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.
Is there inherent order in nature or is it all chaos and chance? I believe there is inherent order, in terms of the rules of nature or of the universe, but also chaos, or randomness.
In nature, the main thing that establishes order is adaptability. Tree leaves and humans have visible veins, which are necessary because liquids and nutrients flow through them. There are some really fantastic creatures on this planet who have adapted to their environments in weird ways. In the universe, I believe there is order in terms of rules, although we have not discovered them all yet. It’s amazing how Einstein’s theories – particularly of relativity – have since proven accurate as scientists have developed ways to analyze celestial phenomena.
But there is also chaos. When a star explodes into a supernova, for example, its matter is flung outward in all directions, and where it ends up is random. Sometimes a supernova becomes a quasar. Also, several planets in our solar system have had wayward asteroids crash into them, including Earth, but I find it amazing, or sheer dumb luck, that an asteroid has never landed on a highly populated area. Now scientists can predict asteroid trajectories and may have ways of deflecting them.
Another random thing that happened was the formation of our solar system and the development of life on Earth. By the method of accretion, the planets were formed (which likely is the order of how planets develop elsewhere as well), but why some matter adhered to one planet or another is somewhat random, and ultimately determined by gravity.
I have seen science programs about the evolution of life on Earth and how it all began. Earth has the right circumstances for life as we define it, due to its optimal position in relation to the sun. Astronomers call this the “Goldilocks zone.” It is located in a zone that the sun’s rays are neither too hot nor too cold for life to develop. At the same time. gravity had to be just right to develop magnetic fields around our planet, which protect us from damage by ultraviolet rays. Using this premise, astronomers a few decades ago (when I studied astronomy) estimated the likelihood of life as we know it developing in other solar systems by discovering whether a planet was in the “Goldilocks” zone.
Since then, however, I have learned that life on Earth got started by a somewhat random process. It is disheartening, in a way, for those of us who would like to know for sure that advanced life forms exist in other solar systems, that life could just as easily have failed to evolve. Fortunately, it did or I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this, and I do believe that whatever chance circumstances existed for life to develop or not, that there must be advanced life on other planets. There are millions of galaxies, all with their own groups of stars and solar systems, so it can’t have been impossible that we are the only “advanced life” in the universe. That is, unless you believe in divine creation, which I do not. (I believe in God, but not as an entity that formed the planets and different life forms. Perhaps “God” helped nudge the unlikelihood of life into the real possibility of life.)
What is infinity? Infinity is something that human minds can not really conceptualize. If we believe the universe is “infinite,” that means that the universe is never-ending. Theoretically, scientifically, infinity exists, but it is not something that we can fully understand, because humans are limited by experience and the ability of our brains, all based on the finite-ness of life as we know it.
Infinity is most often found in mathematics. Pi, for example, is often expressed as 3.14 but the digits beyond that go on infinitely, with no end. Click on the image below for a link to an interesting article about infinity.
Does observation alter an event? It might. Someone may perform a dance or a song perfectly during dress rehearsal, which is supposed to mimic the actual performance, but not perform as well when an audience is looking at them. If we know there is police surveillance on a particular stretch of road, we drive more carefully and observe the speed limit. In physics, which I really don’t understand, according to Wikipedia:“the observer effect is the disturbance of an observed system by the act of observation. This is often the result of instruments that, by necessity, alter the state of what they measure in some manner.” The Wikipedia article goes on to mention a common example: when you check the pressure in a tire, you can’t help but release a little bit of the air in the tire, so the pressure slightly changes. No matter how negligible, there is still change. We can’t usually observe it, though!
Do you like balloons? Yes and no. Balloons are fun and pretty aesthetically; adding balloons to an event makes it festive. However, they are made of plastic and we have enough plastic pollution already to not justify people releasing a bunch of balloons into the air to memorialize someone, for example. Mylar balloons, in particular, are wasteful both in material and the helium used to make them defy gravity by floating above our heads.
However, I am not a curmudgeon. Balloons are not even in the top 1,000 products that produce plastic pollution. I say let’s continue blowing up balloons for fun and celebration!
I have never ridden in a hot air balloon, although I had the opportunity a couple of times during my travels, and I don’t think I ever will. They don’t feel stable enough. They do look pretty, though!
