Ron likes to make silly videos using his nearest and dearest.* Yesterday he sent me an appalling e-card which I found rather amusing.  Here is the sweet thing:

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I didn’t recognize the song but I found myself enjoying it. What was it I wondered and who was the singer?  I can hear Spo-fans all over the world aghast with their jaws dropped, wondering how on earth I managed not to encounter Ms. Spears up until now, but it’s the truth. I know of her of course, same way I know the capitol of Assyria was Nineveh**: a fact but no experience with it. Or her. Being unfamiliar with ‘pop culture’ is long time characteristic of Urs Truly. Someone says this is deliberate to wit I do a 180 if I think the majority of people are doing something. There’s some truth to this although I think it is more accurate to say I am just late to the party. When most people have ‘been there, done that” is when I discover something. Back to Ms. Spears. After the card (and several Youtube consultations to hear the original) it was stuck in my head. Imagine when Someone came home to discover Urs Truly dancing around the kitchen to “Baby one more time”. It’s like finding your great-aunt grooving to AC-DC. After assuring him I was not high or off the deep end he introduced me to some of her other tunes, which I found (to my chagrin) just as likable. Oh dear, I thought, I am becoming – dare I admit this – a Brittany Spears fan?  There goes my good Henley Street name. On the positive I hope this indicates I am still willing to try new and adventuresome things, even if these things are way past their prime. I guess I should now look up Lady Gaga…..

* Or the opposite?

** I would have gotten over “The Bridge of Death”.

This is a copy of a draft of a the letter I am composing for my summer trip to Ottawa, Canada. I am writing The Other Harper. There will be a CC to Mr. Mayer, the director of The National Gallery, The CSIS (the Canadian FBI), The Globe and Mail, and the President/CEO of Tim Hortons. 

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Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

I am a frequent visitor to your fair country. After a myriad of holidays to Stratford, NOTL, Toronto, and Vancouver, Urs Truly is visiting Ottawa for the first time in July. Two locals plan to take me to your National Gallery; I am much looking forward to seeing the sights, spending a lot of loonies, and stimulating the local economy.  The mentioned museum was to be the apogee of the trip but now this may be all canceled which is the reason for this correspondence.

It has come to my attention outside your resplendent gallery some miscreant has erected a monstrous black spider, whose ponderous presence makes it impossible to avoid when planning an ingress. I have arachnophobia; I doubt I can get in without going into a hysterics or having a myocardial infarction. While I envy your health care system I don’t wish to experience it directly. Alas, I fear my entire trip is now in jeopardy due to this awful and intrusive helicopter crash guarding the entrance.

This letter is a polite request to please remove this atrocity for the time I plan on being there.  Would you be a muffin and take it down? I will bless you, God will bless you, and I am sure many other visitors will be just as grateful as I. Said locals (who know these things) inform me the nasty thing even has a name: Maman. May and June should be plenty of time to disassemble and give Maman a better home, Yellowknife perhaps.

Our dog is also named Harper so we think of you as a friend in whom I can trust to grant this simplest of favors. I suppose I can’t send you a thank you bouquet and/or an election contribution. Perhaps when we are in town we can get together for some poutine? My treat.

Urs,

Spo

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So! I completed my weekend homework about an hour ago which means there isn’t any to do tomorrow. I will have a work-less day, the first one in over a fortnight. Certainly there is “work to be done” around the house. All the same, I just might not do anything at all (if that is possible). I will ensconce myself in a chair and (in the infamous words of Patsy Stone) announce “I’m not moving”.

I wonder if the gods are trying to tell me something about my blog to wit it’s time to take a break. I haven’t had any time to write anything decent; I haven’t a good idea in my head. I look around my life and there isn’t anything memorial upon which to compose. I lead a dull life. Perhaps the gods have dried me and kept me busy as a sign I should give it a rest. Sometimes writer’s block is a mercy.

It’s very quiet here at Spo-house. Someone is away again ushering some awful concert where the ushers are few and the patrons temulant and truculent. Here at home I’ve turned off the music and the windows are open. I hear the sonorous clanging of metal chimes .It is looking to rain soon. The light is fading; the dark of the house matches the serenity of the silence. This is the most at-peace I have experienced in a fortnight. I forget from time to time the preciousness of being still, both in action and in thought. Lovely.

