Letter From New York 02 13 16 Intimations of mortality…

It is Saturday night and I am at the cottage.  I have just lit a fire and have finished prepping for tomorrow; I am doing the coffee hour after the 10:30 service.  Since it is Valentine’s Day I wanted to do something a little special.  I think I have, once again, succumbed to my mother’s philosophy: too much is never enough. 

Oh well, hopefully it will be fun and it is the first real thing I have done since being in the hospital.  My primary care physician, Dr. Paolino, summed it up:  You were sick and now you’re better.  You still have to see your gastroenterologist but you are on the mend.

And I am, though I am still sleeping a lot and being very careful about what I eat.  My body is working to be normal and I’m grateful.  Amazing things these human bodies, they often heal themselves, sometimes with help but they are wondrous.

My brother is now in Honduras, where he goes at least once a year to provide medical care to the back of beyond, to places who only have medical care when teams like his arrive.  I’m terribly proud of him.  When he is there, I am concerned as Honduras has devolved into one of the most violent places in the hemisphere but every year he goes back, as he has for almost forty years now.

Lionel let me know that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away.  I have mixed feelings about it as he spewed some hateful things these last years, particularly about gay rights and marriage equality.  About six months ago, I read a speech he gave and was appalled at the intolerance, actually shocked.  It seemed so bitter and unforgiving.

Still, may he rest in peace.  As may we all rest in peace when our time comes.

Being ill and in the hospital, summoned intimations of my mortality, heightened by my old good friend, Tim Sparke, diagnosed some three or four years ago with a brain tumor, who is now in hospice, the cancer having spread through his body.  He wrote me and told me he was now serene, something that I have heard comes to people in their last days if they are given the grace to know they are living their last days.

He is younger than me by a decade I think.  Life plays itself out for each of us in its own cadence and only the universe understands it.

The Russian Premier, Medvedev, has declared we have slid into a new “cold war.” Yes, I suppose we have.  I’m not sure quite how it happened but it’s been years in the making and lies, I think, largely in Putin’s lap as it serves him to prop up his power in Russia.  They’re suffering from the collapse of oil prices probably as much or more than anyone with the possible exception of Venezuela.

Months ago, I read something about a dam in Iraq.  It wasn’t being maintained and threatened a half million people with catastrophe.  It’s back in the news and it is in bad shape.  An Italian firm has been hired to repair it and, hopefully, repairs will happen in time or a half million people may drown.  Think Katrina, exponentially worse.

True to form, The Donald is striking out.  Apparently he has called Cruz “a pussy.”  I had to Google it because polite press wouldn’t tell me exactly what Trump had said.  I will need to read more about this but nothing Trump does surprises me.

Back in the olden days of the early Republic, politics was this nasty.  Yes, it was. And now we have returned to it, thanks to the Donald.  Ah, we shall see how this plays out.  Not prettily I think.

It’s getting late. I’m off to bed. I have coffee hour tomorrow.  May your tomorrow be good…

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