And here is the fro. BECAUSE. Random is fun. This on my mind:
A sawdust-filled garage and my woodcarving artisan mentor Zsolt, describing the next project my then daughter Kerry was beginning:
“We want Kerry to be a heavy hitter in school. She can bring this in to school and show them and explain how her project depicts the Heisenberg Principle!”
I can hear Zsolt’s voice, in his Hungarian accent, with intermittent noises of pausing to suck his teeth. (He would die in just years, at 74, from incurable leukemia.) It is with disbelief that Feb. 14 has come round again (tomorrow) marking the 4th year of his passing which was: 2-14-2014.
In numerology 5 is
The repetitiveness of those numbers; the 2’s and the 1’s, even the 4’s, intrigues me. His date of passing equals 5. His birthdate however (2/22) including the year, when added in numerology, equals:
The time of his death: 11:45, also equals 2.
1+1+4+5 = 11
(Because in numerology, you add until you get a single digit.) Two means harmonious. As the second of all numbers, 2’s symbolism is the union of and peace between different entities. It seeks to end separateness and unite all for the greater good whether it be music, food or humanity.
He was concerned with “greater good” and as an aside, I got an email titled “Greater Good” from a dear friend just yesterday but I digress. I mention it because I love synchronicity. I did not intend to write about Zsolt today, as always I battle with: is what I have to say worth saying?
I have a podcast coming up soon for Different Brains Spectrumly Speaking, (I’ll announce it when it airs) and in the short podcast discussion I mentioned Zsolt. He wasn’t in my plans for discussion the day we recorded the podcast but it felt right to mention his affect on me and so I did, as I am here. Sometimes you do what feels right. Anxiety and self doubt often argue and prevent true wants. Are my insights significant enough to talk about? To share here? Shut up, brain! Here is an insight in spite of doubt: I know what it is like to deal with both autism and lifelong selective mutism. A child may have an instinctive response to questions asking them if they would like to do something. They may reply: NO. This is because a self-protection response is safe and important and decreases anxiety. I said yes to mentoring with Zsolt because the garage felt comfortable. I could listen (and converse) there. He made it easy.
If you have a child who has the ability to speak ONLY when the environment/people are right, then you may already have gained this insight, but here it is anyway:
Find out the child’s true want(s)!
Tell the child (or errr… adult):
If we can somehow tailor this so it is comfortable for you, is it something you would like to do?
I would urge that the adult of said child considers this: Perhaps the child is saying NO because there is an expectation of speech involved in the activity. In fact, they may really want to participate, but expectation of speech is daunting, a real StopSign. Offering to tailor the situation to their comfort level may give them an ‘in’ to participate in an activity they’d REALLY like to try- in comfort. I know now, because people have been considerate and kind to me, that tailoring an environment for me is empowering and opens up the world. A creative caregiver, teacher, family member, parent, CAN tailor an environment so a child can toss out a stopsign and explore a true want, thus, more fully living and experiencing life. If the environment of Zsolt’s teaching were not tailored to me, (i.e. if the sessions were held in a flourescently lit room with ten or so other students…) I may have said NO and missed out on knowing him.
I am always in a state of deciding what is significant and what is not. Tie a knot here and clip off this section? Or completely rework a frazzled area? This goes for the rewriting of manuscripts, writing blogs, making artworks, and as a metaphor for life problems in general.
Here is the approx. 4 feet high Heisenberg Principle Machine I mentioned in the first paragraph. You roll marbles down; like Price Is Right’s Plinko. But there’s more to it than that! Zsolt explained the principle to me over a carving session. While I worked on my carving of 2 crows, close together, exchanging a berry/pearl (my mother’s hat pin), he asked Kerry (my 12 yr old daughter who is now my son Silas) and I to imagine car accidents, and the FACT that statisticians could predict with some certainty that over the course of a “big party drinking” weekend, such as St. Patrick’s Day or Fourth Of July, there would be a rise in car accidents due to “drinking while intoxicated.” You see, Zsolt explained, it can be predicted within a certain curve that let’s say a certain percentage over the normal amount of those types of accidents in a given town will occur; with some degree of accuracy. HOWEVER the way the Heisenberg Principle comes into play is that you cannot predict exactly WHO or WHERE or on what street corner, because these are the variables and so forth.
