Sunday, June 22, 2008



Friday, June 20, 2008

Recent Aerial Photos, Returning from Portland

Drake's Bay...

Golden Gate Bridge...

San Francisco

Over the Bay Bridge...

Over Oakland...

What is Race?

When I was in high school in the 1950s, I was taught that there are five human races, which already creates a destructive sense of division among humans that is an illusion; biologically there is only a single Human Race --

Even now that it is known that all humans descend from a common ancestor in Africa, it is not automatic, common knowledge that all humans belong to one race only -- Statements such as "Is Obama Black enough?" should cause everyone to laugh immediately. Certain physical appearances, or susceptibility to various diseases, etc., attached themselves to certain human groups as they grew in early times in widely separated areas. And, of course, a wide variety of cultures are attached to people who look one way or another. But it would be better for human sanity and world peace if those cultures were not identified as belonging to a separate "race." This view will be a long time coming, but I think we should be self-correcting all the time -- as when Buckminster Fuller tried to get us to remember that "sunset" indicates a view of the world that has been corrected. What we call "sunset" is more accurately (and therefore more supportive of sanity) "evening earth-turn."

NOTE: Someone has objected to this entry, saying that the term for the collective human race should, in the language of the science of biology, be "SPECIES -- homo sapiens sapiens." I am ignorant of the scientific terminology, and if I am using vocabulary wrong, I am happy to have that pointed out. However, what I am addressing is the use of the word "race" by the mass of people, the word they use for collective humanity, not "species." It is the word "race" that has been used to justify a thousand crimes, including horrifying lynchings, etc., and notions that some humans are genetically superior to other humans. It may be that the human race is using the wrong term and should be speaking of "the human species," but use of the proper scientific vocabulary is a secondary concern, a matter for later education, when there is a primary concern of masses of humans killing each other for the lack of comprehending their common humanity. If any other reader of this entry has something they want to say about the vocabulary, I welcome your contributions. END OF NOTE.

Equally, I wish the separate "religions" could drop the term "religion" as each religion, no matter how much they talk about tolerance and being ecumenical, believes there is One Truth, and it resides with them. For those of us who have to suffer the organized violence of the believers, and the rigidity of their code moralities, it would be a step forward if the same thing happened with religions as with "races" -- Their separateness is an illusion -- especially to those of us who feel they are not different at all in their central mission, to give themselves over to domination by a constant and strenuous denial -- called belief -- or to put it more positively, as I can find fun in this too, that there is essentially no difference in exploring the numinous -- balancing invisible wheels in the air, and sometimes getting them to turn, as in my "religion" the Creative Arts.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

An Image for the blogger, Junk Thief


I suppose everyone has the problem of being overwhelmed by emails, especially regularly issued bulletins they subscribe to but don't always have time to read. I mark them as "Junk," and then periodically I check down the Junk mail to see if I have time to open one of those less personal messages. I urge you to mark any "Latest additions to the Blue Elephant" as JUNK MAIL (or the equivalent on your machine) if you have not done that already. Most people with blogs are not so intrusive as to call attention to their blogs with such alerts! In addition, I will not be in the least offended if someone asks me to remove them from THE BLUE ELEPHANT mailing list -- It is so impersonal anyway. I won't be offended either if they ask to be added to that mailing list. I fell into blogging as I like to share things, but it is such a drag to go through my address book and select names each time I want to share something with friends. So...please...Into the JUNK bin with the Blue Elephant! --

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The New Jewish Museum of San Francisco

I like the outside a lot better than the inside of the new Jewish Museum of San Francisco. I guess it is appropriate that the first show should be various artist' interpretations of Genesis. I forgot that "Jewish" can mean "religious," not just intelligent, cultured, progressive.....

The usual note: You may want to click "VIEW ALL IMAGES" for the slides of the new museum to escape the maddening spirals.

Comments from Sherrill, for Book Readers, especially

Sherrill spent many years traveling the world, and her accounts of her travels were wonderful, and I have saved some of them: Africa, Russia/Poland, Malta, Spain, Mexico, etc.
She also reported on her voracious reading. As her friends and husband knows, she retreated to her bedroom after dinner every night with a pot of tea and a stack of books. I am sure that if I did a Search for “Sherrill” on my computer I would come up with many entries, but here are some of her comments that I saved in a particular file over the years.

Some comments by Sherrill, mostly those concerning her readings and movie going....

Sherrill wrote:

-- I am struck by how many of our sayings have rural references even though we now live in urban environments, The following are ones I have noticed used often. Can you think of others?

