Wednesday, February 24, 2010

One Glorious Hour

Funny how these things happen down in the rabbit hole. I’d bid goodbye to Erich Fromm. Still lost in my thoughts of freedom I rounded the corner and literally bumped into Walter Scott. Yes, that Walter Scott, the Baronet.
“Look here,” he said to me. “You should watch where you’re going young man.”
I offered my apologies, still marveling that he thought me a young man.
Then, as characters are wont to do down in this dank hole in the ground, he told me something that started a new set of wheels going in my mind. He revived a memory from over forty years ago.
My cousin, recently married to a marvelous hunk of a guy who drove around in a silver-blue ’Vette, was diagnosed with cancer. It stunned the family. What did they do? It stunned me more than the diagnosis. They took off for a month, maybe longer, for Tahiti and Bora Bora. It was Elaine’s dream to soak up the beauty of clear waters, warm sand, and calming breezes. I wondered at the time, but it was the right thing to do.
What was it that Walter told me? Oh, yes. “One crowded hour of glorious life is worth an age without a name.”
For more stuff, here’s the link to my web page: .
Until next time, that’s it from The Storyman ….

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Letting Go

When I talked with Dr. Fromm a week ago and turned to go on my way he reached out and snagged my sleeve between two fingers. “I’m not done yet,” he said.
“Oh?” I looked into his clear blue eyes and knew he had at least one more thing to say. “What’s on your mind, doc?”
“You might think you’re free to be what’s inside you, and that might be true, but there’s something else you need to know.
I nodded and waited for him to continue.
“Creativity,” he said, “requires the courage to let go of certainties.”
I wanted an explanation, but he smiled and shook his head. I’ll have to figure that out on my own. If you want more here’s the link to my web page: .
Until next time, that’s it from The Storyman ….

Monday, February 8, 2010

What Am I?

I meet a lot of interesting people in my rabbit hole. The other day I ran into the psychologist and philosopher Erich Fromm. He asked me, “If I am what I have and I lose what I have, what am I?” That’s a question plaguing a lot of people today. It’s plagued me from time to time. Of course, we almost never ask it out loud, but it niggles at the back of the mind.
It used to be that question raised its vicious head when people retired. I used to be an accountant, but now I’m in the way. Today it’s— I used to be a home builder, or a machinist, or a teacher. Today I’m just unemployed. The victims of Bernie Madoff used to say they were rich, now… Well, that story ended badly for a lot of people. Along with the recession and job loss also comes a fistful of broken marriages. So just like Jon and Kate or Tiger and Erin people have to ask what and who they are when they’re alone.
The answer is in the first word Doctor Fromm said. “IF”
Think about it. I don’t have to be what I have. I can be what’s inside me. I can be full of music, or happiness, or joy. Yes, I can even be full of love for other people. Thanks doc. You liberated me.
For more, here’s the link to my web page: . Until next time, that’s it from The Storyman ….

Monday, February 1, 2010

Hard Encounters

It's time to cheat a little -- The muse is back and I put this thought on my web-page. I liked it so well I thought I'd stick it here too.
A few days ago I heard a quote attributed to one of my favorite writers, C.S. Lewis. Made me wish I’d written that. Of course I’m a few decades too late, and my prose doesn’t come close to matching his. The man definitely had a way with words.
Have you ever been through a difficult time? I’ve certainly experienced my share, and it’s usually because I made some dumb decision. In an effort to assuage my burnt fingers I’ve developed a firm belief that anyone who hasn’t experienced the rigors of difficulty hasn’t lived yet.
On the other side of this reasoning is a saying that goes something like this. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. When we were little children we all, sooner or later, put our hand or fingers on something hot and burned ourselves. Taught us a lesson. Very quickly. Don’t touch the hot stuff. Life is often made up of events like that. That’s the way we often learn. It would be smarter sometimes to listen to other people who tell us something smart and avoid a little hardship. But at least we can avoid the same mistake twice, or three times, and remain somewhat sane.
Which brings me back to that quotation from C. S. Lewis. He said, “Experience is the most brutal of teachers, but you learn. By God, do you learn.”