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  • mistermuse 2:06 am on February 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: asylum seekers, border separation, children, empathy, migrant parents, ,   


    empathy, n. Identification with and understanding of another’s feelings, situation, and motives. –Webster’s New College Dictionary

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Unless you’ve been separated from the news since 2017, you’ve no doubt heard of our U.S. President’s “zero tolerance” (zero humanity?) immigration policy, whereby children (including infants and toddlers) are taken from their asylum-seeking mother and/or father at the southern border, resulting in what the New York Times reported as “thousands of migrant parents spending months in agonized uncertainty, unable to communicate with their children and in many cases not even knowing where their children are.”

    Let’s call this unconscionable practice what it is:


    In June 2018, a federal judge in San Diego directed the federal government to halt the separations and reunite children with their parents, but federal inspectors found that separations continued to occur. Furthermore, according to the N.Y. Times, the total number of separated children is unknown “because of the lack of a coordinated formal tracking system between the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the arm of Health and Human Services that takes in the children, and the Dept. of Homeland Security, which separated them from their parents.”

    What is wrong with this morally sick President that renders him incapable of empathy, that blinds him to the needs of others, particularly the ‘least’ of us?

    “All children old enough to recognize that they exist as separate (albeit weak and dependent) beings have a strong need to believe that their parents are ultimately good and kind. Parents appear to the child to be omnipotent figures who have everything: food, warmth, love, mobility and so forth. The child desperately needs to feel that these God-like parents are devoted to his or her particular needs and well-being: the consequences of the reverse, for the weak and utterly dependent child, are simply too terrible to contemplate.” — Scott Mann, author, HEART OF A HEARTLESS WORLD

    Someone call a doctor — preferably a heart specialist — for our President.


    • calmkate 2:35 am on February 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      psychopaths have NO empathy, he is certifiable … I assure you!

      Liked by 4 people

    • The Whitechapel Whelk 3:58 am on February 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      You raised my hopes with that title

      Liked by 3 people

    • carmen 7:55 am on February 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I cannot imagine him being anyone’s Valentine. 😦
      Now you, on the other hand, mistermuse. . . 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 10:08 am on February 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I can’t imagine him as anyone’s Valentine either….but I can clearly see him as the MAD Hater on Halloween.
        Happy Valentine’s Day a day early, Carmen!


    • mlrover 8:52 am on February 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      He is not my president. I have too much respect for the office to give that man the title. He is on a par with the murderous A. Jackson who killed thousands of Native Americans in one of our country’s most horrific land grabs.

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 10:14 am on February 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Right on, mirover! The other day on TV (I forget which program), Trump was reported to have said that Andrew Jackson is one of his favorite presidents. It figures.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Lisa R. Palmer 11:12 am on February 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Grr… this makes me so mad! How is it still happenening? How is it he still has supporters? I cannot even fathom the sadistic depths of those who so freakishly and fanatically encourage him…

      Liked by 5 people

      • mistermuse 12:54 pm on February 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Good question, Lisa. In my opinion, most of his supporters are either willfully ignorant, gullible, or (like many right-wing ideologues and power players) have a stronger ‘financial compass’ than a ‘moral compass.’

        Liked by 4 people

    • Richard Cahill 1:04 pm on February 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Doctor? In my opinion his heart needs a blood clot the size of a cheeseburger.

      Liked by 4 people

      • mistermuse 6:16 pm on February 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        In a more charitable vein, how about a heart transplant with a real heart?


    • Paulie 1:05 pm on February 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Two years into this mess and nothing shocks me (much) anymore. The mind is more boggled by his supporters and enablers, particularly those in Congress who’ve decided to hitch their careers and legacies to this miserable jackass. What drives them? Power? Financial skin in the game? Racism? A little bit of each? Clearly there’s a complete lack of morality and empathy.

      Liked by 4 people

      • mistermuse 6:22 pm on February 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        That about sums it up, Paulie. If those who voted for him don’t have buyer’s remorse by now, they never will.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Elizabeth 2:34 pm on February 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      His parents didn’t earn parents of the year awards themselves. I don’t think he ever received any love. He certainly acts as if he didn’t.

