S2 E60 — She Began to Weep…

Curiosity drives discoveries in science and innovation.  It pushes knowledge forward.  But, predictability and certainty favor the status quo and our homeostasis because without them our mind grinds to a halt. So what can you do?

“5”  Steve Howey, 42:When the solution eludes you, tackle it backward, inside out or upside down — any other way than the usual. What’s needed is a fresh approach.” Cancer

Hi and welcome to Sunday’s Episode 60 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 7th day of June in the summer of 2020.  

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E59See What You’ve Been Missing; S2 E58Check Back in 18 Months; S2 E57Science and Medicine or Politically-Motivated Misinformation? 

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E60Overlapping Cycles of Life; S1 E59Where Did All the Dillon Millennials Go? Eureka!; S1 E58Judging a Stroll from the Hotel Santa Barbara to the Lobero Theater; S1 E57More or Less in the Know

Context

So, if you’re an introvert like me, then you understand how the forced solitude brought on by this Pandemic gives me the wonderful opportunity to work on my neglected manuscript I’ve been calling “Volume Three — a Legacy.”

Here’s an excerpt from the first draft or Chapter One .

AJ noticed him heading her way. “How’d you sleep?” she asked sitting in the kitchen as the sun rose in the East chasing the last moments of gray away.  Except for the gray she felt in her chest.

“OK, I guess, well no not really.  It’s just so weird sleeping in my old room.” Shaggy replied as he walked on the still shiny dark brown laminated wooden floor from the living room and past the long teak table in the dining room where all the family gatherings took place — Thanksgiving, especially Christmas Eve and Christmas Day — into the glaring California illuminated morning light.

“Coffee’s ready,” she said.

“Oh, OK, great.” Shaggy mumbled. He rubbed his tired eyes and turned left into the white u-shaped kitchen with white cabinets surrounding stainless steel dishwasher, stove, microwave and refrigerator.

Following his nose sniffing out the early morning fragrance just past the refrigerator on his right he mumbled something that AJ couldn’t hear as she sat in “his seat” with her back to the ever brightening morning streaming in through the sliding glass door.

“You wanna sit here?”

He opened the only unattached white cabinet on the opposite wall which hung above the light gray backsplash next to the white bay window behind the sink and next to the kitchen table.  He grabbed a dark blue mug, spun and headed back to the coffee maker.

“No, thanks.  I’m gonna just sit on the couch for a minute or two and sip this Folgers.”

Timing was off.

AJ landed at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California from her home with Darin in Winter Park, Florida in Orange County where it is normally three hours later on any day of the week, especially on this one.  

The one she hadn’t been looking forward to.

Which is why she was up first.  Why she had tossed and turned in the other guest bedroom at the top of the stairs. Why she laid awake with a deeply sad feeling beginning three hours earlier at 3:30 am PST.

Shaggy walked past the blonde oblong wooden kitchen table to AJ’s left to the first of two matching couches that separated the kitchen from the family room in one big room.  

He could see himself in the mirror display on the opposite wall as he padded the few steps deeper into the room and stopped turned left and found his spot on the first couch facing the second butted up to the light gray painted wall and the mirror displays.

The smaller mirrors distorted his image.  

And being 6’ 4” and under these circumstances this morning the distorted reflection mirrored his internal morning fog.

AJ rose from the kitchen table deciding to join him instead of talking to his back.  She slid down the small space between Shaggy’s couch and the fireplace next to the patio door walked 6 or 7 steps on gray tile hearth into the family room and maneuvered herself carefully around the round dark wood coffee table that now separated her and Shaggy.

Her view back into the kitchen would be the money shot if she and Shaggy decided to put the place on the market.  To her left the original white cabinet doors along the floor hid blankets for winter viewing of the big black screen TV from each couch when the California temperature dropped into the 50s.  Brrr. Except for anybody else not living in Florida or California.

They hid board games from childhood and all kinds of things that would eventually require sorting and boxing, not something she was prepared to entertain at this moment.

And the original bookshelves displayed pictures of the two blond brothers, Shaggy and Jazzy, AJ’s photoshoot near high school graduation.  And, books and plates and CDs, and a wine rack and more pictures and photo albums and ….

“Remember when Jazzy was a baby and you could hold him in the crook of your arm between you hand and elbow?” she asked out of the blue.

“No, not really. I was only four when he was born at Hoag Hospital, but I do remember you visiting every summer,” Shaggy said. 

To AJ’s right on the end table next to the wicker basket on the floor for collecting “The Los Angeles Times” newspaper Jazzy loved to use for starting a fire was a photo showing AJ in a white wedding gown smiling and a slice of a backdrop from the Outer Banks hotel where she and Darin tied the knot and Shaggy celebrated with a canoe filled with beer followed by his gigantic migraine dwarfing hangover the next morning — actually afternoon.

“I remember the back yard before they changed it.  It didn’t have the tan slope stone walls, but I think the black wrought iron railing stretched across the back from side to side.  And there used to be giant ficus trees in corners and a small round cement patio surrounded in grass,” she told Shaggy.

“Yeah,” he said.

That’s where they tossed a whiffle ball and played catch until probably Shaggy began hitting the ball with the big red plastic bat over the fence and down into the slope on purpose.  

“Somewhere there’s a picture of all of us in front of the tree on the grass around here I bet,” she said. “And probably that one where we four kids posed in front of the then white front door on the red brick entrance.”

“I remember when our parents threw that karaoke party when Jazzy graduated high school and I graduated college and you and Darin flew out for the Mexican foot catering affair.”

“That’s the one where Darin tipped over the container of margarita salt on the grass which killed it in no short order, right?  Dad never let him forget.  He once wrote on a birthday card that to commemorate the occasion they had a brass metal plate made up engraved with the date and his name and …” she began to weep.

Evidence

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

Today’s Holiday Birthday:  

You’ll be called on to do something you haven’t done before. You’ll be both inspired and inspirational. A group will form around your leadership as you apply past experience to figure things out. Results beyond your expectations will come at the start of the new year. Your family grows in March 2021.

OK, let’s check back in 9 months!

“5”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “It only takes one connection to make your personal life go from being a stale routine to an inspired journey. You’ll make that connection today and a transformation will occur in the weeks to come.” Aries  

So you’re saying this connection is an antidote for pandemic cabin fever?  That transformation … will it come from a person kind of connection or from a answer that has eluded my pursuit?

“4”  Steve Smith, 30: You’ll be gifted with an emotion that is one click beyond passion and desire: rage. Rage doesn’t have to be angry or negative, but it’s always powerful, and best focused on what’s important to you.” Gemini

OK, this TauBit of Wisdom scares me and intrigues me.  How do you focus it without doing irreparable damage?

“5”  Steve Howey, 42:When the solution eludes you, tackle it backward, inside out or upside down — any other way than the usual. What’s needed is a fresh approach.” Cancer

Thanks for breaking the log jam.  I just couldn’t figure out how to start this manuscript.

“4”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: Whomever you align yourself with, you grow to be more like. It isn’t necessary for you to have a personal relationship with your role models. You get to choose them from the whole wide world.” Leo

There’s such a long list, but one of the most influential is Toffler (see immediately below) and more recently Kurt Andersen who wrote “Fantasyland” which is both an update and a framework in which to view Future Shock.

“4”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King, 72:Your famous adaptability will kick in. From the outside, your behavior may look illogical, but there’s definitely a method to your madness. When an unusual situation crops up, an unusual reaction is warranted.” Virgo

Should this be true about me, I feel the need to honor Alvin Toffler who alerted me to disruption and how to adapt or accommodate changes on the horizon.

“4”  Steve Aoki, 41: Passions build slowly. At first, you don’t even realize what you want. When leanings turn to yearnings and become undeniable in their message, it’s a blessing that doesn’t feel like one.” Sagittarius

Who can resist such a phrase, “learnings turn to yearnings”?  But the point of the message mystifies me, why doesn’t the blessing feel like one?  It’s still early in the day, so maybe it will be revealed in the evening or late afternoon.

“5”  Steve Nash, 45:Emotional skill and intelligence can be earned through both negative and positive experiences. Today will bring scenarios you will use as examples of what to do and what not to do.”  Aquarius

Well, of course I’d rate this TauBit of Wisdom a “5” given what it looks like we’re being trapped in for the foreseeable future. So take some time to review the Deloitte and Salesforce sponsored scenarios. 

“3”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): The possessions that you get the most value out of are the ones you use every week and maybe every day. As for the others, the more you can let go of, the lighter you’ll feel.” Pisces

So that would be describing the 500 pieces jigsaw puzzle sitting for days now on our dining room table?

Holiday Forecast for the Week Ahead:  

Curiosity is a slightly uncomfortable state of mind, as it relies on the tension between knowing and not knowing. The tension is resolved with an answer. So tenacious is our need for answers that our brains will just fill in the blanks with anything that enables us to push forward. 

The human brain craves certainty. 

Without it, we are paralyzed. Certainty facilitates action, commitment and movement. Where there is no certainty (and reality offers very little of it) humans do the next best thing; we make a good guess and come up with a theory that will allow us to go onward. If to assume is human, then not to assume is superhuman. Anyone can say, “I’m right,” and live to defend that. But it takes humility, higher thinking and a willingness to be uncomfortable inside the tension of curiosity to go to the next cognitive level — to question, wonder, revel in mystery and leave the loop open to possibility.

Whether or not today’s forecast gains currency over the next 7 days, I believe the insights ring true for me — curiosity drives discoveries in science and innovation.  It pushes knowledge forward.  But, predictability and certainty favor the status quo and our homeostasis because without them our mind grinds to a halt.  Without answers we jump to guesses and theories and conspiracy theories, unless you are the rare person who focuses the unresolved tension onto the next higher cognitive level.  

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 3634 to 3806.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life 

Long-Form

    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

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