Till the cows come home
Flew the coop
Lock the barn after the horse is stolen
In a pig's ear—[in a pig’s eye]

Observations on Her readings:

1990: “Just finished Elizabeth Hardwick’s first novel The Ghostly Lover which reminded me of Jane Austen and Elizabeth Taylor (British). Geek Love by Katherine Dunn is imaginative and inventive. The Life of Nate Shaw (an oral history of a black sharecropper) is great....”

5/4/1990: “ Philip Roth’s slight, but amusing Deception and a fabulous, new Canadian first novel by Nino Ricci, Lives of the Saints as well as Francine du Plessix Gray’s Soviet Women which I am reviewing. About to begin Alejo Carpentier’s The Lost Steps (Cuban). If you like Remains of the Day, I think you will also like his earlier A Pale View of the Hills and Arftist in a Floating World....Speaking of writing and authors, I was fortunate enough to have drinks and conversation with Margaret Atwood this week....I’ve often wondered about Ross Lockridge Jr. [son of the author of Raintree County] his memory haunted me. We went out a few times between my Junior & Senior year and he seemed so young, intense and fragile. He saw his father’s suicide at 33 as similar to Jesus’s death on the cross and said then that he’d have to die by the age of 33. I’m glad he’s still alive but sorry he may still be troubled.”

8/19/1990: “My Russia trip (Sept. 7 21) takes me to Leningrad, Moscow, Kiev, and Warsaw/Cracow....Ursula Le Guin stories Buffalo Girls (outstanding) and Jeanette Wintersan (young British novelist, lesbian excellent: Her novels are Oranges are not the only fruit, Passion, [Something] the Cherry.

10/19/1990: “Byatt’s Possession (Booker Prize winner) is most inventive an excellent read. I’m also reading Matthiessen’s Killing Mrs. Watson and Sue Miller’s Family Pictures.

4/13/1991: “I read some more Zora Neal Hurston, but Their Eyes Were Watching God remains my favorite. The Southern African writer Bessie Head’s A Woman Alone was autobiographical and has spurred me on to read her fiction. The Book of Marjery Kempe, the autobiography of a 14th Century mystic was fascinating for insight into a woman’s life at that time. Mark Salzman’s Iran and Silk about his time (1982 84) teaching English to Chinese medical students in the Hunan province is beautifully written and memorable. I loved Rosamond Lehmann’s novel The Echoing Grave (English 1940s) and a first U.S. novel (hard cover) How to Make an American Quilt.”

6/9/1991: “It sounds as if Washington is looking at the Canadian model for health care. It will be interesting to see revisionist history about ‘socialized medicine.’ ... I think Games Mother Never Taught Me may be dated now.”

9/1/1991: “I’ve just finished reading Diane Wood Middlebrook’s fine biography of Anne Sexton as a poet. It explores the poet’s inspiration and craft and the influence of other poets, and their work on her life...I couldn’t put it down, in spite of the fact that, as a person, Sexton is not very likeable.”

4/5/1992: “The sun shines off the ice on the lake and we snow shoed in so don’t let daylight savings time fool you. Some of us are still in the land of ice and snow although cozy inside, listening to Mozart and reading Toni Morrison’s latest outstanding novel, Jazz.”

8/9/1992: “Good fiction is still hard to find in the new offerings but Alverez’s How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents is good and Lynne Willilams’ new short story collection Things not seen is outstanding. I haven’t read any writing this memorable since Raymond Carver. In non fiction, Stuart Hampshire’s Innocence and Experience (moral philosophy) is most satisfying. I am also enjoying the 2nd volume of the Shaw biography, having just seen an excellent produciton of Pygmalion at the Shaw Festival.

8/29/1992: “Two outstanding books I think you would like: Malfouz’s novel Palace Walk ...Proustian & magnificent writing. Storming Heaven by Jay Stevens, I may have mentioned, is a history of LSD in America fascinating cultural history.

4/10/1993: “How do people on General Assistance [in the USA] clean the streets? I mean in Paris, they do it with a bundle of grey rags that they rinse out in the gutters. In Leningrad, it is women’s work and they begin very early in the morning with worn down whisk brooms.”

9/24/1994: “I am trying to read John Irving’s A Son of the Circus but finding it unfocused.”

2/21/1996: “I’m loving Holroyd’s bio of Lytton Strachey.”

