2.26.2023 – interpretation

of reality like others
all is subjective

This shading of different realities is only the start.

It gets more fascinating – and much weirder. It’s one thing to allow that there might be an alternative perspective on colour, but quite another to accept that colour doesn’t actually exist outside our brains.

Not only is there no colour, but there’s also no sound or taste or smell.

What we perceive as red, for example, is just radiating energy with a wavelength of around 650 nanometres.

There’s nothing intrinsically red about it; the redness is in our heads.

What we think of as sound is just pressure waves, while taste and smell are no more than different conformations of molecules.

Although our sense organs do a splendid job of detecting each of these, it’s the brain that construes them, converting them into a framework for us to understand that world.

Valuable though this framework is, it’s an interpretation of reality and, like all interpretations, it’s subjective.

From It takes all 53 of our senses to bring the drab external world to life by  Ashley Ward in the Guardian on Feb. 26.

Ms. Ward writes:

Underlying all of this is the brain’s frantic efforts to build its internal model, even though the sensory information it needs to construct that model has been cut off.

The results are odd, though to some they can feel disturbingly real.

But what is reality, and, more generally, what does it mean to be alive?

I repeat, what is reality, and, more generally, what does it mean to be alive?

I am reminded of Mr. Sandburg and his poem happiness.

I asked the professors who teach the meaning of life to tell
me what is happiness.
And I went to famous executives who boss the work of
thousands of men.
They all shook their heads and gave me a smile as though
I was trying to fool with them
And then one Sunday afternoon I wandered out along
the Desplaines river
And I saw a crowd of Hungarians under the trees with
their women and children and a keg of beer and an

To paraphrase Big Bill, Methinks we think too much.


2.25.2023 – on the other side

on the other side
of the small space, that small place
on the other side

I enjoyed the writing in the article As Rams imploded, Sean McVay faded away: How they found their way back to each other by Jourdan Rodrigue, very much even with the number of split infinitives in the text.

Split infinitives are my bête noire of grammar checking even though I was told that no one cares anymore about that.

I persist because it is one of the few forms of bad grammar I can identify and it makes me sound smarter or at least smarter than my phone which persists in telling me to turn left out of my parking lot when I need to turn right to get to work.

It was one short combination of words of Ms. Rodrigue’s that caught me eye and said, do something with these words.

That combination of words was “On the other side of the small space.”

It is in the sentence, “Afterward, half of the locker room sat in stunned silence. One offensive lineman wept, covering his face with his hands. On the other side of the small space, star cornerback and team captain Jalen Ramsey vented to reporters about the offense’s inability to close out the game as other defensive players quietly vented to each other.

On the other side of the small space.

Ken Dryden’s description of the dressing room of the Montreal Canadian’s, in Dryden’s The Game, came to mind.

It has the look and feel of a child’s bedroom. Shin pads, shoulder pads, socks, jocks, gloves, skates, and sweaters lie in twenty little heaps on the floor. Players in various stages of dress move easily about, laughing and shouting in equal measure. It is too big to be intimate, about the size of a large living room, too antiseptic and bright to be cozy. In early morning or late after¬ noon, it appears quite ordinary — fluorescent lights, chrome equipment racks, a red indoor-outdoor carpet, concrete block walls painted white with red and blue trim, a wide gray bench that runs around its borders. Functional, attractive in an institutional sort of way, it is a room that needs people. Only higher, above the chrome racks and near the ceiling, is it clear that this is a dressing room unique to one team.

This was the dressing room in the old Montreal Forum.

When it was torn down, the locker was saved somehow and reconstructed in the National Hockey League Hall of Fame in Toronto.

On the other side of the small space.

It also came to mind that of these small spaces in sports, Football and Basketball use locker rooms.

Hockey has the dressing room.

And Baseball has the clubhouse.

Not wanting to descend in Mr. George Carlin’s Football/Baseball routine but there it is.

