Friday, May 22, 2015

Time to brake for a break & other thoughts

 
I was not thinking of Memorial Day when I wrote the posts about the Third Army tank crew or about George Custer and the Seventh Cavalry a few days ago. As I mentioned at the time of publication, I came across the photographs of the tankers while rummaging through boxes of possessions looking for something else, and decided to use two of them in a post. As I mentioned at the time of publication, my thoughts always turn to Custer and the Seventh in May because that is the time those troopers began their ill-fated march from Fort Abraham Lincoln in North Dakota to the Little Bighorn River in Montana. And, I was not thinking of it when I began putting this post together. It abruptly occurred to me sometime later while searching my mind for a possible illustration for this post that another Memorial Day will arrive soon -- this year on Monday, May 25 -- and, since this will be my last post for a while, I decided to include two photographs appropriate to Memorial Day. They were taken at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial at Colleville-sur-Mer in France during June 2004 while on a trek through England, France and Italy. Eleven years ago .... uffff .... it makes me near-speechless to think it was so long ago. In addition to Memorial Day, the photographs are fitting reminders to the approach of the anniversary of D-Day troop landings in Normandy by Allied forces -- June 6, 1944. So, I hope each of you will pause on Memorial Day and on the D-Day anniversary to pay homage in memory of those who died in military service so that you might live your life as you choose today. By the way, Memorial day originally was always on May 30, but, to satisfy the holiday crowd / business community, it was changed to the last Monday in May so it could be a three-day weekend. I am a traditionalist, and think it should be returned to May 30.


The last verse of
"Sailing to Byzantium"
by William Butler Yeats

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.
Sometimes I wonder .... or one, two, six, nine

Sometimes I wonder what I would wish to change in the life I have lived to this point in time.
Would I wish I could have attended a thousand rock concerts?
Would I wish I could have been present at a thousand critical, historic moments in the march of life since the advent of mankind? You know .... my own time machine to witness all, to know all ....
Would I wish I could have fallen in love with a thousand women?
Would I wish I could have run the rapids in a thousand rivers?
Would I wish I could have actually contributed something meaningful toward the betterment of mankind?

Well, no matter. None of these things are or ever were mine to choose from. I have read a thousand books, probably times ten, and tested myself in a thousand ways -- frequently in ways simply to dare fate and to laugh at it -- but, now, I am beginning to believe no experience of or in life means anything beyond the moment it exists. Nothing = nothing. A philosophy professor once told me when I was a college boy that he thought I was an existential nihilist. I know I certainly cross the border into that zone from time to time, but, so far, have not become a permanent resident there.
This is another unfinished post. Rather, it was written to completion, but I am not including all of it here now. Possibly, I will publish the rest of it at some point in the future. For now, this portion is enough. I have other things on my mind.

I have a busy few weeks ahead and the blogs seem to be moving slowly, for whatever reason, at least for me. So .... I take leave of you now and will not return until around mid-June or a bit later -- certainly before the arrival of the next Blue Moon -- with the possible exception of a brief tease or two should some fascination in the form of a person, place or thing pass within reach of me.
To close out, here are two songs by Don Dokken, from my perspective one of the best half-dozen voices of the rock era. His voice no longer has the power or range or strength it once did; emotion still remains, but it is of the lost sort, like a memory more than a reality. None of us are forever on this earth, not even rock stars. Watching Dokken sing here is like watching the approaching fulfillment of the only promise life ever makes to each and every one of us.

Using the term "existential" correctly and not as television reporters and politicians faddishly seem to insist on using it fallaciously these days, in the "existential context" of my sometimes-belief regarding the concept that "in my end is my beginning," I might also mention the first lines of Yeats's poem. They are these:

That is no country for old men. The young
In one another's arms, birds in the trees
---Those dying generations---at their song ....




22 comments:

A Cuban In London said...

Valuable thoughts here. Existential nihilist? What happens when you have a crisis, then? :-)

Greetings from London.

Smareis said...

Olá Fram!

Interessantes, inteligentes e muito bem construído sua escrita.
Duas ilustrações muito bem trabalhadas desse cemitério. Excelente trabalho!

