Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

In this season of hope and happiness, may the Spirit of the Season find you at peace with the world, with optimism toward the future, and with love in your heart for all mankind.

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, nothing at all, or just like a good party, how you believe or don't believe, my wish for you is to have the sense that we truly are all in this together and it's never too late to be kind to one another.

Thank you for stopping by and for joining this little gathering. May the coming New Year be the best of all for each of us as we reflect on the paths we have traveled and anticipate the journey yet to come.

Peace be with you and yours.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Nothing Gold Can Stay

One of my favorite poems is by Robert Frost, and I guess this time of year triggers the melancholy associations of Fall and the turning of the leaves as the winds begin their descent from the north to bring thoughts of the inevitable Autumn of our lives, and the Winter to follow, which sooner or later will be something most of us experience, and for which all of us will be taken unaware. 

I've always seen myself as young in my mind, never old, a situation that was always normal to me. Until I read my late Grandma's journal. Grandma, to me at least, had always been old and so I grew up assuming that she saw herself as she was to me. 

Then, as I read the words she put to paper as she approached her 70th year (and I approached my 21st), I learned that she saw herself exactly like I saw myself then and still see myself today, fleet of foot, long of breath, nimble and strong, because, like her, that is what I used to be. 

Nothing Gold Can Stay.

Nature's first green is gold, 

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf's a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

By Robert Frost

1874 - 1963

Thursday, December 4, 2014

I Wonder What it's Like to Live in a Film Noir World

Do you remember the old detective movies? You know, Jimmy Cagney, Edward G. Robinson, the old black & white, film noir genre? Jean Paul Belmondo, perhaps?

In life as film noir it's always a little dark, a little gritty, with a skyline that's always foggy and a threat hanging in the air.  Where you'll find menace to be your best friend, fever pitch anxiety your constant companion, with death and desolation never far from your side.

You know there's a trainyard (probably freight) that figures in somewhere. There always is. It will be soft focus in the background with foreground details brought out in stark relief. Because that's how it is in a world like this. A world with tracks that you're on the wrong side of. 

The story generally will take you to an old warehouse park in a bad part of town at a time of night when the only people out looking are on the lookout for only one thing...Trouble...spelled with a capital T.

The only light is the light you see reflected out of stagnant pools of water left over from a too insubstantial rain that fell too long ago to accomplish anything but too much humidity on this still, sticky night. 

The bad guys all have flashy cars that sparkle in the moonlight like diamond inlays in a gambler's mouth, while the good guys work too hard on loading docks, owe too much money to shylocks, and drive cars that look too much like they belong in the junkyard instead of the driveway...and that's on a good day - a day when they run.

The shadows menace and dance through the trees, their branches naked of leaves and pointing like skeletal fingers into the night...pointing at nothing...pointing at everything...the point of every branch an indictment...with all of them pointing directly at you. 

Your nerves light up like the slots at Barney's Speakeasy as you look first one way, then the other, up and down the darkened street, looking for anyone, afraid of everyone, knowing that nothing good ever comes in the night. 

About that time that Humphrey Bogart steps out of the shadows, streetlights reflecting on the cold steel in his hand, and as the start of a death rattle dies in your throat....

That's the end of the movie. 

The credits roll.

You go home.

This time.

Until next time....