Since the death of my aunt, the last of that generation in my family, I've had a hard time finding motivation to write here. It's been a long time since I've felt as involved in something really meaningful as being there when she died. Few moments are as intimate, and that my cousin was willing to share it with Judy and me has left me grateful, still deep in thought.
On the evening of my aunt's death, after taking my cousin out for a nice dinner and talking about the events of the past days and weeks, Judy and I shared a feeling of having participated in something transcendent (at least w/r/t our pathetic politics). For Judy, it was the first time she'd attended death. For me, it was among many I'd seen as a surgeon, but this was emotionally very different. I was there when my dad died, too. Then, I'd had to participate in the decision to withdraw support, help my mom to understand through the fog of her dementia, be the medical liaison between his caregivers and my siblings. Freighted it was, and still is. If there are no second thoughts, there remain many unpleasant ones. When Maria died, sad as it was, the end of an inspiring life lived to the fullest, her way, it seemed undeniably a part of life, a necessary part, about which, notwithstanding understandable grief, there were needed no regrets.
Against this, the kabuki of broken and cynical politics seems an afterthought, a nearly laughable (were it not so horrible and depressing) example of people deliberately missing the point, missing it by a mile. Because it's what their supporters demand.
The prospect of a Perry or Bachmann or Romney presidency -- choose among the proudly illiterate or the unabashedly unprincipled -- is hardly unimportant idiosyncrasy, given the inevitable damage to our country that would follow. Even so, against having spent those most precious moments, I think I just might not give a shit any more. If the US elects any of those as its next president, well, it deserves every bit of the devastation that will follow. Of course the destruction will fall upon us all, even those who saw it coming and called out warnings. But WTF. It is what it is.