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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
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Monday, August 17

2015 PGA Champion & Suicide

What a neat conclusion to the PGA Championship, with Jason Day winning his first major and Jordan Spieth jumping into first place in the world with his second-place finish. Neat, not exciting, since Jason Day took the lead on Saturday and then held on nicely to the finish, winning it by three. And how nice it is to see such class among nearly all golfers on tour. Jordan Spieth has to be the classiest 22-year-old in sports. And maybe the best spoken. He gave it his best shot, but when it was obvious who the winner was going to be, he allowed Jason Day his moment in the sun, giving him a thumbs-up at Day’s great lag putt on the seventeenth and then getting out of his way as they strode up the eighteenth fairway to the applause of the gallery. In an age when we have too many sports figures who either can’t avoid illegal drugs and too much booze or who beat up spouses or girlfriends or children or who act like the world owes them not only a really huge salary but also their adulation, we need more Larry Fitzgeralds (Arizona Cardinals), Paul Goldschmidts (Phoenix Diamondbacks), Rory McElroys (former number one in the world of golf), and Jordan Spieths (current number one in the world of golf). The same could be said of almost all the professional golfers in the world.

From that positive note to one much less positive.

How can it be against the law to commit suicide? I can see some logic in having a law against attempting to commit suicide, although I would find that law to be ridiculous. Who am I harming other than myself if I choose to take my own life? In an unsuccessful attempt, the attempter could stand trial. But if his attempt is successful, would he stand trial in absentia? In an article about Switzerland’s allowing suicide, Helena Bachman says this: “Interestingly enough, we do not deprive our sick and suffering pets of a merciful death. Isn’t it cruel not to extend the same compassion to human beings?” I’m not considering suicide, but I’d like the option of doing so to be available to me when I do consider the quality of my life to be unacceptable, whether it’s because of painful medical issues or because I have too little left to live for. The decision should be mine. Emily Dickinson, in poem 341 (“After Great Pain, a Formal Feeling Comes”), describes a feeling of tremendous grief (heavy, leaden, stiff, wooden, quartz-like), but it’s equally true of a lessening of the reasons for living, that time near the end of a long life when all that once mattered no longer matters. I’ve always been a fan of her final image: “As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow – / First – Chill – then Stupor – then the letting go – .” How like my feelings of life slipping away from me—chill, stupor, letting go. I want the legal and moral right to conclude my life at a time of my own choosing, whether it’s too painful or too inconsequential to continue.
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