Blog 1691 -05.08.2020
The Last Love Song
Before I even knew how to form my first word with a crayon, a college-aged, Joan Didion, famous novelist, taking a writing course, at Berkeley University, had herself somewhat prematurely concluded that everything worth saying or writing had already be said or written, or so quotes Tracy Daugherty in his biography of her from which I borrow today’s title. Long before that in the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, the writer, some believe wiseman King Solomon, but whoever he was, wrote, “There is nothing new under the sun.” Maybe so, but still we talkers talk, we writers write, and we singers sing. Many of us about what we believe is the one inexhaustible subject that we think most relevant and important. I do recall a famous German poet writing in a book of advice to a young writer warning him not to write about love – impossible advice to follow really, only a German, they are stereotyped as efficient minded folk, could presume to write such advise. Love is many things, but indeed neat, clean, and efficient love is not but it is nevertheless quite wonderful.
The Last Love Song is I think a wonderful book, my wife disagrees, but then true friends, husbands, and wives often do disagree. That is one of the many challenges of love. The thing I like most about the book and I have been reading it in snatches these months waiting to get back to work (I have completed reading several other things in the interim and binge watched more streaming series than I care to admit) is that it pictures in detail the life of a real person flaws and all. Young Miss Didion is pictured in all her prettiness and pettiness, her courageousness and also fearfulness. We are none of us, even the most seeming bland and boring, simply two dimensional but have if anyone takes the time to discover, depth, and duality. We are none of us without our shades of beauty and as well duplicity and hypocrisy. And, yes, I know much as we do not wish to be labeled, boxed in, or pigeon-holed, thinking ourselves good judges of character we often, too often, do that to others. I remember one of Donald Trumps more outlandish pronouncements when he began the 2016 Presidential campaign, and what he called not everyone but many coming from Mexico:
In contrast to the above I quote the entire poem The New Colossus the words of which words are still on a bronze plaque below a lovely French Lady that has for over more than a hundred years welcomed people of all countries, creeds, and economic statuses to our shores:
Mickey Spillane’s famous fictional dime novel New York private detective, Mike Hammer, once said to someone explaining why he did not have a regular or longtime girl friend that only one lady could carry a torch for him. It is America’s Love Story that We The People, not just Lady Liberty love people and still want to share her Liberty and Promise to all who come willing to work. How I hope that hate never drowns out this song, one of the last best love songs, and that it goes on continuing to inspire others love songs around the world, they all sounding out together even stronger and more clear.
Your friend and fellow traveler,
Forever fan of Lady Liberty wherever she stands shining her light,