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.

Friday, March 18, 2011

'Three Dimensions and If Possible Four'

We walked on a mountain last Saturday. You don't believe me? I've got proof. Some of it went home with us, stuck in shoe-sole crevices and trapped in trouser creases. That fine quartz sand drawing tourists to Pensacola and other beaches along the Gulf of Mexico has washed down from the Appalachian Mountains over millions of years. Tiny grains, eroded and deposited, not just once but endlessly by wave action and sea-level changes.

We had some tense moments last week...more than what we're used to these days. SAM and I drove back home last Friday afternoon to watch Grandson while his mom and dad went to a church retreat in Destin. The date was clearly marked on my calendar. March 11. Nothing out of the ordinary, right? Wrong. On the surface, everything was smooth, for Grandson's sake. As soon as I turned on the TV to watch the evening news, SAM reminded me. Disturbing images and sounds. Turn it off. Okay, I will, for a while.

You see I'm trying in all my stories to get the feeling of the actual life across--not to just depict life--or criticize it--but to actually make it alive. So that when you have read something by me you actually experience the thing. You can't do this without putting in the bad and the ugly as well as what is beautiful. Because if it is all beautiful you can't believe in it. Things aren't that way. It is only by showing both sides--3 dimensions and if possible 4--that you can write the way I want to. (Ernest Hemingway to Dr. C. E. Hemingway, 1925, Selected Letters)  

While Grandson made sandcastles on the beach, his other Grandpa who lives in Japan tried to get word to his daughter. Phone service was unavailable. Somehow, he managed to get a message to her on Facebook. "I'm all right," he wrote. That's more than I've been able to manage lately. Sometimes the words refuse to come out, and I can't even manage to call or send a simple e-mail message to someone dear to me. Or leave an encouraging comment on a Japanese friend's site. March 11--even before 2011--had already left its mark on me in "three dimensions and if possible four."

And life for a few years was pretty flat until this little guy showed up to hold my hand and make his mark on me--on March 11, in "three dimensions and if possible four." It's beautiful, don't you think? Life. Sometimes I need tangible reminders.


  1. Life....just it is beautiful. Ugly, sad and heartbreaking things occur but all you have to do is look into the innocent face of an child or watch a child sleep or smell a flower or watch a sunset and then you know...Life is beautiful

  2. Your story was one I won't forget soon. Life for me too, is never easy, and often painful. But it is also beautiful in so many ways, and grandkids are such a big part of that.

  3. Life is beautiful but not without its challenges. I agree, tangible reminders, like a wonderful grandson, are a balm to the soul.
    P.S. My grandson is 3...:) What a joy he is through troubled times.

  4. Such catastrophes like the one now happened in Japan are truly disturbing..What the mankind can do is just pray..and wish such disasters will never occur in the future..

  5. I'm glad to hear Micah's grandpa is alright and wow on the mountain climb. I want to climb a mountain like that with azure seas in the background.

  6. Dear Walk2write,
    I am happy to hear that Mivah's grandfather is alright. Those few friends in Japan that I know have been spared too, and I am so glad about that. Life is such a wild mixture of beautiful and of disturbing things - and the strange feeling that one can be happy and unhappy at the same time. I am hopeful, I do believe in the stength of prayers or thoughts - I do. Nature is a force that is bigger than man is - although we try everything to forget that, and sometimes that is hubris. Man is so small. And alone. But heroic too, I think of that courageous workers fighting against the next explosion. And I admire the strength and discipline of the Japanese people. Praying for a miracle.

  7. Hi W2W .. I'm so pleased his other grandfather is fine .. and I just hope and pray for everyone in Japan .. it is too tragic to believe .. Nature is earth shattering sometimes .. but the people are being amazing .. with thoughts - Hilary

  8. Ann, the little ones give us hope, don't they?

    CissB, enjoy that vacation with your granddaughter. What memories you'll make together!

    Karen, those moments with the grandson are precious. You want them to last forever.

    Tomz, yes, pray. And help the ones affected if we can. And work to convince the powers that be to nix the idea of building more nuclear plants.

    Tina, thanks. Altitude sickness is not a problem here!

    Britta, your comment is so beautiful! It's a real spirit-lifter. Thank you.

    Hilary, the Japanese people are amazing. Let's not stop praying for them.

  9. I'm glad you got to go to the helps to calm our wracked nerves when hearing about such a horrendous tragedy! I am praying so much, and crying so much too...I have to stay busy to try and keep it off my mind some of the time. I'm trying. Yes, pray.

  10. Exactly. My most recent post on Troutbirder II sums this idea up exactly. It has sustained me for twelve years since the loss of our eldest son...

  11. I think we all need those kinds of reminders. I'm so glad the other Grandpa is okay. It's frightening how fast it can all be taken away--we need to enjoy every moment.

  12. It's been difficult to watch the disaster in Japan and all the aftereffects like the nuclear worries without feeling terrible. After awhile, I just have to turn the TV off, but those in Japan aren't so lucky. I'm so glad Micah's other grandpa is safe; this is one time we can really appreciate technological advancements made in communication.

    A belated Happy Birthday to your grandson! There's nothing like a grandchild to renew one's sense of joy.

  13. Sometimes it just doesn't seem real until you know someone who has been affected by the devastation.
    Your grandson is lucky to have such a wise and loving grandmother.

  14. Your sea is such a lovely shade of green. It’s still snowy here so thanks for warming me up. My thoughts have been with friends and family in Japan too.

  15. But your finding was absolutely wonderful..I'm talking about my horror stories..I never thought, anyone had such a doubt..

  16. Julie, the sea seems to just absorb whatever is bothering me. It's not so easy to visit it anymore (not just a short drive away now), but the pics and memories help.

    TB, I'm sorry about your son. The grief might lose some of its sharp edges, but it's still there.

    Thank you, Lydia. I find something to enjoy every day.

    Rose, I never gave Facebook much credit before, but I might have to change my mind after this incident. Actually, Micah's birthday is in May. Sorry for the misunderstanding. My fault!

    Rosey, you're right. Most disasters tug at your heart, but this one really hits home. Thank you.

    Sarah, I'm glad to help. Sending Spring thoughts your way. I hope everyone you're thinking of is okay.

    Tomz, for some reason it made sense to me. Happy to help.