All posts by Rondi Adamson

Anne Innis Dagg

Anne Innis Dagg passed away – she was known as “the woman who loves giraffes.” There’s a halfway decent documentary about her that airs occasionally on HBO (I think). I enjoyed her autobiography, Smitten by Giraffe: My Life as a Citizen Scientist, although it made for tough reading in parts (when she writes about her time working in laboratories and the unnecessary testing on animals that she witnessed).

Mum: Ten Years

My mum died on this day, ten years ago. We joked that she stayed alive into the early hours of April Fools’ Day as a final wink at all of us. But in retrospect, I think she also did it to make calculating her finances for that financial year easier, given that March 31st was the last day of the first quarter. If you knew her, you would find both explanations easy to believe. She always described herself as calm and a drudge, but I remember her being dramatic and theatrical and not a sitcom mom. There was never any, “as long as you do your best” coming from her lips. It was more like, “as long as you are better than everyone else, and even then you will disappoint and embarrass me.” I often feel her looking disapprovingly over my shoulder when I cut corners or fail to put the requisite percentage of my pay into savings. That said, without her, it is quite possible my father would have lost us in a poker game or sold us for whiskey.

Three Good Men

My oldest brother once said that as one ages, one’s world shrinks. I don’t agree with that – in fact, I often feel the opposite is true. But in one sense, I see this happening – as we age, people that meant something to us, either personally or in the public sphere, pass away. And our world seems smaller. This week, three such people passed: Daniel Kahneman, the Israeli economist and Nobel Prize winner, who tried to explain why humans behave so (seemingly) irrationally so much of the time, died at the age of 90; Joe Lieberman, simply a fine human, died at the age of 82; and Richard Serra, abstract and minimalist sculptor and visionary, died at 85. Serra was one of the few modern artists whose work appealed to me, which I suppose is neither here nor there. All three of these men are what I call, “value adding people.” They expanded the world. They never tried to diminish or take away or make us smaller.

Good Friday

This column seems appropriate for the day and the Easter weekend – Douglas Murray on forgiveness. He talks about it largely in relation to our current culture of nastiness but he also includes this passage, which, given my experience with my ex-priest, I found relevant:

Our church leaders spend much of their time talking about current shibboleths instead of preaching the actual gospel, let alone presenting perhaps the most extraordinary and truly revolutionary aspect of the Christian message – the commandment to not just forgive but also to love your enemies.

Read the whole piece.