A poetic death

One of my favorite customers came into work this morning.  She's a nice person, with a ready smile and an air of kindness about her.  "Hi, how ya doin'?", I asked.  "Not great.  My husband just died.", she replied.

That caught me off guard, but I responded the best I could.  There was something in her eyes. Grief, sure, but something else.  I couldn't put my finger on it.  We spoke for a short time about him.

His name was Steve Orlen, a UofA English professor, and poet.  I didn't know his work, but I'm fond of poets in general, believing them a necessary part of civilization.  They speak what the rest of us feel, but cannot voice. We're all indebted to them for that.  By all accounts, he was well loved by his friends, colleagues and students.

As she was leaving, she turned to me with a smile and said, "His last words were, 'Never mind'".


After she left, it came to me what it was I saw in her eyes.  She was proud of her husband.  She had every right to be.

That didn't take long...

From the Daily KOS:
The Tea Party Patriots, one of the the largest Tea Party umbrella organizations, with over 1,000 local chapters, hosted a press conference this morning to offer its reactions to last night’s elections and its vision going forward.
Co-founder Mark Meckler tried to pre-empt expectations among the faithful that Washington would shrink and the federal deficit would close overnight, instead alluding to a “forty-year plan” that the group was busy working out with its members. The plan, according to Meckler, was a highway with four lanes, only one of which was explicitly political. The other three were educational, judicial and cultural.
“All civilizations and empires have fallen because their cultures became decadent,” Meckler said. “We need to lift up conservative culture, family values and wholesome things by supporting conservative musicians, writers, artists and producers.”
A forty-year plan.  They wouldn't even give us two.  All civilizations fall because of greed, self-righteousness, and stupidity.  Nothing can be done to stop it.  We may or may not evolve past the self-destructive parts of human nature someday, but I'm not holding my breath.

When they talk about lifting up conservative culture, they don't tell you that they fully intend to suppress all others.   We're well on our way to becoming Iran, or worse.  Political, educational, judicial, and cultural ministries.  This from the people that supposedly want smaller government.

Days like today tend to make me believe that sentience itself is an evolutionary dead-end.  I'm not exactly alone in this.  The galaxy should be teeming with life, but there are scientists at SETI who theorize that we've heard nothing because all technological civilizations reach a certain point, then end.

When the end comes for us, it'll probably be no more than we deserve.  I say 'when' because all things end.  Such is nature's wisdom.  The trick is to leave something positive behind.