Things need a shake-up. I want to better manage my time and energy for I have the sensation things must be improved ‘or else’. What ‘or else’ means I am not certain but I doubt it is good. I think I will sit down tomorrow with pencil and paper and get things down in order to clarify what I am not doing. My life lacks direction. I also wish to sit down with Someone and discuss Life, The Universe, and Everything. There is a gallimaufry of goals to go over, from when are we going to clean out the closet in the blue room to goals more lofty such as retirement (if possible).

That felt good to get out into words and onto WordPress.

It’s about 7PM. Harper her Highness won’t want a walk as it is beginning to sprinkle and she hates the rain. I think I will read blogs and find out what exciting things are happening in that world. Later I may have a snort. I can’t think of the whisky/bourbon equivalent to Wayne’s “I smell olives”, so perhaps tomorrow when I organize the world I will start with that simple but essential to-do.

It’s been a long week; I’ve had little time to do anything but work. It’s Friday night around 9PM; I am taking a break to do something, anything other than work. I feel wiped out from very long hours. Yesterday I took an evening off and went to a theatre show. Alas, as soon as the curtain went up I immediately fell asleep out of exhaustion. I lost in two ways: I didn’t see the show and I lost a night for work, so I have to do Thursday night’s work this evening.

I don’t have anything profound or witty to say; I don’t have anything newsworthy to report. I hope by Sunday I have something worthwhile to write and post.  I will try to catch up on my blog reads this weekend.

At times I don’t know how I made it through the day. Mind! I shouldn’t be too surprised given I’ve succeeded getting through over 19,000 of them but there it is. It’s 10PM and I have only a blurry sense what occurred today. It may be a case of too much information whizzing by. Perhaps my hippocampus did me a mercy and refuses to inscribe into memory any of the day’s happenings.  I recall I did a lot of running around, which is strange as I basically sit at a desk all day.  More amazing at the end of the day is the realization I still have all my possessions. I am usually forgetting things as the day progresses; I find it a minor miracle I have anything at all by vespers.

Going from my office to the waiting room often has the classic ‘now why did I come into this room?’phenomena. I pull up the patient’s name on my screen, skip along to the lobby and immediately pull a blank. Sometimes I just point at the person who (I hope) is the intended and say something inane like ‘you!”.  Often I have to stop by the receptionist and ask her where am I and whom am I seeing. Happily she provides information without wondering out loud how on earth do I remember what I do but I can’t remember what I was doing only a minute ago.

I used to think of my brain as an endless storage container but it is more like an attic in a small house: there is only room for so much. If I try to push something into it something falls out the other end, and usually something not useless. I can still remember the combination of my 7th grade locker but damned if I can recall my Medscape password. The human brain past forty years old is a curious thing indeed.

Well, it’s about 1030PM and I should retire for a brain rest. Rationalists explain dreamwork are not unconscious messages but the brain’s attempt at consolidating information into memories.  Small wonder then I don’t remember any dreams. It’s hard to make dreams out of dribble.  It is ‘perk’ having a hummingbird brain I suppose.

This morning I weighed 81 kilos, whatever the heck that means.

Someone bought a new cell phone, an iPhone. It is the 6+ version. I won’t see him for a while.

We had Pei Wei for dinner; the hot and sour soup was especially nice.

After calling 7-8 patients back this evening my brain had a seismic shutdown. It now refuses to do any chart notes or dictations. There is a lot to do but like Achilles sulking in his tent my cerebral cortex refuses to come out and do anything else for the rest of the evening.

On 23 April I will receive a shipment of cheese consisting of Smoked Jarlsberg, Saenkanter Gouda, and an assort of British imperial tidbits (no rubbish). It is getting into the 90s here; I hope things don’t arrive too runny.

Speaking of 23 April Nephew #1 will be seventeen which is simply not possible he was only six years old last year. I haven’t a clue what seventeen-year-olds want these days so I will send him some cash. It goes with everything. Recently his father, Brother #2, turned fifty and this was bad enough but a nephew nearing adulthood is too distressing for words.

I am reading a history book on the numerous ‘tea parties’ that occurred circa. 1773. Everyone knows the Boston Tea Party, but apparently there were others just as irksome and interesting. I am also hearing a lecture course on the French Revolution and it is1792 and absolutely no one is getting along. History seems to be mostly about people in a pother.

