Monday, July 3, 2023

Wise in Hindsight: Not Many More Than Wise in Foresight

Yesterday Wislawa Szymborska's centennial. I tweeted it out twice, once in morning, bump in evening, a total of one like and 46 views over both. I recognize it was a Sunday on what for many is a four-day weekend at the height of the Summer, but once upon each would have garnered multiple likes and triple-digit views. This is not a whine - I'm genuinely curious what percentage of the drop twitter itself - it's new algorithms, people abandoning because of Melon - and what percentage me, my tweets muted (my follower count steady), my relentless clusterfuckful anger in general and my relentless criticism of crackerchristers in general and especially my even angrier yodeling at the elected fucks who campaign against crackerchristers while enabling crackerchristers to crackerchrister. 

Saturday past the first day of legal cannabis in Maryland. I didn't need to buy weed - per agreement with stakeholders in my life I only smoke in Michigan and Maine when on vacation, and I still have plenty bought in Michigan last April to take to Maine at the end of this month. This means of course I bought some (to stop thinking about buying some mostly, to get my name on surveillance lists too), an eighth of Garcia Hand Picked *Caps Frozen Lemons* at Liberty Cannabis on Nebel Street in Rockville, recommended on my neighborhood's listserv as best product in Moco by neighbors who had a medical card before legalization.

Not organic - I asked, the manager said their growers use well below the maximum fungicide and pesticide levels written into Maryland law for distributors. Ick. All flower flavors pre-packaged and I was not permitted to smell the different flavors before purchase (I only buy sativa and the most citrusy smelling sativa of the flavors available). Only difference between Maryland headshop and DC headshop is the directness of the transaction - in DC you buy a photo of the Washington Monument (e.g.) and are gifted weed, in Maryland it's a straight money for weed transaction. DC weed blows in comparison to the organic weed I can buy in Ann Arbor or the organic weed I can buy in Bangor. I now assume the same is true of weed bought in Maryland (though I'm delighted it's legal in Maryland now).

Tasted the Caps Frozen Lemons last night. Brick hard flowers, meh. Nice jar. Broke out my Michigan Hans Solo Burger, boom. Can't wait to be in Maine the last week of July and first week of August. C and R come back to Maryland second week of August, will see if Maryland now being legal changes the terms of my agreement with the stakeholders in my life then. 

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Wislawa Szymborska

Out of every hundred people

those who always know better:

Unsure of every step:
almost all the rest.

Ready to help,
if it doesn't take long:

Always good,
because they cannot be otherwise:
four—well, maybe five.

Able to admire without envy:

Led to error
by youth (which passes):
sixty, plus or minus.

Those not to be messed with:
forty and four.

Living in constant fear
of someone or something:

Capable of happiness:
twenty-some-odd at most.

Harmless alone,
turning savage in crowds:
more than half, for sure.

when forced by circumstances:
it's better not to know,
not even approximately.

Wise in hindsight:
not many more
than wise in foresight.

Getting nothing out of life except things:
(though I would like to be wrong).

Doubled over in pain
and without a flashlight in the dark:
eighty-three, sooner or later.

Those who are just:
quite a few at thirty-five.

But if it takes effort to understand:

Worthy of empathy:

one hundred out of one hundred—
a figure that has never varied yet.


  1. Reading through the statistics presented in the poem, I couldn't help but reflect on my own experiences and the people I've encountered. It's both fascinating and disheartening to realize how many individuals fall into the category of always thinking they know better, while those who are truly wise in hindsight or foresight are a rare find. The poem beautifully reminds us of our mortality and the importance of empathy in a world where understanding seems to require great effort.

  2. 1/i just encountered

    after asserting that the "self-made man" is a myth, she goes on to argue that much of what we come to see and understand and do has to do with what we happen to encounter, and writes

    My point is we're all just kind of muddling our way through this thing, and our successes and failures (by whatever metric we measure success and failure) are due more to the unfolding of humanity's collective consciousness than any brilliance or defectiveness on our own part.

    Obviously we must all try to do our very best with the hand that we were dealt in life, but it's probably a good idea to harbor some compassion for those who don't get it as right as we do in our eyes. We were all born into a world saturated with propaganda and dominated by abusive systems, and ultimately the degree to which we are able to see our way around in that world says as much about how good or bad we are as a seed landing on rich or sandy earth says about the quality of the seed.

    2/replies to this tweet push back against her attack on individual responsibility and/or the special favours granted to particular people by higher powers

    3/people disagreein' ever'where you look - makes me want to stop and read a book

    3.2/or watch a kdrama - spouse and self are currently viewing 'divorce attorney shin' on netflix - through which i heard about a korean music style with an english name

    The name "trot" is a shortened form of "foxtrot", a style of ballroom dance that influenced the simple two-beat rhythm of trot music. Trot and foxtrot do not share any other notable characteristics.