A sunny day after snow, snow, snow. As I was walking into the library, a mother with two little girls, maybe four and six years old, were having a conversation, while walking through deep slush in the parking lot, that its about time time to get the bikes out and prepare for the Spring. The smallest of the girls brought up the fact that she did not have a bike. Ahhhh! Spring!
I was reading Malachy McCourt’s lovely memoir “A Monk Swimming”; stories and memories of being an immigrant teen in New York and growing up in a millieu of artists, con-men, drinkers, dreamers, producers, writers, cadgers of the crumbs, future movers and shakers, plus a fair contingent of mopes and gapes. I loved encountering his story on Brendan Behan’s dying at the age of 41, from alcoholism, in a hospital in Ireland. As a nun/nurse was attending and wiping his face gently, Behan says to her, in thanks, “May all your sons be Bishops.”
Typical alcoholic, wants to get at the heart of the matter but is always pulled aside by glibness and cynicism. I’ve been sober now for more than half my life and I still have problems with the caustic remark that has no purpose and no future, just disrupts the moment. Poor fucking Brendan. Then again, he made the world richer, because his heart was in the right place, but his kidney’s and liver and pancreas died before his heart, and it had to follow. And then there’s Spring.
And, it turns out, our heart’s always in the right place, just sometimes needs a Spring, or several, to melt some snow.