It’s question week for me, and every week I look forward to Melanie’s Share Your World. Following are her questions for this week.
Is every piece of truth worth telling? (credit to the magnificent Cyranny for this one) No, not at all. Sometimes the truth is brutal. Telling someone they are fat, for example. It may be the truth but you don’t say it. Instead, you find a way to compliment that person with another (hopefully) true opinion, such as “I love your outfit!” or “That shirt looks great on you!” Can an opinion be the truth? It is if it is your true opinion! 😉
Important truths, however, must be told, brutal or not. Such as the fact that Joe Biden won the U.S. election for president. Such as Trump won’t admit defeat due to his pathological narcissism, which is why he continues to maintain that he won, and that makes him dangerous. Such as OANN and Fox have been lying to you. Who and how these truths ought to be told is another matter. If you want people to believe you are telling the truth, you must be believable to them. A left-leaning activist should not be the one to address the right-wing about what is the truth and what is not. It’s not just politics – people tend to believe what fits their own world view; this has been shown through study after study. Why do you gravitate to certain news sources rather than others that are also readily available? How do you know who is telling the truth? What if it is all a huge conspiracy? There are people who tend to believe conspiracies, but I am not one of them. And personally, although it’s interesting, I don’t really care why Oswald killed Kennedy. The fact that he did it is what determined the future.
I try to be objective when hearing people who claim to be truth-tellers, like the media I choose to watch or read (because those sources fit my world view, I guess – but I think it is more than that). Some things just don’t ring true. Giant conspiracies that would involve coordination between thousands of people across the globe just are not believable. The view of one scientist who is a friend of your brother’s wife’s cousin that climate change isn’t happening doesn’t hold up to the vast majority of scientists in the world who maintain that it is and we must do something about it. Take a moment before forwarding that Facebook post to think, does this sound like it’s true? There are ways of investigating what is the truth and what is not, and the process of learning this should begin in middle school when kids begin to do a lot of Internet surfing and research. Lies are disseminated when social media users feel drawn to a particular concept or meme, and then forward it to others they know who basically think the same way they do. We are all guilty of this, without exception, I think. But I have always had a streak of skepticism in me, and if it sounds too bizarre or ridiculous to be true, I check the source and then fact-check the information, if it’s important enough to me.
Big truths should and must be told, but small ones are up to the teller. Will telling the truth in this case just hurt somebody’s feelings or will it make a difference in their decision-making? If the former, don’t tell it; if the latter, one probably should. Withholding the truth should never be an excuse, only a reason.
Whom do you miss more Freddy Mercury or Prince? (if you don’t know who those people are, just skip this question. It’s cool). I know who both of them are, but Freddie Mercury is not dead. He lives on in the body of one of my grandcats, an orange Maine coon mix who is very frisky, naughty, and loveable!
If you could only email or text people for the rest of your life (no other form of communication), which would you chose? Email might be more practical, but it is also slow and easy to miss in the slew of emails I get on a daily basis and don’t have time to read. I love texting and prefer it even to speaking on the phone.
Would you prefer to work the midnight shift at a really creepy out of the way motel OR work alone for eternity? Thank God I don’t have to make that choice!
Bonus question because yes, these are a weird bunch (no worries – I did Bushboy’s yesterday!) this week: What’s one secret you’re still keeping from your immediate family? (no details required. You could say something like “The lost weekend in 1982”. You can also answer “Why I NEVER keep secrets from my nearest and dearest!”). That I never really loved my first husband. At least, I’ve never told my son (whose father is my ex) that. This may be an instance in which telling the brutal truth is not a good idea. I believe that when parents separate, it’s best not to always trash the other parent to the kids; be honest but try to be positive too.
GRATITUDE SECTION (always optional)
Please feel free to share something uplifting that you’ve experienced so far in 2021. I wouldn’t call it uplifting but I am grateful for it – Dale and I have had both doses of the Pfizer vaccine against Covid-19 with its 95% effectiveness rate! We both had a few symptoms: I felt general malaise for a day, with headache. I took a long nap complemented with extra-strength Tylenol. Now we both feel fine!
