Come Visit

Huzzah to any who still stops by. I’m blogging Ebertfest again this year, and would welcome your eagle eyes. And stop back. Who knows? I may just have something to say again soon. Spring thaws even the most frozen of writers.

A Message From the Managment. Oh, Indeed.

Yes, yes, it’s been forever and a day since I last posted and my excuses include the classic Rosmanic litany of funerals, flu, and felled hearts (true, true, and true!), but this is what I request — nay, command of thee:

Please do not mention the Wire finale to yours truly until Wednesday, March 12.

This is when Jostle, Kristal and I plan to reunite for the last, precious 90 minutes of what has been and will remain the greatest show to ever grace (my especially) small screen. The newsroom scenes were as unnecessarily expository as the rest of The Wire never was, but the season’s penultimate episode pretty much saved the series, its soul, my faith. RIP Omar, RIP Snoop, RIP hoppers everywhere. Now zip them lips — for now.

The Farewell Symphony, Across Space and Time

As Joshua’s words come echoing across the water and down the years to me, I can’t help thinking that his life was not just his finest thoughts about poetry and friendship, expressed in a style that rejected forcefulness in favor of sympathy, but it was also comprised of his long mornings in his dressing gown with his telephone, newspapers, the Hu Kwa smoked tea and the little sterling-silver strainer that sat in its drip cup when it wasn’t straddled across a cup catching leaves. His life was made up of his pleasure in the morning glories as well as his hilarity ….After [his death] I looked through all the letters I’d ever received from Joshua and I realized I’d been unworthy of him then, that he’d been sending them through time to me as I would become years later. –Edmund White, The Farewell Symphony

Maybe it’s this unyielding time of year, but lately there’s just been so much death all around me. Rather than feeling shocked by these losses, I have begun to accept them as commonplace, albeit painfully so. Herein lies what Jane Smiley once termed the Age of Grief. That point in our lives when those who served as our grownups begin to sicken and fade, leaving us to step into their shoes. When we lose the only ones who remember us as little and effortlessly dear, the only ones who forgive us our sins as youthful folly–who regard us with the hope and fear and involuntary affection with which every generation regards the next. I suspect most of what these people taught me I only roughly comprehend now. And I hope fervently that someday I, like White, will become the person whom their best selves were already addressing.

4/28/16 Note: I wrote this post more than eight years ago, when almost all the people I’d lost had been members of the preceding generation. Since then, I have lost so many peers: dear friends and lovers, estimable colleagues, cultural heroes, even frenemies whom I didn’t know I cherished until they were gone. The sting is just as strong if very different. Closer to home, closer to the fabric of daily life–closer, period. The rebels who shared your causes, the horizontal (not vertical) allies, the casual companionship and shorthand, the luxury of taking each other for granted, the shared delusions of immortality and shared firsts, the bodies, the bodies you shared: These losses are so core. I am saddened to recognize that this White passage resonates on new levels but even more awed by what he captured.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy