Posted by: Kimberly Dredger | May 21, 2010

Tribute to Lazarus – Part 2

I cannot leave my favorite science fiction book, just yet.  It has been much in my mind these past few weeks, for a variety of reasons, and so I take author’s liberty in referring to it again.  I am speaking of Time Enough for Love by Robert Heinlein, in which he follows the many adventures of Lazarus Long and Long’s descendants as they travel through history.  You will remember from my previous discussion that Long’s family are all very long-lived naturally, and as science catches up to them, have their lives extended medically as well.

One reason I have been thinking of this book is that in my “prospecting” (AKA cleaning the basement) I came across a box of old photos, belonging not to Earl, who built our house, but to his mother.  In this box were more than 25 antique wedding photos, from the 1880s to the 1920s.  Looking at these photos, looking into the eyes of the bride and groom, one wonders… what was their life like?  How long were they together?  Did they, in fact, have “Time Enough for Love” or did the groom die in the trenches of World War I, or did the bride die of influenza or in childbirth?  I simply am at a loss to know what to do with these photos.  They are so interesting, must have value.  Even the frames are intricate and lovely.  But it is also just the tiniest bit creepy looking at them, because one almost feels like a voyeur, glimpsing a part of their lives they never expected to share with someone in the 21st century.

The second reason I have been thinking about Heinlein’s book is a little closer to the reason for my project.  Of course, for the characters in his novel to live as long as they do, (2000 years in one case) medical enhancement is necessary, and if a person is damaged terribly, it is possible to FIX the damage, and allow that person to return to life as a whole-bodied person.  As has always been the case with science fiction, the science fiction writer can frequently foresee what hard science will one day be able to do.  Today, with prosthetics and robotics, people who are injured in accidents or wars have the hope of regaining some mobility.  This technology may not be in its infancy, but it is certainly very far from being all it can be.  The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation funds research that is right at this minute finding new and marvelous ways to help people.  Take a minute to imagine how it must feel to be paralyzed from your neck down, and to know that research might just be able to find a way for you to walk again.  Please, please donate.  This is great work they are doing.

Allow me to digress again, and quote from Lazarus Long’s notebooks.  These either give pause for thought, or just tickle me, and either one is a good way to start the weekend:
“*Everything in excess!  To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites.  Moderation is for monks.
*Little girls, like butterflies, need no excuse.
*Do not handicap your children by making their lives easy.
*The more you love, the more you CAN love – and the more intensely you love.  Nor is there any limit on how many you can love.  If a person had time enough, he could love the majority who are decent and just. 
*Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of – but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards. 
*Never try to outstubborn a cat.
*Yield to temptation.  It may not come your way again.” 
Time Enough for Love, Robert Heinlein, 1973 GP Putnam,

5/19 – 3 3/4 miles with speed intervals
5/20 – 2 1/2 miles and Pilates
5/21 – 7 miles



  1. My Darling Little Sister

    How I love reading your blogs. I suspect that you write in it to keep yourself motivated, but do you know that they keep me motivated as well? I sometimes get nervous and think that I am fooling myself with these plans to be a furniture builder. Then I read your blog or talk to you and I know I’m OK.

    You are an athlete my Darling and don’t let anyone or doubts tell you differently.

    Your lovin Brother Bill


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