The Duality of One Man

For Iris and Sara... 

"You’re Mark the warrior … Mars, god of war. You’re Matthew the orator … he who speaks his mind’s just roar," as once told to me by Madame Iris … my dark seductress of the night and favorite femme fatale of French Quarter lore. Such is my painful duality. I’m both, I must admit to thee … Warrior and Orator, in constant conflict with myself. Torn between good and evil, ripped apart by right and wrong, haunted by acts of vengeance and deeds of mercy. Such a moral dilemma it can be … being the avenger and the angel.

"Madame Iris, my mortal sin of flesh, my feminine soothsayer, my seductress of the dark, my cherished beloved, what do you see as my next crimson plight?" I asked, hopeful for a minute grain of insight. "My dear Matthew … dear Mark, your next quest, whether you’re the dark angel or light of hope, you will be just in cause and on the side of right," said my Creole Iris of the Night.

But alas! ‘Tis one and the same to me … Matthew and Mark. The line has blurred for me … between righteousness and immorality. I’m the day and the night. The light of the Sun’s shining rays of hope and the Moon’s streaming beams of despair. I’m the howlin’ night cry and the morning tears that fall. Hope’s good and brilliant bold that turns wicked as Death’s dismal cold … I’m a mere mortal man, after all.

I miss my beloved concubine … my Madame Iris of Creole descent … my ageless lover and confidant. ‘Tis her insight of my immortal soul that I miss most as time passes. Beautiful and exotic was she. I being twenty-two, young and fresh, and she, an immortal thirty-three. A New Orleans Madame of the Dark who made me see the light of destiny.

I still hear her voice, see her vision in the night, guiding my ravaged and torn duality. I persevere … I still conquer quests of war’s agonizing, never-ending battles. I’ll always be Matthew of good philosophy and Mark the warrior—fighter for equality … deliverer of vengeance. ‘Tis one and the same to me … Matthew and Mark, I’ll always be.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Think you’re bad at math? You may suffer from ‘math trauma’

Even some teachers suffer from anxiety about math.

Image credit: Getty Images
Mind & Brain

I teach people how to teach math, and I've been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I've met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math trauma – a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.

Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

How KGB founder Iron Felix justified terror and mass executions

The legacy of Felix Dzerzhinsky, who led Soviet secret police in the "Red Terror," still confounds Russia.

Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Felix Dzerzhinsky led the Cheka, Soviet Union's first secret police.
  • The Cheka was infamous for executing thousands during the Red Terror of 1918.
  • The Cheka later became the KGB, the spy organization where Russia's President Putin served for years.
Keep reading Show less