Questions I have, but not answers

Our 2-year-old granddaughter doesn’t care for baseball, so while her brother Camden played a game one recent evening, my job was to keep her occupied.


That girl is energy personified, so we tried out the slides, monkey bars, ladders and every other construction of metal and plastic on the playground. We rolled around on the grass. We teased a frog we found by the play equipment; his name, it turned out, was Freddie. Finally, she wanted to play Patient and Doctor.

Having been to so many doctors in her young life, Reagan is an expert at the game. At home, she has a toy medical kit and walks around wearing her “heartbeat” (what we civilians call a stethoscope), checking out our health.

At the ball game, we had no kit and so we had to wing it. She was the patient and I was the doctor, and then it was her time to be the professional. To give her office more dignity, I set her into a cradle of branches in a tree.

“You are the doctor, and this is your office,” I told Reagan. Then I coughed pitifully. “And Doctor, I’ve been feeling sick.”

“Well,” Reagan said from her arboreal perch, “you’ve come to the right place!”

That girl is never at a loss for words, but I am from time to time. Two times at the present, in fact.

My first question might not even have an answer. I don’t have it, anyway, but you might.

On the way to work last week, I was listening to a CD of Bob Dylan’s second album, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, which was released in 1963. I had not pulled it from my shelf at home in a long time.

Track 10 was Talkin’ World War III Blues, which humorously dealt with the nuclear holocaust paranoia so rampant at the time. In the seconds before the next song began, I automatically began to sing, “Corrina, Corrina, gal, where you been so long?”

Track 11 then started with the very same lyrics as Dylan gave his version of the old folk song Corrina, Corrina.

My question is: What is the word for the mechanism that allows our brains to jump ahead with information that is unknown to us? I had no idea that Corrina, Corrina was coming up next, but my subconscious remembered from long ago.

The same thing happens often, and I’m sure you have noticed it, too. What is it called, though? Please let all of us know what our brains are up to.

My second question does have an answer, which I have been trying to recoup. Years ago, I happened across the word that describes the white rivers of space we see when we tilt a book, newspaper or magazine page and look at it from a sharp angle. We see the random patterns, often quite intricate, that reveal themselves on the wordless parts of the page.

Again, if you have the answer, please enlighten all of us. I can’t count on Reagan. The doctor answers only medical questions.



Wed, 11/22/2017 - 00:24

Rants and raves