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Thread: The Soul's Midnight

  1. #1
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    The Soul's Midnight

    So here I am again in the middle of the night. What's up with that? The Soul's Midnight, the Insomniac's Bath House,

    It seems to me that our experience of life is largely internal. I know that events shape us and are important, that human interaction is part of what makes life worth living. But in some ways, it doesn't matter till I internalize it. What is real? There's no such thing as the color green until my eye perceives it and my brain registers it as green. What's more important even than that registry internally is what "green" means to me. Green means a conversation outside of JC Penny when I was 8 that made my mother laugh. Not a sound I heard often. I relished it. Green is the color of the grass between her fingers in the dark at the park in August, 1987. Green is the inside ring of her iris as she sits at the piano with me.

    Green is not the absence of other wavelengths of light. Life is internal. Even for the extrovert.

    Now I can sleep. The Bath House is closed. - ursus
    Last edited by ursus; 13 Feb 2013 at 4:23 AM.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  2. #2
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Moderator note:
    split from RTDNTOTO8

    Hmmm a thoughtful thread dedicated to serve fellow insomniacs? I like it.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  3. #3
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    OK, but the weird stuff I might write in the middle of the night.........it's all on your head, man.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  4. #4
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    The Johnny Nolan Problem

    It's early for the Soul's Midnight, but my wife gets home later from her work and I have been "forgiven" so I don't think I'll be out here in the kitchen posting.

    When I got home from work my front door was covered with valentine notes my kids had left me. The comments were about me making them laugh, about me telling them stories, helping with their homework, etc. I love my kids, but I'm consumed by the fear that I am failing them in some ways.

    Last summer I read "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn". Wonderful book. But what stuck with me the most is how much of myself I saw in the narrator's father, Johnny Nolan. He's a loving father, but he's a flop. A drunk, inconsistent figure whom the girl adores. She herself is smart and resourceful, but loves this extremely flawed father. I"m afraid that I am Johnny Nolan. My daughters all love me. I'll go out on a limb and say that they adore me. But do you know what an adorable but unreliable man becomes? He becomes resented. Eventually that's what they'll feel. They'll love and cherish a false memory of me that ignores my many grevious flaws, but a part of them will know that I could have done better. That I failed their mother in many ways, and that I could have done better for them, given them a better foothold in life. I hope that the good I've done for them - giving them humor and music, art and a love for life and people - will outweigh how much I'll not be able to provide them. I hope, but I doubt myself. Especially here in the Soul's Midnight, I doubt myself. It's like waking up in the middle of the night thinking you heard a sound and remembering that you didn't shut the garage door: the best you can do is hope that it's just a cat. What if it's not? What if this time your mistake is all of your ruin? That will keep you up some nights.

    So am I Johnny Nolan? And would I change if I could? Questions for another night.

    - ursus
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  5. #5
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    People, including moms & dads are human. Years of therapy taught me that the best you can do is accept your parents for who they are, warts and all. You don't need to be perfect and if in fact you were it would probably screw your daughters up even more. Then for the rest of their lives they'd be chasing the perfect man and comparing all their beaus to you. It can be a burden. You're going to fail your kids some how. I think you just hope you don't do it in such a way that permanently scars them too much.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    Thinking about what you said, dandy, and how it relates to my own parents and I think you're completely right. Next Soul's Midnight posting might just be about the glorious importance of our own random imperfections as people.

    Thanks, dand. I needed it this a.m.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  7. #7
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Anytime.

    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    night skies

    When spring finally comes to my little foothills in the desert, my favorite part is the sky. The greening up is nice, but there's nothing like seeing Orion fleeing the horizons, tumbling in that cold but clear sky. Dark, dark blue in the springtime. Even the night sky starts to thaw in the spring. It's cold, but not the hard cold of a sky in December, or the worthless black of a sky in February. There's a promise of something better in the moonlight. It lets you believe in yourself again.

    So keep looking at the tulips and other adventurous vanguards pushing their way into your yard if you want to, but spare a few moment for the sky. Say goodbye to Orion and hope that when he comes around again, you've sucked the marrow out of the summer time, and you're still hung over on the deep blue and red wine of a July sunset, and the gunpowder is still lingering in your nostrils, and the tan is still clinging to your shoulders.