Of the clubhouse, in The Boys of Summer, Roger Kahn wrote, “So summer came, tempting and hot, but of all the new scenes what compelled me most strongly was the crowded and drab clubhouse under the right-field grand- stands in Ebbets Field. It was not air-conditioned as clubhouses are today; ventilation came from narrow windows ten feet above the ground. The clubhouse was a long rectangle, with a trainers’ room and a corridor to Dressen’s office opening on the west. Old metal lockers ran around the walls. Reese, as captain, was assigned the first locker along the outside wall. This came with a battered metal door, a rough symbol of eminence since no other locker had a door of any kind. A small electric heater stood nearby. Reese reclined in an old swivel chair someone had found for him once. The other ball players sat on three-legged milkmaid’s stools.

On the other side of the small space.

I like that combination of words.

Maybe that is where the sidewalk ends.

2.24.2023 – enduring as rock

enduring as rock
charming as waves delicate
as seashore – I wish

“I own a rocky point of land in Carmel, Calif. extending into the Pacific Ocean… I am a woman living alone ‒ I wish protection from the wind and privacy from the road and a house as enduring as the rocks but as transparent and charming as the waves and as delicate as a seashore. You are the only man who can do this – will you help me?”

So wrote Della Brooks Walker to Frank Lloyd Wright.

Mr. Wright took up the challenge and the result is known as the The Walker House, the Mrs. Clinton Walker house and the Cabin on the Rocks.

Mr. Wright took up the challenge in a way consistent with his stated view that: No house should ever be on a hill or on anything. It should be of the hill. Belonging to it. Hill and house should live together each the happier for the other.

How can you not be attracted by that statement?

Easy to understand why Mr. Wright has such a devoted following.

As an aside, one my many nephews (I have over 100 or so counting nephews in law) posted photos recently of a visit to Taliesin West, Wright’s place in Arizona.

I asked this nephew if the folks at Taliesin West told them the story of driving to Taliesin East in the middle of the night to dig up Wright’s body and bring it back to Arizona.

I mentioned that while creepy, it wasn’t as creepy as the Taliesin East butler story.

My Nephew responded that the Taliesin West folks DID not talk about the body snatch and that he had to google the Taliesin East butler story.

And nope, I am not going to relay the stories here as you will enjoy doing the google yourself.


So Mr. Wright designed a house that was part of the beach.

The house, the only Wright house on an ocean, was built in 1952,

The house, located in California’s Carmel-by-the-Sea, is in the news and it is for sale for the low low price of $22 million.

I was intrigued to note that along with all of the Wright intended attributes, as explained by wikipedia, that “The house, an example of Wright’s organic architecture, is built on granite boulders, uses the local Carmel-stone, and has a roof the color of the sea that is shaped to resemble the bow of a ship.” but also it is a house you can hear.

I don’t mean that you can hold the house to your ear and hear the sea as if it was a sea shell.

Nor do I mean that just to look at the house, you can hear the waves.

What I mean is that the house has a sound.

The house has the sound of my childhood.

You see, the house was used in the movie.

A movie maybe more famous for its sound track theme than the movie itself.

That movie was titled, The Summer Place.

For me, and for many folks who grew when I grew up, to hear the song, Theme to a Summer Place, will transport them back to a time where that song was heard everywhere, any where all the time.

Click on the video and listen and I know what you will say.

You will say, OH THAT SONG.

I hear it and I am about 8 years old and I am at home, after school and my Mom is making dinner and the radio in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where I grew up, is tuned to WOOD-AM.

I can hear it and I can see it.

And now I will see this house.

The house that you can hear.

As Mr. Wright would have said, “There you are …”

2.21.2023 – unconquerable

unreposed untired unfaded
unmarred unburlesqued

Based on the poem, The Sea Ocean, by Robert Pollok (c. 1798–1827) From The Course of Time Book I.

