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August 22, 2023


Perhaps you have arrived at one of those Gates e hoa..a really big one! Tender thoughts and hugs to you and may the smiles and laughs be in a better proportion to your tears. Kia Kaha e hoa.

I have so many memories of Martha and Howard showing me artifacts and collections. Each item came with a story to frame its place in history and the present. They were always keen for me to handle each thing. This physical experience tied them and me and the item. Thank you for the reminder.

Thank you for this reflection Beth. As you know Howard and my Mom were distant cousins, which bestows that title on us at an even more distant connection. I share much of your emotion about letting go of things. We were raised to appreciate and touch these items with respect for the family who handled them before us. The stories of their lives seem to be held in such vessels, but in truth they aren’t. It’s we as storytellers who keep that memory alive to pass on. May the stories never end.

I so identify with all you've been and are doing! Thanks for sharing.

So glad to hear an essay and winter drawings will be published. You have a fine eye and a warm voice, and I love your winter drawings.

I very much appreciate this reflection. Thinking of you, and sending love and hugs while you mark a year since your father's death. Three major moves/downsizing is a lot in one short period of time! I hope you are gentle with yourself and take things slow. Looking forward to seeing and reading your new work in due season.

I started learning French seriously in 1972. Weekly private lessons which lasted the rest of my working life and 15 years into retirement. All my teachers were, quite coincidentally, women and you have already made a cogent observation on that. The hardest part came comparatively late. My then teacher, Aida, recorded broadcasts from the radio station, France Inter, and all I had to do was listen and simply transcribe what I heard - accurately – in French. It was fiendishly difficult and lead to a fatalistic conclusion that true, idiomatic French would always be beyond me. Still I continued.

Which is by the way. One session stayed with me. The taped interviewee was the former French president, Valery Giscard-d’Estaing (And there’s a true Frenchy name for you) who made great play with the noun/verb “purge”. Same spelling in English but a world of difference in the pronunciation. More like “poo-ooer-erge”. In fact, if I may distort the grammatical association somewhat the “onomatopoeia” became stronger: the French word seemed to exemplify, aurally, the unpleasant extremes of meaning, both medical and – in your case – the mental disturbances of severing oneself from the past. Less so, but still similar, in my case when I purged my mancave of a study to make it more useful to those who will eventually apply power of attorney.

No immediate reason for this but no doubt about the stress. Those things one accumulated on the grounds that they might “come in”. Taking the decision that now they would not “come in”. The future somewhat truncated.

A good thoughtful piece. That’s yours, not mine.

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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.