Thursday, February 27, 2003

Sunny Day, Everything's A-OK

But is it? Is it? I lost my sunglass-clips weeks ago, so all this bright light, unfiltered by the rain-washed air, is hurting my eyes. And at least the druidic gloom and half-hearted rain of the last few days suited my cold-ridden mood... it's kind of insulting to have a beautiful day when you're feeling like shit-on-a-stick. And then I'm hearing about these deaths that make me sad.

Like Mr. Rogers dying. I'm not so much sad he's dead, because everybody dies and he'd accomplished much with his allotted time; and I'm not so sad that he won't be around anymore, because he retired absolute ages ago and I outgrew him some time before that. But I am reminded of how much a part he played in my life, and I am sad for the child I used to be who was so comforted by this man, with his quiet voice and slow movements and patient explanations. In a world dominated by confusion, anger, impatience, loud noises, strident voices, and generalized ugliness, Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood was such a haven for me when I was little. I miss that child's ability to be so transported to a world of contentment and comfort by merely watching a man singing a quiet little song while changing into a sweater and sneakers. I miss that childhood feeling of being held, even if only by an image and sound on a television. "I like you, just because you're you."

I also heard yesterday that a man I know has passed away. He wasn't someone I knew terribly well, but I knew him from a long time back, I counted him as a friend, and I will miss his sweet boyish smile and laughing eyes. I had known he was sick, but I didn't realize it was as bad as all that. He was fairly young, one always assumes that young people will bounce back after surgery and therapy. I hope he managed to get everything done in this life he needed to do. That's the thing that always worries me when younger people die... that they didn't get a chance to learn and accomplish all that they wanted or needed to, that they leave unfinished business.

If nothing else, though, it serves to remind the rest of us that this life isn't forever... if you're planning on getting something important done you might want to get started on it sooner rather than later.

In general, though, I believe very strongly in an Afterlife (though I don't even pretend to know what it will consist of), so Death isn't so tragic to me... it's not an ending, merely a transition. Death is no more sad than someone moving away to another city, or more exactly, no more sad than breaking up with a lover or a friend and not talking to him/her again for a long time. John exists still, and Mr. Rogers exists still, and I might meet them again in the next life, I just can't call them up and have a chat or run into them at a mutual friend's house in this life (not that I ever had phone chats or mutual friendships with Mr. Rogers, but you know what I mean).

So anyway, I am working terribly hard on a newsletter, the first we've put out under the new administration. It's a lot harder to fill out than it used to be... I used to get ten pages of text from Boss Lady and have to squeeze it down to four, usually by deleting all the repetitions and meandering asides. But now I'm getting rather short pieces with really long attachments... with the attachments on, there is no way I could fit it in, but with the attachments off there is just far too much blank space. So we're trying to fill in the blanks while putting the attachments on other pages to be distributed separately. It's all very confusing.

But at least I don't have to view bad porn all day, like poor Jhames. I swear, that's one of the funniest things I've ever read. But it makes my newsletter look like a walk in the park hand-in-hand with the one you love. It still has to be done, though, and so I had better wrap this up and get to it. Hope your day is all sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows everywhere.

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