Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Curiousity Kills The Cat



Phrases can be so damaging. We can emasculate boys. We can forever chastise girls. Shame is insidious and slides its shadow throughout the entirety of our lives, such that we are more easily undermined than we may give our insecurity its childhood credence; after all, “Just who do you think are?”

Children experiment and evolve toward maturation under the yoke of their culture. Boys are brought up with expectations. Girls are brought up with restrictions. (Somehow, it all “levels out.”) And although the general population perceives their standards to be proper and right and sanctioned, there are (evidently) comparatively few populaces that allow for overt individualization, that easily accept transgressions. At least, that is, as history would have it, until lately.

Nowadays, with television and the internet, with the ongoing liberation of autocracies and the (devilishly) deliberate dissolution of religions, there is an unprecedented crawling of cultural conceptions toward more and more integration. It is as if we are intermeshing. It is as if we are losing our (cherished) identity. It is as if the intermarriage between types and castes and cultures is making of our world a blend of all the Petrie dishes in which one hitherto was contained, even comfortably so! After all, a curfew, a curtailment, a leash, a set of expectations and rules and regulations (and appropriate proprieties) can render even the most curious of us with a sense of ‘safety’. We can always retreat to our domain. We know where our fence is. We know what our constraints are. And we can live with that.

But of late we are inundated with the call to commune with other cultures. Despite the difficult and debilitating differences of language, of cultural practice, of expected standards of living, of habit, and proclivity, and patterns of conduct, we are bound to progress toward intermingling. We are called out of our cages. We are made to cross fences. We are expected to accept and to shake hands and to be compassionate. We are dragged by Time itself toward a future in which the very sustenance of our (cherished) particularities becomes clearly problematic. Yes, ‘Clubs’ can be too restrictive. ‘Males only’ is a thing of the past. So is ‘Whites only’. And nowadays we will no longer support a business with a sign that reads, ‘No Jews.’ We are becoming integrative.

Yet we still control our children with phrases that can cauterize curiosity. If intelligence may be defined as the ability to keep curious, then why do we level someone with a sarcastic phrase like, “curiosity killed the cat”? Or persist with the, “tall-poppy syndrome”? Or, “Your head is too big for your boots!”? Then too, there is, “Don’t stand there, counting teeth, (go play with the other children.)” Thing is, the Bell Curve will naturally shove one into the preponderance of the populace, (individual instincts aside). We each have personality and character traits (in what we do, and how we do it,) that define our individuality, but collectively we tend to adhere to the theory that, “birds of a feather flock together.” Thing is, little children are raised to follow the status quo; if not by individual families, then certainly in the school system. And as the school culture changes, albeit ever so slowly, then so too do society’s cultural norms. Once, “I don’t give a damn,” became de-rigueur (following ‘Gone With The Wind’,) we promulgated an industry that promoted the acceptance of the hitherto ‘forbidden’. The slippery slope of casual indifference to the effect of one’s word choice upon sensitized others (around oneself,) has the upside of also not caring about the choice of one’s (inappropriate) apparel; of whether or not one wears a cap in a restaurant; of whether or not one smokes in the.... oh! We’ve made a law against that!

Shaming another does much, in later life, to make perhaps too hesitant one’s intuition, one’s curiosity, one’s belief in oneself, one’s ability (or one’s freedom) to make choices for oneself in the maze of trials that life entails. We learn to play it safe. We abide by the rules. We learn to fear the reach of the law, the condemnation of the crowd, the curtailment of our instincts. Our intelligence itself becomes suspect. Who do we think we are? So, we crouch into the bulge of the bell curve, adopt definitions of ourselves given to us by parents and peers and significant others, and presume we are too forward when we feel, somewhere down deep inside, that where we are ‘at,’ just simply isn’t enough. What’s around the bend? What’s over the horizon?  How dare you think that! Who do you think you are? Or... has the cat now got your tongue?


Thursday, July 26, 2018

Without or With You


Determined for your response, (yes, yours,) I persist. Are we at a disconnect? You go your way, I mine. Life goes on. Your life has details, a daily dictum. So too for me. The dictionary of life gets heavy; keep it simple.

But we may forget one another. How ‘light’ is that? How very watered down picayune memory can become; or is that: the memory of picayune matters? Still, it’s not quite like forgetting Schroedinger, let alone the name of his cat. Ask Pavlov. Names can no longer ring a bell.


