john kelly

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Next Tuesday is election day and we will see whether witches, demons, and ghosts arise from the land in a Romney victory, or whether there is still enough sense left in the country to keep Obama in office. Polls and pundits seem to say it’s a dead heat. Well, who knows? But the witches, demons, and ghosts are itching to rise up and are licking their chops in anticipation. Will the country stamp them down?

I’ve not been helping. I’ve ignored Cathy Newell’s requests to make calls for the Oxford County Democrats. I did put up a few Lee Goldsberry signs (six actually) mainly along East Main street. But I’ve made no calls for him either.

Why is my heart not in it this time? Not sure of the exact reasons but perhaps my personal needs are overriding. Four years ago Cynthia was still here and I did make calls at the time and was gung-ho for Obama. This time, while realizing Obama has many flaws, Romney and the right wing GOP scare me immensely and I dread the fact they may win. Still, I just can’t rise to the occasion.

I’m enjoying my new friendship with Phyllis, my explorations of many and varied philosophical issues, my watching of the great old movies of Bergman and others, my singing and involvement at the Norway UU church, my hobby of improving and maintaining the Norway UU church website I created, my friendships with Richard and Tony, my good fortune of having Kate next door,…… Have I left out anything? Probably, but I can’t think what at the moment.

Oh, I’ve been recycling Sara Teasdale’s little poem, “Let It Be Forgotten”, over and over in my mind. John Kelly sent it to me. It’s in memory of Cynthia. She would have liked the poem, maybe she did.

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I finished the church website:

I’m still having a hell of a time sleeping.

My Colitis is under control I think, with the meds, but last night I had a sour stomach.

I read “Cutting for Stone” by Abraham Verghese. Very exciting long novel.

I read Julian Barnes’ “The Sense of an Ending”. It won the Man-Booker prize this year. John Kelly recommended it to me.

I read “The Children’s Book” by A.S. Byatt. A beautiful long book. I fell in love with the characters.

Before that, I read “The Sea Lady” and “The Needle’s Eye” by Byatt’s sister, Margaret Drabble. Both very good.

The house is being painted. Same color as Cynthia originally picked out. Already looking great.

Our bench finally gave out. Kate and Don bought me a new one. Looks great.

Scheduled to climb Pleasant Mountain this Saturday, the 23rd, with Phyllis and dog Abby. Bought some “Off” today for the Ticks.

I planted two German Johnson tomato plants over a week ago. Today I bought some liquid fertilizer.

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I just finished this complex fiction based on truth, The Semantics of Murder, by Aifric Campbell, a young Irish writer living in England. John Kelly sent the book as an Xmas gift and wants to compare notes; he bought an extra copy for himself.

It’s about two brothers 18 years apart in age and a mother who loves only one, and it’s also based on a real murder that happened to a brilliant professor of philosophy and language by the name of Richard Montague. The younger (unloved) brother, Jay, becomes a psychoanalyst and is scoffed at by the older (loved) brother, Robert, who is deep into mathematical analysis of language and has become famous, although controversial, in his field (similarly to Richard Montague). He’s also a risk taking homosexual and this is in the 1950’s and 60’s, risky times for gays. This is what gets him killed. Jay eschews science and prefers art, the exact opposite of his brother Robert. In fact Jay writes a book of short stories based on his sessions with clients. Jay too has become highly respected in his field, that is, before he gets to publishing his short stories. When one of his former clients actually lives out her story things go rapidly downhill for Jay.

At the end you realize that neither science nor art, neither medication nor the “talking cure” can save certain people from themselves. Medication can at least keep these people from self-destruction, at the price of a loss of personality.

PS. The Semantics of Murder website is worth checking out. You’ll be greeted by a video of a young person on a bike (represents Jay when young checking Robert’s disappearances) with captions spelling out “the end is where we start from”. (Quote from T.S. Eliot) On the site there’s a link to another video: the book in 36 seconds. Plus there’s lots of info on the lovely author.

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