    -ursus
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  9. #9
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    So it's 3:00 here. The Soul's Midnight again. My wife is on the way to Vegas tomorrow morning with her sisters for a trip. She's staying over tonight with one so they can leave early. I will be largely staying home for the rest of the week. I will miss her. Sometimes I think the worst thing that ever happened to us was marriage. Driving her to her sister's and talking about the Council meeting and other nothingness was so nice, so easy. We laugh and talk like there aren't these things hanging over us. There might be something to be said for a society in which all relationships stay casual. I could never disappoint someone in a casual relationship. I wish I could say I was built for the important ones.

    So tonight's monologue will be short and sweet - just a thought really. How little we expect out of almost every relationship in our lives. And how much we demand from those few that we value most. I'm sure it only makes cosmic sense that we would be doomed to nit-pick the things we value most to death while we let everything and everyone else slide. Tonight, thinking about all the heartache and loss in the world I am inclined to try to let things slide a little bit with those I love most. How long I've got them isn't entirely up to me.

    Goodnight, Cyburbia. - ursus
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  10. #10
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ursus View post
    So it's 3:00 here. The Soul's Midnight again. My wife is on the way to Vegas tomorrow morning with her sisters for a trip. She's staying over tonight with one so they can leave early. I will be largely staying home for the rest of the week. I will miss her. Sometimes I think the worst thing that ever happened to us was marriage. Driving her to her sister's and talking about the Council meeting and other nothingness was so nice, so easy. We laugh and talk like there aren't these things hanging over us. There might be something to be said for a society in which all relationships stay casual. I could never disappoint someone in a casual relationship. I wish I could say I was built for the important ones.

    So tonight's monologue will be short and sweet - just a thought really. How little we expect out of almost every relationship in our lives. And how much we demand from those few that we value most. I'm sure it only makes cosmic sense that we would be doomed to nit-pick the things we value most to death while we let everything and everyone else slide. Tonight, thinking about all the heartache and loss in the world I am inclined to try to let things slide a little bit with those I love most. How long I've got them isn't entirely up to me.

    Goodnight, Cyburbia. - ursus
    Sometimes it's the little things that hang over us that brings two people together to form an even stronger bond. It can rip some people apart. But also strengthen a relationship in a deeper, more profound way. It's all how we choose to relate to those little things.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  11. #11
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    I too was up at 3 a.m., but I didn't think about going to Cyburbia to muse about it. Maybe I would have felt better if I had. I had a night meeting which always throws me off and robs me of sleep. During part of my sleeplessness and restlessness I watched a Tom Papa special on Netflix. Apropos of Ursus's discussion of marriage and how marriage changes relationships Papa was discussing the romance of their relationship has turned into his wife and he becoming partners in a marriage that he likened to a horrendous non-profit organization. I saw truth in that. Marriage begins with romance and soon enough it moves into maintaining a household - kids, mortgages, errands, financial difficulties and those countless minor irritations that come from living in close quarters. Papa lamented that the sexy lady he married has become the "Wash Your Hands Lady," constantly policing hygiene and he has been made "The Weather Guy" called upon to advise her on the current weather.

    Has marriage gone full circle? Not so long ago marriage was an arrangement of convenience and necessity to survive and procreate. Marriages were often arranged and love was something that was expected to come later. Then we moved into the Victorian era of marriage for love. Now, with everyone so busy and stressed, are we returning to marriage for convenience and necessity? A marriage hybrid, begun in love, but driven by necessity.

    We come home tired and stressed from our jobs, scurry about to get dinner, laundry, homework, and cleaning done, often fight over one or all of those tasks and then come bedtime may be feeling tired or resentful of how our partner, in our perception, has not lived up to our expectation. Is it any surprise that romance at the end of the day is not foremost in our minds?
    Last edited by otterpop; 17 Apr 2013 at 1:26 PM.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  12. #12
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    I feel like I need a smoke and a scotch when I read this thread...

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    This Be the Verse
    By Philip Larkin 1922–1985

    They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
    They may not mean to, but they do.
    They fill you with the faults they had
    And add some extra, just for you.


    But they were fucked up in their turn
    By fools in old-style hats and coats,
    Who half the time were soppy-stern
    And half at one another’s throats.


