Friday, October 2, 2015

This post is longer than I intended

The three faces of Eve .... whoops, I mean of Sylvia Plath. If you do not understand that connection .... well, tough. The only hint I will offer is that it deals with a case study of a personality disorder and is in reference to a psychiatric situation which may (or may not) be related to the problems encountered by Plath. Neither will I provide any specific explanation for the presence of this song -- "What Is and What Should Never Be." I have used it before, both the Led Zeppelin version and the rendition by the Black Crowes with Jimmy Page. Anyway, if after listening to the piece you cannot figure out how and why it is appropriate to this post .... well, tough. I am pretty ornery tonight, ain't I ?? Must be my personality ....

Words written by Sigmund Freud
in "The Letters of Sigmund Freud and Otto Rank:
Inside Psychoanalysis"

"Life is impoverished, it loses in interest, when the highest stake in the game of living, life itself, may not be risked. It becomes as shallow and empty as, let us say, an American flirtation."

"And happiness is what you need so bad, girl,

the answer lies with you ...."

These past few posts have absolutely not been meant to form a critique of Sylvia Plath's life or work. I have read only one biography and her one and only novel, plus some odds and ends biographical material. These posts, then, simply form a few thoughts and observations, and here are what probably will be the final few paragraphs about her from me:

As I mentioned in a comment to Smareis for my September 24 post, I have dated women who were mentally unbalanced to one degree or another (in my opinion) and part of my work experience has been with convicted felons, both men and women, in a prison setting. I know the difference between sane people who do crazy things and people who are legally and/or medically crazy.

For instance, I once had an inmate secretary/clerk who had left her baby in a house and set the house on fire. She was a good worker, reliable and everything about her superficially seemed to indicate a gentle person. Her act was crazy, she was not. I am not sure which was the case with Plath.

I also knew someone who was subjected to shock treatment about the same time Plath underwent it. His reaction was like Plath's -- blue flashes, jolting and noise: "If anyone does that to me again I'll kill myself."

Reading the biography, "Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953," and her novel, "The Bell Jar," gave me a sense of who Plath was, but not enough insight to be sure of the depth of her mental abnormalities. I do know that still, after completing both books, I really do not like her as a person and would have ignored her on the "college dating circuit." I am curious mostly about the last year of her life and, maybe, will look for biographical material in that regard.

I think Plath was an excellent writer, and might have become a great one, although Bell Jar seems to me to be only an average novel. For whatever reason, "Confessions of Felix Krull, Confidence Man," by Thomas Mann, and similar fiction kept popping into my mind while reading Bell Jar.

She painted pictures very well with words. She seemed wise beyond her years at times, but then I would remind myself that Bell Jar is not the book of a nineteen-year-old as it seems to be, rather the work of an experienced woman approaching thirty looking back at her comprehensive, teenage journals and turning them into sort of novel form.

I still do not grasp her prominence in the feminist movement, unless it simply is because she recognized the social/work inequality between men and women and spoke out about it loudly and clearly in Bell Jar. She described one man she dated as a woman-hater, and apparently felt there was no shortage of them: "I began to see why woman-haters could make such fools of women .... They descended, and then they disappeared. You could never catch one."

Perhaps oddly, Plath seems to me to have become a man-hater, in a sense, but it also caught my eye when she wrote she had not been happy since the age of nine, which translates into since soon after the death of her father. I would speculate that is one of the keys to unlocking Plath's psychology, although I imagine it would not be a popular argument with the politically correct crowd.

I like that she held James Joyce's, "Finnegans Wake" in low regard. I do, too .... in fact, lower than low.

I said earlier that I had come to the conclusion I did not like her -- at least during her college years. Never-the-less, I would have relished going out on a date or two with her and talked and talked and talked -- sort of a voyage of discovery -- but, I am not the sort of guy she would have dated in college.

I do wonder, however, if I would have changed my opinion and come to like her a decade later, when she was more experienced with life, married, a mother, a published writer and living in the hinterland between normalcy and psychosis.

Remember, this has not been a book review or a critique about Sylvia Plath's life or lone novel, "The Bell Jar," but more like a few random notes about things which entered my mind while reading material by her and about her. I am glad I read these things and learned as much as I did about her, and I would recommend her work to anyone and everyone.


37 comments:

PhilipH said...

Thank you Fram for your thoughts on this sad lady, Sylvia Plath. I could not quite understand the words in the song you included so I searched for the lyrics. One part of this song says:

"So if you wake up with the sunrise, and all your dreams are still as new,
And happiness is what you need so bad, girl, the answer lies with you."

Which is probably applicable to Sylvia P, but then again it's a truism and applies to all of us.

