Thursday, August 27, 2009

Last Lion's Roar Is Silenced

The last day and night have had me return to old memories of my idealistic youth. With Edward Moore Kennedy's passing--hopefully to greater peace--stories of his life and deeds are on the air waves and with them the stories of his famous brothers. I am not Irish but I do wish to hear Irish songs and and tales of past with less maudlin feeling but with the hope and joy these men brought to our lives. I want to recall the vibrancy of the Jack Kennedy administration, the idealism of Robert Kennedy's life, and the hard work that Edward (Teddy) engaged in after his brothers were felled by assassins bullets.

I am a New York born Puerto Rican American who knows the ideals these men carried, for they were fostered in my being by the good nuns of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart and my Mother, Escolastica Oquendo. My Dad, Ernesto Arroyo Rodriguez was a quiet man and rarely shared his political or social beliefs. He did work hard, however, and supported me so I imagine he must have agreed with Mom and me.

All of the thoughts connected with my family, my ideals, my hopes and dreams for the United States and all people living within it are intimately linked to the lives of the work the Kennedy Family has done and continues to do for our country. Like many other USAmericans of my generation, I feel that this special USAmerican family is also my family. If I tear up or cry hardily it is because I feel this kinship strongly. So I also pray for those Kennedys who remain behind at this additional loss.

However in Ted Kennedy's life there s much to be celebrated and their were great joys as he took on the role of father figure for his numerous nieces and nephews. Losing a parent is hard and I am certain from the devotion to him from those nieces and nephews that he did the best he could to fill in for his fallen brothers.

For these reasons I honor them with the passing of the last of the original Kennedy Brothers. My new hope is that the Kennedy family is joined by more of us who have the same ideals to make much of the incomplete tasks for the United States and its citizen an accomplished fact.

I pray that more of us can understand that the label "Liberal" is a positive one --one that aspires associations with the best of the United States and its people.

I pray that we can begin to remember the interconnections between all of us and work together for the greater good of all.

I pray that bottom line thinking about education and health no longer be the final means of evaluating what we do for our children, sick, or elderly.

RIP EMKennedy

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Working to Get Back on Track

I've not been writing regularly and I must get back to some sort of regimen to do so. Also, I'll be happier divesting self of all my opinion in the "blogosphere".

I have a writing project that does not seem to get onto paper or computerized file. I have lots of approaches but none seem to be "good enough". Could I be self-editing before anything is even written out? I think I am. So in order to get myself fine tuned to language, which I love, I've been reading lots of contemporary poetry along with my favorites--The Romantics from England and Walt Whitman from here in the US.

Billy Collins' book, Ballistics is fantastic despite its many references to death. In fact, the humor along with the imagery makes me laugh and think at the same time. The most thought provoking of the works I've read so far is "The First Night"

After reading it, I, too, ponder my personal need to seize the moment or "carpe diem" which seems to be the underlying position or message. Of course, Collins is not too far from me in age so I feel that the desire to renew oneself and gain pleasure from the life one has is a most practical message. But the idea of the first night of death itself has deeper areas for people to contemplate and enjoy.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah

I like Leonard Cohen's version of his composition "Hallelujah" as well as KD Lang's version of "Hallelujah" although she has a more melodic voice.

Leonard Cohen - Dance Me to the End of Love

I've been playing this on the computer because I'm starting a biography --writing it that is--and the pictures in the background match the pictures of me and my parents' generation and ideal of marriage and love that lasts through one's life and even when a spouse dies and is no longer physically present. Plus, the song sounds so very French. This too is lovely.