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 6:44 pm on February 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Not to ‘disagree,’ Elizabeth, but I think he rec’d love all right — love of power, of domineering wealth, and of being the center of acclaim. A real triple threat, all in one pathetic package.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Elizabeth 8:36 pm on February 13, 2019 Permalink

          That is right on the money. He didn’t get the real thing but its counterfeits.

          Liked by 1 person

    • D. Wallace Peach 5:32 pm on February 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      He has a narcissistic personality disorder and is incapable of feeling empathy. It’s a real sickness that can turn people into monsters.

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 6:47 pm on February 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        On the money, Diana….monsters who are incapable of seeing themselves as they really are.

        Liked by 1 person

      • A. Rinum 10:54 pm on February 19, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Forget about differences in political opinion…
        I don’t even think we’re on the same page regarding morality…
        Children shouldn’t have to suffer because grownups are can’t get along…

        Liked by 2 people

        • mistermuse 1:21 am on February 20, 2019 Permalink

          …or because grownups have forgotten how vulnerable they were as children to circumstances beyond their control or ability to cope (or were so privileged as children that they didn’t have to experience such circumstances).

          Liked by 1 person

        • D. Wallace Peach 11:31 am on February 20, 2019 Permalink

          I used to work as an early childhood mental health counselor, and the trauma these kids are experiencing is outrageous. I wrote a post about the mental health impact on immigrant children, if you’re interested. https://mythsofthemirror.com/2018/06/25/trump-sanctioned-child-abuse/
          (Thanks Mr. Muse for letting me share 🙂 )

          Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 11:48 am on February 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, Diana, for the link to your 6/25/18 TRUMP SANCTIONED CHILD ABUSE post, which I read at the time and liked very much. I appreciate the share, and hope readers of this comment will read it too.

        Liked by 1 person

    • chattykerry 8:07 pm on February 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      It is cruel and unusual punishment – why isn’t that cause for impeachment?

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 8:15 pm on February 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        It is, but unfortunately, Republicans still control the Senate. Hopefully that will change in November 2020, but until then, Robert Mueller is our only hope (and even when his report is completed, it may be kept from the public by the Republican Attorney General).

        Liked by 1 person

    • barkinginthedark 7:33 pm on March 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      this is a vile thing. continue…

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 11:06 pm on March 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        What can I say? Vile men do vile things, and it doesn’t get much more vile than taking small children from their parents and traumatizing them.


    • Marysa Writes 4:16 pm on March 7, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I’m honestly surprised to find a website of people who are not trump supporters. It feels almost unreal.

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 4:56 pm on March 7, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I don’t see many Trump-supporter websites, Marysa — for one thing, I don’t seek them, and if I do run into one, I don’t follow it because I’ve found from past experience that we don’t occupy the same universe or speak the same language, thus we talk past each other, and meaningful dialogue is impossible.

        In “real life,” however, engagement is possible. My next-door neighbor is a mild Trump supporter (if you can imagine such a thing), and we get along fine.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Marysa Writes 5:00 pm on March 7, 2019 Permalink

          I’m from Florida, so pretty much everyone I run into is a Trump supporter, and it’s a bit awkward.

          Liked by 1 person

    • bigskybuckeye 4:01 pm on March 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      The comments to this post say it all.

      Liked by 3 people

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on July 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , children, ghosts of the past, Jean Negulesco, knowing yourself, , , , , , , The Way We Were   


    The trouble with turning memories into memoirs is that when one is finished, a sneaky feeling comes along: “Things never were that way, anyway.” –Jean Negulesco (1900-93), Academy Award-winning movie director

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    I’ve just finished reading Jean Negulesco’s memoir (coincidentally, he died 25 years ago today) titled THINGS I DID AND THINGS I THINK I DID. The above quote is from that book–as is his reflection on having raised, with his wife, two adopted daughters from war-torn, post-WWII Germany:

    And so it starts, and so it ends. And we see ourselves in them. There is no sense in telling them, “When I was your age….” We never were their age. 

