Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Continuing Education

On a recent morning, there was, miraculously, an amusing comic strip in my morning paper. [I always start with that section hoping to find a little humor amid the newsprint largely devoted to disasters of one kind or another.] 

In the strip in question, one lump of a man was commenting on the predicament of another lump of a man about to fall on a banana peel. He said: “For Ernie, learning from his mistakes is a form of continuing education.” 

For Mim too. When I learn. Too often, I repeat the same unproductive patterns. Too much television. Too many computer games. Too much to eat. Duh. 

Occasionally, I break out of what Thich Nhat Hahn calls ‘habit energy’ and revel in productivity and/or spontaneity. And it always feels terrific. I am energized by taking a detour up into the mountains or actually writing a new post for my blog. 

Sometimes ‘continuing education’ feels like tripping on a banana peel. But at least I am moving. And learning. 

You can learn a lot from the comics section.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018


I have not memorized the ISBN numbers for either of my books. I needed to provide them to the proprietor of the great little store where my writers group is staging an event in a few days. I had a copy of Family Time in my study so that was easy. Oddly, I had no copies of my first book Tree Lines (A Memoir) upstairs.

So I went downstairs to my great cache of unsold books and found Tree Lines. I made the mistake of opening it. I read one chapter then grew curious about others (it’s not that I didn’t know what happened, it was just good stuff). 

About an hour later I realized that I still needed to take it upstairs and record its ISBN.

Before that, I felt I should drink the tea I had prepared to counter the allergic head congestion that is driving me crazy.

As I sat down to drink, I pulled out a section of the New York Times. Why I picked the business section, I don’t know. There was a fascinating article about a Navajo Nation proposal to buy Remington, one of this country’s largest gun manufacturers. The Navajo planned to shift Remington away from consumer sales and focus on police and defense contracts. The only guns they planned to sell to consumers were long guns used by hunters. As a bonus, the tribe intended to shift part of the manufacturing process to the reservation, providing needed employment. But the proposal was rejected.


I looked at the clock. It was time for lunch. I would record the ISBN later.