Wednesday, October 3, 2018


I have been going through another drought with nothing suitable on hand to read, and some new books have finally arrived. I should begin commenting on them soon. The weather has changed rather abruptly, from hot and dry to cold and wet. There haven't been any frosts yet, but the leaves are turning and it should be much colder within a few weeks. I haven't bought any firewood and am gradually preparing for winter now. The first snow is usually in November.

One of my pastimes has been genealogy. For several years I had been misidentifying a person in an old photograph, whom I thought was one of my great-grandfathers. Through my DNA match, I have received actual photographs of that great-grandfather, who is a different person. To identify the unidentified person, who appears in an old photograph with my grandfather, which was taken in about 1910 in Richmond, Indiana, I have contacted a historian who has written a book on the Starr Piano Company and Gennett Records, where my grandfather was working at the time. I'm not sure whether he will be able to help.

Of course, I've also been following the Brett Kavanaugh nomination for the U.S. Supreme Court. As far as I'm concerned, he has already demonstrated his unsuitability for the job with his hysterical performance before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Moreover, the last thing this country needs is another conservative Roman Catholic male on the Supreme Court. I hope that he isn't approved.

Another distraction, which is unwanted, has been a crisis precipitated by infuriating behavior on the part of someone who is connected with this household but doesn't live here. As most people who reach my age know, managing relationships with partners can be extremely difficult, and the problems never disappear. At this stage, I don't expect people to understand me or share my interests, and I am satisfied simply by having a relationship that includes some degree of companionship. I don't mind being around people whose preferences or worldviews are different from mine as long as there is no open conflict and compromises can be reached through discussion. What I have found, though, on multiple occasions, is that few people have the mental flexibility to engage in such discussions, and most of them, when under stress, simply revert to some sort of instinctive tribal outlook that they share only with their immediate biological relatives. Thus, from time to time I am forced to ponder whether I ought to just live alone, and, since I already know that I would find that unsatisfactory, I try to make do. However, I am aware that I have the psychological and financial resources to live alone, and, if pressed far enough, I would pursue that route, though I would prefer not to. I have spent half of my life dealing with mentally ill people, so this isn't exactly new territory for me. In any case, the current conflict seems to be subsiding, and I don't think that any changes will be necessary.

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