Fandango’s Provocative Question #89

I think we need to start with a definition because Karma means different things to different people and faiths, including people of no particular faith. The dictionary says:


In Hinduism and Buddhism, the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences. That is an extremely simplistic answer to a very complex subject. Informally, it refers to destiny or fate, as an effect from a cause. What most of us mean is “what goes around, comes around,” or some version of “the chickens come home to roost when you least expect them.” 

There are a million “expressions” that, on some level, refer to karma or karmic patterns. From the simplest “he got what he deserved,” to an intricate pattern in a horoscope or other psychic reading. I think we all believe in karma — on some level — or at least wish it were true. Because there are so many people who deserve a good kick in the ass for the terrible lives they have lived.

Shakespeare said (“Julius Caesar”):

“The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones.”

I basically believe that we all reap what we sow. Whether or not we reap it in this life or in some other life yet to be lived is another matter. I’m not at all sure how I feel about the life-after-life concept. I like it in principle, but is it true? Real? Does it have anything to do with me or mine?

Is my Karma written in my chart? I don’t know. I never knew. The “psychic arts” have always been to much art and too little science for my fact-driven mind. Yet I also know that many things that happen to us in the course of our lives have no rational — scientific or mathematical or even logical — explanation. I have witnessed the inexplicable not once, but several times. I can’t cast off these events because I was there. They happened to me and they changed my life. So whenever I get too bound up in truth as fact, reality as science, I remember that I am not alive today because of science but rather because something completely without logic or science intervened.

What does that mean? I simply don’t know. I didn’t know at the time and I still don’t know. Something happened. It wasn’t a dream, it wasn’t drugs, it wasn’t hypnosis or delusion. It just happened. And why me? What have I done to deserve an extra shot (or three) at life when everything screamed “dead by morning”? The doctors didn’t know either. All they could say was “something happened” and send me home as quickly as they could lest something else — not so good — happen.

It does not seem to me that the best people get the best breaks or the worst people suffer the worst fates. The randomness of Karma — in all its manifestations — is what leaves me baffled by it. Evil people thrive and good people die young. What about the babies? The little ones who die in wars and accidents and plagues? Is that from a former life or are they being called to be part of a different life? I don’t have answers. I’m sure I never will.

We all want to believe in some kind of cosmic justice, in a fate linked to the quality of our life. But even when I’ve been give that “extra chance,” I never knew why I should be chosen. I was no better than anyone else and worse than many. I think on this one, we just get to wonder what it means … and what it means to us and ours.


A Photo a Week Challenge: October

Usually we get all the leaf color changes in October, but this year, because of the drought, it showed up in September. So although this is the beginning of October, the color and the pictures come from September. Anyway, it’s only the second of the month, so the likelihood of our having gotten outside to take pictures is pretty small.

The other night we had a rain and wind storm and most of the leaves blew down off the trees. It will be interesting to see if winter comes early too.


Music from Chicago, the city, 1970 Edition, by Rich Paschall

It was a good year for music from Chicagoland. Some groups had already hit the big time, and some were on their way. Some scored many big hits, others hit the limelight just once. Here are a few top-selling songs from Chicago area bands in 1970. Which one is best?

The Five Stairsteps were a brother and sister act. It started out as 5 teenagers. The father, Clarence Burke, Sr. was a Chicago Police detective. He backed the group on bass guitar and co-wrote some of the songs. O-o-h Child was their biggest hit and made Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Some day, yeah
We’ll walk in the rays of a beautiful sun
Some day
When the world is much brighter

In 1966 the Ides of March formed in the near west Chicago suburb of Berwyn, Illinois. They had local success with the big AM radio stations playing a couple of their songs. In 1970 the band hit it big with “Vehicle,” one of our “One Hit Wonders,” 1970 Edition. Jim Peterik wrote the hit tune and went on a few years later to form Survivor where he had a few more hits. Now he is back with Ides of March and recently co-wrote the song “Everything Is Gonna Work Out Fine,” with Robert Lamm (Chicago) for Chicago, the band.

I’m your vehicle, baby
I’ll take you anywhere you want to go
I’m your vehicle, woman
By now I’m sure you know

The Chicago Transit Authority

Chicago had a number of big hits in 1970. “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is,” was written and sung by Robert Lamm. It was the first song recorded for their first album, Chicago Transit Authority, in January of 1969. It was released as a single in 1970 after the success of “Make Me Smile” and “25 or 6 to 4” from their second album, Chicago II. It was Chicago’s third straight Top Ten single. It is one of my all-time favorites. I have seen the band do it live many times. There is nothing like seeing Chicago in Chicago.

Does anybody really know what time it is (I don’t)
Does anybody really care (care about time)
If so I can’t imagine why (no, no)
We’ve all got time enough to cry

It’s the Golden Anniversary for these. Which is your favorite?

See Also: One Hit Wonders, 1970 Edition” Serendipity, September 13, 2020.


Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Pets and Farm Animals

Pets and farm animals, all in black and white. Well, it’s a pretty black & white world we seem to be living in, so why not?

Cee's Black-White


Last photo for September 2020bushboys world

This has been the kind of year where when it finally leaves, we’ll double-lock the door behind it. Please, 2020, don’t come back!

I tend to leave my last CD card in the reader until I have a new one with which to replace it. So I always know what my final picture for the month was because the CD is still in the reader. Let’s see what it was. Ah, one of the batch I never got around to processing. I meant to get to them, but I didn’t … so here’s a yellow tree the day before the wind and the rain steal the colors away.