“Thus says the Lord: I will allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak to her heart. She shall respond there as in the days of her youth, when she came up from the land of Egypt.”
–Hosea 2:13-14

I’ve been off-and-on obsessed the last few  years with where and how I should be laid to rest when the time comes.

The whole funeral/burial industry seems so de-sacramentalized if that’s a word. Recently I read an interesting article about this mile-long island off NYC which for decades has been a kind of prison-run Potter’s Field and how more and more people are buried there, some not poor.

So I researched and found there is one here in Tucson, too–they call it Pauper’s Field, which I like even better. Anyway, I started thinking I wonder if you could PAY to be buried in Potter’s Field? I would much rather give say 5 or 10 thousand bucks (if I have that much left when I croak) to the county, to be used for  operating costs and upkeep on behalf of others, and be buried amongst my nameless brothers and sisters with a simple cross.

As Thérèse of Lisieux said: “I don’t care where they bury me. “What does it matter where we are? There are missionaries who have ended up in the stomachs of cannibals, and the martyrs had the bodies of wild beasts for a cemetery.”

Of course I’d want a funeral Mass and for a priest to bless the site. 

A listening tip: from a recent piece in the Times Literary Supplement:

“Music is also getting to grips with the climate crisis and the catastrophic loss of landscape and animal life it entails. Simmerdim: Curlew sounds is an album – and a project – brought together by Merlyn Driver, who grew up in the Orkney Islands, one of the curlew’s main breeding areas, with wide open moorlands where they can hide their nests on the ground.”

Viewing tips: If anyone else is a sucker for 40s and 50s films, the Criterion Channel is featuring a Technicolor Noir series this month. This has given me a chance to re-watch Leave Her to Heaven (1945) with Gene Tierney as a drop-dead gorgeous, deeply demented love addict, partly shot in what purported to be Taos, New Mexico.

Also featured is A Kiss Before Dying (1956) (Robert Wagner, Joanne Woodward) (demented gold-digger gigolo) which was actually shot entirely in Tucson, with a stunning hacienda-type home that apparently still stands and is now known as the Pond’s Mansion.

AND a film that was new to me: Desert Fury (1947) with the sublime Lizabeth Scott in fabulous outfits by Edith Head, Burt Lancaster in one of his earliest roles, here as a good cop, Mary Astor as the casino owner/madame of the Purple Sage Bar in Chuckawalla, Nevada, and John Hodiak and Wendell Corey in an unbelievably creepy/strange master-slave “friendship”…

The Technicolor, especially in the latter, is achingly lush. What’s weird is that at certain times of day and at certain times of the year, the light here in the desert really kind of does look like it does in these over-the-top movies.

What better time to watch them than during the fevered height of summer?

Finally–I don’t want to brag, but one of my fondest wishes has come true: I have the stigmata.


Another, less imaginative person might attribute the affliction to eczema, which for years has periodically flared up on various parts of my stress-riddled body. But I know better. The Lord is joining me to his Passion and if things don’t improve, I hope to start going about in a little pair of black cotton gloves like Padre Pio.

I even know the source of my terrrible suffering, so like Christ’s on the Cross. My beloved tennis heroine Garbiñe Muguruza, out in the second round of Wimbledon, has been in a terrible slump.

2 Replies to “OUT OF EGYPT”

  1. A stigmatic! How fabulous!? You will be a saint yet.

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Obviously well on my way! :)!


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