    Man hands on misery to man.
    It deepens like a coastal shelf.
    Get out as early as you can,
    And don’t have any kids yourself.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian MacheteJames's avatar
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    This thread.... is amazing.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Why does the Soul's Midnight always seem to arrive at 2 a.m. or later? Is it some kind of perverted Nightlight Savings Time?
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Those of you who struggle with insomnia will either find the following music groups either very helpful or completely disturbing at those wee hours:

    Massive Attack
    Thievery Corporation
    Nightmares on Wax
    Boards of Canada

    I feel for you all, I really do - though I rarely (maybe once a year) have those sleepless nights - this is for you.

    @GigCityPlanner

  17. #17
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    Fuck! I just accidentally peeled a tick off me!!! Wtf!!!!

    I just showered because I felt like bugs were all over me and the tick is double jarred and I am on my third glass of wine and I am a wreck and can't sleep

  18. #18
    Cyburbian
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    I'd be having that buggy sensation all night.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    Sweet Baby James

    Tonight, the song chosen by the boys to fall asleep to was "Sweet Baby James", which always works. I do a good James Taylor. It's warm here lately so the windows are open and my wife is at work. I love to listen to the sound of the world late at night through the open windows, and I can hear the kids stirring every so often while I glamorously pair socks. Can it be too peaceful to sleep? Yes it can, and it is. Sleep well, everybody. Out there in the dark, there is nothing but quiet and empty between us all. And the spaces we're in are peaceful I hope, and the spaces between us are a mystery. Miles of highway in the dark out there.

    I know it shouldn't but typing this nonsense helps me sleep. Goodnight, you moonlight ladies. Rockabye, sweet baby James.

    Well, these socks aren't going to pair themselves, are they. - ursus
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  20. #20
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    It's 2:30 here. It's very warm and stuffy in my room. We've had rain this afternoon and evening, but the rain has stopped and the winds are calm now. It's not quite warm enough to run the air conditioning, so I opened up a window, but the air is so still, so I don't think it's really helping much. Unfortunately, the window creaks loudly and the sound echoes throughout the courtyard, bouncing off the adjacent apartment buildings. I feel like a jerk now and hope I didn't wake anyone. Lately, around the midnight hour, I've been hearing coyotes regularly barking as they search for prey up and down the old Prairie Path, only a few hundred feet west of me. Tonight, I haven't heard them though. They must be somewhere else tonight, or maybe they turned in early, or maybe they are just being quiet tonight.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  21. #21
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Yawn......

    Been working in the Fresno Rail Yard on the night shift lately.....resulting in my posting on Cyburbia at crazy hours like this.....
    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
    John Kenneth Galbraith

  22. #22
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One View post
    Been working in the Fresno Rail Yard on the night shift lately.....resulting in my posting on Cyburbia at crazy hours like this.....
    The opening of that statement sounds like it came from a Johnny Cash song. You should tell us more about the Fresno Rail Yards. Johnny Cash is also good for the sleepless nights...(It's nice to see you back more frequently, btw ).

    @ ip, Coyotes were the perfect addition to the insomniac's bath-house that is the Soul's Midnight. I would doff my cap to you if I wore a cap or knew what doffing was.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  23. #23
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ursus View post
    The opening of that statement sounds like it came from a Johnny Cash song. You should tell us more about the Fresno Rail Yards. Johnny Cash is also good for the sleepless nights...(It's nice to see you back more frequently, btw ).

    @ ip, Coyotes were the perfect addition to the insomniac's bath-house that is the Soul's Midnight. I would doff my cap to you if I wore a cap or knew what doffing was.
    Please, no doffing here. Planners have little enough respect without be tagged as doffers.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One View post
    Been working in the Fresno Rail Yard on the night shift lately.....resulting in my posting on Cyburbia at crazy hours like this.....
    I hope i get my raisins from Fresno

    Reference to The Music Man...
    Annoyingly insensitive

  25. #25
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Ha ha ha......

    Quote Originally posted by Richmond Jake View post
    I hope i get my raisins from Fresno

    Reference to The Music Man...
    I've been moving cars with 60+ tons of raisins or canned fruit all over the place.....one of the trains we build (The fruit block) goes to New York City nearly daily.

    We have a local train that services SunMaid also. Grapes....grapes.....everywhere grapes

    Oh Ursus I'm also glad to be back......not a great deal of intellectual interaction on the rails.....

    I did meet a locomotive engineer with a degree in planning from San Francisco State back in the late 70's. He said after he was laid off he ended up on the railroad making a lot more money. Too bad for me those big money days are long gone for the new guys....
    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
    John Kenneth Galbraith

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