January 19: Thoughts for the Day

Another Sunday.  For some, the day to rest, for some to work, for some to go to church, for some to question religion.  Every day of the week is a little like this day, this Sunday, but we call them all by different names.

Does casually calling them by name…acting as though they are our peers or that they belong to us…help us understand the world any better?

We take comfort in the familiar; we know Sundays, we know how they behave and how to behave in their presence.  The world might be a more frightening place if we called this day by another name, say “Rage” or “Corruption.”

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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4 Responses to January 19: Thoughts for the Day

  1. That is excellent; Waits is among my favorites. It’s amazing, isn’t it, how our thoughts can be triggered and, then, as memories and interests and ideas arise from those triggers, more triggers are pulled, taking us miles into the mind!

  2. juan says:

    When I think of the “human condition” I think of Bertoldt Brecht, and when I think of Brecht I think of Waits and how his rendition of this piece is the absolute best!


  3. Juan, your response to my off-the-cuff idea about day-names is the stuff of real conversation! You’ve got me thinking about the human condition and our need to understand how our experience came to be what it is. To think, words I wrote trigger thoughts of the Bible and Shakespeare! My God, man, that’s lofty company! But, then, those same words find association with corruption in Florida and the sorts of courtesies that help brighten the day of people who, too often, fully realize their work is unappreciated by the vast majority of the people with whom they come in contact every day. I enjoy real conversation, conversation that propels itself outside itself. Only the written word and face-to-face communications can do that. Though email and telephone are direct, person-to-person, it seems to me writing and speaking face-to-face have no peers. I think I’ll write about that. Maybe I’ll write about that now.

  4. juan says:

    Names, maybe the first form of familiarity: For some reason — not fully realized yet — I take the time to look at people’s name-tags at stores and address them by their printed first name. “Thankyou, Bill,” I’ll say to the grocery-sacker. To me it’s dubious and reeks of phony disambiguation, but it appears to really work; they smile when I do that. I imagine it’s better that than no recognition at all — not even a thank you.

    I often forget that many are not as critically dower about the world as I. That many are ardently satisfied with merely a name recognition — a small stroke of authentication or acknowledgement. In some ways people are like cats; they love to be petted; they purr when you say a name.

    Today IS Sunday! Beautiful day in Florida — Florida that the Huffington post “named” the most corrupt state in the US. I could call it Corrupt, because it is or I could it by its first name — Florida. The importance of names is a critical separation between human and beast; it is the right God gives to his home-made man!

    “God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name” (Genesis 2:20)
    ——— or even from Hamlet, upon discovering his mother’s betrayal to his father. Her sexual appetite had extended into incest — the product of her “Pig Philosophy — now bedded by Hamlet’s uncle. In name, she evolves from mother to adulteress to murderess to frailty.

    “Heaven and earth,
    Must I remember? Why, she would hang on him
    As if increase of appetite had grown
    By what it fed on, and yet, within a month—
    Let me not think on’t—Frailty, thy name is woman!”

    All hang on a name!

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