I considered buying The Bell Jar but after reading many of the reviews on Amazon decided to give it a miss. It still seems to be an autobiography to some extent of a depressed woman. I bought, instead, a book written by her for children. Maybe I will understand this more than the Bell Jar. I'll let you know when I've received and read it.

It's strange how some of us are attracted to women writers who have great talent but great sadness at the same time. One such woman was Katherine Mansfield (her pen name)and she is one of my favourite writers of short stories.

My absolute favourite is "A Dill Pickle". This seemed, to me, to be a story that was personal to her. I love it and read it now and then to remind me how writing should be, even though I cannot compete with such talent.

She had a short life, dying at age 34, just a few years older than Sylvia Plath. She died of TB.

Her love life was most interesting. She had female 'lovers' as well as male. She mixed with the likes of Virginia Wolf, D.H. Lawrence and others of that ilk.

Here's a link to "A Dill Pickle":

http://www.katherinemansfieldsociety.org/assets/KM-Stories/A-DILL-PICKLE1917.pdf

You can also hear it being read, in part, on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JV2_FHbKHM

Thanks again for your posting your thoughts on Sylvia Plath. Most enjoyable Fram, still intriguing - but The Bell Jar ? I wonder?

ANITA said...

Hi there!

I agree with Philip.The lyrics!I didnt understand how they came to Sylivia Plath..But then again it suits to all of us.
I have not read Bell Yar yet,think i never will..Too depressing ,I think! (I read" Into Thin Air" by Jon Kraukauer.Bet Philip knows this bec in 29/5-53 , Same day as the Coronation of the Queen.Two British people, Hillary and Tensin made the first way to the top of Mount Everest)

Music you share is as always very good!Very jazzy to be Led Zeppelin!But like it, like it:)))

Thank you for nice post

Have a good weekend Fram!
Greetings from stormy weather Norway!

Kaya said...

Face... On the third photograph Sylvia Plath's face has a little displease, I think. With herself or the photographer who took her picture. And perhaps a moodiness also. Can it be a sight of her mental problems or something else. It's difficult to say.

I have never been around people with mental problems but I thought that some of them are incredibly talented. Sylvia Plath could paint pictures with words. I love this expression, Fram. It says so much about her talent.

She wrote only one novel Bell Jar and the poems; and was able to capture your imagination. You wrote that she became for you as a man-hater. Is her work so brutal and mean in its feelings?

Do you admire her for daring being this way, for going the whole way or you still try to understand her?

She failed in her marriages, she was fascinated with death ( after your first post about her I read her few poems), with determination to try almost everything in spite of the fact that it can hurt her. When I found on Internet a few of her poems ( I read Daddy and Lady Lazarus and others ); first I was taken aback by their bitterness. Yes, it was something that I couldn't imagine and read before. She seemed to be a stranger and an alien to me and that is what made me very interested in her life and work.

Anyway, I finish here and thank you very much for introducing to us this very talented and extraordinary person, poet and writer Sylvia Path, Fram. Right now I want to know more and more about her.

From the Burning the Letters by Sylvia Plath

I made a fire; being tired
Of the white fists of old
Letters and their death rattle
When I came too close to the wastebasket
What did they know that I didn't?
Grain by grain, they unrolled
Sands where a dream of clear water
Grinned like a getaway car.
I am not subtle
Love, love, and well, I was tired
Of cardboard cartons the color of cement or a dog pack
Holding in it's hate
Dully, under a pack of men in red jackets,
And the eyes and times of the postmarks.

Fram Actual said...

"The Bell Jar" was worth reading from my point of view for a few reasons. One was distinguishing some differences between East Coast and Midwestern life styles; another was catching glimpses of life in the United States during the 1950s; another was (hopefully) learning more about women; another was trying to see inside Sylvia Plath's mind through her writing. I could list a few more.

But, you are right, Philip, this novel literally is a slightly fictionalized autobiography.

I think the entire song applies to her and to those like her. I essentially believe the right person can make the difference between not only life and death, but between simple happiness vs. unhappiness for someone who cannot find peace of mind and contentment on their own. Without going into detail, I think Ted Hughes offered Plath a path to the cemetery. The right person (man) could have supported her on the path to becoming a writer among writers.

It is entirely possible that in the distant past I read a short story or two by Katherine Mansfield. I took two classes devoted entirely to studying short stories in college and read a number in high school and off and on during the years, but looking though a list of her titles, not one of them jumped out at me other than possibly "The Canary." I will read/re-read it, along with the one you suggested, "A Dill Pickle."

You are entering into territory where I am lost. I do not recall reading anything by D.H. Lawrence (He is not the sort of person who interests or even is likeable to me.) or by Virginia Woolf, either, although I am familiar with their reputations and it is entirely possible there was material by them assigned in classroom settings which I have forgotten. So much of my reading has centered on particular times/authors/fields which struck my fancy, and there never is room for everything or every author.

