The Sweet By And By

It is morning again, and I am back at my desk (technically speaking, it was also morning when I left).

Although it has been heavy slogging these past six weeks or so, with many long nights of darkness both inner and outer, today there grows within me a slender reed of hope, a delicate wisp of a thing that is nevertheless almost eschatological in its import, that by Friday there may be deliverance. Outwardly I am silent, laboring in my little cell and gazing fixedly at the screen as always, but with my inner eye I now can see the far bank of the mighty river, and my mind sways to the slow and patient rhythm of old Negro spirituals.

There is, as usual, no time for writing, but I must make note of two recent deaths. The first is the artist Pina Bausch, whose haunting and iconoclastic dance-theater extravaganzas the lovely Nina and I had attended at every opportunity in recent decades, and who died, suddenly, of cancer on Tuesday at 68. Her obituary, with links to other remembrances, is here.

At the other end of the cultural spectrum was the impressionist Fred Travalena, a genial extrovert whom those of you of “a certain age” may remember from his heyday in the 1970’s, when he was a fixture on the comedy circuit, and on the chat and variety shows. An obituary is here, and if your memory still needs a little jogging, you might have a look here.

There was of course that other fellow who died, but that would take several paragraphs, and for now I have a barge to tote, and bales to lift. Perhaps this weekend.

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