Friday, May 01, 2009

A Reflective Day

I had an up and down day today. I got a piece of news that the murderer of my sister, Esme, had recently confessed to two more killings, one of which can be traced to a body and for which he will probably be indicted for as well. This brought the entire experience and reality of losing my sister again to the forefront of my mind, where it remained for much of the day. Esme wanders in and out of my thoughts most days, and I usually have a little chat of sorts with her in the evening, but today she was there all day. Not an entirely bad thing; I was full of love for her today and I was feeling her love for me, but I definitely was aching with the loss of her physical presence and her voice.

The weather was a little different today as well, windy and grey with a few sputterings of rain, and this may have put me into a more somber, reflective mood, though paradoxically I was also enjoying the change as well, the cooler, gentler air and overcast skies a welcome change from the intense sun of much of the previous two weeks. The wind was nice as well, though the dry top layer of soil swirled about into my eyes, unprotected by sunglasses for almost the first time, throughout the morning,

We could use the rain, and are hoping for more than the fitful tease that we got this afternoon. Today we planted the 2nd round of lettuce seedlings and a mess of shallots, and then spent most of the rest of the day in the greenhouse seeding fennel, lettuce and other tasty things. Yesterday I did some field seeding with the G tractor of more spinach and a couple different kinds of radish. I’m excited about the radishes, as they grow quickly and I love them. My favorite salad is a biting, strong, not-very-subtle combination of salad greens, radishes, blue cheese, scallions and avocado (unnecessary but always nice in salads, and provides a bit of balance) in a tart dressing of olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. The radishes are crucial.

Thus ends my third week here on Appleton Farms, and luckily I’m still going strong and feeling that this is where I should be right now. Next week we’ll start to slowly move to the more intense schedule that we’ll have for much of the season, as we’ll be starting at 7 am on Monday. Only an hour more, earlier, but I have no doubt that I’ll be feeling it, and will have to make an extra effort to get up and get some nutrition in me before I head off to work.

Have a good weekend! Peace and love to everyone.


dldeprez said...

In wildness is the preservation of the world. (Henry David Thoreau)-- wild lettuce, radishes, tart dressings, salty tears. Embrace. Reflect. Enjoin. Remember. In sainted Esme is the preservation of the world.

Nikki said...

i made a cucumber cold soup today - all your talk of high summer bounty and what you will make with it has made me hungry for gazpacho with fresh tomatoes. I have 5 different recipes and love them all.

dldeprez said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dldeprez said...

Wasn't sure I wanted to publish this. It's somewhat a difficult piece. But I'm going to anyway. It is a response to your reflection that involves Esme's murderer.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Esme Kenney was abducted, strangled, violated, and then partially burned by a convicted sex offender Saturday afternoon March 7, 2009. This horrible tragedy occurred as I was witnessing the scene in a matinee performance of The Pillow Man in which freshman Cora Swise acted out a story written by the pillow man during which she is flogged, crucified, and then buried alive.

What 14 year old Cora was acting on stage in our Chicago Academy for the Arts was actually happening to 13 year old Esme that very moment near her Cincinnati School for the Creative and Performing Arts where she had been a middle schooler, cellist, and singer.

It sends me back to 1978 when I saw the film A Dream of Passion starring Melina Mercouri and Ellen Burstyn. Mercouri’s character is a Greek diva who returns to her native country after many years to perform in Euripedes’ play Medea on the stage in Delphi where it was first performed thousands of years ago. Medea killed her own children to revenge her husband Jason’s betrayal. Mercouri learns that an American in a nearby Greek prison actually did kill her own children to revenge her Greek husband’s philandering. She interviews the woman in prison, played by Burstyn, to prepare for her role as Medea.

I am horrified knowing now how poor Esme groped and writhed in terrified agony at the very moment of Cora’s acting, now reminiscent of the final scene of Dream. Burstyn’s character is shown in flash asides writhing on the jail cell floor, tormented by the memory of her actions, while Mercouri’s character passionately enacts the reality of them on Euripides’s stage.

A Dream of Passion had been the most riveting fictional act of passion I had ever seen. It too had been a Saturday matinee. It was offered to unwitting passersby on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, NC where I had gone for badly needed time off from counseling emotionally disturbed boys in a therapeutic wilderness camp. Considered a foreign film, it was unheralded at the time. I had no idea what it was about. When it was over, I was stunned, transfixed in my chair, unable to move. Everyone got up to leave except me. There I sat through the next performance and the next.

Now there is the passion of Esme Kenney. God inscrutably allowed the all but crucifixion of an unblemished innocent at the hands of pure evil lurking in the woods across the street from her home where she had gone jogging. Like the the antagonist Pillow Man who is shot for writing such stories, even though the stories are collected and preserved, Esme's antagonist will surely be put on death row for his crime and his story preserved so that Esme will never be forgotten.

The story of Esme’s fate is now the most riveting act of passion I know. Uninvited, unscripted, unrehearsed, this passion really happened. Life is known to imitate fiction, but this is too much. I can’t take my mind off it. It torments me. It won’t let me go. Brian, I am so sorry.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Anonymous said...

I kinda have been expecting this in a way...
But I reali dun think da world is going to end...start a new era maybe but the world is not ending.
That's not gonna happen till a thousand years later! Ok, I'm not sure bout that either but that's not the point! The world's not gonna end! Full stop!
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