LIKE US? To Receive a Monthly DIGESTWORLD Reminder, Click the Link to Send Email Request: SUBSCRIBE
NOTE: Place Cursor over a photo for a few seconds to read text description.
CLICK FLAG TO OPEN FIRST-AID KIT.== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
All the tools you need for a simple Speed Trace
IN ONE PLACE.
Great Way to show Gratitude for DIGESTWORLD is to use the above Google Search Engine to Search this Site
or the entire Web wherever you find it in DIGESTWORLD pages.
Much Thanks in Advance for Clicking on the Google +1 Above to Show You Liked Us.
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam: Gene Wilder (1933-2016) ~~~~
~~~~~~~~ [ Comedian that I first saw as Bloom in 'The Producers' ] ~~~~~
WELCOME TO DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#16c December, 2016== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Quote for the Christmas Month of December:
You can inventory a store and know all of its contents, but if you inventory a human being, you'll discover the most important parts are not on the shelves.
Bobby Matherne, inspired by Emerson quote, "It is the largest part of a man that is not inventoried." on (Page 299) of his Journal.
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==By Subscription only.
Editor: Bobby Matherne, Asst. Editor: Del Matherne
[To Contact Editor Click Here!]
To Subscribe, Click Here or copy into your Browser
this URL: http://www.doyletics.com/subscrib.htm
To Unsubscribe, see bottom of any DIGESTWORLD Issue.
©2016 by 21st Century Education, Inc, Published Monthly.
To Read All of Bobby's Writings Click Here!
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
~~ Click on Heading to go to that Section (Allow Page First To Fully Load). NOTE: DIGESTWORLD is a Trademark of 21st Century Education, Inc. ~~
~^~ Note from Editor: ~^~
This DIGESTWORLD Issue DW#16c was a week or so late.
Next Issue, DW#171 will be on time with Travelogue and Photos of the Remainder of our Caribbean Cruise.
DIGESTWORLDArchived DIGESTWORLD Issues
GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS Presents ISSUE#16c for December, 2016
Table of Contents
1. December's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for December
3. On a Personal Note
Rainbows & Shadows Poems
4. Cajun Story
5. Household Hint for December, 2016: Easy Door Stop
6. Poem from Seven Types of Ambiguity:"Sleeping Beauties"
7. Reviews and Articles featured for December:
8. Commentary on the World
- ARJ2: Cosmic and Human Metamorphosis by Rudolf Steiner
- ARJ2: The Education of the Child by Rudolf Steiner
- ARJ2: Encounters with Chinese Writers by Annie Dillard
1. Padre Filius Cartoon
2. Comments from Readers
3. Freedom on the Half Shell Poem
9. Closing Notes our mailing list, locating books, subscribing/unsubscribing to DIGESTWORLD
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#16c== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ARCHIVED DIGESTWORLD ISSUES ON THE WEB ~ ARCHIVED DIGESTWORLD ISSUES ~2000: INAUGURAL YEAR: Jun #1 Jul #2, Aug #3, Sept #4, Oct #5, Nov #6, Dec #7
2001: Jan #8, Feb #9, Mar #10, Apr #11, May #12, Jun #13, Jul #14, Aug #15, Sep #16, Oct #17, Nov #18, Dec #19
2002: Jan #20, Feb #21, Mar #22, Apr #23, May #24, Jun #25, Jul #26, Aug #27, Sep #28, Oct #29, Nov #30, Dec #31
2003: Jan #32, Feb #33, Mar #34, Apr #35, May #36, Jun #37, Jul #38, Aug #39, Sep #40, Oct #41, Nov #42, Dec #43
2004: Jan #44, Feb #45, Mar #46, Apr #47, May #48, Jun #49, Jul #50, Aug #51, Sep #52, Oct #53, Nov #54, Dec #55
To Receive a Monthly DIGESTWORLD Reminder Click Here.
For Best Viewing, Decrease Width of Window Until Mountains Barely Touch the Issues
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
1. December Violet-n-Joey CARTOON:
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==This month Violet and Joey learn about Free Agents.
For newcomers to DIGESTWORLD, we have created a webpage of 2000 to 2013 Violet-n-Joey cartoons!
"Free Agents" at http://www.doyletics.com/images/161110vj.jpg
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
2. HONORED READERS FOR December:
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
Each month we choose to honor two Good Readers of our DIGESTWORLD from those all over the World. Here are the two worthy Honored Readers for December, 2016:
Stewart Lundy in Virginia
Electra Briggs in Texas
Congratulations, Stewart and Electra!
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
3. ON A PERSONAL NOTE:
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
Out Our Way:
COACH O IN NOVEMBER
Looks to me that our new LSU head coach will be stuck with the name "Coach O". Chris Blair the LSU announcer admitted he wasn't sure how to pronounce "Orgeron" so he'd stay with Coach O. It's easy for locals to say, but for the rest of you, say it this way: OH, SHARE, OHN, say the syllables quickly with accent on the last syllable and you'll get pretty darn close. My dad's sister was married to Ed Orgeron, who was sometimes called "Eddie Orgeron", so I've heard and used the name all of my lifetime. My Uncle Eddie was born in Lockport and Coach Eddie Orgeron was born in Galliano, a few miles down Bayou Lafourche. We have a neighbor, Carl Orgeron, born even further down the bayou in Golden Meadow. I imagine these guys must all be related to each otherS.
Coach O's football team held vaunted Alabama scoreless for three quarters and but for their slippery quarterback the game would have gone into overtime. Giving up only ten points in that game kept LSU's average of 1 TD a game intact. Last year LSU lost the next three games after losing to the Tide. This year, the team went up to Arkansas and soundly whipped the Razorbacks in Arkansas. Florida is next up in a game they forced us to postpone, a decision I expect they will rue after this next game. While the Tigers are playing and winning, the sweet smell of a New Year's Bowl is wafting upriver from New Orleans.
Baseball takes a back seat during football season, especially since the extended playoff scheme has driven the last games into November. But I was intrigued by the chance of the Chicago Cubs to win their first World Series since 1908, a full One Hundred and Eight years ago. A couple of generations have never seen the Cubs win a Series! I watched the last game of the Cubs against the Dodgers, pitched by Kyle Henderson. It was an incredible pitching performance: Kyle pitched against only 27 batters! A two-hit shutout! How is it possible he pitched to the minimum number of batters? Each of the two men who got an isolated hit were pitched off by a double play! I saw such a feat only once before with my own eyes when Don Larsen pitched a perfect game for a series win in the mid-1950s. The principal of my new school would allow us to be excused to watch the World Series.He had placed a large 19" Console B&W TV in the auditorium for us to watch the games, which were played during the day-time of weekdays back then. It was about twenty or thirty years before I realized the unique game I had watched: it was then and still is today, THE ONLY PERFECT GAME OF THE WORLD SERIES.
By the end of Kyle's amazing game, the Cubs were in the World Series, and Del and I were hooked. I wanted to see Kyle pitch again, and Del wanted to see Kris Bryant bat again, so we cleared our social schedule and watched all seven games. When the Cubs went down 3 games to 1 against the Cleveland Indians and things looked dire, we dug in our heels with Kyle and Kris and they came through as winners, thanks in large part to a relief pitcher whose pitches stayed mostly above 100 miles an hour.That's a magic number for us Americans, one that metric users cannot claim. What's magic about pitching over 180 kilometers an hour? Thank goodness they don't use metric time measurements, like a metricon (100 minutes long, each minute 100 seconds long) to replace our hour. That would completely confuse the USA and the rest of the normal world. I can imagine it now: 100 mph becomes 64.6 km/metricon. Whoop-dee-doo!
FALL GARDEN GLOWING AND GROWING
The Monarch caterpillar which made himself a mancave on a pergola column last month has now flew the coop as a Butterfly to complete his cycle of life fluttering through the astral waves surrounding plants and trees. Right next to the column with the empty chryslis was a beautiful LSU Hibiscus bloom on the plant my daughter Maureen gave me a few years ago. Around the corner is my mom's favorite plant, the Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow bush, with a purple Tomorrow bloom on it. Tomorrow it will turn into a light blue Today bloom. And the next day it will become an all-white Yesterday bloom. Our Naked Lady bulbs bloomed while we were gone the first half of September, so I missed them this year.
We have bell peppers the size of golf balls, and cabbages the size of hardballs. Our Swiss chard and Kale plants are looking great. I have eaten a few small okra pods from our fall Okra plants, and a cucumber is nearing its picking size. By mid-December we should be picking and eating broccoli every day, and the brussels sprouts should be right behind them. The red potato plants have come up and should be ready for harvest next month, too.
My cotton plant is beginning to open its bolls to reveal its silky white treasure inside. I'm saving a few for seeds and the rest will go to Maureen who is spinning cotton on her spinning wheel. Takes after her Maman Nette, who actually worked in the Cotton Mill in downtown New Orleans before she became my mother. Mom never spun cotton herself so far as I know, but she did wonderful crocheting with cotton thread. I still have several of her cotton doilies. My dad for his part wove crab, crawfish, and cast nets out of cotton twine. I remember fondly Buster weaving nets with his handmade shuttle while we listened to the Friday night Gillette Wide-World of Sports boxing matches. TV boxing matches were fun when they arrived years later, but he couldn't make nets while watching TV as he did while listening to Radio broadcasts!
A BAROQUE PATTERN
In Lecture 3 of Bob Greenberg's lectures on Bach and the High Baroque, he reveals that the word "baroque" originally was used to describe ugly things, like a completely deformed pearl! Or music all chopped up and atonal! Now it refers to the music from Bach and Telleman's time. Baroque music means orderly and beautiful music and baroque architecture means beautiful constructions as well. This usage change from derogatory to beautiful is the opposite of the usual pattern that C. S. Lewis discusses in his "Studies in Words", whereby, e.g., a 'villain' originally used to describe a person of the 'village' has devolved over time into meaning a 'bad person' or a 'criminal'.
Another fun discovery for this writer came in my recalling a wonderful technique used by Shakespeare and other Elizabethan writers, the paradigm of noun and noun of noun.
After being reminded of the pattern, I modified my review of Empson's Seven Types of Ambiguity by using the pattern in its final paragraph:
Contrary to our modern "belts and suspenders of meaning", we have discovered the freedom of Elizabethan poetry which required neither a belt of exact spelling nor any suspenders of grammatical punctuation, hanging instead simply hung upon the page and awaiting our pleasure for the dressing or undressing of its meaning.
THE FIFTIES RETURN TO TIMBERLANE
The second Friday in November has been declared Gretna Green Day by our mayor, Belinda Constant, and each year we progress forward to a new Decade. This year we celebrate the Fabulous Fifties. My choice of costume was easy. I always wanted to wear a ducktail when I was a teenager back in the 1950s, when I think we invented a lot of things, including the word teenager. James Dean in "Rebel Without a Cause" was the quintessential teenager and the word stuck ever since for the transition period between age 12 and 19. Why couldn't I wear the swept back hair style of the teens of the 50's which terminated looking like a duck tail in the back? Because my dad cut all his four boys's hair and we didn't get a choice in the matter.
He was the authority so long as we lived under his roof. My hair never got long enough to form a ducktail! And as soon as I could go away to college, I never lived under his roof again. More parents should learn the lesson I learned from my dad: the lesson of authority. Preteens absolutely need a model of authority in their home, and teenagers will be well-served by that model, even when they rebel from it.
I figured to go simple with the costume: tight blue jeans, motorcycle boots, a white T-shirt with both sleeves rolled-up (they didn't make sleeveless Tees back then), and a pack of Marlboros rolled up in one sleeve. I needed to wear a sleeveless vest over it to keep warm. I went outside to the Emeril's food tent by the golf tee behind our lawn and the young gal liked my outfit, but asked me, "Where's your comb?" Then I remembered the "hickey from Kernickey" of the movie Grease. It was his outfit I was copying and his signature move was to take a long comb and freshen up his ducktail with it. By the time I rode to the Clubhouse with Barbara, my comb was in place in a vest pocket. Del had gone earlier to get the registration setup and my car was having a small ding taken out, so Barbara offered me a ride.
Vince Vance and the Valiants provided the musical atmosphere of the Fifties and they were a big hit. He had Lisa Layne, who did Patsy Cline perfectly and sang a lot of good slow songs with Vince before the rest of his band showed up, including a guy who played two saxophones at the same time. At one point I walked over to where Vince and Lisa were singing and Vince looked at me and said, "Here's Squiggy!" So naturally I pulled out my comb, turned to the audience, and did the signature Kernicky comb of my ducktail. It was a rockin' good time with the Valiants filling the air with all the songs of the Fifties which shaped our early moral judgments. We were the decade which invented Rock and Roll. Can you imagine pop songs like "They Were Doing the Mambo" and "How Much is That Doggie in the Window?" filling the airwaves of the radio? That was the early Fifties until rock and roll. Suddenly Bill Haley and the Comets were wailing out "Rock Around The Clock" around the clock and we knew the world would never be bland again! Then we checked in at Elvis' "Heartbreak Hotel" and realized that we were nothing but a "Hound Dog", and Buddy Holly had us yelling, "Oh Boy!" We were on a Rock-n-Roller Coaster, a ride that is still causing foot tapping, caterwauling, and jitterbugging to this day.
Next year Gretna Green will celebrate the Sixties. I wrote a poem about that decade, which I will include here as we pause to remember what happened after the end of the Fabulous Fifties:
It was dream time
The sons of the mist were coming out . . .
Things were just happening
It was the dawning of truth
The springtime of love.
Peace advocates were fighting,
War advocates were talking peace.
It was an age of tanks and aquariums,
Covered faces and uncovered bodies,
And freedom wasn't just another word . . .
Every dance brought a new twist
& inflation only happened to balloons . . .
before they burst . . .
LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN AND SUPERMOONThis month's Full Moon was the largest one for the next 36 years. Each year has a supermoon, during which the Moon is at its perigee or nearest approach to Earth, but this one is the closest approach in a cycle of 36 years. We drove at dusk to the West End area of Lake Pontchartrain and waited for the Moon to rise. We finally left, not sure whether the Moon might be blocked by trees from where we were located. On the way home, the Full Moon appeared to be mocking us as it dodged in and out of view as we trudged to heavy traffic on the interstate going past the Superdome. This photo I took early the next morning from Timberlane, and the Man in the Moon looked as if he were setting his head on a pillow for a long day's rest. Must be tiresome to him having so many billions of folks staring at him.
Our trip out to the lake was not futile, because we enjoyed the evening breezes, the sailboats out on the lake, and a fisherman sitting on the seawall. He saide he was waiting for a friend to bring him a cast net to catch shrimp off the seawall exactly as my dad did back in the 40s and 50s with his handmade castnet. The lakefront area atop the seawall has no more chopped up concrete to worry about; it has been resurfaced and is now a great place to walk and jog or just sit on the comfortable benches to enjoy the ambience.
FOOTBALL AND BASKETBALL SEASON
November brings an overlap of football and basketball seasons with NCAA, NFL, and NBA teams all going after each other in earnest. One day I watched an LSU basketball game, NBA Pelicans basketball game, and an LSU football game against Arkansas. The Pelicans lost to the Lakers, but LSU beat Wofford by 20 points and Arkansas by a like amount. It was a day of upsets for NCAA football teams. Three of the top four Playoff teams lost! Meanwhile LSU kept on winning. After losing two years in a row LSU beat Arkansas soundly and got the Golden Boot back in Baton Rouge on LSU's campus (which is located in the toe of the Boot). At the end of the game, immediately as the horn sounded the entire LSU squad ran across field directly to the Louisiana-Arkansas-shaped trophy and hoisted the heavy object on their shoulders to begin its return to Louisiana's Tiger Stadium where it will be on display indefinitely.About the football game: Our running back Guice set all-time LSU record with a 96-yard TD run in the third quarter, and once he was past the line of scrimmage, he ran away from everyone and even did a high kick at the three-yard line just in case the converging safety did a dive at his feet. I've often wondered why so few runners do that. First time I've ever seen it done when the runner can't see the guy coming up behind but suspects one is. Guice will be a great runner in the NFL no doubt. Some have compared him to Reggie Bush, and Coach O who coached Reggie agreed. Said Guice is maybe not as fast as Reggie, but is stronger. In this game Guice got 255 yards second only to Fournette's 287 yards in a game earlier this year.
FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
My brother Steve celebrated fifty years of marriage to Janice this month. Family and friends came to the celebration in which Steve and Janice recalled their original wedding with a similar ceremony presided over by their minister. It was good to see Steve's family: Robin & Mark with their son, Hunter, Dean & Inge, Mark & Becky with Abbie & Ella. Also my nephews Greg and Randy were there with their family.
Del and I were a bit late due to the Florida game we were watching at home on TV. When Guice fumbled at the LSU 3-yard line, I figured the game was over and we headed for Augie's Restaurant for the party, listening to game on the radio. Amazingly the Tigers held Florida to a Field Goal after the fumble, and the Tigers were driving for a 17-16 victory as we sat in the parking lot of Augie's. Unfortunately Guice went right instead of left as the QB was expecting and Florida stuffed him short of the goal. Another heart-breaking loss.
We then walked inside and found we had arrived in time for the ceremony, cake-cutting, etc, thanks to Mark, an LSU fan himself who acted as emcee for the gala and delayed its start till the game was over.
To my surprise my daughter Maureen was there. We were inside when I noticed a couple of texts from Maureen which seemed to a continuation of my texts to her as I'd waited outside of her office, East Jefferson, a day or so earlier, waiting for the door to be unlocked. The texts said, "I'm here." Finally she walked across the party room to me and said she had been trying to get my attention across the room by waving and then had texted me.
My brother Paul and his wife Joyce brought me a full box of Evangeline Sweet Potatoes from Opelousas the Sweet Potato Capitol of the World. I've waited two years to get some since my first taste of them. Last year, Paul and Joyce couldn't get any. This year they got a box full. The party was a convenient time for me to get the delicious treats.
CHRIS & CARLA FROM CORPUS CHRISTI
Our friends Chris and Carla were heading to their son's home in Jacksonville, Florida for Thanksgiving and we invited them to break up their long trip by staying with us a couple of days. They kindly adjusted their schedule so they could take us to the Crystal Serenity Cruise Ship as they continued on their way to their son's home.
JAZZ THEME CRUISE ON SERENITY TO CARIBBEAN
How we wound up this year with a fourth cruise: After cruising for several years in a row, we found there were three times of enjoyment when you take a cruise. 1.) There's the time when you are on the cruise. 2.) There's the time when you come back from a cruise and friends ask how the went. You get to enjoy the cruise all over again by telling them. 3.) After you've cruised for several times, friends will ask you, "Where are you cruising next?" This is the time when you get to enjoy the cruise by talking about where you'll be going and what you'll be doing.
When we signed up for the Northwest Passage Cruise on the Crystal Serenity, there was a two-year delay before the cruise began. During this period, many friends wanted to know about this amazing one-of-a-kind cruise where no large cruise ship had gone before. We had no further cruise planned after that one, so it came to be that halfway through the NWP Cruise, I suddenly felt a void: we had no before-cruise fun time ahead of us.The very next day we were called down to the Cruise Desk and were presented with an offer we couldn't refuse! A cruise from New Orleans and returning to New Orleans! We wouldn't have to fly! Just a ten-minute drive from our home in Gretna to the Cruise Dock in New Orleans! Plus, if we signed up aboard ship, we'd get the cruise for half-price. So we did. The cruise was going to several ports we had not been to: Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and Key West. Another attraction was that it cruised over Thanksgiving, so that settled the matter of which of our eight kids we would spend Thanksgiving Day with.
Since the Cruise bridged the last week of November and first week of December, we will include the travelogue and photos for November in this issue, DW16c, with the rest going in the next issue of DIGESTWORLD, DW171.
Upper right is a map of the cruise itinerary for your reference.
On our previous Northwest Passage Cruise, our bus ride to Seward, Alaska got in late, so we missed our Main Dining Table the first night. Not so in New Orleans. We were on Table 62 with our servers, Holmes and Sandi. Holmes called me Dr. Watson and brought me a perfect Cranberry Sunrise every night. Our table mates were Jim and Anne (who deserted us when the Forbes Group got on in Puerto Rico). They sat with the Money Bucks gang for the rest of the cruise. Allen and Ramona were fun, but they ate in the specialty restaurants and then Allen had a medical condition which kept him in his room where they ordered room service. The third couple was Kip and Lois, and we became fast friends. Someone asked us the third day, "How long have you known them?" as though we had known each other for years instead of days. We were graced during Formal Night Dinners with Cecile Haakull from Norway, an officer of the Serenity. Kip and I often sat next to each other and let the girls Del and Lois talk to each other. Kip is three months younger than I am, and we teased each other. "Let me tell you all the things you missed during those three months!" I told him one time. He called me the "old man" and I called him "the kid". We sat together for most of the shows as well, plus often running into them in the Lido Deck for breakfast or the Trident Grill for lunch. Lois recommended the Salmon Burger at the Grill and it makes a great lunch together with sweet potato fries. I liked sitting next to Scoops to eat my burger and could get an ice cream chocolate-vanilla swirl cone only a few steps away for dessert.
The Serenity was in full-dress, Christmas decorations in every public area. Beautiful snow-covered Christmas trees with bright red Cardinals perched on the branches filled the side of the Crystal Cove. On the Sun Deck there was a Jazz Band playing up-tempo music and down in the Cove later, Yve Evans played and sang at the piano. She knew the great jazz singers, Ella, Sarah, Billie, and Carmen, and could sing as well as they did, never repeating any song the same way, always adding some flair which would surprise and delight the listeners. I rarely ever stayed up past 10:00 aboard the Serenity, but on this cruise, the Jazzdagen All-Stars were too good to miss. Banu Gibson, a New Orleans singer I've heard in the city before, sang with the All-Stars. With this talented group creating my favorite music, it was hard for me to get to sleep before midnight most nights.
In addition, the Astoria String Quartet played daily in various places, sometimes slimming down to a Trio as Irina, their lead, played along with the pianist in the Cove. These gals brightened up the ship whenever and wherever they played. While most string quartets play classical music exclusively, these gals loved playing popular songs as well. I heard them play an up-tempo version of Blue Moon and asked them after if they knew what a Blue Moon was. From Russia, even though they spoke clear English, getting such idioms are difficult, so I explained a blue moon is the second Full Moon in a month, which seldom happens, so the phrase "once in a Blue Moon" refers to a rare event. They loved learning the meaning and a few days later I heard them playing an elegant version of the song, sounding more classical and in a slow tempo. They made Tea Time at 3:30 in the Palm Court a very pleasant experience.
This was the first time we had a day in New Orleans as part of any cruise. Crystal usually schedules a full day in port before departure in case of travel difficulties, and Del and I decided it was a great chance for us to do a little sight-seeing through the renovated Riverwalk and shopping in the new Outlet Mall. In the Nieman-Marcus outlet I bought a white cotton dress shirt at a great price. Del bought me a colorful shirt as a Christmas present for me, but I got to wear it a couple of times on the cruise.
Our first evening show was Mark Marchant the Ventriloquist who previously entertained us on the Northwest Passage. He had the Chinese guy, Wing Tip Shoe, in a brightly colored tropical shirt. I saw the two of them and asked Wing Tip if he'd like to try on my black fedora, he said yes. He looked rather dashing, in a Hong Kong way, with the hat on, and posed for a photo. Mark's humor is always fresh and new, aided by all the new material his dummies come up with for each performance.
After Mark's show we danced in the Cove awhile and then I changed into my dancing shoes and we went to the hear the New Orleans Jazz combo with Banu Gibson in the Palm Court from 10 until midnight. Time moved forward an hour as we drifted eastward toward Cozumel. Kip and Lois sat with us and we two couples danced. Great dancing music, like Sweet Lorraine. I realized how many of my aunts had pop songs named after them or vice versa. Lorraine, Marie, Lydia (the tattooed lady) to name a few.
The next day at sea, we were delighted to find Danny & Judy Marshall were on board till Puerto Rico with their family of eleven.Their son Danny and his wife Michelle with their daughter Clara. Their daughter Dana and her husband Steve with their two sets of twins, one set three-years-old, Steve and Adele, and the other one-year-old, Danny and John. The names were easy for me and Del to remember: Adele is her name and she has a brother named Dan and a son named John. I have a brother named Steve, cousins named Michelle and Dana, and an Aunt Clara. (Photo of Steve with his two sets of twins further down.)
The sea day was my chance to get my Lap Top hooked up to the Wi-Fi and I needed two trips to the Computer guys on Deck 7, but they fixed it quickly.
For Thanksgiving Day we had a great dinner of Maine Lobster and the fixings (Turkey was also available). Afterwards we went with Kip and Lois to Earl Jones's show.Earl was a blur on stage he moved and sang so fast, doing a reprise of dozens of 50s and 60s songs and getting everyone on their feet jumping and waving. Told him after the show how New Orleanians, some of them, would say his name as "Oil" as in this short sentence: "My Uncle Oil changed the earl in his car then wrinched his hands in the zinc." He loved the story.
COZUMEL, MEXICO, CAPITAL OF MAYAN EMPIRE
Today was the morning after LSU's final regular season football game, and I was on DandyDon.com early to find out the score. LSU won big: 54-39 over Texas A&M. Watched video highlights and A&M tied LSU 7-7 and never got close afterwards. What a great game. Our RB Guice had 4 Tds and took the all-time rushing record away from Fournette who didn't even dress out or go with team to College Station. He gone — to NFL no doubt!
Had breakfast inside the Lido. It was too windy on outer deck for Del. As we walked out we chatted with Kip and Lois, and then I saw Mark Marchant who thanked me for putting my hat on Wing Tip Shoe. I noticed Earl Turner and went over to say Hi to him and his wife. Earl made a point about my sharp vest from last night. Told him we hope to see him again down the seaways! They were leaving ship on this day as I expected Mark was also doing.
We took an excursion around the island of Cozumel. First stop was St. Gervais where Mike the guide told us about his native Mayans. The name means Maya or duality. The truth is that both the material and the spiritual world are united together, but in recent times, the treatment of the outer appearance of material world as the full reality is called "maya" or "illusion" — the half appearing as the whole is definitely an illusion, therefore, maya.
We saw several large iguanas, up close and personal. One of them decided to climb high into a palm tree. Then we stopped to learn about Tequila and later about how chocolate was made. Turns out the most expensive Tequila, Patron, is made on the cheap, using three-year-old agaves instead of the eleven-year-old ones. With the younger agaves, sugar must be added. But this little detail is glossed over in Patron's glossy advertising. Another tidbit I picked up was from the Mayan Cacao Company demonstration and discussion of how chocolate is made. Story is that Montezuma offered his sacred drink of chocolate the explorer Cortez whom he saw as a God. When the God grimaced as he drank the chocolate, Montezuma texted the Royal Kitchen to add some cane sugar, milk, and allspice to make a palatable and delicious drink for his God. It worked! Soon the God, his country of Spain, and the rest of the known world was hooked on milk chocolate, in Hershey's bars and hot chocolate. When they gave us a leaf from the allspice tree to crush and smell, we recognized the smell as that of Old Spice Aftershave Lotion. As the two Mayans were doing their best to say the word "allspice", it kept coming out "oldspice". It occurred to me that their mis-pronunciation led to the name given to the aftershave Old Spice when it was first created. It is still my favorite aftershave.
Our drive around the island of Cozumel took us along the beautiful white beaches with occasional rocky area splashed constantly by crashing waves.
At night we went to hear Hector Olevera in the Stardust Lounge, and he was great as usual. I was outside looking at his photo, wondering if it showed him at his marvelous Roland organ when the real Hector came up to me and said "Hi, I remember you from the NWP!" He gave fewer instructions about his machine tonight and played several great pieces which showed off his virtuous skills, sounding like a full symphony orchestra at times. From tinkling triangles, to human voices, and even exploding cannons, his instrument and skills evoked them all exactly on time requiring his two hands and two feet to be in constant motion.
Day began in Lido Café with omelet, double-toasted English muffin, marmalade, etal, followed by a stop in the Bistro where my favorite, the custard tarts, arrive at ten AM. Went back to our stateroom for LSU's Announcement of our new Head Coach, likely to be Ed Orgeron! The announcement had already been mde and then the ship lost the ESPN signals. I went to DandyDon and his twitter update on his website had the confirmation.
