Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Memories of My Friend Harriet

We were halfway across the country in rural Southern Illinois when we learned of our friend Harriet’s passing.  I was immediately reminded of the James Taylor’s song Fire and Rain, “..but I always thought that I’d see you again.”  One takes for granted that you will see your old friends and relatives again, but at this age there are no guarantees.  Then again were there ever?

I last saw Harriet in November, just before Thanksgiving, at our friend Jill’s new home where I helped her rearrange the furniture in Jill’s living room; in spite of the fact that Jill had not requested the new arrangement.  In September I stopped by to visit Harriet and Stuart at their Kennett Square home on one of my many trips from Virginia to New York.

But I always thought that I would see her again.  There is Peter’s upcoming wedding or surely some occasion where our aging group of friends would eventually meet up again. 

Harriet had been ill for many months, but her disease was in remission when I saw her in September; as she explained details of her battle with the disease that ultimately felled her.  Her “joie de vie” was on full display as she chronicled her long fight and insisted that I too would fight just as fearlessly as she did if faced with similar circumstances.  In spite of my protestations, she told me that she knew I would fight.

Harriet always had an opinion and she was not shy about sharing her opinion.  Whether she was describing how she scolded the locals she knew when she and Stuart lived in Egypt about their responsibility to vote or her overt disapproval of choices her friends made; Harriet’s opinion was always on full display.

Harriet had told my wife Dusty and I that she never had a mentor and that she was her own mentor.  She created a professional path for herself with Silver Lacy Associates; one of the only woman-run sales firms in the business.  Once years ago, we met in New York City while she was visiting one of the vendors she represented at the Decoration and Design Building.  The building is catty-corner from the Bloomingdales on Third Avenue, my longtime client.  She gleefully said, “Martin, look at us, two old hippies all these years later as professional businesspeople.  Who could have imagined?” 

I’ve realized as I’ve gotten older and witnessed more people in my life pass from “here” to wherever “there” is; that all we are ever left with, are memories.  Although Harriet and I had been friends for nearly 50 years, we saw each other only occasionally.  For the most part, our times together were spent as part of a larger circle of relationships.  In spite of that fact, Harriet leaves on me an indelible memory which is truly singular.  Harriet is someone who, for me, there will be no other.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The Dark Side--My 2 cents

                                                     The Dark Side--My 2 cents                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   The only valid response to ignorance is compassion . Ignorance and hate can only be overcome by Wisdom and Compassion. The minute you respond to unkind , hateful people and situations with ANYTHING else but wisdom and compassion, especially reactionary unkindness and retaliatory hate you have been baited into going to the Dark Side. Even though you feel this righteous indignation is called for and needed , you have none the less given energy to the Dark Side. They win again !                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     The Democratic Party expect to out "Donald Trump", Donald Trump, with such reactionary and retaliatory methods when in fact they are trying to beat him at HIS OWN GAME , which will never happen. His base and sycophants are all too ready to respond to his rhetoric , hook ,line and sinker at a moments notice (Twitter) , while the Democrats come off like a confused, bullied group of nerds in the high school cafeteria.His base revel in his nickname for you (Snowflakes). He will win the reactionary/retaliatory game EVERY time, make no mistake. If there was any doubt about this, the Impeachment (Trial??) should lay all doubts to rest. Of all the Democratic candidates Andrew Yang (Wisdom) ,the most intelligent candidate by far and Marianne Williamson (Compassion) understand this dilemma. Unfortunately the 2 party system eliminates Wisdom and Compassion almost immediately in favor of the reactionary/retaliatory partisan dog and pony show that the American populace have come to so,  know and love. 
Right now, I can't read too good, don't send me no more letters no                                                                                                     Not unless you mail then from Desolation Row                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                CHOOSE ONE AND VOTE ACCORDINGLY                                       
a. system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, a capitalist economy subject to stringent governmental controls, violent suppression of the opposition, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.
b. political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government.
1. government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.
2. state having such a form of government.
3. state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges.
4. political or social equality; democratic spirit.
5. the common people, esp. with respect to their political power.