Archive for February, 2018

Letter From Claverack 02 01 2018 Closing remarks…

February 1, 2018

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It has been awhile since I last blogged, not since Thanksgiving.  There haven’t been any things I wanted to say, write about or, even, perhaps, think about.

My Facebook feed is filled with mostly the drumbeat of outrage friends have toward the Trump Administration.  My Republican friends have un-friended me and I have un-friended one over what I felt were unnecessarily impolite comments that debased our dialogue.

This blog, this “letter” began in the dark weeks following 9/11, when Hal Eisner asked me to write for his website, oriented to west coast journalists, about what it was like to be living in New York in that tragic time.

It was a very hard time.  The streets in SoHo where we were living were washed down every morning to dampen the smell of death that lingered in the air, foul, too, with the smell of burnt plastic, rubber and other toxic things.

Anthrax was sent through the mails and a jet for Puerto Rico fell from the skies over Queens.

While it was all terrible, it seemed, there was a feeling, at least I had the feeling, I was moving away from darkness toward something better, that we would overcome the horror and the hurt, there would come a day when we would not walk the streets stunned or afraid of noise, your face searched by strangers seeking the Tower lost.

We came to some normality, shattered for many when George W. Bush invaded Iraq and unleashed that genie.  We have since survived the Great Recession, seen an African American elected president and had him followed by Donald J. Trump.

In a conversation with my friends Medora and Meryl, I said I no longer felt we were walking toward light but into darkness.  There has never been a time in my life that has been like this.  Everyone morning I wake to read what are, to me, incredible stories from the political life of this nation that leave me incredulous, bemused, angered, bewildered, frightened, anxious, disturbed, uneasy, baffled, perplexed, shocked, concerned and sometimes amused.

In sitting on my deck this past summer, I decided to shake up my life.  My beloved cottage is for sale.  For a time, I will be a vagabond of sorts, anchored by what work I’m doing and the people I might want to see.  There is the possibility of some work with the Center for the Digital Future; perhaps I will go again to the Vineyard and help my friends at Edgartown Books, should they want me.  There will be time in Minneapolis with kith and kin; time in Baltimore with Lionel and Pierre.

The folks who read my “letter” mostly agree with me about the body politic and they certainly don’t need me underscoring their own anxieties nor will I convince any who read this that disagree with me.  Both sides of the political spectrum seem incapable of breathing the same air.

In the meantime, I am suspicious that the Republican Party, in which I grew up and had respect for, has become the home of a tawdry set of cheats, liars and oligarchs.  The Democrats are disorganized and, on a national level, cannot seem to find a voice to rally the nation.

I may return to some blogging, when I find something about which I would like to write and where I feel I might make some difference.  But not until I see some light at the end of the tunnel and have ascertained it’s not a train barreling toward me.

When I write again, if you would like to receive whatever blog I might create, please email me at mjt@intermat.tv.  I will create a new list.  This one will be shut down after today.

Thank you to those who have read me faithfully over lo these many years.

All best,

Mathew