    “We never were their age.” And so it is with us. We’ve never been ‘inside’ them–even our own children. When all is said and done, we’re lucky if we know ourselves–now, then or in-between–which is not to say that, along the way, we were not open to wanting whatever knowledge romance promised….

    They say “You can’t go home again”–even if your old haunts still exist, your past and its ghosts stay with you, not with where you were….not so? So, where do we go?

    Now, I’m as nostalgic as the next old geezer, but as my past recedes further into the past, I look at old photos, see the images of faces and places I knew, and there’s no avoiding the sense that the road between THINGS I DID AND THINGS I WISH I DID leads to a place where the sun sets before we get there.

    Sooner or later, it’s all over but the doubting. It’s the place where (to paraphrase a phrase) OLD GHOSTS NEVER DIE, they….just….fade….a w a y


    • Lisa R. Palmer 1:05 am on July 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Profound thoughts and deep reflection – a wellspring for the humor that is your trademark here at WordPress. For it is only that level of understanding and the wisdom that grows from it that can fuel a true sense of irony laced with compassion…

      Oh, and I’m taking this quote with me, as it moves me to ponder my own deep thoughts: “and there’s no avoiding the sense that the road between THINGS I DID AND THINGS I WISH I DID leads to a place where the sun sets before we get there.”

      Great stuff here, mistermuse!

      Liked by 7 people

      • mistermuse 1:33 am on July 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, Lisa, for taking time to comment in such a thoughtful way. I wrote this post not expecting it to appeal to all tastes, but a man does not live by humor alone–if I did, my wife would kill me (just kidding–I brought home enough bacon before I retired to keep her fat and happily recumbent most of the time).

        Liked by 2 people

        • Lisa R. Palmer 2:45 am on July 18, 2018 Permalink

          The “happy” part is the only one that truly matters, so whatever you did, or do, to achieve and maintain that state is goodness in itself. Lol!

          Liked by 2 people

    • calmkate 3:51 am on July 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Agree with Lisa’s comment but fortunately I have few regrets, I tended to do what I wanted when I wanted 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

    • Carmen 6:06 am on July 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      That Annabelle – what a charmer! And only ten! Wow! Can definitely detect a great personality. Apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree, eh? 😉

      Speaking of such things, my husband was at a gathering one time to discuss the passing of a friend. Some comment was made about this guy having ‘climbed the ladder to a better place’. . . Or some such thing. Hubby said, “I figure where I’m going, the only thing I’ll need is a hand sled!” Ha, ha!

      Wherever it is, I’ll worry about it after I get there (although I don’t think there’ll be any ‘think’ left). 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

      • mistermuse 9:42 am on July 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Well, Carmen, at least your hubby thinks he’s going SOMEPLACE! 🙂

        As for me: I think–therefore I don’t know what to think. 😦

        As for Annabelle, talent like that needs and deserves to soar. Destination Broadway (I hope)….speaking of which, The Unsinkable Molly Brown was a Broadway show which was made into a movie starring Debbie Reynolds. Here is her “I Ain’t Down Yet” from the film:


    • Don Frankel 8:13 am on July 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      “The past is always with us.” Or as I like to say we are the things we did. No getting around it.

      But I do think we experience life in the past, the present and with a slight anticipation of the future. It’s just the way our minds work.

      Liked by 4 people

      • mistermuse 5:09 pm on July 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Perhaps that’s generally true, Don–but I think with politicians, there’s more than a slight anticipation of the future. No sooner is one election over than they start calculating for the next one, even if it’s as much as six years away (in the case of U.S. senators).


        • Don Frankel 7:11 am on July 19, 2018 Permalink

          Muse, at the end of the rainbow is a pot of gold.

          Liked by 2 people

        • mistermuse 8:36 am on July 19, 2018 Permalink

          Don, I’ve already got the pot, and even if I get the gold at the end of the rainbow, I can’t take it with me where I’m going.

          On second thought, I’d better mend my ways so I can go to the other place — who wants to spend eternity roasting with the boasting Orange Man?

          Liked by 1 person

    • America On Coffee 8:18 am on July 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Always there are two sides to every story. Sometimes there is no glory!! You shared it so well!!

