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An essay contributed by Bill McKeen

Musing on life:

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Think Again:

When it be within your power to return a wrong done unto you, consider which type of action will continue the discord, and which will end it.

Looking Ahead:

For the want of something more we lose more. In the status quo or less anything is a gain.


In good company a hard chair will not bother me.


No matter how bad a person reputation is, if they treat you well you will still probably still like them.


When I was a child living in Northumberland (Groveton), NH, we didn't have running hot water, ball point pens, television or instant coffee.

Optical Illusion of Time:

In our mind's eye we have a tendency to make things look bigger. After being away for many years, I decided to visit my home town and the elementary school which I attended. I was shocked and somewhat awed. Everything appeared closer together and much smaller.

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I try not to let myself get carried away by worrying. My pall bearers will do it for me.

Historical Contact:

I have been told that my great grandfather on my mothers side of the family, David Holbrook, a Captain in the Union Army during the Civil War, got to shake hands with Abraham Lincoln. My claim to fame would be that I got stared down by John Kennedy. It happened in 1960 while I was in Washington D.C. After receiving a pass from my local congressman I went to Capital Hill to visit the U.S. Senate. While I was sitting up in the senate gallery, JFK was on the floor surrounded by some of his colleagues. He had just returned from campaigning in the N.H. primary. With a sense of knowing and without scanning the gallery, he looked up directly at me. It lasted maybe 3 or 4 seconds. I couldn't hold it and had to look away. In retrospect I wished I had flashed the victory sign. Maybe I could have gotten a wave or perhaps the famous Kennedy smile.


If you are a blood relative, a minor achievement will be seen as a major accomplishment. If you are not a blood relative, a major accomplishment could be viewed as a minor achievement.

Same Suit--Different Tie:

If you are a blood relative, a major blunder will be viewed as a minor miscue. If you are not a blood relative, a minor miscue could be seen as a major blunder.


When we see or hear misfortune involving people outside our own family, it does not register in the same manner as it were our own. In defense of nature, without this selfish gene, the survival of the species would not have been possible.

On Women:

"She has a intuitive understanding of what lies' quite close to her, her field of vision is narrow and doesn't reach that which is remote; so that women are decidedly more sober in their judgement than we are, so they do not see more in a thing than is really there, whilst if our passion are aroused, we are apt to see things in an exaggerated way, or imagine what does not exist." German Philosopher A. Schopenhauer:

Arthur Schopenhauer

As you may have already guessed he is my favorite philosopher. A pessimist and a realist for sure. He was a free thinker without any obligations. He did not have work for a living. Nor did he have any family responsibility. No children or grand children. He had all this free time. I can't help but to think that his philosophy would have been a tad more optimistic if he had his own offsprings.


In my own life reviews I found a few of them were well thought out and logical but just turned out to be wrong. Some were due to temptation. Many were done under stress and pressure. A few were also caused by ignorance and stupidity.

Brain Science

You don't need to dwell on the this subject to become an expert. All you need to know is an area called the "prefrontal cortex." One part of it (dorsal) tells you where to go, what to do and what to say. The other part (ventral) tells you where not to go, what not to do and what not to say.

Omens And Signs

There are both good ones and bad ones, Most of them are subtle and elusive, yet if you look close enough you might be able to make a connection. Occasionally one will appear that is so powerful it can't be ignored. I can testify to that. My father-in-law came to visit our house one afternoon in early 1999-DEC. After talking in the kitchen for about 5 minutes, I looked out the window and saw all these black birds, It was an incredible sight. They completely covered our lawn and the yard of three of our neighbors. He opened the outside door and shouted to scare them away. Five hours later at a card party he collapsed from a massive heart attack and passed away.

From Darkness to the Light

Take care when seeking answers to the great question of life. God might just honor your request by taking you sooner rather
than later. Might as well enjoy the "here and now" while you can and think of it as a point of departure and not necessarily the final destination.


It seems whenever people try to turns a brief personal near death experience into a book they always seem to end up deluding the original contents. With so many pages to fill how could it be otherwise.

The Arts

What turns on your ego keeps you in constant motion. Periods of respite are possible if you can get into a practice of ego-lessness. As Schopenhauer himself once alluded aesthetic pleasures such as music, painting, sculpture, theater, poetry and horticulture can offer that possibility. The key is to find the right one that works for you. None of the above do it for me except for maybe horticulture. It is in the bloom of my beautiful Dahlias flowers that I feel it the most.

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Two People:

A study in contrast:

The first person appears calm and serene; is adept at making conversationl, yet listens well; Is considerate, and will not jump start or interrupt another; Enjoys musical concerts.

The second person is lacking in social skills; appears to be tense; doesn't really say much, but when he or she does speak, tends to be very direct and somewhat louder; apt to stare and ask too many questions; enjoys art museums.

The first person is blind. The second person is hearing impaired.

Second Person

A glimpse on the other side of the wall. In the absence of the spoken word, the hearing impaired do become very astute at reading lips and facial expressions. With lip reading, it is in a high state of awareness that a fleeting analysis must be made between partial sound and lip movement. Sometimes, at the end of a sentence, you get a clue as to a key word previously stated. While you are trying to reconstruct the previous statement the person is still talking. So, not only are you doing what was said before, but you must process what is being said now, and at the same time, you have to be ready with a response to keep the conversation going.

As For My Self:

I have been partially deaf since birth. In the low frequency sounds my hearing loss was moderate to severe. In high frequency it was profound. Thus affecting my ability speak and hear. It has been one hell of a ride. My speaking and writing style tend to be short and to the point as you can see here. There were so many times in my life when I could have vaulted ahead of my contemporaries but just couldn't pull it off due to my lack of communication skills. Despite not having the gift of gab, I was able to carve a decent living, enough to support and raise a family. In December, 2011 I received a Cochlear Implant. It is good but not great. It will never make up for the lost years.


Just when you thought your bird nesting days were over along comes the grandchildren. The phantom umbilical cord returns with all the joys, cares and worries that it entails. Where your pleasure resides, your pain resides.

Prime Time

Child development in the first five years is so critical when it comes to acquiring emotional stability, bonding, trust and communication skills. Any kind of prolonged negative stimulus can create development delays and or at worst, life long phobia of one kind or another. other. The following idiom certainly applies. "As the twig is bent so is the tree inclined".


Impossible to know in the here and now
Restricted and confined as we are.
With ignorance abounding everywhere.
Each to their own little universe.
Not knowing whence or why, when or how.
Seeking to find the fleeting joy, ever so brief and shallow.
Stoke the ego, call my name, and give me my due.
Oh Mother Dear, hold me close in thy restful womb.

Hang Time

"I'm afraid that if you look at a thing long enough, it loses all of its meaning." (Andy Warhol)


Despite its negative connotation it does produce a good feeling either consciously or subconsciously. It comes from the feeling of knowing that you are not alone in misery and strife.  1

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  1. If any of the written material above looks familiar, then it is coincidental. ("except where noted") I believe that there nothing in this world that has not been said before in one way or another. Still, I like to think that everyone has a little different stroke when it comes to using the same paint brush.

  2. "Schadenfreude" is a German term that refers to one's experience of pleasure from another person's misfortune.

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Related essay by Bill McKeen:

Theological Musing: My Search for Truth

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Copyright © 2013 & 2015 by Bill McKeen. All rights reserved. Brief quotations may be used for review purposes. Non-commercial use is permissible, if the author and title of this work are acknowledged.
First posting: date: 2013-SEP-01
Latest update: 2015-AUG-03
Author: William Mckeen
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