Sunday, July 3, 2016

July 3: Independence Day Eve, Elie Wiesel, Classic Saint Marty

This morning, on my way to church, I heard on the radio that Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel had died.  He was 87 years old and had spent a good portion of his life reminding people of the horrors of the Holocaust, in the hope that the world will never again experience such tragedy.

I once saw Wiesel speak at the university where I teach.  He was probably in his seventies at the time.  I sat and listened to this soft-spoken man talk about literature, which was the focus of his professional life. He told stories about studying Franz Kafka, one of his favorite writers.  Wiesel found great strength in reading Kafka and using Kafka to understand his own experiences.  Literature was one of the ways in which Wiesel was able to start dealing with his own narrative.

The world has lost a great voice for humanity and peace, for justice and compassion.  For almost ten years after the Holocaust, Wiesel never spoke about his time in Auschwitz.  He witnessed in silence.  Kept things to himself.  And then he began to speak and write.  That was his life's mission.  His goal.

On this Independence Day Eve, I honor a great man who really understood the price of freedom.

Two years ago, I was a little preoccupied with some pretty trivial concerns . . .

July 3, 2014:  Secrets, Being Private, Introvert

Secrets are hard to keep.  Long before Sunday came, the news spread all over the county.  Everybody knew that a sign had appeared in a spider's web on the Zuckerman place.  Everybody knew that the Zuckermans had a wondrous pig...

I am not good at keeping secrets.  I should probably be a little more introverted.  It would save me a lot of trouble.  For instance, I've spent this whole week submitting poems and poetry manuscripts to contests and publishers.  I've already blogged about it.  I'm blogging about it again.  When the rejections start coming in, I will probably blog about it again.  If I were an introvert, I wouldn't have to admit to failure.

But, that's not me.  I'm a pretty social guy.  Tomorrow, for Independence Day, I will be attending two parades and a fireworks display.  My favorite part of the day will be seeing friends and family.  And eating barbecued bratwurst.  I will probably tell people about my miserable work situation.  I will discuss the fact that two poets retired from the English Department, and I still don't have a full-time teaching job.  If I had a rash on my ass, I would probably talk about that as well.  Like I said, I'm not an introvert.

Maybe I should try to be a little more private.  Not talk about every aspect of my life.  In my blog posts, I could discuss the weather or restaurants or the fact that the asshole down the street has been setting off fireworks for three friggin' hours.

See, Saint Marty is about as secretive and private as Miley Cyrus.

I wore that outfit to work today

1 comment:

  1. A great soul has transitioned on; I'm glad we still have St. Marty with us to help us think about life. And appropriate dress for work.