I left the ship on a tender to go on a lugubrious submarine trip. I should have realized the LIFO arrangement of the below deck seating so I should have gone LAST IN to be FIRST OUT, instead I was first in and last out. Lots of slow walkers leaving the sub; I got to Men's room just in time for a pee. The underwater view was cloudy and no good colors for the fish, the few there were. A restaurant's fish tank would have had better views. Also the long walk back to the tender dock was terrible.A worry-wart female latched herself on to me telling me I was going the wrong way and even when I told her we had just walked past the detour we took on the way to sub in bus, she still went on. "Correct me if I'm right" is what I should have told her. My right calf muscle was in a perpetual cramp which made walking difficult so I ran in direction of the Tender Port to get far enough in front of her that I wouldn't have to listen to her negative spewings and wouldn't have to be impolite to her to get her to shut up. I finally approached where I thought the Tender Dock was, but there was a huge festival atmosphere with lots of people and long lines. The Mega-Cruise Ship phenomenon. I asked a Security Guard where the Crystal dock was and he pointed to the mass of people and said, "There. Gate 4". Exactly correct answer and completely useless to me ! ! !There were no Crystal Serenity people, no signs, no white tents, nothing, anywhere, just an hour long line. Gave me a good idea of what cruising on a Mega-Ship is like when returning from shore excursion. I walked past the line on the right side till I could see the CS tender and then walked back to find the CS couple I was next to in line , but they had disappeared. Looking around, some fellow passenger pointed me to a lonely guard by a chain link gate and when I walked to within 20 feet of it I could see "Gate 4" barely visible above the guard. Yes, Dorothy, we won't be in Kansas anymore, this is our entrance back to Oz. I was limping by the time I got back to our Stateroom. I put on my trunks and went into the Jacuzzi, letting it spray hot water against my cramped calf, finally turning on the bubbles.Back in the room Del tried to find out if I could get a massage and got a run-around instead; some needling sales pitch needing an acupuncture first! I believe I'd have said something rude if they had said that to me in my moment of pain. Del improvised an ice pack and I laid my right calf on it. Then I took shower and ran hot water on my calf. After that I remembered the tube of Deep Heating Rub in my Dopp kit, almost ten years since I used it. I was trying to get ointment out the tube, sitting on chair in front of my closed LapTop on the desk. Suddenly it spurted like an 18-year-old's ejaculation! There were spots on the floor, dime-sized, about six of them in a line toward the desk, and spots on top the LT, and Del helped clean them off. I applied the rub to my calf and it felt better. Twenty minutes later Del exclaimed, OH MY GOD! — she drew my attention to the tall mirror which went to the ceiling behind the desktop where it looked as if someone had emptied a can of Redi-Whipped cream across its face. The Deep Heating rub had emptied half its contents on the mirror and we were so focused on the floor and my leg, neither one of us had seen the huge spat on the mirror!
I was able to walk to the Dining Room without a limb, and we had dinner with Kip and Lois. During dessert I moved around to sit beside Kip to talk to him. Lois asked how I enjoyed the submarine ride and I answered, "The weather was nice." I should have stayed above the water and enjoyed the weather. After dinner the four of us went to the Galaxy for the "Across the Pond" show which was really great! Kip and Lois were amazed.
Later I went to Stardust Lounge to see Banu Gibson and Tom Fisher, but it turned out to be the same singers and dancers of the Galaxy production in another high energy show. Watched for about half the show then went to Palm Court where Banu and her Jazzdagen gang hung out. Tom Hook was doing a Tom Lehrer risque song about "The Lady with the largest Parakeets in Town". Then Banu sang a song and invited some ladies to do the chorus along with her.
JAMAICA, NO PROBLEM MAN
Went to Lido Café for breakfast, then got my LT and sat in Bistro and watched Coach O receive the accolades and the baton from AD Alleva. He's going to be a great coach at LSU. Saw a great billboard with Ed Orgeron in LSU Purple and the word COACH in Purple with a Gold O. It's great to have a football Coach from Louisiana who doesn't have foreign accent like Dietzel, McClendon, Saban, and Les Miles, among others, all did! (If Dale Brown or Skip Bertman had a foreign accent, no one ever noticed — they were so good.)
Our excursion today was to Ocho Rios, the eight rivers section of Jamaica. First stop was a botanical garden where our tour guide explained "Jamaica No Problem" right off: no poisonous insects or snakes on the island. His hand holding a large banana spider proved the point. We have spiders identical to these in South Louisiana woods which can give anyone running into their web a start. As fearsome as they appear, they are harmless. At least on Jamaica. Then he showed off an iguana, and lacking a willing pair of hands to hold it, he placed it on my black Fedora. Again, fearsome looking but very docile, they seem to come in orange and green skins. He paused at one spot on the trail to call our attention to a rarity, an iridescent green hummingbird sitting still on a branch. Its purple tail was so long I couldn't get the whole thing in my photo. We saw lots of ginger plants, notably the beehive and lobster claw ginger blooms. Let me not forget the pine cone ginger flowers which held rain water which could be squeezed out either to drink or make perfume with. There were chocolate beans inside two cacao fruit on one tree and several red parrots, one of which Del held on her arm for awhile.Most impressive were the two large crocodiles, which while non-poisonous, were definitely carnivorous! But, "Hey Mon, Jamaica No Problem. What's a few less tourists?"
Our guide picked a beautiful yellow hibiscus bloom with a bright red star in its middle and a lady suggested I put it in my hat, so I obliged, only to notice later the golden pollen dust which I had to brush away. The bloom stayed fresh till we returned to the ship. Our guide showed us the Soursop tree whose spiked green fruit are an important medicine among the Jamaicans. Also saw a photo of Bob Marley, sort of a tribute to him, topped by an actual LP (remember those?) and a photo of him with his name prominently displayed as Robert Nesta Marley, Jamaica's Musical Ambassador. Never knew his first name was Robert, same as mine.
Next we drove to the Ocho Rios waterfalls at Dunn's River Park. We saw more flora and fauna here, one of them looking quite fetching in a hot pink bikini. The locals didn't wear any water shoes to protect their feet, but outsiders were urged to buy or rent some to prevent their picking up any pieces of metal from the steel brushes used to scrub away the green slime before big holidays. The falls area was beautiful, filled with dark green ginger leaves and bright red ginger flowers with an occasional white bloom among the red petals. We saw several different colors of budgies, a dove, and some tan-colored turkeys resembling the kind we saw in Monet's garden in Giverny, France.
Back aboard ship, we had dinner provided by Chef Patout from New Orleans. Supper was Oysters, two La oysters with a sauce covering them. Not as good as Rockefeller or Bienville, but okay. A little too salty for me. Then a seafood crepe and a crabmeat stuffed flounder. Bread pudding with delicious raisins for dessert ala mode. All good. Everyone ate the bread pudding, except for one person who removed every raisin from the delicious bread pudding and counted them, proudly declaring there were 21 raisins in the pudding! This person claimed to put pecans instead of raisins in bread pudding and seemed insulted that otherwise sane people could eat bread pudding with raisins in them. Well, that would include every sane person in the state of Louisiana, so far as I can tell from my 76 years of living there.
That night we walked to the Galaxy to see the "6-8 Show" and stayed until they cranked the loudspeakers up too loud. Second cruise we've walked out of that show because of the volume. Del went back to our stateroom, and I went to hear Michael Kelly, the Vocal Impressionist. Never saw a guy work so hard to entertain since, well, Earl, earlier in the Cruise. Michael went from one well-known entertainer to another. The Rat Pack he did Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin in quick succession. We wondered how he'd do the other groups like the BeeGees and Jackson Five. Well, he began with the high-pitched voice of the BeeGees and then went to another song of the lower-pitched singer. But for the Jackson Five, he donned a Michael Jackson wig, his face was already white, and pulled up a long rod holding the other four Jacksons in puppet form as this Michael sang Jackson songs while the puppets' mouths moved in sync with the words.Kelly changed from Elvis to Michael Jackson right in front of our eyes, without missing a beat of the music!
SEA DAY, SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO, BACK IN THE USA
In the middle of our cruise in the Caribbean, an amazing thing happened: we landed back in the United States, at least in the dis-united state called Puerto Rico. It has had as much trouble becoming a state of the USA as Greece has had remaining a country in the European Union, and for many of the same reasons, so far as I can tell.
However, before we could get to San Juan, we had to endure a sea day. You could hear the collective Hooray! when Rick our Cruise Director announced the next day would be a sea day. It means a day off from excursion to just enjoy all the amenities aboard ship. The massage, the jacuzzi, tea time in Palm Court, Jazzdagen playing New Orleans Traditional Jazz in various venues day and late into the night, and even more. For me it meant processing all my photos to date.
Del and I got a salad in Lido Cafe for lunch and walked over to joined Kip and Lois in the Tastes area. I wanted some sweet potato fries, but the waiter said he couldn't walk the 20 feet to the Trident Grill to get some for me. "We're not allowed to do that," came the response. Later I saw the supervisors for the Trident and Tastes areas together, so I questioned them about the waiter's response to my request. "We don't want them to have to wait for the fries to be done." was their response. Yeah, I figured as much. "But, all you have to do is ask us and we'll get that done for you." I'm thinking, "sure" I"ll have to go find two of the busiest people on the deck to get what I want while their staff is chatting with each other after telling me they can't help me. Easier for me to get my own damn sweet potato fries and wait for 10 minutes for them to cook them. Next time we each ordered a delicious Salmon Burger at the Grill area and our fries came with it.
At four PM we went to Paul Stone's Magic Show. He did an amazing version of 52-pickup where he called out each of the shuffled cards in sequence and had two guys drop each card on the floor as he called them. Each Crystal Cruise has a Magic Castle magician come aboard to do closeup magic to small groups of 10-12 people. You need to reserve a spot in the Library for the shows as they are not well-advertised due to the small number of people that can be accommodated for each show. Sea days are a great time to schedule a magic show because there's no interference with show excursions.
HASSLED BY PHONE CALLS
I got two phone calls from the Mainland USA this morning, right on top of each other. First one came from our home security company saying a burglar alarm went off on an enterance door. "Send the police," I said quickly, and then I realized it might be our maid who is supposed to come inside once or twice a week to check on the house. Perhaps she went in and forgot to reset the alarm. I suggested they call Noemi and if it's a problem other than an inadvertent alarm to call me back. When this happened, I noticed that Del's phone had completely discharged, eliminating our backup phone. We had a small LLO over that. (Loud Learning Opportunity) We were barely cooled off from the LLO when my phone rang again, so I figured it was the Security people calling back. It wasn't. It was my masseuse calling to see if I was coming in for my 10:00 massage. I ignored the phone call but texted an ascerbic reply with several dollars in it representing the cost of needless phone calls. I say needless because I had carefully explained we would be gone for two weeks. Oh, and while I was texting her I may have inadvertently placed a phone call to her. What a morning! Luckily no more superfluous or otherwise phone calls to interfere with our excursion into San Juan.
BATS ABOUT BICARDI
Puerto Rico loves it's Bicardi family and their famous rum business and that's where our cruise took us first. We learned how the Bat logo came into being long before Gotham Chief of Police raised the Bat Signal to seek Batman's help. Why didn't he just text him? the twenty-somethings are thinking. Let them think, it will do them good. Anyway, one of the first owners noticed bats coming out of the roof of an early building and seized on that to be their official logo. People have loved the bat logo and even some have wanted to have a photo taken with their head in place of the Bat's head. On the grounds of the Bicardi property I saw a bright green iguana, who probably sipped too much rum, climbing to the top of a very high palm tree. In the spirit of Christmas, a small Santa Train called the Ponce Guayama Rail Road Co. was sitting alongside our walk to the Rum Museum. We left the Rum Museum sober after thwarting all attempts to have us taste their product, and boarded our bus for the remainder of our tour of San Juan, which took us next to the large fortress built to ward evil invaders such as the British and other pirates who wanted the large island and its goodies. They needed much rum to fill their sailors grog mugs, don't you know.
We stopped by the square built to memorialize the 500th Anniversary of Columbus discovering America. Across the street was the seashore, another old fortress, a red-dome church with a white-washed cemetery looking much as those in New Orleans and south Louisiana. The tombs were still adorned with flowers from the recent All-Saints Day. Our ship parked so close to the Old Town that its bow seemed to extend over the first street which went under it.
At night I caught Banu Gibson singing along with Yve Evans in the Crystal Cove. Yve and Banu were a hoot to watch perform as they seem improvise their singing like two New Orleans jazz musicians vamping on the "Saints Go Marching In".
ST. BARTS FRENCH WEST INDIES
Cruise Director Rick asked a favor as we were leaving the ship. He wanted a price on some special Louis Vuitton handbags for his wife. That was good, we had no special plans for our return trip to St. Barts and going on a quest would be fun. It was. We met this cute clerk named Lydia at the LV store who helped show us the Phenix line of bags, both on her Pad and live and in-person after she retrieved the bags from upstairs.I got a photo of the Pad's display and of Lydia holding two of the Phenix bags. She didn't know who Groucho Marx was, being from France, and had never heard his droll song about "Lydia — the Tattooed Lady". I suggested she watch Woody Allen's "Everybody Says I Love You" in which a Paris Ballroom has a roomful of Groucho dressed party-goers for New Year's Eve, and they sing "Hooray for Captain Spaulding, the African Explorer" in French. Imagine this in French, "I shot an elephant in my pajamas, how he got in my pajamas I'll never know." It seemed to me as I heard the French lyrics that "elephant" comes out "cochon-lion" in French, a "pig-lion".
By now you can guess that Del and I did little else during our short shore excursion to St. Barths. When we left the LV store, Del decided she needed a restroom. Okay, look at the map, this should be simple." It was! There was simply only one public restroom on the island about 3.7 km away, whatever a km is. I think km stands for "kiss-off 'merican". Too far to walk, so Plan B, get a minimal drink at the corner restaurant and use their restroom. Great idea! It only cost us 18 dollars. Seems the waitress was confused about whether Del still wanted the expensive bottled water after Del clearly told her she didn't, so Del got a very expensive soda, I got a Coke-Cola, and there was the unwanted bottled water, it's cap already opened, a sign which means "You bought it, Sucka!", however one says that politely in French.
But, into this morass of miscommunication and folderol, came Kip and Lois to brighten our day. They stopped on the sidewalk near our open-air table and we chatted about: how was the weather (Nice), the service (Abysmal), the LV Bags (Atrociously Expensive, almost as much as new set of gold-plated golf clubs).
