Molly Ivins’s death makes me sad

This is so hard to write. First of all, don’t get me wrong. The times that Molly Ivins and I agreed on anything could probably be counted on the fingers and thumb of one hand. But her death is something I’m not ready to really deal with, because it seems a bit untimely.

Molly Ivins died this week after a long and very public struggle with breast cancer. It was public because she made it so. She was a gutsy woman who didn’t shrink from anything, and I suspect she was a thorn in the side of those who see things in black and white. Ivins seemed to see things in a peculiar shade of glowing.

But when she died this week, she was 62 years old. Today is my 62nd birthday, a milestone that makes me eligible for social security and that affirms my position in the “older generation.” But it’s too young to die, particularly when you are infused, as Ivins was, with passion and conscience and a need to tell the world what’s what.

I almost never agreed with her, but I admired her tremendously. And now she is gone.

I’ve had a very nice day, but I know that what’s coming is coming. I also know that it’s not the end of the world.

I stepped outside a few minutes ago. I had shut everything down and was ready to turn the generator off. Then I heard a spotted owl calling for a mate, and Molly Ivins suddenly came to mind.

We are not strangers to the spotted owl here. Until we started running the generator in the evenings, in the days when we dealt with propane lanterns, candles, and kerosene, the spotted owls kept us awake at night.

They have a peculiar mating ritual. The males call out, “Hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo-hoo-hoo,” until a female responds–“Hee, hee, hee, hee-hee-hee.”  Then there is a sort of breathless time, and the males start calling and calling and calling, and the female responds as she wishes, then she picks one out and flies toward him. Every other owl shuts up as these two explore their mutual attraction.

Before we got the generator, the trees above our house were like a singles’ bar for spotted owls. One night we heard a pair of them calling as they got closer and closer together. Then the entire forest was silent. Then the other males started up again.

So tonight, when I stepped outside and hear the male hooting, it was a big long punctuation mark. Molly Ivins died this week, but the owls are still mating. I crossed a boundary today, but the owls are still mating.

I hope the lonely little guy I heard a few minutes ago finds a love.

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2 Responses to “Molly Ivins’s death makes me sad”

  1. Ellie Weadock Says:

    Happy Birthday, Mari. Hope all is well with you! Relax a little and carpe diem. Ellie

  2. mklekacz Says:

    Thanks, Ellie. I’m busy seizing like crazy. . .

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