1. 1.
    traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
    "the peripatetic nature of military life"
    synonyms:nomadic, itinerant, traveling, wandering, roving, roaming, migrant,migratory, unsettled
    "I could never get used to her peripatetic lifestyle"
  2. 2.
  1. 1.
    a person who travels from place to place.
  2. 2.
    an Aristotelian philosopher.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Chappa-Quid-Pro-Quo--Can Hope Float Where It's Still "Tooth for Tooth?"

Now that we in America--according to the media--have officially reached the end of an era, we should probably give hope a chance to float. Family birthdays tend to fall into that realm of possibility. You wouldn't believe how many there are in my family at this time of year. I hope this cake will suffice for now as my offering of hope.

Aging amalgam fillings--soon to be replaced--require a lot of hope for little pain and much dinero. Every action in life has a consequence, it seems. Too much birthday cake, along with other sweet things, eventually exact a toll. Another toll I'm somewhat concerned about is how much mercury I've consumed over the years as these little miracles of dental ingenuity from the past slowly broke down. It's amazing what we can swallow without giving much thought to it. I suppose we can build up a tolerance for almost anything if it's ingested a little at a time.

For some reason, tolerance seems to be quite the catch-word these days. Grups, though, seem to have the most trouble swallowing the concept whole. They tend to want to chew things slowly and savor the flavor before deciding to completely ingest them or spit them out. It's really not a matter of being un-American or small-minded. It is a sign of experience, survival, and a real hunger for truth--and trust--in an era where those concepts have been as rare as hens' teeth.

A Man may make a Remark--
In itself--a quiet thing
That may furnish the Fuse unto a Spark
In dormant nature--lain--
Let us deport--with skill--
Let us discourse--with care--
Powder exists in Charcoal--
Before it exists in Fire.
(a poem by Emily Dickinson, c. 1864)

"I hope for an America where neither fundamentalist nor humanist will be a dirty word but a fair description of the different ways in which people of good will look at life and into their own souls...." (from Ted Kennedy's speech on Tolerance and Truth)
Addendum: Just found this article about America's selective memory. I wonder. Could it be the fault of all of those amalgam fillings?


  1. Oh, I know I sound so unforgiving but having read up on how Mary Jo Kopechne died - she asphyxiated when the air pocket she was in ran out of air - and knowing about other serious problems he had, I have to say the Ted Kennedy has a lot to answer for. Then again, his flaws just seem larger than life, because he was.

  2. PJ, it's a good thing heaven is a big place to hold such a Goliath among men. No, I should not be uncharitable either. Darn!

  3. I like the Kennedy quote and wonder where "cable news" (not much news really) fits in?

  4. I haven't seen that movie, have you? And I can ask my wife about your "aging amalgam fillings," she's a dental hygienist with over 20 years experience. This grup has much tolerance, a virtue all school bus drivers should acquire, don't you think? Ms. Emily really knew how to word things didn't she? And some politicians do too, even to the point of covering up a terrible injustice. Forgiveness can be a hard pill to swallow.

  5. Good morning. I don't think we can look to our teeth for a fault in our souls;)

    A lot of us talk and sometimes really want to help our fellow men. But when the worst happens, who do we save? That is where the heroes are separated from the rest.

  6. I happen to like the Kennedy quote too, Troutbirder. I also happen to remember news coverage of The Incident in 1969, when I was nine years old. It's always been a puzzle and somewhat troubling to me that justice--legal as well as social--in this country, of all places, still ends up weighing people differently. Not sure where cable news fits in because we don't have cable service in our house. Don't want it and don't need it.

    Thanks, TC. I'd like to hear the unvarnished truth from a dental professional. I'm sure your wife has encountered those fillings many times before--or maybe I really am a "dinosaur." You know, I think most people miss the point about tolerance. To truly tolerate means to bear or endure whatever responsibility or consequence that results from agreeing to something said or done. One of my favorite teachers once said "we should politely agree to disagree," a much better assessment of how to handle our differences, don't you agree? Forgiveness is divine, I've heard, but we erring humans still have a system of laws that apply to everyone--or should, anyway. Otherwise the social justice loses its meaning and worth.

