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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Word List #6: Greater And Lesser Enigmas

I should mention the photo, taken probably by me or Dan, reflects this entry's title. The lesser enigma is why the gate is only half painted. Greater enigma is what possessed Norma --red shirt at left-- and Wendy --at right with purse-- to befriend me in the '60s and remain nearly 45 years --and hopefully counting. They have have heard my questions down the years and I appreciate it, so at the end of this post I shall include a sentimental poem. This word list will contain puzzles in the form of questions --tests even-- which Willie might appreciate as a half-century compilation toward my own personal pop-quiz. These will be numbered. But let's begin with 2 enigmas from his and my recent personal correspondence:

Scientists believe that the planets grew from material pulled together by electrostatic charges - the same force that's behind the "dust bunnies" under your bed. I hadn't wondered about the cohesive force behind dust bunnies since I was little and am amazed and delighted to see it explained in a single sentence. I mean, to suddenly see an answer to a long-forgotten question is like the universe is keeping some sort of promise. And, in context of the principle, we are living on a grown-up dust bunny! As we sleep, new worlds form under our dreams.

A brief consultation of The Yellow Pages shows sociopaths and psychopaths to be poorly advertised compared to homeopaths and osteopaths. My insurance brochure doesn't list them at all. I suppose if I come down with anything requiring a sociopath or psychopath I could ask my family doctor to recommend a good one. Otherwise I don't know how they get any business.


1. In life, a test creates its own course of study. Is the reverse true only in classrooms?

2. Bubbles have centers. Do suds?

3. What effect do our adult lives have upon our childhoods?

4. Why can't I use my measuring tape to measure the distance between any given point and where I lost it?

5. A sundial measures the roll and orbit of Earth. Mechanical clock measures its own face. Which is more accurate? Why do both work best at night?

6. Is the future where an event is broadcasting itself or where it will broadcast itself?

7. If every particle of matter comes from everywhere equally and goes everywhere at once, how long can I believe I'm not everybody else?

8. Are we the thing that looks out at the universe or the thing into which the universe looks or all three?

9. If each step takes you no closer to the edge of everything, where is its middle?

10. If we had not named Nothingness and defined it, would it exist?

11. Could God build a better eternity if He had the time?

12. Can too much self-denial make us envious of people who never heard of us?

13. How well each cell knows its neighbors is evidenced by how well you are. Does this acquaintance stop at your body?

14. Has reward meaning beyond events that include it?

15. Why does the wake behind a duck on a calm pond resemble a big feather?

There are hundreds, if not thousands, more of these collected questions found in a shelf Norma made me sort out, and I shall post them by and by. But now the poem:

Laughter ripples
At my hat-brim.
A half-painted gate
Attracts angels.
They sing.
Infinity is sudden.
What surpise
They bring!


  1. "Dust bunnies" and "Psychopaths and sociopaths": I'm sure you can see why having discussions like these are so great with Geo.!

    "The quiz": Now you see why my former student Geo. was also one of my best teachers as well!

    And Norma, Wendy, and the unfinished fence's paint job: Wendy was also--as Geo. and Norma--one of my sweetest friends from high school days on. I also learned a lot from her!

  2. I love you too, Will. The quiz has a ways to go yet. I don't know, maybe 60 typewritten pages lost in a folder 20 years back. Had I not done carpentry on the shelves today, they'd still be lost behind there. So fun. You'll recognize some questions from discussions long ago.


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