Letter From New York 07 28 15 Wisps of fogs and matters of grieving…

It feels a little later than it is; the sun is shaded by clouds and I’m sitting in a darkish office in Chelsea, doing some work and getting ready to meet a friend for dinner.

It was a magic morning coming into New York today. Fog clouded the road from Claverack into Hudson, a wisp at every turn. As the train moved south, the fog followed; sometimes it was so thick it was impossible to see the river. Flotillas of pleasure boats floated on the river, shrouded by the fog.

The city was warm today and I lunched at the Bryant Park Café, outside, with Neva Rae Fox who works for the Episcopal Church here in New York in the Communications Department. Over the years I was working with Odyssey we became friendly and I haven’t her seen for a while.

We talked of their recent conference in Salt Lake City and the vigil that was held to honor victims of gun violence. It is one of the things they will be focusing on, that as well as racial reconciliation.

It seems strange to be back in the city after a week in the country. When I have been away from New York City for a week, I always have a little trouble re-inserting myself into the bustle and the crowds and sirens. So it was today. I gingerly left Penn Station and threaded my way through the rush hour crowds and felt I had reached an oasis of civility when I got to the office.

It is a languid time and a contemplative time, with my mind juggling all the opportunities for my future. Stay here? Live up in the country? I am allowing it to flow through me, as I know the answer will reveal itself. A friend advised me, should I go to the cottage full time, to give myself time to grieve for the life I was leaving behind. Thinking about it, I realized I would mostly grieve for the friends I wouldn’t see as often.

My “grief” is a very first world problem. The families and friends of 25 killed by a suicide bomber in Nigeria are experiencing deep grief, the kind that time softens but does not really “heal.” A fire in a furniture factory in Cairo also killed 25. Grief walks there, too.

In Yemen, a five-day humanitarian truce appears to be crumbling. At least 6.5 million people are on the edge of starvation and some are calling the Saudi Arabians “war criminals” for preventing supplies from reaching the populace. 21 million Yemenis, 80% of the population, is in need of assistance.

I am sure that grief is walking there, too. The Saudis have been relentless in their bombing. The lack of food is also partially because there is no infrastructure to disperse the goods, roads having been destroyed by bombing and no fuel delivered for vehicles.

Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, son of Col. Gaddafi, once ruler of Libya, was sentenced to death by shooting in a court in Tripoli. He was not there; he is being held in a prison in Zintan, a hundred miles away. The Zintan group hates the Tripoli group so much they probably won’t turn him over. It’s not that they love the son; they despise him. Famous for lecturing people and pointing his finger at his audiences, the Zintan group chopped off the offending finger when they captured him.

One of Trump’s lieutenants stepped in it. He said there was no such thing as raping your spouse. In fact, it is a crime in all fifty states. Michael Cohen has apologized. The topic came up because of a comment by ex-wife Ivana Trump some twenty years ago, one she has backed away from. In their bitterly contested divorce, she allegedly accused him of the act. Today she says the accusation is “without merit.” She and The Donald are “the best of friends.”

Mr. Cohen had some other choice words for the reporter who published the story in the Daily Beast.   He used several Anglo Saxon expletives.

The Donald is still leading in the polls and it looks like he will be in the first Republican debate. Not that will be something to watch.

Also worth watching is the clock. I’m getting close to the time when I need to be heading for the restaurant to meet my friend Mitch and get his take on his newly married life.

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