      Liked by 3 people

    • scifihammy 11:05 am on July 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      A very thoughtful post – thank you. 🙂
      It doesn’t bother me if I’m not remembering something ‘correctly’ because the memory is what I have now. And I never go back to old places, preferring my memory of them as they were. 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

    • arekhill1 12:00 pm on July 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I always thought Hardy’s words meant your home has changed from the way you remember it, so it is never the home you left, but your interpretation works as well, Sr. Muse.

      Liked by 4 people

      • mistermuse 12:51 pm on July 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        I take “You can’t go home again” to mean that, though your old home may still be there, what you left of yourself there is gone forever….and one goes “home again” hoping in some amorphous way to recapture a piece of it. That may be ‘a bit much,’ but I prefer to think (without knowing) that it’s close(r) to what Hardy had in mind. In any case, I’m at home with your interpretation as well, Ricardo.

        Liked by 1 person

    • restlessjo 3:40 am on July 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I like that quote too., and I like you being thoughtful. Often when I write posts such as yesterdays I wonder if I’m being really truthful, if I’m giving the ‘right’ impression, and if indeed, I know what the ‘right’ impression is. This can go on and on, can’t it? I’ve often thought of writing Dad’s story but reporting it accurately worries me. And no, we can’t go back but I loved that film… 🙂 🙂
      Mam was a wise old bird and she used to say ‘can’t put an old head on young shoulders’.

      Liked by 4 people

      • mistermuse 9:42 am on July 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Jo, your post yesterday rang true to me and, I’m sure, to everyone who read it. I hope anyone who reads this will go to it and see for themselves.

        Thanks for quoting your mam’s wise words. It’s been a long time since I heard that quote, and it was good to hear it again.


    • katsobservations 1:54 pm on July 22, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Very powerful post. For me though, nostalgia represents not appreciating the past instead of wishing I did something differently. I guess nostalgia has a different meaning for each person.

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 7:11 pm on July 22, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Well put, Kat. Perhaps one reason for a ‘different take’ on the past by another person would be if that person had one or more bitter experiences as a child that would make revisiting his or her childhood haunts a return to mixed memories. As you say, different meanings for different persons.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Rachel McAlpine 5:58 pm on July 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      When those moments arise the best I can do is to tell myself I did the best I could with the me I was at the time. And don’t worry, your memoirs will be “corrected” by those who disagree. My friends write their own memoirs in revenge,

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 12:35 am on July 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Rachel, there is much wisdom in your first sentence. No one is the same person they were when they were young–or if they are the same, they haven’t matured–and therefore, you have to let go of the regret you feel that you would do something differently if you had it to do over again.

        Regarding memoirs, I don’t plan on writing any, so there won’t be any to correct….and as for my friends, I plan on outliving them. Good luck with that, right? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • moorezart 1:26 pm on July 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on From 1 Blogger 2 Another.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 5:14 pm on July 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Once again I am in your debt, sir. I shall REMEMBER you in my prayers (in lieu of in my will). 😦


        • moorezart 5:17 pm on July 24, 2018 Permalink

          Wonderful post sir, consider all debts cancelled in payment for being gifted by your lofty thoughts.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Silver Screenings 11:11 am on August 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      That girl, from the video you posted, is a true entertainer!

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 11:42 am on August 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        I just watched the video again, and she’s just as good as the last time I watched her! 🙂
        But seriously, that is one talented girl, and I hope she grows up to reach her full potential.

        Liked by 1 person

    • etiliyle 11:31 am on September 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply


      Liked by 2 people

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on November 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , children, Goosey Goosey Gander, , , , , , Mother Goose, Nursery rhymes, , , second childhood, The Tortoise and the Hare, Universal Children's Day   


    Because I have long taken a fancy to light verse, I wrote a number of nursery rhyme-like poems in my early poetry writing days because such poems are in the light verse vein, though seemingly just for children….but look at Mother Goose: if a bit of wit (in the telling) warrants a closer gander, the simplicity may not lay an egg in the eyes of grown-ups.

