Category: Writing


We are born into a stage of extreme longing, reaching to a distant horizon in which we have great imaginings. A thythm of dreams envelops our soul and our song beats life’s cycling tempo of ever changing wonder.

Alas, the constant interruptions of interacting life distract our inner force, unnerve our concentration, edge us toward a beaten path so old and worn that nothing grows. Some of us, wearied from the darkness, cast out on our own in search of an answer to our restlessness.

“I believe that these primal phantasies…are a phylogenetic possession. In them the individual, wherever his own experience has become insufficient, stretches out beyond it to the experience of past ages. It seems to me quite possible that all that today is narrated in analysis in the form of phantasy,… was in prehistoric periods of the human family a reality; and that the child in its phantasy simply fills out the gaps in its true individual experiences with true prehistoric experiences.”1

Let us broaden Freud!s point of view to include a superpersonal or collective inheritance in the unconscious that is phylogenetically acquired. That is to say, that in every individual, in addition to the personal memories, there are also the inherited potentialities of human imagination.

That death is not the end of life is a universal belief of mankind. The western thinkers’ belief that the disintegration of the material organism does not mean the annihilation of the spirit goes hand in hand with a corresponding belief in some kind of bond between that which is immortal and the body. Imaginative pictures are employed to make this connection palatable. The body has been conceived of as the prison or tomb of the soul. However, if we were to press the believers for a precise statement of the kind of immortality they believe in, we would surely be faced with conflicting answers from a conditional immortality for some, to heaven or hell (one or the other) for all. Just as these believers are adamant in their future immortality, they are also adamant about their past mortality.

The general antagonism of Western philosophers to the doctrine of transmigration is due to the uncompromising attitude of the Christian religion towards any deviation from its particular doctrine of immortality.

The Eastern philosophers agree in principle but differ in perception as to the plurality of the soul. Agreed in a “before” as well as an “after” present life awareness, they disagree in the concept of individuality. One faction believes the soul is only temporal and illusory forms of the

One, cosmic soul. Another is sure that each individual soul is here, an isolated principle, eternally real and ever the same. Reality, consequently, consists of an infinite number of awarenesses rather than an all-embracing Universal Awareness.

Speculation of life, we know, began as early as man learned to draw and surely long before that. If we are guessing closer to our heritage in todays space-age, technologic Here, we cannot be sure. That the becoming, the dance of the chromosomes, continues the evolution process, we can be certain. As for dreams and wonder

In the dance we experience propagation. Creation, however, is two fold: Propagation, exact duplication as in the splitting of a cell to acquire additional daughter cells, and Procreation, begetting or bringing forth offspring. The former continues a rebirth of what is, the latter evolves what becomes. Creed or religion tries to explain what begins. The process is a complete cycle.

Need to know is playing an integral part in evolution today. Witness advances in outer space flights, sea explorations, earth and rock diggings. Is the roll of God a part of our DNA? Is this that which is written “…in his likeness.” ? Or do we fancy ourselves his children, capable of creating matter? Itt s amazing to behold what man has learned and accomplished. Only our imagination can guess at what tomorrow will produce/discover.

Any theory of immortality when carried to extremes can be made to appear as a caricature. It is therefore, quite easy for unsympathetic critics to paint a ludicrous picture of any doctrine. But if we were to judge a doctrine at its highest level, as it has been held by sympathetically critical minds, we should find that it answers some of the important questions that man has always raised. Considered in this light, answers that religion offers serves its own purpose. Spirituality lifts us out of our fear of mortality. It promises us eternity.

We have yet to find the truth we seek. Let us relish the continuing challenge and fascinate ourselves with the search.

1 Freud, S. – A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis, 324: Liveright Publishing

Corporation, 1935.

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“Louise,” Thorny yelled from somewhere in the house. Probably his office, I thought, slamming the album of pictures shut. I was scrap booking, designing pages into works of art, adding photos almost as an afterthought. Low on paper cement I’d have to quit soon anyway. But, damn it to hell! What on earth did he want now?

