Beyond Physics

This Buddha is made of pewter. I have had him for decades. I found him (or should I say he found me?) in Chicago where I was born and lived until I moved to Maryland in 2005.

He is always with me. He has gone wherever I have gone. And I have traveled to many places, both physically, and throughout the mind, knowing I am nothing more than a drifter along its surface. Still, I attempt to connect the threads, like a spider would, while knowing this is an exercise in futility.

This Buddha is as constant as I am devoted to him. He easily fits into the palm of my hand, and his location is always precise, exact. He never veers away from the middle.

But now that I have stepped into the last chapter of life, and I am in a space, filled with everything I love, Buddha is now anchored between the world inside and the world outside of my window where the sun sets. But there has been a subtle shift that defies the laws of physics and which I am unable to explain. He has adjusted his focus towards the northwest.

At first, I thought I had done something, that I was somehow responsible for this shift, this adjustment. But my pattern has been consistent. Shortly after I awaken, I say: “Good morning, Buddha.” Then I stroke the crown of his head, delighted to see the smile on his face, the fullness of his belly, and go about the ritual of waking up to yet another day. 

Nonetheless, I continued to grapple with this puzzle as a scientist would.  I measured the shifts. They were frequent, and seemed beyond the scope of probability. Further, every time the shift occurred, I would re-center him, while keeping track of the cycle, and continued to ask: Could this shift be nothing more than an subtle act on my part, or could it be something more esoteric, beyond my comprehension?  What role did I play?  It was entirely possible that no-one other than myself was the author of what appeared to be a mystical experience, but which was, in fact, nothing of the kind. Perhaps I had a skill unbeknowst to me as a Magician?  But I did not trouble my already troubled mind much longer with this puzzle, and so I let it go. And in doing so, I was now free. Free to fly beyond the sky.

(Note: This is one of those pieces that will keep shifting until it finds its way home. In the meantime, let it take you wherever it is that you go — even if that place is nowhere.)






Other Senses, Other Places

I’ve often poked at my obsession, passion for music, and stated that my tolerance for listening to a piece of music – whether it be a song or an opera, Mozart, Beethoven, or Bach – frequently clashes with those who are around me.
Even though they make like the same piece, their saturation level is breached far earlier than mine, and leads them into madness, momentarily, where they beg me to stop playing the music, which of course, I find amusing and ignore – but not out of deliberate malice. I simply need the music to thoroughly drench, not only my Soul, but reach into the nucleus of every cell in my body.
Why? Why must it travel that far and so deeply?
Not sure.
But here are a couple of guesses and recent revelations …
There definitely is some sort of connection between here and there
Maybe there’s lots of work to do down there? Repairs, etc.
I have often thought of the Universe in terms of Music and Mathematics, keys and strokes, equations precisely put and held together, yet also lucid, malleable and infinitely variable. The ultimate Time and Space connection – where it seldom matters what time it is here (cause we’re lousy timekeepers) but there. 
That’s my theory.
Back to Earth …
While I still don’t know why it must travel that far inside of me, I recently realized, that when it gets there, it stays there, permanently.
Not only that –
But from there, it comes back to surface and manages to fill everything around me – it lives in the walls, both literally, and metaphorically. I can hear it. And that, luckily for me, means that I can listen to it until the very end, that I never have to play it again. It is the shield that protects me. Always.
No doubt, this may be hard for some to swallow.
But lots of things – far more sinister than this – are hard to swallow.
For example …
Notable exceptions … Such as …
WordPress, The Master Of Chaos, where everything crumbles instantaneously, just as it did when I tried to publish this piece.


It’s in my blood.
I know it.
However, the interesting thing about Irony is that it can be accidental instead of intentional. That’s what I discovered yesterday while clicking shots with my iPhone.
Yesterday was a splendid day –
if you love the adventure of a snowstorm.
And I do.
That was not gonna stop me from doing what I had to, which was to make a run to Starbucks to make a quick revision on my computer – the one I hadn’t been able to complete the night before, since I became engaged in a fascinating conversation with 2 Baristas and another man who sat beside me about the abysmal state of Education in this country.
And so, determined as I am, no snowstorm was going to stop me from the task I hadn’t completed the night before.
It was a bit difficult getting the Smart out of its parking spot. The night before, I had burned rubber doing so, and I was doing the same that morning. Luckily a neighbor gave me the push I needed to go skating with my car.
We skated and danced down the streets and swooshed into a parking spot filled with snow.
The sign on the door indicated that Starbucks was closing early, and as I had no idea what time it was, I soon learned I was under deadline pressure. I was the last one out of there. That was after they had told me to leave 3 times.
“I’m almost done,” I said. “I’ve been trying to finish this for the past 4 days. One more sentence, and I’m out of here!”
Getting out of that parking space in front of Starbucks proved to be highly challenging, however.
It took a total of 5 guys at various stages to push me out – but not just push me out, but to push me to the corner, so I could get onto the main street.
They were wonderful!
There the Smart and I did the Twist, to a song by Sam Cooke, until we managed to make that u-turn.
Then we danced all the home.
The next challenge, of course, was getting back into the parking space I had left earlier. This time the storm was heavy and much larger cars than mine were immobilized, spinning wheels, going nowhere fast. But I had made it to the spot, I had left earlier, but not into it.
This time my highly impatient neighbor who had earlier guided me out of the stop came to the rescue. But impatient people make me nervous and I become giddy around them and start to laugh. So it wasn’t until a patient neighbor with a very long beard, a physicist, named Brian, came out with his shovel and began solving my dilemma, while explaining the Physics of the problem.
We were a wonderful team. It took some time, but we solved the problem – through patience and calm communication.
That’s when I saw Sunshine walking towards me with her shovel and I snapped several shots of her. And that’s where I later discovered the irony of the picture I had taken.