Great Ocean! strongest of creation’s sons,
Unconquerable, unreposed, untired,
That rolled the wild, profound, eternal bass
In nature’s anthem, and made music such
As pleased the ear of God! original,
Unmarred, unfaded work of Deity!
And unburlesqued by mortal’s puny skill;
From age to age enduring, and unchanged,
Majestical, inimitable, vast,
Loud uttering satire, day and night, on each
Succeeding race, and little pompous work
Of man; unfallen, religious, holy sea!
Thou bowedest thy glorious head to none, fearedst none,
Heardst none, to none didst honor, but to God
Thy Maker, only worthy to receive
Thy great obeisance.

Untowards utterance unlike usage untofor unknown!

2.14.2023 – while I am I, and

while I am I, and
you are you, so long as the
world contains us both

Escape me?
Never —
While I am I, and you are you,
So long as the world contains us both,
Me the loving and you the loth,
While the one eludes, must the other pursue.
My life is a fault at last, I fear:
It seems too much like a fate, indeed!
Though I do my best I shall scarce succeed.
But what if I fail of my purpose here?
It is but to keep the nerves at strain,
To dry one’s eyes and laugh at a fall,
And, baffled, get up and begin again,
So the chase takes up one’s life, that’s all.
While, look but once from your farthest bound
At me so deep in the dust and dark,
No sooner the old hope goes to ground
Than a new one, straight to the self-same mark,
I shape me—

Life in a Love by Robert Browning

2.13.2023 – neon abstractions

neon abstractions
give the illusion we have
dispelled puzzlement

Edward Hopper’s New York, the sumptuous exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, gives us one more chance to retire — at least for a decent interval — those once glamorous words that have come to dominate, and increasingly suffocate, our experience of Hopper’s paintings: alienation, loneliness, voyeurism, the uncanny.

Such neon abstractions give us the illusion that we have dispelled the puzzlement we often feel in front of Hopper’s strange compositions.

What they actually do is give us license to stop looking at the pictures, causing us to miss crucial aspects of his achievement, such as his pervasive and peculiar sense of humor.

A painter who features an ad for Ex-Lax in a moody nocturne of a corner drugstore isn’t just concerned with alienation.

From Buildings Come to Life, by Christopher Benfey in the New York Review of Books.

2.8.2023 – everybody trapped

everybody trapped
was a no-past no-future
state of existence

In a one page reminiscence, Mr. Zach Holland writes in the article, The Lost New Jersey Photographs of Henri Cartier-Bresson, in the New Yorker, (2/13/2023) about photographer, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and the effort made to follow and make documentary of the photographer as he tried to capture the essence of New Jersey with his camera.

This took place in 1975.

Why New Jersey?

“Because people make such a funny face when you mention New Jersey,” said Cartier-Bresson.

A man named Peter Cunningham was assigned to be Cartier-Bresson’s assistant and Mr. Cunningham recalled that New Jersey was “… was a no-past, no-future state of existence.

Mr. Holland writes that, “To Cartier-Bresson, a master of formal composition, the confinement appealed. “Everybody is trapped by something,” he told Evans.

“For me, liberty is a strict frame of reference, and inside that frame of reference all the variations are possible.”

The project fell apart as the documentary was to be on television and the producer said they would have to crop photographs to fit the 4×3 aspect ratio of the TV.

Cartier-Bresson felt that once he snapped the picture, the image was complete and any alteration was a “degeneration.”

The documentary was never made and the photographs have sat on a shelf since 1975 and are just now being released.

It is an odd thing about photographs is that I have long argued that the camera eliminated the need for mastering a craft like sculpture or painting.

The camera, as far as tools went, leveled the playing field between artists and others.

That’s the concept.

Somehow though the artist still makes a difference.

Is it that because the artist has the title, we look at the pictures created by the artist with a different respect?

I don’t know.

I look at this image of the cars waiting to cross the George Washington Bridge.

At the same time its just a picture of a bunch of cars and it is also a photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Henri Cartier-Bresson, the champion of the decisive moment.

