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Monday, March 21, 2011


The other day a friend of mine died. He'd been diagnosed with cancer a year before. After a few operations he recovered somewhat, at least enough to retain his incredible intelligence. His mind was an amazing repository of knowledge that included history, literature, music and the arts.
In the past year three other close friends have shuffled off this mortal coil. Inevitably, I think of what happens next. Who goes next? It certainly could be me. It could be another friend or relative. Although I feel well and seem to have no illness or disease, one never knows what's going on inside one's body. A silent killer may be lurking there, waiting for its opportunity to show itself.
My son just informed me that his doctor found that he is a diabetic. He's very upset, as am I. He is a relatively young man who now has to change his lifestyle in a dramatic way. He has to adapt to a new way of looking at food. He has to learn to follow a rather rigid diet and to exercise on a regular basis. His attitude is good. He tells me that this is a "wake up" call. and indeed it is. Perhaps it will give him the impetus to lead a healthier and more productive life. Wouldn't that be a fine outcome?
The old saw that we should look at every new day as the last day of our lives suddenly seems to take on new meaning. As Ann Landers used to say, "Wake up and smell the coffee."
Cliche's that we laughed at now don't seem quite so ridiculous. My mother used to tell me that the only important thing is your health. How I scoffed at her! It took many years of living to recognize how important it is that we try to look beyond the irritants of our lives and focus on the positives. There are so many things that make living a great event. There's no need to spell them out but I would like to tell you that to me the most important aspect of being alive is the ability to love. Sure, food, sex, sports, culture and the like are all wonderful, each in its own way. For those who have family and others to love, life takes on a whole new meaning.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Getting back to work.

I don't know what it is but I'm having a lot of trouble getting back to work. that is, getting back to my novel. The novel that I'm almost finished writing. But I said that already. I went away for a maonth with every intention of working whiole I was away. then lotus land got me and I did nothing at all. Now I'm back and all I'm doing is bitching about the cold weather and about how I can't get used to it.
Not very productive.
It irritates me because I've been a worker and a doer all my life. I nwever could sit around doing nothing. I couldn't even spend a few hopurs on the beach in the summertime without thinking of alla the other things I could be doing instead of just lhying in the sun.
so what happened?
Is it age? I am getting older, just as everyone else is. I'm certainly not getting any younger. What a laugh. when I look ina the mirror I see an llld guy who doesn;t look anaything like me.
Maybe that's what's wrong. Maybe I'm not me anymore.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


What does a writer do when he or she goes on vacation? In my case, 30 days in the Yucatan in 80 degree weather did me in. I had every intention of finishing a novel I've been working on for more than a year. I calculated that I only needed twenty or so pages to wrap it up. so what happened? Sunshine did me in. I did nothing for 30 days. Wait a minute. Not exactly nothing. I sat in the sun and then in the shade. I read a bunch of books. Old stuff like Jude the Obscure, Uncle Vanaya, the Moonstone, Mansfield Park. I even read of the fabulously eveil Dr. Fu Manchu.
Who needs to write when you can read and eat and drink and snooze all day in beautiful weather?