Death, be not proud - or - Life After Eighty by Frank Thomas Smith
you live to be over eighty years of age, it's no
longer possible to avoid thinking seriously about inevitably
approaching death. We all know, theoretically, that we will die at
some point in time. I say “theoretically” because we
don't really believe it until
at least the average milestone in life has been reached –
around 42 years, unless, of course, serious illness or a life
threatening accident has brought the milestone closer. But at “over 80”
the message becomes seriously clear. You're lucky if you still have
some of your original teeth left; you certainly use eyeglasses or
contact lenses, your gait is slow, your reactions dim. It was said,
correctly, that Derek Jeter was too old at 39 to keep playing
shortstop for the New York Yankees. And he agreed. This afternoon
Peyton Manning will (hopefully) play his last football game in the
Superbowl. He is 39. If we wish to follow the seven-year-itch model,
man reaches his physical prime between 21 and 28. Beyond that, if he
is engaged in a strenuous physical activity requiring a high level of
accuracy, he will notice a lessening of accuracy and an increase in
the amount of energy required to achieve the same result as before...
Evermore by Frank Thomas Smith
I went to the school that Sunday afternoon because there was a Board meeting that evening and we'd need some papers from the office. The secretary was ill though; nothing serious, but she wouldn't be able to attend the meeting, so I, living close, went to the school to get the necessary papers. There were no classes on Sunday, no children running about and calling out, so everything was unnaturally still. But I better start at the beginning to show you why I am in this remote
place and what I have to do with the school.
I’m a journalist, which usually means
frustrated writer, and certainly does in my case. I was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina by my Anglo-Argentine parents. My great-grandparents were Anglos –
great-grandfather British, great-grandmother American – and their descendents
intermarried within the Anglo community, sent their kids to bilingual schools
and spoke English at home. In a country like Argentina knowing English fluently
is a great advantage because foreign companies, be they American, British or
Japanese, need bilingual people. So when I finished university I got a job
right off with PanAm (since defunct) as a ticket agent at the airport, despite
having studied literature and philosophy. Actually it was fun and was a great
opportunity to meet lovely, “free-thinking” girls – at that time still a rarity
in Argentina - especially flight attendants...
a la escuela ese domingo a la tarde porque esa noche había
reunión de Comisión Directiva e íbamos a
necesitar algunos papeles de la oficina. La secretaria estaba
enferma; nada serio, pero no iba a poder asistir a la reunión,
así que yo, que vivía muy cerca, fui a la escuela a
buscar los papeles necesarios. No había clases el domingo,
ningún niño corriendo y gritando por ahí, de
modo que todo estaba extrañamente silencioso. Pero mejor
empiezo por el principio para que sepan por qué estoy en este
remoto lugar y qué tengo que ver con la escuela. Soy
periodista, lo que generalmente significa escritor frustrado, y ese
es, en verdad, mi caso. Nací y me crié en Buenos Aires,
Argentina, de padres anglo-argentinos. Mis bisabuelos eran anglos
–bisabuelo británico, bisabuela norteamericana –y
sus descendientes contrajeron matrimonio dentro de la comunidad
anglo, mandaron a sus hijos a escuelas bilingües y hablaban
inglés en la casa. En un país como la Argentina, hablar
inglés con fluidez es una gran ventaja porque las compañías
extranjeras –ya sean norteamericanas, británicas o
japonesas– necesitan gente bilingüe. Así que ni
bien terminé la universidad conseguí trabajo en PanAm
(que ya no existe) como empleado para el
mostrador de check-in en el aeropuerto, no obstante haber estudiado
literatura y filosofía. La verdad es que era divertido y una
gran oportunidad para conocer encantadoras señoritas
“librepensadoras” –por entonces todavía una
rareza en la Argentina–, especialmente azafatas...
The Priest and the Shaman by Gaither Stewart
With a pretty face but a tendency toward heavy thighs, fat arms and a
roll around her tummy, sixteen year-old Eliana had gradually stopped eating.
Last June, with the swimming season at the door and scant bikinis and muscled
boys in mind, she first eliminated pasta from her diet. Then in July she cut
out potatoes and starches, and most sweets in August. By September Eliana was
as slim and trim as she’d wanted to be in June. So, already thinking about the
next summer, Eliana began to see food as her number one enemy...
The Freeing of Aesopos by Paul Holler
long ago a man asked me how I came by my name, Aesopos. I laughed
and wondered why, with my dark complexion, there was any need to
explain why I was called "Burned Face." But then I thought
about his question. How had I come by this name? Who gave me the
name I would carry through most of my life? And when was that? I
could not remember. As
a boy I had no name. No one thought I needed one. I was a slave-boy
with no family. What good would a name have served? But as I grew
older I came to be known by many names. The first name I remember
was given to me by a man called Leonidas. That name was To
Mati Mu, "My Eyes."
