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Showing posts from August, 2011

If you meet the Buddha on the road, he will likely be a cat.

Since learning about yoga at age 14, I've engaged in various bouts of trying to achieve stillness of body and mind. The positions and exercises that even a basic and simple yoga practice provide have been a great help to me. This was especially true after being in a major automobile accident and surviving various musculo-skeletal injuries. Still (how to avoid this pun?), after many years, I had yet to achieve stillness. For a while, I tried Tibetan breathing techniques. I also use (and draw great comfort from) the time-honored "Jesus prayer" used by pilgrims for thousands of years (Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me). I could slow down, I could calm down... but utter stillness eluded me.

Then the cat came into my life.  He is not the first cat ever, but the first cat in more than 25 years to come into my life. Bear with me a moment while I tell you about the very first cat.

I was four, and my cousins gave me a beautiful Siamese kitten. While discussing what to call the …

Reading One's Way

Please click on over to my other blog,Getting Along with Grief, to learn about Tolstoy and the Purple Chair, and how traveling through a year of books can inform, delight, help and heal. While Jan Hoffman's article tells the story of how author, attorney, wife and mom Nina Sankovitch found solace from loss by reading a book a day for a year, the article is testimony to just how much books can and still do provide for us everyday. It motivated me to start thinking of books again as companions and see television and its commercials for the life-interrupting force it too often is.
Hasta pronto ....

What the Gods Have Not Taken from Us

In one of my favorite books by C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces, the author writes: "Weakness and work are two things the gods have not taken from us." I have recalled that sentence in my mind countless times in the 40 years since I read that novel, especially on nights when, already tired beyond description, I faced additional office work or housework. This summer, however, there has been a variation on that sentence coming to my mind: "Weakness, work and weather are three things the gods have not taken from us."

I live in one of this summer's drought-stricken states, Texas. Texans have long suffered hot summers and done so with no small degree of toughness and pride. This summer for me, however, has been like no other in my lifetime. This summer's drought and high temperatures have made the weather a source of death and destruction. Trees that have graced these plains for three generations or more have died. Ranchers had to sell entire herds of cattle, becau…

Touch, Feel, Use and Enjoy

Yes, you can do all this ... with paper! We are a special bunch, paper addicts. We know that when we touch a well-made paper that we hold the essence of tree and land in our hand. We know that a clean, white paper surface will never strain our eyes. We know that paper is still an envoy par excellence for thoughts, wishes, drawings, paintings, and that this simple two-dimensional creation can tailor a gift in just the right dress.  So, my fellow paper addicts, please read on to learn about a place worthy of pilgrimage for the likes of us.


While Texas sizzled under the sun (No idle metaphor. You can literally smell the baked earth when you walk outside), I had the luck to be strolling Selby Avenue in the Cathedral Hill neighborhood of Saint Paul, Minnesota. At Number 366, you'll find Paper Patisserie, a treasure of a shop, owned by Eileen Shapiro.  What follows is a selection of what you will find at Paper Patisserie.


Crane stationery. Always a good choice. Letterpress cards. Talk abo…