So, Philip, thank you, as always, for your visit and your comment. Maybe, if I enjoy the two Mansfield stories, I will take a deeper look at her .... in any case, you have me thinking ....

Fram Actual said...

It is possible that you have to be a man rather than a woman to understand why, from my point of view, the lyrics of the song apply very well to Sylvia Plath. Or, it might be made clear for someone who has read "The Bell Jar" and listened closely to all the lyrics of the song.

Yes, Anita, the book is depressing in a number of ways, mostly because it is a story of the descent into personal devastation for a young lady who had a life of promise and vast opportunity. It does, however, end on a positive note with Plath's return to college studies and normality. It is only if the reader knows the full story of her life -- of her eventual and ultimate suicide -- that the story is truly sad.

Planning a climbing expedition to Mount Everest, are you? I picture you more of a Cyprus or Canary Island type .... just teasing. You should pass that book along to Alexander.

Thank you, for the compliment about the music. This is among my favorite Led Zeppelin songs -- for more reasons than one.

And, thank you, Anita, for coming to visit me at my blog and for your comment. I hope you have a neat and a happy weekend. Be good and take care ....

Fram Actual said...

I had not thought of it, Kaya, but doing a bit of research regarding the time and place and circumstances of the three photographs might prove interesting -- even fascinating -- but that can wait for another lifetime, at least from my perspective. If I were to interpret the third photograph, I would speculate that she is annoyed and wishes to be somewhere else or, maybe, with someone else.

Some people are neurotic to one degree or another, but disguise it well. Some people are so far gone from chemical imbalance or whatever that they are absolutely loony tunes. (There goes political correctness out the window again.) Sylvia Plath was somewhere between, it would seem. And, it is true, what you said. Some people who are mentally unstable are very intelligent, some are very talented and creative, but others are as dumb as tree stumps and all are at least potentially unstable.

No matter how many people say we are all the same, we are not. We are all individuals, and residents of our own private and, often, impenetrable world.

If you read "The Bell Jar," I believe you would see why I think she became a man-hater. She uses men for her own purposes, and she grows to despise the one she loved first and who loved her and who wanted to marry her. I will not try to explain it further.

I have not mentioned this previously, but physically she reminds me of my first wife: Blue eyes, blonde hair, five-feet, nine-inches tall, more of an intellectual than an athlete .... I feel like I almost know Plath's physical presence.

I admire her only for her writing talent, which, I think, primarily lies in poetry. That seems to be the consensus. Her only novel really is nothing special in most respects, and, as I have said a few times, I really do not like her as a person. I do find her fascinating, and would have enjoyed talking with her after she left the college girl stage of life. I will read some of her poetry, but otherwise I plan to "abandon" her for the time being.

I am glad my interest in Plath was kindled by a newspaper column. I am glad she became more than just the name of another writer of whom I was aware, but never had read. I am glad you have found her, Kaya. I hope you will read more of her work and, perhaps, do a bit of research into her life and see where it leads you.

In the meanwhile, here is something to remember: Creativity was said to originate from divine madness, according to some among the Old Greeks. Perhaps, that explains Plath best.

Thank you, for being here, Kaya, and for your neat comment.

A Cuban In London said...

As it happens I just read today in The Guardian an article on Hughes and Plath. It seems to me that there is still a lot to be said about Plath, the motivation for her suicide and whether Ted's decision to go with another woman actually catapulted her towards her demise. Great post and even greater song.

Greetings from London.

Fram Actual said...

While I suppose it would require someone who knew both Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes intimately in an intellectual sense to make a educated judgment regarding his actions in relation to her suicide, everyone is entitled to an opinion and I am sort of on record with mine.

My guess is that if Hughes had been "right" for Plath, there would have been something like a fifty-fifty chance there would have been no suicide. As things were, I think without the "right man" in her life supporting her and her work, suicide was inevitable. In simpler terms, with no companion or the wrong companion, suicide was Plath's destiny, and Hughes definitely was the wrong companion. I think his history with women confirms that point.

I will try to find The Guardian article to which you referred, CiL. I assume, without having read it, the writer of the article vindicates Hughes. Anyway ....

Thank you, for your appearance and your words, CiL. I appreciate them.

Fram Actual said...

Addendum to my comment for CiL:

"Hughes did not kill Plath. Nor did the other man. Mental illness killed her."

I found and read three articles regarding Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes in The Guardian, CiL, and I am assuming your comment involved one or all of them. I did laugh when I read that line, and found the review a bit, shall I say British? Where are Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple when they are desperately needed to clear the good name of Poet Laureate Hughes?

