Leon Fleisher, American and legendary pianist. Photo Courtesy of welt.de.
Dear Reader, I don‚Äôt usually write to a theme but for this column I decided to play with the idea of travel. Some snippets relate to the idea, others are more indirect. Enjoy the ride.
Time travel with NPR‚Äôs Tonya Mosley speaking with systems analyst, Alex Smith. Smith has created an online map of places all over the world that had Black Lives Matter protests. He said, ‚ÄúThey were protesting in so many towns, the red circles indicating where they took place were so dense and full of overlaps, they were hard to access. He was gleeful mentioning a Black Lives Matter protest in Okinawa and another deep in the Arctic.
Mary Kay in Minneapolis: In the middle of the shrine where George Floyd died, there is among the balloons, stuffed bears, blankets of flowers, and many signs, this handmade one: ‚ÄúAll mothers were summoned when George Floyd called out for his.‚ÄĚ It really got to me. It broke my heart.
Mariam: A technician working in her sister‚Äôs office came down with covid-19. She partied with family in San Diego and came back infected. Her family was also infected. Her defense? She only handled one patient, ignoring how that person she examined can infect others. She‚Äôs now in quarantine.
Project In Plain Sight: Throughout America‚Äôs Independence Day, artists have spread their skywriting messages over immigrant detention camps calling for the abolition of these jails. Artists CASSILS and rafa esperanza formed a coalition of eighty artists and activists to protest mass detention. The messages came in nearly twenty languages like Lakota, Hindi, Spanish, and the Mayan language, K‚Äôiche. SOME SKY MESSAGES: Not Forgotten/it‚Äôs not your fault/NO MORE CAMPS/Nosotros Te Vemos/my pain is so big.
Email from British poet and retired physics teacher, Ken B. Jones. He‚Äôs flown from Thousand Oaks, CA to West Sussex, England where he and his wife, Deni will live. He writes: ‚Äúthe trip was great, empty airports, less than half full comfortable flights if masked all the time and sanitizing frequently. Planes and Immigration was fast and our bags came quickly so we were not very long in Heathrow at all. Then self-isolation, finishes tomorrow!! So, golf with my son and a family BBQ on Sunday. We are lucky to be in a part of West Sussex with very few infections and very few hospitalizations so touching wood on that one. We are pleased to be here and also feel fortunate to have got out when we did‚ÄĒit sounds pretty ugly over there.
Lovely surprise this morning. Around 6:15 a.m., I see a Trader Joe‚Äôs shopping bag on the table outside. Karen, who lives close by and who shops for me, left this gift of lemons from her neighbor‚Äôs tree. She and her family are going camping in Oregon.
Cecelia‚Äôs email: ‚ÄúIn the local paper I saw an obituary of a woman. The picture was taken when she was in her 20s, very Lauren Bacall-ish. Underneath her name was the caption: ‚ÄėYes, me too! See you when you get here.‚Äô ‚ÄĚ
Over half the new cases reported in LA County are under the age of forty-one.
At day‚Äôs end, my neighbor, Karla, reports she spent the afternoon in a friend‚Äôs backyard. She mentions how special it was to be in the presence of another. Though they were local and masked, it felt like they were miles away.
Well known pianist, Leon Fleisher died today at ninety-two. In 1964 an injury to his right hand left him a one-handed pianist. Forced to branch out, he became a conductor, teacher, and mastered left-handed piano pieces by Ravel and Prokofiev, among other composers. Through treatments in the 1990s he regained the use of his right hand.
To Arabic poet, Mahmoud Darwish from his Jewish warrior lover, ‚ÄúWithout you, I am without any depth, I am on the surface here, waiting.‚ÄĚ
Such joy getting up in the morning and seeing my daughter sleeping in her bed. Our days are spent relaxing, laughing, reading, gossiping about good times and bad, the Family, and the miracle that she traveled 2,000-plus miles to be here.
From Pico Iyer‚Äôs book, Beginner‚Äôs Guide to Japan: Observations and Provocations. Amazon Japan will send a Buddhist priest to your door. The service is called ‚ÄėOba-san bin or Mr. Monk deliver.‚Äô
Thank you, Postal Master Mabel and postal workers, Alex, Ali, Dale, Jake, Javier, Lucy, Lupe, Peter, Rami and Raoul. You take care of us Topanga-ites with kindness and smarts. Sending and receiving is a crucial exchange of being in the world.