Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mourn the ones who count

Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, Ed McMahon have all died and much of the USA and some other parts of the world seem to be atwitter. Meanwhile, a defender of family values and southern governor who screwed around on his State's dime will quickly be forgotten. But even more importantly—much, much more importantly—real people who have as much real connection to any of us as any celebrity and whose actions could actually affect the future of the world are dying in the streets in Tehran and I suspect that with the latest mortal activity in the celebrity sphere they will be forgotten. We all die, but some deaths matter.

Friday, June 19, 2009

One of the great pleasures of owning a big, energetic, demanding dog is that I am forced to walk him somewhere between an hour and an hour and a half each day. I am trying to intersperse some rollerblading with him to break it up and give him a different kind of exercise, but pretty much it's walking. This means that I actually have a sense of my (very extended) neighborhood and a feeling of being a neighbor. On our afternoon walk today, we were greeted with a beautiful and huge smile by one of the ladies working on El Cajon, we got into a discussion with our UPS man who was delivering ten blocks away but couldn't leave a package because of a barking dog who commented on how that's never a problem with Mateo and we were greeted by and greeted several other people, eliciting smiles all around. To quote Forster's epigraph to Howard's End, "only connect".
Love is something of which most of us are totally unsure. That's why we like to be told that we are loved and why, when we aren't told enough, we start asking, "Do you love me?" We just aren't that sure and hearing it said reassures us—or almost does, because there is something cheapening in having to hear it so often and, maybe, in hearing it so often. The same thing goes, I think, for saying it: so often when we repeat the words "I love you" too often, we are just reassuring ourselves as well as others that we really do love them, perhaps because we really aren't so sure that we do.