Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Tuesday, 2017.05.30
When they discover the center of the universe, a lot of people will be
disappointed to discover they are not it.

		Bernard Bailey

2008.07.08

What A Difference A Door Makes

Wow.

I’ve wanted a new front door for 14 years. It was always on the plan…for next year. It closed. It locked…mostly. And there was always some other priority. Usually something cancer related. So it stayed. Today, that changed. Before…

And after (but still untrimmed and unpainted)…

For the first time ever, my front hall is filled with natural light in the evening. It makes it look and feel more like a home than it has in near 4 years. Maybe there is hope yet for this house of busted dreams.

[Edit History]

2008.07.09

Fixed typos and grammar.

2008.05.19

Road Report

This story begins where it has ended, with me in New York City cheerily, albeit weary and fighting a ugly head cold (more on that later), clicking away at the keyboard of this fine laptop provided by my employer (assuming “fine” includes the fact it doesn’t recognize the power cable half the time and looses track of the touchpad, thus requiring a reboot) at 2+ AM in the Belvedere hotel. Belvedere, by the way, is French for “Not the hotel booked by Corporate Travel for Greg”, just so you know. I’ve only been here a half hour, but so far this place is GREAT!

I had been booked to stay at the Hilton Garden Inn. The week before I had been put up at the Novotel, which is a bit of a dive in a Euro sort of way, so I figured the Hilton had to be better. While the staff was friendly and helpful, the accommodations were lacking. Arriving so late, my options were for a non-smoking room with two queen sized beds or a smoking room with a king sized bed. (Sidebar: Walking this planet with a 6’5″ frame means there is no such thing as a “king” sized bed. There are either “regular” sized beds, small beds, really damn uncomfortably small beds and cribs. When I travel, my best shot at any thing resembling a decent night sleep is a “king” sized bed.) Ah, but non-smoking trumps king sized bed so I took the non-smoking room. Ready to turn in, I slipped the door key card into the slot and pushed the door open.

Wild horses will not pull out of me what I saw. Let’s just say the room wasn’t available and that it was VERY much in use. What fun to be the scary stranger in the doorway at 1:00 AM. Thanks, Hilton!

The front desk agent was very apologetic and comped me free breakfasts for my stay (I don’t eat breakfast.) That left the smoking king. Ugh. Thinking (or not thinking very well, as it turns out) this head cold would block out the smoke smell, I took the room. After all, it’s New York City and it’s pushing 1:00 AM. What are my options?

Well, the entire floor stunk. The room really stunk and when I pulled back the covers, I looked around to see who it was that was standing behind me that just lit up a cigarette. The stench of cigarette smoke permeated everything and if I didn’t get out of there fast, my clothes and my person would stink of smoke for the duration of my stay. The collection of Good Ideas generally doesn’t include reeking of smoke in business meetings involving Ogilvy in the heart of New York City. Well, at least I was thinking again.

So back down to the desk to press for better options. The desk clerk called around to a couple of hotels and sent me over to the Belvedere. Did I mention this place is GREAT? It’s 100% non-smoking. And check this out, the soap is from England! Penhaligon’s Quercus soap.

OooooOOOOooOoooo. Fancy! Novotel just had a cake of stuff in shrink wrap labeled “soap.” I kid you not.

So it’s better at the moment, but this head cold is in the Noseagra Falls stage. I packed something like 8 handkerchiefs to deal with it over the next two days. I can thank being sealed in an aluminum can for 4+ hours last Friday as I flew home from New York City. The guy across the aisle was constantly sneezing and sniffling (like me now) and had a penchant for not covering his face when aerosolizing his wretched illness. But I feel his pain now. There’s nothing quite like a head cold across altitude shifts from 5,000 feet to 36,000 feet to 200 feet to really make one ponder the science of hydraulics.

I love road warrior stories, especially when they happen to someone else.

Well, time to find a pillow. I have to wake up and be charming in six hours.

[Edit History]

2008.19.2008 – 02:35 AM

Coolness. They even have a bath robe for me here. Too bad it’s for a guy about 18 inches shorter across the shoulders than I.

2008.01.13

Fat. It’s The New Thin

 So much for being victims. It’s now a choice:

As adult obesity balloons in the United States, being overweight has become less of a health hazard and more of a lifestyle choice, the author of a new book argues.

“Obesity is a natural extension of an advancing economy. As you become a First World economy and you get all these labor-saving devices and low-cost, easily accessible foods, people are going to eat more and exercise less,” health economist Eric Finkelstein told AFP.

