Saturday, May 3, 2008

all we like sheep

My pal Dean's mother died rather suddenly, early yesterday morning. She was 88, and an active, interesting woman. Not unexpectedly I think of my father, and of Dean's presence in my life at that time -- Dean's own father had just passed a year or two earlier, and he was able to send me the right sort of encouragement. At this point I am doing what I can to make sure Dean isn't worrying about any of the mutual business tasks that are in my control; I've written him and talked to him on the phone, I've told him I love him. As always I feel that helplessness in the face of someone else's grief -- he had plenty of good friends and family around him, I know, a community that really cares about him, and I'll have my chance at the funeral to hold him for a minute or bring him a glass of water, or whatever. Still, I wish I had more to offer. We're good enough friends that I know we'll talk some of this through eventually, so there's no hurry --

I think of his mother, what a gal she was -- she had taste in art, she had traveled the world, she stirred herself to many of Dean's events and was deeply involved in seeing him fulfill his dreams. I've done what I could to look out for two of her boys over the years, Dean and also Gary, and in this way hope to have pleased her a little. I hung some artwork in her home for her, once. It was a privilege to have known her.

It's been a wild week, in a string of strange ones; often there's been serious stress. I'm reminded again of the death of Chillon's family friend, which just happened Tuesday; he was just a college freshman. There have been family health concerns in C's life, I've been in and out of work with physical problems, my son has had a tough week, and of course while we know now that Ron's job is secure it's still apparently a period of tension to be recovering from. And then all the people I know who are struggling with various doubts and challenges. It's life of course; but it all seems peculiarly condensed somehow.

Never a dull moment.

And somehow, I'm afraid, there's no slowing down -- even if I had a month to linger on the beach somewhere, I'm not sure I'd find a still point. I hope the wheels aren't coming off the wagon.

Dean -- the month of April was too short. Tomorrow is already May 4, and that's 12 days until Art-a-Whirl, 20 days until Spirit opens. I spin so not to sink. Lanie Seal and William Jacobson will both be buried, and these days will tick onward.

"All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field."

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