Marvin Repinski: The tree with eight branches

Published 6:02 pm Tuesday, August 2, 2022

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In reading various materials I, like you, look for thoughtful quotations. Recently, my self-esteem has been lifted by meditating on several statements by various persons I admire. Some of these writers have been, as we say, “through the mill!” I feel that adds to the profundity and insight.

Imagine a tree. Plant it in a place where you can see it and study it for a while from different angles. This exercise in meditation will hopefully expand your thoughts. We all need, do we not, the help we can gain in getting through life?

DISCOVERY: An author of bright, enjoyable novels was Eudora Welty. She wrote: “Writing fiction has developed in me, an abiding respect for the unknown in a human lifetime and a sense of where to look for the threads: how to follow, how to connect, how to find in the thick of the tangle, what clear time persists. The strands are all there is to the memory. Nothing is ever lost.”

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APOLOGY: It’s a never-ending reality for some of us to say, “I’m sorry!” The author Jan Morris has stated: “I have been able, as I grow older, to extend my range of fellow-feeling to animals. Also to nations, even inanimate objects — I do not feel in the least bit foolish in apologizing to a table, if I trip over its leg or giving encouraging words to a recalcitrant automobile.”

Add a reflection on the recent trip to Canada by Pope Francis, where he apologized for the abuse done by missionaries to the Indigenous people.

ACCEPTANCE: The French poet Colette, asks herself a question. “Whence can I and on what wings that it should take me so long, humiliated and exiled, to accept that I am myself?” Wow! What a challenge!

AWARENESS: Often , the play “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” is cited. Added to numerous novels that thicken what is already thick, her lines: “For our lives. How long will they be? Can we count on another twenty years? I shall be fifty on the 25th, Monday … and sometimes feel that I have lived 250 years already, and sometimes, that I am still the youngest person in the omnibus.”

HUMOR: Kathleen Fischer has noted that “humor is one way to acknowledge and transcend our limitations; hope is another.” My response to a surprise of humor or a humorous situation is buoyancy! And you?

The village band finished a vigorous and not overly harmonious selection. As the perspiring musicians sank to their seats after acknowledging the applause, the trombonist asked, “What’s the next number?” The leader replied, “The Washington Post March.” “Oh, no, “gasped the trombonist. “I just got through playing that!”

One of the most tactful speeches ever thought up suddenly was spoken by the man who blundered into a bathroom where a woman was bathing and calmly turned and left with the words, “I beg your pardon — sir.”

TIMING: Actors have a third sense; maybe more —  they have the ability to dramatize many different moods, characters, scenes, efforts, plots, joys, languages, defiance, abstractions, and age. Are there rhythms in life? It seems like seasons or, “It’s my time or it’s not my time.”

Susan Strasberg, the versatile actor, has said, “You can’t push a wave into the shore any faster than the ocean brings it in.”

ATTITUDE: A very thoughtful doctor has written about our bodies. Paula Gunn Allen has noted: “Our physicality —  which always and everywhere includes our spirituality, mentality, emotionality, social institutions, and process —  is a microcosm of all physicality.  Each of us reflects; in our attitudes toward our bodies, and bodies of others. As we believe, we act.”

An added note that others can wisely expand on is that there is an industry, the so-called “beauty industry,” worth millions of dollars — or is it billions —  that appropriately addresses the desire of customers wishing to say “my attitude toward my body is of utmost importance!”

LOVE: Expressions of a most basic trait, a full-bodied virtue that all of us may admire, need, and share, is love. If there is one ethic that we attribute to Jesus, it is to cherish love!

A mother of five children was asked which one of her children she loved the most. Thinking for a moment, looking around the room, she answered, “At any time when I sense that a certain child needs a special love, that’s the one I love!”