Would you ever believe what. crazy world we live in now? It is truly a mad, mad, mad world. Having lived through the end of the depression and world war ii, the korean war, the civil rights movement, and so much more, you never told me how “normal” apocalyptic times would feel. They probably just felt too normal to even consider as a topic for discussion. It’s just life rolling along. It’s true that daily life goes on no matter how crazy things get. This is something I want to tell my students. Despite everything, despite feeling like you should hide under the overs until it’s all over with, we have to just keep on keeping on. Staying aware of things going on, but not putting our lives completely on hold to wait for change. Change is incremental. Things accumulate like piles of dirty laundry or like any process of making or unmaking. We generate, we accumulate, we purge, mostly in small steps. And then looking back, it feels big, but in the moment, it feels small.
We never talked about stuff like that, or if we did, I can’t remember. It’s been so long. You’ve been gone 29 years. Happy 90th birthday by the way! Your death was probably my first big tragedy. Bigger than the divorce, bigger than any sorrow or violence I’d endured. The tragedy of your death was my lesson that life continues to go forward, even when it seems like it should all stop. I wish I knew then how to carve out time for myself to grieve. Instead I grieved while still in motion. Now I know how to give myself breaks, when I remember that I can. Perhaps I should tell me students all of this, plus remind them to step out of the stream every once and while so they can watch the current from the sidelines. Anyway, I miss you.