One can only have so much fun in just one day, so we began our walk back to the Tender Dock thinking of the sign we saw earlier, "For Tender Service Wait Here." Hmmm, the French Waitress who stiffed us on the unwanted water could take some lessons in tender service. I went to take a photo of Smoky the Bear and realized it was really a larger-than-life statue of Smoky the Pig, somehow reminding of the waitress earlier. Without further adieu, we left the wonderful weather of St. Barts, and excellent time keeping of the Swedish Clock Tower (only 20 minutes slow), and accepted the Tender mercies of the Crystal Serenity for a return trip to the ship.
EVERY GOOD THING MUST COME TO A NEW BEGINNINGIMPORTANT MESSAGE:
The past month of October has been cool, dry, and clear skies, one or two light showers to keep the grass green. Our Fall Vegetable gardens are planted and ready to begin producing some Bell peppers soon. The green onions are a foot high and I've already used some in our Sunday omelets. With nights in low 60s, the AC units are enjoying a well-deserved rest. LSU's new Coach O has the Tiger offense producing up to its billing. For myself after tough slog of getting the DW16a Double Issue together, it's been a relaxing time. Enjoyed reading a new acquisition, an Annie Dillard non-fiction, and it'll be featured in this issue, so look for it. Not a lot of photos, well, there wasn't when I first wrote these notes before we had taken our Caribbean cruise, and now there are a lot. The travelogue and photos stop on November 30 and the second week of the cruise will appear in DW171, the first Issue of the new year of 2017. We have a great selection of Reader's Comments for you to enjoy. If you have never had a letter published in an Issue, we encourage you to share your thoughts with us and we'll share them with your fellow Readers.
Till we meet again in January, 2017, enjoy your beginning winter weather or warm Summer weather down under. Whatever you do, wherever in the world you and yours reside, Remember our earnest wish during the short remainder of this God given year of 2016:
MAY THE WORLD BECOME PEACEFUL AND SERENE IN TWENTY-SEVENTEEN
To those Good Readers who are puzzled by How the Moon could be Rising In Front of a Mountain, Click on Photo. To see 161021 photo, Click Here. ALSO: if you are puzzled because you No Longer get our Monthly Reminder, you may have Changed Your Email Address without notifying us. NOTIFY US NOW by a simple Click Here!
Here's the Sting:
You will NOT receive a Monthly Reminder unless you have Re-subscribed under your new address to DIGESTWORLD.
If you've already receiving DIGESTWORLD Reminders, ignore this message.
If you're not subscribed, and would like to Subscribe to DIGESTWORLD Reminders to receive one short email a month to inform you of the latest ISSUE, now's a good time. SUBSCRIBE NOWby Clicking Here.
Yes, this message does no good to those who changed their email address without notifying me but it can alert those of you who are going to change your address.
If you've changed or are planning to change your email address, Click Here to SEND NEW ADDRESS. (Alternate way is to copy into your Browser this URL: http://www.doyletics.com/subscrib.htm )
EASE OF VIEWING NOTES:
NOTE: For Internet Explorer Browsers, DIGESTWORLD is best viewed at 100% Zoom and the Window's width sized so that Digest Archives lines are single-spaced, just barely. Adjust Window width so that Mountains almost touch the Archive Numbers, especially if you find some Photos overlapping text.
PHOTO CAPTIONS (CURSOR FLYOVER ISSUE RESOLVED):If you have been enjoying the photos in DIGESTWORLD, but have wondered who or what you were looking at, you will now be able to hold your cursor still over the photo and the photo's description will appear. (Test on Butterfly-Crab Image at Right.) We spend a lot of time writing these photo captions and hope you will read them. All the Archived Issues have been updated to provide descriptions when your cursor rests for a second on a photo. Note that older Reviews have not been updated. If you haven't finished reading text when description disappears, move cursor away and back on photo to finish. We thank you for your patience and hope this pleases you.
Quotes Selected from quotes.htm this month:
Gestalt is about getting livened up, about re-owning your power, which is important in a world of rules and expectations which strive to take away our power.
Bobby Matherne, written March 21, 2012 in Don't Push the River.
An unanswerable question is an unanswered question that people have given up on.
Bobby Matherne, written April 28, 2015.
There are no coincidences — only blessings from God.
Reality is always stranger than fiction because fiction lives inside of reality.
A platitude is a high form of mediocrity.
A dove that does not alight like a dove is an angel.
An angel does not alight with a touch — an angel alights with a feeling.
Love is the ultimate ulterior motive.
I often quote myself; it adds sparkle to my conversation.
George Bernard Shaw
New Stuff on Website:From Rainbows & Shadows, A 1995 Book of Poetry by Bobby Matherne
My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky.
What is your substance, whereof are you made,
That millions of strange shadows on you tend?
William Shakespeare, Sonnet 53
Why rainbows and shadows? One reminds us of joyful occasions and the other of things that go bump in the night. First, rainbows.
In 1995 I stood in the open doorway of my garage before driving to work on my last day before retirement from the Waterford 3 Nuclear Power Plant, and I saw a beautiful double rainbow in the morning sky before me. My heart lept up like Wordsworth's when I saw that omen. I remembered that the source of the rainbow is in my heart, and was in the heart of everyone who took the time to observe a rainbow that morning. We each saw a different rainbow, and each one we saw was truly our own rainbow.
In 2015 a double rainbow appeared as I looked out my garage door in the morning of the same day I celebrated twenty years of working full-time as a writer, publisher, photographer, cartoonist, and poet. The beat goes on . . .
Likewise, each shadow we encounter is truly our own shadow, created by the materialistic stuff of our world blocking the light of the Sun. Shadows are the dark colors of the artist's pallette of our lives, without which there would be no texture, no structure, no light. As I reviewed my poems for this volume, I found some were naturally rainbows and some naturally shadows, and I separated them into one section called Rainbows and one called Shadows. My wife Del likes me to read to her one Rainbow followed by one Shadow — they seem to complement each other, she says. I have put the section titles in the header to facilitate such a manner of reading.
In addition to the poem, I have included a short note (where available), which notes altogether contain a panoply of information about my poems: when they were written, what I was doing at the time, what I was reading that inspired them, and on what scrap of paper I wrote them. Poems do not "form in their own water" (as my friend Calvin said of volcanoes), but they may form in the water of ideas suggested by others and completed in some fashion by me. In gratitude, I include in many of the Notes the authors' names and sometimes a brief reference or quote of the source of the inspiration. By reading the Notes, one may readily discern my favorite authors and assorted sources of inspiration during the five-year period of writing this book.
There is an ambiguity in the phrase driving to work that leaves unspecified whether I was alone in the car at the time. Believe me, I could never think these thoughts if I were not alone in the car. Sometimes I listened to jazz on WWOZ, sometimes to classical on WWNO, and sometimes only to the thoughts of the writer of the book I was reading and my own thoughts, but always moving on. Like rainbows and shadows are always moving, so was I.
You may have a moving experience also as you join me in my carpool of one on the highway of life. Welcome Aboard! What would you like on the radio, classical or jazz?
These poems are from Bobby Matherne's 1995 book of poetry, Rainbows & Shadows, most of which have never been published on the Internet before. Here at the beginning of the new millennium, we are publishing five poems until all poems and notes have been published on-line. Some of these poems have appeared in earlier DIGESTWORLD Issues and are being republished here with their associated NOTES above each poem.
This month we continue with a poem from the Rainbows Chapter of Bobby's second book of Poetry, Rainbows & Shadows (1995). Admission: In this form, the poem was written on May 16, 1992. It was inspired by reading Course in Miracles, and an earlier version of it was written on page 481 of its Textbook on September 2, 1986.
Like a teenager
in an amusement park
I live my life
holding the ticket called Present
Which I submit to the gate keeper.
If my ticket is worthy
I am provided admission
else I am rejected from the ride.
The Past and the Future are not tickets
but merely illusions;
Memories of tickets spent
and to be spent.
This month we continue with a poem from the Shadows Chapter of Bobby's second book of Poetry, Rainbows & Shadows (1995). A Content Model: This poem was written on April 16, 1992. It was inspired by reading Owen Barfield's Unancestral Voice in particular a passage on page 135 that talks of the constructional (content-based) model of modern science. Also on page 133, "... is Bohm's suggestion - that our habit of beginning, as it were, with space and time, as if they were existents, and then planting a number of objects in them, may be traceable to the Cartesian innovation."
So in this poem I suggest that a physics devoid of content is upon us, and the "ghost in machine" has been replaced by just a ghost, this ghost being the process of life, a process that we find at successively smaller levels of the microcosm, to be increasingly devoid of content. No-Thing exists, only spirit (energy) in motion, or as Einstein put it, E=mc2.
A Content Model
Scientists have been content
of time and space
And objects that each
have their place
In this Cartesian duality.
But this model has been rent
by Quantum Physics after-shocks
For it has shown us the paradox
of zero size
have infinite energy,
a process that belies
any content at all.
There is no ghost in the machine —
we might look in vain
for its case,
and its gears.
For as we examine ever more closely,
What we call machine
becomes more ghostly,
And what we thought was cat
we find out in the end
Was nothing more than an
eerie, ghostly grin.
3. Chapter: Rainbows
This month we continue with a poem from the Rainbows Chapter of Bobby's second book of Poetry, Rainbows & Shadows (1995). Mind's Fruit: This poem was written on the evening of January 6, 1992. The idea for it first came on Feb 19, 1982. It was inspired by the thought of "apple" which occurred to me several years previously and was catalyzed by the Jane Roberts' quote.
"What tree grows the fruit that suddenly
appears in mind's basket?" Jane RobertsThink of a fruit.
What fruit came to your mind?
What came to my mind was the thought of "apple."
Where did the thought of "apple" come from?
Think of your friend,
let's call him Joe,
how does he know how to respond
to you differently than to other folks?
Joe does to you
whatever the Joe part inside of you
does to you when you think of Joe.
Joe does whatever that part does inside of you
because that's where Joe gets the idea
of what to do, from.
Thus are individuals' minds connected
into the multi-dimensional plenum we call God.
Thoughts are like dishes at a banquet,
served up to you by a friend.
4. Chapter: Shadows5. Chapter: Rainbows
This month we continue with a poem from the Shadows Chapter of Bobby's second book of Poetry, Rainbows & Shadows (1995). Bell of Coercion: This poem was written on Jan 11, 1991. The Liberty Bell was cast by Pass and Stow and rang true and clear until July 8, 1835 when, during the ringing of it for Justice Marshall's funeral, a large crack appeared. It has not been rung since and we, as Americans, have made do with a patched-up, un-ringable bell since then. Just as we have made do with a patched-up concept of freedom that does not ring true. That flat sound of freedom is due to the coercion at all levels of society that has pervaded America since 1835, up until now.
Bell of Coercion
Freedom reigned supreme
and rang across the land
The dulcet tones of Pass and Stow
proclaimed the constitution's plan.
When on July the eighth
Freedom's Bell rang out
at Justice Marshall's funeral
'Twas in justice that a crack appeared
in freedom's brassy apparel.
The new republic's bell
rang a sour note
and thus it's ever been
Freedom walks right out the door
when coercion finds the back way in.
This month we continue with a poem from the Rainbows Chapter of Bobby's second book of Poetry, Rainbows & Shadows (1995). All Powerful Teacher: This poem was written on Jan 4, 1991. It was inspired by reading Course in Miracles text while driving to work at 5:30 a.m. one day.
All Powerful Teacher
Perhaps when we learn
in our own way
God learns in
God's own way.
That would make us —
teachers of God.
Movies we watched this past month:Notes about our movies: Many of the movies we watch are foreign movies with subtitles. After years of watching movies in foreign languages, Arabic, French, Swedish, German, British English, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and many other languages, sometimes two or three languages in the same movie, the subtitles have disappeared for us. If the movie is dubbed in English we go for the subtitles instead because we enjoy the live action and sounds of the real voices so much more than the dubbed. If you wonder where we get all these foreign movies from, the answer is simple: NetFlix. For a fixed price a month they mail us DVD movies from our on-line Queue, we watch them, pop them into a pre-paid mailer, and the postman effectively replaces all our gas-consuming and time-consuming trips to Blockbuster. To sign up for NetFlix, simply go to http://www.netflix.com/ and start adding all your requests for movies into your personal queue. If you've seen some in these movie blurbs, simply copy the name, click open your queue, and paste the name in the Search box on NetFlix and Select Add. Buy some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. You get to see your movies as the Director created them NOT-edited for TV, in full-screen width, your own choice of subtitles, no commercial interruptions, and all of the original dialogue. Microwave some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. With a plasma TV and Blu-Ray DVD's and a great sound system, you have theater experience without someone next to you talking on a cell phone during a movie plus a Pause button for rest room trips.Hits (Watch as soon as you can. A Don't Miss Hit is one you might otherwise have missed along the way.):
P. S. Ask for Blu-Ray movies from NetFlix, and if it says DVD in your Queue, click and select Blu-Ray version."London Has Fallen" (2016) a great action movie! We watched the 2016 World Series and this next movie at the same time. BOTH were full of fireworks, and by the end of the evening both London and Cleveland had fallen! A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"The End of the Tour" (2015) about a Rolling Stone writer assigned to follow David Foster Wallace around on a short book tour and write a coherent story about the Infinite Jest writer's otherwise incoherent life-style.
"Indignation" (2016) from a novel by Philip Roth, a young man goes to a small midwestern college and discovers ways and mores that cause his head to spin. Better to face the Reds in South Korea than the Dean in his office.
"Born to Be Blue" (2016) Ethan Hawke in a great portrayal of Chet Baker, blues trumpeter of the 1960s, leader of West Coast Jazz.
"The Crown" (2016) We follow young Elizabeth through ten gripping episodes: her marriage to Philip, her Coronation, and her working with PM Churchill, who sticks around long enough for her to learn to rule with dignity. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"Saints and Soldiers: The Void" (2014) two Hellcat crews manned their tank-killers and went up against three German Panzers in the last month of WWII, fighting both naziism and racism at the same time.
"Killing Lincoln" (2013) an interesting look at John Wilkes Booth deeds, constantly interrupted by Tom Hanks's narration. Wilkes is authentically portrayed as a superb actor become a director of his own destiny whose acrobatic leap laid him low.
