Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Numb, not so comfy

Sitting, beautiful evening.
Sat most of beautiful day (at work).
Birds have been singing since before I got up.
It's early enough, nearing bedtime for toddlers is all.
I can't think of what I have motive to do,
I don't think I'm thinking at all.
Dear Limbic System,
Anything up up there?
Not hungry, not tired, no creative or deadline-creative impetus goading me along.

My preference is to have been at a memorial service; I am very uninterested in getting to most people's funeral events, even when they are called celebration-of-life. I am taken off guard by how much I care about this one, how much I realize … he was really great; I got to meet him, have conversations with him in which I as a scholar floundered terribly … yes, this man who could speak and read five languages, who could understand the way human language — story — developed, who made his own research Opensource decades before that was a common term (and it is still uncommon in "scholarship") … I guess the impression on this "never going to go to graduate school" lady (albeit, I have tried grad. school twice to varying extents but with the same drop-out result) was deep.

I got to play at research as a young woman then. Outside of never having been starving, it's my favorite privilege.

He had a lisp. He was not tall. He was charming, disarmed, intense in conveying why This matters. I have multiple stories from others how he changed their lives with a simple reading of something. To a book-nerd, oh my, that is quiet power.

So, not to be there, when fellows were sure to be there making little speeches or just standing around, fellows whom I might recall from my years at MU from the Classics department, from the English department – indeed, his very wife and children whom I knew …

I would be half-satisfied with a YouTube rendition of what was said. Am sending a card/letter to wife, but it's not the same / as well.

I did send an email to him not so long ago, out of precursors to these "oh, my, you are it" thoughts; it was likely gushy. It was not met with a response. I was fine to think it was because he was great and busy and that gushy things are annoying and take people months to get to, if they ever do.

Now, though, the reason might only have been, "I have cancer, and it's not going so well."

Rest in peace, John Miles Foley.