Art and the philosophy of life

Archive for June, 2018


Nobody Grows Old — A Pondering Mind

Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. ~Samuel Ullman

via Nobody Grows Old — A Pondering Mind

I could not read this book…

First of all, she did not randomly choose a shelf of books to read. She had many rules/criteria to be met, before she finally made her decision, so that was a lie.  There was nothing at all random about what she did.

The author, who mentions again and again that she is well educated in Lit, might actually be incapable of reading for pleasure.  She researches the authors and the text.  She takes the book apart, reads different versions, and basically, leaves the book dead and empty, in the middle of the street of story telling.

You will notice, on the front cover, it mentions that she will tell you HOW TO READ A BOOK.  I always just opened one and started reading.  This woman sucks the life out of every word.  Leaving behind nothing but dust and crumbled pages behind.

She loves old Russian authors and ended up reading stories that even she did not like, but she researched them anyway.  I felt that she thought if she just got more information, it would change her mind.  She acted as if the opinions of other critics, etc., made a difference.  As if she should be smarter, more well informed, so that she would see the worth, of a worthless book.  I read the beginning, then started skimming, then skipping, then I just stopped.  Sad book, every detail gnawed to the bone.

I wouldn’t even want to meet this person, in the very special library to which she belongs.  A library where you have to pay to become a member.  Her writing style, and fixation on minutia, was so dull that I just had to stop.

And no one truly knows what authors are thinking, when they write their stories.  She reads things into every paragraph, takes the story apart, and leaves nothing behind and never realizes it’s all in her own mind.  Somehow, she remains a student.  She will believe what others tell her to believe.  That’s what her education did to her.  Either way.  I couldn’t stand it.

The Message. A longish story…kind of.

“There are NO words.  It’s just a blank piece of paper,” she said, throwing the thing on the floor, crushing the phone she held in her her hand. “It doesn’t SAY, anything.”

“That’s not possible,” he said softly, trying to calm her down.  “You know you can find the message.  It’s what you do.”

“Look, I’ve done EVERYTHING I can possibly think of, and I have NOTHING.”

“Maybe you’re going about it the wrong way. Do you think it’s the ink and not the paper?” he asked.

She didn’t say anything.

“We just assumed it was the paper.”

“True,” she whispered.  “It could be the ink and the paper simply lied.”

“What works for one, won’t work for the other,” he said.

“I’m losing my touch.  Gotta go.  I’ll call you when I get something,” she said, and hung up.

She picked up the paper.  It felt good between her fingers.  Rough, electric.  “Oh, you know me, don’t you, baby,” she whispered.  “You’re not that old, are you,” she said, smiling, as her cat suddenly rubbed against her calf.  “You’re almost brand new.  So, let’s talk about your ink.”  The paper grew still, in her hands, as if holding its breath.  “I’m not going to hurt you,” she said.  The cat meowed and pawed at the hem of her jeans.  “I just want you to tell me your secrets.”

The corner of the paper began to curl.

“Stop that,” she said, louder.  “We’re all friends here.”  The paper flattened out and trembled, ever so slightly.

“You’re a beautiful color.  So white, with bits of oatmeal and leaves.  Just rough enough, but too heavy and thick to be run through anything.  Your edges, like tiny rims, made to hold the words in, so they won’t spill out and get away.  A real artist made you, my love,” she sighed, running her finger down the blank surface.  But who was it?  And why?  I don’t recognize the work.”

The phone rang and she picked it up.  “I told you I would call when I found anything.”


“Um, yes?  Hello?” she said.

“Is Papyrus there?”

“Speaking,” she said, her voice, suddenly business like.  “How can I help you?”

“I think I have a problem with…  This is going to sound silly, but Danny said that I should call and…”

“Just tell me,” she said, staring at the paper in her hand.

“I received a letter and the ink keep changing colors and…”

“…languages.  Every time you try to read the script, it turns into something else.”

“YES!,” he shouted.  “Exactly.”

“Fill your kitchen sink with warm water.  Add a pinch of salt and two bay leaves.  Put three rose petals, fresh from a rose that just dropped them, into the mix.  Let the paper soak for fifteen minutes.  Remove the paper and let it dry on a paper towel, surrounded by a circle of peppercorn. Tomorrow morning, things will have straightened out and you’ll be able to read the entire text.”

