There are half-remembered tunes rolling around in my brain. Filed under; "miscellaneous trivia" or some such, we find the refrain from an old Campfire Girls T.V. ad., next the "Top it off with Juicy Fruit!" jingle, and from somewhen near third (?) grade, sections of "The Hokey-Pokey", occasionally surface during a work day. This seems odd to me. What is it about what I am doing or thinking during a work day which causes bits of these old songs to arise?
I really don't know what triggers these neurons to fire. I mean, nothing about digging ditches and playing around with dangerous chemicals especially reminds a guy of the Campfire Girls. I don't even know if they still exist!
Perhaps you too have some snatches of half-remembered tunes which you were exposed to at an early age? The reason I specifically chose the Hokey-Pokey for the title of today's C.P.E. shall soon surface, but these paragraphs are designed to help us recall that there is "ancient tunery" which is for some reason, yet residing in memory. And my point thus far, is that I have no idea why they rebound to consciousness after being dormant for decades. Mayhaps, that will one day serve as the main idea of an essay, rather than a quizzical intro, eh?
But for today, I am just dying to ask you; "What precisely do you remember about the lyrics of the Hokey-Pokey?". All that comes to mind over here is; "You put your left foot out, you put your right foot out, . . . you (something or other, 'twirl all about'?). . . And that's what it's all about!". The tune remains fairly clear, and the lyrics are fractured. So, we carry incomplete memories which we amend as need be! We just invent new lyrics.
As an example of this; the Campfire Girls song, we are fairly confident; does not contain the phrase "Sing Swahili". But, over here it kinda "works" since I have no idea what the actual words were, and frankly don't care to find out. Memory then, is not what we imagine it to be.
We think of memory as a kind of videotape recording of what actually occurred, and vigorously defend our version of events. In reality, we are "writing" or "fixing" memories as they seem to us to have been. Any police investigator would tell you that "eyewitness" reports often wildly vary, even by people who were standing right next to each other.
In fact, this sort of variance, or the lack thereof; is often a strong indicator that someone is lying. You see? If two witnesses agree "too much", then collusion may well be involved. So then, we try to record things accurately, and there is some "fog" involved, both are true. This is who we are.
So, getting to the Hokey-Pokey, the thing is, (see?) the tag line; "That's what it's all about!" has always kinda bothered me. As an existential assertion, isn't this running a few pounds light? I mean, are we thereby affirming that doing some kind of grade school dance, to a silly little song; is (in fact) the sum and total of meaning to be had? Of course not! Don't be ridiculous. But there is a link!
Have you ever noticed the oddity that girls appear (at minimum) to honestly enjoy dancing? This feature of the feminine psyche has yet to "file" in my anterior lobe. I just don't get it, but importantly; women do! And what-if, just what-if the central dogma of the Hokey-Pokey functions then, as a workable "one thing" for some of them? As for the reference, "one thing"; we trust that you recall watching a certain movie?
The movie "City Slickers" was not exactly a great, great film; with an important message for us all to live-by, but it did have Jack Palance in it! If you are not familiar with the flick, well then; you can always watch it on some cyber-digital device or another. My point though, is that the central axiom of Hokey-Pokeyisms are a basically human design. There is but "one thing", and when (or if?) you find it, then it acts as a prioritizing or organizing element to, or for your life. Simply, we require a "one thing" in order to sort out the debris furnished by the torrent of non-interesting also-rans our world is so eager to supply. And until we achieve certainty on just what that "one thing" is, I feel that the norm is a sense of dislocation, or of "pointlessness". It is who we are.
We were not designed so to work, such that we can earn the money for food, in order to have the strength to work. . . People do not operate that way. We require a "grand unification" in our grasp of things. At some point, every hinge rotates, and at that "one thing" we ratify the strength to go on, to find reconciliation, and to find hope for gladness. So, using work as an example, I have heard plenty of people (mostly men) agree heartily with the Hokey-Pokeyism; "Evabody's workin' for the weekend!". Something "ahead of us" (in time?) lends itself to this human functioning.
But beware, we are easily fooled just "here" at the center of things. The cliche' answers, the advertising campaigns, the quick-fix approaches which we are all so fond of trying on (especially upon others!), do not actually fit. We find these "non-central centers" to be husks, shells with no meat inside, and so we keep looking!
In one school of thought it is this very looking itself (as an ongoing activity) which is reputed to be the true Hokey-Pokey. In others, an abstraction, a non-concrete "set" such as "good attitude", or "building relationships" has cornered the Hokey-Pokey market. For instance, I often hear people affirm that "the really important thing" is family. Which family? And how far removed are we talking here? Please understand, I am not out (today) to shatter or disabuse anyone of their Hokey-Pokey-ism, of their "That's what it's all about!". Rather, I am noting that for us to "be ourselves" we must reckon with our limits (memory for instance), and organize thought around a Hokey-Pokey, a true-truth which acts for us as an anchor, a compass, a scale by which we weigh importance. It is who we are.
