A River Idyll And A Voice Dialogue

Along the banks of the river crawled a lizard.  It was olive green with a long tail.  Its eyes moved back and forth as if looking for something…

The river itself was an imposing force that demanded attention.  Its swift currents and mischievous eddies showed the stream was not to be taken lightly.

A keen eye could discern a scrap of raft near the beach, which was hanging on a willow.  The beach displayed an array of shiny pebbles, glittering in the sun.

Sometimes reeds would sway in a light breeze and blackberry bushes protruded from the quiet grass.

The ripples moved in expanding circles and a trout glided along the beckoning water.

 

A voice dialogue is a way to connect with the different parts of self, some of which are often ignored.  By revealing these voices, one can sometimes sense which ones are out of alignment, thus locating possible causes of emotional stress.  In the dialogue that follows, only one voice is identified.  What parts might the other four represent?

I.  “Well, here we are again.  Although it’s cool this morning, the weather is becoming splendid.”

V.  “A nice day to put your feet up and do nothing.”

III.  “You would say that.  With that attitude nothing would get accomplished.”

I.  “But a great deal was accomplished.  We read another twenty or so pages of the novel.”

V.  “Pretty boring if you ask me.”

III.  “But we didn’t ask you.  Perhaps, you should go to sleep, Sluggish, and let us do the work.”

V.  “I have as much right to be here as you do.  It was my suggestion that we listen to music when we took that ride last night.”

IV.  “We probably should have gotten out and walked to the river.”

I.  “But Sluggish is right.  The rest was needed.”

IV.  “But we will take a walk today.”

I.  “That’s our intention.”

II.  “Then perhaps we can learn more about operetta from the book we were reading.”

V.  “Oh, you and your books.”

I.  “I don’t want any arguments now.  Let’s settle down and go for that walk.”

Cello Player

                                                          CELLO PLAYER

A diffuse glow appears on the orchestra pit.

The music begins softly;  a faint, lilting melody rises…

Light slowly illuminates a tall girl playing the cello.

 

She plays the cello in total harmony.

Her body rhythm flows smoothly through brown hair and slim arms,

blending beautifully with the cello and escaping through the strings.

 

While she plays, my heart swings along her bow.

Sighing, the strings gently free the melody.

 

Hearing notes dance and leap,

tonal patterns bursting into stars,

her brown eyes ignite the music into a cosmic cry…

 

The chords slowly drift into empty space.

Her cello idles lazily at her shoulder.

She reduces the room to stillness.

 

So, too, I am reminded of my own rhythm.

In time, my strings will grow slack.

And I, too, must approach silence.

 

 

 

Some Thoughts About Scrapbooks, The New Year And Writing

My baby scrapbook, published by Richard G. Krueger, Inc. and designed by Ditzy in 1946. It was a gift from my godparents Aunt Jackie and Uncle Ralph.

My baby scrapbook, published by Richard G. Krueger, Inc. and designed by Ditzy in 1946. It was a gift from my godparents Aunt Jackie and Uncle Ralph.  At that time my name was “Rodger” Weiss, but was soon changed to Robert Weiss.

“Life may be a stage, but I wish I didn’t have a reserved seat!”–Uncle John from Aunt Jane’s Nieces by L. Frank Baum

Usually in the month of January I peruse my many scrapbooks.  I begin by looking at my baby scrapbook with its satin sheen cover and remarks about me by my mother, Twyla.  It takes me back to my childhood days of the 1950s, when people left their doors open, kids had vacant lots and piles of sand to play in, and lemonade stands were plentiful with lemonade one cent a cup.

However, time goes on and memories begin to fade as new memories take their place.  The almost unbearable slowness of  early childhood is exchanged for the almost unbearable speed of late adulthood.  And New Year follows New Year.  I think of lines by Robert Clairmont from Forever X:

When wrinkles cut your brow

And love goes gaily by,

Sing:  Young, old, tiny, tall,

Whatever happens, happens to all

When we leave this Odd Old Ball.

Indeed, this earth truly is an “odd old ball”.  Events follow events, triggering other events.

Like any mathematical curve, life has points that mark a change of direction.  Some of these points are obvious:  marriage, the birth of children, the loss of a beloved family member.  However, other points are not so obvious and I must admit that I envy Truman Burbank for he is able to “rewind” his life from the time he escaped his set up world to his birth.  Thus, he can see how certain events changed his thinking and further actions.  I am not so fortunate.  And when I look through old scrapbooks only pieces of experiences remain, so I have to reflect and guess at events that might have caused my life to shift dramatically.  Such critical points mark the essence of theater, novels and other writings where an author can juggle them and insert them where s/he wills.  Perhaps, that sense of power and completeness is what attracts us to literature.  The writer plays God just as Christoff does with Truman.  However, the individual must depend on his/her own wavering memories to try to understand the meaning of his/her life.

Crystal Spirit

 

CRYSTAL SPIRIT

 

Blue eyes hide a myriad of worlds.                                                                                                                                                                  Indian artifacts flow from nimble hands.                                                                                                                                                     Proud spirits of ancient chiefs keep watch.

She is a lady:  tall, noble, elegant.                                                                                                                                                                 She loves words, the magic of their sounds.                                                                                                                                             Colors are her joy:  red, blue, green…

A crystal of light shimmers                                                                                                                                                                         and traverses space on a cloud of thought.