My allergies are quite active. These consist of itchy red eyes, a congested nose, and intermittent sneezes. My sternuations are profound. Their speed, volume, and intensity are something to behold. I suspect they can be heard all to way to Flagstaff.

Finally, I read Michelle Bachman believes Obama has set the stage for the rapture to come any time now due to marriage equality. For those who don’t know what the rapture is, it is a zany Protestant notion the faithful will someday suddenly be transported up into the clouds leaving behind the godless masses. Bachman will suddenly disappear along with Pat Robertson and most of the GOP. If so, then Mr. Obama should be congratulated. This surpasses The Affordable Care Act in salutary benefits by a country mile.

The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections thought this entry was well enough but they requested I add a proviso I don’t know what I am talking about. 

While walking the dog this morning I listened to a lecture from “The rise and fall of the British Empire”.  Up until now this fascinating history course discussed Canada, India, Ireland, Australia and everywhere else the British poked about looking for imperial tid-bits. Today morning’s lecture was about – of all things! – the game of cricket. Now why on earth would there be a whole lecture on a silly game? Little did I know. The lecturer related how integral the game was/is to British culture. Apparently you can tell if a country used to be part of the Empire if they play cricket.  They may have thrown out the landlords but they kept their bats and balls and all that goes with them.

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Mind! I have never seen a cricket game other than in Monty Python sketches. I am a Polynesian writing about icebergs. From this Yank’s eyes cricket looks surreal. Apparently it can go on for hours if not days. What fascinates me isn’t so much the game but all the rubric surrounding it. Professor lecturer conveys the Brits are crackers for the game* and all it entails – or at least the ‘gentleman’ status. Cricket does sound a bit hoity-toity, leaving football for the working classes. The professor did his best to describe the game not unlike Anna Russell explaining the Ring Cycle. It is a lot to take in, especially while trying not to trip over a dog leash.

I want to see a proper game. Goodness where or when. Add it to the bucket list. Being not part of the Empire (at least not for a good two centuries) matches are just not to be found here in the Sonora desert. It seems a good excuse as any to visit England. I recently discovered something else curious called Morris dancing which is an entry in itself. I think cricket and morris dancing may be one in the same.

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* Well, not everyone. C.S. Lewis wrote in “Surprised by joy” he thought going off to the trenches of WWI was preferable to the cricket-culture at his school. That’s saying something.

I’ve decided to attend my 35th high school reunion. I haven’t attended one of these soirees, having had up until now no interest to travel from afar to hang out with a bunch of people whom I barely recall and hadn’t stayed in touch. However I’ve gotten close again with a few fellow Grosse Pointe North alumni via Facebook;  I would like to see them in person. This event happens to fall on the weekend of Father’s birthday. The weather should be clement for boating with my brothers.  So it sounds like a good gig. (1)

I have very little memory of my high school days. I wonder if this is a dementia sign or a blessed maneuver on behalf of my brain to wipe out heinous memories. I recall high school was a lot of work and study for I was anxious to get into a good college. (2)  I don’t attend any sporting events or participate in homecoming parades; I basically went to school and came home. My network of friends was my church youth group, whose members were nearly all from Grosse Pointe South. (3)  So I don’t have “fond memories” of high school.  I will probably have to walk around the party with my yearbook and look people up as I encounter them. I have a terrible intuition they will remember me.(4)

There is a theory one’s success in life is inversely correlated to one’s ‘success’ in high school. I’ve heard tell our genius valedictorian went to pieces  soon after graduation and never finished college, while the class recluse (voted ‘Mr. Least Grosse Pointe”) is now a multimillionaire from real estate.  I confess I am looking forward just a bit to showing up in shape, board certified in two medical specialties, earning over 200K, and hoping to find a few guys who harassed me and bartered which team had to take me last time. “Why Colin M. I remember you!  So what ever happened to you?” (5)

Seriously now, I will be quite content to see my lady friends from Facebook. As for the men, I would love to encounter a few fellows on whom I crushes.  I was particularly smitten with “Eric R.” and at some level he knew this and used it to yank my chains. I can’t determine which would please me most: Eric confessing he has longed for me all these years OR he became a mess.

Do all high school reunions bring out the bitch in people, I wonder? :-)

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(1)  Brother #2 bought me a Detroit-made whisky. Even if the reunion is a flop I will be coming home with this consolation prize. Lovely.

