The artist Nick Cave has been around for a long time now, making music that is not for the faint of heart, but those songs of his that I have listened to carefully come out of a special kind of intelligence. He was a favorite of my son Jonnie, and was one of those musicians that Jonnie employed to make me crazy.
But this past week I came upon a letter that Cave wrote to a fan a few years ago, who was asking how he was coping following the death of his own 15 year-old son in a fall from a cliff in England. I’m going to link to the letter for a couple of reasons. Firstly, there isn’t a one of us that hasn’t grieved something by now – the loss of a family member, a lover, a friend,or perhaps of part of ourselves. We’ve been stunned but somehow made it back to where we could function once again, although forever we are changed in some way.
I’ve never read anything more honest and insightful than Cave’s open letter back to the questioner. When asked if he believed that his son still existed in some form and was available to him Cave said that he talks to the boy all the time … but “he may not be there.”
You might read the letter and remember the link, if only to be able to send it along to someone who can use it one day. Life can be awfully hard at times, my friends, and my simplistic counsel would be that the more shoulders that are available to be leaned on, the better.
Found this critter when taking out the trash Monday morning. Mantises are common here in Paradise, coming in all sizes. They are fascinating little killers, aren’t they?
It’s that unlike a lot of insects they turn their head to look at you that gets me. You just know that they are trying to decide whether it’s worth the trouble to try to eat you or not.
“Let’s see … I know that thing is too big to drag around … but if I chewed it up into manageable-sized pieces … ”
(Perhaps you think that I’m being paranoid. But study the photograph. The bug was giving me some serious side-eye at the moment the shutter snapped.)
I could almost accept the fact that so many of my fellow citizens have decided to follow blindly an immoral fool of an ex-president and have thus donated their brains to non-science. Almost. If it were only the adults that were affected, you could say “Well, I warned them,” and let it go at that. It is impossible to police our part of the universe so well that stupid can’t break out at any moment and in any place. Que sera and all that.
But right now their folly places their children and everybody else’s children at risk because these kids are not yet eligible to receive the vaccines. That’s where a line is crossed for me, and I have trouble sympathizing with those putting personal “freedom” over the common good. One of our duties as adults in a society is to protect the children in our care. In 2021, this means getting the damned shots, and doing it yesterday. Anything less is neglect.
End of story.
From The New Yorker
In my family of origin a garment was almost never thrown in the trash, at least not before it went through at least one transformation. For instance, my uncle Elmer was a portly man who sold insurance for a living. This made him the only person in the entire extended family who wore a white shirt to work.
When Uncle Elmer was done with them, these garments were handed down to my mom, who took those very broad shirt-tails and made clothing for my brother and I. When we outgrew them or wore them out, they spent the next phase of their lives in the rag-basket, and finally were thrown away when they became too threadbare for even this homely chore.
Occasionally these economies didn’t work out as planned. When I was about six years old, mom decided to take an old wool sweater that had belonged to some adult and make swim trunks out of it for my brother and I. What possessed her I don’t know, but make them she did and the next summer we boys put them on for the first time and dashed into the lake.When we emerged, we found to our horror that although the elastic at the waist was holding just fine, the waterlogged woolen fabric now weighed several pounds and gravity had pulled it down so far that the crotch was at the level of our knees, revealing our private parts to anyone who cared to look in our direction.
I don’t recall how we got from the beach to a sheltered spot where we could rid ourselves of the distorted garments, but once we shed them we never saw them again. However, those swimsuits lived on for years in family legends.
You may have noticed a couple of changes in the weather listings. We closed the Washington DC offices of the Empire and opened up an outpost in Stockholm, Sweden. Granddaughter Elsa had been living in DC but felt she had to leave when the behavior of the Red Party threatened her mental health. Being that close to the seat of all power was more than a sane person could tolerate, so she chose a location about 3900 miles away and will now see if that’s far enough.
What I know is that Robin and I live 1900 miles from DC, and there are many days that I wish it were further – for instance, if that offensive political party could be relocated to a large ice floe within the Arctic Circle. We would give each member the health care availability and economic opportunities of a person living on public assistance and let them work it out. Oh, and we would give them all the handguns and assault weapons they wanted to assist in solving arguments, in marriage counseling, and in employment disagreements.
I think that I’d sleep better if that happened. Then we could devote our energies toward trying to help the Democrats become a functioning political party that consistently worked for the benefit of all of us, instead of the prima donna casserole it tends to be now.