Posts Tagged ‘Time Magazine’

Letter from Claverack 02 04 2017 Mine eyes dazzle…

February 5, 2017

It is Saturday night at the cottage.  “Swing Jazz” is playing on my Echo, the floodlights illuminate the creek and I am cozy in the cottage.  A load of dishes is in the dishwasher and I have spent the day, partially working, running a few errands.  Every week I try to buy some canned goods for the food pantry at the church and bring them in on Sunday.  That was one of today’s errands.

When I finish this, I will rehearse the readings for tomorrow as I am lector at Christ Church tomorrow.  It all feels very hygge. [Pronounced hoo-ga; the Danish word for living a cozy life.]  It seems the best time of all to be hygge, what with everything that is happening around us in dizzying array.

Honestly, right now, I am not sure who’s on first.  The refugee ban seems to have been lifted with the ban on immigrants from the seven predominantly Muslim countries.  Or is it?  I am doing my best to keep up and it’s hard.  Really hard…

I think President Trump hung up on the Australian Prime Minister.  Mine eyes dazzle.

And then President Trump told Putin that sanctions remain until he leaves Ukraine which is not what I think Putin was thinking would happen.  Putin did a few “provocative” actions in Ukraine this past week [thing what you can do with artillery] that ended badly for him.  The pro-Russian rebels were rebuffed by the Ukrainians.  And The Donald rebuked him.

Or perhaps it was Steve Bannon, who appears to be becoming the Lord Chancellor to King Donald.  Time Magazine has a frightening portrait of the man on its cover.  It is feared this is the man who is pulling the strings. Look here.

Apparently, per reports, Kelly, the Secretary of Homeland Security, had to remind Steve Bannon, he only takes orders from the President when Bannon was bossing Kelly around.

Oh, just gosh…

Kellyanne Conway, the most skillful swinger of truths encountered this side of Paradise, is being skewered everywhere as she justified the travel ban by referring to the “Bowling Green Massacre.”  Well, a couple of men were arrested in Bowling Green for attempting to aid and abet terrorists but there was no “Bowling Green Massacre.”  She is saying she misspoke one word and is being eviscerated by “haters.”

Must say, mine eyes dazzle.

The king of Executive Orders, our Donald, is now issuing one that will roll back Dodd-Frank, the regulations that were to save us from another meltdown like 2008.  Carpe diem!

While most of me is horrified by the political spectacle around me, there is another part that is amused.  In a gallows humor sort of way, which is not a good way.  Most of the American public is not amused.  President Trump’s approval ratings aren’t good.

Well, who approves of chaos and confusion and flirting with unconstitutionality?

Ethicists are appalled at the flimsiness of Trump’s separation from his business interests.

And all of this is hurting his business interests and those of Ivanka.  Nordstrom’s has dropped the Ivanka Trump line.  In an earlier post, I mentioned I was at Lord & Taylor on 5th Avenue and there was no one in the Ivanka Trump section.  Last time I was there, there was no Ivanka Trump section to be found.  Poof! Gone.

And, frankly, I have grown a little fond of Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner.  It is rumored they weighed in with The Donald and prevented him from signing an Executive Order that would have stripped the LGBTQ community of rights they had received under the Obama Administration.

On the other hand, it is, I’m sure, not making Steve Bannon happy.  Nor is it making happy the evangelicals who supported Trump despite his raunchiness.

Me?  A gay man.  I’m pleased.  Woo! Saved for another day.

Truly, I’m just a little bit scared.  And a little bit amused.  And a whole lot unhappy.

So, now it is time to return to hygge.  I’ll make myself a martini and finish reading “The Romanovs,” a six hundred plus page book outlining the rise and fall of the world’s longest ruling dynasty.  That’s a saga and it didn’t end well, as we all know.

May all this end well.







Letter From New York 4/16/12

April 16, 2012

Or, as it seems to me…

A little over a week ago, my beloved cousin Virginia passed away, rather suddenly, and much too quickly for all of us. She wasn’t eating much, which concerned all of us and caused us to think the end might be near but not so near. One moment she was with us; the next she was not.

Virginia was ninety when she passed away. Older than I by much, old enough to have been my parent and so it was always hard to think of her as cousin – I thought of her more as an aunt due to the age difference. Regardless of the relational nuances, Virginia was always present in my life and was a glue that held a family together. We gathered around her, to both honor her and enjoy her company.

I was asked to eulogize her; I did. I think it went well.

Last week’s Time Magazine’s lead article was about “Rethinking Heaven.” It posits that heaven is not just the celestial plane but also those things we do for each other, the kindnesses, the generosities, the graciousness and love we exhibit to one another, the concern we have for one another. Virginia manifested all of that; she was a bit of heaven on earth and she is now in heaven, surrounded by all those she loved and who loved her.

The ancient Egyptians had a phrase: To speak the name of the dead is to make them live again.

Virginia will continue to live in all of us who knew her, in our memories and we will speak of her but I exhorted my cousins, family and friends to let her also live through us, through following her example of kindness, graciousness, love and good works – to let her continue to live through us, to let us help heaven be on earth in her good name.

Hers was a life well lived.

I went from her funeral to Philadelphia, where I attended the Religious Communicators Conference. Odyssey was up for and won a number of awards at the ceremonies for both the DeRose Hinkhouse and Wilbur Awards. But I knew I was tired and had trouble getting through them. Virginia’s passing took a toll on me, physically and emotionally and it was only today that I have felt near my old energy level back, after a good night’s sleep in the little apartment in New York.

She was the last of her generation in our family and her passing brought to a close one more chapter in the book of Tombers. Now it is my generation that is at the forefront, we are next in line, in the natural way of things, to pass and our passing will close yet another chapter in the book.

Like all families we have been wrapped in our family stories and our family myths, all twined together to make a history. But that story now runs thin and I doubt the stories bind to my cousins as they did to the generation before us or to us. I doubt the story of my immigrant great-grandfather and his stern wife is much retold these days.

All the folks today are a long way from the stories that once bound us and that, too, is the way of families. With Virginia gone there is no one left who can identify the strangers in the photo albums or retell the stories of the interesting relatives who inhabit those albums.

It is the way of time. It’s the way it is. But it has filled me with a bit of sadness which is, mostly, the sense of loss of an extraordinary ordinary woman who lived an ordinary, extraordinary life, who lived long and well, who prospered and shared, who was generous with her gift of love, who had a shy warm smile and who everyday did a good deed, a natural act that came from an uncommon generosity of spirit.

Rest well, Virginia. May you inspire the rest of us.