Letter from New York 10 01 15 From Russia to Nefertiti to Abraham Lincoln’s Ghost

Russia. Putin. Kerry. Lavrov. IS. Syria. Joaquin. Nefertiti. Bernie Sanders. Hillary Clinton. Joe Biden. Abraham Lincoln’s ghost.

There are so many things to think about today as the Acela glides south toward Washington, D.C. I am headed down there for a couple of “get togethers,” not really meetings.

My former partner and I are having lunch; he recently found something emotionally important to me in a drawer and is returning it to me and then I am having drinks with my dear, good friend, Rita Mullin, who recently left Discovery and is contemplating her future.

While I am contemplating a pleasant day, the world stage is filled with players doing unpleasant things.

Russia has built up its military presence in Syria and launched airstrikes. Surprising to some but not to me, they didn’t bomb IS but anti-Assad troops, some of them trained by the U.S. As early as today, Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Lavrov, will meet to discuss ways of avoiding unanticipated “encounters.”

In other words, the whole Syrian situation has become more chaotic. Putin has one military base outside of Russia. It’s in Syria and he is not going to let it go while he works to ensure he is perceived as a player on the stage of world events.

I’m afraid many more may die to help him perceive himself in that role.

Hurricane Joaquin is battering the Bahamas and is headed north, skipping Florida and probably coming ashore in the Carolinas, then working its way north. New York City is in, as the Times said, “the cone of uncertainty.” I will say a prayer Joaquin does not disrupt my Sunday flight to Indianapolis.

As I have mentioned before, I dreamed in my childhood of being an Egyptologist. That world is all atwitter, as I have also mentioned before, that there is a room behind the burial chamber of King Tutankhamen, which may well be the burial place of Nefertiti. If it is true, the place may no longer be known at King Tut’s but as Queen Nefertiti’s.

She was a more important figure than Tutankhamen, who died at 17. She co-ruled with her husband and then, suddenly, disappeared from the historical scene. Her bust sits in a room of its own in a museum in Berlin, regal and enchanting, alluring and mystifying.

While Nefertiti has enchanted across the millennia, in the moment we seem to be enchanted with “outsiders” in our political process. On the Republican side, the frontrunners are Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, none of whom have held political office.

Bernie Sanders is beginning to clip at the heels of Hillary Clinton. In the last fund raising period Sanders raised $24 million to Hillary’s $28 million. Complicating Hillary’s situation is the specter that Biden will throw his hat in the ring. Her camp is suddenly taking the possibility seriously and is working to outflank him.

Recent polls indicate he would be the most popular candidate of either the Democrats or Republicans.

Speaking of specters, my friend Joshua Warren, has released a photo that was shot during the renovation of the White House under President Truman, which shows a figure that cannot be explained. He is sure that it is the ghost of Abraham Lincoln. You can find out more, here: http://freecharm.com/WhiteHouseGhostPhoto.html

We are soon arriving in Baltimore, my ultimate destination today. Tomorrow evening we will be celebrating my Australian “brother’s” birthday at his favorite restaurant in Baltimore, where he now lives. Streaks of rain have begun to touch the windows of the train; all around me the early morning travelers seem to be largely napping, catching a few winks before arriving in DC.

The day is grey but I’m not in a grey mood. I hope you’re not either.

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