Eulogy for a Mother-in-Law

Eulogy for a Mother-in-Law

There’s a scene in Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” in which Emily is asking to be allowed just one day to return from the after-life to enjoy one last bit of time with her loved ones.  It would be too painful, she is told;  no special day is necessary, I recall she negotiates, just one simple, mundane day, to enjoy the beauty of life.  Frustrated as she looks back upon those still living, she asks:  “Doesn't anyone ever realize life while they live it? Every, every minute?”  That is, do people not realize the profound beauty and gift of life, present in every mundane moment?  The reply comes:  “No. Saints and poets, maybe; they do some.”

I think Sue was among those saints and poets who did often realize life in the moment, not least because she talked to trees and birds:  I think Sue got this habit from one she deemed the greatest saint she had known, her father.  It occurred to me last night that I think I got this habit—I confess, I do these days talk to trees...

On Memory

We're pleased to announce poet Marie Howe as a featured guest joining us on June 8. Marie is the author of four volumes of poetry described as "luminous, intense, and eloquent, rooted in an abundant inner life. Her long, deep-breathing lines address the mysteries of flesh and spirit, in terms accessible only to a woman who is very much of our time and yet still in touch with the sacred." In addition, we're pleased to announce two of Nashville's finest singer-songwriters who will be joining us that evening: Cindy Morgan and Brad Crisler. Single show tickets or three show season tickets are available here.

A Blog Post about Nothing, and Everything

I left Nashville after dropping my youngest off at school, and headed south-east toward the Cumberland Plateau. Spent an hour wandering around the domain of Sewanee; then an hour writing, sitting in an Adirondack chair beneath a large evergreen in the front lawn of All Saints Chapel; then two-and-a-half or three hours hiking on the Perimeter Trail, out to and past Elliott Point, around to Audubon Lake, where I stripped down to my underwear and jumped into the lake, giddy like a school boy skinny-dipping.