Blessing, Blessings for 2014
A Compilation, by Eliyho Matz
For the past 35 years, I have been working in Manhattan in the Stationery business (i.e., pens and pencils), and it has been my daily habit to read The New York Times. I cannot testify to my mental condition after analyzing the many complexities and ideas found in this newspaper.
Following are some interesting pieces I have accumulated over these thirty-five years as a result of my work and my daily meditations on life and the Times.
An Ode to “Best” Pencils
O’, God, give me Black Wings, to fly among the Mongols, to see the Ticonderoga river, and the Velvet birds in the Valley of Lead, where the Best pencils are made.
Of Blintzes, Lox And Poetic Expression
“The muses on the Lower East Side must have been hungry to inspire such an ode.
It is taped to a milk machine at the B&H Dairy Restaurant at 127 Second Avenue, between Seventh and Eighth Streets. The manager, Raul Morales, promises to keep it there ‘for quite a while.’
Two patrons, Jonathan Robbins and Peter Lamborn Wilson, handed the poem to Mr. Morales one day after lunch.
Blessings on your counter tops,
Bruchas on your pans and pots,
B&H, the Dairy princes,
Lords of sour cream and blintzes!
Young and fresh or old and gnarly,
All must slurp your mushroom barley;
Even wealthy uptown fogeys
Grab a cab for your pirogies!
If we had a dozen wishes
Never could we wish a dish as
Good as your gefilte fish is!
Though your premises be narrow
You have stuffed us to the marrow;
Still, we cannot leave your table
Till we wheedle or finagle
One more lox or one more bagel!
Susan Heller Anderson
David W. Dunlap
The NY Times: April 8, 1985
“One of the most celebrated haiku by the poet Basho, Japan’s Wordsworth and Shakespeare rolled into one, is: ‘furu ike ya/kawazu tobikomu/mizu no oto.’” Translated: “’old pond/frogs jumped in/sound of water.’…The beauty in Japanese comes from its allusions; to the season, the setting, and the sound of water conveyed by the onomatopoeic ‘oto’.”
(I do not recall the source – E.M.)
[At age 102, Mr. Qian is back in school, with many like him.]
“Mr. Qian manages to walk to the class on his own, and he hears and sees well enough to follow the teacher most of the time. The first class he took was on health care for the elderly, and he says he found it very useful in looking after his wife, who died a few months ago at the age of 100, and his daughter, who is 81 years old and in fading health.
A lover of traditional poetry, Mr. Qian scarcely paused when asked for a few lines of his favorite poem. The room fell silent as he recited from memory this ancient Chinese poem:
The clouds are wispy this morning,
the breeze is light.
As I pass the pond, I see flowers
and willow trees.
The passers-by don’t know the joy
in my heart.
I’m like a kid at play.
The NY Times: December 6, 1990
[One of the most tragic poets of the Twentieth Century, Papusa was a Polish Gypsy and an exceptionally great poet who suffered because of her writing.]
No one understand me,
Only the forest and the river.
That of which I speak
Has all, all passed away,
Everything has gone with it –
And those years of youth.
For a further understanding of humanity, please read Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man by Marshall McLuhan.
Following is a short example of The NY Times reports on events:
First Example – On November 19, 1986 (p. A4), The NY Times reported
“’The camel is an extremely smart animal,’ said Dr. D.P. Singh,
a livestock official. “He can easily recognize his master and his environ-
ment. He knows how to perform and please his master. But if you beat
him, he will take revenge, even if he has to wait for a year to do it.’”
Second Example – On February 3, 1988 (p. B3), The NY Times reported in an AP news item titled “Park Fined in Camel Attack”
“JACKSON, N.J., Feb 2 (AP) – The Federal Occupational Safety and
Health Administration has cited the Six Flags Great Adventure Amusement
Park for two safety violations in a camel attack on a worker last July 4,
officials said. The camel knocked down the employee, Susan Wright, 32
years old, of New Egypt in Ocean County, and sat on her. Each violation
carries a $1000. fine.”
Dear Reader, please feel free to connect the dots!