Any fool can make pronouncements like that. The question is whether Hughes could have made a difference in either preventing or delaying Plath's suicide had he been "Mr. Right" .... or did he exacerbate the situation by being a philandering, egotistical, self-centered ass and push her deeper into mental anguish and on to subsequent suicide?

You know my opinion.

Fram Actual said...

Addendum to my comment for Kaya:

A number of days ago, I had read in one source Sylvia Plath describe herself as blued-eyed and blonde, and another time write that she wished she was back home playing tennis and sunbathing at the beach, using lemon juice to enhance her blonde hair.

Since writing a return comment to you yesterday, I have read that she did use actual hair bleach for blondness. I also have read there apparently is a consensus the color of her eyes was brown. At least, there seems to be no debate about her height -- which was, in fact, five-feet, nine-inches.

Sorry, for any confusion .... and sort of sorry she apparently did not have blue eyes.

Kaya said...

Thank you, Fram for your addendum. It's nice and I appreciate it.

Fram Actual said...

Hi there, Kaya ....

It is difficult to believe there is contradictory information in books and on the internet regarding the physical characteristics of someone as prominent as Sylvia Plath, who was walking the earth only a few decades ago.

But, then again, this is not only the age of information -- it is also the age of disinformation.

A Cuban In London said...

Vixen, huh? God knows what's going chez Fram right now! :-) Rock on, man.

Greetings from London.

PhilipH said...

Hi Fram. I could not post a comment on your latest posting, Vixen and guitarist with long blonde hair. No comment allowed. I did quite like listening to the music; never heard of this artiste before.

However, main reason to post HERE is that this morning I watched a truly fascinating 90 minute documentary about the late Ted Hughes. It was absolutely enthralling. So beautifully put together. Great to see and hear his daughter talking about her gifted dad and mum, Sylvia Plaith.

Sad to learn that Assia (spelling ?) his second lady love also put her head into the gas oven. It was suggested she might have been trying to hurt Ted Hughes twice over, copying the same suicide as Sylvia.

I cannot stress enough how engaging this documentary was and if you have a way of getting to the BBC iPlayer you might be able to see it some time.

He certainly became very attractive to women which was to be so hard for him in later life. His early death, from cancer, aged 68 might seem, to some, like a punishment ... but NOT to me.

I must seek out some of his books. I may even reconsider getting a copy of The Bell Jar.

Hope all is good with you.

Phil

Kaya said...

Wild and great! Love Vixen!!!! She is rocking hard? Right? And she truly sings; others are just screaming on top of their lungs. And she is reaching for the high notes. She is so rocking cool!!!

Beautiful rock singer.

Have a nice week, Fram. And peaceful.

Kaya said...

And she is from Saint Paul Minnesota. Of course you knew it, Fram. I didn't.

ANITA said...

Well I think Fram is having a good cup of Brandy:)

Hope all is well With you

Nice Music.

Fram Actual said...

It is pretty much the "same old same old" in this neck of the woods, CiL. A bit of metal, a bit of country rock, a bit of hard rock, a bit of classical (even more fascinating when the classical is mingled with the rock, a la Rainbow or Deep Purple) .... well, you know me and music.

And, this particular "girl band" formed by a "hometown" guitarist, Jan Kuehnemund, has brought me behaving like an awestruck teeny bopper to the front row of its concerts on more than one occasion.

Some good memories there, CiL.

Thank you, for stopping by once again and noting your presence with a comment.

Fram Actual said...

Yes, Phil, it is not unusual for me to block comments on a particular post, but neither is it unusual for some individuals to go back to a previous post to find the means to voice their thoughts. I sort of enjoy that.

I had wondered if the sound of Vixen might be a bit much for your taste. I had not planned the post. I think of October as a month of death in many ways, and sometime yesterday I remembered October 10 is the anniversary of the death of Jan Kuehnemund. She died at age fifty-one, which really is young in a sense. My father died at the same age. Anyway ....

I would not wish to blunt your enthusiasm for the Sylvia Plath/Ted Hughes documentary, but I wonder how valuable the impressions of a daughter who never knew her mother might be in terms of objective analysis. (Sorry, but the skeptical journalist is a reality among some of us.) I mean, the daughter, Frieda, was not even three years old at the time of Plath's death, and probably has few, if any, memories.

And, I would guess she is not realistically judgmental regarding her father.

Did the documentary mention that the son, Nicholas, himself committed suicide in 2009?

Do not get me wrong. I would enjoy watching this program as a learning resource, but I walk into such shows as a skeptic looking for facts to either support or to refute any opinions I might have. For instance, it is my understanding that Hughes was "bedding" at least two women outside the marriage at the time Plath killed herself. No matter how excellent a poet he might have been, I would have no respect for a married man with two small children conducting himself in such a manner. I view Hughes as a villain in the life of Plath, and the only way I can approach him is as a man to be studied, not a man to be admired.

