Sunday, December 30, 2007

For 2008

The Berlin Mom is home again, will be facing radiation and chemo-therapies in the next months to ensure that, despite the successful removal of all cancerous tissue detectable, no malignant cells are flitting around to give rise to some new tumor elsewhere. So we will be caring for this mom to get through this ordeal, but in the knowledge that this is a battle for maintenance of health rather than for defeat of any specific malignancy.

This encourages us to think of the wonder of being, something that only we as humans are able to do, as we are the only creatures who, mortal, can consider that mortality.

So in 2008, whatever the malignancies affecting the world - and there are many, so many I've alluded to here, far too many to list again -, let us simply strive TO BE, to be thinking humans feeling what it means to know we will one day die, loving the life that we can enjoy by thinking and loving, living in this world so as to let it continue to be a place hospitable to human life, to thought, to love. Perhaps we can make the world even more livable for thinking beings.
Let us not fall into the dark contemplation of death, for that is the true victory of nihilism; let us not await some pie-in-the-sky glory or joy, for that is nihilism's destruction of life : LET US BE WITH ALL THAT WE CAN BE ! That is joy here and now and then and in the future and for all time.

Dangers offer a chance to see the void into which all can be tumbled and out of which all can emerge ! Fear is a nihilistic mode of existence, one that cancels being and prevents us from considering the wonder of what it means TO BE !

And I will continue to think and speak and read and write and live and love with all my might in this coming year.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Being Patient

Biopsy report for Edith still not available due to the holidays, we are all exercising patience, but the GOOD NEWS: She'll be released from the hospital on Saturday. Detlef & I will go and pick her up and walk home with her (!) as she insists on doing and said this morning the doctor said she's allowed to do. Hopefully we have the other report before she leaves, but in any case, she is quickly becoming physically fit again, which will be of great help to her if it should prove that she does need follow-up radiation or chemo treatment. But all signs are looking good. And Christmas is proceeding apace!
Christmas Eve was with Heiko & Steffi and today we're off to Bernhard & Rosi.

Friday, December 21, 2007

No Results Yet, and everything you shouldn't do in the hospital

Well, still waiting on biopsy results for the Berlin mom, who's recovering ever more feistily from her operation. May well be after Xmas before we hear for sure that there's (as we're telling ourselves) nothing needing further treatment.

Anyway, Edith informed us that in the hospital:
- you don't take flowers with you, they must stay in the room when you leave;
- you should tell her well in advance before they move her for the holidays to consolidate stations, but they didn't;
- that you shouldn't take photos, but allowed it after all when I told her I knew about that trick of hiding under the covers: then she came out and smiled;
- that you don't bother the nurses when the laxatives they give you cause you to make a mess: you clean it up yourself, which she did;
- that you don't watch TV when they're doing a quick surgery on another patient in your room, as another roommate of hers did
- that you don't have to come visit her every day, even though she's glad when you do.

(We were only able to slip two snapshots past her.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Necessary Quotation

From Ligne de risque n°23, novembre 2007, p.40, François Meyronnis in answer to a question on language, literature, "loving words":
Celui qui a un mauvais rapport avec le langage a un mauvais rapport avec la vie. Avec un langage misérable, toute possibilité d'affranchissement se retire.
And here, for those who wish to grasp, even if not for the masses, my English and German versions:
Anyone who has a bad relationship with language has a bad relationship with life. With miserable language, all possibility of liberation is withdrawn.
Wer einen schlechten Bezug zur Sprache hat, hat einen schlechten Bezug zum Leben. Mit einer armseligen Sprache zieht sich jede Möglichkeit einer Befreiung zurück.


As if leaving a physical commentary to this post, Jennifer surprised the bonkers out of me/us as we just returned from visiting Edith (with freshly shampooed hair and some kind of foam fixer ?? she likes to put on it and ever more rambunctious), with a delivery crammed in our mail box. It contained the wonderful (from first glance) volume ENGLISH AS SHE IS SPOKE by Fonseca & Carolino, which I'm sure will prove even more fantastic upon more thorough perusal. So thanks, Jenn, for commenting on this post - in a proper manner - without even yet having been able to know about it. (Like minds, etc......)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

everything out

The docs confirmed that the long surgery was indeed good: all of the tumor, along with uterus, ovaries, lymph nodes, was removed and there were at least no visible signs of anything left.
So Edith is having her patience tried while having to be still to recover from the operation, can finally eat again, and yesterday walked a bit. Today, she said, the nurses expect her out in the corridor.
Otherwise, biopsy results by end of the week (hopefully) will reveal whether there is anything more that would require follow-up treatment.
And we've already threatened to make hospital photos for web-posting. Let's hope the results remain as positive as the surgery indicated.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


