SYW: On Being Better, Love, Memories, Death & the Composition of a Baseball

A new set of questions this week from Melanie’s Share Your World!

QUESTIONS    (Going DEEP on these today)

Are human beings required to better themselves and will doing that make them happier?
Required? No, no one is required to do anything in their life, but it’s better that they achieve their potential, which will be a contribution to our society and human existence in general. I think if a person works hard to achieve something, or meets a goal, (s)he will be happy with what was achieved; so collectively, people who strive to be the best they can be will be happier and more confident in themselves.

Is it easier to love or to be loved?
Depends on who is doing the loving! If one who loves another is always having to give, give, give and the other gives little in return, that can’t be an easy emotion to deal with. Love ultimately requires work, while being loved requires nothing. So being loved is easier, but both are needed.

Outside traumatic brain injury, can memories be completely erased?
I don’t know. I do know it’s possible to “block” traumatic events in one’s life – such as a history of child abuse. A person may block such memories for self-preservation and to forget those terrible events to be relieved of suffering, having nightmares, etc. But I guess these memories aren’t really “erased” – a good psychotherapist may succeed in bringing a patient’s blocked memories to consciousness in order to confront them to aid in healing.

Is there such a thing as a good death?
Sometimes. If a person has been suffering a lot or has no quality of life, or “alive” due to machines but in a vegetative state…then yes, their death could be considered “good” because it alleviates their suffering. When my mother was suffering from dementia and could no longer really communicate – and she was a person who loved being sociable, to talk on a variety of subjects, reading and writing – I used to pray for God to allow her life to end.

Perhaps we can also say that a human monster (like Hitler) who has caused terrible suffering and death of innocents, also had a “good death,” in that the world is better off without him!

Or perhaps a “good” death is simply death free of pain and prolonged suffering – such as dying in one’s sleep or very suddenly with no pain involved.

Anyone’s idea of a “good death” is really subjective.

and one ‘silly’ one because the former questions were fairly serious:   What do you imagine is inside a baseball? 
Some stuffing – cotton, or fibers of some kind. Maybe a ball of string? I’ve never thought about it before.  But your question made me curious, so I looked it up.

GRATITUDE SECTION

Feel free to share something uplifting this week!  

SYW: Contemplations on Cats, Crashes, the Cosmos and Cars

Share Your World Meets Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

  1. Harry Potter can speak to snakes. If you were able to have conversations with any one animal, what animal would you like to speak to? What would be the topic of your first conversation?
    I would talk to my cat. I often wonder what she is thinking and how she really sees her human friends and caretakers. Our first conversation would be what she dreams about. Sometimes she makes funny noises in her sleep so I’m wondering if she’s chasing a squirrel or a bird in dreamland.
  2. The portraits in Hogwarts dormitories can talk. If your graduation portrait could speak to people passing it by, what would it tell them?
    I don’t have a graduation portrait.
  3. Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger use the Pollyjuice Potion for finding new clues for the happenings at Hogwarts. (The Pollyjuice Potion is a magic potion that allows your body to form into that of another and live their life for a few hours.) If you could transform into another being, who would you chose to be? What would you hope to learn?
    Once again, I would like to be a cat for one day to see what it’s like. I could really relax if I had no cares at all and could spend 16 hours a day sleeping. I think after one day, though, it would get boring. Cats can’t read!! And their food is gross!

4. There was a flooding in the girl’s bathroom where Moaning Myrtle resides. Whathas been the most dangerous (or comical) ‘flooding’ where you reside?
The Des Plaines River has always been prone to flooding, but since they built the deep tunnel (large diameter pipes underground), it isn’t as much of an issue. However, the city still gets flooded in heavy rainstorms. The local government puts up signs warning people of the flooded areas. One of my son’s girlfriends once drove right through a flooded road. She felt good about getting through the flooded area, but needless to say, her car was ruined.

The worst sort of “flood” we had in our house in Des Plaines was when the sewer backed up. The sump pump couldn’t handle the amount of rain and so the basement got flooded with sewage. Anything that was on the floor was ruined.

Mundane or “Muggle” Questions:

(Serious one which is rather creepy):  How do you think you’ll die?  IF you do think about it?
I do think about it, actually. I want to die in my sleep at an old age. Doesn’t everybody? I get scared sometimes when flying in turbulence and during landing. Last year, I had a panic attack while driving. I suddenly realized I was in a machine going at a relatively fast speed and all around me were other people in equally “dangerous” machines – it was shortly after my son totaled his car, so it was probably for that reason that I panicked. So I do sometimes think I will die in some sort of crash but I really hope not. I might die when traveling – maybe there will be a terrorist attack. Or I could cross the street and get hit by a truck – who knows? That’s the good thing about death – most people don’t know when or how it will happen, so we just go on living our lives, which is what we should do.