Anyway, I will look into the possibilities for obtaining access to the documentary.

I did chuckle at your remark about Hughes suffering an "early death" at age 68. I am uncertain of your exact age, Phil, but I do understand you are going for a longevity record. Good luck to you.

Yes, everything is well and fine for me at the moment. Today, summer returned and the temperature reached twenty-eight Celsius. This morning, I sat outside in shorts reading the newspaper and drinking coffee; this afternoon, I sat outside in shorts working on my tan, reading a book and drinking a beer. So far, a perfect day.

I send my wishes for a pleasant week for you and my thanks for your visit and your comment here .... and, I will look for that documentary. You have made me curious.

Fram Actual said...

Vixen was among the top rock bands, and, maybe, the best of any of the girl bands during its peak years in the 1980s and 1990s, Kaya. It has come and gone and come back again, and is still around .... but, without Jan Kuehnemund, it can never be the same. It was from the beginning and always will be her band.

Yes, I have been aware of the band almost since its beginnings here and I have been to a few Vixen concerts over the years.

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

Fram Actual said...

Actually, Anita, I am having a rather small glass of Benedictine. Brandy will come later.

Yes, all is well on the western front. As I mentioned to Philip, the weather cooperated with me today, and I regained a bit of lost tan while sitting in the sun catching up on some reading.

I am glad you liked the music. Vixen has been my favorite female band since forever and Jan Kuehnemund my favorite female guitarist.

Thank you, Anita, for your visit and your words .... and, I hope all is well with you, too ....

ANITA said...

BTW Fram..Would be nice with a photo of you sitting around in shorts enjoying 20 degrees in November!!!
Wow..You are lucky!(We have morning ice on the little waters now)
Iam glad you are fine and enjoying a little glass of Benedictine..
Me too is fine-Alex turned 16 years on wednesday..Big boy now!
We are planning a weekend to New York soon..
In the beginning of 2016 he is going down to Malaga ,Spain with his students..I quess he is spreading his wings to the world now...Well you now..children..

Am glad you took the time to answer us here on the blog..
We do care for you

Be happy and see you soon!


Anita

ANITA said...

Sorry..Octubre it is....

PhilipH said...

Good Monday morning to you Fram.

I don't think there was any mention of a son in this documentary. There were a few contributors in this 90 minute film who seemed very knowledgeable about Hughes, his work and life. A woman who produced a book about the journals of Sylvia Plaith and others who commented on various aspects of the life of Hughes.

Yes, he certainly loved women, but even more I think it was more that women loved him. The photos of him shows him as quite handsome. This seems to attract the ladies, and it's a totally 'devoted' man who is not tempted by the attentions of a determined female. I am giving Ted Hughes the benefit of the doubt as to how responsible he was for these suicides.

Death at 68, nowadays, is definitely early. We all live longer now, on average. I was born in January 1935. I was pleased to have made it to the biblical age of three score years and ten. I think today the age should be four score years and possibly a bit more! I don't know why I've outlived all but one of my four younger brothers. Just lucky I guess. The youngest, Michael, suffered a brain bleed at age 45 and couldn't be save in 1990. Geoff, 18 months my junior, died of cancer aged 72. David, born 1942 died recently at age 72, again of cancer.

Ted Hughes was killed by cancer.

If a cure for cancer can be found then the average life span today would be even higher it seems.

Don't know if this link is of any use to you, not being in UK, but here is the BBC iPlayer link to the Hughes documentary:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b06j7pkl/ted-hughes-stronger-than-death

Kindest regards,
Phil

Kaya said...

Today is Monday... Saturday is far behind. Do you feel better, Fram? Still thinking about this mysterious title "It Was Saturday Night...". Hope everything is OK and usual in your life.

Kaya said...

If I am too nosey; let's skip the answer. That's OK with me.

Fram Actual said...

No shorts today, Anita. The temperature is ten degrees Celsius and the wind is gusting to forty-five miles-per-hour.

The weather has been relatively kind this year. Usually hard frost arrives around the middle of September, but we have escaped it so far. I think there still will be some days here and there when shorts will be my "uniform of the day," but most days will not be so kind.

Congratulations, and Happy Birthday to Alexander. Taking him to New York City would be quite a birthday present for him and a memorable trip for both of you. And, I am sure going to Spain will be a nice adventure for him and for his classmates. When I was sixteen, the only "foreign" country I had been to was Canada, and those treks were little different than simply going to another state.

Yes, when you think of it, the first eighteen years of life are but the blink of an eye, whether they are your years or the years of your children. In just another two years, Alex might well be off and running on his own, and it is very possible that you will see little of him. I hope he plans to attend college.

