Lawrence Ferlinghetti passed this week. He was 101. [1919-2021]
Ferlinghetti was a publisher, poet, and bookseller in San Francisco, publishing the controversial “Howl” by Allen Ginsburg that embraced and argued for our First Amendment rights.
F R E E D O M O F S P E A C H
‘Holy forgiveness! mercy! charity! faith! Holy! Ours! bodies! suffering! magnanimity! Holy the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent kindness of the soul!’
From Jelani Cobb: “Not many people can say they both built an institution and become one.”
“There is a voice that doesn’t use words, listen.” -Rumi
It was in Ferlinghetti’s passing this week I gravitated to a film exemplifying the ‘kindness of the soul.’ Incredible filmmaking. ‘Nomadland’ [Hulu]. Here’s the trailer:
“What’s remembered, lives. I maybe spent too much of my life just remembering.”
This film broke me about seven different ways; it is extraordinary. It is beautifully written, directed, edited, and produced by Chloé Zhao.
[Frances McDormand and director Chloe Zhao.]
The film stars Francis McDormand and actor David Strathairn has a role, too. Remarkably and seamlessly, Zhao uses real folks to tell the story, their story, of the ‘workampers.’ They will find your heart, and stay.
The impetus for the film came from a Harper’s Magazine article by Jessica Bruder, “The End of Retirement: When you can’t afford to stop working,” published in 2014.
Later, Bruder would drive more than 15,000 miles in the camper van on a mission to follow the wanderers who would become the stars of her 2017 book “Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century.”
See it. Share it. And maybe, even live it.
“Energy is like a muscle; it grows when we use it. We grow in our capacity to do the right thing each time we do the right thing.” -Rolph Gates
There is an expectation that the pandemic to create more nomads with an interest in the van-dwelling surge after the 2008 crisis, hardly letting up. Cost of housing being one major factor, but suggests another: disillusionment and dissatisfaction — with the American Dream and the evaporation of pensions. “The golden years were not going to be golden.”
“Nomadland” is nominated for four Golden Globes on Feb. 28: best picture, director, screenplay and actress, and is a strong contender for the Oscars in April.