The Fear of Aging or the Aging of Fear

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Have you noticed that some of your friends are less bold than they used to be?  The older people get, the more things they seem to be afraid of.  Some people are afraid of aging, but many more people exhibit what I call the “Aging of Fear.”  Wise people tell us that fear is natural and healthy, but it can also be unnatural and unhealthy.  The healthiness of fear depends on two things.

First, how realistic are your fears?  The reality of fear can be thought of as a form of risk analysis.  We all conduct our lives with an intuitive analysis of the risks that our behaviors either entail or might entail.  Frequently, these risks are distorted by emotions and perceptions.  If I live in Wisconsin, I should be more worried about bee stings or a tick bite than a shark attack or a tiger eating me.  It would be unrealistic to worry about things that are less likely to happen.  Surprisingly, many people are more afraid of things that have a low-risk potential than things that have a higher risk potential.  (What’s the Risk?)

bearsafety_3_1Second, what are you going to do about your fears?  Fear is an adaptive mechanism.  It helps to keep you alive.  If you are in the woods and walking down a trail and see a large bear or cougar coming towards you, it is quite healthy to have some degree of fear.  But fear alone is not going to save your life.  If you are paralyzed with fear you may just be eaten.  Fear is an alarm.  An alarm sounds to wake us up.  The next step is to do something.  Doing something is a risky effort with no guarantee of success.  Sadly, there are few guaranties in life, but the evidence seems to suggest that doing nothing is worse than doing something.  This is where forethought and preparedness come in.  One of my favorite quotes is by the Roman philosopher Seneca (died 65 CE) who once said that “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

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People who think ahead and try to identify potential negative consequences of their actions have a better chance of survival than people who do not plan ahead.  The Titanic is a great example of poor planning brought on by hubris.  They were so confident that the spotter in the Crows Nest did not even have a pair of binoculars.  In chess, a good player looks at lines of play to see what might happen given any particular move on their part.  Strategic thinking entails looking into the future to see how our behaviors or actions will play out.  If I do this, what might happen?  The more we look into the future the greater the odds become in our favor for getting the results we want.  It is of course impossible to identify every conceivable consequence either intended or not of our actions.  Life is frequently about dealing with unintended consequences but there is little doubt that the Boy Scout motto of “Be Prepared” has a lot going for it.

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The “Aging of Fear” is what I see in so many people who grow more and more afraid of life with each passing day.  I have friends who will not travel anymore.  Some of my friends are afraid to travel by plane.  Some have purchased concealed carry permits to protect themselves against an unknown assailant.  Every day more and more people in America seem afraid of something.  There are efforts to protect ourselves as we get older that make sense.  I have given up motorcycling.  Most of the people I used to ride with have also given the hobby up.  Falling off a motorcycle at the age of 75 or older will likely bring many more injuries to the human body than falling off the same motorcycle at the age of 25.  Anybody over sixty getting up on a roof in winter needs to have their head examined.  Older bodies are not as resilient as younger bodies.

Knowing when to hold them and when to fold them is one of the secrets of growing older gracefully and living a long and healthy life.  But planning for unintended consequences is equally as important.  There is a balance here that we need to find, adjust, and continually readjust as we get older.  It is a not a static effort that you do today and that is the end of it.  Each day requires rethinking and readjusting what we can do and what we should do.  The conscious reflective activity is crucial.  Without an intelligent appraisal of life, fear can put us in an early coffin.

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The coffin might be our bed or our home or our neighborhood.  A coffin is a metaphor for a set of boundaries.  The realism of our boundaries is vital.  Too many boundaries and we are not living but too few and our lives can be cut short much sooner than then they need to be.  One of my favorite motorcycle aphorisms was “If I ride like there is no tomorrow, there won’t be.”  I would tell myself this each time I got in the saddle of my Yamaha Super Sport R1 and went for a ride.

downloadDylan Thomas said, “Do not go gentle into that good night.” I don’t know about the raging part of his poem.  I prefer thinking about my life as I get older and not raging.  But he makes a good point.  It is all too easy to give up on life as we age.  We can live in memories of what we used to do, or we can find new activities and new levels to pursue old activities at.  For instance, I may not have the stamina to play tennis or racquet ball anymore, but I can still play pickleball or go for a short ride on my bicycle.  I used to do six-minute miles in road races.  My personal best was 38.48 on a 10K.  The race I ran for Frederic Family days this year on June 12, 2021, I averaged 10.14 per mile for a 5k.  Quite a bit off of my pace from years ago but I still got my t-shirt.  I run for t-shirts these days and not trophies.

