Saturday, October 17, 2020

"Softer than a summer night"

I like the style and works of French impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir and I like the face of Margot. It seems Renoir liked her, too, because he painted her a number of times. I found a few more of those works and picked one for post No. 2 of this episode. By the way, I broke this into two pieces simply because it is long/long/long, which often discourages people from reading a particular item. This way, I figured long/lo would only be one-half as discouraging. I also selected three more pieces of music to include here today. They are Luigi Boccherini -- Nuria Rial performing "Virgo virginum praeclara" / Jay & the Americans -- "This Magic Moment" / Ricky Nelson -- "Never Be Anyone Else But You."

Yep, magic .... Part 2 of 2

Definitions of magic straight from Merriam-Webster: The use of means believed to have supernatural power over natural forces and an extraordinary power or influence seemingly from a supernatural source. There undoubtedly are more, but we will leave it at those for now.

My own priorities in magic have centered around two. One has been in relation to time travel, which is very romantic in one sense, but sort of impractical in terms of quantum physics. There is a theory that it might be possible to locate a wormhole and use it as a bridge to travel through time. According to general relativity, this concept might actually work, but when it comes to our understanding of the Universe, general relativity probably does not have the final word.

Actually, physics is not "my thing," and I prefer the simpler idea that time is like a river and we each are in our own canoe drifting along in it .... and, if this is true, should it not be possible to paddle to the shoreline, get out of the canoe and walk forward or back along the riverbank? Sort of like physics for idiots, I suppose ....

Time to divert into a story of sorts. I am pretty much of a right person at the right place at the right time individual .... and conversely, the wrong at the wrong at the wrong.

 This magic moment

 So different and so new

 Was like any other

 Until I kissed you

And then it happened

 It took me by surprise

 I knew that you felt it too

 By the look in your eyes

Sweeter than wine

Softer than a summer night

Those were some of the lyrics from the song, "This Magic Moment." I have kissed a young lady or two or three, a few with significant passion, but only once did a kiss seem magically perfect. A group of  "we budding journalists" went to a saloon one evening after work and, a few hours later, only two of us remained. The young lady was sitting on one side of a booth and I was on the other side. We were leaning inward, forearms on the table, looking at each other, talking (about what, I cannot recall) when we both slowly moved nearer and nearer until we were kissing.

If there is such a thing as an impeccable kiss, this was it. Our lips seemed to fit perfectly, as though they had been molded each to match the other's. We kissed like that a few more times. I thought I might melt. I will not describe the evening further than to say each kiss seemed as "magical" as the first and that a few minutes later, we both left and went our separate ways.

In one sense, that is the end of the story, but, from another aspect, it is not.

I was married (for the second time) with two young children at home / totally career-oriented / determined to make my marriage work. The young lady was single / very attractive / an excellent reporter / just over a relationship.

We were alone together, by her design, a few times after that. We talked and talked and talked and got to know each other very well in terms of history and personality -- but, there never was anything more to it. Never even another kiss, although it was obvious we both remembered the first few and wanted to experience them again.

At some point along the way, I had begun to wonder if she possibly was the "right/ideal" person for me, but our encounter for me was the wrong place at the wrong time. I moved to a new job in a new town a few months later .... then on to still other places.  Our lives continued to intersect occasionally, always by a visit or a telephone call from her. 

She eventually left journalism and became a high school English teacher. It one point, I discovered she was teaching in a school three blocks as the blue jay flies from my residence. How do you interpret that other than destiny? By then, though, we had not had contact for a few years and I put her out of my mind.

People sometimes say they have found a "soul mate." You occasionally meet someone who claims to have a mate who sets them aflame. Among the things I wonder about (curiosity again) is how many are being honest when they say these things or how many have told themselves those things so many times they actually have come to believe them and affection has replaced love. Love is born in an instant, I believe, although it might take years to recognize it.  Affection grows during the passage of time. I wonder where the line is between the two -- or if there is a line .... 

I do not believe there are words adequate to describe "the kiss." Have you ever encountered a particular word in a language for which there is no equivalent word in any other language? I suppose I could try to invent a word for this experience, but every word needs a definition and this would be where I encounter an impenetrable wall. All I know is that I never have experienced anything like it before or since .... hence, it shall remain undefined in any language.

