Tuesday, September 14, 2004

I have measured out my life in coffee spoons.*

Thanks for the thoughts on yesterday. As I said, I am on the fence. I do believe people can post what they want to on their own blog. It is your opinion after all. And I am a free speech, anti-censorship advocate, raised by three of the most liberal minded intellectuals from three generations you could ever meet.

Or would have ever met.

My wonderful, left-wing liberal, bleeding-heart intellectual father died on June 13, 2004. He was three weeks shy of his 69th birthday. Despite a very difficult final few years of his life, and particularly final few months of his life, he was the most brilliant person anybody who ever met him was privileged to have come into contact with.

And he would kill me for ending that sentence with a preposition and writing it in the passive voice.

A medieval historian, he claims that he walked onto a college campus at the age of 17 and never left. He had his PhD by the age of 23. He and my mother were married in City Hall after having marched in an anti-Vietnam War demonstration in our small city. He talked to the students at his college (my undergraduate college) when they staged a protest sit-in in the president's office to protest the Kent State shootings. He was the only professor who could or would talk to them. He gave them suggestions for more contructive ways to protest and ended the sit-in, and he marched with them days later in a city-wide protest against the shootings.

And he died in the most excrutiatingly humiliating circumstances anyone could ever live or die in, and he brought them on himself.

I can only hope that the mermaids sing to him.*

I promise a return to regularly scheduled knitting content tomorrow.

*from T.S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock". My father taught this poem in his Modern European Intelletual History classes, and he taught it to me when I was 8 years old and bored with Latin one afternoon.

2 Comments:

Blogger Lauren said...

A wonderful tribute to your father--he sounds like he was an amazing man. It is very fitting that you can remember him in this way on your blog--I have a feeling that he would have liked that.

9:46 PM  
Blogger The Lioness said...

(I'll try to remain on active mode) I can't be bothered with most people I meet. Sometimes, though, you get an inkling of something greater and it's a shame not to ever be able to know it. It absolutely sounds as though there was grandeur in your father.

8:28 AM  

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