Tuesday, May 3, 2016

SUMMER TRAVEL PLANS


this charming spray of oleander caught my eye the other day
Not to put too fine a point on it, but I have been working my tail off these past months! Who hasn't, I know. And now I'm firming up my plans for a five-week visit to New England and New York.

June 9th I'll fly out from LA to Providence, RI, there to be met by the distinguished Dr. Timothy Flanigan. Tim is a husband, father and an infectious disease doctor who volunteered to go to to Liberia at the height of the Ebola epidemic. We met last year when he was in town to visit a sister who'd just had if memory serves a knee replacement. Would you like to have coffee? he'd asked, so we met for a noon Mass at the downtown cathedral and then broke bread at Grand Central Market. Anyway, Dr. Tim is an alumnus of the Portsmouth Abbey School and has invited me as his guest for a weekend conference called Christian Courage in a Secular Age.

Having just attended the sentencing hearing for my Catholic Worker peace activist friends Dennis Apel and Jeff Dietrich, who each got four-month sentences for vigiling at Vandenberg Air Force Base against nuclear weapon and our culture of death, I've been thinking deeply on Christian courage.

DENNIS APEL, BEING ARRESTED AT VANDENBERG.
IF THAT IS NOT THE FACE OF CHRIST, I DON'T KNOW WHAT IS.

DR.TIMOTHY FLANIGAN IN THE "HOT ZONE" OF LIBERIA
DURING THE EBOLA OUTBREAK.
SEEMS THE PLAID SHIRT IS THE GARMENT OF CHOICE FOR MEN OF
CHRISTIAN COURAGE

From Providence, I'll go to Northampton, Mass. to celebrate the birthday of/visit with my youngest sibling, aka "Little Meddy." We have a field trip to the Montague Bookmill ("Books you don't need in a place you can't find") planned and then there are the Smith greenhouses, Mass MoCA possibly, gossiping about the rest of the family, et cetera.

After Northampton, I'll head up to the Portsmouth NH Seacoast area, land of my birth and formative years. Here I'll visit with some more of my siblings and other fam members and friends. Gardens, walks along the ocean, the salt air, and maybe a fried clam or two. Then I'll visit with a treasured chum Ellen Mugar, ESL teacher extraordinaire, bibliophile, world-class traveler, lover of connecting people, and woman of many other talents. Then Marjorie Sa'adah, an incredible writer, also an old friend, who I met in LA and who made her way back East to the Dartmouth/Hanover/southwestern Vermont area. When learning I was to be in the area, Marjorie in a flash offered me the full use of what sounds like her amazing house where I'll stay for five nights. A lady in the 'hood named Muriel makes donuts and sells them from her kitchen. I mean that alone is worth a coast-to-coast journey.

June 30 I head down to NYC and will spend 10 nights at the Dominican Guest House on E. 63rd. The Cloisters...the Met...walks, walks, walks...several friends with whom to visit: some I've known for many years, some I've not yet met in the flesh.  July 10th up I go to an artist's retreat, courtesy of my sainted Paulist Fathers friend Fr. Tom Hall, at Lake George's St. Mary's on the Lake. It ends at 12:30 July 15 and I hope to catch an 8:30 pm flight that night out of JFK back to LA

I'm working on a proposal for a book on prayer.  And I was thinking the other day that though the life of the seeker has an underlying sense of fun, he or she never does anything just for fun: idly, randomly to kill time. In a rare flash of humor, Thomas Merton once observed, "The man of solitude is happy, but he never has a good time."









LOOK AT THESE PEACHES!
They're small, and not yet ripe, but so pretty.
I spotted them on a tree near Catalina and Lake in Pasadena Sunday.


2 comments:

  1. Lovely plans. I just finished Shirt of Flame and have ordered the new book. I see you are considering a book on prayer. If you come Oklahoma way, my sister and I are almost finished with our prayer house, built on our hilltop (not too high, but high enough to see the big trucks traveling along I-35). We have named the prayer house Little Flower Prayer House. We recently attended a Catholic women's conference and listened to Fr. Apostoli speak. I'm going to make a notebook of prayers to keep in the prayer house and include prayers we can utilize to pray for our priests. I asked Fr. Apostoli if he had any thoughts along that line. He said we should pray for the renewal of the priesthood. Again, if you ever find reason to come to Oklahoma, come be our guest at Yonderland (the name of our "farm"). We are about an hour north of OKC.

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  2. Sounds amazing Heather. Prayers for travel mercies for you.

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