I scooted my chair back from my desk in the dining room and walked into the hall. “Where are you?” I called. No answer. “Where are you, Thorny?” Louder this time.

“You damn well know where I am,” came the reply. I padded on slippered feet to my husband’s office. I found him, his wheel chair precariously perched, ready to pitch over onto the couch. His outstretched arm on the cushion was all that kept him upright albeit at a dangerous slant.

“How did you manage that?” I asked him.

“Never mind. Give me a hand here,” he said.

“You tried to get out of the chair, I’ll bet, and tipped it.” I pulled on the rubbery wheel and set him right.

“You’d lose.” He brushed his hand across his head, straightening his crop of salt and pepper hair.

“Whatever,” I said. “Is that it? Do you need anything else?”

“I need to know why I wasn’t asked if my daughter could spend the weekend with her college roommate’s family.”

“She didn’t ask. She told me that she’d been invited and wanted to go.”

“And you said?”

“Okay.”

“Without consulting me. Whenever Claire wants to do something she knows I will disapprove of, she seeks out her mother. Now why do you suppose that is.?”

I let out a long sigh, shrugged my shoulders and shook my head. I knew the drill. He’d lay a load of guilt on me, make me feel like I didn’t deserve him or my daughter because I couldn’t toe the line.

“Oh, am I holding you up from doing something? Boring you with my diatribe? You must forgive my old-mannish ways, but frankly I’m concerned about my daughter’s sudden need to visit a family she doesn’t even know. What’s the attraction?”

“A new friend, perhaps?”

“This new friend wouldn’t have a brother, would she?”

“He’s in Iraq, and besides, Claire isn’t boy crazy.”

“Get this straight–from this moment on, what my daughter does is my business. She will ask my permission to change the normal course of events. You don’t know how to say no. I will tell her in no uncertain terms, she will not ask you without consulting me first. Do I make myself clear?”

“Yes, sir. May I leave the room now?” I said like a child to a parent. My passport to end this gruesome conversation.

“You may fix my lunch and bring it here. Tomato soup and grilled cheese.”

I turned on a heel and left the room to do my master’s bidding.

A Sonnet

Thou art to me as the gentlest breeze
Composed of warmest breath and tender sigh.
Though rocky storms may quake the weak man’s ease
When warmest breezes toward December fly,
When all too fast the life of Zephyrs end,
And daunted, a man’s dreams to dust return,
Then all the promise of spring can’t bend
His eye to see that sunlight ere returns.
But thy wilt young forever be,
Thy strength and soft affection so combined
To keep me secure in thy company,
And infinite in love and time entwined.
Forever lasting–youth and life are thee,
Never changing–thy mold or form in me.

To my Philip
—- Thy wife

 

 

 

This is the true story of my parents early lives as they struggled for survival in New York City during the “Depression” and WWII.
 Available in Kindle and paperback format.
Click the graphic for more information.

CryinOutLoudKindlecover6_edited-7 copy C

A Celebration of Life

Her name was Marlene and she was barely fifty-nine. What struck folks about her was her calm demeanor and sparkling smile. She knew who her friends were and that she could ask favors of them. And we loved her for it. She died of ALS (Lou Gehrig Disease). First she lost her voice, then her ability to eat. She was fed through a tube she poured a can of stuff in. She was a gifted quilter and a wonderful friend. Church members told us that in the end, she could only move her eyelids. Finally at peace, I guess that’s reason to celebrate.

I’ve been writing my folks memoir. They were born just before World War I in Brooklyn, New York. They lived through the Great Depression and World II. In order to write about their lives and experiences, I asked many questions and have my mother on tape with answers. That was 1980ish and I’m just finishing the book I’ve been working on for about two years. My point is there are some really neat books about different eras that are written strictly for writers. Yeah, yeah, I know there is everything you need on the internet, but imagine finding slang, colloquialisms and everyday speech during a specific era. Okay it can be found, you say, but then I need the radio shows and time aired, Timelines and specific ideas to research is a must for accuracy and depicting the essence of a period.

