Friday, February 12, 2016

A Lunch Date

"The great majority of men are bundles of beginnings." (Ralph Waldo Emerson)



My, my, my. It has certainly been a long time since I've sat at my desk - gazed out the window - and dared to wait until a trickle of creative thought slowly wound its way from my brain, through my fingers, and on to this blank page. For so long, I've felt empty; waiting for "inspiration" to come so I could then write. But that's not how it works. I've learned (but sometimes forgotten) that I must dare to scribble first - timidly and slowly if I must - in order to awaken the muse inside. I must dare to be a beginning; a work in progress.

It's funny. After writing that very first sentence, I actually felt a little shiver of excitement pass through me. It was like the dry "river bed" of my mind felt a spring flood wash through it and was refreshed and brought back to life. Not sure where it will take me, but you can come along!


How about for a Lunch Date? I haven't written one of those for quite awhile. A chance to just chat and muse. To talk about whatever's on my mind while fixing lunch for the two of us. I've got some Spinach Tortellini soup heating up (made by Deborah - best soup in the world!) and some ciabatta bread to sop it up with. Yum! (Or as the Italians say, "Mangia!")

So, as I'm stirring the soup, what shall we talk about?

"The hardest thing about any political campaign is how to win without proving that you are unworthy of winning." (Adlai Stevenson)



Politics, politics, politics. The 2016 Presidential campaign has begun in earnest, and Deborah and I have been deeply interested in it - more than we have been in the past. So far, it is a race unlike any in our lifetimes. Americans are deeply divided. The dominant theme expressed so far, on both the right and left, is anger. Anger at the current Administration. Anger at politicians in general. Anger at the rich. Anger at immigrants. Anger at those who "refuse to compromise". And because this dark emotion is what's ruling the day, two unlikely candidates are currently leading: a rich, egotistic billionaire for the Republicans (Donald Trump) and a cranky 74 year old self-proclaimed Socialist for the Democrats (Bernie Sanders). I can't see either of them winning the election in November. But all the other candidates (Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Ben Carson, Hilary Clinton) have struggled to gain much interest from Americans. I'm hoping that someone who is willing to lead positively and intelligently - someone willing to do the hard, courageous work needed to end the bickering and distrust that characterizes American politics now - will step forward. That's someone I would vote for. Still waiting to see who that will be...

"Retirement is wonderful. It's doing nothing without worrying about getting caught at it." (Gene Perret)

Yes, semi-retired life is still good!  I'm still working a few days a week as a substitute teacher and am flattered that I've become a "highly sought after" sub. I've only worked at my 3 favorite schools this year (Hedrick, South Medford, Grants Pass High), but gotten all the work I could want. Very lucky! And when I'm not working, my days are quickly filled with working out at the Club, helping take care of our home, and a healthy share of just "putzing around" (as Deborah calls it!)

"There are worse crimes than burning books. One is not reading them." (Joseph Brodsky)



Finally found a good book to read. For a long time, I struggled to find any book that interested me (which just added to my intellectual atrophy). Out of desperation, I picked up a book that I'd tried to read a number of times, but was never able to finish: Stephen King's "11.22.63" And, miracles of miracles, I'm enjoying it now! It is a richly creative story about a young high school teacher who in 2011 stumbles upon a time tunnel that takes him back to 1957. He learns that he can change history when he goes back to the past (though not always with predictable results). His greatest mission becomes to go back and try to stop the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Dallas which he believes led to so much that is negative in the U.S. today. King masterfully weaves together American history, 1950's Americana and culture, as well as spine-tingling suspense (and a little horror) in this tale. Deborah is also reading the story (listening to an audio version of it) and it's nice to share our impressions of it.

You want to see a video that just cracked me up? It's called "Dogs and Bathtubs". Hilarious! Click on the link below.

"Dogs and Bathtubs" video

(A Lunch Date "discussion" doesn't have to be "all serious" !)

Well, it's about time to wrap this entry up and enjoy a nice chocolate truffle for dessert (a preview of Valentine's Day treats to come!). The sun that was shining when I began this entry has gone away, and now gray raindrops are spattering and splashing my window. It was fun remembering the pleasure of stretching my mind a bit again. I plan on doing it again soon.


"The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn." (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

I began with a little Emerson. A little Emerson to end with. Nice.

One acorn. One tentative scribble. One step. Out of each can come a whole universe. I'm glad to be reminded of that today.







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