Journal Entries

Published November 6, 2022 by Nan Mykel


I voted, at the elections office in Athens, Ohio on Thursday.  Trying to keep my mind off the election now, but I’m flabber-d-gasted by the brazen mailbox watchers in Mesa, Arizona.  This is America?  How can they justify that in their mind’s eye?  –Like the Nazi workers at the gas chambers?  SO, trying to turn my attention to other things, I’ve been leafing through an old journal.  I apologize if I repeat something earlier published–my  memory for recent and technical things is on vacation.  [Looooong vacation I fear.]


My Unconscious Doesn’t  Know I’m Old –  In recent dream episodes I’m going for a degree at Columbia University, maybe to accomplish what I fell short of in school.  My dorm room has several beds full of jolly students.  A QUESTION: Why is it when we’ve gotten a better hold on life it slips away?  We learn and the learning goes to naught. (Unless there’s reincarnation).  Boy, could I use a dose of that!


If we can understand a country by the laws it requires to curb dangerous undesirable behavior, perhaps we can understand life by its only law of survival of the fittest and the treasured family genes.   Without it would we return to the universal void?  Speaking of void, what will accompany the crescendo of climate change?  P.S. I know, I know, there’s a smattering of apparent altruism in some animals, but when push comes to shove I believe  self survival wins out.  In humans it’s much more complicated, since empathy and good deeds can be motivated by an attempt to impress others and/or our need to reassure ourselves that we’re kind after all.  Does the motivation behind it matter?  What do you think?  Can we say that suicide bombers are self-serving altruists?


I just took Shira Dest’s post testing knowledge of correct grammar use.  I haven’t received my score yet, but a couple of items  seemed pretty difficult for me.  I guess I had better explain my vocabulary–I had just received my Ph.D. after years in college when I was hired at a mental health center in Appalachia.  There one of the counselors made fun of my vocabulary, saying it would be over my clients’ heads (grammar?)   When I dropped the distinguished and/or proper words from my vocabulary, my vocabulary was lost forever.  Of course now the problem is age.  But seriously, I first got my vocabulary from Nancy Drew mystery stories.  That was long after the black hired ironer of our clothes on the farm (I think her name was Emmy) was kind enough to tell me there was a separate word for “the day after today,” and “the day before today”).  I can remember my delight.  By the way, did anyone out there ever read Freddy [the pig] detective books?


I see in my journal that on page 166 of Arik Kershenbaum’s 2021 Zoologist’s Guide to the Galaxy  from Penguin Press, that ants and bees are genetic clones, meaning that the individuals aren’t really–in evolutionary terms–separate individuals.  True hives, such as those of bees and ants, are much more complex than ours, and their communication is correspondingly more complex.


You see, I have too much time on my hands and few places to go and jigsaw puzzles get old after awhile.  (The only one I gave up on, however, contained no color, and was built with only a two piece puzzle pattern.  I put that one in the garbage and taped  shut all sides of the box so some unsuspecting soul wouldn’t waste their time.  I get my puzzles from the jazzy thrift shop down the street for a dollar.  At you-know-where they cost in the teens.  I don’t think I posted my last poem:


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