In praise of "hanging thoughts" that inspire us.

Reading and listening are great ways to bring thoughts into your brain that will be of use later. I often remember words and phrases from the first texts that I listened to so often in Russian a few years ago. Six months ago I listened to the audio book “Ulisse. Il mare color del vino”, produced by Il Narratore, a wonderful rendition of the Odyssey in Italian.?? Today I was contacted by the daughter of close friends, a couple that we have skied with in Japan and Canada, traveled with, and laughed with. She wanted me to write a paragraph for a book she is preparing with her sister and brother to celebrate her parents’ 45th wedding anniversary. The first thing that came to mind was “Ulisse, Il mare color del vino”, and I wrote the following.

Dear ………

I cannot believe you have only been married 45 years. Your marriage seems to us to be a union that predates confederation. There are clear antecedents in Greek mythology. I think of J… waiting like Penelope for I… to return from the clutches of the Hokkaido avalanche, or some other adventure. In his absence she was always surrounded by handsome suitors but she spurned them and stuck to her knitting. Likewise, the various Calypsos and Sirens that sought to entrap I… were just ignored, with utmost graciousness and charm, of course That is how a marriage survives, through adventure, excitement and love. On the other hand, those of us who have been caught in the slipstream of your whirlwind feel like Ulysses’ crew members, and we are still recovering from eating lotuses, and hanging on to the rear ends of sheep.

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