Let me not remain obtuse. Of what significance is the name of another if not knowing or recalling how it makes richer your life? Yet place names are often based on people. We do not necessarily know the origins. And all places have significance to someone. Some are generic: Peter’s Drive Inn; Andy’s Gonna-Bar; Carol’s Care Centre. To whom might these, specifically, refer? Yet, how can we possibly stay aware of the myriad milestones such names have left in people’s hearts? How may they demarcate any given memory? Places or people, we know so very many in our lives. And each, in some measure, has an impact. Indeed, others have learned lessons from us (as we have, from them) in how to be, (let alone how not to be!) We each glean from life according to our own proclivities. Surely, it’s better to keep as aware as we can of our impact on this world? A single phrase can be so upsetting. A small act can appear so puerile.


Letters to friends reveal much. When we do not refer to their last intimations it as though they remain unheard. So, in losing another’s letter, or accidentally misplacing it in the waste, or in inadvertently deleting it from one’s email account, the details disappear! Memory does not necessarily serve (me). Especially if not answered almost right away. And if one has very many friends, the recall of another’s details, especially for me, can be altogether too fragmenting. I shall surely get things wrong! As for my own immediate details, reporting them can be like a child’s; they can absorb so much of the here and now, excited only by the instant: “I wore my new blazer that I got from Tailor Maids, and my shirt that you saw me in the last time we met, and we went to the new movie, Momentary Madness; it was brilliant. So, as I was coming out there was this accident on the corner of Blind Spot and Intersection, but no one was hurt too badly, thank goodness! Next week we’re flying off to Tie-land, and I shall celebrate my birthday there. A pity you can’t come!”


So it goes. Manufactured truths can extend into reality. (How to be forgiven if, hoping that my recollection is right, I hazard at calling your brother, “Roy”?) One tends predominantly to be left or right brained. Left is rational, sequential, concrete. Right is abstract, metaphorical, random.


Point is, either way, maturational insight takes time. Compassion take time. Awareness is not always immediate, and like enlightenment, it is not so much a product as a journey. And so the details (for a right brainer) evolve predominantly into feelings (“which is all,” according to the poet, e.e. cummings). Yes, sparse details can devolve into the smudge of forgetfulness that mangles our clarity with each other. We each have so very many things, so very many other friends, so very many thoughts. And as the awkward dictum goes: talking (predominantly) about things is shallow; talking (predominantly) about people is hollow; and talking (predominantly) about ideas can be pompous. Best to incorporate a little of each; better to be comprehensive, inclusive, and integrative. (N’es pas?)


With or without you, life goes on. If you’re reading this and we have not personally connected over the last long while, then believe please that should I see you (given that we both may well still be alive) .... believe that I shall feel warmth and care and interest and well-wishes for you and yours, for your endeavours, for your proverbial hopes and dreams. But of details of your past, specifically, or even mayhap the recall of your very name, I shall perhaps be found remiss, forgetful, and abstract. With or without you, or me, life goes on. But.... is that enough?



Tuesday, July 24, 2018

With or Without You



We are at a disconnect. You go your way, I mine. Life goes on. Your life has details, a daily dictum of diurnal delectables. So too for me. The dictionary of life gets heavy; keep it simple.

But we may forget one another. How ‘light’ is that? How very watered down picayune memory can become; or is that: the memory of picayune matters? Still, it’s not quite like forgetting Schroedinger, let alone the name of his cat. Ask Pavlov. Names can no longer ring a bell.

Let me not remain obtuse. Of what significance is the name of another if not knowing or recalling how it makes richer your life? Yet place names are often based on people. We do not necessarily know the origins. And all places have significance to someone. Some are generic: Peter’s Drive Inn; Andy’s Gonna-Bar; Carol’s Care Centre. To whom might these, specifically, refer? Yet, how can we possibly stay aware of the myriad milestones such names have left in people’s hearts? How may they demarcate any given memory? Places or people, we know so very many in our lives. And each, in some measure, has an impact. Indeed, others have learned lessons from us (as we have, from them) in how to be, (let alone how not to be!) We each glean from life according to our own proclivities. Surely, it’s better to keep as aware as we can of our impact on this world? A single phrase can be so upsetting. A small act can appear so puerile.