Have you ever ‘butt dialed” someone? (‘butt dialed’ means have you ever made a phone call that you weren’t aware of making, because the buttons on the phone got pushed by your sitting on them (in your pocket) OR having something in your handbag press against them?) Geez, who hasn’t? I’ve gotten them several times too, and it’s usually the person I most recently talked to who stuck their phone in their pocket and some movement dialed my number again.
If you were given 1000 acres of land, what would you do with it? I can’t even conceive of how much that is. (I’m not good with area measurements.) But let’s say it’s large enough to build a manor house with outbuildings, and a large manicured garden – i.e. an “estate.” I would NOT do this, although I’ve been known to drool over properties I’ve seen on the road or in a magazine.
It depends where it is. If it were somewhere abroad that is beautiful and the kind of place I’d like to visit, I would probably build a modest house with a garage on it, maybe a pool too (depending on the climate in the area), and go there every year to spend several weeks exploring the surroundings and other countries. The rest of the time I would rent it out through Airbnb or something like that.
If it were in a poor country, I would probably donate it to the city or state or country through a reputable organization that would use it for whatever is needed in the community.
If it were in the U.S., I would want it to be in the Southwest, so I could build on it, have a cactus garden, and spend my winters there – I’d become a snowbird!
What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen on-line recently? I enjoyed many of the pictures people posted using the Bernie Sanders at the Inauguration meme inserted in them. In fact, I now have a crocheted Bernie, made by a friend, and it sits on my mantle above the fireplace. Maybe I’ll take it out with me and photograph it in various locations.
Have you ever eaten something off the floor? ‘5 second’ rule applies or not (the ‘5 second rule’ is that if you pick up the dropped food within a set time frame, it’s still ‘clean’ and you can safely eat it)? Oh, yes, I do that all the time! Imagine wasting a succulent tomato or a piece of the only chocolate chip cookie I allow myself to have each day! Although at the beginning of the pandemic, I was so paranoid that if something dropped on the floor, I would immediately throw it away and sanitize my hands. I also throw it out if I’d given it to the cat and she rejected it after sniffing and maybe licking it. Also, it depends on how clean the kitchen floor is. Needless to say, I don’t pick up liquids (except to clean up).
GRATITUDE SECTION (always optional)
Feel free to share your gratitude with everyone in the form of a quote, a thought or an image. I am grateful today for my family, especially my son, whose birthday is today!
A new week has arrived and along with it, a new set of questions from Melanie on Share Your World. QUESTIONS:
Do you feel you ask enough questions or do you settle for what you know? I like to ask questions. I am very inquisitive and I often go in search of information for answers. If I didn’t ask questions, what would I know? Questioning is vital to gain knowledge. This is why little children ask so many questions, Why this and why that? They have little knowledge and to get more, they have to ask why, although sometimes the adults don’t have answers.
That said, there are certain situations in which I do stop asking questions. If a very annoying person is chatting me up, for example, on an airplane or a bus, and I don’t want to talk to that person, I say what is polite and then turn away. Or when a meeting goes really long, and everyone is fidgeting because they want to get out of there, but I still have a question, I most likely bite my tongue and settle for what I know, with the thought of finding out the answer to my unasked question later or elsewhere.
Asking questions occasionally gets me into trouble; in fact, I lost a teaching job at least partly due to asking a question that my boss (the new principal of the school) didn’t like, because she thought it made her look bad.. She harbored a resentment toward me the entire school year and found fault with me even when I wasn’t doing anything wrong. She ended up not rehiring me and I wasn’t tenured. But I really did want to know the answer to my question and never really got one.
When did you fail to speak up when you feel you should have? There was one incident that I still regret not having spoken up – or perhaps if I had realized sooner to put two and two together. I went to a party at a former coworker’s house one summer. When I got there, I was happy to see several of my former coworkers from the school I had loved teaching at, including the principal who I really liked because she had always been supportive of me. I had lost my job in that school district, because they reconfigured the schools into “grade level centers” and by moving people around, they could dispense with nine teachers. I was one of them because after three years, I wasn’t yet tenured. In Illinois teachers don’t get tenure until the end of their fourth year. I was telling the principal about my new job and how happy I was there, even though the pay was extremely low – I’d had to take a program assistant job, because I couldn’t find a teaching position except for substitute teaching, which I was tired of. The principal asked me several times if I was sure I really liked it where I was working, and I kept saying yes.
