The mailperson, almost inevitably a man in my experience, is right up there in my mind with the local librarian and the priest as a consoler, a bringer of sustenance, a conduit between my cloistered little world and the world at large. I have come close to tears in my occasional outbursts of gratitude and wonder that the guy reallly does show up, mostly, rain, shine and here in Tucson, almost dangerous heat.
“Before the 1960s, Japanese had a feeling of mottainai, a difficult-to-translate Japanese word that expresses a sense of regret over waste, as well as a desire to conserve,” reports Rina Hamada, editor of Japan’s Reuse Business Journal. But that was before the living standard in Japan shot sky-high. Now people are way more acquisitive, though they’ll buy second-hand if it’s of high quality.
Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins: “Meet your neighbors!” invites the Natural History Museum, but they’re not talking about the people next door. The exhibit “Spiky, Hairy, Shiny: Insects of LA,” runs through April 1, 2022. All over the city, for the last 10 years people have gathered insects to help the […]
“A particularly severe form of asceticism within Christianity is that of anchorites, who typically allowed themselves to be immured, and subsisting on minimal food. For example, in the 4th century AD, one nun named Alexandra immured herself in a tomb for ten years with a tiny aperture enabling her to receive meager provisions. Saint Jerome (c. 340–420) spoke of one follower who spent his entire life in a cistern, consuming no more than five figs a day.”
“Many people will confide their secret sorrows to you, but the final mark of intimacy is when they share their secret joys with you.”–Oswald Chambers (1874-1917), author of “My Utmost for His Highest”
Whoa. Here’s some advice. Do not EVER move. Just kidding! What I really mean is: Do not ever move unless you have as your moving crew Dennis, Tensie, Donald and Alan. I am safely in my new place in Tucson, as of a week ago today, and I am still reeling from the way that […]
From a friend, last week, at Madonna House in Combermere, Ontario: “The Loons and the Great Blue Heron have returned from the south. The maple sap has quit running and the maple trees are budding. Yesterday there was a work bee to take the leaves off the flower beds because the crocuses have just started […]
When journalist John Hersey arrived in Japan, over a year after the dropping of the bombs, he was staggered by what he found. A mother who’d clung to her dead infant daughter until the body started to decompose. Human beings who had been vaporized, leaving only shadows on the ground or walls. Residents, desperate to rebuild, who were still coming across severed limbs and charred corpses.
St. Paul fell off his horse, but Christ comes in the form of a lamb, a dove, a heron. That’s not to say he’s always gentle. But he’s often gentlest when we’ve been doing terrible violence to ourselves and others.