    Marnie, I may have taken the tooth metaphor a bit too far, bitten off more than I should have. And I do like your assessment of what separates the men from the boys, women from the girls.

    Tina, I had to add something sweet to the "mix." Wouldn't want everyone to think that bitterness was the standard around here--it's really not. The cake recipe, by the way, is called "Yum-Yum"--Daughter's request.

  7. Fantastic cake and the small plant in India is known as "Tulsi" which is the Holy Plant and is very good for health.Unseen Rajasthan

  8. That sign makes me want to run right past. My wife, being from Belgium, celebrates "name days," ... the older they get the less emphasis they give to birthdays, and instead switch over to name days. I sort of like that.

  9. Interesting article.. I don't understand that episode at all or why he did what he did. But as a person with a disability, I have to thank him for the "Americans With Disabilities Act" and as a teacher for all the support for special education and for all he did for civil rights... Flawed and amazing all at the same time. Aren't we all?

  10. Unseen, thank you for noticing and commenting about the basil plant. It's one of my favorite herbs in the garden, and it's the largest plant I have growing there. Its ability to thrive in the lean soil here amazes me. I love its smell and flavor, and its fragrance is reputed to fight mental fatigue. I agree!

    Mr. S, we pass by that sign almost every day on our walk. It's at the end of a cul-de-sac and restricts access to a long, unpaved driveway. We've never seen anyone enter or exit the property, and we wonder what goes on back there where "trust-passing" is not allowed. I like that idea of phasing out birthdays. It sounds like it would be healthier all around: no more scrambling for gift ideas and fewer calories consumed.

    Michelle, no doubt Teddy's efforts made a big difference in this country. He championed some great causes and made an indelible impression in more ways than one on more than one generation. We'll all definitely not forget him or the rest of his family. I watched a program on PBS last night called The American Experience and learned even more fascinating history surrounding the Kennedys. Love 'em or not, they're a big part of our national conscience.

    Thanks, everyone, for the interesting input and individual perspectives. I really do love flavorful conversations like this one. I think the cordial expression of what makes us different brings us closer together. Ain't blogging grand?

  11. I'd like to think we live in a country where "all men are created equal" and all men are treated equally, but I would be naive to think that. The biggest news here in central Illinois this past month has been the investigation of the U of I for its special admissions, where unqualified individuals with "connections" were admitted to the University anyway. Most of the Trustees have resigned, and many are calling for the resignations of the President and Chancellor. I think they coined a new word: "clouted admissions."

    My sympathies go out to the Kennedy family who have had more than their fair share of tragedy. I think this may be the end of an era; the Kennedys seemed like the American version of royalty.

    Good luck with the dental work! I no longer have any silver fillings, but my mouth is worth a fortune now!

  12. The no Trustpassing sign is awwwwsome! While I used to think tolerance would make the world a better place, I honestly am beginning to think we shouldn't tolerate everybody. Hate is hate, and it's getting ugly out there. Good thing you have the comforts of family birthdays to celebrate. Your cake looks yummy

  13. Well, if there was any doubt, you can see I'm interested in your blog! Your post and the ensuing comment thread make me yearn to be in real-time convo with you all. Topics such as tolerance, justice, truth, and what we will never know... plus important advances such as the disabilities act- all important to me.

    For now, I have nothing to add because it's been covered or would take pages for me to write about... other than I was pleased to see a poem by one of my favorite poets, Emily Dickinson, on this post. Thank you for this toothy post with much to chew over.

  14. Thank you, gel! I've always enjoyed preparing the posts, and sometimes they end up surprising me when I get finished with them. I'm even more surprised that I don't drive people away with some of the strange things I write. It's great to find a new friend.