Letters to friends reveal much. When we do not refer to their last intimations it as though they remain unheard. So, in losing another’s letter, or accidentally misplacing it in the waste, or in inadvertently deleting it from one’s email account, the details disappear! Memory does not necessarily serve (me). Especially if not answered almost right away. And if one has very many friends, the recall of another’s details, especially for me, can be altogether too fragmenting. I shall surely get things wrong! As for my own immediate details, reporting them can be like a child’s; they can absorb so much of the here and now, excited only by the instant: “I wore my new blazer that I got from Tailor Maids, and my shirt that you saw me in the last time we met, and we went to the new movie, Momentary Madness; it was brilliant. So, as I was coming out there was this accident on the corner of Blind Spot and Intersection, but no one was hurt too badly, thank goodness! Next week we’re flying off to Tie-land, and I shall celebrate my birthday there. A pity you can’t come!”

So it goes. Manufactured truths can extend into reality. (How to be forgiven if, hoping that my recollection is right, I hazard at calling your brother, “Roy”?) One tends predominantly to be left or right brained. Left is rational, sequential, concrete. Right is abstract, metaphorical, random.

Point is, either way, maturational insight takes time. Compassion take time. Awareness is not always immediate, and like enlightenment, it is not so much a product as a journey. And so the details (for a right brainer) evolve predominantly into feelings (“which is all,” according to the poet, e.e. cummings). Yes, sparse details can devolve into the smudge of forgetfulness that mangles our clarity with each other. We each have so very many things, so very many other friends, so very many thoughts. And as the awkward dictum goes: talking (predominantly) about things is shallow; talking (predominantly) about people is hollow; and talking (predominantly) about ideas can be pompous. Best to incorporate a little of each; better to be comprehensive, inclusive, and integrative. (N’es pas?)

With or without you, life goes on. If you’re reading this and we have not personally connected over the last long while, then believe please that should I see you (given that we both may well still be alive) .... believe that I shall feel warmth and care and interest and well-wishes for you and yours, for your endeavours, for your proverbial hopes and dreams. But of details of your past, specifically, or even mayhap the recall of your very name, I shall perhaps be found remiss, forgetful, and abstract. With or without you, or me, life goes on. But.... is that enough?


Friday, July 6, 2018

Incremental Intimations







Incrementally, we incriminate ourselves. The tabla rasa of birth, research shows, is no longer a blank slate. That old biblical indictment, "the sins of the forefathers shall be visited upon the sons," is a continual catch-clause in our family constellations. Yet at which juncture might one say that the buck stops here, and might the evolution of an individual, let alone a species, surpass all that clings to the heretofore? How do we ever overcome our great great great not so great grandfather, some three hundred years ago, whose weakness and selfishness and sickness may still be seen to plague us? And on the other side, how do we live up to our great great great grandmother who endured and triumphed over the inestimable odds of her time and race? When do we find ourselves sufficient unto ourselves, such that no anchor of the past, no shoreline or habitat or involvement holds us back from peace with ourselves at this present moment, or is the very vessel in which we travel always built up by the bulk of the constituents of our psychic time and place, let alone our geographic and genetic makeup?
Thing is, the journey of our cognizance can be repeated, like living within a perpetual loop, and we will see something new every time. (For myself, having driven an 1800 km journey back and forth, for several times a year over the course of 30 years, I still notice and discover and remark on things I never noticed, discovered, or remarked on before.) What if, like the AI, or artificial intelligence robots in a TV series called West World, we are in a perpetual loop of reincarnations in which we relive our circumstances, incrementally, adding to our conception of life, but also forgetting the past, except for those undeniable provocations of déjà vu. Hm? Certainly there are sufficient promulgators of such stories. What creative imagination! To what end? And were we here to insert that The Singularity is encroaching in order that we all may achieve a more coherent and effective symbiosis, then indeed, it would seem that the individual is entirely to be subsumed by the collective; there is no goal other than to contribute toward the health of the whole.
Yet, whose whole are we talking about?
"You want to make God!" was once levelled at Ray KurzweiL, the foremost proponent of artificial intelligence. He lifted his chin. "Isn't that what mankind imagined in the first place?" Yes. It's all very confusing, very disturbing, very unsettling. Yes, it's all out there, in some distant future. Yes, some of us may not live to see its inheritance, let alone its generalized inception, but we all, will he, nil He, are already in the grip of its sway. Incrementally, it advances. Skype. Wifi. Internet. Cell phones. Talking cars. Self parking cars. Self driving trucks. Replicators. Cloning. What would grandmother have thought! Imagine our great great forbearers in the cave!
Incrementally, we make mistakes. But we also learn. And if evolution may be defined as the ability to adapt to new survival needs, and intelligence may be defined as the ability to adapt to new challenges, then we are almost always at some new point on the continuum of the bell curve, caught up in the mass of mankind of our time period, or lagging behind, or perhaps even prodding at its forefront, edging on and egging on and egregiously hoping to do well. But how very different 'doing well' can be defined!
"Are you at peace with yourself," Morrie Schwartz asks, "are you trying to be as human as you can be?" It's a tall order. We seldom measure up. We are so very caught up in the increments of our existence, incriminating ourselves with 'faults', quite sure that somewhere out there, beyond here, lies yet more peace. Peace, when realized, is so very momentary. Rather, we are forever yearning, seeking, wanting, and exploring yet more and more and more. Thing is, how to be at peace with that. At peace with one's incremental incriminations; an attainment to have, indeed.