If you have bothered to read any of these essays of the crazy pants kind, you would be able (I think) to infer what my Hokey-Pokey is all about. And so, I won't tax your patience with a re-hash of old essays. It's just that I have been thinking about this of late, and can (as a friend) highly recommend you finding your Hokey-Pokey as a good thing.
Instead, I would like to say; "Feel free to cuss in the presence God". Your Hokey-Pokey will not be located as long as you are afraid to say precisely and accurately what you are thinking and feeling. We are already well aware that "glib" doesn't do the job. Well, "polite" fails at the isolating of your Hokey-Pokey function as well.
If you are at all like me, it would be best to find a place-alone. Go for a long drive in deserted country, or go for a walk in farmland. Get. . . Away. . . From. . . People! At minimum, several hours are necessary for me to "open-up". I like to use "The Lord's Prayer" as a kind of topical guide in these "frank discussions" with our Maker. And be prepared to think!
There, we find the clean, sober, and sane which contrasts so strongly with the mess that I am. We find "anchor points" which (like it or not) we shall (one day) completely agree with. As an example, He, the Life-Begettor is indeed "high above us" (in heaven). This contrasts nicely with me being in a swamp, ass-deep in alligators at the moment. The Name "I Am . . . Hearing, Guiding, Teaching (you choose!)" has been revealed. I can, and do, call the one Name; "I Am. . . Salvation" (Joshua) fully confident that I ain't talking to myself, and I tell Him that too! "This is, by Your design; a matter of Your Honor, You who have Named Yourself. So listen up! You must (contractionally) be listening!". I hope you get the drift here? We are appearing before, we are appealing to, He Who Is, and of His power all else be. "Be there". Well Sir, I've got a beef with how things are, and no amount of phoney "humility" makes that go away.
There is, in us; a strong urge to find an answer, to be fixed, and to quickly move on. Long walks cussing my failure, this insane world, and the sheer stupidity of it all, is (for me) "true". I am "being me" when I rant my frustration, anger and shame. And even I am aware that when this tilts over into me cussing Him, I have "gone too far".
Oddly then, prayer is a cussing-with (not at) He who rules "Is". And a big chunk of my Hokey-Pokey is very near here.
See? I actually believe that the message in it's simplest terms is something like; "He is coming, and He is furious!". My cussing is a dim and shady echo of a terribly real and fierce curse. The anger in His case is infinitely stronger, but my puny rage at the folly and evil around, and in me; is "being held in common". Now, we have something we can really talk about! So, that "darkness" which I would prefer not to be made public information, proves to be a very strong link in my Hokey-Pokeyism. In flat terms, the message is; "He is coming. Run. . . For . . . Your . . . Life!".
And that said, now I can begin to agree with the mild and generous offer of a blood exchange. Now, the horror of the Cross becomes the only working escape hatch for a race sunk in futility and lies. So, I know all of this, and still somehow get lost in "efficiency" repeatedly?
Apparently then, I am missing something? Or is it that I have forgotten (again?) a crucial aspect of my Hokey-Pokey? And it is just this cussing-with God, which has done me so much good! I hope that I am being clear with you here. The prayer formats as a kind of "key" by which I can examine whether the flaw and goof of today is a "missing of", or a "forgetting of". . . Something. The key is providing the things which cannot (sanely) be forgotten, overridden or ignored.
So, ordinarily then, I want things to "work right". I want a world which "makes sense", and as such; I am (apparently) expecting that systems, people and events "ought" cohere into patterns of efficiency, or of order. We gather that neither myself nor the world are really very interested in that. So then, this is a clue! One of my usual cliche' forms which I "try" to put upon myself, nevermind that it has never worked, ignore that it is what always bites back so fiercely, just keep trying, is busy haunting me again! And how this racket got into my head, I have no better answer than why old advertising jingles are in there. I don't know!
As a sort of summary, I would like to disavow any fondness for the darkness itself. All of the thrashing about in the dark or darkness itself is just more junk that is going to be put on the fire one day. There is nothing fun or swell about being miserable. But it requires some very heavy crushing before I will abandon my cliche' and polite solutions. The police drive culprits out of buildings with tear gas. I, likewise must be forced out of my "house". The; "This is hopeless!" remark, must be heard, not by Him, but by me. Even though I already know that my strategies are not working, but usually just making things worse, I have no option but to use them. Through sheer repetition and in intense emotion (cussing with God!) even I, am beginning to "get it".
Life, as we have tried to make it (minus Him), never did have any hope of either making sense, or working, but we have to be convinced, even though we already know!
We have to know it on the inside, we must come to know it "by gut". We must have a "one thing", a Hokey-Pokey which is biggger than us, it enduring and welcoming us.
Truth. . . Is a Sir". Talk to The Man!
Tell Him who you really are, and be prepared to not-find rejection.