Is There A Theme, Here?


[Broken Mirror on Sidewalk Self-Portrait, 2016]

A getting-to-know-you lunch with a yoga classmate, Muhammad Ali’s death, my 50th college reunion, a late-afternoon lobbying session (with other, WAY more informed people) to discuss an upcoming energy bill with my state rep; is there a theme, here? (besides the fact that I’ve simply noted some highlights of this past week?)

Why, yes, there is!

Let’s put it this way: at my Wheelock College reunion Saturday, someone asked a group of about thirty Class of ’66 members who’d read Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal. Most of us had.

Being mortal/growing old: for me, Ali’s death has proved a telling benchmark, a very real, very concrete measurement marking how vastly different the young me of the mid-sixties, who’d regarded Cassius Clay/ Muhammad Ali with fear and scorn and, yes, confusion, and the seventy-one-year-old me who marvels at, celebrates his witness* against racism and oppression and war!

So, yeah, I’m no longer pre-intimation of mortality. I’m mortal.

We all are. Which is why I went to lunch with that yoga classmate, a delightful woman who usually places her mat next to mine. The classmate who used to put her mat there (and who often said she and I should get together but when it came time to actually set up a date . . . ) died. Tragically. And why I, ever-mindful of the urgency of addressing climate change, showed up at a 4:30 meeting to discuss an energy bill. Because who else can show up during working hours? Activists and pensioners!

*In Quakerese: to stand up, to show up, to speak out about, to get arrested for some injustice you’ve been moved (“led”) to protest.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. Dear Patricia,

    Hello, there, Patricia, my so, so very For Always dearly special and dearly precious friend and sister who you’re For Always so, so very much!!!!! Wow, what an absolutely fantastic blog post article this is of yours, my so, so very dearest friend!!!!! Sister, the title of this awesome blog post article is just perfect here! There is very much indeed a theme here in which in which you very splendidly and gloriously speak from your very, very heart about the very mortality we all face that can tie into to recent events in your beautiful life, and the recent death of the late great Muhammad Ali, sisterfriend!!!!! The picture which you have so perfectly placed with this grandly great article is just perfect here and adds to and complements your very fine and excellent article to a very high degree, Patricia!!!!! I thank-you so, so very much, profusely, kindly, dearly, and deeply for very graciously and generously providing these great links that are very interesting, fascinating, and informative, sister! I’m so, so very thrilled, overjoyed, and happy for you my so, so very dear sister, and for the others that the divestment will not adversely affect pensions in Somerville no matter how the pension fund performs in the stock market with how at 1.9% of the pension fund being invested in fossil fuel companies that any effects on the pension fund will necessarily be small. What great news this is for sure, sister, and I, too, rejoice along with you, my sisterfriend!!!!!! Yay!!!!!!!

    What fun you had having such a tasty, yummy, and delicious lunch with your friend and yoga classmate! How heartbreaking with your other yoga friend and classmate that she died before the two of you had a chance to get together for sure! :(! What great news that you and the others had your spectacular 50th anniversary college class reunion from the remarkable and astounding Wheelock College with the superbly super class of 1966!!!!!! Yay!!!!!!! My 36th high school graduation anniversary is tomorrow on Wednesday when I graduated on Sunday, June 8, 1980 from excellent Cleveland Heights High School in my hometown where I’m originally from in fabulous Cleveland Heights, Ohio! Wow, sister, you’re For Always doing such great activism work with how you very graciously, generously, and with such very conscientious diligence went to the late-afternoon lobbying session to discuss an upcoming energy bill with your state representative. Wow, Patricia, wow!!!!!! Yay for you, Patricia!!!!! You are such a good citizen with all you do so, so very well in such very, very fine and excellent fashion like with being a wondrously wonderful white anti-racist woman, friend, and sister, and with all your great concerns like with your wise concerns regarding climate change. Wow, you are just absolutely amazing, Patricia, and you are the very, very epitome of such very, very overall awesomeness!!!!!!! :)!!!!!!!!!

    Wow, our late great Muhammad Ali was very much indeed fantastic in how he witnessed against racism, oppression, and war. Wow, sister, you’ve hit the very stroke of genious here in how you perfectly described, defined, and explained how in Quakerese to witness is to stand up, to speak out about, to get arrested for some injustice you’ve been moved (“led”) to protest. Wow, do I just so, so very much love and like these so full of such acute and astute sagacity Quakerese sayings!!!!! Sister, you and the other Quakers are just the very, very best and the greatest, and just so, so very awesome being led by Spirit!!!!!! Yay!!!!!! I, too, say a hearty and joyful, “Praise Be!!!!!!!!,” sisterfriend of mine!!!!!!

    Sister, over very, very many years I’ve realized that I don’t like boxing and think that it is legalized violence. I never had been a really avid boxing fan but I did at times watch boxing when I was a lot younger like with our Muhammad Ali. As I’ve healed and recovered, and continue to heal and recover from having grown up abused in every way with violence and thank Goodness I’m healing and recovering with my very, very many decades of past, and continuing, ongoing therapy and also my very, very many decades of past, and continuing, ongoing membership in my very, very many 12-Step Programs of recoveries that I’ve become less desensitized and realize over all of these many years that boxing is legalized violence. I think, though, that our late great Muhammad Ali even though I disapprove of boxing was for certain such a great and very empowering statesmen, and I truly appreciate what he did to advocate against racism, oppression, and war. Ali’s death proves to be a very telling benchmark for me along with the recent deaths of very, very many celebreties, and other famous persons a lot who have died so sadly at such a young age like with Prince and other people. I think of myself at the age of 54 now and I realize more so than I did before I was middle-aged like when I was in my twenties and thirties that my mortality is closer now than it had been when I was a lot younger. I still plan to be around for very, very many years to come yet I know that being 54 that even though I’m still young that I’m getting older and that even though it’s awhile off my time will come someday, too, even though that glorious day of graduating to our Heaven is quite awhile away yet. I, too, am mortal.

    Sister, wow, wow, wow and wow and wow and a zillion wows here, Patricia!!!!!! This book sounds so marvelous and powerful entitled Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. I must get this book from my Iowa City Public Library to read, and if they don’t have it I’ll request it from Interlibrary Loan. Wow, Patricia, see how I get such awesome and great ideas from you, and now my day is just even better and brighter with me feeling even more re-energized, renewed, rejuvenated, and reinvigorated from this very insightful, inspirational, and enlightening blog post article!!!!!! Yay!!!!!!! Yay for YOU, Patricia!!!!!! Yay for your very, very empowering blog post articles, other greatly magnificent writings, and all you do in such very, very fine and excellent fashion!!!!!! Yay!!!!!!!

    Sister, please have such a totally terrific and a very thrilling Tuesday, a wondrously wonderful rest of your week and weekend coming ahead, and may all of your days be so, so very especially blessed!!!!!! Sisterfriend of mine, YOU are my and our very, very joy and blessing, and so are your astounding blog post articles and other superbly super writings for myself and all of your very, very many other so, so very grateful and appreciative readers!!!!!! Yay for YOU, Patricia!!!!! Yay!!!!!!!

    Very Warmly and Sincerely For Always, my so, so very precious and special sisterfriend Christian Quaker white woman who you’re For Always so, so very much, Patricia, with Such Peace and Love To You For Always, my sister, and with Such Blessings and Even More Blessings To You For Always, so, so very dearest friend of mine,

    Your sisterfriend Christian lesbian black woman For Always and For Always in the very spirit and solidarity, Sherry Gordon in Iowa City, Iowa

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.