“Thank you. How much do I owe you and where do I send the check?”

“On the house,” she said, and turned off her phone.

“I’m telling you Kitty,” she said, to her cat.  “Some days are stranger than others.”  The cat nodded and went to look for her plaid mouse, the one with one ear and a half eaten tail.

She held the paper to her nose.  “French,” she said knowingly.  “I can smell the Eiffel Tower.”  She went to her red cabinet and removed a small brown vial with an eyedropper top.  “Okay, let’s see if you can resist my charms now,” she snickered, holding the dropper next to the sheet of paper.  The paper immediately folded itself in half, in an effort to avoid the liquid.  A word appeared on the bottom of the sheet.  It said, STOP!

“Far too late for that, darling,” she said.  “You had your chance.”  The paper’s edge started smoking.  “Nope,” she laughed, snapping her fingers over the sheet.  The paper remained unsigned and then unfolded.  “That’s better,” she said.

The cat jumped onto the table and landed on the paper.  The paper let out a yelp.

“Claws, Kitty.  Put them away.”

The cat stared at her and held out a sheath of needle tipped claws.

“Now, please.  I’m trying to work.”

The cat got up and jumped back to the floor.  Two words could be seen on the paper, WILL YOU, and that was all.  “THANKS KITTY,” she yelled, never taking her eyes off of the paper.  “Will I?  Will I, what?”

The words faded.  She went into the other room and grabbed Kitty.  “I need your help,” she whispered into the cat’s neck.  The cat wanted to say, “More than you can possibly imagine,” but decided to just mew instead.

Five minutes later, after rubbing the cat over the entire sheet of paper, multiple times, she had no more information, than she did before.  She put the angry Kitty back on the floor, where he immediately bit her ankle, and began licking his fur back into place.

Papyrus took out her lighter.  The paper recoiled.  “I know.  Scary, right?  I don’t blame you for pulling away.  I just need one answer, and then I’ll put the flame out.  I promise.  I want to know if it’s possible for you to show me the words of your own accord?”

“No,” appeared toward the edge of the paper.

She put the lighter away.  “Okay.  I get it,” she said.  “A puzzle.  Can you tell me if the message is good or bad.”

“A small yellow dot appeared.”

“Not a death threat.  That’s good.”

“What is the message about, just do the best you can…I mean…”

“A tiny heart floated across the center of the page.”


“YES,” appeared at the bottom of the page.

She walked away and came back with a bottle and a bag of chips.  She shoved a few chips into her mouth and took the cap off the bottle.  “This cost a fortune, so it better work,” she said, directly to the paper.  “I bought this scent in Paris and I’m guessing…” she muttered, sending a soft mist of perfume over the paper, “…this will work.”

The paper relaxed and the words came to the surface, one at a time”


She put the cap back on the beautiful bottle and watched the words fade away.  She picked up her phone, turned it on, and pressed a button.  “What is wrong with you?” she asked.  “I’ve spent the entire day trying to find out if the paper was going to blow up or…”

“I’m more interested in your answer,” he said.

“You could have just asked,” she said.

“I thought that’s what I just did.”

“Fine.  I’ll send you my answer in a note.  Call me when you finally figure it out,” she said, and disconnected.




Heads up…Tonight

FYI  On PBS, tonight, at least in Chicago, (channel 11), at 7:00 p.m., Agatha Christi’s, AND THEN THERE WERE NONE will be on.  Trailer looked good but who knows.


Flamingos at the Lake of Tunis — e MORFES

By El Golli Mohamed [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons

via Flamingos at the Lake of Tunis — e MORFES

Things are different…

I know things are different, because at one time I used to look at a baby and not think about it’s future.  Now, when I see a baby, I wonder what drugs it will be on, if it will find a job, or just sit in its parents basement and play video games until someone comes and drags the kid to a clinic for addicted players, and tries to reprogram him/her.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but adult children are living at home longer and longer.  Some never move out, while others try and leave, but end up coming back.  The whole idea of adulthood needs to be reevaluated/redefined.  I know people in their 50’s who are living with their mothers.  Who would date someone who was living at home at that age?  Seriously, who?  Maybe someone who was still living with his or her mother, I guess.

