Elevator Pitch

Photo by Izhak Agency ob Unsplash

Two Lawyers on an Elevator

Oh! It’s you!

Yeah, only me…

Why didn’t you ever answer my letter?

You sent me a letter?



About two months ago

Oh… Why didn’t you call?

I did. You told me to send you a letter.

Oh…you fell for that one…

You bastard!

 In my case an accident, but you sir, are a self-made man.

Doors open

I’ll see you in court.

Answer my letter!

Lotus Flower

Photo by the author

The lotus symbolizes the simultaneous nature of cause and effect or the Laws of Karma because it blossoms and produces seeds at the same time.

We can create our own happiness under any circumstances. This is also symbolized in the lotus.

The lotus grows and blossoms in the muddy swamp yet remains utterly free of any defilement.


Photo by the author

There is so much going on these days that one feels whipsawed by the turn of events. While I don’t comment on everything, even though it is tempting, I feel that I would be remiss not to comment on the recent savage stabbing of author Salman Rushdie. In 1989 Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against the famed author for alleged apostasy in his newly released book, “The Satanic Verses.”  A fatwa is a sentence of death and a bounty of several million dollars was placed on Rushdie’s head. I protested then and I protest now, 33 years later. Also involved in the fatwa was anyone associated with the book including editors and publishers. At the time bookstores were afraid to display Rushdie’s books in their store windows. I called them out on their cowardice. I have my copy proudly displayed on my main bookcase in the living room of my home alongside my other “good” books.

To say this was a barbarous act of cowardice on the part of the would-be assassin would be an understatement. It deals a powerful blow to the right of free expression and free speech. It is anathema to our way of life in the free world and puts a chill in the air of artistic freedom. It demonstrates the complete absurdity and insanity of religious fanaticism. I hasten to add that it is a perversion of Islam and does not represent the mainstream which is by far more tolerant.  

I believe in freedom of religion, and I respect everyone’s right to believe what they choose. But you don’t have the right to impose your belief on me or anyone else. You certainly don’t have the right to kill me if I don’t agree with you.

It looks like Mr. Rushie is going to pull through despite his many injuries. For that, I am very grateful and wish him the best and a speedy recovery, although there will be lasting effects from his injuries including the probable loss of an eye.

I condemn this senseless act of violence in the strongest possible way, and I trust his assailant will be held fully accountable. Meanwhile, “The Satanic Verses” is soaring on the charts.

I can’t go on, I’ll go on

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I am doing a deep dive into Samuel Beckett, and I feel that I must come up for air. I can’t go on, but I must go on.

I just finished reading The Unnamable, the third novel in the trilogy after Molloy, and Malone Dies. There have been about 20 years intervening between each reading and I have read a lot of other books since including other works by Beckett.

The Unnamable is the story of the self that strives for silence but is obliged to go on. It is about three things: The inability to speak, the inability to be silent, and solitude. It is full of internal contradictions, doubt, and paradoxes.

I keep coming back to Beckett because something about his work resonates.  Not only that but I came across an interesting tome by Paul Foster that analyzes Beckett’s work in terms of the “dilemma” presented in his work through the lens of Zen Buddhism. Wow! That is what I said. So, I read The Unnamable in preparation for Beckett and Zen, by Paul Foster.

One of the dilemmas alluded to in Beckett and Zen is the doctrine of grace: grace given, and grace withheld. St. Augustine tells the story of the two thieves that are crucified with Christ, one is saved, and the other is damned. How can we make sense of this division Beckett wants to know? There is a scene in Waiting for Godot where this theme is played out by the characters Vladimir and Estragon.

Then there is the dilemma of human reason confronted by an outrageous relentless irrationality, a universe giving birth to the spectacle of life, of which the main feature is suffering and death.

There is the problem of time which leads to decay and into the abyss. Personal identity and isolation and need I say, alienation?

Distress is at the heart of Beckett’s work which arises from a mental and spiritual confusion resulting from the recognition of the dilemma of existence.

The problem of God. Does God exist? If He does is He an all-loving God or a monster? And what about the Silence of God? Why don’t we hear from Him?

Beckett refers to a fundamental sound resounding in the universe that can only be described as a howl of pain.

That is enough for now. I think I have caught my breath and can now emerge from this rabbit hole that I seem to have fallen into and get about my day.

Thanks for reading.