O saints, if I am even eligible for this prayer,
though less than worthy of this dear desire,
and if your prayers have influence in Heaven,
let my place there be lower than your own.
I know how you longed, here where you lived
as exiles, for the presence of the essential
Being and Maker and Knower of all things.
But because of my unruliness, or some erring
virtue in me never rightly schooled,
some error clear and dear, my life
has not taught me your desire for flight:
dismattered, pure, and free. I long
instead for the Heaven of creatures, of seasons,
of day and night. Heaven enough for me
would be this world as I know it, but redeemed
of our abuse of it and one another. It would be
the Heaven of knowing again. There is no marrying
in Heaven, and I submit; even so, I would like
to know my wife again, both of us young again,
and I remembering always how I loved her
when she was old. I would like to know
my children again, all my family, all my dear ones,
to see, to hear, to hold, more carefully
than before, to study them lingeringly as one
studies old verses, committing them to heart
forever. I would like again to know my friends,
my old companions, men and women, horses
and dogs, in all the ages of our lives, here
in this place that I have watched over all my life
in all its moods and seasons, never enough.
I will be leaving how many beauties overlooked?
A painful Heaven this would be, for I would know
by it how far I have fallen short. I have not
paid enough attention, I have not been grateful
enough. And yet this pain would be the measure
of my love. In eternity’s once and now, pain would
place me surely in the Heaven of my earthly love.
— Wendell Berry, from ‘Leavings’
This is the wonderful poem that was read before this year’s Jefferson Lecture at the National Endowment for the Humanities by Wendell Berry. I first read the text of his lecture and then watched a video of it. It is remarkable. Berry is the prophet of our time. He warms my heart and chills my spine at the same time.
Here’s a tonic for our times — “A Self-Made Man Looks At How He Made It” by writer and blogger John Scalzi. I think we will return to this way of looking at our lives — eventually — but only after our culture’s arrogance and narcissism has driven us into the ditch.
She called up the Webb School of California, and found out it cost more to attend than she made in a year. But she was convinced it was the right place. I went and took the entrance test and had my interview with a teacher there, named Steve Patterson. I don’t remember what it was I said during the interview; I have almost no memory of that interview at all. But I was told years later by another teacher that Steve Patterson said that day to the Webb admissions people that if there were only one child who was admitted to Webb that year, it should be me.
[via boing boing]
Anne Lamott – Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”
A summary of my family’s culinary adventures on our vacation out west.
Sensory overload and confusion trying to choose among the incredible Portland Food Carts — here’s what we tried (and loved):
Grilled cheese from The Grilled Cheese Grill
Pad Thai from E-San
Fishy Chips from Euro Trash
The real deal — clam chowder from the Chowder Bowl (Nye Beach (Newport))
The ultimate in down-home comfort food (German potatoes–Holy Cow!) from the Otis Cafe (Otis, OR)
Marino’s Pizza and Ravioli (Ukiah, CA). Live-saving goodness and hospitality after a really long day on the road.
Pahgre’s (Montrose, CO). Sofie and Emery declared it to be one of the best restaurants in the world.
Huckleberry ice cream at Tillamook Cheese. Sure it’s kind of weird that a cheese factory is a tourist destination, but the ice cream is amazing.
Smoked salmon at Fresh Seafood NW (across from Tillamook Cheese Factory). Potential for addiction were we closer.
La Providensia Taqueria in Tillamook. Oh yeah, that’s cooking. Get a carnitas burrito, it’ll make you happy.
[via Huffington Post]
This video brings back memories from my childhood of listening over and over to a set of records (yes) from NASA that my grandparents (Carl and Isabel Smashey) got me for Christmas one year.