Sua postagem é uma bela homenagem no aniversário do Dia D, sobre aqueles que realizaram o serviço militar, e, especialmente, na memória daqueles que morreram no mesmo serviço.
Eu acho que essas homenagens deveriam ser feita no dia certo, e não ser mudada para outra data só pra satisfazer as multidões, negócios, comércios etc. Aqui no Brasil tem algumas datas de comemoração que algumas foram mudadas de dia com a intenção de emendar o feriado com o fim de semana. A mudança não agrada a todos, mais os governantes faz o que quer, e o povo tem que aceitar, porque são eles próprios que colocaram eles no poder. Aqui os feriados são quase o ano todo, o comércio perde muito dinheiro com tantos feriados.
Difícil mudar o que passou se foi bom ou não foi mais ter uma máquina do tempo seria bem interessante e curioso, saber o que foi importante no passado. Gostaria de ter uma máquina do tempo mais que fosse para ver coisas que me fizesse bem, não que me mostrasse coisas tristes. Mais máquina do tempo é só ficção, só mesmo para cinema... O Criador não permitiria o ser humano ter direito a essa máquina do tempo, mexeria com todo o universo e com cada pessoa.

O vídeo é excelente, eu não conhecia o trabalho de Don Dokke. Muito bom! Com certeza nenhum de nós são para sempre nesta terra, nem mesmo as estrelas do rock.

Então Fram, precisamos mesmo de uma pausa para colocar os pensamentos em ordem. Espero que volte logo a postar. Desejo que corra tudo bem com seus projetos durante esse tempo de pausa.
Descanse bastante!
Saudações do Brasil!
Aguardo sua volta Fram!

Fram Actual said...

Hmmmm ....

You might recall, CiL, that I sometimes say I have been enduring a mid-life crisis every year since I was age sixteen. First, upon further consideration, I think I should revise that to age thirteen. Next, that belief could be interpreted as saying my life is in constant crisis. In a manner of speaking, such a description really is not an exaggeration and it answers your question from one perspective.

Approaching your point from an alternative view, I might choose to believe I never have experienced an actual crisis in my life. That seems reasonable, especially when comparing my experiences/existence to the experiences/existence of others and would explain why I sometimes refer to myself as and believe myself to be "Fram the Fortunate."

Thank you, CiL, for traveling to my blog and for writing a comment. I will see you in a month or so, if not occasionally now and then between now and then .... hmmmm ....

Fram Actual said...

You always are sweet and complimentary about my posts, Smareis. Thank you. You probably can tell I was in a bit of a melancholy mood when I wrote the main body of this one, but that is not unusual for me. I am a moody guy ....

The photographs do work well. (See, your appearance has changed my mood to a happy one, and now I am complimenting myself, too.) I would like to return to that particular cemetery again .... and, there is one in Germany near the Polish border I would like to visit, too, and a few battlefields from both World War I and World War II. Besides having an intellectual curiosity about battlefields and cemeteries of the war dead, there is some element (for lack of a better term) inside me that almost seems to summon me to where armies have fought and men have died in battle. I have been in France three times, but only once at the American cemetery at Normandy. It is a place from which I draw strength.

Another place which you would enjoy more a few hours away from the cemetery that I would like to visit a second time is Giverny -- specifically, the gardens of Claude Monet. It seems my thoughts are beginning to drift ....

It is interesting what you wrote about a time machine, Smareis. You understand my religious views, I think, so it might surprise you to know that the first place I would go if I had such a device would be a particular hilltop in Jerusalem on a particular day as it existed about two thousand years ago. My second stop would be more obvious: The George Custer battlefield in Montana on June 25, 1876, although I believe I can accurately visualize those events in great detail from having been there and from having researched it extensively.

Perhaps, I should explain: When I write about time travel, I am thinking only as a person who wishes to observe, to see, to witness, to understand, to know the truth .... the thought of changing things never really enters my mind, except, maybe, in the sense of myself and my beliefs possibly being changed from what I witness. This concept is the historian in me and the reporter in me searching for truth.

I know I do need a break from the blogs -- at least from posting on them -- and, probably from the current routines of my life. I know I do need to focus on other aspects of my life, and I do have a busy time ahead of me in the immediate future which I want/need to concentrate upon.

Thank you, again, Smareis, for your presence here and for your words here and for your good wishes.

Boris Estebitan said...

Yo tambien he deseado muchas cosas, concuerdo con lo enamorar mujeres y lo de los conciertos de rock, pero bueno, se hace lo que se puede.

A Cuban In London said...

I know what you mean. I think I've got the answer famously put very clear and bluntly to me by a very good friend in 90s Havana. At the time I was delving into Goethe's Faust for the first time and I made the mistake to tell my friend that I was having an existential crisis. He turned round and asked me without a hint of irony in his voice: "And how do you eat that?" My friend was being facetious, of course, he was very clever, but by remaining serious he was both using humour to give me a wake-up slap (metaphorically speaking) and making a serious point about the then political and economic situation in Cuba. That taught me a lesson.

Greetings from London.

Fram Actual said...

"Man's got to know his limitations," as Dirty Harry (Clint Eastwood) said in the film "Magnum Force."

My suggestion, Boris, is not to concentrate on women or rock concerts, but to focus on money. All else will follow you if you follow it.

In any case, thank you, for coming to visit me here and for your comment, Boris. I appreciate it.

Fram Actual said...

Yes, CiL. Understanding and interpretation are often caught up in careless thoughts and thoughtless words.

Not long ago, I heard a conservative, woman, television, news commentator say words similar to these, if not exactly these: "I always thought existentialism was a college philosophy course for freshmen. Now, it seems it is the favorite word of people who cannot define it or understand it, and who never have taken a college philosophy course."

Your point is well taken, and your appearance here is well appreciated. Thank you, CiL.

Smareis said...

Olá Fram!

Passeando por aqui, vendo alguns vídeo e tomando um pouco do seu sol.
Espero que esteja tudo bem com seus projetos.
Tem uma atualização no blog, caso queira conferir.
Uma ótima semana!
Um ótimo mês cheio de bons acontecimentos.
Um sorriso e tudo de bom pra você!
Blog da Smareis

Fram Actual said...

Well, I am pleased your wandering has led you into my neighborhood, Smareis. There is sun to be found here, both literal and figurative, although I have been experiencing difficulty finding it myself. My own nature has been moody and quiet. I have been lost in thought, more than usual, and drifting in a maze of uncertain pathways. So, perhaps, your company will bring me beyond my vision (in the words of Yeats) of "what is past, or passing," and set me on a course toward what is "to come."

In any event, I will be a mirror and reflect your wish for a great week and a great month. There is no reason we both should not experience them. We deserve them, I think.

Thank you, Smareis, for visiting me as the new month of June arrives .... I see the sun rising and shining brightly just over the horizon.

ANITA said...

Ha hahhaha !!!!Like like your comment to Boris.My suggestion, Boris, is not to concentrate on women or rock concerts, but to focus on money. All else will follow you if you follow it.

thats a great one right from the liver

Here we have snowstorms again..can you belive it...Hardangervidda is totally closed and they drive in collonne..

Her everything is good after the conditions..I have not decided to come back yet..I tried..and tried..but still i want to do my one litte things

Summer will be working and late July we(alex and me) move to Cypruz Hills.

Hope you are doing good..Miss you sometimes..You such a good man to talk too

Best wishes Anita


Fram Actual said...

I am just a little bit older and wiser (well, older, anyway) than Boris, so I feel a necessity to share some of what I have learned with him. Hmmmm .... if you believe that, Anita, you will believe anything .... but, it really was good advice ....

There have been mostly rainy and cloudy days for me this spring. Just like last summer, it will be autumn before the sun proves it has been present on my body and in my hair. At least the snow seems to have retreated back into Canada.

What do you mean .... sometimes ?? Only sometimes you miss me ?? I am crying now. Can you see ??

Well, I miss you. I was beginning to think you had been kidnapped by aliens from a distant planet.

Seriously, your absence has worried me, but I assumed you have extra responsibilities because of the health problems incurred by Alexander's father. I hope his situation is improving, and that you and Alex are doing fine.

I am not certain how to describe my own situation. My former wife No. 2 still has medical problems, so I feel obligations; I am moody, as usual; I will see the Rolling Stones on Wednesday, so that will dull my senses for a few hours; I bought a sixty-year-old Model 1911 Colt pistol on the internet this evening, so that makes me momentarily happy; I have had two bad winters and, looking ahead, cannot see a way to avoid a third, so that makes me momentarily sad. But, I am healthy and ornery and drifting in dreams, as always.

Oh, actually, I do have news. You might recall I "had" a cousin in Stockholm who wanted me to spend some time with her and then to travel with her to Norway to visit a "shirttail" relative who lives on one of the islands offshore from Bergen. I learned recently that she is no longer walking the earth. The details are sad, so I will not mention them here. She literally was a beautiful and an adventurous woman, and I am sorry life did not bring the two of us together one more time.

