Gone

I’m walking on St. Clair, slipping and sliding. In front of me, a father and a young son, both in Nanook of the North boots. The young boy is talking to his dad about the passage of time – minutes and hours, days and weeks. His dad listens and interjects with his own observations on the concept of time. They’re oblivious that they’re walking slowly and other people want to pass them, but can’t because the sidewalk is too narrow.

Last week at work abrupt announcements of people being terminated. Beware of emails with a subject heading “John/Jane Doe”. Usually a termination, sometimes disguised as a retirement. Occasionally a promotion – sigh of relief. I think about two of the people who were terminated that I had known, in a work sense, so probably superficially. There is anxiety about my own position, but also sadness how quickly people adjust to the reorganized workplace. It’s as though the terminated people were never there. The workplace is a callous environment most of the time.

Then there is permanent termination. I’ve been reading all the articles about Philip Seymour Hoffman. Some are moving, others angry or critical that he couldn’t deal with his addiction and whatever else was going on. The critical commentary ignores the complexity of addiction or depression or both. The grip it can have on a person, disabling the will to live.

He was such a good actor. So prolific. Different from a movie star.

To distract myself from the sadness of Philip Seymour Hoffman, I read Film Comment. Martin Scorsese is curating a film fest showcasing Polish cinema. I get lost reading descriptions of films by Wajda and Has. I’ve seen some of these films, but not all.

My daily dose of Brain Pickings reassured me. Stuff about seeing uncertainty as a possibility, not to be feared, or avoided through goal setting and planning. There is something very wise about this.

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