Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Of Paul Simon's Song, "The Boxer"

This song resonates with me. To me it is about a young man, thoughtful and sensitive, feeling warmth and affection for his father, a boxer, a brutal man, who makes his living by violence, who breaks other men's bones, cuts them, and tries to knock them unconscious--but who receives the same also, without regret or lament--if only for just enough money for ham & eggs or to help pay the rent. The boy loves the boxer, and the boxer loves the boy, with neither one being able to express it in a way the other can appreciate or receive. Yet the boxer has given the boy resilience and the ability to carry on and survive. This is the relationship between my father and I.

Monday, February 24, 2014


It is well known that our memory deteriorates as we get older, with short term memory deteriorating faring much worse than long term memory. Based on my own experience, I suspect the problem is that by the time people get to be my age and older, we have so much information stuffed in our heads that, rather than losing information, it simply becomes harder for our brains to find specific pieces of information. Long term memory does not deteriorate as much, and I suspect that is because when we were younger, our brains had much more available capacity. As we get older and our brain gets fuller, it also has a harder time finding places to store new information. I was at a wake Friday night for a working colleague. Someone mentioned a woman that we used to work with, but no one could remember her last name. on Sunday at 03:00 A.M., I remembered her last name.

A Fall on the Ice

On my walk this morning, I was transported back 30 years to Aikido class. My feet arced into the air. My hand and wrist failed to stop the fall, and I took the full impact along my forearm. I was never a good uke; I always tensed when I fell. Rolling on to my stomach while sensing if I had suffered any serious pain or injury, I felt sorry for myself. With my nose to the concrete, I had a ground level view of a transparent patch of ice so elegantly smooth it should been hanging on a wall at MOMA. Hello sidewalk. You were not my friend today.