The shadow of death

Had a strange phone conversation last night. It wasn’t as grim as that summary might suggest – it just had a sort of black humor quality.

One of my cousins died recently – much too young; sad story. Shortly after her death, I had a call from her brother, who wanted to talk, and I was happy to offer a shoulder. He was also concerned that he hadn’t been able to reach our last surviving mutual uncle. Uncle O_____ has had some health problems recently, and my cousin couldn’t find a number for him that worked. I promised I’d call him myself, since I’ve been in pretty regular communication with him, until recently.

I tried calling, and the numbers I had didn’t work.

After the funeral, my cousin called again, and I told him about my failure. My cousin suggested I go through Facebook (which he doesn’t use anymore), messaging O____’s grandchildren. I tried that and broke through. They said they’d pass the news on.

So last night O____ and his wife called me. Apologized for losing touch – they’ve been going through a difficult time of selling a house and relocating, on top of health issues.

Then we started catching up. There was a lot of catching up to do.

“How’s L_________?” O_____ asks, referring to a cousin of his.

“Oh,” I said. “I thought you knew about that. She died. A couple years ago, as I recall.”

A little later he asked, “What about J_______?” Another of his cousins.

“I meant to tell you about that,” I said. “He died around Christmas.”

When you get to a certain age, pretty much all news is bad news.

And today I got to thinking about that, in relation to the writing I used to do for The American Spectator Online. It’s been a long time since they published one of mine, and it’s not because they’ve blacklisted me or anything. The editor has always been very complimentary about my writing, and I know anything I send them will probably be welcome.

And I’ve tried to write them something. I started two or three essays in the last six months or so, but somehow they never came to anything. Some I finished, some I didn’t, but they ultimately just didn’t seem to work.

I think maybe it’s because I’m getting to a certain age, and pretty much all news is bad news.

I can still tell parables and make arguments, but how do you convince people who don’t believe in reason? Who consider logic a tool of white male oppression?

And now I’m not sure how to end this post. Ultimately it just doesn’t seem to work.

3 thoughts on “The shadow of death”

  1. How does one argue with people who don’t believe in reason?


    You can be sensitive and you can be clever, but you can’t be wise unless there is a Logos.

    You can seek and serve the Logos or you can seek and serve the Zeitgeist, but you can’t serve both. The modern university has, by and large, chosen the latter.

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