2/29/1996: “Jamaica Kinkaid’s Autobiography of my mother is haunting and strong, negative and memorable beautifully written. Next Marina Warner’s From the Beast to the Blond.

6/3/1996: “Have you read reviews of a new book by an English lawyer about T.S. Eliot’s anti semitism? It sounds different than the others and worthwhile, from a poetic point of view. I saw Fiona Shaw act The Wasteland in April and she was fantastic. “

5/30/1996: “Reading your poetry reminds me to ask if you have read the poet Virginia Hamilton Adair...Her new (first) book is Ants on the Melon. I quite like her writing but she may be too formal for your tastes.”

9/15/1996: “Lake of Bays, Ontario....We’re relaxing at the cottage on a rainy fall weekend with a charming, small furry gray coated deer mouse who has a white belly, long tail and full face, the latter taking up 1/3 of his body length. His full face, dark beady eyes and small ears make him look like the mice in children’s stories. As he is unafraid of humans and prefers the indoors to the outdoors, we have named him ‘Bernard.’....I think you’d really enjoy Sebastian Faulk’s The Fatal Englishman, Three Short Lives (a painter, Christopher Wood, Richard Hilary, Jeremy Wolfenden). I may have mentioned his novel, Birdsong which I loved.

12/1996. [Sherrill was reading a memoir of someone who had been an Indian houseboy as a child: Reef, and a book called Reading in the Dark…]

1997: “...Sebald’s The Emigrants (translated from German, published by New Directions) is brilliant about memory and how to retrieve it beautifully written.”

1997, or earlier: “I read and liked Sue Miller’s A Distinguished Guest...also really liked Hillery Mantel’s (British) A Change of Scenery....I was very disappointed in Ishiguro’s latest The Unconsoled....”

9/1997: “I started reading some amazing American short stories last night by Andrea Barrett, Winner of the National Book Award.”

1/1999: … The day MLK was shot, I came home from work at UBC in Vancouver, and Andrew ran from the house, to greet me, wildly crying. I thought he was injured in some way and he was -- by the violent death of King. What a time the Sixties were -- so much happening politically, so much violent death both in America and Vietnam! And now, as Phyllis says, "Vietnam is a tourist destination.” Be good to yourself: find some time each day to rest, relax, pamper yourself a bit. xoxoxo In spite of snow, snow and more snow, below zero temperatures, hazardous roads and a failed subway system, due to ice on the track, I am enjoying being indoors seeing the sun glisten on humoungous icycles and watching the brilliant red cardinal sit on snow encumbered branches. I am now working on a committee planning a Women and Philanthopy forum in May, writing an article for their newsletter about this Forum, researching and compiling a fact sheet on women's giving and heading up a donor challenge. Strange that starting out together as students in Indiana, we are now both working on fund raising for Foundations isn't it? Did I mention to you that Karl and I are planning a ten day trip to Malta in March? We are looking forward to this holiday to an island full of so much history as evidenced in archeological ruins. I have been reading some excellent fiction: McDermott's National Book Award CHARMING BILLY is an outstanding book capturing so well America (Long Island) right after WWII and the nuances of family love and loyality; William Trevor's DEATH IN SUMMER is extremely well written and wonderfully imaginative. Karl lost himself in Wolfe's A MAN IN FULL (or as I may have already said, "a man full of himself," or as a publisher friend said .."of testosterone"). Karl is now reading Roth's I MARRIED A COMMUNIST which I found too claustrophobic in its interior monologue. Marc, Diane and Kate were over for dinner last eve and we enjoyed the visit. Kate, at seven months, is pulling herself up to tables and chairs and wanting either to walk or to climb up onto them. If she does not topple, she turns her head around to see who is watching and waits for applause! Hope you are well, not working yourself crazy and enjoying your life. Appreciate the lovely Bay Area climate. Thinking of you. Much love,Sherrill

Hope you are well and writing. I continue to read: Inga Clendinnen's READING THE HOLOCAUST led me to Gitta Sereny's books on Spangl (commandantat Treblinka) and Speer - extremely well written, clear headed and compassionate while looking at what motivated the perpetrators of the Final Solution. I may have mentioned that I found Coetzee's DISGRACE (South African novel and winner of the 1999 Booker Prize) profound in the way I found Camus' THE STRANGER profound. Today Amazon delivered the novel MALINA by the Austrian writer Ingeborg Bachman which is what I purchased with your birthday gift certificate.

