Friday, April 15, 2011


I have been way too busy for my taste. Monday, I'm attending a Seder (dressed as a Bedouin and with a roasted beet and blood orange salad, don't ask, my friends Julia, Aaron and Helena) after which I intend to flee to the desert to be in silence and solitude for Holy Week.

Meanwhile, this week, as always, was action-packed.

1. From Albany, New York:
"Don’t let the “John” or the “Esq.” throw you off.  You knew me “sometime back” in Boston on Charles Street as “Jack” the day bartender at The Beacon Hill Pub"...

2. From Dylan Thomas DeFreitas in Arlington, Massachusetts:

"But there's one thing I wanted to share with you. It's a line of poetry that I'm remembering from an open reading I went to, twenty-plus years ago. An elderly chap in a beret announced that he was going to read translations he had made of Emily Dickinson into Italian! (Initially, his audience greeted this with muted tittering.)

But then he read, and he read beautifully.

Do you know the poem that begins "This is my Letter to the World"? That was the poem I'm remembering. Only its last line, in Italian, almost improving (if possible!) on the original "Judge tenderly of Me":
giudicatemi con tenerezza!

And that is what I ask of you (and of all my friends, near and far) tonight:
"giudicatemi con tenerezza!"

3. "But what about our past and the things we have still not really accepted; wounds that have not healed but, on the contrary, have become infected? Sometimes an unpleasant word from someone or an insignificant event in our lives brings forth a totally disproportionate reaction, which shocks not only those around us but even ourselves? Was it not perhaps an old wound that was laid bare?"...
--Wilfrid Stinissen, from Into Your Hands, Father, a copy of which was sent to me by the very generous Paul Rodden of the UK

4. It is here, in the pieces of my shame, that I find myself.

5. After a talk I gave Tuesday morning to a Bay Area group called Catholics at Work, in which I told the story of my life, conversion, and work, someone from the audience asked, "What next?" "Well, I know I'm gonna be on the 11:05 Southwest flight back to Burbank..." I replied.

That afternoon I received the following from Robert A. Hill:

Lead, Kindly Light,
amidst th' encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark,
and I am far from home,
Lead Thou me on!

Keep Thou my feet;
I do not ask to see
The distant scene;
one step enough for me.
I was not ever thus,
nor prayed that Thou shouldst lead me on;
I loved to choose and see my path;
but now lead Thou me on!

I loved the garish day,
and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will.
Remember not past years!

So long Thy power hath blest me,
sure it still will lead me on.
O’er moor and fen,
o’er crag and torrent, till the night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile, which I
Have loved long since, and lost awhile!

Meantime, along the narrow rugged path,
Thyself hast trod,
Lead, Savior, lead me home in childlike faith,
home to my God.
To rest forever after earthly strife
In the calm light of everlasting life.

--Cardinal Newman

6. From Timothy A. Brown of Hampton, New Hampshire:
"Could you let me know if you still have the court record when we were officially divorced?"

7. Who knew white people could sing gospel?


  1. You always find such wonderful pieces, Heather! Thank you.

    Prayers for a blessed Holy Week!

  2. Yes, I agree with jp! Thanks Heather!

    And, for another rare treat of white people singing gospel, there's Alison Krause & the Cox Family...They have a CD called: "I Know Who Holds Tomorrow"...and they sing some gorgeous tunes!

    Take Care & God Bless!


  3. Heather--You are a blessing to all. Thanks for all the pieces, but especially the one by Cardinal Newman, it always moves me to tears.

  4. Thanks, Jason, Sophia, and Sue--I am an Alison Krauss (and Cox Family) fan from way back...wishing you all a blessed, holy Holy Week...


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