Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Play With Son

Originally posted on April 27, 2018

A snippet of correspondence between my son David and myself, to illustrate the quality of our interchange: A few days ago, he quoted a limerick told to him by his friend Kris Coppieters.:
             A doctor in Gastroenterology
             In charades drew the word entomology
             But no-one could guess
             And his act was a mess
             Cause he was trying to mime etymology

I replied: Too many syllables in the first line. Better,  A doctor in opthal-mology   would be better than gastro     enter   ology. Two syllables instead of three. Read it aloud. Incidentally, before spell-check, few could properly spell opthalmology.

Then David wrote, “True… but I think a lot of people slur "etero" as "entro"… In this case, I believe he just enjoyed the similarity of entomology, etymology, and "enterology". (Hey, why is there no "enterology"? Oh, never mind, I just checked the dictionary and it says it is basically the same as gastroenterology — study of the intestines.  OK, now if I could just figure out why there is no such thing as "com-bobulation" (the opposite of discombobulation")

To which I, Adam (Pa, also known as—aka—Dad) responded: You and I are combobulated. It’s a word that I just made up the meaning to (or of) that means that in spite of an underlying wackiness— dis-combobulated-ness—we assert that we are combobulated. First of all, it’s fun to write or even keyboard. (Whatever happened to "type-ing"?) Whaddaya think, huh?   Pa

Then David wrote: It occurs to me that perhaps "Combobulating" is kind of like what "action explorations" or "creating your living" is all about. (Referring to the title of a book I have been preparing).

I replied: Things are usually in a state of discombobulation, but when we use those techniques we are actively combobulating… bringing things back together into coherence. It’s a rough coherence, not mathematically precise. Which is the way I draw mandalas. They, too, are combobulated. It’s a nice word, actually. They —the word and drawings—take into consideration the multi-dimensionality of reality. It’s not all mathematically neat. Chaotic variables reign.  I like that sentence. It will become one of my mottoes.
    (And then it occurred to me that we have that kind of relationship, and I felt a flush of pride.)

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