To my relief, I was
not called to serve jury duty today.
My body is still
busily stamping out the remnants of that pesky cold. Mild,
but pesky, nonetheless. I love my independence so much, that
I do not suffer illness well.
Tonight, instead of
writing here, I watched a beautiful film production on PBS with
Mark Twain: A Film directed by Ken Burns
He came into the world
in 1835. He had something in common with Hawai`i's King
Kamehameha I who was born in 1758.
Both came in
with Halley's comet.
“I came in with Halley’s comet in 1835. It is
coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of
my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s comet. The Almighty said, no doubt: ‘Now here are these
two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out
~ Mark Twain, quoted in Mark Twain: A Biography by Albert Bigelow Paine, 1910
just as the comet made its pass within sight of Earth, Mark Twain died.
That was 92 years
ago. Yet he lives so vibrantly through his legacies, his
words, so often a luscious contrast of richness and wit.
Twain and Halley's Comet
The gentleman could
write. His writing is brilliant. Sublime. He was a literary
dynamo. A powerhouse.
It was a singular pleasure indeed to
listen to his well-crafted
words read cracklingly aloud by Kevin David, and read so masterfully, I might add.
We chuckled a lot. My ears were enthralled, but
not completely sated and I will be sure to tune in for Part 2 tomorrow
I am motivated to reread Huckleberry
Finn. I last read it as a child in the 1950s, who had never
met an Afro-American and was totally oblivious to the
civil rights movement; of course, I did not have the slightest clue that
Mark Twain was a social critic whose thoughts -- to this day -- greatly
impact human consciousness, as well as a sage with a rueful wit who lived with gusto -- with a whole heart.
Back then, I just thought he told a very good story. What did I know?
It's never too late to know
At the end of his life,
Samuel Clemens -- Mark Twain (his pen name) -- had fame. Immense
no family. He'd lost two brothers, a young son, two daughters
and the love of his life, his wife.
His loneliness was
tragically vast. As I watched the sad conclusion to his life, I looked down at
dogkids. They'd snuggled under each of my arms and were fast
asleep, resting their sweet heads on my bosom. I looked over at
DH, lounging on the sofa. I will not
take these wonder years with them and DH for granted.
I savored deeply.
"Life is a Gift."
only gift is a portion of thyself..."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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