Archive for May, 2014

A New York Celebration

May 12, 2014

A New York Celebration

In the random course of events of our social lives, I wonder what is the import from or to our personal identities. Perhaps we are influenced by each other: I think that it may be not so much by the significance of our individual thoughts but by the quality of our rapport. However, I cannot help being either swept away or struck down by the randomness of it all.

R.F.M.-12/05/14

After the Marriage Defense Act was ruled unconstitutional in June 2013, our friends John and Ted proceeded to celebrate their wedding in a small private ceremony shortly thereafter at their Washington-DC’s residence. They had been living together for over 16 years, almost as long as David and I have been together. It was such a sudden decision, that John and Ted had not being able to include their closest friends and relatives from New York City and elsewhere; so they prepared a special dinner celebration to commemorate their wedding at the Lotos Club, located at 5 East 66th Street in New York City. John, who is a published author and Ted, who is a musicologist, have been members of the Lotos Club for some time.

The Lotos Club, one of the oldest literary clubs in the United States, was founded on March 15, 1870, by a group of young writers, journalists and critics. The Club was named, “tongue in cheek,” for the dilettantism exhibited by the Lotos eaters of the Odyssey. From its inception, its mission has been to promote and develop the arts and humanities, and to that end to provide a place of assembly for the learned professions and other persons interested in their objectives, effort and work.

John and Ted’s guests included Ted’s older brother who is a financial adviser, his wife who is an accomplished English illustrator of flora and fauna, a church organist, a developer for a music foundation, two well known actors, one retired and another still active in his seventies, and an architect. Now, allow me to share the exchange of ideas that took place:

During toast and hors d’oeuvre I spoke to John about the letter I had received from President Barack Obama and I then expressed my understanding of what may be an attempt to protect strategies by the people of Venezuela, which could soon reverse the crisis. I also spoke to the actor Greg Callahan about his recent film premiere called “Default”. Then in the Georgian-styled dinning room, among the closest ones to me, I heard long drawn conversations, filled with cynical beliefs, about ineffective education and the imperative of the new generations to confront themselves with other countries by increasing their earning power. And then the questions about the next presidential elections, regarding the fact that power seems concentrated between two families: the Bushes and the Clintons. Up until this point, I listened everyone quietly until the jesuitical in me finally managed enough courage to speak with frankness, in an attempt to clarify some of the issues being discussed. On one occasion I suggested that Elizabeth Warren was a suitable opponent for the presidency, though it may be difficult for her to enter into a national arena at this time. I also suggested that eventually a Latino could arise in future horizons. I referred to someone of the stature of Senator Robert Menendez, and rejected the idea that Marco Rubio could ever be an alternative because, although he was very intelligent, he was born in Canada.  As they continued bantering about illegal immigrants, I also rebuked the idea that Hispanics were in any way foreign to the United States. I reminded everyone that Hispanics had been around a century before the English had arrived in this continent. Then the conversation shifted to illegal immigrants, in a rather self-righteous tone, when I argued that without the Mexican and Central American labor force, legal or not, this country could not function. At any rate, the conversations were filled with banalities and the content was rather conventional. Everyone was most affable, and I felt even more out of place.Before departing that evening, attention was brought to the fact that the current location of the Lotos Club was used since 1947 and that the beautiful building it occupies on East 66th Street, in a French-Cartouche Style, had been built in 1900, commissioned by a New York socialite as a wedding gift for her daughter.

RFM 05/12/14

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Celestial Paradise

May 9, 2014

 

 

 

 

Ulysses comes to know it as the land of the sirens, which, during the Middle Ages, becomes a great maritime empire. It is located at the foot of giant Monte Cerreto, where the Duchy of Amalfi would come to take refuge for a time, as if in the chrysalis of ancestral muses. The tragedy of the Duchess of Malfi by John Webster, as well as the Realism of Henrik Ibsen and the Gesamtkunstwerk of a vilifying Richard Wagner would have echoed the fate of this mythic caryatid of pleasure over the Gulf of Salerno. Among the cliffs, the movements of thundering sources dance to the rhythm of the Swallowtail beyond the less venerable Crusades, cloisters or monasteries, exhaling the barbaric metamorphosis of so many tribes. Although now, from walking in the genesis of time, a restless gaze profiles the beguiling essence from “La Dolce Vita”.

 

 

Excavated from a promontory on the edge of a precipice, between the villages of Cetara and Vietri, providing anchovies in oil and colored ceramics, there is our beautifully tiled Inn called Cetus. In the cacophonous colors of the rainbow and arising from the eternal compass, its rowing regattas zigzag along the sea coast, driven up from the south to the north-west from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Ligurian Sea.

 

 

In its surroundings, the river Canneto runs through the valley of the mills whispering ballads of the Renaissance to the famous paper bambagina. As if to recoil from our step, the fjords sag under a bright sky, caressed by the thin mist of cool winds. We hear the hum of the bees and the penetrating aroma of the Aetna’s sfusato; and from the limoncello one squeezes gently the intoxicating magma. The peninsular bowels spit the flavor and fragrance of its dashing fruits. So intense the Amalfi Republic sows the lava within the turquoise water and the cliffs that have walled it.

 

 

We sing the Falalella in the shadows of the twilight. And then there we float on the glow off the coast of Salerno, Sorrento, Positano and Ravello, which are washed with fresh drizzle. With the ebb and flow of life, the reddened clouds look at themselves in the mirror of calm waters, trailing the bay of Salerno. Amalfi, Comune of Salerno, is framed by the Region of Campania where the shrines of Herculaneum and Paestum were erected majestically . And from the ashes to the texture of mythological times, archaeological expeditions of Pompeii of the eighteenth century exhume, among many findings, paintings from antiquity which illustrate the Roman Cycle of Mysteries as well as the conquests by Alexander the Great.

 

 

The touch of ancient hands still reverberated in the movement of our senses. Sweet was the image in the vernal sun, which would bounce from ravine to ravine, teetering from staircase to staircase down to the ancestral jetty. We anchored near the dock from where the large galleys used to be dispatched. As they once did, we are now scattered, leaving behind the vision of a sirens’ paradise.

 

 

Ricardo Morin 04/20/14

 

Letter of Support from President Barack Obama

May 8, 2014
White House

Letter received on May 7th, 2014 via my personal e-mail address

NYC, May 7 2014

Honorable President Barack Obama:

Thank you for your kind and generous response. What is not being said in your response is that the United States has major economic commitments which impede to intervene in Venezuela, that in effect, if the United States were to remove a dictator who is illegitimate to boot, it would render all American contracts null and void, thus aggravating an already compromised American economy.

An American dependency on oil is the basis for this dilemma and its unwanted consequences. Yet a country like Venezuela who is in a state of chaos may not be able to meet either the American demands nor that of their own people. Ultimately, the American economic security as well as the stability of the region may depend on America being more assertive in some form of intervention.

Sincerely Yours,

Ricardo F Morin


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