Universal rules

Featured image
Park Avenue Tulips. Photo: JH.

Monday, April 27, 2020. I thought Saturday was Sunday. I remember waking up thinking: what day is this?  Sunday? It felt like a Sunday, whatever that means. I decided I wouldn’t get up until I figured it out because otherwise the experience fed into the thought that maybe I’m losing it …. I laughed when I wrote those words but maybe the laughter was ironic? All of this over the weather yesterday in New York. Saturday was nice. Maybe 60 degrees midday. People were out walking. A lot. Sunday it rained. On everyone’s parade, like the song Streisand made famous for her generation.

Thought streaming. I usually read the Daily Mail to keep track of what’s going on in the world. It is not the world I live in, and probably not the world millions of its readers live in, but it’s an impressive distraction about how ordinary we are. Even in Technicolor. All of us. You read about the terrible things people do to each other, to their children, their elders, their pets, their next door neighbor.

Sunday sky. Photo: JH.

Then you read about poor Prince Harry who is no longer numero uno among us unblemished masses, because he abandoned the Queen, his own grandmother, for that … that … that, that hussy!

Joan Crawford as the Gorgeous Hussy.

Gawd. I feel sorry for Harry. It’s my soft spot. My mother lost her mother when she was nine. Thereafter everything changed, and there it remained and continues to remain in her offspring. That is the nature of the brain. 

Who can blame him for going off with that woman? He likes her!! Is there a better reason?? And what would become of him, otherwise? The little brother Prince who’s popular like his mother was with the public. But otherwise…?  That’s not a life. That’s a public fantasy. So now he’s living in LA with the wife and the kid at the beach, and let’s hope they don’t have an earthquake or a tsunami (well, you never know), and that it all works out for him.  How often does that happen when sisters-in-law don’t see eye to eye and the brothers-for-life then become separated.  That’s a loss, for both. 

You know that word, hussy? I don’t either. When I was a kid back in the pre-media age, it was a word you’d see in a movie magazine about a character played by Joan Crawford. The film version of a bitch. Back then, in the days of Joan Crawford.

In view of the moments we’re all living in now — in New York City — many are predicting that life is going to change dramatically. It certainly has changed dramatically in this lockdown phase although many imagine it will return to the way it was before. This past Saturday the sunshine brought out a lot of New Yorkers, especially in the parks. People need to get out.

Saturday afternoon. Went for stroll again with Gillian Miniter and this time, with her husband Sylvester, onto the Promenade where up ahead it was very busy. It was a relief for all.
A shot of the terrace boxes on the third floor of a house in the century-old Henderson Place block on East End Avenue.
A zoom shot from my terrace a block away, Saturday afternoon. Look at those tulips, glowing in the daylight, proof positive of something better around the corner.

Prediction often has nothing to do with the outcome, although it is often the result of sensible thinking.  Results, Occurrences, however, often have nothing to do with sensible thinking. Aside from Mother Nature they are often related to sleights of hand or fate, or even human highhandedness. 

Generations of human society were taught what we call “manners.” Please and Thank You, respect your elders, do unto others as you would have them do unto you — universal rules of conduct that allows us creatures to exist, procreate, enliven. The Ten Commandments are not religious rules. They are universal rules of conduct for conscious beings who have a language. Some genius thought of them so we complicated creatures could live with our brethren and the rest of the animal world. Love Thy Neighbor is something we were later taught along with the manners or etiquette. Please and Thank you, Love Thy Neighbor, are all powerful elements for survival in the human condition.

Then there’s my neighboring tree just days before my view turns almost entirely verdant. What a gift here in the land of brick, glass and concrete canyons.

Recent Posts