All posts in the ideas category

WHY? A self analysis

Published September 28, 2022 by Nan Mykel



I read all of The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Stories of Personal Triumph From the Frontiers of Brain Science by Norman Doidge earlier, and I have a hypothesis about my own recent brain dysfunction:

My dysfunction is age related and involves current–and I mean current things.  It appears I’ve almost totally lost any understanding of how to work cell phones and adapt to apple and Word Press updates and can’t find things,  but appear to still have access to many of the things I learned in life, including my education and curiosity.  I do remember my mother finding it impossible to work her tv, but then she was on her way to Alzheimer’s.  At 87 I figure I’ve avoided Alzheimers, but surprise myself at my unequal limitations.

Yes, I guess I’ve always known that the brain tends to recede to earlier memories, but this seems extreme.  This is what I’m wondering:  (I do still claim ownership` of an  unconscious)…

MAYBE my unconscious (let’s call her Ethel) refuses to let go of my “what if”  tendencies out of loyalty to myself, and since they are more valued by “the real me,”  I’ve traded cognitive space with everyday low-level functioning.  Sounds like an excuse for brain slippage, doesn’t it?  But it’s a real question, a real puzzler and a possible answer.

I’m still not willing to relinquish the real me for how to work a cell phone.  Or maybe I’m just whistling in the wind….or the dark….



I can’t help it….

Published September 6, 2022 by Nan Mykel

OBSERVATION –  If you want to get ideas for your post, lie awake for an hour after opening your eyes first thing in the morning.  Or better not, if you’re prone to drowning in them. –Not great ideas. mind you, and not really manic.  So they won’t flood into the next morning, rather than  bore readers with too many posts, I have started bundling them together under one heading—“I can’t help it…”  Today I’ll pick the following:


MATURING –  Oh, I could write an entire book on the topic.  But don’t worry, I won.t.  Meditations about aging:  I’m gratified for re-discovering my ankles.  If that doesn’t ring a bell then you’re not old enough.


AGING CAN BE FUN…if you’re don’t mind dying.  If you live long enough dying is seen as restful and pain free, if you have been good and aren’t afraid of hell.


LET’S HEAR IT for dark humor!  Nothing wrong with laughing, and it lets your endorphins flow…Maybe I told you that I woke up the other day to find three people in my bedroom, checking to see if I was dead.  (I don’t sleep with my hearing aids on)


THIS ISN’T FUNNY AT ALL and maybe I told you already:  When time changed recently (it was recent, wasn;t it?} I wasn’t informed, and missed my  scheduled local old folks ride.  The next time, I missed my ride home from Walmart because the machine kept rejecting my charge card too often for me to catch the ride home.  I walked around  Walmart asking strangers  “Are you a driver?” thinking maybe my driver was looking for me.  I TAKE THAT BACK–I guess it IS funny if looked at the right way, else I wouldn’t have included it.  I do have the fortuitous habit of laughing at myself when I drop things (often I’m laughing all day because of it).  Anyway, apparently the two-dollar ride folks have had enough of my standing them up.  It’s more difficult to get them to pick me up for my every other Tuesday poetry group meeting at the Library now.  But I’m laughing at the spectacle and telling you about it, aren’t I?  They were glad to give me the phone number for the local bus, but I learned that the bus folks have canceled morning pickups due to driver shortage.  Now where’s the humor in that?  (Maybe acknowledging that I shouldn’t have run into the back of that other car several years ago and given up my own car to the towing man.)  Smile.  (I still don’t believe their turn signals were working.)


MY GRANDMOTHER used to say, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.”  Ain’t that the truth! (Smile).


Published August 13, 2022 by Nan Mykel


When things and the state of the United States get too tense during blog writing, different folks let off steam in…well, different ways, whether it be by having snarks, remembering and sharing soothing old songs  (Filosofa’s Word) or  Dr.  Rex’s Wordless Wednesday and Friday Fun Facts (It Is What It Is).  And someone has Caturdays.  Me, I’m not into fun too much.  I prefer  acting out, being weird.

For example, today I dawdled on Google and marveled at all the different acronyms that have been used in titling congressional bills:

Some acronyms are more popular than others. The most popular word, SAFE, is used 131 times, meaning such things as:

  • Screening Applied Fairly and Equitably
  • Secure Access to Firearms Enhancement
  • Screening Applied Fairly and Equitably
  • Security Against Foreclosures and Education
  • Security and Accountability For Every
  • Swift Approval, Full Evaluation
  • Security and Fairness Enhancement
  • Stop Abuse for Every
  • Safe, Accountable, Fair, and Efficient
  • Security and Financial Empowerment

Other popular words include CAREFAIRSTOPHELPHOPEDREAM, and PROTECT.  []


On a lark, giving myself free reign to be (ahem)  different,  I remembered the flying bishop as described on pages 218-219  of Colin Wilson’s 1971 book The Occult.  I was curious to see what  Google had to say about the flying bishop.  There was silence about Wilson’s “strange sickly boy  who became known as ‘Open Mouth’ because his mouth usually hung open; one commentator remarked  that ‘he was not far from what today we would call a state of feeble-mindedness’.”   But maybe Google had him listed by name?  Duh.  Wikipedia, via Google,  had him under St. Joseph of Copertino.  Wikipedia’s descripion of the flying monk  is more skeptical than Wilson’s.  No surprise there, I guess, and Wikipedia did not even list The Occult as a resource.  Wilson’s version is a happier one, and that’s what I was seeking today.  So nice I get to choose.

