Letter From New York 06 10 15 Wow! Wow! Wow!

Today’s Letter will likely be pretty short. The time I allot in my day to write the Letter was taken up today by a task I have been attempting to avoid.

My friend, Tim Sparke, has been fighting brain cancer for two or three years now and is slowly losing the battle. He has outlived the doctors’ predictions by so much they have begun to call him their cockroach, impossible to kill. But the reality is that the horizon is very finite for Tim.

Some weeks ago, he asked me to write a piece about our friendship for a book he is compiling for his children, so they will have some sense of him when he is gone. I have dawdled on doing it because I have not wanted to really contemplate the world without Tim.

We’ve been friends for twenty years and have kept close though he and his family live in England and I am in America. His children are very young, six and eight, and their memories of him will fade. He wants them to have a sense of him as a man through the eyes of us who have known him.

It was a sad task but I have done it. I will let it sit overnight and then will edit in the morning and send it off.

It is also possible that I have hesitated writing because it brings me close to my own sense of mortality, a thing which has been growing over the last few years as I and my friends have been crossing into the third acts of our lives. Sobering thoughts, all of that…

The sun is shining today in New York, which made it easier. The grey days of the last week would have made the writing more melancholy than it was.

A year ago today, Mosul fell to IS and they are flying their blacks flags everywhere in that city today, even as they dig in for the inevitable counter-attack to wrest the city back from them. Obama has ordered 450 more advisors to Iraq to train the troops and put some metal in their backs.

War happens and life happens and cancer happens and we plow on, going through the complex motions that constitute life. What a mystery it all is.

Tim fights for his life, about to undergo a new treatment they think will give him three more months while IS occupies a swath of the world, lording over the inhabitants, making their lives mostly miserable while I sit in a sun blessed room in New York and type away.

Wow! Wow! Wow! were the words of Steve Jobs as he lay dying. Wow is right.

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