Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Prism Post

Today I received an email about a humpback whale. I like to verify with Snopes to see if these interesting stories are true; this one is. For some reason when these cool stories are true they get dumbed down and mythologized in the email versions. An example of this is the Josh Bell subway story; the original article won a Pulitzer prize and was outstanding writing, the email version - not so much. Here's a piece about the whale who seems to have said thanks. (Photo of humpback whale eye by Dirk Bruin).

I've been asked how I choose what I post, and the questioners seem to expect some kind of methodological answer. No. I post in the moment; either what's happening in the moment externally or what I am thinking about.

Every now and then I do a meta post, blog about blogging: Last night, after the fast, before I ate, I stayed in Shul and wrote an acrostic poem about what I was feeling. It got lost. Sigh. Maybe it was a sign that I shouldn't share it. The night before, Tisha B'Av night, I gave a shiur and was going to read my own kinnah in my conclusion but had forgotten to take it out of by knapsack. I took it as a sign to not share it.

I got a hair cut today. The barber hurt me, scratched my neck up good and blamed it on my sensitive skin. That leads me to share that I'm not a fan of my baldness or my grey/white hair. I don't feel like doing the comb-over or the hair dye. I try to just be, but it's not easy. I'm thinking of shaving off the beard, so there's a little less white hair on my face. The mustache is still all brown, not even gray. Hmm.

That reminds me that I'm not thrilled about my strabismus (a condition which prevents bringing the gaze of both eyes to the same point in space) or my scoliosis (curved spine). I think Erikson would agree that the effects of being a boy who can't hack sports takes a toll. Sometimes I list things I'm grateful about, for the moment though, I kvetch. I don't like being overweight, which is easier to fix than some of the other things on my list (like my twisted toe - which my grandmother would work on straightening when I stayed over). I also need to check into my chronic stomach discomfort, not to mention some freckles (oops). (The photo on the left is a recent picture of me and my strabismus; without meaning to I tilt my head as a compensation; it gets a my eyes more aligned).

According to Wikipedia (click link for a strong, detailed article),"Strabismus can be either a disorder of the brain in coordinating the eyes, or of one or more of the relevant muscles' power or direction of motion."That line scares me, I mean the suggestion that its a disorder of the brain. It shakes me up because it rings true and awakens deep seeded fears. It upsets me because it means that even if I have another operation it won't correct the issue of seeing without depth perception and of being unsafe to drive. A procedure on eye muscle and tissue can't correct a disorder of the brain. No wonder the eye surgeons peddling the operation never use the term "disorder of the brain." (Pictured is a textbook case of strabismus).

Over lunch today a friend told me about a speech, which is now a book, by David Foster Wallace. It's called "This is Water." Now that it's been published as a book I can't seem to find the transcript online. From what I read about it, it sounds smart and dark. I hope to check out the book.

I don't have a picture of my own spine, not handy. But on the left is the picture from the Wikipedia article. Rachmanah litzlan - an adult I know recently went through serious surgery and complications related to her scoliosis. May she have a refuah shleimah, as it's serious. I am perhaps Wikipedia's biggest fan; their article on scoliosis is outstanding.

It is now Week Four - Day Three. But the counting is off because of Tisha B'Av, a timeless day. It's the beginning of the middle. Time to get moving on appointments and meetings and purchases and publishing. Time to enjoy refuge and rejuvenation as a new school/work year approaches.

Tennis Lessons

A tennis teacher loves tennis and loves teaching others to improve their game. When someone is mandated to go for lessons, doesn't bring a racket and if he brings it he continues to hold it upside down lesson after lesson, it must be frustrating, I imagine, for the tennis instructor. And when someone comes who can volley with the instructor and loves the game and wants nothing more than to play and improve, it must bring the instructor great joy. It makes sense that whoever runs the club should make sure to get tennis pros as instructors and give them all balanced loads; some of the unmotivated ones who can't keep their eyes on the court, and some of the adept and even gifted tennis athletes. Heavy loads of working with the former can cause burnout, and yet it must be wonderful when the instructors help some of those tough customers. A heavy load of the latter must be great for the pro's game, but as a dedicated professional they surely feel the need to reach out to all of their clientele. It's also most fair that everyone learns how to cater to everyone who comes to the club.

Good night and G-d bless
everyone in every place
every pot and lid


Blogger Pesach Sommer said...

Frisch Tennis Club?

July 24, 2010 at 10:11 PM  

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