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October 04, 2007


Oh, Beth, I love these conversations. They are poignant and painful some times, of course, but they feel so real; you've recorded them so well that I feel like I know him, a little.

It's a remarkable thing, to live in an age when these kinds of connections, however tenuous, are possible.

Thanks, Rachel. It is, isn't it? I wish he had been a little more able to understand the internet himself - he used an MS-DOS computer since the late 1980s, but never quite got the web or the whole notion of graphical interfaces. Another technical thing! Somehow, I do believe that people's good wishes are felt, no matter what.

Your father-in-law has powerful medicine and knows it! Hilarious about the jealous minister.


You capture so well the sort of here-but-not-here-ness of people on the threshhold.

It's hard to be around, especially when it goes on for a long time -- it's like you're dealing on two planes at once, and you never know when something intended for one will arrive at the other and be terribly inappropriate :-)

But valuable, both in itself as as a reminder that we none of us get to stay here.

I'll add that I never read one of these reports on your father-in-law without thinking of the ballad that ends,

God send euery gentleman,
Such haukes, such hounds, and such a leman.

...and substituting "such a daughter-in-law" for "leman." Though it doesn't rhyme :-)

I started reading your blog just a few days ago. I really love this. It reminds me of my great grandmother, how she talked, the way she acted, before we lost her. Really lovely.

Kaycie, welcome! Thanks for reading and commenting; I hope you continue to enjoy my blog. It was good to discover yours too!

Bill, glad you picked up on that bit. He is very sharp about such things, having been a minister himself.

Thanks for the (o), Pica.

Dale, thanks for the quote and the compliments, quite undeserved. I especially liked what you said about "dealing on two planes at once" - though with my mother and with him, it's a bit strange because neither really believed/believes in "other planes" and yet he, especially, is starting to go back and forth between two worlds. I suppose he identifies them as "now" and "the past," but I see him waffling sometimes; even he is not sure.

This post was a good companion to Jean's post about John Berger, http://tastingrhubarb.blogspot.com/2007/10/one-word.html and Leslee's about her mother, http://3rdhouseparty.typepad.com/blog/2007/10/day-to-day.html
It always interests me how certain bloggers in my blogroll can independently decide to tackle similar themes on a given day.

I clearly don't come here often enough. Each time I come, I regret I waited so long.

I don't know what physical traces of blogs will be left in a 100 years, but the warmth some of them provide will certainly have brighten the days of many people until then. The traces might not be visible, but none the less present.

Merci, Jean-Olivier, pour ces mots...

B. and I are going through this with her mother, with some of the exact same conversations. It's comforting somehow to know it's not just her. Wonderful posts.

Thanks, LH. And I'm sorry about B.'s mother; it's hard and funny and painful all at once, and makes you think more than you want to about your own old age. Please tell her I said hello.

Beth, what they all said and I too really really love these vignettes about your father-in-law. I have a feeling he would love them too though he'd probably growl here and there and offer corrections or additions. Do you ever mention that you write about him? Would Jon take photos to accompany your words? Is a book a possibility and would he (the F.I.L) be pleased to heaar this?

Excuse typos, I seem to make a lot of them lately. By the way, the photo is amazing too: is it a human or an alien behind that grid?

C'est moi, à Brooklyn!

Sorry Beth! There was something about that hand hanging down and the indeterminate head .....Maintenant je comprends and my first impression is modified.

Of all your characters that you write about I love your father-in-law the most. I keep wishing I would have a chance to sit and talk with him, though I fear he would find my dialogue not quite up to his level of wit and I'd be staring at him blankly a lot. (^J^)/"

That so-called "grid" in the photo is an upturned bed frame with springs, no? It took me several passes to understand what I was looking at. I thought at first that it was you taking a photograph in a mirror... or is that exactly what it is?

Miguel -I don't think it was a bed-spring, but I don't know what it was - some sort of stripped-apart upholstery probably is right. I was taking the photo of my reflection in a jumbled antique shop window in Brooklyn, so the thing in the frame is a mirror, reflecting me and also something in front of it. I guess! I should go back to the original and see if I can figure it out.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.