by Patricia Spears Jones, December 2007
Year’s end, new beginnings? All I know is that the winter solstice brought the grayest days I’ve ever seen in New York City, a kind of gray that Melville talks about at the beginning of Moby Dick. Sullen. Still. The kind of gray that says please snow, rain, DO SOMETHING. Could the gray be also our mood right now-subway fares up; foreclosures up; Giuliani still campaigning?
Two weeks ago I went into the doctor’s office for a routine procedure and wound up in Emergency Ward at Bellevue. And yes, I am physically okay, but that stunned me. There is much in my life that is great—powerful work, good friends, my Mom is still alive; my siblings and their offspring healthy. I am grateful. But there is much that is amiss. We are still at war. Darfur is worst. The rich folk of New Orleans have closed out the poor—leaving thousands of people homeless. Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee spar over whose religion is better—are they running for the Presidency or to be head of a Mega Church? When this gets too much I go where people always go, to music. A steel pan player at the Broadway Nassau station; Marian Anderson singing Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion; Nat King Cole singing “I Saw Three Ships A Sailing” and last night an arrangement of “Comfort and Joy” sung by Jeremiah and his band at BAM Café. These are not the glorious days of a great Republic, but the gaudy days of a diminishing Empire. I have no idea of what 2008 will bring. I am just happy to be breathing.