The Electrician Didn’t Come

The urge to write has its own mind, body and force of will. Holding it back would be like stopping a flood with a spoon.I want to write a blog post today, but I don’t have a topic. I mean, it’s not like there aren’t plenty of topics floating around. I could just reach out my hand and grab one, but none of them are really calling my name. Yet I have the urge to write.

When I get the urge to write, it’s like needing to sneeze. No way on God’s green earth am I able to repress it. It’s got to come out. Even on those rare occasions when I’ve been without computer or paper and pen I’ve “written” essays or articles or poems or songs in my head because when that writing feeling comes upon me, I have to write. No way around it.

So I need to write, to scratch that itch, to sneeze, to breathe deeply because I suddenly realize I’ve been holding my breath. That’s what it feels like.

Let’s see. I could write about my last unpleasant encounter with my oncologist, whom I generally like, but I don’t feel like getting into all that right now.

I could write about my garden, which is looking much better since I fixed the computer-timed irrigation that had somehow gotten turned completely off. Funny how regular watering improves the look of a garden in summer. But that’s not a whole post.

I could write about my struggles with myself—my pride, my skewed self-image—in terms of accepting the limitations of my illness, using my walker, taking medicines as prescribed instead of deciding I know best. (I generally take far less pain relief than the doc wants me to, for example.) But I’ve been there and written about that so many times.

I could write about some new interesting research developments in the world of cancer treatment in general and breast cancer research in particular, but I’ve come to realize that I’m a poor science writer. (Oh! Does anyone have any ideas on how to learn to do that well?)

I could most certainly write about certain political developments in my country and around the world that make my blood boil, but I’ve pretty much decided to stay away from politics in this blog. I don’t want it to become divisive.

So then: what shall I write about?

The electrician was supposed to come to fix a couple of things this morning, but it turned out the police had my part of the city blocked off. I heard the helicopters and sirens, but I don’t know what happened. Anyway, the electrician couldn’t get through. He’ll come on Tuesday.

While I was waiting, though, I was able to go out into the sun and trim back the sage that is growing over the pathway next to it. I can’t do much gardening at all these days, so it was fun even to go out with my walker and lean over and do a little bit of trimming. I enjoyed the sun and the smell of the flowers and herbs and the sounds of the bees and the birds and the feeling of the herbs on my hands and my fingers in the dirt.

My new medicine is causing some nausea (an expected and transitory side effect), so I took a piece of chicken out of the freezer to defrost. I’ll make some chicken soup and rice or something like that later on, I guess. I’d like to have a salad or gazpacho, but I’m not sure my stomach would handle it.

Here you are: over 600 words about nothing because the urge to write came upon me. Does this happen to you, too? And as long as we’re talking, is there anything you’d like me to write about the next time I get the urge and I’m light on topics?

Birthday Week 2013 – Take 2

This is wonderful. Two days ago, students from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance created a “flashwaltz” in the lobby of the new inpatient tower on Hadassah Hospital’s Ein Karem campus. This is the campus where the Sharett Institute of Oncology is located, where I receive treatment. I haven’t seen the new Davidson Tower yet, and am not especially anxious to sample its many amenities for inpatients!

With thanks to @ElaineSchattner, who tweeted the link yesterday, please enjoy Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Flowers.

Birthday Week 2013 – Take 1

In keeping with a longstanding tradition that I established last year(*), I’m going to offer about a week of videos I like so that everyone can celebrate my birthday with me. For the record, on Thursday the 14th of March I will be 58 years old – and counting!

Today we’ll start off with a wonderful piece of modern dance, choreographed and performed by Milena Sidorova to “Anitra’s Dance” from a childhood favorite, Grieg’s The Peer Gynt Suite. I’m sure you’ll recognize the music even if the name doesn’t ring a bell.

(* If you would like to see last year’s videos, start here. I’m a lot more self-revealing this year, I see.)

Where are you from? (2)

The last time I posted Where are you from? was in March of 2012, about ten months ago. At that time, seventeen countries were represented by Telling Knots readers. As of today, we have had visits from 138 different countries! Isn’t that astounding?

Thanks to all of you for reading my posts, for commenting and sharing your opinions, for your encouragement, support and suggestions, for the links you’ve posted. I’m having a great time!

Here is the list (country and number of views in the last twelve months), as compiled by’s statistics machine:

