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  • Karl Thunemann

Karl's Keyboard #7

Updated: Dec 29, 2020

Diving Deep into the Larder for Some Old Favorites

I started writing posts for this blog more than two years ago. Soon I had a ton of posts, but no blog to display them. I called them epistles because they addressed religious and moral issues. This is what epistles do, right? But mine would be cheeky and irreverent. I like to imagine that if I evet met St. Paul I would clap him on the back and ask to be invited to join the Epistolary Round Table.

It took me many months to get this blog rolling, and by then I had a cupboard full of unposted epistles. Me and Emily Dickinson. I have been winnowing away at them, and they keep getting delayed further by all the special projects I have been launching. Some of the epistles I highlight today have been in the blog for a couple of months. They just haven’t been featured yet.

My favorite among today’s offering is “The Vengeful Meditator.” When I first mentioned the title to my brother, he quickly declared it to be an oxymoron. And so it is. I think oxymorons should be cultivated, and not just because the word makes such a smashing play at Scrabble. Oxymorons make you think. Are you certain you know where you stand? And they should make you laugh, just as “military intelligence” used to provoke us in the old days.

And just a reminder: I have special projects on their way. With Keyboard No. 6, I set forward a triptych of epistles on comorbidities. And still on the way: For Keyboard No. 8, expect another triptych on “Living with Mild Cognitive Impairment.” And Keyboard No. 10 will delve into my deep, nearly lifelong relationship with the saturnine—or sadness, to use a more common word.

And other projects are on the way. I’m putting together a package on Taoism, which is challenging. And, instead of posting a giant reading and viewing list, I am going to group such sources in topical epistles. As they come together, I will post them under “resources.”

And finally, a word on my principal reader. Two of my earliest posts featured here refer to feedback from Gertrude. Our friendship is in its 20th year, and almost throughout she has been my principal reader. Yesterday I mentioned I would feature posts reporting moments when she had chastised me, and she bridled at the verb. No, but she does gently chide. Gertrude is not a meditator, so it helps that she is looking at that process from the outside. (I rely on another friend to be my meditation consultant.)

This week’s featured epistles:

Mimi Simmons Ponders a Choice

If you have met Mimi Simmons, you probably would not liken her to a barnacle. But her latest post, “More Like a Barnacle, Less Like a Bee,” leaves us to calculate the true value of barnacles. Please consider her established as a frequent contributor.

A Big Huzzah

Somebody at the Academy of American Poets is paying attention to the issues of the day. Here’s a recent poem of the day that lends an ear to an early 20th century poet of color, Angelina Weld Grimke


Sometimes it seems as though some puppet-player,

A clenched claw cupping a craggy chin

Sits just beyond the border of our seeing,

Twitching the strings with slow, sardonic grin.

Let’s continue a dialogue!

There are two ways to take part:

1. Post a comment on the blog! Some readers haven felt frustrated with this, but it is pretty simple: To comment on the blog: scroll down to the bottom of the post, where there is a comments box. You will have to leave a name in order to comment, but all other information is optional. It will give the option to leave your fb, Twitter, or Gmail but you don't have to.

2. Consider becoming a contributor. I will consider posts about meditation, broadly defined. I prefer stories over instruction, but I am flexible. I like posts shorter than 1,000 words. Send your proposed text—or a query—to me at

Til next time …

May you keep on meditating, and contemplate the advance of social justice.


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