At the age of seventeen Joseph was accepted into the Capuchin order, but was dismissed eight months later because of total inability to concentrate.  Soon thereafter the Order of Conventuals accepted him as a stable boy, and at twenty-two he became a Franciscan priest.  One day, in the midst of his prayers after mass, he floated off the ground and  landed on the altar in a state of ecstasy. Floating in the air in a state of delight seemed to be his sole accomplishment.  The flying bishop was oberved to repeatedly fly when joyous, in full sight of  the congregation.  Kings, dukes, Leibnitz and even the Pope witnessed him floating or flying in the air.  When Joseph’s canonization was suggested after his death at the age of sixty, the Church started an investigation into his flights, and after  hundreds of depositions had been taken. he was declared a saint  on February 24, 1767 by Pope Clement XIII.

As I read on, the sources of information opened and I read that since flying was associated with witchcraft, he was called before the  holy inquisition, but after more than one session he was found not guilty, largely because it became apparent that he did not take pleasure from his levitation, was not proud of them, and could not control them. For the rest of Joseph’s life after the trial, he was shuffled around, treated by the church as a dirty little secret and moved to out of the way locations, being occasionally called back before the authority of the Inquisition for some further questioning before being maintained innocent again.  As mentioned above, four years after his death the church’s  “dirty little secret” became a saint.

Now that’s out of my system, maybe I can attend to  reblogging Bob Shepherd’s post tomorrow.  Whew!  That’s my exercise for today.


Published April 14, 2018 by Nan Mykel




The horse should ideally pull

the cart. Agreed? But if the horse

is not in sight you’re left with

the cart part, and must envision

what kind of horse will pull your

poem into the light of day.

Problem is, most cart-pullers are

tired, worn out and hacknied, lacking

sufficient strength to bear the load.

Love, death, flower, tree, even Trump

won’t do it today.  The backside

of an eyeball? Ingrown toenails

seeking freedom? The charley horse

that sets you dancing? Or the rat

poison under the sink?

What’s common to all of us?

Hate? A drag.  Sorrow? Too close.

Hope? Delusional.  Denial?

Not me!  Revolution? Not yet.

Pain? Love my oxycodone.

Truth? But doesn’t that depend on

where you’e standing? Reality!

Let’s hear it for reality!

Really?  I’ll vote for Make Believe:


Two golden butterflies pull my

cart through rainbows in the sky.

Oh my! Curly tresses, rosy cheek,

music charms when ere I speak.




Published December 24, 2017 by Nan Mykel

I’m finally trying to get the hang of blogging via WordPress’ tutelage, and one of the questions I need to address is who I am writing for [and about what].  That’s an especially tough question for me, because my interests are so far-flung.  I write–a lot of different stuff–I think because I was never listened to until a rehab counselor who became alarmed at my sudden torrent of tears in his office referred me to a master psychotherapist right there and then, making a contact on the phone during the session.

So, I write in response to folks I empathize with, and almost all of them are struggling with some sort of problem at the cusp of growth and change.  My mind is like a billiard table, with thoughts, ideas, questions and “what-if’s” rolling around inside my head almost constantly, by myself.  I’m lonely for intellectual stimulation. I was most alive in graduate school, studying psychology,  where everything and everybody was a glorious mystery.

I know I have too many pages on my blog, but still I probably need to make a separate one for politics, because I keep getting waylaid by someone’s political savvy. My page on Relief is pure bliss, for those into bliss, and the two on Secrets really reveal the wide range of things I’m curious about. But none of that addresses the question of who I’m writing for–what kind of followers would find my blog most compatible with their experiences and interests?  I probably shouldn’t have revealed my age–that’s an automatic downer, but too late to re-think that.  Talking about my book is also a downer, I think–everybody who blogs seems to have written a book.  Most bloggers I have read seem to have suffered from more heartless incest than I did. I can’t relate to the yearning or jilted lover population, and I don’t cook; never did, really.

I can despise myself as much as any blogger, but that’s a downer for others and not fun, even for me, to read.  Obviously my experience with a Downs syndrome child (one page) didn’t light any fires.  So if I’m not aware of who I’m writing for, why write?  It reminds me of my 20 years of volunteering as a public access television producer, when almost no one ever watched that channel.  So–it’s probably back to the question of why I never reached “my potential.”  Since I was licensed to practice clinical psychology in two states, received a Ph.D., and received top-drawer psychotherapy for myself,  I am reluctant to admit that I still  bear the traces of the sexual abuse (from my father) and the verbal abuse (from my mother).  I don’t want others to know that even the best psychotherapy still leaves some of the damage untouched.

As Briere (1996, 84)  said of survivors, they will never not have been abused–the past will continue as memories, and it will always be part of her life.

Although I look okay on the surface, I am the only one who is aware of the shortcomings, inadequacies and even diseased places within.  I’ll have to go and meditate a little more to put that into words for readers who may in turn have empathy for me.

Boredom — it could be verse

Published August 26, 2017 by Nan Mykel

The days have separated into building blocks.

No–I don’t mean day to day, but within days.

First  is a block of sleeping late, then CNN.  And

there’s my blog block  and checking e-mails.

My leg hurts for awhile and maybe I try to write

a poem–that won’t rhyme.  At 5 pm in my night

gown, yawning,  yearning for graduate school

and the halcyon days of mutual excitement

over new ideas and possibilities and the burst

of mental balloons showering us like soap bubbles.

When my mind is last to go I can’t hardly make

it there.




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