When I was employed, there was no choice, but to rush through breakfast and prepare for the workday. Now in retirement, there is more leisure to beginning the day.
I want to at least see my husband at breakfast as he proceeds into his tumultuous workday wherein his Fitbit can track 20,000 steps so I raise early.
My day begins by perusing the two newspapers, the Globe having restylized itself into fewer sections with print so tiny you must practically push it to your nose. Knowing several of Howard’s cases have been either reported so badly or the point missed, I almost must agree that what we are reading is practically fake news. I’ve disparaged reporting in the past few weeks because of an explosion of meaningless words that confound rather than elucidate the stories and I wonder at journalists who are either clueless, missing the point, or merely going for sensationalism. So, not surprisingly, my eye alights more often than not on headlines or even photos. At least, some articles are still properly structured with the first sentence of the paragraph previewing the thoughts developed within. Others merely ramble.
Today, April 17 which should showcase spring is still awash in the weekend’s torrent of unbelievably terrible weather. For our part, a tree we have routinely reported as dying but deemed healthy by the city, fell on my neighbour’s brand new Subaru, putting out the back window.Neither did her husband’s van escape scrapes , scratches and destruction when that severely rotted tree was pushed by wind, ice and snow to fall on their driveway. Two perplexed robins with ice on their feathers land on our ledges so confused about the arrival of spring that they flutter in circles. One attempts to perch on the bits of brown clematis tendrils tied to our garage, but falls back to the ground. The bread we scatter for them gets covered by more heaping snow. Yet like lost travellers, they continue to go in circles, returning to where they had begun their hapless search. Fortunately the ducks who arrive in our swimming pool ever year must have had advance warning as they -at least -have not reappeared.
The story regarding the sale of Chagall’s Eiffel Tower is perplexing. Ostensively straight forward that the Jacques-Louis David of St. Jerome has greater significance for Canada, the Chagall is in deed a crowd pleaser, its colours, imagery, fantasy more recognizable to the viewer. One wonders about the politics behind the auction. In today’s Saturday paper, one writer, KateTaylor, ridiculously reduces the battle to religious battlegrounds, as in “imply[ ing]that this Catholic painting is somehow more important than one by a Jewish artist” .( Saturdays Globe) No doubt the flamboyant Chagall draws more interest although if you are a student of art history, you will know the realist David owns an important place in the annals of developing art history. Still from my limited perspective, to sell off a world class beauty when our collection is so limited appears rather narrow. As letters go in both newspapers, even readers who announce they have taken art classes in world art have no knowledge of David. Time again it speaks to a rather poor representation of the evolution of the metier as David’s work is significant although like the Poussin versus Rubens debate, I go for the artist who knows how to arouse by colour: bringing joy and happiness through their work.
The John Oliver story, Oliver, himself, a hilarious critic of world affairs, especially Trump, draws my eye. On his show he had introduced his children’s book, A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, that mocks the one created by Mike Pence’s family. Brilliantly satirical, Oliver’s parody positions his bunny as looking for love with other non- sanctioned bunnies.The Globe reports it as a top seller on Amazon. Yet in this topsyturvy world, Trump with his lies, strange bed fellows in and out of office, still maintains approval ratings. But scarily enough, his second man, Pence, is as well, no winner: his past lives and passions dating him to the Salem witch trials, almost: Oliver has shown. More gloom in my worldview this week.
This world, this wild world where seasons are corrupted, glaziers dissolving, climates perverted, and dictators still poisoning and putting their people and others at terrible mortal risk makes me aghast. Here in the 21st Century, I feel I mimic Chicken Little that the sky is falling: which in deed it is. How can we understand that progress, improved health, more scientific research, better technology that has returned us to the dark age of superstition and ignorance. As always , it is the closed minded, self- propelled , egocentric worst version of mankind that has lead us – again-to the brink of disasters. That John Oliver and Steven Colbert rant and we laugh, it recalls the doomsayers of time past. And yet Kim Jun I talks of quietening down, even halting nuclear tests.
I want to see the beautiful, the good in life so I turn to the children. And so I find some hope in the James Comey interview with Colbert wherein he speaks of the positive, the good that has come from Trump’s bad, the dark hole in the demagogue that requires filling:Trump not possessing an exterior goalpost with which to measure his actions. Comey comments on the rise of the children from Parkland who inspired March for Our Lives against guns in Washington to change and counteract: the ministering angels.
In Comey’s interview with George Stephanopoulos , he said: “A person who sees moral equivalence in Charlottesville, who talks about and treats women like they’re pieces of meat, who lies constantly about matters big and small and insists the American people believe it: that person’s not fit to be president of the United States, on moral grounds.”
If morality is back in style, I approve of a stance that is self- reflective and aimed at the good of the people, not just one entitled individual. One does wonder how America, those who still maintain and cheer on the president, became so morally empty as to support Trump. And like Trump, they just don’t see it! With Colbert, Comey suggests there will be a backlash to making the presidency stronger. However, he also contends that like small brush fires, much damage can ensue, destroying what has been built up.
Strange times, in deed. Yet finally spring comes to Toronto so perhaps “ hope springs eternal”. I reserve my judgment.