September 15, 2000 9:52 AM
I saw only one film at the Film Festival but am looking forward to the new releases this fall. I saw ENDGAME , a British production, with David Thewlis and the acting was superb. This afternoon I am going to see INTO THE ARMS OF STRANGERS, about the kindertransport. Friends who saw this
documentary raved and the reviews have been top notch. I am not really a fan of the epic saga films so I got sick of Ralph Fiennes in three generations and the predictability of SUNSHINE. What
I did like were those fabulous Hungarian interiors and exteriors, a number of which we had seen when we were in Budapest two years ago. Everyone is raving about the Agnes Varda film THE GLEANERS.

My book group discussed Sebald's THE EMIGRANTS last eve. I wonder what you think of his writing? I seem to be one of the few people who love it. One of our group, Elizabeth Abbott, got a good review of her book on Celibacy in the Sept. 18 NEW YORKER.

September 14, 2000 1:31 AM
Subject: FILM

SUNSHINE was very good. If I had any reservations it was that the
characters seemed intellectual figures in an historical essay, but then part of that too was that they were part of a sort of "poem" a family that lost its integrity for a while. Saw a French film based on a Fassbinder story that he had never filmed. It was good, but strange looking back on a period of emptiness (like Fassbinder's YEAR OF THE THIRTEEN MOONS or Bergman's THE SILENCE) but, because it's from the past, with nostalgia!: WATER DROPS ON HOT ROCKS. A couple times German songs dripping with weltschmerz. One might as well say it was a French film done in the German

Dear Jim,
Just a note to let you know that my mother, who had been ill this last year, died last week at the age of 93 and her strong personality was with her until the end. Marc, Karl, and I drove to Indiana and Andrew flew in from L.A. and joined us in Osgood. My father, at 95, is still healthy and living on his own. Unfortunately, his eyesight is no longer good enough to drive or read so he is feeling a number of loses.
I was hugged by people I had not seen in 50 years, including high school literature, Latin and history teachers!
The funeral of course was pure Bible Belt but I was fairly numb during that part and only now feel angry that I did not insist on eulogies which would have celebrated Myrtle's lively spirit. Oh, well....Love, Sherrill

After Sherrill’s stroke in November 2004, email correspondence fell off for a while, of course, and somehow I did not continue to place comments from her emails into this file, but they are undoubtedly in my CHRON file, which preserves certain dialogues with friends, and maybe I will do a SHERRILL’S COMMENTS, PART II, in the future.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

John Biguenet at Center for Art of Translation

In this case "translation" was from short story to play. John Biguenet, journalist, novelist, playwright, and an editor, along with poet Sidney Wade, of the Center's 2008 collection of translations, STRANGE HARBORS, is still living with anger and grief over the Katrina disaster. The first floor of his home, with his library and manuscripts, was flooded. With great difficulty he sent out news bulletins from the disaster zone. The home of the director of his new play, RISING WATER, Ryan Rilette, was also flooded. Angrily, Biguenet asked repeatedly, "Why were 1,000 American citizens killed and a great city destroyed?"

[Best to click on VIEW ALL IMAGES]:

Biguenet stated that it was the fault of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who did not want to lose the job of reinforcing the levees, and they kept secret that Congress had failed to give them sufficient funding to do the job properly. Biguenet described the tragedy of a destroyed city, followed by chaos in the city and in the psyches of everyone touched by the disaster. Much more than a city was destroyed.

Telling some of the horror stories about the ways people died, Mr. Buguenet came close to breaking down, and sometimes he cannot witness his own play.

He described how one couple went for a walk after the hurricane passed, as there is often pleasant weather just after the storm passes. They were walking down the street with their dog and were puzzled by the wall of fog they saw in the distance, rolling toward them, then realized it was a wall of water. They tried to make it back to their house, but soon they were up to their waist in water. Their house was elevated but by the time they were in the house, the water was up to their necks. They went up into their attic, and the water still rose so the husband broke out a vent and they climbed up onto the roof. They were there for a day with their dog, then a man came by in a boat and said he would give them a ride to a highway overpass above the water, but he would not take their dog. In the argument that followed, the man in the boat fell out of the boat, and the husband had to dive down in the deep water and save the man, who then was willing to take the dog along with the couple.

Some people who took refuge in their attics and were trapped there in the terrible August heat in New Orleans and died of dehydration.

Ryan Rilette, managing director of the Marin Theater Company, brought two actors, David and Sarah (didn't catch their last names) to read a portion of Mr. Biguenet's play. In RISING WATER, the first of three plays connected with Katrina, a couple is trapped in their attic, able to see the water below the grave-shaped door in the floor.

The Katrina disaster was destructive of relationships, said Mr. Biguenet, describing how one person left their partner saying: " I could love you any place in the world but not now in New Orleans."

Friday, June 06, 2008

Sherrill ("Shay") Schneider Perry Cheda

I guess few people outside her family have known Sherrill Schneider Perry Cheda so long as I have. There are great gaps in that knowledge as Sherrill would leave and return to San Francisco, but whenever we were together, anywhere, it was one of those friendships where it was as if we had just seen each other the day before. I have not liked having memories flood in on me along with tears, as I know that those memories are triggered by the hard fact that I will not be able to have new moments that will become new memories.

It occurs to me that Sherrill could always be both middle class and a rebel – that is, she was neat, efficient, in control, yet she could not tolerate stupidity and lashed out against it like any rebel. In college, until we were in a writing class together, I knew her only at a distance, already doing library work while going to school, long blonde hair down her back. Nothing is straighter than a librarian, right? And yet she was threatened with expulsion because she dated a Black man (things were that backward in the 1950s), and our college mentor Professor Alan Hollingsworth had to come to her defense. Sweet and rotund University President Hermann Welles was not so backward as his university, and invited her to tea.

Recently I had to remind her WHY she once walked down to the dining room in her dormitory completely naked. She forgot that this was provoked by a campus cop who came up to her on the lawn around the dorm and told her it was against campus regulations to be barefoot. I am sure she found it perfectly logical, and I agree, that she would reject something that stupid by walking around completely naked.

Sherrill’s politics were certainly progressive, but I loved her describing her political awakening. Given a ride from the Library, she was undoubtedly speaking intelligently when the woman giving her ride assumed, “You’re a Marxist, of course.” “Of course,” said Sherrill, then went off to find out whom Marx was.

As I waited with a room full of males for a new writing class, the men complained, “Damn—too bad there’s going to be a woman in the class. We won’t be able to be open and frank.” Needless to say, with her first story, Sherrill proved herself a hundred times more open and frank than they would dare to be.

Leap forward to San Francisco, the end of 1959. It became an ongoing joke that I was in Men’s Underwear when she ran into me again, holiday help at Macy’s, working “in Men’s Underwear.” “You’re expecting,” I noticed. “Yeah,” she said, “Motherhood—what a fucking joke!” (Of course, that was not how she really felt, and she proved to be a champion-level mother.)

In a homosexual panic I had run away from the Midwest with almost no money, and my Macy’s holiday pay did not last long, and, as I was awaiting my draft notice, and no-one wanted to employ someone about to be drafted, I barely survived for several months after that, got more and more thin, and Sherrill made sure I had a good meal with her and her husband at least once a week. At the same time that Army was a shadow looming over my life, and most days I was living on one bowl of fried rice a day, I also tripped into the state called “coming out,” becoming conscious only then of why I had to run away to San Francisco, the place where one might half-way come out in a sane way at a time when homosexuality was defined both as “criminal” and “mentally unbalanced,” and homosexuals were often imprisoned, or were self-destructive. In regard to that, recently we exchanged some long emails, provoked by something I wrote about that period, and I thought to thank Sherrill (Shay) about her love for her gay friends: “Thank god for people like Sherrill Schneider Perry Cheda,” I wrote, “who created a little pocket of acceptance that was more healing than you will ever know!!!”

In conversation when we were in the same city, or in lengthy correspondence when she lived in distant cities, Shay helped me keep my sanity. As I recently emailed her son Marc, “I guess you know that for 20 years or so, Sherrill was my muse (although she probably laughed at the notion) where I wrote everything for her, with the thought that it would be read by her eyes.”

If my thoughts about a political matter or a personal matter were a bit of a jumble, talking with Sherrill would clarify my thoughts beautifully. And coming from a background where I did not really understand the nature of personal relationships I will never forget how she showed up at my apartment one day to educate me: “You know, if you want to be a friend, you have to let the other person know: You have to take the initiative some times, contact them, and let them know.” I did love Sherrill so it was embarrassing that she had to tell me that I had to let her know that. She was very wise, and there has ever been only one person -- Shay/Sherrill -- that I could ask the most knotty question and come away with a feeling of clarity, things "sorted out" -- I won't have that now.

