Friday, July 31, 2015

the kind of writing I want to do when I grow up


                             Crabapple holding in arms

what almost has
vanished,
selvage and leaf-lavish open.

Pumpkin seed in the hand,
lick the salt after.
What remains, after.
Bowl fill with woodpecker’s shavings of cedar.

Door of the beak, release attic.
Voice remain fragrant.
Love hold the lungs again open.

By the bed, here.
By silence and whiteness,
by staying.
Carved scent of orange-oil, open.

By rise of the woodpecker’s question,
of crabapple fruiting,
clasp now this room that is given.

Open with flood what is given,
once again fragrant and here.

       ~Jane Hirshfield,                                                  
“Spell to Be Said After Illness”                        

+   +   +   +

I’m a big fan of Heather King’s writing.

I’ve mentioned this exceptional Catholic writer before, but just in case you missed it… check out her blog here, and go here to read about Redeemed, my introduction into Heather’s writing.

It’s not just Heather’s quality of thought and of writing—which is, indeed, brilliant.

Perhaps what I enjoy and appreciate the most is Heather’s ability to take an intellectual concept (or an academic idea, or a conceptual artistic expression), and in genuine Ignatian fashion, deliberately and honestly explore, question and challenge herself -- until she discovers and is able to describe God’s presence there.

It’s the type of writing I want to do when I grow up.

It seems fitting, therefore, on this feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, to connect once again with Heather’s blog, a place where I so frequently feel invited –and provoked – to experience God, day by day.

From one of her blog posts last week:

"There is a custom which I have met only in Thailand, whereby a person composes a small cookbook before her or his death, so that it can be distributed as a keepsake to the mourners attending the funeral.

The recipes, typically no more than a score, are likely to be those which the deceased especially enjoyed. They need not have been composed or used by the deceased, but often are. Sometimes they incorporate little anecdotes and attributions. . . .

The idea is attractive. With what better keepsake could one depart from a funeral? What other would equally well keep one's memory green among friends?”

“Funeral Cookbooks” by Alan Davidson,

Check out the rest of her blog post—and Heather’s personal recipe for Tuscan Rosemary and Pine Nut Bars—here!

What an interesting idea, to create a keepsake of recipes for the mourners at my funeral. What would you put in yours? 

My Funeral Cookbook would definitely have to begin with a good paella recipe... and plátanos maduros... and Cuban rum cake...