Sunday, May 28, 2017

Small Town Diners, Wave-Particle Duality and Tango


I am in my happy place having eggs at The Family Diner. My favorite waitress just welcomed two new customers with the traditional greeting, “Anywhere’s fine.” I ordered five minutes ago which means I’m already carving up my eggs and folding a slice of toast to receive a piece of bacon. The service here is excellent. .

I am listening to the typical mix of mundane and bizarre conversations: a mystery creature is invading the other waitress’ back porch and an old man is helping her guess what it may be; it rained a lot yesterday; a hillbilly family is laying down the law on grandma and her bad behavior, etc.

I contemplate a line in a Jack Johnson song about all of life being in one drop of the ocean. I think it means there is enough information in that one drop to repopulate the Earth with all that is here now. It must be in the DNA: fascinating stuff those molecular-level acid strings.

It is my day off, a day to ponder my existence and the meaning of life. Oldies music from the sixties pours forth softly from somewhere in the ceiling; nothing too hard, mostly G-rated melodies.

Digital information storage manufacturers have nothing on Nature when it comes to storing data in small spaces. It’s as if the exact angle of an atom alone will yield predetermined outcomes which eventually may become a flower or a bear or me.

Three old men are sitting at the counter re-imagining their youth and spouting all kinds of stupid man-wisdom. King of the Road begins playing on the radio; feet start tapping and the mood improves while I muse about wave-particle duality, tango and eternal life.

Quantum mechanics proposes that the fundamental building blocks of matter can exist as particles or as energy; sometimes they are matter and sometimes they are waves of different frequencies. This theory is postulated after a few millennia of progressive scientific inquiry.

“Never spend all your money on a woman,” one aged coot says, “she’ll get used to it and then you’ll never be able to please her.”

The dialog goes downhill from there. That’s how it is with men. We start at the bottom then break out the shovels to dig deeper.

I tune them out. It is not hard, the music is playing I’m into Something Good by Herman’s Hermits.

It is possible that our entire existence can be encoded onto just a few molecules when we die and float out into the nether with our last breath. Or maybe we cease to exist as matter altogether and that death is the process of transitioning from a solid state to a frequency that is particular to who we are or were.

I like this idea. I find the concept of Heaven and Hell illogical and foolish. They sound too much like the promises Donald Trump makes, “We’re going to win until you’re sick of winning...I’m going to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it….balance the budget, healthcare for everybody, better than Obamacare….blah, blah, blah.”

“I was never in the Wawa,” one elderly man says, “I only go in there for some things.”

Life is full of paradoxes and they don’t always have to make sense. The Universe is a very confusing place.

One of the big paradoxes is The Question. Most philosophers say The Question is ‘why’. I think The Question is actually a set of questions that all try to answer the same thing but defining that thing is beyond our ability to do so.

Why am I here? Who am I? What am I? Where am I? How do I be me? The answer to all this is We Are Not Alone. Kind of a vague answer, I know, but that’s how life is: mysterious to the point where it seems the answer was just another question but it is not, it is the answer and you must work to find out what it means.

Work seems to be a common theme in all the answers to my questions. Asking questions is easy, understanding the answers is hard.

Two senior ladies sit in the booth next to mine. They are conversing but I cannot hear a word they are saying. The doddering codgers are halfway across the restaurant and I can hear them plain as day. I conclude that men talk to a crowd whereas women talk to each other. Sometimes I am amazed at our species' ability to get together long enough to procreate and carry the gene pool into the future. Sometimes the thought of the genes in that pool worries me.

Sitting here I am building up the motivation to propel myself to Philadelphia like a wet watermelon seed shot from between a thumb and a forefinger. I go to dance tango, social tango, not that ballroom tango stuff. It is a dance full of paradoxes, just like me: I live in a town full of people with whom I cannot even carry on a civil conversation.

You are on your own but you are not alone. Tango is an education in this fact of life. At the milonga, the place where tango music is played and tango dancers dance, you are one half of a couple that is part of the crowd. It is a lot like the diner in my small town but the men have paired up with the ladies and are expected to keep their mouths shut.

We move to the music which seems to find a variety of ways to pose The Question. She is The Answer. The other dancers are The Answer. Somehow I know this but I still have questions.

After a decade of working on The Answer, here is what I have learned:
I must strive to maintain her balance even though she keeps moving. I must lead the movements but I must wait for her to complete them. I must move in harmony with her and the music as well as with the other dancers on the floor.

“Can I get you anything else?” My favorite waitress asks.

“No thank you.” I reply.

“Okay.” She says with a slight smile, places the bill before me and speeds off to another customer.