    November 20 being UNIVERSAL CHILDREN’S DAY and WORLD CHILDREN’S DAY, I thought I would bring back a selection of those poems — say 20% of 20 — for a second childhood look. Two have been published in children’s magazines, two have not. You might even say that two of the four are for the birds. Well, as Humpty Dumpty may have shrugged after his fall, “Wall,  you can’t win ’em all.”


    Free as a bird —
    That’s what I’d like to be.
    But, if I were a bird —
    Who would be me?


    The tortoise and the hare
    Ran a race from here to there.
    The winner, of the pair,
    Was the tortoise, by a hair.


    Birds build nests
    Where they will —
    Gutter, building ledge,
    Window sill.

    One I saw
    Amazed me —
    It was nestled
    In a tree!

    (N)ICE TRY!

    There was once a brave lad from Nebraska
    Who went off on a trip to Alaska.
    To climb up steep slopes, he bid —
    But they were so slick, he slid
    Almost all the way back to Nebraska!

    Is word play child’s play or hard work, you ask? As both a light verse and jazz lover, I can tell you it helped to have….


    • scifihammy 2:11 am on November 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Your Nursery Rhymes are great fun. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:31 am on November 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you. I guess you can take the boy out of the “pun tree” (country), but you can’t take the “pun tree” out of the boy.

        So much for bad punditry.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Joseph Nebus 2:36 am on November 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I like the bird one. I know more than a couple folks who wouldn’t mind swapping with a bird, actually, although I haven’t met any birds who were looking for a trade.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:37 am on November 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      If I were a bird, I probably wouldn’t trade either. It doesn’t take a wise old owl to figure out human nature is (not) for the birds.


    • arekhill1 10:03 am on November 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I vote for the limerick, one of my favorite art forms.


    • mistermuse 11:54 am on November 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I like limericks too, but the format doesn’t adapt to appearing in a blog like it should. For example, in the old days bc (before computers), the 3rd & 4th lines of a limerick were always indented about 3 spaces, which of course is no problem on a typewriter….but I couldn’t do that with the limerick in my post because the 3 blank spaces won’t “stick.” Thus, the 3rd & 4th lines begin even with the 1st, 2nd & 5th lines, and there’s nothing I can do about it (that I know of). I know it seems a minor thing, but poetry in general and limericks in particular are precise literary forms, and it irritates me that, for all its wonders, technology can’t do something so simple.


    • Don Frankel 5:45 pm on November 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Don’t ask me why this song jumped in my head other than it has an element of a nursery rhyme.


    • mistermuse 10:02 pm on November 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      If I’m not mistaken, Don, that song is by Cole Porter – a sophisticated composer one normally wouldn’t associate with nursery rhymes, but in this case, I can see your point. In a certain sense, I guess you could describe many popular songs of that era as light verse set to music.


    • RMW 11:29 am on November 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I enjoyed your rhymes very much. I still have my first book of nursery rhymes “Original Nursery Rhymes with Variations” by Anne Hope. No date but must be circa 1950, printed in England with an illustration of Bo Peep on the cover. When I was about eight my mother donated the book to some organization and she says I was so upset she had to go retrieve it! Thanks for the video, I was tapping my toes while drinking my first cup of coffee!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 11:56 am on November 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      RMW, you made my day by appreciating (and toe-tapping to) the video “Rhythm in My Nursery Rhymes.” It’s a song I knew of and like, but I didn’t expect to find such a “swinging” version of it (shown with accompanying nursery rhymes) on YouTube. As you probably noticed, both the recording and the nursery rhyme pages were English, just like your first book of nursery rhymes….which I’m very glad your mother retrieved for you! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • inesephoto 3:03 pm on November 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Witty and fun, thank you for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 4:59 pm on November 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      My pleasure.


    • Don Frankel 9:16 am on November 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Muse that’s it. Yeah, there’s a certain lightheartedness to the song and the music even though she shot her man and they hung her.

      I love the song and my favorite rendition is the one I found here by the great Nancy Wilson. I’m always happy that I managed to use her image in one of my short stories.


