Sustenance: Puppies and poetry

May is Mental Health Month and a good time to look for new ways to revitalize ourselves. Or just be mindful to make use of the old ways. As good a time as any, is what I really mean; this shouldn’t be a once-a-year special occasion.

Still, we all get caught up in the day-to-day and forget sometimes (many times) to nurture our souls. Continue reading

Mixing memory with desire: Poetry and public schools

"April is the cruellest month, ..."

IMG_1291Nearly every year on April 1, I re-read T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land.” It’s one of my favorite poems, and while I pay homage to it by quoting and requoting lines from it in conversation year-round, I also like to sit down and read it through periodically. The opening line, quoted above, is of course why I choose April 1 for this pleasure. (Also, April is National Poetry Month, so there’s another reason, though not the one that drives me.)

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Holiday Rituals; Life Rituals


This year’s Thanksgiving pies: pecan, pumpkin, and peach-blueberry. Facebook just offered me my 2013 Thanksgiving pie photo as a memory, and it shows the same three pie flavors–in the exact same photographic arrangement. See what I mean about ritual?

Holidays bring out the ritual in me, and I don’t think I’m alone in this. Who doesn’t have some sort of ritual associated with major holidays?

For me, it starts with the food:

  • Thanksgiving = Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and lots of pie – always including pumpkin pie
  • Christmas = Swedish meatballs and potato sausage, baked beans, Swedish mazarin torte, and mostly the same kinds of cookies year after year after year
  • New Year’s Day = Lentil soup
  • All holidays = Sour cream macaroni & cheese for my vegetarian son

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