But I’m ambivalent. I like knowing big men’s knees won’t crowd me anymore and I like bright, crisp images but beyond that I have no firm opinions. I need more time to savour the new look. Perhaps I need to get away from blogging and dash downstairs where this morning’s paper waits for me to uncrease its folds and bury my mind in the words and pictures. While eating my toast a while ago, I did manage to catch some old snaps of Marilyn Munroe in the arms of a grizzly bear while visiting Banff. And another one of her cuddled up to Joe DiMaggio. But that was about it.
I suppose I am, as a nouveau blogger and internet absorbee, part of the threat to newspapers and to my livelihood vis-a-vis writing. But blog-on I must and this morning it’s to tell you about an obituary I’m currently writing for the Globe.
I watched one elder woman plunge deep inside her gold-clasped handbag for a tiny wad of twisted tissues. She handed one or two of them across the aisle to a young man who probably didn’t expect to cry. I watched a toddler attempt to scale the pews and make of this strange place a playground. Later, a teenaged girl battened down a stray lift of hair, perhaps wondering how she looked to the one other teenager trapped up front with her parents.
At this memorial sounds lifted me far, far way and removed from any thoughts of work. My subject’s son is a tenor who sings a full range of music from Bach to Vaughan Williams, in various languages including Norwegian, French, Italian and German. He performs opera, music theatre, oratorios, and Celtic music.
There was also a piano and violin duet played to honour my obituary subject, who was a great lover of music and poetry. And the combined voices of a full choir spread the sounds of music to further fill the tucked-away corners of All Saints Anglican Church.
My subject’s son sang to his father in Norwegian, a song by Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) and away in the back pew I pressed buttons on my Zoom H2 and recorded his tribute, his love, promising to make the recording available to his family in Norway. None of this will make it into the paper.
Døyr fe, døyr frende
Døyr sjølv det same
Eg veit eitt som aldri døyr
Dom om daudan kvar.
Cattle die, friends die.
One day I too will die.
One thing I know will never die,
Is the reputation of a life well lived.