Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tuesday May 20, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:06 PM
The Unembarrassed Peddler

(For readers of
the previous entry
who would like to
know more about
purchasing the
Brooklyn Bridge)

From yesterday’s New York Times, in an obituary of a teacher of reporters:

“He was a stickler for spelling, insisting that students accurately compose dictated sentences, like this one: ‘Outside a cemetery sat a harassed cobbler and an embarrassed peddler, gnawing on a desiccated potato and gazing on the symmetry of a lady’s ankle with unparalleled ecstasy.'”

Spelling Your Way
To Success

Chapter I:
“gnawing on a  
  desiccated potato”

From the website
Blue Star Traders:
How the ancient crystal skull Synergy came to the Western World…

This skull first came to light when it was acquired about two and a half decades ago by a European businessman and avid hiker, as he traveled around Central and South America.  He acquired the skull from a very old native man, in a tiny village in the Andes, near the borders of Peru, Bolivia and Chile. He was just passing through, and had come upon the small settlement while looking for a place to stay for the night.  He wandered into the village and was greeted with smiles and an invitation to share a meal.

This gentleman, George, speaks several languages, and he usually has at least a few words in common with most of the people he meets in his travels– enough to get by, anyway.  Although he didn’t speak the same language as most of the people in this isolated village, there was an instant connection between them, and they managed with the smattering of Spanish and Portuguese that a few of them knew. In need of shelter for the night, George was offered a spot for his sleeping bag, near the fire, in the dwelling of an elderly man.

After a peaceful evening in the old man’s company, George gratefully accepted a simple breakfast and got ready to take his leave.  As he thanked the man for his generous hospitality, the elder led George to an old chest. Opening the crumbling wooden lid, he took out the crystal skull, touched it reverently, and handed it to George.  Awed by an artifact of such obvious antiquity, beauty and value, yet uncertain what he was expected to do with it, George tried to hand it back.  But the old man urged it upon him, making it clear that he was to take it with him. 

Curious about the history of such a thing, George tried to find out what the villagers knew about it. One young fellow explained in halting Spanish that  the skull had come into the possession of a much loved Catholic nun, in Peru.  She was quite old when she died in the early 1800’s, and she had given it to the old man’s “Grandfather” when he was just a boy.  (Note: It’s hard to say if this was really the man’s grandfather, or just the honorary title that many natives use to designate an ancestor or revered relative.)  The nun told the boy and his father that the skull was “an inheritance from a lost civilization” and, like the Christian cross, it was a symbol of the transcendence of Soul over death.  She said that it carried the message of immortal life and the illumination that we may discover when we lose our fear of death.  She gave it to the boy and his father, asking them to safeguard it until the “right” person came to get it– and share its message with the world.  It had been brought to that land from “somewhere else” and needed to wait until the right person could help it to continue its journey. “Your heart will know the person,” she said. 

“What a strange story,” thought George.

From elespectador.com:

“… ‘Supercholita’  tiene sobre todo una clara vocación divulgadora de la cultura andina. No en vano Valdez recibió su primer premio por explicar mediante este personaje cómo se cocina el ‘chuño,’ una típica patata deshidratada muy consumida en el altiplano boliviano.”

Chapter II:
“gazing on the symmetry
 of a lady’s ankle”

From “Sinatra: A Man
and His Music, Part II”
(reshown. prior to
“It Happened in Brooklyn,”
by Turner Classic Movies
on Sunday, May 11, 2008):

“Luck, be a lady tonight.”

From wordinfo.info:

astragalo-, astragal-
(Greek: anklebone, talus ball of ankle joint; dice, die [the Greeks made these from ankle bones])

astragalomancy, astragyromancy
Divination with dice, knuckle bones, stones, small pieces of wood, or ankle bones which were marked with letters, symbols, or dots. Using dice for divination is a form of astragalomancy.

Chapter III:
“unparalleled ecstasy”

Bright Star —

Todo lo sé por el lucero puro
que brilla en la diadema de la Muerte

— Rubén Darío  

Bright Star and Crystal Skull

Image adapted from
Blue Star Traders

Related material:

The New York Lottery
  mid-day number yesterday–
719– and 7/19.

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