United States FlagUnited States 7,761
Canada FlagCanada 1,070
United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom 794
Israel FlagIsrael 681
India FlagIndia 349
Australia FlagAustralia 303
New Zealand FlagNew Zealand 290
Philippines FlagPhilippines 261
France FlagFrance 228
South Africa FlagSouth Africa 181
Italy FlagItaly 180
Germany FlagGermany 173
Mexico FlagMexico 122
Indonesia FlagIndonesia 122
Romania FlagRomania 121
Netherlands FlagNetherlands 105
Turkey FlagTurkey 103
Spain FlagSpain 100
Brazil FlagBrazil 94
Thailand FlagThailand 91
Malaysia FlagMalaysia 86
Egypt FlagEgypt 82
Switzerland FlagSwitzerland 82
Belgium FlagBelgium 80
United Arab Emirates FlagUnited Arab Emirates 74
Portugal FlagPortugal 68
Poland FlagPoland 63
Greece FlagGreece 63
Sweden FlagSweden 58
Hong Kong FlagHong Kong 55
Singapore FlagSingapore 54
Korea, Republic of FlagRepublic of Korea 52
Russian Federation FlagRussian Federation 51
Denmark FlagDenmark 50
Pakistan FlagPakistan 45
Taiwan, Province of China FlagTaiwan 44
Saudi Arabia FlagSaudi Arabia 43
Ireland FlagIreland 42
Slovenia FlagSlovenia 39
Ukraine FlagUkraine 37
Japan FlagJapan 37
Argentina FlagArgentina 34
Colombia FlagColombia 30
Slovakia FlagSlovakia 29
Serbia FlagSerbia 28
Austria FlagAustria 27
Czech Republic FlagCzech Republic 27
Bulgaria FlagBulgaria 25
Hungary FlagHungary 24
Finland FlagFinland 21
Norway FlagNorway 21
Lithuania FlagLithuania 20
Croatia FlagCroatia 19
Chile FlagChile 19
Georgia FlagGeorgia 17
Jordan FlagJordan 14
Sri Lanka FlagSri Lanka 13
Iceland FlagIceland 12
Latvia FlagLatvia 12
Moldova, Republic of FlagMoldova 12
Lebanon FlagLebanon 11
Peru FlagPeru 11
Ecuador FlagEcuador 10
Estonia FlagEstonia 10
Morocco FlagMorocco 10
Jamaica FlagJamaica 10
Myanmar FlagMyanmar 10
Puerto Rico FlagPuerto Rico 10
Costa Rica FlagCosta Rica 9
Viet Nam FlagViet Nam 8
Trinidad and Tobago FlagTrinidad and Tobago 8
Montenegro FlagMontenegro 8
Tunisia FlagTunisia 8
Cambodia FlagCambodia 8
Mongolia FlagMongolia 7
Malta FlagMalta 7
Honduras FlagHonduras 6
Bangladesh FlagBangladesh 6
Qatar FlagQatar 5
Sudan FlagSudan 5
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of FlagMacedonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic 5
Luxembourg FlagLuxembourg 4
Bahrain FlagBahrain 4
Algeria FlagAlgeria 4
Maldives FlagMaldives 4
Réunion FlagRéunion 4
Panama FlagPanama 3
Mauritius FlagMauritius 3
Albania FlagAlbania 3
Azerbaijan FlagAzerbaijan 3
Guatemala FlagGuatemala 3
Nepal FlagNepal 3
Côte d'Ivoire FlagCôte d’Ivoire 3
Kuwait FlagKuwait 3
Ghana FlagGhana 3
Tanzania, United Republic of FlagUnited Republic of Tanzania 3
Iraq FlagIraq 3
Aruba FlagAruba 3
Korea, Democratic People's Republic of FlagDemocratic People’s Republic of Korea 3
Nigeria FlagNigeria 3
Venezuela FlagVenezuela 3
Dominican Republic FlagDominican Republic 3
Cyprus FlagCyprus 3
Brunei Darussalam FlagBrunei Darussalam 2
Cameroon FlagCameroon 2
Lao People's Democratic Republic FlagLao People’s Democratic Republic 2
El Salvador FlagEl Salvador 2
Armenia FlagArmenia 2
Saint Lucia FlagSaint Lucia 2
Palestinian Territory, Occupied FlagPalestinian Territory, Occupied 2
Oman FlagOman 2
Jersey FlagJersey 2
Kyrgyzstan FlagKyrgyzstan 2
Guernsey FlagGuernsey 2
Belize FlagBelize 2
Grenada FlagGrenada 2
Syrian Arab Republic FlagSyrian Arab Republic 2
Uruguay FlagUruguay 2
Bahamas FlagBahamas 2
Kenya FlagKenya 1
Senegal FlagSenegal 1
Macao FlagMacao 1
Nicaragua FlagNicaragua 1
Barbados FlagBarbados 1
Åland Islands FlagÅland Islands 1
Guadeloupe FlagGuadeloupe 1
Madagascar FlagMadagascar 1
China FlagChina 1
Afghanistan FlagAfghanistan 1
Ethiopia FlagEthiopia 1
Mozambique FlagMozambique 1
Libya FlagLibya 1
Bosnia and Herzegovina FlagBosnia and Herzegovina 1
French Guiana FlagFrench Guiana 1
Yemen FlagYemen 1
Cayman Islands FlagCayman Islands 1

Wednesday Video: Hitting Stuff and Sounding Good

I don’t remember when I first saw/heard/experienced Stomp, but they got a hook into me and changed the way I look at the material world. No less than that – they brought music into routine actions. I think it was the basketball routine I saw that first time. The quality of this clip isn’t great, but the sound is just fine.

There is a second clip today because I couldn’t resist the Third Rock from the Sun take on it. Enjoy!


Wednesday Video: The 142nd Fastest Gun in the West

It’s been too somber around here lately. Here’s a blast from the past – from my misspent youth, to be exact. From 1966,  just as I recall it from the Dr. Demento Show on the radio, The Ballad of Irving. “A hundred and forty-one were faster than he, but Irving was looking for number 143.” Enjoy.

The Power of Cute

Yes, I know this photo has been going viral. I know that practically everyone in the world who would enjoy it has already seen it. I know that many of my readers are Very Serious Individuals who don’t appreciate cute Internet memes. (Don’t worry; I love you just the way you are.)

I know all that, but I cannot help myself. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls – I give you the newborn gorilla reacting to the cold stethoscope!

Newborn gorilla at Melbourne Zoo shows surprise at the coldness of the stethoscope – and goes viral!


Here is a link to Melbourne Zoo.