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To conclude.  Don’t let aging or fear rob you of living.  Well thought out days with lots of contingency plans can help you to continue to live a full and happy life.  Look around you for the 80, 90 and even 100-year-old elders who are still out there enjoying life.  What keeps them ticking is not giving up but meeting each day as a challenge to live life to the fullest.

Title:  Historic Match between Good Guy from the West and Evil Guy from the East

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Just for the hell of it, I am going to comment on the historic Biden Putin summit.  Everyone else in the world has given their take on this historic moment in US and Russian history, so why not me?  I can sound as knowledgeable about Biden and Putin as any of the commentators who have commented on this situation.  Think of me as a commentator commenting on the commentators who commented about the historic Biden Putin summit.  I should add that if you have not already noticed, just about every commentator commenting on this summit mentioned it as a “historic” summit.

In case you do not know the definition of historic, it has something to do with something that someone might potentially put into a history book or perhaps something that Hollywood will make a movie out of.  If I were to make a film out of this historic summit, it would go something like this.

Plot:

Two leaders from hostile countries meet to divide up the world or at least agree on who is screwing things up in the world.  The leader from the evil country denies everything while the leader from the great and good and very morale country warns the evil leader of the consequences of not being a better leader.  The good leader is in the blue trunks while the evil leader is in the red trunks.  The match consists of three one-hour rounds with a ten-minute restroom break between rounds. The breaks are to allow commentators to send their commentaries to their offices.

Cast:

Joe Biden:  President of the USA

Vladimir Putin:  Evil Dictator from Russia

Sycophants:  Both countries brought along dozens of elected officials to witness the match

Commentators:  Just about anyone who could buy, forge, or obtain a press pass

Synopsis:

Joe Biden, Vladimir Putin

Joe came out of his corner with a quick handshake which threw his opponent for a momentary loss.  Commentators scored it 1-0 for Biden.  Vladimir recovered quickly and met Joe’s handshake with a bone crushing shake of his own.  Joe smiled and they both took their seats.  Commentators gave Joe another point since they like him better.  The score was now 2-0 for Biden.

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Numerous subjects were dealt with in the next three hours.  Despite the pre-game name calling by Biden, the opponents settled into a polite routine with no grandstanding or insults.  As expected Biden threw a “dissidents jab” at Putin who responded with a “January 6th insurgency jab.”  Biden called the comparison ridiculous which most commentators agreed on.  Biden scored another point making it 3-0 for Joe.

Joe threw a right cross nailing Vladimir with warnings about any more hacking.  Vladimir blocked the punch and denied everything.  Commentators were split since Joe did not provide any evidence and Putin seemed so confident that nothing could be pinned on Russian hackers.  Call it 1 for Joe and 1 for Putin.  The score after round 2 was 4-1 in favor of Biden.

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Both leaders came out in round three with Putin clearly shaken up and worried about the bad press he was getting from a less than stellar effort.  It was clear that Putin had underestimated Sleepy Joe and had not trained well for this match.  Nevertheless, Putin scored early in round three with some nice comments about his opponent that Joe rolled with.  Commentators gave Putin a point since Joe should have side stepped these compliments instead of accepting them.  Joe was clearly surprised.  The final score after round three was 4-2 in favor of Joe.

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Post-Game commentary tended to judge the match a win for Biden due to his early domination of the bout and self-confidence.  However, many commentators had it as a draw since Putin made no concessions and gave nothing away.  There were no major knockdowns and depending on one’s viewpoint nothing was really decided.

Stay tuned for a sequel to this historic match, in which both opponents will meet again for another historic showdown.

A Tale of Two Restaurants – Part 1

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This is a story of two restaurants.  There is a moral embedded in these two stories.  Perhaps it will be obvious, perhaps it will not be.  The first tale happened long ago.  The second, very recently, in fact, one week ago.  You may think that between the first tale and the second that the author of these stories would have learned his lesson.  Sadly, he did not.  History repeated itself both times.  That old adage that “Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it” proved itself once again.

imagesThe first tale begins with a trip back from Duluth, Minnesota over thirty years ago.  Karen and I were returning from a scenic ride up the North Shore to our home in White Bear Lake.  It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon in July.  We decided that we were hungry.  We were nearing the Cloquet exit on Interstate 35.  Not seeing anything near the exit, we decided to pull off the freeway and try to find a place to eat in Cloquet.

