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Monday Quote

The highest patriotism is not a blind acceptance of official policy, but a love of one's country deep enough to call her to a higher standard. 

~ George McGovern


When Russell Means died the day after George McGovern (Oct 21 & 22, 2012), I'm pretty sure it was the only time two South Dakotans led The New York Times obituaries. 


I have admired Senator McGovern since I was a kid. The best of the best. 


Also, it is too frigging hot. 

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To the moon!

I musta been blind. 

Debbie & I were at an American Legion game because her boyfriend (who became a high school football coach) was playing. I remember sitting in the metal grandstand behind 3rd base, staring hard at that big full moon, thinking I would see those men hopping around on it. Thinking that we were here & they were there. I had never taken a science class & really didn't know how ridiculous that was.


From my diary: 

Today is the most significant date in the history of mankind—man landed and walked on the moon. My God! Right now I'm watching them! At 4:17:42 EDT, Neil Armstrong & Buzz Aldrin became a part of history. I'm seeing history. Of all the thousands of years man has existed, it was right now that this happened. Men have been dreaming of the moon all those years, & it's now, when I'm 17 years old, I Elinor Nauen am alive—imagine what will be going on when I'm old. It's familiar, because it's basic to science fiction that the moon is a space station but this is real. To me it's incredible, but Varda & kids her age (7) will grow up with this, take it for granted. I now feel old. Oh God. Men are on the moon. Men are on the moon.


And now it's 50 years later, just like that, and I AM old. And even though I said it clumsily at the time, it WAS thrilling to be alive for something historic & wonderful. 

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He was a good-looking black hipster who was also a very conservative Orthodox Jew. He read Torah beautifully & had an eidetic memory. He tried to make me see the different shades of black skin. One year on Yom Kippur we walked to the East River, talking intensely, & agreed that that was the highlight of the holiday for both of us. Seriously fun.


Eli died unexpectedly yesterday.

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It's hot & we sleep. One of this little loving machine's best qualities is that the minute I get into bed, he hops in & snuggles between me & Johnny. It's not always the best quality when it's 100° out but I love it, & that he starts to purr the second he comes near us. 

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Old Person Poem in Two Parts




my mother asleep

in her hot

nursing home


I sit

like a three-day airport delay



she's not dying—

it's not a vigil—

no one relieves me


she is 95, she is dying


I can't—


long enough to be—

patient, to be an ant

on the last peony




the very old mostly sleep

the half-old kill time

the young dash to a brewery


when I was young

I smoked pot all day

it takes a wheelchair to get my thoughts to the table

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Monday Quote

Bombs and pistols do not make a revolution. The sword of revolution is sharpened on the whetting-stone of ideas.
~ Bhagat Singh, Indian revolutionary hanged at age 23


Bombs & pistols also don't make a public policy, or make for a comfortable time of it, or much else in fact. And if people had sharper ideas, bombs & pistols would be less prevalent, no? 

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Pigeon in a hole

Pigeon holing sounds dirty, like cornholing, which is in fact only beanbag toss. Who would put a pigeon in a hole? & why? What is a pigeon hole? When did the pigeon go into the hole? Did it want to? Is it still there?


Is "hole" a dirty word, is that it? Ace in the hole, to buttonhole someone, burn a hole in one's pocket, watering hole, hole in the wall, hole in one.... Nope, they're all OK. 




Little red rooster, they treat him nice

He ain't laid an egg in all his life

I'm going away somewhere before long

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Greetings from historic Waconah Park

Fantastic to take the great Ed Foster to his first-ever baseball game, & to sit in the first row. He understood it more quickly than any other newbie I’ve gone with. (I often think about Endi, from Sarajevo, who stared fiercely for a few minutes & then announced, “I understand! Nine against one.” He sat back smugly & didn’t pay attention until he suddenly noticed that the bases were loaded. Which confused him to the point where he lost interest altogether.) Ed, though, never took his eyes off the game, asked a few questions (he started at “which one’s the shortstop?” but pretty quickly was asking sophisticated questions that showed he really grasped what was going on) & immediately put on his souvenir t-shirt. 


One of the pleasures of baseball is thinking about why I like it. Today’s reason: with baseball you don’t have to have a stance, you don’t have to proceed. You’re just there, in a pleasant fog, untimed. You don’t have to be productive or thoughtful. You just have to watch. You just have to be present.

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Greetings from Massachusetts


Why don't I get out of town more often? It's unbelievably quiet here. I breathe. I read a few pages. I look up & breathe.

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Monday Quote

Many human beings say that they enjoy the winter, but what they really enjoy is feeling proof against it. 

~ Richard Adams


For sure, among the many things I love about winter is being indoors, preferably with hot chocolate, watching the flakes come down. But there's so much more. 


I'd guess that it's these hot days of July when people most (think they) enjoy winter? 

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