Category Archives: Writing

“Unusual travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.” – Kurt Vonnegut

The Unusual Dance to The Noodle

I was leaving the bar walking back to my car to head home for the night. I’m walking down Washington Street. There’s a gentleman who had turned directions earlier and was walking a few paces ahead of me. He then turned around to ask, “Could you tell me where to find The Slippery Noodle?” I give him those directions. I ask if he had been to Indy before and if he was meeting someone there. It is Wednesday night after all. I learn that he is in Indy for one night. This is his first and only night in Indy. I warn him that The Slippery Noodle may not be that busy on a weeknight and at this hour. Not sure of the night he had anticipated. I also learn that he is driving through Indy to the East Coast to fly out for his second tour in Iraq.

It takes  me 5 seconds to suggest something that may be of interest to him. I ask, “Had you read anywhere that Indy is #2 behind Washington DC as to having the most monuments?” “No,” he replies. I ask if he had noticed monument circle yet on his walk. Nope. “Oh, well, it is just one block away. I’ll walk there with you.” We walk to Monument Circle and take that in. I had been here once on an architectural tour which taught me to look up. I pointed out what I could remember that was unique or had a story. He seemed to enjoy it so I offered to walk him to The Indiana World War Memorial, one of my favorite places here in the city. We are standing on the top of the War Memorial taking in the view and he says, “I’m really glad you brought me here.” We continue to walk back towards where we initially met on Washington Street. I re-confirm the walking direction to The Slippery Noodle. We exchange a hug. He says, “Thank you so much.” We go our separate ways. We didn’t even exchange names, just took to the evenings dancing cues.

I wrote this story for the first time as a part of the CityWrite activities here in Indianapolis as a part of the National Day on Writing. CityWrite believes that everyone has a story to tell and has lived through an experience that everyone can learn from. Write yours.

“I Am of Weak Character”

‘These men and women remind us that heroism is found not only on the fields of battle. They remind us that heroism does not require special training or physical strength. Heroism is here, in the hearts of so many of our fellow citizens, all around us, just waiting to be summoned — as it was on Saturday morning. Their actions, their selflessness poses a challenge to each of us…’

In listening to President Obama’s Memorial Speech in Tuscon, I was prompted to watch the movie Brokedown Palace for a second time. Have you seen it?

‘I am of Weak Character.’ Do you remember that line? Spoken by Claire Danes (as Alice) on her knees and begging the emissary of King of Thailand to allow her to do the her friend’s time in addition to her own in exchange for her friends release from prison. There is so much more going on here than I write today, it is a must see movie in my opinion. Alice is diplomatic in her choosing of this line based on what she had learned through her experiences in Brokedown Palace. This movie is one of my favorites. Definitely one that has stayed with me and I think of it often.

What’s different about my second time watching this movie is that I have since read Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. How do you find meaning of life while being detained in a concentration camp?

“It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life – daily and hourly. Our answer must consist not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.”

It’s interesting how all things come together because finally from this, I was drawn to look up Character:

‘Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.’ Romans 5: 3-4

You really see Alice (Claire Danes) move through these three stages throughout her time in Brokedown Palace. I also won’t forget the look on her face at the end, hope.