"The surest defense against Evil is extreme individualism, originality of thinking, whimsicality, even--if you will--eccentricity." -Joseph Brodsky
Our foundations are wobbly, our institutions unreliable. In this atmosphere I find myself returning to my journals, notebooks, a simpler analogue lifestyle.
Like many of you, poetry has always been my first retreat, the softest place to land. I'm studying Brodsky now, his life, his writings.
from The Hawk's Cry in Autumn
But the uprush of air is still lifting him higher and higher. His belly feathers feel the nibbling cold. Casting a downward gaze, he sees the horizon growing dim, he sees, as it were, the features of the first thirteen colonies whose
chimneys all puff out smoke. Yet it’s their total within his sight that tells the bird of his elevation, of what altitude he’s reached this trip. What am I doing at such a height? He senses a mixture of trepidation and pride.
My printer, Lynne, was terminally ill and I had no idea. Her husband told me after she passed that they shared their private heartache with very few people. I think of her now, her strength and positive energy, her obvious intelligence and shy smile. She was designing things to sell in their printshop. She said that kindness was a word she was using in her designs, that people seemed to be into kindness. This was before lockdowns, lost jobs and political theatre. I thought it was a little naïve. And now I am moved by her words.
Lynne, wherever you are, you were right, the answer is kindness.