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    Comments
    Tracy B. Loeppky “This is how we completed the past.”
    Was one of the phrases I learned while training in Family of Origin Therapy.
    Acknowledging that which has been hidden.

    Love those who were so human they forgot their humanity.
    Sitting in our own work and to always be aware that we are never done our own work.
    Feel the trauma of ancestors so we may learn and see it in ourselves.

    And so much more.
    Not easy, and, simple.

    Our human existence and incarnation is to experience both the yin and yang of this earthly plane.

    Thank you for sharing. 🙏🏻 ❤️
    Derek John Jooste Great thoughts, soon all the current inventions will be routine, it's our consciousness that matters, are we kinder, less inclined to war? A I is like the wheel or the chipped rock..... and still the beat goes on, I think development is when people enjoy live music rather than when amazing things, preparing a meal for friends rather than winning an argument, writing a philosophical blog, like you do, rather than getting a bonus
    Richard Michelle-Pentelbury Derek, should you ever be in Canada do let me know. It'd be good to reconnect after all these 45+ years. And thanks so much for taking the time to write such a caring response. We can go to 'message' mail for more private reconnection, yes?

    Derek John Jooste That would be good Richard!
    Paul Smulders Well said. Worth putting some effort into thinking about what you have articulated so nicely!
    Sharon Barker Interesting essay. I heard a scary thing about AI the other day, and that is that as things progress, the best ones to continue to develop and design AI are the AI themselves. Humans can't keep up.
    Brittany Nichol Well said. Beautiful Mr P!
    Carolyn Courtright For you my dear daughter in law!
    Guido Guidetti Something we cannot see protects us from something we do not understand. The thing we cannot see is culture, the thing we do not understand is "chaos". If the structure of culture is disrupted unwittingly "chaos" returns. We humans will do anything to prevents that return! As humans we have to move or act in the world. This requires us to make choices. Making choices (good or bad) means that we use our value system in order to select that move or that act. Its this movment or action which gives us meaning. Our culture and our value systems from which it is derived will determine our trajectory both as an individual and as a society

Monday, June 4, 2018

A Prodigal's Para-Bell



"I have returned!"

"We are at peace with that!"

"Have you been... well?"

"Well enough. We have aged. We have changed. But we have accepted the things that have happened."

"The things?"

"Things happen. While you were away persons you loved have died. So too did some family. And jobs were lost. Choices were made. There were heart-attacks and strokes and financial setbacks, but we learned through it all, doing whatever we could, what we were able to do."

"Yes, well, I am back now, and I'm sorry to have missed all that, but I had to go."

"Yes, you had to go."

Yes, I had to make my own way, discover my own journey, become my own person."

"Yes. And are you at peace now?"

"At... At peace? Well, I am successful. Have been! Got lots to show for it. Books I've read. Things I've done. Places I've seen. People I've met. Achieved. You can be very proud of me."

"We always loved you. Your very person. But while away, did you purposefully deceive anybody, use anybody, harm anybody, rob or steal from anyone? Did you lie, cheat, or self-aggrandize? Were you selfish, and self-serving? Greedy? Did you manipulate and connive and contrive? Were you false? Did you seduce? Did you betray? Did you...?”