A short while later, I ran into the other ESL teacher I had worked with at that school and found out she had just retired. I didn’t make any connection at the time and it wasn’t until a day or so later that my dense mind figured it out! The principal had been trying to find out if I would be interested in going back to my former position, but I didn’t realize that at the time. She wanted me to replace the retiring teacher because they really needed a Spanish-speaking ESL teacher, which they lost when I was cut from the district. They had replaced me with another ESL teacher from another school in the district who was tenured.
I realized I should have said something – although I liked the program assistant job, the pay was so low that Dale and I were having trouble keeping a positive balance in our checking account, and if I could have gotten a teaching job in my former district, where I was really happy, I would have taken it. I thought about calling that principal and asking her if the job was still available, but I didn’t. I had convinced myself by that time that in spite of the low pay, I was glad not to have the responsibility of a teaching job. I could go home after work and not have to do more work at home to prepare for the next day or grade papers. I valued that additional leisure time. Even so, I know I would have taken that ESL position back if it had been offered to me and worked for several more years instead of retiring at age 63, when I acquired an inheritance after my mother died.
When was the last time you felt lucky? A few days ago! Maybe “lucky” isn’t the right word. People have no control over what family circumstances they will be born into. I happened to be lucky to be born into a psychologically and financially stable family. The reason I felt lucky a few days ago is that, when hearing the news of the pandemic, of people who have lost their jobs and depend on the stimulus checks for their financial support right now, for people who have no money, I thought about how lucky I am – a retired, 68-year-old married white woman with a good husband and a wonderful home in a senior community (which most people would be hard pressed to afford). This community provides us with a lot of support during the pandemic and our monthly fee pays for maintenance, snow shoveling, etc. We’ve gotten ahead of others in getting the Covid vaccine, we have a housekeeper who comes once a week, and we don’t have to cook because our meals are delivered to us. We have a beautiful campus where we can walk and see our neighbors (when the weather is good), so we don’t feel so isolated. I thank God every day for my good fortune.
What is a boulder? It is a large rock. When people talk about avalanches, they usually call the rocks that hurtle down the side of a mountain boulders. Boulder is also a city in Colorado, home of the University of Colorado.
GRATITUDE SECTION (as always optional)
Feel free to share your gratitude with everyone! See the answer about feeling lucky above. I am grateful for all I have. While people in Texas are suffering from lack of electricity and water during a freak storm, I am watching their distress on TV in my comfortable home. I am warm and don’t lack for anything. The employees of our community take good care of us.
What is your favorite type of cookie (they’re called biscuits in Europe I believe)? If you mean Christmas cookies, it would be a tie between the sugar cookies in different shapes with frosting and a brownie with peppermint candy frosting (not technically a cookie, but my niece makes these every year as part of her gift of cookies).
Outside of holiday season, it’s homemade chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven! I don’t bake cookies in general, so we buy Tates – their chocolate chip cookie is thin and crispy.
If you could choose one age and remain that forever, what would it be and why? 65 – young enough to still have the energy and drive to travel and explore new things, and also be eligible for retirement and Medicare.
Do you have a traditional drink during the holiday season? Not this year, because we are not gathering as usual with our family, but normally it is Jolly Jolt. Jolly Jolt is basically warm apple cider with cinnamon cloves. My sister prepares it in a large coffee pot and everyone helps themselves! This year, I suspect it will be Cooper’s Hawk’s Winter Red wine, which we have a bottle of in our garage – also best heated.
Are you able to still believe in holiday magic as you did when you were a child? No, not really. Warmth, maybe, magic, no. When I was a kid, holidays like Christmas were always extremely exciting. We kids got to do the fun stuff, like picking out and decorating the tree, helping put up the creche, and singing Christmas carols. As an adult, there’s the work side of it – things don’t magically happen! I do very little decorating, except to put up my collection of creches and hang a Santa Claus on the door. Usually I have a Christmas tree but haven’t had one for the last three years. I do more decorating if we’re having guests.
The most magical and exciting moments during my childhood were early Christmas mornings. My dad put up a portable screen so we couldn’t see into the living room until my parents got up. So we kids would climb partway up the stairway to peek over the screen to find our stockings and all the presents my parents had added during the night. This is what I think about when I’m asked about holiday magic!