Cloquet was a quiet little town this Sunday.  It almost appeared deserted.  We drove around the streets not finding any open restaurants other than fast food ones.  Suddenly, in a rather isolated area of town, we spied a Chinese restaurant with a sign in the window that said “Open.”  Somewhat skeptical of a Chinese restaurant in Cloquet, we succumbed to the rule that “beggars can’t be choosers.” We parked in front of the restaurant and cautiously entered.

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We were greeted by a young Caucasian girl.  Looking around we saw only two other non-Chinese diners.  Two strikes already.  I figured we would be lucky to get Chinese food from a Chung King Chop Suey can.  The young girl (mid-teens) brought a standard Chinese menu.  We gave our orders to the same young girl who was our greeter and settled back for a less than desirable dinner.

Chinese_mealThe quantity of food when it came was plentiful, but the quality of the food was a big surprise.  We have been to many a good Chinese restaurant in Shanghai, Huangshan, Nanjing, Suzhou, and several other Asian cities including American cities with large Chinese populations.  The food here was wonderful.  It was tasty, spicy, and as good as we have eaten anywhere in the world.  We were beyond surprised.  I could not believe our good fortune.  How could this be?  A diamond in the rough where diamonds were not supposed to exist.

When we had finished eating, our server came over with the check.  I told her how good the food was and asked if it would be possible to speak to the chef.  She replied, “Probably not.”  Thinking it was not to busy, I inquired as to why I could not speak to the cook.  I was curious concerning how he learned to cook Chinese food so well.  She then told me, “He does not speak any English.”  I asked her where he was from and how he had been selected to cook there.

Chinese Lantern - matchbookShe advised me that Mr. Huie (who started the well-respected Chinese Lantern restaurant in Duluth) had decided that Cloquet would be a good place for a small take-out style Chinese restaurant.  He placed an ad in a San Francisco paper which found its way to mainland China.  Mr. Huie (son of the founder of one of the first Chinese restaurants in Duluth) reviewed a number of applicants who answered his ad.  The present cook was selected for the job.  Who would believe a genuine Chinese food restaurant in Cloquet Minnesota?

Next Week:  Part 2

The Brutality of the Second Amendment

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The Second Amendment is the lever for mass genocide in America.  Every day Americans witness another mass killing or wanton murder.  Road rage shootings.  Family violence.  Workplace shootouts.  Shootouts in churches, parking lots, malls, grocery stores, Walmart’s, and on every highway and byway in America.  Twelve-year-old children taking guns to schools to kill as many people as they can.  Husbands killing entire families in a rampage.  Employees terminated coming back to assassinate former co-workers and their ex-bosses.  And throughout every one of these berserk episodes of violence, the same old tired excuses are made:

  • We need more mental health training
  • We need more guns to protect the innocent from the maniacs
  • We need better ways to screen people before they can purchase a gun
  • Guns don’t kill people, people do
  • When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns
  • We can never stop gun violence
  • We are so sorry for your loss and we offer our prayers for the survivors

There is not a nicer or more politic way to call the state of gun violence in America for what it really is.  It is predictable state sponsored genocide supported by bullshit excuses made by cowards and sycophants who pander to the maniacs who are too afraid to go to sleep at night without a gun under their pillow.

Cops add to the death toll because they know that any person walking on the street might be armed and dangerous.  Once upon a time, cops asked questions and shot later.  Today, the fear and paranoia of society drives police departments as well.  Cops now shoot first and never ask questions.  In one sense, it is hard to blame them when everyone in the good old USA is probably better armed then they are.

There are those on the left and right who will defend gun ownership.  Asshole judges strike down laws that communities try to establish to protect themselves from gun violence.  These same assholes live in gated upper-class communities and remain far removed from the violence that they create with their legal shenanigans.

