I put everything that interests me to use, one way or the other: martyrs, cults, women’s tennis, Scottish otter keepers, heroin-addicted jazz singers, cloistered nuns, serial murderers.
Here’s the obit for one Renay Mandel Corren who died December 15. It begins: “A plus-sized Jewish lady redneck died in El Paso on Saturday.” I hope I get such a full-bodied tribute when I keel over.
“[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 think that the Church is the only thing that is going to make this horrible world we are coming to endurable; the only thing that makes the Church endurable is that somehow she is the body of Christ and that on this we are fed.”
“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.”
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.
“My first acting teacher made the point that two things are required for theater: actor and audience. If a tree falls alone in the forest and no-one hears it, that’s not theater. That’s rehearsal.”
Speaking of travel, I myself am setting off next Tuesday for a two-week jaunt to the East Coast! A bit of a working holiday as I’ll be visiting lots of museums, gardens, and suchnot, but I’d do that anyway.