OCTOBER 31, 2013 8:06AM

A Matter of Words

words

It all comes down to words. Without words, there would be no language. Without language, there would be no civilization. Of all the things that set Man apart from every other creature on earth, it is words. They are infinitely malleable and, depending upon how they are put together to formRead full post »

OCTOBER 28, 2013 7:59AM

I Do Not Go Gentle...

old3  

Why am I so obsessed with being old? Why is it still a horrendous shock to realize that I, eternally young in mind and heart, am suddenly old in body? What happens to people as they age? When do they find themselves notRead full post »

OCTOBER 24, 2013 8:00AM

Cheating

Cheating  

Our society is so increasingly complex and difficult for any single individual to fully comprehend, let alone keep up with, that we are often totally unaware of the erosion of those things which raise humans above the other animals.

Simple honesty is aRead full post »

OCTOBER 21, 2013 8:34AM

Hype

HypeHave you noticed how ours is increasingly a culture of superlatives? Nothing is simply "good" anymore--it's 

"marvelous"/"amazing"/"stupendous"/"incredible." And even in punctuation, the old standby sentence-ending "period" is going the way of the dinosaur, being replaced by the exRead full post »

OCTOBER 17, 2013 8:24AM

Validation

Golden Gate 2

One of the most basic but unrecognized of all human needs is the need for validation--the reassurance from others that we not only exist but have value as human beings. We never outgrow our need for consideration, for courtesy, for friendship, for praise, all of which show us that we areRead full post »

OCTOBER 14, 2013 8:13AM

Time Travel and Jim Crow

Jim crow

Hatred and bigotry do not die easily, as any daily newscast or periodical will attest. There are still far, far, too many people who insist the President of the United States is somehow not qualified for the office, based on utterly specious logic masking blatant racism.  Still, despite oRead full post »

OCTOBER 10, 2013 8:00AM

Bureaucracies

Next 2

Oh, dear Lord, how I love bureaucracies! 

Yesterday, I mailed a book to a friend. I carefully put on more postage than I knew it needed, and dropped it in my corner mailbox. I found it in my own mailbox today, covered with important looking stickers totally obscuring the address ofRead full post »

OCTOBER 7, 2013 7:59AM

The Herd

Sheep 2

I’m far-too-frequently dismayed by stories of individuals being physically assaulted in public places while those in the immediate area do nothing to stop it.

And yet, in a natural disaster, acts of incredible bravery and self sacrifice are common. How can we reconcile these two disparatRead full post »

OCTOBER 3, 2013 8:25AM

Ben and Cleo

1963_Cleopatra

While I was never blessed with Narcissus's beauty, we do share an overwhelming element of self-absorption. I never cease to be amazed by me and by why I am the way I am, or why I see life the way I do.

I take inordinate delight in little things which wouldRead full post »

SEPTEMBER 30, 2013 8:09AM

"I," "Me," and "Everybody Else"

isolation

For absolutely no reason I’m aware of, I found myself pondering the difficulties in really, really grasping the difference between the elemental concepts of "I/me", "you," "them/they." All my life I’ve been painfully aware of these differences, and that there is me, and then there'Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 26, 2013 8:26AM

Slow Dancing

dancing

As so often happens, yesterday I heard a song from the late 70's/early 80's which swooped down, picked me up, and all but bodily threw me back in time to my early days in Los Angeles, and in a heartbeat I was in the Canyon Club, dancing with my friend LarryRead full post »

SEPTEMBER 23, 2013 8:45AM

That Which I Should Have Done,...

door 2  

My favorite painting in Chicago's Art Institute is Ivan Albright's "That Which I Should Have Done, I Did Not Do," (subtitled "The Door"). It is a somewhat-larger-than-life oil painting of a distorted, weathered door with an withered funeral wreath hanging from its center.Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 19, 2013 8:02AM

