Summer rain

This winter has hit me harder than any other. The early cold weather that has not abated and the dark days have left me almost immobile–more than any other time in my life. I cannot explain that. All I can tell you is that I feel decay and death in every fiber of my body.

I remember when I was a child living in small town Iowa. Some nights, when I was lying in bed, a soft rain would fall pattering upon the leaves and the sound of a train making its way across the land would lull me into a gentle sleep.

What I would not give for a night such as that right now. As consolation for the lack of that, I study geometry from morning until late at night this winter. Studying it, I feel something akin to the gentle rain and the sound of technology heard from a distance. The things that caress us most are not the sensational, but the obvious overlooked. We search for spaces and transformations that preserve congruences. Once finding them, if we are lucky, we are consoled.

We may not believe in god, yet our innate spirituality will not abandon or forsake us.

Published in: on January 31, 2009 at 2:47 am  Leave a Comment  

Spring Day

I ate dinner with M tonight. Eating dinner with M is like enjoying a fine spring day after a long cold winter. Things tend to even out. Life has it’s pleasures along with it’s trials.

Published in: on January 29, 2009 at 11:25 pm  Leave a Comment  


These winter days, days that seem as if they have gone on forever, tend to get filled with something like themselves, something cold and austere, such as mathematics, or in particular, geometry, for the study of mathematics has its beauty and attractions as do the winter days. You cannot run or hide from a mathematical proposition based on a set of consistent axioms. Logic forces you into a corner the imagination cannot remove you from.  A winter day presents its own logic to you.

In addition, one cannot hide from the relations between acquaintances, friends, or lovers either. They fit in a piece with winter as does mathematics. A logic exists even if unseen. You can negate one of the axioms of those relations, but the system so derived will be another system, although maybe strange, yet still as consistent. We may go mad, but still the new world we find ourselves in most likely will be as consistent as the humdrum world we vacated.

For some reason, we thirst for consistency, and the cold and austere propositions of our fate that explains it to us.

Published in: on January 24, 2009 at 12:28 am  Leave a Comment  


I read War and Peace for the sixth time–one time for each decade of my life–and I realize it is melodrama, yet such spectacular melodrama. I recall Tolstoy repudiated the novel. He should not have. As pulp fiction goes, it is the best of all time. Now, I retire to my bed to read some more of it.

And think of her, of course, some more melodrama.

Published in: on January 16, 2009 at 1:16 am  Leave a Comment  

Way below zero

I was at Tempo on a chill nIght when my hair tie broke. I let my hair fall down around me. I commenced to reading War and Peace on my cell phone. They kept pouring me coffee until I was lost–lost in Tolstoy. After that, I did not care whether I got home at all and neither did anyone else.

Published in: on January 16, 2009 at 12:18 am  Leave a Comment  

Attraction, objectivity, and today’s lunch

Let’s call her X1, one of the women I know. I met her for a quick lunch today at Starbuck’s. (I drank a large coffee and ate a slice of pumpkin bread.) She really likes me, and I like her, but I don’t find her sexually attractive, although there is nothing specific I can identify why that is so. I could very easily sleep with her, but I am sure she would misinterpret my feelings. Sex is not worth it if I will frequently come into contact with her when she wants a romance I care nothing about.

Then there this other woman, a woman totally forbidden to me, whom I absolutely adore. She feels the same way about me. Things seem so unfair.

But what are the facts? How can I report without making inferences and judgments that may not be justified? I fall into the trap of a false romanticism all the time. What I can have does not interest me. What I cannot have intrigues me.

This all seems to fit with my recent loss of objectivity. I cannot make a simple report of the facts.

For instance, I should say: X1 ate a turkey sandwich at lunch; she talked about the TV shows she watches; she told me she is afraid of losing her job; her hair is red; her eyes are blue.; she touched my arm several times when she was speaking to me.

The solid fact remains, however. I am not attracted to her.

Published in: on January 12, 2009 at 2:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Claustrophobia, etc.

Now that the building going up across the street has almost reached the level of my condo, I can see that it will block a significant part of my view. A slight feeling of claustrophobia begins to set in. Fortunately, my view down Delaware Place will be unobstructed, since there is a recently constructed temple below my balcony that will prevent anymore construction on the east side of me, the most open side.

The one thing I’ve learned during the past several years is how much work goes into building a high-rise. And this is a very cold winter already, one that began all too early. The people that do that kind of work have my admiration. It is not for the weak or lazy.

Published in: on January 12, 2009 at 1:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Halberstam, Foote, and weeping

I’ll admit it.  I have been rereading David Halberstam’s The Coldest Winter, a history of the Korean War, his last book before he died.  For my money, he was one of the best American writers of his generation, whether it was one of his long histories or seemingly trivial, but not really so, documentaries about the the 1949 and 1964 baseball seasons.  In my mind, Halberstam was one of the great writers of his generation even though I suspect he will not be recognized as such.

It puts me in mind of Shelby Foote, the writer of a wonderful three volume history of the Civil War.  When the best nonfiction lists of the 20th Century were released, he was no where to be found on any of them. Yet he was the spectacular narrative historian of his generation.

I think I understand why Halberstam and Foote are under appreciated.  Alone at night, they make you weep, like Thucydides does.  Not many people have the stomach for that.  Not many people ever did.  Weeping, alone at night, is not something we seek, let alone want to come across.

Well, my Halberstam and Foote books will always be some of my prized possessions.  And I will always love my Thucydides.

Published in: on January 12, 2009 at 1:39 am  Leave a Comment  

Maybe, tomorrow

It seems I have my head stuck in a book most days. Writing has lost it’s luster. That seems to happen this time of year. Maybe, I’ll write more tomorrow.

Published in: on January 8, 2009 at 6:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

Reading on the iPhone

I downloaded eReader to my iPhone. Now, I’m reading War and Peace on it. I got used to reading a book on the phone in a hurry, something I did not expect. A flick of the thumb across the sceen instantly flips the page. I read much faster on the phone than with a paper book.

In a way, I am never alone.

Published in: on January 3, 2009 at 7:35 pm  Comments (3)  


OK, it’s 2009. We are having fun. We are all real happy. After all, it’s 2009, and why not?

Jesus, it’s 2009 and I’m still alive. Hard to believe.

Happy New Year, Everybody,



Published in: on January 3, 2009 at 3:10 am  Comments (2)