Can’t wait for Detroit to start pushing out that new 8 mpg SUV – The 2009 Chubba Bubba.

2007.12.05

Doing The Jobs Illegal Aliens Won’t Do

Michelle Malkin asks: What was your worst job?

In high school, I did dock/janitor work for The Denver Dry company, which included cleaning the bathrooms. Having grown up with five sisters, there were no illusions on my part in regard what girls are capable of. Nonetheless, the lady’s bathroom chore was far and away the worse part of that job. “Powder my nose” masks all manner of…er…um…well…ah…gack…

But that job pales in comparison to the work I did in nursing homes for three years while working my way through college. There was much to that job which was rewarding and much that I’d rather not think about. Frankly, makes picking lettuce, mowing lawns, cleaning homes and working construction all look like a walk in the park. My take away lessons from that experience included a healthy respect, even at that age, for my elders, a good diet, exercise and retirement plans.

What made it possible to work these jobs was the belief they were stepping stones to better opportunities. I remember having a sense of the need to “pay my dues” in the trenches, as it were. Having worked these jobs lead to a much greater appreciation of the success I enjoyed later in life. Nearing 30 years later, I still remember those early jobs and the lessons I learned.

2007.10.30

Project Valour-IT – 2007

It’s time again to contribute to Project Valour-IT (Voice-Activated Laptops for OUR Injured Troops). Like last year, I’ve kicked in $100 and joined the Marines (gotta support the boots on the ground) lead by Soldiers’ Angel – Holly Aho.

This is a good use of technology. The voice recognition software is quite impressive and continues to improve.

Please note:

Division among military teams is purely for the purpose of friendly competition. Any blogger may join any team and all money raised supports the wounded as needed, regardless of branch of service.

2007.06.25

The Soul Full Cup

That’s where I am, at the moment. The “Soul Full Cup” coffee house on Market Street in Corning, New York. It has it all – ambiance, WiFi, and most importantly, excellent coffee. A special shout out to my nephew, David. This is his favorite place to enjoy a cup of java and many thanks for sharing the wisdom. At 20, the man has soul. True, dat.

Soul Full Cup

2007.05.27

Beverage-Through-The-Nose Award For Ann Althouse

I’ve been intending to resurrect the old Java Zen awards here on the blog, but just haven’t been inspired to actually do the work. But this morning, I was inspired. While reading a post on Althouse, a classic beverage spewing moment occurred and a brief pause followed while coffee was cleaned off the computer monitor.

I’m late to the whole exchange between several blogs regarding a pill that ends menstruation. Within this exchange, Eugene Volokh comments:

It’s been amazing seeing my wife and other women deal with her first pregnancy. Immediately upon announcing to the world she’s pregnant, my wife was part of the “in crowd.” Every mother–whether she knew my wife well or not–could smile and talk about morning sickness, or finding out the baby’s gender, or feeling bloated, etc.

To which Althouse responds in award winning fashion:

Oh, for the love of…. like it’s a big, fun sorority. I’d rather be able to use my own body to write my name in the snow.

So here’s to Ann Althouse, and thanks for providing one of the better laughs I’ve had in a good long while.

2007.04.15

Being Physically Sick Is Better Than…

…watching daytime television.

I was sick for a few days last week. Bad cold. When ever bugs like that descend upon my person for a visit, my distinct preference is to be sick 100% and push through the fight toward wellness. It’s rare when I’ll take medication of any sort. And all the cold/flu fix-it-up potions and pills from the Super Drugs-R-Us Store do squat for 1) making me feel better and 2) shortening the illness. My immune system is faaaaaaaaar more capable of accomplishing the task of returning to health than any pharmaceutically manufactured cold remedy could ever be. Supporting my body’s natural abilities toward optimum health is where I put the effort. So it’s lots of sleep, soups, teas and generally sweating through it.

Convalescing as I was, I tuned into broadcast television for the first time in over 18 months. I don’t have cable and except for the occasional nature show on PBS, the only thing showing on my television set was fed in through the DVD player. (Netflix is your friend!) Watching for about an hour had me feeling worse than before, and not just because of the cold. Flipping through the channels (all 10 or so of the regular broadcast channels) revealed nothing but crap. The sinking feeling I got, the feeling that had me feeling generally worse than before tuning in, was that people, lots of them, are actually watching this junk and most likely enjoying it. And as far as the news…the phrase “sound bite” suggests a generous portion of information when compared to what is actually delivered. That’s what passes for reporting? Being fed such nano-news nuggets leaves viewers with the feeling they are “informed?”

