I get a kick out of those “militant feminists” who, while being supported by wealthy husbands, lecture their single, self-supporting sisters about the need to overthrow the patriarchy.
Since the dawn of human history, Father Alessandrini notes, humans have been on the move: driven by threats, curiosity, the search for food, and any number of other forces. Migration, he notes, could be “interpreted as a restless longing for a fulfilling final experience.”
Sick members of the community are nursed and nourished; it’s as if trees, too, exist as part of a Mystical Body. So strong is the instinct toward collective health that a kind of equalizing principle is at work, whereby more robust trees work to strengthen the weak.
It’s as if the secular culture, with neither God nor theology, has come up on its own with a twisted notion of the Fall whereby half of humanity is by its nature violent, greedy, hateful and irredeemable; and the other half is by its nature sinless, pure, gentle and blameless, and therefore needs no redeeming.
“[Louis] Menand himself seems not much to admire any of them. Is he saying that, given an unlimited amount of freedom, this somewhat uninspiring group—the way he paints it, anyway—is the best that post-WWII Western civilization was been able to produce?”
“I do not work with natural dyes simply because I was born into the tradition, or because there is money to be made, or because it is a trend. I work with natural dyes because I discovered my gift and calling within our traditional practice and developed a profound connection with Mother Earth.”
Living in Oklahoma in 1999, Green would read in the morning paper of executions that had taken place the night before, including descriptions of the prisoner’s clothing and last meal. “Comfort food,” she thought. “It humanized Death Row for me…I related to that inmate.”
I felt as if I were a guest at some exotic villa where the owner had discreetly left me to explore and marvel on my own. If I’d had any idea of the range and distinction of this one-of-a-kind horticultural haven, I would have scheduled my day so as to to spend way longer.
Don’t get me wrong. All three homes were wondrous. I wouldn’t have missed them for the world. Still, I couldn’t help reflecting afterwards that the effort to preserve in amber any human life carries a touch of the absurd.
Jubilant, earthy, celebratory, mischievous, she invites us to see the dance “inside” our most homely tasks, chores, and daily activities. Layered through her soundtracks are oral histories; whispered, overheard and remembered conversations through open windows or over the kitchen table. Throughout her careers, she collaborated with avant-garde musicians and writers.