Worry is the darkroom in which negatives can develop.
"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them nor serve them."
My mother was a worrier, and extreme worrier. She was also a controller. She would decide how long my brother could stay out and when he wasn't back when she expected him she would begin to pace the floor and declare out loud that she knew something terrible had happened to him. When he finally did come home, even if it was ten minutes later, she was in such a state of fear and anger that he was not warmly welcomed. And I, who had to listen to her pacing and ranting, was not much better at greeting him. If, heaven forbid, the phone rang during her parade of worry, it would strike a chord of greater fear in her. She would pick it up expecting to hear the dire news. I learned to answer the phone for her. It was usually one of her friends who wanted to chat. Too bad. She had to worry instead.
There were reasons for my dear mother's condition: the sudden tragic loss of her husband at an early age, a subsequent nervous breakdown and continuous financial insecurity and impoverishment. But her imagination was so active that even when there was no danger to any one of us she held on to the pictures of disaster, they became engraved on her thinking and she worshipped them without realizing that's what she was doing.
Visiting the temples of our doubts, fears and failures, burning incense to our worries and letting them bow us down to a negative life is a fruitless activity. Today there are people who dwell in the world of doom, who hold in thought all the things that could go or might go wrong. And some of them are very active in trying to prevent what they have imagined and engraved on their own thinking. There are those who try to convince others of the dire consequences of life, whose thrust of conversation and action is against not for. Goethe called the devil "the spirit of negation."
It would have been possible for my mother to turn her head around and start having trust and faith that her kids were able to take care of themselves and that life wasn't so bleak and tragic.. She never did.
It is possible for the negaters of the world to start having the same faith in the future, working and speaking in a positive way to that future and erasing the engravings of doom from their thoughts. Will they do it?
DB - The Vagabond
One day an ardent fanatical feminist told me I should never refer to a woman as a "lady." No "Ladies and Gentlemen" no "Ladies Room" no "Ladies First" no "Everyday Is Ladies Day With Me"? Well, I'm not an anti-feminist by any means but, nonsense, I say. Here's your contest.
Who are these first ladies?
(Match each of these ladies with the names of their gentlemen friends below.
Do as many as you can before you start to cheat.)
1. Ellen Axson
2. Edith Kermit Cardow
3. Nancy Davis
4. Julia Dent
5. Frances Folsom
6. Hannah Hoes
7. Elizabeth Kartright
8. Lucretia Rudolf
9. Margaret Mackall Smith
10. Claudia Taylor
Martin Van Buren