Now I look forward to simple gatherings of families and friends, noshing, drinking Jolly Jolt and playing games. It gives me warm feeling, but not the magic of childhood.
Gratitude section: I’m grateful to be alive and reasonably healthy! And I’m grateful that 2020 is almost over!
Monday = Melanie’s Share Your World! I haven’t posted much lately, but I always look for Share Your World!
This week’s questions:
Is cereal soup? Why or why not?
What an odd question! Of course cereal isn’t soup, unless you like soggy cereal drowning in a bowl of milk! Actually, I rarely eat cereal with milk anymore – I usually use yogurt instead. I have cereal with fruit & yogurt for breakfast a few days a week. Soup makes a good lunch in the winter. Another difference between soup and cereal is that usually cereal has some sort of sweetness to it, while soup tends to be salty.
What are some interesting ways to answer everyday questions like “how’s it going” or “what do you do”?
How’s it going? “Going? Going where?” What do you do? “Lots of things – eat, sleep, make love, read, exercise, go to work, sleep late, travel. Which one are you asking about?” (I might select a couple of these depending on my mood.)
But I never have a clever response to anything like that – I don’t think of clever things on the spur of the moment; sometimes I come up with a good response an hour later when I’m in my car. However, I do want to be honest sometimes when someone asks me, “How are you?” I usually say, “fine and you?” But what if I said something like, “I feel like sh** this morning, how about you?” I mean, do people really want to know how it’s going or how I am? It’s just a mindless greeting. I prefer greeting people with a smile and “hello!”
What was your favorite toy growing up?
It wasn’t really a toy. Paper and crayons/pencils. I always loved to draw, and I would write and illustrate little books. As I got older, I preferred journaling or writing romantic stories, but added drawings as well.
If you have a pet, and you could ask it three questions, what would you ask? Every animal has its own personality and preferences, and Hazel is no exception! I would like to ask her about some of her idiosyncratic preferences:
What makes you choose one place over another to take your many cat naps?
You change your mind so often regarding what food you prefer, so what kind of cat food do you really like? (I know what people food you like!)
Why do you only want to sleep between Dale’s legs when he’s sitting on the recliner (and not when I’m there) but in bed, you always sleep between my legs and not his?
Attitude of Gratitude Section (Always Optional)
What’s one simple thing society at large could do to improve our world? Wear a mask and believe what doctors tell you!
Fandango’s Provocative Question this week is about lying: How many times have you heard the expression “honesty is the best policy”? We are taught from a very young age to not lie. We are reminded that the key to trust is honesty. And yet, most people lie, whether it’s a “little white lie,” a lie to avoid hurting another person’s feelings, or a lie to avoid getting into trouble.
But if honesty is, indeed, the best policy and is critical to trust, why is it, then, that people lie? Is lying a “normal” part of the human condition?
To that end, this week’s provocative question is this:
Is it even possible to live a normal life and to not ever tell a lie?
I think it is nearly impossible to get through life without ever telling a lie. I consider myself to be an honest person and yet I have lied plenty of times. I have lied in order not to offend. I lied to my parents so I wouldn’t get in trouble (doesn’t everyone?). But I didn’t lie about things that were important. If my mother asked me a serious question about my behavior that she really needed the answer to, I would tell her the truth even if it would lead to negative consequences. Besides, I’ve always been a terrible liar. I guess I didn’t lie enough to get good at it!
I think these sorts of lies are common and normal. It’s not the same as being an inveterate liar (like Trump – his default setting when he opens his mouth is lying) or even a deceitful liar (like kids who lie to their parents about smoking, drinking or taking drugs). Deliberate deceitfulness is harmful both to the deceiver and the person they lie to. Let’s take that kid who is using drugs, for example. If he lies about it, he knows, first of all, that is something bad that will make you angry, and also, it is harmful because a parent can support him to get off drugs or seek help. It’s harmful to the kid because she is deceiving herself as well as her parents, not to mention ruining her health. Also, some parents are in denial and so not having to confront the truth about their child’s drug use, they can tell themselves their child isn’t lying. Living a lie causes tremendous stress to everyone involved.