    • mistermuse 11:49 am on November 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Don, Nancy Wilson indeed does the song justice. For some reason, I never appreciated her voice as much as I should have — perhaps because I’ve always been such a big fan of Billie, Ella, and some others who are mostly forgotten today.


    • Leyla 12:13 pm on November 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      ohh so cute!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:03 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: children, creativity, depression, , , , , mental health, original sin, , ,   


    Countless studies have shown that people who suffer from depression have more accurate world views than nondepressed people. Depressed people do not nurture the cheering illusion that they can control the course of their lives. And they understand, all too acutely, the basic conditions of existence: that their lifespan is just a brief blip in the cold sweep of history, that suffering is real and ongoing, that they and all the people they love are going to die. That outlook is known as depressive realism. Depressed people might be unhappy, but–when it comes to these big-picture, existential matters–they are generally more right than the rest of us. –Kathryn Schulz, author of BEING WRONG

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    The National Institute of Mental Health lists six forms of depressive disorder/depression: major depression, persistent depressive disorder, psychotic depression, postpartum depression, seasonal affective disorder, and bipolar disorder (aka manic-depressive illness). NOT listed is Depressive realism.

    I have never given much thought to depression (in the listed sense), probably because no one I’ve known (that I’m aware of) suffered from depression. However, the Schulz quotation strikes a chord because I’ve “suffered” from realism for years (since I’ve been free of inherited Catholicism), but without becoming depressed as a result….though heaven knows I have good reason to be (and perhaps should be), given that I “understand, all too acutely,” the reality Schulz cites. Why am I not (by N.I.M.H. standards) depressed? Why isn’t everyone depressed?

    There are palliatives available before depression might come into play — for some, there is no shortage of such catholicons as drugs, alcoholism, power addiction, and yes, religion, to hold the wolf of reality at bay or serve as “the cheering illusion” that all’s well that ends well. Who knows, maybe all does end well, after all….but, given the mean time in the meantime, you could’ve fooled me. Life seems to imitate a product designed and built (sooner or later) to fail, but am I depressed? No….and, I take it, neither are you. Why not?

    Well, it’s not as if life were an unmitigated disaster, that’s why — at least, not for most of us. The half-full part of the glass, I wouldn’t miss for the world. Even if our futures get short shrift, if our talents go under-appreciated, if we see ignorance, arrogance and greed thrive — even if love goes south — was it not “better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?” No matter what is terribly wrong with the world (thanks to both the Creator, if any, and the created), we see in small children not original sin, but original innocence (perhaps our original innocence), the sheer joy of being alive, the promise of hope….and we hope to God or Fate that their promise doesn’t go up in smoke.

    After due consideration, my take-away from all of this is that if we really want to get it right, do not go gentle into that good night*; there is a more challenging way: depressive realism. Think about it. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.*

    *from the poem by Dylan Thomas



    • Mél@nie 5:22 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Depression is a real illness(disease), unfortunately… completely different from sad(down) “seasons” like blues or spleen that we all experience now and then… what we call in French “le mal de vivre” = the difficulty of living…

      • * *

      I love Dylan Thomas poems… 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 6:33 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for the translation of that four-word expression – somehow it sounds much better in French than in English. 🙂 Sometimes I wish I hadn’t let my high school French fall by the wayside – such a beautiful language!

        Liked by 2 people

        • Mél@nie 4:25 am on November 2, 2015 Permalink

          avec plaisir! 🙂 btw, we’re proud of our American son-in-law who is fluent in French after almost 18 months over here… he’s considered kinda “an intellectual”(LOL!) by his American folks… 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

    • Don Frankel 5:50 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Dr. Don says Kathryn Schulz suffered from Depression. Most Depression goes untreated as most people who suffer from it have no awareness of it. The only time people seek treatment is when they can’t function. If you’re able to get up, do your ADLs and got to work well most people figure they’re okay. But they’re not. Dr. Don is convinced that all Alcoholism and Drug use is caused by people self medicating their mental illness. Just remember that Dr. Don is unlicensed in all 50 States and anywhere else for that matter. And, he only takes cash so most people don’t listen to him. What can we say other than quel dommage.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 7:08 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        After having read Kathryn Schulz’s book, I have to say that I’m on the same page in almost every respect….so much so that if she suffered from depression, I highly recommend it (or at least what grew out of it) for the rest of us. As for the rest of what Dr. Don says, I defer to his greater knowledge of the subject (of actual depression); his analysis seems on the money (cash only).