“Well.... Yes. But only here and there, in small measures.”

“And in doing those things, however small or big, did you learn to forgive yourself?”

“Well... Yes. But only here and there, in some measure.”

“And in those measures, have you learned to forgive others for their measures too?”

“Well.... Yes. Mostly.”

“Mostly? Well then, we forgive you the lessons you've learned. Are learning. Just as you're learning to forgive us the past that might have propelled you into those lessons, for we each take on our paths pushing off of the impetus of that which seemingly impels us. We are proud of you.”

“Seemingly?”

“Perception is all. Compassion itself grows by altering perceptions. Forgive, as we live. Forgive, as we take our leave. We now can hear the bell toll. It rings too, eventually, for you too.”

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Micromanaging Moments



Mother, at 76, peered up from her guest-bed in my home and asked, “Those six books up there, with the spine with the gold pillar that crumbles a little more each time; what are they?" I did not need to look. “That’s Gibbon's Decline and Fall of Rome," I answered. "A pity," Mom responded, "everything must die." Some six weeks later, she was dead.

Our memories die too. We open them up, like flipping through a photo album, but we do not necessarily recall the details. And slowly but surely our recollections crumble. Precision of phraseology goes. Recollection of the other's shape and mannerisms and voice inflection alters ever so slightly, here and there, until one retains the essence of one's feelings for the long-lost friend, or relative, or loved one, but much of accuracy fades. Like those pillars, the crumbling ensues, no matter how often we may prop them up. (A now-a-days absent friend once said that memory is like opening up a document in a computer, and alter so much as a comma, and one saves it as a new document.) Add the strokes and sighs and contemplations of a lifetime, and one is bound to have the memory-file alter quite substantially from the original, of say, 40 years ago!

Forty years! That's how much time has gone by without my seeing friends that meant the world to me, that formed a fulcrum in my own journey, so long ago. And when considering the vast amount of persons one meets along the way, it becomes natural, year by year of losing them, of no longer staying in contact, not as intensely to care, to love, to extend those intimacies of a vital connection. The past is the past. Focus on the moment. And so love and care can become a thing of the moment, a sort of safety guard, paradoxically, because one can be (like swapping life-stories with a stranger in an aircraft) attenuated to the moment, and then forget it. Next?

Rolling stones gather no moss, goes the idiom. (Mick Jagger by now has well disproved it!) Yet the image sticks. Rolling, there is little longevity established with friendships, with settling into dwelling places, with attending the schools or the workplaces or even the pleasure-places one has visited. Like being on very many little holidays, in which one meets variously interesting people and sees variegated interesting vistas, there remains a distinct sense of impermanence when going forward. Looking back, the story of one's perceptions is in the immediate. The recollected appreciation can be intense, but replaceable. There is always a new place, a new friend, a new occasion to be had. And in memory, truly, it's amazing how things change.

Not all of us have great change. Some of us stay and stay and establish friends and families and zones of familiarity that seem impervious to non-obvious change. Yes, we lose our pet and our grandparents, and we lose others too. Dear ones. And subtly, around us, things change. (Or do we change from within?) We lose jobs and health and possessions and interest. We both accommodate and wear down. We stop venturing and voyaging and experimenting. We grow staid and can be overly comfortable. Why rock the boat? And so we let go of the anxiety over moments, become untidy, (or else grow yet more anxious, and get uptight.) We adjust into the ripeness of our age. It is the human condition! "I am too old to do that!" (Been there?)

Yet growing old gracefully and letting go the things of youth is rather Biblical. Even Desiderata advocates that much! It is to be expected. All those physical things can pass, may have to be given up, can even be forgotten. But love, moment for moment; care; and interest in another, and in the world around oneself, remains a choice (one hopes) to be managed; breathing, breath for breath. Or does one simply allow oneself no longer to feel at all?

Mother noticed my books. And in her question was the universal drive of the human spirit expressed: "Why? What? When? Who? And how?" Moment, for moment.


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Mice, Mankind, And Marvellous Moments!