After describing the Heisenberg Principle, Zsolt proposed to Kerry that her next project should be a machine depicting uncertainty. Predict what will happen. Run the marbles through. Log the outcomes. Consider the variables (crooked nail, differently weighted marble, angle, position on board)… Not unlike a busy anxious brain, right- considering every uncertainty principle from best outcome to worst scenario.
The marble can; which is technically Al’s marbles. It can be used for shaking at the dog to divert a behavior (this works) or for running marbles down the chute.
Zsolt showed me the sketch of his Heisenberg Box he had drawn on a scrap envelope. The envelope was resting on a handmade table of solid stature with hills of sawdust and woodchips on it. The bulky carpenter pencil in Zsolt’s hand had been sharpened with one of his sharp knives. The knives, with ZM carved into fat brown handles, all stood at attention in a can with Barnum and Bailey scenes upon it. When carving with one of these knives, the initials would reverse and look like: WS. No pictures of these memories, only in the mind. No Iphones then. No instant picture taking.
I rested my tool in the big red can with the pictures of circus animals behind zoo bars on it, and laid my crows carving across my wood-shaving covered lap. I paused to point at a turkey buzzard in a tall pine across the road. We were in the open garage, the garage door open, and had a view of neighboring houses, the occasional neighbor who greeted Zsolt warmly, a child on a bicycle, a Rockwell neighborhood. I had fleeting attention span, still do, like a ping pong ball, like a two year old, like my kitten Georgie. Zsolt, noting the buzzard across the road I pointed out, asked me excitedly,
“You want me to go upstairs for the binoculars?”
But he reconsidered when I answered him: “No, I think by the time you return it will have flown off. It sure is one big bird. Little birds are dive bombing it, defending their nest.”
Sure enough, within the minute, the two dive-bomber birds had scared the buzzard away. Zsolt began a story, reminding me of the crow he had seen the month before, with its talons around a tree arm; shaking shaking, until it upended a nest and then it flew off with the baby. Much to the mother Blue Jay’s dismay.
I returned my attention to the sketch of the Heisenberg machine on the scrap envelope and he got back on track too. We discussed his drawing. It involved a ”box,” and some marbles. He said:
“The front is flat, enclosed in plexiglass so you can see what’s going on when the marbles are loaded.”
The top of the box is lifted and the marbles are poured down inside, and if you’ve seen the Plinko game on The Price Is Right then you know there are pegs in the game, there is a peg strategically placed in Zsolt’s box. The marbles hit the peg, and they are sent off into a series of little chutes below. There are about ten I think. Little areas for all the marbles to line up. HOWEVER, he explained, they will always line up in a bell shaped curve. “Really?” I asked. And when the machine was built, his prediction proved true.
He explained the bell curve in relation to a child having a test in the classroom. One can predict with some certainty, a teacher who is a good teacher and has taught her/his students well, that let’s say…80 percent of the students will get average grades. They can be predicted to get a B, B+ and some C’s. On the other ten percent you may have A and A+ and the remainder may even fail. Most of the marbles, it can be predicted, he said, will fall in the middle , like the average students, there will be a large hill of marbles there. And just like the teacher grading the students, this sort of represents the average students, and at either end, we will see every time we load the marbles, there will be less marbles at each end. The exceptions: the ones who didn’t study, and the ones who excelled. Bell curve.
This Heisenberg machine sits dusty in the closet now and I need only to glimpse it, to be transported. I didn’t intend to write about Zsolt in this blog, but there you go. Incidentally, during the writing of this blog, someone was pushing the doorbell for 20 seconds. When Al checked, no one was there. As usual, I’ve got a lot of writing to sort out, some fiction work I promised a late friend (not Zsolt) that I’d shape. Is this blog a distraction from that? Probably. But I’m not finished yet.
“Kerry can give an hour talk about this Heisenberg Project in school, you know, once it is built. She will be a hit. The Heisenberg Principle demonstrated. Of course she can be a super hero. I mean…” He scratches his head, closes his eyes a moment in thought and then disappears upstairs to wash gesso from a brush Kerry was using on her current project, a Gryphon. As he disappears up the stairs he says, “A guitar hero perhaps. She can be everything.”