        Quel dommage, indeed.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Midwestern Plant Girl 6:00 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not only a member of the depressive reality group, I’m the president! 😉
      Great post! I am trying to cancel my membership to this club, I’ve deleted my TV, stopped listening to radio, but reality keeps creeping in. On the outside, no one knows about my secret club status. I guess I popped the cork on that now. 😃

      Liked by 2 people

      • Joseph Nebus 10:23 pm on November 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        I suppose they just keep losing your cancellation notice at the depressive reality club. Figures that would keep going wrong.

        Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:11 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’ll drink to that! But your secret is safe with me – I won’t tell a soul. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jane 5:36 am on October 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I can certainly relate to the quote and your own thoughts on this. I am prone to depressive realism. I also tend to be someone who soaks up the feelings of those around me. It is difficult for me not to see the pain of others and want to relieve it. My therapy for depressive realism is spending time in nature and also being proactive when I can. So if I can see a way I can help to improve something or give relief to someone, I give it my best shot. Nature is a soothing drug for me though. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 1:12 pm on October 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        And I, in turn, can relate to your comment, Jane (in fact, I’m starting to think we might be related). Seriously, though, spending time in nature has done wonders for me as well, and giving relief to someone can be encapsulated in one word: empathy (politicians, take note!).

        Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 10:36 am on October 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Whenever I feel the drab side of life pressing in, I take comfort in the thought that anything that ever happened to anyone else could happen to me, but most of it won’t. Then I have a beer.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 1:26 pm on October 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        An admirable philosophy, indeed. Some people might say it would be better to pray, but beer does just as much good and contributes more to the economy. Besides, you can’t drink prayer while watching football.


    • Don Frankel 10:51 am on November 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Depression can definitely give people great insights. I’m thinking Hemingway here.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Arkenaten 3:33 am on November 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Except that he shot himself … one ‘insight’ he may have gotten wrong?


      • Mél@nie 4:28 am on November 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Don, I love Hemingway’s works and he loved… France! 🙂 btw, Ernest’s medical record was publicly released in 1991 and it did confirm his diagnosis: hemochromatosis – an incurable genetic disease that causes physical damage, severe psychiatric and neurological disorders, which might explain suicides in the Hemingway family: his father, his brother, his sister…


        Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 7:23 am on November 2, 2015 Permalink

          I can highly recommend taking time to click on & read Mel@nie’s post (above) to anyone with even a moderate interest in Hemingway. I read it when first posted, and found it fascinating!


    • mistermuse 7:15 pm on November 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Don, your mention of Hemingway led me to check for other notables who are “presumed to have had depression” (according to Wikipedia). Among those on the list are Woody Allen, Hans Christian Andersen, Julian Assange (of WikiLeaks fame), Barbara Bush, Truman Capote, Ray Charles, Winston Churchill, Joseph Conrad, Rodney Dangerfield, Larry David, Charles Dickens, Bob Dylan, Wm. Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Audrey Hepburn, Franz Kafka, Stephen King, David Letterman, Meriwether Lewis, Abraham Lincoln, Herman Melville, Michelangelo, Marilyn Monroe, Bill Murray….and that’s just the first half of the alphabet, which for some reason doesn’t include Don Frankel and mistermuse. Maybe if we tell Wikipedia how depressed we are that we’re not on the list, they’ll include us.

      Liked by 1 person

    • literaryeyes 1:03 pm on November 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Depressive realism isn’t a mental illness. It may be a sign of health, and so is Positive realism, which you write about. They’ve got to be balanced. Depression is a serious, sometimes fatal disease, and very painful to experience. As someone who’s been through Major Depression, I say, count me out of the fan club!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 1:42 pm on November 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      In hindsight, the last sentence of the first paragraph (after the opening quote) of my post probably should have included the words (“, and properly so,”) after “NOT listed” to make it clear that Depressive realism not only isn’t on the list, but doesn’t belong on the list. However, since you agree that Depressive realism is a sign of health, I don’t quite get why you (or Midwestern Plant Girl, for that matter) would want out of the club! 🙂 In any case, as someone who’s been through Major Depression, perhaps if would be helpful to others to relate here (or on your own blog) HOW you got through it, unless it’s too painful to re-visit. Be that as it may, may I extend sincere congratulations (if that’s the right word) for having done so.