In the first paragraph of his 94-page opinion, Judge Benitez lays out the heart of his reasoning colloquially: “The popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment.  Good for both home and battle, the AR-15 is the kind of versatile gun that lies at the intersection of the kinds of firearms protected under District of Columbia v. Heller…and United States v Miller….” — From “Reason” by Brian Doherty

57753d5742c6e.imageThis logic is simply bizarre.  It is almost beyond comprehension.  A rifle based on a cartridge designed during the Vietnam War is now touted as a “perfect” defense weapon.  It sounds like every home should buy one.  Americans live in a country where there is no protection from crime according to the NRA and gun manufacturers.  The NRA kisses the asses of manufacturers to grab more and more power as they perform like Pied Pipers for their members.  “Come along, buy a gun, protect your rights, protect your family and children.  Don’t let the criminals make a victim of you.” The NRA is a monster that has metastasized on the fears of Americans.  Politicians court the money and votes of NRA members to get re-elected knowing fear is a great motivator.  To paraphrase a comment made by the Nazi Hermann Goering:

“The people can always be convinced to buy more and more guns.  It is easy.  All you have to do is tell the average person that they may be victimized by criminals and denounce the gun control people for lack of patriotism.”

f64a35a5b23f852cd5a1200b18848236“The more guns we have the safer we will all be,” scream the gun fanatics.  I have neighbors walking around in their yards with guns strapped on their hips.  I often see shoppers in some stores sporting revolvers and automatics on their belts.  Walmart’s has asked that shoppers do not open carry guns.  Do you know why?  It is because people get nervous when they see these idiots walking around with pistols on their belts.  I worry more about being shot by one of these jerks than I do by some armed robber.  In the event of a store robbery, I suspect I might be more likely to be shot by the so called “good guy with a gun.”

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We can have countless and fruitless arguments over what and why the Founding Fathers included the 2nd Amendment.  We will never know, and it really does not matter.  We are not living in 1789.  What I do know is that a six-year-old child named Aiden was riding in a car seat with his mom who was driving him to kindergarten.  Suddenly Aiden exclaimed, “Mommy, my tommy hurts.”  Aiden Leos died before they could get him to a hospital.  He died when two assholes with guns decided to shoot at his car because of some perceived violation of their road rights.  The two assholes decided that their second amendment rights trumped the rights of Aiden and his family.

I am sick and tired of reading about these instances of insanity.  I am increasingly worried that one of these bizarre situations will befall someone I love or even my wife and me.  They are occurring with more and more frequency and more and more randomness.  No one is safe.  Carrying a gun on you does not make you safe.  Having a concealed carry permit does not make you safe.  Being a nice person and an honest citizen does not make you safe.  We are being victimized by lovers of the Second Amendment.  By neighbors who think that by arming themselves and everyone around them, we will all be safer.  Was anyone really ever stupid enough to belief this?  How much more evidence is needed to contradict any such assumptions?  What will it take for these morons who distort the Second Amendment to realize the dangers that they have brought to our country?

web_5a05f6c1c197dI admit that I have always liked guns, knives, rifles, and assorted military hardware.  However, I like them in their place.  Rifles for hunting when hunting is a sport and not a crap shoot like so much of it is today.  Baiting bears with donuts and then shooting them from a tree perch does not seem very sporting to me.  I like target shooting.  I enjoy shooting some black powder pistols that I own.  A friend gave me an old revolutionary style musket which is fun to shoot.  I do not shoot at squirrels or birds or rabbits.  I use it for target practice.  I am not against hunting deer, elk, and other animals for food.  Many people in rural areas depend on game animals to supplement their diets in lieu of costly meats at a grocery store.

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The problem with guns comes when we ignore the unintended consequences of gun ownership.  When we create a climate where every idiot and moron in the country is carrying a gun.  Who are these idiots and morons you may well ask?  They are you and me and my friends and friends of my friends.  They are everyone who might get stressed out someday and lose their common sense.  They are people who become depressed and give up on life.  They are people who become so angry with perceived injustices that they want to strike out at anyone for revenge. They are everyone and anyone.  They are the man or woman or child that is walking down the street.  They are your mother, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, or best friend.  They are the quiet guy who lives down the block.  They are the helpful next-door neighbor.  They are the quiet student who sits in the back of the class.  They are the military recruit who somehow loses it and goes on a shooting rampage.

