Not Really Ours

atomic_rhythm_portraitEvery atom you possess has almost certainly passed through several stars and been part of millions of organisms on its way to becoming you.

We each so atomatically numberous and so vigorously recycled at death that a significant number of our atoms – up to a billion for each of us, it has been suggested – probably once belonged to Shakespeare.

A billion more each came from Buddha and Genghis Khan and Beethoven, and any other historical figure you care to name.

~ Bill Bryson

Artwork by Jimmy C. (link)

body & soul



When you have two pennies left,

buy a loaf of bread with one

and a lily with the other.

~ Chinese proverb

To have and hold

A Community Chest volunteer was calling on a tough prospect. “Our financial report shows,” she said, “that you had an income of over $50,000 last year and made no contribution to the Community Chest.”

The prospect stared coldly back at the volunteer. “Does your financial report also show that my mother has an incurable disease that will cost thousands of dollars in operations and hospital care if she is to recover?”

“No, it doesn’t,” admitted the volunteer.

“Does it show that my brother was so badly wounded in the war that he refuses to return to America until certain plastic surgery can be completed and paid for?”

“No,” said the volunteer deeply moved. “How terrible to have one’s family so afflicted.”

“Does it show that my daughter’s husband faces ruin unless he can raise enough money to pay for the flood damage to his little shop?”

Young man who keeps bag full of money, bites girl's hand

“No, it doesn’t.” The embarrassed volunteer got up to leave. “I want you to know that we understand,” she faltered.

“I knew you would,” the prospect answered. “After all, if I am not giving any money to the, how can I justify contributing to the Community Chest?”

Divergent Green

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy
is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way.
Some see nature all ridicule and deformity…
and some scarcely see nature at all.
But to the eyes of the man of imagination,
nature is imagination itself.”~ William Blake

Writing in the Dark

Look, man, we’d probably most of us agree that these are dark times, and stupid ones, but do we need fiction that does nothing but dramatize how dark and stupid everything is?


In dark times, the definition of good art would seem to be art that locates and applies CPR to those elements of what’s human and magical that still live and glow despite the times’ darkness.

Really good fiction could have as dark a worldview as it wished, but it’d find a way to both depict this world and to illuminate the possibilities for being alive and human in it.

~David Foster Wallace

What is Music?

What is music? This question occupied my mind for hours last night before I fell asleep. The very existence of music is wonderful, I might even say miraculous.


Artwork by Pat Perry (link)

Its domain is between thought and phenomena. Like a mediator, it hovers between spirit and matter, related to both and yet differing from each.

It is spirit, but it is spirit subject to the measurement of time.

It is matter, but it is matter that can be dispense with space.

~ Heinrich Heine