Broadcast television will continue to be excluded from my diet. And I won’t even have to work at it.

I found repair after a few moments with the elegant splendor of nature. The tulips survived the snow…

Tulips

…and the apple blossoms are on the verge of exploding.

Apple Blossoms

Alas, I will miss this treasured proclaimation of Spring this year as work will have me on the road this coming week. Hey, do you suppose hotel television is better in that margarine sort of way? I’ll explore and report back.

2007.03.25

WhaaaaaaaaaaHOOOOOOOO!

The Sammy Flyer has arrived!

Sammy Flyer 1

Here she is just before her first test ride. The bike arrived a couple of weeks ago, sans one key part which had to be sent separately. While waiting for the part, I assembled the pieces and tuned as best I could. I recognized all the parts, the the sum is rather alien, however.

Cool. But what the heck is that thing?

It’s a Linear Recumbent 3.0 bicycle custom built to fit my frame. In fact, it’s the second 3.0 Linear Recumbent built.

After Janet died, sitting amidst the wreckage of what had been our life together, I made a promise to myself that I would no longer accept, in so far as it was possible, living as a 6′ 5″ man in a world built for 5′ 6″ people. I began by replacing my wardrobe with clothes designed to look good on a frame my size. That’s expensive enough, but it wouldn’t stop there. When I decided to find a bike that fit, I was willing to go custom there, too. But there was more.

When the quest for a bike began, I had been studying cello for all of one month. This made the traditional bike design out of the question. After even relatively short rides, my neck would hurt from having to essentially tilt my head back as far as it would go just to look straight ahead, my lower back would hurt from compensating for the odd angle of my neck, my hands and wrists would be close to numb and my ass would hurt from the crappy seat design (all the seat designs were crappy for a guy my size.) All of these things are very bad for the emerging cellist.

I had seen a recumbent bike in an REI store sometime in the mid 1990’s. By then Janet was already fighting breast cancer and a $750 bike was just beyond reach. Didn’t matter anyway. The thing was waaaaaaay to small for my frame. I don’t remember the model, but it really was designed for someone around 5 feet tall. But it left an impression. “Someone must make one for my size frame,” I thought.

I don’t remember when or how I found Linear. But when I did, the recognition was instantaneous. “That’s it! That’s the bike for me!” When I met the opportunity to act on the dream, I made the call. That was 18 months ago. The original Linear company had been bought out by the folks at The Bicycle Man in Alford Station, New York, and they took it upon themselves to improve the design. And that pretty much explains the past 18 months. At least once a month I would call Peter Stull to find out how his re-engineering was progressing. Almost to a fault, Peter would explain what he was doing, how the testing was going, what the design, engineering or production problems were. But I say “almost.” A few times I called just for a quick update as I was between meetings or some such, but he always managed to keep me on the line for 15-20 minutes. Truly, I enjoyed these conversations.

First Test Ride

Simply put, the most fun I’ve had on two wheels since the gurney races in the long gone “catacombs” between Craig and Swedish Hospitals in the early 1980’s (That turn into the ramp just before the boiler room was tricky!) WhaaaaaaaaaaHOOOOOOOO!

Here she is, post ride – a 12 mile ride along the Highline Canal Trail.

Sammy Flyer 2

There are a few new things to learn about riding a recumbent, particularly if the bike has below the set steering. Your balance is different because the center of gravity isn’t what you are used to with a regular bike. The mere act of peddling seems to throw the rider in a constant state of imbalance. That is, until you get the hang of it. I found I was making constant micro adjustments to the steering as I rode just to keep in balance. I suppose that happens with a regular bike, but not in the same way. No big deal, and this may change as my body gets more familiar with what it feels like to ride this bike and how to keep my balance.

There are a few design changes I would like to make to the bike, perhaps in concert with Peter. There is great potential to make this a long distance buggy par excellence. This is not a bike for racing. It’s designed and built for comfort, not for speed. It’s built to carry the rider great distances in relative comfort.

And so it did. Following my 12 mile maiden ride, the only thing that hurt were my thighs. And that’s what I expected. No neck pain. No wrist and hand pain. No lower back pain. Sweeeeeeeeeeeeet!

The Sammy Flyer?

