April 29th, 2008


In honor of Olga Grassi, my grandmother-in-law

Olga was a vibrant and fiery woman who raised six children and whose Roman Catholic faith was the foundation of her life. I remember her as she contemplated her heart surgery in 2001, about six weeks after my own, and the calm courage with which she faced the serious odds against her survival. She needed a valve replacement and without it her life was extremely constricted. So she bravely took a chance that heart surgery, risky at her advanced age and condition, might give her back the ability to go on walks and participate more fully in life. Olga was a poet whose work was published in local magazines. This is one of her poems about the walks through the community she loved so much, admiring her Lord's bountiful nature. She did not survive her surgery by more than a day spent in a coma, but she is well remembered by her many family members and friends. I am forever grateful to her for making me feel so welcome in the Grassi family.Collapse )


You go from love into love.
--The Pagan Book of Living and Dying

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.

--Albert Camus

Love consists of this, that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other.

--Rainer Maria Rilke

When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.

--Alexander Graham Bell

"Tcha," Tibor said. "You're too limited in your scholarship. There is real religion, which is about our relationship to God, which is important. But there is another kind of religion, and the is the religion that is about identity. It is about banding together in a group and defending ourselves against what we fear, when what we fear is each other. It is about not wanting to live in a world where we are a minority, because it is uncomfortable to be a minority. That kind of religion talks about God sometimes, but it doesn't have to. It can call itself Christian or Muslim or Hindu or Communist or Libertarian or Green. I like real religion, Krekor. It's been of enormous importance and value in my life. This other stuff, I look at it and I fear for the survival of civilization."

-- from Hardscrabble Road by Jane Haddam

Some people see things as they are and say why. I see things that never were and say why not.

--Geo. Bernard Shaw