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Friday, January 9, 2015


"Nefarious" is a tricky word.  It's unethical, evil, scheming... and I suppose I've known people like that, but they seem like light-weights compared to leaders of people who inspire others to shoot up Paris.  Sometimes I think the world sucks when we even need to have words to describe such people.  I'd rather not think about it.

I suppose that's part of the problem with the world.  I'm not the only one who'd rather not think about it, and if we aren't outraged, does anything change?  But I don't know anyone in a terrorist group, so I don't see what I can do about it.  Maybe the Germans felt that way in WWII?  I have a fascination with that period of time, not the nefarious people like Hitler and Goebels, but the regular people who let things happen.  I'd like to think I'd be brave enough to hide Jews, but would I?  Look at how many people didn't.

It's all abstract thinking anyway.  I hope never to be put to that challenge.  I feel sorry for the French victims this week, but that's abstract too.  It's not the same as when a crazy person broke into a recording studio and murdered one of my friends in a shooting spree.  One of the nicest guys ever, he'd been in my house earlier that week.  It can be a violent, sucky world.

My sis told me to quit keeping my death list, people I've known closely but died too young.  I know way too many of them, but I don't want James forgotten.  I guess I'm not the only one.  I'm glad to see him remembered in this newspaper article.  They talk about him as a "ladies' man", but I remember his shy questions about girls and his generous hugs, things I got for being a perpetual big sister to young guys with a world of potential never reached when I called my house "my home for wayward boys".  I miss the laughter and guitars, but not the tattooing on my dining room table.  Kind of funny when I think of it in retrospect, but I just might've threatened to kill them all that week for despoiling the place where I eat.  Who knew?

Well, enough of death lists like Sis says.  She and I did something fun this week, partly to celebrate her birthday.  She works at Progressive, the insurance company with Flo.  Progressive is a big deal in Cleveland, with giant campuses all over the place.  As luck would have it, Sis and I work about 2 minutes apart and she gave me a Progressive tour.

Peter B. Lewis, Progressive's founder, was married to a woman who is a big supporter of the arts, and the campuses are filled with mostly contemporary work.  I wish I'd taken more pictures now that I'm writing about it, especially the giant origami birds, but I was busy enjoying what I was seeing instead of thinking about sharing my experience.  Maybe I'll go back and take more photos.  Sis passes this giant hot tub sculpture every day and loves it.  We both like the electronic sculpture that plays music when you get close enough to it.

Peter B. Lewis was probably nefarious to make such a big and successful company, but I don't know that he was.  I might just be cynical, but I am very glad he supported his wife's passion for art.  We need more art supporters!


  1. I don't think any word can describe the murderers in Paris but nefarious sounds good to me and your illustration has an evil snake like appearance which captures the word well. Sadly we all have a death list and we just hope not to end up on it too soon! What amazing art you saw with your sis and a great distraction from what is going on. Hooray for Peter B. Lewis' wife! x

  2. It's like having a contemporary art museum in my own neighborhood. I hope the employees appreciate it. They were also showing an employee competition, and some of the art was excellent. All my best the the Parisians. Thanks Jane!

  3. Very informative, keep posting such good articles, it really helps to know about things.

  4. Thanks! It's always good to think of different kinds of places that buy art :)

  5. Hey, I am new to you blog and loved this post...It seems that the world is getting highly intolerant ..Or is it a section? I often wonder many of us come across a several people ( who are highly compassionate) around us and across the world (mostly through social networking sites). But still we feel the world is getting intolerant, Why?...

    1. I think a lot of people need to get out and actually socialize with people instead of doing blips on Twitter and Facebook. But there ARE great people out there and we're lucky when we find them, however we find them. Thanks for the follow!!!

  6. About that death list--your sister's probably right, and yet....At my church every week there are always prayers "For those who have died, that God's will for them may be accomplished." I don't claim to fully--or even partly--understand what that means--but that gentle weekly reminder of those who have died in a context of prayer has been gently healing for me. I think you and I have different beliefs, different certainties, but I do wonder it there is some way of lifting up these losses and griefs, of keeping a list of those who have died in a way that is healing and life affirming. I don't know but I do wonder. Blessings to you, Linda.

  7. I work at a church, and I see postings in the hall of the people who've died, but they're mostly old people and that seems like a release for many of them. I figure God's will will be accomplished, but I suppose it's a good thing to say we're good with that? Or something along those lines :) Even James was probably part of the plan, though I think my part of it is to remember him -- the good things, not just the way it ended. Thanks Melissa!