Grandfather’s Musings

My grandfather was diagnosed with early stage dementia some time ago, which has led to some very interesting and eccentric behaviors. One of them, quite amusing to our family, is writing in his daily newspapers. He will circle, underline, star, box in, or cross out things as he is reading. He also writes his comments in the margins, probably so he doesn’t forget what he was thinking while reading the article.

I thought I would share a lengthy note my grandfather recently wrote – it’s one of the longest I have seen so far. The article, titled ‘Fearless Girl’ Steals the Conversation written in the Wall Street Journal by Suzanne Vranica, discusses the Fearless Girl statue that was placed in front of the famous Charging Bull bronze statue on Wall Street. My grandfather apparently has a very detailed idea of the next statue to go there.

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We need a ‘Boy’ statue to achieve true sexual equality – to be stealthily planted next to the girl. I suggest a very handsome young man (~17 yrs old) passing the Bull with Toreador’s cape + attire but with sort of a Wall Street male financial symbol, denoting bold mastering of financial management – and 60 inches in height for the head and 62 inches for the flaring cape, in his left hand that holds the cape high at the end + his lowered balance arm with that hand holding an accounting ledger. The Toreador figure is placed between the bull and the foolish girl in a gallant effort of male protecting the female. Orah! engraved in the bronze edge at the top cape’s band – the Marine Corp cry now replacing – Gung Ho!

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but don’t you understand?
when there is a storm on the horizon,
you seek shelter.
when there is a fire consuming the house,
you get out.
when there is a bear in your sight,
you run.
there is a Wild beauty in these things, no doubt
when you see then from afar
nestled safe, miles away.
but you don’t dare get close
because the damage would ruin you.
so listen to me.
seek shelter
get out
run
save yourself from the storm in me.

Beginnings, Middles, and Ends

There are only a few things in life where you can track the beginning, middle, and end of something: wedding planning, your current age, the school year, day time, night time. You know where you in relation to time. And those things are comforting. Say you set a goal for yourself to get something done by the end of the year — that is easily trackable.

But like I said, only a few things are that way. For the rest of the time we spend living, we know nothing of when things will start, when they will be halfway through, or when they will end. Sure, we can track one of those moments in time. We can know the beginning of a relationship, the end of job. But we can’t know when the middle is because rarely do we have the luxury of knowing when the end will be as the beginning is just starting. We might know the beginning of a relationship, but we won’t know it’s the end until the end has snuck up on us, unplanned and usually unwanted. Endings often do that.

We never know what will be our last hug to someone, the last time you walk out of a certain door, or the last time you drive down a familiar street. Life doesn’t give you little warnings by saying “Hey! You have 5 more days to wear this shirt, so enjoy it.” And sometimes you purposefully plan the end of something, only to later discover it wasn’t the end after all.

Sometimes I think control is only an illusion — something we make up to make ourselves feel better about the absolute chaos surrounding us. Beginnings happen quickly, as well as ends, without our say so. We can pretend to say “This is the last time I will ever talk to this person” or “I will never leave this place”, but rarely do we have such control. Life just happens.

I can say this is the beginning of my new blog. I can’t tell you when the middle will be, nor can I in this moment tell you the end. Which is kind of exciting, isn’t it? Who knows what adventures will happen! I suppose it’s time to get busy and find out.

“Whether this is my end, or a new beginning, I have no way of knowing. I have given myself over into the friends of strangers. I have no choice. It can’t be helped. And so I step up into the darkness within… or else the light.” – June, The Handmaid’s Tale, Season 1, Ep. 10