 

 

Some Thoughts About Mathematics And Life

The one thing that comes to mind when I think about mathematics and life is:  You can’t solve any mathematical problem with a confused or unfocused mind.  So, to do a math problem your mind needs to be clear and directed to the problem at hand.  The same could be said about any problem that arises in a life situation.  We are more likely to achieve a better solution if our mind is tranquil and rational.  In other words,  unsettling, spoiling emotions must be kept at bay.  For, a great disturbance in many life events is the spilling over of emotions that cause us to act in an irrational manner and to reach sometimes distorted and even absurd “solutions”

In the realm of life problem solving, mathematical problems form only a tiny subset of all the problems we must deal with.  Mathematicians have established clearly defined rules for solving mathematical problems.  In their special province they serve as architects, beginning with the simple counting numbers or natural numbers, and then including 0 and the rational numbers and stretching out to the irrational numbers to form the set of real numbers.  The real number line is created where all these numerical sets have their home.  And mathematicians begin with axioms and postulates(assumed truths) and from them derive theorems and corollaries to theorems.  Theorems and their corollaries must be subjected to the rigor of mathematical proof before they can be accepted as truths.  What can we use to prove a particular theorem?  Any definition(a definition is an agreement to use words, phrases or symbols as substitutes for other words, phrases, or symbols.), postulate or axiom, or previously proved theorem may be used in a proof.  The use of precedent is also essential to legal, medical and some forms of scientific problem solving.  And mathematics teaches us that to disprove a theorem it is sufficient to find only one example where the statement does not hold.  This latter statement applies to all life problems as well.  For, when we toss around generalizations, it is important to realize that it takes only one counterexample to destroy our generalization.

Mathematics also teaches us to think twice; to be careful before reaching a conclusion.  When graphing functions on the Cartesian plane, it’s not uncommon to have restricted domains, meaning the functions are defined on a certain interval.  And sometimes separate cases must be considered, for example, what does the graph look like when x is greater than zero and how does the graph change when x is less than zero.  Arguments in life may also have restricted domains and statements that may be true for an adult are utter nonsense when applied to a child.  So, we must be cognizant of our audience and know where to apply our argument.  Thus, the study of mathematics can and does help us to cope better and to grasp better the multitude of problems we encounter in life.

“And You’ll Gonna Pay!”: Oh, Those Memories!

When my ex-wife and I lived in South Pasadena from 1986-1991, we encountered an eccentric French couple who became our landlords.  The woman was in her 60s, of a highly suspicious nature, and was always going through other people’s trash to find evidence of their misdoings, which she never found.  She also liked to place a quarter near one of the laundry machines to see who would take it, but nobody ever did.  Whenever she got angry at a tenant, she would exclaim, “And you’ll gonna pay!”  She used to scream at her husband, yelling out that he was the son of satan and a monster.  However, her spouse merely shrugged his shoulders and turned his back to her.  Unlike the woman, he was quite cordial and agreeable and loved to fix things.  “I fix. I fix.”, he would proclaim whenever we had a plumbing problem.  But he used scotch tape methods rather than any bonafide plumbing tool, so the problem always recurred.

The Case of the Water Men:

When we moved into this apartment complex, two men from the water company occupied the apartment opposite us on the second floor(We lived on the first floor).  Not long after our arrival, the water men left and the space was to remain unrented for the rest of our stay.  Now many people went up the stairs to visit the apartment,  but nobody took it.  We began to wonder what was so terrible about that apartment that kept prospective tenants away.  We thought about what the water men could have done to have made the space so repulsive.  These thoughts kept us busy on dreary days and were the source of much amusement.  However, this was a case that had no solution.

Roach motel:  Reservations Recommended!

When I first told my ex about a roach motel, she envisioned several rooms with furniture, a dining table and several accessories for comfort.  She was truly disappointed when she saw a bleak rectangular box with glue-like material inside, which would be the last object a roach would see before heading into eternal silence.

My roommate and I lived in a relatively clean, well-furnished apartment for several years until a couple of girls moved in downstairs(This time we were upstairs).  For amusement and extra money these girls sold their services on the top of the roof, so their clients could get an aerial view of Westwood as a bonus.  Alas, the girls had a habit of leaving garbage bags outside their room for days.

Word spreads quickly in a college town, and soon every UCLA roach dropped its studies to head for our apartment building.  Unfortunately, these roaches were not like our current garden roaches, large and orange-brown and quite choosy about their mates, but small German roaches that mated with every female roach no matter how unattractive she might be.  Soon our apartment was full of roaches that liked the dark, so we bought a roach motel.  The next day it was filled with roaches and a few other curious insects.  And every day it would be the same story.  Finally, we resorted to other methods.

Retribution!

Our owner’s in-laws came over when repairs were needed.  The man was quite the gentleman, but the woman we called “The Wicked Witch of the West”, because she needled us and said that the repairs were our fault.  We honored her by intoning the evil witch’s theme from the 1939 MGM movie.  One day she was showing our apartment to to possible renters.  She yelled at us:  “What is all this white powder on the floor?!”  I replied, “That’s to kill off all the roaches.”  My roommate and I laughed and laughed, but I will draw a curtain of silence over this scene and this post.

 

Another Brief Note

Because of health issues, family problems and sudden changes in lifestyle, I have decided to suspend my posts until I’m able to establish some equilibrium in my life.  I am grateful to the 101 followers that have taken the time to read my posts.  I am also grateful for the many comments I have received.  I wish all my followers lives of joy and fulfillment.