Nellie McLung's great-granddaughter sat in the aircraft seat beside me as we waited for takeoff from Vancouver Island's main airport. I did not know her, then. Around my age, she wedged down in row 6B. A young man eventually arrived from amidst the turgid stream of boarders, plonked down beside her, his earphones in. The woman looked over at my script. "You're reading a play?" she asked, pleasantly. "Tuesdays with Morrie," I replied. "Loved the book," she said. "Yes," I said, and I got on with visualizing my lines. Possibly because of the slight weaving of my hand as I internalized a monologue, she offered: "You're learning lines! You've got to be Morrie!" I smiled and looked out my window as the plane began hurtling down the Victoria airport runway, then responded, "Canmore production. Mid-month. I'm off to meet my fellow actor for the first time. Rob Murray. We have a week to rehearse." She seemed surprised. "A week! Well then, let me help you! I'll play Mitch Albom." Whereupon she took the script from me, and we began my recital; she reading. All the 90 minutes to Calgary we flew over mountains and lakes and wondrous scenery; I spoke into the window pane; she had her eyes glued to the script. And she was good! Her being 'Mitch' was fluent. And just before we landed, we finished!

And so, naturally, we fell to introducing ourselves. "Rosemary," she said. Only later did she make reference to Nellie McLung.  Now, I knew of The Valiant Five*, as far as Canadian History is concerned, and I knew there is a school named after her, in Calgary, and that she configures in the downtown statue of those five radical women, of that time. But to confess, I was not clear, then, as to when 'that time' really was. Rosemary took my card. "This is going to make for an interesting entry into my journal tonight," she declared. And with our landing, she was gone.

"The Nellie McLung school is just across the road from here," Jessie Peters informed, gesturing from her armchair, two weeks later. The wife of Vic (whose horrid disease of ALS over two plus years, back in 06/07 had taught me how physically to portray 'Morrie',) Jessie had yet again driven the 80km from Calgary to see my performance. This time she’d brought Vic's brother, Bill and his wife, Lorna. Last year, when I'd performed the play in Victoria (with Perry Burton as ‘Mitch’,) Jessie had flown out to see it with her daughter, Sharon. Their bravery in facing death, and in encountering ALS head on, has been for me such a model of endurance and love and care. Yet like the mouse in the closet in the middle of the night with the hosts where Jessie and Vic once visited deciding to empty all the closet-contents in order to find that mouse, “right there and then, in the middle of the night,” one can allow for the brain's inevitable ramble and chatter and distraction of what's the matter and where exactly are my thoughts now leading?

Distraction! That's what happened, opening night. I fell in front of the audience! For the first time in over ten years of performing the play, in the fifth act, instead of tipping my wheelchair forward, it lurched sideways and slid out from my behind, and whump!, I landed with several jolts of pain immediately coursing through me. 'What's my next line?' my brain chattered. "Mitch," I called, rather desperately. Thing is, Mitch was supposed to be nattering away, distracted. (‘Morrie slumps over’ was a move designed by the playwright, Mitch Albom.)  Eventually, Mitch (the empathetically gifted actor, Rob Murray) did save me, and hauled my supposedly limp body back up onto my chair, and then, when my limp arms and feet had all been replaced in proper position, he at last says, "what happened?" I pause, breathe, and announce, "I was playing hockey!" And the audience laughs. Always. Their relief for Morrie is palpable. They did not know that right then, given my lack of fluid between my vertebrae, I was in quite a crucial state of discombobulation. My brain raced through alternative scenarios; paralysis was a real fear. And the instant chatter of ‘what's the matter and what's the next right thing to do’ coursed through me like a squeaking mouse, scurrying in the corridors of my mind. But I persevered, and the audience, none the wiser, thought it all part of the act. Yet the fifth act was only half way, there were five more acts to go!

The decades we have mount up quickly. All the while we struggle to be at peace with ourselves. We try to be fully human, but our concentration is indeed confounded by the distractions and insecurities and particularities of circumstance and advent. And so we scramble at times for the next right thing to do. Often, someone is watching us. Yet inside ourselves, we are mostly alone, the captain of our thoughts. Marshalling our reserves, counting on experience, and directing our responses becomes the very art of living. Or does one simply withdraw from life and shrivel into old age, sans teeth, sans eyes, sans ears, sans everything? Ah, the plays (with life) are the very thing by which we may capture the real essence of living! To contribute to the health of the whole; or what is one here for? Such are the marvelous moments among men and women, and the course of our thinking and feelings too. Connected as we are. Bring on The Singularity! Or does my brain now chatter with "what's the matter with that," or even this? Anon! "Next?"