I remember reading a lot of medieval theology speculating what bodies were like in the Garden of Eden. Did they have hangnails, did they need glasses? The speculators were at least sure that prelapsarian bodies were much nicer. I'm not as sure...but I do believe, in the words of one New Testament epistle, "it does not yet appear what we shall be." Or, as Donald titled a song inspired by that verse: "You Have No Idea." On today, the day Mary Anne died in 2001, it all just makes me wonder at this world of flash and change, like the lightning that lit up the sky last night. Here is a dragonfly & water poem for a hot August day: "Visitation," by Dale Wisely. Our dad sent it around for Easter in 2002.--JEB
This is what I wish I had said, standing next to you
at the casket instead of, you know, ‘She’s at rest now. She
fought so hard.’ I would say, instead, that this is
That what lies here is not your mother, only clay and
tubes and fiber on a stilled frame. A wondrous thing, but not your
mother. This, rather, is your mother:
Standing on a cliff over
luminous waters, her arms at the sides of her perfect, true body. Her
hair has returned to gold. Her back, strong and pliant.
And her eyes,
her eyes now peer across the waters to the opposite shore and she counts
each emerald leaf on every tree. She spots a dragonfly and sees each tiny
lens of compound eye.
Forgetting what fear even was, she dives,
plunges, and makes a graceful underwater curve, breaking the surface from
This weekend I took a spur-of-the-moment trip to see Clare and Stefan. They have put in many long days' labor to clear trees, chop wood, woodchip brush, lay piping, and, with all the rain, bail lots of water. Now the concrete foundation of the sugarhouse/greenhouse is finally poured, and they begin framing this week. On Sunday I took a tour of the site and trekked the woods again, this time in lush Vermont summertime. I was fascinated with "Indian pipe," which looks like a mushroom but is actually a flowering plant in the blueberry family. It just doesn't have chlorophyll. Also known as the ghost plant, it can grow in the dark, woo-woooo! You can see many more pics here.--JEB
I've been watering the greenhouse plants while Dad is gone, and in that time, there's been a small-scale invasion of these scary-looking spiders (above). Last time I was in there, I counted eleven. They grow to be as big as my palm! And now they're beginning to compete for space--yesterday I saw a smaller one wrapped up in a bigger one's web, still kicking and struggling to get free. This morning, it was gone. *shudder*
We've been wondering what they are (because it would be nice to know if they're, you know, poisonous), but Nicole found it in the spider book, and it turns out to be Black and Yellow Argiope. A common and helpful garden spider, though admittedly scary-looking (especially under an electron microscope--whooooaaaaa.) I've spotted two HUGE egg sacs in greenhouse nooks...I think I'll let Dad take care of them when he gets back ;) --MCB
A few years ago, when we were going through Mom's things, I found her marriage diary. Not a diary OF her marriage--but a diary before she'd even met Dad, when she was younger than I am now, of her study of Catholic marriage. She was incredibly passionate, curious, and determined. Luckily this romantic Jesuit met another romantic Jesuit, our Dad, at Marquette University, and a few years later they were married.
So today, on the 42nd anniversary of our parents' marriage, I want to thank them for taking it so seriously. For committing to each other, and to us. For bringing so much abundance, love, and wisdom into the world. Not just through their raising of five children, but their sense of giving and living, enriching their whole community, which is part of the sacred mission of a Catholic marriage. And from the prism comes a rainbow: we are Sufi, Evangelical, Hindu, Christian, Artist, Buddhist, and many more things to come, I think.
For our Mother and Father, Mary Anne and Donald. Sending you all our love. --MCB