Anyway .... do not be so distant. Ok? It should not be too painful for you to write a comment now and then even if you are not active with your own blog. Right? Take care, Anita .... see you more often, I hope ....

ANITA said...

Ohh Fram!Sorry to hear about your former ex..But I do understand how you feel..We dont stop loving them understood, we dont live togheter or feel them as a sexy thing..If you understand..Its like brother and sister..and beside we got childs with them.So yes i feel obligated to make the best for Alex father..Until he has reached a good level(that means somebody else in the health organisation is taking care of him)He is still in the hospital.Lame.But he dont realize HOW sick he is..(thats one part of the brain damage.Neglect.)
Have to say it was a bit of a schock to me.And Alex.Still cant talk about it example on my blog...So thats why I dont open it up official..Beside.Got so many false people looking at my blog.Got emails too..Some sex shit!I dont know how to get rid of it..and i dont know how they can see my blogpost when its locked.

That was not good to hear that your relative has gone to the big sleep.I quess you will never visit Scandinavia then!


Rolling stones!Wow!Some nice music!Wish i could attend as well-


I do hope both for you and me.Things will get better.More time to freedom.More joy and happiness.Iam reallly tired of all those obligations.Wish i could drift away to a warm country.Experience love again.You know..The kissing and warm things.. ..Sometimes i wonder if LOVE&Justice still is out there ?Its a bad sick world we live in..Wached Vendetta ( starring Ray Liotta ,Vincent Laresca ), yesterday.Thinking I i am beginning to understand why America has become what it is.

I quess I am to special.I cant be with an ordinary man.I need one that understands the freedom to be the one you are in a relationship.(I mean if I want to drift alone in the woods ect for some time..its ok..)So I quess nobody is out there for me.(and i have come to peace with that conclusion I think!)I can never do the things again.You know.Be a good house wife hahahah

So you have bought a gun!!Nice!!Do you practise it?You once had a photo of a young woman with a gun ..Practising..Seems nice:))

I will try to write to you when you posts things!

All my loving and good friendship

Anita

Fram Actual said...

Your comment might well be the longest one you ever have written here, Anita. I enjoyed it very much. Thank you.

The health issues with my former wife No. 2 have been going on since last October, so it has been a while and everyone has been adjusting to them. The situation is such that after the partial lung removal in January, our hope was that she would have a "clean bill of health" for now, so to speak. It was not that way when we visited the Mayo Clinic last week, but it was not altogether bad news, either. It was simply that she must return in two months for another examination to see if there have been any negative changes. There is cause for worry, but not for panic.

I am not sure what to say in the instance of Alexander's father other than time will tell what his future will be and I wish him good luck.

Well, now that my cousin is gone, I doubt that I ever will see Stockholm. As for other parts of Scandinavia, I am not sure. There are other places I would rather go at this point in time, and there never is enough time to do everything or to go everywhere. So, I guess time will tell that story, too .... hmmmm ....

If you get nasty emails or too many advertisements via email, just drop your email address and begin a new one. Problem solved. I do not know what happens to emails when the old address disappears, but they no longer are a problem because they cannot reach you.

As for blogs, I am not sure where mine is going, either. I am thinking about it and in no rush to decide. I never have had any problems with my blog other than occasional idiots trying to disguise advertisements or promotions as comments now and then.

I talk so much about having the freedom to do what I wish when I wish that I will not say much this evening beyond that I actually do have it right now. I feel an obligation to provide some support for my former wife No. 2. That is my own choice, and I am not so sure I would be doing anything differently if her health were good and she was not a factor in my life. This is because I really have no idea what I want to do or where I want to be. I do know the past is the past, and I really have no wish to return to any of it in any way other than for brief visits in actuality and in memory.

I do not recall the film you mentioned, but the United States forms a huge geographic area and life and life styles are different in many ways in the various segments of it. In a larger sense, there is a war of belief systems going on here and the outcome is uncertain. I could write a book about that, but, instead, I will write nothing more for now.

I am always buying guns, Anita .... not drastically, but regularly. This was my fourth this year, and the latest one will not arrive for another week or more. There is a good chance I will buy another via the internet on Friday. I do practice with them, still and forever, mostly with handguns.

And, I will not make any remarks about special women or special men .... not right now, anyway.

