samedi, mai 19, 2007

I asked Sian last night, as she lay in the bed where I used to sleep on my vacations from college, whether it was hard on her to see her grandfather so ill in the hospital. 'No" she said. "I'm not emotional. " Then she thought about that...she might be a bit emotional, she said. I commended her on her bravery.

Today, she read an essay on peacemaking she'd written for school to her grandfather at his bedside. He could not talk. But he had a big smile on his face.

For a moment, that room full of machines, of monitors and gloves and harried nurses... became holy ground.

mercredi, mai 16, 2007

I have concluded that I am going to have to be practically totally discreet on some subjects-notably, that of my personal romantic relationships. I have no desire to be fantasy fodder for anybody I don't know well (well, at least she's got some limits, my older readers say thankfully). The less fuel I provide, the better.

If I'd wanted to be an exhibitionist, I would have gone in for a profession where you need considerably less in the way of outergarments. However, that gives me plenty of room to rant about the complications, amusements and joys of living with men and learning to love them.

Talking about love-the grief I feel for my dad, the truth of his suffering, has pushed me to appreciate even the less "important" but wonderful moments in this eccentric house. After a dinner in which Colin picked at his vegetables-no tomatoes, no peppers allowed to touch that fussy boyish mouth-he was, naturally hungry. Reading one of his endless fantasy novels in his favorite spot on my bed, he said to me "the next time you come in, I hope you have carrots!" And not just one helping !!! No self-respecting mom would let her son eat on her bed after dinner...would she?

mardi, mai 15, 2007

Vote with your mouth

The Republican candidate for Township Supervisor knows that one way to a person's vote is his or her stomach. Fortunately for Rob , the personable young man running for Supervisor on the Republican ticket, his good friend Brian (already a Supervisor...can you see where this is going?) runs the local general store and pizzeria. Sian and her friend Tyler headed right for the doughnuts and the sodas. I stopped to speak to the other candidate, Janet G (oddly enough, one of my ex husband's parishioners). Janet, who is serving out an unexperied term for someone else, seems to be the consensus builder and the independent on the Board of Supervisors.

As such, she got my vote-we don't need more FOB on the Board.

Janet didn't run as a Democrat. She probably would have lost some votes-although the numbers of registered Democrats and independents are growing here, as in other parts of Chester County.

Up until very very recently, the word "Democrat" was not uttered in good company in the township. Now, oddly enough, some candidates register themselves as both Democrats and Republicans. Political labels mean amost nothing here, which is one of the great things about this township. Saw M.-we had not spoken in almost a year. I told him he needed to vote for his neighbor, and he said he was thinking about it. I wondered tonight if he was being sarcastic. I was not particularly pleased with myself for caring one way or the other.

I asked one of Janet's buddies whether lots of people had been showing up to vote. She appeared pleased-and the traffic in the parking lot seemed steady. Maybe it was the doughnuts.

dimanche, mai 13, 2007

"Under our Constitution, impeachment of the President is a grave and momentous step. The Framers explicitly reserved that step for high crimes and misdemeanors in the exercise of executive power. Impeachment for anything else would, according to James Madison, leave the President to serve "during pleasure of the Senate," thereby mangling the system of checks and balances that is our chief safeguard against abuses of public power..."Excerpt from a petition signed by 402 historians

Some of the most famous and well respected historians in the United States (Sean Wilentz, C. Vann Woodward, John Hope Franklin) signed this passionate and scholarly plea that the Constitution be respected and that impeachment not become a cat's toy in Congress. My dad was one of the signatories. The President was not, of course, George W. Bush, 43. It was his predecessor, William Jefferson Clinton.

High crimes and misdemeanours? If there is a continuum of crime, George is further along the scale than the brilliant but often adolescent Bill. Surely a President who led a nation into a war that has torn apart the country he hoped to "save" and has allowed his friends and colleagues to abuse power again and again deserves to be held to some standard of accountability.

I am still not sure, however, that George Bush's criminal stupdity and messianism qualify as "high crimes and misdemeanours." On the other hand, we don't want to make the standard so high that no one can be impeached. Of the venerable historians who created this document, several are dead. To the living-we await another teachable moment, gentlemen and ladies.