commentary, philosophy, and outright rants

Archive for the ‘memorial’ Category

In memoriam: June 24, 1934 – October 26, 2007 11:04 AM

Take him, earth, for cherishing
To thy tender breast receive him.
Body of a man I bring thee,
Noble even in its ruin.

Once was this a spirit’s dwelling,
By the breath of God created.
High the heart that here was beating,
Christ the prince of all its living.

Guard him well, the dead I give thee,
Not unmindful of his creature
Shall He ask it: He who made it
Symbol of His mystery.

– Prudentius (348 CE – 413 CE)

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For the Fallen

Sometimes a poet, writing of one matter – in Laurence Binyon’s case, the English Expeditionary Force in the First World War – will write words so timeless that those parts not specifically tied to place or time re-echo through the ages whenever a like event occurs.

The second, fourth, sixth, and seventh verses of For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon, for this eve of 9/11:

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

[…]

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

[…]

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Quote Updates 5/18

Horatio, Lord Nelson:
“I am acting not only without the orders of my commander-in-chief, but, in some measure, contrary to him…I am doing what is right and proper for the service of our king and country. Political courage, in an officer abroad, is as highly necessary as military courage.”
http://infomotions.com/etexts/gutenberg/dirs/9/4/947/947.htm

Gregory Norbert:
“When the time of our particular sunset comes our thing, our accomplishment won’t really matter a great deal. But the clarity and care with which we have loved others will speak with vitality of the great gift of life we have been for each other.”

Stan Rogers:
“…For we couldn’t leave her there, you see, to crumble into scale./She’d saved our lives so many times, living through the gale/And the laughing, drunken rats who left her to a sorry grave/They won’t be laughing in another day…/

“And you, to whom adversity has dealt the final blow/With smiling bastards lying to you everywhere you go/Turn to, and put out all your strength of arm and heart and brain/And like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again

“Rise again, rise again – though your heart it be broken/And life about to end/No matter what you’ve lost, be it a home, a love, a friend./ Like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again….”

http://www.stanrogers.net/

Kunal Ghosh:
“That communism is a crypto-religion in line with Judaism and Christianity (both are Abrahamic faiths of West Asian origin) has been alluded to by many great thinkers…Abrahamic religions, whenever they conquer a territory, convert the inhabitants and try to suppress their ancestral culture. Ancestral history becomes a prohibited subject. In Afghanistan and Pakistan pre-Islamic Hindu-Buddhist history is not permitted in schools. China is doing the same in Tibet.”
http://www.mainstreamweekly.net/auteur39.html

debauchette:
“I, and other women like me, object to the assertion that sex work is inherently degrading and that no woman pursues this work or experience by choice. Women do make these choices, and I’m among them. And I have no regrets. My perspective on Sawyer was just that – I was a woman who made a choice.

“This isn’t to say that degrading and dehumanizing sex work doesn’t exist, because it most certainly does. But it does a disservice to everyone when we fail to recognize the differences, the differences in power, autonomy, and freedom.”

http://debauchette.wordpress.com/

Decisions, decisions

My father died some months ago, and although I had determined – through consultation with attorneys – that no civil attorney would take the case, the rest of my family was not convinced. (No civil attorney would take the case because in the State of NJ, civil punishment against a doctor who commits gross malpractice is considered a “windfall” for the survivors, and therefore punitive civil damages are outlawed in NJ.) I believe that – if investigated by the prosecutor – a case could be made for some degree of manslaughter against at least two of the doctors involved in my father’s so-called care, but I agreed with my sibs to hold off on bringing it to the attention of the prosecutor’s office until they double-checked. Not only did they not double-check on their own, but they brought my mother along so that she’s in no shape to go through an interrogation again any time soon.

So now I’m ready to request prosecutorial investigation, as soon as I clear it with my employer (I work in government.) And of course my mother is all for letting my dad’s murderer off the hook, and I have a feeling my sibs will be as well. (Never mind how many cases the doctors screwed up before and how many people they may kill in the future: with no civil punitive damages, incompetent physicians only have to worry about cases where the patient survives with complications or is responsible for supporting minor children.)

One friend suggested that I meditate on it for a while, as the argument over bringing it to the prosecutor will probably sever all my family ties. (Never mind it’s what my father would have done if my mother had been treated similarly.)

One melody came to the harp, the words are:

The Minstrel Boy to the war is gone
In the ranks of death you will find him;
His father’s sword he hath girded on,
And his wild harp slung behind him;
“Land of Song!” said the warrior bard,
“Tho’ all the world betrays thee,
One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard,
One faithful harp shall praise thee!”

Words of a UU hymn also came to mind:

Once to every soul and nation
Comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of Truth with Falsehood,
For the good or evil side;
Then to stand with Truth is noble,
While we share its wretched crust,
Ere that cause bring fame and profit,
And ’tis prosperous to be just.

Though the cause of evil prosper,
Yet ’tis Truth alone is strong;
Though her portion be the scaffold,
And upon the throne be wrong;
Then it is the brave one chooses,
While the cowards stands aside,
Till the multitude make virtue
Of the faith they had denied.

If I do not pursue this, all that I am is a lie. I deny my own existence.

“With tragic joy he knew that this cusp was his, not Jill’s. His water brother could teach, admonish, guide – but choice at a cusp was not shared. Here was ‘ownership’ beyond any possible sale, gift, hypothecation; owner and owned grokked fully, inseparable. He eternally was the action he had taken at cusp.” – Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

My father

My father passed away on October 26, 2007, after extensive complications (we’re talking MRSA and Vancomycin-resistant enterococcus and Pseudomonas ae. here, in a leg wound) developed from an attempt to replace his right hip joint.

A memorial site is on the web at http://senior.john-deltuvia.net