I appreciate your kind words, Anita. Thank you, for your return and your comment.

Fram Actual said...

Greetings, Phil, from far, distant outlands of the colonies ....

You are more generous with Ted Hughes than I am, Phil, but there is no reason to debate the matter. We can leave that to historians and to English professors who wish to write their own books about Hughes and Sylvia Plath, solving all the riddles and answering all the unanswerable questions in the process. Long live Academia !!

I attempted to locate the documentary you referenced via the link you furnished, but you were right: No luck. I will contact the Public Broadcasting Service here and find out what its spokespeople have to say about it and/or ask for suggestions. Curiosity reigns ....

It is amazing how many people are living well into their eighties and even into their nineties. I receive the Saint Paul newspaper and have a habit of scanning the obituaries, partially looking for familiar names and partially out of curiosity regarding ages.

The women have done well among my own family members, but the greater number of men have been lucky to make it to around age seventy. I suppose any age is fine as long as the individual maintains an adequate measure of sound mental and physical health.

You certainly are right about cancer. It has been said that everyone would succumb to cancer if he/she lives long enough. Returning to the newspaper obituaries, it is obvious that the leading cause of death around here for those under, say age eighty, is cancer.

By the way, when I saw the date 1935, I do recall you mentioning it in a post or a comment. My mother's birthday, incidentally, was January 13.

Thank you, Phil, once again. It is interesting for me to learn your viewpoint regarding Hughes, and I appreciate being able to discuss it with you.

I hope you are having a pleasant and a fine week ....

Fram Actual said...

No problems for me beyond the ordinary boredom of life these days, Kaya.

The headline for my post on Saturday was the first line from the Vixen song, "I Want You to Rock Me."

It was Saturday night and I was feeling alright,
I had nothing to lose
I threw the top down, then pulled into town,
I had no time for the blues

It had occurred to me sometime during the day on Saturday that it had been two years since Jan Kuehnemund had died -- October 10, 2013 -- and, I decided to note it with a post. When I went to select a song for the post, I recalled the opening line of "Rock Me ...." and, the rest is sort of history: It was Saturday, it was October 10, it was the anniversary of her death -- and, the recollection of her death saddened me a bit.

Most of the songs, the photographs or illustrations and my words within a particular post are linked together one way or another, although the relationship might not always be clearly evident.

Anyway, that is the story. No problem. I am willing to answer questions nine times out of ten, so never hesitate to ask .... and, thank you, Kaya, for coming by once again.

PhilipH said...

January 19th is my date. Does this mean your Ma is six days younger than I? Or have I just assumed her birth year was the same as mine?

Sorry that your Dad died so early on. My Dad was 72 when stomach cancer cut him down.

You mentioned that cancer would come to us all if we lived long enough. Yes, I've read that somewhere a while back when the topic was on prostate cancer. Assuming this is correct, then the trend to live longer nowadays might not be such a wonderful thing. The song that says "Hope I die before I grow old ..." may have a grain of sense? An aging population is as troublesome as the swarms of immigrants and refugees in some respects.

When Eos asked Zeus to make Tithonus immortal she forgot to ask for eternal youth. Tithomus grew older and older and was locked away ... which is what happens to thousands of people who live too long, ending up in some 'home' for the frail and elderly. I'd sooner do a Sylvia!!

Have a nice day Fram, as shall I.

Fram Actual said...

My mother had you by a few years, Phil, and I am the superstitious sort and do not want to jinx you and will leave the exact year of her arrival on the surface of the earth shadowed in the ethereal. She died a while back, so I am betting on your longevity to surpass her own. As for my father, I saw him only three times in terms of being old enough to actually remember him, so his death was little more than a footnote for me.

My mother spent the last nine months of her life in a nursing home. Having seen her and others there, I cannot imagine a more depressing existence. Yes, it is wise to be careful what you wish for in terms of age and living and yes, it is short-sighted not to see the consequences of more and more people living longer and longer and entering stages where they are incapable of caring for themselves.

Hmmmm .... time to change the subject.

Funny you should mention the Eos/Zeus/Tithonus connection. Just last night I picked out a quote from a novella regarding aging for use with my next post.

And, reading that illustration carried me back in time to Homer and his "rosy-fingered dawn." You set off a chain reaction in my mind with your goddess of the dawn analogy: I thought of "bright-eyed Athene" and "wine-dark sea" and "goddess of the gleaming eyes" and "aegis-wearing Zeus." I think you have inadvertently nudged me toward re-reading "The Odyssey."

