were, the memories and reflections to which I allude are bitter sweet: sad because of the loss of contact but beautiful because of the shared experiences involved and because of the role played by those to whom I’ve referred in whatever positive attributes I’ve attained.  These are memories in which my mother echoes, Powerfully, as do so many others:  my classmates, both at the Citadel and at the Eastern Military Academy (once prominent in Cold Spring Hills, New York, but now long gone), and memories inspired by the student’s I’ve been privileged to teach and the colleagues from whom I’ve also learned a great deal. 

Memories of Father Trivelas trigger them all.  If he was right and there’s a Heaven, he is there, prominently.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

Refractions on a Day in Early Fall

Today dawned beautiful here in the city in the sky, nestled at the feet of the Cumanday in the central range of the Colombian Andes, although, as I have for the past few days, I awoke with trepidation, undefinable but perhaps due to world events and the horrible state of my adopted (and now somewhat abandoned) homeland to the North.  A land and a people I also love profoundly. 

Colombia seems embarked on a renaissance, a period of enlightenment and perhaps, even enlightened governance.  A great deal of its polarization has evaporated, almost overnight, a sign of hope to the world, which in its Northern Hemisphere, seems engulfed in hate, animosity and belligerent competition.

I live in both worlds though, and as in the case of apples, the bad negatively impacts the healthy.

So, despite the beautiful dawn, shadows of the dark clouds that blight the land where my sons, distant and silent, reside, impact even the brightest days in this renascent paradise.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

Bastian

Sebastian liked his name, it meant “revered” in Latin.  It gave one something for which to aspire, not only a goal but a framework that ought to be followed to attain that goal, if that appellation were to be honorably earned.  And honor too was important to Sebastian, perhaps because of his name.

Not that it didn’t have drawbacks. 

What was its diminutive or affectionate form?  Seb, Sebbie, Baz and Bash came to mind.  Its Spanish variant, also Sebastian but pronounced differently, was both more popular and had easier nicknames, Sebas and Bastian being two.  Sebastian had tried to adopt Bastian, he liked it.  And not only because it seemed cooler than Seb, Sebbie, Baz or Bash.  It had style and not just a bit of power.  To Sebastian, Bastian seemed powerful.  Powerful and revered were as useful as they were complimentary.

Now to live up to the name and nickname, and to have the nickname accepted by his peers and by his future ex-wives (the latter was the trend).  Hopefully beautiful, interesting and honorable ex-wives, ex-wives who did not bear grudges or demand alimony, nor an unfair share of joint property.  Who did not irreparably break his heart or he there’s.  That would definitely not be honorable.

And what kind of an education and career would best suit a Sebastian whose nickname was Bastian and who sought to comport himself in an honorable fashion, but one not bereft of financial success and at least a modicum of fame?  An interesting and productive career following a fascinating education that ought to include a bit of adventure and a good deal of fun, perhaps even a bit of harmless mischief but in a good cause.  And dinosaurs and physics and astronomy too.  Perhaps even theoretical mathematics and study of quanta that might open portals to other dimensions or facilitate non-interval travel anywhere or, perhaps, even any when. 

That would be cool, and it could well be honorable as well.

Tough questions for a nine year old.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

Dark and Dystopian Observations, Reflections and Introspection as Autumn Approaches, 2022

Like so many people the world over, I am appalled at the increase in prices and reduction in portions of most of the quotidian things we purchase, something that impacts most of us.  But some, those responsible for inflation, it impacts not at all.  And it has a cause, the idiotic United States practice of imposing economic sanctions that boomerang back on its own nationals, an illustration of biting off one’s nose to spite one’s face.  We are urged to accept the related suffering so that those our government opposes will suffer as well, which of course, only results in spiraling suffering for most of us.

So many of our problems have the same roots.  Take increased polarization and incivility, and the loss of liberty, and the explosion in censorship, not only through governmental means and through governmental allies in Big Tech, but now in our own, interpersonal social interactions.  I am a member of several sports oriented social media sites where those who criticize their team’s management are ordered by other fans to shut up, leave, or are personally ridiculed.  In one case, a person is infuriated by my use of the word “opine”.  And I am tempted to retaliate.  It would be easy for a great many reasons, but so far, I’ve, for the most part, refrained.  But the emotional reaction is there, and if I give in, they would win. 