Don't Cry for Me, America - What Trumpism Means for Democracy
by Andrew J. Bacevich
Whether or not Donald Trump ultimately succeeds in
winning the White House, historians are likely to rank him as the
most consequential presidential candidate of at least the past
half-century. He has already transformed the tone and temper of
American political life. If he becomes the Republican nominee, he
will demolish its structural underpinnings as well. Should he prevail
in November, his election will alter its very fabric in ways likely
to prove irreversible. Whether Trump ever delivers on his promise to
"Make America Great Again," he is already transforming
American democratic practice. Trump takes obvious delight in thumbing his nose at the
political establishment and flouting its norms. Yet to classify him
as an anti-establishment figure is to miss his true significance...
American Democracy Down for the Count - Or
What Is It the Scandinavians Have That We Don’t
by Ann Jones
Some years ago, I faced up to the futility of reporting
true things about America’s disastrous wars and so I left
Afghanistan for another remote mountainous country far away. It was
the polar opposite of Afghanistan: a peaceful, prosperous land where
nearly everybody seemed to enjoy a good life, on the job and in the
family. It’s true that they didn’t work much, not by
American standards anyway. In the U.S., full-time salaried workers
40 hours a week actually average 49, with almost 20% clocking more
than 60. These people, on the other hand, worked
only about 37 hours a week, when they weren’t away on long paid
vacations. At the end of the work day, about four in the afternoon
(perhaps three in the summer), they had time to enjoy a hike in the
forest or a swim with the kids or a beer with friends -- which helps
explain why, unlike so many Americans, they are pleased with their
"I wouldn't Start From Here At All" by Stanley Messenger
England who enjoy jokes about Irish countrymen, will recognise this
as the punch
line of the well known story of an American tourist who is trying to
reach Dublin from a remote rural location. The countryman made
several attempts to describe to the American how to set about this
journey, but gave up in despair with the suggestion that he go to
somewhere else and start from there. Whether this is a fair
assessment of the way Irish logic works I am not competent to judge,
having never been there. What I do recognise however, is that the
story is a striking parable of what Don Juan Matus, the initiate in
Carlos Castaneda’s 1950’s books about shamanism in the
Sonoran desert region of Mexico, was trying to teach Carlos... Continue reading.
A crop circle
"Apologia" concerning the publication of the the First Class Lessons: Apologia
Nine Lectures on Bees - Lecture Six by Rudolf Steiner
HERR DOLLINGER asks
a question about the honey comb. There are people who eat
the wax as well as the honey, and in restaurants they used at
times to serve honey in the comb. He would like to know if it was
a bad thing to eat the comb.As
to the diseases of bees, he thinks these could not formerly have
been as bad as they are today when the bees are over-exploited. HERR MÜLLER said
that eating comb-honey was an idiosyncrasy with some people.
Naturally, these are the natural combs and not artificial ones.
He does not think that bee diseases are the result of
exploitation, but that formerly they were less considered. In
those days there were not so many weak stocks and so one was not
so much on the look out for them. A disease had appeared in
Switzerland from England which had not been known in the past.
Herr Erbsmehl thinks this may perhaps be owing to the use of
artificial manures, even the flowers sicken as the result of
Karmic Relations, Volume III, Lecture Nine by Rudolf Steiner
will have seen from the previous lectures, how the souls who out
of the depths of their subconscious life feel impelled towards the
Anthroposophical Movement, bear this impulse within them through
their special relationship to the forces of Michael. We have
accordingly considered the working of these Michael-forces
throughout the centuries, in order to see what influence the
impulses of Michael can have upon the lives of those who stand in
any kind of connection with them...
Chess / Ajedrez by Jorge Luis Borges
In their solemn
corner, the players move
The slow pieces.
The board detains them
Until the dawn in its
In which two colors
hate each other.
Within the forms irradiate
queen, hintermost king,
Oblique bishop and
En su grave
rincón, los jugadores
lentas piezas. El tablero
hasta el alba en su severo
que se odian dos colores.
irradian mágicos rigores
formas: torre homérica, ligero
Caballo, armada reina, rey postrero,
alfil y peones agresores.
The Expatriate by Frank Thomas Smith
problem with most foreign lands
that they're very far away,
the bleachers used to be
the debacle of technology.
either they're terribly bland,
windy and damp, or,
southerly, downright dangerous,
bullets fly and sunscreen 21
ward off the assassin sun...
You can find us under the
Southern Cross constellation in the Traslasierra Valley, Province of CÃ³rdoba, Argentina. Visitors always welcome. Just follow the sign that reads: La Cruz del Sur.
Frank Thomas Smith, Editor
JoAnn Schwarz, Associate Editor
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