23905 (2)I don’t know who might kill you.  I don’t know when they might kill you.  I don’t know why they might kill you.  Best odds are that it will be totally random, and you will never see it coming.  You will never know when it will happen.  The statistics show that you have a 75 percent chance that if you are murdered it will be by a gun and not by poison or a knife.   (Number of homicide victims, by method used to commit the homicide)

The USA has become a warped and bastardized version of the “Old West.”  Gun advocates like to portray themselves as upholders of the “Code of the West.”  In their mystic interpretation of events, people walked around with guns wherever they went.  Supposedly this was because of the lack of “law and order.”  In reality,

  • Most western towns had ordinances prohibiting carrying of guns in town.
  • There were few old-fashioned gun fights in a front facing mano a mano style.
  • Cowboys on the range did not wear their guns all day long but kept them in the chuck wagon.
  • The “old west of the cowboys and cattle drives” lasted less than fifty years.
  • Towns established police departments and law and order rules as quickly as they were able to as many of the new territories soon became states.

cjones03182018How then have we gone from sanity to insanity?  From being able to walk down a street or go to work or school and not worry about some nut case coming in and killing us?  When did America go from being a country with “Law and Order” to a country where everyone needs to carry a gun to protect themselves?  How have we let the politicians, NRA and gun manufacturers convince everyone that it is not safe to walk outside without a concealed carry permit and a Glock or Smith & Wesson hidden someplace beneath our bullet proof vest?

The answer is simple.  Eliminate fear.  Eliminate open and concealed carry laws.  Guns are for home protection and hunting.  We have created a country where there is no place to be safe anymore.  Everyone has the potential to be the next killer, or the next asshole gone crazy.  No amount of mental health training is going to stop the mad rampage of gun deaths in America.  The only thing that will stop this is when people realize the obvious.  Guns are not making us safer; they are killing us.

Updates since I wrote the above blog:

News from June 21, 2021, Minneapolis Star and Tribune

Gun violence
Ten mass shootings happened across the nation this weekend, leaving at least seven people dead and more than 40 injured. It was the latest in a streak of violent weekends in America. The weekend before this, there were also 10 mass shootings that left 12 people dead across seven states. (CNN defines a mass shooting as four or more people shot, not including the shooter.) This weekend’s violence included shootings at several parties and celebrations, including in California, Indiana and Colorado. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 293 mass shootings in 2021 so far.

News from June 22, 2021, Minneapolis Star and Tribune

St. Cloud Professor Shot

St. Cloud University Professor Ed Ward was shot to death Sunday in his doorway in what police are calling a random incident…. Officers arrested the suspect and recovered the gun, and the suspect admitted to officers that he shot the victim.

Rhythm and Writing:  The Beat of Life

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Allegro:  a brisk lively tempo

What does the beating of my heart have to do with my writing?  What does writing have to do with making love?  Can the changing of the seasons be compared to a concert overture?  What is the relationship between T. S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets 2: East Coker” poem and Stravinsky’s “The Rites of Spring?”  What does musical rhythm have to do with writing?

unnamedOn some primal level, we all live by an unseen law of rhythm.  The rhythm of the universe controls an eternal dance between the atoms and molecules that make up our existence.  This natural rhythm imparts an inexorable symmetry to all of life.  A regulated succession of strong and weak elements of opposite and contrasting conditions that becomes the master of all that we do.  Buddhists call it the Yin and Yang of being.

Springtime is upon us.

The birds celebrate her return with festive song,

and murmuring streams are softly caressed by the breezes.

Thunderstorms, those heralds of Spring, roar, casting their dark mantle over heaven,

Then they die away to silence, and the birds take up their charming songs once more.  — (From Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons:  Spring”, Concerto in E Major) 

DrumsticksIn countless ways, we observe that there is fundamentally no difference between writing or between a piece of choreography and the changing climate.  Creativity is carved out of the passion that is in everything we do.  The body and mind embrace in a never-ending minuet.  The music ebbs and flows.  Our love is gentle, restrained, then wild and feral. Mornings, afternoons, evenings, and nights fuse with the seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter.  The harsh gales of November resonate in the refrains of Tchaikovsky and Beethoven.  “Summer Breeze” by Seals and Crofts ushers in the scorching days of July.  Poetry rings out in the rap music of the streets while the mellow voices of choir singers comfort the soul.  All things are one say the mystics.  If my writing is one with all things, will the tempo of my words cool, heat, soothe or disrupt the fashions of life?

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Adagio: a slow and stately tempo

Far be it for me to confuse philosophy with art.  Greater men than I have acknowledged that there is a unity to life.  We travel down our different paths often blind to the journeys of others who walk side by side with us.  This one a carpenter, this one a computer scientist, this one a teacher, this one an artist and this one a hero.  Some of us have a long journey and some of us have a short journey.  For some the journey is rough and chaotic and for others the journey is smooth and predictable.  There are slow times in our journeys and there are fast times.  The rhythm of life is never the same for any of us.

