Sun and Shadow

Letter from the Editor

Misery doesn’t love company.

Despite what prevailing wisdom tells us, misery wants some good news.

So, when Forbes magazine named Detroit as America’s Most Miserable City, it didn’t come as welcome company to the misery of the mayoral scandal.

As this issue went to press, Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick had just gone to church, faced the cameras, and addressed his constituents, who mostly don’t care what goes on behind closed doors.

But, as for the possibility of having been screwed out of tax dollars during economic tough times, well, misery doesn’t love company.

Little darling, it’s been a long, cold lonely winter, as the song lyrics go. So our published “text message” this month offers a sunny antidote by saluting the emerging warmth. In this issue, our pages reflect lighthearted occasions that usher us into warmer days. Our March-inspired features acknowledge St. Patrick’s Day, golfing, traditional Easter hats, Tigers opening day and, of course, Hour Detroit’s 2008 Restaurant of the Year.

Our winning dining room has managed to remain focused, maintaining its decades-long popularity. The restaurateur kept his eye on the task, without straying.

Among our more substantial topics, we look at the trend of study-abroad programs for college students. In this case, travel “with benefits” means exposing young people to global culture.

In this month’s décor feature, eight pages of photographs highlight a contemporary interior designed to create a peaceful setting for the homeowner. The featured home is about fostering a lifestyle of serenity, as opposed to creating a public house divided.

And though the approaching season is a time of rebirth, our pages include a look at the somber matter of death’s aftermath and what to do about unclaimed “cremains,” abandoned urns languishing among the mountains of ashes that our many passings are begetting.

The practical matter of physical remains can amount to a very simple problem of storage, as our story details. Clutter, it seems, has an afterlife. But our legacies, now that’s another story. Somewhere in between lust and dust we earn our epitaphs by how we choose to live our lives.

Self-definition isn’t easy. Over a convivial dinner one evening, my companions and I were discussing what single word we would choose to describe ourselves. Creative adjectives littered the table. But the best one offered was also the least sexy: “Responsible.”

We each write our own eternal “text.” And, tedious as it might sound to some, just doing our jobs can lead to the best final inscription.

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