81. Gratitude

The great mind-duel between Asteroid Stu and Captain Krool is over and Stu won! And yes, all those non sequiturs Stu used to give himself “…just the right emotional tone of amused disbelief” were really uttered by the one and only Dan Quayle. They’re on record, folks. If you don’t believe me, look them up.

But “Captain Krool and the No-Bodies” is revealed to be a sham, a disguise masking the work of a greater villain. The “Stu Bowl” is still on, a contest between two teams continues, and our hero Stu and his teammates, Edzl the Nebboid and Norbert the Wiener, are in the soup, or stew, or anyway, they’re in trouble! With an assist from a unexpected player, the Chimera (after whom this blog is named), the good guys save the day.

We’re grateful that the ploy by a superhuman being from another universe was foiled and while we’re on the subject of gratitude, I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving!

For those of us who have sufficient food, clothing, shelter, and medicine to thrive in this world, gratitude is indeed a skillful response. For many of us that sufficiency derives in no small part from our own hard work, honest labor, and resourcefulness.

Most of us also are grateful to family and friends for their help in coping with a complex, unpredictable, and often difficult world.

But we also rely on an enormous number of people of whom we know nothing. Every meal we take serves as an example. There is an amazing network of human beings involved in providing the food on which we nourish ourselves. Most of them are unknown to us. This network of support is the backbone of our world, of our civilization.

Increasingly, we are seeing that this network, as marvelous as it is, has flaws. Some of it is based on unsustainable resources, on fossil fuels, on pollution, on methods that are poisoning the planet. Some of the people on our world don’t have access to the marvelous network.

There are many people who are trying to address this inequity, but there are more of us who don’t see the problems, don’t want to see the problems, and don’t want to deal with the consequences of the problems. We want to hold on tight to our comfort, for ourselves and our family and our friends. Many of our leaders and politicians pander to our craving for comfort above all, and are unwilling to look for long-term solutions. But a network is about interconnection. Any failure in this web of countless nodes will eventually come home to roost.

No {Hu]Man is an Island 
John Donne

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.

The older I get, the more attached I am to comfort. I like my life the way I like it. I may become very irritated when any unwelcome intrusion rises up and confounds me. But a broader view of the marvelous network of life (and not only human life) provides an opportunity to gain a sense of undiminished self, a self not bound, a self that is limitless.

Cyberdogs Norbert the Wiener and Zeldoid, do a dance of gratitude.

NEXT TIME: The conclusion of “Asteroid Stu and the Mind-Duel.” Hopefully, the blogger hereabouts will return to his usual, sillier mode of being.

Asteroid Stu and the Mind-Duel is a 54-page, black and white comic available in print or Kindle versions at Amazon.com.

Join Asteroid Stu, the Asteroid Zone’s premier private eye as he matches wits with the sinister Captain Krool. Aided by his trusty sidekick, the cybernetically enhanced mutant dachsund, Norbert the Wiener, and accompanied by Edzl the Nebboid, and Quakor, the space-duck and agent of the Galactic Bureau of Investigation, Stu uncovers a dark secret that threatens to destroy the entire solar system! This is a “prequel” to Multiverse Comics and Stories.

Mutiverse Comics and Stories is a 106-page, full-color comic also available from Amazon.com.

Multiverse Comics & Stories is an homage to the best in kids’ comics of the 40’s and 50’s with a vocabulary and sense of humor that’s perhaps a little more sophisticated. The 3 main stories are: “The Case of the Renegade Refrigerator,” featuring Virtual Man and Zeldoid the Cyberdog; “Invasion of the Bozobots,” describing a parallel-earth overrun with bizarre humanoid robots; and “Conversation with a Chimera,” from the case files of Asteroid Stu, the Asteroid Zone’s stellar (and probably only) private eye. This is a zany science-fiction fantasy romp which eschews the usual superhero power plays and violence even as our heroes thwart 2 alien invasions. A wild assortment of supporting characters include Mojo Cat; Norbert the Weiner, another Cyberdog; Eyesaur the Dinosaur; the Discombobulator; Rocket-Powered Robot Buzz-Saws; Edzl the Nebboid; the xenophobic Rhombulans; Big Boye, godlike being from another universe; Frank Serious, WSIT News Anchor; Astral Aura, Sorceress Supreme; Dr. Dudley Wiser, resident eccentric genius; SuperFrog, amphibian from another Galaxy; Quakor, agent with the Galactic Bureau of Investigation; Betsy-the-Brain-Who-Wouldn’t-Die; Iris, managing artificial intelligence of the Simulated Ivory Tower; and SORT, the Semi-Omnipotent Repair Technician. Winged bunnies and flying bananas also have cameo appearances. There is even a brief nod to a certain inexplicable POTUS. Enjoy!

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