Homeostasis

From The Big Bang Theory:

Sheldon: Excuse me. This is not about protecting my friend. I’m a big fan of homeostasis. Do you know what that is?

Penny: Of course not!

Sheldon: Homeostasis refers to a system’s ability to regulate its internal environment and maintain a constant condition of properties like temperature or pH.

Penny:  Worst bedtime story ever!

Sheldon:  My point is, I don’t like when things change. So, regardless of your feelings, I would like you to continue dating Leonard. And also, while we’re on the subject, you recently changed your shampoo. I’m not comfortable with the new scent. Please stop this madness and go back to green apple.

I don’t like it when things change, either. Most of the stress, anxiety, and ultimately depression in my life is because things changed when I would have preferred they didn’t. Things are going to change, of course, and I have to remind myself that it’s only my reaction to change I have any real control over.

A sub-category of resisting change is Defining Things. It’s easy to look at something and say to myself, “I’ve seen this before, it’s one of these,” and once it’s labeled and defined it’s put into its box. Categorizing can help make sense of a confusing world, but it can also prevent us from appreciating something unique and wonderful on its own merits.

We’ve got to be careful.

“Our suffering is caused by holding on to how things might have been, should have been, could have been.” ~Stephen Levine

Flowers

Mona‘s Uncle Rodney, eighty-three years old and suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, drew us a bouquet of flowers.

Of Course

“I wanted to write so that I would have something interesting to read, for while everything I read was quite good, some of it wonderful, I believed that I would write better, and so of course it turned out to be.”  ~William Saroyan

There are people in this world who suffer from low self-esteem.  William Saroyan was not one of them.

Just Sitting and Being Alive

Excerpted from The Bicycle Rider in Beverly Hills, the autobiography of William Saroyan, © 1952:

Water to an Armenian is a holy thing, like fire. A farmer watering his plants, trees, or vines is taking part in a rite which has profound meaning and satisfaction for him. The farmers of Fresno went to the headgates of the irrigation ditches, or to the banks of the San Joaquin River or the Kings River for their Sunday picnics. They had to see the water where it was most abundant. They had to be near it.

Plans for going to The River were made by every family all week, and then early Sunday morning, or immediately after church, the family got into the horse-drawn carriage or into the automobile and drove there to spend the day looking at water, smelling it, hearing it.

Going to The River was like going back to Armenia, or back to the days of youth. The mingling of excitement and peace at the river’s side was continuous, the kids dancing at the sight of the swift-flowing water, running to dive into it and swim, the old people just sitting and being alive in a place that was like their own country to them.

The eating of watermelon has deep meaning for the Armenians, too. Watermelon, white bread, and white cheese is a favorite summer meal. A pitcher of water is always on every Armenian table. The people are forever remarking on the quality of the water of a place.

One of the reasons the Armenians settled in Fresno was that the water there was the nearest thing to the water of Armenia. The load of Fresno County and in fact of the greater part of the whole San Joaquin Valley was not unlike the land of Armenia, or certainly not unlike great areas of that land. Trees and vines flourished in the land, especially the apricot tree. One of the noblest of Armenian songs bears the name The Apricot Tree. The Armenians quickly planted mulberry trees and watered them, for the mulberry was a tree they knew and loved in Armenia. They put in pomegranate trees as well, olive, almond, walnut, and many of them even tried to grow pistachio trees, but these trees would not grow in California. They planted watermelons, casabas, Persian melons, cantaloupes. They planted okra, eggplant, string beans, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, bell peppers, parsley, mint, and a dozen kinds of herbs. They planted vines of all kinds. And to all of these things the led water in furrows, working with shovels to guide and control the flow.

If you want to behold a truly religious man in action, go to Fresno and watch a farmer watering his trees, vines, and plants.

There were better cities to live in than Fresno, but the good water was there, the water of home was there, and they went there to live.

Perfect Collaborations

 

 

Full lyrics HERE.

The anxiety and fear that was plainly showing

In this excerpt from his memoir The Bicycle Rider in Beverly Hills, William Saroyan relates a memory of his mother’s from when his family crossed the Atlantic to America, c. 1888:

My mother also remembered an Assyrian woman on the boat from Havre to New York, in steerage. This woman helped my mother take care of her children, keep them fed and clean and comfortable in an area of the boat that was crowded, filthy, and painfully depressing. The woman had watched my mother the first few hours out of Havre, and then had gone to my mother and after saying a few words in Assyrian which my mother had not understood she had gone to work helping her and delivering her from the anxiety and fear that was plainly showing in her face. My mother told me a few years before she died that she would never forget this woman and that she would always thank God for her.

It makes me happy, somehow, to know that this woman’s anonymous act of kindness was remembered for two generations, then shared with the world.

 

Armenag Shah-Mouradian

William Saroyan mentioned in his memoirs how much he loved the voice of Armenag Shah-Mouradian.

It is amazing and wonderful that we can still hear a voice that sang more than a century ago.

But He Is Also

Excerpted from The Bicycle Rider in Beverly Hills, the autobiography of Armenian writer William Saroyan, © 1952:

It is necessary to remember and necessary to forget, but it is better for a writer to remember.  It is necessary for him to live purposely, which is to say to live and to remember having done so.  This is not easy to do.

First, it is not easy to live purposely– that is, consciously.

Second, it is not easy to remember, certainly not easy to remember accurately, for the unforgettable events of a man’s life are not necessarily more important than the insignificant events which do not seem to be remembered at all.

A man is his memories, but he is also the things he forgot.

I want to think about the things I may have forgotten.  I want to have a go at them because I have an idea they will help make known how I became who I am.  I cannot expect to be altogether successful in this.  I can only hope my luck will be good enough to make the effort worthwhile.

Nothing is ever entirely forgotten.  It is all there, and is stays there until a man is dead.  These things I forgot I forgot only temporarily.  I will now try to remember some of them.

My favorite poem is Things I Didn’t Know I Loved by Turkish writer Nazim Hikmet.  You can read it HERE.

I wonder if there is something culturally or spiritually about the people of that area that places importance on the things a person doesn’t know about themselves, of if this is just coincidence?

The light that’s shining out from you will touch everything that you see…

When Ringo wants to say something, he doesn’t couch it in difficult metaphors.  He keeps it simple.

Full lyrics HERE.

 

Timeless

Sports that do not use a clock:

    1. Baseball
    2. Softball
    3. Tennis
    4. Cricket
    5. Bowling
    6. Golf
    7. Curling
    8. Volleyball
    9. Dodgeball
    10. Badmitton
    11. Ping-Pong

Melody

Our cat Melody held this pose for a long time.  Maybe she was hoping for a high-five?

The Trick

 

“The trick is to enjoy life. Don’t wish away your days, waiting for better ones ahead.”  ~Marjorie Pay Hinckle