And that is happening to so many of us that our survival as a species seems miraculous.  Perhaps to miraculous to continue.  Intolerance has been cultivated among us by those who preach the importance of tolerance but whose actions utterly belie their suggestions, if such strongly phrased demands can be deemed “suggestions”.  Our history is erased, destroyed or distorted.  Not that our history is in any sense accurate, but the elimination of its indicia does nothing to correct it, and worse, that with which the “purportedly woke cancel culture” warriors would replace it is at least as inaccurate.  Truth has become even more a victim than reasonable prices.

Manipulation of the means through which we communicate is largely responsible, at least in the form of the tool with which we are bludgeoned.  Democracy in the United States, perhaps everywhere, is non-existent, as are reliable elections, either because of purported gerrymandering or vote rigging or false polling or false reporting or even worse, non-reporting of essential facts.  But even if it did exist and function, it would not guarantee equity or justice or even decency.  After all, the greatest arch villain of the last century, one manufactured by government propaganda, the corporate media and historians, was purportedly “democratically” elected. 

The only solution to our current suicidal dystopia would require a massive change in our attitudes, in our goals, in our hearts and in our souls.  We would need to embrace that which a poor Nazarene preacher once urged but which we criticize as “communist” or “socialist”, with no idea what those concepts involve, or how unattainable they are, or how infrequently their underlying values are espoused, except, perhaps, at Christmas or Easter, or sometimes, albeit rarely, in religious services.  But those services, at least among Christians, mostly focus on the opposite, the maliciously bitter doctrines superimposed on those of the humble Nazarene by the pernicious Saul of Tarsus, a precursor for those who today seek to stifle our most benign, generous and joyous instincts.

Perhaps, fortunately for our planet, solar system, galaxy and universe, it may be that an Armageddon manufactured by our Deep State is about to arrive.  We’ve manipulated the Russians into a war which we are actively promoting and are doing our best to do the same with the Chinese and the Iranians, and as written above, that disfunctionality is affecting even our passive participation in sports, and certainly our politics. 

One wonders at the stupidity involved, and grieves at the destruction of all that is good and beautiful and promising that will disappear with all that is putrid and vile.  Equality attained at last.  And one even dares to hope that, if by sharing our perspectives in a friendly manner, in a respectful manner, “one heart at a time”, the disaster can be averted.  But this morning, it certainly doesn’t look that way, not while the very worst among us revel in their power and restrain no impediment to its retention, regardless of the price.

After all, they’ve grown used to most of us paying the price while they celebrate what they perceive of as benefits; short term though they will in all probability prove to be.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

A Day in the Post Retirement Life of that Famous Former Squire: Sancho Panza de la Mancha

Sancho Panza sat comfortably under the shade of a large tree.  Not seeking enlightenment, he’d had a bit too much of that, at least for his taste, nor the best way to Nirvana without the trials and tribulations, but, ironically, writing his memoirs in a book; a book that his former master had gifted him.  A book with nothing in it but blank pages as his former master had assumed that Sancho did not know how to read.  But he’d been wrong.  Sancho not only knew how to read but obviously how to write.  And he was not an old fashioned buffoon!  Instead of a quill and inkpot he was using a newfangled invention made from graphite imported from Borrowdale in far off England (an uppity Island doing its best to steal everything his native Spain had “acquired” from Ultramar).  The graphite was ingeniously wrapped in string and left markings in the book in whatever shape or form Sancho deemed appropriate.

He’d had occasion to read the version of his adventures with his master supposedly written by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, who’d gotten a few things right but way too many things wrong.  But then again, Miggy was a politician of sorts (in his own way) and he was trying to make a point, torturing literature as well as facts as necessary, … a prelude to future journalism. 

A novel!  What the Hell was a novel anyway.  Sancho did not believe that literary vogue would catch on.  Anyway, Sancho deemed it appropriate to make a few corrections, some clarifications and perhaps a bit of creative advocacy to clear his good, or at least pretty good name.

