Walking with Gandhi

October 2, 2012

No, I don’t mean Mohandas Gandhi, the great Indian leader, who is credited with breaking up the stranglehold of the British empire. I would not be able to walk with him because he died already in 1948 and I would also not be able to walk with him in a spiritual sense because his philosophy and his methods are not universally applicable, even if they succeeded in India (according to the sanitized version of history, more about this point later).

1948 was a momentous year, not only was Mohandas Gandhi assassinated, another one million Indians died in sectarian violence between Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs; nine million Indians were displaced and had to migrate as the separation of India and Pakistan was finalized.

In 1948 the nations of Burma and Israel declared independence and Israel drove about 720,000 Palestinians out of their homeland. This was the beginning of a quiet genocide, which is slowly but steadily, relentlessly, and systematically conducted until today.

1948 was a momentous year which also saw the installment of the Marshall Plan, the inauguration of GATT, The first Kashmir war, the assassination of Egypt’s Prime Minister Mahmud Fahmi Nokrashi by the Muslim Brotherhood (the Brothers have indeed a rich history), and various other more or less violent events (as a matter of fact rather more than less violent).

I have to admit, that I’m intrigued by and interested in the number 48 also for personal reasons and because 4 and 8 are powers of two, which is significant in the binary number system.

The Palestinian conflict is one example where Gandhi’s methods would not have succeeded, another example is the ongoing conflict in Syria. Without the unwavering and courageous resistance of the Syrian army this country would be already a failed state like Somalia, the DRC, Yemen, Libya, and Afghanistan.

More than 8,000 Syrian soldiers and policemen have died until now and still the army stands firm, ready to make any necessary sacrifice to save their homeland the fate of other countries who came into the crosshairs of the West. Qatar is offering huge bribes to defectors but until now only the most despicable characters have left.

This is a conscript army, a fact that together with the (unintended) purification by Qatar may explain why Syria still can hold out against the broad coalition of NATO, the Arab monarchies, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Al-Qaeda.

Before the conflict started there were not many weapons in circulation, the Syrian police and government militias were mostly unarmed, a fact which resulted in an exorbitant high casualty rate of the security forces in the first phase of the conflict.

Thousands of Syrians demonstrated peacefully for Bashar al-Assad in a manner that would perfectly fit Gandhi’s methodology, but reports of this demonstrations were suppressed by Western media (the revolution will not be televised) and the mass demonstrations didn’t deter at all the armed bandits sent by NATO and the GCC from committing random massacres, the demonstrations didn’t prevent arson, bombing attacks, kidnapping and torturing.

The same had happened before in Libya where tens of thousands gathered in Tripoli’s Green Square in support of Muammar Gaddafi with no Western media coverage.

The reality and the limits of protest movements

I revere Mohandas, or as he later was called Mahatma “The Great Soul” Gandhi and regard him as a visionary and an inspiration for peace loving people around the world. He was the 20th century’s most famous advocate of nonviolent politics and his example motivated many other leader, such as Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and the Dalai Lama.

His strategy of civil disobedience and mass protests in public spaces though was not the main cause that colonial rule ended. The British, exhausted by the Second World War, were not able to maintain their status as a worldwide colonial power, they were in fact desperate to get rid of their Indian possessions.

Mass protests in the spirit of Gandhi seldom worked to overcome despotic rule or corrupt pupped regimes of imperial powers or military occupation, mass protests never deterred military aggression. Mass protests didn’t work for the Palestinians (as proved by the Intifada), they didn’t work for Libyans, Bahrainis, Yemenites, Syrians, or any other oppressed, abused, exploited, terrorized, tyrannized populations.

Mass protests (color revolutions) worked to overthrow the communist rulers of Eastern European countries but these movements were either organized and staged or instantly co-opted by the West and they only replaced one exploitative system by another one.

Even more disastrous were the results of the “Arab Spring” protests, which until now have only resulted in the installment of Islamist governments in Tunisia and Egypt, and in the destruction of Libya.

The in this context often mentioned “Occupy Wall Street” protests never reached the status of a mass movement (one cannot by any stretch call a rally with not more than two or three thousand participants a mass protest). In an individualistic and competition based society like it exists in the USA, mass movements are probably not possible.

Gandhi’s true and lasting legacy

Mohandas Gandhi wanted freedom not only from imperial rule but also from modern industrial society, whose ways Western imperialists had spread during his life to the remotest corners of the globe. 