The Christmas before last, my brother-in-law, Roy, and his stellar wife, Amy, sent along some cash to help me in my quest for The Bike. I told them this secured for them the naming rights for The Bike. And so it is named after my charming niece, Samantha, or “Sammy.”

I’m working on a more thorough review to be posted. But I just had to get this sneak preview out.

WhaaaaaaaaaaHOOOOOOOO!

2007.03.21

The Passing of Cathy Seipp

This is a great loss.

Cathy was one of the few bloggers I followed consistently. I admired her writing style, enjoyed her humor, and delighted in the way she could both nudge the reader into thinking about things differently as well as deliver the proverbial slap shot to wake the reader up.

Her latest battle with lung cancer paralleled Janet’s final struggle and so I had a pretty good idea what was coming. Doesn’t make this loss any easier by any measure. Blessings to Cathy, her family and friends. As with Janet, I find solace in knowing she is no longer suffering. She shall continue to be a treasured source of inspiration for writing, for living.

Peace be the journey.

More on Pajamas Media.

[Edit History]

2007.03.21

Official obituary in the LA Times is here. More on Hot Air and Little Green Footballs.

2007.03.22

And Michelle Malkin.

2007.03.05

Beneath Snow…

…is the ground. And beneath the ground, are the crocus.

Crocus

Or so it was until this morning. There were robins in the trees on Friday. Spring is approaching.

2007.01.21

Operating Room Tantrum

Ouch. But you’ll be delighted to know the surgeon “has already been punished enough after having his medical licence [sic] suspended.” Suspended, not revoked.

The medical costs will be paid by the hospital’s insurer, but doctors’ unions have criticised [sic] the decision that the money for the damages has to be paid by the doctor.

They say the move sets a dangerous precedent and that Professor Ciomu, a urologist and lecturer in anatomy, has already been punished enough after having his medical licence [sic] suspended.

A “dangerous precedent?” Dangerous? The Romanian doctors’ union needs a better understanding of what “dangerous” means. An unstable surgeon with a knife standing over an unconscious patient is dangerous.

Vice-president of the Romanian Doctors Union, Vasile Astarastoae, said: ‘Ciomu’s case is a dangerous precedent for all Romanian doctors. In future doctors may have to think very carefully about what work they undertake.’

Because obviously, the last thing you want is a doctor thinking carefully about the work they’re doing.

Obviously, if you are a Romanian doctor, that is. Consequences for destructive behavior commensurate with the damage done are a good thing. It’s the difference between dangerous and deterrence.

[The surgeon] told the court it was a temporary loss of judgement due to personal problems.

No kidding. I wonder if the physically damaged patient, in lieu of the monetary damages awarded by the court, would be allowed a moment alone with the good doctor for a “temporary loss of judgement due to personal problems” of his own. It is stunning to see other Romanian doctors circle the wagons around Naum “The Hacker” Ciomu, referring to his mutilating conniption as “a mistake.”

I have to say, though, the caption to the picture in the article is, shall we say, rather ill conceived.

[Edit History]

2007.01.21

Added thoughts related to the position taken by the Romanian doctors’ union.

2007.01.11

“Natural” – The New “New And Improved!”

I’m not surprised the marketing mavens interested in pushing as much bilge water and the like at the least possible cost for the highest possible price would slap the word “Natural” on their products:

Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading farm animal shelter and advocacy organization today criticized the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) “natural” label as misleading and meaningless. The organization submitted comments to the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) of the USDA opposing the “natural” label on products from animals raised on industrialized factory farms or “derived from animals whose lives have been otherwise altered and manipulated in blatantly unnatural ways.”

People want to trust the producers of their food stuff and are easily assuaged by soft, fluffy and friendly words like “Natural”, “Wholesome” and “Enriched”. The producers know this and exploit it to maximize profits.

A nationwide Zogby International poll of 1,013 likely voters, conducted from January 5 through January 9, 2007, found that 73 percent consider it “inappropriate” to label meat, milk or eggs from animals kept confined indoors, crowded in cages, and standing on metal or concrete floors as “natural.” In addition, the poll showed that consumers prefer to purchase foods labeled as “natural” over those without such a label.

Well, “Fie!” to the likely voters. The large food factories think such ways of treating animals so as to maximizes profits is quite natural. It must be, after all, consumers keep buying without complaint or apparent concern. All’s well in the all natural market economy. So naturally, they put “natural” on the packaging. Thing is, they’re not to be faulted. They’re doing what large businesses do. They are doing what the market (that just might include you) demands.

