In the Midst of Life

My blog posts usually start with a kernel, a seed, something nagging at the back of my mind. Words coalesce around the irritant, and though pearls rarely result, insight often does. At least the irritant becomes less irritating.

Since the primary election nothing has been coalescing. There’ve been few kernels for them to coalesce around. It’s not that nothing has happened. Plenty has happened, but it’s too big to chunk down to kernels and my personal connection with it is minimal. When I have no personal connection, I don’t have much to add. There are already so many words out there.

The U.S. ambassador to Libya was killed in an attack that may or may not have had something to do with a stupid film whose genesis still isn’t entirely clear. The incident has been drowned in words, and I’m not sure they’ve advanced our understanding much. I’m intensely irritated by the people who think that religion in general and Islam in particular are the problem. If these people had a clue about Europe’s imperial meddling in the Arab world, if they thought a moment of the consequences of the West’s lust for oil, they would realize that the touchiness of some Muslims about Islamophobic films is not entirely rooted in the Qur’an.

This, however, has nothing to do with year-round Martha’s Vineyard, about which I am blogging.

On second thought, maybe it does. From time to time, I dip into the comments on the Martha’s Vineyard Times website. Touchy? I’ll show you touchy. Some posters over there go off the wall at the drop of a hat, and they don’t bother to get their facts straight either. Few if any of them have even a passing acquaintance with the Qur’an. What they’ve learned on talk radio doesn’t count.

Travvy is very good at sleeping.

So Travvy and I are off-island at a Rally trial in Westford, Mass. I’ve seen a few political bumper stickers on the highway and passed a few lawn signs on the minor roads, but mostly I’m hanging out in a world where the politics being discussed have to do with various organizations devoted to dogs and dog sports, and there isn’t much of that either. Mostly we’re supporting each other and trying to learn from each other and sympathizing when one of us screws up.


Trav sacks out at the Motel 6. Hell with the beds: he likes the floor.

Trav and I NQed twice today at Level 3. NQ means “not qualified.” Both times we NQed on the same exercise, directed jumping. This was disappointing for sure, but otherwise our runs looked pretty good. This is encouraging, because Level 3 is hard. Once upon a time, Level 2 was hard, but now Level 2 looks — well, not exactly easy, but we’re pretty consistent at it. Other teams were NQing all over the place, often on the same exercise. Misery does love company, and no one threatened to blow anything up. I have no idea who anyone intends to vote for in November.

So I was away from the computer all day. Didn’t miss it. After I’d unpacked the car, fed Travvy, and hit the Wendy’s across the road for the second night in a row, I logged on and checked e-mail. Thus I learned that Todd Follansbee had died yesterday afternoon, suddenly, unexpectedly. He was exactly my age, 61. He was one of the key organizers of last year’s wonderful birthday bash at the Ag Hall for everyone who turned 60 last year. He’s been making other things happen too, usually with music involved. Of course I thought he’d be doing it for another two decades at least.

I’m at the Motel 6 in Leominster but very much caught up in the Vineyard web.

Media vita in morte sumus. In the midst of life we are in death. Don’t waste it, people.



About Susanna J. Sturgis

Susanna edits for a living, writes to survive, and has been preoccupied with electoral politics since 2016. She just started a blog about her vintage T-shirt collection: "The T-Shirt Chronicles." Her other blogs include "From the Seasonally Occupied Territories," about being a year-round resident of Martha's Vineyard, and "Write Through It," about writing, editing, and how to keep going.
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