"Star Trek: Beyond" (2016) in this sequel/prequel warp, Chris Pine plays the original Captain Kirk with original crew in original Enterprise against a galactic menace named Krall, a Borg-like villain with his drones flying free to create havoc in computer graphics on steroids. But are they free? A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
Misses (Avoid At All Costs): We attempted to watch these this month, but didn't make it all the way through on most of them. Awhile back when three AAAC horrors hit us in one night, I decided to add a sub-category to "Avoid at All Costs", namely, A DVD STOMPER. These are movies so bad, you don't want anyone else to get stuck watching them, so you want to stomp on the disks. That way, if everyone else who gets burnt by the movie does the same, soon no copies of the awful movie will be extant and the world will be better off.What a LUCKY MONTH! No AAACs!
Your call on these your taste in movies may differ, but I liked them:
"Marguerite" (2016) a socialite with a flat voice which no one would tell her, until she accepts an invite for a public, recital. People thought it would kill her to find out how terrible she sounded.
"The Bronze" (2016) offal at every level. Can the miscreant star grow up as she tutors a gymnast better than she is, one who shines bright gold, and not the color of doo-doo.
"Blood Ties" (2014) Clive Owen and Billy Crudup as brothers on opposite sides of the law, but with each other's back.
"Ithaca" (2016) first-time director Meg Ryan apparently couldn't find the accelerator pedal. Slow and mostly uninteresting due to its slowness. Getting into the head of the main character was like sitting in an outhouse with nothing to read.
"The Runner" (2015) Nicholas Cage as a philandering politician always chasing skirts and public office who hits a snag when an elevator video goes viral. Can he survive to run again for the Senate? Stranger things have happened.
"Area 51" (2015) is revealed in all its UFO, Flying Saucer, and ET wonders, plus the movie credits reveals it to be all fictional, fantasies of juvenile minds no doubt.
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Le Boudreaux Cajun Cottage, drawn by and Copyright 2011 by Paulette Purser, Used by Permission
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
Boudreaux and Marie went to a fais-do-do on Saturday at Mulate's like they usually do, and when they returned home, the door was busted open. Boudreaux and Marie searched all over the house and nothing seemed to be gone, until he openeed his gun case and noticed that his prized Charlie Frank mallard duck decoy was gone!
"Marie!" he yelled out, "call de police — dey done stole mah decoy!"
About twenty minutes later, a Louisiana State policeman's car pulled up the driveway to his house. A State Trooper got out in his shiny uniform with a wide brim hat and dark sunglasses. He opened the back door and out popped a K-9 Unit German Shepherd, a sniffer dog to track down the thief. Boudreaux, watching this scene unfold, said, under his breath, "Mais, Ah ain't nevah seen nuttin like dat before!"
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
5.Household Hint for December, 2016 from Bobby Jeaux:
(click links to see photos of product, preparation steps, etal)
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =Easy Door Stop
Some of you may think this is a trivial Household Hint, but if you've had a similar problem, you'll appreciate this tip. This backwards use of a door stop recently solved a problem going back to moving into our new home about seven years ago. The house was renovated about 25 years earlier from when we moved in, and the doors squeaked a bit when opened. Not a big deal, except in our master bedroom with the doors that went into the bathroom. A little squeaking in the middle of the night could awaken either me or my wife. So I sprayed some WD-40 on the hinges and the squeaking went away. Great, right? But, guess what happened: one of doors we wanted to stay open during the day would slowly close without the friction that kept it open before the WD-40 application. Hmmm, what to do was an unanswerd question. My wife would slide a shoe or slipper in place to hold the door open. I thought it would start squeaking again in time, and the squeaking would be preferrable to having to prop the door open. After seven years, the squeaking still hadn't returned, and we got tired propping the door open each day.
Last year, I saw this Big Foot rubber door stop for sale and bought it. It worked fine holding the door open. But it had two problems, you had to stoop down to put it into place and later to remove it. The second problem was my wife didn't like the color! She said, "I can't have that ugly green thing sticking out."
Then the solution came to me: One which solved both problems in a simple and elegant way. It eliminated the stooping and almost completely hides the Big Foot during the day. As you can see in the photo at right.
One BIG FOOT Rubber door stop. Click Link to see closeup.(Bought ours at a local supermarket in the housewares department for a dollar or two.)
Place the Big Foot behind the door as shown in this Photo. (This works great over carpeting. May work over hardwood floors, too, but I haven't tried it on them.)
To Use Door Stop
To prop open the door: open the door all the way so that the lower edge of the door compresses the Big Foot door stop slightly. The friction will hold both the door and the door stop in place.
To remove the door from the door stop: Simply close the door. It will come free with no discernible pressure. The friction with the floor holds the Big Foot in place.
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
6. POETRY by BOBBY from Seven Types of Ambiguity:
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
This poem first appeared in my 2010 review of William Empson's book Seven Types of Ambiguity:
[page 25] Among metaphors effective from several points of view one may include, by no great extension, those metaphors which are partly recognized as such and partly received simply as words in their acquired sense. All languages are composed of dead metaphors as the soil of the corpses, but English is perhaps uniquely full of metaphors of this sort, which are not dead but sleeping, and, while making a direct statement, color it with an implied comparison.
My poem below was inspired by the above passage which hints at how ambiguity may arise from implied comparisons:
Sleeping Beauties in my prose —
I'll have none of those.
Give me ones who
spring to liveliness
Without the need of
Let not one stay unawake
till I my terminal period make.
Please pay respect to my acuity
if you find an unintended ambiguity —
It is apt to happen, now and then,
that one should split in twain and twin.
The ambiguities in the next stanza by Browning are rife, and yet resolve into a beautiful song before the terminal period.
I want to know a butcher paints,
A baker rhymes for his pursuit,
Candlestick-maker, much acquaints
His souls with song, or, haply mute,
Blows out his brains upon the flute.
If I might offer a paraphrase, given that the only similarity of myself to Robert Browning is our common given name, it would be this:
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for December:
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
For our Good Readers, here are the reviews and articles featured this month. The first and second reviews this month will be ones which were never published in early DIGESTWORLD ISSUES and will be of interest to our DIGESTWORLD Readers. The rest of the items will be new additions to the top of A Reader's Journal, Volume 2, Chronological List, new additions to A Reader's Treasury, or Essays previously unpublished.
NOTE: some Blurbs may be condensations of long Reviews, possibly lacking footnotes and some quoted passages. For your convenience, if you wish to read the full review or to print it out, simply CLICK on the Book Cover or choose Printer Ready option on the top line of a review page when it opens.
1.) ARJ2: Cosmic and Human Metamorphosis by Rudolf Steiner
In the movie Ghost we saw a medium who attracted departed souls and allowed them to inhabit her body for a short time to communicate with their living relatives. Steiner tells us of the case of Sir Oliver Lodge whose son died in World War I and whose spirit through a medium describes details in a photograph that is only discovered weeks later. Steiner advises us that such a communication, while seeming to come from the individuality of the dead person, is simply an example of Deuterscopia or "second sight" a viewing of an event that hasn't happened yet. The striking replies produced by such a medium, that seems to come directly from the person, "proceed only from his etheric corpse." The etheric corpse is the etheric body that inhered the person's physical body during his lifetime, and after death is defusing into the Universe. Thus we are duly cautioned to eschew such "materialistic and absurd strivings after a world of spirit." (Page 7)
Instead he exhorts us to find a purely spiritual method of communing with the world of spirit. How such a spiritual method might work, he explains in reference to the appearance of Christ in His etheric body beginning during the 20th Century.
[page 8] Just as it truly happened as we have often said that at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha Christ walked among men in a physical form, in one known part of the earth, so will the etheric Christ walk among men in the twentieth century. This event must not pass unobserved by humanity, for that would be sinning against the salvation of the world. Humanity must have its attention roused, so that a sufficient number of persons may be ready really to see the Christ Who will come and Who must be seen.
Speaking to an audience in Berlin during the days of the first World War, Steiner notes that things are happening that are far afield from what might happen if people had been asking themselves, in effect, this simple question, which appears today on automobile bumper stickers, "What would Christ Jesus do?" Here's how Steiner phrased it in 1917:
[page 9] Events seem to be accomplished to-day, in which men appear to be as far removed as possible from any appeal to Christ. We must ask ourselves this question: Who is there to-day who stops to enquire: 'What would Christ Jesus say to what is now taking place?' Who puts such a question to himself?
The time will come, Steiner says, when we will begin to ask of Christ with our immortal part, our "I", whether or not we should do something or not. And how are we to learn to ask for help of Christ? We must learn His language. And when we study Spiritual Science, the evolution of humanity through the phases of Saturn, Sun, Moon, and Earth and the different periods, we learn the language of Christ. There is only one Sun that shines on Earth and only one Christ whose vestures are the light that shines from the Sun. [See ARJ: The Apocalypse of St. John and The Gospel of St. Luke for more information on the relationship of the Sun and Christ.] Rightly understood, when we look at a clock or a wristwatch, we are checking on the presence of Christ and His vesture, the Sun, in relationship to our lives at the time.
Learning about one's life history is a natural prelude for learning how to communicate with them. When we learn the history of the Sun and its evolution up to the present epoch, we are learning the vocabulary that helps us to communicate with Christ. Steiner's life was devoted to providing humanity with that vocabulary. Here's his words directly on the subject:
[page 10] If we take the trouble to learn to think the thoughts of Spiritual Science, and make the mental effort necessary for an understanding of the Cosmic secrets taught by Spiritual Science, then, out of the dim, dark foundations of the Cosmic mysteries, will come forth the figure of Christ Jesus, which will draw near to us and give us the strength and force in which we shall then live. The Christ will guide us, standing beside us as a brother, so that our hearts and souls may be strong enough to grow up to the necessary level of the tasks awaiting humanity in its further development.
In the olden days, our ancestors lived in direct communication with their ancestors. They saw the world of the Spirit as a daily fact of their lives; they communicated with those who had passed away, and thus, they realized that their friends, family, and those connected to them karmically, had not died, but had merely transited to a new level of existence. Steiner tells us in a spectacular statement, "A thing need not be proved if one knows it!" What we know to be true changes with time and our evolution of consciousness. What we knew once as clear circadian fact has dimmed as our materialistic scientific knowledge grew. Now that our scientific knowledge has grown, our task seems now to assimilate our ancient spiritual knowings with our current materialistic knowings from now on. This is the essence of the evolution of consciousness to move forward in one area, let that area lay fallow, move forward in another area that is incompatible with the first, then assimilate the two areas into one greater knowing. This is the essence of Spiritual Science to provide guidance for that assimilation in the centuries to come.
Steiner's quote reminds me of what Carl Gustav Jung, a materialistic scientist who devoted his life to learning about the spiritual world, said during a filmed interview near the end of his life when asked if he believed in God, "I do not believe in God, I know!" A thing need not be proven, nor need it require belief, if we know it to be a fact. If we know that there is one Sun whose brilliant light is the vestures of Christ, we can see as a certain fact that the Spirit of the Earth keeps its spiritual face to the Sun and bows in adoration in the course of a complete transit around the Sun. In the back of the Earth Spirit's mind is the darkness of its unconscious. A collective unconscious comprised of all the humans that are asleep in the dark at any one moment, their bodies attached to the Earth, while their Souls, their astral bodies and eternal I's are expanded into the Stars far behind the physical body of the Earth. Sleeping humans constitute a true Star Wave that ebbs and flows in the Universe as the physical body of the Great Spirit of the Earth rotates in space. To the morning crescent of the rotating Earth, Souls are returning from the Stars, infused with new learnings from their voyage. From the evening crescent of the Earth, Souls are departing on their nightly voyage to the deep regions of space.
When one comes to truly know this as a fact, the paltry Warp 10 of Star Trek: Voyager seems trivial in comparison to the nightly feat performed by even the humblest human asleep in the arms of Earth. We are sleep-walkers all, sleep-space-travelers all, rightly understood. Who, discovering this to be a fact in their lives, would wish to remove their physical and etheric bodies from Earth to travel only a minuscule portion of the universe with them, when every night their astral and ego bodies travel to the far reaches of the universe?
I do not ask you, dear Reader, to believe this. I cannot prove it to you. I only report to you that I know it as a fact in my life. I cannot tell you how or exactly when it became a fact for me, besides it will be different for you when it happens. One of my rules goes this way, "What is the power of an unanswered question?" With these words I originally wished to communicate that holding an "unanswered question" can be a source of power in one's life. I've found it to be so in my own, so I share it with you.What I had observed, which led me to make this observation, is that most folks, when a question is posed to them immediately give an answer and proceed then merrily along as if nothing had ever happened to them. Their answer usually took the form of something they already knew, so they gave the answer they already knew, and learned nothing in the process. Yes, there are many questions that we already know the answers to. "What's your phone number?" is one. Simple to answer. "What's the meaning of Christ in your life?" Not so simple to answer. Anyone who answers that immediately has lost a chance to learn deep truths by simply holding the question as an unanswered question.
When the famous hypnotherapist Milton Erickson wished to hypnotize someone quickly, he sometimes used a technique known as pattern interruption. He might, e.g., walk across a stage to shake hands with someone, hold his right hand out, and, just as his hand was ready to meet the other persons hand, he would stoop down and tie his shoelaces. By interrupting an expected pattern, he was able to put the other person in a deep trance and offer help, bypassing their conscious obstructing mind. From studying his work, therapists have learned that one must create an exquisite confusion in their client or else the client will blissfully drift along in the same stream of hurting as they always have nothing will change. Sometimes a sudden noise will shake us up, and during those moments, something important will be given us from the spiritual world.
Now read Steiner's words in which he describes moments in one's life when the Spiritual world is able to penetrate us:
[page 15] Each time we develop a thought in such a way that it springs from ourselves, when we take the initiative, when we are confronted with a decision to be made by ourselves even in quite small things, that again is a favorable moment for the approach of the Dead karmically connected with us. (Of course, if we simply yield ourselves up, allowing life to take its course, carrying us along with the stream, there is but little likelihood of the real, true, inwardly living Spiritual world working into us.)
In the next section of his lecture on page 16, Steiner develops the Platonic Great Year and shows how it relates to our everyday life. Or rather how our everyday life relates to the cosmos itself. Due to the precession of the equinoxes, the sun rises in a slightly constellation on the morning of the Vernal Equinox the spring day which has twelve hours of day and twelve hours of night [definition of an equinox]. The place of the Sun in the Zodiac moves each year and after 25,920 years it returns to its original spot in the Zodiac. This comprises a Great Year or great Platonic Cosmic Year.
As humans we breathe 18 times a minute, sometimes faster or slower, but over a lifetime, we average 18 breaths a minute. Calculate the number of breaths we average a day and you get 25,920 breaths. "An amazing, but trivial coincidence," the skeptic in you might say.