Words like “natural” are highly subjective nominalizations. It means to consumers what they want it to mean. Many consumers may not care if their food was “derived from animals whose lives have been otherwise altered and manipulated in blatantly unnatural ways.” Maybe all they want to know is that it’s carbon based and, like the famous Powdermilk Biscuits, good for them mostly. So the word “natural” on the package will give the consumer a warm fuzzy about buying the product. And unless the word “enriched” is followed by the word “uranium”, that one is likely to make them feel like the food producer really cares about them.

What’s a consumer to do? More laws that end up being gutted or ignored? I think the better approach is to express yourself by where you put your dollars. Read beyond the label and make more informed choices about the food you buy. Read Nina Planck’s book, “Real Food”, as a start. It’s not hard and actually not much more expensive. Certainly not when you factor in the long term issues of better health and attitude. Demanding and seeking better quality food is less expensive in the long run. But it’s a choice you have to make and a responsibility you have to take.

2007.01.03

The Helping Hand

Normally, when eating an orange, I like to carefully peel the skin away and enjoy each perfectly portioned slice. Such was the goal when I sat down this evening to cruise a few favorite blogs and catch up on what’s been happening. What I happened to be reading as I started peeling the orange caused one of those nanosecond wince-flinches that resulted in the orange being torn near in half.

Orange

It brought forward some painful memories. I was reading one of Cathy Seipp’s posts in which she mentions a few of the ways people have endeavored to “help” her, but which have caused her to bite her tongue.

Since several years before Janet’s death, I’ve been taking notes on how a person might be helpful to someone fighting a life threating disease or injury. This will eventually be part of the book I’m writing to compliment Janet’s book. I do believe everyone means well, but for a variety of reasons, how they express their desire to help often ends up being…well, not very helpful. I made note of some to the goofy things people did in the name of “helping” as well as those things which others did that were exquisitely, even elegantly helpful. Inspired by Cathy’s post, I’d like to share a few of those notes here.

What you offer to do should save the person you are helping their most precious commodity: time. Time to spend how they see fit – alone, with family, friends – not necessarily you. If you are genuinely helpful, it will be appreciated if not always acknowledged, particularly if the one you are helping is in pain.

Think before you do. Is your help really helping? It may make you feel good to spontaneously empty the dishwasher. But when the person you were trying to help has to spend the equivalent amount of time looking for the potato peeler you stashed in a seemly logical place on the other side of the kitchen from where it normally lives, you have not helped. Worse, you have cost them valuable time and left them aggravated.

This leads to the notion of helping in a consistent manner. If the person takes the time to show you where things belong when unloading the dishwasher, then be the dishwasher helper person. Own that chore and do it consistently. The more you can be transparent in your help, the more helpful you actually are. Trust me, this will be noticed and greatly appreciated.

Do some of the unpleasant chores, like empty the trash or clean a bathroom. When ever Janet was feeling particularly bad, there was no want for people willing to rub her feet, massage her hands, read her stories and such – all things I wanted to do because they were enjoyable, things we did normally together and, most importantly, time spent with Janet. Not once did anyone ever pick up a clue and offer to pick up the dog shit in the backyard. No special skills needed for that one. There were a couple of offers to weed Janet’s rose garden. One actually followed through, the other bailed when Janet died before the promised weeding date. Er, that was helpful.

Cooking is a risky way to help someone who is ill. If you are unfamiliar with the ill person’s dietary needs, it’s almost guaranteed to be a miss. (H/T to friends Angie and Bruce who pulled this one off with perfection. But then again, they are each skilled in the ways of paying attention to the details.) If you must, bring canned or otherwise non-perishable food (i.e. it can be kept in a box in the basement for 5 years.) And make sure what you bring is high quality. It may be fancy for your tastes, but show you care enough to see they are eating good when they feel like eating. That 5 pound can of Ol’ Slim’s Genuine Campfire Stew from Costco says “doorstop” and not “I care.” Go ahead and visit that high floutin’ organic food store and buy some quality soups.

Offer to help only in ways you can complete. Leaving a chore half done is most often worse than having never started it. This also implies offering to help only with things for which you are qualified. If you think the Internet is made of tubes, keep your hands off anything electronic. If your experience with cooking doesn’t go much beyond vending machines and a can opener, stay out of the kitchen. And even if you are qualified to practice medicine, perform an aura balancing, read tea leaves, preach the gospel or exercise The Devil, keep your yap shut unless the person you wish to help specifically asks for your help in this regard. It’s near certain you will upset them on some level, even though they may be polite to your face.

