They say that Richard Cory
Owns one-half of this here town
With political connections
To spread his wealth around
Born into society, a bankers only child
He had everything a man could want
Power, grace and style
Refrain: But, I work in his factory
And I curse the life I’m livin’
And I curse my poverty
And I wish that I could be
Yeah, I wish that I could be
Lord, I wish that I could be, Richard Cory
Paper’s print his pictures
Almost everywhere he go
Richard Cory at the opera
Richard Cory at the show
And the rumors of his a-parties
And orgies on his yacht
Heart and soul he must be happy
With everything that he has got
He freely gave to charity
And had that common touch
They were grateful for his patronage
And thanked him very much
So my mind was filled with wonder
When the evenin’ headlines read
That “Richard Cory went home last night
And put a bullet through his head”
So while this is going, I was visiting a parishioner who had fractured her hip and her daughter recommended that I read a book called the “River of Doubt” by Candace Millard that recounts the story of Theodore Roosevelt going down an unexplored river in South America and almost dying. It is an amazing story. Roosevelt was accompanied by his son, Kermit and a whole bunch of books. Both Father and Son loved to read and told each their favorite list of authors. Kermit had read before a book of poetry called “Children of the Night” by E.A. Robinson. I was interested enough to keep reading about Roosevelt and discovered that he read Robinson at the advice of his son and liked him as well. He liked him so much Roosevelt investigated him and found out that between trying to write and make a living Robinson was basically trying to drink himself to death. Roosevelt did an extraordinary thing – he hired Robinson as a government employee with a job he never had to show up for that allowed him to write full time. The result was three Pulitzer Prizes.
While reading all this I took a detour and downloaded the “Children of the Night”. Image my surprise when I turned a page and there was a poem called Richard Cory. Simon has taken and embellished the poem which is much shorter, and of course put it to music. My interest in all of this is the little things that happen in life, that lead to another and another and all of a sudden there is a whole list of things that are related to one another. A daisy chain of causes and effects that add up to facets of our life that if not earth shattering, make life interesting.
I read the “River of Doubt” at the recommendation of a young women whose mother I was visiting because she had fractured her hip. She got caught up and stubbed her toe on the carpet and injured herself. I had remarked that I worried my mother would do something like that because of age etc. As I was writing this article on Monday while visiting relatives for a 50th anniversary, I got a call that my mother was on the way to the hospital because, you guessed it; she fell and fractured her hip. All the way back to Grand Forks the song in my mind has been – Richard Cory.
The Bible is full of what seem to be coincidences but of course are all guiding of God. Moses being saved by being placed in a basket in the river and rescued by Pharaohs daughter seems to be a coincidence. Phillip meeting Jesus and later Phillip meeting the Ethiopian eunuch and so many more seem to be coincidences and yet the guiding hand of God is there. That God guides and directs history is a matter of faith and some believe that it leads to fatalism. That is a topic for later. It does touch on the matter of missions and mercy.