Set me a seal upon your heart,
As a ring upon your arm;
For love is as strong as death...
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
A flame of the Eternal.

Song of Songs viii 6-7

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Friday, April 20, 2012


Journal Entry 25
Wednesday 04/28/2004
First quarter moon
Early morning

Getting ready for work, I stomped back to the bedroom to look for something to wear with my new grey suit. For some reason, I had left the suit in the guest closet. On the way, I whipped out a rather alluring rose-colored scarf and stopped short at the bed.

“How did this happen?” I exclaimed. For there was my silver necklace, draped across the king-sized comforter like jewelry fit for a queen. What’s more, there were no tangles in it!

“How is this possible?” I said in sheer amazement. “What’s going on?”

Last night I had fallen asleep on the sofa. Too “dozy” to read, I watched a little TV and fooled around with my silver necklace. I mean, the darned thing had about five knots in it! So I worked on it till the show ended, but even with dogged determination, I hadn’t loosened a loop. Soon the protuberances appeared to shrink, looking more like the sub-atomic particles the scientists were talking about on NOVA. I rubbed my eyes and before you could say “miniscule”, my head began to bob just above the coffee table. When I came to, I found the tangled chain draped across my hands like rosary beads.

Now beyond caring about the remaining knots, I knew I had to “give up the ghost.” Yawn, bedtime...

Yuck, still have to brush my teeth. Grunting my way to the bathroom, I tossed the knotty necklace on the bed. “I’ll do it tomorrow  -- with tweezers.” So I brushed my teeth and slipped into my PJs, just in time for a comedy show. And somewhere between the chuckles and cushy couch pillows, I slipped into that blissful state of freedom we commonly call unconsciousness.

ᴥ ᴥ ᴥ

Even as the rays of the morning sun flicker across my bedroom wall, I walk in the room to find my silver necklace arranged on the bed, just so. No twists, no tangles!

I gasp and I shake my head. “How is this possible?”

To be sure, I take off my bifocals and bring the necklace up to my nose. Smiling, I say, “How sweet, it's shimmering in the light,” and I start inspecting it. “No knots.” I turn it over and over. “No lumps.”

“Hmm, not a kink.” “How can this be?” I shake my head and plop down on the bed. I couldn’t have pulled out the tangles while I was sleeping. No, I can’t even do that when I’m awake.

Soon I'm sitting up, draping the silver necklace 'round my neck. Then, looking up at the ceiling, I shout, “Hey, Max!” “Wherever you are, darling, thanks for helping me out in a pinch.” Then, brushing back a tear, I say, “Maybe I won’t wear the scarf after all.” I fasten the tiny clasp. “Why don't I wear your necklace today… in memory of all the good things we had.”

“Most of all, each other.”

Post Script

I’m getting that déjà vu sensation. Didn’t this happen before?

Yes, of course it did. In reviewing my calendar, I see that a similar event occurred on February 27th as documented in Journal Entry 20. Just another coincidence? Much less likely, methinks.

No, I’m not sleep walking, nor am I “sleep-fixing” necklaces – ridiculous the thought, though someone will surely ask. When we first started dating, Max used to fix my jewelry, just as he did throughout our marriage. He seemed to enjoy the challenge of repairing broken clasps, lifting little loops… disentangling tiny ties.

In contrast, witness my vexation in manipulating small objects of any kind. I enjoy abstract thought, but the thought of tiny items in disrepair? Well, that just about sets me into a tailspin. Of course, this is Magoo speaking. If my vision were better, perhaps I’d find fixing things fun, like Max did. Then again, maybe he was just being nice.

Either way, Max, you know I’ve always appreciated your help, don’t you?  No matter the chore, you had a way of making things fun.... love you, guy.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Dear Friends,

Just to clarify re several questions you raised in emails I received last week:

The original title of my new book, "The Hope and the Knowing" was changed a few months ago to "Death Is Not 'The End': One Agnostic's Journey on the Bumpy Road to Belief."

This change is based on recent feedback I received from a publisher and several people in the know who said that the new title is more descriptive of the contents of my book. On the other hand, the original title was a bit vague. Don't you agree?

All comments welcome.

Yours very truly,


Dear Readers,

Thank you for your recent email comments concerning "Death Is Not 'The End'!"

Will be going in for eye surgery on April 9th; then again on April 23rd.

Wish me luck!

Sincerely yours,
Mandy Berlin