All right .... enough from me. I am glad you were here to visit me at my blog, Anita, and pleased that you left a thoughtful comment for me to read and to think about this evening. Thank you, again .... take care and see you on another day .... a sunny one, I hope ....

A Cuban In London said...

Lucky you, The Stones! :-)

Greetings from London.

Fram Actual said...

I think this concert might have been the "last chance in a lifetime concert," CiL. Everyone's age was showing ....

In my opinion, although I am not a great fan of the Rolling Stones, it is the quintessential rock 'n' roll band for a number of reasons.

Hey, just think .... Deep Purple in August (although no Ritchie Blackmore) and The Who in October. What else could a guy ask for ??

ANITA said...

Lovely music Fram!Really beautiful.
Thanx!

A Cuban In London said...

I remember you mentioning Scaramouche before but I had completely forgot about it. Have never read the book or seen the film but the music, oh, man, forget about the parts your recommended. I listened to the whole thing and it's adorable. I had never heard this soundtrack before, which makes feel happy as I do when I "discover" new things. It restores my faith in the power of humankind to allow for new discoveries to be made, fifty or sixty years after they first appeared. I love the in-changes. By the way, was it me or did The Beatles ripped some of this music off for their All You Need Is Love? Listen again to the sections you recommended. :-)

Greetings from London.

Fram Actual said...

Yes, Anita .... it is fabulous music composed for, in my opinion, a fabulous film, thanks to Rafael Sabatini's story combined with excellent acting and marvelous sets. I am glad you came to listen to it and pleased that you enjoyed it.

I have been to your all your recent posts, but if you have provisions for leaving comments, I have been unable to find entry. I do want you to know I have been a faithful visitor and a constant devotee of your photography.

Thank you, Anita, for your visit and your words.

Fram Actual said...

I both re-read the book and re-view the film periodically, CiL. The story is among my favorites, and the book and the film have much to offer in their own ways. Another attraction of the film for me is the swordsmanship. I was on my college fencing team, and there are many who think the final duel between Scaramouche (Stewart Granger) and the Marquis de Maynes (Mel Ferrer) is the finest swordplay in the realm of moviemaking.

Turning to the music, it is wonderful and I am glad you found it pleasing to the level of adorable. I think some of the best/greatest/emotionally moving compositions in recent decades have come in the form of original scores written for films.

As a worshipper at the altar of history, I find the study of the past to be more fascinating than speculation regarding the future and less worrisome than observing the present. In my case, this applies to most aspects of life and living.

You have a better ear for music than do I, at least in the sense of running two pieces through your mind simultaneously or overlaying one with another in a mental audio manner. Then, too, when portions of songs seem to be born from a single source, I am never sure what was done purposely and what was done inadvertently because of melodies or themes lingering in the caverns of a composer's mind.

Anyway .... thank you, CiL. I am happy you came to visit me with a comment.

ANITA said...

Hahahha faithful visitor?!!Hahahha you make me laugh!!!!!
Yes the classical music is very nice although am more a blues listener these days.Like Etta James,Stormy Monday!I quess i know where Joplin took her voice and music from)

I just got hand of an old Vilhelm Moberg DVD. Remember?.The Utvandrerene.Beautiful movie with Liv Ullman.Also got stuck on HBONordic.True Detectives.Ohh boy I just luuuve that old longhaired sherriff:))))

Else nothing more news.Getting better.Sorrow is drifting away..Feels happy again.Also got alot alot of money(They say money cant buy you happiness..but it sure can make you a very very good life:))

See you around Wolf!

I shall see about opening that comment filed again!

Anita

Fram Actual said...

It is rare when I make a woman laugh, Anita. I think I will mark this day down on my calendar.

I am not acquainted with the music you write about here. Like I sometimes say, my musical interests are rather narrow.

For sure, though, I recall Vilhelm Moberg and "The Emigrants" and "The New Land." I should watch the films again, and I never have read the novels. I should .... I really should read them. I think I might enjoy them as much as I treasure the novels of Ole Rolvaag, a Norwegian who often wrote of the immigration movement/experience to/in America.

But, I am not familiar with the "True Detectives" television series. I checked it out just now, and see there are too many actors in it whose work I do not care for, so I will scratch it from my "possibles" list. The only television miniseries I have been following at this time is "Texas Rising." History, history, history .... factual or fictional intrigues me, and this one looks very authentic in most respects.

I am glad life is looking better for you, Anita, and I am glad you returned here again to write another note to me. Yes, see you around ....

Something special ....