Stitch Together Five Paragraphs.

Conrad came up with this brilliant idea that we would get three of our common friends to write a paragraph each on any subject that they can think of, and also individually get two of our individual non blogging friends to write similar paragraphs and see what we can do with such disparate writings to turn into a coherent whole,

Grannymar, Conrad, Maria and I have accepted the task, though it is more of a challenge than just a hack’s job. The three common non blogging friends who wrote are Deb, Margaret and Maynard. In my case, I requested Simon and Anil to write and they have also kindly obliged.

Reading the five pieces of writing, I just could not find anything common that could make the whole lot put together to form a coherent whole post. The youngest, Simon came up with something that is troubling him from the outside. The oldest, Anil went deep inside into his memory pool to dig up something that became a turning point in his and his family’s life.

The three others, all of the same age and falling in between these two extremes in terms of age, came up with two introspective writings and one, Maynard typically decided to play Falstaff and came up with a puzzle.

I have decided that the only way I can make any sense of a post on these writings is to become the Grand Old Man, which title has been very generously bestowed on me by three of the writers and two of the bloggers. I have decided to use my considerable research ability to comment on each person’s paragraph and leave them as well as the readers to come to a conclusion about what sense they can make of my comments. My comments are not original, as I am not very creative, and I have simply given quotes which I think are appropriate to the topic covered in each paragraph. I expect that better sense can be obtained when my readers comment on the post and further discussions can take place.

Read on.

Simon’s angst:

“The Economist recently published an article stating that women are now over half of the workforce. Although I have not been able to read the article I am aware of some of the issues it has raised. Most of my female friends are intelligent, driven women who have graduated and obtained high earning jobs in the corporate world. However they have now reached the age where they wish to downscale their work life and have children. Due to the norm of dual income couples, house prices and the cost of living have increased and make it hard to survive on one income, and the corporate world does not often let mothers have an easy or flexible part time role. Will both the corporate world and the role of mothers suffer?”

My contribution to that outpouring:

“…there is always inequity in life. Some men are killed in a war and some men are wounded, and some men never leave the country, and some men are stationed in the Antarctic and some are stationed in San Francisco. It’s very hard in the military or personal life to assure complete equality. Life is unfair.” Press conference, 3/21/62. – John F Kennedy

Deb’s sorrow:

You all have probably seen pics of my Sheltie dogs. I have had Bubba, the male dog, for almost 13 years!
Yesterday, he got up from a long nap on the ceramic floor, shook himself and fell flat and could not get back up. I was immediately sick to my stomach because I know he has reached the expensive stage of his life. I also know that I won’t have him much longer and that makes me even sicker to my stomach. He and I have a lot of history together and that will leave a huge hole in my heart. I guess all I can hope for is that he goes quietly and doesn’t suffer. If he does suffer, I wonder who I can bribe to take him to be euthanised because I know that is something I won’t be able to do! I start to cry just thinking about how much I will miss my best friend.

My contribution to that outpouring:

“Near this spot are deposited the remains of one who possessed Beauty without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity, and all the Virtues of Man, without his Vices. This Praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery if inscribed over human ashes, is but a just tribute to the Memory of Boatswain, a Dog.”
– George Gordon, Lord Byron, “Inscription on the Monument of a Newfoundland Dog”

Margaret’s wistfulness:

My contribution before I reproduce her:

“Awake, my little one! Before life’s liquor in its cup be dry!” – “The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam”:

This morning, around the time of my second cup of strong coffee, realized that I did not dream again last night. This has me wondering if I’m not dreaming at all or if I’m just not remembering my dreams. I miss them. Have always dreamed vividly, lots of thrashing around, talking out loud, waking up any house guests, and about the strangest things. Some have been down right scary, waking up with a jolt of adrenalin and thinking WOW!! But for the most part, my dreams have just been entertainment for me, fun to rethink and try to make sense of. I’ve decided to take action in the form of supreme pizza right before bedtime. Sure hope it works!

My contribution to enable her to have perhaps better experiences:

“May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!” – Shakespeare in Hamlet.

Now for the enigma Maynard’s contribution:

My enigmatic response to that:

“All the thoughts of a turtle are turtle.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Anytime you see a turtle up on top of a fence post, you know he had some help.”
– Alex Haley

Anil, another Grand Old Man who, I hope, will start blogging soon, has this anecdote from his childhood:

“Coming from an orthodox Hindu family, my siblings and I grew up with a host of dos and don’ts. We had to learn about many defilements, external or internal. These were matters of principles which were purely matters of convenience depending upon work, time and place and had no logic to them in most cases. Most defilements were principally around food and beverages. Milk was hawked by people who couldn’t be touched but the milk they sold was acceptable! I suspect liquor was a “NO” anytime but in retrospect, I wonder why men often spent weekends out of town. One day on return of my father from one of his trips, my brother, then seven, challenged these customs and flung his food and anything he could get hold of, around the house. My father, a soft-spoken timid man, joined him and soon we were all flinging things around. Finally, a shocked grandmother tearfully decided only she would follow her customs and rules and we could do as we pleased. We’ve never looked back since.”

Phew! My response to that unearthing of a long buried memory:

“Family quarrels are bitter things. They don’t go according to any rules. They’re not like aches or wounds; they’re more like splits in the skin that won’t heal because there’s not enough material.”

F. SCOTT FITZGERALD, “Notebook O,” The Crack-Up

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