While working in South Africa for an Indian trading firm, he was exposed to the dramatic transformation wrought by the tools of Western modernity which were: printing presses, steamships, railways, and machine guns. In Africa and Asia, a large part of the world’s population was being incorporated into, and made subject to the demands of the international capitalist economy.

Gandhi keenly registered the negative moral and psychological effects of the worldwide destruction of traditional ways and life styles and the ascendancy of Western cultural, political, and economic norms; his experiences in South Africa significantly shaped his views.

He upheld the traditional virtues of Indians: simplicity, patience, frugality, spirituality, and he favored the self-sufficient rural community over the heavily armed and centralized nation-state, the small cottage industries over big factories. Gandhi’s advocacy of small-scale village industry and environmentally sustainable life styles is still a factor in Indian political discussions.

His ecological world view, summed up by his homily “The earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need but not enough for every man’s greed,” and his interest into organic farming are as appropriate and exemplary now as they were then.

A few days before he became India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru received a letter from his mentor Gandhi, who wrote: “I am convinced, that if India is to attain true freedom, and through India the world also, then sooner or later the fact must be recognized that people will have to live in villages, not towns; in huts, not in palaces.”

Urban advocates in todays India avow their respect for the Gandhian approach to villages, but insist that it is outdated. They want to push even more villagers into towns or become migrant workers to join the industrial workforce, ignoring the fact, that the villagers existence will most likely be more miserable and the ecological devastation in both the countryside and the urban areas will increase. In Mumbai, a coastal city of 14 million, more than half of the city population lives in slums.

Statistical data clearly shows that Indian industrialization and urbanization is helping only a small elite of entrepreneurs. 37 percent of Indians live in poverty, 200,000 small farmers have committed suicide because they were driven into debt by unfulfilled promises of hyped cash crops (BT Cotton), 42 percent of the nation’s children under five are underweight and malnourished. India is in many respects doing worse than sub-Saharan Africa.

India’s Green Revolution of the 20th century only benefitted the big agribusiness corporations and international commodity traders, India’s IT (Information Technology) revolution of the 21st century will benefit only multinational corporations and the resource-hungry West.

Could Gandhi’s legacy shield India from further exploitation and destruction? Right now it doesn’t seem so, because the nations politicians are corrupt and easy to bribe, the plight of the broad population doesn’t concern them.

The religious aspect of Gandhi’s philosophy

Unfortunately Gandhi integrated his religious beliefs with his political ones, coming to the conclusion that the triumph of a scientific world view over a religious one had “desacralized nature and made it prey without impunity to the most ruthlessly systematic extractive political economies.” He consequently rejected many beneficial results of scientific and technological progress like modern medicine, mechanized mass production, and transportation.

In 1909, on a letter to Lord Ampthill, Gandhi wrote, “railways, machinery, and corresponding increase of indulgent habits are the true badges of slavery of the Indian people as they are of Europeans”.

The antipathy to modern science and technology was based on the assumption, that they are contradictory and incompatible with Indian spirituality and religion. Science and religion are clearly incompatible but a scientific world view doesn’t necessarily exclude spirituality.

If spirituality is defined as the emotional, intuitive, and subconscious dimension of our life, is can be easily integrated with science. The emotional world, the power of intuition, and the various states of meditation, contemplation, prayer, trance, and other mind-body interventions can be explained by neurology and described as the interaction of synaptic functions and neurotransmitters, as the information exchange and the complex collaboration between autonomic and endocrine nervous systems with the brain via hypothalamus.

Neurology together with information theory can sufficiently explain the cooperation of millions of neurons in pattern recognition and working memory actions, which are primarily the conscious part of our mind but include also subconscious functionality.

I will discuss particularities and details about meditation, consciousness, and religion in further blog posts, in the present context I have to sum up this point with the conclusion, that Gandhi’s religious convictions were a negative influence and a grave impediment to his analytical skills. His religious beliefs prevented him from developing more powerful, convincing, and timeless visions.

Though I’m aware that Gandhi’s record and legacy are disputed he is still one of my role models, he is an inspirations, he is a saint.

He had racist tendencies (probably caused by his British education), he had strange ideas about sexuality, he confused spirituality and the emotional aspect of our existence with religion, but he was a messenger of peace, tolerance, and justice.

His life ended tragically when he had to observe the partition of British India into Hindu- and Muslim-majority states, the accompanying murder and uprooting of millions of Hindus and Muslims and the start of a continuous armed conflict and a debilitating arms race between India and Pakistan.

His last major act was a hunger strike protesting the Indian government’s attempt to deny Pakistan its due share of resources.

