Pings and Tangents

Post (c) Doris McCraw

Have you ever had those moments where something you hear hits you in the proverbial solar plexus? Sometimes it comes out of nowhere and other times, it’s like you are looking for it. Once you hear those words, I call them pings, you can’t forget how they made you feel. Then, you take off on tangents of thought that may or may not have anything to do with the initial words you heard or read.

Lately there have been many such pings and subsequent tangents, fugues on a theme.

“We don’t get to chose our time. Death is what gives live meaning, to know your days are numbered, your time is short” “Dr. Strange”- the movie

“Everybody dies. The only difference is what you do til then.” The Young Riders- “The Blood of Others”

“Like a wind crying endlessly through the universe, time carries away the names and deed of conquerors and commoners alike. And all that we were, all that remains is in the memories of those who cared we came this way for a brief moment.” Twilight Zone- “Paladin of the Lost Hour” by Harlan Ellison.


As I pondered these coincidences, the synchronicity, my mind traveled back to my years working with juvenile delinquents. So many lives that moved through mine. Some died, sometimes violently. Others are spending their adult lives behind bars. But there are those who have made it, making a life for themselves that have nothing to do with the mistakes of their youth.

So what is our reason for being here? What do we offer? How can we make a difference in the lives of ourselves and others?

All three pings are about choices. The episode of “The Young Riders” is about a condemned man being taken for his hanging. Throughout the episode the man shows compassion and teaches his young escorts what life is about. At the end, they want to let him go, but he refuses. Each person can offer advice and show the reality of choices. episode clip click here

The story by Harlan Ellison from his book “Strange Words”, was adapted for television by Ellison and starred Danny Kay. To this day, the above words from the end of the show, have a profound effect on me. I never tire of seeing the episode or reading the short story. We never know when we will offer something to someone that they never realized they needed. Harlan Ellison reading and excerpt, click here You tube video-

So when you get those ‘pings’, follow them and see where they lead you. They may offer some answers to questions you didn’t even know you had.

A song to touch your heart Click Here


Doris McCraw writing as Angela Raines,

Speaker, Author, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History

For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here

Photo and Poem: Click Here
Angela Raines FaceBook: Click Here

Every step you take should be a prayer.
And if every step you take is a prayer then you will always be walking in a sacred manner.
Oglala Lakota Holyman.


17 thoughts on “Pings and Tangents

  1. Loved all your links, and your pings. The photo is gorgeous. My friends are going to see Home Free in Birmingham. I just missed them earlier in the month at Jacksonville. Fun post, thanks Cher’ley


  2. The quote by Harlan Ellison is something I have actually been pondering lately! They are all significant quotes and I enjoyed the reading. Also, Home Free is a great and talented group of young men. Enjoyed your blog and the resulting pings and tangents it brought to me!


    1. Neva, Harlan always had a way of making you think. That you have been pondering those thoughts is mind-blowing to me, because I chose to write about it.

      I agree, Home Free is so fun to watch and what talent. Glad you enjoyed the post. It makes the thoughts and writing worthwhile. Doris


    1. You are welcome Abbie. I think sometimes we get stuck on negativity and songs like this just break you out of that mindset.

      May the pings that hit you be good ones. *Smile* Doris

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful post, Doris! Very thought-provoking and ties in with what’s going on in my life and my husband’s — thank you for the encouragement…. and for “The Young Riders” link — LOVE THAT SHOW!! 🙂


    1. You are welcome Gayle. I also love the show, and that episode hits me in the solar plexus everytime I watch it.

      I’ve learned to at least acknowledge the pings, and sometimes they help me get to where I’m going. May they do the same for both of you. Doris


  4. I’ve always liked Harlan Ellison. Outstanding SF author. There’s some Twilight Zone episodes that have stuck with me through the decades — the German glider pilot who disappears on a flight prior to World War II, an Army tank crew who gets a chance to help out General Custer, a clerk who loves to escape into a vault to read his precious books, only to break his glasses and become blind, and lastly, an astronaut crew who land on an alien planet populated by ‘giants’ including a terrorized farmwife who destroys the spacecraft and astronauts.


    1. I always remember the no escape ones, like in a house in a snowstorm, or opening the back door and there’s nothing. I liked the one where the woman’s head ended up in a jar, and everyone just loved it, but couldn’t figure out what it was. Lol Cher’ley


    2. To me, Ellison is the master of the short story, especially in SF. So much to learn from him. While not a huge fan of Twilight Zone, they did have some wonderfully creative and thought provoking shows. I enjoyed your list of shows you remembered Mike. Doris


  5. The movie clip confused me a little since I don’t remember seeing the whole film. Choosing to die without fear and showing no judgement is quite a concept.


    1. I can understand the confusion. Still, I always have such a strong reaction to the story everytime I see it. I hope someday you will get the chance.

      It is wuite a concept, and a strong lesson about live and consequences. Thanks for the feedback Nancy, I so appreciate it. Doris


  6. Reading the quote Everybody dies. The only difference is what you do til then makes me want to do more. Tomorrow I am scheduled to go plant tress, the ground will be wet and I will be a muddy mess when we are done, But I am going. When I get home I will take a hot shower and do more writing and if weather permits I will go out in the evening and take more pictures.


    1. S.J. the quote does the same for me, the only difference, I have a black thumb and eveything I plant doesn’t make it. Still, I love that those who can, do, for it is one of the greatest gifts to give the world.

      I hope you had a great day and were able to write and take more photos. I do love seeing wildlife through your eyes. Doris


  7. I had one of those pings last week–a character said something to his wife that I’d said to my husband not long before. I felt complete identification with the character. The scriptwriter got it right.


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