Too Much Time Alone?

The book I am currently reading is about a computer genius, which makes me wonder: what did computer geniuses do before computers? Were those the folks back in prehistoric times who notched rocks to tally up goods or time or simply as the development of mathematical thought? Or were these the folks the village idiots, unable to do anything practical because the tools of their trade had not yet been developed? Or perhaps these are the folks in insane asylums, banging their heads against the walls because they have no other way of processing the codes they can see inside their minds?

Or did our brains evolve along with the computer? Since obviously there was no need for computer geniuses until the computer was invented, did the universe or natural selection or whatever it is that decides these things, keep our brain development in line with our tool development?

Can you tell I am spending too much time alone? With no other stimulation than the books I read, the computer game I play, or interacting with people via this blog, I am pretty much left to my own devices, which means wondering about foolish things.

It could be worse, though. I talked to an acquaintance today who was off work for two months battling The Bob.

I’m always hesitant to wish for things because whoever it is or whatever it is that grants our wished is utterly diabolical. A couple of months ago, this person wished he had more time at home with his wife, and do I need to tell you what happened? Yep, both got sick, so they got to spend a lot of time together.

They’re both mostly doing okay now, which is nice because others I know didn’t survive.

Since I no longer follow any news source, my only news comes in the form of sporadic gossip, so I don’t know the truth of this or not, but supposedly, they are expecting The Bob to be around and causing havoc for the next seven years.


I do have hermit tendencies, but seven years of mostly being isolated? At the end of that time, the questions spinning around my head probably won’t be anywhere near as cogent as the ones plaguing me now.

But who knows — by then, I might even have come up with a few answers.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

Wish Culture

As someone who grew up reading fairy tales, I’ve never been one for wishing. The wishes so often turned out to be dross rather than the gold the wisher wished for. For example, a person who wished for enough income to live comfortably for the rest of his life might end up drowning. Or a person who wished for someone to know their heart might end up on the operating table of a heart surgeon. Of course, those examples are modern ones, just what I could think of off the top of my head. Back in fairy tale lands, there were no heart surgeons, and there was not talk of income, either.

People who did get a wish or three in fairy tales often ended up worse than they were, and I learned that lesson well, so I have no idea why all of a sudden I am interested in the culture of wishes. I made a wish box as a repository for the new year’s wishes people sent me as well as a couple of well-worded ones of my own. I’ve also become enamored of the idea of a senbazuru, which is 1000 origami cranes. The legend says that anyone who folds 1000 paper cranes will be granted one wish or happiness and eternal good luck.

And the explanation that came with the tarot deck I am currently using, said that today’s tarot card, the nine of cups, is the wish card.

So, lots of wishes and wishing!

Whether the cranes or the wish box or the tarot card will actually make all my wishes come true, however scant those wishes might be, it’s all about the doing.

I have a hunch it’s in the folding that one’s crane wish comes true — once a person has mastered the art of folding the crane, it becomes a mindless or maybe mindful activity, and that alone should bring peace and happiness of a sort. (Because deep down, no matter what one wishes for, isn’t it all about peace and happiness?)

So what does one do with 1000 cranes when they are all made? Pass them out so others can share in one’s good fortune? Leave them in strategic places for people to find? (But what an irony that would be, to be arrested for littering when one is only trying to spread a bit of happiness.)

One of the wishes I added to my wish box was selling thousands of copies of Bob, The Right Hand of God, though I have no idea how to get there except by wishing. It could happen.

Meantime, keep on wishing. As long, of course, as you word your wish so that it cannot be misinterpreted.


“I am Bob, the Right Hand of God. As part of the galactic renewal program, God has accepted an offer from a development company on the planet Xerxes to turn Earth into a theme park. Not even God can stop progress, but to tell the truth, He’s glad of the change. He’s never been satisfied with Earth. For one thing, there are too many humans on it. He’s decided to eliminate anyone who isn’t nice, and because He’s God, He knows who you are; you can’t talk your way out of it as you humans normally do.”

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God

I Wish . . .

It feels as if I have lost control of my life, as if the winds of life — or change — are in the air, and bits of me are floating off into the ether.

I wish I could concoct a powerful witches brew and — poof. Everything would be fine.

Or that I knew a wizard who could cast a joyous spell.


I wish I were as strong as everyone thinks I am.


I wish I had money enough and time to give everyone what they need and make things right.


I wish . . . oh, so many things. But mostly, I guess, I hope I will eventually rise


out of the horror or my life into a new day.



Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

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