Parents are having a difficult time.  I just heard of a couple who sued their child to get him out of their house.  He refused to leave.  They won their case and the court made the kid finally get out.  A lot of parents are miserable, never having signed up for a life of parenting children through adulthood.  Many parents can’t retire, because their adult children are a constant drain on their resources.  I’ve heard so many horror stories.

A lot of adult children are not willing to work at just any job.  They seem to believe that they are special, and deserve a ten figure salary, a car, and an expense account, even if they have few skills, no experience, and little education.  Until they get what they believe they deserve, they are more than willing to wait for their ship to FIND THEM IN THEIR MOHTER’S BASEMENT.  They don’t care if they ask their aged parents to get a job bagging at the grocery store, so they can have more of someone else’s money, either.  I know of a son who asked his father to get a job, so that he could have the money.    The kid, naturally, did not work.  The retired father didn’t do it, by the way.

My question…what is wrong with PARENTS?  Who would let their kid/s live with them forever, even bringing spouses and children home with them?  Yeah, no.  I don’t think so.  Isn’t that what all the shrinks and guru’s call ENABLING?  Enabling…BIG TIME.  And whatever happened to taking responsibility for one’s own actions?

I know of an older women who works full time, while her adult child sits in her house, with her spouse and kids watching TV, while she’s at work.  She allows that to happen.  This story is NOT unusual.  More and more children are not growing up…not becoming self sufficient.  In case anyone hasn’t noticed…this is a growing problem.

A problem solved by some kids who just keep going to school, and continue to get deeper and deeper into debt.  A debt they will never be able to repay.  That’s another problem. Something’s wrong.  Kids are in debt before they start, because of the outrageous cost of college.  Parents mortgage their homes, so their kids can go to school and come out without any jobs in sight.  Something is wrong.

We are crashing and burning in lots of ways that are under the radar.  We are being distracted by the big lies/issues, and we are overlooking the fact that things are falling apart underneath.  The base that held everything up, is crumbling.  More and more, it seems, young adults are less able to care for themselves.  Something is very, very, wrong.



Okay, so…riding the wave

Nightmare, Hai, Surfer, Wave, Fantasy

I’m fascinated by the fact that whole generations just disappear.  They start dying and all of a sudden all of them are gone.  Like a wave that starts deep in the ocean, builds up speed, crests, and then crashes into the shore and is gone.  Everything seems like that…the beginning, the peak, the fall, the end.

We are wave riders.  Riders without boards, just on our bare feet, trying to keep the momentum going, riding through the tunnels, under the spray, hoping not to get dragged under, but loving the excitement of the water above our heads.  That’s what it’s all about…searching, looking for the thrill, trying not to die too soon, trying to make it to the next best thing, the next exciting thing, the thing that makes us want to ride the wave again and again.  Without that, life is gray.  It’s a one room, sit in bed with the blanket over our heads, kind of thing  We have to get out there.  We have to look into the ocean of life and dare it to come at us.  We have to believe that we are able to get to the shore safely, or at least get there without too many broken bones and loss of blood.  We know the sharks are all around us, but we have to ignore them and focus on our balance.  It’s a beautiful thing.

If we fall, we get up and do it again.  And again.  And again.

When the wave finally takes us.  Smile, let go, and know that the ride was worth it.  Because that’s really all life is…one big ride on a never ending wave.
















In Memory: “Why let them order you about?… Take your time!… let life carry you at your own pace!” — Art of Quotation

“Why let them order you about? Why let them tell you to hurry and scurry like ants or maggots? Take your time! Saunter a while! Enjoy the sunshine, enjoy the breeze, let life carry you at your own pace! Don’t be slaves of time, it’s a helluva way to die, slowly, by degrees…down with the […]

via In Memory: “Why let them order you about?… Take your time!… let life carry you at your own pace!” — Art of Quotation


If you love Street Art…you will definitely want to check out this excellent book. It’s huge, heavy, and fabulous.

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