Category Archives: Blog

In the News…

…there is nothing but Covid-19. I won’t offer a bunch of links on which approach is best (i.e., what much of the world is doing versus the current approach in Sweden). I will instead send you to this podcast of a debate between two scientists, John Ioannidis and Sten Vermund. It is the kind of debate I like – serious talk, respectful, listening to hear, not to correct. Yes, I have a (one degree of separation) connection to the Munk Debates, but this really is worth your time if you’d like to better understand the options.

I will also link to this article about Dr. Fauci, someone who impresses more each day and to this website, the blog of my friend Raywat Deonandan, an epidemiologist who is also funny and nice and handsome. (When he used to comment on my old blog my mother would always say, “that good-looking friend of yours left a comment.”)

Animals

It is our stupidity and cruelty and selfishness toward animals that has caused all of what we are now experiencing. So, in a way, I am glad that our lockdown is allowing them to roam more freely. My fear, however — and I believe it is justified — is that once we are out and about again, and they have become accustomed to us not being out and about, they will pay the price (as always).

This is Just to Say: Quarantine Edition

With apologies to William Carlos Williams.

This is Just to Say

I have eaten

the unsalted Saltines

that were in the

pantry

and the salted pistachios

and the President’s Choice oatmeal cookies

even though it is Lent

and I vowed no sweets

and the rest of the Kosher Dills

that were in the

refrigerator

along with a chunk of that pricey Parmigiano-Reggiano

you told me was

only for pasta

and a swig of the

Hennessy (right from the bottle)

though you said we

shouldn’t squander it

also I took one

of your Ambien last night

 

These things

I know you had probably

hoped would last us all

through quarantine

 

Forgive me

I was stressed

and it made me

feel better

Haiku Quintet: Corona Edition

Verse for these trying times. (You can also read my Ode to the Banana, my Haiku for Alex Trebek, and my Paris poem.)

CORONA HAIKU

Coronavirus

makes us stay inside and watch

reruns of Mad Men.

 

Covid 19 is,

I think, payback for human

abuse of critters.

 

So, while you watch Mad

Men or Bewitched, enjoy a

vegan snack or drink.

 

(If you choose Bewitched,

try not to channel Mrs.

Kravitz while shut in.)

 

And when we are free

again, don’t revert to the

eating of carcass.

St. Patrick’s Day: John O’Donohue

For St. Patrick’s Day, these words from poet, priest and philosopher John O’Donohue on aloneness and loneliness, isolation and longing. Fitting topics for this time of pandemic (and actually, for whatever time).

We live in a world that responds to our longing; it is a place where the echoes always return, even if sometimes slowly… The hunger to belong is at the heart of our nature. Cut off from others, we atrophy and turn in on ourselves. The sense of belonging is the natural balance of our lives… There is some innocent childlike side to the human heart that is always deeply hurt when we are excluded… When we become isolated, we are prone to being damaged; our minds lose their flexibility and natural kindness; we become vulnerable to fear and negativity.

Taken from Eternal Echoes: Celtic Reflections on Our Yearning to Belong.

Honouring Holocaust Victims by Bringing their Music to Life

I first saw this report on 60 Minutes in December – the entire transcript with video clips is here. It tells the story of Francesco Lotoro, an Italian man who has dedicated his energy to discovering the music written by prisoners of Nazi death camps and bringing it to life. What a blessing he is, as is his wife.

Aided by his wife, Grazia, who works at the local post office to support the family, Lotoro has collected and catalogued more than 8,000 pieces of music, including symphonies, operas, folk songs, and Gypsy tunes scribbled on everything from food wrapping to telegrams, even potato sacks.

The couple have established a foundation to archive the music and their work in their native Barletta, in the Puglia region of Italy. When/if I am lucky enough to return to Italy, I will visit Barletta and the Lotoros’ foundation.