What’s the best on-line screen name you’ve seen? “Best might mean the oddest.
I have no idea.

What’s invisible that you wish people could see?
Dark matter. It would be interesting to see how much dark matter there is in the universe compared to matter we can see.

If over time you replace parts on a car, at what point does it stop being the same car you bought? How many parts do you need to replace to make it a new car?
I don’t replace a lot of parts in my cars, except batteries, tires, and so forth. I would consider it the same car no matter how many parts are replaced as long as when I get in it, it feels the same inside and its body is the same. I don’t think about cars very much. I love my car and it has a “pet” name I’ve given it, but that is the extent of my attachment to it.

Ailurophile in Mourning

I am an ailurophile, which is someone who loves cats! A few days ago, we lost one of our grandcats, our daughter’s geriatric and crotchety Siamese, Fu. In spite of her prickly personality and in general bad temper, I was so sad to hear of her passing! In her old age, it seemed to me that she had mellowed (although my daughter and son-in-law disagree!) – anyway, she allowed me to pet her a few times after they moved into our old house in Des Plaines.

So, here’s to Fu! May she rest in peace!
Fu 1Fu 220190901_14595920190922_200017
She will be missed by her sisters, Gigi and Stevie Nix, and her little brother Freddie.

Tanzania Safari: Out at Sunrise on a Windy, Dusty Day

Feb. 10, 2018

We had an early morning departure on our game drive this morning – 6:30 with no breakfast. We’d take boxed breakfasts to eat during the drive. Because we were up before dawn, we saw a lovely sunrise.1024.JPG

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Vehicle tracks crisscrossing an open area with Lake Ndutu in the distance, as the sun rises.

We were with Livingstone again and only five passengers. Three members of our group had left even earlier to go ballooning over the Serengeti (cost: $616 each!). This morning’s drive was somewhat disappointing. I guess I shouldn’t complain about seeing 2 male lions, …

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This lion didn’t seem to mind the dust stirred up by wind and a vehicle driving by.

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Although Lake Ndutu wasn’t far off, the injured lion decided to stop for a drink at a muddy waterhole.

…several zebras, …

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A group of zebras, consisting of a female with two foals, were standing near the watering hole – they seemed thirsty but didn’t dare approach while the lion was there.

… 4 female lions,

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This lioness satisfied her thirst and then walked over to a field to join her sisters.

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Three lioness sisters

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One of the lionesses rolled over in the grass to scratch her back.

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Aaahhh! That feels good!

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sisterly love

SONY DSC…a cheetah running away in the distance, wildebeest, and several birds.

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Mother zebra (who appears to be pregnant) and her foal

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lovebirds

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Common drango

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Marabou storks

It was quite windy and therefore quite dusty on the roads. David remarked that the weather resembled the dry season. Besides the lions, zebras and wildebeest herds, we saw a gouged out dead zebra (even the vultures had left). SONY DSCThen David received over the radio a report that the balloon trip had been cancelled because it was too windy. We turned back toward the lodge to pick up the three who had returned to the lodge. Only one of the three ended up coming with us, and out we went again.  The wind continued strong, and we kept the windows closed most of the time, although the top was open.

We rendezvoused with the others and had our breakfast in a field free of predators. 2-10 picnic breakfast
A few female elephants with young calves crossed our path.

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The elephants like to stir up the dust. Sometimes they spray dust on themselves, possibly to get rid of insects.

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Foraging elephant calf

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This calf tries to catch up with mama.

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He found her!

Soon I found myself just wanting to return to the lodge. The wind and the dust were too much. Livingstone was driving rather slowly – probably being cautious due to low visibility because of the dust – and it seemed we’d never get back. Was he even on his way back? It was past 11:00.

We got back around noon (we actually got back before Elias’ group) and met up with those who stayed behind in the lounge area, engaged with their electronics. We had lunch at 1:00 pm, during which we had an interesting conversation about haiku, the end of the trip, and American politics. There is not a single Trump supporter in our group. We are all progressive Democrats! Afterwards, we returned to our cabin.

I took a shower, washing off all the dust from my body and my hair. Tonight I’ll wear clean clothes. I decided not to go on the 4:00 pm drive today!

What I did do was finish the drawing I had started the previous afternoon in my Mindful Travel Journal. I sat on the little veranda of our cabin in my purple bathrobe with my colored pencils spilled out on the chair beside me. Dale was off somewhere or taking a nap.Sketch - in front of cabin at Ndutu Safari Lodge