Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Lord, what fools these mortals be!

Those who live near an ocean or a sea sometimes think they have a monopoly on visions of huge waves crashing into shorelines and whatever else happens to be in their way. This photograph, taken by a Lake Superior aficionado, demonstrates the power not uncommon on the greatest of the Great Lakes. Waves ranging to twenty-five feet are not unknown, especially during the gales of November. Beautiful and deadly. Reminds me of some .... never mind ....

I am very flattered, but ....

A few years ago while I was working as the editor of a newspaper, a young lady asked me if I would meet her after work for a drink. She said she had some business to discuss with me.

It seemed natural. She was a professional person who held an important position with county government, and frequently had stories she wished to appear in the newspaper. I always had thought of her as a quintessential career woman. She was, in fact, a friend as well, although not close. We "hung" with the same crowd, and whenever newspaper reporters, photographers and editors congregated at a local saloon, invariably she was among us. So, we met to discuss her business.

After about the third drink, Judy (her actual name) did get down to business. She was unmarried and in her late thirties. She was watching the clock run out on her in several ways. She wanted a child, and she wanted me to be the father. At first, I thought she was joking. After a fourth drink -- or, maybe, the fifth -- I realized she was absolutely serious.

There would be no legal ramifications, she explained. We could draw up a contract with an attorney to ensure I would bear no familial or financial obligations. Other than the two of us and the attorney, no one would ever know.

Did I mention that she was very attractive?

She explained all the reasons why she had selected me from among the men she knew. You can believe I was very much flattered and very much tempted. You can also believe I thought about it very seriously for a few days.

Eventually, I said no. I was married then, and felt I could not enter into such an agreement for that reason. Neither did I think I would be able to watch a child grow up from afar with no contact.

About three years later, Judy adopted a little girl as a single parent.

For me, it was one of the roads not traveled. Judy and I still write to each other and talk on the telephone at times. She is one of the few people I would do literally anything for, simply because once upon a time she made me feel like the most important man in her world.

Beyond that, possibly after reading this piece you have a greater sense of knowing why I admit that I do not understand women.

The way of all men ??

I read somewhere that many men, sometime in their forties when fifty is near, abruptly realize all they have at that very moment is all there really is to life. This is it. No city of gold, no magic girl, no paradise -- earthly or otherwise -- awaiting them. So, they get a divorce, buy a convertible sports car and find a girlfriend twenty years younger than themselves as their consolation prize to life.

Well, I started doing that when I was about twenty-five. Possibly, I  merely was precocious. (Yes, I am teasing .... sort of ....) Whatever .... I am still doing it, over and over again. Maybe, the only difference between me and the others is that I cannot accept the notion that this is all there is, and I continue to search. The greatest mystery of life is why we, each of us as an individual, think as we think, believe as we believe and do as we do.

The creation of beauty

Since I was a college boy, my definition of art always has been: Art is the creation of beauty. Subjective it might be; narrow it might be, but do I care? One guess.

For reasons I would not explain even if I could, this also more-or-less is my definition of the perfect woman: A person whose purpose in life is the creation of beauty. Sometimes it is a child, sometimes it is something visual, sometimes it is in the form of sound. You get my drift.

A beautiful face is a beautiful face, no doubt. But, that is an accident of birth and has nothing to do with who or what a person really is -- as are many of the attributes we individually possess.

When I look at a woman (or for a woman), I look for one who strives to create beauty. Chauvinistic as it may sound, this I do believe is the role of a woman on planet Earth. As I pointed out somewhere or other a few days ago, both of my former wives were rather accomplished artists, primarily as painters in oils and watercolors.

This is why two variations of one of the most beautiful compositions on planet Earth are posted here. I have used the song -- Johann Pachelbel's Canon in D -- before on my page, including the first variation here now. I put the first up again because it is mostly women performing it -- creating beauty -- which, in turn, makes them oh so beautiful and perfect to me. I used the second piece because the photographs accompanying it add to the melancholy of my moment.


Anonymous said...

wow..is that photo really from lake superiour????It looks like out in the sea.Beautiful.

I think when one is married..one should stick to the one that you are married too..i mean sexual things and so on..Having a baby like that would always make you think ..but however we are all different (luckily.).and we think different.

I have to think about the rest of your post today.But it is great!

May you have a wonderful day when you wake up Fram :)

Kaya said...

How different this Superior Lake is from the lakes I used to see in my life. Outrageous and wild. Scary waves. It can swallow you in instant but I would still like to see it.

Yes, we choose the roads in our life to travel. They might be wrong and later we have to take a risk and choose another road. My favorite writer Karlos Kastaneda said that you have to choose a road or path in your life which has a heart. And if it doesn't have a heart it's a wrong road.

That is very nice Fram that you and Jody are still friends

That is great to feel that you are the most important person in somebody's world. I think without it we are incomplete.

Does it really exist a perfect woman? And if she does what a dull world it would be. I think all great poets of different ages were inspired by women who were not perfect.

About accomplishments. Do some women who raised many children and stayed at home accomplished less than women in art, literature and... I don't think so. Accomplishments are what you think about yourself, how confident you are with yourself and life.

This is an interesting post, Fram, After reading this post I suddenly realized that you are very conservative. Is it true, Fram? Or I am mistaken?

I think that things in your life are pretty much under control, that you have a strong character and a strong will power. And sense and sensibility. And very strong opinions...

I am in opposite. I am very liberal.

Fram Actual said...

Yes, Anita, it really is Lake Superior. The storms on this lake are so fierce that they are capable of giving rise to waves which have sunk even sea-going vessels.

To be faithful to one person is not always easy, but, yes, I agree with you, that should be the goal of us all.

I am glad you liked the post. Thank you.

Fram Actual said...

I am glad you found the post interesting, Kaya. Remember, the seed for the piece about Judy and her wish to have a baby was planted with your mention a few days ago of your writer friend and his idea for a book title.

There might be other lakes comparable to Lake Superior in the world, but I think it is pretty much one of a kind -- very large, very cold, very deep and very beautiful. You might not believe it, but there also are many times it is as smooth as glass.

I guess I would distinguish between self-satisfaction with one's life and personal accomplishments in one's life. I have written about this before in the sense I believe many people delude themselves into being satisfied with their lives when, in reality, they lead shallow existences.

As for the perfect woman, if I did not believe she exists somewhere, I would have one less reason to live. Just as if I did not believe I would ever find a pot of gold, or would find the fountain of youth, or would write a perfect novel. To seek the unlikely, if not the actual impossible, is to breathe the breath of life.

Yes, some poets are lucky. They find perfection through imperfection. (I love that line. See me smiling.)

I am not sure you could ever find someone who was in the Marine Corps who is not essentially conservative. It goes with the territory. I suppose my positions would be considered conservative in most regards, however, I find "labels" often are misleading.

As an illustration, liberals generally claim to be strong environmentalists while, logically, to be a strong environmentalist is to hold a conservative viewpoint. That is to say, the conservative person would wish to see nature left in its pristine state.

A liberal, on the other hand, who endorses gay marriage, amnesty for illegal aliens and legalization of drugs should, logically, also should favor allowing anyone to do anything he/she wishes in regard to the environment. It is a non sequitur.

Using myself as an example, I do oppose gay marriage (although not for religious reasons), I am against amnesty for illegal aliens and I think legalization of any drug is the last thing this country needs -- but, I am near-rabid in terms of belief in preserving the environment.

I prefer to stroll through life as a free and independent thinker, rather than to run with any partisan herd.

Sometimes, I write and write and write, but only when I have comments from others who think and think and think. Thank you, for being a thinker, Kaya.

Cloudia said...

you go fearlessly deep!

Aloha from Waikiki;

Comfort Spiral
> < } } ( ° >

Wind said...

I live in the middle of the city of Bucharest in a house - at the 3rd floor.
How romantic could that be?
Every evening I go to a lake next to my house.
Let's call it The Lake.
Every evening I ask him this (don't laugh):

' Give me enough power to be like you, not to be caught by daily routine
but to change my colours everyday like you did every hour...
Give me enough strenght to love the Sun and the Moon...
Make me wise enough to have dreams and to follow them'

This, about my lake.

About Judy....You took the right path - even you said
'For me, it was one of the roads not traveled.'
So, she was very attractive...hmmmm....hard enough!

About perfection ...in women , men, and life.
I think that perfection - like everything else- is momentary...
a short glimpse,but it does exist :
A kiss, a coffee break, a shoulder at the right time,
Bach, ...etc
I will think more about!
My best regards!

Fram Actual said...

The trick, I believe, is to save exactly the right amount of air required to regain the surface. So far, so good.

Thank you, for your visit and your comment, Cloudia. I almost made it to Hawaii once, but chose another island instead. I still hope to make it someday. I would like to emulate Robert Louis Stevenson and cruise the Pacific Ocean for a few years.

Fram Actual said...

Oh, but, Wind, you have the gift of mobility where as The Lake can only leave its place of confinement should it rain for forty days and forty nights once again. Its fate is trapped by circumstance more than you.

Everyone is held hostage in one sense or another, I think. All I have to do is to run into a house, and I can block the Wind from reaching me, but, if I do that, then I might not feel the touch of the Sun or know the kiss of the Moon.

As I was awaking this morning, a thought drifted into my mind about writing a piece (for myself) that I would call, "The Caverns of the Mind." This would not necessarily become a post -- although it would include elements I have written about here. Rather, it would create a vehicle for searching for self-understanding by blending with and wandering within the plane between reoccurring dreams and "reality." Whatever ....

Yes, I really never had any doubts about my decision regarding Judy. In addition to being married at the time and not wanting to have a child I would be totally alienated from, I also was in one of the happiest, most content "moments" of my life. So, I also was selfish, and did not want to do anything which might disrupt it.

Which brings us to momentary perfection. I think you and I are on the same wavelength here. Inside me, I have an instinctual feeling that a "perfect woman" could only be a "momentary woman;" that for most of us, any "pot of gold" we find likely will be gone before long; and that a madman or a tornado or a flood can find the trail into even a well-hidden Sanctuary and, once there, wreak havoc.

The moral seems to me to be this: Never allow yourself to become complacent or take for granted those momentary interludes of time when everything in your life seems to be perfect. To paraphrase a well known quote: All things will pass.

Something special ....