If they do ask for help, be attentive to when they have had enough of what you are offering. Tune your senses to recognize when they are tired or increasingly uncomfortable. Then look for other ways to help that get you out of the way. Running errands is a good way to help. You are saving the person time and energy while staying out of their way.

That’s about it for now. Rule of Thumb: If how you are contemplating helping has you feeling a nagging sense of uncomfortable doubt, it’s best to reconsider and cast around for another, simpler way to help. “Thinking of you” cards with a personal note are a good thing.

So this post is for you, Cathy Siepp. Thinking of you and hope this helps.

2006.11.22

Mac Duff

Lay on, MacDuff, and curs’d be him who first cries, “Hold, enough!”. — Shakespeare

Re-read my post on Mac Duff moving on and thought of a few things I wanted to add.

First, I wanted to say more about Dr Ann Brandenburg-Schroeder. She is a tiny woman, a grandmotherly figure who looks like she stepped off a Norman Rockwell painting. Neither her attire or her bags had the slightest suggestion of being a veterinarian. And Mac Duff’s nose was as curious as ever about what she was carrying. He quickly found the biscuits and was welcome to them. Dr. Ann thought of every detail and asked me questions like if I wanted a snip of Mac Duff’s fur (I had already done that) or a paw print in clay (which I accepted). She even researched the proper tartan for the Mac Duff clan and tried to match the blanket he would be wrapped in after he was gone.

In addition to explaining what she was going to do, several times, she carefully explained what Mac Duff’s reactions would likely be along the way. I knew most of what to expect, but if this was a first time or if there were kids saying goodbye to a pet, her explanations would have been priceless in helping them with the experience.

Dr. Ann talked about how after the last shot, and Mac Duff’s breathing and heart had stopped, animals sometimes take one last quick breath. She described this as the soul leaving the animal’s body and not to be alarmed by it. She was also willing to let me spend as much time with Mac Duff after he died as I wanted. I told her all I wanted to do, after his breathing and heart had stopped and he was leaving his body, was to play a piece on the cello which Mac Duff seemed to like. And so, when it was time, I played the “Ashokan Farewell” for Mac Duff. (Alas, I hadn’t practiced the piece on the bag pipes for the lad!)

Dr. Ann took care of the cremation arrangements as well. I like it that they use the metal tag identifier with pets like they do with people. Dr. Ann had recorded Mac Duff’s tag number on my receipt and tied the metal tag to his front left paw with, what else, a tartan ribbon.

I helped wrap Mac Duff’s body in the tartan blanket Dr. Ann had brought and I carried him out to her car. She had lined the back of her VW wagon with blankets of the same tartan and had a pillow ready for Mac Duff’s head. I put Mac Duff’s little body in the back, scratched his ears one last time and stepped back. He looked every bit like he was taking one of his naps. Dr. Ann said I could close the hatchback of her car when I was ready. I didn’t need long, Mac Duff was gone.

Wow. What a contrast to the way Pfred and Oscar had to leave. Particularly Oscar, for I believe he unfortunately suffered more than necessary before his death. He knew where he was and he absolutely hated the vet or anything that so much as suggested a cage of any kind. A dislike no doubt coming from his first 6 months in a puppy mill cage shared with a bigger dog that continually attacked him.

Time HealsThe next day I met a friend for lunch at a Chinese restaurant. Marie and I feel the same about our dogs and loosing one is no small thing. At the end of the meal, the fortune cookie for me was “Time heals all wounds”. I had written quite a bit about this particular phrase in a notebook I’m using to collect such thoughts which will eventually end up in the book I need to write.

Any truth behind this phrase is a myth. Time doesn’t heal all wounds. I’d say unequivocally it doesn’t heal any wounds. What it can do is give those who have suffered a loss the opportunity to grow, explore and discover new and deeper ways to live. Time gives those with even a small amount of courage the opportunity to find ways toward strengthening their soul and moving forward. And in doing so, the distance traveled gives perspective and reveals meaning about the rough road behind them. It doesn’t matter that others fail to understand this insight. It only matters to those who have suffered such deep losses. For them, there is no such thing as just another sunrise or sunset. It is the paradoxical gain that comes from loss.


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