I am watching five contenders for the nomination of the Democratic Party to become the next president of the United States participating in their first debate of this election cycle. Interesting so far, but hardly earth-shaking revelations. I may get grouchy as the debate moves along, so it is best for me to sign off and to send a wish for a rosy-fingered dawn to bring with it a fine day for you, Phil.

Thank you, for being here.

ANITA said...

Good evening Fram.Quite interesting comments here--Specially about the old age.As a nurse working on two hospitals i see much depressing.Specially about the elders.i mean how can relatives simply just forget there mam and pa,,and just leave them to..nothing..No goog clothes..never a visit..only when dead approches.they want a call from us.-yes its very sadly how we humans can be...Luckily not all of us are like that.

thank you for yourcomment about alex growing up.i appreciate it.

I could not comment in time on your last post.I was in a hurry.The doggy.Doesnt leave me any peace..out out out we go..But the nights are quiet though.

I think that book author Ariel and Durant seems very interesting.I shall look them up(Well i have done it already)


Hope you are ok Fram.Thinking of you what a good friend you are.

See you soon then!

Hugs Anita

Smareis said...

Olá Fram bom dia!
Tudo bem com você?
Aqui como sempre a meteorologia continua desequilibrada. No sul do Brasil chuva farta com grandes inundações, e no resto do País, só sol e muito calor. Hoje o tempo estar cinza com a cara que vamos ficar feliz, talvez venha chuva, para dar uma refrescada.
Desculpa-me pela demora em aparecer. Como sempre é contundente, e completo, quanto escreve seus textos. Gosto muito do teu trabalho. Tem o atilamento de bom jornalista.

Sobre as três faces de EVA, risos, ou melhor, Sylvia Plath, às vezes é difícil explicar esses transtornos de personalidade, numa pessoa que tinha tudo para ser feliz. Muitas das vezes Fram, os problemas enfrentados quando criança trás essas consequências na adolescência e na maturidade. Talvez tenha tido alguns traumas que a deixou doente e com esses transtornos. Acredito que ela não conseguiu ligar com as situações que foi acontecendo ao prazo curto da sua vida. Fico imaginando como uma pessoa tão jovem e tão bonita termina com sua própria vida dessa forma, sabendo que tinha dois filhos, e aos 30 anos de idade cometer suicídio inspirando gás de cozinha em sua própria residência. Ela deveria estar muito doente, perturbada e desequilibrada. Acho que ela deveria ter ficado internada e com a observação de pessoas da família. Acredito que os suicídios eram pedidos de ajuda, talvez ninguém tenha entendido e no seu momento de perturbação e tristeza, acabou sendo fatal. Acho que o casamento para ela teve um grau alto para as loucuras, mais não tanto ao ponto de acabar com sua vida. Difícil entender o psicológico das pessoas, aparência se engana.
O olhar dela nas fotos era de olhar triste, perdido, longe, principalmente a primeira foto. As outras duas me parece querer esconder a tristeza. Talvez traumas da infância que a deixou tão insegura. Na verdade Fram hoje tá meio que difícil saber realmente quem é louco e quem não é. As pessoas sãs que fazem coisas loucas e as pessoas que são legalmente e / ou clinicamente estão loucas. Às vezes convivemos com pessoas que a aparência é de uma sã, quanto na verdade é muito perigosa e desequilibrado. Não sei quem é mais doente mental, o suicida, ou o homicida. Só sei que uma pessoa tem que estar muito doente para cometer esses atos cruéis.
A vida por mais difícil que seja, é uma benção, uma dadiva preciosa. Viver é muito bom, por mais que o dia esteja péssimo, o problema não sendo resolvido amanhã é outro e precisamos pensar positivos. Ninguém vive o mesmo dia, todo dia é diferente mesmo que parece ser o mesmo. A vida de milhões de pessoas hoje é governada por empenhos materialistas. Mas, será que as coisas materiais as fazem felizes? Tanto homens como mulheres sentem que algo está faltando na sua vida, mas não conseguem definir o que é... A felicidade é simples, por isso muitos não consegue encontra-la.
Então Fram!!!
Acho que já falei demais... Sai fora do texto kkkk. Acho que fiquei empolgada e fui escrevendo sem eira nem beira.

Deixo sorrisos e uma ótima semana!
A música é muito boa...

Smareis said...

Olá Fram!
Boa tarde!!!! ia comentar no primeiro post vai percebi que esta desativados.
Gostei dessa coleção de livros. Gosto muito de livros, e eles sempre me encantam, seja de grandes ou pequenos autores. As pessoas que tem o habito de ler, fazem dos livros partes de sua vida. As histórias fazem com que viajemos para outros mundos e situações, exercita nossa criatividade e imaginação e oferecem alternativas para fugir da mesmice do dia a dia. Pode até serem engraçados, mais meus presentes favoritos são livros.

