Our basement is full of men removing our old furnace and installing a new one. After breakfast I walked over to Evergreen Commons and treadmilled. Then I walked home. But when I went to take a shower there was no water. Yikes. It turns out they had broken a water line. Oh well. Now I’m sitting sweaty in my living room.
I have been reading Kakutani’s The Death of Truth. I have read her reviews in the New York Times for many years. I often disagree with them. It turns out I’m finding fault with her book as well. It seems interesting but cerebral and written from inside the bubble of entitlement and education. I am learning much more from Michael Eric Dyson’s What Truth Sounds Like.
He clarified for me the intellectual relationship between Cornel West and Ta Henisi Coates. I couldn’t understand why West was so weird about Coates’s book. Dyson describes the rivalry between these two and others. Helpful but not that important to his argument about needing to combine the dualities of prophetic witness with politics.
I think racism has brought us to where we are not decontructionism which Kakutani spends an entire chapter on.
It may be the effect of taking a vacation but I am feeling more and more distant from intellectuals and music academics and closer to my own love of ideas and music. Eileen fears that I won’t return to work. I probably will but it does cross my mind that this is a trial run for retirement and I am enjoying the solitude and practicing and study without any contact with my church or very fine little organ.
What can I say?
I typed some more of my Dad’s anecdotes into a google doc. They aren’t all interesting but here’s one that gives a good flavor of the way he would tell a story in sermon.
“Did I ever tell you about my girlfriend, Lorraine? She was 11 and I was 12 years old. Her last name was Firebaugh, and her flaming red hair helped people stereotype her as a FIREBALL.
One day, I had a date with Lorraine….We went together on a picnic to TINKER-BELL swimming pool. I was just learning to swim —- I could stay up for at 4-5 strokes. Well, you probably guessed it. Lorraine and I were playing in deep water, over our heads, along the side of the pool, when suddenly Lorraine got out too far….I looked, and instead of coming toward the side of the pool, she was floundering away toward to the middle of the pool.
Tragedy! But here was my opportunity to be that ALL AMERICAN HERO… ‘Fear not, fair Lorraine. You hero, Sir Paul, is coming to the rescue.’ I swam out to her (using my five strokes I reached for her, very kindly — in a soul-saving manner. AND DON’T YOU KNOW, Fair Lorraine had turned into a tiger. She crawled up my head, and I went down for a pint of wtr. When I came up sputtering she pushed me down again…and you know, the third time? I always heard 3 strikes and you are out. I was desperate.
And then suddenly, from the bottom of th pool where I was struggling for life, i felt Lorraine let go…. and it was as if a gain hand had practically thrown her to the side of the pool… I fought my way to the surface and to the safety of the side of the pool, where I discovered that the lifeguard had seen our situation. He had recognized my bold attempts at saviorhood…and he seen my very tragic limitations….With skill and precision, he dived into the water and it was he who really rescued fair Lorraine.”
This is my medicine. Dam.