Friday, February 25, 2022

The Medieval Modern and Carrying on through Grief

by Cord J. Whitaker 

I am trying to order my thoughts today. They have been disordered by the specter of global war in a world where democracy is dying in the face of fascism, where a pandemic continues to bring humanity to its knees, and where my beloved cat has died. To carry on with everyday normalcy is a bit of a struggle. 

In the past, during times difficult for the world and for myself, I have turned to medieval history. Well, I have thought, if humanity, or a given society, or an individual, survived X—say, the Plague—then humanity, the United States, my family, or I can certainly survive Y—say, Covid, the upheaval of 9/11, the passing of a beloved patriarch, the death of a darling feline.


But today I do not feel like being fiercely, optimistically medievalist. It’s raining terribly outside, and I’ve had to turn away from global news sources for a few hours at least. Perhaps for the rest of the day.


It’s good to see that others have been waxing medievalist, though. Such as the US Embassy in Kyiv, who posted the following on Tuesday:


I’m not a Russianist, so I can’t speak to the accuracy of everything in the meme, but it’s brilliant trolling nonetheless. Because there’s nothing an autocrat like Putin, who blatantly revises history to his own ends, hates more than when someone laughs in his face. 


And speaking of laughter, here’s a pic of someone who has given me great joy over the years. Rest in Peace, Contessa Marie Curtis-Whitaker (Jan. 14, 2007-Feb. 24, 2022). Your fierce, fiery, yet cute and joyful spirit will always be with us.

What, by the way, from our medieval past holds you up in times of trouble? Let us know in your comments.