Wednesday, October 08, 2008
May Day, or Whatchamacallit
Calling from Brooklyn, a dear old friend of mine said to me last night, "This [referring to the financial mess] could make the Depression look like the Feast of San Gennaro." I laughed robustly because it was such a great line -- which we both hope turns out not to be prophetic. Speaking of feasts, it's more like May Day! May Day! Well, October 4 was (and still is) the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi. He's an apt model: a spoiled rich kid who gave it all away and devoted his life to God and others. And found joy in poverty. Picture a hot shot on Wall Street or Hollywood celeb who discovers the emptiness of it all. Something like that. He may be remembered most as a kind of Dr. Dolittle, but the statue of him in your garden stands for so much more. In my teens I thoroughly enjoyed the novelization of his life by Nikos Kazantzakis. Don't you just love that name? I do. Incidentally, the epitaph on his tombstone reads: "I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free."