We are back and recovered from our latest trip, and have a couple of weeks here before we again head out. We have a brief trip to Montana in early April, where all of Eileen Tokarski’s grandchildren (and their parents and step-parent) are gathering for an impromptu graveside memorial. As my oldest said, they’ve not really had a chance to “process” her passing, by which she means to say good-bye. Standing at a grave, which I don’t otherwise recommend, serves that purpose. It is a moving experience when done with the intent to create closure. The most effective means by which I’ve seen this ceremony work is by releasing helium balloons and watching them drift far away and out of sight. It is a powerful image guaranteed to produce tears.
Later in April we are going to Bellingham to visit Mom’s sole surviving sister, and from there to visit a cousin on Lopez Island out in the San Juan’s. This cousin, I am so pleased to report, recently was allowed to marry her spouse of many years – legally. I only knew of her, but not on a personal basis. I had read the book JFK and the Unspeakable, by James Douglass, and in the acknowledgements (who reads those?) found he had a Northwest connection, and then I saw my cousin’s name. It’s not a common name, but not that uncommon either, and I thought can it be? Months later I passed the question on to my aunt, and yes, I learned, this was my cousin. Later we had a long phone conversation, and she sent me an early draft of a stage play to advance the Doulglass work, and also some of his work on the MLK murder. I am excited at the prospect of spending time with them.
I so look forward to that trip. Everything is new and fresh when old eyes see new faces and places.
After Lopez, we are off to Portland for a week. We rented a condo in the downtown area, and will have some grand-kid/kid time. Portland in April is really kind of a nice place. We might even kayak the Willamette.
I know, you’re thinking who has time to travel like that? Not many. But then, in all these years before I’ve not had time or money to travel much, and so went on a journey of the mind. I just got back from wasting part of my Saturday on the impenetrable PW at the Intelligent Disconnection. All I ever did before I could travel was to make regular trips to the book store, and my whole world view changed. I did not mean for that to happen. I was the staid, boring, self-assured Catholic Republican that my parents had raised. But for that to happen to PW, one true thing has to sneak through his defenses and undermine his certitude. I don’t know what that one true thing might be. I only know that 1) he’s not looking, and 2) hasn’t stumbled yet.
The key to understanding this country and its intellectual culture is this: PW is protected from ever finding one true thing by intellectual hubris. Unless he stumbles on on one true thing, unless it jumps out from behind a tree and slaps him, he’s merely on his way to becoming yet another serious commentator on the important state of affairs in this world. He’ll know nothing, least of all that he knows nothing. Those kind of people write our important books and fill our TV screens. That’s why this country is so damned boring!