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Something Wonderful: For Today. For the rest of the week. For always.

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  • Mike Austin May 1, 2022, 10:11 AM

    I could—I have—watch such videos for hours.

    Will Durant looked for “the meaning of life”. He looked in History, in Philosophy, in Teaching, in Travel, in Languages, in Writing, in Fame and in Wealth, and found emptiness.

    One day he was sitting in a train at the station. He saw a woman and her 3 children patiently waiting as passengers disembarked. A man stepped out of Durant’s train, and the children began to squeal and they ran up to the man, jumping all over and hugging him. The woman slowly walked up to the man, smiled and kissed him, and arm in arm the five of them walked away from the train station.

    Durant had at long last found the meaning of life.

    • gwbnyc May 1, 2022, 2:08 PM

      on the train my first week in NYC, crowded. a man and his son get on, there’s an open seat, the man directs his son to it. the boy sits down, he says “I want to sit with you, daddy.” an old man next to the boy stands up and directs the father to his seat, the father refuses, the old man insists- wordlessly- and the father sat down.

      another time, another train, another silent exchange- a boy and his mother board. he’s perhaps six or so. he struggled trying to open a small bag of potato chips. I took a swiss army knife out and opened the scissor and motioned to the boy to give me the bag, he did. I cut the bag open and handed it back to him, and put my knife away. then looked at me and held the bag up offering some potato chips. I declined with a smile I felt but wasn’t visible, and a hint of a headshake.

      what is a small thing?

      • Mike Austin May 1, 2022, 9:33 PM

        There are no small things. There are no coincidences. There are no accidents.

    • ThisIsNotNutella May 2, 2022, 2:16 AM

      I saw this exact scene once, too. Waiting to pick up an arriving friend outside the passenger terminal at Ngurah Rai Airport. The arriving father was (IIRC) French and the children were half Balinese and obviously utterly unsoiled by the Hollywood Poz: not a hint of Daria or Frozen. It was magical. At that moment I wished I could have lived my life over.

  • PA Cat May 1, 2022, 10:18 AM

    My dad was 82nd Airborne, WWII– although he taught me baseball skills rather than boxing. But it’s good to see that the ranks of the All-Americans are still filled with All-American dads.

  • Casey Klahn May 1, 2022, 11:50 AM

    OK I got some dust in my eyes.

    • James ONeil May 1, 2022, 1:39 PM

      Yep Casey, me too, you beat me to say’in it though.

  • Walt Gottesman May 1, 2022, 12:21 PM

    Dust here too.

    Happiest day of my life was in 1953 when, while out for recess on my third grade playground, a kid said to me: “Hey Walter, there’s a man over there who wants to talk to you.” I turned around and saw my dad in uniform, standing by the gate to the schoolyard, smiling. He was home safely after his second year-long tour of duty in the Korean War with a Combat Engineers unit. I didn’t know I could run that fast or hug my old man that hard.

    Thanks Gerard, for the video clip, for bringing back a good memory, for keeping this blog going day after day, year after year. Remarkable achievement! God bless you man.

    • Terry May 1, 2022, 2:12 PM

      After reading Walt’s comment, I called my Dad just a few minutes ago. He will be 97 in June. I asked him if he remembers what year it was when he came home from Korea. He did not remember. But boy, I can sure remember when he walked into the house in Sonora, California. I was never before in my short life so happy.

      And he was my, and my brothers boxing instructor also.

      Tears in my eyes.

  • gwbnyc May 1, 2022, 1:28 PM

    distribute freely-

    • Terry May 1, 2022, 2:16 PM

      The red one in the upper left quadrant. Dad gave it to me when I was a little kid. I still have it. He gave all three of his boys red hankies.

      • gwbnyc May 1, 2022, 3:56 PM

        I had my grandfather’s, a red one, and his pinstripe hat- he was an engineer on the New York Central System.

    • Mike Austin May 1, 2022, 2:35 PM

      Send more please.

    • ghostsniper May 1, 2022, 5:52 PM

      When I leave the compound the dark blue one is in my left ass pocket.

      • Walt Gottesman May 2, 2022, 6:30 AM

        Blue one’s with me every day. Same pocket.

  • Minta Marie Morze May 1, 2022, 6:23 PM

    I read Czeslaw Milosz’s “Captive Mind” book decades ago, so my memory isn’t the best on it—and there are several translations—but it is a phenomenal book, and in it the communist Milosz is in a little railway station in, I think, Siberia, and he sees a small family sit on their suitcases and the mother takes out a small tea set and with great care makes them each a small cup of what was clearly a precious liquid for them. It is in the middle of a place of despair and people sitting and staring into nothingness.

    That was the moment of change for Milosz.

    • gwbnyc May 1, 2022, 8:57 PM

      never heard of him, so I’ll look for it.

      that happens a lot around here.

      edit/searched. if ever a man’s name was illustrated by his looks.

  • Minta Marie Morze May 2, 2022, 12:08 AM

    gwbnyc: He wasn’t not just a poet. He was a brilliant philosopher and historian. Czeslaw Milosz’s Captive Mind book is extraordinary, even the poorer translation. I wish I could remember the best translator, but his books are in a shed with a few thousand books I couldn’t fit in in this small apartment. When things get better, I’ll move and more shelves will go up again, and I’ll read his works among the first again. I can’t wait.

    • Walt Gottesman May 2, 2022, 6:40 AM

      Milosz also wrote The Witness of Poetry and The Seizure of Power. I copied down this quote from him:

      “Official language deprived experience of reality.” (from The Seizure of Power)