The Arithmetic of Dreams: Add It Up

I have often wondered how the subconscious influences our consciousness. And a question in search of an answer is: What is the Subconscious? We can speculate endlessly about its connection to Consciousness, but it is somewhat difficult to actually go there and form a mathematical equation, for example, of its properties. We just know it’s there. And dreams are often how we access it. Or, as in my case, in one example, the last image I produced before slipping into unconsciousness, 2 watercolor paintings I would not live to reproduce, while hovering between the two. And yet, there is a pattern that often comes through dreams that informs us what is of importance to us, at any given time, as long as our memory does not fail us once we awaken.

It’s an ideal way to address conflicts – if only you can have your therapist, for example, travel with you there. Roles often change. Projection is rampant. And so is substitution – essentially whatever is necessary to put the pieces of the puzzle into some coherent pattern.

I remember when I did observation while in my singular semester in graduate school at the Illinois Math and Science Academy, a campus that housed the most promising minds in these areas, tucked in a bucolic setting outside of Chicago. What an exciting experience! Curiosity at its peak. Adolescents! And Creativity. For Science also involves heavy doses of Creativity. That’s when breakthroughs occur.

Immediately I thought that the principles applied at IMSA could be applied at any school, since children and adolescents are naturally curious, observant and creative. But instead they are bogged down by futile attempts to measure and gauge intelligence through inferior testing principles – for what reason? For funding? Unacceptable. Shame on any system that holds this as the ideal!

The challenge is to teach children how to think – for themselves – and not demand they parrot irrelevant information for the comfort of sustaining social conformity.

One of the reasons, I failed graduate school was an assignment that asked us to produce our personal philosophy of Education. Mine was rejected. And as the graduate student next to me said when I told him this was: “How can you fail one when the assignment explicitly states to provide your personal philosophy of education?”

I hadn’t thought about that, until he mentioned it, but he was right. It’s an exploratory assignment, and properly outside any grading system. If anything, the response – or the grade – is a neutral one. It was at that point that I realized this program was not about teaching but about screening people for the profession. The professor ultimately admitted that when I confronted him on the last day of the semester. He had rejected my essay on Education and told me to rewrite it. And my refusal to comply was based on the premise that the only way I would be able to rewrite my personal philosophy of Education was when – and if – it changed. And it hadn’t changed. Thus I could not and would not comply with his demand. Because of that he gave me a “C” as my final grade. He had succeeded. He was victorious. I had been flushed from the system.

Back to IMSA.

At the time, I had a cousin who was (and is) a mathematical genius. He studied in France and has been on the staff at the Aegean University on the island of Samos. He discovered this concept called “Nest Algebra.” I looked into it, and I can’t say I understand it, but it has been highly influential among University mathematicians world-wide, including the U.S., especially at the University of Illinois in Urbana, Illinois.

At IMSA, I approached one of the mathematics staff and I simply asked him if he had ever heard of Nest Algebra. He hadn’t. And then, I decided to ask him a question that had been puzzling me ever since I was watching my older son playing with Legos (a staple in our house). Ted would build elaborate constructions with Legos, cities, they were. And one day, the following popped into my mind. When you take two discreet units and merge them into a single unit, you now have one, so we assume that 1 + 1 = 2. But maybe 1 + 1 = 1? That was the question I put to this teacher. But instead of explaining how I had arrived at this conclusion, I posed it differently to him, essentially as an equation. “Why doesn’t 1 + 1 = 1?” And his response was: “That’s an irrelevant question.” And my response to that was: “I thought all questions were relevant.” And that was the end of our conversation, since he did not respond to my final question, but instead, walked away from me.

Below is a picture snapped of me snapped during twilight at the Athens airport. Unfortunately I don’t have the original picture, but did have it Facebook – Big Brother – and could only copy the link.

Hopefully it works.
But wait …
I outwitted Big Brother!

My ex-husband at the time recalls seeing what appeared as lightning, startling him, as he took the picture. It wasn’t until we looked at the photograph that we saw what we saw.

The most common and revealing explanation was: You were smoking a cigarette. It’s cigarette smoke.

I’ll just leave it at that.
No comment.

But it was an astrophysicist – a PhD student in Athens – who saw it differently. He was curious about the time the photo was taken (4:30 AM) and suggested this was very likely a form of energy usually undetected by the naked eye. Electricity, perhaps. (He also ruled out cigarette smoke.) Now that is interesting.

My mother died when I was 16. I am now 61. She still inhabits my dreams. It took me years to reconcile the finality of Death and it was through her guidance and demonstrations (after several failed attempts) to reach my level of receptivity and understanding. It was Mother Goose to the rescue. Humpty Dumpty, specifically.

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the King’s Horses and all the King’s Men, couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together again.”

I was like, wow, I get it.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein hadn’t worked. We had attempted (through dreams) several re-writes of that, but to no success.

Oftentimes, she just appears with strange messages. Once, she had hooked me up with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, when both were dead. They had reached some agreement that she would now serve as my literary agent. Oooookay, I said. Not gonna attempt to argue with that one. Dead women managing my literary career.

And then, last night, there she was again! This time with Oprah. I am neither a fan or follower of Oprah. But there she was. She had come to view my Art. She was in sweats and far from the elegant person portrayed in film, television and magazines.

And I’m going …
“What brought you here?
Why are you here?”

And she said:
“I wanna see your Art.”

And I said:
“But it’s locked up. It’s in storage and surrounded by a chain link fence.”

And she said:
“Show me.”

And I said:
“Yeah, but why are you here? What brought you here?”

And she said:
“I got a letter about you.
From your mother.
Five years ago.”

“Ohhhhh,” I said.