    • linnetmoss 6:30 am on November 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’m reminded of the Oxford don who when asked whether his atheism wasn’t terribly depressing, observed that he was looking forward to a good lunch 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 9:29 am on November 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      ….not unlike arekhill1 (eleven comments ago) having a beer.


    • RMW 12:10 pm on November 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Don’t wish to make light of anybody else’s debilitating illness but I’ve been diagnosed with clinical depression (whatever that is) on at least three occasions… I refuse to take medication as artificial happiness doesn’t appeal to me. I’ve learned that dragging myself out the door and walking as far as my legs will take me is a great antidote. But other times I sit with it and let it do its thing… you can learn a lot about yourself. A glass of wine doesn’t hurt either, but over-indulging can definitely make it worse. For me it’s a matter of balancing the good with the bad… I know that wheel will be turning and the sun will come out at some point… and you can’t have the day without the night!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 4:52 pm on November 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I appreciate your comment. I feel as if I have a better understanding of depression since writing this post, thanks to yours and previous responses. I sometimes wonder why I don’t fall into depression (knock wood), given that I have a pretty fatalistic attitude toward life, but maybe that itself is the reason. When you don’t look at the world through rose-colored glasses, what you see is the reality you’re not surprised to see, as opposed to being overwhelmed by it. I suppose that makes me a cynic, but at least I’m a cynic with a sense of humor. 😦 🙂


  • mistermuse 2:20 pm on December 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: children, , , innocence, , ,   


    I always feel young people are innocent. [They] have a certain beautiful innocence to them that’s touching and remarkable to see. –Woody Allen

    Christmas is for kids. As truisms go, that is one I find especially valid. It seems to me that even if you’re not Christian, it won’t hurt your young children to believe in Santa Claus. They’ll have to contend with the real world soon enough (there could be worse introductions to reality than the day they discover the truth about Santa). So, while they may, let them be innocent and without sin and believe in pure, unalloyed being loved. Isn’t that the idea that Christmas is supposed to represent?

    I may be old, but I’m not too old to remember the thrill of Christmas mornings as a boy in the early 1940s. What did I know of the World War raging a world away, where young men of my age little more than a decade earlier, were now dying like sacrificial lambs because innocence was foreign to the forces of time. Life is short. Life as a young child is short beyond belief, although wishful thinking can extend the warranty indefinetly. I wouldn’t count on it.

    • Ricardo 8:26 pm on December 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      But now that Fox has made Santa’s ethnicity an issue. I think I’ll be penning “I’m Dreaming of a White Santa” shortly, Sr. Muse


    • mistermuse 9:43 pm on December 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I hadn’t heard about the Fox/Santa issue, Ricardo. I’d check it out, but I can’t bear to watch Fox, no matter how much I could use a good laugh. In fact, if I knew Hell consisted of watching Fox News for all eternity, I (and maybe even you) would immediately start being so good that Santa would give me a sleigh ride straight to heaven’s gate when my time comes.


    • Don Frankel 11:01 am on December 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I can’t remember too well but I don’t think I was told that Santa was a real guy just an idea of giving. And yes this is a lot easier to read and you are half linked to SWI so the next time your daughter comes over have her finish the job.


    • mistermuse 12:03 pm on December 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I very much appreciate your suggestion, Don, but after giving it some thought, I probably won’t do that. I realize it would invite more traffic if I did, but at my age and stage of life, I already don’t have enough time for the things that matter to me the most….so, I’d rather just keep it simple, even at the expense of the fame & fortune I believe would surely come my way with a little more push on my part (I also believe in Santa Claus and have deep existential dialogues & exchanges with him, as you can see in my Dec. 16 post).


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