Silence

My ex-husband died. He died on 10-10-2020. For numerology purposes that’s a 6, one of the perfect numbers. It’s also part of the triad, the 3 numbers about which someone (Tesla? Ramanujan?) said, if we knew the significance of the numbers 3 6 9 we would be paralyzed with astonishment. His heart just stopped, refused to continue its designated purpose within the human body. There’s not a number for that unless you consider the (one) of its kind belonging to the person it inhabits going to a zero.

I have, since then, been trying to understand some things—unsuccessfully. I’ve played a lot of chess games against the computer. One of the first things we did, he and I, after meeting was to play a game of chess. He won.

The songs come back and play round and round. Simon and Garfunkel…”Hello darkness, my old friend…” And Scarborough Fair…”Are you going to Scarborough Fair? Remember me…for (s)he once was a true love of mine.” And he was then, once. A true love of mine.

I’ve had many miserable nightmarish dreams and a lot of unexpected pain. The dreams that are not such as that, the ones that seem filled with significance and symbols and complexity I can only partially decipher. I do get the sense of them, the sense that there is something incredible just out of reach. The most important things go into that place where there are no words.

But the finality of things, the end here on earth, of our consciousness, our ability to share with one another, that life that we shared so long ago, ended then—long ago. Still I go back there. To our children, those beautiful lovely babies that we had, the places, the rivers of our youth. Now there’s no one there to be able to say, “remember when…?”

We shared things unique to ourselves, our lives, our little family. The life we had together. The cottage on the river where we lived in La Crosse, the coffee shop we owned in Iowa City, the community theatre. We have not spoken for a long time, not directly. Our daughter shared between us, the answered questions, “How’s your dad doing?” “How’s your mom?”

But this is it. It’s over. Though it ended a long time ago. Now it’s no longer possible to continue the conversation.

The Sound of Silence.

Good-bye love

Those Were The Days

Quite a few years ago my son and I were talking about music and playing a variety of records. At that time, back in Iowa City, most everyone had a turn table and a collection of records. I had a very large accumulation myself—everything from classical and blues to folk and rock.

Janis Joplin was playing, loudly and passionately while we sang just as loud and just as filled with passion. After all, it was the only way to listen to some things. We had just moved into the game of “Oh! Remember when this came out?” when he asked to play Peter Paul and Mary. “Well,” I said, “we can, but I’m really not all that into nostalgia.”

He feigned a look around the room. “I don’t see any shag carpeting…”

Not getting the connection I responded, “What? Nobody does shag carpet anymore. There hasn’t been any for years. New anyway.”

“Huh. And you do know that Janis is nostalgia, right?”

I was shocked. I didn’t know. I didn’t know then and I don’t know now. With some things the old days get carried right along with you to whenever you are.

janis

Janis Joplin on her Psychedelic Porsche, 1968. Photographed by Jim Marshall

Nureyev

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Rudolph Nureyev

“Technique is what you fall back on when you run out of inspiration”

Rudy has been (and still is by many) considered the Best Dancer of all time. I saw him once in Iowa City for a performance—The Nutcracker. I was backstage helping with the children. The ballet calls for many children milling about in some scenes. Sitting on the floor and waiting against the wall, some of the children’s feet stuck out into the corridor. As Rudy was walking down and past us, he kicked one of the boys whose feet intruded. The others quickly withdrew theirs.

He wasn’t a very tall man, and didn’t appear to be very imposing. Small. Until he got close. Once he did, walked by, you could feel a force field around him. Every muscle and vein seemed enlarged and vibrating. His face looked like a fierce, carved rock. You couldn’t say he was good looking, not at that point, as he was so intense and heavily made up. He looked angry. He was of course proud, arrogant, and did not suffer fools (or children) gladly.

He was a Beautiful Dancer. He was a Beautiful Man. And it was said that he could break your heart.