Thursday, April 12, 2007

Goodbye to A Personal Hero - Kurt Vonnegut

I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.
Kurt Vonnegut

I call this blog "Hanging by a Thin Thread" for a reason doncha know? It's been a weird, oddly schizophrenic and unproductive week. Though I've had a really good selling month at work (March was excellent too), I have felt scattered, dissatsified, and scatterbrained all month, and this week was the worst. I get so darned frustrated with myself when I'm in this disordered state of mind. When I'm overly tired, like tonight, I tried to take a knitting class and I was just so tired I couldn't focus on anything. I could barely knit in stockinette, and I kept having to start over.

I think the weird/wacky reversion back to winter weather may have something to do with it. Last weekend it was so cold that all my flowers froze, and we've been plunged back into winter. I have been coming home from work every night exhausted.

Tuesday night I went to a walking class that our local hospital is supporting. My friends Mary and Carol are doing with me. It was a cold, rainy, weird night. I wanted to back out of it altogether and stay home and knit in front of the fire, but I didn't want to whimp out on them, so I went along. Honestly, it was so damned cold. I was hot and sweaty on the inside and freezing cold on the outside, where my hair was dripping wet and my clothes clung to my skin. It was a weird hot/cold feeling. I walked 2 1/2 miles . . . yeah but . . . gripe, gripe, whine. At least I didn't catch a cold from it.

I just mentioned a few days ago that Kurt Vonnegut is one of my all-time favorite writers. He died at age 84 after suffering a fall several weeks ago. The Kansas City Star's headline read something about his having a "dark, morose vision" of the world. Gosh, it didn't seem that way to me. True, he'd been a young soldier (a prisoner of war) in Dreisdan during World War II , but I didn't think his vision of the world was dark and morose - he took a cynical view at times. Like most talented writers, he held a mirror up in front of society. I will really miss him. I think we desperately NEED some reflection and pondering how we can improve.

Having read his novels as well as his essays since my high school years, I feel like another little light in the world has gone out. I am glad I will always have his books to speak to me. It's true that writers have a bit of immortality that few others ever have. He lives on through his work. My favorites of his are his earlier works, especially Cat's Cradle and Sirens of Titan as well as Breakfast of Champions. I also really enjoyed his collection of short stories called Welcome to the Monkey House. Who else could combine science fiction, social commentary and cutting edge humor altogether like that? Amazing man.


Elysbeth said...

Hope your weekend refreshes you.

ChelleC said...

Yeah, this week really HAS been a boooger. Today we're having, according to the weather forecast, "gloom and cold temps all day, and freezing rain/snow tonight." Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. I may come home tonight and veg out in front of the fire, watch and movie and knit.

Laura said...

I'm totally in agreement on the weather/attitude connection. All I've wanted to do this week is sleep. There was a bit of sun yesterday, but if you blinked, you missed it. :( The weathermen promise higher temps and more sun later in the week, something to look forward to.

My favorite Kurt Vonnegut moment is when he's in "Back To School" and Rodney Dangerfield hires him to write his paper. Vonnegut writes the paper, about which the teacher says, "You don't know the first thing about Vonnegut." The irony of that always cracks me up.

ChelleC said...

Ah, gosh, I'm so glad you reminded me of that! Rodney Dangerfield is one of my very favorite comedians. And now I remember, he DOES make a guest appearance in that movie. I'll have to go rent it at the video store this weekend. Thanks for the reminder : )