I’m losing about 25% of my blog readership to cancer.
No, that’s too cute. I’ve been thinking of writing this post for awhile, not being sure where the path of wisdom was, or what to do with it.
Clay Bond, known online as rightwingprof, is dying. It started with what he thought was a broken spine on Oct. 18. By Nov. 1, he knew it was an inoperable tumor. On Nov. 8, he ceased posting at his political blog, rightwingnation.com, and since then has been throwing bottles into the ocean at Central Pennsylvania Orthodox so we know he’s still alive.
I first got to know Clay on Bob Hunt’s Individual-Sovereignty Yahoogroup (which used to host the likes of Billy Beck and Mike Schneider, and was more-or-less taken over by Bruce Tefft and converted into Islam-Slammers). He was a conservative with a few libertarian leanings, and not at all gentle about expressing them. You think I’m scornful? When he was in his prime, he had me beat in ferocity. Here’s a bit of one of his posts, from 2005:
Ah, you can’t claim they were “victimized” because they were drafted, so you fall back on this patronizing and insulting line. Here’s what one SEAL has to say to you and the peacenik crap like you:
Now, while you’re bashing America, I’ll continue to send packages to the troops, and vote pro-military. And always make sure you know exactly what you are, you and Cindy Shitcan and Mike al-Moor and every other peacenik alive.
He left I-S in 2006, for different reasons than I did; apparently he was sick of the America-hating strain of libertarianism. Sometime after that (and my chronology is a bit fuzzy), he revived his Orthodox Christianity. He’d always been a Christian, but he credits an Orthodox priest for saving his soul. At that point, the transformation began, and accelerated when he joined the choir. The contempt for the Left was still there (somethings are just contemptible, after all), but far more gently expressed. And he posted more on education, cooking, and religion. Once his health left, so did the politics…in his last political post, he repents of calling George Stephanopoulos a “slimy little Democrat”, which to me, at this point, is like repenting of calling the sky blue.
Death is embarrassing. A vigorous and intelligent human becomes powerless. I’ve really not known what to do. I’ve never met the man in person, and a physical meeting at this stage would be inappropriate. I’ve had little to say of late in the comments of his blog. I pray for him; how could I not? But really, what else could I offer that he needs?
Fr. Crume claims that God did not create death. That’s a hard sell for a recovering Wiccan like myself; if God created sex (and Genesis 1:27 makes it abundantly clear that he did), then he had to create death. But if God created death-as-we-know-it, He’s not a god worthy of worship. If death was OEM equipment, perhaps it was painless as childbirth was. If God walked in the Garden of Eden, perhaps the dead would walk there too, bodiless, and we would commune with the saints as we lead our earthly life, as easily as we commune with our neighbors.
Since this happened, I’ve been trying to learn from it whatever lessons I can. Between that, and my parents, and my own body aging, the winds of mortality are blowing keener. I’m making preparations for “after me”, the first of which was to post my choral music online. My goal by the end of next year is get everything worthwhile of mine available, either commercially published or online in some form. I don’t want to feel (though I probably will) that there was something left undone which I could have done. Meanwhile, I’ve been having some small issues with blurred vision. It could just as easily be me next.