My conclusion for this event and other experiences?  I believe there can be "magic" by any definition between individuals and, although I have not experienced any other forms (of which I am aware), I have no reason to believe it cannot exist .... which is light years away from actually believing in it or disbelieving in it in other forms ....

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

"If you believe in magic, come along with me"

A tale of the times .... more-or-less

(Part 1 of 2)

Double double toil and trouble;

Fire burn and caldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,

In the caldron boil and bake;

Eye of newt and toe of frog,

Wool of bat and tongue of dog,

Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,

Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing,

For a charm of powerful trouble,

Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double double toil and trouble;

Fire burn and caldron bubble.

Cool it with a baboon’s blood,

Then the charm is firm and good

Those lines and a few more were among some I memorized as a 15-year-old in a high school English class. They come from the play, "Macbeth," written in trochaic tetrameter by William Shakespeare.  This was my first exposure to "Willie Boy," an encounter which has taken place many times during the years since.

The words are spoken by three witches and probably are among the most quoted and misquoted lines composed by friend Shakespeare. I have a tendency to think "bubble bubble," rather than "double double."

Although I am not a religious individual, I like to think of myself as a spiritual one and believe I was "blest" to have had two absolutely dedicated and superb English teachers during five of my six high school years. One was a spinster who had lifelong medical problems and died young, and the other was a married lady whose husband had a deserved reputation for pursuing anyone who wore a skirt, as the old cliché noted. My speculation is that they found solace in literature for the cards life had dealt them and felt an obligation to pass their love for it on to their students.

Moving along with a hop, a skip and a jump:

This is not a post about Shakespeare or my reading habits and not even about the "magic day" of October: Hallows' Even or Hallows' Evening or Allhalloween or, as it is known today, Halloween.

Relax, we shall pass by the history and traditions of Halloween, a liturgical event for remembering the dead. Such data is abundant for those curious enough to look.

Rather, this is a two-part post about magic. Yep, magic .... well, sort of, anyway ....

(End Part 1 .... to be continued ....)

Friday, September 25, 2020

In the mood .... for a bit of dialectic thought?

This is the view looking toward the southwest from the Dakota house. This particular photograph was taken about ten minutes after sunset on March 13, 2015. The shutter clicked at 7:44 p.m. It is a moment in time never to have been seen in the identical, precise manner before or since. Every breath we take is just as unique, every sight we see is an instant never to be duplicated in exactness. My point to this is to never take anything or anyone or any moment for granted. Back to the photograph .... the body of water is Lewis & Clark Lake, a 26-mile long reservoir created by dams on the Missouri River. The distant land beyond the lake center left is Nebraska.

Never the spirit was born;

the spirit shall cease to be never;

Never was time it was not;

End and Beginning are dreams!

Those lines are some from the "Bhagavad Gita," a collection of Hindu verses which form a dialogue between Prince Arjuna and Vishnu, the Supreme God, incarnated as Krishna, disguised as a charioteer.

Never was time it was not

Part 1 ....

This easily could be two posts; probably even should be. But, I seem to be in a hurry these days without rhyme or reason or a goal or even a destination. It puzzles me why this is, but, because it is, I am doing this in a single post.

I once wrote a short story about a "mad scientist" who found a way to "see" to the end of the universe and a bit beyond it. He learned by eavesdropping within the beyond that the universe is nothing more than a test tube, a petri dish in a laboratory. He also learned that if he shattered the dish -- which he has the ability to do -- the universe would end with it. Liberating a bit from "The Time Machine" by H.G. Wells, this scientist gathered some friends for a dinner to tell them about his discovery and to ask for their advice.

The dinner goes on and the discussion ensues. Skipping over the elements of the discussion and going straight to the tale's end, the scientist has not yet come to a decision: Will he or will he not destroy the dish, which also means destruction of the universe and everything in it? Or, will he end his own life, which, in effect, make the necessity for a decision more or less a moot point for him personally and leaves it to become a dilemma for his friends to ponder?

The story still rests with that question and has no actual ending.

Part 2 ....

I usually look over the entire page of those I encounter on the sea of blogs. I have no idea how many look over my page, but, if they do, they will notice a quote by Will Durant: "The most interesting thing in the world is another human being who wonders, suffers and raises the questions that have bothered him to the last day of his life, knowing he will never get the answers."