I look at the bill and I leave enough money to cover it plus a nice tip. I stare at the money for moment and think about how hard I had to work to make that money. Here, I am just another customer but in my mind I am a tango dancer. When I am at the dance I exist in another state, my other quantum self, continually in motion, moving to the music with The Question and The Answer.

A moment passes and I head for the door; I am done thinking for the day.


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Friday, May 19, 2017

Love



Love


       What is Love? Nobody really knows for certain; it’s kind of like gravity: hard to measure. Like gravity, it is a force of nature yet science refuses to treat it as such. I think Love wants it that way; it is coy.
         One of the best things about being a parent was seeing my children when they were brimming with Love. It was coming out their eyes, filling their cheeks and straightening their spines; it was compelling them to give Love to us, their mother and father; I still have it to this day.
         Love is a dimension all to itself as I tried to describe in my last book, Revelations of Wiccans. It is like a hole in the fabric of the Universe, a hole that I have fallen into four times in my short life. Once you’ve dropped into it there is no getting out although you may feel at times that you have.
         That is what happened to me the first time I fell into Love; I thought I had climbed out of it only to find it was bigger than anything I could ever imagine and that understanding this fact of life, this fact of Love, broke my mind.
         Allow me to provide more information. The first time I encountered Love I chose not to believe in it. Little did I know that was like not believing in gravity or electricity or the sun: you are glued to the planet, awe-struck by lightning and each day the yellow ball rises, like it or not. Like falling off a high cliff or grabbing onto a live wire or wandering into the desert I was devastated beyond my ability to comprehend anything worse.
         I could barely function. I did not know that I could hurt so much and it was a pain I could not escape. It filled my beer, my sleep and everything else I tried to do to escape it. It was like an angry friend that followed me around everywhere who made sure I would always know it was there. I finally had to accept that it was with me always and in doing so I could go on.
         One day, about eight months later, eight months that could easily have been eight eternities, I found myself on a bus full of people traveling down an interstate highway. The bus began to climb a steep mountain and I could see trees whose leaves were beginning to change colors for the Fall. I say ‘I’ but I mean ‘we’, me and my pain and, although I knew the leaves should be red and yellow all I could see were shades of grey.
         As the bus chugged up the hill it occurred to me that the feeling I was experiencing could happen to anybody: white, black or brown, rich or poor, handicapped or able, everyone was susceptible. If you had Love, I pondered, then life was worth living and without it death was certainly not an unpleasant option. That’s when I realized that Love was the great equalizer; it’s what makes us all the same, our ability to feel its warmth or its absence.
         That was the moment I realized I was still in Love and that it would never go away and that it was okay. The object of my Love was gone but Love was still with me and I stood as good a chance at happiness as anyone else on the planet. With that epiphany the trees burst into flaming colors. They were all red and yellow and green as they were supposed to be. My heart lifted and the pain dissipated making it easier for me to carry on with the business of living.
         The next time I fell into Love I was a constant gardener. I tended to it and it gave me two of the most wonderful things a person could ever hope to have: daughters. I knew I was not worthy of these gifts but that is the beauty of Love, it is nonjudgmental. I went in the opposite direction of my first Love experience and found a joy that was beyond my ability to fathom. That friend was back but this time it did not torture me, it showered me with gifts that money could never buy and it continues to this day.
The third time Love found me I realized that it has a dark side. Dark does not mean bad. There are plenty of wonderful things that happen in the night and that is where it found me: driving down Interstate 80 on a wintry night going to a dance in New Jersey. I was new to the dance back then and the soundtrack from the movie Amelie was playing on my stereo. Love was all around me in the people I was meeting. I could sense the depth of the pits beneath my feet as I tried to get better at dancing.
         My van climbed a hill and descended the other side; we had forty more miles of New Jersey ahead of us before we reached our destination. All was quiet, the music was playing, soft and lilting if you are familiar with the album, the essence of melancholy. I drove straight into it. I couldn’t turn the wheel though that is what I wanted to do. I went in at 70 mph and didn’t stop until I hit the bottom.
         I have heard that it is impossible for an object to be in two places at once but Love doesn’t give a damn about the possible; it is its own dimension. I was in Love once again and I found the night to be just as beautiful as the day. My life was full. I didn’t sleep for fear of missing all the wonders Love was dropping off at my doorstep.
         The fourth and last time I fell in Love was easy on my heart and soul. I enjoyed the descent into the well, entered at my own pace and landed softly. I filled the base with fertile soil and watered it at regular intervals. Love loves to be fertilized; it is something that is at the core of its nature.
         As sweet as our time was I knew it would not be possible for me to bring this plant to fruit but Love, as I have said, does not care about the possible, it made it happen and the plant continues to bear fruit to this day.
         She was not with me when I plunged into the hole of Love. It was Cinco de Mayo 2012. I was camping in my tent just outside of Durango, CO, after a wonderful night of tango at a place in town. The moon was so bright that I could have read a book inside my tent without a light. It glowed and filled me with its warmth but I knew it was not the moon that was making my blood boil: it was Love.
         I could not stop thinking about her nor did I wish to. I reviewed every moment of our encounters and thought of what I would say to her, what I would do to her when we next met. It was near dawn before I had made a decision. The next time I saw her I would ask if I could hold her hand. That was the thing that was most special about her, she had an extraordinary ability to touch people.
I would spend the next sixteen months touching more than just her hands. Every part of her body was like a profound discovery for me.  I would spend hours exploring a single patch of skin on her shoulder blade or her palm or a finger. I was fascinated by my ability to be fascinated with such incremental pieces of her anatomy. Our time came to an end but my Love for her continues to this day.
There you have it: Love. Get some. You won’t regret it.