Gostei muito dessa frase:"Trate os outros como você gostaria de ser tratado." É uma frase muito verdadeira, se todos entendesse o sentido dela, o mundo seria bem diferente. Acho que a história de Will e Ariel Durant. deve ser muito boa.

Sorrisos e até mais Fram.
Meu blog vai ter atualização pelo final da semana ja coloquei uma nota por lá.

Fram Actual said...

My mother and, before her, my grandmother were residents of nursing homes and died in them, so I have witnessed what you are writing about, Anita. You are exactly right. It is interesting that the situation seems to be exactly the same in Norway as it is in the United States. I would have guessed conditions were better in Norway, but it seems they are not. My hope is that I am done being a personal witness to these situations.

Yes, dogs are a lot of work if one is to treat them correctly and fairly. This is the primary reason I do not have one now. I do not feel I would spend enough time with one. If I should return to country living again, I probably would get one or two or three and roam the woodlands with them (as I once did) four or five times a week.

As for Alexander, I like it when you mention his activities from time to time in your posts.

As for Will and Ariel Durant, my admiration for them knows no bounds. Just take a look at the massive amount of research and writing they accomplished during their lifetimes. Few, if any, have climbed as many intellectual peaks as those two did.

Yes, I am fine .... bored, but fine.

Thank you, for being here, Anita. I hope your work week will go well and smoothly for you, and that life is being good to you in all respects .... yes, see you soon ....

Fram Actual said...

I would not argue or contradict any of your comments regarding mental instability in general or Sylvia Plath in particular, Smareis, but I would return to my thoughts long enough to reiterate one point: Given her history regarding suicide and her hospitalization for mental instability, the last thing in the world she needed was marriage to a man like Ted Hughes -- a man who evidently was incapable of "keeping his zipper up" and apparently was going to bed with any women who would have him. Again I would repeat, he had at least two "girlfriends" and was "shacking up" with one of them when Plath killed herself.

Of course, Hughes cannot be held responsible for Plath's death, but that a man with the morals of an alley cat and who neglected a wife with an erratic psychiatric history which had to be known to him should later be honored with the title of poet laureate of England completely escapes me. He should have been shunned into oblivion, in my opinion. It probably borders on a miracle that Plath, in her self-destructive, deluded condition, did not also kill their children, as another woman in the "laureate's" life later did.

Anyway, that is the only point I would raise again and again. I think he was a despicable human being and no matter how accomplished a poet, a sorry excuse for a man.

It is interesting to look at photographs of Plath, not only those with the post, but others, as well, and search for the thoughts and the moods lurking behind her eyes, whirling within her mind.

Neither will I dispute your words that life is a blessing, a precious gift. I would add to that, life is a mystery. And, it is a mystery that fascinates me. There are times I think I am beginning to understand this mystery, but before long reality returns and I am laughing at myself and saying to myself: Not yet; maybe someday.

As for happiness, whether simple or complicated, it seems I never am able to capture it for more than brief periods at a time. But, the quest will continue.

Well, I am not sure if you were referring to "loosey goosey" of nursery rhyme fame or in a more contemporary sense of slang, but I think what you wrote is interesting and I enjoyed comparing your thoughts to my own, Smareis. So, I hope you will not lose your loosey-goosey instinct when writing comments for me.

Yes, it is good music .... I love it.

Thank you, for your appearance and your words, Smareis. Come early, come late, just come .... take care, and I hope your week is being good to you.

P.S. I will respond to your second comment with a separate remark in a little while .... it is time for food for me now.

Fram Actual said...

Yes, Smareis, no comments for that post.

It might sound contradictory to things I have said in the past, but when I publish a post, it is about something on my mind at the moment and there are points I would like to discuss via comments if there is an opportunity. If there have been no comments within a day of posting, my interest is waning and is moving on to other topics and I am thinking forward to possibilities for new posts. I want to move on to something else, rather than linger at a post which has drawn no comments .... so, I simply shut off comments.

Anyway ....

Yes, books are portals to people and places and times which we might not otherwise be able to reach. They have held immeasurable value to many of us, for me most certainly, and there was more than one occasion when I was young and I used money to buy books when it would have been wiser for me to spend it otherwise. Today, I rarely think about money in the context of books; I just spend it.

I hope you will look for a Portuguese translation of Will and Ariel Durant's book, "The Lessons of History." I think you would enjoy reading it, and it offers "lessons" garnered by the Durants from a literal lifetime of studying religion and philosophy and, mostly, history. If I were a teacher today, this book would be required reading for my students.

I will look forward to reading your next post, Smareis, and I thank you for coming to my blog and for reading my words and for leaving your own. And, thank you, especially, for your smile ....

Something special ....