I know what Henri Cartier-Bresson wanted to capture.

And I look at the photograph of the cars and I ask myself, what did Henri Cartier-Bresson see?

What makes this moment the decisive moment?

Here is expressed that liberty is a strict frame of reference, and inside that frame of reference all the variations are possible.

All these cars.

All these people in the cars.

Everyone trapped.

A no-past, no-future state of existence.

Its also a picture of a bunch of cars.

Maybe this is what is meant when they say and artist just holds up the mirror and you see what you bring in front of the mirror.

I count seven kids in the photo of the kids running across the street.

Seven kids.

Seven stories.

I want to know … what’s in the bag for lunch?

2.7.2023 sound, like the tone of

sound, like the tone of
that bell – then passing away …
a thing that was not

THERE are certain half-dreaming moods of mind, in which we naturally steal away from noise and glare, and seek some quiet haunt, where we may indulge our reveries and build our air castles undisturbed.

In such a mood I was loitering about the old gray cloisters of Westminster Abbey, enjoying that luxury of wandering thought which one is apt to dignify with the name of reflection.

I sought to take refuge from their noise by penetrating still deeper into the solitudes of the pile, and applied to one of the vergers for admission to the library.

How much, thought I, has each of these volumes, now thrust aside with such indifference, cost some aching head!

How many weary days!

How many sleepless nights!

How have their authors buried themselves in the solitude of cells and cloisters; shut themselves up from the face of man, and the still more blessed face of nature; and devoted themselves to painful research and intense reflection!

And all for what?

To occupy an inch of dusty shelf — to have the title of their works read now and then in a future age, by some drowsy churchman or casual straggler like myself; and in another age to be lost, even to remembrance.

Such is the amount of this boasted immortality.

A mere temporary rumor, a local sound; like the tone of that bell which has just tolled among these towers, filling the ear for a moment—lingering transiently in echo — and then passing away like a thing that was not.

From The Mutability of Literature A colloquy in Westminster Abbey by Washington Irving (1783-1859) in The Oxford Book of American Essays (NEW YORK, OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS, 1914).

Mr. Irving wrote this out after looking through the bookcase upon bookcase of books in the library at Westminster Abbey.

It came to mind as I walked through the aisle upon aisle of books at the Bookstore on the Hill in Richmond Hill, GA.

I met the owner but did not think to ask if the Bookstore on the Hill was in reference to the town of Richmond Hill or to the sermon of John Winthrop.

All those books.

To occupy an inch of dusty shelf — to have the title of their works read now and then in a future age, by some drowsy churchman or casual straggler like myself; and in another age to be lost, even to remembrance.

2.6.2023 – people who dream know

people who dream know
special happiness which world
of the day holds not

People who dream when they sleep at night, know of a special kind of happiness which the world of the day holds not, a placid ecstasy, and ease of heart, that are like honey on the tongue.

They also know that the real glory of dreams lies in their atmosphere of unlimited freedom.

It is not the freedom of the dictator, who enforces his own will on the world, but the freedom of the artist, who has no will, who is free of will.

The pleasure of the true dreamer does not lie in the substance of the dream, but in this: that there things happen without any interference from his side, and altogether outside his control.

Great landscapes create themselves, long splendid views, rich and delicate colours, roads, houses, which he has never seen or heard of.

Strangers appear and are friends or enemies, although the person who dreams has never done anything about them.

The ideas of flight and pursuit are recurrent in dreams and are equally enrapturing.

Excellent witty things are said by everybody.

It is true that if remembered in the day-time they will fade and lose their sense, because they belong to a different plane, but as soon as the one who dreams lies down at night, the current is again closed and he remembers their excellency.

All the time the feeling of immense freedom is surrounding him and running through him like air and light, an unearthly bliss.

From the book, Out of Africa (1937) by Karen Blixen (1885-1962).

