Monday, April 19, 2010


I been thinkin' about time. There's a wonderful little book called Einstein's Dreams, by Alan Lightman. Each chapter represents a dream that supposedly helped him develop his theory of relativity. It's fiction, of course, but it's a really cool idea. I wish I'd thought of it. I find it a fascinating little compendium of possibility.

For example, one of the chapters deals with a village in which those who live higher up the mountain experience time entirely different than those who live down at the bottom. In another scenario, everyone begins each day again, as though it's the first day, a group amnesia sort of thing. Then, there are those who repeat their lives over and over again with only minor variations. Not-So-Instant Karma meet Groundhog Day. And, there are those who are destined to repeat their lives over and over again with absolutely no variation, not even a gesture. I refer to that as the Vicious Circle. I love this book. And I love looking at time, all the possibilities. For a long while, I've been seeing time as a simultaneous thing; everything is happening now, in this moment, but we are choosing to experience it in a linear fashion. For reasons known only to us. Apparently. I haven't got all the kinks worked out yet, only been workin' on it for about forty years. But, it's sure fun to look at and I like to think it has helped me to better understand human nature, at least my own. Hopefully. 

A few weeks ago, a friend and I were talking about our mutual appreciation for Leonard Cohen and his CD "Ten New Songs." His voice has become so rich and deep. A wonderful group of songs. Anyway, he was trying to remember a particular song from many years ago and I thought it was "Suzanne," by Leonard Cohen. Turns out it wasn't. So he sang a few bars for me, to see if I would recognize it. And I did. It was, "Joanne,"  by Michael Nesmith. He was one of the Monkees, my favorite Monkee, as a matter of fact. The quiet, thoughtful one. When I hear his song on the radio, time stops, I listen.

A couple of days later, I found a youtube video; a musical/photographic tribute to Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman, with "Joanne," as the theme song. It's a paen to love itself. Those two lovebirds are pretty much the coolest couple to ever grace this planet. I bought some Joanne Woodward paper dolls at a Five and Dime in a suburb of Minneapolis, way too many years ago. I wanted to be her when I grew up. Alas, that did not work out. Paul, now gone, lovingly referred to her as  "one of the last of the great broads."  She still lives in Westport, Connecticut. This is my favorite photo of them.

I"m not sure what that has to do with time, but it seems to have everything to do with it. I hope you enjoy the video and not just for Paul and Joanne, but for Michael Nesmith, one amazing songwriter and I'm betting a pretty cool guy. His song is beautiful. His voice is thoughtful. I like his energy and I've never even seen him in person. Some people just feel good, even from what seems to be a long distance. Like Paul and Joanne.

Note on Dec 12, 2021: I revisted this post after Michael's passing and found the video of Joanne using the Paul and Joanne images is no longer available, so I've replaced it. 


  1. Paul and Joanne...they don't make 'em like that, anymore.

    The book looks intriguing and a little unsettling, too. I think I'd like it. I don't have all the kinks worked out, either. A very thought provoking post, as usual. I do like my thoughts to be "provoked"! You're good at that.

  2. Great blog once again mom! Im tired or id write more.

  3. Great video! I love the falsetto parts. :)

    Paul and JoAnne - what a perfect match. They never got caught up in all the Hollywood bs. Just a lovely, down to earth couple that didn't let their acting talent go to their heads.

  4. Cheryl, It is an interesting book, with small, concise chapters. I like my thoughts provoked, too! : )

    Cole, thanks for commenting! Love You!

    Gail, Yes, I love the falsetto, also. It's such a beautiful song.

  5. I am amazed at how long ago it has been since visited your blog...about a month. We're back in St. Paul, and I can't say that I'm pleased about it. Will take a walk to the library tomorrow to pick up Einstein's Dreams...sound interesting. Now I have to backtrack and read your many posts. Guess I'll do two a day 'til I get caught up. I'm still posting from Santa Fe, but I am also on until my SF photos are depleted. Guess where I'd rather be living?!

  6. Years ago, my mom, sister, and I went to Audubon Park and, hark, a movie was being filmed, with Joanne Woodward. Paul was there. Well, the three of us were in moonstruck heaven, till we realized they were just like us, normal people working. Joanne Woodward is in my father's LSU Gumbo. She was one of the beauties. Hair pulled back in a pony tail, very Grace Kelly looking. Joanne flunked an acting course at LSU (doesn't say much about that drama dept., does it?) And, I've written a note to get Einstein's Dreams. Love your review. And Cheryl's right, you do provoke thoughts and this is good, very good. Thank you!

  7. Kate, I know how hard it is to leave Santa Fe...but, welcome home to St. Paul, and I look forward to reading your posts from there.

    Kittie, I love the story you've shared. "...they were just like us, normal people working." Yes. It's nice to see that, understand that, isn't it?

  8. I like the photo of Paul and Joanne.

  9. Yes, Jack, it demonstrates Kittie's point perfectly, I think.