Fois do t’anam. Peace to his soul
Yesterday was the funeral of Canadian author, Alistair MacLeod, who wrote one of my favorite books, No Great Mischief. It’s not one of the best books ever written — and indeed, it is over-written in places — but it deals with a lot of things I care deeply about: the importance of family and family history and how the world tends to crush without thought or remorse anyone who won’t keep up with its changing ways or jump on the bandwagon of “progress”. Boy can I relate.
No Great Mischief is all about a community forged through suffering and shared experiences, such as work, music-making, and story-telling. Music pervades the novel; there is a tune for every occasion. We live in a world in which everyone has their own soundtrack so if we are not musicians, music tends to separate rather than join us, but it hasn’t always been that way. Here, in honor of Mr. MacLeod, is one of the wonderful Scottish laments so popular in Cape Breton and so prevalent in the book.
May he rest well, reunited with his people.
It wasn’t all melancholy and nostalgia this week, however. We had a couple of happy events involving boy number two. First, on Friday we attended our son’s honors project presentation. They had the humanities honors students and some of the summer fellowship students (including the girlfriend) present at a poster session. It was interesting and fun.
Then yesterday we attended “moving up day” where Chris received an English department award for ‘contributions to campus journalism’.
If he looks a little bemused, it’s because he was — journalism, really? It’s the same award his brother won back in his day. Hey, I think it’s cool, whatever it’s for. I’ve never, ever gotten an award (unlike my dual personality).
So that’s about it. I know this post is wildly late, but I have a new computer and Windows 8 is a beast I’m struggling to master. Technological delays abounded. Hopefully, next week’s post will be on time and trouble-free. In the meantime, listen to some mournful fiddle music and think about how blessed we are not to have to do our laundry by beating it against rocks in a freezing stream (see, I do try to look on the bright side of things).