Today marks the eightieth entry in Frequencies. In the ten most recent entries, Luís León lights a spliff, Wendy Cadge provides spiritual care, Varun Soni talks to college students, SherAli Tareen questions Park51, Erin Martineau moves to the farm, Andrew Ventimiglia takes a course in miracles, Nathan Schneider searches for proof, Rocco Gangle draws a diagram, Ludger Viefhues-Bailey reads German ladies magazines, and Laura Marris contemplates loss.
Posts Tagged ‘loss’
But Sweet Heaven When I Die is, first and foremost, a book about loss, about death, transience, neglect, and quitting. These are the recurring themes in almost every one of the book’s thirteen chapters. The loss of the American west to real estate developers, the loss of a beloved uncle to a meaningless war, the killing of veteran activist Brad Will in Oaxaca in 2006, the neglect of the Yiddish language and its masterful authors, or the devastation of a writer failing to find an audience. In one chapter, Sharlet notes that all things we become invested in and pin our identities on have a half-life. With his consciousness of the inevitable decay befalling all things, Sharlet proves he has taken Cornel West’s lesson of the “death shudder” to heart. “To learn how to die in this way,” Sharlet quotes West in a chapter on the philosopher, “is to learn how to live.” And although the final chapter of When I Die is called “Born, Again,” Sharlet resists the temptation to end on an upbeat note, leaving us instead with a blues note.