Elie's Expositions

A bereaved father blogging for catharsis... and for distraction. Accordingly, you'll see a diverse set of topics and posts here, from the affecting to the analytical to the absurd. Something for everyone, but all, at the core, meeting a personal need.


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Thursday, August 18, 2005

Retreats and Talking Robots

Several people, including Glen from Moving On, have asked/suggested that Debbie and I attend next month's Chai Lifeline retreat for bereaved parents. After some thought - well to be honest, after very little thought - we decided to pass. Neither of us feel up to attending a gathering like this, at least not yet.

Which led me to ponder why I find myself - barely - able to blog about Aaron's story in such painful detail, but not ready for this get-together? Certainly, the greater detachment of blog communication, vs. a face-to-face event, is one factor. But I think there's another aspect as well. And since my Ariel Sharon "kneel before Zod" analogy was well-received, here's another in a similar vein.

The very first of Isaac Asimov's series of Positronic Robot short stories, published in 1940, is entitled "Robbie". It concerns a little girl, Gloria, and her robot nanny, Robbie, whom she loves dearly. Much to Gloria's distress, her mother secretly gets rid of Robbie one day, because she feels it is unhealthy for her daughter to be raised by a machine (prescient of today's TV and video game hooked kids!)

In one amusing scene, Gloria's parents take her to a science museum to get her mind off Robbie, but she runs across a "talking robot" prototype, and asks the robot if he had seen Robbie, whom she describes as "a robot like you". Unfortunately, the talking robot's mind can not assimilate the concept of itself, not just as an individual, but as a member of a general class called "robots", and it short circuits (as all good TV and sci-fi robots did in those days).

I guess I'm kind of in the same place as that ill-fated talking robot. Ready, perhaps, to start dealing with my personal grief through blogging, but not yet ready to fully acknowledge, and come face-to-face, with my membership in a new, horrifying category called "bereaved parents". Maybe next year, I'll be in a different place. But right now, next year feels about as far in the future as Asimov's Foundation.

3 Comments:

At 8/18/05, 6:42 PM, Blogger Soccer Dad said...

Elie,
The difference between blogging and a retreat; the blogging you do on your own terms. However much or little you wish to recall you can. A retreat likely means that others will be encouraging you to tell more of your story; even if you don't want to.
David

 
At 8/18/05, 8:48 PM, Blogger JC said...

Good, find your own way and do what you can do in comfort.

 
At 8/19/05, 9:21 AM, Blogger benros52589 said...

blogging is more less ure own decision so it's ure stregnth ure call a gathering is either u do it but u must go back

 

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