Oh, it’s the same as the emotion that I get from you

You got the kind of lovin’ that can be so smooth, yeah

Give me your heart, make it real, or else forget about it — (From “Smooth”, by Santana)

For some, life is poverty and for others it is uncountable wealth.  The rich man longs for the anonymity and slower days of the poor man.  The poor man can be heard singing, “If I were a rich man, lord who made the lion and the lamb, would it really spoil your cosmic plan if I were a wealthy man?”

9781780231075We are all dust in the wind but our rhythms echo through the halls of time.  The most unforgettable and amazing repetitions will continue as long as humans walk the earth.  Coded in the numerous ways we have of capturing the rhythm of our lives.  Some codes in music, some in text and some in clay.  Some dynamic, some peaceful, some violent and some sad.  We write our lyrics, pen our verses, create our stanzas, and design our choreography.  All efforts guided by the unseen law of rhythm.  Now we are hard, now we are brittle.  Now we roar and now we snore.

Scherzo:  a sprightly humorous movement commonly in quick triple time

Love is kind, love is considerate, love is not selfish. The waltz was a creation of times when love was more restrained.  Centuries of constrained love making has been supplanted, extending our beings, becoming our challenge.  The Tango alternates patterns of space and closeness with syncopated rhythms of violence and passion.  Love me tender, love me sweet, never let me go.  Rock and Roll ushered in a wild abandonment of morality to a tune of conspicuous sexuality.  The rhythm of music exhibits striking harmonies with the rhythm of our love lives.  Can I be soft and gentle like a warm breeze but also wild and unrestrained like in the pulp novels?  Shall I make love to the William Tell overture or would Shakira’s lyrics work better?

Baby I would climb the Andes solely 

To count the freckles on your body 

Never could imagine there were only

Too many ways to love somebody  — (From “Whenever, Wherever,” by Shakira)

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Should my love making follow a classical structure or should it be more jazz like?  Is it enough to alternate patterns of tenderness with patterns of spontaneity or should I begin with an allegro, then an adagio, followed by a scherzo and conclude with a rondo?  And what of those who expect love to end with a crescendo or those who enjoy more syncopated jazz?

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Rondo: a recurring leading theme often found in the final movement of a sonata

Whether goes my writing.  I have written this concerto to writing in four parts to reflect the universality of the rhythm of life.  We form, norm, storm and then perform.  Spring is the opening that brings fresh growth to our world before the bloom of summer.  Summer brings the maturity and ripeness of life.  Fall brings the storms and winds that signify our frailty and insignificance to the universe.  Winter ends our symphony with the closure and solace that our work is done, and our day is over.

Blog+Image+-++Seasonal+RhythmsThe rhythm of life runs through our heart beats.  It runs through literature.  It runs through music.  Great music has rhythms that exhibit great variation.  Fast, slow, moderate than fast again.  Interesting speakers have a sense of rhythm in their talks.  Have you ever heard a lecture or a sermon without rhythm?  It will put you to sleep in less than five minutes.  Writing and speaking, just like music, must contain elements of rhythm.  A heart without rhythm ceases to beat.  Writing without rhythm is boring.  Life without rhythm is death.

To feel the rhythm of life,

To feel the powerful beat,

To feel the tingle in your fingers,

To feel the tingle in your feet. — (From “Rhythm Of Life,” 1969 Motion Picture Soundtrack, Song by Sammy Davis Jr.)

Our work, our art, our thoughts, and our lives are concluded with a hope to be reborn again.  We wish that someone will see the need to resume the rhythms that we have started.  Never a finality to our rhythms.  Only a continuation that started before us and will continue long after our memorials are put up.  Your headstone may simply have one verse on it or possibly it will be like the newest greeting cards.  They will walk up to your grave and press a button.  You will appear with a menu of options, and your visitor can select a video of you either singing or dancing or perhaps reading one of your writings.  Everything will have a four-part harmony.

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Time For Questions:  

Does music teach you anything about writing?  Does music speak to you?  Can writing be like a symphony?  How do you hear music?  Does it speak to you like a good poem or a good verse? What is your favorite kind of writing?  Do you ever think that the writing you enjoy could be like music?  What would it take to transform the music in your life into writing or the writing in your life into music?

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