Now calculate the days of a human's life, and you'll find that somewhere between 70 and 71 years one has lived exactly 25,920 days. Since that number is very close to a human's life expectancy, let's use that as a measure of a human life, 25,920 days. [Some will not live so long and others much longer; of course, it is a result of our freedom that this is so.] If we divide 365.25, the number of days in a year, into the Platonic Cosmic Year of 25,290 years, we get the span of a human life, about 70.5 years! Thus Steiner is led to say:
[page 17] A man's life is to a Platonic year as human day to a man's life.
When one has breathed 25,290 breaths, one's day is completed. When one has lived 25,290 days, one's life span is completed. In a day's time we have gone to sleep and re-awakened, a process during which our astral and ego bodies leave and return, as if they were breathed out and breathed back in by some being. Just as the air leaves our physical body and radiates into the air surrounding the Earth, our astral and ego bodies must leave the Earth and radiate out into the space surrounding the Earth. We can imagine a Great Being of Earth who breathes our astral and I bodies in and out once during the course of a single day (awake) and night (asleep) or one rotation of its physical body in relationship to the Sun. When humans die, their ego and astral bodies leave the Earth and the region of the Sun, and this can be imagined as a still Greater Being of the Sun that breathes in and out once in the course of an average human life, once every 70.5 years. [25,290 years divided by 365.25] Thus the 70.5 years to the Sun are like 24 hours to the Earth, as 3.3 seconds to a human on Earth.
[page 18] You see how it is: we draw one small breath in the 18th of a minute, which regulates our life; our life is lived on the earth, the breathing of which comprises day and night; that corresponds with the out-going and in-coming of the ego and astral body into the physical and etheric bodies: and we are ourselves breathed in by the great Being whose life corresponds to the course of the sun, our own life is one breath of this great Being. Now you see that as Microcosms we are actually part of and subject to the same laws, as regards the Universal Beings, as the breath we draw is subject to our own human being. . . . if our hearts are sensitive to the secrets of cosmic existence and not mere blocks of wood, the saying 'we are placed in the Universe' will cease to be abstract words, for we shall be fully alive to the fact. A knowledge and a feeling will spring up within us the fruits of which will be borne in the impulses of our will, and our whole being live in unison with the great Life, Divine Cosmic Existence.
Steiner next discusses three meetings that humans have with their Spirit selves. The first is the meeting with one's genius during sleep. We all unconsciously acknowledge the first meeting when we say, "Let me sleep on that decision." The first meeting is also embodied in our laws that allow one to change one's mind for three days after signing a purchase contract. That's two nights to sleep on it. Here's how he characterizes that meeting:
[page 25] This meeting is important for man. For all the feelings that gladden the soul with respect to its connection with the Spiritual world proceed from this meeting with one's genius during sleep. The feeling which we may have in our waking state, of our connection with the Spiritual world, is an after-effect of this meeting with our genius.
The second meeting happens once a year during the same time that the whole Earth gives itself up to the Spirit.
[page 26] . . . at about Christmas-time and on to our present New Year, man goes through a meeting of his astral body with the Life-Spirit, in the same way as he goes through the first meeting, that of his ego with the Spirit Self. Upon this meeting with the Life-Spirit depends the nearness of Christ Jesus. For Christ Jesus reveals Himself through the Life-Spirit.
The third meeting happens once in a person's life during the period between 28 and 42 years of age it is the meeting with the Father-Principle. The changes that happen in one's life during that time, rightly understood, stem from that meeting with the Father-Principle. If one dies involuntarily before one reaches the age of 42, that meeting with the Father-Principle occurs during the hour of death. If one dies by one's own hand before 42, one may be deprived of having this third meeting in this incarnation.
In this next passage Steiner gives us a prayer by which we may come to know the "holiness of sleep."
[page 30] People should at least become gradually able to develop a feeling which can be expressed somewhat as follow: 'I am going to sleep; until I wake, my soul will be in the Spiritual world. There it will meet with the guiding-power of my earth-life, who lives in the Spiritual world, and who soars round and surrounds my head. My soul will have the meeting with my genius. The wings of my genius will come in contact with my soul.'
In sleep we are in a state similar to a plant that is ready to germinate a new plant. Our seed of a future us is growing inside us with the aid of our genius. In sleep, we are at work on the future us what we will be in our future incarnation. Those plans for a future incarnation at night, are like the plans each day that we each have for tomorrow. Think of your plans for tomorrow, dear Reader. You know the Sun will rise and you have some idea about where you will go, what you will do. Some of those plans will be realized and some will not. That is similar to the plans that at night you make with your genius for your future life on this Earth. (Summary of page 36)
In the increasing materialism of the world, we have shut out the dead who wish to work with us. We are their only hands by which they may accomplish things in the material world that they so earnestly wish to help us with. If we as living humans, spiritual beings encased in physical bodies, pay attention only to the material aspect of matter, our life remains dark to the dead they cannot experience our world unless we can see the spiritual nature of the world that inheres the material world. If we taste something sweet, our spirit, which cannot experience a taste, experiences the sweetness. So can other spiritual beings no longer in bodies taste the sweetness of life through us if we spiritualize our experiences. Steiner suggests how this can happen:
[page 58] When a man in his thinking makes an effort to reach the spirit, he will gradually reach it in reality. It signifies that a bridge is thrown across between the physical and the spiritual world. That alone can lead men across from the age of materialism to that age in which they will face the realities, neither blindfolded nor intoxicated, but with vision and poise.
Simply said, but very difficult to achieve in this materialistic world where we are blinded to the spirit by the Ahrimanic machines that we use daily and we are intoxicated with the brilliance of our own scientific ideas. It was not always that way. In olden times Man slept all night and was awake during the entire day.
[page 60] He did not actually see the physical stars with external eyes; but he saw the Spiritual part of the physical stars. Hence we must not look upon what is related to the ancient star-worship, as though the ancients looked up to the stars and then made all sorts of beautiful symbols and images. It is very easy to say, according to modern science: In those olden times the imagination was very active; men imagined gods behind Saturn, Sun and Moon; they pictured animal forms in these signs of the Zodiac. But it is only the imagination of the learned scientists that works in this, inventing such ideas!
The process of projecting one's own way of thinking onto another's is fraught with danger of error, but nowhere as much as when it applied to ancient peoples who lived many levels of evolution of consciousness before our own. "Why did we lose the capability of seeing Spirits instead of physical stars, if it was so good in the first place?" the skeptic will want to know.
[page 60] The consciousness of communication with the stars had to recede; it had to be dimmed, so that the inner being of man could become powerful enough to enable him, at a definite time in the future, to learn so to strengthen it that he may be able to find the spirit, as spirit.
One key to finding the spirit is to understand the role of the Sun and its intimate connection with Christ the rays of the Sun, rightly understood, are the vestures, the outer covering of the Christ Spirit.
[page 66] The Japanese, Chinese, and even the English and Americans, do not believe that one sun rises and sets for them and another for the Germans. They still believe in the sun being the common property of all; indeed they still believe that what is supra-earthly is the common property of all. They do not even dispute that, they do not go to war about these things. . . . When once people recognize the connection of Christ with these things which men do not dispute, they will not dispute about Him, but will learn to see Him in the Kingdom which is not of this world, but which belongs to Him.
Two things, both unconscious at the time, occurred to me that only made sense later when I began to understand the relationship of Christ and the Sun. The first happened on New Year's Eve 1981 when Tenaj, a friend of mine newly returned from a trip to China, was saying goodbye as she left our party. I saw this medallion on her neck and asked about it. She said, "It's a Chinese ideogram, and represents in its symbols "the Sun rising in the East through the trees." When she said that my eyes widened with awe (some part of me knew), and she was so taken aback by my responsethat she immediately took the silver chain and pendant off and placed it around my neck where it hangs today as I write these words. For years, before I understood the deep connection of Christ and the Sun, I thought of the pendant as a Christ metaphor: He rose in the East from a rude tree. Steiner says on page 68, "The sun rises in the east, and is a beautiful sight; therefore, when it was desired to speak of eternity, the ancients spoke of the east!"
The other event happened several years later as I was walking through a large nursery's outdoor displays. There on the wall was a terra cotta sculpture of the Sun, with a face adorned by sunglasses! It startled me, and I began laughing aloud. My wife, Del, returned later and bought the sculpture for me as a birthday present. Unbeknownst to me at the time consciously (but from my reaction, definitely, unconsciously), it was a Christ metaphor, and it indicated the close connection of Christ and the Sun that I was to learn consciously of later. Perhaps the shades protect His eyes from viewing our blindness and our intoxication with our own brilliant ideas both of which are so rampant here on Earth, up until now. Here's a photo of the sculpture that I took a few minutes ago.
On page 82, Steiner gives us what he calls a remarkable sentence of Ötinger, "Die Materie ist das Ende der Wege Gottes." Translated: "Matter is the end of God's path." When one is at the end of a path, it is difficult to remember where one began, up until now. At this end of the path, it is easy to forget what the three basic elements of the alchemists, Mercury, Sulphur, and Salt, stood for. Steiner reminds us thus:
[page 84] For when we speak to educated people to-day we must speak of the metabolic body, of the rhythmic body, of the nervous system; we can no longer speak of the mercurial body, of the sulphur-body and of the salt-body.
"Of what use is it to know this?" my skeptic friend asks. It helps to know this if one is to understand the words written in ancient texts such as the Gospel of Matthew (5:13) when Christ said to His disciples: "Ye are the salt of the Earth." He was speaking to His disciples, but in a very real way, He was speaking to every one of us today, who living some 2000 years later represent the living nervous system of the Earth.We are the noösphere, as Theihard de Chardin called it, that delicate living nervous system covering the face of this planet. We are the salt of the Earth, and if we lose our savor by getting lost at the end of the path and forget our spiritual beginning, how are we to restore it? When Christ asked that question of His disciples, He was the bearer of the answer.
To close this review, I'd like to share a thought inspired by Rudolf Steiner's fine teachings in these lectures that may help some to recover the savor of their consciousness.
The Earth is a Great Spirit
That always Faces the Sun
And Bows to the Sun
To the Great Spirit of the Sun
Once a Year.
The Earth Spirit Faces
The Sun in full Consciousness
While the Back of its Mind
Is off in Space being Infused
By the Spirit of the Night
By the Great Astral Spirits of the Night.
2.) ARJ2: The Education of the Child by Rudolf Steiner
In his introduction to this volume of collected lectures, Christopher Bamford says, "Steiner strove to unite in an integral modern epistemological form knowledge of the spiritual worlds with knowledge derived through the senses." In these lectures Steiner uses his knowledge of the spiritual side of human development during childhood to prescribe appropriate ways of assisting children in their development so as to minimize future problems and foster a healthy growth into adulthood. Steiner spoke from his own intuition, and the word intuition must be understood as his direct experience. This deep wisdom of Steiner's is the kind that Ralph Waldo Emerson refers to in his essay Self Reliance thus:
We denote this primary wisdom as Intuition, whilst all later teachings are tuitions. In that deep force, the last fact behind which analysis cannot go, all things find their common origin.
In his classic lecture that begins the book, The Education of the Child in the Light of Spiritual Science, Steiner explains how the plant in its leafing stage contains already the flowers and fruit of its future life. One who has already learned the nature of the plant can predict what the flowers and fruit will be like - they will appear like previously borne flowers and fruit. But, he says:
[page 2] Human life is present only once; the flowers it will bear in the future have not yet been there. Yet they are present within a human being in the embryo, even as the flowers are present in a plant that is still only in leaf.
The very nature of free will, of freedom as a spiritual activity, makes the fruit of a human life unpredictable. As Emerson said further in the same essay quoted above:
The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.
Every parent, caregiver, and educator would do well to hold the thought in mind that the power that resides in their charges "is new in nature" and thus cannot be fit into some already existing, culturally determined mold or procedure. They would best come to understand their job is to assist these wonderful new creations in achieving what they came to earth to achieve. This way of thinking of teachers as assistants to children pervades Steiner's view of education. But do not be fooled into thinking that the assistance does not include providing a model for authority. A friend who is a Montessori teacher told me that she thought the Waldorf Schools were too authoritarian. Steiner points out that the child between the ages of seven to fourteen needs authority figures that they can relate to and emulate. In Table I. I have brought together the educational needs of the child during the school years as laid out by Steiner in this book. One can see that while authority plays an important role in the middle years 7-14, it is only a phase that young adults grow through on their journey into adulthood. The requirement for the younger children is for models to imitate and for the older children, rules and principles on which to base their actions. Only by shaping the form of education to the changing needs of the growing child can a teacher hope to foster the innate qualities of the child as it grows into adulthood.
PERIOD AGES NEEDS 1 0 — 7 Model to Imitate 2 7 — 14 Authority to Emulate 3 14 — 21 Rules, Principles to Follow
The design of education, if it is to integrate knowledge of the spiritual and sensible worlds, must begin with an understanding of the four bodies that compose the human being. First the physical body - this is the body that is composed of materials and forces that are sensible to the human being. The physical body, without the next body, would be a lifeless and inert mass, and that is why this body is alternately called the life-body or etheric body. "It is the builder and shaper of the physical body, its inhabitant and architect." [page 8] "The etheric body is a force-form; it consists of active forces, and not of matter." [page 9] As such, the etheric body of the human body is invisible to the normal human senses, and coincides with the shape of the physical body, filling it.
The third body is the sentient body or astral body. The plant, lacking a sentient body, has no feelings, no sensation. While the plant may respond to a movement of the sun, what the plant lacks is an inner response to movement of the sun, as a human might have when it experiences a sunset. Why the name astral body for this sentient body? The astral body is composed of star stuff. The best physicists today tell us that all elements above the atomic weight of iron  must necessarily be formed in a supernova. Thus we as human beings must necessarily be star stuff, but that is the physical body the physicist is talking of, not the star stuff that Steiner says composes the astral body. But one can see that the star stuff of both the physical and spiritual worlds is present in the human body.[For more information, see ARJ: Spiritual Hierarchies and the Physical World ] "In human beings it presents an elongated ovoid form in which the physical and etheric bodies are embedded. It projects beyond them - a vivid, luminous figure - on every side." [page 9] This is the view of the astral body as seen by a skilled seer, and is exactly the "luminous egg" as described by Don Juan Matus in many places in Carlos Castaneda's books.