Sancho’s former employer, not really his master, the naïve cavalier Alonso Quijano (also known in some quarters as Sir Quixote of la Mancha), had willed him, if not an Island Princedom (as he’d promised), at least several pleasant hectares reasonably near the old Moorish city of Toledo, which his wife Teresa Cascajo and their daughter, Maria, worked with the assistance of some tenant farmers they’d contracted.  Sancho would have been more active in its management, had Teresa, or even Maria allowed it, but they assured him that he had more of an artistic than agrarian temperament.  And he’d been forced to acknowledge their wisdom.

Old Miggy had made a small fortune with his version of Sancho’s adventures and Sancho felt that he, with his more direct knowledge of the facts involved, might at least do as well, proving to Teresa and Maria that his talents might also prove profitable.  So there he sort of sat, a horn of passable wine nearby, and a straw hat on his head shielding him prospectively from the late afternoon sun that loved to evade the shade of the tree, and perhaps even provided him with a bit more shade, should he somehow happen to doze off, as sometimes, perhaps even frequently occurred.  But those sort of naps were not really signs of languor, rather, they were opportunities to do research in the recesses of his mind that were sometimes otherwise inaccessible.

“And so it happened” he began writing, but was stumped after that for a while. 

He checked his spelling, which seemed fine to him, albeit not always as consistent as it might have been, and then decided that perhaps a bit of wine might help.  He took one gulp, and then another to wash the first gulp down and then a third for similar reasons, and soon, well, he wasn’t sure what had happened, but it had somehow gotten dark.  “Dark magic” he thought, “dark magic again”, assuredly that malign Friston who would apparently do anything to prevent Sancho from getting his side of the story published.

With no other choice for the nonce, Sancho fitfully worked himself free of the damned hammock in which he’d been “working” and undertook the short walk to the comfortable little farmhouse (which also served as his manor), where Teresa and Maria had already finished the dinner they’d made for all three, but which Sancho had evidently somehow, “researched” through.  Somehow or other, the dinner bell they used to call him did not always function properly.  Probably a curse, damn Friston.  So it was a cold, albeit delicious, stew again, with homemade sourdough bread (all bread was pretty much homemade back then).

Ah well, he thought, satiated as well as somewhat satisfied with his effort, mañana is another day, … and always will be.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

A Measure of Sad Times

He is very sensitive to all kinds of external stimuli, which he internalizes and, after profound reflection, synthesizes and sometimes grasps an idle lie.  And he loves music, he considers it the primordial language, the most effective language, one speaking directly to the soul.  But for some reason, of late, he has not wanted to heed it.  An affirmative wanting not to listen to it.  And he is perplexed, he doesn’t understand the why of it.  But, then again, there are so many things he just can’t comprehend.

Perhaps it has something to do with the state of the world.  With the current dearth of truth and omnipresence of vitriol and violence. 

Music, without words, he has long believed, rarely lies, except perhaps for martial music.  In that case, it’s as though music was forced to perform, like a beautiful woman being ravished.  Beauty turned inside out and violated.  National anthems tend to follow that pattern, at least frequently.  Unfortunately, he’s come to feel that, like a virus, that pattern seems to be spreading.  Marketing “jingles” of course almost always lie, as do their political variants.  And they’ve overtaken beautiful instrumentals, symphonies and boleros and gipsy inspired variants of flamencos.

Words can apparently pervert anything, and he wonders at the folk wisdom that claims speech evolved to facilitate deception, and thus, of course, the legal profession, and journalism, and politics. But then, what of poetry?

It has dawned on him that truth is not always beautiful and that beauty is all too frequently dishonest.  Even, he guesses, where music is involved.  Perhaps it’s that epiphany that has him down.  Perhaps it is reflections such as these that are muddling and blocking his instinctive love, indeed his need, for music. 

A measure of sad times. 

Perhaps that’s what Don McLean once sensed when he wrote his epic and second best song (Vincent was the very best), without realizing it.

“A long, long time, ago, I can still remember how the music used to make me smile ….”
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© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.