Today my brother is being transferred to a rehab facility. In a pique of helplessness, I ordered him a diffuser and some jasmine oil — to elevate his mood? When what he needs are electrical stimulators or computer driven exercise devices?

His impatience to GET ON WITH IT will serve him well and it may not necessarily shorten the length of his recovery. So much remains up in the air.

Listening to old Tippet interview with Vincent Harding on dog walk. A few takeaways:

  • To label the justice movement as one centering on “civil rights” is to fall very short of MLK Jr’s vision of the “beloved community.”
  • Stories are essential
  • We need to seek out our wise elders

The commotion of limb removal next door, believe it or not, refreshes my grief at Michelle’s passing. Even tho she lived in Manhattan and I dwell in a leafy suburb, we both frequently felt assaulted by noise. My commiserator in chief. I still can’t believe she’s gone.

Re-reading passages from Virginia Woolf’s diaries this week, a little light bulb went on. Here’s my insight: Jude Hill has a distinctly Woolfian sensibility and that may be why I felt so instantly drawn to her. Listen:

  • All I mean to make is a note of a curious state of mind.
  • My theory being the actual event practically does not exist — nor time either.
  • I wrote this partly in order to slip the burden of writing narrative
  • I want to sort out all the ideas that have accumulated in me.

The complete collection of Woolf’s novels got away from me at some point. I regret that. Reading her in college was like opening a door to myself. Big time.

Confession: I once took a pack of colored pencils to a copy of The Waves and appropriately highlighted all the color words. I’m sure I had a reason.

Interestingly, I now prefer more “straight up” narratives. A product of aging no doubt. Ask me if I care.

British crime novels, it is!

No really, I’m working my way through Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brody series.

Sibling insurance questions call. Redux.

18 thoughts on “Potpourri

  1. Martha Schley Thayer

    So glad I am part of the Pattern and Outrage community. Always so much to think about.
    Re-reading in a bit. Thank you.

  2. Acey

    for me jude’s sensibilities’ are far closer to Ursula Le Quin and/or in the less mainstream lane of literary achievement – Susan Griffin. I also don’t want to think about her loading up her pockets with stones down by the riverside…

    1. deemallon

      I don’t know either of their works well enough to comment. The business of Woolf’s suicide always made too close an identification with her problematic. You’re right about that.

  3. snicklefritzin43

    Thanks for your every post. Times, though still in home confinement, are busy with little time, unfortunately, to write notes.
    Glad for your brother’s determination as that will move the rehab wheels nicely, so important.
    Revisiting stacks of reading, one author after another, are on my revisiting journey of late.
    Oh how I miss Michelle’ s voice and photo eye. A year of way too many losses for me; I am tending with care all friends near and far these days.
    Be at, kept writing and always creating.

  4. Marti

    It is so good to learn that your brother is on his way to rehab- a light of hope and healing during these times. May it go as smoothly as it can for him.

    Re Michelle: I kept looking for more info on her, realizing that more than likely there would not be the usual obit but I kept searching and found on FB, not a place that I go to, a wonderful memorial that her Zendo put together for her includng an enlightening podcast. It did my heart such good to listen…hint: ” strange pickles, grapes in rose water and a woman who wanted to be seen for herself…our dear Michelle.” Jude put the link on her blog.

  5. Deborah Lacativa

    I was listening to it this morning while driving. Had to stop. His voice, the pacing demanded full attention. Although I’ve only heard Michelle’s voice once (her answering machine message was a shock) I kept waiting for her to chime in on her own obituary. Clarify.

  6. Mo Crow

    “Fiction is like a spider’s web, attached ever so lightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners.”  – Virginia Woolf

  7. Nancy

    I’m so glad glad your brother is on the next step to recovery. His personality will serve him well, I do believe. The tribute to Michelle helped fill the hole of missing her, while teaching me more and then missing her more. Be well. xo

  8. Tina

    Wonderful news about your brother .. one giant step closer to healing. The outpouring of love for Michelle is heartwarming from Jude’s post and Liz A’s stitching. She will live in the hearts of so so many. The only thing keeping me sane all these months has been reading and quilting .. a healthy balance to the news which is driving me totally insane.

    1. deemallon

      I really recommend British murder shows too. We now subscribe to acorn tc and Brit box to get them all. 😜

  9. Jen NyBlom

    “assaulted by noise” yes, I feel that way too. Glad there’s improvement with your brother! Onward!

    1. deemallon

      Well and you in the center of so much post-hurricane tree work. Silicone ear plugs topped by noise cancelling headphones work a pretty good magic.

  10. Liz A

    may your brother power through to the other side of rehab sooner rather than later …

    and NOISE … the assault of it … ugh, let me count the ways

    1. deemallon

      Thanks about my brother. Apparently the facility is pretty drab. I actually think how much light filters into his room might be more important than this or that rating.


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