Gandhi’s record and legacy are disputed, he is revered but also reviled. There is a special website http://www.gandhism.net which tries to throw mud on him. A similar website btw exists for Martin Luther King http://www.martinlutherking.org. I’m quite sure that there is also a defamatory site about Nelson Mandela, though I didn’t find it until now (wasn’t Mandela after all a friend and supporter of Muammar Gaddafi and isn’t he a friend and admirer of Fidel Castro Ruz?)

I tried to explain the policy of this website and the reason for its existence already several times but a few days ago while looking through old blog posts in search of a special phrase I suddenly realized what this blog is all about: This is a blog for politically interested and critical thinking cat lovers.

Would it help to choose a more acicular and descriptive blog title, like for example: PolitiCat, Catarchist, Catalysis, Catabolism, Cataclysm, Catharsis, Catastrophe? All of these words (especially Catastrophe and Catharsis) would be very appropriate, but one word alone is probably not explanatory enough.

“Cats For World Peace”, “The Analytical Cat”, “CAT-News-Scan”? None of these is a really catching title, and “The Analytical Cat” could also be misunderstood as a reference to “Cognitive Analytic Therapy.”

As I sifted through the dictionary I discovered that not every word with the letter combination C-A-T has a feline connotation. The term CAT scan for instance doesn’t mean that a cat is sniffing at the patient from every angle to find out the exact location of the tumor, it rather stands for “Computed Axial Tomography,” and the scan uses X-rays instead of cats.

Before I become Categorically disturbed, I have to remind myself that Catholicism is not the faith of the congregation of cat hosts, but rather a Christian denomination, that a Cathedral is not the place of worship for faithful cats but the principle church of a diocese, and that the term Catacombs does not mean the secret hideouts of our feline friends but rather human-made subterranean passageways for religious practice.

A Catapult is not a slingshot to hurl a cat like a projectile and Catalonia is not the promised land where the tribe of the oppressed cats of this world one day in future will set up their own independent state, but rather a Spanish region (which wants to be independent too btw).

I would very much like the title “The Cat Whisperer” or “The Meditating Cat”, but there are already at least a hundred websites with exactly these names.

It seems that for now I have to leave the blog title as it is, maybe one of the readers can give me a hint, maybe someone more clever than I can come up with an ingenious suggestion. 

The blog title “Walking with Gandhi,” doesn’t refer to Mohandas Gandhi, it refers to a little three month old cat boy who joined Mato’s cats when my sister in law deposited a cat mother with her tree tiny kitten at my home because she (the sister in law) was beset by personal problems and was moving to a flat where cats were not allowed.

Mia (the cat mother) and Gandhi Jr. (her little boy) are not fully accepted yet by the cat establishment. Princess Min Ki seems to warm up to Gandhi and she doesn’t mind that he follows her closely and watches her, they also occasionally chase each other and it looks quite funny, when little Gandhi chases Min Ki, who is so much bigger than he.

The other cats though still shun the newcomers. Wendy for example, who otherwise is the most friendly cat of the family and even is on good terms with the outsiders Ma Xi and Sumo, continues to growl at Gandhi, when he approaches her.

Mia and her little boy will probably ask themselves: “Why do they hate us?” (a question that is asked by nationalities, minorities, immigrants, aliens, and queer, eccentric, uncommon people all over the world, a question which points to an issue that for sure deserves a thorough discussion in another blog post).

I don’t think that Mato’s cats are more xenophobic than the average cat population.

The blog title “Walking with Gandhi” refers to a walk with the cat family that I made last week. It was a walk which took place late at night and which was remarkable in several aspects.

When I walk with the cats late at night, I have alway a small LED flashlight with me, because the secret and partly overgrown pathways that we use on our walks cannot be negotiated in complete darkness. The cats have no difficulties to find their way and if I could just follow them they would safely guard me along the chosen route. Unfortunately my cat companions take shortcuts slipping through the underbrush where I cannot follow them and they also don’t mind and easily avert the thorny branches of buckthorn and wild gooseberries, which will bring me in serious trouble when I get entangled in them.

The little flashlight allows me not only to access the more impassable areas of the wood, it is also helpful to easily locate my little friends. It often happens on our walks that I suddenly seem to be left alone, but when I switch on the light, little pairs of yellow/green dots shine bright all around me. Cats have a reflective layer behind the retina that sends light which passes through the retina back into the eye, thereby enabling them to recognize even the faintest details in the darkness.

When we walk on the main path the cats usually follow me casually, sniffing here and there, chasing each other or disappearing in the bushes if they find something interesting. When I switch on the flashlight I often see a column of yellow/green pairs of dots. Some are static, others are bouncing up and down, it is an incredible sight and I’m always deeply moved, when the little pairs of shiny dots come nearer and nearer until suddenly my little companions appear from the dark.

The sky was clear this night and a slender crescent moon shone mystically through the line of old pine trees along the southern border of the big clearing in the middle of the forest. Most of the trees around the clearing are young and between two and three meters high, this line of old trees with a height of 20 meters and more are the remnants of what must have been a majestic old growth forest.

The strong storms, which become more and more regular because of human induced climate change, always break down a few of these majestic trees, leaving jagged tree stumps standing and splinters scattered around. The wood splinters are often several meters long and so big that one cannot even lift them. Spruce trees sometimes are toppled completely intact with their root system lifted out of the ground.

In a few years this group of majestic trees will be completely gone.

The cat walk on this day had an unusual cast. Princess Min Ki and Wendy represented the cat establishment, they were joined by Mia and her little boy. Mia and little Gandhi had fully embraced the walking routine as soon as Gandhi could walk longer distances and they now are eager not to miss any event.

Because of the two new participants I’m choosing easier routes for the time being and normally we stroll along the main path, crossing the clearing until a point some 20 meters after the clearing where we divert to the left into a young growth forest.

The log pile there that I mentioned in earlier blog posts has disappeared, it seems that the forest owner fell out with the man who until last year was allowed to collect firewood from the forest. Early in spring the log pile was replaced by an ugly pile of construction rubble, a material that the forest owner occasionally uses to stabilize the ground of the main pathways.

Right now the pile of rubble is not ugly because grass, flowers, and all kind of bushes are growing on it and are completely covering it. The pile of rubble has become a little hill and looks quite nice. The plants of the forest are indeed robust and resourceful, they conquer and colonize even the most uninhabitable places.

After reaching the diversion point we normally follow a narrow and winding path until we reach the old growth area which leads from the northern border of the forest along the western border till a wild growing jungle in the South. This juggle includes also the area right beside my home and it is the favorite playground of the cat family.

As we were crossing the big clearing I turned on the flashlight to look for my cat comrades and suddenly I saw an additional pair of bright shining cat eyes appear and becoming bigger and bigger. I first thought, that it was Rosy who had followed us and now ran after us to unite with the pack.

But it was not Rosy, this cat was lightning fast, as fast as Cindy would have been. It was of course also not Cindy, because Cindy tragically died one year ago. As the cat reached us, I realized that it was Gandhi senior. He didn’t stop and ran right through the group but he was waiting some ten meters ahead of us.

I have told the story of Gandhi senior (which is also the story how and why our little cat boy was named Gandhi) already two posts ago but I repeat it in short for those who cannot remember or who missed the post.

Gandhi senior is a big and beautiful ginger tomcat. He is intact (that means in cat host terminology that he is not neutered) and despite this fact he is very peaceful and not aggressive at all. Gandhi reportedly has a host family who feeds him and also occasionally brings him to the vet but he is not allowed into the house even in winter.

Gandhi is most probably not the name his host family uses but as I didn’t know how they call him I chose a name that I thought was appropriate and he didn’t object my choice. Gandhi was visiting us last summer and autumn for several month and he also frequently joined the walks until our rogue family member Ma Xi, who is neutered but despite that not peaceful and rather aggressive, chased him away.

Ma Xi is not a nice and agreeable cat, and he deeply resents Mia and her little boy. He was an outsider already before, but now he is becoming more and more unfriendly and he only appears to eat his food hastily. When he has finished he instantly leaves the house. He still wants to make walks, but not with the new family members, consequently he has developed the habit to wait for me in the forest across the road till I come and make a walk with him alone.

I hoped that he would be able to find a new host family but it has not happened until now — everybody here has already one or more cats. I would not like to see him joining a cat colony on one of the neighboring farms and I would not like him to become a feral cat again, because without veterinarian care he would have a miserable life and would die soon.

I have no idea how this story will develop and if we will be able to find a humane and cat-appropriate solution. Cat relations for sure can be quite complicated.

Back to the reported cat walk:

Mia seemed to be mesmerized by Gandhi senior and she tried to approach him, but he slipped away and retreated onto the little hill of rubble that I described before. It could very well be that the father of Mias babies was a ginger cat and that she had fond memories which she wanted to revive.

