Letter From Claverack, New York 09 02 2016

As I was sitting on the deck, there came a slight chill in the air, a harbinger of times to come.  It is still a luxurious green outside the window but it was getting just a little chill and so I returned to the dining room table to write this.

It occurred to me that working on these letters has contributed to my happiness over the years, particularly since I began to have more time at the cottage, a chance to collect my thoughts and ruminate upon the world in which we live.

It has been a good day.  Waking early, I journaled for a bit, read the daily summary of the news in the NY Times, drank coffee and then went down to the eye doctor.  I have an aggressive cataract in my right eye that must be dealt with.  Cold comfort that they tell me it is not age related.  The surgery needs to be done.  I am nervous and it is now scheduled for November 9th.  It has been a hindrance of late so I am glad it will be handled.

From there I treated myself to lunch at Ca’Mea while reading “The Romanovs,” a NY Times best seller about the dynasty that ruled Russia for 300 plus years and came to a sad end in a room in the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg in 1918, the last Tsar and his family and their retainers shot to death.

While I knew something of the end of the Romanov Era as I had studied Tolstoy, Chekov and others of that “Silver Age” I have known very little of the earlier Romanovs.  They had some particularly gruesome ways of killing their rivals.

Returning home, I napped a bit and then went out to the deck to do some prep work for my class.  I am now very much looking forward to it.

Touching in on the news of the day, I can only find myself smiling over the absurdity of it all.  One of Hillary Clinton’s laptops, chock-a-block with emails was lost in the US Mail.  I roll my eyes.

In what should come as NO surprise, Hispanics really, really don’t like Donald Trump according to America’s Voice’s poll, a pro-immigration group that did a large poll among Hispanics.  He is doing dramatically worse than Mitt Romney.  Hispanic Republicans are deserting Trump, particularly after his immigration speech in Arizona.

Brazil has ousted its President.  Dilma Rousseff is gone and “Brazil has turned a page,” according to its new President.  For the Brazilian people, let us hope so.

Long ago, I was getting on a flight in Atlanta, going God knows where but Mother Theresa and some of her nuns were getting on the flight with me.  I saw her walk by, followed by her coterie.  It was before I went to India.

She is about to be a saint though when I was in India there were many who found her less than saintly.  I have a friend in India, a Beverly Hills Jew who is now a sadhu, who worked with the Gandhi’s when they were in power.  He railed against Mother Theresa, claiming she was the ultimate “fixer” in Calcutta, now Kolkata.  He despised her and there are those in India who are devoting their lives to dispelling what they call the myth of Mother Theresa.  I don’t know the truth.

It is dark now. The floodlights have been turned on so I can see the creek.  I have lights on the front of the house, year round that I often light.  My former neighbor, Karen Fonda, once called me to tell me how happy seeing the lights made her.  When I turn them on, I think of her.  She is now in assisted living, sinking into the hell that is Alzheimer’s.

Hurricane Hermine is moving out of Florida and into the Carolinas.  Yesterday, I phoned my sister who lives in Florida to see how she was doing. Okay, a few power outages but generally well.  While New York City was having rain today, my part of the Hudson Valley was sunny and cheerful.

Roger Ailes, recently ousted as Tsar of Fox News, is now advising Donald Trump.  No one seems to be paying much attention to this.  Ailes has been accused by many women of having made inappropriate sexual suggestions to them.  He was finally toppled when Megyn Kelly, not well liked by Trump, but a Fox News star, met with the legal team investigating Ailes and corroborated the stories.

No one seems to care.

Well, I think it’s a wise move on Trump’s part as Ailes created the wild conservative movement we now have in America.  But unwise in that Ailes is discredited by many at this moment.  Interesting to see how this serpentine relationship works itself out.



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