The book I’ve really been poring over and loving is “The Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life from Prohibition through World War II” by Marc McCutcheon. The table of contents speak for the all-around details contained in this work:

1. Slang, Colloquialisms and Everyday Speech

2. Prohibition

3. The Great Depression

4. World War II

5. Crime

6. Transportation

7. Clothing and Fashions

8. Radio and Radio Shows

9. Music and Dance

Chronologies of history events, innovations and fads, hit songs, books and movies

Bibliography

There are a number of resource books out there geared entirely for writers, written by writers who have already done the research for you. Check out your local library’s resources.

Zumba

I’ve always loved to dance. Mom was a singer/dancer and if one of the “big bands” came on the radio and you were home, you were dancing. She led. Didn’t matter if it was dad or someone else, she led. You learned to waltz at an early age and to charleston and jitterbug. Sister, Jo Ann listened to country music and we danced to that while doing our Saturday cleaning. My thing was rhythm and blues–Fats Domino, Little Richard, Haley’s Comet. But my husband can’t dance anymore, the kids are gone living their own lives, and the dogs don’t want to learn. Then Lynn, our Curves owner, added Zumba to our gym two times a week. It is so much fun!! You dance a minute and then work on one of the machines a minute. Let me tell you, it is a workout. The group attending is growing. What a sight we must be. Older women in their harem skirts (oh these are scarves with bangles we wear around our middles and shake to the music.) dancing with the young instructor who smiles at us and our whooping. Love it, Love it!!

Excerpt from The Photograph

Claire grabbed the largest suitcase from the trunk of her mother’s car; her mother pulled out the smaller one. “Can you handle that?” Louise Thompson looked around the parking area as if a bellhop would appear. The lot was empty of life. She closed the trunk and smashed the button on her key fob twice to make sure the Lincoln was indeed locked.
Claire’s face beamed with excitement. Her grin was wide, her eyes taking in the panorama of campus, of grounds, of ivy covered walls that her imagination made up for the lack of. This was the Keene, New Hampshire University Campus—a host of buildings placed here and there in an asundry of directions—a chaotic bloom of academic pursuit. A warm breeze kissed her cheeks, and above it all, a horizon of cloudless, blue sky. A week late because of her father’s medical emergency, the school kindly allowed her to begin her freshman year. She would have no problem making up the week, the Dean had told them. After all, she was attending on an academic scholarship having skipped her senior high school year altogether. Advanced Placement exams in her junior year, and high scores in CLEP exams taken last spring had won her the scholarship and early attendance. Claire wouldn’t turn seventeen until October.

A Thought.

I have two malti-poos, brother and sister. Mollie is widdle at six pounds. Widdle is not a typo because that is what she is. Sammy Jr. is eight pounds and a real macho male. He’s not the least bit widdle. He’s a true lover–of food he downs in seconds, his owner’s lap he remains in for hours, his sister’s face that he licks clean, his walks which he performs with exaggerated dignity. But Mollie, oh my Mollie, is excited just to see me. She jumps two feet in the air and grabs a bite of my t-shirt to say “Hello, Mom. I wuv u.”

Morning brought sunshine to the thin curtains at the window in my room. I woke to the aroma of coffee sifting in under the closed door. The java joined with sausage and the scent of something sweet–my stomach growled and my mouth watered.

I stretched out my arms and legs, sat up and pushed myself to the floor. The kitchen was abuzz with voices. I could hear Johnny and Gus discussing something. I imagined Aunt Margaret at the stove, cooking breakfast. I donned my robe, tied the sash tight and left the room.

My favorite people in all my world were seated at the kitchen table yakking, drinking coffee, being family. Tears burned my eyes. I brushed at my face and tried to compose myself. Can this be my life? Is happiness in my future? I dared not dream. I’m just gonna live it, I thought, take it as it comes.