bE gLAD yOUR sAD

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Be glad you sad, for, as Aristotle noted,

“Those who have been eminent in philosophy, politics, poetry, and the arts have all had tendencies toward melancholia.” Problema XXX.1

“But why?” asks Oz. Why does madness touch the creative mind?

Can’t you see? It is mad to think a thought that can’t be shared. Genius is a lonely thing.

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Bringing in the sheaves

peace-of-mind

I was just thinking

How many times have you said to yourself, where did this thought come from?

You are alone, sitting in an easy chair at home, or on a crowded bus in the midst of strangers, or out for a walk in the woods with only your dog for company; and some strange, distant image comes to mind, a ghostly and distant memory, mostly forgotten, until…

Stirring up memories

Where memories comes from I don’t know.

I am looking at the words, “bring in the ____” and searching my mind to fill in the blank. It is an old memory, stored somewhere in the trillions of images kept somewhere in the thick skull of ours. Drum my fingers on the table, tap my feet on the floor, then I start to hum, until it finally comes to me.

Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves,
Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,
We shall…

Curious?

The lyrics were written in 1874 by Knowles Shaw, who was inspired by Psalm 126:6, “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”

This explains that the sheaves are the grains of wheat sown in the spring and harvested in the fall.

Tennessee Ernie Ford sang it proudly and loudly.

The first three stanzas:

Sowing in the morning, sowing seeds of kindness,
Sowing in the noontide and the dewy eve;
Waiting for the harvest, and the time of reaping,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.
Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves,
Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.
Sowing in the sunshine, sowing in the shadows,
Fearing neither clouds nor winter’s chilling breeze;
By and by the harvest, and the labor ended,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

The Act of Creation

It is said that the human mind has the capacity of a flash drive when it comes to simple facts. The amazing fact, however, is that the synaptic connectivity of neurons allows for around 2.5 petabytes (or a million gigabytes) of combined images, or about the same as Google’s database.

Wow!

What’s next?

And like Douglas Adams’ Arthur Dent and company, I am already zinging around this amazing thing we call the human brain with other thoughts of who knows what and where.

a moment of change

Why don’t we do a moment of action? Why don’t we do a moment of change? Kelly Clarkson

There have been too many moments of silence this year, at too many schools, for too many students, and too many teachers, for too many lives lost senselessly.

At the 2018 Billboard Music Awards Sunday, television viewers were prepared for the traditional recognition of the tragic school shooting in Texas two days earlier. Instead, Host Kelly Clarkson called for a moment of action, a moment of change.

Oz tries to stay in the background, off stage, and out of the limelight. Some subjects are taboo, touching off visceral reactions, even rage. Gun control is one of those.

But as Kelly says, it is time, long past time, to do something and change the course America is on.

Please, won’t you be part of the change?

 

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He is Risen

Yellow, the color of sunshine, hope, and happiness, and, as this is Easter Sunday, a sign that He is Risen.

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If I think I am, am I?

The subject came up this morning when Oz’s daughter tried to quote scripture. ” ‘You are as you thinketh,’ Jesus said,” she said.

Looking it up, Oz found this:

Jesus says in Mark 7:15-16, “There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!” Jesus is explaining that we are what we think. Proverbs 23:7 backs Him up: “For as [a man] thinks in his heart, so is he.”

This is a good shout out for the theory of positive thinking. So, get rid of that stinkin’ thinkin’.

You gotta believe.

 

 

Are you curious?

My one-day-to-be-famous TV reporter daughter sent me a link to Oprah Winfrey’s conversation with Brian Grazer.

The most important piece of advice Brian Grazer gave in his interview with Oprah Winfrey came when he retold about meeting Lew Wasserman, legendary talent agent and studio executive.

“Kid,” Wasserman told the annoyingly brash and young Brian Grazer, “you know nothing now.” Then, he said, “Get a legal pad,” which Grazer did. Wasserman gave Grazer a number 2 pencil.

“Now, put pencil to paper.” And with that Wasserman left.

An uncomprehending Grazer stood there perplexed until he remembered what his tiny Jewish grandmother told him as a child.

“Brian, you are curious. You will figure it out.”

Did you?

pencil and paper

 

Wassail

Cheers!

If I said, “Wassup!” you’d know what I meant, but what about “Wassail!”

Wassail has its roots in ancient Norse, it rhymes with lass and hail and means “be hale” or “be of good health”.

The word entered the English lexicon in the 5th century with the Saxons, Hengist and Horsa, who came to help the British Celts fight the Picts. Horsa died fighting and Hengist stayed. The story goes that Hengist’s daughter Rowen offered British King Vortigern a golden cup filled with wine, saying,

“Lord King, Wassail!”

The word was new to Vortigern, the wine was pleasing, and so too was Rowen. They marry and the next thing you know, Hengist is the very first king of England, or at least of Kent, where the Saxons and their cousins the Angles settled down and became English.

By the time the Normans arrived centuries later, Englishmen were wassailing each other with a cup of wine. The habit was hard to break. Time changes words and their meaning and wassail was remembered as the spicy hot wine and not the salutation.

Sometimes a glass of wassail will start you thinking. What do other countries use for toasts?

In France they say, Bonne sante. The French being the French and very idiosyncratic don’t pronounce the first e and accent the second “e” to make the long eeee sound.

In Spain and the Spanish speaking countries of the western hemisphere, they say “Brindar.” Literally, meaning “offer” but that doesn’t express the thought, which is a hope that the recipient of the toast may receive all that is good and necessary. Brevity, the mark of a good toast and good sense.

“Expresar un bien deseado a alguien o algo a la vez que se levanta la copa con vino o licor antes de beber.”

In Russian, they say “Prosit!” but they say it Cyrillic, просит, which is hard to say, and means nothing more than, I beg or pray.

In German, they also say, “Prosit” or “Ein Prosit” which translates as “Cheers!”

But they made it into a song, which everyone sings at Oktoberfest and when wishing one a schönes Neues Jahr:

Ein Prosit, ein Prosit
Der Gemütlichkeit
Ein Prosit, ein Prosit
Der Gemütlichkeit.

Cheers, my friends, it all means the same, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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At home in Bruges

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If you want to see how the other half lives, don’t sit at home and think about it. Get out and run. You will find, however, that homes everywhere are like puppies and snowflakes, similar in so many ways, and always unique.

The grand canal between Bruges and Ghent is lined by high banks, tall trees, lovely homes and sweet gardens.

cottage in Bruges, Belgium

Words

Words without meaning mean nothing.

The monkey typewriter theorem says that if a certain number (infinite is the one that comes to mind) of monkeys were each given a typewriter (nowadays, a keyboard) and a really long time (forever) they could write the works of all the famous writers (e.g. Shakespeare, Dickens, Browning, Voltaire, Diderot, Tolstoy, etc.) and then some…

Of course, this would require teaching the monkeys to type.

monkey-hand

Where do they go?

I got to thinking the other day, Where do old artists go?

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Christopher Cross tells you on his website that he was one of the biggest breakout artists of the 80’s. True and a little self-aggrandizing. But, as I have always said, Toot your own horn when no one else does.

Well, surprise, Christopher Cross is still performing, singing the oldies, and coming up with a few new ones.

Maybe, it is not them. They do not go away. It is us. We move on to other things.

And forget…

Until the wind kicks up, and the smell of salt is in the air, and a dream carries us away to a place where I always heard it could be.

P.S.

Top Chrisopher Cross song of all time, Sailing, with its thrilling chimes and steady beat of the drumsticks.

sailing