Some drug and/or alcohol users get really good at lying to others. Having had personal experience with this, I can only blame myself for believing the lies and not pressing harder to learn the truth. People can go on lying about this for years. I’ve heard of families who are shocked to find out that a close relative concealed an addiction for years. More often than not, however, the truth gets out sooner or later because addiction tends to spill over onto loved ones through, for example, erratic behavior or unexplained loss of income. Allowing a lie to exist and fester about a family member’s harmful habit can lead to even more serious consequences for everyone in the family in the end. In psychology jargon, it’s called co-dependency or enabling.
When our leaders lie to us, they are usually corrupt or their lying leads to corruption. Lying can become a habit (as it did for the abovementioned occupant of the White House). They may do it to deliberately cause confusion or distrust. This encourages others in the government or regular citizens to lie. In authoritarian regimes, not only leaders lie to their citizens, but citizens may be compelled to lie because they are afraid. This type of lying is called “self-preservation” and we can’t really blame people who are trying to save their or someone else’s lives. But for so-called leaders in an open society, persistent lying is unconscionable. In the end, no one will believe the liar even when he tells the truth!
Getting back to the common type of occasional lying, telling someone that they look great in an item of clothing when you don’t really think so probably won’t have lasting effects. We call this type of lying a “little white lie.” After all, that is really a matter of opinion. However, if there is a rip in the seat of their pants, it’s better to tell them the truth!
Are we “here” or do we just think we are? (A metaphysical question today folks.) Can you prove your point of view? I think we are here and our existence on this tiny blue dot of a planet in the solar system is real. However, there may be alternate versions of us in alternate universes. This is a question explored in quantum physics: of all possible outcomes of any action, does the only one that exists the one we’ve chosen in our current existence’s real time? Perhaps in alternate versions of ourselves, other choices are made and our lives are very different.
I exist and see the world from my own point of view. I interact with others personally, on line, or otherwise, and every individual I come into contact has an impact on my life, however profound or slight.
As for existence after death (this wasn’t part of the question but it represents the future of whether we are “here”), I don’t believe in heaven or hell but neither do I believe in nothing. We are composed of energy which came from the stars created during the Big Bang. Energy can be neither created nor destroyed. So what happens to the energy within our bodies when we die? It must go somewhere. That is my semi-scientific/semi-religious justification for believing in another existence after our current existence dies. Maybe my energy goes into the formation of a new person on Earth. Or maybe it will travel far and find itself in another being on another planet. Who knows? Many people believe in reincarnation – how that happens may be part of their religious belief. I believe in reincarnation also because I can’t believe in nothingness.
From an identity stand-point, which would be the worst for you personally to lose? Your face, your body or your voice? Which do YOU identify with most strongly for your own sense of self? How do you come up with these questions?? Usually your questions are a lot less profound! I would not want to lose any of those things. If I “lose” my body, then who I am will cease to exist. However, if I lose the ability to USE my body (such as if I become totally paralyzed), I think it would be terrible as long as my brain were still working. Maybe I could learn to use one of those artificial voice translation machines if I couldn’t move, so that I could still communicate. Lose my face – what, from having it destroyed by burning or something? God awful! Burning would be the very worst way to die, in my view. Anyway, without my face, I wouldn’t have eyes, ears, nose or mouth. Maybe it would be better to have all those things but have my body be paralyzed. Because what would I be without any of my senses? When I think of not having a face, I think of ancient sculptures of people whose faces were destroyed by the ravages of time.
We see their body but not their face so we never know what they might have looked like. As for my voice, there are a couple of ways of thinking about this: my physical voice, that is, what one hears when I speak or sing; or my voice in the metaphorical sense – having a voice in decisions made, having a voice in who is elected president. We say we have a “voice” when we vote. If I were to lose that kind of voice, it would mean we would be in some sort of dictatorship or autocracy – which could happen if Trump is reelected….but I don’t want to think about that right now! However, if it were just my physical voice, I think I could do without it, because I could still write in order to communicate. However, it would be difficult, because I like to talk and I talk a lot!!
Do you have a ‘song’? If you’re part of a couple, you could use “your couple’s song” OR a song that’s just always resonated with you. There are too many songs to think about. So I will just say Unchained Melody, because when I first met my husband, that was the one song he would always want to dance to. So it kind of became “our song.” Unchained Melody
“Spooky” Halloween Question: Oooo! BOO!
