Democracy Has One Big Problem

In response to a YouTube video called Rules for Rulers, Patrick responded on 16 Nov ‘ 16:

Pretty good video.  But democracy has one big problem.

If you can keep people dumb with entertainment, and make them think  what you want, you control everything without giving true rewards in proportion to the value of the normal person – if they can’t think, they won’t get what they want or need, but will blame it on somebody else.

It’s like dictating what you have to think.

Oh well, I don’t know why the mob prefers football to understanding life a little bit.

 

With Whatever Love for Life that Is Left to Me, I Will Seek …

Found in my e-mail, this was part of a collection of things Patrick sent me called “You Never Know.” This segment is dated 19 April 2006.

My first impulse when Stephanie died was to dump everything – after 29 years together, the accumulated baggage was overwhelming. Not only physical objects – the house was full of papers, clothing, furniture – but memories, in the form of thousands of photos and such simple things as the arrangement of towels on the rack.

One month after she was buried, after showering I still lowered the head of the shower to the height she preferred. Continue reading “With Whatever Love for Life that Is Left to Me, I Will Seek …”

Heading to Coos Bay, Oregon

Patrick and Lee traveled to Oregon after high school. Here’s a story fragment about the experience. He references the Seventh Day Adventist religious group, but he’s actually describing the Jehovah’s Witnesses, a different Christian sect. The fragment is from a collection called You Never Know that Patrick sent me on 11 Aug ’15.

South of Eureka, a van distributing bakery goods picked us up.

“Where you headed?”

“Coos Bay.”

“You’re in luck. Hop in.”

The driver turned out to be a map freak, and when we told him where we had come from, he knew the names of the highways and Continue reading “Heading to Coos Bay, Oregon”

Ashes

A story Patrick sent to me on 13 March 2015.

In the kitchen preparing breakfast I have bacon on medium heat, abiding by Steinbeck’s advice to cook it slowly, a couple of eggs at the ready, abiding by my own rule never to put eggs in the refrigerator, and humming to myself to cover the absence of anyone to share the morning, I hear noises up behind the house. For a moment my subconscious believes it is the person I jokingly call my bitter half, finishing her meditation, my signal to start the toast, but it takes only a second to remember that can’t be so, she having departed the earth a while ago.

It is over a year since I have taken the hatchet and saw to the brush and brambles blocking the way to the water deposits and beyond those, Continue reading “Ashes”

As I Approach Eighty

I approach eighty living on this beautiful island, and probably will finish up here. Over half my life I have been living here in paradise. To get here and stay here I sinned a lot, but it has been worth it. Unless, of course, when I quit this world I have to pay for those sins, as at least one of my daughters seems to believe.

Nobody really knows about that, I suppose. And in any case there’s nothing to change the past, and I’m not one to look for forgiveness, so I will just have to face the music.

How Suddenly Our Fictions of Permanence Are Reclaimed

Even in mundane correspondence, Patrick and his friends remained true to their artistic, poetic roots. Their imagery and storytelling lushly fills the pages.

This is one reason I share these letters: to share his love of words and his practice and appreciation of the wordsmith craft.

Patrick saved this exchange in a separate file, clearly not wanting to lose it. His letter was dated 19/05/12, or 19 May 2012. Her letter, which was saved first in the file, was dated 08/12/12, which I believe, based on context, was 8 Dec 2012.

He titled her letter “love and other strange passings” and his “our exits, our entrances.” I present them here in the order I found them in the data file. The file itself was dated 15 March 2014.

Continue reading “How Suddenly Our Fictions of Permanence Are Reclaimed”

Obituary for Fred Young

Fred Young and Patrick were fast friends, deep friends, unending friends, for many years. Many of his letters, and those to him from Patrick, reflected their mutual zest for life, appreciation of the arts, and passion. Patrick had saved this obituary in his files, important enough to keep after downsizing most other things. I present it here to add context to the many letters that have been (and will be) posted. Continue reading “Obituary for Fred Young”

standing silently together each day at sunset

(e-mail from Fred on 12 Aug 2001, part of a large collection Patrick sent to me in Aug 2015)

Subject: greetings

Dear Stephanie & Pat,

Full of music, good food (no small admission from one who lives in Firenze), dance, incredible landscapes, some new friends, & best of all, affection. I have printed them out as shared them — the best of his eccentric prose. & I received yr gorgeous card. I now have an impression of yr inviting & interesting (horrible word — should be dropped from critical vocabulary) house. I learn that both of you became stone masons over the yrs to achieve ‘your place’.

& learn anew, Stephanie, that you are extraordinary & dear. However, he did not mention that you sang for him. Continue reading “standing silently together each day at sunset”