the interesting idea... the start of this project... the conversations to come
I'm a member of Post Crossing, the internet site for postcard exchange. I sent a card to another Post Crosser, Ilona from Germany. She asked that people tell her which magical power they would like to have. Her question really made me think!
In turn, I thought it would be an interesting project to ask people to pose Thought-Provoking Questions. I would do my best to answer with my opinion, and I would encourage others to add theirs.
And, so was born this blog! I hope that it will be the home for many interesting conversations in the year ahead!
So, I learned in science class that you can't really DESTROY matter... it's got to "go" someplace. Therefore, whenever anyone says to me "I've lost 10 pounds..." I reply, "oh, they're not lost; I've got 'em right here." I never seem to have any problem at all FINDING weight... it's the losing of it that gets me!
And, so Kathryn's question fits right in...
Why is so easy to put on weight but so very difficult to lose it again?
Lisa, from not too far away from me in Maryland (and who sent a card from Baltimore, where the Baltimore Ravens play football), asks:
Why are major league baseball rookies getting multi-million dollar signing bonuses when our nation's teachers are getting low salaries, having to buy their own classroom supplies, and work in crumbling down school buildings?
I'm sure you've seen those comic illustrations where a devil sits on a person's left shoulder whispering into on ear while an angel sits on the right, whispering something else. I feel a little like this with this question!
On one hand, I too want teachers to be well-paid, well-supplied, and well-employed. I wish our nation's school buildings were all up-to-date, creative, well-designed structures with the features that high-tech sports stadiums have. On the other hand, I rather applaud the young athlete who has figured out a way to parlay physical strength, agility, and skill into a rewarding career. We have always showered the young, fit, and able with accolades.
Can we balance a little better? I'd like to think so.
On the only card I've received from Moldova - and quite a lovely card it is - appears this question:
What association arises for you from the photo on the card?
At first, I felt the warmth of the sun as it touched the leaves and stem of the tulip. Then I wondered if the photo had actually been printed using a reversal process so that it appeared the way a negative would because the flower was bending away from the light. In life, wouldn't it bend toward the light?
And then I thought how much this little photo illuminates the foolish actions we sometimes perform when we turn away from something that is good for us and that keeps us well. Deep, I know. All from a little tulip.
Can animals be superior to humans and if so, in what ways?
Let's see... humans can't run as fast as the fastest animal, are not as strong as the strongest animal, can't see as well in the dark as the keenest-sighted animal, can't smell hardly anything at all, can't leap as high nor swim as deep...
All that prevents the cats in this household from piling me onto the trash heap like the useless waste of resources that I am is my ability to OPEN A CAN OF CAT FOOD! As long as I can do that, I figure I am safe!
I remembered an article I'd read that said we're practically incapable of telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. In fact, in one experiment, approximately 60% of the participants told at least one lie, and these lies cropped up in conversation as short at 10 minutes.
Thomas, a patient Post Crosser from Germany asks - on this lovely, elegant card...
Do you believe in different lives and a meet up with known souls/people in next or further ones? Can you imagine making an appointment with somebody you really love to spend another life with him/her again?
I have always tried to tell people I love that I love them. I hope I succeed. There are some, I know, who might not know how much they have meant to me. To meet them again, to tell them they mattered so very much is, for me, where the comfort of this question resides.
I would like to be my own pet. I have two of the most incredibly pampered, well-fed, totally indulged cats you'd ever care to meet. And, that's what makes me think I know the answer to this question, from Taiwan:
I'm a person who loves animals very much and sometimes I'll wonder about whether keeping a pet is really good for them. If they could choose, would they choose to keep living with us?
I guess it does really depend on the animal, but I know that Boris and Natasha (the aforementioned pets) would have no idea how to hunt down a can of cat food in the wild, let alone skin it and eat it.
By that, I'm assuming he's asking "why do we do the things we do in the ways we do them?" Heavens above, but I wish I knew! Sometimes, I find myself in the middle of some activity and wonder how the heck I got there!
I thought I would like to be a spider for all the extra hands with which I could work. That thought reminded me of a poem I wrote for a summer art project with kids (in which they imagined themselves to be animals).
I’d like to be an octopus. You say that I’m delirious? You shouldn’t make such a fuss!
Just think! I would have:
One arm to hold a class of juice One arm to wrestle Cousin Bruce One arm to pet Clyde the cat One arm to hold on to my hat One arm to bounce a basketball One arm to take an important call One arm to wave and tell you “hi!” One arm that's just to say “goodbye!”
I’ll tell you plain: it follows thus That to be an octopus Is really quite felicitous!
If you have a chance to choose a country in which to be born one more time, which would it be?
Now, I could flatter this questioner and say "why, Poland, of course!" I could be patriotic and say, "why the one in which I live now, of course!"
But the honest truth is, I don't know. I don't know enough about the world to make a good choice! (One of the reasons I was drawn to Post Crossing was to learn more about the world; I'm not sure that I have enough learning yet to make a decision!)
Why do we pay money to ride a roller coaster that makes us dizzy the rest of the day?
No, roller coasters for this kid, nohow, noway!
Once, m-a-n-y years ago (long enough ago that I was still allowing myself to be convinced to do something by a person I was dating!), I attended a carnival. Oh, but he wanted to go on that ride - I don't even know what it's called - that looks like a big drum that spins, rises into the air, and then tilts sideways. The centrifugal force keeps the riders pressed against the inner side of the drum!
Well, I timed the ride (three minutes, fifteen seconds - I could do that). I watched the ride for evidence of leaking oil, loose bolts, electric sparking (all good - the safety department should have hired me!). I observed the people getting off the ride (no one looked ill or as if a seizure was imminent).
OK, I'll go.
We climbed aboard, snapped ourselves into the compartment, and the ride started to spin. During the 7 years I was trapped in that diabolical chamber of centrifugal torture, the only thing I heard (besides the thundering of my heart as it threatened to depart from my chest) was my date, CHATTING UP THE GIRL ON HIS OTHER SIDE.
Never again. Never again to cylindrical drum carnival rides or other forms of fast-moving, terror-inducing "entertainment." Never again to agreeing to something my body still shakes at the thought of doing! And, in retrospect, I should have said "never again" to the jerk on the ride with me!
From Japan comes this wonderful question (and lovely handmade postcard):
If you describe feelings by colour, what colour(s) is the moment of happiness to you? the moment of joy to you? and why?
Oooooh, how I like this question! I experience a small degree of synesthesia, which is basically a way of perceiving one sense through another. So, for me, for example, the deep blue sky of the western horizon at twilight "smells" like cinnamon. Every time I see that color, it's as if someone snapped a cinnamon stick in half near me. Mmmmmmmm.
I have been told, by parents and other relatives, that I was an inquisitive child, and I like to think that I still am! As a child, before I could speak in complete sentences, I would still ask lots and lots of questions, using the ever-helpful word "do?"
I would ask, for instance,
as in "what is the sky for? what does the sky do?"
Well, young Eva (who is four) and I are clearly kindred spirits because she wonders...
Why is the sky blue if the universe is dark and black?
I hope there IS some kind of after. Irma, from Finland, wonders too:
Is there life after death?
In the Laurel Hill Cemetery, where I am a volunteer, there's a gravestone that reads, in part, "Life is eternal; death is merely a change of condition." That is the way I like to think I think about this question.