The fourth body is the I body or Ego body. The word I is the only word that can be used to name oneself and not someone else. The use of this word is a faculty that only appears in the human being, not in animals or plants. "With the I, the God, who in lower creatures reveals himself only externally in the phenomena of the surrounding world, begins to speak internally." That faculty of saying I is the fourth body of the human being and the working of the I on the other three bodies of humankind is the basis for the growth and development of the individual as well as all civilization and culture.
With this prologue, dear Reader, read what Steiner says about how this growth and development takes place:
[page 11] The etheric or life-body is simply the vehicle of the formative forces of life, the forces of growth and reproduction. The sentient body gives expressions only to those impulses, desires, and passions, which are stimulated by external natures. As human beings work their way up from this stage of development through successive lives or incarnations to higher and higher evolution, the I works upon the other members and transforms them. In this way the sentient body [astral body] becomes the vehicle of purified sensations of pleasure and pain, refined wants and desires. And the etheric or life-body also becomes transformed. It becomes the vehicle of habits, of human beings' more permanent intent or tendency in life, of the temperament and memory. One whose I has not yet worked upon the life-body has no memory of experiences in life. One just lives out what has been implanted by Nature.
It is the working of the I body on the other three lower bodies that forms the basis of the life-long education and contributes to the growth of civilization and culture. One of the principles that must begin in childhood is to always be reading and studying subjects of interest that are beyond one's current understanding. [Author's Note: in my reading of Steiner, I have found this to be ever so.] Steiner here quotes from Jean Paul's Science of Education to describe how important it is to talk beyond a child's understanding:
[page 29] Have no fear of going beyond the childish understanding, even in whole sentences. Your expression and the tone of your voice, aided by the child's intuitive eagerness to understand, will light up half the meaning and with it, in the course of time, the other half. . . . A child of five understands the words "yet," "even," "of course," and "just." But now try to explain these - not just to the child, but to the father! In the one word "of" there lurks a little philosopher! . . . Always speak to a child some years ahead - do not those of genius speak to us centuries ahead in books?
Later on page 31 Steiner explains how the stored memories of the 7-14 age group come to the fore later in life. "It is necessary for human beings to remember not only what they already understand, but to come to understand what they already know - that is, what they have already acquired by memory in the way the child acquires language." Thus he makes the case for continuing the process of memorization by children of subject matter that they do not fully understand at the time they memorize it. How many of us as adults have recalled to mind a quote from some poem we were forced to memorize as a child, only to find some new meaning infusing our life in the process of calling it to mind?
I hope by now you have begun to see along with me that the process of education is too important to be relegated to the child to decide what subjects to study and when.
[page 45] It is an erroneous belief of our materialistic times that very young children should learn to decide for themselves. On the contrary, we should do everything possible to hinder that. During this period of childhood [7-14], children should learn though authority.
[page 46] If we force children into critical thinking before the age of fourteen, it is particularly disadvantageous for them and forces them to create their own conclusions or lose the well-intended power of the surrounding persons of authority. It is very bad if children cannot look up to anyone. The etheric body becomes stunted, weak, and shallow from lack of good examples on which to build.
What are some good examples on which to build? I was in a supermarket recently and noticed the 16 year old girl bagging my groceries. She was completely immersed in making decisions: how much to put in this bag? how to get the fruits and vegetables into the same bag? can the milk carton go in the same bag as the wine bottle? how to keep the egg carton from being squashed? how to keep the bag from getting too heavy? how to arrange the bags in the cart so that the heavy items won't smash the lighter ones? Every customer that comes to her station presents a unique problem to be solved. Her eight hour shift is filled with decisions to be made, rules to be followed, and principles of physics to be applied when she does the seemingly simple operation of filling grocery bags and placing them into her customers' carts safely.What a wonderful training for later life to go through the difficult struggles of bagging groceries during the period of time in her life [14-21] when she needs to learn to follow rules and apply principles. [See Table I above]
Many years later, this period of time in her life will be forgotten or remembered simply as drudge work. But as Steiner shows us repeatedly this will be an important formative time in her life.
[page 93] As things slip from memory and sink into the subconscious, they act creatively on our souls. We are essentially made up of what we have forgotten. Seen concretely, what are human beings other than how they are joyful or courageous, and so forth? If we look at people as they manifest, not abstractly, then we must say that they are the harmonious interweaving and interplaying of their characteristics, so that they are the results of what seeps into the deeper layers of their consciousness.
To many people education is about how the child should behave. I hope you have come to see that Steiner's view is that education is about how the adult should behave so that the child shall maturate appropriately for the child's sake. The behavior of adults in front of children speak more loudly than the commands they may give the child to behave.
[page 105] Most people would ask how a child should behave, but anthroposophy comes along and says that adults should learn how to behave in front of children, even in words, attitudes, and thoughts. . . . It is not enough to hide things from children while allowing yourself thoughts not intended for them. We must have and live the thoughts that we feel could and should live in the child.
Plants take root in the soil of the earth and form themselves according to their individual plant nature. Humanity is the soil in which the human grows. For the human child, that soil is provided by parents, caregivers, and educators. As you would provide the most fertile soil for your plants in your garden, you would certainly provide the finest soil for your own children. You, caregivers all, your behavior, attitudes, and actions, are the soil in which your children grow.
3.) ARJ2: Encounters with Chinese Writers by Annie Dillard
This author is my favorite non-fiction writer, and there is no one who could better summarize the contents of this book but Annie Dillard herself in her Introduction.
[page 7] These are only glimpses, not portraits; their subject is not China, and not even entirely Chinese writers, but a few vivid, equivocal moments in the days of some of earth's people in the twentieth century. What interests me here, and elsewhere is the possibility for a purified nonfiction narration — a kind of Chekhovian storytelling which might illuminate the actual world with a delicate light — coupled with humor in the American tradition and no comment.
The first vignette Annie gives us is of a Chinese man, Wu Fusan, who had a way of looking deeply into her eyes as if he were examining her soul. A friend, who was Italian but had lived in China for years and had close Chinese friends, said this was exactly how Chinese men acted.
[page 15] This is their great area of expertise. Have you read much Chinese literature? Most of it, for thousands of years, is about this one thing: the human spirit in all its depth and complexity. Whole stories hinge on some small human variation, some quirk of the interior life. There is nothing they do not already understand.
In one meeting someone asked the roomful of Chinese writers, "What are your goals as a writer?" (Page 20) She lists their responses, most of which are predictable, e.g., "Hold up a mirror to life" and "To write for the people." But one curious poem compared the Yellow River to a shroud and created a sensation!
[page 21] How patriotic is that? Even foreign writers have the sense to praise their rivers: the Mississippi, the Danube, the Don. What goals could possibly be served by running down the Yellow river with such a negative simile?
That last sentence conjured up the image of someone naked running down the Yellow River with only a smile on their face, and it inspired me to imagine people running down other rivers in various fashions.
Running Down the River Poem
Running down the Yellow River with only a smile,
Running down the Shenandoah, loving a daughter,
Running down the Nile from a crocodile,
Running down the Missouri, let them show me.
Running down the Tennessee, an old friend I happened to see,
Running down the Rio Grande with an escape plan,
Running down the Russian River with a hammer and a sickle,
Running down the Colorado, I'll be dammed!
Running down the Wailua, strumming my ukelele,
Running down the Mississippi with my blues guitar,
Running down the Potomac with a political hack,
Running down the Alabamy, a banjo on my knee.
Running down the Yellowstone with a grizzly behind,
Running Down the River Poem to the end of the line.
Annie Dillard was writing these stories three decades ago. The Chinese writers shared with her that everything they wrote was to serve their country's goal of modernization. It was the "function of every shoe in China, every tree, every television set, cartwheel, flywheel, airplane, ditch." (Page 22) Also the function of every writer.
[page 22] "I believe," says one man, "that after several decades we will be able to lead a good life on our soil." He is speaking of his goals as a writer, and he is addressing the point directly.
China has indeed reached the point of a good life in many ways. In America almost every shoe, TV, shirt, flywheel, and everyday item we buy has a China label on it. With their good life has come perhaps the worst smog on the planet. What London experienced during its coal-burning centuries, Los Angeles in the 1960s, China is experiencing now as it strives to power its industries with hydrocarbon energy sources.
Annie gives us a wonderful visual aid for understanding Chinese agriculture: look at your right palm to see the rivers of China flowing east, and along these rivers the narrow strips of good soil for planting crops. If China were the size of your palm, the arable areas would be the size of the dirt in the creases of your palm.
[page 23] There is good soil in China, too, on which peasants raise three and even four crops a year, and there are 2,000-acre fields, and John Deere tractors — but there is not enough. There are only some arable strips in the river valleys — only one-tenth of China's land. If you look at your right palm, you see a map of China: the rivers flow east, and most of the rest is high and dry; the arable land is like dirt collected in the lines of your palm.
She saw two men pulling a plow through the baked soil of an eggplant field and a third man guiding the plow's blade. Later she saw four women cleaning on the steps of an office building. They were bent over, one on each step.
[page 26] They were scratching dust from crevices between the steps' stone blocks. To accomplish this task, they were using toothpicks, and moving only their fingers.
Our interpreter turned, indicated them with a proud wave, and said, "Do you know how those women got their jobs?"
No, we didn't. (Was it something they said?)
"They knew somebody!" He was happy to explain. "Each of them knows somebody, or has a relative, who works in this building, and so the friend or relative gets her the job of cleaning the steps!"
Everywhere in the clay on the sides of buildings and in the soil Annie could see fingerprints of the workers baked into it, everywhere in the ridges the workers created between the rows to keep the moist soil of the plants from drying up. She was moved by the patriotism which keeps China going.
[page 32] I am moved by their awareness of the enormousness of the task of modernization, and their awareness that, no matter how many factories they show us, we will notice only the oxcarts and the fingerprints on the buildings and the soil.
When I moved to Southern California, I was amazed to discover that all the green vegetation I saw along the highways and in the lawns of houses had to be watered or they would turn brown. The so-called Golden Hills surrounding Orange and Los Angeles counties were covered with dry grass during most of the year until the months of December and January when the desert-like six inches of rain a year fell on them. They would turn green during this short time. Annie discovers a similar fact in China. But instead of sprinkler systems the watering was done by workers with buckets.
[page 39] I hear distant thunder. Outside in the stone courtyard, fathers are walking their children before bed. If it rains, I think, it will help; it will help China. It will help water those sycamores and ginkos we see lining every street, and the little pines and cypresses by the railroad tracks. None of these trees stands in anything resembling soil. It is a kind of packed dust. Every day, another of us notices this dust and asks the guide, How can these trees live?
Along the highways — the guide always answers — work brigades water the trees, with buckets. In the cities, the families who live in each housing unit are responsible for the trees on that unit's street. Shopkeepers are responsible for the trees in front of their shops. In short, apparently, everyone is roused to this task, as to many other national tasks; all the trees get watered. Still, I hope it rains.
Donald, a member of the writing group, got lost far from their hotel in Shanghai, and a young Chinese worker, who spoke a bit of English offered to help him back to his hotel. Along the way he asked if Donald owned a bicycle and when he said, "No," the worker began enthusiastically describing his bicycle, "Chinese bicycles are steel, and built to last." They walked a few more miles and the worker asked if Donald owned an automobile. He said "Yes" and the young worker remained silent the rest of the two miles to the hotel. (Quoted and paraphrased from Page 44)
After watching the 2016 movie, "A Hologram for the King", in which Tom Hanks played a top executive for Schwinn who moved all of Schwinn's bicycle manufacturing to China, I became aware of the consequence of this move: the Chinese learned how to build the Schwinn bicycle and soon began building such bicycles cheaper than Schwinn and drove the Schwinn company into bankruptcy, and now the Schwinn brand is attached to bicycles built in China. A couple of years ago, my wife and I bought ourselves bicycles which look and operate similar to the 1950-era Schwinn bikes with coaster brakes that I remember from my youth. We bought them from Target for $125 each, an amazing price. Schwinn bikes of this style sold for about $50 around 1950, and adjusting for inflation, our new bikes cost us only $12.50 today. One can see the modernization, that China was striving for some three decades ago, has arrived for them today, along with the accompanying ills of pollution.
In my book club, I looked forward to sharing with the members one of my favorite books, Flight to Arras, but I wasted my good intentions. Most of them stopped reading the book when the famous pilot and author Antoine Saint-Exupéry stopped writing about his plane and started writing literature, about halfway in the novel.One member even brought a mechanical drawing of the airplane featured in the novel! "Quick! Behind the arras!" I thought, "engineers are taking over this group." I immediately stopped sharing any more of the book with them. They can read or ignore (most likely ignore) the review I wrote about this novel. Look, here's how bad it was: one member insisted the novel was an Autobiography based on the one word category on the back cover of his small mass-market paperback book! This episode, from a couple of months ago, came to my mind when I read this next anecdote from Annie. If you wanted a book which was not in your local library in China of that time, you could order it, if you had a good reason for reading it, the Chinese man told her. She became curious.
[page 46] "What's a good reason for borrowing a book?"
"You need the information for your work.
"What if you were an engineer and wanted to borrow a book of literature?"
To my astonishment, Song Hua burst into laughter. He doubled over as if kicked, he gasped for breath, he hugged his ribs and stamped his foot. I looked down the back of his neck. Gradually his head rose again; he face was splintered with hilarity. He gave me a sidelong "oh, you card" look, and said, as clearly as he could, "But you couldn't . . . if you were an engineer . . . get to read . . . a book of literature!" And off he rolled again into squalls of laughter.
Engineers in China can't get permission to read Flight to Arras and the engineers in my book club apparently can't understand anything but the engineering parts of the novel.
Do we learn better by hearing things than by reading them? To me, the answer is clearly "Yes" — if the person saying the things understands them! Why? Because the meanings and understandings held by a live lecturer or speaker transmits directly soul-to-soul to the listeners. In my Final Paper for my graduate course "College Teaching" — the section called The Live Lecturer in the Classroom — I explain how I discovered that to be true. Since then I have encountered a similar thought in writings on education by Rudolf Steiner(1).
The passage below from Annie Dillard is consonant with my discovery.
[page 47] New American "styles of learning" studies show that many Americans, like others worldwide, learn better from hearing things than from reading them.
