Been & Going

[LefthandedJeff] “Yinnity Yangity Bop” (That Old Song by the Non-Starters)

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Just had a thought re: sexism. The very question that either men or women might be superior or inferior is a non-starter. The whole premise is absurd.

Both are essential. Neither is non-essential.

Which is superior to life on earth—sun or water? You can’t have life without either. So the question is moot. False premise.

It’s easy to look at the fact that men are generally physically stronger and draw a simple-minded conclusion that men are thus superior—easy, but stupid. We humans are often simple-minded twits like that.

It’s hard to parse the areas of male vs. female strengths and weaknesses without quickly devolving into gender stereotypes. No need to even go down that road. I mean sure, it’s an amusing side path. We all have fun taking it sometimes. You can pluck some berries. Pick some flowers. Or get stuck with thorns and find rocks in your shoes.

Back out on the main road, both male and female are essential. Neither is non-essential. In the human circle there is no yang without yin, no yin without yang.

Which leg is superior—left or right? Cut off either one and I can’t stand, walk or run.

Natural enough to ask these questions, of course. They’re not inorganic. Sort of clouds that blow across the mind. Capture the wandering eye. Give shape to lazy imaginings. Yet mostly vaporous. Ultimately non-starters. Yinnity Yangity Doo.

Band name: The Non-Starters

[LefthandedJeff] The Day After the Day After Rain

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I love the earth the day after the day after a big rain storm. When the hillside in my back yard is still dark and visibly wet, where it had been light brown and dusty. A faint green stubble of tiny shoots covers the formerly dry and dead packed dirt. Overnight pink chrysanthemums have shot straight up and opened-out, “Ta da!” The jasmine I planted last July and nursed through hot months of bloomless drought finally sprouts buds, light green, incipient flowers folded inside but peeking out, like white lace. I go to take a photo of them with my phone and only through the view screen do I spy it, under a dark green leaf hood, almost unseen, the first little jasmine flower already born.

“Stress can be sexful,” she said to her longtime confidant. Then dissolved into laughter. “What did I just say? Sex can be stressful!”

Band name: 20% Tiptoe

Our emotions are a physical process of our bodies, like breathing, like farting. There’s nothing to be gained from critiquing them. Or attaching to them too fiercely, grabbing on for dear life. Though gentle attention is always nice.

Divide is conquer.

“Whatever you suppress is knocking at your door every day.” –Sweet Elise, aka The Diamond Cutter

Western magic—casting spells—is directing your attention to your intention. Eastern magic—meditation, yoga—is directing your intention to your attention.

Like a true WASP, I have been taught to suppress the parts of myself that might upset the people around me. But not letting myself have emotions is not letting others have theirs, too, isn’t it?

For every inaction there’s a no reaction.

“Knock knock.”

“Who’s there?”

“Suppressed emotion.”

“Suppressed emotion who?”

“Why the hell are you asking me?

Writing is how I try to slow down the world while I try to figure it all out.

Like many lit’rary types, I have a full-time narrator in my head, writing and rewriting the tale of my life even as it’s happening.

Time Retardant—a needed invention.

Everyone was very concerned
That everything work out
For everyone concerned.

To look around with wide eyes and an open spirit at the fantastic richness of every aspect of this world, this universe that we somehow exist in, I feel like you just have to come away with more questions than answers.

That seems true to me whether you look at it from a scientific point of view or a religious one. Or both.

No matter how we look at those ultimate questions: Why do we even exist? Why is there a universe at all? Where did we come from and what came before us? Where will we go and what will come after us?

I find more comfort in the questions than in answers that seem dreamed up or unearned.

Give me answers that go as deep as the questions, or I’ll keep dancing with the questions.

I love the day after the day after a rain storm…

Image credit: Me! (for once)


[LefthandedJeff] With a Flick of a Question Mark

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Just a Thought:

How often do you feel like other people oversimplify you in their minds? They don’t understand how complicated your feelings are, your thoughts, your reasons for doing what you do?

Yet how often do we sum up someone else’s actions with a kind of simplistic emotional algebra like, “Oh, he just did x because of y”—where x is something we didn’t like and y is some dastardly but simple and direct motivation or character defect? How often do we dismiss someone with some sweeping mental gesture like “Oh, she’s really just a controlling bitch.”

If we want others to grant us our complexity, shouldn’t we grant them theirs?

Isn’t that kind of a corollary to the golden rule? Think upon others as we would have them think upon us?

“It’s hard to be a human,” my mom used to say. So if we want to be allowed to be fully human, with all our mixed motivations, conflicted feelings and halting thoughts, shouldn’t we let the other flawed and tangled people be fully human too?

Band Name Ideas:*

  • Red Phone (with apologies to Justin Romain and Redswitch)
  • The Nuclear Footballs

*Band name ideas posted here at LefthandedJeff are fair game. I will probably never start a band. If you like any of the band names I post, help yourself to them. My only request is that you drop me a line at or and let me know which one you used, and give me a nod in the liner notes on your first CD. Just for the fun of it, just as a courtesy.

Flick of a Question Mark

Before our very eyes, with just a flick of a question mark,
Our sledgehammer pens and piledriver keyboards
Turn to feathered quills and take wing.


Image credit: I found the image above at