(2)  I got in.

(3)  I went to Grosse Pointe North High School. We were the Norsemen.  Those who wonder at my mania for Viking things may see some connection.

(4) And not in a good way.

(5) “Geez you look dreadful, I’m sorry you turned out so badly. Kiss-kiss.”

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I had a recent discussion with a patient about his wife* who last year suffered an unfortunate accident when a stone went flying off a gravel truck while she was driving on the highway. A pebble hit her windshield with a sudden sharp ‘whack’ which shattered the glass some, which caused her to startle and panic and swerve the car into the next lane where she hit another car. Apparently this cascade of events has resulted in a plethora of lawsuits ranging from the suing the company that owns the truck to the third party who is suing his wife. He explained his spouse was struggling with guilt viz. the stone event was a punishment from karma, Heaven, or whatever. He said “Americans believe we are born entitled to a good life, and when bad things happen we can’t accept it. We slip on some slush and we see it as the fault of others”.

Human beings want meaning in their lives; it is an unacceptable notion things “just happen’. Bad weather is a sign of God’s wrath (remember Pat Robertson’s hurricane hypothesis?). An airplane crash is scrutinized for what caused it – not only to make meaning but to attribute blame.
Is there any more ‘bad luck”?

A woman is in the wrong place at the wrong time, and a loose brick falls on her head, and all it is bad luck. It is not the wrath of the gods, or a sign she was a bad person (and therefore she deserved it) or (worse) she somehow attracted this to her for the universe to teach her a lesson. There isn’t a trio of demi-gods spinning her thread destining her to ruin.  It is merely bad luck, with no meaning for it.

People don’t like this. Americans are perhaps more uncomfortable than others on this notion. They want – need? – an explanation.

Psychiatry continues to struggle giving up this belief. The basis of Freudian theory is through analysis you can find the origins and explanations for human feeling and behaviors.  If you have OCD, depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia you spent a lot of time ‘trying to get to the cause”. To not do this was heresy (and I use that word purposely).

Sometimes I counsel patients quit spending any more time trying to solve the mystery why something has happened and focus on what are you going to do about it.

And drop the “I was destined or deserved this” snuffbumble.

We all want meaning in our lives, and we will make up something rather than live without explanation.  Nevertheless it would do us good to sometimes accept something as good or bad luck and leave it at that.  There is no need to sue the manufacturer  of the soap you slipped upon in the shower, nor is there need to attach cosmic judgment or significance to it. You pick yourself up, rub your sore bum, attribute it to bad luck, and remind yourself to put down a rubber mat next time you take a shower why don’t you.

* For privacy sake, I changed the details.

I have long been fascinated and attracted to stories about visitations by preternatural or supernatural entities. In folklore The Hero encounters a ghost or  fairy or some uncertain entity that reveals something to him. This information is sometimes a warning, or advice; often it is a cryptic riddle The Hero must solve in order to succeed in The Quest. The Archetype for this sort of person and/or encounter is The Visitation. It is sometimes the catalyst; sometimes it is the key to victory. Visitations are necessary for The Hero to go on The Journey.

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Like all Archetypes The Visitation has a positive and negative side. Angels are a good example of the positive energy of Visitation: “Be not afraid, for I bring you tidings of great joy!”.  Fairy godmothers and benevolent ghosts (think Cinderella and Scrooge) are secular examples of The Visitation.

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3 - Capitulo 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Negative Visitations herald deceit or doom. However the provide the same service: information and growth. I recently saw “Dreams” by Kurosawa; in this splendid movie is a scene in which mountaineers are lost in a blizzard. The leader is visited by Yuki-onna, or The Woman of the Snow, who lures people to their icy doom. He escapes her to find camp and save his men.

The Visitation is a paradoxical archetype for it is an archetype about being visited by Archetypes. The person being visited is the unconscious or immature Ego who is in need shaking up and out of the placid belief “I am all there is’. The collective unconscious needs to be recognized and dealt with for Ego-Self growth, and Visitation gets this going.

Mary is visited by the Archangel Gabriel.

Bilbo Baggins one quiet morning encounters Gandalf and the adventure starts.

 

We don’t have to read fairy tales or see movies about legends to be in touch with this archetype. Everyday we encounter people who carry this archetypal energy within them. If we are conscious they will convey something, something we need to know, for growth and self awareness.

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