On books, when she asked one man what he read for pleasure, he answered completely puzzled, "We do not read for pleasure." Another man said he only read one, maybe two books on his own in a year's time. He said he had no time; he was working hard, saving to buy some furniture. "Not additional furniture — just furniture." (Page 48)
We cannot resist sharing the conversation Tiziano had with Annie's Marxist friends after dinner. Someone asked him aren't things better today than ten years ago? The Communists had taken over 30 years ago when this dinner was taking place.
[page 52] Tiziano raised his enormous brows. "Better than ten years ago? Sure." He looked around the table grimly. "But not better than thirty years ago."
My American friends, who are Marxists, sat quite still. Our host went on.
"During the Cultural Revolution, people didn't lift up their heads in the streets. Now their production units take them to the Great Wall once a year. That's what they call progress!
"Each one is a little part, a silicon chip, a screw, bolt, in the big machine. They all died in nursery school!"
Clearly he was saying their soul died in nursery school and now they were parts of a mechanism, not free spirits. Tiziano stopped ranting and began talking in a calmer tone of voice. His calmness didn't last long, as a Marxist threw the "special case" epithet at him.
[page 53] "Communism is good for winning wars. Communists fighting a revolution are like Christians: they sacrifice themselves! They are for all the good things! You can't stop them!
"But Communism is not good government! "
After a fairly stunned pause, someone began, "But China is a special case."
That did it. Tiziano jumped to his feet and began pounding himself on the head.
"That's how it goes! 'Soviet Russia is a special case!' 'Poland is a special case!' 'The people aren't quite ready yet!' That's always their excuse!"
At the end the decade during which this conversation took place, there would be no more Soviet Russia, no more Communist Poland. Their people were ready to cast off the smothering cloak of Communism. Tiziano added one more epithet, speaking very clearly and controlled, "The plain fact is that Communism is an abomination that should be wiped off the face of the earth."
In her "Encounters with Chinese Writers" this last one was a close encounter of the fifth kind, a direct communication between a Chinese alien and American Communists, with the alien vaporizing some of their cherished Marxist illusions. In this book, Annie Dillard gives us a look inside the Red China of the early 1980s and a look inside the aspirations of some of its remaining free spirits.
= == == == == == == == == == ==
I hear often from my Good Readers that they have bought books (3-D Kindles) after reading my book reviews. Keep reading, folks! As I like to remind you, to obtain more information on what's in these books, buy and read the books for less information, read the reviews.
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =In this section I like to comment on events in the world, in my life, and in my readings which have come up during the month. These are things I might have shared with you in person, if we had had the opportunity to converse during the month. If we did, then you may recognize my words. If I say some things here which upset you, rest assured that you may skip over these for the very reason that I would likely have not brought up the subject to spoil our time together in person.1. Padre Filius Pauses by a T-Shirt Shop this Month:
Padre Filius, the cartoon character created by your intrepid editor and would-be cartoonist, will appear from time to time in this Section of DIGESTWORLD to share with us some amusing or enlightening aspect of the world he observes during his peregrinations.
This month the good Padre ponders his Job as he Reads the T-Shirts in Bar Harbor Shop:
2. Comments from Readers:
NOTE: I love hearing from all my Good Readers and including your missives here (slightly edited).
If you prefer any comments or photos you send to be private, simply say so and they will not be published.
- EMAIL from our Antarctica Head Waiter, Cote Andia, in NYC:
Dear Bobby, I moved to NYC! I'm working at Steak bar cal the T Bar in 3rd ave with 73st Upper East Side Manhattan. When ever you feel like passing by to say hello and have a nice dinner just contact me and we can catch up.
EMAIL from Cousine Suzanne:
Bobby, Just a note to say "Thank you" for sending me the Digestworld each month. I really enjoy reading it and seeing the pictures; great work that you and Del are doing.
The picture of you in this issue caught my eye, the one of you on The Northwest Passage Cruise at Tea in the Palm Court; (notice your little finger holding the cup)...my Dad always held his little finger up when holding a cup (usually a cup of coffee). I just had to send you this picture of him. He was a Pharmacist and this picture of him was taken I would think in the 40's maybe at Waterbury's Drug Store on Canal Street.(also enclosed picture). Enjoy...and again Thanks, Suzanne
- EMAIL from NWP friends Judy & Duane in Alaska:
Thank you for the subscription to Digestworld.
As I am sure Adele told you we are not going to go on the next cruise as we had planned earlier. We will miss cruising with you two but we hope to come for a visit this winter sometime.
Have a wonderful time!
3. Poem from Freedom on the Half Shell:"Politics - the Social Umbilical Cord"
Give me your poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free and I will give them taxes, regulations, restrictions, and every manner of unfairness ever created by persons saddled with the illusion that they can decide what is best for someone else's welfare. The individual, like the business professional, knows what's best in a given situation and, given the freedom, will take that action. The forces of coercion are prying open the shell that contains the living muscle and spirit of the American people will we resist those forces and keep our muscles and spirit alive, free to open at will, or will we give up like the oyster and settle for "freedom on the half shell?" Here is another poem from Freedom on the Half Shell:
Politics — the Social Umbilical Cord
Life begins with two,
Adam and Eve, sperm and egg,
A foetal growth in paradise.
In the womb of Mother God
The King rules over all.
Teeming races, one and all,
Bursting over the waters of life.
In the womb of Mother Earth
The King rules over all.
Arms and legs are free
Supply lines umbilical
A government political.
In inspired democracy
The State rules over all.
Yearning to breathe free
The umbilical cord dries up
We stand on our own two feet.
In freedom, rightly understood,
the government of all rules over none.
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
9. CLOSING NOTES:
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Thanks to all of you Good Readers for providing the Chemistry which has made this site a Glowing Success. — Especially those of you who have graciously allowed us to reprint your emails and show photos of you and by you on this website — you're looking good! As of June 1, 2019, it enters its 20th year of publication. The DIGESTWORLD Issues and the rest of the doyletics website pages have received over 21.6 MILLION VISITORS ! ! !
We have received over ONE MILLION VISITORS per Year to the Doyletics Website since its inception June 1, 2000, over twenty years ago. Almost 2 million in the past 12 months. We are currently averaging about 150,000 visitors a month. A Visitor is defined as a Reader who is new or returns after 20 minutes or more has passed. The average is about one visitor for every 10 Hits.
IMPORTANT NOTES about DIGESTWORLDtm
Our DIGESTWORLD came into existence years before Facebook and all the other social media which interrupt people's schedules many times a day. All our photos, reviews, cartoons, stories, etc, come to you via a link inside of one short email Reminder at the beginning of each month. We hope you appreciate how we let YOU choose when to enjoy our DIGESTWORLD Issues. To Get a Monthly Reminder, Click Here .
We especially want to thank you, our Good Readers, in advance, for helping our readership to grow. NOTE our name is now: DIGESTWORLD. Continue to send comments to Bobby and please do create links to DIGESTWORLD issues and Reviews on LinkedIn, on your Facebook page, and on other Social Media. When you copy any portion of a webpage or review, please include this text: "Copyright 2018 by Bobby Matherne".
Email your friends about the reviews, the handy doyletics Speed Trace, the Household Hints, the cartoons, the Cajun jokes, the recipes, the poems, and the photos in all the DIGESTWORLD Issues archived on our website. Urge them to subscribe to the DIGESTWORLD Reminder so they won't miss a single issue!
The Subscription Process SIMPLE: no Reply Confirmation is required. An email to the Editor with your First and Last names is all that's required. There is never a charge for viewing any page on our website; nor for any of the guidance we offer to people using the FIRST AID KIT or asking for help with doyletics in any other areas.
For those who are able to contribute to the site we offer a year's subscription for receiving the DIGESTWORLD Monthly Reminders for $50.
~~ NOTE: DIGESTWORLD is a Trademark of 21st Century Education, Inc. ~~
The cost of keeping this website on-line with its 300 Gbytes of bandwidth a month is about $50 a month. Thank you, our Good Readers, for continuing to patronize our advertisers when they provide products and services you are seeking as you visit any of our web pages. Remember the ads are dynamically displayed and every time you read even the same page a second time, you may find new products and services displayed for your review. Our reviews, digests, tidbits, etc, all our webpages act as Google magnets to bring folks to the website to learn about doyletics and frequent our advertisers, so they support one another in effect.We wish to thank all Good Readers who have made a contribution to the doyletics.com website! Special thanks go to Chris and Carla Bryant in Corpus Christi and Gary Lee-Nova in Canada!
We welcome your contributions to the support of the website and research into the science of doyletics. To obtain our street address, email Bobby at the address found on this page: http://www.doyletics.com/bobby.htm and we will send it to you. Every $50 subscription helps toward keeping this website on-line for another month. If you can't send money, at least show your support by sharing your favorite Issue of DIGESTWORLD and Reviews with a friend.
You can read a description of how to do a Speed Trace (either in English or Spanish):
Learn to Do a Speed Trace Here
Or Watch Bobby extemporaneously explain How to Do a Speed Trace on Video:
To make a connection to the Doyletics website from your own website, here's what to do. You may wish to use the first set of code below to link to the site which includes a graphic photo, or to use the second set of code for a text-only link. Immediately below is how the graphic link will look on your website. Just place this .html in an appropriate place on your website.
<CENTER> < with graphics link >
<A HREF="http://www.doyletics.com/index.htm">Learn to Do a Speed Trace Here<BR>
<IMG SRC="http://www.doyletics.com/doylepb.gif" width="309" height="102" border="2" TITLE="Learn to Remove Doyles all those Unwanted Physical Body states of fear, depression, migraine, etc." ALIGN=middle><A/></CENTER>
<CENTER> < text only link >
<A HREF="http://www.doyletics.com/introduc.htm">Learn to Do the Speed Trace at doyletics.com <A/>
Check out the new additions to the Famous and Interesting Quotations at:
== == == == == == == == == == ==
My reviews are not intended to replace the purchasing and reading of the reviewed books, but rather to supplant a previous reading or to spur a new reading of your own copy. What I endeavor to do in most of my reviews is to impart a sufficient amount of information to get the reader comfortable with the book so that they will want to read it for themselves. My Rudolf Steiner Reviews are more detailed and my intention is to bring his work to a new century of readers by converting his amazing insights into modern language and concepts.
== == == == == == == == == == ==
We invite you to Sign Up below for a Short Email Reminder of the Newest DIGESTWORLD Issue which goes out monthly only to:
Friends and associates
People who have expressed interest in Bobby's writing.
People who have Asked to Receive the DIGESTWORLD Reminder.
Please Don't Bug Us Nothing BUGS US more than losing Hale-and-Hearty, Ready-to-Read Good Friends from the DIGESTWORLD Reminder List.
So we've made it easy for Good Readers who have changed their Email addresses and Friends who would like to begin receiving the DIGESTWORLD Reminder at the first of each Month:
IT'S EASY to RE-SUBSCRIBE or SUBSCRIBE:
As of August, 2011 we have begun using a Contact Manager with an Email Merge feature which allows us to send personalized Emails to everyone in our Contact List. You can receive the colorful Email containing the DIGESTWORLD Reminder beginning with "Dear [Your First Name]". It is important that we have your First Name, so if the name you are addressed by in your Reminder is not your first name, please notify us of the name you wish us to use. For convenience you can send a quick email to give us your name by Clicking Here. To Contact Bobby, his Email address is visible on this page.
NOTE: As of 2018 the Topica.com List messages are NO LONGER READABLE!
Please do your part by letting us know of any email address change so that you may continue receiving the DIGESTWORLD Reminders. Most of our Readers come from folks who don't get these Reminders, but we offer the DIGESTWORLD Reminder as a service to our regular Good Readers. To send us your new email address, CLICK HERE! .
If you discovered this page by a Google Search and want to SUBSCRIBE NOWIf you have enjoyed a particular issue, let us know, especially around the first of each month when those "lost soul" messages are bugging us, Send us a quick email by Clicking Here!
Simply Click the Link at right to send an Email Request: SUBSCRIBEIf you have a friend or two that you think would enjoy reading the DIGESTWORLD, suggest they view the current DIGESTWORLD Issue and perhaps they'll decide to Subscribe.
To unsubscribe from the DIGESTWORLD Reminder List:
Click Link at right to send a Blank email to: UNSUBSCRIBE
If the above links which provide canned emails don't work on your system, you can send a Subscribe/Unsubscribe request to the address found on this page: http://www.doyletics.com/bobby.htm Please include your first and last name when Subscribing.
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
10. GRATITUDE - in Three Easy Steps:
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Maintaining a website requires time and money, and apart from sending a donation to the Doyletics Foundation, there are several ways you can show your gratitude and support our efforts to keep doyletics.com on-line.
One would be for you to buy a copy of my Dolphin Novel, The SPIZZNET File. Books May be ordered in hardback or paperback form from Xlbiris the Publisher here:
The best source at the best price is to order your copies on-line is from the publisher Random House/Xlibris's website above.
Two would be for you to use the Google Search Engine for your web searches or to find an item on doyletics.com website. New reviews will have a place to do a Google Search at the top and the bottom of the reviews. Just enter a search phrase in the box below to do a Search. Note you can check whether to Search just this site or all websites.
Three would be for you to let us know you like us by Subscribing to our monthly Reminder. One short email each month with a link to our Latest DIGESTWORLD Issue will keep you apprised of our latest reviews, photography, poetry, Cajun stories, recipes, Movie Blurbs, Travels, and even more! Simply Click Here: Subscribe Me!
Thank you in advance!
Like Us? Subscribe to Receive a Monthly Email
Reminder of New Reviews & New DIGESTWORLD Issues CLICK
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
22+ Million Good Readers have Liked Us
22,454,155 as of November 7, 2019
Mo-to-Date Daily Ave 5,528 Readers
For Monthly DIGESTWORLD Email Reminder:
Subscribe! You'll Like Us, Too!
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
Any questions about this DIGESTWORLD ISSUE, Contact: Bobby Matherne
Does your Face sometimes resemble the Faces Below? If so, Click on the Faces or Flags to Dig into our First Aid Kit.
To follow Research in the science of doyletics, Read our Monthly DIGESTWORLD Issues.
Click Here to get Monthly Reminder.
For Copies of Reviewed Steiner Books, Click on SteinerBooks Logo below.
Visit Bobby's Other Reviews, Articles, and Essays
Books are Lighthouses Erected in the Sea of Time
Visit the Counselor's Corner for Suggestions
on Incorporating Doyletics in Your Work.
e-mediatelytm is a Trademark of 21st Century Education, Inc. Prototyped 2000.