OP - long, long - behind her, our Berlin mom is slowly and feistily recovering from the surgical ordeal. Long should mean good. We think. MMMT / carcinosarcoma is what she's dealing with, and there would have been the chance they couldn't have operated anything out, then surgery would have been short. That's why we think long surgery means good results. Today we're off to the hospital, hope to learn more, see her smile. But this Berlin treasure still needs a lot of support, which is hard for her as a determined care-giver to take, but we're giving and counting on everyone else to think of her and beam her what they can. Probably means part of Christmas will be bedside in the hospital. Unrealistic to expect her home already then....

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Time to Take Care of Another Mother !

Well, there's another Countess who needs tending to, a true Berlin treasure of a mom and mom-in-law who's in the hospital for a radical hysterectomy and has lots of strong wishes from us all for success in removal of the tumor completely in surgery without signs of metastasis. Should there be any, well, then we're calling on radiation therapy to handle that.
She's a great lady who deserves many more years: and the chances, we're sure, are good.
Think of Edith, please, and all the people she's so dear to!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

U.S. Supreme Court Considering JUSTICE for Guantánamo

As the media around the world report and the civilized world where justice is done sincerely hopes, the Supreme Court will apparently again decide that the playpen must abide by the rules of law and order, of justice, of fair procedure, that it claims to be upholding by denying inmates in Guantánamo the right to a trial. A fair trial could still be ordered by the Court, a speedy one, as the constitution also requires, is no longer possible: many have been sitting there for 6 years already. Two previous Supreme Court decisions ordering rights for those detainees have met with measures of circumvention by the playpen. Every time the courts order them to do something, they change a side issue and force the whole thing through the courts again. Perhaps with this decision, not due till summer, the bushbaby will finally have to administer justice !
We can only hope.

The New York Times
Justices to Answer Detainee Rights Question
By LINDA GREENHOUSE; Published: December 6, 2007
A majority of the Supreme Court on Wednesday appeared ready to agree that detainees were entitled to invoke some measure of constitutional protection.

Monday, December 3, 2007

No Irani Nuke Program : Good News

The National Intelligence Estimate of the joint US spy and intelligence services today made public its November report stating that Iran suspended efforts to develop nuclear weapons four years ago. That they aren't working on them and no war can be justified - at the moment - as necessary to stop what they've already stopped is a double bit of good news !

The New York Times
International / Middle East
U.S. Says Iran Ended Atomic Arms Work
By MARK MAZZETTI, Published: December 3, 2007
A new assessment by American intelligence agencies concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the program remains on hold, contradicting a previous intelligence report.
U.S. Officials: Iran Halted Nuclear Weapons Program in 2003 -
WASHINGTON -- Iran halted its nuclear weapons development program in the fall of 2003 under international pressure but is continuing to enrich uranium, which means it may still be able to develop a weapon between 2010 and 2015, senior intelligence officials said Monday.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Russia Electing a New Tsar ?

The NYTimes says the only thing Putin doesn't yet control in Russia is culture and the arts and seems to take for granted that he will become the new potentate after todays "election" of a new Duma.

French Papers speculate on whether he will take over the National Security Council (leaving Cunning Condy to wonder why she gave up that post in the playpen) or have himself elected Tsar as in 1613 when the Romanovs came to power or have himself granted plenipotentiary powers as did Stalin in 1937.

Le 2 décembre de Vladimir Poutine, par Marie Jégo
Visiblement, la Russie, tiraillée entre le modèle de pouvoir de 1613 et celui de 1937, a tourné le dos à la modernité. "Tout est fait pour éradiquer les mécanismes européens de transfert du pouvoir au profit d'un système byzantin de succession", explique l'ancien dissident Sergueï Kovalev. L'ancien compagnon de Andrei Sakharov en est sûr : le modèle byzantin est appelé à durer.
LE MONDE 01.12.07

© Le

In any case, Glasnost is over in that vast land, and the world is witnessing the slow choking of a fledgling democracy.

And here, a reproduction of a photo made by Russian artists V. Mizin and A. Shaburov which Putin's Kremlin and National Unity Party have declared an insult to the fatherland and successfully forbidden from exhibitions in Russia and managed to have removed from an exhibition of new Russian art in Paris.

Here a link to their gallery, which was unable to fight off Putinesque censorship, where there are also links to the two artists. At least THIS cannot be censored.