When I called him, Gandhi senior didn’t come to me like he always did last year but he followed us for the rest of the walk, intermingling with the other cats. He also didn’t come into the house to eat with us but rather disappeared into the darkness when we reached our home.

It was intriguing to see the two Gandhi cats in close proximity and be able to compare. Little Gandhi is a bit more than half the size of his big namesake, he will probably never be as big as Gandhi senior, because his mother is a very small and slender cat. His mother Mia is even smaller than Wendy, who was until now the smallest cat of the family.

Mia is the daughter of Rosy’s sister Mary, a cat who my wife transferred to my sister in law who lives in Munich. I didn’t realize at that time that my sister in law doesn’t take care of her cats and only in acute medical emergencies visits the vet, if I would have known I would not have agreed to give Mary away.

Mary was not spayed and soon got pregnant. My sister in law kept the most pretty one of the kittens (Mia) and distributed the other cat babies among her work colleagues. It is likely that Mia’s father was a Siamese, as purebred cats are common in urban areas. Soon after that Mary fortunately found another host and reportedly is doing well but Mia stayed with my sister in law.

The ice is slowly melting

No, I don’t mean the ice in Antarctica or the Greenland ice shield or the permafrost in Siberia (which would release huge amounts of methane and CO2). This subtitle means the symbolic (emotional) ice between the cat establishment and the two immigrants, which fortunately is melting away.

It seems that the two immigrants are slowly and gradually accepted and integrated into the cat community. Princess Min Ki made the start and yesterday Wendy sniffed at Gandhi without growling, Rosy also didn’t growl when she rested together with me on the kitchen bench and Gandhi came and laid down beside us.

Today I was again sitting on the kitchen bench, eating my muesli and sipping a cup of sage tea. Little Gandhi had taken place on my lap, a move that normally is appreciated by the other cats because it means that he is quiet, that he is not running and jumping around and not bothering anybody.

He is always around me. When I go to the toilet and close the door, because I want to have some privacy, he is desperately meowing and scratching on the door till I open it again. He is seemingly afraid that I could disappear and leave him alone and on his own in this hostile world.

No, I would never abandon him or any of the other cats. Of course, I could drop dead, I could have a sudden heart attack or a stroke. It would be a terrible experience for my little friends, they would sit around me and meow sorrowful and would poke me with their snouts and sniff at my dead corpse till the undertaker would come to carry me away forever.

I will try to avoid that fate, I’m living as healthy as possible, not smoking, not drinking, mainly eating the home grown food from the garden or from organic farms. There are of course environmental pollutants that one cannot avoid anymore, because they have extensively contaminated the biosphere. Some are clearly carcinogenic (POPs like dioxins and DDT, heavy metals), but when I get cancer, I can at least cleanup my act in time and look around to find a good place for my feline friends.

As I was sitting in the kitchen with little Gandhi on my lap, Rosy came in, jumped onto the kitchen bench and laid down beside me. Rosy is now eight years old and she, as I told before, is the aunt of Mia and the grandaunt of Gandhi. Rosy doesn’t know this and if she would know she probably wouldn’t care, because family relations don’t mean much for adult cats.

Rosy looked very long at him and when he curled up to sleep she sighed and put down her head, probably thinking: “Maybe this kitten after all is not that bad” (I know the cats quit well and though I have to guess I’m quite sure that it was exactly what she was thinking).

Gandhi Jr. is full of energy and he runs around in the house and in the garden and he crawls into every hole and climbs onto bushes, fences, and any elevated platforms. Trees are still quite difficult for him, but he practices all the time and is improving fast, he is undoubtedly destined to become an excellent tree climber.

Yet, with his unbounded energy he is often annoying the other cats, which want to have peace and quiet. 

Gandhi also tries to catch the flies who made it through the open terrace door into the sitting room and from there into the kitchen. Rosy did the same in her youth but now with 8 years and a figure that rivals that of her fellow cat Sumo she is not fast enough anymore.

Gandhi’s attempts to catch flies would be very welcome if he wouldn’t wreck the curtains in his efforts to follow the flies higher up. Fortunately there are not many flies in the house, because I have fly screens on every window (aluminum mesh of course because the cats would ruin any softer material). The windows are covered, the terrace door though is not protected because it is a big sliding door and I have not figured out until now how to install a compatible fly screen.

Yesterday evening Gandhi annoyed also me. He first scratched at my bedroom door, meowing and squeaking till I let him in, ten minutes later he scratched at the door to get out and another ten minutes later he scratched and meowed to get in again. When I let him in reluctantly and told him that this is not fun, he first kept quiet laying on the blanket just till I fell asleep and then he started running around until he finally jumped onto the window sill and scratched at the fly screen (which fortunately is made of aluminum as I just wrote).

