Saturday, October 31, 2015

Not Quite a Hallowe'en Tale

Among the candy corn and the fun-sized Snickers today, here's a thought from a long time ago, "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them." Trick or Treat, indeed.

I'm haunted by a story years ago in the NY Times about a woman named Christina Copeman who was discovered dead in her apartment in Flatbush, New York. Based on eyewitness recollections of their last time seeing her and the apparel in which she was dressed when found, authorities estimate she may have been dead for the previous seventeen or more months.

In a metropolitan area such as NYC, regarded by people such as I as the Capital of the World, there are well over thirty million residents in a small geographic area. So many people in the same device as Indianapolis' Favorite Son, Kurt Vonnegut (he of "Slaughterhouse 5" fame and "Wear Sun Screen" infamy. Hi Ho) once wrote.

Each of us alone in the tiny vessel of our lives, somehow never quite seeing how we are all in the same ocean and that, despite the technology convergences, the email, the cell phone, social media platforms and all the instant messengers money can buy, we work to avoid hearing the sound of silence at the end of the day.

Copeman became invisible to her friends, her family and her neighbors. Her life was somehow outside of theirs, beyond and behind a veil of tears and quiet despair that no one thought or cared to penetrate. 

Twice in our lives we are alone; in the instant we are born and at the hour of our death. What we say and do (or don't) in all the space between is our song and it is all the song we shall ever have. We all need verses and choruses and an ongoing joy to live each word out loud.
-bill kenny

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