God bless you.
We are closing in on 1,000 comments to this blog.
In fact, we are three comments away from what I would call a
"scheherazade." I started this blog 29 months ago, posting my first on May 5
2008. This is my 85th entry. I am told this is one of the paper's most popular
I thank God for the time and energy and mind to write this blog.
I thank God for the Chicago Sun-Times for employing me for more than
38 years and for allowing me to blog my fight against a cancerous brain tumor
that was quickly declared benign, a malignant prostate tumor that was caught when
it was early and localized, and a weakened heart that now needs to be
And now, I am about to celebrate a "scheharazade."
For you who don't know, I am a voracious lover of classical music. I have
been for some 55 years since I saw a black-and-white, televised production of
"The Mikado," an operetta by the British tandem of librettist William S. Gilbert and
composer Authur Sullivan.
Over the years, I have listened to hundreds of symphonies and innumerable
operas, motets, cantatas, quartets, trios, serenades, tone poems, sonatas, concerti
for different instruments and so on and on and on.
One of my favorite pieces, however, is "Scheherazade," a symphonic suite
composed by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, a Russian music master. This piece was
delicious to my ears from the very first time I heard it. "Scheherazade" is
crafted around "The Book of One Thousand Nights,'' also referred to as the Arabian
Nights. It is a composition lushly laced with oriental euphoria. I have always been
fascinated by the culture, the art, the beauty, the myths and the cuisine of the
Now, here comes my 'Scheherazade."
Key word of all this, now, is one thousand, which, you all know, is a
millennium. A millennium of anything good is a proud milestone. Nobody, in his
right mind, wants to suffer 1,000 cuts, or to be shot 1,000 times, or to be whipped
1,000 lashes, or to serve 1,000 days in a dungeon or prison.
But 1,000 kisses, 1,000 hugs, 1,000 friendly pats on the back, 1,000 honest
handshakes, 1,000 roses, 1,000 bullion of gold or 1,000 diamonds or 1,000 of
anything good is another story.
Yes, as I write this entry, we are three comments away from 1,000. And I
thank the Lord that you precious , encouraging and enlightening souls have seen
fit to take time and energy to "reach out and touch somebody's hand....to make this
a better world." And that somebody just happens to be me. Thank you.
In those 997 comments written so far are countless tears, smiles, prayers,
best wishes, inspirations, challenges, chastisements, visions, prophecies, poems
and powerful, poignant pieces of advice.
I'm looking forward to my 1,000th comment from you. Yes, one person will
write a comment that will be the thousandth of this blog. But you will be a symbol
of the whole pool because one of you is responsible for about 50 comments. Some
of you have sent dozens and dozens. Some of you wanted to write one, but wrote
none. Yet, heaven gives us credit for the desires of our hearts. It gives us credit
for what we mean to do rather what what we actually do. As such, this blog
has generated billions or maybe even trillions of impulses, good impulses. They
may have never gotten far enough to be made manifest in print or in voice, in tears
or cheers. But they still count if they help you in some way and you whisper or
just think something nice about this blog.
Thank you, sisters and brother. Thank you one and all. I want to thank each
of you at least 1,000 times. But this number would still be far, far too small to
begin to articulate my gratitude.
God bless you.