Something To Think About

So begins a series of quotations or sayings that you might ponder over.  The first one comes from the Gilbert and Sullivan opera, The Gondoliers.  Written at a time when both lyricist and composer were at their peak, the opera features soaring choruses and witty dialogue.  The quintet, “Try we life-long” is one of the most famous in the G and S canon.  No less a personage than Isaac Asimov considered the last two lines among the finest Gilbert ever wrote.

All:  “Try we life-long, we can never

Straighten out life’s tangled skein,

Why should we, in vain endeavor.

Guess and guess and guess again?…

Life’s perhaps the only riddle

That we shrink from giving up!”

About Robert M. Weiss
From an early age, I've taken great pleasure in reading. Also, I learned to play my 78 player when I was quite young, and enjoyed listening to musicals and classical music. I remember sitting on the floor, and following the text and pictures of record readers, which were popular in the 1940s and 50s. My favorites were the Bozo and Disney albums. I also enjoyed watching the slow spinning of 16s as they spun out tales of adventure. I have always been attracted by rivers, and I love to sit on a boulder with my feet in the water, gazing into the mysteries of swirling currents. I especially like inner tubing on the Rogue River in Southern Oregon. Since my early youth, I've been interested in collecting minerals, which have taught me about the wonderful possibilities in colors and forms. Sometimes I try to imagine what the ancient Greeks must have felt when they began to discover physical laws in nature. I also remember that I had a special passion for numbers, and used to construct them out of stones. After teaching Russian for several years, I became a writer, interviewer, editor, and translator. I continue to delight in form, and am a problem solver at heart.

4 Responses to Something To Think About

  1. berlioz1935 says:

    Life is a riddle as the Universe itself. All seems to be a wonder to be hold. We are not giving up on the riddle because each generations ask the the question again. Through us, the Universe has become conscious of itself. And it is asking itself, “Where do I come from?” Up to now there is no answer to this question. Will there ever be an answer? We don’t know.


    • Piet Hein sometimes thought of “life as two boxes each containing the other’s key.” Thank you for your interesting questions. The third line really makes me ponder. Are we alone in the universe? You seem to imply we are. So much to think about…


      • berlioz1935 says:

        I’m not sure, whether we are alone. With billions of stars and planets one would think we are not. But we also must assume that we could be alone. Professor Brian Cox made an interesting five part series on the BBC

        and he thinks we could be alone. Actually it doesn’t matter, because of the distances involved, we will never meet another intelligent species.

        I’m reading the novel “Solaris” by the Polish writer Stanisław Lem
        and it is suggested that we humans are not interested in conquering the cosmos, but we rather want to expand Earth as far as the cosmos reaches. Further, we would not know what to do with the worlds. We do not want other worlds, only mirrors.

        The colonisation of America or Australia actually bears this out.


  2. Excellent points, Peter. So, you don’t believe in tesseracts(traveling through space by wrinkling, which is the shortest distance between two points). Thanks for sharing the link.


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