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10.08.2014

RICOCHETING



"I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively
 passive and sad.  Or I can go mad by ricocheting in between."
Sylvia Plathe
 
 
My daughter quoted the words of writer and poet Sylvia Plathe in a tweet.  It resonated deeply with me.  I knew it did with her too.  Sylvia Plathe is her favorite writer.  She combs the deep, the dark, the heavy.  She utters stuff we don't want to admit to, say out loud, or even succumb to.  Sometimes her verbose puts a cloud on me.  But today, when I read that quote, I knew exactly what she meant, how she felt, because I felt that same way.  It was a peep hole to my own mind and spirit.
 
Just like her mother, my daughter can't escape some big thoughts and feelings. She gets it honest. But, to even out the heaviness of that trait, I also passed on to her the Weldy high receding hairline.  It keeps the heaviness in check with an occasional glance in the mirror at our high foreheads and starting line of hair to scalp.
 
That was a picture of the contrast of polarizing thoughts and emotions Sylvia referenced.  It was just like me throwing in a light hearted example of high foreheads cast against deep, heavy and over sized thoughts and emotions.  Those active, happy and light hearted thoughts and actions can teeter totter the introspective microscope.
 
If you read poetry or writings of some of the great and those of even some of the unfamous or more obscure, there is a thread of contrasting ricocheting in their words, in their topics.  It's not necessarily a sign of mental instability or illness.  Rather, it's a sign of the range of our humanness.  Our capacity to feel and sense and think.
 
Music is usually ricocheting in its lines and notes.  King David in the Bible penned ricocheting thoughts.  Elijah had pinging thoughts and manic emotions and actions.  Circumstances can drive us there.  And tiredness starts the game of ping pong right up.  Just observe toddlers for about 15 minutes and you can clearly see this principle in a human "short" film.
 


It reminds me of the old scale that was in my grandparent's country store.  It was a scale that sat high on the counter and weighed packages of meat, cheese, flour or bulk candy.  Once the inner spring stopped quivering and moving from the placement of the item on the scale, the item's final weight could be determined.  But for a few seconds it was undetermined what that concrete final weight would be.
 
 
Sylvia Plathe speaks of extremes, of haves and have nots.  Emily Dickson declares it through if's in this place of ricocheting thoughts and emotions.  I think they are normal.  Or at least more normal than some of you want to think or believe. 
 
If you were coming in the fall,
I'd brush the summer by
With half a smile and half a spurn,
As housewives do a fly.
If I could see you in a year,
I'd wind the months in balls,
And put them each in separate drawers,
Until their time befalls.
If only centuries delayed,
I'd count them on my hand,
Subtracting till my fingers dropped
Into Van Diemens land.
If certain, when this life was out,
That yours and mine should be,
I'd toss it yonder like a rind,
And taste eternity.
But now, all ignorant of the length
Of time's uncertain wing,
It goads me, like the goblin bee,
That will not state its sting. 
-Emily Dickinson
 
 
It's also exactly why the colors black and white accent each other.  And, why God himself would choose to dwell in our hearts.

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