Last week was tough. It was a week that reminded me all too starkly of the fragility of life. The premature deaths of three people in one week is enough to bring all of those cliches to mind about living every day to its fullest and appreciating your friends and family. But as one of the speakers said at a memorial service yesterday, we can repeat all of the cliches, but it still feels unfair and unimaginable. I went to bed last night feeling a bit overwhelmed, mostly because of my own inability to construct a narrative out of the week. I was trying to “wrap up” the week in a neat little box, one that would allow me to emerge with some great insight. That didn’t work. But Terry Gross and Maurice Sendak did.
I knew Maurice Sendak was on Fresh Air this week and made a mental note to listen to the interview this weekend. I listened this morning, and if you have fifteen minutes, listen to it right now. It is one of the most powerful radio segments I’ve ever heard and, because of this week’s events, I felt like I was as close as possible to hearing an urgent voice from “the other side.” The conversation between Gross and Sendak was lovely and touching, but there was something more. Sendak gave voice to all of my sad thoughts this week, but he also made me feel hopeful and happy. I’m not saying it very well – listen to them. Here’s the link: