Friday, May 14, 2010

May 14 2010

She finds she is.. happy.

The solitude she so feared is pleasant. Comfortable. There are people, places and things. She can choose them, or not. A profound freedom for the first time.

Her children are really self-sufficient. She finds she is less inclined to give motherly advice – instead to merely enjoy their company.. their youth and quick intelligence. She envies, not their youth – but their cohorts. She loves them more simply and freely than she ever did. She feels proud.

There are men. Their company is welcome, optional. Comfortable. It is nice to see them, to share things with them. To say goodbye, good night, and go back to her own beloved space.

There is work. Sometimes she resents it, but she knows it's good for her. It is her own work, after all. Not somebody else's. She is not angry anymore. She gets frustrated, mostly at the stubbornness of physical objects which will not obey her wishes. It passes.

There was the dark time, the deep depressing lonely wordless time. Widow. The word of death – not only (!) of the “other” but of a life. The word always dressed in the black of a poisonous spider, carnivorous, eating away at her past. Even then she knew it would pass – a bloody red hourglass marking the time it takes – no other cure but time. Though she could not know what the other side of it would be like. A huge and terrifying unknown, perhaps never happy, but not so painful. She is pleasantly surprised.

She is curious. She is realistic. Death, disease, disability will come to her, perhaps any minute. This is sure.

Probably not today.

No expectations but her own, which are now being constantly reassessed – modified to suit her needs. She looks 10 years younger than she did a year ago.

Freedom. To do – to think – to become herself. This self. Familiar, strange, interesting, complicated. The person she only glimpsed before, unable to see herself the way one can't smell their own smell. She could only know others, herself reflected in them.. the blankness in their smell, the space of not them. She is no longer simply space, simply what they told her by their looks and their words she was. She is a sometimes fluid. She is sometimes solid.

Friday, October 31, 2008

In Memoriam:

Campbell Tatham, 68, died at his home in the Town of Cedarburg, surrounded by family on October 28th, after a courageous battle with brain cancer.

Cam graduated from The Hotchkiss School, Amherst College, NYU and UW Madison. He was a professor at UW-Milwaukee for over 35 years, was a pivotal mentor to many graduate students. He served as Associate Chair of the English Department for 15 years, and as an active UWM advocate in many other capacities, perhaps most visibly affecting the curriculum at the department, college and campus level. He continued to teach, the thing he loved best, as an emeritus even after becoming ill.

Cam was also a noted critic, primarily in post-modern fiction, and was published in numerous journals over a span of many years.

While he was most prominently an academic, Cam's other passions helped define him. He was the best of all listeners, loved his dogs, horses, chickens and loved hiking and riding in the forest. He was knowledgeable about birds and snakes and other wildlife. He was an avid jazz and blues aficionado, deejaying a blues show on WUWM many years ago. He was possessed of a gentle spirit and integrity in everything he did and his sense of humor prevailed. Cam was always interested in and excited about the online world as it materialized, used it extensively in his teaching and thus this obituary seems totally appropriate. He would have loved it.

He is survived by his devoted wife of 28 years, Lynn, their children Benjamin and Jocelynn as well as beloved children Greg (Inna), Anne (John Mathie), Rebecca (Michael Curtes), Holly (Evan Pavlovic), Jessica (Dave LeClair) and 5 grandchildren (Dylan, Jude, Rhone, Olivia, and Alden). He is also survived by his brother Charles Tatham III (Sandy).

The family is holding an open house pot-luck for those who wish to remember him at their country home on Saturday, November 8th starting at noon. Emails to for details.

We also wish to thank those precious friends and family who have been so supportive and loving throughout this long ordeal.

(Matt Roberson's blog post)