A Piece of My Mind


I’m Claude Offenbacher with "A Piece of My Mind"

My wife and I travel the trails of lower Mount Pisgah.  We hike them clockwise.  But recently, by way of a change, we reversed course and walked them counter-clockwise.  Demanding uphills became casual downhills; downhills were now uphills.  The trails hadn’t changed -- only how we chose to approach them. 

Each day engages us in countless choices. Most are routine.  We resolve them with little conscious thought. 


Here’s a piece of my mind I call  “Car Squawk,” three small complaints from behind the wheel of my 2010 Honda Fit in Eugene.  Maybe this will resonate with you.

First, it’s hard to avoid playing bumper cars as I park in the city garage closest to KLCC. I contort my body out after squeezing into a tortuously narrow space made narrower by an adjacent
intruding truck.  

Squawk number two:  I’m behind a driver stopped at a red light.  He’s clueless he can now legally turn left onto an empty one-way street. 


At a recent discussion with a Eugene audience, a playwright was asked what he found most difficult with respect to his work.  “Letting go,” he answered. Those who create performance pieces must leave them for others to interpret.  They must learn to “let go” of their play, song, opera or symphonic opus. Those who stage the piece may have a concept that differs from theirs.

Similarly, parents need to accept their children will one day pursue independent lives. They will go their own way, regardless of what their elders prefer.


Not that long ago in Oregon and America, marriage evoked a simple narrative.  A man and his “intended” would exchange vows. The woman would take the man’s name. They’d commit to each other for life.

Today, divorce is on the rise. Heterosexual marriage is a shaky proposition.  Many partners forgo it.  They simply live together.  The woman may choose to take the man’s name… or not.  Either one may insist on a prenuptial agreement to protect assets should the marriage not take.  Divorce, once stigmatized, is as accepted these days as scrapping an old car.