In a recent e-mail, my learned friend, Dr. Assad Meymandi, posed a provocative question that he was asked in an interview for Psychiatry magazine:
“If you were forced to live on a deserted island and were allowed to bring one book, one selection of music and one piece of art, what would they be?”
These are questions we might all ponder.
Dr. Meymandi wrote that, for him, the book has not yet been written. He says it would be a book containing the genomic display of all the biblical (Old and New Testament) characters, including Christ.
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“If that book is not written by the time I am assigned to a deserted island, I will take pen and paper and write it myself,” he vowed.
As for art, he would take Michelangelo’s Pieta.
Music? Dr. Meymandi would lug along Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, “a piece of transcendent theology and musical genius, bringing the message of hope, promise, possibility and redemption to all humans.”
Among the classical compositions, the Ninth is also my favorite.
What would you take to your deserted island? Don’t depend on finding a Man Friday waiting to keep you company.
Studs Terkel, a favorite writer, wrote “Working,” a compilation of more than 100 interviews with people about their jobs. During a recent medical checkup, I asked Chanda, the pleasant young woman drawing a blood sample, how many people she “sticks” every day.
“About 80 or so,” she replied.
“You must dream about drawing blood in your sleep,” I sympathized.
“No,” she smiled. “If I did, I think I’d die.”
“You’re very good at it,” I said. “Thanks for not hurting.”
I refrained from reminding her to be thankful she doesn’t work at a pediatrician’s office where she’d be drawing blood from screaming babies.
No, I didn’t stay up to see the finish of the NCAA championship game that ended with the Duke Blue Devils walking away with the crown. And I didn’t order extra copies of the N&O’s special edition for friends and relatives who are Duke fans.
Please don’t think of me as mean-spirited. My reaction is just a spinoff of what may be college basketball’s greatest rivalry, Duke vs. Carolina. It is characterized by the privilege of Carolina fans not celebrating Duke’s triumphs and Duke fans’ delight in celebrating Carolina’s losses.
No hard feelings.
I won’t bore you with incoming Carolina comments, except for this typical e-mail eruption of dismay received the morning after:
“I have kept the TV off all day. I don’t want to know how Coach K feels. Or what his prospects are for next year. I don’t care which players are heading to the NBA. In other words, I hate the Duke win, and I am trying to make it not to have happened.”
Now comes a test for Duke fans. Will they wear the crown gracefully, suppressing smirks of satisfaction or outward boasting? Or will they further fan the fires of resentment and envy simmering on other ACC campuses?
Some of you may remember a young singer by the name of Julius La Rosa, who appeared as a guest on Arthur Godfrey’s highly popular variety show during TV’s infancy.
La Rosa soon became such a star that he overshadowed Godfrey himself and defied some of his employer’s rules. Godfrey eventually fired him during a live performance for “lack of humility.”
I’ll admit that displaying humility after cutting down the nets of a national basketball championship is not easily come by.
We are mourning the disappearance of Mac and Anne, two handsome, sweet-natured bluebirds who established residence in our front lawn bird box and therein deposited four sky-blue eggs. They then disappeared.
Although the male has returned, the eggs’ hatching date is long past. Ann Weaver, friend and bluebird consultant of Wake Forest, advises that the hawk who lives in a tree across the street and has, to my satisfaction, thinned my squirrel population, also dines on songbirds.
“Bluebirds are very vulnerable,” she added. “Are there cats around?”
From time to time, we have to chase away a black-and-white cat.
I now must hope that Mac will find a new mate and start over.
Snow: 919-836-5636 or firstname.lastname@example.org