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Ramblings from a Southern liberal, Boomer, single parent, grandmother, reunited birthmother, cancer survivor, pop-culture observer, retired teacher

Most dramatic lymphoma posts are from June 2002 - February 2003 archives.

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The Waking

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I cannot go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree, but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me; so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

--Theodore Roethke


Joy's Updates - Straight from the Horse's Mouth.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008  
Recent Deaths

Hamilton Jordan died May 20 at 63, a year younger than I am. He was President Jimmy Carter's Chief of Staff, the youngest at 35 to serve in that office.

This article by Eleanor Clift for Newsweek is a tribute to his life. Here are excerpts:
Every election cycle a new crop of political aides emerge as stars, and so it happened that two young Southerners, both barely over 30, appeared as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, the ultimate in what passed for cool 30 years ago. Irreverent and wisecracking, the two Georgians, Hamilton Jordan and Jody Powell, provided a welcome contrast to Jimmy Carter's straitlaced image, yet they were so close to the president that those of us who covered the White House knew that talking to Ham or Jody was like talking to Jimmy himself.

Hamilton Jordan died at his home in Atlanta on Tuesday. He was 63 and had fought six different cancers since first being diagnosed with lymphoma in 1984, a cancer he believed was the result of his having been exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam. He didn't have to go to Vietnam. The military declared him medically ineligible because he had flat feet, but he went anyway as a volunteer with an international refugee organization. I didn't realize at the time how much that said about him. His time in Washington was rocky. He was an outsider and he had a chip on his shoulder. "I expected they'd knock the chip off, but I didn't think they'd take my whole shoulder with it," he once said.

Jordan's disillusionment with Washington was profound. Unlike so many White House aides, he left and never came back, flirting instead with third-party politics. He was a co-chair of Ross Perot's campaign in 1992, and last year he wrote one of his groundbreaking memos sketching out the forces in society making 2008 the perfect year for a third-party presidential bid. But with the two major parties gravitating toward reform-minded candidates in John McCain and Barack Obama, Jordan told the Atlanta Press Club in March that he thought the oxygen for an independent candidacy was gone, relegating Unity '08, a group he helped create, to the sidelines. (To read a piece Jordan recently wrote for analyzing the Obama campaign, click here.)

Jordan spent much of his time counseling fellow cancer patients, and his memoir, published in 2001, is titled "No Such Thing as a Bad Day." Together with his second wife, Dorothy, a pediatric nurse, he founded a camp for children with cancer. Like the president he served, Jordan's life after the White House defined him more than the four years he spent in Washington.

Sydney Pollack, director and actor, died May 26 at 73, also of cancer. He had worked with seemingly every A-list star in the business, from Robert Mitchum to Al Pacino. But Pollack collaborated with Robert Redford more than any other — seven films, including Out of Africa, The Way We Were, Three Days of the Condor, and The Electric Horseman. He directed and had a role in Tootsie. This is from "Just last year, the filmmaker played Marty Bach opposite George Clooney in Michael Clayton. Besides acting in it, Pollack also co-produced the film, which received seven Oscar nominations, and a best actor nod for Clooney."

5:50:00 PM

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