A Visit With The Dead

Dead 1

When my mother died, in 1971, I quit my job, bought a motor home, and took off in an effort to...what? I didn’t know and am still not sure. If it was to get away from thoughts of her death, it didn’t work, and I found myself in a cemetery inRead full post »

SEPTEMBER 16, 2013 8:28AM

A Ticket to Ride

Ticket 2

The imagination is one of mankind's most valuable assets. I take great delight in exercising mine, and truly enjoy playing games with myself. Today, I find myself playing The Great Philosopher and the Train of Time. My obsession with time and the speed of its passing is well known by anyone… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 12, 2013 8:00AM

Expletives

Expletives 2  

At the end of 1939’s classic film, Gone With the Wind, Vivian Leigh, as Scarlet O’Hara, asks Clark Gable’s Rhett Butler what she is to do without him, and he replies, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!” It was the firstRead full post »

SEPTEMBER 9, 2013 9:35AM

Words Written, Words Heard

books 2

I’m constantly fascinated by small things of which, though they have always existed, I suddenly become aware for the first time. 

I’ve only fairly recently begun having all my books done as audiobooks, and in the process thereof realized for the first time the really significaRead full post »

SEPTEMBER 5, 2013 8:28AM

Damned if You Do...

MoreThat we humans are able to exist at all in so infinitely-complex and frustrating a world is a testament to our resilience and flexibility. We are bombarded every moment of every day with contradictions and challenges and decisions, and somehow we manage to wend our way through the minefields,… Read full post »
SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 8:13AM

The Kindness of Strangers

Blanche

I've always loved Blanche DuBois' final line in “A Streetcar Named Desire,” when she takes the arm of the doctor who has come to escort her to a mental hospital: “I've always depended on the kindness of strangers.” Tell me, Blanche!

I have always depended on the kindnes… Read full post »

AUGUST 29, 2013 8:00AM

Simplism

123ABC

Sim•plism: noun, rare; the oversimplification of an issue.

In my endless search to try to figure out who I am, what I'm doing here, and what I'm supposed to accomplish in life, I have determined that one of the major roadblocks in my search is the fact that I operate and… Read full post »

AUGUST 26, 2013 8:00AM

"Oink"

Pig

I always got a kick out of the old saying that when it came to butchering pigs, they use “everything but the 'oink'.” I can relate...I do the same thing with my life. I find it difficult to get rid of anything, especially words, that I may either use in the… Read full post »

AUGUST 22, 2013 8:00AM

Walls

walls 1

The wall was one of Man's earliest, most useful, and most versatile inventions. Walls of branches and twigs and later solid wood enabled him to construct shelters against wind, rain, and cold, and thus were homes created. He soon learned walls of stone could be an effective way of keeping enem… Read full post »

AUGUST 19, 2013 8:10AM

Old Bones

dog 1

Like a dog with an old bone, some people...I being one of them...seem to become fixated on certain things, carrying that fixation with them wherever they go and refusing to let go of it. My fixation, as you surely know if you've read my blogs with any regularity, is on the… Read full post »

AUGUST 15, 2013 8:01AM

In Few Words

Aphorisms 2I've always loved aphorisms for their ability to provoke big thoughts in relatively few words. Writers are prone to coming up with them, and I've perhaps immodestly been collecting some of my own over the past year which I hope might spark a thought or two in you. The problem with… Read full post »
AUGUST 12, 2013 8:00AM

Life on Banana Peels

Banana peels 1

I go through life with two fresh banana peels affixed to the bottoms of my feet, and once I begin to slip, my brain goes into total, instant lockdown. I do not merely fall, I plunge into an abyss of confusion, frustration, and self-loathing for my ineptitude. The slightest mistake or… Read full post »

AUGUST 8, 2013 7:58AM

Priorities

Priorities 2

I have no problem setting priorities. The problem is, having set them, in determining which of them should come first. At the moment I'm writing this, I have at least four: 1) writing this blog; 2) listening to newly-narrated sections of the audiobook for A World Ago: A Navy Man's LettersRead full post »