At a time when Sherrill’s ultimate feminism was about to burst from the cage of her work as a librarian, while parenting her children and maintaining a house, I was fortunate to live for a few months in her household on 6th Avenue, off California Street, where I came to love her two sons, quite small at that time. (I will skip over those stories – sweet Andrew, feeling how that marriage, while the conflict was still subliminal, was coming to an end, could not keep from expressing his anger – or maybe he was just being creative when he found my paints and painted my shoes; or how Marc presented a puppet show for his parents, letting them see what was going on with them in his portrayal of them.)

While so much was sapping her energy, keeping her from herself, Sherrill created gourmet meals for the soirees she staged: Later she herself did not remember the noted people I met at her soirees, among them the first progressive leaders of the gay and lesbian community, Hal Call, who had a magazine, Mattachine, for gay men; and Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin (soon to have their marriage of 58 years made legal -- Mayor Gavin Newsom will probably marry them again, this time for keeps). Lyon and Martin were among the founders of the Daughters of Bilitis, the first lesbian rights organization in the United States ( Del Martin was their first president).

Those of us who were dazzled by her anger, before she burst free of all that was making her angry, are guilty of missing some of her magnificent rages. I passed along, and many of us still use the words she used one day when overwhelmed by dependents and obligations, she stopped and stood still in the whirlwind of people’s needs, and shouted, “Why am I surrounded by nothing but idiots!?”

Too many memories and too many stories – As when we went to see Louis Malle’s THE LOVERS, and Sherrill, still in her Acting-Out period (I learned from her how to Act Out, and found it quite liberating) commented loudly for others to hear, “This is ridiculous romanticism,” as the heroine, played by Jeanne Moreau, left her husband and ran away with her young lover – and within half a year, Sherrill had left her husband and run away with her young draft-evading lover to Canada.

Shay, as relatives and friends still called her up to that point, in Canada, became a Feminist leader, radical librarian, and probably wrote and published more than I know...

...many book reviews for the TORONTO STAR, CANADIAN DIMENSION, EMERGENCY LIBRARIAN (I imagine she helped found this progressive magazine). She wrote articles like "Feminism yesterday and today (July 1988). CHATELAINE published two articles that recorded the transformation in her life, which reflected the transformation in all women's lives: "How to Raise Liberated Children," then 'On the Way to Liberation," which the magazine subtitled, "one housewife-mother-librarian's personal and painful journey from martyr mom to liberated person." She also co-authored in CHATELAINE, with her friend Phyllis Yaffee, "Needed: Canadian Textbooks." So often a librarian over the course of her life, her articles appeared in the CANADIAN LIBRARY JOURNAL ("That Special Little Mechanism," "Feminism and Professionalism in Librarians," "Indian Women," etc.)

Sherrill went so far as to finally settle out into that wonderful place beyond anger, where she no longer had to be a raging fire (as I once described her in a verse). If I am not mistaken, after seeing the play LILIES, she was one of the people who made certain that it was turned into one of the best gay films ever made.

In Toronto, she met and married the great rock of her life, her husband Karl Jaffary.

Her sons could not be more wonderful, sweet, kind, compassionate, and loving -- as well as intelligent and talented!

I am glad that her children’s children had a chance to know their grandmother as she was even more in love with grandmothering than she was with mothering.

Sherrill was such a pillar in my life – so much so that my life grew well around that pillar so that I am strong and sane without that pillar now that it is removed. The name for that pillar, often referred to when I spoke with present friends, was “Sherrill, my oldest and best friend, who lives in Toronto,” something I will no longer be able to say without adding more words that I would hate to say. I said to some friends I love: “How do I drop into everyday conversation: Oh, by the way, one of my guiding stars has fallen out of the sky?”

There is no way to describe how much I loved Sherrill as I cannot step back from her, she is too much a part of my mind and heart and flesh and blood, and I cannot step away from myself and look back to see which parts are her.

And we are both Hoosiers.

Unfortunately, I am a writer, and I can only deal with things like this by processing them through writing, while what is in my mind is Sherrill’s bird-like face, her song-like, chirruping voice, her waste-no-time, no-nonsense attitude that nevertheless was very loving. Now she is distant in a different way, further away than Toronto – “Oh, don’t go on, now you’re getting silly,” I hear her say, and I am cheered.

So long as I am here, she is here to stay. My love to her family who have always kindly welcomed me into their loving environments.

From travels in the Southwest

BETTER TO VIEW THE PHOTO SLIDE SHOW BY CLICKING ON "VIEW ALL IMAGES," although the kaleidoscopic images are fun.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Visiting the Grand Canyon

Better to view this slide show by Clicking on VIEW ALL IMAGES at the bottom right.