The rest of the night he spent outside in the hall.

I now understand why the resident cats in their initial impulse rejected the two newcomers. They knew that little cat boys can be quite annoying.

Gandhi is not mentally disturbed, he has not ADHD, he is not traumatized, he is not psychopathic. He is just a little young cat who has to discover the rules and limits of cat society and the rules and limits of life in general.

Mia is a good mother and she has educated her kitten well. She never slaps Gandhi even if he is very unruly and rambunctious. She is a follower of the antiauthoritarian education style, quite understandable from her urban background.

Princess Min Ki grew up on a farm and has a more down-to-earth approach. As it seems that she will support Mia with the education of the little Gandhi boy he will probably be occasionally slapped if he doesn’t obey, Min Ki did that also with Cindy and Wendy.

I’m quite intrigued by the concept of antiauthoritarian education and I myself never slapped my own son Alexander. But I understand that one occasionally has to make compromises and that practical experience trumps ideology at any time.

Gandhi is okay, he is friendly and social, he is intelligent and a fast learner. He has learned a lot in the first three month of his life. He is always watching Mia and the other cats. Mia unfortunately is not a good mouse catcher, how could she be, when she grew up and was spending the first four years of her life in a flat in the city?

Showing Gandhi the tricks and trades of cat life in a natural environment will be the task of Princess Min Ki.

Gandhi Jr. is a wonderful addition to the cat family. He was the most friendly and most playful one of Mia’s three kitten to begin with, fortunately the people who took his two siblings didn’t know that, otherwise they would have maybe chosen him instead of the black kitten. Gandhi is intelligent and reasonable, never scratches and never had litter box problems (a common behavior problem of cats which is also called euphemistically inappropriate elimination).

He protested, when I took the litter box away and I had to put it back again because he sniffed around and started scratching on the floor at the point where the box formerly was. So he got his indoor toilet again but when I saw him approaching the litter box I carried him outside to a place with loose soil where he could easily dig a hole to do his business. And when I was cleaning the box and he was watching (he is always around me and watching me) I complained angrily to him that this was completely avoidable because he could as well go outside to do his business.

Two weeks ago I had not time to clean the litter box for two days and when he realized it he went out by himself and since then doesn’t use the box anymore. Just as I write this I see him coming back into the house dripping wet after he went out into the pouring rain to pee. Even the adult cats rather would consider to use the litter box in such circumstances.

I also only had to tell him a few times not to sharpen his claws on the kitchen furniture before he stopped. I never saw a cat who was as compliant and insightful as he is.

While I write this text, little Gandhi is sitting on my lap (this is now the normal state of things). I softly touch his head, which is about two-thirds the size of an adult cats head. A beautiful little head with a highly capable brain which despite its small size contains all the feelings, dreams, aspirations, and hopes of a sentient being.

And as I look at the little cat boy I have the lyrics of Pieces of Dreams in my head, one of the many marvelous songs Alan and Marilyn Bergman contributed to the great American songbook. I know this song only in the version of Sarah Vaughan, which is all what I need because I cannot imagine that anyone else will interpret this song as sensible and meaningful as Sassy (thats Sarah’s nickname) did.

This is not the most ingenious piece of the Bergman’s and the last lines of the lyrics are not as convincing as the start, it seems they ran out of ideas just before the end of the song. Compared with the crap that is presented by todays Hip Hop, Hard Rock, and Urban Contemporary stars it is still marvelous and if one compares it with the lyrics of Sondheim’s Send In The Clowns or other popular music stadards it becomes very clear who the real masters of 20th century American music were.

Little boy lost
In search of little boy found
You go a wondering, wandering,
Stumbling, tumbling, round! round!
When will you find
What’s on the tip of your mind?
Why are you blind
To all you ever were, never were,
Really are, nearly are?
Little boy false
In search of little boy true
Will you be ever done traveling,
Always unraveling you, you?
Running away
Could lead you further astray
And as for fishing in streams
For pieces of dreams,
Those pieces will never fit
What is the sense of it?
Little boy blue
Don’t let your little sheep roam
It’s time, come blow your horn,
Meet the morn,
Look and see,
Can you be far from home?

One comment

  1. […] wrote about Gandhi Sr. as well as the Junior already in my blog post Walking with Gandhi and reading this earlier post would be very helpful to better understand the […]


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