Miriam Feder home


A Quiet Moment

Yes, I turned the radio on and now I resent the urgent voices directing my brain to competitive stories. Did you think that trash would fill my cup—which both runneth over and cries at the long drought of emptiness? No, I don’t want to hear a state-wide discussion on a fascinating topic, or an international discussion on a banal one. Off finally, yes. Off. Not silence exactly, but welcome minutes of world-keep-it-to-yourself.

The King of Pop is dead. Broadcasters would suck us into the dramatic lens, telling us what to do and when and where, offering emotional irritation and then catharsis. What a welcome break from those awful, yawning, impossible-to-solve issues that crowd in at us from every continent. For moments, we are softened and disapproval fades. What’s the point of disapproval, anyway? The King of Pop is dead. Long live the Pop.

No big grief here. I love a good tribute, thanks, and that’s enough, now. The press, adoration, money, waste, creepiness: it all seems part of the overwhelming imperative of stardom, an audience so fickle in its judgment, but idolatrous all the same. No more new ideas? Is it such a shame to be out of ideas? I don’t have to know why fans slather it on so thick. It’s kind really, forgetting the weird and reviving the beautiful. Of course we could do that anytime, but the grief-fountain mobilizes.

In the meantime, a real man, a friend of a friend tragically cut down stirs a sense of loss for the world, the community and the family. It was unfair, random and unexplained, just like death is, whenever it lurches out beyond the old and sick and frail. I much prefer the un-lurched venue.

People who leave this world without adding to our own sense of frailty allow us a stately dignified pause—stirring in honor, peace and resolution. And there’s room for that too, in this crowded time of dying. An old man, Ezra Gordon, was an architect, a man I met and spoke to a few years ago, when his sparkling eyes drew me in. He built buildings, both noticed and taken for granted each day. His passing offers me a quiet, thoughtful moment. Thanks.