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Showing posts from May, 2010

Memorial Day

Today marks an important time to stop and remember with gratitude all that the men and women who have served in our military have done for us and continue to do. We are able to "assume" peace, in large part, thanks to them. They deal with a vastly imperfect world, trying to make our world better, and they pay a very, very high price, as do their families. It's also a good day to remember that we need to think of them every day, that wherever a war theater may be, it claims a part of the stage on which we all live. The language gives us a clue. There contains here. Wherever our soldiers may be, wherever "there" is, they should also be here, in our thoughts, our prayers, our hearts.

And the books set sail . . .

to new destinations! It was fun and meaningful to meet and greet our books' new navigators. The first customers came from Recycled Books in Denton, TX--one of the world's best used book stores. Their knowledgeable buyers moved swiftly among shelves and tables as if they had radar guiding them straight to great selections, especially in art: Lindner, Marini, Charlot, and O'Keeffe and Company. The signed John Howard Griffin and John Faulkner volumes also went to Recycled.

Our friend Josh, a trombone player and archeology student, made a beeline for the Nobel Literature Prize Library, while his 6'4" friend Thomas misplaced Robinson Crusoe and had to search for the lost wanderer before checking out with his bounty of some 45 other books. My friend Julie bought the first edition Southern Legacy by Hodding Carter, saying that she was glad it was a first edition, but even happier that it still had my mother's signature in it from those first edition days.

Our father wa…

Forever Booked

The old family home where we spent many a family holiday together has at last been sold. Soon, we will sell the bulk of our parents' amazing library, long stored in that 1920s four-square edifice, some 2000 volumes collected over more than 50 years. We would be selling more, but my brother, sister and I have all picked out favorites that we don't want to part with.

Our choices, like our parents', are far-ranging: from literary criticism to poetry, from abstract expressionism to American folk art, from Texas barbecue to French Mediterranean dishes, from children's illustrated Bibles to Bonhoeffer and Borg. We have also saved treasures to pass on to my son's generation: our great-grandfather's copy of Leaves of Grass; books signed by Updike, Ciardi, and Rollo May, personally addressed to our forebears; and one of my mother's prized possessions from childhood: The Wonder World series of leather-bound, story-filled volumes.

Going through books is a good exerc…

A Classic American Spring

And a perfect Mother's Day outing if you live in or near New York. It's the New York Botanical Garden's re-creation of Emily Dickinson's garden. Dickinson was an accomplished gardener and horticulturist. Many of the poems that she gave to friends and family during her life time were attached to a bouquet of flowers or herbs that she herself had grown. The exhibit is a wonderful idea brought to reality, an enchanting kind of time travel into the poet's natural and cultivated world. There is lots of information on the exhibit at the New York Botanical Garden website. Check it out!

Visión doble

Iba a dedicar esta entrada a la fiesta del primero de mayo, un día dedicado desde hace siglos a los regalos que nos da la naturaleza en primavera, pero el corazón manda, y hoy el corazón me manda a España, mi segundo hogar.

Vivía ahí solamente cinco años, pero ese país, tan lleno de carácter, contradicciones, historia, arte, y música se adueñó de mí de una forma que se puede reconocer, pero que no se puede explicar por todo. De hecho creo que cuando algo, algún lugar, o alguna persona se adueña de una parte de ti o una parte de tu "mero corazón", no se puede explicar por entero. Si lo podrías explicar, si lo podrías identificar los pasos concretos del proceso, entonces perderías por lo menos unos de los lazos entre tí mismo y ese Otro que es, a la vez, tu dueño, tu escenario, tu historia, y tu vida.

Siempre que cambien las estaciones del año, siento nostalgia por España, específicamente por el paisaje del centro del país, donde viviá entre pinos mediterráneos y colinas cuyas c…