Saturday, August 25, 2012

From the heirloom vegetable booth; A small Siamese cat; Folding things; Fuschia; A hug

delicious-tasting off-color and shape vegetables last Saturday.
They cost a little more but are worth it!  Tomatoes, egg-plant.....
Stand usually situated to the left of Friedman Street and river lot.
on north side of shopping lane just before or after the honey guy.

as I walk across the street from him
- or her - on South Street.
It hides on a sill behind a rusty screen
and takes up just a small corner
or the window.
Today I had my inexpensive
Lower Crustacean cell cam
and tried for a picture.
I did not get a satisfactory result,
the unsuccessful try is shown above.
I resort to a red arrow and
circle to show the vigilant cat.
With the LVD memorial Nikon Digital
on zoom, I would have captured it. 

This cat lives perhaps a daytime solitary life
in its second floor flat
above a music store.
When I go by I look for it each time
and it's almost always there.
Watches me moving on his-or-her street
moving from-or-to my own downtown upper sill
not far away.


A small swamp cat,
maybe nittier, grittier



An ounces-light folding chair
made in England
hangs from Odd Fellows 
bedroom wall.



[from THE WRITERS ALMANAC, Garrison Keillor, 8-23-12]

That summer in the west I walked sunrise
to dusk, narrow twisted highways without shoulders,
low stone walls on both sides. Hedgerows
of fuchsia hemmed me in, the tropical plant
now wild, centuries after nobles imported it
for their gardens. I was unafraid,
did not cross to the outsides of curves, did not
look behind me for what might be coming.
For weeks in counties Kerry and Cork, I walked
through the red blooms the Irish call
the Tears of God, blazing from the brush
like lanterns. Who would have thought
a warm current touching the shore
of that stone-cold country could make
lemon trees, bananas, and palms not just take,
but thrive? Wild as the jungles they came from,
where boas flexed around their trunks —
like my other brushes with miracles,
the men who love you back, how they come
to you, gorgeous and invasive, improbable,
hemming you in. And you walk that road
blazing, some days not even afraid to die.

"Fuchsia" by Katrina Vandenberg, from The Alphabet Not Unlike the World. © Milkweed Editions, 2012.

LVD, flowering tree, Fairvax VA ...

Erin, Denise's daughter, practices her hugging

another daughter in Wasilla sends Zeppelin news 
 (Background: )


on slowing down

Stillspeaking Daily Devotional
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The Monks Who Take Long Pauses

Psalm 69:7

"Because of you, I look like an idiot."  (The Message)

Reflection by Lillian Daniel

I had the chance to join some Benedictine monks for evening worship with a group of pastor writers at the Collegeville Institute. The Benedictines, well known for their hospitality to the stranger, asked our mostly Protestant group to meet with Brother John outside the chapel fifteen minutes before worship for an orientation. He spoke to us a bit about the striking modern abbey church, and then took us inside to our seats in the section next to the monks. There he explained which book we were to open and when. It was complicated and we needed all the help we could get. There were going to be all kinds of responsive readings where the leader would speak, and then the monks on one side of the church would respond as "choir one" and then the other side would respond as "choir two." "You're choir two," he told us, and then added this as an afterthought:

"The pace here at the abbey is slower than what you are used to," he explained. "The monks take pauses in the responsive readings, pauses that will seem long to you. So you might want to hold back at first and really listen to them, to get their pace before you join in."

I had no idea what he meant until the service began. Then, when it was choir two's turn to read several lines of a psalm, I heard my own voice and a few others from the visitor's section bleating out alone, as the monks took a long silent breath after each line. I am so used to finding my place and quickly saying my lines in a rush. But the monks said a line or a phrase and then all stopped to pause, as if to really listen to it, to take it in.

I was struck by how often I just barrel through readings in worship and how often I barrel through conversations in life. What a difference a few quiet pauses might make.


Listening Lord, help me to listen too. Amen.
Lillian Daniel
About the Author
Lillian Daniel is the senior minister of the First Congregational Church, UCC, Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She is the author, with Martin Copenhaver, of This Odd and Wondrous Calling: the Public and Private Lives of Two Ministers.

Old picture from NY Times Book Review
still hangs at the raccoon abode, this time
at the Odd Fellows...

Heirloom tomatoes from top photo
sliced and eaten 8-23-12