Durant was a historian, philosopher, teacher and prolific writer, among other things. He and his wife, Ariel, compiled a number of books during their lifetimes, including the comprehensive 11-volume, "Story of Civilization." The series was written over a span of more than five decades. It totals four million words across nearly 10,000 pages, with two further books in production at the time of the authors' deaths within two weeks of each other in 1981.

Durant, who studied to be a priest for a while, once said words to the effect that he could not find the answers to all his questions through either religion or philosophy, so he turned to the study of history. There, he claimed, he found most answers.

Part 3 ....

Here we have the dialectic thought: Part 1 is the thesis; Part 2 the antithesis; Part 3 the synthesis. Part 3 is yet to be written. In all likelihood, it never will be written and will be left dangling in a state of oblivion as so many aspects of life are left ....

While you are waiting for a synthesis which might never be written, try to watch a few sunrises and sunsets while allowing your mind to drift. You might not find answers to your own questions, but you will experience many memorable, never-to-be repeated moments and, if you are lucky, find peace of mind and the patience to wait and (maybe) to see ....

Sunday, September 20, 2020

"Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?"

This series of photographs might be called "A Dog and His Tree Awaiting Autumn." For those of you who are unaware, the Autumnal Equinox arrives on Tuesday, September 22, 2020. For me, the "official time" is 8:31 A.M. CDT, according to our contemporary Gregorian calendar.
Actually, the primary purpose of this post is not so much to serve as a reminder of the approaching seasonal change as it is to allow me to practice a bit (i.e., mess around) with the new blog system. In a sentence, I do not like it, but expect I either will adapt to it or abandon the blog. At this point, I still am thinking about the pros and cons of pursuing either "trail."
Incidentally, there will be no comments for this post. We all know Buddy W. Fram to be a courageous / brilliant / courteous / healthy, wealthy and wise / tough / handsome / loyal / fierce / good-natured / happy young puppy man, so there is nothing else to say .... except for a few more similar adjectives which he is happy to provide to and for himself ....

Thursday, September 10, 2020

To sleep -- perchance to dream

How green is the river? Not as green as it appears in the photograph. The river is the Snake in Idaho. What is the name of the waterfall? Hmmmm? You do not see the waterfall? Look again .... pretty much in the center, cascading down 200 or 300 or 400 feet from the top of the bluff into the canyon below. And, no, that is not the waterfall coming down from the heavens onto the bluff (or a geyser going up into the heavens) although it appears it could be either. It is what I would describe as sort of an optical illusion created by a contrail from a jet aircraft which passed over moments before the photograph was taken. Looks great and a bit mysterious, though -- almost dreamlike or surreal .... does it not? By the way, I never did learn the name of the waterfall, although it might be Perrine Coulee Waterfall.
We have joining us for a pair of musical selections none other than David Bowie performing what has to be my favorite piece in his repertoire: "Absolute Beginners." On stage with him to sing most of "Under Pressure" is Gail Ann Dorsey, who is a magnificent vocalist and musician in her own right. There is a pronounced difference in the way the musicians perform the two songs -- see if you notice it ....
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
Those lines are some from Edgar Allan Poe’s  1849 poem, “A Dream Within a Dream,” in which he explores the difference between the real and the imaginary.
A dream within a dream ....
A dream is an imaginary series of events we experience in our mind while we are asleep. If something recurs, it happens more than once. Voilà  -- there we have the definition of a recurring dream.
Ever have them? I do on occasion. Two stand out. The first might land somewhere between silly and psychotic, but sometime around the time I was 14 or 15 I began having a periodic dream about walking around a lake where I frequently hunted. A man would appear some distance away with a submachine gun, begin walking toward me and firing at me. I ran / I fell / I began rolling, seeing the rounds kicking up dirt closer and closer to me. I always awakened before the bullets reached me.
I no longer recall how many times I experienced this dream, but it was several times and I do know I have not had it since being in and out of the Marine Corps.
The other recurring dream seems to be more logical and involves buildings from where I went to college, the darkroom from one newspaper and people from two newspapers where I worked and the imaginary, Greek-like ruins of an old institution with a huge, indoor swimming pool .... but there are two or three variations to it, as well, which also repeat themselves and it does periodically increase in length into new areas. In other words, it extends from the existing end into a new segment.
Hmmmm .... I think I will save that one for another day .... enjoy the music ....

Something special ....