Sad news today. Gwen Ifill, PBS NewsHour anchor, passed away after a long battle with illness most of us did not even know she was fighting. I didn’t know Gwen, I knew her sister Marie from work (as they say, there are only two degrees of separation between any two black people with graduate degrees). But we welcomed Gwen into our our living room every evening because we never missed PBS NewsHour. And we trusted the information she brought us.
All of a sudden, tonight all this politics babble is inconsequential. Hillary’s email and the Clinton Foundation are inconsequential. Trump’s SecState pick is inconsequential. In fact, his whole cabinet is inconsequential. Tonight’s Super Moon is inconsequential. Nothing has real meaning because Gwen is gone.
Our house is sad. W. H. Auden put it best:
“Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.”