Are ghosts real or has someone been smoking something and just imagines them? I honestly don’t know. The logical, skeptical part of me says that ghosts or spirits do not exist. However, there is a part of me that believes in them. Maybe that is where our energy goes when we die – into a spirit or “ghost” if you want to call it that. Sometimes when I heard unexplained sounds in the house (my old house had these – where I live now is too small and too new for that), I said there was a ghost in the house. I told my son this when he was young and I got him to really believe it, but I assured him that the ghost was harmless and would never reveal itself to us. Just leave it alone and it will leave us alone. “Our” ghost became a sort of comforting presence!
GRATITUDE SECTION (as always strictly optional)
Please free free to share a moment of gratitude you experienced over the past week. Hearing my son’s voice on the phone now that he is clean and sober. He’s actually pleasant to talk to when he isn’t depressed or self-medicated and has had something nutritious to eat.
Also I am grateful that the weather has been a little warm again even though it’s been really windy. Today was the last day of that warmth though – tomorrow it is supposed to be 20 degrees cooler and will not get warm again, probably until April!!
When was the last time you tried something new? How did that go for you? This would have to be before Covid.
Last year, our library book club read a book called The Lager Queen of Minnesota. It was about three generations of women in a family who get involved in brewing beer. I don’t like beer but I learned a lot about different kinds of beer from the book. On the day of the discussion, the moderator brought some of the types of beer featured in the book and I tried a couple. One of them was actually tolerable: it was an infusion, made with peach. I can’t remember its name and don’t recall ever seeing it again, so I kind of forgot about it. And I still have no interest in drinking beer.
What’s the most sensible thing you’ve ever heard someone say? Donald Trump isn’t fit to be president. It’s not that he refuses to handle the job – he CAN’T handle the job. Psychologists (including his own niece) have declared him to be a pathological narcissist. I don’t know if this is the most sensible thing I ever heard from someone (many someones, actually) but it’s what’s on my mind lately.
How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? I’m not sure how to answer this question. Perhaps if I had come from a society that didn’t have a calendar or keep track of time beyond day and night, I might think I was really old because in such societies life tends to be harder and people die earlier. However, in terms of my mind, although my body is aging, I still feel that I am the same person I was at 25. No, cancel that – my mind has deteriorated to some extent as I’ve aged. So if I had to guess how old I was (because I was isolated and didn’t keep track), I’d probably pick some age close to my own, mid-60s.
Lastly, I’ll be doing one “Halloween” themed question per week during October. Those who don’t observe the holiday are welcome to answer or to ignore it as they wish.
Fun CREEPY Halloween Question:
Have you ever seen a ‘fresh’ corpse (aka dead body)? Not in person, no. Just on TV or in movies. And I tend to cringe and hide my eyes behind my hand when I see something gory. But the ones in the morgue are easier to look at. I have seen dead people at open casket funerals, which I don’t like at all. I would normally choose not to look at the body, but in the case of my sister I had no choice – I was seated in the front row. My brother-in-law was so distraught that he let the funeral home director make all the decisions. I feel sure he would not have chosen open casket if he’d thought about it. It’s not what my sister would have wanted either.
I’m grateful that I have never seen a freshly dead body.
GRATITUDE SECTION (always optional)
Do you enjoy any seasonal traditions around this time of year? Not anymore – when my son was young, I would take him trick-or-treating and I’d put up some lame decorations on the door. I had a cool witch figurine that made spooky sounds, but one year I put it outside to entertain the kids on Halloween and it got stolen. Another thing I did with my son is make jack-o-lanterns. The problem was that the squirrels would attack them – what’s the point of making jack-o-lanterns if you can’t leave them outside?
However, the one time of year I really miss teaching is at this time of year. The kids got so excited about Halloween. I’d dress up as a witch and we’d have a class picture taken dressed up in our costumes. There would be a parade around the school. I had a lot of fun, Halloween-themed educational activities that I did with students. Since I was a bilingual teacher and my students were mostly from Mexico (or their parents were) we would always celebrate Day of the Dead. We did some really cool projects and shared them with the whole school.