I think, therefore I am
–René Descartes 03-31-1596-02-11-1650 (French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist)
Quoth The Raven Nevermore
–Edgar Allan Poe (American writer, editor, and literary critic)
If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
One bright Spring day as droplets of due collected on the branches of the soon to be awakening tree came a Caterpillar. Suddenly without cause or warning, the Caterpillar stopped eating, hung itself upside down from a nearby twig but it did not die. On the contrary, a transformation from one being to another being had begun. In advance of this miraculous process, the Caterpillar spun a silky cocoon which would serve as its protective casing soon thereafter to disappear for a month maybe longer. The Caterpillar rested not. Its single-minded purpose was to totally change its whole shape and body. Emerging from its self imposed quarantine soon emerged a beautiful yellow butterfly with black beads on its now spread wings ready to take flight. And so it did.
There on a lush green growing carpet of grass, an eager bright-eyed Golden Labrador Retriever by the name of Missy Girl came bounding, jumping, rolling, all with the greatest of exuberance. A ball thrown in the air she would leap and catch with ease. Her rawhide bone was hers and hers alone. She would proudly display it as it peered out from her jaw with the iron grip as if to dare somebody to try to take it from her at great risk to limbs. Toys, little girls and little boys together they would forever play if they served her pleasure. Not the powerful sting of bees would damper her zeal for life. Other dogs she’d have gladly entered into combat with had she been allowed but despite her ferocious temper, there’d be no battles for her to fight.
Serving as a source of immense curiosity for her that regal butterfly gracefully landed on the green balsam wood picket fence that safely separated her from the world at large. With flash in her dash, Missy Girl resoundingly ran to the fence as ideas of capturing the odd visitor that dared to violate the bounds of her territory. Alas, the butterfly who had better things to flapped its wings to the breeze to lift itself aloft. Well, Miss Girl was beside herself having been outdone by the intruder. Her whimpers of disappointment carried themselves over to her human parents while they tanned in the sun. “Missy Girl don’t you know why by now that you cannot fly?” Missy Girl dauntedly tip-toed over to her favorite spot under the still barren but budding weeping willow tree spread herself out laid down her head soon thereafter effortlessly falling asleep. Missy Girl would always be just fine thank you very much for asking.
On January 27th which signifies the near-end of a seemingly longer than normal month of 31 days was so much more than that. This day marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day known in Israel as Yom HaShoah whereupon we commemorate the all-consuming hatred of man by the name of Adolf Hitler who orchestrated the murder of six million men, women, and children in Concentration Camps with the now all too familiar names of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Belzec, Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, Chelmno, Dachau, Ebensee, and Flossenbürg. Be it gassing, starvation, shooting or other methods it all came down to mass executions. The Jews had to die! The Jews had to die! Holocaust deniers seek to blot out these pages from history. Anti-Semites rally across the world proudly wearing Swastika’s serving as chilling reminders that it is not out of the realm of possibility it could happen again. When we Jews cry out NEVER AGAIN NEVER AGAIN it must be so that NEVER AGAIN means NEVER AGAIN! שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָֽד׃), Hear O’ Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One
Meanwhile, a candy store in Washington, DC lost funding as a casualty in the war over 5 billion dollars to fund a wall to keep illegal immigrants out of the country. The candy store had been adorned with some of the best candies in addition to other delectable delights. Who would now come to bring candy to the kids who lined up left, right and center? When will it be that the children get their candy back? The candymen wait in vain. All who feasted on this candy knew it was good. It always left them wanting more. More they could always have whenever they wanted. But what will become of these poor children now left without pity? Suits wove of the finest wool. Ties made from the purest silk. Imported black leather shoes that were the best money could buy. The good boys and girls still got their allowance. When it was over the candymen came again. With twitching noses stammering speech they want to know what if? The candymen wonder if Uncle Jared will comfort them again. Will they always be best friends forever as they promised each other?
Cactus are easy to maintain. Sweltering heat is a common dwelling place. Grapefruits can’t withstand cold. The boys are coming back. Getting the strokes back. Building the arm strength up. Pound that zone again. How far will one ball travel this year after it is struck? This is the magical time of the year when we stuff handfuls of popcorn into our mouths. How about some Gatorade or a couple of frosty cold bottles of Coors Light. Think the impossible. This year after all those years that were supposed to be the years may yet be the year. But then again maybe not. Swing hard. Keep your eye on the ball. Don’t overstride when you attack the ball. Pound the strike zone inside. Nasty sinkers. Exploding sliders. 100 MPH heaters. Take me out to the ballgame! There is a bleacher creature inside all of us. Let’s Go Yankees! Let’s Go Yankees! Let’s Go! Yes, it’s almost time for baseball again. Soon all will be well with the world again even if it means we have to put up with John Sterling and Suzyan Waldman. Forgive me but I have to say this: The Mets still su–! My cousin is a great guy but he has to realize that the Mets su–! He’s from Queens (but get this he now lives in Tampa Bay where the Yankees play their Spring Training Home Field Games) while I hail from the Bronx. Therein as they say lays the difference.
I see the world from different pairs of glasses with lenses that are angled in different directions. There are holes where once there was confidence. A fine line is drawn between what you may believe of me than what I feel. My mind knows it has taken me from the land of iron horses, broken elevators, junkies in the stairwells to the boardwalk above the white sandy beach back again a few miniscule miles from where it started. Some days are dominated by darkness, hopelessness, resignation, bitterness, regret, dejection and despair. Other days are just days that are just other days yet a song is singing in my ear as I walk with a smile driving forward on legs that do not lack for strength. There is a sense of belonging when I am in that place where I am not out of place. Strangers and I exchange nods, smiles, and greetings as we stride together or en route elsewhere.
Love in one moment anger in the next yet with shattered nerves a failing memory that still remembers success while driving for it again. Yet, I go on. That is not all there is. All there is may not be all that I am. It’s just living a life that is my life. It is unmanageable as it is unthinkable that although my words do not paint castles in the air or project the sounds of trout streams flowing they have given you over to discomfort or feeling that what is being said has already been said so why the need to say it yet again. Perhaps the point of having said that twice or thrice is that this time the intent is to invoke a different meaning or feel a different feeling. Many holes or cracks have tripped me in the same place as before but this time I knew they were there.
Heavy tolls have been collected from me. I fight a never-ending battle against me. Stress greets me every morning at the foot of the bed or the edge of the couch. My heart pounds with each ring of the doorbell. What envelope whose contents I have not yet seen with an address that looks like another but is not will find its way into the mailbox today? In the middle week of the month of March falls the 13th day that will mark 63 years life has given me. Are there treasures left behind somewhere that will be returned to me?
I could not believe my ears the other day. My Bluetooth nearly popped out of my ear. My fists pumped in the air as I wildly exclaimed YES! No, this was not a dream or a manifestation of my sugar plummeting taking my senses with it. Without further brain teasing, I am going to reveal what was exported into my ear canal. This Spring The Rolling Stones are coming to New York City to rock Madison Square Garden. The greatest rock n roll band in the world will be playing in the heart of the greatest city in the world. The Stones, the Garden, and rock n roll. What could be better than spending a couple of hours with Mick, Keith, Ron, and Charlie?
It’s only rock n roll but I like it.
–It’s Only Rock N Roll, The Rolling Stones.