2.1.2023 – even if was on

even if was on
the right track, could be living
in wrong century

I really believed that I was on the right track, but that did not mean that I would necessarily reach my goal.

It could be that the methods needed to take the next step may simply be beyond present day mathematics.

Perhaps the methods I needed to complete the proof would not be invented for a hundred years.

So even if I was on the right track, I could be living in the wrong century.

So says mathematician Andrew Wiles in the documentary, The Proof, that was broadcast by NOVA on PBS on October 28, 1997.

For some reason, I watched it.

I was married, three kids and I watch a documentary on how someone figured out something called Fermat’s Last Theorem, a math puzzle from 1637 that proved that no number worked in the equation an + bn = cn.

I cannot for the life of me tell you why I watched this program.

I never watched NOVA.

I never liked math.

But I watched it.

And I remembered it.

The show was very well done and it was very engaging.

The story has stayed with me ever since.

As did one other thing.

The sound track music.

Never saw the show again but the repetitive left hand bass scale on the piano in the theme music has rattled around in my brain for more than 25 years.

I am not sure why I thought of this today but I did.

It is as if there are layers of my thought processes and these layers have very small holes in them and these layers all revolve and spin inside each other and once in awhile, some of the holes line up and an old, odd hidden thought or memory falls out.

And old, odd thought or memory.

And the world wide web.

Match made in heaven.

I got on the Google and my first search was ‘old math theory solved’.

After a few clicks I got to Fermat and his Last Theorem.

A few more clicks on Fermat and Nova, I got to the show, which was titled, as I said, The Proof and it was about a man named Andrew Wiles and his effort to prove, or write a mathematical proof, that no number worked in an + bn = cn was indeed correct.

It needed to be proved because this feller Fermat SAID he proved it, but neglected to leave a copy of his proof around as proof.

So the math world fixated on matching Fermat and his proof or, at least, proving that Fermat was fibbing.

The story is told in an almost spell binding manner and you can watch it again (click here) and it is worth the 57 minutes to watch.

You will feel the thud of Mr. Wiles disappointment when he thinks he has it down but a further examination of his work shows he did not.

I had found the show AND once again, I heard the background music.

I have to say it was almost as exciting to hear the long lost music again as it was to watch these fellers work out the math problem.

I scrolled to the credits but no credit was given for the music so I was back at square one.

I knew the Internet Movie Database often gave sound track info but it was a dead end.

I went to wikipedia in hopes that maybe some lost soul (those souls that wikipedia what it is) had made the effort to create an episode guide to NOVA that listed any and all pertinent production facts about each episode.

The beauty of Wikipedia is that you just never know.

Wikipedia did indeed have a page that listed each episode of NOVA.

But the information for each entry was not much more than a TV Guide blurb about the show.

The list was listed by date and I scrolled down to 1997 and found the entry for the The Proof.

By chance, the entry had a small foot note that linked to a now dead archive for the now dead producer of the show, a Mr. Simon Singh.

The page was made available through a web feature knows as the WAY BACK MACHINE.

An odd thing of the World Wide Web is that content has been being added to the WWW since it was invented in 1991.

As we all know the INTERET is as old as computers and goes back to when computers were first connected by phone to create an Inter Network back in the ’60s.

The World Wide Web of information that lives on the internet was created in the ’90s.

You can win a bar bet by claiming the person next to you doesn’t know the difference between the Internet and the WWW but I digress.

To this day, NO ONE has created an effective way to clean up the WWW.

No one is 100% sure what data is needed and what isn’t, so everything more or less just stays in place.

Websites use something called DNS or Domain Name Servers to connect a site URL (Universal Resource Locator IE: nohaikuforyou.com) with the actual information in that site using technology not too far removed from the old telephone switch board.

If a site loses its IP (Internet Protocol) or place on the WWW, the site is still there, the hole the operator would plug in the phone line connector, is still there but empty, the URL is just not connected through the DNS.

