Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Stephen Vincent's mother publishes a poem. this is wonderful. the poem is fascinating, and her talk as well. oracular. talking with someone with dementia or Alzheimer's is unnerving yet it feels like a visit to an oracle as well. I'm reading a book by James Hillman on aging and death, The Force of Character. I think his point that how character plays out as one ages, as one suffers the inevitable losses, is the real measure. as opposed to "beating death". you know, in the oldest person to climb Mt Everest sense. not exactly a propos, but Ravel's Bolero came on the radio yesterday. I've always enjoyed it. I used to play it for my father when he'd get confused or sad. being a favourite of his as well. he remembers it as being highly controversial. some Brahmin-type older woman that he knew gave up her tickets to the Boston Pops because they had the temerity to include such unconscionable wildness in their repetoire. it proving probably the Pops' biggest hit. there were times, and they grew more frequent, when my father would lose his mooring. Bolero, or Benny Goodman at Carnegie Hall, were the most reliable ropes to throw, tho they couldn't always assuage his dismay. it is all wrong to worry it this way, but it's hard not to fret that I couldn't find other means of relief and connection. the point, finally, was his drawing away, a process I could at best ease, not stop.