April 12, 2017
It is long overdue for an update. For those who have followed the blog and interacted, I am sorry for the delay. There are personal reasons, not least of which is the death of my grandmother. She is pictured above, in a photograph which I scanned from an inherited box of photographs. This picture is from high school, but I am not sure which year.
My grandmother had a large role in my upbringing. She struggled in her final years in a way that was devastating to me. Her suffering for the past several years would have been unimaginable to most people. I could not possibly communicate her affliction, involving a series of debilitating strokes. In these final years, she was immobile for the most part and could not speak. She was ready to go. She was ready to die. There was solace in knowing that.
She was a skeptic of sorts. She questioned religious beliefs for nearly all of her adult life. All the while, she held a strong belief in the supernatural. It is hard to describe: she was on odd mixture of rationalism and spiritualism. Perhaps she embodied the philosophic spirituality of Spinoza plus folk religiosity. Or something of the sort.
She was not a normal grandmother, especially from the low country of South Carolina. She went to college and graduate school in the 70’s, acquiring a degree in clinical psychology. My childhood involved frequent trips from Charlotte to Columbia. She worked for the state in the rehabilitation of maladjusted folks, those in and out of the system. She was never a typical academic or feminist, even while she was both in her own way.
I hope that I inherited her best qualities: kindness, sympathy, curiosity, and a love for learning. I owe her more than I will ever know.
In a follow-up post, I will provide an update on my current status, intellectual and spiritual, as far as I am able!