Jumping Incident

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My patience began running thin. Normally Tricia has more common sense than anyone I know, but this situation seemed to be deteriorating. Tricia remained on the couch, refusing to do anything for herself.

In exasperation I exclaimed, “Nothing will satisfy you!” Getting no response, I added, “You won’t be happy until everybody’s jumping up and down.”

Tricia sat there, arms folded defiantly, refusing to budge.

With a patient appeal to reason failing, I resorted to theatrics. I began jumping in the air as high as possible, landing on the floor each time with a dramatic thud.

“There! Is that what you want?” I cried desperately. “See! I’m jumping up and down.”

Our sons James (14) and Karl (11) had been hiding out around the corner. Concluding that no real fight was in progress, they now appeared. They started jumping up and down, too, knowing that their mother would not be chasing after them any time soon.

Tricia still refused to stand up! For one perfect moment the whole family performed flawlessly in the theater of the absurd.

Tricia snapped at me, “Oh stop that childishness! You’re making a fool of yourself.”

Success! We had finally reached a point of agreement. Thereupon, I retired from the room, muttering something like, “high-on-her-horse, smarty-pants, too-smart-for-her-own-good.” Words like that.

Having lost this battle, I returned to my work quarters to sulk and plot revenge...

What fool’s errand would she send us on next?

Our household lived a state of siege until Tricia’s anxiety attack spent itself. No amount of special attention was humanly possible for her.



1. Star Light

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Creation. The awakening of an idea stirs like the first sign of life in the primordial void. The void is not completely empty, but nearly empty. Having an average density of one atom per cubic meter, the universe exists in a state of plasma, similar to the flame of a candle.

Just as a spark or electrical discharge sets dry tinder on fire, so an idea springs to mind, echoing continual creation. It rarely occurs to adults that, in the vastness of time, our past and future have already gone by in the blink of an eye. But an innocent child knows. A child knows better.

A child wishing on a star reminds us of the faint glow of eternity still resonating in our collective minds, like a memory of a memory. Sometimes an awareness of that vastness comes to us between dreaming and waking...

[17-page background chapter about childhood, neighborhood, and growing up.]



2008.08.21 These websites and contacts have served me well: