Tuesday, June 14, 2005


This is a new word and title of a recent best seller that caught my eye by Dr. Mardy Grothe. He explains that the word "oxymoron" is from the ancient Greek word, "oxus" meaning "sharp and pointed" and "moros" meaning "dull, stupid or foolish". So the word itself is what it has labeled: "a sharp dullness" "a pointed foolishness". ..contradictory ideas put together. "ica" just means "more exotic" or paradoxical "beyond opinion".

He goes on to give scores of examples from the very familiar ie. "jumbo scrimp" to some very obscure ones ie "To lead the people, walk behind them." by Lao-Tzu, more than 2500 years ago.

A few that I have made up in reference to this blog: "Frivolous Soul-Searching", "Humble Hubris", "The Zeitgeist of ageless wisdom", "Planned Serendipity"and, "Researched epiphanies". I remembered that just a few days ago by wife had commented in passing that she prefered "frivolity to soul-searching" lately. I'm drawn to both, maybe in some strange combination. I'm noticing myself observing and mentally commenting more on "life's little incongruities" and non-sequitors. They crop up all the time and I guess I've always been too busy before now to really notice them. They may be frivolous to some but not to me.

"I'm deeply superficial." is attributed to the actress Ava Gardner. "Perhaps the only true dignity of man is his capacity to despise himself." George Santayana "If you wish to live, you must first attend your own funeral." Katherine Mansfield "Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness." Chuan-Tzu "Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's own ignorance." Confucius "I want to die young at a ripe old age." Ashley Montagu "It's not that I'm afraid to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens." Woody Allen "Modesty is my best quality" Jack Benny "We are confronted by insurmountable opportunities" Walt Kelly, from "Pogo" "It infuriates me to be wrong when I know I'm right." Moliere

I could go on...this is just the first couple of chapters. You notice these are more sayings rather than statements but they have the same paradoxical effect. Soren Kierkegaard once said, " The paradox is the source of the thinker's passion, and the thinker without a paradox is like a lover without feeling: a paltry mediocrity." "Truth is alway paradoxical" Henry David Thoreau I so love a good puzzle, especially when it stays unsolved for awhile. I can go over and over all kinds of senarios in my mind and say..."How if..." as my second Brett used to say. I have liked to think that I am pro-active in my problem-solving, not reactive. Sometimes it is pretty difficult to search out "my truth" when the consequences might be unacceptable or harmful or denigrating to others. Slip-ups happen in the heat of the ego-involved moment.

One school year's end, with the report cards, I gave every student a pistachio nut. I told them that "life's sometimes like a nut, hard to crack, but delicious inside." I'm still believing that. Bob


At 6:53 PM, Blogger BOB! Your Life Preserver said...

I left out the word "son" before Brett. I'm sorry. He is a wonderful one. Also, if you want to find my meaning of the title: Bob! Your Life Preserver! Click on the May Archive on the side and go to the first entry: "What's in a name?" Thanks, Bob


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