So all this info is out there somewhere and sometimes it finds a home through the WAYBACKMACHINE.

And the page I found was a page were the producer of The Proof told how it was made.

I read through a fascinating batch of info about the show but nothing on the music.

There was in the margin one more link that said, BEHIND THE SCENES.

And on the Behind the Scenes page, I came across this paragraph.

Music is a crucial part of the editing process and finding the right music is always a satisfying achievement. One evening, after a long day of editing, Horacio and I decided to head out for a pizza prior to more editing and a late night session. It was in the Pizza Express on Shepherds Bush Green that we heard the music that we had been searching for. The waiter told us that it was the Penguin Cafe Orchestra, and the next day we ordered up every album that they had ever released. Their music would pepper the final cut.

Isn’t that fabulous?

We heard the music that we had been searching for!

All this time, I had been searching for the Penguin Cafe Orchestra and never knew it.

The music is titled Perpetum Mobile and I created an MP3 for you to download and hear for yourself – click here.

I warn you that the music has a punch-brothers-punch quality to it and you may hear it your brain for the next 25 years.

Intrigued, I searched out the Penguin Cafe Orchestra and learned from wikipedia that the PCO was founded by Simon Jeffes who, “After becoming disillusioned with the rigid structures of classical music and the limitations of rock, in which he also dabbled, Simon Jeffes became interested in the relative freedom in folk music and decided to imbue his work with the same immediacy and spirit.”

Wikipedia went to say that one day when Jeffes was on the beach a poem popped into his head that …

started out ‘I am the proprietor of the Penguin Cafe, I will tell you things at random’ and it went on about how the quality of randomness, spontaneity, surprise, unexpectedness and irrationality in our lives is a very precious thing.

And if you suppress that to have a nice orderly life, you kill off what’s most important.

Whereas in the Penguin Cafe your unconscious can just be.

It’s acceptable there, and that’s how everybody is.

There is an acceptance there that has to do with living the present with no fear in ourselves.

Is that not also fabulous? (I have to find this poem – stay tuned.)

There is an acceptance there that has to do with living the present with no fear in ourselves!

I like that.

I like that a lot.

(I really like that it came about on the beach as I do a lot of my best thinking on the beach lately).

YES, THERE IS A lot going on here and I hope to come to a point soon.

First, let me say that I was searching for something that I didn’t know existed.

It was hinted at by my memory but I didn’t know what.

The Penguin Cafe Orchestra.

The Proof was about a man, searching for something in mathematics that was hinted at by Mr. Fermat but the feller in question, Mr. Wiles, didn’t know what.

Just a nice happenstance I guess.

Second point, I started with an old, odd thought and look where this came to an end.


What can be done today online!


Lastly is the quote I started with.

So even if I was on the right track, I could be living in the wrong century.

I once heard this tune that someone once heard in a pizza parlor in London over 25 years ago.

With the tools at my finger tips, I tracked that tune down.

Let me tell you, what I great century this is to live in.

A century with problems to be sure.

But there is an acceptance there that has to do with living the present with no fear in ourselves!

I think of the problems of this century and of the last few years and I think of the FEAR that pervades those years.

Pervade is such a perfect word.

The fear that is spread through and perceived in every part of those years.

But there is an acceptance there that has to do with living the present with no fear in ourselves!

I am going to forward with God and without fear.

Buy your guns if you have that fear.

Vote those books out of your library if you have that fear.

Close your borders if you have that fear.


I am going to embrace the quality of randomness, spontaneity, surprise, unexpectedness and irrationality that is in our lives is and hold them be very precious things.

I am going to embrace the idea that if you suppress these very precious things to have a nice orderly life, you kill off what’s most important!

I will let my unconscious just be and search out those old, odd thoughts when they come to mind.

As good ol’ FDR said, the only thing we have to fear is fear itself and BOY HOWDY but did he have things, real things to fear about!

I hope to go on living the present with no fear in ourselves!

What a great century to live in!