I, too, sing America.
I, too, sing America.
“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails.”
Thus wrote Terence Hanbury White in The Once and Future King, first published in its entirety in 1958 – the year I turned 2. It will be just as true at the end of 2017, when I turn 61. Continue reading “Regina quondam, regina futura – Family Vol. 3”
Some people have such difficulty expressing their periodic chasms of vengeful depression, they take to the Internet looking for narratives they might adopt for their own. Now and then, reading through these portrayals of sub-flat-line despair, they shout, “That’s fantastic!”
This does not suggest any enthusiasm – not even for recovery. Part of depression is being willing to take on anything – even the misery of others – in an effort to fill the void with something other than deep, dull pain. Continue reading “Spinning Our Plates”
What I really wanted to be when I was growing up was a famous novelist – at least as famous as Jules Verne, and maybe even as good. Now I’m resigned to having once visited an event, probably as a seven- or eight-year-old, that was also visited (possibly on the same day, perhaps at the same time) by Kurt Vonnegut, who was then within a few years of becoming what I really wanted to become. Continue reading “My World’s Fair”
Around the turn of the century (or the millennium, if you prefer), I began hiking in a semi-serious way, including overnights on a part of the Appalachian Trail that rambles from eastern New York through Connecticut to southern Massachusetts. The walking itself was calming and invigorating and reminded me of all the walking I had done over many years in my hometown of New York City – partly because I often paid less attention to where I was going, and more to where I was stepping next. Continue reading “Walking in the World”
It would be nice if life brought to us challenges in neat packages: “Deal with this, and when you’re done I’ll bring you something new to test out.” Our school days are organized along these lines.
But the events and issues on our timelines overlap and circle around and sometimes travel against time and double up and triple up and overwhelm us and trip us up when they can. We do what we can, as we are able, using our skills for parsing catastrophe, and calling on the resources we recognize in the midst of all the chaos. Continue reading “Doing Dishes, While Living Life”
On June 23, 2016, I was busy charging my camera batteries, cleaning my lenses, sorting out my memory cards and road-testing a new one, and packing my gear and clothes to be ready for the Cape Cod wedding of a cousin of mine. I entirely missed the passing of Michael Herr, whose 1977 book Dispatches put some of what people love to call “closure” on my terrible fear of the Vietnam War. Continue reading ““Then you knew where you were””
By E.E. Cummings
Presented in honor of the 34th birthday of Lauren Gabrielle Rousseau
I shall imagine life
is not worth dying, if
(and when) roses complain
their beauties are in vain
but though mankind persuades
itself that every weed’s
a rose, roses (you feel
certain) will only smile
Lauren’s story is so much more than the story of her passing – and yet a Google search will find mostly the story of her passing. We can overcome that. Today is June 8, 2016 – the day Lauren Rousseau would turn 34. Spend some time with her story and with her family. Learn something about Lauren’s life. Your understanding of her will become a part of her legacy.
An address from, to, for the Class of 2016 in the Harvard Graduate School of Education, by Donovan Livingston, Ed.M. ’16 – which phrasing sells way short what you will experience if you play this brief and inspiring video.
[Some very brief biographical information: Mr. Livingston is a 2009 graduate of UNC Chapel Hill (BA History), earned an MA from Teachers College in 2011, and became a member of Phi Beta Sigma in 2008.]
And here, for posterity, is the transcript of Mr. Livingston’s address, as provided by the Harvard website:
The battles we fight - the wars we wage.
Breaking free and paving my own way.
Writing about food, Việt Nam, books, and sometimes about writing.
Unleash the happy ghosts within