l is for life

"Life is so daily. Why can't I get used to it?"

I'm quoting myself. That's a line from my play, Mark (1972).  It has been important to me but I have discovered that it reaches something in others as well because it is often repeated to me, most recently by my son's counsellor. That's why I am referring to it now. 

Dailiness with its pressures affects us all, each with its very own special pattern. When my children were very little, - three at home and one in kindergarten - I had a daily routine that I clung to, but even so, in those days before disposable diapers, the clean diapers would be piled on the sofa until I had a minute to fold them.  BDT - that was my basic daily list: Beds, Dishes, Tidy. Betty Friedan made a huge difference in my life. The Feminine Mystique was published in 1963 - HEY!   I wrote the pub date first and looked it up to check and I got it right!  Well! - Friedan said that any child can make a bed by the age of 8. I took her up on it. From then on the kids made their own beds except on Mondays when I changed the sheets.  As for my husband I made the rule, "Last one out of bed makes it."  Now, with a duvet, I just shake the bed to make it, except when I change the duvet cover. ( I hate doing that, but I have only me to blame - as of right now, well, later this evening. It's duvet changing day. I don't do it as often as I used to change sheets. I'm clean and I'm alone.)

This is how dailiness begins, and ends.  You really don't get to choose your burdens. I was going to say battles but that would be inaccurate.. Dailiness is a struggle but not a battle.  Cancer is a battle. But dailiness can be stressful, and it never stops. There's always another day to follow this one, I hope.  Without tomorrow where would you be?  I'm getting metaphysical.  I think i already covered this with I is for inexorable.  

Go back to patterns and pressures  - and possibilities.  Does that make you think of Solzhenitsyn? (1918-2008) Yes - One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.  Now, that was a day!


k is for kin

A little more than kin and less than kind...From Hamlet, of course.

I used to make a pun about kin. My Icelandic heritage, you know, compels me to prize family  and leads me to genealogical  relationships.  Cousins are duly recognized and their affiliations carefully documented.  Icelanders, Western Icelanders included (the latter term given by Iceland to all who have Icelandic roots, however far back), count cousins and figure out where they perch on the family tree.  I have a cousin in Iceland, for example. We call each other cousins having once figured out that Hebba's grandmother was my grandfather's first cousin. Maybe.  Anyway, Hebba and I are cousins, so there.  Here in Canada, my first cousin married a woman who is the daughter of her mother's sister (or brother?) who had a daughter who is her first cousin - and so, mine too. I call her cousin Gail and I feel a real kinship with her, so much so that I say (here's the pun) that we are kith'n'kin (kissing cousins).. 

In one of his books (I'll check which one) Kurt Vonnegut presents a character who wins an election on the slogan  "Lonesome No More".  It beats "Make America Great Again" because it doesn't eliminate anyone. As I remember it, when the candidate wins, he sets up a giant, computer-operated system linking people by flower names (fauna, too I guess, because a huge number of people was involved). Thus, all the Daffodils are related, no matter where they are or were born.  When people thus categorised, came together, they found they had a lot in common with whomever their floral relatives were.  ("We jonquils are much alike.")  

We all are.  I like to believe that. No matter what our early influences are or the circumstances (good or ill) of our provenance, we are, I hope, still human.  Somewhere, deep in there, we are all kin. 

As Auden said,   "We must love one another or die."


[Slapstick, or Lonesome No More! is a science fiction novel by American author Kurt Vonnegut. Written in 1976, it depicts Vonnegut's views of loneliness, both on an individual and social scale.]