ELDER MUSIC: Triskaidekaphilia
Mental Health Day 5

Mental Health Day No. 4 - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

[EDITORIAL NOTE: For the past two days, this blog and The Elder Storytelling Place have been unavailable for long periods of time due to a denial of service attack at the host. It is being worked on. Such is the way of internet these days.

Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez died last week at age 87. More important than his Nobel and other prizes, I believe, is that he was beloved by uncounted numbers of readers. For good reasons.

I was amazed to find out that One Hundred Years of Solitude has sold more than 30 million copies.

A long-time friend emailed about the master storyteller and included this excerpt from another of Marquez's novels, Love in the Time of Cholera:

“Contrary to what the Captain and Zenaida supposed, they no longer felt like newlyweds, and even less like belated lovers. It was as if they had leapt over the arduous calvary of conjugal life and gone straight to the heart of love.

"They were together in silence like an old married couple wary of life, beyond the pitfalls of passion, beyond the brutal mockery of hope and the phantoms of disillusion; beyond love. For they had lived together long enough to know that love was always love, anytime and anyplace, but it was more solid the closer it came to death.”

All elders should know this passage.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Dan Gogerty: Water Witchings, Science and Voodoo in Bib Overalls


I really tried to relate to that passage, but it didn't resonate for me. My personal experience was not one that was more solid the closer it came to death.

But I do relate to "beyond the pitfalls of passion, beyond the brutal mockery of hope." A very poetic way of describing the folly of youthful lust.

I just found my copy of "One Hundred Years of Solitude" in a moving box just before Marquez died. I loved it, and think I will re-read it, its been awhile.

The part of the quote "love was always love, anytime and anyplace, but it was more solid the closer it came to death," seems true to me for any kind of love now, family, friends, or a special love.

That's a nice romantic notion -- that love is more solid the closer to death -- but it's not always true. Maybe it can be when everything other than age is going reasonably well, but when dementia is involved, love can quickly seem to be forgotten, along with so much else. The saddest I ever saw my father-in-law was the day his wife of more than 60 years, with whom he had always been so compatible and happy, said to him, "You're of no use to me anymore." He was 90, in a wheelchair following a traumatic head injury, and they had just moved into assisted living, a move she had hated to make, though we made their two rooms resemble their house as much as possible. He was still so happy to be alive, to still be with her, to have a nice home and not be in a nursing home. He beamed every time we came to visit, and his love for her may have still been solid, but hers had been hijacked and she broke his heart that day.

Re cathy Johnson:
Please God, grant me the grace to never say: "You're of no use to me anymore", to anyone.
David Chisholm

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