Saturday, October 26, 2002

beyond your dreams

"Stretch yourself," advises Dick Helm, the Assistant Coach of the Toronto Raptors. Mr. Helm has been a coach of some kind or another for 40 years. Interviewed today by Chuck Swersky on Sports Spectrum Radio, Mr. Helm offered some insights I'd like to paraphrase here.

"You never arrive," he said, speaking of being ready to learn something new each and every day. This would suggest that there is value to remaining teachable, in one's pursuit of peak performance, if one is to really be alive.

He said he tries to encourage players to stretch themselves. "You can go beyond anything you dreamed," if you will, he said.

emphasis added.

tortuous paths

Wisdom teaches her children
and gives help to those who seek her.

Whoever loves her loves life,
and those who seek her from early morning are filled with joy.

Whoever holds her fast inherits glory,
and the Lord blesses the place she enters.

Those who serve her minister to the Holy One;
the Lord loves those who love her.

Those who obey her will judge the nations,
and all who listen to her will live secure.

If they remain faithful, they will inherit her;
their descendants will also obtain her.

For at first she will walk with them on tortuous paths;
she will bring fear and dread upon them,

and will torment them by her discipline until she trusts them,
and she will test them with her ordinances.

Then she will come straight back to them again and gladden them,
and will reveal her secrets to them.

If they go astray she will forsake them,
and hand them over to their ruin.

Sirach 4:11-19
emphasis added.

Bet the farm on this one.

"word is bond"

Whether or not it is poetic blood lust begs the question of how to define poetry. When something defies categorization, meaning, and other tests of good logic, it must be art, right?

Welcome to the Enlightenment. Welcome to the fruit of evolution. Welcome to the pinnacle of human invention cascading toward the nadir of human dignity.

Its technical term might be Nihilistic, Deconstructionist, Anarchistic, Post-Christian, 21st Century Poetic Blood Lust. It seems to have been partly inspired by one Busta Rhymes, having drawn a theme of sorts from his, ummm, poetry.

So let's call it Gangsta Blood Lust.

Garbage in, garbage out.

Saturday, October 19, 2002

if you're hungry

Today I had the privilege of talking with a 91 year old gentleman. I asked him about life during The Depression.

"We used to eat grass clippings," Al told me, without a trace of humor. When he saw my jaw drop and my eyes widen, he added, "you'd be surprised how good it tastes with a little salt;" and then, emphatically, "if you're hungry!"

"Do you see another depression," I asked?

"No," he shook his head. "Things are different now. There was no government insurance then."

God help us.

rightful owners

15 years ago today stock markets had a reality check. From my desk, after a year of watching it go up, up, up, a year of wondering how it could be this easy, I watched the laws of nature judge the markets.

During that year, I had been suspicious. Were these arrogant young brokers, like me, going to continue to wax richer?

On Monday, October 19, 1987, markets captured my attention like never before, and have held it since. The tilt in my sense of balance created by the relentless bull market was satisfied. There is a Wall Street proverb that says, "Money always returns to its rightful owners."

A comforting thought, indeed.

poetic blood lust

9 kills, 11 shots. 9,11. 911.

A shell casing in a panel truck near the airport. Are they gone? Mission accomplished?

This is beyond terrorism. This is poetic blood lust.

People at work in a high rise. People cutting grass. People pumping gas. People shopping at Home Depot on the weekend.

Every day people. You and me.

The death poets are sending a message. It's psychological warfare at its most sophisticated -- brutally simple.