Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Table of Contents:

Autobiographical

“A World Too Wide For His Shrunk Shank”

This age-ist phrase was used by William Shakespeare in a little speech given by the character Jaques in the play, As You Like It (Act 2, Scene 7), to describe the 6th of the “Seven Ages of Man.” This sixth age is older than the “Justice” (the 5th age), and senility, the seventh, age. The […]

“Contemplateur”

This is a term I just made up—one who enjoys contemplating. I confess I use the medium of the blog to go ahead and see what I’m contemplating —writing mini-essays. It’s a more prosaic type of poetry, articulated so as to explain. So it’s not just the suggestiveness of poetry, and I confess to being […]

“Make New Friends but Keep the Old”

I used to sing the above as a simple song, a round, in fact. A camp song:    Make new friends, but keep the old:    One is silver and the other gold. Is it true anymore? I wondered recently. Or does it depend on reciprocity. When I learned this little tune, I had no […]

“My Precious” (Trash?!)

It doesn’t have to be a magic ring that could make you invisible if you wore it—and which imparted a kind of “high” that made you want to wear it a lot—, as it was for the weird frog-man character, “Gollum”  in the Hobbit stories by Tolkien.  It can be a plastic ring that you […]

“Subversive” Books

My friend Jackie Woolley, with whom I square dance and we work out in the same exercise class in our community gym, is a thinker and writer, and wrote recently about how she has enjoyed reading books, noting that they are subversive. Indeed, I too have enjoyed my quiet rebellion against what I intuitively sensed […]

A “Perfect” Life

I’m not claiming that my life was objectively perfect, but subjectively I’ve come to a point of cultivating an attitude of “so this is what it is,” really knowing that I don’t have a clue to what it is, but there is that awakening sensation, that moment of perceived insight: I had to mess up […]

A Birthday Card

My daughter-in-love, Debbie, sent a beautiful birthday card to my wife, Allee, which, now that I think of it, symbolizes my wealth in relationships. I need this now that I’m divesting of stuff. Kids, grandkids, being proud, grateful, as I hear tales of folks who don’t have it so good, I realize that I shouln’t […]

A Christmas Tree Contemplation

I’m singing again, for the 16th or so year, in our community chorus, getting ready to perform our Christmas Holiday conference. It’s pretty Christian, but also some Hanukkah melodies sometimes, and some secular melodies about the contemporary Holiday season, “kids jingle-bell-ing” and that sort of thing. I really like this, even though I’m more an […]

A Confession of Faith

A personal myth: Which is to say,       The older I get, I sort of think the following:   Not that I believe any of this is literally true, of course.    It is such a metaphor! But, seriously, I do live deeply into it:    That God/Universe is Awakening       In a billion galaxies […]

A Contemplative Blog?

It occurred to me that this blog may (or may not) be one of my most lasting contributions. I should not assume that it’s just tossed-off nothings, whereas books and papers are real stuff. That may assume that paper-based stuff is intrinsically more valuable and meaningful than “just” a blog. Well it’s true that this […]

A Jewish New Year Contemplation

It’s Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, one of the highest holy days, a time to contemplate the year past and the year forward. My wife went to the services, and I stayed home and contemplated events. I cultivate a deep spirituality of creativity, one that even as I settle into certain mythic theme keeps […]

A Kaddish Contemplation

Kaddish is the name of the Jewish prayer said for those in mourning for those who have passed on, also known as a prayer for the dead. But in fact it’s not a prayer for the person who has died, it’s a prayer to re-align the living. Kaddish re-focuses the one praying; its words implicitly […]

A Little “Tottery”

To tell you the truth, I’m growing older, approaching 80, a tiny bit more tottery. I still dance, but for fast folk dances it takes a little more time to get the messages through my nerves down to the feet. Still ballroom dance. There seems to be a balance between exercising to one’s capacity and […]

A Theological Confabulation

  I am a contemplateur, an affected term I made up to make my lazy thinking about stuff sound fancy. It’s a way to play. So I’ve been thinking about the Big Whats-it-all-about, beyond space, time, matter, and energy. I view these categories as fabulous in their infinitude, but still I have a hunch that […]

A Well-Rounded Life

Here’s a myth I heard: We sing and dance for the gods. This is our task. They don’t have hands and feet, so we need to do it, and they enjoy through us. I think it was about Australian Aborigine nature religions, but I’m not sure. It’s a deep idea, though. Dancing and singing has […]

About Me (Adam Blatner)

I play many roles. My more official role that is gradually fading, but not completely, is that of physician who specialized in psychiatry. Not that I was ever mainline, but neither was I very maverick—sort of in-between. I was enough mainline to serve on the faculty of a mainstream medical school in their departments of […]

Adam Many-Parts

In a recent blog post on dancing a thousand flames, I mentioned the idea of being many selves—playing many roles. I’m flagrant in this regard, playing with the whole idea of playing roles. Of course many cartoonists, comic book writers, and dramatists do likewise, and I’ve been more than a little influenced by these genres. […]

Adam Many-Parts 2

I wrote about the joys of a diversified life over a year ago on this blog. It’s relevant to psychology because lots of folks play lots of roles, and this is thus relevant also to role theory. A cartoon ( Baby Blues 11/26/2000 by Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott) noted all the roles of a […]

Adam’s Roots

This is a personal reflection on an associated theme as described elsewhere (today) on this blog: One’s psycho-social or soul roots may not be in the past. It’s possible that they can also be identities that partake of current and even future (envisioned) trends. Certainly that’s true for me. I have a few ethnic roots, […]

Add “Surplus Reality”

I found a book by Rosilyn Wilder, a teacher of creative drama,  titled "A Space Where Anything Can Happen" (New Plays Books, 1977). Yes, it fits with my hope to expand consciousness so that people—not just young people, but old people, too, like my age group!—can make up stuff. In a world (and school system) […]

Agnostic

For a while I was agnostic, which means that I affirm that I don’t know about God. This was around the ages of 13 – 22, and I was influenced in this by the writings of Robert Ingersoll in the 19th century and Thomas Paine in the late 18th. Not that I wasn’t interested in […]

All Are Prophets

I was looking through one of Neal Donald Walsh’s Conversations With God series of books and other media, and this notion occurred to me: You and I can imagine vividly, too. It’s just that there has been a cultural taboo against speaking or writing one’s inspiration and then claiming as did the prophets of yore […]

An Idyllic Childhood

My dear wife Allee reminded me this morning that I grew up in “a Disneyland-like world. (Actual Disneyland was built near the end of this period around fifty miles or so south south-east of my home.) What an intriguing idea, and when I thought about it, true. So here’s a little snapshot of a halcyon […]

Annoyances 2014

Well, one way to cope with them is to bring them from the preconscious, hardly articulated “mood” level to explicit and expressed consciousness, so here are some that have come up lately. They’re minor, residues of childish desires, but saying them neutralizes them a bit: – Having to put away stuff. I don’t mind taking […]

Awesome! No Problem!

The desk clerk was a young man who responded to matter-of-fact arrangements being made at a hotel with such phrases, instead of saying “okay,” “good,” or “yes, Ma’am.” It’s strange when young people say “awesome” to describe fortunate but really rather mundane events. Or when something has evidently been a big problem, but they work […]