He watches me work on the crows; then asks: “So, did you find a place, to put the crows, on an antique mirror maybe….?”
“I do happen to have an antique mirror, yes,” I say.
“I just happened to think it was a good place, above a mirror, you never tell me this and I think this, I just know; that’s called being a dreamer.”
I say, “Yes, the mirror I have is oval, and salvaged, my husband found it, and too heavy for my plaster walls so I have it fixed to an old door which is propped against the wall. The door came from an old house and the mirror is big and hangs on the door. ” This is that mirror:
Zsolt: “So did you place the carving on top of the mirror then last night, then you took a step back and you admired it and you said, yes I like it there- its just right there?”
I am getting used to him just knowing things. I took the unfinished crows carving home the night before to study the form, and that’s exactly what happened. I’d placed it above the mirror. “Yeah, ” I smile.
“So…” he says, “About this Heisenberg Box. I have always wanted to make one, and there is one thing about it that I did not tell you. Remember when I said about the car accidents, you cannot predict exactly who will crash? ” Kerry and I nod. “One of the marbles will be black. To demonstrate this principle. You can run the marbles through a hundred times, and the black marble will be in a different place. It may be in the first tunnel, the second one, and so forth.”
We two consider this. Kerry is painting her Gryphon and I am sanding a crow wing.
He goes on. “You know I learn from you too, Kimberly and Kerry. I never knew the English divinity rhyme before you told me, Kimberly. About the crows. Two for joy, which you are representing with this carving of two crows. All the time that I am having students… symbolism, that something stands for something. I like this”
He is referring to this seen here in its completed state. I cut glass and soldered in the garage also-
One for sorrow, two for joy, three for girls, and four for boys, five for silver, six for gold, seven for a secret never to be told. This is the divinity Zsolt was happy to learn from me. Its about counting crows and its a variation on an English nursery rhyme. It’s why I chose 2 crows here, not one.
TWO FOR JOY
“In every religion,” Zsolt said to us then, “there are beliefs that 36 people are alive at any given time who can save the world from destruction. In this time, when people talk of the end is coming and so forth, this should be kept in our minds, do you think? At any given time, 36 people have the ability, the where-withall to save the world, perhaps they know it, and no one knows who they are.”
He put his envelope sketch with the Heisenberg design on it, on a pile of cast-off wood chunks in various sizes, remnants of other projects resembling children’s blocks stacked next to shavings Picasso-like; alongside various other sketches and thick stubs of pencils and paint tubes. He looked at Kerry, at me, and points in turn at us, and says,
“Those 36 people, who have the power, who knows, one of them could be you. Or you.”
🙂 it could happen why not aim high
My birth date in numerology:
NOTE: the number TWO has been referred to 29 times (that makes it 30) in this post, including the title but not counting the two fingered peace sign (OOPS that’s 31), and not counting the words too and to.
Related posts on Zsolt highlighted in blue:
Here is a related post I wrote, the first link at bottom- when the grief was fresh. I’d had a gallbladder operation, and found carving (which could induce a sweat and used abdominal muscles!) painful, so Kerry and I intended to take just two months off from carving. ( aah now two is mentioned 32 times…errr that makes 33…) Sadly those 2 months turned to over 2 1/2 years (now it was mentioned 36 times) and I stopped my lessons. I always think there’s time, but one never knows. Someone saw a post I had written for the CT pilot program or something in which I’d written about Zsolt and informed me of Zsolt’s passing which was very kind of him to do. Keep reading. It’s almost done and you can visit the links later, if you wish, when you are done reading.
The second link -the one below this paragraph:
I love the quotes from Zsolt, found here in this 2005 article, (37 times that the number 2 is now mentioned in this blog-make that 38 which is perfect now because
1+1 = YOU GUESSED IT
) which was written right around the year I met him. He was a gold medal winner in Senior Olympics and loved to swim and kayak into his 70s.
He is on YouTube too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqCmdxp6piE
I have to go now. I have a UTI and Al has made chicken soup. Bye bye for now.