Where have you been all my life?

“I’ve always thought,” I said, “that anyone who makes someone else doubt the foundations of his morals hasn’t lived in vain.”

Our daughter loaned us the book. My wife and I both read it. I had never heard of Marguerite Duras. I am glad to have crossed paths with her at last. The Sailor From Gibraltar is an odyssey of sorts, and a strange kind of love story. A nameless disenchanted bureaucrat becomes infatuated with a woman pursuing an endless voyage to find a lost lover. Both loves are one-sided, obsessive, and blind. At the deepest level, the novel is a study in philosophy and psychology. It charts the murky depths of love and, certainly, life as well.

Written and translated in tough, lean prose, the book is a search for something that doesn’t exist. The story and its characters are full of contradictions. They don’t know their own minds—or hearts. And that’s what ultimately touches ours.

“Trip Wires”, a new story collection by Sandra Hunter

“She drowsed and wakened. Surely someone would find them. Was it better to be shot than to watch her child starve? In the cold, she held him close, and he slept and woke through the night, sucking at her dry breasts.”

In her new story collection Trip Wires, Sandra Hunter has an uncanny ability to get inside the heads of ordinary people caught in the widely-scattered wars that have defined, tragically, the beginning decades of this millennium. These are the ones who can get out and the ones who can’t. These are ordinary people who, in desperation to survive, do extraordinary things.

Their stories are disturbing. With harrowing realism Hunter shows us their poverty, their scars, their journeys, their nightmares, their courage. And sometimes their humanity. The above excerpt comes from the story “Borderland”. That story is a full-force punch to the gut, depicting a young mother fleeing a nameless war in a lifeless land. But the young mother discovers human kindness in places and proportions that no one could imagine.

These stories are not for the faint of heart, and it is natural for us to avoid emotional “trip wires” that unleash the shocks and horrors of war. But the suffering is real and, lying just beneath the surface of our world, we can’t avoid it forever. Maybe, with the insights of authors like Sandra Hunter, we can learn why we need to urgently defuse those senseless conflicts that have booby trapped our present and maybe our entire future.

If My Heart Had Wings by Nadine Taylor

Misanthropester

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If My Heart Had Wings
Nadine Taylor
Taylor-Fox Publishing, 2018

♦♦♦♦
4 Stars

“Well,” she sighed, “I guess I always knew I was going to have to tell you girls someday…”

When a child discovers there’s more to their parents than what they know, the experience can be earth shattering. So it was with Nadine Taylor as she discovered one day her mother lived a life before she had children. For any child (young or adult), it is difficult to imagine your parents existing as their own individuals, as persons outside of yourself or, at least, in no relation to you at all. Learning about who your parents were before you can and often does make your parents more real, the deeper and fuller human beings they’ve always been. When Taylor discovers a photo of her mother in a wedding dress from her first marriage, she pulls the veil away…

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“A Blue Sky Like No Other”: a one-man play by Steve Fetter

Steve Fetter’s one-man play is a moving tribute to the World Trade Center first responders who sacrificed everything to save others. With both sorrow and humor he describes his first-hand experiences with such eloquence that we can almost feel what he felt that fateful day seventeen years ago. He goes on to describe the impact that those events have had upon him and his life. Beautifully and seamlessly written, staged and performed, A Blue Sky Like No Other is a 9-11 tribute like no other that I have seen.

Available on Amazon Prime at https://www.amazon.com/Other-remembrance-before-during-after/dp/B07H9H7Y7H/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1538516471&sr=8-1&keywords=steve+fetter

Advice offered as from a wise old uncle

Listen, Judge Kavanaugh, I know where that anger is coming from. It’s pain, man, and you don’t need that, nobody needs that. You gotta let it go, man, it’s time. You don’t wanna suffer the rest of your life, it’s not worth it.

Don Grady William Demarest My Three Sons 1969.JPG

Whether you’re on the Supreme Court or not, you don’t wanna be bitter and angry the rest of your life. That’s no life. There’s only one thing to do, you gotta do this: You gotta face up and let it out. You gotta come to terms with what you did and you gotta let it out. You gotta get some therapy, man, and come to realize that kids do dumb things because they’re kids. Drinking, peer pressure, total immaturity, all those factors. But 98% of them grow up and grow out of it and that’s exactly what you did. You matured, you left those behaviors behind. I know, I worked in Juvenile Court for a number of years and I learned that kids are kids and they do a lot of rotten things because they’re kids and their brains and hormones are like refried beans and hot sauce and nearly all of them grow out of it when that magical thing called maturity (or indigestion) takes hold. You are a perfect case in point.

Sometimes, though, character becomes an issue and the memories are still there and the pain is there and you gotta deal with it. That’s where therapy comes in. And honesty, including honesty with yourself. It’s the only way. The only way to peace of mind. Life is too short, man, nobody needs that kind of thing hanging over their head. The guilt. It’s not too late. It’s the perfect time. Take a deep breath. It’s not too late for Justice Thomas, either. With all due respect, he could finally find some happiness, some peace of mind, some joy even, if he just opened up and finally came to grips with what he did, and what he denied. You don’t wanna be a bitter, angry judge for all those years, nothing could be worse. I have a feeling that, if you face up to your past with courage and honesty and come to terms with it, you could be a pretty decent Supreme Court Judge. Way too conservative, of course, but decent and reasonable and compassionate.

And you might be surprised at how forgiving people can be. Forgiving to those who have hurt them and forgiving to themselves. Boy, it’s the best thing. But you can’t force it.

I wish you luck.

Advice offered as from a wise old uncle

Listen, Judge Kavanaugh, I know where that anger is coming from. It’s pain, man, and you don’t need that, nobody needs that. You gotta let it go, man, it’s time. You don’t wanna suffer the rest of your life, it’s not worth it.

Don Grady William Demarest My Three Sons 1969.JPG

Whether you’re on the Supreme Court or not, you don’t wanna be bitter and angry the rest of your life. That’s no life. There’s only one thing to do, you gotta do this: You gotta face up and let it out. You gotta come to terms with what you did and you gotta let it out. You gotta get some therapy, man, and come to realize that kids do dumb things because they’re kids. Drinking, peer pressure, total immaturity, all those factors. But 98% of them grow up and grow out of it and that’s exactly what you did. You matured, you left those behaviors behind. I know, I worked in Juvenile Court for a number of years and I learned that kids are kids and they do a lot of rotten things because they’re kids and their brains and hormones are like refried beans and hot sauce and nearly all of them grow out of it when that magical thing called maturity (or indigestion) takes hold. You are a perfect case in point.

Sometimes, though, character becomes an issue and the memories are still there and the pain is there and you gotta deal with it. That’s where therapy comes in. And honesty, including honesty with yourself. It’s the only way. The only way to peace of mind. Life is too short, man, nobody needs that kind of thing hanging over their head. The guilt. It’s not too late. It’s the perfect time. Take a deep breath. It’s not too late for Justice Thomas, either. With all due respect, he could finally find some happiness, some peace of mind, some joy even, if he just opened up and finally came to grips with what he did, and what he denied. You don’t wanna be a bitter, angry judge for all those years, nothing could be worse. I have a feeling that, if you face up to your past with courage and honesty and come to terms with it, you could be a pretty decent Supreme Court Judge. Way too conservative, of course, but decent and reasonable and compassionate.

And you might be surprised at how forgiving people can be. Forgiving to those who have hurt them and forgiving to themselves. Boy, it’s the best thing. But you can’t force it.

I wish you luck.