Love’s Cosmic Orchestra


               Some people find it hard to believe that we live in a universe where chaos is the natural order but it is true. The universe is expanding at an ever-increasing rate, something we call entropy, and one day it’s all going to come apart at the seams.
           The world is a confusing place and there are many things we’d like to believe are true that probably aren’t, like people are not inherently good or that men and women can never be just friends. The child in us wants to believe these things but that child also believes in the Easter Bunny.
              This is not a reason for despair. Through restraint of our primal inclinations we discover real pleasure and true love. Men and women are capable of platonic relationships as long as one of them ignores the urge to merge. Unrequited love can be the saddest of stories or the noblest. Admitting to ourselves that we are part of the general cacophony increases the impact of our actions: our sins become that much more evil but our kindnesses shine as bright as stars.    
           Realizing that peace is not the absence of agitation but, rather, the organization of entropy as it proceeds towards its inevitable conclusion, gives us a purpose: we are here to establish rhythm and harmony among the hectic forces playing in the cosmic orchestra.

           Here is the final truth I’d like to impart: you are never going to be a great tango dancer. Tango is not a performance to be graded; it is a state of mind, body and synchronicity to be achieved with your partner.  Dancing tango is beautiful to watch but what is really happening is only revealed to the participants. This is not a spectator sport. It is art for artists and, until you get out on the dance floor, you are never going to know what it is.


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Thursday, May 18, 2017

What Men Are Feeling: Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Arousal
The Four Rules of Arousal While Dancing 10
My Suspicious Mind 12
The Walled Fortress of Man 14
We Are Talking about Arousal: Like It or Not 15
Grab Them by the Pussy 19
Jealousy
Jealousy and a Dog Called Wiggles 21
Jealous Thoughts of the Competition 24
Anger
The Unforgivable Sin 26
Battle of the Sexes 26
Communication
Treat Me Like Your Dog 29
Honest Communications 32
We Are All Liars 32
Our Ageless Ethereal Self 34
Life and Death Questions 35



Man Things
Tango Poetry: The Tango Let Down 37
The Ties that Bind 37
Man vs. Tango 39
Creature of Passion 40
A Nonlinear Dream 41
Emotional Nutrition 43
Mr. Anti-Social 44

Talking to Women
Putting My Foot in My Mouth 46
Seduction, Romance, Passion and Tango 47
Three-legged Dog Dancing Tango 49

Attraction
Interesting Women 51
What Is Tango? 52
Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover 54
No Experience Necessary 55
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough to Keep Me Away from You 57
The Big Secret 58
Pieces of Meat 59

Rejection
Rejection 61
Cabeceo and Our Fear of Rejection 63
More on Cabeceo and Rejection 66
Love
My Angel 68
Love 70
Love’s Cosmic Orchestra 73
Sexuality
All Bra and No Birdies 75
Homosexuality, Same Sex Couples and Tango 76
Homosexuality and Tango 78
Why Some Girls Have Beards 82
Machismo
A Little Machismo Goes A Long Way 84
Understanding Women
Hold Me Just A Little Bit Longer 86
When Do Men Ask Questions? 87
Girls, Dragons and Tango 89
Girls Behaving Badly 90
Sweet Young Thing 93
Respect
The Politics of Tango 95
Free Your Mind And She Will Follow 97
Infatuation
Missing Lapushka       99
Our Primal Selves       100
Let Me Tell You That I Love You       103
Desire and Infatuation: Crucial Ingredients to Begin Relationships       106
Can You Feed the Dominatrix? It’s Hungry.        108
Control
Staying on the Highway      110
On Dancing with Younger Women      111
Suicide Bombers and the Tango Wolf               113
Tango: A Guide to Living      113
Intimacy
Fear of Intimacy      116
Tango Is Not Sex      117
Touch Is the Cure      118


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